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Barix Exstreamer and Annuncicom IP Devices Bring Innovation to Classroom Bell System at Excelsior Education Center

Barix collaborates with AcroVista Software BellCommander system for automated classroom bells, and introduces music streaming and paging applications to public charter school in California

AUSTIN, TX, October 24, 2007 – AcroVista and Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control and monitoring, announces that Excelsior Education Center, a public charter school for Grades 7-12 in Victorville, California, has installed 28 Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders and one Barix Annuncicom IP intercom device throughout its campus to signal classroom bells, stream music, and provide live paging and pre-recorded emergency messaging capability across the entire campus. The school saved nearly $40,000 compared to a traditional bell system with tone generators, and is finding far more value with the Barix devices due to the flexibility afforded by using the IP environment.

“Traditional bell systems limit you to tone generators, and we wanted to be more innovative than that,” said Stephen Benedict, Network Administrator at Excelsior Education Center. “Our goal was to find a system that would allow us to take advantage of our existing Ethernet and fiber infrastructure to stream music and announcements in addition to firing bells. The Barix devices have allowed us to achieve this goal, one because they were extremely cost-efficient, but also because of the innovative capabilities that are built into the technology.”

The Barix Exstreamers work in tandem with the AcroVista Software BellCommander scheduling system, which automatically sends bell alarms to the Exstreamer devices in classrooms and outdoor areas to signal the beginning and end of each class. BellCommander is a software program that resides on a central PC and seamlessly communicates with the Exstreamers over the existing IP infrastructure. The system can address each message to a single classroom, a group, or across the campus.

Inside the classrooms, the Exstreamers are mounted to a wall with a single speaker, receiving the BellCommander signal over the Ethernet/fiber backbone. Outdoors on the split-level campus, the school has installed four Peavey loudspeakers — two on each level to provide a true stereo sound output. Each loudspeaker has one Exstreamer to receive both bell signals from BellCommander and music streamed from the Barix Annuncicom in the central office.

“The Annuncicom is the element that allows us to stream music both indoors and outdoors,” said Benedict. “The Annuncicom performs the function of a media server, taking in MP3 files from an iPod or off a computer and streaming them directly to the Exstreamers, which decode the audio for playback over the speakers. A priority port on the Exstreamer takes action so that when the bells fire from BellCommander, they take priority over the music from the Annuncicom.

The paging application for the system is still a work in progress, according to Benedict. “We plan to use the Annuncicom for live paging applications, which would include morning announcements from students in addition to basic student and personnel paging,” he said. “We have purchased a microphone system specifically for this application, and hope to get it off the ground shortly. The BellCommander system will be used to send pre-recorded announcements to the Exstreamers for PA system playback. That would be more for emergency messages, fire drills, and other alarming applications.”

About Barix AG
Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks / Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industry. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).

About AcroVista
AcroVista's patent-pending BellCommander system is an advanced audio scheduling and intercom application utilized by hundreds of clients for school bells, factory horns, store-front audio, hospital announcements, and more. The BellCommander system sends audio to network audio players from Barix and to PC clients at scheduled times. Since the BellCommander system utilizes standard computer networks, the system is much more affordable than competitor's products and can be easily maintained. AcroVista is an authorized dealer for Barix products in the U.S. and Canada and can work with local resellers in other markets.

If your organization has similar requirements for school bell and paging applications, you can learn more about BellCommander at http://www.acrovista.com/bellcommander or contact sales.