Barix Devices (To order Barix devices, contact us)
The patent-pending network audio device configuration is optimized for Exstreamer and Annuncicom (UDP Recommended) devices from Barix (http://www.barix.com) and supports sending both scheduled and live audio to the devices. The network devices are small devices which can be connected to a computer network and have connectors for speakers. The BellCommander software will send audio direct to the devices over the network, so no physical connection is required from the PC. The network audio device configuration allows multiple zones to be created, so different audio can be sent to different locations like a traditional intercom system. Currently, up to 255 Barix devices can be controlled.
An example of the Barix configuration is shown in the window below. To set the device type, select “Barix Network Audio Devices” in the drop-down list. Check the “Enable Barix Devices” box to enable output to Barix devices. To add Barix devices, click the Add Device button and enter the IP or host name of the Barix device. A static IP is recommended, but a dynamic IP with a hostname can be used.
The Barix devices can be communicated with using either TCP or UDP. TCP maintains a connection to the devices and is the most reliable if communication is required over the Internet or over a slow network. UDP sends audio in real-time and is ideal for local networks and is also recommended for Annuncicoms. With scheduled audio, UDP can play audio to more devices with less delay than UDP. To select TCP or UDP, select the corresponding item in the Device Manager and click the Apply button. The default port settings, TCP (2020) and UDP (3030), should be used for most installations.
The Device Manager manager shows the status of the Barix devices based on either a standard ping or retrieving the device’s status via UDP. A standard ping is default and will show whether the device is attached to the network. If the “Send UDP Test For Ping” box is checked, then a UDP command will be sent to the device to retrieve it’s status. This provides a more in-depth status, but requires more work on the device and may result in an audio blip.
Once the Barix device options are set, the devices can be tested in the Device Manager by selecting a device and an audio file and then clicking the Play Audio File button.
If all Barix devices are typically broadcasted to, rather than individual Barix devices, it may be possible to perform a UDP broadcast to reach all devices on the local network. This will result in less network traffic from the BellCommander server, more synchronized audio, and less processing on the BellCommander PC. To perform a UDP broadcast, add a “dummy” Barix device with an IP address ending in .255 (ex. 10.0.0.255 or 10.0.255.255). The “dummy” device will show active as false in the Device Manager, but will receive audio if the router is configured to allow UDP packets to be broadcasted.
Barix Device Configuration:
To configure the Barix devices the following settings should be applied using the Exstreamer’s or Annuncicom’s web interface. The web interface can be accessed by accessing the device’s IP address or host name directly (ex. http://192.168.0.132).
In the web configuration tool, click the Config link and then click the Streaming link. In the streaming settings make the following changes:
Set the Mode to 4 Streaming Receiver
Set the TCP Streaming Listen Port to 2020
Set the UDP Streaming Listen Port to 3030
Set the Start Threshold to 10000 (If this is not set, short audio files may not play)
Finally, click the Apply button on the bottom of the form. This will reboot the device and apply the new settings.