St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School

BellCommander and Barix IP Audio Decoders Provide Customized Classroom Bell Systems for Two Private K-12 Schools

Barix/Acrovista system delivers flexible bell solution

AUSTIN, TX , November 27, 2007 — AcroVista and Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control, and monitoring, today announced the first U.S. K-12 installations of its low-cost, IP-based audio decoders in two private schools. Crean Lutheran South High School of Irvine, Calif.; and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, a K-8 grade school in The Woodlands, Texas; have both installed Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders to establish reliable, customized classroom bell systems. Barix’s low-cost, high-performance IP devices continue to gain momentum in the education world, with numerous recent installations in schools, colleges and universities for a variety of applications including classroom recording, live paging, and campus security among other purposes.

The Barix Exstreamers work in conjunction with Acrovista Software’s BellCommander scheduling software, which runs on a centrally located PC in each school, initiating bell tones as MP3 files according to a user-determined schedule. At Crean Lutheran South High School, the bell tone files are sent over CAT5 wiring to the Barix Exstreamers, which decode and distribute audio to Behringer speakers throughout the school.

“This school bell system has proven to be very easy to set up, schedule, and modify,” said Carl Butz, director of informational and instructional technology at Crean. “At our recent Open House, we invited parents to meet the teachers and visit the classrooms according to a schedule. Just before the parents arrived, we quickly expanded the regular bell schedule to ring at certain intervals during the evening so that parents would know when it was time to move to the next room. When it was over, we reverted to the regular school day bell schedule.”

Crean Lutheran South High School plans to extend the use of the system for morning announcements and emergency instructions in the near future.

Dan Crandall, Network Administrator at St. Anthony’s of Padua at The Woodlands, said that the Barix and BellCommander system is extremely flexible, and allows him to schedule in bell rings at different times for the middle school grades. To enable this, Crandall and his team created six specific classroom and hallway zones, with four Exstreamers on each of the school’s two floors. Each Exstreamer is connected to a 70-volt paging amplifier that feeds up to 12 speakers through a single PA amplifier to announce specific start and end times for 26 classrooms. Each zone can be expanded to include 16 speakers per amplifier.

“The Barix and BellCommander classroom bell system provides far more reliability and flexibility than our previous system, which was essentially little more than a basic PA system with a downrange toner that did not meet the school’s requirements,” said Crandall. “The Barix portion alone was cost-effective, allowing us to cover 30,000 square feet for less than $2,000. Installation was also extremely easy; we simply connected the Exstreamers to our backbone network, turned the devices on, and assigned static IP addresses. The 70-volt configuration with each Exstreamer allows us to cover a much larger area, and we can also monitor the status of each Exstreamer over our network by just clicking on one of the devices. That makes the monitoring process very user-friendly.”

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 or contact sales.