Bringing its next-generation Audio-over-IP technology to large-scale retail, hospitality and corporate music applications, Barix will unveil its new Retail Player solution in stand 8-K255 at the upcoming ISE 2018 show (6-9 February in Amsterdam). The company’s newest multi-channel background music streaming solution, the future-friendly Retail Player system combines robust hardware endpoints with an intuitive, web-based management portal while defining a cost-effective new price point for deployments spanning large numbers of sites.
“For customers wanting to deliver streaming background music and messages across a high number of locations, budget restrictions and price sensitivity have often led them to use consumer-grade players that lack the reliability and usability of dedicated solutions,” said Reto Brader, vice president of sales and marketing, Barix. “Our new Retail Player system shatters those pricing barriers, providing a dependable, easy-to-manage and easily-scalable solution that’s also affordable.”
That cost-efficiency starts with Barix’s new Exstreamer S hardware, running the Retail Player firmware. Powered by the company’s new IPAM400 IP audio module, which is also debuting at ISE 2018, the Exstreamer S provides high-quality decoding of live audio streams and advanced buffer management in an ultra-compact form factor. Deliveringdependability that can be achieved only in a dedicated hardware player, the Exstreamer S continues Barix’s hallmark of superior reliability, with 25 years MTBF (mean time between failures). The units feature a 3.5mm stereo audio jack and Ethernet port for easy connectivity, with support for IPv4 and IPv6 networking protocols and demanding IT security requirements.
Meanwhile, the new Barix Retail Player Portal provides centralized configuration, management, status monitoring and stream switching for Exstreamer S devices across multiple locations. Offered as a cloud-based service or for customers to purchase and install locally on their own servers, the portal lets users quickly and seamlessly switch streaming channels via a web browser or mobile device without needing to interact directly with the receiving decoders.
“Customers with multiple streaming channels often want to switch between them when their audience demographic changes,” explained Brader. “For example, a fitness club may suddenly be crowded with people from a different age group, and want to switch the music to suit that new set of members. With Retail Player, the club’s manager can switch streams through the portal without ever needing to access the hardware.”
The Retail Player portal also simplifies maintenance and upgrades of multiple Exstreamer S devices, including the ability to remotely update the units’ firmware as new features and enhancements are released to meet customers’ future needs.
The initial release of the Barix Retail Player solution, with basic configuration server functionality, is slated for later in Q1 of this year. As the solution is designed specifically for large-scale deployments, the Exstreamer S hardware will be sold in bulk for projects spanning many hundreds of sites. Barix will also continue to offer its very successful SoundScapeSaaS-based streaming service for advanced audio delivery applications combining live and stored content with dynamic advertising insertion.