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Barix Introduces Advanced Audio And Content Protection Features To Exstreamer Products

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, April 29, 2009 — Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control, and monitoring, announces new features to its Exstreamer-100 and Exstreamer-110 IP audio decoders designed specifically to improve audio quality, reduce bandwidth costs and implement DRM (digital rights management) encryption firmware to protect audio content at the store location. Retail chains, restaurants, clubs and hotels are among the many businesses using audio at the point of purchase that can benefit from these new features. The new features will be introduced at the Digital Signage Expo, taking place May 5-7 at the Messe Essen in Essen, Germany (Booth #10E.01).

Barix in-store audio platforms are built around Audio over IP distribution, with Exstreamer devices receiving audio from a central location (live or stored) and decoding it for playback at branch locations. Tens of thousands of Exstreamer IP audio decoders are now active within in-store audio platforms in the U.S. and Europe to deliver music, advertising and promotional messages from one-to-many locations — often as a reliable and cost-effective alternative to satellite delivery platforms. The majority of these early Barix in-store audio installations use the mp3 audio format to distribute audio.

As an alternative, Barix now supports aacPlus v2, an advanced audio codec that significantly improves compression rates over mp3. Retailers and other businesses benefit from a vast improvement in audio quality when compared with mp3 encoding at equivalent bit rates; or a substantial reduction in bandwidth requirements using the same quality mp3 currently delivers, minimizing distribution costs.

Barix also announces a new feature to its “Streaming Client? firmware to enable playback of locally-held, encrypted content from a USB stick attached to the Exstreamer. The Exstreamer can either continually playback content from the USB, or automatically switch to USB content via ‘failover’ mode if the live stream temporarily fails. This eliminates the opportunity for thieves to steal or copy unencrypted content on the USB stick, and protects the retailer from allegations that they did not take reasonable precautions to protect the copyrighted content. This new feature is available to businesses upon request at sales@barix.com.

“Barix continues to incorporate new features into the Exstreamer platform, creating new opportunities for businesses that use audio at the point of purchase to entertain and inform customers,? said Johannes G. Rietschel, CEO and Founder of Barix AG. “The Exstreamer-100 and Exstreamer-110 are developing to meet the evolving needs of the retail and hospitality industries, while retaining the trademark flexibility and reliability that have established them as the choice of so many businesses for IP-based, in-store audio delivery.?

The Exstreamer-110 is especially suited for in-store audio applications. It retains all the functionality of the popular Exstreamer-100 IP audio decoder and adds a backlit 2×16 character LCD to display stream metadata or file information, such as station identification and artist/title information. The Exstreamer-110 also introduces a built-in relay to the Exstreamer range, which can be used for a variety of purposes, such as triggering an EAS stream, station identification, or local announcement. A built-in remote control receiver enables channel selection from a variety of audio streams.

All Barix products are inexpensive, low-power devices that are scalable to the growth of the operation; offer reliability through a PC-FREE design with no moving parts; and serve as a flexible platform for integration into virtually any operation requiring audio transport and delivery. Barix also offers its programmable BCL standard open to all customers to easily tailor applications for specific needs. Local control, audio relay, and low-latency streaming are a few examples of custom programs using Barix’s BCL software environment.

About Barix AG (www.barix.com)

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).

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April 2009
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