Announcicom Takes to the Rails
A European railway is currently renewing their entire announcement system and is placing their trust in the IP-based system from Barix AG. T
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At this time they are combining traditional operational telecommunication systems (OTS) with the Barix IP-based solution. The OTSs send the live, spoken announcements, or those stored on central servers, to one of the 20 central control centres to which the railway stations are assigned on a regional basis. The Barix Annuncicom is connected to the OTS, encodes the audio and control signals and streams them to the Annuncicom at the appropriate station platform where the Barix device receives the audio signal, converts it into voice and relays it to the loudspeakers connected. There is at least one Annuncicom at every central control centre and at every railway station connected. If two Annuncicoms are installed at a stopping point, there can be two different announcements on two platforms at the same time. In the next step, the central digital voice output systems are to communicate directly with the Barix Annuncicoms at the stopping points, i.e. without detouring via the analogue OTS. The software upgrade necessary for this need not be performed on site thanks to the central software download function.
The Barix device assumes the functions of sending announcements and powering on loudspeakers at railway platforms. The start of an announcement is always lost using many other solutions. This is because the switch and audio signals are sent together, but it takes one to two seconds for the amplifier to power up. The Barix component, on the other hand, stores the announcement until the amplifier is ready. In addition, the Barix component monitors the connected loudspeakers and actively sends an error message to the control centre should a device be defective.
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Setting a course for the future the company has opted for the Barix solution to greatly simplify its network structure and, at the same time, to organise it in a more cost-effective and flexible manner. There is no need for the installation of complex and cost-intensive OTSs at the stopping points and railway stations because an IP network is available practically everywhere. They are very happy with the running of the project and the reliability of the system. What is more, the flexibility of the IP-based system opens up virtually unlimited potential. Many other applications are conceivable, such as connections to business telephony and to radio networks. Intercom communication from the stopping points and railway stations to the control centre is possible with the Barix technology using the same infrastructure, such as for query buttons on automatic (ticket) machines.