Audio over IP

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Audio over IP (AoIP) is the distribution of digital audio across an IP network such as the Internet. It is being used increasingly to provide high-quality audio feeds over long distances. The application is also known as audio contribution over IP (ACIP) in reference to the programming contributions made by field reporters and remote events. Audio quality and latency are key issues for contribution links.

In the past, these links have made use of ISDN services but these have become increasingly difficult or expensive to obtain in some parts of Europe and elsewhere.[1] On March 28, 2013 Verizon announced it would no longer be taking new orders for ISDN service in the Northeastern United States starting on May 18 of that year. Though they still service existing active installations.[2]

Many proprietary systems came into existence for transporting high-quality audio over IP based on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP). An interoperable standard for audio over IP using RTP now exists.

Within a single building or music venue, audio over Ethernet (AoE) is more likely to be used instead, avoiding audio data compression and, in some cases, IP encapsulation.[3]


The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) together with many equipment manufacturers defined a common framework for audio contribution over IP in order to achieve interoperability between products. The framework defines RTP as a common protocol and media payload type formats according to IETF definitions. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is used as signalling for call setup and control. The recommendation is currently published as EBU Tech 3326-2007.[4]

More advanced audio codecs are capable of sending audio over unmanaged IP networks like the internet using automated jitter buffering, forward error correction and error concealment to minimise latency and maximise packet streaming stability in live broadcast situations over unmanaged IP networks.

In the face of IPv4 address exhaustion, IPv6 capability ensures codecs are capable of connecting over new Internet infrastructure. IPv6 infrastructure is being widely deployed to deliver a virtually inexhaustible supply of IP addresses. IPv6 addressing makes it much easier for broadcast codecs to connect to each other directly and perform flexible multi-point connections over IP.[5]

Examples of use[edit]

The BBC began using audio contribution over IP in Scotland as part of the BBC Pacific Quay development in Glasgow. A similar system has been installed in the Regions of England and will be installed in Wales and Northern Ireland. The audio packets are sent using UDP over the BBC's Layer-3 network. To reduce the chance that the audio is corrupted, quality of service (QoS) is set to ensure that the packets are given priority over other network traffic. The platforms used are the WorldNet Oslo for multiple channel contribution and distribution with the WorldCast Horizon deployed in stereo drop-off locations.[6]

Audio over IP is even used for large sport events. More than 1000 Barix IP audio codecs were used to network the various venues of the 2010 Commonwealth Games hosted in India.[7] Codecs such as the Tieline i-Mix G3 have been used since 2004 at the Olympic Games for live sports broadcasting.[8][9] These codecs also have the ability to send audio over wireless IP, i.e. 3G and WiFi, as well as other audio transports like POTS, ISDN, satellite and X.21, and have been used at UEFA and FIFA World Cup tournaments.[10]

Ultra portable audio-over-IP codecs are also available as a smartphone applications to send high fidelity broadcast quality audio from remote sites to studios. Applications such as Report-IT Live for iPhone can send bidirectional 15 kHz quality audio live with automated jitter buffering, forward error correction and error concealment. They can also send 20 kHz quality audio recordings from the phone to a studio via FTP.[11]

Audio over IP is also used in scientific applications, such as the Neumayer Station in Antarctica, where Barix IP Audio encoders digitize and stream the complete audio spectrum captured by hydrophones under water to the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ P. A. Stevens; M. Zemack (2008), BBC white paper (PDF), BBC, archived (PDF) from the original on 2010-09-30
  2. ^ "Verizon: No Longer Taking Orders for ISDN Service in Northeast Starting May 18". TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.”. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
  3. ^ Steve Church; Skip Pizzi (2010). Audio Over IP. Focal Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-0-240-81244-1.
  4. ^ Jonsson, Lars; Mathias Coinchon (2008). "Streaming audio contributions over IP" (PDF). EBU Technical Review. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  5. ^ Glenn Davies (2011-05-19). "Why IPv6 Matters to Your Station". Radio World. Archived from the original on 2013-03-01. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  6. ^ "BBC Adopts IP for Audio Transit". 9 October 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  7. ^ "Barix Audio over IP Solutions Support Live Global Broadcasts for the 2010 Commonwealth Games". Barix. 2010-10-21. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  8. ^ "Tieline Gear Gets Olympics Workout". Radio World. 2010-02-23. Archived from the original on 10 Sep 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  9. ^ "Tieline Codecs Broadcast Live Around The Globe From The Beijing Games". 2008-08-06. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  10. ^ "Tieline, SABC Try WiMax for Sports Broadcast in South Africa". Radio World. 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  11. ^ "Report-IT Application for iPhone". Retrieved 2013-05-18.
  12. ^ "Barix Plays Crucial Role In Antarctica Marine Life Research For Alfred Wegener Institute In Germany". December 4, 2006. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-18.

External links[edit]