Comrex Access Portable And Rackmount Audio Codec

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ACCESS delivers mono or stereo audio over POTS, DSL, Cable, Wi-Fi, 3G cellular, satellite  plus some services you may not have even heard of. Given the challenges of the public Internet, it’s no small boast to say that ACCESS will perform in real time over many available IP connections including challenging ones.

Access Stack

Access Stack

Access Rack

Access Rack

BRIC (Broadcast Reliable Internet Codec) technology allows ACCESS to achieve unprecedented flexibility and reliability in the IP environment.


ACCESS will work on a wide variety of wired and wireless data circuits, including:

  •  Cable, DSL and POTS
  •  Wireless Network-802.11x (Wi-Fi) WiMax
  •  3G Data Networks,1x EV-DO, UMTS
  •  Satellite terminals
  •  Public Internet Uses Revolutionary BRIC Technology, designed to overcome the innate unreliability of the public Internet

ACCESS is also a full-featured POTS codec

  •  Use ACCESS to make a POTS-to-POTS connection. Dial up a Comrex POTS codec (including Matrix, Vector or BlueBox).
  •  You can deliver 15 kHz Stereo on a single POTS line when connecting to another ACCESS.


BRIC technology can also deliver wideband audio over 3G cellular datanetworks like EV-DO and UMTS, as well as the increasing number of publicly available of Wi-Fi hotspots. The forthcoming Portable ACCESS has a built-in slot for easy connection to data cards supporting these services. Studio ACCESS Rackmount can also be adapted to work over these services by using a special external adaptor. Contact Comrex for more information on this.


Technical Specification

Technical Specification

No IT Guy Needed
OK, that may be overstating the case a little bit, but there has never been an IP codec as easy to use as ACCESS. ACCESS Rack is designed as the set and forget end of the IP link. It has no user controls. Connection and management are done over a LAN using the intuitive web page served from the unit. This way, ACCESS may be controlled from any computer using a normal web browser.

ACCESS The Smart Codec
Using BRIC technology means you won’t have to mess with ACCESS advanced settings. The sophisticated engine of ACCESS is clever enough to assess circuit conditions and adapt on the fly without user intervention. ACCESS is constantly working to compensate for deficits in the quality of service, so no one has to hear how bad the public Internet can be.

For the technically advanced, the menus are there. So, if you are a power user, you can configure ACCESS to be whatever you need. You can increase the delay cushion or twiddle the frames per packet to your heart’s content. But isn’t it great to know that you probably will never need to?

ACCESS-The Powerful Codec
Whatever the audio transmission job, whatever the circuit, ACCESS has a mode for you. From linear mono or stereo audio to an ultra-low bitrate algorithm, there is a wide range of audio choices to fit virtually anyprogramming need.

In addition to the ability to do linear uncompressed mono or stereo, the basic ACCESS codec includes three BRIC algorithms:

  1. BRIC-HQ1 (High Quality 1) This algorithm keeps delay low (around 1/10 second) but allows for full fidelity (15 kHz) audio transmission. It delivers music or voice audio equally well and runs at a data rate of 28 kb/s. This mode also allows dual mono transmission, so that two independent audio signals (using twice the network bandwidth) can be sent to the same location. HQ1 settings offer choice of mono, dual mono or stereo.
  2. BRIC-HQ2 (High Quality 2) This mode minimizes artifacts and encodes speech and music equally well, providing a 12 or 15 kHz fidelity signal over 24 kb/s of network bandwidth. BRIC-HQ2 also allows for stereo operation at the lowest data rate of 24-30 kb/s, making stereo over a single modem connection possible. BRIC-HQ2 has moderate delay of about 1/3 second, which is in the range of many ISDN codecs. HQ2 settings offer choice of mono 12K, mono 15K, stereo 12K or stereo 15K. Selecting 12K further reduces artifacts.
  3. BRIC-ULB (Ultra Low Bitrate) This mode is designed for speech transfer only but has a remarkable compression ratio of around 25:1, allowing it to deliver 7 kHz at an astonishingly low bitrate (around 10 kb/s). The voice quality of BRIC-ULB is comparable to the old codec standard G.722 (7 kHz), but uses less than 1/6th the amount of data. MPEG-4 AAC algorithms, licensed by Fraunhofer IIS, are available as an optional upgrade.

Audio Connections and Other Features

  •  Stereo analog line level inputs/outputs on balanced XLRs adjustable level
  •  AES3 digital audio input/output on XLRs
  •  Front-panel LED indicators
  • Stereo input and output level meters on front panel
  • Power LED illuminates when power is applied
  •  Audio level meters also available via web page interface
  •  Connections via Ethernet and RJ11 modem jacks
  •  Connections for serial ancillary data and four contact closures
  •  Connections for keyboard and monitor to allow initial configuration
  •  Contact closures (4)

As a perfect field unit to complement the Rack, ACCESS Portable (coming soon) has been designed as a remote broadcasters dream. About the size of a camcorder, the hand-held unit may be powered for seven hours by its rechargeable battery. For broadcasts that require larger mixing and headphone capabilities, the handheld unit may be docked into the mixer/headphone management section to provide a full featured, table-top, 5-channel stereo mixer/codec.

Some features of the ACCESS Portable are:

  •  Uses BRIC technology to deliver broadcast audio over the public Internet
  •  User interface via integrated LCD/touchscreen display menus
  •  Web browser included for connection to Wi-Fi access points that require log-in
  •  Built-in Ethernet port
  •  Built-in rechargeable battery supplies 7 hours of talk-time
  •  Connection to a range of other networks via integral Cardbus slot including:
  •  Modem Connections
  •  3G Cellular Links
  •  Wi-Fi or Wi-Max Access cards
  •  Ethernet port acts as Internet sharing device, allowing use of laptops on circuits utilizing Cardbus cards
  •  HE-AAC (comparable to AAC+) and AAC-LD modes available as options
  •  Backward compatibility to Comrex POTS codecs)

BRIC Technology
Because telephone networks are migrating to packet-based technology, the use of traditional POTS and ISDN codecs will become increasingly difficult.

BRIC technology provides a natural evolution for broadcasters to utilize the ever-increasing availability of broadband Internet access, while maintaining the high quality and low delay required for their application.

BRIC innovations:

  •  The first broadcast codec to work reliably over most Internet connections
  •  7 kHz bi-directional low-delay audio over challenging IP networks using BRIC-ULB algorithm
  •  Less than 100 mS coding delay using BRIC-ULB or BRIC HQ1
  •  15 kHz bi-directional stereo or mono audio over typical networks (or a single dial-up phone line) using BRIC-HQ1 algorithm
  •  Usable on networks with high packet loss and packet jitter such as the public Internet
  •  Utilizes BRIC Transversal Server (maintained by Comrex) to allow easy connections from behind firewalls and routers. Use is optional

Product Resources

Product Resources

Access Manual

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