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Barix celebrates 20 years of audio over IP

Barix celebrates 20 years of audio over IP
Barix at InfoComm in 2011

Barix celebrates 20 years of audio over IP

Over the last two decades, Switzerland-based Barix has grown from a control and automation upstart into an audio over IP manufacturer primarily serving the professional AV, broadcast and security industries, while supporting a variety of vertical markets within each. It has shipped nearly one million devices to serve control, streaming and transport applications for end users, OEM vendors, service providers and systems integrators.

A family retreat
A family retreat

Current CTO Johannes G Rietschel founded Barix in 2001 to escape the trappings of corporate operations that slowed his product development ideas, which evolved from standard legacy network components to IT-focused control products by the turn of the century. “I had spent too much time travelling to tradeshows doing ‘research’ with little to show beyond expenses,” he said. “My vision was to build a product that would fit the market and adapt to customer requests from there, instead of overthinking. That’s the premise on which Barix was founded.”

By 2006, Barix had a global partner network – including the Barix Technology USA division, managed by the late Andy Stadheim – and a worldwide presence in education, government, hospitality, medical, radio broadcast, retail, scientific, transportation and worship environments. “Many of today’s primary Barix applications were discovered by chance, or developed through early enthusiasts,” said Rietschel. “That’s especially true in broadcast, where many AM and FM radio stations didn’t have the budget for STL systems that ran tens of thousands of dollars. We also saw strong interest from music service providers and retail operations that urgently needed to transition from expensive satellite systems, and transit companies that were replacing copper with fibre.”

The original Barix Exstreamer
The original Barix Exstreamer

Barix was also an early innovator of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) technology, first adopted by security customers for efficient VoIP connections and now gaining traction in broadcast; and among the first to merge digital signage and BYOD mobile applications with its AudioPoint solution. The company is now on its fourth-generation IPAM Series module (IPAM400) and most recently introduced its IP Former solution to help loudspeaker manufacturers transition their legacy products to IP networks.

“Our products are reliable and hold up well over years and even decades, and the more recent generations of our products will have even greater longevity through firmware updates,” Rietschel added. “While we have never been the biggest company, we remain profitable and have made it through 20 years and challenging business environments without ever laying off employees.”

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