Tag: PA over IP

PA System Configurations

Comparison of PA Systems

Network Attached PA Systems

What is the best IP paging system? There are several configurations and implementations that can be used depending on your requirements. In general, the PA over IP system is much easier to install than the older central paging amplifier systems.

Instead of running wires from a central amplifier location, the IP paging systems use the network infrastructure that’s already in place. There is a choice of PoE powered speakers that attach to your network or small network-attached amplifiers that drive multiple speakers.

This article compares two types of implementation: the powered IP speakers, and the IP amplifiers with multiple attached speakers.

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IP Paging and Automated Emergency Announcements

Automated Network Attached Paging Provides Emergency Announcements

IP Paging System Emergency Response Diagram

Network attached paging systems are replacing the older analog paging systems. They are not only easier to install; they provide increased functionality. One of the most helpful features of this system is its ability to make automated announcements. You can push a button and make a pre-recorded page, or automatically notify everyone about a weather emergency received from the national weather service.  The automation feature can even convert text messages to audio announcements.

Digital Acoustics was the first company to provide IP paging systems. Their PA over IP product was introduced in 2004 and included small audio amplifiers that were attached to the network. Today there are a number of companies that provide IP type paging systems, but Digital Acoustics continues to provide the most flexible and economic systems. Here’s how to use automated Paging.

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How to Design Your IP Paging System

The secret to designing your sound system is to start at the ears.

The design of an IP paging system starts with the sound level required for people to hear an announcement. Once we know the right sound level, we can define everything else.

Speaker illustration on drawing board

The sound level we hear is affected by the background noise, the distance from the IP speaker, and if we are indoors or outdoors.

We require different paging equipment if the system is used in an office building, or a noisy manufacturing plant. We select different IP speakers and amplifiers when we are inside a classroom, or when we are in the hallways of the school. This article describes how to calculate the speaker, the power required at each speaker, and the best place to mount the speakers.

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How IP Powered Speakers Work

IP powered speakers connect to a PoE type network switch.

PA-powered speakers illustration

The speakers include built-in amplifiers. They use PoE, so no additional power connections are required. Just plug the speaker into your network switch.

Each speaker can be addressed individually by the paging software. You can make a page to a single speaker, a group of speakers, or to all the speakers on the network.  These IP powered speakers are very easy to install and provide excellent flexibility.

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Reliable IP Paging Systems

PA over IP Illustration

What is the Most Reliable Paging System?

By Bob Mesnik

How important is your paging system?  Is it critical that it continues to work reliably?  Well, if your answer is yes, then paging over IP is a good choice for you.

What does IP Paging do that the older analog paging systems can’t do? It provides increased reliability and redundancy.

What happens if your analog amplifier stops working? Well, your paging system is down and out.  There’s no easy recovery except to replace the amplifier.  With a network attached IP paging system, all the amplifiers are decentralized, and the paging console station can be redundant, providing a much more reliable system. Here’s why IP paging systems are more reliable.

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Comparison of the Classic Analog Paging System to the PA over IP Systems

Paging over IP Diagram

This article compares central analog amplifiers to distributed digital network attached amplifiers.

The latest IP paging systems utilize the Ethernet network to distribute sound over your organization.  This is quite different than the classic systems that used a large central amplifier with wires to all the speakers. How good is this new approach to paging?

The following article compares the traditional approach that utilizes one large amplifier to the latest PA over IP systems.

The classic method of providing a paging system was to connect many speakers to a central very large amplifier.  The latest IP amplifier method is much more flexible.  It connects a few speakers to many small network attached amplifiers that are distributed around the organization.  You can attach several speakers to one small IP amplifier or attach one CAT5 ready IP speaker directly to the network.  Here’s a comparison the two types of systems.

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How Network Attached Amplifiers and IP Intercoms Work

Wizard of Oz Network Attached Audio Concept

How do the latest network-attached IP audio systems work?  The latest digital IP systems use protocols that are similar to Voice over IP (VoIP) protocols. This communication method also uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) to power the telephones, IP paging systems,  and IP intercoms.

These IP audio systems use the network cable rather than using individual wires that go from an amplifier to a speaker.  What is the magic behind sending multiple paging announcements on the same wire at virtually the same time? 

Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Here’s how the magic works.

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What is the Right Sound Level for Your Paging Speakers?

speaker horn

Whether it’s an emergency announcement or page in a school, how do you determine the speaker and amplifier required for a specific location? IP paging systems can provide exactly the right sound level to exactly the right location, but what is the right sound level?

How loud does the emergency paging system need to be? How much sound is needed to hear an announcement in a classroom or in a sports field where there is a lot of background noise?

This article provides the technical background and practical information needed to help you determine the right power and speakers required.

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Emergency IP Paging Using Panic Buttons

school lock down

Emergency paging increases safety because it provides immediate notification of dangerous situations.  By adding panic buttons, you can make these emergency pages very quickly.

Push the button and the paging system will let everyone know that the school is in lockdown, or that they should exit the building.  These prerecorded announcements can cover many emergency situations.

Of course, you don’t have to use just the panic buttons, a person can still make a manual announcement.  Since IP Paging systems connect to your network, they can handle many different emergency situations.  They also can be used not only in one building, but in multiple buildings, or even on multiple campuses.

Here’s how to add an emergency IP paging system that includes panic buttons to your organization.

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IP Camera Tech Support in Action

bug in the system

Bug, now that’s a word that covers a lot of ground.

  • Eeck, there’s a bug on the table.
  • I’m sick. I have some kind of bug.
  • Don’t bug me!
  • Bug off!
  • I love my Volkswagen bug.

And then there’s dreaded. There’s a bug in the system.  Our customers rarely find a bug in the IP cameras Kintronics sells, but in the rare instances one finds its way in,  they can rest assure we won’t rest until we’ve debugged the system.

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