TBU-IP Studio TBU / Telephone hybrid for VoIP and SIP phone systems and PBXs

Digital Telephone hybrids or TBUs (Telephone Balance Units) are most often found in TV & Radio studios and used to put callers on-air...

...but our SIP VoIP TBU is just as useful in any application where you need to convert between 4-wire audio circuits and a phone call!

AudioTX Products - digital telephone hybrid TBU for VoIP SIP
AudioTX Products - digital telephone hybrid TBU for VoIP SIP

In broadcast applications, a telephone-balance unit is used to connect external callers to the mixing desk/console in a radio or TV studio - allowing the caller to be put on-air or recorded for later broadcast - and also, of course, allowing the caller to hear the programme - including the presenter/host's voice and other contributors, music etc.

Outside of the broadcast world, there are many other applications where you need to receive and send audio cleanly and in high quality to/from a telephone caller. For example to put a caller's voice onto a loudspeaker for others to hear, to record callers in high quality, or simply to obtain a 4-wire connection (separate send and receive audio connections) to a telephone caller. Financial services and dealing desks, bingo halls, conferences and presentations, security and surveillance are just a few examples...

AudioTX TBU-IP Telephone Balance / Hybrid for IP telephony, SIP / VoIP, asterisk, digital TBU

Traditional telephone hybrids/TBUs have been around for years and generally plug directly into a POTS telephone line (or an analog extension on a PBX).

Now that IP telephony systems (IP/VoIP based PBX's) are fast becoming the norm - as they generally offer enhanced functionality, cost savings and new ways of working - a new solution is needed where previously a POTS hybrid would have been used. That's where AudioTX TBU-IP comes in.

With AudioTX TBU-IP, call quality is significantly better than with analog (POTS) TBU units as calls are carried digitally right through to the studio. TBU-IP is a dual-hybrid (it has 2 fully independent TBUs within the 1RU rackmount unit) and each acts as a standard SIP phone, meaning that it will work with any IP phone system or, if you wish, directly with a SIP/VoIP provider's lines.

It's worth noting that an IP PBX may well use analog, digital or SIP trunk connections from your telecommunications provider - or a combination of all three - and that calls may come from any of the 3 types of telephony networks - but the important common factor is that all phones within your organisation are 'IP phones' and are connected to your PBX over the LAN (IP network) rather than by fixed, dedicated, telephone wiring.

Call answer/establishment & progress

In most cases, you'll use your phone system and existing standard handsets to answer, make/dial and route calls, put them on hold, perform queue management etc. In most cases this will be the same phone system used for your office telephony, though maybe call producers on a talk show might use larger, more functional handsets - e.g. operator consoles or on-screen phones with headsets. When you want to put a caller on-air, you simply transfer the call to one of the extensions you've allocated to your TBU-IP unit.
* Of course, if you wish, TBU-IP can be setup to directly receive incoming calls (from a DEL, direct exchange line), or even direct from a SIP trunk - Even without a phone system, TBU-IP can act as 2 independent, standalone SIP telephones that connect directly with any SIP trunk provider.

TBU-IP can be setup to auto-answer or you can answer/accept a call manually.

The controls

TBU-IP has a GPIO interface which allows for connection to studio signalling systems and for Answer/Hangup/Revert functionality from external control panels with simple 5v logic level connections. This also allows you to dial a pre-set number directly from the unit. You can also manage and control the unit from the web-browser based management interface from any PC on your network. And there's a simple Telnet-style interface (with simple one-line text commands) that allows for integration with external management/control systems over IP for answer, hangup, revert, direct dial and call status.

At the end of a call

You can choose to hangup on the caller, or 'revert' the call to a pre-set extension. This is a very powerful feature... this extension could just be a single phone, or it could a ring group you might choose to setup on your PBX - for example with the reverted call identified as 'Call released from TBU-IP-1 in Studio A' for example. Or maybe even an extenion that plays a pre-recorded 'Thanks for calling and being on-air' message you've setup on your PBX.

Initial Setup

TBU-IP is a 1RU rackmount unit housing a dual-TBU (2 lines) and has professional balanced analogue line-level inputs and outputs and AES digital connections on XLR connectors and a GPIO port providing control/signalling integration with existing studio equipment and systems.

Setting up AudioTX TBU-IP for use with your phone system is a simple one-off process as each of the digital hybrids behave as standard SIP phone extensions. Set the extensions up on the PBX and enter the correct info into the TBU-IP unit.

All of the additional functionality of your PABX can be integrated with your studio TBU - including call conferencing, ring groups, operator consoles and on-screen call handling software from any manufacturer.


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