Comrex is reporting that its Opal IP audio gateway product – which debuted at IBC in 2017 and received a firmware upgrade quite recently – has been instrumental in allowing many reporters to stay home during the coronavirus lockdown.

Comrex-1 Opal

Opal: Allows guests to connect with the click of a button, without any software or special equipment

Chris Crump, senior director of sales and marketing, at Comrex, said that many radio and television broadcasters need to figure out how to conduct interviews from home, and phone or Skype calls are an option. But phone audio is far from ideal, added Crump.

Opal allows guests to connect with the click of a button, without the need to install any software or have any special equipment. Crump continued: “It generates a link for them, which they’ll open in a regular web browser. Once they click ‘Connect,’ they’re live. It’s simple and perfect for non-technical users and provides high-fidelity, low delay audio that sounds much better than a cellphone.”

Steven Kray, the sound supervisor at Oregon Public Broadcasting, said “Almost every day there’s an opportunity for one of our reporters not to come into the building because they use Opal … rather than come into the building or use the phone, they’ll just join the host [of Morning Edition] with Opal.”

Since its launch at IBC2017, Comrex has consistently come out with firmware releases for the product. Recent updates for Opal address minor fixes like clearing out old certificates and have added new features such as French and Japanese translations on the user landing page, as well as having the option of adding a separate logo for Channel 2 callers.