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Biamp Cornerstone

TesiraFORTÉ X

The TesiraFORTÉ X is the next generation of Tesira DSP processing and is introduced in conjunction with Tesira 4.0 software and firmware. TesiraFORTÉ X combines powerful elements of multiple previous Tesira devices in one product for quick and easy integration in medium to large conference spaces.

The TesiraFORTÉ X 400/800/1600 products are conference room DSPs featuring multiple network and analog audio connection points. With 4, 8, and 16 channels of Acoustic Echo Cancelation (AEC) respectively, users can choose the model that meets the number of microphones required for the room.

TesiraFORTÉ X is designed to be used primarily with Biamp’s beam-forming microphones, PoE amplifiers and speakers. A system including these elements and a UC-room system, display and camera will provide a complete technology solution for a UC-enabled conference room.

The typical function of the TesiraFORTÉ X is to process local Biamp microphone input and speaker output signals in support of audio-only and audio/video conference calls from dedicated conference rooms, but TesiraFORTÉ X can also be custom programmed for many other applications.

TesiraFORTÉ X offers installers two discrete modes of operation. The default behavior allows single-button press auto-configuration assisted by Biamp Launch. The second option allows users to manually configure and completely customize the device signal paths a la a traditional Tesira DSP device.

TesiraFORTÉ X discovery and connection can be done through the Biamp Discovery app, using Biamp Tesira software (version 4.0 and higher), or Biamp SageVue management software. 

Models

There are 3 TesiraFORTÉ X models supporting various densities of AEC processing depending on your requirements. All are externally physically identical aside from their model name. The same power supply model is used for all 3 units. Biamp_TesiraForte_X_1600_Iso.png

  • TesiraFORTÉ X 400 has 4 channels of AEC, supporting up to 4 Parlé microphones
  • TesiraFORTÉ X 800 has 8 channels of AEC, supporting up to 8 Parlé microphones
  • TesiraFORTÉ X 1600 has 16 channels of AEC, supporting up to 16 Parlé microphones

When using Biamp Launch auto-configuration a maximum of 8 Parlé microphones are supported on TesiraFORTÉ X 1600. Up to 8 channels of amplification are supported on all models when using Biamp Launch auto-configuration. These limitations do not apply to manually configured TesiraFORTÉ X.

Biamp Launch Biamp Workhorse Red Logo Launch Button Logo Green LED 201221.jpg

TesiraFORTÉ X features Biamp Launch functionality, allowing for one-touch room hardware discovery, configuration, and tuning. Upon completion of the Launch process, a report card detailing the room’s acoustic performance before and after optimization and the Biamp hardware manifest is available for viewing via a web browser. The Launch report card can also be printed as a pdf.

TesiraFORTÉ X is fully auto-configurable but users also have the option to customize its programming just like any other Tesira DSP device. The device will be available to accept a configuration file from Tesira software if the TesiraFORTÉ X is first cleared using the Tesira software Device Maintenance > Clear Configuration option. A user can restore Launch auto-configuration in TesiraFORTÉ X via a hardware reset using the pinhole reset button. The reset button is located between the GPIO block and the power connector.   

Auto or manual configuration

TesiraFORTÉ X offers users 2 discrete modes of operation - auto-configuration or manual configuration. TesiraFORTÉ X ships ready for Biamp Launch auto-configuration. 

Auto-configuration

With the assistance of Biamp Launch, TesiraFORTÉ X features automated system hardware discovery, configuration, and tuning. Upon completion of the auto-configuration process, a report card detailing the room’s acoustic performance before and after optimization plus the Biamp hardware manifest is available for viewing via a web browser and can be printed as a pdf.

Auto-configuration is a closed system which allows a consistent and repeatable installation process for many conference room applications. Auto-configuration is initiated using the Biamp Launch button on the front of the device or via the Audio webpage. Please review the Biamp Launch article for details on the auto-configuration process and behaviors. 

When TesiraFORTÉ X is auto-configured it offers Tesira’s dedicated AEC processing on up to 8 Parle microphones (depending on hardware model), support for up to 8 channels of amplification using Biamp Parle amplifiers, 1x1 channel USB connectivity with HID mute sync, VoIP with support for the Biamp HD-1 dialer, (5) 1G network ports including (4) ports offering PoE+, and support for audio over AVB between TesiraFORTÉ X and select Biamp Tesira peripheral hardware including Parle mics and amplifiers and the EX-UBT USB and Bluetooth-capable expander. The EX-UBT adds an additional 1x1 USB audio connection as well as a 2x1 Bluetooth connection. 

If additional AVB ports are required, up to (3) TesiraCONNECT TC-5 devices may be linked on P2-5 to increase the port count as needed. If multiple TC-5 are required, TC-5 may be connected in a daisy chain, star, or hybrid daisy-chain/star configuration. The TesiraFORTÉ X (P2-P5) participates as a media network switch in this configuration. 

Always use the non-PoE+ port (P1) of the TC-5 to link to the upstream device to maximize the available PoE+ ports and prevent possible damage connecting PoE source to PoE source.

TC-5D may be used in place of TC-5 in Launch auto-configured systems, but Launch will not be able to leverage the additional Dante features of TC-5D. Other AVNU certified AVB switches may also be used to connect AVB peripherals in manually configured or Launch auto-configured systems. 

Manual configuration

Manual configuration allows users to treat the TesiraFORTÉ X as a standard Tesira server-class device and define the signal paths required for the application. The device's analog I/O, GPIO, and Dante I/O become available for use when manually configured. When TesiraFORTÉ X is manually configured, the auto-tuning functions are not available.  

When manually configured, TesiraFORTÉ X shares the same Tesira programming platform as previous Tesira hardware and can be easily included in systems with all other Tesira devices. An I/O block family for TesiraFORTÉ X is found under the Forte menu in Tesira software. 

When the device is manually configured, TesiraFORTÉ X offers Tesira’s dedicated AEC processing for up to 16 input channels (depending on hardware model), up to 2x2 channels of USB connectivity (with HID mute sync on 1x1 speakerphone), VoIP, (5) 1G network ports including (4) ports offering PoE+, support for 128x128 audio channels on 64x64 streams of AVB between Biamp Tesira devices, 32x32 audio channels on 32x32 flows of Dante, (2) analog mic-line inputs with phantom power, (2) analog mic-line outputs, and (4) ports of GPIO. (Note that some hardware functions are only available when TesiraFORTÉ X is manually configured.)

Biamp Launch configured device visible from Tesira SW but Connect to System is not allowed.PNGPrior to running Launch configuration TesiraFORTÉ X will display a Device ID of 0, indicating it is unconfigured.

To manually configure the device you will first need to "Clear Configuration" from Device Maintenance to wipe the Launch capability from it (just like a Forte with the default layout preloaded), then "Reboot" the device. A pop-up will notify users prior to loading a config file if this step is required on a device.

  • Launch functions may be restored through a pinhole reset of hardware. The reset button is located between the GPIO block and the power connector.   

Launch-configured devices are visible from Tesira SW with the system description "Biamp Launch" and show a Device ID of 1, but the "Connect To System" option is not available. The web UI is the path to interact with it.

If additional AVB network ports are required, up to (3) TesiraCONNECT TC-5 devices may be linked on TesiraFORTÉ X P2-P5 to increase the port count as needed. If multiple TC-5 are required, TC-5 may be connected in a daisy chain, star, or hybrid daisy-chain/star configuration. The TesiraFORTÉ X (P2-P5) participates as a media network switch in this configuration.

Always use the non-PoE+ port (P1) of the TC-5 to link to the upstream device to maximize the available PoE+ ports and prevent possible damage connecting PoE source to PoE source.  

TesiraFORTÉ X or Devio SCX?

TesiraFORTÉ X offers the best of both worlds, allowing either auto-configuration or manual configuration, depending on the requirements of the job. This flexibility allows one device to fill many roles. Users who are unsure of whether they will need to sometimes manually configure devices as part of larger or bespoke systems can simply order TesiraFORTÉ X and have both options available in one device. Devio SCX only allows auto-configuration of the device.

  • Both device types have a web UI for users to manage the VoIP configuration and network settings, to run Launch, and more.
  • The Launch-configured Devio SCX and Launch-configured TesiraFORTÉ X offer the same user options and user experience.
  • TesiraFORTÉ X additionally supports manual configuration through Tesira SW v4.0 and higher. It then behaves like any other Tesira device and can be included in files with older Tesira devices.
  • TesiraFORTÉ X also has analog input and output connections, GPIO connections, and support for Dante audio when manually configured. 
  • Launch-configured TesiraFORTÉ X devices do not use the analog I/O, Dante, or GPIO. These features become available when manually programmed.
  • Neither TesiraFORTÉ X nor Devio SCX can have a Launch file extracted from the device. It is a closed system. Launch tuning results are shown in the device's Report Card.

Network Connectivity

Biamp_TesiraForte_X_Back.pngTesiraFORTÉ X is a 5-port media network appliance. All (5) Ethernet ports are 1G connections, ports 2-5 support PoE+.

  • Port 1 supports the control (web UI) and VoIP connections.
  • Ports 2-5 support AVB media for connected Biamp peripheral devices, as well as Dante/AES67.

3rd party control systems may be connected to either the Control or the Media network. 

Network discovery 

TesiraFORTÉ X does not have a front panel text display.

Device IP discovery is done via a network connection to port 1 (P1) using the Biamp Discovery app, Biamp Tesira software (version 4.0 and higher), or Biamp SageVue management software. 

Connections between PC and TesiraFORTÉ X are via ethernet connection on port 1, the USB port is a dedicated audio endpoint.

In separated networks mode (default) the TesiraFORTÉ X is discoverable with Tesira software via the P2-P5 media interface but the software will not be able to connect, send a configuration, or perform control network functions with the hardware if P1 is connected. Connect using the P1 control interface to perform these functions. 

Biamp Discovery can query the local network for auto-configurable TesiraFORTÉ X and Devio SCX devices and will return a list of discovered devices, along the serial number, IP address, and a link to the web user interface (web UI) for each device.

Password

The web UI will prompt for authentication. The default username is admin and the default password is the device's 8-digit serial number. The password is expected to be reset with more secure unique credentials by the installer in most installations. Web page security is managed on the Settings page in the web UI.

Password changes persist through both device resets via Device Maintenance > Clear Configuration and pinhole resets.

Web user interface

The TesiraFORTÉ X web UI is accessible via the control and VoIP interface port via the control IP address found with the Biamp Discovery app, Biamp Tesira software (version 4.0 and higher), or Biamp SageVue management software. 

Password changes persist through device resets via Device Maintenance > Clear Configuration and pinhole resets.

VoIP settings also persist through device resets via Device Maintenance > Clear Configuration or configuration updates but are cleared by pinhole resets.

The TesiraFORTÉ X web UI behavior changes depending on whether the device is configured manually or using the Launch auto-configuration process.

When the TesiraFORTÉ X is manually configured it displays fewer webpages to the user. The Devices, Audio, Network, and Troubleshooting pages are not displayed. These pages are devoted to functions that are either handled by Tesira software or that are not available without the Launch auto-configuration file.

The Settings, VoIP, Event Scheduler, and About webpages are accessible when TesiraFORTÉ X is manually configured.  The Devices, Audio, Network, Settings, VoIP, Event Scheduler,Troubleshooting, and About webpages are accessible when TesiraFORTÉ X is Launch-capable.

Network behavior

Forte X Network.PNGTesiraFORTÉ X behaves very much like a TesiraFORTÉ AVB with (1) control port and (4) AVB ports running in separated networks mode.

Port 1 is dedicated to Control and VoIP in the default network configuration, with both sharing a single IP address. For VoIP on a separate VLAN, VLAN assignment is allowed for the VoIP interface. When a VLAN is assigned to VoIP a unique IP address, independent of the control IP and subnet range, is available for the VoIP interface. Control and VoIP still share a common network port but are now logically separated. 

802.1x is supported on the Control interface of the TesiraFORTÉ X and can be configured in the Network > 802.1x tab of the web UI of a Launch-capable or Launched device, or in Tesira software under Device Maintenance > Configure 802.1x... 

802.1x is not supported on the AVB / Dante media ports (P2-5) of TesiraFORTÉ X.

The default network settings include RSTP (Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol) enabled and IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) snooping disabled. (If IGMP snooping is enabled then a querier IP address must defined on the network on a 3rd party switch). These network modes are applied across all ports.

Dante and AVB media are supported via ports 2-5, and these (4) ports also support PoE+ for peripheral devices. Port rules are automatically managed across ports 2-5:

  • ForteX - Device Maintenance - Network Settings - Port Settings.PNGWhen connected to another Biamp network appliance such as TC-5, TC-5D, or another TesiraFORTÉ X both AVB and Dante traffic are allowed to pass across the port.
  • If MSRP packets are detected from a connected port, indicating a connected AVB switch or endpoint, then the port becomes 802.1as-capable, it joins VLAN 2, and supports AVB traffic.
  • If no MSRP traffic is detected the port is deemed 802.1as-incapable and AVB media is blocked from the port, the port is now a Dante-capable port.

When TesiraFORTÉ X is used in configurations with other TesiraFORTÉ, Server, or Server-IO devices the Control and AVB port rules for those devices must be followed. The Control and AVB ports must be in unique subnets. In converged networks static IP addresses will be needed on either the AVB/Dante media ports or the Control port to respect the logical separation requirements. (If DHCP is supplied to all ports by a DHCP server on a converged network then all ports will receive addresses in a common range.)

The TesiraFORTÉ X requires ports P1 and P2-P5 to be in physically separated domains (e.g. - a control and VoIP network (P1) and a media network (P2-P5)) or to be in a logically separated domain (converged network with unique IP subnets for P1 and P2-P5).

For all ports to be on a common physical network the device needs 2 links to the converged network (P1 + one link from P2-P5) and the AVB/Dante media IP address (P2-P5) must be set using static addressing to a valid address in a different subnet range from the Control port. 

 

Network Command String block

The Network Command String block can be used in TesiraFORTÉ X to communicate with devices visible through either the control port (P1) or the media ports (P2-5). When configuring the NCS block, the IP address assigned to the NCS block Server address will determine which network ports the string traffic is routed to. The NCS block must use a device address which is valid within either the control subnet or the media subnet or it will not be able to connect. The control and media network ports must be in different subnet domains so the addresses are logically separate. TesiraFORTÉ X will not relay a command string from the control port P1 through to P2-5, it does not function as a control tunnel.

Firmware Update

Unconfigured or auto-configured TesiraFORTÉ X and Devio SCX devices support firmware updates via their web UI.

TesiraFORTÉ X uses the file tesiraforte-x_fw_web_v#-#-#.tfa for releases 4.1.2 and later. (Firmware releases 4.1.1 and earlier updates for both device types used the Devio SCX Firmware #.#.#.tfa file.) The tfa is a smaller file specific to these hardware devices, allowing stable updates via the web interface. 

The TesiraFORTÉ X and Devio SCX firmware can also be updated via Tesira software using the same Tesira Firmware #.#.# .tfa2 file as other Tesira hardware uses. The tfa2 file contains firmware resources for all Tesira devices, plus the Devio SCX devices.

The tfa2 file is used for updates to both device types via SageVue.

Firmware must be release 4.0 or later to support the TesiraFORTÉ X and Devio SCX.

Input / output options

Dante and AVB

TesiraFORTÉ X is the first TesiraFORTÉ model to support AVB, Dante, and AES67 in one device, hosting a virtual 32x32 channel Dante interface as well as a 128x128 channel Tesira AVB interface. AES67 is supported in the Dante interface and must be enabled using Dante Controller software. AES67 channels are counted against the Dante channel count. 

If additional AVB or Dante ports are required, up to (3) TesiraCONNECT TC-5 devices may be linked using P1 to TesiraFORTÉ X P2-5 to increase the system's port count as needed. If multiple TC-5 are required, TC-5 may be connected in a daisy chain, star, or hybrid daisy-chain/star configuration. TesiraFORTÉ X (P2-5) participates as a media network switch in this topology.

Always use the non-PoE+ port (P1) of the TC-5 to link to the upstream device to maximize the available PoE+ ports. 

AVB

TesiraFORTÉ X supports up to 128x128 AVB audio channels on up to 64x64 AVB streams using implicit AVB.

Audio transport between TesiraFORTÉ X and other Tesira devices in the same system is done via implicit AVB. With implicit AVB there is no need to manually define AVB paths, the Tesira compiler will automatically determine the path and establish the required AVB streams between devices. 

TesiraFORTÉ X does not support explicit AVB, however, other Tesira Server-class AVB devices in the same system can support explicit AVB and audio can be routed to and from other AVB processing devices in the system in this manner.  

If additional AVB ports are required, up to (3) TesiraCONNECT TC-5 devices may be linked to TesiraFORTÉ X P2-5 to increase the system's port count as needed. (Adding additional TesiraFORTÉ X to the design will also increase the available port count with the benefit of additional DSP and AEC processing.) If multiple TC-5 are required, TC-5 may be connected in a daisy chain, star, or hybrid daisy-chain/star configuration. TesiraFORTÉ X (P2-5) participates as a media network switch in this topology.

Always use the non-PoE+ port (P1) of the TC-5 to link to the upstream device to maximize the available PoE+ ports. 

TC-5D may be used in place of TC-5 in Launch auto-configured systems, but Launch will not be able to leverage the additional Dante features of TC-5D. Other AVNU certified AVB switches may also be used to connect AVB peripherals in manually configured or Launch auto-configured systems with TesiraFORTÉ X (NOTE: the connecting port must not supply PoE to the TesiraFORTÉ X). 

TesiraFORTÉ X auto-configuration supports Biamp AVB peripherals including Parle microphones, Parle amplifiers, EX-UBT, and HD-1 controllers. Please review the Biamp Launch hardware discovery article for details.

Dante

TesiraFORTÉ X supports up to 32x32 Dante audio channels on up to 32x32 Dante flows.

The virtual Dante interface shares an IP address with the AVB interface in the Forte X. If the Dante IP address needs to be statically assigned it can be done so using the avb_media_2 selection on the Control tab in Device Maintenance. The Dante IP is visible (read only) on the DAN tab in Device Maintenance. The Dante device name can be changed only when the Forte X is unconfigured. 

Dante is available on ports 2-5. The TesiraFORTÉ X can be used as a Dante-capable switch if multiple Dante devices are connected. The Ethernet ports can be thought of as windows into the device, through which the single TesiraFORTÉ X Dante interface is visible - there is not a unique Dante interface on each network port. Only 1 link is required from TesiraFORTÉ X to a Dante network (NOTE: the connecting port must not supply PoE to the TesiraFORTÉ X). Contact Biamp support at support@biamp.com with your network topology requirements. 

Up to (3) TC-5 can be used to add Dante-capable ports to a TesiraFORTÉ X (always connect P1 of the TC-5 to P2-5 of TesiraFORTÉ X). A TC-5D is not needed. The Dante interface is hosted in the TesiraFORTÉ X. 

Dante discovery does not pass across the TesiraFORTÉ X between port 1 and ports 2-5.

To manage connected Dante endpoints, a PC running Dante Controller can be attached either directly to the TesiraFORTÉ X on ports 2-5, or to port 2-5 through a separate switch (NOTE: the connecting port must not supply PoE to the TesiraFORTÉ X).

AES67 may be enabled on the TesiraFORTÉ X Dante interface in Dante Controller. 

USB X

Windows USB Playback - speakerphone.PNGUSB X configuration.PNGTesiraFORTÉ X has a type B USB port which may be configured as a mono 1x1 speakerphone or stereo 2x2 channel audio input/output. USB audio uses a 48kHz sample rate with 16-bit or 24-bit resolution. The USB bit rate is auto-negotiated with the host computer. (FW release 4.0 supported only 24-bit connections)

When auto-configured with Launch TesiraFORTÉ X will present a mono 1x1, 48kHz 16-bit or 24-bit speakerphone as its USB connection. In the 1x1 speakerphone configuration, the USB port supports HID mute sync for use with UC platforms, and supports AEC offloading for UC platforms which support the option.

When TesiraFORTÉ X is auto-configured, the Parle mics LEDs will illuminate in green when USB audio streaming is detected, blink red when USB mute is engaged, and be solid red if USB streaming is not active.

When TesiraFORTÉ X is manually-configured the USB X blocks are visible in Tesira software. Both the USB input and USB output blocks support logic connections which are unique to the input or output USB path.

The logic input node is labeled M (mute) and engages the USB block mute when logic is high.

The logic output nodes are labeled C (Connected state), S (Streaming activity), and M (Mute state). The C node will go high when a USB connection to a PC is detected, the S node will go high when audio is streaming to or from the PC, the M node will go high when the USB input or output is muted. The USB output mute state will sync with the mute state of many UC room clients using HID.

Windows enable audio enhancements.pngA Windows 10 update has added Speakerphone audio signal enhancement feature which is enabled by default. This has been seen to be detrimental to USB audio resulting in added noise and very low transmit levels. Disabling the feature in the Advanced options of the Speakerphone audio settings resolves the issue. 

VoIP X

Opus Codec connected peer to peer.PNGTesiraFORTÉ X hosts our next generation VoIP interface, adding enhanced security features as well as support for other new VoIP features including the Opus audio codec. Forte X no longer supports the G.723 codec.

TesiraFORTÉ X VoIP supports 1 line with 2 call instances. VoIP X supports all current Tesira VoIP vendors, except Skype for Business. 

The HD-1 dialer is compatible with TesiraFORTÉ X and can be connected via ports 2-5. In Launch-configured systems, the HD-1 is automatically provisioned provided the HD-1 device ID is at the default "HD-1ID 01".

TesiraFORTÉ X VoIP is entirely software-based and is configured solely via an internally-served web page. The web page can be opened by connecting to the device directly via its IP address and choosing the VoIP > Line Setup pages or double-clicking on the Control/Status block in Tesira software (manually-configured systems only).

TesiraFORTÉ X port 1 is dedicated to Control and VoIP in the default network configuration, with both sharing a single IP address. If VoIP is required to be on a separate VLAN, VLAN assignment is allowed for the VoIP interface. When a VLAN is assigned to VoIP a unique IP address is available for the VoIP interface, independent of the control IP address and subnet range. Only one Gateway address can be used by the device, so the VoIP Gateway should be be applied and others left undefined or set to match the VoIP gateway. Control and VoIP still share a common network port (P1) but are now logically separated. 

Troubleshooting VoIP X:

  • Line registration status can be seen in real-time on the VoIP > System webpage's Diagnostics tab. Feedback on line registration progress and call status is visible on the HD-1 display and on the Audio webpage in a Launch-configured device. 
  • VoIP X features include an ASCII VoIP log which will capture log all traffic including SIP and RTP traffic. It will be possible to select pre or post TLS encryption in logging in the VoIP endpoint. VoIP logging is managed on the VoIP > System webpage's Maintenance tab. Logs are not displayed in real-time but can be downloaded at any time. A program such as Windows Notepad++ is helpful for viewing logs.

     

The VoIP X interface allows users to upload a custom ringtone file (wav format) in addition to its default ringtones.

In TesiraFORTÉ X VoIP, SRTPZRTP and SRTP-DTLS are supported for media encryption. The media security mechanisms are mutually exclusive. ZRTP and SRTP-DTLS are new RTP security mechanisms available in TesiraForte X, while older Tesira VoIP interfaces support only SRTP.

In TesiraFORTÉ X VoIP, SSL/TLS are supported for SIP signaling encryption. TLS 1.2 is supported and is downward compatible to TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.0. Users can configure the device for compatible versions. Older Tesira VoIP interfaces do not allow users to configure the compatible TLS version.

A TFTP server is able to be configured in the VoIP endpoint either statically or via DHCP option 66 (or a custom option). VoIP X supports the TFTP server address as either dotted quads or FQDN.

The use of a VoIP VLAN (802.1Q) is optional. If a VLAN is configured, ingress traffic with an unmatched VLAN tag shall be discarded. If a VLAN is configured, all egress traffic will be tagged. The VoIP VLAN must be configured statically, either via Tesira Device Maintenance or via the web UI in the Network page.

AEC

AEC channels are not tethered to an analog I/O and may be assigned to any input desired (analog / AVB / Dante / AES67). The device will use (1) channel of AEC processing per Biamp Parle microphone or other input channel type. 

TesiraFORTÉ X uses dedicated AEC processing hardware per channel, the same as all Tesira devices, for optimal AEC performance. The number of supported AEC channels is indicated by the model name.

  • TesiraFORTÉ X 400 offers 4 AEC channels (TesiraFORTÉ X 400 supports auto-configuration with up to a maximum of 4 microphones).
  • TesiraFORTÉ X 800 offers 8 AEC channels (TesiraFORTÉ X 800 supports auto-configuration with up to a maximum of 8 microphones).
  • TesiraFORTÉ X 1600 offers 16 AEC channels (TesiraFORTÉ X 1600 supports auto-configuration with up to a maximum of 8 microphones).

The 250ms AEC tail length on TesiraFORTÉ X is the same as is found on other TesiraFORTÉ hardware.

Analog I/O

TesiraFORTÉ X has 2 channels of mic-line input with phantom power and 2 channels of mic-line output. Gain structure on both input and output matches other Tesira analog I/O ports. TesiraFORTÉ X uses female 3-pole 3.81mm-pitch block connectors for inputs and outputs.

GPIO

TesiraFORTÉ X has 4 channels of GPIO available for user configuration

  • Each channel is configurable as a logic input, logic output, LED driver, or control voltage input.
  • Logic inputs are compatible with 5V TTL or contact closure 
  • Logic outputs are configurable as either open collector with internal pull-up or direct LED drive.
  • Open collector is 5V TTL compatible, allowing a maximum voltage of 40V and maximum current of 300mA.
  • When configured for direct LED drive each output can supply 5V at 10mA .
  • Control voltage inputs allow connection of a potentiometer for a simple user assignable level control.

GPIO behaviors are the same as seen on ports 13-16 of the Tesira EX-Logic box and the GPIO ports on other Tesira Server-class devices. 

TesiraFORTÉ X uses a female 6-pole 3.81mm-pitch block connector for the GPIO connection.

Installation

Forte X with cable mgmt.PNGMounting

TesiraFORTÉ X comes with a pre-attached wall mount and drywall anchors to allow placement behind wall mounted displays. The wall mount features an integrated cable management caddy with tie down points for neatly and securely terminating all I/O and power cabling. A separate Velcro anchor strap is included for attaching the external power supply to the wall.  

TesiraFORTÉ X is powered via an external inline supply with a threaded chassis connection to ensure the cable is not accidentally disconnected.

Overall Chassis Dimensions:

  • Height: 1.66 inches (42.3 mm) Width: 8.11 inches (206 mm) Depth: 11.85 inches (301 mm) Weight: 2.2 lbs (0.99kg) with the mounting plate attached
  • Height: 1.47 inches (37.3 mm) Width: 8.11 inches (206 mm) Depth: 8.11 inches (206 mm) Weight: 1.9 lbs (0.86kg) without the mounting plate attached

Cooling

All models of TesiraFORTÉ X are actively cooled by a variable speed fan. Air enters the right side and exits the left side of the unit when viewed from the front. When the unit is wall mounted the orientation is not enforced, but best cooling performance (convection plus fan assistance) will happen when the left side is pointing up. 

Hardware bundles

TesiraFORTÉ X is available in hardware bundles for different room sizes to make installation fast and easy.

Medium room (4.5m x 6m (27 m2 or 290 ft2), 8-11 people)

o   MRB-M-X400-C - Ceiling mic: TesiraFORTÉ X 400, (1) TCM-XA, and (1) pair of C-IC6 plus cables.

o   MRB-M-X400-T - Table mic: TesiraFORTÉ X 400, (1) AMP-450BP, (1) TTM-X, and (1) pair of C-IC6 plus cables.

Large room (4.5m x 8.5m (38.25 m2 or 412 ft2), 12-18 people)

o   MRB-L-X400-C - Ceiling mic: TesiraFORTÉ X 400, (1) TCM-XA, (1) TCM-XEX, and (2) pair of C-IC6 plus cables.

o   MRB-L-X400-T - Table mic: TesiraFORTÉ X 400, (1) AMP-450BP, (1) TTM-X, (1) TTM-XEX and (2) pair of C-IC6 plus cables.

Block family

TesiraFORTE X Block family.PNGTesiraFORTE X Block - Initalization USB only 2x2.PNGTesiraFORTE X Block - Initalization.PNGA new TesiraFORTÉ X block family is available in Tesira software version 4.0 and higher. 

TesiraFORTÉ X devices allow the selection of 4, 8, or 16 channels of AEC when the block is placed. When devices are assigned in the Equipment Table the actual hardware device needs to match or exceed the AEC channel count defined here or else you will not be able to assign your layout to a physical device. 

Audio transport between TesiraFORTÉ X and other Tesira devices in the same system is done via implicit AVB. There is no need to manually define AVB paths, the Tesira compiler will automatically determine the path and establish the required AVB streams between devices. TesiraFORTÉ X does not support explicit AVB endpoints, however, other Tesira Server-class AVB devices in the same system can support explicit AVB endpoints and audio can be routed to and from any processing device in the system in this manner.  

The USB X interface allows 1x1 or 2x2 configuration and a choice of line in and line out or speakerphone behavior with AEC in the audio DSP or AEC in the PC. The speakerphone options allow Tesira to set a flag for the connected USB host to indicate a preference for AEC on the Tesira device or AEC in the UC application. Not all UC platforms offer support for this option and will simply ignore this choice.

The USB X interface supports HID mute sync for use with UC platforms.

FORTEX~3.PNGVoIP X configuration available while online only.PNGThe VoIP X Control/Status block is not available for configuration while offline. Unlike other Tesira VoIP devices, TesiraFORTÉ X VoIP is entirely software based and is configured solely via an internally served web page. The web page can be launched by double-clicking on the Control/Status block in Tesira SW or connecting to the device directly via its IP address and choosing the VoIP pages. If users attempt to configure the VoIP block while offline a popup message will remind them of the behavior. 

Dante is supported on all manually configured TesiraFORTÉ X devices. This includes support for AES67 through the Dante interface. Dante I/O blocks can be manually added as desired, they are not placed into a layout with TesiraFORTÉ X by default. 

The Dante interface shares an IP address with the AVB interface on TesiraFORTÉ X, in most applications this is not a hindrance to implementing desired network topologies. There may be special conditions with specific user-defined network restrictions where a desired network topology is simply not possible due to IP address rules.

GPIO functions are available using the Logic Input, Logic Output, and Control Voltage blocks, as with other Tesira devices. 

3rd-party control systems

Control systems can communicate with manually-configured TesiraFORTÉ X either on P1 using the TesiraFORTÉ X's control IP address, or on P2-5 using the TesiraFORTÉ X's media_avb_2 (AVB/Dante) IP address. 

TesiraFORTÉ X will not relay a command string from the control port P1 through to P2-5; it does not function as a control tunnel. TesiraFORTÉ X's control and media IP addresses must be in unique logical subnets or the device will not function properly. 

TesiraFORTÉ X uses the same TTP commands as all other Tesira hardware so control libraries remain unchanged. TesiraFORTÉ X uses SSH by default, telnet may be enabled if desired. 

One behavior unique to TesiraFORTÉ X is the VoIP X interface which now hosts 2 call instances rather than 6 as seen in other Tesira devices. The TTP commands are unchanged, the difference is that the control system will never see a call appearance on call instances 3, 4, 5 or 6. In practice we have found 6 call instances to be unwieldy for most installations and 2 call instances mirrors the behavior of many phones, making it more intuitive for the everyday user.

Larger Forte X system considerations

TesiraFORTÉ X is similar to other Tesira AVB DSP devices but adds the new consideration of a built in AVB media switch. The TesiraFORTÉ X, TC-5 and TC-5D network devices are designed for small to medium scale applications. They are not a universal tool. Some applications require a high stream count and should leverage the power of enterprise grade AVB switches and the Tesira Server-IO AVB or TesiraFORTÉ AVB endpoints which do not incorporate a lightweight internal AVB switch. 

A maximum of (3) TC-5 has been recommended with one TesiraFORTÉ X to ensure that stream counts and hop limits are observed, with enterprise grade switches advised for larger systems. In larger systems with multiple TesiraFORTÉ X, the additional TesiraFORTÉ X should be considered equivalent to TC-5 when considering network device counts in the design.

While deployments exceeding this recommendation may work, the cost per port typically tips in favor of the enterprise switch in this device count range. Additionally, on networks with more than the recommended number of units, users will need to consider the position of each device in the network topology when applying firmware updates to ensure all devices can receive the update without being blocked by a mid-span device updating simultaneously. This scenario may require manually selecting a sub-set of devices for their firmware update, then manually selecting a second group once the first has completed their updates. 

  • The Control ports (P1) of each TesiraFORTÉ X need to be on a common control network. (FW 4.0 and 4.1)
  • The AVB ports (P2-P5) of the TesiraFORTÉ X need to be on a common AVB network to share media. (FW 4.0 and 4.1)
  • The Tesira system limit of 128 devices needs to be observed as defined in the Tesira help files.
  • TesiraFORTÉ X and/or TC-5 can be daisy-chained and will pass AVB and Dante to connected devices.
  • The limit of 9 hops between the farthest 2 AVB endpoints in a system should be respected. A hop is counted as the link between 2 AVB-capable network components.
  • The TC-5 and TesiraFORTÉ X are expected to support up to 150 streams on the AVB network. Systems need to be designed with this maximum stream count in mind. If more streams are needed enterprise grade switches and Server-IO or Forte AVB (dedicated AVB endpoints) are recommended. The number of AVB endpoints on a network is a major factor in the CPU load on participating AVB switches, and a high number of AVB endpoints may influence the maximum number of streams supported. 
  • Always use P1 of the TC-5 to connect to P2-5 of the TesiraFORTÉ X. 
  • If a 3rd party switch is connected to P2-5 of the TesiraFORTÉ X it must be a non-PoE capable switch. Damage to the TesiraFORTÉ X will occur if PoE is injected to P2-5 from an external source. (A PoE port that has been disabled can still cause an issue at the hardware level.)

AVB Network Diameter

A network hop is a link between two networked devices.

Biamp recommends a maximum AVB network diameter of 9 hops in order to guarantee that 2ms deterministic latency is maintained.

AVB networks that consist of purely gigabit-capable devices may allow the maximum network diameter to be 9 or more hops while maintaining 2ms deterministic latency. The total latency will be dependent on numerous variables including switch models being used and the firmware they are running, network size and topology, and the total number of AVB streams and AVB devices on the network. 

Every network device has a pass-through latency, including AVB talker and listener endpoints and copper or fiber links and converters. The sum of all latencies must be less than 2ms to guarantee the ability to maintain playout synchronization across all endpoints at 2ms (2,000µs). The path from talker to listener must be under 2ms for all talker-listener paths in the system.

Biamp AVB endpoints incur 125µs latency per source and sink device.

Pass-through latency on switch hardware varies from 125µs to 200µs per device. Because the exact latency is unknown, we assume the worst-case scenario of 200µs across all network hops. Eight network switches at 200µs each, plus two endpoints at 125µs each totals 1850µs, leaving 150µs to spare. A daisy-chained system with 10 network devices requires 9 connecting links or "hops." This is how we determine the 9-hop maximum diameter.

A network comprised only of devices with a 125µs pass-through latency would allow a theoretical maximum of 15 hops while respecting the 2ms cumulative latency. 

In practice, most networks end up with a blend of network device latencies. Some hardware has 125µs pass-through, while other devices may be 150µs pass-through, and others may be 200µs pass-through. Fiber converters may add considerable latency to a hop. This should be taken into account when designing the network and may allow for flexibility in the hop limit that is chosen.

AVB 9 hops.png

In networks with a star topology, the overall network diameter must be calculated between the two farthest-apart AVB devices in the daisy chain.

It is generally recommended that no more than 9 hops exist between the furthest edges of the AVB network when using a 1G network. Larger diameters may be supported if throughput latency is known, but 9 hops is a conservative value that should always guarantee robust operation.

 

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