What is Time Code?

Time code is a low power audio signal similar to the signal of a modem that contains time and date information. This signal can be transmitted over inexpensive coaxial cable and wiring such as telephone pairs. It can be distributed much as audio wires can be connected in parallel to multiple speakers. With the proper distribution amplifiers, such as the TCA100, it can be sent over long distances and connected in parallel to hundreds of clocks and other devices. It is generally an inexpensive, robust and reliable means of distributing time and date around a local plant or operation.

There are many variations of Time Code. Our products generate, amplify, and distribute SMPTE and EBU Time Code for film, video, and audio production and generate, amplify and distribute IRIG Time Code for government, military, and commercial applications. With an accurate time code source such as the GPS500 and a time code reader card such as the TCR500 a local system can be synchronized to within 20 or 30 milliseconds limited by the software operating system.