StreamGuys Helps Score A Remote Goal
[September 2021] Remote broadcasts usually bring about a certain level of anxiety, as you may not know all the various contingencies to expect, including the competency of the talent. David Bialik has a solution to most everything except the talent.
It is that time of year: your General Manager comes into your office and says “we just became the flagship radio station of the local college football team.”
Your first thought is to reply “great.”
Then, in your mind, you quickly start thinking about what you will need to build and maintain a road setup and deal with travel on your weekends, as well as handling the talent’s needs. Just as your plan starts to jell in your mind, the manager turns to you on the way out of your office and says “and, of course, we have to be able not only to feed their sports network but also trigger the ads at the affiliates.”
Then his parting shot is: “have a nice day!”
YES, IT CAN BE DONE
First off, you have to find out when the first broadcast will happen. Then you get the schedule of both home and away, to grasp the entire magnitude of the task at hand.
Next you think “my mother was right—why go into radio.”
But really there is no reason not to have cheer. It is not like the old days. All the facilities now have Internet!
A giant ray of sunshine beams down on you. You realize that you can feed the audio via IP. Suddenly you have a “Perfect Strangers” moment and want to do a dance of joy.
But wait just a second, the GM said you have to trigger ads at the affiliate and you ask “how many affiliates?” “Ten affiliates, maybe more” (they always like to say maybe more).
Now the mission is clear, you need to send audio via IP – with a method of sending contact closures to multiple affiliates from various venues.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
The first step, get a good lunch.
Next, you contact all the venues to find out if each venue will provide me Internet access. And most importantly collect all the contact information – the most important tool for any engineer is a good phonebook. When you confirm that everyone can provide wired access, you have had a good day.
Now the fun starts. You call a friendly StreamGuys representative and ask about StreamGuy’s Barix Reflector Service. This is a service that will deliver a good audio quality stream for broadcast and has low latency, using Barix Instreamer 500s to originate the audio.
From one site, feed many stations
The Instreamer is small and light, after all, who wants to carry heavy equipment anymore when travelling to various locations. It can also send the contact closures to signal the breaks.
The Encoder setup screen
Both the audio and contact closures are sent to StreamGuys. They then will distribute the stream to the affiliates, acting as the master control if the affiliate has any issues receiving the game – thus removing one common headache from the overworked local engineer.
At the affiliate side they will also have a Barix Exstreamer 500 series.
This extracts the audio and the closure data (via RS 232), making it easy for all the affiliates to integrate the program with the multitude of automation systems out there.
About this point in time, the GM comes by and asks, “how is the planning going for the sports network?” You say, “it is all done.”
You feel like a champ, and then he says, “Oh, I did not realize it was easy!” Just stay calm, you do not want to hurt him.
There are many different ways to accomplish the task, but StreamGuys makes it easy, reliable, and –with the Barix equipment – makes it very affordable.
– – –
David Bialik has been doing broadcast engineering and IT work for over 40 years. He is the Chairman of the Broadcast and Online Delivery Technical Committee for the Audio Engineering Society.
You can reach David at: firstname.lastname@example.org
– – –
Did you find this article helpful? Would you like to know when more articles like this are posted? It only takes 30 seconds to sign up here for the one-time-a-week BDR Newsletter.