located elsewhere is already becoming a viable proposition in TV production and post- production but radio is still not following suit just yet. Daniel Dedisee at Netia agrees that the concept is still “quite new” and is not sure if the radio market is ready now but says people are talking about it. Netia has built Cloud compatibility into its automation systems and is working with Microsoft Asia and Orange to integrate with their servers. Nick Prater of broadcast
Evolution continues in radio studios
the presenters and stations. But, he adds, this does not mean that old faithful, the live phone call, is obsolete. “It’s still the gold standard for interactivity,” he observes.
THE FUTURE – LOUDNESS AND THE CLOUD Radio has gone through bursts of technological innovation over the years. It is in the middle of one right now through social media, IP streaming and RadioDNS, with more to come in the near future (see page 30 for more). On the technical standards side there is the matter of loudness. This is already forcing new thinking in TV audio operations and now the EBU PLOUD group, which formulated the R128 standard, has formed a subgroup to look at comparative levels in radio.
An EBU spokesman says there are “multiple issues” to address, including analogue and digital transmission, production and distribution and wide dynamic ranges on some services, such as classic stations, against the highly compressed output of pop channels. PLOUD is dedicating a day meeting to radio during December, with hopes that guidance on loudness for the medium could appear during 2013. Equipment for metering and monitoring loudness in radio is already on the market from Orban, Audessence and Hindenburg Systems, with Audionics close to producing a prototype. Less tangible, as its name suggests, is the Cloud. Storing data files on third-party servers
NEW PRODUCT: NTP PENTA 721 IP-COMPATIBLE SWITCHER/PROCESSOR
Launched at IBC 2012, the NTP Penta 721 is an audio router and distribution system that is compatible with IP networks. It is aimed at radio as well as TV and offers eight AES/EBU input-output channels, up to three MADI ins and outs, two IP audio Ethernet ins/outs and a control interface. The unit can be controlled over IP using
Audinate Dante routing software. The Penta 721 is designed to
work both at remote sites and full studio centres, with connectivity over a single Cat5 Ethernet cable. The Penta 721 takes up a one-rack chassis and can run with a single or mains and back-up dual power supply. It is available now priced €2,694.81.
software and technical support company NP Broadcast observes it could “be great for disaster recovery”, with a playout system at the transmitter site that would kick in if the studio link went down. He adds that if a automation system was running from somewhere else there might not be any point in having a duplicate in the studio, meaning a programme could be broadcast from anywhere and not tied to one place. That kind of innovation could spell the end of the radio studio as it is now but, for the time being, it’s likely to remain a quiet, dimly lit room behind soundproofed doors and windows. Even if the technology inside might be alien to radio types from even 20 years ago. n www.audionics.co.ukwww.avresilience.co.ukwww.bcd-audio.co.ukwww.bionics.co.ukwww.netia.netwww.sonifex.co.ukwww.systembase.comwww.vidigo.tv