Wave FM’s Disruptive Digital Network
- Scottish radio station is the first UK broadcaster to use revolutionary IP-based STL service
- StudioNet was developed as a long-term replacement for retiring Kilostream service
- It offers a cost-effective means of delivering full linear audio streams with ultra-low latency
Wave FM, part of DC Thomson Media’s radio portfolio and broadcasting to the cities of Dundee and Perth, has become the first media organisation in the UK to adopt a pioneering IP-based Studio to Transmitter Link (STL) service from Beaming, the business ISP, and codec manufacturer Systembase.
Beaming has installed a dedicated 30 mile long Ethernet network to connect Wave FM with a new transmitter site to significantly improve its coverage in Perth. The new STL network was installed exclusively to carry Wave FM’s audio stream and uses Internet Protocol (IP) technologies to relay it to the transmitter. Wave FM’s network has been calibrated to maximise sound quality, deliver minimal jitter and reduce end-to-end transmission delay to less than 10 milliseconds.
The resilience of Wave FM’s service has been enhanced through the use of a dedicated network that is isolated from the internet and protected from cyber threats. The StudioNet service includes 24/7 remote monitoring to optimise the flow of traffic across the network and an automatic backup connection to ensure Wave FM remains on air in the rare event of a problem with the primary path.
StudioNet is a long-term replacement for retiring Kilostream service
StudioNet has been developed by Beaming and SystemBase as a long-term replacement for BT’s Kilostream service, which will be decommissioned in March 2020. It combines Beaming’s expertise in building and operating fast, resilient internet networks with Systembase’s ability to reliably transport high-quality audio streams through IP infrastructure.
Using advanced fibre optic networking and digital audio technologies, StudioNet is able to deliver uncompressed full linear audio and achieve the lowest levels of end-to-end transmission delay. It allows radio stations to deliver the highest quality audio possible through FM broadcasting.
Adam Findlay, Head of Radio at DC Thomson Media, comments: “FM remains an incredibly important means of delivering radio to listeners, and with StudioNet we have taken another big step forward to improve the quality and reliability of our service. Beaming and Systembase have proven their ability to deliver everything we needed to connect our studio and transmitter locations, boosted the quality and reliability of our feed into Perth, and delivered a complete STL system for around a quarter of the cost of competing legacy services.”
Sonia Blizzard, Managing Director of Beaming, comments: “We are incredibly excited to bring a disruptive digital STL service to the broadcast market that offers unrivaled performance, resilience and reliability, and delighted that Wave FM has now gone live with the service. Until now, broadcasters have been dependent on expensive legacy STL systems to relay their audio streams to FM transmitters. Using the very latest in IP, fibre optic and digital audio technology, we have dramatically improved the quality of this key service and enabled radio stations to reduce one of the biggest costs associated with transmission.”
Andrew Steward, Managing Director of Systembase, comments: “For well over a decade, Beaming has demonstrated its ability to deliver robust, reliable networks to a wide range of organisations for whom connectivity is mission critical, and it has proven to be the perfect partner for offering a next-generation STL service to radio stations across the UK. IP infrastructure provides a cost-effective means of delivering full linear audio for FM and DAB transmitter sites in addition to permanent, high-quality broadcast links. StudioNet is genuinely disruptive, no-one else has yet to offer an independently provisioned service like this in the UK.”
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