Report-IT Transforms Live Radio for MBC
Mr. Hyung-uk Sheen from CNW is a systems integrator in South Korea. He recently oversaw the integration of Tieline codecs and the Report-IT app into the workflow of Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), one of South Korea’s largest national television and radio networks.
One of MBC’s most popular live radio programs is called “2PM Date”, and to celebrate the show’s first anniversary, the program’s theme was based around asking listeners to send in a letter about their life. One letter was selected and the host, Miss Kyung Lim Park, broadcasted a show about this person’s story for 2 hours live.
Assistant Sound Engineer, Jin Suk Roh (left) and Senior
Engineer Byung Du Lee test Report-IT at MBC Radio
The broadcast included a visit to the person’s home and it challenged engineering staff to find a way to broadcast live while their presenter, Miss Kyung Lim Park, walked freely along a crowded city street.
There were three criteria for selecting the equipment for this live broadcast. First, it had to be extremely portable to allow Miss Park to interact with people while walking. Second, the solution had to deliver high fidelity, bidirectional FM quality audio with extremely low delay. The host would interview people live on site, but at times would also interact with announcers at the studio, so low latency bidirectional return audio was considered essential. Last but not least, it had to be extremely reliable.
MBC’s radio engineers assessed the available technologies and after careful consideration decided to purchase Tieline’s Report-IT Enterprise smartphone codec application and a Tieline Commander G3 hardware codec. I assisted Senior Engineer Kyu Sou Park at MBC to configure the Tieline codec equipment at the studio and the Report-IT Enterprise user account information.
Report-IT user accounts are configured by engineers at the studio using Tieline’s Tieserver Console smartphone app (both Android and iOS versions are available), or you can use a PC/Mac version. This means an announcer only needs to launch the app on their phone or tablet, enter the user name and password provided by the engineer, and then tap the ‘connect’ button to go live.
Report-IT was installed on an iPad for the primary connection and this streamed high fidelity bidirectional audio at 64kbps. A backup smartphone running Report-IT was also connected at 33kbps for redundancy, however this was not required on the day. To provide Telco cellular redundancy, LG U+ and SK Telecom 4G-LTE networks were used to transmit simultaneous IP audio streams to the studio.
|Korean Singer Han Chul Lee with Miss Park on location using Report-IT|
At 2pm on the 10th June the challenge commenced. Host Miss Park commenced broadcasting the show live and interviewed people at a butcher’s shop, grocery store and various other vendors along a city street. Assistant Sound Engineer Yu Suk Hong carried a portable sound mixer and monitored and adjusted the levels of lapel radio mics on Miss Park and Korean singer Han Chul Lee, who accompanied her with a guitar. He also captured responses from interviewees using a hand-held microphone. The mixed audio was fed into the iPad and backup phone running Report-IT. At the end of the show, Miss Park travelled to the hero’s workplace without notice to surprise her and interview her live.
During the show I monitored the broadcast live with MBC’s radio engineers and program directors at the studio and it was a great success. This show really broke new ground for MBC and it was also a broadcast first for South Korean radio. MBC’s engineers were very impressed by the performance of the codec and Report-IT. The producers were especially excited about the freedom Report-IT delivered and how there was no limit to where they could now take their live show.
After the success of this broadcast, MBC purchased additional Report-IT Enterprise user subscriptions, as well as i-Mix G3 and Commander G3 rack codecs with various network plug-in modules. These have been used for outside broadcasts including the Asian Cup 2015, the AFC U23 Championship 2016 and the 2016 Alpine Ski Championship in Jeungseon, Korea. The hardware codecs can connect over IP, ISDN and POTS/PSTN lines as required by using the optional plug-in modules. MBC can now deliver high quality outside broadcast audio over a range of networks, including IP, to suit their varying broadcast requirements.
For more information about Report-IT, Commander G3 and i-Mix G3 codecs, visit http://www.tieline.com/products.
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Please note: This article was published in the July issue of Radio World International and you can read this story and others by visiting www.radioworld.com.