Tieline Technologies

Stranded on a Small Island and Need to do a Remote? Tieline Codec Can Provided a Wireless IP Solution that Rivals ISDN


ESPN ChicagoChicago (August 30, 2006) - At one time or another, we've all played the "stranded on a desert isle-what if" game. You know, "what if" you could only have one book to read or one song to listen to or one friend to be with on a desert isle, what or whom would you pick?

Recently legendary Chicago radio station WMVP-AM (ESPN Radio 1000) was faced with its own desert isle question: if you had to do a remote from a small island, which codec would you choose?

To be fair, Blarney Island, located in the middle of Grass Lake, one of the many lakes in the Chain-O'-Lakes in Antioch, Ill. isn't exactly deserted ... in fact, Blarney Island is a very lively place (its motto is "boats, beer & babes!") and really one of the world's best "floating bars" in which patrons can boat, shuttle (from Port of Blarney on the mainland) or swim to in order to hear great music and enjoy some of their favorite thirst-quenchers.

Tasked with doing a four-hour remote from Blarney Island for the popular "Mac, Jurko and Harry" show - the station's flagship program which dominates the ratings for the Chicago afternoon drive time slot for the men age 25-54 category - WMVP engineer and technical producer Bob Boxer had to play the "island/what if" game. What codec would you use to provide a wireless IP solution from an island to the mainland? Boxer chose Tieline and he was able to pull off the island remote, not once, but twice, each with a different IP set-up and both remotes had one thing in common: the Tieline codecs provided flawless audio.

"The question was how to get the audio off the island as there were no phone lines," Boxer said.

For the first remote, on July 27, Boxer and Chief Engineer John Hurni chose to establish a Moseley LanLink IP connection on each end of Blarney Island and Port of Blarney, which is directly across from the island. The LanLink transports bi-directional Ethernet and RS-232 serial data over a license-free 900 MHz RF link. The LanLink can be combined into an existing 950MHz antenna system using a built-in duplexer. For this remote, Tieline Commander G3 codecs were plugged in on each end.

Once back to the shore, the Commander G3 was hooked to an ISDN line and the audio was fed back to the studio in Chicago. The Tieline Commander is the first codec to offer broadcast quality audio over POTS, ISDN, GSM and IP for wired and wireless networks.

For the second remote, on Aug. 4, Boxer decided to not use the LanLink but to utilize only the Tieline Codecs. The Commander G3 on Blarney Island was hooked into the island's own Internet drop - via a DHCP connection - and the audio was then sent straight to the studio where another Tieline received it.

"We had a nice stable connection with minimal delay and there were no apparent audio artifacts," said Boxer.

The Tieline's were preconfigured before being sent into the field saving time once at the remote site.

In the first remote, with the LanLink, the signal was fairly weak with the audio sent at 16.8 Kpbs but Boxer was "amazed that there were no real artifacts in the audio at that speed."

In the second remote, just using the Tielines, the connection was at a brisk 96 Kpbs.

"I always said that I'd use an IP solution when there was one as good as an ISDN connection and this remote was as good as ISDN," said Boxer. "I see IP as a quicker way of getting last-minute events done and at a lower cost."

Boxer and his engineering crew are pleased enough with the Tieline's performance that they will use the Commander G3 for a weekly radio remote done at NFL player and coaching legend Mike Ditka's restaurant in Chicago.

Answering, of course, that age-old question -- If you were stranded with Mike Ditka, which codec would you use for a remote?

About Commander G3

The Tieline Commander G3 studio and field rack mount codecs are among the worlds most successful and widely used audio codecs for remote broadcasts. The award-winning multi-network Commander G3 codec can be found in radio and television stations throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Commander G3 codecs can be configured before they are sent to the remote broadcast site so all the talent has to know is how to plug in power, a Telco line, an audio input and then dial a number. Commander G3 now offers wireless broadband cellular connectivity enabling reporters to connect from anywhere they can use a 3G cell phone.

About WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000 Radio)

WMVP-AM (ESPN 1000 Radio) is an ABC-owned station in Chicago that broadcasts live sporting events, both locally and nationally. The University of Illinois has some of its games broadcast on the station. The Station also broadcasts ESPN Radio national events including baseball and basketball games. Daily programming consists of talk shows that are both national and local including Mike and Mike in the Morning, Dan Patrick and Jim Rome shows which are done by ESPN, while Salisbury and Rosenbloom, Mac, Jurko and Harry, and Silvy and Carmen are more focused on Chicago sports.

About Tieline Technology

Tieline Technology (www.tieline.com) is the world's leading supplier of high-quality remote broadcast digital audio codecs. In fact, Tieline derives its name from the popularity of its award-winning codec line as the company changed its corporate moniker in 2001 from Audio Video Communications (AVC) to Tieline Technology. Tieline Technology today is supported by a global distribution network spanning the Americas, Europe, UK, Africa, Asia, Middle East and Australasia.