Tieline Satellite IP
Ryan Egan, Technical Producer for Radio Australia
ABC Radio Australia's ‘Breakfast Club' program broke new ground recently when they connected and broadcasted for several hours from Cambodia using a Tieline Commander codec and a BGAN satellite terminal.
Connecting over the Inmarsat global satellite network, Tieline IP codecs provided reliable, live FM quality audio for several hours. "It was the second year that Radio Australia had visited Cambodia to broadcast live from the Water Festival in Phnom Penh," said Charlie Gawley, Tieline's Australasian Business Development Executive. "It is an important event and a great opportunity for Radio Australia to meet listeners throughout the region."
"Ryan Egan, Technical Producer for Radio Australia, operated the codec and Thrane & Thrane satellite terminal in Phnom Penh," said Charlie. "He connected reliably at 24kbps and used the Tieline Music algorithm to send FM quality music and voice programming live to Radio Australia's studios in Melbourne. The program audio was then rerouted back to Cambodia over Intelsat and transmitted to local audiences."
"Broadcasting IP over satellite connections is a relatively simple task," said Charlie. "All Radio Australia had to do was set up the satellite terminal, connect a LAN cable between it and the codec and dial the IP address of the codec in Melbourne. With BGAN you can broadcast from wherever you can obtain a satellite signal and Tieline IP is suitable for all radio and television broadcasts, including HD radio, television and Internet broadcasting."
"It was the first attempt by Radio Australia at broadcasting over satellite IP and there was some nervousness prior to the OB because it was impossible to test the connections before arriving on-site. It all worked very smoothly though and throughout the Radio Australia network everyone was happy with the reliability and audio quality of the broadcast. Ryan remarked that the program audio connection was very stable over many hours. He also sent the mix-minus return feed from Australia to the local PA for playback of news during breaks in the broadcast."
"Radio Australia often broadcast from remote locations throughout the Asia-Pacific region," said Charlie. "Some of the other places they have broadcasted from using Tieline codecs include Indonesia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Phillipines and Fiji."
"If a POTS/PSTN line is available in these regions you are generally lucky if you can connect at between 16-19kbps and high quality FM audio cannot be achieved at these bit-rates. BGAN IP connections provide higher bit-rate connections and higher quality audio, with much greater flexibility."
"Radio Australia have found the Tieline Commander to be very portable, which is critical when travelling extensively into remote regions," Charlie said. "It can literally be packed into a brief case to take virtually anywhere."
"BGAN should be available on the east coast of Australia and throughout the majority of the Pacific region by March 2009," said Charlie. "So Radio Australia and other broadcasters throughout the region are gearing up to take advantage of the increased satellite footprint and use IP over BGAN more often."
"Apart from the flexibility of IP broadcasting over BGAN, it also provides a cost-effective data solution. When compared to the broadcast Radio Australia did the year before, satellite ISDN B-channel data cost around $4,000. The same broadcast a year later using IP over BGAN cost around $1,300!"
"We expect to hear a lot more about satellite IP in the coming months as more broadcasters take advantage of the cost advantages and flexibility that satellite broadcasting provides."