Jake’s Take on Implementing Tieline Redundant Streaming:
Spring is approaching fast and station operators are starting to plan their spring cleaning lists. Towers need inspecting, studios need upgrades, and improvements that were on the back burner for the winter are now a priority. There’s never been a better time to consider upgrading that audio STL codec with something with more redundancy. In this Jake’s Take we will have that discussion, but focus on the redundancy side of things with Tieline’s SmartStream PLUS technology. Redundancy for your STLs is one thing, but Tieline’s SmartStream PLUS can be applied to multiple use-cases.
The first thing to note is the primary use-case that Tieline designed SmartStream PLUS to overcome, weak/poor internet connections. We wanted the ability to recover IP packet data that was considered lost or late arriving. Typically, IP audio streams would send data over a single carrier. The thought when developing SmartStream Plus was that we could duplicate the UDP audio packet stream and offset it on another web port, as well as re-route it over an alternative network interface for additional reliability. Once the data is sent, then the heavy lifting takes place at the receive end (or decoder). The decoder then decides which UDP packet source to use in real-time. This gives all Tieline Gateway, Merlin, Genie, ViA and even Bridge-IT users the ability to have real-time redundancy on their audio codecs over the same or multiple networks. In fact, SmartStream PLUS allows receiving codecs the ability to choose packets from as many as 4 streams (One Primary, plus three real-time Backups). Therefore, if a single network link is lost, or data packets are lost or late arriving, the Tieline system can recover the data over an alternative link. With this technology you can achieve perfect lossless audio.
Use Cases Employing Redundant Streaming
When SmartStream PLUS was first developed, it was meant to be a way to send a duplicate feed to the same destination. However, few know that SmartStream PLUS feeds are actually just normal Tieline audio feeds that can be used as such with other Tieline equipment. This allows our clients to use SmartStream PLUS as a mechanism to have small scale syndication with a little bit of redundancy built in.
With multi-unicast programs you can send audio to multiple sites, using SmartStream PLUS to receive a primary and backup feed of audio. Multi-unicasting doesn’t support bi-directional audio (apart from the first connection), but does allow anyone with a codec supporting SmartStream PLUS to syndicate their audio to multiple sites with real-time redundancy. Gateway, Gateway 4 and Bridge-IT codecs all support multi-unicast syndication to multiple destinations.
As the use-case for SmartStream PLUS for point-to-point redundancy has developed throughout the years, our clients have been using this for all types of use-cases except for large scale syndication. Recently Tieline released a firmware build for the Gateway platform that allows operators to program the Gateway to work with SmartStream PLUS and multi-unicast syndication at the same time. This means that you can now have a large-scale syndication network with layers of real-time recovery for audio data. The Gateway will simply take the audio source you select, and syndicate that same audio over multiple networks to multiple destinations with each destination receiving between 1 and 3 additional back-up streams using SmartStream PLUS.
The Gateway 8 and 16 models can syndicate up to 80 streams. This means you can syndicate your audio to 20 tower sites with each tower site receiving four unique network sources for real-time data recovery. This means you don’t have to worry about downtime.
As you can see SmartStream PLUS by Tieline is a tool designed to help keep your station on the air, with fewer audio drops and glitches due to internet issues. SmartStream PLUS is available and free in just about all Tieline products and can help you with point-to-point transmissions and multi-unicast syndication methods. If you need to stream audio from point A to B (out to Z) we got you covered as “we know a thing or two because we have seen a thing or two”. Please email any questions or comments you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Gateway and Gateway 4 codecs visit www.tieline.com/products or contact Tieline sales:
- For USA, Canada & Latin America contact: email@example.com
- For Australia and International: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Implementing Tieline Redundant Streaming, first published on 3rd March, 2022)