I have worked as a radio and/or TV engineer for more than 25 years and have been based in the Champaign/Urbana region the entire time. While working in broadcasting, I have worn many hats. But I have always been an engineer first.
I first heard about Tieline’s Report-IT Enterprise smartphone codec app in Radio World magazine and was intrigued about trying it for live remotes. We already owned a Tieline Commander G3 field and rack mount codec, but required another option for our reporters to go live, particularly non-technical users. I sought more information on how it works and then purchased 10 TieServer subscription licenses to use on any of the 4 radio stations we own and operate in East Central Illinois. So far we have used Report-IT to go live on WSJK, WGKC and WQQB.
I use the Android TieServer Console app to configure Report-IT user accounts and have found it very easy to set up. Since setting up the user accounts, I haven’t needed to make any last minute changes; but if I did, it’s nice to know that I have the convenience to do it any time I like using my phone and the TieServer Console app in the field.
With Report-IT Enterprise we connect back to our Tieline Commander G3 rack unit using the Tieline Music algorithm and from a compatibility perspective the Report-IT app is able to connect to any Tieline IP codec.
There are a few key reasons why I really like Report-IT:
- It is so simple for anyone to use.
- The audio quality is far and above the quality of a standard phone line.
- Portability; you can do remotes from anywhere with a cell-phone or Wi-Fi connection.
For us Report-IT is extremely flexible. It is primarily used for live remotes like news and we also broadcast high school football and basketball games for a variety of towns in the area. It is also frequently used for cut-ins during remote broadcasts. Sometimes we use it when our Commander G3 field codec is in use elsewhere, or if it is not feasible to use the Commander G3 in a particular situation; for example, in a car while driving. I have also used Report-IT while away from the area just to check a station’s audio.
Since switching to Report-IT, our reporters and station staff have commented that the audio quality is so much better than using a phone call for studio cut-ins. The audio quality is far superior in comparison with a regular phone call. Plus the transition to Report-IT was very simple because it is so easy to use. Our staff doesn’t need any technical expertise whatsoever. All settings are configured by an engineer, usually me, and they simply open the app, log in and go live.
Verizon is the main carrier in our region and connections are usually pretty reliable; however, you do need to be a bit wary at large events in case there is cellular network overcrowding. In fact we often prioritize using Wi-Fi instead of cellular connections if it is available.
The best thing about using IP is the ability to do remotes further away from the station with exceptional audio quality. Report-IT Enterprise affordably delivers the flexibility we require with a simple user interface, which is an important consideration when it is used by non-technical personnel.