Tieline ViA is the Swiss Army Knife of Remote Broadcasting
In the fall of 2016, as a Senior Broadcast Engineer, I was given the engineering responsibility for studio and transmission functions for the radio stations at BYU Broadcasting, which is located on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The radio stations consist of KBYU-FM 89.1 HD, BYU Radio HD2, and KUMT-FM 107.9. At the broadcast center BYU Radio in concert with the BYU Athletics department, produce and provide play-by-play and game analysis, for football, basketball, soccer, and baseball games live over air, including web streams. In 2018 we also assumed responsibility for the distribution of our live sporting events to our radio affiliates.
With this new responsibility added to the mix of our radio sports operation, there was a request to increase the number of live sporting events. The impact of this new request brought about the airing of two, and occasionally three, different sporting events simultaneously. We can’t hire four or five remote engineers, jet setting across the USA, that cost was not an option for us. But, there was another option. With the exception of football, our sports announcers would be required to travel with the remote mixing gear, and mix/engineer their own shows. That is a double edge sword! Doing this reduces the amount of engineers needed to travel, but then you are relying on your talent to have at least some basic audio mixing skills.
I Needed a Magical Box
I needed to find a Magical Box! A remote unit that would be ridiculously easy to use, insanely versatile, and last of all be intrinsically redundant like never before. When I attended NAB last year, I visited the Tieline Company booth. I had previously purchased a product of Tieline called Merlin. What a great name for a product that comes from a company, which I consider to be the wizards of remote connectivity!
I was so impressed with this unit, I wanted to give Tieline the first crack at this unknown magic box I had conjured up, the “Swiss Army Knife” of radio remote codec units. I was not expecting to get all of the requirements on my list checked off. Well, to my amazement Tieline did have one such unit in their arsenal of remote weaponry. I was introduced to their product called the ViA. I have no idea why it’s called the ViA, but after my demo, ViA stood for Very Intelligent Apparatus! The magic box was a reality.
The ViA is a compact unit that can handle a 3 headset person mix, plus one AUX bus that can have analog, digital, or USB sources routed to it. Designed with a beautiful touch screen display, that makes navigating menus a breeze, and equipped with a good size rechargeable battery, that will keep you on the air and running when the power goes out. (Trust me I know) It includes AGC, compression, gating, filters, EQ, on each channel. Also, a built in SD card stereo/mono recorder and playback device with full library recall, custom playlist option, with mixing ability, and a full blown matrix and CUE routing control.
There are more features on this box that I could write about, but when a person can take this little unit, add the new dual LTE module and 3 headsets on the road, setup in the middle of nowhere with no power, connect up with dual bonded LTE Sim Cards, and broadcast for two hours without a hitch, you quickly become a believer in Tieline products. The ViA is the real deal.
The Cloud Codec Controller
Let me just finish by commenting on a Tieline product that works with their remote gear line, which of course includes the ViA. This product is called the Cloud Codec Controller or CCC.
Simply stated, no matter where the ViA is located in the USA, as long as it is turned on, with any of its three types of internet connections enabled (LAN, LTE or Wireless) and assigned an IP address, I will be able to connect to the unit via the CCC software and have complete control of it. And I really mean COMPLETE control, just as if I was standing right in front of the unit itself. This was the feature that really won my full support to the Tieline Company. It gave me the peace of mind and confidence that sending the ViA on the road with no engineer, is not only doable, but now the active protocol.
In reality, there really is an engineer on the road with the unit, he just happens to be sitting at his desk computer back at the station, making any necessary adjustments. The Tieline ViA was a golden find. As for the Tieline Company they are the Swiss army knife of remote radio broadcasting.
For more information about ViA and other Tieline codecs, visit http://www.tieline.com/via
- For USA, Canada & Latin America contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For Australia and International: email@example.com
(Tieline ViA is the Swiss Army Knife of Remote Broadcasting, first published in Radio World US, February 28, 2020)