Barix and StreamGuys provides IP Distribution solution for Premier Productions Radio Network

Productions Radio Network, a division of Premier Productions, is using a joint
Barix audio over IP hardware and StreamGuys internet distribution solution to
deliver live and recorded sports programming to 35 radio stations in Minnesota, North Dakota
and South Dakota.
The end-to-end IP architecture provides a reliable, scalable, high-quality
audio solution that vastly reduces operational costs compared to the company’s
previous reliance on satellite technology for program distribution.

end-to-end workflow begins at the origination point, where a live or recorded
feed is sent from a Barix Instreamer-100 audio encoder to Premier Productions
Radio Network’s studio in St. Paul,
Minnesota. At the studio, a
Barix Exstreamer 100 receives and decodes the program material, where it is
mixed and sent out over the Internet through another Barix Instreamer 100
unit. An aggregated server infrastructure from StreamGuys receives the
feeds and transports them over a robust, cost-effective, streaming network to
point or multipoint destinations within the 35-station collective.
Each of
the 35 stations has an Exstreamer 100 at their studios to receive and decode
the signals, along with tone decoders to trigger advertisements, station
identification, and to signal start and end times for each feed. The
Barix and StreamGuys solution maintains outstanding quality throughout the
transport architecture, with built-in redundancy at every level to ensure the
stream is playing out live at all times. The solution also takes
advantage of Barix and StreamGuys RTP (real-time protocol) solution to ensure
consistent ultra-low latency of live signals at the receive sites.
radio stations are migrating to IP from satellite distribution these days
because of the noticeable reduction in monthly costs,” said Matt Wallace, owner
of Premier Productions Radio Network. “On top of the monthly costs,
satellite receivers at many radio stations are aging and breaking down, and it
can cost upwards of $2000 to replace them. IP technology and distribution
platforms from companies like Barix and StreamGuys are becoming more popular
because of these costs and reliability issues, and the trends point to this
type of replacement cycle happening around the world.”
to Wallace, the radio stations in his network have been extremely pleased with
the audio quality of the solution, which is attained by distributing compressed
audio at 80 kbps to the destination Exstreamers, with higher bit rates earlier
in the chain. Set up is simple: The Exstreamers are assigned static
IP addresses in St. Paul
and shipped to the studios for “plug and play” installation. The simple
operation ensures that no in-studio monitoring is required for automated
programming scenarios. The StreamGuys distribution architecture
eliminates the costs of leasing T1 lines for long-distance distribution, and
provides plenty of bandwidth to maintain high audio quality throughout the
radio stations are especially guarded about spending money due to limited
budgets, so it’s crucial to provide them with equipment that is reliable and
that can be automated without the need for a studio operator or on-site
engineer, and Barix meets those requirements,” said Wallace. “And with
StreamGuys, I don’t have to worry about the stations receiving their
feeds. Once the feeds leave my studio they go directly to the destination
studios in a redundant configuration. If one server goes down, another
server in the streaming architecture will pick up the feeds. And the
comprehensive solution is scalable to meet my needs as Premier Productions
Radio Networks expands to new sites in Minnesota,
the Dakotas, and other Midwest states.”

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