You may have noticed that the term ‘reliable’ is used repeatedly when describing the technologies we have just outlined above. While not immune to intermittent problems and outages, by and large all of these technologies have earned the reputation of being trusty stalwarts in the telecommunications world.
These technologies, which have served broadcasters for decades, are now being replaced gradually but in ever increasing numbers by IP. To migrate away from a tried and true approach, the reasons need to be compelling and below we examine some of the main advantages that are convincing Radio broadcasters to make the switch:
Flexibility is probably the key reason why an IP delivery method for audio is superior to any of the previous or existing technologies. You can generate and route additional channels easily using either multicast or multiple unicast technologies. A single channel encode can be decoded by tens of units (multiple unicast) or hundreds of units (multicast) and, if the network and hardware are available, this can all happen in an instantaneous configuration change.
The rigidity of synchronous networks and the point-to-point nature of microwave networks can never come close to this level of flexibility. The flexibility of IP connectivity has also made it easy to deploy live links on short notice, and international links where synchronous solutions might not be
available for that location.
Critically, this flexibility doesn’t add additional expense. Live and international remotes need no longer be the big budget events that they once were due to Telco costs. The combination of IP Audio together with a redundant streaming technique such as APT’s SureStream (see page 69) enables you to achieve T1/E1 quality and reliability for a fraction of the price.
For continuous and fixed operations such as STL and SSL, the cost savings of using IP as opposed to other technologies can also be significant over time. The example on page 10 is based on data provided to us by a US-based customer highlighting the savings they could achieve. While amounts may vary from country to country and region to region, the cost benefits in the vast majority of cases are significant enough to warrant a switch.