This is one in a series of articles from the ebook “The Real World of AoIP.”
Radio World recently asked several manufacturers to identify the most important technical development or trend in the use of audio over IP.
“The biggest trend in 2021,” said Greg Shay, CTO of Telos Alliance, “is the empowering of live broadcast facilities to use the full range of IT industry resources, including public and private server resources, global fiber optic networks, failover redundancy, all at global competitive costs, and the personnel to support it all.”
He said the experience of the pandemic supercharged the demand for broadcasting from anywhere, from home, and forced less reliance on purpose-built facilities.
“Both sides, the broadcaster and the IT service provider, have learned more of what it takes to operate the Professional broadcast facility over IP,” Shay said.
“Social networks blazed a trail for personal broadcasting, using no more end equipment than a phone. The hitch is that it ‘works when it works, as well as it works.’ I maintain this is not due to the underlying technology but comes from assumptions made in how it is deployed.”
So far, he noted, professional broadcasters produce content with highly hardware-centric facilities.
“Where is the coming together in the middle? Is all that hardware plant, duplicating the global IT infrastructure, really required to reliably create, produce and deliver professional commercial content?
The answer to produce the reliable, always-on broadcast channel, Shay said, is to leverage the same global IT infrastructure that underpins the social networks, but with the resource allocation and planning for consistency needed by commercial users.
“It is not good enough ‘if it works when it works’, it has to always work,” he said.
“Audio over IP was the entryway for getting professional audio broadcasting onto the IT infrastructure. The IT infrastructure providers are now becoming aware of the needs and requirements of the commercial professional broadcasters, and are stepping up the level of their services, both operationally and contractually, to meet those needs.”