Jeffrey Sochrin on the beach live. The microphone feeds the Phoenix Pocket codec on an iPhone. The iPad is being used to remotely control the station’s BSI Simian automation system.SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten Island — Island 92, actually 91.9 FM, is a 10-year-old radio station on St. Maarten Island in the Dutch Caribbean.
We use an AEQ Bravo console as our on-air board. When our station went shopping for IP-based outside broadcast gear, we contacted AEQ Broadcast International Inc. in Miami to see what they could offer. A couple of items we settled on were a Phoenix Studio IP codec for the studio and the Phoenix Pocket App for iPhone for Island 92’s remote kit.
The Phoenix Studio is an IP audio codec, in a single 1 RU rack-mountable case, with analog and digital stereo inputs and outputs and universal power supply (90–250V AC). The Phoenix also has two slots for inserting optional communication modules: ISDN, X.21, V.35 and GSM. Indeed, the modular approach of the Phoenix means that modules can be easily connected, depending upon customer preferences and available telecommunication infrastructures. The Phoenix, in addition to the main program and return paths, can simultaneously provide a backup circuit (or coordination) utilizing optional communication modules.
The little brother, the Phoenix Pocket allows you to establish a high-quality bidirectional connection between your studio-based Phoenix audio codec and an iPhone, either through the 3G mobile network or a Wi-Fi access point. This is the way that Island 92 is using the application on a daily basis. Our reporters and talent in the field are able to transmit live interviews and shows from locations outside the studio or have others participate live in programs from wherever they are — all requiring only an iPhone and an Internet/wireless connection. The connection between the Phoenix Pocket and the Phoenix Studio is established over the Internet and through the services of the AEQ SIP server that AEQ provides to ensure easy connectivity for its customers.
Integrating the AEQ equipment into our radio station is one of the best things we have done. It allows us to transfer live broadcasts in and out of the studio seamlessly, without sacrificing sound quality or relay time.
The first big test came with the recent Bathtub Derby— a home-built cardboard boat race held for charity on Kim Sha Beach for the Sister Regina Primary School here in St. Maarten. We were able to go live on the beach, live standing in the water and even live from a chase boat off the shore. We took our listeners to where the action was, in real-time. The broadcast worked.
Island 92 is also the official radio station for the upcoming 33rd Annual Heineken Regatta, the largest sailing race in the Caribbean. Quite frankly, we just can’t wait to follow the action live from the water, from racing boats, from vantage points high up in the cliffs and down on the beach with our Phoenix codecs.
AEQ has brought great versatility and value to our live action reporting ability. We look forward to continuing to take the AEQ equipment to the edge and bringing our listeners the best live reporting in the Caribbean.
For information, contact Giovanna Hurtado at AEQ Broadcast International in Florida at (800) 728-0536 or visit www.aeqbroadcast.com.