“Off the Bench”’s Craig Hutchison and Gerard Whateley originate their Australian program from the Super Bowl Radio Row with a Tieline ViA IP codec.
From Oz to Minneapolis — Australia’s “Off the Bench” radio show, a production of Crocmedia, makes an annual pilgrimage to the Super Bowl for some onsite coverage, piped back to Downunder.
Committed to being kitted out with equipment from fellow Australian company, codec maker Tieline, the broadcast team of Craig Hutchison and Gerard Whateley, brought with them a Tieline ViA IP codec for relaying the program back to the main studio in Melbourne, Victoria.
Despite communicating with parties half-way around the world, the crews and codec worked it out. Crocmedia’s IT Broadcast Engineering Director George Biagioni said: “Craig Hutchison and Gerard Whateley were on the ground in Minnesota, and announcer Liam ‘Pickers’ Pickering and Dr. Turf were at our Melbourne studio each day for the show in the lead up to the big game. … Audio from the guys in Minnesota was mixed with Pickers’ audio in Melbourne, so we needed very low latency audio communications between Melbourne and Minnesota to make it work.”
He added, “The ViA codec connected flawlessly to our [Tieline] Genie Distribution codec in Melbourne and delivered very low latency audio between 60 and 100 ms, for several hours of broadcasting each day over IP. It never missed a beat which was impressive.”
The Via was even called in to substitute for the call of the game itself. “We had been supplied an ISDN codec for play-by-play coverage, but we just couldn’t get it to reliably connect to our ISDN codec back to Australia. Luckily we had our Tieline ViA with us and it saved the day. We connected for four hours live over IP at 128 kbps using Music PLUS encoding and it worked a treat,” said Biagioni.
So it looks like the Via has made the team, according to Biagioni: “The Australian Football League season starts again in March and ViA will be at the front line of our national coverage. ViA’s internal battery means we can broadcast from virtually anywhere for hours and we can stream using USB modems, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connections, so every option is covered.”