GatesAir advances wireless over-the-air content delivery at BroadcastAsia2016

At BroadcastAsia 2016, GatesAir, a provider of wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will bring its message of operational efficiency and high performance in …


At BroadcastAsia 2016, GatesAir, a provider of wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will bring its message of operational efficiency and high performance in the RF plant to Asia-Pacific broadcasters, with an eye on simplifying digital broadcast transitions; and strengthening existing analog systems.

GatesAir recently introduced its PowerSmart transmitter architecture, which leverages 50-volt LDMOS technology to reduce transmitter footprint, streamline parts and minimize energy consumption. The March 2016 introduction of PowerSmart Plus, the next-generation of its PowerSmart innovations, intensifies these benefits through the newly available LDMOS power amplifiers. This increases AC to RF efficiency for DVB-T, DVB-T2 and other CODFM TV modulations by nearly 40%, will be demonstrated in GatesAir’s Maxiva ULXT high-efficiency UHF transmitter series.

The Maxiva ULXT represents GatesAir’s latest innovation in liquid cooling, a heat-to-liquid transfer process that efficiently removes heat from the RF plant and reduces its traditional air conditioning requirements and cooling costs. This same technology is also now available in GatesAir’s Flexiva FLX transmitter, helping FM and HD radio broadcasters cut monthly utility costs and establish a greener operation. All GatesAir liquid-cooled transmitters further slim down an already minimal footprint by integrating low-noise pump modules within the cabinet, providing additional ROI value for broadcasters who share or lease space in RF plants.

GatesAir will also show its high-efficiency Flexiva FAX air-cooled transmitters for radio broadcasters that lack the environmental or operational need for liquid-cooled systems. Collectively, Flexiva liquid-cooled and air-cooled transmitters support power levels from 10 watts to 80kW, offering an exceptionally broad range of solutions to meet any broadcaster’s specifications.

GatesAir will also demonstrate its latest range of high-performance TV and radio exciters, including the groundbreaking, software-defined Maxiva XTE exciter. Supporting all analog and digital TV standards—as well as DAB Radio—the XTE provides the advanced signal processing, throughput and IP transport capabilities required to efficiently deliver the high-quality video/audio content and data associated with today’s leading, and future, digital broadcast standards. The XTE also leverages GatesAir’s latest software innovations for signal performance, including its intelligent Real Time Adaptive Correction (RTAC) technology, and offers a seamless in-the-field upgrade path to support future transitions and standards.

“We are in the business of creating value for our clients” – Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City

Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM believes that creativity in the broadcasting industry had hit a flat note in the past two decades. Clients and advertising agencies were sending …


Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City 91.1FM believes that creativity in the broadcasting industry had hit a flat note in the past two decades. Clients and advertising agencies were sending creatives that were created for TV rather than for radio. That’s when it hit him – why not create an in-house integrated branding solutions division that could offer clients 360° marketing experiential solutions?

He tells Vinita Bhatia that since Audacity was started in January 2016, it has worked with big ticket brands including Colors, ITC and OLX. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Since you joined Radio City in November 2015, what are some changes that have you made in the company?

There were a few things that we introduced since I joined, but it was more of the brand’s ongoing evolution. We launched Audacity, an in-house creative hotspot that we put together of the best radio talent to create various radio solution for clients. It works like an internal ad agency and we work with customers across markets to create musical logos, 360° marketing experiential solutions, etc, to improve creative options we offer to our clients.

 

 

“We launched Audacity, an in-house creative hotspot that we put together of the best radio talent to create various radio solution for clients” – Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City

What necessitated the creation of agency for a radio broadcasting company?

It was because radio innovation had reached a plateau. Everyone was doing some content, but there was some need to create some differentiating brand solutions. Advertising agencies per se are very focused around television and radio creative is typically an offshoot of what they have created for TV. Even the talent that works on it are more familiar with audio and TV, whereas radio has its own intrinsic properties that only a radio professional understands.

So, we decided to take creativity in radio solutions to the next level and have had some fantastic results in the past six months.

How are brands reacting to this idea?

Since they began, radio companies would write a script, record a scratch – that is how they educated clients about radio content. 15 years later, we were still doing the same thing and had reached a certain flat terrain. It was time to offer integrated brand solutions; and that is what Audacity is all about.

Interestingly, advertising agencies are beginning to use us, because they see the value we are bringing in given that their primary focus is around TV. And brands are also appreciating it. We have created solutions for brands like Colors, ITC, OLX, etc.

We are in the business of creating value for our clients, so Audacity was a logical extension for us to move up the value chain. Clients were relying on their existing agencies to do radio creative, though most focus on that, since they were more concentrated on TV. It is not uncommon for an agency to send us audio of a TV scene and play this as the audio track. But they forget that radio is a medium that has to be treated differently. Hence we saw a gap for a dedicated radio creative here to be fulfilled and we launched Audacity in January 2016.

You have repositioned your brand recently. Why did you take that decision?

People are not listening to radio, but are consuming content across multiple media. We currently have stations in 28 cities and we will soon be across 39 cities. However, what differentiates us is that we are positioning ourselves are 39 local brands driven by one common brand – Radio City.

That explains our tagline, Rag Rag Mein Daude City. That re-emphasises our positioning that we represent the city and the city runs through our vein. We went for micro-city programming where despite being a national brand, we don’t talk about cities as a whole, but have broken cities into zones and talk about micro-cities, with features like ‘Radio City Ke Kone Kone Se’.

“Ultimately consumers will go wherever they will get relevant, interesting content. And today they are spoilt for choice.” – Abraham Thomas, CEO, Radio City

Will Radio Mantra cease to exist now that Radio City is going to be present in 39 cities?

Radio Mantra, which is owned by the promoters of Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL), is getting integrated into Radio City’s holding company, Music Broadcast. So soon we will be one uniform network, but that is in process (JPL had acquired Music Broadcast last year). Currently, Radio Mantra and Radio City are two different brands. But operationally, they are run as one network. So their sales and marketing are common.

Radio is becoming a very visual medium with technologies as globally consumers shifting towards concepts like live broadcasting. Do you see that happening in India too?

Oh yes, because consumers are not concerned about the platform, they just want good content – either information or entertainment. They will consume it wherever it is conveniently available to them; in a relevant platform, in a format that they like. Hence, we do not look at radio as a frequency, but as a platform where we disseminate content.

We already have a very active online platform, planetradiocity.com. Similarly, we have some great on-ground properties, going by our belief that consumers consume content, irrespective of the platform.

What innovations are you doing on your online platform to grab more eyeballs?

We already have some distinctive work on planetradiocity.com in the form of Freedom Awards, which we instituted in 2001. Additionally it hosts over 4000-odd songs of indie artists, so we are giving lot of impetus to independent song makers there. We are now moving to other genres like comedy.

How are you trying to monetise these alternative platforms?

There are synergies we are exploiting along with the frequency as well as with on-ground activities as part of our integrated monetisation strategy. Some of our revenues are standalone for the online platform, but some are combined for the network.

This year around 345 stations are expected to start operations in India. How are you going to deal with this increased competition vying for the same set of audience?

Radio is a very local medium, so you are competing at a city level and not a national level, since the frequency is not available in other markets. Having said that, as cities get more radio frequencies, of course, the competition will increase. Hence, it is always about creating great content, because ultimately consumers will go wherever they will get relevant, interesting content. And today they are spoilt for choice.

So, we will come up with one big idea every quarter. We just launched Gig City, where we signed up with leading artists to provide a live multi-city simulcast of a concert. Spanning across 12 weeks, our radio stations will broadcast live performances which the audience can catch up with without having to struggle to reach at a given venue.

Tibet Radio set to broadcast from the Roof of the World with Lawo

Imagen will be showcasing its new Global Distribution feature at IBC2016. The latest benefit added to its Imagen Enterprise Video Platform brings broadcast quality content closer to clients …


Imagen will be showcasing its new Global Distribution feature at IBC2016. The latest benefit added to its Imagen Enterprise Video Platform brings broadcast quality content closer to clients by automatically replicating large libraries of media to hundreds of strategic global locations using public cloud infrastructure.

The new solution creates an economically viable answer to monetising content across multiple territories, offering a subscription based VOD platform for a B2C audience, while also catering for production and broadcast partners’ high resolution needs, through a secure, scalable and highly customisable web platform.

Tom Blake, Managing Director, Imagen, said, “While traditional CDNs are ideal for streaming live or on-demand video to consumer audience’s worldwide, content owners with large libraries of high resolution files would find hosting these files on the edge of a CDN to be sub economic, resulting in compromises being made such as offering a reduced library, low res proxies or mezzanine files. Imagen’s Global Distribution Network eliminates complex work arounds, slow delivery and a poor experience.”

Imagen’s Global Distribution Network has already been selected by a several major sports brands to facilitate distribution to broadcast clients and monetise their archives across new territories. The latest release of Imagen Enterprise Video Platform also boasts online subscription VOD packages, automatic transcript generation and advanced user analytics for insight into audience engagement.

Onair Medya to showcase 1KW FTC1K

Onair Medya, a Turkish company that designs and manufactures radio and TV broadcasting equipment, will showcase its 1KW FTC1K alongside the 2KW, 4KW, 8KW and 10KW FM LDMOS transmitters at IBC. These products are designed using extremely rugged LDMOS power transistors.

The company revealed that its 1KW FTC1K FM transmitter model is its bestselling product for the year, especially in Asian and African countries, where the demand is twice what it was last year. Most of these products were supplied to radio stations that upgraded their transmitters to increase their coverage.

FTC1K has a built-in RDS encoder with programmable front keys and DDS modulator. The latter has analog audio inputs that converts the analog to digital audio internally, adds RDS carrier and data internally, and makes the stereo encoding and FM modulation in a chip. This improves the quality of the audio and stereo, and negates the need to adjust the RDS level, stereo level.

Onair stated that the FTC1K FM transmitter has 78% efficiency since it has less heating, less energy consumption and a reliable design. This, it claimed, reduces the operating and ownership cost of radio stations, besides making it a more environment-friendly option.

MCOT deploys NETIA solutions across Thailand

NETIA’s radio automation and playout software suite is being rolled out across Thailand by state-owned public radio broadcaster MCOT. Supplied by NETIA’s Southeast Asia master dealer, Broadcast Communications International (BCI), the NETIA software will enable MCOT to automate and enhance both the production workflow and playout operations at its national and local radio stations.

“NETIA solutions address the requirements of today’s distributed radio broadcast operations, helping users to realize greater efficiency and flexibility in delivering audiovisual content to their audiences,” said Colin Tan, director at BCI. “By uniting robust functionality with intuitive user interfaces and streamlining the sharing of assets across stations, NETIA’s radio automation and playout software empowers broadcasters such as MCOT to provide timely, compelling programming across all of its stations.”

With its headquarters in Bangkok, MCOT operates one international, seven national, one district, and 52 provincial radio stations, as well as two terrestrial free-to-air television channels and two satellite television channels. Working with BCI, MCOT is installing six stand-alone workstations running NETIA software at its Bangkok facilities and another 18 such systems across 18 regional sites. The NETIA playout system and radio automation modules installed on these workstations will enable MCOT station users to record, edit, or prepare content for broadcast and distribution.

“BCI is a valuable partner for NETIA in Southeast Asia, and we’re pleased to be working with the company to support MCOT’s rollout of our playout and radio automation software throughout Thailand,” said Peter Fong, head of APAC sales at NETIA. “Our software suite is an ideal fit for public broadcasters such as MCOT, and thanks to the efforts of BCI and other partners, we’re seeing increased adoption by broadcasters across Asia.”