The growing influence of IP on radio has been recognised by this year's Radio Academy Festival TechCon Technical Innovation Award going to a new system for low cost links between studios and contributors. The Remote Contribution Terminal (RCT) was developed by IN:Quality and is based on IP DTL (down the line) technology, with the Google Chrome browser as the user interface. The RCT was one of three nominations for the Technical Innovation Award, which is sponsored by Arqiva and was presented on Monday (14 October) at the end of TechCon at The Lowry in Salford Quays. IN:Quality director Kevin Leach (pictured with the Award) said there were "growing applications for live guests on radio and TV" but that not all contributors were able to go to the studio. Under a pilot scheme in conjunction with the University of Manchester, RCT systems were installed in the homes of various experts and public figures to allow broadcast quality audio, and in some cases HD video, connections to broadcasters. The technology has already been used by BBC Radio 4 and the BBC News Channel. Instead of specialist ISDN or IP codecs, RCT uses vLine connectivity with Google Chrome for set-up and control at either end. The Technical Innovation Award judges commented, "IN:Quality has developed a system that is easy to use by the contributor and one that doesn't rely on proprietary hardware at the studio centre. This makes it available to all radio stations - from the largest to the smallest. It allows broadcasters to control their costs by using a 'pay per use' model and reduces the need to tie up valuable OB and staff resources." Also nominated for the Award were VRM, a prototype virtual radio mixer using touch screen technology designed by playout specialist PSquared with software intern Danny Allan; and Silence Detect, a system , developed by Anthony Edwards of radio group Town & Country Broadcasting for checking all stations in a network are on air. www.inqualitymedia.comwww.radioacademy.org
BBC local radio to go virtual on IP
The BBC is to move its local radio station operations to an IP network infrastructure from next year. The project is based on a new technology initiative, ViLOR (Virtualised Local Radio), which won the Technical Innovation Award at last week's Radio Academy Festival.