Tieline IP and HD Radio Go Hand-in-Hand
Dick Cassidy (left) and John Holt with their Commander G3
WAMU 88.5FM in Washington, D.C. is heavily committed to HD radio and was the first public radio station to offer three digital channels and an analog signal to listeners in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
"Ray Davis has been broadcasting on WAMU since 1985 and he lives 75 miles from the studio, which made it difficult for him to broadcast his show live six days a week," said Dick Cassidy, manager of WAMU's dedicated Bluegrass Country station, which broadcasts on 88.5-2 in full stereo HD. "We needed to find a solution that would allow him to broadcast from his home studio in Falling Waters, West Virginia."
"We heard some great reports about the Tieline codecs being used by WXPN in Philadelphia for concert remotes, so we decided to give them a try," said Dick. "We called the folks at Tieline and they sent us a pair of demo Commander codecs to try out."
"We installed one of the codecs in Ray's studio and attached it to a dedicated Comcast cable modem connection," he said. "The codec connected to the studio in stereo at 192kbps over IP using the Tieline Music Plus algorithm and the audio we sent was flawless. We were so impressed we bought a field unit Commander codec for Ray's place and a rack unit Commander for the studio."
"The codecs now provide the primary connection for Ray Davis' show and he connects between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each weekday and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 pm," said Dick. "The quality is terrific - it is very reliable and has never let us down."
"Our automation system at the studio switches directly to the Tieline codec so all Ray has to do is dial in to connect and he's on the air," he said. "The Tieline Commander at the studio sends really low latency return program to Ray's codec so he takes his cue from this feed."
John Holt, Director of Engineering at WAMU, has worked with Dick in broadcasting for 30 years. "One of the most important things about choosing the Tieline codecs was how they handled further compression for HD transmission and Internet broadcasting," he said. "The performance was outstanding and we didn't notice any artifacts."
"HD has provided us with the best of both worlds," said Dick. "We can provide tailored content to both our news and bluegrass audiences - and Tieline codecs play a big part in making this happen for us."