Digital Media Playout Systems
Radio as we used to know it is history. Devices like mobile phones that combine radio and TV receivers with telephones and the Internet are already receiving wide acceptance from consumers who are hungry for content. Radio delivery across multiple platforms these day and computer playout systems make it possible for today’s broadcasters to meet the new demands of its audiences.
Radio around the world is embracing all new technology, and automated playout systems are the mainstay of nearly every radio station from Hospital and Community to Local, Regional and National stations. Using a computer automation system it is possible for stations to broadcast without anyone being in the studio. With the relatively low cost of hard drives these days, it’s economical for stations to store literally hundreds of hours of material (play-list tracks, interviews, documentaries etc.) on a computer programmed to broadcast the material when the station isn’t staffed.
Many stations that broadcast round the clock, ergo through the night, computerised automation is invaluable these days. Good use of automated programming can produce output that sounds fresh and full of that exciting ‘vibe’ even though the studio may be empty. Playout systems have become very sophisticated. It’s more than just flicking the switch to the ‘jukebox’ setting, they can cue in speech segments amidst the music, play in ads and link to a news service fed via satellite or ISDN from external sources.
Automated playout systems are making life easier for presenters, no more hunting through record libraries for the tracks they need and having to put all those albums and cd’s back again. The playout system is also reducing the cost of staff wage bills as less on air staff are required at unsociable hours. This can also be a negative factor in that young new presenters can’t get the experience of on air work as the automation is now running the show.
There are many systems on the market all priced differently and all providing different levels of sophistication. Some stations require multiple station feeds, or feeds to DAB and internet. The major players in the market are listed below.
Spacial Audio - produce SAM Broadcaster
P Squared - produce Myriad
Enco - produce EncoDAD
Dalet - produce Dalet
Barrcode - produce Barrcode BCX
Broadcast Bionics - PhoneBOX
Broadcast Bionics also distribute:
WOAR – Wide Orbit Automation for Radio (previously Google Radio Automation)
Genesys playout system
NewsRoom from KLZ
Axia Audio desks and IP routing products
Digigram IQOYA audio over IP products
RCS - produce Selector and Master Control