Canadian broadcaster loves IP Audio
Golden West Radio serves small and medium-sized communities in Canada, across western Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta with a network of 30 AM and FM stations.
As Golden West upgrades existing stations and builds new ones, the task of doing the installs falls on the shoulders of Tom Wiebe, Broadcast Project Leader. "IP audio has revolutionized the way we do installs," notes Wiebe. "In the bad old days, we used to spend weeks living in hotels, working long days pulling multi-conductor cable, wiring punch blocks and soldering christmas trees." He adds his record for time spent in a hotel was six months for a particularly complex install.
"Today, we're able to do a complete Axia install in three days with one or two engineers," explains Wiebe. The secrets are standardization of components, and pre-fabricating racks and studio furniture. All assembly takes place in the shop at Golden West's Steinbeck, Manitoba facility. Completed racks are tested and burned in for for a week before shipping. Golden West contracts with a local millwork company for all studio furniture which is also standardized, resulting in a fast turnaround time and reduced cost. The same philosophy of standardization is applied to their RF engineering installs, automation and phone systems.
IP Audio saves Golden West time and money on installs, but why Axia? Wiebe recalls the initial decision came after a lot of research, and there were several reasons for the decision. "We had been looking at another vendor, but their IP audio system was proprietary, not an open standard like Livewire. Pathfinder PC was also an important factor."
Pippin Technical, the Canadian distributor for Axia, was another positive influence on the decision. "We wanted to get training for our engineers on Axia installs and Livewire," recalls Wiebe, "and Pippin was very willing to teach us all that they knew."