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Kirk Harnack

Recent Posts

Time Spent Listening - Getting the Most TSL from Smart Speaker Listeners

By Kirk Harnack on Nov 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Terrestrial radio is facing a real challenge: Listeners are besieged with ever-increasing audio entertainment options. The bedside clock radio is fading fast. The kitchen radio has been replaced by a tablet or a TV. In fact, the percentage of households with no radio at all has zoomed from 4 percent to 29 percent in 10 years, according to Ryan Higbie, writing for xapp media. He continues, “The rise in homes with multiple televisions and the popularity of streaming services have materially impact radio listening in the home.”

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Topics: smart speakers

Get More Listeners with Audio Processing for Smart Speakers

By Kirk Harnack on Jul 30, 2018 10:35:13 AM

Smart Speaker Adoption

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research counts 43 million Americans who own at least one smart speaker. First adopters of smart speakers say these devices are now their primary way of listening to audio. And while there are myriad choices for audio services available on smart speakers, they are becoming a significant replacement for AM/FM radios in the kitchen or bedroom. Some recent research is showing that radio’s most loyal listeners, the so-called “P1s,” are using smart speakers in significant numbers and for significant periods of time. There’s no doubt that radio broadcasters need to be available on these devices—and they need to sound good, perhaps better than competing services.

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Topics: smart speakers

Axia User Offers a Free Utility to Aid Simple Livewire Routing

By Kirk Harnack on Jul 26, 2017 11:45:00 AM

Anthony Eden is a broadcast engineer and systems integrator in Australia. And, he's a big fan of Audio over IP technology, particularly Livewire+.

PathfinderPC and Pathfinder Core PRO provide powerful and flexible scheduling, routing, monitoring, and alerting for Livewire+ AoIP networks. However, Anthony Eden needed a bit less horsepower for a particular application. His client simply needed to select which studio would feed the station's air chain. So, Anthony wrote a Windows application in Python to do just that - and only that.

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Topics: Livewire, STLs, IP Audio Network Routing & Control

5 Advantages of Switching to a Broadcast VoIP Phone System

By Kirk Harnack on Feb 22, 2017 2:30:00 PM

We live in an increasingly digital and largely networked world. It’s no accident that AoIP is taking radio and TV by storm: the economies of scale, ease of use, and return on investment are undeniable. Traditional POTS and ISDN phone services are steadily being supplanted by SIP- and VoIP-based methods at the service-provider level. ISDN is already unavailable for many new installations, and POTS is moving that way now. A SIP/VoIP phone system offers digital phone services that cost less, sound better, and are more easily managed than traditional services.

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Topics: voip phone system, broadcast voip, voip phones, sip

11 Cool Things About Telos Zephyr iPort Plus Multi-Codec Gateway

By Kirk Harnack on Dec 7, 2016 12:51:07 PM

The Telos Systems iPort PLUS Mult-Codec Gateway is one of the most versatile products around, and we've just released new v2.1.0j software to make it even more so. Here, you'll find some of the best ways to use the Telos iPort PLUS to give your broadcast operation more flexibility and effectiveness.

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Topics: iport plus, multicodec gatway, Zephyr

Connecting the Land Down Under

By Kirk Harnack on Jul 6, 2016 3:36:49 PM

With 78 analogue and 25 digital radio stations distributed across the entire continent, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) is Australia’s largest commercial radio broadcaster. Each of these stations combines “live and local” programming with networked shows originating from multiple network hubs; often up to four different source cities in any given day.

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Topics: SCAsat Audio Distribution Network

All About Adaptive Audio Streaming

By Kirk Harnack on May 25, 2016 1:57:39 PM

Streaming for broadcast is a hot topic right now. Consumer convenience prompted online video services such as YouTube and Netflix to offer Adaptive Multirate Video Streaming, and audio-only streaming providers—especially radio stations—are just recently able to offer the same convenience to their online listeners. Adaptive streaming is actually simple and inexpensive to implement, but it is a bit different from traditional online streaming. Here, we do a Q&A with Telos Alliance Director of Streaming Ioan Rus to help define the tech behind Adaptive Streaming and illustrate how both broadcasters and listeners come out ahead with Adaptive.

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Topics: Streaming Audio

IP-Radios - The New Studio-Transmitter Link (STL)

By Kirk Harnack on May 4, 2016 11:56:18 AM

Abstract

Radio broadcasters have traditionally used 950MHz analog or digital point-to-point radio systems to transport their audio programming from the studio to the transmitter site. Leased T1 or E1 digital land-based circuits have also been popular where a line-of-sight radio path cannot be established. Each system has strengths and shortcomings;  the radio STL is one-way only and has little room for ancillary data. The landline T1/E1 solution implies a monthly lease expense, as well as high capital costs for the endpoint equipment, and still not much extra data bandwidth once the program audio is transported. With multi-station shared transmitter sites, HD Radio, off-site automation backup, security cameras, remote control, and Internet access all becoming necessities, a reliable, high-bandwidth data transport scheme becomes  critical. Enter the modern 2-way IP-radio system. These carrier-grade links can transport several stereo audio channels with bit-for-bit clarity, plus provide for all the other data services just mentioned and have room for growth. This paper describes not only the STL needs and challenges facing broadcast engineers, but provides clear, workable solutions both in the abstract and specific solution cases.

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Topics: IP Radios, IP Radio STLs, STLs

IP-Audio Connections Using N/ACIP

By Kirk Harnack on Jan 23, 2013 11:16:00 AM

Radio engineers are turning to IP-based infrastructure and connectivity for streaming audio between studios and other sites. Indeed, as ISDN and, more recently, even "real" POTS connections are disappearing, we're turning to the same technology we use for e-mail, web, and file transfer - Internet Protocol - "IP."

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Topics: IP Audio Network Routing & Control

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