NPO Radiohuis: Radio 2 & 5
The NPO has initiated the construction of studios in the Radiohuis. This project commenced in 2017 and was completed in 2018. The ultimate goal of the Radiohuis is to bring together all NPO radio stations under one roof within the so-called Radiohuis environment, utilizing state-of-the-art technology. A crucial aspect of this case is the NPO’s need to build studios with an Audio over IP solution. Key focal points during the design phase were centered around user-friendliness and integration possibilities with other systems.
“At the Radiohuis, the focus is on innovation. The challenge was primarily to establish a shared, fast, efficient, and reliable Audio over IP network. As the first in the Netherlands, a complete Audio over IP solution has been implemented.”
TRANSITION TO AUDIO OVER IP
The focus at the Radiohuis is on innovation. As the first in the Netherlands, a complete Audio over IP solution has been realized. The challenge was primarily to establish a shared, fast, efficient, and reliable Audio over IP network, equipped with redundancy for high reliability and minimal latency.
In addition, there was a challenge for the users and technicians of the studios. Users would need to adapt to a new workflow and a different brand of audio console, while technicians would need to get accustomed to the IP installation.
The final major challenge lay with the multicast streaming networks. These networks utilize a PTP-based precision timing protocol and multicast techniques, requiring real-time execution without the loss of any IP packets. Thanks to extensive collaboration with the development teams of suppliers, every detail has been fine-tuned.
HIGH-QUALITY TECHNOLOGY USED FOR CONVENIENCE
For the studios of Radio 1 and 4, a Lawo audio platform based on the Sapphire and Powercore platform, combined with an Arista Audio over IP streaming network, has been implemented. This is controlled through a new and central management system, VSM. Via this VSM, the audio streams within the audio platform, the codecs, the telephone system, and the intercom are managed.
For signaling, IDS has been chosen, ensuring that each studio is equipped with sleek displays, countdown clocks, on-air displays, microphones, and the ability to show video on the visual radio feeds. The IDS system is also controlled from VSM.
The KVM is built on the CompactCenter platform from G&D. This system is intentionally not IP-based. In the event of a network failure, you retain KVM control.
At the Radio 1 studios, numerous technical workstations have also been set up where employees can quickly and easily create their own edits. These workstations are based on a Lawo CompactEngine with VisTools and run on a PC operated with a touchscreen.
The radio studios are redundant. There are two physical studios that go on-air alternately per program. In addition, at Radio 1, a Self-Op studio has been created where DJs can produce their own shows.
INNOVATIVE STUDIO FACILITIES BASED ON IP
A complete Audio over IP environment has been implemented at Radio 1 and 4. Three large radio studios with their own control rooms have been realized. In addition, a Self-OP studio, multiple WPM rooms, a voice-over booth, and several technical and control workstations have been established. With these facilities, Radio 1 and Radio 4 employees have all the tools to create exceptional radio programs.
The uniqueness of this project lies in the network that has been established. Essentially, wherever the network is present, an audio stream can be picked up, making the infrastructure extremely flexible. It is the first radio environment in the Netherlands where Audio over IP has been actually applied throughout the entire infrastructure.
Radio 2 Studio
Two big radio studio’s with own control
One Self-OP studio where a DJ can control their own mix.
Two WPM rooms for creating your own recordings and the option to integrate WPM as part of the studio
One voice-over booth for recording items
Eight technical workstations for staff to create their own segments
Radio 5 Studio
Radio studio with an extensive WPM
Control station for technician, director, presenter, and two guests
Option to connect a studio where four additional guests and a presenter can take their places
WPM room for assembling items independently using an Omni player, external lines, and phone lines
Summary of technical specifications
- Arista DCS-7050 Spine switch
- Arista DCS-7150 Leaf switch
- G&D ControlCenter 80 matrixen
- IDS Core Plus
- Tektronix SPG8000A
- Crystal Compact Engine platform
Summary of technical specifications
- Lawo VSM System Control
- Lawo Sapphire & Powercore platform (Radio 1)
- 24 faders and central module
- Self-op 20 faders and central module
- Lawo Sapphire platform (Radio 4)
- 20 faders and central module