Lars-Peder Lundgren, Marketing Director at Paneda says “DAB is an issue for private and national radio stations since a very long time. The recent years, we have seen a growing interest in DAB and investments are currently being made in DAB technology in most countries in Europe and also in Asia as well as other parts of the world. One contributing factor to the growing effort is that different authorities and politicians now understand the great benefits of digitizing radio, where they now have budgeted for a digital transition and established the various frameworks and regulations that are required.Furthermore, we see that it has become more important to integrate different parts of the complex infrastructure required for DAB and where customers want to see a complete solution from studio to transmitters. Our collaboration with 2wcom has really been successful where both companies now can offer complete unified solutions that are state-of-the-art, which has been proven in several projects in Europe recently”
Studio to headend: In an IP focused world, also audio is currently moving over to IP distribution which is most cost-efficient form of contribution. Regarding DAB this includes the chance to forward the station programs to the headend via Audio over IP and separate the audio portion from DAB multiplexing system. At Paneda, we do so by using 2wcom’s IP-4c four-channel Audio over IP codec and MoIN Multimedia over IP Network server. Both solutions offer a number of benefits and increase flexibility to handle the entire parts of a project. The basic principle for such setup is that the studio audio contribution feeds the centralized MoIN server over IP and providing the flexibility to choose different codecs and formats between studio and centralized server.
To plan and realize a system as described, is very economically in every aspect and comes along with the chance all studios of a network can stay to already existing audio over IP system set-ups to feed the headend. Moreover, the output of the MoIN server not only feeds the DAB multiplexer system with a linear audio format for highest audio qualitybut also offers signal transformation for further distribution via IP or satellite or for storage in media archives. In addition, it ensures a “non locked-in” setup. The multiplexer system and audio system is separated from each other, and therefore makes it is possible to replace one or the other if needed in the future. The complete system chain has been successfully tested by a large broadcaster in UK recently, and has shown the benefit of such modern setup provided by 2wcom and Paneda.
At studio side,2wcom’s IP-4c Audio over runs extremely stable in WANs due to its features for transmission robustness like two internal or external power supplies, functions for software redundancy e.g. Forward error correction, Dual Streaming and more. The codec provides all audio formats normally used in a studio like E-aptX, all variants of ACC profiles or MPEG formats, Opus, Ogg vorbis or PCM. Finally, all common protocols as well as standards for internet interoperability are supported such as Livewire+, Ravenna or AES67, SMPTE ST210 or SRT. Hence, all studios of a network are enabled to fall back on a unified solution and keep their flexibility.
At the headend, 2wcom’s MoIN server receives the forwarded station programs and offers signal adaption depending on which source is used for the distribution to the transmitter, regardless of whether it is DAB, IP or Satellite. For DAB+ this means the server transcodes any codec a studio forwards to linear PCM and transforms the incoming IP protocols or standards to AES67.
Head end to transmitter sites: It is obvious broadcasters have to deal with some special situations. 2wcom’s DAB-4c high density converter copes with this challenges and enables operators to use new and already existing infrastructures at the same time, including EDI and ETI multiplexers as sources or legacy ETI and EDI transmitters. Moreover, a satellite tuner and ASI interfaces allow very cost efficiently integration into already existing DVB-S/S2 satellite distribution systems or ASI networks to optimize coverage and distribute programs to regions that are still lacking broadband IP.
Also the inner technical values have convinced Norwegian’s DAB MUX manufacturer Paneda. As a high-density solution the DAB-4c offers at least four EDI and ETI in/outputs. In addition, the bidirectional ETI interfaces (in/out) enables to increase the number of ETI outputs if e.g. ETI mirroring is needed. For synchronization of all sites, PTPv2 or an external 10 MHz signal shall be provided and in case of failure, an internal recovery from the EDI stream by jitter removal shall assure an ongoing synchronized transmission. Regarding transmission robustness, the devices offers seamless switching between two EDI or ETI sources (PFT Dual Streaming).
For smart management and control all settings can be configured via a web interface or remotely via SNMP. In addition, the device offers real time statistics and monitoring of the main DAB+ parameters. Nice to have but not mandatory a DAB tuner offers on-air monitoring at the transmitter sites.