Radio World 1176 - October 28th, 2020

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REMOTE CONTROL (continued from page 7)

well beyond simply controlling the transmitter. The same device should be able to control and monitor subsystems like the HVAC, network, utility power and generator, antenna deicer, audio processors, backhaul links and of course, the transmitter. “For example, it should be able to take control and

NEWS try to restore connectivity to the studio (or the cloud) working from the remote end, while the station engineer is trying to restore things from the studio end.” Asked about the cloud, Boulay at WorldCast Group noted that remote control designs naturally follow the evolution of infrastructure. “At the beginning, remote control meant the management of physical I/O — analog, digital, relays. Then protocols like SNMP replaced I/O. And now, in the majority of cases, remote control means the manage-

October 28, 2020

ment of API, including the cloud. “So of course, technically speaking, tools for performing remote control are completely different. But the end goal is the same: to make sure your radio station or web radio is on-air or its stream is accessible, and to manage all the redundant processing automatically.” For Winget and Nason of Broadcast Tools, the concept of “virtual” in this context means less focus on a central piece of hardware and more on remote control hardware as peripherals distributed throughout

Control dashboards are more sophisticated. This image of a KYBIO system from WorldCast Systems shows dynamic and contextual dashboards based on SVG files.

the studio and transmitter sites, tied together over the network with an SNMP manager that can collect, store and display data from devices all over the network. “As a remote control hardware manufacturer our goal is to provide products with features that strike a balance between the need for local/standalone operation as well as network-based ‘virtual’ operation via SNMP,” they wrote. “This is why we provide built-in features like a smartphone-compatible HTML-based web interface, a relay event scheduler, support for notification via email/texting and POTS telephone (on our WVRC-4 Plus and WVRC-8 Plus remote controls) in addition to support for SNMP.”

The HTML-based monitor and control web page of a Broadcast Tools WVRC-8 Plus remote control.

IMPORTANT TRENDS What about other notable trends? Ahern says that because everything is becoming network-centric, there’s more need for network status and performance monitoring. “Being able to ping different network branches and devices, and using that information to automatically reroute data or restart network elements, will help to proactively manage network infrastructure to keep it operating smoothly.” (continued on page 10)