BNR Nieuwsradio selects Soliton for live video streaming

BNR Nieuwsradio, a radio station based in the Netherlands, has selected Soliton’s ZAO to enable live video H265 streaming for remote based radio shows out on location.

BNR Nieuwsradio is a popular Dutch radio station that broadcasts all-day radio programming across the whole of the Netherlands. As a pioneer of radio, they were early adopters of a system to broadcast live video streams onto the internet from the studio and the first with automatic switching of cameras integrated as part of their broadcast system. This allowed the radio audience to not only listen to the shows, but to also enable them to view the presenters and guests, and so giving a more interactive radio experience. While BNR today already have video streaming direct from the studio, it has been previously difficult to stream live video cost effectively from a remote location, where over a 100 live broadcasts a year are aired. The H265 ZAO encoder from Soliton will now solve that problem for BNR.

The Soliton ZAO is a small mobile encoder that can allow the output from a number of camera sources to be fed into the ZAO via an ATEM production desk on location. The video signal will then be encoded to H265 and sent over the 4G mobile phone network back to the studio. At the studio end, the video stream delivered over the internet, will be decoded back to the original video and fed into the ATEM radio production desk. Given the latency is small and can be fixed on the ZAO, it can then be easily synchronised with the audio channels that arrive on a different channel back to the studio for final delivery and playout to the web for both the combined audio and video. The ZAO supports a number of different mobile phone carriers that can be bonded together for reliability should the mobile signal become weak or unavailable on one particular telecom provider. This allows very reliable routing and delivery of the video signal onto the internet at the remote location without the need for any fixed lines or satellite infrastructure.

Menno Maat, the chief engineer at BNR Nieuwsradio, comments: “At BNR we recognise that to enable great audience interaction that not only do we need compelling content, but we need to pioneer on how we deliver on that. We had been looking for some time on an easy and cost effective method of delivering video from any remote location where we produce many of our radio shows. When we saw the Zao it just filled a big hole in our wish list!”

Mark Andrews, the European sales manager for Soliton, adds: “Traditionally we have been selling to news broadcasters and sports production companies for their remote live feeds. With BNR investing in Soliton technology, it shows how BNR are now innovating in the broadcast market as a radio news channel. I think it is a very exciting time for them as we see the convergence of radio, TV and news channels as they cross borders, and seeing them deliver on the next generation of radio broadcasting to all media consumers and types. We are very excited to be working with BNR.”

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