VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster recently launched SmartRadio.
Among other things, Smartradio facilitates the new online pop-up stream of VRT’s music broadcaster Studio Brussel ‘StuBru #ikluisterbelgisch’ , on which listeners can discover and listen to new Belgian music non-stop and with which Studio Brussels wants to give the Belgian music industry a shot in the arm in difficult Corona times. Besides ‘StuBru #ikluisterbelgisch’, SmartRadio also facilitates ’90’s & 00’s’ from VRT’s youth broadcaster MNM and two other VRT online radio streams.
SmartRadio is a cloud- and web-based radio-as-a-service platform developed in-house by Broadcast Partners of the Netherlands. In doing so, the platform responds to changing listener desires in terms of media consumption. SmartRadio offers 100% software-based solutions. This enables clients to launch a production environment relatively simply without expanding or setting up the physical hardware and engineering in-house. The goal is to innovate production environments where various capabilities are flexibly available as-a-service.
SmartRadio consists of several modules that can be changed monthly. The price here depends on the chosen functionality. The advantage of this is that it reduces operational costs and leaves more room for innovation or a more efficient way of working.
The SmartRadio environment for VRT was realized in very close collaboration with a VRT technology project team and resulted in a cloud-based environment within Microsoft Azure. This involves a 1 to 1 VPN connection to Brussels. For programmers and technicians, the existing Dalet environment remains unchanged but in the background, SmartRadio has been pitted against Dalet. Existing imports of new music and jingles, used for the main channels, will thus be maintained. The new services benefit from imports, mix points and now and next on-air information. In addition, Music Master’s existing scheduling software has also been integrated into SmartRadio. All scheduled playlists can be smoothly loaded into the platform as a result. Detailed reports such as broadcast reports are of course also available. Ease of use for the program makers is always paramount here!
Technically, SmartRadio consists of several microservices that can be set up on demand and according to the customer’s wishes. These services run in a virtualized Windows environment. For example, VRT uses Smart Database, Smart Playlist and the Smart Non Stop Player for its 4 online streams. The Smart Non Stop Player can be monitored via a very user-friendly web interface. In addition, all scheduled playlists and hours can be easily viewed. Mix points can be adjusted in the 4 channel Multitrack editor, without latency, if desired. Smartradio also provides capabilities for entering metadata through the interface and establishes connections through AoIP software.
To create a sound all its own, VRT chose Smart Processing. This new and innovative product, created through a unique collaboration between Broadcast Partners and Orban Labs, allows the station to make its own technical choices through the Smart Processing web interface. Orban provided software with its well-known unique algorithms. This software is similar to Orban’s hardware products and provides a very distinctive sound for VRT Radio’s online streams.
Lars De Vos (VRT project team):
“VRT finds in Broadcast Partners’ Smartradio a good complement to its existing file-based radio playout infrastructure. This cloud-based solution allows VRT Technology to quickly respond to the streaming needs of our radio networks.”
Edward Hotchkin – (SmartRadio Sales):
“Broadcast Partners is proud to be able to deliver its innovative SmartRadio services to VRT. The chosen custom solution creates a host of possibilities. VRT has set a number of very advanced preconditions that make it possible to expand the platform in a relatively simple way and that offers many user-friendly possibilities for program makers and engineers. Through the deployment of Smart Processing, virtualized cloud-based modulation processing has been put into use.”
For more information: www.smartradio.nl or contact person/mail