GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio, has partnered with StreamGuys to automate server-side applications in the cloud for broadcasters moving live AM/FM audio over IP networks. The technical innovation translates GPIO contact closures into in-stream metadata, enabling server-side ad breaks, program recordings and other functionality without physical intervention.
StreamGuys, a leading provider of SaaS-based streaming and podcast solutions, will receive and interface server-side cloud services as program streams move between send and receive sites. GatesAir Intraplex IP Link codecs will provide the robust connectivity and audio transport between locations, with the added protection of stream redundancy and network resiliency from Intraplex Dynamic Stream Splicing software.
“We are not aware of other broadcast codecs that can translate physical GPIO triggers into streaming metadata,” said Eduardo Martinez, Director of Technology, StreamGuys. “This opens a variety of new revenue models and production workflows, such as customers that want to support ad triggers or automate content publishing. It establishes a path to enhance traditional STL and satellite-based workflows in the digital domain. These solutions also provide a simpler yet secure architecture for broadcast networks receiving live feeds direct from a sports team, a remote content producer, or an at-home broadcaster.”
IP Link users can flexibly configure up to eight GPIOs for triggered events within the codec’s firmware at the send location. Each built-in contact closure can be mapped with a unique, customized metadata string, and sent in-band with the encoded stream. The codec supports both Icecast and RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol) streaming formats with Dynamic Stream Splicing and works in conjunction with GatesAir’s cloud-based Intraplex Ascent server for added reliability. At the server side, StreamGuys receives the audio and translated metadata flow that identifies an ad break within the live feed, triggering midrolls as part of a dynamic ad insertion strategy. As metadata is used for digital signaling and switching, users can also trigger server-side program recordings and air checks.
Furthermore, a delimiter function supports sending multiple contact closures to more receive locations, including streaming servers that replicate live AM/FM streams online. According to Keyur Parikh, Vice President of Engineering for GatesAir, this provides a foundation for terrestrial broadcasters to launch a new simulcast streaming service, podcast or side channel when using StreamGuys’ cloud-based SGrecast platform for advanced content repurposing. A new auto-publishing feature within SGrecast’s Audio Logger can also reuse live ad triggers to dynamically monetize podcasts, without requiring post-production work.
“Intraplex customers now have the unique ability to take advantage of cloud-based revenue-enhancing services,” said Parikh. “Built-in transcoding and transmuxing capabilities will allow our customers to use the same encoding device to generate multiple streams of the same content with different encoding and stream formats.”
One example, according to GatesAir CEO Bruce D. Swail, would allow radio stations to support IP STL connections and web streaming from the same platform.
“Working with StreamGuys, GatesAir has co-developed a highly configurable and extensible, standards-based solution that brings traditional trigger-based services and events into the cloud,” said Swail. “Our customers can now take advantage of advanced, dynamic server-side ad insertion and recording without added latency, and with the secure and reliable transport of Icecast streaming or redundant Dynamic Stream Splicing software.”
GatesAir and StreamGuys webinar “Using Contact Closures to Improve Streaming Workflows,” a special webinar exploring their joint solution and its benefits for broadcasters is available on-demand at https://www.gatesair.com/media-center/webinars.
“GPIO contact closures are a radio industry standard for switching hardware and signaling workflows, while live-streaming media uses metadata for the same functionality,” said Kiriki Delany, President. StreamGuys. “These workflows have operated in parallel for too long. GatesAir and StreamGuys will change this by bridging the physical and digital domains with unified solutions for radio and streaming media.”