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BBC Radio 2 Celebrates Elvis Anniversary With Netmondi
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s first commercial single, BBC Radio 2 broadcast from Memphis, Tenn., on July 5.
The live remote from Sun Studio required a collaboration between TBI Media and Netmondi, which was charged with providing and managing connectivity between the BBC in Memphis and the London studio, using a Viprinet system and a Tieline IP codec, with a flyaway IP satellite dish as a backup.
Netmondi assisted BBC Radio 2 with two broadcasts honoring the debut of Elvis’ “That’s All Right, Mama” — four segments wrapped into the Dermot O'Leary show in the morning Memphis-time, and a two-hour continuous live broadcast in the afternoon. Each morning segment featured an interview and a live performance by a different artist, with a two-way link between the presenter at BBC London and the performer in Memphis.
The afternoon broadcast, titled “That’s All Right: 60 Years On,” included live interviews and musical performances in the studio, plus inserts of archive material. Live interviews were conducted by Sam Palladio, UK-born musician-actor of the TV series Nashville. Guest artists included Candi Staton, Lucie Silvas, and Brian Free and Assurance. The broadcast was also recorded and filmed for posterity.
Sun Studio is today much as it was sixty years ago; original sound tiles cover the ceiling and walls, the vintage recording equipment remains, including a 1/4-inch tape machine used to create the tape echo that contributed to Presley's sound and there is an original vinyl lathe that's still cutting records.
Netmondi used two Viprinet VPN 300 Routers connected via Node Stacking, and the company provided four connections for bonding and streaming optimization. The only modern piece of equipment was the Studer 900 mixing desk. Vintage techniques, vintage-style microphones and vintage microphone pre-amps, and placement of the microphones all contributed to the Sun Studio sound.
Router one was located in the Sun Studio control room, where the signal was strong. The router had three connections: AT&T LTE, Verizon LTE and studio-provided DSL. Router two and the satellite dish were located in the studio's parking lot. Router two had a single Verizon EVDO connection. Netmondi said they didn't use the T-Mobile connection because it wasn't providing sufficient bandwidth.
Using a Tieline Commander G3, Netmondi set the bit rate at 256kb with the MusicPLUS algorithm in stereo. The jitter buffer was set at 250 milliseconds in London. On the Memphis side, the company set the jitter buffer on auto, and it hovered between 40 and 60 milliseconds. Forward error correction was turned off in both directions.
The Viprinet Hub, owned by Wired Broadcast Ltd., was located in London. The broadcast data stream was replicated by the Viprinet routers across the four available networks; in London, the VPN Hub reassembled the data stream using the first version of each data packet to arrive across the four networks. The Viprinet system performed so well that the backup satellite link went unused; for the length of the four-hour connection there were no lost or late packets on the Tieline codec at BBC London.
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