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Game Time for IMG College
Before getting started, Kelly Parker from Wheatstone came in to offer advice on network and studio flow. With his help and support from the fantastic staff at Wheatstone, we determined that the best approach was to divide our TOC into two halves - one side for inbound and the other for outbound, with essentially a hallway dividing the two halves into two distinct engineering rooms. Each side contains the appropriate equipment, whether it be Telos Zephyrs, Comrex STACs or PCs for encoding audio to partners' websites, auto-answer couplers for backups to affiliates, or satellite receivers to monitor our broadcasts.
Also included in that is our primary backhaul, which is provided by Clear Channel Satellite. We have a 6MB MPLS circuit point-to-point from Winston-Salem, NC, to Denver. We're using Worldcast Systems APT Equinox codecs to handle our audio and GPIO, with ISDN redundancy built-in - in case of a network failure or maintenance. We have 34 channels of audio from our headquarter studios to Denver. Also traveling down that line are UDP commands as redundancy to our contact closures and regional copy insertion to run our networks with the XDS platform.
There are two Core Hewlett-Packard 4800-48G switches that support each side. We also have backups racked, which are programmed and ready to go. It's just a matter of literally moving patch cables from the main to the backup switches, and we're live. Smaller HP ProCurve 2810-24G switchers then support two studios per switch, dividing the workload of each.
Our decision to go with Hewlett-Packard switchers has to do with our corporate leanings. All our desktops and laptops are HP, and the corporate network is run from HP switches. We had the built-in support for HP already, so it was logical to go that route instead of going with Cisco switchers, which most AoIP networks have been built around. Wheatstone support helped with our initial setup and made setting up our network very simple.
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