What do I need for an Outside Broadcast?
An Outside Broadcast (OB) is quite similar to your set up at the station. Ideally, you want microphones to talk into, headphones to listen with, an audio mixer and a way to get your audio back to the station or transmission site.
The added complexity of an OB is that often you want to take your “live” feed from an event and intersperse it with your regular programming back at the station. This can cause headaches for some people but with the right gear OB’s can be painless and straight forward.
The equipment best suited for your station’s OB will depend on the types of events you want to attend. The bee’s knee’s of OB kits are compact and portable without losing functionality or quality.
How to get story from the event on air?
There are different transmission paths available to broadcast your event. Firstly choose if you are going to use Software or Hardware Codecs. Software options are cheap, but can be challenging to set up with no support and the quality can vary significantly. Hardware options are designed specifically for broadcast applications and provide a robust, reliable transmission whilst maintaining quality thanks to compressed algorithms. They are simple to operate and you also have the added support from your supplier. Broadcast Components recommends hardware codecs. Both of these options will require some form of data connection. You can choose between Phone line, Mobile data, ADSL/NBN or Wifi Microwave Link. But which option is best to use?
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service): Readily available almost everywhere! It is great for connecting to a station phone line for news gathering or remote interviewing. It is, however, compressed audio so only suitable for voice transmission.
ADSL/NBN: Preferred transmission path where available. Specific hardware can also allow redundancy by utilising failover to mobile data (4G). Port forwarding allows a better pathway for your data to get through to where it is needed. Therefore, you have high throughput and better reliability.
3G/4G/4GX/4G+: Provides almost complete national coverage. Multi-sim hardware allows for carrier flexibility or aggregation. It also acts as redundancy by utilising different providers. Using mobile data provides improved sound quality and low loss compression.
WiFi Microwave Link: Great if you have a fixed/permanent location with clear line of sight. Significant set up is required so this option is only recommended for permanent fixtures. By utilising private infrastructure WiFi Microwave links provide the highest throughput and reliability.
Sports and Event Solutions:
All in one kit:
Broadcast Components discovered a gap in technology, so designed and built a portable kit solution. The OB Kit is plug and play, allowing even those with no technical knowledge to go to an event and present with ease.
It comes as 2 carry cases. The first houses the mixer/audio codec with built in router, whilst the second case contains a wireless microphone kit and headsets.
Live Broadcasting has never been so easy. This solution allows for 4 Mic inputs and a line input for live events or sports commentary. A line output is available for PA, speakers etc. and duplex audio means you can receive audio from the radio station.
A wide range of options for connectivity, allowing for redundancy and flexibility depending on what’s available. This kit utilises WiFi, Ethernet WAN or 3G/4G/4G+ for data transfer and can switch between the 3 depending on which has the fastest connection. All hardware, configuration and training is provided by Broadcast Components.
Armed with the 2 kits you simply go to your event, open the cases on the table and plug into power. Insert your headphones and microphones into the intuitive faceplate and press the green “call” button. The unit is preconfigured to call back to the station. No messing around, just straight forward, simple broadcasting.
SportsCaster is an audio control system for managing the audio portion of a sporting event radio or video broadcast. Live broadcasting is achieved by auto-dialling to the Phoenix Mercury at the studio. It is highly configurable, including multi-location commentary and has multi-channel talkback. The Phoenix Mercury Codec, included in the package, provides reliable, high quality data to the studio.
This package is supplied with Sportspods and headsets as needed.
AEQ’s Talent is an ultra-compact portable IP Codec. This codec has been built for an individual and packed with plenty of features known to the AEQ Phoenix range. It allows 1 headphone and 1 microphone to be connected. With the ability to run live broadcasts via Bluetooth (call or softphone such as Skype, Zoom etc.) or Codec (Linked to a station codec). The Codec utilises SIP or RTP, both with OPUS. The advantage of pairing the Talent with a Codec is you can take a call or do an interview during a live broadcast. Record your broadcast via Bluetooth using a mobile application. You can control your Talent locally via the Talent App on your mobile or remotely using the Phoenix software. Most importantly it can be battery powered with an external micro USB power bank allowing complete portability.
The MX2100 by Solidyne fits neatly in the palm of your hand. It’s a small but mighty unit that utilizes a telephone hybrid for live broadcasts via bluetooth. Recording can be achieved by either connecting to bluetooth and using an app on your phone or by plugging a PC in to the USB port. Featuring 3 MIC and 3 headphone slots and an internal battery that runs for 12 hours continuous use.
The MX2100 allows a conversation to be put to air, but does not support the streaming of all your content from the event site. It’s main use would be as an interview tool – you can connect via Bluetooth to your mobile phone which could contact the studio via call or Skype to put your content to air.
If the portable options aren’t your jam, then why not set up a compact mixing console at your event (or if you have a van a full mixing console)?
The Solidyne Minimixer makes the perfect Podcasting, Outside Broadcast or Recording room mixer. It’s versatile nature means when it isn’t being used for OB’s it can be utilised for other purposes within the station.
The Minimixer is small but mighty, featuring 7 channels allowing for live broadcasting. 4 Mic inputs, line input and USB input/output, line output for PA or speakers and dual phone hybrids (one standard phone line or VoIP & one Bluetooth). Recording is possible of either the full broadcast or mic only, while also running to air. Local and remote control options. All hardware, configuration and training is provided by Broadcast Components.
The D612 by Solidyne features 8 channels with 5 faders, 4 Mic inputs, line input and USB input/output, line output for PA or speakers & dual phone hybrid (standard RJ11 and bluetooth).
Varible connection can be established by using an audio codec or adding the optional internal barix module (D612/AOIP) to the console. With localand remote control options, all hardware, configuration and training is provided through Broadcast Components.
It’s compact nature makes the D612 a perfect choice as a full mixing console that’s still portable enough for OB events.
Studio Hardware Codec Options:
Broadcast Components recommends a Phoenix Mercury or Phoenix Venus 3 back at the studio as the codec of choice. Whilst many of the field codecs can connect to an existing codec at the studio we would recommend purchasing a compatible codec we can support you with. Chat to us about whether you can reuse an existing codec, this will depend on individual circumstances (such as brand, age of the codec etc.).
Both units are full duplex which means there is a return feed from studio to the event. They have balanced XLR inputs and outputs and can be remotely controlled by the Phoenix control software which is provided for free. This means Broadcast Components are able to log in remotely and assist you with setting up the unit and any troubles you may have. It also means your technician can control the codecs without being on site, saving your station time and often money in the long run. They are intuitive and easy to install.