Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cape Town FM Has ACCESS at the "Heart" of it's Outside Broadcasts

We'd be lying if we didn't admit that we think we've got one of the coolest products on the planet in our ACCESS Portable codec. But we are obviously and admittedly biased. So, nothing makes us prouder of our efforts than unsolicited praise and adoration such as the note we recently received from our new best friends in South Africa:

Access works like a charm for Heart104.9FM on the move!

Cape Town's Heart 104.9FM recently became the first South African broadcaster to acquire a Comrex Access system. The result was a complete rejuvenation of our outside broadcast strategy that left our competition literally standing still.

The ability to deliver digital quality from any location with 3G coverage saw Heart 104.9FM successfully broadcast the breakfast show on the move in the traffic with our audience in our OB van. Other OB locations included a sailing yacht, the top of Table Mountain, and live presentation while walking the streets of the CBD [editor's note: that's "central business district"].

ISDN services have always disappointed, so we explored alternative options. Key concerns were reliability, user friendliness and genuine portability. An advert for the Comrex Access in Radio World International sparked my interest and we contacted the local agent, Tele-Media. In response to our doubts about local reliability of the 3G network, 3G Data cards and others; Tele-Media offered a trial-basis deal allowing us to return the system if we weren't blown away.

Their confidence was well founded. Setup was a breeze. The system manual is very detailed, and the Comrex support team is informed and helpful.

The COMREX ACCESS has opened new horizons, allowing the Heart 104.9FM sales team to sell creative remote broadcasting packages. Our clients are excited, creating innovative and entertaining programming from locations that suit our advertisers better than our rivals offerings.

User-friendly operation enables more presenters the opportunity to explore new technology without the assistance of qualified technicians. ACCESS can be configured via the touch-screen display or online using a web browser.

The heart of the Comrex access is called BRIC (Broadcast Reliable Internet Codec). BRIC technology has been engineered not only to be robust enough for the Internet, but usable in really challenging Internet environments like 802.11x Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, 3G cellular and satellite based Internet connections.

ACCESS comes with a series of profiles that are optimized for the majority of IP and POTS connections. Many users may never have the need to define their own profiles. But many advanced options are available to help with troublesome remotes, or remotes with special requirements. In this way, you can build a profile having these advanced options and assign them to one or all remotes you've defined.

Technician Babu Parker adjusts some ACCESS audio levels before sending it out in the CBD with Koketso Sachane.

Those of us who have been remote broadcasters have been wishing for a system like this for a long time, and our Programming and Sales teams are reaping the benefits as well.

Babu Parker
Sound and Broadcast Technician
Cape Town
South Africa

You can find out more about Heart 104.9 FM by visiting their website:

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