Monday, May 04, 2009

Q107's Cure for Difficult Remotes

John Fielding from Corus Radio in Toronto recently wrote us to tell us about his experience with his Comrex ACCESS:

Hi Comrex folks….

Just wanted to share a great Comrex experience with you….

Q107, Toronto’s legendary classic rock radio station, is home to morning show personality John Derringer. In the last few years, we’ve done more on-location morning show broadcasts than any other radio station in Toronto! Q107 has pioneered morning show promotions such as “Derringer’s Tour of the Neighbourhood” and “Derringer’s Tour of the Workplace.” The Neighbourhood series brought the entire morning show crew to the homes of loyal Q107 listeners, sometimes in ‘remote’ locations. This always presented a technical challenge for someone like me, who’s responsibility it is to ensure the show gets on the air. Our standard practice was to rush-order dedicated Bell analog broadcast lines for each location. It was hit or miss. Luckily most worked out well. Sometimes, not so much. Not to mention the cost!

Q107 Morning Host John Derringer

Imagine the smile on my face when I saw a shiny new Comrex ACCESS sitting on my desk!

In Ontario, most residential homes have 2 choices when it comes to phone, TV and internet service; Bell or Rogers. Bell can provide traditional analog phone lines, satellite TV and DSL internet. Rogers on the other hand provides VoIP telephone service, digital cable TV and high-speed cable internet. For some reason, buying a home in certain new housing developments limits you to one or the other. The latter presents a challenge for certain radio remote ‘road warriors’ that rely on Bell copper to broadcast live from one of these homes. The morning crew was asked to bring the show to a beautiful home in Woodbridge, Ontario which would end up being a grand prize in the Princess Margaret Hospital Home Lottery for Cancer Research. The station always supports cancer research and was more than happy to bring the Derringer show on the road once again. I wasn’t so keen on the idea having heard that analog lines and ISDN would not be available in that area, but had to make this morning show remote happen. Comrex ACCESS to the rescue!

Nice house! Someone please pass us a brownie.

The house came equipped with digital cable and home phone so I politely asked if a high-speed data line could be installed. Sure enough, it was ready and waiting for my trusty ACCESS codec. I plugged it into a cable modem, chose my profile and it connected instantly. The Q107 brass said it was one of the best sounding morning show remotes we’ve ever done! Using BRIC-HQ1 (mono), Delay was very low making on-air conversations between the remote location and the studio a breeze. Loss rate was a reassuring 0% the entire time. As a backup, we connected a Matrix unit to the VoIP line but not once did we have to switch over to it. This event was our first ever full morning show remote using the ACCESS and it went extremely well.

I’ve attached an Mp3 clip from the show. Music was played back at the station, all the voices you’ll hear are live on location via ACCESS portable. Please keep in mind this is an Mp3 and compressed just a bit. CLICK HERE to hear the clip.

I have to say, I love my ACCESS and I don’t know how I got by without it before! Just knowing that I can take it out on the road, plug in my Kyocera 1x EV-DO PC card and connect right away is very reassuring. I’ve even tried it out on the Bell WiMax network and had very positive results.

In a separate email, John sent us this photo:

[Featured in this photo]("Alex at Kia") is another time we used the Comrex ACCESS in a tough situation at Kia Motors Canada. We connected with a Kyocera 1x EV-DO PCcard and it sounded great!

Q107 and Corus Radio are loving ACCESS!
Thanks Comrex!
John Fielding

Station Event and Remote Broadcast Coordinator

Corus Radio Toronto (Classic Rock Q107, 102.1 the Edge, AM640 Toronto Radio)

Direct, 416-646-8608

Mobile, 416-428-2458

1600-1 Dundas St. West, Toronto ON


M5G 1Z3