You could say that radio is going through the same thing we all are — getting thicker around the middle and, hopefully, a little smarter with age. There are more AM and FM stations on the dial, but there’s also far more to radio these days than just a tall stick.
We recently heard about a station in Colombia that broadcast Morse code to let a group of hostages know authorities were coming to free them, and about another station in Frankfurt that broadcast an entrance exam for a prestigious music academy there. Only those prospective students who could hear perfect pitch could make out the email address to enroll in the school.
Ingenious, huh? And, we haven’t even mentioned digital radio yet, which brings new radio opportunities such as map data and personalized mobile messaging.
We like where all this is going.
We can easily see how our WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network could do stuff we never designed it to do, or even dreamed it could do. Imagine an EAS signal comes in, and the system pauses the music for an emergency weather broadcast while triggering an RDS or HD data message targeted to a specific range of GPS coordinates that happens to track to your smartphone or smart house or, say, your smart coffee pot with a GPS chip in it.
We probably think about these things more than we should, because the above is not only possible today, it’s easily programmed into our WheatNet-IP system. We actually have a scripting program that just about anyone can use to write this kind of logic control into our WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network.
That’s right. You write your future – not your competitors, not some standards committee, not even Wheatstone. Because each component of the WheatNet-IP system is able to “see” and interact with other elements in the network, it’s a small matter to write conditional logic functions triggered by source, time, or event from anywhere and to anywhere with an internet connection. Right now, this is useful for things like wholesale station reformatting, switching between studios, and changing the settings on the audio processor when a certain mic turns on – all easily managed over a single CAT6 cable that is already in place for audio routing.
But, in the future, who knows what WheatNet-IP logic and scripting will bring? Whatever it is, we’re ready. That’s why we developed the ACI interface in cooperation with industry partners, so external equipment such as automation systems, processors, and schedulers can send control messages to our intelligent network, or receive status and control information from it as a result.
That’s why we put full-featured stereo mixers within the DSP of our BLADEs, so that the input and output buses of these mixers are essentially accessible anywhere for mixing, submixing, segues and fades.
And, that’s why we came up with an eight-processor BLADE for our WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network, so you can tap into multiband processing for eight separate streams, translators or HD channels direct from the network.
We like where this is going, and it all starts in the studio with an intelligent audio-over-IP system.