VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster has recently started using SmartRadio.
VRT’s music station Studio Brussel’s `Stubru #ikluisterbelgisch is a new initiative facilitated by SmartRadio. The new online Pop-up stream has been created to enable listeners to discover and listen to new Belgian music. It is Studio Brussels’ way of supporting the Belgian music industry during these difficult Corona times. In addition to “StuBru #ikluisterbelgisch”, “90’s & ‘00s” by VRT’s youth station MNM, and two other VRT online radio streams have also been facilitated by SmartRadio.
SmartRadio is a cloud- and web-based radio-as-a-service platform developed in-house by Broadcast Partners from the Netherlands. The platform was built in response to the changing needs and wishes of listeners and media consumption. SmartRadio offers 100% software-based solutions. It enables clients to launch a production environment without the need to expand or set up extra hardware and/or engineering. SmartRadio aims to simplify the renewal of production environments. By doing so, far more as-a-service options can be offered improving flexibility and scalability.
SmartRadio consists of various modules that can be adjusted monthly. The price depends on the chosen functionality. The advantage of this is that it reduces operating costs and leaves more room for innovation or a more efficient workflow.
This SmartRadio environment is the result of close collaboration with a VRT project team which resulted in a cloud-based environment within Microsoft Azure. There is a 1 to 1 VPN connection with Brussels. For program makers and technicians, the existing Dalet environment remains unchanged with SmartRadio being integrated with it behind the scenes. With this, existing ways of importing new music and jingles which are used for the main channels will not be impacted. The new services will benefit from imports, mix-points and now/next on-air information. In addition to this, the existing Music Master scheduling software has also been integrated into SmartRadio. All scheduled playlists can be uploaded to the platform very smoothly. Detailed reports such as broadcast reports of course are also available. The ease of use for the program makers is always paramount!
In technical terms, SmartRadio consists of various microservices that can be set up on request and according to customer’s wishes. These services run in a virtualised Windows environment. VRT uses this for its 4 online streams including the Smart Database, Smart Playlist, and the Smart Non-Stop Player. The Smart Non-Stop Player can be monitored through a very user-friendly web interface. An overview of all playlists and hours can also be seen. If desired, mix points can be adjusted in the 4 channel Multitrack editor, without latency. SmartRadio also allows metadata entry via the interface and can establish connections by means of AoIP software.
In order to create its own unique sound, VRT opted for Smart Processing. This new and innovative product was created through a unique collaboration between Broadcast Partners and Orban Labs, enabling stations to make their own technical choices through the Smart Processing web interface. For this, Orban has supplied their software which uses their unique algorithms. This software is comparable to Orban’s hardware products and produces a very unique sound for the VRT theme channels.
Lars De Vos (VRT project team):
“VRT appreciates Broadcast Partners’ Smartradio as a valuable addition to the existing file-based, radio playout infrastructure. This cloud-based solution offers VRT the technological opportunity to quickly respond to the streaming needs of our radio networks.”
Edward Hotchkin (SmartRadio Sales):
“Broadcast Partners is very proud to have delivered innovative SmartRadio services to VRT. The chosen custom solution creates a variety of possibilities. VRT sets out a number of preconditions to make the expansion of their platform much easier. It has extremely user friendly options for platform expansion capabilities for both program makers and engineers. With the use of Smart Processing, virtualised cloud-based modulation can optimally be put to use.”
For more information, visit www.smartradio.nl or e-mail