Yleisradio OY, the national Finnish Broadcasting Company, is the national public radio network that provides programs throughout the country. In order to ensure continuous broadcasting, even in the event of a disaster or IP network outage, YLE wishes to implement a disaster recovery plan. In the framework of this plan, YLE operatives have opted to use satellite broadcasting to provide all radio programs produced by YLE to all FM transmitter sites throughout Finland.
The implementation of this disaster recovery plan includes some technical challenges: real-time broadcasting through satellite connection should be operated through sturdy and reliable hardware. Namely, the system should establish reliable real-time transport over satellite of 8 stereo programs between YLE headquarters at Helsinki, and all the YLE FM transmitters sites in Finland. All this process needs to be done in less than 2 Mbits/s satellite bit rate, at high audio quality, and going through the EUTELSAT/SKYLOGIC satellite teleport in Italy. Additionally, the decoders will be scattered throughout transmitter sites in Finland, some operating without human technical supervision over long winter periods. Therefore they should feature a strong build and also operate under harsh conditions as weather in Finland can be rigorous.
To address these challenges and meet YLE’s requirements, Digigram IQOYA SERV/LINK multichannel IP audio gateway is the adequate fit. The selected IQOYA SERV/LINK model enables the encoding of 8 radio programs in high quality and low bitrate, and stream them once multiplexed in a single multi-program IP stream in unicast (point-to-point), via satellite to the teleport in Italy.
Two IQOYA SERV/LINK units run in 1+1 hot redundancy at YLE’s headquarters in Finland. They ensure continuous streaming of the multiprogram unicast stream to Italy, in case of a failure of one of the units.
At the teleport in Italy, the multiprogram IP audio stream coming from Finland is received via satellite and converted to multicast by a Digigram IQOYA IP transcoder. This multicast stream is then streamed from Italy to Finland via satellite.
At each FM transmitter site in Finland, a satellite receiver forwards the multiprogram IP stream to two redundant IQOYA SERV/LINK that decode the 8 stereo programs to their digital outputs. These eight digital signals are then processed and modulated by the FM exciters.
Additionally, the sturdy build of the IQOYA SERV/LINK hardware has been tested in the long haul and its proven robustness enables the storage of units in remote transmitter sites with little to no human supervision, even defying Finnish winters.
The solution implemented for YLE features meets the customers’ requirements as follows :
- space-saving at each site
- redundancy of the encoder and decoder at each FM transmitter site
- IP streaming in MPEG-TS (multi-program stream)
- support of FEC (Forward Error Correction) for recovery of packets lost during transport
- low bitrate and high audio quality
- real-time metrics of IP transport (lost packets, recovered packets, jitter, etc.) at each site
The robustness and reliability of IQOYA SERV/LINK enabled YLE to continue providing quality radio programs throughout the country even in the event of major network disruption.