The dominant theme was the need for continued collaboration
104.1 Power FM, a brand-new radio station in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, is amongst the country’s first radio stations to adopt IP broadcast infrastructure using Lawo RƎLAY virtual radio software. Amongst the benefits of this standards-based AES67 IP infrastructure is that it gives operators efficient and flexible workflows and requires little traditional hardware — only a few components and a small UPS. This saves space and power by eliminating the need for a technical room.
The heart of the presenter interface is a large touchscreen that replaces traditional broadcast mixers. The complete radio broadcast studio solution needs only a standard PC, Lawo RƎLAY VRX virtual radio mixer software coupled with VSC virtual sound card drivers. The new Lawo RƎLAY installation enables remote-controlled radio production and broadcasts originating off-site. By leveraging the cost-efficiency of off-the-shelf COTS PCs, Ethernet switches and CAT-5 cabling, the new station is independent of specialized hardware — all the components are available locally. A smartphone is all that is needed to control the whole station remotely.
Compelling economic reasons
Ken Kayima, CEO of 104.1 Power FM, is enthusiastic about his station’s new technology. “Creating a radio station was never this easy before! And RƎLAY controls are so simple that presenters can focus solely on their programs and listeners,” says Kayima. “Expansion for inputs or streaming is just plug and play; we can connect smartphones as hybrids and integrate any radio playout system.”
Ralf Schimmel, Lawo’s senior sales director for Africa, Italy and the Balkans, notes, “The creativity that Lawo customers display in using our products to solve problems never fails to delight me! Ken and his team instantly grasped the possibilities that RƎLAY offers and the benefits of an IP-based virtual radio infrastructure. With these, they developed a custom workflow concept that makes Power FM really stand out among Kigali’s radio stations.”
Lawo’s distributor and technical specialist in Rwanda, Fred Martin Kiwalabye, says, “We are proud to partner with Ralf Schimmel and the Lawo team on this important project. Many stations in Rwanda recognize the compelling economic reasons for using these new Lawo technologies to move from cable-centered infrastructures to neat IP solutions.”
Kayima adds: “Virtualization is where the world is heading, and as broadcasters, we can’t be left behind.”