Leighton Broadcasting embraces software-defined audio over IP transport with GatesAir

Intraplex Ascent Gates Air system in a rack unit

GatesAir has announced that Leighton Broadcasting -a St. Cloud, Minnesota-based radio station group—has replaced hardware-based, point-to-point IP STL systems with its software-defined Intraplex Ascent Audio over IP transport platform. The project represents the first commercial implementation of Intraplex Ascent for software-based transport, as well as the industry’s first application of Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) for broadcast audio streams.

Intraplex Ascent architecture leverages common off-the-shelf servers at aggregate studio and transmitter sites, consolidating the transport of audio and program-associated data over IP for five radio stations serving the St. Cloud market (KCLD-FM, KCML-FM and KZPK-FM, plus two FM translator signals).

The SRT application, as a low-latency open source media streaming protocol, provides packet encryption and re-transmission capabilities, along with browser-based monitoring and control tools. Intraplex Ascent’s built-in Dynamic Stream Splicing (DSS) application further protects each station’s signal integrity by diversifying SRT data across redundant networks.

Intraplex Ascent configuration will support up to 16 distinct audio programs in one rack unit, providing room for additional Leighton Broadcasting stations moving forward.

“The scalable nature of the Ascent architecture gives us the flexibility to first simplify program transport for our St. Cloud stations, and gradually transition our entire group of stations across Minnesota and North Dakota as we see fit,” said Tony Abfalter, Director of Engineering for Leighton Broadcasting. “The ability to control and monitor Audio over IP transport for multiple stations at once from a centralized hub is one of Ascent’s greatest attributes. We also appreciate that we can configure the system to send signals to our main and auxiliary transmitter sites, as well as to boosters and/or translators, with the ability to re-route signals on short notice.”

“GatesAir has long taken an aggressive approach to migrating broadcasters to IP networks for program audio and data transport, consistently bringing new innovations to market that help our customers lower costs, streamline connectivity and add services,” added Keyur Parikh, Vice President and General Manager, Intraplex Product Group for GatesAir. “Intraplex Ascent amplifies these benefits by providing a quicker path to all three, without the need to buy new hardware as each new radio station is added.”

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