Entertainment and travel experience provider DNR Events offers a platform for dynamic expression that engages, entertains and informs. The cornerstone of this endeavor is DNR 2.0, a live streaming digital channel and audio archive featuring “Derek and Romaine,” a two-hour daily broadcast hosted by former satellite radio duo Derek Hartley and Romaine Patterson. DNR chose the cloud-based SGrecast live stream repurposing platform from StreamGuys and Exstreamer 500 encoder from Barix to power their digital offerings.
When their show’s run on satellite radio ended after more than 12 years, the duo wanted to continue reaching their established following of commuters and truckers that depended on them for entertainment every day.
“We needed to find a way to keep doing our show, our way,” said Hartley. “We explored doing a podcast, but after so many years in the dynamic world of live radio, it didn’t feel like a fit for us. Our audience expects to hear us every day on their way to or from work, and the off-the-cuff nature of our show and the ability to take live phone calls are really important to us. We met with lots of great people who are creating terrific content in the world of podcasts, but none of them had the technology or business structure to help us deliver the kind of show we wanted to do, so we kept looking.”
DNR’s research led them to StreamGuys’ content delivery and podcasting network and the SGrecast recording and repurposing platform. “StreamGuys’ technology fit the bill perfectly,” explained Hartley. “It lets us recreate the experience of our previous show as much as possible while giving us the flexibility to rebroadcast our shows 24/7 and do additional programming like standard podcasts.”
DNR depended heavily on StreamGuys’ customer service to help them transition to the online realm. “Romaine had a recording engineering background, which was essential in building a world-class studio to broadcast from, but every aspect of streaming technology was brand new to us,” Hartley recalled. “StreamGuys was perfect for us – their solution was turnkey enough that we were able to make it work for us really effectively, and StreamGuys’ staff walked us through every step. We know we aren’t their biggest client, but from day one, they have always made us feel like our business is important to them.”
DNR 2.0 first went live using Rogue Amoeba’s Nicecast software to encode their audio stream, but with development support for Nicecast ending earlier this year and its eight-year-old underlying MacBook nearing the end of its lifespan, Patterson decided to switch to a dedicated encoding device. StreamGuys recommended the Barix Exstreamer series, and the results have exceeded her expectations.
“I absolutely love the Exstreamer,” said Patterson. “With Nicecast, I had to start and stop each broadcast, which left room for error. With Barix, I don’t even have to think about it – it’s always ready and waiting, which is particularly helpful now that we’re running multiple shows out of our studio. The web interface also makes life way easier for me, as I can jump in and see how the system is running from anywhere.”
The resulting workflow quickly and efficiently turns DNR’s live broadcasts into podcasts while enabling “Derek and Romaine” to be heard 24/7. The show is streamed as a live broadcast each weekday, with the Exstreamer sending the live studio audio to the StreamGuys network. SGrecast records the streams, and as soon as the show is over, rebroadcasts the recording in a loop until the next day’s live broadcast. Recordings are also posted in DNR’s online archive and podcast feeds.
“We love the immediacy that SGrecast gives us,” praised Patterson. “On satellite, our show was limited to our broadcast time slot and when it ended, another show would play. For our listeners who wanted to hear the show after our time slot ended, it took a while for the recording to become available within their app. Now, the second the show is over, it’s immediately available to listeners anytime, anywhere through streaming on a dedicated channel and more quickly as a download than was possible before.”
As a recording engineer, Romaine also appreciates the quality of the sound enabled by StreamGuys and Barix. “We often get listener feedback that the sound quality we provide now is as good or better than when we were on satellite radio. That’s super-important to us, and is a huge compliment to how we’ve built our company and the solutions we use.”