Kigali’s Royal FM ushers in new era with east Africa’s first pure IP radio studio

In a move that underscores Rwanda’s commitment to technological innovation, 94.3 Royal FM has unveiled a cutting-edge broadcasting studio – the first pure IP radio facility in East Africa. This setup, integrating Lawo’s virtual radio solutions, sets a new benchmark for the region’s media landscape.

At the heart of Royal FM’s futuristic studio lies a Lawo virtual mixer, seamlessly orchestrating the various components. Eschewing traditional XLR cables, the station now relies on a Cisco switch to distribute video, audio (AES67), and control signals throughout the facility. This IP-based architecture not only enhances flexibility and efficiency but also reduces power consumption, cabling, and equipment requirements, according to the company.

“We are not just adopting the latest technology but redefining the future of broadcasting in Rwanda,” proclaimed Professor Simon Gicharu, Royal FM Group Chairman. “By integrating cutting-edge systems like Lawo, MultiCAM, AVT, Ravenna, and AES67, we challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what radio can be.”

One of the standout features is the Multicam video system, which automatically responds to microphone signals controlled by the audio mixer, delivering an immersive experience for listeners and viewers alike. The AVT IP telephone hybrid seamlessly manages incoming calls, while social media platforms like WhatsApp can be effortlessly integrated, transforming any gaming PC into a media source.

The studio’s design allows for remote control of the system and enables customized audio experiences for different shows, making cutting-edge production dreams a reality. “Our mission is to revolutionize radio by integrating advanced technology, ensuring seamless compatibility with new media, reducing costs, and delivering an exceptional experience to our audience,” the statement continued.

Jesse K. Maxella, CEO of Royal FM, remarked, “When we asked for a solution, they knew the right workflow to make a difference. With several inputs and just one switch, we are harnessing the power of innovation to create a more immersive and dynamic listening experience.”

Aesthetically, the studio boasts countersunk screens evoking an alien interface, underscoring its commitment to leading-edge innovation. “This transformation is about more than just technology; it’s about setting a new standard for excellence in broadcasting,” Maxella added.

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