Haivision Brings Sports Radio to Life, Powering WFAN’s Carton & Roberts Simulcast on SNY
SNY, Home of All Things New York Sports
SNY, NY is an Emmy Award-winning, multiplatform regional sports network serving approximately seven million homes in the New York Metropolitan area and nine million homes across the country through its coverage of the New York Mets, Jets, and all things New York sports. As New York’s leader in local sports television coverage, SNY delivers the most comprehensive access to the Tri-State area’s professional and collegiate sports teams through nightly sports and entertainment programs from SNY’s state-of-the-art studio located high above the city 4 World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan. Owned by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, Charter Communications, and Comcast, SNY is available to viewers throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and northeastern Pennsylvania, and nationally through select providers.
I spoke to Alex Blanding, Vice President of Engineering and Technology for SNY to discover more about its use of Haivision solutions, in particular a new simulcast of a local sports radio show.
For the past two years, SNY has deployed Haivision solutions, including the Makito X series of low latency video encoders and decoders, the SRT Gateway, as well as Haivision Play 2000 set-top boxes for a variety of applications. Past projects have included transporting video from the New York Mets spring training facility in Florida back to the SNY studio for spring training games and broadcasts. Haivision technology has also been also used for coverage of the New York Jets from their facility in New Jersey via the public network using the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) IP video transport protocol, developed by Haivision. SNY also leverages the Haivision Play Pro mobile application to provide live feeds for its producers for confidence monitoring and in-home kits for its announcers.
According to Alex, “The Makito X4 series is very reliable and we love the small, lightweight form factor, they are really easy to transport.”
In the spring of 2021, SNY had an opportunity to partner with a local sports talk radio station, WFAN, on the very popular Carton & Roberts show which airs weekday afternoons. The two organizations joined forces to produce a simulcast (simultaneous broadcast) of the live radio show which is simultaneously aired on television.
The Challenge: Cost-Effective, Bandwidth Efficient, and Synchronized Video over IP
For the project to be a success, SNY needed to transport live audio and video feeds from multiple cameras from the radio station over a private network to the TV studio. The SNY requirements were simple; the solution had to have a multi-camera delivery system that was completely synchronous and the technology needed to be both cost-effective and bandwidth-efficient. In addition, because the equipment had to be located in a radio studio, noise was also a factor, so a video encoder that operated in near silence was a critical requirement.
Four remote IP-controlled robotic cameras located in the WFAN studio were used to generate four live contribution feeds that needed to be encoded and streamed over an IP network to the TV studio. Two return feeds also needed to go back to the radio station for confidence monitoring.
The Haivision solution includes a Makito X4 video encoder and decoder pair with the Stream Sync feature which enables users to achieve synchronized playout of multiple audio and video channels with single-frame accuracy. SNY is also using a Makito X H.264 video encoder for the return feeds, from the TV station back to the studio. In parallel, SNY is harnessing the industry-leading SRT protocol to securely transmit feeds over a private network at low latency, giving them the familiarity and reliability that the team is accustomed to with Haivision solutions.
The Haivision Difference
The show has been on-air, Monday through Friday, since late May of 2021 airing Monday through Friday from 2 pm until 7 pm and SNY simulcasts 4 pm until 6 pm every day. To date, the results have been flawless.
“By leveraging the Makito X4, HEVC, and SRT we’re able to achieve great efficiencies while maintaining high quality, even with four feeds. This really helps us reduce reliance on expensive bandwidth.”
“The solution is very cost-effective for our application and the support has been excellent. Encoding and decoding are what Haivision does best, and its technology is supported by an extremely knowledgeable sales and support network. As a customer, I can absolutely tell the difference from a sales, support, maintenance, and product update perspective.”
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