Spanish broadcaster COPE deals with the COVID-19 contributing from home with ALIO 20-03-2020
COPE, ONE OF SPAINS LEADING BROADCASTING NETWORKS AND COMMUNCIATORS HAVE BEEN USING THE AUDIOCODEC PHOENIX ALIO FROM AEQ FOR SEVERAL YEARS. THE EQUIPMENT HAS BECOME CRITICAL TO UPHOLD THE PROGRAMMING AT THESE EXCEPTIONAL TIMES OF CORONAVIRUS
Prior to this serious situation, the COPE network has progressively been equipping its foreign correspondents, collaborators, colleagues, journalists and talents with the AEQ PHOENIX ALIO portable audiocodecs. COPE is the radio network that recently has grown most in numbers of active listeners and also counts on the most influential communicators in Spain. In total COPE has currently deployed nearly 200 units with its team.
The initial objective was that the correspondents could interact live with the programming, avoiding the unnecessary and difficult travel and locations. Further, it was intended to provide prominent Journalists and Talents with mobile connectivity from remote locations, so that they can participate actively on programs, co-work with other collaborators and presenters thus avoiding the traditional coldness of a chronicle or news contribution. Another reason, and in the same sense, was to minimize non-appearances in the live programming studios of people and occasional collaborators due to incompatible agendas, impossibilities to travel and other clashes of schedules.
Over the last few years, the operational aspects have been fine-tuned and with the requests and suggestions of COPE, the SW Tool for the ALIO in the ControlPhoenix application for the AEQ family of IP codecs has been optimized. A non-technical commentator connects the equipment, already preconfigured, to the Internet router in his home, and he no longer has to do anything else since the station starts and controls it. The buttons on the control panel of the equipment can be locked, leaving you only access to a button labelled “HELP” to call the remote operators’ attention, and who also have a software copy of the equipment controls.
There is a control application that can, from one or more workstations at the network headquarters, handle all the remote ALIO units and pair them with the stationary VENUS and STRATOS codecs in the central rack-room.
The quality of transmission over the IP network is similar to what can be achieved with the announcers present in the Studio.
If a journalist is located where she or he doesn’t have a cabled Internet connection, a 3G or 4G router can be used. This is a relatively small accessory with a SIM card that allows you to use the mobile phone network as an IP connection, thus being able to access the station with high quality audio.
At this critical time, COPE has had to request most of it’s staff to work from home. Among them the networks’ anchors or lead communicators for their main programming, such as Carlos Herrera or Ángel Expósito.
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The very popular presenters of COPE’s afternoon programme, Pilar Cisneros, Fernando del Haro and Beatriz Pérez Otín show us their home studios, set up in their living rooms: A laptop, a printer, a microphone, a redio-synched clock, an AEQ ALIO audiocodec, and an enormous desire to help listeners to spend these difficult days in the best possible way.
AEQ is proud to have had the opportunity to participate in ensuring that these magnificent professionals can safely entertain, inform and guide the public in this exceptional situation. We also want to express our appreciation to COPE for the guidance and help provided to optimize our audiocodec transmission systems.
For more information about the COPE Network, please visit https://www.cope.es/