The down and dirty remote...

Brian Vita
Tue Feb 19 15:17:09 EST 2008

Good points.  As I mentioned in my original post, WMWM's annual operating
budget is less than I spend at a Starbucks on a typical year so the other
options are nice but out of the question.  Once we've paid our music
licensing fees, we pretty much broke. (sidenote - Donors gratefully

I've used this rig extensively for the past 5 weeks to do my weekly shows
from my office studio rather than the stations.  I cheat here because I have
two separate DSL lines coming into the office.  The office itself uses a
SDSL line from One Communications.  All of my "public" servers are on a
separate ADSL line from Verizon.  I've created a separate network backbone
here at the office and placed the studio computers (ie the "transmitter" and
the IceCast server) on that network on the Verizon line.  The latency
between the "transmitter" and IceCast server is virtually zilch. We get
about 10-20 seconds between here and Salem State.  The only time that I've
had dropouts was during the first week when I was controlling the computer
at WMWM remotely via "Go to my PC".  I use "Go to my PC" to stop the
automation and fire up Winamp.  The only thing that I can't override is if
the outgoing DJ doesn't pot up the automation computer.

As for latency, it appears that IceCast is essentially a FIFO (first in,
first out) system.  When we did the Beverly/Salem game, we connected to the
server 2 hours prior to game time and very little latency.  Those folks who
connected to "" and picked up the feed on their computer
got longer and longer times depending on how late they joined in.

We're looking towards eventually streaming the station using a commercial
vendor as the actual streamcast server.  I was looking at the Barix box for
the "STL" link to them.  Any experience with this?

Professional Cinema, Commercial and Residential AV

Brian Vita
President Cinema Service & Supply, Inc.
77 Walnut St - Ste 4
Peabody, MA 01960-5691
AIM: btvita tel: 
fax: 978-538-7575 

-----Original Message-----
From: Aaron Read [] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 3:02 PM
Subject: The down and dirty remote...

Hey Brian, what you've basically described is the "shoutcast remote".  It
works reasonably well for pretty much any two computers that have internet
access.  Dialup will suffice for a lower quality stream but DSL/cablemodem
work much better.

As you've mentioned, it's chief limitations are that it's one-way audio only
due to the delay (which is highly variable depending on what bitrate you're
using and your available bandwidth...delays of 60-90 seconds are not
uncommon), it's very susceptible to bandwidth interruptions, and it's a real
pain in the ass to set up and operate unless you know what you're doing.

It's also got a real problem in that it requires access across a
firewall...not always easy to do at a remote location...and requires a
Shoutcast/Icecast server set up somewhere, which means all the hassles
associated with security & maintenance for that.

This doesn't mean it can't be done, I have done remotes using systems like
this before and they work well enough.  And as you say, it's pretty cheap.
Personally I prefer something a bit more built for the purpose, like a Barix
Instreamer, but those aren't quite easy enough to set up that I'd be comfy
using them for one-shot remotes at various locations.

I'd also keep an eye on Skype...the quality is only a little better than
telephone at the moment...but I've heard rumors that CD-quality peer-to-peer
VoIP calls are just around the corner.

Here at WEOS, we use a Comrex ACCESS combo that was fiendishly unreliable
until we convinced campus IT to reserve a 128kbps channel for us; the kids
max out the campus pipe pretty much 24/7 these days.  The ACCESS can use
WiFi, wired ethernet, POTS, or a 3G Verizon Wireless EVDO
internet-over-cellphone to connect across the wild wild internet back to our
studios.  It's low delay enough to use for conversations, too.  It generally
works quite well....but it's also quite expensive (high four figures)!

The Telos Zephyr/IP has a clever concept where they have set up a series of
"relay servers" so that every Zephyr/IP connection is an outgoing one; you
never need a static IP and worries about firewalls diminish greatly.  Clever
stuff.  It's also quite pricey, though.

Last Friday at a Donna the Buffalo concert we produced and broadcast, some
guys from "The Herd" (their fans) brought a camcorder, mic rig, and laptop
with a 3G Verizon Wireless AIRcard wireless internet rig and webcast a video
of the live show.  Pretty slick stuff.  It helps that a Verizon tower was
literally behind the venue, but still, I was impressed.
Aaron Read
Fried Bagels Broadcast Consulting
Rochester, NY 14618 

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition. 
Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.20.8/1287 - Release Date: 2/19/2008
10:55 AM

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list