The Finnish Broadcast Corporation (YLE) is in the process of transforming its broadcast operations from legacy systems to a cloud-supported webfront.
The goal of the project is to renew the YLE radio infrastructure architecture for future needs, such as IP audio, browser-based user interfaces, flexible playout configurations, automated production workflows and flexible virtual environment. Jutel RadioMan has a central role to play in this transformation.
Jutel has supported the YLE transformation project from a client-based legacy system towards a browser-based cloud production environment since 2018, having previously implemented a multi-tier client-server radio production and playout environment.
The RadioMan environment at YLE consists of over 1700 workstations in four national Finnish-speaking channels and two national channels in Swedish; 18 Finnish-speaking regional stations in 26 locations and six Swedish-speaking regional channels in 10 locations. All servers are centralised in Helsinki. RadioMan is used as a media publishing tool that includes programme information, scheduling and content.
Simultaneous to national operations, Jutel also piloted and tested a thin studio concept for temporary studios and future regional operations.
The goal of the latest RadioMan project was to build a virtual browser-based radio production and playout system, where the audio playout and mixing is done in the cloud so that no specific hardware is needed as part of the studio and playout infrastructure. Virtualised playout and recording units use virtual audio interfaces. Web native technologies, including HTML5, Rest APIs, ActiveMQ messaging and WebRTC for audio streaming are utilised.
The first live radio broadcast production happened on 3 June 2019. Currently three national channels YleX, Yle X3M and YLE Puhe are using the new system. All YLE operations, including the regional studios, plan to utilise the RadioMan 6 platform later this year.
This will also allow other radio stations to streamline their broadcast operations across various locations enabling them to cut costs and simplify their radio broadcast workflow, automation and distribution.
The launch of RadioMan has allowed YLE to benefit from a streamlined web architecture that supports traditional studio implementations, touch-screen virtual studios with IP audio and the promise of Radio as a Service. The browser-based user interfaces also allow for easy updates, service type operations, flexible production and playout.