All India Radio: Singing the IT Song

DQI Bureau
New Update


KM Paul, All India Radio

Today, AIR has 214 broad-casting centers in India serving 99.13% of the

population. This soaring growth over the years could not have been possible

without AIR's sustained effort to keep pace with the technology of the times.

AIR has its own software for booking artists, library management of archival

material, royalty payment and payroll. Other software include automated

processing of applications for frequency clearance, remote monitoring and

control of transmitters, online budgeting and expenditure monitoring system.

Currently, a server kept at the headquarters in Delhi connects to the network

using a leased line. AIR runs an extranet site called 'Airnet' for its

internal use, to which all stations and offices of AIR can log in to feed and

access information.


A LAN of 150 computers powers the internal infrastructure. News on phone is

currently available at five stations and will be rolled out in 11 more stations,

within a year. Radio on demand, available at the four metros, is the other

interactive service. Close to 100 AIR studios, around the country, have already

been digitized and in another two years the rest will follow suit.

A New Broadcasting House (NBH), has been built in Delhi, with a technology

investment of 30 crore. The NBH has 26 transmission studios and all NBH users

are being allocated proximity cards, which control access to the studios.

Recording, editing and transmission on the computer is done using the Radio

Automation System-Dalet. All Digital Audio Workstations in the NBH are

networked, with the servers in clustered arrangement and with an external

storage box in RAID5 configuration. About 4000 hours of stereo programs can be

stored with the flexibility of increasing this limit. Central switching takes

care of distribution of feeds from different sources to different destinations.




Own software for booking artists, royalty payment etc

- Airnet, an intranet, is used by all stations and offices to feed and access information

- Over 100 studios digitized

- Recording and editing done on radio automation system-Dalet

The General News Room (GNR) has provision for online automatic capture and

distribution of newswires of six agencies. Within 2 years all Regional News

Units (RNUs) are to be connected to the AIR news Headquarters for exchange of

news feeds.

Digitization is the latest buzzword in its corridors. For 2005, AIR promises

better technical quality, more coverage, better reception and low distortion.

There are plans to begin digital transmission on medium wave and short wave as

well as digital distribution of programs through satellite within two years. The

INSAT transponder is already being used for radio transmission.