Many radio stations in Latin America have only been concerned about the transmission part and are not attentive to the other area of the radio that is the quality and control of the content
TVyVideo + Radio
Especially in Latin America, radio is still the medium that has the most possibilities of reaching rural or remote areas to which other means do not arrive, for that reason, the importance of bidding processes of new stations that advance in Peru and Mexico. And although the radio is still in force, today it must adapt to the new realities imposed by technology and listeners.
TVyVideo + Radio spoke with Marcello Costa, a Brazilian engineer with about 30 years of experience in the radio technology market in Latin America and the challenges that the radio stations have to stay in force. Information, 21 of them dedicated to the automation of radio stations in Brazil and Latin America.
Marcello is the operations manager of Playlist Software Solutions, based in Brazil and a sub-subsidiary in Miami, exclusively dedicated to producing computer systems for radio stations, which, since 1995, has automated more than 2.500 stations throughout the Americas.
TVVR: What are the changes in technology for the production and transmission of AM and FM radio that you consider most important in the last 20 years?
Marcello Costa: I think it was the computer and the internet. The computer to add in the stations all the procedure of automation of the content and the most reliable control of the whole radio. The internet for bringing the broadcast of a radio for everyone and bringing the information in a democratic and fast way to all.
TVVR: What is the state of radio today in Latin America, from the technical?
Marcello Costa: Technically, the largest broadcasters are well advised on the whole technological concept, there are good engineers, they have the financial resources to buy good equipment and research on new technologies. But medium and small radios - wherever I go - are having difficulties in all sectors, as they do not have the financial resources to buy good equipment, hire good engineers and production and presentation professionals. This way you can not generate content that competes directly with the larger media. There are many equipment, computer systems and professionals with a more accessible cost, but I still believe that a considerable percentage of radios does not have access to these because they do not have sufficient income.
TVVR: From your experience, what are the main deficiencies that radio has in Latin America, from the technical?
Marcello Costa: Many broadcasters have only worried about the transmission part - I would only like the radio to be heard far away - and they are not attentive to the other area of the radio which is the quality of content to be transmitted and all control of this content . They do not have complete computer systems that make everything controlled productively and reliably; The sound of the radio is not passed through an audio processing, the studio has no acoustics, the microphones are bad. To summarize, they believe that to ensure more listeners have to tune the radio very far and not invest in the quality of programming.
TVVR: More and more demanding listeners with audio quality, do new systems privilege quality?
Marcello Costa: Yes, today there are many ways to have a good sound. There are very good audio processors in the market with affordable prices. Also, the computer systems industry has created a lot of software that does the same as the processing devices, without the need to buy a device, everything is done on a single computer. Guarantees a smaller cost and a larger number of stations has a good sound quality. But if there is no good content, there is no good communication, all part of a good audio is lost.
TVVR: How easy is it to make a remote AM and FM radio broadcast today?
Marcello Costa: We, the computer engineering professionals, are looking for new technologies that are cheaper for the stations. The work is being tireless, but very soon the stations will have how to transmit their programming with cheaper equipment and computer systems and app's low cost with the quality they deserve and with total control under the programming.
TVVR: How does AM and FM radio relate to the internet?
Marcello Costa: The internet did not arrive to take the place of the radio. The internet is more a resource than AM and FM should use to add benefits to your programming and broadcast. When television came, people of the last century said that radio was not going to exist anymore and the radio is so far in the air. The same goes for the internet, the radio has to add this resource to your day to day and not compete with it.
TVVR: Are there technologies that allow for easy radio transmissions, with an Ipad and a microphone, but is it sustainable to keep a constant broadcast? Can these technologies be used for AM and FM radio?
Marcello Costa: Any transmission has a dependence on the medium to which it is transmitted. In this decade we are experiencing a general transformation of the ways we communicate, everything is increasingly mobile, more accessible. That's why radio also has to change its ways of communicating with its listeners. All technology evolves and I believe that today it is as possible to make a transmission of content through mobile devices with the same security and confidence as using a radio frequency link.
TVVR: What is IP technology for radio?
Marcello Costa: It consists of more security for transmission, more dynamism and adaptability to future changes, a smaller operational cost and the main: sound without interference.
TVVR: How does the implementation of IP radio in Latin America progress?
Marcello Costa: Still very slow, like a turtle. Many broadcasters do not have enough resources to invest, because the equipment - in the first place - are expensive for the reality of the radios and others believe that it is not yet so safe, but I guarantee that they are wrong.
TVVR: In addition to IP and HD radio, what new technology is expected for the radio that can set a trend in the coming years?
Marcello Costa: I believe that the use of the internet as the main source for the transmission of programming and communication without borders, people can do and also listen to the radio wherever they are, anywhere, at any time.