Jutel is one of the world’s most experienced suppliers of radio station automation and digital radio broadcast solutions worldwide. In an interesting departure from their usual field of
activities, the company has recently implemented the world’s first all audio-over-IP AES67/RAVENNA-based system into the newly refurbished Restaurant Nallikari in the Finnish city of Oulu.
Oulu is reputed as a major high-tech centre, particularly in IT and wellness technology. Restaurant Nallikari combines both. Benefiting from the most glorious setting right on Nallikari beach, Restaurant Nallikari is a flexible, modern and completely modular space offering high quality restaurant services as well as up to eight separate meeting/private event zones. There are also spa facilities for up to 60 people as well as an outdoor Jacuzzi on the private terrace.
The brief was to provide a high quality, flexible, multi-zoned AV system that could be easily configured to meet customer requirements. Jutel collaborated extensively with Genelec and ALC NetworX to develop the most appropriate solution. Within a couple of months after extensive R&D work, Genelec had come up with their first prototype AoIP-enabled loudspeaker, the RAVENNA/AES67 4020A compact, active loudspeaker. A total of 34 units were deployed throughout the venue. At the heart of the system is a Jutel HIPman Hierarchical IP Audio Management system which takes all of the source feeds (fifteen in total ranging from TV, radio, several HDMI audio and video feeds plus wireless microphones and a Jutel RadioMan playout system). Using ALC NetworX Virtual Soundcard technology, the audio is encoded into RAVENNA streams before being sent out to the network.
Jutel’s VP Customer Services & Solutions, Jarmo Manninen, explains: “Restaurant Nallikari is an unusual and extremely high quality venue that offers advanced technology and work space
solutions for meetings and private events for anything from 12 to up to 82 people, as well as being a restaurant. At maximum capacity, the venue can host up to 250 people. We therefore had to
make sure that the audio solution matched the high specification and high expectations.”
“The beauty of the solution that we have developed with Genelec and ALC NetworX is its total flexibility and extremely high quality due to incredibly low latency. Any audio source can be routed to any loudspeaker. Furthermore, guests can use their own devices – anything from a laptop, tablet or smartphone - and their own content to customise their meetings/events as they wish. Individual zone configuration and easy system control is managed via tablet-based user interfaces.”
Another benefit of an AoIP solution over traditional methods is the significant cost-and time-saving element. “Using a product such as our HIPman IP system management solution, we can use the LAN to replace the traditional (and expensive) loudspeaker/monitor cabling installation,” continued Manninen. “What’s more, any modifications are extremely quick and easy to implement as we can control every speaker individually via our management software platform – no need for costly and time-consuming re-cabling. We can even offer third party services such as music, ads, general announcements and translation services to name but a few.”
In conclusion, Manninen noted that this project has been an excellent test for developing flexible and reliable solutions based on RAVENNA/AES67 as well as on opportunity to collaborate with other RAVENNA partners to increase the range of RAVENNA-enabled network products available. “By integrating RAVENNA’s AES67-compatible audio-over-IP streaming technology, we are building on standardised, future-proof network interoperability for all markets, as this installation proves. We’re also very pleased that a new product has resulted from our collaboration with Genelec and ALC NetworX and are looking forward to announcing a “RAVENNA inside” version of our HIPman product very soon that will make RAVENNA implementations and network management even easier. AoIP solutions offer clear advantages for customers over traditional analog implementations in terms of significantly reduced cost of ownership yet massively increased flexibility and scalability. Currently the audio transport protocol that offers the most in terms of flexibility, scalability and standardized interoperability is RAVENNA.”