A pioneering project for the world of French and European media outlets
Modernity comes knocking at the home of French radio
With seven national stations, 44 local radio channels and 15.5 million listeners per day, Radio France is the country’s largest public radio broadcaster and nothing short of a national institution. Its headquarters, the “Maison de la Radio et de la Musique” (literally, "the home of radio and music"), is an iconic circular building that has been a landmark of the Avenue Kennedy in Paris for almost six decades. Each of its stations is a familiar part of everyday life for French people – it's no surprise, then, that Radio France is constantly seeking out ways to help it stay on top.
“To uphold our public service commitments, our infrastructure needs to offer maximum availability, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explains Michel Ranson, Deputy Director for Technical Management & IT at Radio France.
With the aim of bolstering the quality of its audiovisual production and broadcasting tools, as well as the reliability and security of its infrastructure, Radio France opted to make the shift to modern technology: the all-IP solution from Cisco.
The conjoined expertise of two intersecting operators
“The goal of the project was to replace our remote infrastructure and audio/video feed with a single, unified infrastructure,” explains Etienne Roulette, Head of the IP-Media Project at Radio France. “We chose IP technology, as it has the benefit of allowing us to manage the feeds separately. All our studios are impacted by the deployment of the infrastructure: over fifty in total.”
Radio France selected Orange Business Services for its expertise in networks and data centers. The teams also worked hand in hand with BCE France, a broadcast and media specialist recognized for its technical prowess in the tailored integration of media ecosystems. “The success of this overhaul is largely due to the presence of a tight-knit team, always striving to find the right solutions,” concludes Etienne Roulette.
The Cisco all-IP solution is scalable, future-proof and built to last.
Michel Ranson, Deputy Director for Technical Management & IT at Radio France
The show must go on: deploying a new infrastructure while continuing to broadcast
“This project was innovative and broad in terms of the scope,” notes Etienne Roulette. However, the project also carried another significant challenge: deploying a new infrastructure while the existing one remains in use. The studios needed to continue broadcasting without any disruption to programming. With the deployment complete, each studio is now connected to a digital IP network that carries its camera and microphone feeds to the mixing desks.
Future-proofed media outlets
“The Cisco all-IP solution offers the advantages of being scalable, future-proof and built to last,” considers Michel Ranson. Radio France can now plan out future developments – studio upgrades, modernization of information systems or the implementation of new modes of production – safe in the knowledge that its base infrastructure is built to evolve.
One of the new uses France Radio has in its sights for future development is remote production. This involves recording sound and images in remote locations to be mixed by technicians back at the Radio France studios in Paris – just one of the many possibilities the broadcasting group is now free to explore.