With 2 hospital locations, 12 primary care clinics, 6 rehabilitation centers and 9 specialty care sites, Children’s Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States.
Star Studio is the hospital’s in-house television studio with production spaces located on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. Star Studio programming is shown on Children’s own 24-hour television channel. In addition to pre-recorded programs, Star Studio also produces 12 unique live and interactive shows a week.
To increase production efficiency and to provide better audio quality for the studio’s interactive game show programs and recorded content, Ben Diger, Star Studio Broadcast Engineer at Children’s Minnesota, began using Dante-enabled equipment and the Dante Via software for the multi-channel routing of computer-based audio.
Dante is the de facto standard, multi-channel digital media networking technology from Audinate that uses standard IP infrastructure—not traditional analog cabling—to network audio devices, making interoperability easy and reliable.
By getting rid of analog cables, Dante eliminates noise, hum and channel limitations. Dante Via software allows any computer-based audio to easily be networked, including audio from software applications, built-in microphones and peripherals.
“With live and prerecorded content, audio is 80 percent of the experience, and if we have bad audio, no one’s going to watch,” said Diger. “Producing a show with high-quality, professional audio is a must for us. Dante allows us to do this.”
The Dante audio network platform allowed Diger and his team to pull in separate game show audio and music channels, as well as microphone and headphone channels, from a single computer, creating a virtual studio.
The team also uses Dante to tie together its intercom system over the network, instead of traditional XLR cabling.
Star Studio was using a digital/analog system to connect the two large studios—which are 12 miles (19km) apart—but the setup was very channel limiting, making changes was difficult, and there were noise and latency issues. Diger explained that the hospital campuses are connected over fiber. With two 32-channel mixers with Dante cards in place, Diger turned to Dante Domain Manager to link the two subnets.
With Dante Domain Manager, Star Studio’s audio is efficiently integrated into a single, manageable and secure audio over IP network that won’t disrupt or delay any of the hospital’s audio needs. Dante sends near-perfect audio from one mixer to the other across town, with far fewer cables and almost no delay.
The result is a high-quality, efficient digital audio integration that helps keep hospital programming engaging and entertaining.
“Dante Domain Manager perfectly streamlines our workflow by allowing us to access any of our audio sources and destinations from anywhere in our hospitals,” said Diger. “Whether it be on our Minneapolis campus or our St. Paul campus, we’re able to pull in our program feed or microphones to any of our studios.”
With the added benefits of network security, user authentication, audit capabilities and the ability to seamlessly expand Dante systems over any network infrastructure, Dante Domain Manager is an essential tool for Children’s Minnesota. Diger trusts Dante and Dante Domain Manager to also provide the high quality, near zero latency audio required of listeners.
“We need our content to be a high-quality, positive experience for the children,” said Diger. “Dante and Dante Domain Manager allows us to do this in a very efficient, effective and secure way. Dante audio networking is powerful, easy and transparent—it just works.”