RadioBox Case Study
“The Groove” Radio, which was a popular triplet of three LPFM signals along the Space Coast of Florida.
It was selected as the Beta test site/Case Study for RadioBox because of its interesting coverage area and its commitment to serving its local communities with music and information.
“The Groove” operated a popular smooth jazz format that broadcast on three frequencies: 103.3 for Cocoa Beach (to the North), 93.1 for Melbourne & Beaches (in the central coast area), and 103.3 for Palm Bay (covering the South). The North to South distance of the combined coverage is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers).
“The Groove” represented an ideal test/model for the RadioBox Network Broadcast System because of the expansive geography covered.
Along the Space Coast, typically, weather patterns, for example, can be quite varied along this stretch of Florida’s coast – Palm Bay could be experiencing Thunderstorms while it remains clear and sunny in Cocoa Beach. Also, local marketing considerations play well into this region as well – a Cocoa Beach resident is likely to purchase “tires” near Cocoa Beach and most likely would not be responsive to a “tire” sale in Palm Bay.
The RadioBox Network Broadcast System diagram below shows the “custom” example developed for the “The Groove:”
The RadioBox Network Broadcast System is designed to take the general Smooth Jazz programming created by “The Groove”, at its central studio in Palm Bay Florida, and distributed a custom version of the program to each of its three Broadcast transmitters. In other words, RadioBox is able to deliver a custom program to each of “The Groove” transmitters – i.e., Cocoa Beach (via RadioBox #1), Melbourne (via RadioBox #2), and Cocoa Beach (via Radio Box #3) – through internet delivery.
In the “The Groove” case study example, the station could effectively deliver accurate weather statements for each broadcast point in its “network” – as well as customize various sponsor announcements for geographic appeal. For example, “The Groove”, which became famous for its 7-year series of Wednesday evening “Jazz on the Beach” events at a popular hotel in Melbourne Beach, was able to emphasize coverage on the Melbourne/Palm Bay frequencies, while reserving the Cocoa Beach frequency to promote the Thursday evening Jazz night at a local club in that area. In this way, RadioBox could create a “mini-network” within “The Groove” operation to allow the station to super serve its various constituencies along the Space Coast.
Whereas each RadioBox is fully functional self-contained “broadcast” unit, designed for maximum reliability in harsh climates, with extra redundancy and no moving parts (no hard-drives, for example, which can wear out) , it is also the most reliable and effective way to deliver signal to the point-of-broadcast – in this case, at each transmitter site – given the distances involved. And, since the internet is used only to upload/download data, reserving playout from the RadioBox itself, the broadcast points are unaffected by any of the typical mini-drops experienced along the internet trail. allowing RadioBox to deliver a solid-as-a-rock performance for playback. Further, since it sits at the actual transmitter site, it is also able to relay back, via internet, to the central operation, various parameters about its health and the health of its broadcast environment (temperature/security status/etc.).
During the Beta Test phase, “The Groove” provided a unique proving ground to assist the Dutch team of technical engineers in their hardware/software development of the RadioBox devices and network procedures in an actual day-to-day broadcast experience while giving the American team an opportunity to put the system effectively through all of its paces – and with excellent results!