Foundation’s studios in hospitals use Access NX Rack codecs

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 that builds broadcast media centers, called Seacrest Studios, in children’s hospitals to support patients and their families in their healing by providing them uplifting content.

“We’ll have special guests come in for interviews, and we’ll have the kids themselves come on to play games,” said Cayce Long, senior communications specialist for the Seacrest Studio at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.

“It’s programming that tries to normalize the situation these kids are in. Our goal is to create a bright spot here in our hospital.”

The Seacrest Studio at Monroe Carell Jr. switched from an ISDN codec to an Access NX Rack in November 2022. Access NX Rack is an AoIP codec that works over a variety of IP networks to deliver audio between studio locations.

“Seacrest Foundation makes sure to equip our studios with high-quality products,” said Long, “so much so that when other broadcasters come in from local iHeart-affiliated stations, they’re jealous of our equipment.”

Since installing their new codec, the team has been able to expand its programming options.

“There are 11 other Seacrest Studios in children’s pediatric hospitals around the country,” Long said. “They each do their own programming for their patients, and we also work together and collaborate on certain shows. For instance, yesterday, we had a show where patients from our hospital played games live on-air with patients from another hospital.”

Long and the Seacrest Studio team also use their Access NX Rack to work with local radio stations in Nashville. “Last year, a team from 107.5 The River came to our studio and ran a two-day radiothon live from the hospital,” said Long. “We used to use an ISDN product that was much more difficult to use. But they were able to come into the studio and click a link, and they were live on the air immediately.”

The greatest challenge to broadcasting from the hospital has been rigorous network security. “There are a lot of networking hoops to jump through, for good reason,” said Long. “But we were able to call the Comrex support team and get all the answers we needed to make everything work. Once they helped us implement it, we haven’t had a single problem. Since installing the NX Rack, it’s opened a lot of doors for what we can provide to our patients and families.”

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Originally published in Radio World. View here.