What's involved in broadcasting an image over HD?


If the proper image is not displaying on your HD receiver, the following items should be considered:

The HD receiver must support The Artist Experience®

There are many audio-only HD receivers.  Only HD receivers that support The Artist Experience® will display images embedded in the broadcast.

Does the automation system provide "Next Up" data?

Automation systems that provide next up data allow the middleware to send "lookahead=true" queries to TagStation to fetch images for upcoming events.  Your HD equipment can then begin transmitting the image to receivers before the corresponding audio begins playing. 

If you are running a system that does not support “next up” capability, delivery of an audio event's associated image does not begin until the audio event starts playing.  Expect a delay between the start of the audio/text within the HD receiver, and the presence of the image.

Automation systems that provide Next Up data include, but are not limited to:

  • Wide Orbit
  • Audiovault
  • Enco DAD
  • Op-X
  • Scott Studio

What is the duration of the audio event?

If an audio event is too short, the associated image is not likely to arrive before the next audio event begins. Delivering the image in this scenario would create an image "traffic jam" that results in a disparity between the audio event and the visual displayed on the receiver.

TagStation functions in accordance with the iBiquity spec, and will not send images for audio events less than 27 seconds in length.

Was the event sent to TagStation and properly matched?

Verify that the song, spot or promo in question was sent to TagStation and appears on the Songs, Spots or NTR tab in the TagStation Admin.  For songs, verify that the correct album art shows when you hover over the magnifying glass icon next to the song.  For spots and promos, TagStation will deliver either your station logo or an image from your current schedule event, unless the spot or promo is tied to an active campaign.  

Tune In factors

Your playout system relies upon a piece of HD software developed by iBiquity called JMSAC or MSAC Client. JMSAC enables your middleware to insert album art received from TagStation into your HD stream. It also controls how often the image is rebroadcast, based on these factors:

  • The size of the image
  • The length of the song
  • The portion of the song’s duration for which an image can be rebroadcast (determined by the “Fraction of Song Duration Images Can Be Sent” setting in JMSAC)
  • The number of HD channels set in JMSAC (determined by the “Duty Cycle For Number Of Repeat Calculation” setting in JMSAC)
  • The bandwith available for the broadcasting of an image on the HD Importer (determined by the “Configuration Set” on the Importer)

With automation systems that support Next Up, the initial transmission of the image occurs before the song begins playing.  With automation systems that do not provide Next Up data, the initial image transmission coincides with the start of the song.

If the listener tunes in after the initial image transmission, they must wait until the next transmission of the image – and that re-transmission is executed by JMSAC, based on the factors above.

At a certain point in the song, however, JMSAC's queueing of the image for re-transmission ceases - because it sees the end of the current song is near and begins the look ahead process to queue up the image for the next song. A user tuning in at this point of the process will not see an image for the current song.


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