Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells has three studios, two of which are identically equipped and operate in exactly the same way. Studio 1 is where all our programmes come from. Studio 2 is where we prepare shows, record sport and news bulletins and, occasionally, broadcast shows from. It is the largest studio and can accommodate more people should the need arise. Studio 3 is purely for production and isn't designed to go on air.
In each on-air studio, there is a computer, two compact disc (CD) players, two mini disc (MD) players, one record deck and three microphones. These are all connected together using an Sonifex mixing desk, which allows the presenter to be in complete control of the equipment. The output of the mixing desk is what the patients hear at their bedside.
The computer in each studio is the main source of our music. It has over 3000 songs loaded onto it as well as all our jingles, competitions and community announcements. The software used on the computer is called Myriad and it allows our presenters to call up a song or a jingle at the touch of a button. It can even take control when there is nobody sitting in front of it. This means we can stay on the air twenty four hours a day 7 days a week.
The CD and record players are used to play requests and specialist music, not on the computer, from our extensive record library which covers a wide range of music. The mini disc players are used for playing the presenters jingles and features. Both studios have the facility to allow guests to speak on air. Hence we have three microphones rather than just one for the presenter.
The Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells output is fed to the two hospitals (The Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury and the Tonbridge Cottage Hospital) via cables. Due to the distance between our premises and the hospitals, we use the nearby British Telecom (BT) telephone exchange to send the signal via a network of underground cables.
We hope that this has given you an insight on how our programmes reach the bedside. If youd like to listen to Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells whilst you're in one of the hospitals, just switch to our channel on the bedside entertainment system.