RDS and field measurement are your most familiar niches for U.S. users. Now transmitter remote control is a focus as well?
We arrived in the U.S. 3-1/2 years ago. RDS was a very productive market for us; when we arrived Entercom and Clear Channel decided to implement RDS. It was a big boost. Then we designed a product based on specifications from Clear Channel with the GoldenEagle HD; we’re quite successful with that so far. So now the next step for the U.S. market is transmitter remote control.
We’ve been designing and shipping several products, mainly in Europe. The markets are different, their needs are different. We had to analyze the market first in the U.S, get comments from customers; we’ve made some modifications to our products and now we’re ready to push those here.
Our offerings are the IP2choice and the Remote Control Silver.
You’ve signed a contract with Clear Channel.
It’s for delivery of 400 licenses of IP2choice V2 software/firmware. The package will operate in hardware manufactured by Sealevel Systems to specifications from Clear Channel. Sealevel manufactures hardware units with I/O boards for telemetry.
Clear Channel also decided to work with us because of our Broadcast Manager software. We’ve been selling this for several years in Europe; it can manage not only transmitter remote control but also RF monitoring equipment. Broadcasters are going toward centralized monitoring. This will centralize alarms, readings, configurations from HD RF and mod monitors and transmitter remote controls. This is very new in the U.S. but we can see it in Europe at a lot of networks.
Most of the time when we talk about RF monitoring or remote control, it’s equipment you install at the transmitter site or studio; but now we’re talking about the possibility of sending the information and alarms to a central location, where we’ll install the Broadcast Manager. That means having statistics from the different sites; the GM or vice president would be able to access it too.
The Broadcast Manager manages both the HD monitoring equipment and the IP2choice transmitter remote controls. Because of the HD rollout, a lot of broadcasters have installed TCP/IP capability at the transmitter site; so it’s easier now to provide such tools.
The Broadcast Manager is installed at Clear Channel in Tulsa. If I’m the chief engineer in Tampa, based on my password and login I can access only my information. If I’m the regional VP engineering I have a different password. This is helpful in weather situations such as Mississippi, where last year Clear Channel wanted a tool to check quickly which stations are on the air.
What other business initiatives is the company taking?
We’re moving forward in the television market. In Europe we manufacture and sell metering and monitoring units for DVB-T and DVB-H, for digital television and mobile applications. Also we purchased a French company, Ecreso, the only manufacturer of FM transmitters in France. The idea here is not to sell FM transmitters in the US — this market is already very competitive and we don’t have an HD transmitter — but it was an opportunity to get more engineers with RF skills. We now design and manufucture DVB-T and DVB-H low-power transmitters.
1021 Ives Dairy Road
Miami, FL 33179