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IBC Exhibitor Viewpoint: Jay Tyler, Wheatstone

New IP control surface is the shape of things to come

As IBC2016 gets closer, Radio World offers a series of short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Jay Tyler is director of sales for Wheatstone.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since IBC2015?
Jay Tyler: It’s been great. We continue to grow and develop new products each year. This year is especially exciting because we’re introducing a new product that is to consoles what audio IP networking was to studio routing.

RW: What are you hearing from your customers about their business outlook this year? In what areas should we expect growth or the most interesting projects?
Tyler: Our customers keep looking to us and to AoIP to find ways to do more with less in order to keep up with the demand to produce more, both on the radio and the television side. We’re seeing more AoIP build-outs and add-ons in North America especially, but also in EU as it becomes apparent that broadcasters can do more with these facilities. Studios that were once dedicated to one show or newscast and sat unused for the better part of the day can now be repurposed and used throughout the day because of the use of AoIP technology, for example. There’s a lot of streamlining of functions and studios going on, and all of that is brought about because of IP audio technology.

RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend, generally speaking, at IBC2016?
Tyler: AES67, because television is getting behind this and they are making this happen in ways that radio couldn’t. Our WheatNet-IP audio network and IP control surfaces have been AES67-compatible since almost Day One, and now that this standard is being widely adopted, it makes it more practical for our customers to add onto what is already a fairly extensible studio environment with networking capability throughout.

RW: What new products will your company be showing?
Tyler: Glad you asked! We are excited about our new LXE console because it’s the first IP control surface we know of that is entirely customizable. We’re taking that concept of “any source to any fader” to a whole new level with this console by giving broadcasters an easy interface that lets them determine and program the functions for any switch or control knob on the surface. This is a fun board to work with because it has a touchscreen interface that’s as easy to navigate as your smartphone. And, what else is cool about this console is that you can split it into sections that can be placed elsewhere in the studio, and then networked together over AoIP. We’ll also be showing our Dimension Three IP audio console for television, which is our popular IP-networkable console that has a similar touchscreen interface and is a lot of fun to operate.

RW: How are these new products different from what’s available from your past products, and elsewhere on the market?
Tyler: We have been listening! When we first introduced our audio IP control surfaces, they were very “American” and did not suit all the different operating scenarios in different regions around the world. Now with AoIP and some of our advances in software, our customers can configure and layout our surfaces anyway they need to!

RW: What’s your favorite thing about the IBC show? Your least favorite?
Tyler: The people! It’s an amazing event that brings so many different people and technologies from all corners of the globe. I hate the tram lines.

RW: Do you have any suggestion that would make the show a better experience for exhibitors and/or attendees?
Tyler: Yes, arrive a day ahead of time. On Day One of the show, many of our customers or attendees just arrived the day before and they all have a hard time adjusting to the time zone. I suggest arriving a bit early so they can be ready to go at show time.