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Inovonics Explores ‘Broadband’

Lukas Hurwitz chats about the manufacturer’s plans for the spring show

Lukas Hurwitz Lukas Hurwitz is sales and marketing manager of Inovonics Inc. RW spoke to him about the company’s plans for the upcoming NAB Show.

Inovonics is getting into a bit of a different sector with your Model 610 Internet Radio Monitor. Why is it notable?
Hurwitz: The NAB, Radio World and other publications talk increasingly of “convergence,” and the evolution of radio and television delivery. We feel that over-the-air radio (and TV) will always have a place, but that audio delivery in particular, will become more and more dependent on “broadband” (the Internet) to reach future generations of more demanding and discriminating listeners.
As this changes broadcasters will need new dedicated tools to ensure confidence, quality and reliability, hence the 610 Internet Radio Monitor.

More traditionally, you offer broadcast monitoring products. What’s the most notable trend in that sector right now?
Hurwitz: Since “radio engineering” has become less and less a traditional presence in any facility, the ability to manage the technical aspects of station operation from a central location, and by a smaller technical staff, is the new goal of bottom-line-oriented owners and managers. Plus engineers don’t want to look at meters all day! They want a text message or email delivered to their smartphone when something isn’t right. Remote IP connectivity and automated diagnostics are the direction we’re headed.

What’s the biggest question about the industry’s outlook that you hope to answer for yourself as you walk around the show?
Hurwitz: “What will the role of the radio engineer be in five or 10 years?” Just as cleaning the heads in cart machines and replacing worn out tonearms is something the engineer no longer deals with, just what will that engineer be doing, and what talents will be expected, in the years to come?

What adjective would you use to describe business outlook for you and your radio customers in 2013?
Hurwitz: “Hopeful.”

Q: Who owns your company?
Hurwitz: Inovonics is owned by Jim Wood (also our founder), a fine, upstanding gentleman with a long history in radio and communications. We are based in the idyllic, mountain village of Felton, Calif., right outside of Santa Cruz, and are home to about a dozen employees.

Anything else NAB Show attendees should know about technology trends that affect them?
Hurwitz: That’s a tricky question, but engineers and managers, alike, shouldn’t lose sight of the most important aspect of radio (and TV), which is quality content. Don’t let the flash and glitz of new tech eclipse the need to effectively meet and deliver what listeners and advertisers want.