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NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Hank Landsberg, Henry Engineering

As the NAB Show gets closer, we continue our 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. Hank Landsberg is the president of Henry Engineering.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Hank Landsberg: 2014 was decent, better than 2013. We’re seeing most dealers increase their stocking levels, which would indicate better confidence going forward.

RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2015 NAB Show?
Landsberg: Probably “IP” facility connectivity. Also LPFM is gaining interest. We’ve got products for both trends!

RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Landsberg: We’ll have two new products: the AES Digital D.A. and the D2A digital to analog converter products. For LPFM, we’ll continue to produce the SixMix USB console, ideal for LPFM and Internet radio studios.

RW: Henry Engineering is known as a specialist in widgets, interface/converter boxes and problem-solvers — how has the IP revolution, which as greatly changed so many broadcast equipment manufacturers, affected you? Or has it?
Landsberg: Yes, it’s affected us, with a decline in analog product sales, but an increase in digital product sales. We’re creating “digital versions” of the analog solutions we’ve had for many years. For example:

  • Analog Matchbox HD >> USB Matchbox and DigiMatch 2X6, and (new) D2A digital converter
  • Analog USDA 2X4 >> (new) Digital DA 2×4
  • Analog StereoSwitch >> AES Switch (new product, coming soon!)

They’re similar interface products, solving similar problems, but now in the digital world. But, FYI, our most popular product is still the analog Matchbox HD!

RW: The Internet has changed the way people do business. Some would say that it has rendered shows such as the NAB obsolete. Is this true?
Landsberg: Yes. For products and services that can be easily described via website information, there really is very little reason to go to the NAB show. This applies to much audio/broadcast gear, and is one reason why the radio engineering attendance at the NAB has dropped in recent years.

RW: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?
Landsberg: Maybe the Ham Radio reception — we’re a door prize sponsor.

RW: You’re a show veteran, what’s your favorite thing about the show?
Landsberg: Seeing friends, customers, putting faces to those emails and phone calls!

RW: Least favorite thing?
Landsberg: The costs of doing the show for radio equipment manufacturers are steep. I’m not sure everyone appreciates that it takes a lot of sales to pay for our attendance at the show.

RW: Do you have any suggestion that would make the show a better experience for exhibitors and/or attendees?
Landsberg: It would be very helpful if there was a way to shorten the length of the show to three days for radio exhibitors. Perhaps put the radio exhibitors in the former LVH hotel [now Westgate Las Vegas — editor], rather than in the LVCC, just like the RTDNA show. If that arrangement would reduce the cost of exhibiting, the NAB Show might regain some of the radio equipment exhibitors who have dropped out in the last few years.  

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