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NAB Exhibitor Viewpoint: Charlie Gawley, Tieline

Shepherding the ISDN to IP transition

The spring NAB Show is approaching. Between now and then Radio World will conduct several short Q&As with manufacturers about their plans and offerings, to help you get the most out of the big annual trade show. Charlie Gawley is VP International Sales APAC/EMEA for Tieline.

Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Charlie Gawley: We have seen a significant increase in business as increasingly more and more networks are investing in our codecs for IP transmission with multiple layers of backup. One primarily being SmartStream Plus, it’s our secret sauce for stream diversity via packet replication.

Remotes have been another growth area due to the release of our new remote codec ViA with Fuse-IP bonding that we showcased last year. Since shipping in September we have had the problem every manufacturer wants, that is the challenge of keeping up with huge demand!

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?
Gawley: The outlook is very positive as increasingly more projects encompass transitioning from ISDN to IP. For a number of our customers, in particular in Europe, the transition began some 10 years ago with the holy grail back then being wireless broadcasts over 3GIP. One such example was Danish Radio in 2009, who embraced IP broadcasts while maintaining the ability to support ISDN.

Today the transition IP is accelerating as factors such as cost, convenience and telcos closing ISDN down can no longer be ignored. We are uniquely positioned as our product line provides both IP connectivity and support for ISDN, for those still nervous to cut the ISDN umbilical cord completely.

RW:You’ve been active in the codec market for a long time, what’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Gawley: It’s the fear of the unknown for many who are entering the world of IT, IP and broadcast together for the first time. The traditional radio engineer now has to learn many of the skills of an IT administrator in dealing with routers, switches, firewalls, passwords and the like. IT departments compound this by asking engineers to consider issues like security risks and often engineers hear their IT administrator say, “I don’t know this piece of equipment and don’t want to be responsible for it”; or they create issues like when they do an enterprise-wide firmware upgrade to switches that knocks your mission critical audio off the air.

RW: IP technology has been the darling for the last couple of years, is there anything new here?
Gawley: IP technology has been a darling for Tieline for more than 10 years as this has been our core technology for well over a decade. Tieline and a number of other codec manufacturers have been enabling broadcasters to transmit audio over IP outside of the studio for years. It is only in more recent years that the buzz has been more within the studio. We were ahead of the curve and embraced this with our technology partnership with Wheatstone’s WheatNet-IP over five years ago, a position in which we see studio-based IP increasingly dominating the market.

RW: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2017 NAB Show?
Gawley: The trend is towards interoperability and continued simplification of workflows, some call it virtualization.

RW: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth #N7425?
Gawley: Existing and prospective customers will see more smarts added to our products such as an automated program scheduler. We will also have something that we believe will be attractive to all, so best to come along and see us on booth N7425 in the North Hall.

RW: There’s been some considerable rearranging of booths over the last couple of years when it comes to radio industry companies… How has Tieline faired?
Gawley: We are a global organization and we have customers from all over the world. Given our pioneering spirit and innovative development achievements, we have a great following of new and old customers that will seek us out, whether this year we are in the North Hall or the Central Hall in future years. There is always a well-beaten track to our booth where you’ll find a team equipped with welcoming smiles and more than happy to listen to customers’ needs.

RW: You’re a show veteran, what’s your favorite thing about the show?
Gawley: Meeting customers from near and far and listening to their ideas. It’s crazy to think at times that we meet customers face-to-face for the first time after traveling half way across the globe to meet at NAB. That can be 21 hours in the air (9,654 miles) for some of us.

For more NAB Show-related news and features check out our NAB Show News page.