Planning for the 2023 NAB Show is ramping up, and Radio World is asking exhibitors about their plans and expectations. Rick Renner is the senior director of pro audio sales at Shure.
Radio World: What’s the most important technical change, trend or issue that is affecting radio broadcasters or your broader client base right now or that will be soon?
Rick Renner: Spectrum policy and regulation continue to be a key issue, and often a technical hurdle, for our customers working in broadcast production, especially if they are working in crowded RF situations. The wireless technology they rely on, including Shure wireless microphones and related equipment, are essential tools not just for broadcast, but also a wide range of sectors including theater, music, sports, worship, civic events, transportation infrastructure and education.
At Shure, we are working tirelessly to advocate for audio professionals across each of these industries, navigating new spectrum policy proposals and constantly innovating to introduce technology that can operate seamlessly in the world’s most challenging RF environments.
Our Senior Director of Spectrum and Regulatory Affairs, Prakash Moorut, is tasked with leading this advocacy, and works with regulators, lawmakers and industry associations to elevate the voices of our customers and create a regulatory roadmap that adheres to current and future policies.
RW: How would you characterize the audio equipment and service economy right now — how is business and what’s driving the trends?
Renner: All things considered, business is quite good, customers’ timelines are starting to be met and expectations have been managed. There are certainly still some areas of improvement, but the consensus seems to be that we are through the worst of the global pandemic and supply chain issues. We are seeing continued investment in live events, which obviously took a major hit in 2020, but have come back stronger and with huge demand.
In terms of broadcast, the hybrid model is the biggest benefactor to come out of 2020. The industry was ready for this workflow but had no timeframe or deadline to implement. As we all know, that changed basically overnight. With the adoption of remote workflows over the last few years, and the return to normalcy as of late, we are seeing many clients optimize a hybrid broadcast approach that takes advantage of both models and is becoming more and more cost-effective as time goes on.
RW: What impact, if any, is your company facing from the supply chain issues and cost increases we’ve been reading about for so long?
Renner: Like many others, Shure did face some challenges from the global supply chain issues. During this time, Shure made the distinct decision to invest in more engineering efforts, continue innovating and bringing new products to market while simultaneously executing efforts to redesign and fulfill the current products we had that were partially constrained. We have an optimistic outlook for 2023 and beyond — we’re full steam ahead looking into the future.
RW: What news will your company feature at the convention — any new products?
Renner: We are thrilled to showcase our newest addition to the Axient Digital Ecosystem, the AD600 Spectrum Manager. The AD600 replaces the previous AXT600 with a suite of new and upgraded features. We start off with a beautiful full-color 6.6-inch display that showcases the unit’s real-time wide-band spectrum analyzer, operating from 174MHz all the way up to 2GHz. This provides our end users with a true, real-time, wideband spectrum analyzer in a 1RU space that is easy to read and familiar to operate. We also updated the Frequency Coordination engine within the unit which has two modes, simple and advanced, that power a complete frequency coordination algorithm tool to coordinate all devices quickly and easily within your RF system.
We will also be showing the newest addition to our Plex line of lavaliers for the first time at NAB, the UniPlex UL4. This lavalier takes what you know and love about the TwinPlex cable design and replaces the dual diaphragm omni-directional capsule with a unidirectional, cardioid capsule. This is the third product in our Plex line, which now includes TwinPlex (dual diaphragm, omni,) DuraPlex (IP57 rated, omni) and UniPlex, (cardioid, unidirectional.)
RW: What are you hearing from your clients about whether people will come to the show this year — do you expect a bigger crowd?
Renner: Shure is very excited to be back in Las Vegas for NAB 2023. We can’t wait to see some familiar faces, and are always eager to meet new ones. We have many appointments booked with both new and returning clients, and fully expect to have meaningful and educational conversations about the broadcast industry as a whole, while continuing our efforts to support and partner with this great industry and organization.
RW: What else will you be watching for?
Renner: Competition is the birthplace of innovation, we love to see the industry grow and move forward as a whole, and can’t wait to see what others have in store for another great year at NAB.