Among the exhibitors bringing new products to the NAB Show in April is Tieline. It will introduce an MPX product family.
Doug Ferber is VP sales for the Americas; he told us about it in this Q&A, one in a series about the upcoming convention. Tieline will be in booth C3008.
Radio World: What’s the most important technical change, trend or issue affecting radio broadcasters?
Doug Ferber: It’s hard to narrow it down to one. We are seeing consolidation of the technical facility continue, and our high-density Gateway product is at the forefront of that wave. In addition to the condensing of equipment in the back room, some broadcasters are moving toward virtualized hardware.
The implementation of MPX equipment is also very much a thing now. Transferring the functionality of transmitter site-based equipment to the studio is growing at an increasing rate, another trend that Tieline is at the cutting edge of with our new MPX unit.
Improvement of built-in failover protection will always be trendy, as will ease of use. More and more users of our technology users do not have a formal engineering or IT background. We go to great lengths to make our products user-friendly, for the chief engineer all the way down to the morning show guest calling in to the studio for an interview.
RW: How would you characterize the equipment and service economy right now — how is business, and what’s driving the trends?
Ferber: If you are an old radio guy like me, you might remember the “Chicken Man” syndicated show. At the start of the show a woman screamed, “The sky is falling!”
From where I sit the sky is NOT falling. I read and watch the same news that you guys do. While there is a significant amount of “wait and see” out there, the economic signs indicate that recessionary fears are unfounded, inflation is receding and we’re hopeful that interest rates will stabilize.
I like to equate Tieline to a really slick sailing vessel … well-built, fast, and reliable … a winner. As the economic winds increase, our sails will be full and we’ll be operating at top speed, which means faster than the rest because we have the best product offerings in our competitive set.
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?
Ferber: Like most manufacturers, we have absorbed costs where we can, and there’s no doubt the market for electronic components is still very challenging. Lead times for many components stretch out for many months and in some cases years! However, Tieline adjusted to the “new normal” long ago and we have plenty of codecs on the shelf to fill any orders.
RW: What news will Tieline feature at the convention.
Ferber: We are excited to announce that a new MPX product range will be unveiled this year at NAB 2023 and released later this year.
The new MPX I and MPX II codecs deliver composite FM multiplex solutions for real-time network distribution of uncompressed FM-MPX or compressed MicroMPX (µMPX) signals to transmitter sites.
The MPX I is ideal for transmitting a composite STL signal from a single station with return monitoring, whereas the Tieline MPX II can transport two discrete composite FM-MPX signals from the studio to transmitters with return monitoring.
Both units support analog MPX on BNC, MPX over AES192, and multipoint signal distribution, to deliver a range of flexible composite encoder and decoder solutions for various applications.
An optional satellite tuner card with MPEG-TS and MPE support can receive DVB-S or DVB-S2 signals. I encourage everyone to visit us at booth C3008 to see these new MPX units on display for the first time.
RW: What are you hearing from clients about how many people will come to the show?
Ferber: Last year we didn’t know what to expect. We were slammed despite the lack of attendance by international customers. Our sources tell us that the attendance at the CES show was back to pre-pandemic levels, and we are expecting attendance at this year’s NAB show to be robust.
RW: What else will you be watching for?
Ferber: Most interesting to us are new content delivery technologies and how CDNs and ISPs have made many advancements in broadcast media. We are also anxious to find out more about how virtualization will be used to reduce footprints within rack rooms. More because of curiosity than anything else, it will be interesting to see how AI-based systems like ChatGPT and MidJourney will impact broadcasting and all things A/V.