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Miklius: Let’s Protect the Future of Our Industry

GatesAir has created a service to support broadcast engineers in their RF work

Radio World is checking in with business and technology leaders about the state of the industry as radio prepares for the NAB Show this weekend.

Ray Miklius is vice president of technology at GatesAir.

Radio World: What is the most important technology issue or trend for radio engineers and facility managers in 2024? 

Ray Miklius: The traditional broadcast engineering model has been shifting for well over a decade. Most young engineers coming into the business possess a strong IT skillset, which is essential to modern broadcast operations. RF expertise is less common, and with the older generation of RF engineers cutting back or approaching retirement there is concern about finding skilled engineers to take care of the RF plant. 

This conversation has been percolating through the industry for more than a decade, but over the past year we are seeing that change unfold at a swifter pace. These changes have inspired us to develop GatesAir Care, an enhanced premium service offering that addresses an increasingly urgent industry need for preventative maintenance and problem resolution inside the RF plant.

RW: In what way(s) will AI-based tools change radio broadcasting workflows most substantially?

Miklius: The first wave of AI innovation in radio appears to be focused on the production and workflow side, with content generation and program scheduling solutions coming to market. We believe there is opportunity to develop AI applications outside of production, such has revenue maximization within traffic and billing operations.

At GatesAir, we see strong possibilities in how AI tools can enhance the monitoring and analysis of RF system performance. We believe that effective AI applications may be quicker to recognize patterns in the data that warn of an upcoming fault that takes the station off the air, or worse leads to an expensive failure.

RW: What news will your company feature at the convention — any new products or services? 

Miklius: We will provide the details of our three GatesAir Care packages at our booth. These are service level agreements that range from basic to premium. We also continue to build on our established Flexiva transmission and Intraplex networking brands. We have added a new 2 kW model to our Flexiva GX FM transmitter line, and our Intraplex IP Link 100n codec will debut in North America following its launch at IBC. The 100n is the third entry in the new generation of IP Link solutions, which includes the IP Link 100c half-codec and 100e module for Flexiva transmitters.

All three codecs feature integrated 10-bit audio processing, which is new to this generation. We are also preparing to announce new Intraplex software for these products that will provide broadcast networks and syndicators with targeted advertising capabilities on a geographical basis.

RW: Are there any other important technology trends that you’d like to comment on? 

Miklius: We are working with ATSC 3.0 technologists on potential alternatives to GPS that we think can make a difference for our customers. There is more futuristic and looking beyond the current trends which, when it comes down to it, are essentially all about AI. As noted above, expect more from GatesAir when it comes to bringing AI into the monitoring and analysis space.

RW: What else will you be watching for at the convention?

Miklius: NAB last year was a true return to form after a tepid return in 2022. We are interested to see how this year’s show compares. If we were to predict this year’s interest by those who have confirmed attendance to our customer event, the signs are very optimistic. NAB offers many great things, but the networking opportunities are among its most powerful benefits. We count on strong attendance from our partners and customers to make the most of it.

GatesAir NAB booth: W2730

[For More News on the NAB Show See Our NAB Show News Page]