Comrex Corporation – Chris Crump

Enhancements to the functionality of our BRIC products, as well as a new telephone interface product line are designed specifically around the challenges associated with voice-over-IP.
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(click thumbnail)Q. You’ve put a great deal of emphasis on your BRIC Internet Codec products since launching the Access. Can radio engineers expect Internet audio to be as reliable and as high quality as the old ISDN experience?

A. On a wired IP network, yes. We are achieving an ISDN-like experience almost always. The 3G cellular networks (i.e. Sprint, AT&T) do not yet provide ISDN-like stability but generally provide an experience that is a huge leap forward for news and other applications requiring “on-the-go” capability. Many of our customers have contacted us to let us know how thrilled they are with the results.

Q. What’s new that Comrex will show at the NAB Show and what should radio broadcasters look for there?

A. Enhancements to the functionality of our BRIC products, as well as a new telephone interface product line are designed specifically around the challenges associated with voice-over-IP.

Q. What other products or services does your company offer for radio broadcasters?

A. In addition to our well known line of BRIC, ISDN and POTS codecs, we offer other solutions for a broadcaster’s telephone interfacing requirements such as our STAC Telephone Talk Show systems and digital telephone hybrids. Our MixMinus Bridge is a great tool for providing additional mix-minus channels for a bus limited console. We also have a wireless IFB/cue system largely used by television broadcasters.

Q. What are the most common concerns about the industry you hear from your radio clients these days?

A. “Creative and innovative content is the key to survival,” that’s a fairly common refrain. Broadcasters are also looking for ways to push the creative envelope yet cut down on expenses as well. We believe that we’ve responded and continue to respond with products that address these concerns.

Q. What’s the most exciting or unusual project you’ve been involved with lately?

A. Since we introduced ACCESS in 2006, there have been lots of cool and exciting broadcasts that we hear about on an almost daily basis that make us dance a jig! Recently, the presidental primaries have put our ACCESS Portable right in the middle of the action...literally. Darrell Ankarlo from KTAR in Phoenix broadcast live from inside an Iowa Caucus session. The BBC and XM Satellite Radio used ACCESS to cover the primaries live from New Hampshire. Airplanes, cruise ships, a Chinese street dragon, city buses, an REO Speedwagon concert live from the Chicago River...it just goes on and on. It’s all very exciting and heady stuff to know that we are a part of such great radio. We try to post as many of these stories as we can on our blog: http://remotes.comrex.com.

Q: Comrex is now an employee owned company, yes? How has that changed your corporate culture?

A. Comrex has been an employee-owned company for 10 years, meaning that all Comrex employees own a portion of the company. Since employeed-owned shares are valued based on the overall, long-term success of the company, we continue to enjoy the luxury of innovating exciting new products without worrying about producing quarterly dividends for outside investors. It also creates an environment where customer care is our top priority, rather than each quarter’s profit numbers.

Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?

Comrex Corporation is headquartered in Devens, Massachusetts, USA about 35 miles northwest of Boston. We love remotes, animals, fuel-efficient vehicles and all of our wonderful customers and dealers. We can be found on the Internet at www.comrex.com.

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