IBC2019 is almost here. 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. Jay Tyler is director of sales for Wheatstone.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s IBC Show?
Jay Tyler: One word: Up! Business is changing and we are seeing the last of the analog studios leap into the world of IP audio.
Radio World: 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?
Tyler: Customers are still saying budgets are tight but that they have to keep progressing technology-wise or they will be left behind. We see people installing modern infrastructures as a way to leverage technology, and they are reducing cost with these systems.
Radio World: Within the last year or so the two large station ownership groups have emerged from bankruptcy. Are you seeing any increase in equipment sales or interest? What is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?
Tyler: If you were an outside investor, you might think that radio is not where you’re going to make a quick buck. But for those of us in the industry, we are seeing an increase in spending due to the fact that many broadcasters held off upgrading their studios for years and kept some equipment longer than they should have.
Radio World: You’ve been active in the equipment manufacturing market for years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing manufacturers right now? Does the trade row between the United States and China greatly affect you?
Tyler: I think the biggest problem manufacturers are facing is obsolete parts. The manufacturers of the parts we use in audio equipment is changing too, so at Wheatstone we have a full-time person who deals with finding new parts to replace the old ones and making sure they work with our current designs. The whole electronics industry has felt the pain of “trade wars” but we have adjusted and moved on and business is getting back to normal.
Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Tyler: We are showing at IBC for the first time our Glass LXE, which is a multitouch virtual console that is a studio-ready standalone UI into the WheatNet-IP audio network. We are showing a new AoIP appliance called SwitchBlade that anyone replacing ISDN lines or looking to expand the studio beyond the usual four walls will be interested in. We are also showing for the first time this IBC the Strata 32, our new TV audio console that packs 64 channels and the latest IP audio innovations into a very compact frame. We’ll have the new X5 FM audio processor, which is really something and all I can say is you’ll just have to hear it for yourself. Finally, we’ll show our VoxPro 7.0 audio recorder/editor, which has a few new moves that we didn’t have last year. Wheatstone is in stand 8.C91.
Radio World: Going by the interest on our website, AoIP technology is on the top of the list for product acquisition and upgrades. Is that something you are seeing and if so, how are you addressing that?
Tyler: We have been full on AoIP for over 10 years and we just see it as a continuing area of interest for all broadcasters. I think broadcasters are getting a sense that if they’re not AoIP, they’ll be left behind because so much of what they will be able to do to keep up with changes going on around them will start with AoIP.
Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 IBC Show?
Tyler: More interoperability and control layers for AES67.
Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?
Tyler: We are seeing many more visitors from Africa, Middle East and North America than years past and people wanting to extend AoIP outside the facility to connect cities and sites around the world.