The spring NAB Show is approaching. 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. Christophe Poulain is co-president of WorldCast Systems.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Christophe Poulain: 2018 was a successful year and our best ever year for our Ecreso FM transmitter line with many projects and tenders won worldwide. Our main achievement was with network operator, UpLink Network in Germany and the supply of around 800 FM transmitters including high power. Germany has the reputation of being a very demanding market when it comes to performance, quality, and reliability. We are obviously very proud. We are also very happy with the growth we have seen with our new company Connect, dedicated to network monitoring and management (NMS/OSS) software.
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?
Poulain: In general, business looks good and I see opportunities all over the world. Our sales team will stay busy traveling the world addressing as many projects as we can.
Radio World: Stepping away from your particular segment, what is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?
Poulain: The radio industry appears to be in good shape in my opinion. The podcast audience is increasing and the kitchen radio is back home with smart speakers. I see major radio broadcasters being very creative and innovative in dealing with those new technologies and opportunities.
Radio World: You’ve been active in the monitoring, transmission and codec markets for more than 30 years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Poulain: I think it must be very difficult for broadcast engineers, users of our products, to deal with all the different available technologies, from AoIP, RF, IT gear, audio processing, SNMP… that’s a lot to learn and deal with. Making our products easier to configure and operate is one of our priorities in addition to offering professional training.
Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Poulain: At our booth (N4124) we’ll be showing our SmartFM patented technology for Ecreso FM transmitters enabling users to save up to 40% on power consumption. It is an amazing and very innovative solution. We do not disclose a lot of technical details on our website and the show is really the opportunity to learn more about how it works. Even for engineers not using Ecreso transmitters, it is worth stopping by and learning more about SmartFM, a true revolution in FM. On the Ecreso side we will also be showing our new 3 kW compact FM transmitter.
Our new Audemat RDS Encoder is now shipping and has some unique features such as digital composite over AES to maintain the highest quality signal and compatibility with the pending RDS2 standard. Our U.S. customers will be able to easily replace their old FMB80 without pain as we kept most of the same commands for connectivity with automation software.
Also, our APT Mobile Surestreamer, which is a network mobile access point dedicated to remotes and compatible with all types of brands and types of codecs, including portable codecs from Tieline or Comrex. It is the perfect solution to keep low latency and zero packet loss.
And there’s the latest release of our KYBIO Media software (aka WorldCast Manager) which includes many significant software enhancements such as the temporal auto-correlation module, an improved root-cause analysis, a new default advanced control module for remote actions over connected equipment (using industry-standard protocols such as SNMP and others), and a complete remodel of the Audit Trail. This software platform stands out with its powerful modules yet very simple to deploy and use.
Radio World: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?
Poulain: Some of my colleagues from R&D will probably attend some sessions. Others will participate in a couple events organized by our U.S. dealers. No doubt, it will be busy.
Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?
Poulain: Indeed, my first NAB was in 2000. Apart from the fact that large groups no longer send big engineering teams, it has not changed much in my opinion and I am still very enthusiastic traveling to Vegas for this industry family event.