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. Henry Goodman is director of product development for Calrec Audio.
Radio World: How has business been for the company since last year’s NAB Show?
Henry Goodman: Since launching the Type R radio desk last year we have been very pleased with the positive response the console has received from potential customers and distributors alike. So much so we had many orders before its official ship date and our demo units have not had any time off.
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?
Goodman: As you would expect, IP is a prominent subject in the radio broadcast market. The implementation of IP workflows has had a quicker uptake in the radio market than in television, which led us to develop Type R specifically with a native IP backbone. It is an exciting time for us to re-emerge into the radio market as new projects are adopting IP technologies from the ground up, and existing stations are upgrading their facilities to incorporate them.
Radio World: Stepping away from your particular segment, what is your feeling for the overall health of the radio industry?
Goodman: The industry is very healthy at the moment due in part to the different ways listeners are consuming radio programming. With the advent of online stations complementing traditional radio models there has been an increasing requirement for solutions to not only be future proof, but also be able to mold to changing requirements. This is what motivated us to make Type R modular and expandable; to allow it to fulfill any requirement, large or small, and grow with the station’s changing needs.
Radio World: You’ve been active in the console market for 48 years. What’s the biggest problem or challenge facing users in this segment right now?
Goodman: The transition to IP is the biggest challenge. As with all technological shifts — mono to stereo, analog to digital etc. — the main concern isn’t what, but how; how to time it correctly to minimize disruption and maximize the return on incumbent equipment; and how to transition between systems smoothly as there will be a learning curve as well as a financial outlay. Calrec has helped many broadcasters make big transitions over the years, so we are in the right position to do the same in the radio market as it fully embraces the benefits provided by IP workflows.
Radio World: What new goodies will your company be showing? Why should attendees visit your booth?
Goodman: A focus for Calrec at the NAB Show this year (booth number C7408) will be virtualized solutions, which incorporates Calrec’s VP2 headless consoles and RP1 remote production product. Type R can also operate as a headless console as it can be configured and operated by Calrec Assist, a browser-based application. A headless Type R can save stations money and make equipment more accessible in price-sensitive environments, as well as saving space where real estate is at a premium.
Radio World: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 NAB Show?
Goodman: IP, IP, IP. It’s been the hot-topic for many years now but it only continues to gain momentum and is still an integral part of most conversations.
Radio World: Will you be attending any sessions or looking forward to any events?
Goodman: NAB is the busiest trade show we attend. We’re anticipating wall-to-wall meetings and product demonstrations as usual so unfortunately there won’t be the time to attend any sessions!
Radio World: You’re a show veteran, how has the show changed since your first visit?
Goodman: We started going to NAB when everything was analog! When broadcasters started migrating to digital infrastructures, we all had our own proprietary protocols. As technology continues to converge, today our industry has never been stronger. We now work with technology partners across audio, video, comms, transport, and others in a collective bid to solve problems for our customers. The manufacturing landscape is one of cooperation, and it’s a much more beneficial place to be!