This is one in a series of interviews with companies planning to exhibit at the 2021 NAB Show in October.
Gregory Mercier is director, product marketing and pre/post sales support for WorldCast Group.
Radio World: What will be your top news or theme?
Gregory Mercier: We are glad to share many exciting developments this year. Our strategy since the pandemic is to support our customers and the industry to adapt to this new environment.
KYBIO, our monitoring and control software, has been improved with the launch the V4. Available on-premises or as a SaaS option, KYBIO is now fully agnostic for all communication protocols used within the media industry. Users also benefit from Dynamic Diagram enhancements, which have moved beyond the previous site level representation to now also include views at the root, site and equipment level.
On the broadcasting side, SmartFM is our innovative technology for Ecreso FM transmitters; it enables broadcasters to reduce their consumption by up to 40%. SmartFM has seen a huge increase of users worldwide, including big national FM networks. This year, we launch the V2 to increase the potential savings and to better meet broadcaster’s requirements on the field.
Our monitoring range has improved with what is probably the most powerful Audemat FM Probe. Still on the Audemat range, we also provide a new RDS Server that gathers any data source and feeds RDS encoders to improve radio datacasting and revenues. This solution is compatible with the new and fully digital Audemat RDS Encoder.
The migration to IP and less hardware remains on our priority list, with two new APT technologies: APTmpX, a unique algorithm to transport MPX over IP with low quantity of data and huge signal transparency; and SynchroStream, the most accurate technology to transport synchronous Audio or MPX over IP. These two technologies are also compatible with our existing ScriptEasy for advanced monitoring and control, and SureStream for always-on redundancy.
RW: What is your FM-SFN Solution and what is different about it?
Mercier: With our range of advanced broadcast products, technologies and services, we centralize all the expertise needed for synchronous FM: Ecreso FM transmitters with digital modulator and perfect control of the signal, APT IP codecs for transparent and reliable transport over IP, and SynchroStream to synchronize the content over multiple transmitter sites.
The solution can also include Drive Tests during the deployment phase thanks to the Audemat FM MC5, and Kybio to monitor the entire broadcasting network operation 24/7. This level of integration from a single supplier and the highest synchronization accuracy available on the market are key for several broadcasters to increase their audience and revenues.
RW: How has the pandemic affected your business?
Mercier: Since last year, and like most companies, our first concern was to ensure the safety of our teams in Europe, Asia and the U.S. while having to reorganize our business operations to meet multiple, new challenges.
Thanks to the agility and determination of our teams, we managed to keep our workflow as seamless as possible, and remain available for our customers who, like us, are impacted by COVID-19.
Added to the pandemic we are also dealing with a global component crisis. However, with the help of our dealers and partners, we anticipate purchasing and production needs to keep delivering our customers worldwide.
We also saw an increase of WorldCast sales in the first half of 2021, both from new customers and existing ones. It is positive from a market point of view but we are especially grateful for all the renewed confidence.
RW: In what way will your company’s booth plans or customer interactions differ because of the pandemic?
Mercier: It’s quite difficult to anticipate how NAB will be this year, but we remain positive and ready to adapt ourselves to make it. As I speak in mid-August, we don’t know if the borders will be open to foreign nationals during NAB, which would of course affect the number of visitors and limit our team on the booth. In such a scenario, we would keep the opportunity to meet our customers, remotely for those who couldn’t attend, and in Vegas with our U.S. staff from WorldCast Systems and Connect. Of course, teams will be reinforced if conditions allow.