DALLAS — TheBlaze (now part of Blaze Media) is a media network founded by Glenn Beck. For several years, I’ve served as senior vice president of studio operations. Essentially, my role encompasses the production back-end for all of Glenn Beck’s programming at TheBlaze television as well as the production side for TheBlaze radio network.
A few years ago I entered my 30th year in radio; Comrex has been with me the entire journey from single-line frequency extenders on POTS lines to IP codecs.
So since beginning to work at TheBlaze radio, Comrex Access and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs have been the lifeblood of the operation. For years, when we’ve had remote hosts, we set them up with a Comrex codec. We’ve found that Access IP codecs are reliable for remotes and for home studios.
In the Field
Comrex Access NX Portable is built perfectly for the field and built tough in the Comrex tradition. I’ve never had an experience where it hasn’t worked when I needed it. The ergonomics are carefully considered, and it’s built tough, which is perfect for remotes. Additionally, Access NX is user-friendly. I can preconfigure the unit at the studio. Once out, the unit is easy for a host to use to get on the air.
The secret sauce of the Comrex family of IP codecs is CrossLock, a network management tool that allows us to connect with multiple networks at once, and it intelligently monitors network strength and dynamically adjusts how much data is being placed on each network.
It means our connections are more reliable, and we don’t have to worry as much about using public internet or 4G service. Being able to just plug into the public internet without needing to get a private IP address is crucial to success.
When I have Comrex units in the field, I spend very little of my time addressing issues or concerns. When hosts call in with a problem, I can use the browser-based user interface to check connection settings and monitor stats remotely. Being able to see what’s happening with the connection makes it easy for me to diagnose problems and find solutions.
Further, tech support has always been really terrific. I’ve never had to sit on the phone for an hour, and I’ve never gotten a half-hearted answer to a technical question. The tech support team is well informed and often knows how to solve a problem immediately.
In the late ’80s, I was struggling to set up a new Comrex THX, I called Comrex late one night; and a nice guy named John answered the phone and walked me through what I should do to fix it.
The next day, when I told my boss, he said, “Wait, do you mean John Cheney? He owns the company!” The president of Comrex had taken my call and patiently answered all my questions, even though it was after hours. That culture continues with Comrex and it’s why I enjoy working with them and their products.
Since the days of John Cheney, Comrex has been putting out solid products. That continues today and through that I feel like they have earned trust of people like me.
For information, contact Chris Crump at Comrex in Massachusetts at 1-978-784-1775 or visit