Sounds challenging: Glensound on 2021 trends and the challenge to find components extending into 2022

By Marc Wilson, managing director, Glensound

As an audio design and manufacturing company, the pandemic has not only affected the trends in the usage of products in broadcast, but also our core business operations as procurement has become the most significant challenge in just being able to provide finished products.

Off-tube commentary had largely been utilised for cost reasons in the past. With the advent of the pandemic we found that the occasional use of off-tube commentary had suddenly become a primary requirement. Demand for technical solutions adding additional functionality and more importantly remote control, rose sharply as sports returned without their fans onsite. The fans were at home, and so were the commentators.

Well established systems

It is clear that even post pandemic, the systems are now well established for commentary from home and will continue. Remote commentary is definitely a permanent fixture now, and we have seen this widely through the year.

Next year we expect that the continued increase in available bandwidths will start to make audio coding less relevant. It will also mean that multiple channels of bi-directional audio to remote locations will be the norm.

However, it is a constant battle to procure components, and 2021 has been very challenging in that respect. Glensound is an agile company and we design and manufacture product ourselves, so when we find ourselves with a component we can’t get, we have been able to redesign it with the components that we can get. This is a very expensive exercise, redesigning current products, and this year we have gone through this process with about 12 products, with inevitably more to follow in 2022. We hope that there are some brokers hoarding components that will eventually find their way back onto the market.

Up for the 2022 challenge

Next year looks to be even more challenging. We have strong stocks of the key components like the various Dante modules, and we hope we can continue to design around the issues that we encounter.

Unfortunately pricing will inevitably rise as even the components we can get have risen dramatically. A 45p component now costing £17 with a MOQ of 3000 is not unusual!

Roll on 2023!


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