IBC2013 Profile: Henry Goodman, head of sales and marketing, Calrec
Calrec has seen some notable sales into the OB community over the last 12 months. How would you determine your overall progress in this sector?
Outside-broadcast trucks are a large part of our target demographic. As a company that manufactures desks tailored for live-to-air broadcast, OB trucks have been one of our influences when designing subsequent console platforms. As trucks have very limited real estate, it is essential to offer as much power as possible in the smallest of spaces — which is one of the reasons our consoles have a higher fader density and channel count in their footprint than equivalent models by our competitors. SVG’s 2012 Gearbase survey cites that Calrec have 67% of the total U.S. HD OB marketplace, and we are also dominant in the UK. Further to this, we have seen sales over the past 12 months into Canada, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Brazil.
In what ways are OB providers’ expectations of audio consoles changing, and what implications does this have for Calrec’s R&D?
Since the advent of 5.1 [surround sound], our outside-broadcast customers have required significant increases in channels, which we responded to with the highly compact Bluefin2 platform. Sharing and moving audio sources are also a major requirement, and Calrec can do this via the Hydra2 network or via a MADI solution. More recently, OB providers have been considering interoperability and how the equipment interfaces with other equipment in the workstream. Using protocols such as SW-P-08, EMBER, and our Calrec Serial Control Protocol (CSCP), Calrec consoles can integrate into the broadcast workflow. Parameters within our Hydra2 network can be externally controlled via third-party equipment: router switching, opening faders, labeling, etc. Our latest addition to the arsenal is integration with the AVB standard, which allows audio to be shared with other AVB-compliant equipment directly via Ethernet. These considerations were made during the initial design phase, so R&D isn’t heavily impacted by these requirements. Calrec aims to be a very responsive company, and we constantly take guidance from our customers in order to manufacture equipment which meets their expectations.
Finally, what can you tell us about Calrec’s plans for IBC?
At IBC2013, Calrec will showcase Hydra2’s ability to interact with third-party control and production-automation equipment. To give broadcasters a sense of Hydra2’s potential as a networking solution, Calrec will exhibit its equipment in a scenario akin to how it would be used in an actual production environment.
Calrec will be demonstrating the Calrec Serial Protocol, which will allow for visibility into and third-party control over a number of Calrec audio-console settings, such as fader position, PFL, and cut control for paths on faders; routing to auxes from faders; output-level control for auxes; routing to mains from faders; main-output-level/fader control; and LB/RB-input switching for paths on faders. The SW-P-08 protocol will incorporate a VSM third-party router panel to demonstrate remote control over input-to-output crosspoint patching. In addition to direct routing of physical inputs to outputs, it can also route to and from a console DSP via Calrec’s Hydra Patchbays. Further to this, there will be an example of how Calrec can transmit audio via AVB to a third-party intercoms system.