With an estimated 105,000 registrants, NAB 2008 had a somewhat lightly attended feel this year. That said, most manufacturers commented that, while traffic on the show floor was down, the people that did attend were there to do business. And business we did – lots of it

But what would NAB be without a party with 800 of your closest friends? Again this year, BSW was a proud co-sponsor of the Amateur Radio Reception, along with our good friends, Bob and Sarah Heil of Heil Microphones. A crowd started to gather about an hour in advance of the 6pm door on Wednesday, and somehow everyone fit into the crowded Hilton Ballroom B. It took almost an hour to give away nearly $16,000 worth of door prizes! A good time was had by all.

Blue Microphones showed a prototype of the new Airtime broadcast mic. As you’d expect from Blue, it looks great! Its a end-address dynamic, of course, and features an integral swivel yoke/shockmount.

Comrex unveiled the new Traversal Server software which promises to greatly simplify the task of managing IP codec connections – especially useful when you have to juggle a fleet of multiple portable units. In addition, the Access line’s AAC option now features the new ELD-AAC algorithm for lower latency and improved sonic quality. The upgrade will be free to existing Access AAC option licensees. As if that weren’t enough from Comrex, they showed the brand new DH42 four-channel digital hybrid, which offers 2 VOIP lines and 2 POTS lines in a single rack space.      

Tieline is offering an updated software suite for the Commander G3 line, including a new proprietary compression algorithm, and a new set of features that deliver assured quality of service.

Keep your eye on Musicam. They showed a prototype portable IP codec, and are working to deliver it sometime this summer.

 

Mike Palmer of Arrakis had two major new offerings. He introduced his new line of furniture, Arrakis Accent which sports an updated contemporary look featuring brushed aluminum details. Also new to Arrakis: the ARC-15, the 15 channel version of the hot new ARC-10. And yes, it’s available now.      

Broadcast Bionics has added multi-line, drag and drop conferencing to their VOIP-based talkshow software, PhoneBox Solo.

Wheatstone showed a remarkable new series of networkable IO designed to work with the E6 control surface. E2 (pronounced E-Squared) uses standard 100-baseT or gigabit ethernet switches, eliminating the need for proprietary hub hardware. A variety of IO configurations are planned, with a full launch of the system set for later this year.      

Wheatstone’s Vorsis line is growing quickly with the addition of several new units and a striking new look. Available now with an elegant, high-gloss black front panel: The AP2000 (which replaces the AP1000) features new presets and has a newly added leveler. The FM1000 features the same great processing as the AP2000, but without the HD channel. Of particular note, the VP-8 is new single rack space processor offering six operating modes: FM, AM, HDC, MPEG3, HE-AAC, and VoIP. Changing algorithms can be done directly from the unit’s front panel – no reboot required.


The new Bird TPM (Transmitter Power Monitor) is bound to make every RF engineer’s life easier. Providing three power measurement ports (forward, reflected, and non-directional), the TPM is the only power monitor solution that can also be calibrated in-line and on-site.

In a related move, Burk has announced that they have added a virtual meter to the Autopilot Plus software that reads and displays data from the Bird TPM and BPME (via ArcPlus hardware). Also new: the PlusX AC8. It’s an 8 channel, remote controllable, rack mounted power strip. Among its many uses is the ability to remotely “re-boot” rack mounted DSP-based processors that are plugged into it.

JK Audio are staying ahead of the curve with yet another series of feature packed, bulletproof, problem solvers. The BeltPack series comes in three flavors and will be available shortly. Of particular note, the BluePack Wireless Interview tool allows you to use your bluetooth-equipped mobile phone for man-on-the-street live interviews.

 

 

We really got an eyeful of new gear at the Audemat booth. Their Digiplexer 2/4 now has a new big sister, the Digiplexer 246. Both units provide 2 or 4 band audio processing, a stereo encoder, RDS encoding, embedded audio backup, and I/P audio connectivity. The new Digiplexer 246 adds a 1W, 20W, or 100WFM exciter. Also, their new Relio monitoring and control system is now available, offering a huge range of of connection points, and IP connectivity for quick and easy access from virtually anywhere.

 

 

BSW is proud to represent a number of winners of this year’s Radio World Cool Stuff awards: Henry Engineering for the Sixmix, 25-7 for it’s Program Delay Manager, Yellowtec for it’s M!KA mic boom, and HHB, iZotope, Orban, and Neutrik. Congratulations to you all!      

      

There is a certain NAB show aesthetic that I suspect goes mostly unnoticed by long-time attendees. This image, for me, captures it perfectly. Beautiful precision machined parts displayed in an unassuming setting. And of course the ubiquitous Starbucks coffee cup lurking the background.
And finally, a heartfelt congratulations to long-time Radio World representative, industry maven, and friend, Dale Tucker on his retirement. I don’t have the words to express the gratitude I feel for having had the privilege of working with you all these years.
-Steve

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