TV News April 2018

WHEAT:NEWS TV  APRIL 2018  Volume 5, Number 4

Live from Las Vegas, It's NAB 2018!

Broadcaster and industry observer Scott Fybush takes you “under the glass” and inside the latest virtual developments in the following, shot at last week’s NAB show. 

Look who we spotted at the Dimension Three TV audio console! Anchorman Ron Burgundy.RonBurgundyGuy

In this interview taken at Club Wheat Monday night after the NAB show, Jay Tyler talks about the miles he’s logged and his personal mission to visit the first WheatNet-IP audio network install in every country.

We caught Gabi Greco, ambassador of everything Wheatstone this NAB, after a busy day in the Wheat booth.

Best of Show Awards? Wheat Gets Three.

Every NAB show feels like a finish line. We design, we build, we make changes, we add features, we tweak features. We push ourselves as fast and as hard as we can to bring our individual and collective vision to the industry. We see the first day of the show coming and start counting backward to the cutoff point - the point where we need to pack up what we’ve been working on and take it to the public. But rather than being the finish line, it’s only the next starting line.

We believe we make a difference in the broadcast community. We have ideas - some of which become products, some of which become blueprints for the way forward. We look at the broadcast community every day and evaluate the way it works and the way we work in it, always with a single objective – to improve things. The ways we work; the audio we hear; the ways we interact.

And when we finally get to the show, the excitement of being able to share what we’ve been working on becomes the driving force. We pull out all the stops and make sure we’re presenting it in the best possible way so that you – the broadcast community – can partner with us to implement it all.

While our reward is seeing the difference we make, we’d be lying if we said it didn’t feel great to be recognized by the media in the industry. Next to customer acceptance, nothing’s better for a manufacturer’s self-esteem than receiving a NewBay Best of Show Award. It’s the closest this industry gets to an Oscar and it says that a new product has been evaluated by a panel of engineers and industry experts, and selected based on innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry.

So, as we counted down the minutes to the close of NAB 2018, we held our breath, hoping to get at least one NewBay Best of Show award.

And guess what? We received three:

Our new ScreenBuilder 2.0 virtual environment creation tool took one from TV Technology

ScreenBuilder Award Combo

Our new PR&E EMX AoIP console received one from Radio magazine.

EMX AwardCombo

And, yep, even our analog console, the Audioarts Lightning standalone successor to the venerable R-55E, took one from Radio World.

Lightning Combo

Thanks everyone, for recognizing the hard work and effort that goes into Wheatstone products. We’ll be back next year with more ideas and, yes, new products. 

Virtually Yours!

The word “virtual” can mean different things to different people. In broadcast circles, for example, we often talk about virtual in terms of “putting the console behind a piece of glass” such as a tablet or computer screen.

Virtualization isn’t an entirely new concept. We’ve been virtualizing studio functions since the very early days of IP audio networking, and not just on the surface, but inside the network, too. Early AoIP adopters will recall Wheatstone’s Glass-E virtual mixer for the laptop and the introduction of virtual mixers at every I/O point on the network with the arrival of our WheatNet-IP audio network in 2008.

Virtualizing resources instead of limiting them to fixed hardware makes sense for a whole host of reasons, foremost among them the scalability and flexibility of software. So far, though, virtualization hasn’t moved much beyond single-purpose use; that is, virtual mixers and other similar apps have remained largely fixed in purpose.

But what if you had your own virtual development platform with the smarts to do virtually anything you want to do in the studio? What if you could determine what to put behind the glass or on a button, right down to its functions and when to perform those functions based on the status of a cross point connection in the network?

Today, broadcasters are developing their own virtual environments. They’re adding a virtual news desk or a producer panel with little more than a tablet and their existing IP audio infrastructure. Virtual development platform ScreenBuilder, for example, has a library of faders, meters, labels, buttons, clocks, timers, and other widgets that tie into commands and elements on the WheatNet-IP audio network. Faders are adjustable and switches can turn a microphone on or off. These can tie into LIOs anywhere in the network to control elements, and ScreenBuilder can set up routines to check the status of tallies and crosspoint connections to execute if/then commands.

Using these development tools, broadcasters can customize a virtual producer control panel such as the one in Fig 1, or a virtual news editor as shown in Fig 2. Being able to build what you need in the virtual realm makes it so much faster and affordable to add on or change up studios as new deliverables are added, space becomes more limited, and talent becomes more mobile.

Other uses and examples of virtual interfaces, including a gallery of possible screen options, can be viewed by downloading our E-book, Making Sense of the Virtual Studio.

Virtual Image Fig 1Fig. 1 Using this simple virtual panel developed with ScreenBuilder, producers can press the desired chair to bring up a monitor mix or simple intercom.


NewsEditVersionTwoFig. 2  This virtual news editor is one example of how broadcasters are putting news editing functions on a screen, including online access to news, weather, and stock feeds, and replacing banks of traditional news workstations.

The Mother of all IP Boards


We'll be the first to admit that our new IP-64 television audio console isn't for everyone. This large-format digital console is built for the big leagues. It's designed to be the control center of a production facility where fast-paced, complex events with dozens of sources and lots of IFBs need to be managed by one operator in real time. But anyone in the market for an IP audio console ought to have a look at this powerful 32-fader, 64-channel console. It's a perfect example of the way IP networking and good control surface design can put what the operator needs right at his fingertips.

The same design philosophy that goes into this full-featured, high-end console governs the design of all of Wheatstone's IP audio control surfaces.

In the following video, sales engineer Phil Owens takes us through some of the basics of IP-64 workflow. As he works, watch how simply he's able to access every needed parameter in a straightforward, intuitive way. Panning, dynamics, EQ, bus assigns, aux sends -- all are accessible via surface controls and the touchscreen meter bridge. You'll begin to understand why we call this the Mother Of All IP Audio Consoles.


In addition to the the IP-64 demo, Phil Owens gives a tour of each of Wheatstone's TV audio consoles/control surfaces, explaining the differences between them to help give you a better idea of what you'll need to know.

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-- Scott Johnson, Editor

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