Tuesday, March 17, 2015
The Winds of Change March Forward
By: Phil Argyris, CEO, GatesAir, Mason, OH
St. Patrick’s Day has varied meanings for many people, but those who celebrate the day all share its festive spirit. Here at GatesAir, the lone March holiday brings a second reason to celebrate: The one-year anniversary of our company’s formation.
Last March 17, Imagine Communications CEO and GatesAir Chairman Charlie Vogt gathered a large press corps at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The “Media Day” event delivered compelling presentations from industry thought leaders about the future of broadcasting, and the problem-solving approaches that visionary companies like IBM and Disney are bringing to the broadcast industry.
However, the event’s main purpose was to announce that Harris Broadcast would transform into Imagine Communications and GatesAir, with each company laser-focused on serving two complementary, yet very distinctive customer bases. The transformation would ensure each company could more flexibly address the significant challenges each customer base faces as the broadcast industry, and consumer habits, continue to change.
A Sharper Focus Shapes Vision
The transformation has refocused GatesAir’s mission into serving one core audience: the over-the-air broadcaster. We have spent the past year building on our legacy of quality, reliability and innovation in engineering, with dedicated sales, service and support teams driving our customer-first philosophy.
Over the past 365 days, GatesAir has made the most of its opportunity as a standalone company focused on multichannel wireless content delivery. Our global presence at key tradeshows has been widely recognized, and we continue to build sales and service teams in every region to get closer to our customers. These key initiatives have been instrumental in building new relationships, and fortifying those with our existing customers and partners.
Trusted Reliability Meets Innovation
More than 60% of the world’s population relies solely on TV over the air, and in some countries over the air penetration is as high as 97%. More than 93% people consume radio each week and in many areas of the world, radio is the only truly reliable means of delivering news and entertainment to large populations. And with populations in the US, for example, increasingly “cutting the cord,” large swaths of consumers are reconnecting with free, over-the-air television. Outdoor roof antennas are returning to neighborhoods as viewers migrate to over-the-top streaming platforms for specialty TV content, and over-the-air TV for local channels.
Based on these clear trends and global needs, GatesAir has doubled down on innovations since March, building on its nearly 100-year legacy of quality and reliability as Harris. With determined research and development initiatives in our Mason, Ohio and Quincy, Illinois facilities, GatesAir has brought new high-efficiency TV and Radio transmitters to market, serving every power level for single stations to large national networks while driving down total cost of ownership; and returning a true ROI to the RF plant.
GatesAir has additionally further developed its intelligent networking solutions for audio contribution and distribution, with an emphasis on optimizing IP-based transport networks for remote broadcasting, STL connectivity and streaming to the internet, among other applications. At NAB, GatesAir will unveil its next-generation in networking innovations for radio studios, leveraging open-standards IP to drive interoperability across the on-air and production infrastructure for our customers.
Additionally, GatesAir’s forward-looking vision is preparing TV stations and networks for very real transitions that will change the face of broadcasting over the coming years. From the Spectrum Repack (US and Global) to next-generation standards (such as ATSC 3.0) and convergence with LTE mobile networks, over-the-air TV will be an especially dynamic media landscape moving forward.
GatesAir’s formation has additionally allowed the company to return to its heritage of pure U.S.-based manufacturing, with operations consolidated in our historic Quincy location. By centralizing a large part of our manufacturing in the birth city of the company, GatesAir’s commitment to quality, reliability and innovation is stronger than ever—a commitment our customers and partners have recognized worldwide.
Connecting People and Technology
The recent innovations coming out of Quincy and Mason reaffirm what GatesAir does best: Solving problems for our customers. Though over-the-air broadcasting remains a powerful force, TV and radio broadcasters worldwide feel the burden of rising operational costs, a shrinking labor workforce and fragmented audiences, the last of which makes attracting advertisers a clear challenge.
Heading into the 2015 NAB Show, GatesAir will launch its 2015 “GatesAir Connect” Series with an emphasis on connecting people and technology. These networking events will give our customers an opportunity to engage with GatesAir technologists, sales and service representatives, and company executives—in addition to peers and colleagues. We invite all of our customers worldwide to attend by registering here.
GatesAir Connect represents how we intend to emphasize relationships, with a determined focus on customer intimacy—and problem-solving approaches to real-world challenges—as we advance the possibilities of over-the-air broadcasting. Through forward-looking solutions that improve performance, optimize analog networks, and support every significant digital standard worldwide, GatesAir is committed to reducing total cost of ownership for over-the-air TV and Radio systems; and helping our customers explore the new revenue opportunities afforded through multichannel digital services today, and well into the future.