3 Questions for Shure: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Spectrum Space Issue

Shure’s Stephen Kohler discusses the importance of audio in the industry and how goverment policies on spectrum space will affect AV integration projects.

CI Staff

It’s difficult to imagine a manufacturer with a more interesting perspective than that of Shure. The iconic microphone manufacturer, well-known through brand loyalty in the music industry, provides critical mics for video conferencing and other B2B communication projects and has been a commercial integration industry advocate during the ongoing spectrum space drama.

The FCC will conduct a reverse auction in early 2016 and Shure senior director, marketing, Stephen Kohler talks about how it will shake out.

With so much emphasis on video, do audio and microphones tend to be an afterthought?

Video and in particular conferencing is exploding. We’re seeing that as a huge growth area for our business as our customers continue to look for solutions to support that. With that there is a lot of focus on video. There is a need for us as an industry to continue to reinforce the importance of audio. … So what we’re trying to do at Shure is not only reinforce in integrators but also end clients … that audio is critical.

Watch Stephen Kohler talk with CI here, or continue reading below.

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How will government policies on spectrum space affect AV integration projects?

Integrators should know that this will not only affect their business, but their clients’ busi-nesses. In the way of background, for those not aware, in the last 10 or 15 years there continues to be ongoing changes that Shure is working very closely with the FCC on. We have this somewhat finite asset called spectrum and there is a growing, growing need for entities — not just pro audio, but cellular phone and mobile technology — to use that finite resource. It’s almost like we have a neighborhood and everybody wants to move into that neighbor-hood, and there’s a point where there’s not enough space … The long and the short of it is Q1 of [2016] there is going to be what’s called a reverse auction [conducted by the FCC] and the outcome will likely have direct impact to users of professional audio microphones. … Integrators need to know that there will be changes and that Shure and other audio man-ufacturers are working hard to make sure that impact will be minimal. I would encourage everybody to check FCC.gov and as well as Shure.com for further information.

What concerns might integration customers’ IT directors have about digital audio networking?

The No. 1 concern that comes up particularly from the IT department, and it’s understandable, is whether the audio network data coming off the audio system will somehow cause a security issue or cause a bogdown of the network.

The good thing, though, is there have been a number of advances particularly recently with digital audio network protocols that make those concerns not as warranted as they may have been. Network protocols like Dante and other audio protocols offer wider audio bandwidth, higher channel count and lower latency, which make the integration to the IT networks a lot smoother and do not negatively impact data on the traffic