NAB Perspectives: DiGiCo’s Fichera on Entering the U.S. Console Market

Like any good salesman, Chris Fichera, VP of audio for distributor Group One, is confident. He believes that his product is the best thing since sliced bread. In fact, it may even be better than sliced bread. That’s the kind of confidence needed to introduce a console product into the notoriously conservative U.S. broadcast market, as Group One is doing with the DiGiCo SD-TenB, debuting at the NAB Show.

“There’s a vacuum in the market, between $30,000 and $100,000, for a high-end digital console with a lot of I/O and powerful DSP that can fit into a small footprint that works for greatest number of remote trucks,” he says, reeling off the salient features of DiGiCo’s new broadcast board: 96 discrete channels with full processing, 48 assignable buses configurable for mono or stereo groups, and a 15-in., touch-sensitive screen. The desk handles up to 996 simultaneous optical, 224 MADI, and 24 analog and AES/EBU connections, along with 128 buses (with full processing, each selectable as mono, stereo, LCR, or 5.1), 32 matrix buses, and 32 32-band graphic equalizers. It can run two high-speed Optocore loops, with any combination of 448 inputs and outputs on each loop and all at 96 kHz.

The SD-TenB is based on DiGiCo’s SD series of live-sound consoles, the newest of which, the SD-Ten, was introduced last week at the Pro Light + Sound trade show in Frankfurt, Germany. However, the SD-TenB adds key broadcast features, such as 5.1 monitoring,

That the console is based on a sound-reinforcement mixer validates its roadworthiness for remote-broadcast operations, Fichera says. “The SD series has been heavily road-tested, and the consoles have proven themselves night after night without failures. We’re looking forward to entering the U.S. broadcast market with it.”

Strategically, DiGiCo will aim at the B unit and regional-sports-broadcast markets, according to Fichera.

In related news, Group One LLC, distributor for UK-based DiGiCo in North America, has also announced that it will represent sales in the U.S. for metering specialist RTW and loudness-management-systems manufacturer Junger Audio. Says Fichera, “The strategy is be able to offer as many broadcast audio elements as possible.”