Anatomy of the Podcast – Part 1: The “Other Shows” of 2015

It’s coming to the end of what I truly consider a winning year in podcasting here on rAVe. We will be moving strong into 2016 with AV Power Up, with some show and Crew member announcements going into the new year as well.

Part 2 will focus on AV Power Up, here I will be talking about the two other shows that I did here on rAVe Radio along with some very special people in AV.




Intended to be a one show special focused on CEDIA, it was absolutely terrific. Johnny Mota (who also hosts the AV Insider and co-hosts on AV Power Up) and I put this one together and co-hosted it. Our guests were Alison Maxson and Tim Sinnaeve with Barco, Katye McGregor Bennett with KMB Communications, Vijita UG with Stewart Filmscreen and Steve Muccini with Ihiji.

THE WEEK – Episode 107: A CEDIA 2015 Special Edition Podcast

Along with discussion on the Expo, the companies represented here as well as their solutions and company developments, we also discuss Women in CE with Kayte and Vijita along with the Women in CE Breakfast which drew a record attendance. 



This was a podcast that I had thought about doing for quite some time and the name fit perfectly – techX as in any type of tech, and Xchange as in discussion of varying degrees. As we had already been doing our signature show AV Power Up for several months, I wanted to design another show which focused more on the technology with a single guest (we did have two in one episode) which would still have a measure of edge to it.

Along with my AV Power Up co-hosts Christa Bender and Johnny Mota, Jane Johnson of Pivot Communications joined us to host this one and she did it very, very well. Jane and I would work together on all aspects of the show and she would reach out to the guests to set things up for some of the shows as well. True collaborative effort.

The first episode with Excession Events’ Chief Contrarian Simon Dudley, very well known in the videoconferencing and UC space was an excellent and interesting one. I considered him the perfect guest for a show just kicking off and we of course talked with Simon about unified communications and the contrarian (which he for sure embodies). However it was also that one statement about a “dentist” that he made – funny because in certain podcasts, as the producer I’ve had those moments which made me say either “YES” or “uh oh” – not sure which this became for me at that very second but I did actually end up saying to myself “here we go – the edge…”

techXchange Episode 1: Meet the Chief Contrarian

We talked with Simon about recent blogs he had written including “Facted to Death at InfoComm15,” the Internet of Things keynote as well as panel discussions at InfoComm and, of course, the world of unified communications.

The second episode is with a person I consider to be one of the key educators in the realm of AV and IT, in fact he won the award at InfoComm 2015 for Educator of the Year. Paul Zielie, Manager, Enterprise Solutions with Harman/AMX is someone who is always on the pulse of the latest technologies and issues as well including network security.

techXchange Episode 2: The Industry Educator You Need To Know

We talked with Paul about his work with AMX by Harman, the multi-technology solutions provider environment, AV in an IT-centric world, his role as an educator in the industry, the “question of convergence” and network security.

In the third episode we talked with two young innovators in the industry from a startup on the control side of AV, a software-based control platform provider. Our guests COO Ben Hackett and CTO Alan Vezina with Jydo (the only multi-guest show) brought what I considered some new dialogue and fresh perspective to the industry in this one. One thing that struck me about Alan is his background, which is not AV. He has written two blogs on rAVe The AV Industry Needs to Open Up and AV Programming Sucks. Hope Roth joined us (as Christa had this show off) and the subject matter was of course the reason for Hope to sit in on this one.

techXchange Episode 3: AV Meets IT to Create a Software-Based Control Experience

We talked with Ben and Alan about their company and SaaS control solution, their varied technology backgrounds in AV and software engineering and programming and how Jydo exists in the market along with traditional control solutions.

On the fourth episode we had an executive with a company well known for their industry leading video platform Mediasite. Our guest was Sean Brown, senior vice president with Sonic Foundry and this one actually became two parts due to its length, a call I had to make in terms of doing this as I’m not a real fan of podcasts in two parts. This became the only one as I felt the information in it made it necessary to do in order to focus properly on the whole discussion. This one was also special as you’ll hear in the final “lightening round” in part 2 (which we did at the end of every show) as I asked Sean a question that I can only say his smile widened as I went on with it. His answer was absolutely terrific.

See related  Microsoft Copilot Roundup: May 2024

techXchange Episode 4: An Executive’s Broadscale View on Video – Cloud, Mobility/BYOD, Big Data and More (Part One)  in this one we talked with Sean about different categories of video, including organizational video, as well as Big Data, including video utilization and management.

techXchange Episode 4: An Executive’s Broadscale View on Video – Cloud, Mobility/BYOD, Big Data and More (Part Two) – in this one we talked with Sean about mobility/BYOD and its impact on video presentation and streaming, cloud application strategy and a current look at his late 2014 video predictions, as appeared in his article 2015 Video Predictions: Sonic Foundry Forecasts Next year’s Trends, Involving Big Data/Analytics/Search, Cloud, Collaborative Video and More.

The next episode may have presented both the biggest and most welcome challenge for me at the same time as we of course existed as a podcast in the world of AV and IT. I had written a blog AI, Big Data and the Writing “Machine” in August after reading an article “The Sportswriting Machine (which appeared in March in The New Yorker). One of the companies highlighted in the article was Automated Insights who designed an AI-based application Wordsmith that uses natural language generation, which would analyze the data from a game and then use it to write a “coherent and familiar-looking” recap (as the article stated).

After posting my blog on LinkedIn and Twitter the marketing director for the company reached out to me to thank me for including them in my blog as well as ask if there was anything they could do in terms of further collaboration. Sure enough that became episode 5 with Scott Stollwerk, director of sales with Automated Insights.

techXchange Episode 5: A Look Into AI and the Writing Machine

We talked with Scott about artificial intelligence and machine writing, structuring data to tell a story (or as Ai says “Let your data tell its story”), adding tone to a machine-written story, application in the business world (i.e. marketing) and more.

In one that Johnny hosted and put together (as Jane was off), we focused on the resi side and Dolby Atmos with our guest Rian Steffens business development manager with Onkyo. Hope joined us on this one as well.

techXchange Episode 6: Immersed in Dolby Atmos

We talked with Rian about Dolby Atmos, immersive movie and home theater experiences, developments at Onkyo, CEDIA and the residential market and more. 

The final episode was with a person who also sits outside of the AV industry – but not too far. The story concerning Christina Engh, COO with UA Solutions Group and Army Reserve Blackhawk Pilot (with over 20 years of multi-service military experience) is an excellent one in that I met her at Stampede’s Big Book of AV Tour here in Virginia a few months back where Beth Clune, Stampede’s director of marketing suggested that I sit in on Christina’s presentation which focused on FAA, rules and regulations for drone usage. While not AV-related, it was an excellent and very informative presentation on the subject. Christina and I talked a bit after her discussion however it was at lunch that we sat together and started talking about drones, AV and more – trading industry knowledge so to speak.

We’ve become good friends since (and we both live in the DC Metro as well) – here’s a recent picture I took of her checking out drones at a local mall kiosk.

Christina drones 1

techXchange Episode 7: A Woman of Drones

In this one we talked with Christina about unmanned aircraft and the military, her consulting company UA Solutions Group, regulations, drones and the AV industry, teaming with distributor Stampede and more.

Due to schedules and more this became the last of the techXchange shows and I want to thank Jane, Johnny, Christa and Hope for working with me on them.

Next: Part 2 – AV Power Up.