Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012?
There are a couple of major technology trends that we can expect to see at IBC2012. The key trends will include solutions for integrated playout and technology for distribution to the various screens via the Web, mobile and over-the-top.
Today’s broadcasters are continually looking for solutions that offer the most cost-effective way of delivering content for both traditional linear broadcast methods as well as the new nonlinear methods of delivery. The objective is a solution that scales to incorporate other streams of revenue whilst minimizing annual operating costs. Therefore, companies like Evertz are looked upon to provide the complete integrated end-to-end solution. To meet customers’ expectations, Evertz delivers innovative solutions for playout (like Mediator) to MPEG-2/H.264 encoding and trancoding technology that distributes content to mobile devices, such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tabs, via the Web and OTT.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
Personally, I don’t believe there will be a significant decline in attendance at IBC 2012. If we were to look at the 2012 NAB Show, there was a marginal increase in attendance. Although there are some difficult economic times in Europe, there are customers that are still looking for innovative solutions to improve their facilities workflow, and the only difference now is that their timeframes to implement these solutions may be longer than anticipated.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
Evertz will be unveiling a variety of new products and new product features at IBC2012. In regards to integrated playout, Evertz will be highlighting new feature sets for our playout solutions, Mediator and OvertureRT LIVE, such as handling live events and join-in-progress situations. We are finding broadcasters are still looking for solutions that handle both live and scheduled playout when looking at the IT-based architectures of today’s integrated playout solutions.
Another innovative solution that is sure to gain a great deal of interest at this year’s show is our new 3480 platform, which performs MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding and transcoding for distribution of content over cable, IPTV, OTT and the Web. The 3480STX is our adaptive bit-rate transcoder, designed for streaming content to the Web, mobile devices and OTT. The 3480STX provides multiple profiles for various codecs that include Apple HLS, Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe and MPEG-DASH.
Finally, Evertz will be unveiling Dreamcatcher for the first time to the European market. In keeping with the industry’s desire to do more with less, Evertz has taken a fresh approach on how live slow-motion replay is done today. Dreamcatcher offers a highly scalable and flexible system architecture, which sets it apart from any other system on the market today. Dreamcatcher provides a user experience that maximizes the efficiency for handling live events.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Our new product offerings all offer an innovative approach to a problem. In the case of the integrated playout solutions, we have integrated Mediator, a widely known content management system, with an advanced hardware platform (OvertureRT LIVE) that leverages our experience in baseband space and incorporates it in enterprise class IT-based hardware architecture. We’ve also now extended this solution to incorporate other systems that you find in the facility (such as MAGNUM and VistaLINK) and you have a true “control room of the future.”
With Dreamcatcher, we have taken a new approach to slow-motion technology for the live replay market, which will prove to revolutionize the way replay is executed. Dreamcatcher has been designed with a scalable and flexible architecture, which allows customers to be more flexible when handling small and large events. Dreamcatcher’s user interface allows operators to be more effective, which will translate into lower operating costs over the long term whilst providing high-quality content.
Q. Last year I asked whether 3D was Hope, Hype or In Between. This year I want to know similar thoughts on “social media and broadcasters.”
Social media will continue to have a big impact on the broadcast industry. Today, viewers use social media as a means of involving themselves in the conversation. Therefore, it is important for broadcasters to embrace this direct interaction from its viewership. As social media becomes more prevalent in society, broadcasters are adapting to these new demands. A number of U.S. programs have allowed viewers to tweet directly with contestants or participants of the program during the show. This is a great way of involving the viewer in the program, which goes far beyond traditional call-in voting by actually facilitating audience interaction. Broadcasters will need to continue to find more creative ways to integrate social media with their programming. This means embracing and capitalizing social media (like Twitter) as a means to involve their viewers, as anyone who doesn’t will have a difficult time moving forward.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Evertz is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of video and audio infrastructure equipment for broadcasters, content distributors (such as telcos and IPTV) and cable providers. Evertz is a Canadian-based company with more than 1200 employees worldwide. We have rapidly expanded over the past few years with outstanding growth on an international scale. Our head office and main R&D facility is located in Burlington, Canada. A secondary R&D facility is located in Reading, outside of London, England. We have a number of international sales and service facilities that include: Sydney, Australia; Burbank, Calif.; Washington D.C.; New York; Croatia; Dubai, U.A.E.; Munich, Germany; Hong Kong and Beijing, China; and Singapore.
Evertz provides complete end-to-end solutions for all aspects of broadcast production including content creation, signal distribution and content delivery. Evertz’ focus on live 3G/HD/SD production, file-based, MPEG-2/H.264/JPEG200 compression, and media transport (over fiber or IP) solutions allows its customers to meet today’s ever-growing business needs.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favourite restaurant or pub?
This will be my seventh year at IBC, however, Evertz has attended the show since 1986. My fondest memory of IBC is always the first day of the show. It means all the hard work and preparation for the show has come to fruition. My favourite restaurant is Motimahal because it has great Indian food and wonderful service. Each time I visit Amsterdam to attend IBC, I dine at Motimahal and the owner now recognizes me every time I stop by for another great meal.