Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012?
I believe we’ll continue to see people seeking solutions to the multiplatform-delivery issue. The ability to deliver content in multiple formats to many different devices and service providers, while continuing to utilise effective branding and promotional strategies, is something every broadcaster needs. This is a universal challenge—and one that will continue to evolve. There are also many areas of our global economy that continue to transition to HD and to 3 Gbps workflows, so infrastructure and playout workflows to support that will continue to be of interest.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
There seems to be a bit more stability in the economy, in general, so spending on larger installations and projects has certainly increased over the last couple years. However, some uncertainty in the European economy and slow growth overall will continue to force broadcasters to look for solutions that can make them more efficient and, ultimately, more profitable. The careful approach also makes buyers much more focused on solutions that will grow with them, because we all know the “next big thing” is just around the corner and they want their investment protected from that.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
Miranda will come to IBC with a nice combination of new solutions and enhanced and upgraded existing technologies that will help broadcasters navigate their ongoing challenges. On the production side, our new NV8140 compact router along with the new LUMO high-density fiber controller will be featured. We also have Intelligent Automatic Loudness Control that provides the most advanced approach to complying with loudness regulations while also maximising quality. For playout and monitoring, we’ll introduce major new features in our iTX-integrated playout platform, along with an all-new Kaleido IP multiviewer for return path and cable headend monitoring. For pay-tv operators, our iControl Headend platform will be demonstrated, featuring a slick combination of hardware and software services that enable operators to wade through alarm noise and act on the most critical alarms first, saving valuable time and reducing mean time to repair.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Miranda takes a very customer-centric approach to all product developments and we think this is evident in all the products we’ll show. We know broadcasters need to launch new channels quickly, create new revenue streams and operate efficiently while maintaining high quality. All of our solutions are created with these goals in mind. For example, the iControl platform we’re introducing provides operators the unique ability to analyse and evaluate the network alarms they see, automatically. This is an enormous increase in efficiency when you consider that a single operator may be responsible for monitoring dozens of channels. Rather than waste time checking into every alarm, an operator is now told exactly which alarm is the most critical.
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.”
We’re already seeing quite a bit of demand for integration of Twitter into broadcasts. We have a good solution for broadcasters to do this sort of integration, but it’s a tricky one, and obviously not right for every type of broadcast. I think the question isn’t really “Hope vs. Hype,” though. Clearly, people in our society have begun interacting with each other in a totally different way—they’re always in touch. This will continue to naturally extend into news and entertainment. I expect platforms to be developed that enable people to watch programmes and movies together, somehow, and to virtually share the experience. I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Miranda is based in Montreal and we have about 700 employees worldwide. In June, Belden Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, announced its intention to acquire Miranda. It’s likely the transaction will be finalised sometime this summer, which would make the combined entity one of the most diversified, end-to-end solution providers in the broadcast business.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favorite restaurant or pub?
I’ve been to only a few IBC shows and I always enjoy the international flavour that Amsterdam offers. It’s a lovely city and the crowd attracted by IBC is extremely diverse. It’s great to be able to visit with so many of our customers from all over the world. My favourite places to visit are some of the outdoor cafes, like the Three Sisters Pub, that offer the ability to sit and have a cocktail with clients while also enjoying the summer air and doing some people-watching.