Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012?
We’re seeing more and more broadcasters move towards standard networked IT devices, rather than bespoke equipment, so I think one of the biggest trends at this year’s event will be based around IT in broadcast. Broadcasters will begin to look more closely at the use of IP networking and other IT tools, such as file-based workflow.
Cloud computing looks set to be another key trend. File-based workflow makes it much simpler and easier to move content around for editing and distribution. New cloud-based applications in areas such as archiving and video editing tools will pave the way for broadcasters to offload some of these services to remote vendors.
In the background, there will still be a focus on the move to high-definition TV. Broadcasters’ budgets dictate their ability to upgrade equipment and, as funds become available, they will be looking to upgrade cameras, lenses and explore the full spectrum of tools that allow them to provide HD.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
The economic climate will certainly not affect the show’s attendance figures. I’m confident we’ll see a record number of visitors at IBC2012.
The industry as a whole is feeling some impact from the financial uncertainty. The European markets in particular seem to be showing signs of slowing down. At Vinten Radamec, we’re still seeing strong interest globally and we have received a significant number of orders from the United States and areas such as the Middle East, for example.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
The camera robotics market is diverging into two distinctive areas; the demand for high-end systems, for higher payloads; and the requirement for entry-level products that deliver broadcast-quality motion.
At IBC2012, we will showcase two brand new products, which address the distinctive change taking place in the robotics market. We will be boosting our high-end offering by launching a new and innovative navigation system that will bring real operational benefits to studios. We will also be showcasing an entry-level robotics product, which provides the perfect solution for remote/regional studios, conference centres and houses of worship as examples.
Also at this year’s IBC, we will be focusing on the launch of our increasing range of successful Intelligent Control Engineering (ICE) products. It’s certainly worth a visit to our stand, where you will experience everything this pioneering technology can offer broadcasters. The recently launched pan-and-tilt heads that incorporate this new intelligent technology, FH-145 and FHR-145, will appear alongside the first-ever ICE head, the FHR-35.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
The ICE technology really demonstrates our understanding of broadcasters’ diverse range of robotic requirements and this is translated into our latest product releases. The technology, design and performance of all of the ICE products is unique to Vinten Radamec and it represents a major step forward in camera robotics. The platform delivers unprecedented control and accuracy in a highly compact form and it is being incorporated into our entire range of next-generation robotic heads.
It provides broadcasters with a state-of-the-art motion control system, to deliver both the fastest and the slowest broadcast-quality movement. ICE was designed to help broadcasters simplify their robotic solutions as well as add additional features from customer feedback.
Aside from ICE technology, we also offer the best integration on the market in terms of CCU control and automated playout. We integrate with the largest number of systems in the broadcast world from a wide range of vendors, from Sony right through to Mozart and Ross.
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.”
I certainly don’t think it’s hype. I believe it falls somewhere in the “hope” or “in between” categories. It’s a really interesting topic, as broadcasters have to take note that the next generation of viewers don’t watch TV in the same way as past audiences. More broadcasters are starting to put their content out over social media platforms, for example, and it has been well publicised that the BBC is planning to use social media channels for part of its Olympics coverage.
In traditional broadcasting, there will also be an increase in references to social media, so more use of hashtags for Twitter and also using Facebook as a tool for audiences to view behind-the-scenes footage, or to invoke further discussion. Social media will no doubt open up new opportunities for advertising, as broadcasters can take advantage of targeted advertising techniques that cannot be achieved through traditional advertising methods.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
The Vinten Radamec team are based at the headquarters and manufacturing facility in Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, England. All of our systems are designed and manufactured on site, which is invaluable as it facilitates such a close, working relationship between the engineers and the product managers. It also means we can ensure that every piece of equipment is built and perfected to our high standards.
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 year will be my seventh year of attending the event. My background is in design, so my biggest IBC memories surround specific product launches where I have been able to see a product from the initial design stages, right through to the customer launch.
My most memorable IBC nights have been spent at Bourbon Street Blues Club with all of my colleagues from across the event.