Blogs
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 18

Written by:
1/18/2013 1:52 AM  RssIcon

Here is a brief synopsis of how Larry Thaler, president of Positive Flux, views technology for 2013. It melds nicely with the article by Adrian Drury, lead analysis, Media and Broadcast Technology and Services, Ovum. Drury’s comments appear in the January issue of Broadcast Engineering magazine.

From Thaler: While the end of the year inspires many to take stock of their lives, it is significantly more fun to take stock of everyone else’s life.

Some of these are small. Others, perhaps, are the pet peeves of minds that spend a lot of time staring at schematics and contemplating efficient workflows. They are, however, all things that we see in the field every day. Many have long passed their useful expiration dates. We hope you enjoy this list and invite you to add your own contributions for consideration in the comments section.

1. No more separation between broadcast and new media organizations and workflows.
There was a time when alternative platforms were, well, alternative. Web platforms, new media delivery, etc. were seen as experiments. They were housed in special rooms, complete with their own people, workflows, technologies, and budgets. Organizations got in the habit of building separate groups to support these “projects.” Enough already!

We need to be done creating a group every time we add a new platform. That approach does not scale to today’s business (if you have ever found on your web site the face of a reporter who left six months ago, you can begin to appreciate the disconnect we see all the time). It is time to move all of those separate groups under the umbrella of a single content production organization. This organization should now be responsible for all the platforms fed by its content. Of course this creates opportunities for efficiency and cost-saving, but the most important benefits are in a better, more consistent, cross-platform end product. And before the content group starts complaining about more work, assure them that there are plenty of tools to make the job easier. Many of them are far better than the old platform-specific tools.

2. The separation of maintenance and IT

Most organizations have an IT team responsible for networks, core applications, and email, as well as things like the newsroom system, traffic, and billing. Then there is another team that is responsible for the systems that produce content for air. We frequently see these teams throwing rocks at each other. In production-oriented organizations these groups are coming together, usually under a single leader. That is good because it means we are seeing skills and knowledge blending into one smarter organization. We need knowledge organizations that can speak both engineering and IT. There is simply too much overlap for them to stand apart. We are not suggesting that the guys who keep your email moving need to also keep your production router humming, but the skill sets need to coexist and communicate in order for you to get the most out of them.

3. The end of 1 GB/s routing infrastructure

While typical HD routing switchers have a cross point bandwidth of 1.5 GB/s, nearly all manufacturers have been making 3GB/s cross points for many years. No one should be buying the 1.5 GB/s version anymore. The cost advantage is minimal and the opportunity cost is large. 1.5 GB/s won’t be able to handle the bandwidth dependent formats that are just around the corner, so why bother with it? (And don’t get us started on whether even 3 GB/s makes sense anymore).

Mr. Thaler continues his viewpoints across several more technology arenas. You can see his entire post on his website.

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