Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012
Media asset management continues to be a struggle for many broadcasters. Expensive mishaps have made customers weary at all-in-one solutions that cost a fortune and end up being too complex, late and missing many of the original objectives.
Studio Automation: The studio is the last area broadcasters are looking to automate. Studio automation can not only save costs, it can improve the efficiency of organizations by making existing staff and equipment more productive.
Disaster Recovery: While it was not front-and-centre at the NAB Show, the whole concept of Disaster Recovery seems like it should be for IBC. We are seeing an unusually high number of natural disasters around the world over the last few years and the continued treat of and actual terrorist attacks is very unfortunate. Communities look to the local broadcasters for information and plans need to be in place to deliver updates and warnings.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
The European economic climate is obviously a big concern. Tremendous pressures are forcing broadcasters to reevaluate their operations to be more efficient. Advertisers are looking at other outlets to spend their limited ad dollars so it is a challenge for broadcasters to maintain the same level of revenues as last year if they do not change. This is pushing broadcasters to look for other ways to generate revenue with their current assets. The top level answer is easy as usual—increase revenues, reduce cost.
On the revenue side, Aveco can offer various tools to create additional revenue streams, such as regional ad insertion, dynamic ad insertion or integration with Web servers. On the cost side, Aveco, as MAM and automation vendor, can help to substantially reduce operational cost.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
ASTRA CMS is an incremental approach to media asset management with what we call an Operational MAM that just focuses on getting the right asset to play at the right time so revenues are protected and make-goods are minimized.
ASTRA Studio 2 is an approach to studio automation that does not restrict you to certain vendors’ equipment or force you to buy all new hardware in addition to the studio automation software. Studio 2 offers journalists tools that let them focus on the story and not the technology that puts a story on air. A single operator can produce a show with higher production qualities and his time can be spent on managing the flow of the show rather than the underlying technology putting on the show.
Disaster Recovery Solutions: In response to customer demand, Aveco is now offering a variety of solutions for Disaster Recovery based on customers’ budgets and technical requirements.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Media Asset Management: We take an incremental approach to media asset management that is less risky, easier to manage, and just focuses on day-to-day operations. The idea of an Operational MAM is to focus on getting the right clip on air at the right time with minimal operator intervention. It has a totally open interface to exchange data with other MAMs or systems already in place.
Studio Automation: ASTRA Studio 2 is hardware agnostic and in most cases can work with your existing equipment. This drastically lowers the cost of the solution and lowers the learning curve since you only have to worry about the application and not all the new studio equipment.
Disaster Recovery: We have a variety of solutions based on our underlying networked-based architecture that can keep you on air. We have solutions that can match your budget and requirements and the experts that can help you decide.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Aveco is celebrating our 20th anniversary this year at IBC. We are based in the Czech Republic with offices in the United States supporting the Americas. We have more than 275 systems around the world including all Europe, Middle East, India, Asia, South America, Mexico, United States and others. We offer 24/7 on-line support all over the world.
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 is obviously important and a hot topic now. For broadcasters the good part is that it is another channel to receive news and information, but it has to be careful in its use as sometime it is hard to verify. How it will evolve remains to be seen. With the advances in hardware and bandwidth, maybe face-to-face video will dominate over text when you want to communication ideas or information to others. All we know for sure is that change is inevitable.
Social media has been designed and is operated to earn money for the owners of the servers/services. The question is if and how broadcasters can earn some revenues, too. What can they do? Publishing content (news, programs) via Social Media? Maybe a bit, if the consumers will be led to turn on the TV, the main stream of revenues. Receiving content via Social Media? Well, after the major investment into HD the broadcasters shall air low-resolution clips?
Up to now it is hype. Great for vendors—integrated social media support is a great feature to sell. But much less for broadcasters—there are no real synergies between these two worlds that can be monetized.
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?
The IBC2012 will be our 15th IBC show. Besides the excitement of being on the show floor and meeting the right people, the three-man band Dansman3 at the former IBC parties is really worth the mention.
Favourite pub? At the IBC it is for sure the Aveco booth, serving the best beer in the city, designed by Aveco. In Amsterdam we loved to go to the Pakistan restaurant close to RAI . Recently the restaurant changed its cooking style. Now the food is too much in line with an average European taste. So now we prefer a small lovely Thai restaurant that I will definitely not disclose!