Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2008?
| Jeff Rosica|
We’ll see a lot of interest in nontraditional distribution media, like online and IPTV content, and mobile television, and the technology to support them. In today’s economic climate, people are looking to work smart, so there is a growth in production automation solutions. The ‘digital home,’ services networked around the home, has been an IBC conference topic for the last couple of years; this year we will see a lot of products making that a reality. And, of course, in an Olympic year, there is bound to be a great deal of interest in coverage of sport.Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2008 and that broadcasters should look for there?
The LDK 8300 is a newly designed camera system that captures true progressive HD images, natively, in multiple formats and frame rates. It is capable of 150 HD fields per second — three times the 50 fields per second rate of traditional HD cameras, combined with a remarkably high HD signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio resulting in the high-quality slo-mo replays. We also expect to have some other exciting new development in HD production.Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Thomson is the only manufacturer, with the Thomson Grass Valley LDK 8000 camera family, that gives sports producers and OB companies a choice of a 2x super slo-mo from any camera position (with the LDK 8000 SportCam) and a specialist 3x super slo-mo camera (LDK 8300). There are situations where breaks for slo-mo playback would not be able to accommodate 3x slo-mo due to the time it would take to play back a clip at one-third of real time; the action will have moved on. In those situations, 2x slo-mo makes more sense. There are also situations where time is not a factor, where seeing a clip at 3x slo-mo would be more effective (equestrian sports or gymnastics, for example).Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
I am based in Burbank, Calif., but we have development and manufacturing facilities in a number of countries worldwide. Our camera centre of excellence, which developed the LDK8300, for instance, is in Breda, Netherlands. We have nearly 3,000 employees in our broadcast and professional video solutions business.
Thomson provides technology, services, and systems to help its Media, Entertainment & Communications clients — content creators, content distributors and users of its technology — realize their business goals and optimize their performance in a rapidly changing technology environment.
Thomson’s Systems Division develops video and film technologies, products and services sold to all major Hollywood studios, major television, satellite, and cable broadcasters under the Thomson Grass Valley brand-name. The Thomson Premises Systems Business Unit is a leading supplier of residential gateways and digital entertainment decoders to the world’s major telecom service providers, cable operators, satellite and terrestrial broadcasters. The Network Intelligence Solutions organization is one of the leading suppliers of VoIP and IPTV service delivery platforms enabling telecom operators to deploy broadband telephony, IPTV, Triple Play and Fixed-Mobile Convergence services.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 IBC convention is a great show and a key part of our marketing campaign. I’ve been at every IBC show since it moved to Amsterdam. It’s a great city to host the event; the atmosphere around it is terrific. In my job, my evenings are as busy as the days: I tend to eat either with colleagues from around the world or with key customers, and it is great to have such a wide choice of great restaurants.
Fondest memory — sorry, but it is a Thomson story. A couple of years ago we held a terrific event to launch our Infinity digital media camcorder, and the marketing team converted an old shipyard factory into a sensational presentation space and party for a couple of thousand people. That was a great event and created a huge amount of excitement about the product. Admittedly, it took awhile to match that excitement with deliverable products, but now we feel that we really have fulfilled the promise of that great event.