FOR-A - Peter Jones, General Manager, UK
Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-center at IBC2010?
File-based workflows are becoming increasingly important – hence our MediaConcierge products with the latest addition, the LTR-100HS LTO-5 Video Archiving Recorder, filling a vital role. More generally, what might have looked to a broadcaster like daunting IT infrastructure, we've managed to hugely simplify.
3D is becoming important in specific markets. Again we have simplified the process; this time in live acquisition with CEQ-100HS – disguised under its 'Colour Equalizer' label, which can help to match left and right cameras and various 3D parameters. Also, our high-end mixers are 3D capable.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
The economy has made us look harder for business – and we succeed. Also, customers are looking harder too and working out how to get the best from their budgets. Bundling is our secret of success and video processing is our forte. Today, we pack a lot of capability even into the highly successful HVS-300HS, our smallest video mixer, with up/down converters, synchronisers and 32-split multiviewer, making it versatile and really good value. Cost-effective bundles, with the right set of capabilities, really make a big difference. The trouble is, we cannot get all of what our products do into a single product name.
Q. What's new that you will show at IBC2010 and that broadcasters should look for there?
The FOR-A lab has been highly productive this year. The LTR-100HS is a must-see (and then must-have) product. With videotape disappearing and 'file-based' the order of the day, this 'Archiving Data Recorder' hits the spot, in more areas than its name suggests. CEQ-100HS is an important product for 2D and 3D – another must-see. HVS-350HS is a 1.5 ME bigger brother for the highly successful HVS-300HS mixer. FA-9500 is the must-have input processor box and there are more multi-viewers, such as the MV-3200 32-split with audio monitoring, HVS-4000HS mid-range mixer and a new 128x128 router.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what's available on the market?
LTR-100HS is unique. It combines broadcast and IT technology into one device to handle traffic from various video codecs to MXF – all in half-rack 3RU box. It's the VTR for data and, of course, a lot more. FOR-A digital image processing is second to none, the success of our frame-rate converters attest to that, and with the bundled features, give customers high quality, good-value packages.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
FOR-A is strongly represented around the world. Within Europe there are offices in London and Italy – with about 20 people in all. The major part of the company is in Japan, with offices also in Korea and USA. See www.for-a.com
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?
Years going to IBC: 17... or so.
Fondest memory: Visiting the Concertgebouw for a concert, but it was the comfy chairs after four days on my feet at the exhibition that was the real treat.
Favourite restaurant/venue: Still it's Bimhuis. Pub: Bourbon Street.
Q. 3D – Hope or Hype or In Between, or wait and see?
We don't do hype. The uptake of 3D seems to depend on the market sector, with acceptance for movies, 'sports bars' (a.k.a. pubs with large tellies). So it's not all hype but something in between. Yes it has a role in cinema but the 'glasses' question for domestic viewing remains. There's a big learning curve that applies all along the 3D workflow. It will be popular but not everyone will go for it... for the next few years anyway.