So representatives from every company at this year’s NAB, and surely every NAB since the beginning of time, want to convince the public that their companies are the best, whether they are trying to corner the newsroom system market from acquisition to playout or focus specifically on one aspect of the broadcast industry and encourage integration with as many companies as possible.
But, really, what can I say to a company that was featured, in small or large part, in more than a dozen booths beyond its own — not just integrated by these companies, but backed by as well — and that adheres to the idea of being “cheaper, faster and better” than any other company that is trying to do what it does?
Jon Robbins, product marketing manager of Rhozet, confidently spoke about the company, what it does and who it does it for. But the first thing I thought of when I walked into my appointment today with him and director of marketing communications for Harmonic Sarah Lum was the acquisition of Rhozet by Harmonic. I thought, aren’t acquisitions bad? Doesn’t that back you into a corner and put you at the beck and call of a bigger, badder company?
According to Robbins, that is not the case at all. Actually, despite what I believe to be an amazing ability to transcode pretty much any content to any output format, Rhozet seems to be fairly modest. At the Harmonic booth, there was an arrangement of a flat-screen television, a PC screen, a PSP and an iPhone all displaying the same content, which, as broadcasters know, all operate on vastly different standards and formats. This was made possible by Rhozet’s Carbon Coder. Rhozet has also been contracted to work with Siemens in the UK to transcode ALL of the BBC’s content to be ready for repurposing for mobile technologies, the Web and whatever else the network desires — a task that may seem daunting to some, but, according to Robbins, is essentially old hat for Rhozet.
Does the company run around NAB touting these accomplishments? Well, no more than anyone else. But, in my mind, the modesty lies in the fact that Rhozet’s technology can run transparently in the background of any company’s system. So a company may be using Rhozet’s transcoding, but the technology doesn’t throw out a red flag to passersby saying, “Hey! Look! We’re Rhozet! Look at how well we can transcode!” Rhozet is looking to become the “standard in transcoding,” Robbins said, and I don’t think one can become the standard by pushing others around.
How is Rhozet able to please just about everyone, just about every time? Well, using the cliché adage “reinventing the wheel,” because that’s honestly the best I’ve got right now, Rhozet has essentially taken the wheel and is constantly adding layers upon layers to make it bigger and better before the layman can even scratch his head. Translation: Carbon Coder currently supports more than 40 major formats, and when new formats come out, the system simply scales to add support for the new codecs, instead of the company creating a whole new system for each new set of codecs and standards — hence, my use of “reinventing the wheel.”
So, what’s wrong with being the best? Well, nothing, as long as you don’t tell anybody.