Digital Rapids - Brick Eksten, President

Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centrer at IBC2010?

The largest buzz at IBC will likely continue to surround 3D, both from a technical and business perspective. Increasing workflow efficiency for multi-platform content publishing and distribution will also continue to be front-and-center, as the still-diversifying range of viewing platforms and device opportunities further increases workflow complexity. We also expect considerable discussion around enhanced television (ETV) and the EBIF specification, as operators look to expand their 'traditional' television offerings into rich interactive TV.

Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?

We're expecting another fantastic IBC show. While it may be premature to consider the global economic challenges over, this year has been extremely strong for us, and we expect that to continue at IBC. Media organizations are investing in solutions that help them meet the challenge of expanding their revenues while increasing their operational efficiency and reducing their costs, and our products are well positioned to help customers meet these goals.

Q. What's new that you will show at NAB2010 and that broadcasters should look for there?

We're going to be showcasing new additions and enhancements across our entire range for transforming and distributing media. Some of the highlights include: our StreamZHD Live ABR adaptive streaming encoder; our new Flux capture and pre-processing hardware with 3Gbps-SDI support; new features in our MediaMesh digital B2B content delivery and distribution system; and workflow enhancements across our product lines for more efficiently managing the publishing and distribution of content across multiple platforms, devices and revenue opportunities.

Q. How is your new product offering different from what's available on the market?

Specific differentiators vary for each product, but there are common themes. Our software-centric publishing and encoding architecture enables exceptional format flexibility, extensibility and feature-richness, while integrating tightly with our pre-processing hardware for outstanding ingest quality. Our solutions also are designed to maximize efficiency – not just performance – for high-volume content publishing. An example is multiplexing of multiple deliverables in parallel from the same encode, efficiently creating rich content packages with varying metadata, audio, etc. And collectively, our solutions for all of these functions – from ingest and encoding to live streaming and B2B distribution – integrate together smoothly into complete capture-to-delivery workflows.

Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?

We're based in Markham, Ontario, Canada – just north of Toronto – and we have offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia and Argentina. Digital Rapids was founded in 2001, with our core management and team members having deep prior experience in the broadcast, post production and digital media domains. Digital Rapids technologies leverage this experience into new solutions developed specifically for the demands of today's digital media distribution paradigms.

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?

While this will be Digital Rapids' ninth IBC, I've been attending for 16 years. The highlight of my IBC experience has to be Digital Rapids' recognition with an IBC Innovation Award in 2008 for our work with NBC Universal. Not only because of the excitement of winning the award, but also because of what it symbolized – how we're helping our customers thrive in the rapidly evolving digital media market. In terms of pubs and restaurants, there have been many favorites, but the Old Bell is a common thread across the years.

Q. 3D – Hope or Hype or In Between, or wait and see?

In between. There's definitely a lot of hype surrounding 3D today, but we believe that a viable reality will emerge out of that hype. The immediate availability of 3D-capable television sets, and the relatively small cost differential between those units and 'non-3D' high definition sets, is shortening the adoption time that typically slows new technologies. 3D won't become the 'norm' for most television programming, but should afford an incremental opportunity for content providers with select content such as sports and premium entertainment, while Blu-ray 3D is a natural extension of the home theatre experience.