Peter JonesQ: What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2009?
3 Gb/s is the 'future-proof' standard for new infrastructure. There will be much more of it at the show, with more products such as vision mixers and colour correctors joining the 3G club. Also 3D looks as if it's here to stay. It's been growing rapidly for two years and gaining popularity with cinema and event audiences. 3DTV has to happen in a big way soon and the show could prove to be a turning point. Maybe there'll be a good no-glasses 3DTV screen.
Compression technology gets more efficient with a big move to MPEG-4 for contribution as well as transmission. File-based systems will grow. Size matters, and powerful compact equipment will be popular for small trucks, events, etc.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
We are finding that customers are having to look further than just the usual suspects for products. There will be some notable manufacturers absent and the companies that are there will be looking even closer at the return from their investment in the show. As for visitors, numbers will be down, but quality will be up. So business should be steady.
Q. What's new that you will show at IBC2009 and that broadcasters should look for there?
We are showing a range of mixers including the HVS-5000, FOR-A's new flagship range of mixers, covering 2 M/E to 4 M/E with 3 Gb/s and video-file support. It includes mixed HD and SD inputs, independent control for each M/E, M/E link function for 3D productions, multiviewer and 3D DVEs. Our HVS-300HS compact HD/SD mixer squeezes built-in frame syncs, multiviewer and DVEs into 1 RU: ideal for small trucks and flyaways.
Visitors to the stand can see the VRCAM 'sensorless' virtual studio operating without the restrictions of conventional VSs.
Our converters on show will include the UFM-30UD, an up/down/cross 3G video converter operating in a wide variety of formats in a UFM frame. We're also exhibiting the FRC-8000, which is an HD/SD up/down/cross and frame-rate converter with motion compensation technology and advanced functions.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what's available on the market?
We offer 3G vision mixers that are actually capable of handling 3G now, rather than "can be upgraded later." Also FOR-A has a long tradition of high-quality image processing. This is built in to all products to produce top-class image quality and places our standards and frame-rate conversion products in a class of their own — achieving many 'firsts' for high-level capabilities and performance.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
FOR-A U.K. is based in Chessington, Surrey; FOR-A Italy is based in Milan and with offices in Canada, USA, Korea and China, the For-A has around 200 employees, 500 in the FOR-A group as a whole.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what's your fondest memory?
I've been going to the IBC conference for years; 16 ... or so. My fondest memory is 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.
My favourite restaurant/venue has to be Bimhuis Pub on Bourbon Street.
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