Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2010?
The challenge of doing more with less has driven many technology developments within the infrastructure of broadcast stations and outside broadcast vehicles. Whilst production flexibility is key, it is also important to minimize operational costs, and move toward everything fitting into a much smaller physical footprint. Increased electronic density provides more capability; in addition, cabling is reduced and reliability is increased. This also highlights the fundamental issue of lower power consumption — being much kinder to the environment and lowering operating costs at the same time. And finally, the concept of integration is taken one step further by the need to also provide a bridge from a previously dominant baseband world to an increasingly IP environment.
Another continuing trend is to provide content how and when the consumer needs it. This requires much more sophistication in the overall content management strategy. The broadcast process used to be several application islands sequentially joined together. Now, it needs to be a fully integrated series of workflows with simultaneous access for every type of user within the programm production and delivery process. Of course, this ultimately leads to the need for nonlinear scheduling and targeted advertising, but excellent management of metadata will always be key to maximizing the value of the content.
Finally, there is a continuing need to provide flexible upgrades to existing systems with software applications in order to give new creative capability to hardware platforms or to support the requirements of new codecs or standards. We address this with our new exciter products, for example, that evolve as new delivery standards are agreed, or with our NEXIO server where new encoding formats for image acquisition are constantly introduced. This permits speedy reaction to business needs.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
The market continues to be tough. ROI is a constant focus for everyone in the industry, but we are seeing an increasing number of projects so the mood is also very optimistic. This show remains an important date in the calendar. Broadcasters continue to visit IBC to develop future projects and to seek new ideas and solutions to current industry challenges.
Q. What's new that you will show at IBC2010 and that broadcasters should look for there?
On our stand (7.G20), we are addressing current industry challenges – such as how broadcasters can ensure they deliver quality content to viewers whilst making money in the process; how they can manage the convergence of the IP and broadband worlds with minimal investment; how they can engage with audiences now and in the future with next-generation applications to connect content across multiple platforms; and how they can move content around their facilities and the world more efficiently than before. In that context, visitors can view new products and updates to our current products – from ingest all the way through to transmission.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what's available on the market?
Harris has an unrivaled breadth of products and solutions which offers broadcasters an end-to-end integrated workflow or a solution to a specific problem, depending on their needs. We also have the in-house skills to manage projects in any area of the broadcast workflow. In addition, Harris offers unique solutions that enable broadcasters to deliver HDTV and 3D, and migrate existing infrastructures to an IP-based world — all with minimal investment.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Harris Broadcast Communications is part of Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and more than 15,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists.
Harris Broadcast Communications recently moved their European headquarters in Winnersh to a new building. The facility was designed on an eco-friendly blue-print and is located in the Winnersh Triangle sustainable development. This move is aimed at making use of renewable energy technology to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Harris in the area.
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?
My first IBC was in 1982 in Brighton, and it was a mere month after joining the industry; a bit of a baptism of fire but it was a great opportunity for me to gain experience – 28 years on I’m still learning! Too many fond memories and good venues to pick just one! But in the past few years, Harris have organised nightly drinks at the Beach in the RAI convention center right after the show for customers, partners, press and friends - and those evenings are usually great fun. It’s not quite Brighton, but it’s a welcome alternative for a drink after a long day on the show floor!
Q. 3D – Hope or Hype or In Between, or wait and see?
It’s hard to decide at this stage whether or not 3D is here to stay. But whatever the future, our infrastructure products help support customers considering the roll-out of 3D, as well as 3Gb/s and HD. So by investing in Harris technology, broadcasters are building a future-proof solution, giving them the freedom to implement 3D should they wish to do so.