Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012?
I believe capture and quality of capture will be the topics of conversation again. The demand for high-quality images and delivery are key in all aspects of production. With the high quality available in some amazing cost-effective products, the use of these technologies will undoubtedly be pushed to the limits and warrant re-thinking of the whole production process.
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
At the NAB Show there seemed to be plenty of money and optimism around. The Jubilee was fantastic for us and many others, and we’ve had Wimbledon and Euro 2012. There is an appetite for investment in Asia, but you have to be there to get the sales; being part of Vitec gives us that reach. Overall it’s challenging, but people do need to invest and re-equip, and in a tough climate people spend more wisely and go with proven solutions rather than taking risks on new technology.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
The EPIC makes its IBC debut this year. Launched at the 2012 NAB Show, the EPIC is an all-in-one prompter display and on-air talent monitor that vastly simplifies studio equipment and enables easier location prompting, while retaining the advanced features and functions of the Autoscript LED prompter series. The patent-pending design replaces two pieces of equipment with one and features a unique integrated flip-down talent monitor which makes it ideal for both studio and location shooting. It reduces overall system weight compared to separate prompter monitor configurations, increasing compatibility with robotic/support systems; it also streamlines cable management for video, tally signal and timecode display, and reduces power consumption with the capability to run the entire system via one power cable.
We’ll also be showing key enhancements to our WinPlus software, and are adding more voice modules for our Voice Plus voice-activation software, with support for Norwegian and Italian.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
With the EPIC, and indeed with all our products, we put everything into their development because we are solely a prompting company; we don’t deviate or diversify into other areas as some companies do. Our focus is, therefore, totally on meeting the prompting needs of our customers and developing tools that solve real-world challenges.
Q. Last year I asked whether 3D was Hope, Hype or In Between. This year I want to know similar thoughts on “social media and broadcasters.”
Hope—it’s the key to how broadcasters will evolve. The way people consume media has changed irrevocably and continues to do so, with interaction on the second screen a key to connecting with viewers and making them feel included. The possibilities are growing all the time—we’ve gone from websites and spin-off shows, to programmes on demand, to Twitter feeds and live interaction, and who knows what's next—and the more content is available, the more people will consume.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
We have offices in Twickenham, England, and Shelton, Conn., and we have 58 employees. Autoscript is part of the Vitec Group, which brings a vast knowledge bank that we can dip into and also gives the customer end-to-end solutions from Vitec brands.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favourite restaurant or pub?
I attended the last IBC at Brighton, and then every single Amsterdam show so that must be…21 years? One of my strangest memories is the naked oyster server at the newly opened Supper Club. And my favourite café is Spui Café on Spui Straat where they always play Frank Sinatra. It’s a great place to relax after a hard day at the show.