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Exhibitor Viewpoint — Eric Gallier, Vice President, Marketing at Thomson Video Networks

Q. What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2015 NAB Show?

A. We believe that solutions for multiscreen delivery will dominate the NAB Show this year, since more and more service providers are now realizing they have to offer multiscreen services to stay competitive. The ability to adapt the existing infrastructure easily and cost-effectively to offer services like catch-up TV, start-over TV and cloud DVR is a top priority for our customers. They are looking to invest in broadcast-grade, highly reliable multiscreen delivery solutions that can be easily integrated into the existing broadcast operation. In other words, service providers are looking for a unified and robust video delivery platform to support both traditional broadcast and new multiscreen services.

Additionally, service providers are keen to take advantage of advanced compression technologies such as dedicated ASICs, as well as technology innovations like software or GPU-based servers and virtualized environments. Each of those technologies has its own advantages: ASICs is about compression performance for premium content; software solutions offer flexibility, scalability and reduced time to market; and virtualized solutions in the cloud convert CAPEX to OPEX and offer speedy deployment of new services. But, on their own, none of these approaches can address all of customers’ expectations and business needs.

Therefore, customers’ ultimate requirement is to make their channel lineup as simple to operate as possible through a unified and robust delivery platform for both broadcast and multiscreen services. With this type of solution, the operator does not have to make compromises in technology choice.

Q. What will be your most important product news?

A. For the first time at the 2015 NAB Show, we’ll showcase Behind Every Screen — an approach that enables media companies, video service providers and broadcasters to maintain high standards of video quality and to evolve seamlessly, cost-effectively and profitably as new, live video delivery paradigms emerge. Behind Every Screen provides an all-encompassing video delivery infrastructure that mixes on-premises and cloud-based resources to support broadcast and OTT streaming of SD, HD, and Ultra HD (UHD) content on every screen.

Behind Every Screen relies on Thomson Video Networks' award-winning compression solutions for encoding of high-value content. These include the MediaFlexSUITE, a unified, service-driven management and monitoring solution; the ViBE EM4000 eight-channel SD/HD premium encoder with new SD MPEG-2 to HD MPEG-4 switching features; and the ViBE VS7000 cloud-enabled multiscreen encoding system. We’ll also highlight the market-leading ViBE CP6000 for world-class video contribution, and the award-winning ViBE XT1000 Xtream Transcoder for high-density compression of long-tail content.

One of our biggest product announcements, and the newest addition to Behind Every Screen, is the FUZE-1 Playout System — a next-generation playout infrastructure for channel origination and content customization. FUZE-1 is a unique, versatile and cost-effective solution that takes the channel-in-a-box concept to new levels by combining advanced graphics, sophisticated built-in automation, and an integrated asset manager with premium-quality encoding and transcoding for broadcast and OTT delivery. In addition, we’ll unveil our newest live Ultra HD HEVC real-time encoding solution, designed to offer the optimal video experience to consumers. The new ViBE 4K solution complements the ViBE VS7000 multiscreen and HEVC video encoder to provide a rich UHDTV picture at up to 60 frames per second (fps) and in 10-bit color. As part of our NAB Show UHDTV demonstration, we’ll display premium HEVC UHD content protection using watermarking technology as mandated by the MovieLabs consortium.

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

A. Recent years have seen an explosion of new lower-tier, linear TV channels that require their own distinct graphic identity. At the same time, broadcasters know that OTT distribution of premium channels is a must if they want to stay relevant and competitive. Channel-in-a-box (CiaB) solutions allow broadcasters to move away from complex and expensive multivendor infrastructures for uncompressed playout. But in a typical CiaB system, the playout and compression functions operate as independent silos.

With FUZE-1, we’re breaking down these silos with a versatile and cost-effective solution for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and HEVC video playout on-premises or in the cloud. FUZE-1 is the first solution to integrate CiaB capabilities with premium-quality encoding and transcoding for broadcast and OTT delivery. In this regard, FUZE-1 uniquely fulfills the acquisition, branding, ad insertion and compression requirements of today’s most sophisticated multiscreen media operations.

Q. What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?

A. The NAB Show is our industry’s top trade show. There is truly no better show in the United States to meet with current customers, partners and prospects, and to show off our newest products to key decision-makers. Beyond that, NAB Show is extremely important for Thomson Video Networks because the technology area in which we specialize is advancing very rapidly. The show is a chance for broadcasters to get up to speed on the latest and greatest innovations, and it’s our chance to show prospective customers how our technology is keeping up with advances in the industry.