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Vendors Promise Major Upgrades for NAB

As more TV stations and programmers look to deliver more content to more devices, traffic system vendors will be announcing a slew of new upgrades to their systems at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters show that are designed to better handle the complexities of multiplatform plays.

On the broadcast side, these upgrades will help with the deployment of mobile DTV services later this year, as well as the ongoing push by stations to beef up their online sales.

For cable, some of the upgrades are designed to help programmers and operators handle the deployment of TV Everywhere offerings and will be important in the rollout of advanced solutions for targeted advertising, dynamic VOD ad systems and interactive advertising.

“Systems to manage multiplatform sales campaigns and the management of the delivery of multiplatform delivery” will be very important at NAB, set for April 9–14 in Las Vegas, notes Bob Lamb, CTO of Pilat Media. “People want an integrated system. They don’t want to have to buy three systems—one to do linear, one to do on demand and another for mobile.”

On the broadcast side, some of the interest in traffic systems designed to better handle multiplatform delivery reflects the upcoming launches of mobile digital TV services.

Myers Information Systems has been working with Roundbox and Harris on systems for handling mobile DTV deployments at some public TV stations. Myers recently worked with Howard University’s WHUT in Washington, D.C., on preparing for mobile broadcasts.

“I see a lot more interest on the public TV side than I do on the commercial side of the business, partly because of some of the funding that is taking place to move that forward from CPB,” says Myers President/CEO Crist Myers, who adds that they will be debuting a number of enhancements to their system at NAB.

Harris, which has also been making a number of upgrades in the run-up to NAB, has been working with a number of stations on mobile DTV deployments and has been working on integrating their traffic and billing system with solutions for advanced advertising, notes Scott Criley, new products director, media software systems at Harris Broadcast Communications. Harris has been taking a module approach to its multiplatform and advanced advertising solutions, which allows clients to add new capabilities in stages, Criley adds.

Eric R. Mathewson, founder and CEO of WideOrbit, stresses that his company already offers a robust multiplatform solution, which they are continuing to enhance. “Right now you can run your core TV channels, digital channel, cable network, Websites, radio stations, digital display and mobile off a single block of software,” Mathewson explains.

-- George Winslow, Broadcasting & Cable