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Exhibitor Insight: Mark Roberts Motion Control—Paddy Taylor, Head of Broadcast

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor (Image credit: MRMC)

TV TECH: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trends at the 2021 NAB Show?

PADDY TAYLOR: I think as everyone has seen, the COVID-19 pandemic has hugely accelerated the demand for remote production tools and so I expect most exhibitors will have a big focus on the advantages and efficiencies that they bring as part of the “new normal” broadcast workflow. I also expect to see more on the continued progress of the 5G rollout and the impact this will have in the live sports, events and media space.  

TVT: What will be your most important product news?

TAYLOR: Polymotion Chat despite being around for a couple of years has really developed during lockdown and we have released a lower cost version called Polymotion Chat Pro for simple automatic PTZ tracking that supports most vendors of PTZ cameras. We have also recently developed a track system for our own robotic heads and third-party PTZ cameras and acquired Agile Remote Cameras’ rugged waterproof PTZ cameras to add to our range of outdoor pan/tilt solutions.

TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?

TAYLOR: Typically, automated camera tracking is limited to the vendor that makes the camera, so you buy Sony’s tracking solution for Sony cameras or Panasonic’s for Panasonic cameras. Ours is open; we support pretty much all PTZ cameras and a number of third-party pan/tilt heads as well, of course, as MRMC’s robotics. We have been surprised at the number of customers that have multiple vendor PTZs. We even had one house of worship that had four different makes. We can work with all of these, but crucially, our machine vision engine is far more capable than these other systems, offering much better tracking and human-like movement, and the new lower price of Polymotion Chat Pro (£2500/€3000/$4000) makes it affordable to everyone.

TVT: How has the pandemic affected your company's business over the past year and half and how will it impact how you exhibit at this year's show?

TAYLOR: The pandemic has driven a lot of business our way. Customers that two years ago wouldn’t consider remote heads or automated camera control suddenly had their hands forced and we were incredibly busy delivering multiple projects simultaneously—something that has continued as we see/saw in and out of lock down. It has meant that what would have been a huge NAB Show for us technically and professionally has had to be scaled down to reflect the volume of our ongoing projects and the travel restrictions to the U.S. But nonetheless, we will have a stand that encompasses all of our cutting-edge innovations for all to see, and we’re really excited to get back to in person events.