TV TECHNOLOGY: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 NAB Show?
COLLEEN SMITH: I think there are a couple of significant technology trends, one of them being the move to IP, which is showing no signs of slowing down. This is all about networking and enabling software-defined architectures. And as more media companies look to migrate to IP, we continue to make strides, which allow our customers to take advantage of it.
OTT, and the technology which enables it, is still increasingly important. Having an OTT platform alongside any news, sports or live entertainment broadcast is an absolute requirement, rather than being something that’s just nice to have.
Having started some key discussions last year at the NAB Show, security will continue to be a crucial theme and focus for our industry. It’s a prevalent trend that’s important to Avid customers and key partners alike. With this in mind, we continue to develop multiple security features within our product ecosystem.
TVT: What will be your most important product news?
SMITH: Our most important product news will address some of the challenges we’re seeing in the post-production workflow. Avid has a unique opportunity here because we are, and have been, one of the key inventors of nonlinear editing.
Media Composer has been at the forefront of most organizations for a long time. We not only understand what the editing itself requires from a post-production workflow, but also what editors need to achieve their creative vision. We’re an organization built on creativity, so our understanding extends beyond that. So, you’ll definitely see a couple of key announcements from Avid around post production this year at the show.
Additionally, Avid’s Maestro real-time graphics integration is something we’re excited to talk about because of what it’s allowing broadcasters to do. In the end, it’s about what the viewer is looking for. And it’s about news organizations, for example, accessing a whole new palette of creative deliverables—from new sets, graphics and experiences. At the NAB Show, we’ll be talking about graphics integration with our overall MediaCentral platform. I anticipate it’ll be a hot topic at the NAB Show because this is how broadcasters are trying to differentiate themselves. They have to be on top of their game and delivering that unique user experience in real time is how they’re going to get there.
TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?
SMITH: The differentiator for Avid is that users have the ability to stay within an open platform, using tools and solutions that are fully integrated. We’re giving users the end-to-end post-production workflow from first cut to finishing, which also easily accommodates other third-party products our customers might choose. We believe the need today is to be able to support all formats, especially when speed and delivery is important. You have to be able to deliver content immediately and you have to be able to create together. Collaboration is important, but you need that end-to-end workflow. That’s what editors and collaborative teams today are really looking for. That’s a big area of focus for Avid and you’ll hear a couple of key announcements at the NAB Show around that.
Another key differentiator that Avid brings to the table is that while we’re the best of breed in each one of our products we also have a complete integrated suite. It really is the best of both worlds where you’ve got the first-class products as well as the ability to have that complete end-to-end workflow. Avid is really one of the only players on the market to offer that to its customers.
TVT: What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?
SMITH: Avid continues to invest in its attendance because this is the show that many of our customers rely upon to understand the latest trends in technology and how they will impact their business. While the NAB Show has evolved, there have been many changes in terms of consumer behavior, the adoption of more OTT services and the demand for TV everywhere and anywhere. It’s now more important than ever to show our customers, as well as other media companies, what is going on within the industry and how we’re addressing these trends with technology. We need to show our customers what investment decisions we’ve made, and therefore, what investment decisions they need to make in order to be able to sustain and be on top of their game, the same way Avid is.