TV TECHNOLOGY: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 NAB Show?
RICHARD E. FIORE JR.: The 2019 NAB Show will have a heavy focus on ATSC 3.0/Next Generation Broadcasting Technology. We were elated to see the release of the complete suite of ATSC 3.0 standards last January, allowing companies such as Comark to develop, test and deploy exciting new technologies. NGBT provides broadcasters with more avenues to engage the consumer than ever before, and from a technology standpoint it extends the IP-enabled workflow all the way through to the transmitter’s input. NGBT also allows us to promote and integrate software-defined encoding solutions that provide the flexibility for today’s challenges and support tomorrow’s more efficient encoding algorithms.
TVT: What will be your most important product news?
FIORE: We are focused on integrating technology and software solutions to meet the upcoming demands of NGBT with our team of experts here at Comark Digital Services (CDS). CDS is not a product but rather an integration, test and deployment arm of our company that has already helped broadcasters with their end-to-end solutions. To that end, we are testing various technologies and products to bring the best-of-breed solutions to the market. One of these technologies is our software encoding solution CDS powered by TITAN Live. Software encoding is a cost-effective solution that easily supports a station’s current requirements including ATSC 1.0, high-quality feeds to cable/DTH MSOs, as well as the station’s OTT feed. The same system can also be provisioned for ATSC 3.0, all of the above within a single software solution.
On the transmitter front, we continue to promote and produce our award-winning PARALLAX liquid-cooled, solid-state, high-efficiency product line (4 kW–100 kW). This year we are also introducing the E-Compact “MP series” of air-cooled, solid-state transmitters for LPTV/SFN applications. The new EC710MP-BB is a perfect solution for customers requiring a compact 1 kW DTV transmitter, featuring separate PA and PSU chassis that utilize only 4RUs of cabinet space. In addition, future compatibility with both ATSC 1.0/ATSC 3.0 is ensured, providing the same output power for either standard.
TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?
FIORE: CDS powered by TITAN Live is a pure software encoding solution and as such it provides the flexibility to meet the needs of all broadcasters, present and future.
First, it is flexible enough to be deployed on a variety of configurations including bare metal servers, blade servers/data centers or even the cloud. Also, CDS is able to assist broadcasters with deployments, integrations and even migrating the software encoding solution from one configuration to another.
Second, the solution allows each video program to be processed and then sent simultaneously in multiple output formats. This means CDS powered by TITAN Live supports legacy MPEG-2 (ATSC 1.0), H.264 (HQ feeds to the local MSO), HEVC/SHVC (ATSC 3.0) and even HLS (a dedicated OTT feed via a CDN). And all of this capability contained within a single software solution running in a variety of deployment environments.
Third, since CDS powered by TITAN Live is a pure, software-based solution, additional features or software codecs (such as AV1) can be introduced into the product suite as the market changes and technology continues to evolve.
TVT: What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?
FIORE: For almost 45 years I have been attending the NAB Show with the same company since the Chicago convention in 1975/76. Over the years much has changed, but we have built many strong relationships with broadcasters and we look forward to bringing innovative products and customer-focused solutions to the NAB Show. For Comark, the NAB Show is about technology and relationships. We have many customers but also many friends that we enjoy seeing at this venue.