TV TECHNOLOGY: What do you anticipate will be the most significant technology trend at the 2019 NAB Show?
ANDREAS HILMER: It may sound repetitive, but the answer is IP. As the availability of ST2110-compliant products increases, and the rapidly increasing number of real-world deployments shows tangible benefits, IP will again be the most-discussed topic on the show floor. The other trends I anticipate are that HDR and 4K, which Lawo has already integrated into our IP products, will become standard parts of production infrastructure. Looking into audio, immersive sound will become a hot technology topic again as the natural counterpart to 4K. Going beyond live production, I have the strong feeling that we’ll see the first utilization of blockchain and AI technology for broadcasting applications at the NAB Show; at the very least, these will likely be heavily discussed topics.
TVT: What will be your most important product news?
HILMER: Since Lawo is known as an IP-native company with a portfolio ranging from audio and video-to-IP interfacing, audio and video processing to IP broadcast control and real-time telemetry, it might sound strange that we’re going to announce a standalone SDI multiviewer. But this is actually a very logical step, as it brings 4K/HDR capability, a significantly reduced footprint and our unique unlimited scalability to clients using baseband infrastructure.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Lawo product if it wasn’t future-proof, which is why the product’s hardware is software-defined and includes IP network connectivity, and ensures that an investment in this standalone multiviewer is not a dead-end. Other product news includes new widgets for our SMART System Monitoring and Realtime Telemetry solution; new features for our VSM IP broadcast control system; new virtual modules for our V__matrix IP routing processing and multiviewing platform; new WAN- capable A__ Audio-over-IP interfaces; a new mc2 audio product; and the Power Core RP Remote Audio Mixing Engine for mc2 consoles.
TVT: How is your new product different from what's available on the market?
HILMER: In general, our IP products are serving as the foundation for multiple real- world installations around the globe, ranging from OB trucks over broadcast facilities to country- and even continent-wide distributed production infrastructures.
Based on open standards such as ST2022, AES67, RAVENNA and Ember+, we’re able to provide a comprehensive solution for signal infrastructure projects of any size. When it comes to differentiation, there are a few points worth mentioning. First, our VSM IP control system can basically scale to any size and is designed to serve as an independent control system, which means it supports the widest range of third-party protocols, as well as perfect integration with our own gear. This is essential in both baseband and IP projects, as the power of the control system defines the benefits that can be gained in any broadcast installation. Second is the WAN-capability of all of our IP edge devices, both video and audio. This eliminates the need for third-party signal contribution systems and results in a streamlined system design with fewer single points of failure. Of course, all interfaces also support ST2022-7 Class C redundancy. Looking at one specific product, the V__matrix distributed IP multiviewer is the only infinitely expandable multiviewer available, providing a solution that significantly reduces rackspace, weight and power consumption—and the same is true for our new standalone SDI multiviewer.
TVT: What is it about the NAB Show that brings you back every year?
HILMER: Simply the buzz. Everyone is there; everything is happening there. The NAB Show provides us with the opportunity to reach all of our friends in the industry, to demonstrate our latest products, to share the experiences we gained in recent projects, and to build up plenty of new relationships. We’re all lucky to be in this family called “broadcasting,” and I think having a show like the NAB Show—where everyone is able to come together to present new technologies and share ideas and experiences—is vital for an industry that moves as quickly as ours.