(click thumbnail)Adrian ScottQ. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2008?
There are several technology trends which will be prominent: HD, of course, not so much a ‘new’ technology, but in terms of pragmatic implementation; Mobile TV; and 3-D.
Underlying it all, however, are the more indefinable issues, which are now worrying so many people: we have all this technology, now how do we make it really work in a multivendor environment with variable standards, and above all, how do we find the right people to use it, and how do we train them properly? And, of course, the question of what is our business model anyway?
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2008 and that broadcasters should look for there?
Pro-Bel will be showing Morpheus ICE, a content delivery system which combines automation, master control, and media storage (video, audio and graphics) in one compact box; we will show a brand new version of Morpheus Control and Monitoring, our infrastructure management application; plus many other enhancements to our range of routers, automation systems and modular signal processing equipment.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what's available on the market?
Morpheus ICE is far more than a run-of-the-mill channel-in-a-box automation system. It uses the very latest Matrox technology and is capable of supporting all of the major video standards natively with no transcoding. It also embodies all of the functionality of Pro-Bel’s Morpheus automation system, including the unique MediaBall secondary
event management system. It is completely compatible with larger Morpheus systems and, in addition to being a standalone automation system, it can thus be used as low-cost expansion; as backup or disaster recovery; or as a basis for regional opt-outs.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
We are headquartered in Lower Earley, Reading, UK, with a manufacturing facility nearby in Winnersh. We also have offices in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Buenos Aires. We have around 200 employees. In 2007 Pro-Bel celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favourite restaurant or pub?
I have been to every IBC since 1985, in Brighton! It wasn’t every year back then, but I have certainly been to every Amsterdam IBC and probably three in Brighton...so around 20 in all. There are so many good memories, and they all begin to merge after awhile. But I’d say it will certainly involve about 20 people in a rijstaafel restaurant, with industrial quantities of Heineken and a lot of laughter. A favourite ‘spot’ is equally hard to pick. For Indonesian food, I have always liked the Indrapura in the Rembrandtplein. For a really classy dinner with your best client, there is little to beat the Jonge Dikkert in Amstelveen, a restaurant with a fabulous cuisine and its own windmill. And then there’s the Old Bell of course!