(click thumbnail)Jeff RosicaQ. What kind of products or services does your company offer for broadcasters?
Thomson offers a full range of content creation and distribution products for broadcasters of all sizes and regions around the world. All of the products support multiple formats within the same architecture, allowing them to operate in both standard- and high-definition (SD and HD) resolutions, to accommodate a variety of productions, whether in studio or out in the field.
We’re making high-quality HD content acquisition and production more accessible than ever for high-profile live HD sports productions — such as this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing. We’re doing it with our:
- LDK 8000 SportCam. which is the only slow-motion camera available that can capture true progressive HD images, natively, in multiple formats and frame rates — and provide 2X slow-motion acquisition at either 100 Hz or 119.88 Hz;
- Our new Infinity Series DMC 1000/20 also offers a faster and more extended recording capability with our next generation REV PRO media and the best pictures in the industry via its 2/3-inch CMOS Xensium imagers; supports a faster and more extended recording capability than any other media; and supports three different compression formats;
- Kayak HD line of switchers features 14 different SD/HD switchers from which to choose; and;
- K2 media/client media server system, our file-based, IT-centric, scalable, RAID-protected storage and delivery system;
- Digital video and audio routing systems, including the Trinix, Apex, and Concerto Series lines, which scale from a handful of crosspoints to millions—as well as our Maestro SD/HD branding and master-control system and GeckoFlex and Kameleon signal-processing products.
Q. What’s new that you will show at NAB2008 and that broadcasters should look for there?
At this years’ NAB, broadcasters will be shoring up their operations to meet the digital transmission conversion mandate of February 2009. Many will be moving from digital SD to HD, so we expect to see a lot of activity in the areas of HD infrastructure products (routers and modular) and in the studio (cameras, switchers and servers).
Thomson is focused on helping stations make the move easily and cost-effectively. One area we see increasing momentum is in integrated production systems. The Thomson Grass Valley Ignite system is a fully integrated live production system that allows one or two operators to control video, audio, machine and camera and teleprompter functions from a single interface. It has helped improve the quality of programming while reducing operational costs at more than 50 stations across North America and Europe — with multiple more stations placing orders (well over 70).
This year Thomson will show new Thomson Grass Valley Ignite IQ software, which adds more automation capabilities to speed up the process of producing a newscast, while at the same time improving such features as digital audio and automated camera tracking technology.
The efficient handling and protection of content is another important issue for broadcasters as they embrace new digital platforms and services. In this space, Thomson is targeting large multichannel broadcasters and program distributors with its new Thomson Grass Valley ContenShare2 workflow management software and hardware solution. This new IT-centric architecture uses industry standard computer technology to support a wide range of administrative and trafficking activities as well as the safeguarding of content via sophisticated digital rights management technology.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
Thomson has put a lot of R&D resources and effort into providing customers a high degree of reliability, productivity, quality and ease of use — all while simultaneously meeting the demands from their viewers for more services, such as Mobile TV and IPTV. In today’s highly competitive environment, that’s what it’s all about for our customers.
One great example of how Thomson stands apart is our end-to-end solution for Mobile TV. Mobile TV starts and ends with video quality and ease of use. We do both exceedingly well.
Our ViBE Mobile TV encoder enables automatic video content repurposing and adaptation to mobile phones; it identified in real time the important regions of interest in a video stream, zooms in on them and then dynamically reframes the picture to make the most of the mobile screen. And, our SmartVision solution can deliver added value and interactive services — such as pay per vide, voting, and push video on demand (VOD) — while our Elite transmitter significantly optimizes network coverage, bandwidth, power consumption and cost of ownership.
Q. Where are you based, and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Thomson has multiple global locations, including major R&D, marketing and sales and support offices in Burbank, California — where I am based. Overall, Thomson has more than a dozen R&D centers and approximately 3000 employees in our Broadcast and Networks business.