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The Hire Business... Why Hire Kit?

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Why hire kit? Well the main reason, for us at Broadcast Services, is that we wouldn't have a business if you didn't.

Joking aside, the obvious reason is that people do not want the capital expenditure and either want the kit for a 'one-off' job and/or they want the latest equipment. Which, at present, is the pain in the backside for most hire companies.

Go back a few years and camera equipment would be current for five years or more, Digi Beta being a case in point. Whereas at a recent video exhibition I asked a Sony man about a PMW something, "Oh," he said, "That is so 20mins ago!"

You see the problem; invest in some equipment and three months later it is not obsolete but has been superseded by another model. Then of course fashions change. Everyone wanted prime lenses but people seem to have fallen out of love with those "you have to keep moving the camera and changing lenses."

Well, there's a surprise!

That all sounds a bit negative but it was just a statement of fact, although admittedly to gain your sympathy for the hire business.

So how about business at Broadcast Services?

Well we keep ticking along, although one never knows what the next bit of equipment we might be asked for, but we like surprises. In recent weeks, or rather days, we have been asked to supply a 1-inch machine (yes, we have one – well, three actually), and a working SP Camera, and yes, of course we have that as well.

At the same time we supplied TalkShow units and web streaming equipment, so from one extreme to the other. On that point, and to illustrate the diverse nature of the business, at this year's Lord Major's Show we supplied one client with LiveU units and another with a DVCAM camera, "for what I'm doing tapes fine."

So you can never predict what people might want!

We don't actively specialise in any particular field of the video business but do have a great deal of experience in Camera Channels and Vision Mixers. From that base we have become one of the experts in Tricasters and Web Streaming in general, be it from camera or vision mixer.

So, where next?

The big boys – Video Europe, Visual Impact, Promotion etc. – have the film & television business well covered with ARRI and Sony stuff, but there is still room for the smaller and friendly companies like ourselves.

We like to think that we offer advice as to the best equipment for the job, even if we don't actually have it. Here I must say a word of thanks to the whole video hire industry as, if we don’t have what our clients want, either because we are out of stock, or simply don't stock it, we can always rely on someone in the industry who can help – and of course that works both ways!

The Future?

Well I won't pretend that it is rosy but the industry is probably near the right level, although maybe too much kit chasing too few jobs. As I said earlier manufacturers have rather over-egged things a bit. That of course is true of lots of industries, mobile phones, cars, even food!

So let's just blame Joe public, nothing to do with me Gov...

This article is also available to read at BFV online.


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