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BFV's Big Interview: Vitec Videocom

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Vitec Videocom Talks Innovation & Rising Trends For NAB 2017...

Year after year, NAB has been the frontline for groundbreaking innovation and product reveals from brands all over the world. Bringing together some of the most respected, sought-after brands in the industry, Vitec Videocom plans on making this yet another memorable year in cutting-edge advancements at booth C6025, hinting at major product launches guaranteed to improve the workflow and experience of their customers.

With all this buzz, we sat down with Richard Satchell, VP and General Manager in charge of iconic brands including Autoscript, Autocue, Sachtler, Vinten and OConnor. Satchell provided details on the brands' upcoming plans and up-and-coming industry trends.

What are the key trends you believe the industry should watch for this year?
The Internet has enabled the sharing and distribution of content to a much wider audience and as a result we have also seen the amount of content being produced and consumed increase exponentially. Linked to this, the cost of production has fallen significantly and broadcast quality equipment is becoming ever more accessible to a wider set of content creators, and we fully expect this trend to continue.

Last year, Vinten introduced the Vantage compact robotic head which gave users the opportunity to future proof their studios. This is a compact robotic head with the same capabilities as Vinten's high end broadcast robotics at the same price point as a PTZ camera. This means that as users need to change from HD to 4K or 8K, the Vantage head will support their future investment in new camera technology.

What about 4K? Many still have questions about its ROI and whether 4K is enough?
More broadcasters are beginning to adopt 4K as a means to create a more immersive experience for viewers and we are seeing this with increasing frequency in the sports industry. Portions of last year's Rio Olympics were aired in 4K while Japan's NHK network is expected to broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympics in 8K. We believe 4K / 8K isn't a question of 'if' but 'when'.

As a result, this widespread increase in 4K content is influencing production equipment purchases by studios and technology development by manufacturers towards Internet Protocol (IP) adoption. IP solves many of the questions around 4K production and gives studios the bandwidth, flexibility, and connectivity they need to support 4K and beyond. And while mainstream adoption of IP is not dependent on 4K, widespread adoption of 4K for live production is largely dependent on IP. In other words, IP has been around for a while in studios, but its universal implementation is going to be driven by – and is pretty much a prerequisite for – 4K production.

How do you keep ahead of the constantly changing needs and demands of broadcasters/the sector?
Events, such as NAB, are an opportunity for us to meet and interact with our customers. It allows us to understand how they are using our products, what their needs are and how that's changing.

Our award-winning engineers use this understanding of our customer's needs to create premium products. In fact, the ground-breaking products that we will debut at this year's NAB is a direct result of what our customers have asked for. In this way, we have always been dedicated to creating reliable, premium solutions that improve the workflow of our users so they can focus on what's really important – the story.

So, can we expect new product launches from Vitec Videocom brands next month?
We are going to have a very exciting NAB this year. Our goal is to develop best-in-class solutions that are user-friendly and help customers concentrate on what they are creating. I can't give too many details, but I can say that you can expect some major product launches from many of our brands including Vinten, Sachtler and Autoscript. With these trend-setting launches from our market leading brands, there will be something new for users from all different markets – broadcast, cinema, pro-video and everyone in between.

Visit the Vitec Group booth at C6025 this year at NAB.

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 5.

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