In 2016, German systems integrator Broadcast Solutions GmbH has seen its role expand to adviser and technology agony aunt in 2016. The company’s business development director, Peter Jakobsson, tells there story
For the broadcast industry and for us at Broadcast Solutions GmbH the 2016 was characterised by change and transition – and no wonder.
This year’s hot topics - the rise of 4K, UHD and HDR, as well as the transition to IP-based infrastructures - left broadcasters in uncertainty. On several recent projects our clients wanted to go to 4K and, of course, they are also aware of emerging IP structures. However, there are always teething issues with new technology, and this time the leap is very long.
We have spent a lot of effort in educating ourselves and performing various compatibility tests in order to safely guide our customers. We have always been proud to be an independent and advising system integrator, and now we see this becoming increasingly important. The role of acting as an advisor to our customers has really gained momentum this year.
With our expertise and experience in building OB vans and studio infrastructures we are always at the forefront of technology developments. We want to provide optimised solutions to our customers, yet enable them to be flexible enough to meet future demands. We do so in three ways: as a system integrator, a consultant and as distribution company with an innovative products portfolio.
Living this approach we not only react to manufacturer developments but we also actively take part in the standardisation processes necessary. It was a logical step to take part in the AIMS initiative – as the organisation’s first system integrator – and participate in the standardisation efforts that are key to the further development and acceptance of IP-technology in the broadcast world. This pays off directly within our customers’ projects and our advisory function. But in our view the transition process to fully IP-based infrastructures will be an ongoing effort with hybrid solutions bridging the gaps between the two worlds for quite some time still.
Another step for us into the future is our effort is the addition of software based tools into our products portfolio. With the need for software driven, fully IP-based solutions in mind, we promote new cutting-edge tools.
Understanding the needs and challenges of our customers is paramount for the success of our company. I give you an example: Our Streamline family of pre-configured OB vans is very successful, but we faced some resistance in South East Asia. So we listened and created the “Alphaline” variant, which is simply a more compact version of the Streamline, and now we see clearly we are gaining momentum.
We already delivered one of these “Alphaline” OB vans to South Korean broadcaster KBS. This turned out be one of the first 12G OB vans worldwide. This OB is actually a hybrid, since it uses 12G SDI-UHD single link as well as 3G-SDI-UHD 2 SI quad link, as not all system components were available in 12G. This perfectly reflects the transition state the industry is in right now - we have to deliver working solutions, regardless of the flaws of developing technology and regardless of the sometimes overly optimistic statements in manufacturers’ glossy brochures.
The success story continues for our Streamline OB Vans. By design, all of the Streamline OB vans are upgradeable to full 4K functionality, so it is nothing out of the ordinary to produce them with the same benefits as the HD versions: short time delivery and price advantages. With several Streamline 4K OBs delivered so far, we are proving that 4K has already arrived and is sought after by customers.
This years’ IBC, which labelled itself the “IBC of transformation” was another proof for this change. At IBC2016, Broadacst Solutions received an order for five OB Vans from NEP Europe that will solely work in 4K and – apart from a 30 plus camera OB van – will be based on the Streamline type.
It will be intriguing to follow the adoption process of 4K, HDR and IP-based infrastructures in the broadcast industry and how users and clients react to this challenge. Needless to say, we at Broadcast Solutions GmbH are ready to assist with both expertise and advice for today’s and tomorrow’s technologies.