Manufacturer Musings: Niall Duffy, Sony

Sony's Niall Duffy
Neal Romanek
September 2nd 2016 at 12:52PM : By Neal Romanek


Sony has taken on the goal of zero environmental impact through its Road to Zero environmental plan

Name: Niall Duffy

Job title: Head of IT & Workflow Solutions

Company: Sony Professional Solutions Europe

Number of IBCs you’ve attended? I haven’t counted, but it must be 15 or 16 now!

What do think will be the big technology trends at this year’s IBC?

It’ll be impossible to ignore IP and 4K this year, and I think 2016 will be the year we hear more about what IP actually is and what it means for broadcasters.

In recent years, IBC has seen a bit of a reversion to hardware, be that drones, the heavy iron aspect of IP, 4K cameras or software gateway products. I think that’ll change this year, and we’ll see more cloud based technologies, and specifically more ‘cloud-native’ technologies - software that fully utilises infrastructure based on cloud technology (on-premise, private or public cloud), rather than just sitting on a VM on AWS.

What will your company be highlighting at IBC?

Pretty much what I described above! We’ll be continuing our Beyond Definition vision and will show how our innovations in image, IP and media workflow are helping broadcasters rethink the ways audiences and production teams engage and interact with creators and their content.

We’ll be showing Hive, our next generation content production platform that utilises core web technologies, deployable on in-house datacentres, external clouds or both. Hive is initially focused on our news production solutions area, but the underlying hyper-convergent node structure and software architecture means that it can act as unified content platform for all production types.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the TV industry right now?

The sense of uncertainty. The industry has been through a period where core business models have developed at a slower pace, meaning technology could change at that same pace. We don’t have that anymore – the rate of innovation in consumer technology and changes in viewing habits are forcing the industry to think about inherent flexibility and adaptability, but against severe cost constraints.

Given that the RAI is two meters below sea level, what is your business doing to address climate change?

Sony is taking on the ambitious goal of zero environmental impact through our Road to Zero environmental plan. To reduce our environmental footprint to zero, we’re working toward targets set from the four guiding perspectives of curbing climate change, conserving resources, controlling chemical substances, and promoting biodiversity.

Our commitment to optical storage (through ODA and Everspan) is a good example of new products that are designed to last, rather than be rapidly disposed of, and as a form of ‘cold storage’ it is inherently more energy efficient.

What are you top tips for trade show survival?

I have yet to discover any…

Your favourite place(s) in Amsterdam to unwind and why?

Amsterdam is a great place to go running in the morning as you can connect some lovely parks and canal sections. First thing in the morning is very calming. It’s a wonderful city in early light and you don’t need to worry about any crazy cyclists!

While perhaps not relaxing, I am also looking forward to the 4K 4Charity IBC run on Saturday morning. I also enjoy the Whisky Cafe, although this doesn’t always work out too well with the early morning run…