Manufacturer Musings: Ephraim Barrett, Rascular
Ephraim Barrett of Rascular believes the TV industry needs to hold on to its experience and expertise as audiences and broadcasters undergo dramatic changes.
Name: Ephraim Barrett
Job title: Sales director
Number of IBCs you’ve attended? So many that I’ve stopped counting.
What will be the big technology trends at this year’s IBC?
I think it’s going to be two things: the ongoing move to IP on the production side; and 4k. There seems to be the sense that 4k is somehow done and dusted, but deployments are only just beginning in any meaningful way and now we have the recent HDR standardisation which will further drive the development and adoption of 4k. For us it’s the move to IP that is of greater interest as control and media management specialists of third-party equipment. It was very clear at NAB that we had reached a tipping point and momentum since then has strengthened.
We have been working to integrate our PC-based control and media management systems with streaming playout technologies, Elemental Live being a prime example. As an industry we have to embrace IP and work to use our expertise in that arena as we have in a SDI environment. Of course it will be a hybrid world for years to come and there are going to be threats and challenges but that is the nature of the beast.
What will your company be highlighting at IBC?
Our flagship control technology Helm is now integrated with Elemental Live, providing precision manual control of the software-based playout technology. Elemental Live provides real-time video and audio encoding for linear pay-TV broadcast and live streaming to new media platforms and this will be highlighted at the show.
We’ve also upgraded Mediant our media management tool to provide improved secondary media handling for both broadcast and streaming playout. This includes the development of Mediant-AM (Automation Module). Mediant-AM adds automation to the media management process, automatically syncing secondary event media that’s on the playout device with the automation playlist
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the TV industry right now?
Technology changes have created a new/changing viewing demographic that the traditional broadcaster is trying to keep track of. This in turn is threatening brand (viewing) loyalties, viewing figures and therefore ad revenues. The challenge as I see it is how the industry sustains the traditional and embraces the transition to the brave new world, all whilst not letting go of its experience and expertise.
Given that the RAI is two meters below sea level, what is your business doing to address climate change?
As a business we operate a home office policy with a view to keep commuting to a minimum.
What are you top tips for trade show survival?
Your favourite place(s) in Amsterdam to unwind and why?
Generally, we stay out of town as it’s good to escape after a busy day on the show floor.