Manufacturer Musings: Gary Learner, Volicon

Volicon, Gary Learner CTO
Neal Romanek
August 26th 2016 at 2:36PM : By Neal Romanek


Volicon CTO Gary Learner believes one of the industry's biggest challenges is not just the move to IP, but how to monitor and QA the IP once, we've gotten there.

Name: Gary Learner

Job title: CTO

Company: Volicon, a Verizon Digital Media Services Company

Number of IBCs you’ve attended? 17

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

Although provision of over-the-top (OTT) and multiscreen services is not a new trend, the continued push of internet-delivered content into the mainstream will make it a hot topic at this year’s IBC show.

IBC2016 also will be an important venue in which to showcase technology and real products with the functionality to facilitate the industry’s transition toward all-IP infrastructure.

Technology supporting UHDTV likewise will continue to be prominent at the show, as the industry works toward making even higher-resolution, higher-quality content available to consumers.

What will your company be highlighting at IBC?

Volicon will showcase its Share application for the Observer Media Intelligence Platform (MIP), which accelerates the content-generation workflow by facilitating fast, simple clipping and extraction of timely, high-value content. Recent Share enhancements including ad clipping, concatenation, and publishing functionality, all of which further streamline rapid repurposing of aired content for broadcast, video-on-demand (VOD), and digital and social media outlets.

Observer OTT also will be a highlight on the Volicon booth. Observer OTT offers a complete, cost-effective quality monitoring and/or compliance logging solution for multiplatform media delivery. Also targeting the demands of OTT, the Multiviewer option for the Observer MIP will be shown with a new and improved graphical interface that better enables users to keep their eyes and ears on every channel in the broadcast delivery chain, including OTT feeds.

And finally, Volicon will showcase the Observer 8.0 platform’s robust tools for monitoring the SCTE 35 and SCTE 104 messages that enable accurate and flexible digital program insertion (DPI). New capture and analysis capabilities enable comprehensive monitoring and help users set up DPI commands and messages throughout the program creation and distribution chain.

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

The industry is poised to take much greater advantage of IP-based systems and workflows, which bring increased agility in adapting to market and technological changes, as well as new opportunities to launch and maintain new services cost-effectively and to tailor both content and advertising to the end user.

Although making the shift to IP may be a greater challenge, we believe that a fundamental and significant challenge facing the industry lies in addressing the greater potential for error and greater complexity that come with IP-based content delivery. For this reason, we expect that IBC2016 will be looking for tools that allow them to perform straightforward monitoring and quality assurance for services delivered across platforms.

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

Here at the Volicon offices, we recycle, reduce, and reuse what we can. While we are in Amsterdam, we will walk and bike to RAI from our hotel.

What are your top tips for trade show survival?

Hydrate, sleep as much as possible, eat healthy foods, and come prepared with Advil and Airborne. Pace yourself.

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

After a long day on the show floor, I like to enjoy a great meal. The Seafood Bar in Museumplein is excellent, as well as Café De Klos BBQ in Leidseplein. This year I am looking forward to trying a restaurant called De Kas, which is inside a large greenhouse, away from the city center, and is known for serving what it grows on site.