Manufacturer Musings: Rick Phelps, Amagi

Rick Phelps, Amagi
Neal Romanek
September 6th 2016 at 4:22PM : By Neal Romanek


Amagi's Rick Phelps thinks Facebook Live is a big challenge to the pay TV industry.


Name: Rick Phelps

Job title: Global sales leader

Company: Amagi

Number of IBCs you’ve attended? 14

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

HEVC, IP distribution, and cloud workflows will be the hot topics at IBC2016. All of these technologies bring increased operational efficiencies to broadcasters.

What’s will Amagi be highlighting at IBC?

At IBC, we will demonstrate our Thunderstorm OTT ad insertion platform. Thunderstorm performs instant, server-side ad insertion, providing TV networks with an effective approach to OTT ad insertion compared with the traditional method of inserting mid-roll ads on the client side. Since ads are stitched at the server level, making them compatible across various screens, Thunderstorm eliminates the need to create device-driven OTT ad streams.

We’ll also be showcasing the latest version of our Cloudport playout system, which supports the entire broadcast workflow from ingest to playout, channel branding and graphics, subtitling, scheduling, compliance recording, quality control, multichannel monitoring, and more.

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

Facebook Live is challenging the pay-TV industry, with its potential to take away advertising revenue from traditional television operators. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Facebook has signed contracts with nearly 140 media companies and celebrities to create videos for its nascent live-streaming service.

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

By moving the broadcast infrastructure to the cloud, Amagi eliminates the need to set up physical infrastructure, thereby reducing consumption of electricity. Amagi’s solutions help TV networks manage their global playout operations remotely, resulting in reduced transportation of personnel and machinery. That’s just a brief snapshot of Amagi’s contribution to reducing the carbon footprint.

What are your top tips for trade show survival?

Definitely rent a bike in Amsterdam. The city is very friendly toward cyclists, and there’s so much more you can see.

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

For me the Pijp is the coolest neighborhood in Amsterdam with lots of nice cafes and restaurants. It’s located directly behind the Heineken Museum.