In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 18


18

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Bringing IT and Broadcast Together Cont.
SI or a vendor can take a solution and customise it to death to suit the purpose of a particular workflow but all that happens is that the solution becomes brittle and unresponsive to new business needs.” IT-convergence requires SIs to Where broadcasters once turned to the work more closely with suppliers larger vendors such as Harris, Grass because they are managing software Valley or Sony to equip or upgrade applications on IT networks rather infrastructures in their entirety than bespoke hardware solutions with they are now more likely to seek discreet cabling. independent advice – something that “Systems are in a constant state all SI’s trade on. of change with regular software “Smart clients should be looking at an upgrades and the rollout of file-based independent solution rather than one workflows,” reports Wallis. “This with vested interests, otherwise there’s requires an ongoing partnership a risk of being tied into a vendor,” between the client and SI as systems says Phillips. develop and expand.” David Bird says most projects are The expanding use of IT infrastructure in fact still turnkey but require more in place of traditional hardware input and support from suppliers, requires very careful planning to especially their commitment to ensure that solutions from thirdsoftware interfaces. At ATV in Jordan party suppliers function efficiently together. “Clients want an assurance that the entire system will have a long working life in a world of fast-developing software,” says Day, who recently managed a U$2.5m order Broadcast Networks 4x4 HD DSNG truck from Arab Radio & Television covering the supply, installation and dB was responsible for the entire commissioning of a five-camera station but needed support from production studio plus a file-based Harris, ENPS and others for the ingest system. integration of their products. Wellen+Nöthen boasts strategic partnerships with leading broadcast manufacturers, but stresses that it is also important not to overlook novel, niche solutions. “We therefore continuously monitor the marketplace for new, innovative Unsurprisingly, most SI’s report products to add to our product and that business is competitive with service portfolio,” says Url. clients placing value for money high The transition to IT equipment or on the agenda, at the same time as IT structured cabling has also meant investment in major projects is seen as more reliance on suppliers and their essential for survival. involvement in configuration of Many broadcasters reduced their bespoke equipment. investment activity following the “From a commercial perspective global recession but the industry things have changed,” notes Bird. “All became more buoyant mid-2010 and our clients are extremely mindful of has remained so. budgets whilst striving for the best Broadcast Networks, for example, technical solution that will give them reports a record year for business in the best ROI.” 2010, delivering 17 OB and DSNG A good SI will pick best of breed vehicles to clients and with a number technology rather thank let a client of fixed file-based projects underway. get stuck with one. “You need to “The tender business as always is build flexibility into architecture and fiercely competitive and the demands that no longer means one system to on organisations to save costs are rule them all,” agrees Sharman. “An

Independent advice

Paul Wallis, Sales Director, Broadcast Networks

often reflected in tender budgets,” says Wallis. “Of course the competitive market from manufacturers means it’s actually cheaper today to acquire a full HD vehicle than it was three years ago.” Business is booming in the UK in particular with major projects presently underway including the Digital Switch Over programme, the move of BBC News and BBC World service moving to Broadcasting House and BSkyB’s H1 at Osterley. dB can claim to be the only SI working on all three projects. “There’s also the Olympic Games round the corner, which in itself won’t yield vast amounts of work (Spanish firm OBS has that locked in) but it will put UK SI’s in the spotlight,” says Bird. “It is still fiercely competitive which is a good thing for the industry.”

The business Technology climate trends
The switch from SD to HD may have peaked but gaining in importance is the construction of completely tapeless, cross-functional production systems in high definition. “Key to this is to ensure that one does not blindly jump on the tapeless bandwagon,” warns Url. “Precise planning and the implementation of efficient, uniform workflows, throughout all components, are the most important considerations. Large TV networks are increasingly discovering the enormous potential of such solutions, resulting in a growing willingness to invest in them. This is also reflected in our order book.” As broadcasters look to move into HD, or refurbish systems to HD

capability they are simultaneously seeking improvements in workflow. Increasing bandwidth availability is challenging traditional set-ups and allowing far greater flexibility in how a broadcaster can set up its operation. “The front-runners are investing in 3 Gb/s 1080p systems which gives them an easy route into 3D if or when 2D television displays are phased out,” says Day. “Others simply want to replace early generation tape-based or file-based digital equipment with more powerful and cost-efficient modern systems. And of course every broadcaster now wants to expand its podcasting and internet streaming services to leverage revenue from programme making. According to Bird the industry is still in its infancy in terms of complete infrastructure at 3G and will remain so until equipment costs reduce. “We all know that copper and fibre solutions exist to connect everything up but the bigger issue seems more around cost and availability,” he says. TSL’s Philips agrees that the expectations are for a 1080p infrastructure even if the facility will not be operational at 1080p at the time of delivery. “Very few clients choose not to have a 3G-capable racking and glue system,” he says. Although customers are hesitant about rolling out 3D until the business case is established, SIs need to be ahead of the curve. To this end, some like Broadcast Networks have begun running 3D training courses at a number of clients’ facilities. “For the operators and engineers it’s a chance to really work with the equipment and understand the deeper theory has proven invaluable,” says Wallis. “For senior management,
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - May/June 2011

In Broadcast - May/June 2011
NAB Emerging From Behind the Cloud
Contents
Communicating With Your Market
Autoscript’s Rapid Reaction Force
Bringing It and Broadcast Together
Broadcast Batteries Today and Tomorrow
New Developments in Broadcast Subtitling and Captioning
New Developments in Fibre
Multi-Format Encoding
Live Production
Gekko Leds in Film and Broadcast
Marketplace
The Fibre Alternative
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - NAB Emerging From Behind the Cloud
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover2
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Contents
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 4
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 5
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 6
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 7
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 8
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 9
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 10
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 11
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 12
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Communicating With Your Market
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Autoscript’s Rapid Reaction Force
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 15
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Bringing It and Broadcast Together
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 17
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 18
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 19
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 20
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 21
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Broadcast Batteries Today and Tomorrow
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 23
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 24
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 25
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 26
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 27
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 28
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 29
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - New Developments in Broadcast Subtitling and Captioning
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 31
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 32
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 33
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - New Developments in Fibre
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 35
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 36
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 37
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Multi-Format Encoding
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 39
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Live Production
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 41
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Gekko Leds in Film and Broadcast
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 43
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Marketplace
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 45
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - The Fibre Alternative
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 47
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - 48
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover3
In Broadcast - May/June 2011 - Cover4
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