What are the greatest technological challenges in your area of the market?
Our customers are looking for the greatest possible flexibility in the way they handle their channel branding and playout. Some like to keep the entire titling, subtitling, scheduling and playout process in-house on their own hardware. Others prefer a subscription-based model in partnership with an offsite playout service-provider.
Creating robust solutions to match these different necessities is therefore the greatest technical challenge. For in-house operation we have developed our PlayBox product family over many years, progressing most recently into the PlayBox Neo generation. For customers seeking fast-startup subscription-based solutions with minimal capital outlay, we offer CloudAir.
What changes/trends/developments in the industry are having the most dramatic impact on your business?
The implementation of IP and cloud-based playout and workflows in customers' organisations. Direct streaming over IPTV and the web has generated a huge and ongoing opportunity for broadcasters and content owners to expand their audience reach, especially in urban locations with fast modern internet connectivity.
How much of your business is non-broadcast? Are you seeing a growing demand for your expertise from different industries?
The broadcast business has widened as startup and operating costs have come down. This and internet-based delivery offer great opportunities for very tightly themed channels and non-broadcast organisations like corporate, educational institutions, content providers to create their own channels. Non-broadcast still represents a small part of our business but one which is constantly growing.
What do you believe will be the main talking points emanating from NAB?
The huge potential of direct streaming over IPTV and the web, both for established channels and for new startups. 4K-UHD and HDR will also be factors but our products are essentially format-neutral.
What are you showcasing at NAB?
We will be demonstrating the latest advances to our hardware-based Neo and subscription-based CloudAir broadcast channel branding and playout solutions.
The latest addition to our Neo product family is Neo TS Time Delay, a 1U IP-based delay server providing fully transparent delay of IP transport streams such as DVB/ATSC MPEG broadcast-quality compressed video and audio. Designed for broadcasters operating across multiple time zones, it integrates fully with the PlayBox Neo product family and offers a wide range of timing options which can be assigned to a single administrator or specified operators.Like all elements of the PlayBox Technology Neo product series, Neo TS Time Delay can be configured for single-unit operation or twinned for use in main and backup modes.
What is your business focus for the remainder of the year?
Our main focus will be on demonstrating the strengths of CloudAir. CloudAir is available on a standard software licensing model or via partner companies offering a subscription-based service. Set-up is fast, pressure on apparatus-room space is zero and control can be from practically anywhere via a web browser and secured access. CloudAir is scalable from single-channel up to multi-channel of any required size. It offers mobility in terms of access, reliability, IP-based workflows and linear or non-linear distribution.
CloudAir can be used standalone or integrated with PlayBox Neo to provide a powerful combination of on-site hardware and remote resources. Combining PlayBox Neo and CloudAir into a unified system creates a hybrid with unsurpassed scalability, flexibility and operational simplicity.