Q. What broad technology trends do you think will be front-and-centre at IBC2012
I believe the industry now clearly understands the importance of file-based workflows, media asset management and archiving, and that there is a serious need for tools to manage numerous workflows across multiple facilities with a substantial level of control.
OTT is revolutionizing the way traditional and nontraditional broadcasters can reach vast audiences, paving the way for the democratization of the industry. Now a whole new wave of access to diverse and niche programming is possible thanks to devices such as smart TVs and consumer set-top boxes with built-in browsing applications. The old RF tuner is being complemented by an IP tuner! Truly fascinating times…
Q. Any thoughts on how the current economic climate will affect the show?
Europe is experiencing the worst economy in years, but history has shown that the entertainment industry has always been able to withstand economic hardship, and so the transition to high-definition and digital television marches on. File-based workflows bring tremendous efficiencies to HDTV and DTV operations, which will surely improve our industry’s bottom line.
I firmly believe that large organizations seeking savings and operational efficiencies are going to drive our industry forward. And while the economic situation poses more of a hardship for smaller operations, they, too, will help drive the industry. After all, smaller operations must find ways to expand their businesses while staying efficient, so it makes sense that they would invest in file-based workflows--albeit less aggressively than they might in a more robust economy.
Q. What’s new that you will show at IBC2012 and that broadcasters should look for there?
At IBC2012, broadcasters will see various new features and integrations around FORK Production Suite, our acclaimed media asset management and broadcast automation software. New to FORK’s suite of applications is Xchange Suite, the Web portal into the FORK environment. Xchange enables an advanced level of collaboration and control among multisite facilities.
We’re also extending our long history in advanced craft-editor integration by introducing Windows and Mac integration with Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro. Other advance integrations include Sony XDCAM Station, Cisco’s UCS computing platform, and Harmonic’s ChannelPort playout platform.
Q. How is your new product offering different from what’s available on the market?
FORK’s level of customization, automation, open architecture and integration is unprecedented. After implementing our solutions worldwide over the past 15 years at Discovery Channel, CNN, Reuters and other demanding operations, we gained a firm understanding of the complexities that broadcast and production/post companies face when managing multiple locations with diverse workflows. In the past, previewing, sharing and approving high-resolution content among facilities required either satellite or dedicated fiber lines. Today, with FORK Xchange, multisite production houses and broadcast networks can immediately access and share content in video databases at all of their locations, thereby increasing their efficiency.
Q. Where are you based and how many employees do you have? Anything else we should know about your company?
Primestream has its headquarters in the United States, with EU operations based in The Netherlands and APAC operations based in India. We have more than 45 employees and are continually expanding. Our leading software solutions drive operations for some of the world’s leading broadcasters, uplink service providers, online digital media operations, newspapers and production/postproduction facilities, and our media asset management and production automation applications are expanding into many new industries and fields.
Q. Last year I asked whether 3D was Hope, Hype or In Between. This year I want to know similar thoughts on ‘social media and broadcasters.’
Social media is for real. It allows broadcasters to expand their reach and gauge audience opinion in a way that was not possible before. At the same time--or perhaps as a result--today’s broadcasters are creating and distributing an ever-increasing array of content addressing an ever-increasing spectrum of platforms. We simplified the publishing of content to multiple social media outlets with FORK Social, which has been adopted by many news operations and entertainment shows.
Q. How many years have you been going to the IBC show and what’s your fondest memory? What’s your favorite restaurant or pub?
We have been attending IBC for almost 10 years. I think my fondest memory was when Primestream and B4M debuted as one company at IBC2010. Seeing the new combined team work together at the show was a glimpse into the future for me. I think fondly about seeing how different one show is from the other, and how different IBC is from all the rest. At the NAB Show everyone is running, and the main objective is sales, but IBC is much more relaxed. There’s more time to share knowledge and provide more dedicated attention to customers.
My favorite restaurant in Amsterdam is by far Mayur! It has a lovely ambiance and is the best place for Indian food in the city. I became great friends with the family that owns Mayur and always have a lot of fun at their place.