Last year, we were kept busy the world over, working on projects as far afield as Africa, North America, the Middle East, Europe and Australia. While those projects ranged in scale from small flypack facilities to full broadcast studios, one thing remained constant: customers want more guidance, and they want more value.
The trick is to be completely in front of new technologies, and to sift through the proposals we receive from new and ‘forward-thinking’ vendors to offer our customers the expert, independent advice they need.
The role of a systems integrator is evolving faster than ever. There’s a perception that all new technologies will save money – but that’s just not the case, and it’s our job to help customers see the wood for the trees and get a better, longer return on their investment.
One of the trends that has caught our eye of late is IPTV, but although the operational efficiencies of internet protocol systems are rightly generating interest, there’s still a lack of commitment to move into full IP solutions, and a big market remains for standard baseband.
Perhaps a more interesting proposition is remote production, primarily because it’s got the ability to make a huge difference in the live environment. Gravity Media (as Gearhouse Broadcast) has been one of the leaders in this area, having already initiated a number of successful remote projects.
For some time now, we’ve been looking ahead to a point where cost-effective bandwidth solutions are available to the market. We’re getting closer to that stage, and connectivity inside venues is continuing to improve, which means we have a better grounding than ever for remote productions to take off.
Meanwhile, higher resolutions have been conversation, as always, but HDR stands out for me because in reality it’s a more suitable solution for everyone, bringing outstanding picture quality without the need to invest in delivery solutions and 4K-ready end-user devices. Big sporting events are often used to introduce new broadcasting technologies, and this year has a packed sporting calendar that will undoubtedly drive the widespread uptake of HDR content.
One of our key projects last year was to build full HD studio for Live Point Art Production in Dubai. The fast-turnaround project took just 13 weeks from order to completion – there aren’t many systems integrators that have the skills to deliver something of that size at that speed.
With a number of interesting global projects on our books already, 2018 is shaping up to be another big year for our Systems Integration team. We look forward to bringing our customers along the journey with us.