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Switched on

by Roger Field on Aug 5, 2017

How are 4K and IP affecting broadcasters’ decisions around production switcher investments? Are purchases being delayed as they wait to see where 4K and IP are going?

Ashton: It’s evident to us that there is still a big drive for 4K content in the broadcast market and this will continue to be a key trend for production workflows. However, when it comes to IP, I think it’s still very much in its infancy, particularly in the broadcast market.

You have to remember that SDI is still so prevalent throughout the industry, and so I don’t foresee any broadcaster rushing to make the switch to a fully IP-based infrastructure - it will be a gradual evolution once there is a single universally agreed standard.

As a manufacturer, we will continue to ensure that we support broadcasters, whatever path they ultimately choose. So while we remain committed to offering support for 12G-SDI, we are also exploring developing IP products based on the TICO compression standard, the first of which is the Teranex Mini IP.

Do you see broadcasters holding off investments?

Carter: We don’t see people holding off investments so much. What we are seeing is that customers want to ensure any investment is futureproof. They are buying systems they can migrate to 12G-SDI or IP when the time is right. SAM has a very clear and strong product roadmap, so customers know that their investment is protected and that we will help them migrate to IP, 12G-SDI or whatever new workflow or technology their business requires in a way and at a speed that is right for them.

What are the big advantages with the latest generation of switchers?

Hasan: Currently I recognise SAM, Ross, FOR-A, Grass Valley and Sony as the major players and rivals in the production switcher industry. SAM, Ross and FOR-A have really come up in leaps and bounds by introducing really flexible, cost effective small and medium size production switchers allowing customers to enjoy the freedom of outstanding features at the most affordable prices. They also have a full range of large scale production switchers.

Grass Valley and Sony thrive on relatively large production switchers focusing on major broadcasters around the globe. They also have a new range of switchers with equally impressive features.

Clearly to date SAM Kahuna series, FOR-A’s HVS-2000 and new HVS-490 series and Ross Carbonite Black series are doing very well in the industry and with technology evolving so fast it’s fair to say that there is much more to come.

Carter: Kahuna’s Make M/E feature enables customers to maximise resources and allocate them as and where they see fit. The system is completely interchangeable, depending on their production, giving them the maximum amount of flexibility and agility to adapt to operational needs on the ground. Our Make M/E technology is unique to SAM - our competition can’t do this.

As customers make the migration to UHD, keeping workflows as transparent as possible with no delays is crucial. With SAM’s Kahuna and Kula switchers, vision mixer/TD switching in UHD or 4K is just like switching HD, which is a big advantage to users. They deliver flexible, scalable production power, allowing users to maximise creativity by combining mixers, keyers and DVE effects in a way that suits them.

SAM switchers provide users with the ability to break up the resources on hand to make best use of them; multiple control panels can be used to control the same mainframe for greater cost efficiency. Full native support for IP/12G-SDI I/O is another significant benefit that SAM’s switchers deliver and if you add that to the flexibility of our Maverik control panel, provides customers with freedom to choose a configuration that is best suited to their specific needs. The Kula production switcher delivers the same functionality as the Kahuna, but in a more compact and cost-effective package. So we address the whole spectrum of broadcast and production requirements and customers know we can deliver a product that suits their needs and their budget.


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