Axon’s Peter Schut discusses involvement in Euro Media Group’s OBjective 2020 initiative
A few days before the holiday period got underway Axon revealed to the industry that Euro Media Group (EMG) had selected it out of several vendors to become a strategic technology partner for its ambitious OBjective 2020 project, which is focused on the development of a versatile new concept for future media production solutions.
Ronald Meyvisch, CTO of EMG, comments: “What we wanted to achieve was a triple-A solution to produce content Anywhere, Anyhow, Anysize. Our goal was to cover both remote production and on site production and to be able to do anything between a small HD production and the biggest UHD show one can think of.”
In order to accommodate these varying requirements the new concept needed to be modular, scalable and IP-based. A data-centric approach allows applications to be deployed flexibility on an FPGA-based platform connected via an extensive network.
The end-result of an RFP was that Axon was appointed to provide its Cerebrum control and monitoring solution, as well as a number of other technologies. “In Axon we found the partner who could provide us [with] both the state-of-the-art and future-proof control system [Cerebrum] as well as a very powerful IP-based video/audio processing platform that will deliver the necessary processing power and gateways to support this distributed media infrastructure we had in mind,” says Meyvisch.
Speaking to SVG Europe, Axon CTO & VP Peter Schut recalls that EMG had “the opportunity to peak into our kitchen, so to speak, to see what new products we were developing, and it turned out that they fitted their requirements perfectly. They wanted to be able to take a flexible approach with their trucks and flypacks, in order to handle, for example, ten small jobs or ten big ones.”
Ultimately it became clear that Cerebrum would provide the necessary ease of reconfiguration. “The product is very modern, flexible and efficient, and together with the commitment we could provide as a partner in this development, I think that it tipped the scale towards us,” says Schut, who adds that Axon is “winning a new project every other week” with Cerebrum at present.
EMG facilities in progress
The first solutions to be built following the OBjective 2020 philosophy are expected to be operational at the beginning of 2018 and will offer the ability to undertake UHD production. Later in the year, EMG plans the roll-out of several OB trucks, as well as the renewal of the Italian sports media remote production centre operated by 3Zero2 – all based around the same concept and IP-based infrastructures.
“Thanks to IP, we are now able to harmonise the core technology used in EMG for media production, thus allowing us to share the hardware and exchange the people between our different entities in order to increase our operational efficiency,” says EMG CFO Patrick van den Berg. “This is of strategic importance for our group in order to stay ahead of the competition and respond to the market demand for cost effective and flexible solutions.”