EVS sets out plans for NAB and highlights industry tech trends

Left to right: Lisa Collins, Sébastien Verlaine, Veerle De Wit, Serge Van Herck, Christer Pålsson, Nicolas Bourdon, Armelle Canet and Alex Redfern

EVS has pointed to North America and its content and infrastructure management products as key areas of growth for the Belgium-based business, as it continues with its 30th anniversary celebrations and prepares for NAB next month.

During an EVS press conference today (20 March) in Liège, chief executive Serge Van Herck was joined by other members of the EVS leadership team along with key customers including NEP chief commercial officer for Europe Christer Pålsson and HBS head of legacy and broadcast academy Armelle Canet.

During a wide-ranging discussion, they spoke about EVS’ objectives for the year, what the company will be showcasing at NAB and the company’s ongoing work in the realm of ESG (environment, sustainability and governance).

“While Europe is still the biggest market for us and Asia is also an important market, we think the biggest growth will come from live audiences with MediaCeption and MediaInfra in North America”

After Van Herck spoke about the company’s foundations being built on the success of its reply technology, chief technology officer Alex Redfern then set the scene by providing an overview of the key technology trends and opportunities that EVS is responding to now, with some trends categorised as “long term” and others described as “those where you need to be more agile and more adaptive”.

The shift from SDI to IP falls into the “long term” camp, Redfern said. “From our point of view, it’s about continually going deeper and deeper into the standards and raising up from being just the endpoint to being the control system of those big IP networks through our Cerebrum system.”

Read more Interview: EVS CEO Serge Van Herck on innovation and exceeding expectation

Another significant trend is the adoption of cloud-based systems – which EVS prefers to characterise as “balanced computing”. Redfern said: “It’s about deploying your technology where the workflows are; if your workflows are primarily on-prem, for example if you have cameras that physically exist on-prem then often, that’s the best place to put your workflows.

“And if your sources and your destinations are in the cloud, that’s usually the best place to put your workloads. So that kind of balanced computing is something that we’ve been talking about for a couple of years, and it’s continually evolving, dependent on customers’ needs.”

This trend aligns with broader business model changes, such as the move from capital to operational expenditure, facilitated by cloud technologies. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations are also driving innovations in areas like cybersecurity and diversity, Redfern said.

EVS chief executive speaking at the SVG Europe Football Summit in Brussels in February

He also spoke about the integration of AI into creative tools. “EVS is very fortunate to have an innovation team, with some data scientists and really smart people that are probably two or three or four steps ahead of the industry and they work very heavily with AI. So, they’re working with algorithms, with language models, mostly deployed on-prem. And they’re starting to put AI technology into our products.

“For example, the [AI-enabled] offside line in Xeebra (EVS’ multi-camera offside system) is really about reducing the setup time, and for XtraMotion (EVS’ AI-based service for generating super slow-motion replays from any camera angle) it’s a creative tool.”

Redfern also spoke about “a major motorsports rights owner” using EVS’s AI-powered replay offering along with a software defined layer for asset management and MediaCeption and MediaInfra for multi-site and remote production workflows, plus US networks standardising their technology stacks across sports across entertainment and news, with EVS at the heart of the ingest and playback the asset management.

NAB 2024: Plans for Las Vegas

EVS chief marketing officer Nicolas Bourdon continued the theme of suites of EVS tools and services being used when he spoke about the company’s plans for this year’s NAB show.

In Las Vegas next month, EVS will show environments of LiveCeption and MediaHub together with demonstrations of the user experience involved in navigating between these environments.

EVS will also introduce new business models for its XT-VIA production server offering, with different types of density applications that customers will be able to activate and de-activate on demand, Bourdon said.

There will also be extensions to the Neuron multiviewer, plus a new touch panel for the Cerebrum broadcast control and monitoring system with different categories of user interfaces for different types of applications.

In addition, EVS’ AI offering will be bolstered, with some “advanced” proofs of concept to be introduced ahead of productisation including the ability to create a shallow depth of field, a deblur option and auto cropping to change aspect ratios for content distributed via social media.

Future growth: Live audiences and North America

Earlier this year, EVS announced record-breaking revenue for 2023 of €173m. One of the company’s aims this year, said EVS chief executive Serge Van Herck, is to build on that.

He said: “We are 30 years old, but we are still in growth mode, so one of our objectives this year is to put again record results.”

When asked where that growth would come from, he said: “When we look at our three main product families, we think the growth engines will be MediaCeption and MediaInfra. LiveCeption will remain a strong revenue generator, no doubt about that, but when we talk about growth, we think from MediaCeption and MediaInfra.

“In terms of customers, our live audience businesses – those running studios – will generate quite some growth, and service providers like NEP will remain strong customers but at a stable level.

“And then when we look geographically, we think North America will be the biggest growth engine. While Europe is still the biggest market for us and Asia is also an important market, we think the biggest growth will come from live audiences with MediaCeption and MediaInfra in North America.”

Watch Football Summit 2024: Video interview with EVS’ Alex Redfern

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