IBC 2014 Perspectives: Simon Westland, director of sales EMEA, Blackmagic Design

With no fewer than 13 new product announcements being undertaken this week, Blackmagic Design is making another bold appearance at IBC. As director of sales EMEA Simon Westland tells SVG Europe, the thread that unites them all is a strong belief in the business case behind Ultra HD.

How significant a market is sports broadcast for Blackmagic Design in 2014?

Sports is an enormous area of growth for us. Recently there have been scores of football clubs looking to install entire facilities with Blackmagic equipment. Our kit is on a lot of [leading sports organisations’] lists, and that is great news.

What’s new for IBC 2014?

In total, we have made 13 new product announcements at the show, and the one consistent theme [underpinning all of them] is Ultra HD. I think that, without doubt, we have been one of the first to companies to respond to UHD demands’ from cameras to routers to converters. My feeling that is from the perspective of the broadcasters, [the move to 4K] now seems like less of a challenge. The equipment exists and it’s also not at a premium price. It is also becoming clear that scoreboards inside venues is becoming one of the biggest applications for UHD… the ability to have a 4K signal in there that is immediately viewable [is very appealing]. Visitors can really see the difference.

What about the consumer perspective on 4K?

I think that a lot of people are beyond convinced. They really appreciate the beauty of the 4K picture, and it’s clear that sports, in particular, is the driver of this whole technology.

The cost of 4K TVs is coming down and the studio camera we have is also [accessible to consumers on a price level]. In fact, we are off to Photokina this week to showcase our products to an even larger audience than that at IBC! No doubt, the momentum behind 4K is continuing to grow.

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