NAB Perspectives: Imagine Communications’ Vice-President EMEA, Mathias Eckert
The nature of the 4K adoption curve, the quickening consumer investment cycle and IP/IT convergence were among the topics under discussion during SVG Europe’s NAB Day 2 conversation with Mathias Eckert, Imagine Communications’ Vice-President EMEA.
What would you say is the story of the show from an Imagine perspective?
At the end of the day the industry is moving towards IP and IT infrastructure, and as one of the leaders of the industry we are taking that very seriously. So that means we implement the technology in the current portfolio – ingest, multiviewers and so on – and put our capabilities into that, as well as getting into the bleeding edge of software-defined workflows and so forth.
What fresh elements do you think the CloudXtream DVR offering has brought to cloud-based workflows?
CloudXtream really provides the current home-based video DVR into the Cloud. With the acquisition of RGB Networks we got certain elements of that feature we could mix with our capabilities. We merged the technology in one place in the Cloud and optimised the workflow, in the process accelerating return of investment as well as flexibility.
Reflecting on the acquisition of RGB Networks and Digital Rapids, how smoothly did the integration of those two businesses proceed?
The integration of both businesses went very well and is complete, [encompassing] sales personnel as well as engineering teams and resellers too. As with RGB Networks, the addition of Digital Rapids has also brought key capabilities – for example with regard to transcoding – that help us to provide TV everywhere to our customers and solutions.
‘The 4K adoption curve is turning out to be rather more protracted than one might have suspected 12 months ago.’ Discuss.
I would both agree and disagree. If you look the story of 4K, you had the early adopter curve [that included] a batch of sports events that provided great opportunities to find out how the new technology behaves. Now we see that that is slowing down a bit, but [at the same time] the industry is doing some vital homework in getting the standards up to speed. I am confident that over the next few months and years we are going to see 4K [growing in a professional context], as well as developments in the consumer market with more 4K standard receivers.
If there is one recent sports project that underlines Imagine Communications’ capabilities especially effectively, what would it be?
The most emotional one for me as a German was the World Cup in Brazil because we had equipment in every stadium and our IP3 router provided the core heart of the routing. Our multiviewers were present too, so the whole scope of our capabilities was reflected in that event. We had our people on site [in large numbers] and it was a great success.
We see quite a bit of excitement around 8K at this year’s NAB Show. What’s your view on that?
I think it is the normal habit of things that once a certain level is attained for each technology it will span out, so 8K can be seen as the next logical step. Looking backwards, we saw that with SD to HD and HD to 4K. The industry is currently taking a breath in order to get 4K optimised, but then we will see the next thing coming through. As for [what that means for Imagine] it should be noted that we are always open and ready for whatever is needed from the customer POV.