IBC2015 Q&A: L-S-B’s Jamie Dunn on ‘The Wall’ debut, the company’s international growth
L-S-B Broadcast Technologies is introducing “The Wall,” a tablet-based software tool for setting up and controlling multiviewers. Already seen in several OB units from NEP and others, The Wall allows users to configure monitor walls, route signals, and change monitor layouts or save and load their own presets. In addition, L-S-B is highlighting its signature VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) broadcast-control system.
SVG sat down with L-S-B Head of Global Sales Jamie Dunn to discuss the response to The Wall, recent customer wins in the sports-OB and established-facility markets, and how L-S-B is growing from a predominantly Europe-focused vendor to an international player.
Can you tell me a bit about The Wall?
It is a monitor-wall– or multiviewer-control–configuring system. It’s an HTML5/mobile-oriented tool, so you can use it on your tablet [or] any mobile device — no matter if it’s an iPad or a Windows device or another [tablet]. You can change your monitor walls on this device, and, immediately, the results become visible on the actual monitor wall in your OB or in the studio. So you can assign sources to any monitor, you can change the monitor layouts in terms of how many clips you want to have in it, and you can change the borders, the colors, the bars between.
Typically, the setup part of the multiviewer is a very technical issue, and it takes a lot of time. Therefore, sometimes the answer becomes no when the creative people ask for something, because it’s too complex. But this is a very easy-to-use setup tool that you could put right in the hands of creative people, not just technical people but the [technical director] and the production people. They can say, “I want that there, and I want this there, and I want it bigger, and I want it blue-bordered, that kind of thing.” And it’s very easy to use; you can do changes five minutes before you go on-air or even [while you’re on-]air if you really wanted.
Whatever the multiviewer system is, it doesn’t matter. Freely choose your hardware, [and] we’ll give you the tools to give you the usability and the workflow
Is this system used in conjunction with your VSM automation system, or is it independent?
This is a standalone product; it doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the VSM. As time goes on, we will bring some very nice integration between the two systems so they have very close integration, which brings some nice features. But, actually, it could be bought as a standalone product. [For a] VSM user or not, I think it’s a very powerful tool. The response we’ve had has been great.
L-S-B has largely been known as a Europe-focused company, but have you experienced an increased presence or seen more business in North America recently?
Yes. Obviously, we’ve made some steps in the mobile market with our relationship with NEP. And we have made some tremendous progress with the networks. There is a major sporting event coming up next year that we will be heavily involved in. So, right now, the U.S. market is continuing to be a growth market for us.
What is interesting as a company overall is that, if you look at our figures and the way that our distribution of business has been over the last three years, we were always a German-oriented or Europe-oriented company, and now we can say that our international business is larger than our European business for the first time. So, in the last three years, [it’s] a kind of twist from most of our business coming from Europe: now, actually, more of our business coming from the U.S., the Middle East, and Asia. We have developed those markets and are continuing to grow.