In conversation with Pavel Potuzak, CEO, Aveco

Pavel Potuzak, CEO, Aveco, describes his encounter with the latest technologies at NAB Show 2019
Pavel Potuzak, CEO, Aveco
Pavel Potuzak, CEO, Aveco

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How was the experience at this year’s NAB Show?
Potuzak:
NAB is always a good show for Aveco, but not just because we can show off our latest products and solutions. We truly enjoy getting to re-connect face-to- face with our clients. Those people are sometimes the best, because they learn about Aveco - what we do and how we do it - and they look like they’ve discovered gold. Something wonderful that they didn’t know about before that they can immediately see applications for.

What was different, as compared to its previous versions?
Potuzak:
As a show, NAB tries to jump on the latest and hottest trends, so this year it was esports. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it sets a tone where a lot of people think they have to pay attention to those trends, while their business model may have nothing to do with that year’s topic.For exhibitors and attendees, we saw two big differences: The IP world based on standards, is truly starting to take hold, along with remote production or at-home, to save on cost and ease logistics. And, of course, 4K UHD was everywhere at NAB Show. As an industry, we move forward. We have to. But there is a tendency to have attendees ‘burn out’ on all the ‘new’ and ‘different.’

What is the latest wave of technology doing the rounds of the media industry?
Potuzak:
While I’ve mentioned IP, remote production and 4K UHD, I think it’s something more subtle. It’s the ability to do more with one piece of equipment or one solution.I’ll give a self-serving example: Our Redwood  BLACK is a high-end multipurpose video engine with IP and SDI I/Os, and a range of supported formats from SD to 4K UHD HDR, this product has been designed for this world of change. It doesn’t force users into advanced technologies like SMPTE ST 2110, SMPTE ST 2022-6 or Dolby E encoding/decoding, but it has it built-in for when a customer is ready. It is the same with formats. A user’s business model may say ‘stay in SD for now’ and that’s fine. But when they are ready for HD, it’s in the box...as is 4K UHD. That is a benefit of years of history and hundreds of customers around the world, we see and understand where they are in their media ecosystem.We have packed a lot of features in Redwood BLACK, but that doesn’t mean we think customers will use all of them out of the box. And we think
it serves the industry well when other manufacturers do the same thing, even if those built-in advanced technologies need to be licensed to be activated (ours do not need any additional licensing).

Which technologies did you see more of, at NAB Show 2019?
Potuzak:
First, while technology is a driver, the true prize is to engage viewers (and there are always organisations looking to contain costs). It is also hard to see the entire show floor when you have your own booth and people are there to talk with you. But, as I mentioned, there was a lot more IP, a lot more remote production and a lot of solutions to contain costs - something we know a great deal about with over 25 years of news and production automation experience. Plus there were the drones, which I think are now firmly established in worldwide production, and virtual/augmented reality that’s not so established.

How do you, as a company, intend to keep pace with the ever-changing tech landscape?
Potuzak:
It’s very simple: We listen to our customers and prospective customers and try to fully understand what their pain points are. And we look towards the standards bodies, such as SMPTE, to see what can be implemented in an open way to help our users ease their pain. When a customer says, “What if X could do Y,” you have to take that very seriously - because there are probably others thinking the same thing.

Where do you see the industry heading in the next 2-3 years?
Potuzak:
We will see more consolidation on both sides - manufacturers and media companies. We will see what we call today’s advanced technologies become more commonplace and new ones take their place under that banner. More companies trying out IP islands, those with islands today will be moving to hybrid SDI/IP facilities, and new facilities being as all-IP as they can be. In that timeframe, we will see NHK do the entire 2020 Summer Olympics in 8K UHD (they did some past trials of the Olympics in 8K UHD and now have a 4K and 8K UHD channel via satellite). Will the industry head in that direction? I don’t know. But the question is: will viewers care about where we head in the next few years?

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