Vendors offer a wealth of ’best-in-class’ IP solutions but how many of them are truly able to virtualise these solutions, and to what extent are they proven today? asks Tom Gittins, CEO, Pebble Beach Systems

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Tom Gittins, CEO, Pebble Beach Systems

As one of the world’s the largest technology showcases, IBC delivers an excellent opportunity for vendors to put their best foot forward, but most importantly it gives end users the unique opportunity to evaluate the teams behind the products as much as the new technology on show.

So be sure to do your homework, ask hard questions and choose a partner that’s in it for the long run.

At this year’s show there is much talk of standardising operations to move uncompressed video over IP in order to allow broadcasters to build a multi-vendor solution.

But replacing SDI connections with IP connections in the playout chain isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to move forward.

Pebble has adopted a ‘pure software’ approach. By bringing specialist third party technology and developing interfaces for plugins to best of breed solutions which are hosted within a single playout environment, we can avoid any limitations imposed by moving video over IP.

As we move towards purely virtualised playout, these multi-vendor integrations gain even more importance on the technical, commercial and customer experience level.

For broadcasters migrating to an all-software environment — regardless of whether this is hosted on-premise or in the cloud — the move does not simply involve choosing new technology. Implementing a new virtualised infrastructure also requires new skillsets and a fundamental shift in business models.

With such an essential change must also come a deepening of the relationship between the vendor and the broadcaster.

It is those vendors who can truly listen to the specific requirements of each deployment, adapt to the customers’ needs, offer expertise and a collaborative approach well beyond the on air date, and deliver accountability for their offerings throughout the lifecycle of the deployment, who truly deliver a return on investment.

This content was first published at IBC2016

The views expressed are those of the author.