Informed Disruption


Marc Risby TV-Bay Magazine
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The industry is currently going through an enormous amount of disruption, and while many are charging in to embrace the changes, others are wringing their hands with indecision.

In 1990 during a time of disruption, Boxer was founded to help companies make sense of the changes and provide independent counsel that would steer its clients through the decisions they needed to make in the upcoming transition from analogue to digital. We achieved this and still do by always seeking out innovation, i.e. to find suppliers and manufacturers that were developing and launching clever new ways to do new things or finding new ways to do existing things better. Disruption almost qualifies as “normal” for us and is predominantly how we earn our crust to this day.

However, disruption, major disruption, doesn’t happen all that often. But sometimes, you wait ages for a disruption, and three come along at once. The delivery of video over IP; the increasing growing volume of 4K and HDR content that needs to be processed; and transition from SDI to IP have the potential to render legacy systems, services, and existing technologies obsolete. We make sure we’re ahead of the curve because the curves tend to break far more sharply these days and can require a keen eye and attention to detail.

So, we are constantly scanning the horizon, looking for the obvious and not-so-obvious candidates for innovation, because that’s what you have to do to remain relevant to your customers and their requirements. That said, there is a great deal of life left in existing technologies. Despite protestations to the contrary, the likes of SDI and even SD will be around for some time, and if you wish you can carry on just as you have been with people like us who understand what you’re talking about. However, you will eventually have to make a change whether you want to or not, and although the near-term disruption may still be economically or practically challenging, what we know about extending the life of legacy systems or staging a migration to newer technologies and working practices in digestible servings, has proven invaluable in making the transition as painless as possible. The beauty is, we understand what’s going to work best for your future, too.

For those who are ready, willing, and able to make a change immediately, we are constantly augmenting our product portfolio with demonstrably useful innovations that will enable customers to transition, for example, to IP.

Now, I would argue that IP, in isolation, is not disruptive. It’s how you use IP that can be. That’s a fine distinction, I grant you, but we’ve found over the years that the success or failure of a technology is often tied to how it’s used rather than the technology itself.

HDR is another innovative emergence that affords a slightly better way of doing what we’re already doing but, again, I wouldn’t necessarily call it disruptive. It’s more of a logical evolution that is steadily gaining traction.

I can now hear you asking, “OK. What is going to be disruptive, then?”

Easy. Artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a deeply complex science and can be difficult to explain, but essentially clever algorithms and machine learning capabilities, harnessing the power of huge cloud ecosystems and vast quantities of data input, are now starting to offer us real world solutions.

Early applications are showing impressive results in automatically harvesting metadata from content such as speech to text or real-time language translation or even generating edited highlight packages from live sports events without human interaction.

NAB saw further developments in this exciting field and new applications will start impacting many areas of media production moving forward.

We’ve come a very long way since Boxer was founded. Our advantage then, as now, is that more traditional companies weren’t very good at helping people make the move to digital, whereas we had lots of innovative ideas and new technologies that we’d kept our eye on and knew how to implement, and still do today. That forward awareness carried us right through subsequent disruptions such as linking computers to software, mobile phones (and their platforms), the emergence of file-based workflows and, now, the advent of IP video and artificial intelligence. Whether taken together or in isolation, the common denominator is that the demand for more efficient workflows will continue to rise.

The single biggest perceived problem in dealing with disruptive technologies is the technology itself, but notice that I said “perceived”. I know I’m quasi-repeating myself here, but the disruption is not necessarily in the technology, it’s in the potential cost of making what is often a wholesale change to that new technology, or altered working practices. Without experienced assistance and a soupcon of educated crystal ball gazing it can be an expensive gamble. We’ve all been burned in one way or another over the last couple of decades. (Can I interest anyone in a spare pair of 3D glasses?)

In our generation we’re, perhaps arguably, building up to our fourth disruptive wave, which compared to other industries isn’t that many. It’s therefore important for people to keep their heads while it plays out. The sky isn’t falling, folks. What’s changing is the ways things fly. The “Queen of the Skies” Boeing 747 has been a familiar sight for nearly 50 years, but they are steadily being retired. That said, Boxer and others are still happily flying tried and tested SDI infrastructures. Why? Because it’s appropriate technology, it works, there’s still a need for them, and there probably will be for another 20 years.

We have a long track record of helping our clients deal with change, disruptive or not, which we’ve carried on to the present day. It’s what we’re good at, very good at in fact, from both manufacturer and end-user points of view.

And because we’re independent, we can change who, what, when, where, and why we deal with manufacturers to ensure that, together, we stay ahead of changes in order to get the best results for our customers by giving them an honest opinion on their best options for the future.

It may not fully smooth the disruptive nature of your particular change, but you’ll be able to sleep at night.


Tags: iss131 | boxer | ip | hdr | 4k | Marc Risby
Contributing Author Marc Risby

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  • Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Wireless 4K Transmitter from DTC Domo Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

    AJA Thunderbolt 3 IO 4k Plus at IBC 2017

  • Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Quad 4k Capture and Stream with Maevex from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • 4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

    4k 60 Matrix from GDSYS at NAB 2017

  • HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

    HEVC 4k Encoding from Aviwest at NAB 2017

  • Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

    Apantac 4k live demo at NAB 2016

  • Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

    Omnitek Ultra 4K Tool Box at IBC 2015

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

    MULTIDYNE Silverback 4k at NAB 2015

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Apantac Mi-16 UHD Multiviewer at NAB 2019

    Apantac Mi-16 UHD Multiviewer at NAB 2019

  • Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

    Panasonic Lumix GH5 at BVE 2017

  • Garland at BVE 2017

    Garland at BVE 2017

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2015

    AVIWEST at IBC 2015

  • BBright at IBC 2015

    BBright at IBC 2015

  • Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

    Thomson Video Networks at IBC 2015

  • Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

    Lynx Technik at IBC 2015

  • JVC at BVE 2015

    JVC at BVE 2015

  • Grass Valley at BVE 2015

    Grass Valley at BVE 2015

  • Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

    Gearhouse Broadcast at BVE 2015

  • Tektronix at IBC 2014

    Tektronix at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics talk anamorphic at IBC 2014

  • JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

    JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

  • MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

    MultiDyne SilverBACK at IBC 2014

  • Hitachi at IBC 2014

    Hitachi at IBC 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck DP-HR range at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at BVE 2014

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

    JVC GY-HM600 series camera updates at IBC 2013

  • ATEME at IBC 2013

    ATEME at IBC 2013

  • Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

    Multidyne SilverBack, BullDog and Spider at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy at IBC 2013

    Cinegy at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

    MultiDyne: SilverBACK at NAB 2013

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • JVC at BVE 2012

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Articles
Original KVM or KVM over IP
Jochen Bauer Will the technology used in broadcasting solely consist of IP devices? For years, IP has been entering all areas of life. Especially control room applications as they are typically deployed in broadcasting benefit from the IP revolution in many ways. But an “IP-only broadcast world” is not yet here. Nevertheless, the trend clearly moves towards IP transmission, even though a large part of content production still uses traditional transmission paths. And therefore we continue to live in a hybrid world, using both original and IP-based technology. KVM experts Guntermann und Drunck still rely on both original KVM and KVM-over-IP™ to be able to offer their customers the best of both worlds.
Tags: iss139 | kvm | gdsys | guntermann and drunck | kvm-over-ip | Jochen Bauer
Contributing Author Jochen Bauer Click to read or download PDF
Keeping the Show on the Road
Andy McKenzie There is long-established saying in the media business that, if something goes wrong, at least nobody dies. It is almost true unless you happen to be a TV producer suffering a cardiac arrest because your primary video feed has gone blank during a high-budget programme.
Tags: iss139 | service | support | finepoint | maintenance | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Why MADI is Still Relevant
Stephen Brownsill While the original idea for MADI was to cater to a very narrow recording studio application, the standard remains a viable go-to multichannel audio technology. Beginning as a standard in 1991, MADI was first introduced to the world as digital production was beginning to come of age. MADI was put together in 1988 by Solid State Logic, AMS-Neve, Sony (DASH) and Mitsubishi (ProDigi) as a way to transport up to 56 channels of digital audio between large-format audio consoles of the day and digital multi-channel tape machines via 75-Ohm coaxial cables. Both tape-based machines have long since disappeared from the equipment landscape.
Tags: iss139 | madi | tsl products | aes10 | aes | dolby atmos | st-2110 | sam-q | Stephen Brownsill
Contributing Author Stephen Brownsill Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Pace with the Content Revolution
Kevin Fitzgerald These are uniquely challenging times for broadcasters and their technical teams. Not only are they having to negotiate the move to IP-based infrastructures and the introduction of new formats and techniques such as 4K and HDR, they are also having to generate more content than ever before to support OTT and web services as well as traditional linear broadcast.
Tags: iss139 | streamstar | streaming | case 800 | ipx | ipx-3g | Kevin Fitzgerald
Contributing Author Kevin Fitzgerald Click to read or download PDF