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NEWS CAPTURE & PRODUCE The broadcast equipment rental market in the UK is in something of a state of flux at the moment. Will Strauss ANALYSIS On the one hand you have some very ambitious companies buying up their competitors or poaching their staff while, on the other, a clutch of hire firms struggle to get by with several having faced administration, liquidation and closure in the past 12 months. The reasons are manifold and vary on a case-by-case basis. It is fair to say however, that ever-reducing (or undercut) rates and quiet trading periods are often juxtaposed with the need to constantly invest in new products – and a failure to invest in the ‘right’ ones for the market can be very costly. Overheads can be high too, especially when it comes to kit servicing and technical support, and client business models are also changing. At the same time, of course, some businesses are just badly run. Either way, it sufficient to say, equipment rental is a very competitive part of the facilities market. VENDORS Sony Professional Solutions Europe (SPSE) has appointed Richard Scott as its head of media solutions, replacing Adam Fry who moves up to become vice president. Sony said that the appointment was “strategic” and that it would help with its “on-going transformation” into a company that is recognised for both its broadcast hardware and for “providing solutions through a range of products and services.” Scott was most recently at Irdeto where he held the position of senior vice president sales and marketing. He has also worked for Harris, Ascent Media and Pinnacle Systems. This will be Scott’s second spell at Sony having worked as a general manager, and then director, of its Broadcast and Professional division from 1985 to 1996. One of those making positive noises, however, is Presteigne Hire and its plans may play a part in shaping how the sector fares in the future. Having completed a management buyout backed by NVM, a private equity firm, chief executive Mike Ransome has now appointed former Gravity Media man Adrian Young as the group’s chief operating officer. Young will be responsible for all Presteigne’s internal operational processes (as the title suggests) but his financial background means he is also well placed to pinpoint further acquisitions. As he said on being appointed, “we are backed by great financial partners who will enable us to expand our reach through growth, strategic acquisition, or both.” As business models change further up the food chain, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the hire market follow suit through much needed consolidation. As such, expect acquisitions and mergers to be a major factor in 2017. FILTERS Schneider-Kreuznach has extended its B+W filter line with the addition of the XS-Pro Neutral Density series. Made of finely cut and polished glass, the NDs feature full spectrum coatings rather than a dye to ensure even light absorption, the company said. They also have a slim brass mount that is said to eliminate vignetting even when used with wide focal length lenses. The mount is equipped with a front thread to allow for the use of a lens hood or cap. The XS-Pro Neutral Density filters are available in densities of 0.6 (2 Stops), 0.9 (3 Stops), 1.8 (6 Stops), and 3.0 (10 Stops) and in sizes from 30.5mm to 95mm. 6 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 121 January 2017