Wednesday, April 16, 2008

improvements for the end user

As a mobile unit engineer I find myself wondering the floor looking at what everyone has to offer and thinking about if we or our clients can benefit from it. I was thinking about everything I saw today and what a common theme might be, I realized just how many work flow and user experience improvements have been made. The Telex KP32 LCD intercom panel that allows the user to customize a color scheme for each operator might sound like an minor improvement. However, now the operator can easily identify what type of communication path each button has. Also, the ergonomic improvements of volume control on each channel will be a big hit with the operators.

Panasonic, Sony and EVS all showed work flows that easily transfer content to either Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid NLEs. This cuts the transfer and ingest time, making a much more efficient work flow. Panasonic & Sony showed longer storage for the P2 and XDCam. Sony's XDCam has a 30 second buffer to allow you not to miss anything while changing discs (I’m assuming you don’t drop the disc and watch it roll around).

Thomson Grass Valley showed an improved Encore control system that greatly enhances the speed of programming the router and increases flexibility. It may not be the great new technological leap that would make the front page, but by making it faster and more flexible for the engineers to configure a facility, we will all benefit.

The variety of modular solution to our needs from a variety of manufacturers is quite impressive. When looking at Evertz, Cobolt, GVG, Miranda, or Harris (there are more, but I didn’t see them yet) I was struck that each manufacturer seems to offer a solution to almost every problem. Up/down/cross conversion, embedding, de-embedding, distribution, multi-viewer and the list goes on and on. They all have products to meet your needs. This allows you the end user to choose whose feature set, price point or architecture (they are all slightly different) meets your needs.

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