Keeping ahead of the technology curve is becoming more important for equipment suppliers, as their customers are demanding the latest advancements to help fuel their business plans and satisfy the demand for content.
Wegener Corp. provides equipment such as its iPump media servers and Compel network control system for TV and audio broadcasting, primarily concentrated on satellite networks.
“I think technology advance is extremely important,” says Robert Placek, co-founder, CEO and chairman of Wegener. “This is the start of a major long-term trend in terms of technology for these marketplaces. Many of our existing network customers are looking to migrate to the newer technologies for bandwidth savings or going to high-definition programming.”
Placek spoke with Via Satellite Editor Jason Bates about Wegener’s business and the content distribution market.
VIA SATELLITE: What will drive your business in the next few years?Placek
: Our real focus is on targeted media distribution, ad insertion, regionalization of content, multiple languages, environments and the complex, dynamic networks to accomplish these things. One of our strongest areas is the network control area. We are developing our own control system, Compel, that evolved from a basic control system to primarily handle commercial insertions on satellite networks to today’s version which is capable of operating in highly dynamic situation where there is commercial insertion or switching of venues involved.
In the past several years we have been developing our iPump digital media server managed by Compel. We have expanded into management of content across networks and are developing the iPump media service.
Our newer products use DVB-S2 modulation and MPEG-4 compression and is backwards compatible with all modulation schemes. It comes out of the box with full high-definition capability, which we think will be highly important for the future.
VIA SATELLITE: What new demands are you seeing from your customers?Placek
: The idea of store-and-forward and non-linear broadcasting also is an idea whose time has come in terms of bandwidth savings. One of our customers converted to a non-linear network for a file-based broadcasting model based on the iPump and saved more than 90 percent on bandwidth cost. They are still using MPEG-2 and DVB-S modulation and older compression technologies. That’s a product we’ve been working on for a number of years and are gaining traction rapidly now.