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On a Roll - Broadcasting & Cable

On a Roll

Pro-bel bores in on its core products
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Last November, U.S.-based graphics maker Chyron and U.K.-based router and automation maker Pro-bel severed ties. The move gave Chyron some well-needed cash, while Pro-bel got the chance to focus on its core products. Graham Pitman, Pro-bel group chief executive, talked about the future of the industry with B&C's Ken Kerschbaumer.

How has the year been since the break with Chyron?

It's been good. We've been able to focus on things on our own agenda. Today, we're primarily about moving and managing content, regardless of whether it's a signal or a file. If you have it here and you want to move it there, we'll do it.

What's the impact on traditional routing companies with Internet Protocol-based transport?

It's quite interesting. When you get down to details, they're focused on workflow in the new IP environment but don't pay enough attention to the holistic picture. Most still have a large signal-based infrastructure for moving signals around, as well as an IP-based architecture. And at IBC [the International Broadcasting Convention], we actually launched a router that will allow a facility to mix a file-based architecture with an IP-based architecture. It's still a research project, but it will help make the migration.

Is the holistic approach for everyone?

It depends on where the broadcaster comes from. Some are heavily file-based. It depends on the type of content they play.

When you hear IP, the name Cisco is not far behind. Do they have an advantage?

They do dominate the IP-router space. While we have switching in our router, their routers don't. We need to figure out how to get between one world and the other.

Will there always be a need for traditional routing switchers?

There's no doubt networks and files are the way of the future. The conventional switching architectures will disappear.

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