Over the years, people have frequently remarked how among the talent gathered together at the annual ABEX (Associated Broadcast Experts) conference, situated in Mikulov, a famous wine region, one can find in one room, a range of experts who between them could design, create and operate a complete, globally-advanced, state-of-the-art broadcasting enterprise.
Paradoxically, most of these experts can be found practising their arts in one Central European region, formerly known as Czechoslovakia. Foremost amongst our broadcasting specialists are companies such as Aveco, Comprimato, Nangu TV, Octopus Newsroom, Provys, Redcap, Stream Circle and Technocrane. Should our valued reader recognise any of these names, then you should also know that these companies are all located within only a few miles of each other. There are strong historical reasons for this. First of all, some of the early development of television technology originated in this region and was actually used to broadcast elements of the 1936 Olympics to those few lucky enough to have access to appropriate receivers. In those days, live broadcasts experienced a few minutes delay as film from the camera was processed and converted to an appropriate electronic signal suitable for broadcasting. Funnily enough, subsequent analogue live broadcasting was truly live whilst current digital live broadcasting also experiences a few seconds delay. Following the second World War, this region fell prey to the Soviet Union who immediately recognised how usefully our technologies could be harnessed to support their need for constant brainwashing and propaganda. This proved to be a kind of blessing in disguise as the broadcasting industry in this region was supported from Moscow and continued to develop state-of-the-art technologies. With the advent of LSI in the early 1980s, this region fell behind a little owing to economic constraints but other aspects of the industry still remained at the cutting edge. 1989 saw the Velvet Revolution with the Czechoslovakian broadcasting sector ready and willing to take its place among the best that the West could offer.
In addition to Technocrane, who have already established themselves globally by winning the Oscar Award for Merit at the National Film Academy Awards ceremony a few years ago, we should also say a few words concerning the other four local but global players here today. Firstly, Aveco who design studio production automation, master control automation, and integrated channel playout systems worldwide. Varieties of Aveco architecture are available, from complex multi-channel, multi-site operations to small standalone. Secondly, Octopus Newsroom, "The System for Better News", is a fully MOS-compliant Newsroom Computer System (NRCS), automating all the complex workflows for television, radio, sports and e-sports broadcasters. Octopus facilitates editorial collaboration between news team members at every stage of the newscast production process. It runs natively on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X; mobile apps are also available. Thirdly, Provys as a global provider of back-office management software for broadcasters helps them “to run their channels as they would like them”. Provys established its worldwide reputation not only for strong and stable software solutions, but additionally for a friendly and human approach to their clients, which is always appreciated in the boring world of ERP. Last but not least, Stream Circle have now established themselves as pioneers of cloud-based automation as a service for small or mid-sized broadcasters, featuring channel scheduling, 3D graphics and video files play-out with easy integration of on-line data. Stream Circle output is good for channels distributed over Web, IPTV, OTT, Cat TV or Mobile.
“ Today, here we are in the luxury and splendour of Mikulov, famous for fine wines, just north of Vienna, where the big global names and wine connoisseurs are gathered together with the renowned local names to recap on the events of the recent NAB convention. Key participants and presenters this year include: Axon, Blackmagicdesign, Canon, Chyron Hego, Dell EMC, Eizo, Isilon, Newtek, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz, Zeiss and more” says Martin Junek from ABEX Society
We should mention that the majority of the participants at the ABEX Conference, since 2002, have been from the broadcasting stations of this region, coming together to share information and experience in the formal conference sessions and in the evenings, whilst stealing each others’ ideas over a glass or three of Moravian wine, the other famous product from this area.