While at NAB 2015, we had a chance to have a 1;1 talk with new Global President of Professional AV for Roland Corp Kim Nunney. Kim steps into this role from his recent position of North American President for Roland Corp. Kim and his team were credited with the turnaround on the North American marketplace for both the consumer and professional products.
To kick off the discussion, as there is so much encroachment of consumer level up into the professional market place with features and motivation to produce more price aggressive and lower entry points of the professional market what is “pro AV for Roland”? Kim defined this space under two themes – the Professional AV space is a B2B marketplace, it deals with performers, studios and stages. The core technologies for these markets are live sound and broadcast audio & video. The Roland path is to develop hardware to simplify the live performance and broadcast control with new UIs for the equipment.
Kim went on to discuss that device they are making are focused on high level content – 4:4:4 for broadcast, 4:2:2 for live events for the video side, 24bit/96K for the audio both in the digital domain. These ae important as the use of the devices for streaming applications should be treated the same as for “live” as they are both temporal delivery without the option to miss capture or mess up on playout. The professional line is for reliability, repeatability and configurability so they can not only be setup as needed, but are always available when call on.
For these applications, the Roland Pro AV products deal with the front end of the signal flow – DRM, wrappers, metadata, security & encryption are done after the hardware in post or before the equipment on ingest. The newest generation of the product are all network integrated and aware, which makes for connectivity on an in-house or hybrid (in-house and cloud) workflow are supported in native mode for the devices.
Kim indicated that the trend is to continue this same high reliability both mechanically and electrically on the products to be able to produce the best live performance & broadcast experience and simplify the control & interface with software.
The company has a strong history in the Pro AV space and the newly re-vitalized Roland is aggressively moving towards delivering new modular products to the market that have the capability to address emerging audio and video standards, without having to make the customers develop new workflows. Kim hopes to be able to duplicate the North American business units success on a global basis with the professional products.