Our Tech Portal had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Martijn van Erven, Sales Manager of Mobile Viewpoint during Comart Production & Transmission Days 2018 event held in Athens on May 2018. There are a lot of messages and useful information for the Broadcast, Production, Security and other Industries that need to take advantage from high quality IP solutions.
Text: Andreas Tzanakos
Images: Andreas Tzanakos, Martijn van Erven and Mobile Viewpoint Archive
radiotvlink.gr: Let's start our discussion with some details about you. Our readers should know a few things for our fine interlocutor.
Martijn van Erven: My name is Martijn van Erven and Ι am working as a sales manager, based in the head office of Mobile Viewpoint in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. To be close to our customers and help them as soon as possible, the company works with local partners all over the world. As a sales manager I am responsible for sales/customers in a different number of countries, for example Greece, and try to make our product known within the market, which I do together with the local partners. Because I work mainly abroad, I travel a lot to our local partners and customers to stay up to date about their requirements for our products.
radiotvlink.gr: Will you be so kind to let us know important things about Mobile Viewpoint.
Martijn van Erven: Mobile Viewpoint is part of the Triple company, which is also based in Alkmaar, the Netherlands. In total we have around 125 employees, which are located in our head office, but also abroad in our international offices. Our product is being developed and produced in the Netherlands. From our factory the product is been send out all over the world.
radiotvlink.gr: Can you mention in brief the Mobile Viewpoint's products portfolio? What is the designing and manufacturing philosophy of the company?
Martijn van Erven: Mobile Viewpoint is a real development company. Which results in great- and innovative products for the broadcasting environment, for example with our mobile multicamera encoder with 2 video inputs or our ruggedized action camera with built-in modems and camera. As Mobile Viewpoint we always try to stay in close touch with our customers, to stay up to date about their current requirements which we can implement in to our products.
radiotvlink.gr: Time to focus in the encoders family of Mobile Viewpoint. What are the basic characteristics and features for each member of the encoders family? Why broadcasters, ENG services and OB services companies should invest in an encoder from Mobile Viewpoint? From your point view what are the main differences between Mobile Viewpoint's encoders and the products of the competition?
Martijn van Erven: As described earlier, Mobile Viewpoint is a real development company. This is also what you see in our products. Within the company we have a lot of ideas. We discuss these ideas with our customers and match them with their requirements. This resulted in the launch of h.265 encoding already 3 years ago, fully ruggedized equipment, multicamera rack units with tally and IFB. But also fully mobile units with multiple camera inputs. At NAB we have showed other products focused on remote production, like our automated camera studio or automated sports producer.
radiotvlink.gr: Can you give us more info concerning Mobile Viewpoint's solutions for Remote and Multicam productions? What about the coverage of 4K and HDR productions?
Martijn van Erven: Within Mobile Viewpoint we work very close with our customers, which results in new developments. Like there was a request for sending over multiple camera feeds from a remote location in a cost effective way. We developed our rack unit with 4 video inputs, 4 times tally and IFB, this makes it possible for the customer to do a low cost production on any location. For more information about our multicamera equipment, I would like to forward you to our website.
At the moment there is not much interest in HDR. 4K is more interesting for the Asian market, which our Ultralink unit is quite popular.
radiotvlink.gr: We would like to have more details for LinkMatrix, the control and management center for low cost creation, management and monitoring of video feeds.
Martijn van Erven: A customer can have a lot of mobile encoders within the company. For the MCR/NOC it is necessary to manage all these incoming feeds in a clear way and put them through an output very quick and easy. For that reason we have developed (and still developing) our Linkmatrix. The Linkmatrix is our web based portal for management and control. Via the Linkmatrix the customer is able to manage and control his encoders and decoders, connect inputs to outputs. But also creating new outputs, to Facebook, Youtube and other external platforms. One of the big benefits of the solution is, that you can really manage each product of Mobile Viewpoint via this system. This makes it easy in use within the customers company.
radiotvlink.gr: Broadcasters, telcos with tv services, teams and trainers from a great variety of sports, sports web portals and many more should know about IQ Sports Producer, the Mobile Viewpoint's new solution for Intelligent, Low cost Live Production and Streaming of Field Sports with just one camera!
Martijn van Erven: Yes, that’s correct! The IQ Sports Producer is an all-in-one production suite. It’s simple and intuitive interface allows anyone to produce and stream a game anywhere, with no on-site crew needed! The IQ Sports Producer makes live and on demand web broadcasting available without the hassle of setting up multiple cameras and hiring a camera crew. The system provides an automated video broadcast production with a one 180 degrees camera installation. The superb de-warping and stitching technology provides a natural looking corrected image with straight line markings. With this technology cost effective cameras can be used for complete coverage of the playing field. A pan and zoomed image is automatic created by special developed game tracking technology.
radiotvlink.gr: And what about the Mobile Viewpoint's streaming solutions (devices and apps)? Please give us some useful details about them. Who can take advantage from them?
Martijn van Erven: At Mobile Viewpoint we develop and produce products for sending over video. But the requirements of a broadcaster to TV are different then a streaming company who wants to stream to a website or CDN. For example, if you stream to a web platform, they don’t accept a high bitrate and h.265 encoding, which are 2 features the broadcasters to TV usually do require. At Mobile Viewpoint we have products for these specific requirements. These customers have the advantage of our developments for the broadcasters, but for a very affordable price.
radiotvlink.gr: Mobile Viewpoint's products portfolio also contain rack encoders and decoders. Can you tell us in brief what are their characteristics and futures?
Martijn van Erven: Yes, that’s correct. Very simply said, we can offer our products in a mobile device, but also in a rack device. A mobile device is flexible and you have the possibility to use it everywhere because of the small size and modems. This could be for example in a rack with fixed internet in your studio to share content between different locations. But it could also be in a small truck by using modems.
radiotvlink.gr: It is very important for our readers to know about the warranty policy and the services they will get from Mobile Viewpoint and its distributors chain (Comart SA in Greece). What will happen if unexpectedly something goes wrong with the equipment? Are there any other kind of services available globally (for example rental services)?
Martijn van Erven: That can always happen of course. As soon as this happens, we will discuss the different options with the customer. If he needs a replacement urgently, we can have a look if there is an available unit in the neighborhood. This could be via their own fleed, but also via our local reseller. If there is nothing available, we can send one over from another location the same day. If the customer does not need a replacement urgently, we can decide if we repair it at our local reseller or ship it back to the Netherlands for repair. Either way, everything will be discussed with the customer and we will also try to find a solution which will work best for the customer.
radiotvlink.gr: Can you refer top broadcasters, ENG services companies, web portals and publishers that now use Mobile Viewpoint's products? Please mention in brief some examples for the successful use of Mobile Viewpoint's solution.
Martijn van Erven: Mobile Viewpoint works all over the world and has a lot of different customers. Major broadcasters like BBC (United Kingdom), SVT (Sweden), KBS (South-Korea). But also production companies like United (Euro Media Group) and football teams like AFC Ajax and Leicester City.
radiotvlink.gr: If I remember well definitely this is not your first visit in Greece. I believe you had a lot opportunities to meet professionals from Greek TV Broadcasters and other kind of companies. From your point of view what are the prospects for Mobile Viewpoint concerning several Greek Industries? Can you mention some clients from Greece that are now use Mobile Viewpoint's products? What's the feedback you collect from them? What is your opinion about the co-operation between Mobile Viewpoint and Comart SA, the distributor in Greece and for the Comart Production & Transmission Days 2018 event?
Martijn van Erven: We have been really active in the Greek market for a bit more than one year. Within this year it was our first task to make the product well known and proof we have a reliable product and service. I think this went quite well in the past year and for this reason there are now more companies in Greece who make use of the Mobile Viewpoint products and services.
All this has been done in close cooperation with Comart SA and has not been possible without them. We already have one TELCO and the State broadcaster using our equipment.
Events like the production & transmission days are very important for a company like us. Because we don’t really know the market- and don’t have the right contacts within this market in Greece for example. Thanks to our cooperation with Comart SA, we have the possibility to get in touch with the potential customers.
radiotvlink.gr: The last questions are for the future. So are there any global events that some clients intend to use Mobile Viewpoint's equipment? What are the future plans of Mobile Viewpoint? What else (technological or operational) should we expect from Mobile Viewpoint's R&D in the near future?
Martijn van Erven: There are many events all over the world our equipment will be used. This could be events like the Olympics or right now the World Championship of football in Russia. Our customers travel to the country of the event to create content with their already owned equipment. But for some occasions we can also deliver rental equipment or right now in Russia, we deliver special packages with sim cards.
The future plans of Mobile Viewpoint are focused on development and creating great products and services for our current customers and new customers. It has hard to tell what the developments will be for the future, but we will listen a lot to our customers and try to develop and produce what the market is asking for.
radiotvlink.gr: Thank you very much for the meaningful discussion. Hope to see you again in Greece.
Martijn van Erven: Thank you too! I hope to be in Greece much more times in the coming future!
Info: www.mobileviewpoint.com & Comart*
* Distributor for Greece