BB: Can you tell us your name and function at Foccus Digital:
Robert: My name is Robert Houghtaling, working at department Business Development. I am responsible for marketing, effectively managing innovation, new industry solutions and supporting strategic partnerships. I work at Foccus Digital for 1,5 years now.
BB: Tell us about the company Foccus Digital.
Robert: Foccus Digital founded in 2006 is a systems integration firm that provides complete infrastructure for the processing and transmission of IP signals in the broadcast industry. Foccus offers a renowned portfolio of partners integrating hardware, software and services to ensure complete operability of an end-to-end solution. Our post sales and service areas are an integral part of our commitment to supporting clients and ensuring functionality for the life of the equipment. Foccus Digital additionally provides expertise and consistency in the logistical import processes aligned with the requirements of Brazil and Latin America. Foccus Digital is already 10 years doing business in Brazil and for 4 years also in Latin America.
BB: Did you see a growth in audio/video related products in 2015 for Foccus Digital in South America/Brazil.
Robert: We continue to see increasing growth in the integration of networks defined by software and IP. Foccus digital concentrates on emerging technologies and the solutions necessary to manage baseband and IP both intelligently and efficiently. Brazil also has an increasing need for microwave radio links and mobile encoders for live streaming over 3G, 4G / LTE / WiFi.
BB: You attended this years SET EXPO, what do you think about this exhibition, and are you planning to attend more Brazilian Exhibitions next year, Like the Church Expo for example.
Robert: The SET Expo is an excellent event for learning about new industry-leading solutions and networking. We had an a great turnout. We have additionally participated in the Church Tech Expo in 2015 to market our portfolio to this niche market.
BB: Do you work besides the south america region also in other regions on the planet.
Robert: As a systems integrator we are often able to collaborate on a variety of projects in South America. Our US based company Palma International Technology integrates projects throughout Latin America and serves as the distributor of Belden cables and connectors for the entire region.
BB: Is communicating in the english language important at Foccus Digital for Brazillian co-workers
Robert: Foccus has long standing partnerships with several American and European companies including Aviat Networks, Belden, Imagine Communications, Gates Air, Cobham, Riedel and Spinner. The technology and training resources developed by these partners is generally all presented in English. In addition, we recently became the Latin American distributer for Soliton a Japanese based company. This partnership developed with English is our unifying language.
BB: Are you or planning too partnering with Brazilian companies.
Robert: We coordinate with the regional offices of each of our partners.To date we have only represented international brands, but we are always on the lookout for new interesting technology both nationally and internationally.
BB: Which section in the audio/video market is the strongest for Foccus Digital in Brazil.
Robert: Brazilian broadcasters are actively seeking solutions for mobile encoders enabling transmission of high quality real-time video even in challenging localities with extremely limited bandwidth. Broadcasters require the ability to transmit essential events with high quality digital video and stability, even under network congestion or weak network signals. Foccus Digital is integrating the Smart-telecaster Zao, the world’s first H.265 mobile encoder ideally designed for mobile streaming, live sports and live journalism applications. This market continues to grow as and we are finding the H.265 encoder is an excellent robust solution for live sports and live journalism applications.
BB: How do you see the broadcast market in 2015 due to Olympic Games in Brazil
Robert: We foresee a number of planning opportunities for event infrastructure, A/V event and rental services associated with the 2016 Olympics Games. Foccus and Soliton have confirmed on-site support and rental of the Smart-telecaster Zao for Brazilian and foreign broadcasters who will require high-quality transmission solutions.
Our partner Cobham offers the most robust COFDM link in the world. We have been offering demonstrations and highlighting Cobham solutions including the SOLO HD 7 Nano is the world’s smallest COFDM digital transmitter. The Nano is characterized by a lightweight design, low power consumption and HD video quality ideally utilized in drones, enabling high-performance HD broadcast events and aerial filming. We are targeting our portfolio to offer solutions for the large variety of events at the Olympic Games. Foccus Digital will be on-site providing technical support, sales and leasing options in Brazil.
BB: You have done a test with the Smart-telecaster Zao H.265 encoder in Rio de Janeiro, a Live transmission in the historic Igreja Matriz in Santana de Parnaiba , can you tell us more about it…. what makes it so special.
Robert: The Soliton Smart Telecaster Zao is the world’s first H.265 mobile encoder that provides a live broadcasting link anywhere there is a connection. Zao allows broadcasters to get to locations quickly and transmit high quality video and audio via 3G/LTE/Wi-Fi networks. The H.265/HEVC video compression standard ensures efficient and robust transmission even in localities with extremely limited bandwidth. The preliminarily tests in Rio confirmed that transmission in full HD can be achieved in all areas of the city.
BB: Is the Smart-Telecaster prepared for mobile networks in Brazil.
Robert: The Smart-telecaster is offering a excellent solution for Brazilian broadcasters many who have experienced issues with H.264 equipment in low bandwidth areas. By connecting up to 6 mobile modems and utilizing the H.265/HEVC standard, video can be compressed to a file that is about half the bit rate of its predecessor AVC. The result is video compression twice as efficient as AVC and a significantly improved image quality of full HD at a low bit rate. We have tested throughout Brazil with all mobile operators with exceptional results.
BB: What can you tell us about the H265/HVEC licensing fees that some want to introduce for the use of the H265/HEVC codec And will this also influence future use and users of the Smart-Telecaster.
Robert: We are following closely the developments related to the licensing fees and we will continue to monitor how this could play a role in H.265/HEVC. As of now, Zao does not have any issues related to licensing and be utilized by all broadcasters.
BB: Any surprising challenges you had or think you will have or had in the Rio de Janeiro test with the Smart-Telecaster in Brazil.
Robert: Zao was exceptionally stable and reliable during our tests in Rio de Janeiro. The robustness of the equipment and lightweight design will allow broadcasters to get to and transmit the essential Olympic events quicker and easier. Test were performed at sites including Maracanã and Engenhão Stadiums, Olympic Park, Marina da Gloria, Christ the Redeemer, and the Sambodromo. Zao transmitted flawlessly in full HD in all localities utilizing a variety of modems and the 3G/4G chips of the major Brazilian mobile operators.
Video Rio 2016 Olympics Smart-telecaster Zao: