GatesAir Expands EMEA Sales Force with Appointment of Alexander Kurz

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, continues to bolster its EMEA sales team with appointment of broadcast industry veteran Alexander Kurz. Reporting to Andy McClelland, Managing Director, EMEA and India, Kurz will work closely with the broader EMEA sales and business development team to increase market share and raise brand awareness in the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) region. He will also cover most European countries and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries south and east to the Ukrainian and Russian borders.

Kurz brings more than 20 years of industry experience to his new role, with extensive expertise guiding customers through digital TV transitions. He joins GatesAir from NeuLion, where he helped over-the-air broadcasters and PayTV providers distribute and monetize OTT content to complement existing TV services. Kurz also has more than 15 years of experience in the test and measurement field with Ineoquest and Tektronix, where he regularly supplied customized quality assurance solutions for DTV headend and transmission systems.

Kurz sees tremendous opportunity for GatesAir to capture regional market share for TV and radio systems with its high-efficiency Maxiva and Flexiva transmitters, emphasizing the changing habits of video consumption and the staying power of radio as a medium.

“Many of these countries have moved from analog to DVB-T digital television, and we see enormous opportunity to transition these systems to the more bandwidth-efficient DVB-T2 standard,” said Kurz. “Such transitions are growing increasingly attractive to broadcasters in this region as more viewers cut the cord, and move to OTA and OTT for television. GatesAir has the ideal technology to transition our customers to DVB-T2 with incremental upgrades that prevent disruption to existing over-the-air operations, and deliver the improved bandwidth efficiency and performance capabilities that will enable richer, higher quality DTV services.”

Kurz adds that radio remains strong throughout the region, noting a healthy demand for renewed FM infrastructure and a desire to leverage IP networks for audio contribution and distribution.

“There is an FM radio in every household and new car, and we see burgeoning opportunities for DAB Radio driven by government mandates and a thirst for stronger audio services,” he said. “In addition, GatesAir’s Intraplex networking products will help broadcasters transition to IP-based transport methods, while retaining the resiliency and reliability of traditional transport and delivery methods.”

Kurz will also work closely with EMEA Business Development Manager Peter Timmons to support regional roadshows, customer visits and partner training sessions.

“Alexander’s depth of broadcast experience and regional knowledge, including strong customer relationships that he has solidified over more than two decades, makes him the ideal person to strengthen GatesAir’s visibility and market share in the DACH and eastern European regions,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are excited to welcome him to the team as we continue to expand our presence throughout EMEA and other international regions.”

More info

Magewell Expands Pro Convert NDI Encoder Roster with Fourth Powerful Model

Magewell has unveiled the new Pro Convert SDI Plus standalone NDI® encoder, the fourth entry in its rapidly-expanding Pro Convert family of devices for bringing traditional video signals into IP-based production networks using NewTek’s popular NDI technology. The new model converts SDI-connected HD or 2K input sources into NDI streams with extremely low latency and is available immediately, as are all three previously-announced Pro Convert models.

All four converters will be featured in Magewell’s booth (SU5724) at the upcoming 2019 NAB Show, taking place April 8-11 in Las Vegas.

The quartet of Pro Convert configurations offers content producers a flexible choice of input connectivity and encoding resolutions. The new Pro Convert SDI Plus and recently-introduced Pro Convert HDMI Plus encode source signals into full-bandwidth NDI streams up to 1080p60 HD from 3G-SDI or HDMI interfaces, respectively. The Pro Convert HDMI Plus can also accept a 4Kp60 input, down-converting it automatically to HD for encoding.

Meanwhile, the two flagship products in the Pro Convert series natively support 4K inputs and encoding. The Pro Convert HDMI 4K Plus transforms sources up to 4096×2160 at 60 frames per second through an HDMI 2.0 input interface, while the Pro Convert SDI 4K Plus converts 6G-SDI signals up to 4K at 30 fps into NDI streams.

The Pro Convert family incorporates NewTek’s NDI Embedded SDK to ensure compatibility with the growing ecosystem of NDI-enabled solutions, and wraps its core functionality in a robust feature set. Automatic input format detection and network configuration provide plug-and-play ease of use, converting source video at its native resolution and frame rate by default without any manual setup effort. Loop-through connectivity allows input signals to be sent simultaneously to additional displays or equipment, while an intuitive browser-based interface enables users to control advanced conversion settings and FPGA-based video processing such as up/down/cross-conversion, de-interlacing and image adjustments.

The ultra-compact Pro Convert devices are ideal for both in-studio and portable field use. Value-added features for live production applications include a 1/4″-20 thread for standard camera-mounting accessories, preview and program tally lights, and NDI-based PTZ camera control. The units can be powered by the included AC adapter or via Power over Ethernet (PoE) for further deployment simplicity.

“Our Pro Convert family has gained tremendous momentum, enabling more content producers to easily and cost-effectively make the transition to IP-based live production workflows,” said James Liu, VP of Engineering at Magewell. “We have a history of offering customers a comprehensive choice of input interfaces and video formats so they aren’t forced to buy more than they actually need, and we’re pleased to continue this tradition with the introduction of the Pro Convert SDI Plus.”

More info

The 8th edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards has once again crowned two new continental overall winners!

Eighteen-year-old Tanaka Chonyera has put Botswana on the map by scooping top honours in the essay category. Nineteen-year-old Priscilla Marealle was announced as the overall winner in the poster category, making it a back-to-back win from Tanzania.

Tanaka’s entry was written in a confident, concise and factual manner and made for an intriguing, engaging and educational read. “It was quite clear that he has cultivated his passion with research and study, that has resulted in sound knowledge and understanding of the subject matter,” says Paolo Nespoli, an ESA (European Space Agency) Astronaut who chaired the jury of the Awards.This is what the jury members said about Priscilla’s poster:“The poster was artistically well executed, with imaginative use of mixed media to create visual interest. Consistent with the topic, the poster depicts how satellite can be further embraced in Africa to address key continental challenges, such as protection and monitoring of biodiversity, agriculture and mineral resources.”

DStv_Eutelsat_Star_Awards

During her keynote speech at the Awards ceremony, the Hon. Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation said “It is our ministry’s pleasure to be part of this exemplary initiative by two technology-oriented companies to inspire the learning and application of Science and Technology in everyday activities. Our ministry is at the fore-front of promoting a paradigm shift in the way we approach our developmental issues as a country and more broadly as a continent. Having reviewed some of the topics from previous competitions of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards, we are feelelated by the myriad of young African minds across our continent that are tasked to use satellite technology to address basic human challenges on our continent.”

This pan-African competition has invigorated a passion for science and technology amongst younger generations and will culminate with an outreach where over 200 Ghanaian students have an opportunity to ask a real-life astronaut questions about outer space. To date the competition has drawn over 8000 entries across the continent and has over the years created meaningful engagement with students, the academic community and the scientific world. Sixteen overall winners’ horizons have been broadened by the once-in-a-lifetime experiences the competition has afforded them.

The winner in the essay category has won a trip for two to Paris and onwards to a launch site in French Guiana to witness a rocket blast into space in order to place a satellite into orbit. This is Botswana’s first win in the essay category, after producing a runner-up in the poster category in 2016. East Africa continues its dominance of the Awards with 7 overall winners and runner-up’s thus far. The winner in the poster category has wons a trip for two to visit the South African National Space Agency and MultiChoice facilities. The two winning schools attended by the overall winners will be rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, TV set, PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Package.

For this edition, students from secondary (high) or combined schools were asked to write a creative essay or design a poster based on the topic: “Currently, satellites are being used in a variety of ways but there is always room for expansion and growth. Write an essay or design a poster on areas you believe the full potential of satellites has not yet been tapped into or embraced.”

More info