Choose a Company that Gets Along Well with Others
One of the things you should consider when buying equipment, is the philosophy of the company you are doing business with. This is often overlooked by technologists when making purchase decisions.
Spins, speeds, and specifications are usually considered to be the most important things. However, no individual piece of equipment lives in isolation and must work with other equipment in your facility in order to produce the most compelling productions.
Standardized industry specifications are only half of what is required to get equipment working together in sophisticated ways. For example, many communication protocols are proprietary and it requires considerable good will and commitment between technology companies to make things work correctly.
The best solution for most production facilities is usually a multi vendor solution. One in which you can choose from the best products available on the market. Ross Video believes that it is important to act in the customer’s best interest and to cooperate with and assist other friendly companies – to the point where these principles are written into the company Code of Ethics and posted on the Ross website for all to see.
Initially born from a desire to control a VTR from the RVS-630 analog production switcher 20 years ago, the Acuity line of production switchers now leads the industry with control over 200 unique devices from over 50 different manufacturers. In some cases, this has led to the creation of standards like the “Ross Audio Protocol” or RAP which is the only industry standard control protocol for Audio Mixers. It is somewhat amusing that Ross “Video” developed the control standard for “Audio”.
This willingness to work with other companies ultimately led to the creation of the OverDrive automated production control system. Given the complexity of automated live productions, having cooperative vendor relations was critically important. Every system in the field always has a unique twist and Ross takes responsibility for pulling the vendors together to make things go smoothly for customers.
This same high level of openness also led to the groundbreaking initiative with the openGear® signal processing platform.
openGear® is open to other companies that wish to develop functional cards that will plug into and interoperate within a common rack frame and under a common control system. The great thing from a customer perspective is choice. openGear® currently has over 80 partner companies that are developing products – everything from fiber to clocks, to distribution amplifiers, and everything in between. openGear® offers a much wider product portfolio than any single vendor could hope to produce. This platform grows stronger every month as existing partners create new products and new partners come on board.
The Abekas line of video servers exhibits this “openness” characteristic with the range of workflow solutions that it supports. With Mira and Tria, the focus has been squarely on customer centric workflow solutions. Even if the system is being controlled from a competitive production switcher, Ross has worked hard to ensure integration with Avid, Apple, Adobe, Autodesk, and as well as companies that start with other letters of the alphabet.
XPression motion graphics also exhibits this same open flexibility. XPression drops nicely into existing newsroom and live production environments as you would expect. It goes well beyond that, though, with the world’s most powerful and easy to use “API” that makes custom graphics applications a breeze to create both by customers and third party developers. Even better, XPression is available not only as a turnkey box; it is also available as a software package making it well suited to a wide variety of specialized applications.
When you are looking for products, remember the importance of not just the relationship you have with your vendor, but also the relationship your vendor has with other vendors. Ask them about their philosophies of business and how they fit with your need for a long term interoperable technology solution.
CEO, Ross Video
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