James Eddershaw, MD, Shotoku Broadcast Systems talks to TVBEurope about the company’s R&D outlook as part of our series looking into the product development landscape in the broadcast market.
What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development?
The pandemic accelerated a trend that was already beginning in our product development goals and internal working practices. There was a greater focus on distributed system architectures (supporting even more remote locations / multi-sites with centralised operation) as well as changes to our internal processes and structures to enable easier remote installation and support and of course more remote working for support and R&D teams. Although the immediate effects of the pandemic have passed, many of these valuable goals and practices remain in place.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape?
Component shortages and cost increases have impacted some established and new product development and support, but overall no major challenges to disrupt our R&D plans. The speed of decision-making among some clients who are generally more conservative in their capital expenditure since the pandemic and ongoing global financial difficulties – this can impact the timing of R&D releases and long-term planning.
Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development?
As always in our market segment, customers demand high-performance on-air quality robotic control, reliable, easy-to-use, control systems and a rapid return on investment. That’s never been an easy balance, but it’s what Shotoku has always strived to do and nothing has changed in that regard. Bringing ever more powerful software features and automation tools into the overall solution is always a priority for us.
What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023?
Continuing the rollout of the very latest version of our TR-XT advanced control system for studio robotics, capitalising on the great new user interface and taking advantage of the many exciting new capabilities the latest platform will enable. Watch this space!