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The R&D and product development landscape: TAG Video Solutions

TAG Video System’s VP product strategy Michael Demb discusses how a shortage of skilled candidates in the media tech industry has the potential to impact how companies prioritise features for research and development.

What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development?  

The pandemic made us shift our R&D to remote working, using digital tools for better collaboration. It has also accelerated our product development as we aim to meet the growing need for innovative solutions driven by the industry. These changes pushed us to be more agile and ready to adapt quickly to market changes. The pandemic has made us rethink our approach to work and product development, with a focus on staying relevant and efficient.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape? 

The shortage of skilled candidates in our technology-driven and competitive industry is a top challenge. This shortage has the potential to impact how we prioritise features for R&D. Additionally, customer expectations are changing rapidly in response to the constant technology evolution in our industry requiring us to adapt and innovate quickly and continuously. Working remotely has significant advantages, but also introduces complexities in communication and collaboration. We’re working hard to address these challenges by implementing more effective recruitment strategies, workforce training, flexible planning, and effective virtual collaboration tools.

Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development?

The ongoing shift towards cloud-based and hybrid solutions presents significant opportunities for innovation. Content distribution, which remains hybrid, requires novel, flexible solutions. Our focus is on developing products that support these hybrid workflows, providing operational flexibility and visibility. The key technology driving this is advanced analytics around video streaming. By collecting and analysing data, we can offer innovative solutions that help customers navigate the challenges posed by the new digital landscape. 

What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023? 

At NAB 2023, we introduced a number of new technologies that help broadcast engineers and operators deliver better-quality video to their consumers. Those technologies include Bridge, which allows bringing video mosaic outputs across multiple monitoring points and connecting on-prem locations with the cloud. At IBC, we will see further improvements to this technology to allow even more remote connectivity while keeping its latency to a minimum. 

Another major technology we introduced at NAB is Content Matching. While we are working on adding new applications using content matching technology, such as Ad insertion verification, video quality measurements, and others, at IBC, we will show even more advanced feed comparison and latency measurements using much faster and improved algorithms. 

Speaking of latency. TAG continues its focus on adding more low-latency streaming support to its products. A recent addition to this is support for browser native and low latency protocol WebRTC.