SCN: What technology and/or verticals were most successful in 2014?
Thomas Tang: There are three technologies that have been highly successful for Apantac in 2014. First is our TAHOMA DL Multiviewer, which allows a mix of multimedia inputs and broadcast inputs to be shown simultaneously on a single high-resolution display. When we refer to multimedia inputs, we mean HDMI, DVI, VGA, and component. The ability to mix multimedia inputs and SDI on the same platform has provided the flexibility that our customers need. Our solution doesn’t require the use of external converters, which has helped us keep the cost of an overall system affordable.
A second technology that has been equally successful is HDBaseT extension technology. HDMI is here to stay. However, the ability to extend signals over long distances has always been an issue. Other than fiber, HDBaseT is the first technology to address this.
The third technology in our success is our IP based Multiviewers. The Apantac TAHOMA IP Multiviewer supports MPEG4, H.264, as well as IP inputs, and is a hardware-based product that does not rely on a PC. Since it is part of the TAHOMA platform, users have the ability to mix and match different types of inputs such as SDI and HDMI in the same box and on the same display. The hardware-based solutions have overcome many of the issues that occur in PC-based solutions.
What customer or end-user demand surprised you the most and why?
TT: I wouldn’t say there were really any surprises, however 4K is really picking up. The lack of HDMI 2.0 components has been a disappointment. In the interim, many solution providers have been trying to downgrade HDMI 2.0 from 4:2:2 to 4:2:0. But this has resulted in some market confusion about the technology. Instead of HDMI 2.0, we at Apantac have adopted DP 1.2 (display port 1.2) as our 4K/2K 60Hz connectivity interface. Clearly it was the right choice as we quickly sold out of our first run of Micro-4K-DP: 4K to DP converter, which accepts 4x 3G-SDI inputs and outputs a single display port at 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 in both 8 bit and 10 bit.
Which vertical markets are on the rise and which do you see declining?
TT: We hear a lot of industry talk about the decline of SDI. However, we do not see the same trend and still see a market demand for SDI.
Thomas Tang is President of Apantac.