Vitec CTO bullish on future thanks to recent transmission-related acquisitions

By Ken Kerschbaumer

It’s no secret that Jerry Gepner, Vitec CTO, has made a successful career out of putting ideas into action. Whether it was working at CBS Sports, Fox Sports, NMT, Sportvision, or Vitec he always looked for new ways to enhance technology to enhance a brand. And that’s why he’s excited with his current all-consuming project: integrating three new companies, Nucomm, RF Central, and Microwave Services Corp. into the Vitec fold.

“When we sit around and ‘blue sky’ it gets very exciting very quickly,” says Gepner. “HD is the big push, and both Nucomm and RF Central have exciting HD products.” For example, RF Central’s CMT2 SD/HD camera mount transmitter can operate in HD or SD and only draws 18 watts of power.

Vitec, which has relatively quietly assembled a world-class group of camera support gear brands that is second to none, is a natural fit for three companies that complement not only Vitec’s previous portfolio but also each other.

Explains Gepner: “Nucomm has high-quality design and manufacturing that is the result of being founded and run by engineers. RF Central, a distributor, also owns their own brand of transmission gear like the RF Extreme which is OEMed, built to their spec, and generally priced a little lower than Nucomm’s products. And they also bring an integration arm that is well respected and has high-quality customer services. And then MSC is one of the most respected repair organizations in the country with 900 broadcast clients and the expertise to fix anything. So these three companies really give Vitec a complete offering.”

Gepner says customers of all three companies can rest assured that there will be no changes to the product lines. In addition those lines will benefit from Vitec’s commitment to fund research and development that, as a percentage of gross revenues, is more than almost any other company in the industry.

“All the lines are very good and product pipelines are well developed,” he explains. “Job one is to execute.”

That said, Gepner says that as time goes on Vitec will obviously look to take technologies from Nucomm and RF Central and share them. “But we don’t anticipate phasing out either brand,” he says. “The two brand allow customers to pick from two best-of-breed product lines.”

As for future developments Gepner says Vitec will look into some of the new codecs and IP transport for microwave transmission. “There are some codecs being developed now that will be faster than realtime and that applies to microwave transmission,” says Gepner. “Things like MPEG-4 and IP provide more resources to our engineering group and give the guys some meat to chew on. We’re expecting great things.”