IBC2013 Q&A: Frank Jachetta, President, MultiDyne

At IBC2013, MultiDyne introduced BullDog, a field fiber transport system packed into a compact, rugged package. Using it, professional camera operators can extend the transmission distance of camera signals, including HD-SDI video, audio, intercom, control data, GPIOs, tally, and power.

SVG sat down with MultiDyne President Frank Jachetta during the big show in Amsterdam to chat about the aptly named BullDog, the future of 4K and how fiber will enable that future, and the company’s plans in the sports market.

What is the big news for Cobalt at IBC this year?
I would have to say it’s Bulldog. It’s rugged, square, and ugly; we keep saying it’s so ugly it’s cool. It will take a lot of the functionality of our LiGHTBoX and — although less flexible — make it dramatically smaller. It has all the camera-complement signals, video, audio, data, control, and intercom. It will send remote power through a hybrid cable, and it has a bunch more HD — all in this little box. And what is really nice is that this is compatible with our SilverBACK, our camera-back system base station.

Speaking of SilverBACK, this is the international debut of our 4K system. We had this at NAB. This has all the camera complements, including 4K, back-and-forth intercom and tally, and so forth. We send power as well for the unit, the camera.

What are your thoughts on the 4K buzz at the show, and where does MultiDyne stand in that potential 4K ecosystem?
I think 4K is the real thing, and it’s definitely a big growth market right now. As a fiber provider, 4K obviously makes sense for us. Fiber is a necessity as you move to 4K and even in HD now. It used to be that you could go far enough with coax, and then, with 3D, you could run a few [fiber strands], but now, with 4K, you absolutely have to. So we obviously have an eye on that.

In terms of 4K, people keep harping on the question of how you are going to get it to the home and who’s going to buy a bigger 4K screen. But today, it is already extremely valuable as an acquisition tool and a very powerful one. You can zoom in and crop out a Full HD replay. We can provide solutions for those kinds of applications. Even if it never gets to the point where you can deliver it to the home, 4K is still extremely valuable.

Most people are already buying our 4K camera-back system because, in terms of transport, it doesn’t cost a lot more and it provides two more video [outputs]. Most people are buying that even if they don’t need it because they can use it for all kinds of [applications].

Where are you seeing the biggest growth in your business?
I don’t think there’s any question that it’s sports right now. That is where the money is, where the commercials are because people still watch it live. We are seeing a lot of growth in the sports [market] and don’t see any reason why that won’t continue.