IBC2013 Q&A: Kevin Ancelin, Co-Founder/SVP of Sales, Adtec Digital

Adtec Digital was busy at IBC this year, showcasing its EN-100 encoder (following its NAB2013 release) and teasing its EN-30 two‐channel multicodec HD and SD contribution and distribution encoder, which is set for public release Oct. 1.

In addition, Adtec has been among those testing the 4K waters, using its EN-100 encoders synchronized with its RD-70 1080p receiver to deliver a 4K signal.

SVG sat down with the always talkative co-founder/SVP of Sales Kevin Ancelin to chat about the future of HEVC and next-gen compression, Adtec’s growing global presence, and where the company sees the sports market heading.

How is Adtec looking to grow its business internationally beyond North America?
We are working extensively in Europe and looking to grow our business internationally. We have a full-time engineer in Brazil now and have launched with some major clients down there. We have people in London and are expanding our operation in Europe and investing in more people. We are really investing out here so we have more European culture and experience for Adtec’s European partners.

We have always been an American company that has sold to Europe because we have [distributors] out here and a solid product to offer. But now we are really going to be focused on Europe. We are going to take our U.S. support model and apply that out here as well — and that makes a big difference. That process is ongoing.

What do you believe the timeline for HEVC adoption will be? What areas do you believe this new compression standard will affect in the near term and long term?
It’s ready now for Internet and mobile-device delivery. [For] VOD and offline encoding and live linear encoding for Internet streaming, it’s there now, and the new phones can handle it. But outside of the Internet delivery — streaming, phone, iPad — HEVC faces some significant business case challenges.

It’s still a very young codec with, from what I have seen, very basic and inefficient implementations. It’s got issues, which is okay because it’s still immature. I just believe it’s being pushed way too fast, and I don’t understand why it’s being pushed so hard. From a commercial standpoint, Internet delivery and over–the-top is absolutely the place for HEVC right now, but it’s still a long, long way away from pretty much everywhere else — especially in tier 1 contribution, which is where my business, where it has no value right now.

I absolutely believe that, based on the base profile that is out there right now, it is the future, but it’s still a long way away. The codec is so new and such an infant that no sane businessperson is going to invest in it right now on a large scale.

HEVC will only come in play in the contribution business when 4K truly comes along. Even for 1080p, it has almost no value in the contribution food chain. Every year, the networks get faster, so the pace of bandwidth increase is going way faster than … codec efficiency. At some point, those two curves are going to meet, and that is when we will see HEVC really come into play.