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5-Minute Interview: Battista Remati

Studio Ensemble package is a consortium of several manufacturers jointly bundling key components for a turnkey studio system.

Battista Remati, director of marketing communications, Echolab, a Billerica, MA-based broadcast industry products manufacturer.Echolab is spearheading a new consortium of product manufacturers to offer a multi-branded turnkey system for capturing and recording AV content at live events, meetings, and worship services for broadcast, archiving, and streaming.

Pro AV:What exactly is the Studio Ensemble package?

Remati: It's a consortium of several manufacturers jointly bundling key components for a turnkey studio system. We'll be kicking it off with a special marketing campaign beginning at NAB 2006. The consortium includes switchers and software from Echolab, image servers from 360 Systems, character generators from Compix Media, and monitoring systems from Avitech Video. The integrating factor is the software, which enables the Echolab switcher to control all of the other parts of the system. Echolab switchers are unique in that they're based on “system-on-a-chip” architecture, which means they're very cost effective, easily upgradeable, and expandable. The whole package is really a software-integrated solution.

Pro AV:Who are the intended end-users for this solution?

Remati: I think we'll see most interest from end-users who are looking for small- to medium-sized broadcast or live production studio systems. It's aimed at the small market and independent broadcasters, professional AV users, house of worship users, and education markets. These customers tend to be price-sensitive, but desire the features, functionality, and quality of an integrated system that's easy to set up and use. For example, houses of worship don't always have the budget to purchase broadcast-quality equipment, and consequently, fall into the trap of buying a low-grade switcher and trying to balance between quality and budget constraints. Eventually, low-end equipment — like consumer PCs — becomes technologically obsolete as next-generation, professional-quality technology comes along at a much lower prices.

Pro AV:Who will ultimately sell these systems to end-users?

Remati: Each company in the consortium will be able to independently offer the individual products through their own distribution channels. In the case of Echolab, we have a network of dealers focused on the broadcast market that also offer complete integration services. That's really the ideal type of dealer for the Ensemble package. There will also be a web portal that will explain the package offerings, the initial marketing campaign, and direct customers to specific partners for sales follow-ups.

Pro AV:Why wouldn't customers prefer to deal with one large, single-branded supplier?

Remati: The true benefit of the Ensemble package is that you can get what we believe are “best-of-breed” products from top manufacturers, and you won't be tied down to just one company. You can even integrate products from suppliers outside the consortium, but, of course, their products wouldn't be controllable to the same degree.

Pro AV:Are other partners, such as audio product manufacturers, likely to join this program?

Remati: Yes, we anticipate several additional partners, including ones in the audio area, to come onboard shortly. This isn't intended to be a short-term marketing program. It's an ongoing consortium with planned upgrades and expanded offerings as we move forward.

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