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Since only a few of those who read the mail here had the priviledge of
attending this years IBC, I feel compelled to try to place the
Philips/Cintel "confrontation" that unfolded over the course of the show in
a (hopefully) clearer perspective.
Of course, I must give the disclaimer that as President of the company that
manufactures the Meta-Speed Digital Servo System, I am one of the Cintel
enhancement companies that Dave Satin believes "will be the big winner in
the Ursa/Spirit wars". In a sense we already have been, since Cintel has
chosen to directly offer our product (as well as Clrview from Dave Walker)
as a factory installed option on new Ursa Golds. But I am also a facility
The problem of this show was not what was claimed, but how it was
presented. Philips had every right to attempt to show the Spirit in its
most favorable light (no pun intended), but the demonstrations by John
Dowdell occasionally gleefully trashed examples of supposedly earlier
transfers done on Ursa Golds at the Tape House. Unfortunately, you would
have had to be there to make your own assessment of whether this was a fair
comparison of what the two competing systems have to offer. I will not
offer my opinion on all that here.
Dave Fenton, not surprisingly, was one who felt that these split-screen
comparisons in the Philips booth were conducted unfairly. I think he spoke
a valid frustration for many others who do strive to be objective and fair,
but it was very unfortunate that it was his comments that were the ones
ultimately published. This only served to shift the debate to one of
personalities bickering, and not to the merits, tradeoffs, and costs of the
equipment involved. This situation served neither companies interests, and
for this I was personally dismayed. It made a good story for the author of
the article, however.
I am very glad to see the benefit of real competition begin to present
itself to our small industry. But it cuts both ways, and I would
personally appreciate getting the facts in as neutral and unbiased forum as
is possible. Perhaps that is a naive desire when applied to trade shows
like NAB, IBC, and World Media Expo, etc. If so, then I believe the real
loss will be to all of us in this industry who continue to strive to create
a higher quality product at a lower price.
I have found that client confusion does not really benefit service (i.e.
post) facilities. It can and does benefit both manufacturers and trade
magazine publishers. We need to keep that in mind as new players begin to
offer their products into our world (as they most assuredly will).
Competition also means that.
My apologies to John Dowdell, it is nothing personal. I really didn't want
to post this. So please, next year you all must go to the IBC show and
then a reality check will not be necessary.
Video Post and Transfer, Inc.
R.I.P. the unsung Price-Performance Ratio. It was a painful and untimely
death. Who did it? Our clients will soon be inquiring.