Thomson Broadcast Reboots for the U.S. Market
Company to launch “Software-Defined TV” at NAB Show
LAS VEGAS—Thomson Broadcast has announced that it is expanding its business to the United States in response to what it sees as a invigorated broadcast television market spurred by the channel repack and the deployment of ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV.
The company, which for the past several years, has focused most of its business on the Asian and African broadcast markets, is opening a New York office and distribution center to meet demand for its low-power to high-power transmitters. Aby Alexander, former president and CTO for cybersecurity company eXstream, has been appointed the president of the new Thomson Broadcast USA division. Jay Yogeshwar, founder of Front Porch Digital and formerly with Hitachi Data, is the new chief strategy officer.
At the 2019 NAB Show, Thomson will launch what it calls “Software Defined Television” targeting the ATSC 3.0 transition and repack. The approach, according to Yogeshwar, is to develop a “software as a service” platform that can handle all of the components within the signal chain that can be processed within the cloud.
“The 2019 NAB Show is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our Low-Power and High-Power TV Transmitters that are ideal for the Spectrum Repack and for ATSC 3.0 deployment," Yogashwar said. “We’re also proposing new solutions for the delivery and monetization of ATSC 3.0 content with an all-software suite of encoding, packaging, signaling, metadata management, service quality assurance, content distribution, security monitoring, media migration, media asset management, playout automation and master control.”
To this end, Thomson is working with partners Triveni Digital, Media Translation, eXstream Security, mediathand and Pace Media Development to offer this end-to-end solution and will show the following demonstrations at its NAB Show Booth (N4206):
- Triveni Digital will provide metadata management and content distribution systems for broadcasters, cable operators, content providers and telco and IPTV providers.
- Media Translation offers non-disruptive media migration to the cloud, media asset management in the cloud, and federated Search and Discovery across all content repositories.
- eXstream Security has cybersecurity products and services for broadcast and enterprise customers to protect against cyber threats. The company’s Sentinel Cyber 360 predicts, detects, prevents, protects, remediates and responds to any internal and external threats to a broadcaster’s mission critical infrastructure.
- mediathand provides a real-time cloud-based encoder, multiplexers and packagers for Over- the-Air and Over-the-Top content, media players, and ATSC 3.0 receivers with convergence and personalization options.
- Pace Media Development specializes in playout automation with integrated playout either “on premise” or “in the cloud” using the same software. All software is provided as a service with remote monitoring options.
With its headquarters in Paris, Thomson Broadcast currently has 191 television broadcast customers in the U.S. and this “rebirth” in the U.S. market comes after the company was acquired by Groupe Sipromad of Madagascar, a conglomerate that operates in industrial, technology, finance, real estate, tourism, aviation and broadcasting markets.
Headquartered in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar, Groupe Sipromad has additional locations in Mauritius, Seychelles, Morocco, Mali and Paris. Groupe Sipromad owns information technology and telecom operator Broadcasting Media Solutions Indian Ocean (which primarily serves the Indian Ocean region.)
“The acquisition of Thomson Broadcast is just one part of a larger developmental plan that goes beyond TV transmitters and into the areas of cloud-based solutions, cybersecurity and digital solutions to support private and public TV broadcasters,” said said Ylias Akbaraly, CEO of Groupe Sipromad and Chairman of the board of Thomson Broadcast. “We want to create greater value for Thomson Broadcast and offer cutting-edge solutions for the evolving television and global digital market from Africa to the United States.”
Groupe Sipromad created a new management company called Phenixya that allows the Thomson Broadcast brand to retain its autonomy and support from existing French partners and collaborators. A renovation of the new Colombes headquarters of Thomson Broadcast, in a western suburb of Paris, is planned to begin soon.
In addition to the broadcast market, Thomson is also looking into expanding into the U.S. satellite and aerospace markets and plans to partner with, according to officials, a “prestigious” U.S. university to establish an Innovation Center in North America.