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IABM Members Speak 2 - Frank Jachetta
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009
IABM Members Speak 2 - Frank Jachetta
Frank Jachetta – Senior VP of Sales and Operations
MultiDyne Video and Fiber Optic Systems
Frank, can you first fill us in on your background?
I hold a Bachelors degree in computer science and started in the industry as a circuit board designer and firmware developer. I have transitioned into a sales and operations position, but still enjoy being involved in product development.
What is the history of MultiDyne?
My father Vincent started MultiDyne in 1977 by building the first portable colour bar generator. MultiDyne then went on to create the first hand held signal generator. Our signal distribution background started with long-haul, cable equalizing DAs and has now evolved into a full line of fibre optic transport products.
What are the main product lines of MultiDyne?
MultiDyne comes from a broadcast background, but as convergence becomes a reality, many of our products carry over or focus on pro-AV, high end surveillance, intelligent traffic systems, military, government and simulation.
Our focus is high quality, point to point fibre optic transport. We can transport virtually any signal over fibre optic cable including composite, component and HDSDI video, high resolution graphics such as DVI dual link and RGB, AES and analogue audio, and much more. Another product line is the field rugged, fibre optic transport working in conjunction with our tactical cable assemblies. In fact, the LiGHTBoX 1150 won two awards at IBC in 2008.
Which applications represent the current “sweet spot”?
I would have to say the optical router (EOS-4000) in conjunction with the DVI/RGB Fibre Link (DVI-6000).   When these two are installed in concert, it is no longer just a point to point device, we can distribute from one point to many points, such as multiple screens with the same content. Or, with a touch of the remote control, different images can be displayed on each of those same screens. DVI, DVI-DL, NTSC, PAL, RGB or YPbPr can be transported over the same link, so regardless of the source and destination signal requirements, one device can carry any of these signals. Audio also comes along for the ride and soon, USB!
Fibre optics is clearly a main component, how has this evolved in recent years?
With the advent of HDSDI and its tremendous proliferation, fibre has moved from being a luxury to becoming a necessity. Depending on cable types, HDSDI can only travel a few hundred feet over copper. This removes the option of copper from even a large room, not to mention a building, campus or metro area.
Does fibre compete favourably with copper?
Until it became a necessity, copper was more favourable due to fibre’s higher cost and fibre frailty. Fibre also had a stigma of being too difficult to terminate. However, with the increasing cost of copper, rugged tactical fibre and field termination kits, fibre has become more favourable than copper. In fact I was onsite for a railroad installation, standing in a tent on a windy winter day while the technician there terminated ST connectors onto fibre in a matter of seconds!
What future do you see for 3G transport?
Of course one day 3G will go the way of the VCR and vinyl records, but for now, the future of 3G transport is bright. The higher resolution 3G or 1080p HDTV is supported by many consumer displays and has proliferated into broadcast productions. 3G can be used to transport dual link HDSDI by multiplexing two 1.5G HDSDI streams into one 3G stream for digital cinema. 3G or HDTV 1080P is also used in sports and television productions. The 3G HD signal format is often used as the transport format of choice. Various types of signals are converted to and from the 3G format. This holds true for our DVI/RGB fibre link which converts DVI to 3G for transport or cross conversion. This way the 3G can pass through other 3G devices and routers easily, before it is converted back to DVI or simply left in its new 3G form.
How has the current business climate affected you?
I feel as an industry, even outside of fibre, we are all very blessed by the explosive growth of high resolution video content and the need to distribute it. With the mandates of changing over to HD, all the new video services that consumers have available and are willing to purchase and the proliferation of multimedia into all aspects of life, I am cautiously optimistic that our industry will not just weather these difficult times, but thrive.  
Would you like to make a few predictions about the future of the media industry once the financial crisis is behind us?
Although the word convergence has become a cliché, I feel this is our future. When a single broadband conduit is brought to the home it will not just bring voice data and video, but will bring on demand services of very specialized content as easily as accessing a web site. When you can access various HD camera views at will, while watching baseball; when you can shop interactively, or take a real-time virtual walk through the summerhouse you are about to rent 3000 miles away, this is the future.
Current on demand and fibre to the home are a glimpse of what’s to come, but as the economy improves and the infrastructure is expanded, these services will quickly become reality. Of course, the broadband conduit to the home will be fibre.