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Almost Live from NAB: Cogent Brings Affordable Bonded Cellular

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[Note: This sponsored interview was recorded at NAB 2015.]

Cogent Technologies has grown a lot in its five years, now with offices on three continents. What's its secret? It makes bonded cellular simple and affordable, so any producer can create fantastic live video from remote locations.

"We're heavily focused in the bonded cellular, but those products also could feed a Ethernet line, a Wi-Fi, or any other connection to the internet, and we're low bit rate so they can use an economical transport," said Jim Malone, the company's vice president of technology. "If they only have one 3G or 4G stick we can still make a video. Go up into the web, come down to our facility, and bring a live shot if they need a live shot or bring in some post-editing in and we can transfer files over that media."

Another secret of Cogent's success is that it's focusing on smaller producers that don't have the financial resources of TV operations.

"A lot of TV stations now are creating webcasts from their regular broadcasts. We're not really focusing all our energies into TV stations, we're really pushing hard to get those small webcast productions, give them some wireless abilities," Malone explained. "Not necessarily in the zone of the production, but maybe miles or hundreds or even thousands of miles away from them, just to get maybe color or to bring in some other aspect, or even a beauty shot."

To hear more about Cogent, including its extensive experience with sports events, watch the full interview below.

 

Troy:  Hi, everyone. This is Troy Dreier with StreamingMedia.com and we're here at NAB 2015 talking with some news makers on the show floor. I'm very pleased to be joined today by Jim Malone, vice president of technology for Cogent Technologies and why don't you tell our viewers a little bit about what Cogent is?

Jim:    Good afternoon, Troy. Cogent Technologies is a company that's been in business for about 5 years. We manufacture wireless solutions. We've recently gone into the bonded cellular segment of the market. Traditionally, we've been in wireless cameras, satellite up-links, and a lot of the paraphernalia that goes around that. Mainly, in the beginning for traditional broadcast. Our new focus, of course, is directed to the webcast and using our bonded cellular. We're actually involved with a lot of sports production.

Troy:  I've heard this is a 5 year old company, right?

Jim:    Yep.

Troy:  You're already on 3 continents?

Jim:    That's right. We're in the UK, we're in Southeast Asia and we're also in the United States.

Troy:  You have offices in all those locations?

Jim:    We have offices in all those locations.

Troy:  Wow, that sounds like a lot of business. What are you doing that's allowed you to grow so quickly?

Jim:    We serve a lot of segments, different segments, and the main reason really is our products are at a good price point, they're simple to operate and as I said before, they're really targeted to the webcasts, the new products, all types of webcasts.

Troy:  Who are your customers?

Jim:    One of our customers is B Productions. They're out in New York, they're a webcaster for fashion shows and dog shows. In the beginning, we didn't see that as a huge market, but as we let them use some of our equipment and integrate it in their operation, they showed it to some other webcasters and it was amazing how much feedback we got.

Troy:  Fantastic, so a lot of word of mouth growth.

Jim:    It's the best, it's really the best.

Troy:  Except for advertising on Streaming Media.

Jim:    Of course. That's what we're doing now, we're creating more word of mouth.

Troy:  Exactly, that's exactly it. What role is Cogent playing in the streaming media world?

Jim:    We're heavily focused in the bonded cellular, but those products also could feed a Ethernet line, a Wi-Fi, or any other connection to the internet and we're low bit rate so they can use an economical transport. If they only have one 3G or 4G stick we can still make a video. Go up into the web, come down to our facility, and bring a live shot if they need a live shot or bring in some post-editing in and we can transfer files over that media. We're using an encoder from NEL, it's a Japanese encoder, and in the regular broadcast role, it was considered one of the best. Now that we've moved it into the webcasting segment, people are going to notice the difference, they really are.

Troy:  A lot of your competitors are serving the broadcast market, right? You guys are doing streaming?

Jim:    A lot of TV stations now are creating webcasts from their regular broadcasts. We're not really focusing all our energies into TV stations, we're really pushing hard to get those small webcast productions, give them some wireless abilities. Not necessarily in the zone of the production, but maybe miles or hundreds or even thousands of miles away from them, just to get maybe color or to bring in some other aspect, or even a beauty shot.

Troy:  Tell me some of the sports events that have used your products?

Jim:    My background is covering a lot of live sports. Very difficult types of sports, cycling, marathoning, a lot of road race work. It's natural, almost all the 4G networks are strong along these, like New York marathon, Boston marathon, they have very, very good connectivity, so it's natural to put a camera on that and just either walk along the course or be on a motor bike or any vehicle.

            Recently I was in Mexico City, we did the Mexico City marathon and the customer was just overwhelmed. We brought 4 cameras back in form the course and they had perfect pictures, it was just wonderful.

Troy:  You're doing a lot of traveling, aren't you?

Jim:    Oh yeah. It's part of the biz.

Troy:  You're going to be on more than 3 continents very soon, I can tell that.

Jim:    I hope so.

Troy:  Thank you so much for joining me, Jim. I really appreciate it.

Jim:    Thank you.

Troy:  This is Troy Dreier, coming to you from NAB 2015.

 

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