ZeeVee, which has distributed audio and video to HDTV televisions through coaxial cable in thousands and thousands of buildings in the hospitality, academic, corporate, assisted living, stadiums, restaurants and bars, casinos, hospitals, houses of worship – as well as digital signage – will now be able to expand beyond North America to the European market and elsewhere.Next week, the company will launch a new generation of its encoder modulators that are directly compatible with televisions sold in Europe and elsewhere. Until now, ZeeVee products worked with North American TVs that have QAM tuners built in, unlike those of Europe and elsewhere that use different formations.
We had a lengthy interview this week with Kai Rostcheck, ZeeVee director of marketing, and Bob Michaels, the five-and-a-half-year-old company’s senior vice-president worldwide sales, who told us that along with introducing the product to ISE visitors in The Netherlands, ZeeVee will be looking for potential distributors for the European market.
“The market is being driven by the move from analog to digital, which offers a better quality image and experience,” says Rostcheck. “People want to move from analog but they want to use what they have today and convert it.”
Allowing that to happen are the products of ZeeVee. The new line is the HDbridge2000 series which is not only compatible with European TVs, also used for digital signage, but offers a number of other advantages.“The new series is extremely easy to install and much less expensive,” says Michaels. “The products greatly reduce installation time. You can have many more channels per box. On a large installation, it eliminates hundreds of connections for HD. There is greatly improved performance, And everything can be managed from one location.”
Beyond that, of course, there is the big advantage of most buildings already having coaxial cable, so there is no need for the extra expenses of adding fiber.
We noticed also that the new line means that much less space is taken up behind the screens, and, in general, scales better – something that Rostcheck says was a big need.
The new line doesn’t preclude using the company’s earlier products. They won’t be discontinued.
“But after two years of intensive R&D, we are proud to introduce the most powerful, most intelligent, most scalable HDbridge yet,” says Rostcheck.
In the US, the company’s launch strategy includes public relations to the AV market, ads in trade magazines, and webinars. A similar strategy will eventually be used, but first ZeeVee will be looking for distributors, and, says Michaels, “We’ll be building a sales force.” The first products of the new series – geared for various resolutions: 480, 720 and 1080 – are ready to ship by the end of the month.