SVG Sit-Down: Encompass Digital Media’s Scott Rose Sees Video Delivery Via Internet as Broadcast’s Next Big Transition

For the VP of product and sales engineering, today’s innovation is less about image quality, more about delivery

Following a handful of key acquisitions — including the addition of the media-services business of Babcock International Group last summer — Encompass Digital Media sees itself as in a strong position as a service provider of choice when it comes to helping move the media industry to the next generation.

Encompass Digital Media’s Scott Rose: “We’re seeing another reinvention of broadcast. We’re moving from the traditional — which is satellite and cable — to the new — which is using the public internet to deliver entertainment to everybody globally.”

With those acquisitions has come a wealth of added industry talent, including Scott Rose, who came over in the Babcock purchase and is now VP, product and sales engineering, Encompass.

SVG recently caught up with Rose to discuss how he has adjusted to his new role, where he sees the challenges and opportunities in the current media industry, and why the move to OTT and delivery of live content via the internet is the biggest transition occurring in today’s broadcast industry.

How have you become acclimated to this new role, and what excites you about this job and this company?
It’s a really interesting time. I’ve worked in various organizations, both for service providers and on the vendor side. The exciting part of all of this is that we’re seeing another reinvention of broadcast. We’re moving from the traditional — which is satellite and cable — to the new — which is using the public internet to deliver entertainment to everybody globally.

The acquisition of Babcock by Encompass and the creation of every company that has joined in has put Encompass in a pretty unique position to be able to help broadcasters with this transition. Everybody talked about what the next transition would be after the HD transition. Would it be UHD? I think the real transition is OTT and delivery via the internet. It’s just great to be at the point of attack at a company that can make that happen.

What was your NAB Show experience like? What do you feel that you took from that show?
At NAB, everyone is always looking for the next big thing. What was the amazing bit of tech that was there? I think this year was very much the year of things becoming real. We’ve had too many years where there’s been new technologies, and they’ve been cool, but you couldn’t see the business application.

I think what [this] show was really about for many companies and individuals was taking what has been promised over the past couple of years — whether that’s OTT delivery of broadcast video or increased UHD/4K services — and actually making it happen. That’s because the revenue is now there. You can actually build an OTT service and do sports in 4K, and users will pay to watch it. This year’s NAB was the one where it was less about the future and more about what people are doing today with technology. It might not be the sexiest thing to see at a trade show, but it was great to see that people were spending money and doing business.

How pleased are you with the solutions that Encompass currently provides, and how do you feel the company fits in the overall industry? What are you happy with, and what would you maybe want to see change over the next six months?
I think we’re pleased that the transition is taking place and that our customers’ business models are making sense. They’re not doing OTT just because it’s cool or because someone said they had to have a stake in that world even if it doesn’t generate revenue. We’ve got customers who are finding this to be a good, profit-making side of their business. That’s really pleasing to see.

I think what we are offering as a media-services provider positions us to help people with the transition from the traditional platforms to the new and emerging platforms. We’re able to bridge the both of them. Any time the broadcast industry goes through a transition, we seem to think that we’ll just turn off the old one. In the UK, you can still buy a black-and-white TV license. There are still more standard-definition channels worldwide than there are HD ones. Transitions take a lot longer than most people think.

We’re still helping customers with all kinds of broadcasting. Encompass is the global leader in providing shortwave radio. We cover everything. That breadth of experience is really what we offer. Yeah, my job is to productize it, package it up, give it names, and make it understandable. But what you’re buying into with Encompass is a global team of experts who have seen and done these things so you don’t have to do it.