Broadcasting is one of the fastest changing technology landscapes in today’s world. Now, more than ever, people tune in to programs delivered anywhere, anytime to any device. As many companies upgrade to IP, over-the-air signals have become a thing of the past and traditional time-sequenced programming is increasingly transitioning to viewing on-demand.
But responding adequately to these changes is a challenge, coming on the tails of a global pandemic that initially brought activities in the entertainment industry to a standstill. One company who experienced these frustrations is Artel, a leading global provider of broadcast media transport solutions. Artel is a broadcasting pioneer, recognized for innovative technology and engineering with two Emmy awards to their credit (2014 and 2017). The company relies heavily on fiber optics products to support customer needs but difficulties with overseas vendors at a time when customer demand is increasing, faster and better products are required.
Khenedy Vongsanith, who’s worked for Artel since 2017, is now Artel’s Operations Manager. Says Khenedy, “the pandemic hit us hard. We were short-staffed, 80% of us were working from home and it was very trying to get the products out to our customers….. Moreover, we had problems with a supplier. There were time-zone issues (they are based in China) which slowed things down, lead-time issues (hopefully the chip shortage is behind us) and language issues. We communicated mostly through emails.”
Vitex, a leading fiber optics supplier in the U.S., has a long-standing relationship with Artel. But as both companies grow, Vitex has come to play a more critical role in Artel’s continued success and reputation. Fiber optic components are essential to meeting increasingly higher demand for streaming live events, from immersive football games to the Olympics to music and other awards shows.
Vitex is not merely a supplier but has become, according to Khenedy, a “good business partner.” Artel’s innovative technology, much of it grounded in fiber optics, relies on receiving high quality video transceivers. Given the fast-paced changes in technology and increased consumer demand, it is critically important to receive components of the highest quality on time and quickly. Many of their fiber optics products, notably DigiLink and FiberLink, rely on video transceivers.
“We are most pleased with Vitex’ products. We haven’t had any quality issues with the company… “ Technology products are vetted by Artel’s award-winning engineering team who are ultra-selective when it comes to product quality and test each product that comes in. Moreover, says Khenedy, Vitex is very responsive and has been able to respond quickly to urgent needs. The fact that they are in the same time zone makes that easier. Says Khenedy, “our customers prefer US-based companies. We do also. It’s much easier to us to deal with a vendor based in the US and products here…. I can pick up the phone and Vitex will get us the products we need.”
Vitex has been able to keep up with Artel’s needs by working closely with them on an inventory plan. The two companies agreed on inventory priorities and Vitex has stocked those items in their warehouse. According to Khenedy, purchasing optics products from Vitex helped Artel Video save money on tariffs and lead time. “Vitex keeps the products available for us in NJ, releasing them as needed. Before, the products would get held up at customs, and we would not know about (that) until they were past our due date. Now… we are getting products to our customers quicker. As you know, with the component shortages, companies are always looking for availability.”
Whether it’s transporting video feeds from an event venue to a studio or supporting professional video applications, Artel has found it critical to deal with a company that has a deep understanding of their technical needs. Vitex, who has been supplying fiber optics components for more than two decades, has a strong grasp of the complexities of fiber optics engineering and has proven itself more than capable.
Artel is a recognized innovator in broadcasting technology with a reputation to uphold with their own customers. Their new product, SMART Multimedia Delivery Platform in openGear, won the 2021 NAB Show Product of the Year award. This follows on the heels of a few other industry accolades including a couple of Emmy awards. The product is in final development and approval stage.
The new product relays images over IP protocols using Ethernet infrastructure. Rafael Fonseca, VP of Product Management and Marketing at Artel, elaborates on how: “SMART OG card is a software defined platform which allows our customers to on-board legacy video signals into the newly adopted world of IP in Broadcast. This on-boarding uses fiberoptics transmission as the physical layer. Vitex components are an integral part of the solution, enabling the SMART OG platform to connect to IP networks via fiber.”
Moreover, according to Khenedy, much of the demand for products from their customers is not forecasted. For that reason, “It’s good to have product in the US. We are also anticipating more business this year with our new product. You’ll see a lot more orders from us.”
Vitex, based in northern New Jersey, is a leading supplier of quality fiber optics products in the U.S. For more information about their products, contact info@vitextech.