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Colem-Spice — YEAR IN REVIEW

Coleman + logo 2009 has been an exciting and interesting year for Colem with a number of important changes taking place, as well as the introduction of several new products and technologies. Perhaps the most noteworthy was the launch of Colem-Spice at IBC in September.

Colem and Spice Design have long been business partners carrying out control center and automation projects together for satellite operators and broadcasters alike, including Eutelsat, Eumetsat, Inmarsat, NewSkies and SES World Skies. Consolidating the innovation skills of both companies, a joint partnership Colem-Spice was launched at IBC 2009, Amsterdam. This announcement formalised that relationship and also saw the extension of its services into the fields of IP, Workflow, and Asset Management, thanks to the introduction of two new team members, Rob Kernot formally of Thomson Reuters and Paul Coxhead from BT. The overall objective of Colem-Spice is to provide efficient and professional control room and operations facilities for the demands of 24/7 working.

Other news this year included the launch of Colem’s USB/Wireless Intelligent Button Control, which was showcased by the company at Satellite 09 and NAB. The control has been designed to simplify any SNG or Flyaway operation, featuring a very easy-to-use two, three, or four buttons in a rugged surround — perfect for military satellite operations. Despite its basic appearance, it is fully interactive and allows complex operation of fully automated systems. In April, Colem announced its work with VISLINK, with continued development of control and monitoring systems for the LINK wireless camera systems used for special events and city centre OB broadcast. A number of Link cell sites have been automated using a control system from Colem, including VRT, DR, RAIITV and SNG in the UK.

IBC was a big event for Colem this year, largely due to the new venture, Colem-Spice, and the major new product launch, MediaNetSched. This product is an effective media, bandwidth, and capacity management system, easily configured to simplify any operation. This package makes it possible to browse, edit, and move media directly at source, from systems such as SNG/Flyaway, Wireless Camera operations and broadcast centers. MediaNetSched was, in fact, included in two IBC product launches: nova-trak from Novella SatComs, an ACU with embedded tracking receiver; and Holkirk’s CF100, super light, X- or Ku-band SNG Flyaway Terminal.

The other big event was the SUIRG led forum held at Intelsat, Washington DC, formalizing the Carrier ID initiative: the transmission of uplink ID and GPS location data. Colem-Spice was invited to participate as a speaker at the event, which was designed to drive the definition and acceptance of a common industry model for Carrier ID within both satellite Encoders and Modems alike.

Expect to hear a lot more from Colem-Spice in 2010. We will continue our strategy with the assistance of the UKTI to exhibit at Satellite and Broadcast trade shows, particularly CabSat — Dubai, Satellite show — Washington, Broadcast Asia — Singapore and IBC — Amsterdam to develop new client contacts and business.