Vendor Spotlight: Appear

Founded in 2004 as Appear TV, the company rebranded in 2021 as Appear to better reflect its expanding product portfolio and the non-broadcast customers (like telcos, head-end operators and the hospitality sector) it is now supporting. Based in Oslo, Appear launched a new U.S. division in April 2022, with sales/technical support offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Denver and the East Coast. They also maintain a sales, support and operations office in Southampton, UK.

The company sells its products directly and indirectly through Sioux Falls, SD-based Sencore, a partnership it has enjoyed for many years.

Founded by a group of former Tandberg Television product engineers, Appear is currently focused on media processing and delivery technology, with a focus on real-time data processing and transfer for live events. It also supports a variety of headend facilities with technology that enables satellite reception, descrambling, multiplexing, scrambling, QAM modulation, encoding, transcoding, terrestrial gateways, audio levelling, and redundancy. Appear has begun supporting the B2B industries: contribution, event production, and de-centralized remote production.

Thomas Lind, Co-Founder and Director of Product Management at Appear.

Thomas Lind, Co-Founder and Director of Product Management at Appear.

A need for an integrated platform that offers high capacity, low latency codecs, different formats (2110, 2022-6), and traditional SDI led the company to develop its new X Platform: a high-speed video networking, enhanced IP security and advanced compression solution for the remote production, contribution and distribution markets.

The X Platform allows users to mix and match features as required. If you need more channels, you simply add more cards. One HEVC encoder can manage eight HD 1080p/50 channels. If you need 16, you put two cards in the rack.

Other products include: The XC Platform, a modular head-end platform for IPTV and broadcast, X10 DSNG: for digital satellite news gathering (DSNG), and the NEO Series: a software-based compression solution that comes pre-installed on Appear’s hardware.

Thomas Lind, Co-Founder and Director of Product Management at Appear, said its products are “mainly hardware cards,” but its software technology is growing rapidly. This includes software transcoding, moving into the cloud, and even digital ad insertion. It is also looking to streaming software applications as well as using software for live linear transcoding, real-time packaging, low-latency OTT for linear live channels.

How are you adapting to the trends?

One of the main applications targeted with our X Platform is remote production. We support ST-2110 and NMOS and JPEG-XS encoding/decoding, and HEVC encoding. If you contribute low-latency 2110, we can do that with NMOS and everything into cloud. We can do JPEG XS into a transport stream, which might fit better into cloud contribution because you take away the PTP challenges. Of course, we support PTP and we can do 2110 with full PTP and NMOS support.

What distinguishes your company from the competition?

The main difference is that we offer a comprehensive set of features that can be added as cards in a rack as required. This makes it easy to customize a solution for each user. We do everything on the same platform. We like to say that our solutions adapt to the customer’s operational needs, not the other way around.

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