Vendor Spotlight: Riedel Communications

Organic growth and timely acquisitions help Riedel support customers’ expanding needs.

From its humble beginnings renting two-radios (and lighting equipment) to local churches for holiday celebrations, to introducing the first digital intercom system and later acquiring video technology companies that have secured its place in the decentralized networking space, Riedel has grown into a major comms and live remote production video company.

Earlier this year the company reorganized into three main divisions - Products, Managed Technologies, and Riedel Networks - with company founder Thomas Riedel overseeing activities as Group CEO.

This followed several company acquisitions over the years: MediorNet (decentralized signal routing via fiber-optic cable for live production) in 2007, Embrionix (signal processing on SFPs and IP gateways) in 2019 and SDNsquare (real-time IP network orchestration and Software Defined Networks control) and Simply Live (software-based products for multi-camera production) in 2022.

[Of note: Embrionix’s OEM business now makes up about a third of Riedel’s revenue.]

“Even though we’ve had challenges from a supply chain point of view, we’ve managed to forge ahead and strengthen the company for the next five years of growth and beyond,” said Rik Hoerée, CEO of the Product Division at Riedel. “We now live in a perfect storm. On the one hand broadcasters have learned important lessons from the pandemic that have carried over to their daily jobs. On the other hand, remote production was happening before COVID hit, but the technology and how it is being used is now more mature and prevalent than ever before. And Riedel is at the center of it all.”

Its latest product offerings include the 1200 Series SmartPanels for its Artist digital intercom systems and the MediorNet family of distributed video infrastructure products for routing multiviewing and processing that addresses a variety of workflows.

An Artist system can be anything from a single modular frame to a vast, fiber-based and remotely connected network of nodes. Each modular node contains client cards that accept and distribute different types of signals including SMPTE 2110-30/31 (AES67), VoIP, DANTE, AVB, MADI, AES3 and analog audio. At the present time, Artist is the only intercom platform that talks all audio standards – and its modular architecture allows for the easy accommodation of future standards.

Among its technology acquisitions, Belgium-based SDNsquare is a provider of SDN solutions for complex and demanding IP-based media installations. Its technology has been deployed by its customers in major sporting events such as the Tokyo Games, Roland Garros and European Athletics Munich. The technology is critical for remote production moving forward and the technology has been implemented into several Riedel products.

“Customers need to navigate financial situations and for that they are looking for technology solutions,” said Hoerée. “Remote production has given them better utilization of their equipment, manpower and resources.”

Riedel’s Managed Technologies division provides crews and portable productions systems and technologies to support live events such as Formula One and international football, using its own technology where appropriate.

Lastly, Riedel Networks is a proprietary global MPLS network that can connect clients to any city in the world via a series of hops over an IP infrastructure.

“Our most demanding user lives inside our company,” said Hoerée, adding that quality and attention to detail are at the heart of everything Riedel makes.

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