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As the 8th  in a series of articles profiling various manufacturers, suppliers and services that cater specifically to the film and television industry in Gauteng, In Focus spoke to Concilium Technologies (Pty) Ltd, who handle systems solutions, turnkey projects, consultation, training and sales support, and Blank Media, a registered importer and exporter of blank media and its accessories.

In Focus spoke to Steve Alves, Broadcast Sales Engineer of ConciliumTechnologies

In Focus: How did you come by the name Concilium? 
Alves: Essentially to promote the culture of working as a team with your customers. It may be a cliche, but we firmly believe that we truly partner with customers for the long term. Concilium - where experts concur and give advice.

In Focus: Your location and number of staff you employ?
Alves: We are in Highveld Technopark in Centurion, we employ 30 people and are growing.

In Focus: Please describe the products you have on offer.
Alves: As mentioned in the intro, we offer solutions/systems, turnkey projects , consultation, system design, installation and integration, commissioning, training and after sales support. To achieve this, we have relationships with a large number of broadcast suppliers such as Harris, which includes historical brands such as Leitch (servers for transmission and central storage, routing switchers, signal distribution, signal processing/conversion); Inscriber (Graphics) Videotek (test and measurement) as well as high end media asset management, play-out control software, branding products, Velocity editing for News room and SAN environments, Digital signage Hi Tech control systems; Tamuz broadcast and professional monitors, Apple Final Cut Pro editing and central storage solutions . We also have a very active professional audio division supplying mainly to radio broadcasters where we represent companies such ad DHD and DK Technologies.

In Focus: Have you made any large sales recently?
Alves: We have recently delivered and installed the first Harris Platinum router with the Harris Centrio multiviewer functionality in South Africa. Although not recent, we installed and are continuing to grow M-Net's Media Asset Management system, which is an ongoing project currently moving to HD. Our pro audio division has also supplied to the SABC which is gearing for 2010 with new digital studios.

In Focus: Do you provide service back-up? 
Alves: Yes, we provide hardware and software support with trained application support and a full electronic workshop. Our aim is to partner with the customer to ensure they get the best services possible for all of the equipment we supply. We have even been known to support other equipment. We have been in the broadcast business since 1995, when Hewlett Packard supplied the first video servers to M-Net. We worked for HP at that time and when HP split up in 1999, Concilium was formed.

For more information, contact Steve_schafer@concilium.co.za or on +27 82 337 2070 or visit the website at www.concilium.co.za/broadcast

In Focus also spoke to Blank Media's CEO, Meegan Chetty.
In Focus: Where are you based and what is your staff complement?
Chetty: We are based in Edenvale and currently employ a small group of between 5-10 people.

In Focus: What products do you offer?
Chetty: What makes Blank Media so unique is that we specifically deal only with media and media packaging. We are always up-to-date with market standards, and always researching new products that can be beneficial to the market. Blank Media is believed to be trend setters, as we import our own brand of media, moving consumers away from the normal 'overpriced' brands. This also eliminates the middle man, and the price escalation.

Our in-house brand is called Blank Media, there is no need for any fancy names as our product sells itself. We have introduced this brand into the market because we believe in it and are proud of the brand and believe that once you try it, you will never use another branded product except for 'BM'. These products are used in our duplicators and printers, and we understand how important it is to always use the highest quality media for the perfect result time after time.

In Focus: Do you also do DVD's and CD's and what about the packaging?
Chetty: Not only do we have a disc with excellent burn quality, but we have perfected the print quality of the disc as well. The photo printable surface defines the distinguishing characteristics of the print, allowing you to produce a disc of professional quality. There is no longer a need to use expensive printing machines or laminators to obtain a flawless finish.

Packaging is always a concern especially to the quality conscious. There is no use in having professional finished discs packaged in a CD or DVD case that does not display the same quality attributes, but it is also pointless having packaging that costs more than the finished media product. At Blank Media, we supply good quality packaging products i.e. DVD and CD cases, clam cases, white paper sleeves, etc.

In Focus: Any large sales recently?
Chetty: We service various video production companies, duplication facilities, banks, car dealers, IT companies and telecommunications companies, to name a few of the industries we cover.

In Focus: Do you have any other branches in SA and do you provide service back-up?
Chetty: No - however we deliver throughout SA and export to our neighboring African countries. We provide assistance wherever possible such as firmware upgrades, and technical advice.
For further information go to: www.blankmedia.co.za or contact Blank Media  on +27 (0)11 454 5458,