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Ask the experts James Eddershaw, Sales Director, Shotoku Shotoku Broadcast Systems is an international leader in the manufacture and marketing of a full range of camera support products including manual and robotic pedestals as well as virtual reality camera tracking systems Shotoku has been around for quite some time, but for those who may not be familiar, can you explain who you are and what you do? We have been supplying manual studio pedestals, heads, and all sizes of cranes, since the launch of our broadcast division in the 1960’s. As the division grew and our experience in all areas of studio production grew with it, we expanded into more advanced electronic-based systems. In 2005 we made the strategic decision to create a completely new, UK-based, broadcast robotics design and manufacturing facility as a wholly owned subsidiary of Shotoku Corporation. Shotoku UK is located in Staines in Southwest London. Since its inception, the UK office has added a number of management, operational and technical staff with decades of experience in high-performance broadcast robotics.  Today, Shotoku is proud to support customers across the world with the highest level of technical performance and dedication to customer service that reflect the core values of the original company, founded over 50 years ago. 46 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 82 OCTOBER 2013 What do you think is the most important thing the industry should know about your company? Well, a few things come to mind. First would be our long-standing commitment to the industry. Most would be surprised to learn that we’ve been supplying technologically superior, high performing and robust systems for more than 50 years. Second, the fact that we offer such a wide range of solutions to the broadcast industry is key. We have advanced technologies that target a variety of market segments from professional users, OB and studio production to fully robotic and VR live TV studios. We highlighted our full range of these solutions at this year’s IBC show. Third, I would say that we are a perfectly sized company – small enough to give truly personal support and undertake product customisation, but large enough to support offices around the world able to address the needs of a global customer base. What do customers and potential customers seem to be most interested in when you are exhibiting at such shows as IBC? We have been leading the charge for years in providing advanced manual and robotic camera support systems, as well as virtual reality tracking solutions, to the broadcast market, and always look forward to reaching professionals worldwide and demonstrating how our product lines work and achieve results in real-world applications. Certainly, anyone walking through our stand at a tradeshow has his/her own unique needs. They are typically interested in things like the flexibility of our systems, ease of use, portability, return on investment, etc. In addition, they are often pleasantly surprised to see the wide range of camera support products we are able to offer – even if not all are directly relevant to their particular current requirement, they like the fact that we can clearly support them over time even if their requirements develop into new areas. More specific, technical, questions could include things like, ‘which lenses are compatible with Shotoku robotic systems,’ or ‘which studio pedestals can the height drive be used with?’ Since you brought it up, what are the answers to those questions? Ha, well, virtually any ENG, teleconference or EFP / studio lens from any manufacturer can be used with the Shotoku robotic system. We offer several options when it comes to control interface: direct lens interface can be used with broadcast ENG, teleconference or EFP/studio uses. The Shotoku Lens Servo is great for broadcast ENG applications for ultimate high-end performance of zoom and focus, or situations where a ‘Full-Servo’ lens is not available. As for the Height drive, this is perfect for Shotoku’s TP-90, TP-80 or TP-200 and comes with a fully integrated mounting kit, but in fact the Ti-12 is compatible