Every year, we trek out to Vegas for the NAB Show. If you’ve ever been, you know that it’s incredibly difficult to resist the urge to buy something. All the major manufacturers are showcasing their latest and greatest products. And beyond that, you’ve got small, obscure companies displaying tools you didn’t even know existed. It’s a broadcast equipment buffet. With a few exceptions, every year we’ve been able to walk away empty handed (excluding the year drones made a big appearance). That’s a strategic decision for Broadcast Management Group. Here’s why we don’t own production equipment.
We don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with routine maintenance on production equipment, and that’s a huge aspect of owning gear. If you’re going to own something, obviously you want it to work. We’re either in pre-production, traveling, in production, or writing really, really good blog posts. Staying on top of equipment maintenance is just something we don’t want to worry about.
It’s crazy how quickly gear can become outdated. If you own equipment, you have to keep your eye on the future and understand what new products are being developed and released. That makes the buying process much more difficult because you want to maximize your investment and own something that will provide value for years to come. It’s hard to justify using a specific piece of equipment if there’s something newer and better on the market. We’d rather continually rent the latest and greatest gear than worry about a piece of equipment we own becoming outdated.
Owning Gear Locks You In
If you own equipment, you want to use it and rent it as often as possible – again, so you can maximize your investment. The problem with that is you’re ALWAYS going to want to use your gear – even for projects where it may not be the best technical solution. Owning equipment locks you in and prohibits flexibility. When we go into a project, we provide equipment that best meets our client’s needs and objectives. We don’t force them to use a specific piece of gear just because we own it. We’re equipment agnostic, which gives us a great deal of flexibility when engineering a project.
Our projects can vary so drastically that it’s hard to justify buying equipment. Certain gear is best for certain projects – that’s why there are sports trucks, entertainment trucks and music trucks. When we go from a news project to a music project, we wouldn’t look to use the same kind of equipment. Just like we wouldn’t book a sports truck for a music project. Our project diversity doesn’t mesh well with equipment ownership.