Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Purchasing Broadcast Equipment

May 6, 2020

If you’re looking to purchase broadcast equipment, there are a lot of things to consider before pulling the trigger.

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If you’re looking to purchase broadcast equipment, there are a lot of things to consider before pulling the trigger.

What are your current needs and your future growth plans? And will this equipment accommodate both? Are you buying an older model or something close to being outdated? Are you getting a good deal, and are you buying from a reputable source?

This is just the starting point. The key to any good purchase is understanding your needs and doing your research. Purchasing broadcast equipment is no different.

Rather than focus on the myriad of questions to ask yourself before buying, we’re outlining the main mistakes to avoid.

Here are the top 5 mistakes to avoid when purchasing broadcast equipment.

Mistake #1: Purchasing outdated broadcast equipment

Broadcast equipment is continuously evolving. Manufacturers are always releasing new products or updated models with new features and functionality.

It can be daunting to stay ahead of the curve, but researching your purchase beforehand is critical. The last thing anyone wants is to invest in equipment, only to have a new model released the next month.

While the “newest” model isn’t always the best model, it’s still important to do your research. Don’t buy something outdated unless you’re confident that it fits your needs.

Mistake #2: Purchasing broadcast equipment that isn’t compatible

If your equipment purchase is part of a larger infrastructure – like a production studio, flight pack, or mobile unitmake sure that your new equipment is compatible with the other components of your production ecosystem.

Products from different manufacturers may not work well together (sometimes by design, sometimes not) and may require specific converters or additional engineering time to get them working.

Make sure that all pieces of your production environment will work well together. If not, make sure that there’s a solution to get them to speak with each other. Otherwise, forgo the purchase and find something that has better compatibility.

Mistake #3: Not filling a need

purchasing broadcast equipmentWhen it comes to purchasing equipment, it can be very tempting to focus on “wants” instead of “needs.” There are a LOT of fun broadcast toys on the market.

But stay focused. Make sure that your purchase fills a need.

Is this gear something that you’ll use regularly? If you’re planning to rent the equipment, is there a market for it?

If you plan to recoup the cost of the equipment – either through rentals or by using it on various production projects – make sure you have a conservative calculation on how quickly you’ll be able to recover your costs.

You might see something that would be fun to have, but if there’s no proper use for it is it worth the cost?

Mistake #4: Incorrect capacity

Purchasing broadcast gear is like buying a car. You need to do your research and test drive whenever you can.

And just like a car, your equipment needs to have the right capacity.

This can mean making sure that your graphics machine has the right number of channels to accommodate your needs. Or making sure that the hard drive you’re purchasing for field shooting has adequate storage space.

Make sure that whatever equipment you’re buying can accommodate your current needs plus some headroom, so you don’t outgrow it.

If you’re purchasing gear for a facility, it’s crucial to keep in mind your growth potential. If you anticipate expanding your content output, make sure you factor that into your buying decision.

The last thing anyone wants is to find themselves with a new piece of gear that’s already maxed out.

Mistake #5: Purchasing from an unreputable source

Finally, make sure that you’re purchasing your gear from a reputable source.

There are hundreds of options for purchasing equipment – maybe more depending on what you’re looking to buy. While cost is certainly a top consideration for most buyers, you need to make sure you’re protected in the event there’s an issue with your equipment.

If you’re buying online, make sure you check the site’s return policy. Make sure you’re not buying something refurbished (unless that’s what you want). And make sure to read reviews – ensuring that previous buyers haven’t had issues with the company you’re buying from.

If you need any guidance on your equipment purchasing or assistance with an upcoming integration project, our system integration team is ready to help. Contact us any time.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!