The demise of hire outfit VFG earlier this has year taught those working in the hire business a valuable lesson: if you're not succeeding as a one-stop shop in the face of dwindling TV production budgets, then diversify.
Our survey reflects this with 97% of respondents currently offering technical support and 84% offering a repairs service. Some hire companies are now pushing this expertise to the fore. On Sight has capitalised its engineering experience by opening up its Upstairs facility to copy tapes and digitise video on to computer drives. On Sight's Craddock explains: "We have engineering experience, particularly in HD, and hire companies that are just box shifters will struggle unless they have the technical back-up."