ISSUE 38 | AUGUST 2013
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO SPORTS AGENDA An indepth look at the MENA EPL rights
BEHIND THE LENS With Emirati filmmaker Abdulla Al Kaabi
JVC GY-HM650 put through its paces
ROAD STARS PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ
Producer celebrates region’s exotic cars with new TV show
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SPORTS TALK Al Jazeera has won exclusive MENA rights to the EPL. What’s next on the cards? Exclusive comment from Karim Sarkis, who has been there, done that! Pg. 14
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The broadcast market is witnessing an unusually large movement of human resources, not just on the international front but regionally as well. When you see people who have almost become synonymous with the brands they represent moving to pastures new, it compels you to question if all is well in our industry. First, there was Said Bacho, who we thought was firmly entrenched in Harris Broadcast until he shocked the market by announcing he was leaving for Grass Valley. We were taken aback when Bruno Schmetz, who was almost synonymous with the EVS brand in Dubai, bid goodbye and headed for Ericsson. Then it was Andrew Davies’ turn. After seven long years at TSL, he decided to join WRN in the UK. The latest in this line of departure is John Aslett, who headed Avid’s Middle East operations for around eight years. He is due to leave the company at the end of this month. These are people who invested a significant number of years with their respective companies, so their move could be disconcerting for those left behind. And this is not all. We have seen several people leave Sony Professional Solutions Middle East in recent months. Likewise, at Media Group
ISSUE 38 | AUGUST 2013
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO SPORTS AGENDA An indepth look at the MENA EPL rights
VIjaya Cherian, Group Editor, Broadcast Division
Cover: Tewe Pannier, Executive Producer of Put Your Car on TV
BEHIND THE LENS With Emirati filmmaker Abdulla Al Kaabi
JVC GY-HM650 put through its paces
Let’s create a vibrant online broadcast community!
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© Copyright 2013 CPI. All rights reserved. While the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.
International, several people have come and gone. Ironically, these two systems integrators were the main contenders for the big fat Al Jazeera Work Transformational project, which hasn’t materialised yet. There are rumours that it will be shelved or integrated internally, keeping everyone involved on tenterhooks. Essentially, this large movement indicates some sort of flux in the market and while it can’t be all bad, it also can’t be all good. This month, therefore, we bring you several stories that we first broke online about people on the move on the regional front because we believe that it is a significant reflection of the change that is coming to the market.
ROAD STARS PUBLICATION LICENSED BY IMPZ
Producer celebrates region’s exotic cars with new TV show
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12TH NOVEMBER 2013
SUMMIT & AWARDS 13TH NOVEMBER 2013
ARAB HDTV GROUP MEETING
12 November, 2013 The Address Dubai Marina
THE INDUSTRY EVENT
THAT BRINGS THE MENA BROADCAST COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO DEBATE TO CELEBRATE
www.broadcastprome.com/summitandawards2013 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
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in this issue AUGUST 2013
55 IBC PREVIEW
GTV’s Put Your Car on TV premieres on OSN
* People on the move * Al Sumaria TV deploys Tricaster 8000 * Advanced Media launches new service centre
14 MENA EPL rights What’s next! 16 Ramadan TV trends
31 Addressing broadcasting challenges 35 Selling the second screen
44 JVC GY-HM650 camcorder
NEW LAUNCH Harris Broadcast Academy
24 Jamal Al Sharif, Dubai Studio City 38 Abdulla Al Kaabi, Emirati filmmaker
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PRONEWS PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ...
Andrew Davies leaves TSL for WRN Broadcast Andrew Davies, who headed TSL’s Middle East operations, is due to head back to the UK after a seven-year stint with the company. Davies’ colleague Suhail Ahmed will take over his responsibilities. Davies has accepted a new position with WRN Broadcast, UK, as Head of Sales and Business Development and begins his new role on August 5. WRN Broadcast has had recent success in providing broadcast services, including playout, content storage and disaster recovery, to clients in the Middle East. In a statement to the local market, Davies said: “TSL has been a fantastic company to work for and it’s been a pleasure to represent them in this region. I look forward to continuing local relationships here in the Middle East as I start my new role at WRN Broadcast.”
Awad Mousa joins TVU US-based TVU Networks has appointed Awad Mousa as Regional Director of its MEA operations, with plans to open an office in Dubai in the next couple of months, BroadcastPro ME can reveal. As part of his new role, Mousa will oversee TVU Networks’ operations in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, India and Pakistan. TVU Networks, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California has offices in New York, Boston, Raleigh, Shanghai. The presence of a local office, however, is intended to offer better support and service to its existing resellers and customers, according to Mousa. “TVU has customers in the region in UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Ghana and so on and we have a good network of resellers such as UBMS,” Mousa told BroadcastPro ME. “I have joined, however, to strengthen our operations and expand our business here with an additional staff in Jordan to support our customers.” With the Middle East being a hotbed for news, broadcasters are increasingly looking for faster and more cost effective methods for their reporters to get news from the field to the newsroom. Although most technologies in the market revolve around bonding, Mousa claims that TVU’s Inverse StatMux technology provides a more effective method to take stories to air.
LIVE HD gets new Head of Tech Hamad Abdelrazaq, who has stepped down from his role as Engineering Director at Sharjah Media Corporation, has now joined LIVE HD, Abu Dhabi as Head of Technology. In his new role, Abdelrazaq will oversee the operations of LIVE’s business unit, ensuring that it continues to provide high-quality production services to customers. In the meantime, there have been some changes at Sharjah Radio and TV with Mohammed Khalaf, who previously headed Sharjah TV, now overseeing both radio and TV in the emirate.
John Aslett exits Avid Middle East John Aslett, who has led Avid’s Dubai office and emerging markets operations for the last eight years, is due to leave the company August end. Aslett is said to have raised the profile of Avid’s ME office from being a pure sales operation to a turnkey facility with a team that included professional services, and delivery and solution specialists for the firm’s broadcast, audio and video product segments. In the Middle East, Avid seems to enjoy strong growth. In fact, it recently hired Ammar Fawzy to support Mounzer Bechara as Territory Account Manager for the Middle East. In addition, Avid is also in the process of building a huge demo facility akin to its Avid Centre of Excellence (ACE) facility in Pinewood at its Dubai office to serve its Middle East and North Africa customers better.
AL SUMARIA TV DEPLOYS TRICASTER 8000 Iraqi broadcaster Al Sumaria TV recently deployed two TriCaster 8000 virtual sets from NewTek at its Beirut and Baghdad facilities to ensure that it could quickly provide a fresh look and feel to its channels on time and within budget. The sets were provided by UAEbased NewTek distributor MediaCast. Edmond Mouawad, Broadcast and Media Team Leader at Al Sumaria TV stated that the virtual set was chosen because of tight deadlines. “We did not have time to construct a studio in time to go on air from Beirut and later, from Baghdad. The virtual set came in handy for this. This is our first virtual set installation. We haven’t had one before this.” The TriCaster 8000 comes with the updated Virtualset Editor 2 allowing zoom, rotate and pan features, giving the end user a complete 3D environment within the virtual set, according to Peyman Dadpanah, Business Director of MediaCast. “The advantage of a virtual studio is that it doesn’t require a lot of space. Therefore, companies can cut down on the costs of infrastructure and equipment. To give an example, a one-time investment for a virtual studio setup such as the NewTek TriCaster 8000 with additional elements costs less than USD 50,000. This gives the user a huge advantage because it gives them the option to add unlimited number of virtual studios. It would take that much to create just one studio with all of the interiors. The value that a virtual set brings, therefore, in terms of costs cannot be quantified,” he explains. The distributor adds that this sale also reflects the increasing demand for broadcast systems from Iraq.
KSA mulls TV production and media park Saudi Arabia is considering its first media zone to strengthen local audio visual news production and content by the end of the year. KSA’s Council of Ministers has stipulated that the project must comply with basic principles, including the need to coordinate with Arabsat administration and other relevant agencies. Dr. Riyadh Najim, Chairman of the Kingdom’s Audiovisual Commission, told Arab News that discussions have begun, with the objective “to ensure that there is harmony between the content and the ideals of Saudi culture”. The Commission is in the final stages of planning, and the media park is expected to be ready by the end of 2013, he said. Saudi Arabia’s Ideas Arabia company is to launch a satellite TV channel dedicated to Arab and Muslim women. The programming will give voice to the modern woman’s aspirations and goals. The areas covered by the channel will include technology, politics, culture, science, education, psychology and medicine. The channel will highlight Saudi women’s capabilities and achievements.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PRONEWS Iraqi Media Network partners with Arabsat
The new service centre at Bur Dubai.
Kaveh Farnam, CEO of Advanced Media.
Advanced Media launches new service centre Dubai-based distributor Advanced Media Trading has opened a new service centre at its HQ in Bur Dubai to cater to increasing regional demand for the repair of professional products including cameras, lenses, lighting and other production-related solutions. The distributor has had an authorised service centre over the last eight years primarily to service Sony cameras, explains Kaveh Farnam, CEO of Advanced Media Trading. “We have had a service facility for the last eight years. Sony has given us the rights to service their equipment here but we also handle other brands, and this new service centre is better equipped to handle such repairs. We have more spare parts and more technicians,” he commented. One of the big advantages of the new service centre is that it also creates a report about used equipment should the owner decide to sell their product. “Some customers come to us with used equipment that don’t necessarily carry details about their features, their condition and so on. In this service centre, we provide maintenance and refurbishment of used equipment and provide certification and ID cards as well to allow for easy and more transparent trade-offs.”
Dubai studio opts for AV Plus’ McRecall system Dubai-based studio Funoun AlEmarat is the first studio to invest in a McRecall Analogue Recall Rack System – the first product to be launched by UAE distributor AV Plus under the McMilad brand. McRecall is a combination of software and hardware that enables the end user to save and recall the positions of any analogue knobs. The system works on any brand and any knob function. It does not interfere with any of the electronics behind the knobs it is saving or recalling, and requires no additional power chords or wiring. It saves snapshots on one’s Macintosh computer. A single McRecall rack system can handle up to 40Us of rack mounted gear by moving the camera up & down the rack in steps in order to cover all outboards installed. McRecall supports multiple cameras is easily expandable. McRecall can also be used with any analogue mixers by installing multiple cameras that cover any mixing surface. With McRecall, users now have the opportunity to save and recall the positions of any analogue knobs accurately, consistently and hassle-free. AV Plus has started shipping and installing the McRecall System in studios around the world.
6 | www.broadcastprome.com | August 2013
Baghdad-based Iraqi Media Network (IMN) has built a satellite TV broadcast platform to broadcast on Arabsat satellites at its Hot Spot 26° East. This bouquet includes radio and TV programmers for all TV channels currently operating from Iraq, which crown the mutual co-operation efforts between Arab Satellite Communications Organisation and IMN to develop the AV media infrastructure in Iraq. Mohammed Abdul Jabbar Al Shabout, Director General of IMN stated that launching this bouquet will enable Iraqi and Arab viewers to watch all their favourite channels on a single frequency across the Middle East and North Africa and large parts of Asia and Europe.
Lebanon’s first Dolby Atmos theatre
Dolby Laboratories Inc. and VOX Cinemas launched Lebanon’s first Dolby Atmos equipped theatre in VOX Cinemas in Beirut City Centre for the nationwide release of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Pacific Rim. The Dolby Atmos audio platform changes the experience of sound in entertainment by delivering a more natural and realistic sound, which immerses the audience in the story with a lifelike, sensory experience.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ...
Charlie Vogt joins Harris as CEO Harris Broadcast has appointed Charlie Vogt as CEO following the exit of Harris Morris early last month. Vogt headed GENBAND for nine years as President and CEO, where he led a company transformation that encompassed six acquisitions, including Tekelec SSG, NextPoint Networks and Nortel’s VoIP Business. Through organic innovation, attention to operational integration and relentless focus on customers, GENBAND became no. 1 in VoIP and delivered a compound annual growth rate of ~100 percent during his tenure. Vogt succeeds Harris Morris, who was appointed President of Harris Broadcast when it was a subsidiary of Harris Corporation in 2010. He led the company through its divestiture process and guided the transition period to The Gores Group ownership, including the completion of fiscal year 2013. “Charlie’s proven track record of taking companies with powerful and promising technology to the next level uniquely positions him to lead this business,” said Carl Vogel, Harris Broadcast Chairman and board member of Dish Network. “His decision to join Harris Broadcast as President and CEO likewise reflects the promise and potential behind the company’s market-leading technology, marquee customers and exceptional employees. Charlie will bring to Harris Broadcast vision, leadership, creativity and operational discipline as well as an entrepreneurial and customer-first culture.”
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Teranex 3D model shown
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10 3D Camera Align The 3D camera align feature of the Teranex 3D model lets you frame sync and align left and right eye feeds for perfect 3D rigs.
The world’s leading standards converter converts to hundreds of video formats instantly! Teranex is the world renowned standards converter with incredible virtually transparent quality! You get massive number of conversions including extremely high quality de-interlacing, up conversion, down conversion, SD and HD cross/ standards conversion, automatic cadence detection and removal even with edited content, noise reduction, adjustable scaling and aspect ratio conversion. All with full timecode and multi-channel audio conversion. The Teranex 3D model includes 3D dual channel conversion, patent pending 3D simulation and 3D camera rig alignment!
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Use Anywhere With the ability to convert from virtually any television format to any other television format at the highest quality, Teranex has hundreds of uses in any broadcast and post production facility. With the built in Thunderbolt™ port, you can clean and convert content for authoring use for video capture and playback! Teranex is the perfect video converter, standards converter and capture and playback tool all in one! More Connections Teranex is packed with more video and audio connections supporting the latest standards such as 3G-SDI and HDMI 3D frame packing. Teranex supports SDI, HDMI and analog component video, plus extremely versatile multi channel audio. The built in Thunderbolt port and RS-422 deck control allow full capture and playback. Ethernet is also included for remote configuration.
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PRONEWS Ten Sports staff in Dubai face uncertain future; new CEO joins With no final date confirmed for an impending relocation of operations from Dubai to Noida, India, more than 100 employees at Ten Sports continue to work at the broadcaster’s present headquarters in Dubai with no certainty about their future with the company. Inside sources have confirmed that Sanjay Raina, former COO, exited the company on June 30. A handful of staff are rumoured to have secured jobs with other regional broadcasters and left the company. It is not known how many employees working with the Dubai office will be willing to relocate to India or accept revised salaries. In the meantime, there have been structural changes within Ten Sports in India. Rajesh Sethi has been appointed CEO of Ten Sports and has taken over from Atul Pande who has moved on to other responsibilities within Zee, the parent company that owns Ten Sports.
Abu Dhabi Media revamps TV channels Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) has announced the re-launch of its TV channels, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat and Abu Dhabi Al Oula that will feature new programme schedules. The re-launch will allow for diverse content and quality programmes to be broadcast to Arab viewers locally and across the region. H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This re-launch project was completed following efforts that spanned over a year and involved the development and enhancement of the company’s working processes. This project was completed in stages, the first of which included completing an update of our administrative structure and working policies, as well as a restructuring of the company’s departments, in order to ensure maximum efficiency.” Starting December 2, 2013, viewers can experience the renewed channels with updated programming coinciding with the 42nd anniversary of UAE National Day.
YAHSAT LAUNCHES YAHCLICK
Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (YahSat), a private joint stock company fully owned by Mubadala, has announced the UAE launch of YahClick, its satellite broadband internet service. YahClick will be distributed in the UAE by SkyStream, a member of the Atlas Telecom Group and Safa Telecom, a member of the IEC Telecom Group. Successfully launched in ten countries across the Middle East, Africa, Central and South-West Asia region, YahClick is now available to UAE businesses and enterprises. The service can be instantly deployed to provide high-speed internet anywhere in the country and is set to boost connectivity in remote locations and provide reliable backup for broadband connection to business users. Local businesses such as those in the farming and agriculture sector will also benefit from advanced technology solutions that can meet the demands of their challenging terrains. In the next few months, SkyStream and Safa Telecom will announce a range of cost-effective subscription plans with broadband speeds of up to 15 Mbps.
August 2012 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PRONEWS Bahraini Information Affairs partners with Nooran Pictures Bahraini Minister of State for Information Affairs, Sameera Rajab signed a production agreement with Fareed Ramadan, Managing Partner of Nooran Pictures for the development of Bahraini feature film, The Sleeping Tree, according to Bahrain News Agency. The Sleeping Tree revolves around a family’s sense of tragedy, reflecting on the links between Bahraini heritage and cultural beliefs and activities. Directed by Mohammed Rashed Buali, the film sheds light on human fallibilities within a society’s cultural norms by examining a family’s relationships and the strain brought upon husband and wife through the illness of their daughter. With filming planned to begin by the end of the year, the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) will be co-producers of the film, alongside its creators, Nooran Pictures. Commenting on the agreement, HE Rajab said: “Bahrain is rich with talent and our support stems from our strong belief in that talent and the importance of an international presence. The Sleeping Tree is a powerful tale, which everyone can relate to, the world over and we are looking forward to its production and release.”
Rotana announces global on-demand Arabic movie service Arabic media giant Rotana has launched a free online video-ondemand service in partnership with EGM Worldwide, to stream Arabic films, plays and TV series worldwide. RotanaCinema.com allows access to over 100,000 hours of entertainment, with daily updates to ensure fresh content. It has, say the companies, been built for a wide range of compatible devices, and a portal dedicated to users of smart phones and mobile devices will soon be rolled out.
MBC NOW DELIVERS CONTENT ON SECOND SCREEN MBC Group has announced the launch of its latest second screen mobile application, MBC Now, providing users and viewers across the region with an enhanced mobile user viewing experience. The application will deliver the latest in MBC Group’s TV content and programming information, in addition to enriching the social interactivity level, as an individual or as part of a group at any given time. The application is scheduled to launch in phases. The first phase kicked off at the beginning of Ramadan, with a focus on MBC Group’s Ramadan programming content on its various channels.
Moreover, the application also currently boasts discussion forums, reminders, a search feature, and display advertising, among many other options. The second phase, to be launched towards the end of Ramadan, claims to take social interactivity to a whole new level through the various application features, such as: Friends, Friend Activity, Chat, Memes, Social Polling, Featured Tweets and Friends Notifications, among many others. Additional phases will be part of the project in the future to allow users more personalised options and features.
MBC Group officially inaugurated O3 Drama Production Studios at Dubai’s first Sound Stage in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai. Several officials were present at the private opening including HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.E. Mohammed Abdulla Al Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Holding; and MBC Group Chairman Waleed Bin Ibrahim Al Ibrahim.
Bidaya to complement children’s education in Gulf states Abu Dhabi’s media and creative hub, twofour54 has joined hands with Mubadala Development Company to establish Bidaya, a new company to complement educational efforts in literacy, basic mathematical skills and language abilities for young children. Bidaya which means ‘beginning’ in Arabic will help create high-quality educational media content in Arabic for the Arab Gulf States. New content will debut in the next few weeks. Bidaya will be using twofour54’s broadcasting and production facilities; while twofour54’s creative lab community will support Bidaya by identifying and sourcing local talent. Bidaya’s inaugural project will be the Iftah Ya Simsim educational initiative, which is an Arabic-language adaptation of Sesame Street, utilising a proven model formulated by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organisation whose global mission is to help all children reach their highest potential.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ...
twofour54’s first gaming graduates The first class of graduates from the twofour54 Gaming Academy in partnership with Ubisoft celebrated the completion of their 16-month game development course during a ceremony held at twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority, Abu Dhabi. The eight graduates presented their team projects to guests including twofour54 Chief Executive Noura Al Kaabi, Managing Director of Ubisoft Abu Dhabi; Yannick Theler; and Head Lecturer at the Gaming Academy, Matthew Bell. Through the comprehensive, industry-relevant training provided at the Gaming Academy, these students now have the skills needed for a career in game development. Gaming is one of the fastest growing sectors within the media industry generally and in the Middle East and North Africa region in particular. It is set to grow further with the potential presented by mobile gaming on cellular phones and tablets.
From left: Mohamed Makki, Mohamad Othman, Matt Perman.
Three new appointments at MGI Systems integrator Media Group International has strengthened its management team with three key appointments. The new recruits include Matthew Perman, who joins the company as Business Manager, and Mohamad Othman and Mohamed Makki Ibrahim, who both join MGI as Business Development Managers. A qualified chartered accountant, Matthew Perman was formerly with Sony Professional where he held various management roles. Mohamad Othman has an impressive track record in business development and strategic sales and marketing, having previously worked for broadcast systems integrator Qvest Media and broadcast connectivity supplier Al Mazroui ICAS. Mohamed Makki Ibrahim joins MGI from INC-Technology where he spent two years as Area Sales Manager.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PRONEWS PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ...
Wohler appoints new Channel Manager for EMEA Wohler Technologies has announced that Tarek Shaikh has been promoted to the role of Channel Manager for EMEA. In this new position with Wohler, Shaikh will lead the company’s efforts in strengthening its partner community, assuring superior service and support for customers, and increasing adoption of its solutions within the EMEA markets. “Not only does Tarek possess the experience and drive necessary to move our business forward, he also has the enthusiasm, resilience, and leadership skills that are so valuable in resolving the challenges that face broadcast and media companies today,” said John Terrey, Vice President of Sales at Wohler. “We are confident that, as he takes on greater responsibility here at Wohler, both our growing EMEA business and our expanding customer base will benefit.” Shaikh has more than 20 years of experience managing multi-departmental teams through development, growth, and change. Stuart Wood. Prior to joining Wohler’s EMEA offices in 2012, he held a variety of operations management roles in which he created new channel services and oversaw key areas ranging from product development and strategic positioning to partner communications and customer support. Shaikh will be based in Staines, U.K.
QATAR TV INSTALLS RIEDEL’S COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM Qatar TV (QTV) has installed an extensive Riedel intercom system across its brand new state-of-theart 5,000sqm broadcast facility, which includes a 1,100sqm studio that is among the largest in the MENA region. Riedel Artist digital matrix intercom, Acrobat digital wireless intercom, Performer digital partyline intercom, and RiFace universal radio interface systems were supplied and integrated by Sony Professional Solutions MEA as part the broadcast solution within the Doha facility to ensure flexible and clear communications throughout the operation. “The Riedel system enabled and even facilitated open voice communications between our different teams, ultimately resulting in more streamlined and efficient operation here at QTV,” said Abdulkarim Elsabbagh, Head of Operations at QTV. The intercom installation at QTV is centered on Riedel’s Artist platform. It features two Artist 128 mainframes and one Artist 64 mainframe, which are networked via a redundant fibre ring that assures continuous system uptime. As its needs change, QTV can easily expand this system simply by adding additional Artist frames to the fibre ring.
QTV employs about 65 intercom panels from the Artist 2000 series. The Artist system also provides VoIP connectivity and MADI interfacing between the facility’s LAWO audio consoles. The Performer digital partyline intercom and Acrobat digital wireless intercom systems are integrated seamlessly with the Artist platform. QTV has also incorporated professional mobile radios into the installation via Riedel’s RiFace universal radio interface.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE ...
New EMEA Content and Creative Chief for Turner Patricia Hidalgo has been appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Content & Creative Officer Kids for Turner Broadcasting System EMEA. Formerly VP Content & Programming Strategy for The Walt Disney Company EMEA, where she launched Disney’s first Telenovela for kids and undertook a major rebranding exercises for Playhouse Disney and Jetix channels, Hidalgo will head Turner’s portfolio of kids content and channel brands in Europe, Middle East and Africa. She will oversee all centrally-funded programming—such as acquisitions, co-productions, originals — channel branding; franchise and research initiatives; and editorial compliance across multiple platforms and formats.
YahSat appoints Masood M. Sharif Mahmood as CEO YahSat has appointed Masood M. Sharif Mahmood as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as of June 2013. He previously held the post of Deputy CEO (DCEO) in the company. Tareq Abdel Raheem Al Hosani will join Yahsat’s Board of Directors and will continue to play a vital role in the organisation’s strategic direction. Commenting on the executive appointments, Jassem Mohammed Al Zaabi, Chairman OF YahSat said: “Tareq played a key role in building YahSat into a world class satellite communication organisation. Under his guidance and direction, YahSat has gained industry recognition and continues to grow on both a local and international level. I wish Masood the best of luck in his new roles and I am confident that he will lead YahSat to further success.”
NMK makes key sales of DIS NMK Middle East FZCO, distributors of Danish Interpretation Systems (DIS) in the Middle East has supplied key rental and installation systems to several companies in the region. Customers who have purchased the DDS5900 and DCS6000 systems for their respective projects include AudiViz, Black Arrow Integrated Solutions, Elvis Technologies and Technomight Qatar. For 60 years, DIS has provided state-of-the-art installed and rental solutions to the global meeting industry. Technologies include solutions for discussion, conferencing, interpretation, and parliamentary environments. A part of the Informationsteknik Scandinavia Group acquired by Shure Incorporated in 2011, DIS is represented through a global partner network in more than 80 countries, with offices in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia.
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Al Jazeera and ADM: Life after the Premier League rights saga Now that the MENA broadcast rights for the Premier League have been awarded exclusively to Al Jazeera Sport, Karim Sarkis, who was part of the team that negotiated the rights for Abu Dhabi Media for the previous three seasons, sheds light on some of the challenges that lie ahead for the region 14 | www.broadcastprome.com | August 2013
The saga of the renewal of the Premier League television rights recently culminated with their award to Al Jazeera on an exclusive basis. As usual, the price paid has not been announced. Given the nature of the auction process and judging by its extended duration, it would probably be safe to assume the rights cost hundreds of millions of dollars. If there is one thing that everyone agrees on, it is that the process took far too long. The result was announced roughly a month before the scheduled start of the 2013 season, leaving fans and subscribers confused as to how and where they will be able to watch the games. That the PL allowed the process to drag on for so long must imply that they reaped a financial benefit above and beyond what they would have gained by accepting the initial bids. Nevertheless, the proceedings did not help the reputation of the sports rights sales processes in MENA, which are in general quite ambiguous in nature. Unless Al Jazeera has been quietly
preparing for winning the PL rights, the short duration until the season’s kick-off leaves them with a considerable challenge. Undoubtedly, Al Jazeera will provide a high standard of coverage with a star line-up of pundits, presenters and commentators. If, as has been speculated, the PL has mandated that cards be paired with decoders, Al Jazeera has a limited amount of time to make sufficient decoders available in the market. Ironically, ADM’s decoders are compatible with Al Jazeera’s cards, but pairing will require the cooperation of ADM, which may be difficult to secure. There is a marketing challenge in defining and communicating pricing, availability and technical requirements to potential subscribers. Finally, there is a customer service challenge in signing up a significant number of new subscribers within a short period of time. The coming weeks will confirm whether Al Jazeera is able to meet these various challenges. The exclusivity of the PL rights firmly answered the question of co-operation
among MENA rights holders. Many speculated that ADM and Al Jazeera had drawn a line in the sand in the face of ever-escalating rights costs. Indeed, had this scenario played out, it would have set the tone for a reduction in future sports rights values in the region. As it stands, future rights costs may rise sharply if ADM attempts to replace the PL rights with Spanish, Italian or UEFA rights as they come up for renewal in the coming years. As many have commented, the costs of sports rights in the region are not commercially viable. Although I do agree, neither Al Jazeera nor ADM are naïve enough to think that they are purchasing assets to generate a financial return over a three-year period. Each has their own strategy and perspective and, in both cases, my guess is their reasoning extends beyond the commercial constraints of regional pay-TV. Some have been critical of the rights owners for embarking on strategies that promote price hikes. I would agree that
constant shifting between platforms is not conducive to long-term subscriber growth, but in the end, sports rights are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them. Incidentally, rapidly escalating costs for sports rights are not unique to the MENA region. The primary difference is that in most other markets, the bidders are driven by a commercial objective and operate within a market with sufficient scale to justify the costs. For ADM, it must now, of course, determine the fate of its platform, which has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and represents a significant multi-million dollar investment. Most subscriptions will likely be expiring between August and December, and ADM needs to offer its existing subscribers a viable alternative. It can, of course, shut down the platform and cut its losses, thus leaving Al Jazeera as the only viable buyer of international football rights in the region. Alternatively, ADM may elect to expand its HD entertainment offering to retain subscribers and gain new ones. Another possible scenario is for ADM to wait until major football and sports rights come up for renewal and attempt to acquire them. Each of these scenarios will have a significant impact on the pay-TV market in the region. What next for Al Jazeera? After securing the rights for every major football tournament, will Al Jazeera focus on local football league rights? Or will they cast a wider net and seek to expand into entertainment? It would be an opportunity to create a compelling and complete payTV portfolio to entice a larger number of consumers at a lower subscription price point that Al Jazeera is clearly comfortable with. In comparison to the costs of sports rights, movie and entertainment channel rights in the region are a “bargain”!
Karim Sarkis is the CEO of Sync Media, a content creation company in Dubai. Previously, he was part of the team that acquired the EPL rights and launched Abu Dhabi Media’s pay TV platform.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
Idol Lovers Viewers change behaviours at times confounding analysts with figures that go awry. A minuteby-minute analysis, however, reveals the most rewarding slots for advertisers, who need to choose smartly and keep the viewers engaged during ad breaks The voting is in and the winner can be announced – Arab Idol is the most popular programme of the year.
I’m writing this in July, during Ramadan, but I’m very confident there will be no serious challengers to this in the second half of the year, or among the big Ramadan programmes. The UAE victory in the Gulf Cup ran it close but Arab Idol is the winner with a shade under 320,000 viewers on MBC1 at its peak minute, just as Mohamed Assaf was being announced as the winner. In fact, there were another 91,000 viewers at that time on MBC Masr and Al Hayat as it was shown simultaneously, giving a combined viewing of 411,000 and around two in every three Arab-speaking viewers at the time. But the gross figures are just one obvious dimension as there is much to learn looking at the details of the viewing on a minute-by-minute level. The beauty of a programme like this, from a research point of view is that with a large sample and audience it shows trends much more clearly. (The figures here comprise Emiratis and Arabs).
Reality is the Reality The first point is that while reality might be falling away in other parts of the world, it is very much alive in the Arab market. The 411,000 gross figure was up 21,000 over 2012, an increase of 5%. By contrast, in the US, American Idol has been dropping year on year. The final episode this year attracted 14.3 million viewers, which sounds like a lot until you realise it was a 33% drop over the 2012 figures, and those were the previous low point. Admittedly, they were in Season 12 and we were in Season 2, but it does show that all good things come to an end. A few years ago the Million Poets programme was lauded as the biggest thing on the box but such formats are barely on the radar.
TABLE 1: ARAB IDOL FINALISTS BY VIEWERS CONTESTANT
Predicting the Future An interesting thing about the minuteto-minute ratings is how they predict the outcome. The Arab Idol format featured the final three contestants performing on Friday night ahead of the audience voting and the winner being announced on Saturday. But anyone looking at the viewing figures could have made a shrewd bet that Mohamed Assaf would be the one to take the prize. These are the viewing peaks when each of the three finalists was performing. (See Table 1, below) The Mohamed Yousef minute was also the highest for the Friday night programme, overall, despite the fact that such shows tend to build audience over their duration, and he was the earliest to perform. Many people have a static view of audiences. I have conversations with programmers and schedulers who think when a show changes its figures either
during transmission or from day to day, it is a sign that there is something wrong with the figures, not the programme. The fact is that people change their behaviour in ways that confound our best efforts to put them into neat rows. I can imagine that when Mohamed Assaf started to perform, perhaps one person in a household was viewing and then called others in to watch. Or perhaps the fact that he was on first meant that a number of his fans, having seen their favourite, decided not to view the others and changed channels, perhaps returning at the voting stage. These are normal behaviours. If anything, the ‘odd’ behaviour is to sit and watch an entire programme. Table 2 shows the number of minutes ‘consumed’ by the Arab Idol audience in ten-minute blocks. To the left are the people who viewed less than 10 minutes and to the right are the ones who viewed the whole programme. As you can see, just over 20% of the viewers watched the whole show and about 54% watched two hours or more, while more than 30% watched less than an hour. I can tell you that this is a highly unusual pattern – for most programmes, the vast majority of viewing is for smaller periods of consumption.
TABLE 2: ARAB IDOL – FRIDAY, CONSUMPTION PROFILE
18 16 14 12 10 9.2
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TABLE 3: ARAB IDOL SATURDAY NIGHT AD BREAKS
300 250 200 150 100 AD BREAK 1 AD BREAK 2 AD BREAK 3
Advertising Idols Anyway, enough about singers – the real contestants are the advertisers, so how did they do? Again, minute-by-minute analysis provides a picture that we can’t get elsewhere. (See Table 3) Table 3 shows the pattern of three ad breaks during the Saturday night programme by minute and rating in thousands. The first three and last three minutes are the actual programme time. Now, if you buy your advertising by
programme, you pay a set fee regardless of how the spot performs. As we can see, however, the break your ad was shown in and the position it was shown in, will have a huge impact on the numbers who viewed it. The overall programme average was more than 260,000 but those who were in the lowest advertising minute at 22:51 had 160,000 viewers. The winners in this are the quick promo stings at the top of the breaks – in this case, sponsors and advertisers
such as Pepsi, Kit Kat, Chevrolet and Maybelline. Being at the end of the break also helps, as viewers come back to see if the programme has re-started – Samsung benefited from this effect. It’s something presenters and producers need to be aware of. At one moment when the words “after the break” were heard, there was a drop of 19,000 viewers in a matter of seconds. The challenge then is to keep viewers entertained and engaged during ad breaks. This is potentially where social media and other devices come into play. Luring viewers into tweeting, commenting and so on, during ad breaks or even about advertising spots helps. The agency that can deliver this service for a client will surely be singing the right tune. PRO
Christopher O’Hearn is GM of Emirates Media Measurement Company, which has rolled out ‘tview’, the UAE’s new television ratings and audience measurement system, and the first in the Middle East.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
Road Stars A TV show about cars for car lovers premiered last month on OSN. Claimed by the producers to be a one-of-a-kind series, Put Your Car on TV is a home-grown show fully produced, shot and edited in Dubai. Vibhuti Arora brings you the details
Dubai’s penchant for exotic cars is a well-known fact. It is not unusual to see some of the most revered cars in the world drive past you on the roads of Dubai. Besides the ultra-luxurious Rolls Royce and Bentleys that are aplenty on our streets, we often witness the ultraexotic high performance cars such as the Bugatti Veyron, the Pagani and the Koenigsegg to name a few, not just in
their normal form but with gold paint jobs, chrome body wraps, Swarovski crystal badges, huge wheels and tyres, and what have you whizz past us on the roads. In Dubai, owning a Ferrari or a Lamborghini is almost passé. So when a show like Put your car on TV premiered on OSN’s Motorvision TV HD channel last month, it was not surprising to see how quickly it gained a fan base and
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how many car enthusiasts were keen to show their cars off on TV. In fact, every other local broadcaster must have been ruing why they did not think of the idea before. This production is the brainchild of Tewe Pannier, Executive Producer of the show and founder of GTV Film Production, a production house based out of Dubai Media City.
Put your Car on TV is a half-hour programme that is broadcast in the Gulf states, Europe and Asia. The show features funky cars that are often spotted on Dubai’s roads with their owners and the funkiest of all walks away with a great experience at Sofitel Jumeirah Beach. Additionally, it’s not just local cars that appear on the show. Car lovers from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have driven their way into the show too. “To cut a long story short, the title of the show says it all,” explains Pannier. “We invite car lovers to put their cars on TV. It’s a car competition where we showcase funky, quirky, spectacular cars that deserve attention and judge their style, speed and sound. There is a lot of action on the show and everyone is welcome to be part of it.” The filming for the show’s pilot began in May 2013. Since then, five half-hour episodes were produced for Ramadan and Eid. Filming for the show will resume soon after Eid. The show is presented by two anchors, Emirati businessman and car expert Saif Hattawi, and English anchor Milène Gomera. Hattwai also doubles up as a judge on the show. While the introduction and conclusion of each episode is scripted, the rest of the content is fairly spontaneous with its focus entirely on the cars. “That’s the beauty of the show,” explains Pannier. “Since it is not scripted, every episode comes across as a fresh, new approach. It’s an English show but many people we interview don’t speak English. So the presenter talks to them in Arabic and the subtitles are used to show what they have spoken. Hattawi converses in Arabic. Being a car fan himself, he asks the relevant questions that would interest another car fan viewing the show.
Snapshot * Created, developed and produced by GTV Film Production, Dubai * Partners – Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach at the Walk * Channel – MotorvisionHD, OSN
* First weekly show produced in the Middle East to be aired outside of the Middle East carried by MotorvisionHD in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and eight Asian territories * 5 episodes of 24 minutes per episode, produced in 1920x1080 HD * 12 more episodes of the show will follow later this year
Made in Dubai
TOP: GTV’s Founder and Exec Producer Tewe Pannier enjoys filming cars and has produced car shows previously as well. LEFT: The show’s Presenter Saif Hattawi (R) chats with a participant on the show.
It all began over a cup of coffee at The Walk. Watching the swanky cars go by, it occurred to Pannier to have a show where car owners could show their prized possessions on television. “The idea stemmed from the desire to create a car programme from the region that shows the passion for modified and special cars. I thought about getting a presenter, a couple of cameras, some
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROCOVER Put Your Car on TV premiered on Motorvision HD last month and has been drawing constant attention from car lovers. LEFT: A car with its owner.
“The shooting for the show has to be a very organised and controlled process, more so because of the format of the show. Planning for each episode is done in advance to ensure we have enough material before we go on air” Tewe Pannier, Founder and Executive Producer, GTV
Maria Vargian, Managing Partner of GTV.
lights and putting up a sign that says: PUT YOUR CAR ON TV. We pitched the idea to MotorvisionHD and they immediately liked it and commissioned us with the production.” When Pannier first introduced the concept of a car competition to be made into a TV show, it got everybody excited. “We were all on the same page. As producers, we saw it as a quirky show that would get the audience interested. OSN considered it as light entertainment that was sure to win over car-crazy fans, and the Dubai Film and TV Commission propped it up as a showcase of yet another glamourous facet of Dubai.” Then came the difficult part of location hunting. The GTV team partnered with Sofitel Hotel at The Walk and with the help of Dubai Film and TV Commission acquired the necessary permissions to proceed with the shooting. “It was a challenge to get all of the permissions, but the Sofitel supported us from day one and Dubai Film Commission
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was extremely helpful,” says Maria Vargian, Managing Partner of GTV. A trained lawyer with experience in the German film industry, Vargian joined GTV as General Manager in 2009 and went on to become a partner in the company in early 2012. She runs the operations, business and legal departments of the production house and was in constant touch with the local authorities to get the show off the ground. The episodes are filmed in front of the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach at The Walk, Dubai Marina. There is no disruption to traffic as the show is filmed on the side off the main road. The producers claim that they have found an ideal shooting location. “The beauty of the Sofitel’s space is that it has the size of a small studio. There is enough room to present one car at a time and to have the other cars waiting as stand by. As soon as the weather gets cooler and the show gets more popular, we also expect more audience for the shootings. Those interested may check on our Facebook site “PUT YOUR CAR ON TV” for the recording schedules. “The shooting for the show has to be a very organised and controlled process, more so because of the format of the show. Planning for each episode is done in advance to ensure we have enough material before we go on air. Everything is done in-house at our office in Dubai Media City,” explains Pannier. Handling the cars takes most of the time on location. With three cameras on the ground and one for aerial shots, the shoots take place in the evenings under massive lights including LEDs and Redheads. While two of the Sony EX3 cameras are placed on the presenters the third camera follows the car and its owner. In addition to these, there is an aerial camera that films the car from the top and pans across the audience as well. The filming of the show goes off like clockwork with two shooting days in a row and two episodes shot each day. The rough cuts are then sent for formative editing to GTV’s Dubai Media City office. The editing takes two days for each episode.
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TOP: A car enthusiast posing with his 1969 classic Ford Mustang. The show has it all from classic headturners to fire spewing cars that you can’t help but notice.
Key Kit * Production: 3x Sony EX3 with Canon HJ11 Lens GoPro Hero3 for aerial shots with remote octocopter 22K blondes LED light panels Arri 88w Redhead lights Panasonic 9” HD field monitor * Audio: Seinheiser handheld microphones and receivers (to camera)
GTV has three full-time editors to edit the footage. The episode then undergoes colour correction and grading. This process take around four days. The subtitling is also executed in-house and the finished episodes are sent to Munich for packaging. “GTV also runs the marketing and sales for the show. OSN being a tapeless facility, we deliver the show on hard drives to MotorvisionHD which is based in Munich. Our office in Munich packages the episodes for OSN and feeds the signal to Dubai,” explains Pannier. “We market the show ourselves. We have marketing and promotions on social media but we don’t show the programme on social media because it is a TV show,” he explains. The first broadcasts will continue to be with MotorvisionHD and OSN, but the producers are open to selling it – with a due time from first airing – to free-to-air channels. The producers are also in talks with sponsors and some initial breakthroughs have already been achieved, confides Pannier.
The crew There are four producers on location to
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work the cameras and sound with the presenters. Besides them, there were eight people on set to manage the presenters, the make-up and the audio. The show is not without its challenges. For one, the harsh summer heat easily tired the crew out. Secondly, the producers had problems when a few rather gigantic cars were stuck on the show. “We couldn’t move them because of their sheer size. Sorting such issues on location often takes up precious shooting time but we have to take that in our stride,” explains Pannier. Thirdly, the people that appear on such shows are not actors and some of the participants are camera shy. To make them feel comfortable before the cameras requires some expertise on the part of the presenters so they ignore the cameras and talk about their cars, says Pannier. “We don’t have time to cast people for the show, so everyone who appears on the show are non-actors. We often come across participants who are camera shy.
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â€œThere is no dearth of exciting features. The response from car owners who want to showcase their vehicles is great. When we are shooting, a lot of people come up to the set and want to be a part of the show. This is a show which has been tailored for Dubaiâ€? Tewe Pannier, Founder and Executive Producer, GTV
After a few initial hiccups, the ball sets rolling as our presenters try and make the guests feel more comfortable. The participants warm up to the cameras and provide excellent insights about their cars.â€? Content wise, the show generates enough worthwhile footage that has the potential to hold an audienceâ€™s interest, according to Pannier. â€œThere is no dearth of exciting features. The response from car owners who want to showcase their vehicles is great. When we are shooting, a lot of people come up to the set and want to be a part of the show. This is a show that has been tailored for Dubai. Weâ€™ve had long lines of cars wanting to be on the show.â€? The show is presently on air only on OSN and is slowly building a loyal audience. Where does it go from here? The future seems bright as Pannier has got plans already in place. His company is in talks with partners in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. GTV is also planning a ladiesâ€™ special and a motor bike episode soon. PRO
In Brief * Tewe Pannier is a seasoned producer with several documentaries and series under his belt including The Vertical City on Burj Khalifa that showed on international platforms such as HBO and BBC. * He founded GTV nine years ago in Dubai Media City. * The seven-part series of The Desert Racers on the Porsche GT3 cup challenge and the opening show for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi on MBC are some of the productions that Pannier has headed.
â€œThe Dubai Film and TV Commission is thrilled to have been able to support German TV in the production of this unique show by providing incentives and reducing their shooting cost. It is great to see the filming industry in Dubai taking it to the next level and creating new formats shot entirely in Dubai. Dubai has great potential in creating many more original formats and weâ€™re committed to developing and supporting this phenomenon and doing all we can to assist production companies that have chosen Dubai as their backdropâ€? Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission, and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City and Dubai Media City. (Dubai Film and TV Commission extended the support necessary to get the show off the ground)
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROINTERVIEW Jamal Al Sharif is Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission, and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City and Dubai Media City.
Ready for release Jamal Al Sharif, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, spoke to BroadcastPro ME about the entity’s current projects and future plans on the sidelines of the official launch of the region’s first sound stage in partnership with MBC
What’s on offer at the first completed sound stage? Dubai Studio City has partnered with MBC on the sound stage project, which entitles MBC to use the facility independently. While we provide the infrastructure, they bring in the knowhow and use the sound stage on a long-term lease of five years. MBC has introduced Stargate technology in the sound stage, which is being seen as a tremendous push for the local film and TV industry. The other aspect of our partnership entails local content generation, which will
be done by filming four TV dramas yearly i.e. twenty of them during the leasing period. In return, we offer soft incentives worth USD 272,257 (1 million AED) by way of fee waivers and subsidised offerings. The sound stage will be leased out by MBC to third parties when not in use. MBC has already completed the filming of one drama, which was fully shot in Dubai but the shoots were mainly done outdoors. Dubai-based crew and local production companies were hired to do this series. Now with the sound stage officially launched, MBC starts filming its second
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drama from September 1. It is a very interesting drama and will recreate another country right here in the sound stage. That’s all I can disclose at the moment. What is special about this sound stage? This is the first of the three sound stages announced earlier this year and covers a sprawling 25,000 sqft. MBC has brought in Stargate technology in this sound stage for the first time in the region. Stargate has five locations around the world and we are indeed proud to say that Dubai is one of them.
PROINTERVIEW We have made a significant investment to prop up the film and TV industry in the UAE and the sound stage project is an essential part of that objective. We are committed to establishing a world-class filming hub in Dubai and have invested close to USD 272,257,000 (1 billion AED) to realise that vision. The investment has gone into infrastructure, boutique studios, office spaces and so on. Tell us about the other two sound stages. What do they offer and what are their highlights? The other two sound stages are also a commitment by TECOM to support the local film and TV industry. Their size and capacity makes them ideally suited for film shoots. However, they will be available for television shoots as well. Spread over an area of 50,000 sqft., these are the largest in the Middle East. An elephant door separating the sound stages gives flexibility to filmmakers to shoot two films simultaneously or use the entire space for a single shoot. The facility is sound proof and built with state-of-the-art technology to provide the latest facilities to filmmakers. Any amount of noise in the vicinity will not disrupt shooting in these facilities with 100% omissions of vibrations as well. Yet another highlight of these sound stages are the two water tanks — each of which is 8m x 20m. One of them is 41.2m deep, while the other one is almost 3m deep. This is the first time that such huge water tanks have been built indoors.
negotiating more deals similar to the MBC deal. There have been enquiries for more such facilities from Egypt and Lebanon, and we are looking at these requests quite seriously. We are in talks for expansion plans to build customised studios for companies. There is enough room to build up to 14 sound stages of 50,000 sqft. capacity in Dubai Studio City. We have already engaged two investors to
“Now with the sound stage officially launched, MBC starts filming its second drama from September 1. It is a very interesting drama and will recreate another country right here in the sound stage. That’s all I can disclose at the moment” Jamal Al Sharif, MD, Dubai Studio City
Tell us about the shooting schedules at these days of shooting facilities. Have you roped in Dubai including in any new companies? We will launch the TV series and second and third sound films in 2012 stages in September 2013, beginning with the shooting of a very large TV show. The facility has been booked already for 103 days and subsequently for another 95 days for a film shoot. We know for sure that there is a huge demand for these facilities but we are a little picky about who gets to use them. We are not looking at long-term leases at the moment so that the facility is available to more than one company. We want everyone to benefit from them and not limit their scope to just a handful of entities. In fact, we are in the process of
Dubai’s Ruler and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (r) is being briefed about the new sound stage by Jamal Al Sharif as MBC Group’s Chairman Waleed Al Ibrahim (l) looks on.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
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I/O B OXES
PROINTERVIEW build three- and four-star hotels. MBCâ€™s sound stage was officially launched in July.
What is the current occupancy rate in Dubai Studio City? Dubai Studio City is 100% occupied. Our 18 boutique studios and office spaces have also been leased out. What are the typical challenges that you face in your day-to-day dealings with film and TV entities and productions houses? Filmmaking is challenging. Having said that, anyone working in this field accepts them as part of the job and takes them in their stride. We have been fighting cynicism from the day we decided to establish Studio City, and the Film and TV Commission. We have defied people who thought we were crazy to build studios in the middle of the desert. Figures prove that there is a huge demand for our facilities and it is only increasing by the day. There are 342 companies operating from Dubai Studio City, out of which 190 are production houses and ancillary companies related to production,
with 45 production support services companies and about 40 broadcasters. We have 17 TV channels broadcasting from Dubai Studio City in addition to 171 from Dubai Media City making a total of 188 channels broadcasting from Dubai. How far has Dubai Film and TV Commission been successful in encouraging local talent? We are working with filmmakers
Pipeline for 2013: * 15 large projects will be shot in Dubai. Out of these, six are TV series (five Arabic TV series and one Turkish) and nine are feature films (Hindi, American & two English from the UAE). * 445 applications have been approved by Dubai Studio City from Jan to July this year. * Five TV drama series were shot in Dubai from Jan to July. 10 films were shot in the same period. * The total spend on film and TV translates into a value chain of close to USD 15 million.
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“We are in talks for expansion plans to build customised studios for companies. There is enough room to build up to 14 sound stages of 50,000 sqft. capacity” Jamal Al Sharif, MD, Dubai Studio City
– providing logistics, and incentives in addition to organising networking events every quarter to address their issues. Studios are available for them to shoot on special rates. Local filmmakers primarily want to show Dubai and we are willing to extend whatever help we can in that direction. In terms of encouraging local talent we have made a beginning, albeit small. We try to bring out the best of the local talent, for instance, all of my corporate videos are done by emerging Emirati filmmakers. How has Dubai Studio City fared so far? Going by the current figures, I think we have managed to achieve a fair degree of success. Having said that, we are not resting on our laurels just yet as we believe there is a huge potential waiting to be tapped. Producers have gained major savings on their estimated budgets through our incentive schemes and waivers.
ABOVE: MBC’s virtual studio at the official launch. BELOW: Jamal Al Sharif.
There was mention of a directory launch – what will that cover? Can we also expect to see changes to the DFTC web site? We have hired a very competent local company to compile a directory for us. This will be ready in time for the tenth anniversary of Dubai International Film Festival, which is hosted at the end of the year. The listing will include production companies, rental houses, logistical support companies, OB vans, cabling companies, studio owners, even caterers and tailors, and all kinds of ancillary services related to production. It will be
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a useful resource for those who want to use our facilities to film in Dubai. Companies are welcome to advertise as this directory will get worldwide exposure through an established network of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). With twenty offices around the world, DTCM will distribute the directory to ensure it gets visibility in relevant quarters. We are also in talks with the Ministry of Interior to contact all UAE embassies and consulates around the world and distribute copies of the directory to them as well. The print version of the directory will be in English but our online version will be in both Arabic and English. We also have plans to expand the listing in other languages. The online version of the directory will have English and Arabic to start with and then include other languages in time. Our web site now has a Mandarin option as well. Chinese filmmakers are showing keen interest in Dubai and we have successfully hosted some very prestigious Chinese projects here, plus there are more in the pipeline. What are the major roadblocks that the film fraternity in the region faces today and what steps are you taking to counter them? We feel the lack of local crew is a drawback for us. We have the latest technology and world class facilities to film but we need to build our human resources. We need more local crew to support shooting here so that we have to import less. PRO
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Addressing broadcasting challenges File-based automation offers a flexible platform for complex broadcast challenges. Craig Newbury advises broadcasters in the region to use file-based automation to manage one or many key processes easily through a single interface Broadcasters in the Middle East face many challenges typical to an expanding and evolving marketplace. In day-to-day operations, broadcasters are expected to solve workflow issues such as ensuring loudness compliance or â€˜legalisingâ€™ video. For some facilities looking at their end-to-end workflows, establishing more efficient SD/HD conversion and standards conversion of international broadcast content for domestic distribution is critical to a profitable business model and competitive programme offering. Taking on even larger projects, other facilities are working to plan and implement a smart, cost-effective migration to HD or a smooth
transition to file-based operations. File-based automation technology offers broadcasters straightforward, scalable solutions for addressing specific issues within the workflow and for overcoming larger technical and infrastructural challenges. Rather than spend time and money attempting to integrate dedicated hardware and software systems, with their many varied disparate workflow and integration challenges, from multiple vendors into a cohesive system they can manage effectively, broadcasters can use file-based automation to manage one or many key processes easily through a single interface.
Solving specific workflow problems Built as a service-oriented architecture, the file-based automation platform turns tasks such as user and asset management, ingest, encoding, and delivery into reusable services. Applications, which are layered on top of the services to offer functionality to users, can be as broad or narrow as desired, and they can integrate any or all available services. In this way, file-based automation offers broadcasters a toolbox of solutions for specific applications and problems. The platform can handle tasks such as loudness correction, standards conversion, and media management and
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROAUTOMATION Craig Newbury, Sales Director (EMEA) for Wohler’s RadiantGrid Intelligent Media Transformation Platform.
subsequently, expand to include additional processes, according to the broadcaster’s requirements. All this allows broadcasters to take full advantage of the media they own, create, or acquire.
Loudness correction Ensuring loudness compliance is a common problem that is increasingly being addressed through file-based automation. File-based loudness inspection and correction offers a fast, efficient method of solving loudness problems and maintaining compliance with global loudness standards. With this solution, users can identify and correct loudness issues at ingest, before they become a problem. In handling the audio associated with video, the platform can leverage trans-wrapping functionality to enable rapid audio processing, without the need to decode and re-encode video files and without compromising the quality of the original content.
Video legalisation Full broadcast gamut colour legalisation is another challenge addressed by file-based automation platforms, both independently and as part of a larger processing workflow. The ability to legalise gamut for broadcast within the NTSC and PAL domains in a file-based workflow ensures that content passing through the broadcast chain will meet on-air quality requirements. More important for many broadcasters, it eliminates reliance on baseband processing systems and the need to break out of the file-based domain — and away from the continuity and efficiency it enables. Gamut legalisation options, one of the ‘detect and correct’ capabilities available in some file-based automation platforms, assure that any input into the processing pipeline can be legalised for broadcast upon output. Providing users with options, such as RGB only, RGB + Y (enabling EBU R103-2000 and DPP compliance), composite (NTSC and PAL) domain, and other combinations, the platform automatically fixes content and yields an output suitable for broadcast.
SD to HD conversion Consumers’ rising expectations include not only more flexible access to media, but also the availability of content at higher resolutions. As broadcasters respond, shifting to HD and offering premium high-resolution services, quality
“Many broadcasters want to plan ahead in their workflow implementation, but simply don’t have the infrastructure in place to do so” Craig Newbury, Wohler
is a key competitive differentiator. However, maintaining or even enhancing the quality of audio and video cannot compromise the speed with which content is delivered. In fact, as demand increases — especially for nonlinear services such as OTT and VOD — the ability to deliver content even more quickly while maintaining the highest quality standard becomes increasingly critical. Automated file-based conversion of SD content to HD gives broadcasters the means to leverage the content they have to offer a more valuable service — and to do so with a relatively small technology investment. As part of a larger workflow guided by file-based automation, conversion helps open the door to new opportunities. As the marketplace continues to evolve, file-based automation positions broadcasters to consider production and/or delivery of 2K and 4K content as consumer demand and their business models dictate.
Frame rate and standards conversion When a file-based automation platform unites grid-enabled CPU-based processing technology with GPU-based image
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processing techniques, it can facilitate faster-than-real-time processing of content without compromising its visual quality. This powerful combination is critical for rapid file-based standards conversion within a transcoding workflow. In this application, incoming content can be captured in a watch folder and sent for decoding and transcoding across multiple nodes in the grid-based server farm completely automatically. Processing of audio and ancillary data is handled in parallel. Multiple servers running powerful GPU cards can enable frame-by-frame conversion by addressing different parts of the source video in parallel and stitching them together as a whole converted product, complete with audio and ancillary data, ready for distribution. The use of GPU-based algorithms ensures the quality of the converted output. Temporal and spatial image resampling supports the conversion of source video and image files to any new frame rate or resolution. When a motion compensated engine is used to generate accurate motion vector data, the platform can interpolate new frames for any desired delivery specification or standard. Among the operations that may be stacked into this file-based conversion process are resolution scaling (mobile device to 4K); frame-rate conversion (any to any); standards conversion (525, 625, 720, 1080, 2K, 4K); interlaced, progressive, and pulldown interchange; automatic cadence correction; mixed pulldown (60i + 24p) with broken-pulldown pattern repair; accurate motion blur modelling; and timecode preservation (drop frame/non-drop frame). This new approach to standards conversion and other critical processing tasks offers the industry a particularly compelling reason to transition from baseband to file-based workflows.
End-to-end workflow File-based automation can interface with a wide variety of solutions and manage their functionality to achieve both the user’s workflow goals and to enable simpler management of the overall workflow. Users can simply define the workflow they wish to execute, and the platform constructs an optimised set of jobs that execute their workflow. As a result, the
PROAUTOMATION user can accomplish much more in an elegant, high-performance, and less human-resource-intensive model. To resolve the complicated problems surrounding content preparation, parallelisation of media processing and transformation, content management, and content packaging and publishing, file-based automation orchestrates the processes involved in media production and delivery — and uses best-of-breed technologies to perform those processes. When such a solution integrates with and augments traffic, rights management, linear automation, and business process management systems, it is capable of addressing the entire broadcast workflow. Within this new workflow model, technology dependencies are compressed into a parallel platform architecture and the workflow itself is guided by predetermined policies and/or ondemand actions. Grid-enabled CPU-based processing technology provides powerful and flexible support for processing tasks. In this way, the automation system can assure high asset quality while facilitating one or many content transformations in batch or grid approaches.
“File-based automation technology today offers broadcasters straightforward, scalable solutions for addressing specific issues within the workflow and for overcoming larger technical and infrastructural challenges” Craig Newbury, Wohler
The file-based automation model has clear benefits for large broadcasters with many channels, but it is an equally compelling solution for smaller broadcasters or even departments within larger organisations. While large facilities can use this approach to scale out more widely and quickly, smaller organisations gain from implementing an all-in-one solution that meets the majority of their needs, without requiring extensive sourcing or work with multiple vendors.
transformation, a file-based automation platform can help these broadcasters to realise more advanced workflows with less infrastructure. Greater intelligence helps users to minimise the need for user intervention, and system scalability allows the user to grow the system with speed and ease — and in line with budgetary constraints. Consequently, broadcasters that adopt file-based automation gain the ability to move into new platforms and new media delivery models very quickly, without additional investment. PRO
Moving forward Many broadcasters want to plan ahead in their workflow implementation, but simply don’t have the infrastructure in place to do so. Offering a more intelligent and more scalable set of tools for media
Craig Newbury is Sales Director (EMEA) for Wohler’s RadiantGrid Intelligent Media Transformation Platform
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Selling the second screen As consumers’ viewing habits continue to change with second screens becoming more prevalent, broadcasters need to adopt smart strategies to monetise content that’s available to them, says Johann Schreurs As smart devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and so on become ubiquitous, content consumption via the small screen is becoming more common. Watching content on TV while engaging in related social media activity or viewing at the same time is becoming a norm sooner than you would think. This is particularly the case among younger viewer demographics. eMarketer (a market research company covering digital media) forecasts that in 2013 the number of internet-connected devices shipped will cross 1.5 billion, while analysts at Deloitte have predicted that around 10% of households in developing markets will dual screen their TV consumption each
month during the course of this year. The mushrooming of over-the-top (OTT) services (such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer), the provision of PVRs by pay-TV providers which enable time-shifted viewing, and the availability of content via sites such as YouTube as well as via a plethora of apps, have all combined to reshape consumers’ viewing habits. Audiences are no longer confined by linear viewing dictated by a broadcaster’s schedule; consumers are now the ‘remote controllers’, creating individual viewing patterns that fit in with their lifestyle. With so many avenues for content access now available to them, viewers are also much more proactive about discovering and watching media via
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a variety of devices, at a time and location that suits them. With so much competition for viewership, broadcasters are increasingly concerned about how to keep viewers ‘on platform’ or ‘on brand’ as opposed to looking to third party content via their various companion devices. In the last two years we’ve increasingly seen broadcasters begin to curate and deliver additional content – including news, live streams, aggregated twitter feeds, etc. via their own online portals and apps. This is especially the case with sports and live event broadcasting, where second screen viewing is particularly relevant. The London 2012 Olympic Games were a
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PROTECH “Sports fans are the early adopters of consumer trends such as multi-tasking while watching live TV, making use of companion devices (usually smartphones and tablets) to access associated Twitter feeds, player stats, and so on” Johann Schreurs, EVS
prime example of this; the event saw the highest consumption of digital content on record via a range of smart devices. At the same time, mobile operators like Vodafone reported their highest volume of data usage in 40 years when the games reached their peak on Super Saturday. Sports have always led the way when it comes to online and mobile access. Sports fans are the early adopters of consumer trends such as multi-task while watching live TV, making use of companion devices (usually smartphones and tablets) to access associated Twitter feeds, player stats, and so on. Research by social TV analytics company, Trendrr, found that sports and special programming (such as live coverage of the Oscars) accounted for almost 60% of second screen activity in the first quarter of 2013. Sports broadcasters such as ESPN and Al Jazeera Sports are looking to capitalise on these trends. It is now common for a sports broadcaster to offer app-based content to augment the viewing experience – the ESPN ScoreCenter and Al Jazeera Sports apps, for example, provide access to curated Twitter feeds, news, statistics, live streams, and so on to feed the insatiable appetite for additional, relevant content. At the moment, these app-based services tend to be offered free, as part of a wider pay-TV subscription that includes premium sports channels. However, by creating more enriched and compelling content, broadcasters will be able to better monetise these second screen offerings. This could either be via targeted advertising or by offering access to these apps on a standalone subscription or on a pay-as-yougo service basis to non-customers. Telcos already do this with their bundled content services especially their streaming music offerings. However, at a time when broadcasters are more conscious than ever of trying to do more with less, the prospect of investing in additional content creation for second screen access is a challenge.
In today’s economic climate, it’s all about trying to avoid investment in new content and be as creative as possible with their existing assets. This might sound like a tall order, but with the right technology in place, broadcasters can make use of their existing media assets to generate exclusive content and then deliver it via these apps to smartphones and tablets. Live coverage of football games provides a perfect illustration of how this can be achieved. During a live broadcast of a Series A or Champions League game, it’s not unusual to have more than 20 cameras, positioned around the pitch and stadium. The result is that several hours of footage are generated, but normally a significant amount of content from a live broadcast production ends up being wasted. Only a small proportion of all the content captured during a football match will actually make it to air – for every 90 minutes of material viewed on a television screen, about 26.5 hours of content will never see the light of day. There is so much more that can be done with this additional, unused content to create an enriched live production. This unused footage is perfect for populating second screen apps, providing exclusive content and enhancing interactivity– something that broadcasters will increasingly have to do in order to create differentiation as the competition for viewers’ eyeballs becomes fiercer. However, with costs as a priority, the challenge is to make use of this wasted resource without a major investment in a whole new second screen production workflow. With the right tools and technology, already available in the market, broadcasters can put their existing content assets to use more effectively. More importantly, this can be done without having to overhaul their entire live production workflow. A simple addition to an existing workflow is all it takes for a broadcaster to be able to deliver additional, exclusive – not to mention compelling –
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content to viewers via smartphone and tablet apps. From the viewers’ perspective it makes their second screen a true companion device – allowing them to choose replays or goals, saves and other highlights from multiple camera angles as well as continue to benefit from existing app-based content. Several broadcasters have already taken steps to make more effective use of the live sports content, delivering content that does not make it to air via the second screen. France’s Canal+ and Sky Sports in the UK are just some of the broadcast players that have taken the first steps to enhance their live sports coverage. Football is one such example where live viewing experience is enhanced with additional content that has already been ingested as part of the live production process. The most recent incarnation of the Sky Sports app made its debut at the Champions League final in May 2013, between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich. The app now includes the Sky Sports 360 feature, providing multicam action replays (including Super Slow Motion). App-based content delivery is set to become mainstream, so these broadcasters are ahead of the curve and well placed to capitalise on this trend. PRO
Johann Schreurs is Solution Market Manager for Remote Interactivity at EVS.
Walking the red carpet On the surface, Abdulla Al Kaabi comes across as a calm, composed, and somewhat reticent young Emirati. However, delve deeper and one finds a curious mind constantly in search of ideas. Vibhuti Arora speaks to the filmmaker about his journey so far
At an age when most youngsters are still grappling with career choices, Abdulla Al Kaabi was walking the red carpet at international film festivals, hobnobbing with the who’s who of the international film fraternity. The young Emirati filmmaker had the opportunity to direct French cinema icon Jean Reno in his debut film The Philosopher when he was all of 24. His film was screened at DIFF 2010 and Tribeca Film Festival in 2011. Cut to 2013, Al Kaabi is directing his dream project, which he hopes to complete next year. “Films have always fascinated me but it was during my stay in Paris that I got exposed to cinema in the true sense,” Al Kaabi explains. After completing his under-graduation from American University of Sharjah, Al Kaabi completed a post-graduation course in cinema in Paris. He has a Masters in Fine Arts in Filmmaking from the International Film School of Paris - EICAR. “I loved studying in Paris because that was when I had a chance to explore my artistic side and I was able to go beyond academics. I embraced their culture and appreciated the way art is part of their lifestyle and everyday life.”
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PROINTERVIEW Abdulla Al Kaabi began his career as a model and actor and went on to do a stint as a presenter at Dubai TV.
â€œBe a part of the film set no matter what job you find. Just try and be a part of the process even if that means taking up a job as a spot boy. There is no glamour in films; it involves hard work and sweat, long hours of persistence and constant struggleâ€? Abdulla Al Kaabi, Emirati Filmmaker
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Born and raised in the emirate of Fujairah, Al Kaabi moved to Dubai when he was 16. Having made five to six films so far, Al Kaabi has screened The Philosopher and Hotel Masquerade, both of which won critical acclaim. The Philosopher is a 16-minute film and Hotel Masquerade is about seven minutes. The films are in English and were shot in Paris on 35mm. “We shot The Philosopher in Paris for five days, with more than 100 people. There were two main actors and six supporting actors,” he explains. Abdulla Al Kaabi – the Filmmaker Behind his unassuming demeanor lies a passionate filmmaker, who loves to watch a range of cinema. His choice ranges from European cinema and Hollywood to Indian and old Arabic films, both mainstream and art films. He loves the medium for its immense potential to mirror life. “As a director, I enjoy the power I have by means of films, to give shape to my thoughts. Every film starts in my head with an idea and then I gradually move on to sculpt it.” According to Al Kaabi, films are by far the most effective medium to reach out to different strata of society. “The vast scope of films fascinates me; films have the potential to touch hearts in a way no other medium does,” he adds. At present, Al Kaabi’s films are based on topics that focus on human relationships. “The type of films that I make will have to keep changing. Right now, my focus is
on the family. I want to explore human relationships and the intricacies of human ties. In ten years’ time, I might make a biography or a period film.” His recent film Hear My Voice was dedicated to the deaf community. “This was a very personal cause for me because two of my nieces are deaf. So it was important for me to support the community through my film.” Besides feature-lenght and short films, Al Kaabi has worked on several commercials and fashion films. His first love, however, continues to be narratives. “I am working on an Arabic film. I can’t disclose the details until it is fully done but it is an exciting project and I am looking forward to its completion and screening. The idea for this film came to me from a person sitting next to me on a flight. I immediately set out to work on a script and began the project.” Confessing to being a control-freak, Al Kaabi likes to follow a structure when filming. But he gives freedom to the actors to interpret their roles in their own way. “I improvise a lot and the creative process never stops for me but I like to work within a framework. I make on-thespot changes — something that works better in a situation than what you would imagine when putting it down at the scriptwriting stage. I give the actors enough room to interpret their part and express themselves. It’s this give and take of ideas that adds value to a film.” Al Kaabi, however, says he is not inspired
Abdulla Al Kaabi is presently working on an Arabic film, which he hopes to release next year. Abdulla Al Kaabi’s debut film The Philosopher won critical acclaim at the 2010 Dubai International Film Festival.
“It is not just about getting international recognition; it is about being acknowledged at home, we need encouragement from all quarters. The movement has to continue and progress, which will only happen if the local community engages itself more in cinema” Abdulla Al Kaabi, Filmmaker
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
“Films have always fascinated me but it was during my stay in Paris that I got exposed to cinema in the true sense” Abdulla Al Kaabi, Emirati filmmaker
by the technology in the making of films. “Technology is not my forte, I am more at home creating stuff.” Like most new-generation filmmakers, Al Kaabi has moved from the Canon 5D to the RED Epic. His present project is being shot in full HD on the RED.
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Know your true calling Perhaps the hardest part of making a film lies in its funding, according to Al Kaabi. “It is an expensive medium and funding a film is the biggest challenge. It is hard to convince someone to put large chunks of their money on a project.” Having said that, he also adds that this should not deter young aspiring filmmakers from taking up filmmaking as a full-time career. “If you know your true calling, just take the plunge. Every profession has its highs and lows. Filmmaking, despite the myriad challenges, is a very rewarding field, and we should see more people joining the fraternity,” he comments. “My advice to youngsters considering films as a career choice is to follow your dream and take a minute to ask yourself what your true calling is. If you know for sure films are something that you’d like to commit to then do not hesitate to take the plunge. “Just try and be a part of the process even if that means taking up a job as a spot boy. There is no glamour in films; it involves hard work and sweat, long hours of persistence and constant struggle.” For those interested in making films, just shoot. Use the camera, or even your phone and shoot as much as possible,” he says. advises aspiring filmmakers to watch films from across the world, not just popular ones but also the lesser known ones from various genres. The cinema movement in the UAE is progressing slowly but surely. The Dubai film and TV commission and the various government initiatives that have been established to prop up the film industry are a boost to the local industry. Al Kaabi agrees that a beginning has been made and things are moving in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. Al Kaabi laments the fact that most of the Emirati filmmakers have day jobs. Local filmmakers have to put their filmmaking on the back burner because it is not a selfsustaining career option. “It is not just about getting international recognition but also about being acknowledged at home; we need encouragement from all quarters. The movement has to continue and make progress, which will only happen if the local community engages itself more in cinema.” “And that is only possible if filmmaking is seen as a livelihood and not just a hobby that happens on the side. PRO
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News breaker The three-chip JVC GY-HM650 professional camcorder is a workhorse for news production. It offers an integrated FTP connection and Wi-Fi connectivity that allows the end user to send their footage online while still recording. DoP Stefan Randjelovic puts the camera through its paces
When I was handed this camera for review, I was briefed that this was not your typical DoP’s camera. If you’re shooting a TVC or a feature film, this might not be the first camera you would reach out for. However, this camera comes with a lot of features designed for news reporters on the field and those shooting documentaries. The three-chip JVC GY-HM650 is a professional camcorder, light enough to be operated for several hours if needed. But after a certain period of time, it does get a little bit heavy, so using a tripod will be a must. As with all JVC cameras, the GY-HM650 has all the features you require on the fly on its camera body. The camera has a FULL AUTO and MANUAL mode. We have tested it in full
In brief * Product: JVC GY-HM650 HD * Retail price – Approx. $6200.00 * Reviewed by: Stefan Randjelovic, Head of the Film Department at SAE Institute, Dubai
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manual mode, where we could control the focal length, focus, gain, white balance and shutter speed. There are three ND filters built in that range from 1/4 to 1/64 and we found this extremely useful shooting here in sunny Dubai. The functions on the camera are pretty standard with a MENU/Thumbnail button to guide you through the setting and Thumbnail playback. This is what is great about this camera. JVC has paid great attention to the small details with this camera. You have the same set of controls on the LCD menu display with a joystick that makes it incredibly easy to navigate through all of your settings. The LCD is 3.5” 920,000-dot and the picture is very sharp and bright. Underneath, once you open the LCD, you will find all of the controls for audio.
PROREVIEW Everything on this camera seems to be intuitive and easy-to-use and that is the most important thing for run-and-gun videography. You even have a top record and zoom control on this camera. I found this very convenient for low-angle shooting. SENSOR SENSITIVITY One of the main features of this camera is the new custom-made sensor from JVC. It is incredibly sensitive to low light, considering the fact that it’s a 1/3” sensor. F11 is the sensitivity measurement. It actually does not have only one sensor but three 1/3” 12 bit CMOS sensors. The details are crisp and the colour rendition is perfect. Under low light conditions, this camera performs incredibly well. It will present you with two modes – “standard” or “extended”. With standard, you will get a perfect picture in the dark even on 6db of gain, but with extended, you will get even more but with a little bit of extra noise. It even has a “low lux” button that boosts the sensitivity of the sensor even without going to the menu. This can be particularly useful if you find yourself stuck in complete darkness, and after our tests, you can really see even when your eyes don’t see in the dark. We have to be realistic here. The picture, even when on 6db, won’t be completely noise free, but for a sensor size of this size, I was pleasantly surprised with the resulting image. LENS The camera comes with a Fujinon 23x optical zoom lens, which has a nice wide aperture from f/1.6-3.0. Its focal length is 23x, f=4.1-94.3mm (35mm conversion:29 to 667mm). It has a built-in image stabiliser that works well when shooting handheld. On the lens itself, you will find manual IRIS, FOCUS and ZOOM rings that are essential for easy manual control in the field. The zoom rocker will provide you with a fast zoom, and I was again pleasantly surprised that the auto focus works very well; it’s very fast and convenient at times. Again here, we see how much attention JVC has paid to detail. One thing that I particularly like is the lens cover that is conveniently made so that it opens and
closes but still remains attached to the lens. You can remove it if you want to, but this feature makes a world of difference on the field. You most definitely don’t want your lens to get scratched.
FROM TOP: On the lens itself, you will find manual IRIS, FOCUS and ZOOM rings that are essential for easy manual control in the field.
RECORDING MODES AND FRAME RATE This camera gives you the ability to record in different codecs including AVCHD,QUICKTIME ( H.264), QUICKTIME (MPEG2), MP4 (MPEG2), MXF (MPEG2). In full HD 1920X1080 video, you have the option to shoot in 24p,30p or 60i. If you decide to drop to HD 1280X720, it supports 60p, 30p and 24p frame rates. The camera can also record in a plethora
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROREVIEW There are two XLR Audio inputs and a Shotgun mic holder. However, the biggest disappointment is that there is no shotgun mic with this camera – something that comes standard with other packages. But all is not lost as it does have a built-in stereo microphone. This worked extremely well in capturing ambient sound. However, if you do consider doing interviews, which is very relevant for this specific camera, you should consider using a directional mic. The camera has only one vent unlike most other cameras that have two or even, three. It is, however, nearly noise free and very quiet. Other features of this camera include a headphone jack for monitoring audio and a 3.5 mm jack if you are not working with XLR audio.
FROM TOP: The trimming option in the camera enables the end user to shorten their video clips if they do not want to upload the entire footage to the server. BELOW: The camera does have the option of live streaming.
“For run-and-gun shooting or new event gathering, I would say this camera is a great contender”
of different formats and resolutions including: *HD MPEG2 (35/25/19Mbps) *AVCHD 1920x1080 60i *SD H.264 *480x270 H.264 (web) *960x540 H.264 mode One of the main aspects of this camera is perhaps the possibility to record in dual codecs. This is ideal for HD and a proxy file. It records on affordable SDXC/SDHC memory card recording (two slots for dual-backup, continuous recording). Just make sure that you are using a class 6 card or higher. Our testing was done on a class 10 card. Of course, the standard interval recording is there so you will be able to create very interesting time lapses. The MXF is a very good file format for metatagging. It makes the editing workflow a breeze. SOUND Two-channel balanced audio inputs (mic/ line switchable) w/phantom power supply is provided.
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FTP UPLOADING Getting information on the scene is one thing, sending it back to the edit bay is another ball game altogether. This is where this camera truly impressed us. We used a Wi-Fi hotspot at a local coffee brand shop to upload the files we recorded. You can also use a cell adapter with the cell phone but we didn’t have the opportunity to test it out. It works like a charm. Thanks to the dual codecs, we were able to send our low-res, internet-ready files to the editing bay, and once we came back to the edit suite, we were able to update the proxy files with the hi-res in a snap. This is a process that takes some time to set up in the camera but once it is set, we had no problem uploading two minutes of footage from the field; the upload time itself was only a couple of minutes. This is really the feature that sets this camera apart from all the others in the same class such as the Sony NEX-50 or the Canon XF300. REMOTE CONTROL You can use any of your smartphone devices, tablet or even a computer to control the camera remotely. The camera has an IP address that you put in your browser on your smart device. This enables you to access the zoom and record functions of the camera without even being in the room. It works well and is a very interesting feature especially if you want to put your camera in a weird angle and cannot access the controls.
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PROS * * * * *
Good price All features at your fingertips Good in low light Wi-Fi connectivity FTP upload
CONS * * * *
No shotgun mic included Still very noisy image on HI Db levels Still not working on 3G or 4G Can’t log on WI-FI hotspots requiring a username as the username is fixed.
WISH LIST * The delay in iris and zoom ring could be improved * The rolling shutter is very noticeable * The audio controls are hidden behind the screen and there could be a better spot for it on the camera body.
It is important to note that this feature is not live, but it can be useful if you connect multiple JVC 650 cameras and it will allow you to monitor all of the cameras. LIVE STREAMING The camera does have the option of live streaming but we did not have the opportunity to test it out. But this feature opens up incredible opportunities because you can record an event and stream it directly to YouTube, for instance. CLIP TRIMMER The trimming option in the camera enables the end user to shorten their video clips if they do not want to upload the entire footage to the server. FLASH BAND COMPENSATION This camera even has a feature for flash bands. What is this? When you have a strong light source like one from a photography camera coming straight at your lens, normally, the bright light tends to be recorded over two frames, creating a banding effect that is not particularly cool. With this camera, you have a compensation option that restricts the banding to one frame only. So if you are shooting a live event with a lot of paparazzi, you won’t have that issue anymore if you enable this feature in the menu.
OUTPUTS and BATTERY The battery life on this camera is pretty incredible. You will be able to record for several hours in the field without the need to power up. At the back of the camera near the battery is also a composite output and HDMI output, SDI. At the front of the camera, you will also find a RCA input output for time code. CONCLUSION For run-and-gun shooting or new event gathering, I would say this camera is a great contender. You might not get the cinematic quality that you will potentially get with cameras that have a larger sensor or interchangeable lens, so this camera may not be a top choice for filmmakers. But for documentaries or news professionals, this is a camera that has all of the functions required for a one-man operation making you immediately well equipped to report from the field. You will find all of the tools that you need at your fingertips. The added
FROM TOP: The camera has only one vent unlike most other cameras that have two or even, three. It is, however, nearly noise free and very quiet.
advantages of Wi-Fi connectivity, FTPupload and dual-coded recording makes this an instant hit for news professionals. In essence, this is a true broadcast camera that doesn’t need a satellite truck. PRO Stefan Randjelovic is Head of the Film Department at SAE Institute Dubai
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
GBOX your brilliant idea needs a better delivery
Harris Academy Harris Broadcast launched a training academy for the Middle East and South Asia region in Dubai last month while also formally introducing Alain Pecot, newly appointed Vice President of Harris Broadcast’s Middle East and Africa operations. BroadcastPro ME reports Harris MESA Academy was launched last month in Dubai as an extension to the company’s existing Middle East and South Asia (MESA) regional headquarters in Dubai Media City, UAE. The academy offers specialist courses for engineers and operators to operate Harris technology with each course offering a full certification pack. The Academy, which includes a completely integrated demo room and a fully equipped training centre, has been developed so that Harris Broadcast customers can experience and receive hands-on training on the latest broadcast tools and technologies from the manufacturer. With an end-to-end working system, the academy provides the venue for comprehensive product and solution presentations, as well as hosting training sessions for customers in the Middle East and beyond. It is fully equipped to provide demonstrations of ingest all the way through to playout and transmission. It showcases the entire broadcast chain incorporating some of the company’s newer, more powerful and compact broadcast solutions, including the Harris Versio integrated playout solution, Selenio media convergence platform and HView SX Pro multiviewer. Alain Pecot, newly appointed Vice President of Harris Broadcast’s Middle East and Africa operations, explains that the company’s presence in the region continues to grow with the establishment of the academy, which he calls a major investment for creating a venue for training, education and development. In his new role at Harris, Pecot is based in Dubai but will travel extensively to oversee other territories under
his remit. In addition to his team in Dubai, Pecot will also be supported by his colleagues in Paris for the French-speaking part of Africa. “I am very happy to join a very talented team in the Dubai office. We don’t start from scratch as we already have existing operations which means we can focus more on the business,” says Pecot. “The region is very promising, especially in terms of the market’s migration to digital. We are dealing with multi-platform delivery and not just linear, which makes it quite exciting. We are committed to the region, which is evident from the
Who is ... ALAIN PECOT * Alain Pecot joined Harris Broadcast as Vice President of Middle East and Africa on July 2, 2013. * Pecot was previously responsible for Harris’ Southern European operations, where he looked after the transmission business. In his new role, he will be responsible for the infrastructure, media software and transmission businesses of Harris Broadcast. * Prior to joining Harris, Pecot worked with Thomson Video Networks and Integration Solutions business unit as Chief Marketing and Technology Officer. Pecot has also held senior positions at Grass Valley and Sony Broadcast & Professional Europe.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROEVENT number and quality of projects that we are handling here.” he adds. Pecot’s goals right now include, among other things, to understand some specifics of this region. A better understanding of the market in terms of its specific requirements will be his primary focus, he says. “We’ll be working closely with our customers in the region to understand their requirements, suggestions and feedback. I intend to take these back ideas to the company and the designers to come up with optimum solutions for the region. We don’t just sell products; we also maintain them and train personnel to operate them, which is the idea for establishing the academy.” Depending on the programme, the courses vary from one day to several days as each of the courses is customised to individual needs. The trainers are Harris-qualified specialists who have been trained and certified by Harris. “We bring the customer to the facility, both new and existing ones. Those who want to brush up their knowledge or get an introduction to newly introduced solutions are some of the potential candidates. We have provision to train freelancers as well. Once we are more settled, we will publish a schedule and those interested may enroll,” explains Pecot. “We have ample resources here. Should we need additional trainers, we may call in people from other branches of Harris. We have a selfsufficient office that is fully equipped to handle projects of any scale.” The demo facility also includes a range of signal processing applications including loudness management as well as the latest in routing systems and monitoring solutions, master control switching, and encoding and networking. Servers, editing, graphics and channel branding solutions as well as over-theair DVB-T2 transmission are part of the chain right through to the set-top-box.
Clockwise from top: Richard Scott, Senior Vice President for Global Sales and Service at Harris Broadcast; the Harris MESA team; and a demonstaration in progress at Harris MESA Academy.
Key kit IN THE DEMO ROOM: * Broadcast Master – sales, traffic and billing system * Invenio - digital asset management (capture, motion, insight) * Velocity Editing – XNG, ESX, PRX * QUIC – media analysis * Nexio AMP 3801 – video servers * Nexio Volt 2 – video servers * Farad – storage solutions * G8 Inscriber – graphics branding * Icon Master - master control switcher * Platinum Router * HView – multiviewer * X85 – signal processing * ADC Automation V12 * Selenio – networking, encoding, and media convergence * MSA – MPEG analyser * Versio – integrated channel playout
“The region is very promising, especially in terms of the market migration to digital. We are dealing with multi-platform delivery and not just linear, which makes it quite exciting” Alain Pecot, Vice President of Middle East and Africa, Harris Broadcast
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With broadcast systems increasingly moving to file-based infrastructures, a central part of the demonstration is dedicated to the Harris Selenio media convergence platform, which combines traditional baseband video and audio processing, compression and IP networking features — all in a single 3RU frame. The facility includes a presentation of Harris sales and scheduling, traffic and billing, playout automation and asset management software solutions. This integrated, file-based workflow dramatically reduces the costs associated with content acquisition, production, distribution and media management. There are similar facilities in the US and Europe which have proved to be very useful to educate the client as constant updating is crucial with more software-based solutions. PRO
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2013 New ZEISS lenses for compact system cameras With the extreme wide angle lens Touit 2.8/12 and the robust standard lens Touit 1.8/32, both for Fujifilm X and Sony NEX cameras, ZEISS is entering the new market for compact system cameras (CSC) with its autofocus, interchangeable lenses. The new lens series is characterised by a powerful optical and mechanical design, which fully exploits the potential of the cameras, thanks to the low distortion and stray-light absorption. “With Touit, photographers can use ZEISS lenses on two leading mirrorless system cameras,” says Michael Schiehlen, Director of Sales at ZEISS Camera Lenses. “We are addressing this market because it offers interesting application possibilities for sophisticated photographers and because the segment promises very interesting growth. By supporting Fujifilm X and Sony NEX, ZEISS has decided on cameras with an APS-C sensor in order to guarantee maximum image quality. The APS-C sensor is the largest possible sensor currently available on the market for this segment.
Clear-Com introduces icon connectivity solutions Clear-Com has introduced the ICON Connectivity Solutions, a collection of communications products that link local or geographically distributed intercom systems over Ethernet/IP networks and/or optical fibre. ICON Solutions, which stands for “Intercom CONnectivity Solutions,” provides reliable and secure connections, delivers high performance on common infrastructures and is cost-effective for scalable multi-system networks. “With today’s productions becoming more decentralised across multiple locations, the ability to link disparate communications systems and extend access of voice communications is highly critical,” said Simon Browne, Director of Product Management, Clear-Com. “Whether working in separate buildings within the same vicinity or in different cities across the country or around the world, teams must still be able to communicate seamlessly and in real time over one integrated infrastructure. This has been a growing challenge among our customers with large facilities, multi -site campuses, and/or remote sites in many different markets.”
LOCAL MARKET HIGHLIGHTS Advanced Media demos DJI Dubai-based distributor Advanced Media recently demoed DJI’s Spreading Wings S800, a hex-rotor aircraft developed for aerial photography, search and rescue team, and surveillance. Spreading Wings S800 is a professional Hex-Rotor Platform Big Aircraft, designed for commercial aerial photography (AP) and experienced model enthusiasts. It has the advantage of stable flight, large load weight and long flight time. All electronics, motors and propellers are fully integrated into the moulded composite arms; swapping out an entire arm assembly (including arm, ESC, motor, and propeller) can be done without tools in a matter of seconds. With the help of DJI’s WooKong-M autopilot system, large-radius turns, precise hovering, and maintaining constant air speed has never been easier. Combined with DJI WooKong-M multi-rotor autopilot system, S800 can easily perform precise hovering, constant-speed cruise and big maneuverability turning.
With innovative integration design of frame arms, all the power and signal wires of motor, ESC and LED indicator are embed into frame arms, which makes the S800 frame arms look simple and neat, not a batch of separated parts and wires. The overall design is safe, reliable, simple and stable, proved by long-time testing.
Grass Valley releases Edius 7 Grass Valley has announced EDIUS 7, the latest version of Grass Valley’s nonlinear video editing application. EDIUS is a proven solution for editors working on fast turn production in broadcast news, news magazine, and studio programme content, as well as professional video editors working on organisational, documentary, and 4K theatrical productions. EDIUS 7 is now a native 64-bit application for Windows 7 and Windows 8 64-bit operating systems, taking full advantage of up to 512 GB (dependent upon Windows version) of installed memory for super-intensive media operations, such as multilayer 4K and 3D editing. “No other nonlinear video editing software gives users the real-time speed and functionality that EDIUS does,” said Mike Cronk, Senior Vice President, Marketing at Grass Valley. “Its compatibility with all major file formats, the ability to edit in real-time without rendering—even in 4K with its native 64-bit architecture — means that EDIUS 7 is an ideal solution for both broadcast and post production environments.” In addition to support for a wide range of Grass Valley hardware, EDIUS 7, which will be released in Q3 2013 and publically demonstrated for the first time at IBC 2013 — is now open to third-party input and output hardware from Blackmagic Design and Matrox, with support for AJA Video Systems hardware scheduled for Q4 2013.
Avid to advance next phase of strategic vision At IBC 2013, Avid will present its range of professional production asset management, media asset management, storage, graphics, video editing and audio mixing solutions that enable creative professionals to deliver higher quality, inspiring content. The company will also build on its strategic vision, termed ‘Avid Everywhere’ that was revealed at NAB 2013, and outline its ongoing commitment to creating the most fluid end-to-end, distributed media production environment in the industry. Avid will also reveal major enhancements to its line of Media Enterprise solutions with announcements for on-air graphics; ingest and playback; and shared storage. Avid’s creative toolset will also be showcased, including the latest versions of the industry-standard pro audio and pro video editing solutions, Avid Pro Tools 11 and Avid Media Composer 7 that were released at the end of June. Visitors to the Avid stand will hear from
leading audio and video editors about how they’re using these tools to deliver their creative vision. Finally, Avid will highlight how its global media enterprise customers are experiencing increased ROI and productivity by implementing integrated workflows that enable seamless and faster collaboration and transparent visibility of their assets. 7.J20
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROPRODUCTS Dalet showcases MAM-driven workflows
Thomson showcases multi-platform and HEVC solutions Thomson Video Networks will demonstrate several innovations that enhance the viewer experience while maximising available bandwidth and video quality. On display will be the company’s ultra-HD playout solution powered by HEVC compression; premium broadcast video compression systems for DTH, cable, and DVB-T2; a world-class HEVC solution for live and file-based delivery to multi-screen and OTT services; and Thomson Video Networks’ high-density, high-performance satellite and telco contribution solutions. Powered by Thomson’s MediaFlex video operating system, the ViBE VS7000 is a breakthrough “anything in, anything out” encoding/transcoding platform that combines simplicity, reliability, scalability, and flexibility. The company will showcase both real-time and off-line HEVC encoding on the ViBE VS7000 platform for multi-screen and OTT applications, using MPEG-Dash packaging to tablets, smartphones and connected TVs. 14.A10
Wohler announces RadiantGrid The Wohler RadiantGrid Intelligent Media Transformation Platform provides a consolidated, seamless software architecture that combines intensive media processing capabilities, such as transcoding, standards conversion, audio processing, caption processing, and quality control, with highly intelligent content management fabric and workflow orchestration layers. Based on an extensible service-oriented architecture, the platform integrates smoothly with editorial, archive, traffic, business process, and rights management systems. New to IBC this year is the first version 8 series release of the RadiantGrid platform. This release contains a brand-new media processing engine that provides faster-than-real-time content transformation at good speeds. 10.B10
TMD demonstrates workflows and multi-platform delivery TMD, a provider of asset management systems for digital and physical assets, will use IBC 2013 to focus on the way that its Mediaflex platform offers a new, hands-on approach to developing workflows, not least to support the rapidly evolving multiplatform distribution environment in which content has to be prepared in a number of formats, resolutions and wrappers. Previously the realm of only the largest enterprises, Mediaflex CI – for content intelligence – provides the ability to design workflows and use business analytics to derive valuable information. More than just automating processes, the use of analytics means that the system itself can make intelligent decisions based on business rules developed by the organisation, delivering productivity benefits. 2.C58
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Digital Media Systems, a provider of Media Asset Management (MAM) solutions, software and services for content producers, is showcasing its productivityenhancing workflow solutions based on the Dalet Galaxy MAM platform for sports, news, program prep and archiving at IBC 2013. The collaborative workflows enabled by the new Dalet Xtend connectors for Adobe Premiere, Quantel and EVS will also be featured at IBC. These connectors facilitate seamless workflows across disparate systems. Visitors to the Dalet stand can also learn about the new version of the Dalet NetXchange, a module that improves multisite deployments and operations with distributed storage and databases and shared archives.
LiveU in Smart Grip LiveU, a portable live video-over-cellular solutions provider, will demonstrate its complete range of bonded 3G/4G uplink solutions for broadcast and online media, offering a one-stop-shop for live news, sports and event coverage. This includes the latest mobile application with its innovative handheld Smart Grip as well LiveU’s leading Xtender technology for extra-strong signal resiliency. Based on the fourth-generation of LiveU’s disruptive technology, the portfolio includes a wide choice of solutions to meet the different needs of customers, ranging from Ka-band satellite supported devices to software-based mobile apps such as professionalgrade LU70 backpack, with its proprietary internal and external antenna arrays for extra-strong resiliency and sub-second latency; belt-clip or camera-mounted LU40-S device, weighing less than 700 grams (1.5 pounds) with its internal antenna and new live newsgathering features; and several other solutions. 3.A63, 3.A68
MultiDyne brings the BullDog MultiDyne will showcase its comprehensive range of innovative, fibre-optic-based video and audio transport solutions designed specifically for pro A/V and broadcast applications. The company will introduce BullDog, a new field fibre transport system that packs endless functionality into a compact, rugged package. Using The BullDog, professional camera operators can significantly extend the transmission distance of camera signals, including HD-SDI video, audio, intercom, control data, GPIOs, tally, and power. In addition to transporting any camera signal over a single fibre cable, The BullDog can efficiently transport up to eight HD-SDI signals in any direction.
Bluebell Opticom Ltd IBC will see the introduction of a new signal transport platform for outside broadcast and infrastructure applications. With the drive to 4K and 3G systems the PW140 series from Bluebell offers a universal SDI signal transport over fibre in a compact 1RU frame. At the heart is a processor which provides simultaneous multiplexing and de-multiplexing of the signals presented to it from the input/output cards. The initial base configuration provides 6 x bidirectional HD-SDI signals over 2 fibres or 10G Ethernet. With the addition of audio, data and Ethernet I/O cards, the PW series offers an optical backbone for all demanding signal transport applications. When used with CWDM optical multiplexing 96 x HD-SDI signals can be transported over a single fibre. Also on display will be Net Caddie, a new compact camera interface using the revolutionary “Stagebox by BBC Research & Development” technology. 10.F24
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Mariner demonstrates OTT Mariner will demonstrate its OTT and multiscreen service monitoring solution Mariner xVu for multiscreen, which captures insight from edge devices and the content delivery network, allowing service providers to deliver a superior quality of experience (QoE). Mariner xVu for multiscreen seamlessly extends the company’s worldleading IP video monitoring expertise and high-quality service assurance to provide a solution for any device, anywhere. Mariner xVu for multiscreen supports a consistent QoE by monitoring the user experience throughout the entire TV delivery chain and across a wide range of devices — such as tablets, smartphones, PCs, Macs, smart TVs, set-top-boxes, and mobile gaming devices — and networks, including broadband, wireless, and Wi-Fi, significantly reducing operational costs for multiscreen TV. This enables operators to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as target expansion investments. 14.530
LYNX Technik launches MAC version of yelloGUI
I-MOVIX will show the capabilities of d-flicker, its new automatic de-flickering solution, designed for use with SprintCam Vvs HD and X10/X10+ systems. It delivers flicker-free ultra slow motion shots in realtime, revealing the beauty of the action, and solving distracting problems caused by lighting issues. Developed in partnership with EVS, the X10 system is used with an EVS XT3 production server under LSM control and provides a familiar user interface and controls that any broadcast crew can use immediately, without any special training. For sports productions requiring higher frame rate levels, the X10+ system can also operate on an extreme slow motion mode at frame rates up to 2,600 fps in 1080i50 or up to 5,600 fps in 720p60 (100 times slower than live action) with instant replay, making this new I-MOVIX solution the first fully integrated ultraslow-motion system for live HD broadcast production.
LYNX Technik AG, provider of modular interfaces is launching the new MAC version of its yelloGUI application for yellobriks at IBC. yelloGUI is a new complementary software application that permits select yellobriks to be configured over USB using a PC and a MAC. With the new yelloGUI, users have access to a host of advanced settings and adjustments of the individual yellobrik that were not possible before. Typically, yellobriks are configured via the integrated module rotary switches, dip switches and indicators and with the availability of yelloGUI, users now have an enhanced level of yellobrik configuration for advanced features and settings.
mediARC’s new enhancements mediARC will feature new enhancements for the inclusion of rich media including full support for videoscene detection, updated streaming servers for easier intranet content preview of rich content and video content, and the ability to launch retranscoding export operations via API from lossless compressed videoarchive formats. The actLINE range includes a collection of new feaures including full mediABUTLER support for WMV, and open source video formats such as ffv1, and the integration of third-party transcoders such as RHOZET Carbon Coder for all typical production formats. NOA will also be demonstrating a new QC module for video quality control, and will announce several strategic partnerships. New ingestLINE features include native RF read out for Framelector and multiple audio channel support. 8.D91
Quantel showcases a range of broadcast and post solutions Quantel will be demonstrating its full range of software solutions for fast-turnaround production and high-end colour and finishing as well as unveiling major new developments across its product range. In addition to the latest developments for Enterprise sQ fast-turnaround production systems and in QTube connected workflows, there will be revolutionQ – software services that deliver efficient production workflows from generic storage. Quantel will also be showing QTube connected workflows and Pablo Rio for quality colour and finishing applications across post and broadcast. 7.A20
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Artel Video Systems brings Digilink Artel Video Systems will showcase the latest advancements in the DigiLink video transport platform. On display will be DL4360x chassis with embedded signal routing, HD-SDI over IP, JPEG2000 compression with ASI encapsulation of HD-SDI, and Ethernet switching capabilities. In addition, the company will demonstrate its newly released multiport optical and electrical video I/O modules. With its complete set of transport and routing capabilities, Artel Video Systems continues its mission to simplify broadcast-quality video transport by providing the most cost-effective, space and power efficient, and easiest to deploy solution for broadcast-quality video transport across direct fibre, IP, and managed optical networks. Making its European debut at IBC2013 is Artel Video Systems’ DLC450 HD-SDI video-over-IP gateway. Designed as a cost-effective solution for transport of uncompressed HD-SDI over managed Ethernet IP networks, the DLC450 utilises SMPTE 2022-5/6 IP encapsulation and forward error correction (FEC) algorithms to ensure reliable, error-free transport and compliance with industry standards. Integrating seamlessly within the DigiLink platform, the DLC450 can easily be configured via DL-Manager or SNMPv2 as either a transmitter or receiver. 2.A20
A Safire for Crystal Vision
Espial’s TV UX: reimagined Espial will feature its recent HTML5 RDK innovations at IBC. Espial STB client based on RDK, HTML5, and WebKit will be a part of the showcase. Leveraging the company’s pedigree in open standards, the product demonstrations will highlight the opportunity for pay-TV operators to reinvent their business model with high-performance UX platforms, delivering rapid service innovation, an entertaining UX, integrated social media, and highly personalised TV services. In conjunction with the Espial STB Client, Espial will also showcase the Espial Media Service Platform (MSP). An advanced STB UX must be closely tied to a TV service delivery platform. 5.B10
NUGEN Audio goes louder NUGEN Audio will be displaying a range of innovations for loudness correction that offer a smarter approach to complying with new loudness regulations whilst maintaining the quality of broadcast audio. An optional upgrade to the LMB loudness management and correction batch processor and a new multichannel monitoring tool introduce much requested ingest and playout functionality. In addition to the LMB system, NUGEN Audio will introduce MultiMonitor, a new stand-alone software programme that enables users to monitor loudness and true-peak levels on 16 individual meters. NUGEN Audio’s visual loudness metering plug-in, VisLM, now includes a timecode feature, making it possible to relate the loudness parameters directly to timecode references. This gives audio engineers and editors a clear frame-accurate position for any alerts, true-peak overs, maximum values, and other indicators to picture. 7.F07
Crystal Vision brings Safire 3 real-time chroma keyer, which works with 3Gb/s, HD and SD sources and is suitable for all live virtual productions from studio to sport. Safire 3 makes it easy to quickly set up a chroma key using multi-point sampling to automatically get the best possible default settings, and features an extensive range of fine-tuning tools to optimise the picture including various filters, edge shaping, colour correction, colour spill processing and lighting compensation. A frame synchroniser on each input will automatically correct any timing errors, while up to ten frames of video delay adjustment can be used to offset the delay caused by the graphics generators. Including relay bypass protection, Safire 3 forms part of a space-saving modular system, with this 100mm x 266mm module allowing up to 12 chroma keyers or other boards in 2U. Also on show will be two additional keyers from Crystal Vision. 2.B11
Vimond opens application frameworks Vimond will demonstrate its collection of licensed development frameworks that enable customers to build end-user experiences for phones, tablets, Macs, PCs, set-top-boxes, and more. The frameworks, which are implemented on Vimond APIs, are built specifically so that a broad variety of portals can take advantage of the feature-rich Vimond platform. Each framework acts as a layer between an API and a portal, tying everything together for a rich viewer experience in a shorter time to market. Vimond application frameworks make it possible for Vimond customers to have full control over their portal development for iOS and Android devices, the Web, connected TVs, and other screens without having in-depth knowledge of Vimond’s APIs. Also on display will be two new features of the Vimond platform’s monetisation engine. The Vimond Video Flow Engine, which serves as the mainstay of the Vimond Platform’s online video services, and the Vimond live event workflow, powered by Vimond’s Video Flow Engine, the core technology that drives the Vimond platform for over-the-top video. 14.B10
Volicon’s Observer Version 7.1 of Volicon’s Observer TS MPEG transport stream logging and monitoring system will make its European debut at IBC. Enhanced to accommodate a broader array of inputs, the Observer line boasts support for ASI, QAM, 8-VSB, DVB-T/T2, and DVB-T MPEG TS interfaces. Available on all Observer TS systems — including Enterprise, Pro, and Scout systems — the new interface simplifies deployment and configuration for receiving off-air channels. Observer Mobile gives users access to content anywhere, anytime through an iPad or iPhone. Volicon will feature expandable Observer TS systems that provide a clear path for cost-effective growth of a facility’s monitoring systems. Users can purchase an Observer platform that meets current needs, knowing that as their operations grow, their monitoring system can easily keep pace with expanding monitoring applications and requirements. Volicon’s growing array of software modules also facilitates incremental growth by supplying broadcasters with specific monitoring tools and capabilities as needed. 7.G23
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
1ST WORLD CONFERENCE ON
AUDIO VISUAL ARCHIVES IN THE MIDDLE EAST
“KEEPING THE PAST RECENT” Dubai, Friday 25th Oct 2013 - Monday 28th Oct 2013 Location: The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE RSVP by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, please visit http://fiatifta.org
Pilat Media’s IBMS multiplatform enhancements
Mosart Medialab’s AS products Mosart Newscast Automation makes it possible to produce a world-class newscast with just one or two operators in the gallery. Mosart controls more than 55 broadcast devices: vision and audio mixers, video servers, graphics systems, camera robots, studio video walls, light desks, and other systems through dedicated protocols. The user can plan the full studio production in a newsroom computer system (NRCS). Mosart continuously synchronises its rundown with the NRCS, but the user can deviate from this rundown at any time to accommodate breaking news events. GUI has been further refined in the tools it offers for breaking news coverage. With Mosart Newscast Automation 3.4, users can assign more advanced content sequences to shortcuts. Further functionality allows users to send such content directly to the studio walls. Mosart also has enhanced the drivers for CasperCG and ORAD graphics, as well as Studer audio (now using EmBER), and the automation system now supports an unlimited number of video server channels. On the newsroom side, enhancements include support for Mosart commands in foreign MOS items and the ability to select the iNEWS interface as FTP or MOS. 5.C28
Pilat Media will demonstrate the latest enhancements to its Integrated Broadcast Management System (IBMS), the industry’s most comprehensive, functionally rich, robust, and scalable software system for enterprise-wide management of broadcasting, VOD and airtime sales operations. Pilat Media’s recently launched IBMS Express is a modular and flexible entry-level business management system based on the Company’s award-winning, robust, and proven broadcast management solutions. IBMS Express addresses the full spectrum of broadcast business management functions. Deployable as a cloud based SaaS solution, the quickly mastered IBMS Express lowers training requirements and shortens implementation projects. IBMS Express minimizes IT investment and maintenance, as well as reducing up-front deployment capital through a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ pricing service that is perfect for smaller and developing media businesses.
WORK Microwave will present its portfolio of DVB-S2 modems, modulators, and demodulators. A key highlight will be the company’s new video ACM system, which combines WORK Microwave’s DVB-S2 Modem SK-DV with Adtec Digital’s EN-91 MPEG-4 HD ultra-low delay encoder to improve an operator’s video quality significantly while reducing operational expenses (OPEX). Leveraging DaVid technology, the SK-DV modem concurrently transports up to six MPEG transport streams and IP data into a DVB-S2 multistream, enabling simultaneous transportation of data (network connection) and live broadcasting (video content) over a single satellite carrier. 4.B63
Custom Consoles will promote Module-R and Module-R Lite on its IBC2013 stand. Both product ranges enable customers and systemsintegrators to create robust, efficient and attractive control-room desks from a selection of standard interlocking elements. These include highquality single-bay, dual-bay and triple-bay desk sections with front or rear access, work surfaces in matching widths, corner desk sections in 90 degree, 45 degree or 30 degree angles with integral worktops, slideout keyboard drawers, equipment pods with 3U, 6U or 8U capacity, 19 in storage pedestals and 27U equipment bays. Module-R and Module-R Lite desks incorporate steel-andaluminium vertical supports with internal cable ducts. Resting on a broad load-bearing skid, the legs provide high strength and stability, protect studio carpet and allow easy relocation if required during technical rebuilds. The desks and matching support furniture are as available in a wide range of finishes. Cabinet construction is in veneered MDF with continuous brush-strip edging and easy cable access. 3.A54
DSLR prompter and new app by Autocue
WORK Microwave’s new portfolio
Custom Consoles introduces control desk
Autocue will launch the first prompter designed specifically for a DSLR. The prompter mounts in front of the DSLR, directly to a standard set of 15mm DSLR rails, making the prompter extremely lightweight. This means that DSLR users can mount a range of accessories on to the rails as normal. Autocue sells its own 15mm rail camera mounting kit if you don’t have one of your own. The DSLR prompter will be available in two variants – the first one uses a universal iPad mount (including the iPad Mini and other tablets) and the second is an 8-inch monitor.
Bridge Technologies’ OTT solutions Bridge Technologies will launch an entirely new QoE (quality of experience) solution, enabling operators of Bridge systems to bring QoS capability together with QoE monitoring – all running on the same Bridgetech infrastructure, and with support for QoE monitoring of regionally-inserted material. Full details of this high performance new solution will be revealed at IBC. Bridge Technologies’ second generation OTT engine makes MPEG-DASH support a core part of of the user’s OTT monitoring capability, is compatible with all Bridge Technologies 1G and 10G probes, and part of the iOS and Android PocketProbe mobile monitoring apps. To ensure the widest possible compatibility with future, current and legacy OTT operations, Bridge Technologies’ new OTT engine extends its HLS, Smoothstream and MPEG-DASH capability by adding support for RTMP and subtitle tracks. 1.A30
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
RAI Amsterdam Conference 12-17 September : Exhibition 13-17 September
IBC Conference Stimulating debate and sharpening strategy, the IBC Conference attracts the industryâ€™s most influential and authoritative speakers to discuss the future of electronic media and entertainment. The conference is designed to: â€˘ deliver innovative and thoughtprovoking content over 6 days â€˘ enable you to gain crucial insight into the converging world of electronic media and broadcasting â€˘ give you access to over 300 influential industry pioneers
IBC2012 Speakers included: â€˘ Miles Young, CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide â€˘ David Eun, Executive Vice President Global Media & CEO Advisor, Samsung Electronics â€˘ will.i.am, International Recording Artist, Technologist, Entrepreneur and Intelâ€™s Director of Creative Innovation Intel Corporation
For more information please visit: www.ibc.org/conference
Each year, 50,000+ attendees from over 160 countries come to IBC. They are able to browse fourteen themed halls housing the latest innovations from more than 1,400 leading brands. In addition there is a wealth of free to attend feature areas including: IBC Connected World a special area of IBC which encapsulates the very latest developments in mobile TV, 3G and 4G services
IBC Big Screen providing the perfect platform for manufacturer demonstrations and ground breaking screenings
IBC Production Insight centred around a professional standard studio set, attendees have a host of the latest technology to get their hands on
Future Zone a tantalising glimpse into the future of tomorrowâ€™s electronic media
IBC Workflow Solutions dedicated to file-based technologies and provides attendees with the opportunity to track the creation management journey
IBC Awards celebrating the personalities and the organisations best demonstrating creativity, innovation and collaboration in our industry
For more information please visit: www.ibc.org/exhibition
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Alan Dick Broadcast to offer FM/UHF antennas Alan Dick Broadcast Ltd. (ADBL), a manufacturer of radio frequency components and antennas for radio and television transmission will highlight its concept-toinstallation solutions by featuring a variety of UHF and FM antennas, as well as tower and installation services, at IBC. ADBL is introducing a UHF broadband medium power panel antenna that is now available for bands IV and V in all polarisations: CPOL, EPOL, HPOL and VPOL. The antenna is designed as either a side-mount or a top-mount for DTV, ISDB-T, DVB-T/H, NTSC or PAL broadcasting. Now available for both VPOL and CPOL polarisation, ADBL is launching two broadband antennas for UHF Bands IV & V, designed as low to medium power solutions, with a special focus on rooftop deployment. The JAVA broadband log periodic FM antenna system is ideal for suitable for directional applications, and is available on any standard FM channel (87.5 to 107.9 MHz). JAVA is produced from either rugged aluminum or hot dipped galvanized steel for extreme conditions/environments. Custom directional azimuth pattern and FCC Certification is available on a full-scale test range to conform to the customer’s requirements. 8.B99
Jampro’s latest offering for broadcasters Jampro Antennas, Inc. will unveil a variety of new antenna solutions for the international broadcast market. The company, which has thus far provided more than 25,000 broadcasters worldwide with the latest products, will also be on hand to discuss its continued dedication to its global customer base by serving the needs of individual broadcasters with fully customisable, high-quality and competitively priced systems. “One of the things we are most proud of at Jampro is our ability to design and build products that meet the exact specifications of the individual broadcaster,” said Alex Perchevitch, President of Jampro. “Right from the start, we recognised that each of our customers would have specific needs and we set out to develop solutions that would be right for each and every one of them. That commitment has only grown over the years. Today, we exhibit at global shows such as IBC so that we can demonstrate first-hand to our customers how we continue to develop our products and solutions. This year, we are equally excited to bring our new systems to our international base of customers.” Jampro will exhibit broadband solutions that bring great value and outstanding features to all segments of the broadcast industry. The new antennas introduced by the company include UHF broadband medium power panel antenna for all polarisations and JVD-U and JCD-U broadband uhf broadband antennas. 8.B96
Update for Blackmagic’s ATEM Blackmagic Design has announced ATEM 4.1 software update which lets customers save and restore full or partial switcher states on all ATEM production switchers, plus adds 1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 frame rates for the ATEM production studio 4K model. The new progressive frame rates allow customers to work in 1080p 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50, 59.94 progressive video formats, which means ATEM production studio 4K now connects to an even wider range of HD devices including low cost consumer HDMI and professional SDI cameras, routers, media playout servers and more! This new ATEM 4.1 software update also allows all ATEM customers to save and restore switcher states on any ATEM production switcher. MARKET HIGHLIGHTS
Benchmark Telecast Integration ties with Snell Snell has announced that Benchmark Telecast Integration will serve as a Snell broadcast system solutions provider to customers in Asia-Pacific markets. Through this partnership, which represents an extension of the companies’ already successful business relationship, Benchmark will offer local service and consulting, with an emphasis on Snell’s TV Everywhere and workflow solutions. “While Snell has been ramping up its own service and support staff in APME, we also work closely with our channel partners and system integration partners to support our customer base,” said Naresh Subherwal, President, APME at Snell. “We have enjoyed many successes with Benchmark, and its technical team, service, and care are top-notch. The Benchmark team is already very familiar with Snell’s solutions, so naturally the company is an ideal fit and a strong partner with which to move forward.” Benchmark is based in India and Singapore and will work with the Snell regional team to provide services to Snell customers. In their work together, Snell and Benchmark already have earned wins at TV5 in the Philippines, Ch3 in Thailand, and P7 in India.
August 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
Emerging technologies that fundamentally decentralise data greatly improve business resilience and provide users the ability to stay ‘in sync’ with each other
Managing metadata in the M&E Frank Huerta.
Imagine you’re an animator in Japan. Your job is to design characters for an upcoming film, while your counterpart in India designs the background. As you work diligently, other artists around the world are working, producing the dialogue or score, while executives in Los Angeles anxiously await updates. But what happens when the director decides his character should have a red shirt, instead of a yellow one? How do you synchronise petabytes of data generated daily? In today’s data-centric world, these types of data-synchronisation issues can make or break a film. It’s important to ensure all parties on a project are working with the most current files across the globe. Managing metadata — or the data about data — in multimedia and film production environments, has become a task of epic proportions. With multimedia demands increasing and film shifting to digital, it’s not a matter of if this data will be stored in the cloud, it’s when; and once it’s there, securing, managing and providing immediate access to this data is a major concern. According to a new market report by Transparency Market Research, the global big data market was worth USD 6.3 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $48.3 billion by 2018. As the volume of digital data grows, the associated metadata that stores the important ingredients of the bigger data streams, is crucial in disseminating
(monitoring and evaluation environment) huge blocks of information. Without it, the data is nothing more than a mess of unintelligible bits and bytes. To resolve these challenges, production companies and studios are looking to manage metadata in such a way that all team members across the world can access, update and store the data as it is being manipulated. Today, synchronisation, data accessibility and performance issues can be resolved by storing certain types of metadata in a relational distributed database management system and distributing the data geographically, thus providing project contributors with the response time they need. Emerging technologies that fundamentally decentralise data greatly improve business resilience and provide users the ability to stay ‘in sync’ with each other. Unlike conventional infrastructures where scale, redundancy and performance are increased by “scaling up”, these new approaches provide an architecture where capabilities are added by ‘scaling out’ or simply adding identical ‘nodes’. These systems automatically store data across nodes and deliver information when and where it’s needed. Information is replicated across multiple nodes to ensure availability and if a node fails, users are rerouted to other nodes so that productivity doesn’t diminish. In the entertainment industry, geographically distributed databases have the potential to automatically synchronise metadata, thus improving latency issues
80 | www.broadcastprome.com | August 2013
and enhancing the collaborative efforts of production teams. Recently, there’s been a tendency to consolidate data centres. The assumption is that consolidated data centres allow organisations to better control resource costs. Concerns about availability and performance, for users in remote locations, are often overlooked in light of the expense and complexity of achieving global scale-out with traditional database applications. If all the required infrastructure components resided on comprehensive nodes, the nodes could be placed in small and remote locations. Since virtually all of the supporting infrastructure would be included in a node, performance and responsiveness would improve at each site. Ongoing support costs would also be reduced because scaling in this way is much easier than with traditional deployments. As production facilities grow, a node can be easily added at that site. Today, organisations are wrestling with ways to take advantage of cloud economics, while maintaining control of their data. Now is the time for technology that enables options for deploying on-premise, in the cloud, or a combination of both. This is the next phase in truly enabling developers to deliver content that is consistent, highly available and accurate, while maintaining an elastic and robust infrastructure within the constraints of tight budgets and time frames. Frank Huerta is CEO and Co-founder of TransLattice.
Broadcast Systems The Regionâ€™s Leading Systems Integrator
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Published on Aug 5, 2013
Broadcast Pro Middle East is a monthly publication covering television and radio broadcasting technology as well as filmmaking trends in the...