ISSUE 32 | FEBRUARY 2013
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO
Unleashed Mahmud ShammamIs news channel invigorates Libyan media with bold reportage and new tech facilities
TECH UPDATES * TV Everywhere * IT and Broadcast
BEHIND-THE-SCENES * In Tunisia * At Dubai Creek
* Canon C500 tested in the field
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TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO
COVER SKETCH Our cover this month was sketched by well-known artist and filmmaker Ashraf Ghori. Thank you Ashraf.
PUBLISHER Dominic De Sousa GROUP COO Nadeem Hood MANAGING DIRECTOR Richard Judd EDITORIAL Group Editor Vijaya Cherian firstname.lastname@example.org +971 (0) 55 105 3787 Assistant Editor Shamika Andrade email@example.com +971 (0) 4 440 9111
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Now that the honeymoon is over, the serious business of accountability has begun in the Middle East broadcast industry. The recession taught companies that it was time to put their houses in order and separate the wheat from the chaff, and I’m not just talking private entities here. Government-backed broadcasters who have been quite generous with their staff and hired more than they needed perhaps felt the heat as the coffers were threatening to run dry. We are still feeling the pain of that lesson as government bodies continue to trim their staff and make their operations more efficient. Over a period of time, we have seen it go from a freeze in hiring to making several skilled staff redundant. While I would not go so far as to say that we have a surplus of skills in this market, there are people looking for the right opportunity. Perhaps the launch of Bahrain’s Alarab news channel comes at the right time.
For professionals who’re willing to leave behind the comforts of the GCC to explore new challenges, our Cover Story this month showcases the opportunities in Libya for the bold and the enterprising who are willing to get their hands dirty. In the meantime, with new lessons learnt, end users in the GCC are more careful to ensure that they get their money’s worth from systems integrators. It is into this wiser and better informed market that several international systems integrators and manufacturers are making their entrée. There are companies, however, who have endured the good and the bad times, and think it’s time to celebrate their success. Saudi-based systems integrator First Gulf Company (FGC) is one of them. On the first evening of CABSAT, FGC will host an exclusive, invitation-only party titled Together along with its business partners for broadcasters. We will be there!
DIGITAL SERVICES www.broadcastprome.com Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy P Maagma Web Developers Erik Briones Jefferson De Joya email@example.com T +971 4 440 9100 Published by 1013 Centre Road, New Castle County, Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Mahmud Shammam, CEO of Libya Al Ahrar.
ISSUE 32 | FEBRUARY 2013
TECHNOLOGY INTELLIGENCE FOR TV, FILM AND RADIO
HEADQUARTERS PO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 (0) 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 (0) 4 447 2409 PRINTED BY Printwell Printing Press LLC © Copyright 2012 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.
VIjaya Cherian, Group Editor, Broadcast Division
Talk to us:
Unleashed Mahmud ShammamIs news channel invigorates Libyan media with bold reportage and new tech facilities
TECH UPDATES * TV Everywhere * IT and Broadcast
BEHIND-THE-SCENES * In Tunisia * At Dubai Creek
* Canon C500 tested in the field
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in this issue
CANON C500 REVIEW
20 TV IN LIBYA
* New exhibitors at CABSAT * Middle East office launches
Chris O’Hearn on the biggest single moment of the year in TV in the UAE
20 LIBYA UNLEASHED
Libya Al Ahrar changes the game with its combination of tech facilities and bold reportage
DoP Stefan Randjelovic gives us the lowdown on the Canon C500
DOCUMENTARY IN DUBAI
34 45 58 62
TV Everywhere Exploring multi-screen delivery Intercom systems IT and Broadcast
54 IN TUNISIA
With filmmaker Karim Alexander Pitstra
69 CABSAT PREVIEW
A sneak preview on what’s coming to the show next month
With Tanya Vidmar, MD of Vision 247 UAE
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*ALARAB NEWS CHANNEL HAS STARTED HIRING *CHRIS ANNING AND MARK BAYLEY MOVE TO AL JAZEERA *IRAN TO MAKE ITS OWN FILM TO COUNTER ARGO Eleuterio Fernandes, Exterity Middle East.
EXTERITY PROVIDES LIVE IPTV FEED FOR ABU DHABI GOLF EVENT IPTV solutions provider Exterity supported the annual international Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship by providing an e3555 Encoder installed in an Exterity c1101 chassis enabling the host venue — The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa — to stream the event live. Footage from the event was streamed live via an IPTV system right across the hotel. The solution was installed by UAE-based systems integrator and Exterity StreamForce’s channel partner RPS Technologies. This is the first time that a live golf event has been streamed over a hotel’s IPTV system in full 1080p HD in the region. The encoder was installed for the entire duration of the tournament and offered the hotel the option to stream live or prerecorded action. RPS Technologies also provided support services for the solution to the property. “The opportunity to work together on this solution with The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa and Exterity allows us to build upon our already strong relationship with two of the leading hospitality and technology providers in the market,” commented Peter Donnelly, Director of Projects & Integration at RPS Technologies. The e3555 encoder enabled the hotel to scale video content to a variety of resolutions up to full 1080p HD. “Exterity has been able to meet The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa’s demand to make the most of its existing IPTV network and provide the ability to stream quality video source to a variety of different devices throughout the resort,” added Eleuterio Fernandes, Regional Channel Sales Manager, Exterity Middle East.
FGC AND PARTNERS PLAN EXCLUSIVE EVENT AT CABSAT2013 First Gulf Company (FGC) will host an exclusive party on March 12, the first evening of CABSAT, along with its partners, Harris, Fujinon, Hitachi, EMC, Studer and MT2 at Meydan Beach Club, Dubai Marina. The exclusive invitation-only event is aimed at bringing broadcast players from across the Middle East and North Africa for an evening of networking and will see several high-profile broadcasters including senior government dignitaries attend. “We have themed the party Together as we aim to work in conjunction with partners and get to know each other in the industry better. After a long day at CABSAT, networking would be ideal in a relaxing environment,” commented Walid AlBakoush, GM of FGC. FGC is well known in the region for having secured more than 90% of the broadcast systems integration business in Saudi Arabia, especially those associated with the Ministry of Culture and Information, which is now known as Saudi Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). It has also secured
Walid AlBakoush (l) and Naim Saidi (r), managing partners at FGC.
various projects across the Middle East including some in Qatar and Egypt. FGC undertakes turnkey broadcast projects. “We secured the contracts to migrate most of Saudi MOCI’s existing Standard Definition facilities to High Definition in addition to building new ones,” added Naim Saidi, CEO of FGC. “It’s now time to celebrate our success and reinforce our business partnerships in other parts of the region as well.” Several dignitaries from Saudi MOCI will also attend the event. Together is being organised by BroadcastPro ME.
LIGHT HOUSE LAUNCHES NEW STUDIO WITH PHILIP BLOOM WORKSHOP Dubai-based rental house Light House Studio officially opened the doors to its brand new film studio with two workshops on videography conducted by renowned UK-based DoP Philip Bloom. Although most of the attending DoPs or cameramen had their own cameras, the studio was fully kitted out with various kinds of equipment. We also caught a glimpse of the brand new Sony F5 camera, which will make its official debut at CABSAT along with the F55, and a Blackmagic Design camera. “We brought Philip Bloom so we could get people to come in here for the workshop and also experience what it’s like to work in this studio,” explained Mohamed Kashif Joosub, Managing Director of Light House Studio. “Previously, we only had a studio for photography but this is a new 3000 sq ft studio with a 10x10m shooting area. It took four months to build and we had a soft launch, during which we asked people for their feedback and this is based on that. As we are also a rental house, we have all of the lighting, cameras, lenses, grips and kit required for a shoot. This studio is fully equipped and has a chroma screen as well.” Bloom conducted two workshops at the studio. “We had an intense workshop on the first day and a two-day workshop after that,” explained Bloom. “We had a mixed audience. They were not just DoPs or cameramen but creative directors and people with cameras who wanted to learn how to use them better.”
UK-based Philip Bloom with the Sony F5 & below, Mohamed Kashif Joosub, MD of Light House Studio.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PRONEWS AL JAZEERA AMERICA PART OF MORE LAUNCHES Last month, Al Jazeera bought US cable channel Current TV for an estimated USD 500 million to expand into America. BroadcastPro ME, however, has learnt that the Qatarbased network has plans to expand further in the global market. Tenders were released to build facilities for the network in Kabul and Sarajevo. With Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera has plans to open additional bureaus in key locations across the United States besides its existing news bureaus in New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago. It will also double its US-based staff to more than 300 employees. “By acquiring Current TV, Al Jazeera will significantly expand our existing distribution footprint in the US, as well as increase our newsgathering and reporting efforts in America,” commented Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, Director General of Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera said its new US-based news channel would be separate from Al Jazeera English, and would provide both domestic and international news for American audiences. The new channel is scheduled to begin broadcasting in 2013.
MIRANDA TECHNOLOGIES ACQUIRES SOFTEL Miranda Technologies has acquired UK-based subtitling and captioning expert Softel. Integration planning will be led by a team of Miranda and Softel executives, but there will be no business disruption for either of the companies during the transition. The integration is expected to be completed by this summer. “Captioning is a critical component of the playout chain, and one that is often difficult to manage,” commented Marco Lopez, President of Miranda. “By introducing Softel’s technology into the Miranda portfolio and directly integrating it into our iTX solution, we’ll present broadcasters with further efficiencies, not only in the purchase process, but also during deployment and in post-sale support as well. Miranda will continue to support the full Softel solutions suite and honor all Softel partner agreements.” In addition to its Swift line of subtitling and captioning products, Softel offers a host of advanced television systems that improve efficiency and enable new revenue streams. Sam Pemberton, Softel’s CEO added: “Our customers will benefit from the synergies this acquisition creates. Being aligned with Miranda in the Belden family extends our reach into potential new markets and being part of this team allows us to focus on innovation.”
Ghassan Alasad (in red) with his team on the left and inspecting the new studio.
CMS EXPANDS WITH NEW OFFICE Creative Media Solutions (CMS), which specialises in film and TV solutions and systems integration, has shifted to a new office within Dubai Media City to accommodate its expanding business operations. “We required more office space, and a dedicated studio with a control room and an area for post production,” stated Ghassan Alasad,
Managing Partner of CMS GULF. The company has worked on several integration projects across the region, including Al Rayyan TV and Libya TV in Doha, which are the most recent. “CMS managed the technical and engineering operations, system development and creative services for Al Rayyan TV. We
built a five-camera HD studio for them with full lighting system, acoustics and floor leveling. We also undertook a virtual studio project for them,” added Alasad. CMS has also been responsible for managing the technical and engineering operation, system development and creative services for Libya Al Ahrar in Qatar.
MEDIACAST TO DISTRIBUTE SSL AND MILLER PRODUCTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST Dubai-based distributor MediaCast has signed two new agreements with Miller and SSL that will enable it to distribute their respective products in the Middle East. Paul Maroni, Group Sales and Marketing Manager of Miller stated that the company’s presence in the Middle East “will be greatly enhanced with this new business relationship”. Likewise, Damien Egan, EMEA Distribution Manager for SSL stated that the manufacturer was “delighted to appoint MediaCast as its WPP distributor for the Middle East region”. “MediaCast has a successful track record and a great team whose knowledge of product, training and marketing is highly respected by their customers,” Egan stated. Peyman Dadpanah, Business Director of MediaCast, added that the brands are an “excellent addition to our portfolio”. “Miller often features in the list of quite a few ingenious artists and we will be pleased to increase that in the Middle East. With its wide portfolio of products with zero compromise on quality suiting different types of cameras and price-bands, we are looking forward to
6 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
Peyman Dadpanah, MediaCast.
a promising time ahead with Miller,” he stated. “Likewise, we are delighted about our new association with Solid State Logic. There are more than 3000 SSL systems in service around the world, and we are certainly looking forward to adding more to that from our region.”
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TWOFOUR54 INTAJ AND BSG COVER GULF CUP IN BAHRAIN More than 80 crew including producers, directors, engineers, and cameramen from twofour54 intaj and Broadcast Solutions Group (BSG) were in Bahrain last month to manage the production and broadcast of the 21st Arabian Gulf Cup Tournament, the region’s biennial football tournament. The event was hosted in Bahrain from January 5 to 18. Event managers World Sport Group and the Bahrain Local Organising Committee contracted the two entities to undertake the production owing to their successful management of the previous Arabian Gulf Cup, which was hosted by Yemen in 2010. The Gulf Cup is the region’s premier football tournament and in 2013, fixtures took place at two places, namely Bahrain’s National Stadium and Khalifa Sports City Stadium. 20 tonnes of equipment were shipped to Bahrain for the event. 37 HD cameras including a spider cam and ultra-motion camera were installed at both locations to ensure comprehensive coverage. While Intaj was responsible for the management
of the production and broadcast of the event, BSG provided the production equipment and crew. The team was tasked with providing footage to all of the regional sports broadcasters adding to the complexity of production requirements and timings. TV channels broadcasting the competition included Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, Dubai Sports Channel, Al Kass TV, Line Sport, Sharjah TV, Kuwait TV, Saudi Sports Channel, Bahrain TV, Oman Sports Channel, Iraqiya TV and MBC. Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54, called this “intaj’s biggest production management project outside the UAE to date”. “We are proud to be assigned for our production expertise on such a large-scale project,” she said. Saeed Izadi, CEO of Broadcast Solutions Group, added: “This is a great opportunity for Broadcast Solutions Group to showcase its capabilities and leverage its technical expertise. By providing intaj with the best production equipment and crew, we provided enthusiastic fans across the Arab world coverage from the region’s most anticipated football tournament.”
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
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RENTAL HOUSES MUST OFFER MORE COMPETITIVE RATES: JAMAL AL SHARIF Rental houses offering production kit for film projects in Dubai must stock more equipment and offer better rates or be prepared for more competition, Jamal Al Sharif, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, cautioned. “My advice to them is to review your prices, and take care of the people who are coming to shoot in Dubai or we shall bring in more competition,” Al Sharif told BroadcastPro ME. “We are already in touch with a few rental houses to come to Dubai and I think it’s fair as Dubai is an open market. We need it to be affordable for people to come in from outside to shoot. Dubai is opening its doors to big productions and right now, some companies are bringing in equipment from Kuwait and India because the prices are higher or it’s not available in the local market,” he stated.
Jamal Al Sharif, MD, Dubai Studio City.
Al Sharif added that with TV productions growing in the region, there is a need for more TV equipment. “Our Location Approval Services (LAS) department had more than 1100 applicants last year, which means there is a lot of demand and the existing market is unable to meet it,” he said.
TBS TO REDUCE EMEA STAFF BY 30% Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) will reduce the headcount across its EMEA operations by 30%. Presently, there are 1,200 employees in 30 offices across the region that will be affected by this decision.The restructure is the result of an EMEA-wide review announced in September last year. Turner said the new organisational structure, announced by Gerhard Zeiler, president of TBS International, is designed to give more operating power and accountability within the regions, as opposed to large central functions. “This review required us to take some tough decisions, but they are absolutely necessary to put Turner International in the best possible position for future growth. Greater empowerment and broader accountability for local management will lead to simplified processes throughout the organisation, improved efficiency and reduced costs,” said Zeiler.
ARABSAT CONTRACTS ASTRIUM AND THALES ALENIA SPACE TO BUILD BADR-7 Arabsat has finalised the mission definition for BADR-7 and confirmed the in-orbit delivery contract to the consortium of Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, which has already started building the new satellite. Astrium and Thales Alenia Space are jointly responsible for building the satellite and delivering it in orbit. Astrium, the leading partner, will supply the Eurostar E3000 platform and integrate the satellites. Thales Alenia Space will design and build the communications payload. The new satellite, the first in Arabsat’s sixth generation of satellites, will be co-located with
Stefan Breder and Munzer Rushdi.
Arabsat satellites at the 26° East video hot spot known as BADR. It will extend Arabsat’s in-orbit capacity at this location for direct-to-home television broadcast and telecommunications services, and will provide broadband services in Ka-band with spot
beam coverage. BADR-7 is based on the Astriumbuilt Eurostar E3000 platform and is able to operate up to 24 transponders in Ku-band and 24 spot beams in Ka-band, as well as three transponders in Ka-band for additional services.
SPI AND ARABSAT TIE Global film distribution and content business company, SPI International has signed a long-term agreement with Arabsat for the exclusive distribution rights of three new HD channels in HD/SD for MENA region. The three channels, Fighbox HD, Fashionbox HD and Docubox, will be broadcast on the Arabsat BADR-5 satellite at 26 degrees East and on Arabsat-5C satellite at 20 degrees East. “We are very pleased to start a partnership with SPI International; we are committed to provide them with the best satellite services and bring them to Arabsat neighbourhood of more than 170 million viewers over the Middle East and Africa,” stated Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat in a statement.
BROADCAST SOLUTIONS OPENS OFFICE IN DUBAI German systems integrator Broadcast Solutions has recently established a new office in Dubai. General Manager Munzer Rushdi, who has more than 27 years experience in the industry, will oversee the systems integrator’s Middle East operations. “The office in Dubai is for networking and securing new business,” Rushdi told BroadcastPro ME. “Our factory in Bingen, Germany is where we are headquartered and although we are growing our presence in many parts of the world, this will remain the main facility.” Managing Director Stefan Breder, who was in Dubai briefly to secure a deal, added that Broadcast Solutions’ engineers are available in the region should clients require their expertise for a project. “We understand every aspect of broadcast infrastructure and now we are bringing our experience to the Middle East market. We already see a strong interest in our solutions and products,” he stated. The systems integrator will announce its new presence in the Middle East officially at CABSAT, where it will showcase all of its areas of competence and new products. “This is our third year at CABSAT as exhibitor,” Peter Jakobsson, Director of Business Development said. “We have realised how important this event is and will, therefore, have a large two-storey stand to house a brand new six-camera OB vehicle that is custom built for the region and the CABSAT show.”
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
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CABSAT EXPANDS WITH NEW EXHIBITORS The 2013 edition of CABSAT, which will run from March 12 to 14 at Dubai World Trade Centre boasts a 15% increase in size and is set to welcome leading broadcast and satellite technology companies from around the world. The show has had to be moved from Sheikh Saeed Hall to Halls 1 to 8 owing to the huge demand, according to Maryam Al Mehairi, Group Sales Manager & Government Liaison, CABSAT, Exhibitions & Events Department, Dubai World Trade Centre. â€œWe have had new exhibitors for the show including EMC Isilon, My HD Media, Siemens, Thaicom, Harris Caprock, Thuraya, Esâ€™hailSat, Venuetech, Yamaha Music, Extron, miniCaster, ATEME, Minerva, Intellicast, Digital Broadcast Solutions, Advanced Broadcast Solutions, Con-Sol, Bosch, IHSE USA, Baba Broadcast Services, Altech Multimedia, DAMsmart and BFE. â€œThere are others like Qvest Media and Broadcast Solutions that have doubled their exhibition space for 2013 while Vizrt, Advanced Media Trading and MediaCast among others have increased their space considerably.â€? CABSAT is also introducing a new Broadcasting Conference as part of its Academy Knowledge Exchange Platform. The Conference is being
A file photo from CABSAT 2012.
managed this year by Saudin Dungog-Noddings. â€œThere will be a mix of free and paid sessions, with vendor presentations, workshops and interactive tutorials alongside the broadcast conference and the satellite conference organised in partnership with GVF,â€? Al Mehairi clarified. CABSAT will also feature a dedicated â€œAfrica in Focusâ€? zone on the exhibition floor. This provides a starting point and networking area for the many decision makers coming from emerging African markets. Also new to 2013 is a VIP visitor programme, designed to ensure that C-level executives make the most of their time at CABSAT. This offers exclusive networking opportunities as well as dedicated events and access to a special lounge.
121 TERRESTRIAL TV STATIONS BROADCAST IN 18 ARAB COUNTRIES Palestine, Iraq and Egypt lead in the number of terrestrial TV stations, hosting 59.5% of total terrestrial TV channels in the Arab World, according to the Arab Advisors Group. Local terrestrial TV stations, at one point, were the main source of entertainment and information for people in the Arab world. Despite the boom in the supply of free satellite TV channels in the region, local terrestrial TV stations have stayed alive in the region. Morocco is the only country that has terrestrial channels that are jointly owned by the government and the private sector. The majority of terrestrial TV channels in Palestine and Iraq are privately owned while Egypt has the largest number of state-backed terrestrial TV channels.
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What’s your alibi? Where were you on the night of March 24, 2012 just after midnight? If you were looking for an alibi you’d have a good one – like another 391,604 people, you were watching the Arab Idol finale. That’s more than 6% of the whole population of the UAE, and don’t forget, less than half of the UAE is Arabic-speaking. In terms of the audience watching TV at that time, more than 63%, nearly two in every three Emiratis and Arabs were watching at the peak. It was the biggest single moment of the year in terms of television in the UAE. So what else have we learnt after a year of people meters in the UAE? That people watch Arab Idol, Harem Al Soltan and Bade Aache? That MBC1 is the most popular channel? That Asianet is the biggest Asian channel? If this was all, it would be no surprise. We knew, or guessed those things already. Two things stand out for me from the first year of detailed audience measurement in the UAE. The first might be summed up in a saying from Yorkshire, in northern England which is “There’s nowt so queer as folk”. It means that people behave in strange and unpredictable ways – they always have and always will. They don’t watch the same channels every night. They stop watching programmes; they skip episodes; they pick up halfway through a series. Even stranger, Arab households watch Indian channels, Emirati men watch Bollywood movies dubbed in Arabic and yes, women watch football. There have been times when I’ve looked at the results and wondered how such a thing was possible but on further investigation you realise that yes, there are local men with foreign wives so that’s why an Emirati household might watch an English or Hindi channel. When we looked at ratings for the UAE Football League, we discovered that around a third of viewing comes from women.
When we looked at why a programme dips in the middle of a series, we discovered that a major one-off celebrity event was on a rival channel that night. How do we explain such things? The answer is, we check there are no problems or technical causes but beyond that, we don’t try. As Sherlock Holmes would say to Watson, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. These things happen, not on a massive scale but enough to be measured. And it’s enough for smart advertisers and programmers to take advantage of trends and behaviours that may never have been spotted previously.
That’s something that will become more normal as the market matures and learns to use this data in a more granular way. For now, however, the focus is still very much on top channels, and with that in mind, the surprise is perhaps that MBC is even more dominant than was previously suspected.
CHANNEL RANKING UAE 2012 – ARAB EXPATS RANK
AVG WKLY TRP
ABU DHABI AL OULA
That’s quite a level of domination – a clean sweep of the top six channels, and if you include Al Arabiya then it’s seven of the top 10.
“There have been times when I’ve looked at results and wondered how such a thing was possible but on further investigation, you realise that yes, there are local men with foreign wives so that’s why an Emirati household might watch an English or Hindi channel”
15 | www.broadcastprome.com | January 2013
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
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PROTRENDS Emiratis are a little more competitive with some other channels sneaking in and local channels more prominent.
Finally, let’s look at the South Asian market. The dominance of Asianet is no surprise given the number of Keralites in the UAE.
CHANNEL RANKING UAE 2012 - EMIRATIS
CHANNEL RANKING UAE 2012 – SOUTH ASIANS
AVG WKLY TRP
AVG WKLY TRP
ASIANET MIDDLE EAST
ABU DHABI AL OULA
GEO TV (MIDDLE EAST)
MBC still enjoys six slots in the top ten. It was interesting to note that Zee Aflam occupied slot number six. Clearly, it has hit a sweet spot with Emiratis, both male and female.
I think the order of the Hindi channels might have surprised some but the area that stands out for me here is the way advertisers seem to view this market, and how it is perhaps under-utilised and undervalued. This, perhaps, is a subject to return to in another column.
Yes there’s an upswing in viewing in Ramadan and it is more concentrated in the evening but only by about 30 minutes per day for Arab expats. In fact, for Emiratis, there’s hardly any change. And the Ramadan shows do well but there’s plenty of competition the rest of the year. It’s the big entertainment shows such as Arabs Got Talent and The Voice, and series like Fatma as well as big movies that take the top spots for Arab expats. (Note that these are averages across series.) I wonder if in future this will lead to some adjustment in EXPATS budgets, for programmes and advertising. Certainly, GENRE AVG AVG AVG RTG% RTG (000) SHARE the finance departments will welcome more even ENTERTAINMENT 7.52 153.41 33.63 spending across the year. So there we have it, a year SERIES 4.83 98.71 20.32 of audience measurement. ENTERTAINMENT 4.18 85.89 19.08 In another year’s time, I hope we will be able to SERIES 4.03 82.1 21.17 look back and compare year-on-year on data, and that regional television MOVIE 3.91 79.65 20.27 will be that much closer to ENTERTAINMENT 3.71 75.39 19.16 having a broad, viable and sustainable business. PRO
The second big area that stood out for me was Ramadan. If you talk to anyone in the region at certain times, you might be forgiven for thinking Ramadan was the only time of the year they cared about in terms of programmes, and that viewers were glued to their sets ready to absorb every piece of content. No doubt, there is an effect on consumption generally, but in television viewing, the picture is not as clear cut – research so rarely is!
TOP 10 UAE PROGRAMMES OF 2012 – ARAB RANK
ARAB’S GOT TALENT/S2
TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN: PART 1
FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
SHABAYET AL CARTOON
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Christopher O’Hearn is general manager 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.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
Consultant Mohammed Irfan addressing some of the staff at Libya Al Ahrar.
Unleashed This March, Libyaâ€™s first news channel will turn two. It was launched during the revolution by an ex-Information Minister and journalist to keep the Libyan people informed about the revolution. In an exclusive interview with Vijaya Cherian, the people behind the project, share details of the making of the first news channel in the country post-revolution
20 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
Mahmud Shammam is a well known figure in Libya. Following the ouster of ex-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Shammam, who lived in exile for more than 30 years, was asked to head an entity akin to the Ministry of Media under the National Transitional Council (NTC) in the country while the Libyan government went through a period
of transition. Although the entity was dissolved eventually as various government bodies began to take shape, the ex-Information Minister then moved into his next natural role, which was to invest in the country’s media. Today, Shammam’s news channel Libya Al Ahrar, popularly known as Libya TV, is said to be one of the most watched news channels in the country. Shammam is no stranger to the media world. The Libyan-American worked as the editor of the Arabic edition of Newsweek in the US and later, served on the board of Al Jazeera Network. It was his dream to one day help shape the media in his country and the time was ripe when Gaddafi fell. Unable to open an office in Libya in 2011, Libya Al Ahrar began its operations from Al Rayyan TV’s facility in Qatar. Shammam gradually assembled his
team which comprised other Libyans. “Mohammed Akary, the first General Manager of the channel; Mojahid Albosifi; Tarik AlGiziry, Sleman Abuzid and Huda Elsrari, present General Manager of the channel all played a crucial role in this project,” explains Shammam. Despite threats from Gaddafi’s government, the team dispatched reporters to different parts of Libya. The footage was then received via satellite at the Doha office before being retransmitted. Although the channel began with skeletal facilities at the time of launch, it wasn’t until last year — under the guidance of UAE-based consultant Broadcast Systems Arabia (BSA) — that all of the technical pieces of the jigsaw were put together for the channel and its correspondents to efficiently cover the July 2012 elections in the country. BSA is primarily run by Mohammed
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Staff installing cameras on the DSNG van; Mahmud Shammam, CEO of the channel; HD cameras kits awaiting installation and one of the channel’s reporters on location. BELOW: The completed studio on the terrace of the building.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
“We needed to hire a civil contractor to undertake this job but nobody knew how to make a studio, forget doing it in 45 days. A local company eventually ... [undertook] this following which we contracted Gulf Media (GMCO), a Qatar-based SI to [do the] integration” Mohammed Irfan, CEO and consultant, Broadcast Systems Arabia
TOP PIC: Mohammed Irfan poses against the backdrop of a DSNG installation and below, building of the studio in progress.
Irfan, a broadcast consultant, who undertook his first Libyan project for Dubai-based Al Aan TV following the dethronement of Gaddafi. While most other systems integrators feared to step into Libya, Irfan went forward to roll out an entire network of radio transmitters for Al Aan TV across the country. The exercise took him all the way from the markets of Libya, where he discovered what kit was available and the best means to ship that which was not available from neighbouring countries, to hiring local people and integrating solutions. Seven months later, the consultant was back in Dubai as perhaps one of the few
22 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
professionals with true market knowledge of how to navigate his way through the country and build a broadcast station. For Shammam, Irfan served as the perfect candidate to advice on how to build studios in the country and what kit to install for the efficient rollout of news and related programmes for the channel. As a result, while the headquarters remained in Doha, Libya Al Ahrar began its efforts to build its first High Definition studio in Benghazi. “Previously, there were no production studios in Benghazi. Libya Al Ahrar is the first channel to have built a studio there. We also have small offices in Misrata
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PROCOVER The Lebanese production team (right) came down to train Libya Al Ahrar’s staff in HD production.
and Tripoli,” explains Shammam. 16 Sony HD camera kits were deployed for the entire project while four NLE and GFX rooms were put in place. The project included several elements including hiring satellite segments for occasional broadcast on Arabsat and Eutelsat; installing permanent satellite uplink facilities from Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata; purchasing and setting up a dozen DSNG vans; setting up a UPS generator; and more importantly, hiring and training local staff on HD production and equipment. While all of this seems like part of a standard broadcast setup, it assumed a different meaning in Libya, where the team had to research how to undertake the smallest of tasks. It was as much a learning experience for the channel’s setup team as it was for Libyan authorities. A four-camera HD studio, for instance, had to be erected in Benghazi. The choice of venue posed a challenge in this case. Initially, the team looked at villas but these were not high enough for a studio set up. “We needed the rooms to be at least 5 to 6 ms in height and this was not available,” explains BSA’s Irfan. “As a result, the channel decided to build its own studio – its own hangar setup and rented a three-storey building for the purpose. We needed to hire a civil contractor to undertake this job but nobody knew how to make a studio, forget doing it in 45 days. A local company eventually came forward to undertake this following which we contracted Gulf Media (GMCO), a Qatar-based systems integrator to undertake the deployment of the systems in the studio and their integration. Although the civil contractor initially asked for two months to do the job as Libya adheres to 8 to 5 work schedules, it later brought in three labour teams to work in three shifts, explains Irfan. “In this way, we completed the hangar setup in 22 days starting from scratch including the steel work, the sandwich panels, acoustics, painting, power and other infrastructure. 70 people worked on this project,” adds Irfan.
The building was equipped with 42 air conditioning units, and a 150 kVA generator and UPS system for 24/7 operation. Alongside the civil works, GMCO worked on putting the solutions together for the studio and this was primarily undertaken in Egypt. “They wanted to build a fully professional SD/HD studio in Benghazi and no other company was willing to take the risk of building a studio from scratch in less than a month or going to Libya. We did this in record time so Libya Al-Ahrar TV could cover the parliament elections on time,” explains Eng. Ali Al-Kaabi, GMCO’s General Manager. GMCO, which offers consultancy and technical support for broadcasters and radio stations, undertook the entire studio project for Bengazi from designing the studio and lighting grid to configuring the AV, lighting equipment and devices including the vision mixer, the sound mixer, camcorders, CCU, CG, VTR, frames, racks, consoles, monitors, lighting, cables, and all other studio accessories. GMCO also designed and installed the power and the UPS in addition to undertaking the studio operations and training the crew under BSA’s supervision. “The studio had to be up and running
in 45 days,” explains BSA’s Irfan. “The broadcasting equipment was pre installed in Egypt. Gulf Media pre installed all of the studio racks in Egypt, packed them into containers and drove 1800kms from Cairo to Benghazi by road to deliver it. Some of the equipment had to be shipped by air.” One of the big issues was sound proofing the studio. “Acoustics was a huge challenge because apparently, they have not been done in Libya before but GMCO worked on this,” he says. 120 live transmissions were done continuously around Libya during the elections by the channel with the help of the DSNG vans. “Even the CNN and the BBC were quoting Libya Al Ahrar,” says Irfan. Logistics was a big concern as all of the equipment was not available in Libya and cargo flights from neighbouring Turkey were limited. In addition, at some point, the airport in Tripoli was closed. “We had to import the generator, the UPS, the DV boxes and other power infrastructure from Turkey. This was the nearest place to acquire good equipment and we got everything in nine days. Of course, this is all fairly new to the Libyan environment so we
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
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were breaking new ground even with such basic things,” explains Irfan. Libya Al Ahrar interviewed 86 people for its channel and was keen to hire a new generation of educated young men and women, who could speak both English and Arabic and had an IT background. “We hired the channel manager and an experienced TV broadcast team for the main office. However, for the rest of the posts, the channel focused on hiring young ambitious people with a keenness to learn.” Today, the channel employs 100 staff across Libya, producing programmes for the channel while 50 staff members operate from the channel’s facility in Doha. One of the big aspects of this news project was training. “Most of the cameramen we had were used to working with Standard Definition. There was no experience with HD or widescreen so a special production team from Lebanon came down to Libya to train the cameramen,” explains Irfan. The content and daily live shows are produced in the channel’s studios in Libya and sent via satellite to Doha and from there to Nilesat, Arabsat or Hotbird. “We have three live links from Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi,” explains Huda Elsrari, the channel’s General Manager. 12 DSNG vans were used to cover the 2012 elections in Libya. Unfortunately, the vans were not registered with Eutelsat for the Occasional Satellite Segments and although it normally takes two months to do this, Eutelsat provided the channel with a temporary licence to work with all 12 antennas from all of the metro cities of Libya. “In the beginning when we just launched, we were on Arabsat, Nilesat, and Hot Bird. But we had problems on Nilesat and couldn’t be seen by all the viewers in Libya,” explains Elsrari. “This is because most people in Libya tune into Nilesat. But people wanted information and would turn to engineers to help them tune into Arabsat. Many people used to watch the pictures without the voices or remove their children
“They wanted to build a fully professional SD/HD studio in Benghazi and no other company was willing to take the risk of building a studio from scratch in less than a month or going to Libya. We did this in record time so Libya Al-Ahrar TV could cover the parliament elections on time” Ali Al-Kaabi (below), General Manager, GMCO
from the environment and watch the channel so they wouldn’t speak about it in school. People lived in fear until it was all over,” explains Elsrari. Today, Libya Al Ahrar has gained a reputation in the market for its fearless reportage and has become a game changer in the country. In the meantime, 11 TV channels have come up in Libya with many more in the offing. PRO
In Brief “The idea to start a channel originated in Qatar. Gaddafi had a strong media machine and this posed a danger to the revolution. We began with small announcements on Facebook to ask Libyans if they would like to join us to start a TV channel that would support the revolution. We had responses from people from all walks of life including medical specialists and engineers. “We started with a basic setup. Some escaped to Tunisia and then, joined us. Gaddafi did not like the idea of Libya Al Ahrar. Our families in Libya received many death threats and my parents were scared. Still we managed to produce different shows. After the revolution was over and Libya was liberated, we were the first channel to announce Gaddafi’s arrest and became an important source of news for many news channels including the BBC and the CNN. “People thought we operated with a large number of producers, presenters and so on. In Doha, we have 50 people and now, we have offices in Benghazi, Tripoli and Misrata and are working towards expanding to more places in Libya.” — Huda Elsrari, General Manager, Libya Al Ahrar
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
C500 in the Field SAE institute’s head of film Stefan Randjelovic takes the C500 for a field test and shares his views exclusively with BroadcastPro ME
When Canon launched its C300 Cinema EOS camera, it promised to change “the future of filmmaking”. The C300 launch was no small affair. It was launched in Hollywood with testimonies from a few filmmakers who had the opportunity to make their films with the camera. The C300, however, could only record in full HD 1920x1080. The updated lineup including the EOS C500 and C500 PL, which began shipping late last year, promised to change that. We had the opportunity to test the C500 recently and decided to go and shoot in the desert. In the process, we
28 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
created a mini story that could work as an introduction to a larger film. Besides being able to do everything that the C300 can do, the C500 can now record 4K digital video. But recording 4K might prove expensive as you will need a separate recorder, and more storage. But is it all well worth USD 26,000. The initial feel I got with this camera is that it is closer to the DSLR world than the professional camcorder. Having said that, with the C500, you have the possibility of mounting all of the Canon EF lenses. For those who want to update to the C500, it’s good because they
PROREVIEW “The frame rate flexibility for recording video on the C500 is astounding. The camera can utilise frame rates from one to 60fps in fullres record modes, and you can record up to 120fps using the 4K half-size RAW settings”
can still keep all of their DSLR lenses. The C500 PL mount has access to the full range of professional cinema lenses. For this camera, Canon developed a new 8.85 megapixel CMOS chip that is roughly equivalent to the Super 35. Canon claims that the sensor is exactly the same as the one in the C300 although it is used in a completely different manner to record 4K video. The camera body itself is so small that when you mount the CP2 lenses, you can barely see the camera while observing it from the front. Overall, that is a good thing. The
weight is barely noticeable; the top handle is very comfortable and the location of the LCD detachable screen is ideal as it enables us to take low shots and still be able to frame correctly. On the right side of the camera, the grip connector has been replaced by 3G SDI and monitor outputs. This is not a bad thing as it is a CMOS sensor and we’d probably need to stabilise the camera with a rig while shooting. Most of the buttons are either located on the left side of the camera or to the back. There are custom programmable buttons but the Fn. button that is required to change your shutter, ISO and white balance is not very conveniently positioned. For instance, you need to press it first and then find the rotating dial on the left side of the camera. Although this is not a problem by itself, it can be a tad difficult to change the setting and get it right while shooting “1/25th” and looking through the viewfinder at the same time. At the back of the camera there is a small information screen, two CF card slots and a battery compartment. It is important to note that it’s a bit challenging to shoot with one battery only, and I do not understand why Canon did not bundle it with two batteries. For a camera that retails at USD 26,000, two batteries should have been a minimum requirement. In the desert, the camera battery power ran out quickly. If you keep the 3GSDI dock open, the battery will probably run out after 80 minutes. In the field, that time period is very short. On another note if you just record in full HD in MXF format, you might get a maximum of 160 minutes. In order to get the most of this camera in the field, I recommend using an Anton Bauer Canon C300/ C500 Battery Kit, which retails at USD 1200. That’s something to budget along with the camera. Let’s now take a look at the compression and the media. Obviously, this camera’s USP is its ability to shoot 4K. You will need an external recorder like the new AJA quad or the Gemini from Convergent Design and they retail somewhere in between USD 3500 to USD 6000.
The frame rate flexibility for recording video on the C500 is astounding. The camera can utilise frame rates from one to 60fps in full-res record modes, and you can record up to 120fps using the 4K halfsize RAW settings. The camera offers the same DCI and QFHD production standard options for recording 2K video. One allows for 2048 × 1080 recording, while the other records traditional 1920 × 1080 full HD video. The 2K shooting modes have the option for 10-bit or 12-bit recording. For all of these RAW 4K recording settings, you can output the video using the camera’s 3G-SDI terminal. There are also dual uncompressed HD-SDI outputs that support live monitoring. Additionally, you can simultaneously record an MPEG-2 HD proxy video at 50Mbps to CF cards inserted in the C500’s dual memory card slots. Like the C300, the C500 has two Compact Flash memory card slots on the
Stefan Randjelovic and his team test the Canon C500 in the desert.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROREVIEW back of the camera. CF cards cannot be used to store 4K video recorded by the camcorder, but they will simultaneously record a full HD proxy video for editing 4K content with an offline non-linear editing system. To store the uncompressed RAW 4K and 2K videos captured by the C500, you must use an external recording system and connect it to the camera via its dual 3G SDI terminals. This solution is expensive—any camera or camcorder with multiple SDI terminals is very pricey—but it makes more sense than the quad SD card recording put in place with the JVC GY-HMQ10 4K camcorder. The C500 also has an SD card slot for storing preset data and saving various settings. The C500 is a manual camera. By this, I mean that it does not have auto functions as it is meant to be used mostly on films. So there are no zoom rockers. Everything is controlled from the lens, the aperture and the focus. But the camera has a plethora of options to keep your image sharp with peaking tools. These include two peaking modes, a magnified focus assist, and edge monitoring. With the C500, you have complete
In Brief On my shoots, I prefer to use the Arri Alexa, or the Canon 5D Mark II. These are the standard workhorse cameras along with the RED. The difference between this camera and the others is its ability to record 4K video at high frame rates. The cameras I have been using thus far do not have the ability to do both on such a small compact form factor. Frame rates up to 60p are supported, and there’s also a “4K Half” format that cuts the horizontal resolution by 50% in order to push high frame rates (for potential slow motion) up to 120p. Similar options exist for quad full-HD, which has a less widescreen aspect ratio and a slightly lower resolution of 3840 x 2160.
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PROREVIEW control over exposure in the form of shutter speed, ISO settings, mechanical ND filters and what a joy these were to use in daylight. We did not use any matte box on the shoot and were still able to get a decent exposure for our shots at a very shallow depth of field. The camera has an ISO range of ISO 320 to 20,000 that was featured on the C300, and Canon’s Log Gamma recording allows for a 12-stop exposure latitude in your recordings. Regarding the latitude, we did some shots in complete darkness and were still able to obtain a picture with no noticeable noise at 1200 ISO. Even at 6000 ISO, we were able to get a very decent image. Regarding Canon’s Log Gamma, it provides a nice flat picture that is a joy for any colourist. You can play with your picture as much as you see fit in post and not break your image. Even on the MXF files, the compression is barely noticeable at 50 mbps. This is astounding for any filmmaker, who wants to shoot at night and has minimal lighting. We just used a small Litepanel as a bounce to enhance our shots and it wasn’t even at full power. The camera is also equipped with professional-grade exposure assistance controls, including zebra patterns, waveform monitors, RGB parade display, spot display, and a vectorscope display. Most of these functions have their own dedicated button on the left side of the camera, but with all of these tools you can be sure that you won’t ever have blown out highlights. There’s a dedicated white balance button on the side of the C500 and the camera has two custom Kelvin settings that can be stored in the camera’s memory. There’s also an auto white balance mode and two white balance presets for daylight and tungsten. The C500 has no built-in microphone, and it’s surprising to see that it does not come bundled with a shotgun mic. The camera features a 3.5mm mic jack and is expandable with two XLR inputs (on the external monitor attachment). And if you’re not recording live sound, you can simply remove the monitor attachment. There’s also a headphone jack on the camera and a wide variety of audio controls. If you want to, you can record good audio with this setup, but it may be preferable to use a dedicated audio recording system instead, like a Marantz. This keeps the
With the C500, you have complete control over exposure in the form of shutter speed, ISO settings and mechanical ND filters making it a joy to use in daylight, says Randjelovic.
Pros * Outputs uncompressed 4K video at different frame rates, up to 120 fps via dual 3G-SDI ports. * Comes in EF or PL lens mount versions. * Professional set of tools and feature controls.
Cons * Recording on an external recorder for 4k. * Form factor. Due to the side panel for 4k export we lost the grip connector. * The viewfinder is not ideal.
C500 less cluttered when you’re shooting video. If you’re mounting it on a rig, it is preferable to use the Zacuto EVF filmmaker. This setup worked like a charm with the C500 and is highly recommended if you plan to conduct handheld shoots due to the form factor of the camera. In conclusion, the C500 isn’t as innovative or groundbreaking as the C300, but its ability to record 4K video shows us that we are headed towards a new recording format. The C500 isn’t the only camera shooting 4K. Others in this segment include the JVC GY-HMQ10 and the Sony NEX-FS700. But the fact that Canon has decided to embrace 4K means it is willing to take the whole 4K workflow to a new level. But how can you expect to record such a huge deluge of data? Canon is working with several third-party vendors for uncompressed RAW recording. For proxy purposes, the camera also records internally to a CompactFlash card at 50 Mb/s. This covers you for emergency backups and immediate editing of proxy files. This is the Canon XF format (4:2:2 MPEG-2 with an
MXF wrapper) that the C300 also records. The EOS C500 looks impressive. The 4K workflow for now seems well thought out, but they are certainly expensive. It could have benefited from at least a recording capability of 2K on CF cards and some higher frame rates without resorting to an external recorder. You may want to use the C300 for a while as the 4K with a 4:4:4 colour profile is an expensive option if you do not plan to do any VFX work in your shots. Overall, the C500 is a great camera and the future looks bright for digital cinema. PRO Check out the movie we shot with this camera on: https://vimeo. com/56804528. Special thanks to Canon Middle East, Filmquip Media for providing us with Arri Prime lenses and Richard Latham for his support.
Stefan Randjelovic is the head of the film department at SAE Institute. He is also a freelance director and DoP.
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
TV Everywhere TV Everywhere is often heralded as the future of television. And while we’ve come tantalisingly close to making it a reality, there’s still some way to go before it becomes real The phrase TV Everywhere refers to the ability to watch television from any connected device (smartphone, tablet, or laptop) no matter where we are. It also means the ability to pick up watching a programme exactly where we left off, regardless of the device we are watching it on and the location we are watching it at.
That means a viewer would be able to start watching Al Bernameg at home in their living room and then pick up where they left off on their smartphone while they are in a taxi on the way to a meeting. During the meeting, they could take out their iPad and scroll back to a particularly funny segment they wanted to share
34 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
with everyone. That’s a very different experience from the one we have today. Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) would welcome the TV Everywhere experience for a variety of reasons. For starters, it allows them to increase loyalty by giving viewers a superior experience. From a more practical standpoint, it would allow them greater
PROTV have sued the MVPDs to prevent them from making TV Everywhere available to their subscribers and the most recent set of compromises involved allowing viewers to watch on connected devices so long as they remained in their own homes and connecting to the internet via the same provider that supplied their pay TV service. That arrangement seemed to change earlier this month when Dish, a leading US satellite provider and the country’s thirdlargest MVPD, announced the launch of the Sling Hopper, a device that takes advantage of Slingbox technology to allow viewers to
An issue that the industry must address for TV Everywhere to succeed is the scarcity of bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage in most regions, says Wolk.
revenue opportunities as viewers now have a number of screens on which to view the advertising they sell. In areas where cable penetration is limited, cellular signals may be the best way for viewers to get access to TV content and so allowing them to view it on a tablet or smartphone would be a win-win situation. For the viewer, TV Everywhere is a very compelling proposition. It would allow them more freedom as to where and when they watched their favourite programmes. Rather than have to wait until they returned home to catch the end of a football match, they’d be able to continue watching on the bus ride home. Some of the TV Everywhere systems being introduced in the US give viewers the ability to download shows onto their tablets for offline viewing. This would be a boon for business travelers and anyone else who frequently finds themselves in an internet-free zone. Since the usual option in these situations is to download a VOD movie, allowing viewers to download shows creates greater loyalty to those shows and helps keep viewership numbers up. While TV Everywhere is an exciting proposition, it is not without its roadblocks. Ad measurement is an issue all of the players must contend with. While there are established metrics for determining who is watching programming on the primary TV screen, there is no established measurement for programmes that are watched on secondary screens. Until the industry solves this problem, networks will lose ad dollars as views go uncounted. This is the primary reason TV networks in the US have resisted TV everywhere efforts: they are afraid that the second screen will become the first screen for many viewers and that this will eat into their ad revenue. While this fear is certainly valid, there are many people who are currently working on accurate ways to count these additional views, and viewers, and deliver ads to them dynamically, so that consumers will only see ads that are relevant to where they are and what they are watching. This will help ensure that broadcasters are able to maximise profits without impinging on the customer experience.
“Sling Hopper [is] a device that takes advantage of Slingbox technology to allow viewers to watch anything that is on their home settop box anywhere in the world, regardless of how they are connected to the internet” Another issue the industry must address for TV Everywhere to be a success is the scarcity of bandwidth and Wi-Fi coverage in most regions. This is a concern around the globe, for while TV may be everywhere, Wi-Fi is not. As a result, there are only a limited number of places where we can watch content outside the home. That has served to lessen the broader appeal of TV Everywhere. Here again, technology may come to the rescue with innovative solutions. There are researchers working on finding a way to decrease the amount of bandwidth needed to watch video so that it’s more easily viewed on 3G and even 2G connections, while at the same time, other researchers are working to create the next generation of cellular internet, the 5G solution. Both of these advances would increase the reach of TV Everywhere and make the solution more viable — and popular — for consumers, particularly in regions where public wifi connections are few and far between. While TV Everywhere is the single most-discussed feature of the future of television, adoption has been slow. South Korea, which has one of the world’s most advanced 4G networks, is one of the few places where it is common to see people watching live streaming TV broadcasts on their phones in the subway. In addition to the lack of universal Wi-Fi coverage, adoption in the US has been held up by a host of legal issues: networks
36 | www.broadcastprome.com | February 2013
watch anything that is on their home settop box anywhere in the world, regardless of how they are connected to the internet. While it’s expected that the major networks will challenge the SlingHopper in court, it’s also expected that the other MVPDs will push back on the networks to give them the ability to create similar functionality. Once that happens, TV Everywhere in the US should become much more ubiquitous and the opportunity cost of building out ways to support that service (e.g. more 4G connections) will become much more favorable. The MENA region may not have the extensive cable networks found in the US and Europe, but that may actually work to its advantage. By bypassing traditional cable connections and going straight to 4G, satellite and similar services, MVPDs in the region may be able to offer their customers systems that are more advanced than those found in Europe or North America. It’s similar to the situation with mobile phones fifteen years ago, when countries with extensive landline connections were slower to adopt advances in mobile technology. However, as the next few years play out, one thing is certain: TV Everywhere is most definitely the future of television around the world. The technology is there; the demand is there and now it’s up to the industry to make it happen. PRO Alan Wolk is Global Lead Analyst at KIT digital.
THE BEST OF UK BROADCAST AND SATELLITE TECHNOLOGY
UK Directory at CABSAT and Satellite MENA 2013
Argosy 701 One-stop-shop for infrastructure items: Video& Audio Cables, Connectors, Patching, Power Distribution, Equipment Racks, Hamlet Test Equipment, Polecam. Units 6 & 7 Ridgeway, Drakes Drive, Long Crendon,Buckinghamshire. HP18 9BF, United Kingdom Tel: +44 1844 202101 Email: email@example.com Website: www.argosycable.com
Broadcast Traffic Systems D6-42 Broadcast Traffic Systems is a leading supplier of traffic solutions to the broadcasting industry; we have clients through the world including many leading broadcasters in the Middle East. Our products cover all key broadcast management areas including scheduling, ad-sales, program management and media control. Chapel Barn Business Centre, Merthyr Mrwr, Bridgend, CF32 0LS Tel: +44 (0) 1656 648181 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bts.tv
ATG Broadcast Ltd F6-22 Email: www.atgbroadcast.co.uk
Avanti Communications Group plc F2-20 Avanti Communications connects people wherever they are. Our satellite fleet reaches across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, bringing high speed communications services to SNG and content distribution businesses. 74 Rivington Street, London, EC2A 3AY Email: email@example.com Website: www.avantiplc.com
Bluebell Opticom Ltd D6-45 Bluebell manufactures a wide range of fibre optic transmission systems for the broadcast industry. Also demonstrating BBC R&D Stagebox technology connecting remote cameras over standard IP networks. Unit 2, The Quadrant, Howarth Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1AP Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bluebell.tv
Bryant Unlimited C6-44 Manufacturer / distributor of HDTV camera cables, connectors, racks, MDUâ€™s, custom wiring & metalwork solutions for SIâ€™s and end users worldwide. Established 30 years. New Eco-friendly MDU launching at Cabsat! 70b Stafford Road, Croydon, CR0 4NE Tel: +44 (0) 208 404 4050 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bryant-unlimited.co.uk
2000 Beach Drive, Cambridge Research Park, Cambridge, CB25 9TE Tel: +44 (0) 1223 815 000 Email: SalesSupportEMEA@clearcom.com Website: www.clearcom.com
Cobbett Hill Earth Station Ltd D2-41 Independent UK Teleport providing data, voice and broadcast services to the Corporate, Maritime, Government and Military markets. CH1, Normandy Business Park, Cobbett Hill Rd, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 2AA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cobbett-hill.com
Cobham TCS Ltd D2-44 Specialist broadcast technologies for difficult environments such as; live to air; motor and extreme sports coverage; portable field monitoring; and video-assist applications. Fusion 2, 1100 Parkway, Whiteley, Hants, PO15 7AB Tel: +44 (0) 1489 566750 Email: email@example.com Website: www.cobham.com/broadcast
Calrec Audio Ltd A5-32 Email: www.calrec.com
Canford Audio C4-20 Email: www.canford.co.uk
Clear-Com B8-22 Clear-Com, an HME company, delivers professional intercom communication systems for mission-critical communication platform for production teams in a variety of industries around the world.
Comtech Xicom Technology E2-31 Xicom Technology is the technology leader in the Satellite Uplink amplifier market. Frequencies covered are: C,X,Ku DBS, Ka, Q & V-Bands. With power levels from 8W to 2.5Kw. 4 Portland Business Centre, Manor House Lane, Datchet, SL3 9EG Tel: +44 (0) 1753 549999 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.xicomtech.com
Crystal Vision Ltd. D6-44 Manufacturer of broadcast TV equipment including chroma keyers, logo keyers, up and down converters, synchronisers, routing switches, audio embedders and video delays. All equipment supports SD and HD SDI video.
Elite Antennas manufacture high quality spun aluminium antennas up to 4.5m diameter for a variety of applications. We offer the choice of reflector components right up to complete antennas. Unit 4 Amtex Building, Southern Avenue, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0QF Tel: +44 (0) 1568 614457 Email: email@example.com Website: www.elite-antennas.com
Lion Technology Park, Station Road East, Whittlesford, Cambridge, CB22 4WL Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.crystalvision.tv
Custom Consoles Limited C6-42 Custom Consoles produces control-room furniture, storage-pods and monitor-display mounting systems for the broadcast market. Exhibits will include the SystemTwo adjustable-height desk, Module-R client-configurable furniture and the industry-leading MediaWall multi-screen support-system.
GB Labs A7-22 GB Labs designs and manufactures super-fast shared, nearline and archive storage systems for broadcast, content and media workflows. Ericsson C6-31 Ericssonâ€™s TV solutions help content owners and operators to maximize content and consumer value with unique, blended multiplatform, multi-screen TV. Enabling compelling consumer experiences on all devices. Strategic Park, Comines Way, Hedge End, Southampton, Hampshire, SO30 4DA Tel: +44 (0) 2380 484000 Email: email@example.com Website: www.ericsson.com/television
Leedon House, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 4TN Tel: +44 (0) 1525 379909 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.customconsoles.co.uk
Eddystone Broadcast Ltd D6-47 Eddystone Broadcast manufactures FM Transmitters and associated broadcast equipment. Services include supplying full turnkey solutions and associated factory acceptance/ commissioning and training, in the UK and in country of operation. 26 Arden Road, Arden Forest Industrial Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 6EP Tel: +44 (0) 1789 762278 Email: email@example.com Website: www.eddystone-broadcast.com
Elite Antennas Ltd. D2-42
3rd Floor, Newcombe House, 43-45 Nottinghill Gate, London, W11 3FE Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.furukawa.co.uk/cables
ETL Systems Ltd G2-23 ETL Systems designs and builds RF equipment for teleports, broadcasters and governments around the world. This includes matrix/routers, splitters, amplifiers and switches, focusing on exceptional RF performance. Come and see the renowned 64x64 L-band Vortex Router and our new range of Alto Amplifiers.
Unit 1 Orpheus House, Aldermaston, Reading, RG7 8TA Email: email@example.com Website: www.gblabs.com
Glensound Electronics 307 www.glensound.co.uk
HHB Communications B6-31 For 37 years, HHB Communications Ltd. has been a global leader in the supply of professional audio technology to the worldâ€™s top broadcasters, recording studios, post facilities and systems integrators. 73-75 Scrubs Lane, London, NW10 6QU Tel: +44 (0) 20 8962 5000 Email: Matthew.firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hhb.co.uk
Coldwell Radio Station, Madley, Hereford, HR2 9NE Tel: +44 (0) 1981 259 020 Email: email@example.com Website: www.etlsystems.com
FURUKAWA B6-41 FURUKAWA HDTV Optical Camera Cable and accessories. Cable is approved by top TV camera makers and is requested for major broadcast events.
I Like Music D6-32 We provide a digital Music library (used throughout the BBC) to broadcasters and production companies enabling online access to search, audition and download uncompressed music files together with recommendation facility.
St Johns Studios, 6 - 8 Church Road, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 2QA Tel: +44 (0) 20 7637 8800 Email: Andy.firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ilikemusic.com/business
IEWC / GEPCO B6-45 Audio, Broadcast and Lighting cable, connectors, SMPTE fibre optical assemblies, panels and wire management products. Unit 3 Pottery Close, Weston Super Mare, North Somerset, BS23 3YH Tel: +44 (0) 870 6091257 Email: email@example.com Website: www.iewc.co.uk
Gatehouse Close, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8DE Tel: +44 (0) 1296 489964 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lundhalsey.com
Megahertz Broadcast Systems Ltd B6-44 Megahertz plays a significant role in designing and delivering innovative turnkey solutions along the complete content distribution chain — from live production, OB trucks and HD studios to occasional use connectivity, SNG trucks and earth stations for the world’s leading broadcasters, telecommunication and digital media companies. Unit 39 Lancaster Way Business Park, Witchford, Ely CB6 3NW Tel: +44 1353 645000 Email: email@example.com Website: www.kitd.com/megahertz
iSat Limited B1-32 Email: www.isatnetworks.com
LSI PROJECTS LTD C6-30 LSI PROJECTS is the world’s number one lighting integrator offering consultancy, design, supply and Systems Integration for Production Lighting and Suspension Systems in Television and Film Studios – now with an office in Dubai. 15 Woking Business Park, Woking, Surrey, GU21 5JY Tel: +44 (0) 1483 764646 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lsiprojects.com
Lund Halsey (Console Systems) Ltd A7-41 Lund Halsey design and manufacture Studio Furniture. Our solutions are specifically suited for MCR’S, PCR’S, Lighting & Editing.
OASYS Automated Playout Limited B6-43 OASYS offers the best price-performance automated event playout solution available. The Barn, Norton Grange, Norton Green Lane, Knowle, West Midlands, B93 8PJ Tel: +44 (0) 845 0942 612 Email: email@example.com Website: www.oasys.com
Paradigm Communication Systems Ltd E2-33 From the provision of satcom equipment to the design and installation of complete turnkey systems, Paradigm provide innovative solutions. Paradigm have experience designing and delivering customised satellite terminals and earth-stations. Technology House, Station Road, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2PZ Tel: +44 (0) 1420 88199 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.paracomm.co.uk
MIRANDA TECHNOLOGIES D7-30 Miranda Technologies, a Belden Brand, is a leading provider of hardware and software solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and IPTV that span the full breadth of television operations. Abbey Gate, 57-75 Kings Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 3AB Email: email@example.com
Novella SatComs Ltd G2-22 Novella specialises in the design and manufacture of beacon tracking receivers, frequency agile converters, block converters, test loop translators, and RF bespoke solutions for commercial and military satellite earth stations. Kerry House, Kerry Garth, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4TL Tel: +44 (0) 113 258 0880 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.novella.co.uk
Peak Communications Ltd. E2-34 Design and manufacture of RF equipment for Satcom Earth Stations, including Frequency Converters, TLT’s, AUPC’s, Beacon Receivers, Line Amplifiers, Splitters/ Combiners, Reference Generation/ distribution, modular Variable Attenuators, Redundancy units etc. 22 West Park Street, Brighouse, West Yorkshire, HD6 1DU Tel: +44 (0) 1484 714200 Email: email@example.com Website: www.peakcom.co.uk
Pebble Beach Systems C6-41 Pebble Beach Systems designs and delivers world-class automation, channel-in-a-box
technology and content management solutions for broadcasters, cable and satellite operators, and service providers across the Gulf region and beyond. 12 Horizon Business Village, 1 Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0TJ Tel: +44 (0) 1932 333790 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.pebble.tv
Pixel Power Ltd. 700 For 25 years Pixel Power has provided innovative and award winning dynamic branding systems, graphicsenabled master control switchers, and graphics production systems for live and pre-recorded content. College Business Park, Coldhams Lane, Cambridge, CB1 3HD Tel: +44 (0) 1223 721000 Email: email@example.com Website: www.@pixelpower.com
Quantel E7-20 Website: www.quantel.co.uk
RPC Telecom provides satellite and radio communications consulting, software and training to operators and governments Worldwide, specialising in the management, coordination and regulation of the radio spectrum for satellite networks. Lion House, Market Place, Hadleigh, Ipswich, Suffolk IP7 5DN Tel: +44 (0) 1473 487040 Tel: +44 (0) 1473 357888 Website: www.rpctelecom.com
Sat-Comm Broadcast Ltd D1-22 Sat-Comm Broadcast is a systems integrator and manufacturer specialising in bespoke SNG/ OB vehicle coachbuilds and lightweight flyaway terminals, with a worldwide reputation for quality, innovation and value. 15 Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7PU Tel: +44 (0) 1638 515 000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sat-comm.com
Broadband Professionals) is a Learned Society and non-profitmaking organisation aiming to raise the standard of broadband engineering in the global telecommunications industry. Communications House, 41a Market Street, Watford, Herts WD18 0PN Tel: +44 (0) 1923 815500 Email: email@example.com Website: www.thescte.eu
Sematron F2-22 Global supplier of RF, Microwave & Digital Technology. We design, supply and implement solutions for Telecoms & Enterprise, Defence & Avionics, New Media & Broadcast and Mobile & Wireless Sectors. Sandpiper House, Aviary Court, Wade Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8GX Tel: +44 (0) 1256 8122222 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sematron.com
The Satellite Communication Experts
Radica Broadcast Systems Ltd D6-41 Davicom MAC remote site monitoring products are used by leading broadcasters and telecom service providers to monitor critical transmission systems. Davicom products are distributed worldwide by Radica Broadcast Systems Ltd. 10 English Business Park, English Close, Hove, BN3 7ET Tel: +44 (0) 333 600 2468 Email: email@example.com Website: www.radica.com
RPC Telecommunications Limited E2-30
ScheduALL EMEA Ltd C7-23 ScheduALL is the leading global provider of enterprise resource management (ERM) solutions for the broadcast, satellite/ transmission, media, and entertainment industries - with over 1,200 installations in more than 53 countries.
Servicesat Ltd D2-43 Service, equipment, professional guidance for high-speed data, voice & video transmission over satellite, high standards solutions matching customers’ budgets and needs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.servicesat.net
15 Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7PU Tel: +44 (0) 20 7436 3555 Email: email@example.com Website: www.scheduall.com SGL B6-42 SGL is a leader in content archive and storage management for the media and entertainment industry.
SCTE (Society for Broadband Professionals) D6-43 Founded in 1945, the SCTE (Society for
12 Fulceum 2, Solent Way, Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, PO15 7FN Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sglbroadcast.com
SIS LIVE B6-32 SIS LIVE designs and manufactures a range of cutting edge, world-leading satellite and broadcast products. Designed to make broadcasting easier, SIS LIVE’s innovative products are compact, lightweight, reliable and cost-effective. SIS LIVE, 2 Whitehall Avenue, Kingston, Milton Keynes MK10 0AX Tel: +44 (0) 1908 865656 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sislive.tv
Solid State Logic B6-40 Solid State Logic is the world’s leading manufacturer of creative tools for Broadcast, Music and Post audio professionals. The SSL product portfolio includes; analogue and digital audio consoles, analogue processors, audio interfaces and software. 25 Springhill Road, Begbroke, Oxfordshire, OX5 1RU Tel: +44 (0) 1865 842300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.solidstatelogic.com
Suitcase TV Ltd B6-43 Suitcase TV are media specialists offering market leading products for integrated workflow solutions and media asset management. Products are ideal for fast turnaround, compliance, live edits, catchup TV and VoD Regency House, 30 Silent Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1TF Tel: +44 (0) 1473 258251 Email: email@example.com Website: www.suitcasetv.com
Symbiosis EU D6-40 Professional Video Distributor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 47 The Parade, Royal Priors, Leamington Spa, CV32 4BL Tel: +44 (0) 1926 436 930 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.symbiosis.eu
Sonifex Ltd 604 Website: www.Sonifex.co.uk S3 Satcom D2-40 S3 Satcom is a Satellite Systems Integration Company specializing in the supply and installation of Fixed Satellite Earth Stations. Products include a small motorized antenna mount. Stellar Amplifiers E2-35 e2v design and manufacture robust, reliable and highly-efficient, high-power satellite uplink amplifiers. The range includes StellarMini™ and StellarCool™ amplifiers which are used for commercial Satcom applications worldwide. 106 Waterhouse Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1QY Tel: +44 (0) 1245 453356 Email: email@example.com Website: www.e2v.com
Tedial maximises the benefits of file-based platforms with its suite of software products including: Media Asset Management, Hierarchical Storage Management and Business Process Management aimed at increased media production efficiency. 25 Aveley Lane, Farnham, GU9 8PR, United Kingdom Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tedial.com
Teledyne Paradise Datacom D2-45 Teledyne Paradise Datacom produces a comprehensive range of satcom equipment including RF Power Amplifiers, Block Upconverters, Satellite Modems and Frequency Converters using the latest technology including high efficiency GaN devices. 2&3 The Matchyns, London Rd, Rivenhall End, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HA Tel: +44 (0) 1376 515636 Email: email@example.com Website: www.paradisedata.com
Telenor Satellite Broadcasting G2-20 TSBc provides broadcasting,VSAT land-based and maritime satellite solutions throughout the Nordic countries, Europe and the Middle East. 40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1LE Tel: +44 (0) 207 923 6500 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.telenorsat.com
9 Crittall Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 3DR Email: email@example.com Website: www.s3sat.com
Tedial UK Ltd C6-40
Trilogy Communications Ltd A6-22 Trilogy provides broadcast quality intercom and SPG’s for studios, mobile production, playout and post. The range includes Gemini, our IP enabled distributed matrix intercom and Mentor XL, the ultimate SPG/TSG.
26 Focus Way, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5NY Tel: +44 (0) 1264 384000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.trilogycomms.com
TSL Professional Products Ltd. C7-20 TSL Professional Products specialises in audio monitoring, surround sound microphones and processors, tally solutions and power management tools. Meeting the commercial, technical and operational requirements that exist in IT-based and traditional workflows, it’s solutions help in lowering costs, generating revenue and streamlining operations. Units 1 & 2 First Avenue, Globe Park, Marlow. SL7 1YA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 1628 676 221 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tsl.co.uk/products.aspx
TSL Systems C7-20 TSL is a trusted broadcast systems integrator with a client base spanning five continents. Offering truly independent advice, TSL provides services ranging from consultancy and detailed design to full installation and integration of traditional and IT-based broadcast systems.
Unit V, Continental Approach, Westwood Industrial Estate, Margate, Kent, CT9 4JG Tel: +44 (0) 1843 873300 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.tvone.eu
UR Group H2-21 UR Group provides technological & service solutions in Power, Communications and SCM. With extensive product knowledge and market-focused strategy it can provide design, development, application support and fulfilment throughout its global locations.
Vision 247 B8-23 VISION247 provides broadcasters, TV channels and content owners with a complete, end-toend internet TV solution, from its broadcasting services through to end-device applications. 97-101 Cleveland Street, London, W1T 6PL Tel: +44 (0) 207 6367474 Email: email@example.com Website: www.vision247.com
105 Faraday Park, Dorcan, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5JF Tel: +44 (0) 1793 756980 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ur-group.com
ViewCast B6-30 ViewCast enables anyone to deliver video whenever, wherever. With more than 400,000 Osprey® video capture cards and thousands of Niagara® encoders deployed globally, ViewCast is a brand you can trust.
VISLINK D6-30 Vislink is a global technology business specialising in the collection and delivery of high quality video and associated data. Our solutions include microwave radio, satellite transmission, wireless camera and IP technologies. 27 Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7DE Email: email@example.com Website: www.vislink.com
5, St. John’s Lane, London, EC1M 48H Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 4756 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.viewcast.com XenData C6-43 XenData provides a range of LTO video archiving solutions that scale from single LTO drive configurations on a Windows workstation to multiple petabyte robotic tape library systems.
Vanwall Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 4UB Tel: +44 (0) 1628 676 200 Email: email@example.com Website: www.tsl.co.uk/systemsint.aspx
TV One Ltd D6-31 TV One specializes in video, audio and multimedia processing equipment, based on its proprietary CORIO video conversion technology. TV One manufactures a complete line-up of products for the professional and broadcast video market.
Tel: +44 (0) 1483 231949 Email: Safia@viewsat.eu Website: www.viewsat.eu
Viewsat H2-20 ViewSat is an international provider of broadcast services for television and radio channels, spanning a global market, which includes Sub Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and North America. There are few limitations to ViewSat’s services, with our own teleport and strategic partnerships around the world. Building CH5, Normandy Business Park, Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Surrey, GU3 2AA
Sheraton House, Castle Park, Cambridge, CB3 0AX Tel: +44 (0) 1223 370114 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.xendata.com
Xytech Systems UK C6-45 Website: www.xytechsystems.com
London’s Tech City is the largest and fastest growing technology cluster in Europe. With the City of London’s venture capital community next door, low tax, less regulation and a talented workforce, it’s the smartest location for a new generation of entrepreneurs. Find out more with UK Trade & Investment.
Flickr Geotag Map London
Exploring multi-screen delivery
The key to the success of any OTT service is the quality of delivery, says Antonin Král of nangu.tv
There’s no doubt that smart phones and tablets have provided a major technological breakthrough in how we operate. Look around and you’re likely to see someone using their device to search for content, watch it or interact either directly or via social media applications. A plethora of content consumption reports and studies support the huge rise in multi-screen viewing habits in countries across the world. In May 2012, Nielsen’s Global Survey of Multi-
Screen Media Usage reported that more than 28,000 internet respondents in 56 countries indicated that watching video content on computers has become just as popular as watching video content on television among online consumers. Over 80% reported watching video content at home on a computer (84%) or on TV (83%) at least once a month. By contrast, in 2010, more online consumers reported watching video content on TV (90%) than on a computer (86%)
in a month-long period. In the nine months since the report was published, these figures are likely to have swung further with the trend for tablet and mobile applications growing rapidly. In Europe, the Orange Exposure 2012/2013 annual independent study by TNS published in November 2012, examined mobile media habits across UK, France and Spain for the advertising industry. It showed mobile as the primary screen of choice for 11–18 year olds with a
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
PROTECH nangu.TV’s Media Platform provides an end-to-end service that includes the back-end infrastructure giving the operator one contact point from integration to delivery.
“The development of OTT delivery means that service provision can be separated from network ownership/operation allowing a much faster rate of service deployment and growth helping to satisfy the demands of the modern consumer” very high penetration of smartphones and highlighted the power of social networking and social TV in this demographic. The study also showed that adults are using screens more interchangeably than ever before with less preference for one over another. The trend doesn’t just apply to adults and teenagers. Many younger children woke up to find a tablet amongst their presents this Christmas. These figures are being mirrored in countries across the world and as such, operators need to be able to provide a combined service offering that’s simple to navigate with high quality services. There are three parties involved in the delivery of content to consumers: network owners/operators, service providers and third-party content aggregators (Hulu/ Netflix etc). The development of Over-theTop delivery (OTT) means that service provision can be separated from network ownership/operation allowing a much faster rate of service deployment and growth helping to satisfy the demands of the modern consumer. Audiences don’t
just want the freedom to view content anytime, anywhere; they now expect it – they are truly network-agnostic. For ISPs, along with cable, mobile and hospitality TV service providers to survive in this highly competitive market they need a complementary mechanism to deliver value-added features including: non-linear TV, VoD, triple- screen, hybrid boxes and mobile applications and that mechanism is OTT. OTT delivery — where the service provided is separated from the network — allows consumers to access the same content on their mobile, tablet and TV provided that they have a good enough internet connection and a service provider that understands the pitfalls and the quality that’s expected. Not all OTT delivery is created equally as many of us know: video drop-out and buffering are common problems. Sometimes a complete loss of service is the result. The key to the success of OTT is the quality of delivery and this is where the wheat is separated from the chaff.
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Adaptive streaming technology is the driver in this arena. Adaptive streaming frequently checks the connection type and strength for both linear and nonlinear content and adapts accordingly for quality optimisation. Therefore it allows service providers and content aggregators to deliver all their services to all devices (multi-screen delivery) via a single platform reducing resources and operational costs and providing a pay-as-you-grow model. With the integration of apps on mobile, tablet and smart TVs, watching OTT content across multi-screen devices has never been easier. Users simply purchase the application via the App Store or Google Play and access content on their platform using the pin number provided by their operator. The high level search functionality technology on smart phones and tablet devices provided by the delivery platform allows users to select and view content quickly and easily. The operator can also offer universal Users can access content on their platform using the pin number provided by their operator if they purchase the relevant application via the App Store or Google Play.
“By delivering quality TV services, operators are expanding their market potential and thereby significantly increasing revenue and meeting the ever increasing demands of their customer base” recommendations, increasing social TV interaction and advertising revenues. For the viewer, this means remote viewing capabilities as well as the ability to use their smartphone or tablet as a remote control for the television with significantly increased search capability. Remote applications enable simple browse capability whilst pop-up push notifications on the second screen alert the user that content is starting and a single click plays it on the TV via the set-top box. Search optimisation is highly advanced, enabling filtering based on chosen criteria. Users can search, record, bookmark or play content on the TV then freeing up the second device. Unlimited devices can be connected to the server allowing operators to
set their own parameters. High-level security settings mean that subscribers can put in place strict parental control where necessary. Users can check which devices are connected to the platform and are able to disable or switch devices without having to purchase another application or connection. The multi-screen revolution is being driven by the consumer and is developing quickly. It offers huge potential and a bright future for operators adopting OTT across multiple devices. By delivering quality television services operators are expanding their market potential and thereby significantly increasing revenue and meeting the ever increasing demands of their customer base. PRO
Antonin Král is CEO of nangu.TV, which has a successful interactive media platform for traditional and new internet service providers.
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On location at Dubai Creek Tim Kennedy is Assistant Professor at the College of Architecture, Art and Design, American University of Sharjah. He is also a part-time filmmaker and is presently working on a documentary aimed at capturing the stories of seafarers who travel the Gulf along with fellow academician Zlatan Filipovic. The documentary is a sequel to Kennedy’s first feature The Floating Life of Dubai Creek, which was screened recently at Documentary Voices, a nonprofit initiative aimed at encouraging the making of documentaries in the Arab world. While the first documentary captures
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life around the creek, which was the centre from which all of Dubai gradually grew, the second film dwells on those whose livelihood depends on these waters and the trade that goes on there. “We are using a Nikon D800 with HDSLR set-up to shoot this film although we used a prosumer Sony AVCHD for our first film The Floating Life of Dubai Creek,” explains Kennedy’s colleague Zlatan Filipovic, who is assisting with the post production for the film. “Its small size made it very inconspicuous during filming. For the sequel, along with the Nikon, we are using a Canon
Photos, courtesy Zlatan Filipovic
Armed with a small camcorder, filmmaker and academician Tim Kennedy goes every week to Dubai Creek to capture the sights and sounds there. In an exclusive interview with BroadcastPro ME, Kennedy and fellow colleague Zlatan Filipovic discuss the making of The Floating Life of Dubai Creek and its sequel
PRODOCUMENTARY “I was interested in capturing this moment in time, the depth of the cultural layering that remains unobscured by western conventions, for posterity” Director Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy’s The Floating Life of Dubai Creek was recently screened at DUCTAC as part of the Documentary Voices initiative.
EOS 6D that serves as the secondary camera. Alongside this, we are using an H4N as the audio recorder. For postproduction, we will use the Final Cut Pro X editing software,” he explains. Filipovic, who is Assistant Professor at the College of Architecture, Art and Design, American University of Sharjah, initially assisted Kennedy with the camera and the selection of other technical production equipment. Later, however, he became an integral part of the entire process, engaging in the entire workflow all the way from editing the footage to creating DVD and Blu-ray masters. “Selection of the gear and production strategy was crucial as it needed to be seamless and allow for quick hopping from boat to boat,” explains Filipovic. As with any documentary, this one also required the use of inconspicuous
equipment so as to ensure that the subjects were candid on camera. Of course, such requirements also brought their own challenges as the subjects had to be shot in “small and at times not so easy-to-access places” and often in “low light conditions”, which called for extra care at the editing table. “We initially worked on Apple Color and later, migrated to DaVinci Resolve,” explains Filipovic. “The footage was transcoded in Apple Pro Res to allow for better grading control. Essentially, we shot in two formats for the first film. While our main footage was shot in AVCHD format @25Mbps, we had some DSLR footage that was shot on the Canon 5D MKII. We used Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Studio 3 for post-production,” he adds. The Floating Life of Dubai Creek won Best Film award at the third Ares
February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
“Selection of the gear and production strategy was crucial as it needed to be seamless and allow for quick hopping from boat to boat” Zlatan Filipovic, Assistant Professor, College of Architecture, Art and Design, American University of Sharjah
Film and Media Festival that was held in Siracusa, Italy, in November 2011. It was also screened at the New York City International Film Festival in July. The film duo was inspired to make the sequel when they saw the reception it received at international festivals. The film captures an unglamorous life that is little known outside its immediate surroundings. There are no structured dialogues but a smattering of Arabic, Farsi, Hindi and even broken English. Kennedy believes the dialogues don’t have to be subtitled to be understood as the story is clear from the images and the editing. “I may not have any commentary in the film, but I am making a comment by the selection of shots I’ve chosen to show. A lot of documentaries put images together and the voice-over tells you how to understand it. Here, I am asking the viewers to make the connection themselves.” The language barrier, however, was evident at the time of shooting. Learning from experience, Kennedy engaged Saeid Khezri, a recent graduate of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, AUS, to serve as the Arabic and Farsi translator and interpreter for the sequel. “In this present shoot, my team is in
the process of interviewing nakhodas (seafarers) who tell of their travels crisscrossing the Gulf, and how their work has changed over the years. We are focusing on the heritage of the seafarers, the history of their trade and the construction of their dhows,” Kennedy explains. When the filmmaker first came to Dubai in 2005, he did what most tourists did — visit the malls, go for a Desert Safari, and see some of the emirate’s new landmarks. However, it was the Dubai creek that inspired him. “I was attracted to the old city that straddles the Dubai creek. I made photographic panoramas to capture the rich diversity of the community and to document the urban ecology. I felt an urgency to represent this authentic aspect of the city’s heritage in the face of booming commercial development. The panoramas ultimately led to a familiarity with the urban fabric, and I moved into filmmaking,” Kennedy elaborates. The academician’s love for filmmaking goes back to his student years. As an undergraduate student at Bard College in upstate New York, he was introduced to the work of independent filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage and Michael Snow.
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“They were developing their own oneman projects, and that was a revelation and an inspiration for me. I then moved to New York City to pursue filmmaking interests, and then to San Francisco where I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1981,” explains Kennedy. Although Kennedy teaches film at the University, he returns to the Creek to capture more footage. “I am interested in capturing this moment in time; the depth of the cultural layering that remains unobscured by western conventions for posterity. I had always heard of Gulf hospitality, but after experiencing it first hand, it amazed me. At first, I was a bit apprehensive to step off the regular touristy paths and approach the sailors in the boats. I was afraid that if I got on their boat they’d tell me to get lost. I am from New York, you see! But to my surprise, they welcomed me. We shared stories over cups of tea. “It has been a long steady journey of weekly visits to the labyrinthine paths of old Deira and Bur Dubai. For me, the dhows, the sailors and the traders are the unsung heroes of the Gulf waters. It’s been a pleasure working with them.” PRO
Carving a Tunisian identity Karim Alexander Pitstra was born in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, in 1979, to a Tunisian father and a Dutch mother. He made his first film at 15, but worked in music production before setting up his own production company to make commercials and corporate films. In an exclusive interview with Shamika Andrade, Pitstra talks about this first feature Die Welt, which was screened at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival
What inspired you to make this film? I was raised in Holland by my mother and only got to know Tunisia when I was 25 years old. In 2005, I met my Tunisian father for the first time, after seeing him leave when I was about four years old. This film is a culmination of my observations and experiences in Tunisia following my encounter and consequent annual visit to my father. In Die Welt, I project Abdallah, a fictional protagonist into my existing Tunisian family, making the film a hybrid between documentary and fiction. Of course, many
elements are fictionalised such as the names of relatives and facts have been altered. I wanted the core of the film to be an authentic, visceral experience of Tunisian daily life. The film shows how young men, after the revolution in Tunisia, still dream of a life in Europe. The film also tells the story of my father.
Karim Alexander Pitstra.
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What were the challenges you faced? I think the biggest challenge was getting budget for the film and eventually, I received this from many different sources. I started out with my own savings, which
PROFILM “To obtain a feel of floating motion, without being too shaky, we used an EasyRig, from a low angle, which I think worked very well. It resulted in a motion that was more fluid than handheld, but less slick than the Steadicam” I had built up after working for several years as a freelance filmmaker. I then got in touch with some private investors. Friends and family chipped in. I even started a crowd funding campaign and got in touch with some local art funding entities that gave us small subsidies. Later on, after completing the production of the film, I applied for a post-production subsidy at the Dutch Film Fund and the Doha Film Institute (DFI) in Qatar. Since I’m half-Tunisian, I was eligible to apply at DFI fund. The grant helped us bring the film to its final stage, including professional colour grading and other necessary finishing. One part of the deal was that we hold our world premiere at Doha Tribeca Film Festival. All in all, it’s been a great experience. Another challenge was working with people with different experience levels. I brought a small Dutch crew to Tunisia and we were new to the game. We had produced a number of low-budget films, but this project was a bit more ambitious and we were basically on unknown terrain. We had to find a modus operandi to work together with the Tunisian crew and a bunch of my Tunisian family members. It was sometimes chaotic but in the end, it worked out and we managed to shoot the film. A big challenge was also my own exhaustion. I was already running in sixth gear for a couple of months when we started shooting in July 2011. Two weeks into the shoot, I was no longer able to inspire my crew. I was just hanging in there, focusing on what needed to get shot. At that time, I was really dependent on people around me, without being able to give them back any energy. A lot of things were organised at the last minute. Shooting in Summer drained us some more. When the shoot ended late July 2011, I realised that I had never been so exhausted in my entire life. What equipment did you use? During the first phase of the shoot, our
cinematographer Thijs Gloger shot on a Sony F3 attached to a KiPro-Mini. We had a set of PL-mount Zeiss CP.2s. The camera was rigged on a Vocas rig. For the second phase of the film, we employed a Canon 5D Mark II, also with an EF-mounted set of Zeiss CP.2 Compact Primes. To obtain a feel of floating motion, without being too shaky, we used an EasyRig, from a low angle, which I think worked very well. It resulted in a motion that was more fluid than handheld, but less slick than the Steadicam. We used a Viewfactor and Cmotion remote Follow Focus unit during the free, dynamic handheld sequences. As for monitoring, it was done through a Zacuto EVF and a JVC 17” HD field monitor. What format did you use for this shoot? We were mostly recording straight to ProRes422 HQ in 1080p/25fps. When using the Canon 5D Mark II, we shot to the internal h264 codec and converted that in post to ProRes. What tools did you use in post? Editing was done in Final Cut Pro 7. Additional image retouches and compositing was done in Nuke and AfterEffects. As for final compositing, titles and converting to DPX, it was done in Autodesk Smoke, at the post facility Loods, Lux and Lumen in Amsterdam. Colour grading was performed by Jef Grosfeld at Loods, Lux and Lumen using a Nucoda Filmmaster system in a Barco DCP projection room. Tell us about some tech highlights. We didn’t do any specific high profile technical things, although I like the EasyRig film style combined with the jump-cut editing. The low perspective resembles that of a five-year-old child. It was intentional as that was about the age I saw my father for the last time. When back in Tunisia, I often felt like a little child, because everything was so new and strange to me.
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Did you have a big team? The core team consisted of myself, two producers, a unit manager, two assistant directors, a cinematographer/operator, a 1st AC, a gaffer, a key grip, an electrician, some drivers and runners. I think we had about fifteen people walking around. Most of the crew was hired through Sindbad Productions in Tunis, who also provided us with other facilities, such as lighting gear and logistic services. Tell us about your journey as a filmmaker. I directed my first film during a school project at 15. It was fun but also frustrating, having to edit using videotapes. Later on, I spent time making electronic music, only to return to video when I was about 21 years. I found that it was so much fun to create little films that I decided to become a filmmaker. After having been rejected by the Danish Film Academy (they only accept six aspiring directors a year), I found some people in my hometown of Groningen, who I started making films with. I also did a lot of commissioned films. From where do you draw inspiration? Many things inspire me! Right from watching films to making films with other people. I draw inspiration from life and my own experiences. I like to investigate my own identity in a creative dimension. Finally, I find it inspiring to create something from my mind, something that didn’t exist before becomes a reality. It’s always a good feeling. What are you working on now? Yes, I’m presently working on a documentary about my half-sister in Tunisia and my cousin in Sweden. They have had similar experiences and I’m trying to mirror their stories with my own experiences. It’s kind of a personal film but I hope it will reach out to many people who can identify with the subject. What are your plans for the future? I think I have done my share of personal and family stories so I shall probably move on to other projects with inspiring themes and subjects. What would you look for when you buy equipment? Good quality, but light, compact and affordable. PRO
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One of the challenges for the modern broadcaster is to achieve operational flexibility, to allow technical and creative teams to co-operate in new ways. This might be direct working between multiple sites, or linking parts of a facility that were not previously connected, as we saw recently at Oman TV
Interconnecting intercoms An essential part of interworking is the ability to communicate. Broadcast intercom has developed to be carefully tuned to the needs of the industry, providing instant communication between areas, ensuring that operational decisions and requests are heard and understood by all who need to act on them. With interworking comes the need to interconnect intercoms. Even when these are from the same vendor, there are challenges, particularly when communicating over a distance. But what happens when two parts of the facility to be connected have intercoms from different vendors, perhaps because one is using legacy equipment or it has particular operational requirements. Just such a situation has recently arisen in the redevelopment of Oman TV, where Trilogy supplied an intercom system to the modernised radio building,
but another vendor supplied the system for the adjacent television centre. Trilogy developed a simple solution to the challenge, built around a widely recognised open telephony standard, SIP or Session Initiation Protocol. It allows users of a Trilogy Gemini intercom to call stations on another SIP-enabled device in any location to which there is a data path. In Oman, the calls are across the road, but the same technology allows the intercom to call across the world. SIP is the standard adopted by telcos to place calls using voice over IP, which is increasingly the way that telephony is headed. It is an open standard, supported by handset and switch manufacturers serving the telecoms business. Trilogy implemented SIP in its defence communications products some years ago, to allow connection with public telephony networks and direct to SIP handsets.
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It has now been adapted for use in broadcast intercoms. The SIP signalling remains firmly within the open standard, although it has required some adaptation within the intercom system. When a normal telephone call is made, one party dials the number of another, the call is routed, the called party answers by picking up the phone, and the call is established with duplex communications â€“ both parties are able to talk and listen simultaneously. That is not the way that broadcasters need an intercom to work. Their requirement is for an operator to push a key on a panel and talk to a remote device instantly, without the need for the operator at the called station
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PROINTERCOM doing anything: there is no concept of “picking up” an intercom message. So the Trilogy solution treats a push to talk on a panel as an individual SIP call with simplex communication. At the called panel the device has to recognise the SIP signalling and auto-answer to hear the message. Obviously, in the pressure environment of broadcast operations this SIP signalling and auto-answering has to be instantaneous. In practice, it takes just a couple of milliseconds, so it is transparent to the user. Originating an SIP call is performed in exactly the same way as any other intercom call. A typical Gemini panel is configured for 32 addresses, with their user names dynamically displayed on the keys (16 keys plus a shift to get to the second bank of destinations). In the standard software multiple keys can be for SIP calls to other systems or to remote locations. More destinations can be added if required through additional matrices. So in Oman, if a user in one part of the radio facility needs to talk to another part of the radio facility, he simply presses the appropriate button. If the user needs to talk to an area in the television centre,
“SIP is the standard adopted by telcos to place calls using voice over IP, which is increasingly the way that telephony is headed. It is an open standard, supported by handset and switch manufacturers serving the telecoms business” again he simply presses a button, in exactly the same way. If a user in the television building calls a user in the radio centre then the Trilogy panel auto-answers the SIP signalling and relays the message. A two-way conversation is, in effect, a series of SIP initiations which are auto-answered by the remote panel. Other intercom vendors are also implementing SIP for the same reason. Obviously both systems need to support SIP if they are going to talk to each other. The Trilogy system is implemented fully in software and needs no additional hardware. It is, therefore, simple to add SIP capabilities after the system has been installed, simply by unlocking them with a license key. This also means that the system is completely flexible: any panel on the network can have access to any of the
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SIP addresses. And, as noted, the SIP calls need not be to another intercom system but could be to the remote devices including commercially available SIP VoIP phones and distant facilities. The most important point is that, because SIP is a universal standard, interconnection should be standardised and needs no specific development on the part of any vendor to make the connectivity work. The result is a major productivity and economic bonus for broadcasters, who can choose intercoms on the basis of core functionality, and continue to use legacy equipment, confident that they can set up interworking wherever the systems are installed. PRO
Malcolm Reed is Projects & Training Manager of Trilogy
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February 2013 | www.broadcastprome.com |
The Penetration of IT into the Broadcast Infrastructure
Broadcasting used to rely solely on proprietary technologies. That isn’t surprising considering the massive amounts of real-time information that broadcasters deal with on a daily basis. But now, broadcasting is merging, in a sense, with IT technologies
Early on in the days of IT, computer people were amazed when they could process and display video — even if the earliest demonstrations showed video the size of a postage stamp. Today, the offspring of those earliest “personal” computers have given rise to nonlinear editing systems with the power to produce a Hollywood blockbuster on a laptop. Today, the penetration of IT into the broadcast infrastructure may seem commonplace. It’s happening on a global scale with the increase of “open IT” (software that isn’t closed to use or manipulation by a third-party) within broadcast. But what is IT and what does it hold for broadcasters in 2013? While the IT world is vast, broadcasters have concentrated on specific features:
networking, processing, and storage— with the latest trend being cloud storage for non-real-time/near-line solutions. Obviously, this changes the paradigm of what many of us have thought of as the heart of broadcasting’s infrastructure just a few years ago. Networking opens up new options for broadcasters, but equipment manufacturers need to have a good understanding of the IT operational constraints within the broadcast workflow in order to understand how an IT-based infrastructure can be utilised from an application level capability standpoint. Throughout its history, the broadcasting industry has gone through a variety of technology transitions: black and white to colour, mono to stereo, stereo to multi-channel, and most important, analogue to digital and standard definition to high definition.
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Today, the transition is from hardwarecentric to software-centric solutions. For example, while many broadcast equipment manufacturers have been leveraging IT for years with individual products, the industry is now moving towards integration of the powerful application layer which is responsible for communications protocols and processto-process communications across a network. As infrastructures become more computerised, manufacturers will be able to expose users to an integrated system across operational, technical, and business levels. File-based media has become the killer app for many consumer-centric companies, with storage and archive solutions allowing tens of thousands of users to share millions of clips or full programs worldwide. Just consider
PROIT for a moment, the IT power behind names such as YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, and other media-centric and social networking channels. Broadcasters can reap tremendous capabilities by leveraging IT and offthe-shelf hardware, but only when it is properly optimised for the I/O, rendering, and infrastructure requirements of broadcasters with dedicated software applications. This mix of IT and broadcast technologies is needed because there are special considerations for an industry that requires real-time, high data rate files to be where they need, at exactly the right time and with no errors. Plus, the added requirements to handle access and management of the media, also facilitates the need for a strong hardware and software infrastructure. One area where IT has already had a major impact on broadcasting is in servers. Initially called “disk recorders,” the first devices made it possible to record and play at the same time and to allow multiple users to access the same content seconds after recording. Continued development further leveraged IT, with disk recorders that were open, scalable, and flexible, providing a foundation for a dynamic environment and today’s video and media servers. Today, leveraging IT has lowered the cost of high-speed server networking by using common technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet. This not only reduced prices compared to earlier servers and disk recorders, which used more expensive Fibre Channel technology, but opened up servers for use with nonlinear editing systems. iSCSI (Internet SCSI) networking protocol running over the top of Gigabit Ethernet, allows servers equipped with those technologies to exchange and deliver the high bandwidth requirements associated with real-time video. Most recently, media servers have come to market with high-resolution and high performance, with the additional ability to create and deliver lowresolution proxy content for browsing and media management. In the proper circumstances, these low-resolution proxies can be used for the complete workflow. This can give broadcasters a great amount of flexibility as lowresolution proxies can easily be used on
laptops with nonlinear editing software and uploaded and downloaded almost anywhere an internet connection is available. The high-resolution images are only needed for final output, based on the edit decision list created with the low-resolution content. The industry has also seen the integration of different operating systems for mission-critical 24/7 playout applications, namely Linux and Unixlike QNX, to avoid the issues associated with Windows operating systems. Another example is one where broadcasters never thought that IT could deliver: cameras. CMOS imagers—which are more like integrated circuits—are becoming more common compared to traditional CCD sensors. While CMOS is used in everything from cellphones to DSLR cameras, its major obstacle for mass adoption in broadcast is what’s called “rolling shutter.” The rolling shutter of the regular CMOS imager produces images similar to scanning from a Plumbicon tube, because of line-by-line scanning. Shorter exposure times will increase the visibility of the skewing effect. Understanding the unique needs of broadcasters, “global shutter” behaviour (similar to IT CCDs) is just being introduced in CMOS-based cameras designed specifically for broadcast. The global shutter will expose each frame for 1/50 or 1/60 of a second and show some blurring effects on fast moving objects. Shorter exposure times can be used to get sharper pictures, however this can create some shuttering effects. But unlike IT CCDs, this new generation of CMOS imagers does not produce any highlight smear under any conditions and can also include integrating multiple A/D converters, timing, and read-out circuits on the CMOS chip itself. Leveraging IT in cameras also means that various models of the same camera family can be physically the same right out of the box, with software controlling the feature-set of individual camera models. By simply upgrading the software, production format flexibility and features can increased. The key is the ability to apply the modern IT infrastructure into the broadcast environment. It can’t be a straight integration—we must leverage
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PROIT the best of IT to meet the industry’s real-time and non-real-time needs. I see one of the biggest struggles for broadcasters as the delivery of content to multiple distribution channels, each with its own format. This is a real business challenge as the income generated from these channels is nominal. A change in technology, but not operational workflows—will allow broadcasters to continue doing what they do, but do it better. Traditionally, broadcasters have used a linear production model: images are acquired, manipulated, and then distributed. The struggle is how to repurpose linear content to multiple platforms. To do this, the industry must change to a nonlinear production model that accommodates nonlinear distribution and broadcast playout in a create once, publish everywhere (COPE) scenario. Consider the following live production scenario, with a camera system built on an IT-based platform: A camera operator at a stadium could push a button that sends metadata from their camera that initiates a set of actions.
While the camera’s output still makes its way through the traditional production process via the switcher for traditional programme output, the metadata has automatically switched the online feed to its camera — perhaps with automated graphics — skipping the traditional linear production process of content manipulation via a manually operated switcher. In this aspect, the workflow is nonlinear and automated, compared to the on-air workflow. How and what images are pushed to the web are based on a set of predetermined rules and automated workflows. But this power can be easily used to create an online highlight or home team feed for the web, giving content owners a possible secondary revenue source from this nonlinear production content. Technology—both broadcast and IT—have finally advanced to the point that production, post-production, and distribution can merge into a single collaborative platform, providing multiple format outputs and increasing efficiency throughout the entire production chain. Nonlinear production
is the culmination of the integration of the best of broadcast with the best of open IT, and will be the future of broadcasting for 2013 and beyond. PRO
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RADICA TO SHOWCASE DAVICOM Radica will be displaying the latest release of the Davicom Telemetry System with many new features and benefits on its stand at CABSAT this year. Davicom’s mission is to supply affordable, intelligent and innovative monitoring solutions for a remote broadcast or telecom facility. These solutions allow one to increase transmitter uptime while reducing travel and maintenance costs. The Davicom Telemetry unit is located at each site connecting to practically any piece of equipment by parallel, SNMP or ModBus. It can take intelligent decisions locally and then report back to your Network Operations Centre, thus cutting down network traffic. Installing these units at sites can significantly reduce the number of site visits required and so can save significant money in a short period of time. Two major projects in the Middle East are planned for 2013 with Davicom units being
installed at both AM and FM facilities. Network Operation Centres (NOCs) at the broadcasters’ HQs will have real-time visualisation of what is happening at each site and site equipment can be controlled either manually or automatically. Powerful new features in Version 5.48 includes extended support for SNMP and new DTMF Quick Commands. The V5.48 release of MacComm includes the ability to apply coefficients to SNMP GETs so results may be meaningfully displayed graphically, and support for direct integration of equipment URLs to centralise the control you can have over your site. Radica Director, Alan Brown said: “Version 5.48 incorporates many of the features customers have been asking for. Continuous development by Davicom means that the product is at the forefront of site monitoring and we are delighted that the system has been chosen by two separate broadcasters in the Middle East.”
BELIEVE BEYOND HD WITH SONY This year at CABSAT, Sony Professional and its channel partners will showcase an extensive line up of cinematography, ENG, live production products and archive systems. “Sony has always been a leader in technical innovation in a bid to improve image and sound quality and develop premium products that are versatile and accessible to professionals and consumers,” said Awad Mousa, Head of Product Marketing – Content Creation at Sony Professional Solutions MEA. “We have leveraged the use of digital platforms to create the 4K production experience and at CABSAT, we will showcase how we’ve broadened and extended our line-up of 4K-capable equipment to simplify the production process for broadcast professionals.” 4K content holds more than four times the amount of information compared to full HD, resulting in
sharper and more detailed images with brightness and colour. Sony will demonstrate the 4K workflow at its stand right from capturing an image using a large format sensor camera such as the F65, F5, and F55 right up to viewing it in its native resolution on the new PVM-X300 4K professional monitor.
Pixel Power will announce the international launch of its Gallium integrated scheduling, asset management and automation system at CABSAT. Gallium is the company’s integrated, sophisticated and scalable scheduling, asset management and automation system. It provides automated control of Pixel Power’s transmission devices for graphics or complete channel playout, including ChannelMaster. Gallium goes beyond what many expect from channel-in-a-box automation, providing enterprise-standard, scalable automated transmission. With the ability to manage multiformat content delivery, Gallium maximises sharing across multiple channels, reducing workload and resource requirements while enhancing delivery and consistency with a single operator. Besides Gallium, Pixel Power will also showcase its ChannelMaster scalable channel playout systems; its BrandMaster family of Branding Switchers and Clarity, which is used to create, manage and playout premium broadcast graphics including social media.
MEDIACAST PRESENTS BLACKMAGIC CINEMA CAMERA UAE-based distributor MediaCast will showcase the much-awaited Blackmagic Cinema Camera at CABSAT. The launch of the camera will also mark the launch of MediaCast’s new production division. The distributor has previously been known in the market primarily for representing various brands in /V post-production with all its complementing functions such as broadcast, music creation, production and its revamped service & support division. The Blackmagic camera, however, will be the first camera that the distributor will sell in the region. To help visitors obtain a real time shooting experience, MediaCast will feature a ‘video studio set’ in the stand. “The richness and colour-depth of the images captured in RAW format by the camera has taken the world by storm, and we will create an ambience that will enable people to experience it first hand and take the captured images through a workflow with a colour-grading suite,” stated Peyman Dadpanah, Business Director of MediaCast. “We also have a NewTek TV studio section with the new TriCaster 8000, Chyron and other products in audio and system solutions in live-demo. ediaCast is moving closer to its goal of becoming a premium one-stop destination from media creation through to processing and delivery. We also have a bigger stand size at CABSAT this year.”
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HARRIS BROADCAST TO SHOWCASE INTEGRATED WORKFLOWS
Harris Broadcast, recently acquired by The Gores Group, will showcase a complete integrated workflow — from ingest all the way through to playout — at CABSAT 2013, being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre (12-14 March). Incorporating some of the company’s newer and more compact broadcast solutions, including the Harris Versio Integrated Playout solution, Selenio media convergence platform and HView SX Pro multiviewer, the Harris demonstration at CABSAT 2013 will underscore the capabilities of the company’s offering, even in smaller, space-saving devices. Versio, which will have its inaugural launch at CABSAT 2013, delivers the industry’s most complete all-in-one solution to help customers rapidly launch, expand and sustain their on-air channels and services — while strengthening revenue growth and protection. The Versio combines baseband video, channel branding and automated workflow capabilities in an easy-to-deploy, software-based, single-rack-unit (RU)
solution. it significantly reduces the cost and time to launch broadcast, cable and other TV channels and services while offering simple integration with production, traffic and billing, scheduling, asset management, content playout and master control functions — taking full advantage of existing facility workflows for maximum return on investment. “We are excited to showcase some of our latest offerings, including for the first showing in the Middle East of our new Versio integrated playout solution for channel-in-a-box workflows,” said Said Bacho, vice president, sales and service, Middle East and South Asia, Harris Broadcast. “We understand the core costs and investment needed to deliver premium quality channels reliably and efficiently. This knowledge and expertise has allowed us to evolve the channel-in-a-box concept beyond the current market offerings and bring a more relevant solution to our customers.” Visitors will also see 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. The demonstration also includes servers, editing, graphics and channel branding solutions as well as over-the-air DVB-T2 transmission — right through to the set-top box. With broadcast systems increasingly moving to file-based infrastructures, a central part of the demonstration will be dedicated to the unique Harris Selenio media convergence platform, which combines traditional baseband video and audio processing, compression and IP networking features — all in a single, space-saving 3RU frame. The CABSAT 2013 demonstration will include 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. The links between broadcast to enterprise management systems means that producers can monetize their content at every stage. It also brings the opportunity to understand the costs in every part of the process so that businesses have a clear financial basis on which to plan investment and develop new services.
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maximised due to substantial reduction of flare, veiling glare and internal reflections. The lens offers tight control of the geometric distortion at wide-angle settings, while spectral transmittance characteristic is to HDTV colorimetric standards. With relative light distribution optimised for more open aperture settings, uniform brightness, excellent picture sharpness and high contrast, operators can be sure of producing vividly clear HD pictures.Â The Canon KJ20x8.2B KRSDâ€™s optical design includes the precision optical element and multilayer coatings, as well as Canonâ€™s Internal Focus â€” a floating optical system that vastly improves control of chromatic aberrations. The lens also incorporates Shuttle Shot, an advanced digital drive system that allows operators to precisely zoom between pre-programmed focal lengths, instantly and on-demand.Â A range of user-friendly design features have Focal lengths range from an extra-wide angle 8.2mm been included, such as a compact drive unit (60.7 degrees angular field of view horizontal in 16:9 aspect ratio) to 164mm, combining with a f/1.9 maximum mounted to the lens at an ergonomically designed 12.5 degree angle, to improve comfort and balance reflective aperture to provide excellent operational during operation. The lens is also designed with capabilities â€” all in a package weighing just 1.25 kg.Â the environment in mind, eliminating materials and With tighter control of MTF across the entire image substances that are environmentally harmful.Â The plane, a minimisation of chromatic aberrations and lensâ€™ high-grade design also makes it suitable for the maximisation of image contrast, the lens claims to shooting in a wide range of situations. deliver superior levels of picture sharpness.Â Contrast is
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MIRANDA PRODUCTION AND INTEGRATED PLAYOUT AT CABSAT
NET CADDIE The Net Caddie is a new compact camera interface using the “Stagebox by BBC Research & Development” technology. Net Caddie allows HD-SDI to be injected directly into a standard IP network environment. Net Caddie transforms the entire camera’s bi-directional linear control, audio and video signals into packetbased IP protocols, all on a single Cat6 cable to simplify workflows and rigging. Operators can now plug cameras direct into a venue’s Gigabit infrastructure for the distribution of live camera feeds. By using “Stagebox by BBC Research & Development” technology with 100MB/s AVC-I compression, the HDSDI is converted and carried over the network in full broadcast quality video. This allows a remote camera to be used directly in the production environment. Net Caddie provides video, audio and ancillary information over a time synchronous network. Most importantly the system is completely synchronised, providing an IP equivalent to a genlocked SDI system. Timing and control is based on IEEE 1588 and the proposed SMPTE timing standard. The system also allows remote connection of video sources, editing workstations and monitoring equipment. Importantly, the IP stream feeds directly into a workstation and can be viewed with many open standard software decoders.
For production professionals, Miranda will present the new NVISION 8140 hybrid router, a 144 x 288 matrix in an 8RU frame that’s designed for the space constraints of mobile production and smaller studios. NV8140 is part of the NVISION 8500 Hybrid router series that now includes five frame sizes with simplified cable management and redundant power supplies, crosspoints and control cards The CopperHead 3200 fiber-optic camera transceiver, from Miranda’s Telecast Fiber Systems, will also be demonstrated. The camcorder-mounted CopperHead contains a fiber link to a truck or control room to transport video, audio, data, intercom and camera-control communications using a single, lightweight fiber. Miranda will also demonstrate its end-to-end support for fiber connectivity with a range of conversion and distribution solutions including the LUMO high density fiber converter. The new iTX Master Control combines the scalability and flexibility of Miranda’s iTX integrated playout platform with the hands-on operations for proactive channel control
found in the Imagestore 750 to deliver playout automation with live-event functionality. Playout facility managers can experience the benefits of Miranda’s iControl, its highly advanced signal and facility monitoring system. iControl delivers greater than “5 nines” availability using content- and schedule-aware monitoring that enables instant review of a facility’s status to detect and initiate necessary repairs. Two new graphics options for iTX will also be demonstrated: the Vertigo XG processor, which provides real-time CG, DVE and graphics capability directly into the iTX output server and integral Adobe After Effects rendering with iTX Render Service, which provides unlimited graphics and text effects using the industry’s most popular authoring tool. Miranda’s Kaleido-X multiviewers will provide the visuals for the system on show. Kaleido-X can be expanded to include well over 1000 video inputs and up to 128 multi-image outputs with unparalleled image quality.
SGL ON THE WEB SGL will show its web-based interface for its flagship SGL FlashNet archive system for the first time in the Middle East. Users of FlashNet now have a number of additional features that further simplify workflow procedures and enhance usability of the system. The new user interfact will enable broadcasters and content owners to easily archive and restore material for smaller projects that fall outside the sphere of the controlling MAM or automation systems. With the new GUI’s tools, the user can archive directly to any configured FlashNet disk or tape group. Once in the archive, metadata can be extracted or added manually, and searching for and restore of clips is quick and easy. The interface can be used on any platform – Windows, PC, Mac or Linux. SGL will also demonstrate its new client-based web tool — FlashBrowse 3. The open system architecture provides broadcasters, post production facilities, and news/sport organisations with reliable, scalable solutions with substantial cost and workflow benefits. It provides at-archive browse creation, automatically generating browse resolution copies of clips as the high resolution versions are archived. The Flashbrowse 3 interface, which is an extension of the new FlashNet GUI, allows operators to instigate restores or partial file restores directly from their browser window.
TEDIAL COUNTS ITS ASSETS Tedial continues to maximise the benefits of file-based platforms with its sophisticated suite of software products including: Media Asset Management (MAM), Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) Business Process Management (BPM) and its content exchange solution for enhanced media production efficiency. The company’s portfolio is vendor- and hardwareindependent, releasing customers from proprietary constraints and thereby significantly increasing productivity and ROI. Tedial will be showcasing its enhanced technology for its MAM component Tarsys, which now features a powerful web-based interface. Casual or expert operators can easily locate and initiate workflows in order to process content, for instance editing, or transcoding. Furthermore, Tarsys supports multiple data models and is designed to work in many languages and character sets making it suitable
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for multilingual use.Tedial’s Ficus has evolved to include Business Process Management capabilities and now has an interactive workflow builder that enables new workflows to be created and existing workflows to be modified using a unified web interface.
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NETIA RADIO-ASSIST 8.1 At CABSAT 2013, NETIA will showcase the latest version of its Radio-Assist range of digital audio automation software. Radio-Assist 8.1 will offer the same robust array of tools for streamlined end-to-end multimedia production, broadcast, and publication workflows, along with two significant new features: an integrated musicscheduling application and video editing capability. Users can access both new features from a single user interface. NETIA’s Radio-Assist family of digital audio software programmes covers each part of the production and broadcast workflow, allowing users to record, edit, or prepare a playlist. In addition to new browsing and publishing tools for full multimedia functionality, the software features tools for acquisition, soundfile editing, commercial and music production, newsroom systems, scheduling, multicasting, and administration. Radio-Assist 8.1 allows users to
leverage built-in music-scheduling functionality. With music management tools integrated into Radio-Assist 8.1’s FederAll playlist preparation module, users are able to automate playlist generation according to preset criteria, business policies, and a wide range of intelligent options for sequencing music. The video editing tool now available within the Radio-Assist 8.1 interface
complements the software’s Snippet and Snippet+ audio editing tools. Offering a convenient editing solution, this enhancement addresses the growing demand for radio broadcasters to provide video via their online portals. This simple and easy-to-use editing tool is available through the same GUI as the Snippet tool, providing a familiar utility that allows staff to produce video clips with very little training.
VISLINK AT CABSAT 2013 At CABSAT 2013, Vislink will feature the latest broadcast products from its brands of Advent, Gigawave, Link, MRC and PMR. Vislink will focus on the latest developments of the company’s Advent Mantis MSAT Portable Data Terminal, designed to address the emerging Ka-Band satellite newsgathering requirements of broadcasters around the world. The Mantis MSAT is a 12.5Kg go-anywhere satellite terminal that can be set-up and start transmitting data and video in as little as five minutes. It supports X-, Ku- and now Ka-Band configurations, which can be swapped in the field in under a minute. Also on show will be the Vislink wireless camera transmitters, including the ClipOn-4 transmitter, designed for use with HD and SD cameras for electronic newsgathering, outside broadcasts and studio applications. With one-frame latency (33ms) and the latest H.264 or MPEG-2 encoding, the ClipOn-4 offers high picture quality and multiple capabilities.
SNELL BRINGS ICE, MORPHEUS AND KAHUNA TO CABSAT This year, Snell will showcase its ICE channel-ina-box, Morpheus automation and Kahuna 360 solutions. These products can transform broadcast operations of all sizes. We’ll also feature our highperformance and flexible routing solutions, including the Vega flexible asymmetric router and Sirius 800 range with Advanced Hybrid Processing. “At Snell, we’re committed to delivering solutions
that solve our customers’ most complex challenges in today’s digital media and multi-screen operations,” said Andy Giles, head of sales, Middle East and Africa, at Snell. ICE is Snell’s integrated, IT-based playout solution that delivers robust, scalable, and affordable operation for real-world broadcast playout environments. Snell claims it is the only channel-in-a-box solution that scales from one to 100+ channels, with the same user interface. New features in ICE further extend Snell’s channel-ina-box cost benefits. With a focus on incorporating more of the channel into the box, Snell’s ICE now includes powerful, integrated 3D and 2D graphics, CG functionality with timeline-editing control, and the ability to populate fields from Morpheus automation or external data sources to schedule events. Understanding the need for clear and simple graphical representation of multiple channels of playout, Snell has introduced new user interfaces that make Morpheus playout automation even easier to use and allow a single operator to monitor the highest number of channels. Morpheus v3.0 boasts full support for virtual machines, which facilitates lower space and power requirements while
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improving system resilience. Kahuna 360 supports any format in and any format out, on any input or output including 1080p (single link), as standard for a smooth and cost-effective migration from HD to 1080p. The switcher’s Make M/E technology delivers huge flexibility for users sharing resources across multiple consoles. Now, Snell has made the functionality of the full-size Kahuna 360 available in a new lower-cost Kahuna 360 Compact — including seven keyers per M/E, resource sharing with Make M/E technology, and FormatFusion3, which supports any format in and any format out. The Kahuna range also includes Kahuna Flare, the first mid-level switcher to offer standard singlelink 1080p support alongside SD and HD formats, making it ideal for over-the-air broadcasts, IP, Internet delivery platforms, and large progressivescreen presentations. Specialising in TV Everywhere, Broadcast Infrastructure, and Live Production applications, Snell provides the necessary tools to transition seamlessly and cost-effectively to HDTV, stereoscopic 3D, and 3Gbps operations, while enabling broadcasters to monetise and deliver their media assets across multiple distribution platforms.
Vision 247 recently opened an office in Dubai. Tanya Vidmar, MD of Vision 247 UAE shares some details about the company’s expansion plans
A new Vision Are you called Vision 247 here? We are called Vision247 UAE and we are presently located in Dubai Media City. Why have you opened an office in Dubai? The Middle East represents an exciting opportunity. Its leading telecom operators have already concluded that the best strategy for consumers of premium TV services is to merge the adaptability of OTT delivery with the security of managed IPTV. The new MEA office will support fresh partnerships with the region’s telecoms providers as Vision247 develops its XtremeIPTV and Perception platforms, introducing new solutions for telco IPTV networks, including high performance VoD; network PVR & Time Shift systems; HLS streaming; and new set top box and mobile client applications. What opportunities do you see here?
As a vendor of IPTV and OTT content delivery and management platforms, we’re in a prime position to support the development of free-to-view and Pay TV services, delivered over the internet, to ‘digital’ homes in the region. Have you worked with anyone in the Middle East so far? We are already working with major regional broadcasters including Al Arabiya, MBC, GEM TV and Iqraa. What’s your plan for this region? We will now expand our activities with support for local telecoms operators, offering combined subscription and pay-per-view services, IPTV and OTT, with provision of both channels and apps. What are the challenges you foresee in this region? In the Middle East, intense competition to IPTV is faced from other internet TV platforms
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and the historical prevalence of free-to-air (FTA) satellite channels. Even though these do not offer the same level of interactivity and quality of service as IPTV can, establishing a compelling call to action amongst consumers requires time. There is need for strict Quality of Service requirements within an operator’s network as well as the availability of high bandwidth service to the end user in order to be able to deliver video. This, however, has been largely resolved with the availability of technologies such as adaptive streaming and
Content Delivery Networks that opens up the possibility for new players such as mobile operators and ISPs to develop a sustainable video business The regulatory landscape in the Middle East is diverse, having its own regulations and with each country being at a different stage of telecoms liberalisation. One unifying factor is that the regulatory landscape is developing, which means changes are likely to continue as governments across the region refine their policies to suit the needs of their populations and economies.
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Broadcast Pro Middle East is a monthly publication covering television and radio broadcasting technology as well as filmmaking trends in the...