TM Broadcast International 58, June 2018

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Summary Editorial........................................................................................................................................4 Fifth Anniversary of TM Broadcast.......................................................................................6 Pan shot, the news from the market..................................................................................10

Bloomberg, the major business news TV...................................................................... 22 OB & Remote production: CTV OB................................................................................. 34 OB & Remote production: Mobile TV Group............................................................. 40 OB & Remote production: Net Insight...........................................................................46 OB & Remote production: Nevion................................................................................... 52

Files: storage, archiving and transfer trends...................................................................60 Interview with Signiant......................................................................................................... 72 InfoComm 2018......................................................................................................................76

Eurovision with Sennheiser, Riedel and wTVision...................................................... 80 The first TM Broadcast Breakfast Meeting: The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports.........................................................................................94 AI in post-production: What’s the best take?............................................................... 102 Where to Find Mature Solutions and Wines.................................................................104 Test zone: Panasonic AU-EVA1.................................................................................106

Editor in chief Javier de Martín

Creative Direction Mercedes González

International Account Director Cristina Feduchi

Editorial staff Daniel Esparza

Key account manager Beatriz Calvo

Administration Laura de Diego

TM Broadcast International #58 June 2018

TM Broadcast International is a magazine published by Daró Media Group SL Centro Empresarial Tartessos Calle Pollensa 2, oficina 14 28290 Las Rozas (Madrid), Spain Phone +34 91 640 46 43 Published in Spain

Editorial We are very proud to announce that TM Broadcast International has reached its fifth anniversary. Every issue, every year, we have been focusing on reinforcing our initial goal, which was to create a magazine with exclusive content. We can actually say that we offer our readers news and reports that cannot be found in any other media. That is our main principle. We are very happy to report that this commitment is supported by an increasingly large community of readers. Currently, TM Broadcast is a global leading media in this market. We have achieved this thanks to you. Many leading manufacturers have trusted in us. In order to also add them to this celebration, we have included some of the messages of congratulations sent to us in this issue. Having reached this point, our purpose is to keep growing, especially now, when we are going through such a rich period of news. This month, our market returns to Las Vegas. While we are still thinking about the innovations we saw at the last NAB Show, many important players in this industry will travel there again to celebrate InfoComm, the largest professional audiovisual trade show in the United States. But it will not be the only event of interest. The next World Cup in Russia will bring us a good opportunity to measure the effect of the latest innovations in a real-world environment where anything can go wrong. 4K, 360º, VAR, ‘Big Data’ or Artificial Intelligence are among the new technologies that will be deployed there, and we will be watching very closely. Before that, let us help you enjoy the range of exclusive content offered in this issue. On the one hand, we analyze the future of OB trucks, and the new opportunities that remote productions open up. In addition, we release the last chapter of our special series of reports on the current technological state of the world’s leading televisions broadcasters. This time, we interviewed Peter Storey, Head of Broadcast Engineering for EMEA at Bloomberg. We hope to continue exploring this industry that we love for many more years. Thank you for choosing us.

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FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF TM BROADCAST!!! Thank you all for your congratulations. It has been five years full of work, effort and many successes. We await you all within five others!!!

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Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! It’s wonderful to be a part of your business. Wishing you many more years of success and good luck.


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Congratulations TM Broadcast on your first 5 years, from your friends at Grass Valley!

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Happy anniversary, TM Broadcast, from all of us at Sennheiser! Ov er the past five years you’ve provided a global audience with an indispensable source of industry information, covering everything from product guides and re views, to event reports, to vital news fro m the tradeshow floors. We’ve enjoyed reading, and look forward to the next fiv e years! Thanks so much!

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Congratulations to everyone at TM Broadcast on your Jubilee issue. We have always been impressed by the quality and integrity of your editorial content and by the breadth of topics you cover, all of which are very relevant to today’s broadcast industry. We also love your online newsletters and reviews. Keep up the good work and here’s to a happy future for all of us!


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Congratulations on your 5th anniversary. We take this opportunity to thank you for detailed industry news, indepth reviews and interesting background information.


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SKY NEWS USES LIVEU FOR ROYAL WEDDING UHD/4K BROADCAST technology extensively throughout our operation on a daily basis but also, as is well known, for special events like the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections. The option to deliver native UHD lives from around the UK and US made them the only choice to provide added depth to our UHD OB in Windsor.” With royal watchers around the world already captivated in the weeks leading up to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the event itself was a huge television spectacle. Sky News opted for a live 4K broadcast. They once again turned to long-time partner LiveU to add dynamic live coverage from outside their fixed Windsor UHD OB. The supply of the units and additional support was provided by LiveU UK partner Garland Partners. Richard Pattison, Manager of News Technology, Sky News, said, “Because of the importance of this event and the huge interest in it, Sky decided it wanted to offer something to its Sky Q customers and broadcast the event in UHD. We use LiveU’s live streaming TMBi - 10

Sky News installed a LiveU LU4000 server in the hub OB The build-up and the wedding itself was broadcast on Sky News and simulcast on Sky One. Multiple LiveU LU600 HEVC portable transmission units were deployed specifically to bring in colour from outside the Windsor UHD OB where the wedding took place – from other parts of the UK as well as from locations in the US. Sky News installed a LiveU LU4000 server in the hub OB, which appeared as a source on the OB router, allowing it to be mixed directly into the UHD programme. The LU4000 bonded video receiver is used to receive, reconstruct and playout any HEVC/H.264 video stream of up to 4Kp50/60.

Pattison adds, “Using LiveU we were able to provide complete and very dynamic coverage in native UHD, as opposed to just upresing HD. There was simply no other way we could have achieved external UHD inputs to our Windsor OB without incurring significant costs and upping the technical complexity of the OB considerably. The performance of their codec allowed 4K over 20 Mbps of bandwidth, which is very impressive.” Zion Eilam, Regional VP Sales (EMEA), LiveU, said, “4K HEVC is a growing market and we made a very important decision to opt for hardware encoding with our flagship LU600 solution. This decision has been validated by both the premium quality of the images while also being highly bandwidth efficient. We are really pleased that our technology has once again been used so successfully by Sky News for a truly major event.”



TVU Networks was chosen by France Télévisions to support its coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday 19 May. Broadcast on France 2, franceinfo TV and Digital, the program titled Speciale Mariage Princier made use of TVU Networks solutions to provide live interviews and reactions from the streets and bars in Windsor and London. France Télévisions’ coverage included two live feeds, totalling seven hours of continuous content, sent back to the studio in Paris. The biggest challenge was to ensure reliable bandwidth while camera crews were constantly on the move over such a wide area. The broadcaster chose the mobile units TVU One and TVU NANO, TVU Networks’ new ultra-compact router to TMBi - 12

enable the two crews – one in a taxi and one on a motorbike – to capture and contribute the footage they needed without being encumbered by wires or heavy equipment.

two TVU One units; one to

“The aim was to do something innovative with our coverage by giving it a fresh twist. We wanted to deliver live reactions from the crowd in Windsor and London using a taxi and motorbike. We needed something powerful that was also small in size and very low weight for the motorbike crew,” explains Guy Lezec, Production Manager, France Télévisions.

switcher. For the second live

“Our goal was to maintain optimal transmission quality despite significant mobility challenges and high network overhead in these circumstances. We had to boost our signal. TVU Network’s presentations at NAB Show 2018 of aggregated sim cards and TVU NANO appeared to respond to our needs perfectly,” added Romuald Rat, Director of News Coverage and Production, France Télévisions.

France Télévisions for such a

The first feed comprised live interviews from a taxi using

broadcasters innovate in live

transmit the signal from three on-board cameras (including two Go Pros) and the other acting as a router. Also on board was a small production feed, a motorbike crew capturing live crowd reactions was equipped with a TVU One unit and the TVU NANO, again one to support transmission and the second acting as a router. “We are very proud that our solutions were chosen by prestigious event. The TVU One and NANO systems are ideal for a wide variety of scenarios, particularly application requiring dependable, high-speed bandwidth,” said Yoni Tayar, Europe Marketing Manager, TVU Networks. “The royal wedding is a perfect example of how effective our solutions can be in helping outside broadcast situations.”


RIEDEL PROVIDES SIGNAL TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS FOR VIÑA DEL MAR FESTIVAL Riedel Communications once again provided a communications and signal distribution infrastructure for the annual Viña del Mar International Song Festival, a world-famous live music event held Feb. 20-25 in Viña del Mar, Chile. Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network provided redundant and decentralized signal routing and transport for the entire production, broadcast live from the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater. The production crew relied on Riedel's Bolero wireless intercom solution and Artist digital matrix intercom system for all onsite communications, with intercom signals routed over MediorNet. In its 59th year, the Viña del Mar International Song Festival is the largest and best-known music festival in TMBi - 14

Latin America, with more than 15,000 local spectators and an estimated global audience of 200 million. For the entire festival, which included 19 music programs, Chilevision produced the broadcast signal based on feeds supplied by partners Chilefilms and Intervideo and transported over Riedel's fiber-based signal and communications backbone. "The logistical and production challenges of our festival continue to grow every year, as both our broadcast and live audiences demand an increasingly sophisticated experience. For the communications and signal-distribution infrastructure, we needed a partner that could handle the complexities and deliver a 100 percent bulletproof solution," said Cristián Mena

Foncea, Technical Coordinator, Viña del Mar International Song Festival 2018. "Riedel has an outstanding reputation for providing failsafe communications for some of the world's biggest and most high-profile events, and its solutions are worldrenowned for their reliability and technical excellence. We knew we could depend on Riedel to provide a comprehensive solution that would meet all of our requirements."

Bolero's ADR technology provided communications throughout the arena with eight AES67networked antennas The Riedel backbone consisted of three MediorNet modular frames and 27 Artist


digital matrix intercom panels in a decentralized configuration that provided fully redundant distribution of all intercom, video wall, and video signals throughout the festival venue. In a facility as large and complex as the Quinta Vergara Amphitheater, wireless communications can be challenging. Bolero's Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology provided communications throughout the arena with only eight AES67-networked antennas. With 27 Bolero beltpacks deployed to the production

team, the Bolero wireless intercom system enabled full roaming for the crew throughout the arena. Nine Riedel RiFace radio interfaces and 36 Performer C3 Partyline beltpacks provided additional connectivity for walkie-talkie users, allowing them to communicate with the Bolero users through a seamless integration with the Artist panels. "Every year, the Viña del Mar International Song Festival outdoes itself with an ever more exciting lineup of

talent, dazzling production elements, and eye-popping staging. It's no wonder that this is one of Latin America's oldest and most popular musical events," said Angel González España, International Sales Manager, Latin America, Riedel Communications. "It was a privilege to provide a complete, end-to-end communications infrastructure that ensured a smooth and successful production, and we're looking forward to supporting the festival into the future."



NEP Sweden has selected XT4K ChannelMAX servers from EVS to drive the ingest, playout, slow motion replay and highlights production within its new UHD-1 OB. UHD-1 is NEP’s largest OB in Europe and features an integrated workflow of the latest UHD-4K, 1080p and HDR technologies. Later this summer, the XT4K servers will be upgraded to new XTVIA servers as they start shipping. Designed to cover the highest-profile events across northern Europe, UHD-1 was deployed for the first time to produce live coverage of the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World TMBi - 16

Championship from the Royal Arena in Copenhagen where Sweden won the gold medal. NEP Sweden provided the tournament’s host broadcasting services for Host Broadcast Services (HBS), and for which it used 30 cameras, five of which were triple-speed super motion, and all recording in 1080p50 Full HD. The XT4K ChannelMAX servers installed within UHD1 ingested all the live camera feeds and were used to create the engaging replays and highlights for ice hockey fans around the world. UHD-1 also featured XFile3 systems from EVS, which were used

to manage all file flow requirements of the live production. All the games, which were produced in 1080p50, were ingested and archived with the XT4K and XFile3 systems using AVC-Intra. XFile3 was also used to instantly export clips and highlights created by LSM operators during the live to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the host broadcaster for online and social media publication. “NEP is a long-time user of EVS servers, as we know we can rely on the quality of the technology,” said Jens Envall,


Technical Director at NEP Sweden. “Throughout the tournament the 1080p50 images ingested by the XT4K servers have been truly outstanding. And the level of channel flexibility that the EVS server offers is a huge benefit, as it lets us deploy our cameras, including super motion units, however we need to.”

NEP Sweden’s UHD-1 will become one of the first OBs to benefit from the installation of EVS XT-VIA Following the event, NEP

Sweden’s UHD-1 will also become one of the first OBs to benefit from the installation of EVS’ next-generation server – XT-VIA. The new server features up to six channels of UHD-4K and ChannelMAX allows 12-plus channels of HD and Full-HD, so service providers like NEP can operate more efficiently, producing programming in whatever format and resolution is required by broadcasters and rights holders. “We know that EVS’ technology and support

always deliver to the highest standards,” said NEP Sweden’s Managing Director Rikard Troell Norén. “So, adopting a path to transition to the new XT-VIA server is a natural decision, because it fully supports HD, Full HD and UHD resolutions and operates in a higher dynamic range as needed. At the same time, the servers’ native SMPTE 2110 support and flexibility of operation in SDI or IP infrastructures implies we can deploy them in whatever configuration our customers require, in any kind of production workflow.”



Blackmagic Design has announced that its URSA Mini Pro 4.6K digital film cameras were chosen as the principal camera package on popular Turkish daily soap opera, ‘Adini Sen Koy’ (You Name It). Now in its second season, the Star TV telenovela attracts an audience of millions every day in Turkey. Directed by Tuna Kiremitçi, the show is lensed by director of photography (DP) Emre Yilmaz, who selected the URSA Mini Pro as his preferred camera because its high-quality image production and light sensitivity afforded him total flexibility to maximize a packed shooting schedule. Shooting around 15 to 20 pages of script every day, six days a week doesn’t leave a lot of margin for error. “The ISO and shutter values TMBi - 18

of the URSA Mini Pro are excellent for allowing us to push the gain without the risk of noise or grain; even at dusk, we can still work with available light by opening up our lens aperture to 1.3 and rating the camera at 1600 ASA. That reduces the likelihood of us needing to reshoot due to fading light,” he explains. Each of the four PL mount URSA Mini Pros are paired with a mix of medium-to wideangle Elite lenses and mounted on rails and dollies together with Blackmagic Video Assist for monitoring purposes. “The ability to apply LUTs to the main SDI output was very helpful when reviewing shots, while the AC uses the cameras’ film profile with false color to ensure shots are correctly exposed,” adds Emre. The production team relies on a ProRes workflow for acquisition and post. “As with many daily serials in Turkey we have to turn everything around quickly and so captured everything in ProRes 4444. That balances our need for speed in postproduction while still ensuring we have access to plenty of dynamic range during the DI.”

‘Adini Sen Koy’ is also graded with DaVinci Resolve Studio, with Emre praising its color rendition and speed of use. “The combination of Resolve with the URSA Mini Pro is an obvious choice for us, as it’s so easy to convert our rushes to a Rec709 color space. The current trend is to have high contrast and saturation, but I prefer a paler aesthetic, as I believe it adds to the drama of our story, so DaVinci’s subtlety and precision are extremely important.” “While international distribution revenues are growing year on year, production budgets continue to be squeezed, and we as creatives are being pushed to ensure the production values appeal to a much broader audience,” Emre concludes. “Camera choice is critical. Not only does it need to be reliable and flexible, but it also has to deliver the very best images possible. The URSA Mini Pro not only fits these requirements, but its color science and picture quality are outstanding for the price point.”


ELEMENTS SHOWCASES NEW AI FUNCTIONALITY AT MEDIA PRODUCTION SHOW ELEMENTS will be showing the next generation of media storage appliances at the Media Production Show (MPS) to be held on 12 & 13 June at Olympia London, West Halls. ELEMENTS will be demonstrating its highlyefficient Media Library MAM powered by Veritone®, Inc.’s cognitive AI engines. The solution drives the Media Library’s capabilities beyond managing, sharing and annotating media assets to analyzing and indexing video and audio assets through automated monitoring. In addition to the new AI functionality, that will improve MAM efficiency and

productivity, all ELEMENTS’ media storage and server solutions will be shown with Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) integration. ELEMENTS’ support of up to 100Gbit Ethernet and RDMA delivers better performance with virtually zero latency, double the throughput, and up to 1.2 million Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS). “Implementing AI functionality and NVMe into our media storage appliances provide tremendous benefits to ELEMENTS users.” says André Kamps, CEO of ELEMENTS. “And while we still provide solutions utilizing Fibre Channel,

we’re proud of our new Ethernet-based NAS design that delivers Fibre Channellike performance, making the investment in expensive Fibre Channel infrastructure obsolete.” ELEMENTS comprehensive set of workflow enhancement features, including the Media Library, will be presented and demonstrated on stand 302 at the MPS, together with ELEMENTS Click, the innovative cloud feature and recipient of the Studio Daily Prime Award at NAB 2018. MPS will be held at Olympia London, West Halls located on Hammersmith Rd, London W14 8UX).


SIGNIANT WILL DEMONSTRATE ITS ENHANCEMENTS AT HPA CREATIVE TECH UK Signiant has led the way in cloud-native design, offering a category-defining SaaS platform that provides fast, secure global access to high-value media assets stored in on-premises storage or cloud-based storage. New innovations on show at the 2018 HPA Creative Tech UK greatly build on this platform and helps media and entertainment companies of all sizes speed up their operations by leveraging Signiant’s patented file acceleration technology, as well as by automating and simplifying file transfer workflows. Hosted as a one-day event on June 27, 2018, at the Ham Yard Hotel, Soho, London, HPA Creative Tech UK will bring together the UK media tech community for a symposium focusing on the intersection of leadingedge technology and the frontiers of creativity. The knowledge exchange at HPA Creative Tech UK aims to challenge assumptions and inspire ambitious new projects and collaborations within the ever-changing world of content creation and distribution. TMBi - 20

In the Innovation Zone, Signiant will demonstrate technology enhancements to its SaaS platform that allows professional media assets stored on the platform to be played over long distance networks at higher bit rates than achievable with current streaming approaches. The demonstration leverages transfer acceleration technology and cloud-native design to ensure a highly responsive end user experience without additional customerdeployed hardware or software. “When we first previewed this technology at the HPA Tech Retreat back in February the feedback was

fantastic and the industry was able to really see how these innovations have the potential to help users make better and faster decision when transferring media,” said Ian Hamilton, CTO, Signiant. “We’re looking forward to showcasing this technology to a UK audience and highlighting how valuable time and resources can be saved because of it.” Signiant CTO Ian Hamilton will be on-site at HPA Creative Tech UK to provide a preview of these exciting new innovations, as well as to discuss the breadth of technology and capabilities across Signiant’s entire product line.


LAWO REPORTS THE FIRST INSTALLATION OF AN IP AUDIO CONSOLE IN UGANDA Lawo has reported the first installation of an IP audio console in Uganda at KODHEYO TV and NBS Radio 89.4FM. Located in Jinja, northeast of the country’s capital of Kampala, the station opted for a 12-fader crystal to bring state-of-the-art technology for audio quality, operation and workflow, social media and flexibility to

its operations. Beside the NBS Radio installation, further adoption of Lawo equipment is in the pipeline, taking the broadcaster stepby-step to a new level of TV and radio production with IPbased studio solutions.

touchscreen-optimized PC

With crystal, RAVENNA/AES67 compatibility is available today. The crystal mixing console comes with VisTool,

can be completely

software for extended visualization and control of crystal installations. In its basic version, VisTool is designed for clear visualization, while the unlimited version of VisTool customized to meet any requirements, displaying all system parameters or only those that are essential.

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG


Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

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Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

Interview with Peter Storey, Head of Broadcast Engineering for EMEA at Bloomberg You joined Bloomberg in 2004, so you have been participating in its evolution ever since. What technological milestones of Bloomberg would you highlight so far? I joined Bloomberg in 1995 but moved to the Media business in 2004. Since then, many technical advances have helped Bloomberg Television's broadcast production evolve. One major milestone was the introduction of

Peter Storey, Head of Broadcast Engineering for EMEA at Bloomberg.

breakthrough video low latency compression techniques across MPLS network in 2012. This technology means we're

Bloomberg Television is a 24/7 network that operates out of nine major broadcast hubs globally: New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Berlin and London. We control 36 remote cameras from our London hub alone, from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur. TMBi - 24

able to do more with less bandwidth and has enabled us to introduce and improve remote production from other regions within Bloomberg. Bloomberg Television is a 24/7 network that operates out of nine major broadcast hubs globally: New York, Washington DC, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Berlin and London. We control 36 remote cameras from our London hub alone, from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur.

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

Embracing video low latency compression techniques has helped us to centrailise our operation while leveraging the full value of our global network of more than 150 news bureaus. It has also opened up disaster recovery scenarios, enabling other Bloomberg hubs to control production services when necessary, making us much more resilient.

Another major, more recent, development has been the introduction of SPMTE 2022-7. This has enabled us to migrate to a pioneering uncompressed end-to-end video-over-IP solution, the biggest shift in video transport through a broadcast facility since the introduction of SDI in the early 1990s. The shift to an all-IP environment has streamlined our workflows, enabled

seamless integration of physical and visual infrastructure and allows us to dynamically scale up our capabilities to meet evolving content and product opportunities across platforms.

You led the project for Bloomberg Media that enabled the build and migration of all services into 3 Queen Victoria Street, London. As you claim, Bloomberg became with this project

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Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

the largest and first in the world to go live on SPMTE 2022-7 technology. What were the highlights of this project? The migration of our broadcast facility to Bloomberg's new European headquarters in London was a highly TMBi - 26

complex, challenging project. Due to the phased nature of the build, we were installing and testing the facility while the building was still a live construction site. We delivered the facility four days early and on budget, which was a fantastic

team achievement, but the highlight has been seeing our vision realised in the quality of the output. Since we went live in early December, our output has been constant and the new facility has enabled us to be much more flexible, mainly because the solutions

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

we're using are more software based, which makes it easier for us to scale up and bring new services online.

including the teams of architects, construction managers and engineers working on the building itself.

Another highlight was successfully testing the SPMTE 2022-7 theory. We chose to power down one of the central core IP Arista switches during production, meaning we were losing the alternative stream and effectively running 2022-6. The facility didn’t miss a beat. This gave us confidence in the system and proved resilience.

Managing these vendors in order to ensure they delivered their products on time was a huge challenge, particularly considering the pioneering nature of the technology we were dealing with. Many vendors' solutions were new to market and ever more software / COTS-based. This was risky considering the tight deadlines we were working to and some solutions just weren’t ready in time. In some cases, timely decisions had to me made and regression was required but the majority of solutions were implemented successfully and the end result has exceeded our expectations.

What challenges did you have to overcome in this project? There were more than 40 broadcast and IT vendors in play on the project, not

The shift to an all-IP environment has streamlined our workflows, enabled seamless integration of physical and visual infrastructure and allows us to dynamically scale up our capabilities to meet evolving content and product opportunities across platforms

In addition, Bloomberg recently launched a new state-of-the-art broadcast facility in London. It includes the installation of programmable LED surfaces (including the TMBi - 27

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

floor, anchor desk and a series of large hanging LED panels). What does it bring to the broadcasts? The LED hanging surfaces are movable via motors and are automated to synchronise with video. They can be moved in a 360 degree arc or backwards and forwards. This means we have a very configurable space. We can simply move them out of shot to show a newsroom background or a control room backdrop, or we can bring them together to create a large LED canvas to show relevant Bloomberg news stories or Bloomberg Terminal graphics.

What challenges did that LED integration pose? The quality of LED technology, specifically pixel pitch, is improving all the time so the main challenge was to judge the right time to commit to purchasing the kit. Buy too early and we would have compromised quality; buy too late and we would have risked TMBi - 28

jeopardising deadlines. Another challenge was configuring the LED screen movement and particularly how the hanging panels come together. We factory

tested as much as possible before rollout and it took some careful balancing during commissioning. We found a solution to manage the gapless joins between individual LED

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

investigating Big Switch versus Leaf -Spine. The preferred model was LeafSpine for better redundancy and to mimic Bloomberg's corporate LAN configurations, as well as Bloomberg Television's control network. During trials, it became evident that Leaf-Spine was not performanceready for our needs due to the large bit rates contention on trunk links, PTP timing and traffic shaping through the network. Three years on, I know we made the correct decision in opting for Big Switch as I don’t believe

panels, which aren't noticeable on camera, and the system isn’t over burdensome for the support team.

uncompressed end-to-en video over-IP solution. What challenges did you face when building this infrastructure?

The backbone of this broadcast facility is an

In the early days of the design we were

The LED hanging surfaces are movable via motors and are automated to synchronise with video. They can be moved in a 360 degree arc or backwards and forwards. TMBi - 29

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

any facility is working with a Leaf-Spine configuration.

included in this facility would you highlight?

jobs and improve efficiencies.

Another interesting feature of this facility is the use of remote production technology. The facility includes two recording studios, a photography studio and three control rooms, from which 36 remote cameras are controlled in locations from Frankfurt to Kuala Lumpur. Could you tell us how you achieved this? What is your stance regarding this technology?

It's worth expanding on the single management tool, BNCS. We wanted a management tool that would unify all the different management interfaces we use across our output in order to simplify our operators'

The key to this was getting the vendor developers, Bloomberg subject matter experts and the operators all together to plan existing and future workflows. The resultant management tool that has been developed is

We have been operating remote cameras using AMX control methodology for years so remote production is not new to us but we have added an extra management layer (BNCS) on top of the AMX. This is part of a single management tool methodology, which we planned to implement from the start of the project. We will continue to explore upgrades to our remote site management in 2018.

What other technological innovations which are TMBi - 30

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

bespoke to Bloomberg Television's complex workflow and has surpassed expectations in terms of making operator tasks easier and more structured. Another first was deploying an objectbased, Software Defined Storage system using

COTS equipment. This has allowed us to unify nearline, archive, and edit workflows onto one storage "ring". We believe we have driven the broadcast industry forward in this area and the consolidation has enabled us to make significant savings.

Overall, what is your current state in the field of 4K? Could you detail us how this affects your workflows? Compression and distribution costs are currently the blocker for industry-wide adoption of 4K for news. All equipment and infrastructure at our new facility in London is 4K-ready, so if it becomes a reality, we are ready to deploy it for Bloomberg Television immediately.

Have you already tested 5G technology? If so, in which cases have you used it? We haven’t tested anything 5G yet but we plan to use this when the networks are ready for field contribution via LiveU or AVI-West.

What about Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality? We keep abreast of VR and AR but these technologies are not typically compatible with Bloomberg's style. Instead, we focus on delivering high-performance graphics and charts via our optimized LED surfaces. TMBi - 31

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

Graphics are an essential part of a television like Bloomberg. How do you manage this atter? We use a broadcast industry leader in graphics creation and interface this with Bloomberg market data for production and play-out Airchain graphics. We have a team of artists and developers liaising with production to create visual identities and branding TMBi - 32

for our global shows. This interfaces the newsroom control system used by Bloomberg's producers to build shows and tell stories. Bloomberg TV is very graphic heavy and we can fire up to 60 graphics in a five-minute period from lower thirds, live bugs and full screens to the trademark 'J-data screen' combining charts and data, which Bloomberg Television pioneered from launch in the mid-90s.

Televisions of the World: BLOOMBERG

From a technological side, which do you currently consider your main challenges? We are currently looking to the future and investigating how automation might become a bigger part of present and future production workflows.

Do you have in mind any innovation and/or purchase of equipment for the near future? Could you specify us this point?

At Bloomberg Television, we are always innovating and looking for smarter solutions butut we like to think the new facility is fairly future proof for the next 5-7 years and don't anticipate any major investments in new equipment. Our focus for the second half of the year will be on improving some of our remote site management technologies and integrating more newsroom automation. TMBi - 33

OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

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OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

OB&Remote Production Interviews by Daniel Esparza

CTV OB Interview to Paul Francis, Chief Technical Officer at CTV OB What is the current situation of your company? What makes you different from your competitors?

Paul Francis, Chief Technical Officer at CTV OB

CTV is known to be at the forefront of technical development and deploying the right option for our clients. We have an extremely gifted pool of staff and we try and maintain their training and technical abilities in the best ways. We continually strive to deliver the best solutions for the budgets our clients give us without compromising on quality. TMBi - 35

OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

What has been your recent evolution? What milestones of your company would you like to highlight? CTV has in the last 18 months upgraded 3 of its XL OB’s to UHD – this has assisted us in being more flexible with the expectations of customers and their needs in the future. Outside the true OB market we are also deploying reality / fixed rig system using traditional OB technology making the rigs quicker and easier and giving the high quality experience people have become to expect form CTV on a day to day basis. This year we go into our 30th Open Championships with 116 cameras on-site.

Open Champiionship.

At the Open Championship, CTV is the facilities provider for the entire broadcast compound. This includes everything from planning where each cabin is placed to organizing installation of fiber optic cable around the course.

TMBi - 36

What recent projects would you highlight, for their interest? What specific challenges did they pose? How did you resolve them? Recent projects at CTV include the Open Championship and Isle of Wight Festival. At the Open Championship, CTV is the

OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

record, edit and playback in UHD with zero transfer times was sort, found and integrated with five craft edit suites providing additional content. The three day event was also recorded onsite to 96TB of storage for later editing and archive.

Are you up to date on the latest innovations that manufacturers are designing to equip OB trucks? Would you highlight any of them that you consider especially relevant?

facilities provider for the entire broadcast compound. This includes everything from planning where each cabin is placed to organizing installation of fiber optic cable around the course. For this annual major event there are over 100 cabins, 50 trucks, 21KM of fiber cable, 120 cameras

and 10 purpose built building structures including the 40 by 30 meter Broadcast Centre. The Isle of Wight Festival presented the challenge of being Ultra High Definition across two stage coverage, but also with a live and timeshifted transmission. A disk server that could

CTV, along with our Group companies, have ongoing projects to identify the relevance, significance and potential application of new technologies. Systems including IP, AI and VR are all in development. This would not be possible without our inclusion in the development stages from the manufacturers, something that has changed for the better within the last few years. We also have a commitment to bring IP interfaces to our existing OB Vans enabling them to interface with future systems. TMBi - 37

OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

It seems that there is consensus to ensure that IP technology will lead the way. How does this affect the OB productions? Within Euro Media Group, of which CTV are a major member, we are targeting the application of IP technology to enable us to be flexible in the scale and location of facilities. A modular approach, that is to say, building out from an established core system, will see us able to scale up and down our facility deployments, and leverage more utilization from our inventory of equipment. For clients this will result in the technical and budgetary optimization of their OB setups, including the removal of SDI Router based infrastructures that put clearly defined limits on the size and flexibility of the larger events.

Overall, what do you think that is the future of OB trucks? Do you think that OB vans will disappear, due to technological development, or they TMBi - 38

AI and cloud technologies will for sure form the future back bone of location production. We are entering a long hybrid era in which this flexibility and agility will be key.

will still have their field of action? We feel that with the development of Simplified Production systems and Remote Production technologies the Outside

Broadcast Van will need to become adaptable to cover the widest possible scope of usage. One day it might house a single box production solution with eight camera channels, the next be part of a fully-

OB & Remote Production: CTV OB

fledged classic Outside Broadcast, the next it might form the camera only end of a remote production. Although remote, AI and cloud technologies will for sure form the future back bone of location production. We are entering a long hybrid era in which this flexibility and agility will be key.

What opportunities/challenge s does the Remote Production bring to OB trucks? Both Remote Production and Remote Control Production challenge facilities companies to reduce the number of Engineers required to run the onsite system to fall in line with the expected financial gains. Monitoring of circuit latency and quality of service are amongst the technical challenges of such productions. One of CTV’s clear aims is to tailor OB facilities to suit different client’s needs. This will be the most important factor in determining whether any Remote Production is a viable alternative to an OB for each client’s presented job. TMBi - 39

OB & Remote Production: MOBILE TV GROUP


OB & Remote Production: MOBILE TV GROUP

Interview with Philip Garvin, CEO at Mobile TV Group MTVG provides mobile unit services to the leading regional & national networks for thousands of televised events coast-tocoast, covering over 4,000 events per year. The company specializes in sports events for RSNs (Regional Sports Networks) in most major U. S. markets.

Tell us about your current situation. We started in 1994 and have been growing since then, becoming one of the leader OB companies in the USA. We have 28 advanced mobile units distributed in major cities throughout the USA, from coast to coast. Our success comes from attention to detail, quality of service and equipment at all 4,000 events each year. The Regional Sports Networks, which are our specialty, don’t extend throughout the country, but by regions, like Texas or Southern California. They are very prominent in the United States, because TMBi - 41

OB & Remote Production: MOBILE TV GROUP

Philip Garvin, CEO at Mobile TV Group

people like to watch their home teams. If you live in Dallas (Texas), you want to see all the games of the Texas Rangers (Baseball), Dallas Stars (Hockey), Dallas Mavericks (Basketball), as well as football. A regional network allows fans to see every single one of these games. There are a lot of games with the typical TMBi - 42

baseball team playing 160 games each year.

So you cover different types of sports, right? Yes, we do hockey, basketball, baseball and football. That is what we do the most.

What are the common challenges in these projects? The challenge is always

to provide each project with more facilities while still keeping the price low. We have been very successful at that. We provide super Slow-Mo, pretty much as a standard. We started buying super Slow-Mo cameras from the beginning, when they came out, so we had an early and large investment in super Slow-Mo.

OB & Remote Production: MOBILE TV GROUP

Our success comes from attention to detail, quality of service and equipment at all 4,000 events each year

How does IP technology affect OB productions? We will deploy our first IP mobile unit this year. We did not feel until this year that IP was a good investment, because very little equipment (cameras, replays, switchers…) were ready for IP, so if you added an IP infrastructure, you had to convert everything to IP from HDSDI or 4K-UHD. We didn’t see the value of that, or the Return of Investment (RoI). But now, with 2110, we think it is a very clear opportunity and we want to embrace it going forward. We have been in the forefront of new technology with among the first HD trucks and the very first 4K-UHD mobile TMBi - 44

unit in the United States. We deployed that, and that has been very successful for us. We were also the first ones with Slow-Mo as standard. There is not a very large market for 4K-UHD at the United States, so we only have one unit for that, but it keeps quite busy.

Considering the development of IP technology, are remote

productions an alternative to OB vans? I think that IP is gaining ground in the area of mobile units. This technology can assume everything, I mean, all the equipment is compatible thanks to 2110, and IP is becoming simpler over the year. That is going to help regular OB productions. For remote productions, I think that IP will also play

OB & Remote Production: MOBILE TV GROUP

a role. It is unclear yet. We have developed different approaches to remote productions, what we call at United States ‘at home’, which we think is very promising. We call it version 2 of Remote. What everybody is doing in the United States we call version 1. I think there is going to be a version 2. We are working closely with the providers in the United States as well as manufacturers, and we think that IP will be helpful there.

Is that your biggest innovation for the near future?

I think that IP is gaining ground in the area of mobile units. This technology can assume everything, I mean, all the equipment is compatible thanks to 2110, and IP is becoming simpler over the year. That is going to help regular OB productions.

Yes, that is the biggest innovation. The exciting thing about the new version is that it makes what you do in the location unlimited: there is no limit to the number of cameras, the Slow-Mo, and you can do 4K/HDR. So you can do a game as big as you want. TMBi - 45

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

NET INSIGHT Interview with Larissa Goerner, Strategic Product Manager at NET INSIGHT What do you bring to the field of remote productions? We have been working on remote productions for almost ten years. In this time, more than eight thousand remote productions have been done with our equipment. Since then, we have been getting more and more customers into our ecosystem. As a company, this is a space where we feel very comfortable. Our customers are developing in this area, as well as in the ecosystem that we want to invent with them to make remote productions even more efficient. TMBi - 46

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

Our media transport platform, called Nimbra, allows our customers to do enormous savings of bandwidth, which is usually the biggest challenge when you want to do a remote production. What we do differently is that we use 100% of the capacity and are able to transport much more signals than any other manufacturer in the space with the same service performance and full signal separation. Another important part for us is the control of the services, like video and the network performance. We need to have a full control. This is the most important thing for us. You always want to know what is going on in your network, and, on the remote side, there is a very big distance that you need to cover. The third point is that you need to be super simple. Remote productions need to be super simple. You want to have something very small. You don’t want to have a big castle. It needs to be an easy set-up.

Could you highlight some of your recent projects? I can highlight some recent projects. We could go back to Pyeongchang, where Winter Olympics were celebrated. There, Swiss broadcasting, or ARD, German broadcasting used our equipment for remote production from the venues. They did their productions from the IBC (International Broadcasting Centre), so they had the camera control there because they needed a small delay. However, in the case of SRG, the end product of the signal, like the vision mixing, was sent back to Switzerland into different regional studios. So they deployed several cameras on site, but then transferred back all the

signals and produced them back from IBC. They did that instead of running an OB van or a container there. The challenge here is that, of course, nothing can go wrong. This is Olympics, so you need to have the highest possible qualities, and also protection and a reliable backup mechanism. Another significant recent project was the Australia Open, which we did in January, together with Gearhouse Broadcast. We enabled Channel Seven, facilitating a production hub in Melbourne about 8km from the Australian Open venue. Our Nimbra platform was used to transport more than 80 high quality video signals back and forth to enable a smooth remote production for the two weeks

We have been working on remote productions for almost ten years. In this time, more than eight thousand remote productions have been done with our equipment. TMBi - 47

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

duration. The entire live production for 3 channels was produced from the production hub, but also the entire post production was done in this location, where we really had a big mix (HD-SDI, over MADI, over IP video, audio, Internet services and so on).

What do you think that is the future of OB trucks? I think that in the long term OB vans, or let’s say containers, will be less and less at events, as more and more content has to be produced. I think that there will always be production technology on site during the Super Bowl or the Eurovision Song Contest. However every week show or TV sporting events can be much more efficiently produced with a remote production. This is what we are doing. I can mention the case of TV Denmark. They are producing handball matches. They produce these matches three-four times a week. Well, they have reduced their cost savings up to 25-30% by TMBi - 48

doing in that way. I think that there will be less OB vans in the future, and they will be dedicated to the large and multi venue events. In the case of the smaller ones, I think that people will opt for remote

productions more and more. A clear benefit of remote productions in the case of large events is that you need to use much less production resources on site. In that way, the

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

companies reduce the technical staff, but, instead of them, they send more producers to produce much more content, because this is now possible. They also stimulate the production talent. Both to onscreen and behind the scenes, the producers can do now much more. This is why they use remote productions, to do more with less. On the other side, sports events production is always the same. You do always the same kind of things. Thanks to remote technology, you have much less OB vans costs, because you deploy on site smaller OBs. So you have different kinds of benefits.

We could go back to Pyeongchang, where Winter Olympics were celebrated. There, Swiss broadcasting, or ARD, German broadcasting used our equipment for remote production from the venues.

You have mentioned before your remote ecosystem, in which you collaborate with several companies. Could you explain us how it works? We have been working very close to many customers to develop better solutions specifically designed to them, so they can TMBi - 49

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

optimize their new remote production workflows. So we started talking with them, and we wondered: what can we improve when you go on site? The first company which we collaborate with is Grass Valley. Together with them, we have developed a solution that allow leaving the Camera Control Units at home. That means that you actually just have the cameras on site. Everything else, your camera control and all your camera control units, which use a lot of rack space in your rack, are back home. This is called Direct IP Plus. We use SMPTE 2022-6 and AES67 for audio, compress the video between the two points with low latency JPEG2000 and transparently transport the controlling mechanism for the telemetrics over the platform. Production can then happen like in a normal studio/OB van environment. So this is what we do with Grass Valley, but it is just the start which we want to improve workflows. TMBi - 50

We have also started working with Calrec. The company has a great invention called RP1. This is a very small unit, a broadcast mixing system in a 2U rackmount box, which you can also plug into the rack. RP1 provides you a local DSP to enable the generation of monitor mixes and IFBs with no latency. For audio, the delay is the biggest challenge (for video is always the bandwidth). Now you are able to mix on site close to your microphone, and also your IFB in real time, and have it totally integrated on your central production hub. They deliver it over AES67 or MADI. Our

A clear benefit of remote productions in the case of large events is that you need to use much less production resources on site

platform was key for them to keep the high quality. The latest company, which we are working with now is Riedel. Riedel has developed its new Bolero platform, a big solution for intercom. We joined together over AES67. AES67 is not usually transported over aerial networks, because the delay is too big. The normal WAN jitter makes a PTP recovery impossible. Now, we have a new improved jitter

OB & Remote Production: NET INSIGHT

performance on our Ethernet transport that allows you to have performance like in a LAN, a local area network. That allows you to transport AES67, which is needed for Bolero. We just showed this at NAB. We built a full remote production set-up there for the show together with Calrec, Grass Valley and Riedel. This is just the beginning. We will do more and more development to improve this new workflow.

This is what I would like to ask you about. What will be your next steps in the field of remote productions?

run over a reliable

Right now, remote productions enable deploying workflows, so everybody start to invent around this. But one question that we get a lot is, well, if you do a lot of remote productions, let’s say, we have five remote productions running, that means actually that in your central sites, you would need to have five production galleries, or six, or seven. People usually don’t have them. So, I think that this brings us to the next thing, what we see as the newest evolution is distributed production. That will remove this problem that you have in central locations, which means that you could have a live production across a whole country. Imagine, in the case of Spain, that your audio production takes place in Madrid, your video production is in Barcelona or Bilbao, and you put everything together. All this must be

production across multiple

network. I think that this is the next evolution: that we deploy a distributed hubs, where people and the production equipment are.

As a conclusion, would you highlight any other challenge for the near future? I think that is a big question. What about new formats? What about 2110? What about 4K? What about when you have a large setup? I think that there are several big challenges here. So, one thing is bandwidth, especially across Europe, where we have the largest bandwidth, but the further you go, the more limited bandwidth becomes, especially on the last mile. This is especially relevant in the case of 4K. How to bring this into remote productions? A lot of work is needed. TMBi - 51

OB & Remote Production: NEVION


TMBi - 52

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

Interview with Svein Håvard Haugen, Broadcast Technology Product Manager at Nevion Nevion is currently in a good place, as we can see when talking to its Broadcast Technology Product Manager, Svein Håvard Haugen. The company has achieved a remarkable corporate transformation to lead the industry shift from traditional baseband (SDI) to IP. As Svein highlights, the IP technology will not be only introduced in the contribution space, but also in the production side. “The movement from SDI to IP is a large shift in technology, but also requires a huge shift of the business as well”, explains Svein. “We realized quite early that we needed to change our company to face this shift, and this turned out to be a great opportunity for us. What we saw is that our value lied not only in the product, but it was also in our IP knowledge and architectural skills. This allowed us to help broadcasters realize their business potential”.

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

Would you highlight some of your milestones? We are dedicated to making world class products, but in recent years, Nevion has adapted to become more consultative and cover projects, and grown its service offering accordingly. One thing that I would like to highlight on the solution side is the LAN/WAN convergence, as we call it. This means erasing the boundaries between contribution, in-house production, and remote TMBi - 54

production, and that these combine onto the same network over time. We have enabled this in several projects already. In terms of our flagship products, we have the Virtuoso, a softwaredefined media platform for doing IP encapsulations and processing. Our latest addition to its feature-set is functionality dedicated in-studio application with audio processing, SMPTE 2110 support. And with this being a softwarebased platform, this added functionality updates this

platform, letting the functionality of a system evolve over time without replacing equipment. Then, we have VideoIPath, a management platform for orchestration and SDN control, which now is also moving much more into the production space with the ability to do event planning and bringing simple to use operator interfaces. It also allows management of data services over the same network. These are just some of our highlights.

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

What type remote production projects did you start with? We have a long history in the field of remote productions. We started with remote productions a long time ago, enabling a company called PAC-12, amongst others, to do college sports productions remotely. In these early projects, we saw some of the initial benefits of remote productions, which are the cost savings. You

“We realized quite early that we needed to change our company to face this shift, and this turned out to be a great opportunity for us. What we saw is that our value lied not only in the product, but it was also in our IP knowledge and architectural skills. This allowed us to help broadcasters realize their business potential”. can do productions that would be difficult to make

profitable without remote productions.

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

So, would you highlight some of your latest projects? Firstly, I would like to highlight the HDR Denmark project. It is a small production for Danish horse racing. This is not a twenty-camera production; it is actually just a two-camera production, but the business case was challenging. The main consideration was how to make a profit in a production of this type. So, we developed and architected a solution that enabled them to minimize the amount of staff needed in the production. That made it possible for

the production company to obtain positive profits. A larger production that I can highlight is our project with PLAZAMEDIA, a Germany-based content solution provider and one of the leading producers of sports TV in the German-speaking area. PLAZAMEDIA approached us with the challenge to migrate one of its productions, Germany’s famous football talk show “Der Volkswagen Doppelpass”, from traditional OB to remote production. IP technology was chosen as the most suitable solution due to the connectivity available between the production

We started with remote productions a long time ago, enabling a company called PAC-12, amongst others, to do college sports productions remotely. In these early projects, we saw some of the initial benefits of remote productions, which are the cost savings. You can do productions that would be difficult to make profitable without remote productions. TMBi - 56

site and the broadcast facility and the significant amount of control requirements. Thanks to us, production sites could be treated as extensions of the main production facility. This enabled PLAZAMEDIA to position the production team in the most suitable location in terms of effectiveness and workflow requirements.

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

solution and understand what they are trying to do, whilst considering how they can meet the cost of that production.

As you see, each production is different. There is no one size fits all. In each case, the connectivity and the equipment preference is different, and we also must consider how people want the remote production to work. Typically, audio people need to be close to where things are happening

because they need to deal with things like microphones, and hear correspondence with the actual live audio from stage. But the video mixing could be done remotely by staff sitting off-site. There are many different ways of doing remote productions, it depends on each project. You must find the correct

In addition, I really wanted to emphasize the broadcast station built for TV2, the largest commercial television broadcaster in Norway. We provided the IP-based software defined network (SDN) solution that connected studios, control rooms and data centers within and between the broadcaster’s two main production facilities in Oslo and Bergen. The solution, which formed part of TV 2’s move to IP across the production workflow, enabled the broadcaster to make better use of production talent, equipment and locations. TV 2 moved to a brand new production facility in Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen. The new facility in Media City Bergen (MCB) is fully IPbased, with an SDN core network for all live production and broadcast routing requirements, and TMBi - 57

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

multiple vendors providing a mix of standards-based native IP and existing baseband equipment. The MCB facility is also connected via IP to another new allIP facility located in Oslo (460km/290 miles away). A key objective of the project was to gain flexibility and efficiency in live production by enabling any control room to be used with any studio across both locations, and by sharing processing capabilities located in the data centers.

What is your stance regarding OB trucks? Developing a remote production solution gives you the advantage to use less equipment in an onsite truck. You can centralize equipment for multiple trucks in a common location. This could be an advanced truck with a lot of equipment and one can make a network with other the remote trucks that are on-site. This would allow you to do more productions on centralized equipment and with centralized staff. TMBi - 58

So, OB trucks will continue to exist. Yes, absolutely. As I say to you, although every project is different, it will always need people close to where it is happening, like camera men, audio engineers etc. You need to have the cameras there, but you might not need to have the mixer in the onsite truck. That can be remote. The thing is that now you can repurpose the way that you do it, which allows you to reduce some

costly parts. You can do a production with a smaller truck, and then connect to a bigger, more advanced truck that is centralized. This means it is easier to enable profits for production companies that are using trucks.

Is an OB production better in some cases, compared to remote productions? You will always find cases where one system is worse than the other. This is actually about architecting the right

OB & Remote Production: NEVION

system for the right use. Of course, if you don’t have the available bandwidth, you will not be able to do a remote production, because you need to have a reliable network capacity with low latency. I don’t think that it is a matter of a specific kind of situation. You need to build an architecture that meets the correct areas of the production.

So, there isn’t a specific type of event where remote productions are most appropriate.

I think that remote productions are appropriate for every sort of project. We have done projects for small scale IP remote productions to full production houses with multiple control rooms. In all the cases, it is a matter of cost savings and being able to do more with less. For example, we are having a meeting right now, but we are not in the same place. We are having a remote meeting. Once you have the bandwidth that you need, you are doing the same when deploying a remote production.

customers that make them

Would you like to add a conclusion?

they work well. People are

One thing I would like to emphasize when it comes to remote productions and the ability to take advantage of this new technology, is the management part. The management system behind this enables you to connect two different productions. That is key. That is what we have emphasized. The objective is to be able to architect optimal solutions for our

in their facilities because,

profitable. Before finishing the conversation, Oliver Suard, VP of Marketing who has been also present during the interview, adds, as a conclusion, an interesting point that illustrates the current state of remote productions. “I would like to emphasize that IP is reaching everywhere, but the remote productions are one of the leading areas where this is happening, because, from an economic point of view, not steadily moving to IP unless they move their locations or build new studios, there is not necessarily an immediate return on investment. In the case of remote productions, yes. This is the area that all the broadcasters are using to learn about IP technology, to move to an all-IP production world”. TMBi - 59

Technology: FILES


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Technology: FILES

Author: Carles Rams, Ebantic’s CEO One of the trends implicit in the fourth industrial revolution is digitising the production and operating processes of any sector as much as possible. In the audiovisual industry, we started working with digitised data several years ago. We have seen one format after another, and IT systems have become increasingly more robust and functional. Storage facilities also increased their capacities, and we are now in the midst of a CLOUD revolution. The past was never better, although, in this case, it has been an ordeal to get to where we are now. What we all agree on is that files have brought tremendous benefits to our sector. Advantages in the acquisition, management and delivery of content that, would otherwise, not be efficient for the emerging new business models. Think about Netflix for a moment. Netflix started in 1999 distributing content by subscription to the end consumer using a physical medium such as DVD. In 2009, Netflix had 10 million subscribers, and by 2011, the numbers rocketed to 23 million in the United States and 26 million in the rest of the world. By 2015, more than 60 million and in 2016, it reached the 89 million mark worldwide. Can anyone imagine this growth happening by sending DVDs out to members? It is clear that Netflix would continue with its local US market but would not have been able to manage it on a global scale and, above all, with such exponential growth. TMBi - 61

Technology: FILES

The advantages compared to the analogue era The main advantage lies in the unification of metadata and media in the same tool, allowing an immediate search and viewing of the content, all on the same device (desktop, tablet, mobile), anywhere, anytime. In the analogue era, to search and view content, of which we did not know the title or the identifier a priori, we had to speak to the documentation department first, which, in turn, searched in its database to find the content reference. With this reference, the documentary filmmaker

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would go to the video library to collect the tape and lend it to you (like in a library), after signing for it, almost with blood, promising that you would return it within the agreed term. Once we got the tape, we had to find a free viewing room, equipped with a very expensive tape recorder, which naturally entailed a limited number of places. Only then could you see the content and see whether it was indeed what you were looking for or if you had to start the process again.

If the content was correct, the next step was to make a copy on a working tape (which we obtained from the tape store after signing the delivery note) in anticipation of having an editing room to edit our programme. This copy also meant losing some quality. Do you remember how every time we copied images from one medium to the next they lost quality? It was a real nightmare for producers and programme directors! Another option was to make a copy on a cheap medium, such as VHS, and pre-edit it using drastically-cheaper

Technology: FILES

equipment. This way, we already had our layout done before we entered the editing room and we were optimising the time we had available. The arrival of files certainly democratised access to content. Everything explained above could involve days on end. The documentation staff was virtually always up to their ears in work and the waiting times for

obtaining material tended to be lengthy. Besides, the viewing rooms-let alone editing rooms- usually had endless waiting lists. Today, one single user can do the entire process, on any device and from the office, from home or while sitting in a city park. We can perform simple or advanced searches, view the results, cut and mount a virtual EDL and then

export it to our editing system, which can also run on an office workstation. This has led to an extraordinary reduction in resources and, above all, in the time needed for production. Bear in mind that a Betacam Digital VTR cost about â‚Ź45,000 (+ maintenance) compared to â‚Ź1,000 for a desktop PC or laptop. Do the math. What would it have taken to maintain a 100-user installation 15 years ago? Another aspect to consider is storage. When the documentation person looked for the tape, he or she went to a room filled with large, heavy tape cabinets. Companies that could afford it had

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Technology: FILES

movable shelves that allowed for some degree of space efficiency, but the norm was to have large filing cabinets with several rows of tapes on the same unit. All well ordered because if it weren't, it would have been impossible to find what you were looking for. The need for space was incredible compared to what an LTO tape robot or a hard drive NAS takes up. In 2017, the LTO Consortium launched its LTO8 version, with a storage capacity of 12 TB on a single tape. This capacity can store more than 850 hours in DV25 or 425 hours XDCAM 50, for example. Comparisons are odious, but 425 hours would take up a whopping 283 90-minute Digital Betacam tapes. Can you imagine the amount of physical space those almost 300 tapes would take up? About ten linear metres of shelving! Crazy, compared to the 21mm that an LTO tape takes up. Another comparison: up to 9 PB can be stored in LTO8 in a robot with two racks of size. Do the math. There TMBi - 64

are 49 years of video footage coming out in a linear metre! The most critical aspect to consider when working with files, considering the requirements of the new business models that are appearing in our sector, is the ability to automate processes. We can move and deliver materials automatically without the need for trolleys or transport boxes. We can download content from

the file and adapt the format to the recipient's requirements by merely taking it through a transcoder farm. We can also check the quality of the material and send it in encrypted and accelerated form through the public network. Files also come with the peace of mind that the recipient has received it correctly to generate the invoice. All

Technology: FILES

this happens without having to get up from our chair, or hire a courier service, or book a satellite transponder. Also, we can get an overview of how our delivery is simply by consulting a dashboard that aggregates the data from the systems involved and displays it to the user in the form of reports. In the continuities, it was usual for the documentation personnel

to visit you with the tapes that were to be broadcast the next day. Nowadays, it is the BPM (Business Process Management) system or workflow manager who orders the MAM to download the contents of the file and send them to the broadcast servers according to the play-list generated by the traffic system. It also notifies you of missing data through notifications.

And the drawbacks... The dreaded drawbacks‌ As we can imagine, not everything is as good as it seems; working with files also has its complications. The main problem, from my point of view, is management. With the tapes, our copies were under control. Humans move better in physical environments, and tapes were physical objects that could be touched, seen and left on the table. Metadata could be easily added to it with a simple piece of paper attached to

the inside of it and labels on the box and on the tape itself. This made the contents difficult to lose (although some were inevitably lost). At most, you had to look inside the drawers‌ But look on the bright side: you ended up finding that master tape you had been looking for! Managing versions was also quite easy. In a relatively tidy environment, you knew how many tapes you had of each programme. You could even reuse the tape and record over the previous version, and that's it. Considering the cost of the tapes, you had to reuse them; there was no question about it! With files, it's not that easy, as you can't touch them or see them with the naked eye. You have them in several systems and, as they can be duplicated without losing quality, we usually have several copies (sometimes without control) of the same content in several storage areas. In addition, the only identifying metadata is the file name, and if we use descriptions adapted to TMBi - 65

Technology: FILES

humans, we lose the ability to automate. We can, therefore, find directories full of files, whose unique identifier is an unintelligible code, all at the mercy of a human who can change the name, delete it, move it, copy it, without any control. And let's not talk about security: it is straightforward to make a copy of a file and send it to a third party who may be our competitor or it may mean the beginning of indiscriminate copying of our content on the Internet. To avoid all this, we need management systems that organise and control our files. Just as companies use document systems to coordinate orders, delivery notes, validations and invoicing, we need applications that support the management of the files required for operations. This is where the convergence between IT software and our industry comes in. We have been working with files for many years and the initial problems, especially in processing capacity and storage TMBi - 66

capacity, have already been solved. This facilitates the use of much cheaper IT tools, as we have access to the entire universe of the open source community.

What about the future? Digital obsolescence One of the enormous challenges we face in the digital world is the preservation of content in the face of technological evolution. We have seen

that digitisation increases the volume of archived data per media unit (the Rosette stone contained much less information than disc storage of the same size), but it also reduces its lifespan. There is a perfect example that clarifies this last idea: Imagine finding a diary in the back of an old wardrobe that your greatgrandfather wrote at the beginning of 1850. It'll be easy for you to read. Maybe the pages are yellowish. Perhaps you struggle to understand the

Technology: FILES

calligraphy, but you should have no problem accessing the information your grandfather wanted to convey from his pages. In the same wardrobe, in one of the drawers that you haven't opened in years, there is a 5 1/4 floppy disk where you saved your final degree work you created using the WordPerfect 5.1 of the time. It will be hard to retrieve that information. First of all, it will be challenging for you to find a device that supports this disc. Even if you can start

up your IBM XT stored in the storage room and have WordPerfect installed, your disc will probably have defective sectors due to the loss of magnetism. It might even become a simple vintage decoration object in your souvenir cabinet next to the Commodore 64 and the reel reflex camera that you daren’t throw away, lest one day you buy a film in that store in the neighbourhood you know. This means that it is easier to read a text on a 1950s analogical means than one in digital support of just 30 years ago. Did you migrate your old Betamax or VHS tapes yet? No? Maybe it's too late. Who knows? Digital obsolescence is a serious issue. UNESCO has even published some good practices in this respect in the Digital Preservation Programme, where the need for systems and methods to preserve digitised historical content from the obsolescence of systems and technology is manifested. In a nutshell, we have three ways to secure our digital content:

oMigrate the contents each time there is a change in technology that renders the previous one obsolete. Users of LTO technology already know that readers are not compatible with tapes from more than two generations ago. In addition, as each generation doubles the capacity of the previous generation, it is a good practice to migrate data every two or three generations to optimise the space in the robots and ensure that the contents remain readable. As regards video, we have two aspects to consider: • With regard to metadata, it is highly recommended that they be stored in data models that comply with a Dublin Core, MPEG 7 or EBU-CORE standard. In this way, data can be migrated from one system to another automatically. • Video must also meet some standard that allows us to read them and copy them to TMBi - 67

Technology: FILES

another system automatically. In LTO systems we have the LTFS standard that will enable us to mount the tapes as volumes in an operating system and be able to read them easily. The handicap of video migrations is the enormous times involved. We can talk about months and even more than a year to migrate an entire video library. Once again, it is essential to automate the process using management systems that allow a systematic control of migration with the minimum possible human intervention. oThe second method is to keep the old systems to read the older contents and fix them when they break down. In LTO systems, it would mean leaving old generation drivers in the robots to be able to read the older tapes, which many are already doing. The problem with this practice is that, at some point, we will find it TMBi - 68

difficult to find spare parts. This is happening to video library owners with tape recorders. It is becoming increasingly challenging to find heads and spare parts, so maintaining these systems also has a time limit. And you have to be careful not to leave it too long, because to do the migration you will also need these systems, so if you run out of spare parts you will also run out of content to migrate. oFinally, emulators that allow reading this information in modern infrastructures can be created. This can primarily be used for software, i.e. creating emulators that simulate an operating system mounted on existing systems. In this way, we emulate the original software environment and can continue to read our information. As we can see, the main problem of digital preservation is video processing. Moving 1 or 2 Petabytes of information is

not easy, both in processing capacity and in the time it takes. It is, therefore, imperative that companies with content create long-term preservation programmes, taking into account the future evolution of technology and proposing corrective actions every 58 years. This, of course, also means providing for an annual investment item for this purpose. However, we will ensure our content is not lost, the most important asset of an audiovisual company.

Technology: FILES

The new formats. 4K-8K Another challenge that early adopters of new formats such as 4K are already facing is the size of the files. Until now, one hour of HD video on XDCAM50 was a 22 GB file. This is relatively easy to move with current systems. In the 4K environment, we have several types of format depending on the manufacturer, as always happens in broadcast, but

the bitrate handled for broadcast is 300 Mbps. In other words, a XAVC-4K can take up a whopping 113 GB per hour! That is four times more than the XDCAM50. The move to 4K means readjusting all our investment forecasts. For example, divide by four the current capacity of our archive or, in other words, multiply by four the planned investment to maintain the same capacity in hours of our system. On the other hand, it is not the same transferring 113 GB files

over the network to a 22 GB file transfer, either over our local network to send the files to broadcast or over the Internet to a continuity that we have in the cloud or another installation. 10 Gb local networks are becoming indispensable if we want our content to move quickly and the accelerators, which, with the current Internet networks, no longer seem as useful to move content speedily but a management and control tool, again play a significant role in the publication of content over the public network. This is the scenario for broadcast formats, but when we move to 4K exchange formats, such as ProRes 422 HQ, we realise the scale of the tragedy. We are talking about bitrates from 754 Mb/s at a frame rate of 24p to 1.886 Mb/s with a frame rate of 60p. In the first case, we find that one hour of content "weighs" 339 GB and in the second case, it reaches 848 GB per hour, almost 1TB for one hour of video! TMBi - 69

Technology: FILES

What about 8K? Well, from 1.36 TB to 3.49 TB per hour depending on the frame rate. A folly that gives us a cold sweat when we think about the storage of our deep file. We will have to wait for the LTO to double the capacity, generation after generation. According to the LTO Consortium roadmap, the LTO12 will have a capacity of up to 194 TB on a single tape. Will it be the solution to store so much information? The truth is that CLOUD storage solutions seem unscalable to meet these requirements, both in the cost of storing these capabilities and in the difficulty of sending so much data over the public network. But technology has been surprising us for decades with new advances that make us multiply the functionalities that at the time seemed more than enough. Let us hope that this technology will also accompany us on our audiovisual journey. TMBi - 70

Automation The new business models require operations to be scalable and flexible to adapt to new

requirements in the shortest possible time. This requires fully open management platforms that allow the team to make process changes

Technology: FILES

quickly and without compromising the production processes. In addition, it must allow for a powerful integration that facilitates

communication with other systems, both audiovisual and management, both internal and external. All this is more than established in other sectors and is called BPM (Business Process Management) and BUS integration. The first serves to define and execute business processes, including both automated and userprompted tasks. The advantage of using this type of system is to the capacity of making changes in the processes in a transparent way and without having to stop those that are running. On the other hand, the BUS allows managing multiple integrations with different APIS of the internal and external systems with which we have to relate during the processes orchestrated by the BPM. Today, this type of architecture, called SOA (Services Oriented Architectures) in IT jargon, is key to any business in our sector. The integrations, the exchange of messages between machines, the

transformation of metadata and the generation of XML files that meet industry standards require a layer that allows any programmer to make the necessary adjustments needed for the business without having to depend on a particular supplier. Do you manage content and processes with an Excel spreadsheet? Well, it's an option, but I'm sure you're tired of doing repetitive tasks every time you have to deliver content, and I don't want to think about what would happen if you get asked for a specific XML schema, the errors that you can generate and what your customers demand from you... Time and cost control are essential to be able to compete in an increasingly globalised industry and to do so, we must start using OpenSource-based IT environments that make us more efficient and price-adjusted than our competitors. TMBi - 71

Technology: FILES - SIGNIANT

SIGNIANT Interview with Jon Finegold, Signiant’s CMO Tell us about the current situation of the company. What makes you different from your competitors? Signiant is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the media & entertainment industry. Our Media Shuttle

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person-to-person file transfer solution recently passed several major milestones in its global reach, now with more than 200,000 users in more than 200 countries. There are many things that make Signiant stand out but a few highlights include:

Technology: FILES - SIGNIANT

Media & Entertainment has long been our core market. We understand the unique characteristics of the industry and are able to offer a simple, yet powerful, product portfolio that supports nearly every file transfer use case. Because of the huge amounts of data used in the industry, storage is always a complex challenge. Storage independence – allowing our customers to choose

any storage including onpremises, cloud storage or both – is a pillar for all our products. We take great pride in our proven leadership in SaaS and cloud innovation. Signiant was the first to market with a SaaS offering for accelerated file transfer, launching at a time when many media companies were just starting to learn about the unique benefits of cloud-native software. That early leadership was

pivotal in allowing us to bring enterprise-class capabilities and marketleading file acceleration to companies of all sizes. As a result, our Media Shuttle product is now the de facto standard for person-initiated file transfer in the industry and used by more than 25,000 companies around the world.

You work for leading global companies such as BBC, The Guardian, Apple or XBOX. What

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Technology: FILES - SIGNIANT

specific needs do you perceive among your clients? The evolving needs of our clients revolve around three key market trends: files continue to get bigger; workflows continue to get more complex; and security continues to be top of mind across the industry. Our solutions are focused on helping companies with these challenges, enabling them to bring more immersive and powerful content experiences to their global audiences across a variety of devices and formats – all while meeting tight deadlines, keeping costs under control and protecting their valuable digital assets.

Technological development leads to some important issues related to the obsolescence of formats. How do you approach this challenge? Our file acceleration technology is file-type agnostic. As new file formats come into play, our platform can be used TMBi - 74

to move those files regardless of size. We offer a capability called CloudSpeX which dramatically lowers rejection rates associated with the receipt of improperly formatted files or incorrect file types, and helps to manage the volume and complexity of today’s multiplatform delivery specifications. Unlike other solutions that validate file format compliance after the file transfer, CloudSpeX ensures that your specifications are enforced prior to delivery, saving significant time and resources.

The arrival of new formats, such as 4K or 8K, means a big increase in the size of the files. How ready are the companies to handle this? The growth in file sizes will continue to present challenges to the industry but that brings great opportunity for Signiant. The bigger the files, the more critical file acceleration solutions become and Signiant solutions are able to handle any file size and any file type. Many companies are investing in network upgrades to help deal with

Technology: FILES - SIGNIANT

the massive data. A network upgrade can be a great investment but only if the solutions in place are able to take full advantage. Signiant solutions, with our patented acceleration technology, can take full advantage of the available bandwidth in the network while also providing control of how and when network resources are allocated. Signiant plays friendly with other network traffic and we never charge for bandwidth. So, companies that are using Signiant solutions will be well positioned to handle these new file sizes, but those still getting by with FTP or standard file sharing solutions will hit a brick wall with 4K and 8K files regardless of their network’s bandwidth.

What technologies/solutions have you developed to ensure security when transferring files? Signiant was recently awarded the DPP (Digital Production Partnership)

‘Committed to Security’ mark for both production and broadcast. Building secure software requires a strong understanding of both the threats you’re protecting against and secure design principles. Our team receives continuing education to stay up to date on current threats as well as secure design principles. More specifically, Signiant utilizes standardsbased security technology like Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure data and information as it is transmitted, including advanced authentication, data integrity, and data confidentiality. We ensure that all transfers are appropriately authorized and tracked to provide nonrepudiatable proof that files were delivered.

Overall, do you have any innovation in mind to make your services more efficient for the near future? We’re always innovating at Signiant. In fact, one of the great benefits of SaaS is that we can roll out new capabilities easily to all

our customers and we’re adding new functionality every month. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements!

In addition to the challenges we have discussed, would you highlight any other that we must consider? One challenge faced by IT organizations in media and in other industries is what is known as “shadow IT.” That is when employees adopt their own solutions without knowledge and approval of the company. Consumer services like Dropbox and Google Drive are easy-touse but can put a company’s assets at risk. Policing this is an ongoing challenge for IT organizations but the best remedy is to provide solutions that are both easy-to-use and comply with internal policies. Media Shuttle has proven to be a great solution in these cases as end users love its simplicity and IT appreciates its security and control. TMBi - 75


INFOCOMM InfoComm 2018 brings together the lead players in US audiovisual integration InfoComm 2017.

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The 2017 edition attracted more than 44,000 people, beating its record of participation. 82% of participants came from the United States.

The global lead players of audiovisual integration will meet up this month in Las Vegas, the place chosen to host the InfoComm show from 6 to 8 June, an essential reference in the sector. Pending confirmation of the figures for this edition, we can say, with data from other years at hand, that this is an increasingly popular event. The 2017 edition attracted more than 44,000 people, beating the previous attendance record. 40% of the attendees were firsttimers and, of these, 86% had purchase capacity, according to the figures held by the organisers. If we stick to the overall attendance figure, the proportion of visitors with the power to authorise, influence or recommend products for purchase within their companies was 91% in 2017. The majority of participants, 82%, came from the

United States. The number of exhibitors surpassed the 1,000 mark and also reached an all-time record. Expectations are no lower this year, either.

Latest developments We would like to highlight a series of innovations that manufacturers will be showing the market players represented at the show. A relevant example in the IP area is ClearCom. The company plans to show visitors its new EIPA connection card, designed for the Eclipse HX family. Natively AES67 compliant and SMPTE2110-30 ready, the E-IPA card provides 64 streams of low-latency and high audio bandwidth connections for linking existing and new IP-based Clear-Com products. “The E-IPA card is the first of two products to debut on

our new IP platform solution", said Simon Browne, Vice President of Product Management at Clear-Com. Audinate will take advantage of the event to celebrate its 8th annual Dante AV Networking World. This year's edition will include, in addition to the regular courses, a new session for intermediate and advanced users, entitled Optimising Your Dante Network. Adder will attend the event to present two new products. On the one hand, it will show attendees its new FreeFlow technology, which allows you to seamlessly and instantaneously switch between target computer monitors simply by moving the mouse pointer from screen to screen. It will also introduce the first KVM over IP transmitter that requires zero U of rack space, the new dongleTMBi - 77


style ALIF 100T. This solution ticks the cost and space savings boxes for control rooms. Hitachi Kokusai will defend its goal of providing the market with affordable solutions that incorporate emerging technologies during these show days. In order to smooth the industry's transition to UHD resolutions, the manufacturer will showcase its new CUHD1300F-S1 HDTV camera control unit, with 4K, 12GSD and HDR support. Another company with a strong presence in InfoComm will be FSR. The company will highlight the FL-500P Floor Box, an 80 mm floor box with up to 845 mm outlets. Also on display will be the company’s global version of its Project Wall Boxes, the PWB-253-Euro, a 3” wall box with 1 duplex and 1 cover plate fitted with universal outlets, and the PWB-323-Euro, a large opening wall box designed for 3” stud walls with up to 1 ¼” KO’s and is fitted with international outlets. TMBi - 78

InfoComm 2017.

MuxLab will focus on its new AV over IP solutions. In particular, it will try to show that complex digital signage projects can be easily installed and controlled, too. The

company will be exhibiting its new HDMI 2.0 Digital Signage Media Player (model 500769) from this perspective. This device accepts streaming content via the


Magewell will follow a similar line with the release of its new Ultra Stream HDMI standalone streaming encoder designed to facilitate the tasks related to live streaming. Among the companies that are expanding their HEVC ecosystem is VITEC, as will be evident during the show. Mark D'Addio, senior vice president of sales and marketing at VITEC, explained why: “With the expansion of our HEVC offering, VITEC now provides a full ecosystem of encoding and decoding solutions that fit a wider range of applications and requirements. Our goal is to empower our customers with a versatile and robust streaming system that can help them leverage the phenomenal bandwidth savings of advanced HEVC compression." H.264/H.265 codec from a local Ethernet, Internet, internal memory and external USB 3.0 devices. Video is up-scaled to 4K@60Hz (4:4:4) and delivered to the new

HDMI over IP H.264/H.265 PoE Extender (model 500762) to create a 2x2 video wall with multi-view capability and IP-based camera support.

For its part, Renewed Vision will also be announcing a significant new software update for the third generation of its ProVideoPlayer (PVP3) multi-function media server. TMBi - 79



EUROVISION Sennheiser, Riedel and wTVision bring us exclusively the technical keys of the longest-running annual international TV contest

Photo by Ralph Larmann

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The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) has followed a record evolution so far. The contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, making it the longest-running annual international television contest. It is also one of the most watched nonsporting events, surpassing the television audience of the Super Bowl. The Eurovision edition of this year, held in Portugal, was watched by 186 million viewers. In this report, we analyze the technical side of this great live event, talking to the players that make it possible every year. We have interviewed the technical managers who were at the Altice Arena (Lisbon) from the companies Sennheiser, Riedel and wTVision.

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SENNHEISER Interview with Volker Schmitt, Director Product Lifecycle Management Professional Systems at Sennheiser We had a conversation at the Altice Arena with Volker Schmitt, Director Product Lifecycle Management Professional Systems of Sennheiser, on May 4, a week before the live final of the event, along with other media invited by Sennheiser. We were the only Broadcast magazine with presence there. Hereunder, we capture the questions we asked him. TMBi - 82

What is biggest audio challenge for this show?

Is there too much reverb?

The venue itself is a nightmare. However, the staff did a wonderful design. It sounds perfect.

Yes. This happens because of the building. For audio, this venue is not a good idea, but this is

Photo by Ralph Larmann


what we have here. However, I would like to emphasize that the sound designers did a brilliant job. I am very impressed by that. If you ask me about the biggest challenge for us, I would say the following. Electronics News Gathering teams bring their own wireless systems. Due to that, we have everywhere around the building the following sign: “No wireless microphones inside the

arena”. We don’t want to see any kind of wireless system here, because this is maybe a killer for us. Since they are stronger than our wireless system, we lose the channel. This is physics, very simple. In order to avoid this, we have tools to measure the spectrum and observe what is going on. We started to officially open the season. We use those tools to figure out if we hear something. We listen to the channel to detect if someone is using a wireless system, and then we chase that. We found so far, I think, three occasions when people brought a wireless microphones, which is not really much. That is great.

What do you do in those cases? We tell them, “Please, turn them off”. We take a photo of the accreditation, and we tell them: if you do this again, you are losing your accreditation. This is the greatest event along with the Super Bowl in the United States. So, this is only way to manage this. We see when the

spectrum is popping up. And, at a certain moment, it is possible that someone of the team has to run (laughs). We are responsible for even the output of the receiver to ensure that the quality is good.

Is the quality of the spectrum clean? It is okay. Outdoors is much more difficult. Here it is OK. It is not good, but it is OK. We can deal with it. We don’t have any issues.

Do you have any problems with reflections? Yes, we saw problems with reflections, because it is a building with a wooden ceiling which is covered by aluminum. But, because of the use of a polarized antenna, we are overcoming this on the receive site. I am always saying: 95% of the success of this kind of event is planning. And our planning started on 4th or 5th of February. My college came here, and he began to measure the spectrum, indoors, outdoors, whatever. Then, we started to plan. We TMBi - 83


realized that, well, it is not super tricky, but we did have some challenging areas. One of the main challenging areas is the tunnel. When the talent come from the mic dressing, get the mic and have the final check in the room, they will move into this tunnel to wait and get on stage. If we lose the wireless microphone in the tunnel, we go crazy. This makes us extremely nervous, because we don’t know what happened. So I want to be observing all the time, and see what the microphone is telling me. I can listen to every microphone. In return, the device for the talents has to have some kind of feed at any time. If this is quiet, they will start to manipulate the volume. They will increase the volume, and then they will move to the stage. It will be too loud, so they will take it out. So we tell them: “Don’t turn the volume. If it is too loud for you, that is because it is a different mix. But do me a favor. Don’t touch the volume”. Think about that. People come here, and they realize for the first time TMBi - 84

how big this thing is. They never did this before. And, most likely, a lot of them will never do this again. And then they realize at the top, “Oh my God, there are 180 million people watching this”. I would get nervous, and they are nervous too. This is the reason why we have a lot of discussions with talent. But we have the most empathetic liaison manager on earth. The job of this guy is to go on stage after the rehearsals and talk to the talents. “How do you feel? Was the mix OK? Do you need something? Do you want some water?” He is so empathetic. I have never seen this before. He is doing this all day long, always with the smile on his face. He is fantastic. All those guys who did it in recent years were good, but this one is fantastic.

If you compare this with systems from a few years ago, is there anything new? Yes, of course. The big advantage is the digital transmission. It sounds better. We have much

Photo by Ralph Larmann

better control over the entire system. There are a lot of features that we can control remotely. I have everything on a screen. If you walk a few steps over there and take a look at the monitor, you can see the spectrum, the battery level and so on. This is a big benefit. Production is now easier.

What about the audio latency? We don’t have latency


As a technical supplier to the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, Sennheiser and its local partner Magnelusa supplied Digital 6000 wireless microphones and 2000 series wireless monitors to the event, hosted by Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP). All artists will relied on Digital 6000 microphones, and used either SKM 6000 handhelds with MD 9235 dynamic capsules, or SK 6000 bodypacks with Sennheiser custom headmics. For wireless monitoring, 2000 series systems were on duty: Rackmount SR 2050 IEM two-channel transmitters transmitted their signals via A 5000-CP circularly polarized antennas to the artists’ EK 2000 IEM bodypack receivers. A large number of bodypacks ensured that all artist groups and the technical crew could be provided with high-quality audio signals. For backstage communications, the new Command function of the 6000 series was used to enable the ESC’s technical team to establish talkback links, for example for the stage director or the liaison manager. For this, the crew used special SKM 9000 COM handheld transmitters or SK 6000 bodypack transmitters that were Command-enabled via the KA 9000 COM Command switch.

issues, because video is late. The video processing is much longer than the audio, so we have to delay audio. This is what we have to do all the time. For this reason, it is not a live concert environment. The main objective is broadcast. Latency is not an issue.

Digital 6000 microphones were also used in the press center, where conferences and Q&A sessions made use of EM 6000 receivers and SKM 6000 handhelds with Neumann cardioid KK 204 condenser microphone heads.

Sennheiser equipment on site 41 EM 6000 two-channel receivers 74 SK 6000 bodypack transmitters 68 SKM 6000 handheld transmitters, with MD 9235 capsules for the artists and KK 204 capsules for communication purposes 115 custom Sennheiser headmics 6 SKM 9000 COM handheld transmitters 6 KA 9000 COM Command switches 21 L 6000 rack-mount charging units with chargers for SK 6000 and SKM 6000/9000 17 SR 2050 IEM two-channel transmitters 112 EK 2000 IEM bodypack receivers TMBi - 85


RIEDEL Continuing a 13-year tradition, Riedel Communications again supplied a massive, allfiber communications and signal distribution system for Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Riedel’s MediorNet realtime media network provided redundant and decentralized signal routing and transport from start to finish. Through tight integration with MediorNet, Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom

Thomas Riedel and Jon Ola Sand in Eurovision

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system and Bolero wireless intercom provided comprehensive and reliable communications for crew and performers. For all broadcasts, including semifinals 1 and 2 and the Grand Final, Riedel supplied the signal and communications backbone for Videohouse, which produced the show’s world feed on behalf of EBU and Portugal’s public broadcasting company, RTP.

Deployed in a decentralized configuration, Riedel’s MediorNet network ensured fully redundant distribution of all video and audio signals for commentary, intercom, signal distribution, and radio communications, including the feeds for monitors in commentary booths and for displays and projectors in the Altice Arena. Crew communications were facilitated by a robust intercom system anchored by four more Artist 64 mainframes and more than 100 Artist RCP and DCP intercom panels. The Artist panels provided fully redundant, decentralized distribution of all Bolero wireless intercom signals, with 32 Bolero beltpacks deployed to the production team. Bolero’s Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology



ensured clear communications throughout the Altice Arena using only six AES67-networked antennas. The Artist infrastructure also supported almost 600 Hytera and Motorola TETRA handheld radios. For the first time at the Eurovision Song Contest, Riedel deployed a complete solution based

on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to support commentary booths for almost 30 countries covering the contest for their local audiences. Anchored by four Artist 64 intercom mainframes and 40 Artist CCP-1116 commentary panels, the system used Cymatic Audio’s uTrack24 devices, loaded with Angelbird SSD hard drives, to manage

line IDs for the commentary booths. In addition, Riedel provided an access control system designed to simplify guest and crew entry into the arena, boost security, and provide efficient visitor management. The system required personnel to pass through turnstiles where their accreditation cards, embedded with RFID TMBi - 87


chips, were swiped with stationary or wireless reading devices, and the RFID data was matched to an online database. Also, Riedel once again worked with partner TPO to provide a comprehensive IT and infrastructure, including all switches, servers, 170 wireless access points, for up to 2,000 journalists in the press center and a comprehensive Cyber Security Package. Team Riedel for ESC 2018 comprised of 25 people, including project and program management and specialized engineers.

Interview with Benedikt Leister, Project Manager at Riedel What elements of the workflow deployed in this edition of Eurovision Song Contest would you highlight? This is an extensive section. As an overview, I can say to you that we deployed a very big intercom system with TMBi - 88

Artist. We put it together in two different ways, one interconnecting for show intercom, and the other for the commentary system. There were about 200 intercom panels in use at the show, including the ones installed in the OB van of Videohouse. In addition to that, we have supplied about 32 Bolero wireless intercom systems. This is mainly the intercom thing. In addition to the intercom and the commentary system, we have also done the IT infrastructure with our partner TPO, providing over 170 wireless access points. Also, we did the complete radio system, in addition to the intercom system. Almost 600 radios were used.

What challenges did you have to face when deploying this intercom system? The challenge was to manage all these communications lines in one system and to give support to every panel to change the settings. This was a lot of work. It

mainly was the only challenge: to configure the system, because of the size of the event.

You have been taking part of Eurovision for the last thirteen years. Did you develop any Photo by Ralph Larmann


innovation for this edition? One new thing that we have added is the Bolero, which has been also used this year for the technical production. The other systems were already used

in other editions. Of course, they include some new features, but the overall system is mainly the same as last year. We still trust in these systems because they are very reliable. And, for the first time at the European Song Contest, we deployed a complete solution based on SIP to support commentary booths for almost 30 countries covering the contest for their local audiences.

What do you think Riedel brings to this event that other companies could not? What makes you the chosen company to do this? I think that it is mainly because of the different parts handled by us. The combination of our Artist intercom system with the MediorNet real-time network. It is also because of the size of this system. That is one of the reasons why the system is provided by Riedel and not by other companies. We have the system approach and equipment to be able to handle all the communications parts

that are required for this project. Intercom, commentary, signal distribution and routing, radios, IT infrastructure as well as accreditation and guest management. Serkan Gßner, Spokesperson at Riedel, who was also present during this conversation, adds: This is also because of the knowledge and experience the team has. We have been involved for a long time in the Eurovision Song Contest, which brings us a huge experience. This spectacular TV show is watched by 200 million of viewers – you need an extremely excellent crew, where you combine the experience, the technical knowhow in this field and the teamwork. The technical part is a thing that we can deliver because of our holistic system approach. We can deliver the complete communications infrastructure. And, on the other side, we counted on a great and experienced team of 25 people working on site doing a perfect job. TMBi - 89


WTVISION What do you think that makes you different from other competitors to participate as Official Technical Supplier in a major event such as the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC)? The combination of our broad technical knowledge with the way we adapt to every situation, our creativity and imagination to find the best solution and our capacity to work under high pressure is what really makes the difference. wTVision is used to every kind of broadcast live operation and I believe that that kind of flexibility really stands out in such a stressful event like Eurovision. TMBi - 90


You introduced the Studio CG and R³ Space Engine solutions in the ESC. What are their main features? What did they bring to the event? Studio CG is a Video and Graphic Engine Controller specialised in live

operation that is on one hand fully functional out of the box for regular CG shows and newscasts and on the other hand also comes with a very powerful project layer that allows any broadcaster or integrator to embed complex game mechanics and animation logic into its templates for exactly this kind of show where data integration is required in real-time, reranking of all standings is made almost every second and the central standings graphic has to be orchestrated from every individual jury's vote to the next completely restructuring all its elements on screen in front of this massive audience. The introduction of the R³ Space Engine as the underlying real-time 3D rendering engine made this job much easier by providing certain specific technical functionalities that much simpler. One example is the Open Keyframe animations that

allow a designer to specify an object's motion to a keyframeable location without having to specify its origin in the timeline. It's akin to saying "go to this place with a nice animation regardless of where you are onscreen right now". It's easy to see how this one feature can help make this project much simpler to design and implement. These two layered applications allowed wTVision to go into this project with great confidence in the final outcome.

What were the main elements of the workflow that you deployed at ESC? We had four graphics workstations equipped with R³ Space Engine placed inside a cabin close to the OB Van. Two of them were used for broadcast graphics and two for voting graphics (main and backup). The broadcast graphics were operated in the OB Van TMBi - 91


and the voting graphics were operated inside the arena under the supervision of EBU. Additionally, we had two video signals that fed the Host Voting System with relevant and specific information and one other to supply all the commentators with relevant data. Digame, the company entrusted to secure the collection and transfer of the voting results provided the voting data, which we integrated.

Also, there was a team of six wTVision operators in the venue. How important do you consider the technical support for this event? Extremely important. It is one thing to supply our technology, but to be there to operate it, knowing that everyone that helped in this project’s development could make sure everything ran smoothly, was a huge help. TMBi - 92

Photo by Ralph Larmann

We had no unexpected trouble during the live coverage and I believe the fact that we had wTVision’s team on the venue had a lot to do with it.

What were the main challenges you had to overcome?

The final part of each broadcast was probably the most critical aspect of our operation because Eurovision Song Contest is a very particular show. Every time we had to change the scoreboard or announce the winners we had to coordinate


every potential obstacle and we were lucky enough to work in a very organized and dedicated production. We tested almost all possible problems we could expect to find in a live operation like this, offset and onset, so when the time came we were ready.

Would you like to add something else? I would just like to add that this was a great opportunity for wTVision and its staff, and we loved every minute of it. It was a pleasure to be part of such different timings to make sure everyone got the right information at the right time: hosts, audience, and commentators. The graphics integration was also a challenge because we had to replicate exactly what RTP (Eurovision host

broadcaster) developed, with extreme attention to detail.

a major event and such a

Did you find any special obstacle or trouble during the live coverage?

capacity to be part of it

I don’t think so. We prepared for months for

reach and relevance of

successful production. We demonstrated our and now we want to do more and work on even more projects with the Eurovision. TMBi - 93

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports


The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports The Board Room of the exclusive Santo Mauro Hotel in Madrid, where the First TM Broadcast Breakfast was held

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The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

With the sponsorship of

Text: Daniel Esparza Photos: Pedro Cobo

The match starts long before the referee blows the starting whistle. The same can be said of live sports broadcasts. Nothing should be taken for granted; everything requires prior study and planning. The technical team operates with the maximum efficiency to transfer the emotion of each match to the spectator's screen so that the sport remains just that: show and passion. Emili Planas (left), Mediapro’s CTO and Javier de Martín (right), TM Broadcast’s CEO

Each sporting event is different, unique and unmatched (excuse the pun!). It’s something that players and coaches know very well. That’s why sport is a combination of show

and passion. Improvising is not an option here. A prior strategy must be designed for each match, and the team's capacity to respond to any possible scenario must be well appraised.

In its first working breakfast at the prestigious Santo Mauro Hotel in Madrid, TM Broadcast brought together several of the top sports production managers in Spain, with the aim of discussing their strengths, challenges and TMBi - 95

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

shortcomings. Emili Planas, Director of Operations and CTO, and Óscar Lago, Sports Director both of the Mediapro Group attended the meeting. David Quintana, Manager of Sports Production, and Víctor Santamaría, Head of Sports Production, were there from Movistar+. Javier Serrano, RTVE's sports director, also participated. Toni Feliú and José Carlos Sánchez, both Sales Managers of Panasonic Ibérica and Vizrt, sponsors of the breakfast, also in attendance. Luis Sanz, a renowned technical television consultant and a regular contributor to this magazine, mediated the event. This breakfast coincided with TM Broadcast's 10thanniversary celebration, which will take place next month. Initiatives such as this one show that the publication is going through its best moment, as the editor of the magazine, Javier de Martín, highlighted during the opening of the event. TMBi - 96

Match planning tools Prior planning is critical when producing a match. Best decisions lie on rigorous studies. Besides, you sometimes have to deal with factors you can't entirely control, such as the stadium. In football, for instance, the latter is indeed no longer a problem. The new sports production model agreed by LaLiga and Mediapro includes a series of obligations and rights between the clubs regarding sports broadcasts. "It is no longer a question of a business relationship, but of complying with a regulation" says Óscar Lago, Mediapro's sports director. “This agreement has led to the clubs competing with each other to see who can make the best broadcast” says Óscar. The signing of the pact has thus become an incentive for investment. Emili Planas summarised the purpose of this agreement, which other regular leagues wish

David Quintana, Manager of Sports Production of Movistar +, and Javier Serrano, Director of RTVE Sports.

to follow, in two words: optimise and standardise. Basketball is following the same process, says Víctor Santamaría, head of Sports Development at Movistar plus. “The agreement with the clubs is the real match planning tool” he admitted. Of course, the MadridBarça Classic match does not require the same technical planning as a second division match. A special sporting event is far from being an “industrialised” product, in the words of Emili Planas.

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

affirmed Emili Planas.

Mobile Units vs Remote Production

“Each Classic is—following the same example— different, unique. Experience, imagination and previous coordination are the three pillars that make such a broadcast a success” explained the CTO of Mediapro. Special events, in general, require constant technological evolution. Some of the speakers at the table highlighted the willingness of some camera manufacturers to incorporate some of the technological innovations they themselves suggested. Such is the case with Panasonic,

"We haven't saved any money with remote production", said Emili Planas, but he then went on to qualify: “It does mean a substantial improvement in operation, because the technicians who work in remote production, due to the characteristics of their work, are more specialised and know each other better.” David Quintana, Movistar's Sports Production Manager, agreed with this diagnosis. “Remote production” he said “will be the great revolution of the future, and not just for sports”. In the case of Moto GP or Formula 1, where travel costs are also higher due to the distance between circuits, the remote production opens up new opportunities. Movistar plus is negotiating with Dorna and Sky Italia to introduce these technologies, affirms

David. One of the keys to this technology is that it allows for more controlled environments during live production, thus increasing guarantees. “When you travel, some Mobile Units are fine, but others are not. This way, you always have the same tools” added Óscar Lago. Javier Serrano, from RTVE, raised one of the doubts related to this type of production: “If the production team is not present on the production stage, because it operates remotely, won't some important details for broadcast go unnoticed?” Emili Planas explained that the level of satisfaction among filmmakers who have used this technology has been much higher than their initial expectations. A problem with this technology is that the director must have a latency of 6 frames. Although this usually is irrelevant, “at critical times it can be a problem” admitted Óscar Lago. In any case, there is a TMBi - 97

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

consensus that the advantages are overwhelming.

Ideal Mobile Unit In any case, sports production is not going to do without Mobile Units in the coming years, so many investments will continue to be made in this area. “The Mobile Units in Spain are very meagre”, warned Víctor Santamaría. The situation is, according to him, very different in countries such as England, Germany and France, where UMs are “between 50 and 60 percent higher”. David Quintana supported this analysis and argued that one of the reasons for this was that there is very little competition in Spain. Another reason was the recent economic crisis, according to Óscar Lago. But his diagnosis of the current situation was different: “Right now, our technical level is equal to or higher than that of other countries”. Emili Planas, also from Mediapro, agreed and pointed out: “We are among the best in technical equipment, but TMBi - 98

we have not focused so much on the continent”, in reference to the external appearance of the large Mobile Units of other countries. And this is no trivial issue. As Javier Serrano explained, and the rest coincided, “in these Mobile Units, where the aspect and ergonomics are taken care of, we end up working better”. An issue that also caused a stir among the professionals at the meeting was the difference in Spain between broadcasting rights and investment required for production. “It's beastly. This disproportion does not occur in any other country” says David Quintana. Another challenge that affects the quality of the Mobile Units is the durability of the equipment. “It has dropped substantially” said Emili Planas, “and that is a serious problem. It's not that our equipment is out of date, it's just that it stops working for us”.

4K-HDR A UHD resolution must accompany the introduction of HDR. “Introducing HDR over HD is technically possible, but not at the market level” said Emili Planas. The next target of Mediapro, which already operates with this technology, is to acquire small HDR cameras. One of the doubts raised by 4K is the need for standardisation, but no speaker saw any obstacle here. “It has happened with all the previous technologies” explained David Quintana. “4K is Óscar Lago, Mediapro Sports Director, and Víctor Santamaría, Head of Realization of Movistar + sports.

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

already here, all that's left is for it to become standardised”. However, the vast majority of televisions are HD-SDR, a problem that is admitted by all professionals. The challenge is in transmission, not production. "The day the native image of the [4KHDR] monitor reaches people, the difference will be enormous," David anticipated.

Backpacks The experiences with 4G backpacks among the

audiovisual groups represented here are, in general, excellent. Víctor Santamaría, from Movistar plus, admitted that he was "amazed", although, according to him, this technology posed a problem. In specific scenarios, such as coverage of the finish line in a marathon, “the available network doesn't even allow you to send a text message” he illustrated. Javier Serrano confirmed that his experience with this technology was also very satisfactory. “It is superfast”.

Social media and second screens With regard to 360º technology for repetitions, Óscar Lago highlighted that, in addition to being a useful application tool for live performances, 360º replays also have an enormous impact on Facebook® and other platforms. Social media undoubtedly open up a wide range of possibilities. In this sense, David Quintana stressed that for Movistar plus, as a pay-

per-view channel operator, “social media is window to the world”. The use of second screens during live broadcasts has also been a matter of debate. Each sport has its own specifications, according to the speakers. In the case of football, Emili Planas believed that fans do not pay much attention to a second screen during the broadcasting of matches. “In live football, there is no interaction” said Óscar, agreeing. Generally speaking, Emili Planas considered that this technology was still "costly and there is not enough demand", although there would be in the end. Some voices at the table confirmed that there were already movements in this area. José Carlos, from Vizrt, revealed that his company had reached an agreement with Eurosport to prepare specific content for other screens, such as mobile phones or tablets. “We see an interesting market here” he said. Another TMBi - 99

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

technology in fashion is Virtual Reality/Increased Reality. According to Víctor Santamaría, “this will come in a matter of months”. This technology could allow the spectator to watch a football match from the sofa as if he were sitting in the stadium’s grandstand. A challenge for the future may be the introduction of platforms such as Facebook® or Netflix® into the sports business. "On a TMBi - 100

technological level, for me, they are just another distribution channel, just another customer", explained Emili Planas, pointing out the advantages of OTT services over traditional operators: "The technological evolution within these platforms is straightforward. You only depend on their players. It is easier to implement HDR here, while on TV it is incredibly complicated. You also have a great

capacity to know if people like your content". David Quintana believed that considering the situation of the price of rights in Spain, it is difficult to see how these platforms can break into the sports sector at the moment.

Some conclusions In the final part of the conversation, the moderator Luis Sanz

The technological challenges in the audiovisual production of sports

asked the participants what they thought was needed to improve sports production. According to Óscar Lago, the technological level of football is “already incredible”. Javier Serrano agreed with him that the level is already very high.

aware of this, and assured that he was aware of complaints from users when the quality level was lower than desired. Emili Planas pointed out, in contrast, that “quality is not appreciated as much in Spain as in other countries”.

But this quality does not extend to all sports productions, according to Toni Feliú of Panasonic. Many matches are still being broadcast in SD. In this respect, Víctor Santamaría warned that the final spectator is

In the case of Movistar, David Quintana believed that his company’s priority was to stabilise everything they have already started, to implement the technology they have at their disposal.

As a conclusion, Emili pointed out that those in charge of companies should sometimes make decisions that involve going beyond the norm: “In many cases, the final decision is determined by the current craze or the fact that you know for sure that it works. However, I believe that sometimes we must opt out of the comfort zone in search of excellence and innovation, even if it means taking a less comfortable position.”

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Post-Production by Elements

AI in post-production: What’s the best take? Opinion piece by André Kamps, CEO at ELEMENTS When it comes to AI post-production, people’s emotions range from deep concerns that fully autonomous, self-improving AI may affect the human workforce negatively, to great enthusiasm about AI as an exciting new tool with a lot of potential to push the limits. The big question is: How to deploy Artificial Intelligence-based technologies particularly in post-production?

We all know: Artificial intelligence is changing almost every aspect of modern life today, and the media and entertainment industry is no exception. For the TV business and home entertainment providers like Netflix, for instance, AI is already providing noticeable benefits, as both advertising and content can be presented in a tailored fashion to the audience, increasing revenue due to an unprecedentedly customized and targeted approach. But Artificial intelligence (AI) and TMBi - 102

deploy AI - and actually benefit from it?

AI to boost efficiency and productivity

machine learning (ML) technologies will inevitably also transform the way we handle postproduction tasks. But how can specifically postproduction facilities

Aside from highly ambitious attempts to let AI take over script writing or editing tasks, for example, there are ways to usher in the new era – and leverage the power of AI purposefully and successfully. One rather tedious, yet utterly important and helpful task in postproduction is, without a

Post-Production by Elements

doubt, the tagging of media assets in your media asset management (MAM) system. Adding “intelligent” metadata (yes, pun intended) to the footage used to require hours and hours of manual work, and at the end of the day you still couldn’t be certain that all relevant descriptive data was attached properly. AI can easily execute this task, probably in a much more diversified fashion than any human being, but definitely a lot faster than any human being could ever do it. If analyzing and tagging of an entire day of footage takes only minutes instead of multiple hours, while providing even more valuable in-depth information compared to the human attempt, both efficiency and productivity are increased significantly. This boost in capability will have a positive impact on the postproduction of the entire project, as the enhanced searchability of the media assets.

Virtually impossible tasks become easy and fast Another daunting task is the preparation of transcripts. With the right AI engine, transcripts can be performed automatically – and even be translated into a multitude of other languages, almost simultaneously. The benefits are obvious: Subtitling becomes a breeze with AI, even in different languages.

Enhanced automation While we at ELEMENTS always strive to design our media storage solutions with

easy-to-use features for workflow automation, AI can increase the productivity by decreasing the manual effort in other ways. After careful consideration we have decided to partner up with Veritone®, and enabled aiWare to work seamlessly on all our appliances. With a simple mouse-click, media assets are automatically analyzed for objects, words, faces, brands and many more parameters without diminishing the hardware performance. The analyzed data will appear and tied to the correct asset.

Bottom line While AI is still in its infancy, and we expect many more purposeful applications to come around over time, AI can already make a big difference today – especially when it comes to media asset management. In a fast-pace environment such as post-production, human beings don’t have to bother with crunching the data anymore – but can use their precious time elsewhere. Designed to perform extremely tedious and time consuming tasks, AI gets the job done faster and probably better than any human, increasing efficiency and usability significantly. Keep in mind though: When deploying AI for your media asset management be prepared to spend some time “teaching” your AI application what you need. Because that’s where the ML (machine leaning) comes into play. TMBi - 103

ABEX Conference

Where to Find Mature Solutions and Wines Author: Martin Junek,

Over the years, people have frequently remarked how among the talent gathered together at the annual ABEX (Associated Broadcast Experts) conference, situated in Mikulov, a famous wine region, one can find in one room, a range of experts who between them could design, create and operate a complete, globallyadvanced, state-of-the-art broadcasting enterprise. Paradoxically, most of these experts can be found practising their arts in one Central European region, formerly known as Czechoslovakia. Foremost amongst our broadcasting specialists are companies such as Aveco, Comprimato, Nangu TV, Octopus Newsroom, Provys, Redcap, Stream Circle and Technocrane. Should our valued reader recognise any TMBi - 104

of these names, then you should also know that these companies are all located within only a few miles of each other. There are strong historical reasons for this. First of all, some of the early development of television technology originated in this region and was actually used to broadcast elements of the 1936 Olympics to those few lucky enough to have access to appropriate receivers. In those days, live broadcasts experienced a few minutes delay as film from the camera was processed and converted to an appropriate electronic signal suitable for broadcasting. Funnily enough, subsequent analogue live broadcasting was truly live whilst current digital live broadcasting also experiences a few seconds delay. Following the second World War, this region fell

prey to the Soviet Union who immediately recognised how usefully our technologies could be harnessed to support their need for constant brainwashing and propaganda. This proved to be a kind of blessing in disguise as the broadcasting industry in this region was supported from Moscow and continued to develop stateof-the-art technologies. With the advent of LSI in the early 1980s, this region fell behind a little owing to economic constraints but other aspects of the industry still remained ABEX Conference, Mikulov, Czech Republic

ABEX Conference

at the cutting edge. 1989 saw the Velvet Revolution with the Czechoslovakian broadcasting sector ready and willing to take its place among the best that the West could offer. In addition to Technocrane, who have already established themselves globally by winning the Oscar Award for Merit at the National Film Academy Awards ceremony a few years ago, we should also say a few words concerning the other four local but global players here today. Firstly, Aveco who design studio production automation, master control automation, and integrated channel playout systems worldwide. Varieties of Aveco architecture are available, from complex multi-channel, multi-site operations to small

standalone. Secondly, Octopus Newsroom, "The System for Better News", is a fully MOS-compliant Newsroom Computer System (NRCS), automating all the complex workflows for television, radio, sports and e-sports broadcasters. Octopus facilitates editorial collaboration between news team members at every stage of the newscast production process. It runs natively on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X; mobile apps are also available. Thirdly, Provys as a global provider of backoffice management software for broadcasters helps them “to run their channels as they would like to”. Provys established its worldwide reputation not only for strong and stable software solutions, but additionally for a friendly and human approach to their clients, which is always appreciated in the boring world of ERP. Last but not least, Stream Circle have now established themselves as pioneers of cloud-based automation as a service for small or midsized broadcasters, featuring channel scheduling, 3D graphics and video files

play-out with easy integration of on-line data. Stream Circle output is good for channels distributed over Web, IPTV, OTT, Cat TV or Mobile. Today, here we are in the luxury and splendour of Mikulov, famous for fine wines, just north of Vienna, where the big global names and wine connoisseurs are gathered together with the renowned local names to recap on the events of the recent NAB convention. Key participants and presenters this year include: Axon, Blackmagicdesign, Canon, Chyron Hego, Dell EMC, Eizo, Isilon, Newtek, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz, Zeiss and more. We should mention that the majority of the participants at the ABEX Conference, since 2002, have been from the broadcasting stations of this region, coming together to share information and experience in the formal conference sessions and in the evenings, whilst stealing each others’ ideas over a glass or three of Moravian wine, the other famous product from this area. TMBi - 105

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Panasonic AU-EVA1

We try

Panasonic AU-EVA1 The “youngest” of a cinema family Lab testing performed by Pablo Martínez

In mid-2017, Panasonic introduced its new lightweight, compact camera focused on the film/broadcast market with a 5.7K 35 mm sensor, EF lens mount and many other features that you can read about in this lab. Thanks to Panasonic's experience with its "Varicam" cameras, which have received so much acclaim within the industry, we now have a "little" sister in our hands, developed mainly to

obtain dynamic and spectacular images (as a main or secondary camera) thanks to its light weight. It allows us to work in almost every possible environment without losing the "look" of our production (whether it is an advertising spot, a fiction series, etc.), as well as on drones, light hot heads, etc., something that is very common in practically all modern productions nowadays.

LET'S GET TO KNOW IT With a body weight of only 1.2 Kg and dimensions of 17x13.5x13.3 cm, it is a surprisingly "small" camera for the performance it offers. The removable rotating handgrip, the "handle", the touch screen, the menus and the image make you feel as if you are working with the "Varicam LT" TMBi - 107


itself. Its standard EF mount covers a large number of lenses, although if we want to work with PL mounts, there are third-party kits specific to the EVA1, which allow you to modify it without too much of a hassle. It has electronic image stabilisation, which helps compensate the vibrations you get when recording without stabilisation systems. It has a 5.7K S35 sensor (5720x3016 pixels) that provides 17.25 million photodiodes of capture, double the 8.8 million required to obtain 4K images. This allows you to obtain 4K images with greater clarity in less aliasing and more colour fidelity in the image than with a native 4K sensor capture. We found a dual native ISO inherited from the "VariCam", although limited to 800 and 2500, which provides you with the ability to extract more information from the sensor without affecting the image. We also need to be realistic when TMBi - 108

working with native ISO's and not over-use them if we do not want to see any noise in specific lighting conditions. The dynamic range allows 14 stops, thanks to the V-Log/V-Gamut capture, one of the most critical features inherited from the "VariCam", which gives us a tremendous dynamic range and colour information. We will notice this process by capturing more natural skin details and colours than some of the other manufacturers' cameras. It has several colour profiles and five user memories where we can define the gamma curve, among other parameters. It also offers you the ability to work with HDR using HLG HDR. The available codecs are MOV and AVCHD. They

allow you to choose from a wide range of transfer rates from 8Mbps to 400Mbps, with a maximum sample rate of 4:2:2 to 10 bits. It is possible to record in different formats and at different compression rates: 4K (4096 x 2160), UHD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), FHD (1920 x 1080), and HD (1280 x 720). The EVA1 offers

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allows you to capture independent frames to record videos in stop motion.

FIRMWARE UPGRADE When we were doing this lab, Panasonic announced the future availability of the new firmware 2.0, which indicates its commitment with the EVA1. This upgrade includes, but is not limited to, the following enhancements:

high-speed recording at up to 59.94 fps/50 fps at 4K/UHD, up to 120 fps/100 fps at 2K/Full HD or up to 240 fps/200 fps with a sensor pickup area trim. It has two SD card slots, with the option of capturing images with the Relay Rec (continuous recording) or Simul Rec (simultaneous dual recording) functions. We also have the single-frame recording option, which

• RAW video output by 6G SDI to enable recording through an external recorder. Output formats include 5.7K up to 30fps, 4K up to 60fps and 2K up to 240fps. The 5.7K RAW output will be in the native Super35 size format of the EVA1 sensor, while the 4K RAW signals in 4K and 2K will only be possible with the sensor trimming to Four Thirds. Very useful in postproduction. • There is the possibility of recording to ALL-I Intraframe codec. It implies that each frame is compressed individually (intraframe

By way of summary, the most outstanding specifications are: Sensor - Super-35 - 5.7K (5720×3016) - Dual sensitivity ISO 800 and 2500 - Attractive colorimetry Optical block - EF mount - Electronic image stabilisation (EIS) - Infrared blocking/unblocking - Filter wheel ND (2/4/6 stops) Processing - 4K60p, 2k and 240p - 4K60p / 2k to 240p - Up to 400 Mbps video codec for secure recording - V-log and V-gamut: 14 dynamic range levels - Recording on SD card - 5.7K RAW output (future upgrade) Inputs/Outputs - Audio XLR - 4K HDMI and SDI video outputs

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coding), as opposed to interframe coding in which several frames are compressed together. Intraframe coding is an exciting option because although it initially involves larger files, in the end, the editing is faster as it requires less processing power. The new firmware 2.0 will, therefore, allow the EVA1 to record to the ALLI Intraframe codec at 4K DCI or UHD at 10-bit 422 at up to 400Mbps, and new interlaced codec options: FHD (1920X1080) ALL-I 100MBPS 10-BIT 422 59.94I/50I; FHD (1920X1080) 50MBPS 10BIT LONG-GOP 422 59.94I/50I. This update will allow you to use remote cable drivers from external manufacturers, so there will be more options for focus and iris control for lenses. And it will also enable the zoom control of Canon's Compact Cine Servo lenses (CN-E 18-80 mm and CN-E 70-200 mm). Remote operation of these lenses will also be possible wirelessly TMBi - 110

through the EVA ROP application. The new upgrade will allow the time-lapse function in both Long-GOP and All-I modes. As improvements, we will see a "partial" reflection of the information available on the camera's LCD at the HDMI output, something we missed in the unit used for this lab.

FIELD OPERATION AND DETAILS The structure of the camera is well finished. In the upper part, working with the handle, you have two anchors for auxiliary elements, such as a field spotlight. The monitor and support for ambient microphones will be placed on the front part.

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We also have two anchors for a shoulder strap (included). The anchorage of the monitor is made using a bar, with a pivoting clamp, which allows it to pivot on its axis at +/- 90 degrees. The monitor is a 3.5" (16x9) resistive touch LCD, as used on the DVX200. This screen requires a little pressure to activate but is

not affected by moisture or gloves. Depending on the needs, we can rotate or reflect the image on the monitor as required for our orientation. If we want a viewfinder in the classic "eng camera viewfinder" format, we can buy it from third-party manufacturers. The base of the camera has threads to place anchors with 1/4" and 3/8" threads. The touchscreen LCD monitor is 3.5". Here, we can see the image in 16:9 format, as well as the camera's working parameters, with the advantage that they do not overlap the image during shooting, but are located at the top and bottom of the LCD monitor. It has a unique artificial horizon for camera levelling on the side margins, using coloured indicators for pitch and roll. Like marginal telemetry, these discrete markers provide useful information without stepping on the image. The LCD monitor has a resolution of 1,150,000 dots. This, in combination

with the focus aids, provides you with three levels of digital peak in a variety of colours, unusual but highly functional "focus squares" and one of the best FOCUS WIDE MODES on the market. We can display 2x, 3x or 4x at the touch of a button and we can perform this operation by turning any of the menu wheels, both on the body and on the handle. Note that the expanded mode is available during recording. A small WFM can be activated in the corner of the image. The ranges show what the signal is doing, not what the display shows, so if you are recording V-Log, you will see V-Log levels in the WFM even if you are monitoring in V-709. There is also a point metre function, which displays the signal level of a point in the centre of the screen. Double zebras complete the exposure monitoring tools. When it comes to operating with this monitor, interaction is TMBi - 111



simple. We can control all the brightness and contrast values according to the needs and the environment in which we are shooting. When filming on very sunny days, we have an integrated sun visor that makes it much easier to see the monitor, although, from experience, it is better to extend it with an external sun visor. The EVA1 is a small and compact camera, perfectly balanced for a comfortable tripod or handheld work. Start-up takes approximately 8 seconds, faster than the VariCam LT. In the field tests carried out, the configuration of the system was relatively easy. Several indoor and outdoor filming tests were carried out, using the different ISO modes including HLG feedback. The results were excellent; we already knew what to expect from the EVA1 knowing its "big sister", the VariCam LT with which we have worked on many occasions. We currently have several cameras on the TMBi - 112

market in the EVA1 segment, but it shows great potential in excellent resolution, wide dynamic range and recording formats. The main points I would highlight from the EVA1 are:

• 10-bit recording, even at moderate VFR speeds. It offers an internal recording of 4: 2: 2 10 bits at 150 Mbit/sec, on SDXC type cards. V-Log and HLG modes with 14 dynamic range stops are also available to use all 10 bits.

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• The colour we're used to with Panasonic: Panasonic's colour palette is neutral and natural and is often compared to the

intensity of ARRI cameras. It is well intercalated with VariCam; well intercalated with GH5. The vast majority of those who have used it rave about their subtle blue and cyan handling. • Inspired by VariCam, with an SBSP display and its use of "preset memories" for shutter angles, frame rates and white balance, the EVA1 can be operated as a VariCam.

camera and start/stop the recordings. The ROP provides control of the camera but does not allow video transmission.

WHAT WE COULD BE MISSING To be honest, there is not much we miss, but if I had to say something, it would be: The lack of an ENG camera style viewfinder

It's a mental change from using other cameras, but once you understand the flow of control and spend a few minutes preparing your presets, you can make adjustments to the camera with little to no menu input. The operation is very intuitive and straightforward. You can tell it has been designed considering operator’s needs.


Note that if you install a Wi-Fi dongle in the available USB port, there is an application called EVA ROP (remote operation panel) that will allow you to configure the

surprised me both in

No Autofocus recording available.

CONCLUSION Preparing this laboratory with the EVA1, in short, has been fantastic, the big problem was to reflect the sheer potential of this great camera that has handling and quality. I would like to thank Panasonic for the loan of this camera, as well as IB3 for their facilities. TMBi - 113

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