TM Broadcast International 74, October 2019

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28 Working in the Cloud

24 Matrox and the University of Kentucky

10 + 1 trends of IBC 2019


44 Cloud responds to the challenges and opportunities of broadcasting

68 Celebration of Young Talent at IBC

60 A free OTT platform ready to operate as a premium distribution channel Interview with Mr. Guy-Laurent Epstein, Director of Marketing of UEFA Events SA.

Editor in chief Javier de Martín

Creative Direction Mercedes González

Key account manager Susana Sampedro

Editorial staff Sergio Julián

Translation Fernando Alvárez

Administration Laura de Diego

TM Broadcast International #74 October 2019

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 ISSN: 2659-5966

EDITORIAL It is always a pleasure to return to IBC. It is a perfect opportunity to take stock of the market, check first-hand the latest technology trends, exchange views with all relevant industry players, meet again with old friends and enjoy a city like Amsterdam, which always has something new to offer. A broad team of TM Broadcast travelled to RAI Amsterdam in order to bring you comprehensive information on this event, as you will see by reading our extensive article identifying ten keys to understand this fair. We would like, nonetheless, to advance you one of them: the role of this event in the global industry is changing. It is no longer a meeting point in which the innovations seen at NAB Las Vegas are put into practice, but also an event generating global novelties. And this has just started: We are eager to see through its conclusion the transformation that the European event is undergoing. We will not give you any more spoilers about this article, but we can definitely say that the contents featured in this issue are a good picture of the topics discussed by the main players that attend to the event in Amsterdam. For example, the consolidation of OTT platforms can be seen once again with, an initiative recently implemented by the Union des Associations EuropĂŠennes de Football in order to keep promoting international football. We found out more about its technology and prospects for the future in an interesting interview. In a different field, cloud services are appearing as the big solution that broadcasters all around the world were looking for. We tackle the wide range of opportunities offered by the cloud in an in-depth feature article. And we reaffirm our commitment in providing you with content linked to current issues and state-of-the-art technology. Thank you for being with us in TM Broadcast International yet another month.



Embrionix: Simplifying The Path To and Through IP Embrionix provides very compact, high-density IP gateways, IP signal processors, converters, and multiviewers for broadcast video applications. The company’s innovative, low-footprint solutions free up premium rack space, consume less power, and close the gap between fiber-optic, coaxial, and emerging IP technology deployments. The transition to IP becomes much easier with a highly optimized solution for SDI-to-IP conversion provided by Embrionix. The company offers a full range of software-defined (SMPTE ST 2110) IP conversion and processing solutions geared toward simplifying the path to and through the transition to IP. The new Embrionix emVIRTU IP-to-IP media processing and core infrastructure platform made its debut earlier on this year at NAB2019 to multiple product awards, while its emFUSION compact, standalone IP gateway began shipping prior to the show and has gained global traction as an ideal software-defined, stand-alone gateway for remote broadcast production. Here, we take a closer look at Embrionix IBC2019 offerings and the benefits they bring to market:

emVIRTU IP-to-IP Media Processing Platform for HD up to UHD The award-winning emVIRTU IP-to-IP media processing and core infrastructure platform from Embrionix is housed in a high-density, 1RU frame that is packed with serious IP media processing power for mission-critical and all-IP media production environments. The platform offers an efficient, passive-frame design that allows users to minimize energy costs and cabling while optimizing space. With aggregation bandwidth reaching up to 1.6Tb/s, the platform is also designed to allow broadcasters and other users to produce high-resolution UHD, HD, and 3G content efficiently and without constraints. For UHD environments, the emVIRTU is designed to offer up to 64 x IP processing functions or for HD environments, up to 256 x IP processing functions in a 1RU passive frame .The Embrionix platform supports a modular approach, enabling the selective addition of virtualized processing functionalities such as frame synchronization, up/down/cross-conversion, and multiviewer capabilities.

emFUSION The compact emFUSION-6 is a SDI-to/from-IP and IP-to-HDMI gateway with support for HD, 3G, and SMPTE ST 2110 UHD. The software-defined, stand-alone gateway is ideal for remote broadcast production, interconnecting SDI signals to an IP infrastructure via a single 25GE aggregation link or via dual links for (SMPTE ST 2022-7) hitless redundancy. The emFUSION-6 supports up to three channels of encapsulation and three channels of de-encapsulation. Signals from the camera are synchronized to the PTP.

emVIEW Embrionix offers its emVIEW IP-to-HDMI 2.0 gateway with universal support for all 4K/UHD signal formats and resolutions up to 4K/UHD 60Hz/hitless redundancy, with support for any wide, linear, and narrow sender. Making the most of a 25GE IP interface (hitless), this versatile gateway guards the integrity of the 4K/UHD image on an HDMI display, regardless of signal type or format, whether from a quad ST 2110 1080p flow (Square Division or Two Sample Interleaved) or a single SMPTE ST 2110 4K/UHD flow.


SGO boosts Mistika Workflows, its media management, transcoding and delivery app automated process. Greater level of automation is additionally provided with a new AutoRun functionality launching queued workflows without intervention. New scripting features have also been added such as a Script Editor for Python coding and Python Preset Library providing users to further optimize tasks by creating their own assembled presets.

SGO has released an enhanced Open Beta of its first media management, transcoding and delivery application Mistika Workflows. This latest version showcased at IBC 2019 brings many new features and improvements made throughout the software. “After having a very successful IBC 2019 we are releasing an upgraded Open Beta of Mistika


Workflows adding new features and many enhancements based on the valuable feedback received since the initial launch,” said Miguel Angel Doncel, CEO at SGO. Newly integrated with, Pix and Slack, Mistika Workflows enables its users to comprehensively connect various parts of their post-production pipeline into one

Additional developments in this release include a new Streaming Universal Paths feature, updated Move and Copy nodes and enhanced Watch Folders together with other improvements. Mistika Workflows is completely free of charge during the Open Beta period and available to everyone wanting to testdrive it and give their feedback on pre-release versions: 


Qvest Media integrates Avid solutions in its new Qvest.Cloud post-production environment A ready-to-use post production infrastructure, based on virtualized Avid | NEXIS® storage systems that runs on Microsoft Azure and Avid Media Composer | Cloud VM, is now available on Qvest.Cloud – Qvest Media’s Multicloud Management Platform. Avid’s applications are available as part of the post production package Q.Create and offer deployment models for Avid end users. Avid’s cloud solutions and Q.Create enables teams to access and edit their media assets with a browser at a remote location. Software licenses for Avid editing seats or production capacities can be scaled up and down for short contract periods. In addition, Q.Create have additional software 8 OCTOBER ‘19

features from Marquis to accelerate editing processes by transferring ground editing projects to Avid NEXIS | Cloud for further locationindependent and cloudbased collaborative work by editing teams. “Since we became an Avid Certified Cloud Partner at NAB Show in April 2019, we have been

highly motivated to integrate Avid’s cloud solutions with Qvest.Cloud. Thanks to the close and fast collaboration between Avid’s and our cloud experts, we will introduce the easily deployable, cloud-based post production package Q.Create at IBC Show,” said Thomas Müller, CTO Qvest Media. 


Studio control room.

Nagoya Broadcasting Network enhances IP capabilities with Clear-Com intercom solutions The Nagoya Broadcasting Network, a broadcasting organization based in the Chukyo area of Japan, has upgraded its in-house intercom to a system based around Clear-Com Eclipse® HX digital matrix frames, taking full advantage of Clear-Com’s IP capabilities. The installation was completed by ClearCom’s local Partner, MTC Japan. The first part of the system offers a comprehensive room-toroom intercom system that features an Eclipse 10 OCTOBER ‘19

HX-Median at its heart, with Clear-Com’s new EIPA™ interface cards that enable high density audio-and-intercom-overIP connections. The system also includes over 30 V-Series Panels that can monitor and send communications over AES67 uncompressed audio IP streams, enabling the system to deliver high quality audio from user to user with significantly reduced latency. VHF/UHF radios have also been integrated into the matrix frame to allow for a complete communications solution.

The second part of the broadcaster’s installation spans across three studios (A, B, and C), which all connect to an Eclipse HXOmega intercom matrix frame that has both E-IPA cards and E-FIB cards enabled as well as VSeries Panels. An IP switch is installed on each floor of the broadcast studio, with media converters for long distance cabling. This is useful when broadcasting large special events, enabling all the production team’s VSeries IP panels to easily connect to each floor’s IP


switches, allowing for fast, simple connections. The installation also includes E-FIB link cards for seamless fiber connections to the studio intercom frame, offering increased versatility. The entire system connects over 90 4-wire lines.

mobile devices, connecting field reporters to the Eclipse HX system while they are on location. In addition the broadcaster has a mixminus system for reporters, and uses IFBs for mobile camera systems.

Beyond the wired comms, Nagoya Broadcasting Network also uses Clear-Com’s Agent-IC application on

Kazuki Hayashi, Chief Audio Engineer of the Nagoya Broadcast Network commented, “We need a communication

system that can expand to meet our needs while still staying within our budget. Clear-Com IP connections are scalable and ideal for everything we do. The staff has perfect communication using Clear-Com, and our local Partner, MTC Japan, provided us the right proposal to fit our needs. In the end it was a perfect installation." 


disguise hits the road on EMEA Open House tour

The roadshow will head to seven more locations across Europe and the Middle East over the next six weeks, including stops in Amsterdam, Madrid, Barcelona, Dubai, Berlin, Oslo and Gothenburg. 12 OCTOBER ‘19

Attendees at the European Open House showcases will also be able to discover how the disguise workflow can be used to explore designs, present concepts, sequence shows, and deliver the most complex

designs with ease. In addition, on site demos will include the latest software update, r16, which features support for 10-bit and HDR to create the highest quality video playback,


and improved workflows for their projection toolkit and new workflows for Augmented Reality.

combines unparalleled

- Barcelona: 11 October

output and processing

- Dubai: 15 October

disguise will also be showing the latest high performance hardware, including the awardwinning vx 4, which has been engineered to play back video at the highest quality and resolution possible; the gx 2c which

with more particles,

power, allowing creatives to build environments

- Berlin: 17 October - Oslo: 25 October

effects and richer scenes

- Gothenburg: 29 October

at higher resolutions and

Sign up to join disguise at your nearest location, by visiting: en/community/news/eme a-open-house/

smoother frame rates. The Open House tour includes dates in: - Amsterdam: 2 October - Madrid: 9 October

ď ľ


Ateme enables Full-IP workflow and multi-screen services at NPC Media

NPC Media, Managed Services Operator and joint venture between Nine Entertainment Co. and Seven West Media, has implemented ATEME’s TITAN solution to offer Main Screen DTT and TV everywhere OTT channels in SD and HD to viewers across Australia. ATEME provided NPC Media with a full-IP enabled solution, which includes the softwarebased TITAN Live, TITAN Mux, and ATEME 14 OCTOBER ‘19

Management System (AMS). The provided solution makes workflows simple, efficient and scalable while providing NPC Media with the following benefits: • Superior Bandwidth Efficiency: the deployed solution allows high Video Quality at low bitrates enabling NPC to maximise DTT end-user experiences and increase OTT customer reach • Future-Proof Solution:

the software-only approach leverages ATEME’s continuous research and innovation in video quality, allowing for evolution as new video standards are adopted by the industry • Full-IP Workflow Lowering OPEX and CAPEX: NPC utilises ATEME’s advanced capabilities and high density SMPTE 2022-6 inputs to optimise its workflow


• Partnership approach: ATEME will continuously support NPC in its holistic digital transformation to sustain its leadership in the Australian market “NPC has developed a flexible and efficient, fully IP solution, servicing multiple customers and their specific needs. ATEME, for example, has enabled us to efficiently integrate Broadcast and

OTT requirements, supporting the needs for quality, localisation and targeted audience delivery - key to our clients’ success,” said Chris Howe, GM Commercial and Technical, NPC Media.

project. Kudos to the

“ATEME’s unparalleled technical solution and strong local presence has enabled us to meet the challenges associated with this landmark

platform grows,” said Will

team at NPC Media and the technical team at ATEME Australia for the achievement. We are excited to continue the journey with NPC as the

Munkara-Kerr, ATEME’s country manager for Australia and New Zealand. 


GlobalConnect boosts the Danish Superliga with Nevion’s Virtuoso and VideoIPath The provider of fiber network, data centers and cloud solutions GlobalConnect has decided to implement the software-defined media node Nevion Virtuoso and the orchestration and SDN control software Nevion VideoIPath for its remote production and contribution applications. These solutions will be used for the remote production of the Danish football league Superliga or other sports such as handball. GlobalConnect used to arrange multiple audio, video and network cables from an outdoor cabinet to the OB van. The new solution, which includes Nevion Virtuoso MIs, allows the company to encode and transport HD and 4K/UHD feeds (using JPEG 2000) in real-time from the football stadiums. In addition, it is 16 OCTOBER ‘19

utilized on 4 OB trucks and 2 Mobile Units across the country. On the other hand, Nevion VideoIPath has a clear objective: managing and orchestrating the entire network. Anders Kuhn Saaby, CTO at GlobalConnect said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Nevion during which time we’ve been able to feed feature requests into the products to fit our needs. As an integrated digital infrastructure provider, we have a great interest in the SDI to IP development and Nevion has been instrumental in our first phase of

migration to IP.” Hans Hasselbach, Chief Commercial Officer, Nevion, added: “We have partnered with GlobalConnect since 2012 and have provided a number of solutions in this time, including VideoIPath, where we still expect to introduce more benefits with new features for our multitenant and mobile infrastructure components. We look forward to continuing to work with GlobalConnect in the future as it transitions to an IP production environment.” 


ChyronHego announces key appointment of Ariel Garcia as CEO Garcia will drive ChyronHego's expanding focus on product innovation driven by customer requirements. He joined ChyronHego as a board member in 2015, following a strategic investment from Vector Capital, and stepped into

the business as president of broadcasting at the end of 2018.

head of value creation at

Garcia has a long trajectory of driving growth and operational enhancements for technology companies. Since 2014, he has served as operating partner and

The Boston Consulting

Vector Capital. Previously, he was senior principal at Group, where he led the company's technology, media, and telecommunications practices. ď ľ


Discovery Channel deploys Calrec Brio for the live audio mixing of Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live Majestic Sound Productions agreed to face one of the biggest challenges of live production so far: the live TV broadcast of the opening of a sarcophagus in the middle of Egypt. For live audio mixing, the company chosen by Discovery Channel decided to adopt the Calrec’s Brio36 compact digital broadcast audio console. It wasn’t easy, but according to Mark L. Butler, owner of Majestic Sound Productions, the Calrec device overcame the challenges it has to face: “Being in the middle of the desert made for a lot of logistical issues and problems. We dealt with sandstorms, rain, high winds, and even poisonous cobras and desert vipers, but the Calrec Brio offered the perfect amount of 18 OCTOBER ‘19

ruggedness to get the job done.” Although the core of the show was the live event, Butler also explored the tombs during the pretaped segments and while planning out the show with Calrec solutions: “We climbed down 30-foot ladders and then had to crawl through tunnels and climb over sarcophaguses. In one tomb, we had to make

our way through a 40foot-long tunnel, all the while trying to avoid stepping on 3,000-yearold skeletons and artifacts, in order to set up our RF system. We were not allowed to bring in any antennas or source the RF gear from outside the country, which proved to be the biggest challenge of the shoot. We were using a lot of mismatched RF gear to connect the talent to


multiple receivers.” It was the first time Majestic Sound Productions used Calrec Brio, but the results were optimal: “I generally work on Calrec’s Apollo or Artemis, so this was my first show on the Brio. The learning curve was pretty easy and soon I was navigating as though I work on it all the time. There is so much power

in such a compact package, and I loved being able to ‘draw’ EQ on the screen. Before the Brio, smaller trucks wouldn’t necessarily have the budget or the space for a larger Calrec, so the Brio really fills a missing piece in the mobile audio puzzle.” Helen Carr, regional sales manager at Calrec, is proud of Brio’s

performance: “This is literally one of the most intense productions we’ve ever seen, and we’re glad that Calrec was part of such an historic event. Mark was mixing on a Brio in incredibly inhospitable conditions, so this is a great example of how portable, lightweight, powerful and rugged the Brio console truly is.” 


Broadcast Solutions to enter the market for used OB vehicles with a new service

Broadcast Solutions, one of Europe’s biggest system integrators, enters the market for used OB vehicles. Access-point for used OB vehicles will be the company’s new website: For this new service, the company uses its know-how and expertise in developing 20 OCTOBER ‘19

and building OB vehicles for customers all around the world and offers expert advice and consultancy during the sales process of used OB Vans. Antti Laurila, Global Sales Director at Broadcast Solutions, on the move towards used equipment: “Over the

years we see a growing need for used production vehicles in many countries. Some of our customers want to upgrade their production fleet and are looking for means to fund the purchase by selling their used OBs. Therefore, it was a logical step to use our know-how and sales


network to help them find the right company to sell to.” Within the new business unit, Broadcast Solutions acts as the agent mediating between the seller and prospective new customers of used OB vehicles. Part of the service is, of course, refurbishments of the used OBs, depending on the overall condition and the needs of the buyer. The company will also use its technical expertise to advise of potential changes that could be possible and technology choices which may provide additional

benefits to the new owner. The company also offers an enhanced full support agreement, tailored to protect both equipment and vehicle. With these continuity schemes, buyers can be confident that their new investment will be protected round the clock by engineers they can trust. Identifying necessary technical upgrades for the vehicles to be future-proof investments is a huge benefit for both parties, causing a frictionless sales process and adding more options for the use of certain vehicles.

Broadcast Solutions offers this service worldwide and starts with already four OB trucks in stock, ready for purchase. The main contact person for vendors and buyers is Broadcast Solutions’ Sales Manager Ashley Cochrane; a specialist in used broadcast equipment sales. More information on the used OB truck service from Broadcast Solutions are available here: 


Sonotechnique represents Lawo radio products In Canada Sonotechnique has just been named the Canadian distributor for Lawo Radio products. Sonotechnique President Patrice Delhaes says “Beginning an association with Lawo at this moment is particularly good timing. We have seen that many of radio’s early AoIP adopters are now looking to begin their second round of networked-studio builds. Many stations with traditional studios are also preparing to network. All of them want standards-based networking, rather than proprietary protocols that limit their choices. Lawo, with their continuing technical innovation and commitment to open standards such as RAVENNA and AES67, is a perfect fit.” 

22 OCTOBER ‘19

CP Communications and DC Rentals will provide AV services for large-scale entertainment events CP Communications has partnered with DC Rentals to deliver turnkey AV, content delivery, and security services for large-scale entertainment events. The two companies will support music festivals, sporting events, municipal celebrations and other large outdoor events from RF7, a cobranded event communications and production trailer that brings all required infrastructure together into one mobile command center. . The partnership ensures, according to the press release, that all technology, crewing and expertise is in one place to support all audio, video, data and content delivery (broadcast, streaming) elements, as well as comprehensive event security and communications. The 53-foot RF7 trailer comprises an impressive array of technology to support today’s largest live outdoor events. Core services include the acquisition and distribution of video and audio content over RF, IP and bonded cellular networks, and a digital trunking infrastructure to support thousands of two-way radios and hundreds of surveillance cameras. A flexible equipment rack and power infrastructure, along with a 50-foot mast, offers a scalable architecture to add and subtract systems and capabilities as required.


The CP Communications foundation includes a video production space and an engineering room to support transmission and surveillance. Heitmann notes that the AV and broadcast/streaming infrastructure includes six video recording systems, each capable of supporting nine camera feeds; a high-density fiber and/or microwave transmission core; and a flexible architecture to integrate audio mixing and recording systems as required.

The DC Rentals team adds comprehensive communications capabilities that include Motorola and Hytera twoway radios and digital trunking systems, and remote IP monitoring of live and recorded video. The latter is achieved

both on board and on the move (via iOS and Android mobile devices), with the flexibility to create sophisticated split views and customized layouts on multiviewers inside the command center.


Matrox Monarch HDX signs with University of Kentucky men’s basketball The recruiting trip In NCAA Division I men’s basketball, the sixth man is not typically an encoding appliance, but for the University of Kentucky (UK) Wildcats, Matrox® Monarch HDX is an indispensable member of the team. As arguably one of the most successful programs in NCAA Division I history, leading the division with 2,293 all-time wins since the team’s inaugural season in 1903, UK men’s basketball has accumulated no small number of fans or recruitment hopefuls over the years. Catering to those fans and making player recruitment more efficient by capturing and recording video streams have become top priorities for the team. In order to meet the demands of an elite team with such a longstanding tradition of excellence, an 24 OCTOBER ‘19

encoder coming from a brand with an equally respectable history of quality was necessary. For Tim Asher, Director of Athletic Video and Team Technologies for UK Athletics, the choice was simple. “I looked at some other different products, none of which I felt were up to the specifications of Matrox, and I’ve known the Matrox brand since the early days,” he said. “I knew Matrox had a good reputation, and once I looked into their product and looked at some of the video that had been captured by the product, I felt very comfortable moving forward with the purchase.”

Capturing the Kentucky basketball legacy Before UK Athletics decided on purchasing two Monarch HDX units, their video team had been

Capturing game to be recorded by Monarch HDX.


capturing most of the men’s basketball games, which number between 25 and 35 during the regular winter season, on cameras. However, the

cameras’ 50-Mbps capture proved to be too high for the recordings the team needed to store on USB drives and SD cards to later be scaled and

optimized for varying screen sizes. What UK Athletics was searching for was a flexible solution that would allow them to

25 OCTOBER ‘19


record games in multiple bitrates; one high-quality version to record onto an SD card so that the video could later be edited for broadcast and viewing on the web, and at the same time, a standard-quality version to be recorded onto a USB drive to be quickly uploaded onto iPads for easy-to-access recruiting material. “What I found is that, there are not many products that allow you to do multiple bitrates,” said Asher. “So, when I was narrowing down my search, Monarch HDX was obviously one of the first products that jumped off the page at me.”

The playbook UK Athletics is now leveraging the dualchannel H.264 encoding power of their two Monarch HDX units to record two independent feeds. As one of the NCAA’s most elite men’s basketball teams, having made NCAA championship tournament appearances nine of the past ten years, most of the Wildcats’ games are considered to 26 OCTOBER ‘19

be a premier competitor on their opponents’ schedules. Accompanying the team at home or on the road is typically a big production crew in a TV truck, which houses the Monarch HDX encoders, and video specialists that use a minimum of six cameras to capture every point, assist, steal, and rebound. From the SDI camera sources, video feeds travel to a switcher located in the TV truck. The feeds are then sent to the Monarch HDX units and recorded as MP4 files at two different bitrates: 20 Mbps and 5 Mbps. The 20-Mbps videos are saved to an SD card, and the 5-Mbps videos to a USB drive. The MP4 files typically contain footage of the game, coaches’ talks to players in the locker room, pre- and post-game commentary, as well as other behindthe-scenes moments of the team throughout the season. The 20-Mbps MP4 files are transferred from the SD card to Adobe® Premiere Pro, where they

are edited, and music and other effects added. The finished product is the Wildcats’ very own reality show, “This is Kentucky Basketball,” which is available online at the UK Athletics website. The show gives fans a chance to feel connected to the team both on and off the court. The same footage edited to create “Inside Kentucky Basketball” is also often sent in its original format to a 15station TV network spanning across Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia that will go on to broadcast the material. The 5-Mbps MP4 files are usually transferred from a USB drive to a laptop, where they are then edited to create videos to be shown to recruits. The H.264 codec, which requires no transcoding before editing, allows for the quick pivot between editing and uploading the MP4 file, and provides fast downloads for the content that the coaches need. For example, when games are filmed at night, and the


piece of gear to keep up with is very important.”

able to reserve all madness for March.

According to Asher, UK Athletics is now looking into also leveraging the dual-channel streaming and recording functionality of the Monarch HDX units. For members of the media who are unable to attend the men’s basketball and football teams’ coaches press conferences, UK Athletics will soon be streaming them live via with one unit while recording them with another unit.

“One of the main reasons that I went with Monarch HDX to begin with was, instead of having two pieces of equipment at different bitrates, I was able to use one piece of equipment, which was smaller in stature than I had previously been using to record those two different recordings,” said Asher. “For me, that was huge because I’m traveling to different places to record all of these games with our team, and having one less

When it comes to sharing his appreciation for Monarch HDX, Asher does not keep to himself. “I’ve had multiple people at multiple venues ask me about the Monarch HDX,” he said. “Once I explain its operation and how I’m using it, they are very impressed with this piece of gear. One of the things that happens in the sports world is somebody sees something somebody else is doing, they immediately want to copy.” 

University of Kentucky men's basketball team.

next day need to be played back on an iPad® in a recruit’s living room, the video playback requires no special software.

An all-star addition to the team For UK Athletics, adding Monarch HDX to their allstar lineup has allowed the men’s basketball team to reach their fans and potential recruits more easily than ever before, and between spared equipment costs and physical space saved in TV truck racks, the team is

27 OCTOBER ‘19


Cloud Computing WORKING IN THE CLOUD With the vast amount of services available and the countless purposes they cover now, let's take a look and the advantages and opportunities they offer to our Broadcast environment and the audiovisual media industry in general. Text: Luis Pavía

28 OCTOBER ‘19


29 OCTOBER ‘19


This article is of an educational and informational nature, so we will at all times make reference to services and functionalities as notions and avoid explicit mention of brands or vendors. Amongst a myriad of definitions that can be found for “cloud computing” or cloudbased IT, one of the most comprehensive ones presents this as an activity covering everything that is related to provision of IT services based on offshoring of resources through the internet. Said resources span across hardware, software and services and include the servers, storage, databases, networked services and all software as required for internet-based data management and processing, security, platforms, services, analysis. “The Cloud” is all this. The advantages provided by the cloud lie in offering swiftness in innovation, flexibility in

30 OCTOBER ‘19

resources and improvements in economies of scale. By paying only for services being hired, operating cost are decreased, infrastructure is streamlined for higher efficiency and scaling it as business needs change

turns out to be a simple task. Such possibilities have been developed and implementation thereof has been accelerated thanks to the availability of high-speed data connection networks, both through fibre-based systems and through 4G

In just a few years we have switched from relying on transport of physical media holding content to full, immediate availability of nearly any content.


and the now already present 5G wireless networks. But, beyond definitions, will not that ‘cloud' thing be something ‘ethereal’ where I place my valuable content, which may all of the sudden ‘vanish’? No. Definitely not. Then, what is ‘the cloud’ and what use is it to me? This is one of the big questions we will try to answer by means of a multitude of input depending on who 'I' is. And in order not to deviate from our main areas of interest, we will be focusing this article on

the uses and services oriented towards our audiovisual environment, in which we have now possibilities that were not even conceivable to even the most visionary science-fiction scriptwriters just a few years ago. And, by the way, said information must be useful to us as a reference for catching a glimpse of where we are heading and where we could find ourselves in the short and mid-term.

film would not have made it to the studios on time. This used to happen in the 60s and was still the same when recording was done on tape, since the 70s. Unless a deployment of point-topoint connections specifically engaged to that purpose or through satellite, so as to enable sending of signals remotely was in place. And this would only be possible in very specific, special circumstances.

Let's review some history bits in order to be aware of the path already travelled to get here, not losing sight of the periods comprising each evolutionary leap.

This means that often one had to rely on transport of physical media containing audiovisual material. And initially these materials would make it in a single medium up to a single destination in which, quite likely, just one person had first and single access enabling development, copying, distribution, assembly, filing and whatever would be required before being able to share it. This could be assimilated to the times of messengers and telegraph. Yes, the telegraph we all have

Going back nearly to prehistory, that is, to the childhood/youth of professionals still working but with longer experience -in a time in which audiovisual material used to be recorded on negativessome will remember the news anchor reporting that images regarding a piece of news would not be available because the

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seen in Westerns. Only that the audiovisual world was still like that with tapes in the 80s, because the initial processing of originals in tape was quite similar to processing of the older negatives: copying, editing, filing‌ No efficient method existed back then for making it readily available to several users in a simultaneous way, except for distribution of video signal through specific point-to-point connections. When we started recording contents on digital media and the expansion of the internet came alongside, copies could be made with 32 OCTOBER ‘19

minimal quality loss and content could be sent from any origin to any destination. Provided both had a physically wired connection in the computer. Because if we intended to send it as a data file instead of as raw video signal, file size was so huge and network speed so limited that transfer times -being of course much quicker than those of any transport at a relatively insignificant cost- were just unfeasible for a live broadcasting, which would still require transmission through specific connections for video signal, even through satellites. The good news was that by then we had already

obtained the possibility of having content stored in a common depot, normally shared within the same building, with several people being able to gain access simultaneously. In the same line of comparison as above, this would be equivalent to physical mail, telephone or fax. Yes, mail involving envelopes and stamps. But we were comparatively like that even it was already past year 2000! Internet kept growing and fiber-optic networks came. But, they did not reach everywhere in the same measure. Neither amongst countries, nor within the same country. And more or less in


parallel to fiber-optic came the deployment of 4G, thus enabling highspeed access through wireless networks and in remote places, provided phone and 4G coverage were available. But then around that time, HD content was also becoming popular. Compression systems and algorithms were improving, thus making it possible much better quality signal to be sent while moving the same amount of information as for content in standard SD definition, and even a lesser size of data. Progress made in various different fields converged in order to achieve a significant leap forward

At present and just by means of a mobile phone and a free-of-charge streaming service, any teenager has within reach a potential audience throughout the globe, audiences that were just a dream for any major world station only a couple of decades ago. in a relatively short period of time. As advances -especially those linked to technology- boast exponential growth, such a leap forward translated in being able to send and broadcast quality content in real time nearly from

anywhere. In our analogy we have already been capable of broadcasting live from a remote location. But, note that in order to reach that stage smoothly in HD and with quality we have had to wait nearly to the last decade. 33 OCTOBER ‘19


And progress in all these fields has been such that nearly any high school student has within reach means that less than two decades ago not even the largest companies could dream of. Either because such means did not simply exist or because if they did, cost would render them accessible only to the highest budgets.

- That an editor is doing the assembly with said proxies in such a way that upon completion, the system ‘tells the camera’ which is the footage actually used in the final assembly process, so the camera will only forward the indispensable fragments plus the cues configured in uncompressed 4K or HD for the final version.

What is the current situation then? We find ourselves in extremely exciting times that are open to countless new ways of creating content and unexplored business opportunities in which it is possible, for example:

- That a production service may be receiving

- Be shooting content in 4K resolution on a remote location while as it is being captured by the camera, generating and sending an HD proxy in real time (a lower-quality copy) to a remote storage service. But, look: We are calling a fullHD resolution content “a lower-quality proxy” due to the fact that compression rate is relatively high. 34 OCTOBER ‘19

signals from several cameras -even from a different continent- and a remote producer generates a live broadcast in real time, and even do that from yet a different continent. - Or merely the possibility of deploying only cameras to an event and have all production made remotely from the studios of a broadcaster as if the cameras were in the set or the OB truck in the relevant location.


- Or even enabling viewers receive signals from several cameras in a virtual multi-display and allowing them to be their own directors by letting them choose what images they would like to see full-screen in any given moment during the show or event being broadcast. - That, thanks to artificial intelligence, contents getting to a certain storage location be labelled with the tags

corresponding to the images contained with no need for human intervention. So whenever editors having access to such content search for any keyword, all takes having the relevant visual content are immediately identified with no need to have anyone doing the tagging. - That real-time audio extraction can be performed in order to generate the text of the speech, using it at subtitles, and even link the text as metadata in order to perform searches based on spoken content. Naturally, this feature also enables simultaneous translation to all languages included in the platform being selected. And this usually involves dozens of languages. - That, through facerecognition systems, individuals can be identified and tagged in the metadata automatically in order to make subsequent searches easier. - It is also possible that

Ways of creating, distributing, consuming and monetizing contents are completely transforming the traditional business model.

a broadcaster may exhibit content in a virtual showcase so other broadcasters can find and purchase it with full immediacy and sufficient security assurances. Setting forth deadlines, markets and conditions in order to monetize file content that would otherwise remain in a closed, inaccessible repository that would then be hard to derive a profit from. - Editing software trials and tests have been 35 OCTOBER ‘19


already performed, showing successful edition of takes and sequences in order to generate content in an autonomous fashion, although, for the time being, they are far from the skills of a human editor. Some of these services and functionalities are already fully developed and implemented, being already widespread and growing as they become increasingly popular. It is, for instance, the case with platforms to which broadcasters resort in order to offer content while simultaneously purchasing other content they may need with no need to invest time and money in production through their own means. It is also true that –at least for the time beingsome functionalities offered under these services have certain limitations, though. For example, in order to convert spoken content into text, no more than one person should speak at the same time. But this is only for the time being. 36 OCTOBER ‘19

Because, well, there was a time in which computers would only be capable of displaying text on a green screen and just look at how the picture has changed now. Let’s allow a little time to have it ready. Just a little. And let’s keep being astonished at how much will be possible. Although these are just a sample of some current

From service providers to end clients, all players involved in the business may assume various roles or even several of them at the same time, depending on each particular situation.

capabilities and even though some could be achieved locally with no need to rely on cloudbased services, it is worth highlighting that they do require using cloud services in order to become fully functional. Because, as we have just seen, the cloud is much more than storing files in a remote service in order to have them within reach whenever we are not at the studio or just as a mere back-up copy. Let’s see now what kind of players can be found in these scenarios, to what extent they have a role, and what position(s) are taken by each of us. First of all, we should identify, of course, service providers. For the cloud service, on the one hand, and for all other services we may want to host or hire through our cloud. On the one hand we have broadcasters and creators of content. All broadcasters and creators of content having an interest in doing business, with all interactions and synergies that can be


generated amongst all of them. And then a third group, possibly the most important, comprising clients such as consumers of said content. But let’s go into a bit more detail, because these are not always selfcontained islands as some stakeholders play several roles at the same time. A cloud service provider will be in charge of having in place all necessary infrastructure

as to servers, storage, processing capacity, as well as communications infrastructure, taking care of meeting any requirements we may set in regard to security, reliability, redundancy, as well as all kinds of assurances, so our services will be available and our content accessible whenever required, just in the same manner as if they were in our own equipment, with all restrictions needed to be accessed only by

whoever has the necessary authorization. This is quite similar to what a bank does when it keeps our money, having it available for us and protecting it from others. We clearly perceive information security as a benefit -be it either data or content-, with no need to worry about undue access, undesired leaks and maintenance of backup copies, for example. And what about the ‘what if they lose it?’ drawback? This will be guaranteed or restricted by any conditions we may have agreed upon hiring the service. And depending of

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our size, we can even have our own private cloud. Additionally, other services can be hired, such as, for example, remote production, which can be provided by someone else who may however need to interact with our content through the cloud infrastructure offered by our provider for proper operation. In the same way in which we install editing software in our computer in order to edit content existing in our hard disk. Only that said applications run now relying on the processing power offered by ‘the cloud’, being our computer just a mere terminal. The first advantage coming to our mind in this situation is the fact that we do not need to be permanently enhancing our equipment to have state-of-the-art technology, thus requiring lower investments. Drawbacks are the same that we face in changing platforms when we choose doing it this way, to keep the analogy.

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In some instances and based on the kind of service we may be interested in, it may be the case that a single provider can provide both the service and the infrastructure required for this. Watch out this business opportunity for developers, which can then package their own platforms. Moving on with the group of broadcasters and creators of content, synergies just soar. Each broadcaster can generate the content that will turn out more profitable or interesting based on their own editorial line, and just purchase or hire from third parties any content being most convenient, although less relevant, to fill in their grids. And, at the same time, a broadcaster can offer to third parties any content in which it is specializing in order to monetize it in a much broader market. Much in the same way as broadcasters, independent producers and creators of content benefit from the showcase that mean

hosting and distribution platforms, thus enabling their productions to reach more markets and increase their portfolio of potential clients. For both of them, simultaneous translation and subtitling services from/into multiple languages are an added competitive advantage so as to have their content reach viewers that were initially out of range.


same. Correct strategy about planning of contents and allocation of investments will keep this risk at bay.

For all these players, the main benefits drawing our attention are a streamlining of investments in proprietary productions, improvements in specialization, and a significant increase in potential clients for monetization of content. A potential drawback would be being dependent on third parties for certain types of content, although this has been always the

Having reached this point, it is now obvious that the number of companies included in the first group is much higher than we could initially think. Any company or professional being capable of providing a service relating our content, adding value, may become a new ally for our commercial strategies. In these instances, the cloud facilitates such activities in a fully offshored fashion by making them available for all –either new clients or new providers- nearly anywhere around the globe. And it offers us this same possibility of becoming either providers or clients of companies which would not be within reach if the cloud were not in place. And now we move on to the group of clients, the most important one, but last in our list as we need to identify it properly. A

client is whoever purchases our content, but in this case, other broadcasters, other producing companies, and even ourselves, whatever our role in the creation chain, are also clients when purchasing content. But we wanted to leave a purchasing client as an intermediary aside, as this agent already existed in a traditional production model -and belongs in the previous group along with its new, huge portfolio of providers- from end clients as viewers. Final clients-viewers are nowadays no longer those traditional consumers of a linear home TV model having at their disposal a more or less wide array of channels from which make a choice, but have become consumers who select whatever content they want to see, whenever they want, in their chosen device and from wherever they are. There are increasing numbers of viewers having access to OTT/web platforms for selecting ala-carte content of all kinds.

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This means a major change in the whole model for generation of income from advertising, as well as in all related elements such as, for instance, audience measurement. Furthermore, new fields for application are now available. For example, client behaviour analysis, as we can now accurately establish what they watch, when, how and where they watch it. And even interactions in which viewers are able to click on advertisements if interested in the product in order to find out more and make direct purchases if so desired. All these interactions are possible thanks to Internet, 'the net', and interconnections it provides among "the clouds". But wait, ‘the clouds’? Is there more than one? Of course. If we go over our initial paragraph, and knowing everything we have covered so far, we will realize that the cloud is an extension of large, more or less closed 40 OCTOBER ‘19

networks that we had up to now associated to companies and corporations. Let’s think for a moment of a bank’s IT network. Each bank has its own private cloud where client details are zealously kept. Each bank allows its employees, based on their responsibilities, access to certain client information. Each client has access only to the information relating services hired. And each bank shares with other banks the required information whenever a transaction is carried out between them. That cloud extends

over the whole territory in which a bank provides services. And it is inaccessible to whoever is not either a client, an employee, or a provider. Well. Then, if my producing company has already its own network, much in the same way as the bank we have examined in the previous example, what does a cloud that is external to my infrastructure provide? Some quite meaningful things such as: reduced costs as hardware, software investments are kept to a minimum, less electrical consumption, HVAC, etc. Processing power that is


Cloud services can be classified into four broad categories: IaaS, PaaS, Serverless, and SaaS.

adjustable nearly in real time as commensurate to the needs in each moment. Scalability for increasing or reducing infrastructure, storage space, bandwidth, etc., as circumstances change. Power to productivity, as most operations can now be offshored, thus releasing professionals from all tasks inherent to global network management. Reliable operation, as IT resources of larger scale can be used. And security in protection and maintenance of information, as well as in services, also made possible by said largerscale IT resources.

Cloud-based service providers classify into three or four broad categories their offerings, although for the time being only two of them seem to be of interest for our field. Let’s have a look at them in order to make the most of their possibilities: IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) which provides us with the possibility of using servers, virtual machines, storage and network connectivity services. It offers system stability and security, storage, back-up copies, web-based applications, and very high processing power, as well as data analysis capabilities. It enables reducing both investments and maintenance costs relating equipment, scaling capabilities based on specific needs and focusing resources on the main business activity.

PaaS (Platform as a Service) adds to the previous one access to operating systems and tools for development and management of databases. This is ideal for application developers but of less interest in the broadcast and production environments as a whole, unless desired for developing specific applications. Serverless or IT without servers. Being understood as such the equipment items required for supporting applications being developed on the various operating systems. As with the previous category, of little interest for broadcast environments, save for very specific situations. Some providers offer PaaS and Serverless in the same package. SaaS (Software as a Service) in which we hire 41 OCTOBER ‘19


usage of software based on a subscription or payper-use scheme. This offers the versatility of easily, quickly adjusting the investment to the needs of each specific moment, as we are able to access sophisticated platforms by just bearing the cost associated to usage time. Or even change the number of licenses purchased. This also facilitates being permanently updated with the latest versions and immediate use of the latest capabilities available. This is also a very interesting feature for our production environments. In fact, the cloud has been with us now longer than we think. Are we aware of the SaaS we are already using and of how long we have been doing it? Because this latter category is the one deriving the most benefit from the ongoing growth and expansion of new applications that are already being developed to cater to the needs of all market segments. 42 OCTOBER ‘19

This category includes, for instance, applications enabling us to pick up live signals from highly diverse sources, including mobile phones operated by spontaneous viewers of a remote event, in order to make a live production and generate a signal that can be accessed through streaming for a perfectly defined audience without requiring a specific geographic location. Or applications which, by making use of artificial intelligence and the huge processing capabilities available, enable us to release professionals from tedious, routine tasks so they can engage in much more specialist, productive and creative roles. As an example of this, thanks to these possibilities, a local TV station is now able to make a live production for any kind of occurrence or event in the other side of the globe, include interviews with experts on the subject or with people involved located anywhere else, and make


it available to a set of interested viewers with no limitations as to distance or even language, as subtitles may be provided with real-time simultaneous translation based on the location of the relevant viewer. In sum, working nowadays in the cloud enables us to implement innovations in a quicker fashion, a flexible escalation of resources based on specific needs, share preliminary or final content throughout the globe by means of secure networks, provide content tailored to each device used for displaying them in order to improve the client experience, and reach every one of them with the least number possible of intermediaries. And even more. Solutions can be found at present enabling us to set up a TV station with hardly any proprietary infrastructure and, to a great extent, relying only on ‘cloud-based’ resources and services. It is true that it would not be identical to any known model. But if

we are able to answer just one question: how to make it profitable? We will be on the right track towards what will probably be the future of TV. Or the TV of the future. In spite of the spectacular progress made, we are convinced that the most interesting feature lies not in the possibilities and capabilities already available. There are two aspects that, in our opinion, we should be focusing on completely. Even more so if we want to give an answer to the previous question. On the one hand, novel business and monetization opportunities offered by this new scenario, which is already a reality. And, on the other hand, all new fields now looming or soon to be developed which, in turn, will keep on expanding the range in all directions. And having performed this brainstorming, do we know by now the role we would like to play?  43 OCTOBER ‘19


Cloud responds to the challenges and opportunities of broadcasting Author: Andreas Jacobi, CEO and co-founder of Make.TV, a division of LTN Global

Despite being a relatively recent phenomenon in broadcasting, smart cloud technology is having a profound impact on the industry's workflows and operational processes. Cloud solutions are enabling faster deployment, enriching footage acquisition, as well as expanding delivery and distribution capabilities. As traditional broadcasters adapt to the digital era, moving to cloud infrastructure is helping to overcome several challenges facing the media industry today.

Decentralised and agile live production Configuring the hardware for a live production is often a time consuming and labour intensive process. Even a

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small scale production like a live news report from a remote location can often require setting up satellite news gathering cars that can

be quite expensive and anything but instant. This is partly due to the fact that the current broadcast landscape is


still dominated by legacy hardware-based solutions that are inflexible, closed systems. Yet we are beginning to see some major step-changes as more broadcasters begin to transition to the cloud that is enabling live production, with decentralised, agile teams. Cloud-based footage ingest gives producers the capability to acquire content from unlimited concurrent live feeds from multiple sources. This can include professional cameras,

encoders drones, mobile phones and online sources including RTMP, RTSP, MPEG-TS, WebRTC, SRT, HLS and MPEG-Dash. The webRTC application is particularly important because it removes app dependency, enabling anyone to submit video to a production without signing up - an aspect that is crucial in urgent and time-critical situations. This feature can be used for remote interviews, call-ins, getting voices live from the scene by switching

the program to the onsite mobile reporter, remote talent, fans in a football stadium or even a citizen who is in the vicinity of an incident. The ability to easily connect broadcasters with video contributors can create workflow flexibility and collaboration. It enables cost efficient and timely development of hyperlocal news acquisition, enhancing the network’s live or near-live coverage of local happenings. 45 OCTOBER ‘19


Platform agnostic content distribution Over the last ten years we have observed a drastic increase in audience fragmentation as social media and OTT digital platforms took off. For example in the UK, a recent study revealed that the use of TV for news is much more likely among the 65+ age group (94%), while the internet is the most-used platform for news consumption among 16-24s. Meanwhile in the US, pay TV still dominates the sports landscape, but audiences are increasingly shifting to digital video platforms as companies like Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are bidding for streaming rights for games. The move to cloud based workflows is helping broadcasters adapt a fragmented landscape by giving media companies the ability to simultaneously distribute programs to unlimited outlets. This means that a single program can be delivered

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across more channels than ever before including, linear, OTT and social media. Recently Revry, the first LGBTQ+ global streaming network, used Make.TV’s Live Video Cloud to broadcast TrevorLIVE, a starstudded fundraising event run by The Trevor Project, a non-profit charity organization, focused on suicide prevention of LGBTQ+ youth. Using Make.TV’s cloud technology allowed Revry to simultaneously broadcast the show live across multiple channels around the world. Since Revry first started working with Make.TV, its channel distribution of the TrevorLIVE show has grown from six channels to 13 in 2018, reaching more than 9.4 million live viewers during the streaming of the December 2018 event. This year Revry distributed the show to over 23 linear, OTT and social media channels. Revry’s work with TrevorLIVE is a great example of how any

media organisation can take advantage of platform agnostic content distribution through the cloud. The ability to tap into more channels will not only increase the reach of a programme but also monetisation opportunities.

Cloud content syndication Cloud workflows are starting to be used by some of the largest American mass media news conglomerates. With both domestic and international properties these media giants are using the cloud to


streamline the way they work with affiliates. By transitioning to the cloud they are able to generate, share and syndicate content seamlessly while making the process for onboarding new affiliates quicker and easier. Cloud applications provide these networks with a broad set of digital workflows in a unified system, and the ability to publish content to social media platforms as well as broadcast stations at scale. They are able to route, monitor and curate content for distribution in the cloud for syndication and distribution, creating

cost and time saving efficiencies across the board.

Migrating workflows to the cloud Eventually every element of the workflow will move into the cloud but this journey will not be the same for everyone. As different broadcasters have different needs, the transition has to be done in phases depending on where they currently are. Initially, the cloud needs to become an extension of the master control room - a management platform that can help deal IP live streams. The

second phase is about moving content exchange, distribution and syndication from satellite to the cloud to create business efficiencies. We are finding that TV stations with many affiliates see the cost and complexity of content exchange reduced significantly in this phase. The third, and perhaps the most creative phase is about realising new workflows in the cloud - turning content consumers into content creators. Finally, as broadcasters begin to use the cloud to acquire, deliver, and curate content, they need to consider the transport solutions available. It is unacceptable for a media organisation to have a stream go down during a live broadcast. Therefore it is absolutely critical that broadcasters leverage robust IP networks for more costeffective and reliable delivery of low-latency, broadcast-quality live video. ď ľ 47 OCTOBER ‘19


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Author: Sergio Julián

After matching in 2018 the attendance seen in the previous year, the latest edition of the IBC show broke its own record figures for a total of 56,390 visitors. We already remarked this in our advance and we now confirm it: RAI Amsterdam is reaching nearly full capacity. Any and all showrooms were crowded with hundreds of solutions for the broadcast environment, all of them interesting. From such

massiveness, a thought comes up: the event’s randomness. We could attend to ten IBC 2019 shows and then live ten different experiences, either by diving into major proposals made by the most relevant companies, focusing just on the program of conferences, letting ourselves be carried away by the technical side of things, or going deeper into the ever increasing field of content creation. 49 OCTOBER ‘19


Our journey through IBC was a result of just a few hours of sleep and really intense days in which we took good note of all novelties within our reach. We also paid attention to visitor profile: men keep in command, waiting for the new generations to take over. In spite of a lack of women in senior positions across various companies, we could actually witness an increased number of 50 OCTOBER ‘19

“young” (or at least under 35) visitors. The organizers themselves set this trend at a 10% increase, but we would say that taking into account the age of exhibitors as well, we are really witnessing a major change in the industry: a whole lot of entrepreneurs and engineers of young age presented unique solutions, as they are well aware that they can

succeed in adapting to new workflows and opportunities fostered by digitalization and democratization of content. This replacement could also be seen in other key moments throughout the show, as in the first eSport Showcase, an area we will deal with below and towards which a good number of manufacturers are looking now; or the Next Gen Hub, a space


filled with innovative proposals and applications that are feasible to traditional broadcasts. Even the presence of Andy Serkis, the actor who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit sagas, drew the attention of countless visitors! Bud beyond these headlines, we can say that the role of the IBC is changing, a view that was confirmed through conversations with other mass media and industry professionals. Traditionally the US NAB show used to operate as the real industry shaker: novelties would be presented in Las Vegas and then launched and put into operation in practical environments back in Europe. However, we could notice that even if this trend is still strong, most brands showcased solutions that are ready for the global market. In the end, the picture is more like a two-way flow of products and launches: a well-greased machinery in full operation supported by both NAB

and IBC and zinged with small updates in firmware or specific equipment. Could we expect that in coming years the scales will be even more balanced and both event will then have similar importance as for novelties? Time will tell, but the truth is that both Panasonic and Sony –just to cite two companiesshowcased their ENG cameras of reference. Blackmagic did likewise with 8K products, as also did Canon with their next bet in cinema quality production. And one thing leads to the other: if IBC succeeds in getting established as an industry hub, all world players will be willing to be in this event. In the corridors we saw some of the most relevant

technical directors of both TV stations and producers; people in charge of photography studying the latest trends relating 8K and HDR; and also managers of some highly relevant technology companies checking the status of the latest technology available. IBC 2019 has been without question the beginning of a change, certainly already anticipated in the show’s 2017 and 2018 editions. Continuity is assured. Laptops on our backs and notebooks and pens in hand, we walked 25 kilometers a day (according to our smartwatches) in order to gather a vision of the industry's present and future. The outcome is summarized in 10 trends… and a note.

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1 Software: towards simplicity Times when engineers were on top of any and all aspects of TV stations are long gone. Quite the opposite, interdisciplinary profiles are the cast for the main, final roles in tomorrow’s broadcast. A

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result of this is the creation of software that is increasingly accessible and easy to use. Either in sports production, in MAM, playout generation, in regard to conversion and monetization; or in management of space and elements for virtual studios, the intuitive finally prevails: menus are shorter and functionalities soar. Obviously, some

telemetry and color correction programs will keep on searching for utmost accuracy and the maximum number of options available to creators, but we can expect that complexity in regard to newsroom environments will be significantly reduced thanks to the consolidation of big data and artificial intelligence tools.


2 Augmented reality and virtual reality: demand on the rise The blossoming of companies engaged in the generation of graphics for virtual studios and interactive items is quite fascinating.

Companies such as Brainstorm, Zero Density, Chyronhego, Vizrt or Disguise are leading this conversion into a content model based on immediacy and versatility. Detection and versatility of cameras thanks to the deployment of sensors provide a real feel to viewers (most of all in combination with PTZ equipment) boosted by an Unreal Engine that is becoming increasingly popular and being nowadays a genuine standard for 3D environments. Demand is on the rise, either for supplementing day-today news, enhancing the possibilities available in sports broadcasts, or generating versatile studios to go along with producers and broadcasters. The key lies in knowing whether viewers will keep welcoming such spectacular graphic feel as they have been so far. The impression we got from IBC is they will.

3 Automated production A major crossroads, even for skeptics, we could say. To what extent can technology, with some splashes of artificial intelligence and machine learning, replace the human factor when it comes to performing a broadcast or providing tools for generation of pieces? What we certainly saw in booths such as those of Grass Valley or Mobile Viewpoint, surprised us in regard to consistency. It is already real! A good number of producers are capable of setting up a 3-camera or a 5-camera configuration for establishing a simple coverage of a sports event, those which, lacking systems, is not worth broadcasting. The real debate arises when we raise the issue of whether the functionalities offered by this equipment could be applicable to larger productions. Will an untrained human eye be 53 OCTOBER ‘19


able to spot the differences between one type of coverage or the other? At present, quick responsiveness of servers and the final result are up to the challenge. Also worth noting are alternatives such as the one offered by Red Bee Media, providing software capable of generating advances or summaries based on an original file of larger footage. 54 OCTOBER ‘19

4 More production, less operators The previous issue is just yet another sign of the following trend: the industry does require more productions‌ but a lesser number of operators. The bet here comes in the shape of equipment such as the

devices offered by JVC, which can be handled by a single operator, an option also available with most manufacturers. Cost cuts face the need for differentiation: in this world, full of large content, microaudiences and opportunities through virtual and OTT platforms enable thousands of companies to look for a niche, a space which these


5 solutions will allow them to cover more efficiently. Moreover, the learning curve is extremely flat. The doubt here is whether these devices will begin to get firmly established amongst the major broadcasters or if they will keep operating as an entry gate for multiple applications. In spite of this, said production systems are an answer to the needs of a sector: if the same operator currently mixes images, handles sound and inserts pieces in real time, why not making it easier?

Production workflows in the cloud Should we have to highlight where leading productions will be heading for in the future, we would definitely mark in red cloud integration in the daily routine of broadcasters. Service providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure are alternatives aimed at enabling options like remote editing, metadata processing or content distribution through systems such as Dalet or Avid, the latter being the

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company that signed an agreement with Walt Disney Studios and Microsoft Azure in order to implement cloud production processes. In several press conferences we were conveyed the main concern faced by clients: file security. However, they stressed this is not an issue to worry about and one in which efforts are being made. On the other hand, we see an increasing number of contribution options such as the Sony XDCam, an alternative

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considered by many broadcasters. In sum, location will be the last possible limitation for creators. In this era of online collaboration, IT technology teams up with broadcast for offering alternatives and thus speeding up and simplifying procedures in hands of the world’s major technology giants. Take for granted that in the next few months more and more brands will be joining this service integration.

6 The move to IP environments is in a standstill It should take of any time, but with the exception of industries such as intercommunications in which equipment devices used are comfortable with being digital, we are noticing how the so much promised transition to IP infrastructure keeps delaying. There are some exceptions: the Portuguese TV station SIC with Lawo or several solutions from Nevion. But even so, there is still a long way to go. And the cause for this standstill? As we could see, it lies in the huge investments made in previous years in a different infrastructure. It is not because the numberless products ready for IP: as NDI grows under the umbrella of Vizrt Group, devices for conversion to IP are mushrooming. However, fully IP options are becoming harder to find as the market shifts to hybrid alternatives, as we will see in the following paragraph.


7 To the future… with caution: the 8K and 5G cases Does offering solutions for 5G remote broadcast make sense if, being optimistic, networks will not be ‘entirely’ functional until year 2023? And what about showcasing 8K solutions when these formats have hardly permeated final users? The industry is perfectly aware of these issues, but it is only in the obligation to keep innovating and preparing for future trends. Therefore, although both notions have been present in the show, 90% of the time it was as hybrid products. And that is the reason why 5G backpacks from corporations such as LiveU keep featuring four 4G SIM cards in order to offer a pack that may save from further investments. As for 8K, beyond the producers’ intent of ensuring future feasibility of their productions and

increasing redistribution possibilities, many proposals lie in scalability of signals with the aim of extracting several 4K windows to be managed in a single broadcast. For the time being, nobody is considering inclusion of 8K in the daily workflow of broadcasts save for a few exceptions: the Japanese TV station NHK showed us potential applications of this format in the forthcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

8 The “visual radio” is here to stay Radio features a less relevant space within the broadcast environment in spite of its influence, scope, and the fact that IP conversion seems more convincing than in any other sector, in view of experiences of operators such as RTÉ Radio. However, the visual radio

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concept is going strong and it is understood in all kinds of solutions that are capable of ensuring inclusion of both visual and sound content. This has led to the widespread appearance of playout software which, by means of metadata, is able to download information in a visual fashion, thus streamlining integration with social media. Likewise, by using sounddetection and movement-

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anticipation technologies, automated visual production systems are appearing. A whole universe of opportunities is here!

9 HDR keeps gaining ground If there is a trend much welcomed amongst professionals which is

drawing their attention, that is High Dynamic Range (HDR). In spite of the fact that no major breakthrough has been made and no novel standards have been showcased (it seems that the path lies in convergence of formats into the eventual proclamation of HDR10 as victor), solutions seen were much focused on different tools for analytics and for conversion to SDR.


However, the important thing here is the fact that there is a shared opinion amongst industry leaders that this technology is here to stay.

10 eSPORTS: the opportunity for broadcasters With astronomic turnover projections

(2,519 million euros by 2022 according to Goldman Sachs), the eSports industry appears as one of the most promising ones in recent times, in addition to the already confirmed trend of content creation as ratified by the consolidation of OTT platforms. The spectacular eSports Showcase at IBC was a perfect example of this potential, as also shown by the various

conferences we had the opportunity to attend to, as we could see how theme channels are gaining ground in Europe after succeeding in Asia. In regard to manufacturers, many of them choose adapting specific solutions to this field, even by proposing comprehensive workflows tailored to their needs. There is some way to go, but prospects look promising. 

11 One more thing… How to take technology to viewers? We had a chance to see a lot of innovations, both in regard to technical production and also noticeable in the final result, that have a direct impact on viewing experience. However, what is the way to convey and contribute value to technique so the latter can be understood as an added value and be ultimately monetized? This issue has been raised in several forums, but has been nonetheless “resolved” by the team of British broadcaster BT Sport. Jamie Hindhaugh, COO, BT Sport, explained their most recent move: creating a channel called BT Sport Ultimate. It not only sells a specific technology, but also promises to offer at all times the latest technology available in the market. Will this be the trend to be followed by the industry? IBC 2019 left a lot of things to explore and go deeper into during the next few months. The future looks exciting as the broadcast sector is now undergoing a key transformation from which countless opportunities will arise. This show will return to RAI Amsterdam from 11 to 15 September 2020, and TM Broadcast will not miss it!

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60 OCTOBER ‘19

UEFA.TV A free OTT platform ready to operate as a premium distribution channel


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Why has UEFA decided to create We want to give viewers greater access to live and on-demand video content from a variety of competitions. We felt the time was right for given it is our aim to continue to innovate and evolve digitally at UEFA, and the OTT service will also enable us to deliver a direct-to-fan experience. Our broad aim with is to deliver an entertaining, football video platform 62 OCTOBER ‘19

that provides viewers with access to a wider range of content from across UEFA competitions. We’re also delivering a “free-to-view” product to which UEFA’s existing registered users have automatic access, while also aiming to attract new users to further build our digital fan community and increase fan engagement. Another goal in launching is to be “fit for the future” – to put in place a robust platform

that can act as a distribution channel for potential future premium content opportunities. Ultimately, our ambition for is for the product to be recognised as a best-of-breed football “OTT” offering, while in parallel serving as a great vehicle to further promote our competitions to the benefit of all our commercial partners.

What are the highlights of the platform?


The service will initially provide football fans with an entertainment platform which will offer original programming based on 60 years of European football archive. It will also become the home of youth, women’s and futsal UEFA competitions by offering them a wide live coverage in relevant markets. Finally, it will also serve to promote all of UEFA competitions by

offering behind the scene content, interviews and a wide range of additional content. On the content side, the platform provides us with a new channel for surfacing content from UEFA’s digital archive of European football history by re-animating classic matches, profiling iconic players, and creating compelling original storytelling. Another key highlight for us will be using the platform as a means to further promote – and provide wider access to – live and on-demand content from UEFA’s Youth, Women’s and Futsal (YWF) competitions. enables us to complement the coverage provided by our broadcast partners by streaming YWF matches into markets where we don’t have a distribution

partner, therefore effectively ensuring we can offer global coverage and availability of our YWF competitions. In terms of our “flagship” competitions, fans will also be able to access a regular delayed match highlights and magazine show content throughout the club competition and national team football seasons. Finally, in addition to an entertaining mix of football content, we wanted to ensure that featured highquality design and a seamless user experience across web and app. We believe we’ve achieved this with the launch version of the product, and will be aiming to improve and enhance the experience with each release.

Does work with its own developed technology or does it have an external association to provide the service? We have chosen Endeavor Streaming as 63 OCTOBER ‘19


our technical partner for delivery of the platform.

In the era of premium-content offers free content. What’s behind this decision? will not be competing with TV channels but would rather be complementary by taking advantage of the wide range of content available at UEFA, including archive footage, delayed games, magazine programmes or futsal, women's and grassroots competitions and hence why it is a free service. Providing a free-to-view offering behind registration fits nicely with our aim of growing the UEFA digital fan community while rewarding our existing registered users with free access in parallel. Going with this model also enables us to further promote our grassroots and women’s football in markets where we may not have a broadcast partner, giving us a platform to generate additional interest and awareness to develop those competitions further commercially.

Do you plan to include premium content in the future? We have no plans to offer premium content as things stand, but we want to be “future-proofed” in terms of having a strong platform in place.

What maximum resolution does your player offer? 1080p, 720p? It is 1080p in the player. 64 OCTOBER ‘19


Do you want to keep upgrading the resolution in the future? Is the 4K/HDR era now far from OTT services? We are always keeping a close eye on the latest market trends and developments in production levels, and we would look to introduce additional levels of quality to the product when we feel the time and market conditions are right for

Is working on including accessibility services? As a general rule, we aim to be compliant with the AA level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Does plan to broadcast certain live matches? Is the technology ready? Yes, the technology is ready and we already showed live matches in certain territories notably during the UEFA Under-21 Championship that was staged in Italy in June.

What about new formats such as VR or 360? We currently deliver live 360 streams of certain UEFA Champions League for our broadcast partners to access 65 OCTOBER ‘19


and implement in their coverage. In terms of – as with 4k streaming – we would look to introduce any 360/VR elements when we feel they are a good fit for the product and the content types on the platform.

All content is produced by or do you have a partner for this platform?

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A combination of both – we’re currently producing content through our inhouse editorial and production teams, and also via external production with our partner IMG. is already available on smartphones via App. What about smart TVs? Our go-live plan was to deliver web and iOS and

Android apps with “casting” capability in order to reach the widest possible device audience at launch. We are currently evolving the roadmap and rollout plan, and will certainly be looking at introducing “bigger screen” viewing experiences for the product, potentially including Smart TVs.


At the moment, includes content of competitions such as the Under21 Championship, the Nations League, Champions League and Europa League. In addition, it includes Bundesliga, women’s football and editors’ pick content. What comes next? We will be constantly looking at ways to evolve

the platform, both in terms of content and coverage, but also in terms of potential partnerships. Inclusion of any additional 3rd party content on would be defined through individual partnerships with each party including relevant terms to confirm such distribution.

What’s the roadmap for for the coming years?

As mentioned, we’re looking at the next phase of rollout, and ultimately we want to be available via the widest applicable range of platforms and devices in order to maximise audience reach and global appeal. Wherever we go next we want to ensure that it makes the most sense for football fans. Stay tuned. 

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Celebration of young talent at IBC By Provys

Returning again from the IBC in Amsterdam, I am now a little more optimistic about the future of the media industries, particularly broadcasting. I feel that this year brought a lot of new young blood to the show, heralding the long-awaited new generation who the dinosaurs, such as myself, hope to get to know with a view to sharing our knowledge and experience, before we bequeath the heavy responsibilities inherent in this rapidly developing sector to them. The IBC 2019 has reported a rise in total attendance for this year’s show to 56,390 from 55,884 attendees compared to the IBC 2018. Most significant, however, is that the number of attendees, aged 35 and under, increased by 10% 68 OCTOBER ‘19

year-on-year, which is a record increase according to the organisers. This statistical trend follows closely the shift from hardware to software in our industry illustrating the need to leave behind ancient expressions such as PAL and SECAM which have been consigned to the history lessons as opposed to the modern classroom. Curious millennial technicians can, of course, attend a few history lessons in order to discover why we still use some old techniques such as interlaced frames to fool our eyes and save more and more expensive bandwidth. It is admirable that the organisers of the IBC recognise and welcome this development, and as an illustration of their support, they introduced this year, for the first time,

the IBC Young Pioneer Award as one of their future regular categories. The aim of this award is to acknowledge the welcome entry of a new wave of bright industry talent. The IBC’s intention is to award a young professional who has made a real impact with their passion, ambition and commitment and is making an outstanding contribution to our industry. The winner of the first Young Pioneer Award was Vera Bichler, a graduate of the Broadcast Academy, and the first female director of football programmes for ORF in Austria. Congratulations to Vera! “What we were looking for from the candidates was, most importantly, real talent, an outstanding individual making a real difference in the industry,” said David Levine, VP, Programming –


Karel Votroubek with his young ‘uns at IBC

Kids, Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland, The Walt Disney Co. Ltd and chair of the judging panel. “But we were also looking for a lasting legacy, for the Young Pioneer to be a leader today and a media guru of the future.” The presence of young blood was clearly visible at this year’s exhibition and perfectly illustrated by Karel Votroubek (30 something), Commercial Director, Provys, who brought his young army of professionals with him to the show. As Karel

observed: “IBC 2019 was a non-stop round of networking, fruitful meetings, late night discussions, interesting product launches and valuable conference sessions facilitating the learning and sharing of ideas with the considerable number of movers and shakers present at the show. 2019 also gave us an increase in the number of top broadcasting executives that we met. This year, we introduced four new keenly anticipated products offering more

independence to broadcasters, based on a standard essential platform which can later be expanded and customised, as required. The new members of our portfolio are: Provys Everywhere which provides an extendable workflow management basis for broadcast operations; Provys Traffic Drive which offers all traffic functions in one integrated package; Provys Network Pilot which allows central management of multinational linear operations allowing individual features in each country, and Provys OnDemand Bridge which delivers VOD workflow automation.” And so, with young blood increasingly at the helm, we can be a little more optimistic for the future, and look forward to their influence charting new courses through the stormy waters and challenging developments of the media and entertainment industry.  69 OCTOBER ‘19

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