24 Codemasters’ Chris Jojo takes extra Zoom to the GRID
SIC: Leading the IP transformation in Europe
RUGBY WORLD CUP: IGBS
RUGBY WORLD CUP: ITV Sport
28 How A Hybrid CDN Can Optimise OTT Services
Gonzalo Amat: “The Cinematographer in the High Castle”
80 TV Nova’s Content with New Production Tools
HbbTV Association: A decade driving the digital TV transformation
Editor in chief Javier de Martín
Creative Direction Mercedes González
Key account manager Susana Sampedro email@example.com
Managing Editor Sergio Julián firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation Fernando Alvárez
Administration Laura de Diego email@example.com
Test Area: LITEPANELS GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW
TM Broadcast International #76 December 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 Scores of news reach our newsroom every day. All of them are interesting, relating new products, success stories or technological revolutions operating in favour of the progress of broadcast. In the last month one particular piece of news drew our attention: the recent cooperation agreement between BBC and Sky as regards of technology and content. It is not something unheard of that two audiovisual giants decide to join forces. In fact, this alliance is just ratification of a trend that has been latent in recent years. The world’s largest corporations join forces in search of much coveted innovation and technological forefront, thus driving their progress and, at the same time, that of the industry as a whole. An event that was really high on the agendas of audiovisual players during last month has been the Rugby World Cup 2019 held in Japan. Sports broadcasting still remains an element channelling the better part of the industry novelties. In order to know all technical details for this event, we are offering you two interesting interviews with IGBS and ITV Sport, which provide their respective views as Host Broadcaster and TV station. On the other hand, we at TM Broadcast International keep upholding our firm commitment of bringing to you exclusive, in-depth content with some of the most relevant TVs. In this instance we spoke with José Lopes, Operations and Technology Director of Portuguese TV station SIC, which is well known worldwide for having created Europe’s largest IP production centre based on SMPTE 2110 standards. On the other hand, we were interested in that point in which creativity meets technique. And then we talked with Gonzalo Amat, Director of Photography of fiction series such as ‘The Man in the High Castle' from Amazon Prime Video; or Outer Banks, the new series to be premiered by Netflix in 2020.
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NEWS - PRODUCTS
Digital Nirvana's new MonitorIQ 6.1 enhances Ad insertion, monitoring, and troubleshooting A new Digital Program Monitoring application in MonitorIQ 6.1 gives users visibility into SCTE 35/104 messages for more effective resolution of digital program insertion (DPI) issues and better control over advertising insertions in a variety of streaming environments. In-Depth Digital Program Insertion Monitoring and Troubleshooting The Digital Program Monitoring application within MonitorIQ 6.1 enables the monitoring, logging, and frame-accurate display of content along with SCTE 35/104-based metadata to determine if DPI messages were conveyed properly. Fully detailed, human-readable SCTE 35/104 message information provides the user with all the information necessary to take a deep dive into any SCTE 35/104 issues, and even download specific
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Digital Nirvana's Enhanced Ad Insertion.
triggers. Within the application's Viewer page, users can compare two different points in the video delivery chain for the same channel and thereby ensure SCTE messages are not getting dropped during any conversion/encoding process. Version 6.1 is now monitoring operations in the top seven US broadcast networks. The platform also integrates tightly with Digital Nirvana's Media Services Portal, a suite of
smart, self-service tools that gives broadcasters access to AI-based cloud microservices for closed caption generation, caption quality assessment, caption realignment, and video intelligence for objects, ads, logos, and facial recognition. MonitorIQ 6.1 also is the first compliance logger to combine cloud services and cloud storage with on-premises compliance recording and the first to run in onpremises, cloud, and hybrid environments. ď ľ
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
MaryTV goes global with Medialooks Video Transport
MaryTV, a lay apostolate that produces a full-time OTT television channel broadcasting Masses, prayers, rosaries, adorations, press conferences and other events on a daily basis, has integrated Medialooks Video Transport into the channel’s workflow. Medialooks is a specialist provider of groundbreaking video transport streaming solutions known for high-quality 8 DECEMBER ‘19
and low-latency remote production, ability to work seamlessly and reliably over the public Internet without any dedicated infrastructure, and its ability to integrate easily with SDI or NDIbased workflows. MaryTV, established in 2010, operates a professional 400 square meters studio adjacent to the St. James Church in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 24/7 channel plays pre-
recorded content 18 hours per day with the remaining airtime streamed live from Medjugorje. Programming is available on their web site, via Apple TV, iOS and Android and reaches thousands of people every day. An additional remote stream of a daily Rosary is led by the MaryTV founders and originates from Notre Dame, Indiana. The channel is using Medialooks Video Transport to successfully deliver the final studio mixdown from Medjugorje to a studio in the U.S., where it is published as NDI® and automatically picked up by XPlayout—a Medialooks-based product from Axel Technology. From there the stream is contributed to a CDN and distributed to a global audience.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
New Mexico State University replaces satellite with LTN Managed Network Solutions LTN® Global has announced a three-year agreement with New Mexico State University (NMSU) to be the school's primary IP transmission provider. NMSU has replaced its satellite transmission with multipoint distribution through LTN Managed Network Solutions. "We've been very pleased with our move to LTN. Our audience demands a high standard in terms of quality and reliability, and we can say plain and simple – it just works," said Adrian Velarde, KRWG Public Media's general manager at New Mexico State University. "The process to move to LTN was very smooth, and LTN's support was incredibly helpful during the transition. They were always there when we needed them."
Covering football, men's and women's basketball, softball, and baseball, NMSU's AggieVision and Special Productions Unit produces more than 40 athletics telecasts a year. After partnering with LTN and phasing out its satellite uplink facility, NMSU is utilizing LTN´s managed network for reliable and cost-effective transport of video content to five different channels: ESPN, Fox Sports Arizona, Altitude Sports, Comcast, and KVIA. Using the capacity of the internet, LTN's managed IP network transmits NMSU's live signals to all of its broadcast partners with less than 200 milliseconds of latency and guaranteed quality for an exceptional viewing experience. LTN provides backhaul services for
NMSU has replaced its satellite transmission with multipoint distribution through LTN for reliable and cost-effective transport of video content to five different channels.
NMSU throughout the year as it covers its athletic events and the university can transmit to multiple points more easily and at a lower cost than with satellite. 9 DECEMBER ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
CP Communications leverages complete IP and bonded cellular networking architecture for New York City Marathon coverage race in favor of more cost-efficient IP and bonded cellular systems. CP Communications this year completed that transition, leveraging a 100-percent IP and bonded cellular networking infrastructure for live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s races across all five boroughs. Monitoring wall.
For the 25th year, CP Communications managed end-to-end content acquisition for the TCS New York City Marathon. Now in its 49th year, the TCS New York City Marathon is the world’s largest marathon and the signature event of New York Road Runners (NYRR), the world’s premier community running organization. The race 10 DECEMBER ‘19
course begins in Staten Island and winds its way through Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx before finishing in Manhattan in Central Park. Over the past four years, as bandwidth and network availability have improved, CP Communications has gradually reduced its reliance on traditional RF technology to cover the
The company brought back many of the same platforms and technologies that have proved successful in recent years, while making strategic changes to the technical infrastructure and production workflows to ensure reliable coverage throughout the entire 26.2-mile course. Utilizing the expansive fiber network throughout NYC allowed CP Communications to increase flexibility at all locations, and further
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
reduced reliance on traditional video transmission circuits. Four cars and three motorcycles were equipped with stabilized mounts and lenses, with an additional POV camera for talent installed on two of the cars. Mobile Viewpoint Agile Airlink encoders captured and streamed the live action via bonded cellular with bandwidthefficient H.265/HEVC video encoding back to CP Communications HD21 production truck, located at the finish line. Agile Airlinks were also utilized on two rooftop locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and at three
REMI (Remote Integration Model) production locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. The rooftop sites also leveraged traditional microwave links as backup transmission for cellular-congested areas at the start and finish lines. The Agile Airlinks at the REMI sites captured live interviews with racers, NYRR spokespeople and other subjects over the course of the day. For the first time, CP Communications added a Mobile Viewpoint 2K4 playout server at each rooftop and REMI site, allowing technical personnel to route any
signal between any of those five locations. The same technology was added to each vehicle. Vehicle and REMI audio were managed and delivered to the broadcasters via a Dante network, which was managed on board HD21. CP Communications utilized RTS OMNEO intercoms to link HD-21 to the host broadcaster, which allowed seamless communications throughout the TV broadcast compound. CP Communications separately used a Unity Intercom system deployed over the cellular network. ď ľ
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Sky News Australia installs Vinten Robotics and autoscript intelligent prompting in remote studios based in Sydney, the network operates remote studios in Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
A look at the Autoscript prompting and Vinten robotic solutions within the Sky News Canberra Parliament studio.
Sky News Australia has made a major investment in state-of-the-art robotic camera support systems from Vinten and Intelligent Prompting solutions from Autoscript for its six remote studios located throughout Australia. With the latest build-out just completed in Sky News' Canberra Parliament House studio, the Vinten and Autoscript equipment is a vital link 12 DECEMBER â€˜19
in the network's strategy to reduce operational costs through centralised, IP-based control of remote broadcasts. Sky News is a 24/7 multi-channel network providing international news, local news, and current affairs programmes to viewers throughout Australia and New Zealand. With headquarters, master control, and main studio
In the newest project, Sky News has fitted out its Canberra Parliament House studio with three Vinten FH-145 robotic pan/tilt camera heads, driven by the Vinten HDVRC control system, three Vinten Quattro pedestals, and three Autoscript EPIC-IP 19" prompting monitors with integrated talent feedback monitors, driven by Autoscript WinPlus-IP News prompting software. Amber Technology, a Vitec Production Solutions Premier Partner, supplied the Vinten and Autoscript solutions and is partner for the buildout. ď ľ
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Riedel Bolero and MediorNet Provide Comprehensive and Wide-Ranging Comms Solution for World-Renowned Winterthurer Musikfestwochen For the seventh straight year, Riedel Communications Switzerland AG provided a comprehensive communications infrastructure for the Winterthurer Musikfestwochen, held last August in the historic old town of Winterthur, Switzerland. In its biggest commitment to date for the world-famous music festival, Riedel supplied a communications and
Riedel's Artist and Bolero intercom systems.
signal routing backbone based on its Bolero wireless intercom and MediorNet real-time signal transport, processing, and routing technology. Riedel once again provided the radio-based communications infrastructure for this year's festival, deploying 110 digital radios and seven radio groups to serve the organization, security, and medical
services as well as supply and cleaning. Working within the constraints of the special and challenging infrastructure of the old town, Riedel devised a solution for optimal radio coverage by installing a repeater in the bell tower of the city church. For the first time, Riedel added 15 beltpacks of the award-winning Bolero wireless intercom system integrated with three MediorNet modular frames. The MediorNet nodes networked the front of house, stage, and sidestage. Thanks to the range of the Bolero beltpacks, Riedel was able to cover the entire festival area, spanning the entire old town of Winterthur, with just four antennas. ď ľ 13 DECEMBER â€˜19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
FedNet uses TVU Grid for exclusive live coverage of U.S. Presidential Impeachment hearings to schools and media outlets FedNet is providing live broadcast coverage of the impeachment inquiry hearings and the upcoming U.S. Senate trial against U.S. President Donald Trump using TVU Grid from TVU Networks, for video distribution over IP networks. FedNet maintains a secure video network throughout the Capitol complex, broadcasting thousands of hearings, press conferences and live coverage of Senate and House Floor debates every day. FedNet’s selection of TVU Grid’s IPbased video switching, routing and distribution for the impeachment hearings marks the first live streaming initiative by FedNet. FedNet is providing live gavel-to-gavel, multicamera switched 14 DECEMBER ‘19
TVU Grid screenshot.
coverage of the hearings, plus live interviews with legislators. Multiple event broadcast feeds will be available as a service offering on TVU Grid, with FedNet looking to reach educational institutions with relevant fields of study such as political science and journalism as well as commercial media outlets. TVU Grid provides point to multipoint bidirectional live video distribution over IP. Using
the TVU Grid platform, users can view public video sources that are available around the world, and request to take the stream and make it available for their own viewing audience. TVU Command Center, the centralized management platform for all TVU solutions, is also the source of control for TVU Grid. Through TVU Command Center, you can see the status of all transmissions and TVU Servers.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Dalet will build the “world’s most advanced multi-platform newsroom” with a prominent North American broadcaster leverage advanced Cloud and AI technologies and move all production and distribution operations to the cohesive Dalet Galaxy five platform, a unified Media Asset Management (MAM), Workflow Orchestration and Editorial environment.
Dalet has signed a deal with a leading North American broadcaster to build its next-generation, borderless multi-platform newsroom on Dalet Galaxy five. The broadcaster’s operation is a 24-hour allencompassing news service that includes four distinct traditional and digital news entities dedicated to delivering breaking news to more than 90 million homes. The digital transformation will
Based on a modern, video over IP infrastructure that uses the SMPTE 2110 standard, Dalet Galaxy five platform underpin the entire multi-platform production and delivery workflow, integrating key broadcast systems and propelling new workflows that will improve remote editing user experience. Dalet Galaxy five’s orchestration capabilities will facilitate metadatadriven operations that automate complex media processes, distribute tasks and streamline workflows.
Frederic Roux, vice president of sales, Americas, Dalet, comments on the multiworkflow advantages Dalet Galaxy five offers: “This particular news network is on air 24/7 and what they must deliver is far more diverse than straightforward news shows. They need to produce studio news programs and documentary-style shows, which are much closer to long-form programming workflows and often feature multi-camera productions. In addition, a new kind of storytelling is required when producing for OTT and digital, which adds complexity to the production chain.” 15 DECEMBER ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Zappware powers A1 Bulgaria new interactive TV solution
A1 Bulgaria, part of A1 Group and provider of digital services and telecommunication solutions in Bulgaria, has launched A1 Xplore TV, a TV solution powered by Zappware. A1 Xplore TV users will be able to find and view content through Zappware Nexx 4.0 user experience via web and app (with A1 Xplore TV GO).
Ultra HD TV channels among which are My Zen TV, Love Nature 4K, Travelxp 4K HDR, Insight TV, Fashion 4K; a ondemand content catalogue and premium sports such as La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Campions League, ATP Master series, NHL, UFC and others on A1 Bulgaria’s channels – Max Sport 1, 2, 3 and 4.
A1 Xplore TV comes with more than 220 TV channels, over 130 of which are available with 7 days Catchup; five 4K
Simeon Donev, Senior Marketing Director of A1 Bulgaria explains: “Our goal is to constantly offer innovative services to our
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customers to suit their dynamic lifestyle. A1 Xplore TV is not only interactive, but it also intuitively adapts to the viewers’ preferences. As we are constantly striving to provide both quality content and great user experience, accompanied by efficient video content management. That is why we chose Zappware’s innovative solution and we are co-operating on further enhancement of the TV experience of our customers.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Red Bee delivered UK exclusive live coverage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup on ITV Red Bee Media brought over live broadcasts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan for ITV, providing playout, MCR and media management services throughout the entire tournament. With a total of 45 live matches on ITV and ITV4, Red Bee delivered130 hours of world class rugby to millions of viewers in the UK during the 6-week event. Rigorous planning started in 2018 and included provisioning of extra staff, infrastructure and disaster recovery rehearsals as well as a full world cup simulation exercise ahead of the start of the tournament. Saturday morning’s final between England and South Africa peaked at 12.8 million viewers – which is the biggest
morning audience on any UK channel since the royal wedding in 2011. The Rugby World Cup was exclusively available on ITV in the UK. The live broadcasts were delivered by Red Bee between September 20th and November 2nd, in addition to handling the regular mix of scheduled and other live broadcasts. “Red Bee provided a skilled and safe hand throughout the whole tournament, with exemplary and flawless delivery of complex mission critical services, enabling us to deliver the highest quality live sports broadcasts, with many memorable moments from the rugby pitches in Japan”, says Helen Stevens, Operations Officer, ITV. “The planning and execution were done with a great attention to detail and we could rest
assured that nothing was left to chance.” During the tournament, Red Bee provisioned additional staff for MCR, Playout and Media Management and provided extra playout equipment and building infrastructure to ensure a resilient and robust source of ITV’s programming. During the games, the Red Bee MCR managed a combination of direct fiber, satellite downlinks and video over IP feeds to assure ITV’s program feeds into the Playout operation. Red Bee also provisioned a local back-up gallery operation, utilizing a downlinked World feed, to cover for a total loss of the ITV OB based in Japan, ensuring continuity for ITV’s viewers. 17 DECEMBER ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
TVC completes NRK’s brand new IP OB Trailer with Lawo A__UHD Core, mc 256 and VSM Lithuania system integrator TVC has completed construction of an OB trailer for Norwegian public broadcaster NRK around a Lawo IP audio infrastructure, including mc²56 mixing console, A__UHD Processing Engine and VSM control. The new vehicle is an investment for NRK’s ambitious future productions and is part of a technological standardization within
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the broadcast production facilities and mobile studios as NRK already uses mc² consoles in their concert hall and for news program productions. The 13.6m-long singleside expansion (4.15m expanded), 26 ton NRK OB24 features a large interior space with 24 dedicated workplaces, high levels of both sound and heat insulation and automatic preparation for operation and
transportation. It features two Production Rooms, Slow-Motion Operator’s row, Camera Control area, isolated Audio Room and an Equipment & Server Room with a separate entrance door from outside. Alongside its single-side expansion, the truck features protective folddown roofs on the expandable side and entrance platform, interior floor heating and
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
readiness for deployment in a cold climate, as its main production duties include winter sports like biathlon, slalom and ski jumping. Other assignments will include cultural and music events. The new OB24 features a comprehensive selection of Lawo IP broadcast equipment. Central to the audio infrastructure are a 64fader Lawo mc²56 Broadcast Production Console and a core providing 5,096 x 5,096
crosspoints and fully redundant 512-channel use of Lawo’s A__UHD Core, with an upgradeable power capacity of 1,024 DSP channels as well as DALLIS, A__stage80 and Power Core RP for I/O interfacing and mixing. For overall broadcast control system with its tight integration of video and audio mixing and routing systems, and GPIO, TVC has adopted Lawo’s VSM IP broadcast control and workflow
solution with operating panels configured by Lawo Project Engineer Anthony Teunen, together with the NRK team. The infrastructure of the 28-camera trailer (24 CCUs + 4 RF Link cameras) includes equipment from Sony (cameras, production switcher, monitoring, video mixer), Grass Valley (video router and multiviewer), EVS (slomo servers, net hub), Vizrt (graphics) and Genelec (audio monitoring). 19 DECEMBER ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
NEP Announces the Appointment of Lise Heidal as SVP, Global Media Solutions to Lead worldwide initiative In her new role, she will lead NEP’s Global Media Solutions Team and the company’s strategic initiative in 2020 and beyond. Heidal has served as Managing Director of NEP’s Norwegian business since 2010 when she joined NEP. She has led the Norwegian division through several large growth initiatives during these years, securing strong results in the rapidly evolving and changing media industry. Her dedication to process excellence in operations and deliveries, in combination with a strong focus on matching clients’ needs with NEP’s end-to-end service offerings, has been instrumental in driving this growth. Prior to joining the broadcast industry, Heidal worked in the consulting and telecom industries with companies such as Accenture and Telenor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration.
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Globecast strengthens Asian management team with appointment of Tan See Chai as Head Sales - Distribution Beginning at the start of January 2020 and based in Singapore, See Chai will report to Shakunt Malhotra, Globecast Asia MD. See Chai is responsible for sales of Globecast’s permanent distribution services to broadcasters, cable operators, news agencies, corporations as well as other relevant organisations across Asia and AsiaPacific. This will include identifying and pursuing new business as well as maintaining and growing relationships with existing customers. See Chai has over 25 years’ experience in the industry and was most recently Director of Sales with Telesat, a position he held for the past 30 months. In that role he was responsible for major satellite capacity sales across the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to that, he held a range of positions with Globecast, the last as Senior Director of Sales – Head of Occasional Services for Asia, a job he held for five years. He has also worked for Verestar and Echostar International, among others.
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Broadcast Solutions looks back on successful Broadcast Innovation Day 2019 in Bingen, Germany Broadcast Solutions GmbH draws a very positive balance of their Broadcast Innovation Day 2019. On 28 November 2019, the system integrator invited the broadcast community to this one-day event at their headquarters in Bingen, Germany. With around 350 participants from 30 countries, more visitors than ever before came to Bingen and turned the event into an international industry meeting. The one-day free event provided visitors with demos, lectures, panel discussions and an exhibition to learn about new products and future technologies in broadcasting. Promoting the slogan “Explore the trail”, the event focused not only on presenting current projects - more than ten OB Vans under construction were on display in the Broadcast Solutions workshop. The exchange of experience within the industry was and is just as important to the organiser. The Broadcast Solutions’ experts provided information on new approaches and innovations recurring to projects the company has been working on all around the world. Part of the event was also an exhibition area with over 35 manufacturers
Deltatre hires Michael D’Oliveiro to boost OTT offering in APAC Reporting to Adam Nightingale, SVP OTT, and based in Singapore, Michael will be handling account management for Deltatre’s key strategic accounts while also taking responsibility for sales and business development across the region. Michael joins Deltatre from Dexecure, where he was Head of Growth, managing global sales and marketing for the company. He has a wealth of experience, having spent over 20 years in the telco, media and technology verticals, working primarily across Asia and Australia. He has a rich history of managing global technology portfolios and is capable of leveraging his multicultural experiences to build successful business partnerships. His vast client-side experience encompasses free-to-air services, pay-TV and the pure-play OTT industry. Previous achievements include managing Telstra’s B2B OTT portfolio, where he held global commercial responsibilities. Added to this, he was also Singapore Country Head at HOOQ, the regional OTT player, where he managed the Singtel partnership.
presenting their products and solutions. 21 DECEMBER ‘19
BITAM SHOW 2019 celebrates its best edition so far
For the seventh consecutive year, BITAM Show 2019 has become the reference event in Spain and southern Europe for the broadcast, audiovisual, concert and 22 DECEMBER â€˜19
digital signage industries. This has been ratified by the attendance data, which has broken all records of previous editions; and a wide representation of brands,
promoted by all the exhibitors who filled the PabellĂłn de Cristal of the Recinto Ferial Casa de Campo in Madrid. On November 26, 27 and 28, strictly
BITAM SHOW 2019
or Xavier Fontoba participated. The BITAM Show team is already working on the 2020 edition of the fair, which will be “bigger than ever” and will have “pleasant surprises” for both visitors and exhibitors. professional participants have reached many agreements, generating future business opportunities. In fact, the BITAM Show 2019 meetings platform “One2one” has received thousands of requests. At the training level, the “TM Broadcast Breakfasts” were once again one of the main axes of the event. The audience attended to conferences where highlevel profiles belonging to corporations such as TVE, Movistar +, OBS, Mediapro, TV3 or Telemadrid shared their knowledge. In addition, BITAM Shows organized "Sports Stadiums: Audiovisual Vanguard and technological challenges", a conference in which representatives of world class clubs such as Emilio González-Zuazo 23 DECEMBER ‘19
Codemasters’ Chris Jojo takes extra Zoom to the GRID Codemasters is synonymous with realistic, edge-of-the-seat racing video games - and this Autumn, one of its best loved franchises, GRID, made its comeback. At the end of GRID’s twoyear development cycle, we caught up with Chris Jojo, Codemasters’ Senior Sound Designer and principal sound recording engineer, as he captured the audio assets of the Ferrari 365GTB/4 Competizione – with Zoom audio recorders.
“Authenticity of driving experience for the player is the ultimate goal of the games and the quality of the engine audio is a big contribution to their popularity,” explains Chris. “It’s the different sounds that inform the player of what they’re doing.” GRID features new and exclusive car content with every iteration. This release adds some truly iconic Ferrari and Porsche GT Le Mans cars. With some pride, Chris states, “Over 90% of our car recordings are matched to the original works cars we’ve licensed, with the same heritage or calibre,” adding, “We’re just plugging gaps now with cars that have become available for recording at the tail end of GRID’s development schedule.”
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Procar session Ascari Circuit, static recording, Zoom H6. Photo by Max Weiss.
With 69 cars for GRID’s day one release and a significant number of cars scheduled for DLC release, Chris must source and record cars to meet the production milestones across a tight development schedule; no easy feat with such rare and historic motor cars as the legendary Ferrari 330
P4 or BMW M1 Procar. For the onboard sound recording, Chris adopts a multi-microphone approach to capture every significant aspect of a given car’s engine, induction, exhaust and transmission systems for a complete set of recorded assets for the in-game engine audio. He explains,
“It’s important to capture focussed recordings of induction systems, such as supercharger whine, carb intake, turbo dump valves and waste-gate chatter that’s intrinsic to the sound of a specific car.” The selection includes gear clunks, transmission whine and differential clatter: every distinction of the vehicle that represents it as authentically as possible in-game. Every recording session is critical and Chris needs to trust his equipment, particularly when it needs to withstand the rigours of day-long track date recording. “With competition cars,” Chris says, “I’m often allowed access to record at Shakedown testing by the good grace of a team. In these types of scenario, the selection and installation of equipment is determined in strict consultation with the team principal and lead engineer.” With weight and bulk often being an issue, these types of installation are streamlined. Chris continues, “On the Shakedown date it’s a
case of hitting record and just standing back. The kit can stay on the car for up to three days. I can’t step in to tweak settings, I can’t get in the way of the engineers. I just have to trust it all. Obviously, everything has to be robust… and fireproof, right down to the cable ties.” Chris Jojo relies on the Zoom F8, and more recently the F8n multitrack field recorders, to capture the eight channels of all-important, fully synchronised engine audio, along with in-cabin Ambisonic recordings from a timecode synced Zoom F4. “I’ve been using the Zoom F8 since it launched back in 2015. Zoom products stand up to my needs: they’re robust, lightweight and easy to use – and the F8n is even better now with improved gain on the headphone amplifier,” enthuses Chris. Chris is also impressed by the -10dB attenuation on the F8n, though as he states several times, “I don’t use limiters!” The reasoning is that he wants the recording as pure as
possible. “I need to preserve dynamics, so I just dial that in and monitor on the fly when I’m conducting a session in-cab”. Chris adds: “I have used the F8n’s limiters on Shakedown dates and in instances with single seat competition cars where I can’t physically be onboard. I’m so comfortable with the F8n now, I’m pretty adept at judging input settings and I’ll apply limiting as a safeguard to reign in any sharp transients from exhaust detonations and surges up to red line or on the limiter.” Capturing engine audio for Codemasters’ games for over 10 years now, Chris is very clear about his requirements. “What I need are high quality preamps, low noise floor, clarity and gain in headphone monitoring, responsive lookahead limiters, dialable high pass filtering, lightweight portability and intuitive operation. With Zoom, I’ve never had to bury my head in a manual. They’re very intuitive and easy to use.” 25 DECEMBER ‘19
Chris has taken the Zoom F8 and F8n head-tohead with other pro recorders. “The difference in quality to me is negligible. Zoom Labs Japan have really outdone themselves with the F8n Pre-amp design”. Purity of recording from the inputs is what Chris is looking for. “The mics are really important, but the recording itself, and the clarity of that without too much coloration, is critical. It’s the two sides of the equation.” With the Ferrari 365 GTB4, just as with every other car he records, Chris runs step-by-step through the same recording runplan to capture the required performance takes with which to build the in-game engine audio. With its normally aspirated 4.4-litre V12 engine, mic’ing is minimal. He uses DPA MMC4007 omnidirectional large capsule mics secured either side of the cylinder bank and a Shure Twin Plex lavalier focussed on the carb induction ports. On each of the car’s side porting exhaust pipes, Chris uses a pair of DPA 26 DECEMBER ‘19
position and secure the engine and exhaust mics”.
Chris Jojo. Photo by Max Weiss
4007s and Shure SM57 Dynamic cardioids. These inputs form the mainstay of the engine/exhaust capture. “The DPA MMC4007 is a phenomenal mic, pretty much a permanent fixture on both engine and exhaust recordings.It has exceptional clarity, excellent off axis response, and most importantly it can handle up to 165dB SPL”. Chris protects all of his mics and cabling with bespoke windproofed enclosures and fire-retardant shrouds. “It’s important to be mindful of airflow and heat sources when choosing where to
In the cabin, a Sennheiser AMBEO on an ARRI arm feeds into a Zoom F4 capturing 360degree audio. Chris emphasises the importance of capturing the transmission harmonics of a car, particularly on rally and competition track cars that have straight cut gears or sequential transmission. “I’ve used the Sennheiser AMBEO across the entire slate of DiRT rally 2.0 and GRID recordings. It’s a superb mic and pulls everything from the cabin space, from transmission to differential clatter of internal kick-up on a rally stage.” Chris uses Magix Spectral Layers to extract and render the transmission whine harmonics, which are then edited and integrated into the in-game engine audio system. The three to four inputs from the engine, and the same again from inputs secured to capture the exhaust, go into the master recorder: the Zoom F8n with its new firmware. Imperative for the car’s
audio profile within the game, the two sets of audio are synched with the greatest integrity by Zoom’s TCXO (Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillator) Time Code generating 0.2 ppm accuracy. Currently, game audio memory footprint doesn’t have the capacity to run synchronised ambisonic cabin audio - but when it does, Codemasters is ready. Whilst recording the Chevrolet Corvette C7R GTE recently at Zandvoort Circuit, Chris set up a Zoom H3-VR compact recorder on the pit lane wall and “came back to some amazing sounds”. He explains: “Zoom had kindly given me a unit to try out and it’s a fantastic little Soundfield recorder. All those reflections bouncing off the pit straight wall and surrounding paddock when the ‘Vette was raging past had so much depth, clarity and vivid detail.” With so many iconic racing car performance sounds now recorded, tracking down the rarest
historics often leads to a dead end, as Chris explains. “Some cars just aren’t attainable. They’re either in private or heritage museum collections and often priceless.” Given that scenario, Chris will try to source a prior or following iteration of that particular model to stay as close to the specification as possible. Honoured to have been a part of what is actually a very extensive archiving project, Chris reveals, “I’ve been fortunate to record a number of classic Formula One cars, which were some of the loudest cars I’ve ever had to record.” As racing moves towards electric, Chris predicts an increase in demand for classic motorsports content and engine sounds. Meanwhile, Chris continues to plug the gaps, often flying out to where the cars are - in some instances without the luxury of a smooth racetrack. “There have been instances when I’ve had to resort to recording cars ‘guerrilla’ style on isolated B roads and dirt tracks. It’s tricky when the
length of straight falls short of requirements. Ideally, I need around 900m of straight unbroken tarmac, any major undulations, particulate, bumps and cracks in the surface can result in a loss of traction which will be heard in the recorded audio.” As well the performance capture of each car’s transmission upshift and downshift modulations, he captures two other building blocks of audio: “An onload sweep from the lowest achievable revs in each gear going right up to the limiter, just letting the gear do the work, and the same again with the offload component when the car is decelerating from limiter to base rpm.” With those same captures achieved and secured in his laptop, offloaded via USB-3, Chris re-packs his essential basic kit: “Toothbrush, Kindle, mics, cabling and Zoom” and flies off to the next car. 27 DECEMBER ‘19
How A Hybrid CDN Can Optimise OTT Services By Ryan Nicometo SVP Product and Marketing, Vecima Networks
The explosion of content, channels, platforms and devices is profoundly changing the media industry. Some analysts predict that OTT (over the top) content will surpass over the air (OTA) free television in the next five years. As more content in ever-higher resolutions must be delivered in broadcast quality over IP networks not originally designed for the demands of video, network operators and cable companies must contend with significant new challenges. Expanding services to keep pace with consumer demand and capitalise on the opportunities of online video is a business imperative. To that end, profitably scaling video and data services, including the
28 DECEMBER ‘19
most efficient and costeffective high-quality content delivery to set-top boxes and mobile devices, requires a highly optimised approach. A hybrid CDN may just be the answer.
The quality conundrum The quality challenge is a pernicious one. IP network bottlenecks and delays, client and player latencies, and the “retry model” for IP delivery all create a less-than-stellar viewing experience. Internet-delivered content should be consistently low latency, in line with what consumers expect and enjoy with their television experience. Content shouldn’t pop around in different bitrates, looking good sometimes and bad at others. And when
viewers want to change channels, they should be able to so do relatively instantly and without waiting for a stream to buffer.
Best of both worlds: hybrid CDNs A CDN is a geographically distributed group of servers that work together to provide fast delivery of internet content. To minimise the time and bandwidth required to deliver content to a consumer, a CDN stores a cached version of
its content, enabling operators to deliver content efficiently to internet-enabled devices. It’s an approach that works. An astonishing 337,000 petabytes of video was delivered via CDNs in 2016, representing 67% of total consumer video traffic. And, it’s forecast that by 2021, CDNs will carry 1,470,000 petabytes
(440% growth vs. 2016), or 77% of total consumer video traffic. A hybrid CDN is a middle ground between fully using a shared-capacity public CDN and operating a fully owned-andoperated private CDN. While public CDNs provide reach, private CDNs give cost-effective scalability, control and
service visibility. A hybrid CDN provides the critical benefits of each and represents a relatively simple operational model for cost-optimised, higher quality OTT content delivery. A hybrid CDN uses bandwidth more effectively and through smart caching, which places content closer to 29 DECEMBER ‘19
the viewers, also reduces network latency and packet loss leading to higher quality of experience (QoE). At the same time, a smartly designed hybrid CDN increases content availability and redundancy. Sudden spikes in traffic can bring down a company’s server. Techniques like load balancing distributes network traffic evenly across several servers, making it easier to scale rapid boosts in traffic.
Live video on the rise These advantages are all the more essential in the face of the exponential growth of live content. Live streaming puts the most strain on network infrastructure, requiring the lowest possible latency and increasing susceptibility to buffering and loading delays. In 2016 live streaming video was valued at $30 billion and is projected to grow to an astounding $70 billion by 2021. Live content is outperforming the growth of all other
30 DECEMBER ‘19
types of video by 113%. It’s too important not to get right. Large multinational sporting events draw huge global audiences, garner significant online engagement, and can be high-profile profit centers. They also present a significant risk when trying to scale to meet online audience demand. Remember last year’s World Cup? International media rating measurement service Conviva recorded 75.8 million attempts to stream the quarterfinal games of the 2018 World Cup, but over 15% of these attempts failed – more than 11 million unsuccessful attempts.
Scaling into the future As operators look to transform networks for the future of video, hybrid CDNs provide a more intelligent way to navigate a highly connected online television ecosystem and achieve OTA-quality parity for OTT services. Operators can manage end-to-end service
delivery that encompasses content origination, transcoding, caching, storage and session
Hybrid CDNs are a smart choice that work in concert with last-mile broadband delivery networks. Placing private CDN servers inside internet service providers’ broadband and mobile networks to overcome peering point contention and serve content from dedicated servers as close as possible to consumers will be a defining characteristic of OTT services. This will deliver a better QoE for OTT consumers and relieve bottlenecks in internet service providers’ networks. It’s a win-winwin for OTT service providers, broadband operators and consumers.
control, controlling what is cached where, and directly managing the interaction between the
consumer’s player and the cache to achieve lower latency and cross-device synchronisation.
Staying a step ahead of consumers’ unending thirst for online content and improving profitability through more scale and higher quality, requires more intelligent networks that maximise nextgeneration technologies. It’s time to look at hybrid CDNs. 31 DECEMBER ‘19
32 DECEMBER â€˜19
SIC - PORTUGAL
SIC, one of Portugal’s major commercial stations, started broadcasting on 6 October, 1992. Dated 8 December that same year, José Lopes joined the firm. Under his leadership, the station initiated an ongoing transformation process with the firm goal of leading broadcast innovation in southern Europe. We spoke with the Chief Operating and Technology Officer, SIC, in order to gain an insight on this firm's current developments, which involve their new and much welcomed IP production centre.
Leading the IP transformation in Europe 33 DECEMBER ‘19
You joined SIC little after the station began operations. We understand this means you did not take part in the initial planning of SICâ€ŚNo, I did not take part in the planning of the original infrastructure of SIC. But it is true however that I started out with a single general land broadcast channel in the analogue transmitter network and nowadays SIC broadcasts on 9 channels, even an international satellite channel. Since December 1992 I have actively participated in all projects, including the creation of a fully-digital 24-hour channel.
Which have been the most significant technological changes you have experienced in SIC? In 1992 we were pioneers in using SDI. We had a mix of SDI with composite video. In 1998 we were the first to update video servers with multi-channel capabilities in order to implement a regional advertising 34 DECEMBER â€˜19
system. We also anticipated developments and updated our automation and continuity systems, implemented a fullydigital platform in which journalists would edit 90% of content; we integrated all files in a Media Asset Management platform in 2016 and 2017... We did a lot of things! On the other hand, we were the first channel
to set up a private satellite uplink infrastructure in Portugal. We are always moving forward. That is the path that has been followed in SIC: adopting state-of-theart technology and integrating both advanced functions and devices. And this process has led us to complete a project for studios set up on an IP-core based platform.
SIC - PORTUGAL
studios for production of live entertainment programs.
What MAM system are you using for managing your content?
As you have mentioned, you manage quite a few channels. Do you rely on several production centres in order to feed all these platforms? At present, we are located in a building completed in 2002 that was initially thought out for bringing together the magazine and newspaper activities of the IMPRESA group. In 2013 our parent
house decided to carry out our main activity in this building. We have a newsroom with the TV and the paper, postproduction and video, playout, continuity, filing, self-advertising infrastructure, together with two news production sets and anything else required for digital content production. In the other facilities -rented premises- we have three
We are using a MAM that had been developed by a company that was later acquired by Harris Broadcast. In 2013 we started implementation of an Imagine system. And in 2014 we made the move to replace the legacy MAM, which had been discontinued. It was back then when we implemented a system from Imagine Communications called Invenio. Then came their Nexio® Motion™ workflow management platform.
The future of storage is a recurring topic in our discussions with broadcasters. Have you considered migrating to Cloud options? For the time being we are using LTO libraries. Right now we are very much focused on adopting a new LTO version using different individual disks. 35 DECEMBER ‘19
Production control room.
Have you assessed Cloud or Hybrid Cloud options? Yes, they are interesting alternatives, but we must think about options ensuring integration with the content layer while offering reasonable retrieval times. This is not an option we will be using in the near term. 36 DECEMBER â€˜19
Once again regarding production, what types of formats do you record apart from news features and entertainment programs you mentioned before? For instance, fiction production is outsourced from external producers. However, we play an
important role in editorial definition and actor/actress selection. Furthermore, the business group owns an external media production company with mobile units and other equipment also on rental. Anyway all technical equipment for production such as camera chains, mixers and so on is ours.
SIC - PORTUGAL
Right now we are very much focused on adopting a new LTO version using different individual disks.
We understand your current production workflow is HD. Yes, true.
Will 4K be the next step? Thanks to the 4K core of or new production infrastructure, we are ready for the majority of parts for 4K broadcasting. But we are a private station: Everything depends a lot on the incoming we may get from the commercial side. We are at present delivering what the market is demanding. Launching these contents in Portugal is not feasible in the short/mid term. Portugal’s reality is
different to Spain’s. For example, in regard to channel distribution, 80% is digital cable and only 15% or a little less is open digital terrestrial TV. The ones who are going to shape the arrival of 4K are distributors, content distribution groups. If we had the rights for the Portuguese Football League or for the Champions League, I think we would already have a 4K channel.
In regard to news programs, We have seen you have adopted videowalls and augmented reality applications. How do
you manage those issues? At project preparation stage, we work closely with our colleagues in the creative department. This is a team of very capable people that has designed our studios fully in house. Studio 1 is fully real, based on LED walls. Augmented reality is implemented in that studio. Some cameras feature a tracking system in all studio spaces, which helps with graphics implementation. The platform, which handles graphics, virtual scenography and augmented reality, is fully
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AVID. For supplying graphic content and the LED screens, we have a number of AVID PowerWall servers. They are six servers with SDI outputs in total, which feed processors that are half-way between these machines and the LED wall. Early in the year SIC implemented a state-ofthe-art IP production centre in Portugal based on SMPTE 2110. This complex installation took the company to the world's technical forefront. JosĂŠ Lopes gave us a full account of what he experienced in the installation stage and how it is being implemented at present. The team comprising technical staff and engineers made a decision -both technical and strategic- move onto IP. A great deal had been discussed on how to look at the future, but as we were going to move into a new building, there was much talk about at what point the forefront of technology is. We knew that this could entail a 38 DECEMBER â€˜19
risk, but also that the opportunity was lying before us. Eventually, we made the decision to implement an IP core under the ST 2110 Standard, and then we started serious work. The engineering group in the broadcast area knew what functionalities
Thanks to the 4K core of or new production infrastructure, we are ready for the majority of parts for 4K broadcasting.
SIC - PORTUGAL
would be needed. I actively participated in the preparation of the technical sheet with our requirements. Then we proceeded with the market analysis work. First of all, we requested offers with all components and at a
second stage we shared orders and separated what we called "audiovisual core" -which included capture, cameras, mixes, multiscreen, network, management and monitoring- from all other components: the
graphic platform, the news production platform, the whole intercom system, live, the business management system area or the newsroom software system. Being aware that we would ourselves have to take care of certain areas, we should have as well reliable partners who could ensure at least two paramount things to us: that all parts and operational components we were putting together would be interoperable; and integrating our new TV production and multimedia on IP infrastructure. And, of course, ensuring that the infrastructure would be compliant with all 2110 requirements and, above all, 20227 network redundancy. After all this the decision-making stage was finally over. We decided to accept the offer made by Sony, which came with TelefĂłnica Servicios Audiovisuales (TSA), in their role as system integrators. All AV core components such as cameras, mixers or 39 DECEMBER â€˜19
monitoring systems are from Sony. We also implemented all the Lawo side with V__matrix and their powerful VSM control system. We chose a Calrec system, playout servers by Harmonic, AVID platforms and the intercom from RTS. We began deploying cables by late August 2018 and implementation lasted only 4 months as by 9 January 2019 we were already performing integrated production tests for final go live on 27 January. As for difficulties, we experienced them every single day. Above all, we had to fit all parts to get them communicate with each other. In the end, everything was solved through great exertions from all engineers: lots of evenings, many weekends there. It was four and a half months of hard work. We really got involved in the project. Nowadays we are gradually exploring all possibilities at our disposal. We did the coverage for the EU Parliament elections 40 DECEMBER â€˜19
without any issues. We are also configuring everything to have the activity taking place in all three studios from a gallery. We have three studios, each with four camera chains and we can work live with studios 1 and 3 from the first control room. As for setup changes, everything is quite handy.
We would like to talk about the issue of outside broadcasting. What are your resources in regard to mobile units? As I have already told you, our group has an intermediate company called GMTS. Their role is to explore production means, being responsible both in the technical and in the operational side.
SIC - PORTUGAL
We have four mobile units with four cameras each, one mobile unit with eight cameras, another one with 12 and last, one comprising 22. We also have four DSNG vehicles with redundancy.
Do you also use transmission backpacks? Yes, we were the first ones to use backpacks in
Portugal as well. We have been using them for 7 years. We made a thorough analysis of mobile network coverage in Portugal back then, when 3G was in place and 4G was just emerging. We started with 6 units and now we have 35 channels with expansion prospects. We are using them for live news production, entertainment... Another very important line is the applications for smartphones in order to do worldwide coverage. We have more than 100 phones with LiveU applications. Our journalists are located in Brazil, England or Portugal and, by means of a wireless microphone and gear kit they do their live broadcasts with no need of cameramen or operators.
Backpacks are also from LiveU? We started with Teradek 7 years ago. We also purchased TVU with linker system and codecs for mobile units. Afterwards, we began to
include LiveU, thus expanding our portfolio.
As shown throughout our conversation, one of your main purposes is the quest for staying at the forefront. Is there any other relevant technology that you are now implementing, such as AI or Big Data? With regards to digital production we are now beginning to do things. For example, many things are being done with 360º cameras. We are watching for trends to make productions with systems such as Automatic TV and in the field of face detection for content production. At the last IBC fair, we were also interested in other areas such as compact solutions for sports production, automation of robotic production, options for distribution of content through streaming, Cloud storage... 41 DECEMBER ‘19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
42 DECEMBER â€˜19
BROADCASTING THE MOST SPECTACULAR RUGBY WORLD CUPTM IN HISTORY FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME, WORLD RUGBY, A GLOBAL ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PROMOTING RUGBY WORLDWIDE, HAS DECIDED TO TRUST A SPECIALISED HOST BROADCASTER INSTEAD OF RELYING ON A LOCAL PROVIDER FOR THE RUGBY WORLD CUPTM 2019. THE GLOBAL AUDIENCE HAS BEEN ABLE TO ENJOY WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST AVANT-GARDE AND TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSMISSION OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP. DAVID SHIELD, CO-PROJECT DIRECTOR AT IGBS (INTERNATIONAL GAMES BROADCAST SERVICES), PROVIDES US WITH A COMPLETE OVERVIEW OF HOW THE TECHNICAL PRODUCTION OF THE RUGBY WORLD CUPTM CHAMPIONSHIP, HELD IN JAPAN, WAS COMPLETED.
Text by Sergio Julián
43 DECEMBER ‘19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
The Rugby World CupTM is a really ambitious competition. 7 weeks, 12 stadiums… Which is the biggest technical challenge of the event? Sourcing the OB vans. Japan had a limited number of large OB vans 44 DECEMBER ‘19
capable of accommodating the requirements of up to 34 cameras, and those that did exist were being used for unilateral coverage by the Japanese rightsholding broadcasters, NHK, NTV and JSports. As a result, IGBS employed a ‘flyaway’ model, with nine
technical kits being flown in and assembled in temporary buildings at venues. Even with nine kits there were numerous internal moves required in order to cover the 12 venues and keep one kit available for a ‘disaster recovery’ venue.
REMOTE PRODUCTION Most of our production was on-site, but we did some post-production off-site – in particular our preview show which was edited in London. Having a ‘virtual International Broadcast Centre’ (‘IBC’) in London also allowed us to maintain our distribution network whilst the IBC was closed for Typhoon Hagibis.
specific planning for cost-efficient resource management.
Japan, as you know, drives technological change and implementation. NHK Labs are a great example of this. Did you have the opportunity to try any new technology for this event? NHK provided 8K coverage of selected matches, with Japanese graphics derived from the same data source as the 4K and 2K match coverage. Canon provided clips from their Stadium Vision 360° coverage at Yokohama Stadium.
I would like to ask about the basic production resources for the matches. How many cameras do you use?
What is the difference between the Rugby World CupTM and other similar sporting events? The schedule of a rugby tournament is longer than a football tournament with the same number of teams, because of teams requiring at least five days to recover between matches. Also, the pitches need recovery time also. It means the on-site operations for our teams and
Either 23 or 28 cameras were used per match during the group phase, based on the specifications of the venues, as, for example, some stadiums were simply not structurally able to have the cable camera system deployed. This was raised to 32 cameras for knockout phase matches, thanks to the addition of four corner flag cameras. For the semi-finals and final of the tournament, the 32 camera plan rose again to 34 – two additional SSM cameras on the reverse side at the five metre line.
I’ve seen that a Spidercam is part of your basic coverage. Have you included other innovative resources in the production of the games? Having a cable camera system available at 34 of the 48 games allowed 45 DECEMBER ‘19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
us to implement some augmented reality graphics for team lineups, stadium identification, half-time and full-time score graphics.
What is your standard of production? Are you working in HD or 4K? All matches were produced in multiple
Master Control Room.
46 DECEMBER ‘19
formats, with UHD/SDR (4K), 1080p and 1080i all available.
What resources do you use for the prior match coverage? I’m thinking about the images of the fans coming to the stadiums, etc. Sony FS7 ‘cine-style’ cameras were deployed around the concourse of
the stadium and the surrounding areas, in order to capture engaging images of the fans arriving and the prematch atmosphere in the host city. These cameras give high end visuals and a cinematic feel to the coverage. Furthermore, we used LiveU to provide live or near live shots of teams departing their
hotels and fan zones from the quarter-finals onwards.
An important part of current sports broadcast productions are graphics. Iâ€™ve seen some amazing videos with tracking techniques. What graphics systems are you implementing? How are you applying those technologies?
Augmented Reality (AR) graphics were deployed to enhance the pre-match coverage on the World Feed, with images overlayed on the pitch and cable camera operators setting up the wide shot to allow the effect to achieve maximum impact.
Stats and big data are also taking an increasingly important
role in these productions. Are you working in this field? A dedicated social media offering used match and player statistics, both from the event and historically, to generate engaging assets that allowed broadcasters to extend their interaction with audiences beyond the match days and continue 47 DECEMBER â€˜19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
the debate across their social media channels. This content was delivered in a fullycustomisable format, allowing them to tailor the material for their market.
Live streaming is important, but coverage through social networks and / or OTT
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is also extremely relevant. How are you working in that area? As part of the social media package, 360° Virtual Reality (VR) clips were made available.
There are plenty of new technologies coming up that will redefine the way we consume sports. I’m thinking
about 8K, HDR, 360 or 5G. Are you doing any test on these technologies in the World Cup? NHK provided 8K coverage of selected matches. IGBS had 360° cameras embedded with its ENG crews. NTT Docomo used RWC footage to demonstrate
the low latency of their 5G delivered pictures.
Could you name a particular technical issue that you had during the technical production on the event and how did you solve it? Typhoon Hagibis provided an opportunity to show how we could
maintain production of matches not inside the typhoon’s path, even whilst we had to close the IBC completely.
In your opinion… how is the future of sport broadcasting? What trend will be established for future World Cups? This is the first Rugby
World CupTM that World Rugby has contracted a specialised host broadcaster rather than relying upon coverage from the domestic licensee. This is increasingly the model for federations who want to take more control of their output.
49 DECEMBER ‘19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
Maidstone Studio with foreground AR by Alston Elliott. Background perspective tracking by Ana Valley.
Maidstone studio demonstration area with AR team graphic.
A BREATHTAKING COVERAGE OF THE RUGBY WORLD CUP FROM THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES, COMPLICATED LOGISTICS AND A “SUPER TYPHOON” WERE NOT ENOUGH TO STOP WHAT UNDOUBTEDLY WAS ONE OF THE MOST COMPLETE COVERAGES OF THE RUGBY WORLD CUP 2019. ITV SPORT HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS VERSATILITY AND ADAPTATION DURING THE 5 WEEKS THAT IT LASTED ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SPORTING EVENTS OF THE YEAR. FIND OUT HOW THE BROADCAST WAS DONE BY READING THIS INTERVIEW WITH ROGER PEARCE, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT ITV SPORT.
50 DECEMBER ‘19
Rugby World Cup by Anna Valley
What have been ITV Sport work areas at Rugby World Cup? ITV presented the Group Phase of the tournament from The Maidstone Studios. We had three commentary teams, and three reporting teams in Japan throughout the tournament, plus three “Venue Inject” teams that could be deployed at any game to provide two live remote presentation cameras into the UK hub studio. At the knockout phase, we moved the full presentation to Japan with fly-away OB’s at Oita
and Yokohama stadiums. The Tokyo games were remotely presented into the main OB’s using 5 cameras via IGBS GEth fibre.
What has been the biggest challenge of the Rugby World Cup coverage? The biggest technical challenge was devising a workflow that handled extensive host material in 1080 59.94p and delivering the programming in 1080i 25 whilst maintaining the highest quality possible.
We decided to create a 59.94p island in the UK so that standards conversion was kept to a minimum. The logistics of moving nine roving teams and a major OB operation around Japan have been a huge challenge for our production managers. We also had to cope with a “Super Typhoon” half way through the tournament which caused the IBC (International Broadcast Center) to be shut down as a precaution. This removed our small technical hub in Japan for a day but it was 51 DECEMBER ‘19
RUGBY WORLD CUP
understandable that the primary consideration of IGBS and ITV was the safety of everyone in Japan.
What has been the transmission standard for your coverage? Are you already working in 4K / HDR? We present in HD SDR on all platforms.
What technical resources did you use to produce a regular tournament match? UK Studio was The Maidstone Studios (Large Studio and galleries, MCR, 5 x Avid Edits and media management). OB facilities in Japan were provided by NEP (2 x Flyaway OB with 8 x Cameras, EVS etc.). The extensive connectivity was provided by Globecast.
studio. The aim was to stay pitchside as much as possible to give the viewer a real feel for the occasion. We also covered 3 Fan Parks in the UK using LiveU equipped camera crews.
You have also done a complete daily coverage. How has the production of these connections been? We presented the intensive group phase from the UK, so we were able to take the World Distributed game coverage augmented by a number of ISO feeds from the IBC in Japan. World Rugby also provided additional material via direct access to its media server (The TRI). The
What about the final match of the tournament? Was the production different? We had a two hour build-up for the Final so used two extra pitchside presentation positions to enhance our existing pitch-view presentation 52 DECEMBER â€˜19
Pitchside Presentation in Yokohama.
match days contained up to four live games a day with 48 in total.
Transmission devices are getting more and more relevant for the production and coverage of these events. What system did you use? Globecast provided an extensive contribution and acquisition network between Japan and the UK. In addition, we used LiveU to get media from our reporting teams back to the studio and OB. This has worked well for us over a number of years and makes getting material back for editing or live injects straightforward. We shot all location material in
59.94p and edited it in Maidstone, which worked well. We have also developed the LiveU workflow to allow the system to be deployed as "disaster recovery" backup to our main fibre and satellite delivered contribution feeds to the ITV transmission centre. We use the "least cost bonding" feature to maintain a cost effective path using a mix of Internet, 4G and Ka satellite data.
Some companies already offer equipment ready for 5G broadcasts. Did you study the implementation of these resources? We did consider 5G based technology but it was not mature enough in either the UK or Japan to be used effectively, so we ruled it out for this tournament. 5G will offer offer a deployment and cost benefit if the manufacturers, such as LiveU, Mobile Viewpoint and Dejero can deliver at the right price. However, the real benefits of 5G will only be obvious to the broadcaster when
slicing is routinely deliverable at a reasonable price.
What graphic system did you deploy? Vizrt based studio and OB graphics from Alston Elliott. The UK studio used foreground and background AR graphics to enhance the presentation. Displays and AR processing were by Anna Valley.
Have you benefit of remote production systems during the production of the Rugby World Cup? We remotely presented the Tokyo quarter finals and Bronze game via IGBS fibre into our Oita and Yokohama OB’s. We have been using remote presentation workflows since the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014, and consider it a valuable option for situations such as this where having a second OB operation in Japan would have been both impractical and cost-prohibitive.
Have you tested any new technology during Rugby World Cup?
We pushed the boundaries in every area on this one. The production requirement was extensive so we have had to think creatively and remain agile in our planning. The 59.94p workflow meant that we were often jumping new hurdles in building an effective 3G post production hub within the live coverage overlay.
In your opinion, what will be the next groundbreaking technology that will shake Rugby World Cup 2023? The future of broadcast coverage of major sports events has to migrate to the cloud and I can see this evolving as the services become available. If 5G slicing can be delivered by 2023 then it will undoubtedly be a major bonus to the broadcaster in enabling fast and cost-effective access to live and recorded feature material. 53 DECEMBER ‘19
54 DECEMBER â€˜19
“The Cinematographer in the High Castle”
“Person of Interest” (CBS), “The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon Prime Video) and the upcoming “Outer Banks” (Netflix) are just three representative examples of the long and profound career of Gonzalo Amat, a NYbased creator specialized in commercials, art projects, shoots and, above all, TV content. We have the opportunity to deepen his origins, evolution and the way he understands technology. Instagram: @gonzalo.amat
55 DECEMBER ‘19
Quality of cinema that in former times could only be seen in cinema productions has now become established in a large number of TV fictions. Which was, in your opinion, the first TV series to take the first step towards these quality standards? I think the first TV series that dared to depart from the usual TV series standards was The Sopranos. Visually it was not that innovative, but I think that building on from scripts and 56 DECEMBER â€˜19
is where a realization was made that this kind of content was in demand. Many creative staff working in the cinema industry switched onto TV and that is why we are now in the current situation.
characters caused some time later that series such as The Wire started using a more cinema-like kind of language. I think that
You have been one of these filmmakers having made a contribution in the TV/OTT content field, in this instance for Amazon Prime. But, before this, when did you actually decide that Photography Director
would be your main work focus? In the times I was studying communications I already knew that what would really appeal to me was a combination between literature and photography. I discovered that photography direction was a filed in which I could visually
narrate stories. I have always been interested in cinema, but I think I did not really know about direction of photography until I first worked in a professional production already in university, where I already saw clearly what a photography director could contribute.
In your opinion, in what extent is technique of importance when it comes down to defining photography for a film or a series? For me, technique is just a tool for displaying something on a screen, and this technique will be determined not only by content of the history or
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the specific scene being shot, but in many instance also by budgetary constraints, the director’s vision, the writer’s view and a series of countless factors. I think it is very good to be able to master all techniques in order to adapt to these other variables that are beyond control for a photography director. For me, technique must never be above what one wants to tell and this can be sometimes seen when directors or photography directors who started their careers in advertising try to adapt techniques to a story without a clear intent. I think it is then when one realizes that technique alone does not say anything. It is the story what must dictate how it should be visually narrated, in my opinion.
You have worked both in films and in series. Is there such a big technical difference in tackling either format? From my experiences from the US and other counties, I think the biggest difference turns out to be budget rather than whether cinema format is series or TV. To illustrate this through a specific example, in the US series are nearly all the 58 DECEMBER ‘19
time shot by using two cameras and having a third camera devoted to Steadycam, which would not be necessarily required in a film. TV times very configure a great deal of this budget as well as the fact that nearly all the time there is a rigging gaffer and an rigging key grip that leave lighting almost ready for the time in which the shooting crew arrive and then they pack up when done. This, in a film –unless a large budget is available- would be extremely rare as it is a luxury, Likewise, in an author’s film having to capture 6-8 pages a day is very
directors of photography work. As for Person of Interest, I joined the project in season four, but on the condition that they would let me contribute something new. Basing the main idea in the established way, I tried to change a few things here and there.
infrequent, something which is however very usual in TV. In the ends it depends on the type of TV being made and on the director’s style as well as the specific project, which greatly varies in independent films, ‘premium cable’ TV and ‘network’ TV.
You made it to the first line of TV fiction by delivering chapters in series such as ‘Person of Interest’ or ‘The Man in the High Castle’. What challenges are involved in adapting to a pre-defined visual style? Because, in these fictions several
With regards to The Main in the High Castle I joined the project as person in charge of making changes in the look that had been established in the pilot chapter so it was like starting from scratch. In this series, the look has been evolving a great deal. We were to photography directors for the same project from the beginning so we normally speak a lot about new 59 DECEMBER ‘19
sets, lighting, camera usage, how to maintain unity with various directors and yet, each has his own preferences about how to use light, the cameras, and in the end it is rather surprising that the style remains consistent, but with very subtle differences between Jimâ€™s style and mine. For example, he really likes camera filtration and I prefer atmosphere and smoke in the sets. He prefers darkness and I go for a bit more of light base to then 60 DECEMBER â€˜19
darken the picture during post-production. He likes over-exposed skies and I prefer exposing to the sky and not missing detail. And even though all this, the series has a very well achieved consistency. In many instances we had to shoot scenes for each other's chapters and it was fun recreating the other's style in order to remain consistent and constantly surprise each other. A great experience.
In this regard, could it be said that Gonzalo Amat has his very own
signature in direction of photography? As Photography Director I would like to think I am able to shoot in any style. I base my own in those I admire such as Lubezki, Prieto or Deakins, who are able to jump from genre to genre and still do a brilliant job. This would be my ultimate goal. I do not know if I have a well-defined style; this is more for critics or consumers to say. I personally like some styles better than others and things I tend to
favour when it comes to tastes, but my goal would be providing each director with the vision they really want. In the end it is a bit difficult, as one always ends up gravitating towards projects of certain content. In my case, I have never show a light comedy as in order to be able to understand it I need to shoot it as if it
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were a drama and see it through the eyes of the characters themselves. So, I think that all things considered, style is dictated by one's taste. That is why everything Deakins has ever shot has always that natural light seal. Styling but based on natural light. As far as I am concerned, I keep learning in every new project. I love looking at projects of genres I have never done, as I like leaving my comfort area, 62 DECEMBER â€˜19
avoid the time it takes to set it up. Based on this, our equipment has changed very little since season one. We simply switched from RED to Alexa between seasons 1 and 2. In the Man in the High Castle the equipment comprises: 2 Alexa Mini Arri, each one with accessories and their own doll. A third Alexa Mini body for the Steadycam and an Alexa XT body for backup. Camera A with Fisher 10, Camera B with Pewee.
grow and not repeat myself.
Delving a bit more in ‘The Man in the High Castle'. Could you tell us what equipment are you relying on or how have you decided to shoot this fiction? Are you using a single camera? What optics do you have available?
adopt the idea of shooting with two cameras and use a third one –if required- for Steadycam in order to
And then a full set of Master Prime optics to be shared between both cameras: 14, 18, 21, 25, 27, 32, 35, 40, 50, 65, 75, 100, 135mm and a 40mm and yet an additional 65mm optic for shooting simultaneous dialogue
As I already noted in a previous answer, US series nearly invariably 63 DECEMBER ‘19
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camera at a time. The idea in this is that the main camera will tell the story while camera B helps with takes. However, the intention is not capturing images aimlessly, but takes with an intentional design within the style.
In ‘The Man in the High Castle’ there are a significant number of aerial takes. Are they cameras on-board helicopters, drones...? with the same focal distance. Than a 12mm and a 180mm. Zoom Fujinon Premiere 18-85 and 75-400. In days featuring a lot of action, a further camera or cameras are added depending on the needs. Mitchell and Glimmer Glass for each camera. Out of all this range of equipment available, 98% of takes have been shot by using: 27, 40, 65mm 0.001 of takes shot with zooming. Although zoom is used for action as well as some speciality lenses
such as 8R from Zeiss or anamorphic ones. In spite of using two cameras and having staff in place for that purpose, many scenes have been shot with a single camera because many times the type of camera movement required does not allow room for another camera and the style is not suitable for setting the zoom and ‘fish’ as done with other styles. In many instances the other camera operates as a mini unit for inserts or for shooting alternative wide angles, but one
Nearly all are drones. In the last chapter of season one, over the Werfen Castle where Hitler is supposed to be living in our story, we did a good deal of aerial takes, which in view of the valley's size made more sense from a helicopter. From there on we relied on a couple of drone companies which we worked with at least one or two days per chapter.
One of the favourite parts of our interviews for our readers is when we ask about any specific challenges involved in the shooting 65 DECEMBER ‘19
of any complete scene. What was the main challenge in ‘The Man in the High Castle? (SPOILER ALERT!) The scene I think was the most difficult in the whole series (up to season 3) is the final scene when they use the tunnel turned into a machine for travelling between dimensions. The main challenge was 66 DECEMBER ‘19
translating the words that in Guin said something like 'the portal is opening' We had a lot of meetings with all departments involved months before doing this scene, knowing that it would be the main scene of the season at a décor level. From the FX beginning we made tests of what was going to be built and what would be
made on location, finishing this in 4 different places in different parts and outside the town. The outside of the mine was an actual mine site one hour away from town, an intermediate place where a battle with the Nazi takes place is a mine set that production found in the south side of Vancouver, and the two parts that stayed inside
the tunnel built –which was a set 100% ours- and then the ventilation window where Juliana and the rebels witness what is being done with this machine-tunnel, which was another décor with Green Screen. Once all this had been plan a decision had to be made as to what light effect we would use for telling this event. And about the concept issue, which was cold, pulsating light in a mechanical
fashion that becomes gradually more liquid, we then developed a light scheme based on concert lightning, mirrors diffusions, programming of moments and different steps for this visual event. In the end, the scheme required more than 1 million watts, which would not allow us to shot more in any other location at the same time. These were several weeks of work that was elapsing at the same time while
we were shooting the series, so he had to devote many weekends to developing this. Already in the two and a half days we devoted to this sequence we had 3 cameras and several cranes of varying sizes. Thanks to planning, shooting was quite quick.
The fiction has an important number of environments 'drawn' by computer in order to picture this dystrophic society in which Germany had won the Second World War. How does this large amount of postproduction items affect your work? It depends on the budget for the relevant chapter. For each scene in which we knew there would be a set extension, the first thing to do was to ascertain if it would be 2d or 3d, and then find out what technique we would use for capturing that scene and how many takes would the budget consider. And coordinating what is real 67 DECEMBER ‘19
and what is post-production. There are many scenes in which we would use Green Screen and others in which the post-production company could expand a building or landscape without using Green. As for the Domus, which was 100% generated during post-production, we relied on real elements and the lighting, which was also real on actors. Then this lighting was applied on 3d sets. Cooperation with postproduction people is very close, from which optics and filters are used up to the amount of smoke or how the camera moves, in order to blend it within the style of the series. In 3 or 4 instances we relied on a system called N-cam that allowed us to see a 3d live model of the virtual set, although unfinished. But thanks to this we were able to see the extension of the whole set and plan the camera’s movements based on items seen on the screen when shooting the scene.
As for the near future, you are shooting 'Outer Banks' for Netflix. Could you disclose any technical detail on this fiction? 68 DECEMBER ‘19
Outer Banks is a project that is quite different from The Man in the High Castle. I shot two episodes for this series that is about a group of surfing friends from North Carolina that find out about the existence of a treasure on the shore, after a hurricane. The series has a very interesting visual style, mostly with natural light, which was interesting helping create. It is shot with a Sony Venice camera and Panasonic Primo optics. Almost everything with a zoom, as the idea was to capture as quick as possible. Working sessions are carefully planned in order to be outdoors between 4-8 pm in the summer as light is magical in Charleston, South Carolina, where the series is being shot. These days I am directing three chapters for the series Seal Team. I shot the pilot as Director of Photography and I was invited to shoot several ones as director. It has been very interesting to see how everything one learns as Photography Director helps become a good director, efficient and aware of how things are done. It has been a great experience.
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A decade driving the digital TV transformation In June 2010, the first version of HbbTV 1.0 was published. That’s was only the beginning. Since then, more and more European broadcasters have decided to join the evolution of digital television, defining and promoting new standard specifications for hybrid broadband TV transmission. Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the HbbTV’s first release, TM Broadcast speaks with Vincent Grivet, Chairman of the HbbTV Association.
Vincent Grivet, Chairman of the HbbTV Association.
was based on Java. Then they realised that they had similar interests and thoughts and combined their efforts, and eventually the HbbTV Association was formed to serve as hub for the 71 DECEMBER ‘19
development of this new specification. A little bit later, in 2014, HbbTV merged with Open IPTV Forum.
What have been the milestones of HbbTV history? The first version of HbbTV 1.0 was published in June 2010 as ETSI 102 796, and in a certain way this was the real birth of HbbTV. Same year, RTL Television launched HD Text, a new information service using HbbTV in Germany. Also in 2010 several Spanish regional 72 DECEMBER â€˜19
broadcasters and later Mediaset and RTVE started HbbTV pilot services. In July 2012, French public broadcaster France Televisions launched with the support of TDF a quite innovative HbbTV based start-over service. It was already named Salto at that time. In Summer 2014 the first HbbTV based service FreeviewPlus was launched in Australia and in November 2015 the UK Freeview Play service, using the HbbTV 2.0 version, was started. In
2017 Italian broadcasters published their first HbbTV services on their channels.
We assume one of the pursuits of HbbTV is to establish itself as a worldwide broadcast reference. How far are we from that objective at the moment? Do you consider that HbbTV is already a solution applied worldwide? To be honest, being a specification with "worldwide" coverage is not a goal in the DNA of HbbTV. We were born in
Local TV Portal based on HbbTV by the Bavarian Media State Authority.
Europe and there was a conscious decision to focus on Europe and not trying to be a worldwide solution – what was referred to as “boil the ocean”. And we were inspired and tasked to address the business and technical needs of mostly European TV broadcasters who participated in our working groups, and this will probably remain the case for many years, even the more as certain key areas of the world like
the USA, Japan, Korea and China are embarked in different technologies. We should also not forget that in practice HbbTV is very much linked to broadcast TV standards by the DVB Project that also has a strong European history. But because the technology providers and consumer equipment or chipset manufacturers are largely globalised companies (obviously when they are large companies, but even
when they are of a medium or small size), there is a real global dimension in HbbTV, which is a very interesting prospect. This has been reinforced recently as we started our work on our new Targeted Advertising specification. We saw for instance quite a number of advertising-oriented US companies becoming members of HbbTV, including certain "giants" whom everybody can name. Additionally, various African Middle73 DECEMBER ‘19
Eastern or Asian countries are in the process of deploying DVB-T2 terrestrial broadcast networks. Doing so, they have an obvious natural trend to also envisage deploying HbbTV, considering the vast array of additional services which may be created on the basis of the T2 network layer. And we
should not forget about the remote, but highly significant deployment in Australia and New Zealand.
HbbTV is commonly defined as an interactive television standards provider and developer. How will the end user benefit from HbbTV technologies? This is a very important question, which I like very
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much, because although HbbTV works as a network of sophisticated B2B TV and technology experts, we should never forget that our ultimate goal is to enable richer TV experiences for consumers. And indeed, this is what HbbTV is making possible for the end user. It is the possibility to access nonlinear services such as VOD, replay or interactive services (e.g. voting, angle and camera selection
The HbbTV Symposium and Awards is an international top event for the TV and broadcast world to discuss most recent and future developments
etc.). This is provided in addition, and actually starting from the classic linear broadcast services the consumer is used to access. And the special way or added value of HbbTV is that these news services are fully integrated and consistent, from an end user point of view, with the classic linear TV services; for instance, there’s no need to change the "source" of the TV and download and launch a special app from an entirely new menu.
The HbbTV apps are automatically and invisibly uploaded without the end user having to do anything. The apps are shown when it is relevant, and the associated functions (like playing from the beginning a live programme, which has already started are accessible by a simple end user action like pressing the red button of the TV's remote control. It is much more an extension and enrichment
of the range of TV services, while pure OTT services are more akin to using your TV in a totally different way, like a PC with a very nice screen or a very nice screen connected to a PC or a dedicated streaming device. Maybe another way of expressing it would be to speak of the “enriched TV channel” created with HbbTV, to be compared with an “enriched TV set” when OTT apps for instance are added in the TV set next to the classic TV services. 75 DECEMBER ‘19
And progressively, there are more end user benefits which HbbTV is making possible like the easy access, on a TV set of national TV aggregation platforms like Freeview, Loves TV and soon Salto for instance. Another important benefit which results from the new OpApp specification, used for example by HD+ in Germany, is the option to access a rich operator bouquet without the need to add a set-top-box which in many cases is a not a so desired object, be it for its perceived technical complexity, its energy consumption or the mere fact that it is another visible device in the living room. Further new end user benefits will be added by the latest HbbTV specification ADB2. It will allow for end users not receiving traditional broadcast signals but using IPTV, satellite or cable set-topboxes to still access the HbbTV services proposed by the TV channels. Seeing advertisements which have been selected 76 DECEMBER ‘19
to be relevant for you will be an additional benefit brought by HbbTV with our new soon to be published Targeted Advertising specification.
What technologies “live” in the core of HbbTV? A very interesting aspect of the HbbTV technology for TV manufacturers and application developers is the fact that that the main core technologies in
The world’s first commercial deployment of the HbbTV Operator App (HbbTV OpApp) by Panasonic and German TV platform HD+.
standards developed by the Open IPTV Forum. Building on all these open and very well deployed and admitted standards is probably one of the reasons behind the success and wide adoption of HbbTV.
You keep working in different broadcast areas. What are your latest developments? As said a moment ago, our new "babies" are
principally OpApps that enables a service operator to precisely drive the end user experience on a TV set without the need for a set-top-box, ADB2, which makes it possible to use HbbTV services even when the TV does not receive a classic broadcast signal, and TA, our new specification to improve the Targeted Advertising process. This is indeed quite a lot, keeping in mind that our latest specification HbbTV 2.0.2, which embarks all UHD and next-gen audio features, was published only slightly more than a year ago.
Since your creation in 2010, HbbTV has gathered lots of support from many broadcasters and technological partners. Can you provide a summary of some of the more relevant agents that support HbbTV? German broadcasters have been highly engaged in HbbTV from
the beginning and we are pleased to see this being confirmed as time passes. France has also been a founding country for HbbTV, but one must unfortunately acknowledge that the initial enthusiasm vanished for quite a few years. Luckily, we have many signals that broadcasters, including the new Salto platform partners, are now realising the value they can create with HbbTV and we see intense activity again. Italy and the UK are interesting cases, where initially another national interactive TV specification existed and has been used. But the key broadcast players including BBC, ITV, RAI and Mediaset switched to HbbTV, and they are now developing a continuous flow of services and innovation. Spain has also been a supporter from the beginning and now has a very pro-active HbbTV strategy, embodied for instance by the Loves TV platform. We are also always happy 77 DECEMBER â€˜19
to hear of countries and players, although we do not meet them often, unfortunately, which seem to be quite active with HbbTV, such as Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece, Australia and others. There are many countries in which agile smaller tech companies highly skilled in HbbTV are growing, serving the global HbbTV market. In this quick world tour, we should not forget about the global consumer electronics and TV manufacturers who have been committed and highly active contributing partners for the HbbTV ecosystem from the very first days, although they often operate from remote countries where HbbTV is not deployed. Without them, nothing would exist, because people need a TV set to access the rich array of HbbTV services. They are critical partners and ecosystem participants, and it is a major objective to protect their engagement in this open ecosystem. 78 DECEMBER â€˜19
Targeted Advertising, Example TDF.
We are also very happy to see certain absolutely newcomers, often USbased, sometimes digital giants that everybody knows. They develop active HbbTV strategies including the new Targeted Advertising specification.
You recently held the 2019 HbbTV Symposium and Awards. Could you explain to our readers more about the event? What does it provide to the HbbTV community? The annual event has been running for eight years. It has seen considerable growth and
changed over time. In the beginning, it was the gathering of a few passionate engineers with maybe 50 to 100 participants. Now, I think we can proudly say it is one of the important summits of the TV industry, where roughly 300 people from 15 or 20 countries gather; not only engineers, but also a growing number of marketers, advertising specialists and business executives. For me, this is a very exciting and rich event, where you meet and discuss with peers, you hear and learn about important market and
technology developments, and you get a sense of the trends and dynamics of the fast changing TV and broadcast world.
How will the future of HbbTV be? It is a bright future! We are lucky to have it in our hands, thanks to the many years of accumulated efforts by the community, a set of very robust and valuable specifications. These are absolutely synced with the current urgent needs of end users and operators or broadcasters who serve them, and they are widely recognised for being that and being increasingly adopted. The HbbTV specifications family is also a safe and pragmatic manner for manufacturers to make sure their products are relevant to the consumers. Our challenges are now more in ensuring that we keep up with the promise, in terms of maintenance, support and interoperability activities, and this might become
more challenging as time passes. We also need to continue and further enhance our visibility and market education activities to help the ecosystem to fully understand and embrace HbbTV. HbbTV as an association was the inventor of a technology a few years ago. We are now more and more in charge of an ecosystem and we need to take care of this community.
Letâ€™s finish this interview heading to 2020. What are your perspectives and objectives for next year? We have many important boxes to tick in 2020. In terms of specifications, our major milestone will be the publication of HbbTV-TA (Targeted Advertising). A major objective is to further progress towards a fully comprehensive test suite, which is a key resource for those who implement HbbTV. This is challenging, both operationally and financially. It requires
quite a lot of dedication from all of us. We also want to make sure that the conditions for the market deployment of ADB2 and TA are created. As privacy aspects become increasingly important, we also want to support the market in its journey to conduct safe and GDPR-compliant roll-outs of HbbTV services. This constitutes a new activity for us beyond our traditional specification development activities. We also want to strengthen our relationships with the various national platforms active in each country and perhaps start to better monitor and measure the actual market deployment of HbbTV. And one not to be forgotten is to celebrate 2020 in an appropriate way our 10th anniversary! That is quite a programme altogether, and I am looking forward to making it happen! ď ľ 79 DECEMBER â€˜19
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Lab test performed by CARLOS MEDINA Audiovisual Technology and Lighting Expert and Advisor
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The audiovisual industry has been relying a lot on ongoing invention, innovation and development of solutions in the field of lighting, more specifically in regard to artificial lighting. In the first place, in order to get more working hours and not having to rely on natural light and; in the second place, in order to develop both the language and the aesthetics of light with better control, both technical and artistic.
best solutions and are at the forefront of “soft” lighting thanks to their constant improvement and commitment towards changes that result in an improved product for environments as demanding as the audiovisual and live events industries.
Litepanels knows this. The American company is a pioneer in lighting solutions through LED panels for professional environments. From 2001 they went for an R&D scheme focusing on and aimed at lighting through LED-based light sources, designing and manufacturing equipment in order to cater to the most ambitious needs of cinema, TV and video environments. This was de seed of their 1X1 LED panel.
GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBXX was presented to lighting professional in NAB 2019. When I received it from the specialist firm Moncada y Lorenzo, I had the impression of having in my hands equipment of excellent design and manufacture. It is one of those so-called ‘ready-touse’ devices as we can undertake any lighting jobs and adjustments with it just at unboxing. Right from the outset one can tell it is a compact, easy-to-handle and certainly lightweight (weighing only 5.3 kg) lighting device that features a really nice look and feel, given its good manufacture and ergonomics.
Now, 18 years later, these are still among the
GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW is a piece of
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equipment intended from the beginning to be versatile. This involves aspects as important as the possibility of working both indoors and outdoors (temperatures ranging between -20ºC and 45ªC and RH <85%, but keeping in mind that its protection is only IP20, a low level). The best of this item, though, has to do with power supply: one option is through AC power adaptors (100-240 VAC, 50/60Hz, 2.3A max.); and the other option entails placing a plate in order to include an adaptor for CC -13 -28 VDC - (for XLR, V-Mount o Gold Mount). In this regard, we must indicate that lighting reaches 90% though a 14.4V battery and up to 100% with a 26V unit or two 14.4V batteries. The versatility of GEMINI 1x1 LED RGBWW also lies in the fact that we can work with tripods at floor level or the unit can be hung. We are therefore able to operate the equipment when we are close to it or whenever it is placed at
The versatility of GEMINI 1x1 LED RGBWW also lies in the fact that we can work with tripods at floor level or the unit can be hung. 83 DECEMBER â€˜19
height or at further distances. This is made possible through the standard yoke equipped with a 28mm jack and capable of stacking 2 or 4 units, thus providing for a compatible, sturdy support and anchoring. As for operation of the equipment, we have a manual control providing simple, readily available access to menus through a navigation system based on buttons and knobs whenever we are close to the unit; or through a remote control operated by a standard DMX 512 protocol (with a 5-pin XLR connector and/or an RJ45 connectors); and even wirelessly by means of the wireless DMX option, Bluetooth or Smart Lite App. Given the fact that GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW allows working remotely and uses the DMX 512 protocol, this equipment features a menu enabling configuration of DMX parameters such as 8-bit or 16-bit DMX resolution and/or, of course, the DMX address. 84 DECEMBER â€˜19
Therefore, design, weight and connectivity are excellent features that encourage us to go deeper in trying to find out what type of lighting device we are testing. We all must be aware that GEMINI 1x1 LED RGBWW is a soft lighting source built from heavy-duty aluminium and based on LED technology providing us with an excellent colour range thanks to the combination of red, green and blue (RGB) and relying on two additional LEDs in order to reach full-spectrum white light (WW) for a maximum consumption of just 200 W. As for the options it offers when configuring operation, let us highlight its five lighting control modes: CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) Mode: allows operation of daylight to tungsten and vice versa gradually from 2,700ºK to 10,000ºK and adjusting colour through +/- green (GRN correction) by using the 85 DECEMBER ‘19
Menu knob. This mode is fantastic for establishing the colour temperature of our scene to be illuminated and for perfect adaptation with other light sources, both natural and artificial. HSI (Hue, Saturation, Intensity) Mode: Allows selecting any colour from the 360-color (Menu) knob, adjusting saturation (0 to 100% through the CCT knob) and Intensity (DIM knob). GEL Mode: Allows choosing (through the Menu knob), amongst a variety of gels (meaning the lighting filters or jellies) most frequently used in the lighting industry (such as those from manufacturers Rosco and/or LEE). We can also adapt it to light type, both daylight and tungsten light (through the CCT knob). This mode speeds up lighting operations when it comes to integrating this piece of equipment in installations when 86 DECEMBER ‘19
different light sources are used and/or certain lighting styles are pursued. RGBW Mode: We found this fourth mode very interesting as it allows changing colour temperature along with customized modification of values in each RGB colour and White channels. This mode offers the highest degree of control for each LED installed in the panel. EFFECTS Mode: A total of 11 types of lighting effects are included in this equipment, where we can recreate quite usual lighting situations, such as emergency lights, fire, fireworks, paparazzi flashes, strobes or light reflected from a TV set, amongst others. Undoubtedly a highlyrecurring effects gallery enabling us to save work time when it comes to achieving these effects. But the best thing is that each individual parameter making possible said
In this article we must highlight the possibility offered by GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW of either using the linear curve or the log curve in saturation levels within the HIS mode, thus giving the light generated a smoother, continuous colour palette by the latter curve.
effects can be configured in order to achieve more customized effects. Furthermore, the company Litepanels, being well aware of the fact that sometimes there is little time for lighting due to production needs especially in video and TV environments- included in its GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW two quick (A/B) ways of working through buttons: where A is six buttons provided access to recorded memories and featuring parameters (SAT, HUE,…) that can be customized by the operator, and B are the same six buttons but now
with customizable CCT colour presets (2700ºK, 3200ºK, 4000ºK, 5600ºK Y 6000ºK). Of course, colour intensity can be adjusted through a dimmer knob in all the above-described modes and ways of working through values ranging between 0 and 100% and an ultra-soft dimming in 0.1% variations. In this article we must highlight the possibility offered by GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW of either using the linear curve or the log curve in saturation levels within the HIS mode, thus giving the light generated a
smoother, continuous colour palette by the latter curve. This setting is closely related to content production for the TV environment versus the possibilities offered in capture by digital cinema environments. Last, looking at the behaviour of the light projected by GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW, let us complete this section by saying that quality is very high on account of the stability in colour temperatures and because of the colour range achieved through LED technology which, on top of this, is flicker-free at any frame speed or opening angle, regardless of the adjustment level of the intensity of light emitted. Beam angle is 95º and CRI achieves really high values: at 3200ºK and an intensity of 25% a CRI of 96.4 and at 100% a CRI of 95.5; at 5600ºK and 25% intensity a CRI of 95.1 and at 100% intensity an CRI of 93.8. As for results obtained in regard to photometry of GEMINI 87 DECEMBER ‘19
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1X1 LED RGBWW, we can say that with a 5600ªK light at 5 metres we get a value of 313 lux, while with a 3200ºK light the result is 275 lux. There are also details as the reduced noise level of the internal fan; a LCD display to view menu and navigation options; the possibility of changing the front screen of the diffuser between three density levels (soft, medium and hard) in a quick, intuitive manner; the rail system enabling us to work to a wide range of optional accessories (snapbag, snapgrid, 4-leg visor...); as well as the possibility of implementing a stacking kit for several GEMINI units (2x, 4x) all allow a higher level of adaptability to the artistic and operational needs required during shooting or recording. Additionally, the master/slave way of working enables connecting several light sources and controlling all of them from a single master light. To finish our description of this product, we must add that GEMINI 1X1 LED
RGBWW is ready for storing and loading any settings and presets when customized by the lighting operator based on the type of audiovisual production. Said configuration can be shared between several GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW devices. Current trends prevail and there is no doubt that nowadays lighting entails using LED technology. However the range of products featuring this technology is so wide that we must be very strict when choosing amongst this kind of devices in order to be able to meet the visual quality of the relevant audiovisual product, knowing they will withstand the working conditions of a shooting or live event and not cause delays in times devoted to lighting in detriment of the estimates for work projected by producers. From the outset Litepanels had a very clear picture of the lighting device it intended to offer to the lighting for the audiovisual and live
events market. A device that is lightweight, compact, easy to handle and easy to mount which gives a soft light and is prepared to the highest demands of audiovisual productions, having constantly in mind environmental sustainability principle both in regard to power consumption and heat reduction. It was not surprising that the Art & Science Academy of Television awarded the Emmy® for Technology and Engineering to a lighting company – Litepanels- for the first time in history. GEMINI 1X1 LED RGBWW was developed for the soft lighting industry through LED technology in the audiovisual environment, but it is no doubt a lighting source as versatile, easy to handle and of such quality that it may be fitted to light spaces for social and corporate events, in addition to live events where there is real contact with the audience and the attendees. 89 DECEMBER ‘19
TV Novaâ€™s Content with New Production Tools By Martin Junek, Provys
Every broadcaster who wishes to be known for their own image and style is obliged to seek the path of in-house production. To exist merely to regurgitate the content of other producers is simply to sacrifice quality on the altar of expensive convenience. Successful broadcasters, therefore, own and operate their own creative production facilities. These facilities directly control budgeting, resources and resource scheduling, scripting, the supply of talent, the organisation of staff, the production itself together with all ancillary support services, and postproduction, of course. And it came to pass that TV Nova, the most successful private broadcaster in the Czech Republic, and a member of the CME/Warner Media conglomerate, sought, not
90 DECEMBER â€˜19
for the first time, to replace their legacy production management software package which had been so deeply customised that previous attempts at replacement were, in the end, considered unsuitable. However, the situation was calling increasingly for attention as the existing system was no longer being supported. A tender was opened and bids invited from relevant software houses. The successful bidder was Provys, famous for their flexible and highly adaptable Broadcast Management solutions, and already the supplier to Nova for their programme scheduling requirements. During the analysis phase, it became clear that considerable customisation would be required to replicate all of the existing features
individually programmed as add-ons to their legacy Concorde system. These add-ons included, for example, detailed HR reporting, invoice processing, and highly appreciated, car fleet allocation scheduling. This demanded a greater consumption of time than had been anticipated, but the project teams rose to the challenge and overcame every technical obstacle. Such add-ons, of course, must be programmed and implemented with great care so as not to jeopardise core database operations which form the fundamental platform of the system. Adherence to this principle guarantees almost infinite options for future development and expansion. The next phase, to be completed in the very near future at Nova, will be the addition of a
TV Nova, News Studio
budgeting and controlling tool, keenly awaited by the finance division. “The scope and complexity of this project were quite unusual and made more difficult by the project teams both wanting to achieve 100% of all potential objectives. In so far as was humanly possible, all objectives were finally achieved at the cost of additional time, but with the benefit of total client satisfaction. A further benefit came from the high level of customisation, which basically mirrored the features of the previous system, resulting in
reduced training time for the operators who quickly became familiar with the new installation” says Alexandra Kiptikova, Consultant at Provys. As expected, a system of this scale must integrate fully with all other corporate systems. In this particular project, two interesting, and above standard integration tasks were accomplished, namely, integration with the Target payroll system and Hudebni Banka (Music Bank), a music archive solution for production purposes. This attractive integration from Provys offers simplified reporting
of used audio tracks, thereby saving considerable and valuable time of creative staff. And so, finally, the completed implementation provides Nova with complete control over production capacity planning and resource allocation, production resource management and dispatching, and production resource usage reporting and real-cost evaluation. And as Alexandra adds: “We want producers to work within a stress-free environment and to have all resources under control”. 91 DECEMBER ‘19
SIC: Leading the IP transformation in Europe; Rugby World Cup with IGBS and ITV Sport; Gonzalo Amat, “The Cinematographer in the High Castle...
Published on Dec 10, 2019
SIC: Leading the IP transformation in Europe; Rugby World Cup with IGBS and ITV Sport; Gonzalo Amat, “The Cinematographer in the High Castle...