TM Broadcast International #106, June 2022

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NEWS - PRODUCTS

Titular noticia Texto noticia

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EDITORIAL The broadcast industry has changed a lot in the last two years. The pandemic has changed many of the workflows that had been in place in broadcasters around the world for decades and seemed absolutely essential. Well, a global emergency such as the one we have all experienced is capable of making even the most reluctant to step out of their comfort zones to innovate and take risks in the transmission of multimedia content. But if there is one thing that distinguishes this industry, it is technology. And in this bold process, few missteps have been made.

us. Amanda Lawson is a UK-based industry professional with many years of experience in sports production. In the middle of the post-pandemic era, she decided to change course a little bit. She decided to apply her experience and know-how in sports production to entertainment around esports. According to her, the change was clear. Entering a world that is at the beginning of its professionalization and has so much potential ahead of it was her next logical step.

Today we offer you a complete report on one of the tools that have helped transform the way we have always worked. It is the PTZ cameras that have helped us to make it possible to work and cover events such as soccer matches with quality. With their origins in video surveillance, PTZ cameras have reached quality standards that rival any professional broadcast camera today. Here you will find a detailed analysis of each of their capabilities and advantages.

In this issue of tools and companies that break with the established molds, the drone could not be missing. Their use has been standardized for years. We started to see them a decade ago. At that time they were large, clumsy and not very functional. But today they are light, compact and agile, in addition to obtaining very high quality standards. But this time we are not only here to review the technology associated with drones, we are also here to warn you that these tools have come to change and evolve the audiovisual language that we all learned from cinema.

Hang Loose Media Group is a company that, following our last special “Broadcast in Esports”, wanted to share their success story with

Finally, we have dedicated our review section to discover the latest tripod from Sachtler: the flowtech 75 aktiv. It will surprise you.

Editor in chief Javier de Martín editor@tmbroadcast.com

Creative Direction Mercedes González

TM Broadcast International #106 June 2022

mercedes.gonzalez@tmbroadcast.com

Key account manager Susana Sampedro ssa@tmbroadcast.com

Administration Laura de Diego

Editorial staff press@tmbroadcast.com

Published in Spain

administration@tmbroadcast.com

ISSN: 2659-5966

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

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SUMMARY 6

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NEWS

What’s new in PTZ BROADCAST CAMERAS Greater flexibility, compatibility and standardization The Global PTZ Cameras Market 2022 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2028 Report, recently published by MarketsandResearch, announces a major development of PTZ cameras between 2022 and 2028. This research analyzes sectors such as broadcast TV, video conferencing, events, live sports, large auditoriums, educational, corporate or the distance learning environment.

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Hang Loose Media Group In the convergence between sports and esports production

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Audiovisual language from the air The emergence and use of drones (RPAS) in the audiovisual sector is what leads us to face a modification or renewal of the audiovisual language seen from the air, specifically with regard to drone flight movements and also movements enabled by a camera gimbal.

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Test Zone

Sachtler flowtech® 75 aktiv® 8

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NEWS - PRODUCTS

Videosys Broadcast launches Epsilon 4K: a camera control unit for studio and outside broadcast 4K for productions where a fast set up time and secure transmission must be guaranteed. The solution functions with a touch screen interface and has compatibility with existing Videosys control systems. The system comprises up to two, dual channel fibre receive slot in modules, RF receiver and decoder options either HD – H264 or H265 up to 4K. In 4K mode Epsilon can operate either single or dual pedestal. Return camera control is Uni or BiDirectional.

Videosys Broadcast has recently released a new control unit for broadcasters. Epsilon 4K base station Camera Control Unit (CCU) is designed to simplify Radio Camera installation by offering a system that is conceptually similar to regular CCU systems. It is primarily configured to operate with the DTC range of transmitters,

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with optional dual head operation and it also offers up to four channel Maximum Ratio Combining (MRC) diversity. The solution has recently been implemented in companies such as German solutions provider Studio Hamburg MCI GmbH. MCI specialises in developing solutions for IT and AV projects. They use Epsilon

Nicolai Gajek, Sales Manager for StudioHamburg MCI, says: “The Epsilon System from Videosys is a user-friendly wireless camera system. All it needs to do for a single-zone operation is plug in an SMPTE cable and it’s ready to go. Plugand-play. Furthermore, it convinces by combining the components of a video wireless system with telemetry control and fibre conversion in one device.”


NEWS - PRODUCTS

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NEWS - PRODUCTS

Vizrt announces fourth edition of Viz Trio with enhanced data management and interface customization Vizrt announces the fourth edition of Viz Trio. Its solution delivers an interface that enables operators to adjust each Viz Trio to their own monitor set-up. The dataintegration also lets users set-up a live data source and streamlining the datacentric real-time graphics workflow. “Viz Trio is critical to AE Live’s ability to deliver our services to our global customers. Its interface is intuitive and provides our operational team the flexibility to manage a graphics workflow at some of the world’s biggest sporting events. Trio 4 takes things to a new level by offering a vast amount of new and improved customization options across the UI. These features will both help our operators better manage their day-to-day challenges and improve our service to our clients, who are always

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striving to improve their efficiency and workflows,” says Tom Hanson, Product Manager at AE Live. For the first time, the operator can personalize and adjust the Viz Trio window components. Also, it can be operated from the cloud, in a virtual environment or on-site. With Viz Trio 4 is possible to play out real-time data graphics from scoreboard systems. It supports Sportzcast and in the upcoming releases, the list of data providers will grow, removing the need for custom data development.

“Accurate graphics build trust and engagement with the audience, and viewers rely on them to deliver facts. The forwardlooking capabilities in Viz Trio 4 build on decades of experience as the most reliable solution for on-air graphics on the market. Enhanced flexibility and useability, coupled with the possibility to connect data instantaneously and without technical knowledge makes Viz Trio 4 a game-changer for broadcasters everywhere,” adds Petter Ole Jakobsen, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer. 


NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

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NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

CJP Broadcast Service Solutions produces and delivers FA Women’s National League Playoff Final website and BBC iPlayer. The CJP Live Sports Production System provides production and streaming capabilities. It is available in several versions supporting up to eight camera inputs. The solution features ISO recording, four-layer graphics, transitions, realCJP Broadcast Service Solutions Ltd has recently completed a live HD video production of the FA Women’s National League Playoff Final. Held on Saturday May 21st at Edgeley Park, home of Stockport County FC, the final was played between Southampton Women FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers WFC, respective champions of the FA WNL Southern and Northern Premier Divisions. Southampton defeated Wolves 1-0 to secure promotion. The match was streamed live online globally by the BBC on the BBC Sport

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time replay, slow-motion replay, on-the-fly highlights creation, advert insertion, clip insertion and audio mixing. Operation is via a touch screen and keyboard with the option of an external joystick for PTZ camera control. It also support monitoring capabilities with the option of a second screen for commentator positions. An H.264 live stream can be fed directly to a TV station or third-party OB control suite via a 10 megabits per second link or via 4G mobile, with the ability to simulcast to multiple platforms and in-stadium screens. Up to 96 terabytes

of RAID5 storage can also be attached. “We were commissioned by the FA to work with the BBC based on our proven experience in the sports sector,” comments Kieran Phillips, Sales & Marketing Manager at CJP Broadcast Service Solutions. “We deployed a complete transportable solution for the WNL Playoff Final, including four JVC cameras and a CJP Live Sports Production System. Operation was in the capable hands of our Technical Manager James Ruddock, with supporting technician Louis Shaw plus freelance No.1 & No.2 Camera operators Paul Farrell and Alex Queen. We also received very welcome assistance from Edge Hill University and Sunderland University students who in return gained important experience of working on a live OB project on contribution cameras 3 & 4.” 


NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

beIN ASIA PACIFIC relies on Globecast’s broadcasting, contribution, content management, and distribution services beIN ASIA PACIFIC has its

channel feeds, beIN offers

The company is also

headquarters in Singapore

fans extensive live sports

supplying satellite, fibre and

and it operates in 11

coverage in Thai, Bahasa,

IP streaming distribution.

countries across the Asia-

Cantonese and English.

The company will also host

Globecast will be providing

platform for the region as

Pacific region – Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia,

the sports provider’s OTT

Hong Kong, Indonesia,

several services including

Laos, Malaysia, Philippines,

cloud and on-prem playout,

to create and distribute

Thailand, Timor-Leste

sports contribution services

pop-up channels as and

and Singapore. With 15

and content management.

when required. 

well as providing the ability

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NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

Qvest designs and creates a mobile TV station for Asharq News Qvest has recently designed and manufactured an equipped mobile TV station for the Arabic 24/7 multiplatform news service Asharq News. The media architecture is based on latest media and IT technology. The news company benefits from versatile production options, international deployment capabilities, and remote connectivity. The production setup covers all media workflows from ingest to playout and offers full connectivity into the corporate and broadcast network infrastructure. This allows the setup to be used on short notice anywhere. Therefore, the working environment for live news reporters can be assembled, disassembled, and shipped. Omran Abdallah, CTO for Asharq News: “This new mobile TV production setup means a major upgrade for our 24/7 multiplatform approach at Asharq News. Our team will benefit from the extensive features of

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the system, especially from the fact that we can now broadcast live at short notice from practically any location in the world in absolute top-end quality. Thanks to this latest collaboration with Qvest, we are taking the broadcasting experience for our audience to the next level.” The production solution is based in technology from Grass Valley — cameras with Augmented Reality functions—, a full production gallery with camera control, video and audio mixing, and Avid FastServe studio playout. Qvest integrated XR Set Solution by Vizrt and the camera tracking technology stYpe for optional stateof-art Augmented Reality visuals.

The newsroom environment features up to 40 workstations for journalists, including an Avid PAM system with 480 Terabyte of usable Avid NEXIS media storage. In addition, the professionals benefit from the dedicated Avid iNews newsroom software, editing with MediaCentral | Cloud UX, voice-over capabilities, the softwarebased IP compliance solution Mediaproxy, and the full integration of the broadcaster’s news agencies. IP-streaming functions were implemented with products from Ateme, Riedel, Skype, and TVU Networks. 


NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

That Lot upgrades its studios to UHD by relying on ATG Danmon ATG Danmon has recently

environment much more in

additional studio lighting,”

announced the completion

tune with the dynamic style

adds Jonathan Hughes,

of a multi-camera studio

of production which we

ATG Danmon’s Head of

and control room upgrade

strive to achieve. In addition

Systems Integration. “The

for That Lot. This is a

to the UHD upgrade,

studio retains the original

company specialized

ATG partnered with us

Blackmagic Design 4K

in social media content

in upgrading the audio

production support. This

system to support a new

upgrade project is related

sound workflow, including a

with the relocation of That

Unity server, rerouting and

Lot’s headquarters to new

additional capabilities such

premises in Bishopsgate. It

as de-embedding from SDI

is an upgrade to full UHD

channels,” explains Ben

vision, routing, recording,

Forder, Head of Video at

monitoring and archiving.

That Lot.

cyclorama is incorporated

“Moving to new

“This relocation was almost

key superimposition. 360

headquarters at 135

entirely of equipment

degree surround video and

Bishopsgate gives us

which we integrated for

audio capture can also be

extra space and a working

the original project, plus

performed if required.” 

UHD cameras which are still giving excellent results both in the studio and when operated on location. Studio illumination is from a ceiling-mounted Cirro rig which can be adjusted. A full-colour LED-backlit to achieve sharp chroma-

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NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

France Télévisions tests distribution over 5G during the Roland-Garros 2022 tournament Ateme recently reported that France Télévisions and other companies including Orange, towerCast, Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, Enensys, IETR, Viaccess-Orca and NESTED have tested distribution over 5G networks to cover the 2022 Roland-Garros tennis tournament. These different distribution modes allow France Televisions broadcasts to be received on all receivers with optimal quality, regardless of the number of viewers connected at the same location. The principle is similar to what is done today in DTT with the broadcast of a channel on the terrestrial network only once for all customers, but with the advantage of being compatible with the different types of equipment supporting 5G. The established end-to-end 5G broadcasting platform ensures wide geographical coverage. Thus, all

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compatible cell phones located in the coverage area of the broadcaster receive the tournament images without network saturation and with stable and guaranteed image quality. The 5G multicast mode will also enable optimized broadcasting of France Televisions’ live channels. As in broadcast mode, the video stream is broadcast only once on the network to all users. This broadcast mode can be dynamically activated on Orange’s 5G network transmitters to replace the traditional unicast mode used today, where two mobiles watching the same program require broadcasting this program

twice on the network. Broadcast and multicast are complementary. Multicast transport on Orange’s mobile network will use higher frequencies than broadcast, despite lower coverage, will allow content to be broadcast with higher throughput. In this framework, they have experimented with sending the signals by testing different things. The first is 5G multicast if several viewers watch the same program from the same transmitter, or 5G unicast if less than two viewers watch the same content. The next is the VVC codec that allows to reduce by four the video bitrates offering the same quality compared to the codec used by DTT. The third is the low latency mode, thanks to low latency DASH (LL-DASH). And finally, the DVB-I standard so that the viewer can receive the program on his terminal through the different broadcast modes transparently. 


NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

PA TV Metadata will provide metadata management to Together TV streaming platform PA TV Metadata has recently teamed up with Together TV to power its streaming platform as the TV channel. The objective is to engage with new audiences. PA TV Metadata already drives Together TV’s linear channel offering with its end-to-end EPG metadata solutions via Pawa, its cloud-based platform, which provides EPG management and distribution or image management. By the agreement, the company will provide enhanced metadata to Together TV’s

new streaming platform. Alexander Kann, Chief Executive at Together TV, said: “PA TV Metadata is our key partner in delivering the metadata and imagery which powers our new streaming platform. This ranges from editorially rich programme information to our talent, genre and availability data which enables us to curate the user experience. Developing all this required PA TV Metadata to extend its data provision to work with our other partners up and down the delivery chain. We are always

impressed by how swiftly and efficiently PA TV Metadata delivers the technical requirements we ask of them and look forward to our ongoing relationship as we develop our streaming platform further.” Charissa Johnson, Head of Client Relationships at PA TV Metadata, said: “Hot on the heels of its recent BAFTA win, Together TV has launched a new streaming service and we are delighted to be a part of it. Our teams worked relentlessly to enhance the linear schedules with the crucial additional data required to power the streaming platform. We showcased our agility and reliability to integrate with two third parties in order to ingest more data and export it in a bespoke format to Together TV’s multi-platform provider. We are excited to be extending our partnership with such an esteemed brand.” 

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NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES

CP Communications establishes Dante workflow with Studio Technologies solutions

CP Communications, a production service provider from United States, has announced that has set workflow with flexible Dante solutions and with multiple products from Studio Technologies. “We have a few hundred Studio Technologies products in our Dante ecosystem that we use for all of our events,” says Brian Ready, Account Executive & Systems Engineer at CP Communications. “The ease of use and durability of Studio Technologies’ products allow us to augment our Dante workflow depending on the client’s needs and the scope of the project.”

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CP uses including beltpacks, intercom interfaces, and audio engines from Studio Technologies. He talked about the Model 381 On-Air Beltpacks and Model 374A Intercom Beltpacks. They have been “fantastic devices as we’ve built our Dantebased ecosystem.” Ready also highlighted the Model 348 Intercom Station, an audio control center for onair production and support personnel, as well as the Model 206 Announcer’s Console that can manage announcer talk-back for sportscasters. Ready added that Studio Technologies’ STcontroller Application has allowed CP to manage productions with significant Dante

deployments. The personal computer software application allows Windows and macOS users to configure Studio Technologies units to meet the exact needs of specific installations. Ready said having virtual control has been invaluable for largerscale events like the MLB All-Star Game. “CP has been deploying Dante technology for MLB Network at the All-Star Game events for the past few years, throughout the stadium and the surrounding area,” adds Ready. “The ability to access and adjust our entire workflow without having to physically walk out to a set is fantastic.”


NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE

LiveU acquires channel partner PLM to strengthen its presence in Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands LiveU has recently announced the acquisition of its longstanding channel partner, Pacific Live Media (PLM) as part of its strategy to get closer to its customers in key markets. Chris Dredge, PLM’s Managing Director, has been representing LiveU and its solutions for many years, supporting leading broadcasters, sports organizations, production companies and online media in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The announcement follows last year’s acquisition of

LiveU UK partner Garland Partners Limited as the Company increases its direct presence in specific regions. Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO and co-founder, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Chris Dredge and the PLM team into the LiveU family. PLM has excelled in sales, service and support of LiveU’s customers in the region. With his deep technological knowhow and passion for LiveU, Chris has played a central role in growing our business. Our joint customers are some of the

most innovative adopters of our cloud-based remote production workflows worldwide. This move will help us to maximize our business potential and expand our end-to-end offerings as live events come back in full after the pandemic, facilitated by the tremendous local service and support.” Chris Dredge, Managing Director and Founder, PLM, “We are truly excited to join LiveU! LiveU’s best-inclass solutions have been the main growth engine for our company and coming together as one entity is the natural next step. LiveU’s technology delivers on so many levels and, as a trusted partner, we have taken great pleasure in developing innovative workflows that deliver increased production efficiency as well as a superb viewing experience. We can’t wait to see what else we can do to help customers with their live events, officially part of LiveU.” 

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NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE

dock10 professionals develop a guide to access virtual production without confusion dock10 has recently launched two free guides to help production teams understand the technology and terminology used in virtual studios production. The Introductory Guide to Virtual Studios provides an overview of virtual studios. The Guide traces the development of virtual studios, explaining their evolution from physical sets, green screens and the world of computer games. It also explains how virtual studios work in practice and lays out their creative possibilities for programme

Sys – the Glossary is a guide to the tech terminology in virtual production. Both guides are published

makers.

by dock10 Authoritative

The Virtual Production

based on the knowledge

Glossary aims to clear up some of the confusion that surrounds the fast-growing virtual production sector. For anyone struggling to explain the exact difference between virtual studios, virtual production and virtual reality – or is too embarrassed to ask what separates Mo-Cap from Mo-

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and impartial, they are and experience of dock10’s inhouse virtual studio professionals who have helped creative teams to produce many programmes that rely on virtual technology including UEFA EURO 2020, Match of the Day and BBC Bitesize. Andy Waters, head of

studios, dock10, said: “It can be daunting when you first experience this exciting new technology. We were inspired to produce the free guides after receiving feedback from creative teams who loved the idea of creating virtual elements in their next production but were struggling to understand the technology’s capabilities and limitations. The free guides are designed to give people confidence to understand how to get the most out of virtual studios.” 


NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE

Technicolor to change its name to Vantiva but maintain its business model Technicolor has recently

position in the high-growth

chief executive officer of

announced the launch of

Android TV and ultra-

its new brand: Vantiva. This

broadband markets. It will

this enterprise.

project comes in the wake

also allocate resources to

The company’s DVD

of the proposed spinoff

enter markets adjacent

services operations will

of Technicolor Creative

to the connected home

Studios (TCS) announced on

business.

be known as Vantiva

February 24, 2022. The new brand will be comprised of the Connected Home and DVD Services operations.

Supply Chain Services.

“As a result of the TCS

The business will

spin-off, Vantiva, our new

continue to rely on high

standalone company, will

precision sub-micron

be able to grow on its

engineering capabilities

In terms of connected

own terms and follow its

home operations, Vantiva

own strategy,” said Luis

will continue to leverage

Martinez-Amago, who is

custom packaging and

the company’s advanced

expected to be appointed

distribution.

in DVD manufacturing,

Ad Insertion Platform (AIP) and Veset partner to facilitate the creation of content platforms in the cloud Ad Insertion Platform (AIP) and Veset have recently announced its partnership to give broadcasters, rightsholders and content owners a way to deliver adsupported video content to multiple platforms. Veset’s all-in-one playout platforms allow for the creation and scheduling of linear channels in the cloud. Channels can be distributed to multiple platforms,

including traditional broadcast, overthe-top (OTT), and social media channels. AIP’s DAIConnect SSAI platform functions as an enhanced solution to manage server-side-ad-insertions for live and on-demand content. It enables dynamic and personalized insertion of video advertising via HLS and MpegDASH protocols. 

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TECHNOLOGY

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PTZ

By Carlos Medina, Audiovisual Technology Expert and Advisor

The Global PTZ Cameras Market 2022 by Manufacturers, Regions, Type and Application, Forecast to 2028 Report, recently published by MarketsandResearch, announces a major development of PTZ cameras between 2022 and 2028. This research analyzes sectors such as broadcast TV, video conferencing, events, live sports, large auditoriums, educational, corporate or the distance learning environment. Very important members have participated such as AXIS, HIKVISION, FLIR, PANASONIC, WOLFOWITZ, LOGITECH, DAHUA TECHNOLOGY, CANON, B.S. SECURITY SYSTEMS, HONEYWELL, SONY, VADDIO, INFINOVA, YAAN, PELCO, VIDEOTEC, AVONIC, MARSHALL, among others. Concerning the broadcast and live events sector, PTZ cameras have seen silent by steady increase in use, but in a firm and definitive fashion. The technical leaders in the world of television, video and live events and shows are very clear that they should use this type of camera as just one more resource. PTZ (an acronym for Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are remotely controlled video cameras, small in size and lightweight, but provide great possibilities for smooth, quiet planning.

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TECHNOLOGY

PAN is a horizontal movement of the camera body (from left to right or vice versa) on its own central axis and without physical movement of the camera. TILT shares the same characteristics but it is a movement of the camera body in a vertical direction (from top to bottom or vice versa). And ZOOM is the internal movement of the lenses within the camera’s optics that allows us to have different focal lengths without changing lenses. There are other types such as IP, POV, Bullet, Dome, Turret, Multipurpose cameras, Box, robotic cameras, PoE (Power over Ethernet), integrated webcams, standalone webcams, and even action cameras. They all share a lot of technical specifications and common protocols with PTZs. In this article we aim to get closer a closer look to what’s new in PTZ cameras. Through demonstrations or product presentations at fairs such as CES 2022 (Las Vegas, 5-7 January), NAB SHOW 2022 (Las Vegas, 23-

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27 April) or ISE FIRA 2022 (Barcelona, 10-13 May) manufacturers allow us to highlight some aspects such as: • As fixed-lens cameras, they are committed for a wide variable focal range and offer between 24x optical zoom and a smart zoom of up to 36x, or up to 40x in FHD and 30x in 4K. • Increased viewing angle, with models starting from 70°. • They feature the latest generation of optical image stabilization (OIS), thus ensuring excellent sharpness in the resulting images. • Most models have an improved PTZ motion that is faster, more responsive and smoother. • There is a clear trend for new PTZ camera models to provide high-quality UHD 4K images. • It is becoming increasingly possible to have a greater number of camera positioning presets, as some models include up to 255 presets.


PTZ

• We have witnessed the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) systems for fully autonomous, dynamic multi-camera tracking as a welcome addition. • They include green and red tally lights that show preview and program status for broadcast and webcast applications. • We can find PTZ camera models that allow HDR (High Dynamic Range) and both BT.709 and BT.2020 color spaces. • They offer customized Bit Rate Control, thus adapting to different production environments: Variable Bit Rate or Constant Bit Rate. • They achieve a better result in low latency broadcasting. • They have implemented state-of-the-art HEVC encoding, thus maintaining SDI video quality while sending video over the Internet at reduced data rates. • Availability RS232 and RS422 ports for complex configurations under VISCA functionality. • Direct IP Relay: RTP/RTSP/RTMP/SRTP, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, DHCPv6, DNS, NTP, ICMPv6 (MLD), RTSPoverTCP, RTSPoverHTTP, SSL(TLS), multicast/ unicast. • Plug-and-play support for NDI|HX technology with Newtek TriCaster, vMix, and a growing list of NDIenabled applications such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and many others. • Implementation of SRT video transport with improved error correction: resistant to Internet congestion, packet loss and high fluctuations. • Some models already include Vertical Integral Time Code (VITC) synced with Network Time Protocol

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TECHNOLOGY

(NTP) for remote synchronization of multiple cameras within a live production. • They allow multiple, simultaneous video outputs, thus enabling a wider range in different broadcast environments or applications: HDMI 2.0 and IP or 3G-SDI output up to 12G-SDI. • Wiring panel: CVBS, SDI, HDMI, USB 3.0, LAN, RS232 (input and output) or RS485; and interfaces: WiFi (RF), LAN, Fiber Optic. • Conversion of 4K video to FHD directly on the camera itself. • Progress has been made in UVC (USB Video Class) support allowing cameras to be used as webcams for remote conferencing and lecturing. • Deployment of PoE+ technology on existing systems with minimal cabling. That is, the camera can receive and send audio/visual, control and power signals just by using a single cable and Ethernet connection. • Support for the FreeD protocol, which ensures integration with

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augmented reality and virtual reality systems. • Development of streaming services specific to each manufacturer and support for the most popular platforms that offer these services: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, TikTok Live, Instagram Live, Linkedin Live, Twitter Live, Livestream, Twitch, UStream, Dacast, among others. It is useful to remember the importance of protocols for control and exchange of video information. VISCA is a professional PTZ camera control protocol. It has been designed by Sony and is based on RS232 serial communications through a DB-9 connector, but can also be on 8-pin DIN, RJ45 and RJ11 connectors used in daisy-chain configurations. NDI®, or Network Device Interface, involves the exchange of video information over lowlatency IP through Ethernet networks. This protocol was first initiated by NEWTEK company in 2015 and supports integration with ASPEN, SMPTE 2022 and other emerging standards.

NDI® has launched new connectivity options such as NDI | HX®, which means “High Efficiency” (2017). This new version provides additional flexibility for bandwidth control when sending video over a LAN. It has also made it possible to use NDI® video over WiFi and other limited bandwidth networks. 2020 saw the announcement of NDI | HX®2 with a series of new optimization improvements such as NDI®HB, the “High Bandwidth” option. RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol), RTCP (Real Time Transport Control Protocol) and RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) protocols are also widely deployed to enable real-time transport of information. And we must not forget the Internet-based SRT protocol jointly created by HAIVISION and WOWZA. It is a popular open-source low-latency video streaming protocol. The use of SRT transmission technology can successfully achieve secure and reliable high-definition video transmission and distribution in different Internet environments and


PTZ

across multiple locations. Today, the most traditional manufacturers continue to dominate the PTZ market for broadcast and live events, either by number of sales or by capabilities. Thus, CANON’s PTZ camera range (PTZ CR-N500 and CR-N300), the new JVC models (KY-PZ400N 4K PTZ and KY-PZ200/N HD PTZ), a renovation of Panasonic cameras (4K AW-UE80W/K, AW-UE50W/K, AWUE40W/K, AW-UE20W 4K/K and HD AW-HE20W/K s) or the innovative Sony SRGX40UH PTZ. But attention must be also paid to other manufacturers such as HIKVISION (TandemVu), MINRRAY (UV510AS-05-STPOE-IR), BEAMON (PTZ 12x camera), BIRDDOG (Eyes P100), MARCAM (cv612ht4K PTC310UN), AVONIC (PTZ series CM70), LAIA (Broadcaster 4K Total), ARVIEW AIDO (PTC-300) or PTZ Professional (PTC). Finally, the technical capabilities -mentioned above- in these types of cameras are sufficient arguments to explain the success of their use, but other factors are also

driving their increased use and application: - Flexibility of connectivity and communication with multi-camera equipment. Especially with video switchers (whether hardware types or specialized software-based units) thus achieving efficient workflows and production methods. - Ease of operation by means management software or also via remote consoles or controllers that allow us to view, control, preconfigure and make the necessary adjustments for one or more PTZ cameras. This gives the solution that is most tailored to the type of production: On-site, automated or assisted, remote or online. - The evolution of narrative and audiovisual language by those responsible for production and direction of content when presenting a direct. A combination of classroom, hybrid, and virtual events is achieved. - The historical context of the past few years, which has marked the

development of our lives in the private and professional sphere: international terrorism and the COVID-19 humanitarian crisis. - The current habits of viewers or audiences in understanding audiovisual as content that is presented from different points of view. A rising trend in the use of social media and teleworking tools where the visual element is highly relevant. - A wide variety of PTZ models, or other types, that has pervaded many areas of our society: From the personal to different non-broadcast professional sectors, such as retail, educational, security and others. - A drop in rental and purchase prices within PTZ cameras. In short, 2022 is a clear statement that all manufacturers have standardized on what was already present in some way or another in specific models from previous years. This has enabled greater flexibility and compatibility in PTZ solutions. 

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ESPORTS

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HANG LOOSE MEDIA GROUP

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ESPORTS

Hang Loose Media Group is a company that carries the essence of Amanda Lawson. She is a professional with many years of experience in the production of top level sports competitions. In addition, and more recently, she has gained knowledge and experience on how to bring that professional production chain, the one that delivers the highest quality content, to esports competitions. This company was born to be the convergence between sports and e-sports production; two worlds that share many similarities and, also, some fundamental differences. To get to know them, we talked to Amanda Lawson and, in addition to giving us the keys to her company —a group of professionals who enjoy performing every task in the entire production chain—, she also explained what lies ahead for esports in its overwhelming growth.

What is Hang Loose Media Group and what kind of services does it offer? Hang Loose Media is a sports and esports production company. My whole career has been related with sports production. For the last five years, I’ve worked in esports, so I guess my experience across both sectors is now pretty extensive.

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My goal is to bring the same level of quality and production to esports that I have always applied to sports. I decided to launch Hang Loose Media Group to specialize in the sports and esports sector. Do you offer production services in both worlds? Yes. We want to be a production partner for sports and e-sports content, whether it’s big live events, promotional

content for those events, whether it’s documentaries, digital content series, or even sponsors or brands coming to us to create content. And we offer services that address every stage of the production chain. Your profile is very interesting because you come from the world of sports production. What differences have you found between that world and esports? I’ll be honest, when I first got into esports production —five years ago—, it was quite like Wild West. Amanda Lawson.


HANG LOOSE MEDIA GROUP

For example, in America, particularly, there were people doing some really impressive big studio productions and big esports events. In the European market, it was still not so impressive from a quality perspective. The technology we were using was not at the level I thought it should be at that time. The level of quality that was obtained in the different transmissions was the main difference at the beginning and now it is very different, as a high standard has been reached. Technology has caught up with the level of production of sporting events. The

narration, the writing, the in-studio shows, the live shows in the stadium, everything has improved. It’s now comparable to the big sporting events and that’s because when we do a big live e-sports event, we use the same broadcast trucks or the same equipment that we would use to do a big live soccer event or a live motorsport event. When I first got into e-sports, my way of looking at things was very similar to that of live sports production. Generally, you film a soccer, tennis, rugby or cricket match. Then you tell what that competition

entailed: the press around it, the fans, the history, and so on. When I came to e-sports, I tried to do something similar. The match would become just the game and then you’d do the presentation around the game. Now we have gotten it to the point where the technology that we put around an esports event is even greater than the technology that is deployed to cover a traditional sport. For example, a couple of years ago, we did the Call of Duty World League at the Copper Box Arena in London and we had to do five different broadcasts

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ESPORTS

—for different parts of the world— at that event. We used two OB trucks that were used to doing big live soccer events at full capacity. We used every resource we had available on the trucks. Rarely does that happen when you broadcast a traditional sporting event. The transmissions are always multiple and take place

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simultaneously in the real and virtual scenario. That is why it becomes more complex than a traditional sporting event. What technology do you rely on? Do you own or lease these trucks? What capabilities do you have at Hang Loose Media to support this technology infrastructure?

We don’t own any of the equipment, but we work with our trusted partners around the world to be able to host large and impressive live events. I have been using partners to do this since the beginning of my career and they are the same ones I would use for a traditional sport or eSport.


HANG LOOSE MEDIA GROUP

Now, obviously, as budgets have gotten bigger and more eyes have looked at esports there has been even more investment. The technology being used now is on the same level as the big live entertainment products. It’s very reliable and you can do amazing things with the technology, like virtual reality and all that kind of stuff. And this will only grow. Budgets are getting bigger and bigger for the big live shows and you almost have to do something larger and bolder than the year before for the big finals. Using technology to amaze the audience is the way forward for esports.

Regarding the technology, when I started doing esports, the technology we were using was not at the same level as the TV technology I was used to using. The tools we used back then were softwarebased and didn’t have the same functionality as the broadcast hardware. They were quite buggy and unreliable.

Can you give us a specific insight into your work and about the technology of one of those esports events you’ve worked on? For example, I have been overseeing the F1 esports series for the past five years as Global Head of Content at Gfinity. Thanks to that experience, we at Hang Loose Media Group can now offer our services to

broadcasters, publishers, brands, sponsors and agencies that want to enter this space and tap into this ever-growing market. Essentially, we can offer all parts of the process, from ideation to final product. If a company or a federation came to us and said, “We want to get into e-sports and we don’t really know how to do it.” From the initial ideas, we can work with them and take that idea to the final product. We can provide these services in all the steps of the chain. And we can produce the product all the way to delivery, whatever it is. When it comes to big live events, we can do all the planning, build all the scenery, build all the staging, and then film the whole show and broadcast it, stream it, deliver it around the world. Do you rely or plan to rely on remote means of production to produce these contents? We have done a huge amount of remote broadcasting since the

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ESPORTS

pandemic. We had to adapt quickly when it hit and we started to do things very differently when it comes to production. I think the pandemic has made everyone realize that you can offer the same level of production and broadcasting even if you’re not actually there. It is true that the pandemic is not over, but its effect is definitely diminishing and it is freeing us up again. From a sustainability point of view, which is in fact one of our main objectives, not having to move large numbers of staff around the world to hold events is a key advantage. Technology now allows teams to have a local production center to bring broadcasts to from anywhere in the world and produce an amazing event without having to be there. It has pushed us, like everyone else, in that direction, but it’s something we want to continue with. While we can now travel freely and go back to doing productions like we used to, we are very focused on greener and more efficient solutions.

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In that sense, technology can bring this opportunity to access remote equipment from anywhere in the world. Have you implemented any network-related services or do you rely on a third-party provider? We do not offer the network as a service. But we do offer the ability to access production centers or software and hardware. We have also offered the ability to access these tools from home. In other words, we don’t set up the network infrastructure to connect all of the production areas. What we do is use the existing networks and make those tools available. Either from home —as we did at the beginning of the pandemic— or relying on production centers where you have a video mixer or a gallery for live production. Of course, the signals can be brought in from anywhere in the world and you build the program from home or from the production center. The pandemic forced us to do it from home. As we said before, we realized that the technology existed and we

also realized that everything became more sustainable and did not compromise on quality. Using IP and virtualized technology in the cloud we could do a job as if we were doing it in a live production gallery, but without the expense and resource deployment that goes with it.


HANG LOOSE MEDIA GROUP

From your point of view, which way will be the most common in the near future? There are several remote production hubs that are emerging, especially in London. Production companies can walk in, have all the facilities ready

to go and, of course, a lot of bandwith to bring in feeds from around the world. I think that’s going to become the norm when it comes to big live productions. So you think a hybrid world will be the norm, don’t you?

Yes, 100%. I think a lot of people have realized that a hybrid model is actually a better model than what they had before from the perspective of finding greener solutions and, also, for the work-life balance of production crews. That’s hard especially on

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ESPORTS

big sporting events. If you do Olympics, you will be away from home for many weeks, long hours… I think it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. What challenges have you encountered throughout your years of esports experience? Obviously, the pandemic was a massive challenge because a lot of our esports events are physical events where we have players from all over the world, turning up to our events and playing against each other. We had to adapt super quickly, otherwise, all of our shows would have just disintegrated. massive events, such as

of integrity and quality.

about by the pandemic was the enormous interest in esports. As conventional sports could not be held, all TV networks started to look at esports in a very different way. In fact, these competitions increased their activity enormously. It was a challenge for us to assimilate that amount of work, but I guess it had a lot of benefits for everyone.

Another challenge brought

I have also done some

those headaches.

For example, our Formula 1 Esports Series was all done in situ at an arena, with all the drivers competing in front of an audience and with a production crew around them. We quickly changed all our processes so that all drivers could drive from home while maintaining the same level

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the Call of Duty event I mentioned before, which have been a challenge due to their complexity. There were many simultaneous transmissions and that is always a challenging task. These events work like a puzzle and we are the ones in charge of solving it. I think we’re really good at getting customers out of


HANG LOOSE MEDIA GROUP

change and expand their

to create that wow factor,

capabilities, we will be ready

but for now it’s difficult. You

to change with them.

have to have big budgets to

Another thing to keep in

do it.

mind is that the signal we

What about your

start from in video games

company’s future?

is already high quality. Sometimes the look of the games is so good and so realistic that you have to raise your output as much as possible so that there is not too much contrast. Like I said earlier, there are no boundaries in esports.

I expect Hang Loose to grow more and more as esports does as well. We have just launched. 2022 is the beginning. We are very excited about growing the business and turning it into a global media brand. That’s my ambition. I don’t think

I think the benchmarks

there are many companies

are getting higher and

that offer esports and

higher. Augmented reality

sports production expertise

is already being applied In which resolution are

in e-sports, VAR is already

you delivering your

being applied. I think that’s

esports production?

only going to get bigger and

It depends on the

when you go to an esports

bolder, more experiential

at the same level. I think there are a lot of opportunities out there. We don’t just focus on the UK. We have experience in organizing events all over

distribution platform.

event. I think people will

Everything we do in

the world and we have a

want the fans inside the

e-sports we do at 1080p,

huge network of freelancers

stadium and the spectators

basically because the

and contractors who can

at home to feel the

deliver amazing things in

platforms we stream on —

broadcast a lot more. I think

most markets. There are

like Twitch and YouTube—

people will experiment

a lot of opportunities out

are not ready for 4K. When

more with augmented

there. We just have to go

those platforms evolve and

reality and use technology

out and win them. 

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PRODUCTION

36


DRONES

By Carlos Medina, Audiovisual Technology Expert and Advisor A shot is the minimum narrative unit

Each shot has a name and is delimited

of audiovisual language. Through the

by the size of the image that is framed

combination of different shots, a narrative is structured within a given space and time. Therefore, every audiovisual narrative is a set of shots arranged under the prism of

in relation to the human figure, from a detail plane (DP) to a long shot (LS), also considering medium shots (MS), American

the script and the intentionality set by the

shot (AS or ¾) or others. They are what we

director of the relevant audiovisual work.

know as shot types or shot scales.

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PRODUCTION

But has it always been so? Certainly not. Shot language has evolved over time due to four reasons. First of all, the need for directors to tell a story; secondly, the aesthetic-narrative trends and influences prevailing on each era; thirdly, the kind of story that is constructed in different audiovisual productions such as feature film, short film, TV series, TV entertainment programs, documentary, video clip, etc.; and, number four, the different technologies and technical means available at every historical moment. The emergence and use of drones (RPAS) in the audiovisual sector is what leads us to face a modification or renewal of the audiovisual language seen from the air, specifically with regard to drone flight movements and also movements enabled by a camera gimbal.

Head-over shot (fixed or moving) It is a type of aerial shot featuring upward flight movement and the

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camera facing completely toward the ground, which means placement on top of the subject, object or location. It is a fixed headover shot. This becomes more interesting when we make a rotation about the drone’s own axis by keeping the camera on a static reference. In the event that the drone experiences a horizontal displacement, it is called a moving head-over shot. It is basic and has a very attractive flight because of the perspective shown. The same distance between flight and ground is usually maintained.

Look-up or unveiling shot It is a type of aerial shot implying two movements. First we make an upward flight movement with the drone and the camera on top view and, as more altitude is gained, the camera’s gimbal is moved in a tilt up.

Side shot It is a type of aerial shot involving horizontal flight movement and the camera in a 90-degree position. It means placing the drone in parallel to


DRONES

objects or buildings and flying from left to right or vice versa with the camera perpendicular. Known as horizontal traveling. It simulates a slider shot.

as a whole. It is really spectacular. It is also known as a drone-enabled video selfie (dronie). It is referred to as a pull-back in drone flying jargon.

Flush shoot

Tracking shot

It is an aerial shot featuring horizontal flight movement and the camera in a 90-degree position at very low ground height. A contrasted variant is when the camera’s gimbal is positioned 45 degrees upwards.

It is a type of aerial shot involving a horizontal flight movement that enables us to show or narrate a displacement of a character or object keeping it in the center to view its movement and the accompanying surroundings. It is essential to maintain the same speed for drone and moving object, as well as not tampering with the air in the movement.

Empty descriptive shot

Overtaking shot

It is the same as the previous one, but in backward motion, so it gradually unveils or surprises with the view as it is being shown. This drone flying technique is called dolly out (backward flight).

Establishing shot in or approach shot This is a shot involving horizontal flight movement that means approaching from the most general or far-away view to the subject or object of interest. It is call pull-in when it comes to drone flying techniques.

Establish shot out or expansion shot This is a shot involving horizontal flight motion that moves away from a full-body subject or object of interest up to the view of the environment

As above, but at a given time, the drone overtakes the movement of the subject or object.

Descriptive shot or panning An aerial shot without drone flight movement. It only involves raising the drone at high altitude to situate the viewer in the

environment, place or event. If it remains fixed, it is considered as flat and, in case the camera gimbal is shifted horizontally from left to right or vice versa, it is known as descriptive panning.

It is a moving shot involving horizontal forward flight with the sole purpose of being contemplative and presenting the environment without a subject or object of interest. This drone flying technique is called dolly in (forward flight).

Unveiling descriptive shot

Ascent or descent shot A vertical flight movement with the camera at 90 degrees that simulates

39


PRODUCTION

climbing up or down an elevator while making the most of the shape of objects and buildings. Also known as vertical travel up or down. Called jib up or jib down in drone flying technique.

Revealing ascent plane (unveiling shot) It is a type of aerial shot implying two movements. It consists of a vertical flight of the drone, that moves up and forward horizontally slowly and with a visual composition within the frame with two distinct terms: One in front that conceals the other in the background of the image. Also known as crane effect.

POI (Point Of Interest) This is a type of aerial shot with a rotation movement

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of the drone over the subject or object, always keeping the axis and distance (course lock shot). It can be made more complex by making an orbit-like movement, which means that the movement of the flight is toward a horizontal direction while the camera travels in the opposite direction. With a great deal of expert technique we can spiral upward on the subject or object while shooting. This drone flying technique is called an orbit.

Discovery or arrival shot It is a moving aerial shot involving horizontal flight that takes us from one point of interest to another, which is then “discovered”. This purpose is achieved by a change of orientation in the drone’s flight or by a movement of the camera.

This drone flying technique is called dolly in tilt out or dolly out tilt in; or jib up tilt down or jib down tilt up.

Vertigo shot It is a type of moving air aerial shot in forward or backward flight motion, which involves a digital zoom backwards or forwards that performed in post-production.

Routed shot It is an aerial shot in horizontal forward flight that follows the shapes, paths, or patterns presented by the location, such as a road or river.

‘Fly-through’ shot or Sam Kolder’s shot It is a shot that is taken when flying backward or forward with camera at 90 degrees through different holes in the ground or


DRONES

passing very close to some objects. Any drone intended for use in the professional audiovisual sector must have four or more motors for elevation and stabilization, a three-axis gimbal and a 360-degree

movement capability, a dual remote control (for pilot and for camera operator), the ability to lift cameras with large image sensors and optical sensors of various focal ranges and a long battery life to allow long flights (24 minutes and up).

As it has been the case in history with other technical means such as steadycams, short, long or zoom lenses, traveling, cranes and hot heads, drones have made it possible to reinvent the audiovisual language and have provided viewers with a new way of looking.

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TEST ZONE

TEST ZONE

Sachtler flowtech® 75 aktiv® 8 Exceeding expectations

Test performed by Luis Pavía

How is it possible that we have not realized before everything that could still be improved on such a necessary piece of equipment and with so many decades of experimentation and use since it has been around?

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SACHTLER FLOWTECH® 75 AKTIV® 8

Now that they’re within our reach, it’s amazing how many years we have done without this array of innovations that developers have been able to collect and include in something as seemingly simple as a tripod. A tool that we have been using in image creation for more than a century for the still photos, but whose innovations in recent decades seem to have focused mostly on materials, mainly seeking to lighten weight while maintaining load capacity and rigidity. The range of flowtech® tripods consists of two variants, both of the same size and between which the only difference is the size of the ball for the head. The 75 and 100 models offer 75 and 100 mm ball slots, respectively. Bearing loads of up to 20 and 30 kilos, they can be supplemented by different spreader models at medium or ground level, as well as by rubber feet in order to facilitate adaptation to our various needs. As for the aktiv® ball joints, there are five variants: models 6 and 8 with a 75 ball, for loads between 0 and 8 kilos in the former, and from 0 to 12 kilos in the latter. And models 10, 12 and 14 with a ball of 100 for load ranges from 0 to 12 kilos, from 0 to 14 kilos and from 0 to 16 kilos respectively. Only for models 8 and 10 we have two alternative variants for the quick plate fixing system. Both tripods and ball joints share the same set of design innovations, making them especially fast and versatile for a wide range of applications. For our laboratory we have had a complete team comprising the aktiv® 8 ball joint on a flowtech® 75 tripod with mid-level spreader, handle, rubber feet and

43


TEST ZONE

transport bag. A sufficiently significant configuration, since the differences with any other combination basically lie in the load borne, weight of the assembly without major differences, in very few centimeters of maximum height as a consequence of the small differences in size in the different ball joints, and in the elevation provided by the spreader selected. As for the weight of the assembly, it should be noted that, thanks to the tripod’s carbon-fiber build, it is very light compared to other models with comparable load capacity and robustness. The tripod configuration with spreader at mid-level -the one we tested- weighs only 3.5 kilos and the ball joint 2.7 kilos. And the differences in weight of other sets are due to the different configurations for ball joints, spreaders, and rubber feet. Always in small margins. Starting with their own foundations, i.e., the tripod’s leg structure, two distinctive features are noticeable at

44

first glance: they are not built from tubes, but from a specifically designed pseudo-trapeizodal profile, and with only three release levers to control the interlocking of the three sections simultaneously, but independently for each leg. While retaining the traditional concept, in which each section houses the next one inside, the ease of extending, collecting and adjusting the entire length of the three sections with a single leg motion is extremely comfortable and fast. Comfort that is increased thanks to the large size of the drive lever and its location, at the top of the larger section, which is close to the ball joint. This means that it will always be in an accessible place and therefore we will never have to bend down to activate it. Handling is simple even with gloves, thanks to its handle shape and the aforementioned size. More about the legs, we have only begun; their closed structure makes them very resistant to dust and dirt, but they are


SACHTLER FLOWTECH® 75 AKTIV® 8

not sealed, so that if at any time gets in, either by immersion or any other circumstance, it would pour out thanks to the holes provided to that purpose. Size and shape also make carrying the tripod to the shoulder significantly more comfortable, since we do not have one or two ‘tubes’ sticking in, but a much larger support surface that allows sharing the load and relieving tension. As for their positions, even without a spreader they are articulated and interlocked at five predetermined fixed angles. From 0º when they are closed perfectly parallel, up to 90º to allow a really minimum height. We will discuss in more detail such minimum height later when reviewing the ball joint. The fact they stay perfectly parallel when closed, facilitates spreading up and folding in, thus speeding up this operation. This piece of equipment comes with magnets at the bottom of the largest section that simply keep the legs closed without the need for additional devices or actions, preventing them

45


TEST ZONE

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SACHTLER FLOWTECH® 75 AKTIV® 8

from opening at the least convenient times. The intermediate positions are at 20º, 42º and 76º over the vertical, and the interlocking and release system at these positions is individually controlled for each of them with a release mechanism at the top. Design and interlocking shape make accidental actuation virtually impossible. In order release the lock in each position and be able to open to the next -more open- angle, it is essential first to close the leg slightly, or the lock will remain firmly fixed. To go to a more closed position however, each time one of the presets is reached, it will be automatically secured. In addition, the release mechanism is at the leg structure’s surface level and protected by the handle that controls the extension. This combination of control systems for extension and angle of each leg provides great ease and speed of use, but always maintaining extraordinary levels of safety.

We still have something to say about the base of the tripod. At the bottom, dual-nail tips for grip on slippery terrain follow a similar design as all other of Sachtler’s tripods, just as the attachment of accessories, such as dollies orrubber feet. They maintain the same system for attachment based on an elastic tensioner. The shape of the rubber feet specific for this model makes it easy to have it placed on a flat position or collected with the tripod closed. And on the top, in the core of every tripod, the piece that houses the cup and where the legs are joined, still has interesting details, such as the three threads for fixing accessories. The first is a small, but sturdy piece with a rigid loop, useful for attaching the carrying strap or hanging a bag. And the second one is a handle, which we also had the opportunity to evaluate in our laboratory. It serves to facilitate transport and is balanced so that the assembly -ball-joint included- is comfortable to handle. But even in

a simple handle, taking care of details is possible, such as the fact that it can be rotated without tools so that it does not get in the way when lowering the tripod to ground level without having to disassemble the handle. To finish with the foundations, there are three spreader modes. One at ground level, suitable for working on smooth surfaces, integrates the non-slip rubber feet and is fixed to the dual-nail tips by the same system as the non-slip rubber feet. The other two are at medium level, and can be differentiated by the tripod variant for which they are conceived: the 75 and the 100. Although fast, tool-free anchoring is common in the housing provided at the end of the larger section of each leg, the one provided for the model 100 has in its center piece a control device to limit its opening angle and, consequently, that of the entire leg structure. Of course, each section of every spreader is individually extensible in

47


TEST ZONE

order to stabilize the tripod on any kind of surface and at any angle. But it should be noted that all the manoeuvres of all the elements are designed so that they can be carried out in a very fast, comfortable and safe manner. In this way it is not only easy to transport the tripod, but the time needed to have it available and with total reliability is down to very few seconds in nearly any situation, making it ideal for situations such as reports, documentaries, nature, sport, and so many others in which speed of operation marks a differential point in end the result. At this point, let’s see what the ball joint contributes most and to what extent it contributes to efficiency by complementing this high level of innovation that we are discovering, allowing us to leave for the end what seems to us one of the most important innovations in this field: the rapid system of levelling and anchoring to the tripod. As a fluid ball joint, its qualities meet the highest standards both as regards

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of materials and in finishes. Except for the lighter aktiv® 6, the rest of the range shares the same technical and functional features, being the only differences load capacity and ball size. For example, our lab’s activ® 8 model shares the same load capacity of 0-12 kilos with the upper model, the aktiv® 10, which differs only in ball size -75mm or 100mm-. And both are the only ones in which quick plate type can be selected between two alternatives: the so-called Touch&Go, which allows a longitudinal displacement of 60 mm for load balancing, is mounted forward or backward, and is identified with a “T” after the model number (8T or 10T). Or, alternatively, the Sideload type, which allows up to 120 mm of displacement and facilitates mounting or dismounting the plate only with a lateral inclination of the chamber once the locks are released. The vertical tilt angle is +90º to -70º with 15 counterweight adjustment positions plus a free one. As for friction adjustment, both vertically and horizontally


SACHTLER FLOWTECH® 75 AKTIV® 8

we find 7 graduations plus a free one. It is a wide enough range so as to allow use even with light loads, thus adding even more versatility of use. It also frees us from the need of having duplicate equipment on frequent occasions when systems capable of handling heavy loads are unsuitable for lighter loads. Here some innovative features are woth noting. For example, the ball joint has an LED lighting system that allows telling all scales with ease, in addition to the level. With a short press it lights up the level gauge, and with a long one also the friction adjustment indices. It is powered by a small button battery, thus ensuring long life for this function. The level gauge itself incorporates another interesting novelty, and that is that it is not necessary to look at it vertically from above, but it is also visible from its own horizontal plane. This makes it possible to level out the ball joint even if it is placed above our heads. And at this very moment of leveling the ball-joint we

enjoy all the magic. In most systems it is necessary to loosen a screw under the tripod head, level the ball joint, and screw it back in place, with a certain risk of unevenness involved. One of the great innovations of the aktiv® system is that by means of a single central cam on the front of the ball joint, the latter is released enough as to be levelled. The position and size of the cam also make it easy to have it used as a handle to help with this leveling task. But if we go one step further and raise the cam to a second position, the ball joint is completely freed from the tripod, and can be moved to any other aktiv® support where it is possible to level and fix it again in a few seconds. This system also makes it easier to avoid the need to act under the head of the tripod or to place there any item that may impact its minimum height. This is the main reason why, by spreading the tripod’s legs at 90º, we can achieve a minimum height of 23 cm for the quick plate from the floor. That is, very little more than the height of ball joint itself.

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In a few quick measurements made to our test set, we have in our hands a tripod that while weighing only 6,3 kilos, supports loads of up to 12 kilos. Closed and with ball joint mounted does not reach 86 cm and, in a matter of a few seconds, it is ready to work at any height that can be adjusted uninterruptedly between 23 and 170 cm. We did not time this, but we have managed to have the tripod fixed at any height and with the ball joint level in much less than 10 seconds, without having the spreader mounted. These are only approximate measures, but they give us an idea of both versatility and potential of this set. Potential that multiplies when we think about the ease of moving the ball joint between different supports and having it level again in a few seconds. To provide a cup support needed on another holder such as a slider, two other additional Speedswap® items are available: the adapter to mount the ball joint on the slider’s plate and another

50

adapter to mount the slider on the tripod. These same adapters are useful to be able to use this fast fixing and levelling system on other supports that are not directly compatible. After a few days of use, returning to traditional systems has been hard for us. Carrying the tripod over your shoulder and not having the tubes pressing is very appreciated. Keeping

the legs closed with a few simple magnets is very handy. The fact that it is possible to mount it in any position, strange as it may seem, is something that other tripods can also do, although few reach all the degrees of freedom allowed by this aktiv® flowtech®. And of course, we do not know any other that can compare in the times needed either to be placed


in the chosen position, or much less to have the ball joint leveled. There is no doubt that, on this occasion, progress has been far beyond materials and that a truly outstanding product has been achieved. Reliability and safety are basic elements for any equipment that has to operate in the broadcast environment, but in all those situations in which speed of operation and

response provide added value, this set of tripod and ball joint deserves a prominent place. Before I finish, an important thing. The flowtech 75 tripods were launched before the new aktiv® ball joints. To ensure compatibility, check that the tripod is one of the flowtech 75 aktiv® range. If not, there is no problem, since if purchasing any of the aktiv® 6, aktiv® 8 and

aktiv® 8T ball joints (all three featuring 75mm ball) you get the free upgrade in an official Sachtler service to the new version. This update does not entail the replacement of the tripod, but in the replacement of a piece on the cup’s contour. All information for this update can be found at: https://www.sachtler. com/en/product-support/ aktiv-compatibility/how-toupgrade/.

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