NEWS - PRODUCTS
Titular noticia Texto noticia
EDITORIAL Four years ago we decided to take a look at the world of MotoGP. We wanted to oﬀer you the technical scenario that allowed broadcasting this competition of great prestige and global reach. At that time we talked to Dorna Sports, the company that has held the commercial and television broadcasting rights to the sport since 1992, and we discovered the state of their amazing technology as well as future plans to make it even more capable and reliable.
can be more sustainable. And in this context, what is the role of traditional production trucks? TM Broadcast International has approached the main providers of these services in Europe and the world to check the current state of their fleet, the changes in their capabilities and the evolution they expect from their business.
Today, we got back in touch with Sergi Sendra, Head of Global Technology, to see which of these plans have been fulfilled, which are still in development and which have been completely transformed. Let’s not forget that during this time there has been a global pandemic involved. As we all know, something like this has made us change the way we work and Dorna Sports has been no exception.
In this issue you will find the two main international providers of these services: EMG and NEP Group. We have the words of Phil Tidmarsh, Technology Business Development Specialist at EMG UK and Simon Moorhead, Managing Director, NEP UK Broadcast Services. In addition, we wanted to give a voice to national companies that also have a lot to add to this evolution. In this issue you will meet LiveX, a U.S.based company in charge of showing the States the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square, NYC.
One of the biggest sectors in this industry is Outside Broadcast. Nowadays, we are seeing more and more ways to perform this task thanks to the amount of tools available. Remote workflows are also bringing an evolution to this part of our work. The cloud and 5G connections promise to make everything easier and just as reliable as it is now. In addition, all companies in our industry are starting to think about how they
Finally, and again in Europe, we bring you special content on the latest achievement of the continent’s broadcasters, in association with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the biggest song festivals in the world. On this occasion, and with the aim of evolving this industry, all these representatives have managed to transmit content over 5G networks.
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TM Broadcast International #107 July 2022
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Published in Spain
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SUMMARY 6 20
NEWS Dorna Sports Technological evolution after the pandemic Dorna Sports is the current organizer of the motorcycling championship par excellence and, since 1991, holds the exclusive commercial and television rights to the competition. This experience has given them the opportunity to grow and innovate on the ways of producing this content based on cutting-edge technology.
OB with NEP Group In the era of the transition to IP and beyond, multinational companies like this one are trying to adapt their workflows to satisfy as many customers as possible.
EMG UK EMG is in the process of transforming to IP, a technology that is allowing them to share resources internationally and encourage remote production.
LiveX Live X is a company specialized in producing events and broadcasting them anywhere in the world.
First multi-site 5G broadcast trials deliver Eurovision song contest in Italy, Austria, France and Germany Telos Infinity® Virtual Intercom Platform: Transforming hardware-based broadcast intercom into a Cloud solution 5
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Dalet develops functionalities and enhances Dalet Flex capabilities in its latest upgrade Finally, thanks to the integration with Dalet AmberFin, Dalet Flex now has an advanced camera card and extended clip management. These solutions make it possible to explore the assets on the card and, for distributed media, capture basic information about each underlying file.
Dalet has announced new features for Dalet Flex. In short, these capabilities support accessibility requirements, expanded language options and camera data management capabilities. In this latest update, the solution also adheres to the principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, making it easier for everyone to collaborate on any project, including those with disabilities. Regarding increased accessibility, the Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines have been developed in collaboration with professionals and international organizations to provide a single, shared standard for Web content accessibility. Improvements range from color adjustments for higher contrasts to tags that identify interactive page elements, to the reorganization of HTML elements and styles. On the other hand, regarding the extension of language support, users can now switch between one language and another in the Dalet Flex interface.
“Dalet Flex continues to deliver immense value with capabilities that make our customers more agile and inclusive,” says Mathieu Zarouk, Director of Product Marketing, Dalet. “We are facilitating the use of Dalet Flex from the moment content is captured until it is distributed, monetized and archived. Camera card management and deep integration with tools like Adobe Premiere Pro along with key accessibility design and language support make Dalet Flex the most robust cloud-based media management, production and distribution platform on the market.”
NEWS - PRODUCTS
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Leader Electronics enhances LVB440 IP analyzer capabilities
Leader Electronics announces additions to the feature set of the LVB440 IP Analyzer. The instrument’s IP traﬃc and signal monitoring resources are now supplemented by signal generation tools plus the ability to monitor and analyze “SR Live Metadata”. This enhancement adds support for JPEG XS ST 2110-22 compression analysis, closed captioning measurement, 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound, and loopmode continuous capture of data packets. Operators can create placeholder reference signals locally using the integral GUI or remotely via NMOS. SDR and HDR signals such as chroma bars can be configured for specific video resolutions or refresh rates, including a user-definable video or audio ident, saving time during system setup or
alteration. Placeholders can also be created to represent video and audio sources that will be needed later in the production timeline. Network connections, such as remote OB or studio sources, can be tested prior to the start of a live broadcast. Leader added support for “SR Live Metadata” decoding and display to its ZEN series waveform monitors and rasterizers in Q4 2019 and is now extending this capability to the LVB440 for use in IP network evaluation. “SR Live for HDR” [Reference 2] forms part of the broadcast production workflow when content is transcoded from 4K HDR or HD HDR. Using metadata sourced from each camera, the LVB440 enables production staﬀ to identify and correct potential issues quickly and eﬀectively.
The LVB440 is controlled through an HTML-5 browser and provides full support for up to eight local or remote users. It oﬀers production teams the ability to perform real-time checks of streams at various resolutions across multiple locations. When connected to primary and secondary networks, the LVB440 can monitor and analyze redundancy within the SMTPE ST 2022-7 standard, which is used to ensure seamless protection switching. Tools are also provided for PTP clock analysis, including clock source detection, timing accuracy and individual flow path latency. SMPTE ST 2110, ST 2022-6 and ST 2059-2 PTP standards are also supported, as well as open networked media specifications.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
European Football League relies on LOGIC media solutions and novel media to deliver VOD content The European Football League has an average of 500 million fans worldwide. In its second season, these fans are accessing this content live and ondemand. To meet this need and reach more potential viewers, the League relies on its technology partner, LOGIC media solutions and novel media, to provide the VoD streams of the matches through the PORTAL.easystream solution.
recording starts automatically as soon as a stream is received. This
This system is a frontend that facilitates access and maintenance of live streams through AWS. The streams are recorded, transcoded and then made available to VoD channels for subscribers of the League’s Game Pass or other streaming partners in diﬀerent language versions. This entire workflow has been automated as much as possible.
recording is generated
The workflow within PORTAL.easystream is configured so that
4 file and an MXF file are
as a growing TS file, and transcoding starts as soon as the incoming stream stops. The system picks up the finished PGM signal, dubbed with diﬀerent languages. Depending on the games or content destinations, German, English, Spanish, Polish or Turkish versions are oﬀered. During transcoding in PORTAL, both an MPEGgenerated in diﬀerent language versions.
The streams are automatically exported in the desired language versions to various file servers or streaming service providers and thus made available to other content users. The PORTAL frontend is browser-based and connects the delivered streams with the AWS MediaServices. “With novel media and LOGIC media solutions, we have two excellent partners who stand for reliability in the production and quality of live matches,” adds Zeljko Karajica, founder of the League.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
South African graphics company Seb4vision relies on Vizrt solutions to enhance its capabilities Since hosting the 2010 World Cup, South Africa’s media industry has risen to enhance and transform sports communication in order to capitalize and monetize the opportunity that exists in this market. Seb4vision is a graphics services and production company based in South Africa. They provide sports broadcasting graphics services for cricket, rugby, football, and more. Recently, the company has turned to Vizrt to help it expand its business across the African continent.
started eight years ago in
Irish Lions tour in South
Africa,” states Lucky Sebola,
lower leagues with sports
Founder and Managing
graphics and production
in South Africa. They have since grown to serve Premier League sports. They’ve grown beyond
Their solutions include match graphics, augmented reality graphics, virtual advertising solutions, mobile virtual studios, a crowd-replacement solution, analysis tools, telestrator, touchscreen and second-screen experience solutions. All of them are now powered by Vizrt.
South Africa into Southern
The South African company
Africa, West Africa, and East Africa with plans to continue growth and innovation
“We have been able to oﬀer a live multi-cam augmented reality opener alongside a second screen experience and match analysis with illustration solutions, too. We have been also able to use all the solutions for the productions at one venue,
In our inventory, we have
adding additional value
Viz Artist and Viz Engine,
for the client. Our promise
Viz Libero, Viz Trio and Viz
was to bring world-class
Virtual Studio. Thanks to the
products to Africa and
range of Vizrt products and
empower others. And we
quality of sports graphics
have been able to do this
we oﬀer, we were involved
with the solutions from
with the recent British and
Vizrt,” concludes Sebola.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
French virtual production studio Plateau Virtuel improves workflows with SMODE and Deltacast solutions address these high-density requirements with multiple formats while requiring only one free PCie slot,” says Gerald Olivier, head of product marketing at Deltacast. “FLEX can even support up to 32 I/O on a single PCIe.” The combined Deltacast’s FLEX/SMODE xR solution is an additional server on top over the existing Unreal/ nDisplay set-up, adding a layer of augmented reality and real-time final compositing. A Parisian virtual production studio called Plateau Virtuel has recently upgraded to extended reality (XR) with the real-time compositing/ media-server platform SMODE.
and make it interact with the actors’ movements. And when filming beyond the LED walls, SMODE xR handles the set extension to create endless landscapes.”
The studio shoots against LED screens using a camera equipped with a tracking system that communicates with Unreal Engine where the content is rendered.
The content from Unreal (3x 4K in DisplayPort) is mixed in the SMODE xR compositing tool together with the four SDI inputs from the multicam, with Deltacast’s FLEX solution ensuring synchronisation and an end-to-end latency of just three frames. “Our FLEX solution has been specifically designed to
Smode Tech CEO Francis Maes, explains: “With augmented reality, you can integrate content in the foreground of your scenery
Bruno Corsini, cofounder of Plateau Virtuel, comments: “The way nDisplay operates with SMODE xR, via the FLEX solution, facilitates the workflow for any production that depends upon responsiveness and adaptivity. Thanks to this solution and the team, we could upgrade our virtual production facility with augmented reality, set extension and advanced real-time post processing. This definitely takes Plateau Virtuel’s oﬀering to the next level.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
UK production company Over Exposed relied on LiveU material to cover the Vitality London race Over Exposed is a British
and as cost-eﬀectively. So,
production company that
we did precisely that with
recently relied on LiveU
LiveU. Because of the scale,
equipment for 5G remote
having a partner of Gravity
production coverage of
Media’s expertise was
the recent Vitality London
invaluable,” values Russell
10K race. The company
Martin, co-owner of Over
previously owned four units
and expanded to six to create mobile coverage of this event.
The production company deployed a mix of LU300 and multi-cam LU800
“This is a very well-
units. It provided the on-
established event and we
site technical facilities,
have a strong relationship
acquisition of the feeds
with the London Marathon.
via LiveU and then the
They posed the question
management of those feeds
as to how we could make
back to Gravity Media.
the coverage as engaging
Gravity Media’s remote
and energetic as possible,
production gallery received
the feeds and handled the production – commentary, graphics and anything else required – before distributing to London Marathon’s YouTube channel and the BBC Red Button service. They used roaming cameras and LiveU units to allow presenters to move about freely and three motorbikes with LiveU units to follow the runners. Ryan Goad, Head of Communications at London Marathon Events, said, “The coverage achieved at the Vitality London 10,000 was excellent. The motorbikebased footage was crystal clear and helped to bring to life a fantastic collection of elite races, as well as give a real sense of the varying emotions of the thousands of mass participation runners that took part in the event. The cost saving that comes with using this technology also can’t be ignored given how significant it is.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Foxtel relies on TAG’s IP monitoring solutions in its new facility integrated by Magna In 2020 Foxtel started a project to exit the television centre facility at Macquarie Park. The plan involved migrating their entire technology platform across two sites in Sydney to an IP platform encompassing video routing, satellite, OTT and more. After more than 12 months of market research and testing, Foxtel chose a TAG solution for all their IP monitoring requirements. It was supplied by Magna Systems & Engineering. “We wanted to be able to not only view pictures on monitors but provide a real time probe of those signals across the full workflow to provide a full end-to-end view of the video workflow across all formats and encoding type. The TAG solution does all of this and more,” explains Matthew Carter, Head of Broadcast Engineering and Projects at Foxtel. The TAG solution is now
monitoring over 2,000 sources across multiple sites with all types of IP signals including uncompressed HD and UHD, compressed HD and UHD, OTT – HLS, CMAF and DASH including DRM, NDI and any combination of these signals can be monitored on just one server. TAG is also a software solution running entirely on COTS hardware. Foxtel also opted for the latest DELL R650 server with dual ConnectX6 200GE cards. Each server is capable of monitoring up to 128 uncompressed SMPTE ST2110 HD inputs with -7 seamless switching
protection. “We specifically purchased the TAG IP monitoring solution for its ability to decode and monitor across multi-formats. It is still the only tool out there that can do this within the same appliance at scale. We were also very impressed with Magna who supported us from start to finish. They understood our requirements and worked closely with my team to provide the solution that fitted our needs. Magna have been on hand all along the way to help with any issues and to work with TAG on any request we have had,” concludes Carter.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
EMG UK relies on Calrec to develop the audio infrastructure of its Remote Operations Center in Stratford OB and technical services provider EMG UK has recently expanded its 30-year relationship with Calrec. They have equipped its Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Stratford, London. The Stratford ROC project was born as a fully remote extension of EMG UK’s four Remote Operations Centers located in High Wycombe. The Stratford ROC provides full remote production in UHD, HDR and Dolby Atmos for BT Sports Premier League soccer matches.
is also using a Calrec RP1. The audio workflow allows the ROC remote control of all presentation audio signals via the RP1. This allows the sound team to control parameters like EQ, dynamics and to provide IFB mixes. Other signals are derived from the OB match truck and passed through the RP1 via MADI. Intercom signals are connected on the remote Dante network, to which the RP1 also is connected. Over 200 audio signals are processed
and embedded at the OB, with all signals arriving at the ROC through diverse connectivity. Simon Foster, Head of Audio Technology, EMG, said: “EMG strives to innovate and push the boundaries with technology. Working with Calrec in the audio domain has allowed us to become true technology partners, rather than a supplier and a partner. This innovative workflow is a testament to that close partnership.”
The place is designed with 8K in mind, so EMG opted for 12G for the video infrastructure. For the audio, it installed a 56-fader Artemis alongside an IP-native Type R. Calrec’s Hydra 2 networking technology has also been installed alongside a Calrec AoIP Gateway. This ensures SMPTE 2110 is in place for the Type R sub mix console, but also has an eye on future connectivity. EMG UK
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Mediagenix acquires video distribution services company BeBanjo OPEX and maximize content ROI.
Mediagenix has recently announced the acquisition of BeBanjo, a company that streamlines the editorial and operational aspects of video distribution services with its Movida product suite.
to the full spectrum of
This brings together a scheduling and programming solution with a cloud-native VOD planning and scheduling solution in a single portfolio. The combined companies and solutions will reinforce each other to deliver content-centric business management software
fully integrated into
media operators, from broadcasters monetizing their content through a variety of new distribution models, to streamingcentric market segments. The solution can be the company’s content management workflows or, alternatively, it can be integrated into diﬀerent modules. Mediagenix and BeBanjo together will be better able to help clients engage target audiences, minimize
“We are proud to bring our strategic and product development expertise, as well as an additional set of cloud-native solutions. The joint product oﬀering will open up new possibilities and bring greater value to our customers. And I am delighted by the cultural fit, shared values and shared perspective of BeBanjo and Mediagenix,” said François Chabat, CEO of BeBanjo. “I am very excited to welcome the BeBanjo team in these exciting times when the media business is in the midst of a revolution,” stated Fabrice Maquignon, CEO of MEDIAGENIX. “I strongly believe that having BeBanjo’s professionals will be of great added value for us to lead the technological transformation of media operations worldwide. We have the same customer and product focus, and we work in an environment of open communication and shared values.”
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
ENCO integrates Vox Frontera’s TTV and Sentinel solutions for on-premise services ENCO has recently expanded its subtitling and translation solutions with the purchase of Vox Frontera’s TranslateTV (TTV) and Sentinel solutions. TTV is a solution that oﬀers broadcasters an option for advanced translation of Spanish subtitling for live television. Sentinel is a quality control solution for automatic subtitling. ENCO already oﬀers Spanish translation within its enTranslate service -along with 45 other languages-. But it only works in the cloud. With this acquisition, the
company now oﬀers a fully localized subtitling and translation system for those who prefer to host their own systems and remain independent of the cloud. The company that has acquired these programs will leverage this technology to develop a local Spanish translation and subtitling solution for financial institutions, corporations, government agencies and universities. TTV’s open development platform will also enable ENCO engineers to make speed and accuracy improvements and add
new languages in the future for both broadcast and AV customers. According to ENCO President Ken Frommert, the company will increase the capabilities of TTV technology in both broadcast and AV environments through native integration with enCaption automated captioning workflow. This proven technology workflow will also pave the way for open captioning of meetings, classes, worship services and other AVrelated events.
Dorna Sports is the current organizer of the motorcycling championship par excellence and, since 1991, holds the exclusive commercial and television rights to the competition. This experience has given them the opportunity to grow and innovate on the ways of producing this content based on cuttingedge technology. In our interview with Manel Arroyo, Managing Director at Dorna Sports -included in issue 124 of our TM Broadcast magazine- we showed you the infrastructure that Dorna has in place to take everything that happens on the track to each fan’s multimedia content player. We also immersed ourselves in the challenges and solutions that they experience every weekend in trying to achieve this goal. Three years later, and with a pandemic at hand, we have arranged a new interview to see how their ways of working have changed and what developments have continued after a period in which our entire industry has been changed forever. Today we are offering you the new stage of Dorna Sports through the words of Sergi Sendra, Head of Global Technology.
Evolution since 2019 The broadcast infrastructure has not changed much since then, but as we have already pointed out, it is all because in a period like the one we have experienced, “the important thing was to devote all the possible eﬀorts and resources to save the season,” said Sergi. However, as we have seen on countless occasions, this circumstance has also been a catalyst for change in the technological models and workflows of all industries, especially ours. In times of adversity, ingenuity grows; and Sergi assures that they have overcome many of the pitfalls they have encountered in this process thanks to their ability to adapt.
Implementing the Agile method One of the main changes that Dorna has experienced in regard to content production arises from the imperative need to establish safety zones that
observe social distancing. Of course, the first thing we needed was to do without all the mobile units. This tool has been the basis for broadcast, not only for Dorna, but for entire sector for decades. Safety in the pandemic meant that people could not share small spaces and, precisely, mobile units are based on bringing together all possible solutions within the minimum space that technology is capable of. Therefore, their use was very limited. “We generated larger spaces in which we were developing and implementing diﬀerent configurations,” says the executive. This new method of work involved the transformation of the space every time the competition was held, that is, and in plain words, assembling and dismantling the whole infrastructure every single weekend. However, and despite the possible inconveniences that this routine may have caused, the method has brought very significant advantages. Sergi Sendra
explained it as follows: “A mobile unit has the advantage that everything is ready. We knew very well how to configure these systems, but there is a drawback: you cannot go beyond the realms of their infrastructure.“
“A MOBILE UNIT HAS THE ADVANTAGE THAT EVERYTHING IS READY. WE KNEW VERY WELL HOW TO CONFIGURE THESE SYSTEMS, BUT THERE IS A DRAWBACK: YOU CANNOT GO BEYOND THE REALMS OF THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE.“
Because Dorna had to learn how to “assemble and disassemble” the infrastructure, it also gained the ability to set it up at will. Metaphorically, it is as if any of you move the furniture in your home around to try to get the best configuration
possible. And that was exactly what they achieved: understanding and assimilating what the best technological configuration for each of the events in the competition calendar was.
knowing that it was a
that helped us a lot to do
common and established
and he went on, “but we
The idiosyncrasy of the
Sergi explained that they developed a new way of working and that they implemented it without
improved a lot in the way of
MotoGP is diﬀerent
organizing ourselves, while
from other sports. The
at the same time we were
able to introduce elements
a level of involvement
method in diﬀerent digital industries. “We were applying it without knowing it,” said the Catalan jokingly
A constant laboratory
and has a similar scale to what would be needed in Formula 1. Therefore, each of the experiments or tests concerning technology that Dorna Sports intends to perform must be carried out during the competition days. Sergi explained it to us as follows: “We can’t call Aleix Espargaró and Fabio Quartararo to go to Barcelona to try the circuit next to our work shop. Therefore, during the events, on Fridays and Saturdays, in addition to production, they become an experimentation laboratory. This allows us to collaborate with partners
as important as Sony or Audiotechnica. Our production environment is at the same time a developmental one.”
company joined forces to save the season by making the grand prix races with all the limitations arising from COVID-19,” argues Sergi Sendra.
The Broadcast Center The pandemic caused stagnation in the field of innovation at Dorna Sports. “In a totally heroic way, all the teams within this
One of the things that drastically changed the way they had always had to work was the limited access to the paddock. Until then, it was usual to have journalists and
media in these common areas so as to capture the starring moment of the race winner. Nowadays, as this measure that emerged in the pandemic has came to stay, media, journalists and all the important moments relating to the race are filmed in the Broadcast Centre created during the pandemic.
This space is hyper-connected and hosts all broadcasters who want to produce content. During the more restrictive stages it turned out to be a success because both riders and teams realized that this was now the reference site, the place they had to go to in order to generate content. Now the Broadcast Center has become an area where not only all the elements of
media and all the important
In the traditional way, the
other broadcasters can
moments beyond the race
production method would
now access that content
are found, but also Dorna
be very diﬀerent. Journalists
instantly without having to
with its technology has
and technicians had to
adapt to the pace needed
allowed all broadcasters
reach the paddock, fight
for traditional ingestion,”
to do one-to-one hot
for the position, record
concluded the executive.
interviews with the highest
the interview, take it to the
quality and reliability
production center, ingest
possible. “We wired it with
it and edit it. Now, all these
fiber and arranged camera
processes have been
Dorna -and also the world-
and microphone positions,”
reduced and streamlined.
have discovered many
“Sky Italia, DAZN and
things that have helped
been accessed practically free of charge- interaction has been made much faster. “Communication is now at the highest level of our history,” Sergi told us. This fact has helped all the members in the company to gain more confidence, in the words of the Head of Technology at Dorna. “People also logged on to the meetings to listen and, in addition, the information could flow much faster,” he added.
Thanks to these new workflows, the entire world, and in particular Dorna Sports, has greatly streamlined decisionmaking processes. While a face-to-face meeting -always much closer to our social needs than hybrid communication environments- remains the preferred option, the ease, reliability and ability to organize and cope with these meetings is truly critical in a world that requires eﬀective decisionmaking and within the shortest time possible.
them improve strategies. Ways of doing things that were once considered unchanging. Another instance fostered by the change brought about by the pandemic has been the acceleration of communications. In order to establish links between the teams -through the online meetings that have
The riders’ heartbeat
physical information on the
Sergi commented that the only implementations that they had been intending to develop since 2019 that has been successfully carried out, even with the pandemic in full swing, was the introduction of a device that measures and sends information on the heartbeat of every single rider. It is, in fact,
for use in broadcasting,
competitors, since it shows, information related to the riders’ vital signs. At the time of the interview, Sergi was involved in the production of the Sachsenring Grand Prix in German Saxony. During that weekend, the device was being tested by Aleix Espargaró. “We are still in
the process of adapting, because depending on the track, it can become a nuisance for the rider. It is a bracelet tied to the biceps and can sometimes be unpleasant.”
The cameraoperator rider “We have added a fifth camera in the bike-rider assembly,” Sergi Sendra
assured us. For the first
addition to the competition
and emotions at any time
time, the public will be
regulatory body, the FIM;
during the race.
able to enjoy a rider’s
and Dorna Sports have had
point of view. A capture
to accept the conditions in
device developed by Sony,
which this device has been
together with Dorna’s
implemented on riders.
development team, has
One of the novelties brought by this camera has to do with an autostabilized sensor. The
The fifth camera has its
camera controller is
own transmitter and its
capable of choosing
own microphone. Not only
between a perfect
will fans be able to see the
horizontal take or one with
As you can imagine, this
track from the rider’s point
vibrations. Sergi told us
is not a trivial issue. First
of view, but they will also be
an anecdote of how they
of all, riders and teams, in
able to enjoy their reactions
started working on this
been integrated with some particularities in which we will delve explore later.
development together with Sony. The division of the Japanese company Sony Semiconductor Solutions, during NAB 2018, proposed directly to Dorna Sports members to develop this sensor for an event in which a need for stabilization would be paramount. In which sport can you test a sensor to improve selfstabilization on an operator moving at full speed from left to right? The answer was obvious: MotoGP.
The ultimate goal being pursued is for this camera to be universal for many other sports requiring stabilization. As for the position on the rider’s shoulder, what remains to be done is to get the weight down as much as possible and make the necessary adjustments to get all brands to adapt to the new view.
For four years -one of
steps for seven years so
mandatory stoppage due to the pandemic- they worked together in developing diﬀerent prototypes. Sergi commented that, because they able to save the season during the COVID-19 era and despite the fact that Sony had suspended development operations, Dorna was able
Remote production “We have been taking that people involved in production can do their jobs remotely,” Sergi Sendra said. Currently, they have developed connectivity through a global fiber supplied by TATA between each circuit and the central studio in Barcelona. From the Catalan city, camera controllers, graphic
to continue with a rigorous
designers, journalists, etc.,
experimentation in which,
work remotely. Basically,
afterwards, the results were
what is achieved with this
shared with Sony: “We were
transition to delocalized
able to save the project and
production is the ability
to make a product much
until we got the final
more eﬃciently but without
development that we have
compromising the quality
and, very importantly, while
improving the quality of life of employees. Sergi admitted that they will continue to work in this direction. “For the IPF (International Program Feed) control, in which there are about 20 people involved, we estimate that by next year we would be able to have fifteen of them travel around,” he predicts. All these people will work on this global fiber that we have already mentioned. The technical capacity exists, only improving latency is required so that audio, video and data signals are transmitted in the best possible way. And we are working in this direction with all the impediments that the present moment is imposing on us. Latencies are a real problem for Dorna Sports. Due, once again, to the peculiarities of the competition, shifting between venues is carried out globally. Due to this constant roaming, the network infrastructure is not always the same. “In Europe we are well below 200 milliseconds and
Technological evolution in Dorna Sports
outside Europe we are
5G attempts to operate
still above that figure.
on 700MHz, 3.5GHz or
This fact changes your
26GHz frequency bands.
life”. And in this sport,
The problem is that
“At Dorna we work so that technology captures every detail in MotoGP,” said Sergi Sendra. Recently, the Global Technology division has been created in the company. The manager is the person we have being interviewing now. He told us that not only innovation and the need for evolution apply to TV. Digitization is also needed, as well as to encourage data analysis, knowledge of the information that the fan oﬀers when using Dorna products, in addition to making the rules of this sport are observed in a fair way that is in keeping with reality. “We must enrich the experience and the sport itself, and technology has an enormous potential to do so.” These are the main paths that Dorna Sports will follow to evolve technologically.
latency can greatly spoil
the frequencies where
the experience of fans
bandwidth is available
who enjoy it from the
are very high and the
comfort of their homes.
“On a racing bike, users
range) is lower. With
who suﬀer from latency
them, it is a challenge to
problems can perceive the
transmit the signal from
bike tilted to one side in
the on-board cameras.
one frame and see it tilted
In that range you can
in the opposite direction
broadcast between static
in the next frame. It’s a
elements, but it is hard
matter of milliseconds.”
to do so at the speeds reached by the MotoGP
5G In the words of the Head of Global Technology, this innovation boasts of solving two things: latency and capacity. What is the problem then? That so far unusable frequencies where everyone is fighting to get their space and where the frequency range is very variable are being used now.
bikes. There are applications that we could use this type of transmission -we have fans sitting at the stands that could receive these signals, we have cameras at the pits, slower bikes that go around, etc.- but for more complex deployments (180 cameras are used and 70 diﬀerent signals are processed) these
Dorna Sports broadcasts
networks, at the moment,
signals from motorcycles
are not reliable enough.
in the 2.2-2.4 GHz band.
“Our key focus is our clients. We look at how we can tailor our client solutions through offering a variety of end-to-end solutions for both now, and how their needs will evolve in the future. Outside Broadcast remains an integral part of NEP’s Global Production Ecosystem.” Simon Moorhead, Managing Director, NEP UK Broadcast Services. NEP Group operates in 25 countries and employs more than 4,000 people. Based in the United States, we spoke to the English subsidiary to find out more about its current capabilities. In the era of the transition to IP and beyond, multinational companies like this one are trying to adapt their workflows to satisfy as many customers as possible. The future lies in offering as many options as possible while standardizing on the most efficient one. In the meantime, Simon Moorhead tells us where they are today and what their projections are for the future.
What resources does NEP UK have for Outside Broadcast? The trucks that NEP Group’s UK subsidiary has on hand right now are the following two triple expansion IP trucks capable of handling UHD / HDR signals; one dual expansion IP truck ( meaning, it works with another truck, not having a large satellite dish on the roof) - UHD / HDR capable; two in-line remote production IP trucks - UHD / HDR capable; four triple
expansion SDI trucks capable of UHD / HDR; two triple expansion SDI trucks - capable of 1080p50; three double expansion SDI trucks; one single expansion SDI truck; two inline SDI trucks; and a number of utility vehicles of various sizes that provide additional production space. In addition to the resources dedicated to outside broadcast, NEP also has a production center in London that is fully
equipped and adapted to today’s needs. What is the status of NEP Group’s Outside Broadcast equipment? We continually invest in and upgrade our Outside Broadcast equipment to service the needs of our clients as well as undertaking regular equipment refresh cycles. As we service a wide range of sectors, we have equipment to service most productions from SD to
UHD. Working with other parts of the NEP Group we can truly provide a glass-toglass service. We have recently placed large orders to upgrade our camera, lens and EVS complement. This is in addition to rolling upgrades for our OB and Fly-pack fleet. From the capture to the sending of signals, what technology and what brands can we find in
your most outstanding OB vehicles? For the cameras we have decided to rely on Grass Valley and Sony bodies. For the replays system they have implemented a solution from EVS. The switchers are also from Grass Valley and Sony. To manage the audio of our productions, we have included Calrec consoles in the infrastructure of our trucks. The routing is manufactured by Grass Valley in the case
of IP —both encap and decap— and we trust the manufacturer Imagine for IP3. Finally, communications rely on manufacturers such as Telex and Riedel. Where are your units at with respect to IP technology? We have four fully IP capable trucks, one of which can also service a full 2nd Production space housed in a double expanding satellite truck. In addition to these trucks,
our London Production Centre is fully IP as well as our remote systems used on Extreme E events and SKY F1 races. The London Production Centre, Extreme E and Sky F1 set ups also benefit from using our powerful abstraction and control solution, TFC. Our TFC system has been developed to meet the needs of IP Broadcast systems and workflows in the new IP connected world. It oﬀers us a technology agnostic and intuitive interface to configure, control and monitor devices and systems across facilities. What would have traditionally required connecting multiple systems, TFC units, helping us make highly complex setups more seamless and simplified. By using our own proprietary control system, we can continually develop solutions to configure, automate and monitor IT and network systems based on our real-world experience working on productions around the globe. And because it is
technology agnostic, as requirements, priorities and technologies shift and change in our industry it is easier for us to adapt and flex. TFC is fully supported by our in-house team, who work hand in hand with our commercial and engineering teams to develop and deploy TFC to meet the needs of
our clients as well as our connected roadmap for truck, facilities, and data centres around the world. TFC is central to our global ecosystem. How have you approached this technology migration, what challenges have you encountered and
resolution, and complex
production oﬀ site, tailored
metadata. But with
to client’s requirement.
that comes increasing complexity. TFC gives us one unified touchpoint to manage, monitor and configure it all, which is deployed at NEP.
related features that streamlined workflows,
or have they created
of what today’s live sports
headaches? Are they
going to stay or are
content creators need. By
they going to go back to
collaborating with clients
engineering teams are able to turn their needs into reality, supporting clients as they bring their content to life.
Our TFC solution has
Have the new COVID-19
trucks is born out of an
feedback, NEP’s global
these vehicles have
valuable insights and
deployed to overcome
movable to suite each
The innovation of NEP OB
around the world to gain
what solutions have you
How have you adapted the workspaces and technology in your OB Vehicles to the demands
They have created increased flexibility. Many of our trucks can now deliver traditional productions (everyone in the truck on site), or tailored levels of remote production, e.g. All production and operators remote or replay remote or production team remote or vision control remote or any combination of these options. We can empower
been a real game-changer
of the pandemic?
here. IP technology
Only by reducing
the right decisions for them,
and work closely with the
world of possibilities and
ancillary vehicles provided
client to decide on the right
allows for more signals,
for overflow operators and
solution for their event or
more bandwidth, higher
elements of operators and
definitely opens up a
production teams to make
EMG is one of the largest business representatives in the sector of the infrastructure necessary to produce broadcast outside the content producer’s facilities. Its services and infrastructure are well known to everyone in the industry. Our magazine, through an exclusive interview with Phil Tidmarsh, Technology Business Development Specialist at EMG UK; has obtained a first-hand account of the evolution of its technical and human resources. EMG is in the process of transforming to IP, a technology that is allowing them to share resources internationally and encourage remote production. Despite the dedication required to overcome this challenging task, EMG UK also has time to innovate. Proof of this is the recent project with BT Sport to transmit 8K content via Starlink satellites.
What is Phil Tidmarsh’s background and current role? I previously worked at ITN News. I implemented some IP technologies in that business for an English soccer league, sport and also replaced the company’s entire SDI backbone network with an all-IP infrastructure. Then, in September last year, I moved to EMG as a technology business development specialist and my remit is to enhance our IP oﬀering across the business. At EMG today we have the diPloy system, which is a 2110-based system, but there is very little knowledge in the lower level material. That is, the one related to online transmission and live views, and the cellular link material. As a traditional OB company, EMG didn’t have a lot of experience in that area and that was one of my strengths. This is because of my news experience because a lot of news companies were using 4G bonded cellular and those compressed
IP technologies. As part of that task, I am looking at our fleet of transport vehicles. The goal is to combine the two and use compressed IP technologies in our fleet of transport vehicles. In addition, I do other things for the company. I’ve been studying how to change our fleet and make it more environmentally friendly. Our customers are crying out for it at the moment. We assume that the last major renovation process you have undergone has been the transition to IP. How has it developed? We started with our diPloy technology at EMG in 2016, which is our modular system. It’s based on 2110, so it’s DASH7 and it’s fully redundant. It has evolved a lot during this time, but being an early adopter of the new standard, we have experienced its teething problems. Obviously, all manufacturers apply the standard very diﬀerently,
which sometimes causes some problems. Fortunately, we have good relations with our own and that has allowed us to solve all those problems. Now we have reached a pretty good point. We’ve created some custom software on the back-end that helps us tie things together and do reporting and configuration so that the whole solution is much easier for our guys and our customers to manage. We
have a proprietary software we call NetBox, developed in-house. We use SDNsquare and Cerebrum from EVS. What challenges did you find as early adopters? To start with, it is quite diﬀerent from SDI’s traditional OB market. It’s more of a data center on wheels now than it ever was before. Gone is the concept of arriving in a truck and turning everything on and
then flipping a switch at the end of the day and going home. It is now commonplace for us to shut down our servers cleanly at the end of a production run. Another big challenge is that the way we work has changed. We’ve gone through a big learning curve to get people up to speed and understand the new technologies. It’s no longer about SDI cable, it’s about IP addressing, routing and multicasting.
We have approached this process in a number of ways. The software has helped simplify it so that anyone can handle it and understand what’s going on in the network. We have shared a lot of knowledge across the group to contribute to learning as well. On the other hand, we’ve made some key hires, IP specialists, to work in the background to make everything as smooth as possible. Has the IP contributed to creating new ways of working? The beauty of an IP-based network is that we can do multi-format. We can do it in 1080p / SDR, and we can do it in UHD / HDR. We can run all those signals across the same system at the same time. This is wonderful because many of our clients, at some major sporting events, require more than one format. Traditionally, that was a challenge and people would say, “Oh God, now we have to buy another router and we have to screw this and do this and that.” Well, now that problem is gone.
THE BEAUTY OF AN IP-BASED NETWORK IS THAT WE CAN DO MULTI-FORMAT. WE CAN DO IT IN 1080P / SDR, AND WE CAN DO IT IN UHD / HDR.
Another good thing is that we can now decentralize it. As long as we can connect sites with fiber, we can host equipment in many diﬀerent locations. We recently did some events in the United Arab Emirates and some of those sites were miles away from the main core. It didn’t matter, we just had to connect the
fiber and we were good to go. All of this lends itself to remote production very easily. We have VPNs all over the place so we can monitor and see what’s going on in the truck. The next step is the cloud, clearly. When you’re already on IP, the transition is much simpler and more
straightforward. The team is starting to figure it all out. What resources does EMG UK have for Outside Broadcast? We have everything from very small, long wheeled vans for some key productions that are quite light, to a double expander. All of our vehicles are capable of recording in 1080p HD as standard. We’ve recently done some tests with BT Sport where we’ve done a production in 8K. You name it; we do it at the moment. What was the work you did with BT Sport? It was a rugby match in which we used Sony cameras through encoders in our trucks. The signal was delivered to Samsung TVs with a specific application installed to receive the signal sent via Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite. It was a technical innovation from start to finish. It was 8K encoded on a Samsung TV downlinked through a Starlink satellite.
The main challenge was to be able to see the result. Getting the equipment was not easy. Sony helped us a lot in this aspect. Just to transmit and watch it in 8K is a challenge. We only got two points where we could see it in this resolution, in the other points it was converted to 4K to see it.
What technology we can find in your OB vehicles? As I was saying, we are moving our fleet to the modular IP system called diPloy that we have developed in-house. Some of the advantages are because this solution is modular, so we can load and unload diﬀerent modules for diﬀerent jobs.
For one job, we will load a load of EVS modules and then unload them for another job, for example. Right now, we have taken a load of modules out of one of our European trucks for use at a big sporting event at another location. After that event, they will be loaded back onto the vehicle for another event.
WE ARE MOVING OUR FLEET TO THE MODULAR IP SYSTEM CALLED DIPLOY THAT WE HAVE DEVELOPED IN-HOUSE.
Specifically, all the major manufacturers in this industry are on our trucks. What specific work are you doing to make your trucks more sustainable? We are studying several ways of doing this. The first, which is obvious and known to all, is remote production: sending fewer personnel
and fewer vehicles. This is something that has come out of COVID. We are starting to study the equipment we install in vehicles and, in particular, their energy needs. We are approaching the manufacturers and starting to demand that they optimize energy use, because we don’t want a big, heavy box with hundreds of fans spinning and consuming a lot of power. We are studying electric vehicles and their capabilities to run on their battery for the entire event without having to plug in a generator or use any other power source. We are studying the possibility of replacing generators with batteries powered by solar panels on the roof. We have already replaced the fuel in all our vehicles with biodiesel. It’s a step in the right direction, but we are still thinking about going 100% electric. What challenges has the Group experienced because of the eﬀect of the pandemic?
It certainly moved us forward in technological barriers. Remote control became massive overnight. In the UK market, it’s certainly here to stay. Although it is true that several European markets are not going to keep it, so we are forced to develop that hybrid infrastructure. It is no longer a problem for us to adapt to any type of production at the drop of a hat. Our customers like the fact that we can do both. We also try to stop bringing big trucks to all events because it is not sustainable. It’s also not easy to manage so many people inside those spaces with the intention of keeping social distances. Remote control helps us a lot in this regard. During the pandemic, we had to scale up very quickly to work remotely. The learning curve was very steep. Within three months we built oﬃces with adapted capabilities in Salford and in Stratford. And the people who built these new facilities were traditional OB guys and not so much network guys.
They had to learn quickly and understand VPNs and all that technology, but now it’s there, it’s fabulous. What technology did you rely on to build all these new systems? I think one of the key things in the early days of our remote production was our connectivity piece, which was provided by BT media and sport. Without that, it would have been a real challenge, because at the beginning we didn’t have encoders and decoders and we didn’t have the expertise to do it. BT Media & Broadcast supported that part. It was a key factor for us.
so, but the vision for the
To be honest, I think the
future is that they will be
large format OB vehicle is
Have the trucks changed a lot from before the pandemic to what they are now?
smaller, with fewer people
going to change a lot in the
and less production space.
future. It will end up just
Yes. It’s a slow transition, though, because when you have a £5 million truck, you have to make sure you get the most out of it. It’s all based on CapEx cycles and the demands of our customers.
very large vehicles that
for them, which they do,
But where will all that
We will only upgrade them
we will continue to supply
physical installation move
when it makes sense to do
to? Will it go to the cloud
That is the way we are going. We still have some are beautiful production centers with multiple galleries across Europe and the UK. I don’t see them going away any time soon. If our customers keep asking
carrying the cameras and some encoders. I think it will be a small vehicle that will show up at the stadium or wherever, connect to a network, deploy some cameras and microphones, and then everything will be remote controlled.
or will it become an EMG data center? I don’t know, we play with both. We have both, we can run a virtual stack in our own oﬃce or we can run it in the cloud. We’re preparing for whatever the future holds. How do you see the use of 5G transmitters in the future? There are some pretty obvious drawbacks, like if you’re using the same network as 50,000 people at a football game for example, there can be some bandwidth limitations. That presents a challenge. Depending on the value of the production, our customers either accept that challenge or not. Top-level competitions are not interested in that way of working. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying. We keep experimenting. For example, in the case of lower level sports they usually accept that compromise or risk lower quality or signal drops, so that gives us a perfect testing ground.
This will change as soon as it becomes possible to reserve space in the 5G band. It is not possible to do this in the UK at present, but when it is everyone will be aware that such a guarantee will give them reliability of service. What will be the future of EMG UK’s OB Vehicles fleet? In the last two or three years, EMG has aligned all its entities into one big company. The UK headquarters is truly committed to this union. It is satisfying because the group is sharing its resources on a regular basis. When I say resources, I mean people, ideas, technologies, trucks, modules. If I need a module here tomorrow, I can call one of our colleagues in Belgium and he can say, “Oh, I have three to spare, use whatever you need.” Another process that we are involved in, as a result of this union, is the fiber connection of all the entities. Thanks to that we can use the infrastructure remotely. It’s going to give
us a lot of extra capabilities. Imagine working with a truck that is actually parked at the oﬃces, which you don’t have to move to where you are producing the event. You just connect a fiber to the truck, turn it on, and you have all of its capabilities at your disposal. But there’s also the cloud, and everyone is talking about it. We’re already working to deploy these kinds of services to our productions. The beauty of the cloud is the scalability. You can do 60 productions at the same time in a day because you just have to redundant tools to access them as many times as you want. From one day to the next it would be completely impossible to buy 60 vision mixers, for instance. I’m not saying the cloud is the answer to everything. I’m also not saying it’s cheaper. But because of these capabilities, you can cover a lot more than we covered before. Right now, with all the supply chain issues and eternal lead times, the cloud is a very good option because you just have to pay for it and get it up and running.
LiveX “The future of OB Trucks is in saving the ﬁrst mile”
Interview with Corey Behnke, Producer and co-Founder of LiveX 50
What resources does
December 2021. The
Live X have for Outside
truck is a product of the
partnership our company
LiveX has a full service
with Metrovision. We were
has recently entered into
looking for a turnkey service
vehicle called LiveX Metro
and that is what we have
One. We launched it in
achieved with Metro One.
Partnering with Metrovision allowed us to have a stateof-the-art broadcast tuck in with a very professional and valuable team. This resource allows LiveX to bring the streaming and IP capabilities necessary to assure our clients that they are getting the professional broadcast quality they expect. We use the truck for our annual New Year’s Eve broadcast in Times Square. In the past we would have needed a full production truck. This time we were able to produce a program with over twenty cameras with IP back to our studio. We achieved very high quality and also an incredible reduction in the amount of space we needed in Times Square. What is the latest renovation process these infrastructures have undergone? We have designed the truck for full remote broadcast capabilities. We can do full remote production with up to 26 individual feeds.
We use the truck for our annual New Year’s Eve broadcast in Times Square. In the past we would have needed a full production truck. This time we managed to produce a program with more than twenty cameras with IP return to our studio. We achieved very high quality and also an incredible reduction in the amount of space we needed in Times Square.
audio setup is driven by a Soundcraft Vi1000 with 163 I/O, featuring AES, Dante and MADI. The mobile unit also houses a ClearCom Eclipse HX PiCo for expansive production communication.
From the capture to the sending of signals, what technology and what brands can we find in your most outstanding OB vehicles, such as Metro One?
control, we can eﬀectively
LiveX Metro One is 12G-SDI capable with a mix of brands such as ClearCom, Haivision, Blackmagic Design, Soundcraft and others. It features a 40-input switcher, full playback, recording, live graphics, captioning and encoding. The truck is equipped with Ursa Broadcast and Ursa Mini Broadcast cameras, ATEM CCU and Fujinon and Canon lens kits. The
Where are your units at with respect to IP technology? By using Dante, SRT and Peplink routers between our OB truck and the main manage the entire workflow remotely. LiveX Metro One allows us to send minimal equipment on-site, allowing our Green bay and New York facilities to run the shows. As for the new ways of working that IP technology has given us, thanks to Haivision Stream Sync we can time our signals and produce the show as we normally would. How have you approached this technology migration, what challenges have you encountered and what solutions have you
deployed to overcome them? The main challenges deal with how we network the truck to be able to bring VOD Playback content into our facility. By utilising Peplink systems throughout the facilities we can overcome much of these challenges. I’ll tell you about it through an anecdote. For years, our Live X headquarters in New York ran on a network based on a 1G dedicated Internet service with failover provided by a 1G enterprise-
grade connection. This worked well for our main control facility, but the dedicated Internet service also ran public IPs for communications, encryption and transmission equipment. During a major event, the Internet service went down. We lost our public IPs. Although failover saved the broadcast, communications went down, adding a lot of stress to production. We didn’t want to go through that again.
basis. Castle Point deployed two SDX Pro routers at our venues. Castle Point also added two SDX Pro running with various ISPs in their own data center to function as a SpeedFusion hub.
We partnered with Castle Point to rent Peplink devices on a per event
This has been the main challenge we have encountered and we have
Our sites now run SpeedFusion tunnels to the Castle Point hub. This has allowed us to oﬄoad public IPs to much stronger locations. With this redundancy, we have been able to not even notice if the network goes down.
networks -such as 5G or fiber- will predominate? At the end of the day, as long as there are events located within limited infrastructure, you will need hardware to get video, audio and communications from event to cloud so that shows can be produced. The 1st mile, especially in the US will be an obstacle that these trucks overcome. What will the OB Vehicles of the future already solved it thanks to
In the age of cloud and
remote production, what
Have you adapted the truck’s capacities to the requirements imposed by COVID-19? The LiveX Metro One was designed to produce the smallest carbon footprint and the lowest possible impact on the events we attend. These new work models, brought about by the pandemic, have streamlined our workflows.
look like and how will they be used?
does the future hold for
I believe we will see more
and more OB vehicles
By deploying this OB Truck we can eﬀectively utilise the Cloud much easier and more eﬃciently. The abilities to park, power, drop lines and be ready to go within a few hours
serving to broadcast remotely with little on-site manpower. The success of broadcasting at the highest levels will continue to trickle down to other operators as the technology matures.
increases our productivity. How will these expensive and voluminous units adapt to a future where software located in data
And I think they’re going to
centers with access
LXM1 Launch: https://youtu. be/L-3xwO-F1Pw
First Mulঞ-site 5G broadcast trials deliver Eurovision song contest in Italy, Austria, France and Germany EBU Member organiza on RAI opens its doors to the first European mul -site 5G Broadcast showcase delivering the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) live to 5G Broadcast enabled personal phones. Rai in Turin joins ORS/ORF in Vienna, France Télévisions in Paris, and SWR/ARD in Stu gart, who are also running 5G Broadcasts with live Eurovision Song Contest content. The trials showcase how live content could be eﬃciently distributed to mass audiences over 5G. By Yeray Alfageme
The Eurovision Song Contest, which brings together tens of millions of viewers of the world’s largest live music festival, provides an ideal opportunity to showcase 5G Broadcast. The technology is designed to bring the coverage and reach of broadcast to every mobile device through its use of existing digital terrestrial television transmission networks. Media dominates mobile network traﬃc
and will continue to do so, and 5G-Broadcast helps to seamlessly integrate a one-to-many technology within devices of the 5G mobile ecosystem guaranteeing high quality of service at a sustainable cost. When delivering live content to millions of users it also helps optimizing network resources without dimensioning cellular networks to manage those traﬃc peaks.
Consumers and journalists in the heart of Turin can have a first-hand look at an advanced live mobile experience at the Rai facilities. Each showcase live streams the Eurovision Song Contest in addition to local EBU Member services and dedicated content for the trials themselves. Media is only one of several 5G Broadcast use cases. Broadcasters and other institutions and businesses around Europe are also testing 5G Broadcast with a view to using it for emergency warning
systems and automotive applications amongst others. Broadcast over 5G is not restricted to linear and live content distribution and enables new potential business models for delivering content or data to large numbers of consumers, complementing the service oﬀer delivered via the cellular 5G mobile network. EBU Members are assisted by technology providers Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast transmitter and media technologies; Qualcomm
Technologies, Inc., the driving force behind the development, launch and expansion of 5G; and Ateme, a global leader in video compression, delivery and streaming solutions.
bring the signal over-the-
Running throughout the week of events, the 5G Broadcast test transmissions consist of live content produced by Rai in Turin, encoded by Ateme at EBU HQ in Geneva and distributed to SWR in Stuttgart, France Télévisions in Paris, and ORS in Vienna. At each city, transmitters from Rohde & Schwarz will
16 feature-set, operating
air to test smartphones supplied by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. The 5G Broadcast solution is built on the 3GPP Relin a Receive-Only Mode (ROM), Free-To-Air (FTA) and without the need for a SIM card (SIMfree reception). The 5G Broadcast dedicated mode will be demonstrated with a standalone broadcast infrastructure operating within the UHF band.
THE WHAT, HOW
free-to-air content even
activities have now led to
without a SIM card, no need
the first mobile devices
to sign up to third-party
implementing a set of
services, and in a way that
3GPP Release 16 features,
delivers eﬃciency gains for
such as DTT ‘high tower
high power’ transmission
It was a first in the long history of the Eurovision Song Contest: A 5G Broadcast signal
transmitted the event live
For the purposes of the
and in high quality from
2022 ESC 5G Broadcast
sites in 4 European cities
trials, the EBU and its
simultaneously. For now,
Members SWR (Stuttgart),
The engagement of EBU
only a select group of
ORS Group (Vienna),
brings an opportunity to
users with 5G Broadcast-
France Télévisions (Paris)
its Members to investigate
and RAI (Turin) teamed
how 5G-based technologies
in Paris, Stuttgart, Turin,
up with Eurovision
may oﬀer new possibilities
Vienna was able to see
services for the ESC signal
to deliver high quality media
these transmissions. The
logistics, Ateme for the
aim is to change that, and
encoding and streaming,
over mobile networks. With
to demonstrate, with those
Rohde & Schwarz for the
transmissions, the value
this technology could bring
and Qualcomm for the
to the media and millions of
prototype 5G Broadcast-
5G Broadcast is a
The EBU has championed
the distribution of
LTE-based 5G Terrestrial
technology that can add
to mobile devices and
value in several use-cases
in 3GPP from its early
automotive platforms, or
– one of which is access
stages, when public service
the possibility to operate
to live content for mass
media requirements were
resilient networks times of
audiences on the go, with
introduced in 3GPP Release
crisis for the emergency
the possibility to receive
14. The standardization
and SIM-card-less free-toair reception.
5G Broadcast, these may include the potential for the broadcast community to exploit the power and resilience of their broadcasting infrastructure,
Telos Infinity® Virtual Intercom Pla orm: Transforming hardware-based broadcast intercom into a Cloud soluঞon By: Marঞn Dyster, VP of Business Development, Telos Alliance
As anyone involved in live broadcasting can attest, Intercom is a mission critical part of any TV production workflow. Without reliable comms, a show rapidly falls apart. With the pandemic as a catalyst, content providers have woken up to the viability of using Cloud technology to produce TV, while recognizing how important it is to understand how intercom can be deployed and used with the same
ease as the emerging breed of virtualized video production tools. Although it is technically possible to adapt a hardware / matrixbased intercom to support cloud working models, those who are pioneering virtual production techniques have been quick to realize that is not ideal to have to pack and ship a physical Comms panel to every remote participant, nor is it easy to integrate a centralised hardware
communications backbone into what is essentially a distributed virtual production model. In short, the emergence of Cloud production has accelerated the need for more agile communications solutions that can be deployed rapidly to any user anywhere in the world without compromising the way TV is made. A software-based Intercom solution that can replace
traditional hardware and integrate seamlessly into the new workflows. In June 2020, in response to multiple inquiries from a global broadcast market, Telos Alliance® transformed the Telos Infinity IP Intercom Platform (Infinity IP) from a hardware product into a working Cloud deployable software solution. The Dev. team had a working beta available for testing within a few months from a standing start. They proved that the physical panel firmware developed for the hardware Infinity product launched in 2018 could be deployed using established containerized software technology and replicate the functionality of the hardware platform almost entirely.
Containerization is a lightweight means to package software code and all its dependencies so that an application can run quickly and reliably within a virtualized computing environment. Docker is an open-source example of containerization technology and has been around since 2013. The Telos R&D team had been experimenting with Docker prior to its use with Infinity VIP, as a possible means to virtualize other products within the Telos range. When the focus shifted to Intercom, they quickly determined that the core operating code developed for the physical Infinity product could be containerized to create a virtualized network of individual devices (panels) that could communicate to one
another using the same core AoIP network topology. If virtual devices were connected on a common VLAN, it would be possible to build an AES67 media network on a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) like Amazon AWS. A virtual intercom platform could become a reality using Docker and operate in much the same way as the physical Infinity hardware. Using the same embedded software developed for the original hardware platform had several other functional benefits that would be redeployed in the new virtual platform. For example, each Telos Infinity Intercom Panel, whether physical or virtual has its own onboard webserver which can give the user remote control
over their talk and listen keys. On a hardware panel this is generally used by maintenance or support to ‘remote in’ when a user leaves their mic open accidentally or has muted their microphone inadvertently. For the virtual panel, it is this handy built-in HTML-5 webserver and remote key control capability that became the hands-on user interface that the operator sees as their intercom device. Since HTML-5 supporting Internet browsers such
as Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Firefox natively support bi-directional audio (think Zoom, Google Meet, Amazon Chime, Microsoft Skype etc.) the developers of the Infinity platform were able to utilize the same WebRTC / OPUS audio codec technology that we use on our supported devices like PCs, phones, and tablets to replace the audio I/O used on the hardware Intercom. Combining the existing remote panel UI and the browsers in-built audio capabilities, you have an
onscreen Intercom panel that operates the same way as its hardware equivalent. Using a mouse and keyboard to navigate Comms is an inconvenient way to operate a panel for many users in fast-paced TV production. However, Infinity has a lightweight API whose command set extends to the Talk/Listen keys and using the Elgato SDK, we were able to develop a plug-in that can be used to map a virtual panel to Stream Decks’ physical buttons.
Understandably, the operators of any Cloud production platform and particularly one used for communication, expect a high level of system security, comprehensive system management tools and reliable high-quality audio. After sharing the prototype product privately with several trusted partners, we found that customer expectations varied considerably and that there was (and still is) much work to do beyond just creating an Intercom.
As mentioned previously, WebRTC is used extensively by browser-based media applications and addresses many of the security concerns expressed by VIP beta customers. However, we found out that when WebRTC is traversing the public Internet as is often the case, it needs Stun and Turn to make robust peer-to-peer connections. But many customers don’t want to use public Stun and Turn servers because they may expose the system to security risks; therefore,
the Telos team had to address that concern and become experts in Internet Connectivity Establishment (ICE) protocols. Roughly 24 months after development started, VIP is now being used around the world by customers who appreciate the ease by which they can deploy a software-based Intercom. In the field of virtualized broadcast production, Infinity VIP can be considered a one-of-a-kind product and a true industry disruptor.