TM Broadcast International #107, July 2022

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NEWS - PRODUCTS

Titular noticia Texto noticia

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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.

Editor in chief Javier de Martín editor@tmbroadcast.com

Creative Direction Mercedes González

TM Broadcast International #107 July 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 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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Johannesburg, servicing

Africa,” states Lucky Sebola,

lower leagues with sports

Founder and Managing

graphics and production

Director, Seb4Vision.

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

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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

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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

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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

Exposed.

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.” 

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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SPORTS

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.

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DORNA SPORTS

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SPORTS

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

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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.“


DORNA SPORTS

“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

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SPORTS

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

the live”.

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

infrastructure requires

able to introduce elements

a level of involvement

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method in different digital industries. “We were applying it without knowing it,” said the Catalan jokingly

A constant laboratory


DORNA SPORTS

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

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SPORTS

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

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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


DORNA SPORTS

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

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SPORTS

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

added Sergi.

“Sky Italia, DAZN and

things that have helped

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Decision-making


DORNA SPORTS

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

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SPORTS

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,

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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


DORNA SPORTS

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.

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SPORTS

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

continue experimenting

to make a product much

until we got the final

more efficiently but without

development that we have

compromising the quality

achieved today.”

and, very importantly, while

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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


DORNA SPORTS

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.

propagation (coverage

“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.

33


OB

34


NEP GROUP

35


OB

“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

36

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


NEP GROUP

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,

37


OB

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

38

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


NEP GROUP

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,

intimate understanding

or have they created

of what today’s live sports

headaches? Are they

and entertainment

going to stay or are

content creators need. By

they going to go back to

collaborating with clients

normal?

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

them?

productions need.

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

Separation screens,

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,

occupancy. Additional

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

production. 

definitely opens up a

production teams to make

39


OB

40


EMG UK

41


OB

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.

42

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,


EMG UK

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.

43


OB

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.

44

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.


EMG UK

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.

45


OB

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.

46

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.


EMG UK

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.

47


OB

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

them.

to? Will it go to the cloud

48

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.


EMG UK

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. 

49


OB

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

Broadcast?

partnership our company

LiveX has a full service

with Metrovision. We were

has recently entered into

broadcast production

looking for a turnkey service

vehicle called LiveX Metro

and that is what we have

One. We launched it in

achieved with Metro One.


LIVEX

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

51


OB

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-

52

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.


LIVEX

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

our partners.

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

these equipment?

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

stay.

through high-capacity

LXM1 Launch: https://youtu. be/L-3xwO-F1Pw

53


TECHNOLOGY

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

54


5G

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

55


TECHNOLOGY

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

56

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.


5G

THE WHAT, HOW

free-to-air content even

activities have now led to

AND WHY

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

distribution infrastructures.

high power’ transmission

It was a first in the long history of the Eurovision Song Contest: A 5G Broadcast signal

infrastructure compatibility,

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

enabled smartphones

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

transmission equipment,

this technology could bring

and Qualcomm for the

to the media and millions of

prototype 5G Broadcast-

audience members.

compatible handsets.

5G Broadcast is a

The EBU has championed

the distribution of

complementary distribution

LTE-based 5G Terrestrial

multimedia services

technology that can add

Broadcast standardisation

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

warning community. 

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,

57


OPINION

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

58

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


TELOS ALLIANCE

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

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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

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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.


TELOS ALLIANCE

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. 

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