The great European broadcast trade fair is over. The IBC in Amsterdam was held from 9 to 12 of September. The entire industry, from manufacturers, to end users, through all integrators and distributors, was once again met in the aisles of the RAI. We, as a specialized magazine, attended the show to say hello again to old friends with whom we had not met for years. In addition to this minor but equally important reason, we travelled to the Dutch city to identify trends in our industry. In this issue you will ﬁnd the details of our research.
IBC 2022 has meant a return to the presence of the past. However, that splendor has lost its luster. A constrained market where the big players take the best parts of the cake, the convenience of remote modes of communication, the immediacy of globalization on the one hand, and the rise of local and national fairs that bring together more controllable markets on the other; have all contributed to the fact that IBC has lost some of its importance.
Another major protagonist of the last edition of IBC was the cloud. Once the worﬂows of remote production have been accepted and conﬁdence in virtualization has been gained, this technology only needs to grow and be tested to deploy its full potential. We have talked to two end users, Olympic Broadcasting Services and Telefónica Broadcast Services; and to a provider of these services, Amazon
Web Services; to check the state of this technology and to know how much is left to reach its full capabilities.
Rugby League World Cup is one of the oldest rugby competitions in our society. It was held for the ﬁrst time in 1954. In this edition, postponed due to the eﬀects of the pandemic, the organization is responsible for holding the competition in the United Kingdom and attracting the most representative nations of this sport in three categories: men, women and people with disabilities. All categories will receive equal broadcast coverage.
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is just around the corner. An event of this magnitude attracts a billionaire inﬂuence and millions of fans around the world. Gravity Media has been in charge of setting up the stadiums to broadcast the matches, as well as deploying the TV broadcast infrastructure to cover them.
Another trend that is starting to take hold in the broadcast and ﬁlm industry worldwide is sustainability. How to make even better content with less environmental impact? There are companies that are already developing these methods using remote production techniques or, even cheaper, being faithful to the basic law: reduce, reuse and recycle. In this issue you will ﬁnd the story of New Yonder, a production company with its own OTT service that applies this way of working.
EDITORIAL Editor in chief Javier de Martín firstname.lastname@example.org Key account manager Susana Sampedro email@example.com Editorial staff firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Direction Mercedes González email@example.com Administration Laura de Diego firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Spain ISSN: 2659-5966 TM Broadcast International #110 October 2022 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
Cloud & Live
We know that the cloud is the future of technology. We know that it is the present for management of computerized resources. We also know that broadcasters are using it, and also that will increasingly implement workﬂows in it. However, what is needed to produce and distribute content such as Olympic Games or a Champions League ﬁnal in the cloud?
Qatar 2022 with Gravity Media
We had a chat with Ed Tischler and his team at Gravity Media, who are responsible for organizing the broadcast infrastructure and setting up the Qatari stadiums, to ensure that every fan, no matter how far away they are from Qatar, can see their team win and feel the excitement of a World Cup.
SUMMARY 4 NEWS6
OBS TBS Amazon
5 74 Newyonder: Reduce, reuse and recycle making movies RLWC21 Rugby League World Cup 202152 IBC 2022: Democratization and virtualization of solutions62 Interview with Ross Video 70
Vizrt introduces adaptive graphics capabilities and Unreal Engine support with the release of Viz Engine 5
Vizrt has recently announced Viz Engine 5 and its inmediate availability for purchase or upgrade.
Into its features, Viz Engine 5 introduces Adaptive Graphics: a way of graphic deployment to multiple output formats simultaneously. Another enhancement is the integration of this engine owned by the Vizrt Group with Unreal Engine 5. The combination of both gives users a workﬂow perfect for live production.
Adaptive Graphics is a template workﬂow that intelligently adjusts resolution a format to support speciﬁc display devices without multiplied resource usage, compromising quality, or risking loss of readability. This capability is designed for TV, hand-held device aspect ratios, studio video walls, virtual sets, and digital signage. All the outputs can be delivered as NDI.
With the integration with Unreal, Viz Engine now can do photoreal, detailed and data driven graphics for virtual environments. Across the control capability that this union brings, users can change assets, transformations, or animations within Unral or Viz.
“Adaptive Graphics is a smarter way to do multiplatform graphics. For the broadcaster this will mean merging production lines, more control over the quality of the product, and more eﬃcient use of designers’ time,” says Gerhard Lang, CTO at Vizrt. “And our newly
enhanced integration with Unreal Engine introduces a workﬂow and output that is as straightforward as it is innovative. It allows broadcasters to deliver high-impact graphics from both rendering pipelines within a single workﬂow.”
Apart from this features mentioned, the group has also introduced into its
graphic engine NDI with fully embedded tracking data in the stream. This enhancement opens the possibility to allow users to create augmented reality setups with PTZ cameras and cloud-based workﬂows.
NEWS - PRODUCTS 6
Lawo HOME platform adds NMOS and JPEG-XS support
Rights Management for audio parameters that are accessible from several control surfaces but can be conﬁgured to be adjustable only from one control surface; and System Health, i.e. status information about a system’s components with centrally logged information, warning and error entries for convenient monitoring during normal operation.
interoperability, and it oﬀers higher video compression ratios. vm_jpegXS supports compression ratios
between 5:1 and 36:1 and oﬀers 4x encoding
The Lawo’s management platform for IP-based media infrastructures has recently succeeded JTNM Test obtaining NMOS compatibility.
Through the API-based “lives@HOME” program, any third-party device can make all desired parameters accessible for control on the network. This is an addition to HOME, and others are Signal
HOME functionality furthermore includes multiessence stream grouping that allows operators to bundle all relevant ST2110 video, audio and metadata ﬂows. This functionality is also available for other products. Lawo also announces a module app for its constantly evolving V__matrix platform. it provides comprehensive ST2110 compatibility for
+ 4x decoding from, and to, JPEG XS (ST2110-22). Uncompressed signals can be interfaced with SMPTE ST2110, ST 2022-6 or SDI. vm_jpegXS is a versatile audio and video tool with ample processing and glue functionality for V__matrix applications.
SMPTE ST2022-7 seamless
protection switching, ST2110-30/31 support for IP audio interfacing, and ST2110-40 compatibility for ancillary data as well as IP stream format conversion, and frame-accurate video switching using destinationtimed clean and quiet switching (MBB and BBM) with audio V-fades are provided as standard.
NEWS - PRODUCTS 8
DAZN creates new way to watch NPB league with Stats Perform, AWS technology and machine learning
Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Japanese baseball league, is streamed by DAZN. Their services help fans to stay connected to their favorite NPB players and teams with live and on-demand coverage of local matchups every day. Related with this broadcast, DAZN Sports Data team launched a new highlights feature for subscribers. They has leaned technology from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other brands. Speciﬁcally, this feature is using real-time match data from Stats Perform, Amazon Rekognition Custom Labels machine learning (ML), and video analysis technology. This service provided to DAZN subscribers, allow them to take control over their own highlights experience. They can pull up and select a recorded or in-progress NPB game, load it, and use the scrub
bar to navigate to critical highlight markers or to watch important plays.
DAZN worked with its colleagues in Japan to build an application to support this functionality. t ﬁrst determined which plays the application would deﬁne as highlights, using available Stats Perform data. The team then had to sync this data with its live game streams and found machine learning the best way to do so.
Whereas football plays can be mapped to a clock, baseball isn’t timed the same way. The development team needed a way to automatically detect the start of a game. They chose chose to use the ﬁrst appearance of the score graphic (including the number of balls, strikes and outs) – which coincides with the start of the ﬁrst pitch – as the starting marker. With no oﬀ-the-shelf tool available to identify this
graphic, they set out to build their own model using Amazon Rekognition Custom Labels. Then, they trained the application to detect the initial appearance of this graphic. From there, the team provided the system with a list of all the key moments and times they occur, and it synchronized them with the video based on the time of the game.
“NPB fans have responded with extreme enthusiasm.
Matches run quite long, so unless you’re an avid fan, tuning into an entire game isn’t a reality, so now, more casual fans can even check in to see highlights, which wasn’t previously possible,” shared Fred Clarke, Head of Product, Sports Data, DAZN.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES 10
QTV and Neutral Wireless Ltd deployed a 5G network tested by IBC’s Media Innovation Accelerator Program for Operation Unicorn
broadcast use cases as part of IBC’s Accelerator Media Innovation Programme, involving an international consortium of broadcasters and media technology vendors over the course of 2021-2022.
QTV is a Scottish outside broadcast specialist. The company deployed private 5G network technology to connect cameras used in the international broadcast coverage of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s ﬁnal departure from Scotland via Edinburgh Airport on September 13.
The network on 5G band of frequencies was designed and deployed by the University of Strathclyde. Speciﬁcally, by its spinout company, Neutral Wireless Ltd. This capacity was developed through a series of proof-of-concept trials in 2022 as part of IBC’s Accelerator Media Innovation Programme. The network has been trialled and proven viable for
Operation Unicorn — the codename of the plan for handling Her Late Majesty’s death should she pass away in Scotland— saw the Queen’s coﬃn transported from Edinburgh Airport to RAF Northolt by air. This plan created the necessity for a high-deﬁnition, wireless solution that avoided the use of cables across the airport runway, whilst mitigating interference and guaranteeing quality of service. The Neutral Wireless pop-up 5G SA network was deployed for QTV within 24 hours of the spectrum licence in the radio frequency band n77 (3.8GHz – 4.2GHz) being granted by Ofcom.
The outside broadcast at Edinburgh Airport was also supported by Open Broadcast Systems and Zixi, with the former providing encoders and decoders, and Zixi providing licences to use the software Deﬁned Video Platform, Zen Master Control Plane and protocol over 5G at short notice.
Professor Bob Stewart, from University of Strathclyde and head of the University’s Software Deﬁned Radio team, said: “The use of a dedicated 5G private network operating in shared spectrum licensed by Ofcom is believed to be a ﬁrst for live TV news. A spectrum licence was granted in the n77 frequency band at Edinburgh Airport and the network was rapidly deployed on the tarmac beside the runway to provide connectivity for a wireless camera position. The network operated live and with no technical issues for nine hours.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES 12
Red Bee Media, Nowtilus and Equativ develop a FAST channel for High View
Red Bee Media, Nowtilus and Equativ have launched a solution for Free AdSupported Streaming TV (FAST) oﬀering. The product combines technology and expertise from the three companies to create a B2B solution for implementing and managing FAST channels. High View, a Germany-and-Austriabased independent media company, is the debut customer, distributing its content on 2016 and later LG Smart TVs through LG Channels, which is LG’s own FAST platform.
“By utilizing the wellintegrated feature-set of Red Bee Media, Nowtilus and Equativ in distribution and monetization of FAST channels to a wide range of platforms and devices, we ensure that our valuable content is ﬂawlessly showcased on LG Channels,” said High View Managing Director Alexander Trauttmansdorﬀ
The recently launched six channels for Germany, Austria and Switzerland all have diﬀerent characteristics and serve a variety of viewer preferences such as a cooking channel, another for documentaries about foreign countries and cultures, a channel dedicated to show diﬀerent lives and daily routines of extraordinary humans around the world, a travel channel, hunting and ﬁshing programs in Germanspeaking countries, and another one for nature documentaries.
“Having localized content on our LG Channels platform
is crucial for success in regions like Germany, Austria and Switzerland, which have been spoiled with high-value content for decades. Therefore, High View’s Channel portfolio brings the perfect addition to our FAST Platform”, noted Chris Jo, Senior Vice President of Home Entertainment Platform business division at LG.
“As the pace of media convergence increases, content owners and aggregators need partners that can reliably deliver content to worldwide audiences,” said Steve Nylund, CEO, Red Bee Media.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES 14
Mediaproxy implements LogServer software for SMPTE 2110 in NEP Group’s Norwegian operation
Mediaproxy has expanded its relationship with NEP Group by supplying its LogServer software for SMPTE ST 2110 recording at its Norwegian operation.
NEP Norway ﬁrst began using Mediaproxy software in 2017, when it chose LogServer for its compliance recording on the SDI channels distributed from its playout center. This replaced a custom-built system and when the company needed a logging system for new ST 2110 services, the decision was taken to expand the installation, which was
facilitated thanks to easy software-based integration for uncompressed IP video sources.
Mediaproxy LogServer is a software-based IP logging and analysis system that supports SMPTE ST 2110, NMOS and SCTE ad-insertion. Delivering compliance monitoring and recording of program output to meet broadcast standards and regulations, it can integrate with cloud, virtual or on-premises workﬂows. The platform also supports video, audio and real-time data from sources including 4K, HDR,
10-bit, HEVC, TSoIP, SMPTE 2110, Zixi and SRT.
NEP Norway technical manager Rune Olsen sees the key beneﬁts of LogServer as being its ease of use and stability, plus excellent support from Mediaproxy. “The software has worked without a hitch from the get-go and Mediaproxy is very fast in responding to any questions we may have,” he says. “The interface is also very easy and eﬃcient to use. It just works and does the work it is supposed to do.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES 16
Ericsson and O2 Telefónica develop 5G networks with 10-kilometer coverage through microwave connectivity
Ericsson and O2 Telefónica have recently proved 5G wireless distribution network for rural and suburban coverage. This capacity has saw light before their latest joint project. This technology milestone has shown that the companies can deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps over a distance of more than 10 km and demonstrate ﬁber-like microwave connectivity. This demonstrates that microwave backhaul in traditional bands can support the continued build-out of highperformance 5G networks and enhanced mobile broadband services from urban to suburban and rural areas. This has been, actually, one of the biggest challenges associated to the 5G network spreading.
Traditionally, such areas have been diﬃcult to service, as high capacities require broad bandwidths
that usually only have been available in millimeter wave frequency bands (E-band). The E-band is more impacted by rain compared to the lower frequency bands, which makes it more diﬃcult to deliver consistent service over long distances during adverse weather conditions. The ability to deliver such high data rates over distances of more than 10 km brings great advantages in providing reliable, lowlatency broadband in hardto-reach areas.
“Together with our partner Ericsson, we are pioneering new powerful microwave solutions using Carrier Aggregation and MIMO technology to backhaul 5G traﬃc over long distances in rural areas, when ﬁber is not an option. This type of technology enables us to deliver ﬁber-like connectivity via microwave and further accelerate our 5G deployment,” aﬃrmed
Aysenur Senyer, Director of Transport Networks at O2 Telefónica.
The key innovation is the ability to use MIMO with high modulation in the 112MHz channels (commercial MIMO solutions support up to 56 MHz channels), which were combined with Carrier Aggregation to enable similar capacities to E-band in the lower frequency bands.
The backhaul link utilized the 18GHz frequency band, dual antennas in a MIMO conﬁguration, and commercial MINI-LINK radios together with a pre-commercial baseband algorithm that allowed the use of MIMO in 2x 112 MHz channels. MIMO ensures the eﬃcient use of limited spectrum resources. The same capacity without MIMO would demand a 448 MHz bandwidth in a crosspolar setup.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES 18
Why the cloud, as we know it today, cannot cover live events that require quality and reliability? We know that the cloud is the future of technology. We know that it is the present for management of computerized resources. We also know that broadcasters are using it, and also that will increasingly implement workflows in it. However, what is needed to produce and distribute content such as Olympic Games or a Champions League ﬁnal in the cloud?
Mario Reis is Director of Telecommunications and OTT at Olympic Broadcasting Services. His specialty is the transport of video signals, with special emphasis on distribution through technological channels such as satellite, the cloud or a blend of both through edge computing. We have had the opportunity to hear his opinions about the potential of the cloud for broadcasting top-notch sporting events.
CLOUD & LIVE report by Javier Tena
Interview with Mario Reis, Director of Telecommunications and OTT at OBS, by Daniel Gonzalez, Sales Director at Mediakind, during the Direct2Consumer Summit organized by MoMe, Microsoft, Mediakind and Overon. The event took place on June 7, 2022, in Madrid. What is the role of OBS in generating the content of the Olympics?
The main role of Olympic Broadcasting Services is to connect athletes with their fans. Our goal is to bring the excitement and passion of an athlete to your home. We do two events every two years: the Summer and Winter Olympics; and the Summer and
Winter Youth Olympics. We are in charge of the production of all these events for radio and television.
For the Tokyo Olympics we deployed more than a thousand cameras, over than four thousand microphones, and ﬁfty-two mobile units. We used all these resources to cover forty-ﬁve venues from which the content of
20 CLOUD & LIVE
forty-ﬁve diﬀerent sports was broadcast. It takes us ﬁve years to prepare the infrastructure for a 20-day Olympics. In Tokyo, for the ﬁrst time ever, we did UHD production and HD and UHD distribution.
On the other hand, we also help TVs bring Tokyo’s content to their countries. For this we set up telecommunication networks by means of ﬁber and satellites, and distribution services around what we call the International Broadcasting Center, our production headquarters during the
Games. In the past Tokyo Games, we assembled a ﬁber network with a capacity of 2.7 Tb per second, with three routes to each point of presence, for a total of seven; ﬁve satellites on leasing for us to which we distributed from six satellite feeds and also from our OTT platform we make distribution in global streaming.
What I mean by this is that it’s not just about producing the content, but also about providing OBS customers with solutions to get this content to anywhere in the world.
What is OVP?
The acronym stands for Olympic Video Player and is basically our OTT platform for the Olympic Games. It is a platform, which means that it has a series of functionalities that we can integrate or remove depending on each customer we serve. For example, the platform has a live player to which any customer, such as RTVE, can add their customization. You can change the interface, change colors, but receive all the VOD content, live to go, ceremonies, etc.
CLOUD & LIVE
However, I would like to emphasize that it is much more than this. It is a set of widgets, iframes and has an API layer to facilitate integration with backends from diﬀerent clients. Our team redesigned OVP for Tokyo, which is why I said it is much more than a mere platform; after the change of plans caused by the pandemic, we were able to launch our fully ﬁnished and functional platform in 2021. I think we did well, sorry for my lack of modesty; but we used many resources to articulate the logic of each sport, -42 in total-, in order to provide an interesting user experience.
It was complex to articulate all this data and reach a limit so that the information received by end users made sense. We developed this with the aim, obviously, of fostering engagement and oﬀering an experience to users beyond video. Data, for us, is critical to enriching this video content. One of the next developments will address that.
What is the audience of the Olympics, on the inauguration day, for example?
The audience of the opening week of the last Olympic Games in Tokyo
was between 4.5 and 5 billion users. The pressure is interesting. But we always plan well. Of course, there is a last minute for everything. In Beijing, for example, the director of the Opening Ceremony had decided two days before that he wanted a camera to show the Olympic rings that would be drawn in the sky by the ﬁreworks. As you can imagine, getting that camera out of the olympic stadium is not the easiest thing to do. It was important to show this content to the world and we succeeded thanks to 5G and slicing. What I
mean is that we must have solutions to these kinds of contingencies, because they always appear. However, although there is always room for improvisation, we have 95% prepared for the opening day.
We know that you have used the cloud in the last Games, what motivated you to do it?
OBS started using the cloud in 2016, at the Games held in Rio de Janeiro. Ever since, we have been increasing the number of workﬂows we place in this infrastructure. We have created a hybrid cloud, and therefore both private and public. Regarding the public side, we work with the four suppliers. The raison d ‘être of this architecture has to do with what I was saying at the beginning. Our mission is to bring the content to the fans, and we must ask ourselves: What is the best solution for each service? We have to ask ourselves: is the cloud the solution for all services? The answer is ‘no’. But, for example, to oﬀer broadcasting through streaming, we can’t even
conceive not having public and private clouds because
we need to be close to the end users.
To use the cloud, you must take into account some of its features depending on the service, such as latency, for example. For some services, the most important thing is availability and not so much latency. In service where the most important thing is the ability to react over time, that is, the time I need for a customer to be integrated in our network, we do use cloud architectures. A broadcaster possessing the rights has the ability to access the IBC four months before the Games begin. If we develop a cloud infrastructure to access these services, you can even integrate TV up to a year in advance. In this way, we gain some room for manoeuvre to just ﬁne-tune the ﬁnal settings once we are already settled in the city welcoming us.
Actually, we don’t have overly complex workﬂows in the cloud. What is brought to the cloud is the task of
managing the amount of content we generate. In this case, we have seen t hat the cloud is a fundamental platform to serve our customers.
Of your ecosystem, how much is in the cloud?
I think we should distinguish between live and archive. Obviously, the Olympic Games are important when live, as people want to see watch them as they are taking place; this therefore is our main focus.
So, regarding archive, currently 70% of our asset management systems are in the cloud. The whole archive is there, much of the post-editing is already done in the cloud. Also because of the pandemic we have accessed workﬂows and, in addition, it has oﬀered us the possibility of delaying the staging of the Games for another year. That was especially good for us because we were able to further develop our OTT; honestly if they had been held when they were supposed to, this service would not have been ready.
CLOUD & LIVE
Live broadcasting, as I have mentioned it’s a completely diﬀerent issue. I think it’s a challenge for all companies involved in cloud development to achieve a high-quality, high-ﬁdelity live stream in order to ensure that such an important event reaches the viewer. TV networks that pay millions of euros for broadcasting rights must have content guaranteed. At this stage, the cloud cannot guarantee this. In my opinion, there are several reasons.
The ﬁrst thing is that we have forty-ﬁve UHD feeds to ingest in the cloud and, really, there is no cloud that supports something like that. The cloud is not yet designed to have those workﬂows in 2110 UHD and as many in HD. This is just the ingest, because then
there is the problem of distribution. In addition, and on the other hand, the last mile live to the end client is still a problem. OBS, for example, set up a network in Beijing with a bandwidth of 80 Gb/s at the IBC. But 40% of the population does not have access to broadband Internet. In Europe and the United States we are a bit spoiled in this regard, and we may lose sight of reality. But OBS has links all over the world, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Central Europe, America, we have all the countries. And the Internet is not a
resource that is shered by everyone. In fact, there are very few TVs that can aﬀord to have 1 Gb/s speed. So, in the hypothetical case of the cloud broadcasting live content, we wouldn’t be able to reach every possible corner.
What the market tells us is that there is a gap to be bridged. How? In my opinion we should solve it with edge cloud.
Distribution of this amount of audiovisual content requires compression and decompression. To generate this much needed ecosystem, all agents that make up this market must develop high-availability live workﬂows for the edge, because if we are not
CLOUD & LIVE
located there, we will always have this problem.
The world of sport is starting to become an important hub for edge computing. We must do so to bridge that gap. In fact, some of our partners are already doing so. Last year we ran some tests with Azure, Microsoft’s cloud services, which were very interesting regarding integration of edge computing with satellites because, as I said, 40% of the world does not have access to broadband Internet. That is why satellite distribution is very important to us. We had 4,000 satellite reception points for the last Olympic
Games. Microsoft is integrating edge computing and satellite distribution with Orbital Ground Station. It is important that this development be encouraged with markets still to be exploited.
How do you think right holders can increase their revenue and audience in these last few years?
To increase audience, -which means both number of users and minutes consumed-, what you must do is look towards the platforms. You will ﬁnd your customers there. You have to give content on all platforms, you have
to adapt the content to each customer and each platform; but most importantly, we have to oﬀer tools to end users to enable them to ﬁnd the content they want to watch. This is a problem that we have in the Olympic Games but can be extrapolated to everything: the content exists; however, it is diﬃcult for end users to ﬁnd it. On which platform, how and where, when does it start, is it live, is it VOD? So how do we get this? With data. This is where we must focus our eﬀorts.
TBS’s Experience with Cloud Sports Production
With the aim of providing a clear-cut answer to the big question of this extensive report —Is the cloud ready to produce tier one sports events live?— we have approached the end users. To the list, in which we already ﬁnd OBS, we have added one of the groups dedicated to production with an unparalleled track record in Spain. Who better to shed light on this issue than one who is accustomed to juggling in order to deliver the best content in the best possible way?
Raúl Izquierdo is the director of TBS (Telefónica Broadcast Services). He is responsible for the deployment of technical equipment and human teams to cover sports of maximum audience such as football or basketball. His experience with the cloud ranges from the most common uses - such as storage and asset management or the distribution of content in digital environments - to experimentation in the production layer. What is the actual, hands-on experience and, more importantly, how should it evolve to be functional?
28 CLOUD & LIVE
What sports content does TBS specialize in?
We work for diﬀerent clients. Sometimes the ﬁnal product is directly for Movistar, other times it is for an organization. Speciﬁcally [at the time of this interview] we produce all the ACB (Spanish Professional Basketball) matches, the Euroleague and the Eurocup, as well as the World Padel Tour internationally and also the TURF horse racing circuit.
We also make customizations for Mediaset and DAZN, -all the Spanish National Cup matches-, for Real Madrid Televisión -for them we produce the RMTV channel together with Supersport, Mediaset Group’s producing company-; customizations also for Barça TV, in addition to content; and of course, the production of all Movistar sports programs.
Apart from all this, which is our usual work, there are also events like the Handball World Championship that we did last December, or the Davis Cup, which we have been doing for two years. We have also participated in several golf competitions or, recently, the match of the Spanish National Rugby Squad that was played in Oviedo. And I cannot forget that we have also made Formula One customizations on some occasions.
What technical means do you usually deploy?
Every sport is diﬀerent. And budget constraints also play their part. We produce both with mobile units and thirty cameras or just with three or four cameras. We also work with remote production. For example, in the ACB basketball league, between four and ﬁve games are produced remotely. We do this with a technology that provides us with minimal latency. We also do it remotely with paddle tennis, but we produce that with a completely diﬀerent technology.
To what extent do you use the cloud in these events?
We currently work in the cloud in some areas, but really and at the production level, we have used it only experimentally.
Storage, which is perhaps the most widespread use right now, as we use it on a daily basis and in diﬀerent projects.
There is also a distribution section where we use some cloud technology to make
certain contributions and distributions of content through SRT.
Concerning production, we have also been testing cloud systems, where iron stuﬀ is “eliminated” and virtualized in the cloud. In this area we have carried out diﬀerent tests: with edge computing to eliminate latencies and in FTTH environments, leaving edge aside. We have tested diﬀerent solutions, with diﬀerent manufacturers such as NewTek, Grass Valley or Amazon. All of these tests are very diﬀerent from each other.
With what sports have these tests been carried out and how has the experience been?
We tried to extrapolate the diﬀerent experiments to speciﬁc use cases such as customization or use at sports events. In these tests we wanted to check the latencies and identify the handicaps associated with cloud production.
From my point of view, a lot of progress has been made, but we have reached a dead end in the audio and data processing side of
things. We have tested with NDI systems, we have done them with coding in H264, etc. The truth is that the result in general has been quite good.
For example, the test we did with Grass Valley and Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was for a Real Madrid Champions League match, was carried out to evaluate diﬀerent production options and formulas. It had a remoteproduction portion that was done from Tres Cantos and the result was very stable. But of course, you also have to rely on the assurance provided by brands such as Grass Valley or Amazon. The handicap we saw was precisely the one I mentioned before: audio integration, intercom management and so on. I think this is the weak point of all these systems in general.
Why have you encountered these problems? Are the reasons related to what happens with integration of these kinds of devices and functionalities in IP environments?
CLOUD & LIVE
In the audio area in particular, computers are very used to operating in network environments. But of course, we are talking about work environments in which the required latencies have to be absolutely minimal. The moment you get in the cloud, you don’t control those latencies that much anymore. Making systems by using Dante, which has a range of up to ﬁve milliseconds in IP environments, is somehat more complicated in the cloud because normally the latencies tend to increase.
This doesn’t mean you can’t produce. You can do this, and in fact you may be embedding audio, but then you lose all that potential that you get when you’re working on site with a mobile unit, with a control or even remotely with certain systems, -as for example if you have point-to-point ﬁber-. This is the handicap. IDepending on the relevant kind of production is becomes a problem or not.
There is another handicap: data management. Control equipment for cameras, tallies, and
certain computers doesn’t integrate in the same extent, and apart from latencies, there are computers that need you to generate VPNs and IP communication systems in a less controlled environment. Then it also depends on how you are working. If you have your system in an FTTH environment that may not be as controlled, you will ﬁnd a challenge in network data management.
The work you did with Amazon and Grass Valley was a customization, wasn’t it?
We did a parallel program, about four hours in total, with the customizations that are usually done in this type of events. More cameras could have been brought in, -there were ﬁve in total with four diﬀerent positions-, and then we added the international pool signal to enrich the content. The ﬁnal result was
good, although it is true that you have to ﬁne-tune things, but program quality was quite good.
What systems were virtualized?
The audio and video mixer, the multi-screen, the matrix were virtualized, although
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we had to strengthen this by means of the local audio management, and we also made an intercom integration. It is true that a video or audio mixer in the cloud is not the same as in hardware. Each one has its own peculiarities. In the audio area, customization is more than enough, but it is true that in a physical audio mixer you have more capabilities and more functionality.
What image format did you work with in that customization?
We made it in HD. Resolution was 1080. Whether progressive
or intertwined I can’t recall, because we had certain problems with the integration of equipment and we had to modify the usual resolution with which we worked.
Would you like to comment on any extra details about the projects in which you take part?
We have also carried out tests with edge computing technology from Telefónica and within the production in the cloud. As we said before, one of the great challenges remains latency. I think that the
moment edge computing solution becomes more widespread, latency will decrease a lot. In addition, with 5G you can also reach these latency levels. We will be broadcasting practically without latency with backpacks and, simultaneously, in the cloud and in this way we would greatly lighten the production systems.
Is the cloud ready to produce an event the size of the Olympics?
Not yet. It is in a process of evolving and still needs a lot of maturity. First to settle in, gain robustness and oﬀer more integration. And then, gather experience in sports that prove less demanding than top-tier competitions, such as a Champions League match or the Olympic Games.
The customization I have mentioned above worked well, with its ﬂaws and so on, but the experience was a good one. But if I had to prepare a live stream of something important, I would not go through the trouble of planning it in the cloud.
But of course, this has an added problem: price. These types of systems require a huge investment to be budgeted, and in order to ensure this you have to have concurrency. For this to be implemented as a usual system, it ﬁrst has to go through smaller productions, with a decrease in price, of course. If this does not happen, the evolution of the cloud will be slower.
If you have a lot of recurrence, you might get the numbers right. However, to broadcast a Champions League game before you had to do a lot of things while testing the resilience of the system in the cloud.
In addition, there is also a part that will always be hardware. We’ll always need an interface we can control. Therefore, beyond investing in the cloud system, there is also a cost associated with these devices that will always be there.
Apart from uses for live production, what uses does TBS currently give to the cloud in rgard to sports?
For storage, it is being used in sports newsrooms. To have material down deep or hot. We’re working with AWS.
In the distribution side, we are working on a remoteproduction system with the NetInsight Nimbra system. We distribute in the cloud to certain customers who need to stream, either for virtualization or for an intake.
We often tend to hear that the cloud is an unstoppable banwagon and we all have to get on it. What are the advantages of jumping on this bandwagon?
I understand that in the future -because this is not the case at presentthe advantages should be primarily economic. Both in investment and in production and maintenance. Companies should have advantages in investing thanks to promises concerning scalability models.
In the production area, we must add the advantages that it brings thanks to
remote workﬂows, which provide facilities and lower expenses when it comes to mobilizing technical equipment and human teams.
Regarding maintenance of the equipment and related useful life when assessing investments, it must also oﬀer a strong argument for decision-making. All this is in theory, if it delivers on reality.
Regarding security, it is interesting to know what the internal security and cybersecurity protocols in cloud environments are and how end users feel about their utilization. What is your impression about this?
In my opinion, everything having to do with security goes against the day-to-day of the production layer. In the end, it will somehow have to be standardized, however. Whenever you access IP environments you should be more secure because there are more weaknesses involved. The easy thing would be not to have it and be in isolation, but the truth is that no
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system can be completely isolated.
As I was saying, with regard to responsiveness, directorial productions work at a very fast pace. You can’t aﬀord to leave a piece of content unbroadcast. True, uthentications are necessary for security reasons, but they are a handicap when it comes to operating. These measures, although necessary, go against agility.
With regards to integrating security into systems, if manufacturers oﬀer security as a complete solution, it may all become simpler. Let’s say that in that package of services that we discussed, security and cybersecurity are also embedded. If, on the other hand, you have to integrate equipment and systems as a closed service within IP environments in which, in addition, other services
are also developed, all this will be more diﬃcult. It is already hard to implement it in the computer systems into which broadcast has shifted when we have to take into account security in ports, ﬁrewalls, etc.
Depending on the volume of the system, what happens is that you actually have to work with diﬀerent layers. This is another issue to bear in mind now and for the future.
What is the future of cloud solutions?
In the production part, evolution will be associated to the ﬁnal use of these systems. And we are still at an embryonic phase in which we must facilitate their use.
First, the core that is virtualized must be given more robustness. Secondly, we must make the costs bearable. For someone committed to use these systems on a regular basis, on something other than a pilot, they must have assurances that it will work. Even if they do not have all the solutions, providers of these cloud services must ensure that they can be integrated with the missing ones. That possibility must exist for its use to prevail, and, in addition, it must encourage such integration to be developed in a hybrid way.
The natural way of evolving, moreover, must be gradual. You have to start with small events to progress to the media and, ﬁnally to the big ones. That is why the cost must be under control.
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As use increases, system guarantees will be gradually ﬁne-tuned. This is the way it should evolve. Meanwhile, in this process, integration of third-party solutions and systems within virtualized environments should be encouraged.
This is going to involve even more experimentation, right?
Of course, there can be situations in which within a much larger production and with more idiosyncrasies in the ﬁnal broadcastin these types of experiments are developed. I can think of Formula 1, for example. Imagine they have a streaming platform for the staunchest fans. There you can make a parallel production associated with the main one but much less demanding. There are many implications at the sporting level that we are not contemplating, such as rights, but you can make a production in the cloud that is still a production system in which you have
a series of signals that are being generated from the circuit which you mix in the cloud. You are already in a top-tier sport, and you are already developing the two production models. The growth being experienced in the cloud production model can be associated with broadcast production models. Such examples would provide good opportunities for the evolution of cloud production.
In the end it will tend to hybridization. I am constantly hearing that thanks to the cloud there will be no more mobile units. Yeah... I’d like to see that for myself. It will end up being another production model that will be better adapted to a speciﬁc type of customer and one that will be able to generate more production through diﬀerent models. It’s not like before, when we had linear channels and little else. Now there’s room for everything.
In this special issue on the ability of the cloud to produce live sports, we could not miss the views of one major provider of cloud services at present: Amazon Web Services (AWS). Through the answers given to us by big representatives of the end users that make up this sector, such as Mario Reis of Olympic Broadcasting Services, or Raúl Izquierdo of Telefonica Broadcasting Services, we have reached the conclusion that the cloud is not yet mature enough as to carry out the production of large live events. Thanks to a conversation we had with Manuel González Sevilla, systems architect - Broadcast at AWS; and David Sabine, s Broadcasting Senior Consultant at AWS; now we know that the purpose of developing these services is precisely this, among many others that are equally important.
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What cloud services does Amazon Web Services (AWS) oﬀer to the mass media and entertainment industry? AWS oﬀers more than 200 support services to its customers, specializing in the media and entertainment sector and including the full services of AWS Elemental Media Services and Amazon Nimble Studio. In addition, AWS releases eleven turnkey, ready-to-integrate solutions. These solutions help your customers build or improve their own workﬂows relating to mass media.
AWS has more than 400 industry partners, including technology manufacturers and consultants such as Adobe, Autodesk, Deluxe, Epic Games, Evertz, Grass Valley, Imagine Communications, Slalom, Sony Media Cloud Services, Trackit, Teradici, and Wizeline. Together with our partners, AWS helps transform the industry in ﬁve key areas: content production, media supply chain and archiving, broadcasting,
direct-to-consumer (D2C) and streaming, data and analytics.
Last but equally important, AWS brings ﬁfteen years of experience in supporting the transformation of clients such as Comcast, Discovery Inc., Disney, Formula 1, FOX, HBO Max, Hulu, Method Studios, MGM, NFL, Netﬂix, Nikkei, Peacock, Sky, TF1, Untold Studios, ViacomCBS and Weta Digital.
The view of broadcasters is that the cloud oﬀers great advantages in cataloging and storing media. What are the beneﬁts provided by these services according to AWS and what are their features?
Millions of customers use AWS services to transform their businesses, increase agility, reduce costs and accelerate innovation. In the media and entertainment industry, services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) are used on a daily basis to support our customers’ workﬂows. It includes archiving and content recovery, with eight
diﬀerent storage levels, based on data utilization. For example, S3 Standard is suitable for content that is used daily, while S3 Glacier Deep Archive is more suitable for content that is rarely used.
In cataloging workﬂows, we leverage intelligent media solutions built on AWS’s analytical and machine learning capabilities. For example, services such as Amazon Rekognition can be used to automate the analysis of images and videos, in addition to being combined simultaneously with machine learning. On the other hand, services such as Amazon Transcribe or Amazon SageMaker can also be used for these automatic content recognition needs. An example of use case is the frequency with which our customers use AWS AI/ML services to create cataloging workﬂows.
In addition to the aforementioned services, the sports content production chain also includes other stages, such as editing.
This task is particularly suitable for a permanent handover to the cloud. What options does AWS oﬀer at this stage and why does this result in an improved process?
Editing was, in fact, one of the workloads that saw early adoption by AWS customers. A full range of storage services suitable for editing has been developed at home: from Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for high-performance block storage, to shared ﬁle storage such as Amazon Elastic File System or Amazon FSx. These storage services provide all the performance and ﬂexibility our customers need for editing workﬂows. The range of computing and graphics processing options available from AWS, including the latest NVIDIA GPU-based instances of Amazon G4 and G5, admit eﬀects and rendering workloads of all scales.
The best way to illustrate how AWS improves the editing process is to use an example: NETFLIX is equipping its artists with remote workstations and
achieving millisecondlatency when using AWS Local Zones.
With regards to the distribution of sports content, in a world that is getting closer to the Internet and IPTV/OTT models, what role does AWS play?
AWS has a global presence worldwide, with 27 regions composed of 87 availability zones in operation and over 410 points of presence with Edge Locations and Regional Edge Caches. By deploying applications and workloads in the cloud, our customers have the ﬂexibility to select the technology infrastructure that is closest to their primary users. And speciﬁcally for OTT workﬂows, AWS is the world’s leading D2C and streaming services platform with more purpose-built capabilities than any other cloud. Amazon CloudFront, AWS’s Content Delivery Network (CDN), has been streamlined for the workloads associated with the broadcast industry.
Our project with Peacock, a US-based streaming service that belongs to the Comcast Group, is a good example that illustrates how to deploy an OTT platform on AWS.
We must distinguish between two modes of content production: live and delayed. Speciﬁcally, sports take place live. So, in this interview we will focus on live production. In your opinion, is the cloud ready for live production?
Our customers have been successfully using live remote production solutions for many years. The proposal from AWS for remote live production extends these proven workﬂows by providing the beneﬁts of virtualized production teams running on Amazon’s virtual private cloud (VPC). Our customers are leveraging these virtualized live production solutions to replicate and expand their existing workﬂows that are at present deployed on AWS. Virtualized live production solutions have
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been developed by AWS’s partners, including the most important and trusted names in broadcasting. Our partners have optimized their solutions by leveraging the services oﬀered by aWS and deploying cloud-native solutions. In response to customer demand, AWS hosts frequent live remote production events. That’s why we can conﬁdently say that the answer is ‘yes’: AWS is ready for live remote production workﬂows.
We have spoken with a number of broadcasters, and they all agree that cloud services related to storage and publishing meet their expectations. However, services concerning early stages (production, contribution, and distribution) are more challenging. How does AWS address these challenges for its customers?
We talk every day with our customers about their needs around contribution and production workloads, supporting them with proof of concept (PoC) to test the viability of these workloads. AWS does this in collaboration with our outreach partners and independent software vendors (ISVs).
One of the recurring themes in these debates is latency. In a recent
proof of concept, we have obtained latencies of a few frames in a fully redundant contribution path (2022-7), supported by the JPEG XS codec. The test used an AWS Direct Connect service that was provided by one of our partners.
We encourage TV networks to reach out to their AWS representatives and start conversations about their key metrics for remote live production; we have a large number of media solution architects and other experts within AWS organizations, including a dedicated media and entertainment professional services team.
Broadcasting a Champions League
Final or the Olympic Games requires a certain infrastructure. In addition, dedicated networks (either SDI or ﬁber) are needed to move huge volumes of data. Finally, the infrastructure must be secure and 100% reliable. How should the cloud evolve to meet these needs?
AWS infrastructure is built on security and resilience. It currently supports millions of active customers around the world. As data volumes needed to make a production increase, AWS
continues to work with our partners in order to ensure that customers have optimal contribution and distribution solutions. AWS regularly publishes content that is relevant to this sector on the AWS Media Blog. As an example, a quick blog search for the term JPEG XS will return articles describing the work done by AWS to demonstrate how the use of JPEG XS provides low-latency, lossless contribution.
For the processing of multimedia workloads within AWS, let’s use the example of uncompressed video over IP. AWS Cloud Digital Interface (AWS CDI)
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is a network technology that allows customers to transfer high-quality uncompressed video within the AWS cloud, with high reliability and a network latency of as little as 8 milliseconds. AWS CDI allows you to create similar workloads on AWS cloud computing services and instances by providing a reliable, high-performance, and interoperable way to transport uncompressed video.
Our interviewees have said that, for this evolution to occur, there must be experimentation and collaboration
between industries and companies. What R&D programs does AWS take part in for the media and entertainment industry?
AWS is present in many industry forums and associations such as SMPTE, VSF or IABM and actively promotes industry standards through channels such as the AWS Media Blog.
AWS actively supports interoperability events; as for example with the AWS CDI interoperability workshop; the second in the series, which promotes the highest quality live production with the
participation of thirteen technology providers.
Another irrefutable fact is that there are diﬀerent sports categories depending on the audience that the sport brings. Important broadcasters in the European scene have assured that the ideal would be to test and evolve this technology in ‘less important’ sports. Is AWS developing or planning to develop this possibility?
On-site, our customers choose the technology providers that best suit their production
requirements. Similarly, our customers deploy their production environments in AWS diﬀerently, depending on the type of event. An event that requires a single vendor may need less integration, deployment, and conﬁguration time than an event with multiple vendors. Events with fewer cameras, fewer replays and graphics are easier to implement in AWS, as in traditional productions.
Sports federations, production companies and broadcasters, large and small, have reached out to AWS to help them implement cloud-based live production. The range of productions in which AWS is asked to help ranges from small events of 4 to 8 cameras, to large coverage using more than 16 cameras, with multiple replay operators, data transmission charts, complex audio mixes, intercom and counting. At AWS, we are working with our in-house media and entertainment teams and partners to ensure we remain ready to help customers deploy all levels
of live production.
The strategy adopted by AWS is to continue working with the diﬀerent technology providers and consulting partners to have the largest portfolio of solutions available in order to meet the needs of customers, regardless of the type of event they want to produce.
From a cost point of view, when is it more eﬃcient to rely on the cloud and when is it necessary to rely on physical technology? Which option will prevail in the future?
As of April 7, 2022, AWS has lowered its prices 115 times since its launch in 2006. The term cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing resources at a pay-per-use price. Our customers only pay for what they use and can scale up or down as needed. Performance can be optimized, as needed, and automation can be applied to processes. At the same time, monitoring and observability of metrics across all infrastructures can be ensured. By using
AWS managed services, customers reduce the time spent in managing infrastructure and can focus on the results of their business, thus enabling rapid innovation.
And it’s not just about cost, many of our customers are looking to reduce their carbon footprint when they produce TV, and live production is a workﬂow where this can be easily achieved by migrating to the cloud. Fewer items of equipment and staﬀ at the venue, infrastructure that works more eﬃciently in the AWS cloud rather than on-premises, and only the exact infrastructure needed is deployed, depending on the scale of the event; all that helps to be more eﬃcient in environmental terms.
What are the needs concerning cloud security?
AWS is designed to be the most ﬂexible and secure cloud computing environment available today. Our core infrastructure is built to meet the security
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requirements of the military, global banks, and other highly sensitive organizations. This is supported by a deep suite of cloud security tools, with 230 security, compliance and governance services and features. AWS supports 90 security standards and compliance certiﬁcations, and the 117 AWS services that store customer data oﬀer the ability to encrypt that data.
Security is a shared responsibility between AWS and our customers. The shared responsibility model describes it as cloud security and security in the cloud: where AWS is responsible for cloud security and the customer is responsible for security in the cloud.
Take the example of an AWS-speci
c service such as AWS MediaConnect: this
service supports enhanced security in many diﬀerent ways, including, protection through in-transit encryption, integration with identity and access management (IAM) for administration purposes. It also hosts integration with Amazon CloudWatch for observability and AWS CloudTrail to record actions and other aspects described in the service documentation.
46 QATAR 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Showing every goal to
world Khalifa International Stadium
A World Cup is, probably, one of the most important events in today’s society. It mobilizes millions of fans and billions of euros in investments and proﬁts. Ensuring that every play is seen in high quality in every corner of the planet is no easy task. Nor, in fact, is organizing a World Cup in a place where it reaches 50 degrees Celsius. Our editors had a chat with Ed Tischler and his team at Gravity Media, who are responsible for organizing the broadcast infrastructure and setting up the Qatari stadiums, to ensure that every fan, no matter how far away they are from Qatar, can see their team win and feel the excitement of a World Cup. Here are all the details of Gravity Media’s work leading up to the World Cup in Qatar.
47 GRAVITY MEDIA
What work will Gravity Media do for the World Cup in Qatar?
The Gravity Media team from across the UK and Qatar will be supporting both the LOC and unilateral broadcasters with a variety of broadcast equipment and crewing services across multiple locations in Doha, Qatar.
What are the challenges of covering a World Cup?
The World Cup tournament has a very compressed scheduled at the start of the event during the Group Stages which extends the working day and production plans for all. This reduces the rigging period available to our Gravity Media team in each stadium.
There are very speciﬁc challenges to working in this region and that is one of the reasons our clients have come to us. Our Qatar Business has been established for over 15 years which means we are best placed to anticipate any challenges of meeting local permits and regulations.
Our years of experience at major football events means we have a comprehensive understanding of how best these workﬂows integrate together and allows us to leverage our technical expertise to drive the best value for our clients.
We have read that you have worked on the development of diﬀerent stadiums in Doha, what did you develop them for?
The Gravity Media team has been busy equipping the host stadia with permanent broadcast and communications infrastructure ﬁt for such a large-scale high-proﬁle event and for many years to come.
Gravity Media was commissioned to support the redevelopment of the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, as well as Al Bayt Stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium and Al-Thumama Stadium. We designed, installed, and commissioned the permanent broadcast infrastructure systems to enable all camera wall-box positions.
Ed Tischler, Managing Director at Gravity Media
Our experience in sports broadcast and stadium integration meant we were able to pin point the best angels for the best coverage in each venue.
In the development of this infrastructure, what challenges have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
Qatar’s climate is extreme, with temperatures rising to above 50 Degrees Celsius during summer months. This means the design had to meet the demanding needs of our client and our choice of installation material had to be thoroughly researched.
What technological innovations have you
introduced in the stadiums?
Engaging fans inside the stadium is a key part of creating the anticipating excitement around match days where Gravity Media was at the heart of the action, installing the Infotainment Systems in all the World Cup stadiums based in Qatar.
Whether that is following the announcers and entertainers or providing the replays and clip playouts to the big screens, we innovated the system and made the fan experience much better.
In addition, Gravity Media has taken delivery of a
newly commissioned DSNG mobile unit, Suhail.
Suhail can take up to eight ﬁxed cameras including a combination of line and RF channels. It comfortably seats a crew of seven where it was successfully deployed for the World Cup Draw in April supporting a highproﬁle rights holder.
In terms of signal production, what infrastructure did you deploy to cover the championship? Which manufacturers did you rely on?
Gravity Media worked closely with Belden, Draka, Simply Live, and Riedel to install the broadcast cable
infrastructure in half the World Cup stadiums, and the infotainment system in all of the World Cup stadiums.
How are you going to transmit broadcast signals in the stadium? Are you going to use IP structures, or are
you going to rely on remote production resources? What are the particularities of this ecosystem?
Continuous coverage of this World Cup is obviously paramount to our clients and every attention to detail
has been given to mean not a moment of action goes a miss. A mixture of IP, Satellite, and Mobile Date will be in use to achieve maximum resilience. This enables all of our outgoing circuits to have the very best in redundancy and disaster recovery.
The Rugby League World Cup is held every four years and its organization and infrastructure is created ad hoc for each occasion. On this special occasion, delayed by the effects of the pandemic, the organization has directly taken over the direction of the decisions for the broadcasting of the content. Its strategy is based on the integration of categories and a digital approach that, beyond relying on broadcasters such as BBC or FOX, has focused on the creation of digital broadcast channels for social networks and its own streaming service.
In this reading you will also be able to understand another of the main lines of action of this organization is the integration of categories. According to Russell Scott, Broadcast Lead of the RLWC21, “women, men and wheelchair athletes will receive the same coverage during the competition”. The organization will rely on the production services of BCC and Whisper to cover the 61 matches that make up the competition in the 21 venues where it will be held.
53 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
3Which event is the Rugby League World Cup?
The Rugby League World Cup happens from the 15th of October through to the 19th of November this year. We are running three tournaments at the same time. We have the Men’s World Cup, the Women’s World Cup, and a Wheelchair World Cup. It’s Men’s Rugby League, Women’s Rugby League, and Wheelchair Rugby League. I think it is the most inclusive event I’ve ever worked on.
We start with the men’s tournament, and then the women’s and wheelchair start and all three run simultaneously. We end up with three World Cup ﬁnals in Manchester within 24 hours of each other on November 18 and 19. Never before have three World Cups been held in the same place at the same time.
To talk about broadcast, the last two cycles of the World Cup, 2013 and 2017, the International Federation licensed the
World Cup to IMG. This company is a fantastic organization, a great commercial production, right sales distribution, etc.
I don’t think there are many things they don’t do. We have taken the decision to do things slightly diﬀerently this time round. We have now transferred that responsibility to the organizing committee for 2021.
And you are in charge this time, right?
Yes. We are now responsible for production, distribution and rights sales. I think a lot of the logic behind that is to be able to take some control, and as a sport, deliver value in the longer term. There are two clear examples of this. One is that our coverage of men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League requires an investment to grow awareness of Women’s and Wheelchair’s Rugby League.
They’re both really strong sports, and they’ve both got strong participation. Nevertheless, still do not charge a large amount of
fees. It is up to us to invest and make sure that we show those sports in a way that increases the audience.
How are you doing this?
Much of this is due to our coverage. For example, there will be no diﬀerence in the coverage of the last three categories. The men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions will receive the same treatment in our television production. However, to be perfectly honest, we must accept that not all championship matches will have the same coverage. Obviously, there are more cameras at the ﬁnal than there are at some of the earlier rounds.
If you accept that, everything else we are doing is designed to create equality in all three events.
As a tournament, for the ﬁrst time, we are paying participation fees to all athletes. It is not a technical aspect of broadcasting, but it starts with a level playing ﬁeld. The objective is to start with professionalization of
the sport and to give the athletes the opportunity to perform at the very highest level. This is a big diﬀerence from what happened in the last cycle. On the previous occasion when the wheelchair championship was held, the athletes had to pay for their own accommodation and transportation. This time, the tournament is taking care of all expenses.
As I was saying, all the three diﬀerent competitions will be as close to the same as possible. They all will have same graphics, same titles, same talent presenting, etc.
Just to go into details, as part of the same storytelling of the match, we’ve put cameras in the locker room, so that all of us in the audience have that real excitement in the last ﬁve minutes before the team has taken the ﬁeld. Also, we will ﬁnd out what happens at halftime, when they come in for their team talks and prepare for the second half. We’ll do that in men’s, women’s and wheelchair. It is the same coverage plan, the same narrative and the same broadcast for the audience in all three categories.
We are working with Stats Perform, formerly known as Opta. Stats Perform will do all our live athlete data tracking, data capture, and editorialization of that data. We have the same speciﬁcation for that on men’s, women’s and, for the ﬁrst time ever, on wheelchair category.
When the opening match of the wheelchair category between Spain and Ireland arrives, we’ll deliver athlete performance data out of
What tools will you use to help you tell the story?
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
that match for the ﬁrst time ever. That doesn’t tell the story of disability, but tells the story of athleticism. The viewer can see exactly the same markers that they see for the main game. So, for example, tackles completed and distance traveled and all those stats, will be available for wheelchair as well.
My aspiration is that when we get to the third and fourth week of the tournament, when we have a lot of games, we will be able to do a good job. At the end of a few days, we will have had multiple men’s, women’s
and wheelchair games, and we will be able to give a summary of the best performance that is completely neutral for the individual tournaments. Whether that person has participated in a wheelchair, or is female or male, it doesn’t matter. Our top ﬁve performances of the day will be a mix of all the tournaments. I think it’s a very powerful way to tell not only the story of inclusion, but also the story of athletics.
When I talk about taking back control of the broadcast, it means that we can make some pretty challenging decisions for the good of the sport, and we deal with the consequences of those decisions. One of those decisions is that throughout the tournament we have 61 diﬀerent matches. We play them in 21 diﬀerent venues. That’s a lot in ﬁve and a half weeks. From a broadcast perspective, it would be lovely to set up in one place and have everyone come to us.
What is the biggest technical challenge of the event?
We’re not playing a weekend tournament. We’ve got matches the whole week. We are going to get a really dynamic pace to the tournament, where people will be able to watch the games committed to the tournament on a daily basis, rather than with breaks in play.
The combination of that intensity of schedule and 21 venues creates a big logistical challenge for us. We need to be in the venue, roll and exit to the next location quickly. We start in St. James’s Park in Newcastle and ﬁnish in Old
Traﬀord in Manchester. Both are premier league grounds. In between those two, we visit a lot of diﬀerent places. Some of them are more traditional super league venues. Some of them are indoor venues for the wheelchair. Therefore, a wide range of diﬀerent installations are involved. Our wheelchair ﬁnal is at Manchester Central. Manchester Central is an iconic venue in the center of Manchester.
Water sports competitions are regularly held there. Therefore, we will be staging a rugby ﬁnal at a venue that is empty.
What infrastructure have you deployed in these venues you mentioned?
Rugby League World Cup takes direct responsibility based broadcast, but we have contracted BBC for 16 of all matches. That’s part of a distribution agreement in the British domestic market. BBC will deliver coverage for our opening match for our Old Traﬀord ﬁnals, and a number of the bigger games mostly with home nations competing across the tournament. Their production is a more traditional on-site outside
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
broadcast. There are some areas of innovation around the use of data, but it really corresponds to what we would all recognize as outside broadcast.
For the other 45 matches, we’ve engaged Whisper to act as host broadcaster. Whisper, who covers many of the women’s and wheelchair games, brings a wealth of experience from the Paralympic Games, where he has actually worked. In addition, Whisper is responsible for this summer’s Women’s European Championship. As mentioned, we
look for equality in our coverage, and they have an understanding of women’s sports and disability storytelling. It really allows them to elevate the quality of the content.
Whispers 45 matches will be a remote production, not an onsite. It’s a model that although I think is relatively new, well proven though. We are using a production hub in Ealing (London neighbourhood) for those Whisper matches. From a technical point of view, I don’t think there is anything that is particularly
diﬃcult. The only small diﬀerence we will have between Whisper and BBC coverage is that, in this
case we are talking about, we have a video refereeing protocol on remote from
the Ealing hub, while for BBC matches the video referee will be on site with the outside broadcast infrastructure.
To summarize it, Whisper will be responsible for all of the wheelchair matches, but the men’s and women’s are split between BBC and Whisper.
What other solutions will you apply to improve the storytelling?
As part of the work to be performed by Whisper, they will produce match clipping service and highlights output. A series of highlights of varying lengths will be broadcast within 45 minutes of the end of the match. Access and distribution will be made on Tellyo. From our perspective, we have had to make a big investment to provide that service. It was necessary though, because there is an enormous demand for content creators across multiple platforms.
We have invested in the production of the match assets in order to produce it in one single occasion. The organizations of the participating federations know that they can count on all this material only 45 minutes after the match their teams have played. With this investment, these federations and the right holders, too, can concentrate all their rights on storytelling and not so much on producing the
media to tell the story they want to tell. The centralized delivery of this material streamlines the process of obtaining content.
What other distribution windows are you considering for this edition of the Rugby League World Cup championship?
We are working with broadcasters in core markets. A key part of that is access to the widest audience possible. There is also, obviously, ﬁnancial imperatives there by taking responsibility for production that we must cover. The core markets are the domestic market in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. We’ve got exceptionally strong broadcast relationships in this countries.
In the British market we are working with BBC as the rights holder. In Australia, we’re in partnership with Fox, and in New Zealand, we’re in partnership with Spark Sport. In all three of those markets all organizations will distribute all 61 matches live. There’s
no prioritization of diﬀerent tournaments or diﬀerent matches. If you are in those territories, you can see every single game and every minute of those games live.
Are they going to broadcast them in a linear way?
Yes. On BBC there’s a split between network channels, BBC 1, BBC 2 and the digital platform iPlayer. In Australia, there’s a split between Fox Sport and Kayo, their streaming platform. And in the case of New Zealand, Spark Sport is a streaming platform itself, so everything goes across there.
On the other hand, we have a signiﬁcant number of broadcast partners in other territories, but at a slightly lower audience level for Rugby League.
Then on top of that, we have our own direct-toconsumer proposition. We took the decision to work with the RFL, Rugby Football League in the UK. They have a platform built by InCrowd with streaming delivered by StreamAMG. We deliver the tournament app with them.
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
This app has all of our content, and all of our information about the tournament. The RFL app is called Our League. In eﬀect, we’re taking that over for the period of the tournament. That gives us a number of really very speciﬁc beneﬁts.
The ﬁrst is that it’s a proven platform. We know it scales, we know it’s got good resilience, and we know the payment platform is stable and reliable. It also means we inherit an existing audience of Rugby League fans from the
RFL, so we don’t start the tournament with no users.
We start the tournament with a signiﬁcant existing audience. When the tournament is over, the application will revert back to the RFL application. Any new audience we get will be inherited by the RFL. We are using that app and that platform to stream all our matches live to every territory where we don’t have an exclusive broadcast agreement. And we are using a pay-per-view model.
We have created this model to go further. In
countries like Australia, New Zealand or the UK
there is already a strong fan base. In other countries, there is a fan base that, although it generates enough interest because there are teams competing in our championship, it is not enough to get broadcasters involved in broadcasting this content. There’s a couple of areas where we’re talking to broadcasters about how we might work together to give more exposure to the tournament in competing nation territories.
What are your future plans?
Future plans are a very interesting question for an organizing committee of a pop-up event. We ﬁnish, we lift the ﬁnal on the 19th of November, and Rugby League World Cup 2021 fairly quickly ceases to exist. A big part of our future plan is to hand the tournament on to France 2025 —France is the host nation for the World Cup in 2025. I think all the work we’re doing is with the intention of handing on in really good shape, a larger audience, a better set of content assets.
All of that content that sits on Tellyo will drop into the archive and be available to them and to IRL, International Rugby League, after the tournament is ﬁnished. The same will happen with all of data collection.
What has been the greatest innovation you would highlight in this contest?
I think the key point here is about wheelchair. It is all about collecting wheelchair performance data to allow us to tell the story
of athleticism in the game and tell the story of Rugby League. One of the England team participants describes it much better than I can, he says, “Wheelchair Rugby League is Rugby League with wheelchairs added.” It is completely recognizable as the sport of Rugby League but played indoors and in wheelchairs. By collecting performance data in the same way we do for men’s and women’s, it allows us to be respectful of that principle and tell the story in the same language.
RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP
Democratization and virtualization of solutions
And at last, we met again in Amsterdam. Specifically, 37,000 visitors met face-toface for the first time in three years with around 1,000 firms exhibiting their product and solution catalogues. All these attendees -the figures have not in fact reached those before the pandemic- include professionals from different hierarchies, members of the press, speakers, end users, distributors and delegations of the companies that attended as exhibitors.
Although attendance was significant and most of the major players in this industry were present, the truth is that the year or reunion did not manage to bring together all those we used to meet at the European broadcast market fair par excellence.
Once again, the RAI fairgrounds in Amsterdam were the setting for this long-awaited event. Its disorderly exibition halls and countless intricate corridors have served as a home for all of us who were eager to discover the latest news and learn about all the trends that deﬁne our sector.
From a visitor’s perspective, it could be said that the most representative stands were from two companies. Grass Valley and Sony took up two small exhibition halls, although not everything that was available -since the RAI and the organizers of the IBC show arranged cafes and spaces not allowed for transit in the areas that had not been occupied. This patchy scne could be seen throughout the length and width of the exhibition. However, the business presence, although more discreet, was as expected. The companies made the most of virtually all the space available to oﬀer an exhibition catalogue that, in general, shone with screens displaying their softwarebased solutions.
This, of course, is a big trend very present in our sector. No more tools, solutions welcomed. The pandemic, we have already said it in this isse, has been a booster for technological progress. The reason for this statement is based
not only on the fact that the big international broadcasters went head ﬁrst into a swimming pool full of technology “that did not meet the standards of quality and trust” that are usual in broadcasting. But also because they helped ‘less professional’ content -that is, with a decresead technical performance- so usual in digital worlds, to be introduced into traditional broadcasting.
All the major manufacturers have realised this, and many of them have devoted their resources to developing and innovating in the ﬁeld of Software as a Service. Their reasons are clear. SaaS provides ﬂexibility and eﬃciency. But are end users determined to do without their own equipment? Will a cloudbased model be introduced in the industry, or will hybrid environments be chosen that oﬀer less agility than those in the cloud, but that make good use of already established infrastructures? We will discover all this in the near future. However, what seems clear is that
the market is moving in that direction, towards virtualization and, in order to compete, all the players will have to ride that wave if they do not want to run the risk of ending up stranded.
In addition to these trends that are so visible in our industry, TM Broadcast’s editorial team has identiﬁed a number of trends that already shape the present of our industry. We have conducted a series of interviews so the manufacturers comprising our industry can identify the channels that the sector is following.
“We’re making a lot of NDI products.” This was one of the ﬁrst comments we received in Amsterdam. It’s an excerpt from a conversation we had with distributors of the Magewell brand in Europe, MVDE. The truth is that the NDI diaspora in today’s broadcast world is very remarkable. But it is also worth noting that there is an important distance between NDI integration in professional broadcast productions and in simpler architectures, those that
did not require broadcast standards. Although, as we have already mentioned, the borders are becoming increasingly blurred. Although these parameters of quality and trust are clear among large television corporations, the digital competition and the acceleration that the pandemic has brought bout have introduced another way of making television in the newsrooms of the most relevant TV media.
For this reason, IBC visitors have been able to witness in the RAI the tremendous oﬀering of NDI encoders, gateways and other products related to the Vizrt Group’s protocol.
Through the previous paragraphs, you may have been able to glimpse another of the big trends in our industry. It could be deﬁned as a democratization of solutions. The content consumed by end users is produced through multiple distribution windows, and not everything is limited to television now. Smartphones, tablets, computers, online content,
delayed broadcast, participatory streaming, social media, etc. Digital has become the vehicle par excellence of the content we consume. Television is no longer king.
This increase in windows has led to an exponential growth in demand.
Therefore, by expanding the oﬀering, the traditional broadcast rules have been “neglected”, thus providing the ability to produce content to creators that are also good, but lacking the ‘basic’ technical means. The market knows this. They have realized, and all the big broadcasting companies are already oﬀering solutions in this category.
One of the most interesting moves we could see in this direction was the acquisition of the Argentinian company
Flowics by Vizrt. Why would a broadcast graphics production company acquire a semi-professional graphics company? To expand their oﬀering, nothing more and nothing less. Implementing a Vizrt graphics ecosystem is not a easy task, and to satisfy
this growing sector of ‘semi-professional’ content creators with a simple and eﬀective solution, Flowics is now part of its content oﬀering. This is a clear example of the bordercrashing trend among content creators.
Companies follow that path and, considering this collision of spheres that
used to be completely diﬀerent, manufacturers are already oﬀering solutions for all budgets, but solutions that meet professional production standards -i.e., 4K and High Dynamic Rangeor ﬂexible scalable solutions that adapt to the production standards of all content creators in
the world. Interoperability is sought, as highlighted by various members of the international Black Box teams regarding their solutions. For this, it is necessary that the technical architectures are ﬂexible and allow to operate in diﬀerent ways, thus gaining eﬃciency and much precious agility.
Whether hardware-based or virtualized in the cloud -which we’ll talk about in the near future- they all oﬀer capabilities to tackle the usual workﬂows with revamped performance.
The cloud has been the star of IBC 2022. SDI disappears, the IP is already ﬁrmly established, the cloud is the present and were are getting a glimpse of the possibilities oﬀered by 5G, if we squint among so many scalable and softwarebased solutions.
A few words on 5G, before moving on to the cloud. The editorial staﬀ of TM Broadcast had the privilege to witness a demonstration between manufacturers Rohde & Schawrz and Quantum about the new capabilities they had developed for 5G receivers in smartphones with the technology implemented. This, of course, is a step forward. Because one of the great handicaps for implementation of these networks was precisely the
development of technology for the reception of 5G Broadcast content. We will see if 5G ends up getting established as a standard in transmission, because for now, its global expansion leaves a lot to be desired.
Returning to the expansion of cloud technology, all major brands at IBC 2022 oﬀered scalable, agile, and cloud-optimized solutions. The big question here is whether users of the technology are prepared to do without its infrastructure
and fully rely on virtualized cloud technology. It’s theoretically the same, only the cloud oﬀers better performance. However, the conﬁdence to produce large events has not yet been gained, despite the fact that technology is already capable of this with nearly imperceptible latency rates.
Solutions range from content creation to publishing. Therefore, the industry has already created what is necessary
to meet all possible needs. The representatives of Dalet presented in Europe their interpretation of what could really happen in the market. With the cloudbased Pyramid system alongside the Galaxy professional solution, they were proposing an ecosystem idea that would connect with on-premise architectures.
The cloud is undoubtedly the next big step for this industry. Virtually all
companies with powerful R&D departments have focused on ﬁnding out. The marketing departments of these companies have put a lot of eﬀort into highlighting at IBC that they are very much prepared to oﬀer cloud services and solutions.
Nearly all transformation projects coming to the manufacturers were cloudrelated. This is a statement that we heard from many of our interviewees at IBC.
For example, both Sony and Qvest had designed a booth where the main attraction was to showcase their capabilities as service providers on workﬂows for the Media & Entertainment industry.
The broadcast industry should be cloud-ready, because most end users consume content that is on cloud servers. There is no alternative, all organizations that oﬀer content to end users must have the cloud as an option, if not the main one, as one of their distribution windows. Despite this, many decision makers doubt whether to bring their content to the cloud. Will it be well protected? How much is this going to cost? Will I need a lot of time to implement it? These are the doubts that keep many from bringing workﬂows to the cloud, -we will clarify them them in our reports. So, the real question is: Are we ready to take our workﬂows to the cloud?
The last thing we would like to highlight is virtual production and its augmented
reality and extended reality derivatives. This technology, already fully established in professional broadcast environments, is increasingly evolving every year. The booths of some outstanding manufacturers such as Disguise, which focuses on the creation of software solutions, as well as other companies such as the Spain-based Brainstorm; the hardware solutions of companies such as ARRI, ROE Visual or Absen, which deployed all their capabilities in lighting and led solutions; carried out a demostration of the capabilities oﬀered by graphic insertion today. The
results are very close to reality. However, there is no need for large or expensive software infrastructures, as there are tools, even at present, that help creators to become completely familiar with what they are going to get on stage and on the screen in a simple way.
An international scenario to lay the foundations for the future
Supporting the growth and expansion of our industry in the directions we have highlighted in this text, the talks and conferences that were given at IBC were held
to lay the foundations and set the course of action on these trends. Above all innovative projects, but also concrete responses and palpable facts that provide real solutions to the needs that our sector is experiencing today -and will experience in the future. This is what we have seen at the show about the talks and conferences that were held.
At the conference “SMPTE: The art of the possible: Moving media workﬂows to the cloud”, this well-known organization teamed up with Grass Valley, OBS,
NEP Australia, Warner Bros. Discovery and CBS Sports Digital-Paramount to determine what steps will be taken by the industry to reach the cloud.
In another talk that also supports one of the trends we have discussed in this text, namely 5G as a broadcast content broadcasting band, Dolby, the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems and the BBC explored the possibilities that this technology will oﬀer -when it is actually deployed- to multimedia content broadcasters.
Regarding virtual production, very much in vogue both in the corridors and in the technical conferences that were held at IBC, this magazine would like to highlight the debate that was moderated and hosted by Unity Technologies and that included the participation of companies such as Disguise, Unity 3D and Ross Video, in addition to a renowned association such as the American Society of Cinematographers.
IBC 2022, interview with Ross Video
What were your expectations for this edition of IBC? Which of them were met and which were not? Did the event surprise you in any way?
Three years after a successful IBC2019, we were hoping for IBC2022 to the best IBC yet and it certainly delivered! (excluding the chaos at Schipol which it seems most of us were unable to avoid!)
After years of Teams calls and online shows, we were excited to meet our existing customers, new customers and our Business Partners to discuss their upcoming projects, share our latest developments across Hyperconverged technology and Cloud production tools and how we can help them
to achieve their Creative, Business and Technical objectives.
The biggest surprise to me was that attendance had dropped from around 56,000 attendees in 2019 to 37,000 this year. The show ﬂoor was very busy, the Ross stand was thriving and we certainly didn’t feel there were fewer attendees.
Why is this market event (IBC) so important to you?
IBC is incredibly important to Ross Video. We have a large, diverse customer base that travels from all over the world to attend this exhibition. Huge numbers from EMEA, but also we welcome a lot of customers and business partners from across
the globe…IBC is one of the best opportunities to meet so many of our colleagues in the industry face to face. IBC is one of the biggest Broadcast and Live Production trade shows in the world and a great opportunity for Ross Video to showcase our latest developments. The whole team at Ross Video was very proud to launch the next step in Hyperconverged technology – the Ultrix FR12 at IBC2022.
70 IBC 2022
Interview with James Ransome, Business Development Manager – Sports & Live Events EMEA
Based on what you have experienced, is the broadcast industry back to normal?
I believe the Broadcast industry has entered a “new normal.” Trade shows are certainly back and booming, but as a result of the pandemic, certain trends have accelerated.
Hyperconverged solutions, Virtualised software and
cloud production tools, leveraging both public and private cloud technology seem to be at the centre of most discussions.
What is the most common proﬁle among your visitors?
Ross Video’s solutions are an ideal ﬁt for a wide range of customer applications and we are
proud to work closely with a diverse customer base. IBC attracts visitors from diﬀerent verticals including Broadcast and Production, Sports (Broadcast, Stadia and venues) House of Worship, Education, Corporate, News and more! Anyone who is passionate around the use of technology in live video production to meet
71 ROSS VIDEO
Ultrix Route Range.
their core objectives with a higher eﬃciency and higher impact – these are the type of people who visit the Ross Video stand.
What industry trends have you identiﬁed among the requests from end users attending the show?
Our customers are heavily invested in minimising their impact on the environment. Broadcasters are looking to signiﬁcantly reduce the
transportation of people and equipment where possible. Customers are looking to cloud technologies for their live video productions, remote production tools and hyperconverged technology to maximise their investments whilst doing better for the planet.
What new products will Ross Video develop from the trade show experience?
Ross Video is incredibly receptive when it comes to listening to our customers. The Ross production Cloud and the Ultrix FR12 are prime examples of this. Obviously we have a lot of exciting developments to come and I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for anyone. What has been the reception of the new technology you have shown at IBC 2022?
The reception to our latest developments has been incredible! Firstly, the largest and latest addition to the Ultrix family – the FR12. Not just a 288x288 UHD router, the Ultrix is a complete video and audio routing platform – it could be the core of up to 85% of all video facility needs in the market. And the reaction has been amazing as expected - the hyperconverged architecture signiﬁcantly reduces the need to buy further hardware. The integrated switcher and router allows customers to choose the conﬁguration they need maximising their investments – the platform gives you all the software
licensed functionality people expect from the Ultrix platform including frame syncs, Multiviewers, Audio mixing, embedding and de-embedding and more!!!! Combined with the ongoing eﬀorts to minimise hardware where applicable, our customers and partners are really excited about Ross Production Cloud and the latest development –Graphite CPC. Based on our popular Graphite all-in one production vehicle, Graphite CPC is a fully cloud enabled video production toolset, deployed in AWS. With options for 8, 12 & 18 inputs, it includes our XPression 3d real time graphics engine, clips playback and an internal
RAVE Audio mixer. our customers have even greater ﬂexibility now –they are able to spin up the precise services they require. Essentially, on prem production power in the cloud! It also uses the same, customer inﬂuenced, familiar user interfaces that our customers already enjoy.
What does the future hold for our industry according to Ross Video?
The future looks very exciting. From a technology perspective, Ross Video anticipates the continued advancement of cloud technologies across the industry. Broadcasters want ﬂexibility in their productions and tools such as Graphite CPC are fuelling more and more of these cloud productions. Our customers continue to expect more from their hardware investments, they demand more functionality and a future proofed technology. This kind of feedback drives our development further on ﬂexible, hybrid platforms such as The Ultrix.
Ultrix FR12 Router.
Reduce, reuse and recycle making movies
Newyonder is a production company that has decided to show its productions to the world through an SVOD model. But they have not done it in the traditional way. Jon Cleave has told us, through an interview specifically for this editorial office, that technology is already prepared to offer this capability, as long as we, the producers of multimedia content; will be able to apply the mentality of reduce, reuse and recycle. Yes, also in making movies.
How can the industry make it more sustainable?
The most eﬀective way to make the industry more sustainable is through planning and measuring each production up-front, using the available toolkits and programs out there –e.g. Albert (by BAFTA)— for measuring each production from pre (planning) to post.
Becoming a certiﬁed B-Corp is also a huge beneﬁt, as it makes you consider your entire
business end-to-end through a triple bottom line approach — people planet proﬁt, where you ultimately use “business as a force for good”.
Having such measures in place really helps you stay on track of your goals.
Who among those involved in production has the responsibility to make it more sustainable?
Production companies have the opportunity
to reduce their impact and consider production methods/approaches upfront.
Are these technologies accessible to all those who want to use them?
We are referring to availability, cost, integration, etc.
Yes, there are many options to help plan and measure – Albert (BAFTA), B Corp certiﬁcation, compare your footprint to name a few.
What is Newyonder and how is it developed?
A global streaming service,
ﬁlm studios and Certiﬁed B Corp that helps restore our planet.
What is the objective of this production company?
To inspire, engage and inform through the power of story, because it’s through stories that people make sense of the world so the greater we understand it, the more likely we are to preserve it.
We place our audience at the heart of the experience and we invite our streamers to go beyond the story and subscribe for change.
Watch Newyonder Originals
in 4K UHD on compatible devices, almost anywhere in the world at any time, and help restore the planet from your own sofa - with a % of the revenue going towards regenerative impact projects.
For example – if you watch an ocean/coastal themed ﬁlm, we’ll give a % of the revenue generated to seagrass restoration.
How do you create your content and what measures have you taken to make your production more sustainable?
Creatively, we produce ﬁlms the same way all production companies do – yet it’s the attention to detail when it comes to how we produce it – we have ‘reduce reduce reduce’ and ‘reuse and recycle’ in mind when planning our productions. Certifying as a B Corp as part of our journey, we really learnt how to analyse our business in its entirety –and using Albert (BAFTA) as a toolkit to plan and reduce the impact of individual ﬁlms.
How did you develop your OTT? Is there a process that diﬀerentiates it from the common infrastructure needed to create an OTT and that is less damaging to the environment?
Newyonder Allies, who are mission-aligned suppliers
and distributors who employ positive social and environmental practises in their own business, play a critical role in our journey too.
So when distributing our ﬁlms, we’ve partnered with ally Red Bee to deliver our OTT VoD Streaming Services – who scored 5/5 (as of December 2021) in the DPP’s committed to sustainability programme. Redbee also uses a variety of content-delivery partners such as Microsoft Azure – who’s Data Centres were independently reviewed by Wired: Overall Greenness: B, Energy Eﬃciency: A, Transparency: A, Technological Innovation: A+.
What about digital consumption at home?
Digital entertainment can be a contributor to electricity consumption at home. Accurately measuring indirect impacts (Scope 3) in the streaming industry is still being developed. German Environment Agency has however, released a white paper on the GHG Emissions of ‘data centres and data transfers, and using energy consumption and data’ to which we can use as a guide. We also encourage subscribers to stream through sustainable energy sources at home.
For us – measuring, reducing and oﬀsetting our business operations is just the beginning. Our opportunity is to change perceptions through the power of story.
What is the content and what are the plans for growth?
We’ve produced and distributed a series of feature-length documentary ﬁlms about our natural world – from natural history to human stories. Yet we won’t stop there – all genres
are part of our future in storytelling.
What’s important to us is global storytelling – producing ﬁlms in languages from around the world, and subtitling them in some of the most spoken languages; from Chinese to French, Spanish
and English – so that our content is as accessible as possible. Global storytelling isn’t just about language, but also about culture –and capturing stories and experience from diverse cultures around the world.
The plan for growth is to produce more content, move to a SVoD model and increase our user base –because the greater our audience, the better oﬀ we leave our planet – and the more informed people are.
What does the industry need to do by bringing together suppliers, content creators and technology manufacturers to make it more sustainable?
The ability to measure each streamer’s footprint is key – we currently cannot do this with ease, so we have to use white papers to measure averages at present. Technically, it should be simple to do this, as everything is connected and measurable.