Helping you to run TV as you’d like it, by Provis
Dejero meets Live Stream Challenge of Doñana Triathlon
Doing It Right from The Start, by Ross Video
Past, present and future of
EXTREME IMAGE CAPTURE
Editor in chief Javier de Martín
Colour and speed
Editorial staff Daniel Esparza email@example.com
Key account manager Cristina Feduchi
Administration Laura de Diego
Creative Direction Mercedes González firstname.lastname@example.org
TM Broadcast International #54 February 2018
TM Broadcast International is a magazine published by Daró Media Group SL Centro Empresarial Tartessos Calle Pollensa 2, oficina 14 28290 Las Rozas (Madrid), Spain Phone +34 91 640 46 43 Published in Spain
Editorial We already have the suitcase ready to fly to ISE 2018. Everything seems to indicate that the fair will once again beat the participation records of the last edition and it will consolidate its meteoric rise of recent years. In fact, ISE has already surpassed IBC attendance figures. As it could not be otherwise, this issue includes an extensive analysis of the main news that we will see at the stands of the exhibitors. Many of these new technologies will be tested during the Olympic Winter Games, that they will mark a new milestone in live sports broadcasts. Eurosport will take the lead in innovation during its coverage of the event, after announcing that it will broadcast more than 50 hours in VR. So, we are in a context of transformation of television production, which affects several levels. For this reason, we have started a special series of reports on TM Broadcast to examine the current technological status and upcoming investments of the world's leading television companies, talking to their top managers. In this first delivery, we have approached Movistar+, the reference television in southern Europe. The next stop on this trip will be Italy. From there, we will tell you the achievements and technological future of the RAI through its CTO Stefano Ciccotti. Aware also of the hard conditions of cold that must support the technical equipment used in upcoming events such as the Winter Games, we present you this month a guide of requirements and tips to record in extreme situations. For this article, we have had the collaboration of one of the few directors of photography in the world capable of filming on all types of extrem situations. The rest of the exclusive contents awaits you when you turn the page.
TMBi - 4
NEP GROUP CREATES EQUINOX OB TRUCK FOR LIVE BROADCAST OF HORSE RACES When the broadcast rights for horse racing on British television recently switched channels, outside broadcasting specialist NEP Group seized the opportunity to create one of the UK’s most advanced OB trucks. Named Equinox, the truck is capable of meeting every requirement for the live broadcast of race meets, without additional support. At the heart of its technical infrastructure is the intercom expertise of OMNEO IP technology. Equinox has now entered service with a specification that’s both similar to its siblings but shaped specifically to meet the challenges of broadcasting British horse racing. “The broadcaster wanted to run the truck in a very specific way, so we built this truck to deliver everything they wanted to achieve,” reflects Paul Fournier, Head of Sound for NEP UK. “Rather than having to accommodate a separate voice track / recording replay truck, everything is done out of this single vehicle, and the use of IP simplifies how everything works.” TMBi - 6
Inside Equinox, an RTS ADAM modular matrix frame equipped with a 64 channel OMI OMNEO matrix interface card offers up to 272 ports, providing a Dante backbone for the OB truck’s comms workflow. In addition, the frame hosts five AIO-16 analog interface cards, a MADI-16 Plus interface card and two TBX-Tribus cards for connecting Equinox with other trucks in the NEP fleet. A total of ten 32-key KP5032 keypanels have been integrated into the vehicle, alongside a further 31 16key KP-4016 panels. Asked about his choice of OMNEO IP technology for the fleet and Equinox in particular, Fournier points to the many benefits of working
in an audio-over-IP environment. “OMNEO, which facilitates the use of Dante audio, has really taken off in the broadcast world over the last two years,” he reasons. “The choice of OMNEO means that we benefit from vastly reduced cabling – all a KP-5032 or KP-4016 keypanels needs is a Cat-5 Ethernet or a fiber connection. Even if we have a long-distance run over kilometers, we can fiber it. In fact many of the horse racing grounds serviced by Equinox are now being retrofitted with permanent fiber, so if you need to position a panel somewhere on site then it’s easy to do so.”
MUXLAB PARTNERS WITH MINDSTEC TO STRENGTHEN BUSINESS TIES WITH CHINA Together with Mindstec, a distributor of high-end AV systems in the Middle East, India, Asia and South Africa, MuxLab is now delivering innovations to an expanding network of system integrators and dealers throughout China. This move represents an exclusive right for Mindstec to represent MuxLab in the China and Hong Kong markets. “While other suppliers often provide a straight sale, Mindstec goes above and beyond by offering comprehensive technical expertise to match our product innovations,” said Daniel Assaraf, President of MuxLab. “This localized technical support has played a major role in implementing highly effective projects across the global regions that Mindstec supports. We’re certain that the benefits we've received are clearly translating to our customers, and are confident that the outstanding Mindstec team paired with our team’s support will create a strong partnership in these regions.”
Since its inception, MuxLab has dedicated vast resources to delivering connectivity solutions that harness leading technologies, particularly sending 4K over IP infrastructures. This strategy often translates into customer satisfaction though flexible solutions that can be up and downscaled in a customized fashion. IP infrastructures also free integrators and customers from investing in long-range cabling, thereby saving on installation costs. “As the bridge among manufacturers, system
integrators and dealers, Mindstec has been at the forefront of establishing and managing distribution networks of AV technology in different regions. Our network and local support shall help MuxLab penetrate their state-of-the-art solutions into the China and Hong Kong markets, which are full of business opportunities. We look forward to introducing MuxLab to our dealers, and showing them how the prevailing AV over IP technology can help them maximize signal transmission,” said Harry Lam, CEO of Mindstec Asia. TMB . 7
CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL DELIVERS A BROADCAST MEDIA PROGRAM WITH WIRECAST room, a separate student crew handles the technical execution of the show.
Using Telestream’s Wirecast live video streaming production software, the students produce a 15-minute daily newscast, which features news, sports and lifestyle segments. Called Unleashed, the program has now expanded into a fullfledged community television station, branded as WCTV19, which is watched on the school’s campus-wide TV channel, as well as on two local cable channels, and on the school’s social media outlets. “I want our students to develop classroom-to-career skills, and to get a feel for every aspect of broadcast news production in a very professional atmosphere. This program is designed to teach them broadcast journalism skills, and then apply those skills to actually TMBi - 8
producing all of the features and content that we need to make Unleashed a professional looking newscast,” explains Ben Barnholdt, Teacher/Director of the Broadcast Media Program at Whitney High School.
User-friendly program As an all-in-one live production and streaming system, Wirecast is now central to the school’s broadcast studio and remote production workflow and distribution. WCTV19 completes with a studio with a news set, HDTV studio cameras, a teleprompter, microphones, and a bluescreen background. During the production, a student crew runs the cameras and teleprompters in the studio. In the control
While Wirecast integrates the functionality of a video production switcher, Barnholdt has one student switching the four camera feeds using a third-party production switcher. Then that switcher’s output flows in real-time into Wirecast where the show’s finishing touches are added.
Social media WCTV19 streams to many online and social media destinations via ESE Networks, a CDN and Telestream partner. Using the hashtag #whsunleashed, any student in the school can post pictures and videos to social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, that the Unleashed team can aggregate. They capture onscreen graphics and video clips of interest from their social media sites at very high quality using ScreenFlow from Telestream. These assets are moved into Wirecast, which keys them into the bluescreen background on-set.
CLEAR-COM IS HONORED WITH NAMM MILESTONE AWARD FOR 50 YEARS OF BUSINESS Clear-Com of Alameda, California was honored at the 2018 NAMM Show with the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Milestone Award for 50 years of service in the music products industry. Presented annually by NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond, the Milestone Award recognizes music businesses that have flourished through changing business environments to reach a noteworthy anniversary. “Back in 1968, Bob Cohen and Charlie Button founded Clear-Com and created the very first production intercom - known as the RS-100 distributed amplifier analog
beltpack system - which was used for production communication by legendary San Francisco rock bands and artists such as Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and the Grateful Dead. While we have diversified over the past 50 years into myriad markets, Live Production represents our roots and remains a significant and special sector for our company,” said Bob Boster, President, ClearCom. “The dramatic development of live music production values in recent years, including cutting edge lighting, video, choreography, robotics, and other special effects is only possible with
sophisticated and reliable communications. Our company is honored to be part of this development and to be recognized by NAMM with this prestigious award.” The Milestone Awards are presented annually to industry leaders celebrating notable anniversaries during The NAMM Show, held during the month of January in Anaheim, California. The NAMM Show brings together over 100,000 industry professionals to preview the latest gear, attend educational sessions, and network with peers from more than 129 countries and regions.
LIVEU WILL PROVIDE 4K HEVC LIVE COVERAGE FOR FIRST TIME AT THE WINTER GAMES A record number of LiveU units have been booked for the upcoming games in South Korea every Winter and Summer Games, and this time is no exception. Demand for units has been higher than expected with bookings from broadcasters across five continents. We’re thrilled that we can offer our customers the latest 4K HEVC transmission technology so they can follow the athletes’ progress and offer behindthe-scenes coverage around the stadiums, arenas and slopes with unmatched quality and reliability. We’ll be ensuring the best possible TV and online coverage for viewers worldwide. The camera crews are being looked after too – we’re giving away a special kit to keep them warm!” LiveU at the Winter Games in South Korea
LiveU is providing 4K HEVC live video coverage for the first time at a major event at next week’s Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. LiveU will support global broadcasters from over 40 countries with a record TMBi - 10
number of bonded cellular units and a dedicated team on the ground throughout the duration of the games. Ronen Artman, LiveU’s VP Marketing, said, “Over the last 10 years LiveU has supported broadcasters at
LiveU first covered the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008 and has been providing live video coverage at every major international sports event since. This summer, LiveU will be supporting the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, forecast to be the largest live event ever covered in 4K.
EDITSHARE WILL EXHIBIT ITS SOLUTIONS AT BVE 2018 FOR THE FIRST TIME EditShare for the first time at BVE 2018 will showcase its QUALES QC file verification and quality check solution while gearing up for a major announcement for the solution at the show. EditShare’s Soho-based team will be on hand to showcase its comprehensive suite of production tools on stand H14. Products and solutions on display also include EditShare’s EFS 200 and EFS 300 single node storage platform, its Storage Auditing dashboard for EFS, built for creative agencies requiring full accountability when working with high value content, Flow media asset management platform, EFS 40 NL parking storage, and Geevs next-generation broadcast servers. EditShare Solutions at TMBi - 12
QUALES Integrated QC Attendees can catch a peek of how EditShare plans to deeply integrate its latest acquisition, QC and file verification specialist company, QUALES, into the EditShare ecosystem. The unique QUALES user interface is designed for the creative, giving an instant visual presentation of the quality checked file.
XStream EFS 200 & EFS 300 The XStream EFS 200 is a single-node configuration with up to or 128 TB of raw storage capacity in a 2U space-saving form factor, while the XStream EFS 300 is equipped with up to 140 TB of usable capacity in a 3U chassis for customers who need greater capacity.
EFS Auditing Capabilities The new auditing feature will be available in all XStream EFS scale-out storage models.
Flow: Media Asset Management Platform Flow provides a powerful media asset management (MAM) platform for creative control of all files during the production process including 4K and remote editorial workflows.
EditShare XStream EFS 40 NL The XStream EFS 40NL delivers the performance and economics of traditional nearline storage with the scalability, fault-tolerance and ease of use of the proven EditShare EFS shared storage solution.
G’AUDIO LAB LAUNCHES ITS LIVESTREAMING RENDERING SOLUTION G’Audio Lab is launching its livestreaming rendering solution. Sol Livestreaming utilizes spatial audio technology to livestream quality audio for 360-degree video. The solution transcends the limitations of current livestreaming formats. “Livestreaming, high-fidelity spatial audio will bring a totally new level of presence to live events,” says CEO and Co-founder of G’Audio Lab, Henney Oh. “Through the magic of VR, you can now experience the sound of concerts, eSports and team sports as if you have the best seat in the house." Sol Livestreaming uses
spatial audio technology to portray a lifelike sonic experience for 360-degree video. Spatial audio technology allows specific positions of sound sources to be preserved. This provides a sense of directionality for listeners, who can detect the direction, distance and timbre of audio sources. Spatial audio responds to the user’s head movements in real time. Sol Livestreaming’s integration is specifically designed to serve up an Ambisonics audio signal to precisely depict and surround the listener in a lifelike, three-dimensional
environment. Ideal for livestreaming content, Ambisonics is a widely accepted format for capturing, transmitting and decoding spatial audio. In addition to capturing and playing audio on a horizontal plane, Ambisonics produces sounds coming from above and below the listener. G’Audio has adapted its binaural rendering format for livestreaming and squeezed B-format Ambisonics into the popular AAC codec. Utilizing this ubiquitous codec allows Sol Livestreaming and its renderer to be adopted across multiple platforms.
TMBi - 13
IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS DELIVERS ‘KIDSCLICK’ CONTENT FROM PUBLIC CLOUD
Imagine Communications is working closely with Sinclair Broadcast Group to streamline and customise the distribution of U.S. broadcasters’ children’s programming by centralising playout operations in the public cloud. The new implementation, which went live-to-air in mid-October 2017 and is among the first instance of a major broadcaster moving a critical operation to a fully virtualized public environment, enables SBG TMBi - 14
to realize a variety of cost and business advantages. KidsClick, a three-hour block of age-appropriate children’s programming airing daily on a number of broadcast stations, is SBG’s newest entry into the program content arena. By centralising the playout and ad trafficking operations of KidsClick in a virtualized environment using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment, SBG is empowered to deliver programming and
advertising that can be customized to the requirements of individual affiliates. “The scalability and customisation capabilities that the public cloud approach offers is unlike anything we could do using a traditional, on-premises model,” said Del Parks, CTO, SBG. “And since we’re only delivering this programming for a few hours a day, the flexibility of originating in the public cloud is a far superior
alternative to purchasing traditional equipment that would sit idle for many hours at a time. We also gain experience and confidence in this operating model that we can use for future cloud deployments.” KidsClick operations are powered by Versio™ Platform, Imagine’s modular, software-only and cloudnative playout solution designed for fully virtualized environments, both private and public. In the KidsClick model, an instance of
Versio, running a playlist and ad load, is assigned to each time zone. In the future, stations may customise programming and deploy targeted advertising to a specific broadcast area. “This broadcast industry first is an important positive first step showcasing the power of Versio Platform running in a public cloud environment used to streamline operations, speed to market and tap into the flexibility and reliability of a virtualized environment for
the distribution of broadcast content,” said Tom Cotney, CEO of Imagine Communications, adding that the project took roughly six months from concept to deployment. “SBG is demonstrating that even the largest broadcasters and media companies in the world have the potential to thoroughly improve the performance and efficiency of their operations by moving them to virtualized, geo-dispersed environments.”
LAWO NAMES MIKE FRANKLIN AS US SENIOR SALES MANAGER of Hans Juergens and David Antoine as Broadcast Engineers for pre- and postsales technical support.
Lawo continues to add to its US operations by hiring Mike Franklin as Senior Sales Manager. US broadcasters are familiar with Franklin in his former role as Senior Sales Manager for Studer in America, and his extended tenure with Euphonix. “I’ve always admired Lawo, and I’m very proud to be a part of what they’re doing,” says Franklin. “Not only are they the most innovative company in broadcasting, they have amazing commitment to their customers. I think that’s why Lawo is the fastest growing
broadcast company in the world.” Franklin’s appointment is part of Lawo’s continued growth in the US TV and Radio markets, underscored by the recent commissioning of a new support and logistics hub in Elmsford, New York, and the addition
“Our organization in America has been growing at an amazing rate, and I’m glad to have top talent like Mike joining the team,” says Jeffrey Stroessner, Lawo’s Head of Sales, Americas. “Everyone who’s worked with Mike is a fan. Not only is he a great guy, he is absolutely committed to making sure his clients are happy. We couldn’t have asked for a better fit.” TMBi - 15
BROADCAST SOLUTIONS FINLAND DELIVERED VIRTUAL STUDIO FOR STREAMTEAM NORDIC Broadcast Solutions Finland Oy delivered a virtual studio for its Finnish customer Streamteam Nordic Oy in the end of last year and the new virtual studio was taken into use already on 1st January 2018. Streamteam uses the brand-new virtual studio mainly to produce Finnish Horse Racing and TotoTV for its customer, Finnish gaming company Veikkaus Oy. Juha Koskela, CEO at Streamteam, comments on TMBi - 16
the new virtual studio: “Broadcast Solutions Finland specified and delivered all needed components for the virtual studio. We are extremely satisfied with their service as well as Zero Density’s virtual studio software. Installation was easy, and everything runs smoothly from the start.” The virtual studio brings a modern and dynamic outlook for TotoTV, which delivers horse racing programs every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
The virtual studio desk and the anchors are physically located in the studio in Helsinki; all other elements are virtually inserted into the studio environment, e.g. videos from two different race tracks in the background during Magic Monday races. Main technological components of the virtual studio are Zero Density virtual studio software, MoSys tracking system, SAM Kula production switcher and Slomo.tv replay servers.
AFP WILL DELIVER REAL-TIME COVERAGE OF TOUR DE FRANCE WITH AVIWEST TRANSMITTER AVIWEST has announced that starting with the 2018 Tour de France, Agence France-Presse (AFP) will provide real-time pictures of the event using AVIWEST's PRO180 video transmitter. AVIWEST's system features a design that fits into a backpack or motorcycle saddlebag and leverages up to eight 3G/4G modems simultaneously to allow automated push transmission of photos. "For the past two years, AFP and AVIWEST have been working together to adapt the PRO180 video technology to instant professional photo transmission," said Yves Tassel and Karim Menasria,
IT managers at AFP. "The first large-scale test was successfully conducted during the Tour de France in 2017, with thousands of photos sent in real time. With this technological innovation, AFP photographers can now use 3G/4G mobile networks in the field to send real-time images of the race, while riding on a motorcycle. This greatly enhances the live coverage we are able to provide to our customers." The PRO180 will be used by AFP during every stage of the 2018 Tour de France. On top of eight 3G/4G modems, the transmitter features a high-efficiency custom antenna array and
built-in Wi-Fi modem that ensures quick network acquisition and improved resilience in the field. The system also offers up to two USB ports and Dual Gigabit Ethernet for streaming over LAN/WAN, BGAN, or Kaband satellite networks. "Real-time and secured photo coverage are a strategic priority for AFP, and the PRO180 is enhanced to enable fast coverage for both photo and video users," explains Cyril Hamelin, area sales manager at AVIWEST. "We look forward to working with AFP on the Tour de France 2018 and other major public events that attract a large number of viewers."
TMBi - 17
IMT VISLINK’S HCAM HEVC 4K WIRELESS CAMERA SYSTEM GOES LIVE Sony camera control ‘racking’ system. The UHD RF system linked into the existing wireless camera infrastructure and operated exactly like a normal touchline camera. Images of the Vislink equipment in use at the match can be viewed at this link.
xG Technology, Inc. has announced that IMT Vislink’s HCAM HEVC 4K Wireless Camera Systems have been successfully deployed in their first live outside broadcast events by Broadcast RF Ltd. (“BRF”). Telegenic and BT Sport gave Broadcast RF the opportunity to put the Vislink HCAM system through its paces at a Women’s Super League match at the Kingsmeadow Stadium, London, on Sunday 7th January 2018. The HCAM systems were also used on an Arena TV OB to capture live coverage from an English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at TMBi - 18
Wembley Stadium this past weekend. This news follows a previous announcement made on Dec. 29, 2017 that BRF had taken delivery of the first HCAM systems. BRF is a leading hire company for microwave and wireless camera hardware, and has been a long-time deployment partner of Vislink in the UK. They are currently the largest single holder of HCAM systems in the world, with 28 systems purchased. The UHD wireless camera system comprised a Sony PMW-F55, which provided 4K UHD video, and was controlled with the normal
Robert King, Vislink European Sales Director, commented: “The next generation HCAM wireless hardware is proving to be a major success. Getting such positive feedback from external industry experts in terms of hardware stability and the 4K UHD image quality provided over the link is very rewarding, and a credit to our team’s huge effort.” “We have 28 HCAM HEVC wireless camera systems on order, and to see them operational in a live environment was brilliant. The UHD pictures in the truck looked fantastic; so good, that at one point it even had a stint as an 18yard camera, which completely exceeded our expectations on its first outing,” said Chris Brandrick, Broadcast RF Commercial Director.
TEAMCAST INTRODUCES A SOLUTION FOR OPTIMIZING SATELLITE LINKS TeamCast is introducing a solution for optimizing satellite links. The solution uses a feedback channel through a regular low bitrate internet connection to optimize the link budget, and increase the available payload capacity while keeping the costs low. The feedback information elaborated by the downlink Neptune receiver is used by the uplink Vyper modulator to pre-correct the linear and non-linear impairments of the on-board transponder chain. The optimization is automatic and transparent for
the user. It can be used while the link actually carries user data, without any need to put the transmission on hold. No specific knowledge of the transponder characteristic is necessary; no specific skills are required for the operator. The link budget automatically increases while the link is used. That means the link margin is getting better providing the possibility either to secure the link against unexpected adverse conditions or increase the useful bandwidth by adjusting the modulation parameters. “Our fully automatic solution
offers increased transmission performance to operators, without requiring specific equipment or knowledge” says Christophe Trolet, head of the Satellite Business Unit at TeamCast. “We are proud to offer this new and powerful tool to operators, without adding operational complexity. Everything is included in the Vyper modulator and the Neptune receiver, both meeting DVBS2/S2X requirements for the highest operational flexibility and the payload capacity for a given transponder”.
TMBi - 19
Helping you to run TV as you’d like it Text by Martin Junek, Provys Marketing Manager If you are a broadcasting executive, and suffer from a nervous disposition, turn the page now because this article could seriously damage your health, or at least, give you some sleepless nights, writes Martin Junek, Provys. Let us start by quoting Professor Parkinson: “Work expands to fill the time available.” This means top management should continually evaluate the relationship between staff numbers, hours worked and results required to ensure that the most efficient balance between these three principal components is always maintained at an optimum level. A classic example of existing differences can be found in the programme scheduling department where we know for certain that some TMBi - 20
broadcasters employ several schedulers per channel whilst others have one scheduler planning multiple channels. On a purely channel basis, the difference can be 1000%. No matter what the local differences may be, this level of disparity cannot be justified financially. Clearly, there will be circumstances where variations must exist, e.g. outside broadcasting of live events which
obviously requires higher levels of control and contingency planning to cater for cancellations, overruns, etc. But nevertheless, the above range of 1000% in productivity requires serious analysis of workflows and the most modern management tools to keep everything on track. “History informs us that only a few years ago,
programme scheduling was a manual, paperbased workflow consuming forests of trees and years of schedulers’ lives. Then, along came computer-based solutions which took over the processes and managed them in exactly the same way as the old paperbased system had done, thus helping to save our planet, but improving very little in the final output quality. The time has come, therefore, to reevaluate the actual processes and to upgrade all operations to more effectively meet the varying artistic and financial demands of both viewers and top management” says Daniel Stourac, Business Development Manager at Provys. Exactly the same considerations apply in the field of content production where a vast range of resources, experts, venues, finances and time need to be meticulously coordinated in order to achieve the desired results within budget and by the deadline. Just remember how many times you have
seen the stars and the whole production crew standing by, idling their time away, waiting something almost insignificant to arrive. Costs continue to escalate whilst many members of the crew treat this as a normal and everyday occurrence. Perhaps today’s enviable budgets and projected incomes permit this sometimes casual approach, but, future incomes are under increasing pressure from professional competition or even young bloggers and a total re-evaluation of budgeting procedures is now called for, more than ever. The whole production process must be viewed as project management operation ensured by the latest software tools. Ad sales is another critical element in the private broadcasting sector and requires powerful software to optimise income streams from agencies and advertisers. This requires efficient management of not only the traditional advertising campaigns, but also proper planning
of the new methods of promotion including product placement, sponsored messages, banners, secondary graphics, etc. All these new methods can now be managed within one sophisticated solution ensuring that critical incomes are maximised in order to support all the other departments within the broadcasting station. In a nutshell: no income means no business. If you have not turned the page yet, we respectfully suggest that the solution to these problems lies in an advanced software solution, designed to offer the flexibility, potential for continual upgrading, and the sheer power to drive the sophisticated operations which exist today in 21st century broadcasting. Needless to say, foremost amongst these solutions is Provys, and in order therefore, to run their channels exactly as they wish, and guarantee their peaceful night’s sleep, broadcasting managers would be highly recommended to give this their careful attention. TMBi - 21
Dejero meets Live Stream Challenge of Spanish Doñana Triathlon Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters support live broadcast of remote ‘Desafio Doñana’ from motorbikes, boats, and 4x4s to YouTube channel
Dejero has announced that its EnGo mobile transmitters were used by sports production company Erizo.Media to live stream the demanding 130km ‘Desafio Doñana’ triathlon from beginning to end, across the remote Spanish Doñana National Park in Andalucía last month (October 2017). Taking place every Autumn, the event sees participants complete a gruelling 200km triathlon circuit in a unique natural setting, starting in the historic centre of Cadiz. TMBi - 22
This year, through Erizo.Media’s dedicated department, Akedis, the production team graduated, for the first time, from limited live content delivery using fixed checkpoint links, to a full live broadcast of the triathlon throughout the National Park. This progression is credited to Dejero’s EnGo mobile transmitters which were supplied by Dejero’s local partner, Ontario Solutions. “Thanks to the Dejero EnGo and receiver, we were able to complete a
high quality live transmission of this complex event, with very limited technical resources,” said Pedro Dueña, Production Manager at Erizo.Media. “The organisers are extremely satisfied with the result this year, and the number of viewers on the YouTube channel has grown significantly as a result.” “This event is particularly challenging because of the long distances through unpopulated areas, where cellular reception may be
participants over 90km of bicycle route, 1km of the Guadalquivir river crossing and over 40km of running track. Content was streamed live to the official ‘Desafio Doñana’ YouTube channel from motorbikes, boats and 4x4s over a period of hours.
weak,” continued Dueña. “Yet the EnGo transmitters performed impeccably, providing top quality, highdefiniton pictures, even in those tricky areas, and made a rapid recovery after going through areas with no cellular coverage at all.” The Erizo.Media deployment involved a 20strong production crew, a number of fixed cameras, point to point links and two Dejero EnGo transmitters manned by two camera operators, who escorted the
“Because of the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitters we were able to provide viewers with impressive live shots and unique participant interaction during the race,” continued Dueña. “And, as it was a live event, it was fantastic to be able to monitor signal quality through Dejero’s cloudbased management system so that we could rapidly switch camera feeds as the race progressed through areas of low coverage. The enhanced IFB audio support was also a bonus, as our operators were permanently connected to our production team and not dependent on a shortrange intercom.” EnGo is a versatile mobile transmitter that encodes high-quality video and transmits over multiple IP networks to
reliably deliver exceptional picture quality with extremely low latency — even in challenging network conditions. It can be camera-mounted, vehicle-mounted, or worn in a backpack; and its modem modules and SIMs can be changed and switched easily for specific regional networks. EnGo is ideal for newsgathering, sports coverage, and live event broadcasting from remote locations, and while in motion. “We are delighted that our Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter was put through its paces during this challenging event and came out as a winner,” said Mark Moore, VP International Sales at Dejero. “The incredible performance of the EnGo transmitters in very tough conditions gave Erizo.Media’s team the confidence to immerse themselves in the race. As a result, they were able to cost-effectively offer viewers the most intimate experience from different perspectives and while in motion along the course.” TMBi - 23
Doing It Right from The Start Why Quality Matters and Lasts By Ross Video
The early days of any new business are always exciting – there’s a visceral thrill that comes with stepping out on your own and starting a company with dreams of success and growth. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted; you know in your heart that the majority of new companies fold within the first couple of years but you feel compelled to take the risk and take on the world. Over time, products are improved, manufacturing processes are created and refined, and the infrastructure of a business (marketing, finance, procurement etc.) develops around you, but TMBi - 24
it’s hard not to think back with affection to those nascent days when every decision felt like a life and death survival choice.
Earlier this year I was astonished and delighted to receive an email from a broadcast engineer technician working with
Bell Media in Regina (Saskatchewan, Canada) who wanted to know if we might like a piece of equipment returned to us following decommissioning. You can imagine the reaction in our office when we discovered that the production switcher being offered back to us was serial number 002, and had still been in active service until 2015. To put this into context, this is a production switcher that was hand built by my father in his basement in Montreal and sold to the CBC-affiliate station CKOS in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in 1974. It
was apparently used to switch both the CBC news and CTV news at different times of the day, working double duty (CBC and CTV had their own master controls in the same building). Eventually the dual occupancy was abandoned as technology allowed for more centralized transmission methods. The switcher was used to switch analog cameras for interviews at the remaining CTV facility and was finally retired from service in 2015 when the facility went fully digital. That’s 41 years of continuous use. My father is a man of impeccable manners. Our Ross Video Code of Ethics comprises 9 statements and includes one entry – number 3 – which reads “We will not ship crap”. It’s perhaps less professional in tone than the other 8 statements within the document, but it goes back to the days when we were a much smaller company and people in manufacturing would occasionally push to hit a delivery date even if the product wasn’t fully tested. My father would then utter
the famous words “We don’t ship crap”. We’d wait a day and ship quality. Over time, we have discussed changing this to “We will not knowingly ship a product that does not match specification”, but that just doesn’t have the same ring to it. We decided instead to leave the original there to generate discussion and ensure that the point is well understood and memorable. Production switcher 002 – it’s reliability and length of tenure specifically – is a vivid reminder of how great companies are built on strong principles. Dad’s insistence that we should not ‘ship crap’ has been a cornerstone of Ross Video’s success over the years and all of the great milestones I think we’ve reached – 26 consecutive years of privately-funded growth, over 650 employees worldwide, 9 global offices, 12 acquisitions in 8 years – all stem from a belief in rigorous quality. If you’re not already a Ross customer, go and ask someone who is. They’ll tell you all about it. TMBi - 25
TMBi - 26
MOVISTAR+, the leading pay-TV in Southern Europe Technological Evolution TMBi - 27
Movistar+ is the leading pay-TV in Spain, ahead of Netflix or HBO. In the first half of 2017, it surpassed the 2 million subscribers in this country, with a market penetration of 12.6%, according to official data. The company's current name is the result of the integration of Canal+ and Telefónica (Movistar TV) in 2015. This was just the last step in a long history of technical milestones. Its creation, in 1989, was the first one, becoming the first pay-TV in Spain, after importing the Canal+ France model. Years later, it would have the experience and collaboration of the American Time Warner to promote CNN+, the first 24-hour news channel in the country. Movistar+ has thus been a key player in technological innovations in television during the last decades, both in Spain and internationally. At TM Broadcast, we shall tell you about their development so far, their current situation and their plans for the future. To do this, we have had the collaboration of Adolfo Remacha, technical director of Movistar+, and Manuela Martínez, head of Engineering and Technical Maintenance of the channel. Text by Luis Sanz
THE BEGINNING Sogecable was established in April 1989 under the name "Sociedad de Televisión Canal Plus", with the purpose of applying for one of the three Private Television licences that were to be granted in TMBi - 28
Spain. The main partners were Prisa and Canal+ France. The presence of the French partner was essential in the project since it was a matter of importing the pay-TV model for Spain, which had been operating successfully in that country.
In August of the same year, the awarding of licences to Canal+, Antena 3 and Tele 5 was published. Canal+ began broadcasting regularly on 14 September 1990. Technologically, the Production Centre responded to what was customary at the time:
Adolfo Remacha, technical director of Movistar+, and Manuela MartĂnez, head of Engineering and Technical Maintenance of the channel.
PAL Composite Video and analogue audio, Betacam SP recording format, tube cameras, manual continuity and linear editing.
to recompose the original signal.
Canal+ was the first payTV in Spain. In this mode of transmission, the signal must be encrypted (coded) and a decoder must be used to see the content. The signal was subjected to a "line shuffling" (alteration of the position of the lines within a frame) process, and the necessary data was added so that the decoder could undo the changes
The most relevant technological milestones of that first phase were:
Betacam digital It began with the installation of two linear postproductions, which served the growing production needs. From then on, the digital Betacam became the channel's key format. Analogue satellite broadcasting Sogecable began
broadcasting four analogue channels (Cinemania, Minimax, Documania and Cineclassics) via the Astra satellite.
1997 Digital platform In January, Spain's first digital satellite television platform, Canal Satellite Digital (CSD), was launched. On the one hand, from a technical point of view, this was a challenge of considerable dimensions, and on the other hand, it represented the opportunity (and the TMBi - 29
need) to work with various cutting-edge technologies, some of which had never been used in Spain. The small size of the headquarters in Madrid meant that it had to rely on an installation that the Luxembourg company CLT had set up back at home, and never put into operation, which had sufficient capacity for the TMBi - 30
broadcasting and digital processing of some 25 channels. In Madrid, ten more channels were broadcast and processed. The most relevant technical aspects of this operation were: Emissions Automation The need to generate a considerable number of channels led us to
incorporate automation applications (Ibis and Louth). For the first time, video cassette and server multi-cartridge were incorporated (the former for the broadcast of long events, the latter for short films, such as advertising, self-promotion, continuity winches, etc.). The Luxembourg Centre moved to Madrid in 1999.
Non-linear Editing The production needs of the new channels led to acquiring the first six nonlinear editors from AVID.
1999 A 24-hour news channel, CNN+, was launched in early 1999 to complement the CSD offering. For this purpose, a joint venture was formed between Sogecable and Time Warner, owner of CNN in the United States. It was the first channel of its kind to open in Spain, so from an operational point of view, the lack of experience was undeniable. The American partner's contribution in this respect was fundamental. DVCPro was chosen as the capture (ENG) and editing format.
2002 Digital Signal Processing Broadcasting digital television (DVB) involved some very specific technologies: compression, multiplexing, coding, signalling, conditional access, interactivity, etc. Philips equipment was used for this purpose.
In April, Sogecable inaugurated a new Production and Broadcasting Centre where the Group's audiovisual activities that had been developed in different locations over the years were concentrated. A major technological renovation was carried out. The intention was to
undertake the progressive elimination of videotape as a fundamental support for the content. But, as at the same time, everything had to work from day one, the project combined the use of innovative technologies (networks, servers, software-based systems...) with more traditional ones, where it was considered that they were not mature enough. Two systems stand out technologically. Integrated News and Sports Systems: These are two independent (but interconnected) systems, which were based on AVID's "Unity for News" product. In them, the "ingest" of content, its edition and broadcast are integrated around a single and common storage. Videotape disappeared completely (except for materials from ENG equipment), and the contents reside and transit in the form of files. Although a copy of the contents is generated in low resolution, the editing was done directly on the storage at programme quality (DVCPro 25). TMBi - 31
Technical rooms at 3 CANTOS building
TMBi - 32
TMBi - 33
Content Management System (CMS): It is in this section where the technological commitment of the New Centre project was more decisive and also riskier. The idea was to implement a system that would be the core of all the production and emission processes, which would function as an extension of the storage devices specific to each area, manage the transfers between them, archive the materials for later issuance, allow documentation, search and retrieval of archived materials, etc. The solution chosen was Informix's Media Asset Management (MAM) Media 360. This product constituted the core around which different applications, interfaces and subsystems were developed that allowed the system to be put into production during the summer of 2002. Since then, modifications have continued to be incorporated which have optimised its operation and broadened its scope of use. The Informix company was acquired by TMBi - 34
Ascential, which shortly after discontinued Media 360, which meant that all subsequent developments were made in Sogecable with the help of the original technicians of the product. The heart of the SGC is the Digital Archive, the main repository of audiovisual assets, with StorageTek's Power Horn library, with two initial functions; feeding the broadcast servers and being a deep archive for content reuse. The Centre's technical project was led by Adolfo Remacha and external consultant, Luis Sanz.
2003 Between February and May, the continuities of Canal Satellite's thematic channels (non-Premium) were transferred. They were in Madrid (in 1997 they had moved from the Luxembourg facilities) and fed 40 thematic channels with Thomson Procart libraries. Multi-channel continuity was moved, and the Procart was replaced by Sony's Flexycart libraries, which were incorporated into the continuity control itself.
3 Cantos building
On July 21, the merger with Vía Digital took place, which matched the channel offerings of the two platforms, all the channels in Vía Digital were incorporated into Canal Satellite Digital and vice versa, each with its satellite, Hispasat for Vía Digital and Astra for Canal Satellite. This situation has continued since then until now. Astra and Hispasat have the same content of channels until December 31st this year when Hispasat was turned off, and all the DTH offering of Movistar+ is found on Astra alone, except the high-definition channels, which, since their appearance in 2010, were to be only on Astra.
2004 In August, Informix's Media 360 Content Management System database was migrated to Oracle. All Sogecable's IT systems were based on Oracle databases. The Media 360 system had been developed since 2002 on its database, Informix, from which there was no assurance of its continuity and to adapt to work needs, they had to migrate the web development environment (HTML) to.net, which required the change of database to the operatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; standard, Oracle.
2005 In November, the broadcasting of channel
Cuatro began in Spain thanks to the awarding of a national DTT licence. It was Sogecable's first open channel with a totally different operating structure than the platform, which was of an online Videoclub type and the needs of all types grew exponentially, which forced to adjust in all areas. Live streaming and news bulletins with several daily editions different from those made by CNN+ that were of rolling repeat style- began to be broadcasted. ENG cameras in DVCPro 25 format were used. Up to now, video work formats were, apart from SDI, IMX 50 Mbps for movie files and external programmes, and DVCPro 25 Mbps for sports and news. The IMX codec was contained in a GXF container, bound by Grass Valley technology, which was later replaced by MXF. Coinciding with the birth of Cuatro, when it was possible to start working with IMX in AVID, the editing systems were able to be properly connected with the file and broadcast systems.
2007 High-definition work on Sogecable started. In November, the project for the launch of the first high-definition channel of the platform, Canal+HD, began, which is why various adaptations are made in all areas of the centre. New AVID ISIS systems, compatible with the HD video format, were installed in the software and sports editing areas. At that time, the AVID DNxHD@120Mbps format was adopted as the production format of choice.
2008 On 12 March, Canal+ HD began to broadcast regularly, which included Dolby Digital 5.1 sound broadcasting. Thirty percent of the content was original in HD, mainly movies, and 70 percent was "inflated" SD by standard conversion. Over time, the percentage changed and now there are no originals in SD, everything is HD. From September, two new HD channels were launched: Canal+ DCine HD and HD Sports, which required a TMBi - 35
TMBi - 36
reinforcement of the centre's HD infrastructure.
2009 The migration of the platform's SD channels to 16:9 format began, and the distributors were requested to deliver the material in this format, eliminating as much as possible the vertical columns ("catch box") in 4:3 and, if necessary, using converters of aspect ratio in continuity, at the broadcast output.
2010 The integration of the three old systems (Programmes, Autochromes, Verification) into a single AVID ISIS editing environment was completed. In February, the archiving system was renovated, a significant technological milestone. It involved two important modifications. One, replacing the data tape storage technology of the existing StorageTek Power Horn library, which went from 10 drives for 9840 and 9940 tapes, with a capacity of 100 GB, to 7 drives for LTO4 tapes, with a capacity of 800 GB and, two, the incorporation of a caching system for disc archiving, of the DDN firm of 180 TB and
TMBi - 37
SAN technology, for the online storage of the contents produced in the ISIS of Programmes and Sports. This modified, significantly improving it, the broadcast workflow, which went from an architecture in which the contents were obtained directly from the library, to a "near online" architecture, with an intermediate repository on disc, which improved the speed of access to recent content, which remained in the cache for a few months. Although less relevant, the lowresolution archiving capacity was expanded to 24 TB. In March, 3D broadcasts began on a channel called Canal+ 3D. Even today, some 3D movie content is sporadically broadcast in the "box office" format. In July, it was decided to convert the Estudio 2 installation to high definition, which is equipped with Grass Valley HD cameras; SONY MVS-8000G video mixer; SONY HDCAM magnetoscopes; Virtz graphics generator, multiscreen processing TMBi - 38
AVID ISIS System
TMBi - 39
AVID NEXIS System
TMBi - 40
system and Grass Valley Concerto HD video matrix. This is the year of the sale of Cuatro to Mediaset.
2011 It is the year of one of the most important technological milestones in Sogecable's history, the birth of "Digital+ on demand" (later marketed as a YOMVI service). Until that time, Canal+ users had subscribed to the platform and through a set top box and the corresponding dish for Astra, they accessed the contents included in their subscription. The new service enabled the distribution of content in "video on demand" mode, on the Set Top Box of Canal+ and later, on other devices (iPad, mobile phones, connected televisions).
2015 The integration of Canal+ platforms with Telefónica's platform took place to unify Movistar's commercial offer and Canal+. At the end of April, Telefónica acquired 100% TMBi - 41
of the shares in Sogecable from Prisa and on 8 July decided that there must be a single offer of DTH and IPTV with coordinated commercialisation, with the same programming packages and the same functionalities. The objective was achieved thanks to the coordination of Telefónica's teams and the former Sogecable to resolve the great many technical aspects that had to be faced: the contribution of the respective channels to match the offers, the customer information systems that had to be able to support Telefónica's marketing methods, which are very different from those that Sogecable had. All of Canal+'s Premium channels had to be transported to Telefónica's IPTV headend in Madrid.
2016 In February, content intake and processing were unified for VOD services on all platforms (IPTV, OTT, Satellite). Between February and July, the migration of the TMBi - 42
Madrid Estudios 1 and 3 was completed together with the control of outside broadcast to high definition. The two studios were equipped with similar equipment: camera strings, SONY HDC 1700/U with HDCU-1700; Kahuna 9600 video switcher and Maverik control panel; LAWO audio switcher; EVS XT3 repeater server; processing system. In October, the library added eight drives with LTO7 technology and two new archive caches, this time with EMC ISILON NAS technology of 400TB each.
2017 Estudio 5 was migrated to high-definition, with an infrastructure similar to that of Estudios 1 and 3. A major modification of the AVID system was made this year, with TSA and Media Data. Until now, the provisioning of several ISIS systems for different applications was justified because the AVID technology did not allow the simultaneous connection of a large number of clients to the
server. But now, AVID has a new system called NEXIS, which eliminated the previous limitation and allows the connection of a large number of customers, so we have carried out a new project that replaced the old ISIS Sports and Programmes by a single NEXIS that integrates all publishers. After the chronological tour, we interviewed Adolfo Remacha to find out more about where Movistar+ stands now and where it is heading in technological terms.
What elements of your workflows are you most proud of? Undoubtedly, those referring to the Movistar+ multi-device system, heir of "Yomvi", born from ondemand Digital+. The Canal+ decoder already incorporated an RJ45 socket for Internet connection, in anticipation
that one day, content might be downloaded over the network. When this was possible, a project was developed to allow the downloading of content to iPlus over the Internet, and an OTT header was built to feed the iPlus in progressive download mode, so that content could be viewed from the very moment the download starts. The progressive download allows adapting the viewing to the variations in Internet connection speed. This OTT platform, with Nagra technology, contains all the fiction content of the linear channels of the satellite platform. For the time being, there are 16,000 contents available. Over the following months and years, the multi-device operation is being developed whereby,
in addition to the iPlus, other devices are added that can be connected to the OTT header to view the contents in streaming mode. Applications were developed for PCs, tablets, smartphones, videogame consoles and connected televisions, like Samsung and LG, and from 2017 SONY, too. This evolution, which consumed a large part of the company's development efforts, began at the end of 2011, and forced to completely change the workflows known until then for the broadcast of linear channels and involved changes in the programming and rights and content management systems. It is no exaggeration to say that this work has consumed 80% of the company's resources from 2011 to 2016. The contents accessed by streaming are the same as those obtained by progressive download but must be formatted for each of the devices. Adaptive streaming technology is applied, which consists of publishing several different qualities for each
device, choosing the one that dynamically adapts best to the connection speed available at that time. The fundamental challenge is live broadcasts, which, in the case of the most popular, for example, football, generates a high number of simultaneous users unicast. These broadcasts have reached peaks of 400,000, 400,000 simultaneous flows, one flow per user. The effort has been formidable, but the system works very well now, and the most frequent problems are due to each user’s WiFi connections. The multi-device system that was later renamed “Yomvi” and now, "Movistar+ multi-device" has been a significant technological milestone, serving more simultaneous flows than any other European television. The OTT service is available free of charge to subscribers of either of the two platforms that Movistar sells: IPTV, with fibre or ADSL access with guaranteed bandwidth, TMBi - 43
and DTH (Direct to Home), satellite platform from Sogecable. Telefónica currently has 3.7 million subscribers between IPTV and DTH, of which 1.5 million use OTT.
What was the result of integrating Canal+ and Telefónica's services to Movistar+? DTS was the company that became the former SOGECABLE, with the Canal+ brand, and in the summer of 2016, DTS divided into DTS and TAD (Telefónica Audiovisual Digital). Telefónica decided to stop the dual function of DTS, content and channel generation, on the one hand, and distribution, on the other. The first was carried out by TAD and the second by DTS. Therefore, TAD became the only content factory (channels, services, VOD) for the IPTV, DTH and OTT platforms. This led to many adaptations, and one of the relevant milestones is that the intake of VOD content for IPTV that was being performed by TSA in the Ciudad de la Imagen TMBi - 44
moved to Tres Cantos. Thus, at the Tres Cantos Centre, they produced all the necessary versions to feed the VOD content from the three platforms mentioned above. TSA continued to carry out quality control of the contents published on IPTV. VOD material was also received from external channels that are not produced in Tres Cantos. A unique case is that of the content acquired and received exclusively for VOD, i.e. not to form part of the linear channels. These contents are marketed in two ways: SVOD (Subscription VOD access to a large number of library content -some 6,000 at present- for a monthly fee) and TVOD (transactional VOD), premium content available for rent during the period before the conventional pay per view broadcast. All this material is also processed in Tres Cantos and made available to all platforms: Movistar+ multidevice, DTH (iPlus) and IPTV. Linear channels are considered to lose
prominence compared to on-demand consumption (VOD) and one of the challenges for the future is the adoption of technical measures and human resources necessary to optimise the quality of the publication processes of these contents for DTH (iPlus), IPTV and multidevice.
Have you made any recent equipment acquisition worthy of mention? The Avid NEXIS system discussed above. It involved an investment of 2.5 million euros. It has: 2 Avid E5 drawers with 960 raw TB; 40 Gbps network core; 14 Transfer Engines; 4 MOG file ingest gateways; 30 ingest channels; 105 editing clients (65 for Sports and 50 for Programmes). The investment was 2.5 million euros.
What technical challenges do you expect to face in the future? In the coming months, we are going to see the advent of the UHD (4K) format. In contrast to what happened with 3D, everything seems to
As operators of a payment service, we are obliged to offer our customers the highest possible quality of viewing, so we are firmly committed to UHD. As has been said, our journey began some time ago, albeit in a limited way.
fundamentally oriented to the IPTV platform. Sports content is already being received in 4K, and we are trying to get everything ready to start broadcasting it later this year with ARRIS 4K encoders. We also expect to broadcast fiction content 4K in the VOD model, but we will have to renew some of the infrastructures for this. However, we do not expect to start an HD to UHD uplift.
We are now facing the challenge of equipping ourselves with the necessary infrastructure (Film sets, Continuity, etc.) that will allow us to put together an offer that incorporates both linear channels and on-demand content. Although equipment prices will indeed decrease as the deployment of the UHD takes place, the necessary investments will not be minor and will have to be justified by spectators' acceptance of this format. The challenge is to incorporate 4K content distribution in the platforms that, for reasons of bandwidth and media availability, will be
On the production technology side, the other challenge of the near future is the decision to adopt IP technology or not. Although there are beginning to be examples of IP installations, we are not sure that they are mature enough to be massively implemented in a centre like ours. Its unquestionable advantages concerning simplicity of installation and versatility contrast with the difficulty of diagnosis and uncertainty about the resolution times in case of incidents. There is no doubt that the advantages will eventually outweigh the disadvantages, but, at
indicate that there is a consensus in the industry, both from the side of content generators and technology companies, in making this new television format a reality.
present, we understand that this is not contracted. Another future project, from an operational point of view, is the remote production of events. Outdoor productions without moving conventional mobile units, just moving the cameras and receiving the signals over dedicated IP lines over fibre and in a conventional, fixed studio. Lower investment and expenses.
What is the future of television, in your opinion? Word of mouth says that television will be seen largely on mobile devices, but we believe that the concept of large screen TV will remain for sports, movies and typical TV shows such as contests, reality shows, news programmesâ&#x20AC;Ś TMBi - 45
Recording a climb in Todgha Gorges. Morocco. The height of the canyon walls can vary, but in some places they can be up to 400 metres.
EXTREME IMAGE CAPTURE TMBi - 46
Can you imagine moving your television studio to the deepest chasm in the world, in Georgia, or to the North Pole? How about the Omani desert in the middle of August or Everest Camp 3? Although for many of us surviving in these extreme places alone would be sufficient, some professionals have been transporting their television equipment there for years just to film these experiences. This is the case of Emilio Valdés, a renowned director of photography, who has been shooting in the most inhospitable regions of the world for eleven years. He participated in Desafío Extremo, a seven-season documentary series starring Jesús Calleja, which became a television phenomenon in Spain. He is now immersed in the recording of Planeta Calleja, Volando Voy or Río Salvaje, programmes with similar themes.
TMBi - 47
Emilio Valdés is an essential part of the ZANSKAR factory, a production company that has managed to attract the attention of many other production houses around the world. While the general trend of giants like BBC or National Geographic is to hire specialised equipment to record on a specific type of extreme terrain, be it the desert or eightthousand-metre peaks, Emilio Valdés and his team are experts in filming on any location on the planet. That's where his exceptional nature lies. “Perhaps we are the only people in the world who can do this”, says Valdés.
Emilio Valdés flying over Zermatt, in Switzerland. In the background is the Cervino Peak that they would climb next day.
TMBi - 48
75 kilometres of hot air ballooning above the Amazon River (beating world records, incidentally), diving with white sharks in South Africa, expeditions to the Everest, Himalayas or Kilimanjaro, visits to Lapland under extreme temperatures, expeditions to the Vanuatu, one of the most violent volcanoes in the world, or various routes through the most extensive deserts on the
planet, are just some of his feats. As can be expected, Emilio Valdés takes his technical equipment to the extreme during these trips. His first premise, when choosing it, is that it should be operational and easily transportable. Thanks to his versatility as a cameraman, Valdés knows down to a T how each element of its equipment responds to any adverse weather and how to explain what the requirements are to be used in these conditions. One mantra he insists on is the need to bring duplicate equipment to any trip, including cameras, microphones, lenses or cards, due to the endless number of risks to which they are exposed. It's the best antidote against not being able to complete the recording.
CAMERAS In the camera field, Emilio Valdés records 80% of his scenes with the Canon C300 camera. Another model that stands out is the Sony FS7, but he admits that he has no
Everest Camp 3.
TMBi - 49
Longitudinal crossing in the month of August of the Wahiba Sands in the Sultanate of Oman. It is part of one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet.
preference for any brand in particular. Several models that meet his professional quality requirements, both regarding image and sound, can be found on the market. In recent years, he has recorded with more than eight TMBi - 50
different cameras. With this background, Valdés recognises what requirements a camera must meet to be used in extreme situations: • They must be durable and lightweight. These professionals are used to
working while hanging on ropes, in the midst of hard mountain climbs or extreme heat. This is why the quality of the equipment, and in particular, cameras, rests with its lightness and resistance to all kinds of impacts.
• All the menus and main features should preferably be on the keypad and not on the touchscreen. This type of screens stop working in freezing (from -10 degrees and under) or humid conditions. The operator must also take his gloves off or have dry fingers to use them, and these conditions are not usually possible. • The camera must include two audio inputs. This way, if one of the inputs stops working, the operator can continue recording the sound with the other.
• It must incorporate an LCD screen and viewfinder. It is an error to use cameras with a single monitor because if it fails, the operator can no longer record anything. And it's not uncommon for this to happen! If the equipment meets these requirements, Valdés is able to use the same camera to record in almost any location. There are exceptions, though. In cases where the scene requires an even lighter camera, for instance, Emilio Valdés
has turned to the Canon XA30, which weighs only one kilogram. In other situations, Valdés has used GoPro cameras to record shots that he would not have been able to shoot otherwise. On one occasion, he attached one of these cameras to a remote-controlled toy car to record large desert mammals in South Africa at ground level. This feat has been a milestone in the recording of animals for documentary series since the most common thing to do in 90% of cases is to take these
Tenerife, Canary Islands. TMBi - 51
Balloon crossing over the Amazon. Emilio filmed this expedition hanging on ropes of the globe. TMBi - 52
images from off-road vehicles, but the resulting material is not as spectacular.
LENSES As for lenses, ValdĂŠs says that he uses zoom lenses most of the time because he considers them to be more operational than fixed lenses. The problem with lenses is condensation in freezing conditions. If the
operator is recording a snow scene, for example, and then goes to a mountain hut for shelter, the lens will probably steam up as a result of the temperature change. If the lens is a good quality one, the optics should only steam up on the outside, and a quick wipe with cloth suffices to continue operating. If quality is lower, however, condensation will also affect the inner
mechanism of the lens, and in many cases, it will be necessary to wait more than half an hour for the lens to be operational again. This difference can lead to many situations. In some cases, however, the durability of a lens during a journey does not depend strictly on its excellence. Emilio ValdĂŠs tells us, with a certain irony, that an indispensable element of TMBi - 53
his set when recording in adverse conditions are plastic bags –believe it or not- because they can come in handy to protect your equipment. While filming in the Dakar Rally, Emilio Valdés was waiting with several recording teams in the middle of the desert for the arrival of a helicopter that was going TMBi - 54
to rescue an injured competitor. He then decided to cover his camera with a plastic bag to protect his equipment from the dust that the helicopter would lift on its arrival. “Operators who did not do this”, says Valdés, ”lost their lenses forever, rendered unusable because of the sand”.
Apart from such misfortunes, extreme heat alone is a major risk factor for equipment survival. Images taken in these conditions are always of poorer quality because heat generates drops and worsens the blacks in the recording. To minimise these image impairments, Emilio Valdés usually
covers the camera with aluminium blankets that reflect sunlight and thus reduce the exposure of his equipment to heat. In cold conditions, by contrast, the electronics work better. The only problem is keeping the batteries warm. They, therefore, need to be changed every few years.
CARDS, LIGHTING, MICROPHONES... Another interesting element is storage cards.
Valdés considers the transition from tape to cards as decisive. In a very cold situation, the tape remained slightly attached to the rest of the reel and, hence it was inevitable that its later reproduction in the studio would be a little slowed down. We don't have this problem anymore. Some models, such as Sony's CompactFlash XS, can even freeze without becoming damaged. SD cards are, by contrast, more fragile. Emilio Valdés
currently uses CompactFlash cards. In the field of hard drives, SSDs are more resistant than magnetic ones, although more expensive. Lighting is an essential feature in non-lit environments such as caves or wells, where the use of speleology lights or adapted industrial lights are common. The audiovisual sector does not offer specific products for these cases because it is very heavy equipment (intended, for example, for
cinema purposes), so recording personnel must resort to other professional environments to find tailor-made solutions. This is, therefore, a particularly important challenge. The greatest technical challenge Emilio Valdés was faced with was the illumination of Voronya Cave, the deepest cave on Earth, located in Georgia. No other TV crew had ever filmed inside before. The difficulty lay in moving the equipment, through ropes, TMBi - 56
to the depths of the chasm, in addition to the abundant water and the harsh humidity conditions. Another technical milestone for Valdés and his team was to enter the second deepest well in the world, located in Spain. In this case, his team used a lighting system used previously by National Geographic to record the world's largest cave in Vietnam. In other cases, Valdés and his team used lights designed to illuminate
worksites or firefighters' operations. They are not overly complex to use because they are generally stabilised and very white lights, suitable for recording television programmes. In more normal situations, lighting requirements can be met with a 30x30 cm LED display that allows the operator to change the colour temperature. Valdés uses one of these to cover 80% of its lighting needs.
Carrying cases are also a fundamental element. Emilio Valdés uses the Peli Air model, weighing three kilograms. Whether this or another brand, they are essential to keep the equipment fully operational, considering the usual hustle and bustle of these trips. Microphones come with some particular challenges. The main obstacle is the wind, a constant of these recordings. Emilio Valdés adds Rycote wind filters to all audio inputs to tackle this problem. He also had the effect of extremely cold weather, such as that of the North Pole, on cables, which made them
peel off. In these situations, Valdés replaces these cables with silicone ones. This material is more resistant to low temperatures.
without a tripod. He can afford to do this because he uses a camera with a well-stabilised 1000 mm telephoto lens.
With regard to tripods, Valdés tells us that he manipulates them enough to adapt them to his needs, either by removing some pieces or cutting one of their legs to record specific planes. He has no preference for any particular model because they all have their virtues and shortcomings. Manfrotto or Sachtler are two of the brands he has used the most.
Lately, however, he has dared to shoot video
ALL , SURVIVE
These are the most outstanding features of equipment for shooting in extreme conditions. Professionals dedicated to this type of recording should not obsess about getting the best shot or achieve avant-garde technical excellence. The important thing is to record a lot of material and be able to improvise. That is why it is necessary to bring highly operative equipment that meets the minimum professional requirements. In this vein, Emilio Valdés relegates any singularity of the equipment to the operator's physical capacity to successfully enter these environments. “The camera must, above all, have enough energy to survive and be ready to record afterwards”, Valdés concludes. TMBi - 57
UHD Much more than 4K (II)
TMBi - 58
Colour and speed When we talk about Ultra High Definition -or UHD, for short-, we only tend to think about the increase in definition that this implies, but UHD is not just more pixels; instead, it is better pixels. In this series of articles, TM Broadcast explores what UHD really means and the most important aspects of this new technology. Text by Yeray Alfageme
We shall be addressing two crucial aspects in this article, colour and frame rate. Within the set of standards that compose the UHD ecosystem, one seems to go unnoticed more often than not but represents a very noticeable change in the quality of the image. It also means drastic changes in how we transport the signal and produce it. We are referring to the colour space.
TMBi - 59
Until now, the standard used for both SD and HD signals was either Rec.709 or BT.709, which were limited to the number of colours that could be represented by the old CR cathode ray tube monitors. The colour
TMBi - 60
space had to be restrained to avoid errors in its representation when being transmitted to a monitor that could not actually represent them. This led to a really limited colour space.
We can see (Picture 1) how the 709 colour space is delimited by the triangle drawn in the picture and its corners bear the three primary colours of this standard. The dot defined as "white" is at D65, which means that it is a 6500K
white. The good thing about this colour space is that it only needs 8 bits per pixel to be transmitted. However, as can be seen, much of the visible colour spectrum everything that is outside the triangle- is outside of
what can be represented by signals within this format. Along with the introduction of the new UHD standard came a new standard concerning colour space, the Rec.2020 or BT.2020.
This new colour space was called WCG (Wide Colour Gamut) (Picture 2). The white dot remains at D65, but the three primary colours are stretched to the maximum to cover a larger colour space and practically reach the limits of what is visible. TMBi - 61
Naturally, this type of signals can no longer be transmitted on only 8 bits per pixel, so the number of bits had to be extended to 10 or 12, depending on whether we include HDR in the signal too, which we will talk about in the last edition of this series. There is one problem, TMBi - 62
however, and that is that there are virtually no monitors on the market capable of representing this vast colour space. Only Canon and Dolby laboratories -perhaps there is another prototype or last-minute model out there- have monitors capable of representing
such a large number of colours. These are, obviously, out of reach for consumers and most production houses. This led to an intermediate colour space being created to which even home monitors can reach, the DCI-P3 (Picture 3). This is just a
small, intermediate version between the old 709 and the new 2020, and serves to standardise the colour representation on all types of monitors, both professional and home ones. The change between 709 and P3 is already
more than noticeable in current images and monitors, but unfortunately, we cannot ensure that the 2020 colour space is as noticeable compared to P3 because we have not been lucky enough to set our eyes on one of those
exclusive and expensive 2020 monitors yet. However, if the leap is the same, or larger -according to the data-, the comparison between P3 and the 709 will sure to amaze more than a few in its production control and at home when
TMBi - 63
contemplating the new UHD images with this colour space. Finally, there is another positive thing about the new 2020 colour standard: it can be applied to lower definitions, such as HD. Indeed, we can transmit HD signals with an expanded colour space, WCG, and enjoy the advances of the new standards without having to change our entire transmission and reception chain to UHD. Obviously, our equipment must be able to represent, at least, the DCI-P3 colour space and generate and transmit signals in 10 or 12 bits,
TMBi - 64
depending on the inclusion of the HDR or not, but what manufacturers are doing seems like a simple software update necessary for this to happen. In Picture 4, we have a final representation of the three colour spaces we have been talking about: the old 709, the new 2020 and the intermediate P3. By representing them together, we can see details like how the white dot remains at D65 at 6500K in all of them. We can also see that both 709 and P3 share one of their primary colours, blue, and there are virtually no
expansion changes of the other primary colour, red. However, we do see how there is an evident evolution towards the green and the larger leap between P3 and 2020. This is because while the human eye has the most definition, due to our primitive history of hunters and wild species, being capable of differentiating more shades of green gave us an advantage over predators and prey. This is why our number of cones, the sensors we have in the retina that let us see colours, is almost three times as many as those used for blue and red.
There is one last way of representing colour spaces, considering the luminance, and it is called colour space. It is a three-dimensional representation of what we have seen before, but it reproduces colours more accurately and allows us to appreciate the change that an increased colour space with the new standards really means. In Picture 5, we can see a joint representation of BT.2020 together with BT.709 and how the first volume is several times larger. TMBi - 65
The second aspect we want to cover in this issue on UHD is speed. When we say speed, we refer to shutter speed or number of frames per second needed to represent these signals for the brain to interpret that they are moving images and not a sequence of photographs -which is what they are really-. In a cinema, which has a really limited definition for the size of the screen, it takes only 23 or 24 frames per second for our brain to interpret the TMBi - 66
sequence of frames it is seeing as moving images. One of the most helpful factors is the extremely limited dynamic range of cinematographic images and the low luminosity of the room. With first TVs, the frame rate was limited to what the electrical network allowed transmitting, 50 or 60 Hz, to simplify matters technically. Let's put interlacing aside, please, as it was merely the result of the CRT monitor technology but with the move to progressive, the
only existing standard in UHD is now forgotten. The problem comes when increasing the definition. If we already said that sometimes, in HD and especially in sport and images with a lot of action and movement in which a 720p50 image is better appreciated than a 1080i50, although the latter has more definition, in the case of the UHD, this becomes evident again. In Picture 6, the graph represents the result of a study conducted with
different people who were asked what susceptible loss of quality they saw when changing the speed of reproduction of frames per second in an image, taking as a reference an image with 240 frames per second, something quite extreme. A reduction in the number of frames per second has an impact on the image quality seen by the viewers, contrary to what one might think. Definition always seems to be the most important thing, but remember that there are many other factors that influence the image quality we perceive.
Remember that we are talking about UHD here and to represent this definition we generally need bigger screens to actually notice it. This is another reason why the increase of frames per second is necessary, since the human eye is more sensitive to sudden changes in luminance in its ends, which make the corners of the screen really critical, again, due to our wild and hunter past, as incredible as it may seem. This new high-speed standard is called HFR, High Frame Rate, and it basically doubles or
quadruples the number of frames per second by jumping from 24 HZ in cinema at 48 and even 96 Hz and from 50 or 60 Hz in TV at 100 or 120 Hz in HFR. In the next and last article about UHD in this series, TM Broadcast will talk to you about the star of UHD, HDR. An increase in the luminance of the image which, combined with a new colour space (WCG) and a high speed of frames per second (HFR), plus high definition (4K) offer images really worthy of current blockbusters.
TMBi - 67
TMBi - 68
ISE 2018 all about collaboration and connections ISE has doubled its attendance (110%) in the last six years, outpacing IBC figures
Systems integration is gaining weight in our industry, and it seems that this trend will continue to consolidate in the future. One of the data that best illustrates this scenario is the meteoric evolution that the ISE has had so far. The 2018 edition will take place from 6 to 8 February. Compared to 2011 data, the floor area of the event has grown by more than 77%, surpassing last year’s 47,000 square metres. The trend is even stronger in the visitors’ section. 3,413 people attended the fair in 2017, 110%
more than six years ago. This last year, a total of 1,192 companies exhibited their products, almost 59% more than in 2011. For the sake of comparing data with another show of indisputable reference, the last edition of IBC welcomed 57,669 people, a figure lower than that of ISE, although in that first case there were more exhibitor companies (1,735). In any case, there is no doubt that the ISE show is going through a golden moment. Last year, 17% of the attendees at the show were new, so companies’ TMBi - 69
expectations to meet more customers this year are high. The show awaits the arrival of more than 75,000 people. There will also be new exhibitors. The organisers have already confirmed that the show will bring together more than 1,200 exhibiting companies, 180 of which will be attending for the first time. The latter includes companies such as Audiologic, Philips Lighting, Cadac, Vitec, Intel, Corporation and TMBi - 70
Clay Paky. These additions have led the show to include a new 4,000 square metre area (Hall 15) this year on top of the rest of the exhibition area. The show will be divided into seven technological areas, which give a clear idea of the type of profile interested in attending: Digital Signage & DOOH, Education Technology, Residential Solutions, Smart Building, Unified
Communications, Audio & Live events Technology and XR Technology. ISE's Managing Director, Mike Blackman, sums up the prevailing philosophy of the event: “ISE is all about collaboration and connections. These pillars are at the heart of everything -from the organisational effort that goes into the show, to the business relationships that are formed and developed there.”
One of the initiatives that the event will host this year for the first time is the final phase of the Word Masters of Projection Mapping, a competition of lights projected in 3D on iconic places of Amsterdam's urban architecture. The championship brings together the world's most renowned artists in this discipline and is coproduced by Amsterdam
Light Festival, RAI Amsterdam and ISE. The five finalists will exhibit their light art during the show on the threedimensional faĂ§ade of the futuristic EYE Filmmuseum building. Panasonic will supply the projectors, which will be located around the museum on multiple platforms and ISE attendees will be able to watch the show as they sail along the canal by boat.
In support of this initiative and for the duration, ISE has convened the blooloopLIVE conference for the first time, which will explore the proliferation of nighttime light shows in amusement parks, museums or zoos around the world. Another focus of this edition will be the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies. The show will be the setting for
TMBi - 71
the XR Summit ISE, a conference focused on the emergence of these new technologies in the audiovisual sector. Business strategies or the latest market solutions are just some of the topics that will be brought to the table by the panel of experts leading the seminar. This year's commitment to XR technologies will also be backed by the new XR Technology Zone, where the most advanced invocations of the market in this area will be seen.
TMBi - 72
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS Throughout its 15 halls, the exhibition centre will bring together the most representative developments of the current market. Sennheiser, for example, will focus on presenting its solutions to simplify digital workflows. In this framework, Sennheiser will exhibit the latest version of the Control Cockpit software, designed to facilitate the operation, control and
servicing of their microphones. This tool makes it easy, for example, to check the state of the battery or the function of each device in large spaces such as auditoriums.
Wireless, streaming Wireless technology will indeed be very present at ISE. Luxul is expected to take advantage of the exhibition to launch several of its products on the European continent, including its Epic 3 (XWR3150) dual-band wireless
AC3100 router or the XAP-810 AC1200 dualband Wireless Access Point (WAP). Another area of interest will be streaming technology. One of the brands that will focus its exhibition on offering new products in this area is Barix. The firm will present Retail Player, a multichannel streaming solution for background music. “Customers with multiple streaming channels often want to switch between them when their audience demographic changes”, explains Reto Brader, vice
president of sales and marketing, to support its usefulness. He illustrates this with a specific case: “For example, a fitness club may suddenly be crowded with people from a different age group, and want to switch the music to suit that new set of members. With Retail Player, the club's manager can switch streams through the portal without ever needing to access the hardware.” Telestream is also interested in this area. Its focus will be tools to improve streaming practices, either VOD or
live. Among the solutions that will be presented, we highlight its production software for live streaming, Wirecast, or its distribution, streaming and encoding system, Lightspeed Live Stream, among others. Telestream is, by the way, one of the companies that will be exhibiting in this ISE for the first time. Another example is VITEC, as we mentioned before. The firm will focus its exhibition on presenting its EZ TV platform, focused on the creation, distribution and centralised monitoring of live or on-demand content, which can be shown on any of the monitors of an installation. This integrated all-in-one solution facilitates Broadcast quality IPTV distribution in low latency and includes some Digital Signage capabilities.
Audio-over-IP, Unified Communications... IP technology will overfly, in all its extension, the different scenarios of the fair. In this sense, the AIMS alliance will focus its presence on providing keys about audio-related IP networking. A TMBi - 73
representative of member companies in the association will hold four sessions to address this issue. Technological fusion between the AV and Broadcast industries, use of the AESG7 standard in real environments or integration of protocols, solutions and standards when developing a product will be some topics of interest that the panel of experts will address. TMBi - 74
Staying in this area, Audinate will also be exhibiting during the fair days. It will be presenting Dante AVIO, a family of endpoint adapters designed to facilitate the integration of digital and analogue audio equipment into Dante networks. "Audio networking has been growing rapidly, but we recognise there are still millions of legacy endpoint devices that could benefit from the flexibility and scalability
Dante delivers," defends Lee Ellison, CEO of Audinate. NewTek will highlight the first end-to-end IP video production solution for the AV Market. The NDI PTZ camera will be on display alongside the Connect Spark, a portable device designed to deliver SDI or HDMI video to a computer and/or an IP network. NewTek will also show its TriCaster TC1 and IP Series, to demonstrate switching, streaming,
recording in HD, 3G, and 4K UHD 60p on all inputs. To complete the end-toend IP workflow, NewTek will demo MediaDS, a real-time media encoding with live streaming video delivery platform. The loudspeaker manufacturer, Wisdom Audio, will also be presenting its latest audio solutions, including its second generation of SC2 and SC-3 system controllers, which will première at this show before the European market. Clear-Com will present the latest LQ Series Interfaces, which harness IP to network industrystandard 2-wire and 4wire intercom systems of any brand together. LQ can also extend traditional analog and digital intercom systems with IP communications such as VoIP telephony via SIP and with Clear-Com Agent-IC mobile apps on smart devices. Adder Technology will also showcase its latest solutions, including the CCS-PRO8 command and control switch, which allows operators to control up to eight machines
through eight or more monitors using just one mouse and one keyboard. However, the firm has decided to postpone the presentation of its new product, still to be announced, until the show, as confirmed by its Senior Product Manager, John Halksworth: “We’re excited to reveal a brand new product for the very first time. Although we aren’t announcing any product details until nearer the time, we think attendees at ISE will be impressed with what we have to offer”. Revolabs (a subsidiary of Yamaha) will be exhibiting its Unified Communications (UC) solutions portfolio, an important attraction at the show. The CS-700 Video Sound Collaboration System and YVC-1000MS Unified Communications Microphone and Speaker System solutions will play a leading role.
put great emphasis on solving the most perplexing UC challenges”, summarises Revolabs' CEO, Mick Kamihara. The manufacturer Crestron will be exhibiting its solutions for domestic and commercial spaces one more year. Its stronghold for this edition will be a residential stand where the firm will display its innovations in the domestic field, inspired by two principles: speed and efficiency. This has only been a peek. We will inform you about much more news right there during the show. See you there!
“Technology managers are dealing with a growing number of huddle rooms and small meeting spaces that must accommodate more and more off-site meeting participants. That's why Revolabs has TMBi - 75
TMBi - 76
Handmic Digital Microphone
The Handmic Digital Microphone by Sennheiser So much more than any other handheld microphone There is a lot more about this microphone than its appearance lets on, adding a lot of strategy to Sennheiser's technology and showing us new ways of doing things. Author: Luis Pavia
TMBi - 77
ď&#x201A;¤ TEST AREA The transformation of everything around us is something that should no longer surprise us. It is a continuous, dizzying process that is advancing ever more rapidly and in which it seems that there are fewer and fewer gaps to fill. Mobile phones and tablets, devices that have been taking over functions that previously required specific tools, are now replacing (almost) all kinds of equipment, thanks to the installation of certain applications. It is also true that, in most cases, many users achieve results that exceed their real needs, although this is not the case when the needs to be met come from the requirements of certain professional fields. But don't panic, our analysis is not about mobile phones. Or tablets. Nor do we intend to make a plea, either for or against what manufacturers, customers and the market itself are making happen. But we do want to point out that in today's analysis, there is much more than a new product. There are some strategic decisions that seem to be very significant, and which we think deserve to be analysed. Remember that this analysis is about a seemingly simple hand-held microphone. The product itself may not look particularly eyecatching, but it is of excellent quality. We must not forget that this is a hand-held microphone, with dynamic capsule, high-quality cardioid response, based on the well-known 835 model made by the same manufacturer, with a cable, a solid and robust construction, and designed to be connected directly to a mobile phone or tablet... But beware, however, that we are also facing the decision of a manufacturer such as Sennheiser, with all its name, quality and prestige in professional audio, to launch a TMBi - 78
Handmic Digital Microphone
A microphone specifically designed for use with mobile devices as a recording device via a USB connection microphone specifically designed for use with mobile devices as a recording device via a USB connection, and specifically with iPhones, iPads, or iPods, through its lightning connection. You might say that microphones for mobile phones already existed and ask what this one has that others donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Well, in the technological aspect, we find first-class features: a large capsule, good sensitivity, designed to be reasonably immune to wind, with excellent insulation from lateral ambient noise, and with a broad frequency range of 40 to 16,000 Hz. These are actually the norm for professional microphones delivering top performance. What is not so common is the specific immunisation against radiation from mobile phones, a requirement that is now part of our list of essentials. If we go a little further, the analogue/digital converter integrated into the electronics itself is an excellent point in its favour to guarantee the impeccable quality of the signal to be recorded without the need for further processing. This is perhaps the best summary of the concept of the microphone. It is not a device suitable for switchers, recorders, cameras or any other "traditional" device that requires an analogue signal. It is suitable for devices that record digitised audio signals. TMBi - 79
ď&#x201A;¤ TEST AREA Again, you might say, that we already had USB microphones... Yeah, of course. But not at this level of quality, far from it. And even less so that they could connect to the newest generation of Apple devices. Note that in iPhone 7, the analogue microphone and headset connections have disappeared. If we look at the interviews in the mass press conferences, there are fewer and fewer recorders, not even digital, and many mobile phones doing the job. Even broadcasting live. Until now, immediacy has prevailed over quality. In this area, there were no microphones offering the quality of a professional device, since even the best mobile phones cannot reach the performance of a professional microphone. This is the strategic area where a manufacturer of high-quality specialised
TMBi - 80
It is not a device suitable for switchers, recorders, cameras or any other "traditional" device that requires an analogue signal. It is suitable for devices that record digitised audio signals. audio equipment has identified an interesting niche to cover. We have just surpassed the quality limits imposed by a small capsule designed for priority use of voice in transmission by telephone channel, that is to say, with fairly limited bandwidth, capable of offering a broadcast audio quality recorded, or broadcast live, through our mobile phone. Quality must no longer be given up in exchange for immediacy.
The mike connects from its own micro USB connector, conveniently protected for rugged connection, and comes with two cables, one with a standard USB connector and the other with Lightning connector for Apple devices, which include iPhone, iPad and even iPod in the list of compatible devices. In the first cases, we do not only have a recorder, but we also have a live streaming
Handmic Digital Microphone
channel with a quality that was not possible until now. Interviews are a simple example in which we can all see first-hand, just watching the news, how the professional panorama has changed. However, there are many other uses for which this microphone is also an important qualitative leap forward, making it ideal for any other use in which sound quality is a differentiating factor: interviews in front of the camera (filmed with... a mobile phone!), ambient sound in concerts, bloggers, YouTubers, etc. Apple equipment is compatible with all video recording software, and
Apogee software is recommended for audio-only applications to control recording parameters. There are two applications, Apogee Meta Recorder and Apogee Maestro. In this case, we were surprised that the free version of Meta Recorder only allows you to record 60 seconds because this application has several options to access unlimited recording times simply by connecting certain Apogee or Sennheiser models. For this model, at least now, the upgrade must be purchased. Although the price is low (â&#x201A;Ź5.49 in January 2018 for the individual device version), we are surprised
that this model is not included when other Sennheiser models are. Will future versions of the software include it? The strategic fact is remarkable. As we said at the beginning, it is how the market is evolving, and how consolidated brands, far from trying to maintain their exclusivity as was the case long ago, respond with enough agility to the needs of the market by offering products compatible even with potential competitors. We also understand that in the same way that SLR cameras are currently recognised as video cameras, no one questions their suitability for a multitude of tasks even at a certain level, and a whole range of accessories are being manufactured. This microphone is evidence that mobile phones are also part of the common tools in recording/broadcast environments. This also leads me to think, on a personal level, that this integration has only just begun... We will keep an eye on the future. TMBi - 81