Summary 04 Editorial 06 Pan shot 20 Can Fibre Channel can be a thing of the past? 24 RAI, interview with Stefano Ciccotti (CTO) 36 Current status of audiovisual systems integration 40 AVI Systems 48 BIS B.V. 58 Diversified 66 Human Circuit 74 BVE 2018 preview 78 Multislider by Waterbird 86 UHD, much more than 4K - HDR and Standards 94 Test Area: Chrosziel Zoom servo CDM-MK-Z Editor in chief Javier de Martín
Creative Direction Mercedes González
International Account Director Cristina Feduchi firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial staff Daniel Esparza email@example.com
Key account manager Beatriz Calvo
Administration Laura de Diego
TM Broadcast International #55 March 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 A few weeks ago, news of exceptional relevance to our industry reached this editorial office: the acquisition of SAM by the Belden Group, owner of the Grass Valley brand. A spokesman for the latter confirmed that they would not make any official announcement until the next NAB, a factor that has enveloped the news in a certain halo of mystery. It will be then, in Las Vegas, when the new company unveils further information about its future action plan, something that the entire market will surely be waiting for. This purchase is, in any case, the last link in a trend that our industry has been projecting for years towards a greater concentration of the market (something that, by the way, is not exclusive to this sector). Leaving behind the last echoes of the crisis, companies are gathering forces to successfully navigate this new scenario. Everything indicates that the market has taken off again. And, as for movements like this one, it seems that it does so with strength. It is our duty to ask the protagonists; and that's precisely what we've done. As part of our special serial series to address the state-of-the-art technology of the world's leading television companies, we spoke with RAI's CTO, Stefano Ciccotti. We also approached the systems integration industry, in the centre of news after the last edition of ISE, which has broken records again. In this issue, we have contacted some of the best audiovisual integrators on the planet for them to tell us about their projects and technological innovations. With this menu, we invite you, once again, to analyse all the details of this universe of change.
TMBi - 4
GRASS VALLEY AND SAM WILL EXHIBIT ON A SINGLE STAND AT NAB, AFTER THE ACQUISITION Grass Valley anticipate executing an aggressive external communications effort at 2018 NAB Show The plan is for Belden to combine the SAM and Grass Valley operations and go to market under the Grass Valley brand. They’ll continue to be headquartered in Montreal, Canada, under the leadership of Grass Valley’s President, Timothy Shoulders. The SAM brand will be retired, but many product brands used by SAM and its predecessors through the years will be retained. Dave Cohen, Vice President of Marketing at Grass Valley, comments: “We’re excited about the advantages this transaction enables us to offer our customers, who continue to deal with a rapidly changing broadcast landscape that includes almost constantly evolving viewer and advertiser behavior, changing business models and enormous unprecedented competition. To stay competitive, they require support from their suppliers to help increase their efficiency and TMBi - 6
effectiveness. They need to reach new audiences, across different media, with more dynamic content”. “This announcement improves our overall offering to provide customers with the most comprehensive, innovative selection of products and services, with assured interoperability, and extend our ability to offer inregion support to the global broadcast community”, he continues. Belden is not intending to broadly communicate the closing of this transaction until they’re in a better position to provide useful information to their employees and customers. They anticipate executing an aggressive external communications effort at 2018 NAB Show where the combined company’s product roadmap will be exhibited on a single stand.
Tim Shoulders, President at Grass Valley, explains: “With this investment Belden again demonstrates our commitment to the broadcast industry. Adding SAM’s employees and products to the Grass Valley family extends Grass Valley’s global reach, makes us more agile and provides even more domain expertise to enhance Grass Valley’s industry-leading solutions in networking, news and live production and content delivery for broadcasters. Our customers face competition and uncertainty like never before. This transaction will help them navigate the technology options available to them with fewer concerns around interoperability and deployment complexity while providing them greater access to the innovators developing the solutions of tomorrow.”
D2D TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES THE AVAILABILITY OF D2FLEX 3000 from popular services like Titan TV and Gracenote (TMS) or from a spreadsheet with programming for the next several weeks.
D2D Technologies announces the availability of the D2Flex 3000, the latest full duplex IP/ASI Video Gateway that features the Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol for reliable transmission of high quality video with low latency across the public internet. The receiving system can also regionalize at head-ends and transmitter sites with advanced channel branding, a dynamic PSIP electronic program guide and insert the critical emergency alerts (EAS) required by the FCC. Now, broadcasters, cable and IPTV operators can send their own digital video multiplex that is regionalized with advanced channel branding and optional PSIP data insertion from point to point via the public internet. “We are excited to introduce the latest D2Flex product that provides a cost effective TMBi - 8
solution for transmitting your broadcast streams over the public internet using the powerful SRT protocol”, comments Steve Doll, President of D2D Technologies. “SRT provides the best quality video possible by accounting for packet loss, latency, jitter and dynamically adjusting for bandwidth between each endpoint.” The D2Flex 3000 is based on the D2Flex 6000 and supports the D2Guide option to insert an Electronic Program Guide (EPG) so that viewers can find the programs they want. The D2Flex 3000 can set the major and minor channel numbers on each output stream and pass through or regenerate the necessary PSIP tables. The optional D2Guide can run on the D2Mux platform to provide dynamic PSIP data insertion
The D2Flex 3000 platform can also host the optional D2Alert application which inserts digital video from an Emergency Alert System (EAS) like the Digital Alert Systems DASDEC or the Trilithic EAS system. The D2Alert system constantly monitors the EAS system and when a valid alert is found, it is automatically inserted into all of the configured programs until the alert is complete. With D2Alert broadcasters can comply with FCC requirements and inform viewers in the event of an emergency. The D2Flex 3000 features dedicated ASI input and output ports for full duplex Transport Stream over IP (TSoIP) conversion of up to 4 independent streams. Digital streams over IP are handled by a standard RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port that also supports browser based management and SNMP remote monitoring with configurable traps.
GRASS VALLEY EQUIPS CANAL JUDICIAL WITH NEWS PRODUCTION SOLUTIONS Grass Valley offers GV STRATUS, EDIUS and K2 Summit servers Canal Judicial provides viewers in Mexico with a firsthand look at the news from the country’s Supreme Court. With dozens of live cases and educational programs being broadcast each day, the channel needed solutions that could expand with its growing content demands. GV STRATUS Video Production and Content Management Systems, EDIUS Workgroup 8 Nonlinear Editing Software, K2 10G RAID Storage systems and K2 Summit 3G Transmission Clients from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, will manage Canal Judicial’s current and future production workflows. GV STRATUS Express and GV STRATUS Elite HR help the network keep up with its judicial programming and manage multiple news production workflows since users can tailor the solution’s production tools based on function. GV STRATUS handles the entire content creation and delivery process across multiple digital media platforms, and the video production and content TMBi - 10
management system includes full integration with EDIUS. Both in the courtroom and in the studio, EDIUS Workgroup 8 offers more formats and more resolutions in real-time, providing the ability to edit anything, anywhere. For postproduction on Canal Judicial’s live broadcast and news programs, the editing software offers real-time, norender editing of all popular SD, HD and 4K formats. GV STRATUS and EDIUS are also fully integrated with K2 10G RAID Storage and K2 Summit 3G Transmission Clients so that finished content can be efficiently
stored and distributed. The K2 10G RAID Storage System is scalable with SAS storage drives, 8 Gb/s Fiber Channel hardware RAID controllers, redundant connectivity, hot-swappable power supplies and highperformance bandwidth delivery. K2 Summit Transmission Client includes two HD/SD bidirectional channels and two HD/SD playout channels for configuration variety, as well as up/down/cross-conversion capability with full AFD, for worry-free migration from SD to HD.
RIEDEL’S MEDIORNET INTERCONNECTS MULTIPLE VENUES AT BANFF CENTRE
Canada's Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has deployed Riedel Communications' MediorNet real-time media network to interconnect the Centre's theatres, recital halls, recording studios, and production facilities. Supplied and installed by Canadian distributer BSE, the integrated and decentralized signal transport network consists of five MediorNet Compact PRO 50G media distribution frames. TMBi - 12
As Canada's largest arts training institution, Banff Centre is situated on a 42acre campus in the Canadian Rockies near Banff, Alberta. With a MediorNet Compact PRO unit deployed permanently in each of two control rooms and three more used as portable stageboxes at various event venues, Banff Centre can simultaneously interconnect multiple performance and recording spaces with a selfhealing, redundant feed of
multiplexed HD-SDI video, MADI audio, analog audio, Ethernet, and intercom signals. For a larger production in which two studios are active simultaneously and supported by both control rooms, the Banff Centre team can create fiber links between the two studio stageboxes — while the third stagebox manages the active cross-feeds between the control rooms. When inter-control-room feeds are not required, the fiber links
simplify the interconnection of the two active studios. "The MediorNet system has allowed us to tie our campus together in one comprehensive fiber- optic production network. This robust flexibility is handy since we often have simultaneous performance and recording demands that occur throughout our campus," said Woody MacPhail, Senior Producer/Technical Director, Media and Production, Banff Center. "Also, MediorNet has allowed us to reduce our labor costs and the ongoing wear and tear on audio/video switching and monitoring equipment when it's moved throughout the campus. Establishing remote feeds is now a much more efficient process by which we just route signals to our remote video and audio control rooms as the need arises." Joyce Bente, President and CEO of Riedel North America commented, "Drawing high-profile, landmark events such as the TEDSummit and the Banff Mountain Film + Book Festival, Banff Centre is a showcase of the best in the creative arts. Facilities such as the Banff Centre, with its spread-out campus and widely distributed venues, are a perfect use case for our MediorNet Compact PRO. It's just right for small to mid-sized applications, and because it's compatible with all other MediorNet devices, it's fully scalable as a satellite stagebox in larger media networks."
24 AJA FS-HDRS POWER 4K/UHD HDR CONVERSION FOR BETAMEDIA/DBW
Italian production company BetaMedia delivers a range of television programming for clients including Endemol, Infront, and OBS, among others, with credits spanning “Big Brother Italy,” “Master Chef,” the Alpine Skiing World Cup, Olympics and Serie A Football Championship. The company recently joined forces with DBW to develop one of Italy’s first IP-based 4K HDR Outside Broadcast (OB) vans, the Esterna 14. To blend incoming and outgoing signals for 4K/UltraHD HDR, HD HDR and HD SDR broadcasts, BetaMedia recently invested in 24 AJA FS-HDR converters for realtime HDR and WCG conversion. “FS-HDR is extremely versatile and can serve most any signal function we need, TMBi - 14
so it was a natural fit for the Esterna,” shared Rosario Messina, Chief Engineer and Technical Designer at BetaMedia. “If I have a signal coming in that isn’t formatted for use in the pipeline yet, I can just run it through FSHDR in realtime and the problem is solved.” Capable of 4K/UltraHD and HD production, the OB van is based on a scalable FlexIP structure with operating dimensions that can accommodate up to 36 4K SONY cameras and 12 EVS XT4K servers. It also includes SAM/Grass Valley technology for IP and video switching, as well as gear from Stage Tec and Clearcom for audio and communications. For HDR productions, the van uses an S-Log3/2SI/2160p50 profile. AJA FS-HDRs are used to convert signals from outside
sources for a consistent look across production, and to convert outbound signals to match whichever flavor of signal each broadcaster requires. “FS-HDR has been an excellent addition to the Esterna 14. We can easily send and receive incoming sources from far away with copper and optical inputs that can be switched via an internal matrix, in addition to standardizing or conforming new color spaces,” Messina explained. “FS-HDR also allows us to up and down convert, and we can vary the frame rate, deinterlace or synchronize as needed. Another advantage is the ability to vary between Level A, Level B, 2SI and more, and extract and deliver audio to the audio matrix in MADI mode.”
BROADCAST SOLUTIONS WILL HOST A BROADCAST INNOVATION DAY IN POLAND Broadcast Solutions GmbH, together with local partner Tadeusz Gawenda from SKULL, will host a Broadcast Innovation Day in Warsaw on March 19. Registration is possible free of charge at www.broadcast-innovationdays.com. With several additional companies joining the event, Broadcast Solutions will offer the Polish broadcast community insights into the latest trends in LiveTV production and an event for networking. Companies, joining the event will be Grass Valley, Riedel, ChyronHego, EVS, IHSE as well as Twenty4Seven. The Warsaw
edition will follow on the successful format of the Broadcast Innovation Days with a mixture of lectures, panel discussions, an exhibition area as well as hands-on demonstrations, plus a guided tour through an OB-Van, recently built for a Broadcast Solutionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; customer. With this diversified programme visitors will have
the chance to learn about Remote Production, IPtechnology, HDR and 4K/UHD as well as wireless and satellite communication and innovative broadcast workflows. The full programme and registration are available at www.broadcast-innovationday.com.
FROM ISE 2018
PANASONIC UNVEILS A SIX MODEL SERIES OF 4K PROFESSIONAL DISPLAYS AT ISE
The entry class LCD panels come with, 350 cd/m2 brightness, making them suitable for shopping centres, showrooms, meeting rooms, and classrooms. The two largest panels (86/75-inch) also feature In-Plane Switching technology, which maintains colour accuracy and clear visibility when the screen is viewed off-axis. The new display series presents 4K imaging with a slim depth and stylish narrow bezel design which maximises the screen area in relation to the display’s TMBi - 16
physical size. To support the latest 4K and Full HD video content, all the displays have two HDCP 2.2compliant HDMI terminals to play DRM-protected content. Like all displays in this series, the EQ1 features VESA-compliant mount.
Set-top Box. In a local
“The design focus for the EQ1 Series, was to simplify the installation, setup, and control of the displays,” said Enrique Robledo, Marketing Manager at Panasonic. “Each has a USB media player that displays 4K and Full HD content without the need for external cables or a
Multi-Monitoring & Control
network, content can also be updated using a master USB device, synced across multiple displays via LAN.” Single or multiple displays can be monitored and controlled using Panasonic Software. This free software includes basic control capabilities, able to expand its function by using Early Warning Software, for networked displays— suitable for schools, retail and offices.
FROM ISE 2018
EPSON ANNOUNCES NEW 2,000-LUMEN WXGA ACCENT LIGHTING PROJECTOR FOR RETAIL, GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS Epson has announced the LightScene EV-100 Series, a new type of projector that expands the company’s presence in the signage and lighting sector. With a sleek, low-noise design, available in black or white and created to blend into the background, the 2,000lumen WXGA EV-100 can work as either a projector or a spotlight without distracting viewers from the subject. The LightScene EV-100’s unobtrusive design is suitable for curated visual environments such as retail showrooms, shop window displays, museum exhibits and art installations, where minimal visual clutter is key. It can be used to provide information, show video or moving patterns, and even projection map imagery onto small objects.
unobtrusive, without compromising performance, versatility or reliability.”
Projector Content Manager
Epson’s flexible laser technology gives the EV-100 a wide variety of mounting options – it can project from any angle, and can be ceiling-mounted, floorstanding or attached to a lighting track¹, all without requiring specialist installation or set-up. It is also capable of projecting in portrait, and multiple units are capable of edge blending for larger displays.
be loaded via SD Card and
The LightScene EV-100 is supplied with Epson
Software, which allows single or multiple playlists to changed using remote control by employees, with no need for a computer. The software also allows user to add overlay effects including colour and shape filters to permit tinted and irregularlyshaped images, as well as creating and editing playlists, timetables and custom filters. The LightScene EV-100 is available from June 2018.
Leon Mclean, product manager, Epson Europe, says, “The LightScene EV100 is a first move into a completely new type of projector for Epson, and a great addition to our range of laser signage solutions. I’m very pleased with a design that manages to be stylish and visually TMBi - 17
FROM ISE 2018
CRESTRON UNVEILS XIO CLOUD, ITS CLOUD-BASED PROVISIONING PLATFORM, AT ISE
Crestron demonstrated XiO Cloud, its cloud-based provisioning platform at ISE 2018. XiO Cloud enables centralized enterprise-wide configuration, monitoring, management, and control of Crestron products including Crestron Mercury®, 3Series® Control Systems, DigitalMedia™ products (including DMPSs), and TSW touch screens. “With XiO Cloud, you simply connect a device to the network and it’s automatically recognized,” said Brian Donlan, Crestron Technology Manager, Enterprise Software. TMBi - 18
“There’s no time-consuming programming, and any device in the world can be managed remotely. The device doesn’t even need to be online when it’s configured. It’s simple, worldwide, browser-based management with the network security IT professionals demand.” XiO Cloud provides IT managers with a centralized tool that enables them to deploy and manage thousands of devices in the same amount of time as it would to manage just one. Using simple drag and drop functionality, devices can be
named, configured, and organized by groups and subgroups. Settings and firmware updates can be silently pushed to one or all devices. Device licenses can be activated, transferred, or removed. The dashboard provides interactive charts, a fully searchable activity log of all actions within the portal, and a group status page. And with live status and full monitoring of every connected device, the help desk can quickly address technical issues to maximize uptime.
FROM ISE 2018
CORE BY DPA MAKES ITS EUROPEAN DEBUT AT ISE 2018
At ISE 2018, DPA Microphones launched d:sign™, the latest product group to join its d: branding that already encompasses d:facto™, d:vote™, d:screet™, d:mension™ and d:dicate™. Microphones and accessories within the new d:sign Installation Solutions Series are specifically targeted at the installation and conference markets and were on show at Booth 7P240, where DPA exhibited in conjunction with its Netherlands distributor AMPTEC. “When it comes to delivering a successful event or conference what you really need is clear, intelligible sound,” says DPA Product Manager René Moerch. “DPA has a range of products that are ideally suited to conference and installation environments and by bringing them together under one generic branding, we are making it much easier for customers to identify exactly what they need. All of the products in the new d:sign range feature sleek Scandinavian design and deliver neutral and
accurate sound to the smallest detail, even in the most difficult surroundings.” DPA also used the ISE platform to give European customers their first chance to experience the new CORE by DPA amplifier technology. Launched in 2017, CORE by DPA has already been adopted as standard by key rental companies including Terry Tew Light & Sound Hire, the UK’s largest supplier of RF audio equipment to the broadcast market. CORE by DPA lives within the company’s line of miniature lavalier and headset microphones where it minimizes distortion and increases dynamic range, or workable area. They also provide water and moisture resistance through nano coating and hermetic sealing of the sensitive electronics. DPA developed this new amplifier to create a clearer sound from the ‘highest of the highs’ to the ‘lowest of
the lows.’ The dynamic range has been expanded in all CORE miniature capsules. For example, the dynamic range of the d:screet 4061 Miniature Microphone and the d:fine 4066 Headset Microphone has been increased by 14 dB at 1% THD. CORE technology gives the microphones a more clear and open sound in the whole level range; from a whisper to a scream. Located in the capsule of its miniature mics, CORE by DPA is currently available in the d:screet 4060, d:screet 4061, d:fine 4066 and d:fine 4088 mics. Microphones purchased with the new technology will come in CORE packaging and will have a blue label near the serial number on the cable to differentiate between these and the original versions. A laser engraving stating ‘core’ has been incorporated at the microphone capsule as well. TMBi - 19
Can Fibre Channel be a thing of the past? New technologies catapult Ethernet performance closer to its expensive counterpart By Elements
The world of media storage is changing, yet again. After traditional spinning hard disk drives (HDD) have been outperformed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and oftentimes replaced - by significantly faster Solid State Drives (SSD) for quite some time now, the
TMBi - 20
insanely fast Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) is now on the rise, providing another huge boost in performance for postprocessing large resolution media files. The exciting news is that, while the flash memory is
still a little more expensive than SATA SSDs, the unrivalled speed of NVMe accelerates less expensive Ethernet topologies so tremendously, comparable to Fibre Channel performance.
It’s somewhat of an oxymoron: While continually pushing for higher resolutions and endto-end uncompressed productions, the postproduction and VFX industry keeps demanding increasing storage performance to the extreme. To top it off, there is absolutely no tolerance for latencies. Larger and larger amounts of data must be accessed and processed rapidly and stutter-free to improve enduser application experience and reduce time-to completion – and the storage often turns out as the bottleneck. Of course, there is no
single right answer for everyone, or one ultimate storage environment that will fit the bill for every post-production facility, as it all depends on the individual workflow and requirements. But especially for production islands, or smaller facilities, running a mix of Ethernet and Fibre Channel topologies, faster NVMe storage can potentially make a significantly more expensive Fibre Channel set-up become obsolete.
HDD < SSD < NVME In the first big step moving from HHDs to SSDs, a remarkable gain of
performance was achieved because SSDs use memory chips instead of spinning disks; hence, no slow-downs due to head seeks. However, the behavior and “appearance” of SSDs was still the same as HDD - and most importantly, SSDs still utilize the SATA bus interface to connect. Unlike HDDs or SSDs, NVMe is equipped with an integrated storage controller and interface, and instead of utilizing the comparably slow SATA host adapter, NVMe connects through the lightning fast Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus, allowing for a tremendous boost in
TMBi - 21
performance - one NVMe card is as fast as up to ten SSDs. As solid-state storage with no moving parts, NVMe and can handle a lot more simultaneous I/O requests than SAS and SATA, providing better bandwidth with close-tozero latency, ideal for render-intensive operations that require extremely high IOPs. Bottom line: NVMe will over time replace the legacy bottleneck protocols SATA, SAS (SCSI) for both Fibre Channel and Ethernet, and bring shared storage arrays to lightning speed performance.
HIGH-SPEED STORAGE WITHOUT THE COST ? Without a doubt, storage is a very - if not the most essential and integral part of every media workflow, and with workloads constantly rising, both capacity and speed are critical. But while it sounds tempting to create entire storage arrays with incredibly fast flash TMBi - 22
storage, utilizing NVMe within the storage array poses the problem that the OS of the array itself becomes the bottleneck. However, albeit NVMe may not (yet) be a viable option for supplying the whole storage capacity, it offers a good opportunity to potentially disregard rather expensive Fibre Channel connectivity. Especially smaller-sized post-production facilities and production islands with dedicated user groups may want to consider abandoning Fibre Channel, and running the more cost-efficient Ethernet protocol instead. German manufacturer ELEMENTS just released its latest generation of media servers, utilizing NVMe flash storage as a
transparent read cache (Flash Cache) on the server level, providing higher safeguarding of media assets. In case of a power outage, for instance, the most frequently used media files would usually be flushed from any standard RAM, whereas with the new hardware set-up, those assets will remain in the non-volatile memory (NVMe) cache, ready to be written to disk as soon as the power supply has been restored.
ETHERNET WITH FIBRE CHANNEL PERFORMANCE Offering an alternative to block-level and pure Fibre Channel set-ups, ELEMENTS supports up to 100Gbit Ethernet and
high as before, providing exceptionally high parallel stream count in non-linear editing (NLE) applications, and huge random IO performance, especially interesting for demanding render farms in postproduction. With an overhead of multi-stream concurrency of close to zero, and no moving parts on the solid-state NVMe, allocation and fragmentation issues on the file system become irrelevant on the transparent cache.
RDMA. In combination with the newly embraced NVMe cache, a significant increase in performance compared to classic NAS protocols was achieved, pushing the simpler and more affordable Ethernet infrastructure to provide more throughput than Fibre Channel. By adding another 6GB/s of read
throughput to the disk layer, the overall bandwidth available from a single unit is twice as
This approach allows post-production facilities to deploy a single topology for the whole storage environment while even benefitting from extremely low CPU consumption, leaving more CPU power for applications.
TMBi - 23
TMBi - 24
RAI RADIOTELEVISIONE ITALIANA Exclusive interview with Stefano Ciccotti, RAI’s CTO
Stefano Ciccotti has recently taken over the technical control of RAI, one of the most important European public broadcasting & media services. What better time than this to talk to him about the stamp he wants to print on his new professional adventure. The pioneering application of 4K technology in news contents or the launch of an OTT platform are just some of the recent milestones of RAI. Among the challenges that the broadcaster is facing in the near future, Ciccotti highlights the ambitious “Full-IP” project or the applications in television of 5G technology. And be careful, because he also warns: “From 2020, everyone will seriously work towards 8K”.
TMBi - 25
You have been working at Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana) almost uninterruptedly from 1987. After moving through several leading positions, you were appointed as CTO in October 2017, just three months ago. What does it mean for you to assume this role? Being appointed as CTO of RAI, one of the most important European public broadcasting & media services, is not only the crowning achievement of my technical career, but also an important challenge: my main task is to continuosly monitor the development of technology in the “world of media”, allowing RAI to anticipate disruptive events, and at the same
Stefano Ciccotti, RAI’s CTO.
time ensure that the technological solutions adopted are up-to-date and implemented in the
Today the user looks for a user experience focused on image and sound quality, flexibility of the enjoyment of services, fluidity between linear and non-linear, transparency of the platforms, multi-screen continuum. 4K is an essential part of this customer proposition. TMBi - 26
most efficient way possible.
You are a privileged witness of the technological evolution followed by Rai in the last decades. What are the main milestones reached by the company in its recent history, according to you? • The digitalization of the TV networks: completed at the beginning of this decade, allowed the TV offer to be developed
from the 3 generalist networks to a bouquet composed today of 14 channels (generalists, semi-generalists and thematic) broadcast on all distribution platforms: terrestrial, satellite and IP. • The development of High Definition: Rai1, Rai2, Rai3, RaiSport + and, in some areas, also Rai4 and RaiPremium, are broadcast in HD also on digital terrestrial, while on satellite the offer is completely in HD. • The new RaiPlay: the new portal, improved with a more captivating and stable frontend, collects online the whole Rai offer (live and ondemand) completely free and achieved great public success among all the targets of our audience.
Would you highlight any recent purchases or innovation? • Rai's on-line offer has recently been further developed with the
new RaiPlay Radio "app", which allows personalized listening of ten radio channels on smartphones, tablets and PCs. • The first use of 4KHDR technology for the news with the shot "Back to Iraq", realized by the troupe of the program "Petrolio" in the territories of the city of Mosul in Iraq.
You started broadcasting in 4K in June 2016. What challenges did you face when launching Rai 4K? First of all, a consideration on the reasons of this choice. Today the user looks for a user experience focused on image and sound quality, flexibility of the enjoyment of services, fluidity between linear and non-linear, transparency of the platforms, multi-screen continuum. 4K is an essential part of this customer proposition. At the time of the Rai4K launch we had to
face two limitations. The first is today's limited (though increasing) availability of content in UHD.We have broadcast some football matches of the European Championship 2016, some movies such as “Suspiria” by Dario Argento, some fictions like “I Medici”, a series of documentaries TMBi - 28
also produced for Rai. We faced an initial resistance by the “majors” in releasing 4K rights of the films for issues in content protection. And this brings us to the second constraint: the receiver availability. 4K with HDR requires receivers with HEVC main 10 and, for content protection,
specific systems - ECP approved by the “majors”. When Rai 4K started, the receivers availability (in the specific case UHD TVs with HEVC and CAM Tivusat) was very limited. The very specifications of the receivers were not fully defined. Only at the end of 2017 specifications for receivers that would
10, ECP and dual tuner DVB-T2 and DVB-S2.
Why did you decide to partner with Eutelsat to deploy the 4K channel? Eutelsat has always been a partner of Rai in developing satellite broadcasting. As is known, Eutelsat manages a satellite fleet at the 13° east orbital position, a position considered as a reference for the Italian market. Tivùsat - the free platform launched in 2009 and participated by Rai, Mediaset, Telecom Italia and a network of local broadcasters – broadcasts from 13 ° east. Sky broadcasts from the same orbital position.
We know that, from 2020, everyone will seriously work towards 8K have been spread on the Italian market from 2019 were defined in the UHD Book 1.0, with HEVC main
Eutelsat and Rai have a strong partnership in innovation, which began with high definition and is now continuing with 4K.
Do you have in mind any innovation in the field of 4K? We started to introduce HDR and certainly we’ll continue in this direction, switching from the colorimetry BT709 to the much more performing
BT2020. Moreover, in a few years we’ll probably have the new HFR, that is a higher number of frames per second very suitable for sports events in 4K. And then we know that, from 2020, everyone will seriously work towards 8K.
What technical challenges do you face with your OTT service RayPlay (launched in December 2016)? Rai, like all broadcasters, must first learn to get a good orientation in the OTT world: in other words, we must understand which are the opportunities that this new ecosystem is going to offer us (I’m talking about opportunities because threats are obvious: the disintermediation between content and user -that will lead to the end of the programming schedule centrality- and the disruption of the value chain and its reorganization around a few global players). From a technological point of view, the challenge is being able to develop and expand a HBBTV 2.0 TMBi - 29
environment that keeps in smart tv’s and around smart tv’s interoperability of services, system transversality and chances of linear and non-linear integration.
Nowadays, social networks are in the focus of all mass media as a way to interact with their audience. How do you face this theme? Do you use any technological solution
TMBi - 30
designed to manage this challenge? • The "social" connotations of interaction with our audience are already represented - into Rai's on-line offer - by “RaiPlay” and “RaiPlay Radio” apps. • Our ICT Department is also developing a specific Social Management module embedded in a project of Digitalization of processes and business
IT systems. • The strengthening of the paths that lead to a direct contact with citizens through new technological platforms is also required by the new Service Contract signed between Rai and our Government.
What is your current technological situation in the field of Outside Broadcast? • Embedded in the Full HD
For the external shootings, the endowment of KaSat vehicles for our ENG is also planned, as well as the creation of mobile flight-case control systems equipped with HDR and UHD technology. project we planned, in a four years span, the renewal of the studios and, in addition, the complete renewal of the vehicles used by our
external production crews (heavy vehicles, medium and light SNG) and the related contribution systems.
• For the external shootings, the endowment of KaSat vehicles for our ENG is also planned, as well as the creation of mobile flight-case control systems equipped with HDR and UHD technology.
And what about IP technology? • Rai “Full-IP” project will allow the use of information technologies TMBi - 31
along the whole production chain and the use of audiovisual and multimedia content in multi-platform mode. • The T-Cube system is now active in almost all the newsrooms of our editors (journalists and not journalists). The “Full-IP” project embeds the completion of the TCube system and the update of MAM (Media Asset Management), aimed at contents archiving and at the integration with the informative system for show schedules management. • For post-production, the “Full-IP” Project will provide the construction of infrastructures aimed to enable the activation of post-production workflows and graphics in remote collaboration with the integration of cloud services. • In the field of central control and broadcasting, we planned to use IP technology in centralizing, automatizing and TMBi - 32
virtualizing the control and management systems of the Master Control Rooms located throughout the territory, in order to manage operational processes of connections management in a geographical and local environment.
What technology or equipment do you consider essential for your workflow? • IP technologies for the digitalization of all business processes and systems, with the dematerialization of contents and archives. • The progressive development of the High and the Very High Definition and of the HDR along the whole production, distribution and transmission chain. • The evolution of
Rai “Full-IP” project will allow the use of information technologies along the whole production chain and the use of audiovisual and multimedia content in multi-platform mode.
broadcasting networks towards DVB-T2. â&#x20AC;˘ The increase in the technical quality of the Radio, also with the
development of the DAB+ network.
As the biggest television broadcaster in Italy, what technologies or
innovations make you different from the rest of Italian broadcasters? Targeting the improvement of the TMBi - 33
technical quality of our contents, Rai has developed a very strong experience in the production of 4K and HDR documents. As previously mentioned, the shot "Back to Iraq" is the world's first application of this technology to news, which leaded to the creation of a news report for the TV program "Petrolio".
What if you compare it with other leading televisions?
TMBi - 34
Rai is different because it is the Italian TV public service: technological innovation is embedded in its mission as an essential dimension of its role for the development of the Italian audiovisual industry.
What challenges will you face in the nearest future? The shift of frequency resources from television to 5G will lead to a restructuring of the Italian
television system which will impose rethinking and new strategies to all broadcasters. I’d like to underline how the release of the 700 MHz band takes now place in a transition phase where the targets of the “digital agenda” will be put into effect and where the competitive scenario will be characterized by the dynamism of global OTTs. Produce contents for international markets,
Rai has a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery project that will merge several data centres now distributed throughout the territory, creating a modern and upgradable Data Centre architecture and also fulfilling the further strengthening of the corporate IP network supervise multiplatform distribution, innovate products and processes; a new phase of innovation is starting and, in the medium period, it will not be possible to avoid three topics: transition to the centrality of the IP, achievement of the Big Data dimension, construction of a strategic networking for the control of the technological chain.
that will merge several data centres now distributed throughout the territory, creating a modern and upgradable Data Centre architecture and also fulfilling the further strengthening of the corporate IP network.
What is the future of the television, according to your opinion? Due to the transformation speed, it is difficult to forecast beyond a medium-term horizon. But surely we’re facing a long period trend distinguished by the personalization of audiovisual and communication consumptions, the consolidation of the logic of fruition “anytime / everywhere”, the globalization of content markets, the attraction of audiovisual systems by IP technologies.
Do you have in mind any purchase of equipment? Further more than the major projects already highlighted, targeting the improvement of the technical quality of services we provide to our audience, Rai has a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery project TMBi - 35
Current status of
audiovisual systems integration
TMBi - 36
The Pro AV industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 5% from now until 2022
TMBi - 37
The current scenario, where technology is advancing at such a rapid pace, undoubtedly presents specific challenges for the integration industry. One is the ghost of obsolescence, a factor that must be considered when equipping a highlevel audiovisual space. System integrators deal with this issue on a daily basis. Technological advances sometimes even lead to changes in the initial design plans for an audiovisual installation to include some technical improvements that have only just landed on the market. This paradigm obliges the technical staff of integrator companies, now more than ever, to keep an eye on the latest TMBi - 38
innovations. This factor can help us understand the reason behind all the acquisitions and mergers that have taken place over the past year between companies in the sector, as part of their commitment to having employees and technological systems that guarantee optimum levels of excellence. The geographical factor should also be added here. In a global world, many companies expand their business range to new areas through the acquisition of regional companies. In any case, all indications point towards a booming industry. The Pro AV industry could grow at an average annual rate of close to 5% from now until 2022, according
to a recent study by AVIXA (Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association). This study even estimates a turnover of US$231 billion for that year, compared to approximately US$180 billion in 2017. If we zoom in, we see that the Americas are still the leading region, driven by the United States, with a turnover of close to $67 billion in 2017. It is closely followed by the AsianPacific region, boosted by the Chinese wake, which already has a turnover of around $64 billion. And watch out, because Africa is the continent that thrives most rapidly, with an annual growth rate of 8% (compared to approximately 4% in the other areas). Africa is already above 8 billion
euros in turnover. Europe, for its part, reached a total turnover of 43 billion euros last year. These figures seem to anticipate a good business period for audiovisual integrators.
AREAS OF INTEREST Within the range of verticals these integrators serve, we can highlight several. One of the most thriving areas is live event coverage. At a global level, all the focuses have recently been on the Winter Olympic Games, an event that many leading companies in the sector have taken advantage of to test the latest advances in 4K, 5G or Virtual Reality technology. Another section that several integrators
highlight are new workspaces. Remote collaboration between employees of the same company is becoming increasingly frequent, especially given the transnational mergers discussed above, so there is every indication that plans to create new meeting rooms open to the participation of people who are not physically present will continue from now on. The installation of systems in the area of health, the setting up of educational spaces or audiovisual equipment in churches are also areas of interest highlighted by several companies. In the area of technologies, it is common to hear about the implementation of Digital Signage solutions, the
installation of LED screens or the adoption of IP workflows in audiovisual spaces. Among the challenges faced by the sector, we can also highlight the evolution of the AV and IT sectors towards convergence, a key issue to understand the future of the business. Improving customer experience, who in many cases prefer simple, standardised and easy-to-use solutions over more complex custom structures, is another challenge faced by many firms in this industry. We then chatted with a selection of some of the world's best audiovisual integrators to explore these trends, popular technological innovations and their most interesting recent projects. TMBi - 39
TMBi - 40
Interview with Brad Sousa, Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
AVI Systems has become from a small supply company 40 years ago into a global provider of audio visual solutions today. What key steps has your company followed so far to get this? Today, we would say that AVI is in our forth reinvention of who we are. We started out 40 years ago when the industry was about providing technical devices and hardware. Along our journey, we became more of a systems integrator, delivering systems that combined multiple technologies and manufacturers; and then eventually became an integrator delivering systems nationally and internationally. Today we would say that we are still an integrator, but more focused on solutions than systems. Our emphasis is on applying the technologies we support to human collaboration and decision making. Along the way, our customer relationships have had the trust needed to enable AVI to transform as a company as well as lead visual innovation. As a result, AVI has customers of all TMBi - 41
Today we would say that we are still an integrator, but more focused on solutions than systems. Our emphasis is on applying the technologies we support to human collaboration and decision making. sorts; from technology buyers and those that are looking for the best integrated systems, to organizations who value the power of visual communications. AVI’s goal is to enable people and teams to communicate their critical ideas. AVI technologies accelerate decision making, improve human interactions and create impactful experiences.
During that time, what changes have impacted your company the most? In 40 years, there are literally hundreds of small changes that create large shifts in the industry. AVI would distill many of these down to three large points of impact. Digital Transformation: The impact of digital transformation cannot be overstated. The way we
Do you see a high demand in fully IPbased facilities or the main trend is hybrid solutions? We do see high demand for IP-based solutions, but I would say that our experience leads us to say there will always be some form of hybrid. Hybrid might be studio to post, or cloud and onpremises, whatever the final design there is rarely a single platform.
TMBi - 42
create, transport and consume media is all driven by this transformation. The amount of media that the average knowledge worker consumes in a common workday is absolutely staggering. Media that is professionally produced and on-air is given equality with on-demand and internet media of all sorts. Combine this with the hours of content that is self-produced each day through social media and collaborative technologies and we begin to see why our customers have become deaf to messages about “what a product or system can do” and are hyper focused on “how
visual technologies can solve problems and move forward decision making”. Today it is common place for AVI to integrate solutions that include technologies from Amazon and Microsoft, with technologies that include IP network infrastructure, UC applications and broadcast technologies.
IoT and Consumerization of Media: In the past, systems were essentially “closed” with discrete connections from sources to destinations with some sort of matrix in between. Today, these “IP devices” create a communication environment that can be literally thousands of connected sources and consumers. In the past, we
In the past we would have seen broadcast as essentially call-sign stations and on-air media. Today, broadcast includes “FANGs” (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) and others. Internet media outlets are driving this transformation.
fought to maintain strict adherence to quality guidelines that ensured “professional” media. Today, IoT connected devices drive content from social media and mobile devices that are seemingly acceptable quality. The result is the ever-growing expectation from users that connections should be “open”, enabling users to connect anywhere, and from virtually device, to each other; while maintaining the quality and reliability normally associated with restrictive and managed infrastructure. The lines that used to segment our business between corporate and broadcast TMBi - 43
and digital media are blurred. It’s all visual communications in different forms and the expectation is that it is integrated together. This expectation is across all segments of AVI’s business. Broadcast, Unified Communications and Collaboration, Enterprise AV and Media… Transition from technologist buyers to technology consumers: This is perhaps the biggest current impact and likely will be for the next several years. In the past, our business was transacted between technologists. Technologist buyers and technologist sellers that delivered well engineered solutions between people that had essentially a common language and set of expectations. However, more and more today our customers are not technologists. They are technology consumers looking for a way to solve a problem and hoping our technology will assist them. These customers don’t speak specifications and standards. They speak in business terms. TMBi - 44
They speak to us in terms of strategies and outcomes. This is true regardless if the customer is a media outlet, a global corporation or a house of worship. This requires AVI to change our language, our design processes and our definition of “solution”.
What did the acquisition of Dascom System (IPTV systems integrator) mean for your business? We are very excited about Dascom and AVI. We see Dascom as a compelling offer for AVI’s broadcast practice as well
as Digital Media for healthcare and the enterprise. In the past we would have seen broadcast as essentially call-sign stations and onair media. Today, broadcast includes “FANGs” (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) and others. Internet media outlets are driving this transformation and Dascom is in the forefront of this transformation. The same IPTV solutions that Dascom brings to internet media outlets can be applied to nonbroadcast IPTV solutions.
say that we have seen significant growth and demand in healthcare, financial services and AVI’s federal government business sectors, especially around what we call “mixed classification collaboration” that enables both classified and unclassified collaboration.
What type of challenges do your consumers face in the Broadcast & Media area?
These include patient edutainment solutions for healthcare providers, as an example, where patients can access on-air television as well as media on-demand and educational content from an IP attached set-top-box in the patient room. It includes the potential integration of live and ondemand media with virtual learning resources for a university and delivers these in studenthousing, classrooms and across campuses. Dascom brings to AVI IPTV solutions that integrate
with Unified Collaboration, Digital Media and other visual communications solutions. Your company covers a wide portfolio of markets (Business, Education, Entertainment, Financial, Government, Healthcare and Houses of Worship). Do you detect a special demand in any of them? Our enterprise practice continues to experience growing demand as organizations look to create an integrated solution across the entire enterprise. We would also
The three points of impact described above certainly apply to Broadcast and Media. We might carry these a bit further as it relates to Broadcast and Media and reiterate the demand for broad, integrated solutions, not just systems. As an example, we might say that Broadcast and Media solutions include systems that support crafting, media capture and post-production; as well as systems that include asset management, storage, databases and transport; and would include distribution, socialTMBi - 45
platforms and on-air mediums that support the ways a media outlet might want the media to be consumed. We would also say that many of these tasks are out-sourced, requiring solutions to be both cloud-based technologies as well as on-premises networked solutions. Finally, we would also say that these systems must be integrated into a solution that includes common workflows based upon who needs to add value to the media asset. This should include integration into business workflows that organizations use to schedule meetings, creative reviews, idea development and decision making.
Can you detail us some of your recent projects that you consider relevant? Each year we find ourselves taking technology into new territories. Recently, a financial organization asked us to build a studio inside a large trading facility. The relevant part TMBi - 46
We would also say that we have seen significant growth and demand in healthcare, financial services and AVI’s federal government business sectors, especially around what we call “mixed classification collaboration” that enables both classified and unclassified collaboration. is – it’s a professional broadcast studio producing eight hours of video content per day, but it only delivers to the web. The audience of online
subscribers tune in daily to consume financial trading advice. Viewership continues to increase steadily since the channel went live last year.
Traditionally, this kind of deployment was only for large network broadcast budgets. This raises the quality precedent for OTT (online only) channels. In the last 18 months, AVI has deployed Asset Management solutions for several NFL, MLB and NBA teams. These organizations realize their content has value and that enabling employees to find content faster helps market their brand better. Several of these teams also added backup and
disaster recovery solutions. If the content can’t be replaced, then it’s probably worth protecting. Today’s backup solutions now include hybrid models with both cloud and premise based data backup. Automating the process saves time which in turn, saves money. Additionally, a world renowned healthcare provider serves as a Case Study for unified collaboration. In this case, AVI has provided Unified Communications including
integration between voice, videoconferencing and Skype for Business, as well as AV and conference spaces, and over 12 channels of live streaming and recording that includes original content production and “townhall” style meetings. This is an example of an increased demand for AV, UC and broadcast/streaming technologies to be integrated into a single unified platform.
What are your plans for the near future? AVI will likely continue to expand our geographic reach organically through expansion rather than acquisition, while at the same time expanding the technologies that we offer through acquisition. We can foresee some of these technical expansions including network and virtual datacenter competencies as well as software developers that enable AVI to integrate solutions that easy for our customers to consume and use. TMBi - 47
BIS B.V. Council chamber with conferencing system, displays and dual projection
TMBi - 48
Interview with Jean Pierre Overbeek, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Tell us about your evolution as a company since your beginnings until now. BIS, an Econocom company, is a very well-known audio visual system integrator in our region in the last decades. With 240 employees and approximately 5.000 installations a year, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re considered to be one of the leading AV companies in the Benelux. Innovation always has been, and continues to be, a major driver in the successful evolution of BIS. One of our strategic objectives calls for us to achieve a specific percentage of annual turnover through innovation. Just recently, we started to offer AV-asa-service in order to react more effectively to market needs and stimulate the creation of new market demand. This initiative was triggered by the TMBi - 49
Which do you think are some of the most innovative technological trends in the markets your company covers (Business, Government, Education, Healthcare, Security, Maritime, Retail, etc.)?
Videowall (2x6) at reception area_building entrance
emerging generations’ clear preference for using products rather than owning them. Spotify and Netflix are perfect examples of this trend in the B2C market. We have now brought this concept to the B2B market. Looking back in time, within BIS we’ve experienced every AV development since 1983, when the company was founded. Our ability to adapt and lead to a changing market and emerging needs, have allowed us to grow and flourish. We were there for the introduction of data and video projectors, the first plasma and LCD flat panel displays, the list goes on and on. Up until 2002 we focused solely on selling individual products, after which, in subsequent years, we added services like installation work and maintenance to our offering. A few years down the road we changed our strategic course and added modular service TMBi - 50
Various answers can be given to this. This is why we limit ourselves to the trends affecting audio visual & IT technology, and impacting on the way people collaborate and share knowledge and ideas. The trends we focus on are: • Sharp rise in Internet-of-Things • AV and IT technology becoming the fourth utility (besides gas, water and electricity). • Workplaces and buildings “thinking along” with users and support them. • The function of the office building is changing and so is the desired layout. • The digital transformation accelerating processes and performance • Cloud technology making AV applications available everywhere, all the time. • Collaboration technology is bringing talent together unleashing te power of the group. • Space & resource reservation booming. • Indoor LED increasingly perfecting and replacing LCD screens and video walls. • Compact huddles solutions for short-term, informal and interactive meetings are gaining ground. • It is no longer about specs, but about experience. • Usage of technology is becoming more important than ownership (AV-as-a-Service)
programmes (SLA’s) alongside our hardware solutions. We also invested effort and resources in IT aspects of our audio visual solutions. This positioned BIS as an AV and IT System Integrator. We continued our strategic innovation and over the next few years, we for instance recruited interior designers. We strongly believe optimal use of AV and IT requires an environment where design, furniture and fittings fully match the application and the user’s intended purpose. Our in-
Just recently, we started to offer AV-as-a-service in order to react more effectively to market needs and stimulate the creation of new market demand. This initiative was triggered by the emerging generations’ clear preference for using products rather than owning them. Spotify and Netflix are perfect examples of this trend in the B2C market. We have now brought this concept to the B2B market.
house interior designers give us the ability to showcase this.
Our history of constant innovation is reflected by the further addition of
Building floor with multiple informal huddle solutions
TMBi - 51
Creative meeting room in hotel-conference center
digital signage, video conference, collaboration, room management, queuing systems, smart offices, indoor and outdoor LED to our range. Obviously our service programme has also evolved to keep pace with all these developments. We developed innovative IT services in the area of patch management, security, monitoring and reporting graphical content and widgets for digital signage. TMBi - 52
You have a strong presence in Netherlands and Belgium, and you are also part of PSNI Global Alliance (a worldwide network of leading AV & IT system integrators). How does this increase your overseas possibilities? The PSNI membership increases overseas possibilities for BIS. PSNI is a serious and respected network of professional AV & IT companies, which stand out one by one in their home market due to
their quality, knowledge and added value, not least due to the breadth and content of their portfolio solutions and services. And we feel right at home in company such as this. Cooperating with renowned partners and sharing knowledge throughout the network means we can offer international customers even better support. Our strength in Europe and far beyond has increased sharply now we have a large number of resources
from a product-oriented organisation to a fullservice system integrator.
– staff or otherwise – at our disposal through PSNI, complying with high industry standards and significant certifications. That's good news, both for us and for our clients.
It’s said that the market has had to evolve to really understand the convergence between AV & IT. What did this challenge mean for your company? As already stated with the first question, between 2003 and 2005 we changed course entirely
Moreover, we already started investing in IT knowledge in 2005. Even back then, we predicted that audio visual technology would be acquiring more IT components, and would become increasing intertwined with IT technology; not just in the field of digital signage and video conference, but also concerning control systems, video over IP, digital signal transmission, network integration, and monitoring and managing through the network. The decision to pay considerable attention to
the IT side of audio-visual solutions has had a huge impact on our entire organisation. We’ve invested a great deal of time and resources into educating and training our sales staff, engineers, projects managers, installations technicians and maintenance teams. We’ve furthermore taken on several IT specialists, entered into a partnership with Microsoft and have also decided to position our IT service explicitly in our communications. Given that we anticipated early, we’ve been setting the tone with our AV & IT service for many years now. Thanks to ongoing innovation, in the last year our IT service
The decision to pay considerable attention to the IT side of audio-visual solutions has had a huge impact on our entire organisation. We’ve invested a great deal of time and resources into educating and training our sales staff, engineers, projects managers, installations technicians and maintenance teams. TMBi - 53
has expanded further with 24/7 monitoring, security services and patch management; we’ve set up a Network Operating Center to monitor our clients’ IT networks live, and to intervene if things threaten to go wrong.
You also fit audio visual systems in Places of Worship. What type of solutions are your clients demanding here? Most church buildings are of poor acoustic
To give our clients a good impression of the end result to be achieved, we present the spaces with superb 3D visualisations, and even in Virtual Reality. design, making it difficult to hear speech and music clearly and audibly. This is despite the fact that clarity and audibility are important for services and other gatherings. BIS has consultants with the right
Boardroom with 95 inch interactive display and ClickShare integration
TMBi - 54
knowledge in house for equipping any church building optimally, based of course on acoustic measurements. Besides audio reproduction, we also create solutions for
Impressive communication with Outdoor LED wall
recording images and sound. This allows you to record and archive your audio, while images and audio can also be streamed directly to other rooms or to the internet for people unable to attend the service. In addition, for the hard of hearing wishing to take part in services, we also provide a hearing loop. Lastly, BIS of course also sees to image reproduction. With highend projectors, video walls and/or indoor LED solutions, hymns and texts
displayed clearly and visibly for all those present. We furthermore regularly fit LDC/LED displays in entrance halls, lecture theatres and/or coffee spaces for domestic announcements. All of the equipment in the church can be operated centrally from an intelligent control panel.
Overall, what does your company bring to the market in the field of communicative room design? We approach the deployment of AV & IT
technology from a highly holistic outlook. Our technology genuinely has to help our clients progress; it has to contribute toward achieving their objectives. To bring this about, it is extremely important to integrate the technology into an environment adjusted or geared toward using this technology, and that the users themselves are prepared for this use. This therefore involves the three-step approach of bricks, bytes and behaviour. TMBi - 55
In addition to this, experience is also essential. Experience also contributes to the effectiveness of meetings, presentations, brainstorming and training sessions, much more than it did a few years back. For the right experience, it is also important that all of the elements in a meeting or presentation space align with each other. Due to the considerable importance of space with optimal design, which also contributes to the right experience, BIS has employed several interior architects since 2007. A great deal of attention is given in our interior architectsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; designs to the interior, furniture, style and the lighting plan. This of course also includes inspirational colour advice, and the entire design ties in perfectly with the client's corporate identity. To give our clients a good impression of the end result to be achieved, we present the spaces with superb 3D visualisations, and even in TMBi - 56
82 inch videoconference monitor in BIS VisionWall
Virtual Reality. The client sees at a glance what exactly he or she can expect, and gets an immediate sense of what the space will look like. Our experience is that this way of designing and arranging meeting spaces, presentation spaces and other audio visual spaces helps considerably in the decision-making process. BIS interior architects have themselves designed a line of multimedia walls, workplaces (shared or otherwise) and accessories: the BIS VisionLine. This line of
furnishings was conceived based on everyday experiences and the requirements of larger and smaller clients. All of the furniture shares the features of being beautifully finished, having well thought-out cable ducts, and boast integrated audio visual technology, smart operating systems and connection points.
Tell us some of your recent projects that make you feel proud. We execute around 5.000 spaces a year. Among
these there are a great many we're proud of. Sometimes due to the extremely high-quality technology, sometimes due to the scale, sometimes due to both of these. We describe and visualise a selection of these projects on our website: www.bis.nl/nl/referenties. To name but a few: • An interactive video wall at a very major government organisation. • 180 different spaces for several applications at Showroom with videowall
one client. • Advertising column with 3 x 99m2 Outdoor LED. • High-end skybox with ultra-modern meeting devices in football stadium. • 80+ modernly furnished, interactive meeting and consultation spaces at major corporate. • Creating high-end videoconference spaces in six countries on five continents. • Digital signage, including interactive columns, in 400 shops of international chain.
What challenges are you facing in the near future? There are challenges in many fields every day. That’s what keeps our work in this amazing industry so exciting. Exceeding clients’ expectations time and again with hundreds of colleagues and dozens of top-brand suppliers gives you energy and satisfaction. In terms of that alone, the audio visual sector is a fantastic sector to work in. Our greatest challenges in the near future are: • Finding and retaining sufficiently qualified staff for achieving our ambitions. • Exploring, investigating, selecting and sourcing the right innovations with the right suppliers, to continue supporting our clients as best as possible. • Time and again fulfilling the wishes and requirements of client who are increasingly critical, and rightly so! TMBi - 57
TMBi - 58
Kevin Collins, President and Chief Operations Officer (COO)
Karl Paulsen, Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
During the last 25 years, Diversified has become a global reference in the field of AV integrators. What do you consider the keys to achieve this? Kevin Collins: One thing that has never changed from the day Diversified was founded 25 years ago was TMBi - 59
our relentless focus on being the best at what we do and assuring we did the best work possible for our customers and understood their needs. We often talk about not being the biggest
We are working on some of the largest and most complex Broadcast Media & Entertainment projects in the world, including the new HQ for CNN in New York at the Hudson Yards project. wanted us to be able to deliver solutions globally with predictable results. In the past 5 years we have been building our company to directly respond to what our customers tell us they need and using mergers and acquisitions to build our global presence and technical strength while still growing organically with existing customers.
company in our field but, striving every day and in every way to be the best at what we do. That focus on excellence has driven us over 25 years to achieve a notable scale and deliver high quality service to our customers globally. If you really look back the first 15 years of our history, we learned a lot about managing our business and building a TMBi - 60
team. We also made many mistakes that we learned from. During this period, we had a steady organic growth of around 10% year over year. The past 10 years things changed as our industry matured and started a natural process of consolidation on both the vendors side and the service provider side of the business. Our North American customers
What companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent milestones would you highlight? Kevin Collins: In 2016 we were named AV Integrator of the year by Commercial Integrator Magazine. https://www.commercialintegra tor.com/ci/diversified_named_2 016_integrator_of_the_year/ In 2017 we won the award from AV Magazine for Corporate AV install of the year for the e Bay Main Street project.
XR Technologies (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality) are getting importance in the audiovisual sector. Have you already faced in this field? Karl Paulsen: Facilities are certainly considering how they future proof their infrastructures to support these technologies. Given the amount of xR shown at the CES in Las Vegas, we expect there to be more requests for integration across a variety of venues in the future. Kevin Collins: We have done quite a few VR theatres as part of our AV practice. We did a global rollout for one customer of VR theaters setup for global product launches. I
https://www.avinteractive.com/casestudies/making-a-big-impression-02-12-2016/ In 2017 we added a new practice to our offerings for Electronic Security Solutions providing monitoring and access control to our customers. We are working on some of the largest and most complex Broadcast Media & Entertainment projects in the world, including the new HQ for CNN in New York at the Hudson Yards project. And QVC Japan on Tokyo, where we are building the first 4K uncompressed IP facility to go live 24/7 when it launches this summer.
One of your divisions focuses on Media & Entertainment market. What type of integrations do your customers request in this field? Karl Paulsen: • Updates to existing facilities moving from HD to UHD/4K. • Design and installation of IP-based solutions for news, sport venues, and studio production facilities.
also highlight some retail experiences with VR and gaming competitions, where we used VR to bring the audience into the game. Today VR technology is only just starting to mature, and we feel customers are still trying to figure out how to use it best.
TMBi - 61
• Most of our clients want the latest capabilities in their facilities. They sometimes only get “one big shot” at doing this. We are often requested to merge multiple advanced solutions in the areas of video and audio (for live, studio, post-production, education, etc.) into the designs; usually explored once commissioned on the project and as the consulting (design development) phases begin. The time between an RFP being issued and when the system is launched can be 12-18 months or more – technology is moving faster than this, so the concepts conceived up at the start may have already been improved upon before the time to build starts. It is our job to continually appraise the clients and end users of these changes (throughout the design period) so as to avoid potential obsolescence before they start using the systems.
The IP Remote Production seems to be TMBi - 62
a viable, affordable alternative to the Outside Broadcast trucks when covering some events. Do you feel an increasing interest in
this type of services? Karl Paulsen: Major league sport events will not likely do this for quite some time; as it is a cultural shift that involves
We have learned that “all IP” facility is turning out to take longer than expected – due, in part, to the constant software improvements that the manufacturers need to make.
more production changes/challenges than technology.
Where do you find more needs in sports productions in venues?
What type of integrations are companies requesting you in this vertical? Kevin Collins: We offer a full suite of service in Sports venue projects from design consulting to integration including: A. TV broadcast production, control and infrastructure throughout the venue. B. Large screen LED display design and consulting. C. Large Venue Sound and back of house sound in concourses clubs and suites. D. AV systems in clubs, suites and executive offices. E. Electronic security and access control. The push in the large venue market is to build unique brand experiences around the team that are engaging visually and interactive. This drives fans to actually attend the games in person to get a unique experience since TV looks so good from home these days. TMBi - 64
IP and UHD/4K bring new challenges which the industry is facing and resolving – but it is not just a “flip of the switch” so to speak. You also equip audiovisual systems in Houses of Worship. How much demand do you receive here? Kevin Collins: Our AVE division Audio Visual Environment is our largest division representing more than 50% of our business. House of worship represents an important segment of that market. The key is to understand
the unique needs of those customers and what they define as success, which will differ from our fortune 500 customers who are focused on employee communication and collaboration.
Tell us about some recent, challenging projects within the areas we have talked about. How did you resolve them successfully?
manufacturers need to make. Inter-operability is still a challenge, especially when mixing differing manufacturer’s solutions to a third party network.
Kevin Collins: We pride ourselves on being thought leaders in the industry to educate our customers on what current technical advances mean and if they have value for their needs. In both broadcast and AVE we see a huge convergence of technology onto IP based solutions running on a standard network infrastructure. We have learned that “all IP” facility is turning out to take longer than expected – due, in part, to the constant software improvements that the
Karl Paulsen: Training and familiarity with this ‘next gen’ networking environment. The pace of development is faster than when we went from analog to digital, then standard definition to high definition. IP and UHD/4K bring new challenges which the industry is facing and resolving – but it is not just a “flip of the switch” so to speak. With all these challenges we have successfully delivered large and complex IP solutions at a scale few other have. We have invested heavily in training of our staff to manage the transition from traditional baseband solutions to advanced IP solutions from all major vendors.
What are you plans in the near future? Karl Paulsen: Getting our engineers, project managers and clients
trained and exposed to the new real time, studio and live IP technologies. In cooperation with selected vendors, Diversified has rolled out a comprehensive training program for its technology-based staff; it is in its 5th month and is very well accepted.
Would you like to add something? Karl Paulsen: In our broadcast division Diversified has remained active in the development of the new SMPTE standards for the past 2436 months – this gives us unprecedented knowledge in understanding how this new IP technology will work. We have provided integration services at each of the IP Interoperability Demonstrations and IP Showcases at NAB 2017, IBC 2017, SMPTE 2017 and will be doing this again for NAB 2018. This gives us a “heads up” on what works today, and what is coming tomorrow. No other systems integrator is doing this or has this much experience in the industry. TMBi - 65
Human Circuit John's Hopkins project
TMBi - 66
Interview with Jim Hatcher, Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
TMBi - 67
Human Circuit has been offering its services for the last 50 years. What key steps have you followed to keep working so many decades in such a volatile market? Human Circuit was formerly named Professional Products Inc. and our success was deeply rooted in the sales of broadcast video equipment. At that time, revenue from our professional services was second to our equipment sales. Over the years, manufactures opened their sales channels to online resellers and equipment became commoditized. As we saw the market change, we decided that a “box business” was no longer sustainable. We made the decision to rebrand our company as Human Circuit Inc. and to focus on professional services. As Human Circuit, the net revenue from our professional services has eclipsed the net revenue from our equipment sales. Our services include systems Engineering, TMBi - 68
DMA virtual Set
The commoditization of video technology has removed some barriers to entry and we have more competitors than before Integration, Project Management and Support. In this market, we believe that engineering a solution and supporting the installation is more valuable to our clients
than commoditized box transactions.
Do you now have more competitors than before? What makes you different from them? The commoditization of
We estimate that our clients typically utilize only 20% of an individual product’s features video technology has removed some barriers to entry and we have more competitors than before. Top 5 reasons we are different from our competition: 1. We pay close attention to the interoperability
What interests do you perceive in the field of healthcare? Do you consider it a booming industry? Over the past 15 years, Human Circuit has designed and integrated 28 medical simulation and clinical skills centers
we have yet to see the “boom”. Human Circuit productized its Healthcare business under the name ACUMEN. We offer systems that provide real-time video streaming from medical devices, video recording, VOD, patient monitoring and
throughout the United States. Even with
communication. ACUMEN has had limited
our long and successful track record, our
success. In our experience, healthcare is
opinion of the integration business within
slow to adopt to new communication
healthcare is mixed. Over the years,
technology. Many medical device
healthcare facilities and applications have
manufactures have cornered the market
held the promise of becoming a booming
and now sell video streaming and OTT
industry for systems integrators. However,
services along with their devices. TMBi - 69
of the technology that we sell and we study the disrupters. The traditional narrow definition of a broadcaster no longer applies and broadcast equipment manufacturers are scrambling to stay relevant. This scramble for relevance can be dangerous for our clients. All too often, the client becomes a manufacture’s beta site. In this market, we have become our client’s trusted adviser and advocate. 2. When designing a system, we trust the scientific method and not the manufacturer. We verify new technology in our lab before deploying it in the field. 3. We are not afraid to ask a lot of questions and we learn from our mistakes. 4. We have extended our business into new markets. Human Circuit designs and builds enterprise digital video acquisition and TMBi - 70
distribution systems that can be applied to broadcasters, production facilities, teaching hospitals, network operation centers and corporate communications. 5. In our system designs we embrace Information Technology and the idea of being a “good network citizen”.
Do we tend to focus too much on the individual features of each product in a facility, compared to its degree of compatibility with the rest of devices? A well-designed system will produce results that are greater than the sum of its parts. Focusing on a product’s features can distract us from a system’s potential. Focusing on
DMA control room
interoperability and compatibility of devices within a system is critical when considering operation and workflow. We estimate that our clients typically utilize only 20% of an individual product’s features. At Human Circuit, we focus more on the underlying enabling technology rather than product features. The technology
that enables the product will determine that product’s extensibility in a market and its usefulness in a system.
What is the future of streaming and OTT services? What challenges do these technologies face? The future of streaming and OTT is bright. Bandwidth to consumers
The future of streaming and OTT is bright. Bandwidth to consumers will continue to increase. Compression will become more efficient. Cloud based services, availability and performance will increase.
will continue to increase. Compression will become more efficient. Cloud based services, availability and performance will increase. We will continue to see aggregation in the cloud and consumption at the edge. The edge will become more like a “thin client” used to access cloud services. Communication and entertainment will continue consolidate overthe-top. TMBi - 71
In the United States, the future of Net Neutrality will have a profound effect on the future of streaming and OTT services.
You also work for governmental institutions. What type of integrations are they requesting? Our government work includes the design and integration of broadcast studios for virtual productions, real-time streaming and VOD systems, media asset management systems, cloud-based production workflows, production editing and playout systems, network operation centers, custom software development for control, automation and cloud-based micro services.
Overall, are you finding some common needs among your costumers? In general, Human Circuit caters to early adopters. Our clients are willing to take risks with new technology to improve their position in their market. Our clients TMBi - 72
In the United States, the future of Net Neutrality will have a profound effect on the future of streaming and OTT services. have a need for a trusted
decisions and who has the
advisor who can help
capability and willingness
them make technical
to engineer, integrate and
John's Hopkins project
support the implementation of those technical decisions.
Details us some of your most recently, challenging projects. Government Broadcast: Human Circuit designs and builds studios for virtual productions. We
recently installed a ProCyc free-standing cyclorama wall system at defense Media activity (DMA) and a Ross Trackless system. All camera movement is within the graphics engine and eliminates the need for physical tracking equipment.
Government streaming and OTT: Human Circuit designed and integrated an enterprise wide OTT video distribution system for Freddie Mac. The system includes 6 Element Delta origination servers and 3 NGINX web servers with customized landing pages. The system is designed to provide OTT services for ten thousand clients. Medical: Human Circuit provided Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hopkins with a medical simulation center to better prepare students for their careers as physicians through realistic hands-on training. Medical simulations are streamed live and recorded for video on demand. Footage of students performing specific clinical tasks is reviewed by administrators and instructors in real-time. Human Circuit applied designs specifically for case study rooms, selfteaching labs, patient exam rooms and observation rooms. TMBi - 73
BVE brings together the leading brands with interests in the United Kingdom The show welcomes about 15,000 attendees and upwards of 300 exhibitors
TMBi - 74
Pending the release of official data, the organisers anticipate that the show brought together some 15,000 attendees and more than 300 brands.
LiveU presents its portable LU600 HEVC transmission solution, among other developments
Once again, the BVE show brings together many of the most relevant companies in the sector with interests in the United Kingdom. Although this is undoubtedly a regional event, it should be noted that the UK is the second most powerful Broadcast market in the world, after the United States. For this reason, the most important audiovisual event of the year in this country has captured the attention of many of the protagonists of the professional audiovisual industry.
The show hosted a wide variety of seminars, as is to be expected in this type of events. This year's goal was to cover all stages of a production workflow. To this end, those responsible for the event organised conferences regarding the following six thematic theatres: The Storytellers Stage (where how to stimulate creativity was addressed), Craft of Capture (image capture techniques and technologies), Techflow Futures (changes and innovations in production infrastructures), Post in Practice (innovations in colour graduation, 360Âş
editing and immersive sound), Connected Media Stage (latest IP technologies) and Business of Production (evolution of social networks and consumer habits).
EXHIBITOR NEWS This year's new features include the new Mobile Viewpoint EyeLink, a portable 4G action camera that uses Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity to capture and share videos directly on Social Networks or CDNs. In addition to streaming live video, this device also captures performance information from athletes, such as pulse or blood pressure, via ANT+ and built-in sensors.
Mobile Viewpoint EyeLink
TMBi - 75
LiveU has also presented its contribution to live video streaming technologies. The company attended the show accompanied by Garland, its distributor in the United Kingdom, to present its portable LU600 HEVC transmission solution, among other developments. Aviwest took advantage of the event to showcase, among other things, its new AIR series, an uplink video system designed for professional cameramen on the move. TMBi - 76
In the area of storage, Quantum unveiled to the English market the latest enhancements to Xcellis, its workflow storage family, and StorNext, its shared file and data management platform.
software modules. The firm also announced its recent agreement with the networked storage provider QNAP, which will allow Archiware P5 to be installed on all QNAP x8664 models.
EditShare exhibited this issue for the first time. They made the most of the event to present the QUALES QC file verification and quality assurance solution.
Dalet took its orchestration and content management solutions (MAM) to the show. Stand experts were available to answer questions about orchestration workflows and MFIs within content delivery chains, the primary focus of their presentation.
Archiware presented the latest Cloud options for its P5 Backup and P5 Archive data management
Among the companies that joined forces for this BVE, we can also highlight the alliance between Open Broadcast Systems and Cerberus Tech Partner to deliver joint IP video contribution solutions. Kieran Kunya, Managing Director of Open Broadcast Systems, explains this agreement: "IP has obvious and massive benefits for broadcasters concerning flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency. However, the workflows are very different, and companies such as Cerberus Tech will be key in helping broadcasters migrate to these new workflows."
SDI and SMPTE ST 2110 I/O hardware market for OEMs. Riedel is another of the big firms with a presence in BVE. Riedel took advantage of the event to present its most recent products, among which is the Bolero intercom system. The device offers a wide range of connectivity options, which can be used threefold: as a wireless beltpack, as a wireless keypanel, and as a walkie-talkie radio. Cinegy wanted to all the attention to be on its new Air PRO Bundel, an
integrated software package that provides a front-end video server and a streamlined real-time video server for playback in SD, HD and/or Ultra HD (4K). It is available on Amazon Web Services Marketplace. Warren Peel, Trams Managing Director, explains: “Traditional channel delivery today can be highly complex and costly. Cinegy Air PRO Bundle changes all that by dramatically simplifying the process at a far lower cost, without compromise.”
Quicklink introduced its Studio-in-a-box solution, designed for productions in remote-controlled HD studios. The solution incorporates the Panasonic PTZ camera. Matrox showcased its complete catalogue of Monarch encoders for recording and streaming. Stand managers also answered questions related to the broad selection available in the
Quicklink introduced its Studio-in-a-box solution
TMBi - 77
THE MULTI SLIDER
TMBi - 78
The world’s first bendable camera slider
TMBi - 79
INTERVIEW WITH WATERBIRD Patrick Centurioni, CEO Alexander Steger, Director of Sales Tell us briefly your evolution as a company so far. In 2011 the idea for a flexible slider came up during a series of wildlife shootings for a documentary in the Austrian Alps. Since then a 6 year long product development with many hours in our basement, in front of the computer and in the field led to the initiation of Waterbird systems. Waterbird systems quickly received significant support from several Austrian innovation programs, which allowed the fine tuning of the product. In April 2017 Waterbird systems presented for the first time the final prototype of the Multi Slider, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first bendable camera slider, at the NAB in Las Vegas. After an overwhelming feedback and huge TMBi - 80
interest from distributors, cameramen, cinematographers and many more, Waterbird systems set up the production during the summer. Additional exposure and the same positive feedback was received at the IBC in Amsterdam in September 2017. The serial production of the Multi Slider started in November 2017 and promising contracts have been made with distributors everywhere in the world. In January 2018 we received the final confirmation for our patent in Europe, whereas in the USA we are still process. Due to the
feedback from various customers, rental houses and production companies, Waterbird systems emphasizes on 3 product lines. The first product line are the standard lengths of the Multi Slider with 150 cm, 120 cm and 80 cm. The second and even more exciting product line are the longer systems, which are already in use. The development for a faster control unit and motor are in the final stage and will be available soon. The third product line is targeting the broadcast systems, whereas the same benefits of the Multi Slider can be experienced with heavier equipment.
Let’s focus on your flagship product, MULTISLIDER. What does this new tool bring to the field of filming? What are its main features, according to you? The Multi Slider is the world´s first camera slider that allows to realize linear and curved tracks – in any demanded radius - with a single device. It reduces setup time, changing from a linear to a curved track, storage and carrying space and costs for several sliders significantly. Within seconds the user can change it from a straight into a curved slider. Users experience a tremendous increase in work flow and productivity thanks to the easy setup and flexibility. The Multi Slider can be used outdoors and indoors, which makes it the perfect tool for a huge variety of filming productions. As the Multi Slider comes with a custom-built control unit and motor, it can be controlled via a Bluetooth app on various devices. The app also includes a time lapse function. One of the most exciting features is the possibility to create endless tracks. Due to the design of the Multi Slider you can order from 80 cm to any length required. Whereas other, longer sliders have the difficulty of carrying space, the Multi Slider can be rolled up like a snail and stored in a specially designed box. This reduces the carrying space and packing time enormously.
TMBi - 81
You decided to build up this product to simplify the work of the filmmakers. Do you know any particular AV production where MULTISLIDER has been successfully tested?
Video Design in the UK as well as Creative Agency in the Netherlands are using the long system already for concerts and Filmspektakel from Austria for their innovative time lapse productions.
A very famous UK based documentary series is currently using the Multi Slider worldwide for outdoor shootings. We are happy to present more about their fantastic project, once it is finished.
MULTISLIDER has caught the interest of several awards. What do they mainly highlight about the product?
TMBi - 82
The possibility of bending a linear into a curved slider within
seconds. The second interest for the awards was most likely the fact that the Multi Slider can be produced in any demanded length. The Multi Slider has been nominated officially at the NAB and IBC as one of the most innovative products of the show, respectively. Furthermore, the Multi Slider has been awarded as one of the top three innovations from our federal estate in Austria
and another nomination by the German Innovation awards which is currently running.
Waterbird Systems was founded by filmmakers, not by engineers. Counting on this point, what challenges did you
have to face when developing this product? The biggest problem at the beginning was to ensure stability in a truly flexible system, since there were no comparison values. The second point was the drive of
TMBi - 83
the engine. In other words, how can we guarantee a fully functional and wobble-free drive regardless of the radius or straight condition? Also, regarding the choice of material, it was a series of trial and error until we found the right synthetic material. Finally, we had to find the right partners in and nearby Austria, that TMBi - 84
where able to produce our components. For us it was crucial that the majority of our slider components are produced mostly in Austria and surroundings.
You have exhibited in the latest editions of NAB and IBC. How did attendants respond to the product? The amount of people
from all backgrounds coming up during the trade shows took us really by surprise. Many of them stated that the Multi Slider is probably the most innovative product they have seen during the show. There were literally crowds standing around the slider, people were dragging others to our stand and we had to give
effort it took us before. Nowadays it is very difficult to build a hardware product from scratch, against all odds and from a very limited financial background. We are currently in the state of promoting the Multi Slider. However, there is some interesting product development in process and we are keen to further optimize and innovate the work flow for film and time lapse productions.
What are your plans for the near future? The next steps will be creating more many interviews. Distributors came up and tried to secure exclusive deals whereas cameramen asked us to let them know as soon as possible when they could purchase it. Without putting any marketing efforts in our exhibitions, we were totally surprised by the response at the trade shows.
Overall, how do you value the evolution followed by MULTISLIDER since its launch until now? We are more than overwhelmed by the support and interest that has been accompanying us. Two years ago, we wouldnÂ´t have expected such a fast development, considering the time and
partnerships around the world and finalizing the product developments we have currently running. We will strongly emphasize on the longer and faster systems as well as the broadcast system. However, there are some ideas in the pipe-line for add-ons for all of our Waterbird systems. TMBi - 85
Much more than 4K (III)
TMBi - 86
HDR and Standards 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 will delve into what UHD really means and the most important aspects of this new technology. Text by Yeray Alfageme Broadcast Systems Engineer, Olympic Channel
In this last issue, we addressed the UHD's flagship theme, HDR, and the amalgamation of standards that all this brings us. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. The dynamic range of an image is the difference between the darkest and the brightest parts of the scene. Dynamic range is measured in diaphragm stops and it gives us an idea of the difference between the darkest and brightest areas of an image. The human eye has a dynamic range of 14 stops, which means that we can see a broad range of luminosities in the same scene. The adaptability of the human eye is also very wide and fast between scenes that fall outside of those 14 stops. Until now, the dynamic range covered six stops within the BT.709 standard,
something really limited in comparison with our eyes. This was due to the former limitations of the standard definition, which led to the definition of a limited dynamic range. In fact, beyond colourimetry or definition, dynamic range is perhaps the most limiting part of technical equipment when it comes to capturing and reproducing images. The new HDR standards that we will see later gives us up to 17 stops, way beyond the human visual capacity. This does not mean that current equipment can actually work with such a wide dynamic range, but in anticipation of this happening in the future, standards already cover these capabilities. The Barten limit or Barten ramp was defined to delimit how much we must increase the dynamic range of an image for it to be perceptible. TMBi - 87
Graph 1 confronts the luminance present in an image concerning the contrast breaks necessary for this difference in luminance to be visible. The more contrast, the easier it is to distinguish between the differences of luminance in the scene. However, there is a limit above which the increase does not bring any change in visual perception, and this occurs in high luminance of the image. Below the Barten ramp, increasing the contrast implies a visual change in TMBi - 88
luminance, while above this ramp providing more contrast does not necessarily imply that we can see a change in luminance.
Something else that allows us to explain the importance of dynamic range in the image is the fact that the light captured by the camera is
not represented in the same way on the screen afterwards. To define how the image is captured or represented at both the camera and screen ends at the end of the chain, we talk about the EOTF (Electro-Optical Transfer Function) or, how we move from the optical image present in the scene to the electronic signal in the case of the camera and vice versa in the case of the screen. Due to this non-linear difference in capturing and representing images, Gamma curves were defined. Gama curves explain the difference in luminance between the image as captured and its representation. If we consider the whole chain, i.e. from the camera to the final screen, this is defined as OOTF, OptoOptic Transfer Function, and the objective is that the scene played on the screen is as faithful as possible to the one captured by the camera. After introducing all these theoretical concepts, let's put them into practice by studying the different standards
that appeared in order to widen the dynamic range and get as close as possible, but without going over the Barten ramp.
• SMPTE 2084 (PQ – Dolby Vision).
As always, each manufacturer or institution launched its own standard.
• HDR 10.
• SMPTE 2084 (PQ – Dolby Vision). • SMPTE 2086. • SMPTE 2094. • ITU-R BT2100 (HLG Hybrid Log Gamma). • Sony S-Log 3. • HDR 10. • Technicolour HDR. As you can see, addressing all these standards would be unmanageable, and that is why we will only focus on the four most influential in the industry.
• ITU-R BT2100 (HLG Hybrid Log Gamma). • Sony S-Log 3.
SMPTE 2084 (PQ – DOLBY VISION) Dolby laboratories have defined their own Gamma curve to represent HDR images (Graph 2) with the consideration that the entire transmission chain must be controlled for it to be effective. In other words, both the camera and the screen must be capable of representing and transforming the electronic image into an optical one using the PQ curve that the standard defines. In particular, it TMBi - 89
establishes an absolute luminance reference in respect of the final screen in which it will be defined, something unrealistic in consumer environments, but nevertheless very feasible in cinematographic environments where the method of image representation is perfectly controlled in cinemas. With an extremely high upper limit of 10,000 nits, this is one of the most
TMBi - 90
complete and highest image quality standards. As we see in the diagram of Graph 3, the curve is applied at the time of capture, OOTF, and adapts in the capture phase to its electrical transmission, Inverse EOTF, applying only the electro-optical conversion, EOTF, in its reproduction. In other words, the complexity lies in the capture while the visualisation is standardised assuming
that all screens represent the image in the same way.
ITU-R BT2100 (HLG HYBRID LOG GAMMA) HLG arises from the collaboration in the development of HDR standards by BBC and NHK, which are always at the forefront of new standards and developments. A fundamental change
compared to the Dolby PQ curve is that HLG defines a relative luminance that takes into account the maximum luminance of the scene and not an absolute value. The good thing about this relative definition is that the HLG standard supports a wide range of cameras and screens, or can be adapted to represent HDR images under the HLG standard. One of the great advantages of HLG is that it is retro-compatible with SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) systems, which
means that a HDR-HLG signal can be represented without being processed in traditional SDR systems. This is very important when carrying out our HDR production since in another standard we would have to produce two different signals, SDR and HDR, with the complications that this implies. This is because, unlike PQ, HLG only needs a 10bit signal to represent HDR images while PQ needs 12-bit. PQ can represent a greater
dynamic range by sacrificing backward compatibility in favour of a better image. However, sometimes this is not the main thing and many broadcasters see HLG as much more interesting than PQ, due to its backward compatibility and ease of implementation, although the latter allows for better image quality. In this case (Graph 4), only the end of the display is adapted to the HDR signal, while the rest of the chain remains intact. TMBi - 91
SONY S-LOG 3 Sony introduced its S-Log 3 standard in all of its default HDR systems by providing partial standardisation across all of its products and S-Log 3 compatible products. However, it is not an ITU or SMPTE standard, but Sony's own, greatly slowing down implementation in its competitors. However, it has achieved some implementation, and Sony has even implemented S-Log 3 converters for other standards such as HLG, allowing users to adopt this standard and broadcast in a more
TMBi - 92
compatible and standardised standards. SLog 3 only uses a 10-bit signal but has a higher dynamic range than HLG, which is a good balance between PQ and HLG.
similar specifications concerning colourimetry and luminance, but in 10bit signals, and the main difference between HDR and Dolby Vision lies in the way the image is treated on the end screen.
As you can see in the Graph 5, different manufacturers - including some Hollywood studios entered the war to establish one of these two standards as predominant with respect to another, and the war continues as we write this article. However, this only involves the filmmaking part of the industry, while the television and broadcast part clearly opts for HLG.
Manufacturers like Samsung, LG and even Sony came together to implement a more open platform than Dolby's PQ, probably to avoid paying the high royalties Dolby imposes on their Dolby Vision. They created the Consumer Technology Association in 2015, and HDR 10 was born. It is based on SMPTE ST 2084 EOTF (PQ) and has
THE STANDARDS After talking about HDR (high dynamic range), HFR (high frame rate), WCG (wide colour gamut) and resolution, we can combine all these concepts in the different standards. We will compare the previous BT.709 with BT.2020 and BT.2100, which implemented both new definitions, WCG and HDR (Graph 6). BT.709 only provided HD resolution and scanning methods that were both interlaced and progressive while maintaining standard colour range and dynamics. 8 and 10-bit signals can be used depending on the number of images represented per second and whether
progressive or interlaced images are involved. BT.2020 already provides for 8K resolutions, but it does not provide for backward compatibility with HD. It discards interlaced signals and implements the BT.2020 colour space without HDR capability. However, because it considers increasing the number of frames per second to 120, which already falls within the HFR (High Frame Rate), it forces equipment to support 10 and 12-bit signals. Finally, the BT.2100 standard is the most comprehensive of all as it includes all the concepts studied during the three deliveries of this series on UHD. Definitions between HD and 8K, a frame rate
from 24 to 120 frames per second in progressive scan alone, WCG using the BT.2020 standard, HDR in both HLG and PQ curves and 10 and 12-bit signals make it the definitive standard that is expected to be implemented in the industry, at least in television since in cinematics things can be different. At TM Broadcast, we hope that these three releases have contributed towards giving you a deeper understanding of the world of UHD, have shed some light on a technology that is no longer the future but the present, and that certainly pose great challenges for the industry and professionals who work in it. TMBi - 93
Chrosziel Zoom servo CDM-MK-Z For Fujinon MK 18-55 and MK 50-135 lenses
TMBi - 94
Chrosziel Zoom servo CDM-MK-Z
The perfect accessory for an extraordinary set Author: Luis Pavia
The professional field is characterised by excellent quality tools and high levels of specialisation. Today, we have an example of one of those extraordinary components developed by one of the best independent
manufacturers of accessories for the film and television industry: Chrosziel. Chrosziel is widely recognised for its optical control system, among other components. The zoom servo we've had the chance to test on
this occasion, the CDMMK-Z, is characterised by being specifically designed for Fujinon's new cinema range lens, the exceptional 18-55 and 50135, both T2.9, which share exactly the same physical dimensions.
TMBi - 95
ď&#x201A;¤ TEST AREA
Its LAN-C control renders it compatible with remote controls of any brand that use this protocol, and thanks to its two connections, it is ideal for cameras like the Sony FS-5 and FS-7, whose sophisticated handles keep all its camera functions through the servo. For our analysis, we set up the Chrosziel device with a Fujinon 18-55 lens and Sony FS-5 and FS-7 cameras. The equipment consists of a small, lightweight box TMBi - 96
that fits securely into the lens with two screws in a matter of seconds and does not require any adjustment since the fitting of the elements in general, and the gear, in particular, is simply perfect. There is no margin for error, and it accepts two positions, to leave free space on either side of the lens according to our needs. Connections are also quick and easy: the LAN-C cable that comes from the handle, and another from the servo to the camera to maintain all functionality.
There is even a mini jack extension so that the remote control or handle can be positioned further away from the lens; and finally, the 5-pin servo power cable from the LEMO 0B. The one that is supplied has D-Tap termination for the additional connector for different battery types, but other models are available. The power supply is very versatile and ranges from 10 to 30v. There is also a mini USB port for firmware upgrades, and a LED, which blinks for a few
Chrosziel Zoom servo CDM-MK-Z
In short, this is an excellent device that makes it so much easier to get the most out of excellent lenses and improve the performance of any remote control used to activate it.
seconds on the connection while the system calibrates with the lens and the zoom scale bumpers. This procedure is automatic, needing no intervention on our part, and you can see how the zoom works at different speeds during the process.
emphasise that the start and stop are smooth, and the speed changes in the zoom as we press the cam are progressive, without the perceptible jumps of other sets; and this is where devices like this one begin to stand out from others.
Once mounted, the handling is a true delight. It is very sensitive to the touch. It responds immediately and offers extraordinary gentleness. In this aspect, we could
The LAN-C protocol has its advantages and limitations. As well as the zoom controls, where the simplest only command eight-speed levels for the zoom drive while the most
sophisticated can do so continuously. Well, to improve the behaviour of any remote control, this Chrosziel unit allows you to configure its response if need be. By holding the zoom cam down for 5 seconds, you can switch between different modes, such as "documentary" or "silent" mode where the zoom drive speed is limited to 60% and 40% of the maximum live mode speed, so that the zoom movement during recording is even smoother than what our controls would ever allow without it. Of course, without losing touch or softness at low speeds. Firmware updates will also allow you to add compatibility with future lenses, as well as new configuration options. In short, this is an excellent device that makes it so much easier to get the most out of excellent lenses and improve the performance of any remote control used to activate it. TMBi - 97