TM Broadcast International 63, November 2018

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Summary News from the market.......................................................................6 Case studies Greenfield installation of an entire TV station in Jordan........... 26 Catalan broadcasters use TVU One and TVU Grid to contribute and share video over a FTTH network...........................................28 Peppermill Resort Hotel - Reno’s Race & Sportsbook................30 How ATN International built a new TV service based on OTT technology................................................................................... 34 Deutsches Museum.............................................................................36

Opinion How UGC could change the face of news.................................... 38 The Future of Multi-Cloud................................................................ 42 New TV Channels on a Shoe String................................................ 46

OTT FOX News..............................................................................................50 blim..........................................................................................................54 ZAPPN.................................................................................................... 64 The Future of OTT: How Service Providers are Using the Cloud and Big Data to Stay Competitive....................................... 72 Optimizing streaming video in today’s multi-faceted world..... 74

Integrators Pure AV.................................................................................................. 78 Visavvi.................................................................................................... 92 Test Zone


Sony PXW-Z280......................................................... 100

Editor in chief Javier de Martín

Creative Direction Mercedes González

Key account manager Beatriz Calvo

Translation Natalia Álvarez

José Rodríguez

Editorial staff Daniel Esparza

Administration Laura de Diego

TM Broadcast International #63 November 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 Technological development has revolutionized the way in which audiovisual content is distributed. The user wants to consume said content in an increasingly personalized way, and that directly affects the companies that produce it. In this context, there is no professional who doubts that the new OTT platforms, which respond to this demand, are here to stay. Its irruption means the creation of a new multidevice environment where the traditional televisions also wish to be present.

Another vertical that evolves faster

In this issue, we analyze the technical challenges posed by these services, through the practical cases of Fox News and Televisa, two global reference companies whose technical directors reveal to us the keys of their introduction into the new space. We also address, due to its uniqueness, the case of ZAPPN, an OTT mobile app that is now also available for television.

highlight the celebration of the six


and faster is audiovisual integration. For this reason, we release this month the second installment of a tour through the best AV integrators in the world, after the great success of the first special report a few months ago. This time, we have spoken with top technical managers of Visavvi and Pure AV to learn more about their best projects and the technological trends that most affect their business. Finally, on the events side, we want to edition of BITAM Show, a fair aimed at the audiovisual market that is gaining more and more influence in southern Europe. The event will be held in Spain on November 20-22 and will host a series of conferences with top industry leaders in the country. It will be an interesting window for manufacturers with strategic interests in the region.


Red Bee Media has announced the world’s first software only uncompressed playout deployment

First showcased at IBC 2018, the solution is the first in the world to use uncompressed video over IP, without requiring any dedicated infrastructure. 6 NOVEMBER ‘18

With systems running on private cloud deployments across multiple data centers, Red Bee Media will be able to deliver unmatched quality and

flexibility to Tier 1 public and commercial broadcasters. Research & development has taken place over a period of 2 years and the solution will


go live with several customers during 2019. The broadcasting and media industry is steadily moving towards IP and software-centric environments for playout deployment. But current solutions are also relying on either compressed video feeds or single task hardware that is costly to acquire and maintain and that can only provide flexibility with unused capacity available. To answer the need for flexibility, agility and cost reduction for Tier 1 broadcasters who need to maintain premium video quality with low latency, Red Bee Media has created a completely IP and Software Based Playout Deployment for uncompressed video streams. The platform eliminates the need for any special purpose hardware or additional infrastructure that corrects issues in the video feeds. “Going software only and enabling a consumption based commercial model has been a strict ambition for us. Previous IP centric 8 NOVEMBER ‘18

playout deployments have relied on compressed video streams or bespoke hardware to make it work. This was not an option for either us or our customers. After dedicated R&D efforts we can now offer a solution with uncompressed video streams of the highest quality, combined with the flexible commercial models and agility that only an IP and Software based system can offer, all running on our newly deployed hybrid cloud”, says David Travis, Chief Portfolio Officer, Video Services, Red Bee Media.

“Launching an IP and Software only Playout Deployment solution is really showing the core value we provide as a managed service provider. We have tied together technologies from multiple vendors and leveraged the combined features and functions of them all. We have created something truly new and unique that will not only make current Playout ventures more agile and cost effective but will also create new possibilities for Playout deployment in the future”, says Steve Nylund, CEO Red Bee Media.

A completely IP and Software based playout system will fundamentally change how playout services are delivered in the future. With a multivendor software only playout stack, Red Bee Media is not only reducing costs and adding agility to existing projects, but is also creating opportunities for launching new projects and channels at a predictable cost with significantly reduced implementation times.

Red Bee Media is combining their IP and Software based Playout Services with the company’s cloud-based Media Management platform Nucleus and managed OTT platform to offer an end to end highly flexible media processing and delivery service to the world’s top broadcasters and content owners. The new solution will go live with several Tier 1 broadcasters in Europe during 2019. 


Marshall Electronics unveils new V-LCD173HR production monitor image flip ability, and a headphone jack for monitoring two channels of audio. The V-LCD173HR is a powerhouse production monitor that enables users to get accurate analytics on their video image for precise broadcast, live stream, and cinema production uses. Marshall Electronics has announced a new 17.3inch professional production monitor with HDMI/HDSDI conversion capability, the Marshall VLCD173HR. Constructed in a versatile 6RU design, the Marshall V-LCD173HR comes with built-in histogram, peaking, false color, exposure, adjustable safety markers, and more, and can monitor up to two audio channels as well. The Marshall VLCD173HR has both HDMI and HDSDI inputs and outputs, and features a crystal-clear 17.3-inch display in native (1080 x 10 NOVEMBER ‘18

1920) resolution. The monitor comes with rack ears for rack mounting, with optional VESA mount for desktop use. “The VLCD173HR offers unprecedented value for the price,” says Product Manager Gary Carter. “It has versatile mounting options and is REC 709 compliant, so it can really find a home in any kind of production room. Users will have confidence knowing their video images will come out looking exactly the way they intend.” The V-LCD173HR includes LED Tally lights,

Standout features of the V-LCD173HR include: • HDMI/HDSDI inputs and outputs with conversion ability • REC 709 compliant • LED Tally lights • BNC connectors • Two-channel audio monitoring with headphone jack • Rack ears or VESA mount options • Range of adjustment settings including markers, brightness, contrast, aspect ratio, peaking, false color, exposure, histogram, and more 


Royal Shakespeare Company embraces digital intercom with RTS’ ROAMEO re-patching – a very time consuming task,” explains RSC Head of Sound Jeremy Dunn. “We were also restricted by the physical limits of a hardwired infrastructure. We’d been using a hard-wired RTS system for years and loved it, but with the move to 4G and 5G, we found it was extravagant to use up radio mic frequencies for comms. We had to move from analog to digital.”

Few theatrical productions are as eagerly anticipated as the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) production of Romeo and Juliet, now playing at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in historic Stratford-UponAvon. But while all eyes in the theatre are on leads Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick, the technical crew are benefitting from equally perfect casting in 12 NOVEMBER ‘18

the shape of RTS ROAMEO fully IP-based wireless intercom. The ROAMEO system was chosen to deliver improved audio quality and safer working practices within the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theaters. “The rapid changeovers from matinees to evening performances required constant re-routing and

Courtesy of UK supplier Amber Sound, a centrally located RTS ADAM-M modular matrix now forms the heart of the system. “Amber Sound has been advising and supplying the RSC sound department for over 10 years. They arranged a detailed demo of the ROAMEO system and their continuous support as we have expanded, changed and adapted the system has been exceptional. It’s the core of our communications, bringing


together the stage manager, the deputy stage manager, the wardrobe staff and all the stage technicians,” Dunn continues. From this central hub, OMNEO cards transmit to 16 access point antennas, each one covering four channels, and supplying broadcast quality audio via Dante to eight KP-series keypanels and up to 40 ROAMEO beltpack users on RTS headsets. “The audio quality sets RTS apart,” notes Dunn. “Wearing a headset for 12 or 13 hours a day is tiring. It has to be intelligible and pleasant to listen to,

and that’s what carried us into the world of ROAMEO and ADAM-M.” The RSC’s use of special effects also meant the system had to be robust. “We feel safer now doing live pyrotechnics and human flying. Once the beltpacks are logged in, an IP address is assigned and an antenna located, then you know it’s totally secure.” The ADAM-M matrix also supplies the RSC’s 450seat Swan Theatre. “We originally intended to have an ADAM-M in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and an ADAM-M in the Swan, but RTS worked out a way to add

more cards to the existing frame and install a simple network switch in the Swan. Having only one frame to serve both theaters is brilliant. Just four extra rack units and some CAT-5 was all that was required. It’s a very cost effective solution.” “The icing on the cake is the RSC splash screen designed for the beltpacks by RSC senior sound technician Andy Franks ¬– it’s just the cleverest thing and typical of the attention to detail that we’ve come to expect from RTS,” he concludes.


Grass Valley and Gearhouse partnered to deliver Australia’s first 4K UHD live broadcast Valley systems.

Kahuna 9600 Production Switcher at Bathurst 1000 2018

All six hours of 4K UHD content from the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for supercars – the country’s annual, premier touring car event – were broadcast live without any advertising breaks. The 1,000-kilometer race was televised on Foxtel’s newly launched channel 444, with routing and monitoring completed via FOX SPORTS Australia, and the live outside broadcast (OB) production handled by Gearhouse. 14 NOVEMBER ‘18

Grass Valley’s solutions formed the heart of the live production infrastructure both at the venue and FOX SPORTS Australia’s facility – which included a flexible Kahuna 9600 Production Switcher and the highly versatile NVISION Compact Router. Grass Valley was chosen for its proven ability to support the ultra-fast live production turnaround needs and to seamlessly integrate with Foxtel’s own playout workflow, also built around Grass

“Motorsport is all about speed, and with no advertising breaks, everything had to run without a hitch from start to finish,” Ben Madgwick, manager of broadcast services, Gearhouse Broadcast. “What we needed was an OB infrastructure and workflow that could seamlessly handle the sheer volume of 4K UHD signals, deliver flawless images to viewers at home, and ensure a smooth flow of files between the OB truck, FOX SPORTS Australia and Foxtel. We know from experience that Grass Valley delivers unmatched flexibility and has a proven track record in handling the huge pressures that arise with live productions in fastpaced environments like motor racing. We are very proud to have partnered with Grass Valley once

again to help make Australian broadcasting history.” Grass Valley’s solutions were also central to the seamless orchestration and delivery of the race’s live feeds. Signals that were sent to FOX Sports Australia were switched and monitored through a Sirius 800 Series Router with MV-800 Multiviewer before being sent to Foxtel for final switching and transmission. FOX SPORTS control room features a complete 4K UHD live channel playout system with Grass Valley’s Masterpiece Master Control Switcher, controlled by its scalable Morpheus Automation Solution. Channel playout was supported by Grass Valley’s iTX Integrated Playout Platform, GV Node Real Time Processing and Edge Routing Platform and Kaleido-X Multiviewers for monitoring of the satellite uplink feed. “Sports fans around the globe demand the best fan experience possible, placing broadcasters and media organizations under pressure to deliver a richer viewing experience from more camera angles, in the highest resolution possible,” said Ward Hansford, vice president of sales, Oceania, Grass Valley. “As the leader in live sports production, we deliver solutions that can handle even the most challenging production requirements, with no compromise on image quality. It is an honor to see our solutions form the core of another landmark event in broadcasting history.” 


Football Club Feyenoord expands its online reach with Mobile Viewpoint technology out to our fanbase more easily. Social media gives us the ability to reach a large audience at any given time. Mobile Viewpoint’s technology has offered us greater portability and reliability, enabling us to stream high quality video and share interesting moments online within seconds. We already saw an increase of our online reach and our original posts are shared massively.”

Footballclub Feyenoord wanted to reach their fan base and expand their audience, while also connecting with potential clients online. Choosing Mobile Viewpoints platform of IP contribution including the clipping solution SpotOn, Feyenoord can now provide live coverage and clips of games, training 16 NOVEMBER ‘18

sessions, press conference, and live Q&A’s with players. With this technology live and on demand videos can now be published on the Feyenoord website and their social media account instantly. Bas Abresch, Team Lead Content of Football Club Feyenoord: “With this technology we can reach

Michel Bais, managing director Mobile Viewpoint: “We see that football cubs are looking for new means to engage with their fans and to provide attractive content on multiple platforms on a daily basis. Not only of their first teams, but also for lower league and youth teams. Our technology enables this in a cost-efficient way and unlocks new ways to promote their club.” 


Audio-Technica microphones capture live and broadcast audio at Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina A variety of AudioTechnica microphones were chosen to capture both live and broadcast audio at the Youth Olympics Games, which took place between 6-18 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The announcement was made by Michael Edwards, Audio-Technica Vice President, Professional Markets, and is part of Audio-Technica’s longstanding tradition of providing mic solutions for

high-profile athletic events. The Youth Olympic Games, held every two years (Winter and Summer games staggered in years opposite the adult games), are an international multisport event organised by the International Olympic Committee. Buenos Aires 2018 was the scenario for 32 sports and 36 disciplines and saw the debut of karate, sport climbing, breaking, roller speed skating, futsal,

kiteboarding, beach handball and BMX freestyle events. A wide selection of Audio-Technica microphones were employed, including BP4071 and BP4073 shotgun condenser microphones, the AT899 subminiature omnidirectional condenser lavalier model and BP4001 cardioid dynamic microphones (handheld, for interviews). “We are pleased to be participating in the technical setup at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games,” stated Michael Edwards. “We know that these audio professionals need the peace of mind that can only come from dependable products, and we are proud to be a name they turn to for these high-profile events.” 17 NOVEMBER ‘18


Czech TV selects Phabrix’s Qx 12G Rasterizer as a central solution in its 4K/UHD test and measurement lab Czech TV, the public television broadcaster in the Czech Republic, has chosen Phabrix’s 4K UHD enabled Qx 12G test and measurement solution to verify UHDTV standards and test new 4K/UHD devices at its Prague HQ. Phabrix’s authorized distributor, MST, supplied the system. Martin Dostál, Head of Engineering - Post Production Technologies, Czech TV, said, “The Qx was an obvious choice for us within our 4K postproduction workflow. We investigated all potential competitive solutions but none of them were even close to the Qx, with its UHD feature set, test specifications and affordability.” The Qx 12G signal generation, analysis and monitoring solution is designed for next generation, hybrid IP/SDI 18 NOVEMBER ‘18

environments using 4K/UHD (12G/6G/3G-SDI) and HD-SDI plus SMPTE 2110 and 2022-6. Qx offers the fastest 12G-SDI physical layer testing, with its RTE™ (Real-Time Eye) technology instantly highlighting any SMPTE compliance issues, including eye under/overshoot. Additional physical layer tools include Jitter analysis with monitoring across five specified frequency bands, as well as UHD/HD pathological test patterns. Built-in

automation control allows testing to be performed faster and more reliably. “As demand for 4K content continues to grow, broadcasters must prepare to compete in an aggressive market,” Philip Adams, Managing Director, Phabrix, said, “With the UHD capabilities of Qx, Czech TV has chosen a system that offers all the features required to test new equipment and verify 4K standards for the best quality broadcast.” 


Télé-Québec monitors with Mediaproxy Canadian French public educational TV network Télé-Québec has deployed Mediaproxy's LogServer compliance logging and monitoring platform for quality monitoring compliance logging of its output. Le Société de télédiffusion du Québec, branded as Télé-Québec, is a Canadian French public educational TV network. Headquartered in Montreal with 10 regional offices, the station has been creating, curating and broadcasting educational and cultural programming which reflects the regional realities and diversity of Quebec for over half a century. Over 40% of Télé-

Québec’s programming is children's programming. It also presents a range of feature film and documentaries and hosts debate and discussionoriented shows. The main Montréal station CIVM-TV, also known as TéléQuébec HD, is also aired nationwide on Bell TV and Shaw Direct.

monitor both outgoing

The Mediaproxy LogServer system is being used to log and monitor the output of Télé-Québec services for compliance to the requirements of CRTC, the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications regulator. The system includes both SDI and TSoIP (Transport Stream Over IP) sources to

supported by CEV,

and return feeds. The system will also interface with the network’s automation system to be able to reconcile events against broadcast contents. The system has been installed and will be Mediaproxy’s partner in Montreal. CEV provides on-site and remote technical support and offers a wide range of high-level services covering sales, systems design, engineering, installation, training and maintenance. 



Singapore's Lighthouse Evangelism selects Riedel's Artist, Bolero, and MediorNet Systems Lighthouse Evangelism, one of Singapore's largest houses of worship, is using Riedel's Artist and Bolero intercom systems along with the company's MediorNet media distribution network to provide a complete signal distribution and routing solution for its two worship facilities: Lighthouse Woodlands and Lighthouse Tampines. Installed as part of a technical refurbishment of the two Lighthouse worship facilities, the Riedel systems replaced a legacy solution prone to destructive compression, noise, distortion, and other issues that compromised both signal quality and reliability. "We first approached the Riedel team to understand how their Artist and Bolero intercoms could be useful at our sites," said Kevin Yap, Technical 20 NOVEMBER ‘18

Manager at Lighthouse. "During our discussions, it became apparent that an integrated solution using Riedel's intercom systems — SmartPanels, and MediorNet MicroN and Compact — was going to be the most comprehensive workflow. MediorNet has given us an amazing amount of flexibility, and our users have had a great experience working with Bolero. We are thankful for the system consulting and support that Riedel provided, and I am pleased to have made the right decision in engaging Riedel." Together, the Artist wired intercom platform and Bolero wireless intercom system give operators crystal clear audio and a tremendous amount of flexibility in communications. The MediorNet system

simplifies handling of audio and video distribution within and between the worship venues and their classroom areas while maintaining the best


possible signal quality across the entire signal path. The MediorNet routing system, which covers several floors of each worship site, leverages fiber as a cost-effective, high-density signaltransport solution. For ease of identification, all input and output connection points are user-definable in the MediorNet control

software. MediorNet's straightforward system configuration and its flexibility in signal routing also help to minimize time spent on maintenance. Built-in features such as audio embedders and deembedders, frame synchronizers, and test pattern generators have negated the need for extra external hardware. Although the Lighthouse Woodlands and

Lighthouse Evangelism is using Riedel's Artist and Bolero intercom systems along with MediorNet to provide a complete signal distribution and routing solution for its two worship facilities. From left to right: Jake Dodson, Director of Product Management at Riedel; Kevin Yap, Technical Manager at Lighthouse; and Rajveer Singh, General Manager, Southeast Asia, at Riedel.

Lighthouse Tampines facilities are configured differently, technical teams from Lighthouse and Riedel jointly designed a custom solution that can be controlled using a single control system. Because the same control system manages Riedel gear at both sites, crew can transfer between Lighthouse facilities and easily configure the systems. "Lighthouse Evangelism is one of Singapore's bestknown houses of worship," said Rajveer Singh, General Manager, Southeast Asia, at Riedel. "Our system consulting team worked hand in hand with the technical team at Lighthouse to construct a comprehensive and efficient workflow built on our Artist, Bolero, and MediorNet family. It is a matter of pride that Lighthouse reposed its faith in Riedel and that our integrated solutions are helping Lighthouse achieve optimal levels of efficiency." ď ľ 21 NOVEMBER ‘18


Facilis improves workflows at Montgomery Community Media Rockville, Marylandbased Montgomery Community Media (MCM) has recently upgraded their Facilis shared storage network to 96TB. Part of Montgomery county, MCM is the only independent, nonprofit organization providing access to public media (public access television and broadband media) directly to the county’s over one million residents as well as non-profit organizations, associations and local businesses. Near to DC, the public TV and web resource has served the public since the early eighties. MCM has two channels that are available to Montgomery county residents via cable. The content for those channels is created at MCM or donated by individuals and organizations. “At MCM, people can come in and make their own TV shows and we put those 22 NOVEMBER ‘18

shows on the air,” said Michael Walsh, Technical and Network Manager at MCM. MCM also has an inhouse staff of editors and shooters and six different editing workstations running Adobe CC. “We have about 10 staff shooters who cover everything from news to community events and human-interest stories in the area,” says Walsh. “When I first started, everything was done over “sneaker-net”. We had hard drives stacked up in drawers, and some people had several terabytes on G Raid drives. We literally had credenzas full of drives that were filled with media. They weren't plugged in, so we didn’t know if the media was still valuable or if it could be accessed at all. We needed a way to move our media files onto some kind of a secure storage device that could be accessed from multiple stations.”

To solve the storage problem for all in-house and production team shows, MCM purchased a Facilis TerraBlock 24D shared storage network from Virginia-based system integrator Digital Video Group (DVG). Initially installed with 48TB, the system was recently upgraded to 96TB. The storage is connected to the editing workstations via Fibre Channel, while others can access the storage via Ethernet from laptops or remotely. The Facilis system also supports a Tightrope play-to-air system and is connected to a Telestream Live Capture 4-channel ingest system. DVG recommended Facilis storage in part because they are one of the only vendors that offers both Ethernet and Fibre Channel connectivity on a single storage server. “The TerraBlock is a robust and reliable key component at


Montgomery Community Media production staff

MCM that gets the jobs done,” said Jim Deigan, Sr. Account Manager at DVG.

critical part of the workflow that we do every day.”

“The Facilis system has really eliminated all the risks of losing material or accidentally losing someone else’s work,” says Walsh. “We are better organized than we’ve ever been and finally free of the mountain of drives and all the hassles associated with them. The new Facilis Web Console has made it even easier to access our storage from anywhere to grant permissions and create volumes. Multiple editors can work at the same time while reporters are browsing footage from their desks deciding how they’ll want a to put a story together. It's a

About once a month, MCM hosts a live event with a speaker, panelists and an audience of 30-80 people. Topics range from local politics to small business opportunities. This event is filmed at MCM’s studio using Hitachi and Ross studio cameras. All the camera feeds go into a Telestream Lightspeed Live Capture box and are then saved to the Facilis TerraBlock as both high res and proxy images. A lot of content ends up on the web, whether it’s on MCM’s YouTube channel or Facebook page. “So far, MCM has built up over thirty thousand followers on

Facebook,” says Walsh. “We don't really know who’s watching our overthe-air channels, but our website and social channels are very popular and of course we can see those analytics. We pride ourselves on being more of media center, not just a TV station, so that anything that's going on in the county might end up on either our shows or on social media.” “We had several meetings with Jim Deigan at DVG and it was clear from the beginning that he really understood our needs and knew his stuff. He was conscious of the way we finance here and that prices are important. He went through different options and informed us that Facilis could do whatever we needed,” says Walsh. “We’re just delighted with the system. If there is a problem Facilis support jumps on it and fixes it immediately. They can even log onto our system remotely if we want. The support has been fantastic.”  23 NOVEMBER ‘18


Marquis Broadcast appoints Paul Glasgow as Managing Director experience including senior roles at Sony, EMC Media Solutions, Avid Technology and ChyronHego.

Paul Glasgow takes over from Chris Steele to lead the company’s continued development of workflow transformation products.

Marquis Broadcast has announced the promotion of Paul Glasgow to Managing Director following the retirement of Chris Steele. A highly respected broadcast industry professional, Paul joined Marquis in 2016 with nearly three decades of successful management 24 NOVEMBER ‘18

"I am very excited about my new role which coincides with our deployment of important new products and services," Paul comments. "Marquis began as a workflow consultancy and identified the need to achieve efficient interoperability across multi-vendor systems. The company has since built up a strong portfolio of media integration products designed for today's fast-paced dataintensive media production and presentation environments. These include the cloud-hosted Medway Engine Web Service (MEWS), Marquis Fotonflite and Marquis Delta Parking."

"Marquis now has 37 partner companies across the areas of editing and shared storage, archiving, media asset management and workflow automation, including major solution suppliers such as Adobe, Apple and Avid." "I would like to thank Chris for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Marquis Broadcast throughout his six years as Managing Director," adds Christoffer Kay, Chairman of the Board. "He was also instrumental in the early decision to include cloud workflow into our product line which enables us to support an exceptionally high number of cloud platforms. Chris will continue to be active with Marquis Broadcast in a consulting capacity." 


Object Matrix and TransMedia Dynamics deliver integrated MAM to archive workflows Object Matrix and TransMedia Dymanics (TMD) have announced a partnership for an integrated storage and asset management workflow. Using the Object Matrix S3 Connect interface, users of TMD’s Mediaflex®-UMS (Unified Media Services) platform can easily access objects within their MatrixStore archive. The S3 Connect interface presents object storage vaults as if they were standard S3 buckets. MatrixStore is a mediafocused private & hybrid cloud solution based on the object storage technology from Object Matrix. It allows media companies to keep content secure and protected while ensuring easy access and discoverability at all times. Object Matrix’s S3

Connect and the S3 API provide a seamless way to connect with the data in a MatrixStore. Using the S3 protocols provides a secure, proven system to access the data, whilst only granting access to the assets or vaults allowed for any specific user. The integration with Mediaflex-UMS enables a seamless workflow from management to archive. Nick Pearce-Tomenius, Sales and Marketing Director, Object Matrix, commented: “As the demands on media companies evolve, the workflows become more complex than ever before. Enabling seamless integrated workflows is key to helping our customers continue to

monetize their valuable content.” Ben Cousens, Product Manager, TransMedia Dynamics, added: “Our customers are looking for ways to integrate with an easy-to-access storage solution but they don’t always have the budget for expensive cloud storage. This integration gives them the best of both worlds without the price tag.” S3 Connect allows MatrixStore to easily fit into existing workflows with many existing toolsets. Mediaflex-UMS customers can, therefore, continue to work in the environment they are used to while still having easy access to their archive.  25 NOVEMBER ‘18


Turnkey Systems Integration Greenfield installation of an entire TV station in Jordan

Qvest Media designed,

three studios. Headed by

and OTT platforms. The

built and integrated the

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complete infrastructure

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IT equipment works on

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FACTS AND FIGURES »» ARRI lighting system Construction of the curved video wall

»» Avid iNEWS for newsroom production workflow in combination with Avid MediaCentra »» Avid Interplay MAM »» BTS Express scheduling & traffic management system

Another highlight is a

»» Fully digital production chain

curved video wall of 5 x

»» Grass Valley cameras equipped with Canon lenses

2.5 metres with a 1.2 pixel

»» Haivision IPTV solution

pitch that can be silently

»» Harmonic Spectrum ingest and playout video servers

moved along a motorised dolly track. The extensive

»» Interra Systems Baton QC for automatic file quality control »» Lawo VSM broadcast control system

use of Augmented Reality

»» Oracle LTO-7 tape library archiving system with DIVArchive management software

at Al Mamlaka TV is also

»» Pebble Beach Marina automation system

contributing to the unique

»» Riedel Artist intercom

look of all programmes. 

»» Telestream Vantage for format transcoding and agency file conversion »» Trackmen real-time tracking system in conjunction with AR enabled crane camera »» Vinten robotic system »» Vizrt system for on air graphics



Canal Blau, La Xarxa and TV3 at unique Catalan Castellers events The three catalan broadcasters use TVU One and TVU Grid to contribute and share video over a FTTH network A castell is a human tower built traditionally at festivals throughout Catalonia and the region of Valencia. Castells were first documented in 1712 and originated within Valls, Catalonia, near the city of Tarragona. Interest in castells grew in the 1960s and 1970s and in 2010, castells were declared a masterpiece of human heritage by UNESCO. In 2015 a festival hosted 99 groups of castellers, at which the tallest human tower was erected and safely dismantled, having 10 levels with four people in each level. 28 NOVEMBER ‘18

The challenge This important Catalonian cultural event was to be filmed almost every week-end along the season from April to September by the regional TV companies belonging to la Xarxa group, like Canal Blau from Vilanova i la GeltrĂş. The footage was to be shared with fellow regional broadcasters La Xarxa (other 25 local TV stations) and TV3. The three broadcast partners needed an efficient and simple to operate solution that guaranteed the low latency transport of the

THE SOLUTION In the event happening in Sant Joan, 24th June, Canal Blau cameramen captured footage at Valls, Catalonia, Spain. This was contributed as RAW HD video using a TVU One mobile unit in combination with the TVU Grid solution over a FTTH network to La Xarxa HQ in MaternitatBarcelona. In turn, La Xarxa used TVU Grid to transport this footage to TV3 and back to Canal Blau studio. A second unit in Valls edited footage at a mobile unit, which was also contributed to La Xarxa for Broadcasting purposes through all their different channels.


pioneered by TVU for portable live video streaming transmitters. The TVU ONE maximised ease of operation for Canal Blau cameramen through requiring no infield configuration and a boot-up time of less than 20 seconds with just the push of a button.

casteller action for live broadcast in news and current affairs programming. It was important that the solution could, with redundancy, transport high quality HD video over a FTTH network.

The results TVU One delivers highdefinition picture quality with industry leading bandwidth efficiency all within a flexible, ultracompact and rugged hardware design. Through weighing just 2 kilograms, TVU One ensures that outside broadcast

cameramen are able to get the shots unencumbered by wires or heavy and bulky equipment. TVU One enabled Canal Blau to contribute live video with the versatility of a small, lightweight, IP-based highdefinition video field transmitter without sacrificing performance, features or picture quality. From the middle of crowded Valls square where castells were build, they were able to rely on TVU One to transmit at >9 Mbps with 1 second delay.

TVU’s IP based video switching, routing and distribution solutions enable broadcasters to share a TVU One live video transmission with any other TVU Grid enabled station, operations center or physical location. The three broadcasters involved in the Valls Castellers project utilized the fully-integrated TVU ONE and TVU Grid solution to share both RAW HD video and a fully edited programme. TVU Grid’s easy to use interface made sharing footage with Canal Blau and TV3 simple and userfriendly for La Xarxa. 

TVU ONE has the one button operation 29 NOVEMBER ‘18


Peppermill Resort Hotel Reno’s Race & Sportsbook “Technology is extremely important to us. With the help of Crestron and DM NVX AV‐over‐IT technology, my team and I were able to build an enterprise‐ grade solution that brings our sportsbook to a whole new level.” - Joe Ness, Executive Director of Entertainment, Electronics, and Media at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino



The largest casino in Reno, Nevada, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is a premier AAA Four Diamond awardwinning resort with over 1,600 luxurious guest rooms. Guests come from all over the world to enjoy the dozens of attractions including sports betting, table games, poker, and more at their 82,000 square foot casino and race and sports book. Since its humble beginnings in 1971 as a

FEATURED PRODUCTS • DigitalMedia™ 4K60 4:4:4 HDR Network AV Encoder/Decoder. DM-NVX-351. • DigitalMedia™ XiO Director. DM-XIODIR-ENT. • 3-Series Control System®. CP3 • 10.1” Touch Screen. TSW-1060. • Digital Graphics Engine 100. DGE-100. • Crestron Control® for Computers. XPANEL .

local coffee shop and lounge, the Peppermill has grown in size and stature. Today, Peppermill Casinos owns and operates six hotel resorts and casinos in the state of Nevada. With the on-going expansion of the resort, management is working to ensure guests still enjoy the best and most memorable experience possible, which they expect of the number one resort in Reno. Management is driven to deliver guest amenities, services, and technology that exceed those of the competition.

The Sportsbook One of the resort’s main attractions is the Peppermill Reno Race & Sportsbook. Located at the central piazza of the casino, the sportsbook is responsible for attracting roughly 20,000 – 30,000 people each week. Joe Ness, Executive Director of Entertainment, Electronics, and Media and his team unveiled a brand-new 110foot wide screen inside the sportsbook in May 2018. The seamlessly designed display features 4k resolution capability and is fully customizable with up to 30 different games and events playing 31 NOVEMBER ‘18


at once, capturing the attention of everyone who walks by. This multimillion dollar investment was made to provide guests the best sports viewing experience possible. Crestron DM NVX AV-over-IP technology is the power behind the big screen. DM NVX devices feed 170 outputs and 40 inputs providing Ness and his team the ability to show three games simultaneously on 20-foot screens in stunning 4K resolution. “We chose DM NVX because we needed a mission critical solution that was secure, reliable, had zero latency, and was powerful enough to support a video wall this large.” - Joe Ness Executive Director of Entertainment, Electronics, and Media at Peppermill Resort Spa Casino.

Box seats

Crestron DM NVX technology has taken the Peppermill guest experience to a yet higher level. From the guest rooms to the casino, Crestron technology ensures that this show stopping casino resort is truly one to remember.


In addition to the video wall, there are 60 comfortable “Box Seat” carrels with 24-inch touch screens, and eight 10' x 6'


screens located on the back wall. The space was designed for guests who prefer a more customized experience while visiting the sportsbook. Crestron custom formatting controls provide Joe and his team with unique flexibility and an enjoyable user experience. When guests visit the sportsbook they expect nothing but the best service. Since the technology upgrade, guests have gained exponentially more

control. Now, they can select any horse race, game, or odds source directly from the touch screen interface at each booth, plus the ability to control the desk lamp and headphones volume.

Results Peppermill prides itself on being the most technologically advanced resort and casino in Reno. While Crestron technology is not new to the resort – for more than a decade

they’ve been working with Crestron to design stateof-the-art guest rooms, entertainment venues, boardrooms, and more – the latest upgrades including DM NVX technology, have taken the Peppermill guest experience to a yet higher level. From the guest rooms to the casino, Crestron technology ensures that this show stopping casino resort is truly one to remember. 



How ATN International built a new TV service based on OTT technology The situation WHY ANEVIA Anevia worked with an ecosystem of technology partners to build a centralized network for ATN that ingests, encodes and transcodes video before sending it to an origin server for encryption and packaging. Anevia’s origin / packager is built on key technologies that help lower storage costs and reduce bandwidth requirements, such as Just-in-Time packaging, to remove the need to store content in a different format for each and every device; Infinite Buffer, to record and store content only once; and Embedded Distributed Storage, to create a ‘virtual NAS’ directly on the origin servers. Anevia also deployed edge caches and origin servers on the different islands, so that locally created content, including home security and IoT content, can be cached close to where it’s consumed.


ATN International is a US investment firm that operates, owns and invests in telecommunications companies and renewable energy assets, in the US and internationally. Their communications portfolio includes telcos with triple play services, such as One Communications in Bermuda, Viya in the US Virgin Islands, Logic in the Cayman Islands and GTT in Guyana. They also own communications companies in the US that focus on direct-toconsumer and wholesale wireless services.

The problem: how to transform TV and video ATN identified that video services were consuming between 70 – 80 percent of all traffic on their network. But, even though these services were bringing in a lot of revenue, they were not generating a lot of margin. And ATN realized that this was part of a larger trend: Internet video traffic continues to increase, but traditional operators are losing subscribers to their video services. ATN saw the need to transform how they deliver, and especially how they monetize video services. The proliferation of full OTT


packages such as Netflix and Amazon Prime has brought about a new way of watching TV and videos. Many subscribers are dropping the traditional channel tier model in favor of less restrictive streaming TV offers, and they are actually starting to expect that their TV will be interactive and not tied to fixed schedules. Viewers today want to watch programs, including those that they have recorded, on any device and wherever they may be. And they expect a broadcast quality, alwayson viewing experience, regardless of how they actually receive their TV services.

The solution: build a new service based on OTT technology To keep customers on their service, ATN knew that they would need to provide a wide range of

features, including live streaming, video on demand, time-shift TV, replay or catch-up TV and Cloud DVR. After analyzing several different business models, ATN concluded that the best option for their businesses was to take a two-step approach. Phase one would be to build a centralized hybrid platform to deliver the most in-demand content over a dedicated IPTV or HFC video network, with the majority of the channels being delivered OTT. In phase two, ATN will deliver ALL of their video content OTT.

The results and next steps With the upcoming launch of FibreWire TV, One Communications aims to revolutionize the way their subscribers enjoy on-

screen entertainment. FibreWire TV offers an advanced guide and search functionalities, 4K Ultra HD picture quality, access to the latest releases with On Demand, the possibility to watch shows on laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and hundreds of hours of Cloud DVR. One Communications will also enhance the value to their TV services through the continuous addition of new programming options. From a technical point of view, the centralized nature of ATN’s network means that their other Caribbean operators can quickly follow suit. And by putting edge servers close to users ATN’s operators can reduce delays and improve the overall subscriber experience. According to ATN Executive Director Mark Jensen, this solution pays for itself, in the transportation costs on the sub-sea network alone! 



Deutsches Museum When Munich’s science and technology museum needed a VM backup solution, Archiware Pure delighted with its simplicity and ease of setup.

The Deutsches Museum is one of the most important museums of science and technology in the world.

island in Munich, the traffic museum in Munich, the museum of flight in Schleißheim, and a branch in Bonn.

Its collection consists of more than 100,000 objects from the fields of science and technology. Highlights include the first mass produced motorized aircraft built by the Wright brothers, the U1 submarine, the first program-controlled computer, Konrad Zuse’s Z3, Diesel’s original engine and the first motorcar by Carl Benz.

Virtual machines offer most of the internal services from mail, web and print servers, administration of all the museums objects through project planning and financial data. Many services and databases are very specific and only needed for a single department or task.

Since most exhibitions, displays and experiments are built in-house, there are a wide range of professions among the 600 employees. The Deutsches Museum has four locations: the museums 36 NOVEMBER ‘18

An easy-to-use solution was needed to back up the VMware ESXi environment. Currently, there are five ESXi hosts running 68 VMs, 24 of which are critical and require a more frequent backup. Archiware Pure was

chosen for the clean and simple user interface and easy installation. Simple administration was crucial, and the fact that all of Pure’s backups can be checked within one user interface saves time and effort. Restore of both single files and complete VMs was an important requirement. The engineer in charge, Thomas Mondt, is happy with the new setup: “Running and maintaining so many different services is a challenge. Some of them are exotic and needed for very specific tasks. A solid backup provides us with the security we need. Archiware Pure makes it extremely easy for us to achieve this with a


PURE AT A GLANCE • 5 minute deployment as a VM appliance • Optimized for speed • Verifications ensure data integrity • All-in-one browser based user interface • Fully featured 90 day free evaluation • €500/$500/£500 per physical server host

minimum amount of time invested. We especially like the central interface that shows all VMs being backed up as well as their status, last run and storage needs. This saves us a lot of time”.



HOW UGC COULD CHANGE THE FACE OF NEWS (AGAIN) By Stuart Almond, Head of Marketing, Sony Professional Europe

year to 2025, when UGC will account for just under 20% of all online content – rising from just under 10% this year. So, we now have two questions to address: should news organisations take advantage of the ever-growing mountain of UGC out there, and how?

In recent years, more and more UGC has found its way into news programming, and for good reason. Multiple good reasons, in fact. And the growth in UGC we’ve seen thus far is nothing. According to a new Sony and IHS Markit report, the number of citizen journalists out there will increase by 145% each 38 NOVEMBER ‘18

Why incorporate UGC? Social media and blogs have already made the news more interactive. Instead of a short-lived, one-way flow of information, it’s now a conversation. Everyone can comment on or react to stories, through a choice of media – or they can create their own. The

democratising power of multiple technologies coming together (smartphones, social media, 4G, and soon, 5G) enables ordinary citizens to not only become content creators, but to share that content almost immediately. They can even build a following of their own, as well as sharing content with broadcasters. With a surging wave of UGC, several benefits become clear. First and foremost, those news organisations that can source and use this content will be able to deliver breaking coverage faster than ever before, without the expense or time commitment of sending out a news crew.


It’s true that footage quality may be lower than a professional production team. However, this is not the issue it once was, thanks to the latest smartphones. And while breaking news footage may not have been shot with broadcast cameras, the ability to incorporate multiple pieces of eyewitness content – from a variety of angles and viewpoints – strengthens reporting. No longer bound by the single live

feed and collection of prerecords taken by on-theground reporters, production teams can pick and choose from an abundance of content to tell the most compelling stories possible. What’s more, with less pressure to scramble and shoot news as it’s breaking, journalists could be freed to chase new developments, analyse events, and dig deeper into stories. The quality of coverage could actually

increase as media companies better incorporate UGC, thanks to trained, expert journalists being able to weave together informative, persuasive narratives from a buffet of user-generated content. And with content from everyday citizens, in almost every town around the globe, news reporting could even evolve to become hyperlocal, as well as national and international. What’s not to like?



UGC vs Fake News Earlier this year, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that Fake News reaches more people, and spreads faster, than real news. This seems to add weight to the idea that consumers are less interested in quality reporting than they are in novelty. So, it’s unsurprising that there have been concerns that greater volumes of UGC on social media could draw people away from the ‘traditional’ media organisations – slowly undermining them, as consumers chase more novel stories on their social feeds. But in the era of Fake News, subscriptions for online newspapers, such as The Times and The Guardian in the UK, have actually increased. Perhaps as a reaction to the unreliability of so much of the content out there, consumers have looked to more respected, trustworthy sources for the truth. If news 40 NOVEMBER ‘18

organisations can ensure their content sourcing, creation and distribution keep pace with consumers’ hunger for the latest developments, they could safeguard their current audience – and build lasting relationships with new ones. And it they’re able to reliably verify the authenticity of the UGC they do use, news organisations could enjoy the best of both worlds: the share-ability of novel UGC, combined with the reliability of more traditional journalism. But before this change can happen, or any other,

news organisations must assess and bolster their ability to manage and store all of this content. And ensure that this ability scales, growing with the content volumes we can expect in the coming years. No small feat, and one that will likely only be achieved with automation and artificial intelligence.


More content, smarter workflows Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new, but it’s only recently arrived in the broadcast sector: Less than one in ten (8%) media technology buyers have adopted artificial intelligence in some form so far, according to an IABM end-user survey. However, 56% intend to in the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, online publishers are much further ahead, with almost three quarters of those surveyed by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reporting that they’re already using some form of AI. And more than a third of those AI adopters have implemented in order to automate workflows. More intelligent workflows could well be the deciding factor in the success of UGC in broadcast news production, especially with so many areas that could be improved: Aggregating UGC from multiple social media platforms; using facial and landmark recognition technology to confirm content authenticity; producing closed captions; and acquiring permission to use content. But, perhaps most crucially, automated metadata creation and logging would mean more efficient media libraries. As content volumes grow, AI in both archiving and short-term storage may be the only way to stay on top of it all.

More video, greater opportunity With a 24-hour news cycle – and the expectations of contenton-demand, anywhere – the appetite for video is insatiable. IHS Markit consumer research found that almost 40% of mobile users access video content via their devices every day, and almost three quarters do so once per week or more. Far from posing a threat to professional journalism, UGC holds incredible opportunity for news organisations to cater to consumer expectations and preferences. Today’s media companies could be the crucial link between untrained content gatherers and hungry content consumers – the professional filter that upholds the quality and standards that journalists pride themselves on. But only with the right systems and processes in place, and a strategy to guide them. 




MULTI-CLOUD Sponsored by F5 Networks and conducted by the Foresight Factory, The Future of Multi-Cloud (FOMC) report is the first of its kind, providing a unique perspective on multi-cloud as it stands today and charting out the future for both businesses and consumers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

By Vincent Lavergne, RVP, Systems Engineering, F5 Networks

The ability to keep pace with technological change and consumer demand will push many businesses to breaking point in the next five years. The multi42 NOVEMBER ‘18

cloud presents a huge opportunity to innovate and stay ahead of the curve. However, it also presents a new dimension of strategic challenge.

Multi-cloud technology is a game-changer and our most powerful conduit for digital transformation yet. It will pave the way for unprecedented innovation, bringing cloud architects, DevOps, NetOps, and SecOps together to pioneer ground-breaking new services that traditional infrastructures simply cannot deliver. Although challenges exist today related to cost,


The era of cloud apprehension is almost over. Those still wavering on the side lines risk becoming increasingly irrelevant or even extinct in the coming years.

Driving unprecedent agility, efficiency, and cost savings

skills, legal constraints, and legacy infrastructure configurations, the outlook over the next five years is bright. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will

be fundamental to driving higher levels of automation, rendering existing obstructions to multi-cloud obsolete and unlocking the future potential of cloud computing in all its forms and configurations.

Genuine profit and innovation yielding digital transformation can only happen at pace, with seamless fluidity and security. Complexity and cost are often trumpeted as impediments to a full multi-cloud embrace, but the tide is changing fast. Technological progress continues unchecked and corporate cloud literacy is becoming an operational prerequisite. In five years, upfront cost concerns will be a historic, administrative footnote. If harnessed with intelligence and foresight, the expansive opportunities afforded by the multi-cloud opportunity can only benefit the bottom line 43 NOVEMBER ‘18


and earn customer trust through service excellence.

Plugging the skills gap We live in a security conscious, app-powered, multi-cloud world and the demand for expertise capable of deciphering advanced technology and adding strategic value is reaching fever pitch. It is time to explode the myth that the skills gap is an intractable problem and that cybersecurity and cloud computing are inaccessible career options. Predictable doomsayers and statistical regurgitations are obvious media staples. We need to highlight the kaleidoscopic potential of youth, promote industry diversity, and deftly discuss how smart, context-driven and automated solutions can spark attractive new career opportunities, as well as free up existing workforces for more strategic and rewarding work. 44 NOVEMBER ‘18

Safeguarding the future and building trust Attack surfaces are expanding at exponential rates. Cybercriminals are no longer tinkering hobbyists but instigators of a new “hacking

economy” that can outpace businesses innovation. Organisations need to confront the issue head on without compromising on security and quality of service. The ability to quickly develop and deploy scalable applications and services


stakeholders greater context, control, and visibility into the threat landscape. It will also yield the confidence needed to remove the scourge and cost of complexity.

Coping with compliance

anywhere, on any platform, is vital to meet customer demand and remain competitive. Implementing a robust, future-proofed ecosystem of integrated security and cloud solutions will help to build end-to-end IT services that give key

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most comprehensive and farreaching piece of legislation of its kind. Data-centric reliability has now been elevated to the status of corporate kingmakers. However, it is not enough. Within five years we need a global standard for data protection. Without it, there will be chaos. The challenge of regulating borderless digital multicloud world is one of the biggest challenges facing governments worldwide and swift collaborative action is urgently needed. Meanwhile, businesses need to stay compliant with existing legislation, which is made ever more

complex by cloud computing’s growing influence.

No single cloud solution will suffice Within five years, most businesses will need to be multi-cloud savvy for compliance, security, customer service and basic survival. Wavering technological laggards are likely to fall by the wayside. Automation, orchestration, and optimisation is now the mantra for today’s businesses and governments. Expect milestone multi-could moments in the coming years where industries are reshaped. Expect intense challenges from a cybersecurity threats, looming skills gaps, and infrastructural deficiencies. Expect unstoppable innovation and change. Expect the Future of Multi-Cloud. 



NEW TV CHANNELS ON A SHOE STRING By Martin Junek, Provys Hardly a day goes by without a new TV channel springing up somewhere in the ether. The plethora of choice tends to a situation where audience statistics are reducing on a per-channel basis, which then leads to a challenge for any particular channel concerning their profitability. Capital costs for a TV start up can be very high if one pursues the traditional TV broadcast methodology which, even with the greatest respect, presents a very high risk to owners and investors of such newly launched enterprises. Experienced players on the broadcasting markets are well aware of many small innovative new channels that failed in their infancy, being unable to attract sufficient revenues to sustain their capital and current expenditures. 46 NOVEMBER ‘18

In this article, we would like to bring to your attention the story of “Info TV Brno and South Moravia” (a little north of Vienna and part of the Pohoda Media Group), which is currently blazing a trail across start up territory, and managing to avoid many of the above risks by using proven technology now available from Stream Circle. It is no coincidence that Stream Circle won the Game Changer Award at NAB 2015 principally because it allows creative entrepreneurs to establish new TV channels with zero capex. “We particularly wanted to create a local TV service that would bring news, specialised information regarding traffic conditions, current affairs and other valuable regional services” says Nikola Parizkova, Executive Director at Pohoda Media Group, “but

we were concerned at the potential capital costs and so we had to look around for alternative solutions. Having met the guys from Stream Circle at IBC Amsterdam, we were immediately impressed by their technical knowledge and zero capex offer”. Negotiations took place and agreement was reached to implement the solution for the client with a minimum of delay, a process which took only a few days before the station was up and running. The diagram clearly illustrates the content flow in Info TV Brno’s operations. A principal consideration for this design is the minimum level of manpower required for this highly automated solution which further reduces expenditures for the broadcaster. On the left, we see several content


sources. Most of them are IP-based, including, for example, current traffic data from the web, live streams from traffic cameras, local weather forecasts, local and national news, economic and financial updates, all enhanced by audio from Radio Dalnice (Radio Highway, also a member of the Pohoda Media Group), and financed by local and national advertising. These various sources are then fed through the Stream Circle solution that serves as

playout automation and the graphics engine to the output. During this process, the software is able to create more attractive content by adding banners, hot news announcements, local warnings, emergency messages, special offers, and other graphics, logos, crawling texts, etc. The Stream Circle solution supplies all this as an HDSDI signal to the DVB-T head-end. Alternatively, programmes can be simply streamed over IPTV networks, if required.

From the financial perspective, Info TV Brno is a first class reference client for Stream Circle even though it covers a population of only 1.2 million people. As it is a free-to-air service, the channel operations must be extremely efficient because most income is generated by costconscious regional advertisers rather than mega rich global corporations. 






OTT REVOLUTION We analyze the case of three leading televisions with presence in this new environment There is no company focused on content production that does not take into account the rise of the new OTT platforms. Traditional television does not avoid this issue either. The user wants to consume content in an increasingly personalized way. So, how do leading companies answer to this challenge? What is their strategy to successfully enter the new environment? We address these and other issues through the cases of Televisa (Mexico), Fox News (USA) and ProSiebenSat.1 Media (Europe), three global reference television companies also present in the OTT world. We have interviewed top technical managers of the three platforms to study the uniqueness of each example. By Daniel Esparza




GETS ON THE OTT WAVE Fox News is about to break into the OTT business with the new Fox Nation platform. The channel is a reference in the cable television scene in the United States, and it also wants to succeed in this new environment. We spoke with John Fiedler, SVP of Digital at Fox News Channel, to get the keys to this upcoming release.

What key reasons have triggered the launch of your new OTT platform Fox Nation? Our fans have told us for a long time that they want more from us. More content, more access, more opinion. The very nature of traditional TV is that it is a single linear stream -- limited to the number of hours in a day. So by putting a product like Fox Nation into the 50 NOVEMBER ‘18

OTT space, we are giving our audience the ability to have more from Fox News whenever and wherever they like.

What technical challenges is this project posing? Fox News is already wellversed in creating content and building digital products to distribute that content. However, similar to many other media

companies, we are just now embarking on a direct-to-consumer business strategy for the first time. Because of this, there have been significant resources put into building and integrating payment technologies and user management platforms to manage these services.

What makes this new service different from


those of other competitors? Fox News already has an incredible fan base and a powerful brand, so right out of the gate I believe we are in a position unlike any of our competitors simply because of who we are. Beyond that, Fox Nation is unique because we are creating an incredible amount of allnew content specifically

for the platform. And starting day one, we will be adding new content every single day, multiple times per day. It will be timely, engaging, and relevant.

What technologies will you introduce to optimize the user experience while browsing? At launch we will be leveraging a variety of

technologies to help power the end user experience, including personalized recommendations, content previews, favoriting, tailored notifications, and more. We will also be present on nearly every mainstream device in the marketplace. As we learn more about how our fans are using the product, we will continue to refine and advance the product and user experience. 51 NOVEMBER ‘18


What strategy will you follow in the content security side? No matter how much technology you put in place to try to secure your content, there is ultimately nothing that stops someone from making a recording of their TV screen from their phone, for example. So we can certainly make it harder for people, but ultimately we need to be diligent about monitoring the leakage of content to third-party platforms, and make sure we take the appropriate steps to put a stop to it.

What is your stance regarding social media? Social media is a way for us to market our content for consumption within our owned & operated digital properties. It is not a destination for people to come and watch the content itself. In that vein, we do plan to post some samples of Fox Nation content on social media to drive awareness, and we want others to do the same. But social media will not be where people 52 NOVEMBER ‘18

“Similar to many other media companies, we are just now embarking on a direct-toconsumer business strategy for the first time�

can come to consume Fox Nation content.

To what extent will you adopt 4K-HDR resolutions? Although it will not be a part of Fox Nation at launch, we do have plans in place to extend into 4KHDR during a future phase of the product.

What do you think is the future of this market? Are we moving towards an environment where the user will be subscribed to several complementary content platforms?

Certainly in the short term that is where the industry is headed. From a user perspective, however, having multiple accounts to access content eventually becomes unwieldily. So I easily see a future where many of these offerings swing back into something a bit more bundled, but where there is more transparency and flexibility regarding the consumer relationship, which is one of the major problems that exists today. Regardless of what happens, however, we believe that Fox Nation as a service will stand up to whichever direction the market ultimately shifts.

How will this scenario affect OTT content platforms? How will the competition evolve? One thing that is interesting to watch is the platforms themselves starting to bundle content together from media companies. The question is whether users are more likely to use a bundled content offering on the platform, or gravitate towards individual brand


experiences. In this particular case, we believe we are well-positioned to have some frank conversations with individual platforms about what is best for our users.

What role will linear television play? Does the key lie in providing the user with an integrated experience? By design, Fox Nation is a fully complementary experience to Fox News. As such, you will certainly

see Fox Nation integrated into Fox News programming where it makes sense for the viewer. Between Fox News Channel (the #1 network in all of cable) and our digital properties (nearly 100 million unique users monthly), we have an incredible opportunity to build broad awareness for Fox Nation nearly instantly.

“We are starting work on building engagement mechanisms directly into the product itself that may allow for a user to interact with the show”

What technical innovations will be a short-term priority to improve these services? We have some great things planned for the product. One item that we are especially excited about is that we are starting work on building engagement mechanisms directly into the product itself that may allow for a user to interact with the show, with the hosts, or with one another. Ultmately, we are looking to grow Fox Nation into a highly social experience for all Fox News fans.  53 NOVEMBER ‘18






BLIM , UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT Technology advances, and consumer habits change. This circumstance poses challenges, whilst opening new opportunities for traditional television networks. The Internet is a mandatory distribution channel for any content producer. Televisa, the largest producer in Latin America, could not fail to adapt to this new scenario. For this reason, the Mexican group opted in 2016 to create blim, its own OTT service. Over this period, the platform has evolved, both on a technical and content level. We have drawn out an overview of its main technical milestones so far and appraise its current position and expected evolution, through five of its top managers. Answering the questions will be: Alex Campos, CTO of blim Gustavo Ramirez, Technical Project Manager Jesus Ruiz, Lead Senior Android Developer Marcos Reyes, Lead Senior iOS Engineer Erickson Joseph, Full Stack Developer



What aim was Televisa pursuing when it launched this service? In February, it will be three years since the launch of blim. The aim was to give the public the content that has been relevant not only in Mexico, but also in Latin America. It has been the only platform where you can enjoy all the repertory Televisa boasts, not only historical, but the most current soap operas, comedy and momentous events in the country.

"When Blim started up, it offered content of all kinds, but soon we discovered that there were genres that people already obtained in other services."


Televisa understands very well that content is still king, but that consumption habits have been changing as technology advances. The idea was to use the Internet as a distribution channel and thus offer varied content, with special focus on titles in Spanish.

What evolution has followed since then, and what is your current blim’s team.

position in the Mexican market? Blim has undoubtedly evolved since its launch, improving in every aspect. Today blim is available on 12 platforms, which makes it compatible with hundreds of devices. In addition, it has increasingly become more accessible in its payment platform by understanding how its market operates.


We have learned a lot in these years, for example knowing what content is truly interesting to our audience, what is the content that made them subscribe in the first place, so that we strive to present stories that users expect to find in blim. When Blim started up, it offered content of all kinds, but soon we discovered that there were genres that people

already obtained in other services. Today blim has focused more on the Mexican market in this last year and at the same time the content is more geared towards Televisa's own productions with series, soap operas.

What do you think the future of the OTT market holds? I think it is already a

reality that the users are now subscribing to more than one platform. For the consumer it is practical to hire a service that can be canceled at any time and in most cases without having to talk to someone. Here the important thing is to differentiate enough and that is only achieved with the content that people expect and do so often to keep them engaged. Also, there are other business models that are emerging, such as the service just announced by Apple that will be free for its users of iOS and Apple TV, or not so new options, but also different Amazon Prime Video, which is more part of a loyalty programme. Definitively, the OTT is not something that is going to disappear, it is a distribution channel that is bound for all content producers, what may still be maturing are the different business models.

In this sense, what do you consider to be the evolution of the competition, and where does blim aim to fit into this scenario? 57 NOVEMBER ‘18


We are aware that other OTTs have huge global strategies and budgets, but Televisa continues to be the largest content producer in Latin America. blim has a very clear niche, the Spanishspeaking market that enjoys stories that are relevant to their culture, there we are and we will continue to be positioned, learning to improve continuously.

What role will cable television play? Cable television will undoubtedly begin to suffer the consequences of the evolution of Internet services, investment in infrastructure is high and requires maintenance and updating, since the cable companies must leave carefully or will not have the number of subscribers to remain profitable.

Syndicated shows are being moved to SVOD services, not the other way around, and the sports are not that far off, evidenced by investor interest in Athletic and declining viewer rates for mass

"OTT is an obligatory distribution channel for all content producers; what will be maturing are the different business models."


sporting events. The future is streaming digital content, which is why major media companies are investing in original digital content and quality platforms to stream that content.

What details can you disclose about your agreement with TV Azteca? We can add no more than what was said in a recent interview by Vanessa Rosas Molina, director of new business


keep technology at the forefront, mainly focusing on innovation. The main challenges are always in being able to quickly cover the range of existing devices in the market, in order to meet the demand of our users.

What technological innovations have you implemented to optimise the quality of the user's experience? blim launched an initial version on devices that was later replaced by a new design and with that purpose on the Xbox and Samsung platforms. and alliances of blim. Only that the integration is moving along swiftly and in process by both parties. [In a recent event, Vanessa Rosas Molina said that they are about to launch an alliance with Total Play (Pay TV operator of Azteca) to provide content to this pay-TV platform.]

At this time, what major technical challenges are you addressing? blim always seeks to

For iOS, we are finalising the new Search, the integration with the Apple TV app, and the integration with Siri. On Android and Android TV, we have adopted the latest features brought forth by Android Oreo, which allows merging with the native app of TV's. Additionally there are many devices with incompatibility in the competition and in blim we have optimised them meaning that they work correctly.

The issue is that in Mexico devices running Android with no official support by the Google platform are used and we constantly make the effort to support this equipment. Additionally, we strive to customise the app and our players in response to the technical characteristics of the network to ensure they are adequate in the areas we cover. For example, our app is available for less known devices like Hyundai and also IPTV boxes from unlicensed Chinese manufacturers available, even though Google does not provide it. Another innovation is the transmission of live events, such as the soccer games of the Mexican league where Chivas de Guadalajara participate.

Do you apply artificial intelligence in any of your processes? This is the next step, since we transmit data sent to AWS Elasticsearch and this will allow us to implement machine learning to diagnose 59 NOVEMBER ‘18


problems quickly and predict future trends. Additionally, we use learning algorithms and AI techniques to gain a better understanding of our users' behaviour, and in that way we can recommend personalised content.

What strategy do you follow in the content security section? blim has implemented DRM management for the different players used within blim, so all content 60 NOVEMBER ‘18

is protected by industry standards. In addition to this, blim has a user geolocation system that allows you to add content protection themes based on the location of the person who sees it. We have made great progress in payment and user acquisition platforms, which likewise allow us to identify and protect users, along with their information.

What technical challenges does the

distribution of content in a multi-device environment imply? blim requires support for each one of these devices. For example, in Android, the devices in Mexico are very fragmented and many are not approved, but nevertheless we try to cover them. As an example, within Samsung's Smart TV's there are two different systems with testing and certification requirements by model and year of the device. Another case is in iOS, as


well as in Android, when updates to the Operating Systems are released, as is the case with Oreo & iOS 12. It requires making adjustments and extensive tests and certifications with different providers, including the operation of the video and DRM support for the device that is trying to cover. Another important challenge is the need to transcode multiple profiles for different devices and at the same time have the ability to provide multiple

"It is important that the cable companies do not see the act of "virtualising" as an enemy."

resolutions depending on the characteristics of the network in a dynamic way. This, in combination with the use and distribution of content through CDN's, allows you to improve the

user experience on their favourite device. Additionally, it is necessary to measure the response time between CDNs in order to provide the best option to the client. The transmission of Mexican football live represented another great challenge, as the requirements for this type of events are different and much more demanding than for content on demand. It required a reconfiguration of



services, as well as a swift response to the growth of demand suddenly.

How do you solve, at a technical level, the management and filing platform content? blim has its own CMS system, which allows us to manage and ingest content while letting the editorial team manage assets and schedule promotions. We also have a complex system of content recommendations based on the customer's history. We have a system that collects the incoming assets and allows us to add and edit metadata about them before storing them in the database and feeding our CMS, in AWS S3 and Glacier.

Have you broadcast content in 4K-HDR resolution? Currently, one of the main challenges we have is the Internet distribution of content in Latin America, given the conjuncture and the environment of the networks and their speed. 62 NOVEMBER ‘18

The requirements to transmit 4K cover only a small percentage of users, but we have been working on innovations that will allow us to expand that percentage and eventually offer 4K.

Do you have any other

technological innovation for this service in mind? Definitely, we have worked with the industry and we know the best options available today for this distribution, in our laboratory we have done tests with codecs and


techniques (algorithms) that allow us to distribute the content more efficiently.

Finally, what other technical issues would you like to highlight? Registration and payment methods: we

recently added Google Play as a payment method in blim, and in a short time it will be possible to register and pay with Apple Pay, thus complementing credit and prepaid cards. This in combination with sophisticated fraud

"The main challenges are always being able to quickly cover the range of existing devices on the market."

control allows us to provide confidence to our customers. DevOps: blim is completely cloud based. We use AWS & CDN to optimise content distribution. Project management: Internally we are a team that uses Agile, Kanban & Scrum for their work methodologies and this allows us to respond swiftly to changes, maintain an optimal management of releases, as well as the delivery of applications and features in short times. ď ľ 63 NOVEMBER ‘18






The evolution of the audiovisual market offers business opportunities that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. ZAPPN is the perfect example. The company ProSiebenSat.1 Media, based in Germany and present in several countries, launched in September 2017 for the Austrian market an OTT platform -ZAPPN- aimed at mobile devices. Since October 2018, the service is also available for AndroidTV and FireTV.

The service combines linear television and VOD content, although its main focus is the live segment. We analyze its evolution and current technological state with the help of Fabian Knauseder, Head of Business Development & Distribution Sales at ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 GmbH.



“We can use content of our 10 ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4-channels as well as their power to advertise to broad audiences.”

Why did you decide to launch a content platform aimed only at mobile devices? Even though we initially started our App ZAPPN “mobile first” in Sept. 2017, we were, from start, designing our OTT service to create a much bigger ecosystem of various platforms and services. Now in Oct. 2018 we are currently not only available on iOS and

Android but also for FireTV and Android TV, hence for the bigger Screens in the living rooms of Austrian viewers. Fast growing Distribution: 600.000 downloads in less than one year in Austria. Due to this success, we are happy to be available on these new platforms and develop the OTT market in Austria even further. We

will expand in terms of platforms and content, being available for Apple TV and Tizen in the coming months as well as featuring new channels.

What has ZAPPN achieved since its creation? Besides the technical evolution, ZAPPN had a great first year – we doubled our video views during that time. We also 67 NOVEMBER ‘18


established ZAPPN as a new premium brand in the market. We can use content of our 10 ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4channels as well as their power to advertise to broad audiences. Due to this fact you can see that linear TV is the best possible “magic potion” for building brands and establishing new platforms.

What would you say that is your current technological state? PULS 4 Sommergespräche (c) Glanzl


We are glad to operate on a great tech base because of being part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. We can revert to a stable product without outages or big bugs. However, we are also aware that ZAPPN as a base product offering Live streaming and VoD as well as EPG has room for improvement when it comes down to new and extensive features. The latter is something we are currently working on hard as new features illustrate

“The ZAPPN App reached 600.000 downloads in less than one year in Austria and doubled its video views during that time”


channels into a convenient and easy to use product. PULS 4, our best performing channel in ZAPPN, offers various HitShows locally produced by Austrians leading PrivatTV-Company ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 – for example successful shows like “2Minuten2Millionen”, “Bist du deppert!?”, “Sehr Witzig – der PULS 4 Witzestammtisch” or exciting sports events such as “UEFA Europa League”.

a third pillar of innovation for Zappn besides platforms and content expansion.

What is your strategy regarding the content? ZAPPN is completely free in terms of TV license (GIS). This is an important aspect for the success, especially in Austria. Our ambition is to integrate premium Live TV and on demand content of 10 of Austria’s most popular TV

In what ways do you think the content should be adapted to be delivered through mobile devices? First and foremost adaptions are needed in terms of DRM and youth protection as content that is often not suitable for younger target groups

would be available at any given time of the day in our library. We avoid this by carefully flagging that content making sure that this is only accessible after a certain hour of the day. This explicit content is then also off limits of younger target groups in VoD.

What are the main technical challenges when distributing content through mobile devices? Clearly, this has to be bandwidth, stable quality of service and data plans that are precious to the users + customers alike. We offer adaptive streaming that adjusts to the users current technical environment as he/she progresses throughout the day. ZAPPN and our tech make sure that you can watch our content

“ZAPPN is completely free in terms of TV license (GIS). This is an important aspect for the success, especially in Austria”



Café Puls Das Magazin (c) Lisa-Maria Trauer

regardless of the bandwidth you are currently able to process or more precise your device/setup is able to deliver. Having higher bandwidth enables higher quality delivered by our system. Lower bandwidth means a little less quality but nevertheless a guaranteed stream.

In addition to 24/7 streams, you also distribute VoD content. Why did you make this decision? We follow our company mission “4GAMECHANGERS”. We focus on making content as attractive as possible 70 NOVEMBER ‘18

for every type of use, to generate high reach across all platforms and successfully market networked concepts. That is the only way to be relevant regardless of time or place and personal preference/mood. ‘Live’ is the best performing sector of ZAPPN. In combination with VoD (including thousands of shows, series and movies), it is possible to offer our Austrian viewers the best possible service. Easy to handle: That is the trend for the moment. Therefore, we provide our

“We offer adaptive streaming that adjusts to the users current technical environment as he/she progresses throughout the day”

users the simplest solution to consume the whole spectrum of entertainment anywhere and at any time


directly and free of charge.

What do you think should be the degree of coexistence between both models? There is no coexistence of VoD and ‘live’ but rather a symbiosis. By offering a very broad and attractive content library of our channels, we complement the Live TV usage of our customers in a positive way. Live and especially locally produced Live-TV is the key. Austrian Shows and

content on demand makes our platform in additionally strong.

Would you like to add something? Yes, a short intro to our digital festival in which also our products will be showcased as well. So, in 2016 we founded our “4GAMECHANGERS Festival”. The international digital festival for gamechangers, speakers, rebels, international and national acts, top athletes and influencers. Our aim is building news bridges and

connecting the most important entrepreneurs from the heart of Europe with the leading visionaries from Asia. The 4GAMECHANGERS FESTIVAL is the hub for future-oriented digital projects, the breeding ground for start-ups and the get-together for gamechangers of all ages, industries and communities. 4GAMECHANGERS 2019 is taking place from 9th to 11th of April 2019 in Vienna. 

Studio Show Vurschrift is Vurschrift (c) PULS 4.




By Chem Assayag, EVP Marketing and Sales at Viaccess-Orca

are helping them rise up to address the demand for TV Everywhere services. The article will conclude with insights into where the future of OTT is headed.

The OTT market is growing rapidly, with the latest data from Juniper Research estimating that global OTT revenues will reach $120 billion in 2022, up from $64 billion in 2017. To be competitive in the OTT space, service providers need an efficient and costeffective service delivery approach. This article will examine the key challenges services providers face when delivering OTT video and how technology trends, such as the cloud and big data,


Challenges and Technology Solutions in the OTT market One of the biggest challenges that service providers face when delivering OTT is providing a high quality of service, especially for content that is viewed by large audiences. Managing multi-country, multi-device, and multiusage OTT services can be complex. Over the next year, there will likely be increase in deployments of fiber ISP networks for fixed broadband and early

deployment of 5G for mobile in order to improve video quality delivery. This will accelerate consumer adoption of TV Everywhere offerings. Another issue service providers contend with is helping their subscribers to find content easily. Oftentimes, TV interfaces are not simple to navigate, which can be frustrating for subscribers and lead to churn. Today’s viewers want content that is personalized. What’s more, they want a central location on the TV screen where they can view all of their OTT apps. Data intelligence is being used on a larger scale to address those requirements. Through big data and analytics, service providers can deliver more


contextually relevant content, get instant and comprehensive visibility into how the service is performing, gauge which content viewers like, and create upsell opportunities, based on actual viewing and browsing patterns. Not only does personalizing content boost subscriber satisfaction, it creates additional revenue for service providers. Data puts services providers in a better position to negotiate for the right content. They can initiate activities around monetization of consumer data, especially with regards to targeted advertising. The main challenge when working with data is ensuring compliance with new regulations, such as GDPR in Europe. By maintaining data integrity, accuracy, relevancy, and legally justified processing, service providers can successfully navigate the GDPR era and make the most of data to optimize their OTT offerings. Cost can be an obstacle of OTT service delivery, and cloud technology is changing that scenario. Relying on cloud infrastructure for service delivery as opposed to traditional hardware

equipment minimizes operators’ upfront investment. Since the cloud is based on an OPEX business model, operators only pay for what they use. Cloud-based service delivery is more agile and scalable, allowing service providers to launch OTT offerings faster than ever.

must respond to consumers

Migrating to the cloud doesn’t have to happen overnight. Service providers can continue running the hardware-based systems they’ve invested in while gradually utilizing the cloud in order to realize increased elasticity and scalability. Choosing a TV Everywhere solution that supports hybrid configurations of on premise and cloud systems is a necessity for these use cases.

of all content, make video

subscribing to multiple independent OTT offerings and provide them with a consistent view of available content, including recommendations. At Viaccess-Orca, it’s our goal to help OTT service providers offer a global view content ultra-personal on every screen, and bring extra agility and flexibility to service delivery on every screen. Our cloud TV Platform as a Service (TVaaS) integrates cloud, big data, and analytics technologies, enabling operators to launch personalized TV Everywhere services rapidly, and scale it

The Future of OTT The OTT industry is constantly evolving, and traditional television providers now face new competitors, including SVOD providers like Netflix, Amazon and HBO. Despite the complexities of OTT service delivery, there are opportunities for monetization.

up or down as needed. The future of OTT looks bright, and service providers that adopt these next-generation technologies will gain a competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.

To be successful in the OTT environment, the industry




Online video has been spreading like wildfire. It impacts media distribution and consumption channels at unprecedented levels, providing consumers with greater control and flexibility to watch content whenever, wherever and on the device of their choice in high quality. This has created a boom for online streaming video. In Western Europe alone, online streaming is forecast to account for 46% of the region’s TV revenues by 2023 at $50 billion, up from $39 billion in 2017, according to Digital TV Research. How video is delivered to viewers is the crux of the matter, and as viewing habits shift from linear broadcast to live streaming,


reducing latency is the top priority for developers. Our recent Video Developer report, published at IBC 2018, confirmed this trend identified by 55 percent of the 456 surveyed video developers from over 67 countries.

experience, regardless of the delivery method. As a result, the video industry is putting the onus on video developers to create the most seamless video experiences possible across all devices whilst avoiding delays compared to traditional linear broadcasts.

EMEA is no different from the rest of the world. However, it faces a challenge specific to mature markets: broadcast infrastructure across Europe is strong and stable, making it perfectly suited to deliver content. Yet, younger audiences are turning more and more to online channels, leading to cord cutting. These younger audiences that have grown up with a combination of linear broadcast and online platforms expect the same

The challenges are common to many. Latency becomes even more critical when it comes to live content, where value lies in immediacy. With the propensity to engage with multiple screens, and multiple sources of content, the risk for social media spoilers to take the intrigue away from live content is ripe. When live sports are streamed online, viewers can be frustrated to find that social media platforms often reveal a key moment – such


as a goal, player injury or penalty – before the stream itself. Viewers who are streaming that same content via another online platform may even get the latest breaking news before they do, and still be significantly later than linear broadcasts. While live sports is a great example, the latency challenge affects any type of content. News publishers that aren’t able to break news fast enough can end up losing eyeballs as viewers turn to a competing TV channel. Likewise, if a live fitness class stream buffers during an instructor’s demonstration, users could opt out of the service and

replace it with a competing one, resulting in fallen subscription rates for the original service. As video pervades every aspect of consumers’ lives, the business impact of latency will keep growing. It is no surprise, therefore, why addressing latency has become the top priority for content providers across the board. Due to the very nature of streaming, completely eliminating latency is unavoidable. Latency is inherent to the way OTT is delivered due to the unpredictability of networks used to transport content, which is why OTT services

are widely deployed for lower quality content both in the home and on mobile devices. Nevertheless, viewers are increasingly expecting high quality when it comes to picture quality across secondary devices, as well as television sets. Streaming delays can be caused by a wide range of issues from content delivery networks (CDNs), network performance, player adaptation and decoding. CDNs are partly responsible for latency, with many legacy systems designed to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to delivery, which is not always suitable for streaming video. Network



performance can depend on whether the viewer is streaming at home or on the go, with mobile streaming affected by the number of relay masts in the area. 3G or 4G signals tend to be unreliable and streaming onthe-go can drain viewer data allowances. UHD content requires an even larger amount of data, putting further pressure on the network. Encoding optimization is also tricky, with ‘optimal’ bitrates varying for each piece of content and video players having different levels of flexibility to manage video data. However, because of the way online streaming works, and the responsibility the player has to present a stable stream and a high quality of experience to viewers, the lion’s share of delay is typically due to the player in the end-to-end network. To overcome the latency challenge, the Bitmovin Player has added CMAF (Common Media Application Format) low latency capability using open standards. This features playback support on popular online streaming video playback platforms, such as HTML5 and mobile


platforms. Player latency is achieved at 2-3 seconds, as opposed to 18-24 seconds, using standard implementations of the popular streaming protocols: MPEG-DASH or HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). With the CMAF low latency implementation, the player starts rendering the video/audio before it has received the whole segment, since it operates at a lower “chunk” granularity meaning viewers get content that bit quicker and are able to enjoy streams with less delay. Furthermore, all player features operate as-is without any loss of functionality. Low latency over online streaming networks has historically been a tradeoff against stream stability, and re-buffering at the player end if latency was set too low. CMAF low latency technology helps with that, but the risk is still there. The ability to monitor the player, and aggregate this data and analytics, becomes a key requirement in launching CMAF low latency technology. Content distributors can monitor performance and tradeoffs using the Bitmovin Analytics product and fine tune

configurations to maintain a high quality of experience while achieving low latency experiences at scale. Optimizing streaming video in today’s multifaceted world is by no means a straightforward journey for content providers. However, if they are to remain competitive, each challenge must be faced head on with leading solutions that harmonize video streams with their broadcast counterparts, ultimately reducing latency. This is what forward-thinking video developers like us are working to keep providing solutions to solve complex video problems. As the amount of viewers consuming streaming video content continues to rise, the onus is on us to push the industry forward with progressive tools for providers to adopt and improve their premium offerings with. 






About to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Pure AV is one of the integrators of the moment. It is the impression given to us by Richard Lister, its technical director, when he tells us about their most innovative projects or the compliments they receive from the specialized press. The British integrator is a leader in the higher education sector, which currently represents around 50% of its business. Richard Lister tells us all its keys and challenges. However, it is in the corporate market where the company now detects more growth. Richard Lister argues us his position with concrete examples. The technical director of Pure AV also analyzes in depth the field of healthcare and, in general, the most predominant trends in the audiovisual integration market, among which stand out the AV over IP and LED technologies.

As an introduction, what position does Pure AV currently occupy in the integration market? The business began in 2003, with the four founders of the company bringing together expertise in system design, programming, installation and business management to form a new organization supplying audiovisual integration services to the Higher education market. This December we celebrate our 15th anniversary as an awardwinning integrator, having been named 80 NOVEMBER ‘18

Reseller/Integrator of the Year at the 2018 AV Magazine AV Awards ( news/av-award-success). Over the years we have grown our operations and now employ 50 staff members who work together to provide design, integration and support services to a range of different verticals including heritage, healthcare, enterprise, sports stadia, leisure and hotels across the UK and into Europe. Today, Pure AV is an organization recognized


as a leading integrator in the higher education market and as a trusted partner to institutions and companies across multiple sectors and to some of the world’s most influential businesses. Our focus is on the creation of outstanding integrated experiences. If something is truly integrated, it becomes intuitive, simple to use, and delivers an excellent

experience for the end user.

You provide services to several sectors. In which of them do you have more business? Historically 80% of our business was within the University sector. Today, while we continue to grow our activity within this area, we have also expanded our involvement in other industries. University projects now

“If something is truly integrated, it becomes intuitive, simple to use, and delivers an excellent experience for the end user”

account for around 50% of our business, with the rest split between corporate, public sector, hospitality and healthcare.

What is your vision of the higher education market, considering that you are a leading integrator in this area? Demand for audiovisual services in the higher education sector remains strong. Universities are continuing to invest in new build development alongside the refurbishment of existing spaces as they compete to provide the best facilities



to both attract students and obtain good student evaluations. We see audiovisual technology spreading into more spaces, particularly in social and flexible study areas. In these environments, the technology is driven by walk up and use screens that student devices can easily connect with to work on group and project activity. In lecture halls and lab spaces, the use of AV over IP is helping to increase the flexibility of spaces allowing easy room linking for overflow and large groups.

Could you mention a specific common challenge here? The upgrade of 6 Life Sciences labs at the University of Liverpool offers a good example of a challenge that is common

to many university lab environments. Here, the university has 6 labs split

“The potential uses for AV in support of education, review and communication within healthcare are significant and wide-ranging”


across two floors. The labs need to have the ability to be used independently but also to be used in any combination. Each area requires the integration of a range of analogue and digital AV sources, including fixed PC’s Laptops, Blu-ray, Wireless presentation devices, visualizers and digital


Within the healthcare sector, while budgets are stretched, investment in MDT, simulation and training rooms remain buoyant.

microscopes. In addition, each lab needs a camera feed to enable full monitoring of the space from within any lab. Voice reinforcement was also required with the capability to broadcast and work from anywhere across the lab space. The use of an AV over IP for signal routing provided a

neat solution to link the labs together, manage the live camera feeds and enabled the flexible distribution of the output from each lectern and camera feed between the different lab spaces.

What demand do you perceive in the healthcare market?

At Pure AV, we separate the application of AV within medical and healthcare setting into two broad categories. AV used in support of clinical delivery and diagnostics for example within operating theatres; and AV used in the non-clinical environment for education, collaborative treatment plan review and patient communication. Even if you put the clinical applications to one side and consider just the second category; the potential uses for AV in support of education, review and communication within healthcare are significant and wide-ranging.

Could you mention any examples of it? In our experience education within the healthcare sector covers a broad spectrum of uses. From traditional teaching rooms and lecture 83 NOVEMBER ‘18


theatres for medical students, to live links between operating theatres and lecture spaces, to immersive clinical skills and simulation suites. AV is being used to support the learning experience. In the case of the education centre at the School of Oncology at The Christie Hospital, lecture capture was deployed to provide training attendees with high quality, interactive content available for review post session, as well as offer opportunities to use live streaming and online course delivery as a way of increasing the capacity of their training programmes. Within clinical skills and simulation suites, such as the one we recently completed at The Royal Oldham Hospital, integrated audio, video and data recording and playback is being used to provide detailed posttraining feedback to delegates. The synchronised data, audio and video feeds allowing in-depth analysis of trainee actions alongside 84 NOVEMBER ‘18

the event and data that triggered the reaction. Helping hospital trusts to improve standards and clinical readiness of frontline staff. Medical education centres are investing in audiovisual solutions to support conferences and collaborative MDT meetings. The MDT meetings bring together

multi-disciplinary teams of specialists to agree on patient care plans. The advances in lower cost networked video collaboration are helping to support the growth of its application in healthcare. From the perspective of the Trust, they can now communicate and collaborate effectively


over larger regional sites and bring together specialists and expert knowledge in a live collaborative environment. One slightly unusual project was the requirement to provide an audiovisual solution for a complementary therapy room at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in

“The measure of the skill of an integrator is in the understanding of what technology trends are fads, and which will have a more profound impact�

Wigan. The solution required the use of audio, video and lighting stimulus to soften the clinical nature of the space and create a relaxing, inclusive environment. The whole therapy suite can be immersed with colour, from simple colour settings to moodenhancing light scenes, through to the lights reacting to the background audio. High definition ambient video is displayed via large-format LED screens within the room and linked to create unique and immersive video to light effects. AV is also used to support communication between patient and healthcare provider. Public area signage provides the opportunity

for Trust and NHS messages to be delivered to visitors and patients and self-service registration screens are an increasingly common sight both within GP surgeries and the hospital environment. Despite shrinking budgets, education and practical skills training remain a priority and are recognised as an essential way to improve patient care and ensure patient safety within the NHS. Audiovisual solutions correctly designed and specified help the NHS Trusts to deliver those services, and so we see demand continue. The challenge, of course, is the delivery of those solutions at a cost that fits the budget.



What about the corporate market? The fastest growth area for Pure AV, indeed, is within the corporate sector. The worker of today exists in an everconnected, ever-present digital world that has changed the way we live and interact not just in our home life but also in the workplace. The digitisation of content and improved communication tools have created new opportunities for where, when, how and by whom work gets done. This, in turn, is forcing a change in traditional business structures and processes and creating new demand for more effective collaboration as organisations seek to enable the rapid, flexible networking of competences and resources. The result of this digitisation of content and activity is that collaboration has become a requirement for almost everybody. Much of this collaboration is still desktop driven as 86 NOVEMBER ‘18

“We see LED used increasingly outside of its traditional retail and advertising markets into a much more full range of applications�

employees make use of desktop-based collaboration tools to work more productively. In our organisation, we use Skype calls and instant messaging to speed up communication internally and with our supply chain. It has also facilitated improved service levels for our customers as our account managers can increase client

touchpoints and accelerate response times. We have seen an increased desire within enterprises to extend the benefits of desktop collaboration into the meeting room and expand the real-time collaboration from one-toone to group activity. This is facilitated by solutions like Skype Room systems that enable personal


museum sector, and the availability of technology like VR and AR is opening new avenues for the creative application of AV in the sector. The challenge is not ambition for the use of AV, which exists in abundance, but rather the ability to secure the required funding and investment.

devices to become an instant part of the meeting room environment, offering the familiar collaboration experience but with enhanced audio and visual capability and integration into the broader room control environment. To date, the collaboration activity in non-specialist meeting rooms has been weighted toward information sharing with the focus on discussion, video and presentation rather than real-time collaboration on a shared document, however, as the software solutions continue to develop, and the user experience improves we already see the amount of

real-time collaboration on shared documents increase.

Do you see a demand boom in the museum area? There is undoubtedly a lot of excitement around the use of audiovisual solutions as a tool to enhance visitor engagement and storytelling within the museum sector. An increasing number of institutions are thinking about digital strategy and turning to digital interpretation to increase accessibility, educate and create new and exciting experiences for visitors. There has always been a lot of creativity in the

In general, do you detect any specific technological trend that affects the entire integration market? One of the exciting things about being within the audiovisual industry is the continuous development of technology. As an integrator we see many technology trends emerge; the challenge and measure of the skill of an integrator is in the understanding of which are fads, and which will have a more profound impact.

So, what trends do you think that will have a profound impact? The first of the big impact trends which 87 NOVEMBER ‘18


comes to mind is AV over IP. The idea of sending audio and video signals across networks and effectively using a network switch as an AV matrix has been around for 2 or three years now. Initially, products brought to market, were expensive, used massive amounts of bandwidth, had high levels of latency and visibly compressed image. However, products have developed to such an extent that all the initial drawbacks have now been eliminated. A good example of this, is Crestron’s DM-NVX range of products. They are placed towards the top of the market in terms of price. However, by offering local serial and IP control in addition to USB connectivity, they are incredibly flexible. The management of signals to reduce bandwidth and the built-in security features mean that network managers are more open to having them on enterprise networks. Another dominant trend is LED display technology; with pitch sizes reducing, 88 NOVEMBER ‘18

video processing improving and increased affordability, we see this technology used increasingly outside of its traditional retail and advertising markets into a much more full range of applications.

Would you share with us a recent project that is especially relevant for you? The objectives of customers when they

approach Pure AV for our services are wide-ranging, and we are pleased to help so many different businesses add value to their offering or activity. Recent examples range from the introduction of a new simulation suite at Oldham Hospital that helped open training resources to an additional 1,400 clinicians per year, to a CyberLab installation at Energus that helped to secure the organisation


funding to train 350+ CyberFirst students between 2018 and 2024 and open their services to a whole new customer base. The brief for the Energus Cyberlab project was to create a cyber training laboratory to train students how to defend against cyber-attacks. The lab itself is a single room capable of housing up to 14 students and a tutor. The technology in the

Crestron control system.

“Increasingly I can see IOT devices being used in integration projects”

room includes two Philips 84” touch displays at the front of the room, a Philips 55” display at the side of the room, two Epson ultrashort throw Laser projectors, projecting onto interactive Smart Glass on the other side of the room and a 65” Iiyama touch table in the middle of the room. Also, there is a fully controllable, colour changing DMX lighting control system which is fully integrated with the Main AV control system. Wireless connectivity is managed using Kramer Via collaboration equipment and switching and distribution is handled by an Extron DTP Crosspoint device with control delivered via a

The idea is that any workstation, laptop or smart device can be shown on any display and controlled from any touch display. In addition, the tutor has full control of the system including the dynamic lighting via a touch screen programmed with a simple user interface. The security of the AV system was particularly crucial as training within the CyberLab involves simulated virus attacks. The Cyberlab is kept fully isolated from the Energus production network, and a secondary isolated VLAN is used to protect the control equipment, keeping it out of reach of the cybersecurity students while still providing a secure connection to the core network for remote diagnostics. The client wanted a space that was “more than a standard classroom” and one that could engage people on an emotional as well as a practical level. On a practical level, it has been designed to offer 89 NOVEMBER ‘18


great flexibility in the sharing and transfer of content while making the system as simple for the room user as possible. The clever use of dynamic, controllable lighting and graphic design within the space creates an emotional reaction to the area, engaging room users and getting them into the right mindset for the tasks ahead. The combination of a robust, easy to use technical solution with carefully thought out graphical and lighting design has enabled us to deliver the user experience that the client demanded and indeed exceed their hopes and expectations for the space.

Could you mention any of your projects within the corporate sector? From a project perspective, it is also rewarding to work alongside customers who are ready to experiment and push boundaries with new technology. While most of this happens with our corporate clients behind non-disclosure 90 NOVEMBER ‘18

“We have already started to invest in the development of our IT and network skills base”

agreements, I can share with you a recent project for a large international corporation, who has an interest in how consumers will interact with technology in the future. For the first time, we used several Google Homes as control interfaces in a large corporate installation. This allows the user not only to control the AV systems by voice but also allows it to connect to internet sites, find the requested information and read it back to the audience. Increasingly I can see IOT devices being used in integration projects. Using a technology designed for home networks and putting it on an enterprise network isn’t for the fainthearted, but with proper planning and the ear of a good network manager, anything is possible.

What do you think that is the degree of coexistence between LED and LCD technologies? At present both technologies co-exist happily, with each occupying its place in the market. Looking ahead as the cost of LED drops and pitch decreases I envisage that LED will replace the larger LCD products and


start to challenge projection in certain environments. Lecture theatre managers in higher education are openly discussing the replacement of projectors with LED walls in auditoriums, particularly where sight lines or ambient light can be an issue. Another area where I see that LED could make an impact is in spaces where video walls have been used in the past. Although bezels are much narrower than they used to be, they are still visible, and there

is always the challenge of colour, contrast and brightness uniformity, a concern which is particularly evident when viewing the wall at an angle. LED has none of these issues.

What expectations of evolution do you face for the near future? In the past year, Pure AV has experienced a period of rapid growth during which time we have made a strategic investment in new systems, people and processes. This investment is to enable us to continue to grow while delivering the same high quality,

tailored service on which we have built our current customer base. We have already started to invest in the development of our IT and network skills base, and we will continue to develop the technical knowledge base within the company to ensure that we stay in front of new technologies and the ever-increasing pace of AV and IT convergence. While we are a technical company, our strength as an organisation is in the ability to take the functional requirement and translate it into a solution that creates the right experience for our customers. Increasingly this involves looking beyond the simple AV kit to the whole environment, acoustics, lighting, environmental considerations and workflow. We need to continue to develop our people and wrap around services so that we offer a complete solution to the client built upon a deep understanding of the required application and experience the customer wants to achieve. ď ľ 91 NOVEMBER ‘18








We interview Colin Etchells, Technical Director of Visavvi Three months ago, Saville Audio Visual underwent a brand transformation to highlight its operations linked to live events and those related to systems integration. Aimed specifically on the latter, Visavvi, is the fresh new brand identity delivering ingenious business collaboration, built on a solid foundation of industry experience. With a history that spans five decades, Saville Group is the UK’s longest established AV provider. This change of name is motivated by the evolution of the market, according to Colin Etchells, technical director of Visavvi. Some trends highlighted by him are the convergence of AV-IT worlds or AV as a Service.

You have evolved from Saville AV to Visavvi. What factors have triggered the change of brand? We work in a constantly changing technology sector, one that has always evolved but the pace of change has accelerated rapidly over the last 2-3 years. As a business Saville AV effectively had two business operations; system integration and live events. Both sides of the business address a completely different client base, each with a totally different set of needs. Positioning ourselves in the market as one generic 94 NOVEMBER ‘18

organisation covering both sectors was in fact limiting. Whilst this has generated success for the business over half century, times change and we felt that the single brand was not reflecting our true capabilities to address the requirements of each sector. The creation of the Visavvi and Sparq brands respectively, under the corporate brand Saville Group allows us to focus totally on specific client needs whilst providing all the heritage and industry knowledge the business has gained over the last half century.

How has the market received the new identity? The response has been overwhelmingly positive and a testament to the extensive research and planning that was invested in the project. Working alongside a specialist branding transformation agency, a substantial amount of internal and external “discovery” research took place. All colleagues were consulted via surveys and interviews, client interviews took place, supply partner interviews were conducted and competitor analysis undertaken. The passion, the commitment, the


Colin Etchells, Technical Director of Visavvi

energy, and the willingness to go beyond the norm was amplified throughout, proving that the time was ripe for a new era at Saville. Three weeks before the launch a supplier briefing session was attended by over 45 of our key supply partners. Held at one of the busiest times of the year, this was a unique event and we were flattered that suppliers gave up their time during a busy period to spend time with us. During the briefing we presented an insight into the research, explained our aims and ambitions for driving our business and

the industry forward for the future. The feedback received was amazing and this has been mirrored from clients and even competitors. This bold move means we are now able to deliver a complete focus to promote our three brands; Saville Group, Visavvi and Sparq and further establish our position as market leader.

Saville Group is backed by five decades of experience. In recent years, what would you say are the technological changes that have most affected the integration market?

sat between telephony technology companies on one side and traditional IT technology companies on the other. Historically these other companies have tried to engage in the AV sector but never really fully understood the nuances of this market. Meanwhile traditional AV companies have continued to focus on their core markets and principles. At Saville we recognised several years ago that we had to align our business to these complimentary areas through strategic partnerships. The market has migrated quickly over the last 12

“The market has migrated quickly over the last 12 months with AV over IP and cloud based systems coming to the fore�

Typically AV has always 95 NOVEMBER ‘18


months with AV over IP and cloud based systems coming to the fore especially in the light of the opportunities presented by the Internet of Things. AV as a service, rather than a Capex procurement will most likely be the next major influence on the industry and only those companies with the ability to adapt and evolve will see them maintain their position in the marketplace. As a business we have always driven technology change, we have always striven to maximise the opportunity technology brings to our clients and we will continue to evolve and drive our position as industry leaders in this competitive industry.

You provide services to several sectors (education, health, corporate...). In which of them do you detect the most demand? The higher education sector is very strong but is largely dominated by traditional AV companies that are forced to follow reduced margins that are 96 NOVEMBER ‘18

ultimately unsustainable. While this is advantageous for the Universities concerned there are numerous instances where this has forced integrators to withdraw from this sector or disappear altogether. We are currently engaged with a number of Universities who want partners to help develop longer term strategies and sustainable projects, working alongside their teams. Our business continues to grow year on year in Project: New digital home for Centrica Storage

this sector, but currently contributes around 20% to our overall turnover. This allows us to remain a key partner to Universities offering beneficial results for both parties, with Visavvi delivering an increasing number of larger, more specialised projects. The largest single increase has been in the Corporate sector, with a significant rise in projects with a budget over ÂŁ250k. A definite shift toward collaboration and agile


working practices and the technology that drives them, has seen Visavvi engage with high profile companies to deliver, intuitive and creative solutions on a global scale resulting in the largest financial pipeline in our history.

What do you think that are the main challenges in collaborative environments? It is really difficult to pinpoint any one individual challenge

“The largest single increase has been in the Corporate sector, with a significant rise in projects with a budget over £250k”

because every project is different, every client is different. We deal with each client’s business challenge or technology requirement on an individual level. To provide environments that really create a positive impact for our clients, we invest substantial amounts of time to understand a clients business in depth and which technologies will provide them increased business benefits. The major challenge is the ability to integrate the myriad of different hardware and software solutions that are available into a productive, cohesive solution that works for the client. For us it’s not the specific technologies and services we recommend

but the way we integrate them that really delivers the desired impact. This is something that we can achieve due to our unrivalled industry experience and insight as the UK’s longest established AV provider.

What main technologies do you usually integrate for these environments? We tailor each solution depending on a number of factors. Clients come to Visavvi because of our unique approach and our long established partnerships with a wide range of manufacturers, allowing our specially trained teams to access one of the widest inventories of technology within the industry. We are highly accredited with our manufacturing partners, so we have a deep 97 NOVEMBER ‘18


understanding of their solutions from sales, to technical to support and maintenance. We are completely agnostic and brand independent when it comes to providing the right solution for our clients; we are not limited because of a narrow range of technology partners or pressured to hit manufacturers targets.

What is your strategy regarding the convergence of the IT and AV worlds? At Visavvi we recognised quite some time ago that these worlds were converging, and that AV technology could only evolve if it became IT centric. We looked strategically at how to ensure we were at the forefront of this evolution and instigated a comprehensive investment in both staff training opportunities and recruitment for our teams. Alongside this we work in close partnership with our manufacturers to provide dedicated IT and network training for their range of products. 98 NOVEMBER ‘18

“For us it’s not the specific technologies and services we recommend but the way we integrate them that really delivers the desired impact”

Would you share with us two or three recent projects that you consider especially relevant? Again it’s difficult to select two or three case studies because each one has addressed a particular business or organisational challenge. We’re really proud to say our clients speak very highly of Visavvi and often approach us about creating case studies. A number of case studies can be found on our website

Do you often turn to a particular trusted manufacturer, or do you work with different brands on each project? We are not brand centric – we look to steer clients down what we feel the best solution for the

application. By default, there are certain major manufacturers who are more prolific than others in the marketplace, and


others that we are requested to use. We have worked hard to develop our preferred supplier strategy and relationships. This not only focuses on the brand, but on direct relationships with manufacturers wherever possible. Emphasis is placed increasingly on the total cost of ownership and support over the life of the product and solution.

What do you expect the evolution of the market and competition will be, and where does Visavvi want to be located in that scenario? Visavvi will be the leading go-to company in its specialist fields. We want to engage with clients that are looking for an experienced, trusted partner with a proven pedigree. We want to reinforce and focus on our

key specialties in preference to attracting clients who are motivated purely on price. We look to become clients’ preferred technology partners and maintain and develop long term relationships. Our ideal is to be embedded into an organisation as a core adviser and technology provider to help deliver and develop their long term strategy and goals.

Would you like to add something? Project: Visavvi improves emergency response at Yorkshire Water

In an industry dominated by technology, Visavvi is a people centric business; we work with people on behalf of people. We build relationships that last the test of time, with clients, technology partners and our own colleagues. Technology comes and goes, but these relationships, built on trust with our technology partners and our colleagues is something that continues to endure. Visavvi is a business clients love to work with, manufacturers trust our technical expertise and our colleagues feel part of a global family. ď ľ 99 NOVEMBER ‘18



100 NOVEMBER ‘18


Within the continuous evolution of cameras, we are overjoyed to see that there is still capacity to create new equipment capable of responding to the diverse current needs, enhancing synergy with each one of their characteristics. By Luis PavĂ­a

If we had to define this new Sony camera in a single word, it would be "synergy", since its whole is more than the sum of its individual characteristics, and that which boasts all those that are necessary today, one could almost say essential, in the demanding current ENG environment. It maintains user-friendliness in terms of functionality for operators of all levels, improves the response in all areas of use and also adds unknown features in this segment. The first striking characteristic is the return to a concept that had been left aside due to physical limitations of construction in a contained size. Following an era in which most of the evolution was geared towards sensors of higher resolution and size, today 101 NOVEMBER ‘18


we have the possibility of having the excellent chromatic response and dynamic range available with 3 sensors, with full UHD resolution for each basic colour provided independently, and with the right size to solve with guarantees the demanding demands of the ENG environment: half an inch. Which translates into a sensitivity and depth of field suitable in this environment. These 3 CMOS type EXMOR-R sensors, in a semi-shoulder chamber of 3 Kg in weight, while being somewhat outstanding are only the prelude to a compendium of features and functionalities adapted to the current response needs, including: 50 / 60p in 4: 2: 2 to 10 bits, variable ND filter, HLG curves, facial recognition, 4 audio channels, 12G, WiFi, dual LTE, streaming and many more integrated features within. The best way to assess the product is to break it down into its various parts. Starting with the optics, 102 NOVEMBER ‘18


today we have the possibility of having the excellent chromatic response and dynamic range available with 3 sensors, with full UHD resolution for each basic colour provided independently

we find a Fujinon 17x, f1.9 zoom, stabilised, with equivalent focal lengths of 30.3 to 515 mm. It has three independent rings for focus, iris and zoom, with the moving focus entrusted with operating in automatic or completely manual modes. Although it is not interchangeable, it has enough range to overcome issues in almost all situations. Once the lens is crossed, the light can reach the variable neutral density filter. This is one of the innovations that has captivated us the most in recent years. Being adjustable between Âź and 1/128, equivalent to a 103 NOVEMBER ‘18


range between 2 and 7 steps of diaphragm, the virtues that enthuse us are twofold: the ability to adjust the lighting of any scene regardless of diaphragm, shutter speed or sensitivity, arranging of much more freedom to determine our visual narrative style; and the continuity in the adjustment without noticeable jumps, which allow us to control large changes of lighting in any scene maintaining the visual style, by neither modifying the depth of field, or the fluidity of the movement or the noise of the image when lighting conditions alter. Of course, in addition to the "clear" position, it can also be set-up with a

series of pre-set fixed values. As an additional advantage to boasting manual control from different controllers, it is also possible to activate the automatism option to take care of keeping the histogram controlled, thus allowing the operator to focus on other aspects that are perhaps more important at that time, with the guarantee of not altering our style visual. This functionality of the variable neutral density filter is useful both in ENG environments, as in any other kind of situations in which the care of the visual narrative makes a difference with our competitors. With regard to the filter, the light reaches the prism

This functionality of the variable neutral density filter is useful both in ENG environments, as in any other kind of situations in which the care of the visual narrative makes a difference with our competitors.

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that distributes it to the three full resolution sensors, so that each colour channel has the maximum possible information while improving the exposure latitude. From this moment the light is converted into binary information, processing all this information in 4: 2: 2 colour space at 10 bits depth, with multiple selectable frame rates in progressive or interlaced, reaching up to 50 / 60p (59.94) in both UHD 3840x2160 and HD 1920x1080 resolutions. As with all the electronics in operation, there is an interesting


or makes the slightest movement, even going out of shot and re-entering. system of automatic focus: not only is it possible to activate facial detection by prioritising the focus on people, but we can select a specific person within a group, so that the focus always stays on the face of the selected person, even if someone passes in front

Beyond generic facial recognition, the recognition and monitoring of focus on a specific individual person in a group is a new extraordinary aid, since the more complicated the reporter's environment is in the middle of the news,

the more important this characteristic will be. An additional interesting detail related to the recording capabilities, is the cache-recording feature. It is a memory that stores a certain time interval and dumps it to the card when we press the record button. This ability allows us to "record the past" without the need 105 NOVEMBER ‘18


to consume space with unnecessary material while waiting for a specific event. This skill will be very valuable in sports, events, and any situation where we know that "something" is going to happen, but we do not know "when". Still in the part of image processing, and in addition to the wide variety of the usual gamma and color responses, in this model we have HLG (hybrid log gamma) and S-Log3 curves. The S-Log gain response curves will give us an answer in extraordinarily wide dynamic range, although they will always need a subsequent processing to obtain the best HDR (high dynamic range, high dynamic range). While the HLG curves allow us to provide HDR images directly, without requiring any further processing. Before saving our images, it is time to see what has happened with the sound. Logically, in equipment of this type, our camera integrates a stereo environment 106 NOVEMBER ‘18

microphone. Another of its outstanding features is the ability to record 4 independent LPCM audio channels at 48 kHz and 24 bits. And where do they come from? Simple, we have physical input selectors and through menu to determine the different possible combinations of signals that reach each channel. We have, as inputs: the internal stereo microphone, the two XLR audio connectors with selection of mic or line levels, and the inputs of the double shoe Mi-shoe located at the top. This double smart shoe allows simultaneous mounting of a torch and stereo wireless micro receiver, thus increasing the versatility of use in highly different production environments. Once the image and sound are in place, it is time to distribute signals to different destinations: recording, outputs, etc ... Although before, without any intervention on our part and as usual, metadata is also added,


Beyond generic facial recognition, the recognition and monitoring of focus on a specific individual person in a group is a new extraordinary aid

which we will see their importance on this occasion. On the recording side, we have several formats: XAVC-intra with data rates of up to 600 Mbps in 4k (close to 6 Gb per minute) or 222 Mbps in HD (just over 2 Gb per minute). In XAVC long gop the rates are up to 150 Mbps (of the order of 1.5 Gb per minute) and 50 Mbps (of the order of 0.55 Gb per minute) in 4k and HD respectively, in MPEG4 containers with H.264 compression. These figures are rather significant of the level of quality offered by this equipment. With regard to maximising the compatibility with stations that can still need other formats and at the same time facilitate their

transition at the time they decide, it also has: MPEG HD422 up to 50 Mbps in MPEG2 422P @ HL, MPEG HD420HQ up to 35 Mbps in MPEG2 MP @ HL and even a DVCAM of 25 Mbps. All these files are stored in one of the two SxS cards with some differential feature, such as the possibility to record simultaneously in different formats, or that each of the two recording buttons on the handle and on the grip record on a different card independently. It is equivalent to having two separate and independent recorders in the same camera. Although actually we have more simultaneous recorders ... since it is possible to record in parallel a proxy file of different resolutions that reach up to FullHD of 107 NOVEMBER ‘18


Another of its outstanding features is the ability to record 4 independent LPCM audio channels at 48 kHz and 24 bits

9 Mbps in 4: 2: 0 long gop and H.264 compression. These proxy files are sent to the SD card, whose performance will determine the maximum admissible quality. In addition to recording the contents and as expected, we have outputs, in this case an HDMI port and a SDI in 12G to send our signals 4k up to 50 / 60p and 10 bits of color depth to different external devices, be monitors, or external recorders. The 12G ports are already being generalized, because it is much more operative to send a 4k signal through a single cable than to specify 4 with its corresponding configurations and signal distribution protocols and to correctly reconcile with the target devices. 108 NOVEMBER ‘18

Logically, we also have a Gen-lock synchronization port to synchronize our camera and make it also

suitable as a piece of production equipment under study. What is not so common in this range of cameras is having a USB connector to be able to dump contents to a hard disk or external memory without the need for an intermediate computer of any kind. This makes it easy to get


copies in a very agile way without adding more equipment to our backpack. Beyond the conventional outputs, the capabilities that represent an authentic revolution in a team of these characteristics, size and price, are its other connectivity options,

together with a good collection of associated skills. We highlight, for its relevance in the current environment, the ability to stream directly from camera. For this we can use both the RJ45 port if we have the option to connect directly to a router, as the integrated

WiFi to not be tied to a cable, thus extending the range. It is also solved in remote locations without WiFi, and nothing less than with a double LTE (mobile phone data network) link that allows us to obtain a bonding (distribution of data between several lines) generated and controlled directly from the camera, thus ensuring reliability and bandwidth even in areas of different coverages of different operators. Again without additional equipment. As if all this were not enough, your connectivity skills include the possibility of using WiFi in different ways. In addition to using it to stream and transfer files simultaneously, it is feasible to change its purpose and convert it into a remote camera control port and content monitoring from a mobile or tablet registered in the same network. Only the transfer of files itself contains a new range of possibilities, some extraordinary. Thanks to the new service of Sony, 109 NOVEMBER ‘18


XDCam Air, the workflow changes radically, since we can do a broadcast transmission with controlled QoS (Quality of Service), which ensures the quality of the contents broadcast via wireless LTE from the camera (in any location on the planet with coverage) to the server, where the signal is already treated as if it came from any camera directly connected to the mixer. It behaves like a virtual cable since the purpose of the QoS protocol reaches significantly beyond the mere streaming, being able to remotely control and adapt in real time the speeds and transfer rates to ensure the highest quality available in any circumstance. No less interesting is the ability to send proxy files to the studio, where it is possible to do the editing with this material of limited quality immediately, but keeping all its metadata that are also sent. In addition to being able to configure the automatic sending as 110 NOVEMBER ‘18

each file is recorded, the most novel thing in this case is that the camera can receive back the editing metadata to send exclusively the necessary video fragments, without the need to send even the complete clips . Thus, if only a 10 minute file is required, only this part will be sent, with the head and tail that we have preconfigured, significantly reducing the volumes of information to be transmitted and the time needed to achieve it.

The clipping of the clips is not limited exclusively to this information, since the user can also do it at his / her discretion because the camera has these integrated clipping tools. As for operative, more details that we like, added to the good collection of assignable buttons and the possibility of saving configurations in memory card. Replicating the last handles of other models, now we also have a mini joystick to operate with a


Beyond the conventional outputs, the capabilities that represent an authentic revolution in a team of these characteristics, size and price, are its other connectivity options, together with a good collection of associated skills.

single finger the menu and various functions, such as focus tracking. While in this case the grip is fixed, the design has moved the center of gravity back and to the right to make the handling more comfortable and the camera does not nod, relieving tension on the wrist of the operator. Seeing that the impossible of last year today is a reality and put to ask, we would only think of adding two capabilities: HFR (high frame rate), which today is surely conditioned by the available data transfers without triggering prices. And slow motion, little operational in ENG environments, where

having a limited recording time would create more complications than solutions. Before finishing we want to mention his little sister, Sony PXW-Z190, which limits some features, in exchange for a significantly lower price. Among the most significant: it keeps the triple sensor 4k reducing its size to 1/3 of an inch, the 4k output is only in the HDMI port, it records over SD cards in XAVC long gop, two audio channels, and some functions are optional, as MPEG2 and XDCam Air. Although there is also one that comes out winning, such as optics thanks to the smaller sensor size, a Sony

G 25x equivalent to a 28.8 x 720. Ultimately returning to our protagonist, Sony PXW-Z280 is a camera that maintaining the style of semi-shoulder ENG of the last decade, will delight any operator who has handled a similar team as it maintains its familiar operation and adds many facilities throughout the workflow and transmission, including the latest technology in favor of operators and broadcasters. To conclude, today we will try to summarize our analysis using a formula: PXW-Z280 = (3x CMOS + NDvar + HLG + HDR + BT2020 + 4x LPCM + 4: 2: 2 + 10bit + 12G + QoS + RJ45 + WiFi + 2x LTE + strm)4k Whose synergy increases the efficiency of the workflow of any broadcaster instantaneously to the benefit of their productions and all their viewers. ď ľ 111 NOVEMBER ‘18