News from the market.......................................................................6 AI AI, the future of remote production is already here................... 24 Wireless at-home production with LiveU......................................32 Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2019: Predictions for the Media & Entertainment Industry..................................................... 36
eSports All about broadcasting eSports........................................................ 42 Gearhouse’s esports vision helps to deliver the FACEIT London Major in venue and online in 1080p............................................... 50 PUBG Global Invitational 2018 by disguise.................................. 52 Interview with Embrionix...................................................................56
5G, new opportunities for deployment of media services................................................................................. 58 UHD, in constant development............................................. 68 Bridging troubled waters, by Provys...............................................74
42 Editor in chief Javier de Martín
Creative Direction Mercedes González
Key account manager Beatriz Calvo firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation Fernando Alvárez
Editorial staff Sergio Julián email@example.com
Administration Laura de Diego firstname.lastname@example.org
TM Broadcast International #67 March 2019
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 ISE, BVE, NAB. Nine letters that conceal at their cores three events embodying the growing power of audiovisual applied to broadcast and integration. We attended to the first two: Integrated Systems Europe, in Amsterdam; and a more local BVE in London. We had the opportunity to know first hand technologies, systems and innovations that will set the industry's future. And, of course, we will experience in person the not-to-bemissed NAB Show in Las Vegas, which will be held between 6 and 11 April. It is a necessary visit as these shows keep growing at an unstoppable pace in number of exhibitors and customers. We undertake to be there at the forefront and keep you informed about everything going on in these meetings! Our commitment towards the future is perfectly reflected in the contents you will find in this issue of TM Broadcast International. In “Technical Challenges in e-Sports” we review the technology involved in these events, which scope and relevance seem limitless. On the other hand, we take a look at the field of remote productions from an interesting angle: Artificial Intelligence. Yeray Alfageme, Business Technology Manager at Olympic Channel, told us everything about UHD, a technology ‘under continuous development’. Furthermore, we delve deeper into 5G and its applicability in the operation of multimedia systems. Yet another month... Welcome to TM Broadcast International!
4 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Sonoran Video Systems will allow 12GSDI playback thanks to AJA’s KONA 5
Sonoran Video Systems Coyote Playback system.
The Coyote S12G Playback Server will support 12G-SDI playback due to the integration of the AJA’s KONA 5 PCIe I/O card into its hardware. This news has just been announced by Sonoran Video System, manufacturer of the Coyote S12G 2RU chassis, which already allowed Quad 3G-SDI playback. This system “intuitive and easy-to-use”, according to the company, is able to play simultaneous content in its native codecs, such as h. 264, HEVC and others, in resolutions like 1920, 3840 or 7680. Dave McBride, owner of Sonoran Video Systems, 6 MARCH ‘19
explains why they had chosen AJA’s technology: “When we were looking to integrate professional broadcast-quality components into the Coyote Playback Servers, we knew we made the right choice with the AJA KONA card based on its feature set and reliability. We call the KONA card the ‘heart’ of the Coyote. We’re excited to be one of the first systems integrators to develop a 12G product for the live events industry with the KONA 5”.
accommodate the most advanced video and audio workflows for developer partners and customers working with anything from high frame rate 4K/UltraHD to Deep Color and HDR. The Coyote Playback Server delivers a powerful, affordable solution for broadcastquality 12G-SDI including 8K or 4K and multichannel playback and much more, and we’re pleased that Sonoran Video Systems has chosen to integrate KONA 5 as its video I/O solution”.
Nick Rashby, president of AJA Video Systems, sums up the agreement: “We released KONA 5 to
The Coyote S12G model costs $13,995, while the Coyote Q3G costs $11,995.
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Aximmetry Technologies releases its new Chroma Keyer tool Aximmetry virtual studio software has added a new feature: its advanced Chroma Keyer. The new tool, according to the company, “provides superior results” in procedures such as keying transparent objects, contact shadows and
details like hair. The company also remarks its performance with 3D graphics (HDR, depth-offield, realistic shadows, reflections or refractions). Aximmetry’s Chroma Keyer can handle 4K quality in real time with
GPU accelerated rendering at a fraction GPU usage. The Community Edition of the Aximmetry’s virtual studio software can be downloaded for free through the website of the Hungary-based corporation.
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Hitachi Kokusai’s DK-H200 compact box camera gets HDR support enhancements on their own, but are particularly noteworthy when used alongside their SK-HD1300 and Z-HD5000 broadcast counterparts by enabling producers to switch between signals from the two camera types while maintaining a similar look.”
Two compact box cameras for POV and remote observation applications of Hitachi Kokusai will receive an update to their firmware that will boost its highdefinition capabilities. The DK-H200 1080p cameras will add HDR support including HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) and HPQ, compatible with the HDR10 open standard. The DK-Z50 1080i will improve 8 MARCH ‘19
its quality by increasing its signal-to-noise ratio to more than 60dB, among others innovation. These updates will happen in the second quarter of 2019. John J. Humphrey, Vice President of Business Development of Hitachi Kokusai Electric America Ltd., talks about the benefits of the update: “The new updates to the DK-H200 and DK-Z50 deliver significant
The DK-H200 captures 1080p video with its 2.6 million pixels, 2/3-inch MOS sensors. According to the company, this deliver “sharp, clear images and combine with advanced digital signal processing to provide superior picture quality with low noise, faithful color reproduction and remarkable sensitivity”. The DK-Z50, with 2/3-inch CCDs and 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion, provides “outstanding performance and quality for 1080i and standard-definition workflows at an economical price point.”
NEWS - PRODUCTS
MuxLab improves its 4K Digital Signage Player with award-winning DigiSign CMS software The model 500769 of MuxLab, its well-known 4K Digital Signane Media Player, improves its features thanks to the addition of the DigiSign CMS software. According to the company, this technology, winner of AV Technology Europe’s Best of Show award at ISE 2019, “makes it easy to select, manage and control many types of audio/video content in a digital signane system”. DigiSign’s solution permits gather, load and schedule content from
various sources for weeks. This functionality is called “set and forget”. In addition, it is possible to create multi-view window layouts with audio, video and images, including logos and text banners. It is also compatible with video wall applications. The 4K Digital Signane Media Player includes streaming AV via the H.264/H.265 codec over a local Ethernet network, Internet, memory drive or an external USB 3.0. Its video output is up to 4K60Hz (4:4:4) and it is
able to up-scale video from 1080p60Hz to 4K. “This digital signage system functions as a complete end to end solution, taking AV from various sources to a video wall configuration and various displays. By advancing our support for the hardware and software aspects of digital signage as well as the H.264/5 codec and 4K, we’re giving our customers the technologies they need for their future,” said Daniel Assaraf, MuxLab’s President.
9 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
LMT chooses Harmonic to enhance its 4G bandwidth performance for its live OTT service
Harmonic’s EyeQ content-aware encoding solution is the latest addition to LMT’s technology. The mobile telecommunications operator, one of the most important in Latvia, has chosen the American brand to offer a better video experience for its 4G OTT TV Service. According to the company, EyeQ has achieved to reduce a 40 percent reduction in bandwith “without having to performance a massive 10 MARCH ‘19
infrastructure upgrade”. This encoding solution provides HD video quality on 4G-enabled TVs “even when networks are constrained” and it can be deployed within any ecosystem, “including appliances, virtual machines cloud and SaaS”. Edgars Gončars, head of TV at LMT, said: “Live events, which can incur a significant peak in viewers especially for TV applications, put considerable stress on our
mobile network. Harmonic’s EyeQ solution allows us to offer the best video experience to subscribers while reducing the amount of bandwidth we need and lowering our delivery costs, while increasing the quality of experience. With EyeQ, we have the ability to scale up during popular live events and deliver pristine video quality, which is a critical factor for our continued business growth”.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Quicklink Studio Solution to be used by a top-tier professional football club A professional football club with studios located in Manchester has chosen Quicklink’s Studio Solution to broadcast fan interviews. This product is a bi-directional audio/video solution that allows ultra-low delay contributions from any desktop or mobile device through a web browser. According to the press note, the football club that has trusted in Quicklink’s technology is “one of the most
prestigious clubs in world football” and has its own subscription-based television channel that broadcasts fans interviews with players and staff, football news, top tier English football matches and so on. Richard Rees, CEO of Quickling, explains how Quicklink Studio works: “With no software downloads needed for the contributors, exclusive high-quality fan interviews can be easily achieved.
The Studio solution a fan to be linked directly to the studio with a single clickto-air with no logins required. Guests can be sent a one-time URL as an SMS or email with a timed validity. The studio has full remote management of the contributor audio/video settings even back/front camera selection on their mobile. The inbuilt echo cancellation means that no earphones are required”.
11 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Israeli national radio Galei Tsahal (Galatz) integrates Dalet Galaxy five
Dalet in Galei Tsahal Radio.
Dalet Galaxy five Media Asset Management (MAM) and Workflow Orchestration platform has just been chosen by Galei Tsahal (Galatz), Israel national radio network. This station is well known for its music radio station, but also for its news and thematic shows. The implementation of Dalet Galaxy five will 12 MARCH ‘19
allow Galatz to enhance the production and delivery of the music, but also the news-related content via social media networks. In words of Izak Pasternak, head of the technical department of Galatz, “In terms of social media, today there is no connection between the system that is broadcasting content and the social media channels we want to publish to.
With more and more people consuming news and content through social networks, it’s imperative for us to move to an integrated platform that can help us engage with audiences on a whole new level. Dalet Galaxy five enables us to do just that.” This is possible thanks to features such as Dalet Onthe-Go (which allows
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
journalist to submit news packages from a mobile device, even direct to air) and the use of AI-powered speech-to-text algorithms. Pasternak explains the new possibilities that Dalet Galaxy five provides: “The upgrade to Dalet Galaxy five is enabling us to build a new content value chain, better integrating our social media channels across our operations, and leveraging AI services to make our entire inventory more discoverable and better monetized. We are able to make this quantum leap forward with the confidence of a decade-
long partnership that is embedded in collaboration and success.” Dalet Galaxy five also will permit Galatz to make its archive open to the public through an online portal: “Until now our content producers had to manually add metadata into the media asset management system, then an archivist would review it to make sure it was filled in properly. If our archives team wanted to find something, they had to remember how it might be catalogued and in which categories. Going back into the archive to
transcribe it all manually would have been costprohibitive. Now, with Dalet Media Cortex everything is searchable since it’s processed through the speech-to-text engine. This saves us significant resource time and effort. And what’s more important, Israeli citizens can sit at home and enjoy the archive, simply by searching online. Dalet Media Cortex has made it extremely easy to search and find content from any point in time since 1950, which to a large degree, is the history of Israel itself.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
RTV Montenegro uses Calrec to broadcast its Eurovision 2019 qualifiers The Montevizija, a national singing competition in which the song that will represent Montenegro in Eurovision Song Contest 2019 is chosen, has employed Calrec’s technology. According to Dejan Vujović, Chief Technology Officer of the national public broadcaster RTV Montenegro, “This was a particularly important production for us because it was RTV’s first stereo television transmission and it was distributed in HD. The sound quality was superb, and that’s due in large part to the new Artemis Light console we have installed. The Artemis is incredibly easy to learn and operate.” The new OB unit of RTV Montenegro includes 13 Sony Cameras, EVS Max servers, Sony vision mixer, Avid graphics, KSC control system and a Calrec’s Hydra 2: “Hydra 2 was one of the key advantages that 14 MARCH ‘19
we saw with Calrec. We have a stage box in HD OB 6, with internal audio sources plugged into that. Hydra 2 is used for all routing, including the audio that passes through two additional external stage boxes. They are connected via fibre and instantly appear on the network, completely transparently, making life for our audio engineers much easier. We will be installing further Calrec
equipment this year as we continue the upgrade of both our television and radio studios.” adds Vujović. Mike Reddick, International Sales Manager for Calrec, also commented that “Artemis, in particular, was the perfect fit for RTV Montenegro because of its superior sound quality, ease of use and flexibility”.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Sky Sports Racing trusts in Ross Video’s OverDrive and Inception With a live coverage of over 700 UK fixtures from 25 courses, 200 race meetings from France and over 80 from Hong Kong, Sky Sports Racing needed a powerful tool to manage this huge amount of content. The international brand decided to build a new HD studio and gallery featuring last generation newsroom computer systems (NRCS), production switches and production automation tools to continue improving the TV channel. OverDrive, Ross Video’s production automation tool, and Inception, NRCS and social media management service, were two of the most important solutions in this process according to Jack Horry, Platform Manager with Sky Production Services: “The process of transforming empty rooms into a fully-operational studio within six months
was always going to be challenging, but we chose experienced and trusted partners who are familiar with our style of doing things. Ross Video had already worked with Sky to automate our main news studio, so we knew we’d get plenty of handson advice and support when introducing the NRCS and automation to Sky Sports Racing. The tight deadline was certainly stressful, but our launch was incredibly clean and that’s really been down to excellent training, product ease-ofuse and reliability.”
Oscar Juste, Ross Video’s Director of Sales for EMEA, explains why Inception and OverDrive are the best possible tools for Sky Sports Racing: “Solutions such as Inception and OverDrive were specifically created around live production professionals who need to develop and deliver stories efficiently. Ross can offer demonstrable creative, business and technical benefits to broadcasters of any size, and we’re delighted to add yet another successful Sky channel to our portfolio of international customers”.
Sky Sports Racing Control Room
15 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
GatesAir will provide equipment and services to the national DTV of the Republic of Ivory Coast The Republic of Ivory Coast has reached an agreement with GatesAir to provide “turnkey equipment and services” in order to support the country’s national digital TV (DTV) network. The collaboration will begin with the endowment of seven transmitter sites to cover seven cities, including Abidjan, which will provide DTV services to the 30% of the country. The other six sites will reach to, approximately, the 80 percent of the country. The aim of the government and the company is to reach the 100% coverage by 2020. Each of the seven cities includes three transmitters with DVB-T2 headend equipment, antennas and towers that support three programming multiplexes (one from the government compound by seven channels, and two 16 MARCH ‘19
privates). GatesAir will also supply 21 GatesAir Maxiva UAXTE air cooled, high efficiency UHF transmitters. GatesAir has already offered transition services to eight other African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. For Ivory
Coast, GatesAir will partner with African Union Communications for headen systems and STA for towers, antennas and transmission shelters. GatesAir will work together with STA on the installation, commissioning, maintenance services, training, services and support initiatives.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Anevia and Infinitum Media join forces to launch the first on demand TV service for hotels Anevia, provider of OTT and IPTV software, and Infinitum Media, experts in delivery and licensing of on demand TV, remarks that hotels will be able to offer content over the internet through the existing coax or an Ethernet network connected to the rooms. This service, accessible to hotels that already use Anevia’s technology, includes Infinitum Media’s portfolio with over 250 premium linear TV channels. Each hotel can select the desired channels according to their availability in their country and made them available to their guests instantly. In addition, the content package is flexible: channels can be activated or deactivated per month. According to Julian Foxon, co-founder at Infinitum Media, “our
partnership with Anevia is a perfect match since Anevia’s Flamingo is already deployed in thousands of hotels worldwide, with the ability to receive and stream IPTV channels. “Hotels want to provide a homeaway-from-home experience that satisfies their guests’ needs. With Infinitum Media’s CMS, we offer TV channels that really matter to guests. As the guest mix changes, the TV channel line-up evolves accordingly, to match the changing requirements.”
Demand TV portal, hotels can now enhance the guest experience by offering a wide choice of TV channels from all over the world, with cleared license rights” Ivonne Prugnaud, Vice President Sales Worldwide Enterprise at Anevia, said.
“Thanks to the integration with Infinitum Media’s On 17 JANUARY ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Facilis to provide shared storage solution to Icon Fitness
Icon Fitness, manufacturer of exercise equipment, has trusted in Facilis’s shared storage service to improve its collaborative editing workflow. The marketing division of the brand has just purchased a new 192TB 24EX system. Ryan Humpherys, head of postproduction at Icon Fitness marketing department, explained the decision: “We recently hired a post manager for all the iFit content since it is such a growing part of our business. We go all over the world and film trainers coaching from many 18 MARCH ‘19
different locations and environments. The video coach might tell you that he or she is going to increase the incline or change the speed and we program the equipment to respond in perfect sync with the video which makes for a very immersive workout experience”.
It’s not the first experience of Icon Fitness with Facilis. Back in 2012, the company got a 40TB system that has been periodically updated to fit to the team collaborative workflow, which frequently includes up to 10 editors editing simultaneously. In 2018, Icon acquired a TerraBlock 24EX with two TX16 expansion chassis for a total of 310TB in order to handle their content creation demand. Nowadays, all stations are connected through 8 GB Fibre Channel to the storage network for the
without transcoding or
Icon Fitness uses software such as the Adobe CC suite or DaVinci Resolve. They usually shoot on ARRI Alexa Mini at 4K or on Red cameras at 5K or 6K. According to Humpherys, “We’re able to edit the footage natively, making proxies on the Facilis system, which saves lots of time. With 8GB Fibre Channel connections to each workstation, we get about 500MB/sec on each workstation, it’s like having an internal SSD. When we’re pushing around 4 or 6K content, it makes it really seamless to edit, move around the timeline, and copy files. We have multiple editors working at the same time and we’ve never run into a bottleneck”.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Nilesat enhances its headquarters with 40 PlayBox Neo Channel in a Box servers 40 Playbox Neo Channel in a Box servers have been installed in the Nilesat’s headquarters located in Cairo (Egypt). The system has been provided by Modern Broadcast Center (MBC), a partner of Playbox Neo. According to Mohamed Samir, Broadcast Manager of Nilesat, the company needed a “robus operation platform” with “userfriendly control, easy expandability and good technical support”. Finally, the company, which streams through its range
of satellites over 700 television channels, chose PlayBox Neo’s technology due to “its proven success at many leading broadcast networks and playout service-providers around the world”. Sabri Arafa, SEO of MBC, has explained the installation: “The system we have supplied includes 40 AirBox Neo Playours servers in one-plus-one configuration. A great strength of AirBox Neo is its modularity which allows us to specify the exact capabilities needed
to accomplish each project. The elements selected for the Nilesat project comprise AirBox Neo playout, CaptureBox Neo ingest, Titlebox Neo graphics preparation and titling, SafeBox Neo content and playout transfer, Multi Playout Manager monitoring and control and Multi-Backup Manager”. Airbox Neo’s technology can deliver output in SD, HD or UHD SDI, in DVB/ATS-compliant IP streams or in web-based formats like RTMP.
NileSat broadcast playout control room
19 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Red Bee Media introduces Red Lab, a brand new facility in London
Red Lab is the latest initiative of Red Bee Media, media services company. This lab located in Red Bee Media’s hub in Broadcast Centre, West London, houses a private cloud platform for remote testing and a meeting and collaboration space for broadcast and network engineers, and solution architects. This won’t be the only Red Lab in the world: the company has just announced that will open two more facilities in Sweden and the 20 MARCH ‘19
Netherlands during 2019. This R&D facility has been used to test the control of remote platforms during 2018, although it was inaugurated in early 2019. The demos that had been run showed that Red Bee Media was able to flow content between Media Management, Playout, Distribution and OTT platforms across 5 countries. According to Alex Dubiez, Head of Playour
Solutions, “We used to have engineers dedicated to each customer or project, but with the migration of all of our customers onto a shared software-based technology stack, we need to organize in a very different way. Red Lab, London allows our multidisciplinary teams to experiment and collaborate so that we can proactively drive innovation across our services”.
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Brightcove to acquire Ooyala’s OVP Business Ooyala’s OVP division, which includes its video content management and publish platform, as well as the underlying IP and associated patents, is been acquired by Brightcove, global provider of cloud services for video. The agreement, which is expected to close in the first half of 2019, includes parts of Ooyala’s engineering, support, sales staff and the operations located in Guadalajara (Mexico).
Broadcast Solutions (BS) launches its UK division The german system integrator Broadcast Solutions GmbH announces the creation of Broadcast Solutions (BS) UK Ltd, a company that will operate in Basingstoke (Hampshire). BS already has several offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The objective of the brand is to “plunge” into the UK market along with the earned experience from its more than 300 broadcast projects all over the world.
As stated by Jeff Ray, CEO of Brightcove, “This transaction, which includes immediately growing our highly skilled and committed global workforce, accelerates our ability to deliver faster innovation and deeper support for all costumers. We also will increase our market reach and further strengthen our ability to secure new business in key target market”.
21 MARCH ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Clear-Com appoints Absis to strengthen sales and support in Belgium and Luxembourg Clear-Com® has appointed ABSIS as its local partner for Belgium and Luxembourg, effective immediately. ABSIS is a new company formed by two audio engineers, Frédéric Jakus and Gaëtan Crenier, who bring a combined 50+ years of hands-on industry expertise working with companies including NEP Belgium (formerly Outside Broadcast), VTM, Videohouse, Alfacam, RTL and Canal +. The ABSIS team has worked extensively in live and sport events where creating a good communication workflow is essential. ABSIS aims to expand and improve ClearCom coverage and services for local customers in Belgium and Luxembourg, allowing them to benefit from practical advice, support and engineering services.
22 MARCH ‘19
Pixel Power strengthens Dubai office Pixel Power has announced the strengthening of its international sales team with the appointment of Mark Barkey to the role of Regional Sales Manager. He will be based in the Dubai office in Media City and will be responsible for the Middle East and North Africa regions. “The Middle East has always been a key part of our business strategy and we are proud of our strong, customer relationships built over the years,” said James Gilbert, CEO, Pixel Power. “We are delighted that Mark has chosen to bring his wealth of experience to Pixel Power and look forward to building on, as well as increasing, those trusted relationships with clients throughout the region.” Pixel Power opened its Dubai office ten years ago, acknowledging the region as an important and strategic growth area for the company. With the introduction of new software-defined platforms for playout, automation, graphics and branding, Pixel Power continues to align its innovative technology with the needs of today’s broadcasters. Mark Barkey has been living and working throughout the Middle East for more than 25 years and is a highly experienced broadcast professional. Barkey is fluent in several languages and has a degree in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. Following military service, he began his broadcast career with Echostar International before moving to Philips Broadcast in Dubai and then Axon Digital Design.
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
GeoBroadcast Solutions welcomes Harvey Wells as Director of Sales Development and Marketing GeoBroadcast Solutions has appointed Harvey Wells as Director of Sales Development and Marketing, effective immediately. Wells is responsible for the continued roll-out of GeoBroadcast Solutions’ patented MaxxCasting technology, and will help introduce the company’s patented, game-changing ZoneCasting technology to a broader audience. MaxxCasting is now live in several medium-tomajor markets around the United States, and was most recently deployed at WXLO(FM) in Boston. MaxxCasting leverages Single Frequency Network (SFN) architectures to optimize a radio station’s signal strength within its FCC-allocated contour, allowing greater numbers of potential listeners and Nielsen Personal People Meter encoding. In the
case of WXLO, it is estimated that more than one million people will hear a much clearer signal than before the MaxxCasting system was turned on. ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will allow a radio station to divide its signal based on a market’s geography. ZoneCasting, for the first time, will allow a radio station on its single frequency to air different news, traffic, weather, public service announcements and advertisements based on where a listener is located. A native of Chicago, Wells’ impressive career has spanned programming, sales and senior management for some of the broadcast industry’s largest corporations (CBS, Infinity and Westinghouse), as well as in entrepreneurial environments. Most
recently, Wells was General Manager for five radio stations owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Springfield, Illinois. He has spent most of his career in Chicago, along with a four-year stint in Southern California. Wells brings additional value to his new role beyond his vast industry experience, given his longstanding relationship with GeoBroadcast Solutions and its technology. 23 MARCH ‘19
The future of remote production is already here By Juan Dorrego and David De No
Producers, content generators and commercial brands are under constant pressure to speed up event production, thus meeting the expectations of audiences for instant news and media coverage for any event. At the same time, budgets available for production decrease and innovative production methods are required instead of more traditional deployments, which make excessive use of human and material means and are therefore, as a general rule, expensive. 24 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Is then the introduction of AI algorithms in production media the innovation we are looking for? Fully automating news production without need for camera operators and producers maybe still has a long way to go, but aided production is already here with us. In fact, there are practical examples of automated camera operators, virtual direction and automated production programs in sports such as football. These solutions
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
25 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
are already being used by small producers or companies engaged in streaming, but projections are that in the next few years major TV stations and producers will also embrace these new technologies. We are facing the same situation as when DSNGs were replaced by small broadcasting units the size of a backpack.
26 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Therefore, it is important for the industry that AIbased technology is adopted now so we can get acquainted with its capabilities. A clear, recent example of this trend is a Belgian producer that built a news set that did not require human operators and used instead AI systems for camera control and live broadcast. An anchor
was only required for emergencies and situations needing immediacy and responsiveness in broadcasts such as news coverage in serious or catastrophic events. Just by having on the studio an anchor or a reporter and at the touch of a button the robot-operated set springs up to life and so does the broadcast.
As for sports events, fully-automated production without need for production staff remains nowadays a distant goal, although AIaided productions are a very real one. One of the obstacles for a fully-automated broadcast is the time required by the AI algorithm to learn what is really interesting or important in each sport. For instance, an algorithm may regard that tracking a quarrel during a football match is the same as tracking a punch in a boxing fight, while they are two things completely different for the viewers: the first is an exceptional incident and the second completely normal in the combat. Achieving an optimal development of algorithms takes time, so the human factor is still very much needed. AI, for example, tends to follow people running or walking rather than people lying on the pitch, so it necessarily does not follow a player falling to 28 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
the ground after a play, which is what viewers actually want to watch. Increased image reolution is also a lot of help, as the greater the number of pixels that AI can use, the greater the chance that the ball can be distinguished from a bit of paper lying on the field, for example. While clients with tighter budgets may rely on onecamera solutions, an increased number of cameras for coverage of events is the key for capturing multiple angles and acquiring more data so as to achieve greater accurancy on the event. Some enhancements that will be included in future versions of algorithms are insertion of advertising, automatic replays of goals scored, summary and highlights generation, as well as ongoing improvements in the systems aimed at capturing more data and content, from motor sports events to ice hockey. There are systems that have even created the possibility of converting 29 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
action into a 3D virtual image, so users can select the point of view for any player to analyze decision-making during a match. AI-based production systems will cause a boom in creation of sports content. The next step may well be as AI-based systems, helping to manage innovation for sports content. Sports that are no so popular in number of viewers such as minor football or basketball leagues, or even other sports that are not so widely viewed as volleyball, handball, hockey, rugby, etc. now have the opportunity to broadcast live matches on any platform. This is already quite a success through the use of a single software-controlled recognition camera that follows the action of a match. Implementation of AI algorithms in these productions will in turn result in more interesting, comprehensive productions as it will allow, for example, 30 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
detecting goals scored, faults â&#x20AC;&#x201C;i.e. yellow and red cards-, corner kicks, timeouts or situations involving injured players in the field. All these data, together with player's analysis will enable creation of automated summaries that will attract more viewers as compared with the number of viewers
who follow complete games. Also, commercialsmanagement through AI will make these productions much more attractive for sponsors. We all know that commercials bore viewers and make them stop watching events, but dynamic, smart displaying of commercials during a broadcast or time-outs and breaks will prevent disconnection and
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
used by the club to record and broadcast matches in the Ajax TV web channel. Recordings are also used for acquisition of data on player performance during training sessions. Coaches and instructors at the Ajax’s training academy are able to analyze why a player missed a goal, why a pass was not properly made, and help improve a player’s individual performance and the team’s global result.
loss of interest by viewers. Examples of these applications are found in solutions already embraced by sports clubs such as the system deployed in the sports complex of Ajax AFC – Netherlands’ biggest football club- in Amsterdam and in part of the UEFA Champions League. This system is
In this regard, the potential offered by AI is huge. As new algorithms are created and developed, AI will be able to recognize and learn in no time all specific situations required by each event, as for example, detecting faults (red and yellow cards) and injuries while also learning to achieve more interesting, professional productions. There are a large number of minority sports that could use this technology to become owners of their own content at a low cost and then being able to derive
a profit out of this. AI will also play a key role in content control and indexing. AI and metadata are already being used on a regular basis, but it is in most instances a process based on voice-to-text recognition. Combination of several data sources and algorithms will create a more interesting, natural way of indexing. For example, combining face recognition and object detection will enable finding a man swimming with dolphins and wearing a red suit in our library of content. AI is already a dynamic reality under constant development that will drive –in a near future- the appearance of an increasing number of dedicated products enabling event production in a more professional, automated fashion. AI, which should be maybe defined as Augmented Intelligence or Assisted Intelligence, could very well bring about a revolution in the broadcast industry in the very near future. 31 MARCH ‘19
Wireless at-home production with LiveU By: Ronen Artman, VP of Marketing, LiveU
There has been a lot of discussion about remote production over recent years and, more recently, we’ve seen increased deployments. In many ways, remote at-home production is becoming the new standard for production companies, sports organisations, colleges, and brands of all sizes. Wireless at-home production is a growing trend because of the tremendous cost savings and simplified logistics involved. High-quality, reliable wireless solutions, such as LiveU, remove the need to deploy costly field production trucks and satellite uplinks and use expensive bandwidth at the venues themselves. Customers can simply 32 MARCH ‘19
produce live shows from their centralised studio control room using existing equipment. Every camera can move freely without the need for internet connectivity or cables onsite. The solution reduces transmission costs, the number of onsite crew needed, as well as travel, rental, and shipping expenses typical in other remote production solutions. LiveU’s remote At-Home Production solution is built around LiveU’s patented bonded cellular technology and LiveU Reliable Transport (LRT™) protocol, which enables the delivery of reliable, high-quality live video transmission from multiple cameras in the field back to the studio.
Multiple video feeds can be transmitted with full synchronisation over several portable field encoders back to the LiveU LU2000 server where they are reconstructed and output
as SDI or NDI with similar or lower latency than satellite. The streamlined system easily scales by adding more field units and receivers (output servers). Once back in the studio, the customer’s existing routing, switching, graphics and replay
systems can be used to create a full production, at a fraction of the cost of using a truck at the venue itself. A key feature of LiveU’s wireless multi-camera athome solution is Precision Timing™,
an automatic feature using built-in precision measurement of the endto-end delay. Precision Timing allows for the completely wireless synchronisation of multiple LiveU video sources (no genlock, no cables, no manual setting
Key Code Media deployed LiveU’s Wireless At-Home Production model to cover the Ocean Cleanup launch
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of delays on each camera). The LiveU solution also includes voice and video return services, which allow teams in the field to be in direct communication with the production studio, receiving real-time audio and video inputs at a subsecond delay. As highlighted above, cost savings and flexibility of the solution enable the whole production to be more efficient. Secondly, production companies can invest in and make more efficient use of their existing production equipment. Using a centralised studio, producers can apply a range of creative and innovative production techniques to enhance the fan experience and create additional opportunities for revenue growth. These can include machine learning, AI, localisation, branding, and personal ads. Thirdly, using the same production crews and announcer teams helps to create higher-quality shows as they become 34 MARCH ‘19
fully familiar with this way of working. As L2 Productions President, Scott Rehling explains here, LiveU’s wireless At-Home Production solution has changed his business model, allowing the business to scale. They can take on a lot more work and do multiple shows a day covering multiple venues. In terms of the pipeline, our offering is expanding as we reach out to customers of all sizes across different sectors. For example, in sports, LiveU has teamed up with Griiip, the manufacturer of the G1 Formula cars and founder of the G1 Series, to provide dynamic premium quality coverage. All production is done remotely with the LiveU units themselves installed in the cars. In 2018, LiveU streamed the G1 racing series live from Italy using on-board units to Facebook Live and a dedicated website, delivering high-quality video with overlaid car data to both the circuit
Key Code Media deployed LiveU’s Wireless At-Home Production model to cover the Ocean Cleanup launch
audience and audience at home. Plans are currently underway for the 2019 series, starting in April 2019. Sports is obviously a key growth area for LiveU as demonstrated here by Floodlight Media, which produced the Burton Cattleman’s Rail Jam in Australia using a LiveU At-Home Production model. Another example is the New England Sports Network (NESN) in the US, the official network of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins, which continues to use LiveU’s remote at-home production solution for its season pre/postgame coverage. As well as sports, remote athome production addresses the needs of many other verticals, such as ad hoc news studios in remote areas, brands, music and any companies or organizations requiring cost-effective live production for their events. We see the use expanding globally this year. With remote production enabling a lot more content to be created and transmitted live, producers can simply afford to cover more events. LiveU customers, for example, can see up to 75% cost reduction for live event production. 35 MARCH ‘19
Artificial Intelligence in 2019: Predictions for the Media & Entertainment Industry Author: Muralidhar Sridhar, Vice President, AI and Machine Learning, OVP and Analytics Prime Focus Technologies
The increasing availability of AI tools is expanding possibilities across myriad industries to improve operational efficiencies, tap new revenue streams, or simply gain insights for better, data-driven decision making. For the Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry, 2019 is slated to be the year when the use of AI will transition from the pilot phase to early adoption. With recent breakthroughs in areas like AI-enabled Media Asset Management (MAM) and AI-assisted Localization, the stage is 36 MARCH ‘19
now set for broadcasters, studios, production houses, and OTT providers to reap the benefits of Artificial Intelligence.
Sports – Live Production & Consumer Experiences
AI is poised to play a major role in myriad content operations – right from creation and production to post production, marketing, and distribution. Areas that are likely to feel the greatest impact in 2019 include post production, marketing and distribution. Here are a few key areas where we foresee AI disrupting markets and increasing ROI.
On the linear TV front, AI will help producers gain new insights from sports footage and use these to improve storytelling. Specifics of player movement, the number of a player’s hits and misses, and many other fascinating details can be measured by AI on a timeline. The insights generated can be used for delivering compelling live commentary and postgame analysis
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
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sessions, engaging viewers well beyond the end of the game. Further, AIenabled automation for creating sports highlights in near real time, will help producers and broadcasters achieve greater scale and speed. AI has a lot to offer OTT sports players as well. Typically, during a match, a set of VOD packages are published for consumers who have entered midway, so that they can catch up on the action that has taken place. These can be autogenerated by an AI engine that marks important highlights on-the-fly. Additionally, AI can drive personalization, by empowering OTT consumers to search for what they want to see. For example, in cricket, a fan can choose to see how his/her favorite player got out, or watch a highlights package of this favorite player, at any stage during the game. This level of interactivity will drive significantly higher consumer engagement, and result in additional ROI through sponsorships and increased viewership. 38 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Production Dailies Studios/production houses are likely to leverage AI to analyze Dailies & cuts, and for
automatically extracting metadata from claps. The metadata collected, can be associated with brands, actions, and events within the content, providing an
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
scale adoption of AI in 2019. While leveraging AI for Speech-to-Text transcription is already popular, recent improvements in accuracy and time-coding capabilities of AI engines will help make the entire process of subtitling more efficient. Such tools are also catering to a growing number of regional languages, and their usage for subtitle translation will steadily increase.
insightful summary to marketers and other decision makers.
Content Localization Subtitling and translation are key areas that will witness large
With digital platforms enabling content suppliers to go global, Compliance Editing is taking up more time and effort than ever before. Producers need to meet compliance requirements for multiple territories, which typically involves multiple rounds of viewing and editing. AI can help swiftly identify objectionable visual content (like nudity, violence, smoking, drug abuse etc.) as well as swear words and profanities. Leveraging AI to automatically identify content segments with 39 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
compliance issues can reduce manual effort and operational costs significantly, while providing scalability to handle peaks in volume.
help content owners effectively monetize their vast libraries.
With personalization gaining traction across markets, OTT players are looking to create promos targeted at specific consumers based on their past preferences. For instance, a consumer who predominantly watches the romance genre can be shown a film promo that highlights its romantic aspects more than action or drama. For the same film, a second actionbased promo can be created for viewers interested in the action genre. AI can help promo editors automatically identify sections of interest under each theme, helping them efficiently create larger variations of promos for the same content.
Today, many major broadcasters and studios have forayed into the OTT space. As there’s a constant need to showcase large volumes of content on these platforms, they often dig into their archives and repurpose existing content. AI-enabled cataloging and search can make this entire process faster, helping content owners locate relevant assets at lightning speed. 2019 will see AI being used to identify interesting pieces of content and re-package these creatively for OTT consumption. For example, AI can pick action scenes of two particular actors across different films, and create an exciting montage out of these. The ability to prepare this sort of ‘snackable’ content in a cost-efficient manner will 40 MARCH ‘19
AI-assisted Promo Creation
Distribution & Promotion In today’s ‘TV Everywhere’ universe,
being able to quickly distribute linear TV content to VOD platforms is a pressing need. AI can make this process easier, through the automatic identification and removal of physical segments like blacks, montages, ads and recaps. Such tools will gain popularity, as they enable broadcasters to publish to VOD much quicker. Another excellent use case for AI is thumbnail creation. Thumbnails play a major role in attracting viewers to watch a piece of content. AI can help
AI IN REMOTE PRODUCTION
create contextual thumbnails based on consumer preferences. Similar to what we discussed above, a viewer who likes action can be shown action-oriented thumbnails, while a consumer who watches dramas can be shown a drama-oriented thumbnail for the same content. AI can map a video’s synopsis text to a viewer‘s preferences and display best-fit, contextual thumbnails to attract him/her. This helps increase content consumption, and
consequently, monetization. AI tools also provide automatic thumbnail suggestions, reducing the amount of time an editor would spend looking for thumbnails.
Consumer Enabled Searches In the digital ecosystem, consumers call the shots. 2019 will witness VOD players leveraging AI to further empower consumers and deliver enhanced viewing experiences. AI will make it possible to associate
video content across VOD platforms with in-depth data, including trivia, social media feeds, IMDb information and more. Viewers will be able to click on a scene and go through the associated data that interests them picture a 10X version of Prime Video’s X-Ray feature! What’s more, AI will enable consumers to search within content for specific clips of interest, such as ‘all fight scenes of Tom Cruise’, or ‘all sixes hit by Virat Kohli’. Thanks to AI, many OTT players will be able to deliver such improved user experiences. Come 2019, and AI is dominating innovation for enterprises across the globe - from giant conglomerates or young start-ups. For M&E players, AI is likely to help deliver new viewing experiences, enhance operational efficiencies, create a greater variety of promotional material, and most importantly, meet business goals. If you’re in the business of content creation, move fast, because AI certainly is! 41 MARCH ‘19
All about broadcasting
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Author: Tino Da Silva, Audiovisual Production Manager, Movistar Riders
Electronic Sports (eSports) are professional videogames competitions, usually on multiplayer mode, that have recently become very popular. Global audience for these competitions is estimated to be around 400 million people and the final event of the World Cup of one of the most popular videogames –League of Legends- widely exceeded 200 million viewers in 2018. In some countries, audience rates for contents based on this environment are still low; however, such a large fan base as that of the videogame industry and the big impact caused by gamers, influencers and content creators around the globe, lead to trust in a positive outlook for electronic sports. The most popular genres within eSports are the socalled MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), in which the above46 MARCH ‘19
mentioned LOL and Dota2 belong, and Shooters, CSGO being at present the most popular in the latter category. Focusing on these games, we will now review the reality of eSports productions.
Broadcast platforms Undoubtedly we have here a clear winner as the quintessential window for transmission of sports broadcasts is Twitch, a platform created in 2011 and owned by Amazon since 2014, which offering is almost entirely based on videogames. In eSports an important issue is speed in frames per second (FSP), as average viewers in this type of content demand smooth flow and quality broadcasts for their favourite videogames. Therefore, we could say that the standard most widely used for broadcasts
is 1080 60p. This makes matters complicated when trying to promote it in TV platforms that use the typical 1080 50i standard, although it is natural to expect that with the arrival of 4K and the UHD standards this issue will be sorted out sooner than later. We could add that in Twitch, interlaced broadcasting is not recommended at all as it not only results in poor display of videogames but also a lack of definition and “saw teeth” in real picture frames.
(NBA-style) themselves are in charge of producing the signal for the games. An important distinction must be made between online competitions â&#x20AC;&#x201C; where the various teams play against the others from the distance and where having the team in one place is not even required- and on-site events, where teams play against each other in a stage especially put up for the occasion and featuring a spectacular scene deployment There are alternatives such as Mixer, owned by Microsoft; and the giant YouTube, which are intent in battling with Twitch over the field, but nowadays they lag far behind in regard to users and importance in the sector. For proper broadcast an encoder is needed, as this will enable us to convert our video signal with the various stream broadcast protocols for digital distribution of content. Even though a wide array of options exists, the use
Competitions feature narrators and commentators, the so called Casters. A common feature is the use of micro-headphones, both at on-site events and in online broadcasts and therefore this technological device is most of the time an ornament that something really useful.
eSports are mainly sports and this is the reason why the higher audience levels lie with the broadcasting of the various competitions. In general, the league associations
On-site events are better suited for better appreciation of the features of electronic sports. On the one hand, we have stage production and on the other
of XSPLIT is very popular. This is a multi-function application (even allowing for mixing amongst various sources) which running on an optimized PC offers default memories for broadcasting on the various platforms.
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production relating the game itself. Each game offers a Wide choice for selecting cameras and points of view. The person in charge of carrying this in-game production is called Observer. A distinctive feature of this sector is the utilization of PCs and various software packages for the broadcasts, which lead us to face the first piece of technological evidence: Is it better to work which asynchronous signals in our workflow or; quite the opposite, should we require an indecent battery of FRS capable of operating at 60p with the relevant price increase for our equipment budget? In this regard, the Australian brand BlackMagic Design is the clear leader in the field as it offers solutions such as Atem video mixers and Decklink capture cards. BlackMagic’s products not only offer the possibility of working without the need of having to reference any signal, but allow to use up to UHD resolutions with 48 MARCH ‘19
an unrivalled quality/price rate nowadays in the audiovisual sector. The use of cameras, most especially in on-site events, is again limited by the choice of high resolution values we must work with, being widely used camcorders, DSLR or PTZ models over studio cameras, which have been slower in including the possibility of having 60 FPS outputs. Within these types of cameras at these events is easy to find models such as Sony FS7 or Panasonic AW-UE70 or even the Sony A7S II –which features a small HDMI-to-SDI converter- as the latter is a favoured choice for the possibility of mounting it on Steadycam-type 'gadgets' or on small cranes such as the Polecam. Like in any sports broadcast, the use of replays of the most crucial or spectacular moments is very common. The use of EVS is not frequent in many countries, mainly due to the high cost of the ‘Belgian’ machine in a still
emerging sector, so other alternatives are contemplated such as VMIX software, which – amongst a number of things- offers a 4-in/2-out instant-replay feature covering with assurance the basic broadcasting needs. This program must be installed on a powerful computer equipped with solid-state disks and Decklink cards. I would light to highlight that some games such as LOL even allow playing replays from their own server
through an interface expressly created for such purpose.
Displaying graphics and statistics In eSports broadcasts, the games themselves provide countless statistics and data that usually appear somewhere on the screen. This kind of content is becoming more and more appreciated by viewers for their examination in breaks or time-outs as they occur.
Even though we are still at a very early stage, some companies are making great progress in this issue, thus providing broadcasts with increasingly useful information for eSports fans. The key for this is to hook-up with the data servers of the various games and have graphic templates updated in real time, in a similar way to a basketball game with the scorekeeping table. As for display of graphics and video players, the CASPAR CG software is the most popular system at present. This program, created in 2006 and surprisingly free of charge, is based on a multichannel, multi-layer system allowing for countless possibilities for template generation and video playing. Worth noting is also the possibility of creating small apps to control the original program, so users can even design their own customized interfaces as appropriate for each individual need. This allows us to have on our
working screen a real-time marker on the one hand and a statistics chart or a video playout with several channels on the other, everything simultaneously in the same machine.
Conclusions The eSports sector is still at a very developmental stage, as it is the case for organizations, clubs and league championships as they are looking for a way of laying the foundations for future growth. As for the audiovisual side, tools for quality production are still being developed although it is true that top-broadcast technical equipment has not been brought yet. On the other hand, innovative technological solutions are being used and this will set the direction for the most traditional audiovisual productions in coming years. The progress seen in the sector and in the computer applications oriented to the audiovisual sector is already more than obvious. 49 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Gearhouse’s esports vision helps to deliver the FACEIT London Major in venue and online in 1080p FACEIT is a leading competitive platform for online multiplayer games, with more than eight million users logging more than 12 million online gaming sessions each month. The esports giant allows players to easily play in tournaments and leagues for virtual and physical prizes through automated tournament management and competitive gaming technology. When FACEIT announced it was bringing the world’s most prestigious CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive) esports competition to the UK with the FACEIT London Major, it required expert support to be able to 50 MARCH ‘19
deliver the ambitious 1080p broadcast it had planned.
Majors and minors There were two parts to the project. The first was the FACEIT Minors, which was held at London’s Twickenham Stadium. The winners of which then crossed the city to compete for a prize pool of $1,000,000 at the FACEIT London Major which was held at the SSE Arena, Wembley. With passionate sell-out crowds following on the big screens within the arena and a huge global tech-savvy audience watching online, the production had to be
technically and creatively perfect. If it wasn’t, it could damage FACEIT’s standing among esports fans. Gearhouse Broadcast and FACEIT first collaborated at the Esports Championship Series (ECS) at SSE Arena, Wembley. The event offered the perfect test bed for the FACEIT London Major which would take place at the same venue three months later.
A vision of the future For both events, Gearhouse was tasked with providing the core vision facilities for the 1080p production. It was
specifically for internet delivery as the competition was broadcast across a range of streaming platforms including Twitch, SteamTV and YouTube. This included the supply of nine Sony HDC-4300 4K/HD system cameras and two Grass Valley vision mixers as well as an experienced crew. Gearhouse also had to be able to adapt to the unique demands of esports events. For example, the FACEIT London Major had 80
video sources for input, but only 33 were cameras. The remaining 47 were computer generated, with some coming from gaming PCs that are notoriously difficult to synchronise. To combat this issue, a large amount of frame syncs were required to make sure that all of the sources going in to the vision mixers were synced up and ready to play out. The FACEIT London Major was the first time a single esports organisation has hosted the entirety of a CS:GO
Major, and in one location. The hugely ambitious 1080p production utilised some of the latest technology to deliver 28.5 hours of flawless live esports broadcasting captured across four days of competitive gaming to fans around the world. The event clocked more than one million concurrent views, (excluding Chinese viewership) making it the third highest viewed esports tournament ever. 51 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
PUBG Global Invitational 2018 disguise OmniCal and Lux features go centre stage for Live Legends’ show opening at the PUBG Global Invitational esports event
When the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 was held at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin there was no doubt that the competition featuring 20 top professional ‘PUBG’ (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) teams from around the world would be explosive. Amsterdambased show creator Live Legends was challenged to craft a tournament open that would capture the excitement of the event and its $2 million pool of prizes. “In ‘PUBG’ people jump from an airplane onto an island or a desert area. There they find objects like weapons, ammo, armour, medic kits and boosters. During the game a deadly electric field circle gets smaller and keeps the battle going. At 52 MARCH ‘19
the end of the game one person, duo or squad is left alive,” explains Dave van Roon, Senior Media Server/Video Specialist with Live Legends. The show’s set design had a circular theme with the squads positioned on two concentric levels. “Each squad sat behind an LED screen showing their team logo or their
webcams, if they were still alive,” says Dave. “Above the stage a four-sided LED screen showed live feeds from the game, so everyone in the audience could follow the event. For the opening show a curtain cylinder was lowered around the stage. With projection on the cylinder, the floors of the two side stages and scenic
elements such as crates, real-life paratroopers, violinists, pyro effects and a lighting show re-enacted the game.” With projection being at the centre of the show, Live Legends used disguise’s new Lux and OmniCal features extensively in this show. The new Lux visualiser includes ambient
occlusion, directional light, camera exposure simulation, glow, shadows, and physically correct units. Dave explains how Lux was put to use to calculate projector efficiency for the show’s complex visual palette, “based on the data returned from Lux we decided to use 48 Panasonic 30,000 lumen
projectors - 32 for the cylinder in two equal rows and eight for each stage,” Dave explains. “Ideally the cylinder projectors would have been positioned on the balcony rail, in 16 double stacks, evenly distributed, with the floor projectors flown from six rigs. After looking at available rigging points, the audience seating and 53 MARCH ‘19
the emergency exits we ended up with five quad stacks on the balcony and eight rigs, which couldn't easily be reached as no cherry picker or platform lift was allowed in the venue. “Lux showed these positions would still be viable, but it wasn't going to be an easy job,” he continues. “Normally you would calibrate the projectors with disguise’s QuickCal, which is a really quick system compared to 54 MARCH ‘19
manual calibration. Still, you could easily spend half an hour per projector to make it look really good. With 48 projectors that meant a minimum of 24 man-hours, but that amount of time was not available at the venue. We had just one night to get things done - which is why we chose to use OmniCal on this project,” Dave declares. disguise OmniCal is a camera-based projector calibration engine that
has been designed to dramatically improve projection quality and setup time. “It uses cameras to film patterns projected from the projectors and based on the parallax differences captured by the cameras it can determine the projector positions,” Dave points out. “Using a basic OmniCal set on four iPods we could calibrate all of the projectors in just a couple of hours. It made an otherwise impossible job a breeze!”
In addition to providing rapid projector calibration, OmniCal solved a different challenge. “Normally, with QuickCal, you can use calibration points to figure out the positions of projectors, so disguise knows which parts of screens it has to send to the projectors,” says Dave. “It will always show your 3D model the way you set it up: If you build a 3D cylinder it will be a perfectly straight cylinder. A curtain stretched between two trusses, however, will have the natural tendency to form
a curve, making an hourglass shape. Warp deform could compensate for this but would result in more labour. The detected blobs in OmniCal form a point cloud, which can actually be used to deform the 3D object. So, the 3D object would take on the hourglass shape, eliminating the need for warping.”
align, done. It is quite heavy on the system, so it is important to think about your setup, use the right equipment and infrastructure.”
Dave himself went to the disguise office in London for OmniCal training so he could become familiar with the system. “It is easy - plug and play,” he reports. “Point cameras, run capture, calibrate,
By the order of Michael Thuney (Production Associates) Live Legends took care of the full performance of the set, light and content design for the world final of PUBG.
“But once it was up and running and the last alignment point was set, it was BAM! In place, done, looking good. It just snapped into place."
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2019 might be a great year. What are the specific expectations for Embrionix this year? Which are your next product introductions? No doubt about it, 2019 is already a great year! To kick it off, you can find us at the entrance of the North Hall at NAB 2019 this year – in booth N2508 with a full range of compact IP gateways, processing and multiviewer solutions for core infrastructure and UHD IP SMPTE ST2110 production. Our goal for this year and going forward is to provide customers with softwaredefined solutions that simplify the path to and through IP and that make our customers’ systems more flexible, agile and efficient. While the move to IP is happening today, it 56 MARCH ‘19
isn’t without challenges, including the need to efficiently integrate legacy SDI equipment, address lack of interoperability between vendor systems, support UHD/HD environments and help simplify the complexity of system configuration while keeping costs and footprint low. At NAB Show we’ll highlight our full range of flagship SDI-to-IP UHD solutions…and this year we will also debut a new solution that takes software-defined All-IP processing to a new level – but you’ll have to come by the booth to learn more!
It may sound familiar, but it’s a fact: the Broadcast industry is in continuous transformation. Are there any trends that have caught your eye in our market recently?
The hot trends we see this year include a continued interest in miniaturized technologies for UHD IP production and the use of COTS switches to house these solutions - Embrionix is well known for its miniaturized SDI-to-IP gateways, processors and multiviewers that reduce space, energy consumption and costs.
We are of course also witnessing the move toward virtualization. At Embrionix we believe that IP is the first step toward this - that this virtualization will happen over IP networks – as you know we offer solutions for the transition to and through IP. This move toward software-defined, virtualized technologies lends itself to versatility and system efficiency, enabling a reduction in Capex and Opex.
SDI vs. IP: Is this transition one of the more transcendental technology challenges for the industry? What role does Embrionix want to play in this transformation? By migrating to IP, the Broadcast industry is undergoing an extremely important transformation – having moved first from analog to SD, then SD to HD, and HD to full HD. Embrionix is in a great position to become one of the global leaders in the IP transition with technologies that drastically simplify the path to - and through - IP for broadcasters. If you
come by our booth at NAB, you will see some of our introductions that take allIP processing to a new level!
Embrionix has always been defined by the pursuit of innovation and sustainably. Could you tell us anything in advance about your next step in these areas? Absolutely, yes. Embrionix prides itself on the pursuit of innovation and by developing technologies that simplify the path to IP. We are known for our very compact, high-density IP gateways, IP signal processors, converters and IP multiviewers for broadcast video applications. Our innovative low-footprint solutions free up premium rack space, and consume less power. Our miniaturized emSFP modules can be installed directly inside 10GE, 25GE / 100GE COTS IP switches and can convert any SDI legacy equipment within an IP network. We have invested in 25GE/100GE futureproofing and sustainability and fully
support IP SMPTE ST2110 and ST2022 standards. At NAB you will see this innovation in our entire range of solutions and with the introduction of new solutions for all-IP environments.
Trade shows like IBC (Amsterdam) or NAB Show (Las Vegas) are a brilliant showcase to sneak peek the future of the Broadcasting industry. Could we expect anything surprising from Embrionix at the next NAB Show? We’ll definitely have some very buzz-worthy, cool introductions at the show that take all-IP processing to a new level. Make sure to come on by our booth N2508 and see how we can help make your media over IP experience more flexible and efficient!
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Author: Carlos Alberto MartĂn Edo Senior Project Engineer at ATOS
New market needs From the outset, 5G was not intended as a mere evolution of mobile communication technologies but as an opportunity for network integration with very demanding requirements in terms of data rate, number of clients served, end-to-end latency, device density, reliability, efficiency, availability and speed of devices . Within the 5G environment vertical sectors or industries have been identified which may benefit from the qualitative leap these strict requirements entail as compared to pre-
ceding technologies . One of these vertical sectors is precisely 'Media & Entertainment'. This way, 5G aims at meeting the new user's needs as for consumption of audiovisual content. Therefore, even though consumption of linear television in home TV sets remains the most usual option and it is expected to continue being so in the future , the increase in consumption of mobile devices is very clear. As detailed in the report , 80% of the Internet traffic will be attributable in 2020 to video and TV. Viewers are willing to watch any content in any
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place and in any device, which is impacting the way in which producers release contents. Thus, new over-the-top (OTT) operators offer their series in complete seasons as compared to the traditional way of delivering a new episode per week. This, in turn, cause demand peaks amongst users. This consumption pattern is also seen in mass sporting events, such as Olympic Games. It is interesting to note how some of these 60 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
OTT operators do not come from the Media sector, and also how OTT operators do not just limit themselves to distribute content, but are involved in production as well. Additionally, consumers often turn into producers
of content that they share live through social media. European radio and TV operators and, most especially, public service operators â&#x20AC;&#x201C;which are grouped together under the European Broadcasting Union (EBU)- find in 5G
Although 5G is an international initiative, it enjoys in Europe the support given by the European Commission through funding of projects within the Horizon 2020 program.
opportunities for creation of novel media services and business models  while claiming that requirements for mass distribution of radio and TV services and for interoperability with current prevailing TV broadcasting networks must be taken into account .
5G: Usage cases for Media Within the vertical ‘Media & Entertainment’
industry, usage cases for 5G are typically split into six categories ( ) : • Ultra-high fidelity media. This usage case makes reference to highquality, deeply-immersive content enabled by new acquisition and presentation technologies, such as ultra-high definition or high dynamic range. In order to maintain the quality of experience, 5G networks should offer suf-
ficient channel width, which may require getting content close to users through local copies. • On-site experiences for live events. This usage case makes reference to presentation of additional content to people attending to a mass event, such as a concert or a sports competition. This type of service features high user density and it is distinct in the sense that content will
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be linked to the event itself. • User-generated content and automatically generated content. Recent years have seen how media service users are not only consumers of content but also producers who upload to the Cloud multimedia content which they share as well through the social media. This trend also extends to automatic generation of content (for instance, the Internet of Things paradigm). • Immersive, integrated media. This usage case is the result of a trend of
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higher immersivity and interactivity of multimedia content, spanning homes, means of transport and professional environments. The trend is for immersive video and 3D virtual experiences. Low latency is critical in this scenario, in such a way that user actions will have immediate reflection in the virtual universe (for example, head movements within a VR experience through a head assembly kit). Additionally, transferring realistic, detailed content will require broad channel width.
• Cooperative production of media. This usage case makes reference to production of multimedia content in such a way that the use of 5G in cameras and microphones will enable immediate acquisition and transmission by combining content from different users in multiple locations and adapting to the requirements of various devices and user experiences. • Collaborative gaming. Games will evolve towards more realistic experiences featuring immersive, multi-sensory environments in which
users will cooperate within a game in real time and with no restrictions as to number of players involved. Games will not be limited to home environments, but augmented reality will localizationbased experiences.
5G Innovations As we have been explaining, each of the above usage cases has specific features corresponding to demanding 5G requirements. In order to increase the capacity of mobile networks in terms in channel and users served, only three options
exist as for radio interfacing: using more frequency bands or a wider bandwidth; deploy smaller cells (thus allowing reuse of frequencies between closer locations); and developing more efficient channel modulation and codification techniques, thus streamlining the use of the radio-electrical spectrum.
Furthermore, 5G is promoting the development of new technologies and new technological paradigms in the net, such as detailed below: • Mobile edge computing (MEC). This makes reference to the use of resources on the net’s edge versus use of the operators’ data hubs. This paradigm thus allows get-
5G is promoting the development of new technologies and new technological paradigms in the net.
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ting the service closer to final users, with the results involved as to latency reduction. • Network functions virtualization (NFV). Virtualization of resources is a technology already well-established in the Cloud (i.e. cloud storage or computation). NFV goes further beyond as it contemplates virtualization of network equipment in such a way that virtual routers or switches may be implemented over the network based on the service's instant needs. • Software defined networking (SDN). This paradigm consists on managing both networks and routing through software instead of using fixed tables. This is achieved by separating the data aspect (information traveling through the network) from control (management of the routing process). This results in more flexible, configurable networks. • Cloud native. This is a set of features aimed at building and deploying scalable applications
within Cloud environments, both public and private and hybrid, including issues such as the use of containers and microservices and automation. 
developing the ‘cloud native’ notion and features the use of containers as a virtualization technology and deployment of media functionalities on the edge of the net.
The key feature of these techniques is virtualization, as they aim at using general-purpose hardware in order to support a flexible, dynamic implementation of virtual instances that provide for the necessary functions.
• FLAME (https://www.ictflame.eu/). This project is making use of the abovementioned network technologies for deploying media services on a programmable platform supported by infrastructures implemented in smart cities. This project features four validation scenarios which, to a large extent, correspond with the above-mentioned six usage cases.
Research and innovation projects Although 5G is an international initiative, it enjoys in Europe the support given by the European Commission through funding of projects within the Horizon 2020 program. Find below some projects in which ATOS has been recently or is currently involved, as an illustration of R&D activities in the multimedia environment relating 5G: • 5GTANGO (https://www.5gtango.eu/). This project includes a media usage case for deployment of immersive streaming. 5GTANGO is
• 5G-TRANSFORMER (http://5gtransformer.eu/). The aim is expanding the capacity of existing mobile net-
80% of the Internet traffic will be attributable in 2020 to video and TV.
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works, including support to vertical industries where
media and entertainment services are located. This project will enable vertical industries to meet service requirements through creation and management of adapted network slices. Support to these vertical industries through 5G networks includes improvements such as decreased network latency and efficient bandwidths, thus transforming the network into a platform oriented to specific industries and enabling the edge for
deployment of video services with optimal performance and quality. â&#x20AC;˘ 5G NORMA (http://www.it.uc3m.es/w nl/5gnorma/). In this project, ATOS developed a media service that can be deployed in future 5G networks and comprising several components deployed as different virtual machine (for instance a video mixer, a content repository and a subtitle generator) in order to prove that dynamic instancing and migration of resources between core and edge nodes in a 5G networks based on evolving service needs is feasible. These projects -in addition to developing new notions such as NFV, SDN and MEC- are aimed at streamlining the Media services and creating new opportunities and business models around the latter, thus driving returns for telecommunication operators and players within the media and entertainment sector.
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Acknowledgements The author would like to thank his colleagues in ATOS for the information provided in regard to projects: Ignacio Domínguez Gómez, Arturo Zurita Sánchez, Ignacio Labrador Pavón y Felipe Vicens González.
References  5G-PPP. “5G Vision. The 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership: the next generation of communication networks and services” (February 2015). Available at: https://5g-ppp.eu/wpcontent/uploads/2015/02/ 5G-Vision-Brochure-v1.pdf  5G-PPP. “5G empowering vertical industries”
(February 2016). Available at: https://5g-ppp.eu/wpcontent/uploads/2016/02/B ROCHURE_5PPP_BAT2_PL. pdf  ATOS. “Accelerating the race to value.” Series Look Out 2020+; Industry Trends - Telecom. Available at: https://atos.net/content/mini-sites/look-out2020/assets/pdf/ATOS_LO OK%20OUT_TELCO.pdf  European Broadcasting Union. “5G and Public Service Media (PSM): Opportunities in distribution of audiovisual content and services". Executive summary. February 2018. Available at:
https://tech.ebu.ch/docs/b pn/Exec_Sum_Public_BPN _109.pdf  Javier Sánchez. “Will radio actually need 5G?” BITAM Show. Madrid, 21 November 2018.  5G-PPP and NEM. “5G and Media & Entertainment. Whitepaper". January 2016. Available at: https://5g-ppp.eu/wpcontent/uploads/2016/02/ 5G-PPP-White-Paper-onMedia-EntertainmentVertical-Sector.pdf  CNFC. “Cloud Native Definition v1.0”. Available at: https://github.com/cncf/t oc/blob/master/DEFINITION.md
Capture of the media service implemented in the 5G NORMA project with content from the Spanish Parliament. This service was created through the assembly of several virtual machines (video server, mixer, subtitling injector, etc.) and enabled illustrating dynamic migration of components between the network’s core and edge based on instant needs.
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UHD By Yeray Alfageme, Business Technology Manager Olympic Channel
We will begin by going over notions we reviewed last year.
while now living in an HD -
Let us start with definition, namely 4K. It has been a
albeit not a must, is 4K.
1920 x 1080- world, but one of the components of UHD, UHD does not only entail a
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leap in definition, but it is indeed an important aspect in this sense. 4K means four times more definition as compared to HD, from 1920x1080 to 3840x2016, a whole quantitative leap. Another important aspect is WCG (Wide Colour Gamut). We were in former times living within a limited colour space, Rec.709 o BT.709. Such space had been created based on the older CRT monitors, which were only able to display a very limited amount of colours. And nothing had changed ever since. UHD presents an expanded colour space, i.e. Rec.2020 o BT.2020, much wider in scope while still adopting the same "white point" concept for backward compatibility. Just in between both we have DCI-P3, oriented to current monitors. A parameter that goes unnoticed until we watch a 4K image directly is frame speed, the so-called HFR (High Frame Rate). As definition increases, the human eye becomes more sensitive to noticing “errors”. One of these “errors" in a video picture is precisely 70 MARCH ‘19
that is not actually a video, but a sequence of frames. This becomes very noticeable in UHD if we keep a frame speed of 50-60 frames per second. That is why increasing the frame rate, normally doubling it, is a must, although the standard provides liberty in this aspect. Screen size â&#x20AC;&#x201C;permanently on the rise- also makes this defect visible, especially at the edges of the image. And finally, we have the main character, HDR (High
Dynamic Range). UHD's great 'Wow!'. Because we can quadruple definition, increase colour space, have more frames per second, but if we do not increase the luminance level of our image, the effort will not be worthwhile. After some time -nearly 2 years- already with UHD images, we can definitely say that the real change is HDR. In fact, studies have been made in which both professionals and spectators prefer an HD HDR image over 4K SDR
(Standard Dynamic Range). And this is something to bear in mind indeed. HDR is the feature that does make images more realistic, more similar to what we see in the real world, what makes us all prefer them. In fact, this is the aspect in which the biggest progress has been made, more in particular in the home market. The ST-2110 standard sets a luminance range so wide that -as it happens with WCG- current monitors and TVs are not able to feature it in full.
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However, most cameras are able to capture the 14 diaphragm stops featured. This has forced manufacturers of domestic appliances to "invent" standards aimed at unifying TV set offerings. A year ago we contemplated two standards: HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. Dolby Vision, as its own name indicates, is the standard promoted by Dolby in the market. It is possibly the most advanced one but requires a specific chipset in both sides of the chain, which restricts its expansion. Other manufacturers joined up in HDR10, a free standard setting minimum requirements that all TVs must meet to be regarded 72 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
as HDR10 compatible. It has been gaining advocates, but as it is "worse" than Dolby Vision, it had to undergo a natural evolution: HDR10+.
HDR10+, the natural evolution The main improvement is significant: the adoption of a dynamic metadata
measuring method versus static metadata used in HDR10. The use of dynamic metadata enables each scene to be individually adapted. Imagine a movie comprising very dark scenes and very luminous scenes. Not all scenes can be calibrated in the same extent. A video normally features brightness rang-
ing between 0 and 2,000 cd/m2 and the use of dynamic metadata normally allows making better use of the luminancecolour ratio. This in turn improves colour in the image as dark scenes are not hampered by the use of an increased colour depth, thus achieving a resulting content that will be closer to the one offered by a more powerful input system such as Dolby Vision, which already supported Dynamic Tone Mapping. With this, HDR10+ may turn to be similar to Dolby Vision in image quality, which in practice means that it is actually better than the latter as it is an open, free, zero-cost standard. We have already seen how many manufacturers that had been offering Dolby Vision have started including HDR10+ in their TV sets and I think that -it is just my opinionsome will be shortly giving up Dolby Vision in favour of just HDR10+. Why paying royalties to Dolby when at least the same quality is achieved free of
charge with HDR10+? And the issue that could eventually tip the scales is that all –we mean all- TV sets that support HDR10 also support HDR10+ just through a firmware update. Incredible, is it not? Furthermore, video streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video or big majors such as Warner Bros or 20th Century Fox already offer content adapted to this format for viewing in supported TVs. Other manufacturers such as Panasonic have chosen the HDR10+ system instead of Dolby Vision.
And the future? As we pointed out one year ago, this world is evolving so fast that it is really hard to say what will happen in the future, but after one more year of experience we are now able of being somewhat more accurate in our projections. Certainly there is an interest, most particularly in Asia, under the leadership of NHK, in increasing definition. In fact, during
the last Winter Olympics NHK broadcast some events in 8K and, of course, using HDR. For Tokyo 2020 it is expected that everything will be broadcast with said definition, but not so in the rest of the world. What it is indeed happening is that HDR is the evolutionary step that nearly everyone, both at professional level and in the consumer market, is taking. New standards support increased luminance and both professional and consumer manufacturers are going for that technology, the one being demanded by clients. Last, a personal forecast. There is a very long way between what the BT.2020 colour space supports and the current DCI-P3 supported by some monitors. Maybe in one year time we will also witness –in addition to progress regarding HDR- some relevant advances taking place in WCG. Time will tell and we at TM Broadcast will be here to tell you as well. 73 MARCH ‘19
Bridging troubled waters Author: Martin Junek
In any complex project management environment where a supplier is contracted to meet the requirements of a purchaser, it is a given that the project management teams on each side will have different objectives, expectations, standards and methodologies. Navigating the stormy waters between these two sides can be a hazardous experience which can cause delays, misunderstandings, errors and additional costs. By contrast, it should be pointed out that the waters between such parties may be calm and even too peaceful, reflecting a lack of objective input, which can also leave the project ship-wrecked. So where and how shall we find our bridge? In the world of media, 74 MARCH ‘19
one of the top developers of broadcast management systems is Provys, who are regularly required to improve the operating procedures of mid-size to large multichannel broadcasters with their fully integrated workflow software solution. Despite trying to keep an unrelenting focus on final outcomes, Provys nevertheless realise that even with their famously strong project team, there are indisputable benefits to be derived from a broadcaster’s decision to employ third-party expert project managers to act in the capacity of consultants who will take an overview of the implementation, acting as a bridge over any potential issues. Petr Helebrant, Project Manager at Provys, explains: “We have recently completed two
substantial projects with Viasat World and All Media Baltics (AMB), utilising the overarching consultancy expertise of Posterity-Milestone and Ravensbeck respectively, both UK based consultancies whose services include project and programme management. Their contribution to the successful completion of these projects, on time and on budget, cannot be overemphasised, and I fully recommend this method of management for complex projects.” A brief look at these two project management consultants will help us to better understand their philosophies and methodologies. Their projects have included multiple new channel launches globally for broadcast companies and content owners, ranging
WORLD OF MEDIA BY PROVYS
Project Management Flowchart
from a Video On Demand service to full channel launch, and fitting out green-field media site technology. Both have been responsible for end to end programme management, including scheduling, rights & media management, technology and process design, and successful launches into operations. Adapting their approach to the culture and structure of their clients, they ensure that project and programme management disciplines can work in any organisational environment. Their teams actually fill any internal gaps in the short term,
whilst advising clients on vendor selection and the best way to address skills shortages or inappropriate resource levels.
The diagram, courtesy of Roman Barton, Head of Project Teams at Provys, illustrates the five main phases of a typical enterprise software implementation in a broadcasting operation, broken down further into the numerous activities required in each phase, all superimposed on a simplified Gantt Chart. The external project management consultants, mentioned above, are active in the Pre-project,
contribution is extremely
and Roll-out phases where the risk of delays and losses can occur, and where their value added effective. Careful study of this self-explanatory diagram is highly recommended as it encapsulates many years of project management experience. For broadcasters, following this methodology / navigation chart is your sure-fire way of safely surviving the potentially troubled waters of project management. 75 MARCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19