TELEFE: Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 4K HDR
54 Interview with Chris Teague: the winner of an emmy award for "Russian doll"
60 Celebration of Young Talent at IBC
IYUNO MEDIA GROUP Leaders in dubbing and subtitling
Berlin Marathon: the latest technical innovations brought to us by their creators
Creative Direction Mercedes González
Managing Editor Sergio Julián firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor in chief Javier de Martín
Key account manager Susana Sampedro
Translation Fernando Alvárez
Administration Laura de Diego email@example.com
TM Broadcast International #75 November 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 ISSN: 2659-5966
EDITORIAL IBC 2019 has left a deep impression in the market, as we were able to see in industry communications: event summaries, reviews of novelties and assessments are clogging our offices inbox. The shows permeation seems to be growing every year, as it is also the case with the recent NAB NY. The East Coast edition of the world’s leading broadcast event has received new products by leading manufacturers along with interesting conferences. You will find in www.tmbroadcast.com a full selection of news from an event which developments we are closely monitoring. In the meantime we remain true to our mission of offering exclusive content about our world. A concern many of you conveyed to us is now making our front page: TV in Latin America. Don’t miss our must-read interview with Gustavo A. Embon, Broadcasting Senior Manager de Viacom Telefe, who unveiled to us the present and the future of the leading Argentinean TV station. Consolidation of OTTs has also made it in TM Broadcast through two different contents: the new prospects of IYUNO Media Group relating dubbing, subtitling, accessibility and multimedia localization, which you will find in our conversation with Chris Carey (Chief Revenue Officer and GM Americas); and the creative and technical vision of Chris Teague, winner of an Emmy award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series for his work in Russian Doll (Netflix). Last, but not less important, we delved in the ever in demand sports broadcasting field with the production of the Berlin Marathon. We did so by speaking with Peer Seitz, Head of Production, Infront Productions; and with Mark Grinyer, Senior Manager, Live Production Services, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. TM Broadcast International brings you the best, most exhaustive information in the sector once again. Thank you for being there and not missing your monthly appointment with us.
4 NOVEMBER ‘19
NEWS - PRODUCTS
Dalet AmberFin now offers Dolby Vision and Socionext acceleration audio-visual quality are key for delivering your content in a timely and costconscious fashion.”
The latest release of Dalet AmberFin makes the media processing platform the “first software-based transcoding asset management system” to include Dolby Vision® technologies, according to the press release. In addition to Dolby Vision and a raft of new softwareonly features, Dalet AmberFin can also be enhanced with hardware acceleration tools such as the M820L HEVC encoder plugin card from SoC (System On a Chip) specialist Socionext. Steve Higgins, Product Manager, Dalet AmberFin, states, “The latest release of the Dalet AmberFin media
6 NOVEMBER ‘19
The latest release of Dalet AmberFin makes the media processing platform the “first softwarebased transcoding asset management system” to include Dolby Vision® technologies
processing engine marks a new era for this renowned high-quality content processor. Whether you process on-premises, in the cloud or with a mix of both; the efficiency of the processor coupled with high throughput and exceptional
The media processing capabilities of the solution enable automated Dolby Vision mastering and distribution workflows that generate outputs from IMF, through broadcast, cable and satellite packages to OTT HLS and DASH bundles. The integrated BPMNcompliant workflow engine and API let administrators configure user interfaces, assign tasks for operators, and push through ad-hoc QC processes. Dalet AmberFin’s file outputs can vary in packaging sophistication from MP4s through to complex IMF packages that are automatically synthesized from collections of input files and automation instructions. The version 188.8.131.52 of Dalet AmberFin’s is now available to all existing customers on a support contract.
NEWS - PRODUCTS
ControlWorks and AJA join forces to deliver live streaming workflows for custom Crestron integration environments recording configurations for each unique meeting setup. Key feature highlights include RESTful API communications, remote control of streaming and recording, recall recording presets for automation needs and input selections. Control systems developer ControlWorks Consulting has teamed with AJA Video Systems to deliver a new module enabling seamless use of AJA’s HELO H.264 streaming and recording device in custom integrator environments powered by Crestron Electronics control and automation solutions. The new module allows Crestron users to harness HELO’s SDI and HDMI I/O capabilities in their workflows, simplifying 8 NOVEMBER ‘19
how video is live streamed to content delivery networks and simultaneously encoded and recorded to a range of storage options as H.264 files in custom integration settings. It enables twoway control from a Crestron processor via REST API communication, features recording and streaming controls, and provides access to device presets, and streaming and recording profiles, allowing rooms to have multiple streaming and
“HELO is an incredibly intuitive, powerful tool for streaming in custom integration environments, making it the perfect complement to Crestron workflows,” shared Lincoln King-Cliby, Commercial Market Director, ControlWorks. “Teaming with AJA to implement their REST API has been fantastic and we’re excited to get this into the hands of our customers. We look forward to exploring how we might integrate other AJA products with Crestron solutions in the future.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
The Clear-Com Eclipse HX digital matrix system was in charge on the all-IP wireless comms at F1 Grand Prix in Hungary
A Clear-Com Eclipse HX digital matrix system served as the all-IP wireless communications solution for Antenna Hungaria, the host broadcaster for the F1 Grand Prix in Hungary. The system was provided by HDwireless, the German wireless specialist, through AudioTechnica, Clear-Com’s distribution partner for Germany. The system needed to cover an extremely wide area including the pit 10 NOVEMBER ‘19
lane, the paddock and the TV compound, guaranteeing a reliable signal in a high-traffic audio environment, and providing exceptional audio clarity despite the extreme noise levels from the F1 cars. Previously HDwireless had used UHF radios for this event because of the size of the area they had to cover, but the team was keen to deploy its recently purchased Clear-Com solution. The system included an Eclipse HX-Delta matrix frame with 12 audio connections to the host broadcaster’s OB vehicle, plus V-Series Iris panels, FreeSpeak II digital wireless beltpacks and FreeSpeak II IP-connected transceivers. Patrick Nussbaum, Managing Director, HDwireless, said, “We
have supported the host broadcaster with wireless camera systems and a wireless video transmission for several years. Up to now we had used UHF radios as our intercom setup but we were looking for more flexibility, more channels per user and better audio quality. We had already used the Clear-Com FreeSpeak II digital wireless system for the 24h race at the Nürburgring in Germany and everything worked perfectly. In Hungary we set up the old UHF system as a back-up, but we did not need to use it at all. The Clear-Com system performed flawlessly and our customer was very happy.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Leighton Broadcasting embraces software-defined audio over IP transport with GatesAir monitoring and control tools. Intraplex Ascent’s built-in Dynamic Stream Splicing (DSS) application further protects each station’s signal integrity by diversifying SRT data across redundant networks.
Leighton Broadcasting a St. Cloud, Minnesotabased radio station group—has replaced hardware-based, point-topoint IP STL systems with its software-defined Intraplex Ascent Audio over IP transport platform. The project represents the first commercial implementation of Intraplex Ascent for software-based transport, as well as the industry’s first application of Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) for broadcast audio streams. 12 NOVEMBER ‘19
Intraplex Ascent architecture leverages common off-the-shelf servers at aggregate studio and transmitter sites, consolidating the transport of audio and program-associated data over IP for five radio stations serving the St. Cloud market (KCLD-FM, KCML-FM and KZPK-FM, plus two FM translator signals). The SRT application provides packet encryption and retransmission capabilities, along with browser-based
Intraplex Ascent configuration will support up to 16 distinct audio programs in one rack unit, providing room for additional Leighton Broadcasting stations moving forward. “The scalable nature of the Ascent architecture gives us the flexibility to first simplify program transport for our St. Cloud stations, and gradually transition our entire group of stations across Minnesota and North Dakota as we see fit,” said Tony Absalter, Director of Engineering for Leighton Broadcasting.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Bild Studios expands its fleet of disguise products with the acquisition of several gx 2c
Pakistan Super League
Bild Studios has invested in the latest in the disguise’s gx range, the gx 2c. With this latest investment, Bild are hoping to utilise it towards further exploring xR shows and interactive installations as well as serving as a rock-solid master server on very demanding shows. Bild is a London-based visual engineering studio renowned in the industry 14 NOVEMBER ‘19
for helping to create live experiences, such as The Opening Ceremony for the Pakistan Super League, where 50 minutes of AR graphics replaced traditional pre-rendered content that usually is mapped onto projection surfaces or LED screens inside the venue. Another notable project was Cirque de Soleil’s 2015 ‘Toruk’ show, where the team was in charge of the full media server pre-
production and content workflows, as well as the onsite installation. “The requirements for higher resolutions and added photo-realism are increasing, and for that, we simply need hardware that can handle these growing demands, in combination with using disguise’s existing software features,” David Bajt, founder of Bild Studios, explains.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Brazil’s R3 Estudio Movel equips OB van with Calrec Artemis Såo Paulo-based R3 Estudio Movel has chosen a Calrec Artemis Ray audio console for its OB truck, called PowerTruck, focussing on the recording and mixing of audio for live broadcasts as well as music DVDs
and streaming outlets. R3 Estudio Movel uses
creates about 40 music DVDs a year – including
two WAVES cards, one
one recently for Sony
Dante card and six MADI
Music’s Brazilian funk
cards in the truck. The on-
artist Nego do Borel -
stage setup includes 128
plus its work on live
mic pre-amps and two
MADI cards. The company
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Global Television & CPAC use Bannister Lake's software to deliver Canadian federal election coverage
Corus Entertainment's Global Television Network used Bannister Lake's Elector software to aggregate and manage election results and populate graphics, which appeared as part of the broadcast's unique video wall.
In addition to providing the editorial tools to producers, Bannister Lake enabled decision desks and graphic operators to identify key races, declare winners, and organize graphic playlists. The company also devised and implemented on-set touchscreen mapping widgets and social-media solutions. 16 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
This marks the 18th time Corus Entertainment's Global Television Network has used Bannister Lake solutions to drive election coverage. Elector software was used to aggregate and manage election results and populate graphics that were rendered by four different engines: HTML5, Avid/Orad, Ross
XPression, and Vizrt. This provided Global Television with multiple options to visualize election results and present them in exciting new ways. Graphics appeared as full frame, as part of the broadcast's unique video wall, as regional L-bars, as augmented reality elements, and as online winner cards that were tweeted out. The broadcast's touchenabled HTML5-based widgets proved to be a distinctive storytelling device. The solution allowed hosts to blend real-time data with demographics information on electoral district maps and walk viewers through trends and analysis. Since the solution was built entirely in HTML5, editorial and cosmetic changes could be executed quickly
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
without reliance on other hardware or software systems. "Having Bannister Lake data available on various endpoints meant we had maximum flexibility to tell the election night story," said Gerry Belec, director news technology and operations, Global News. "Once again Bannister Lake ensured that both our editorial and production teams had the data and the tools to execute a great election night broadcast." At the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) studios in Ottawa, Bannister Lake integrated
election result feeds from the Canadian Press and producers fully utilized Elector to filter and display results. CPAC took full advantage of Elector's advanced capabilities to filter regions and quickly identify important developments such as incumbents or highprofile candidates losing or being re-elected. In turn, CPAC could quickly create graphic playlists for use on-air.
CPAC. "This allowed us to
"Elector race software gave us the ability to parse the incoming results quickly and zero in on important voting trends," said Steve Rifkin, manager digital content,
instantly deliver results to our audience." Bannister Lake's Elector software is Canada's trusted election-data solution, providing broadcasters with the widest and most complete variety of tools to analyze, filter, and display election results. For U.S. and other style of elections, the company's comes equipped with an election module suitable for aggregating and managing results and displaying graphics. ď ľ
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Beijing Television turns to IP-based EFP with Lawo and integrate Waves SoundGrid, additionally providing both MADI and IP RAVENNA/AES67 compatible interfaces.
In order to enrich its capabilities for dedicated audio production and broadcast of both sports and music – and especially for large-scale sports tournaments such as the forthcoming 2022 Winter Games in China (taking place in Beijing, Yanqin and Zhangjiakou) – Beijing Television (BTV) has turned to Lawo IP equipment for its Electronic Field Production (EFP) requirements. 18 NOVEMBER ‘19
For its first purely IP mobile EFP system, the broadcaster purchased a third-generation 32-fader mc²56 production console with 288 DSP channels as main desk, along with an mc²36 All-in-One console with 16 faders as backup, plus five A__mic8 and seven A__digital8 AoIP stageboxes from Lawo. The consoles provide 512x512 (mc²36) resp. 8196x8196 (mc²56) routing capacity with redundant router boards
BTV’s move to full EFP operation comes shortly after China Central Television (CCTV) took a further step towards an all-IP production environment with the recent installment of three IP-based Lawo mc² consoles. As with the CCTV project, the system integration was handled by Lawo’s partner NDT, who also designed the system using the typical spine-leaf IP switch network involving a couple of CISCO switches. The project began June 2018 and was successfully completed in July 2019.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
BTV is no stranger to Lawo, as the television company has been using Lawo consoles since 2008 and very satisfied with the reliability and redundancy options of Lawo products, especially in a critical environment such as live broadcasts and sports productions, in addition to high-quality sound, and advanced and powerful RAVENNA/AES67
technology. In recent years, BTV has benefitted greatly through the use of a Lawo mc²66 digital console in its OB van – the first 3D OB Truck to be commissioned in China – which has been employed to broadcast major sports such as CBA (basketball club matches) and China Super League football matches. Consequently, the broadcaster has strong
confidence in Lawo, especially in the IP environment. This installation is the first IP audio mobile system within BTV, and the second for the whole country, using Lawo mc² series mixing based on full RAVENNA standards – establishing another excellent reference for Lawo IP systems in China.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Esports Stadium Arlington installs TSL Products control system Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas needed to establish a broadcast workflow suitable for its 100,000-square-foot event space. The stadium’s integrator suggested adding TSL Products’ advanced control system into the facility’s workflow to achieve a seamless, universal broadcast control surface. The stadium uses TSL Products’ advanced control to improve its workflow, especially with the multitude of camera angles required in esports productions. In addition to the sheer volume of inputs and potential places that the technical director needs to locate and select for preview/program, the fast-paced “action movie” nature of the environment also lends itself to a dedicated advanced control system. 20 NOVEMBER ‘19
Additionally, many Esports workflows require interfacing a bevy of both traditional broadcast as well as IT and COTS equipment to run properly. Using Virtual Panel Interfaces, the stadium can create a configurable process to customize these operations with drag-anddrop controls. “We needed an advanced and userfriendly system to transition between live hosts and various player cameras to help organize
who should be live at each point of the event,” says Corey Dunn, VP of Broadcast for the stadium. “Operating with TSL’s advanced control system benefits both the production crew and oncamera talent. From the hosts at the desk transitioning from camera-to-camera to our production crew knowing who is live and when – the integration of TSL into our workflow doesn’t just impact camera operators, but the entire production.”
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Tellytrack and Gold Circle deploy LiveU equipment to cover South Africa’s Horse Racing World Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas needed to establish a broadcast workflow suitable for its 100,000-square-foot event space. The stadium’s integrator suggested adding TSL Products’ advanced control system into the facility’s workflow to achieve a seamless, universal broadcast control surface. The stadium uses TSL Products’ advanced control to improve its workflow, especially with the multitude of camera angles required in esports
productions. In addition to the sheer volume of inputs and potential places that the technical director needs to locate and select for preview/program, the fast-paced “action movie” nature of the environment also lends itself to a dedicated advanced control system. Additionally, many Esports workflows require interfacing a bevy of both traditional broadcast as well as IT and COTS equipment to run properly. Using Virtual
Panel Interfaces, the stadium can create a configurable process to customize these operations with drag-anddrop controls. “We needed an advanced and userfriendly system to transition between live hosts and various player cameras to help organize who should be live at each point of the event,” says Corey Dunn, VP of Broadcast for the stadium. “Operating with TSL’s advanced control system benefits both the production crew and oncamera talent. From the hosts at the desk transitioning from camera-to-camera to our production crew knowing who is live and when – the integration of TSL into our workflow doesn’t just impact camera operators, but the entire production.” 21 NOVEMBER ‘19
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Portugal’s first private television station moves to all-IP solution with RTS intercom Lisbon. The move allowed the broadcaster to review its operations, modernise its technology and step up to IP. The €10 million project has seen SIC make the move to high definition production as well as shifting to video-over-IP under the ST-2110 standard. Underpinning this technical shift and ensuring clear communication is a new RTS intercom system. The move to a new state-of-the-art home gave SIC, Portugal’s first private television station, the opportunity to review its operations and invest in a range of new technology. While the broadcaster made many changes to its workflow, it decided to remain with the market-leading intercom brand that it has 22 NOVEMBER ‘19
been using since the station’s launch, RTS. SIC began broadcasting from its historic studios in Carnaxide in October 1992. After nearly three decades at the same site, the decision was made to move SIC to a modern production centre located at the Impressa Group headquarters in Paco de Arcos on the outskirts of
The solution installed by Pantalha and SIC, with support from RTS, is based on an ADAM fullframe matrix. KP-5032 and KP-3016 keypanels have been installed in various locations. Completing the IP signal chain is a DECT-based ROAMEO wireless intercom system including AP-1800 access points and TR-1800 beltpacks.
NEWS - SUCCESS STORIES
Nevion Virtuoso used in world's first large-scale application of TICO video compression
Nevion Virtuoso was used in the world’s first large-scale application of TICO video compression during the China Media Group’s (CMG) live coverage of the recent celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Nevion Virtuoso’s TICO media function enables encoding and decoding of UHD/4K video for transport over 10GE/IP or 3G-SDI links, with a visually lossless 4:1 compression ratio and a latency of a few
milliseconds. For this event, more than 120 Nevion Virtuosos were used for the live 4K broadcast to billions of viewers via CMG’s China Central Television’s (CCTV) television station and website, as well as 70 4K movie theaters.
were then transported between two master control rooms, four 4K studios and CCTV’s 4K playout system at different sites as 3G-SDI TICO streams using Nevion’s fiber transmitters and receivers.
Nevion Virtuosos ensured the reliable TICO encoding and decoding of all 4K/UHD signals in Tiananmen Square from OB vans, on-site cameras in buildings and microwave links from vehicles and helicopters. The compressed signals
4K PGM signals were also encoded by Nevion Virtuoso using lightweight TICO compression technology and sent back to two ultra-large LED screens in Tiananmen Square to provide realtime pictures for the audience on site. 23 NOVEMBER ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Riedel Communications appoints Chris Johnson as General Manager, Australia and New Zealand Johnson first joined Riedel Australia in 2016 to head up the company's rental operation. In the meantime, he has charted significant success in developing the business and delivering complex solutions to highprofile customers across Australia, including Vivid Sydney and the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Before joining Riedel, Johnson was based in the U.K., where he operated his own business providing production engineering and design services to global clients such as the BBC and IAAF. In that role, he worked with Riedel on several events, including the 2012 Summer Games and the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Johnson takes over from John Bell, who was appointed to the Board of Riedel Australia in February 2015 and took on the role of General Manager in October 2016. For a transitional period, Bell will remain as a nonexecutive director of the Australian company.
24 NOVEMBER ‘19
Viaccess-Orca strengthens leadership team with appointment of CSO
Guillaume Forbin, Chief Security Officer at Viaccess-Orca
Viaccess-Orca (VO) has announced the appointment of Guillaume Forbin as Chief Security Officer. Forbin will ensure that VO's content protection solutions — including CAS, DRM, and secure video player — and associated services address current and future TV piracy threats. Under Forbin's strategic vision, content owners and providers around the world will be able to better protect the distribution of content across all devices, safeguarding their brands, businesses, and revenues. Forbin was previously Director, Platform and Content Security at OSN, a pay-TV network in the MENA region, headquartered in Dubai. He was responsible for securing OSN's pay-TV distribution platform and protecting premium exclusive content against a wide variety of piracy threats. Under Forbin's leadership, his team won an industry innovation award for OSN's inhouse-developed anti-piracy solution.
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
CP Communications and MultiDyne announce live production partnership CP Communications will add MultiDyne’s 22-foot mobile van to its growing fleet of production vehicles. MultiDyne introduced the van in 2018 as a “mobile marketing van” that doubled as an exhibition showcase for MultiDyne products at North American tradeshows, and as a mobile showroom for MultiDyne road shows and training initiatives. CP Communications, a longtime MultiDyne customer, recognized an opportunity for both companies to collaborate on smaller live productions, including high school and college sports projects. MultiDyne will equip the van with its latest-generation SilverBack V cameraback systems, VF-9000 fiber transmission platform, and COMMS-300 fiber extenders to interface party-line intercom audio with analog line level signals. CP Communications will use the additional space to customize the infrastructure for each project, including Dante audio networking, Simplylive switchers, and AJT graphics and score bugs among other
Biamp opens new European headquarters in Belgium Biamp has opened new European headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium. The headquarters is located in the facilities of Apart Audio, which Biamp acquired in July 2019 along with Community Loudspeakers. Kris Vermuyten, former CEO of Apart Audio, has been promoted to General Manager, Biamp Europe, and will oversee Biamp's European operation. The new headquarters will strengthen the company's sales, support, and distribution in the region as Biamp focuses on rapid investment and expansion in this important market. The Belgian facility includes office space, training rooms, warehousing, technical support, finance, sales administration, and a fully equipped Biamp experience center to provide comprehensive support for customers, partners, and end users.
In addition to strengthening its presence in Europe, the acquisition of Apart Audio and Community Loudspeakers expands Biamp's solutions for conferencing and enterprise venues.
systems. 25 NOVEMBER ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Densitron and Sonifex announce audio and video display development collaboration designed to tightly integrate Sonifex audio displays with a number of flagship Densitron reference monitors. Densitron’s smartphone-like clarity and in-plane switching (IPS) technology is being modified to integrate with a new range of Sonifex devices soon to be unveiled. Densitron Managing Director Simon Jones (left) and Sonifex CEO Marcus Brooke (right).
Densitron and Sonifex have announced a joint technical development initiative
However, Sonifex’s new Dante® AVNCU2 and AVN-CU4 commentary units as well as its AVN multi-channel audio mix engines already now use Densitron colour LCD displays.
AVIWEST opens new office in Dubai Aviwest has opened a new sales and services office in Dubai, expanding the company's presence in the Middle East. To ensure that regional customers' requirements for reliable, powerful live video contribution solutions are thoroughly met, AVIWEST has appointed Nicola Atta as Middle East sales office manager. "The new office location in Dubai enables AVIWEST to better serve and respond quickly to immediate presales, sales, and service needs across the United Arab Emirates, building on AVIWEST's close collaborations with broadcasters and video professionals in the region," said Erwan Gasc, CEO at AVIWEST. "By providing broadcasters and media professionals with a local presence, AVIWEST's new office will ensure superior services and support and further augment the company's growing business in the Middle East."
26 NOVEMBER ‘19
NEWS - BUSINESS & PEOPLE
Cobalt Digital promotes Ciro Noronha to Executive Vice President of Engineering Noronha joined the Cobalt team in 2016 when iMediaTV was acquired. He will work closely with Ryan Wallenberg, vice president of engineering, and Kyle Wilken, vice president of firmware, managing the engineering team and providing valuable resources for Cobalt Digital as the company continues to offer the highest quality, latest technological solutions to meet the needs of the broadcast industry. Noronha was responsible for the development of ARQ technology, which was instrumental in enabling a cost-effective means of live, low latency contribution and distribution of broadcast content over the internet. As a result, Cobalt was one of the companies selected to receive the Emmy® Award for "Pioneering Reliable Transmission Method for Live Contribution and TV Links."
Phabrix will be distributed by Broadcast Solutions in Germany
Phabrix SxE 3
Broadcast Solutions GmbH, European systems integrator, has been appointed as a distributor of Phabrix Ltd. Already a distributor of Phabrix products in the Nordic and Baltic regions, Phabrix has appointed Broadcast Solutions as a distributor for Germany. Active immediately, Broadcast Solutions broadens its distribution territory and now offers product sales and support for the full Phabrix products portfolio. Antti Laurila, Global Sales Director at Broadcast Solutions comments: “We already use Phabrix equipment in our system integration projects and sell them in the Nordic and Baltic regions. We are more than happy to take the next step in acting as a fully dedicated distributor for Phabrix products in Germany. Phabrix products are rocksolid and highly advanced, thus giving our customers the best in breed solution for hybrid IP/SDI, HDR and UHD test and measurement applications. A promise our customers trust in, and we see great market potential for Phabrix products in the German market.” 27 NOVEMBER ‘19
BROADCASTERS OF THE WORLD
28 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Celebrating their 30th anniversary in 4K HDR SOME STATIONS NEED DECADES TO DEVELOP A SOLID POSITION IN A TERRITORY. HOWEVER, OTHERS SUCCEED IN DOING SO IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME THROUGH WELL THOUGHT-OUT PROGRAMMING AND CREATION OF A RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST WITH THEIR VIEWERS. TELEFE WAS BORN IN 1990 AND IT IS NOWADAYS POSITIONED AS THE NUMBER ONE STATION BY NUMBER OF VIEWERS IN ARGENTINA. TM BROADCAST HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO INTERVIEW GUSTAVO A. EMBON, BROADCASTING SENIOR MANAGER, TELEFE, IN ORDER TO TALK ABOUT THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THIS TV STATION. Text by Sergio Julián
29 NOVEMBER ‘19
BROADCASTERS OF THE WORLD
In spite of being still a young undertaking, Telefe has become firmly established as the most successful TV station in all Argentina. Is your technological performance to blame for this success? Next year, Telefe will be turning 30. And during these 30 years, we have maintained an indisputable leadership in the industry, resulting from great teamwork in all Company areas. From a technological point of view, 10 years ago we initiated a deep technological renewal process that has been facilitated in the last 3 years by the architecture simplification we promoted. During this stage we have updated and implemented significant advances in our technical infrastructure, which enabled us to improve processes and achieve a quality leap for our products in their different platforms. Some milestones to highlight: Centralization of our operating plants in Buenos Aires: which entailed moving our TOM and MCR to the Telefeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new technological compound and operating centre in Martinez (Buenos Aires), especially designed and implemented by our team of professionals with the aim of meeting the highest international standards relating the TV industry for both broadcast and creation of content. Investing in technology for Broadcasting and Content Production: said transfer of facilities brought as well the required CAPEX investments for implementation of 30 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Gustavo A. Embon, Broadcasting Senior Manager, Telefe
Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best technological hub, featuring state-of-the art equipment.
aimed at ensuring the best quality and security for our multiplatform broadcast station.
Specifically for the Broadcasting area, our Engineering department led the design and implementation of the new TOM and Master Control Room, which also entailed the installation of switches, servers, video arrays, management and monitoring systems
Content Production: In this field, we have revamped our facilities with the opening of 3 next-generation 100m2 Control Rooms, and we are now in the process of installing an 4th Control Room. This added to the 2 Controls already dedicated to digital
productions. WE have 11 Studios ranging between 600 and 1200m2 and two small studios allocated for digital production. We are equipping them with LED lighting and, for production of Fiction we have purchased several 4K cameras with HDR capabilities.
What TV channels does Telefe operate? In Buenos Aires, we 31 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
BROADCASTERS OF THE WORLD
generate 3 signals: Telefe Capital (which is seen in the federal capital and the metropolitan area), Telefe Interior (satellite broadcast for cable operators throughout the country) and Telefe Internacional (satellite broadcast for cable operators abroad).
(channel 9), Telefe Salta (channel 11) and Telefe Santa Fe (channel 13).
Domestically, we have 8 TV channels for open broadcast: Telefe Rosario (channel 5), Telefe Neuquén (channel 7), Telefe Córdoba (channel 8), Telefe Mar del Plata (channel 8), Telefe Tucumán (channel 8), Telefe Bahía Blanca
Although at present the structure is thought out for SDI, our Engineering department has always envisioned going into a mixed setup, depending on the progress and security offered by IP workflows. In fact, we are now testing this
32 NOVEMBER ‘19
We gather that the structure is designed under SDI. Are you contemplating a mixed model or do you have in mind converting to IP?
technology for combined implementation. We believe this could provide us with an increased flexibility for sharing resources amongst internal clients.
High definition is already a reality for Telefe. However, Santiago Guimerans, pointed out that as of January 2019 all production would be done in 4K. Have these
expectations been met? In which camera manufacturers are you relying for producing this content? Yes, expectations generated by the goal proposed by Santiago were met and even exceeded, as we are now producing our new content under 4K HDR with the highest quality standards being required
by the industry. We are using Sony cameras at present.
For the time being, we understand that 4K is being exclusively used for storage and potential distribution to platforms. Is being 4K content being converted to HD?
simultaneously. The 4K HDR version is used for achieving the best quality in content for subsequent distribution and storage. The HD version is used for editing with re-link to material in 4K and for playout in traditional broadcast ways.
No, actually capture is done in 4K and HD
33 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
BROADCASTERS OF THE WORLD
You cover vast regions and we imagine that your continuity must be quite complex. What system are you using and what challenges are involved? At our MCR we have available an automation system (Aveco) featuring redundant management servers in order to control master switches (GV and Ross), routers (Evertz), broadcast servers (Harmonic) and graphic display systems (Vizrt) amongst others. In this particular area, we have streamlined workflows and achieved a very high automation level, which ensures us a broadcast with nearly zero percent on screen errors. This process covers as well integration of our Traffic and Broadcast systems, thus optimizing as much as possible selling and monitoring times for advertising pattern.
It must be the same with your MAM system, as it covers so many regions and broadcasters. What solution are you using? 34 OCTOBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Is the MAM unified for all branches? We are at present using as MAM the solution offered by Dalet, both for sharing Telefeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand media (fiction, news, entertainment, etc.) among all our production and archiving workflows and for integrating delivery of content between Telefe and the various clients (internal and external).
Your news programs are the leading ones. A trend seen now in this area is the insertion of graphics and virtual reality and augmented reality tools. Are you implementing these features? Right, we are using the N-CAM augmented reality system, in principle for our news editions. The image aggregation provided by this system
Caption automation systems. Although they are not yet perfect, we have noticed a marked progress there and we believe that they will be shortly ready for implementation in our signals.
How is Telefeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a-lacarte service? We would like you to give me more details on the integration between Mi Telefe and Telefe.com.
was very interesting for the coverage of the Argentinean presidential elections.
Another field we could recently review in the IBC show is the introduction of automated production solutions. Are you studying this field? No, we are not studying for now this kind of solutions, although we
are increasingly relying on autonomous technology that will enable us to become more competitive and efficient at the same time.
More trends: Artificial Intelligence. Have any of these systems been used for areas such as subtitling or automatic indexing? In the Broadcasting area we are now analyzing the progress seen in Closed
These platforms are managed from the Digital Content area and we specifically collaborate with generation of live streaming that can be consumed within the platforms. Mi Telefe and Telefe.com are just platform options for users, but both of them feature the same contents. When someone becomes a registered user, they can start to watch content in any of these platforms and resume viewing the same in a different platform from the time that playout was paused, that is, both platforms work as an OTT of Telefe. Thank you! ď ľ 35 OCTOBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
Leaders in dubbing and subtitling
The OTT revolution has opened the doors of the TV world to a large number of well-established companies in the movie industry. A good of example of this is IYUNO Media Group a company having experienced recent growth by merging with BTI Studios. The outcome of this partnership? The creation of a leading company in the dubbing, subtitling, accessibility and multimedia localization fields. TM Broadcast International had the opportunity to meet in Amsterdam with Chris Carey (Chief Revenue Officer and GM Americas), who unveiled to us the company's future and the latest technological innovations on which they are working.
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DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
Chris Carey (Chief Revenue Officer and GM Americas)
BTI Studios has merged with IYUNO creating what probably is the biggest localization services company in the world. Could you provide more details of this deal? Of course! We announced that BTI studios and IYUNO have merged and our new company now is a global services provider in localization. The statistics are there: 1300 people, 82 languages and 40 facilities in 30 countries in the world… What we 38 NOVEMBER ‘19
see is that with the Internet distribution platforms, the distribution model of content has really changed dramatically. And publishers who own content and want to reach consumers no longer have to go through a local market pay TV operator: they can reach the consumers directly with these digital platforms. The internet streaming has taken away one of the barriers that content companies used to have, which was to convince pay TV operators to license their
content. And previously, the pay TV operator in many cases did the dubbing or the subtitling as part of their business model. Now the content company says: “I can reach consumers globally, I'll build a digital platform”. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus… They're all coming and coming in spades. The very next critical factor is that you have to localize the content if you want to reach people outside your original product market. We see that the localization business is becoming a
really critical strategic decision for a company that produces content. They would say: “Great, I can reach people, I have a digital platform, I need a network, I need some video technology to do
the streaming applications to create the UI in the UX, I need localized content, I need subs and dubs…” That's where we come in and we will play a significant role.
We suppose that now that the Asian market is getting more and more permeable, localization services will be increasingly important. Yes, absolutely. In fact, we have facilities 39 NOVEMBER ‘19
DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
throughout Asia, where IYUNO has been building their facilities and capabilities. They were headquartered in Korea, Singapore... We have a footprint throughout Asia including mainland China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Korea, Japan and everywhere. Our ability now is to really simplify the supply chain for our customers. The localization business has been pretty fragmented and our business strategy is to provide a consolidated service. You can come to us, IYUNO Media Group, and in one contract, tell us what markets you want to reach. We'll handle it, will do the subtitling, will manage the dubbing... We perform high quality dubbing and have excellent recording studios everywhere in the world. We've invested in the highest quality equipment, we have the best directors and we will find the right best actor for each role. We can provide a quick supply chain service to our publisher customers. 40 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
BTI had its own platform called BTI Hive. Will this remain in this new partnership? Will you work with third-parties in this new stage of the company? We haven't finished all of the technology integration work yet. I would say that we have BTI Hive as a technology we have built and have been using. Actually, Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built by a third-party service provider, Ooona, for us and then we made some customization.
BTI France recording studio
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DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
IYUNO has its own technology platform that they develop with their own engineering organizations. They've built something that is fully own, a source code development cloud-based service. We're looking at what's best in breed and we're going to take the best technologies from
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each of these two and create a unified platform. The platform features workflow management, schedule management, project management, technical workflow, the network of subtitlers, the network of studios that are doing the dubbingâ&#x20AC;Ś And, of course, we're also aggressively moving to
bring machine-assisted translation into the subtitling world very quickly. We've been testing and evaluating all the different technologies that are out there and some are already running inside of our platform.
That was going to be our next question! If we had to name one of the
hottest trends in the industry, we would say that companies are bringing processes to the cloud with technologies such as big data, IA or machine learning. You said that you are already testing these kinds of procedures. What about security? That’s one of the main concerns of customers and platforms. Security is something that is near and dear to our hearts because indeed our content provider partners need to make sure that while we have their assets in our workflow, they are always protected. Piracy is
always a threat and we must ensure that secrets aren't leaked and content isn't compromised in any way. We have all of the industry network security protocols. Obviously, the encryption and security management that we do inside of our own houses is continually improving and security, as you know, it's not one and done. Security is forever: always monitor, improve, monitor, improve… That's part of it. There are thirdparty companies testing facilities out there like the TPN (Trusted Partner Network), that's run by the Mesa (Media & Entertainment Services Alliance) team. We
comply with all of the TPN requirements. We take the security part very seriously. How are we managing encrypted assets and what is the security protocol about what's in the cloud and what's in our own facility: that is part of our thought process.
People talk about the hybrid cloud as a future-proof alternative. Correct, hybrid cloud is one of the things that a lot of the companies in content security control are studying. So security, absolutely, big piece of the puzzle: micro services architectures, trusted 43 OCTOBER ‘19
DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
networks, proper encryption and management of the network and the assets. And then back to quality, right now we do use machine assisted translation for subtitling in productions with some customers in Asia. It's more than just tested: it's actually being used. We only use it when our customers participate and, as you know, machine learning is only as good as the machine can learn. We have arrangements in which we provide customer data to train the engine and then it gets smarter and can do a better and more effective translation, but still today we don't have a unassisted solution that we think has the quality we want. We always put a human QC on the back end of the machine. Still today, I would say that the humans are doing more than just saying yes: he or she is fixing, adjusting, changing a few things if a word it's not gotten right... But that will improve over time. Subtitling will be 44 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
Burbank ADR room
dramatically improved by this process. It still needs a network of subtitlers and we still have a massive network of individuals that work with us. Their lives has changed because now, instead of spending a long time on one show, they can spend less time and do more shows. We can become more
efficient as an ecosystem by doing it at more costeffective levels. We're also looking at the other side, which is dubbing: How can we use technology to improve the dubbing workflow? Our platform schedules logistics, line counts, breaks down the actors that we need, organizes it so that the studio session
We was doubting whether to ask you this because maybe it might seem a bit like science fiction… Maybe it could work for smaller markets?
is very efficient… We use the technology platform to do that, the dubbing workflow. What about voice casting? Of course, we do voice testing and use streaming technologies, so that our customers can listen to tests on our secure platform and say: “Oh yeah that's the actor I want”. But the question
is… Can we do a voice print match? Can we look at sounds-like and run an algorithm that says which of my actors sound like this actor I'm trying to cast and maybe speed up the casting time? We will continue trying to evolve both. And someday machine voice performance will happen. Someday.
It is not science fiction. It will come. But in my business plan it's not yet dominant. Again: assist workflow, print matching… these things are the present. Actors acting with a director directing them and we recording it will be the predominant way during the next applications for some machine work that will be good enough for small markets. That would cover some other markets where the price is a big issue. Maybe a machine-generated dub would be a way to break in into the market at a lower cost without the cost of hiring actors and studios. It's coming!
In BTI you already had a large number of studios. I assume that that ammount has increased with the merger. Yes! That’s our big 45 NOVEMBER ‘19
DUBBING AND SUBTITLING
statistic now: 40 facilities, 30 countries. That’s quite impressive: most of those are dubbing, a couple of the facilities are management and subtitling.
Do you have technological partners for these facilities? We have a technology standard that we tend to use. Now two companies are coming together, so there are certain choices that may have made about which mic preamp do we use. The industry is 100% in Pro Tools, so there is no doubt regarding the recording platform. In mixing environments, we all have aligned very well around the audio formats, the Dolby formats, DTS support for home… Those are standards that I think everybody in the industry uses, including the two companies now together. But when it comes to microphone preamps and some of the other a-chain b-chain tech, there is some diversity and we'll align that now the two companies are together 46 NOVEMBER ‘19
and sort of making selections. I am an audio geek so I could talk to you about audio forever.
What’s IYUNO vision for the next three to five years? Do you plan to consolidate as the world leader in localization services?
Burbank Dolby room
Our perspective is that the democratization of content has been enabled by two major changes: one is the Internet and the video streaming over the Internet and the other is the existence of global service providers for localization. With those
two things any content
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massively important. Of
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drives us! We will be able
of business aspirations:
As we understand, you want to reach every market, from the lowest levels to the largest companies… Yeah, there are still markets that we still have to reach, so we will continue to grow. We look at buildings, we look at other partnerships and we look at other acquisitions to continue building our company.
What about the new OTT platforms? Are you in talks with agents such as Disney + or NBCUniversal? Yes, we are in discussions or doing business with nearly every one of the major platform providers. You can imagine that every media company would do use a company like mine (laughs). 47 NOVEMBER ‘19
The sports broadcast sector is no doubt one of the most buoyant fields in the industry. The sectorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strong commercial capabilities usually translate into large budgets enabling ambitious productions that are at the forefront of the technique in the world. For this reason, a large number of technical innovations are used in the field, such as the ones seen at the latest Berlin Marathon, an event that reached in 2019 its 45th edition. We discovered the latest innovations in this area through two interesting interviews: Peer Seitz, Head of Production, Infront Productions, the company in charge of producing the event; and Mark Grinyer, Senior Manager, Live Production Services, Sony Professional Solutions Europe.
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Berlin Marathon 2018
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Interview with Peer Seitz, Head of Production, Infront Productions You have been producing the Berlin Marathon for seven years. How has the event evolved technologically? Having a long-term partnership with the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON has allowed us to refine the production plan we implement every year. For
Virtual Production main Audio Mix
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the 2019 edition we had more than 20 cameras covering the course, including fibre-connected and RF cameras, as well as cameras on a segway, motorbikes and one helicopter-mounted camera. In previous years, we started testing out the use of 4G-connected cameras for the marathon and this year weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve integrated a total of three 4G-connected devices to the live coverage. We also had a 4G back-up on our lead camera in case
of any issues with the RF coverage in general.
How many people have been involved in the production of the event? Approximately 150.
Which is the main technological novelty of this sporting event? This year we ran a test with two 5G-connected cameras, with footage shot from these devices included into the live coverage.
You have deployed Sony solutions. How has the collaboration been so far?
screen programmes and is a way to produce footage to engage with fans on online platforms.
It has given us the chance to try shooting with smartphones and see how the virtual production switcher can be used, and the way it behaves when paired with more traditional, linear broadcast workflows, for instance in terms of image quality. Certainly, it creates new possibilities for second
Was the production done in HD or 4K? The BMW BERLINMARATHON is produced in HD SDR.
Do you plan to include HDR technology in the future? For every production we are doing, together with our customers, we assess
the most fitting production format. For several projects, we have been utilising UHD in combination with HDR so far. In the future, we believe that even if the distribution channel will be primarily HD SDR, a production in HDR can benefit the overall user experience.
What has been the biggest challenge when producing this event? Probably set-up time. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a one-day event, plus
Virtual Production Titles Twitter
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a test day the day before, and obviously we can’t start setting up a week before the race as we cannot disturb city life. Therefore, we have to be quick and use only two days before the test day to set-up. For such a big production in a rather public environment, the test day is crucial in order to have some time for trouble-shooting before the actual event.
You have a lot of experience in remote production workflows. Has that technology been applied to the Berlin Marathon? If not, will it be in the future? Remote production is a very exciting topic which opens up a lot of new possibilities. There are events where remote production makes a lot of sense and helps as well to free up budget in the long run for potential improvements or to invest in other/additional projects. As a host broadcaster especially, you always have to consider risk versus reward, though, as we 52 NOVEMBER ‘19
have an obligation towards all broadcasters taking the World Feed. We wouldn’t rule out that at some day the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON could be produced remotely but with a lot of variables for such a big event, and one taking place mainly in a public space, so far we’ve decided against it.
Interview with Mark Grinyer, Senior Manager, Live Production Services, Sony Professional Solutions Europe How important are sports productions when designing Sony solutions? For Sony, Sports is one of our key professional market segments. Both Sports & Live Events are proven drivers for technical and Production innovation. To ensure focus on Sports, Sony formed Sony Sports Innovations as a global
business unit on the 1st April 2017.
We heard at IBC that you will deploy a stateof-the-art technology at the Berlin Marathon. Could you give us more details? In Berlin, working with our partners, Sony not only deployed our latest products like the HDC5500 system camera and Virtual Production, but working with Sony mobile and Deutsche Telekom, we also used a number of prototype devices. Including a low latency encoder and smartphones. All
transmission of the video? 4G technology, Wi-Fi, Fiber…? We were trialing the latest 5G platform provided by Deutsche Telekom.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to face?
connecting via Deutsche Telekom mobile network.
We would like to know more about the devices you used at the sporting event. Which camera system did you use? How many devices did you utilize? Across the event there were three use cases: Use Case #1: This was a trial of a fixed main broadcast camera (HDC5500) connected via a prototype low latency encoder and a smartphone. This camera was connected back to the main Production OB unit.
Use Case #2: Two roving cameras PXW-Z280 were directly connected to smartphones. Again, via the mobile network and a stream receiver (PWS110RXA), the streams were also available in the main Production OB unit. Use Case #3: Social content - a number of smartphones running XDCAM Pocket App were used to stream footage to the Virtual Production switcher operating in the cloud. The output of which was available for viewing as a web stream.
What system did you employ for the
It has been a great team effort to synchronize all of the R&D and development effort to ensure we had viable production workflows with which we could trial real life use cases on one day.
What will be the future applications of this technology? In the end, how the technology is deployed is driven by production workflows. As the core mobile technologies transition from prototypes to ‘everyday’, we can envisage the ability to easily and quickly deploy cameras and cloud production resources which can only enhance creativity and so enjoyment for the viewers. 53 NOVEMBER ‘19
The winner of an EMMY Award for "Russian doll" embraces 8K recording and HDR
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Technical care is getting an increasingly important role in TV fiction. Long gone are those formats in which visual finish was a secondary issue to scripting. At present, maybe because of the appearance of players such as Netflix, Amazon Prime o HBO in the scene, direction of photography has evolved to become a decisive item for viewers. Chris Teague, winner of an Emmy award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series thanks to his work in Russian Doll (Netflix) and also author of the staging of Glow, told the team of TM Broadcast International about his way of understanding TV technique.
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We would like to start by asking you to summarize your career in a few lines so our readers can get to know you better. I went to film school at Columbia’s School of The Arts in New York City, and before that I had studied photography and worked a bit as an assistant to a documentary DP. At film school I studied writing and directing, but I had some technical skills so I ended up being one of the go-to DPs for school exercises and short films. That work evolved into indie feature work, and in the past few years I’ve mostly been working in television.
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If we had to identify a trend in the last decade TV shows, we would say that “cinematography evolved” compared to the 70s, 80s or even 90s. Do you agree? In your opinion, what is the biggest technological change that TV series has faced? Yes, the look of television has certainly become more cinematic and varied in past years. Part of that I believe is due to a wider variety of story material that lends itself to different visual approaches, and the advent of streamers like Netflix who are more willing to do unconventional things.
HD, 4K, 8K… Resolutions evolve day by day. You had to film “Russian Doll” with RED equipment working under those resolutions. How was the experience? How did you fell when filming with those resolutions? Before Russian Doll I had no idea why anyone would shoot higher than 4k if you have to deliver in 4k. After seeing the tests of the RED Helium sensor at 7k and 8k I saw how the oversampling of pixels can lead to a more rounded texture to the image, particularly when paired with appropriate lenses and color grading.
We have talked to many CTOs and cinematographers and they agree that HDR could work as a revolution, as color was decades ago. Therefore, they told us that cinematographers still need to learn how to use correctly this powerful tool. What do you think about this? How was your experience with HDR? I was hesitant about working in HDR, but it was actually a perfect format for this show. Once you spend a few hours in the DI suite working with the rich color and contrast of HDR
you tend to find the SDR image feeling a little flat and lifeless.
We would like to stop briefly at your work in Russian Doll. Could you describe the main equipment used for this production and why did you choose it? We shot on the RED Helium sensor. At the time I felt our only choices for Netflixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 4K mandate was RED or the Panasonic VariCam, and I had previously owned RED cameras and liked what I was able to do
with them. I thought the tests we shot with the Helium looked great and fit the show. For lenses we shot with the Leica Summiluxes. I have typically shot with older lenses because they are softer and more idiosyncratic, but I loved the Leicas for this because they look amazing wide open at T1.4 and despite being modern glass I still feel that they are not too crisp or sharp. 57 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
A large part of the first season of the show was filmed in night environments. How do you face these conditions? I shot the entire show at 1600 ISO to introduce a little bit of noise and texture, and shooting at that ISO paired with T1.4 lenses meant we almost always had more exposure than we needed. The challenge was not getting enough light, but controlling the existing light on NYC streets to keep the show from feeling too bright.
In addition, you used different types of technological gadgets for some shoots, such as underwater or subjective scenes. What were the solutions you used? We used an underwater housing for the water work. Luckily our steadicam operator Kyle Wullschleger is an underwater operator, so he handled that very well. We also used a body mounted camera rig with a Sony A7SII, as well as 58 NOVEMBER ‘19
some shift/tilt lenses for the scene when Alan is drunk and walking on the roof.
Let’s move to the way you like to work. How do you face one particular project? What is your workflow? Each project is different. I try to get into conversation with every creative part of the team and let those conversations lead to concepts that will direct the look of the show. I like to test cameras and lenses to find the right feel for the show. Ideally I make a document of images and text to serve as a “style guide” that I share with my team to help get everyone on the same page.
Do you have a preferred manufacturer? Do you choose a different option for each project? We are very fortunate to be working in a time when there are many excellent camera formats to choose from. I think it is good to be familiar with all of them.
Is there any technology that you would like to be improved or implemented in the coming years? So much of our work in lighting is about balancing levels from interior to exterior, or shade to bright sun. I think the more our camera latitude increases, the less work we will do to simply balance things, and the more we can focus on being creative.
How important is postproduction in the decisions you make on the pre-production phase? I think my colorist is one of my key creative partners, and I like to involve them in the process as early as possible, as they help me make big picture creative decisions that will shape the look of the show. Nat Jencks has worked with me on many many projects and we share a similar visual sensibility, so he has been an excellent creative partner.
What is the biggest challenge you had to face as DoP? The biggest challenge is staying on top of all the different decisions that
need to be made in the incredibly fast pace of television. I never have enough time to devote the energy I would like to each and every creative
element of a project, so it is important to know what to focus the most time on, and still not let anything slip through the cracks. ď ľ
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Real-time HDR to SDR conversion By: Varun Patel, Product Manager LYNX Technik and Lucien Lenzen with the Hochschule RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Germany.
To address the increasing consumer demand for exceptional quality content, many media professionals are implementing HDR solutions into their workflows, utilizing image sensors and cameras that inherently support wider density and color ranges. HDR (High Dynamic Range) provides viewers with enhanced contrast and increased brightness and more vibrant color, resulting in a far superior image when compared to current standard HD and 4K UHD signals. Whether content from HDR cameras needs to be processed for delivery to HDR equipped displays, or whether HDR content needs to be converted to SDR to provide content to the vast installed base of 60 NOVEMBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
standard SDR displays in a media facility, the demand for HDR is clearly there. One of the main difficulties involved in progressing from standard dynamic range (SDR) to high dynamic range (HDR) television is the need to provide good downward compatibility with the huge number of SDR television receivers already installed and in current use. The new generation of broadcast cameras can provide a much wider scene contrast range than conventional displays and it is obvious that converters are needed to handle the different formats. In cooperation with the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden, Germany, LYNX Technik
AG developed a set of HDR to SDR conversion solutions for its greenMachineÂŽ platform which down convert high dynamic range (HDR) images to standard dynamic range (SDR) images. To understand the difference between a classic HDR down converter and the enhanced solutions that LYNX Technik has introduced, we should take a look at how contrast compression is performed. Many camera operators use a knee function to incorporate luminance information which would normally be outside the SDR range. Traditional HDR down converters work in more or less the same way. However, the capabilities of such
systems are very limited compared to the wide range of luminance information. Normally they use a fixed curve that doesn’t take much image content into account. Even if it does though, using a flat gradation to cope with a high contrast range will lead to a flat-looking image at some point. This is why the results of some more sophisticated approaches which use metadata to tweak the curve based on the image content are still not necessarily convincing.
Moreover, metadata is hard to handle in a live broadcasting environment. The problem of dealing with a higher contrast range at acquisition rather than at distribution may be a new one for the broadcast industry but it is an existing one for filmmakers and computer graphics artists. Film has always captured more information, so manual grading always has been and still is performed by a colorist. The problems with grading though are that it doesn’t work for
live broadcasting and it can be expensive. Meanwhile, computer graphics artists use various procedures based on tone mapping. These also have some drawbacks for live broadcasting: They can be computationally intensive for video applications and because they are basically designed for still images, problems arise from the temporal domain, leading to flicker artefacts. HDR Evie™, powered by LYNX Technik’s greenMachine® platform 61 NOVEMBER ‘19
was developed to enable live automatic contrast compression avoiding the artefacts inherent in classic tone mapping techniques. Statistical analysis is performed on every image to preserve as much scene contrast range as is necessary but at the same time as little as possible. For example, it is not expedient to set a very dark exposure to prevent some small irrelevant highlights from clipping while the main part of the image is underexposed. Based on models of the human visual system, especially around the perception and preferences relating to contrast, the algorithm calculates the amount of clipping, or rather contrast compression, required. HDR Evie is an automatic process which analyses the incoming HDR image on a frame by frame basis. Changes in luma will also affect the color impression. That is why the chroma is automatically adjusted to the new luma. Temporal filtering is performed to avoid flicker. 62 OCTOBER â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;19
HDR Evie provides more than simply better image quality; it also affects the way in which content is produced. By optimizing the lighting balance and exposure, aperture setting becomes less crucial. As long as the information in the captured scene is not absolutely crushed or burnt out, HDR Evie will try to map it into the final contrast range. As a result, controlling aperture is much less critical on the production side. In a typical televised football game, for instance, some areas of the image may be
obscured by roof shadows while others are bathed in overly bright sunlight. The aperture needs to be constantly ridden but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely that the overall image will nevertheless be fairly poor. HDR Evie can enable both a constant f-stop number and a balanced image as long as there is no clipping at the camera output. Sensors that can deal with a higher dynamic range therefore work better. Of course, the f-stop still has to be adjusted if the lighting condition changes substantially; on a very good HDR camera sensor,
a single cloud would not affect the result, however an overcast sky would require a new setting. Production flexibility can be increased by reducing the need to light a scene. HDR does not provide a total solution; sometimes even making things worse. This is why there is also a need for HDR-toHDR conversion. This means not only changing the HDR signal type. For example: from Perceptual Quantizer (PQ) to HybridLog-Gamma (HLG) or vice versa, but rather balancing the image as in the SDR case. HDR at acquisition doesn’t always
work well on the intended HDR display. From evaluations with normal TV viewers, it can be shown that more local contrast and homogenization is also preferred for HDR signals. This is why HDR Evie can also be used to enhance HDR processes such as HLG. Because of the good downward compatibility of the HLG curve, the resulting (processed) HLG works very well on both SDR and HDR displays. Since HDR Evie is designed to work best with natural images, it can produce unintended changes (e.g. in exposure)
when processing synthetic images such as a color bar. Another limitation are the results from the temporal filtering. To avoid pumping, the adaption speed is restricted. On a crash zoom or very fast pan it is not possible to guarantee an ideal exposure all the time – but, on the other hand, a wrong f-number would be worse. Moreover, the image analysis needs one full frame before it can start its processing, leading to a delay of one video frame. HDR is still a challenging topic. Higher dynamic range at capture does not solve the problem of a nonhomogeneous lighting condition within a scene and can even create new problems. HDR Evie is designed to produce better images easily and economically, while optimizing lighting balance and exposure, and also correcting hue and saturation. 63 OCTOBER ‘19