Editor Javier de Martín email@example.com Editor in chief Jesús Carrillo firstname.lastname@example.org Key account managers Cristina Feduchi email@example.com Tamara Meuwese firstname.lastname@example.org Creative Direction Mercedes González email@example.com Editorial staff firstname.lastname@example.org Administration Laura de Diego Marga Quevedo email@example.com
06 PAN SHOT 36 Dorna goes IP Sennheiser World Tour 46 2016 56
Sony launches IP Live Production Studio at DMPCE
Stepping up live IP remote production TM Broadcast International #35 July 2016
TM Broadcast International is a magazine published by Daró Media Group SL Centro Empresarial Tartessos Calle Pollensa 2, oficina 1 28290 Las Rozas (Madrid), Spain Phone +34 91 640 46 43
Published in Spain
Brightness & gamma, basic monitor parameters
Editorial Each time there is a major sports event, the Broadcast ecosystem gets overactive. The Olympic Games, The FIFA World Cup or The Superbowl are some perfect examples of this. Our market especially grows in live production; because those events are actually the best test lab ever. Here production companies and TV stations can use cutting edge technology in order to improve their creativity and workflows, even with exclusive prototypes. Even though The Superbowl is the world’s main sport production event of the year, The Olympic Games and The FIFA World Cup is where developers put their focus on. This is also because the events’ duration is much longer, we´re talking about several weeks even, instead of just one day. In Rio 2016 we´ll see lots of 4K live production solutions. And there will be also IP solutions but not as much as there should be, because from NAB until now there hasn’t been enough time to implement the latest IP solutions. But, from now to The FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, we envision a much bigger evolution in IP than in 4K. So let´s stay tuned to see what happens in terms of trends at next IBC coming up after Rio 2016.
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LYON VIDEO USES GRASS VALLEY EQUIPMENT TO PROVIDE UNPRECEDENTED 4K COVERAGE OF COPA AMERICA SOCCER TOURNAMENT Lyon Video, a long-time customer of Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, provides mobile television production facilities and event crewing for a wide variety of sports and event clients. Based in Columbus, OH, the 30-yearold company worked with COPA America organizers for many years, and this year has been chosen to provide host broadcasting and international rights holder services, including 4K content, that will be fed to a number of rights holder networks and stations for use in their own coverage. “A lot of planning has gone into this project to ensure that it will run smoothly and meet the needs of the organizers,” said Chad Snyder, chief operating officer, Lyon Video. “The beauty of the Grass Valley equipment is that it is flexible, so we are able to deliver whatever format is needed. We are in a real transition period in the industry, which means we often need to provide multiple formats of HD for multiple clients, and now even 4K at the same time.” Grass Valley equipment has dominated much of the set-up for the broadcast. From the group stage and through the quarterfinals, Lyon Video employed LDX 86 and LDX 80 Series Cameras with XCU TMBi - 6
Universe XF base stations, a Kayenne K-Frame Video Production Center switcher, K2 Summit 3G Production Client and K2 Dyno Universe 6X and 4K Switchable Replay System for each match. For the final match in HD and 4K, Lyon Video will use 14 LDX 86 Universe cameras, 16 LDX 80 cameras, 8 legacy Grass Valley cameras, XCU Universe XF base stations, two Kayenne K-Frame switchers, a K2 Summit 3G Production Client and K2 Dyno Universe Replay System. For the first time, Lyon Video will be using 14 of the LDX 86 Universe cameras to provide a 4K signal and highspeed replay for the host broadcast and those rights holders who want it for their broadcast. The company did extensive proof-of-concept testing with the tournament organizers and solved the network infrastructure challenges of delivering the various format streams.
“More and more clients will be looking for 4K content, especially in the sports and entertainment areas where differentiation is key,” added Snyder. “4K enables a better viewing experience in the right circumstances, and we are always ready to increase our capabilities as we need to.” The ability of Grass Valley’s integrated solutions to easily handle the different formats is essential in helping mobile broadcast companies meet the changing needs of their clients. “We have been working on 4K solutions for quite some time, understanding that it’s going to be a period of transition while the rest of the pieces fall into place,” explained Kyle Luther, vice president of sales, North America, Grass Valley. “This is an exciting project because it’s creating such a buzz in the U.S. and will lay the groundwork for many future 4K projects.”
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TVU NETWORKS CONTINUES EUROPEAN EXPANSION; PARTNERS WITH NEW GREECE AND CYPRUS RESELLER TVU Networks announced that ARISTON Broadcast & Telecom Solutions S.A. (ARISTON BTS S.A.), a respected leader in broadcast and television solutions in Greece and Cyprus, has selected TVU Networks to provide Greek and Cypriot broadcast customers with TVU’s full suite of IP solutions, as well as rental services to capture, transmit and distribute live video. ARISTON BTS S.A., an Athens based company, provides cutting edge technology and media services to the broadcast and television industries throughout Greece and Cyprus. ARISTON BTS S.A. operates in the fields of broadcasting, broadband and telecommunications. The company utilizes nextgeneration solutions to fill gaps within the Greek and Cypriot market, showing dynamic presence in the supply and implementation of state-of-the-art innovation. ARISTON BTS S.A. is focused on providing the latest technologies and custom solutions to address the unique technical, TMBi - 8
with the leading technology companies of the world. This partnership with TVU Networks is crucial as we enter into this new era where customers require integrated solutions that combine technology, industry leadership, quality, cost-efficiency and at the same time, the sustainable tools and methodologies not just to optimize their infrastructure and IP video ecosystem now but also for the future.” logistical and budgetary challenges and constraints of their clients. Through this partnership with TVU Networks, ARISTON BTS S.A. will be able to provide their customers with the most innovative IP video acquisition, production, distribution and management solutions available. Christos Doulis, Managing Director, ARISTON BTS S.A. said, “We are committed to delivering the most innovative solutions to our customers through strategic partnerships
Kris Hill, Sales Director Europe of TVU Networks said, “We are excited about this partnership with ARISTON BTS S.A. as they are a very respected technology solutions provider, with over 10 years of experience in the Greek and Cypriot market. We are looking forward to working with ARISTON BTS S.A. to bring our award-winning and industry leading IP live video technology to Greek and Cypriot broadcast customers.”
MACNICA TECHNOLOGY JOINS AIMS AIMS has announced that Macnica Technology, a division of Macnica Inc., has joined the alliance. Macnica Technology (www.macnicatech.com), headquartered in Solana Beach, CA, offers products that implement the industry defined standards for moving live, high-definition video over standard IP (Ethernet) networks. Macnica leverages video and high speed networking expertise to develop superior products and intellectual property for the Broadcast, ProAV, and High Speed Networking Industries. Marc Levy, CTO at Macnica Americas, sited the company’s reasons for joining AIMS, “We are excited to see the industry working together to bring a comprehensive, flexible, scalable, and interoperable set of standards to market. Macnica is committed to supporting these standards and bringing quality products to the industry.” Commenting for AIMS, Chairman Michael Cronk stated, “Macnica is leading supplier of core IP technology. Their inclusion in AIMS is another sign that market momentum for a true standards based approach to IP is increasing. We are thrilled to have Macnica on board and look forward to their contribution.” AIMS’ efforts are focused on promoting the adoption, standardization, development and refinement of open protocols for media over IP, with an initial emphasis on VSF TR-03 and TR-04, SMPTE 2022-6 and AES67. Broadcasters and other media companies are seeking to leverage IP to increase the flexibility of their networks, help streamline workflows and improve agility to better compete in a rapidly evolving ecosystem. Open standards are the key to protecting current investments and ensuring long-term interoperability.
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DANMON GROUP TO DISTRIBUTE SSL BROADCAST PRODUCTS IN NORWAY
Danmon Group Norway AS has taken on distribution of all Solid State Logic broadcast products in Norway, including Network I/O, the C Series consoles, and the new System T. Sales Manager Ketil Morstøl sees the move as a logical step for the Norwegian business, which has grown to become one of the country's leading suppliers in broadcast, television, film, and commercial production. "We have been very focussed on radio broadcast for many years but have seen increasing demand for high end audio consoles in the TV broadcast market. We evaluated all of the brands, and took into account the experiences of our customers and our colleagues. SSL stood out clearly as the company with the best reputation, both when considering the products themselves and their TMBi - 10
reliability, as well as the level of service and support available." Danmon's operator and production-focussed approach to business is a perfect match for SSL's own outlook: "We create systems that are easy for our customers to use," says Morstøl. "...So it's easy to make great programs really fast. Our new partnership with SSL underlines that philosophy." Morstøl has been particularly impressed with System T - a new broadcast audio production environment based on an Audio-Over-IP networked audio infrastructure with multi-user networked control and the powerful Tempest processing engine. "It is very impressive," he says. "...A fantastic product at the beginning of its life. I think System T is the future of
broadcast audio." Jim Motley, Senior Vice President of International Sales at Solid State Logic, commented: "SSL is very excited to begin work with the team at Danmon Group Norway, who have a vast track record in broadcast installations in Norway and beyond. I believe that our shared vision of a networked future for broadcast facilities infrastructure means that together we can truly offer systems that deliver the right results with the right integration and scalability." Danmon Group Norway is one of four companies within the Scandinavian Danmon Group. It supplies products, aftersales services, installation services, and support and training, as well as providing complete turnkey solutions for studios, ENG/DSNG vans, and OB vans.
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H.264 RECORDING CAPABILITIES NOW AVAILABLE FOR VIDEO DEVICES’ PIX-E SERIES Video Devices announces that Firmware Version 3.00 for its PIX-E Series of 4Kcompatible recording monitors – previewed at the 2016 NAB Show – is now available. With this latest firmware update, the PIX-E Series adds the H.264 codec as well as the ability to simultaneously record a highquality, edit-ready Apple® ProRes .mov file and a much smaller H.264 .mp4 file. These features are now available as a free download for PIX-E owners. Universally supported for viewing on PCs, Macs, and browsers, the H.264 codec offers a balance between compression and quality, resulting in low data rates and small file sizes. As such, it is commonly used for web streaming and long duration recording. The codec also makes for faster file uploads and easier emailing of recorded files. Simultaneous ProRes and H.264 recording provides more flexible and efficient file delivery options. PIX-E users now have the ability to give their clients an H.264 file for content review, shot-listing, or web-streaming, while the high-resolution 4K ProRes file is used for mastering. “After previewing H.264 at this year’s NAB show, we are excited to announce that it’s now available to PIX-E owners everywhere,” says TMBi - 12
Paul Isaacs, Director of Product Management and Design, Sound Devices, LLC. “The addition of H.264, and simultaneous ProRes and H.264 recording, provide our customers with greater file delivery options. For instance at the end of a shoot, quickly handing off a low-cost SD card containing the H.264 content to a producer or director streamlines the process; now they have something quick and easy to review on a computer or tablet, at their convenience.” With the addition of H.264, an applied LUT is baked into the H.264 .mp4 file and saved via SD card. The master ProRes 4K file is saved to the Video Devices’ SpeedDrive™ without an applied LUT. This is ideal for users who want to simultaneously record a full dynamic range, log-encoded ProRes master file for the edit suite and a REC709 H.264 file suitable for client viewing. While recording 4K in
ProRes, the PIX-E will automatically scale the 4K to 1080p for recording H.264, thereby reducing its file size even further. Both recordings also include audio—up to eight channels with ProRes and two channels with H.264. With the same quality standards that have made Sound Devices, LLC a worldrenowned company, the Video Devices brand of PIX-E recording monitors are built in die-cast metal housings with scratch-resistant Gorilla® Glass 2. In addition to durability, the high-resolution monitors are available as 1920x1080 (PIX-E5 and PIXE5H) or 1920x1200 (PIX-E7) LCD displays, which are color accurate and offer 179 degree angle of view, even in sunlight. The firmware v3.00 upgrade for the PIX-E Series is now available as a free download at: http://www.videodevices.com/ support/downloads/pix-efirmware
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RIEDEL AND IDEAL GROUP EXPAND PARTNERSHIP, INKING AGREEMENT FOR HONG KONG, MACAU, AND TAIWAN Taking further advantage of systems integrator Ideal Group's expansive network of offices, Riedel has extended its contract with the company to address growth opportunities in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. Through this new agreement with Riedel, Ideal Group will be positioned to offer cost-effective, tightly integrated, highperforming signal distribution and communications solutions to an even greater swath of Asia. With such Riedelbased solutions, Ideal Group's customers can pursue a smart, straightforward migration to more advanced, more versatile workflows leveraging the latest technologies. "Riedel's portfolio of sophisticated yet accessible communications and signal distribution solutions offers something for virtually every facility, whatever the size or complexity of its operations," said Guillaume Mauffrey, Chief Operating Officer at Ideal
Group Asia Pacific. "Our company already enjoys a strong relationship with Riedel, and we look forward to further success through this extension of our business partnership." Ideal Group is an industry-leading multinational systems integrator that specializes in designing and delivering innovative solutions to customers in the broadcast sector, as well in the telecommunications and enterprise sectors. The company already offers integrated solutions including products such as Riedel's Artist digital matrix intercom system, Acrobat digital wireless intercom system, MediorNet real-time media network, and Micron 80G media distribution network device to customers in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. "As both a renowned and respected systems integrator, Ideal Group has the expertise to design and deliver Riedel-based solutions that address the specific requirements of broadcast stations in target markets in Southeast Asia and beyond," said Cameron O'Neill, Director, Asia-Pacific, at Riedel Communications.
DB6400 AND DB91 SERIES SOON TO BE RELEASED
This year’s NAB saw the presentation of several new additions to DEVA’s product ranges and it is with great pride that we can announce the imminent official release of the DB6400 and the DB91 Series. The DB6400 – FM & Digital Radio 4-Band Processor has an ultra low latency DSP-based design to guarantee perfect sound TMBi - 14
quality. It also boasts a builtin IP Audio Player, as well as a fully dynamic RDS/RBDS encoder and it also solves the dead-air problem. This unique new tool will be available for purchase at the end of May, while just a month later our clients will be treated to the pilot pieces of the DB91-TX and DB91-RX. Building on the features of
their forerunners, the DB90 Series, these two devices offer the familiar compact design with a much-improved functionality. Based on their reception at the NAB, DEVA’s brand new tools are sure to be instant hits among clients and the increasing demand from our customers is definite proof of that.
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CHINA’S ‘HAN SHOW’ USES CLEAR-COM INTERCOMS TO CORDINATE DEATH-DEFYING PERFORMANCES Wuhan Wanda Dragone Entertainment Co. Ltd. has selected Clear-Com® wired and wireless intercom systems to control the live production of The Han Show, which takes place in Wuhan’s Red Lantern Theatre in China. This massive extravaganza is so big that it requires an astounding 632 intercom positions to manage it all, making it Clear-Com’s largest live performance installation in China to date. Featuring 95 artists, acrobats, and water divers performing awe-inspiring feats that are both beautiful and dangerous, The Han Show embodies the essence of China’s venerable Han culture in a live multimedia spectacular directed and staged by Cirque du Soleil alumni Franco Dragone of The Dragone Group. To ensure that The Han Show’s flying, dancing, and diving entertainers are properly managed at all times — including during massive effects such as the swingback of the lower audience stands to reveal a large diving pool – The Han Show has installed two Clear-Com Eclipse HX-Median digital intercom matrices equipped with IVC-32 IP-channel/port and E-FIB-HX fiber optic cards; eight sets of HelixNet partyline intercom equipment, and six sets of FreeSpeak II wireless intercoms with 30 TMBi - 16
wireless beltpacks. The engineering team responsible for the installation was led by Wei Zenglai. “The most important function of The Han Show’s Clear-Com intercom system is to coordinate and synchronize each participant’s performance, to ensure that the show runs safely and smoothly,” said Sam Su, the head of the audio department for Wuhan Wanda Dragone Entertainment. “The combination of the two Eclipse HX-Median matrices, HelixNet partyline and FreeSpeak II wireless intercoms covers 632 user positions within the entire theatre.” For maximum connectivity, The Han Show’s intercom systems have integrated the Clear-Com intercom system’s IP and wireless capabilities with the two Eclipse HXMedian digital matrices. The resulting system allows the show’s stage managers to quickly reach whichever combination of technicians they need to cue or alert at the push of a preset button. The intercom system even provides communications to the divers working in the show’s pool.
“We chose Clear-Com intercom systems because they are based on mature, reliable technology that offers room for growth as required,” said Mr. Su. “The flexibility of the system means we can create new talk groups as required. We also appreciate the beltpack’s audio record/playback function that allows users to replay instructions received via the FreeSpeak II, and the high audio quality of the headset and microphone which enables clear understanding of each communication.” “The intercoms have operated without problems for The Han Show from the very start of our run. That’s the kind of top-level performance a spectacular like The Han Show requires every single day,” added Mr. Su. “It is an honor to enable the performance of The Han Show, which has rightly been called ‘The World’s Top Stage Show’ due to the complexity and artistry of its content,” said Jeffrey Wu, Clear-Com’s Regional Sales Manager and Chief Representative in China. “This is a true celebration of the majesty and depth of Han culture, and we are proud to be playing a key role in bringing it to the world stage.”
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NEP SELECTED TO PROVIDE NEW PLAYOUT AND LIVE PRODUCTION FACILITIES FOR ZIGGO SPORT Liberty Global selected NEP to build, operate and maintain its complete playout and technical (live) production for the Ziggo sports channels. This makes NEP Europe’s largest supplier of sports playout facilities.
is also fully included in NEP's private cloud. In the coming months the technical infrastructure will be built in NEP's data center, and after a thorough renovation, in the offices, technical rooms and studios as well.
Liberty Global, parent company of Ziggo Sport, is the producer and supplier of a total of seven television channels. There is the open Ziggo Sport channel, available exclusively for Ziggo subscribers and a payTV service, called Ziggo Sport Total, which consists of six channels and is passed through the TV distributors in the Netherlands. There are also five OTT internet channels/streams for broadcasting the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Throughout the project NEP is working closely with the Ziggo Sport team, as well as with producers Southfields and The Media Brothers; programs Peptalk and F1 are also part of the services provided by NEP.
NEP will provide the complete technology for the Ziggo channels, in Hilversum, with an end-to-end workflow, developed by NEP and built in-house. This seamlessly fits Ziggo’s workflow and will include teleport, MCR, studios, Cloud Production, live and post production facilities and offices. NEP will provide the technical infrastructure, operational control, and 24/7 support. Ziggo Sports is located in NEP Studio 20, in the heart of the Hilversum Media Park. Following remote editing (2006) and Cloud Production (2015), Ziggo's infrastructure TMBi - 18
Will Moerer, Vice President Ziggo Sport: “Thanks to NEP’s housing facilities and technical support we have the opportunity to use modern studios and innovative technologies that enrich our sport shows tremendously. We are thrilled about moving to the Media Park, this is where all our collaborating parties congregate.”
“This is a very large project and we have worked hard on the technical design, operational staffing requirements and construction,” says Michiel van Duijvendijk, CEO of NEP The Netherlands. “In taking this step, Ziggo Sports is at the Forefront of sports broadcasting. Multiple Live Production Rooms will provide functionalities from playout to editing. This flexibility will allow Ziggo to quickly respond to live events. We strongly believe in providing an end-to-end solution to all our customers, a one-stop-shop for managed services ranging from live capturing to worldwide distribution. Efficiently managed, high quality services operating at the top of the broadcast industry. Our deal with Ziggo fits perfectly in this global strategy.”
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Suitcase TV is a technology company that positions itself right at the heart of the broadcast revolution and creates solutions that allow media companies to transition seamlessly from traditional broadcast hardware to IP-based technologies. To offer live streaming services, Suitcase TV has developed iphrame Vision, a real-time production system that can operate with a combination of IP, ASI, and SDI signals as both inputs and outputs. This means that broadcast companies can begin their transition to IP without undertaking an expensive, large-scale changeover to IP. The system performs the function of a TMBi - 20
vision mixer without the complicated interface. As such it can be operated by staff with little or no experience. Iphrame Vision handles video, audio, and graphics, effectively dispensing with much of the equipment and resources traditionally required. This is made possible because iphrame Vision is software-defined and runs on standard IT hardware or VMs. This costsaving solution offers media companies the opportunity to televise a greater number of events at the highest possible quality for less money. An added advantage of an IP-based solution like this is that operators can be stationed remotely and can
make real-time switching decisions using proxy versions via the cloud. The number of staff required at the event site can, therefore, be minimised with the result that media companies can reduce expenditure on travel and accommodation. The system interfaces effortlessly with media asset storage systems so that stored files such as promos, ads and graphics can be included in the broadcast. By incorporating media asset storage, the output can be recorded to disk and used for compliance management, or repurposed to generate additional revenue.
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TURNER ESPORTE INTERATIVO SELECTS ATEME TO POWER ITS 4K-UHD CONTRIBUTION NETWORK ATEME announced that Turner Esporte Interativo, a leading sport channel in Brazil, has deployed its Kyrion encoders and decoders to feed a new national video headend in São Paulo. As a first trial, Turner is using this futureproof solution to receive a major European football tournament in 4K-UHD from the International Broadcast Centre in France. Based on the ATEME fifth Generation STREAM compression engine, the Kyrion encoder and decoder
provides the best baseband video quality at minimum bitrates. This solution has been designed for contribution over satellite and IP networks, with added value features such as ultra-fastboot, ultra-low latency, and ABR output. "Known for its high-quality service, Turner needed a solution that delivers the highest video quality while meeting our bandwidth constraints”, said the EI/Turner Brazil operation and technology team. “With ATEME Kyrion
encoder/decoder, we are now able to provide an exceptional viewing experience for a major European sport event while limiting our investment on link OPEX.” Gustavo Dutra, Brazil’s country manager for broadcast at ATEME said: “Our Kyrion solution is futureproof, with a HEVC software upgrade option and pay-asyou-grow support: SD to HD to UHD, and MPEG2 to H.264 to HEVC.”
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BLACKMAGIC DESIGN ANNOUNCES NEW ATEM SWITCHER 6.9 UPDATE The ATEM Switcher 6.9 update also adds rotational DVE functions to the ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K model
Blackmagic Design announced the immediate availability of ATEM Switcher 6.9 update which adds new multi-view output features including VU meters, the ability to swap program and preview windows and more. ATEM Switcher 6.9 update is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website and is free of charge for all Blackmagic ATEM switcher customers. ATEM Switcher 6.9 update adds new features to the multi-view outputs on all ATEM Production Studio 4K models as well as ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, so that customers can create unique multi-view layouts, based on the needs of their live production. VU meters can be selectively displayed on each window for any combination of inputs. The TMBi - 22
opacity of the VU meters can be adjusted too, so customers can see them at full brightness, or as a transparent overlay on top of the video. In addition, the program and preview windows can now be swapped and customers can also turn off the safe area grid on the multi-view output. The ATEM Switcher 6.9 update also adds rotational DVE functions to the ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K model. This gives customers working on live switched productions even more high quality video effects than ever before, all the way up to high frame rate Ultra HD 2160p60. “ATEM Switcher 6.9 update gives customers more choices when setting up their multi-view outputs so they can create their own unique live production setups,” said
Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This update is exciting because it adds entirely new functionality that customers will love, absolutely free! When combined with Blackmagic Design cameras and HyperDecks, ATEM customers now have an even better end to end solution for live program production in all SD, HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60!”
AVAILABILITY AND PRICE ATEM Switcher 6.9 update is available now from the Blackmagic Design website free of charge for all current ATEM Switcher customers.
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THE GOLD RUSH IS ON! K-ARRAY'S NEW GOLD FINISHES NOW IN PRODUCTION K-array is glittering with excitement to announce its newest offering of product finishes. Effective immediately, a 24 K gold plated stainless steel option is available for the loudspeakers in its Installed Sound line including the KK52 half-meter Kobra, KK102 Kobra, KP52 halfmeter Python, KP102 Python, and KY102 Kayman. Karrayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s subwoofers, the KU26, KU44 and KU210, are also available in the same finish, while the KV50 Vyper and the KZ12 Lyzard have the gold-plated finish option
in aluminum. The newest finish is a pure gold coating over a sturdy metal frame, rendering the steel products resistant to corrosion, rust or stain -ideal for prestigious design projects and upscale applications. Additional colors and finishes K-array further assist in integrating a system into
various venues. Standard colors are sleek black and an elegant white to make a subtle statement. Then, brushed or polished stainless steel finishes give the products a chameleon-like ability to reflect surrounding surfaces and blend in with the background.
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MEDIABURST CHOOSES ROSS VIDEO TO SUPPORT WIMBLEDON COVERAGE
This year, Portuguese company Mediaburst (part of Spain’s Mediapro Group) has been providing unilateral feeds to beIN Sports in France and the Middle East using Ross Video’s Carbonite Black. Commenting on the Wimbledon set-up, Fernando Costa, Mediaburst’s Production Manager, highlighted the importance of flexibility in a live production environment like Wimbledon. “I travel all over the world covering all different kinds of TMBi - 24
sports for channels like beIN Sports and for the host broadcasters. Regardless of the sport or venue, time and space are usually always tight and we need proven, road-tested solutions that we know will deliver. The Carbonite switcher has been extremely easy to use and live with and that’s exactly what we want in an environment like this – no fuss, no drama and plenty of production power!” For the tennis coverage, Mediaburst chose a 2ME
Carbonite Black (3X panel) to ensure they had enough headroom to manage the complexities of the tournament. “We’re really pleased with the way the Carbonite has performed; our team members with experience of switchers from other manufacturers have been very impressed at the performance of the Carbonite given it’s compact size, and we can see why so many content creators favour it in an outside broadcast environment”.
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VIZRT INTEGRATES WITH SIGNAL FOR FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM Vizrt has extended its partnership with Facebook to provide more tools to help broadcasters build audience engagement and discover valuable Facebook and Instagram content. The new tools are featured in the Vizrt Social TV solution’s integration with Signal. Signal for Facebook and Instagram is a free discovery and curation tool for journalists who want to source, gather, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook and Instagram across news, culture, entertainment, sports, and
more—all in one place. Journalists interested in seeing what conversations are resonating on Facebook can monitor which topics are trending and then quickly display related content that has been shared publicly— unranked and in chronological order— from both people and pages for deeper context on those trends. The Vizrt Social TV solution integration with Signal provides media companies the ability to include Facebook and Instagram posts, images or videos,
selected by their journalists, into custom collections which can then be integrated with broadcast graphics packages for on-air display. “Through the combination of the Vizrt Social TV solution and Signal, journalists have a way to gather news as it happens in real-time,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO, Vizrt. “This is a powerful addition to the storytelling a media company can do on-air as well as online, right where the conversation is happening.”
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WKTV ELEVATES LIVE NEWSCAST QUALITY WITH HITACHI HDTV CAMERAS When Heartland Media station WKTV set out to enhance the viewer experience by upgrading its live news productions to HD, they turned to Hitachi DK-Z50 multi-purpose, HDTV box cameras to provide exceptional-quality video acquisition. Supplied by Hitachi reseller Com Tech, the cameras have delivered solid reliability while elevating the visual fidelity of WKTV’s newscasts. Based in Utica, New York, WKTV has been an NBC affiliate for decades, serving the Mohawk Valley region of Central New York. The station is also affiliated with The CW and MeTV, and late last year added CBS to its roster. WKTV produces over 30 hours of live newscasts every week. In addition to TMBi - 26
broadcast distribution over its NBC, CBS and CW channels, newscasts are streamed live on the WKTV website. Five Hitachi DK-Z50 cameras are deployed throughout the news studio, under the control of a Ross Overdrive automated production system. Four of the cameras are paired with Ross CamBot 500-Series robotic camera heads for unmanned operation, and together cover six areas of the studio – the main news set, weather and sports sets, promo operations, the ‘Update Center’, and the ‘News Talk’ area for sit-down interviews with invited guests. A fifth DK-Z50 in the newsroom is used for ‘standups’ with on-camera talent.
Familiar with earlier Hitachi cameras from his nearly 40 years of experience in broadcast television, WKTV Chief Engineer Tom McNicholl began evaluating recent models during his research for the station’s HD upgrade. After seeing Hitachi cameras in action with Ross Overdrive at another station in nearby Syracuse, McNicholl took a close look at the DK-Z50 at the NAB Show. He was impressed by the picture quality produced by the camera’s highperformance 2/3” CCD imagers, 14-bit analog-todigital conversion and advanced digital signal processing. “The Hitachi DK-Z50 provides the picture quality we need to satisfy our viewers, while being
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economical enough to fit our budget,” said McNicholl. “Combining this great priceperformance ratio with the positive experiences I’d had with Hitachi cameras in the past, the DK-Z50 became the clear choice.” The installation and integration of the DK-Z50 cameras went seamlessly, helping WKTV meet its aggressive project timeline for its upgrade to HD news production. The DK-Z50’s unobtrusive form factor also proved valuable, as the new HD equipment was installed sideby-side with the station’s existing standard definition gear to allow continuing live newscast production in the
same studio during the upgrade. While Hitachi’s renowned support services were a factor in McNicholl’s decision, he has had no reason to take advantage of them with this latest deployment. “I’ve had great service from Hitachi in the past, but I’ve had no need for their assistance with the DKZ50s so far, as everything’s working very well.” “The cameras have been stable and reliable, and the video they capture looks great. The upgrade of our newscasts to HD has been well-received by our viewers, and the Hitachi cameras are a key part of that,” McNicholl concludes.
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HITACHI ADDS HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE (HDR) CAPABILITY ACROSS ITS BROADCAST CAMERA PRODUCT LINE
Hitachi Kokusai Electric America Ltd. (Hitachi Kokusai) has taken a leadership stance on High Dynamic Range (HDR) by adding this innovative, cutting-edge imaging capability to its high-quality Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K and HDTV broadcast cameras. As part of a special, limited-time promotion, any new Hitachi camera purchase made before September 30, 2016 will include the HDR feature at no additional charge. Hitachi’s HDR-upgraded cameras will be unveiled at the upcoming Telemundo Cine Video Television Expo— an annual international video equipment trade show— taking place next week (June 28-July 1) at the Mexico City World Trade Center. Attendees will see demonstrations of select HDR-upgraded Hitachi cameras from the Z-Series, TMBi - 28
SK-Series and DK-Series product lines at two Telemundo Cine Video Show booths run by Hitachi’s Mexican distribution partners, Escape Audio Video and Comtelsat. “We’re excited to offer High Dynamic Range capability on our UHD and HDTV broadcast cameras, and we’re confident that TV viewers will appreciate the increased contrast, richer color and dynamic lighting of the video it captures,” said Sean Moran, COO, Hitachi Kokusai. “With the way we’ve designed and implemented HDR in our cameras, broadcasters and other video professionals will be able to produce significantly superior
HDR imagery without having to upgrade their existing infrastructure or transmission systems,” Moran added. “HDR—which will be part of the emerging ATSC 3.0 standard—produces brighter, crisper, more luminous imagery, including UHD 4K video, resulting in a more immersive and engaging viewer experience.” At the high end of the product line, HDR has been added to the Hitachi Kokusai’s SK-UHD4000 UHD studio/field camera. With its industry standard B4 2/3-inch bayonet mount and 2/3-inch sensors, operators can still make use of their existing HDTV lenses. The camera delivers the depth of field and high sensitivity needed for traditional TV studio and
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sports production with UHD quality. HDR has also been added to the Hitachi Kokusai’s ZHD6000 HDTV studio/field production camera system, which captures 1920x1080 resolution video. This native 2K camera utilizes 2.6 megapixels and 2/3-inch MOS sensors and offers F12 standard sensitivity with >60 dB of video headroom and real-time lens aberration correction (RLAC). At the Telemundo Cine Video Television Expo, Escape Audio Video will be show several Hitachi Kokusai cameras at Booth C-6, upgraded with the HDR feature, including the ZHD5000 and SK-HD1000, as part of its product demos. The Z-HD5000 HDTV studio/field production camera has long-been a popular acquisition tool due to its high price performance. With 2/3-inch IT-CCDs, this
lightweight unit offers highresolution imagery and low noise. “With its support for HDR, Hitachi Kokusai has once again solidified its position at the vanguard of broadcast camera technology,” said Fernando Riestra, marketing director for Escape Audio Video. As a multi-standard, lownoise portable HD Studio and EFP camera,SK-HD1000 acquires outstanding images with its three (R,G,B) 2.3 megapixel UAIT (UltraAdvanced) CCD sensors and now enhanced by HDR. At Booth B-4, Comtelsat plans to show the SKHD1300, Hitachi Kokusai’s new, top-of-the-line progressive scan HD studio and EFP camera, which captures outstanding 1080P images with its three 2/3-inch, 2.3 megapixel progressive scan MOS imagers, also
upgraded with the HDR feature. Escape Audio Video and Comtelsat will use these Hitachi Kokusai’s cameras as acquisition systems as part of a bigger video/IT workflow demonstration that encompasses third-party products by such top video vendors as: Avid, SAM (Snell Advanced Media), Riedel Communications, PrimeStream and Editshare. During the four-day expo, Hitachi Kokusai’s Sales Manager for Latin America, Tyke Manalang, will be onhand to meet with customers and support the partners’ Hitachi HDR/camera demos. According to Israel Gomez, Comtelsat general manager, “The Mexican broadcast market is one that demands uncompromised quality at affordable prices. With its current HDR promotion, Hitachi cameras will be especially hard to beat.”
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IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS CONTRIBUTES TECHNOLOGY TO SONY’S IP LIVE STUDIO Imagine Communications demonstrated its support for furthering the advancement of IP-based production environments through its recent participation in the launch of a dedicated IP Live Studio by Sony at its Digital Motion Picture Centre Europe (DMPCE) at Pinewood Film Studios near London. Imagine Communications is supplying several IP-based solutions to the testing and training facility opened by Sony last week to provide broadcasters and production companies with the opportunity to gain hands-on familiarity with IP-based live production environments. “It is an honor to be working with Sony to help accelerate the transition of live production workflows to more agile and versatile environments,” said Glodina Lostanlen, CMO at Imagine Communications. “As one of the early advocates of
moving media operations to software-based environments built on generic compute and networking platforms, Imagine Communications is pleased to be part of this important initiative to provide media companies with the practical knowledge necessary for putting their live production facilities on a path toward the future.”
moving operations out of the baseband domain. A fully functional, state-of-the art production facility based on IT technologies is designed to provide these assurances through extensive hands-on training, as well as offer technology partners the ability to demonstrate widespread interoperability in a multivendor environment.
Imagine Communications is a long-time member of the IP Live Alliance and has demonstrated interoperability with Sony’s Networked Media Interface (NMI), both in the lab and in commercial deployments of IP-based live production environments. Imagine Communications solutions deployed in the IP Live Studio are Selenio™ Uncompressed over IP (UCIP) processing, the Selenio IP Live encoder/decoder, the recently introduced EPIC™ Multiviewer (EPIC MV) and the Magellan™ SDN Orchestrator, a software control system for managing hybrid SDI-IP environments. Representatives of the company were on hand at the opening of the DMPCE facility, which took place on June 17th.
“Seeing is believing is a particularly apt axiom for the media and entertainment industry,” said Norbert Paquet, Strategic Marketing Manager at Sony Professional Europe. “Our new facility at the DMPCE provides broadcasters and production companies with up-close evidence of the power and feasibility of an IPbased live production environment. The participation of Imagine Communications and other leading manufacturers is critical to the overall success of this initiative.”
Live production requires exacting precision and reliability and broadcasters must have assurances that IP-based solutions can meet these requirements before TMBi - 30
The IP Live Studio, which is designed for live production engineers, live studio technicians, production companies, broadcasters and other media professions, will host demonstrations of advance capabilities, including 4K and HD acquisition over IP, video switching over IP, real time graphics over IP, NMI interoperability and dynamic routing.
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GRAHAM RAMSEY JOINS SHOTOKU IN SENIOR CAPACITY Shotoku Broadcast Systems has announced that Graham Ramsey, a seasoned industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, has joined the company in a senior capacity to further expand global presence. Tony Hanada, managing director, made the announcement from headquarters in Kawasaki, Japan. Ramsey, previously SVP at Vitec Videocom, will focus on the further development of Shotoku’s manual camera product range and the continued expansion of their geographic market penetration. He brings with him a deep understanding of the video production workflow, along with extensive experience building businesses across global markets.
role in the Company’s further expansion into EMEA, the US and Latin America.”
“Shotoku has always been a respected force in the camera support business,” stated Ramsey. “Its long-standing pedigree is a testament to its people who have a passion for providing high-performing products and the finest customer service in the world. I look forward to working in this environment and am delighted to be able to play a
“We are very excited to have Graham on board,” said Hanada. “His integrity combined with in-depth industry knowledge make him a great fit for our company, and we are confident that he will play a pivotal role in the global expansion phase of our business strategy. Looking ahead, I can say that our customers will benefit from his incredible wealth of experience and he will have a very positive impact on our market position as we implement that strategy around the world.” Ramsey will be located in the Sunbury, UK office and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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EGRIPMENT XTREME T10 ENCODED’ FOR THE IBC HQ STUDIO FOR GERMAN ARD & ZDF
Egripment is proud to announce, that the Xtreme T10 Encoded telescopic crane plays the key role in the German broadcaster ARD & ZDF within their camera and graphic concept for the presentation of Augmented Reality in the daily live broadcast from the UEFA Euro 2016 in Paris, France. Egripment delivers the full service of a rental of the crane as well as the calibration service and onsite operation of a fully encoded Egripment Xtreme T10. The crane delivers superior real time tracking data in combination with the Vizrt Render Engines, provided and operated by one of the leading companies of international sports graphics ‘deltatre’. The tracking solutions of the Egripment Xtreme T10 ensures, that all obtained data from the crane, as well as the lens information and deformation data is delivered TMBi - 32
in a simple data stream for deltatre’s render engines running the latest VIZRT Virtual Studio with Tracking Hub. The tracking protocol further simplifies the redundancy for of the Datastream in case of an unlikely event of a render engines failure and seamless switch over to the backup system, as all data is delivered as fully processed protocol to available engines within the network. The Egripment Xtreme T10 uses a so called mechanical tracking, operating independently from any visual targeting or such. Therefore, the operation of the crane is identical and at the same as flexible as a normal crane operation, used in a nonAugmented Reality application. Prior to the studio installation at the Euro 2016 IBC in Paris, the technicians and engineers of both, deltatre as well the TV
Broadcaster tested the performance of the Egripment setup and service in depth and were impressed by the simple workflow and quality which the setup delivers. The Xtreme T10 is one of the latest products of Egripment, utilized with an additional encoder package with tracking interface as well as the well-known 306 Encoded Remote Head. One major advantage of the Xtreme T10 is its maximum arm reach of 7.50 m (24.6ft), in relation to the compact overall operational length of only 9.70 m (31.7ft). This ensures that the crane arm can reach almost every spot within the studio, delivering maximum flexibility, at a minimum footprint and demand for operational space. Thanks to the ultrastiff carbon fibre design, the arm swings as solid as a rock, with a minimum of weight.
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SHAHRZAD RAFATI TO GIVE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT IBC2016 CONFERENCE IBC announced that Shahrzad Rafati, Founder & CEO of BroadbandTV, will deliver a keynote on Saturday 10 September at its forthcoming IBC2016 Conference.
management services for media giants including the NBA, Viacom, Sony Pictures and FremantleMedia. Shahrzad is an advocate of positive social change and a champion of entrepreneurism.
Over the last 11 years, BroadbandTV has become a powerful force in online video, and is the world’s largest Multi-platform Network. Built on technological expertise, Vancouver-based BBTV represents 16.2bn monthly impressions with over 76,000 online video creators, providing a full suite of services and solutions including content distribution, technology, promotion, production, creative and design services, and monetisation opportunities in addition to niche value propositions for creators within each of its verticals.
Shahrzad will talk about how BBTV is working across platforms and creating novel partnerships like the one with AOL’s Huffington Post to create a new kind of online video journalism network called Outspeak and NBA Playmakers, a groundbreaking community for video creators focused on basketball and basketball culture, in partnership with the NBA. She will also talk about how the younger YouTube generation interacts with technology and content and what this means for traditional broadcasting.
BBTV also offers rights
Entitled “Transformation in the Digital Era: Leadership,
strategy and creativity in media and entertainment”, the conference will see more than 300 executives sharing insights on key issues at the heart of the entertainment, media and technology sector.
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OPENING OF THE WORLD’S LONGEST RAILWAY TUNNEL BROUGHT TO THE WEB VIA BLICK WEBTV AND LIVEU LiveU announced that the opening of the world’s longest railway tunnel – 57.09 km (35.5 mi) - was brought live to online viewers by Blick web TV using LiveU technology. The Gotthard Tunnel was officially opened on June 1st after decades of debate about its viability, with the result now being hailed as an engineering tour de force. Blick webTV was founded in 2006 and is part of the larger Ringier, a Swiss-based, multifaceted media group with employees in 15 countries. It produces web video content for both Ringier and external customers. Michel Huber, Head of Technology, said, “We were determined to broadcast live from the entire event. We also wanted to stream the
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first train journey through the Gotthard live. That was why we chose LiveU. The mobility was crucial. Our video journalist was able to transmit images to our editors for almost an hour without an external power supply and all live!” Blick webTV used a LU500, LiveU’s flagship uplink device for professional newsgathering, equipped with eight SIMs spread across three network operators. The company also took a Reuters Live Stream from the tunnel via satellite downlink. That was produced onsite by SRF and allowed Blick webTV to cut between images from the two feeds. Huber said, “Our expectations were more than exceeded. No test runs were
possible in advance so we therefore had to rely on the 4G network working in the tunnel as advertised. There were, in fact, a few places where the available bandwidth dropped to just 500k bits. Even in those extreme circumstances we kept broadcasting. As a result, we were very satisfied with what LiveU delivered to us from the Gotthard.” Blick webTV has been using LiveU technology for eighteen months now with the company deploying it for various types of news and sports coverage including the European Beach Volleyball Championships this year. It highlights even greater LiveU use since Facebook opened itself up to live video streaming.
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KLANG:TECHNOLOGIES ANNOUNCES FIRMWARE UPDATE KLANG:technologies, now distributed in the US by Group One Limited announces the introduction of a new operating system, KOS V2.1, for its KLANG:fabrik and KLANG:vier. Immediately available for free download from www.klang.com/en/downloads, the latest firmware brings a host of new features and improvements to the company’s 3D in-ear monitor mixing systems. channel count (KLANG:fabrik only) • Various IO configurations, e.g. 24in/8mixes, 56in/3mixes, 12in/16mixes (KLANG:fabrik only) • Major improvements for loading and storing show files and snapshots • User independent relative Group Mixing • ZeroConf IP address configuration for use without DHCP server • Template names for faster channel labeling • New Orbit view interface • Bug fixes and improved stability
“In addition to offering an increase of 50 percent more input channel processing capabilities, our new software supports snapshots and showfile exchange through KLANG:app, plus a new workflow for channel configuration making the system more flexible and even faster to work with,” says KLANG:technologies Founder and Chief Marketing
Officer Pascal Dietrich. “Furthermore, the Dante switch configuration has been extended for better integration in complex network setups, ensuring highest stability, and AES67 support has been enabled for improved interoperability.” KOS V2.1 improvements include: • 50 percent increase in input
Furthermore, the Dante software boasts the following major updates as well: • AES67 support • Latest Audinate Brooklyn II release included • Advance switch configuration (KLANG:fabrik / KLANG:vier) including Multicast (Dante Flows) filters • Fixed IP address assignments TMBi - 35
MotoGPTM is the oldest championship of the motoring world with a history dating as far back as 1949. Dorna Sports has had the television and exclusive marketing rights since 1992, and the burden of keeping up excellence in their broadcasts has also fallen in their hands. The company has recently taken another step forward by replacing SDI baseband signals for a new structure on an IP network manufactured by the German company, Lawo. The MotoGPTM championship travels through 15 countries on 4 different continents over the 9 months of the competition.
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In the preparation for this season, technicians at Dorna Sports and Lawo have worked hand-in-hand to incorporate an IP set-up, the same as that used by unilateral broadcasters, such as Eurosport (France, Germany, Holland) and Servus TV, as well as the production of up to 8 live signals for occasional broadcasters, such as Mediaset EspaĂąa. The result of this alliance is a set-up that integrates absolutely everything, from KVM Intercom and audio codec operations to Internet browsing. Dorna establishes a TV Compound on each
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circuit. They are enclosures that house all the production infrastructures, except for those that clearly need to be in other places like the cameras, vocal booths or the ENG that move around the Paddock and the Pit Lane. The international signal is produced between the two mobile units. The first, the Track Feed, controls 25 cameras deployed all over the circuit and the team that work inside are those in charge of following the race. This unit delivers a programme signal without audio to the nerve centre of MotoGPTM: IPF (International Program Feed). The second
unit is where they decide what goes live at each moment of the international signal. Besides the Track
The main advantage offered by the VSM system was its capacity to read video mixer tallies, which enables working as if there was an automated operator.
Feed signal, they also integrate replays and control slow motion images, computer graphics and wireless cameras. A fully produced signal is emitted from the IPF and delivered to the broadcasters for dissemination. We have not yet spoken about what happens with the audio. This is produced separately and is embedded at the end of the process. Audio is not mixed in the mobile units. The norm would be to have one mixing console in the Track Feed so as to deliver IPF a fully produced signal with the corresponding audio already mixed, and another, to produce the final mixing TMBi - 39
incorporating all the elements. Dorna Sports has another manner of working. The several different audio tracks enter a Nova 73 HD matrix attached to a Lawo mc56 console and supervised by the VSM system. What happens is that the two video mixers send their tally signal to the VSM in such a way that we can know exactly what is being broadcasted at any time and what is still to be TMBi - 40
broadcasted, that is, it reads what is happening in real time. With all this information, the mc56 mixes the audio automatically through the audio follow video function. No matter what the nature of the signal is, whether it is MADI, Ravenna, etc., the system supports them all. This is why audio control is located in a separate booth. The follow-up carried out by the mixer of what is
happening in the international signal can be adjusted in all its parameters. It works with a mapping in such a way that the system knows that when it focuses on one camera on a bend, for example, it has to increase one fader and lower others, following the action ordered by the video mixers. A sound technician supervises everything and is ready to act at any time, finetuning things or applying certain shades if need be.
The large amounts of audio with which they work, no longer integrate through multipair audio cables, they are distributed in Dallis (Audio I/O systems) connected to the matrix through fibre optics, which can also be redundant. This simplifies audio cabling enormously.
several different connections. They also provide information as to which audio it is, where it comes from, the situation of the power source, the state of the fibre, temperature, etc. This simplifies the installation quite a bit. The main advantage offered by the VSM system was its capacity
Executives at Dorna say that they implemented Lawo because it was much more than a simple piece of equipment, it was a work philosophy. The core is a matrix capable of working with more than 5,000 audios. A Stage Box stems from the matrix through fibre optic cables that accept up to 128 bi-directional channels with
Using an IP infrastructure for live broadcasts is a great opportunity yet also a challenge, and it will change how we produce things.
to read video mixer tallies, which enables working as if there was an automated operator. As far as the radio frequency is concerned, Dorna works with about 60 wireless camera signals. These include a helicopter, those travelling on board the bikes (up to 4 cameras per bike) and several strategically-placed ENG. IPF may use 6 cameras simultaneously, all in HD and very high quality. This is what a booth in the TV Compound and a specific post inside the mobile unit deals with. They are in charge of assisting production with whatever they may need at each given time according to what is
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happening, and of course, to ensure that the quality is second to none. But the RF unit does not stop here. Dorna provides an intercom service to reporters and broadcasters alike. They contract the signal and a series of extras that include integrated production/editing controls. Moreover, all the cameras are not only connected to repeater systems but also to a SAN with a MAM, with a real-time classification. This storage renders service to the editions made by the broadcasters and Dorna, both those located in the TV Compound and others in the Barcelona headquarters.
MODEL “Lawo is the most innovative company I have found in recent years and it is investing in technology that fits in perfectly with the future view Dorna has of broadcasting. This is why we have embarked on a watertight collaboration, to achieve a complete IT solution for our controls capable of producing live signals for Eurosport and Servus TV”, asserted Sergi Sendra, production manager at Dorna. It was only 3 weeks before the Qatar Grand Prix when Dorna took up Lawo’s IP setup proposal. During the testing before the TMBi - 42
championship that took place in Spain, Malaysia, Australia and Qatar, the team at Lawo were kept very busy designing and testing the system at the company's headquarters in Rastatt,
Germany. “In less than two weeks, we had to manufacture, assemble and configure the entire set-up before making the validation in Barcelonés” according to Bart Meeus,
consultant and engineer. “What was at the forefront of our thoughts was to ensure we had the all the necessary equipment to send the entire set-up to Barcelona in record time”. The entire Lawo equipment reached Dorna’s warehouses one week before the first GP in Qatar. “We only had 5 days to configure the entire set-up as per the Dorna's requirements, which would be used for the whole world", said Meeus. "We left everything fully operational on Friday, but it was not fully suited to their needs.” No time was wasted in redefining and fine-tuning the system for operation.
With this technology, the concept of Remote Production begins to make sense. It entails controlling live broadcast from the central headquarters in Barcelona, thousands of kilometres away from where the signal is generated.
Everything was then moved to Qatar in readiness for the beginning of the MotoGPTM season. “We had been on the circuit with two Lawo experts since Monday to ensure everything was up and running. We began to configure the set-up on that same Monday in the
morning on the Qatar circuit. On Wednesday, we managed to transmit the signals of the first press conference through the IP set-up for the broadcasters”, added Meeus. With the successful completion of the first broadcasts of the races in Qatar, Argentina, USA and TMBi - 43
Spain, Lawo’s set-up continued proving it is reliable and ready for the next Grand Prix.
IP BROADCASTING The set-up supports the interconnection and integration of the production units in all the necessary places for the broadcasting of MotoGPTM, and it is carried out through a matrix architecture distributed in input/output hubs wherever audio, video and data is supported. Aligned with the IP
broadcast set-up, we find the audio Nova 73 router, also manufactured by Lawo, and two Arista 10GbE switches controlled by two redundant VSM servers located in the Main Control Room (MCR). A second Nova 73 is in charge of the international programme signal (IPF) using a mc56 mixing console as explained above. In the end, the SDI router mentioned above with all its set-up has been completely replaced by an IP routing (SMPTE2022-6), using a 21 V_Link4s to carry and process audio and video
signals, connected redundantly to two Arista 7150 switches that supply a 1/10/40GbE platform in layers 2/3/4. Eurosport needs frameaccurate commutation for its 3 programme signals used for Germany, France and Holland through one single hardware panel, Virtual Studio Manager (VSM). As these signals must be frameaccurate, Lawo’s set-up commutes the IP streams in a decoder called PVW, first. Once the PVW signal is as desired, a shut-off button on the VSM panel changes the PVW signal to the PGM stream. It works like a video switch without having to have a video switch as such. Virtual Studio Manager controls all third-party systems (as a Barnfind signal carrier) used in the set-up, and it can control systems manufactured by different companies, both at present and others that may be incorporated in future. “Using an IP infrastructure for live broadcasts is a great opportunity yet also a challenge, and it will change how we produce image and sound, in addition to offering technical solutions to our production team and clients. Lawo is one of the prime drivers in that direction, and both the V series and the profound integration with Ravenna have truly convinced us to go for a Full
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IP Control Room ", mentioned Daniel LaviĂąa, the technical manager at Dorna.
INTERVIEW WITH MANEL ARROYO, MANAGING DIRECTOR/MEDIA AREA What did the incorporation of IP technology bring to the production of MotoGP? Manel Arroyo
It has been verified that live production with the incorporation of IP technology has enabled us to work with a swifter and more flexible distribution architecture of the multiple signals generated in the TV Compound. This system enables us to unite and integrate the transport of the different types of signals (audio, video, communications, etc.); simplify and unify cabling; and reduce the number of devices needed until now. With this technology, the concept of Remote Production begins to make sense. It entails controlling live broadcast from the central headquarters in Barcelona, thousands of kilometres away from where the signal is generated. As a whole, all this will result in the progressive reduction of the expenses incurred in staff having to travel and transporting equipment.
Is the spectator/user of MotoGP content changing their ways? They are much more demanding nowadays. Spectators have access to more information and are accustomed to accessing everything that happens during the weekend. Enthusiasts follow the broadcast of all the races and the timings at the same time. They interact on Twitter and Facebook. They express their opinions, they participate, and they are more active and involved in things. Many already use the possibility of seeing the races with the mosaic system, which allows seeing the main signal, but also a view from a camera on board the bike or helicopter. They demand more quality and send us their opinions regarding the broadcasts.
What do you expect from Broadcast equipment manufacturers with such a strong boom of the IT environment? The incorporation of IP technology with the quality demanded by the broadcast world is proving to be a major change in the industry, created many years before the IT environment. A very demanding processing and signal transmission will be needed with a quality control of the "television" service through the hands of engineers in the IT world. The integration of all the types of signals (audio, video, communications, etc.) in the same IP environment will entail an increase in management complexity that the manufacturers must aim to satisfy with more efficient equipment and interfaces. TMBi - 45
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The evening was electric at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on May 22, fueled by performances by P!NK, Madonna, Blake Shelton, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes and Gwen Stefani – all of whom used Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems. Adele, who is currently on tour with Sennheiser’s Digital 9000 wireless system, captured the evening’s top accolade: Billboard Artist of the Year. Once again, ATK Audiotek delivered first-rate audio services during the highprofile awards show, which was broadcast live to a national U.S. audience by ABC, reaching 9.6 million
viewers and dominating Sunday night’s prime-time viewership. Sennheiser microphones delivered flawless audio for many of the evening’s stage performances – both for television viewers at home, as well as those present at the brand new 20,000capacity T-Mobile arena.
FLYING HIGH AT THE BILLBOARD AWARDS Among the evening’s highlights was P!NK’s superb aerial performance of her new single, “Just Like Fire”, during which she donned a hidden, bespoke wireless microphone system from
Sennheiser. “Sennheiser created a customized headmic with an HSP 4 cardioid capsule – this allows her to to fly right in front of the P.A. with no issues,” commented Horst Hartmann, monitor engineer for P!NK. “This system works very well, looks great and is very small – we have had tremendous support from Sennheiser on this solution from the very beginning.” While there were no less than three days of production rehearsals to prepare for the show, Hartmann was certain that P!NK’s performance would be nothing short of perfect: “P!NK’s aerobatics
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are not so much of a challenge anymore, because we’ve done this on tour more than 160 times!” Hartmann relies on a Sennheiser SK 5212 bodypack transmitter that is concealed in P!NK’s costume, which sends audio to an EM 3732-II dual-
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channel receiver. “The reason we use the 3732-II is because it has 184 MHz switching bandwidth,” explains Hartmann. “This means we can go anywhere in the world and never have any issues finding available frequencies.”
Whether on awards shows, or during arena tours, Hartmann has never been concerned about coverage reliability while using his Sennheiser kit: “I’ve never had problems with Sennheiser wireless,” he says. “When we were doing
this on tour, P!NK was flying 360 degrees from just about everywhere in the arena – in many cases this meant transmitting audio from very far away.”
A PERFORMANCE FOR A P RINCE
Perhaps one of the more poignant highlights of the evening was Madonna’s twosong tribute to Prince, which saw her singing through a Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter, couple with an MD 5235 capsule. Dressed in a purple Gucci suit, she performed the Prince-penned blockbuster hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” while spinning in a formal chair adorned with luxurious looking purple cushioning. For her second number, she was joined onstage by the legendary Stevie Wonder and the duo proceeded to perform the Prince classic “Purple Rain”, with a host of background vocalists singing through an SKM 5200 transmitter / MD 5235 capsule combination. For the house wireless, ATK Audiotek set up four Sennheiser EM 3732-II dualchannel receivers, and utilized two additional EM 3732-IIs for the Madonna performance. Jeff Peterson, Sound Engineer at ATK Audiotek, appreciates the EM 3732 not just for its reliability, but also for its companding flexibility: “The ability to adjust the receiver to accommodate either the Sennheiser 2000 or 5200 series wireless transmitter is really helpful,” he says. “Oftentimes, we don’t know in advance which transmitter an artist is going
to show up with until the last minute, so this kind of flexibility is really helpful. We can fit them into whatever frequency coordination has been set up.”
TWO VOICES IN HEARTFELT PERFORMANCE
Country superstar Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani performed “Go Ahead and Break My Heart,” following its debut performance on The Voice – where they are both judges – earlier this month. The pair both crooned through Sennheiser SKM 2000 transmitters, coupled with MMD 935 capsules. Shelton’s monitor engineer Brad Baisley likes the way the 935 capsule cuts through the mix: “That 935 capsule is consistent wherever we go, and there is something about the voicing of it that works perfectly with wedges,” he says. “Blake likes some low frequencies, but he especially likes to hear some highs – which most of the industry standard mics just don’t have. I don’t have to do a lot of work with that 935 – I will typically take out some upper mids, but for the most part, I leave it flat.” For the backline, Baisley and ATK’s Peterson are equally as enthusiastic about Sennheiser’s wired evolution series when it comes to miking up instruments: “There TMBi - 49
are certain ‘go-to mics’ – and for us, these include an e 602 and e 902 on the kick drum, and e 604s on the toms. We also use the e 609s and e 906s on the guitars, because they sound fat and rich, and also look cool.” Baisley concurs on the Sennheiser e 906: “I always travel with my electric guitar mics,” he says. “Specifically, I prefer the Sennheiser MD 421 and the e 906. The e 906 has the three-position roll-off switch, and I really love that. I prefer the darker setting, which reminds me of a vintage Sennheiser MD 409. For our lead guitarist, I will usually have one of these positioned right on the grill of a Mesa Boogie 4 x 10” cabinet.” “Events like The Billboard Music Awards present a TMBi - 50
significant challenge since there are many different performing artists and programming requirements over the course of the show,” says Byron Gaither, Artist Relations for Sennheiser. “We are pleased that so many artists and reputable audio services companies like ATK Audiotek continue to rely on Sennheiser microphones and wireless systems for their reliability and sound quality.” For Horst Hartmann, and likely most professionals in the business, the true measure of a successful performance often rests with feedback from the artist: “Everything went as it should,” he concludes. “P!NK was happy – and when she is happy, I’m happy as well!”
ANASTACIA CARRIES AN
EQUIPMENT To support her Ultimate Collection compilation album, singer-songwriter Anastacia is spending the spring and summer on an extensive European tour, which includes multiple festival dates. A comprehensive package of Sennheiser wireless microphones, instrument microphones and wireless monitoring is travelling with the tour. “We are using Sennheiser because Horst (Hartmann, monitor engineer) and I both get on very well with the
equipment and how it sounds,” says Front-of-House engineer Chris Madden. “It enables us to have clean RF every day and we don’t have any problems.” Supplied by Clare UK, the Sennheiser package includes e 901 and e 902 microphones on the kick drum, e 904s on the snare and toms, e 914s on the hats and cymbals and a pair of e 906s on the electric guitar. For vocals, the setup is an SKM 5200 with MD 5235 capsule for Anastacia’s vocal
and female backing vocalist Maria Quintile, with male backing vocalist DeeRal using an MMD 945 head on a 2000 series wireless system. “I’ve used the 5235 a lot with female singers and get on really well with it. It’s always worked. I used it with Jessie J and really like it,” says Chris. “It’s meant for loud stages and has really good rejection. Anastacia’s previous guitarist wasn’t using an amp and the drummer played behind a screen. I think drum screens
look awful, so I wanted to get rid of it, plus we wanted to move full-time to in-ear monitors to make the stage look much cleaner. I thought the 5235 would help reduce spill down her mic, which would make using IEMs less of an issue, and it has worked really well.” The wireless setup is eight channels of EM 3732-II receivers and eight 5000 series handheld transmitters. “We’ve also got a 2000 series with 945 head for the guitarist’s backing vocals, because he’s so close to the drum kit. That has also helped an awful lot in reducing the amount of spill from the (incredibly loud!) drummer,” says Chris. An unusual aspect of the tour is the pair of mirrorimage microphone trees, located one each side of the stage. Each supports three ambient microphones. “We tried lots of different combinations and settled on each tree having a 914 pointing 45° outwards towards the side, a long MKH 70 rifle mic in the middle, pointing straight down the back, and a shorter MKH 60 rifle pointing at the pit. The combination of the open 914 and highly directional shotguns gives us scale without picking up everything,” says Chris. “Horst is riding that all the time to get the effect of the crowd between songs, while I use some of it if I need to TMBi - 51
send a broadcast mix.” “I like the sound of Sennheiser mics, particularly the 5000 Series. I think it’s the best vocal mic they make, particularly for female artists,” adds Horst. “The 184 MHz bandwidth gives me a lot of channels to choose from, meaning I can go all over the world with just one system and still find the frequencies I need.” “The G3 wireless IEMs are the same. People like the sound and so do I. We use them along with an AC 3200II antenna combiner. I think they’re the right choice for rock music and their 40 MHz bandwidth means that, again, it’s easy to find frequencies – which is always an issue these days. Overall Sennheiser wireless systems are a very reliable product, they sound good and are easy to use.” “It has been a pleasure to support Chris and Horst, both long-time users of our product, on the Anastacia tour,” concludes Phil Cummings, Artist Relations for Sennheiser. “Everything has worked perfectly and it’s great to see Anastacia back out on tour in 2016.”
SENNHEISER DIGITAL 9000 PROVIDES NO COMPROMISE SOLUTION FOR
Adele’s tour of Europe and North America is possibly the TMBi - 52
biggest tour of 2016 – it certainly has the highest of production values and there is, quite simply, no room for error. This is the remit for German rental company Black Box Music and a team of top-class engineers, who have specified equipment from some of the audio industry’s best known and most well respected manufacturers. Used by Adele and her three backing singers, Sennheiser’s flagship Digital 9000 system microphones are a vital component.
For Sennheiser, being part of such a prestigious, high production value tour fits perfectly with its ethos of providing world-class, innovative solutions that continually push the boundaries of audio technology. Front-of-House engineer for the tour is Dave Bracey and he was delighted with Digital 9000 from the moment he heard it. “This is the first time that Adele, Joe Campbell, monitor engineer] and I have used Digital 9000,” Dave explains. “Adele had used a different
Sennheiser mic for her previous tour, which she really liked. We were going to try out several alternative mics with her during rehearsals, but after we listened to the 9000 we knew we already had the winner. So we compared Adele’s
previous Sennheiser mic to the Digital 9000 with a 9235 capsule with her and the 9000 sound was twice as good. It was such a leap forward straight away that we knew it was the right choice. Its whole sonic character is amazing”.
“The main thing is that there’s no compression or expanding going on in the transmission stage, so all of that messing with the signal that happened with analogue radio systems is just not there now. It used to be the case that the cable version of any system sounded better than the radio one. Now there is a radio system that sounds as good as, or better than, any cable microphone I’ve ever heard. That’s a pretty cool thing to lay your ears across.” With the mic initially running analogue out, Dave and Joe did an A/B test using AES out. “That was superior sound again,” says Dave. “Now we’re running AES from the mic capsule all the way to the amps flown in the roof. It doesn’t hit anything analogue between the capsule and the amp – which is everything – so it’s an absolutely clean path.” “It sounds great,” agrees Joe. “It’s the best sounding radio mic we’ve ever used and, moreover, Adele likes it. She’s got a very good ear and she really likes it.”
Dave is using a fair amount of processing on Adele’s mic, partly because she spends most of the show out in front of the PA – the main stage is a triangular shape with a diamond shaped thrust, with the main PA sitting at the rear of this thrust, whilst the B stage is located in the middle of the arena floor with its own PA hung high above it to TMBi - 53
avoid any impact on sight lines. “I need to control the relative tonal balance through a range of performance styles, from when she’s singing low, right on mic, to when she is hitting top voice with it ten inches away”. “It requires work because Adele’s vocal performance pushes boundaries. If she was behind the PA and just used one mic technique for the whole show, you would do practically nothing with it. The chat between the songs has to sound correct, as well. I have to process the vocal so that it sounds good when she’s talking and good when she’s singing, in every way. You would think that with Adele singing with a quality mic through a quality PA, the channel would be flat all the time. It’s actually not.” Dave is pleased that everything pretty much looks TMBi - 54
after itself, but to encourage Adele to get closer to the mic when talking in front of the PA, he fires a macro that rolls up a high-pass filter, she hears a little body go out of it which naturally brings her closer to the mic. “I talked to her about it once,” he says. “She understood what I was doing and it works.” Control tech Oliver Twiby is in charge of managing the required radio frequencies. “I do all the RF management. At each venue, I scan the venue to check what frequencies we can use and then license them through Ali Viles at Mission Control. We have 22 Sennheiser 2000 in-ears and for Adele we’re running four frequencies in two ranges, a main and a backup in both ranges. We have eight 9000 Series mics. We’re using the entire rack and we have a redundant unit that we can
hot swap to, and we’re also running some wireless talkback mics for techs.” “There are 32 frequencies in total to look for and set up every day. All the in-ears are in the same range, so we have a quite tight RF plot and it’s also quite a tight schedule. The mics have a very good noise floor – you only need 10dB of noise floor - which means that in a busy environment, where everyone is using a mobile phone, we could have drop outs if we were using different mics. The sound of the capsule is also really good. It’s a very organic sounding mic.” “We haven’t had any problems with RF,” adds Joe. “The main challenge we have here is the antenna system. We don’t get to place it where we’d ideally like to have it because of the problems with sight lines, etc. There’s
nowhere on the stage that’s high enough to make it ideal, so we have placed one antenna stage left on the back handrail. It could do with being at least a metre higher, but then it would be in front of the LED screen.” “Because we need flawless reception from the A to the B stage, we placed another antenna at FOH, which sits in front of the camera position and points at the B stage. This means that wherever Adele is in the room, we can switch between the two receiver systems and have full-strength reception. It works very well.” The sound quality and reliability of Sennheiser’s 9000 Series has clearly impressed the team. “On this tour, nothing is allowed to go wrong. That’s the word from the top,” says Dave. “It’s a
classy show and there can’t be glitches. Audio, touch wood, hasn’t had any. But you also have to future-proof your tour when you’re going out for a couple of years. You don’t change what you start out with, there simply isn’t time. We know that we’ve done that with Digital 9000.” “The tour has been fantastic so far. Adele is singing incredibly; her voice sounds beautiful. I’ve never heard anything like it. We’ve had great reviews and there have been lots of comments about the sound. It’s one of the best sounding shows I’ve ever mixed, if not the best, probably by a long way. What more can I say…” “The advancement in RF technology has enabled us to do more with more reliability,” said Richard Young, Production Manager. “The
Sennheiser system allows us to have confidence every night that the audio will be rock solid.” “Working on one of the biggest, if not the biggest, world tour of 2016 is a fantastic opportunity for us,” concludes Phil Cummings, Artist Relations Live Performance & Music for Sennheiser. “We started work on providing the Digital 9000 microphone system for Adele last July; the kit requirements for this tour have taken a lot of planning to make sure the audio team have everything they need. Andrew Lillywhite, Tim Sherratt and myself were on hand during rehearsals and through to the live shows. It’s been a real pleasure dealing with everyone on the Adele tour.”
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Studio will demonstrate the full IP ecosystem, acting as a training centre and test bed for third party interoperability. Broadcasters and production companies have long lacked the opportunity to get hands-on with a test IP Live production system and Sony is now able to provide a landmark educational resource and practical tool to aid literacy and excellence in IP. The studio will demonstrate what the industry can achieve, showcasing the scalability and benefits of Sony's Networked Media Interface, which delivers low latency and noise-free switching of HD and 4K video, audio and metadata via standard network infrastructures. It will also support IP initiatives as a hardware tool and establish itself as a prime training ground for professionals, in line with the strong heritage already established by Sony at Pinewood Studios. The IP Live Studio will serve as a ‘playground’ for partners that are part of the IP Live Alliance, allowing them to interface their own equipment with the Sony system. With the range of IP-compatible software and kit expanding across the industry, the DMPCE’s platform will allow partners to ensure their customers can interact with different workflows thanks to the help of Sony’s technology. Sony has already established a leading list of partners, including 50 members of the IP Live Alliance, who will be able to use the studio to go beyond a regular proof of concept by demonstrating their products’ interoperability and functionality in a live environment.
Sony has launched recently a dedicated IP Live Studio as part of its Digital Motion Picture Centre Europe (DMPCE) at Pinewood Film Studios. The facility opening marks Sony’s commitment to developing IP solutions ready today, open for tomorrow. The brand new IP
"Ever since introducing our first IP-enabled solutions back in 2012, we've been working with partners and customers to make IP an operational reality in live production environments. Our approach is tested and proven in the field, forming the backbone of live production workflows for customers such as TV Globo, CNN Adria and the PSNC," said Norbert Paquet, Strategic Marketing Manager at Sony Professional Europe. “To date, TMBi - 57
standards and alliances have focused only on a few of the challenges of IP Live production. The IP Live Studio is therefore an opportunity for our customers to test and operate a complete IP workflow, and experience the exciting interoperability on offer.” “The IP Live Studio will exist alongside Sony’s established cinematography and Broadcast workflow at the DMPCE, which has already TMBi - 58
welcomed over 3,300 customers through its doors since its launch in 2013. The DMPCE has a strong heritage in training, and the IP Studio further supports Sony’s mission to educate and inspire AV professionals by letting them feel the power of the latest technologies for themselves. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone to the new IP Live Studio,” said Ann-Marie Hiscox, European Head of
Training at Sony Professional Europe. The Studio’s acquisition system will feature Sony’s HDC-4300 4K/HD live system camera and BPU-4500 baseband processor, working in tandem with NXLK-IP40F SDI to IP converter boards, and a state of the art network infrastructure. The list of manufacturers contributing interoperable kit to the Studio includes:
• Cisco • Evertz • EVS • Imagine Communications • Juniper Networks • Tektronix • TSL The following operational and technological features will be demonstrated, among others: • 4K and HD acquisition over IP • Video switching over IP • Real Time graphics over IP • Networked Media Interface interoperability • Dynamic routing Designed for Live Production engineers, live studio technicians, production companies, broadcasters and more, the IP Live studio will be open from June.
SONY JOINS NETWORKED MEDIA INCUBATOR (NMI) PROJECT OF THE
ADVANCED MEDIA WORKFLOW ASSOCIATION (AMWA) The NMI project was created by AMWA to enable open, multi-vendor interoperability in professional media networks. Their activity focuses on getting tangible results by concentrating on specific technical areas through a series of collaborative activities. They also facilitate virtual and physical exchanges between system developers. The technical goals of the group are guided by the Reference Architecture (RA) published
by the Joint Task Force on Networked Media (JT-NM). Sony has been an original member of AMWA, and this participation shows Sony's expertise and commitment to promoting the adoption of widely supported, open standards to create IP-based Interoperability and accelerate the transition of the industry to IP-based platforms. "In the same way that we recently joined AIMS to focus, amongst other things, on VSF TR-03 and SMPTE 2022-6, joining the AMWA NMI group today will enable us to work even more closely with other industry leaders to promote the adoption, standardisation, development and refinement of open protocols for media over IP “, says Norbert Paquet, Strategic Marketing Manager, Sony Professional, Sony Europe.
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NEP provides the technology, the people and know-how to enable clients to produce the worldsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; biggest live and broadcast events around the globe. The company is the leading worldwide provider of outsourced production solutions offering technical services for remote- and cloud production, studio production, video display, host broadcasting, post production, smart asset / media management, multi-screen delivery and end-to-end OTT solutions.
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NEP The Netherlands, part of the NEP worldwide network, recently launched Cloud Production, a revolutionary, comprehensive IP-based video production platform. In November 2015, the TV show Carloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TV CafĂŠ was broadcasted on RTL4, the leading Dutch commercial TV channel, using remotecontrolled Cloud Production. This was the first live broadcast ever to be televised using the technology. Soon other shows followed and at this time, almost all major Dutch commercial and public broadcasters are making use of the Cloud Production Platform. NEP The Netherlands built its directing, audio and shading suites at the Media Park in Hilversum, The Netherlands, for this purpose.
CHALLENGES Nowadays, the media landscape has been defined by mergers, reduces production budgets, new collaborations and changing viewer behavior. Broadcasters and producers face a challenge to maintain, and raise, the quality of their productions with pressure on budgets. The current production process required committing complete studios and production teams exclusively to a single project, even when they often utilize only a small percentage of the production TMBi - 62
capacity of the team, technology and equipment. For many productions significant budget allocations are made for complicated logistics, setting up and deconstructing sets, and parking costs. Besides this, The Netherlands is a small county, but the audience is
used to a lot of U.S. and U.K. content and they compare the quality of locally created content, which is produced on about 10 percent of the budget, to that programming. Dutch broadcasters and media companies has always had to find ways to produce and create very high-quality content in very different ways. While many media
companies and broadcasters are working on remote production and video over IP, NEP The Netherlands made the leap to a Cloud platform on which resources are available on demand.
with maximum flexibility and maximum utilization of live production cameraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s.
This latest technology for live production enables clients to produce the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier live and broadcast events in the Netherlands
Due to large investments in infrastructure and datacenter over the last ten years, NEP has almost infinite bandwidth and can therefore work
without any compression or delay. By using scalable IP technology and the capacity of its own nationwide fiber network, NEP can not only process HD 1080i and 1080p. Even formats like 4K, high frame rate and high dynamic range now become part of the possibilities. All this also contributes to a better environment; large trucks and TMBi - 63
crew vans are no longer needed. Cloud Production centralizes resources so that they can be shared more TMBi - 64
efficiently and sustainably utilized across productions. The technology and teams can be utilized across multiple productions every
day, and by working more efficiently, the quality of productions can remain the focus. Because of this centralization significantly
fewer crew members are needed on location, which also greatly reduces travel and accommodation costs. Cloud Production also offers the flexibility to employ parts of the direction, like position, audio, image and EVS operator. The studio location and all essential parts of Cloud Production are connected via IP network connections. All connections use NEP’s own unique fiber optic network to connect to its data center, where all technology is housed. From the new Cloud Production suite there is complete control over the production processes – just as there is with traditional productions. Depending on the type of production, the director can either direct from a location near the studio or from the suites. The foundation of Cloud Production has been proven and is based on years of experience, including our forerunners LiveCenter, and our cloud video montage platform since 2006. All of these rely on NEP’s own technical infrastructure, including its own data centers and a 100 percent uptime dark fiber fiberglass network. The entire infrastructure is monitored and supported by a 24/7 expert service operation center. Some features of the setup are unique to the Dutch market and not easily
transferred in other countries. NEP The Netherland owns its own fiber network, something that mobile companies in other countries usually don’t do, and the distance is relatively short, which makes the use of uncompressed video possible. The next phase of the project, is planned to use uncompressed JPEG 2000 video over outside networks, which will allow the system to work over long distances. Peter Bruggink, CTO NEP The Netherlands: “While many media companies and broadcasters are working on remote production and video over IP, we have made a leap to a Cloud platform on which resources are available on demand. The foundation of Cloud Production has been proven and is based on years of experience: including our forerunners LiveCenter, and our cloud video montage platform. All of these rely on our own technical infrastructure including our data centers and a 100% uptime dark fiber fiberglass network, . The entire infrastructure is monitored and supported by a 24/7 expert service desk. This result in a very stable base for our new Cloud Production technology.” TMBi - 65
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We begin this series of articles entitled The Clinical Eye by analysing two basic parameters of all video representation systems, either a monitor, a projector or videowall, for instance: brightness and gamma. In subsequent issues, we shall be delving into further aspects of images and their quality, the reasons behind colour distortions, how to measure the reliability of monitors and how to solve (to the extent possible) the poor adjustments and imperfections that we are unfortunately faced with all the time.
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Digitalisation has entailed such a profound change of paradigm in the Audiovisual Industry that it has required a shift in how we think and work. From a technological standpoint, not much of what was acceptable just a few years ago remains in place today. New generations of equipment, tools and applications replacing their previous versions never cease to appear in a continuous cycle. While each new generation of products bears improvements compared to its predecessor and we are certainly experiencing one of the most passionate stages of human communication ever, we must admit that these advances are often faster than our ability to grasp them. On this occasion, our reflections shall be focused on monitors, the last link in the value chain of the Audiovisual Industry. A monitor is the final TMBi - 68
connection between technology and human factor, the eyes and the mind and in short, the world of sensations. There will be little point of taking great pains to perfect each stage of the technical-creative process if the programme is displayed on a poorly adjusted or a downright bad monitor failing to show the dark details or displaying burnt images, or even a green tint on all colours, etc. But what is even worse, what is the point of adjusting cameras or performing colour corrections for hours on end to achieve the wished dramatic tone for the image in our programme if we do it on a poorly adjusted monitor? Or think about when we believe that we have achieved a precious tone reminiscent of the environment we would like to convey but in reality, it turns out that we have used colours totally different to those envisaged...
We must be well aware that monitors are, essentially, analogical pieces of equipment, with everything this implies. The overwhelming digitalisation of production processes, so brilliant as it is practical, assuring that the image will not be degraded during the production, post-production or emission processes, could lead us to believe that monitors are free from sin, or in other words, perfect, simply for having digital inputs. Unfortunately this is not so. The monitor indeed receives the signal in a digital format, but it must convert it to analogical in order to send information to each of the pixels (or more precisely, to each RGB subpixel) on how much light the LCD or OLED monitor needs to let through or generate, respectively. So, the digital to analogical conversion, the processing of the analogical signal and the extreme precision it must
have for the colour displayed to be correct, together with the multiple factors that make signals derive from their theoretical value, can result in the actual displayed image to bear little resemblance to the image defined by the digital values that reach the monitor through an SDI video cable.
BRIGHTNESS We shall begin by recalling the basics of how cathode ray tube monitors work, which are the ones we all hold as a reference. These monitors produce light by shooting electron beams onto small phosphorescent points (pixels). In all reality, there are three electron beams and
each of them focuses on a certain subpixel (red, green and blue) in such a way that the brightness and colour of a pixel are produced by the combination of the light generated by the phosphorescent elements of the three subpixels. The maximum brightness that can be achieved for a pure white screen was 100 Nits (or Candela per square metre) given the practical limitations of building cathode ray tube monitors. The 100 Nits then became the reference value. This value has remained the same during the entire analogue age, and it is also valid for SDI digital video and HD video. However, with the arrival of high-performance LCD monitors and the OLED monitors, and coinciding with the appearance of standards associated to UHD (or 4K), much brighter standards have been defined, like the HDR, or high-dynamic range, which we shall discuss in the coming issues. So, if we would like to see an SD or HD image displayed, the monitor must be adjusted to a brightness of 100 Nits for a pure white image. For LCD monitors, this parameter is adjusted with the backlight parameter (in some cases with the brightness parameter too). It is best if the illumination of the room is dim and colourless, so as to not mask or colour the darker tones of the image. TMBi - 69
Test signals like those shown in previous page (Image 1 and 2) are used to adjust brightness and contrast. Many video generators include similar test signals.
very useful to check the signal that reaches the monitor and to ensure that we are adjusting everything with the correct values. Some reference monitors include a meter to facilitate this task.
The brightness will be adjusted so that the rectangle with 20 value is visible, but no others of a smaller value (infrablack). We will also adjust the contrast so that the rectangle 235 is visible (the rectangles with a higher brightness should be seen, but it is not strictly necessary).
We must bear in mind that the brightness, contrast and backlight adjustments interact between them, so we should check all three values when we adjust any one of them.
It is paramount to ensure that the test signal is correct and that the 16 and 235 greys indeed correspond to the values in the digital signal. To do this, we must prevent the signal from going through any type of converter whatsoever. Ultimately, a waveform monitor shall be
GAMMA The human eye responds to light logarithmically, which means that when we see a scale of greys, despite it may seem that the brightness increases continuously, the actual amount of light between two adjacent bars increases exponentially, and the exponent is the Gamma. As a reference, a typical gamma of 2.4 means that each bar has 2.4 times the
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amount of light compared to the previous bar. In the notso-distant days of cameras and cathode ray tube monitors, these cameras and monitors behaved in an exponential manner, albeit with an inverse curve between one another, in such a way that the gamma curve was implicit in the equipment. However, the solid-state sensors of our modern cameras have a linear response, as do the modern LCD, plasma or OLED monitors, in approximate terms. Despite us thinking that Gamma is a relic of oldfashioned uses, it is all the fashion now, because it is a very efficient compression method, enabling us to ensure that only the values (and value differences) that are visible to the eye are assigned, saved and transmitted, and that bits are
not used to code brightness increases that the eye will not perceive (Image 3). Gamma is of utmost importance in the design of the analogical electronics of a monitor: a handful of milliwatts of error in the lower values of the signal can lead to significant differences in brightness, and therefore, a notably different colour from the optimum one. A great deal of precision is, therefore, required in the tension of each subpixel, which must be stable over time, to ensure that the resulting colour does not change from one tone to another. By way of a practical result
of what we have mentioned above, we shall now present a graph where we can see the behaviour of a real LCD monitor, a recently manufactured professional monitor. We can see the deviations from the theoretical value of the Gamma values of each of the three colours in the centre of the image. On the right-hand side, we can see the value of the Gamma curve measured for the luminance in the entire scale of greys, together with the technical value. Similarly, DeltaE values for each of the levels of grey are shown on the left-hand side. The DeltaE parameter measures the extent in which the difference
between the theoretical value and the real measured value is visible. This parameter is critical because any minimum variance in brightness can be very visible (especially in grey and skin tones) and major variations may not be so visible (particularly, in bright and saturated colours). Seeing is not the same as seeing well and to achieve optimum and reliable results, we need to know how monitors behave; be aware that their calibration is essential; and that the story does not end here. There are other variables that we shall address in further issues of The Clinical Eye. TMBi - 71