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Welcome to the November issue of

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➤ 16




➤ News Drones The ultimate in social distancing

—page 18

➤ Cloudspotter’s Journal Cloud storage or local SAN?

Is Scripps-Ion Deal a Harbinger? Analysts await ad recovery, SCOTUS ownership ruling to guide future acquisitions BY GARY ARLEN

—page 25

➤ Equipment Guide

Video Monitors, Test Equipment & Signal Monitoring —pages 27–32

BETHESDA, Md.—Marrying content with transmission—the core ingredient in the $2.65 billion E.W. Scripps Co. acquisition of Ion Media—is the goal for any future television group mergers, but it will be a tough fit, according to financial and media analysts. Although medium- and some small-market deals are possible, they will be affected by the perceived recovery of TV advertising when the pandemic eases and by the pending Supreme Court’s consideration of media ownership rules. Moreover, as a new PricewaterhouseCooper’s Media Outlook concludes, the role of broadcasting is unclear as media companies are “reconfiguring for digital” services (such as streaming), which means that, “Landmark acquisitions are out; buying growth and cash flows are in.” “We’re evolving into a new generation,” said John Sanders of media valuation firm Bond & Pecaro. He characterizes the eventual companies as “not pure TV broadcasters” but rather media companies that

“will be more diversified into content and distribution, including products that will be available on other formats.” NATIONAL FOOTPRINT FOR SCRIPPS The Scripps-Ion deal in late September—backed by $600 million of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway funding—gave Scripps a national footprint; Ion MERGER, PAGE 10

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3 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020

TUNE IN TO TVTECHNOLOGY.COM For the latest information on our industry’s virtual events, visit our Resources section.





Is Scripps-Ion Deal a Harbinger? Analysts await ad recovery, SCOTUS ownership ruling to guide future acquisitions


Faking It: Sound-Starved Stadiums Inside Audio, Dennis Baxter


COVID-19 Production Workflows: What Will Stay? What’s Next? Software-based solutions provide flexibility, scalability, and adaptability


Lighting in 2020: Home Is Where the Studio Is Despite a few production hiccups, vendors are keeping the supply lines full


Current Events Validate Virtualized Playout ‘COVID provided a business imperative that turned out to be a proving point’


Drones Enhance Coverage in Age of COVID Six ways to help create compelling content with drones in these strange days


Cloud Storage or Local SAN? Cloudspotter’s Journal, Karl Paulsen


How Broadcasters Can Maximize Efficiencies Post-COVID The changes to archiving and workflows could be here for good


Shephard Smith’s News Set Immerses in Video Constructed during pandemic, monitors give flexibility to how news is presented





User Reports—Video Monitors, Test Equipment & Signal Monitoring Atomos, SmallHD, Blackmagic Design and Sony

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4  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


‘Zooming TFN’ E

limitations into consideration when nology as well as our online and social ight months planning our “Fall TV” month of online media resources. Remote production is into the COVevents. From the News Tech Summit to top of mind for everyone these days and ID-19 pandemic, Advanced Advertising and Streaming, the changes brought on by the need to whether we like it or we covered all the bases of the TV in“report from home” have affected pronot, we’ve learned to dustry in September, offering up insights duction workflows in a way that was unlive our professional from industry leaders and thinkers. We seen even 12 months ago. The year 2020 (and much of our perkept the sessions short and concise, enwill not only be remembered as historic sonal lives) online. By 4TOM BUTTS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF suring a lively pace of conversation and for the world, it will also be seen as a now, most of us will information sharing. demarcation point for our industry, when admit that we’re “all One of the “perks” of the online ver“virtual” took on a whole new meaning. zoomed out,” a term sion aforementioned is the ability to Another important part of our effort that had little meaning before March. bring the value of these summits to a to inform and educate our readers is the This is a fact of life for those of us who wider audience. And you can still watch “Tech Summits” we’ve held in conjunction have been fortunate enough to continue all of the sessions online for free. Just with our sister publication Broadcasting to work in 2020; many of our colleagues go to to register. & Cable over the years. This year those have not been so lucky. The turmoil That will give access to all the sessions summits went virtual for the first time. caused by the pandemic has not only and speeches, including all the drastically affected how we do research that was presented durour jobs, it has also affected how ing the conferences. we feel about our work in general. We also launched “TV Tech While we may be experiencing the Talks,” a series of 15-minute onburnout that comes with endless line sessions hosted by longtime online meetings, we are also well TV Technology contributor Wes aware of the incredible responsiSimpson, covering a variety of bility that comes with keeping our topics from content acquisition viewers informed in a year where to IP-based production. Like our the pace of change seems to be summits, these sessions have accelerating out of control. been designed in a concise and That dedication was not only ‘TV Tech Talks’ is a new series of webcasts covering the important focused manner to make the best illustrated by how we have cov- topics affecting media production. use of your day online. ered the devastating effects of Until we have a better idea of when For many of us, travelling for work the ongoing pandemic, but in broadcastthe world will open back up, we’ve adwas a necessary part of our job that had ers’ reporting on the civil rights unrest opted a policy of “Zooming TFN” for its perks but was not universally appealand other related events that have made our events calendar, which means that ing. Spending your weeks in airports and 2020 such a memorable year. Our inwe will continue to plan and brainstorm hotels might sound glamorous at first dustry continues to prove daily the imbetter ways of adopting the new world but it loses its luster after a while. I’m portance of our role in being the “first of online “networking” to optimize your sure many of us would now jump at the responders” to bring vital news and inonline experience. chance to meet our colleagues in person. formation to a nation cooped up in their To access all of our online webcasts, We learned early on that while the homes. visit world of online meetings has its perks, We have documented the impact of webcasts. it also has its limitations. We took those these changes in the pages of TV Tech-

Honor Excellence With the Eighth Annual Product Innovation Awards Attention Vendors: The 2020 Product Innovation Awards, TV Technology’s annual recognition of the newest products, is now accepting nominations. The PIA program is a way to shine a spotlight on the latest industry products. Product Innovation Award winners are chosen by a panel of working professional engineers and managers in TV and pro video. In addition, every product nominated, whether chosen for an award or not, will be featured in the special Product Innovation Awards Program Guide, which will be distributed as a digital edition to TV Technology and TVBEurope readers in December.

To submit your nomination, visit Deadline is Nov. 12.

TVTechnology TVTechnology Vol. 38 No. 11

November 2020 FOLLOW US CONTENT VP/Global Editor-In-Chief Bill Gannon, Content Director Tom Butts, Content Manager Terry Scutt, Content Producer Michael Balderston, Contributors Gary Arlen, Susan Ashworth, James Careless, Gary Eskow, Steve Harvey, Craig Johnston, Bob Kovacs and Mark R. Smith Production Manager Heather Tatrow Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban Senior Design Directors Lisa McIntosh and Will Shum ADVERTISING SALES Director of Sales, Media Entertainment & Tech Laura Lubrano, SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to and click on About Us, email, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 8692, Lowell, MA 01853. LICENSING/REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS TV Technology is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President, B2B Rick Stamberger Chief Revenue Officer Mike Peralta Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036

All contents © 2020 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents,subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation. TV Technology (ISSN: 0887-1701) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Phone: 703-852-4600. FAX:703-852-4583. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TV Technology, P.O. Box 848, Lowell, MA 01853.

Getting the Thrill Across.















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World Cups and countless other games. Global album launches streamed live over the web, major rock festivals brought to millions, classical performances in any venue. Lawo is where the thrill is. By appointment to the most talented people on the planet. All over IP, in cutting-edge quality. A big shout out to all the teams around the globe that keep live sports alive for those who are not allowed into the venues.

6  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY



Finding The ‘Middle Path’


FCC Officially Moves Into New Headquarters WASHINGTON—The FCC has officially updated its headquarter’s address from 445 12th St. SW to 45 L St. NE in Washington, D.C., 20554. However, the new space is likely to remain empty for the time being, as most FCC staffers are continuing to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The address change does not impact the FCC’s current prohibition on delivery of hand-carried documents to FCC headquarters, again because of COVID-19; nor does it change other ongoing COVID-19 restrictions or instructions regarding access to FCC facilities. Filers are encouraged to keep using the FCC’s electronic comment filing system. The FCC’s new address puts it closer to Congress, the headquarters of NCTA—The Internet & Television Association and NPR. According to reports, the move is expected to save the commission $100 million over the lifetime of the lease compared to its previous location. Michael Balderston

NEVADA CITY, Calif.—Telestream has acquired EcoDigital (formerly known as Front Porch Digital). The deal brings the popular Diva archiving platform under the Telestream umbrella. EcoDigital’s Diva Content Management Software solution manages the archiving and retrieval of a customer’s assets. Diva automates the process and provides transcoding to and from the archive repository, which can be either on-premise or in the cloud. There is considerable overlap between Diva and Telestream’s Vantage Media Processing platform, which highlights the potential efficiencies created by the company integration, Telestream CEO Dan Castles said. “The acquisition of EcoDigital provides more workflow solutions, especially Vantage-related, which facilitate tighter integration for the production, archive and restoration of raw and finished assets,” said Castles. “Once the integration is completed, our customers can be even more efficient in the management of their production assets.” EcoDigital CTO Geoff Tognetti will stay on to lead the Diva division at Telestream. EcoDigital’s CEO, CFO and CRO will not make the transition. Tom Butts


found there. But that has all changed. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen to that. Driven by a desire to comply with social-distancing mandates, keep employees safe and continue creating and distributing content, these organizations are embracing the cloud. To paraphrase Grass Valley CEO and President Tim Shoulders during a recent virtual press conference, the pandemic has slayed many media organizations’ sacred cows when it comes to concern over security and the cloud. Even a cursory review of what’s happened since the outbreak underscores the truth of Shoulders’ observation.

COVID-19 Ramped Up Cord-Cutting Worldwide OYSTER BAY, N.Y.—The practice of cord-cutting has picked up steam as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and not just in mature markets. According to ABI Reports, cord-cutting is becoming more frequent in emerging markets like India as well as the U.S., where broadband penetration is high. ABI found that Indian satellite TV operator Tata Sky lost 1.5 million subscribers in the first half of 2020. Similar trends are occurring in markets like Brazil, Colombia and Thailand. While ABI believes that a big reason for the rise in cord-cutting is the loss of live sports in the early days of the pandemic, and that their return could bring subscribers back to pay-TV—especially in emerging markets where streaming services are not as prevalent—they still believe that pay-TV providers need to implement price adjustments, like repackaging services into smaller channel bundles or increase promotions, as well as security measures against piracy to bring subscribers back. Michael Balderston

The finale of “Survivor,” season 40, was produced amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Telestream Acquires EcoDigital


There was a time not too long ago when broadcasters, movie studios and other media and entertainment organizations were reluctant to store valuable content assets in the public cloud and leverage the workflow benefits to be

Whether it’s station groups implementing news workflows in which many newsroom, control room and on-air personnel work remotely; dubbing studios that have virtualized workflows so voice talent doesn’t have to come in; the finale of CBS “Survivor” produced remotely and posted virtually; or even sports leagues and broadcast rights holders that have scrambled to create virtual fanin-the-stands excitement; the cloud is reshaping how the media and entertainment industry works. In mid-October, Doctor David Nabarro, special envoy on COVID-19, for the World Health Organization, advocated for a “middle path.” Specifically, he said: “We’re saying that we really do have to learn how to co-exist with this virus in a way that doesn’t require constant closing down of economies but at the same time in a way that is not associated with high levels of suffering and death. It’s what we are calling the ‘middle path.’” For broadcasters and other M&E organizations, it would seem the way to that middle path is the cloud and virtualization. It’s hard to see how workflows will ever revert to the old ways and equally difficult to find a reason why companies on a seemingly perpetual quest to realize greater efficiencies would want to go back.











Getting the Thrill Across.

World Cups and countless other games. Global album launches streamed live over the web, major rock festivals brought to millions, classical performances in any venue. Lawo is where the thrill is. By appointment to the most talented people on the planet. All over IP, in cutting-edge quality.




d Kin


A big shout out to all the teams around the globe that keep live sports alive for those who are not allowed into the venues.

8  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


2020 Engineering Emmy Award Winners Announced

Here are some recent developments in the transition to ATSC 3.0: Deployments: • Oklahoma City: KOCO-TV (Hearst), KFOR-TV; KAUT-TV (Nexstar); KOKH-TV, KOCB-TV (Sinclair) • Austin, Texas: KXAN-TV, KBVO-CD (Nexstar); KEYE-TV, (Sinclair); KNVATV, (Vaughan Media) • E. Lansing, Mich: WKAR-TV (Michigan State University) • Mobile-Pensacola, Fla.: WJTC-TV, WPMI-TV (Deerfield Media); WEARTV, WFGX-TV (Sinclair); WFNA, WKRG-TV (Nexstar) • Sinclair Broadcast Group acquired two Class A TV stations, WIAVCD and WDCO-CD, located in the Washington, D.C. area. Sinclair plans to use WIAV to broadcast internet services to demonstrate the capabilities of ATSC 3.0. • Sinclair also took delivery of its “ONE Media Mark ONE phone powered by Saankhya Labs,” an Android smartphone with built-in Saankhya Labs SL4000 ATSC 3.0 receiver chip providing NextGen TV reception, tuning and demodulation. Sinclair is in talks with two large Mobile Virtual Network Operators that ride on the AT&T and T-Mobile wireless networks about offering the phone. (See the November issue of Broadcast Engineering Extra for more information.) • The ATSC 3.0 broadcasting service Evoca has announced the first 4K broadcast channel in the U.S., Insight TV, which is currently available to Evoca users in Boise, Idaho. •A rk Multicasting conducted a successful pilot of its last mile edge caching technology over the ATSC 3.0 NextGen TV standard, which the company says validates the planned uses of ATSC 3.0.

Seven other Engineering Emmys were awarded to the following recipients: • Apple, for the Apple ProRes video codec for film and TV • Codex, for the Codex RAW Workflow high-speed datamigration processor • Dan Dugan, for gainsharing automatic microphone mixing • Epic Games, for the Unreal Engine real-time 3D graphics system • RE:Vision Effects, for introducing optical flow-based postproduction video tools in the form of Twixtor, ReelSmart

Motion Blur and RE:Flex • Sound Radix, for its Auto-Align Post platform that makes phase/time corrections of a moving multi-microphone recording •B ill Spitzak, Jonathan Egstad, Peter Crossley and Jerry Huxtable for the Nuke node-based compositing toolkit. Michael Balderston

New TV Energy Measurement Test in the Works WASHINGTON—TV manufacturers and environmental advocacy groups have put their heads together to try and tackle what is causing the increase in national TV energy use. As part of the solution, a new testing method for measuring TV energy use is being developed. The partnership between TV makers, CTA and environmental advocacy groups has three primary goals: creating a more accurate test method for measuring TV energy use; testing a cross-section of TVs with the updated tests; and developing a set of efficiency targets designed to drive down national TV energy use, while preserving the user’s viewing experience. Larger TV sizes and new features like internet connectivity and high-resolution are driving up energy use. A 2017 study found that 285 million U.S. TV households consumed roughly 35 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, adding up to $4.5 billion in electricity costs. “To its credit, the TV industry now appears committed to finding fixes to the current test method for measuring TV energy use and to encourage policymakers to adopt the updated test method in the future,” wrote Natural Resource Defense Council’s Director of the Center for Energy Efficiency Standards Noah Horowitz in a blog. “This way, the manufacturers’ reported energy use for their TVs will better reflect the actual levels typically experienced by consumers— and manufacturers can compete for those customers on a level playing field regarding a TV’s efficiency and operating costs.” Michael Balderston

Sony Acquires Nevion iStock/monkeybusinessimages

NextGen TV Update

LOS ANGELES—Recognizing work that is pushing the TV industry forward, the Television Academy handed out 11 awards at the 72nd Engineering Emmys during the virtual NAB Show New York last month. Four of this year’s winners are being specifically recognized for their work on developing and deploying engineering technology that has assisted with remote production during the pandemic. They include Evercast’s real-time collaboration platform; HP Inc.’s ZCentral Remote Boost; Sohonet’s ClearView Flex; and Teradici’s Cloud Access Software.

TOKYO—Sony is purchasing Nevion AS, a provider of virtualized media production systems. Sony has been a minority shareholder in Nevion since July 2019. Sony will acquire the remaining shares of Nevion, making it a subsidiary of the company. Sony says the deal enhances its portfolio, providing end-to-end IP and cloud-based production technology for broadcasting and other applications. Sony says the investment will enable it to work more closely with Nevion on integrated platforms. “Through this investment, we will take the scope of IP-based remote production to the next level as one of our highly focused business fields,” said Miko Kita, vice president, Media Solutions, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc. “As the Sony Group, we pursue technologies to achieve ‘Remote,’ ‘Reality’ and ‘RealTime’ solutions. With Nevion’s acclaimed expertise, we will deliver a more integrated and optimal experience for our customer.” Michael Balderston

10  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


stations reach 96% of U.S. homes in 62 markets, now making Scripps the largest holder of TV spectrum in the United States. At the same time, the deal raised questions about who will buy the approximately 26 stations that the merged company must divest to comply with existing FCC duopoly restrictions. Some analysts have questioned why Scripps is selling off its prominent WPIX-TV in New York City and popular digital services such as its Stitcher Radio podcasting service. Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist at BIA Advisory Services, expects some of the stations will be spun off to other broadcasters already in those markets, creating new duopolies. Although he offered specific examples, Fratrik noted that in such cases spinoffs “are lined up… beforehand.” Wells Fargo Securities Managing Director Steven Cahall initially raved about the Scripps-Ion “transformative” alliance, which improved Scripps’ position in both local and national presence. But a week later, at TVB’s (Alt) Forward Conference, Cahall, who is senior analyst, Media & Advertising, conceded that it is not a harbinger of other big TV deals. Broadcasting is “out of favor” with investors, who fear that the TV industry may not come back to its earlier level after the pandemic, Cahall said. He cited

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the NAB and others want to eliminate the 1975 FCC cross-ownership rules that ban any company from owning a newspaper and TV station in a single market. The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case comes as the FCC reviews the value of other rules that have lasted decades, including a prohibition on any merger between or among the Big Four broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.

ers want to get leverage over MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributors], but I don’t think that model will last,” he said. “It’s already changing, which is putting pressure on MVPDs.” Sanders also affirmed that a “content plus transmission” approach is gaining traction, citing Sinclair’s purchase of regional sports networks and the Nexstar/Tribune deal, which includes stakes in content from the Food Network and

“I expect TV broadcasting companies are very well positioned to move into the future. They are maintaining margins that are the envy of most industries.” —John S. Sanders, Bond & Pecaro

GAUGING GROWTH A complicated S&P Global “sentiment analysis” in early October backed up the low expectations for broadcast mergers in the months ahead. Using “Natural Language Processing” to analyze vocabulary during broadcast companies’ recent quarterly earnings calls, S&P identified that “the average sentiment score has declined… as the pandemic and current local economic conditions have limited deal activity.” S&P also cited the “sharp

WGN America. Sanders also believes that big groups such as Nexstar and Gray are seeking to “spread the risk by diversifying into new areas,” by acquiring more content sources. Sanders expects that the M&A market will cool, noting that big owners aren’t yet trying to push the ownership caps. “They are making their overall businesses more diverse and robust,” he says, citing the problems of becoming “too big” and pointing to the Clear Channel radio

“I still believe that local TV is a very important part… especially among [key] demographics. As other competitive media weaken, local TV stations stay very prominent.” —Mark Fratrik, BIA Advisory Services

the loss of revenue from retransmission fees paid by cable and satellite operations as cordcutting continues, and he contended that broadcast groups are over-leveraged, sometimes running at 4x EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), which Cahall called “too much risk.” Adding to the uncertainty about the M&A scene is the looming Supreme Court decision about media ownership requirements. Last month, the high court agreed to hear the cross-ownership case during the current session. Although the “Prometheus Radio Project, et al.” case ostensibly is about racial/ethnic/gender diversity, most analysts expect the ruling to be much broader.

“There are always going to be some deals… to optimize the coverage area,” Sanders added. Scale is always important, he adds, speculating that Graham Holdings, an Arlington, Va.-based media company with seven TV stations, and Hearst, which owns several cable networks and 33 TV stations—which may not get big enough—could become M&A prospects. Sanders points out that, “The multiples have come down a bit because of

drop recently... as broadcast stocks witnessed a big sell-off.” In addition, it noted a “downward trend” affecting distribution and programming, fueled by rising sports rights fees and reverse compensation coinciding with growing competition from digital providers. On the bright side, S&P’s analysis found that TV station groups have been upbeat about “the benefits of ATSC 3.0… [and] growth in over-the-top and target advertising platforms”—although that optimism from the spoken words appears tempered by analysts’ observation of activities. Sanders, founder and principal at Bond & Pecaro, sees a new approach to M&A emerging. “Usually broadcast-

juggernaut that once had 1,500 stations. The Scripps-Ion merger is a “spectrum play,” Sanders says, which distinguishes it from most other possible deals. “Ion stations never had big audience shares in their markets, while Scripps is a content company with several subchannels,” Sanders says. “They can build the business by using the expanded footprint.” He characterizes this approach as “unlike the Nexstar evolution.” Sanders is bullish on local broadcasting content. “News broadcasting is still the sirloin of the broadcast day,” he says. “Stations will take advantage of centralcasting, but if they don’t have a credible, bona fide local product, audiences will go somewhere else.”

COVID-19 and other factors.” “This used to be a 13x multiple industry, now you’re in 7x to 10x range,” he explains. “I expect TV broadcasting companies are very well positioned to move into the future. They are maintaining margins that are the envy of most industries. They have advertising plus retransmission revenues. They are all under pressure but not on a long-term declining trend. That gives a base to fund initiatives into the future.” Sanders characterizes retransmission fee revenue as in “a very mature phase,” citing how the double-digit growth “norm” has dropped into low single digits. He believes that small marginal networks will be hurt most by this decline while local stations will stay strong. “There’s going to be continuing pressure and perhaps erosion, but you won’t see a knockout punch, unless there’s a regulatory or legislative action,” he added. LOW INTEREST RATES COULD SPUR ACTIVITY Fratrik envisions a “wait and see” outlook for 2021, which will affect the M&A appetite, although he believes “there is always a push to make acquisitions.” Although the overall economic situation may remain tight, Fratrik points out that, “interest rates are incredibly low, so you can get financing at low rates and investments from private sources.” “There isn’t a lot of activity, but there may be some [interest among] smaller groups,” he added. He cites the most likely ingredients being “if families want to sell out or have owned their stations for a long time and don’t have much debt.” MERGER, PAGE 12

12  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Fratrik acknowledged the inducements of TV mergers based on “so many synergies when you are part of a larger group, especially the ability to serve the local market.” Like others, he points to the Supreme Court ownership review, which could shove aside “antiquated local ownership rules that prevented some acquisitions.” “Sooner or later we’ll get rid of the newspaper cross-ownership rule, especially in smaller markets,” Fratrik says. As for whether eventual mergers will happen “now or later,” Fratrik points out that, “There’s always an incentive to move now so you can bring synergies and cost savings sooner rather than later.” “I still believe that local TV is very important… especially among [key] demographics,” he said. “As other competitive media weaken, local TV stations stay very prominent.” He notes that as cord cutting continues, streaming services may generate a new level of competition for local TV stations. He cites the “cost synergies” that make mergers appealing, including “some staff reductions” for efficiency. A recent BIA study found the amount of weekly local TV newscasts increased in the 93 markets that were evaluated after “consolidation events.” The number of news employees also increased. “That’s significant because it defies the idea bandied about for years,” Fratrik says, contending that mergers “make the industry healthier and encourage [stations] to invest in more programming.” IMPACT ON ATSC 3.0 TRANSITION One consideration of the Scripps/Ion merger is its role in the ATSC 3.0 evolution. Scripps is significantly committed to NextGen TV, but Ion is not, suggesting that the merged company could become

a major player in 3.0 development. But overall, Fratrik of BIA doesn’t expect that ATSC 3.0 will play a role in the M&A outlook soon. “Down the road 3.0 is important, but it’s not immediate and hence not as important,” he said. “Some markets will be affected sooner than others, but the local economy, employment and competition are more important factors.” Sanders believes ATSC 3.0 “will be a gamechanger” and eventually 4K TV will enhance the appeal with “more channels, better sound, on-demand, mobile devices delivery and the data opportunities.” But although “the pieces are falling into place,” he admits that 3.0 is “not reflected in the values.” “There are lots of projections, but it was so statistically complex,” he says, and doesn’t expect it to be a factor in station pricing “until we have a better idea how 3.0 will be monetized.” Joe Zaller, founder of Devoncroft Partners, has looked at the impact of industry consolidation on the technology suppliers who sell tools and software to the TV industry. He sees the mergers as one factor, along with shifting tastes in sports viewing, as affecting the supply chain. “These factors put increasing pressure on tech suppliers who are already in the middle of multiple once-in-a-generation tech upgrades/shifts,” Zaller says, pointing to the IP transition, the cloud and other developments. “The majority of media tech suppliers are… small businesses, while most of their customers are not. There has always been a ‘size asymmetry’ issue in the broadcast industry, but the pandemic makes it worse.” Adopting the popular maxim that “everything is for sale at the right price,” Zaller believes that suppliers with good market positions and solid financials are available for M&A opportunities, “ranging from small bolt-ons to transformative deals.” His company recently analyzed the strategies behind Sony’s acquisition


Who’s buying whom?

Scripps is purchasing Ion from Black Diamond Capital Management.

How many TV stations are involved?

Scripps owns 62 stations and plans to combine Ion’s 71 TV stations with Scripps’ Katz networks, which owns several specialty channels and the Newsy news streaming service.

Who will lead the combined operations?

Pending final approval, Scripps has announced that EVP/CFO Lisa Knutson will lead the new Scripps national television networks business, and EVP, National Media Laura Tomlin will become chief administrative officer (see “People,” p. 34).

What impact will the deal have on Scripps’ bottom line?

Scripps said the acquisition will produce $500 million in “synergies,” most of which will be realized by applying the company’s contractual arrangements over the next six years. of Nevion, the Norway-based maker of IP-based production tools (see p. 8). Zaller added that he does not foresee antitrust barriers to technology mergers. REGULATORY REVIEW While awaiting the SCOTUS decision, the FCC is expected to approve the Scripps-Ion deal and anything similar that comes its way, according to a prominent broadcast attorney who requested anonymity because of his involvement in pending deals. This agreement complies with the ownership caps even if a future

Democratic-majority FCC eliminates the UHF discount for counting viewership, he said. He agrees that the future of dealmaking will—if any materializes—face smooth sailing, since the smaller groups own a dozen or fewer stations and pose no antitrust barriers. A major factor, he said, is the revenue outlook, since many small stations are now bartering for syndicated programs and the ads they can sell on those series. “It’s a different business now; you’re fighting for a few viewers,” he said.

Getty Images/sesame


13 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


IS YOUR VIDEO MICROWAVE COVID-19 Production Workflows: What Will Stay? What’s Next? PREHISTORIC? DON’T REPAIR. REPLACE WITH MOSELEY Software-based solutions provide flexibility, scalability and adaptability BY SCOTT CARROLL AUSTIN, Texas—The television industry changed drastically in 2020, by force. We found new ways to create, new ways to deliver and new locations from which to produce. Simply put, we discovered a new way of working. If and when our world returns to the way it was before—perhaps yours already has—will our traditional workflows remain the same? The changes we were forced to make to workflows over the past few months equate to a “silent format war” of sorts. The content remains largely the same. Our news still gets delivered. Talk shows

is that software-based solutions provide flexibility, scalability and adaptability— including a new way of thinking about fault tolerance—in ways traditional hardware-based workflows never could or ever will. COVID-19 served to make that plainly clear. Let’s look at each of those components and see why they work so well with software-based solutions.


considering where dollars should be allocated. The truth is, cloud and virtual are only means to an end. Software is what allows us to access our devices remotely. Software allows us to truly work remotely in real time. Where that software sits doesn’t really matter as long as it can be accessed when and where it’s needed, whether that be in your studio, in another building, another city, or in your home. Software is the true game changer.

SCALABILITY We have traditionally thought of scalability as the capability of scaling up our productions with additional cameras, graphics capabilities, and other production components. How quickly can our home be scaled up into a studio? Or scaled down for that matter? With traditional workflows, the answer is: frustratingly slow and super expensive, or next to impossible. It would



FLEXIBILITY A critical component of any “pandemic-resistant” workflow relates to our ability to adapt to production constraints put in place by social distancing directives. For production, this played out in two ways. First, it limited the number of





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can access? The answer is most likely the latter. Using either cloud services or your own data center, we should be able to create a virtualized instance of our switchers, graphics engines and other live production tools, anywhere we need them. Let’s quickly look at the keywords in this layout: cloud and virtual. These are buzzwords that CFOs love to hear when

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14  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Lighting in 2020: Home Is Where the Studio Is Despite a few production hiccups, vendors are keeping the supply lines full BY CRAIG JOHNSTON SEATTLE—COVID 19 upset the market for lighting equipment, the same as it did for other broadcast and motion picture gear. But though vendors were unable to push their new offerings inperson at trade shows and traveling road shows, they have been able to introduce products already in the pipeline. Although the emphasis in recent months has been on remote production—which in the early days of the pandemic forced a number of stations to bypass their studios—the market for studio lighting is still expected to be healthy as broadcasters return to their facilities. Nevertheless, with the lines starting to blur between what defines lighting for studios and remote production, vendors are also stepping up their efforts to add features for IP-based remote control for the professional facility as well as for those broadcasters still working from home. SET UP AND LEAVE Last month, ARRI announced that its new Orbiter, a single-point source, six-color light engine, will be shipping soon. The new light is “very versatile,” according to ARRI systems engineer Patrick Schulze. “The Quick Lighting Mount [QLM] in Orbiter allows for optics with vastly different properties to be connected to the fixture,” he said. “These include open face, 15, 25 and 35 degree projection lenses, fabric sphere for omnidirectional light and softboxes.” Orbiter features ARRI’s new Lighting Operating System (LiOS) programmed

into the fixtures. LiOS includes features from ARRI’s Skypanel and other lights. Schulze added, “We’ve been working on ways to control fixtures remotely through the internet. Our Skypanel series and Orbiter have a lot of IT-based technology in them. Basically they’re computers that put out light.” Schulze says COVID-19 has really driven development for new features for its fixtures. “All of our new lights are going to be IP-controllable,” he said. “They’ll have DMX control, local control, but we’re really working more toward IP connectivity.” In the pandemic workflow television production and motion picture studios are forced to ARRI Orbiter work under, “you can’t have 12 people in the studio at once. The lighting people will set it up and then go some- “To be honest you, we don’t where else to control it.”

with see any dividing line between lighting and virtual lighting, between LED light sources and LED walls. It’s all kind of one environment for us.” —Rich Pierceall, Cineo

IN THE PIPELINE BB&S Lighting’s co-owner Tobi Sali said the company is finding a lot of customers for its Pipeline Reflect System lighting fixtures in studios that are putting in video walls. “When people put in video walls, they have to go to daylight,” he said. “Then you get your true blacks out of it, and you get real good color separation. That gives you real usable wall. If you use tungsten, you don’t get good color separation.” The original Pipelines were oneinch diameter tubes that used remote phosphor technology to provide highquality 95 TLCI color rendering, according to Sali. “The Reflect Series is the Pipeline in a wedge with a special reflective aluminum material on both sides,” he said. “This allows a Reflect fixture to provide 150% the output of the original Pipeline for the same power draw.” The Reflects are available in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 6- and 8-foot lengths, and a choice of 3200°K, 4300°K or 5600°K Cineo R15 1500W color temperatures. hard LED lighting fixture When the anchor from home revo-

lution hit the television industry, BB&S had a ready solution in its “Reporter Kit,” a ready-to-go two Pipeline arrangement complete with stands and a dimmer that had been developed for webcam correspondents. A VARIETY OF USES After virus-caused delays, Cineo Lighting has started delivering its R15 1500W hard LED lighting fixture, according to Rich Pierceall, vice president of operations for NBC Universal, parent company of Cineo. “We’ve explored a lot of new and patented a lot of new technologies with the Reflex series, specifically with immersion cooling,” he said. The R15 is a high-output, focusablebeam, fully dimmable hard light. The beam angle adjustment from 15 to 75

degrees is accomplished without mechanical movement, making it remotely adjustable. The reflector can be easily removed and replaced with a variety of soft accessories. A 500W R5 “little brother” is in the works. Being part of NBC Universal has given Pierceall a perch with quite a view. “There’s such a diversity of different productions going on, broadcast and streaming, and feature film, what new techniques are being considered to help production get underway,” he said. “And ‘virtual’ is top of mind for just about everybody. “To be honest with you, we don’t

BB&S Pipeline Reflect

see any dividing line between lighting and virtual lighting, between LED light sources and LED walls,” Pierceall added. “It’s all kind of one environment for us.” COLOR TEMPERATURE As far as color temperature is concerned, Ing. Jose Maria Noriega C.A.S, chief revenue and marketing officer at Fluotec in Laredo, Texas, said the studios they’re lighting are falling more or less equally between fixed daylight, fixed tungsten and tunable. “Though there are customers who want the color temperature tunable feature for their studio lighting, there are studios around the United States that are specifically designed for either tungsten or daylight,” he said. “We have sold thousands of daylight fixtures, and thousands of tungsten.” Noriega adds that they’re finding a lot of demand for sky lighting, as well. “We have met that demand with the CineLight line,” he said. “That’s the kind of LIGHTING, PAGE 17

15 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


take a full integration to be implemented into a person’s home to transform their space into a studio. And moving that around quickly would be mostly unfeasible. Core to the traditional studio workflow is that they are installed for some time. Software here is again a true enabler. Regardless of the location of the physical product, the solution can be accessed far afield. By providing access to the technology, we enable instant scalability. If your switcher operator is stuck at home—for whatever reason—they can still be a part of the production. And when you’re done, you’re done. You scaled up to meet requirements. If you don’t need as much anymore, you’re not stuck with loads of expensive equipment taking up space. FAULT TOLERANCE That leads us to the unforeseen weak link in the traditional hardware-based armor exposed by the pandemic—and, perhaps, the single greatest lesson we

were taught over the past few months: redefining the idea of fault tolerance. When the pandemic hit and we were forced to produce from home, those second fail-over systems put in place in case of emergency were as useless as

new workflows? What these setups have enabled has been impressive. We’ve seen more remote conversations occur—which translates into the improved exchange of ideas. We’ve started to see the beginning

At the start of 2020, the idea that we could produce a show from a garage consisting entirely of remote callers would have sounded ridiculous. Now, we’re ready to make it happen at a moment’s notice. the ones they were intended to replace. What literally saved the day was not fail-over hardware,v it was software and networks. At the start of 2020, the idea that we could produce a show from a garage consisting entirely of remote callers would have sounded ridiculous. Now, we’re ready to make it happen at a moment’s notice. Simply put, there is no hardware fault—or location fault—that can hold us back. So, what do we take with us into our

of virtualized environments take shape— where individuals can actually interact with “physical” components on set in real time. We’ve seen content continue to be crafted! That has always been the crux of the equation: content. Is the content of value? If so, then we must keep creating it— regardless if it is enabled by traditional or software workflows. The reality is that consumers of content have not only accepted these productions fueled by software-driven storytelling, they have come

to expect it—and demand it. Therefore, we need to bring in the software workflow. We need to use it as part of our everyday offerings—even when we have returned to the office. Cloud, virtualization, and software-backed solutions all have a place in how we create content. They prepare us for the future. They guard us against failure. What is the risk of not doing this? The list of companies who failed to adapt during changing times and changing technologies is long and storied. The fate of VHS or the DVD are worth consideration. Newspapers and 35mm film manufacturers are also in the discussion. Some semblance of these technologies and industries do, in fact, exist today. But they have lost their place of prominence in our daily lives. Our content brands can’t suffer that same fate. We must stay relevant through innovative storytelling, crazy creative workflows, and timely delivery. With software-defined visual storytelling, it appears that it will not only survive, but thrive. Scott Carroll is external communications director at The Vizrt Group.

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16  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Current Events Validate Virtualized Playout ‘COVID provided a business imperative that turned out to be a proving point’ BY KEVIN HILTON LONDON—The COVID-19 crisis forced broadcasters and facilities operators to take decisive action so they could carry on activities by having technicalcreative personnel work on projects from home. In addition to audio and video editing, visual effects and color grading, aspects of live production have also been carried out remotely during lockdown. Less obvious, however is the allimportant but more background task of playout being controlled remotely offpremises. The fact that channels have stayed on air would seem to validate the concept of virtualized playout but, as many of the leading manufacturers in this market observe, it was more a confirmation of what the broadcast market had been realizing already. “You don’t need a disaster to prove a concept,” comments Adam Leah, creative director at nxtedition, a Swedish-based developer of broadcast operations software. “People hadn’t thought about VPN [virtual private network] infrastructures with fat enough pipes but once everyone got over that idea, sending everyone home was simple.” Van Duke, U.S. director of operations for PlayBox Neo, sees the pandemic as a “side issue” to what had been happening already.

“Much of the current infrastructure is still hardware-based, so there will be a transition where hybrid approaches will drive the evolution to fully virtualized playout.” —Bea Alonso, Dalet “Virtual control, network-attached storage and remote working have been part of the broadcast industry for years,” he says. “Many broadcasters delegate MCR [master control room] operations to third-party playout service providers, typically in another city, another state or even another time zone.”

As Steve Reynolds, president of Imagine Communications, observes, in responding to COVID-19, broadcasters reduced the number of people at broadcast centers, retaining only essential staff. “Operational jobs were being done remotely using cloud and IP tools,” he said. “These were all things that were going to happen anyway over time but

demic, James Gilbert, chief executive of Pixel Power, thinks other factors had to be considered as well. “Remote working is not wholly dependent on virtualization,” he said. “It’s more about the capabilities of the playout system itself. Broadcasters with old automation systems that couldn’t be operated remotely had projects accelerated but probably people at the highest level

“There is a difference between the cloud and virtualization,” he said. “The front-end can run on a thin client or a PC using a web browser, with the playout engine in a data center. Of course it could also be in the cloud but where the playout element is makes no difference. It could be in the same building or 100 miles away or 1000 miles away and you wouldn’t know the difference.”

“The situation this year has legitimized the concept of the cloud but it won’t necessarily accelerate adoption.” —James Gilbert, Pixel Power

James Gilbert, CEO, Pixel Power

Steve Reynolds, president, Imagine Communications

Bea Alonso, director of product marketing, Dalet

COVID-19 provided a business imperative that turned out to be a proving point. It’s shown how everything can work and there is no turning back because it’s changed the way the industry operates.” LEGITIMIZED THE CLOUD While agreeing that the move to virtualization and the cloud would have happened without the impact of the pan-

had been thinking about working offpremises and the cloud from a business perspective already. The situation this year has legitimised the concept of the cloud but it won’t necessarily accelerate adoption.” Regardless of the necessity brought about by COVID-19 to rethink broadcast distribution operations, Gilbert adds that replacing traditional playout installations is a big project. There are also different ways to approach the move away from the traditional model of a playout center, with several automation systems housed in physical equipment racks, to a decentralized operation based on software-defined systems. While the cloud is now regarded as the obvious way to remove such overheads, it is not always a key component for a virtualized playout system, according to Jan Weigner, president and chief technology officer of Cinegy.

WHAT ABOUT MICROSERVICES? Harmonic emphasizes the concept of microservices over the blanket term of virtualization. These include ingest, search functions, branding, graphics, scheduling and live source capability based on SMPTE ST 2110 or TSoIP (Transport Stream over IP). “Software-based playout can be built up using microservices and orchestration,” explains Eric Gallier, vice president of video solutions at Harmonic. “We are seeing a shift to cloud native working, either in the public or private cloud. But as well as the software running on Microsoft Azure or Amazon native cloud platforms, it can also run on Dell, Hewlett Packard or Intel servers.” Orchestration, observes Bea Alonso, director of product marketing at Dalet, is important for supporting hybrid infrastructures. “Many facilities need to continue paying off existing investments and so the ability to orchestrate on-premises hardware and software tools with cloud deployments is key, at least in the medium term,” she says. “Much of the current infrastructure is still hardware-based, so there will be a transition where hybrid approaches will drive the evolution to fully virtualized playout.” Duke says demand for virtualization in playout is coming from all levels of the broadcast market, although many medium-sized operations are continuing to use traditional workflows with either SDI or IP outputs. “At the larger end, many established broadcasters appreciate the ability to introduce additional channels without VIRTUALIZED, PAGE 18

17 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


light they need to light the whole studio.” But there’s still a healthy market for Fresnel fixtures. Fluotec’s Fresnels avoid color shift between the center and the edge of the beam utilizes the company’s NEBULA technology to emit powerful, high-quality, full-spectrum white light beams, according to Noriega. TWO-WAY COMMUNICATION Kino-Flo has just activated the RDM (remote device management) control communication protocol to enable two-way communication in their lighting fixtures. “Existing DMX lighting control is oneway,” said Scott Stueckle, Kino-Flo sales manager. “DMX only allows sending instructions to the light, but you can’t see all the settings on the light. With RDM you have two-way communication between the fixture and the control board, which is important. “With DMX, if you want to change a setting for, say, ‘special effects,’ you have to go to ‘special effects’ on the fixture and adjust the ‘special effects’ setting,” Stoeckle added. “But with RDM, through

Fluotec CineLight

the control board you can just hit a button on the control board and change the menu setting to whatever you want. That’s really a big deal for board operators.” The computer chip that runs RDM is built into existing Kino-Flo LED fixtures, but if you just turn it on, “chaos” could ensue, he said. “So what we did was spend all this time reconfiguring all of our software so that when RDM did come out it’s very intuitive, user-friendly, and with as few bugs as possible. And it will work with our older software as well.”

ticularly close in, it can be quite attractive. The problem with it is getting that level of softness with massive amounts of light. “So what we’ve done with the Superpanel Full Color 60 is to put a lens over each cluster of LEDs,” he continued. “That gives you a powerful, color flat panel with a 40-degree beam angle. “If the light is working close to the subject, the effect can be harsh unless diffusion is applied,” Challenger added. “But in most cases in a really big studio, you want some throw. And in that case, having more raw power to start with gives you more flexibility.” MORE PUNCH Pete Challenger, who manages U.S. business development for Italian light maker Lupo says he’s spoken with a number of customers who want a full color panel light that’s also got some “punch” to it. In response, last year Lupo launched the Superpanel Soft Full Color 60 RGBW LED Panel. “Most panel lights have a kind of ‘soft, wraparound’ type of light output to them,” he said. “If you are needing to use the light par- Lupo Superpanel Soft Full Color 60 RGBW LED Panel

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18  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Drones Enhance Coverage in Age of COVID Six ways to help create compelling content with drones in these strange days BY RYAN WALL While an increasing number of viewers are tuning into television for news about the coronavirus pandemic, the advertising dollars have not kept up. In fact, total local advertising in the United States is expected to decline by 30% in 2020, according to one estimate. As the pandemic slows companies around the world, many media outlets are struggling to meet the demand for high-volume, high-quality content in the face of tight budgets. One way to reduce costs is to incorporate drones into your news coverage. During a time of decreased advertising revenue, drones can save your news organization money, generate additional revenue and ensure you obtain the diverse video footage needed to support high-quality programming. Drones can help cover breaking news by capturing aerial footage. They can gather data of all types, including infrared scans, topographical maps and 3D models. They can reduce costs as compared to flying and maintaining helicopters. And they can serve as a new revenue source when rented out to other businesses. It’s no coincidence that media adoption of drone technology has grown over the years. Indeed, the media and entertainment market for drones is valued at $8.8 billion, according to a 2016

ad production quality? And will you be renting out your drone services to other businesses, studios or stations? With so many options, it’s important to clarify your goals and the biggest ways drones can advance your business.

During a time of decreased advertising revenue, drones can save your news organization money, generate additional revenue and ensure you obtain the diverse video footage needed to support highquality programming.

PricewaterhouseCooper report, and the market is poised for continued growth. During these unprecedented times, drones are widely seen as a valuable tool for media organizations. The question is: Where do you start? As you consider adding drones to your news coverage, here are six tips for launching a successful program: BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR GOALS During this time of social distancing,


drones can prove useful by allowing crews to shoot video while remaining hundreds of feet away from their subject. Yet to prevent your program from stalling out, it’s important to identify where drones can create the most business value. Will you be using your drones for weather and traffic reporting? Gather news from above about unfolding disasters? Get live shots for sporting events? Improve your B-roll footage or

DEVELOP THE BUSINESS CASE Before agreeing to the program, top-level executives will want to know whether drones are worth the financial investment—and convincing them requires analyzing both the costs and savings. A helicopter outfitted with cameras and broadcast equipment costs as much as $850,000 to purchase and about $500 per hour to fly. By comparison, a standard commercial-grade drone costs anywhere between $1,000 and $15,000. There are also savings in fuel and operations, especially if you bring your drone program in-house. While drones can’t completely replace helicopters, they can accomplish many essential functions. An accurate cost analysis will help you make the case. FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS As you get your drones up-and-running, you’ll also need to determine how you will manage your program. What’s your plan for abiding by privacy and regulatory rules? How will you check

sary but if online, remote operations work better it will happen. At the moment not all the technology is there to enable that kind of workflow but if and when it does happen, it will be a business decision, not a technical one.”

having to expand existing hardware overheads. In terms of system design, the key difference is the physical location of the primary server and any supporting servers.” ...AND MASTER CONTROL? With more remote working and cloud storage, it is conceivable that the playout center of the future could be very different to what it is today. A big question though, is what does this mean for master control? “MCRs are still necessary but the ratio of people to channels is different because there are new techniques such as monitoring by exception,” Pixel Power’s Gilbert said. “That means the system only alerts the technical operator when something is wrong, not just when it is working. There will still be a MCR in the future but where it will be physically located is immaterial. With remote systems it could be in an operator’s spare room.” Imagine’s Reynolds believes the MCR will sustain for some time to come, partly due to technical practicalities and partly because of the human factor. “There will always be a need for teams to work together,” he concludes. “That includes the transmission team as much as those on the creative and production sides. Collaboration is neces-

PlayBox Neo recently enhanced the efficiency and power of its Cloud2TV virtual channel playout system.

19 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020

IN THE NEWS testing centers across the U.S. have been shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many have since reopened. A list of the reopened testing centers can be found at

airspace information and flight restrictions? And how will you hold crews accountable in the field? With the right aviation management platform, you can plan, fly and log your missions. You can check controlled airspace to obtain immediate access in seconds. And you can easily manage flight crews on multiple flights, track all the drones and personnel in your fleet and view historical data and trends—all from a centralized location.

visual line of sight. As you incorporate drones into your news coverage, it’s critical that you understand and comply with all regulatory requirements, while knowing how to obtain any necessary waivers.

UNDERSTAND THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS If you’re operating commercially in the U.S., you need to comply with Part 107 of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, the rules that govern commercial drone use. The FAA’s Part 107 sets requirements for pilot licensing, maximum altitude and airspeed, available airspace and much more. Commercial drone operators are generally not permitted to fly in controlled airspaces—including areas around airports, stadiums, national parks and other sites. They’re also not permitted to fly over people, over 400 feet above ground level or beyond the operator’s

During this time of social distancing, drones can prove useful by allowing crews to shoot video while remaining hundreds of feet away from their subject.

TRAIN YOUR PILOTS Qualified, competent pilots are essential to a drone operation—not just for safety, but also to ensure you get

the best possible footage. A drone pilot certification is much more accessible than a helicopter pilot’s license, with certification possible in a matter of weeks. Drone pilots in the U.S. are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate by passing a knowledge test and obtaining renewal every two years. Although some

KEEP UP WITH NEW OPPORTUNITIES As you launch your program, realize that the opportunities are rapidly expanding. In the near future, for ex-

ample, operators may be able to deploy drones to autonomously monitor traffic and weather patterns daily at the push of a button. And thanks to 5G cellular networks, they’ll be able to live stream high-definition video with virtually no lag. What’s more, regulations are being developed to lay the groundwork for

connected drones and flights that go beyond the operator’s visual line of sight, allowing for longer flights into more remote areas. Future regulations may also pave the way for AI-powered drones that deliver better data faster and help with emergency situations such as assessing storm damage. By keeping up with new developments, you can plan ahead to achieve your goals—and continue to broaden your program over time. During a time of high news interest and tight budgets, drones can save costs, increase revenue and provide the highquality footage that differentiates your news organization. By following these six tips, you can jumpstart your drone program—giving your media company the competitive edge it needs both now and into the future. Ryan Wall is director of business development and strategic planning at Skyward, A Verizon Company. He enjoys collaborating with enterprises to help them stand up successful drone programs. For more than a decade, Ryan has served in the Air National Guard, where he is currently an egress systems craftsman.

20  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


How Broadcasters Can Maximize Efficiencies Post-COVID The changes to archiving and workflows could be here for good After the initial COVID outbreak, broadcasters focused on firefighting—adopting emergency measures to keep teams safe and maintain creative output. In light of the resurgence in cases, media companies are having to plan for continued remote working. Production and post-production workflows which started out as business continuity measures will have to become long-term solutions. Here are three key areas where cloud workflows can help maximize efficiencies and facilitate this transition. 1. ASSET STORAGE Despite multiple ways of working and different business needs, all broadcasters have one thing in common—assets, and lots of them. While dealing with the challenges posed by the pandemic this content presented both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, when production was halted by the initial outbreak, media companies could make use of their back-catalogue to fill the gap. On the other hand, the success of this approach relied heavily on how easy the content was to access.

There is no doubt that the coming months and years will see huge changes in the way that organizations manage their teams. During lockdown broadcasters whose content was stored on-site quickly realized that this made their archive difficult to leverage. Now media companies are focused on shifting libraries to systems which make content more accessible and searchable. By transitioning assets to the cloud in bulk and making use of innovations such as AI-powered metadata tagging, post-production teams can easily search for content remotely. Cloud storage is not just for archived content; recent footage needs to be managed effectively too. Whilst isolated from the office, many post-production teams found themselves needing to access

thousands of hours of content to deliver projects imminently. They began working from home with hard-drives which contained enough assets for the first few weeks. They then had to resort to the time-consuming process of uploading and downloading content, often strug-

requirements, the challenge for postproduction teams is to choose the right remote tools for your organization’s working methods. First, broadcasters need to identify their business focus and the type of workflows their team implements.

AN ADAPTABLE FUTURE FOR BROADCASTING Flexibility has been broadcasting’s biggest virtue over the last few months. The traditional annual schedule has been turned upside down and events have been thrown into disarray. With guidelines altering weekly With virtual editing technology no longer restricted by processing power requirements, the challenge for postproduction teams is to choose the right remote tools for your organization’s working methods. and a shaky return to the sports calendar, the industry has seen the importance of responding quickly as Browser-based web-edit tools are gling with broadband speeds which circumstances change. great for high-volume quick turnaround couldn’t support their workflows. Broadcasting continues to show huge content. However, the adoption of these Putting an end to this inefficient proresilience in the face of difficult circumtools can be a challenge for large teams cess of shifting files around is one of the stances. Over the course of 2020 early because they require editors to learn most common requests from clients. The responses and emergency business concompletely new workflows. It’s imsolution is utilizing cloud-based technoltinuity measures have transformed into portant for broadcasters to weigh the ogy to create proxy workflows, which interim processes. Now, broadcasters impact of retraining staff in these inprovide flexible access without extensive need to take the next logical step into stances. Alternatively, remote access sodata transfer time for large video files. long-term cloud-based workflows. lutions can replicate an editor’s on-site These proxy workflows are significantly Any return to normal in the near workspace at home. Whether broadmore efficient, leaving editors with more future seems unlikely. By the time we casters opt to send proxy versions of time to spend doing what they do best. reach a post-COVID future, the media content directly, or completely mimic industry will have completely adapted the user-interface will depend on their 2. A FLEXIBLE WORKFORCE to the challenges of social distancing. infrastructure needs. There is no doubt that the coming However, the long-term value of cloudRegardless of the technical requiremonths and years will see huge changes based infrastructure extends far bements, the key to implementing any new in the way that organizations manage yond the pandemic. Making changes system is to enable broadcasters to put their teams. Remote workflows will need now will enable broadcasters to levertheir team at the heart of infrastructure to be at the forefront of any changes to age their assets more effectively, offer changes. By giving content creators the broadcasting infrastructure. Previously attractive flexible working options for same flexibility to work from home as this seemed like an impossible task for their staff and future proof their infraprofessionals in other sectors, clients organizations weighed down by huge structure. The industry will always be have seen an improvement not only in files and complex systems. Now, adsubject to change, now is the time to productivity but in creativity as well. vances in cloud-based workflows mean prepare for it. that broadcasters can become more re3. INFRASTRUCTURE AGILITY sponsive to the changing needs of their Tim Burton is managing director for Many broadcasters will scale up their workforce. 7fivefive, a U.K.-based systems integraworkstation capacity over time, but that With virtual editing technology no tor. often leaves physical infrastructure sitlonger restricted by processing power Credit: Blackmagic Design


ting idle during quieter periods. Teams working at maximum capacity one week don’t always need the same level of infrastructure once an event ends or the news-cycle shifts. Physical infrastructure represents a significant financial commitment and broadcasters need to be confident the investment is worth it to scale up. Unfortunately, this requires a certain amount of certainty, and that has definitely been in short supply during 2020. Investing in physical workstations that aren’t being utilized is the editing equivalent of keeping a cab outside with the meter running. In contrast, cloud-based infrastructure allows users to add and remove workstations in a matter of minutes. By deploying and managing workstations remotely, broadcasters can be truly responsive. Tracking which workstations are in use and which users are connected will completely streamline workflows.

21 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


Shephard Smith’s News Set Immerses in Video Constructed during the pandemic, monitors give flexibility to how news is presented BY MICHAEL BALDERSTON ENGLEWOOD, N.J.—Broadcast news allows viewers to see the important events happening around the world. CNBC’s new program, “The News With Shepard Smith,” has taken that idea and made it the focal point of its set, which features a bevy of video monitors designed to present the news in flexible and innovative ways. Smith premiere the new set late last month, after using a temporary set for the first few weeks since the show debuted, the result of what Steve Fastook, senior vice president of operations and engineering at CNBC, described as “the most difficult set we’ve ever built,” not just because of the intricacies of the set’s tech, but because of the forced adjustments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The individual monitors, which are all 1.2mm pitch direct LED screens, can also be moved mechanically to create a desired look, Fastook explains. The plan is to be able to move them on camera for the viewers to actually see. The center monitor is designed so it can emerge away from the other monitors 17 feet in six or seven seconds, allowing the monitor to show a correspondent as if they are coming out to meet Smith. “Imagine the California wildfires,” said Fastook. “The visuals of the fire fill

for those working on the set as they entered CNBC’s headquarters, in addition to the typical temperature checks and other social distancing efforts. The actual build took place in Studio B at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood, a 60x60-foot space, which had to be gutted. One of the bigger projects in the build involved cutting the lighting grid to build a custom structure to hold the 15,000-pound metal rig that would be used to hold the set’s main video monitor. COVID-19 safety protocols were also

Credit: NBCUniversal

THE BUILD CNBC announced that Shepard Smith was joining the network on July 8, which with the show debuting in the fall, called for an extremely fast-paced construction,

Credit: NBCUniversal

Covering the news with immersive video technology was a key focus of the set for CNBC’s “The News With Shepard Smith.”

The immersion goes beyond just the main video monitor, though. There are five additional vertical monitors placed throughout the studio and the windows wall, the wall in the back of the set that is made up of three bands. “This set is all video,” said Fastook. “Anywhere you look, there’s video elements. So every single shot, not only does the team have to plan the shot, but they have to plan what’s in the monitors behind and they have to make clean transitions in the monitors behind. So the level of complexity producing on this set is multiple times greater than just a traditional set.” While the monitor may be what initially draws people’s eyes, Fastook takes pride that their goal of creating a hightech, innovative set has been met. “[E] verybody that has come across it in the building has come in saying, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’” In addition to the monitor, the studio includes an array of LED lights that can offer a reported 17,000 color combinations. There are additional stage and open areas on the set that will allow for different setups for guests and presentations when COVID-19 restrictions lift. And, with all of this high-tech equip-

especially considering the average build time for a set, according to Fastook, is 35 weeks. And for what is expected to be one of the network’s marquee programs, it couldn’t just be any old set. “This is probably the largest single set we’ve ever encountered,” said Fastook. “It’s technically complex; very, very intricate; video everywhere.” As the first set built by CNBC during the COVID-19 era, the process had to be adapted to make sure that everyone was safe and followed the proper protocols. This ranged from using two set shops—Showman Fabricators in Bayonne, N.J., and Sacks Exhibitors in Andover, Mass.—to build the different set pieces, and having specific credentials

incorporated into the final design and build of the set, with the backstage area designed so that a console could be operated while still maintaining 6 feet of distance between crew members. THE CENTERPIECE The defining element of the set is the video monitor that is held up by the specially designed rig previously mentioned. With in-studio guests not a reliable option currently, Fastook said they had to develop a compelling way to visually present the correspondents from all over the world. The solution, five vertical, lifesize monitors that can either work together to show a single image or video, individually or any combination in between.

The video monitor rig was custom designed to control quick, precise movement.

up the wall, and then the center monitor transitions to the correspondent and moves away from the rest of the wall and toward you. “This is probably one of the coolest things that we’re going to do,” he continues. “At the end of the day, it’s all about being immersed in the stories.” Fastook does acknowledge that the full motion of the monitor is likely not going to be used right away, as many elements of the new set will be introduced over the next few weeks as the crew gets comfortable using them.

ment, Fastook says that Studio B uses only 10% of the power that CNBC’s Studio C, which is the home of “Mad Money,” does, despite being a larger set. “I have to say I’m so proud of my team,” Fastook said. “This is the most difficult set we’ve ever built, for obvious reasons—it was fast scheduled and COVID-19—and highly intricate and highly technical. Every single person on my team and everyone we worked with really went above and beyond on this one. It’s a great moment for them. I’m really, really proud of them.”

Credit: NBCUniversal

CNBC’s Studio B had to be gutted and added new rigging to properly support the design of the studio.

22  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY




The Sachtler Aktiv fluid head is designed to bring a new level of speed to camera operators, adding SpeedLevel and SpeedSwap technology that enables operators to mount, level and lock the head in seconds and to switch quickly from tripod, slider or handheld shots.

Sony’s Spatial Reality (SR) Display enables creators to combine virtual and physical worlds and make them visible with the naked eye, according to the company. The display uses a high-speed vision sensor that follows exact eye position to the millisecond while rendering the image instantly based on the location of the viewer’s eyes.

Paired with the Aktiv, Sachtler’s SpeedLevel technology replaces bowl clamps, enabling the head to be released, leveled and locked by releasing a lever. No bowl clamp also allows it to be placed at ground level, with an illuminated PrismBubble visible from above and the side to confirm level. For additional information, contact Sachtler at 203929-1100 or visit

EOS C70 CAMERA The EOS C70 is Canon’s first-ever small form-factor RF-lens mount cinema EOS camera. EOS C70 features Canon’s Super 35mm DGO sensor, which extends the HDR and lowers noise level by reading out two different gains for each photodiode. This results in an image with up to 16-plus stops of total dynamic range in up to 4K/60p or 2K/120p.

The content is displayed in real time using an original processing algorithm. A micro optical lens placed over the 15.6-inch LCD display divides the image into left- and right-eye views, enabling stereoscopic display. A software development kit is also available. For additional information, visit

POV CAMERA Part of Marshall Electronics’ CV503 line of POV cameras, the CV503-U3 is a dedicated USB 3.0 HD POV camera designed for USB-based workflows for work-from-home as well as remote live streaming appliances. The CV503-U3 features a lockable 6.5-foot USB 3.0 cable for simultaneous power and video capture, interchangeable lenses and adjustable settings via UVC1.5 for switching between soft codecs. In addition, it has a CVM-5 monitor/ desktop stand—though it is adaptable to any 1/4-inch-20 mount type—and a 90-degree lens. For additional information, contact Marshall at 800-800-6608 or visit

The camera features Canon’s DIGIC DV7 image processor; a 10-stop NDI filter unit with 6mm depth; 13 customizable buttons for selecting more than 80 functions; a Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x optical adapter; electronic image stabilization; two builtin Mini XLR inputs; dual-SD card slots; and optional Canon RC-V100 remote control. For additional information, contact Canon at 800-385-2155 or visit

GYRO-STABILIZED REMOTE CAMERA HEAD Mo-Sys’s G30 redesigned gyro-stabilized remote camera head offers a compact, 45-degree frame that can work with any broadcast or digital camera. Its short, stiff frame provides rigidity for rigs up to 30 kg, while high torque direct drive motors provide precise camera movement and stabilization. G30 features a ± 45-degree roll, axis motors in each motor assembly for direct input into virtual production systems, controlling software to automate balance, presets and three open hubs for the three drive motors for cable routing. For additional information, contact Mo-Sys at 917-503-1100 or visit

KOMODO 6K CAMERA The Komodo 6K is a 4-cubic-inch camera that captures 6K at 40 fps, 6K WS at 50 fps and 4K at 60 fps and is designed to be used with production tools like gimbals, drones, cranes, remote heads and more. Features for the Komodo 6K include an AC power adaptor 45W; RF to EF mechanical lens adaptor; phase-detect based autofocus control on the integrated, LED touchscreen display; streamlined RECODE RAW settings; compatibility with CFAST 2.0 recording media; 4K SDI output; built-in wireless capabilities; connectivity through the RED control app; and a travel adaptor kit. For additional information, contact RED at 949-206-7900 or visit

23 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020




The latest release of Dalet’s Brio I/O platform, v3.21 adds support for SMPTE ST 2110 to help users transition from SDI to a fully IP-based workflow by supporting greater density with more ingest and playout streams, allowing for migrations to IP without disrupting SDI workflows.

The MediaKind CE1 is a next-generation media contribution encoder designed for professional contribution video processing to deliver low-latency, HEVC or MPEG-4 AVC encoding of HD and UHD video content for live events. The unit is available as a cloud-native deployment model or as software within a hardware platform for on-premise services.

Brio v3.21 can be used in production, content management and distribution workflows, either on premise or in the cloud. The platform also enables content to be distributed across multiple platforms and various internet streams, including SRT, RTMP and NDI.

MediaKind combines the CE1 with its RX1 decoder for endto-end media contribution workflow. It also supports 4:2:2 10-bit content contribution in the cloud and works with SMPTE ST 2110, SRT and BISS-CA.

For additional information, visit

For additional information, contact MediaKind at 469-214-8647 or visit

SIGNAL GENERATOR/ DIAGNOSTIC TOOL FOR ST 2110 Matrox VERO is a SMPTE ST 2110 signal generator and diagnostic tool for 2110-networked facilities. With an adjustable signal generator, PCAP recorder and signal diagnostics integrating EBU List, VERO validates ST 2110 devices for compliance before they are deployed.

MEDIA IO FOR IP RECORDING/PLAYOUT Primestream has updated the Media IO IP-based recording and playout system to include support for expanded media ingest and cloud-hosted environments.

VERO works with other ST 2110 devices to maintain broadcast operations when connected to an on-air production environment. It also has two independent output channels capable of generating one video, up to four audio and one ancillary data flow, as well as the ability to work with any web browser. For additional information, contact Matrox at 514-822-6364 or visit

The Media IO Server unit has been updated to support 4K UHD capture and expanded format support for real-time video editing. Media IO Desktop has added the ability to monitor up to 12 channels and includes a redesigned UI. All Media IO products now support on-prem and cloud-recording, capturing content from any IP stream, camera or broadcast source. For additional information, contact Primestream at 305-625-4415 or visit



The 9905-MPx from Cobalt is a next-generation scaler, frame synchronizer and audio embedder and de-embedder for the openGear platform. The unit offers quad path up/down/cross-conversion as well as frame synchronization.

Updates to the Vantage media processing platform are designed to enable more integration with third-party technology, Telestream says. This includes integration with Grass Valley’s HQX, which Vantage can use to transcode acquisition formats to HQX, as well as transcode HQX to delivery formats. Vantage also now works with Grass Valley’s Alchemist. Additional enhancements include access to Colorfront Engine advanced color volume remapping tools; FFV1 encoding; an automated interface to Harmonic Spectrum video playout servers; HDR10+; and support for AS-11, DVCPro and DVCPro HD, AV1 and Tachyon 9. For additional information, contact Telestream at 530-470-1300 or visit

The 9905-MPx supports 480i, 576i, 720p, 1080i, 1080pSF and 1080p, and offers four independent signal paths of UDX and frame-sync and four audio channels supporting AES and MADI audio embedding and de-embedding. When used with the Cobalt HPF-9000, 9905-MPX provides up to 24 channels of processing in a single frame. For additional information, contact Cobalt at 217-344-1243 or visit

24  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Faking It: Sound-Starved Stadiums T hese are interesting times for live sports broadcast production. Just as many people prefer to hear laughter from a real audience while watching a sitcom, many sports fans favor a noisy, live crowd over the “fake” crowd noise in the stands during a professional game. Most 4 DENNIS writers and web events have used BAXTER sensationalist journalism terms like “fake” to create a very negative description. Using the term “fake sound” has nefarious overtones and I believe sound manipulation for malicious interference has ethical implications. But sound supplementation for the sake of enhancing the entertainment value has always been fair game to me.

SPORTS SOUND SUPPLEMENTATION Sports sound supplementation is the art of live foley, which can include crowd, sport and venue-specific sound. Real-time sound supplementation was controversial long before I began using a crowd loop in the early 1980s at NASCAR races. There were always rumors of “birdie” loops at golf events, but there was not much of an urgency to “sweeten” golf sound because major networks had

At the other extreme was baseball, which worked with Sony Entertainment in San Diego to deliver not only a very believable, but entertaining soundscape for the game. I talked with Kurt Kellenberger, head sound designer and supervisor at Sony in San Diego. Kellenberger is a meticulous and innovative sound designer, and when he undertook the design for a baseball game for Sony, Kurt studied the broadcasters and picked the best aspects of the game as the baseline for his game sound design. A decade later he provided the sound effects components for the primetime presentation for the MLB’s COVID-19 comeback from San Diego. Sony provided approximately 70 different sound samples and Abelton Live software to construct a 4.0 sports sound bed for the game. What I heard was not only convincing, but if you closed your eyes, the soundtrack was close to a perfect presentation of the sound—not too much, but interestMotorsports present unique sound challenges because of the excessive noise and compact ingly complete. design of the track and grandstands.

was really cool was adding sounds that were really there but that you never heard before because of masking— such as the air jacks lifting the car and two gear shifts out of the pit.

Faking the sound as opposed to enhancing the sound for entertainment purposes are completely different sound design concepts. the budget to adequately capture the event live. I spent a decade as a freelancer covering IndyCar racing and was unhappy that the network crew (who only covered one race, by the way) had microphones mounted on the pit wall at every pit zone while I depended on the sound from two handheld cameras to cover up to 30 pit areas. Why? It costs extra money for extra sound. Motorsports present unique sound challenges because of the excessive noise and compact design of the track and grandstands. For me, sound enhancement began at Bristol Motor Speedway where the sound was so intense your head would hurt. Frustrated with the inability to pull much crowd reaction sound, I built several crowd “loops” to enhance the sound of the start, restart and finish of the race. I knew the real-time sounds were there, but the laws of physics prevailed. It is called “masking.” Tape loops of sound effects were the shortcomings of sound supplementation because of the inevitable repetition of sounds, but when the music industry introduced electronic samplers that could store real sound and could be played back with a keyboard, everything changed. With instantaneous triggering and access to multiple samples at the same time, the possibility of realistically playing back a complete pit stop from any pit without additional microphones became a reality. What

I am not trying to persuade anyone of anything. I am only trying to enhance the entertainment value of the content. The sound of air wrenches and engines revving is really happening. I even had different samples of motor sounds for different engine manufacturers. Let’s examine some of the arguments: Q: Are we documenting an event vs. presenting a game for the sake of entertainment? A: If the intent is to show the negative impact of the COVID-19 virus on sporting events, then quiet empty venues may be appropriate. But if the goal is entertainment for the listening/viewing audience, then sound supplementation is an applicable solution. Q: Does sound supplementation enhance the entertainment experience or is the sound a distraction? A: To my ears, poor sound supplementation is a distraction. I spent from July to October 2020 listening to Premier League Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR and WNBA, produced by ESPN. Some sound production is a distraction. For example, my opinion of the sound enhancements for Premier League Football was a halfhearted attempt at sound enhancement with virtually no dynamic articulation.

THERE’S A DIFFERENCE Faking the sound as opposed to enhancing the sound for entertainment purposes are completely different sound design concepts. There are technical and financial reasons that make it impossible or impractical to capture the desired sounds in a venue or at an event. Capturing the pit sound was a financial decision and only the largest IndyCar event of the year warranted the additional cost. Even though the budget cuts were made clear to the director and producer, they clearly remembered the sound of the Indianapolis 500 and the experience of hearing the sound from every single pit. To amplify, enhance and even recreate the sound that already exists is obviously different than creating a soundtrack from scratch, which is what a sound designer does with a film or game soundtrack. For example, when the roof camera shoots a pit stop there is a great distance between the camera’s microphone and the sound. Even though the sound of the pit stop still exists, the microphones on the roof camera cannot capture the sound. This scenario results in no pit-specific sound even though the listener knows and expects to hear the pit sounds from a distant camera shot. Baseball deals with more subtle sound plus the concept of home and away teams. Not every team or player is popular and not all the crowd reaction is positive, but what if artificial sound is used for reprehensible reasons such as real-time mood manipulation? As you can imagine, a relentless crowd booing or heckling could result in increasing tension on the field. STADIUMS, PAGE 26

25 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


Cloud Storage or Local SAN? I f you’re thinking about shifting storage to the cloud or if expanding the local storage area network (SAN) makes better sense, knowing the impacts of both options 4 KARL is an important study PAULSEN in capabilities and cost management. Even if you think you know what cloud storage might cost, perhaps because you’ve done it before, be sure you’re updated on all the recent facts, variables

on that storage type, is relatively short compared to the volume size and length of retention for the entire set of finished, rendered files. Workflows will mandate migration of in-process render farm storage to secondary, longer-term storage to keep flows consistently moving from render engine to holding storage. Costs for local storage are fairly predictable. For the cloud it becomes harder to cost and difficult to plan for. While cloud is fast to create, the total costs can go through the roof if not well-analyzed and controlled from the start.

services menu may have different parameters. Simple, elastic, deep (e.g., cold or “glacier”) vs. high-performance, regional or multiregional physical locations each have different cost factors. Choices become decisions that the user needs to make, each having a differential base on near- or long-term requirements, and, in turn, are reflected in each cost. Costs vary based on where the storage is located; that is, where the physical data centers are geographically. Global replication and access to the storage, which gives lower latency and another degree of safety, is great if needed. If offices are scattered all over the planet with needs for shared file access, the added costs may not be as painful compared to the work lost in having to wait hours to days for file recovery. Capacity, based on monthly consumption, definitely affects cloud storage budgets. Should your storage needs be layered (tiered), how much is placed into which bucket and how many copies of each bucket are needed for protection and/or accelerated access will impact costs ac-

cordingly. Local, hot or redundant storage will be priced at “so many pennies per gigabyte” for a set amount of storage (e.g., the first 100 TB) on a “per month” basis. Incremental increases won’t see much change, but 10x increases will see a suitable cost decrease measuring around a few points (100ths of cents) per 100 TB. DATA DELETION—IT ISN’T FREE Just because you paid to put storage in the cloud, and/or to keep it in the cloud for some period, doesn’t mean you can just “get rid of it” without incurring a fee. Surprise! Sometimes the cloud vendor’s “hook” is to let you use their buckets for a few cents per 100 TB per month. The shocker comes when you either want it back—now; or if you don’t need it any longer and you want to dump it. Expect a bill to dump the storage based on your agreement. Data at rest fetches one price, but dead data for deletion brings another. If you’ve paid to put the data into deep, extended storage (usually at a much lower cost than rapidly available recoverable STORAGE, PAGE 26

Fig. 1: On-ramps to services in a cloud model, which includes storage in one sector with compute, software and PaaS in another. Service access is via Internet Service Providers (ISPs) yet could be a direct on-ramp available through the cloud provider.

and combinations of services before making a move in either direction. Cloud services, like SAN storage, is an evolving and frequently changing environment. ALWAYS A CHALLENGE Expanding storage localized at the facility or in a cooperative datacenter has always been a challenge—add in the cloud options and you have much to understand. Selecting the type of storage has a direct reflection on its cost—either way. The storage performance desired is directly related to the volume of work activities and processing speed (the I/O) that you will need for the selected storage architecture and workflow. For example, if you need to render a large set of animation clips, you will want fast access cache-like storage that can handle the throughput from the render engines without delay or latency. However, the life of that content, once rendered

CLOUD STORAGE COST BREAKDOWN Cloud storage is a bit like going to the smorgasbord; many items are à la carte. Fees include monthly access, retention time, storage volume and/or the use of inherent capabilities of the store itself. Fig.1 depicts storage services and on-ramps to cloud services (via software-defined WAN) whose services may include storage access or may stand as separate items. Use it once and quickly—a short term “put it there and take it back out”—and you’ll have one price. “Put it there and leave it there” for a lengthy period of time—another price. Need rapid access to something you placed into a longterm holding pen (an “archive”)? You can watch previously expected low-budget costs to take off like SpaceX launching multiple satellites one at a time. Storage types and the services available are common cloud cost factors. Each

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26  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


storage), the exit strategy will likely be different than if you paid a higher price for rapidly accessible storage, took the data out and never put anything back in its “formerly” empty space. Contract terms are key to storage costs from time-zero to time-end. Variables are based on volume, accessibility, minimum retention policy and more. POLICIES, PROVISIONING— AUDIT AND MOVEMENT Thinly provisioned policies or confusingly complicated requirements should raise red flags. Before signing, verify the service level agreement (SLA); e.g., how it predefines maximum capacities for specific storage instances. There’s no standardization for cloud SLAs, but there can be large variances based upon multiple factors including short-term and long-term associations (Fig. 2). Audit your cloud service billing to be certain the policies are followed and that your own needs don’t over or under exceed those requirements. Use available monitoring tools included in the service offering. Be observant of cloud data movement and minimize it wherever practical. Public cloud storage should not be your primary backup, unless of course all your activities are 100% cloud-based. If using a hybrid cloud/local storage so-

Fig. 2: Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be complex (a partial list is shown above) and ties the customer and the provider together through a set of established and agreed to obligations.

lution, take advantage of data minimization features. Deduplication can save costs by eliminating duplicate, redundant files before the data moves from on-prem to the cloud. COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY ASSURANCE Cloud computing widens attack surfaces in multiple dimensions. Know which side is responsible for security controls and assurances related to operations, carriage, storage and protection of the data entrusted to those services. Cloud providers usually take responsibility for physi-


Kellenberger also reminded me of the writings of the cultural theorist, Dr. Jean Baudrillard, who wrote about how media affects our perception of reality. Baudrillard believed that people often live in the realm of hyperreality as they are connected deeper and deeper to their television, movies, games and virtual reality. Personally, I suspect that numbness sets in and listeners tune out. Sound supplementation is nothing new, particularly in certain sports. For example, the Swiss and Fins have used samplers for years to cover ski sounds for downhill and cross-country events. Samplers not only fill in the gaps when there are very long camera lenses and few microphones, but when well-executed, the additional sound brings the viewing listener closer into the sport and event. FAKING OR SHAPING? I narrated a BBC radio documentary that was produced by Peregrine Andrews, titled “The Sound of Sports.” One comment I made that became sensationalized was about using samplers to augment the sound at the Olympics. Somehow that comment got twisted to imply that I was using samplers to fake the sound of most sports at the Olympics. This interpretation of sound supplementation escalated in 2012 when I was accused of “faking” the sound of the London Olympics

cal security, business continuity, network security and disaster recovery (DR). Other security controls are likely the responsibility of the consumer. What can or cannot be moved to the cloud is dictated by security and regulatory requirements guided by a raft of state, federal and international regulations. GDRP, the SOX Act, HIPPA (in medical) and other rights and acts can be complicated. If you’re not sure or willing to take the steps to figure them out, your better choice might be to keep your data stored locally. Don’t second-guess the value of your assets; be informed!

and was even spoofed by late night comedian Stephen Colbert, about the possibility of extremes. You can find it on the web. Entertainment vs. documentation. These are also interesting times for live sound designers, mixers and producers. Spectatorless stadiums are a first and there have been novel ways to compensate for the visuals with goofy looking cutouts. But usually in sports the sound is supposed to support the picture and what if you are documenting an empty venue? What should the sound be? Clearly, spectatorless venues are a different paradigm that broadcasters and listeners were expecting. But I have to ask this question: Are we faking the sound or shaping the sound? The sound samples used in baseball are pristine, probably better than real capture. Is this fake sound? I think some journalists and wordmongers who write about audio and know little about sound use these types of words to stoke emotions on one side or the other on the use of extra sound. I was accused once of cheating, but argued that if I did not deliver a high level of entertainment to my listeners, the only person I was cheating was the listener. Ed Stoltis (A1 CBS Golf) commented that listeners will adapt to a new norm, particularly when it is a pleasant and appropriate soundtrack. I think the sound of CBS golf is wonderful with little crowds and no ice machines. ESPN’s production of the WNBA was appro-

FACTORS GALORE Add into the cloud vs. SAN (local) storage stew things like backup, recovery, automation, support, vendor prescriptions and lock-in, plus manageability and reliability, and you have a set of concoctions that just might make you think again about where, how and into “what” you place your most precious data. You should also evaluate multicloud storage agendas. In this scenario, it’s critical to your business operations to determine precisely what data will be managed and where; how it will be stored; and how that data is transported from ground-to-cloud, cloud-to-cloud and back to ground again. Egress or access points may actually be bundled in the contract or the services might be discounted in order to offset third-party costs for access. Don’t take strategies for storage, whether on the ground or in the cloud, lightly. Organizations expect consistency, uninterrupted performance and unprecedented reliability at a manageable cost. In an owner-provided on-prem SAN storage solution or an all-in-the-cloud alternative, be sure you know the expectations. Hire an expert outside entity to guide you through the marshlands ahead of making that final choice. Karl Paulsen is CTO for Diversified. He can be reached at kpaulsen@diversifiedus. com.

priate for the picture. The space was compressed with no space for spectators and the soundtrack was the coach, players and commentators. The production was engaging and entertaining. I really like quarter-full college stadiums and always thought too many drunk fans ruined the TV sound of college football. ESPN was able to come up with a clever presentation, but large venues used by sports like baseball, football and professional basketball have noticeably vacant space and seating for spectators who are obviously not there. Directors will adjust with tighter camera perspectives, but the venues are obviously empty. Who is faking whom? Perhaps after the stadiums and venues fill back up and the broadcast world has time to ponder the sound extremes, sports sound designers and mixers may have an open mind about massaging the sound with a little sound supplementation. At the end of the day, it’s all about entertainment. Dennis Baxter has spent over 35 years in live broadcasting contributing to hundreds of live events including sound design for nine Olympic Games. He has earned multiple Emmy Awards and is the author of “A Practical Guide to Television Sound Engineering,” published in both English and Chinese. He is currently working on a book about immersive sound practices and production. He can be reached at or at

27 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020




Atomos Keeps Action Sports Cinematography Moving Even Faster BY MIKE STEIDLEY Director/Cinematographer/Drone pilot Vision Aerial Media NEW HAVEN, Conn.—When I started out shooting action cinematography—a category that has exploded in recent years—I would go with whatever I could carry in a backpack because I was simply creating my own social media content.

USER REPORT After forming my own production company, Vision Aerial Media, the work quickly evolved into more complex and elaborate shoots. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve strapped myself into this year, filming off the back of an ATV or out of a helicopter with no doors. That one backpack has quickly turned into a van full of multiple camera systems, plus gimbals, drones and any other motion-related gear. It also usually includes more than one Atomos monitor or recorder. DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT Since my project requirements vary from week to week, I rely on the entire Atomos ecosystem, which includes 7and 5-inch monitors, so I can select one that suits each job. If I’m shooting in tight quarters, working fast or need a lower profile, I’ll use the 5-inch. If I’m locked down or I need to do critical image evaluation, I’ll use a 7-inch to frame my shot and make sure I really nail it. With my varying camera setups, Atomos monitors give me a consistent base point. I can load in the same custom LUTs I use in editing and have those on set. I know if it looks good on the Atomos monitor, then it’s going to look good when I get back to the editing suite. There are no surprises like “We’re actually one or two stops overexposed here when we really should have been there.” That consistency is big for me. I also like the flexibility of using a recorder for bet-

Mike Steidley takes Atomos monitors into all different kinds of high-action situations to ensure the best possible footage.

ter bit depths or a monitor-only version for exposure, critical focus and framing. ADAPTING TO THE SITUATION We were recently out capturing drift cars in the blazing sun. I was recording in ProRES RAW, which I love to work with because of the highlight recovery. The challenge was to get the exposure right without crushing any of the blacks. A car’s undercarriage might have sway bars or other cool parts the owners have installed. Car guys want to see those details, so you need to make sure you’re not putting too much contrast into your initial image.

BUYERS BRIEF Video Clarity RTM Systems Video Clarity has updated its Real-Time A/V Quality Monitor/ Recorders (RTM) with multiple test instance functionality for full reference monitoring of video and audio quality in ATSC 1.0 or

3.0 environments where there is a shared set of resources being processed for broadcast transmission. The RTM systems are designed to measure multiple video channels for quality, measure audio quality and each program’s loudness, report A/V offset and end-to-end video delay, monitor VANC data integrity and automatically record degraded A/V signal and reference input during lowquality periods. For more information, contact Video Clarity at 408-379-6952 or visit

I love using Atomos monitors on fast-action projects like this where framing and focus come even before nailing your exposure. A car may come into frame quickly and you don’t get to say, “Hold for focus and get your marks.” You have to make a decision before you hit “roll.” On other shoots, I’ll use my 5-inch SDI Shinobi monitor. It’s super compact and runs all day on a tiny battery, but I know I can trust it for making critical decisions on false colors, zebras or focus peaking. For studio shoots or agency work with a client on-site, I’ll use the Sumo 19-inch as a dedicated client playback monitor and as a recording device capturing wireless camera signals. Plus, it’s touchscreen, so clients like using the “thumbs up or down” tags when approving shots. In the field or studio, Atomos helps speed up my workflow and gives me peace of mind because I know I’m getting all the shots I can’t afford to miss. Mike Steidley built a name for himself in the extreme sports world claiming 13 National Mountain Bike Stunt Championship Titles. He also operates Vision Aerial Media, a full-service video and digital content production company, ranging from action sports to corporate and commercial advertising projects. He can be contacted at For more information, contact Atomos at 503-3883236 or visit

28  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


SmallHD Monitors Help Maintain Bayonet Media’s On-Set Social Distancing BY KEVIN GRAZIOLI EP/Head of Production Bayonet Media

essential personnel—if you can function off set, that’s safer. In the past, when we shot commercials, we usually had a large number of agency creatives on set. Now,

ing we use two workflows: SmallHD monitors with Bolt wireless video transmitters as well as the Serv Pro, which adds the ability to stream the camera, vid-

INDIANAPOLIS—Bayonet Media is an Emmy Award-winning, Midwest-based production company with full production/post capabilities. I have worked

USER REPORT with them for the past eight years, producing everything from feature films and branded content to high concept commercials for Jim Beam, Toyota, Walmart, Eli Lilly, Makers Mark, GE and AT&T. We pride ourselves on creating worldclass visuals and realize that takes the highest caliber gear. Long before the pandemic, it was standard for us to go out with an entire crew, marketing agency team, client team and fully equipped Alexa cameras, in addition to aerial and stabilizer rigs. SmallHD and Teradek Bolt wireless video transmitters have long been critical components of our camera package and have grown even more important as we shoot safely during COVID-19. Having individual monitors and remote viewing opportunities allow us to continue bringing brands to life and pushing our creativity forward. A DIFFERENT KIND OF VIDEO VILLAGE It’s been a learning curve but we have worked out ways to meet social distancing safety protocols while still respecting the stakeholder’s creative input. We limit the number of people on set to only

Utilizing a number of SmallHD monitors on set, Bayonet Media’s production team can monitor the work while maintaining social distance.

to run a safe set, we limit that to a very small team, sometimes even just one person from the client and marketing agency, with the rest working remotely. We also eliminated the “video village” on set—it was just too tempting for people to gather around a large monitor. We value everyone’s opinion, which means people need to be virtually connected to what’s being filmed. For view-

eo switcher or DIT cart feed to everyone’s iOS, Mac OS or Android devices on set. We have started implementing its newly updated firmware to enable remote Core (cloud) streaming through the VUER app on client desktops for monitoring off set. This is a game-changer and really shows Teradek’s commitment to its users and products. It’s great to know a product we already had could get better. We are us-

ing it on every shoot now. Gone are the days of peeking over shoulders to see a screen. Now every critical decision maker on set gets individual SmallHD wireless monitors that receive the consistent, zero-delay signal from the Bolt on the camera. The A.D., director and DP each get a SmallHD 703 Bolt 7-inch, 3000-nit bright full-HD monitor with built-in Teradek wireless receiver. Other departments on set and those at home watch on their own iOS devices, thanks to the Serv Pro, so that works out well. The clients have been very accommodating. On a recent Jim Beam spot, the agency team was really impressed with their individual Focus Bolt 500 RX touchscreen monitors. It’s a nice compact package, feels good in your hands and really shows off the images. Since COVID-19, every day is longer on set. There’s lots of prep, safety, medics on most shoots, PPE, Purell on Cstands everywhere and social distancing. But things are getting smoother and the wireless SmallHD monitors have been a big part in keeping us shooting. Kevin Grazioli is EP/head of production for Bayonet Media, as well as a freelance producer. He has produced agency work, episodic TV shows and PBS Emmywinning documentaries. He can be contacted at: For more information, contact SmallHD at 919-439-2166 or visit

BUYERS BRIEFS JVC DT-U Series With monitors ranging from 27 to 31 inches, the DT-U series— DT-U27HB, DT-U31 and the DT-U31Pro (pictured)—from JVC provides multiple 4K monitors that support 12G/6G/3G-SDI and HDMI inputs, as well as 4K SFP display. All DT-U models support HLG HDR and PQ-HDR; low-latency mode under 4K input sources; 3DLUT auto color calibration; waveform, vector scope and histogram displays; and de-embedded audio from SDI and HDMI. They also feature feature webserver IP remote control; an on-screen TALLY display; focus assist display mode; and SDI timecode. For more information, visit

Triveni Digital StreamScope Combo Analyzer Supporting simultaneous analysis of ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 streams, Triveni Digital’s StreamScope Combo Analyzer enables broadcasters to understand and troubleshoot both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 broadcasts. Using the StreamScope Combo Analyzer, stations can quickly detect and resolve issues within broadcast transmissions. The StreamScope Combo Analyzer combines several powerful products: Triveni Digital’s

StreamScope XM and StreamScope MT-60 MPEG Analyzers. When combined with Triveni Digital’s StreamScope Enterprise software, broadcasters can analyze their entire distribution network in real time from a single dashboard. For more information, contact Triveni Digital at 609-716-3500 or visit

29 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020


Blackmagic Video Assist Takes The Stage for MixOne Sound BY KEVIN GARCIA Video Partner & Director of Film MixOne Sound ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.—As a full service audio, video, lighting and staging company, MixOne Sound specializes in high-profile entertainment events.

USER REPORT When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and restrictions were placed on live events, I discussed with my team ways we could continue live performances while adhering to social distancing guidelines. We came up with an idea to build a new sound stage that allows bands and artists to safely perform on site, while live streaming those performances to remote audiences. We built the stage in three days, made a few tweaks over the next couple days, and within two weeks, we were up and running. The new setup includes a broadcast control room, as well as a main sound stage featuring a 40x40-foot production area, a 48-foot LED wall, full lighting,

The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR monitor helps maintain a high-quality look for live music performances that have had to go virtual during the pandemic.

21-foot jib, full streaming and/or recording setup and a total of five Blackmagic URSA Broadcast and URSA Mini Pro G2

cameras. Being able to enforce strict social distancing guidelines was crucial to the

BUYERS BRIEFS Leader LV5600 Waveform Monitor The LV5600 hybrid waveform monitor features a 7-inch full-HD touch panel screen that is compatible with 4K/ HD/SD SDI and IP signals. There is also HDR signal level monitoring at cd/m2 luminance. Video signal waveforms, vector waveforms and pictures of input signals can be laid out in any position and in custom sizes. Leader has also developed a focus detention algorithm based on nonlinear superresolution technology, allowing high-sensitivity focus to be detected even with low-contrast images.

For more information, contact Leader at 201355-4850 or visit

Canon DP-V3120 4K Reference Display Canon’s DP-V3120 is a 31-inch professional 4K reference display with an edge-to-edge luminance of up to 2,000 cd/m2 and a black level of 0.001 cd/m2, creating a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1.

Digital Alert Systems EAS Software v4.2 Emergency Alert System (EAS) software v4.2 for DASDEC-II or One-Net SE EAS devices improves clients’ operations and overall security stance, making it easier for users to manage the security certificates and key pairs for secure network connections to IPAWS and other interfaces requiring a secure connection. The EAS-Net communications protocol has been further enhanced to support a larger number of interface options for traditional hardware and emerging cloud-based services. In addition, v4.2 includes several communication improvements for HALO customers to ensure even more robust information exchange between core and field devices. For more information, contact Digital Alert Systems at 585-765-1155 or visit www.

Key features of the DP-V3120 include display engine; improved local dimming algorithm; LED backlighting system; IPS LCD panel; 12G-SDI terminals (four in, four out); a LAN interface for remote control of the display; and Canon’s HDR toolkit. The display exceeds Dolby Vision required monitor specifications, per Canon. For more information, visit

design of the space, which is why we created a separate control room. The control room features many Blackmagic Design products, and one of my favorite pieces of gear that I’ve come to rely on the most is the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR monitor. RELIABLE AND REASSURING With four built-in scopes and builtin 3D LUTs, the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR supports formats up to 2160p60. It has a bright touchscreen and supports Blackmagic RAW recording. We use the Video Assist 7-inch 12G HDR monitor to record all of the program out feeds as a backup, but it really is multiple products in one. It has two SD card recorders and allows recording to external USB‑C flash disks, but I actually use the USB-C connection to plug in an SSD, since I prefer SSD cards over SD cards for editing and pulling clips. I rely on the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR’s scopes for waveform monitoring, vectorscope and histogram, and overall, having the monitor as my last piece for a final look is very reassuring; I know that what we’re sending out looks exactly the way I want it to. We use it to record every show, and as soon as the stream ends, the artist can immediately see their full result in its highest quality without waiting for a render. This has blown away many artists. In the first three months after the sound stage opened its doors, we had more than 40 artists come through to perform, including Fever 333, Animals As Leaders, Tinashe, Dreamers, Dave Koz, Swae Lee, Scary Pool Party, Crown the Empire, Volumes and Bad Omens. With our new setup, we are set to stream or pre-tape for any project anyone could need that will fit within the space, and we also offer our services for remote or off-site performances, which we’ve used for Corey Taylor, Dance Gavin Dance and CHON. The Blackmagic Video Assist 7-inch 12G HDR monitor is easily packed up and taken off-site along with our cameras, and with a few more key pieces that we keep in a flypack ready to go, we are set for any type of performance necessary. MixOne Sound’s Kevin Garcia has been heavily involved in filming and shooting video for various bands and musical artists over the past decade. He has filmed some of the world’s biggest festivals throughout North America, Asia and Europe. He can be contacted at For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit

30  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Elite Media Tech Stays Ahead With Sony’s BVM-HX310 Monitor BY NICK MAIROSE President & CEO Elite Media Technologies

we’re ready to consider another monitor, we will have an option that seamlessly integrates with our existing workflow.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif.—Elite Media Technologies is a premium post facility offering end-to-end post-production services, including quality control, color

SETTING OUR BENCHMARK Elite appreciates the HX310’s picture quality, stability and flexibility in supporting multiple formats and deliver-

edge by keeping us ahead of the technology curve—from evolving resolutions, to frame rates and color spaces. Elite evaluated Sony’s BVM-HX310 against several competitive 4K HDR monitors. Our longstanding relationship with Sony and our familiarity with the BVM-series monitors helped the HX310

USER REPORT grading, mastering, restoration, archive and distribution. Working with some of the most prominent names in the industry, Elite Media Technologies prides itself on its impeccable service delivered by a talented, passionate, creative team and enhanced by the latest in technology. We recently added two of Sony’s new BVM-HX310 31-inch 4K HDR master monitors to complement our pre-existing BVM-X300 30-inch 4K/HDR OLED reference monitors. The new HX310s work in conjunction with the X300s in critical monitoring situations, mastering and quality-control environments and advance Elite’s HDR capabilities by offering support for wider color gamuts and providing up to 1,000 nits of fullscreen brightness with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. In addition, the HX310s can be color-matched to the incumbent X300 monitors for accurate color reproduction throughout the facility. In addition, Sony’s newly released PVM-X series (PVM-X2400 24-inch and the PVM-X1800 18.4-inch) of 4K HDR monitors match the BVM-HX310 TRIMASTER HX master monitor, so when

The BVM-HX310 works in conjunction with Elite Media’s previously acquired BVM-X300 for critical monitoring situations.

ables. We use the BVM-HX310 for HDR, SDR 4K, UHD, 2K and HD color grading, as well as quality control and restoration. The BVM-HX310 is our benchmark, helping us identify any content-related issues and rule out artifacts or anomalies being introduced from lesser quality displays. The monitors allow us to offer new services and provide a competitive

win out in the end. What stood out with the BVM-HX310 was the monitor’s superior image quality, accurate and stable color reproduction plus quad link, which allows us to easily route 4K/UHD content to every bay in the facility, in addition to the different HDR color spaces. Another highlight is the monitor’s presets, which al-

low for configuring multiple monitoring situations—offering the ability to quickly switch between HDR and SDR without needing to go through menus. Being able to create multiple presets makes it quicker and more straightforward for us to set up, integrate and switch standards, color spaces and resolutions at the push of a button. BROADCAST QUALITY From a mastering QC standpoint, there are certain elements being shown on the Sony displays that we didn’t necessarily have insight into with past displays. In terms of quality and precision, we’re able to identify issues with greater ease, which is a benefit to our clients. The response to the HX310 monitors at Elite has been unanimous—clients to operators, everyone notices the exceptional image quality and dynamic color range. The monitors also offer great aperture to prominently and accurately aid in finding pixel-related issues and artifacts, especially when mastering shows. They offer us an accurate experience that mirrors what the consumer would see. When a client comes into the building, walks into a bay and sees either of the Sony BVM monitors, they recognize that these are the broadcast-industry standard monitors. With that comes a comfort level and trust from our clients and an expectation of quality and expertise. Nick Mairose serves as president and CEO of Elite Media Technologies LLC, a post-production company and facility leading the migration to data-centric workflows and specializing in digital media services. He can be contacted at For additional information, visit pro. sony.

BUYERS BRIEFS Ikegami HQLM-3120W LCD Monitor Ikegami’s HQLM-3120W 4K/HD multiformat LCD monitor comes equipped with two channels of 12G-SDI input for configuration with 4K cameras, switchers and other equipment. 3G-SDI, HDSDI and HDMI inputs are also standard as part of the unit. With its 31-inch 4096x2160 pixel UHD LCD panel with LED backlight, the HQLM-3120W can reproduce high-resolution 4K and 2K images, and as part of Ikegami’s HQLM series, supports HDR. In addition, the monitor is flexible enough to work with various interfaces in the image production. For more information, contact Ikegami at 201-368-9171 or visit www.

Interra Systems Orion-OTT This software-based OTT monitoring solution is designed to check content integrity and related network performance of ABR content, both VOD and live, for multiscreen service delivery. It checks for compliance, manifest/playlist syntax, download errors, content quality and more using user-defined automated/manual schedules. The Orion-OTT web-based interface allows for remote monitoring through any browser-enabled device, including when deployed in a cloud-based environment. Additional features include real-time alarms, historical alert search, Watch Mode for automated monitoring, active and passive

monitoring and priority-based scheduling. For more information, contact Interra Systems at 408-579-2000 or visit

  31 TV TECHNOLOGY November 2020

BUYERS BRIEFS Avateq AVQ200 Signal Inspector An embedded RF signal analyzer for ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast standards, the AVQ200 RF Signal Inspector is designed for remote off-air signal monitoring. Along with RF measurements, AVQ200 features an advanced web-based user interface with interference monitoring tools, report generator, user-defined alarm engine and the ability to transport stream output (IP/ASI). In addition, AVQ200 provides detailed characterization of ATSC 3.0 signal structure with rich visualization capabilities suited for signal quality monitoring applications and SFN. For more information, contact Avateq at 416-3420761 or visit

Densitron UReady Control Surface The UReady 2RU control surface is a universal touchscreen with an embedded X86 platform and Ethernet connectivity that can be used for monitoring and network control for broadcast telecommunication applications. The display has 1920x285 pixels and offers wide-angle symmetric viewing. The X86 platform is a single board computer based on Intel Apollo N4200 Quad processor that incorporates Intel’s HD Graphic 505 GPU. The unit features video decode and encode hardware support, as well as support for Windows 10 and Linux OS. For more information, contact Densitron at 951-284-7600 or visit

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (Requester Publications Only) 1. Publication Title

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Cinegy Cinegy Multiviewer The Cinegy Multiviewer platform can provide signals from satellites, camera feeds, playout devices and other local or remote sources to analyze them and raise alerts for any detected problems based on predefined rules. This includes tracking and visualizing signal quality, loudness and other types of errors. The Cinegy Multiviewer interface is customizable, with the ability to drive multiple UHD or 8K monitors. It also supports full IP and web retransmission of the output screen in up to 8K resolution. Integrated SRT support for incoming or outgoing IP signals is also available. For more information, contact Cinegy at 202-621-2350 or visit

13. Publication Title TV Technology

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The OBM-H210 from Postium is designed for daylight monitoring in HD/HDR. The monitor touts a 21.5-inch 1920x1080 resolution LCD screen with a maximum luminance output of 1,500 cd/m2. The OBM-H210 monitor accepts up to 1080 60p signals scaled to native resolution and comes equipped with two 3G/HD-SDI input interfaces as well as an HDMI 1.3a input and analog component/composite I/O. There is also support for closed-captioning decode and display for CEA-708 and CEA-608 via an SDI input. For more information, contact Postium at 833-767-8486 or visit

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Q None Complete Mailing Address

16. Electronic Copy Circulation

a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies


b. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies


(Line 16a)

c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies


(Line 16a)

d. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies)


(16b divided by 16c x 100)

c I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are legitimate requests or paid copies.

17 Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the November 2020 issue of this publication. 18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner

Date 26-Sep-20 Group Publisher I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanctions (including fines and imprisonment) and/or civil sanctions (including civil penalties). William R Gannon

12. Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to maiI at nonprofit rates) (Check one) The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes:

Q Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months c Has Changed During Preceding 12 Months (Publisher must submit explanation of change with this statement) PS Form 3526-R, July 2014 PSN: 7530-09-000-8855

PS Form 3526-R, July 2014

32  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY


Panasonic BT-LH1770P The BT-LH1770P video monitor from Panasonic features a 16.5-inch full-HD (1920x1080) IPS LCD panel with a contrast ratio of 1,500:1 and 10-bit processing. The monitor is mountable in a19-inch rack and features an AC/DC/battery drive that allows it to be used in studio or on-location. Additional features for the BT-LH1770P include versatile display functions like user markers and a waveform monitor; an external memory function to operate multiple monitors; and the unit can be operated by a USB mouse. For more information, visit

Featuring a quad 4.5-inch LCD display, the ML-454 from Marshall features looping video inputs, which means that users are not limited to a single SDI connector. The monitor is designed for use with flypacks, control rooms, routing rooms and other video system applications. The ML-454 features a high-resolution 1280x800 display with a 900:1 contrast ratio:, standard power and tally connections; HDMI and 3G-SDI digital inputs; 2RU multiscreens; on-screen three-color tallies; adjustable LED backlight; HDMI and SDI embedded audio inputs; and a logical menu structure. For more information, contact Marshall at 800-800-6608 or visit

Connect KYBIO KYBIO is an end-to-end and multivendor monitoring and control software that enables users to oversee an entire ecosystem across a single unified view, to centralize data and to streamline the management of IP-enabled gear and technology through a graphics and userfriendly web GUI. KYBIO can plug into any third-party or in-house technology with open protocols and APIs. It features a built-in set of modules for operation support, event tracking and correlation, remote control, advanced reporting and analytics. The software is available as a SaaS or on-premise license. For more information, visit

TV Logic LUM-242G A 4K/UHD HDR emulation monitor, TV Logic’s LUM242G measures in at 24 inches and provides 3840x2160 TrueHD resolution, with a max luminance of 500 cd/m2. The unit features a color gamut that covers up to DC-P3 98%, as well as 1.07 billion colors (10 bit), an improved color standard switching speed and TV Logic’s color calibration utility. It offers two 12G-SDI and 3G-SDI inputs, four 3G-SDI In/Out (loop through out) and an HDMI input. Other features include a 1,200:1 contrast ratio and a 178-degree viewing angle. For more information, visit

Imagine Communications Selenio Network Processor Production Multiviewer Imagine has added the SNP-MV, a production multiviewer personality, to its Selenio Network Processor platform. Each of the four processors in SNP-MV supports up to nine input signals, rendered into one or two UHD displays. Four internal processors can be ganged to support larger configurations. SNP-MV is the first multiviewer to fully support HDR, with color space conversion on the fly. Simultaneous UHD and HD outputs are available, including optional conversion from the UHD/HDR into HD/SDR for the HD. For more information, contact Imagine Communications at 866-446-2446 or visit


33 TV TECHNOLOGY October 2020

EQUIPMENT EXCHANGE A u d i o • C a m e r a s • C a m e r a A c c e s s o r i e s • E d i t i n g / G r a p h i c s • E m p l o y m e n t • M e d i a • R e c e i v e r s • Tr a n s m i t t e r s • V i d e o P r o d u c t i o n TV Technology’s Equipment Exchange provides a FREE listing service for all broadcast and pro-video end users. Brokers, dealers, manufacturers and other organizations who sell used equipment on an occasional basis can participate in the Equipment Exchange on a PAID basis. All free listings run at the discretion of the publisher. Call 1-703-852-4610 for details. Submit your free listings on your letterhead and state the make, model number, a brief description, sale price and complete contact information and mail it to: TV Technology, 5285 Shawnee Rd, Suite 100, Alexandria VA 22312

AUDIO WANT TO SELL Music Director Programming Service’s “Safest Oldies” reels (50+), call for details. Music Director Programming Service’s “Safest Oldies” reels (50+), call for details; Gentner Digital Hybrid I, call; JK Audio Digital Hybrids, call; ADC patch bays, 1/4” and Bantam, start at $39; Hotronic AU51 Audio delays, call; Sound Ideas CD effects library, call; Rane AVA22 delay, call, Tom, 856-222-0636 or or Yamaha PM5000 52-chnl audio mixer, $4900. 908-879-9590 or

call; Portabrace cases- C-BVV5 $29, CO-PC Cam case 69., RS-33 rain shield $35, call Tom, 856-222-0636 or or


AJA IoLA, $89/ea; AJA C10, D5D, $75; Degaussers: Aerovox, Garner, please call; Blonder Tongue processors, modulators, combiners 30+ pcs, BO; Ross DAC-9213PVM SDI to RGB, $199. Tom, 856-222-0636 or or

Sony BVM/PVM monitors, Philly So. Jersey area. Tom, 856-222-0636 or info@ or


RF CONNECTORS & GADGETS – Parts, Products & More!

WANT TO SELL Clearcom MS-808A, pls call; RTS 2-chnl stations, some parts, call. Tom, 856-222-0636 or or

MISCELLANEOUS WANT TO SELL Selling TV audio soundtracks from the 50’s through the 70’s. Variety shows, talk shows, etc. Call 925-284-5428 for details.

I’m looking for complete American Bandstand shows from 1969-1974. If possible, I would like for these shows to have been originally recorded off of video tape as opposed to film. I will pay for DVD copies. Contact Ron at 925-284-5428. 2” plastic “spot” reels 6.5 or 8” diameter, as used for quad video. Wayne, Audio Village, 760-320-0728 or


VIDEO WANT TO SELL Grass Valley 8500 series frames and cards, pls call; Sony Alignment kit; scales, torque and tension sets, call. Tom, 856222-0636 or or www.





Sony HDW-2000 HDCAM call; Panasonic AJ-PD500 P2 rcdr, Panasonic AJ-PG50 P2 rcdr; Sony DVW-M2000, call; Sony MSW-M2000 VTRs, call; Sony DVR-28, call; Fast Forward Video 2-chnl Omega HD rcdr, BO; Panasonic AJ-HD3700B, call. 908-8799590 or

Panasonic AV-HS6000 2ME, 32-input HD switcher; Panasonic AW-HS50 switcher demo; Panasonic AJ-PCD2500 P2 demo, call; Panasonic AG-HPD24 P2 rcdrs, call. 908-879-9590 or

CAMERA ACCESSORIES WANT TO SELL 1950 Frank Back Zoomar Telephoto lens for RCA TK-11, w Fiber case; SOM Berthiot Zoom lens, w case, needs work, Call 856-222-0636 or Vinten Fulmar & Hawk pedestals, repair, service, buy, sell and rent. Call Laurie or Jennifer for assistance. 800-9955427, Camera Support, Inc. Tripods: Miller 30 sticks—$249; Oconnor 50D w 50M/C, flight case, VVG $1900; Anton Bauer Ultralights, $35; Intellix CATx baluns, cheap,; Varizoom Pro L LANC cntrlr, $16; Fuji focus controls, and focus blocks,








32...............Computer Modules - DVEO Division.........................


15...............Comrex Corporation.........................................

3.................Enco Systems, Inc..............................................





2,36.............Wheatstone .............................

17,32...........Mobile Studios ............

11...............Video Flow................................................

While every care is taken to ensure that these listings are accurate and complete TV Technology does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors.



EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST, AFRICA RAFFAELLA CALABRESE +39-320-891-1938 Fax: +39-02-700-436-999

JAPAN EIJI YOSHIKAWA +81-3-3327-2688 Fax: +81-3-3327-3010

U.K. NATHALIE ADAMS +44 (0) 203 998 2850

ASIA/PACIFIC WENGONG WANG +86-755-8386-2930/40/50 Fax: +86-755-8386-2920

34  November 2020 TV TECHNOLOGY




Chief Business Officer, D2C/Gamification

Chairman, Entertainment Content

Vice President and General Manager, WISC-TV


NBCU Television and Streaming

Morgan Murphy Media

Sinclair has tapped J.R. McCabe to fill the newly created role of chief business officer of D2C/Gamification for Sinclair. He will help oversee and build the company’s efforts around online, broadcast and venue “gamification.” Most recently McCabe was chief business officer for a privately held portfolio of gameplay and eSports businesses, Poker Central & Estars Studios, and prior to that, the senior vice president, head of Video for Time Inc.

Susan Rovner has been tapped as chairman of entertainment content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. She will lead creative strategy for original entertainment content across NBCU’s broadcast, cable and streaming platforms NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA and Peacock. Rovner will oversee development and programming for scripted, unscripted, late night and specials, and will manage relationships with studio partners, showrunners, producers and creative talent.

Morgan Murphy Media has appointed veteran broadcasting executive Lyle Banks vice president and general manager of WISC-TV in Madison, Wis. He will oversee television, digital and magazine operations. Banks was the vice president and general manager of WGCL-TV in Atlanta for Meredith, and is a past television board member of the National Association of Broadcasters. He has owned or operated various broadcasting and media companies over the past decade.




Vice President of Sales for North America, LATAM

President and COO

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer E.W. Scripps Co.

Pebble Pebble has appointedf David Kicks vice president of sales for the North America and LATAM regions. Kicks brings 40 years of diverse industry experience to his new role having begun his career in engineering roles at Pro-Bel in the U.K. and then taking on sales responsibilities with Pro-Bel and Chyron. He moved to North America in 2004, and went on to hold senior regional and national sales roles with Snell Group, Vidcheck and Telestream.

Nexstar Media Group Nexstar Media Group Inc. has promoted Thomas E. Carter to president and chief operating officer. Carter joined Nexstar as chief financial officer in August 2009 and will retain those responsibilities for the foreseeable future. Carter has played a role in the company’s growth with acquisitions, including Tribune Media Co. and Media General. Prior to joining Nexstar, Carter served as managing director, Media Telecom Corporate Investment Banking at Banc of America Securities, which he joined in 1985.



Enforcement Bureau Field Director

General Manager

Federal Communications Commission The FCC Enforcement Bureau has announced the appointment of Axel Rodriguez as the commission’s new field director. Rodriguez officially began his role in late September. He heads the Bureau’s field office staff across 13 offices that handle on-the-ground investigations for rules violations and other illegal activities, support restoration of communications after disasters and combat against interference to authorized uses of airwaves.

CP Communications CP Communications has appointed Lowell Beckner as general manager. He will focus on growing CP Communications’ in-house production business for broadcast and AV projects at the company’s headquarters, anchored by its soon-to-launch Red House Streaming Studios. He will report to CEO Kurt Heitmann. Beckner joins CP Communications with more than two decades of engineering, sales, and management in the broadcast industry.

LAURA TOMLIN Chief Administrative Officer E.W. Scripps Co. The E.W. Scripps Co. has announced new leadership roles, contingent on the closing of its acquisition of Ion Media. Executive VP, Chief Financial Officer Lisa Knutson will lead the new Scripps national television networks business, and Executive VP, National Media Laura Tomlin will become chief administrative officer of the company.

JAMES RAGSDALE Executive Director Society of Broadcast Engineers The SBE Board of Directors has appointed James Ragsdale as its new Executive Director, effective Jan. 1, 2021. He replaces current Executive Director John Poray who will retire at the end of this year. Previously, Ragsdale was the vice president for finance at Anderson University where he managed the operational budget for the private, liberal arts education institution, and oversaw the business office, human resources, physical plant, police and security and auxiliary services.