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contents

April 2021 volumn 39, issue 4

9

14

32

9

Camera Makers Emphasize IP, 4K Capabilities

16

MLB: Broadcasters Optimistic for 2021

COVID has meant fewer new product launches, renewed commitment to remote production By Adrian Pennington

As fans return to stadiums, media production ramps up By Mark R. Smith

12

Maximizing Value

19

Advanced advertising models unlock new opportunities By Susan Ashworth

Selecting a Storage Architecture

Style and foundation are key to performance and success By Karl Paulsen

14

Meeting the Challenge of Industry Diversity

21

Attitude, accountability, education and mentors play a part By Dennis Baxter

Diverse Field of Stars Shines Over Tech

The B+C and TV Tech 2021 Technology Leadership Award winners reflect a wide range

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editor's note

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in the news

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eye on tech

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equipment guide 28 user reports UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries • • • •

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editor's note

'Til We Meet Again As our industry attempts to return to a semi-normal schedule of trade shows, some organizations are already taking their first steps. But the results demonstrate the importance of continued caution. A recent gathering in Orlando served as a “pilot” to determine how well a trade event could be AWARDS pulled off in 2021, according to the Wall St. Journal. Despite mitigation measures, more than a dozen attendees tested positive for COVID-19 during the event. The goal, according to organizers, was different Best TV Infrastructure than in years past. “This was not an event where we Digital Nirvana- Trance made any profit at all,” one of the event organizers Triveni Digital - ATSC 3.0 Cloud told WSJ. “This was an investment for the industry to prove that we can run these events.” Best Production Technology Another factor that has impacted our industry is Adobe - Adobe After Effects Blackmagic Design - DaVinci Resolve 17 how the lack of trade shows has affected product Bridge Technologies - VB444 IP development. Years ago, most product launches Audio Metering were timed around major industry trade shows, Canon USA - Canon CJ20ex5B 4K UHD however that timeline has lost its impact in recent Portable Zoom Lens Canon USA - Canon EOS C70 4K years as companies adapt to faster product develUHD Digital Cinema Camera opment in response to competition elsewhere in disguise - disguise xR the industry and the world (as well as their ability Dream Chip Technologies GmbH to use social media and other tools to market such AtomOne SSM500 launches). Grass Valley - K-Frame XP Grass Valley - LDX 100 NAB recently published a survey reporting that Mo-Sys - StarTracker Studio nearly seven in 10 previous NAB Show attendees Planar - Planar CarbonLight CLI Flex surveyed said they expect to attend the 2021 NAB Wildmoka - Wildmoka Auto ReZone Show in person when it takes place in Las Vegas Best OTT/Streaming from Oct. 9-13. A key factor in this is the availTechnology ability of COVID-19 vaccines, which about 60% of CSG - Ascendon respondents said would be the main factor into Interra Systems - ORION-OTT With whether they would attend an in-person event. ORION Central Manager Although vaccines are considered the main JW Player - Live Channels Premion - Premion CTV/OTT driver for the return of industry trade shows this Advertising Solution year, there’s one more important factor that was Zixi - Zixi Software-Defined left unmentioned: after a year of virtual meetings, Video Platform the need for in-person networking and maintaining Best Facilities, industry relationships remains as strong as ever. Studios and Service As John Humphries with Hitachi noted in our LTN Global - LTN Kansas City camera update: “The ability to try cameras in perProduction Facility son is a critical part of customers’ buying process. We eagerly look forward to the return of traditional Best Advertising, Subscriber and Enterprise Technology trade shows, hopefully in the fall.” ENGINE Media Exchange (EMX) Tom Butts CTV Incremental Reach Impact Content Director Measurement Solution tom.butts@futurenet.com MediaKind - PRISMA

TECH LEADERSHIP PRODUCT AWARDS 2021

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com

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Vol. 39 No. 4 | April 2021 FOLLOW US

www.tvtech.com twitter.com/tvtechnology CONTENT VP/Global Editor-In-Chief Bill Gannon, william.gannon@futurenet.com Content Director Tom Butts, tom.butts@futurenet.com Content Manager Terry Scutt, terry.scutt@futurenet.com Content Producer Michael Balderston, michael.balderston@futurenet.com 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, laura.lubrano@futurenet.com SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to www.tvtechnology.com and click on About Us, email futureplc@computerfulfillment.com, 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 licensing@futurenet.com 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 © 2021 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.


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in the news OPINION

'Modern TV Act of 2021' Tackles Blackouts WASHINGTON—"The Modern Television Act of 2021" has been introduced to the House from Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.). The bill primarily looks to repeal regulations sponsors believe will help prevent future station blackouts as part of retransmission negotiations. A reported 327 station blackouts occurred in 2020.

Specific elements of the bill would require MVPDs to carry a broadcast signal for up to 60 days while negotiations continue; repeal transmission consent, compulsory copyright licenses and other “outdated statutory provision and regulations;” create a mechanism for FCC to enact third-party arbitration; preempt federal, state and local authority to regulate rates of cable services; require the Government Accountability Office to report on the impact of the bill every two years; retain the ability for local TV stations to require carriage in local markets. “We commend Representatives Eshoo and Scalise for their foresight and understanding that now is the time to update this nearly 30-year-old system for the benefit of American television consumers,” said Jessica Kendust, America Television Alliance spokesperson. NAB, however, opposes the bill, claiming that it “undermines the foundation of broadcast television.” ❚ Michael Balderston

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Doubts Remain About Alternatives To In-Person News Collaboration

N

that happen in newsrooms. ews workflows are On the other side are broadcollaborative. Whether casters who see these alternatives it’s meeting around a as improvements over their conference table each real-world counterparts. One morning to discuss what will major network executive credited be covered that day, reporters the convenience of video confertalking to assignment editors encing with being a boon to news about a story or the give and workflows, making it easier, for take between an anchor and a example, to shift part of the load producer about how to treat a from one journalist who may be given news item on air, much Phil Kurz overwhelmed by a story to a news of the news process depends on colleague who’s just wrapped up person-to-person interaction. an assignment. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, upA news executive from another group ended those interactions. Many broadcasters believes virtual morning planning meetings have taken their morning editorial meetings better focus efforts on what’s attainable than virtual with the help of video conferencing the in-person confabs about what might be. tools like Zoom and Slack. Stations have Another said the tools actually keep reportinstructed reporters and news photographers to work from the field and seldom return to the station where they might have a faceto-face with an assignment editor. Many anchors have set up shop at home, working from living rooms or dens to limit possible exposure, but in so doing, have changed the nature of that give and take they otherwise might have with producers in the newsroom. However, it seems the jury is still out on whether these virtual substitutes for in-person collaboration are good things or not. At least that’s the impression I have from a couple of recent projects I’ve taken ers and assignment editors in closer contact on while wearing my other hat with TV Tech throughout the day than they had been as the managing editor of broadcast-related pre-pandemic. custom publishing. Have these alternatives been good or bad On one side of the issue, is a major station for news collaboration? It would seem—at group executive who believes the process least for the moment—that there is no conof conceiving story ideas and vetting them sensus. But at least there’s agreement that suffers without the in-person interaction collaboration is a vital component in news traditionally found in newsrooms. Echoing production and that efforts to promote it that sentiment is an international broadcastare essential to news operations—whether who views teleconferencing interactions er that’s before, during and long after the as wanting when compared to the in-person pandemic. l exchange of ideas, discussions and debates


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in the news Sports Piracy Tops $28B, But Many Pirates Willing to Go Legit LONDON—The pirates of old have nothing on today’s pirates who plunder the content of sports rights holders and video distributors. A new report, “Pricing Piracy: The Value of Action,” puts the annual cost of sports piracy worldwide at $28.3 billion. The report, released by Synamedia in partnership with Ampere Analysis, arrives at the sum using a new model that evaluates how illegal view-

management systems. This is Telestream’s 10th acquisition, including its most recent of EcoDigital and its Diva MAM platform. Under the terms of the deal, all Masstech resources will be transferred to Telestream, including having support, sales and pre-sale teams join Telestream’s global customer sales and support network.

Acciones projects that to jump to 7.5% in 2021 and 9.3% in 2022. The growth of other streaming services like HBO Max, Peacock, Amazon and more is also expected to eat away at Netflix’s market share. The total U.S. subscription video market (OTT and pay-TV) had $115.7 billion in revenue for 2020, Comprar Acciones reports. That is expected to increase to $119.69 billion in 2021 and $122.94 billion in 2022. ❚ Michael Balderston

Masstech’s engineering and product management functions will be integrated with Telestream’s Content Management Business Unit and will be led by Geoff Tognetti. The goal of the unit will be to combine Masstech intellectual property with EcoDigital’s Diva into a single product. The deal has been completed, but no financial details were shared. ❚ Michael Balderston

Global Streaming Subscriptions Pass 1 Billion WASHINGTON—A good chunk of people around the world reacted to a year of stayat-home and quarantine orders by signing up for streaming services, resulting in the total number of global online video sub-

Netflix to Cede Portion of U.S. OTT Market Share in 2021 ers respond to anti-piracy measures. Nearly $23 billion of the total is lost by cable-, satellite- and IPTV-related sports piracy, while OTT sports streaming services lose the rest, the report says. The research shows 74% of fans are willing to change their illegal behavior. Fifty-seven percent of fans who are “potentially willing” to stop pirating sports content and access legitimate providers pay for pirated services, which shows there’s “a meaningful chance of conversion,” the report says. Further, 93% of this group already pays for a legitimate pay-TV service. A total of 40% of fans who would consider converting to a legitimate content source view OTT streaming sports as appealing, the report says. ❚ Phil Kurz

Telestream Acquires Masstech NEVADA CITY, Calif.—Telestream has acquired Masstech, a developer of hybrid cloud-based storage and asset lifecycle

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LONDON—Netflix is poised to lose some of its control over the OTT market, as Comprar Acciones estimates that the streamer’s share of the market will drop from 36.2% to 30.8%, in large part due to the emergence of Disney+.

While Netflix’s subscription numbers and revenue increased in 2020, and are expected to continue to do so, Disney+ is growing at an incredible rate. Disney+ launched in November 2019 and has already surpassed 100 million global subscribers. It’s revenue also skyrocketed to $1.94 billion, a 1,412.5% growth year-over-year. At the end of 2020, Disney+ had a 6.6% share of the U.S. OTT market. Comprar

twitter.com/tvtechnology

scriptions jumping to 1.1 billion at the end of 2020, according to the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME report. There were 232.1 million new online video subscriptions added across the world, per MPA, an increase of 26% from 2019. Meanwhile, cable subscriptions decreased 2% globally, dropping 530.7 million. For just the United States, online video subscriptions increased 32% to 308.6 million; virtual pay-TV subscriptions also rose to 12.1 million (29% increase). Cable and satellite subscriptions both declined. In terms of revenue, despite a decrease in subscriptions, cable grew its revenue globally by $871.4 million, for a total of $111.6 billion. In the United States, cable revenue stayed essentially even with 2019 ($50.8 billion) despite subscription drops. Online video revenue saw strong growth both globally—up $14.3 billion—and in the U.S., where it reached a total of $24.7 billion. ❚ Michael Balderston


imaging technologies

Camera Makers Emphasize IP, 4K Capabilities COVID has meant fewer new product launches, renewed commitment to remote production

ARRI Amira

By Adrian Pennington

LONDON—The dramatic reductions in live events and sports have had a commensurate impact on equipment buying for mobile production. The pandemic has also given the industry reason to re-evaluate workflows and production practices, especially the move to remote production over IP. “The cancellation or delay of major sporting events, as well as music and many other productions, certainly had an impact on our customers’ business,” says Klaus Weber, principal, camera solutions & technology for Grass Valley. “OB, in particular, had to organize their business around the reduced number of events, so investing in new cameras was often not a high priority.” However, the pandemic has accelerated the move towards investing in distributed infrastructures and workflows. Weber adds, “IP cameras enable optimized integration in remote productions, which is ideal in the current climate.” Manufacturers are understandably reluctant to admit any downturn in sales, so let’s take their reports at face value. “The pandemic hasn’t really affected Blackmagic Design camera sales, and the demand across our range has actually increased,” said Craig Heffernan, technical sales director,

EMEA for the company. JVC says any reduction in demand for traditional live event production has been off-set by an increase in smaller or lower tier event streaming requirements. Budgets for such production setups are relatively limited compared with larger OBtype events, according to John Kelly, general manager, EMEA for JVC. “Typically using two to four cameras, and with content delivery over IP rather than traditional over-the-air, this has allowed sports

John Humphrey, vice president, business development at Hitachi America

clubs to retain an income stream and engage not only with their normal core audience but also expanding to those who may not be able to attend in person,” Kelly said.

PENT UP DEMAND With most large capital expenditures reduced or postponed, purchases of studio cameras by broadcasters have slowed. Hitachi suggests there’s a lot of pent-up project planning and expects to see a surge of buying as the health situation improves. “While sales to M&E customers have been delayed, uptake of broadcast-class cameras in other markets has held strong,” notes John J. Humphrey, vice president, business development at Hitachi America. “For example, the need to adopt or improve online streaming production has led many educational institutions and houses of worship to upgrade kit. These customers also benefit from the advantages of system cameras for their multicamera live events.” Sony says the impact of its camera sales for non-scripted media and news was also low as consumer demand for news skyrocketed. “We also saw higher demand for smaller, streaming-capable palm-type cameras for streaming live events in the corporate and private sector,” said Hiroshi Kajita, head of media solutions, Sony Professional Solutions Europe. “The impact on our innovation has

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

9


imaging technologies

Panasonic AK-UC3300

been limited as our roadmaps reflect customer priorities—new HFR capabilities as well as IP-based and distributed workflow options were brought in during the pandemic.” The absence of the usual trade show cycle is not thought to have inhibited R&D but it’s equally apparent that there have been fewer significant innovations introduced in this period. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as the lack of physical shows on the calendar has reduced the industry’s traditional pressure to announce new products, often before they’re ready to ship. “‘Virtual’ shows have been limited in their ability overall but have been even less effective for product categories such as cameras where ‘seeing is believing,’” says Humphrey. “The ability to try cameras in person is a critical part of customers’ buying process. We eagerly look forward to the return of traditional trade shows, hopefully in the fall.” By far the bigger impact has been on the customer engagement side. “We’ve missed the opportunity to interact with customers and partners on a wide scale,” Kajita concurred.

needs and can evolve with them. “Similarly, the ability to support a cinema workflow with studio camera technology allows for multicamera productions by using the lenses of broadcast cameras and undergoing the same post-process for cinema production,” Bergeron adds. Perhaps that’s why Sony chooses to flag the newest camera in its cine range for this article rather than a traditional broadcast imager. “The FX3 demonstrates the goal for Sony to create tools for content creators in all budgets and size requirements,” the company said when it launched the camera in February. The $4,000 model is comparable to BMD’s PCC range and can record 4K at 120fps (or HD 240fps) for documentary work. There is increasing demand for virtual studios with many popping up at existing TV facilities such as Dock10, which services U.K. broadcasters. Studio cameras are evolving to meet demands for greater automation and integration with robotic systems and tracking systems to incorporate AR and 3D graphics. “While these are all generally supported by IP connectivity, IP is not driving studio camera upgrades yet, since these cameras are designed to be run by in-person operators,” says Bergeron. “That said, IP is having a much bigger impact in the next generation of cam-

HD AND UHD The continuing move toward 4K production while not yet abandoning HD is the other main trend. This includes requirements for HDR and Wide Color Gamut productions in 1080p as well as UHD. “Shifting from a ‘nice to have’ to a prerequisite for quality broadcasts, the ability to shoot in 1080p and 4K are the impetus behind new production formats,” says Michael Bergeron, senior product manager, Live Production Systems, Panasonic. “From a broadcast perspective, the ability to purchase an affordable camera today that can easily be upgraded to 4K in the future is allowing studios to enhance their workflows and offer more productions—in 4K and HDR—while having a camera that meets their immediate

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

JVC GY-HC500

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eras as IP infrastructures are becoming more widespread and bring more workflow options.”

NEW GEAR Arguably the most significant debut in this market is from ARRI. It’s not a name associated with live but it has redesigned the Super 35 cine camera Amira for multicamera broadcast. ARRI has integrated the signal directly into a SMPTE 311M fiber transmission system and eliminated cabling, resulting in what it says is a “cleaner and more reliable” setup for live productions. The system permits Sony RCP image parameter and iris control for ENG-style PL and B4 lenses including box lenses, EF lenses and of course, prime and cine zoom lenses. An “even more flexible and advanced RCP operation” is offered via a Skaarhoj shading control, which supports access to LUTs and setup files. Recent updates to JVC camcorders (GYHC500/550 and GY-HC900) include Network Adaptive Bitrate, lower latency and SRT support for return video over IP. The company has also incorporated VITC (vertical interval timecode) and LTC (longitudinal timecode) functions with this latest update. Together with the implemented NTP (Network Time Protocol) function, these are ideal for synchronizing multiple remote cameras during live event production and streaming. Blackmagic Design’s most recent hardware updates have arrived in its Pocket Cinema Camera range with the release of the 6K Pro. This allows you to connect the 6K Pro to an Blackmagic switcher (like the ATEM Mini) and control camera parameters as well as lens and tally light, as part of HDMI workflows for


imaging technologies streaming and OTT. “We want to take the technologies used in high-end broadcast cameras and replicate them into areas like live streaming, where we have seen the most demand,” explains Heffernan. Grass Valley’s developments reflect the increase in demand for remote productions. Its LDX 100 camera is claimed as the only system camera to offer native IP connectivity, allowing for integration directly into IP infrastructures. “With products such as Creative Grading we enable highly customizable camera control panels with graphical representation of all setting parameters on a practically unlimited number of mobile display devices,” Weber explains. “We’ve also opened up new image control possibilities away from the control room. It enables improved decentralized productions and easier communication between operators involved in managing optimized image settings for the production.” Hitachi’s CU-HD550 CCU (timed to be unveiled at 2020’s cancelled NAB Show) can upscale natively-acquired HD video to 4K and outputs the result over 12G-SDI. “While 4K adoption is growing, HD production continues to thrive, with many high-profile events

being produced in 1080p60 with HDR,” comments Hitachi Engineering Manager Emilio Aleman. “The new 4K output feature is for content creators who have some UHD production requirements but aren’t yet ready to invest in full 4K cameras and infrastructure, while the dual HDR/SDR workflow functionality helps producers optimally reach multiple generations of displays.” The UHK-X700 is the new flagship for Ikegami’s UNICAM XE 4K series. Launching this quarter, the model incorporates three 2/3-inch CMOS sensors with global shutters. HDR HLG is supported as well as options for BT.2020 and BT.709 color spaces. 4K is available as a 12G-SDI feed directly from the camera head, allowing the UHK-X700 to be integrated into a wireless system. High frame-rate shooting at up to 2x speed in 4K or 8K at HD is also possible via the base station. Panasonic’s most recent OB camera,

Grass Valley LDX 100

AK-UC3300, contains an 11MP sensor for 4K capture and a 2x HD high-speed function and simultaneous HDR/SDR feature set. The new AK-HC3900 HD studio camera includes a 4K-CMOS sensor and, combined with a CCU and Remote Operation Panel, can construct a long-distance optical fibre transmission studio camera system. This camera includes a future upgrade option to support 4K at 50/60p, “making it a perfect option for broadcasting live events,” says Bergeron. l

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advertising solutions

Maximizing Value Advanced advertising models unlock new opportunities

By Susan Ashworth

system will fail,” Young said. ThinkAnalytics offers a solution that generates actionable and differentiated consumer profiles from a TV operator’s first-party data, which is key when trying to offer an attractive targeting opportunity for advertisers. “Any broadcaster looking to monetize from advanced advertising will need to address two big challenges from advertisers,” said Tony Mooney, senior vice president of advertising for recommendation technology. One of those categories is measurability: Are ads being viewed for the durations and frequencies they required

SAN FRANCISCO—The buying and selling of advertising has undergone a sea change. It’s not enough to blanket a market with advertising and hope something sticks. Instead, advanced advertising technology and analytics are helping ad buyers reach customers where they are—and on the device they’re on—on a granular level. That’s a feat not so easy to accomplish when faced with privacy protections, depersonalized data collection and fragmented audiences. So companies are looking at advanced advertising as a way to overhaul the way they sell their inventory. By working to capture high-quality first-person data, packaging and unpackaging data into easy-to-manipulate attributes, and then leveraging that data for use across for multiplatform apps, it’s possible for a media company to run a single addressable advertising campaign across all platforms—and deliver an advertising program that can scale. “Advanced advertising soluImagine Communications’ cloud-native booking optimizer, the xG tions are making it possible for GamePlan, changes the way ad campaigns are planned, measured, traded and managed by focussing on audiences, not platforms. advertisers to reach as many people as possible within a particular target audience,” said Alan Young, and by the audiences that they have specified? CTO and head of strategy at LTN Global. The other is targeted playback. “If the results “When you can be precise and specific about are not better than just broadcasting your adwho will see an ad, it opens up your inventory vertising, then why bother with targeting.” to a much larger pool of advertisers.” Graham Heap, senior director of product management for Imagine Communications, says media companies are looking to comGRANULAR TARGETING plement their traditional revenue streams, The goal of nearly all advanced advertising typically sold on the usual TV demos, with systems is to help media companies better additional offerings that allow distinct targettarget their audience. ing of particular audience segments. A solution from LTN Global addresses two “Extracting the value from comprehensive fundamental needs of addressable advertising first- and third-party data sets is seen as a rich on any platform: ensuring frame-accurate seam of future revenue that can supplement signaling when a replacement needs to occur, an ongoing solid underpinning of optimized and loading the addressable creative replacaudience-based linear sales,” he said, adding ing the default content into the TV memory that buyers are interested in both traditional or set-top box in advance. “Both of these TV for broad reach brand-building, alongside components are vital to ensuring each viewer granular targeting with addressable (across all has a seamless experience—without them, the

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platforms) for better customer engagement. Sky Media recently tapped Imagine to help it transition Alan Young, from linear TV sales to full CTO, LTN Global cross-platform selling based on audience. Using Imagine’s Landmark platform, Sky Media moved from selling in multiple vertical, siloed systems (including linear, VOD and addressable linear) to selling, reconciling and billing combined linear and VOD campaigns on a common cross-platform currency. At the same time, the media company is selling targeted linear ads across satellite and OTT based on detailed first- and third-party data segmentation, which can be used for everything from simple geo-targeting to selling individual customized audience segments crafted for individual buyers. The cloud-based Imagine Managed Service and xG GamePlan are also helping Sky Media accurately deliver last-minute campaigns.

ACROSS EVERY PLATFORM It’s vital to have a plan when it comes to today’s multiplatform universe. “[Video service providers] need to deliver a consistent advertising solution across all screens and be agile in the products they offer to their consumers as well as to their advertisers,” said Daniel Wohlfart, principal product manager of advanced advertising for Synamedia. “What they need is the flexibility to not only track what advertisers and audiences want, but to predict those needs and deliver them first.” Synamedia’s Iris addressable advertising platform was designed to work in different content delivery environments, be it classic DTH, hybrid ecosystems or pure OTT. Handling multiplatform environments was a key factor during the production of Smartplay, the manifest and session management technology from Verizon. Designed to deliver personalized streams at global scale, the system’s server-side ad insertion capability transitions from content to ads across any device or platform and uniquely for every viewer. “[This helps] broadcasters


advertising solutions and content providers attract and retain viewers while maximizing ad revenue,” said Ariff Sidi, general manager and chief product officer at Verizon Media Platform.  Others point to the capacity for scale as a key indicator of success. “Verance believes scale is essential for advanced advertising to be successful,” said Nil Shah, CEO of Verance. Scale is essential, he said, up to tens of millions of households. “[This] means retaining the ability to operate on multiple platforms simultaneously,” he said. Other advanced advertising solutions help companies capitalize on their close audience relationships by making them addressable across all devices, enabling them to target ads on a per-user basis, said Christophe Kind, director of market development for advanced TV advertising for MediaKind. “This means they can evolve from a traditional ‘one-tomany’ broadcast workflow to a far more targeted ‘one-to-one’ targeted TV environment.”

AT THE EDGE Server-side dynamic ad insertion solutions particularly benefit broadcasters and TV service distributors by enabling them to

more demand partners, all ahead of the regdeliver rich, targeted adverts by eliminating ular ad call workflow. According to Verizon’s any latency when switching between original Sidi, these bids are then evaluated alongside programming and replacing or inserting ad other ad buys. spots, Kind said, adding that an effective “This is important because targeted TV advertising solution can historically, the ad decisioning enable pre/mid-roll SSAI across waterfall has prioritized all workflows and adaptive direct buys, often ignoring bitrate (ABR) formats, real-time bids,” he said. ensuring maximum resis"This gives those adtance against ad-blockvertisers without direct ers. deals the chance to bid As the landscape on premium ad space, for distribution has driving up content value evolved, the opporand providing a better tunities for advanced viewing experience that advertising, in particular diversifies ads and reduces addressable ad insertion, ‘ad fatigue.’” have exploded, Imagine’s It’s a challenge to find the Heap said. right balance between optimizing Other new monetization Nil Shah, CEO the viewing experience while maxioptions include “prebid" or advance of Verance mizing revenue, he added. bidding, a programmatic technology “We are seeing experimentation for long-form video content providon ad loads, formats, lengths, placement and ers that integrates with their server-side ad more. This requires a flexible partner ecosysinsertion vendors. This uses an open-source tem to refine and strengthen monetization framework to expose ad inventory in real strategies at scale.” l time and conduct simultaneous auctions with

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inside audio

Meeting the Challenge of Industry Diversity Attitude, accountability, education and mentors play a part

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staff television technicians and have often said that I bepractitioners to freelance was lieved the broadcast industry well underway and by the early is usually fair and judges you ’90s most sports practitioners by your performance on every EXPERTISE and technicians were freelance— single show. But in the course of wow, what a paradigm shift. this story, I had candid converDennis Baxter I think in the early part of the sations with some tenured and transition some of the hostilities between respected folks in television and scratched staff, former staff and the new cadre of freesome old wounds. lancers was the fact that many of the staffers I am from Atlanta, and Ted Turner brought were worried about their jobs and having to much more than Braves baseball to Americompete in a new freelance world. ca. No doubt, baseball and all Atlanta sports However, I would like to suggest a few more provided a lot of content for a fledgling televireasons why I think broadcasting does not sion operation, but Turner Sports needed have a more diverse workforce. I think attitude, television operators and technicians to run accountability, education and lack of role modthe equipment. els explain many of the obstacles for entry-levTurner Sports found, developed and el difficulty and long-term broadcast careers. nurtured an army of hometown and regional When I joined the ranks of remote operapeople that provided a first-class crew in a tion it was obvious that outside broadcasts world where a decade earlier there were few and live sports could be intimidating. The OB jobs available for camera, audio and other domain was worlds away from the eyes of extechnical operators. Before the AOL debacle, ecutive management in Los Angeles and New Turner Sports was an operation that rivaled York, and attitudes and the lack of accountanything the networks had. ability was pervasive. Remember, before ESPN and Turner there DIVERSITY AT TURNER SPORTS were only three commercial networks—ABC, I think of that group of people at Turner CBS and NBC. ABC had a history of arrogance and I only remember seeing a family of difand lack of accountability that is depicted ferent races and gender. That does not mean by several books, but it was making money, they all sang in perfect harmony, but when had great ratings and was a leader in sports you put a diverse group of people together programming for decades. So if you wanted for more than 250 events a year there usually to work in sports, you essentially had to suck is an exchange of ideas and experiences that it up. It was generally laughed off, always changes people. I still try to understand stated that it was “nothing personal” and that why racial prejudice and gender bias keeps you had to have thick skin to work in outside hanging on, but I would like to say I think broadcast, (see my column “It’s Open Mic broadcast folks are beyond it. I hope! Night” in the October 2020 issue). Turner Sports and ESPN changed the Certainly every day use of electronic comsystem and by the mid-1980s the change from

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munications known in the industry as “THE PL,” something that holds the entire crew hostage for hours during a live show, contributes to the insensitivity. You are talked to, talked at and talked around by many people you don’t see. I think this tends to bring out the worst in some people who might think the electronics desensitizes some of the hurtful language. At the end of the show there usually is a lot of backslapping and “see you down the road” kind of stuff. But consider the fact that the director, producer and other senior level technicians control your employment—particularly in the early emerging freelance world. Most of the time you just sucked it up and moved on. I do remember sensing some of the “what are you doing here” attitude, loosely implying that someone was not smart enough or maybe that women are not technically adept. Smart enough? Audio folks like to call themselves “audio engineers.” Well I have only met a few real audio engineers in 40 years, but I know a lot of talented audio practitioners. Additionally, I do not believe that an engineering degree is necessary for most of the jobs in outside broadcasting. If you are working in audio you need to know some basic electronics, have the stamina for setting up equipment and have the aptitude for logical thinking and troubleshooting. Audio practitioners now are not required to “fix it.” There are real engineers like my friend Pat Dixon, a Turner veteran and woman who has earned her stripes and respect to handle that.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING I think the education world is doing a major disservice to the broadcast world by pimp-


inside audio ing an expensive four-year degree to get an entry-level position. There is a private school that has an elaborate OB van that does sideby-side educational training to teach students how to mix in a world where those students will not see the mixing console, much less mix an entry-level show for many years. I question, is it worth it? On-the-job training (OJT) goes a long way in qualifying people to move forward in the industry and is an important place to find role models and mentors. NEP has led the way with internships and OJT resulting in full-time employment for many people. NEP will start you at the bottom, but if you are willing to work, they are willing to teach. While emphasis has been placed on on-camera diversity, if you can’t see behind the scenes there is little to draw new people into the industry. I think the lack of role models has contributed to a lack of diversity. I worked for the International Olympic Committee for 27 years. The greatest thing my former boss Manolo Romero did was create the Host Broadcast Training Program to educate, inspire and fill the pipeline for future quality broadcast people. Romero made his

Pat Dixon, engineer in charge, Lyon Video

entire staff available to teach at several universities to foster a spirit of inclusiveness. My first teaching experience began at the 1996 Olympics in my hometown of Atlanta at Clark Atlanta and Spellman University. I worked hard to give about 250 students enough basics so they would be useful, but also be an ambassador from the Host Broadcaster to assure everyone would be treated fairly in the selection process. There was a lot of competition for these positions and it didn’t take long for most of them to realize that their

first job out of school would be at the Olympics and get paid! I still hear from some former students who have worked professionally in the business for over two decades. I think that broadcasting is a fair industry where you are judged on your performance at every show—as you should be. I also think the technical side of the industry is largely diverse. But I do think that people can be insensitive and make disparaging remarks, out loud or under their breath and on open headsets. Yesterday, as well as today, this should be considered harassment or a hostile workplace. Whether said in jest or not thinking that anybody can hear, or saying “it’s just locker room talk,” it’s still harassment and doesn’t foster inclusiveness. There usually is an open microphone somewhere. l 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 dbaxter@dennisbaxtersound.com or at www.dennisbaxtersound.com.

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sports production

MLB: Broadcasters

Optimistic for 2021

As fans return to stadiums, media production ramps up

Artur Didyk/Getty Images

By Mark R. Smith

BALTIMORE—While there will hopefully never be another Major League Baseball season like 2020—which included only 60 regular season games, (mostly) piped-in crowd noise, few fans in attendance and scant crew sizes— broadcasters did learn a few new tricks that helped them prepare for the 2021 season and the eventual simmering of the pandemic. At the time, they weren’t thinking that some of their adjustments that were made necessary by COVID-19 might end up accentuating their broadcast options for 2021 and beyond.

HOME WORK For instance, for 2021, the MLB Network is toying with adding more virtual reality, which it dabbled in during batting practice at the 2020 World Series, according to Susan Stone, senior vice president of operations and engineering. “It’s still in the vetting stage, so we’ll see where it takes us,” she said. That’s just one way to lure eyeballs to the screen of the viewer’s choice. “During COVID-19, broadcasters have had the opportunity to use technology in different ways and

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try new solutions,” Stone said. “Before, we would have dipped our toes into cloud-based technologies when we consider our content and programming. Today, however, we have many systems to engage fans.” Stone pointed out how BitFire, a managed service that allows bandwidth adjustments in reaction to fluctuations, was used during the NHL Draft (from the production facility it shares with NHL Network, in Secaucus, N.J.) and is now being used at MLB Network. “It’s like a souped-up Zoom,” Stone said. “Plus, many of our talent have in-home technology, like PTZ cameras, that capture broadcast-quality video.” MLB Network uses two setups: one with a server with Sony SRGX-400 PTZ cameras; the other with analysts joining the broadcast via their Chromebook, using BitFire. “That gives us stability,” Stone said. “A year ago, guests would be connected via Facetime or our MLB Ballpark Cams, since we have at least two in every park.” While these tools had been in use, “we didn’t rely on them as we do now,” said Jake Soto, vice president of engineering and information technology for MLB Network. “It’s given us more options to have talent and guests on the air, with greater flexibility.” That “greater flexibility” has given MLB Net-

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work some different looks, “even sometimes from a [player’s] car,” Stone said. “The result is obtaining additional content by presenting players in a different fashion. And everyone is fair game if they have strong internet.” Soto agreed. “When we started doing this, not everyone was comfortable with it. One player even put a garbage can over the camera. But now, everyone wants to be on the air.”

NIXING LATENCY Another promising innovation is “SpeedCam,” which was used last year on two “MLB Network Showcase” telecasts. It was mounted atop the first base dugout to measure the time the batter took to reach first base; ironically, the dearth of fans last year allowed for its unobtrusive introduction. It’s comprised of an RF-connected Sony P1 camera attached to a Jib Tek tracking dolly with a G1 Shotover gimbal. It’s part of MLB Network’s effort to capture better shots with smaller, less intrusive setups. Elsewhere around the ballparks, the network is replacing 20 centerfield “BallPark Cams” with Panasonic AW-HR140 PTZs, according to Soto, who adds that “those same cameras are in home dugouts in most parks, [plus] six away dugouts. Using the same model helps with the economy of scale, mainte-


sports production nance and repair.” MLB Network has 12 of the same cameras in press rooms, plus a smattering of Sony SRG-X400s. It’s also employing cloud-based graphics with Singular, which offers a producer template filter delivered over IP as HTML 5. “We convert them to a computer into SDI,” said Soto, for insertion into the programming. MLB Network engineers also came up with return feeds for talent to get rid of latency by using the Larix Player app, Soto added. “That solved an issue we had for 12 years when we aired Yankees or Mets games that were blacked out locally,” he said. “We’d tried to use Slingbox or a private stream; that meant a couple of people could watch, but not 10. Today, what started with four channels has evolved to 20 via an encrypted SRT stream that plays on most devices. “That,” he said, “was a game changer.”

IT'S THE WORKFLOW Back to robocams, it makes sense that they have come to the fore in these days of smaller crews and budgets. “We’ll certainly be taking advantage of the robocams, our own and those of RSNs, which usually come from Fletcher Group/NEP Group,” said Paul Horrell, remote operations manager for ESPN. ESPN is deploying five super slo-mos [four Sony 4300s and one Sony 4800 as the UltraMo high frame rate camera] for “Sunday Night Baseball,” Horrell added. “They’ll be located at low third and at other spots around the ballpark [depending on]

COVID-19 concerns,” he said ESPN will used its remote integration model (REMI), with all content fibered back to the company’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters for the edit. REMI came to the fore in 2020 and has obviously been much safer to deploy during the pandemic. “We normally have close to 100 total crew and production personnel on site,” Horrell said, “but in early April, we’ll have approximately 25, as we did last season, as part of our Sunday full REMI model. Then we’ll use our Enhanced World FeedREMI on weekdays.” Sundays last year were always full REMI, with a local crew and local regional sports network truck. But with the pandemic easing, “we intend to bring back our own mobile units,” Horrell said. “For weekdays, we’ll use our truck to deploy two cameras, but still take the world feed from the host RSN truck; Sundays it will be all our truck, with more of the core crew back on site as the pandemic eases.” As is the case at MLB Network and around the baseball broadcasting world, Horrell hailed the “great tech development” of what he called ESPN’s “Live From Home Group” (LFH) and the development of infrastructure for talent who work virtually. As popular and as necessary and even convenient as that’s been, he’s wondering how long it will be before some of the LFH gang start reappearing back at ESPN’s studios in Bristol. “You do lose some of the feel by not having the talent on site,” he said. Back on the field, the return of fans to the

MLB Network is in the midst of updating its Ballpark Cams with Panasonic AW-HR140 PTZs during the 2021 season.

ballparks may cause a new issue. “They’ll be back in pods, with proper distancing,” Horrell said, “but they may be near our lower camera positions. As for last season’s artificial crowd noise, the initial 10–20% capacity crowds might suffice for our needs during the slow walk back, so the extra noise might become a sweetening thing this season.” But what’s really new about broadcasting baseball this season, said Horrell, is the workflow. "As the pandemic eases, that, too, will change," Horrell said. "By the All-Star Game, our approach may be a bit different, as it may also be a month later for the Little League World Series. “It’s interesting to me that it took a pandemic to show us what we could do, given the circumstances,” he added. “Through fiber and equipment—and pure will—we were able to keep sports fans engaged and keep sports content on the air.”

PRODUCTION NEUTRAL

MLB Network is hoping to make greater use of SpeedCam, which features the Sony HDC-P1 camera, during the 2021 season.

For OB companies, 2020 was a rough year as the demand for their services plummeted and sports leagues looked for ways to reduce the size of production crews on-site. “The primary change is the institution of the 'world feed,' which eliminates the need for a second production truck,” said Pat Sullivan, president and owner of Nashua, N.H.-based Game Creek Productions. “Keeping the entire production neutral has saved the RSNs a considerable amount of money that’s normally spent on traveling production teams and announcers.” Still, Game Creek continued on during MLB’s abbreviated 2020 season, working the short schedule with the Nationals and Orioles (MASN), New York Mets (SNY), Yankees (YES Network), Red Sox (NESN) and Astros (AT&T SportsNet Southwest), as well as ESPN, Turn-

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sports production er and Fox Sports. To accommodate requests from clients to reduce travel, Game Creek engineers created “GCV Anywhere,” an en/decoding system that allows talent and producers to work virtually via the truck. It was used for college football and basketball in 2020 and will be used by some baseball clients for 2021, according to the company. There is hope that some series in 2021 will be produced with the usual multi-truck setup, such as big series on RSNs (Red Sox-Yankees, Cardinals-Cubs, etc.), and the Saturday Fox national broadcasts and ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball.” Still, it’s “too early to say” how the truck companies can make up the money lost in 2020, Sullivan said.

The camera setup known as “Megalodon” has always provided striking images during Fox Sports NFL telecasts. Expect to see it in use during 2021 MLB action, too.

Representatives for Turner and Fox Sports said the networks were not ready to discuss detailed plans for their coverage of the 2021 MLB season, though Fox Sports spokesperson Erik Arnesen offered that the network would be producing “the majority” of its games from Los Angeles again in 2021. Arnesen added that, as part of its regular season lineup, Fox Sports will use two Super Motion (6x) cameras at each of its games along with the EVS XtraMotion system available for the rest of its camera roster, as well as an interesting new toy: "Megalodon," a new handheld Sony a7R IV with a Canon lens owned by its technical director, Jarrod Ligrani. l

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Sinclair Inaugurates New Media Operations Center ATLANTA—Two years after its $9.6 billion purchase of 21 Fox RSNs and Fox College Sports from Disney by Sinclair, the network has unveiled its new 25,000-square-foot Media Operations Center, in Atlanta, as it also rebrands its new sports arm as “Bally Sports.” Sinclair built the facility with Encompass Digital Media after Disney/ESPN decided to keep the former Fox RSN sports hub at The Woodlands in Houston. The time crunch to design, build and equip the new facility didn’t make getting to completion any easier. “What Fox had built over a 15-year period, we had to recreate in two years, from scratch,” said Del Parks, executive vice president and chief technical officer for Sinclair. “We settled on Encompass for the facility because of its experience as a program service provider [and] we hired Deloitte and Think Strategic Consulting to help program and manage the project,” said Don Roberts, Sinclair’s vice president, sports engineering and production systems. “Now, we’re in the process of commissioning the SMPTE 2110 facility with its key vendors, Imagine, Encompass and Diversified.” Parks said Sinclair made its new facility as future-proof as possible; as the sports industry advances to higher resolution UHD and HDR, the need for an all-IP facility is critical. With an existing major uplink facility and backup disaster recovery uplink in Connecticut, the site will feature the latest infrastructure, including two 2.5 MW generators, two 750 KW uninterruptable power supplies and power feeds from two separate grids to provide the redundancy such a facility requires. The technical core consists of 84 racks with the latest IP equipment installed by Diversified. Since the Bally Sports RSNs cover teams from not only MLB, but also the NBA and the NHL, game times can overlap and the facility needs to cover multiple events. So it “has a large capacity for control rooms and has UHD 4K capabilities. That gives us plenty of room to expand,” Parks said. “Additionally, we have AT&T fiber connecting all of the RSNs and the sports venues to Encompass.” At the core playout is Imagine Communications’ Versio Modular Playout and ADC Automation. Sinclair’s remote trucks are mostly provided by the Mobile TV Group, of Denver. “They operate from the venues and send back the signal via fiber to Atlanta, where the commercials and the pregame and postgame shows are inserted,” said Parks, “then uplinked to the satellite for distribution to our multichannel video programming distributor customers. “It’s also important to note,” Parks added, “that due to the FCC-mandated satellite repack of the C-band spectrum, Sinclair also has to deploy more than 3,500 new satellite receivers (integrated receiver/decoders) from Synamedia, then transition its satellite operations from an MPEG2-based distribution from The Woodlands to Encompass and the new, more efficient encoding process High-Efficiency Video Codec.” In addition to the Bally Sports RSNs, the new Media Operations Center will host Marquee Sports Network (the Chicago Cubs’ RSN) and the Yankees YES Network. As Parks noted, building out the operation at Encompass to accommodate so many content providers in such a short timeframe has been a huge challenge. “We’ve had at least 50 people working directly on this project,” said Parks, noting that the equipment in the 40 control rooms, supervisor pods and offices is installed and ready. “I’ve worked for Sinclair for 50 years and this is the largest project that we’ve ever done.”

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z Mark R. Smith


storage technology

Selecting a Storage Architecture Style and foundation are key to performance and success

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on who gets to see that story first. hy is a storage Coupled with a story’s promoarchitecture tion is the volume of delivery an important platforms that the story can get component in released in the fastest time. No the organization’s overall media longer does a news and informacomposition and delivery plattion organization depend solely form? Simply stated, the storage on its over-the-air or cable-chanarchitecture is the foundation nel distribution. News depends that sets the prioritization of upon a multitude of delivery an organization’s data manageforms to get the message (and its ment, performance, metering EXPERTISE advertising) to the user. and content protection strategy. Karl Paulsen Delivery requires speed. Data The concept is relevant whether generated from a single infor transactional processes or stance of a story must be conformed to many unstructured media-centric content creation additional form factors—web delivery, social and delivery. media, streaming services for phone and moStorage management architectures are one bile devices, cloud storage (as applications) of the more important areas that define both for other users or subscribers and, of course, the ease of operations and the success of the the primary service from which it bears their operation from a delivery perspective. Addiname and logo of identification. tionally, unprotected or improperly strucEach of the elements for this delivery will tured architectures can end in disaster; and depend on a reliable and effective storage it is not unusual to find one or both of these solution and its delivery methods. Any single elements in some of today’s content creation failure can create a cascading effect that is environments. unpredictable due to factors such as time, Storage technologies have steadily evolved impact, audience attention and more. over the past 30+ years, as depicted in the How the organization picks its storage accompanying evolution timeline in Fig. 1. architecture depends highly upon how, Today, architectural styles for storage may be when and where the content must be composed of solutions provided by storage delivered—and who needs to get that conservice providers, storage component vendors tent first. Such content delivery channels and dozens of experienced (and some not (paths) may be interso experienced) consultants or solutions nal: that is, editing, providers. Given the system complexities, home-brewed storage at an enterprise level just isn’t very practical any longer. Selecting an appropriate style or foundation for your storage architecture becomes key to its performance and the continued success of your operations.

production, post production, immediate on-air studio playout or next-time/repeat delivery playout. For external delivery that need may be for users who only see the content in a linear format; or for nonlinear services that repurpose and re-present that content; and many other varying avenues of consumption.

COMPETING PROCESSES Copying, replicating, reformatting, transcoding, asset management delivery and other components are often utilized in both sequential and random processes. Such processes may require competing storage architectures along with a storage delivery network that can adapt to sudden changes, bursts in services and an unusually high level of continual stress that is seldom predictable. Thus, picking the “lowest common denominator” for the storage solution isn’t the best, most efficient or most advantageous choice. Storage architects who configure these platforms need to understand the requirements and develop a solution (or set of solutions) that best services each of these needs in a flexible and adaptable environment. As an overview, storage architecture styles

GETTING THAT CONTENT DELIVERED As an example, in a broadcast television news organization the time to get a story “on the air” can make or break that program from an audience attention span and ratings perspective. Everything in a “breaking news” headline is based

EVOLUTION OF STORAGE ARCHITECTURES & TECHNOLOGY

Fig. 1: Graphical representation of storage architectures and its technology for the past 30+ years. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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storage technology may include “takeoffs” or examples of the following kinds or levels of storage systems.

paths are implemented almost instantly. The effect goes unnoticed and operations continue without impact.

TIGHTLY OR LOOSELY COUPLED A loosely coupled system will not share memory amongst or between its nodes (Fig. 2 Green). In this system, data is likely distributed among many nodes, which may involve a large amount of inter-node communications during data writes. While simple to use and for distributed reads where data can reside in multiple places, such a system can be expensive when looking at the system cycles metric. Transactional data (non-mediacentric data) can be impacted by things such as hidden write locations that are effectively low latency and brought on by the types of storage, such as NVRAM or SSDs. In this model, data may

MULTI-TIERED AND CLUSTERED In this model, applications (such as HTTPbased calls) will manage and make appropriate use of separate, almost layered tiers for specific delivery platforms. Web, application, database (asset management) and processing (transcoding or packaging) servers already have the storage access pathing embedded in their code-bases. Calls to central storage are routine, secure and redundant. Should any one tier be compromised, the other paths will be protected (i.e., are safe) with the aid of network security protocols, firewalls and even managed, physical switch segregation.

Fig. 2: Examples of storage architectures typically found in enterprise systems, data centers and media-centric environments.

be kept in more than one location allowing multiple nodes to hold it and speed up access based upon paths that might be open, even if momentarily. Conversely, in a tightly coupled architecture (Fig. 2 Blue), data is distributed between multiple nodes, often configured for parallel running and orchestrated by several high-availability controllers configured in a grid. Here, inter-nodal communications is necessary to keep the efficiency level high, latency low and processing running at peak capacity. Often such systems are engineered so that I/O paths are symmetric amongst all associated nodes. In similar fashion to how enterprise class network switches function, storage system failures (drives, controllers, memory) are quickly identified, and alternative (prescribed)

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In the clustered environment, memory is not shared between nodes and data will “stay” behind a single compute node (Fig. 2 Red). I/O paths in a clustered architecture model may have varying layers. Some may employ an umbrella-like or federation model allowing the entire system to scale out as necessary. I/O is manipulated until the appropriate node reaches the data set needed for the particular task. Redirection code manages these operations with a potential drawback that induces potential latency while the right path awards the right connection for the selected data requirements.

DISTRIBUTED ARCHITECTURES When a nontransactional data model is necessary, as in data in an editing, media asset management or a random processing

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Selecting an appropriate style or foundation for your storage architecture becomes key to its performance and the continued success of your operations. chain (that is a nonlinear and nontranscoding operation)—a distributed storage architecture model across multiple nodes may be the choice. In this model, memory is not shared amongst nodes and the data is distributed across the nodes as in a fanout or multiparallel infrastructure. From a file system structure, such a distributed architecture may use objects and may operate as a non-POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface per IEEE Std 1003.1-1988) protocol. Distributed architectures are less common but sometimes still employed by large enterprises, which enable petabytes of storage (Fig. 2 Green). Search engines and extremely complex asset management implementations with federated access on a global basis are candidates for the distributed architecture. In this situation, massively parallel processing models are implemented, resulting in speed and scalability—a perfect example of cloud-based resources when the onramp/offramp accessibility is unencumbered. There are still more considerations for storage architectures that involve cost evaluations, compromises and scaling requirements—sometimes based on the phase of a particular project or the impacts of legacy and existing functioning components that still have a financial life expectation sitting on the books. Working with an expert in these areas is essential, especially at the enterprise level. Software applications, workflows and data structures all become key components in determining the full solution set. When the delivery of your assets depends upon speed, reliability and performance, one cannot afford to do things only half way. l

Karl Paulsen is chief technology officer at Diversified and a frequent contributor to TV Technology in storage, IP and cloud technologies. Contact him at kpaulsen@ diversifiedus.com.


special report technology leadership awards

Greig Fraser

Director of Photography/Producer Disney Plus

Stars of 2021

DIVERSE FIELD OF STARS SHINES OVER TECH The B+C and TV Tech 2021 Technology Leadership Award winners reflect a wide range By George Winslow

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his year’s Technology Leadership Award honorees, selected by the editors of Broadcasting+Cable and TV Tech, have some of the most diverse résumés in the history of these awards, with careers in broadcast TV, cable, streaming, theatrical film production, research, venture capital and public media. For some, their work involves fundamental cutting-edge research or the development of standards that are bringing new technologies to market. Others are using newer technologies like data analytics, cloud-based infrastructures or artificial intelligence to help traditional TV companies build new infrastructures for new digital and streaming businesses. Many of them have also had careers in more traditional media, where they’ve used their technological skills in broadcasting or content production in innovative ways that helped develop new consumer experiences and better video content. Taken together, the honorees’ stories offer a snapshot of a technological revolution that is transforming virtually every aspect of the television industry. Many of them spoke about that tech revolution at this year’s Technology Leadership Series, held in March.

One big reason why Greig Fraser is getting a Technology Leadership Award can be seen by simply firing up the Disney Plus app and watching "The Mandalorian." "Star Wars" fans have come to expect lavish special effects that transport audiences all over the universe, but creating the beautiful otherworldly landscapes found in blockbuster movies presents a serious challenge for a television series like "The Mandalorian," which must be produced on a much more limited budget. Working with teams at Industrial Light & Magic, the visualeffects company that creates the stunning imagery for the "Star Wars" franchise, Fraser came up with a much less costly solution to the problem, a new production system dubbed “The Volume.” The idea originated in 2015 during the production of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." That film used a large LED (light-emitting diode) wall where different backgrounds could be displayed and shot for a number of scenes. By the time shooting started on season one of "The Mandalorian" in 2018, improvements in LED walls, processing power and upgrades to Epic Games’s Unreal Engine 4 allowed them to use a similar system to create spectacular visuals without leaving a Los Angeles warehouse. “We could create a background on the wall with the 3D gaming engine that a camera could shoot and create realistic images,” Fraser explained. “It means you never have to build a set again. You just project it on a wall and it becomes real.” The effort earned Fraser and Baz Idoine an Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) in 2020. But Fraser believes the potential goes far beyond beautiful images in "The Mandalorian" and science fiction projects that rely heavily on special effects. “It started in science fiction and "Star Wars," but I think it will become a mainstream drama-based solution,” Fraser said. The Volume also cuts costs and simplifies the production process, which is often limited by weather, available light, logistics and other factors, he explained. That means producers can pay more attention to storytelling, as opposed to trying to quickly shoot a scene during the beautiful but fleeting dawn or dusk light. “I think it is a milestone, a turning point in filmmaking that will allow directors to come up with innovative ways to tell stories,” he said. Fraser’s work with ILM to create The Volume is the most recent highlight from an award-winning career as a director of photography, producer and cinematographer. He has worked on dozens of films, including "Zero Dark Thirty," "Lion," "Rogue One" and such upcoming films as "The Batman," where The Volume will be used. Throughout his career, Fraser has always tried to use technology in ways that would help directors tell better stories. “Everyone thinks that filmmaking always involves the perfect scenario,” Fraser said. “The sky is always blue and everything is perfect. But the reality is very different. Nature is very beautiful but it can also be cruel. So my goal for filmmaking is to remove as many of the hindrances to filmmaking as possible so that technology helps, not hinders the director.”

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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special report technology leadership awards

William T. Hayes

Director of Engineering & Technology Iowa Public Television Like many Technology Leadership Award winners over the years, William Hayes got an early start in broadcasting, building an AM radio station at his high school with a few classmates. “We played music during lunch hour but the reality of it was that we wanted to be DJs so we built a radio station to do that,” he said. Hayes pursued his dream of being a DJ while attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where his tech skills helped him get work fixing things and as a disc jockey at the college radio station. “But I soon found that jocks get fired a lot,” Hayes recalled with a laugh. So, in the late 1970s, he decided to follow the advice of a colleague who praised his tech skills. “He said I ought to become an engineer,” he said. “You still get to work in a fun business but you don’t get fired anywhere as much.” Hayes made the switch to TV when he was hired in 1982 by Mauna Kea Broadcasting to construct the first full-powered UHF TV station in the Hawaiian islands. From there, he went on to a successful career in commercial broadcasting in the 1980s and 1990s, holding the top engineering jobs at a number of stations before taking his current job at Iowa PBS in 1999. At the nine-station Iowa PBS network, Hayes and his tech teams have been involved in a number of innovative projects. These include: a major digital TV transition with nine transmitter sites; acting as the host of an annual summit on the DTV transition; launching an all-HD facility in 2007, when many stations were still standard-definition; and, most recently, overseeing an innovative approach to installing a new automation system during a pandemic lockdown. Much of this illustrates the kind of innovation often found at public broadcasters who operate on limited budgets. “We don’t have a lot of money, but people are very mission-driven and good at finding ways to think outside the box to get things done,” he said. Hayes’ career also illustrates the kind of industry-wide collaboration that has characterized many Technology Leadership Award winners. Early in his career, Hayes saw the virtues of collaboration when he got help building his first TV station in Hawaii from colleagues like Doug Lung, another 2021 Technology Leadership Award winner, and the Harold Ennis books he’d gotten from the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). Following that experience, he began to work closely with a number of major organizations, including the SBE; the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, where he is a past president; and the Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

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Cindy Hutter Cavell

Vice President Cavell, Mertz and Associates Early in her career, in 1981, Cindy Hutter Cavell remembers getting a call from her boss at ABC News telling her that she needed to be at Kennedy Airport the next afternoon, because they were flying her to Kathmandu, Nepal, where she would be building a series of microwave transmitters that ABC and Canada’s CBC would use to air the climbing of Mount Everest. That kind of engineering work, to capture amazing images from all over the world, highlights the kind of innovation that broadcast engineers have displayed for decades. It’s also an early example of the innovative work that has earned Hutter Cavell a place in the 2021 class of Technology Leadership Award winners. Hutter Cavell got an early start in technology, learning how to solder at the age of 10 and hosting a daily classical music program at her high-school radio station. After getting a journalism degree at the University of Kansas in 1977, she went to work in local TV before joining ABC News. Besides her adventures at Everest, her 15-year stint at ABC News saw her working on numerous presidential trips, three Olympics and Operation Desert Storm, where she was the on-site technical manager in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for U.S. Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf’s briefings in 1991. In 1993, Hutter Cavell returned to local broadcast, heading up engineering at a number of different stations that were being acquired by Argyle Television. As one of a very few women to head a local station group’s engineering staff, she did innovative work rebuilding a number of facilities, but her proudest memories come from training and working with local engineers. “I wanted to return to local TV because I wanted to grow operations and grow people,” she recalled. After overseeing a digital upgrade at a Fox Sports Net facility in Houston and then working for Digital Systems Technology, she was hired in 2004 by Sprint Nextel as director of engineering to oversee the $700 million 2-GHz relocation. This work had an important longterm impact on the industry because it allowed stations to move to newer digital microwaves and laid the groundwork for moving to IP microwave. She then joined Cavell, Mertz and has since been involved in a number of innovative projects, including building a series of microwave transmitters capable of transporting data from Chicago to New York faster than a fiber-optic network. Cindy and her husband, Garrison Cavell, have also been very active in working with the National Association of Broadcasters to train the next generation of engineers. “Media companies are complaining that they can’t find engineers,” Hutter Cavell said. “My response is to say, ‘You need to put your money where your mouth is.’ If you have a chief engineer who is over 60, you had better start now training someone for that role.”


special report technology leadership awards

Brett Jenkins

Yvette Kanouff

When Brett Jenkins obtained his bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the University of Massachusetts in 1992, he remembers becoming fascinated with digital broadcasting and taking a job at Comark, a manufacturer of transmission technologies. “I thought digital broadcasting was the coolest thing ever,” Jenkins recalled. “It was television and it was digital and we could do things with digital technologies you couldn’t do before.” One of his first tasks at Comark was working on digital modulators and getting digital broadcasts to work, which led to a series of jobs at vendors including Thales and Thomson that were developing cutting-edge technologies for digital broadcasting. Jenkins was the lead U.S. engineer in a global team developing digital adaptive pre-correction technology that earned Thales a technical Emmy in 2003. After getting an MBA in 2005 from the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, Jenkins moved over to the broadcasting side of the business, taking a job with Ion Media in 2007 as director of technology strategy. “I wanted to move from not just developing technology to working at broadcasters on ways to connect technology to the business success of broadcasting,” he said. “That is still really my passion today.” Jenkins was promoted to VP of technology at Ion in 2009 and then took the top engineering jobs at Lin Media in 2011 and Media General in 2014. After Nexstar acquired Media General, Jenkins was named executive VP and chief technology officer of Nexstar in 2017. At Nexstar, the nation’s largest broadcaster, Jenkins has been working on a number of innovative technologies, including work on new standards for advanced advertising, finding better ways to produce local news and deployments of the next-generation broadcast standard ATSC 3.0. “We launched ATSC 3.0 in 12 markets in 2020 and another 20 markets might launch this year,” he explained, adding that by the end of the 2021 Nexstar stations broadcasting in ATSC 3.0 will reach about a third of the country. Figuring out new business models for next-generation broadcasting is still a work in progress, but Jenkins sees opportunities in two major areas: first, using ATSC 3.0 to improve stations’ core businesses with higher quality video and interactivity; and second by developing new businesses. These potential businesses include broadcasting to vehicles and developing new customers who would use the stations' ability to broadcast data. Jenkins has also been playing a major role in the development of the Television Interface Practices (TIP) standards that will reduce the complexity of buying local TV advertising and potentially boost ad revenues by automating the process. As these technologies are deployed in 2021 and beyond, they will help broadcasters compete much more effectively with digital outlets like Google and Facebook by making it much easier for advertisers to buy local media. “What always really excites me is finding technologies and using technologies to make the business perform better,” he said.

As the industry faces an unprecedented period of technological change, Yvette Kanouff lands on the 2021 list of Technology Leadership Award honorees for a long career working with transformative technologies, like video-on-demand, that changed the way people access and enjoy video. After earning a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Central Florida and working in the area of pattern recognition, Kanouff started her pioneering career in digital technologies in 1994 as director of interactive television at Time Warner Cable’s Full Service Network. Here, she worked on a host of innovations, including interactive television, on-demand television, two-way networks and delivery of digital content. In 1997, she moved to SeaChange International, where she played a central role in bringing early on-demand technologies to market. “After the Full Service Network was shut down, I wanted to productize those technologies and bring a successful VOD product to market,” she said. That meant she had to not only prove the technology would work but show it had a viable business model. “The concept of replacing a Blockbuster home video store with on-demand video was just incomprehensible.” Between 2012 and 2014, Kanouff held the top tech job at Cablevision Systems, where she pioneered such new technologies as the deployment of the first cloud-based DVR. She then joined Cisco Systems, heading up their video unit in 2014 and eventually taking charge of their entire service provider business, overseeing 6,000 employees. In 2019, she joined the venture capital world in her current role at JC2, which was founded by her former boss at Cisco, John Chambers. Over the years, her technical skills have earned Kanouff a host of major awards, including the NCTA Vanguard Award for Engineering and Technology and a 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in Technology and Engineering from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In the venture world, at JC2 she is working with around 20 startups in a number of areas that could be important for the future of operations in the pay-TV, telco, television and entertainment sectors in such areas as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, automation and cybersecurity. She also remains active in a number of industry organizations, including the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers/International Society of Broadband Engineers, where she is vice chairman of the SCTE Foundation, and she has been a longtime advocate of diversity in the tech sector. “When I joined the industry, I was very commonly the only woman in the room,” Kanouff said. “I was very lucky to have so many wonderful mentors who were sponsors of my career. So I’ve been very active in trying to help both minorities and women, and it is nice to see that this is an issue that is coming front and center.”

Executive VP/Chief Technology Officer Nexstar Media Group

Partner and CTO JC2 Ventures

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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special report technology leadership awards

Jaya Kolhatkar

Barbara Lange

The rise of streaming video and direct-to-consumer streaming services has made data analytics a particularly hot topic, as major players like The Walt Disney Co. launch streaming services around the world. The industry’s pivot to DTC also highlights the growing importance of innovative work by experts in data analytics like Jaya Kolhatkar, the head of data analytics at Disney’s DTC operations. Her innovative work in data technologies at Hulu helped boost subscriber numbers to 39.4 million in the first quarter of 2021, up from 17 million in 2017, and created insights into consumer habits that helped Hulu’s sales team develop new ad products. Kolhatkar said she became fascinated with data and statistics while in college, which led to an MBA at Villanova University in 1987. But she really saw the power of data analytics after school, when she took a job with an insurance agency that did a lot of direct marketing. “A lot of the marketing research I’d done before was less directly related to the day-to-day success of a company, but here I was using data analytics to make direct marketing more efficient and less costly,” she recalled. “It was a great introduction how important leveraging data can be to a company and showed that if done well it can really be a competitive advantage.” From there, she had a series of jobs in data analytics in financial services before working as director of fraud and payments at Amazon between 1999 and 2003, where she worked on the launch of the very successful Amazon Visa card. As her career progressed, she also became more involved in not just data analytics but the technology infrastructure for handling that data. Between 2007 and 2011, for example, she worked with a team of engineers at eBay to develop better ways to leverage the data from their three main businesses. Using that experience, she and some friends at eBay launched a startup in 2011 that developed a tech platform for data analytics. It was acquired in 2013 by Walmart, where she worked until 2018, when she joined Hulu. Hulu had long been doing innovative work in data analytics but Kolhatkar was the first executive to oversee all those efforts. One of her early tasks was to harmonize the data and use that data to help boost revenue, which led to a number of successful new products and efforts. In addition to using data analytics to refine new user interfaces, those insights were also applied to the development of new ad products. For example, Hulu’s sales teams capitalized on the popularity of binge viewing by developing ad strategies for binge viewing. After a viewer had watched a certain number of episodes, they would see an announcement that a single advertiser was sponsoring the episode, which would otherwise be ad-free. “We also found that people were pausing a lot,” Kolhatkar explained. Based on that insight, the sales team sold ad images that would appear on the screen when the video was paused. Last summer, Kolhatkar was promoted to her current role, heading up data teams for Disney’s direct-to-consumer services like Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus so that the company can leverage data insights across all the services. “We are not only looking at brand new trends from all three services but also figuring out what we can learn from the different data infrastructures,” she said.

In recent years, rapid technological change has highlighted the importance of standards in the rollout and deployment of new services and businesses. Streaming services, for example, would struggle to efficiently deliver content if there were no standardized formats for digital files and compression. That imperative has done more than make the work of venerable industry organizations like SMPTE and its executive director, Barbara Lange, more important than ever. It has also required significant changes in the operations of SMPTE, which was founded in 1906 in the early years of the theatrical film industry. “As the industry changes and the technology changes, we’ve also had to adapt,” explained Lange, who is receiving a Technology Leadership Award for her work in helping SMPTE support the industry with new standards, training and information so companies can navigate a rapidly changing business and technology landscape. Lange arrived at SMPTE in 2011 with a résumé that included work in scholarly publishing and at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest technical professional organization. “When I arrived at SMPTE many of the standards were around hardware and cables coming into the hardware,” she recalled. “But that has quickly transitioned to a world based on software so that most of our standards are now software-oriented.” In the last decade, SMPTE’s members and the volunteers serving on its standards committees have produced more than 200 new tech standards, including on work crucial to the industry’s pivot towards streaming and digital media in such aspects as the Interoperable Master Format (IMF), High Dynamic Range (HDR) and video-over-IP. “We wouldn’t be where we are if not for the fantastic work of our staff, our dedicated board members and our volunteers,” said Lange, who has also spearheaded a number of operational changes to help those volunteers create new standards. In the last decade, for example, SMPTE made much more information available to members on its website; it began offering virtual education in 2013; it has adopted a host of new digital technologies for collaboration on standards work and in 2020 it provided educational services to more than 10,000 people. Prior to the pandemic, that also helped boost membership by 30%. In the last year, those digital platforms expanded SMPTE’s international reach, with the number of countries represented at the SMPTE 2020 virtual event growing 133% over 2019. Looking forward, SMPTE will continue putting more focus on the newer technologies the industry is embracing, Lange said. “The most important thing right now is media in the cloud and how we can enable interoperability,” she said. “This is a 105-year-old organization and the work we do is critically important to the industry,” she noted. “We want to continue to be the unbiased platform where the industry can come and debate the technologies it needs.”

Executive VP of Data Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International

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Executive Director Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE)


special report technology leadership awards

Doug Lung

Phil McKinney

Doug Lung is the rare technologist who has not only made a significant impact on the TV industry, helping build the technical infrastructure of the Telemundo station group. He is also an influential tech writer whose columns have educated two generations of engineers on a host of new technologies in the pages of TV Tech and other publications. Lung’s passion for finding innovative ways to use broadcasting technologies and his willingness to help others advance those technologies, began early. “I must have RF [radio frequency] technologies in my blood,” Lung quipped, noting that he began building radios in the late 1950s, got his ham radio license at the age of 12 and was teaching a class on amateur radio in the late 1960s while still in high school. One of his students, a chief engineer at a local radio station, was so impressed, he hired him to for an evening shift at the radio station. After working in the 1970s and early ’80s in radio, local cable TV, a global production center and eventually at TV station KSCI Los Angeles, Lung made an indelible mark on the broadcasting business by expanding the reach of Spanish-language television. In 1985, Lung joined a group of four colleagues that bought KSCI and successfully relaunched it as L.A.’s second Spanish-language station. Fueled by that success, the group then acquired and built a number of other stations that would become the Telemundo station group. Lung headed up the tech and engineering operations at these Telemundo stations until the Spanish-language broadcaster was acquired by NBC in 2002. In addition to his important work advancing the success of Spanish-language broadcasting in the United States via his work at the Telemundo stations, Lung has also been one of the most influential writers about broadcast technology. In recent decades, he’s written nearly 300 columns for TV Tech and has been a contributor to journals put out by organizations such as the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society, where he has focused on open source software and innovative hardware. “Writing the column for TV Tech has been a great opportunity because it forced me to learn about new technologies and provided me with invaluable feedback,” he said. Lung noted that NBCUniversal has been very supportive of that work, allowing him to discuss new technologies as long as he stresses that his comments are his own views and not those of the company. Lung stayed on after the acquisition of Telemundo by NBC and is currently responsible for RF and transmission technologies at NBCUniversal’s owned stations. Other career highlights include leading the DTV transition at the station group, compiling tech information for his transmitter.com website and working with a team of engineers to get New York’s TV stations back on the air after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Over the last year, the pandemic highlighted the importance of the CableLabs research into creating fast, reliable internet connections for homeschooling and remote work, with a host of newer technologies on the horizon that could have an even bigger impact over the next decade. CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney came to the organization with a well-established reputation for discussing innovation on his podcast and radio show and in his books, and for a long career in technology dating back to the early 1980s. His résumé includes the launch of more than a dozen tech startups and senior tech roles at Teligent, Computer Sciences Corp. and Hewlett Packard. As VP and chief technology officer of Hewlett Packard’s Personal Systems Group until 2011, McKinney oversaw a $40-billion annual revenue operation; set up HP’s successful and widely copied Innovation Program Office to incubate and launch new products and services; and built tech teams that were listed as being one of the 50 most innovative by Fast Company and Business Week in three different years. He also launched the Hacking Autism Foundation that he still runs. This background in software, IT, tech startups and Silicon Valley convinced the cable industry to hired him to head CableLabs, the industry’s tech consortium, in 2012. At that time, cable faced increased competition from tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon, and MSOs were responding by placing more emphasis on IP networks, streaming, software and other widely used Silicon Valley technologies. “One notable part of that pivot we’ve made at CableLabs,” McKinney said, “has been to take a longer range view, not focusing on technologies that are one to three years from coming to market but to focus on three to eight years. We wanted to take a longer view and make bigger bets around longer, larger products.” That has gotten CableLabs involved in a number of cutting-edge technologies, including much faster and more reliable broadband services, artificial intelligence, new holographic lightroom imaging displays and the convergence of wireless and wired networks that will help operators deliver content and new services more seamlessly into the home. Such efforts could have a major impact on the overall tech landscape in the 2020s and beyond. The development of highspeed internet technologies over cable via the DOCSIS standard at CableLabs in the 1990s and 2000s helped touch off a wave of tech innovation in the early 21st century, McKinney said, as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and others built new digital services on top of the high-speed internet platform being deployed by the cable industry. Today, McKinney believes that cable’s 10G initiative, which would enable 10 GB speeds, will have a similar impact. “As we develop 10G, you are going to see some very interesting technologies built on top of 5 GB and 10 GB networks,” he said. “We are investing and working on creating an amazing platform for others to innovate on top of.”

VP Broadcast Technology NBC/Telemundo Stations

President and CEO CableLabs

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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special report technology leadership awards

Stephanie Mitchko-Beale

Phil Wiser

The top technologist at Charter Communications, Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, has long been a technology leader, with innovative work in early deployments of broadband networks, advanced advertising, cloud-based DVRs and interactive television. During Mitchko-Beale’s 15-year stint at Cablevision Systems, she won an Emmy Award for Best Interactive Television Platform as well as two Technical Emmys. Since taking her current job at Charter in 2019, she’s been overseeing tech teams building faster, more reliable networks as part of the cable industry’s 10G initiative that will ultimately produce broadband speeds of 10 GB. This year, Mitchko-Beale is not only being honored for a long history of tech innovation. She is receiving the first award for Technology Leadership in Building Diverse Tech Teams for her work promoting diversity in the industry. Mitchko-Beale’s father was an engineer and she grew up in a family where her love of math and science was encouraged as she learned to take apart radios and TVs. “I got my father’s voracious curiosity in learning how things work,” she recalled. Studying for her engineering degree at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering in 1987, she was one of the few women in the program. Even today, Mitchko-Beale is the rare woman serving as top technologist at a large corporation such as Charter, which had $48.1 billion in revenue in 2020. While Mitchko-Beale is unusual in a top tech position, she stressed that “the diversity and inclusion conversation isn’t just about women. Having men and women of all different backgrounds, different sexes and different ethnicities being brought together for problem-solving and innovation is extremely valuable. You not only need different people in your organization, they have to be included and brought to the table if you want to see the benefits of that diversity,” she said. A variety of research studies have found companies with more diverse employees perform better as businesses. Such efforts are particularly important in a period of rapid technological change. “If you have a group of people who adapt and respond in the same way to issues, you don’t get the benefit of having a wider discussion,” she said. “But when you bring diversity into the picture and include people, you have this flow of ideas that helps you respond better and faster to change.” In addition to all her work mentoring and working with industry organizations, Mitchko-Beale stressed that simply talking about the subject is important. “This is something you have to communicate and talk about all the time,” she said. “Are you looking at diverse slates when you are hiring people? Are you making sure we are thinking about minority-owned businesses? Are you creating an inclusive environment?” She also stressed that the industry needs to reach out to younger people to encourage them to get involved with science, technology, engineering and math at an early age. The industry also needs to highlight the very innovative work that companies like Charter are doing, she said. “When most people think about technology they think about the tech giants, Google, Twitter, Amazon, doing cool tech things and that cable is just old cable. In fact we are doing very interesting innovative work in things like data science, artificial intelligence, streaming media, next-generation broadband networks, mobile phone technologies and app development.”

A prime example of how executives from the streaming and digital worlds are helping major media companies build new streaming and direct-to-consumer businesses can be found in ViacomCBS’s top technologist, Phil Wiser. Early in his career, Wiser was the cofounder and chief technology officer of Liquid Audio, which developed underlying technologies for online music. In 2001, he moved to Sony Music, where he formed the Digital Business Group as the chief digital and technology officer, and convinced the company to ink a landmark deal with iTunes that would revolutionize the music business. “At Liquid Audio, we had to create the fundamental technologies to package and distribute media over the internet,” he recalled. “Then at Sony I had a great opportunity to help them reinvent their business around digital at a time when we were starting a massive disruption of the music industry.” After leaving Sony in 2006, Wiser cofounded the pioneering video streaming service Sezmi that offered the first internet cable bundle of channels and broadcast stations, an effort that also required new technologies. “We generated over a thousand patents that really foreshadowed what is happening in the market today,” he said After a stint as the first CTO at Hearst between 2012 and 2018, Wiser then took the top tech job at CBS, assuming his current role when Viacom and CBS merged. As ViacomCBS works to accelerate what were already very extensive streaming efforts with the launch of Paramount Plus this month, Wiser said, “We are working to transform our entire media operating model. That is a real disruption of everything from the way we produce our content to the way we process and distribute the content.” A central part of that effort is a shift to cloud-based technologies that will enable the use of newer automation systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve operations, Wiser said. In December of 2020, ViacomCBS said that it would work with Amazon Web Services to move operations for its entire broadcast footprint, which spans 425 linear television channels and 40 global data and media centers, to the cloud. Looking forward, Wiser said, the creation of a new technical infrastructure will provide ViacomCBS with much greater flexibility to quickly launch new services and expand internationally, which is crucial for streaming media business models. “Paramount Plus was available in 20 markets at launch internationally,” he said. Wiser also believes the new infrastructure will help deliver higher quality content, such as high dynamic range (HDR) video, and give artists new outlets for their creativity. “Throughout my career I’ve always been focused on artists,” he said “So I’m particularly proud that [these tech efforts] are giving writers and creators new opportunities” to create high-quality productions that can be delivered to consumers in new ways.

Executive VP & Chief Technology Officer Charter Communications

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Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer ViacomCBS


eye on tech | product and services AmberFin

StreamScope XM Analyzer

Version 11.9 of Dalet’s AmberFin transcoding, media processing and workflow platform adds enhancements to the AmberFin transcoding engine, providing a 30% increase in throughput on average; a new web-based conversion profile editor for managing day-to-day configuration; and Emotion System’s advanced audio processing and loudness normalization capabilities. Dalet has also made it so all of the new features for the AmberFin can work both on-premises and in the Dalet AmberFin Cloud Transcoder Service. Resources can be controlled from the same workflow engine and API. z For additional information, contact Dalet at 212-269-6700 or visit www.dalet.com.

The newest StreamScope XM analyzer comes with a DekTec 12port input card for analyzing multiple ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 streams as well as QAM signals at the same time. All 12 channels are demodulated simultaneously, allowing users to monitor a complete network in real time. When transitioning from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0, broadcasters will be able to switch over each receiver within the software to future-proof their operations. The analyzer also provides real-time analysis of ROUTE, MMTP and STLTP streams from RF, Ethernet and file inputs at multiple delivery points. z For additional information, contact Triveni Digital at 609-716-3500 or visit www.trivenidigital.com.

Telos VXs The Telos VXs Virtual VoIP System provides broadcasters and their remote teams a virtualized way to tap into production and engineering party lines. The VXs software can be deployed on shared servers in the centralized data center or in cloud instances. Telos VXs supports SMPTE-2110, AES67 and Livewire environments for integration with intercom systems, audio consoles and other production systems over existing multicast media networks. When working with the Axia Pathfinder Core PRO HTML-5 user panels, it also assists with coordination and control for things like OB trucks. z For additional information, contact Telos Alliance at 216-241-7225 or visit www.telosalliance.com.

Lykos+ The next generation of Litepanels Lykos mini LED panel lights, the Lykos+ bi-color LED panel is among the smallest in the company’s range. It delivers output 40% brighter than the previous generation, providing 2,000 lux (at 3 feet/1 meter) of accurate white light at any color temperature from 3,200–5,600 K. Lykos+ uses the advanced LED and lensing technology that was developed for Litepanel’s Astra range of 1x1 panels. It can deliver broadcast-quality lighting with a CRI of 96 for true-to-life color accuracy. The one-pound Lyko can be used with multiple mounting options. z For additional information, visit Litepanels at www.litepanels.com.

Avid | Edit On Demand Avid | Edit On Demand is a new subscription service that makes Avid Media Composer editing software and Avid Nexis cloud storage easily accessible for broadcast, production and post-production facility teams operating remotely. Avid | Edit On Demand is meant to be indistinguishable from on-premise editing. Customers can configure an Edit On Demand subscription to meet their specific needs. The system can be accessed through a Windows or Mac laptop, as well as mobile devices, connecting to a fully configured, virtualized Media Composer system and an Avid Nexis workspace in the cloud. z For additional information, contact Avid at 978-640-6789 or visit www.avid.com.

iLux Broadcast ATSC 3.0 Studio The iLux Broadcast ATSC 3.0 Studio is a combination of encoder, signaling and delivery services and broadcast gateway for serving different operational requirements of broadcasters. The iLux platform can support up to eight HD video and audio streams to be compressed, packaged, integrated with other signaling and metadata information and encapsulated into the STLTP protocol for delivery to multiple transmitters. The platform can be used to deliver DASH-packaged, ATSC 3.0-compliant audio and video streams to a remote transmitter location housing the signaling and delivery services. z For additional information, contact igolgi at 609-334-5978 or visit www.igolgi.com.

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries

Anton/Bauer Titon Batteries Power News Coverage USER REPORT By Keith Jacobsen Freelance Lighting Camera Operator

LIVERPOOL, U.K.—As the 10-second warning siren sounded that the power station cooling towers were about to be imploded, the battery warning light on my Betacam started flashing. Within the next few seconds, the battery died, the towers had fallen and the moment was missed. As the dust settled and I was trying to explain to the producer why there was no footage, it dawned on me that I really should probably invest in some decent camera batteries. That’s when my 30-year relationship with Anton/Bauer began. I’m a lighting cameraman based in the northwest of England and I have shot many hours of television for some of the world’s biggest broadcasters. Being trained by the BBC meant that I was able to learn from some of the greatest operators in the industry and gain valuable experience using many different types of equipment and programs. One of my favorite genres was always news and current affairs, as you never actually knew what the day would throw at you. This is still the case today, whether I’m shooting a police raid for “BBC North West Tonight,” A-level results for “Granada Reports” or wildfires for “Channel Four News.”

TEST OF TIME As camera technology has developed over the last three decades, (the first camera I used had plumbicon tubes), so has the number of peripherals we attach that our batteries need to power:

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Keith Jacobsen uses Titon batteries to power both his camera and lighting fixtures.

toplights, monitors, radio mics, vision links, etc. The choice of battery is just as important as the choice of codec. I’ve recently upgraded my trusty, bullet-proof Anton/Bauer Hytron 140 NiMh system to the new Anton/Bauer Titon range. There was never any doubt that I wouldn’t stick with Anton/ Bauer as they have never let me down and I already knew the Gold-Mount system was more secure than anything else on the market. I liked the timer display on the Hytron, so to have an even more accurate display on the Titon was fantastic. I wondered just how accurate it was, so I decided to test it in the real world. With all my gear attached and powered up, the real-time display showed that there was three hours and 20 minutes of power. The show I was providing live location twitter.com/tvtechnology

camera for, “BBC Breakfast,” was on air for just over three hours— that one battery saw me through the whole program with time to spare. That’s how accurate it is. And that’s how much confidence I have in Anton/Bauer.

KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON I use Titons to power my camera, but I also use them to power my Litepanels Astra 6X lighting fixtures. I can run the Astra 6X fixtures at full power using the Titons for prolonged periods without flicker, color shift or reduction of intensity—something that is a great asset now with the current COVID restrictions, as you can keep socially distanced from your subject without compromising lighting power. The Titons are built with the usual Anton/Bauer solidness— something you need for run-andgun news when you’re constantly

throwing gear in and out of your van. As a freelancer, you can’t afford to have batteries taken out of service because of damage and breakages—the build quality needs to be just as solid as the internal chemistry that powers the cells. That build quality is what makes buying cheaper batteries a false economy—at the very least you lose a news moment and annoy a producer. The very worst, you cause a devastating Li-ion fire. For the three-minute news report on flooding for the BBC “Six O’clock News” or the access to a COVID ITU ward for ITV’s “Good Morning Britain,” my batteries have probably been powering cameras and lights for many hours. I might be away from or unable to get to the kit van for hours at a time. I need to have a power system I can totally depend on, that’s lightweight but powerful enough to capture every moment I point the camera at. That’s exactly what the Anton/Bauer Titon series delivers, all the time, every time. l Keith Jacobsen is a freelance lighting camera operator with more than 30 years of experience in the broadcast industry working with national and international networks including BBC, ITV and Al Jazeera. He can be contacted through his website, www.limegrovestudios.co.uk. For more information, visit www.antonbauer.com.


equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries

KATU Portland Adds Shotoku Robocam to New Control Room USER REPORT By Tim Ondracek Chief Engineer KATU & KUNP

PORTLAND, Ore.—Sinclair Broadcast’s KATU, the ABC affiliate in Portland, Ore., and sister station KUNP, a Univision affiliate, serve not only the

most cost-effective advanced, reliable broadcast systems available. We recently built a new production control room, starting off with a blank slate. The project involved demolishing a storage room, adding walls, electrical, furniture, pre-wiring for all the systems and purchasing an automation system and robotics, all while staying

that whatever robotically controlled camera system we chose was compatible. The variable was the robots. We concluded that we might be able to build and purchase everything we needed if we used two moving pedestals and one stationary one, rather than the three moving ones we previously used. Our engineering team researched to find the best system

KATU is able to operate its Shotoku SmartPed X/Y robotic pedestals from within its control room.

Portland market, but much of the northern half of Oregon and Southwest Washington state as well. As chief engineer for KATU and KUNP for the last six years, I’ve been responsible for station operations and evaluating and purchasing equipment. Ultimately, it’s my job to bring the best viewer experience to our audience via high-quality programming delivered on the

on the air with 10 hours of live and taped programming a day— and staying within budget. We served as our own integrators and began searching for the right equipment.

BUILDING THE RIGHT SYSTEM The fixed cost was the automation system. Since we replaced our automation platform with a current model, it was imperative

at the best price. We looked at tracked, roller ball, wired and wheeled systems—just about every type available. We contacted every company that made robotic camera systems, and after much deliberation, we settled on Shotoku USA. After discussions with Matt Servis, robotics support specialist with Shotoku USA, and the rest of my team here at KATU, with extra collaboration

and input from our lead project engineer Justin Gurrad and KATU maintenance engineer Cody King, we came up with a plan. The core of our system includes two SmartPed X/Y robotic pedestals, perfect for our current and future productions, with plenty of features that will allow us to extend operations as needed. The robots are fully integrated with TG-18 Pan/Tilt heads and feature a high payload capacity, ideal for our current setup. We also installed a fixed position camera on the TG-18i Pan/Tilt head with TI-11 elevator pedestal, which was a costeffective solution for the third camera. The entire system is managed by the TR-XT control system, which has extensive high-end features. A fully configured database server syncs our control room and studio computer together, eliminating back-up concerns. We are also using a Shotoku controller for two other Panasonic PTZ cameras, so we now have one control panel for all cameras. They also built a lens drive system compatible with our stations’ legacy studio lenses. That one feature saved us a significant amount of money that we were able to put towards the control room upgrades. Our production and engineering crews, here at KATU and KUNP, were all impressed with the simplicity and ease-of-operation of this new Shotoku system. l Tim Ondracek is the chief engineer for KATU and KUNP in Portland, Ore. He can be contacted at tondracek@sbgtv.com. For more information, contact Shotoku USA at 800-762-8319 or visit www.shotoku.tv.

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

29


equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries

BB&S Lighting Puts WOIO in Its Best Light USER REPORT By Nicholas Hutak Lighting Designer

NEW YORK—As a lighting designer specializing in television news sets, I draw upon parallel careers as cinematographer of narrative films and commercials with a deep past in broadcast television to create the appropriate

Light Shoot, to provide the fixture and control package.

LIGHTING THE SPACE The set consists of a four-presenter desk, five-seat talk show area with 12-foot video wall, two-touchscreen stand-up venues and a 12-foot video weather wall in lieu of a chroma-key. Several set elements change color affording show and timeof-day branding opportunities.

sparkle in the eye, the “eye catch.” A sharp backlight separates people from the background. It’s fashion photography in a theatrical setting … done live. My primary fixture solution is by BB&S Lighting, whose passive-cooled (no fans) remote phosphor (last forever) fixtures are the perfect answer. These quality units with 98 TLCI come in various shapes and sizes with smooth flicker-free dimming.

Nicholas Hutak was able to configure BB&S lighting units to meet the needs of Cleveland’s WOIO-TV.

look for talent and sets following client mandates and budget. I recently completed a studio for WOIO-TV19, the Gray Television-owned CBS affiliate serving Cleveland. Set design firm Broadcast Design International commissioned me to design and specify a totally new LED lighting rig. They provided 3D CAD model and renderings while WOIO Chief Engineer Bob Kroeger supplied infrastructure details and a stellar crew for the hang and focus. WOIO selected my production company, Block

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Six robotic cameras capture it all with presenters moving between areas live on camera—that’s a lot in a 45x45-foot space. That person in the medium close-up is selling trust so the lighting must be flattering and forgiving, not flat and boring. Presenters with various flesh tones appear close together and in different combinations at different times of day. My solution is a surrounding base light with a soft key light to pick out each face at the desk. In-desk lighting is cosmetically flattering and creates a twitter.com/tvtechnology

Pipeline fixtures utilize linear “pipes,” allowing them to be built in convenient configurations. Their low profile fits well into low grid height studios. I used 3-foot and 4-foot 4-Banks for base lighting and to carry presenter movement. The Area 48 11x14-inch rectangular fixture makes the perfect soft key. Pipeline Reflect comes in a range of sizes. I used 2x2-foot banks recessed into slots in the set to provide a separation light on presenters standing 1 foot in front of the

10-foot high weather wall. The 1-foot Reflect, (aka “the wedge”) hides in the desk as the all-important chin light. Its flattering cosmetic lighting is magic.

LONG-LASTING GEAR BB&S lights are amazingly accurate and consistent. It is a must that fixtures last five years without drift or color change. I recently visited a station we installed over four years ago and there was absolutely no color shift—they read the exact same color on the meter. BB&S fixtures are the heart of the design but modern lighting control consoles can be complex and require unique programming skills—no point and click here. I always wanted to ditch the sliders and buttons for a tablet-like interface easily understood and programmed. I brought my dilemma to Cleveland-based VLS and their star programmer, Allan Mitsche. Using their CoPilot system, he created a custom touchscreen interface on ETCnomad software that meets control needs and is easily learned by studio staff. It seamlessly interfaces with Ross Overdrive triggering individual settings for all sitting positions and show-specific color branding. Installation took less than a week and the feedback has been great. The news director appreciates the adjustability and the talent loves the way they look. l Nicholas Hutak is a two-time Emmy Award-winning lighting designer with 130 broadcast news studios on four continents to his credit. He can be reached at nh@ nickhutakdp.com, 732-291-3910 or www.newssetlight.com. For more information, contact BB&S Lighting at 310-491-6250 or visit www.bbslighting.com.


equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries buyers briefs Sachtler Aktiv The Aktiv fluid head boasts Sachtler’s SpeedLevel and SpeedSwap technologies for easy mounting, leveling and locking of a camera. SpeedLevel enables users to release, level and lock the head tightly without missing a second of action. SpeedSwap, meanwhile, allows for a quick switch between a tripod and slider. Sachtler has also provided the Aktiv fluid head with a PrismBubble for clear level confirmation and a streamlined mounting system that, without a bowl clamp, lets the tripod go flat to the ground. Aktiv is available in three models: Aktiv6, Aktiv8 and Aktiv10. z For more information, visit www.sachtler.com.

Miller Camera Support Arrowx 1 The Arrowx 1 100mm fluid head has a payload range of zero to 35.3 pounds and five selectable drag positions. It also features 16 selectable counterbalance positions, with CB Plus for precise counterbalance. The Arrowx 1 also boasts a 120mm sliding camera platform; fluid drag system with smooth start-and-stop technology; an illuminated bubble level and pan-tilt drag controls; removable ball level stud; and precise floating pan-tilt calliper locks. z For more information, contact Miller Camera Support at 973-857-8300 or visit www.millertripods.us.

Autoscript EPIC-IP Part of Autoscript’s Intelligent Prompting series of fully IP-enabled teleprompting units, EPIC-IP is a teleprompter with a talent monitor and high-bright prompting screen integrated into its design. It also features the EVOIP prompt monitor, which offers a sleek design and built-in connectivity. The unit’s EPIC Talent Monitor (ETM) is detachable and easily upgradable, and can be mounted using friction hinges for easy readjustment of the viewing angle. ETM’s drive electronics are integrated into the main prompt monitor. A 24-inch talent monitor is also available to add to the EVO-IP 19-inch. z For more information, visit www.autoscript.tv.

Litepanels Gemini 2x1 Soft Litepanel’s Gemini 2x1 Soft RGBWW LED panel provides the flexibility to control light options for studio or on-location productions in a single fixture. Gemini 2x1 features a front area dimension of 23.75x11 inches, has a 93-degree beam angle and 156-degree field angle and a color temperature range of 2,700-10,000K. The fixture has precision control over 16.7 million colors with high color accuracy, as well as a range of gels and customizable cinematic effects. It also offers 100% automatic flicker-free dimming at any frame rate or shutter angle and wired or wireless DMX and Bluetooth remote control options. z For more information, visit www.litepanels.com.

Vinten FH-155

Cartoni UV-C Boxer

The FH-155 is a heavy payload robotic head designed for larger camera/lens/prompter packages. The head’s software delivers smooth and accurate movement, and is designed to be nearsilent when moving. The FH-155 also includes a manual mode of operation with continuously adjustable servo controlled drag. Switching between robotic and manual mode can be done either at the head or controller. A three-port Ethernet switch is built-in to simplify the unit’s integration with robotic pedestals and IP prompting equipment.

Cartoni crafted the UV-C Boxer disinfection device in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The battery-powered unit uses 10 medical-grade germicidal UV-C lamps to sanitize video equipment, including cameras, batteries, lens, Steadicams and other accessories. Texas-based Microchem Laboratory found that UV-C Boxer disinfected 99.98% of microorganisms, including COVID-19, in three minutes. Its box design and large chamber also allow for the sanitization of multiple objects at a time. There is also a sliding drawer with safety lock for safe loading.

z For more information, visit www.vinten.com.

z For more information, visit www.cartoni.com. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

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equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries

Boston Media Center Welcomes the Spotlight With Cineo Gear USER REPORT By JM Montecalvo CEO/President Spectrum401

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Boston Media Center (BMC) is the definition of “bleeding-edge technology” for all that is broadcast news and sports. It includes affiliate locations for NBC and Telemundo, and serves as broadcast facilities for New England Cable Network (NECN) and Comcast Sports. We recently hired Spectum401, a Rhode Island-based lighting design firm, to design and install lighting for NBC, Telemundo and NECN, as well as several specialized sets in the facility. Spectrum401 had previously worked with BMC to convert their original studio location to the NBC Boston station. We wanted the design for the new center to be flexible and adaptable with the ever-changing style of each brand as well as take advantage of the versatility of full-color lighting products as a key technology.

LIGHTING THE WAY The BMC wanted to be able to move around their studios with ease to create new shots on the fly, and in addition to using full color fixtures, we needed a great soft light that would help fill the space and be flattering to the talent. There were many options on the market for fixtures, and after testing numerous options we found that Cineo’s LightBlade technology had a very versatile fixture lineup that could work in each application. All three studios have their individual identity, but they are all based on the same similar

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Cineo lights were deployed across three BMC studios, all with their own identity.

lighting design concept. The talent’s face is wrapped with soft lights while firm back and side light fills in their figure. To do this, we specifically used the full Cineo LightBlade family to wrap the talent while using the ETC ColorSource family to add the firm back and side lighting. The decision to use the LightBlade products as the source that would wrap the talent was an easy one to make because of the variable CCT with +/-plus green and the full range of an RGBW fixture. This allowed us to be flexible, subtly altering the lighting depending on the individual skin tones of each talent. Fixtures such as the LB800 gave high output from a great distance, enabling us twitter.com/tvtechnology

to use less fixtures in a smaller footprint. We supplemented the rig with Cineo Standard 410 to fill in the rest of the lighting plot. The quality consistency of the various fixtures made it easy to mix and match.

CRAFTING UNIQUE LOOKS Using Cineo fixtures for most of the lighting design while supplementing with the ETC ColorSource family made the entire rig extremely flexible; having it composed of full color spectrum fixtures allowed us to give each studio its own unique identity. We were able to create an everyday base look in each studio. Then, without having to hang or refocus additional fixtures, we were able to create moody and

edgy light for Breaking News, Special Election Coverage and Special Report broadcasts. This also allowed the rest of the BCM programing to use these studios while maintaining each program’s own unique appearance. By using high-quality and fully versatile fixtures in our design, we were able to adapt to all the client’s needs. l JM Montecalvo is the CEO/ president of Spectrum401 Inc., a bi-coastal lighting design firm specializing in themed entertainment and broadcasting. He can be contacted at jm@spectrum401. com. For more information, contact Cineo Lighting at 818-777-1814 or visit www.cineolighting.com.


equipment guide | UAVs, camera support, lighting & batteries buyers briefs RUSHWORKS BABYZOOMER RUSHWORKS developed BABYZOOMER as a small servo kit for controlling zoom, focus or iris on camera lenses. It can be mounted on PTX pan/tilt heads and translate VISCA or DMX zoom commands into LANC for lens control. In addition, the gear drive can adapt to different zoom lenses and supports the eight zoom speeds part of LANC protocol. BABYZOOMER works with RUSHWORKS’ VDESK, REMO and Crtl+R software solutions, which allows users to save up to six zoom preset levels on each preset button. Preset zoom can also be set up for a specific lens. z For more information, contact RUSHWORKS at 888-894-7874 or visit www.rushworks.tv.

CueScript PTZ Prompter Systems CueScript’s PTZ Prompter System mounts a PTZ camera upside down inside a specially designed prompter hood. This design provides the PTZ camera greater movement and is available with either 15-, 17- or 19-inch CueScript monitors. A wall-mount version is also available. The PTZ Prompter System can be used with CueScript’s CSMV2 IP-enabled prompt monitor. The CSMV2, available in 17- and 19-inch models, offer CueTALK (Ethernet) and SMPTE 2110 IP connectivity, as well as SD/HD/3G-SDI and Composite video inputs/outputs.

ARRI AMIRA Live AMIRA Live is a "cable-less" camera, featuring internal cabling between the camera body and 1820 Fiber Camera Adapter for clean and reliable configuration in live broadcast environments. The camera also has an ARRI ALEV III Super 35 sensor, the same sensor used in ARRI’s ALEXA cameras. Additional features for AMIRA Live include a SUP 6.1 software update for enhanced multicam function; improved noise reduction and increased sharpness; more than 14 stops for HDR; and the ability to record incamera while also transmitting live HD or UHD signals. z For more information, visit www.arri.com.

z For more information, contact CueScript at

203-763-4030 or visit www.cuescript.tv.

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twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | April 2021

33


people on the move For possible inclusion, send information to tvtech@futurenet.com with People News in the subject line.

KEVIN MAYER

ANDREA DOWNING

GEOFF STEDMAN

JÖRG FRIES

Chairman of the Board DAZN

President PBS Distribution

Chief Marketing Officer SDVI

VP, Broadcast, Amplifier & Media Solutions Rohde & Schwarz

DAZN Group has appointed Kevin Mayer as the chairman of its Board of Directors. He succeeds John Skipper who is stepping down and will remain on the board as a strategic adviser to DAZN. Previously Mayer was chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at The Walt Disney Co., where he launched its streaming businesses including Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. He was responsible for advertising sales, content sales, channels sales and international operations.

Andrea Downing has been named president of PBS Distribution (PBSd), the for-profit outlet for public media content. Downing will head up strategic, financial and operations for the distributor, which offers more than 4,000 hours of content. She had been co-president with David Bernstein. PBSd is a joint venture of the Public Broadcasting Service and GHB Boston. She has already been instrumental in ramping up six direct-to-consumer SVOD services, according to PBS.

SDVI has appointed Geoff Stedman as its chief marketing officer. He will lead strategic initiatives to sharpen the company’s positioning, expand customer reach and drive increased demand for the SDVI Rally cloud-native media supply chain platform. He joins the leadership team under Lawrence Kaplan, president and CEO. Stedman has also held leadership positions at Omneon, Harmonic, Tintri, Quantum and served as a strategist at AWS Elemental.

Rohde & Schwarz has appointed Jörg Fries as vice president, broadcast, amplifier & media solutions. His work with Rohde & Schwarz has spanned 25 years, most recently in the wireless multimedia market. His appointment supports Rohdes in its approach toward its core markets and reinforces the company's intent to become more innovative in production, delivery and distribution workflow management.

CHRIS LENNON

KEVIN DUNAWAY

KEN DILLARD

STEPHAN SCHENK

Director, Standards Strategy Ross Video

VP of Affiliate Relations and Content Development VUit

Vice President of Sales Qligent

GM, Global Sales & Solutions ARRI

Qligent welcomes 30-year industry veteran Ken Dillard as its new vice president of sales. Reporting to CEO Brick Eksten, Dillard leads sales and business development in North American and the CALA region, and collaborates with Qligent sales representatives and partners worldwide. After 15 years as a broadcast engineer, he has since held roles with Harris Corp., Dejero, Avid and TVU Networks, working up to executive-level positions.

ARRI has appointed Stephan Schenk to the new position of general manager global sales & solutions. He reports to Executive Board member Markus Zeiler. Schenk will be responsible for the sales and service departments of the camera systems and lighting business units, including the ARRI System Group in Berlin. Regional managers from the Americas, China, East Asia Pacific and EMEAI will report to him. Schenk joined ARRI in 2009.

Chris Lennon has joined Ross Video as director, standards strategy. He reports to CTO Troy English and manages the activities in global standards and trade bodies. He worked at CHCH-TV in Ontario before moving to the United States to join Enterprise Systems Group, which became part of Harris Corp., and where he eventually became CTO group lead. Lennon has held positions with SMPTE, is a SMPTE Fellow and recipient of SMPTE’s prestigious 2008 Citation.

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April 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

VUit has hired Kevin Dunaway vice president of affiliate relations and content development, reporting to Syncbak founder and CEO Jack Perry. Dunaway will educate local broadcast stations about OTT innovation and how to push the envelope in delivery of local content to audiences across the nation. His duties include the development of VUit’s in-house production efforts with its “Studio 39,” home to VUit’s NYC Live street cam. twitter.com/tvtechnology


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Option for galvanizing 5.0 meter C gain 44.3 dB 8 petal alum

CONTROLLER-MOTOR Position controller with 50 positions, fast movement to desired satellite. Actuator arms for all dish types. 24 inch actuator/motor, ACT2400 36 inch actuator/motor, ACT3600 1-axis controller, CONTROL-1500A 2-axis controller, CONTROL-2000A CALL for price CALL for price

3.7m $588 4.5m CALL COVERsat will block snow pile-ups and keep signals strong. Uses gravity and a steep surface. Tell us your dish size & make. COVERsat

4.2 METER STATIONARY Massive Mount #D42FAE-GIB-8PC $8799 Super 4.5 METER STATIONARY Stable #D45FAE-GIB-8PC $9799 5.0 METER STATIONARY MaxGain SAT-METER TO AIM DISH #D50FAE-GIB-8PC $10,799 Boost signal quality many Strong dish receives important programs dB using meter to peak. from one satellite. Super high-gain See sat names, 4.5 METER 2-axis MOTORIZED FLEXtest $999 #D45MAE-GIB-8PC CALL for price 5.0 METER 2-axis MOTORIZED MaxGain #DIVINSUP $277 #D50MAE-GIB-8PC CALL for price SIGNAL SPLITTER & POWER FOR LNBs Boost Super high-gain dish, perfect peak with signal levels. All signal wires go into this amplified D5500 • CALL for price splitter. 1 LNB can feed signals to 9 receivers, or 2 $177 LNB-Zap-Stop, 2-motor AZ/EL drive, 50 positions. MPEG2/4 SAT RECEIVER LNBs each feed 5 receivers. 18 vdc power to LNBs. LIGHTNING SURGE Tuner and decoder for satellite SUPPRESSOR stop LNB POWER SUPPLY $99 PHONE 248-391-9200 or 9207 equipment damage. EMAIL info@DAWNco.com L band input. MPEG2 & H.264 insert 18v dc power via coax Can take multiple hits WEB www.DAWNco.com w 4:2:0 profile, DVBS & DVB-S2 cable for 1 or 2 LNBs #DCP7

Half coverage HEATsat 3.7m DH $4288 HEATsat stops snow outages using sensors for precipitation and temp, to turn on heat elements bonded to dish backside. Say your dish size & make. BASESTAND MOUNT Bolt sat antenna onto a steel beam on roof, or mount dish onto suitably-sized cement pad. Get local structural engineer. CALL for Price Option for galvanizing Basestand-5.5" OD Basestand-6.6" OD Non-Penetrating roof Mount: Call

Basestand pipe mount

PHONE 248-391-9200 or 9207 EMAIL info@DAWNco.com WEB www.DAWNco.com

call for quote and info

Roof steel beam

Profile for Future PLC

TV Technology - 0460 - April 2021  

TV Technology - 0460 - April 2021

TV Technology - 0460 - April 2021  

TV Technology - 0460 - April 2021