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LIVE PRODUCTION OVER IP • WHAT'S PUFFER? • AUDIO COMPRESSION IN SPORTS The evolution of multimedia cloud P. 18

www.tvtech.com | November 2021

Television joins the NFT craze What Fox's Miss Masky could teach broadcasters about monetizing content equipment guide test equipment & signal monitoring



contents

November 2021 volumn 39, issue 11

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12 10

‘Broadcaster Blockchain’ Goes Mainstream Where do NFTs fit in the television ecosystem By James Careless

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The Evolution of Multimedia Cloud

Analyzing the medium’s path from tape to data By Karl Paulsen

12

Live Production Over IP Now Becoming the Standard

20

Audio Acrobatics or Just Trampoline Sound?

Could the days of SDI be numbered? By Bob Kovacs

Not everything has to be streamed By Dennis Baxter

14

Getting Rid of the Glitches and Stalls in Streaming Media

Stanford's Puffer uses machine learning to research problem By Frank Beacham

16

A New Look for Lenses

Higher-res displays prompt vendors to clarify focus By Kevin Hilton

DON'T MISS FALL TV 2021 The Future of Television November 15–18 Brought to you by the editors of Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, NextTV and TV Tech. For more details and to register for this virtual event visit

www.falltvevents.com/2021.

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editor's note

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in the news

22

eye on tech

34

people

equipment guide 25 user reports Test Equipment & Signal Monitoring • Imagine Communications • Lawo • Blackmagic Design • Telestream

• Mediaproxy • AJA Video Systems •D igital Alert Systems


editor's note

SMPTE Reminds Us That Standards Still Matter In a world where the term “broadcast quality” still means something, we can’t stress how important the role of SMPTE is in the current and future status of television technology. Even when tech behemoths attempt to take over the video streaming market with proprietary video protocols, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers reminds us that in the end, if you want to maintain quality and allow more equitable opportunities, this is a business that still relies on standards. Our industry itself has a long history of vendors attempting to lock in customers with proprietary technology, however as we have moved further away from SDI and the locked gardens of the past several decades and closer to open, COTS-based technology (i.e. IP and the cloud), SMPTE’s role has become ever more important. Three years ago, the industry took a big step in this direction with the approval of the ST 2110 standard for video transport over IP networks. The engineers who worked on the standard were all too aware of how important it was to bring order to what was becoming a potentially chaotic situation, particularly in the streaming market. As standards go, ST 2110 stands as one of the most important projects SMPTE has ever undertaken but its acceptance was slow at first. However that is not the case anymore, according to John Mailhot, systems architect for IP convergence at Imagine Communications, who also edited ST 2110 documents through publication. “At the beginning [2110 compatible product] was built speculatively,” he told TV Tech recently. “Today, it is available because the market demands it.” No doubt, broadcasters’ move to the cloud, which many say was accelerated by the increased reliance on remote live production over the past two years, helped move the needle. And, as more vendors focused product development towards IP, options expanded and reliability improved, as Bob Kovacs covers in his article “Live Production Over IP Now Becoming the Standard” on p. 12. “IP certainly provides the same levels of reliability and quality as traditional SDI workflows, thanks to significant advances made in IP platforms and IP-based solutions,” said Marco Lopez, general manager for live production at Grass Valley, told us. “IP workflows unlock unprecedented flexibility and scalability, with many world-leading broadcasters already recognizing its transformational potential.” SDI was long heralded as the most reliable standard for media companies to connect for decades. IP brought more flexibility to the table, but many stayed on the fence waiting for improved reliability. With the advances that have taken place since the adoption of ST 2110, we’re moving ever closer to achieving both in one standard.

Speaking of SMPTE, last month the society’s executive director, Barbara Lange, announced that she was stepping down after 12 years. Lange played an important role in helping guide the association through the vast changes that have taken place for the past decade. “Thanks to transformational work directed by Barbara over the years, the Society has truly established itself as a home for media professionals, technologists and engineers around the world,” said SMPTE President Hans Hoffmann. “We thank Barbara for her tremendous work in leading SMPTE into its second century, and we wish her well in her future endeavors.” We extend our hearty congratulations to Barbara for a job well done! And don’t forget to attend SMPTE’s 2021 Annual Technical Conference, Nov. 9–18. Visit smpte.org to register.

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Vol. 39 No. 11 | November 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 Senior Content Producer George Winslow, george.winslow@futurenet.com Contributors Gary Arlen, Susan Ashworth, James Careless, Steve Harvey, Kevin Hilton, Craig Johnston, Bob Kovacs and Mark R. Smith Production Manager Heather Tatrow Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban Senior Design Director Cliff Newman ADVERTISING SALES Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein, adam.goldstein@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 Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC. 130 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10036

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in the news Comcast Introduces XClass TV PHILADELPHIA—In a move that could have major implications for the future of cable companies in a streaming landscape, Comcast has formally launched its XClass TV smart TV, making its entertainment and voice platform direct to consumers across the U.S., without an Xfinity subscription, both inside and outside of Comcast’s service areas. The TVs are being manufactured by outside companies based on Comcast’s operating system for entertainment and voice services. The first XClass TVs from Hisense are available this week in select Walmart stores and in the coming weeks through Walmart.com. The move is notable because it will expand Comcast’s footprint outside the areas of its traditional cable footprint and open-up opportunities for new revenue from advertising, subscription and other services. The smart TV launch will also create new areas of competition and cooperation be-

tween cable operators who have traditionally not competed directly for customers. Very notably, Comcast said that streaming apps from Xfinity and Charter will launch on XClass TV, joining the multichannel streaming services already available on the platform including Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV and Sling TV, giving consumers more options to stream live sports, shows and news directly on the TV. It also puts Comcast in direct competition with other players, notably Roku, Google, LG, Samsung and others who offer their own operating systems and platforms for smart TVs. On a tech level, it also highlights the rapidly changing character of cable networks and operations, which have in recent years shifted towards streaming and broadband services. The launch follows Comcast’s recent introductions of Sky Glass, a new streaming TV now available in the UK, and XiOne, a new global streaming box, which are all built on Comcast’s global technology platform.

Cord Cutting to Cost Pay TV Operators $33.6B in Revenue by 2025 NEW YORK—Video cord cutting and the migration of consumers to streaming video services will significantly reduce revenue for pay TV operators over the next few years, according to Kagan, the TMT research unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence. It’s latest forecast for cable, direct broadcast satellite and telco multichannel revenue predicts that their sales will dip from $91.1 billion in 2021 to $64.7 billion by 2025, producing nearly $33.6 billion in lost annual revenue that operators will have to recover from other sources.

In a longer term perspective, Kagan’s data shows that multichannel video revenues hit a peak of $116.9 billion in 2016, which would mean the industry will have lost nearly half (45%) of its annual revenue by 2025. While all three major platforms are feeling the impact from the shift, “the magnitude of the losses are expected to hit more acutely for DBS and telco revenue subtotals amid waning commitments by major players and relative stability from the large cable providers,” the report said.

Estimated and projected traditional U.S. multichannel revenues, 2016-2025

As of September 2021. Historical revised Includes commercial and residential revenue. Excludes advertising. * Includes subs and revenue from DIRECT and DISH Network satellite delivery. Excludes Sling TV (formerly Direct NOW), AT&T TV NOW and DIRECT Stream (formerly AT&T TV). Source: Industry data; Kagan estimates

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(L to R): Jon Tatooles, James Gordon, Matt Anderson

Audiotonix Acquires Sound Devices CHESSINGTON, U.K.—Audiotonix has acquired pro audio manufacturer Sound Devices. Financial details of the transaction were not immediately available. The purchase expands Audiotonix’ group of audio brands, which includes Allen & Heath, Calrec, DiGiCo, DiGiGrid, Group One Limited, KLANG:technologies and Solid State Logic. “The addition of Sound Devices and their fantastic team to our portfolio of premium audio brands is a proud moment for all involved,” said Audiotonix CEO James Gordon. Sound Devices co-founder Jon Tatooles is leaving the company after more than two decades. Matt Anderson, co-founder, chief engineer and CEO of the company since 2013 will continue to serve in both roles.

Darcy Antonellis to Receive Lifetime HPA Achievement Award HOLLYWOOD—The Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Awards Committee has announced that veteran media technology executive Darcy Antonellis will receive the organization’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award during a gala celebration at the Hollywood Legion on Nov. 18. The Lifetime Achievement Award, given only at the discretion of the HPA Board and Awards Committee, honors the recipient’s dedication to the advancement of the industry. Widely respected as both a technologist and executive, Antonellis is being formally recognized for the impact of her innovations and leadership in the media and entertainment technology space during a long career with such companies as CBS, Warner Bros. and Vubiquity.


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in the news OPINION

Wideband. Both are millimeter wave services and limited in their deployment, or as Verizon says on its website: “5G Ultra Wideband is available only in parts of select cities” and after listing NFL stadiums outfitted with high-band 5G adds: “5G Ultra But the thing is, the term “5G” Wideband Service is concentratis so all-encompassing that my ed in the lower seating area but question was rather ill-defined. could be available in and around What I meant to ask is: Which will the stadium as well.” be the first to be deployed naThat means broadcasters tionally, ATSC 3.0 or high-band 5G have time to make hay out of service? It’s high-band 5G operatATSC 3.0 as a next-generation ing in the 25 to 39 GHz where the wireless entertainment delivery incredible speeds will be found. service. But that window will not To its credit, T-Mobile did the remain open forever. As carriers doable. It based its national 5G Phil Kurz spend lavishly to promote 5G, deployment in large measure on will 3.0 get lost in the noise? the 2.5 GHz band. But deploying Having more than 70% of the U.S. covered high-band 5G with the limited propagation with NextGen TV by year’s end is a start. But characteristics of millimeter waves, the sheer broadcasters need to do more than simply number of antennas (every other light pole, deploy 3.0. They have to sell the sizzle to according to some articles) and massive viewers and advertisers alike. They must backhaul infrastructure, make Chernock’s demonstrate the real value of NextGen TV to and my prognostication more palatable. both. Many consumers will be looking for the After all, carriers like AT&T and Verizon “next big thing" during this holiday shoping bifurcate 5G services. There’s 5G, and then season. Don’t let it slip through your fingers. l there’s AT&T’s 5G Plus and Verizon’s 5G Ultra

Make Hay While The Sun Shines

A

few years ago when the industry still made its annual trek to Las Vegas for the NAB Show, I happened to see recently retired chief science officer of Triveni Digital Dr. Rich Chernock in the aisles near the ATSC 3.0 zone, or whatever NAB was calling it at the time. I asked Chernock, who had not too long before stepped down as chair of ATSC’s Technical Group 3 (TG3), what I thought was a provocative question. “Which will be fully deployed in the U.S. first, ATSC 3.0 or 5G?” At the time, we were being inundated with glowing descriptions of the wondrous things 5G promised, but Chernock and I agreed that 3.0 should be the winner. After all, it will take deploying NextGen TV from far fewer “Big Sticks” than millions of tiny 5G cell sites to achieve national coverage. However, I suppose T-Mobile more accurately answered my question. So much for our psychic abilities.

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digital experience

‘Broadcaster Blockchain’ Goes Mainstream Where do NFTs fit in the television ecosystem? By James Careless

OTTAWA—“Miss Masky,” the collectible NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital image created by Fox Entertainment’s “Masked Singer” TV show, has launched North American TV broadcasters into the blockchain age. On Oct. 13, Fox offered 10,000 free “Miss Masky’ Genesis Edition NFTs to the general public through its website (www.maskverse.com). In less than 10 hours, all 10,000 had been claimed and a second 10,000 NFT run had been announced. NFTs have gotten a lot of attention lately and the television industry is not immune to the phenomenon. But what are NFTs anyways? “An NFT is a kind of certificate, and it uses a blockchain [distributed online register] to track the authentic ownership record of something,” said John Footen, Deloitte Consulting’s managing director of media technology and operations and former contributor to TV Tech. “When it is sold, the following transaction regarding that digital ownership certificate shows the new owner. “That record is transparent and can be checked by anyone,” he continues. “The actual digital art can still be accessed by anyone, but now the official ownership and rights have transferred to a new party who can then use or resell them as they wish." The fact that Fox Entertainment has released Miss Masky NFTs commercially is significant because it launches the network’s content into this digital media marketplace. Although Miss Masky was free, the network is now making money by selling “Mask Packs” containing three more limited edition “MaskVerse” NFTs for $20 apiece.

Labs and bankrolled a $100 million “creator fund” to find opportunities for NFT sales. Fox has also taken a minority stake in the blockchain application development/management company Eluvio, which is providing the IT infrastructure and “media wallets” being used by MaskVerse members to collect, trade and sell their NFTs. The media wallet—which is an application of the Eluvio platform—is both a crypto wallet and a personal application for the user to experience the NFTs that they collect, which can be any form of media from stills and short clips to animations and long form video, according to Michelle Munson, Eluvio’s CEO/co-founder. “This wallet is built for everybody to be able to use,” she said. “Hopefully it will allow people in general to enjoy the benefits not only of crypto and blockchain technology, but also to be active participants in owning their own media.” This last point is the real significance of Fox’s Miss Masky NFTs: They are motivating fans of “The Masked Singer” to become active, paying participants in the NFT marketplace. And if fans can be motivated to buy MaskVerse NFTs, they can be convinced to buy NFTs associated with other Fox programs as well— which is precisely what Fox Entertainment has

WHY MISS MASKY MATTERS The release of Miss Masky NFTs, Mask Packs, and the launch of www.maskverse.com are the latest steps by Fox Entertainment and its partnership with Bento Box Entertainment animation studio to capitalize on public interest (and possible demand) for NFTs. To do so, the partners have formed Blockchain Creative

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Michelle Munson, co-founder of Eluvio

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Last month Fox offered 10,000 free “Miss Masky’ Genesis Edition NFTs to the general public through its www.maskverse.com website. In less than 10 hours, all 10,000 had been claimed and a second 10,000 NFT run had been announced.

in mind. “Fox plans to build not only on ‘The Masked Singer’ media property, but across their entire business,” said Munson. “This is why Fox has made such a deep investment into this area. They do absolutely believe that the commercial opportunity associated with NFTs is so significant that it will reshape the future of the industry.”

CNN GIVES VIEWERS CHANCE TO ‘OWN HISTORY’ Fox isn’t alone in seeking to capitalize on NFTs. CNN has also entered this market through the launch of “Vault by CNN” (https:// vault.cnn.com/). “Vault by CNN is CNN's new NFT business, which offers digital collectibles to commemorate pivotal moments in history,” said Jason Novack, CNN senior director of emerging products. The allure of claiming proprietorship of such moments [as covered by CNN] is made explicitly clear on the Vault by CNN's homepage. “Presidential elections, space discoveries, CNN exclusives and more: Anyone can own a piece of history,” it reads. According to Novack, the desire to “own history” is nothing new. “There are long traditions of collecting newspapers and historic memorabilia, as well as using collectible media to host discussions


digital experience like book signings and art gallery openings,” he said. “Our NFTs are a platform for digital experiences that spark conversations around the events we cover and the impact they have on us all.” “We find that our collectors buy our NFTs for a variety of reasons,” Novack added. “Some love the art. Some have a personal connection to the moment. Some just love CNN and our coverage of those moments. And some seem to be in it to speculate on the future value... so far we've sold NFTs of six different historical moments covering technological advances, U.S. presidential elections, foreign wars and advancements in human rights.”

UNTOLD POSSIBILITIES “Miss Masky” and “Vault by CNN” are the first drops in what is likely to be a flood of content-related NFTs. After all, since NFTs confer the mantle of legal possession upon their owners, the possibilities for their creation and sales are huge. For instance, there is no reason why ViacomCBS could not create and sell NFTs derived from every episode of “Star Trek” ever made—right down to individual frames. “A collectibles market is arising that is

“Our NFTs are a platform for digital experiences that spark conversations around the events we cover and the impact they have on us all.” JASON NOVACK, CNN SENIOR DIRECTOR OF EMERGING PRODUCTS

becoming quite valuable already,” noted Deloitte’s Footen. As well, “NFTs represent potentially significant new business models for content companies. Content makers can use NFTs to help fund new projects by selling off rights related to that content in essentially endless ways.” “NFTs certainly give broadcasters and distributors new opportunities, but we’re even more excited about the autonomy that NFTs provide for content creators," added Stephanie Pereira, vice president of creator success for

Rally, an online provider of NFTs for content creators. "Creators have historically had to rely on these other entities to distribute and monetize their content. With NFTs, the power balance is more evenly distributed and creators have more input and financial leverage over their content.” Of course, this could all go awry if too many broadcast-related NFTs are released at the same time, thus oversaturating the market and driving down demand. “I would argue that the traditional NFT marketplace has already done that,” said Munson. “If you look at what’s already in terms of the classical static and clip kinds of marketplaces, there are so many of them out there now and they have millions of NFTs for sale at this point.” That said, if broadcasters and creators show restraint by only releasing limited numbers of NFTs tied to content that fans really care about, then the profit potential for this market seems strong and destined to grow over time. “‘Miss Masky’ is really just the tip of the spear of what I think is possible,” Munson concluded. “It’s the beginning of a new type of fan experience.” l

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live production

This year the Olympics Broadcasting Service, host broadcaster of the Tokyo Summer Games, teamed up with the Alibaba Group to create the OBS Cloud, a suite of custom-made, cloud-based solutions specifically adapted to the extremely demanding, data-heavy broadcast workflows.

Live Production Over IP Now Becoming the Standard Could the days of SDI be numbered? By Bob Kovacs

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Live production over IP is not exactly a new idea—the SMPTE ST2110 standard for IP video was finalized in its present form in September 2018—but time has allowed manufacturers and producers to figure out the best practices. This means that SDI is now not the only accepted technology for interconnecting equipment for a live production system. Increasingly, broadcasters and remote truck operators are opting for IP systems to handle the signals in their new facilities. “IP certainly provides the same levels of reliability and quality as traditional SDI workflows, thanks to significant advances made in IP platforms and IP-based solutions,” said Marco Lopez, general manager for live production at Grass Valley. “IP workflows unlock unprecedented flexibility and scalability, with many world-leading broadcasters already recognizing its transformational potential.” Lopez pointed out that NBC Sports recently upgraded its Stamford facility with an IP-first infrastructure, while earlier this year several media enterprises delivered live production for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over IP, including NBC Olympics and Discovery Eurosport. “But this doesn’t only apply to fixed facility

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live production,” Lopez said. “We’re seeing the increased adoption of all-IP workflows from multiple mobile production companies, including NEP, Game Creek Video and All Mobile Video.”

STANDARD OF CHOICE SDI has been the interconnection standard of choice for broadcasters and production trucks, and there is no denying the reliability the made-for-television standard has had over the years. However, there have been several SDI

Ray Thompson, senior director for partner and industry marketing at Avid

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upheavals as the standard adjusted first from standard definition to 1.5G HD to 3G to 6G, and most recently to 12G connection speeds. Moving up to the next generation of SDI usually meant new cable and connectors, not to mention replacing the gear where the cable and connectors terminated. “Even though SDI is still being specified for new installs, it is safe to say that IP is the protocol of choice for greenfield projects and broadcasters that want to leverage the advantages of future-proof decentralized, distributed (remote) production, combined with centralized production and processing resources in affordable, off-premise areas,” said Andreas Hilmer, chief marketing officer for Lawo. “On the whole, SDI is today chiefly used for small-sized facilities and small- to medium-sized OB trucks.” Given the resounding success of continent-wide or even continent-hopping remote production setups for events watched by billions around the globe, Hilmer said that few broadcasters will argue that IP is less reliable than SDI. Most agree that it is more convenient, thanks mainly to reduced cabling efforts. “Using SDI-to-IP gateways can turn the migration from SDI to IP into a gradual process, allowing broadcasters to keep using their SDI equipment (cameras, switchers, etc.) until it


live production reaches end-of-life,” Hilmer said.

ALREADY PROVEN Although IP broadcast standards will probably adjust over time as well, it is starting out with the ability to support 4K live broadcasts, and has already proven itself at several high-profile live events. The current maximum speed with copper cables is 10 GbE (10 Gbps), which requires Category 6 or 6a cables. For faster speeds than that, fiber cables must be used for 25 GbE, 40 GbE and 100 GbE. In concert with faster data speeds available with IP production systems, there has also been a lot of work in signal compression to reduce the data needs while maintaining image quality. “4K Ultra HD over IP technology is reliable for live production,” said Ronan Poullaouec, chief technology officer at AVIWEST. “[We have] two new products: the RACK400 4K Ultra HD encoder and the PRO460 4K Ultra HD and 5G transmitter, which are both dedicated to live production. Both these products support 4K UHD and multicamera workflows for up to four HD, fully frame-synced feeds, as well as the latest generation of H.265/HEVC and H.264/AVC compression standards.” Cameras have jumped on the IP production bandwagon as well. For example, the Grass Valley LDX100 and LDX150 NativeIP cameras connect over a standard SMPTE hybrid fiber cable and also have IP functionality that can provide uncompressed or compressed streams. You can go live with IP connectivity with much more modest cameras—cell phone cameras, for example. “The integration of incoming IP feeds from any device anywhere is now seamless and easy to implement with Avid’s MediaCentral|Stream for contribution over bonded cellular, Wi-Fi, 4G/5G, and standard internet,” said Ray Thompson, senior director for partner and industry marketing at Avid. “For media companies using any camera, backpack unit [LiveU, TVU, Sony, Dejero, etc.], encoding device [Teradek, Haivision and more] or The Grass Valley LDX 150 NativeIP camera provides uncompressed or compressed streams over an IP connection.

“Even though SDI is still being specified for new installs, it is safe to say that IP is the protocol of choice for greenfield projects.” ANDREAS HILMER, LAWO

mobile device, contribution into the MediaCentral platform production environment is as easy as sending an SRT or RTMP stream.”

IS CLOUD A CHEAPER OPTION? An interesting possibility to arise in the last couple of years is the option of doing a live production in the cloud. There are services and products that allow for switching, editing and quality control from the cloud, with a minimal layout of equipment. “Live production in the cloud is bringing a new level of flexibility to different types of playout workflows,” said Jérémy Krein, product manager for live video and graphics solutions at Dalet. “With production tools hosted in the cloud, it is now easier and cheaper to produce a live broadcast directly from the event location. A cloud production environment is also faster to deploy and does not impact the on-premises infrastructure. With such solutions, customers can spin up new channels quickly to deliver specific events.” Krein pointed out that, with cloud platforms being accessible from anywhere, disaster recovery can be better addressed. If there was a major interruption

on-premises, production workflows in the cloud can provide program continuity. The security of working in the cloud might deter the timid, but Krein stated that the right design will be secure. “Disruption is always a possibility so it’s important to plan appropriate redundancy and protection,” he said. “A well-planned solution architecture is critical to ensure security in a cloud playout workflow. For added security, cloud infrastructure can be part of a virtual private network, separate from public networks and protecting all network connections via SSL.” Time and chance may happen to all, but the race generally does favor the swift. Broadcasters that embrace IP production will find it is faster to create, revise and target their offerings. “Broadcasters should absolutely be planning and using a cloud-based workflow for on-air events,” said Jared Timmins, senior vice president of solutions at TVU Networks. “It’s more reliable, flexible and less labor-intensive than traditional workflows. It also allows for business model experimentation, such as tailoring a channel toward a specific demographic or area of interest. You don’t need to wait years to amortize equipment costs—with a cloud-based workflow you can make new content decisions and monetize content in a way you can’t in a fit-for-purpose world.”

STANDARD FOR LARGE OPERATIONS Timmins said that live production over IP is not only available today, it is the standard for large-scale operations. “The cloud is now, not in the future,” he said. “We’ve had solutions that address this for at least two years, with our TVU RPS synchronized multicamera remote production and TVU Producer cloud-based live production tools. Virtualization is so advanced that every large-scale production now uses cloud-based tools to some extent. Who’s touching what equipment for remote production is being completely re-imagined.” The rapid growth in capabilities of computers and the networks to which they are attached has revolutionized how big productions are structured. At the moment, the savings in time and expense really makes sense for the largest operators. However, tools for small-to-medium program producers will fall, as cloud capacity grows and costs decline. The Museum of Once-Popular Broadcast Technologies needs to start preparing a space for SDI—probably right next to 1-inch recorders and standalone character generators. l

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

13


media tech

Getting Rid of the Glitches and Stalls in Streaming Media Stanford’s Puffer uses machine learning to research problem

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the third are adaptive-bitrate ven for those with the (ABR) algorithms that decide fastest internet connecwhat quality of video to send tions, the problem of to try to give the user the best occasional glitches and picture quality that won’t lead to stalls in streaming media is very a stall or rebuffer. real. Too often, those annoying To understand the challenges burps and stutters can destroy the of video streaming and measure experience of the programming the behavior of ABR schemes, we watch—especially music. the Stanford team built Puffer, a In the earliest days of streamfree, publicly accessible website ing media, such artifacts were an EXPERTISE (https://puffer.stanford.edu/) that everyday occurrence. But today Frank Beacham live streams over-the-air chanthe issue has gained far more nels from NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, importance since video and audio CW and Fox. Puffer operates as a randomstreaming are now the predominant internet ized controlled trial; sessions are randomly application—making up three quarters of all assigned to one of a set of ABR or congestraffic. If streaming media is to truly replace tion-control schemes. broadcast, cable and satellite distribution, its Study participants include anyone in image and sound quality needs to become far the public who wishes to sign up. Users are more trouble-free and reliable. Researchers have been studying the problem using machine learning to improve video streaming algorithms. They are trying to figure out how to teach a computer to design new algorithms to reduce these nasty artifacts. This is complex stuff since the internet is not a monolithic entity. It is an ever-changing web of interconnections ranging from fast fiber-optic delivery to slower wireless connections in rural areas.

blinded to algorithm assignment, and the researchers record client telemetry on video quality and playback. And, in case you are wondering, a Stanford Institutional Review Board determined that Puffer does not constitute human subject research. Puffer works well in the Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera browsers, on a computer or an Android phone or tablet. However, it does not work on Apple’s iPhones or iPads or in the Safari browser. This is because Puffer uses the Web Media Source Extensions (MSE) to stream video. This standard is not supported by all browsers, and, in particular, not by Apple.

The researcher’s reasoning for streaming live television is to collect data from enough participants and network paths to draw conclusions about the performance of algorithms for ABR control and network prediction.

ALGORITHM-BASED One effort to improve streaming media quality is Puffer, a research study at Stanford University launched in 2019 that is using machine learning to not only improve picture quality, but to predict how the capacity of an internet connection changes over time. Puffer research is focused on three types of algorithms. The first are congestion-control algorithms that decide when to send each piece of data—also known as a packet— through the network. The second is throughput forecasters, which predict how long it will take to send a certain amount of data over an internet connection in the near future. And

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Puffer is a free, publicly accessible website that live streams over-the-air channels from NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CW and Fox.

twitter.com/tvtechnology


media tech The researcher’s reasoning for streaming live television is to collect data from enough participants and network paths to draw conclusions about the performance of algorithms for ABR control and network prediction. Live television is an evergreen source of popular content that had not been broadly available for free on the internet. The study benefits, in part, from a law that allows nonprofit organizations to retransmit over-the-air television signals without charge. The Stanford team wants to create a learned ABR algorithm that performs well over the wild internet. Their best answer is to train the algorithm on data from the real deployment environment and use an algorithm whose structure is sophisticated enough, yet also simple enough, to benefit from that kind of training. Francis Yan

So far, Puffer has streamed more than 38.6 years of video to 63,508 users across the internet. Sessions are randomized in blinded fashion among algorithms, and client telemetry is recorded for analysis. The team has found the Fugu algorithm has out-performed other schemes, both simple and sophisticated, on objective measures (SSIM, stall time, SSIM variability) and increased the duration that users chose to continue streaming.

THE LAST FRONTIER? Puffer was launched in 2019 by Francis Y. Yan, then a Stanford doctoral student in computer science, and a group of other Stanford researchers. Dr. Yan is now a senior researcher in the Mobility and Networking Research Group at Microsoft. Yan said the Puffer study has

found that the confidence intervals on the performance of AVR algorithms are much bigger than the team first realized. He said a simple buffer-based AVR control published more than six years ago, performs surprisingly well. And, he found, it is possible to learn an AVR algorithm to outperform existing ones. But the learning has to be in situ, meaning in place on the actual deployment environment. Puffer plans to operate as long as feasible and invites researchers to train and validate new algorithms for ABR control, network and throughput prediction, and congestion control on its traffic. The study on AVR algorithms is seeking to answer the question: What does it take to learn an AVR algorithm that performs consistently well over the real internet? In an important way, the Stanford and other studies focused on removing annoying artifacts from internet streaming are the last frontier to making distribution over the internet as solid and reliable as more mature broadcast technologies. l Frank Beacham is an independent writer based in New York City.

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professional imaging

ARRI Signature Prime series lenses

A New Look for Lenses Higher-res displays prompt vendors to clarify focus

By Kevin Hilton

LONDON—Lenses, even though they sit prominently on the front of cameras, still tend to get overlooked. There continues to be a tendency towards asking “what camera did you use?” first, rather than about the lens. Maybe it’s because lenses smack a little of old school physics, all focal length and the circle of confusion. But it is the optical component that primarily creates the look of a program. At one time in broadcasting, a lens was just another tool, but in these days of 4K, HDR and beauty shots, it is an ever more important one.

GROWING DEMAND FOR UHD CONTENT Such requirements are already established for shooting top-end dramas and documentaries, which have long had cinematic sensibilities, but similar considerations have been made for studio and outside broadcast (OB) production since the advent of HD. That is only set to increase as the demand for UHD grows, with, as Claus Pfeifer, head of connected content acquisition at Sony Professional Europe, points out, the need to accommodate a recent trend in camera technology. “In both studio and OB work, we’ve seen the demand for large frame sensor-based cameras grow,” he says. “To complement and enhance

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

the traditional 2/3-inch equipment, we’ve seen a matching trend in lenses.” Large frame (LF) cameras have become the preferred format for filmmaking in the last few years. There has also been a renewed taste for shallow depth of field, which creates a narrower zone of sharp definition in a shot, which directs the viewers' attention to a specific part of an image. Pfeifer says this is becoming increasingly popular and demanded in sectors outside of cinema, which is placing more requirements on lenses. “In live or quickly moving environments, auto focus is more crucial because, with the shallow depth of field, focus has become absolutely critical,” he explains. “We have integrated linear focus motors to ensure that lenses focus smoothly and accurately.”

MEETING FUTURE DEMANDS The fast-moving pace of broadcasting, both in the studio and on location, calls for equipment that can be trusted by those using it to get the shots as they happen. “Operators expect controls that match the speed of their reflexes,” agrees Peter Canon CN10 x 25 zoom lens Crithary, vice president

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of marketing and market development at ARRI. “And technical directors want to see a technically superior image. [Because of this] broadcast lenses require range, responsiveness and the resolution to match the capabilities of the cameras with which they are paired.” Outlining the main requirements for broadcast lenses, Jake Ratcliffe, technical marketing manager at U.K. film and TV equipment distributor CVP, highlights excellent long focal range with good consistent performance throughout; fast operation through either traditional three-ring controls or a Servo drive unit (with fast, accurate remote control according to zoom and focus demands); and parfocal optical design. “Having extenders built into lenses is very handy as well,” he adds. As to the vision formats now being requested by broadcasters, Fujifilm reports that although HD is still in use, 90 percent of the new sales it is seeing are for its 4K box and ENG lenses. HDR is usually mentioned together with 4K; to suppress flare and accurately transmit the blacks in a video image, Fujifilm developed the HT-EBC coating, which was introduced in 2016. New opticals have been designed to work with HDR technologies, including ARRI's Signature


professional imaging series. Peter Crithary comments that building lenses now means thinking beyond existing display technologies. “Footage shot today will still be viable many years from now,” Crithary said. “We don’t know exactly how future audiences will view that footage but we know they will see it in higher resolution and dynamic range than we see today. HDR is here and 1,000 nit [the metric unit for brightness] displays in homes will become commonplace in a few years. UHD is available through most streaming services, 8K may be next. As displays become more immersive, we need lenses that complement that trend rather than fight against it.” Ratcliffe observes that the growing popularity of 4K programming has confirmed the need for improved optics. “Older broadcast lenses designed for lower resolutions and smaller sensors will perform much worse than their modern counterparts,” he says. “Luckily the major lens brands creating broadcast-style lenses have been updating their line-ups with options for higher resolution acquisition. This also includes higher performance for the increased HDR spec, with improved resolving power and aberration control.”

“As displays become more immersive, we need lenses that complement that trend rather than fight against it.” PETER CRITHARY, ARRI

Among its brand of lenses available, CVP offers Canon’s CN10 cine-servo lens, and Ratcliffe says that particular glass is a good example of how optics will develop. “It improved the optical quality over the CN7 and gave us extra range with a longer tele end as well as a 1.5x extender, which also gives the lens full-frame coverage,” he said. “Optical improvements will also be key when virtual production becomes the norm.”

MORE VERSATILITY Pfeifer is of the opinion that lenses will become increasingly versatile, allowing users to select the few that really suit their needs. “However, a wide range of lenses will be on

the market or in development to meet the demands of the creative industry,” he comments. “We’re also seeing the mount really start to matter. Sony’s E-mount was designed to be used for both stills and moving pictures, with APS-C/Super 35mm and full-frame sensors.” Lenses are both scientific and artistic, with a structure that can be defined by physics combined with less definable characteristics, something Crithary concludes will both play a role in future designs. “Tangible and intangible optical quality will be equally important,” he says. “As audiences see better and better images, it will be imperative to figure out how to deliver images that are not just technically exceptional but aesthetically pleasing. The latter is the hard part because how does one define it?” Despite the scientific principles available to describe the optical properties of lenses, they are more likely to be spoken of in terms that are less definable, although most people would recognise what was meant by “warm,” “soft” and “real.” In the end, “the look” is important and it is increasingly so in broadcasting. Which probably makes the lens even more essential than the thing to which it is attached. l

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cloudspotter’s journal

The Evolution of Multimedia Cloud Analyzing the medium’s path from tape to data

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ultimedia creation hybrid sets of non-professional, and its content disconsumer and professional comtribution are prime puter-centric solutions. Assemcandidates for cloud. bled elements took many paths, Already a rich source of inforwhich essentially terminated at mation, creativity and complex a storage solution (tape, disk or media generation capabilities— other) where the materials waited leveraging the cloud for its profor a linear path to “on the air” or duction, assembly and migration other transport. to the user is helping the industry create things such as apps, PRE-ERA CLOUD EXPERTISE messaging, advertising, blogs and None of that era’s activities Karl Paulsen most anything requiring multiple needed “the cloud.” There was steps or iterative processes. no cloud in those days, despite Cloud-based multimedia can be useful facility operators who tried to develop the when addressing global challenges, telling concepts in their own central equipment stories, linking commercial content with rooms or in later cases, maybe a “CoLo-data programs or for any combination of those or center” that they owned or rented. similar elements. While in the almost-distant Even before that era the interchange of the past now, videotape was a widely adopted and content was fairly uniform across the entire accepted methodology for packaging mulindustry. Sans a few pirate formats, linear timedia elements into a cohesive and linear videotape or file-based servers became the format. That model has obviously changed. marketplace winner for the storage, playPost-videotape, users transported content (as out and distribution of content. Gradually files) through a facility’s ecosystem and then segments of those endpoints (storage, for on to the home via various continuity assemexample) moved to the cloud and the backup/ bly and transmission mediums—including the protection took up roost in an archive that no internet and web. Today, even those processes longer lived “on prem.” are dimming because of cloud.

CONTENT CREATION Prior to the rapid evolutionary adoption of cloud services multimedia content was constructed in segments that consisted of a conglomeration of audio, video and other data. Each of those processes, prior to the exclusivity of desktop content creation, were essentially individual steps with conversions, handoffs and usually manual transfers and tweaking just to get from one stage to the next in the process. Elements were usually created by selecting from myriad applications, video and audio slices, software-sequencing components, entire packages and extensions to suites of applications, and from

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Fig. 1: Workflows and associated multimedia services within a multimedia cloud ecosystem twitter.com/tvtechnology

Although, at that time, the primary release medium for such content was a television transmitter stick, other distributions still happened via microwave, satellite or groundbased transport on copper or fiber-optic mediums. Eventually cable/satellite took a foothold. Until video-on-demand became possible, live linear playout and home recording from OTA or cable was the foundation for the storage and replay of library and real-time content. Once mobile devices emerged, even VCRs, CDs and DVDs lost their popularity. Web-services changed that model once again. Private services became repositories that stored and hosted similar activities, and—although not necessarily referred to as “cloud”—essentially this was the foundation for a multitude of cloud-like storage and/or playout services.

BROADCAST PLAYOUT Playing content, from a broadcaster’s perspective, has followed a constant evolution of applying elements on an end-to-end basis. Take for instance how the video server evolved not only in physicality but in the performance, acceptance and the many applications possible because of the nonlinear basis of the video server. Program content would leverage the sequential playout of files from a storage bin to the MCR or continuity playout platform. It took one file, linked it to another smoothly and completely, and delivered it to an encoder which prepared the content for the end user. Such workflows turned into a “channel,” which was consistent, repeatable and reliable. Yet this still didn’t “leverage” the cloud beyond a method for storing completed content or its elements as a protective backup medium.


cloudspotter’s journal

Cloud now offers numerous options, is flexible, and is in use by many content providers besides just those local or network entities such as the broadcast stations or networks. LOCKED AND CONSTRAINED

CLOUD EVOLUTION CONTINUANCE

Much of these workflows were generated using a set of individual discrete components housed in a broadcast station’s central equipment room or network center. Hard, physical connections made this happen. Software elements were then tightly coupled to devices to achieve precise timing sequences according to a “log” generated by another entity. The model was not unlike what occurs in a CDN (content delivery network), yet broadcast playout still had not made it to the cloud as a whole. Unshared, physical datacenters owned by content creation entities started to see an emerging web-based distribution capability—but not for long. Outsourced cloud services were not far behind.

Individual entities that produce interstitial content (advertising) used by the multichannel video programming distributors have seen the cloud handwriting on the wall for a longer period than the MPVD itself, but that too is taking a serious directional change. Like the multimedia workflow chain described earlier, the cloud has been enabling the harmonization of interstitials with program content at a steady pace. Like the move to remote capabilities brought on full-strength by COVID-19, the ability to create and manage end-to-end requirements is now being molded into the cloud, and by a workforce that can in many cases “not be in the physical facility” to do so. Cloud is helping reach such capabilities at a rapid pace.

Discrete steps in the workflow now became “services,” which users and non-service users could access in a variety of ways (see Fig. 1). Putting all the content elements together is possible because of numerous paths, options, speeds in processing and the multitude of extended capabilities brought about by cloud. Service providers can now manage the workflows, becoming automated and intelligent along the way. Organizations now deal with both the workflow and workforce factors in real time. Change is more than upon us and flexibility is now a daily reality. As end users have found, legacy workflows that required the merging of applications to generate a single foundation discovered it could take longer to execute those combinations than it took for the entire creative process of developing the multimedia content message itself. Once users and owners became familiar with cloud workflows, capabilities and proficiencies there was no turning back. l Karl Paulsen is chief technology officer at Diversified and a frequent contributor to TV Tech in storage, IP and cloud technologies. Contact him at kpaulsen@diversifiedus.com.

MOVE TO INTERACTION A common thread in this model is linearity, but it lacked any other form of interaction. In the past (pre-home video VCR or DDRs) viewers enjoyed a program without distractions; without the ability to stop, rewind or replay; and without the ability to interact, comment, change or alter the conveyance. Cloud and web once again would change that model. Legacy playout models have since “left the dock” and will likely never come back to port. Enter the next generation of content playout. Cloud playout services are now pretty well flushed out. Cloud now offers numerous options, is flexible, and is in use by many content providers besides just those local or network entities such as broadcast stations or networks. Cable and satellite service providers saw new workflow support needs and seized the opportunity, but still didn’t address the next major transition—that of the cloud. After years of building gigantic equipment spaces to support playout/distribution, providers would eventually pare down the enormous capital equipment costs and the physical space (and infrastructure) requirements to the point that, for some providers, there is little if any amount of “creative” production hardware left in their facilities other than for live studio-like productions, which are also now “moving to cloud” as well.

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inside audio

Audio Acrobatics or Just Trampoline Sound? Not everything has to be streamed Luis Sinco/Getty Images

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LB’s fall sports classic is over. ESPN, TBS and Fox Sports all had excellent coverage, but I have often wondered why the same sport, played in similar outdoor stadiums, using a very aggressive microphone plan all sound different. Is the tone of the program different because of the broadcaster or the mixer? Live audio and particularly live sports sound can be especially challenging because often audio is unpredictable, difficult to tame and there usually is no dress rehearsal till you go to air—and even then, there are the audio gremlins. With mandated loudness requirements and a wide digital audio dynamic range it seems the oldest instrument in the audio toolbox, the compressor/limiter is getting a good workout. I used to get my feathers ruffled when my BBC friends would comment about how over-compressed and jerky sounding live American television sports was. And you know what—I think the criticism is warranted.

Los Angeles Dodgers' AJ Pollock follows through on a swing for a two-run single during the fifth inning in game four in the 2021 National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium

Compressors have a threshold that tells the compressor where the process should begin, a ratio control that sets the amount of compression, along with a control for the attack and release time of the effect. The threshold, compression ratio, attack and release are decided by the dynamics of the sound source, but ultimately the ears of the sound mixer should be the test. EXPERTISE I know you have heard over-compression or maladjustDennis Baxter ments when a sharp sound, like the crack of the bat triggers a fast attack on a compressor, which reduces the spike in the volume level. That’s what a compressor does. But my biggest complaint is that too often there is a disturbingly slow ramp back to regular volume levels. Audio dynamics are also controlled by limiting and gating. DYNAMIC RANGE Limiting the extreme volume is valuable because when audio becomes A compressor squeezes the wide range of volume levels (dynamic excessive in the digital conversion the corrupt data is probably not range) that sports captures and combines into a fixed pipeline. Clearly usable. Gating keeps an audio channel closed until a certain threshold this process shapes the tone of the audio signal with significant conlevel or event opens up the sound channel and audio passes through. sequences. Before the time when each audio channel and group had Gating can be an automated process where the gate can be adjusted its own compressor, compressors were usually patched across the mix to open at a particular sound threshold, or a gate can be externally groups and would affect all the sounds in that mix group. Compressing triggered by a video switcher. Additionally in sports a “gated sound” the groups or master channels is usually a compromise setting between can be purely manual and accomplished by the finger dexterity of the many sound sources with different dynamic characteristics and can audio mixer. The problem with a tight, fast gate is there can be an easily result in audible pumping from over compression.

Is the tone of the program different because of the broadcaster or the mixer?

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

twitter.com/tvtechnology


inside audio apparent “sound bumping” as that unique sound is being added to the mix.

SOUND BUMPING You would have experienced sound bumping when you hear the football referee microphone being turned on and off during a football telecast, or when you hear the baseball home plate sound bump in as the ball crosses the plate. The sound bump in football seems perfectly natural because the viewer sees and hears the official switch their own sound on and off, but I find sound bumping in baseball distracting. Manually bumping up the sound to try and heighten the crack of the

The sound bump in football seems perfectly natural because the viewer sees and hears the official switch their sound on and off, but I find the sound bumping in baseball distracting. bat, smack of the ball to leather or the call of the umpire is a method to try and accentuate a key aspect of baseball sound—the home plate. As a young fledgling mixer, I was in awe of the sound of CBS Sports and certainly noticed the bump in sound as the ball crossed home plate. I thought if that was the way CBS did it, it had to be right—and I did it too. The degree and artistic difference of the bumping varies between the mixers, yet with a wireless microphone on the umpire I seriously question the necessity to try and dig any deeper for the home plate sound and inevitably causing a noticeable sound bump. Like the delay/lip sync issue, compression exists at the OB van,

maybe during backhaul, or finally in master control and transmission to the viewer/listener. So it is hard to be critical of overly compressed audio when I am uncertain of the exact source. If the entire program ramps down and rises back up then the source of the over-compression is likely master control or in the transmission path. If only a single aspect of the sound, like the effects mix or just the announcers are pumping in and out then the source of the over-compression is likely at the OB van. If the compression issue happens during backhaul, in the master control room or in the retransmission process, the audio mixer in the OB van would never hear it, but if the compression is at the OB van the mixer should be able to hear it and adjust. There are a lot of places for something to go wrong. Sports sound changed when sports type games amped up the intensity and expectations for in-your-face sound. Since then there has been tremendous pressure for more sound and sound detail especially during championships and big events. Compressors and sound bumping are an attempt to entertain and engage the audience and I doubt if the phone lines are burning up with complaints about too much compression. But it is obnoxious if repetitive and certainly unnecessary. I enjoyed the sound of all the divisional and series playoffs, but a smooth-balanced soundscape is easily just as entertaining without any trampoline sound dynamics. l Dennis Baxter has contributed 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.” His current book about immersive sound practices and production will be available February 2022. He can be reached at dbaxter@ dennisbaxtersound.com or at www.dennisbaxtersound.com.

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eye on tech | product & services Cloud Qualify

BRIDGE LIVE v1.12

Telestream Cloud Qualify is a file-based QC SaaS based on the Telestream Media Framework that runs on a customer’s cloud provider of choice. Built specifically for broadcast engineering and operations personnel, Telestream Cloud Qualify addresses both content coming into the media pipeline as well as content going out. For media ingest and post production, Telestream Cloud Qualify allows users to normalize their content across all their workflows whether it’s maintaining quality in a VOD library or checking incoming media that has recently been processed. For output and delivery, Qualify allows users to inspect content not only for the highest visual quality but also for standards compliance. Telestream Cloud Qualify also checks content before it is sent to archive with frame-by-frame video quality analysis. z For additional information, visit www.telestream.net.

AJA’s BRIDGE LIVE v1.12 is a new software update for AJA’s turnkey multichannel live video solution for remote production, contribution, collaboration, streaming and delivery, The new release features bidirectional NDI (Network Device Interface) input, output and transcode; HLS output; video preview; and user interface updates for more intuitive configuration. Bidirectional NDI support makes it easy to encode SDI inputs for NDI output to the network and/or to receive NDI for outputting SDI. The ability to also transcode IP video streams to NDI and/or transcode NDI inputs to IP video streams enables a host of new workflow possibilities. Available now for download from AJA’s website (www.aja.com), BRIDGE LIVE v1.12 comes standard with all newly purchased BRIDGE LIVE units and is also available to existing users with an active maintenance agreement.. z For additional information, visit www.aja.com.

NEO3 & AEOS2

evertz-ioStream

Rotolight’s new NEO 3 and AEOS 2 combine the “shoot what you see” benefits of continuous light with a High-Speed Sync RGBWW flash. The pocket-sized Rotolight NEO 3 is available as an individual light, threelight kit and with a new, bespoke, high-performance, rechargeable lithium battery. The lightweight Rotolight AEOS 2 features an ultra-thin design, which the company is billing as the thinnest and lightest 1 x 1 panel ever made at under 1.4 kg. For the first time, both of Rotolight’s new products will allow photographers to flash in any one of 16.7 million colors or 2,500 digital filters with zero recycle time. A new full-color 2-inch touchscreen display allows users to access key features and recall their settings. An all new Rotolight iOS and Android native app allows users to easily switch between lighting modes to remotely adjust color, power, SFX and to create custom groups and projects on up to 20 lights simultaneously. z For additional information, visit www.rotolight.com.

evertz.io-Stream is an advanced streaming and playout service targeting the needs of OTT DTC streaming applications while also offering the features and functions required for more traditional linear broadcast channels. evertz.io and evertz.io-Stream were designed from their inception using hyper-scalable, serverless microservices to simplify and streamline cloud-based linear stream creation/distribution and enable new content monetization strategies. New channels and streams can be fully configured and deployed using a highly intuitive user interface in less than 10 minutes, enabling a level of agility and flexibility never available before in the market, Evertz says. By including support files for both file-based playback and advanced LIVE events, evertz.io-Stream enables new applications for media companies across the globe including pop-up channels, PPV events, limited duration sporting events and disaster recovery, among others. z For additional information, visit https://evertz.com.

PVM-X3200

LVB4400 IP Analyzer

Sony’s new 32-inch PVM-X3200 monitor, the latest addition to its PVM-X series of 4K HDR TRIMASTER monitors, joins the 18- and 24inch members of the PVM-X series. The high-grade monitor incorporates a Sony-specified premium LCD panel offering 1000 cd/m2 luminance and color matching with the BVM-HX310 4K HDR master monitor, making group monitoring easy on set, in the studio and onboard production trucks. The monitor uses Sony’s TRIMASTER architecture to deliver accurate picture reproduction, precise imaging and quality picture consistency, according to the company. Sony plans to offer a firmware update for all three PVM-X series monitors in February 2022 as a free download. The update will include Focus Assist and False Color, as well as a new gamut scope that enables users to verify their content against the CIE 1931 chart.. z For additional information, visit https://pro.sony.

Leader Electronics has introduced four new features for its LVB440 IP analyzer, including analysis of JPEG XS compressed SMPTE ST 2110-22 standard video, closed-captioning measurement, support for 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound and mix down to stereo pair and rolling packet capture measurement. The LVB440 IP analyzer is designed to monitor and analyze high bitrate media traffic in broadcast production studios, OB vehicles, master control facilities and transmission networks. It can analyze SD, HD, UHD and 4K data flows over media networks of any size. The analyzer offers the ability to perform real-time checks on large numbers of streams and multiple resolutions in parallel at multiple locations. Operators can inspect every media transport layer of an IP network, at the same time allowing them to rectify issues before they impact the quality of service experienced by TV viewers.. z For additional information, visit www.leader.co.jp/en/.

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November 2021 | www.tvtechnology.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology


eye on tech | product & services 9905-MPx openGear Multichannel Processor

HDC-F5500 Camera Sony’s HDC-F5500 system camera features a Super 35mm, 4K CMOS global shutter image sensor that enables shallow depth of field. With its global shutter effect, rolling shutter distortion and flash band are prevented. The camera supports 120fps, making it appropriate for production of sports and live entertainment. The camera also offers high sensitivity and low noise, making it well-suited for capturing dark scenes, the company said. The HDC-F5500 features a motorized eightstep HD filter, which is used in Sony’s VENICE digital motion picture camera. It can be controlled locally or remotely. z For additional information, visit https://pro.sony.

Cobalt's 9905-MPx openGear multiple video feed, multichannel processor offers scaler/frame openGear synchronizer functionality and supports four independent signal paths in a single module. An audio/ video processor for baseband digital signals, the 9905-MPx can handle up to four independent 3G signals in a single, dense package. The card includes individual up/down/cross conversion scalers that are designed for video formats with full ARC control suitable for conversions to and from 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. The multipath design offers discrete AES and MADI audio embedding, routing, mixing and de-embedding. z For additional information, visit https://cobaltdigital.com.

StreamFile Core Enterprise

MDP3020 MAX Encoder/Decoder Media Links’ new MDP3020 MAX platform is a standalone edge device that encodes/decodes video, audio and data content for carriage over wide area IP networks. It is designed for use in live remote production environments where highest contribution quality IP media conversion and transport robustness are essential. It can be configured to support four 1080p video channels using JPEG-XS compression, which can reduce bandwidth by ratios of up to 10:1, support visually lossless quality and sub-millisecond latency. It also supports JPEG2000 compression, which is well-suited for the edge of an IP WAN network where bandwidth is typically constrained. z For additional information, visit https://medialinks.com.

Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation (Requester Publications Only)

1. Publication Title

2. Publication Number

TV Technology

3085

3. Filing Date

StreamFile Core Enterprise is a cross-platform, web-based software application that enables larget teams to receive IP video protocols and encode them into editor-friendly formats, such as ProRes, DNx, XDCAM and H.264. It integrates support for NewTek’s NDI and Haivision’s SRT protocols to deliver added IP and streaming capabilities. It's designed to assist facilities as they move toward remote production and can be used on-prem and in the cloud, including on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud services. z For additional information, visit www.pronology.com.

13. Publication Title TV Technology

Extent and Nature of Circulation

24/9/2021 a.

4. Issue Frequency

12

130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor, New York, NY 10036

Future US Inc. (Future PLC)

(1)

Requester

7. Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication (Not printer) (Street, city, county, state, and ZIP+4) Contact Person Future US Inc. Cindy Cardinal 130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor Telephone New York, NY 10036 847-438-4577 8. Complete Mailing Address of Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher (Not printer) Future US Inc. 130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor New York, NY 10036 9. Full Names and Complete Mailing Addresses of Publisher, Editor, and Managing Editor (Do not leave blank) Publisher (Name and complete mailing address) Carmel King 130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor New York, NY 10036 Editor (Name and complete mailing address) Tom Butts 130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor New York, NY 10036 Managing Editor (Name and complete mailing address) Terry Scutt 130 West 42nd Street, 7th floor New York, NY 10036 10. (Do not leave blank If the publication is owned by a corporation, give the name and address of the corporation immediately followed by the names and addresses of all stockholders owning or holding 1 percent or more of the total amount of stock. If not owned by a corporation, give the names and addresses of the individual owners. If owned by a partnership or other unincorporated firm, give its name and address as well as those of each individual owner. If the publication is published by a nonprofit organization, give its name and address.) Full Name Complete Mailing Address

Average No. Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months

No. Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date

Total Number of Copies (Net press run)

5. Number of Issues Published Annually 6. Annual Subscription Price Monthly

14. Issue Date for Circulation Data Below September-21

15.

b. Legitimate

Paid and/or Requested Distribution (By Mail and Outside the Mail)

(2)

(3)

(4)

Outside-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541. Include direct written recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser's proof copies and exchange copies.) In-County Paid/Requested Mail Subscriptions Stated on PS Form 3541. Include direct written recipient, telemarketing, and Internet requests from recipient, paid subscriptions including nominal rate subscriptions, employer requests, advertiser's proof copies and exchange copies.) Sales Through Dealers and Carriers, Street Vendors, Counter Sales, and Other Paid or Requested Distribution Outside USPS.

12554

9931

10394

9931

10394

2447

1980

Requested Copies Distributed by Other Mail Classes Through the USPS (e.g. First-Class Mail)

C. Total Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Sum of 15b. (1), (2),(3),and (4)] Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 (include Sample copies, Requests Over 3 years old, Requests (1) induced by a Premium, Bulk Sales and Requests including Association Requests, Names obtained from Business Directories, Lists, and other sources). In-County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541 d. NonRequested (include Sample copies, Requests Over 3 years old, Requests Distribution (2) induced by a Premium, Bulk Sales and Requests including (By Mail and Association Requests, Names obtained from Business Outside the Mail) Directories, Lists, and other sources). Nonrequested copies Distributed Through the USPS by Other Classes of Mail (e.g. First-Class Mail, Nonrequestor Copies (3) mailed in excess of 10% Limit mailed at Standard Mail or Package Services Rates). (4)

12554

4

Nonrequested copies Distributed Outside the Mail (Include Pickup Stands, Trade show, Showrooms and Other Sources).

e. Total Nonrequested Distribution (Sum of 15d (1), (2), (3) and (4))

f. Total Distribution (Sum of 15c. and 15e.)

4

g. Copies not Distributed

4

h. Total (Sum of 15f and g)

i. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (15c divided by 15f x 100)

4

2447

1980

12378

12374

176

180

12554

12554

80.2%

84.0%

* If you are claiming electronic opies, go to line 16. If you are not claiming electronic copies, skip to line 17.

11 Known Bondholders, Mortgagees, and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages, or

4

Q None Other Securities. If none, check box ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Full Name Complete Mailing Address

16. Electronic Copy Circulation

a. Requested and Paid Electronic Copies

b. Total Requested and Paid Print Copies (Line 15c) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) c. Total Requested Copy Distribution (Line 15f) + Requested/Paid Electronic Copies (Line 16a) d. Percent Paid and/or Requested Circulation (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c x 100)

4 4 4 4

c I certify that 50% of all my distributed copies (electronic and print) are legitimate requests or paid copies. 17 Publication of Statement of Ownership for a Requester Publication is required and will be printed in the November 2021 issue of this publication. 18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager, or Owner

Date September 24, 2021

12. Tax Status (For completion by nonprofit organizations authorized to maiI at nonprofit rates) (Check one) The purpose, function, and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes: Q Has Not Changed During Preceding 12 Months c Has Changed During Preceding 12 Months (Publisher must submit explanation of change with this statement) PS Form 3526-R, July 2014

PSN: 7530-09-000-8855

William R Gannon

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

PS Form 3526-R, July 2014


eye on tech | product & services FiberLink ST 2110 Gateway

OTT ServiceGuard

FiberLink ST 2110 Gateway is the newest addition to Artel's FiberLink product family and is designed to extend useful life of SDI implementations while opening the door to IPbased media transport and its benefits. The plug-and-play FiberLink ST 2110 Gateway supports SMPTE ST 2110-10 (system timing and definitions), ST 2110-20 (uncompressed active video), ST 2110-21 (narrow sender and wide receiver), and ST 2110-30 (PCM digital audio, conformance Level A, B and C), as well as SMPTE ST 2022-7 for seamless protection switching of up to two video streams (up to 1080p). It also supports 32+32 audio streams with WAN buffering, 16 channels of audio embed/extract per SDI interface, and shuffle functionality. z For additional information, visit www.artel.com.

Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard is an anti-piracy solution for overthe-top services designed to protect companies from weaknesses that pirates can exploit to trick the service’s content delivery network (CDN) into giving out protected content. Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard closes those vulnerabilities and protects content across all platforms, including mobile, browsers and smart TVs, and extends service protection to the CDN itself. It gives each client a unique identity that cannot be cloned and allocates secure keys for signing service requests. This ensures all client messages are validated for authenticity and origin. Synamedia OTT ServiceGuard is the latest layer of security in the company’s EverGuard portfolio. It is offered as a service and is quick to deploy and easily integrated with existing OTT infrastructure without affecting user experience or existing application-service communications. z For additional information, visit www.synamedia.com.

JVC 4K KY-PZ400NW/ NB PTZ Cameras JVC Professional Video’s new 4K KY-PZ400NW/NB PTZ cameras come in three options. They are designed to be suitable for sports, concerts and other live event broadcasts or productions and provide new creative streaming possibilities. All three camera options provide optimal image quality and performance for remote production over the internet, and are equipped with SRT technology, H.265/H.264/MJPEG encoding and VITC (Vertical Interval Timecode) multicamera synchronization. With integrated NDI|HX technology from the Vizrt Group, the KY-PZ400NW/NB and KY-PZ200NW/NB cameras offer a high-quality, low-latency IP video transmission standard that is suitable for streaming. When paired with the JVC BR-DE900 ProHD Decoder, the PTZ camera/decoder solution delivers optimal quality of service over any network for an unparalleled viewing experience, according to JVC. z For additional information, visit http://pro.jvc.com.

RF5.2mm f2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens Canon’s new RF5.2mm f2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens brings stereoscopic 3D virtual reality (VR) capture to the EOS R5 camera as part of the EOS VR System. The digital interchangeable dual fisheye lens is capable of shooting stereoscopic 3D 180-degree VR imagery with a single image sensor, streamlining the complexities of virtual reality production as well as the ability to view content in full capacity. The 190-degree field of view captured from two separate optical systems delivers outstanding results for 180° VR viewing platforms. The dual fisheye design provides versatile exposure control with a maximum aperture of a bright f/2.8 to a deep depth of field of f/16 with electronically controlled apertures allowing the dual fisheye lens to operate just like other RF mount lenses. z For additional information, visit www.usa.canon.com.

Vizrt XR Venue

AtomX CAST

Vizrt XR Venue is a premiere real-time virtual enhancement solution that enables sports broadcasters to enhance content with live AR graphics, and lets users take full advantage of Vizrt’s latest developments for live virtual graphics. Vizrt’s unified IP platform offers greater flexibility and scalability and offers a flexible choice for playout—fill and key or a composited video signal for specific production workflows. Output can be added directly on top of the program feed. The hardware supporting XR Venue is now consistent with regular Viz Engine hardware, such as the newly certified Dell R7920 for compact applications. XR Venue supports UHD and HDR native formats and workflows, giving producers a way to create engaging representations of data-driven graphics and other content for sports coverage. z For additional information, visit www.vizrt.com.

Atomos’ AtomX CAST is a modular companion for the Atomos Ninja V monitor-recorder that uses the AtomX expansion port on the Ninja V to transform it into an advanced multi-input switcher. The compact AtomX CAST targets the needs of a small crew or one-man multicamera productions. This new product allows Atomos customers to take advantage of the company’s “Ninja CAST bundle,” a combination of the Ninja V and AtomX CAST, an all-in-one live switching and streaming solution, that combines the Ninja V’s high-quality 5-inch touchscreen monitor with 4x HDMI inputs and physical buttons. This allows users to connect cameras, computers, consoles, prerecorded content sources or any valid video source with a resolution of 1920x1080 and use the touchscreen or the buttons to “switch” between sources and select which source should be on screen at any one time for broadcast. z For additional information, visit www.atomos.com.

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November 2021 | www.tvtechnology.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology


equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

Multiviewing With Speed and Technique at the NFL USER REPORT By Charley Haggarty Broadcast Infrastructure Architect ST 2110 NFL Network

LOS ANGELES—I joined the broadcast industry 10 years ago, working first for Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco, where we pioneered the idea of at-home production over IP networks for live sports. We built a WAN between the 12 Pac-12 universities, so we only sent cameras and microphones (and talent!) to the site, producing 850 live events from our offices in San Francisco. I met Bruce Goldfeder, vice president of broadcast engineering for the NFL, in 2016. He had set the goal to migrate the entire production facility to SMPTE ST 2110 IP. I joined the NFL Network in 2017, and rapidly became a subject expert in all things 2110. Alan Wollenstein, director engineering systems for the NFL, and I built a proof-of-concept lab to evaluate products, as well as test interoperability. I am fortunate to have hands-on experience with nearly every piece of broadcasting gear that supports ST 2110. After nearly a year of testing anything we could get our hands on, Imagine’s Magellan SDNO Control System was selected for the router control and the Selenio Network Processor (SNP) for video processing and multiviewing.

IMMEDIACY & ACCURACY Multiviewing was one of the major challenges for our migration to IP. In live sports production, we need to monitor signals from a variety of sources with immediacy and accuracy. We

As part of its transition to IP, the NFL Network selected Imagine’s Magellan SDNO Control System for router control and the Selenio Network Processor (SNP) for video processing and multiviewing.

looked at every multiviewer on the market (seven were capable of ST 2110): what we wanted was a robust, agile, low-latency solution that would fit the way we work and scale as we grow. Our goal was to provide a system that used ST 2110 but felt like SDI. We had to deliver template building and layout modification; it had to include excellent alarm functionality, and integrate seamlessly with our existing tally system. The SNP, with its Layout Designer software, met all our requirements. More than that, it opened our eyes to the possibilities of a software-configured device: the flexible SNP frame could be a frame sync one day and a multiviewer the next with the click of a mouse. Low latency was a critical factor. The fast pace of covering live sports means our operators need to be able to communicate on-site at events, look at the feeds and see instantly what is happening. It is critical for our key team members to see incom-

ing and outgoing data as close to real time as possible. The SNPMV multiviewer delivers that low latency—so much so that our operators can match what we send from production to the net return.

DISTRIBUTED MONITORING In addition to viewing signals, we rely on the SNP to process alarms, including tally status, virtual re-entry status, audio meters for two ST 2110-30 streams (for 16 channels), and video alarms like freeze, black and signal loss. We look forward to the next software release when we will be able to add monitoring of IP stream status, colorimetry, and ancillary data like VITC and caption decoding. The NFL Los Angeles facility is format-agnostic and capable of receiving and creating HD and Ultra HD productions from any of our sources or stages simultaneously. Our camera CCUs output 1080p and 4K all the time, so the ability of the SNP-MV to accept any format and scale

appropriately is another huge benefit. In fact, the NFL Hollywood Park production control rooms have the ability to change from HD to UHD from one event to the next. Our decision to use SNP-MV multiviewers has been fully vindicated. They allow us to have a distributed monitoring infrastructure and it is simple to set up whatever layouts any operator requires and to switch between them from event to event. They deliver excellent, format-agnostic image quality and when we do not need a particular multiviewer channel, the SNP path can be reallocated to a completely different task. l Charley Haggarty is the broadcast infrastructure architect ST 2110 at the NFL Network; he worked at the Pac-12 Network before joining the NFL Network in 2017. He can be reached at Charley.Haggarty@nfl.com. For more information visit https://imaginecommunications. com.

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

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

Troubleshooting ST 2110 IP Challenges With Lawo SMART USER REPORT By Nik Kumar Senior Engineer Diversified – Media & Entertainment

KENILWORTH, N.J.—Access to a robust set of test and monitoring tools is becoming indispensable when designing and building SMPTE 2110 IP systems for TV stations and other M&E customers. Lawo’s smartSCOPE and smartDASH helped us immensely with our testing and commissioning that facilitated the successful launch of a big project. Additionally, smartANC Shuffler allows us to manage ancillary data streams in a way that was not directly possible in an SDI environment. Diversified recently completed a systems integration project for a major market TV station in the U.S. The station was built in a brand-new facility using stateof-the-art ST 2110 technology and went on air with full-time production several months ago.

With the integration of different third-party systems and the implementation of complex workflows, there was a need for a robust troubleshooting and monitoring system. smartSCOPE offers a good range of measurement and analysis tools, including basic features such as video and audio monitoring tiles, along with more complex

Timing Sync,” which can be used to determine the essence RTP stream offset with respect to PTP, along with the relative offsets between video, audio, and ancillary RTP streams. Packet Pacing is another excellent tool to model VRX buffer behavior and overflows for incoming streams from a narrowor wide-based sender. It helped

THIRD-PARTY INTEGRATION At the core of the system are Lawo’s VSM broadcast/router control and V__matrix C100 processing blades, some of which are used as IP gateways and multiviewers. Numerous third-party IP devices were also leveraged to provide a best-of-breed system to the customer: ST 2110-based cameras, production switchers, graphics systems, editing IO, satellite IRDs, general-purpose encapsulators and de-encapsulators, etc. The master control switcher was fully virtualized using VSM and the master control air chains for the various station channels were all designed and built utilizing IP.

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Diversified recently deployed Lawo’s smartSCOPE and smartDASH as part of the construction of a new SMPTE 2110 facility for a station in a major TV market.

IP measurement tools such as packet telemetry, packet pacing, service timing sync, etc. Various RTP stream characteristics within the packet telemetry toolset can be monitored. For instance, users can view the min, max, and mean interpacket arrival times of ST2110-20/30/40 streams along with RTP packet losses and packet jitters. One tool I particularly like is “Service twitter.com/tvtechnology

me diagnose an issue with the receivers on a production switcher, which are hard-set as narrow receivers. When slightly bursty narrow-based traffic from a particular vendor was sent to these receivers, video inputs began to tear due to consistent packet overflows. The production switcher vendor duly wrote a firmware patch to deepen the receive buffers and no video

tearing has been observed since. Additionally, the Packet Pacing tool offers TRoffset readings of the time offset between the actual start of the first packet of a video frame vs. derived time with respect to the ST2059-01 Epoch.

FLEXIBLE WORKFLOW FOR 2110 smartDASH is also an effective graphical tool for network-level troubleshooting. It uses realtime streaming telemetry data gathered from the network switches in an easy-to-understand graphical fashion. While I habitually perform network-level troubleshooting at the switch CLI layer, smartDASH is a powerful tool for broadcast engineers unfamiliar with CLI. One of the challenges we faced during the design phase of the master control air chain was architecting a workflow that would give us the flexibility to mix and match different ST211040 ancillary data streams with the outgoing final-air ST211020 video and ST 2110-30 audio streams. The smartANC shuffler provides an elegant solution: we can decouple upstream ancillary data streams (closed captioning, AFD, SCTE104, etc.) from different sources and marry them with the outgoing video and audio output streams. This type of flexibility is generally not offered in an SDI system where ancillary data is carried in the VANC and HANC spaces of the SDI video payload. l Nik Kumar is a senior engineer at Diversified – Media & Entertainment. He can be reached at nkumar@diversifiedus.com or at 703-552-6900. For more information visit https://lawo.com.


equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

Katapult Uses Blackmagic to Wow Audiences at Hybrid Live Events USER REPORT By Scott Beelman Partner & SVP of Production Katapult Events

NEW ORLEANS—As an AV company focused on all aspects of live events, including design, production and management, Katapult Events is dedicated to executing the perfect event for each client and enhancing the audience’s experience from beginning to end. Due to the pandemic, we had to figure out how to switch from a live audience to a virtual one, and more recently as things began opening back up, to a hybrid model. Along the way, we learned how to engage both live and virtual audiences simultaneously so that they both have the most positive experience possible. Most of our clients exist in the direct sales space, and we assist them with many events throughout the year; typically, one to two larger events in an exhibit hall or even an arena, and then four to five smaller breakout shows.

and LEDs that exist in the building, so it’s a fully immersive takeover. We don’t want one audience to have a lesser experience than the other, and to accomplish this we rely on a number of products that help us deliver the events flawlessly. One product that we use on every event is Blackmagic Design’s SmartScope Duo 4K monitor. We rely heavily on the SmartScope Duo 4K for almost every event as a confidence monitor for streaming and closed captioning, as well as video engineering (video shading, camera painting), and confidence monitoring for some of our other video positions.

ALWAYS IN USE We use at least two per event, and we’ll even use a third on our largest events. Our video engineers rely on the SmartScope Duo 4K’s scopes in a combination of waveform view, vectorscope and audio view. Having the ability to quickly

change from scope to video to audio makes this an incredibly useful tool. We have one SmartScope Duo 4K permanently mounted into our streaming rack, which we use as a confidence monitor for our streaming operators to display both the outgoing stream program feed on the monitor’s first display and the outgoing closed captioned program feed on the monitor’s second display. Another SmartScope Duo 4K is always mounted in our engineering rack and our video engineer uses this in conjunction with a SmartView 4K monitor to see the camera feeds for visual shading and painting. For permanent installations, we also use the SmartScope Duo 4Ks in rack rooms as confidence monitors when changing and verifying sources for the operator. The past 18 months have presented plenty of new challenges for live events, and it’s been interesting

to adjust when there’s no real standard anymore. We’re learning how to do things on our own, and through it all Blackmagic Design’s products, like the SmartScope Duo 4K, have played a vital role in the design and execution of our events. l With over a decade of experience in production management, lighting, video and sound design, Scott Beelman has worked on some of the biggest stages and events in the world. When senior vice president of production Beelman isn't working, you'll probably find him performing music in and around the New Orleans area. For more information, contact him at scott@katapult events.com. For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

TWO UNIQUE EVENTS In the hybrid live and virtual model, we essentially do two unique shows under the same roof. This often requires twice as much equipment, almost twice as many people, but not twice the budget. On the virtual side, we have a TV truck where we do a lot of custom picture-in-picture for the 16:9 viewer. On the arena side, we’ll do two 8K pixel maps to cover everything from the LED that we brought and installed for that show, as well as the banners

Katapult Events uses Blackmagic Design’s SmartScope Duo 4K monitor in virtually all of the events they produce. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | November 2021

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

ES Broadcast Selects Telestream PRISM to Monitor Sports Events USER REPORT By Charles Alexi European Sales Director ES Broadcast Hire

MUNICH, Germany—ES Broadcast Hire has offices in the U.K., Spain, Germany and the United States. As the leading broadcast equipment rental company in Europe, we are particularly focused on supplying equipment for broadcast events and production. One of our specialties is supporting IP and remote production systems for live events. When it came to test equipment and signal monitoring products, we had been in the market for a single system that was versatile enough to support either SDI or IP hybrid workflows for live production, content editing and confidence monitoring from SD to 8K in multiple color spaces. Since multiple audio streams also flow over IP, having comprehensive audio tools was also on our wish list.

FREELANCE-FRIENDLY Recognizing that operators have varying backgrounds and experience, we wanted a system that was easy to use and learn since our customers often hire freelance staff and set up temporary facilities. The ideal system would satisfy multiple use cases and operator positions; the last thing we wanted was to overwhelm an operator with endless menus and features that they wouldn’t require. With that in mind, we preferred a system in which the UI could be “skinned” to match the job/function on demand. After closely considering available options with a major client, we purchased 12 Te-

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November 2021 | www.tvtech.com |

Broadcast equipment rental company ES Broadcast Hire purchased 12 Telestream PRISM waveform monitors for use in an IP-based broadcast center for the major international sporting events in 2021.

lestream PRISM waveform monitors after the PRISM platform was requested for use in the IPbased broadcast center for several major international sporting events during the summer and winter of 2021. Our client used the PRISM waveform monitors at several engineering positions and for creative editorial signal monitoring, including camera shading and color correction, all while supporting resolutions up to 8K. PRISM proved to be extremely flexible, whether the signal path was over ST 2110 or SDI, and delivered results at all resolutions while ensuring production crews were maximizing the potential of WCG (Wide Color twitter.com/tvtechnology

Gamut) formats. A critical part of the underlying IP infrastructure, the PRISM monitors also allowed engineers to precisely time signals and identify any problems quickly and easily regarding PTP (precision time protocol) signal timing between positions, especially in the high pressure environment of live sports broadcasting.

REMOTE CONFIGURATION Now that the PRISM systems are part of our rental inventory, we’re seeing the broader benefit of remote configuration since

the systems are often out on the road for extended deployments. The ability to simply reconfigure the PRISM systems or update them in the field with new features addresses a key part of our requirements to supply the latest, state-of-the-art equipment to our customers. Without sending units back to base, our staff can reconfigure the menus and displays remotely to match any use case or even to simply suit different customers’ preferences. Unlike traditional waveform monitors, when operating in IP mode, the PRISM systems can support audio analysis for Dolby E/D/ D+ including surround sound displays. Operators can monitor for levels, clipping, silence and even loudness compliance. In this challenging time, one of the features that our clients rely upon is the ability to view signals and manage the PRISM system remotely through a simple, but secure web interface. As productions continue to work with less staff on location due to pandemic restrictions, these remote capabilities have become invaluable and mean that compromises in quality are never made. We have a long history working with Tektronix video products and we’re happy to see the products and development have strengthened under the Telestream brand. l Charles Alexis is the European sales director at ES Broadcast Hire. He can be reached at charles@esbroadcasthire. com. More information on ES Broadcast Hire is available at https://esbroadcasthire. com. More information on PRISM is available at www. telestream.net.


equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

Australia’s NPCM Taps Mediaproxy For New Approach to Monitoring USER REPORT

The NPC Media playout center in Australia selected Mediaproxy’s LogServer and Monwall for compliance and fault checking.

By Chris Howe General Manager Commercial and Technology NPC Media

SYDNEY, Australia—NPC Media (NPCM) is a joint venture between two of Australia's largest commercial broadcasters, Seven Network (SWM) and Nine Network (NEC). From purpose-built operational facilities in Sydney, we distribute the digital terrestrial and OTT channels of both Seven and Nine, plus those of Southern Cross Austereo in regional Australia. With so many channels to play out, we knew that monitoring and compliance logging was essential for the smooth running of NPCM. To do this effectively we selected technology from Australian developer Mediaproxy, including their LogServer logger-monitor system, which also provides multichannel recording and review capabilities, and the Monwall multiviewer. These are used for emission and off-air monitoring in a master control room designed to carry out a new style of inspecting output in the era of terrestrial-OTT hybrid broadcasting.

FINDING A NEW APPROACH The design of the playout monitoring setup at NPCM had to encompass all metro, regional and local broadcast services, plus all OTT and streaming for Seven and Nine. Because of this we didn’t want to use the traditional techniques of operators sitting and looking at many monitors, partly because of subtle issues being lost in the multitude of small pictures (PIPS), and also because this method consumes large amounts of real estate.

The big step forward from previous traditional techniques used in MCRs is exception-based monitoring. This is based on interactive multiviewers, which allow operators in the control center to look at different parts of the distribution chain and troubleshoot using integrated software tools. Reacting quickly to complex problems is something only a human can do. To enable our staff to do this we give them a much simpler way of monitoring, without having to continually focus on large numbers of individual pictures. If you see all green boxes in the display, that means everything is OK. Issues are highlighted in red and these feeds can be monitored as a picture and audio feed and investigated. We have worked closely with Mediaproxy to streamline the traditional MCR workflow. Monwall is now the main means of monitoring emission so instead of passively watching feeds on traditional

multiviewers streaming a composite of channels to a remote display and using under-monitor tools to further analyze any incidents, operators can interact with the multiviewer itself and examine any problems in situ.

MORE EFFICIENT MONITORING Everything runs on standard COTS equipment, with the capability for multiple SMPTE ST 2022-6 streams on one server. To further enhance the workflow and not involve reconfiguring when sources are switched to “protect,” input sources are controlled via the Ember+ protocol to set up virtual source endpoints that can react dynamically to sources being played-out by the automation system. Using COTS hardware gives us a route to the cloud for high-end broadcasting; we're not there yet in terms of full public cloud playout due to bandwidths and latency, but we are effectively

using our own private cloud for services. As a result of such high levels of automation and effective fault detection, the main MCR at NPCM can be run with fewer operators managing more than 200 channels. We are testing other encoding formats—including HEVC—and we have an infrastructure that allows us to economically adopt new formats and technologies. We're still in the early days of IP network environments but with dark fiber we can increase bandwidths and launch digital services as necessary. With the infrastructure we have the impact is reduced and we know that we can expand our monitoring capability to meet demand. l Chris Howe is GM for commercial and technology at NPC Media. He can be reached at https://npcmedia.com/au/contact-us. For more information visit www.mediaproxy.com.

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring buyers briefs Cinegy Cinegy Multiviewer The Cinegy Multiviewer delivers a scalable monitoring and analysis solution for on-prem and cloud for SDI, NDI, and IP environments. It provides GPU-accelerated live video analysis, monitoring, notification, and a deep analysis engine based on services and agents and displays satellite signals, camera feeds, playout devices and other local or remote sources before analyzing them and raising alerts for any detected signal problems. Running on commodity IT servers or workstations, Cinegy Multiviewer receives NewTek NDI or regular RTP/UDP streams via Ethernet or uncompressed video using standard SDI or SMPTE-2110 cards from vendors such as AJA, BMD or Deltacast. It also supports SRT for secure reception of an IP signal or delivery of the output over unreliable networks like the internet. Cinegy Multiviewer's software is fully customizable and divided into functionality blocks for signal decoding, scaling, visualization, visual output and analysis and alerts.

Digital Nirvana MonitorIQ

z For additional information visit https://home.cinegy.com.

v8.0 of Digital Nirvana’s MonitorIQ AI-driven broadcast monitoring and compliance logging platform features increased resiliency, simpler navigation, and enables new streaming technology with significantly lower latency for live video. MonitorIQ records, stores, monitors, analyzes, and repurposes content quickly and efficiently. Natively recording content from any point in the video delivery chain, from production (SDI) to consumption (OTT and STB), MonitorIQ enables broadcasters to collect and use knowledge to meet a wide range of regulatory and compliance requirements. . z For additional information visit https:// digital-nirvana.com.

Leader Electronics LV5600 Leader's LV5600 is a mains-powered SDI/IP waveform monitor in a half-rack width 3U desktop chassis with a front panel touchscreen display. It provides the engineering facilities needed to monitor UHD/HD/SD-SDI as well as video-over-IP, individually or multiscreen. Features include test-pattern generation, eye-pattern display, closed-caption monitoring, CIE chroma chart, HDR measurement, focus assist, customizable screen layout, tally interface and 4K/UHD operation. Leader's CINEZONE and CINELITE tools are also included, designed for fast reference by camera crews and lighting directors. The LV5600 can optionally be configured with up to 25G IP and 12G SDI interface capability. SMPTE 2022-6, SMPTE 2022-7 and SMPTE 2110 protocols are all supported. z For additional information visit www.leader.co.jp/en.

Sony Live Element Orchestrator Sony’s Live Element Orchestrator (LEO) system orchestration and management software for IP live production increases the performance and utilization of resources, as well as reducing system downtime. LEO provides overall system management of an IP-based production system, allowing both Sony and third-party solutions to be supported. LEO optimizes system performance by enabling resources to be shared across multiple locations, configurations to be set up centrally, and operations across all equipment to be monitored. Developed in collaboration with Skyline Communications, LEO adopts Skyline’s DataMiner, an end-to-end management and orchestration solution used as a core technology by numerous media organizations. z For more information visit https://pro.sony/ue_US/home.

Interra Systems BATON The BATON hybrid QC solution is used by all types of media enterprises for their file-based QC needs with its comprehensive quality checks, scalability, support for a wide range of media formats, and an intuitive web-based interface. It improves efficiencies across the content lifecycle; implements organizational QC policy to support a combination of automated and manual QC checks; supports the VAST protocol, and offers an extensive feature set and support for comprehensive quality checks. It also provides quick 4K content verification; works seamlessly with popular cloud computing infrastructure services; and provides comprehensive checks covering standards compliance, regulatory checks and baseband checks, including PSE/flashiness checks. z For additional information visit www.interrasystems.com.

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Marshall V-SG4K-3G The V-SG4K-3G—Dual Format Test Signal Generator can quickly and easily test HDMI and SDI video and audio equipment. Its compact, design makes it easy to test out a variety of equipment while on the go, and it can generate up to 39 different test patterns plus four additional custom patterns. The 3-inch LCD screen provides clear test pattern viewing, forward-facing buttons, and can incorporate custom frame rates and resolutions when controlled through a PC. It comes equipped with EDID interface software. Applications include production-line quality assessment; studio equipment testing; TV set testing; digital signage configuration tests with extenders, switches, splitters or video wall processors. z For more information visit https://marshall-usa.com.

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

AJA Delivers Quality Video Signals With PHABRIX USER REPORT By Bob Hudelson Engineering Department Manager AJA Video Systems

GRASS VALLEY, Calif.—Part of AJA Video Systems’ success over the years can be attributed to our strong engineering ethic and attention to detail. We like to work closely with our customers to solve challenges that naturally occur in complex video environments. For us, PHABRIX Qx and QxL test and measurement equipment is a vital part of that process and we currently run 11 of their devices—seven in engineering and four for automated testing in manufacturing. We probably work with 300400 different video signal formats, a number that continues to grow as our customers innovate their workflows. To this end, having access to the broad range of signals that PHABRIX covers is extremely useful.

TESTING FOR SUCCESS When I joined AJA seven years ago, one of the first things that stood out was the sheer amount of testing gear within the company. We’re a company that was founded—and is still run—by an engineer, and he appreciates allocating resources to the equipment budget for test gear. That's critical for development engineering to be successful. PHABRIX is part of our testing kit and our involvement with PHABRIX Qx came about around 2018, when we also started to focus on 12G-SDI. Although IP momentum is steadily

AJA Video Systems relies on PHABRIX Qx and QxL test and measurement equipment, using 11 of their devices in their operations.

building, 12G-SDI is popular among many in the broadcast industry, as it solves some of the most pressing challenges they face today. PHABRIX Qx has proven an enabler in validating and testing our complete line of 12G-SDI products, helping us to ensure they’re field-ready We originally selected the Qx for its comprehensive toolset and 12G-SDI coverage—an offering considered to be well ahead of its competitors at the time. It has been an integral part of our setup ever since, and each department uses the technology in a unique way. In engineering, it may be used for specific validation tests or to troubleshoot, while manufacturing testing uses it in a more automated way by writing a test script to drive the Qx to perform repetitive testing. We largely use the Qx’s single link 12G-SDI and quad-link 3G-SDI interfaces. Beyond that, we’ve come to rely on the responsiveness of the PHABRIX team to help sort out

any challenges we encounter. Given the scope of our products and the markets we serve—from television broadcasters to Hollywood content producers, ProAV, healthcare, and beyond—you can imagine those challenges are rather wide-ranging.

SUPPORTING MANY SIGNALS If we were just developing

products for television, we'd primarily test YCbCr 10-bit 50/59 fps signals, but since our products end up in so many different applications, we need to support a broad range of signals, raster sizes, frame rates, and color spaces. The Qx has been very helpful in those circumstances. And while 12G-SDI has been a critical part of our success in recent years, we have also developed a number of well-regarded products in the evolving IP space. As a result, the last unit that we purchased from PHABRIX was an IP-enabled QxL. The QxL is assisting us on the IP pathway, but the demand for 12G-SDI remains strong, and we will continue to grow our product portfolio to align with industry needs. In this respect, I’m sure we’re not too far off from another QxL investment. l Bob Hudelson is an engineering department manager at AJA Video Systems in Grass Valley, Calif. Bob manages product development teams at AJA that create innovative products for the broadcast, audio/video, production and post-production industries. He can be reached at BobH@aja.com. For more information visit www.phabrix.com.

buyers brief Wohler iAM-12G-SDI Wohler’s flagship iAM-12G-SDI offers the option of Dolby Atmos monitoring, decoding, and metering from SDI, SMPTE 2110, SMPTE 2022, and AES streams. The Atmos option also includes monitoring of DD+JOC, Dolby-ED2, Dolby D, DD+ and E streams, as well as the ability to display extensive metadata information on-screen. A lower-priced option is available for those requiring Dolby D, DD+ and E monitoring, which can be upgraded to Atmos at any time. Recent updates include HDR detection and a comprehensive output routing matrix—free downloads for existing iAM-12G-SDI users. z For additional information visit https://wohler.com.

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring

CTN Implements Streamlines EAS Workflow With DASDEC Platform USER REPORT By David Goosey Senior Systems Engineer Christian Television Network

LARGO, Fla.—The Christian Television Network (CTN) is a nonprofit broadcast television network which owns and operates 23 stations that broadcast religious programming in multiple U.S. markets. We also offer Christian family education, entertainment, and lifestyle programming on our CTN Lifestyle digital channel and international streaming via the Christian Television Network International (CTNI) website. Because CTN has grown over the years through various acquisitions, we’ve had to deal with different equipment across many of our stations. When we took on an encoder upgrade project earlier this year, it gave us the opportunity to standardize and unify not just our encoders, but also our antiquated emergency alert system (EAS).

STANDARDIZING ON DAS We had developed quite a convoluted workflow to accommodate our aging EAS devices.

By upgrading to the DASDEC platform and LEX-2000 encoders, David Goosey’s tech team at CTN have significantly simplified workflows.

Replacing these systems with the Digital Alert Systems’ (DAS) DASDEC emergency messaging platform, which we integrated with our new Hitachi-Comark LEX-2000 encoders, we were able to simplify our workflow tremendously. We’ve now got two boxes doing what once took four or more. We purchased the encoders through Media Transport Solutions, where the team there told us we could use Digital Alert Systems EAS-Net software to connect the DASDEC units to the LEX-2000 encoders using a single network connection. This integration allows EAS messages to come from the DASDEC

unit to the encoder over IP, which embeds the message and the audio/video on each of the channels. Better still, instead of interrupting the video, as our old systems did, this approach conveniently displays a banner over ongoing programming and switches the audio to the alert. It’s a huge improvement for us and a nice change for our viewers.

SIMPLIFIED WORKFLOWS In upgrading to the DASDEC platform and LEX-2000 encoders, we’ve also been able to shift to a centralcast model for many stations. We’ve brought our

program encoders back in house at our Largo facility, where the systems receive signals from DASDEC units out at remote sites. Now we enjoy a much more streamlined process for handling emergency messaging across numerous stations, more robust monitoring capabilities, and more consistent and reliable performance. Both Media Transport Solutions and Digital Alert Systems have been helpful throughout this process, from designing our workflow to getting each system configured properly for each station and its particular region. We’ve been rolling out the units’ station by station, and we took the first DASDEC unit live last March in Nashville at WHTN-TV. It passed the national EAS test this past August, so it’s working great. We made an early commitment to work with the DASDEC and LEX-2000 encoders, and we’re glad we did. l David Goosey is the senior systems engineer at Christian Television Network. He has been with the company for four years, and can be contacted at dgoosey@ ctntv.net, 727-525-5622 x4076. For more information visit www.digitalalertsystems.com.

buyers brief Aveteq AVQ1022—RF Signal Analyzer (2nd Gen)

Atomos Shinobi 7

The new generation of Aveteq's AVQ1022 universal multistandard RF signal analyzer now provides broadcast engineers, transmitter manufacturers, and RF consultants with the necessary tools to set up a new ATSC 3.0 transmitter, analyze RF, STLTP, and transport stream layers of a signal at the transmitter output or off-air, or set it for 24/7 unattended remote monitoring with a customizable alarm engine.

Shinobi 7 combines a large 7-inch HDR screen with a calibrated peak brightness of 2200nits and the lightweight monitor-only functions of the original Shinobi. It can be used in the brightest of environments to monitor signals up to 4Kp60 via HDMI or SDI. The touchscreen gives users fast access to the most crucial camera features, displaying 10+ stops of dynamic range in real time from Log/PQ/HLG signals, for example. With support for up to 4Kp60 via the HDMI inputs, the Shinobi 7 enables cross conversion between 4K HDMI and 3G-SDI signals.

z For more information, visit www.avateq.com or call 866-881-9388.

z For more information, visit www.atomos.com/products/

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equipment guide | test equipment & signal monitoring buyers briefs Video Clarity ClearView 9.4 ClearView 9.4 features a new measurement mode called VMAF NEG (“NEG” stands for “no enhancement gain” and can be used to assess the pure effect coming from compression). The default mode is used to assess compression and enhancement combined. User-customized score models may be applied via alternative subjective data sets to “train” a new VMAF score model for certain picture content using different or user-generated human subjective quality score data.. z For more information visit https://videoclarity.com.

Rohde & Schwarz R&S PRISMON R&S PRISMON is a versatile software-based solution for content monitoring and multiviewing. Designed to support future content transport standards and media formats in SDI and IP workflows, PRISMON includes comprehensive protocols for OTT/streaming. A scalable, distributed multiviewer function (SDM) allows any input available at any output and the Multiviewer Control Centre (MCC) enables a single point of control across a network, which can be automated, giving instant reconfiguration of multiple displays. z For more information visit www.rohde-schwarz.com.

Tag Video Systems Realtime Media Platform Tag Video Systems’ Realtime Media Platform offers an advanced and truly unique platform to monitor, manage and display real-time data. The modular platform elevates QoS and QoE integrity by leveraging data-driven viewer analytics to identify errors and delivery issues. The platform’s Management & Control module integrates with open-source industry standard analytics tools, giving users full access to their data without the limitations of preconfigured closed analysis. z For additional information visit www.tagvs.com.

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Adapts MPEG-2 streams to H.264 for Hotel, Cruiseline, University, Resort feeds

Down converter ability to convert all HD services to SD

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

DAVID GRIFFIN

ESTELLE MCGECHIE

PETER AQUINO

ALLISON MCGINLEY

President and CEO, Griffin Communications Member, NAB Television Board of Directors

CEO Atomos

President, CEO SeaChange International

News Director, WKMG-TV Chair, RTDNA

Atomos has promoted Estelle McGechie to the position of CEO. McGechie’s work with the team at Atomos dates back to the first Atomos Ninja, the launch of Apple ProRes RAW and the introduction of Timecode Systems for acquisition. At Atomos she has leveraged her international product development and marketing expertise to evolve the company’s approach to software and services platforms.

SeaChange International has appointed Peter Aquino as its new president and CEO. Aquino takes on the new roles as SeaChange transitions to tech-forward use cases for cable and streaming customers. Aquino is serving as chairman and CEO of Spartacus Acquisition Corp. and will continue in those roles until the business is combined with NextNav, in a deal that’s expected to close in Q4 2021. He is also expected to join the board of NextNav.

Allison McGinley, news director at WKMG-TV in Orlando, has been installed as the chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association. She will serve for one year. She succeeds outgoing chair Andrea Stahlman, news director at WLKY-TV, who will move into the role of chair of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation. Tim Scheld, news director, WCBS-AM in New York, has been elected chair-elect and begins a three-year leadership cycle.

ALEX LOVELL

KELLY CAMPBELL

LOWELL BECKNER

MELISSA MCALLISTER

Senior VP of Business Development, Toldright

President Peacock

Director of TV Mastering Services Division ZOO Digital Group

Toldright has hired Alex Lovell as senior VP of business development. He will lead Toldright’s client-direct business development efforts, as well as oversee revenue tracking, reporting and sales analytics. In addition, Lovell will work in partnership with Jason Bernstein, senior vice president of content and operations, to identify and increase Toldright’s list of new channel partners. Prior to joining Toldright, Lovell served as a VP of connection at iHeartMedia.

Kelly Campbell has been named president of the NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock. She will join the Peacock leadership team in November. Campbell will be responsible for Peacock’s streaming business and work closely with leadership across NBCUniversal television, film, news and sports on Peacock live and original programming. She will be based in L.A. Previously, Campbell served as president of Hulu.

VP of Red House Streaming (RHS) GM of CP Communications St. Petersburg (CPSP) CP Communications has announced several personnel moves, including the promotion of Lowell Beckner to VP of RHS and GM of CPSP. The company also promoted Jason Proskurin to technical director for RHS and sales administrator of CP. Joining the company are Beth Weber as senior producer for RHS and Tabitha Coleman as controller for CP. Aaron Segarra has been named VP of sales and marketing for CP and the RHS brand.

ZOO Digital Group is launching a mastering services division to support content creators with next-day air service on major streaming services and platforms. Melissa McAllister, formerly with Fox Filmed Entertainment, joined ZOO Digital Group as director of TV mastering and servicing and will lead the new division. McAllister has specialized in managing projects to deliver the highest level of quality with tight turnaround times.

David Griffin, president and CEO of Griffin Communications, has been named to the National Association of Broadcasters Television Board of Directors. Griffin joined the family-owned Griffin Communications in 1990 and was named president and GM of Griffin Television in 1992; and president and CEO of Griffin Communications LLC in 2001. He started his career in broadcasting with Telerep in Atlanta.

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