TV Tech - 0477 - Sept 2022

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Welcome to the September 2022 issue of

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contents

September 2022 volumn 40, issue 9

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News Outlets Strategize on Election 2022 Coverage

AR, LEDs, multimedia offerings and nonpartisan coverage drive newsgathering this campaign season By Susan Ashworth

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The Ongoing Evolution of LED Lights It’s no longer just about the amount of light, but about the quality of the light By Bruce Aleksander

Learning About RF

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Doing Your Homework When Selecting a Cloud Provider

Metaverse or Metamucil? How can our expertise in broadcast tech help us understand the next big thing? By Dennis Baxter

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equipment guide

Doug shares his RF knowledge from more than 50 years in the industry By Doug Lung

Asking the right questions to gain access to the right tools and services By Karl Paulsen

Are You Ready for Some Football? What the networks have in store for the NFL season By Mark R. Smith

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Future Is Now With IP Production Recent necessities made IP a reality before anyone imagined By Bob Kovacs

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Audio and the Evolution of the TV News Team How stations are adapting to the new normal By John Davis

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guest editorial

user reports audio

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• Lawo • Blackmagic • Calrec

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in the news

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eye on tech

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people

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guest editorial

LPTV: Changing Our Name Is Only the Beginning As the organization representing Low Power, Class A and Full Power Television Stations, the LPTV Broadcasters Association lobbies and represents our members in front of Congress and the FCC. We also answer member inquiries about station operations. We believe that calling a station “Low Power” attaches a stigma to our members so we are now asking our members to change it to “Local Power,” as they are the fabric of their communities. Since I joined the LPTVBA in June as executive director, we have appointed Alixandra Steir as our new membership director. In the year since the foundation of the LPTVBA, there has been amazing growth through our founder and president, “SuperFrank” Copsidas and former Executive Director Michael Lee. We believe we can grow this organization to new heights, but we also believe that we can do more for our membership and others in the broadcasting community. It is our organizational belief that information and knowledge are key to growing our organization and that includes making our newsletters more informative and interactive, which allows for more engagement with our members. In addition to our webinars and informational videos, we are looking to begin a monthly, open Zoom meeting with members. Our hope is that our members will collaborate and learn from others in the broadcast industry. This is not a new initiative, but rather an evolution, much like the evolution from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0. We either change with the times or become irrelevant—and LPTV should never be irrelevant as there are so many small businesses that own and operate LPTV stations. In addition to being at the NAB Show earlier this year, we are attending more state broadcasting sponsored events to show the LPTV community that the future of LPTV is NextGen TV and as the new standard continues to evolve and is deployed, LPTV is leading the way. We continue to look for ways for our members to benefit from this transition, but also find ways to help our members afford this change. As an organization we need to be more collaborative—not only with our members but with other organizations like the ATBA and the NAB. We believe that these efforts will help grow LPTV’s influence in the industry and lead to positive changes for all broadcasters. In sum, as an organization, we are trying to expand our reach and grow as we advocate for our current and future members during the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0. As we always say, “we are not Low Power but LOCAL Power.” Peter Saad Executive Director LPTV Broadcasters Association ps@lptvba.org

Recognize Excellence! Honor an individual or product by entering your nomination for the 2022 Tech Leadership Awards! Deadline is Sept. 22. Apply at www.techleadershipawards.com/2022.

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Vol. 40 No. 9 | September 2022 FOLLOW US

www.tvtech.com twitter.com/tvtechnology CONTENT 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, 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 Group Elizabeth Deeming VP, B2B Tech Group, Camel King 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

All contents © 2022 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents,subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. TV Technology (ISSN: 0887-1701) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 130 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Phone: 978-667-0352. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TV Technology, P.O. Box 848, Lowell, MA 01853.



in the news Ad-Supported Disney+ Tier To Launch Dec. 8 BURBANK, Calif.—Disney+ will launch its ad-supported subscription offering in the U.S. at $7.99 on Dec. 8 and that it will increase standalone sub prices for Disney+ and Hulu services. The price hikes come as streamers are struggling with increased programming costs and are under increased pressure from Wall Street to reduce losses. As of Dec. 8, Disney+ without ads will increase to $10.99, a $3 pop. As of Oct. 23, Hulu’s prices will increase to $14.99 a month without ads, up $2 and $7.99 with ads, a $1 increase. Disney previously announced that prices for ESPN+ would increase on August 23.

“With our new adsupported Disney+ offering and an expanded lineup of plans across our entire streaming portfolio, we will be providing greater consumer choice at a variety of price points to cater to the diverse needs of our viewers and appeal to an even broader audience,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. “Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ feature unparalleled content and viewing experiences and offer the best value in streaming today, with over 100,000 movie titles, TV episodes, original shows, sports and live events collectively.” George Winslow

Nexstar to Acquire 75% Stake in The CW Network IRVING, Texas—Nexstar Media Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a 75% ownership interest in The CW Network LLC. When the deal is completed, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and Paramount Global, the current co-owners of The CW, will each retain a 12.5 percent ownership interest in The CW and will continue to produce original, scripted content for the network. Financial terms of the transaction—which is expected to close in the third quarter—were not disclosed. Nexstar is the nation’s largest local television broadcasting company and the largest CW affiliate group with 37 CW and CW Plus affiliates, including affiliates in five of the top ten

DMAs, accounting for 32 percent of the Network’s national reach. Nexstar said that the proposed transaction is expected to create value for Nexstar shareholders by solidifying the Company’s revenue opportunities as the largest CW affiliate, diversifying its content outside of news, increasing its exposure to the national advertising market, establishing it as a participant in advertising video-on-demand services and improving The CW ratings, revenue, and profitability, by prioritizing programing for the Network’s broadcast audience. Mark Pedowitz will continue to serve as The CW’s chairman and CEO, with responsibility for dayto-day operations. George Winslow

NAB Launches 2022 Election Toolkit for Broadcasters WASHINGTON—The NAB has launched its 2022 Election Toolkit, an online resource for local television and radio broadcasters to help them cover 2022 local, state and federal elections and combat misinformation. The 2022 Election Toolkit includes information on identifying false statements online, suggested tactics for hosting debates, voter registration resources and guides for finding local polling places. Broadcast-ready public service announcements encouraging voter participation are also available in both English and Spanish. “Local broadcasters are a trusted and reliable source of news and information, which takes on heightened importance in combating disinformation as Americans exercise their right to vote,” said NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “The toolkit will equip radio and television stations in helping voters make informed decisions at the polls—an essential component in ensuring the vitality of our democracy.” As part of the effort, the NAB is also encouraging broadcasters to share examples of debate offerings, civic news coverage and voter education public service efforts by emailing advocacy@nab.org. To download the toolkit, visit www.nab.org/electiontoolkit. George Winslow

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in the news

OPINION

Are You Local Enough?

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Credit: Getty Images

Producer Evan Shapiro to Keynote NAB Show New York Opening NEW YORK—Award-winning film producer Evan Shapiro will keynote the 2022 NAB Show New York opening event, Oct. 19. In his presentation, “Bringing Media Into the Current Century, Now,” he will examine the shifts occurring in today’s media landscape. Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president and managing director, Global Connections and Events, said, “With an impressive resume of awardwinning projects, unique insight into the competition for audience’s attention and influential thinking about the future of the business, Evan Shapiro is a sought-after voice for preparing media professionals for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.” Shapiro’s address will take place in the Content Theater located on the show floor following welcome remarks by NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt. “We are excited to have Evan share his perspective with our community as we kick off the return to an in-person NAB Show New York,” Brown added. Shapiro is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer of film, TV and podcasts. He is a professor of Media Studies at New York University and Fordham University schools of business. He also is the co-host of a podcast called “Cancel Culture.” Shapiro will also participate in an exclusive interview on NAB Amplify as a preview to his NAB Show New York keynote address. To register for NAB Show New York at the Javits Center, Oct. 19–20, visit https://nabshow.com/ny2022.

are all “eminently more targetable.” hich media know more Together, they “gained $1.7 billion over about the local politics 2012 spending levels, while radio, TV and and ballot issues affecting newspapers lost nearly $1.3 billion…,” it the Joplin, Mo.—Pittsburg, says. Kan., DMA? Morgan Murphy Media’s In the years since, targeted KOAM-TV? or Facebook? social media advertising has What about in Santa only gained momentum—led Barbara, Calif.? News-Press & by Facebook, which CNBC Gazette’s KEYT or Instagram? reported in October 2020 How about Raleigh-Durham, earned 3% of its quarterly N.C.? Capitol Broadcasting U.S. revenue from political Co.’s WRAL or YouTube? and campaign ads. Bloomberg The answer to each reported the same month that question is obvious: The with two weeks to go before the local broadcasters serving election, YouTube had run out their markets with reporting Phil Kurz of space to run political ads. by journalists who cover the Wouldn’t it be great if issues, candidates and political broadcasters had an IP-based delivery fortunes that affect local viewers. technology that allowed politicians to Presumably, viewers seeking the reach the exact audience they desire with information they’ll use to help make voting the exact message they wish to convey? decisions are the same people politicians Oh, wait a minute. They don’t just have and backers of various ballot initiatives one in the form of NextGen TV. They wish to reach with their ads. actually have two when FAST channels are But a curious thing has happened. While considered. I wonder how long it will be still raking in gobs of political ad dollars, before they use them to their full potential. broadcasters have seen a decline in their While TV newsrooms clearly know their share of dollars compared to other media. local markets, politics, candidates and A final analysis of political ad spending in issues better than digital/social media, 2016 from Borrell Associates reports the key to competing effectively for ad dollars share of dollars devoted to broadcast TV with these alternative platforms is offering dropped from 57.9% in 2012 to 44.7% in a viable way for politicians to target the 2016. specific voters they wish to reach with their What gained share? Digital, cable and specific messages. l direct mail, which as the report says

Tom Butts

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New HyperDeck Shuttle HD

The desktop HyperDeck that’s the perfect live production clip player and master recorder! HyperDeck Shuttle HD is a recorder and player that’s designed to be used on the desktop! That means it’s more than a master recorder as it can also be used as a clip player. You get support for ProRes, DNx and H.264 files in NTSC, PAL, 720p and 1080p video formats. Plus SD cards, UHS-II cards and USB-C external disks can be used for recording and playing media.

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If recording to other types of media is required, the USB-C expansion port lets you plug in an external flash disk for recording. USB-C flash disks have unlimited capacity because they can be physically larger than an SD card or SSD. Plus, it’s even possible to record to a disk you’ll use for editing, so you don’t need to waste time copying files before starting post production.

Traditional Broadcast Deck Controls

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elections 2022

A number of news stations use Vizrt’s Engine graphics platform to provide AR coverage of election returns.

News Outlets Strategize on Election 2022 Coverage AR, LEDs, multimedia offerings and nonpartisan coverage drive newsgathering this campaign season from others depends on the network’s core priorities.

By Susan Ashworth

SAN FRANCISCO—With dozens of information platforms to choose from (and a proliferation of often-less-than-objective sources out there) how do modern TV news outlets plan to tackle the 2022 election this November? For every station group and news broadcaster prepping for this year’s midterm elections, one fact stands immutable: Objectivity reigns supreme. Only second to that are the technology choices and newsgathering trademarks that a network will employ to better connect with viewers and strengthen that loyalty. What sets some election coverages apart

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FROM THE GROUND UP For news network Newsy, the priority is about reporting and producing from the ground up. Rather than seeing itself as a bells and whistles organization, the head of the Scripps news group said her election coverage team is focused on contextual stories, solid reporting, deep dives into political profiles and live election news coverage. “The hallmark of Newsy is that it’s a nonpartisan, news-driven channel focused on communicating with our audience through the visual medium, which means beautifully produced packages that appeal to viewers all

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over the country,” said Kate O’Brian, head of national network news group at E.W. Scripps Co., which produces the Newsy channel. Newsy is unique, she said, because it provides a linear stream available in every possible distribution method (except cable) and is free everywhere. “For the consumer, no matter what story we’re doing, we bring something that others are not able to bring free: 24/7, live content,” she said. That will dovetail directly into the network’s 2022 election coverage. The journalists within the network’s 14 bureaus are reporters and producers who are local to those bureaus, O’Brian said. In addition to a national producer and political reporter, the network has reporters across the country in places other people don’t—Phoenix, Nashville, Seattle, Denver and more. “That creates a kind of coverage for us that is deeper and broader, which gives us and gives our audience an advantage,” O’Brian said. Newsy also has a partnership with 61 local Scripps television stations as well as an additional group of reporters providing additional political coverage. When it comes to the visual look of the network’s November election coverage, Newsy will shortly roll out the “Inform Your Vote 22” moniker. The network also plans to differentiate itself by covering stories that may be passed over by other networks, O’Brian said. “It’s why we chose to put our bureaus in these random places—it’s not a random choice. [Those bureaus] represent the country.”

INTERSECTION OF DATA AND GRAPHICS Heading into the November elections, Telemundo finds itself faced with a delightful challenge: how to best cover a significant number of election races involving Latina politicians. “One of the things that NBCUniversal has done is to make diversity one of its strongholds,” said Jeffrey Liebman, director


elections 2022 of news operations for Telemundo. “This [election] year it’s important to be covering Latina races.” Telemundo will work with the other networks under the NBCUniversal banner —including the NBC News Group, MSNBC, CNBC and others—by pooling resources when it comes to election data graphics. The network uses several Vizrt Engine graphics platforms for graphics creation; datamining for onscreen graphics and charts is handled through the NBC technology department. “We want the entities to work together so that our election environment is streamlined,” Liebman said. As a news organization, Telemundo knows that much of its viewership is situated on the coasts, so the network is prepping for the ability to program news late into the night for West Coast viewers. “What was very successful in the last election was the tremendous amount of data we were able to use to really tell stories and convey to viewers what the status of the election numbers were,” he said. Oftentimes, the minute-by-minute returns that were coming in were driven by augmented reality

“What was very successful in the last election was the tremendous amount of data we were able to use to really tell stories and convey to viewers what the status of the election numbers were.” JEFFREY LIEBMAN, TELEMUNDO

storytelling, he said. This year, the Telemundo team has expanded that AR graphics team which plans to take advantage of the cavernous, twostory, glass foyer that hosts the Telemundo news space in Miami, which also serves as a production hub for other NBC properties. “That area gives us a lot of creative freedom that has proven ideal for things like AR,” Liebman said. “If a news program requires a

camera frameup of a wide expanse, that open space offers a breathtaking background for any number of creative possibilities,” he said. AR options may include an augmented reality version of Capitol Hill—appearing in the Miami building’s circular rotunda with its wide, winding staircase—in which the roof of the virtual Congressional dome flips open to reveal animated election numbers and statistics inside. The network also plans to make prodigious use of LED flatscreens in its election staging. “They are wonderful for storytelling and can be used easily as touchscreens,” Liebman said. “The significant use of AR graphics and LED technology ends up being much less expensive than constructing a huge stage,” he said. But even if you can put a lot of magic on the screen, the bottom line will always be about the content. “It’s about numbers and how NBC parcels out those graphic numbers in both English and in Spanish,” he said. “And it works.”

PROVIDING CONTEXT For Sinclair Broadcast Group, its 2022 election coverage will showcase its commitment to providing context that goes

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live production

Future Is Now With IP Production Recent necessities made IP a reality before anyone imagined By Bob Kovacs

come at a better time. “Live production over IP is a definite reality now,” said Ulrich Voigt, vice president for product management at Vizrt. “It has reached a level most of us did not expect.”

WASHINGTON—If you work for a broadcaster, you know that distribution over IP is supplanting SDI as the best practice, both for in-studio and remote activities. IP is simply the “better mousetrap,” with more flexibility than SDI, at costs that are no greater and often less. One of the interesting benefits of working in an IP production environment is that it is better understood by corporate IT departments than the traditional way of working in an SDI “island” that is strictly the concern of the television engineering staff. At a time when skilled broadcast engineers are retiring in great numbers, the transition to IP production infrastructures could not have

Liam Hayter, senior solutions architect for NewTek thinks he knows why the change happened so quickly. “[It’s] the acceptance of lightweight, highefficiency, and crucially low-latency softwarebased compression as an acceptable tool for broadcast,” he said. “Early in the IP transition, there was much chasing of uncompressed zerolatency IP delivery, but this becomes heavy and unwieldy—particularly when globally everyone, in every scenario, needed to work remotely.”

beyond a typical 15-second news sound bite. Its “Beyond the Podium” segments that will air as election coverage kicks off will showcase meaningful content that separates Sinclair from its competitors, said Scott Livingston, senior vice president of news for the station group. “As it has done with previous news

coverage, Sinclair stations will take advantage of social media platforms to gather our viewers’ questions for candidates, allowing for a more direct conversation from the local communities that Sinclair serves,” Livingston said. “We will also stream as many candidate press conferences and forums in real time on our digital platforms,” Livingston said, in an

CHANGING QUICKLY

Telemundo’s cavernous, two-story, glass foyer, which hosts the network’s news space in Miami, could also serve as the backdrop for AR graphics to illustrate election returns.

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As quickly as the IP production steamroller was upon us, that doesn’t mean it was easy or without growing pains. “There were several hurdles that needed to be overcome to make this a reality and they have been conquered for the most part,” said Steven Bilow, senior product marketing manager at Telestream. “For example, the nondeterminism of IP switching versus SDI used to be a big roadblock. But now, with technologies like ST 2110 and, especially for widely distributed sites, ST 2022-6, as well as ever-increasing format efficiency with technologies like JPEG-XS, these latencies have largely been overcome.” The inherent flexibility of IP has users and manufacturers thinking of ways to structure systems to capture and distribute signals in novel ways. Producers and content creators are pushing the technology into situations where SDI dares not go. “We believe completely in the cloud and IP’s ability to transform live production in a way that dramatically expands who and how video is produced and delivered,” said Paul Shen, CEO of TVU Networks. “It’s what drives us to keep creating—empowering content creators is at the core of everything we do.” One of Shen’s users is the Confederation of

effort to provide unmatched coverage on every platform in every market. Sinclair’s Capitol Hill bureau will provide daily stories on key topics and issues impacting the country while local resources will be leveraged to provide comprehensive coverage in important swing states. “We will also provide live coverage from Capitol Hill with our national interactive mapping to track the results across the country and the impact on the balance of power in Congress,” Livingston said Sinclair will also continue its “Connect to Congress” series, a multimedia initiative that kicked off in February that enables members of Congress in Sinclair’s news markets to speak directly to their constituents on a regular basis through their local TV news stations. The program relies on broadcast, digital and social media technologies to get viewers answers to local issues. Telemundo, Newsy and Sinclair share challenges facing nearly every news outlet come election night: breaking through the noise of so many virtual platforms. The way forward, each said, is to unearth fresh content for viewers and knowledgeably expand that news across platforms with the penultimate goal of helping the electorate make informed decisions. l



live production Independent Football Associations (CONIFA), a soccer organization based in Latin America. In June, CONIFA produced and broadcast the Copa América, a professional soccer tournament from the remote Chilean city of Linares, with practically no equipment, minimal personnel and on a shoestring budget. “With the TVU ecosystem, four or five people in different countries participating in production and transmission, a few pieces of basic equipment, and a couple of smartphones, we were able to stream live to the whole world from one small city in southern Chile,” said Diego Bartolotta, president of CONIFA Americas. “Before the Copa América, I was a bit incredulous that we could achieve a quality broadcast of a professional football game with only interconnected phones. But [this broadcast] totally changed my perspective.”

In late June, TVU Networks worked with CONIFA to successfully produce and broadcast a professional football tournament from the remote Chilean city of Linares, with practically no equipment, minimal personnel and at a low cost.

NO IMMEDIATE REPLACEMENT Although IP is now widely accepted for broadcast infrastructure, existing SDI cabling does not necessarily need to be replaced immediately. There are a few ways to keep both the IP and SDI gods happy. “With SDI/IP gateways, there is no immediate need to make SDI equipment obsolete,” said Chris Scheck, marketing content manager for Lawo. Hardly anyone is seriously considering this option, because their CFO wouldn’t like the idea, and because [in some situations] there is still no equivalent IP solution.” “The idea was always to phase out SDI naturally by no longer purchasing non-IP gear, but even that remains tricky as some tools are still firmly rooted in the SDI domain,” Scheck said. “What will happen, however is that SDI routers will disappear over time, because IP natives like Lawo’s .edge can replace them at a lower cost, while also offering almost unlimited scalability of the number of SDI inputs and outputs.” At least one vendor sees a healthy SDI universe in the foreseeable future. “As a big part of our business and an OEM supplier to major broadcast equipment manufacturers, we can confidently say that SDI is quite healthy,” said Francesco Scartozzi, vice president of sales and business development for Matrox Broadcast and Media Group. “That’s not to say that the IP is not being adopted, but SDI is still quite prevalent. At the lower end of the broadcast pyramid, SDI is very well suited, whether it’s for 3G SDI and 12G SDI for those moving toward 4K. As a supplier to those vendors, we can see these customers are refreshing all the SDI equipment with newer SDI equipment that

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now needs to handle not only HD-SDI but also the ability to go 4K.”

MONITOR AND MEASUREMENT Of course, high-quality broadcasts are not possible without tools to monitor and measure the quality of the signals. As the use of IP production has mushroomed in the past few years, manufacturers of test and measurement gear have been racing to make monitoring and measurement practical, and for it to make sense in a live production environment. “Point-to-point SDI connections used to be far easier to troubleshoot than IP connections. In some ways they still are,” Bilow said. “But the sophistication of tools, such as Telestream’s Inspect 2110 and PRISM, to allow proactive monitoring and problem identification in largescale media networks has come so far in the past five years that it’s now possible to identify and diagnose even complex problems in a reasonable amount of time.” Bridging current SDI systems to the IP world can be done with gear from a variety of vendors. One of the first to come up with a solution was NewTek, which developed its Network Device Interface (NDI) line of interfaces and processors. “Five years ago, ‘IP’ in broadcast mainly referred to the SMPTE ST 2110 family of standards, which is designed to be used onprem with mainly physical equipment,” Voight said. “If we look at IP production happening today, we see a clear mix of ST 2110 on-prem and NDI hybrid as on-prem and cloud. “We see NDI being used today at almost every large media entity, at least as ‘commodity’ IP production technology and ST 2110 for the high-end infrastructure,” he

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added. “The pandemic has been a catalyst to adopt NDI as one viable IP technology, as it was the only one supporting cloud, remote and work-from-home scenarios.”

NEW OPTIONS The people producing content focus on getting good images and sound, and combining them in interesting and entertaining ways. However, even they are discovering that IP gives them options that were never before available— or were hopelessly expensive or complex. For example, it’s easy to have bidirectional signals in an IP environment. And since IP is literally available everywhere, it is not a huge technical consideration to get a feed from India, Korea, Egypt or Peru. What was once complicated and expensive in a satellite uplink world is far easier and much cheaper with IP. The Covid pandemic pushed broadcasters to embrace IP production systems and techniques faster than they would have otherwise, but the reality is that the advantages of IP are obvious for at least larger productions. Depending on what you’re doing, it can definitely make sense for smaller productions as well. One final thought: SpaceX now has a constellation of thousands of satellites that can deliver modestly high-speed IP circuit anywhere in the world, and the company is adding satellites at the rate of 50-100 per month. With the ultimate goal of having tens of thousands of satellites and the capability to deliver upload/download speeds of more than 100 Mbps, this literally means that highquality video can originate from anywhere in the world. At a moment’s notice. Think of what clever content creators and video producers can do with that capability. l


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fall sports preview

Are You Ready for Some Football? What the networks have in store for the NFL season

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) runs with the ball while Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) blocks during a regular season NFL football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Detroit Lions on Dec. 19, 2021 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

By Mark R. Smith

BALTIMORE—As the 2022 NFL season gets underway this month, Michael Davies knows what’s at stake. The senior vice president of field operations for Fox Sports is contemplating new technical options on the road to the network’s 10th presentation of Super Bowl LVII to accentuate its broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 12, from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. What will they be? He doesn’t know yet, which means the crew “will try different things during the season that we will eventually use during the Super Bowl broadcast.

more for the B game. And we’ll try to ensure that every camera we use during a game is super slo-mo, except for A, B and C.” That means during a Super Bowl broadcast, which has in recent years included about 120 cameras, even the pylon cams (which all of the networks will employ) can be used for super slo-mo shots. That requires using software from the cloud. “How that works is pretty straightforward,” Davies shared. “You record the clip, send it up to the cloud and then it’s returned for air. Pylons, POVs, etc., can’t be super slo-mo, so we add that option with software, though we’re

Credit: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

REPLAY’S THE THING One area Davies plans to focus on en route, however, is the clarity and quality of replays. “Audiences are expecting more and more super slow motion, for that clear, smooth replay. We plan to expand that option by about 10% across the board,” he said, “so we may include a couple more replays for the A game on a given Sunday, for about 10 total; and maybe one

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“Audiences are expecting more and more super slow motion, for that clear, smooth replay.” MICHAEL DAVIES, FOX SPORTS

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getting closer to being able to do so natively. The bandwidth required has been the challenge.” Fox Sports primarily relies on Sony cameras and produces most games “in 1080p and sends the content out in 720p, aside from some key games during the season,” he said, such as the Thanksgiving and Christmas broadcasts, which will air in 1080p HDR. And for edgier shots, Davies said that Fox Sports and the other networks are continuing to work with the league on refining its drone program. As it’s happened, broadcasting for another league is providing insights. “We’re still figuring out how to handle drones in the NFL, though we’re doing it extensively with our USFL broadcasts, which basically serve as a ‘Petri dish’ for the NFL,” he said. “So drones will be part of our coverage one way or another. We use one per game.” For audio, Fox is using six parabolic mics around the field, but the league also requires the networks to work with NFL Films. “The NFL has allowed microphones to be put on centers and guards, for example,” said Davies, “and as part of the process, NFL Films provides the player audio for effects at the line. So, they typically mic the players and get us the audio, and we feather this in with audio we get from traditional systems, like our parabolic microphones and shotgun mics, from Skycams among many others placed around the field.” Production techniques will be fine-tuned as the season progresses, Davies added.

PYL-ING ON CBS Sports is planning on refining picture quality and take advantage of advances in data tracking, according to Jason Cohen, vice president of remote technical operations, who pointed to the network’s moves last season to accentuate the shallow depth of field “with a cinematic quality” via the Sony F5500 and Steadicam. He also discussed last year’s collaboration with the NFL and Second Spectrum to use next-generation data to track player movement via a chip that was embedded in a given player’s shoulder pad. That led to CBS featuring “RomoVision” and winning an Emmy Award for technical achievement. “That data can be leveraged in many ways,” he said, “and RomoVision gives us the X’s and O’s on how players ran routes and why a play worked­—or didn’t.” The next big thing on Cohen’s radar is its enhanced pylon system. “Traditionally there have been cameras out of each of three [of the four] pylons set in each end zone. This season, CBS has partnered with C360 that uses one 4K camera from each of four pylons that has


ESPN camera crew during a Monday Night Football game at AT&T Stadium.

an embedded 191-degree sensor,” Cohen said, “which allows us to follow action seamlessly into the end zone, instead of having to keep switching cameras.”

REBUILT TO LAST ESPN’s EN1, the main truck in its five-truck compound has received a complete overhaul and upgrade to SMPTE 2110 according to

Jimmy Platt, director of Monday Night Football. The update includes 27 new Sony 5500s, which will give the “Monday Night Football” broadcast “a more cinematic feel,” said Platt; plus four Sony 4800s and two F5500s; and new Canon lenses, featuring 122xs and 24xs. Almost all of ESPN’s 52 cameras, including 19 manned, will offer high frame rates “with an average of 6x for replay,” he said, adding that

graphics “will remain the same, with a slightly more robust approach via augmented reality.” Platt said EN1’s new design “will be like walking into the same house, yet like walking into a new one,” adding that the broadcast will be sent back to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., “in 1080p HDR, as we’ve done for several years, with viewers seeing it in 1080p.” NBC is also adding more slo-mo, pylons and graphics as part of an evolving approach with “Sunday Night Football.” “This year, we’ll have an additional super slow-motion reverse camera angle that will cover game action [from] a new perspective,” said Rob Hyland, coordinating producer. “We have also added pylon cameras in each end zone, as well as RF line to gain cameras on the near and far sidelines.” Adding separate or offering new looks during this season’s NFL broadcasts will be the recurring theme among the major carriers on the way to Feb 12. “Overall, we’re just marching to Super Bowl LVII, knowing that new options will manifest themselves during the season,” Davies said. “There’s still much in discussion.” l

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Credit: Allen Kee/ESPN Images

fall sports preview


lighting technology

The Ongoing Evolution of LED Lights It's no longer just about the amount of light, but about the quality of the light

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incandescent light is f all the a dinosaur. From an cultural energy standpoint, advances LEDs are roughly that have eight times more fostered humanity, efficient than tungthe most important sten-halogen lamps. may have been the “Two steps forward discovery of fire. The and one step back” ability to harness is the dance of techthe heat and light of nological innovation. fire helped elevate EXPERTISE So, it is with lighting. humanity from BRUCE Early LED fixtures just another speALEKSANDER remind me of the cies scrambling for dawning of the automotive age. survival, to become spacefarers. Carl Benz’s first car was basiHarnessing light is a quest that cally an internal-combustion threads its way through history— engine bolted to a horseless LEDs being the latest chapter in carriage. Likewise, early LED that story. fixtures were little more than flat The development of LEDs boards with rows of LEDs. The follows a repeating path of light more sophisticated efforts were source breakthroughs. In previous clusters of LEDs packed in the eras, oil lamps, gas lighting and shells of traditional incandescent incandescent fixtures all went fixtures. In retrospect today, these through a process of becomwere clunky, if significant steps ing more refined and perfected forward. during their time. Right now, LEDs are just emerging from the awkward teenage years. THE CASE OF THE In evolutionary terms, the LED FRESNEL advent of LED is nothing short Many of the refinements that of a revolution. By comparison, we had in the classic incandes-

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cent versions of “workhorse” light fixtures have suffered in the transition. One case in point is the LED Fresnel, because today’s version has a completely different optical path than the incandescent one. By comparison, lighthouses from two centuries ago have better optical design than today’s LED Fresnels. Those who work with “classic” studio lights will have noticed that only a few inches in the middle of LED Fresnel lens are now illuminated at “flood.” It still works, but because the area of illuminated lens is so small, the beam no longer “wraps” the face. As with all lights, the relative size of the illuminated aperture directly impacts the quality of the shadows. Such nuances may seem minor, but they are also the subtle tools of lighting as an art. Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change." Nature tries out many designs in evolution with a randomness that’s been described as a stag-

gering drunken sailor. Apparently, so do some designers. We’re seeing that play out now with some novel, and occasionally brilliant, designs. As in nature, only the adaptable ones survive. Advances in LED chip density and optical design are leading these changes. Lumen-per-watt performance has already outpaced the original Department of Energy’s hypothetical limits. Likewise, the bar for acceptable color has been raised to near perfection. The shape of light fixtures reflects its component’s parts. The industry started with Dual In-Line Package (DIP) LEDs, which naturally gave us the original flat-panel “soft” lights. Since then LEDs have evolved at a breathtaking rate. The best we have today are Surface-Mounted Diode (SMD) and Chip-on-Board (COB) LEDs. The density and brightness of these LEDs is increasing the way that computer chips did in their early days, but the luminous capsule is still quite large compared to either arc or incandescent lamps. That’s limited the optical design potential of fixtures to date, but the components themselves are evolving with the clearing of each technical hurdle.

COLOR TAKES CENTER STAGE It’s no longer just the amount of light, but the quality of the light. Color has taken the center stage. LEDs are a discontinuous spectrum source and getting the right color mix is complicated. Like a dish out of a gourmet kitchen, it’s the mix of quality ingredients that create the desired taste. Likewise, the best light fixtures today are made by those who understand the nuanced recipes for beautiful color. The worst examples are like cold burgers from a fast-food chain: Slightly green and sickly-looking. Both LEDs and camera sensors are discontinuous spectrum devices, so getting the right light to stimulate the sensors requires an informed understanding. Lights interact with cameras almost as paired devices. If the spectral fre-


lighting technology quencies don’t match up, nothing looks right. Fortunately, there is a shorthand way to evaluate the color quality of light fixtures. Color quality distinguishes the best from the rest. CRI (Color Rendering Index) and TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) scores will give you a reasonably accurate basis for comparing light fixtures: a “perfect” score for CRI and TLCI is 100. Anything over 90 is fairly good, but scores of 95 or higher are considered the new benchmark for excellence. There are quite a few competing scales evaluating color quality, but CRI and TLCI scores are readily available from most manufacturers today. This, too, will change over time. Still using incandescent and fluorescent? The clock is ticking. With the ongoing lamp industry consolidations and changes, you

will one day find that replacement studio fluorescent lamps are simply unavailable. I’ve already seen some sites selling “gently used” fluorescent lamps—if your management needs to see the writing on the wall to move forward, consider them. Besides, your anchors shouldn’t have to dodge red hot shards of glass from exploding incandescent lamps. To help with the transition, some manufacturers are offering LED upgrade kits for their earlier lights. This could be a good choice for fixtures with good, original build-quality. I applaud the effort to find a more sustainable equipment life cycle. Reusability makes good sense.

THE CHANGING SHAPES OF LIGHT FIXTURES Generations of professional use and refinement have given us the traditional lighting fixtures that serve the industry today. But the advent of any new light source, such as LED, brings unique requirements that require new shapes. One such new form has been the “mono-light” lamp-head. Mono-lights use either proprietary or universal accessory mounts (such as Bowens) to accept a broad range of accessories. These fixtures are designed to emulate the qualities of single-purpose light fixtures with a matching attachment. They offer an adaptability that reminds me

Still using incandescent and fluorescent? The clock is ticking.

of a Swiss Army Knife: some of the “tools” work passably well, but none are the equal of the single-purpose version. I can’t imagine a grip truck filled with them but they will offer more utility for those working out of their car trunks. One multi-tool doesn’t do everything, any more than one size fits all. Perhaps it’s fine for a travel kit, but not for lighting a full studio. And so, we’re in the midst of great change in our lighting tools. This evolution will eventually lead to a clarification of form, but we’re a long way off from the equilibrium we had in the era of incandescent. The one constant we have today is our need to tell our stories—a task for which lighting continues to play a key role. l Bruce Aleksander invites comments from those interested in lighting at TVLightingguy@hotmail.com.


rf technology

Learning About RF Doug shares his RF knowledge from more than 50 years in the industry

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Credit: Getty Images

other RF topics non-engineers s I approach my 300th would find useful. RF Technology column One thing that helps in gaining for TV Tech, I thought an understanding of how RF works it might be useful is finding ways to see it work. to describe some of the things Radio frequency electromagnetic I’ve learned in more than 50 fields are similar in many ways to years of working with broadcast much higher frequency energy, transmitters. Throughout my such as light. Just as buildings career, I worked with concepts block some light and create shadand systems that were difficult to ows, they also block RF. understand, but through experiEXPERTISE However, the shadows are not ence and help from experts I was Doug Lung completely dark, as some light finds fortunate to meet I was able to its way in by reflection from other understand them better. objects and scattering in the atYou’ve probably had similar mosphere. RF behaves the same way, although experiences, from things as basic as learning to the amount of reflection and scattering in drive to creating spreadsheets on a computer the atmosphere will vary with frequency and or configuring an IP network. One element of wavelength, which is the frequency divided by this is being able to understand how these systhe speed of light. tems or tasks work on an almost intuitive level. That provides the basis for additional learning and expertise even across different fields. COMPARING RF TO LIGHT I’ve found many people who have built Like light, RF energy can be focused. In a good understanding of IT are also transmit antennas, this concentrates the quick learners when it comes to RF syspower on the ground and can be used tems. Over the years, I’ve noticed more to target specific areas while avoiding of my readers are not engineers with others where coverage isn’t needed RF backgrounds, but people, often with or interference has to be reduced. In experience in other fields, who are inreceive antennas, the focusing provides terested in RF. This month’s column is gain, which, like a telescope, increasfor them, as I’ll be covering some basic es the intensity of the signal coming principles. If you have had experience from one direction and reduces signals with RF, I welcome your comments on from other directions that may cause

Doug has installed a number of transmitters and antennas throughout the U.S., and worked on the antenna design for One World Trade Center.

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interference. As RF frequencies increase and wavelength decreases to a millimeter or less, antennas can even start looking like optical devices. At satellite and microwave frequencies, parabolic reflectors are commonly used. These also turn out to be quite effective at light and infrared wavelengths, as anyone who has had an LNB cover melt when the sun moved behind the satellite the dish was looking at knows.

ANTENNAS AND WAVELENGTH Keeping in mind the relationship between frequency and wavelength can also help in evaluating antennas. Antennas that have to work on lower frequencies, like low-band VHF-TV (54–88 MHz), FM radio (88–108 MHz), have to be larger than those used for high-VHF TV (174–216 MHz) or UHF TV (470–608 MHz) to work efficiently. This doesn’t mean small antennas won’t work at the lower frequencies for reception, just that the antenna itself will be less efficient. One solution is to add an amplifier. However, the amplifier will add its own noise, reducing sensitivity, and because the small antenna will be less directional (focused) it will pick up more surrounding noise and interference. For best results, a low-noise amplifier should be located at the antenna where it can offset the loss in the line to the TV and provide a good match to the line. On the transmit side, matching the resonant frequency and impedance of the antenna to the transmitter is more important. Without getting into the math, matching the impedance is like connecting two pipes of the same


rf technology diameter together with the faucet on one end supplying water at the optimum rate for the pipe and the device (say, a turbine in this analogy) at the other end. The water flows smoothly with the least amount of loss. The same analogy applies in a system with a transmitter, transmission line and antenna. However, if the impedance of the components isn’t matched, it will lead to excessive current (causing heating) and voltage (potentially causing arcing) at different points in the system, depending on wavelength. Most broadcast systems are well-matched, unless the antenna is damaged so problems are more likely to occur when a connector starts to lose contact, increasing loss and heat leading to contamination in the line, perhaps due to carbon created by overheating from a bad contact. In most cases failures will create a mismatch in the line, which can be located at the base of the tower either by sending a very short pulse up the line and looking for the time it takes for the return reflection, or sweeping the frequency across a band of frequencies (and different wavelengths) and looking at the time domain response across the frequencies. Because these measurements involve “sweeping” between frequencies, this is often called “sweeping the line.”

TV ANTENNA SPECS DEBUNKED One of the things that bugs me when reading reviews for TV antennas or looking at ads is comparisons based on range in miles or antenna gains that include a built-in amplifier. More responsible manufacturers will include the gain of the antenna at different channels. Most are based on gain above an isotropic antenna (without going into details, a “perfect” antenna) as “dBi” rather than gain above a dipole or “dBd” (like a set of rabbit ears with total length of half a wavelength). Gain in dBi will be 2.15 dB higher than gain in dBd. Ideally the specifications will specify whether the gain is in dBi or dBd. The range numbers in antenna ads should be ignored, as they eliminate too many factors, such as the height of the transmit antenna above ground. Just as light diminishes quickly after the sun sets, when the transmitter’s antenna is below the radio horizon the signal will drop off quickly. Google my TV Tech column “Estimating Coverage: Quick Analysis for Facility Mods,” for more information. For a transmit antenna 2,000 feet above average terrain, the radio horizon is 63.3 miles away. As the signal drops off quickly beyond this distance (as with light past sunset) ranges of more than 70 miles only would apply from mountaintop to mountaintop or for very high transmitter sites.

I’ve found many people who have built a good understanding of IT are also quick learners when it comes to RF systems. EXPERIMENTING WITH RF The best way to get comfortable with RF is to experiment with it. While difficult to do on the transmitter side (unless you are a licensed amateur radio operator) there is a lot that can be done on the receive side. Google my article “Inexpensive Tools for RF Field Measurements” for more information. The Airspy Software Defined Radio (SDR) is a great way to explore the RF spectrum. It cannot demodulate broadcast TV signals, but it will show the TV signal’s spectrum and signal strength. A handheld spectrum analyzer like the TinySA (Google my column “tinySA: Finding Interference and Aiming Antennas”) is

a great way to explore RF spectrum. I got an email from a reader who was seeing some odd behavior picking up distant stations in Chicago. He was interested in trying out different antennas and locations, so I suggested he get a tinySA. He did and is now able to see how antenna type, orientation and location impact the signal. He noticed the ripple (“spikes”) and I explained those were due to reflections. With a bit of time and tinySA, he now understands more about TV reception than many people today who work in broadcasting. A clarification: In my article “RF at the NAB Show—ATSC 3.0, Part 1” I said Saankhya Labs developed their multi-standard ATSC 3.0 tuner in cooperation with Coherent Logic. Vasanth Shreesha from Saankyha said, “The Saankhya ATSC 3.0 receivers use our own chipset (SL3000 or SL4000)” and they were not developed by Coherent Logic.” l Email me at dlung@transmitter.com. I try to answer all emails promptly, but if I’m busy and the email gets buried, I might miss it. If you don’t get a response within a week or so, email me again.


cloudspotter’s journal

Doing Your Homework When Selecting a Cloud Service Provider Asking the right questions to gain access to the right tools and services

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egacy IT infrastructures cations (such as ERP, supply can no longer provide chain management or human those needed services that resources)? Or is the potential will allow the organicloud provider a technical comzation to remain competitive. pute-centric solution provider Continuing to add expensive (such as high-performance hardware in order to maintain computing—HPC or data and/or massive IT-centric data centers database analytics). Perhaps your are gradually, if not assuredly, organization’s needs are focused coming to an end. As evidence on marketing or web-scaled apof this trend, according to IDC, plications such as ecommerce or EXPERTISE worldwide spending on public mobile? Do you have an explicit Karl Paulsen cloud services grew 26% in 2019 need to support social networkto a total of $233.4 billion, up from $185.2 ing or video streaming and delivery services? billion in 2018 (Oracle’s “IaaS for Dummies,” 5th edition). CLOUD-TO-CLOUD OR SINGLE SOURCE Those users who are ready to migrate Be sure you know the nature and best apservices to the cloud need to understand and proaches on how the cloud providers’ services even directly ask their potential cloud service match your needs. You may find that more providers some important questions. than a single service provider will be required, thus you need to know if there are means to interact with more than one cloud provider— KNOW YOUR NEEDS that is “cloud-to-cloud” services. Fundamentally one needs to understand If you’re in the media and entertainment which types of applications your potenindustry and you plan to provide live cloud tial provider would be set up to run. Know production services, can the actual appliand itemize what your (the user’s) needs cations you need or will enable be usable in will be. Are those needs enterprise appli-

that cloud? What are those costs to implement the ground-to-cloud solutions initially? And what will be the expected usage periods for cost of operations?

NOT ALWAYS EQUAL Noting further that some providers may indeed suggest that their cloud is engineered to support every application, which will, in turn, require a bit more investigation on your part to assure that your needs are best suited in their cloud vs. another’s cloud. Remember, not all clouds are created equal. Fig. 1 provides examples found today in many of the cloud provider services, some of which may be useful in live M&E applications; and other services may need to be created to support the specifics of certain use cases—including live “production in the cloud.” The next major decision is to investigate the effort, costs and requirements to migrate your applications to the cloud. Again, looking at the M&E model for live production, know what is required to move the live studio or field content into the cloud, including minimum and maximum bandwidth needed, the content compression expectations, and especially the overall set of latencies that will be expected. A live music video concert will have completely different requirements compared to a remote sporting venue or a talking head interview with guests that are half a globe away from the primary cloud’s site.

SCALE, PERFORMANCE AND CONTROL Another consideration is the scale of the environment. Users or service providers should not be expected to rewrite your (or their) applications in order to fit their cloud agenda. Performance and control are equally important compared with or against the other objectives such as compression and latency.

SPECIALIZED ADAPTATION

Fig. 1: A depiction of cloud system solutions shows future and current applications typical to systems such as project management, construction or implementation.

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As cloud adoption increases, operating expenses for managing an organization’s IT components also will grow in complexity. This is similar, to a degree, for cloud implementation. Users should engage a cloud provider that is simple and straightforward


to manage; minor changes, typical in live production applications, should be easy to alter or augment without having to engage a consultant or third party to make those adjustments. Do scripts and updates require a knowledgeable human who knows the cloud’s operating environment in detail or are changes allowed using a simplified set of menus? Furthermore, changes should be expressed in billable dollars—that is, what will it cost to make those changes and for how long will those costs be expected in terms of length of run time or upticks in computer processing costs?

CHANGE IS EXPECTED How automated are those changes going to be and how long does it take to “spin up” those changes? How will those changes impact the databases? Are these system-wide, autonomous or some other factor to functionality going to “upset the applecart” or run the risk of collapse and/or create a reduction in performance? How much “manual labor” will be needed to install, update, adjust or monitor the applications you expect or need to run? Given the topics expressed earlier, does the primary cloud service provider offer a multi-cloud solution? Can and how are loads distributed should there be a crash or a need to connect across global regions? Is your cloud provider in a competitive mode or just a simple service provider mode? If multi-cloud operations appear to yield better performance capabilities, do both sections of the two cloud providers play nice together or will there be hurdles (costs, egress, performance) that must be overcome that might not yield a net-net benefit?

predict the costs for all the services they need. For example, be sure that at the conclusion of a particular service experience that unnecessary services are terminated and shut off to preclude the continual “meter is still running” impact. But also understand the balance of any “startup” costs that would be incurred as the session starts up or is being configured. In other words, costs can creep in from any corner of the equation or operation—be certain these costs are identified, are manageable and can be mitigated during times when the services are not in active duty.

COST, SECURITY AND TRUST

CONTRACT CONSIDERATIONS

Security is always of concern, whether on prem or in the cloud. Do the expected cloud provider’s security practices allow for harmonization, or do they conflict with each other? Can your potential provider be configured to mesh with corporate security practices? Is zero-trust a mandated practice within your organization and will the cloud provider’s practices align with those policies? Will the security practices be easy to accomplish, or will there need to be overlapping tools employed that could reduce performance, increase complexity or add latency to the live applications? Costs are always inherently a part of the delivery equation. Pricing models are often confusing and, in some cases, will put additional layers of costs especially when moving data into the cloud and then extracting. Users should insist they fully understand and can

Extensible, contractual costs may help mitigate the larger expenditures, but understand those contract expectations before engaging. If your service does not pan out from a benefit perspective, be certain you can back out of the contract easily and without additional penalties. Also, since services are continually adjusted or added to for each cloud provider, you may find that, after six months of services, another new provider now offers similar services at less cost—and you should be ready or prepared to move providers if the overall savings are worth the effort.

Fig. 2: Overall systems available in cloud computing and distribution or communications solutions to end user devices. Note example services shown include “platform” considered “PaaS” and “infrastructure” as “IaaS.”

CODE AND EFFICIENCIES

design for the services are keys to ensuring sufficient profitability and use of cloud services. Leveraging the time, cost and resources are the pinnacle to success in a cloud service implementation. Like any three-legged triangle, each leg of this “stool” must support other remaining legs. Traditional practices used in the development of these new cloud-based applications will typically be too slow or too cumbersome when deployed as a “cloud-native” solution, so expect to spend time, money and resources in finding new means to deploy your applications and needs. Monitoring and continual analysis of the complete solution will become a new factor in the implementation of any enterprise-grade cloud solution. If your new potential service provider offers these tools, learn how and when to use them—they will be necessary to ensure that peak performance for least cost can be achieved and monitored. Cloud services (as shown in Fig. 2) mean users need to rethink the business and technology approaches to their business. When reaching out beyond the cloud provider’s traditional services, be certain you ask all the questions of each potential provider. Get the best answers you can and then be sure the contract(s) you engage in meet those expectations. l

Applications require code and developing the efficiency of that code is paramount to improving the performance of the cloud services employed. Having the right tools and

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.

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virtual reality

Metaverse or Metamucil? How can our expertise in broadcast tech help us understand the next big thing? By Dennis Baxter

Credit: Getty Images

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n my search to understand what the metaverse is and how it might apply to broadcasting, I have found a suitable definition that describes the metaverse as technologies that are a creative platform used for developing enhanced experiences. Sounds something like ATSC 3.0. If the metaverse is a computer-assisted production platform, then I can see broadcasters embracing computer-enhanced productions using limited goggle-based augmented reality to supplement the broadcaster’s content. For example, the content producer might let the consumer experience a lap around the racetrack or take a swing at the pitch of a major league athlete. Traditional broadcasting is still dependent on seeing the picture with support from the sound. The metaverse is described as where the

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consumer goes beyond looking into the digital space to also moving through and interacting with the space. To achieve this fully immersive experience, the metaverse seems to depend on the cocoon-type experience necessary to control and stimulate the senses. As with television, the metaverse seems to still be tied to basic human senses such as sight and hearing,

The metaverse is described as where the consumer goes beyond looking into the digital space to also moving through and interacting with the space.

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but perhaps the metaverse will include taste, touch and smell. So, what role or influence will the metaverse play in the broadcasting space?

ALERTED BY SOUND Without much consideration I conclude that the metaverse is in conflict with broadcasting because the metaverse is computer-rendered into the VR, AR, XR and MR space, which requires a different level of attention than what broadcasters currently expect. For example, sports broadcasting is often a shared experience. I would argue that most consumers are not particularly interested in The Super Bowl, but the event provides an opportunity to drink, eat and socialize, and clearly television is perfect for sports because the consumer never misses anything. The consumer is alerted by the sound that something eventful has taken place and the producer is obligated to show multiple replays with endless commentary of the play, the strategy and the game along with a lot of unnecessary laughing. Additionally, news and hosted programs such as talk shows and sports are often consumed in the background. Essentially a lot of television is a low-attention pastime and I argue that consumers like it that way as opposed to a goggle-intensive experience. Recently I heard a newscast that stated the metaverse is “the future of the internet.” I guess it could also be argued that, if the metaverse is the future of the internet, then by logical


virtual reality extrapolation it could be reasoned that the future of broadcasting may be linked to the metaverse since ATSC 3.0 is built on internet protocols. If the future of broadcasting is 3D, then the metaverse and internet may be a path forward from 2D to 3D visuals. The concept of the metaverse as a production platform seems plausible with a goggle experience like VR, however research has shown that people still want to watch television on the big screen. The metaverse has also been described as moving beyond just looking at a screen or picture to also interacting with that screen or picture. It is possible for computers to generate believable graphic content for a fully immersive goggle experience, but in my mind, this is more of a gaming experience than a passive viewing experience like watching drama, movies, news or sports.

TELLY-VERSE Perhaps the metaverse is an “extended reality” that has already been contemplated by television engineers and producers. Hypedup and interactive sound seems to be defined and described by the metaverse as well as the “telly-verse.” I see the convergence of sensory technologies and use of extended data enhancements as “Next Generation Television” and not defined by a meandering definition of a bold new meta-universe promising nirvana. Perhaps future broadcasting experiences will also include the additional senses of smell, taste and touch, which clearly benefit an extended reality approach to television. I think the metaverse relates to television in a way that you can “dial-in” or vary the experience. For example, the addition of smell to a cooking show delivers more entertainment value than the smell of a locker room. Dial in more smell or turn off the smell-o-rama. As contemplated, the metaverse certainly will impact many areas of our lives and be beneficial in education, travel experiences and training. I envision that the metaverse will piggyback and augment the televized entertainment experience and provide broadcasters additional tools that give complete control over the consumer’s entertainment and educational experience. The metaverse will not define future broadcast experiences, but it will refine the actual reality of the broadcast experience. 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” and “Immersive Sound Production—A Practical Guide” on Focal Press. He can be reached at dbaxter@dennisbaxtersound.com.

AND KVM FEELS RIGHT. G&D is quality you can feel. When working in the control room. With every click. When installing the server racks or at the workplaces. In 4K or 8K. Dedicated or over IP. G&D simply feels right.

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tomorrow’s newsroom

Audio and the Evolution of the TV News Team How stations are adapting to the new normal By John Davis

NEW BERN, N.C.—Gone are the newscasts of yesterday when one person ran the Chyron, another person ran the switcher, yet another on the mixer, and several technicians along with a director and producer overseeing cast, cameras and live breaking updates. Today, many of those jobs are done by the producer, the director and perhaps a teleprompter operator, who may or may not double as a presenter. That’s two or three people with their heads on a swivel trying to manage all the work once done by seven or more people during a typical newscast. The TV news team has evolved and so has the audio mixing system in six key areas.

Credit: Wheatstone

ALL PART OF THE WORKFLOW Audio is a workflow: Production automation systems now manage audio as part of a workflow that needs to be coded, normalized for levels, and slotted in as elements in the newscast. This has been true for some time in larger markets, but hometown news operations are now also adopting these systems. Bringing audio into the overall production workflow as an element, rather than mixing as you go, requires a much tighter working relationship between the audio mixer and the automation system. For this reason, AoIP console systems today interface easily to the automation and some also provide a means for fully integrating the automation and mixer into one native IP audio environment. Motorized faders are the new VU Meter: Those swiveling heads now doing many different jobs rely on motorized faders tracked to the automation to indicate that newscasts are going along smoothly. Consoles that have motorized faders let producers monitor the faders as they fly and make adjustments when needed. Occasional mix-ups: The two or three newscasts produced in the day of a television station are typically done with production automation whereas for the occasional news

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Bringing audio into the overall production workflow as an element, rather than mixing as you go, requires a much tighter working relationship between the audio mixer and the automation system. report or sporting event, hands-on mixing is generally the norm. Today’s newsroom console has evolved to include more backend functions on the AoIP network and more upfront functions on the surface. Tactile faders on the one hand and touchscreens on the other make it easier to adjust EQ, fix levels and mix in feeds for the producer or director who is busy

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making sure talent is hitting all their marks and the robotic cameras are pointed in the right direction.

FEWER PERSONNEL The shrinking news studio: Virtual production sets continue the great downsizing of the news studios and with this comes a much smaller console. Consoles that used to take up half a room now take up half a desk, thanks in part to AoIP networking. AoIP carries much of the load that once sat on the console and simplifies the layout of the board overall. No audio operator onboard: The person overseeing the audio is likely to be the same one running the video switcher, and both of those duties are likely to fall to the sole producer on set. Bottom line: the news studio console has evolved to be far easier to navigate than ever before. IP accessibility rules: Booking satellite time for a guest interview and rushing them over to a studio for a three-minute segment is so 2019. Web conferencing is in along with IP overall, and embedders/de-embedders and HD/SDI are out. By connecting routing, mixing and studio control through Ethernet cabling, AoIP opens up accessibility and gets rid of outdated wiring and layers of audio infrastructure. For example, we’re seeing more and more stations that are dropping an I/O Blade (which are basically our AoIP access units) at various mic or talent workstations in the studio and then running a cable back to a central rack room. We’re also seeing more stations connecting the wall of plug-in mics and other auxiliary XLR devices to the control room using something like our WheatNet-IP highdensity I/O Stagebox One and a cable. AoIP mixing consoles come with expansive IP audio networks that can scale all the way up to several network elements and geographic locations, such as across a WAN for use in REMI or other remote broadcast applications. l John Davis is a support and systems engineer for Wheatstone.


eye on tech | product and services Avid Avid Media Production in the Cloud

Vizrt Group NDI 5.5

Avid’s Avid Media Production in the Cloud solution is designed to streamline distributed TV news and sports production. Avid Media Production in the Cloud allows teams to leverage their existing MediaCentral workflows, along with integrated Avid NEXIS cloud storage and Avid’s MediaCentral | Stream IP ingest solution, all from the cloud. The combination of these tools enables journalists in the field to quickly access, edit and publish content. Teams can use Avid’s MediaCentral | Collaborate and other iOS and browser apps to plan and contribute to stories remotely while tracking all aspects of story production. MediaCentral’s openness gives editors the flexibility to choose Avid Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro to start working immediately on material as it comes in for fast turnaround of stories that are ready to air and stream across broadcast and digital outlets. z For more information, visit www.avid.com.

NDI 5.5 is Vizrt’s latest update to its media over IP protocol, offering new routing tools, enhanced audio capabilities, improved features, and performance on remote connections. NDI 5.5 supports the needs of cloud, on-premises, and hybrid workflows in applications across broadcast and beyond. It boasts simple but effective changes to the NDI tools launcher, allowing more control by users, faster connections with talkback when bringing in remote video sources via NDI Remote, multiple source support in NDI Webcam, and more. NDI Router, an all-new, free-to-use app in the NDI Tools suite, allows users to route NDI sources as custom inputs to selected outputs with a simple click. NDI AudI/O now allows SDK users to connect any audio device as an NDI source without the need to use third party software applications and use instead as an independent source, significantly simplifying workflows, saving time and removing a layer of complexity. z For more information, visit https://www.ndi.tv.

AJA Video Mini-Config v2.26.4 Update

Digital Nirvana Trance 4.0

Mini-Config v2.26.4 is a free software update for AJA’s line of Mini-Converters, covering a broad range of 4K, HD, and SD conversion needs spanning broadcast, production, post, and proAV. The update adds input signal preprocessing controls to HA5-12G and HA5-4K Mini-Converters, allowing professionals to accept sources with high jitter. A simple Frame Rate Converter (FRC) that uses a frame drop/frame repeat methodology to convert integer input video frame rates to non-integer (e.g. p60 to p59.94) or non-integer to integer (e.g. p59.94 to p60) has been added to HA5-Plus and HA5-Fiber Mini-Converters. Also added is a 1.5G-SDI Internal Signal Generator that enables 12G-AM and 12G-AMA Mini-Converters to allow the embedder path to function without the need to connect a source to the SDI input. HDR and Colorimetry metadata are now also displayed for these models in Mini-Config. z For more information visit www.aja.com.

Trance 4.0, Digital Nirvana’s self-service SaaS tool for transcription, closed captioning and subtitle generation now includes elaborate account management, modular rights for users and advanced pro-captioning window for enterprises and individual users. With its new modular application approach, Trance 4.0 can be used as a combined or individual tool for transcription, captioning, text localization or conformance of existing captions. The new and improved transcription window can also now be used as a standalone app rather than being part of a three-step transcription, captioning and subtitling workflow that only outputs after each step is completed. Updates to the pro-captioning window make it more user-friendly and efficient. Machine-generated timecodes can be adjusted using spectrogram and manual inputs and the window now enables users to upload media, generate automatic captions and display using desired presets defined by the user or organization. z For more information, visit https://digital-nirvana.com.

Marketron ROI Calculator

Brightline LED Upgrade Kit For Fluorescent Fixtures

Marketron’s ROI Calculator is for broadcasters who want to measure the success of their ad campaigns against competing media companies. For broadcasters, two aspects make up revenue projections: over-the-air (OTA) revenue and third-party (audience extension) digital revenue. The calculator helps broadcasters look into the future of their revenue and understand the impact of third-party digital, especially if the station isn’t currently selling it. The tool allows users to create realistic projections for OTA and third-party digital revenue based on the broadcaster’s 2021 actuals. Using information from BIA Advisory Services, eMarketer, and other industry sources, the calculator takes the data entered and projects revenue for both inventory types through 2024. z For more information, visit www.marketron.com.

Brightline’s new all-in-one retrofit package allows customers to upgrade existing S1.2 and S1.4 fluorescent fixtures to LED lighting, offering extended fixture life, maintenance savings and lower energy usage. The simple design of the do-it-yourself (DIY) kit makes it possible to upgrade the fixtures in minutes. The kit costs 25% of the purchase price of a new LED fixture, and Brightline has announced a disposal program for old fixtures, offering a $75 refund for each.. The DIY kit contains everything needed to upgrade Brightline fluorescent fixtures, regardless of age, type of dimming or control and includes a new fixture, back, front cartridge, diffusion, mounting bracket and all necessary screws. z For more information, visit https://brightlines.com. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | September 2022

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equipment guide | audio

Tomorrowland Taps Lawo mc² for Boundless Flexibility and Reach USER REPORT By Bart Ooms CEO Knallen Maar!

ANTWERP, Belgium—Tomorrowland, one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world, held its 2022 Summer edition during the last three weekends in July. As a service provider for production companies, public and private broadcasters and top-tier events, we were asked by Euro Media Group (EMG) to take care of the “Mainstage” sound for TV broadcasts and radio streams from a big OB truck stationed behind the main stage. While some people might think Tomorrowland is just another EDM festival with simple left and right stereo feeds from the DJ booths and a few ambient mics, the Tomorrowland team continuously strives to surpass itself. This year’s three weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) were among the most complex music events on the planet for audio and video distribution. We used about 180 input channels on our mc²56 console to handle the sources coming from the main stage. Three other stages were connected to their own dedicated mc²56-equipped OB truck, and the remaining 12 stages provided at least five audio channels consisting of the DJ outputs, ambience microphones and a voice mix for radio purposes. Yet another big OB truck with a large mc²56 desk served as the main transmission and distribution hub.

recording of their live performances. Most of the close-camera microphones were mixed using the mc²56’s AFV feature (audio follows video) to perfectly match the fast video cutting approach for up-tempo music. Audio signals were assigned to a dozen summing and group busses and routed to the designated video recording devices and V__pro8 embedders via VSM. From there, the signals went to the final control room at the Media Village over an external high-speed audio network.

DOLBY ATMOS We also used this network to transmit and receive audio signals to/from the Dolby Atmos control room where the immersive mix was prepared on yet another mc²56 console. That control room received our main ambience mix and additional FX microphone signals. The Dolby Atmos mix stems were transmitted back to the OB truck behind the main stage for Dolby Atmos encoding and decoding. We used several V__pro8 devices to de-embed these signals and send them to the mc²56 where they were mixed—along with the required commercials—into the main transmission busses, again using the AFV algorithm. We embedded the resulting bus signals using

a V__pro8 and transmitted the result to the main control room at the Media Village. All audio signals from all stages were mixed and distributed as stems and groups from the mc²56 and processing core and handed over to Belgian radio stations and the rest of the world. What I like most about Lawo mc² consoles—apart from their pristine sound—is the flexibility, endless routing capabilities, modular layout possibilities, and the divine user interface. I just love that central console window! The signal window is really intuitive and clutter-free, which is a big help in complex routing scenarios. No “cross-point view” for me, please… just show me the sources and destinations, and I’m happy. l Bart Ooms started out as an intern at Motormusic Studios in Belgium and then joined Alfacam, first as an audio assistant and then as audio chief. After Alfacam’s demise, he went on to head DB Video’s audio department, simultaneously working at five Tomorrowland editions as guarantee engineer in charge of audio and intercom for the broadcast department. He is currently the CEO of Belgian-based Knallen Maar! He can be reached at info@knallenmaar.com.

DISTRIBUTION PATH Around 60 audio channels (music, vocal and ambient mics) were ingested using Lawo’s DALLIS I/O stageboxes and CCUs. These lines were sent to the console inputs and processed with delay for perfect sync to the slowest camera input. Effects were added using the WAVES VST plug-in server on the console and outboard gear such as a TC Electronics System 6000. All incoming audio signals, summing and group busses were furthermore recorded using three separate multitrack computers: for archiving purposes on the Media Village server, as backup and for artists who had requested a

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Bart Ooms used Lawo’s mc² for Tomorrowland 2022 Summer music festival.


equipment guide | audio

Enhancing Hybrid Event Audio With Blackmagic Design USER REPORT By Jimmy Reid Chief Technology Officer Event Stream Team

BALTIMORE—Combining a live in-person event with a virtual online component is now ubiquitous. Yet, this was not the case in 2018 when I began asking my colleagues about expanding my company’s services to include hybrid events—people told me I was crazy, that hybrid events would never be relevant. Today, Event Stream Team is a full-service video and webcast production business with more than 120 active clients ranging from nonprofits to government and state agencies, providing hybrid events for everything from workshops and conferences to plays, talk shows, and more. I serve as the chief technology officer of our family-run business along with my wife, business partner and CEO Auset Reid, and our children who are training as technical directors, audio engineers, and camera operators.

THE RIGHT AUDIO SOLUTION In order to ensure high-quality video and audio for hybrid events we use Blackmagic Designs’ ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD live production switcher with built-in Fairlight audio mixer at the core of our workflow. We previously used an ATEM Television Studio HD and recently upgraded to take advantage of the ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD’s newest features. The switcher’s built-

in Fairlight audio mixer can easily handle complex live sound mixing—the audio is de-embedded from all the SDI video inputs and passed to the audio mixer, where each input channel includes 6-band parametric EQ and compressor, limiter, expander and noise gate as well as full panning. Prior to using the ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD’s Fairlight mixer, our biggest obstacle was managing audio sync with video sources, particularly image magnification, (or “IMAG”), common in many client productions. In addition, I had to use outboard audio gear to manage EQ, compression, and audio flow which often required lugging a full-size audio mixer to events. Using the ATEM’s built-in Fairlight mixer vastly improved workflow by providing the capability to create macros to control audio sources and settings. We use the ATEM’s Fairlight mixer to manage the audio mix of SDI and analog sources, including gain structure, EQ, dynamics, and audio sync. One of the main benefits is the ability to save the configuration file for the many types of gigs that we do, plus, the compact design of the ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD is perfect for portable live production. As a bonus, the switcher is extremely quiet due to its high-efficiency thermal system, which comes in handy when we’re working in a courtroom or museum.

SMOOTH AUDIO PRODUCTION Our team recently produced a three-day religious conference that included IMAG, as well as live streaming. Two Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pros, paired with ATEM Studio Converters, simplified both the workflow and the cable management. The cameras’ dual native ISO ensured the quality of the IMAG, while the ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD’s Fairlight mixer—used with the front-of-house mixer— ensured smooth and consistent audio between the HyperDeck Studio HD Plus recorders and the audio mixers from wireless mics. With Blackmagic Design gear, we’re confident that we’ll deliver top quality in any situation. I am proud to say that Event Stream Team is now considered one of the go-to teams for live streams and hybrid events in the area. l Jimmy Reid has more than 25 years’ experience producing audio and lighting for social events. After falling in love with the art and science of live video production, he started live streaming studio recording sessions. Today, Jimmy, business partner Auset Reid and their kids run Event Stream Team out of Baltimore. He can be reached at 240-745-5267 or sales@ eventstreamteam.com. For more information, visit eventstreamteam.com. For additional information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

The Event Stream Team uses BMD’s ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD live production switcher with built-in Fairlight audio mixer to improve audio for hybrid events.

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equipment guide | audio buyers briefs Solid State Logic S500 SSl’s S500 large format configurable control surface takes a modular approach, offering a range of touchscreen and hardware tiles that can be combined with an optional meter bridge, within a collection of console frames to create a completely scalable control system and includes an `m’ variant. The core control elements always present in an S500 large format console are Fader Tile, large Multi Touch Screens, Channel Tile and Master Tile. Other key features include full AoIP routing and control directly from the console; native immersive workflows including 7.1.4 busses; industry-leading processing tools, and digital audio handling, which offers “the SSL sound.”

DPA Microphones 4097 CORE Micro Shotgun Microphone DPA’s 4097 Micro Shotgun is ideal for small spaces because of its compact footprint and clear audio pickup. It offers a highly directional pickup pattern with DPA’s famous flat off-axis response and low self-noise. It features 16 mV sensitivity and can handle high SPLs. The 4097 is designed to be one of the most natural-sounding location sound microphones available, capable of capturing crystal-clear audio from any position. With its linear response, low distortion and extremely large dynamic range, the 4097 sounds great in any environment. Used with the Interview Kit, it can also serve as a boom mic for single-person productions. z For more information visit https://www.dpamicrophones.com.

z For more information visit https://www.solidstatelogic.com.

Avid Pro Tools HDX Thunderbolt 3 MTRX Studio Desktop System The Avid MTRX Studio desktop system bundle includes Pro Tools | Ultimate—the industry-standard DAW—as well as an HDX Core PCIe card—the heart of any DSP-accelerated Pro Tools system. An ultra-versatile MTRX Studio audio interface offers self-contained I/O, monitoring, and routing, optimized for music and post-production facilities of all sizes. Finally, an HDX Thunderbolt Desktop chassis enables users to operate this industry-standard system without being tied to a PCIe-equipped computer. Taken together, the Avid Pro Tools | HDX Thunderbolt 3 MTRX Studio Desktop System is designed to be a perfect centerpiece of a studio. z For more information visit

https://www.avid.com.

Wheatstone Tekton 32 Audio Console

Studio Technologies Model 209 Studio Technologies’ Model 209 Talent Console is designed for a variety of podcast, voiceover rooms, and fixed/REMI broadcast applications and features a unique combination of microphone input, headphone output, remote control, and tally-output resources. The unit supports AES67 and Dante Audio-over-Ethernet technology for integration into contemporary applications. An installation requires just a PoE connection, microphone and headphones, or an earpiece to establish a complete audio “position.” Additionally, remote control inputs and tally outputs allow personnel to deploy the unit in more complex applications. Careful circuit design and rugged components ensure excellent audio quality and long, reliable operation. z For more information visit https://studio-tech.com.

Wheatstone’s Tekton 32 is a full-featured IP audio console that packs the latest IP audio innovations into a super-compact frame that fits even the most stringent television applications and budgets. Tekton 32 provides 32 input channels (layered on 16 physical faders) and a ton of flexibility via the most advanced and reliable IP audio network in broadcast, all in a 39 x 17 x 3⅛-inch frame. It’s designed for any broadcast environment (newsrooms, remote vans or sports venues, production houses) and is based on WheatNet-IP, an audio services network that utilizes IP (& AES67) to enable audio to be intelligently distributed to devices across scalable networks. z For more information visit https://wheatstone.com.

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equipment guide | audio

Liberty University Relies on Calrec for High-Quality Audio USER REPORT By Louis James Manager of Broadcast Operations Liberty University

LYNCHBURG, Va.—At Liberty University, we have an active and growing Digital Media and Journalism department, and for this we need best-in-class technology to help our students thrive in areas such as media production, broadcast journalism, sound design and audio engineering. That is why we work with Calrec audio consoles, and it explains why our roster of Calrec solutions is growing. Currently, we use Calrec’s Type R for Radio, Summa, Artemis and several Brio consoles. Our most recent expansion of Calrec technology includes a trio of new consoles including Artemis and Brio consoles and we’ve gone remote with the addition of Calrec’s VP2 virtualized mixing system.

these shows, with a full band that can include up to eight vocalists. Type R for Radio was purchased as part of a new radio studio build and is being used for live radio shows and podcast recordings. The second Brio was purchased to upgrade a smaller control room, and the second Artemis replaced a Summa console, which was moved into our mobile production unit. We also wanted both of our main production control rooms to have the same console, making it even easier to move shows between rooms.

VIRTUALIZED MIXING We purchased Calrec’s VP2 based on what we experienced and learned while doing production during the Covid-19 pandemic. The VP2 is a virtualized mixing system with no physical control surface; it uses Calrec’s Assist software for setup and control so that we can work even more flexibly. Working with

Calrec’s shared Hydra2 network router core allows us to adapt to whatever we are tasked with so we’re able to accomplish a lot of different projects with little lead time. Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Calrec is the ability to quickly build a show from scratch, while the integration with Evertz via Hydra2 to TDM allows us to have 1,536 channels going from our six Calrec consoles to our router, providing an incredible amount of versatility. Calrec really does have a solution for every broadcast requirement, including radio, alongside a variety of networked and virtual products, and the work that we’re doing here Liberty University is certainly proof of that. It’s incredibly rewarding for us to be able to prepare our students for a future in a professional broadcast environment, and we have Calrec to thank for that. Louis James has been the manager of broadcast operations at Liberty University for the past four years. He oversees the school’s broadcast audio and comms divisions, which is particularly rewarding because he had been a student there. Prior to his current job, he spent two years here working as a broadcast audio engineer and is a skilled broadcast A1 freelancer. He can be reached at lejames1@ liberty.edu. l For more information visit https://calrec.com/.

HANDS ON EXPERIENCE The Calrec equipment is used across a variety of live and pre-recorded sports and entertainment shows as well as providing students one-on-one broadcast audio training on industry-standard technology. Students receive hands-on experience on Calrec consoles and the opportunity to operate as an A1 on certain productions. Additionally, academic classes can utilize the school’s production control rooms during classes. More specifically, the consoles are being used to live stream various NCAA Division 1 sport competitions on ESPN+ as well as three linear FBS Football Broadcasts on other ESPN networks. We also use the studios for our weekly Emmy Award-winning syndicated live sports talk show “Flames Central,” as well as for more corporate and entertainment shows. This includes Liberty University Convocation, which is hosting guests this semester such as Dr. Tony Evans, journalist Shannon Bream, and New York Times Best Selling author Jon Acuff. There is also a music component to

Louis James’ teams at Liberty University use Calrec’s Type R for Radio, Summa, Artemis and several Brio consoles.

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equipment guide | audio

NUGEN Audio Halo Vision Plug-in NUGEN’s Halo Vision is a customizable, real-time visual analysis suite operating in up to 7.1.2 channels for the AAX, VST3 and AU formats to support engineers’ decisionmaking and troubleshooting processes. It features a variety of modules that provide audio professionals with a clearer understanding of every aspect of their sound. These include a Correlation Matrix, Correlation

Web and Spectrum, along with expanded versions of NUGEN’s Frequency Haze and Location Haze functions, and a True Peak meter per channel. Halo Vision can be customized, rearranged and resized to suit any specific workflow, perfect for a broad spectrum of immersive sound projects. z For more information visit https://nugenaudio.com.

Telos Alliance VIP Telos Infinity Virtual Intercom Platform (VIP) is the first fully featured cloud-based intercom system. It delivers sophisticated comms virtually, making cloud-based media production workflows available on any device— smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. Users can even use third-party control devices, like Elgato’s Stream Deck, to control Telos Infinity VIP. It allows users to harness Telos Infinity IP Intercom’s award-winning performance, scalability, ease of integration, and operational/ cost efficiencies anywhere—at home, on-prem, site-to-site or in the cloud.. z For more information visit www.telosalliance.com.

Pliant Technologies CCU-08 CrewCom Control Unit Dolby Dolby Atmos Dolby Atmos is a pioneering immersive audio experience that delivers premium, multidimensional sound. Today, Dolby Atmos devices are widely available across all device types—from TVs to sound bars, to even smartphones—and price points. Content available in Dolby Atmos continues to grow, spanning a variety of categories such as blockbuster films, top streaming series, AAA games, Billboard charting songs, live sports, and even podcasts. This makes Dolby Atmos easily accessible for anyone looking to upgrade the audio experience they offer in a product or service.

The CCU-08 CrewCom Control Unit is Pliant’s latest addition to its CrewCom system, giving users the ability to use up to eight 4-Wire ports while retaining all the same features of the current companion CCU-22 and CCU-44 units. The CCU-08 Control Unit contains no radio and is frequency-agnostic and can therefore control and monitor any device across CrewNet regardless of radio frequency bands being utilized. With the combination of CrewCom Radio Transceivers, it supports up to 82 radio packs, 18 in Normal mode and 64 in the recently released High Density mode, across all RF bands. z For more information visit https://www.plianttechnologies.com.

z For more information visit https://www.dolby.com.

Wohler iAM-AUDIO1 (1U) & 2 PLUS (2U) Wohler’s iAM-AUDIO1 (1U) audio monitor has three screens—and while the 2 PLUS (2U) has two screens, they both offer the same features and benefits and include Loudness monitoring as standard. Both are 16-channel audio monitors that are also offered in 8-channel versions: iAM1-8 and iAM2-8. The new iAM-AUDIO-1 PLUS is

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a well-featured, easy-to-use, competitively priced 16-channel IP-ready audio monitor which comes standard with 3G-SDI and analog inputs, loudness monitoring and phase status. Developed as a direct result of customer feedback, it shares many of the same features as Wohler’s iVAM1-3, but without video monitoring. Users can license other signal formats and processing options—including Dolby, AoIP, Toslink and 8-channel analog—as and when needed, either initially or after purchase. z For more information visit https://wohler.com.


equipment guide | audio buyers briefs Clear-Com Arcadia with HelixNet Clear-Com’s Arcadia with HelixNet integration offers expanded licensed port capacity and expanded FreeSpeak beltpack capacity, as well as a 5 GHz scanning tool for FreeSpeak Edge systems. The integrated platform supports all FreeSpeak wireless & HelixNet wired intercom + 2W/4W. It speaks Dante with up to 64 ports for third-party Dante devices and is compact and powerful with support for over 100 beltpacks in 1RU. Arcadia with HelixNet is future-proofed with licensing options for future expansion. z For more information visit https://www.clearcom.com/arcadia-ip-intercom/.

RTS RTS Digital Partyline RTS’ OMS (OMNEO Main Station) and DBP (Digital Beltpack) mark the beginning of a major new product family: RTS Digital Partyline. OMS is a uniquely versatile and cost-effective solution capable of interconnecting wired/wireless and IP/digital/analog devices. OMS is available in five configurations to grow with the user’s needs—simply upgrade via software license updates. DBP is a four-channel/four-button wired beltpack that runs on PoE and connects using OMNEO IP technolo-

Comrex EarShot IFB Comrex’s EarShot IFB hardware-based system delivers live audio feeds over VoIP networks to callers, providing telephone-based live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts, like TV ENG reports. The FCC deadline to retire POTS networks was August 2, 2022, and POTS couplers for IFB will soon go extinct. EarShot IFB interfaces to VoIP telephone circuits using the SIP protocol, making it possible to replace up to 30 POTS lines with one simple box. VoIP phone lines can be delivered from cloud-based VoIP providers, VoIPbased PBXs, and via hardware gateways devices that bridge legacy phone circuits (e.g. T1/E1, POTS) to VoIP. z For more information, visit https://www.comrex.com.

gy. Its unique hybrid design supports both digital partyline and matrix keypanel modes. It is lightweight and ergonomic, with a full-color icon-based menu navigation for quick setup and intuitive operation. z For more information visit: https://products.rtsintercoms.com.

products & services marketplace

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

BO BANDY

KENNAN OLIPHANT

SVP of Marketing Marketron

News Director of WXYZ & WMYD E.W. Scripps

VP/GM of KOKH, KOCB Sinclair Broadcast Group

Chief Digital Officer C-SPAN

Marketron has promoted Bo Bandy to senior vice president of marketing. Since joining Marketron in 2019, Bandy has made an impact across the entire company, including successful launches of the Marketron NXT and Marketron REV, the company said. Prior to joining Marketron, she managed marketing and communications strategy and execution for both B2B and B2C companies, including technology startups, video game giants and telecoms.

Kennan Oliphant has been apointed news director of E.W. Scripps’ WXYZ and WMYD stations. He had been serving as the interim news director and prior to that was assistant news director. He began his career in Detroit, taking more challenging positions in Louisiana, Indiana and Ohio. He then served as executive producer in S.C.; assistant news director in Miss.; manager of coverage and content in Tenn.; and as senior manager of broadcast in Cincinnati.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Diana Wilkin VP/GM of KOKH (Fox) and KOCB (The CW). Previously, she was president of affiliate relations at CBS Network and SVP of network distribution for Fox Broadcasting. She also worked as VP/GM of several stations, including WPEC in West Palm Beach, Fla., WAWS/WTEV in Jacksonville, Fla., KGPE in Fresno, Calif., and WSFX in Wilmington, N.C.

Michael Piccorossi has joined C-SPAN as the network’s first chief digital officer. In the new role, he will help guide C-SPAN’s digital strategy, while working with multiple departments to produce digital products designed to improve the C-SPAN user experience, analytics and results. Piccorossi joins C-SPAN from Pew Research Center, where he’s been for more than 12 years and most recently served as the managing director of digital product and strategy.

GERARDO LOPEZ

DIANA WILKIN

MICHAEL PICCOROSSI

Vice President, News Director CBS News and Stations’ Boston Properties

TAMRON HALL

ALLEN HILL

PREMAN NARAYANAN

Board Member, Industry Ambassador NABLF Board of Directors

Chief Information Officer Federal Communications Commission

VP of Ad Operations & Information Services Hearst Television

Gerardo Lopez was named VP and news director at CBS News and Stations’ local businesses in Boston, including WBZ-TV (CBS), WSBK-TV (MyNetworkTV), the CBS News Boston streaming channel and CBSBoston.com. Lopez formerly served as news director at KTKR-TV and WGNTTV, the E.W. Scripps-owned CBS and CW Network affiliates in Norfolk, Va. Previously, he was news director at KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Okla.

Tamron Hall, Emmy Award-winning talk show host, journalist, producer and author, has been appointed to the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF) Board of Directors. She also will serve as industry ambassador and work with NABLF on campaigns and fundraising efforts to shape the future of the foundation. Hall will help NABLF honor community service efforts by broadcast radio and TV stations.

Allen Hill has been appointed chief information officer for the Federal Communications Commission. He formerly worked at the U.S. General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service as deputy assistant commissioner for category management, Office of Information Technology Category; and as director of telecommunication services, where he oversaw contracts that provided government agencies with telecommunications services.

Preman Narayanan joins Hearst Television as vice president of ad operations and information services. He oversees Hearst Television’s linear and digital advertising operations and business operations departments and will help set the strategic direction of the company’s advertising technology and information systems. Since 2013, he has worked at Effectv, most recently as vice president of IT and technical operations.

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September 2022 | www.tvtech.com |

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