Welcome to the February 2023 issue of
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equipment guide signal conversion www.tvtech.com | February 2023 WHAT’S NEW IN DISPLAY TECH? • 32-BIT AUDIO COMES OF AGE • POWER CONTROL FOR LIGHTING ST2110SMPTEUPDATE p.16 Virtual Production Bringing new creative techniques to reality
By Michael Silbergleid
By Pete Putman
contents 10 The Reality of Virtual Production Making the unreal look real while delivering cost and time savings
13 Display Tech—What’s Behind the Glass A primer on the different display technologies spotted at this year’s CES
16 SMPTE ST 2110: A Vibrant Six-Year-Old How has this critical standard impacted broadcasters?
Wes Simpson 18 Discovering the Magic of 32-Bit Float Audio Recording Companies such as Zoom, Tascam and Sound Devices are leading the charge By Frank Beacham 20 Preparing for Your Next Lighting Package—Power Control Existing lighting infrastructure will need modification to work with new lighting
Bruce Aleksander 22 Why Does Football Sound Different Across TV Networks? A number of variables and guidelines create the differences in NFL audio
Dennis Baxter February 2023 volumn 41, issue 02 6 in the news 24 eye on tech 34 people 22 13 16 twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023 3 equipment guide user reports signal conversion • Lawo • ENCO • Blackmagic Design • Multidyne • Grass Valley 26 26 6 10
TVs at CES? Meh
By all accounts, the 2023 International CES returned to its pre-pandemic form last month with attendance exceeding 115,000, making it the largest audited global tech event since the 2020 CES, according to the organization. Attendees were wowed by the latest advancements in health and auto tech as well as “smart” everything from strollers to bird feeders.
As for TVs? Yeah, they were there—you couldn’t miss them in their traditional home in the Central Hall. Samsung, LG, Hisense, Panasonic and others were naturally enthusiastic about the latest technology behind their advanced displays that feature an ever-expanding alphabet soup of LED+ technologies.
But perhaps the current state of television at CES was best exemplified by the company that once stood alone among the crowd of consumer TVs: Sony—which announced prior to the show that it would not be showing any new TV-related products.
TVs ceased to be the darling of CES long ago. After the rush of flat screen HDTV sets two decades ago that (sort of) coincided with broadcasters’ move to digital, and the disastrous detour of 3DTV in the early aughts, the next big thing was “4K.” For several years that was the buzzword of CES, with the “promise” of 8K not far behind.
Displace’s new TVs that do away with all the wires, (including the power cord), was among the few products that elicited any measure of enthusiasm of 2023 CES.
But now, when the average consumer can purchase a 4K 55-inch flat screen for $150, the enthusiasm has waned. Flat screens have gotten larger and more lightweight, but they’re probably not even the target of thieves anymore, who are more interested in stealing your iPhone.
It’s important to remember that there are “TVs” and then there are the “displays,” which are not one and the same. As for display technology, there were some incremental advances at the show, with LG showing off a transparent OLED (albeit not really new) and “wireless” displays from the Korean manufacturer as well as startup Displace, which promised to do away with even the power cord by utilizing battery packs. Samsung continues to push the envelope with its Micro- and QLED displays, as reported by display expert Pete Putman in this issue.
But these technologies will really have more of an impact on digital signage, an area that has greatly benefited from such advances.
The key word here is “incremental.” With advances in upscaling powered by AI, 4K is practically an afterthought now, with 1080p/60 being “good enough” for average viewers. Only a small cross-section of viewers subscribe to the “4K tiers” that are offered by YouTube and cable and satellite companies during special events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl. Even Fox Sports’ announcement that it would “broadcast” the NFL divisional playoffs last month (for the umpteenth time) elicited yawns from consumers who have heard it all before.
As for audio? Yes, immersive audio has been on the horizon for awhile now, but hardly any programming is available in the format and until home audio products become more affordable and consumers see a need for it, it continues to remain a niche area.
At TV Tech, our main focus is on the technology that brings the content to the home (and now mobile) viewers. We cover advances in TVs and displays because we know you want to know not only how the content is being produced and delivered, but what consumers are viewing it on. And this is a dynamic time for media production, with advances in remote and virtual production offering new ways for broadcasters and media companies to lower costs, while increasing options and quality.
As for the average consumer and the TV set? This year’s CES proved more than ever that it has now reached its “meh” phase.
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Media Companies Form Group to Develop New TV Measurement Standards
Some of the world’s largest media companies have formed a consortium to design a new method of measuring media consumption in an attempt to streamline the process of measuring premium video content as well as provide an alternative to Nielsen.
Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery and the VAB are working with advanced advertising company OpenAP to form a new Joint Industry Committee on Premium Video Currency (JIC) “to enable multiple currencies with the primary focus of creating a measurement certification pro-
cess to establish the suitability of emerging cross-platform measurement solutions in advance of the 2024 upfront.”
The JIC said the process to develop measurement certification standards is currently underway and will be formalized and officially announced March 1st. It will reveal its preliminary findings April 25. It is also reaching out to other qualified premium video programmers to join the committee and elicit active participation from advertising agencies and qualified trade bodies to advance the multi-currency proposal..
NABLF Opens Entries for 2023 Celebration of Service to America Awards
The NAB Leadership Foundation is accepting entries for the 2023 Celebration of Service to America Awards, spotlighting excellence in community service by local U.S. TV and radio stations. Stations and broadcast groups can enter their best community service campaign from the past year. Award categories are based on market size, and NAB members and non-members are eligible to enter. The entry window closes Monday, March 13.
"We are proud to honor and acknowledge the significant role broadcasters play within their communities," said NAB
Leadership Foundation president Michelle Duke. "Local television and radio stations have always been actively engaged with the neighborhoods they serve, and this is a way to show how they make a real difference in the lives of their viewers and listeners."
Finalists from each category will be announced in early April and winners will be named at The Celebration of Service to America Awards in Washington D.C. June 6. Attendees and invited guests include industry executives, broadcasting and media professionals, policy makers and past honorees.
FebruaryIn celebration of our 40th anniversary in 2023, TV Tech takes a look back at the past four decades of technology advances:
1983: Ampex announced its latest “C” format one-inch VTR, the VPR-3. Building on technology developed for the AVR-1 quad machine, the VPR-3 incorporated a vacuum capstan, which eliminated the pinch roller, and gas-film tape guidance to reduce friction and allow extremely rapid tape acceleration and deceleration. The new model also featured microprocessor-based control, built-in SCH meter and four-channel audio. (The price tag was $60k; about $179k in today’s money.)
1993: In an about face, Japan’s NHK admitted that its analog-based Narrow-Muse HD terrestrial broadcasting
Ampex’s VPR-3 videotape recorder with its companion TBC-3 digital time base corrector was considered by many in 1983 to be the ultimate one-inch type “C” machine due to its superior tape handling capabilities.
system did not perform as well as its digital rivals and decided to withdraw the technology from consideration in the ongoing U.S. trials to determine the best HDTV standard for implementation.
2003: Reflecting the internet’s ascent, a University of California study revealed that U.S. online users now consider it “far more important” than TV as a news source, and at least as important as printed media. The study also showed that an individual’s time online increased to 11 hours per week, up an hour from 2002.
2013: Although 4K TVs are now rolling off production lines and onto dealers’ sales floors, UHD signal sources remain problematic as cable and OTA channels can’t convey the necessary volume of data. However, if you purchased a top-of-the-line ($25k) 84-inch set, Sony threw in a loaner media player preloaded with 4K content for viewing.
in the news 6 February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
Credit: Jay Ballard, Museum of Broadcast Technology
Media Tech Sustainability Summit Slated for June
Former SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange of Kibo21 and Lisa Collins of Dovetail Creative have announced the launch of the Media Tech Sustainability Summit, an online event scheduled for June 20-21, focusing on sustainability issues within the broadcast, media & entertainment industry.
“Every person and every industry needs to take action now to mitigate the impacts of climate change; it is not someone else’s problem—it is all of ours, and there are plenty of areas where the media tech sector can step up to do its part,” Lange said. “Not only is it an imperative to meet the global sustainability challenges but being sustainable also makes real business sense as organizations understand going green can create market opportunities. We think it is time for the media tech sector to understand the topic as we start on our sustainability journey.”
“Some great work is taking place within our industry to move the needle on environmental issues but what is not evident are the two other key spheres of sustainability that relate to people and company purpose,” Collins added. “With sustainability agendas now under question in key RFPs I believe it is important to share best practice and education around the subject to ensure that our industry thrives.”
Starting with an introduction of sustainability in general, MTSS will then move into what the broadcast, M&E industry is doing today, and what more can be done. The event will provide a baseline understanding of this complex topic while discussing best practices and suggesting ideas on how to tackle the key issues and solutions for a sustainable future.
For more information, visit www. mediatechsustainabilitysummit.com
Of Slats Grobnik, Jason Whitlock and ChatGPT
There was a time some 40 years ago that my college roommate and I would compete to get to the Columbia Missourian first— specifically the Op-Ed page to see if Mike Royko’s syndicated column appeared.
Maybe we liked Royko’s take on Chicago, which seemed so far away and different from Columbia. Maybe it was the chuckle we’d get, especially on the days his alter-ego Slats Grobnik made an appearance. Whatever the reason, Royko spoke to us in a way we looked forward to, enjoyed and appreciated.
A decade later when he arrived at The Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock began building a 16-year rapport with readers not unlike our relationship with Royko. I know many, many people here who couldn’t wait to read his perspective on a game, a player or coach and who were sorely disappointed when he left.
This story undoubtedly has been repeated millions of times over the years as successive generations of readers and columnists engage with one another in newsprint and now online.
Enter OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence-driven tool that generates wellwritten copy. How good is it? Better than the majority of writing the average teacher or professor sees, in the opinion of Daniel
Herman, a high-school teacher in Berkeley, Calif., and author of “The End of High-School English,” appearing in The Atlantic online.
Somehow, I doubt, no matter how humanlike ChatGPT’s prose may be, that my roommate and I would have looked at its musings as anything more than a curiosity and then would have begun scouring the page looking for Royko.
Ditto Kansas Citians looking for Whitlock’s observations and insights when he was here. For others, it might be Maureen Dowd, George Will or Thomas Friedman. I’m sure that the same was true of readers and William F. Buckley Jr. and even H.L. Mencken in the distant past.
The point is simple. People like people. Perhaps more accurately, people enjoy the unique perspectives—informed by life experience—of other thoughtful people.
Word to the wise for television reporters toiling away on their next story and deadline: Draw on your life experience made fresh daily by your interactions with sources and viewers alike to bring humanity and perspective to your stories.
Otherwise risk someday having a Sophia-like AI creature reciting words from a ChatGPT-type program that will be your undoing.
Sure, people like the real thing. Just consider the millions who tune in on Sundays to watch an NFL game. Then again, there’s eSports, too. l
8 in the news
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
Credit: Getty Images
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The Reality of Virtual Production
Making the unreal look real while delivering cost and time savings
By Michael Silbergleid
FORT MYERS, FLA.—Virtual production has been around for years: Rear/front projection, matte painting, blue/green screen, chromakey, motion capture. Its latest iteration took “The Mandalorian” to bring it to the forefront. In-camera VFX virtual production (aka “Mando Style”) using LED panels to project a background that not only reflects on actors and foreground scenery, but that actors can see and interact with. It’s a seamless transition between the real and unreal.
Research firm Research and Markets reported the virtual production global marketplace was valued at $2.4 billion in
2021, growing to $3.1 billion by 2026. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3%. But that was in February 2021. By December 2021, CAGR was increased to 17.6%. By October 2022, estimating out to 2027, CAGR was 18.7%.
A term to know is “volume,” the space where virtual production happens. Volumes combined with the rest of what virtual production offers is a cost and time savings juggernaut.
According to A.J. Wedding, co-founder & director of virtual production at Orbital Studios, while the big LED wall is what amazes most people, with virtual reality headsets you can bring all department heads
together to scout locations all in one place— saving on travel and time.
From a production cost standpoint, examine the FX series “Snowfall,” where Wedding served as virtual production supervisor for seasons five and six. The series realized a savings of $1 million per season.
While a 62x14-foot LED wall is used for a penthouse set, Wedding explained the savings didn’t end there. “The car process used to mean one car, one scene and one location. But for ‘Snowfall,’ it meant multiple scenes with multiple cars. That’s saving money and it looks so good. We also used a 20x12-foot LED wall on casters and moved it from set to set to show Paris or Detroit—the production didn’t have to pay for two LED walls, just the single portable.”
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
A virtual production car setup from a corporate project at Orbital Studios providing the camera with the ability to shoot around the car and the talent to be illuminated from the front, side rear and above.
With virtual production, the set is typically ready before the actors, with turnaround sometimes 30-50% faster, according to Erik Weaver, head of virtual and adaptive production at the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) at USC—a think-tank working on standards for the industry and the standardization of education and curriculum within the field.
Until recently, virtual production was limited to complex, outlandish and science fiction productions. “There’s been a radical change in who uses virtual production that will continue,” said Weaver. “The shift is from large ‘Mando’ volumes to places like Stargate Studios that purchased LEDs from Costco to use as side panels outside of train windows.”
According to Weaver, tighter pixel pitch— the distance between pixels in millimeters— will mean cameras can get closer to the LED wall. “‘Mando’ used a 2.84 pitch so the camera was 16-feet away, while a pitch of 1.5 means you can get the camera 3-feet from the wall, that’s what Orbital does. This makes virtual production economically feasible for mid to smaller-sized stages.
For the new History Channel original series “History’s Greatest Heists with Pierce Brosnan,” virtual production significantly compressed Brosnan’s time on set. “This is a really cool crime reenactment show and places Brosnan as though he was in the locations,” said Wedding. “They created the virtual environments based on all the
re-creations and shot Brosnan for the entire season in three days, with 11 setups a day and working no more than six hours a day.”
Last December, Amazon Studios opened Stage 15, its new volume and formation of the new Amazon Studios Virtual Production
(ASVP) department. The stage accommodates an LED wall that’s 80 feet in diameter of near wraparound LEDs with two additional floating walls 26 feet tall in a 34,000 square foot space with 46-foot ceilings.
Stage 15 is fully connected into the AWS cloud, and is an integrated part of the production-in-the-cloud ecosystem. The facility provides a camera-to-cloud workflow with direct connection from Stage 15 to AWS S3 storage for cameras, post-production, remote global collaboration and compute power.
Ken Nakada, head of Virtual Production Operations for Amazon Studios says what’s learned during a project stays with ASVP. “With normal productions, the experience, crew and key learnings wrap at the end of each given project. ASVP aims to retain and build on these learnings, thoroughly document them, and share them across projects to elevate the industry’s use of this new technology.”
In August 2021, NEP Group launched NEP Virtual Studios through the acquisition of Prysm Collective, Lux Machina and Halon Entertainment. Stage 22 at Trilith Studios outside Atlanta was designed and commissioned by Lux Machina for Prysm and is powered by Lux Machina’s real-time 3D engines. It’s a fully enclosed 80-by-90by-29.5 foot volume in an 18,000 square foot purpose-built stage, built to accommodate large set pieces wrapped 360 degrees with
twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
“There’s been a radical change in who uses virtual production that will continue.”
ERIK WEAVER, ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY CENTER
A typical Mo-Sys virtual production setup with a real foreground and virtual background. Note the StarTracker system
LED panels, including an LED ceiling.
“Stage 22 incorporates new LED, volumetric capture and structural technologies with amazing image processing capabilities to allow the utmost flexibility for today’s filmmakers,” said Wyatt Bartel, vice president of Production for Lux Machina. “We’ve seen virtual production grow significantly in recent years. This is partially due to the increasing capabilities and affordability of virtual production technology, broader understanding from filmmakers of its benefits and capabilities, and the number of virtual production companies worldwide.”
Last October, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced its first volume located at Sony Innovation Studios. It uses Sony’s high brightness and wide color gamut Crystal LED “B-Series” display, a fine-pitch LED system co-developed by Sony Electronics and SPE for use in virtual production.
It should be noted that others work with LED manufacturers to customize their walls. Orbital Studios works closely with Planar. ETC with a variety of manufacturers.
LIVE BROADCAST VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
“Mo-Sys has been involved in the evolution
of in-camera visual effects [ICVFX] from the very beginning,” said Mike Grieve, Mo-Sys Commercial Director. “We’ve been selling solutions for ICVFX almost as long as we’ve been selling broadcast virtual set and augmented reality solutions.”
Mo-Sys sees companies using its ICVFX solutions because the real-world alternative is either too costly, too dangerous or technically impossible. “ICVFX is normally associated with LED virtual production, but it’s also used with blue/green screen,” said Grieve. “LED ICVFX is popular for commercials and drama, blue screen ICVFX for cinematic drama and green screen ICVFX for general entertainment.”
Then there’s multicamera switching. “When the director switches cameras, it takes five frames for the wall to update with the new camera’s background with the correct perspective based on the camera/lens tracking data,” said Grieve. “This delay has to be compensated for, and that’s what Mo-Sys’ Multi-Cam Switching does.”
For Vizrt/NewTek’s Martin Klampferer, R&D manager and product owner of Viz Engine, virtual production is all about live. “It’s virtual studios, blue/green screen and Viz Engine delivering the graphics,” he said. “And increasingly more about live talent in front of
video walls. Viz Engine combines everything, even if using multiple cameras. Viz Engine gets the camera tracking data in 3D space, the key of the talent, the graphics and does the complete compositing, including placing elements in front of and behind the talent.”
It’s all about education and misinformation.
“This is not an LED rental, it’s a workflow,” said Wedding. “Producers say ‘let’s rent the LED wall, let me get the individual companies needed,’ but there’s no synergy. No department head on top of it. Something always falls through the cracks and I’ve seen it multiple times. We want to be the one you fire, that way we can control it all—tell people what’s possible.”
“Mo-Sys opened a facility in Los Angeles where people could learn, train and experiment,” said Grieve. “We also started the Mo-Sys Academy in London where onset virtual production could be taught to students, as well as cross-training experienced production people.”
Perhaps Weaver put it best: “We’re at virtual production 1.0. It’s the difference between getting a nice pasta dinner from a restaurant to you, getting the ingredients and learning how to make it from scratch.” l
12 future trends
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
LED virtual studio for live news broadcast using Mo-Sys virtual production technology
Display Tech—What’s Behind the Glass
A primer on the different display technologies spotted at this year’s CES
By Pete Putman
LAS VEGAS—This year’s edition of CES was vastly different from a quarter-century ago. Back then, televisions were just breaking free from low-resolution cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) as high-definition television was taking its baby steps. A 50-inch high-resolution display in 1998 contained just 1280 x 768 pixels (Wide XGA) and cost as much as a car. Rearprojection televisions were just switching to solid-state light modulators. And liquidcrystal display (LCD) televisions weren’t even available—the largest flat screen TVs all used expensive plasma display panels (PDPs).
Today, all of those technologies (and some of their manufacturers) are distant, fading
memories. We’ve had 4K TVs for over a decade, while 8K sets appeared five years ago. LCD technology rules the roost nowadays, and the median TV screen size is about 55 diagonal inches and slowly increasing. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays have supplanted plasma for image quality, but with much lower power consumption.
But there are other contenders: Mini and microLEDs, quantum dots and QD-OLEDs are finding their way into televisions and computer monitors. What are the differences between them? Will they replace or obsolete any currently available displays? Read on…
LIQUID-CRYSTAL DISPLAYS AND ENHANCEMENTS
It didn’t take long for large LCD panels
to become the preferred solution for large televisions after their introduction 20 years ago. Those original models have evolved from heavy, bulky designs using fluorescent lamp backlights to modulate thousands of tiny light-shuttering pixels, to sleek housings stuffed with light-emitting diode (LED) backlights. Over time, pixel counts have continued to grow as retail prices drop with increased manufacturing efficiency.
The debut of high-dynamic range (HDR) video forced more design changes. Given the gross inefficiency of LCD imaging panels (only 5% of the backlight illuminance actually makes it to the front of the screen), other solutions were needed to boost brightness levels. One approach was to add a thin layer of quantum dots, tiny metallic particles that absorb blue light from LEDs and re-emit it as higher-intensity red and green light (hence, the quantum energy conversion effect).
Televisions with a “Q” in their model names (like Samsung’s QLED TVs) use quantum dots (QDs) to produce high dynamic range images. These displays are still hamstrung by the light transmission inefficiency of LCDs, but they are now able to pump out luminance levels in the range of 1200 to 1500 candelas per square meter (cd/m2). TCL also manufactures LCD
display technology 13
twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
Samsung launched its 76-inch Micro LED CX at CES 2023.
TVs with quantum dot enhancement layers. LCD TVs equipped with quantum dots are priced at a premium over conventional LCD models.
There’s another way to achieve HDR imaging by packing more “mini” LEDs into a smaller area and change their light levels in step with luminance levels in video content, a process known as local area dimming. Sony and Hisense (ULEDs) use this approach instead of QDs. The challenge is to minimize LED light from bleeding into adjacent pixels, creating what looks like a halo effect around bright text and objects.
Fixing that problem requires some additional structural changes to each pixel as well as specialized light modulation techniques. But there’s another problem looming—TVs using large matrices of miniLEDs for local area dimming consume lots of power, and pending European Union regulations on energy conservation may keep these models from ever coming to market.
ORGANIC LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE DISPLAYS
OLEDs have been in development for decades, yet it seemed like they could never get over the finish line. Tricky to manufacture, they were susceptible to
moisture and differential aging of colors. And you couldn’t drive them too hard, as they’d burn out quickly.
OLEDs emit different colors of light when a low voltage is applied across a junction of organic compounds. Those colors are saturated and bright, and OLED displays exhibit high contrast, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. Unlike LCD panels, OLEDs are very thin and can bend and warp. These latter properties have made it possible to offer foldable smartphones and tablets, not to mention digital signs that can be wrapped around poles,
buildings, cars, and other objects.
There are two types of OLED displays in wide use today. For televisions, white OLED panels with color filters (WOLEDs) dominate the market. (The white color in RGBW displays is generated by a compound of blue and yellow organic chemicals.) LG Display is the source of all WOLED panels used in OLED TVs, no matter whose brand you see on the bezel. The underlying technology uses an RGBW pixel stripe to produce high levels of luminance (up to 1000 cd/m2 with a 10% full white window). WOLED televisions are available in sizes from 42 inches to 97 inches.
The second type of OLED display, used in smaller products such as smartphones, has discrete red, green, and blue emitters (RGB stripe). Several companies manufacture RGB OLEDs, among them Japan OLED, Samsung Display, and Chinese manufacturers AUO and BOE. While RGB OLEDs can achieve similar peak luminance levels as WOLEDs, the largest RGB OLED display currently available is a 32inch desktop monitor.
The challenge for both RGBW and RGB OLEDs is the time to half-brightness of the blue organic materials. (A similar problem affected blue phosphors in color TV picture tubes and plasma displays.) Some clever solutions have been devised to overcome this problem, such as using multiple blue emitters with each running at reduced brightness. One way to get more luminance out of an OLED display is to employ microlens arrays on each pixel, collimating the light and directing more of it to the screen. This technique is currently implemented by LG on its latest series of Evo OLED televisions.
A new, clever hybrid display technology combines a stack of blue OLED emitters with red and green quantum dots. This QD-OLED hybrid was launched by Samsung Display last year at CES in 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes and was joined by a 77-inch television at this year’s show (Samsung and Sony both sell QD-OLED models). QD-OLED TVs command higher prices than conventional LCD TVs and are priced on par with quantum dot-equipped sets and WOLED TVs.
The big advantage of the QD-OLED is the simplicity of imaging layers—four in all—in the display panel. As an emissive display, it too exhibits excellent contrast performance, deep black levels, high color saturation, and a wide viewing angle. The blue OLED emitter is actually a stack of smaller blue OLEDs, each running at reduced power to extend their useful life. The rest of the horsepower comes
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February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
LG showcased its EVO series of WOLED TVs at CES 2023.
TVs using large matrices of miniLEDs for local area dimming consume lots of power, and pending European Union regulations on energy conservation may keep these models from ever coming to market.
from the quantum dots, with Samsung Display claiming a maximum luminance of 2,000 cd/ m2 for 2023 models. Think of the QD-OLED as a turbocharged WOLED or RGB OLED!
Display manufacturers are now prototyping televisions made up solely of tiny red, green, and blue LED emitters. These “micro” LED displays can also be used across a wide range of display products from smart watches and phones to tablets, computer monitors, and in transportation applications. To make this happen requires high manufacturing yields of microLED chips at a reasonable cost, which has so far proven to be a difficult task.
The advantages of microLED displays are in simplicity and image quality. Instead of the multiple light-absorbing layers of polarizers, backlights, and color filters in an LCD display, there’s just an array of LED emitters and transistors to switch them on and off. Since microLEDs are emissive displays, there are no issues with black levels and contrast flattening when viewed at wide angles. And they’re plenty bright at 1500 cd/ m2, although they can easily hit peak levels
exceeding 2000 cd/m2.
Although multiple companies are researching and developing microLED displays, only Samsung is currently offering models for consumers. At CES, they unveiled a 76-inch Ultra HD model to complement earlier 89-inch, 101-inch, and 110-inch offerings. The main selling point of the 76inch Micro LED CX is that it can be installed by the end user. However, given the steep price point of the previously-introduced 89inch model (about $80,000), it’s going to be a
high-end, ultra-premium television for now.
Even so, many display analysts predict microLED displays will likely replace all other display technologies by the end of this decade—if manufacturing costs can be lowered and high yields achieved. And the odds are that it will happen. Recall that the first plasma televisions came with five-figure price tags, but by 2010 cost well under $1K. And the first 4K monitors (not TVs) sold in North America in 2012 were priced over $20,000! Today, you can buy a 65-inch “smart” Ultra HDTV for as little as $400 on sale.
Given the popularity of WOLED TVs, you’ll see more companies like Toshiba and Sharp offering them in 2023. LCD TVs will continue to be the cheapest TV offering, while QD-equipped models are slowly coming down in price to keep pace with OLEDs.
As for microLED TVs—well, if you have eighty grand just lying around… l
Pete Putman, CTS, KT2B, is president of ROAM Consulting L.L.C.
Many display analysts predict microLED displays will likely replace all other display technologies by the end of this decade—if manufacturing costs can be lowered and high yields achieved.
SMPTE ST 2110: A Vibrant Six-Year-Old
How has this critical standard impacted broadcasters?
By Wes Simpson
ORANGE, Conn.—Since the first document release in 2017, the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for video transport over IP networks has made major inroads in the market for professional video and audio production gear. By removing the highlycompressed, unreliable stigma created by early IP streaming technologies (looking at you, Flash), ST 2110 enabled bit-perfect production systems to be built using widelyavailable Ethernet networking gear.
As IP networking infrastructure continues to grow in capacity—while simultaneously lowering the cost per bit—IP systems have become ever-more capable and affordable. Like any major technology refresh, the transition to IP-centric media systems has
experienced a few bumps along the way, but overall progress has been steady and new products are filling in the few remaining gaps needed to support every conceivable broadcast application.
When first released in 2017, ST 2110 provided a standard way to transport video over general purpose IP networks. Since it was targeted as a direct replacement for SDI, the focus was on uncompressed video inside a live studio production environment.
One important difference from SDI is that each signal type is transported in a separate stream of packets, thereby eliminating the need to “embed” audio signals within their associated video signals. Synchronization is provided by distributing a precision (PTP) clock to every media device on the network, thereby allowing each device to align its outputs to a common timing reference point.
Over the past five years, IP media transport generally and ST 2110 specifically have made major inroads within the professional broadcast market. According to John Mailhot, CTO, Networking and Infrastructure for Imagine Communications, the industry has already reached the point where “ST 2110 is a better choice for greenfield studio construction and for applications that require more than 512 video router crosspoints.”
Alan Wollenstein, director, Engineering Systems for the National Football League, spoke about how critical ST 2110 technology was for the implementation of the NFL Network’s new Los Angeles Facility in Inglewood, Calif. “We have 19 physical and 75 virtual edit bays in our new facility, which stretches over 200 yards from one end to the other. It simply would not have been possible to build this brand-new installation without using ST 2110.”
One major way that ST 2110 technology is being expanded to support new applications is in the development of IPMX (Internet Protocol Media eXperience). The goal of this development is to help reduce the cost of ST 2110 technology for applications that may
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February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
The NFL Network’s Inglewood, Calif. facility was built for SMPTE ST 2110.
not require its full range of capabilities.
Another goal is to produce the first truly open, license-free IP video specification for the ProAV market (in contrast with NDI, SDVoE and HDBaseT). IPMX supports HDCP content protection, multi-monitor synchronization, FEC (Forward Error Correction), EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) and a variety of other features that are crucial to supporting this market.
IPMX specifications are currently being developed by a group within the Video Services Forum (the same source as many of the key concepts behind ST 2110). More info, including downloadable copies of all the released specification can be found at www.vsf.tv.
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
Not everything is perfect in the world of ST 2110. The capabilities of system and
broadcast controllers are lagging behind those of video and audio endpoints, at least based on the results of the JT-NM Tested event in Wuppertal, Germany last August. Development of these systems proceeds apace, with particular emphasis on improving IP network security for broadcast devices.
Most of the key ST 2110 standards have stabilized, and are not expected to change much (if at all) in the coming years. This is good news for developers and implementers, allowing them to focus on fine-tuning and cost-reducing existing designs, rather than having to implement new features. It is likely that system cost reductions will also continue, as video systems are now more closely aligned with present trends in the much larger IT and datacom industry (including Moore’s Law and other factors). John Mailhot noted that “The cost premium for ST 2110 in media endpoints is going away, and the cost of 100 gigabit optics
is dropping dramatically.” Advances in Ethernet switch capabilities will also help significantly; Alan Wollenstein indicated that “The choice of spine and leaf IP network architecture for our facility was key for our application.”
Cloud-based production is much easier to implement with an IP-native technology like ST 2110 as compared to SDI-based systems. As more ST 2110 systems migrate from using uncompressed video to deploying JPEG XS or other compressed formats, the costs of transporting video to and from the cloud will become more attractive, making other benefits of the cloud (including rapid scalability, AI-based functions, pay-as-you go, and more) accessible to a wider market.
Overall, today’s market and technology trends will continue to make ST 2110-based systems more affordable and flexible throughout the broadcast industry. Pretty impressive for a six-year-old! l
video in order to support standard definition video formats (which are still used in many applications around the globe).
New Updates in 2022
ST 2110 is made up of a number of standards, each of which covers one aspect of IP media transport; this makes it so that each of these documents can be updated independently. Many of the core set of ST 2110 standards were updated in 2022, as shown in Fig. 1. The good news about these updates is that they were done very carefully, so as to avoid breaking equipment and software that were built using the 2017 edition of the standards. Here are a few highlights on the new standards:
ST 2110-10 System Definition: This document focuses on providing better information for control systems. Two new (recommended) SDP parameters have been added: TSDELAY and TSMODE. The first of these, TSDELAY, allows a device to indicate the amount of time (in microseconds) that elapses between the sampling or other time indicated by the RTP timestamp for a packet and the time that the first packet containing that timestamp is emitted by that device. The second of these, TSMODE, allows a device to indicate whether or not the RTP timestamps present on packets coming into the device are preserved or modified in the output of the device. Used together, these two new parameters allow a broadcast controller to more accurately assess the delays incurred within each step of a workflow, allowing tighter control of end-to-end delays and simplifying overall media synchronization.
ST 2110-20 Uncompressed Video: This adds support for two new video formats. One addition supports a new Transfer Characteristic (the “TCS” parameter in SDP, which indicates how binary pixel values relate to pixel brightness) to support “Camera Log S3” as defined in SMPTE ST 2115 (and is used in a wide variety of high-end video and digital cinema cameras). The other addition was a new colorimetry type of “ALPHA” which is specifically designated for key signals, while it was clarified the key signals must not declare a TCS value.
ST 2110-21 Traffic Shaping: This new version clarifies that the virtual receiver buffer (VRX) constraints do not apply for constant bitrate compressed video signals, and providing a more flexible way of calculating the timing for interlaced
ST 2110-22 Compressed Video: This revision clarified that the Virtual Receiver Buffer constraints in the packet timing model do not apply, and cleared up some confusion about how the bitrate of a compressed signal is defined in SDP.
ST 2110-30 Uncompressed Audio: This document is currently undergoing very minor revisions to clarify some wording and to provide clearer descriptions of the audio receiver conformance levels.
ST 2110-40 Ancillary Data: This new revision creates two packet transmission models for ancillary data. LLTM, the Low Latency Transmission Model, requires senders to transmit ancillary data packets within 8 video lines of their specified location. CTM, the Compatible Transmission Model, allows a 1 msec window for transmission. These are signaled with the SDP parameter “TM.” One other minor change was to require senders to transmit packets in increasing order by original line number.”
standards update 17
twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
©2023 All Rights Reserved LearnIPvideo.com SMPTE ST 2110 Standard Revision Dates ST 2110 Standard Name -10 System Timing and Definitions -20 Uncompressed Active Video -21 Traffic Shaping and Delivery Timing for Video -22 Constant Bit-Rate Compressed Video -23 Single Video Essence Transport over Multiple ST 2110-20 Streams -30 PCM Digital Audio -31 AES3 Transparent Transport -40 SMPTE ST 291-1 Ancillary Data -43 Timed Text Markup Language for Captions and Subtitles 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 R2 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R1 R2 R2 R2 R2 R2 Figure 1: Timeline showing initial release dates (R1) and subsequent revision dates (R2) of SMPTE ST 2110 standards.
Discovering the Magic of 32-Bit Float Audio Recording
We have long been in the era of “one man band” media production. Outside of major digital cinema or documentary productions, most video and sound today are recorded with a minimal crew and budget. That often means only one person.
This used to be a nearly impossible task—fraught with simple mistakes that could endanger the entire production. Now, recording high-quality audio in the field is more foolproof than ever thanks to a new technology first introduced in 2019.
Over the past year, this groundbreaking technology has quickly caught on and now appears in a range of very low-cost, professional audio recorders. Called “32-bit float
audio recording,” it allows the recording of sound without the user having to set gain levels.
Do not confuse 32-bit float recording with the old “auto gain” setting found on most traditional audio recorders. The artifacts produced by auto gain were never acceptable for professional-quality sound.
Today, the company with the most 32-bit float recorder models is Zoom, followed by Sound Devices and Tascam. Most video editing software and digital audio workstations can now play back 32-bit float audio. The cost and quality of the equipment has hit new levels in the past few months.
What’s so special about 32-bit float recording? Clipped recordings over zero dBFS can be fully recovered without distortion. With conventional 16- and 24-bit audio recording, this was not possible. With 16- and 24-bit recording, if the audio level peaked above zero dBFS, it was permanently distorted. That’s because these digital formats lack the ability to record any data over this threshold.
With 32-bit float recording, the system can record audio data +770 dB above zero dBFS and –758 dB below. This is a dynamic range at an astounding 1,528 dB.
It is hard to grasp this range since the loudness difference between the quietist anechoic chamber to the loudest sound possible is only 185 dB. With 32-bit float, clipping is now impossible.
THE GOOD WITH THE BAD
Of course, as with all new technology, there are some negatives to using and depending on 32-bit float audio. First of all, the recorded files are about a third larger than standard 24-bit
files. The user will need larger size flash cards for audio storage.
If distortion creeps in before the recording begins, 32-bit float won’t help save the session. Common problems are an overloaded mic capsule, power line hum or overload from wind.
Even when using 32-bit float, sound operators still need to do correct mic placement, use the right mic mounting gear and employ good wind-protection practices when working in the field. It is always important to check that the signal being recorded is problem-free before hitting record.
The most important change with 32-bit float is that operators don’t have to set or worry about sound levels during recording. This is an advance that removes a key task for overworked one-person sound recordists. It frees the mind to concentrate on other things during the production.
18 February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology media tech
Companies such as Zoom, Tascam and Sound Devices are leading the charge
Tascam Portacapture X8
32-Bit float graphic
Even with 32-bit float, production workflows including editing, mixing and distribution continue to use a 24-bit workflow. This means some data will be lost at some point in the chain. An audio engineer will need to make adjustments to ensure that the audio signal doesn’t get clipped when downsampling to 24-bit.
At this point, there is a choice: Either set levels properly on set and record directly in 24-bit, or record in 32-bit float and add the extra step later. It’s part of the process that is essential. But it’s always easier to fix level problems in post than having them on location.
Just before Christmas, 2022, Zoom introduced a series of 32-bit float recorders that sets a new standard for quality, features and price. Called the M-Series and starting at $199, these new recorders come in handheld and shotgun styles.
Most interesting is the new Zoom M4 MicTrak ($399), a new handheld microphone-shaped recorder. It features 32-bit float recording; 192 kHz sample rate; simultaneous recording of up to four discrete channels; two ultra-low noise pro-quality XLR preamps; and an internal timecode generator.
Journalists can easily use this new recorder for handheld interviews. Just turn it on and hit record. No need to set levels. The color on-screen display shows a waveform to confirm recording. The reporter can concentrate
on the content of the interview, rather than on the equipment.
When four mic channels are needed, two pro mics can be plugged into the XLR jacks on the side of the M4. It also takes 3.5mm input mics and has an internal timecode generator with an in/out jack. The timecode oscillator offers accurate code with a discrepancy of less than 0.5 frames per 24 hours.
Another major advance is the new recorder’s super-quiet preamps, which are taken from Zoom’s high-end F-series recorders. The preamps have a self-noise rating of –127 dBu. This is a level of recording technology unheard of even a few years ago.
Also recently introduced was Tascam’s Portacapture X8 recorder ($389.99) and Zoom’s F2 Portable Field Recorder ($229.99), both with 32-bit float recording. These join Zoom’s existing F-series models and Sound Devices MixPre II series, beginning at $895.
Though 32-bit float recording does not solve all recording problems, it’s a major step forward for recordists working solo in the field. Just as with lighting, good sound recording demands a complex set of choices that used to be a dedicated job in itself.
Poor sound has traditionally been the biggest killer on low-budget, independent video productions. Until recently, audio could not be recorded so easily and reliably by solo operators. That has now changed, thanks to 32-bit float audio. l
Frank Beacham is a New York City-based writer and media producer.
19 twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
Over the past year, this groundbreaking technology has quickly caught on and now appears in a range of very low-cost, professional audio recorders.
Sound Devices MixPre 3 II
Zoom M4 MicTrak Recorder
Unless your studio was built in the last decade, it was almost certainly not designed to support today’s LED fixtures. During the age of incandescent, racks of dimmers supplied power to stage-pin and twist-lock outlets hanging from the grid.
Intensity-level commands were sent from the lighting console to racks of humming dimmers, tucked away in some room where their buzzing modules and cooling fans couldn’t be picked up by studio microphones. These were the
trademarks of every lighting system of the last generation.
This type of dimming infrastructure risks becoming obsolete with the arrival of today’s LED lighting fixtures. This column will help you understand what changes must be implemented before the arrival of your next lighting package.
TRANSITIONING FROM DIMMING TO NON-DIM POWER
You might be tempted to just change the plugs and park your dimmers at 100%. Don’t.
Your existing lighting infrastructure will need some modification to work with the new lights. In evaluating what must be changed, we need to first note the different requirements of incandescent vs. LED fixtures.
Legacy dimming systems were designed to control incandescent lights using a single modulated power feed. Heating up a tungsten filament to the desired degree of brightness is a fundamentally simple way to make light. But things get more complicated when you need to dim a lamp.
Controlling incandescent brightness was originally done with resistance dimmers—a relatively simple, if wasteful, solution. This
20 February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
EXPERTISE Preparing for Your
Lighting Package—Power Control Existing lighting infrastructure will need modification to work with new lighting Credit: Getty images
method gave way to more efficient modern dimming, which works by “chopping” the power to control intensity. Tungsten filaments were fine with this, thanks to their thermal inertia as a resistive load, but the chopping of the sine wave causes problems for solid-state electronics, such as contemporary LED fixtures.
Solid-state lights require a constant “non-regulated” power source. Dimming is done with on-board dimmers, rather than by dimming the power source they’re plugged into.
A modern dimmer at “full” is not the same thing as a non-dimmed/unregulated circuit. What comes out the back end of a dimming module looks nothing like a pure sine wave.
There’s further distortion of the sine wave, along with wasted energy, from the “chokes,” which helped limit the vibrations of incandescent filaments when they were dimmed (Fig. 1).
Furthermore, some dimming systems used techniques to “goose” or reduce the voltage when the power mains weren’t operating up to standard. All of these modifications to the power create challenges for devices that were designed to be plugged directly into a standard power source.
In short, your legacy dimming equipment may not play well with your next generation of lighting equipment without some modification.
To quote the advice from lighting company ETC, “No matter what type of dimmer you are using, you must set the dimmer to not regulate the sine wave on the circuit
that is providing power to the fixture.”
And while your dimmer system may provide an option for something labeled “Non-dim” mode, that’s not always the same thing as “switched.” In fact, “Switched Mode” on some ETC modules still runs through chokes. Naming conventions aren’t standardized or dependable, so verify the actual output with a True-RMS meter.
for switching modules can be your “plug & play” solution to powering solid-state lights. That only leaves changing the connectors. “Household” (NEMA 5-15) is the typical connector for powering lights today.
Because LED lights are so efficient, multiple fixtures are often run on a single power drop. To help accommodate this, most studio fixtures have pass-through “convenience” outlets. Unlike incandescent fixtures, ganging several lights on the same outlet doesn’t limit individual fixture control because each LED fixture has its own unique DMX address. This feature also reduces the total number of power drops you’ll need to modify.
Even if your dimming system’s manufacturer is no longer in business, it may still be possible to update your system. Any changes should only be undertaken by qualified professionals who understand the system and how you’ll be using it. Any missteps in wiring will almost certainly void your fixture’s warranty. Be careful.
GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE
Your existing electrical distribution infrastructure can almost certainly be modified to work with the new lights, which is always a more efficient choice than running new circuits from scratch. Modifying the electrical infrastructure you already have has the inherent advantage of saving time, materials, and labor—none of which come cheap. Some dimmer manufacturers offer nondim/switched-output modules specifically designed for the purpose of passing through the “unregulated” power, as required by the new LED fixtures. Swapping out dimmers
Even with the churn in the dimming industry that’s occurred over the years, you still have some options if your manufacturer is no longer supporting their equipment. One aftermarket service company that specializes in converting dimming systems to non-dim applications is Johnson Systems ( www.johnsonsystems.com ). They have decades of experience extending the useful life of dimming systems with plug-and-play solutions.
There’s an additional advantage in retaining the ability to switch off the power to your lights when they’re not actively being used. As with many electronic devices, they’re never completely “off.”
All new light fixtures continue to use some power in their “standby” state. This not only wastes energy, but causes some additional wear to the fixture’s electronic components.
From the perspective of energy use and reducing unproductive running hours on your lights, being able to turn them completely off is a major advantage.
Transitioning to any new technology can be a bumpy ride, but preparing your lighting power infrastructure to match the needs of solid-state fixtures will help smooth the way. l
Fig. 1: Sine wave with and without triac dimming
Bruce Aleksander invites comments and topic suggestions from those interested in lighting at TVLightingguy@hotmail.com.
21 twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
Your legacy dimming equipment may not play well with your next generation of lighting equipment without some modification.
Credit: Cooper Neill/Getty images
Why Does Football Sound Different Across TV Networks?
A number of variables and guidelines create the differences in NFL audio
After months of listening to games of American football, I once again wonder why audio sounds differently across the networks—CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN/ABC—for basically the same event. There seem to be several noteworthy variables that significantly shape the sound of a telecast including the venue, the broadcaster/network and finally a sound mixer’s tone, processing and mixing style.
were no indoor stadiums and they played in the rain, snow and occasionally in sunny conditions on grass. Audio coverage was mono and basic with various parabolic receptor designs, but the sound was adequate for the moment. My sound impression memory is that there is a sound to a snow-covered icy stadium with hard surfaces, a crispness that carries the sound. But broadcast sound changed with the addition of roofs, artificial surfaces and PA craziness.
confined space. Sound energy builds and the cumulative effect is destructive to a clean capture for television purposes.
Jonathan Freed, mixer for ESPN/ABC, stated the obvious: “Open air stadiums sound different because the PA and crowd don’t echo off the roof and walls when there aren’t any.”
When football first went on the air there
A little physics tells us that an “open stadium” lets the sound/noise escape from a
Additionally, Freed has presented his theories about “air inversions” for years. “In a really cold outdoor stadium the warm crowd and heaters by the team benches cause a layer of warmer air to rise and when it gets to a certain height it collides with the colder air forming an atmospheric inversion layer over the stadium. Sound from the field of play will actually reflect off of this layer back
22 February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
A CBS Sports employee holds a parabolic microphone dish during an NFL game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.
towards the sidelines and in some cases create a noticeably fuller sound for the parabs to pick up.”
The venue acoustics clearly are a factor, but Fred Aldous of Fox Sports told me that “the PA systems have gotten bigger and louder, and, significantly, the PA useage has crept into play action. Aldous said, “Music is being played over kickoffs and at the end of play, which interferes with useable field of play sound.” To make things worse, several years ago Atlanta was fined for pumping crowd sound back through the PA.
Acoustics impact the tone of the sound that the microphones capture, but the mixers control the balance of the sound elements—announcer, effects, crowd and music. With most major sporting events there is a significant effort to capture the sound from the field of play. Microphones and their placement are not a secret and there is fair consistency across the different mixers and networks particularly today, but clearly this did not happen by accident.
My sound observation is that Fox Sports mixes in more field presence. David Hill was chairman of Fox Sports for almost two decades and was instrumental in advancing the sound of football with his persuasion of the NFL to allow wireless microphones, first, on officials, and later, on players
Even though football has had a powerful advocate with Hill, the NFL still controls where and when microphones can be placed and opened.
For example the NFL does not permit microphones near the benches and regulates the use of the microphone on the sky cam and even controls opening the player microphones before the networks receive a feed. The sound obstacles and variables are well entrenched in the Sunday sound and there are guidelines, but there are differences in NFL crews. I have been told that some NFL sound personnel are better than others.
Of the number of games telecast on a Sunday afternoon, it seems that there would be a desire for a network to have consistency between the multiple games that are broadcast. Phil Adler, who did audio mixing for CBS Sports for more than two decades, told me that the network only has a mandate that the announcers’ volume level be between 4 and 6 dB louder than the field sound, but everything else is subjective to the mixer.
Aldous believes that Fox’s consistency endures because of weekly phone meetings,
adding that while the meetings are not mandated, they do offer a forum to share ideas, philosophies and give “ownership” to the mixers.
Given that the sound variables, which include microphones, venue characteristics and technical facilities are somewhat equal, then the real difference is that the sound is the artistic and subjective interpretation of a sound mixer. You can not underestimate the range of subjective interpretation of a single sport from a group of audio practitioners that bring the consumer 16 consecutive Sundays of NFL football.
As with everything in life, experience is the difference. It is hard to understand how unpredictable live sports can be, and how much of a challenge it is for the mixer to control, manage and tame the sound.
An inexperienced mixer tends to use too
much compression to control the wide swings in the sound. Under compression/limiting can lead to the sound distorting through the signal chain while over-compression can be equally unpleasant with the audio pumping up and down.
An inexperienced mixer may not understand why the transmission signal flow was problematic when the networks went from mono to stereo and then to surround. What about immersive? Even though there is little talk of football in immersive sound, it is going to happen, and the learning curve will impact the sound of the show.
Finally, sound reproduction to the consumer is a moving target as well. Stereo, surround, immersive, soundbars, headphones, TV speakers—my head hurts. Sound has been equal parts evolution and innovation and maybe a little sound voodoo. What draws viewers’ attention to a game, even if they are half asleep? The sound! What can carry an entire show without pictures? The sound!
The audience can finally hear a difference and sound is a differentiating factor with broadcast brands. Some of my interviewees commented that some of the broadcast sound today is difficult to listen to. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at www.dennisbaxtersound.com.
23 twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023 Credit: Getty images
Acoustics impact the tone of the sound that the microphones capture, but the mixers control the balance of the sound elements—announcer, effects, crowd and music.
Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve for iPad
Blackmagic Design now offers a its DaVinci Resolve for the Apple iPad, as a free download from the Apple iOS Store. The iPad version offers the same color correction and editing tools used by Hollywood. It also supports Blackmagic Cloud multi-user collaboration as well as powerful AI tools, such as magic mask, voice isolation and dialog lever and smart reframe for social media video content distribution.
The iPad version includes the DaVinci Resolve for iPad color page, an advanced color correction tool used in Hollywood to color and finish high-end feature films and TV shows. It also features AI processing powered by the DaVinci Neural Engine, which powers looks like “magic mask,” which can locate and track people with a single stroke, invert a person mask and stylize the background.
z For more information, visit www.blackmagicdesign.com
DJI RS 3 Mini Stabilizer
DJI’s new RS 3 Mini is a lightweight, handheld travel stabilizer developed to support mainstream brands of mirrorless cameras and lenses. The new miniature gimbal offers the stabilization available from other members of the RS 3 series, making it possible to capture professional content while traveling around landscapes and in urban locations. Weighing less than 1.8 pounds, the gimbal can carry up to 4.4 pounds and features Bluetooth shutter control, a third-generation stabilization algorithm, native horizontal and vertical switching and a 1.4-inch color touchscreen. With an all-in-one design, the RS 3 Mini supports many mainstream mirrorless cameras and lens combinations, including the Sony A7S3 + 24-70mm F2.8 GM lens, Canon EOS R5 + RF24-70mm F2.8 STM lens or Fuji X-H2S + XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 lens.
z For more information visit www.dji.com.
MediaCentral | Acquire
MediaCentral | Acquire is an IPbased ingest scheduler offering support for remote collaboration and improved hybrid working. The update for the MediaCentral workflow platform enables media companies to accelerate production on premise and in the cloud. MediaCentral
| Acquire adds ingest management to MediaCentral | Cloud UX with support for teams to collaborate from anywhere, thereby benefiting workflows like news production.
The MediaCentral | Acquire ingest scheduler app in MediaCentral | Cloud UX automates ingest scheduling for SDI and IP sources by controlling FastServe | Ingest, FastServe | I/O and MediaCentral | Stream. The new capabilities support production teams from story creation to delivery, whether the final product is part of a rundown-based on-air show or is posted to a content platform or social media site.
z For more information visit www.avid.com.
Lumens Digital Optics
VC-A71P-HN UltraHD PTZ Camera
The VC-A71P-HN UltraHD PTZ camera can transmit 4K 60fps over SDI and HDMI. Supporting a range of streaming protocols, including the Secure, Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol, high bandwidth NDI and NDI|HX3, the new camera also supports the FreeD camera positioning data protocol for VR, AR and MR production, ITU-R BT.2020 and Rec. 709 color spaces and genlock, making the VC-A71P-HN a fully featured broadcast camera ready for years of service.
Among the first NDI|HX3 products to become available, the VCA71P-HN delivers low-latency video at reduced bandwidth while maintaining visually lossless 4K image quality. The camera is capable of simultaneous output of full-bandwidth NDI for master recording and display on in-venue screens.
z For more information visit www.mylumens.com/en
Lowel Tota LED XL
Lowel Tota LED XL is a new daylight-balanced panel floodlight with foldable design and a 3x increase in brightness compared to previous models. The new floodlight can be used to light a subject or raise the ambient set lighting for both video and photography. The Tota LED XL emits 11,200 lux of flicker-free, continuous light from 216 LEDs. The 8-inch-by-8-inch panel produces a 60-degree beam at 5600 degrees K +/-200 degrees K. Offering accurate color reproduction with a Television Lighting Consistency Index (TLCI) rating of 98 and a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 96, the new floodlight can render vibrant colors as well as warm, nuanced skin tones. When a hard light source is needed, the included rigid diffusers can be quickly removed.
z For more information, visit www.tiffen.com/pages/lowel-lighting-system.
Sony LBN-H1 Battery Station
The LBN-H1 provides convenient storage and transportation of up to 10 Airpeak S1 battery packs (LBP-HS1), while providing intelligent and fast charging for eight battery packs. It is designed for professional drone operators flying Sony Electronics’ Airpeak S1 drone1, from film sets to industrial applications.
The LBN-H1 includes built-in charging cables for two remote controllers (RCRVH1) and equipped with three standard auxiliary power outlet accessory sockets that can support a variety of accessories including 12V outlets that can charge mobile devices, cameras, and other USB accessories. The accessory socket cap can also be used as a stopper to prevent the lid from accidentally shutting due to wind or other factors while using this product.
z For more information visit www.pro.sony
24 XXXXXXXX 2021 | www.tvtechnology.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology 24
eye on tech | product and services February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
Peru Is on a Lawo-Fueled Mission
By Victor Solis Talaverano Sound Engineer Latina
LIMA, Peru—My first experience with a Lawo desk was about nine years ago, at RPP Group, a popular radio station. It was among the first in Peru to implement visual radio and it then refined the concept by adding television programming to its multiplatform broadcast offering, which today encompasses radio, TV and web streaming.
The setup involved a Lawo sapphire radio console and an mc²56 Audio Production Console that needed to exchange data in a dependable fashion. More than 70 channels were configured on RPP’s mc²56 console for lightning-fast access and convenient mixing of a variety of program material.
I currently work at Latina, a TV station dedicated to the production of news programs, entertainment, sports, magazines, primetime shows, and more. My audio engineering colleagues and I enjoy working with the Lawo technology there, which was introduced a few years ago to facilitate the leap from analog to digital.
Latina has seven studios, each equipped with a Compact I/O unit connected over fiber-optic links to make all audio channels accessible from any mc²36 console in any audio control room. Routing the studio I/Os to the required console is straightforward, and this is a great help for us.
The station owns a plug-in-based WAVES SoundGrid DSP server, which can be connected to the desired console via a Digigrid MGO optical interface. All audio consoles are conveniently linked to a network switch, so that the DSP server is available to the engineer who needs it. The WAVES plug-ins and settings can be tweaked directly on the console screen.
Latina TV was the Peruvian rightsholder for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and I was fortunate enough to be in charge of the live matches. We decoded the Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) signals received from FIFA in such a way as to isolate the ambience microphone and backup audio
We then added the audio signals from our commentators and correspondents in Qatar to this sound bed, which we de-embedded using a V__pro8. This approach allowed me to create an audio mix for viewers in Peru.
READY FOR THE FUTURE
One might argue that some of the devices mentioned above have been discontinued. But they are still relevant: the power and flexibility of these components meet the requirements of the leading media in our country. I am the first to admit, though, that I cannot wait to take Lawo’s next-generation technology for a spin, because I know it will make my work easier still.
Alas, live coverage of sporting events in immersive audio is not in the cards for Peru just yet, even though I am eager to produce in this exciting audio format. It will be a big step for me, but I know I can rely on Lawo’s console technology and superior audio quality to produce exciting results. I have already started experimenting with immersive audio and am familiar with the basic notions.
Given the flexibility and intuitive user interface of Lawo’s mc² consoles, which I have grown very fond of, I am sure that they will inspire me to explore new ideas that will make TV productions in my country more compelling and add an extra dimension to our storytelling.
On a personal note, I have fond memories of my visit to Lawo’s HQ in Rastatt, Germany. The enthusiasm and passion I experienced there were amazing. I would like to thank everybody I met in Rastatt for their hospitality, friendship, and accessibility. I was encouraged to ask a lot of questions, and every reply I received showed me that Lawo is on a longterm mission to achieve excellence. l
Victor Solis Talaverano is a professional sound engineer at Latina.pe with more than 12 years of experience working for radio, television and web media in Peru. He has worked for radio and TV stations such as Studio 92, Oxigeno, RPP radio, RPP TV, ATV, and many others. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For more information visit https://lawo.com.
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology 26 equipment guide | signal conversion
Victor Solis Talaverano has relied on Lawo technologies for years, most recently at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
ENCO Brings Fast and Accurate Captioning to LTC Public Access TV
By Steve Manock Equipment and Facilities Manager Lowell Telecommunications Corp.
LOWELL, Mass.—Lowell Telecommunications Corp. (LTC), also known as Lowell TeleMedia Center, is a public access TV station that operates three PEG channels. Members of the Lowell community can sign up for a membership to broadcast up to three hours of content per week. Memberships also provide access to equipment rentals and in-studio editing without an additional charge.
The city of Lowell contracts LTC as a third-party to broadcast government meetings, which occur daily except Fridays. LTC staff monitors meetings onsite to ensure that live broadcasts go smoothly and are archived for public record.
About 10 years ago we decided that captioning services would be a great help to our viewers, and began working with organizations to fund the initiative.
We started by using a live caption company, an expensive endeavor that paid a stenographer by the word. The stenographer was also located halfway across the country, and there was a three- to five-minute delay before captions would appear on a live meeting broadcast. The errors were enumerable, and we realized that manual captioning wasn’t an ideal solution.
We soon searched for other options that were faster, more cost-efficient, and a lot more accurate. Lowell is a very diverse community, and thick accents can produce embarrassing captioning mistakes. Daniell Krawczyk of Municipal Captioning, an LTC partner that advises PEG stations on technology, suggested ENCO’s enCaption solution. After taking it for a test drive I knew it was a perfect fit.
For one, we can now schedule captioning services for live meetings in advance. As soon as we go live, it just starts working. Previous
captioning delays are now gone, and what once took three minutes to start is now instantaneous. ENCO’s enCaption’s native AI technology has improved speed and accuracy. Having five minutes of words appear on screens after the program ends helps nobody. The machine-learning has been very fast, and I can’t stress enough how accurate it has been compared to before. It’s one less thing to worry about.
ACCENT ON ACCURACY
The solution also works accurately on many different accents, solving one of our biggest captioning conundrums. It even gets complicated names right for the most part. When it doesn’t, we can simply input names into a word bank and the software automatically pulls up the correct name when it hears it. For example, our mayor’s name is Sokhary Chau, which we added to enCaption’s dictionary so that his name is spelled correctly every time. Our enCaption system is installed on a
rackmounted computer on-premises. The workflow is simple: The studio at City Hall sends the live signal back to LTC and into our TelVue system, which feeds enCaption to produce real-time closed captions. Besides adding occasional words to the enCaption dictionary and preparing weekly schedules, we almost never touch it.
When we started using enCaption, we watched it constantly to see how it fared. There were far fewer errors, and we no longer received complaints from the community about delay and accuracy. We don’t even have to think about captioning anymore, which frees us to focus on other aspects of creating a great broadcast. l
Steve Manock is the equipment and facilities manager at Lowell Telecommunications Corp. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dan Bazarian of LTC also contributed to this story.
For more information on ENCO, visit www.enco.com.
To reduce costs and improve accuracy, LTC Public Access TV turned to ENCO for a better captioning solution.
27 equipment guide | signal conversion
twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
Digital Alert Systems DASDEC Emergency Messaging Platform
Digital Alert Systems has launched v5 of its DASDEC and One-Net series of emergency messaging devices. DASDEC V.5 has a modern 64-bit architecture and a new and improved operator interface. It has an easier-to-follow menu structure and less visual clutter while retaining the basic operational outline so new users are less intimidated and previous users are instantly familiar. DASDEC V.5 represents the company’s next phase of product development, with a continuing emphasis on streamlining the user interface well into the future.
z For more information visit www.digitalalertsystems.com.
Imagine Communications Selenio Network Processor (SNP)
The 1RU Selenio Network Processor (SNP) is designed to be an indispensable part of modern broadcast architectures. Supporting both IP and SDI and a broad range of applications, the software-defined, featurecomplete signal processing platform can be used for conversions between SMPTE ST 2110 and SDI, including 12G SDI, as well as up-, down- and cross-conversion between HD/ UHD and SDR/HDR formats. The unique SNP architecture enables media companies to incorporate new functionality without having to buy additional hardware or re-architect their machine rooms. Latest features include coordinated switching of 8K signals and enhancements to its JPEG XS connectivity offerings, enabling high-quality connectivity between facilities and around the world.
z For more information visit www.imaginecommunications.com.
AJA FS-HDR is a 1RU, rackmount, universal converter/frame synchronizer designed specifically to meet the High Dynamic Range and Wide Color Gamut needs of broadcast, OTT, production, post, and live event AV environments, where real-time, low-latency processing and color fidelity are required for 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD workflows. Developed in partnership with Colorfront, the FS-HDR’s HDR/WCG functionality is powered by Colorfront Engine proprietary video processing algorithms. In Single Channel Mode, FS-HDR serves as a full, 1-channel up/down/crossconverter for 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD HDR/WCG transformation. In 4-Channel Mode, FS-HDR offers four independent channels of 2K/HD HDR/WCG transformations as well as up/ down/cross conversions.
z For more information visit www.aja.com.
Matrox ConvertIP SMPTE ST 2110 Converters
Matrox ConvertIP SMPTE ST 2110 converters are designed to usher in a new era of HD/4K broadcast monitoring. Featuring multiple connectivity options, a fan-less design, and NMOS control, ConvertIP Series provides broadcasters with maximum flexibility and reliability to easily and confidently display ST 2110-20 and ST 2110-22 signals on HDMI or SDI monitors. These versatile devices support uncompressed and JPEG-XS HD/4K media over 10 GbE and 25 GbE IP fiber networks and include an independent, PoE+-enabled RJ45 control port ensuring integration within any SMPTE ST 2110 environment.
z For more information visit www.matrox.com/en.
In a media landscape where there appears to be no end to evolving media formats, containers, color spaces, and accompanying metadata, Telestream Vantage is designed to simplify media conversion in today’s multiformat, multivendor video environments. With support for over 120 video and audio compression formats and file types, Vantage is used worldwide to ingest, convert, and process media for every conceivable destination. Vantage processes media where it resides, be it in the cloud or on-premises. Its intelligent workflows automate decisionmaking by responding to media properties and metadata automatically, removing the need for human intervention.
z For more information visit: www.telestream.net.
Teradek Prism Mobile
Prism Mobile is designed to be the most powerful, lowest-SWaP, LTE enabled cameraback video encoder in its class. With 2x integrated LTE modems and support for up to 9X simultaneous network connections, Prism Mobile users can reliably contribute secure, low-latency 4K HDR video from the most challenging locations via network bonding. Key features include: 12G-SDI and HDMI inputs; 2X Internal Node II LTE modems for network bonding; low-SWaP design streams for up to 5 hours; video quality of up up to 4K HDR, 4:2:2, 10-bit; support for streaming in HEVC/H.265 and AVC/H.264 and such protocols as SRT, RTMP(S), MPEG-TS, and RTSP; camera to cloud integrations, and many other features.
z For more information visit www.teradek.com.
28 equipment guide | signal conversion February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
Butcher Bird Studios Relies on Blackmagic Design Converters
By Griffin Davis Producer and Technical Director Butcher Bird Studios
GLENDALE, Calif.–As a premiere full-service creative and production studio, Butcher Bird Studios handles a wide range of production styles, from streaming and AR/VR to cutting edge virtual production strategies. While we frequently produce fairly standard content for a variety of clients, we have become known for creating live interactive virtual events for customers such as Legendary Digital, Netflix, Twitch and more.
When dealing with so many different types of production workflows, signal conversion is key and it boils down to three main areas: SDI workflows in an HDMI world, video game capture and in-studio monitoring.
When operating in the live space, using SDI is imperative since it does not require an electric handshake and it locks. It can be barreled, run at great lengths and it’s durable. It’s just so much more reliable than HDMI in every way and more convenient than fiber. However, your average monitor or television isn’t going to come with SDI capture hardware.
MINI & MICRO CONVERTERS
Enter Blackmagic Design’s Mini Converters and Micro Converters—we rely on a variety of models including SDI to HDMI, HDMI to SDI, BiDirectional SDI/HDMI and SDI Distribution, all which make it possible to spread feeds across the studio.
When it comes to video game capture, Butcher Bird produces an enormous amount of content. Typically, our production switchers are SDI, while video game consoles are HDMI. We convert signals in all sorts of ways so that we can switch to the gameplay feed in our production, all with no input lag for the gamer.
Obviously, I have lots of Mini and Micro Converters, so they sit in a drawer that is meticulously organized by use, type and
resolution. I have a Micro Converter velcroed to every television in my production space to allow SDI into it, powering off the set’s USB port. Additionally, my Blackmagic MultiView 16 sits in a rack with my Ultimatte 12 4K compositing processors, so I can monitor each piece of our greenscreen keying workflow.
With this in place, I can achieve massive video distribution and monitoring, both for camera professionals and clients. I think of the converters as the building blocks of my signal flow workflow. With Micro Converters, I can turn every television and monitor in my studio into an access point for a client or crew member to monitor.
Since I work in the live space, this is very important because virtually every person in the building needs to be able to see the program feed instantaneously to contribute to
the show. This would not be possible without video and signal conversion. l
Griffin Davis joined the full service creative and production studio Burcher Bird Studios in 2017 and has been a producer and technical director at Butcher Bird Studios since 2020. During that time, he worked on such projects as Netflix Geeked Week, the /twitchpresents channel for Glitchcon, and Fortnite Is Gone.
Prior to joining Butcher Bird Studios, he worked as a production coordinator at KCSBFM in Santa Barbara and was the editor in chief of the Gaucho Marks Magazine. He can be reached at email@example.com or 803-528-3288. For more information, visit https://butcherbirdstudios.com.
For more information, contact Blackmagic Design at 408-954-0500 or visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.
Griffin Davis uses Blackmagic Design’s Mini and Micro Converters as building blocks for workflows to manage many different types of productions.
equipment guide | signal conversion twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
LYNX Technik CDH 1411: 12G SDI to HDMI Converter yellobrik
LYNK Technik’s yellobrik CDH 1411 is an ideal tool for monitoring and display applications with features that include a clean HDMI feed of the SDI signal. It offers direct conversion without scaling, burn-in windows for timecode, 16-channel audio level meters, safe area markets, H/V delay to view the horizontal and vertical blanking intervals and more. The CDH 1411 is also available with various fiber I/O connectivity. Facilities can transmit the SDI signal over fiber with the fiber transmitter option or receive an SDI fiber input and convert to electrical SDI and HDMI for display. Send and receive SDI fiber signals simultaneously. The module can also be equipped with CWDM fiber for multiplexed applications with 18 wavelength selections. As with all yellobrik models, the CDH 1411 is compatible with LynxCentraal software, can be used as standalone or installed in a yellobrik rack frame for larger systems installations.
z For more detials visit www.lynx-technik.com
VLink Lite has been designed to make life easier for users as a cost-effective intercom solution. It runs virtually on iOS or Android devices and supports pointto-point and partyline that works over Wi-FI, cellular or satellite, which means that no extra equipment or wires are necessary. It offers flexible button programmability that allows VLink Lite to meet the most demanding wireless communications requirements. It is also easy to upgrade to the full version of VLink to accommodate more users and channels.
z For more information visit www.rtsintercoms.com.
MIO-BLADE-Z21 is Evertz’ programmable MIO module for the SCORPION flexible processing platform. Designed for flexibility, the MIO-BLADE-Z21 is a generic FPGA-based compute module that can run a catalog of software services as defined by the user. This adds a layer of agility and flexibility with the SCORPION solution, allowing any deployed functionality to dynamically change or be updated with changing infrastructure and workflow requirements. The MIO-BLADE-Z21 has the capability to run unique software functions (APPs) that each have been scaled to process a specific family of functions enabled by the Evertz Virtualized Compression Stack. This enables the most agile network edge and creates an opportunity for network costs to be moved more to an opex model if desired.
z For more information visit www.evertz.com
LiveU LU800 PRO4
The LU800 is a multicamera productionlevel field unit for live news and sports coverage, capable of delivering missioncritical transmission for global newsgathering and live productions in native 5G. As reliable as satellite/fiber, the LU800 offers a highly cost-effective solution for complex remote productions. It can handle up to four high-res, fully frame-synced feeds from a single portable unit. The LU800 can be turned into a multicam unit at any given time with the PRO2/PRO4 multi-cam license. It offers unparalleled reliability with up to eight internal 5G/4G dual SIM modems. It bonds up to 14 connections with up to eight 5G/4G internal dual SIM modems, supporting up to 70 Mbps, based on LiveU’s award-winning, patented HEVC technology.
z For more information visit www.liveu.tv.
Vislink 5G 4Live is a complete end-to-end remote production solution designed to provide a premium-quality, uncontended 5G private network. Vislink 5G 4Live functions as a combined 5G network solution that integrates roaming camera 5G transmitters with a hybrid portable/private 5G network infrastructure.
It incorporates several best-ofbreed Vislink and Mobile Viewpoint technologies in a completely integrated ecosystem, including HCAM Module 5, LinkMatrix system and UltraLink-Air 5G encoders. It enables live production with full support for wireless cameras—providing complete freedom to roam and capture engagement-building footage—and the deployment of an onsite bidirectional all-IP 5G gateway at the event.
z For more information visit www.vislink.com.
arkona technologies AT300
Designed for hybrid-cloud environments where compute-heavy uncompressed 4K/UHD workflows are most efficiently processed at the edge, the AT300 offers a variety of live production broadcast functions on a dual 100 GigE softwaredefined compute blade. The AT300 supports interchangeable software apps that are fully controllable through a modern and open WebSocket API as well as AMWA NMOS IS-04 and IS-05. The AT300 is designed to be the highest density 4K/HDR solution on the market while also offering a more energy-efficient solution than the previous generation.
z For more information visit www.arkonatech.com
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
MultiDyne Solves Audio Downmix Problem for KAMU-TV
By Leonard Welch Associate Director KAMU-TV/FM
COLLEGE STATION, Texas—Texas A&M University is the home to KAMU-TV and FM, the primary PBS and NPR member stations serving College Station and the Brazos Valley. With reach into the Waco, Temple and Killeen markets, we reach thousands of viewers and listeners over the air, including three digital TV channels (national PBS programming, Create and PBS Kids).
PBS continues to strengthen its streaming presence to reach more viewers through initiatives like PBS Passport, which provides members with extended access to on-demand programming. PBS also provides free live TV streams at PBS.org, embedding the local member station’s feed into a branded web player (as in “KAMU Livestream”).
A recent change in the national PBS delivery systems caught the attention of KAMU Livestream viewers, which turned into a problem-solving mission to correct a perplexing audio issue. PBS made a change to the technology infrastructure of its centralized encoding system, which feeds live TV streams to member station web players.
The previous system automatically downmixed 5.1 broadcast program audio to a 2.0 stereo mix for web streams at the handoff point from the encoder. As one of the first stations added to the new encoding infrastructure, we soon began receiving calls from KAMU Livestream viewers that they could only hear odd noises. We quickly confirmed that channels one and two of the 5.1 surround feed were coming through, and realized we had a downmix problem on our hands.
We knew immediately that we wanted a problem-solving device that we could plug in to fix the problem. With limited budget and engineering resources, we wanted to avoid complex software solutions with downmix appliances that required extensive configuring, testing and finetuning to consistently downmix audio. We
Faced with audio downmix problems, KAMU-TV turned to MultiDyne to solve the issue.
soon came across MultiDyne and its NanoBrix Series of distribution and conversion products, which includes a specialized audio product to specifically downmix surround audio to stereo.
PLUG & PLAY
The NanoBrix NBX-5.1-DMX-PCM-3G is a miniature hardware downmixer that accepts embedded discrete multichannel audio and re-embeds a converted stereo downmix into the processed SDI output. The design is simple, with one input to take in the SDI signal, one SDI output with the embedded, processed audio, and a second reclocked output. This made for a quick plug-and-play installation. The downmix problem was solved upon connection.
The beauty of this product is that the problem was permanently solved. As previously mentioned, we wanted to avoid software solutions that required us to monitor and fine-tune settings. The NBX-5.1-DMX-PCM-3G positions two bi-color LEDs on the front of the device that indicate the presence of a valid SDI video signal, and the presence of embedded audio within that signal. Same as a traffic light, green illumination confirms that everything is moving forward, while red illuminations indicate that the signal has come to a stop. This provides
simple and straightforward signal monitoring in case we need to troubleshoot. To this point, illuminations remain consistently green.
The NBX-5.1-DMX-PCM-3G downmixer fits seamlessly into our studio infrastructure. The program audio is output from our master control switcher and into our router. The router passes the audio feed to the NBX-5.1-DMXPCM-3G, which downmixes the audio and sends it back into the router. From there, the stereo feed is sent into our primary and secondary encoders, which feed the PBS infrastructure serving the KAMU Livestream viewers.
We also like the fact that if we expand our streaming architecture to other encoders, this product will automatically perform the same task since it is already part of our routing system. The NBX-5.1-DMX-PCM-3G is therefore not only a cost-effective and simple way to solve downmix problems today, but a futureproof solution for new downmix requirements added down the road. l
Leonard Welch is the associate director, KAMUTV/FM. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit Multidyne at www.multidyne.com.
equipment guide | signal conversion twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
Telstra Broadcast Services Taps Grass Valley for Remote Workflows
By Carl Petch CTO Telstra Broadcast Services
SYDNEY, Australia—Telstra Broadcast Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telstra Corp., Australia’s largest telecommunications company. We are a global media and managed services business that provides media and broadcasting solutions and assurance with facilities worldwide including APAC, EMEA, and the United States.
As our customers become increasingly global, they need to distribute content to and from different parts of the world to other broadcasters or intermediaries. To achieve this, TBS relies primarily on our global media networks, our fiber, internet, and our PoPs around the world. We also have access to Telstra’s subsea cable network where we can deliver contribution and distribution services for all of our products, but most recently for our new Media Production Platform (MPP).
ALIGNING OUR FACILITIES
MPP is a cloud-based platform from Telstra that allows users to control any broadcast workflow remotely via a web browser and the public internet.
With AMPP from Grass Valley, we are aligning our facilities and our end-to-end media networks to provide infrastructure as a service. By combining on-prem signal conversion such as Alchemist HD and KudosPro with the virtualized software found in AMPP, we can give customers content in different formats from a signal conversion perspective.
For example, we aggregate numerous sporting events in our U.S. facility, but we need to reformat from 59.94 frames per second down to 50 frames per second to supply it to European networks. We use an on-prem KudosPro with motion compensation. This way, we’re able to convert it at our facility and then push it out over the network for global distribution of that product.
The most recent use case was the localization of major sporting events using MPP and AMPP—which is incorporated into MPP. Rather than go from the venue back through
our facility and then into the cloud, we went directly from the venue into our public cloud instance where we then used GV AMPP to do the time-based conversion, format conversion, or even HDR to SDR.
ON-PREM AND IN THE CLOUD
We’ve deliberately moved away from doing things physically on-prem thanks to the maturity of MPP and the ability to orchestrate feeds from different locations using our media networks into the public cloud or into our on-prem facilities. We let the end-to-end workflow decide where the workloads go.
We’ve always been a Grass Valley house, so carrying on our investment and knowledge is very important. Using Alchemist for frame rate conversion is great, and the fact that it can be on-prem or in the cloud means that we now have the same product, with the same usability in hardware and in software with the surrounding platform. As the orchestration between the two environments improves, the solution becomes more and more powerful.
As a managed media network provider, our operation is multi-site from a physical
on-prem perspective and multi-region from a cloud perspective, so the crucial next step will be to combine them in the orchestration layer so we can send signals back and forth from on-prem into the cloud using a mixture of compressed and uncompressed formats. What we like about the public cloud environment is that we now have the flexibility to do what we want. We can have what we had on-prem in the cloud, and it’s now an OpEx model rather than a straight CapEx model. This allows us to choose how we distribute the workloads and manage costs.
We can also have the workload where we need it, which means we can use it on-prem when it makes sense and use it in the cloud when it makes sense. Managing where we can run that workload is significant and helps us manage the cost of producing the event. l
Carl Petch is CTO for Telstra Broadcast Services and leads the global Broadcast and Media Engineering and Solutions Architecture teams. Petch is internationally recognized as an evangelist and expert on broadcast and IP. He can be reached at email@example.com.
For more information visit www.grassvalley.com.
equipment guide | signal conversion February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
Carl Petch’s tech teams at Telstra Broadcast Services deployed Grass Valley solutions to handle the complexities of dealing with many different formats for its clients around the world.
TVU Networks RPS Link Encoder
The TVU RPS (Remote Production) Link Encoder provides multicamera, synchronized remote production capability (up to 1080p), using IS+ to aggregate up to 12 connections, including embedded 5G/LTE modems, WIFI, ethernet or satellite. Designed to be ideal for use in remote locations where reliable wired IP connections are unavailable or inadequate, the RPS Link Encoder features a 2RU chassis configurable for up to six 5G modems with external, high-gain antennas. RPS Link Encoder comes in four-channel and six-channel models with up to two channels of return video. The TVU RPS Link Encoder is compatible with the TVU RPS hardware decoder and TVU’s complete Cloud Production ecosystem, including the TVU Producer live production platform, TVU Partyline video collaboration tool and TVU Command Center for centralized signal monitoring.
z For more information visit www.tvunetworks.com
FOR-A FOR-A FA-9600
The FOR-A FA-9600 provides HDR and Wide Color Gamut support with exceptional conversion format delivery, including 12G, 4K(UHD), 1080p and HD/ SD. Each of the FA-9600 processor’s two HD/SD inputs includes a frame synchronizer. Because the signal processor features 12G-SDI terminals, optional software opens the door to 4K (UHD) production. Adding an optional expansion card provides four more channels of 3G-SDI input/output or six channels of 12G-SDI distributed output. In addition, the FA-9600 is much more than a basic frame synchronizer. It simplifies all types of video conversion and a newly developed color processing circuit supports the latest gamut and dynamic range specifications, and an optional converter circuit is available for up/ down/cross conversion.
z For more information visit www.for-a.com
Cobalt Digital Indigo 2110-DC-01
Cobalt’s Indigo 2110-DC-01 is a cost-effective, highly integrated factory option that includes dual 25G Ethernet interfaces and supports uncompressed 4K on the 9904-UDX-4K openGear card. Support for ST 20227 seamless redundancy switching is incorporated for improved network reliability as well as IS-04/IS-05 NMOS for automatic discovery and configuration. Interfacing to an existing network is straightforward as devices are auto discovered and available for interconnection. Indigo’s advanced processing with IP inputs and outputs eliminates the need for external gateways. When combined with the 9904-UDX-4K, a powerful and dense solution is created, capable of natively processing HD, 3G and 4K IP streams without compromising quality. The 9904 platform capabilities include up/down/cross conversion, audio routing, color correction, 3D-LUT processing and supports Advanced HDR by Technicolor.
z For more information visit www.cobaltdigital.com
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equipment guide | signal conversion twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | February 2023
SVP, EMEA Region
Prime Focus Technologies
Prime Focus Technologies has hired Suresh Sugumaran senior vice president in the Europe, Middle East and Africa Region. He is a 23-year industry veteran with a background across the media and entertainment, technology and telecom sectors. He previously held business leadership positions at Wipro and TCS. Most recently, he was with Tech Mahindra as vice president, technology for M&E in Europe.
JEAN - MARC RACINE Chief Product Officer
Haivision has appointed JeanMarc Racine the new chief product officer. He brings 25 years of market and product expertise to the company, which reorganized its product development teams. Ronan Poullaouec (CTO and founder of Aviwest), has been appointed SVP, Engineering; Paul Singh is now SVP DevSecOps, Quality Engineering; and Mariano Converti is VP, Engineering, Cloud.
MICHAEL PHILLIPPI Chief Technology Officer Wowza
Wowza announced three executive hires to its leadership team. The new hires include Michael Phillippi as CTO; Mark Lockwood as chief revenue officer; and Matt Thompson as vice president of marketing. Phillippi previously served as CTO of Canto and VP of Technology at Lyxt Inc. Lockwood brings experience from ID.me and Logi Analytics. Thompson joins Wowza after stints at Soprano Design and AT&T.
VP/Associate Group Manager
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair Broadcast Group has named Cory Culleton VP/associate group manager. With more than 20 years of experience in television, digital strategies and advertising sales, he is responsible for oversight of the Raleigh, N.C., Pensacola, Fla./Mobile, Ala., Tallahassee, Fla. and Gainesville, Fla. markets. He will also continue in his role as VP/ GM of WEAR/WFGX in Pensacola, Fla., and overseeing services to WPMI/WJTC in Mobile, Ala.
Chief Operating Officer The E.W. Scripps Co.
The E.W. Scripps Co. has named Lisa Knutson, former president of Scripps Networks, as its COO. She will spearhead a reorganization of the company’s operations and be responsible for operating results. In 17 years at Scripps, Knutson has served as CFO, chief strategy officer and chief administrative officer, and she has led or participated in numerous company restructuring initiatives. The leaders of Local Media and Scripps Networks will report to her.
SCOTT STIEFEL Chief Executive Officer Telos Alliance
Telos Alliance has appointed Co-CEO Scott Stiefel to the role of CEO. He will take over from CoCEO Tom Swidarski who will serve as vice chairman on the board of directors. Telos Alliance Founder Frank Foti remains chairman of the board. Stiefel has served Telos Alliance for more than 20 years, starting as a hardware systems engineer in 1994 and working his way up to CEO. He joined ViaSat Inc. in 2008, returning to the Telos Alliance in 2014 as COO.
Chief Creative Officer
Angry Badgers Productions
Lighting designer/director of photography Lonnie Juli has joined Angry Badgers Productions (ABP) as chief creative officer. With 40 years of experience, Juli has amassed a broad resume, ranging from stints with small market affiliates to network TV production for CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox and others. He has designed for news, sports, daytime TV, lifestyle shows, talk shows and several presidential debates. He was recognized in several Emmy Award-winning broadcasts.
HARVEY ARNOLD SVP Engineering Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced a number of executive promotions including the promotion of Harvey Arnold from VP of engineering to SVP of engineering. Other promotions at Sinclair include: Jamie Dembeck from VP, human resources to SVP, human resources; Jim Joly from VP, digital sales operations to SVP, digital sales; and Steve Zenker from VP, investor relations to SVP, investor relations.
February 2023 | www.tvtech.com | twitter.com/tvtechnology
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