TV Tech 0487 - July 2023

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Welcome to the July 2023 issue of

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equipment guide master control/ routing & KVM switches | July 2023 A CONVERSATION WITH CHATGPT • APPLE’S VISION PRO • ATSC 3.0 AT NAB SHOW, PART II
Check How is AI impacting our industry? TEST& MEASUREMENT P16
contents 10 Facing Up to the Promise and Challenges of Generative AI Recent hype illustrates promise, peril By Kevin Hilton 15 AI’s Legacy for Media Production Can Be Found in Closed Captioning Advances in speech-to-text and ASR ensure improved accuracy, context and lower latency By Tom Butts 18 Karl Has a Conversation With ChatGPT How can AI help broadcasters make data management more sustainable? By Karl Paulsen 20 Test/QC Tools Straddle Two Broadcast Worlds OTA and OTT have different needs to solve the same problem By Bob Kovacs 22 ATSC 3.0 at the NAB Show, Part II: Transmission and Monitoring How will 3.0 gear work with DRM:? By Doug Lung 10 July 2023 volumn 41, issue 6 6 in the news 24 eye on tech 34 people 22 20 13 18 | | July 2023 3 equipment guide user reports master control/routing & kvm switches • Aveco • Lawo • Ross Video • Crispin • EVS 26 26

Apple unveiled its long-awaited entry into the VR market last month with its Vision Pro headset, taking great pains to avoid using the words “virtual reality” in its press release, instead opting for its own “spatial computing” verbiage.

Vision Pro features two displays with a combined resolution of 23 million pixels in a headset that weighs approximately one pound. The visuals scale beyond the boundaries of a traditional display, introducing a fully three-dimensional user interface that is controlled by the user’s eyes, hands and voice. The visionOS spatial operating system, powered by a customized Apple M2 dual-chip design, allows users of Vision Pro to interact with digital content in a way “that feels like it is physically present in their space,” Apple said.

The early reviews from our sister brands were cautiously enthusiastic, with the understanding that we’re still in the early stages of a product that could actually live up to the “game changer” hype that is all too often bandied about when products of this caliber (and price) hit the market.

TechRadar called the Vision Pro “lust-worthy.”

“It’s beautiful to look at and gets most of the key VR and AR experiences right,” writes Editor in Chief Lance Ulanoff. “Even now, months from release, it’s already the most intuitive VR interface not yet on the market. The eye and hand tracking are already excellent. I think spatial photos and, especially video, may change how we engage in memories.”

Tom’s Guide was also impressed, despite the issues of an awkward external battery and its size. “I’m excited by the Apple Vision Pro despite the astronomical price,” said Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer. “This headset looks extremely powerful, and it’s important to keep in mind that this is a version 1.0 product. We haven’t even seen what developers can do with this device yet.”

The price tag of $3,500 left many observers wondering where it fits in the VR/AR ecosystem, but it’s safe to say that it will most likely find an early home in enterprise, government and science and tech, according to Allan Cook, managing director with Deloitte Consulting.

“It’s not really being targeted to the consumer, but it’s being much more targeted to the enterprise,” he told TV Tech. “Although Apple isn’t necessarily known as being an enterprise company, I feel that that’s where we’re gonna start.”

That said, it’s consumers that will most likely determine the success of Vision Pro (and more importantly, the strength of the apps built for it) and in terms of “TV-like” immersive experiences (such as the virtual Cinema Environments it just released), early reviews indicate it will clearly go where no other device of its type has gone before.



Content Director

Tom Butts,

Content Manager

Terry Scutt,

Senior Content Producer George Winslow,

Contributors: Gary Arlen, Susan Ashworth, James Careless, Kevin Hilton, John Maxwell Hobbs, Craig Johnston, Bob Kovacs and Mark R. Smith

Production Managers: Heather Tatrow, Nicole Schilling

Managing Design Director: Nicole Cobban

Senior Design Director: Cliff Newman


Managing Vice President of Sales, B2B Tech Adam Goldstein,


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ATSC Honors Outstanding Contributions to Standards Development

At its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. last month, the Advanced Television Systems Committee honored TV engineer and visionary Glenn Reitmeier with the Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award and Saankhya Labs with its Mark Richer Industry Leadership Medal.

The Lechner honor is bestowed annually to an individual representative of the ATSC membership whose technical and leadership contributions to ATSC have been invaluable and exemplary. Reitmeier, who founded the GlennReitmeierTV consultancy after serving as NBCUniversal vice president of Advanced Technology and then as senior vice president, Technology Standards and Policy, played an instrumental part earlier in his career while at Sarnoff Labs and a Sarnoff incubator company in the development, testing an ultimate standardization of digital HDTV and the subsequent A/53 ATSC standard (now called ATSC 1).

Later, he advocated to the ATSC board for a next-generation digital TV system. That suggestion, which he has described as a “What? You’re crazy” proposal, ultimately grew into the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards.

Saankhya Labs received the Mark Richer Award, given annually to an individual or team that demonstrates exemplary leadership in advancing the committee’s mission and epitomizes the vision and leadership qualities of Mark Richer, former ATSC president for whom the award is named.

Established in 2007, Saankhya Labs is

India’s first fabless semiconductor solutions company whose products and solutions include award-winning, fully programmable Software Defined Radio chipsets powering their Direct To Mobile (D2M) Broadcast and Converged 5G Broadband Broadcast connectivity solutions among and other 5G products and services.

ATSC also honored Lynn Claudy, senior vice president of technology for NAB, Brian Markwalter, senior vice president, research & standards for CTA, and Andy Scott, vice president of engineering for NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, for their diligence and tireless efforts on behalf of the association, naming them the “Ironmen of ATSC.”

Gaian, ARK Announce Joint Venture for ATSC 3.0-Based Internet Network

Gaian Solutions and ARK Multicasting have announced a joint venture to develop what it says will be the nation's largest Broadcast Internet Network that is expected to cover 30% of the United States, using NextGen TV spectrum.

The two companies said that they have committed to an aggressive roll-out and that the joint venture aims to initially extend its network to all 300 LPTV stations currently served by ARK.

"We are shopping for

partners in other markets, as the potential for growth and reach is tremendous, and the opportunity for all television broadcasters who partner is unmatched by existing models" said Joshua Weiss, CEO of ARK.

Leveraging valuable NextGenTV spectrum, the joint venture promises to launch a plethora of

applications, including citizen safety, IoT management, Smart City Services, Digital Signage and Interactive applications.

The network is initially launching dozens of these applications in 10 markets and plans to rapidly expand to cater to the needs of cities and communities across the country, the companies said. "In the explosive and rapidly changing world of

AI-based digital solutions, the Mobius platform brings light-speed capabilities to envision, engineer and launch applications leveraging the NextGenTV network," said Chandra Kotaru of Gaian, which has developed Mobius, a Low Code AI-enabled Digital Transformation as a Service (DTaaS) platform to quickly create digital experiences.

"You think of an app, we deliver the app. On-Demand IT is the future, and we are proud to bring such bleedingedge technology to the NextGenTV industry."

in the news 6 July 2023 | |
Tom Butts (L to R): ATSC President Madeleine Noland, Glenn Reitmeier and ATSC Board Chairman Richard Friedel (L to R): Prashant Maru, vice president of sales, Saankhya Labs CEO Parag Naik, Mark Richer, Madeleine Noland and Richard Friedel

AI In TV Is Not ‘The Terminator,’ But Risks Exist

Filmmaker James Cameron stamped some indelible images into the minds of fans of “The Terminator.” In his post-apocalyptic world where AI-driven Skynet unleashed a nuclear holocaust, that same artificial intelligence set about a cleanup operation driving gun-wielding killer robots to handle the survivors, crushing human skulls under metal feet in the process. No wonder the public is worried about AI. So too are AI leaders, scholars and public figures. In May, a statement

from the Center for AI Safety expressed their concerns about the “severe risks” advanced AI poses.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemic and nuclear war,” it said. While they may be right, there’s no denying AI and machine learning are having some profound positive effects on television and its workflows. From optimizing video compression to achieve greater efficiencies and automatically generating closed captions to

driving content recommendation and enriching metadata, AI/ML is improving the M&E industry. However, that doesn’t mean broadcasters are immune to potential peril—not apocalyptic in nature when it comes to society, but perhaps to themselves.

If one starts with the premise that trust based on credibility is the foundation upon which television newsrooms (whether on-air, online or via social media) build audiences and ratings and ultimately generate revenue for their organizations, it should not be too hard to see some of the potential dangers of advanced AI.

The Center for AI Safety lists eight examples of AI Risks on its website, at least four of

Sphere Unveils ‘World’s Most Advanced Camera System’

Sphere Entertainment announced last month the camera system that will be used for the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas that will open this fall.

The “Big Sky” ultra-high resolution camera system was introduced during the company’s launch of Sphere Studios in Burbank, Calif. The new studio will focus on the development of original immersive entertainment exclusively for Sphere through proprietary and cutting-edge technology, tools and production facilities.

The camera system and custom content creation tool was created by Sphere Studios to capture the stunning images and video required for the world’s highest resolution LED screen at MSG Sphere. Developed in-house at Sphere Studios’ research and development labs, every aspect of Big Sky represents a significant advancement on current state-of-the-art cinema camera systems, the company

said, including the largest single sensor in commercial use capable of capturing incredibly detailed, large-format images.

“Big Sky is a giant leap forward for imaging and a testament to the innovative teams at Sphere Studios who made this technology a reality,” said Deanan DaSilva, the lead architect of Big Sky at Sphere Studios. “Big Sky allows us to capture cinematic content at a level of detail never before possible, opening up extraordinary possibilities and pushing

which could seriously erode viewer trust. They include: misinformation, proxy gaming, value lock-in and deception. I won’t elaborate here because they are easy enough to read about on the center’s website. The key to guarding against these possible threats and others at this point unknown is good journalism, including all of the leg work that goes into reporting a story and consistently checking facts.

Could something slip by on occasion? Sure, that’s the nature of the business. But promoting excellence in journalism should make AI-generated deceptions, misinformation and other possible pitfalls rare occurrences l

immersive imaging technology forward in a way that will resonate throughout the entertainment industry.”

Sphere says the Big Sky system “boasts the world’s sharpest cinematic lenses capable of delivering the unparalleled edge-to-edge optical requirements for Sphere’s 16K x 16K immersive display plane. That allows Sphere Studios filmmakers to capture incredibly detailed, largeformat images from a single camera, without having to stitch content together from multiple cameras—avoiding issues common to stitching including near distance limitations and seams between images.”

When it opens, the $1.8 billion MSG Sphere will be 366 feet tall and 516 feet wide at its widest point. It will have 17,500 seats and host the highest resolution screen in the world at 19,000 by 13,500 pixels.

8 in the news
July 2023 | | Credit: TriStar Pictures

Facing Up to the Promise and Challenges of Generative AI

Recent hype illustrates promise, peril

Anticipated demand for NVIDIA’s AI chip technology pushed the company’s market cap beyond $1 trillion recently.

This year has witnessed an explosion in the use and discussion of artificial intelligence (AI). It is, of course, something that has been around since the 1950s but since the end of last year, coverage has ranged from the serious to hysterical, particularly over its latest manifestation, generative AI (Gen AI).

This more evolved form of AI can create different kinds of content, from text and images to audio and synthetic data, which is more realistically human instead of something clearly produced by a machine. At the forefront of this is ChatGPT (generative pre-trained transformer), which, although only launched in November 2022, has already radically changed the direction of automated speech, text and image creation.


As is often the case with “new” technology, many of the features of AI had been available

to broadcasters and media producers in the last decade.

“We’ve been implementing AI in our tools for years, so it’s not something we’ve jumped on with ChatGPT,” says Andre Torsvik, vice president of product marketing at Vizrt. “AI is used to make computers do what they are best at, which is being fast and precise. Human beings can find that difficult to do, with, for example, outdoor keying on a sports field. An AI can react much faster and the end result is a much better key, you don’t see flickering or ads on top of players.”

The most common applications for Gen AI in broadcast include:

• image generation and video synthesis

• automated production

• assisted video editing

• creation of metadata for automatic “logging”

• subtitling, captioning, segment-specific searches and re-use of media assets

• automatic upscaling of content to higher resolutions; and

• encoding/decoding of audio and video streams

Simon Forrest, principal technology analyst at Futuresource Consulting, comments that AI is capable of assisting artists and producers to create content more quickly, enabling “faster iteration, more exploration and delivering media assets that approach a harmonized composition.”

Another assistive application of AI comes in the form of improved archive searches. This has been a particular area of research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS). Dr Christoph Schmidt, head of Fraunhofer IAIS’s Speech Technologies Unit, explains that it goes beyond keyword techniques, with Gen AI and natural language processing providing “improved ways to find relevant archival content to produce new programs.”


In addition to reducing the number of repetitive tasks performed by operations staff and allowing creatives to do their jobs faster and better, Peter Sykes, strategic technology manager at Sony Europe, sees AI as “making the whole media supply chain as efficient and dynamic as possible, helping analyze and then address resource allocation and process steps to optimize them, leading to better business decisions.”

Sony established an AI division in 2020, focusing on projects in the areas of imaging and sensing, gaming, gastronomy (robotic manipulation of food and cooking utensils) and AI ethics.

For broadcasting, Sony offers its A2 Production system, which, among other features, can identify sports highlights using automated logging and scene detection features. It is also applying AI to softwaredefined networks through the VideoIPath media orchestration platform developed by its Nevion subsidiary.

Ross Video implements AI across two of its main business groups: robotic cameras and newsroom systems. Both are working on integrating AI into their product lines, with robotics using a more proprietary-style

July 2023 | |
ai for media

technology built into its products while news is relying on third-party AI engines.

Jenn Jarvis, product manager for newsroom computer systems at Ross Video, says this gives customers a choice of which engine they want to use and a framework for how they integrate it into a product. “We’re also now looking at the content creation side, which is part of the newer aspects of AI we’re still exploring and seeing how it fits into a news workflow,” she said.

For robotics, Karen Walker, vice president of camera motion systems, observes that the person managing shot selection will still have some work to do in keeping the presenter in frame or in focus.

“But the next thing for AI—and a lot of people have come out with this—is a ‘talent tracking’ application,” she says. “You don’t have to have any human intervention so its possible to set up pre-sets and where you want the talent to be in that shot. This is done independently of the talent and can be configured for different presenters. It takes away some of that manual intervention and I think it’s where AI has benefits, in taking out some of the mundane tweaking.”


Removing, or at least easing, the amount of dull but necessary elements in live production by employing AI is now a realistic proposition. This is illustrated by Rob Gonsalves, engineering fellow at Avid, who gives the example of Open AI’s Whisper


speech-to-text model.

“It can be applied for live transcription and real-time translation of multiple languages within a broadcast feed, toggling through as many as 100 languages

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, TV Tech is offering a month-by-month look at some of the headline-making industry news of the past four decades.

1983: ITU representatives announced a “consensus” had been reached on a satellite TV plan for the western hemisphere. The proposal calls for allocation of a 500 MHz spectrum chunk in the 12 gHz band to deliver a large number of TV channels via small TVROs. While this was good news for the DBS applicants already approved by the FCC, not all of the desired DBS bird orbital slots were approved, and the U.S. downlink power proposal was downsized, necessitating larger receive antennas than planned.

1993: The new “Grand Alliance” continues to make headlines, announcing that it had

simultaneously,” he said.

Avid has also tested both OpenAI’s CLIP model and the generic GRoIE ROI (region of interest) extractor as part of research into auto-framing.

“This followed the area of a shot that is of the greatest semantic interest,” Gonsalves explains. “The traditional way to enable search is to manually annotate media assets with metadata tags describing what is in the shot. Using AI object or facial recognition can now automate the scanning and annotation process. Semantic search does something similar but, by creating embeddings into clips, it allows an editor to conduct a free-text search for scenarios.”

Sepi Motamedi, global industry marketing lead for professional broadcast at NVIDIA, comments that “live production, particularly for sports, takes tremendous advantage” of AI. “It is used in super-slow motion replays to localize advertisements seen on the pitch, to quickly generate highlights from the game, to deliver an added layer of data through telestration [which involves pitch calibration and player tracking] and, of course, camera tracking.”

Among the first developers to begin applying AI to broadcast applications from the outset was Vertitone. Founded in 2014, the company offers an enterprise AI operating system platform, aiWARE, along with engines for ChatGPT, audio, biometrics, speech, data and vision.

“We realized there was an opportunity in the

delivered to the FCC a plan that consolidates the original four HDTV proposals into a single unified system. Plans call for a working prototype in nine months, and testing to start two months later.

2003: Hard drive- and optical-based camcorder storage continue to gain acceptance, with some videographers opining that it will be just a matter of time before magnetic tape becomes obsoleted as a storage format.

2013: The uptake in television viewing via tablets and other handheld devices is beginning to impact several areas of the industry, including cable subscription falloff and changes in content production and distribution workflows to accommodate a multiplicity of screen formats. Questions are also being raised about the ability of CDNs to deliver the vast amounts of data necessary, and also about geoblocking implementation to protect content distribution rights.

“A lot of creative things have to be done by humans—people are going to work with AI side-by-side.”
12 July 2023 | | ai for media
The ‘Edicam’ (developed jointly by Avid Technology and Ikegami) was the first of several tapeless field acquisition devices whose acceptance eventually ended videotape as a recording medium.

media and entertainment markets to begin to index the world’s audio and video content,” comments Paul Cramer, managing director of media and broadcast at Veritone. He adds that once material is indexed, Gen AI can be used to “create a new personalized experience for the consumer” who is looking for custom content. This could be in the form of news footage tailored for a viewer with an interest in, for example, space exploration.


As AI is adopted more widely throughout the media sector, it is being used for both very niche and quite broad applications. illustrates a highly specialized use: its search platform is designed to help viewers match films to their mood through the use of descriptive words and emojis. Founder and chief executive Ben Polkinghome says the ultimate aim is to enable people to create “their own hyperpersonal entertainment channels.”

On a wider broadcast level, BBC’s R&D department initiated its AI in Media Production program in 2017 with a prototype video editing package that automatically selected and assembled shots into a finished piece. This work continues today and was expanded last year with a new data set for “Intelligent Cinematography” to assist in framing and editing. BBC R&D is due to announce its position on Gen AI soon but could not give any more details before TV Tech went to press.

AI is now exploited by all types and sizes of media creators and organizations, both new and old. Video marketing platform Vimeo announced in June it was making a Gen AI-powered “creation suite” that simplifies the process of making videos. The package includes a script generator, teleprompter and text-based editing system that automatically

deletes filler words and long pauses.

On the more traditional side, the All England Lawn Tennis Club is using the Gen AI capabilities of IBM’s Watson platform to

produce commentary for video highlights of the 2023 Wimbledon championships on its app and website.

Despite the innovative spirit of this, AI has caused discomfort among media professionals, both in terms of jobs being potentially lost and the risks of the technology being misused. Major news outlets including The New York Times and NBC News recently voiced concern over how Gen AI could not only make journalists redundant but enable unscrupulous types to produce fake but believable stories.

The FCC has its own working group on AI and among the topics it’s initially focused on has been using the technology to improve its services including using AI to manage spectrum more efficiently. The commmission is hosting a joint workshop this month with the National Science Foundation “to discuss the possibilities and dangers AI presents for the telecommunications and technology sectors.”

In the U.K., media regulator Ofcom, while acknowledging that Gen AI offers benefits such as synthetic data training for better safety technology, has similarly highlighted the dangers of bogus news and other media content. Ofcom is currently monitoring the development of Gen AI to see how its positive aspects can be maximized and also what threat the more negative ones might pose.

As for the human impact, Karen Walker at Ross Video observes that “a lot of creative things have to be done by humans—people are going to work with AI side-by-side.”

Veritone’s Paul Cramer concludes: “Gen AI won’t replace humans but it will replace the humans who are not using AI.” l

ai for media July 2023 | |
In 2022, the BBC R&D Dept. expanded its AI in Media Production program to include a new data set for “Intelligent Cinematography” that would allow for framing and editing done by AI. Ross Video’s Vision[Ai]ry Facial Tracking (Ft) uses AI-based facial recognition to detect, locate and track the position of faces within the video stream directly from the camera. Rob Gonsalves, engineering fellow at Avid

AI’s Legacy for Media Production Can Be Found in Closed Captioning

Advances in speech-to-text and ASR ensure improved accuracy, context and lower latency

Most broadcasters and content creators got their first taste of the potential of artificial intelligence from closed captioning (aka subtitling). Speech-to-text technology enabled by AI— something many of us already use in our daily lives—has been in use for more than a decade and improvements in its capabilities

have become more evident, with far more accuracy in both transcribing as well as translating. For broadcasters who have to comply with rigid FCC standards, however, the rules are explicit in terms of what type of content is covered as well as its accuracy and even placement on the screen. Vendors have responded to broadcasters’ needs with new tech that make the process more accurate and

automated than ever.


Voice Interaction, which began as a live captioning service in 2001 was among the first companies to incorporate AI-based closed captioning when it launched in 2008. Its services and products include automatic live closed captioning, speech transcription, spoken term detection and indexing, spoken

language identification and speech analytics for actionable knowledge, compliance logging and broadcast monitoring.

The Portugal-based company has steadily increased its presence in North America, with Scripps and Nexstar among its U.S. customers, and Bell Canada, most of whom use its Audimus. Media platform, a broadcastgrade, AI-driven solution for realtime, automatic closed captioning across multiple platforms, including live TV broadcasting (OTT/OTA), streaming and online meetings. Its speech recognition capabilities extend to 40 languages, with simultaneous translation and speaker differentiation.

Renato Cassaca, chief software development engineer, says the company takes pride in its ability to quickly resolve issues that could result in mispronounced names or inaccurate information

ai accessibility

on the screen.

“We have webcrawlers running 24 hours a day that get all the newspapers available online,” he said. “And we also get guest access to the newsroom computer system like AP’s ENPS or Avid iNnews—we have a permanent connection to those systems inside the TV stations and we collect all that data to improve their language models and every day they receive a retrained language model to cope with the changing reality.”


ENCO Systems has been a mainstay in the closed-caption market for years with its enCaption automated captioning platform, which it launched in 2010. Since then, AI has advanced far beyond its initial capabilities, and the company has focused on these advances.

“We’ve been leveraging AI and machine learning for years to get better accuracy and quality out of speech to text,” said Ken Frommert, ENCO CEO for the

Detroit-based company.

“Our ASR [automated speech recognition] engine is actually better in certain situations than a human for live captioning or transcription. As AI has gotten better, it has allowed allowed broadcasters to offer live captioning at significantly less expense, which allows for more programming to be captioned, to not only meet FCC and other regulations but also being able to leverage captions to search filebased transcriptions.”

At the NAB Show, ENCO rolled out enCaption5, a cloud-native, microservices-based solution, which adds new features and flexibility such as a caption editor to view and refine the results of offline or previous live transcriptions. enCaption 5 can now add captions to both live and pre-recorded content in 48 languages, combining machine learning with advanced speech-to-text conversion and grammatical structure analysis to deliver exceptional accuracy with extremely low latency. enCaption also now incorporates ENCO’s enTranslate systems as a plug-in.

It also launched AITrack and ENCO-GPT, which leverages the ChatGPT model to generate language responses from textbased queries added to automated TV and radio production workflows. Initially targeting radio, AITrack integrates with ENCO’s DAD radio automation system to generate and insert

voice tracks between songs. ENCO-GPT simplifies copy creation within TV and radio broadcasts and program streams and can automatically create ad copy on behalf of sponsors.


Although the “AI” in Australian based Ai-Media actually stands for “accessibility innovation,” AI/ ML is the current driving force behind the 20-year old company’s products and services.

Much of the company’s first two decades was focused on providing live captioning services but in 2021, the company acquired long-time partner EEG to begin offering EEG’s LEXI automated captioning platform to its customers as well as to help bolster its presence in the North American market.

It recently launched LEXI 3.0, an improved version of its flagship automatic captioning solution. Independent audits confirm LEXI 3.0 consistently delivers results with 35% fewer recognition, formatting and

16 July 2023 | | ai
In 2022, online tutoring provider preply surveyed 1,200 Americans on why they use closed captions. Ashish Basu, executive vice president, worldwide sales & business for Interra Systems

said. The latest version introduces new automated features, including speaker identification and AI-powered caption placement to avoid on-screen interference. The release boosts average quality results from 98.2% to 98.7% Number, Edition Error and Recognition Error (NER).

Combining both an automated AI-based captioning system like Lexi, along with continuing its live captioning service to customers worldwide helps set the company apart, according to John Peck, vice president of international sales.

“We’re the only captioning supplier where we have all the background of actually producing captioning, whether it be humans and all the different quality levels and the accessibility to make sure that the end user’s needs are met,” he said. “We’re able to be that one vendor that can go from the technology platform all the way through to the service as well.”


Interra Systems’ BATON Captions is an automated solution that provides an endto-end platform from caption generation to QC, auto corrections, review, regeneration and editing. The system is based on machine learning and automatic speech recognition, Natural Language Processing (NLP), which the company says can dramatically expedite the caption creation, QC and verification processes for both live and VOD content, while ensuring a high quality.

Ashish Basu, executive vice president, worldwide sales & business, emphasizes the need for QC in an environment where AI— particularly the buzz around ChatGPT—is hyped as the panacea for captioning accuracy. This attitude can run headlong into regulatory requirements, he added.

“While AI can generate closed captions with accuracy in the high 90% under ideal circumstances, the reality of television is that circumstances are not always ideal,” Basu recently wrote on “Background noise and heavy accents can quickly degrade the accuracy of AIgenerated closed captions. Content owners, however, have no latitude with regulators. They simply cannot blame AI for missing the regulatory mark.

“This is where the hype over ChatGPT and other generative AI solutions runs headlong into the reality of generating closed captions and subtitles,” he cautioned. “If closed captions do not meet regulatory requirements, content owners will be out of compliance and are potentially exposed to devastating

business consequences.

“Not only will the money spent to generate sub-par closed captions have been wasted and more money spent to bring them up to snuff, but also the solid business relationships those content owners are trying to establish with local partners around the world will be

threatened,” Basu concluded.

So while advances in AI are helping make closed captioning more accurate and accessible, we’re still in the early stages. As more broadcasters deploy AI, they will need to balance the need for speed and accuracy with the need to maintain compliance. l

ai accessibility
ENCO Systems recently launched its enCaption 5, which uses AI/ML for improved accuracy.

Karl Has a Conversation With ChatGPT

How can AI help broadcasters make data management more sustainable?

To learn the practical side of AI, I created an unusual experiment to help understand how “sustainability” was being applied to data centers, which are accompanying and replacing traditional broadcast central equipment rooms—and where CERs (certified emission reductions) are making the move to a more sustainable solution.

Using ChatGPT, I asked the AI to answer a few simple questions (in bold) which I learned about from an earlier webinar on the topics of effectiveness, measurement and assurance in designing data centers suitable for broadcast IP migration systems.

The following text of this article was created by ChatGPT in AI, then manually validated against a recent SNIA provided webinar for accuracy and accreditation. I’ll leave it to you, our readers, to decide:

A primer statement and question used to train ChatGPT in “Overview” form: Broadcast television equipment rooms are moving toward traditional data center systems as SDI infrastructures shift to IP (ST 2210) solutions. New installations are rapidly moving in the direction of such data centers.

Me: Tell me about power utilization effectiveness (PUE).

ChatGPT: Power Utilization Effectiveness (PUE) is a metric used to measure the energy efficiency of a data center. It is the ratio of total energy consumption of a data center to the energy consumed by the IT equipment that the data center houses. In other words, it is a measure of how much energy is wasted on non-IT equipment, such as cooling and lighting, versus how much is actually used by the servers, storage and networking equipment.

The formula for calculating PUE is simple: Total facility energy consumption divided by IT equipment energy consumption. A PUE of 1 means that all energy consumed by the facility is being used by the IT equipment, while a PUE of 2 means that for every watt used by

the IT equipment, another watt is being used by the cooling, lighting and other non-IT equipment.

Data center operators strive to achieve the lowest possible PUE, as it means they are using less energy to operate their data center, and therefore reducing their carbon footprint and operational costs. A PUE of 1.5 or lower is considered good, while a PUE of 2 or higher is not efficient and indicates significant energy waste.

Me: How is PUE best determined?

ChatGPT: Determining the PUE of a data center involves measuring the total energy consumption of the facility and the energy consumed by the IT equipment separately. The following are the steps typically taken to determine PUE:

• Measure the total energy consumption of the data center: This includes all energy consumed by the facility, including cooling, lighting and other non-IT equipment. The measurement can be taken using a utility meter or a submeter specifically designed for data centers.

• Measure the energy consumption of the IT equipment: This includes all the energy consumed by servers, storage devices, networking equipment and other IT devices. This measurement can be taken using power monitoring tools or power distribution units (PDUs).

• Calculate the PUE: Once the energy consumption of the facility and the IT equipment have been measured, divide the total energy consumption of the facility by the energy consumed by the IT equipment to determine the PUE.

It’s important to note that PUE should be measured over a period of time, rather than at a specific point in time, to account for fluctuations in energy consumption. This will provide a more accurate representation of the data center’s energy efficiency.

Me: What kind of services provide the best PUE?

ChatGPT: The PUE of a data center can be influenced by various factors, such as the location, design and operation of the facility. Therefore, it’s difficult to identify specific services that always provide the best PUE. However, there are some general best practices that can help improve the PUE of a data center:

• Location: Choosing a location with a cooler climate can help reduce the need for mechanical cooling and improve PUE. Additionally, locating the data center close to renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar farms, can help reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.

• Design: A well-designed data center can minimize energy waste and improve PUE. Design features, such as hot/cold aisle containment, variable frequency drives (VFDs) and efficient cooling systems can all help reduce energy consumption.

• Operation: The way a data center is operated can also impact PUE. Regular maintenance and cleaning of equipment, optimizing server utilization, and monitoring environmental conditions can all help improve energy efficiency.

It’s worth noting that different types of services, such as cloud computing or colocation, can also impact PUE. For example, a cloud provider with a large-scale data center may be able to achieve a lower PUE due to economies of scale, while a colocation provider that hosts multiple tenants may face more challenges in achieving a low PUE due to varying equipment and cooling requirements. Ultimately, the best PUE is achieved through a combination of factors, including location, design and operation, tailored to the specific needs of the data center.

Me: How does a variable frequency drive (VFD) work?

ChatGPT: A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), also known as an Adjustable Frequency Drive (AFD), is an electronic device that can be used to control the speed of an AC motor. It works by converting the incoming AC voltage and frequency into a DC voltage, which is then used to create a variable frequency and voltage output that is fed to the motor.

The VFD can vary the output frequency and voltage based on the load and speed requirements of the motor. This means that the motor can be operated at a speed that is optimal for the application, rather than running at a constant speed, which can result in energy waste and decreased efficiency.

The VFD operates by controlling the frequency and voltage of the power supplied to the motor. It monitors the motor speed and

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cloudspotter’s journal
Karl Paulsen EXPERTISE

adjusts the frequency and voltage to maintain the desired speed. The VFD also provides protection for the motor by monitoring motor temperature, current and voltage and can shut down the motor in case of any abnormalities.

In summary, a VFD works by converting incoming AC voltage and frequency into a variable output frequency and voltage that is fed to the motor. This allows the motor to operate at the optimal speed for the application, resulting in improved energy efficiency and reduced energy waste.

Me: Are there any statistics on PUE for large data centers?

ChatGPT: Yes, there are statistics available on PUE for large data centers. The Uptime Institute, a global data center advisory organization, conducts an annual survey of data center industry professionals to gather information on data center efficiency and trends. According to their 2020 survey of over 600 data center operators and IT practitioners, the median PUE for large data centers (>5MW IT load) was 1.3, while the median PUE for small data centers (<5MW IT load) was 1.7. This indicates that larger data centers tend to be more energy-efficient than smaller ones.

In addition to the Uptime Institute survey, other organizations also report on PUE statistics for data centers. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program provides benchmarks and guidance for improving data center energy efficiency, and their benchmarking tool reports a median PUE of 1.8 for all data centers in the United States. The Green Grid, a non-profit

organization focused on data center sustainability, provides resources and guidance on data center energy efficiency, and reports that the most efficient data centers can achieve a PUE of 1.2 or lower.

It’s worth noting that PUE can vary widely depending on factors such as location, climate, design and operation, so it’s important to consider these factors when interpreting statistics on PUE. Additionally, PUE is just one metric for measuring data center efficiency, and other metrics, such as Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE) and Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE), can provide additional insights into the sustainability and environmental impact of a data center.

Comments Solicited to ChatGPT: Here are some best practices for optimizing PUE in a data center—ChatGPT was asked to create a set of guidelines in table form “best practices” which it produced for incorporation into Fig. 1.

ChatGPT: These are just a few examples of best practices for optimizing PUE in a data center. The specific approach will depend on the characteristics of the data center, including location, size and power and cooling in-

frastructure. By implementing a combination of these strategies and continuously monitoring and improving energy efficiency, data centers can achieve lower PUE and reduce their environmental impact.

(Me, again): Ironically most of these previous “sustainability” questions, and comments, came almost 100% from simple, one-line/online questions and took ChatGPT less than 45 seconds to respond and return in text form. Reviewing, re-reading and validating ChatGPT’s answers took much longer and resulted in almost zero textual changes to the replies.

Using AI in a communicative format, such as ChatGPT, which is made available for free by OpenAI—and is well-known for having developed the text-to-image generator DALL-E—offers complete and accurate assessments and can provide results in far less time than conventional methods. For new users, ChatGPT is currently available for anyone to try out for free, now with even a free iOS app being launched. ChatGPT is interactive, intelligent and can be extended to many applications.

We can fully expect such dramatic changes to evolve over the next several years and could change how people use alternatives (such as Google) for research, study and practical solutions. l

Karl Paulsen is chief technology officer at Diversified and a frequent contributor to TV Tech in storage, IP and cloud technologies. Contact him at
19 | | July 2023
Reviewing, re-reading and validating ChatGPT’s answers resulted in almost zero textual changes to the replies.
cloudspotter’s journal
Fig. 1: Table text generated by AI-application “ChatGPT” and pasted into a Visio diagram for article presentation. ChatGPT was textually asked to generate a set of benefits and suggestions suitable to the topic of sustainability.

test and measurement

Test/QC Tools Straddle Two Broadcast Worlds

OTA and OTT have different needs to solve the same problem

Over the years, the cost of good television equipment has bucked the general inflationary trend. For example, you can buy a camera and lens today that is far better than a camera and lens from 20 years ago, and today’s gear will cost just 50% or less of what the camera would have cost you in 2003.

When using that camera back in the day, you probably wanted to view its output on a waveform monitor to get the exposure right. Today’s camera is likely to have a waveform display capability built in that can be called up anytime to check the exposure. So today’s production equipment not only often costs less than ever, it does more than ever.

Of course, video networks are far more complex today, and this complexity means that test and measurement/quality control equipment today has to do much more at the network level than was needed for the simpler networks two decades ago. Much of today’s network-level test gear is evolving with new measurement and analysis techniques, as the video streaming environment gets more complicated and demanding over time.

“As delivery systems have become more complex, the demand for versatile and advanced digital monitoring and analysis solutions has increased,” said Anupama Anantharaman, vice president for product management at Interra Systems. “As a result, single-purpose monitoring gear has taken a backseat to more adaptable multifunctional tools. These tools leverage the power of new content creation and delivery standards— and computer networks—to provide comprehensive monitoring capabilities that cover various aspects of stream analysis and signal evaluation.”


Signals that conform to the SMPTE ST 2110 standard have multiple components (video, audio and ancillary data) each transmitted as separate streams. An IP-based stream

monitor can analyze, evaluate and route these streams and extract the metadata based on the user’s workflow, providing full flexibility.

“Software-based tools used on an IP network can efficiently extract and analyze this metadata, allowing broadcasters to monitor and verify critical information such as format, timing and identification,” Anantharaman said. “In the context of video, waveform monitors can sometimes fail to detect problems due to human error. However, by using IP-based probes, operators can automate the process of stream verification for today’s vast amount of content.”

Human error notwithstanding, standalone testing and QC devices still have value in many operations and workflows.

“Although the underlying infrastructure of how media is transported has changed, the overall tasks that need to be accomplished by operators and engineers are still fundamentally the same,” said Don Kianian, solutions marketing manager for Telestream. “The workload has increased and the need to manage these workflows efficiently is paramount.

“Traditional, familiar waveform monitoring tools are still extremely useful to monitor and measure video and audio signals,” he added. “They may also be complemented by other software tools (such as quality control solutions) that can automatically QC content and alert users to media that does not meet spec.”

Telestream serves both OTT and broadcasters, and Kianian said the company is seeing a shift in how the two are evolving.

“We’re certainly seeing OTA adopting more and more OTT technologies and solutions [e.g., cloud workflows, remote collaboration, AI/ML] as part of a broadcaster/content provider’s overall strategy to reach broader audiences and go toe-to-toe with the increasing number of content providers in the market,” he said. “I expect this tug-of-war to continue well into this year and beyond.”


Traditional broadcasters are in the early phases of a soft transition to the ATSC 3.0 standard, which is much more IP-friendly than the outgoing ATSC 1.0. What does this mean with respect to test and measurement equipment, and what lies ahead?

“As the transition to ATSC 3.0 heats up in the United States, we are seeing increased interest in test and measurement equipment,” said Ralph Bachofen, vice president of sales and marketing at Triveni Digital. “The transition to ATSC 3.0 is an opportunity for broadcasters to upgrade their T&M suite.

“With the latest T&M equipment, broadcasters can ensure outstanding-quality NextGen TV services, better understand the new standard, and simultaneously deliver ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 transmissions during the simulcast phase.”

Bachofen explained that single-purpose test gear is still in use, but it has an easily understood limiting factor.

“Single-purpose gear is still in use, especially in the RF realm,” he said. “The trend is to adopt multipurpose systems for service quality assurance and enterprisewide monitoring. Single-purpose gear is much more expensive than having a solution

“Single-purpose monitoring gear has taken a backseat to more adaptable multifunctional tools.”
20 July 2023 | |

from one vendor that can monitor multiple demarcation points at the same time.”

The sheer volume of production today means that more test, measurement and quality control gear than ever is needed. And yes, that means devices such as waveform monitors.

“The demands of operational television businesses are largely unchanged in that content has to meet in-house delivery standards as well as regulatory requirements,” said Prinyar Boon, product manager at Phabrix. “This remains the case regardless of how it’s been carried: file, streamed, broadcast, compressed, uncompressed, SDI, IP, MT2TS and so on.”


Although production facilities need to measure and confirm the quality of signals, the relatively recent (and ongoing) industry transition from SDI to ST 2110 means new test gear is needed for the new signal types, according to Boon.

“To complicate the picture, many of these facilities will use both SDI- and IPbased systems,” Boon said. “We’ve been deeply involved for many years with the development of workflows for live HDR production, and measurement tools for ST 2110 systems using precision time protocol (PTP), while also retaining traditional SDIbased toolsets.

“So yes, we’d agree very much that the era of standalone gear is over, and without doubt the long-term trend is to have operational and production tools evolve into on-prem and off-prem cloud-based systems.”

In the days when broadcast OTA was the only game in town, broadcasters could rely on knowing that the signal was properly received on a monitor TV in the studio. If the picture/sound were good on that TV, then all viewers were receiving a quality signal.

In the OTT world, it is much more difficult for a program provider to check what the user experience is—especially when dozens of network operators (Comcast, Verizon, Cox, etc.) actually take the signal from the program provider and deliver it to the customer. Ensuring a quality experience in this environment is complicated… but not impossible.

“Because of the user-centric technology in modern video streaming, measuring

the quality of the video transmission sent out doesn’t necessarily offer insight into the quality of the video received by the customer,” said Mathieu Planche, CEO of Witbe. “Furthermore, true video service performance is now defined by many more elements than just the image quality alone. User-centric video services need to be tested with user-centric monitoring technology.”


In other words, sensors from the test system must be placed as close to the user as possible to make sure the network delivers the expected quality to the customer.

“Checking that a FAST channel is available on Comcast NOW TV cannot be verified through simple packet loss,” Planche said. “It involves complex interactions between backend systems, cloud-to-cloud integration, device operating systems, content providers, ad providers and various DRM stacks. OTT providers need user-centric monitoring technology to understand the true quality delivered to their end-users.”

This is where artificial intelligence (AI) could play an important role in monitoring networks and responding to failures faster than a human can react. In the meantime, change and growth is constant in the program delivery process.

“As the weight shifts further to online content and live streaming, having a solid grip on the entire chain becomes more important,” said Rajesh Patel, vice president for sales & solutions EMEA at Mediaproxy. “With an ever-increasing scale of sources, using software-based tools and APIs to optimize monitoring workflows will help reduce overall cost and enhance quality-of-service.

“Teaming up with partners with solutions that straddle multiple disciplines is something to look at as old equipment becomes obsolete,” he continued. “This also includes shifting the thinking towards what the cloud can offer to handle specific pressure points.”

Patel sees that there is still a need for hardware-specific test equipment, even as change is coming.

“Despite the ever-growing availability of software-based tools, traditional hardwarebased monitoring equipment is certainly still relevant in today’s monitoring chain,” he said. “This is especially still true for ST 2022-2 as well as for the emerging SDI replacement, ST 2110.” l

test and measurement
Ralph Bachofen, vice president of sales and marketing at Triveni Digital
21 | | July 2023
Phabrix 25G ST2110 and 12G-SDI portable waveform monitor

ATSC 3.0 at the NAB Show, Part II: Transmission and Monitoring

How will 3.0 gear work with DRM?

This month I conclude my coverage of the 100th NAB Show with a look at the impact of content protection on ATSC 3.0 test equipment, transmission system innovations, the disappearance of RFS, and compatible MIMO for ATSC 3.0.


Broadcasters introducing ATSC 3.0 content protection noticed their test gear stopped displaying audio and video. The good news at the NAB Show was that Sencore is working with A3SA, the ATSC 3.0 security authority, and will add the ability to decrypt protected signals to their ARD3000 series ATSC 3.0 receiver/decoders. Triveni will also support display of content protected video and audio in its ATSC 3.0 Streamscope XM products.

At its booth in the West Hall, Tolka showed its new ATSC 3.0 set-top box and dongle being sold by ADTH with support for content protection. It wasn’t clear if the dongle would work on a laptop, but with the right application it should work on Android devices using the Stagefright media playback engine that supports Widevine L1. The ADTH set-top box uses Android and is the NextGen TV-certified to support ATSC 3.0 with content protection o the U.S. market. Widevine is also supported in the Chrome and Firefox browsers. I haven’t seen any ATSC 3.0 devices using browsers to display protected content and wouldn’t expect to until there is more support for Dolby AC-4 audio.

Airwavz is working on support for content protection on its

Redzone ATSC 3.0 tuner and associated TVXplorer software but was not ready to say when it would be available.

Last year I reported on the Promax ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 analyzer and 6 GHz spectrum analyzer. The “Atlas” is now available for $10,800 and was on display at the show. While there are less expensive options for ATSC 3.0 signal analysis, the unit’s spectrum analyzer capability and features could be useful in some applications. I was able to use the spectrum analyzer in the unit on display to find one of the ATSC 3.0 signals in the West Hall and tune to it to see what it contained. Content protection was not available but video and audio demodulation isn’t the main use of this unit.


Although I spent little time with transmitters, Anywave’s “all-in-one” DTV exciter caught my attention. It can generate ATSC 1.0 or 3.0 signals and seems ideal for broadcasters looking for a simple way to deploy ATSC 3.0. The exciter is available with ATSC 3.0 gateway as well as GPS reference options. It pairs with Anywave’s new ATSC 3.0 H265 route encoder. It was hard to believe Anywave had squeezed that much capability into a one rack unit enclosure.

“Broadcast Travelling Wave Antenna with Azimuthal Beam Tilt,” Dielectric’s solution using four pylon cylinders, each of which can be designed with different amounts of electric beam tilt, allows a much simpler feed system.

This antenna would be ideal for locations like Farnsworth Peak in Utah where less tilt is needed north and south to cover Ogden and Provo and more tilt is needed to reach the populations in metro Salt Lake City to the east and Tooele to the west. The white paper provides more detail than was what was presented at the Dielectric NAB breakfast and is available at

Dielectric demonstrated its Apollo monitoring service for RFHAWKEYE, which provides an in-service TDR (time domain reflectometry) sweep of a station’s antenna and transmission line. Resolution is sufficient to see individual line flanges. While the RFHAWKEYE has been available for a few years, the new Apollo service remotely monitors a station’s antenna and transmission line for small changes and is capable of alerting the station.

I saw an example of this in Los Angeles on Mount Wilson after heavy snow and ice bent a rigid transmission line but did not break it. Dielectric’s remote monitoring detected the small change and the location of the change and alerted the station so that the snow and ice could be removed from the line. Because the RF sweep takes place in the high-VHF TV band I was concerned it wouldn’t work in a high RF environment like the Los Angeles Mount Wilson site where there is a full power station on every high-VHF channel except 8 and 10. So far that hasn’t been a problem.

Dielectric’s solution for optimizing coverage uses four pylon cylinders, each of which can be designed with different amounts of electric beam tilt, allowing for a much simpler feed system.

At mountain-top transmission sites and where interference is an issue, optimizing coverage can require different beam tilt in different directions. One way to achieve this is through an array of panel antennas. However, as Dielectric’s John Schadler described in his paper


One name familiar to TV transmitter engineers was absent from this year’s show, RFS which announced that it would shut down its broadcast division at the end of 2022 and put its intellectual property up for sale. As of the show, no one had purchased it. Fortunately RFS developed a very good step-by-step procedure for tuning its

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Doug Lung

filters and engineers who have learned the procedure are available to re-tune filters if needed. Most of the full UHF power stations in New York are transmitting on an RFS antenna fed from an RFS combiner at One World Trade Center. Fortunately the filters are rugged passive devices that will likely outlast the transmitters.

When I asked some of the companies I thought might be interested in the RFS IP why they hadn’t purchased it, I was asked how many high-power filters and combiners I expected to buy in the next few years. The repack and subsequent upgrade of non-

repacked stations in the last five years has resulted in most stations being set for the next decade or so, which means far fewer sales of high-power equipment. Low- and medium-power sales may increase if the ATSC 3.0 roll out leads to more construction of distributed transmission systems to increase coverage and data capacity.

RFS also made microwave dishes, semi-rigid coaxial cable and waveguide at its plant in Meriden, Conn. The cable manufacturing business was sold to Amphenol, which sells the products under the RFS Technologies name. Alive Telecom

bought some of the dish manufacturing equipment, but not the intellectual property, and is now selling microwave dishes as well as broadcast antennas.


One item that I did not mention in my previous article was ETRI’s demonstration of compatible ATSC 3.0 MIMO. Last year they showed a system using dual polarized transmit and receive antennas that was capable of delivering data rates near 100 Mbps. However, it could not deliver content to non-MIMO receivers. This year, ETRI in cooperation with KBS, Cleverlogic, and Televes showed how LDM could be used to provide a low data-rate, very robust signal in addition to the high data-rate MIMO enhanced layer.

The parameters demonstrated would only provide enough capacity for one 720p program stream, 1.3 Mbps, in the non-MIMO core layer but it was using QPSK and a 2/15 code rate which resulted in a less than 0 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) threshold. A robust layer with less error correction would allow more program streams. The MIMO enhanced layer required an SNR of 30 dB and provided 64.7 Mbps data capacity.

Broadcasters and engineers are still discovering what’s possible with the ATSC 3.0 standard. Look for more on the technology and products in future columns. l

rf technology
As always, your questions and comments are welcome. Email me at
23 | | July 2023
The dashboard for Dielectric’s new Apollo monitoring service for RFHAWKEYE ETRI demonstrated compatible ATSC 3.0 MIMO.

eye on tech | product and services

Ai-Media LEXI 3.0

Ai-Media’s LEXI 3.0 is an improved version of its flagship automatic captioning solution, with new features and enhancements that make it an accurate, automatic captioning solution capable of delivering results that rival human-generated captions for a lower cost. Independent audits confirm

LEXI 3.0 consistently delivers results with 35% fewer recognition, formatting and punctuation errors than the previous version, the company said. It also introduces new automated features, including speaker identification and AI-powered caption placement to avoid on-screen interference. The release boosts average quality results from 98.2% to 98.7% Number, Edition Error and Recognition Error (NER). An on-demand solution, LEXI 3.0 is well-suited for live captioning a wide range of content, including linear TV broadcasts, OTT, live sports, live streams, meetings, events and lectures. LEXI 3.0 is now available at no cost for existing AiMedia customers and is delivered with any iCap Encoder (Hardware, Alta and Falcon) connected to Ai-Media’s iCap Cloud Network z

Apple Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad

Apple has unveiled Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad that will allow video and music creators to use the iPad as a mobile studio to streamline the creation of local TV news, broadcast news and other types of video and audio production for TV and streaming. Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad are now available on the App Store as subscriptions starting for $4.99 per month or $49 per year with a one-month free trial.

At launch Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad bring all-new touch interfaces and a new jog wheel makes the editing process easier than ever and enables users to interact with content in completely new ways. Users can navigate the Magnetic Timeline, move clips, and make fast frameaccurate edits with a tap of a finger. z

WideOrbit WO Fusion

WideOrbit’s new WO Fusion is a nextgeneration sales platform for broadcast TV and radio, as well as cable and broadcast network sales teams. Leveraging secure, encrypted, browserbased toolsets, WO Fusion is a platform for cross-media, multi-market ad sales supporting alternate audience measurement currencies.

At launch WO Fusion builds upon the company’s flagship broadcast TV media sales product, WO Media Sales, to create a cohesive media ecosystem that centralizes sales operations and eliminates redundancies across the entire sales process, digital and linear. WO Fusion provides sales teams with a single, unified view of all incoming demand, across digital, linear, and reach extension buys from both automated and manual channels. With a holistic view of demand, WO Fusion is designed to help media companies build cross-media, multimarket proposals leveraging dynamic rate card features to meet the exacting demands of buyers, while maximizing revenue for sellers. z

Vizrt Flowics

Vizrt has debuted three new products in its Flowics product line. Viz Flowics, a cloud-native HTML5 graphics creation and rendering engine, features an easy-to-use web interface with drag-and-drop features and provides everything needed to create broadcast-quality 2D graphics, including animation tools. Viz Flowics simplifies the process of creating and publishing customized cloud graphics and data-driven overlays from any browser. Viz Data Connectors—now a separate offering within the Vizrt portfolio— integrates feeds from live data providers with any graphics engine, whether cloud-based or on-premise.

As a code-free application, Viz Data Connectors simplifies and streamlines the process of integrating data from external data sources without the need for any custom data integration. The latest version of Viz Social, now powered by the Flowics backend, features a sleek, modern interface, increases speed and simplicity and offers users a modern suite of integrations with social media and messaging platforms. z

VEGAS Creative Software VEGAS Pro 20

VEGAS Creative Software has released a free update to its VEGAS Pro 20 product line that adds significant new capabilities, including AI advancements for the creation of multiple smart masks.

The release, available for free to owners of v20 or subscribers to the VEGAS 365 program as well as new purchasers, also offers enhancements to accelerate workflows, more power for RAW workflows and Mocha integration, which brings planar tracking technology to the VEGAS Pro workflow. Support for Mocha Shape Data gives users the ability to track the shape of an object, then import the shape data into the VEGAS Motion Tracking workflow and to the Bézier Masking plug-in. AI-generation of multiple smart masks allows users to create more than one mask at a time, which is useful for times when there are multiple objects in a video frame. z

Triveni Digital StreamScope XM Analyzer and Monitor

Triveni Digital, the ATSC 3.0 Security Authority (A3SA), and Pearl TV have announced that Triveni’s StreamScope XM Analyzer and Monitor are the industry’s first test and measurement products to support NextGen TV decryption protocols.

Using the new decryption functionality on StreamScope XM, broadcasters can transmit encrypted content in the ATSC 3.0 environment to better understand who their subscribers are and monetize NextGen TV services, while ensuring outstanding content integrity, Triveni said. The effort is part of Pearl’s “FastTrack to NextGen TV” program, to accelerate and streamline the path for adoption of NextGen TV. In addition, Triveni Digital and the A3SA security authority have agreed to a multi-year deal to enable the use of Triveni Digital’s GuideBuilder XM broadcast chain and StreamScope XM products in their testing and certification services. z

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July 2023 | |

Wisycom MTP61 Multiband Transmitter

Wisycom has begun delivering its MTP61 miniature multiband transmitter, a small, lightweight multiband bodypack with support for tuning between 470 and 1260 MHz. The MPT61 is just over 2 inches tall and just under 2 inches wide and weighs 3.1 ounces. It operates with a 3.7 V Lithiumion battery, offering 10 hours of life.

The transmitter builds off the company’s intermodulation cancellation circuitry. With its advanced linear technology, the transmitter enables users to deploy units evenly on the spectrum every 200 kHz. The result is a more robust signal, extended range and the ability to operate multiple transmitters close together. With high-density, software-selectable narrow-band filters, the digital signal processing allows for easy switching between wideband and narrow-band operation. An integrated low-pass audio filter eliminates ultrasonic interference from devices, such as range finders and motion sensors.


Vimeo AI-Powered Video Tools

Vimeo has unveiled its AI-powered video creation suite designed to enable users to record videos in one take and edit them in a few seconds. The suite of tools makes it possible to generate a script from a text prompt, record the screen using a built-in teleprompter and delete unwanted content, such as filler words, such as “uh” and “um” in an instant.

The AI-powered tools are designed to eliminate common barriers facing those who are uncomfortable with creating their own videos. They make it possible to generate a polished script quickly, act more naturally in front of the camera thanks to the teleprompter and remove unwanted moments in a few clicks. Applications include creating highlight reels, hosting virtual events and company meetings, making marketing video quote clips and cleaning up high-profile videos before sharing. The new AI tools will be available in July.


Ross Video Quorum

Ross Video has launched its new meeting control system Quorum. While originally conceived for legislative customers, Quorum is an suitable solution for any production seeking an easy-to-use system for generating meeting content or simple coverage, even with minimally experienced operators who may have little to no prior broadcast experience. By merely selecting a thumbnail image of a meeting participant, Quorum revolutionizes the broadcasting experience by allowing users to prepare and utilize up to three camera shots concurrently. This empowers them to select the best angle without requiring in-depth knowledge of the intricate broadcast systems working behind the scenes.

Key features of Quorum include: thumbnail-based camera selection; intelligent graphics integration; simplified controls; intuitive web interface; and seamless integration. z

Pliant Technologies MicroCom 900XR Wireless Headset

The latest addition to the MicroCom family, Pliant Technologies’ new MicroCom 900XR wireless headset (PMC-HS900XR), combines the high sound quality, range and budget-friendly price point of MicroCom

XR with the comfortable fit, exceptional noise isolation and flip-up microphone muting technology of the SmartBoom PRO headset. The new headset is available in single- and dual-ear configurations. They feature an internal antenna and field swappable batteries with a run time of 14 hours for the dual-ear headset and seven hours for the single-ear headset. The headsets are lightweight and adjustable, allowing comfortable all-day wear. They are collapsible for easy storage and travel when the production or project is complete. Its allin-one design features an easy-to-read OLED display, two intercom channels with a dual listen option and support for up to 10 full-duplex users, including unlimited listen-only and shared users.



HXII-DPL Powerline Device

Clear-Com has announced the new HXII-DPL Powerline Device, an IP interface that delivers power and digital audio to HelixNet beltpacks, speaker and remote stations from an Arcadia Central Station System (or the legacy HMS-4X Main Station).

The HXII-DPL Powerline Device is designed as a simple “plug-andplay” interface, connecting to any existing Arcadia system or XLR cabling infrastructure via its own network port to provide Powerline connectivity via 3-pin XLR anywhere on the network. Multiple HXII-DPL Powerline Devices can be added to increase HelixNet User Station capacity and allow for greater user density per system. With support for up to seven HelixNet beltpacks on a single line containing all available HelixNet channels and program audio, the Powerline device can use passively split audio cabling similar to traditional analog partyline systems without any undesirable humming or buzzing of analog communication. The HXII-DPL Powerline is scheduled to begin shipping in fall 2023. z

LYNX Technik CHD 1402

LYNX Technik has added a new HDMI to SDI converter (model: CHD 1402) to its popular yellobrik line. The CHD 1402 is designed for any AV, broadcast, production or post application that requires signal conversion from up to 4K HDMI to up to 12G SDI.

A typical use case would be when a facility needs to convert an HDMI output from an external source, such as a video camera, into an SDI format. All audio present in the HDMI stream is passed transparently. With the SDI fiber output and SFP transmitter options, the SDI signal can then be transmitted over fiber to a remote location. In addition, a complementary yellobrik, the CDH 1411 SDI to HDMI converter could be used to provide the SDI output and an HDMI monitoring output in the remote location, including displaying audio, metadata, and timecode overlays. z

25 eye on tech | product and services | | July 2023

Aveco Helps Louisiana Public Broadcasting Enter a New Era of Master Control

breaks and local promotions.

to self-heal. Aveco manages pools of resources and priorities are set to use these resources onair, in-studio and for preview/QC etc.

For playout, all automation systems have primary-and-backup but Aveco goes beyond this. If a backup resource goes to air (e.g. video server port) Aveco instantly and automatically rebuilds a new backup, dynamically pulling from the pool, path-finding thru the router and delivering fully re-established 1:1 redundancy without human intervention. This is especially important during unattended operation for ingest and playout.

BATON ROUGE, La.—Louisiana Public Broadcasting has a 47-year track record of excellence in TV master control and in groundbreaking PBS programming. As one of the first to remotely operate PBS affiliate stations across the state (now in six cities), LPB has matured its technology approach at several key stages. We’re just at another major master control room transformation now.

With the goal of educating Louisianians, LPB has played a leading role in many legendary productions, including early partnership with Ken Burns, the famous and hilarious Justin Wilson, extensive leadership in civil rights coverage, the landmark series “Louisiana: A History,” historic coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and great musical specials reflecting the region’s rich heritage.

LPB manages the enormous Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA) which preserves Louisiana’s media history, representing one of the best examples of the partnership between a public broadcast station and a state’s archive. The LDMA also houses the WWL collection, making it a notable example of a successful public-commercial partnership.


Master control innovations have defined LPB for decades. I was honored to serve as the head of engineering at LPB before being promoted to president-and-CEO last year. In LPB’s latest master control upgrade, local-and-remote TV operation is now combined at Baton Rouge for Monroe, Shreveport, Lafayette, Lake Charles and Alexandria. This includes remote stream-splicing for Shreveport to locally insert programs, sponsorship

For many years, using Harmonic’s encoders, LPB distributed compressed video transport streams across its fiber ring to all six LPB stations. When local programming and breaks need to be inserted, it’s best to keep feeds in the compressed domain and stream-splice, to avoid having to use costly dedicated encoders.

LPB’s new automation system from Aveco stands out in its ability to manage central encoding, manage media operations to forward the right content, handle Myers traffic, execute SCTE commands for local insertion through control of the Harmonic platform, and return as-run logs for automated reconciliation back into traffic.

Uniquely, all of LPBs channels—local, remote and stream-spliced—are in one consolidated master control screen, making life easy for operators.

Aveco also handles cloud-based TV and streaming channels in the same system. When we need to use cloud resources, additional channels can simply pop up on the same master control screen as our system expands locally, remotely and via various clouds.


One of the reasons Aveco was selected for LPB’s master control automation was its ability

There is tremendous efficiency found in a pool of resources, where appropriate, with guaranteed priority execution, implementing rules from LPB engineering and operations. Media workflow automation and Aveco’s built-in media asset management help master control operators with a variety of tasks and enable unique integration with the PBS sIX system.

LPB has implemented many innovations and upgrades over the years and with Aveco we’ve taken another major step in our new generation of master control automation. The industry keeps changing and our partnership with innovative companies like Aveco help us fulfill our mandate to help grow and improve our services to viewers. l

For 27 years, C.C. Copeland has served Louisiana Public Broadcasting, rising from senior engineer handling Operations, transmissions and broadcast automation to now serving as LPB’s president and CEO. He’s been one of the leaders of the PBS Engineering Technical Advisory Committee (ETAC), serving as vice-chair in 2020–2022 and leading the station’s channel repack. He can be reached at and 225-767-5660.

For more information visit

equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches July 2023 | | 26
Louisiana Public Broadcasting has deployed Aveco automation to improve the operations of PBS affiliate stations statewide.

PMH Achieves Comprehensive Broadcast Control With Lawo VSM

Brussels, Belgium — Proximus Media House (PMH) is a central broadcast center that operates across Belgium and Luxembourg. We host various playout channels and distribute all Belgian Pro League soccer feeds over the Proximus ST2110 ViCoNG network in four studios and four galleries. We use Lawo’s VSM broadcast control system to switch connections.

In 2016, PMH evolved from an MCR and two control rooms on SDI to four control rooms. We were the first to implement remote productions on ST 2022-6 until migrating all remote connectivity to ST 2110 in January 2021. VSM now connects, talks to and monitors a 720x720 matrix with thousands of crosspoints.

It controls our complete video-over-IP network, and the Gadget server seamlessly handles communication with all devices and applications.


Together with Lawo, we designed a VSM panel that provides live status information about the equipment located all over Belgium so that our live operators can immediately identify issues. They can monitor network, video, temperature data, etc. This makes troubleshooting much more efficient since the MCR operator no longer needs to switch panels to set the workflows and can keep an eye on the connectivity and signals.

VSM also plays an important role in playout. Operators must have a continuous view over our 12 channels to know which signal is going to contribution. They see all crosspoints of the playout and incoming live feeds for safe switching and emergency procedures. A large view shows the signal path; if an emergency switch is required or if a crosspoint is set incorrectly, they receive an alert and can immediately fix it. This ensures that our operators can monitor status and operate the panel without

changing views.

Apart from our playout channels with a 24/7 playlist, we also produce up to 12 event channels for live events where multiple events need to go on air simultaneously. VSM plays a crucial role in automating channel switching from the loop video to an EVS playlist, the incoming feed and back. In this automated routine, operators prepare the outgoing programs in various languages, with assorted graphics and audio. These programs can change and can be taken on- and off-air with one click on the VSM panel.

Belgium is a country with different languages; most of our productions are broadcast in Dutch and French. This makes our environment more complex and sometimes doubles our infrastructure requirements. For a live studio feed, like an esports show, we have two studios with different hosts speaking Dutch and French. You might expect that we use two galleries and two production teams, for esports, but we don’t. Instead we use one flexible desk with access to an intercom, multiviewer and VSM panel.

One production team and one director create both shows in Dutch and French simultaneously. The VSM panel for this production connects to the vision mixer and an audio mixer. The director can cut to the

cameras, EVS or incoming feed. VSM triggers all relevant microphone or audio lines on the mixer, the playlist, and cuts to them, or cues the overlay graphics.


VSM is the heart of all broadcast operations at PMH with all of its capabilities being leveraged. There is a tremendous advantage in visualizing data on VSM panels for managing and troubleshooting our ST 2110 environment—we can talk to virtually any broadcast device and work more efficiently via a single control system.

The flexibility of VSM furthermore allows us to hand control panels to other companies connected to our ST 2110 network, allowing them to set their own crosspoints without calling the MCR.

We are about to integrate our audio control rooms based on Lawo mc² consoles, A__UHD Cores, and HOME into VSM for a more user-friendly audio environment where operators can easily route streams to their consoles. l

Jetsen Van den Eede is a senior applications engineer at Proximus Media House. He can be reached at

For more information visit

equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches | | July 2023
Jetsen Van den Eede and the tech teams at Proximus Media House set up the Lawo VSM so it connects and monitors a 720x720 matrix with thousands of crosspoints.

equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches

buyers briefs

Evertz NEXX

PlayBox Neo  Media Gateway

PlayBox Neo’s Media Gateway performs the entire process of playout routing and decoding in software and can be installed on-premises or in the cloud. Content can be sourced and output in SDI, NDI or as virtual streams, or accessed from a desktop. Selected feeds can be routed between any combination of data formats.

Compressed content can be decompressed for post-production or forwarding and video can be delivered with an alpha channel where supported. Every input can be assigned to one or many outputs in the same domain. The IP decoder supports both multiple and single program transport streams. Other features include frame-rate conversion, resolution conversion and aspect ratio conversion.

Black Box Emerald DESKVUE

Offering a new concept in KVM-over-IP, the Black Box Emerald DESKVUE eliminates the traditional one-to-one relationship with a transmitter or virtual system and allows users to create a workspace to simultaneously view and interact with up to 16 different systems. Users can tailor the workspace that best suits their needs by connecting a keyboard, mouse, USB 3/2 devices, audio and up to four 4K monitors (one of which can be 5K).

Emerald DESKVUE connects to physical systems via Emerald transmitters; VMs using RDP, PCoIP, PCoIP ultra and H.264/265 sources; and Virtual Network Computing (VNC). All systems can be positioned across screens as freely movable windows. Interacting with each system is as simple as moving the mouse onto the window, enabling users to maintain complete situational awareness and full control.

A nextgeneration processing routing solution, Evertz’s NEXX platform offers several useful enhancements to existing workflows, including output frame synchronization, timecode and mixed reference support, making it a popular choice for broadcast facilities and OB trucks worldwide.

The new NEXX-670 FPGA-based module expands the processing capabilities of the platform, allowing broadcasters to transition to IP. The modular-based frame and main interface/backplane of NEXX offer redundant control and ease of swapping components. The versatile platform offers native full audio shuffling, an integrated multiviewer and MAGNUM-OS control.

Imagine Communications

Bitcentral  Central Control

Central Control is an innovative master control playout solution offering highly automated workflows to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and reduce human error. Central Control’s verification and validation processes ensure seamless content delivery, guaranteeing the highest quality standards.

With integrated SCTE triggers, content is precisely delivered for a seamless viewing experience. Reporting capabilities provide comprehensive insights and analytics, empowering operators and management to make data-driven decisions. Central Control is configurable to match the user’s needs and Bitcentral’s 24/7/365 support ensures customers receive expert assistance whenever needed.

Selenio Network Processor – SNP Master Control Lite

The latest release of Imagine’s Selenio Network Processor (SNP) 1RU processing platform adds branding, live graphics and master control functionality for HD, UHD and HDR. The SNP Master Control Lite (MCL) personality can also be configured as an ST 2110-compatible dual downstream keyer (DSK).

Features include full-resolution 10-bit and HDR-capable graphics; four full-frame keyers; three external Key/Fill inputs; full frame sync on every input; 16 channels of audio processing; and flexible interfaces, including 12G SDI, 2SI-SDI and ST 2110. The MCL can be licensed onto any SNP, enabling current users to easily add this new functionality to their existing system.

FOR-A  MFR-3100EX all-in-one production center

FOR-A’S MFR-3100EX all-in-one production center serves as a routing switcher, video switcher, multiviewer and downstream keyer in a single 4RU enclosure. Other features include: PTZ camera control, NDI/NDI|HX I/O and RTMP/SRT video streaming.

Beyond the essential roles it fulfills in any production environment, this comprehensive unit offers four additional features with the addition of the MFR-31VP video processing card, which provides video switcher function, NDI/NDI|HX I/O, video streaming and SSD storage. Users can add an MFR-31VP card to expand the unit with 1 M/E and 20 inputs/13 outputs video switcher function. With other options, users can take advantage of NDI/NDI|HX I/O and 4 keyers for P-in-P or downstream keying and other expansions.

July 2023 | | 28

Innovative Production Services Outfits Operations With Ross

MATRAVILLE, NSW Australia—I launched Innovative Production Services (Innovative) with my colleague Brendan Sadgrove in 1997 to focus on live events. Over our 25-year history, Innovative has gained experience in all aspects of live production including live music, theater, TV and art and performance, but large corporate events had become our focus heading into 2020 when the Covid pandemic quickly changed everything.

Realizing that there were not going to be any large events for the time being, we knew we had to adapt. We set up a trial studio in our factory that quickly moved into a 750 square-meter professional sound stage. We loved this new studio world and our gear had to step up in certain areas to match the standards that not only our customers expected, but what our staff and contractors were used to. So, we purchased a Ross Carbonite Black SOLO (split system) for our studio, The HUB. This little powerhouse was amazing, especially for its size. This only led to more interest in Ross Video products.


After a very successful 18 months in the studio environment, we had the game-changing opportunity to purchase an impeccable broadcast truck with no gear in it—something Brendan and I had only dreamed about for years.

Whatever we selected needed to work with our current workflows and accommodate upgrades and changes as required. Ross Video products and solutions give us the flexibility we need—we wanted gear that could easily talk to each other and have control systems and solutions that are all part of an integrated unit.

After careful evaluation and assessment, we decided on a Ross Ultrix Carbonite FR5 Frame, and several other Ross products and solutions for our new truck.

We wanted something that would work for us now and into the future. The truck

needed to offer ultimate simplicity, flexibility, and compatibility—not only in the physical domain, We also wanted it to be easy to understand, use and troubleshoot for our staff and contractors. Starting with 12G-SDI now means that everything works instantly for us and it’s a known signal format for all of our team, offering immediate benefits especially when it comes to supporting 4K workflows. Also, with the Ultrix system, if and when we need to include ST 2110, we can do that by simply swapping out an IO blade.


This flexibility is not just in the Ultrix solution—the Ultritouch Panels and TouchDrive panel also get updates to allow new functionality. We have been actively suggesting and requesting new features for many of the Ross Video products we now own. It’s so good to see Ross actively developing and working on their products and pushing those updates to their customers.

The success and validation of the truck’s design concepts were proven in two key jobs: IBM Think 2022 and TEDx Sydney. At IBM the truck was in “full event mode” where it was

the technical hub for the entire main stage. All cameras came back to the truck as they would in a typical broadcast and the show was streamed from the truck. But that’s where the similarities ended.

We also ran all playback for the show from the truck and all outputs for the live event were also fed from the truck. This includes projector 3G-SDI feeds for the main screens, foldback monitor feeds, side of stage monitor feeds and lighting monitor feeds. For this event, besides handling the main switch of all cameras and content for the screens in the room and the live stream, Ross Ultritouch panels with Dashboard switched all the KVM stations. The two graphics positions relied heavily on these touch panels, contributing to a successful event. l

Jeremy Koch is a director at Innovative Production Services, which he co-founded in 1997 with Brendan Sadgrove. He can be reached at; more information on the company is available at

For more information on Ross Video, visit

Jeremy Koch’s Innovative Production Services deployed Ross Ultrix Carbonite FR5 Frame, and several other Ross products and solutions for their studio and new broadcast truck.
equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches | | July 2023

WBRZ, KBTR in Baton Rouge Tap Crispin for Master Control Automation

BATON ROUGE, La.–As director of operations and chief engineer for two locally-owned ABC affiliate stations in Baton Rouge, La. (WBRZ and KBTR), I maintain the technical side of our on-air structure, which includes master control, transmitters and scheduling.

When I joined these stations two years ago, WBRZ had no automation in place for our master control and our playout servers were well past their end of life. Our operators were manually firing all sources and were writing and initialing paper logs. The whole process was complicated and required manual reconciliation. My job was to get a new system in place, and I’m proud to say that we’ve now built a new TV station with updated playout servers, routers, encoders and Crispin automation.


This was my first master control overhaul and as I began doing my research on automation companies, Crispin kept coming up again and again for their reputation, reliability, and solid support. I spoke with numerous playout manufacturers and toured other stations, many of whom were using Crispin and were very happy with the results—which speaks volumes in this industry.

Another indicator of Crispin’s dependability was on display during their demos. I’ve witnessed many demos that don’t run as expected, so seeing Crispin’s expertise during these product overviews gave me the confidence and peace of mind that their solutions were reliable, which is critical in my line of work.

What ultimately made Crispin such an attractive option was its flexibility. In addition the support team is top notch and has exceeded my expectations, helping address our specific needs in a realistic and beneficial way

that suits both of our Baton Rouge stations. With Crispin, we’re not locked into just one box—it can be customized to the different requirements of each station.

For this specific project, I once again turned to Technical Services Group for integration, who I’ve worked closely with for more than 20 years. They’ve continued to be a supportive partner throughout the process, which required many moving parts.


Now that we’ve deployed Crispin’s platform, we can tangibly experience the numerous benefits. With every new technology and process comes a learning curve but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how quickly my operators have adapted to Crispin’s automation. It’s very intuitive, straightforward and simple—all very important features. With Crispin, our shifts not only flow better, our operators are also more informed and empowered. Overall, the transition has been smooth thanks in large part to Crispin and TSG.

One of the biggest benefits of Crispin’s

master control automation is the secondary records. They remove the need for operator intervention, as they can be scheduled automatically. This has really simplified the workflow for recording our newscast and playing it back on our other channels. Before Crispin, those records would’ve gone to an external recorder which then would have had to be clipped and ensured that the clip was ready for air and scheduled properly in order to be aired again. With Crispin, this is all done seamlessly and flawlessly.

As we look ahead, KRGV in Weslaco, Texas, another locally owned ABC affiliate, will be updating their automation system in the near future and Crispin is at the top of our list. l

Joey Verrett is director of operations for WBRZ, WBRZ +, WBTR in Baton Rouge. He has been in broadcast for 22 years—20 of them in radio. He manages WBRZ and WBTR’s on-air technical structure. He can be reached at

For more information Crispin, a Sony company, visit

Joey Verrett selected a master control solution from Sony’s Crispin to greatly simplify the workflows at the two Baton Rouge stations.
equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches July 2023 | | 30

Texas A&M’s 12th Man Productions Tackles IP Routing With EVS’ Cerebrum

COLLEGE STATION, Texas —I have been a broadcast engineer for Texas A&M Athletics’ 12th Man Productions since July 2017. With a full-time staff of 17 and more than 100 paid student workers, we are responsible for producing the majority of home ESPN broadcasts as well as all in-venue videoboard shows.

We produce approximately 120 events a year from simple three-camera shoots all the way to national-level broadcasts for ESPN. We often will have multiple events a week and sometimes multiple events a day. Because of this workload, we have to have a comprehensive broadcast control system.


I am constantly seeking ways to enhance operational efficiency and streamline workflows. In my quest for an ST 2110 routing solution, I came across Cerebrum from EVS. I started evaluating the system in December 2021 and was pleasantly surprised by its extensive capabilities and extremely customizable interface.

One of the standout features of Cerebrum is its ability to provide whole system management from a single client application. This means that I no longer need to rely on multiple control applications for various functions, as nearly everything is conveniently accessible within Cerebrum. It simplifies the management of complex operations, making it easier for me to navigate and control different aspects of the production workflow.

During the evaluation period, I was particularly impressed with the system’s ability to quickly stand up an NMOS router. In just a matter of days, I was able to configure and integrate the router seamlessly into my existing infrastructure. This rapid implementation immediately had me hooked as we were beginning to integrate more and more ST 2110-native components, which was going to be crucial to our upcoming workflows.


Another significant advantage of Cerebrum is its comprehensive device monitoring and reporting capabilities. The system enables me to keep a close eye on the health and performance of all connected devices in real time. By providing detailed insights into device statuses, errors, and alarms, Cerebrum allows me to identify and resolve issues promptly, minimizing downtime and maximizing operational efficiency. With the customization capabilities inherent in Cerebrum, I can build complex dashboards and event email alerting for specific thresholds and device metrics.

Cerebrum is highly customizable, allowing me to tailor it to my specific requirements. From the layout of the control interface to the selection and arrangement of controls, I can personalize the system to match my workflow preferences. This level of customization ensures that I have quick and easy access to the functionalities that matter most to me, boosting productivity and ease of use for our engineering staff.

Additionally, Cerebrum offers advanced scheduling capabilities, including the ability to create salvos. In addition to routing, salvos

enable me to group and execute multiple device commands simultaneously, saving time and effort. Whether it’s triggering a series of actions for live production or automating routine tasks, the scheduling feature within Cerebrum is incredibly powerful and versatile.

My experience with Cerebrum has been overwhelmingly positive and I have found it to be an invaluable tool for streamlining my broadcasting operations. It is truly a system where your time and imagination are the limits. We were able to include some custom programming time in our initial purchase which allowed us to stand up an extremely functional and powerful foundation. Since then, we have expanded and developed our own interfaces, creating even greater efficiencies and capacity. I am truly excited to continue to grow our use and make our lives easier along the way. l

Zack Bacon is the chief broadcast engineer at 12th Man Productions, Texas A&M University Athletics. He can be reached at 979-458-8435 or at

For more information about EVS’ solutions visit

equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches | | July 2023
Zack Bacon’s tech teams at Texas A&M Athletics’ 12th Man Productions deploy EVS’ Cerebrum routing to produce 120 events a year.

equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches

buyers briefs

Matrox Matrox ConvertIP Series

The Matrox ConvertIP Series of standalone ST 2110/IPMX converters is designed to help users transition to 4K-over-IP. ConvertIP devices convert ST 2110 IP signals to HDMI or SDI. The fanless design offers quiet operation while accurately monitoring ST 2110-20 and ST 2110-22 sources on HDMI or SDI monitors.

Other critical ConvertIP characteristics include: PoE+ support; a single ConvertIP unit with the ability to become a SDI/HDMI converter; IPMXready; up to 25 Gbps of connectivity on standard IP infrastructure; monitoring uncompressed or JPEG XS compressed 4K video over ST 2110; multiple output and input reconfiguration options.


ADDERView CCS-MV 4228 (CCS-MV 4228) is the latest addition to the award-winning ADDERView CCS-Multi-Viewer range. Designed to put users in total control, the new KVM multiviewer switch delivers up to eight different video, audio, and USB signals to a single workstation in a user-customizable window layout across one or two monitors. By moving the mouse cursor between windows or across screens, the system will switch between sources in real-time and without latency.

The CCS-MV 4228 simplifies the control room desk and allows operators to strike a productive balance between situational awareness and application focus.

kvm-tec, an IHSE Company Media4Kconnect

NewTek TriCaster

With powerful and affordable tools, NewTek offers a TriCaster for every production that puts an entire suite of media production capabilities at the user’s fingertips. They are designed to make anything from keynote presentations and webcasts to online training and sporting events look amazing with quality, consistency, and efficiency.

Sporting a variety of features and tools, all solutions in the TriCaster family have NDI KVM available, with the more advanced TriCasters offering advanced NDI routing.

Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Videohub 12G

Blackmagic Videohub 12G zero latency video routers let customers connect and route any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD on the same router at the same time. Blackmagic Videohub 12G is available in 10x10, 20x20 and 40x40 models. Key features include: zero latency 12G-SDI supports SD, HD and Ultra HD up to 2160p60; built-in control panel with direct entry buttons and spin knob control; LCD monitor with live video and labels for visual routing; SDI reclocking on all 12G-SDI inputs; support for Videohub Master Control Pro and Videohub Smart Control Pro control panels; support for Videohub Software Control for Mac, Windows and iPad; free SDK for integration into broadcast automation systems; Ethernet for remote control from external hardware or software control panels, and localized for 13 popular languages.

kvm-tec’s media4Kconnect series of KVM over IP extenders from IHSE delivers full 4K resolutions in perfect 4:4:4 color space and is compatible with 10G network switches. The media4Kconnect models are available in different versions to support standalone extension, redundancy, or in a fully uncompressed version to support up to 4K.

These extenders can be used as highperformance low-latency KVM point-to-point connections or as part of a larger KVM switching system. Switching can be done through either the on-screen display menu or directly through the provided kvm-tec switching manager software. The media4Kconnect provides a full array of user features to allow customized setups to eliminate the need for external signal and conversion adapters.


KUMO 3232-12G

KUMO 12G-SDI routers support large format resolutions, high frame rate (HFR) and deep color formats while reducing cable counts when transporting 4K/UltraHD over SDI. The routers offer network-based and/or physical control using KUMO CP and CP2 and mirror the physical form of AJA’s production-proven KUMO 3232 and KUMO 1616 routers, with a USB port to configure IP addresses via AJA’s eMini-Setup software.

An ideal choice for situations where balance of size and capacity are critical such as midsized post facilities and OB trucks, key features of KUMO 12G-SDI routers include: 32x12G-SDI I/Os; small, portable form factor; single cable support for 4K/UltraHD; support for ganged dual and quad port routing for resolutions up to 8K/UltraHD2; optional redundant power supply; eight salvos per router; embedded web server for remote control; IP Address configurable via USB port and supplied AJA eMini-Setup software for PC/Mac.

July 2023 | | 32

G&D VisionXS IP Series

The G&D VisionXS high-end extender product series are matrix-compatible KVM extenders, available as variants for classic transmission or KVM-over-IP, providing users with the best video quality, even better performance and a range of high-performance features.

Unlike previous models, the VisionXS-IP uses standard networks at up to 10Gbps, opening up a range of new possibilities, especially for scene-rich video and frequently changing image content, as significantly less compression is needed. In addition to the already available DP-UHR variants for resolutions up to 4096 × 2160 @ 60 Hz, the product range is now complemented by the new DP-HR variants for resolutions up to 2560 × 1600 @ 60 Hz. The VisionXS-DP-HR- and VisionXS-IP-DP-HR variants are also available with two display port connectors for multi-monitor applications.

Grass Valley Masterpiece X

Grass Valley’s cloud-based, broadcast-grade master control Masterpiece X is designed to unlock new workflows with a solution that scales with an organization’s day-to-day or even hourto-hour requirements. Masterpiece X enables easy regionalization by driving multiple outputs from a single user interface, and is designed to produce up to 16 different language feeds. It runs on AMPP, which underpins a whole suite of cloud software offerings from Grass Valley.

The use of AMPP for this new offering follows the “build once, integrate into many” philosophy. Masterpiece X is ideal for broadcasters and content owners who want to leverage the flexibility of cloud and SaaS models to reach new markets. Other organizations, such as leagues (including esports), may benefit from the additional flexibility provided by Masterpiece X to deliver their live content to a wider audience, leveraging the plethora of emerging distribution platforms.

Apantac MT HOOD KVM over IP Extenders - Set 14

The MT HOOD KVM over IP Extenders - Set 14 is based on GigE technology (IGMP and Jumbo frame). Other key features include: transmitter with built-in HDMI looping input with POE; receiver with POE; support for up to 170 meters point to point extension with CAT6 cable; support for up to 100 meters when used with a GigE switch; support for HDMI inputs and output signals; support for point to point (Unicast), point to multipoint (multicast) for A/V distribution; receiver with four USB ports with support for both HID and transparent USB (for USB storage and tablets); support for bidirectional stereo audio; embedded HDMI as well as external stereo input; support for RS-232 communication between Tx and Rx; built-in web-page for configuration; connection manager software for Tx/Rx management; support for resolutions up to 4K/UHD @ 30Hz; advanced EDID management functionality; built-in EDID, EDID pass through, copy EDID and sharing EDID; built-in scaler; and LED Status indicator.

products & services marketplace

buyers briefs 33 equipment guide | master control/routing & kvm switches | | July 2023

people on the move

For possible inclusion, send information to with People News in the subject line.


Tanya Black has been named VP and news director at the CBSowned WJZ-TV station in Baltimore, the CBS News Baltimore streaming channel and Black has spent her career with WJZ-TV. Most recently, she served as the station’s director of community impact. Prior to that, Black spent 22 years first as an assignment editor, then assignment manager and then managing editor of the WJZ News department.

FAISAL KHAN Corp. for Public Broadcasting

CPB has named Faisal Khan as executive director of the Next Generation Warning System. In the new post, he will lead CPB’s work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in implementing the NGWS grant program to create a more resilient and secure public alerting system in U.S.  public media. Khan will lead a staff of four to implement the NGWS grant program. He comes to CPB from the Islamic Relief USA Foundation, where he was executive director.

SANDY BRELAND Gray Television

Gray Television has promoted Sandy Breland from senior managing VP to executive VP and chief operating officer. In early 2019, Breland joined Gray as a senior vice president of local media upon Gray’s acquisition of Raycom Media, where she served as a group VP. She managed a portfolio of TV stations and local digital platforms in 16 markets as well as Gray’s Washington D.C. News Bureau, its National Investigative Unit and news support services for all markets.

MATT MORAN Gray Television

Gray Television has promoted Matt Moran to senior managing VP at Gray Television to oversee a group of Gray’s TV markets in the Midwest. Moran has served as the GM of WOIO (CBS), WUAB (CW) and WTCL (Telemundo) in Cleveland, Ohio, since December 2021 and as regional VP overseeing Gray’s TV stations in Binghamton and Watertown, NY, since August 2022. Previously, he served as the GM of WSAZ-TV (NBC) and WQCW (CW) in Charleston-Huntington, WV.


Local news executive Kari Patey has been named VP of producer development at CBS Stations. She will be responsible for supporting the recruitment, development and retention of news producers at CBS Stations’ 14 local newsrooms nationwide. Patey will be based at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she has served as VP and news director since 2017. Among her awards, she is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a National Emmy Award winner.


National Association of Broadcasters

Perry Sook, chairman and chief executive officer of Nexstar Media Group, has been elected chairman of the NAB Joint Board of Directors. Sook takes over from David Santrella, CEO of Salem Media Group, whose term expired. Pat LaPlatney, president and co-chief executive officer of Gray Television, was elected as NAB Television Board chair. Ramona Alexander, VP and GM of WDBD, was elected as TV Board first vice chair.

KELLI MATTHEWS JVC Professional Video

JVC Professional Video has appointed Kelli Matthews to marketing manager with responsibility for developing, implementing and executing its marketing strategies. Prior to joining JVC, Matthews held dual roles as marketing specialist and trade show manager at Konica Minolta Sensing Americas. Before her time with Konica, Matthews held various sales and marketing positions at the Drew Marine Division of Ashland Chemical, Vuarnet and Liz Claiborne.


NEP Group has named Martin Stewart its new CEO. He had previously served as its CFO. With a career spanning more than 30 years in leadership roles in the media telecommunications and sports sectors, Stewart has led several companies that have undertaken successful change programs including at Ono in Spain, OSN in Dubai and Sky NZ in New Zealand. Prior to these roles he was CFO at Sky UK and helped double the size of the business during his tenure.

July 2023 | |

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