Page 1

THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY

An ITP Business Publication | JULY 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 07

TEST CARD We speak with Laurent Roussel, MD of Eutelsat Middle East

Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat

GETTING NEWS

A look at how satellite news gathering has changed the industry

IS IT TIME FOR 4K?

A look at what changes the successor to HD will bring

BLAZING AHEAD The President and CEO of Arabsat explains his future plans for the company and speaks about the recent partnership with My-HD

My-HD launches in the region; DMI and ADM to share Pro League rights; Yahsat wins SatCom award; Qatar joins Hulu bidding


CONTENTS VOLUME 6 / ISSUE 7

JULY 2013

04 Update My-HD launches in the region; DMI and ADM to share Pro League rights; Yahsat wins SatCom award; Qatar joins Hulu bidding; Harris to launch Dubai Training Academy; ABS and FOX pen massive deal; Snell spruces up News Express studio; Virgin buyout complete; KSA to license private TV channels.

26

14

14

COVER STORY BLAZING AHEAD Khalid Balkheyour, president and CEO of Arabsat, speaks about the company’s future plans.

20

4K IS IT TIME FOR 4K? 4K is the ultimate successor to HD, but is it too soon to herald change?

20

30

SATELLITE NEWS GATHERING TO BOLDLY GO... A look at how satellite news gathering is changing the way reporters deliver news.

Broadcast Asia 2013 A review of some of the exhibitors and their tech at Broadcast Asia 2013.

26

34 HEVC Demystified A comprehensive look at the new compression codec, and what it means for broadcast.

05

12

48 Test Card Digital Broadcast Middle East talks to the MD and regional sales director of Eutelsat, Middle East.

www.digitalproductionme.com

46 48

30 JULY 2013 01


COMMENT

Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING

Best foot forward Welcome to the July edition of Digital Broadcast Middle East. This month we’ve got a featurepacked magazine for you. We speak with the president and CEO of Arabsat, Khalid Balkheyour, who told us that Arabsat is working on launching its sixth generation satellite. He also spoke about the recent partnership with MyHD, which is a low cost HDTV platform that launched with 39 channels, and is broadcast through Arabsat’s satellite. Read our interview with the head honcho on page 14. We also run a review on the spectacular Broadcast Asia that took place at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, from the 18-21 June. The show drew a crowd of 50,000 visitors and was packed with the latest technology in the broadcast sphere. The new venue was absolutely marvellous and the energy of a trade show really shone through. It was really great to meet many familiar faces and some new ones. Next we ask industry experts what they think about the emergence of 4K and how this will change things for the broadcast industry. It is widely recognised that 4K is the most logical successor to HD, but is it perhaps too soon to changeover from recently installed infrastructure to support HD? There’s the question of being able to monetise recent infrastructural investments, and then there’s the question of how many viewers will actually get 4K TV sets and want 4K channels. In fairness, everything is in the test-phase now, and it might take a while

02 JULY 2013

CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director, ITP Business Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham

for the trend to catch on. As the technology becomes more mainstream, 4K products and transmission will get cheaper, and then perhaps it’s the time for broadcasters to start thinking about moving in that direction. You can read more about this in our feature on page 20. Another feature in the magazine this month is dedicated to satellite news gathering (SNG). SNG gives news reporters the ability to report live news from some of the most remote and inhospitable climates, where terrestrial cables have been destroyed such as in war zones or areas hit by natural disasters. In fact the satellite terminals that facilitate the uplink to satellites, have reduced in size and weight over the years, so much so that they can be carried in the overhead bin of an airline. Read more in the feature on page 30. With that, I bid you adieu till next month. I hope you enjoy reading the magazine, and as always I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions on this issue. Please send them through to me on my email address below. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all Ramadan Kareem and a fantastic July ahead.

EDITORIAL

CLAYTON VALLABHAN Editor (clayton.vallabhan@itp.com)

Certain images in this issue are available for purchase. Please contact itpimages@itp.com for further details or visit www.itpimages.com.

Editor Clayton Vallabhan Tel: +971 4 444 3682 email: clayton.vallabhan@itp.com ADVERTISING Sales Director Peter Davis Tel: +971 4 444 3741 email: peter.davis@itp.com Sales Manager Nitesh Patel Tel: +971 4 444 3272 email: nitesh.patel@itp.com Sales Manager Napoleon Estampador Tel: +971 4 444 3381 email: napoleon.estampador@itp.com Japan Advertising Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: + 81 354 568230 email: ua9m-tcy@asahi-net.or.jp STUDIO Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Verko Ignjatovic, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Production Coordinator Nelly Pereira Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation & Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Marketing Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP DIGITAL Digital Publishing Director Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 email: ahmad.bashour@itp.com Sales Manager, B2B Digital Riad Raad Tel: +971 4 444 3319 email: riad.raad@itp.com ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000

Printed by Emirates Printing Press L.L.C. Dubai Subscribe online at www.itp.com/subscriptions

VISIT US ONLINE For the latest news, analysis and reviews from the Middle East content delivery, media management and new media distribution business head to www. digitalproductionme.com

The publishers regret that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions contained in this publication, however caused. The opinions and views contained in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Readers are advised to seek specialist advice before acting on information contained in this publication which is provided for general use and may not be appropriate for the reader’s particular circumstances. The ownership of trademarks is acknowledged. No part of this publication or any part of the contents thereof may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the permission of the publishers in writing. An exemption is hereby granted for extracts used for the purpose of fair review.

Published by and Copyright © 2013 ITP Business Publishing, a division of ITP Business Publishing Group Ltd. Registered in the B.V.I. under Company Registration number 1402846.

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RAI Amsterdam Conference 12-17 September : Exhibition 13-17 September

IBC2013 Discover More IBC stands at the forefront of innovation, drawing more than 50,000 creative, technical and business professionals from over 160 countries. It couples a comprehensive exhibition covering all facets of today’s industry with a highly respected peer reviewed conference that helps to shape the way the industry will develop. Also, take advantage of a variety of extra special features included as part of your registration at no extra cost: •

IBC Connected World a special area of IBC which encapsulates the very latest developments in mobile TV, 3G and 4G services

IBC Production Insight centred around a professional standard studio set, attendees have a host of the latest production technology to get their hands on

IBC Workflow Solutions dedicated to file-based technologies and provides attendees with the opportunity to track the creation management journey

IBC Big Screen providing the perfect platform for manufacturer demonstrations and ground breaking screenings

Future Zone a tantalising glimpse into the future of tomorrow’s electronic media

IBC Awards celebrating the personalities and the organisations best demonstrating creativity, innovation and collaboration in our industry

www.ibc.org IBC Third Floor 10 Fetter Lane London EC4A 1BR UK t. +44 (0) 20 7832 4100 f. +44 (0) 20 7832 4130 e. info@ibc.org

t a ow ister n er /reg t s rg gi Re ibc.o w. w w


THE BRIEFING

CONTENT

My-HD launches in the region The new HD platform launched with 39 channels, with more to be added soon

Cliff Nelson and Khalid Balkheyour at the launch of My-HD.

My-HD and Arabsat, have announced the official launch of My-HD’s bouquet of 39 channels, of which 31 are High Definition (HD). Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD said, “My-HD and Arabsat’s partnership is set to shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region. Ever since our tieup in March 2013 we have been working hard to secure premium HD content for the region.” He added, “Since we are aware that the consumers in the Middle East are as enthusiastic as anywhere else about new technology, we are extremely confident that viewers will enjoy the experience of HDTV and have no reason to go back to Standard Definition because we are providing them with the best viewing experience at an unbeatable price.

My-HD and Arabsat’s partnership is set to shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region. Ever since our tie-up in March 2013 we have been working hard to secure premium HD content CLIFF NELSON CEO, My-HD

“We are also extremely glad that top broadcasters in the region such as MBC Group with eight HD channels, Al Nahar Network with four HD channels and MTV Lebanon have confidently chosen to partner with My-HD. Furthermore, two channels which are currently free to air (FTA) will now be shutting off their FTA signals and join the My-HD platform. The two channels, Physique TV and Luxe TV, will be available in English and Arabic,” said Nelson. Additionally, My-HD will be launching the first English and Arabic Electronic Program Guide (EPG) on Arabsat called ‘My EPG’, which will be followed by catch up TV services known as ‘My Catch Up TV’ for its customers. This is in partnership with Saudi Media Pioneer Selevision which will further strengthen its value proposition of a luxury that everyone can afford. My-HD is a low-cost pay-TV platform, available from just AED 79 per year, offering over 30 High Definition channels via satellite including all eight MBC HD channels, four HD channels of Al Nahar TV, and six exclusive HD channels from Olympusat in the Middle East and North Africa. To learn more about Arabsat’s partnership with My-HD, read our interview on page 14.

RESEARCH

Frequency of reading a newspaper/magazine online in the UAE The online appetite for users in the UAE is changing considerably.

tablets, and PCs. Up to 25% of the general population are daily readers of online news, whereas 24% ensure they read online news between once and four times a week. Besides being able

With the rising amount of online formats of newspapers

to read your content, anywhere and anytime, stories are also easy

and magazines that are getting

to distribute on social media and

online, users seem to be getting into the swing of getting their daily

by email, thus making it the preferred method of readership

fix of news on their smartphones,

for the current times.

04 JULY 2013

Frequency of reading a newspaper/magazine online in UAE (%)

13% 14% 23%

25%

26%

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www.digitalproductionme.com


THE BRIEFING

DMI and ADM to share Pro League rights ADM and DMI extend joint coverage for a further five years Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports Channels, who have jointly covered UAE Pro League football for the last five years, have agreed to extend their partnership for another three seasons. Both parties say they intend to expand their coverage and reach of the UAE league and further strengthen the entities’ continued and successful partnership. The joint broadcasting of the rights by ADM and DMI would enable audiences to watch live coverage of the matches on Abu Dhabi Sports Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx channels and Dubai Sports, allowing both networks to showcase all matches live, with tailored studio shows and commentaries. Mohamed Najeeb, head of the Abu Dhabi Sports channels said: “This proposed partnership showcases the solid on-going relationship between Abu Dhabi Media and Dubai Media Incorporated over the past five years. We are

BROADCAST BRIEFS

BUSINESS

Qatar joins Hulu bidding Qatar is part of one of several high profile bidders battling to take buy US-based online video streaming service Hulu. The company is currently owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and media giants Walt Disney and Comcost, and the bidding process is set to be one of the most tightly fought deals in the US entertainment world this year. At least seven bidders have reportedly put forward proposals to acquire Hulu, with some of the bids believed to be as high as $1bn. Qatar Holding, last year invested $100m in US media company the Chernin Group.

committed to maximising the reach and quality of the PLC coverage, providing viewers with a highly innovate HD experience.” Beginning September 2013 and lasting for three seasons, the broadcast rights jointly broadcast by ADM and DMI covers the Arabian Gulf League, Reserves League, Super Cup and League Cup.

Yahsat wins SatCom award

Harris to launch Dubai Training Academy 

Yahsat has won a SatCom Star Award for the “Most Innovative Product/Service for Africa” for the second consecutive year. Yahsat won the award for its YahClick services which provide connectivity to residents in unserved and underserviced areas across 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa and Central and South West Asia. Commenting on the award, Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Deputy CEO of Yahsat, stated: “It is a privilege to take home this award for the second consecutive year. The African market is extremely important to Yahsat and we are

Harris Broadcast is to launch a new demo and training Academy in the Middle East,

www.digitalproductionme.com

pleased that the industry recognizes the important role we play and the contribution we are starting to make in Africa.” “According to the International Monetary Fund, growth in Africa is expected to continue over the next five years and between 2010 to 2015, nine out of the top twenty fastest growing economies in the world are expected to be in Africa. This represents a huge opportunity for satellite operators such as Yahsat and Internet service providers who can help connect urban, rural and remote communities so they may join the 21st century global economy.”

as an extension to its existing Dubai office. The Academy, which includes a demo room for equipment as well as a fully equipped training center, has been created to allow Harris Broadcast customers to experience the latest broadcast tools and technologies, and provide an opportunity to conduct comprehensive demos and training sessions in the Middle East. JULY 2013 05


THE BRIEFING

BUSINESS

ABS and FOX pen massive deal The agreement is for MCPC services, playout and satellite capacity Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS) and FOX International Channels Philippines Corporation (FIC) have announced that they have signed a multi-year and multi-million dollar contract agreement for MCPC services, playout and satellite capacity on ABS-1 and ABS-2 satellites. This service will begin the second half of 2013 on ABS-1 satellite and will transition to ABS-2 after it is launched later this year. ABS is able to support FIC’s playout requirements with the most advanced automation systems, playout servers, encoders, multiplexing and encryption systems in the industry. The Subic Bay facility was enhanced with its services specifically tailored to support FIC’s Philippines operations. FIC signals will be relayed to ABS’ Subic Bay teleport where the channels will be uplinked to ABS-1 satellite. ABS will provide a comprehensive integrated broadcast 24 x 7 solution for FIC. FIC is Asia’s leading pay-TV operator and is at the head of the industry in terms of localisation efforts. The international broadcaster believes in customising channels for local audiences and localizing its playout for its channels and feeds in the Philippines is in line with that strategy. “Asia is not one market but rather a diverse region with many coun-

Jude Turcuato, GM of Fox International Channels, Phillipines.

tries, each with their own tastes and preferences when it comes to TV viewing,” says Jude Turcuato, GM of FOX International Channels Philippines.

Snell spruces up News Express studio Deployments include a production switcher and modular broadcast technology Snell’s Kahuna SD/HD multi-format production switcher, Pyxis router, and IQ Modular broadcast infrastructure modules have been used to upgrade News Express TV, India’s first all-HD news channel. With Snell partner Transs Technoconsultants providing technology and systems integration, News Express TV launched in 2012 with a 24-hour lineup of news and political reporting in the Hindi language. “In launching India’s first HD news channel, we placed a top priority on technologies that could provide 24/7 reliability and builtin features for redundancy. We 08 JULY 2013

also required the ability to handle many different functions, such as still stores and RAM recorders, but we looked for systems that could provide these capabilities without requiring us to purchase peripheral equipment,” said News Express TV’s head of technology and operations, S.K. Salvi. “The

Snell Kahuna switcher, working in tandem with the IQ Modular components and Pyxis router, delivers all of the advanced functionality of a broadcast-quality switcher in a highly flexible and extremely easy-to-use system.” With the Kahuna switcher, News Express TV producers can add complex, multi-layered effects that might otherwise have required expensive postproduction work. Kahuna’s multi-format capabilities powered by FormatFusion technology enable seamless mixing of SD and HD broadcasts and provide a smooth change of format. www.digitalproductionme.com


THE BRIEFING

Virgin buyout complete The deal was reached with a stock and cash merger valued at $24b Liberty Global has announced that, following shareholder approvals, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Virgin Media Inc. in a stock and cash merger valued at approximately $24 billion. Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global, said: “This is a great day for customers, employees and shareholders of both Liberty Global and Virgin Media. Together we now provide over 47 million video, voice and broadband services to 25 million customers located principally in 12 European countries. With superior network capacity, the fastest broadband speeds and innovative digital TV platforms, we’ve never been more excited about the growth potential and strategic direction of our business. Tom Mockbridge has begun his role as the CEO of Virgin Media, and is supported by a team of Liberty Global and Virgin Media executives. Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media has become one of the UK’s most

IBC (International Broadcasting Convention) is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in anddelivery of entertainment and news content worldwide.Attracting 50,000+ attendees from more than 160 countries,IBC combines a highly respected and peerreviewed conference with an exhibition that exhibits more than 1400 leading

Mike Fries, president and CEO of Liberty Global.

powerful media brands thanks to both the loyalty of its customers and the energy of its employees. I’m fortunate to be joining the company at this important inflection point in its development, and look forward to working closely with Mike and the broader Liberty Global team to deliver cuttingedge products and services that excite and inspire our customers.”

Senior official says local advertising market needs reorganisation.

www.digitalproductionme.com

SEPTEMBER 12-17

IBC 2013 RAI, Amsterdam

the creation, management

KSA to license private channels Riyad bin Kamal Najm, chairman of the commission for audio and visual media at the Saudi Culture and Information ministry, has said that the Kingdom has plans to license private satellite television channels soon. “The regulatory process in the media sector will be complete with the licensing of private satellite channels,” said Najm Speaking at Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Najm said there is a lot of effort required to develop the Kingdom’s media. The Kingdom’s advertising market

UPCOMING EVENTS

BUSINESS

needs to be reorganised to suit the size of its economy,” he added. He also indicated that a huge part of advertising revenue was going outside the Kingdom. “The commission will classify companies working in advertising to reorganise investment in the sector,” said Najm. Najm said the commission was established “not to monitor the media but to develop it. It has licensed six FM radios and 50 for satellite transmission and 40 for satellite channel offices,” he pointed out.

suppliers of state of the art electronic media technology and provides unrivalled networking opportunities for industry professionals. OCTOBER 9-11

Broadcast India Show 2013 Bombay Exhibition Centre Mumbai, India In its 23rd year, The Broadcast India Show is not just bigger than ever before, but more evolved as well. Since 1991, it has welcomed exhibitors and visitors from more than 34 countries across the world; last year it played host to around 21000 global visitors. Companies and corporates, veterans and professionals, suppliers and customers, visionaries and stalwarts from the broadcast and entertainment industry connecting and inter-connecting to optimise opportunities, facilitate trade links and to enable info-exchange on a global level.

JULY 2013 09


THE BRIEFING

APPOINTMENTS

ABS

HARMONIC

YAHSAT

EUROSTAR

ABS has announced the appointment of Henry Au-Yeung as Chief Network Officer (CNO), a new role for the company. In this new capacity, Henry will be responsible for network and teleport operations, sale and field engineering as well as value added service operations and R&D.

Harmonic has announced the appointment of George Stromeyer as the company’s new senior vice president of worldwide sales. Leading Harmonic’s global sales network, Stromeyer will develop and implement a clear-cut strategy for driving additional revenue opportunities within various markets.

Sami Boustany has been appointed as the acting CEO of Yahlive. Boustany is currently the Chief Strategy Officer of Yahsat. He will work with the Yahlive team to position the company as an exclusive HD satellite TV operator. Boustany has 15 years of experience in the satellite industry.

Youssef Saidi has been appointed as the group COO of the Eurostar Group. Saidi will oversee operations across the entire group portfolio. He has vast experience across corporate and consumer businesses including PACE international as VP, Sales and Philips Set-Top Boxes as GM of Cable.

010 JULY 2013

www.digitalproductionme.com


TECHNOLOGY NEWS

TECHNOLOGY

PPTV builds cloud TV platform The platform is powered by Microsft’s latest iteration of Windows Azure PPTV is the first Chinese new media outlet cooperating with Microsoft on a cloud computing platform. Its CEO, Dr.  Vincent Tao, has stated that the launch of Windows Azure Cloud Platform in  China  shall impact and pose a challenging opportunity to  China’s  technical sector, as previous new technologies and platforms did before. PPTV will fully leverage this opportunity to further develop the domestic “multi-screen” TV service, lead the export of domestic TV programs and accelerate the business development of its Asian TV Network in China. In July 2012, PPTV and Microsoft signed a strategic partnership memorandum to launch PPTV ATN (Asia TV Networks) based on Windows Azure Cloud Platform

PPTV will use Windows Azure for cloud TV platform.

worldwide. Considering the great potential abroad, with over 100 million overseas users, PPTV began its preparations for the cloud-based ATN platform as early as two years ago, with the aim of creating an easyto-use cloud platform for overseas custom-

ers to offer pay TV services at a low cost. Supported by Windows Azure, PPTV ATN’’s global operations have expanded into nearly 12 countries and regions, including Vietnam,  Thailand,  Indonesia,  Japan,  Singapore, Malaysia, Europe and NorthAmerica. Overseas users can watch live TV programs via PPTV ATN cloud platform. Commenting on this, Microsoft Senior Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Greater China Ralph Haupter said in a speech, “PPTV’’s providing real-time live video in  Thailand  and Indonesia  via Windows Azure Cloud Platform is a brand new market opportunity, which was unimaginable in the past. We are so excited to have such a great application on our platform.”

Eutelsat launches satellite finder app Eutelsat has launched Eutelsat Satellite Finder, a tool for accurate pointing of satellite antennas for consumers, installers, VSAT operators as well as news agencies, broadcasters and service operators carrying out newsgathering operations. The new application - available on iOS and Android driven devices is available for all Eutelsat satellites. It underscores Eutelsat’s drive for the highest signal quality and improved data throughput for satellite users, following on from its support and adoption of the Carrier ID initiative to enable the identification of satellite transmissions. Eutelsat Satellite Finder assembles a full set of basic parameters for exact antenna pointing, from 012 JULY 2013

Eutesat’s Satellite finder app can be used by broadcasters and service operators.

elevation and azimuth angles to line of sight and optimal polarisation angles. For smartphones and tablets not equipped with a GPS module, locations can be determined via Google Maps for automatic identification of longitude and latitude needed for precise calculations of azimuth and elevation angles. Using augmented reality, the app shows a given location with a general pointing direction while the tilt sensors of smartphones and tablets guide users towards the exact alignment. In order to help visualise the line of sight, the app also uses the built-in camera of a device to display a satellite. The app is available free of charge at iTunes and Google Play, tagged as Eutelsat Satellite Finder. www.digitalproductionme.com


TECHNOLOGY NEWS

TECHNOLOGY

SES boosts efficiency Newtec’s MDM6000 will make SES-5 more efficient Mobile 3G networks in Africa are set to benefit from a new-generation of modems from Newtec. SES has already tested and implemented the Newtec MDM6000 Satellite Modems to increase the efficiency on its African SES-5 payload. The MDM6000 satellite modems are optimised for medium to high speed IP applications over satellite and are capable of delivering up to 37% in efficiency gains compared with the existing DVB-S2 standard, thanks to S2 Extensions. SES is one of the first satellite operators commercially using S2 Extensions. The MDM6000 modems handle up to 380 Mbps bi-directionally. In this instance, the SES operated link transmits at 250 Mpbs over satellite, with the option to ‘pay as they grow’ in terms of demand. “Fiber bridges the digital divide between the western world and Africa but does not bridge the digital divide within Africa between

Newtec’s satellite modem will increase the efficiency of SES’ SES-5 payload.

urban and non-urban areas,” said Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, SVP for SES in Africa. “This new technology boosts the performance of satellite power which transcends geographic challenges to provide that vital last mile connectivity in Africa.”

MORE CONTROL

Nautel’s Advanced User Interface (AUI) gives you more transmitter control and instrumentation at the transmitter site, office or even your living room. Learn more at www.nautel.com/aui

Online ads set to soar Online advertising in MENA is reportedly growing at a rate of 37 per cent per year, and should hit $2.8bn in 2016 as the region plays ‘catch up’ with other world markets, claim the organisers of the Arabnet Digital Summit. “We are living in times when the ones who fail to keep up pace will stand to lose business. It’s the law of the survival of the fastest,” says Omar Christidis, founder and CEO of ArabNet. “That’s why we are gathering industry leaders and digital experts to discuss these critical iswww.digitalproductionme.com

sues during the ArabNet Digital Summit 2013 on June 24-26 at Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai.”

SAVE TRIPS SAVE TIME SAVE MONEY

+1.902.823.5131 www.nautel.com Advertising revenues are set to hit $2.8bn by 2016.

JULY 2013 013


ARABSAT

BLAZING AHEAD Arabsat is the oldest and largest satellite operator in the region with more than 30 years of experience in satellite broadcasting. However being the best also entails responsibility to lead and innovate, and that is exactly what its CEO Balkheyour is out to do. rabsat was founded in 1976 by the 21-member states of the Arab League. In this time it has evolved into a formidable force that is by far the leading satellite services provider in the Arab world. It carries over 450 TV channels and 160 radio stations that reach tens of millions of homes across more than 100 countries. Broadcasts to its local Arab audience alone boast over 160 million viewers. The company operates a fleet of satellites at 20-degrees East, 26-degrees East and 30.5-degrees East, of the geostationary orbit. It has the youngest fleet in the region, and has plans to expand even further in the next few years. With ample capacity and proven service quality, Arabsat is poised to become the HDTV portal of the Middle East. Khalid Balkheyour, the president and CEO of Arabsat believes in leading the way for the region’s satellite operators. Balkheyour says: “We are number one in the region, and we started over 30-years ago. Until the 90’s our broadcasting was analogue, and in early 2000 we started broadcasting in digital. Today we have five satellites in three orbital positions. Three of them are for broadcasting, namely Badr-4, Badr-5 and Badr-6. On these satellites we carry between 450-500 channels throughout the MENA region.” Arabsat’s satellites cover Africa too now, with C-band transmission. “With our new satellites we are covering Africa 014 JULY 2013

now, and we have a different case for Africa, which is digital C-band. We also cover Europe, and as far East as Iran and the border of Pakistan,” says Balkheyour. But that’s not where the buck stops for Arabsat. Balkheyour explains that the company has big plans for expansion, not just through launching new satellites, but through acquisitions of satellite operators as well. According to him growth has been phenomenal in the past few years and Arabsat will continue to grow in order to deliver the best services for its clients. Balkheyour says: “All Western Europe is covered in Arabsat’s footprint. We are also expanding, we are number seven in the world in terms of size and revenue and satellites. Of course we are an inter-governmental organisation. All Arab states are members of Arabsat and are different shareholders in the company, but we work on a commercial basis. “We are expanding our reach, not just through partnerships and commercial deals, but also acquiring additional orbital slots or satellite operators. We recently announced our acquisition of Hellasat, which is a Greek satellite operator. We have exactly 96.5% stake in the company and that gives us a larger reach into Europe and Eastern Europe and West of Asia. It also has some coverage of Africa, so we’re expanding beyond the Arab world and growing at a net profit of double digit growth for the past four years,” continues Balkheyour. Arabsat has also signed on its sixth satellite a few months ago. This will be the first of its sixth generation satellites and is www.digitalproductionme.com


ARABSAT

www.digitalproductionme.com

JULY 2013 015


ARABSAT

Khalid Balkheyour giving a speech at the launch of My-HD.

FAST FACT

$1bn The amount Arabsat intends to spend on its sixth genration satellite

currently being manufactured, with a provisional launch by 2015. Having one of the youngest satellite fleets in the region is certainly an advantage to Arabsat. Balkheyour says the oldest satellite in the fleet was launched in 2006. Balkheyour adds that Arabsat has made a considerable investment in the satellite sphere, and is poised to spend more in order to reach its objectives. “It cost us a lot of money, we have invested over $2 billion in satellites, and we will invest another $1 billion in the next three years for our sixth generation satellite. The satellite being launched in 2015 will be an expansion of the fleet, and this satellite will give us a larger expansion for TV broadcasting in our hotspot, but it will also introduce the concept of broadband connectivity and broadband communication, which may also include TV broadcasting, albeit on a spot basis, and not on a global basis for the Arab region. It will provide spot coverage for specific areas in the Arab world and Africa, and will be powered by Ka band, which is a new concept of broadband transmission, as well as expansion in normal broadcasting.” 016 JULY 2013

It cost us a lot of money, we have invested over $2 billion in satellites, and we will invest another $1 billion in the next three years for our sixth generation satellite. The satellite being launched in 2015 will be an expansion of the fleet, and this satellite will give us a larger expansion for TV broadcasting in our hotspot. KHALID BALKHEYOUR President and CEO of Arabsat.

Since most broadcasters currently use Ku band, there will be a need to change over to ground based infrastructure that supports Ka band broadcast. Balkheyour is confident that Ka will slowly but surely play a role in broadband connectivity, creating interactivity between viewers, content providers and the Internet. “It will be triple-play or quadra-play connectivity between the viewers and internet. Currently Ka is used for broadband and military, but it is a viable option for broadcasters. However it does not have the enjoyment of a big spot coverage like Ku. People who are looking at regionalising or looking at specific coverage, even domestic coverage of a region can use Ka,” explains Balkheyour. He says Al Jazeera, which is beamed through Arabsat, currently uplinks in Ka band for security purposes, and to avoid jamming and interference.

PARTNERSHIP WITH MY-HD Another recent development has been Arabsat’s partnership with My-HD. On May 30, My-HD and Arabsat announced their partnership at a gala ceremony, at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai. www.digitalproductionme.com


ARABSAT

Cliff Nelson and Khalid Balkheyour at the launch of My-HD.

My-HD is a low-cost pay-TV platform, available from just 79 AED per year, offering over 30 high definition channels via satellite including all eight MBC HD channels, four HD channels of Al Nahar TV, and six exclusive HD channels from Olympusat Media in the Middle East and North Africa. Speaking about the partnership, Balkheyour says: “We’re very excited. It’s a great opportunity to partner with My-HD. They are very aggressive, innovative and I think it’s a smart idea to have as much high definition channels as we can on one platform and transmitting and uplinking it to Arabsat.” Balkheyour adds “We are confident that our association with My-HD will be long term collaboration and will add significant value to both parties. The agreement between the two companies has already allowed My-HD to extend its channel reach to over 170 million viewers in more than 80 countries across the Middle East and Africa. Thereby, enabling a number of viewers to thoroughly enjoy the complete bouquet of HD channels carried on the My-HD platform”. Speaking at the event, Cliff Nelson, CEO of MyHD said: “My-HD and Arabsat’s partnership is set 018 JULY 2013

My-HD and Arabsat’s partnership is set to shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region. Since we are aware that the consumers in the Middle East are as enthusiastic as anywhere else about new technology, we are extremely confident that viewers will enjoy the experience of HDTV

Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD.

CLIFF NELSON, CEO, MY-HD. www.digitalproductionme.com


ARABSAT

to shape the future of HDTV in the MENA region. Since we are aware that the consumers in the Middle East are as enthusiastic as anywhere else about new technology, we are extremely confident that viewers will enjoy the experience of HDTV and have no reason to go back to Standard Definition because we are providing them with the best viewing experience at an unbeatable price.” Additionally, My-HD will be launching the first English and Arabic Electronic Program Guide (EPG) on Arabsat. ‘My EPG’ will be followed by catch up TV services known as ‘My Catch Up TV’ for its customers. This is in partnership with Saudi Media Pioneer Selevision. However, being a major player in the market and a huge infrastructure owner with services in sectors like military, broadcasting and telecoms, how important is a partnership with My-HD to Arabsat? Balkheyour says: “At a global level we are at a 45/55 revenue split between telecoms and broadcasting. So, most of our revenue is through broadcasting. Broadcasting is changing, slower in this region than the rest of the world, but we need to kick it off. Everybody is reluctant to invest more, and in this market most of the channels are freeto-air, so they are reluctant to invest where they get their revenue from commercials and advertisements. They are worried whether there will be viewers, so it’s quite a change to introduce the high definition concept in the region. With MyHD, and with a low price for consumers along with diversified content, not only Arabic, or English movies like some other pay-TV platforms, here we have a mixture of Arabic content, English content and Asian content with Filipino, Indian and Pakistani content. Moreover people can afford it at a very low monthly rate. You have to understand it is very different to change the mentality from free-to-air viewing, but here you have much better, high definition quality, at a very reasonable price and also different types of content,” explains Balkheyour. According to him, My-HD has managed to reach our customers. Not just to the broadcasters but also to the end-user with the availability of receivers which are affordable. He says Arabsat’s partnership with My-HD will provide the best signal possible to reach the end-user. He further adds: “It is very important to kick this off in a very aggressive way and change the perception and mentality amongst the people at an affordable package. This will give us a push and www.digitalproductionme.com

FAST FACT

39

The number of channels available on My-HD

We are expanding our reach, not just through partnerships and commercial deals, but also acquiring additional orbital slots or satellite operators. We recently announced our acquisition of Hellasat, which is a Greek satellite operator. We have exactly 96.5% stake in the company and that gives us a larger reach into Europe and Eastern Europe and West of Asia. KHALID BALKHEYOUR President and CEO of Arabsat.

strengthen our position as a leader in the region and hopefully more people will turn to Arabsat.” With this ambitious zeal, it is clearly evident that Arabsat is not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to bringing HD into viewers’ homes. “Very soon you won’t find standard definition. Even as far as cameras and the production centres are concerned, the whole chain will be HD. We want to part of this chain and take the leading position in the region. It will cost us of course, it will cost the broadcasters too, but it’s a step we have to take and absorb it, and being a leader in the sector it’s a worthwhile and long-term package,” says Balkheyour.

Khalid Balkheyour, President and CEO of Arabsat. JULY 2013 019


4K BROADCASTING

IS IT TIME FOR 4K? With HD now becoming the norm across the world, the broadcast universe is seriously pondering next generation technologies. 4K is the ultimate successor to the current standard, but is it too soon to herald change?

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www.digitalproductionme.com


4K BROADCASTING

ith the advent of 4K, broadcasters have been caught between a rock and a hard place. The first question is whether it is the right time to invest in new infrastructure to support 4K broadcasts. The other more daunting question is how they can maximise returns on recently installed HD infrastructure. With technology constantly evolving, and the consumer demanding the very best possible, there is no doubt that the move will come; it’s more a question of when? Mike Cronk, senior VP, marketing at Grass Valley says: “Over the past decades, broadcast equipment manufacturers have had to respond to multiple transitions: analogue to digital, SD to HD, and HD to 3D to name a few. Some transitions achieved mainstream status. Others like 3D, are still evolving. Now is a time of assessment for 4K as a potential transition.” Cristiano Benzi, director, line of business video and broadcasting at Eutelsat, agrees and says: “Although Ultra HD is still at a nascent stage, we see it as the next logical step

in the TV broadcasting sector. Unlike 3D, the transition from HD to Ultra HD is very similar to the one the TV industry successfully made from SD to HD during the last decade. With resolution four times higher than Full HD 1920 x 1080, Ultra HD is a natural response to insatiable consumer appetite for an enriched viewing experience. In addition to sharper images and more detail, Ultra HD will reduce by 50% the distance needed between the TV set and the viewer, bringing a far more immersive experience to the home. “A number of developments still need to happen before this new technology can take off, notably in terms of compression and standards, but we believe 4K TV has all the attributes to one day become the reference in high-end home entertainment. Whether it is for reaching early adopters today or large scale audiences with commercial offers, satellites are a privileged platform for broadcasting Ultra HD content thanks to their bandwidth availability and coverage. Satellite transponders are also a ‘transparent’ transmission media and in this respect are already Ultra HD ready,” continues Benzi.

While telco and satellite operators may use available bandwidth to provide content in higher resolution than HDTV, broadcasters must make more substantive changes to ready their networks for 4K. In both cases, the ability of new encoding techniques like HEVC to reduce file sizes is vital.

www.digitalproductionme.com

KEITH WYMBS - VP of marketing, Elemental

JULY 2013 021


4K BROADCASTING

Keith Wymbs, VP of marketing, Elemental.

Along with 4K broadcast, other equipment in the entire production chain will need to change too. This will include everything from the cameras to shoot in 4K, the servers to record it and playout, production switchers to select the content, as well as 4K displays. Sebastien Verlaine, marketing manager, EVS says: “Manufacturers are developing 4K-capable products, but many of these are still beta versions. However the trials that we have been involved in thus far have been successful. I will not be surprised to see some important releases at this year’s IBC.” Keith Wymbs, VP of marketing at Elemental thinks the availability of the right equipment may be only one part of the equation. He says that more than this, broadcasters will need a ready supply of 4K content to both stoke and feed consumer demand. Apart from studio releases for home theatre and limited premium sports content, 4K is pretty scarce. Another concern is the size and price of consumer displays. Wymbs says: “Below a certain screen size, the advantage of 4K is not apparent to the human eye, hence the initial monstrous 84-inch 4K displays - which outsized most living rooms. The average TV set in homes has been actually flat for a couple years, at least in the U.S. market, after jumping a lot with the initial adoption of HD. Pricing is equally large at $20,000 and up for some larger 4K sets. 4K content must be available on screens of a practical size and price to stimulate meaningful consumer demand.” Another important point voiced by Paola Hobson, senior product manager, conversion and 022 JULY 2013

Paola Hobson, senior product manager, conversion and modular, Snell.

Although Japanese broadcasters have committed to starting 4K UHDTV services in 2014, many elements of the broadcast chain are not yet standardised internationally, so most broadcasters are not yet announcing definite service dates. PAOLA HOBSON Senior product manager, conversion and modular, Snell

FAST FACT

900 The amount of gigabytes it takes to store an uncompressed 30 minute video in 4K

modular, at Snell was that storage of uncompressed 4K content would be massive, and this would mean significant storage upgrades for the broadcaster. She says: “With 3840 × 2160 pixels per frame, up to 120 frames per second, and 10- or 12-bit colour depth, it is clear that uncompressed 4K UHDTV material has high storage requirements. Even a 30-minute 4K UHDTV program acquired at 50p at 10 bits per pixel will occupy more than 900 GB uncompressed storage, compared with around 90 GB for a 30-minute 1080 50i program at 8 bits per pixel. Fortunately, the costs of storage continue to decrease while the capacity of storage solutions rises, so this issue will fade over time.” Verlaine thinks bandwidth will pose a significant problem. Streaming 4K content is challenging, and with uncompressed files a user would require a half gigabit per second connection. Wider broadband connectivity will be needed and this may take some time. Moreover the behaviour of consumers will also determine the success of 4K in the short term. They are likely to question the need for Ultra HD and may not want to pay the price for a 4K-capable TV set. Wymbs adds: “While telco and satellite operators may use available bandwidth to provide content in higher resolution than HDTV, broadcasters must make more substantive changes to ready their networks for 4K. In both cases, the ability of new encoding techniques like HEVC to reduce file sizes is vital for meeting continued increases in HD and UHD file sizes. Elemental is already ahead of the game with www.digitalproductionme.com


4K BROADCASTING

support for 4K HEVC. The company included support for H.265 encoding in its latest software release and has implemented the new compression codec within its core video engine.” So is HEVC the saviour for 4K? Our experts seem to all agree that this new codec will allow for faster bitrates and more efficient encoding. Benzi of Eutelsat explains: “HEVC is generally considered by the industry to be one of the key elements towards wide deployment of 4K broadcasting. The HEVC compression standard includes profiles capable to operate on 4K-native resolution pictures and is expected to allow bitrate savings in the order of 50% with respect to MPEG-4 AVC. HEVC chipsets capable to work on 4K resolution pictures are now being produced by all major manufacturers, and consumer receivers should start being available end 2013 or beginning 2014. Early chipsets will be capable to work at 24/30 frames per seconds, while chipsets capable to work at 50/60 frames per second should be available six to nine months later.” Benzi also says that DTH operators could benefit for the evolution of the DVB-S2 modulation standard. He thinks by 2015, DVB-S2 will allow more information to be transported in a satellite transponder and could coincide with the availability of set-top boxes with HEVC chipsets operating up to 60 frames per second. All these add-on technologies represent significant improvements for reducing bandwidth and supporting quality image delivery. “With HEVC and the evolution of DVB-S2, we believe we should be able to transmit around five Ultra HD 4K channels at 50 or 60 frames per second in a 36 MHz transponder. This would be with a bitrate per channel a little higher than one current MPEG4 HD channel but with four times the resolution and twice the frame rate for a more exciting and comfortable viewing experience,” says Benzi. HEVC will allow for enhanced compression, thus leading to more efficient storage too, according to Hobson. She says: “Such compression methods decrease the amount of disk space needed to store 4K UHDTV programs, as well as decrease the amount of time it takes to move programs between facilities and studios.” Satellites today already have built in support for 4K transmissions, and the first trial was performed by Eutelsat in Europe and the Middle East, using its Eutelsat 10A satellite. The satellite operator says that the initiative aimed at helping the TV industry to gather real-world experience in the production and the transmission of 4K content. Its Ultra HD demo channel is operated in Quad www.digitalproductionme.com

The Toshiba CEVO 4K HDTV was on display at the 2013 International CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

A number of developments still need to happen before this new technology can take off, notably in terms of compression and standards, but we believe 4K TV has all the attributes to one day become the reference in high-end home entertainment. CRISTIANO BENZI Director, line of business video and broadcasting, Eutelsat

HD (four Full HD streams i.e. 3840x2160 pixels) transmitted at 40 Mbit/s in MPEG-4 AVC. Eutelsat adopted this configuration as it allowed the company to work in progressive mode at 50 frames per second which gives a heightened sense of reality. Since the channel’s launch in January this year Eutelsat says it has had even higher than expected interest from content providers, set manufacturers and pay-TV operators to test the transmission chain. In addition to this dedicated in-orbit capacity, it is also investing in filming its own 4K content to seed the market before Ultra HD starts to become a commercial reality from the second half of the decade. Satellite operators have certainly made it clear that 4K transmission is definitely possible and they have the capacity to broadcast in 4K. With compression standards improving, the need for capacity will be reduced even further. Though pricing has not yet been officially announced, the option has been made available to the broadcast community. It is now a matter of standardisation and investing in the right architecture to make 4K a reality. According to Hobson standardisation may still be some time away. She says: “Broadcasters in many countries including the U.K., Germany, Korea, the U.S. and Japan have publicised tests and experiments they are conducting with 4K UHDTV production, post-production, transmission and archiving. Although Japanese broadcasters have committed to starting 4K UHDTV services in 2014, many elements of the broadcast chain are not yet standardised internationally, so most broadcasters are not yet announcing definite service dates. This is partly JULY 2013 023


4K BROADCASTING

An attendee looks at a display of the Panasonic 4K OLED 56’ television during the 2013 International CES show at the Las Vegas Convention Centre.

because the business case for such services is still being defined and partly because technical standards are still in development.” Certain elements of 4K UHDTV services, such as audio, metadata, and signalling are still in the early stages of standardisation, according to Hobson. She also explains that certain interface elements, such as signal transport, streaming profiles, and offline file formats are not yet widely agreed. Thus, until an agreement is reached, and the new standards fully tested, broadcasters will be slow to start regular transmissions. Industry pundits estimate that after Japan’s market entry in 2014, 4K UHDTV services will start from 2015 onwards. Benzi too thinks 2015 will the right time for 4K to take off, although he says it might take another ten years for Ultra HD to reach mass market audiences. “We expect that all the bricks will be in place for the take-off of Ultra-HD by 2015. 024 JULY 2013

Broader Ultra HD adoption will take several years, progressively penetrating the market once payTV operators are packaging a significant volume of content in premium offers of five to ten channels. CRISTIANO BENZI Director, line of business video and broadcasting, Eutelsat

The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications recently announced a plan to introduce 4K broadcasting in 2014. Sochi Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup will be showcased in 2014 stimulating further interest, and the 2016 Olympic Games will be an additional accelerator. “Broader Ultra HD adoption will take several years, progressively penetrating the market once pay-TV operators are packaging a significant volume of content in premium offers of five to ten channels. Taking HD as a comparison commercial HD broadcasting was introduced in 2005 and Eutelsat’s satellites today broadcast about 450 channels - we could expect Ultra HD to reach a mass market in eight to ten years. This dynamic will in particular favour DTH operators who will be able to leverage this new differentiating opportunity, bundling Ultra HD premium content to sustain subscriber loyalty and increase ARPU.” www.digitalproductionme.com


BROADCAST ASIA

BROADCAST ASIA 2013 REVIEW

Broadcast Asia 2013 was one of the biggest shows in the industry this year. It drew more than 700 exhibitors from 45 different countries. In this review we look at what a few of the exhibitors were showcasing at the event.

B

roadcast Asia 2013 took place at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, from 18 – 21 June. The event saw over 50,000 attendees from around the world attending the exhibitions, conferences and meetings at the four-day event. The event also drew over 350 industry experts that came together at the conferences to share their knowledge and network with delegates. “We live in an evolving world where a multitude of technologies are not only transforming the way we live but also altering the relationship between industries. CommunicAsia2013, EnterpriseIT2013 and BroadcastAsia2013 serve as the perfect platform for professionals from the various industries to explore, network and create new relationships and opportunities that will benefit all parties,” said Mr.

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Stephen Tan, Chief Executive of show organiser, Singapore Exhibition Services. Calvin Koh, assistant project director of Broadcast Asia, said “We are excited to present BroadcastAsia2013 as the knowledge capital for all broadcast related technologies in Asia. This year we have an impressive assembly of international exhibitors and prestigious speakers at the show to address and discuss the latest issues and advancements in the digital multimedia, film and TV industries. From the latest developments in 4K technology, multi-platform delivery, digital media asset management, professional audio technology and over-the-top (OTT) technology to pressing concerns faced by broadcasters and content creators, we believe BroadcastAsia2013 will serve the needs of all players in the region, across the entire broadcast ecosystem.” www.digitalproductionme.com


BROADCAST ASIA

ORBAN SHOWS OPTIMOD AUDIO PROCESSORS Orban was showcasing its latest line of audio processors at Broadcast Asia 2013. Peter Lee, VP, European operations said: “At Broadcast Asia we’re showing the new line of Orban Optimod audio processors, internet radio and television and FM this year. We come to Broadcast Asia to meet with our existing customers and create foundations for the following years with new customers and existing customers.” Orban has been to Broadcast Asia for

nearly 15 years, and is a veteran of the show. Les said: “The first day was really slow for us, but the last couple of days have been really good. It makes us really happy. Broadcast Asia for us is about meeting customers, networking and seeing what you can do in the years to come.” Lee also mentioned that the company has hired a new tech support professional in Europe who will be focusing on visiting customers and trainings in Asia for the coming year.

NORTH TELECOM DEBUTS AT BROADCAST ASIA North Telecom was exhibiting at Broadcast Asia for the first time this year. The company was demonstrating its new platforms for Central Asia and the Asia Pacific region. Mahdi Nazari, CTO, North Telecom said: “We have new platforms especially for Central Asia and Asia Pacific as well, and this is based on IDRX technology which is very new and available at a very competitive price” Nazari explained further that North

Telecom was looking for feedback from the maritime satellite sector. “The basic concept here is we are looking for potential in Asia, for maritime VSATs and mobile satellite communications. For fixed satellite communications we have a new product which is NSS12, with C-band capacity.”said Nazari. Overall Nazari said this year’s show was very good. “We’ve had a very good feedback from the show. Till now we’ve signed three deals,” concluded Nazari.

ASIASAT INTRODUCES TWO NEW SATELLITES Asiasat was at Broadcast Asia this year to announce the imminent launch of two satellites in 2014. Fred Ho, director, technical operations, Asiasat said: “We are showing our Asiasat coverage and all our content providers that are on-board on our Asiasat satellite fleet. We are also going to launch two more satellites in 2014, so we are letting the customer industry know about this and explaining our services to them.” Ho said Asiasat has been supporting www.digitalproductionme.com

Broadcast Asia for many years and he think the show is fantastic, and is one of the major must-be-at exhibitions in Asia. Ho said: “We are telling the industry that we are still in the game and we explain to our customers here, high-level information about the direction we are going in. The rest of the year, our main focus will be the completion of building our Asiasat 6 and Asiasat 8 satellites. We are also upgrading the teleport in Hong Kong for our new satellites.” JULY 2013 027


BROADCAST ASIA

NAUTEL SHOWS NT-SERIES TV TRANSMITTERS Nautel was back at Broadcast Asia this year and came armed with their entire product range. The manufacturer has been coming to Broadcast Asia for the last 15 years and says it’s one of the most important shows for Nautel. “We’re showing the complete line of Nautel products at Broadcast Asia. In particular we have our VS series low power FM transmitter, we’re displaying our higher power NX series medium wave AM transmitters up to 2MW. We’re also showing our recently introduces

NV light series which is a higher efficiency and lower cost FM transmitter. The biggest introduction is our recently introduced NT 150 and NT 500 TV transmitters which will be shipping later this year,” said John Abdnour, regional sales manager, Nautel. Abdnour said that Nautel has been very successful in the Asia Pacific region, and that Broadcast Asia is the best way for the company to reach out to all those people at one very important convention.

TSL SIGNS ARGOSY AS RESELLER TSL was exhibiting its entire range of new products at Broadcast Asia this year. It also signed a new reseller for the region at the show. Speaking about what products TSL was displaying at its booth, Chris Exelby, managing director, TSL said: “We are showing our 32A power distribution unit. We are also showing a complete Tally system to show our new Tally panels. We have all our audio monitoring products on display. We’re showing our

SAM13G, which is a 1U audio mixer and monitor, specifically for EVS operators and those people at ingest where you don’t have a lot of room and need to get all the information.” Exelby also said TSL has signed Argosy to be their reseller for South East Asia. “We’ve announced at the show that we are partnering with Argosy. They will be our new reseller for South East Asia and besides being our reseller, they are also our sales agent,” concluded Exelby.

MOG DEMOS XPRESS TECHNOLOGY MOG was demonstrating its latest ‘Xpress’ technology at the show this year. Jean Morais, Business developer at MOG said: “We are typically showing the software version of the product we have released called Xpress, where we can combine all the product services that we can offer in a single box. It is a 1RU box that can be mounted on a rack unit or and OB van where you can have all the services.” Morais expressed that it was important for MOG to be at Broadcast Asia, as the 028 JULY 2013

company wanted to ramp up its presence in the Asian market. Morais said: “We have been at Broadcast Asia since 2011. The show is pretty good. You should be here, that’s why MOG is here to represent our brand to all the customers, system integrators and partners. The exhibition is more about demonstrating our product, pushing the solution and showing prospective customers what we can do that is the best for their workflows.” www.digitalproductionme.com


Vol: 7 Issue: 5 May 2013 An ITP Business Publication

ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY AND PRODUCTION

PALME EXHIBITION

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

S&S provides you with the companies to watch at this year’s PALME Middle East

A look at how Sundance Live Entertainment produced the second du World Music Festival

There her h eerrree bee will b

JAIMIE TTODD OD D RREVEALS V E TTO S&S THEE GORY DETAILS OF DUCTACT’S SWEENEY TODD T LATEST PPRODUCTION, R THE BRIEFING

The return of Comic Con

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BUYER’S GUIDE

The newest additions to amplification tech ›› P55

THE HITLIST

A preview of this month’s videos and apps ›› P64

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MINUTES WITH... Revibe Entertainment’s Sameer Rahman discusses his opinion on the industry.

Providing industry news, technical insights and expert business advice, Sound & Stage Middle East aims to provide readers with the technical and business know how they require to run more successful businesses.

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NEWS GATHERING

TO BOLDLY GO....

In the absence of studios and earth satellite receiving stations, remote news gathering uses satellite uplink terminals that can facilitate the transfer of news broadcasts from remote locations that are not connected by terrestrial cable architecture. Uplink equipment has been constantly shrinking and can now be carried in a briefcase small enough to fit in an overhead bin of an airline. emote news gathering has quickly evolved into the primary mode of news journalism in remote and war-torn areas. Over the years, the methods of transmitting news from a remote location has changed, and what would previously require an entire team and an OB van, can now be performed by a journalist and cameraman equipped with a lightweight remote news gathering router. An increase in 24x7 news channels has given rise to cutthroat competition, where every channel wants to be the first to broadcast breaking news. This has been augmented with the development of news gathering equipment, which has now advanced into light weight solutions that can be carried around in a briefcase and are capable of uplinking to satellites at extremely high speeds to facilitate the transmission of critical and time-sensitive broadcasts.

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Mark Anderson, marketing operations manager at Vislink says: “With 3G and now 4G now widely available, breaking news can now be transmitted over mobile network infrastructure. This method is subject to the cellular networks’ capacity, and so it is not always feasible, but this is one avenue that news gatherers and equipment manufacturers are exploiting. “In those remote locations that cellular networks can’t reach an entirely different approach is required. Satellite connectivity is the main method here, particularly now that satellite data terminals have become extremely portable and lightweight. Modern iterations of this equipment are also highly rugged and durable; they’re dust proof, wind proof and heat resistant, allowing news reporters to feedback HD video footage, voice and data communications in any situation,” continues Anderson. This versatility and durability of this equipment is essential in order to survive in the harshest of conditions. This is integral for modern news coverage, particularly as today’s reporters www.digitalproductionme.com


NEWS GATHERING

Traditionally, remote news gathering is achieved through the use of microwave or satellite links. However, video over IP is rapidly gaining ground as a viable means due to substantial improvements in compression algorithms, encoding technology and wireless connectivity, which has enabled the industry to develop smaller and more economic transmission devices. STUART BROWN Broadcast systems director, Cobham

www.digitalproductionme.com

JULY 2013 031


NEWS GATHERING

Mark Anderson, marketing operations manager, Vislink.

often have to visit inhospitable locations to secure an exclusive story. John Huddle, head of media and broadcast at Thuraya says that nowadays broadcast journalists are often roped into playing more than one role, where they take on the responsibilities of a writer, producer and cameraman rolled into one. Hence, the equipment being used has to be as simplistic as possible, making it easy to operate for a journalist in the field. So, what equipment is required for remote broadcasting? Huddle says: “Typically a journalist requires a camera, a laptop, mobile broadcast software and most importantly a mobile broadband terminal or satellite antenna to provide connectivity. The point of Satellite News Gathering (SNG) is to give journalists and front line reporters an ‘always on’ broadband connection. This way they can report the news live or deliver pre-recorded content back to their studio.” Anderson says with the advancement in modern broadcast technology, most of the required equipment can fit into a standard car. “Vislink’s Mantis MSAT, for example, is the first one-man portable satellite terminal capable of delivering high-definition video broadcast signals from anywhere in the world. The Mantis MSAT can be unpacked and working within five minutes, providing up HD video capable of 8Mbps upstream data throughput.” Speaking about how the technology behind news gathering is changing, Stuart Brown, broadcast systems director, Cobham, says VoIP is quickly catching up as another mode of remote news 032 JULY 2013

Stuart Brown, Broadcast Systems director, Cobham.

Modern iterations of this equipment are also highly rugged and durable; they’re dust proof, wind proof and heat resistant, allowing news reporters to feedback HD video footage, voice and data communications in any situation. MARK ANDERSON Marketing operations manager at Vislink

FAST FACT

12.5

The weight in kilograms of the Vislink Mantis MSAT

gathering. He says: “Traditionally, remote news gathering is achieved through the use of microwave or satellite links. However, video over IP is rapidly gaining ground as a viable means due to substantial improvements in compression algorithms, encoding technology and wireless connectivity, which has enabled the industry to develop smaller and more economic transmission devices that enable journalists to cover news from just about anywhere they are able to reach.” Satellites however, remain the primary link, according to Brown, as they can be used from anywhere and therefore provide reliability, of the first port of call as a backup. He also explains that the pressure to get reliable satellite communications from wherever and whenever has accelerated in recent years. Huddle agrees and says: “At Thuraya when customers are connected to our powerful satellites we are able to offer dynamic resource allocation that delivers constant and uninterrupted service by moving resources to match demand.” Satellites are also the only source as a data connection when all other infrastructure has failed, for example in war zones and unconnected remote locations. With the growing number of satellites, and their ability to be equipped to use multiple satellite bands, broadcasters are spoilt for choice as to which band they wish to transmit in. Manufacturers of satellite news gathering terminals thus have to offer connectivity and compatibility with the majority of satellite bands, or have to have a good enough reason to stick to one particular www.digitalproductionme.com


NEWS GATHERING

Vislink Mantis.

band. Sometimes certain customers like the defence and military might wish to only use a certain satellite band, to ensure secure communication links that aren’t prone to interference. Vislink’s Anderson says: “Satellite coverage spans the globe and depending on where you are there are a number of bands available in that region. This is why Vislink designs its satellite terminals to cover Ka, Ku, X and C-bands. The customer can then, depending on where they are based, specify the band they have access to and the system can then be built to order.” Huddle says he believes in working with customers to help them determine which band will work best in different scenarios. Thuraya also offers L-band satellite technology, which Huddle says is inherently reliable, particularly in challenging weather conditions, whilst also providing maximum portability. With a huge market for SNG terminals, broadcasters who wish to invest in this equipment should consider a variety of different factors, to ensure they are getting exactly what they need. Some of these factors include the speed of connectivity, the types of satellite bands supported by the terminal, the ruggedness to withstand punishing weather conditions and most importantly its portability and ease of use. Thuraya has recently launched its latest broadband terminal, the Thuraya IP+, which Huddle says is perfect for remote news gathering. According to him, It is the world’s smallest, lightest and most durable broadband terminal delivering speeds of up to www.digitalproductionme.com

The point of Satellite News Gathering (SNG) is to give journalists and front line reporters an ‘always on’ broadband connection. This way they can report the news live or deliver pre-recorded content back to their studio. JOHN HUDDLE Head of media and broadcast at Thuraya

444Kbps standard, and 384Kbps streaming. He also says that Thuraya’s SNG units have been certified to IP55 (Ingress protection standards that determine how weatherproof an enclosure is) standards and have been deployed to some of the harshest conditions in the world, right from the heat of Syria to the freezing temperatures atop Mount Everest. Vislink’s Anderson says his company manufactures the Mantis MSAT, which he describes as “the world’s smallest and lightest data terminal for high-performance, high-definition satellite news gathering. The Mantis MSAT is a highly portable satellite data terminal which is carried in a backpack. Weighing only 12.5Kg it can be unpacked and working within five minutes, providing up to an HD video capable 8Mbps of upstream data throughput subject to satellite performance.” Anderson says the Mantis can withstand temperatures ranging from -20 degrees centigrade to +55 degrees centigrade. It is also able to function at altitudes of up to 3000 metres and wind speeds of 45mph. Over time, SNG terminals have evolved, and gurus in the business think this trend will only continue because of the constant need for faster speeds, better quality broadcasts and broadcasters wanting to get breaking news out to their viewers as soon as possible. Brown says SNG terminals are getting: “Lighter, smaller and more cost-effect to deploy and maintain. Importantly for news gathering, rapid deployment is the key. Television audiences now expect that wherever a big story breaks there will be a journalist on the ground providing them with solid information and good pictures.” Brown also adds that rapid developments and the pressures placed on SNG technologies will continue to change the face of what is possible. With advanced video compression standards such as HEVC being introduced, wireless systems might soon become the norm. “By adopting improvements in compression, high picture quality can be maintained but at everlower bit rates, which in turn extends the range of the system for remote news gathering purposes. The increased availability of high-capacity Kaband services removes any previous restrictions on delivering broadband-over-satellite. All of the power, functionality and reliability now available for wireless systems enables production teams and broadcasters to take viewers to places none of them have ever been before. That’s an exciting future for news gathering,” concludes Brown. JULY 2013 033


HEVC CODEC

DEMYSTIFIED HEVC is the latest compression standard in the broadcast industry and aims to reduce the size of media files in order to be broadcast using lesser bandwidth; this new codec will pave the way for 4K broadcasting of the future

T

he most recent non-proprietary video compression standard, High-Efficiency Video Codec (HEVC), also known as H.265, was placed into final draft for ratification in January 2013 and is expected to become the video standard of choice for the next decade. As with each generation of video compression technology before it, HEVC promises to reduce the overall cost of delivering and storing video assets while maintaining or increasing the quality of experience for the viewer. HEVC is an open standard, defined by standardization organizations in the telecommunications (ITU-Ts VCEG) and technology industries (ISO/IEC MPEG) to leverage the most

034 JULY 2013

efficient video compression techniques using the market’s latest processing platforms. Without sacrificing video quality, HEVC can reduce the size of a video file or bit stream by as much as 50% compared to AVC/H.264 or as much as 75% compared to MPEG-2 standards. This results in reduced video storage and transmission costs and also paves the way for higher definition content to be delivered for consumer consumption. The techniques and algorithms used in HEVC are significantly more complex than those of H.264 and MPEG-2. There are more decisions to make when encoding a given video stream or file and as a result, more calculations need to be made in compressing video assets. This complexity, however, is an

excellent fit for video processing solutions that seamlessly evolve from one compression generation to the next as they mitigate the risks that come with any large technological migration. This paper focuses on the technical and market implications of HEVC’s adoption in the content creation and delivery market. It is assumed that in the 1-2 years following ratification of the standard, the vast majority of

consumer electronics manufacturers will support hardwarebased decoding of HEVC in their devices. VIDEO COMPRESSION BASICS Video compression seeks to reduce or remove redundant information from a video stream so that the asset can be stored or sent over a network as efficiently as possible. The algorithms used

RAW SOURCE

PRE-PROCESSING

ENCODING

VIEWING DEVICE

POST-PROCESSING & ERROR RECOVERY

DECODING

SCOPE OF STANDARD

FIGURE 1: SCOPE OF VIDEO COMPRESSION STANDARDISATION www.digitalproductionme.com


HEVC CODEC

to eliminate the excess information make up the process of encoding, and the amount of time it takes to accomplish this task is termed “encoding latency,” especially in a linear workflow such as live television delivery. The method used to play back the compressed asset and return it as closely as possible to its original state is known as decoding. Together, the interoperability of the compression and decompression processes form the basis of a codec. The differences between codecs stem from the techniques each uses to reduce the amount of information in a video bit stream. MPEG-2 achieves different bit rates and quality levels than H.264 and the same is true of HEVC. However, within a given codec standard, the decoder algorithms are firmly defined—in fact, the scope of the standard is generally based around the decoder. In order to achieve interoperability and decode what is known as a “compliant bit stream,” this decoder recipe must be followed. While encoders must provide the appropriate information for the decoder to follow the specified recipe, encoders within a given standard vary from vendor to vendor, or even from product to product from a single vendor. Encoder variation is caused by how suppliers choose to implement the different sets of tools defined by the standard. Several factors drive which encoding tools are implemented by a vendor, including the needs of its market, the limitations of its particular platform, or decision tradeoffs made by the engineering team designing the encoder. While a decoder is created using a “recipe”, an encoder may be considered the “secret sauce”. www.digitalproductionme.com

create extraneous information. In this way, objects, or more precisely, pixels or blocks of pixels, that do not change from frame to frame or are exact replicas of pixels or blocks of pixels around them, can be processed in an intelligent manner. TRANSMITTED NOT TRANSMITTED

FIGURE 2: EXPLOIT COMMONALITY AND REDUCE DATA BY IDENTIFYING THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FRAMES Encoders make the most intelligent approximations and decisions within a field of possibilities that is too vast to fully survey within the constraints of most applications. As a result, not every encoder for a given codec, such as HEVC, will be alike. Encoders do, however, follow these phases: 1. Divide each frame into blocks of pixels so that processing can occur simultaneously at a block level. 2. Identify and leverage spatial redundancies that exist within a frame by encoding some of the original blocks via spatial prediction and other coding techniques. 3. Exploit temporal linkages that exist between blocks in subsequent frames so that only the changes between frames are encoded. This is accomplished

via motion estimation and compensation where searches are performed on adjacent frames to create motion vectors that predict qualities of the target block. 4. Identify and take advantage of any remaining spatial redundancies that exist within a frame by encoding only the differences between original and predicted blocks through quantization, transform, and entropy coding. During the encoding process, different types of video frames, such as I-frames, P-frames and B-frames, may be used by an encoder. When these different frame types are used in combination, video bit rates can be reduced by looking for the temporal (time-based) and spatial redundancy between frames that

Search Window

Matching Block Target Block

Motion Vector

EARLIER REFERENCE FRAME

P-FRAME

FIGURE 3: BLOCK-BASED MOTION COMPENSATION

With high motion video, such as sports content, the information that stays the same from frame to frame is significantly less important than predicting the motion of objects from frame to frame. With motion compensation algorithms implemented in the encoding process, the codec is able to take into account the fact that most of what makes up a new frame in a video sequence is based on what happened in previous frames. So at a block by block level, the encoder can simply code the position of a matching object in the frame and where it is predicted to exist in the next frame via a motion vector. The motion vector takes fewer bits to encode than an entire block and thereby saves bandwidth on the encoded stream. An I-frame, or intra frame, is a self-contained frame that can be independently decoded without reference to preceding or upcoming images. The first image in a video sequence is always an I-frame and these frames act as starting points if the transmitted bit stream is damaged. I-frames can be used to implement fast-forward, rewind and scene change detection. The drawback of I-frames is that they consume many more bits and do not offer compression savings. On the other hand, I-frames do not generate many artifacts because they represent a complete picture. A P-frame, which stands for predictive inter frame, references earlier I- or P- frames to encode an image. P-frames typically JULY 2013 035


HEVC CODEC

require fewer bits than I-frames, but are susceptible to transmission errors because of their significant dependency on earlier reference frames. A B-frame, derived from bipredictive inter frame, is a frame that references both an earlier reference frame and a future frame. A P-frame may only reference preceding I- or P-frames, while a B-frame may reference both preceding and succeeding I- or P-frames. These are the basic techniques and objectives of video compression. There are other algorithms involved that transform information about video into fewer and fewer transmitted bits, but these are not covered in this paper.

B

I

B

reduction of 50% for a fixed video quality compared to H.264 ▶ Deliver higher quality at same bit rate ▶ Define a standard syntax to simplify implementation and maximize interoperability ▶ Remain network friendly—i.e. wrapped in MPEG Transport Streams

DEVELOPMENT OF HEVC

The ratified standard of HEVC lays the foundation by defining 8-bit and 10-bit 4:2:0 compression, which is relevant to the majority of video distribution to connected devices. Further work in the area of 12- and 14-bit encoding at 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 color space is likely to finalize in early 2014. While H.264 featured seven profiles—a profile is a defined set of coding tools used to create a compliant bit stream—the HEVC spec currently supports three: Main, Main 10, and Main Still

BIT RATE

▶ Deliver an average bit rate

1995

50% bit rate saving target

AVC 2003

50% bit rate saving target

2005

HEVC 2013

2015

FIGURE 5: EXPECTED COMPRESSION BIT RATES AT TIME OF STANDARDISATION 036 JULY 2013

B

P

B

P

B

I

FIGURE 4: A TYPICAL SEQUENCE WITH I-, B- AND P-FRAMES

Like the H.264 standard, HEVC is the output of a joint effort between the ITU-T’s Video Coding Experts Group and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). The ITU-T facilitates the creation and adoption of telecommunications standards and the ISO/IEC manages standards for the electronics industries. Designed to evolve the video compression industry, HEVC intends to:

MPEG-2 1994

P

Picture. However, the standardization process from January 2013 was only version 1 of the standard and future profile extensions for HEVC will likely include increased bit depth, 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 chroma sampling, Multiview Video Coding (MVC) and Scalable Video Coding (SVC). These extensions are expected in January 2014. HEVC’s Main profile supports a bit depth of 8 bits per color, while Main 10 supports 8 bits or 10 bits per color. Because of the additional bit depth option, Main 10 has the potential to provide better video quality than Main. Finally, Main Still Picture profile allows for a single still picture to be encoded with the same constraints as Main profile. The HEVC spec also defines 13 levels, which are sets of constraints that indicate the required decoder performance to playback a bit stream of the specified profile. The levels are split into two tiers: Main, which includes levels 1 - 3.1, and High, which includes levels 4 - 6.2 and is designed for highly demanding applications. HEVC levels share a number of similarities with the levels of H.264, with a key difference being the addition of levels 6, 6.1 and 6.2, which define requirements to support 8K resolution video.

APPLICATION IMPACT

There are several cases where the improved quality to bit rate ratio of HEVC will impact the industry at an application level. As high quality video distribution consumes enormous network capacity, the benefit of these efficiency gains include: ▶ Deployment of more channels over satellite, cable, and IPTV networks ▶ Lowered cost of managed and unmanaged video distribution ▶ Widened reach for bandwidthconstrained mobile and IPTV operators ▶ Improved QOE of OTT services to match traditional broadcast delivery In the mobile streaming market, the HEVC bit rate reduction of 30 – 50% to achieve comparable quality to H.264 is realized in the cost savings of delivery across networks. Mobile operators will not need to deliver as much data for a given quality level, making for lower costs and more reliable playback—this, of course, assumes the device’s hardware can smoothly decode HEVC. HEVC also aligns with the push towards high-resolution Ultra HD 4K and 8K video in the mainstream market. With 4K resolution featuring four times the number of pixels as 1080p, the efficiencies provided by HEVC make broadcasting 4K much more feasible. www.digitalproductionme.com


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HEVC CODEC

Media companies with significantly-sized content libraries will also feel the positive impact of bit rate savings. As their storage efforts strive to keep pace with multiscreen consumer demand, these companies face increased strain on their infrastructure. With HEVC halving file sizes, transitioning to the new codec will stretch storage capacity twice as far going forward.

2

0: Planar 1: DC

8

1

6 3

34 33 32

4 7

0

5

31

30 29

22 282726 25 24 23

21

19 20

3

4

5 6

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

FIGURE 7: H.264 VS. HEVC INTRA PREDICTION MODES

400

It’s even fewer at the 16 x 16 block level, dropping down to only four modes of prediction. Intra prediction attempts to estimate the state of adjacent blocks in a direction that minimizes the error of the estimate. In HEVC, a similar technique exists, but the number of possible modes is 35—in line with the additional complexity of the codec. This creates a dramatically higher number of decision points involved in the analysis, as there are nearly two times the number of spatial intra-prediction sizes in HEVC as compared to H.264 and nearly four times the number of spatial intra-prediction directions.

200

Inter Prediction and Coding

HOW HEVC IS DIFFERENT

The primary goal of the new HEVC standard is to provide the tools necessary to transmit the smallest amount of information necessary for a given level of video quality. The underlying approach to HEVC is very similar to previously adopted standards such as MPEG-2 and H.264. Simply put: it is much more of the same. While there are a number of

differences between H.264 and HEVC, two stand out: increased modes for intra prediction and refined partitioning for inter prediction. Intra Prediction and Coding

In the H.264 standard, nine modes of prediction exist in a 4 x 4 block for intra prediction within a given frame and nine modes of prediction exist at the 8 x 8 level.

MODES / MACROBLOCK 600

0 JPEG

MPEG-2

h.264

h.265

FIGURE 6: POSSIBLE WAYS TO ENCODE EACH MACROBLOCK 0 (Vertical) M A B C D E F G H I J K L

1 (horizontal) M A B C D E F G H I J K L 5 (Vertical-right) M A B C D E F G H I J K L

2 (DC) M A B C D E F G H I Mean J (A.D., I.L) K L 6 (horizontal-down)

H.264 uses block-based motion compensation with adjustable block size and shape to look for temporal redundancy across frames in a video. Motion compensation is often noted as

3 (diagonal down-left)

4 (diagonal down-right)

M A B C D E F G H I J K L

M A B C D E F G H I J K L

7 (Vertical-left)

M A B C D E F G H M A B C D E F G H I I J J K K L L

8 (horizontal-up) M A B C D E F G H I J K L

FIGURE 8: H.264 INTRA PREDICTION MODES IN PRACTICE FOR 4 X 4 BLOCKS 038 JULY 2013

the most demanding portion of the encoding process. The degree to which it can be implemented intelligently within the decision space has a major impact on the efficiency of the codec. Again, HEVC takes this to a new level. HEVC replaces H.264 macroblock structure with a more efficient (but also complex) hierarchical system for partitioning frames within a quadtree coding structure known as a coding tree unit (CTU). It also provides for larger block sizes (up to 64 x 64) for higher coding efficiency. The higher coding efficiency stems from the fact that with larger block size, should a certain area of the block need more coding attention—and there is little happening in the rest of the block—a higher level of coding focus on this area can be afforded. A 16 x 16 block, on the other hand, is comparatively inefficient since each of these blocks gets coded, necessary or not. This adds up, as sixteen 16 x 16 blocks fit inside a 64 x 64 block. HEVC AND PARALLEL PROCESSING

HEVC has been designed keeping in mind improving performance in parallel processing. This includes enhancements for both encoding and decoding. Some of the specific improvements are found in: ▶ tiles ▶ the in-loop deblocking filter ▶ wavefront parallel processing Tiles allow for a picture to be divided into a grid of rectangular regions that can be independently decoded and encoded simultaneously. They also enable random access to specific regions of a picture in a video stream. In the case of the in-loop deblocking filter, it has been defined such that it only applies www.digitalproductionme.com


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HEVC CODEC

to edges aligned on an 8 x 8 grid in order to reduce the number of interactions between blocks and simplify parallel processing methodologies. Additionally, the processing order has been specified as horizontal filtering on vertical edges followed by vertical filtering of horizontal edges. This allows for multiple parallel threads of deblocking filter calculations to be run simultaneously. Finally, wavefront parallel processing (WPP) allows each slice to be broken into coding tree units (CTUs) and each CTU unit can be decoded based on information from the preceding CTU. The first row is decoded normally but each additional row requires decisions be made in the previous row. ELEMENTAL AND THE FIT WITH HEVC

The computational intensity of HEVC lends itself to the processing performance advantage available with graphics processing units (GPUs). With a flexible software-based architecture, video processing solutions from Elemental offer support for HEVC via a seamless software upgrade. Elemental has deep experience developing video codecs from open specifications to full implementation using general-purpose programmable architectures (GPUs and CPUs). Easing the transition to HEVC within legacy MPEG-2 and H.264 infrastructures, upgradeable solutions like those from Elemental can incorporate new compression approaches much more quickly than existing fixed hardware encoding and decoding platforms, such as ASICs and DSPs. Flexible software running on massively parallel hardware makes the Elemental computing platform an ideal fit for HEVC. 040 JULY 2013

4x4

4x4

4x4

4x4

CONCLUSION

8x8 MxM

M/2xM

M/4xM (L)

M/4xM (R)

MxM/2

M/2xM/2

8x4 4x8

4x8 8x4 MxM/4 (U)

MxM/4 (D)

FIGURE 9: AN EXAMPLE OF A 16 X 16 H.264 MACROBLOCK VS. M X M HEVC PARTITIONS Macroblock ( 16x16)

16x16

Macroblock Partitions

0

8x16 0

8x8

16x8 1

Sub-Macroblock Partitions

0

0

1

1

2

3

8x8

4x8

0

0 1

8x4 0 1

4x4 0 1 2 3

FIGURE 10: H.264 MACROBLOCK PARTITIONS FOR INTER PREDICTION While HEVC tools are designed to improve parallel processing capabilities, the sheer number of tools with increased complexity is very large. Elemental has estimated that HEVC encoding will require up to ten times more processing power than H.264 encoding. For example, with 500 different ways to encode each macro block, the processing power requirements are significantly higher for HEVC when compared with H.264 encoding. A doubling of spatial intra-prediction sizes, doubling of the number of transform sizes, almost four times the number of spatial intra-prediction direc-

tions, and the increase in the inter prediction search space will strain many existing hardware platforms and highlights the value of powerful GPU-based video processing in media companies’ endeavors to support the new codec. The introduction of ultra-high resolution 4K and 8K content to the consumer market coupled with the focus on HEVC to support these resolutions will cause additional issues for most existing encoding solutions. GPUs hold an advantage again in this case, as these powerful processors are optimized to handle increased resolutions.

FIGURE 11: HEVC QUADTREE CODING STRUCTURE FOR INTER PREDICTION

HEVC is the inevitable successor to H.264. It has not been very long since the migration from MPEG-2 to H.264, and the H.264 to HEVC transition will require a similar re-architecting of hardware and software. From a software point of view, Elemental is one of very few companies in the world with experience implementing multiple video codecs from specification to full implementation. These implementations have been performed using hybrid GPU/CPU platforms with standard software tools to optimize for both quality and performance. This resulting computing platform creates an environment that not only meets the performance requirements of HEVC but is also programmable and simple to upgrade, as required by evolving specifications and emerging technologies. HEVC represents a significant move forward in video compression technology. It harnesses an expanded set of tools and algorithms as well as improved parallel processing capabilities to enable better compression efficiencies. These compression efficiencies allow media companies to create higher quality video streams with larger resolutions at the same bit rates of previous generation codecs, reducing the overall cost of video asset delivery while focusing on the quality of experience for the viewer. Elemental expects that HEVC will find widespread adoption in streaming, broadcast, satellite, cable, IPTV, surveillance, corporate video and gaming applications before the end of the decade.

Whitepaper by Keith Wymbs, VP of marketing, Elemental Technologies. www.digitalproductionme.com


TVIEW

TVIEW RATINGS The tview data for Week 23 (2 June 2013 to 8 June 2013) shows the most popular channel amongst all viewers was MBC1. MBC2 and MBC Action came in as second and third respectively.

I

n Week 23, ending June 8 2013, Arab Idol, in its second season, was the most watched TV programme amongst viewers across all households. The Karate Kid, which aired on MBC2, was the second most watched programme. Emiratis watched Joelle the most after the popular Arab Idol. This week, MBC’s channels managed to garner the top three spots amongst all viewers, with MBC1, MBC2 and MBC Action. Asianet came in at number four, while MBC Max came in at number five in the top most watched channels across all households. Tview provides estimates of the number of people watching television at any given time in the day, based on a panel of television owning households in the UAE. The data tview provides includes which channels and programs are being watched, at what time, and the type of people who are watching at any one time. The data provided is on a minuteby-minute basis for channels received within the UAE, whether terrestrial, satellite or subscription (cable/IPTV) based. The sample used in this report is gross 850 homes, net 750. This figure is representative of approximately 6.2 million viewers or individuals, according to tview. The data used to compile the tview ratings is provided by Emirates Media Measurement Company.

042 JULY 2013

Top channels amongst expatriate Arabs Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Channels MBC 1 MBC 2 MBC ACTION ROTANA CINEMA AL ARABIYA MBC MAX MBC DRAMA AL JAZEERA MBC 4 ROTANA AFLAM FOX MOVIES DUBAI TV ZEE AFLAM ABU DHABI DRAMA NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ABU DHABI ABU DHABI AL OULA MTV LEBANON DUBAI ONE TV AL RESALA FATAFEAT

TRP 386.8 288.8 207.6 177.4 159.2 139.8 134.9 126.8 112.5 82 80 70.7 68.7 61.4 57 50.5 46.1 43.4 39.5 37.7

Share 5.06 3.78 2.71 2.32 2.08 1.83 1.76 1.66 1.47 1.07 1.05 0.92 0.9 0.8 0.75 0.66 0.6 0.57 0.52 0.49

Rtg% 0.81 0.6 0.43 0.37 0.33 0.29 0.28 0.26 0.23 0.17 0.17 0.15 0.14 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.1 0.09 0.08 0.08

Rch% 50.4 46.0 46.1 39.3 35.5 42.4 34.7 34 47.3 37 32.4 38.2 30.4 34.3 26 30.5 23.9 30.2 22.7 23.6

The total number of hours viewed by this target group this week is 51.21 hours for 3 consecutive minutes Infosys+ data sample Expat Arabs 2nd to the 8th June 2013– Rank sort according to TRP

Top channels amongst Emiratis Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Channels MBC 1 MBC 2 MBC DRAMA DUBAI TV MBC ACTION ABU DHABI DRAMA MBC MAX MBC 4 ZEE AFLAM SAMA DUBAI ABU DHABI AL OULA ROTANA CINEMA ROTANA AFLAM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ABU DHABI FOX MOVIES NOOR DUBAI ABU DHABI EMIRATES TV FONOON TV ROTANA CLASSIC FATAFEAT

TRP 336.7 141.9 132.7 108.1 103.2 79.1 68.4 62.1 57.3 51.3 42.8 40.1 37.8 34.7 33.7 33.2 32.5 31.9 31.7 26.3

Share 9.59 4.04 3.78 3.08 2.94 2.25 1.95 1.77 1.63 1.46 1.22 1.14 1.08 0.99 0.96 0.95 0.93 0.91 0.9 0.75

Rtg% 0.7 0.3 0.28 0.23 0.22 0.16 0.14 0.13 0.12 0.11 0.09 0.08 0.08 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.07 0.05

Rch% 33 22.2 25.4 19.4 19.4 16.7 21.6 20.8 13.5 17.8 15.1 12.5 12.1 12.4 13.1 16.5 18.2 11.1 10.8 11.4

The total number of hours viewed by this target group this week is 41.75 hours for 3 consecutive minutes Infosys+ data sample Emiratis 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to TRP

www.digitalproductionme.com


TVIEW

Top channels amongst South Asians Rank

Channels

TRP

Share

Rtg%

Rch%

1

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

443.8

8.3

0.92

34.1

2

SONY TV

182.1

3.41

0.38

28.4

3

ASIANET NEWS

139.8

2.62

0.29

37.2

4

MAZHVIL MANORAMA

100.4

1.88

0.21

31.8

5

ZEE TV

82.9

1.55

0.17

23.7

6

STAR PLUS

82.1

1.54

0.17

21.1

7

GEO TV (MIDDLE EAST)

77.1

1.44

0.16

18

8

COLORS

62.4

1.17

0.13

26.5

9

KAIRALI

57.9

1.08

0.12

31.7

10

IMAGINE MOVIES

37.6

0.7

0.08

19.2

11

ZEE CINEMA

33.3

0.62

0.07

22.7

12

BANGLA VISION

31.5

0.59

0.07

13.7

13

B4U PLUS

26.9

0.5

0.06

21.4

14

B4U AFLAM

23.5

0.44

0.05

23

15

NDTV 24X7

22.2

0.42

0.05

20.5

16

ARY DIGITAL

21.7

0.41

0.05

11.8

17

SET MAX

17.4

0.32

0.04

11.3

18

ZEE AFLAM

16.7

0.31

0.03

15.2

19

MBC 2

16.4

0.31

0.03

20.9

20

MBC MAX

14.7

0.27

0.03

17.7

The total number of hours viewed by this target group this week is 31.41 hours for 3 consecutive minutes Infosys+ data sample South Asians 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to TRP

Top channels amongst all viewers Rank

Channels

TRP

Share

Rtg%

1

MBC 1

550

3.51

1.15

Rch% 54.9

2

MBC 2

548.5

3.5

1.14

55.7

3

MBC ACTION

438

2.79

0.91

51

4

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

432.6

2.76

0.9

44.6

5

MBC MAX

268.4

1.71

0.56

54.1

6

SONY TV

182

1.16

0.38

25.1

7

MBC 4

180.5

1.15

0.38

55.4

8

AL ARABIYA

174.1

1.11

0.36

40.6

9

ASIANET NEWS

172.9

1.1

0.36

46.1

10

ROTANA CINEMA

167.9

1.07

0.35

43.2

11

MBC DRAMA

151.1

0.96

0.31

47.7

12

FOX MOVIES

149.5

0.95

0.31

48.2

13

AL JAZEERA

140.2

0.89

0.29

41.7

14

ZEE AFLAM

129.4

0.83

0.27

37.2

15

DUBAI TV

101.2

0.65

0.21

44.8

16

MAZHVIL MANORAMA

99.9

0.64

0.21

41.3

17

ABU DHABI AL OULA

93.2

0.59

0.19

45

18

STAR PLUS

88.2

0.56

0.18

21.8

19

ROTANA AFLAM

85

0.54

0.18

36.1

20

ABU DHABI DRAMA

82.3

0.53

0.17

45.3

The total number of hours viewed by this target group this week is 60.26 hours for 3 consecutive minutes Infosys+ data sample All Households 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to TRP

www.digitalproductionme.com

JULY 2013 043


TVIEW

Top programmes amongst expatriate Arabs Rank

Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000)

Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:58

7.06

143.73

28.5

2

THE KARATE KID

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

3.29

66.56

17.68

3

ALA MAR AL ZAMAN

MBC 4

SERIES

22:00

2.55

51.67

10.47

4

AL ETEGAH AL MOAAKES

AL JAZEERA

TALK SHOW

23:06

2.12

42.87

9.16

5

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

19:59

2.01

40.83

9.19

6

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

16:01

1.97

40

9.35

7

WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS

MBC MAX

MOVIE

20:00

1.9

38.4

8.28

8

AMELIA

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

1.8

36.54

8.16

9

KUNG FU HUSTLE

MBC AC@ON

MOVIE

21:06

1.71

34.63

7.48

10

MOHAKMET MUBARK

AL JAZEERA

NEWS

12:07

1.66

33.87

11.23

11

DIE HARD 4

MBC AC@ON

MOVIE

20:44

1.59

32.45

6.32

12

A KNIGHT’S TALE

MBC 2

MOVIE

19:32

1.55

31.56

6.91

13

WANTED

MBC 2

MOVIE

21:59

1.48

29.93

6.77

14

NAREEN

MBC 1

SERIES

17:00

1.47

29.83

7.79

15

AWDET MOHANAD

DUBAI TV

SERIES

20:59

1.47

29.78

6.31

16

HELM AL OMR ROTANA

CINEMA

MOVIE

13:29

1.44

29.21

7.31

17

ON SET

MBC AC@ON

CULTURAL

23:56

1.43

28.91

6.74

18

SNAKES ON A PLANE

MBC 2

MOVIE

26:30

1.34

27.25

11.45

19

AL ZAWJAH AL RABEAH

MBC 1

SERIES

17:59

1.34

27.18

6.36

20

AL DADA DODY ROTANA

AFLAM

MOVIE

20:59

1.29

26.17

5.66

Infosys+ data sample Expat Arabs 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to RTG%

Top programmes amongst Emiratis Rank Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000) Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:58

4.32

37.79

2

JOELLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

20:53

2.89

25.25

27.48

3

GALTHAM WE MAITHA

MBC 1

SERIES

22:30

2.48

21.65

20.42

4

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

16:01

1.8

15.77

18.26

37.91

5

SNAKES ON A PLANE

MBC 2

MOVIE

3:00

1.78

15.56

41.21

6

SNAKES ON A PLANE

MBC 2

MOVIE

26:30

1.69

14.81

33.67

7

AL ZAWJAH AL RABEAH

MBC 1

SERIES

17:59

1.69

14.81

18.71

8

OM ALBANAT

MBC

DRAMA SERIES

23:00

1.67

14.58

15.38 19.71

9

AL WADAA (THE SERIES)

MBC 1

SERIES

16:00

1.67

14.57

10

THE TRUMAN SHOW

MBC 2

MOVIE

22:00

1.63

14.25

14.13

11

ASWAR 3

MBC 1

SERIES

15:00

1.54

13.43

18.68

12

STYLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

19:47

1.43

12.53

13.71

13

MOZAKERAT AAELAYA GEDAN

MBC 1

SERIES

23:07

1.42

12.38

12.78

14

QURAH WA MODON NOOR

DUBAI

CULTURAL

19:14

1.42

12.37

11.78

15

ZAMAN TNAV

DUBAI TV

SERIES

19:52

1.37

11.96

14.61

16

ATHLETICS

ABU DHABI SPORTS 2

SPORTS

13:31

1.33

11.59

11.81

17

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

19:59

1.32

11.51

13.08

18

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

14:01

1.31

11.47

15.83

19

999

NOOR DUBAI

TALK SHOW

19:14

1.28

11.2

10.22

20

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIIC SPECIAL

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ABU DHABI

CULTURAL

9:59

1.2

10.45

26.82

Infosys+ data sample Expat Arabs 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to RTG%

044 JULY 2013

www.digitalproductionme.com


TVIEW

Top programmes amongst South Asians Rank Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000)

1

KUMKUMAPOOVU

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

SERIES

21:32

3.99

101.39

Share 16.33

2

STHREEDHANAM (THE SERIES)

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

SERIES

22:08 3.56

90.27

13.58

3

MUNSHI

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

22:01

2.88

73.14

11.13

4

BHARATHCHANDRAN I.P.S

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

22:00 2.83

71.93

12.2

5

GULF ROUNDUP

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

NEWS

22:34 2.72

68.92

11.98

6

NINGALKUM AAKAM KODEESHWARAN

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

20:03 2.64

67.1

12.77

7

LUNAR’S COMEDY XPRESS

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

22:38 2.6

65.89

11.58

8

MASTERS (THE MOVIE)

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

13:52

2.31

58.65

10.64

9

NAMUKKU PARKKAN MUNTHIRI THOPPUKAL

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

13:51

2.12

53.7

11.22

10

BADE ACCHE LAGGTE HAI

SONY TV

SERIES

22:30 2.05

51.96

8.25

11

COMEDY STARS / SEASON 2

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

21:01

1.99

50.47

8.07

12

AGNIDEVAN

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

9:43

1.87

47.37

12.5

13

INDIAN SONG

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

23:46 1.78

45.13

9.16

14

SENIORS MAZHVIL

MANORAMA

MOVIE

13:30

1.66

42.15

7.47

15

BHARAT KA VEER PUTRA MAHARANA PRATAP

SONY TV

SERIES

21:58

1.59

40.24

6.14

16

BHARTHAAKKANMAARUDE SHREDAKKE

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

12:51

1.46

36.97

10.52

17

ACHUVINTE AMMA

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

22:45 1.43

36.29

7.64

18

CHIRIKKUMTHALIKA

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

12:59

1.41

35.88

8.56

19

KANJIPURATHE KALYANAM

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

14:00

1.34

34.05

9.67

20

CHHAN CHHAN

SONY TV

SERIES

20:58 1.31

33.29

5.84

Infosys+ data sample South Asians 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to RTG%

Top programmes amongst all viewers Rank

Title/Description

Channel

Genre

Time

Rtg%

Rtg(000) Share

1

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

21:58

7.41

142.09

15.42

2

THE KARATE KID

MBC 2

MOVIE

24:00

3.42

65.54

11.19 6.44

3

KUMKUMAPOOVU

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

SERIES

21:32

3.29

62.98

4

ARAB IDOL / SEASON 2

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

16:01

2.84

54.52

6.69

5

STHREEDHANAM (THE SERIES)

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

SERIES

22:08

2.81

53.95

5.27

6

WANTED

MBC 2

MOVIE

21:59

2.78

53.3

6.03

7

SNAKESON A PLANE

MBC 2

MOVIE

26:30

2.76

52.83

14.27

8

ALA MAR AL ZAMAN

MBC 4

SERIES

22:00

2.68

51.44

4.9

9

AL ZAWJAH AL RABEAH

MBC 1

SERIES

17:59

2.67

51.2

6.25

10

HAYAH

MBC 1

SERIES

19:59

2.67

51.11

5.43

11

BHARATHCHANDRAN I.P.S

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

MOVIE

22:00

2.57

49.25

5.18 4.86

12

LUNAR’S COMEDY XPRESS

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

22:38

2.46

47.11

13

JOELLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

20:53

2.42

46.32

5.38

14

NAREEN

MBC 1

SERIES

17:00

2.41

46.2

6.08

15

NINGALKUM AAKAM KODEESHWARAN

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

20:03

2.35

45.03

4.87

16

MUNSHI

ASIANET MIDDLE EAST

ENTERTAINMENT

22:01

2.32

44.46

4.38

17

AL ETEGAH AL MOAAKES

AL JAZEERA

TALK SHOW

23:06

2.3

44.04

4.86

18

WE ARE MARSHALL

MBC 2

MOVIE

23:59

2.25

43.1

6.85

19

RUSH HOUR 2

MBC AC@ON

MOVIE

21:00

2.23

42.75

4.2

20

STYLE

MBC 1

ENTERTAINMENT

19:47

2.19

41.99

5.01

Infosys+ data sample All Households 2nd to the 8th June 2013 – Rank sort according to RTG%

www.digitalproductionme.com

JULY 2013 045


PRODUCTS

New Products Digital Broadcast Middle East reviews the latest gadgets, essential kit and serious product innovations making an impact in the GCC broadcast market. Let us know if there is something you would like to see on these pages. WANT TO FEATURE YOUR PRODUCT HERE? E-mail clayton.vallabhan@itp.com

Tightrope/Cablecast SXHD LE Tightrope Media Systems has introduced the Cablecast SXHD LE video server, a new multiformat HD and SD video server that joins Tightrope’s Cablecast family of all-in-one broadcast automation systems. SXHD LE is a single-box, 1-RU solution for video playout that includes 4 TB of storage, built-in branding functions, and a host of other time- and money-saving features at an attractive price, making it ideal for small-scale broadcast operations such as public, educational, and government-access TV stations; campus television; local origination cable channels; hospitals; and cruise ships.

The Cablecast SXHD LE video server plays all common video formats, including MPEG-2, WMV, H.264, AVI, DVCPRO HD, and ProRes, with no transcoding required, and it encodes MPEG-2, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVCPRO HD, and ProRes formats up to 220 Mbps in the full 4:2:2 profile.

VSI/PackeTV Views VSI has announced PackeTV Views, a new browser-based solution that simplifies the viewing and sharing of IPTV content, making customized IPTV delivery efficient and cost-effective for education, enterprise, and government users. PackeTV Views offers a simple, browser-based dashboard allowing users to select from a menu of avail-

able IPTV media resources. The view presented can be quickly customized and updated to reflect the available media resources based on log-in and user rights. PackeTV Views features a multi-user administrative interface; multiple viewer categories; and a simple, highly visual back-end system, all at an affordable price point. Through an administrative portal, the platformagnostic channel guide solution streamlines the management of IPTV content.

Nugen/VisLM 1.6 Nugen Audio is now offering VisLM 1.6, a significant update to its visual loudness monitoring tool. With this new version, VisLM is available for the first time in the Avid® AAX format. Additionally, VisLM is now available in a 64-bit OS X® version. VisLM 1.6 includes a new dialogue gate option that allows automatic measurement of dialogue sections within the source material. Measurements can now be written to automation tracks so that elements such as the loudness profile and true-peak clips can be seen against the waveform in the digital audio workstation timeline for diagnostic referencing. 046 JULY 2013

With detailed and objective loudness measurement, history, and logging facilities, VisLM provides an easy-to-use ITU, ATSC, and EBU standardcompliant way to measure, compare, and contrast loudness during production, broadcast, and post-production, either on the fly or for entire sections of audio. www.digitalproductionme.com


DATA

TV news viewership during Arab uprisings TV news viewership increased sharply during the Arab Spring, and continues to command higher viewership during current uprisings in the Arab world. 58% of viewers watch the news daily and 31% watch news channels for more than one hour. Frequency of watching news on TV Before Uprisings

During Uprisings 8% 6%

26%

58%

25% 12%

Daily

11%

5-6 days / week

19%

3-4 days / week

16%

1-2 days / week Less often

19%

Source: Ipsos.

Time spent watching news on TV Before Uprisings

During Uprisings

9% 14%

31%

8%

14%

19%

More than 1 hour 46-60 minutes

41%

31-45 minutes

28%

19%

17%

16-30 minutes Up to 15 minutes

Source: Ipsos. www.digitalproductionme.com

JULY 2013 047


TEST CARD

Test Card

Digital Broadcast Middle East delves below the corporate strategy to understand what really makes the region’s broadcast leaders tick

LAURENT ROUSSEL MD and regional sales director, Eutelsat Middle East

Tell me a little bit about Eutelsat. Eutelsat is one of the industry’s most longstanding satellite operators, with 30 years experience of service from space. Europe, the Middle East and North Africa historically form a core part of our coverage. As our satellite fleet has expanded (to 31 satellites today) we have progressively extended our footprint to reach Asia and large parts of the Americas. We are actively investing (our annual capital expenditure is approximately €500 million) in order to further expand and diversify our resources, and plan to launch six new satellites by the end of 2015 in C, Ku and Ka bands. Why should broadcasters use Eutelsat? Video applications is our main business line, accounting for almost 70% of our activity. Our strategy is based on locating satellites with high power - optimised for Direct-to-Home reception - and high capacity at well-identified orbital positions so that a growing number of digital and High Definition channels can easily reach a growing audience. Our key video neighbourhood serving North Africa and the Middle East is in the arc 7-8° West. This is a sweet spot for satellite TV across the MENA that we share with Nilesat. Together, our satellites broadcast over 1,000 channels to over 30 million homes. Later this year we will activate additional transponders in this arc and in 2015 we will launch a new satellite called EUTELSAT 8 West B which will take resources and flexibility to an even higher level.

048 JULY 2013

What are some of Eutelsat’s recent achievements? Our most recent satellite launches (EUTELSAT 70B and EUTELSAT 21B) have further improved our capacity to serve clients in specific regions that include the Middle East and enable them to connect with other parts of the world for video contribution and satellite newsgathering services. We also see good dynamic for the second pillar of our activity – broadband – that we principally address through the KA-SAT High Throughput Satellite that provides reach of North Africa and the Gulf through Ka-band spotbeams.

Our key video neighbourhood serving North Africa and the Middle East is in the arc 7-8° West. This is a sweet spot for satellite TV across the MENA that we share with Nilesat. Together, our satellites broadcast over 1,000 channels to over 30 million homes

Tell me a little about yourself. I’m a Belgian citizen living in Dubai and have worked in satellite communications for over 20 years. I raised development funds and worked on European Space Agency projects for five years prior to growing the satellite department at Belgacom, delivering solutions to service providers for high-speed Internet connectivity, pioneering Inclined Orbit Operations, Corporate Networks, voice exchange, defence and broadcast sevices. I moved to Dubai eight years ago as Regional Managing Director for Newtec in the Middle East, Africa and India. Most recently, I have joined Eutelsat as Managing Director & Regional Sales Director Middle East for the newly-opened regional office, Eutelsat Middle East FZ-LCC.

www.digitalproductionme.com


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Digital broadcast - July 2013  

THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT IN THE MIDEAST June 2013 - Volume 6 - Issue 7 ITP Technology Publishing, Dubai, UAE [52pg]

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