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REVIEW IBC 2013 : The news, the views and the gear

PLUS NEWS OPINION ANALYSIS HEAD-TO-HEAD REVIEWS COM MUNIT Y CAREERS EVENTS PRODUCTS

CASE STUDY Gulf wedding video production hits new highs

A’S R E E Z AL JA N O R AY 14 EPL G Y D AN 013/ D 2 N E A H TECHNOLOGY EYS AGE OF T K D R A R E H The very latest in on-air RIC COV graphics and branding An ITP Business Publication

Vol. 15 Issue 10 October 2013


Power to tell stories

Introducing the XA25 and XA20 to Canon’s X-series of professional camcorders For more information visit canon-europe.com/XSeries

XA25 & XA20 The XA25 and XA20 combine outstanding image quality with dual-format recording in a compact body, making them versatile enough to be used for all sorts of creative applications and content creation. A 26.8mm, f/1.8-2.8 wide-angle lens with 20x zoom and Dynamic OIS provides the freedom to capture a variety of subjects. The latest HD CMOS Pro sensor, together with a DIGIC DV 4 processor, delivers outstanding dynamic

range and superb low light performance. Plus, simultaneous AVCHD and MP4 recording* and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing your footage quicker and easier than ever, with the XA25 also featuring HD-SDI output for broadcast applications.

*Simultaneous MP4 recording not available in 1080/50P recording modes


CONTENTS

OCTOBER 2013 5 UPDATE AVID DEAL FOR AL KASS/NAJM CALLS FOR MORE TV REGULATION/ SAUDI PRINCE QUESTIONS REGIONAL IP PROTECTION/DTFC OFFERS SUPPORT TO BOLLYWOOD FILM/ EVS FOR EBU/NEW CHEF SHOW FOR ABU DHABI/DUBAI ONE CHEF LANDS SPANISH SERIES/NEWS CHANNEL PICKS TSL/ MORE EGYPTIAN CHANNELS BANNED/ IBC RUNDOWN/ SPORTS PRODUCTION SURVEY/MORE FOOTBALL RIGHTS FOR AL JAZEERA/EMMY SUCCESS FOR OSN/4K FOR 2014 WORLD CUP

22

30

22 KICK OFF The big EPL kick off is finally upon us. We caught up with new Al Jazeera presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys to look forward to the season ahead.

34

14 CHANNEL WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE CHANNEL?

39

16 NEWS ANALYSIS HOW ARE GULFFUNDED FILMS FARING AT THE GLOBAL BOX OFFICE?

30 GRAPHOLOGY From 3D graphics to social media integration, we catch up with all the latest developments in the on-air graphics world.

47 COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST GOINGS ON FROM THE PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITIES 52 PRODUCTS OUR PICK OF THE LATEST PRODUCT LAUNCHES

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30 BIG NIGHT OUT Digital Studio looks back at this year’s winners in the coveted IBC Awards 2013.

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56

34 AN EPIC PRODUCTION Wedding videos usually conjure up images of a techy uncle with a new camcorder. Not in The Gulf, where society weddings challenging broadcasters in terms of production values.

OCTOBER 2013 / 1


GY-HM650 | HD ENG camcorder

LIGHTNING SPEED GLOBAL CONTENT DELIVERY

GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news and production camera now features live streaming The GY-HM650 now makes live video streaming possible. When equipped with wi-fi, 4G or 3G connectivity via USB, the GY-HM650 can stream live video transmissions in the background while continuing to record footage. And if you already own a GY-HM650 camcorder, it can simply be upgraded via our website, providing the new streaming functionality for free. Equipped with three full-HD sensors and an integrated wide angle 23x autofocus zoom lens, the camcorder delivers exceptional light sensitivity of F12 at 2000 lux. And thanks to dual JVC codecs, it records .MOV and XDCAM EXTM compatible MP4 or MXF files with rich, descriptive metadata on one memory card, while simultaneously creating smaller, web-friendly files on a second card.

For further information on our camcorders, please visit www.jvcpro.eu or contact us at: Tel: +971 4816 5200 • cdarnley@ae.jvckenwood.com


3

UPDATE

8

ONLINE

14 ANALYSIS 16 CHANNEL THIS MONTH IN THE TV AND FILM PRODUCTION INDUSTRY

18 EDITOR’S COLUMN

Al Kass is a key broadcaster for the Asian Games.

EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT...

HEY BIG SPENDER! Al Kass sports channel was among the region’s players at this years IBC Conference and Exhibition, and the Qatari broadcaster made it a good show for Avid. www.digitalproductionme.com

Qatar-based sports channel Al Kass was in business at IBC last month, choosing the Amsterdam trade show to sign what is described as ‘multi-million dollar deal’ with Avid in order to improve the sports channel’s workflow. The Avid deal includes 10 Avid ISIS 7000 32TB shared storage systems (including the upgrade of four existing storage systems); one ISIS 2000; eight AirSpeed 5000 DNxHD 120 ingest servers; licences for Interplay Central for remote working; CONTINUED ON PAGE 4

OCTOBER 2013 / 3


NEWS UPDATE

AVID CUSTOMER ASSOCIATION

The team from DFTC and the Indian stars pose for the cameras.

ZDF: ZDF, based in Mainz, is run as an independent nonprofit institution, founded by all the federal states of Germany. ZDF is financed by television licence fees and advertising revenues. Long-running home-grown shows include Heute and Wetten, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3

Media Composer 7 licences; a System 5-MC 24-fader mixing control surface, and a Pro Tools HDX system. The new technologies will be integrated with third party equipment from manufacturers including EVS, Miranda, SGL and Telestream. “Avid is proven and trusted in sports video production, and our additional investment will give us considerable operational efficiencies,” said Samer Younes, technical advisor at Al Kass. “In addition, their openness to third party systems means we won’t have to worry about handling multiple file formats. We can concentrate on what we’re best at – delivering compelling content to audiences both in Qatar and to international broadcasters.” Al Kass worked alongside Avid’s Professional Services Team on the project. It was a busy show all round for Avid, which also launched S6, a new control surface for sound mixing, recording and editing. IBC debuts were also given to ISIS 5500, an online shared storage system aimed at small to medium-sized facilities with a price tag around $30,000 and its newlyfounded Customer Association. Founding board members of the association include Andreas Bereczky of ZDF, Dany Harrison of CBC/Radio Canada, Fred Mattocks of CBC/Radio Canada, Frank Governale of CBS News, Ding Wenhua of CCTV and Paul Stevenson of ITV.

4 / OCTOBER 2013

Dass? Key imports include Fraggle Rock and Star Trek: The Next Generation. CBC: CBC is the oldest broadcasting network in Canada, established in 1936. Television includes CBC Television, Télévision de Radio-Canada, CBC News Network, le Réseau de l’Information, Explora and ARTV (part ownership). CBC operates services for the Canadian Arctic under the names CBC North and Radio Nord Québec. ITV: ITV was founded in 1955 to break the BBC’s monopoly on UK TV. The Independent Television Authority was created simultaneously in order to prevent any UK commercial network slumping to the ‘vulgar’ level of US TV, which is probably a good thing as in the year’s since ITV has brought the

HH Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud.

world classics such as Cracker and the world’s longest-running soap, Coronation Street. CCTV: CCTV is China’s main state broadcaster, reaching an audience of over one billion. Alongside the broadcaster’s 22 domestic channels, it has branched out into providing an international alternative to the US-centric narrative of traditional news channels in English, French, Russian and Arabic.

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NEWS UPDATE

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MORE BOLLYWOOD COMES TO DUBAI DFTC STRIKES AGAIN

Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), in collaboration with Atlantis, The Palm last month extended its full support to the production of the hotly-anticipated Bollywood film Happy New Year, starring Shah Rukh Khan. DFTC has partnered with Dubai Government entities to simplify the filmmaking process for the production team, while Atlantis is hosting a majority of the shoot in and around the resort’s iconic grounds. Emirates Airline has also played its role in flying the stars and crew to Dubai for the production while the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has provided extensive logistical support to facilitate the overall shoot. Happy New Year is the latest coup in a busy and succesful year for Dubai’s production industry. The filmmakers’ decision to shoot a significant portion of the film in Dubai confirms the emirate’s growing prominence as a production location and its capacity to accommodate a variety of large international productions. In the first half of 2013 alone, DFTC has facilitated shoots for productions including Indian films Ramaiya Vastavaiya, Ladies and Gentleman and Mental, episodes of MasterChef Australia, and Arabic TV series such as Mohal and Ya Malak Kalbi. NEWSMAKER

ARABIC PRODUCTION? NOT IN ARABIA! It’s a familiar story - from Digital Studio’s long-running coverage of the UK’s PRS and France’s SACEM’s work regarding uncollected royalties by some of the Middle East’s biggest broadcasters and tourist attractions to the knocked -off football shirts in Karama or Cairo, there is a copyright problem in the Middle East. And intellectual property even more so. Speaking at this year’s IBC, Sau-

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di Arabia’s HH Prince Fahad Bin Faisal Al Saud, creator of Facebook Arabic and founder of New Arab Media, commented to Digital Studio:  “I have to protect my work. That’s why I registered my company in America. I wouldn’t say we need to change the laws. That’s too simplistic and patronising, but we need to change the way we implement the laws. I have no protection in the Middle East.”

It doesn’t come much clearer than a bona fide Saudi prince telling us that Arabic content creators need to register their work elsewhere if they want any IP protection. Prince Fahad had many other interesting things to say, and is an ardent supporter of building a regional content creation market, so it’s lucky you can read the full interview next month’s magazine.

OCTOBER 2013 / 5


NEWS UPDATE

RUSHES

EVS FOR EBU EBU, THE WORLD’S LARGEST ASSOCIATION OF NATIONAL BROADCASTERS, HAS ENLISTED EVS NEWS AS KEY SYSTEMS PROVIDER TO ITS ROUND-THECLOCK EUROVISION NEWS EXCHANGE - THE LEADING NEWS GATHERING AND DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM FOR EBU MEMBER BROADCASTERS. THE EUROVISION NEWS EXCHANGE NEEDED A FAST AND RELIABLE NEWS SOLUTION TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF A FAST-PACED MEDIA LANDSCAPE AND CHOSE EVS NEWS TO DELIVER A CENTRALISED INGEST PLATFORM BASED ON ITS XS MEDIA SERVER AND IPDIRECTOR PRODUCTION ASSET MANAGEMENT SUITE. “WE CHOSE EVS AS THEY LEAD THE MARKET IN SERVER SOLUTIONS FOR LIVE NEWS PRODUCTION,” EXPLAINED BENOÎT SERGENT, PROJECT MANAGER AT EBU. “EVS’ NEWS SYSTEMS ARE SCALABLE AND HAVE AN OPEN ARCHITECTURE, WHICH OFFERS THE FLEXIBILITY AND ROI WE NEED.”

6 / OCTOBER 2013

NEW CHEF SHOW FOR ABU DHABI TWOFOUR ARABIA PRODUCING SHOW

Twofour Arabia is creating a new chef show in which two ambitious professional chefs will compete for a job opportunity in some of the UAE’s very best restaurants. The placements will be real and the chefs will be filmed as they undertake challenges to see who is up to the task of filling the roles on offer, that will range from entry level to senior positions. “This is an amazing opportunity for any chef keen to make their mark in the UAE,” said Twofour Arabia executive producer Reem Nouss in comments published by Hotelier Middle East. “It will be a tough process but they’ll have the chance to show off their skills and receive really meaningful feedback from some of the region’s most prominent executive chefs,” Nouss added. The production company is still in the process of finalising the restaurants and chefs taking part, and will release the information once finalised. Twofour Arabia is also looking for Arabic speaking chefs interested in taking part. Filming will take place both in the restaurants being featured and at a bespoke kitchen studio in Abu Dhabi, and the production is slated to take place between October and December.

DUBAI ONE CHEF JETS OFF SPANISH SHOW FOR YANCI

Canal Cocina, Spain’s leading cooking TV channel has hired Dubai One chef Marta Yanci to record a dedicated cooking show composed of 22 episodes. The series will premiere in October and will be aired to Canal Cocina’s 9.6 million potential viewers. “I am delighted to start this great collaboration with Spain’s leading food and cooking channel,” said Yanci. “I have to thank everyone at Dubai One TV for the lessons I have learned with Studio One TV,” said Marta Yanci. “I would not be here without the opportunity that Dubai One TV gave me by joining the Studio One team.”

Kitchen nightmares.

TSL FOR NEW NEWS TALLYMAN IN INDIA

Mathrubhumi TV, a new 24-hour TV news channel in India, has installed TSL’s TallyMan TM2 studio control system and several AMUT-2MHD audio monitoring units across its production equipment chain. Launched in January, the news channel is part of a four-channel programming initiative being developed to serve the 36 million Malayalam-speaking residents in the Indian state of Kerala.

www.digitalproductionme.com


Add accurate and professional rack mount waveform monitoring to your studio! SmartScope Duo includes dual independent screens so is two video and waveform monitors in one! You get seven different types of scope for measuring all aspects of a broadcast video signal including waveform, vectorscope, RGB parade, YUV parade, histogram, audio phase display, 16 channel audio level meters plus picture view! With SmartScope Duo you always get the technical accuracy broadcast engineers demand!

Broadcast Accurate You get a wide range of the most popular waveform displays available. The waveform display shows you the luminance brightness in your video, the vectorscope shows you a color plot of the various colors in your video, the RGB parade shows color balance and illegal video levels, the histogram shows the distribution of pixel brightness in your video and clipping and the audio scope lets you check audio phase and levels!

Eliminate Technical Errors Only professional waveform monitoring allows you to keep track of your video and audio quality at all times and is the only way to ensure your production meets all international standards. SmartScope Duo can be installed in racks for general technical monitoring and quality control, as well as installed into desks for use during editing, mastering and color correction. Choose your Scope! SmartScope Duo features two independent 8� LCD screens in a compact 3 rack unit size that you can instantly select between waveform, vectorscope, RGB parade, component parade, histogram, audio phase display, audio level meters or regular picture view! You can set each SmartScope Duo screen to any combination of video monitor or waveform view and change between them at any time!

Perfect SDI Video Monitoring SmartScope is also the perfect rack mount video monitor! You can use it for general rack monitoring for broadcast, post production, live production camera monitoring, on set camera monitoring, yaway kits, broadcast trucks and much more! SmartScope Duo includes a built in Ethernet connection so allows all controls and scope settings to be changed centrally via the SmartView Utility even from a laptop!

SmartScope Duo

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NEWS UPDATE

ONLINE

Egyptian TV crew at the heart of the action.

1 Digital Studio ezine 2 Sound and Stage ezine 3 3D kinetic mapping system unveiled 4 Zee launches Arabic language station 5 4K – bane or blessing? 6 Digital Broadcast ezine 7 Al Jazeera Egypt: A threat to national security? 8 MGI appoints three new staff 9 Tom Jones Doha concert hit by power outage

BAN FOR EGYPTIAN CHANNELS TWO CHANNELS TAKEN OFF AIR

It’s been a game of two halves for broadcasters in Egypt over the last couple of months. Last month we reported on the news that MGI had installed a new newsroom at MBC’s Cairo facility, going against the current grain of cutting investment in the Egyptian market. It’s been quite the opposite for Al Jazeera and Al Hafez, both have whom have recently had channels banned. Al Jazeera’s Egyptian channel Mubasher Misr has, according to a statement from the ministry of investment, telecommunications and informa-

INDUSTRY

10 Sugarman picks DPA Dr Riyadh Najm.

SPOT POLL WHICH GIG OR EVENT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE NEW SEASON?

30.4% The Killers

17.4% Tom Jones/The illusionists

13.0% Rihanna/Europe

8.7% Cirque d’Eloise

8 / OCTOBER 2013

tion, been banned from broadcasting in Egypt as it does not hold any legal permits to operate in the country. The ban follows accusations of pro-Muslim Brotherhood agitation. The Al Hafez channel, meanwhile, has been permanently shut down with immediate effect after a court accused it of attempts to violate the unity of Egypt. The channel has been ordered to shut down permanently, with immediate effect, after a court accused it of inciting hatred against the country’s Coptic Christian population, and ‘undermining national unity’.

NAJM BACKS REGULATION Dr Riyadh Najm, president of Saudi Arabia’s General Commission on Audio-Visual Media and former deputy minister at the Ministry of Culture and Information, has called for greater regulation in the region’s broadcast industry. Speaking at IBC, Najm cited the Arab Spring, sports rights and piracy as areas of particular concern, and also highlighted commercials as something that authorities should closely monitor, adding: “In the past two years the number of channels has almost doubled. Viewers should be protected from harmful advertising.” Najm added that the region’s High Commission, including broadcasting ministers from across the Arab world, supported his call for more and better TV regulation.

www.digitalproductionme.com


NEWS UPDATE

RUSHES

NEW SPORTS PRODUCTION SURVEY MIRANDA TECHNOLOGIES HAS COMMISSIONED A NEW STUDY ON SPORTS BROADCAST PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY. THE STUDY FOUND THE MOST FREQUENTLY USED PRODUCTION FORMAT TODAY TO BE 1080I, WITH 54.4 PER CENT OF SPORTS PRODUCTION PROFESSIONALS REPORTING THAT THEY USE THIS FORMAT “MOST OFTEN”. BUT WHEN THE SAME PROFESSIONALS WERE ASKED WHAT FORMAT THEY ANTICIPATE BUILDING A FACILITY OR PRODUCTION TRUCK WITH THREE YEARS FROM NOW, 3G WAS THE TOP CHOICE WITH 33.5 PER CENT.

10 / OCTOBER 2013

IBC 2014 IBC OVER FOR ANOTHER YEAR.

A total of 52,974 attendees came together this year to share knowledge, conduct valuable business and set the industry agenda. “Thanks to everyone who has exhibited and visited IBC2013,” said Michael Crimp, IBC CEO. “We are continually evolving what we offer, to reflect the changes in our industry. That we continue to attract this sort of number of attendees shows that we remain relevant right across the industry, right around the world.” It wasn’t the busiest year for launches and new products – upgrades seemed more the theme this year, with many people we spoke to describing the event as a ‘holding ’ show as manufacturers steady themselves after the worst recession in memory, hopefully in preparation for a blockbuster event in 2014, but on the right is our quick guide to some of the things that caught our eye this year for your delectation.

IBC HIGHLIGHTS Arri: One of the most talked about products at this year’s show was Arri’s new Amira, a shoulder-mounted documentary camera that takes the sensor and many other features of the Alexa, but makes it more portable, more affordable, and adds features including in-camera colour grading and 200 fps shooting. Blackmagic: The new Atem 1/ME Production Studio 4K took its place at the top of BM’s switcher range with new features including 10 independent 6G-SDI inputs and the ability to connect to up to 10 SD, HD or 4K cameras for live production. Avid: Avid’s new S6 control surface won fans at the show. The surface is scalable, customizable and entirely flexible thanks to its deep DAW integration. Dolby: Dolby’s glasses-free 3D TV was pulling in the crowds again this year. Although the product, jointly developed with Philips, was on display last year, and still isn’t commercially available, the technology is getting better, with the Cameron Pace Group now in the partnership too.

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NEWS UPDATE

OSN EMMY SUCCESS 26 SHOWS SCOOP AWARDS

MORE RIGHTS FOR AJ SPORT UEFA COMPS UP TO 2018

Al Jazeera Sport has won the exclusive rights for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League from 2015-2018 in the MENA region. The rights have been bought across all platforms, including TV broadcast, internet streaming and mobile. Al Jazeera is considering launching three new HD channels in order to accommodate the new broadcast rights. The broadcaster already holds the rights for both competitions up to 2015, as well as the EPL, Italian, French and Spanish leagues.

12 / OCTOBER 2013

OSN was celebrating last month as an impressive 26 primetime shows that air exclusively on the pay-TV network in the region scooped accolades at the star-studded 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Among the successful OSN shows were Modern Family, Veep and the international blockbuster Breaking Bad which won the Outstanding Drama award as well as best supporting actress for Anna Gunn. Breaking Bad is currently screening on OSN at the same time as in the US, concluding with October 1st’s season finale.

WORLD CUP IN 4K NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR FANS

Sony and FIFA have announced that the 2014 World Cup Final is to be produced in 4K. At present, only the final will be shot in the new format, but with FIFA in discussions to secure screening venues and cinemas, this could increase, depending also on what big clashes arise in December’s draw. The announcement follows FIFA and Sony’s 4K trial at the recent Confederations Cup in Brazil, and FIFA TV director Niclas Ericson commented: “We believe 4K will create a richer and more exciting viewing experience for viewers.”

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The Future Is Networked. MEDIORNET COMPACT

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NEWS ANALYSIS

BUMPY RIDE FOR DI FLICK Saudi-backed biopic meets with critical disdain following world premiere Film tells story of last years of Princess of Wales’ life he latest global feature film to receive financial backing from the Gulf has received lukewarm reviews from critics following the world premiere of Diana: Her Last Love. A UKbased Saudi businessman was one of the investors behind the film, showcasing the final two years of the life of Britain’s Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in Paris in 1997. “Diana had investment from a Saudi businessman but based in UK. He owns a French based distribution company.” Douglas Rae, managing director and executive producer of Ecosse Films, the production company behind the film, said. British-born Australian actress Naomi Watts stars in the film, which received its red carpet world premiere in London on September 5 and will be released in the UK on September 20 and in the US on November 1. The movie is based on “Diana: Her Last Love”, a book by author Kate Snell published in 2000, which argues that the estranged wife of British heir Prince Charles had a two year relationship with Pakistani doctor Hasnat Khan before being killed in the infamous car crash in Paris. The film has not been warmly received and the British tabloids - who followed every twist and turn from Diana’s 1981

Treasure Island could be next for the Gulf Funding treatment.

T

14 / OCTOBER 2013

marriage to Prince Charles, to their divorce and her death in a 1997 Paris car crash (and far beyond in some cases) - and were scathing about the film from German director Oliver Hirschbiegel. “The Queen of Hearts has been recast as a sad-sack singleton that even Bridget Jones would cross the street to avoid,” wrote the Mirror’s David Edwards in a one-star review dubbing the film a “cheap and cheerless effort”. The film is not the first regionally-produced feature to be greeted by a frosty reception. 2011’s Qatar-backed Black Gold (later renamed as Day of the Falcon following initial negative responses to the screenings) is reputedly the most expensive Arab funded film about an Arab subject ever, with a

KEY FIGURES

03%

Rotten Tomatoes rating for Diana: Her Last love

13%

Rating for Day of the Falcon

76%

Getting better for The Help

84% No Oscar, but Contagion is the Rotten Tomatoes Gulf ratings winner

budget of around $55M, but even big money and the presence of Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto couldn’t save the film from a disastrous $3.5M box office haul, and criticism of the failure to cast any Arabs as the lead Arab characters didn’t help its fortunes locally, either. On the other side of the equation, films such as The Help and Contagion, both funded by ImageNation Abu Dhabi have met with both critical, commercial and in the former’s case Oscar success, so it’s not all bad news. What’s clear is the appetite among Western producers and Arab backers is some way off abating. ImageNation has a number of projects in the pipeline, while Ecosse Films is now looking for Arab backers for a $150m trilogy based around the Treasure Island books.

www.digitalproductionme.com


Broadcast Systems The Region’s Leading Systems Integrator

Beyond distributing broadcast equipment, First Gulf Company is a major force in the broadcast systems sector in the region with the most signiÀcant achievements in HD TV Production and Post-Production facilities and studios.

FGC’s capabilities cover the design, implementation, integration and support of the most sophisticated systems. Additionally, FGC provides turnkey solutions in all systems including high-capacity Media Asset Management and Digital Archiving Systems.

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CHANNEL UPDATE

SPOTLIGHT

MGI HEADS TO AFRICA Media Group International has assisted Tanzania’s Clouds FM to give its audience a new, interactive experience by installing VidiGo Visual Radio software. The software will go live within the next few weeks. The Clouds FM project is the first major radio installation MGI and VidiGo have completed in Africa. The two companies are now working together to give MGI’s TV and radio customers greater access to VidiGo’s range of broadcast software products. MGI sales director Paul Wallis, who brokered the Clouds FM deal in conjunction with sales assistant Diana Velikova, says: “Thanks to its strong reputation for delivering trendsetting programming, dynamic presenters and innovative promotions, Clouds FM is widely regarded as the ‘coolest’ radio station in Tanzania by the country’s 18 to 35 year olds. Given this demographic, the station wanted to incorporate inter-

16 / OCTOBER 2013

active graphics that could be overlaid onto the video feed of its radio broadcasts and used to enhance its internet presence and Twitter, RSS and social media feeds. Diana and I felt that VidiGo Visual Radio was ideal for Clouds FM because it will be deliver all the elements station staff need in a very simple to use and intuitive package.” VidiGo Visual Radio combines the strength of VidiGo Live and VidiGo Audio Director. VidiGo Live is a full blown software solution for multi-camera TV production. The VidiGo Audio Director is an intelligent extension to VidiGo Live that makes automatic decisions by analyzing audio signals with its advanced algorithms, allowing it to make decisions like a real television director. Finally, the graphics and text overlays are automatically inserted within VidiGo Live, which makes it possible to superimpose content in a live situation using a station’s own Flash application.

MGI’s Paul Wallis.

MELODY HOUSE SPEAKS UP

MEDIASYS’ IBC FRENZY

SPEAKER UPGRADE

NEW PRODUCTS FOR DISTRO

Melody House has supplied Al Thuraya Telecommunications’ company offices with the HK Audio IL 60-CT. The HK Audio IL 60-CT is a compact twoway ceiling mount speaker for background and near-field sound reinforcement in conference rooms and so forth. “The IL 60-CT is a robust speaker for meeting rooms,” commented Manivelu Saiprasad, HK specialist at Melody House. “It features a built-in 100V transformer offering selectable power taps, which may be activated on demand”.

It’s been a busy month at MediaSys with the distributor taking delivery of a host of new products from its partners following the IBC update rush. Among the key new products MediaSys will be shipping shortly are new versions of Maya (LT) and Flame (Premium 2014), two of Autodesk’s best selling products, and new releases from AJA including new miniconverters, a Thunderbolt compatible, 4K version of its popular IO devices and TruZoom, for realtime 4K to HD region-of-interest workflows.

www.digitalproductionme.com


CHANNEL UPDATE

AROUND THE GCC

Autodesk have been coming through with the updates.

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QATAR Alphatron is celebrating after clinching a deal to supply Al Jazeera’s global newsgathering operation with the TVLogiv LVM-074W field monitor. The deal will see news teams from 70 countries use the monitor while producing material for Al Jazeera’s multi-lingual news channels. Al Jazeera English news operations manager Paul Quinn commented: “The TVLogic product has proved reliable in the field and provides our crews with a lightweight yet robust monitor.” The LVM-074W offers a waveform/vectorscope, HDMI to HDSDI conversion and audio level meter as well as traditional monitor functions.

DUBAI QVest Media has won the contract for MediaCorp‘s new Singapore campus. MediaCorp is Singapore’s leading media company with platforms spanning TV, radio, print, movies, digital and out-of-home media. Initiatives include Internet TV-OD, HD TV broadcast and OTT interactive services. Qvest will be responsible for project-related consulting, evaluation and development of technology and business processes. The company will be in charge of integration planning and implementation services as well as service and customer support during the commissioning and supervision stage.

AL QUOZ Mediacast last month hosted a workshop by Solid State Logic’s Damien Egan, who demonstrated Sigma, SSL’s new Remote Controlled Analogue Summing Engine during a series of in-depth presentation sessions. Sigma is a unique analogue summing engine in a 2U rack unit, that is remote controlled using MIDI via Ethernet using a DAW or an iDevice compatible software interface. Using proprietary MDAC control technology first featured in the Duality and AWS studio consoles, Sigma’s 100 per cent analogue summing engine can be driven by automation data.

ABU DHABI Oasis PPD must have been in high spirits last month, as indeed must the operators of Yas Waterworld, when the recentlyopened water park was named among CNN’s list of the 12 best water attractions in the world. Oasis PPD’s Architainment division designed and delivered lighting, LEDs and special effects to many of the attraction’s most popular rides and the company described itself as ‘proud’ to be associated with the park following the award win. Log into Digital Production ME.com to see a video of some of the park’s most exciting FX from Oasis.

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EDITOR’S COMMENT

CHRIS NEWBOULD 14 HALLS, A CONFERENCE AND 50,000 VISITORS. NO, IT’S NOT A RICHARD CURTIS FILM o how was IBC for you this year? It was certainly a busy show, with organisers claiming record visitors in excess of 50,000 - a total of 52,974 attended this year’s exhibition or conference as a delegate, exhibitor or visitor. The Gulf region was well represented with most of the major local broadcasters represented at the show. It was certainly a busy year for Qatari broadcasters. Al Jazeera signed a deal at the show to supply TV Logic field monitors to its news teams in some 70 countries, while Qatari sports channel Al Kass signed a huge deal with Avid to upgrade its workflow. Sky News Arabia was doing some shopping too, with a major purchase from Blackmagic Design among the items on its shopping list, while OSN was able to announce its succesful partnership with the newly-branded Piksel (formerly betterknown to readers as Kit Digital, but now under new ownership) to expand OSN Play content to customers with 3G and 4G mobile fames. MBC was out in force at this year’s show too, doubtless looking to add to the technology on display at its ever expanding facilities in Dubai, Egypt and around the region. The show itself was typically exhaust-

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ing, as anyone who spent the six days trekking around RAI’s halls will be only to well aware, so it was a welcome break to be able to sit down, take a break and listen to some of the conference’s speakers, keynotes and panelists. We report elsewhere in this issue on sessions discussing regulation and intellectual property in the region, and these are both topics we’ll be coming back to in future issues, particularly the thoughts of Saudi Arabia’s HH Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud, who made some very interesting points about the viability of creating a thriving local content creation market, and some of the challenges he faces in his own efforts to do so. There was plenty of new technology on show this year, although I must admit there was more of an update/upgrade to existing technology theme to this year’s show with no hugely ground breaking new toys on display. With 4K bubbling away as the latest industry buzzword, there was plenty of 4K-compliant hardware and software receiving a debut in Amsterdam, and it certainly appears that, although we may still not know for sure whether the format will ultimately be widely adopted or not, there will certainly be no shortage of production equipment on the market for those who fancy turning their hand to producing their work in 4K.

The other big 4K news from the show came from Sony and FIFA, who announced that the 2014 World Cup Final would be produced in 4K. This didn’t come as a great surprise as the partners had already carried out a trial run of 4K production during this year’s Confederations Cup in Brazil, but we were treated to a few more details, such as that FIFA is in international discussions to confirm cinemas and public venues that will screen the game in 4K resolution, and that there may yet be more games than just the final to be added to the 4K programme. One notable absence from the Sony press conference was the last IBC buzz word, 3D. Indeed, the format was keeping a decidedly low profile all round at this year’s show, the notable exception being the latest incarnation of Dolby’s glasses-free 3D TV, so it does appear that, as predicted numerous times in these pages, the latest 3D fad is fading away. Will the current rush for ever-higher resolutions prove to have greater staying power? With 4K ubiquitous at this year’s event, and NHK shipping its 8K Super Hi Vision set up over to Amsterdam to wow the crowds once again, you can be sure the manufacturers hope so. Stay tuned to find out. Chris Newbould is editor of Digital Studio magazine at ITP Business Publishing.

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2K PERFORMANCE

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MY STUDIO

A SPORTING CHANCE Join us for a look around the increasingly busy OSN Sports HD studio.

port has been becoming an increasingly big deal over at OSN recently. The broadcaster may have opted, many would say wisely, to avoid the eye-watering figures involved with buying up EPL rights, but from rugby to football to cricket to the Olympics last year, it’s been making sure it invests those EPL savings wisely. In the last month alone, OSN has announced the OSN Cup, a new international football tournament taking place in Saudi Arabia, while its recent acquisition of Pehla also means the broadcaster is the one-stop destination for cricket fans in the region. Add to that the recent Lions rugby tour and one of the region’s first HD sports channels, and it seems the ideal time to have a pictorial nose around OSN Sports HD’s Dubai studio.

OSN VP Khulud Abu Homos settles into the hot seat.

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MY STUDIO

The studio set from which OSN broadcasts its prime sports shows. OSN Sport is one of the region’s first HD sport channels.

Cameras and robotics enhance the production.

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OCTOBER 2013 / 21


CASE STUDY / AL JAZEERA SPORT



     K

 

Andy Gray and Richard Keys are two of the best-known faces in British sports broadcasting. Now theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re over here, heading up Al Jazeera Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s live coverage of the English Premier League, Daniel Shane meets the popular duo in Qatar.

or two sports broadcasters who have spent the last 20 years working together, Andy Gray and Richard Keys disagree on a lot. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When things are going wrong, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m in my element. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather things go wrong, than go well, because when theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going wrong â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a test of your skill set,â&#x20AC;? says Keys . â&#x20AC;&#x153;If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a goal down with ďŹ ve minutes to go, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve actually got to work a bit to get a result.â&#x20AC;? Gray, shaking his head in disbelief, quips: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather be 5-0 up any day of the week.â&#x20AC;? Over the last two decades the careers of both men have been inseparably intertwined. As presenters of Sky Sportsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; English Premier League coverage, Gray and Keys were known to every football fan in Britain, achieving enormous popularity with their insightful, witty and animated approach to talking about the beautiful

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game. The duo followed this up with a successful stint at London radio station TalkSport, before this summer transplanting themselves to Qatar to head up Al Jazeera Sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s schedule of live Premier League coverage across the Middle East and North Africa. The on-air chemistry of Gray and Keys is consistently electric and this is perhaps down to â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not despite â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the fact that they are very different characters. Veteran anchor Keys, who leisurely reclines into his sofa during our exclusive interview in Doha, is suave and unďŹ&#x201A;appable. Former Scotland legend Gray, who in his heyday was a fearsome centre forward for clubs including Aston Villa and Everton, is by contrast boundlessly enthusiastic and excitable. What you can say about both though is that their football insight is unrivalled. Keys and Gray say they are relishing the opportunity to recreate their famous partnership in the region. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really exciting. There are a lot of similarities in

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CASE STUDY / AL JAZEERA SPORT

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CASE STUDY / AL JAZEERA SPORT

“HE’S AN EXTRAORDINARY GUY. HE’S A GENIUS. I’VE NEVER COME ACROSS ANYONE WHO SHIFTS WORK IN THE WAY HE DOES. HE’S CONSTANTLY ON THE PHONE, HE’S CONSTANTLY THINKING. HE’S A CLEVER MAN. IT’S A PLEASURE TO WORK AND DO BUSINESS WITH HIM,” Richard Keys what we’re doing now to what we were doing 20 years ago,” says Gray. “We turned up 22 years ago to [British Sky Broadcasting] where they didn’t have football. They didn’t have the Premier League — they were starting a new sports channel.” Al Jazeera Sport secured the lucrative rights to broadcast live all 380 Premier League matches for the next three seasons after reaching an agreement with TV sports firm MP & Silva in July. The coverage, which kicked off on 17 August, is beamed into homes in 23 countries from the UAE, to Morocco, to Iran. Global TV revenues for the league, generally seen as the most popular in the world in terms of its audience, are approximately $8.3bn. Al Jazeera Sport is believed to have shelled out more than $300m to trump rival Abu Dhabi Media in the race to secure broadcast rights for the Premier League. Gray says that this is an obvious

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Al Jazeera will broadcast all 380 EPL games this season.

sign of his employer’s determination to become one of the best in the business. “We’re working for a hugely ambitious company — I think everyone knows that. Their ambition is limitless, and they have a drive and a desire to be the best sports broadcaster in the world,” Gray believes. The format of Al Jazeera Sport’s Premier League schedule sees Gray and

Keys present three dedicated live football programmes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The network has launched three new high definition channels to show the matches. Premier League coverage will also be joined by the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s top club tournament, and a raft of other support programming including live Spanish, Italian and French

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CASE STUDY / AL JAZEERA SPORT

football leagues. The station has also lined up a glittering supporting cast of football legends to provide analysis throughout the season, including Alan Shearer, Kevin Keegan, Ruud Gullit, Gordon Strachan, Peter Reid, Ray Wilkins and Alex McLeish. There are also talks ongoing to secure current England manager Roy Hodgson as a guest at

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KEY FIGURES

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Live EPL games will be broadcast on Al Jazeera Sport this season.

some point, and the pair do not rule out the possibility of David Beckham at some point making an appearance in the studio. “We’re organising a raft of guests — Qatar will be flooded by quality ex and current footballers, who will be coming to join Richard and I, and offer their expertise,” says Gray. The preparation for the new season has not just involved recruiting big name stars to lend their talents, Gray adds, with Al Jazeera Sport also building a dedicated technical team to operate out of its studios in the Qatari capital. “We have a small, tight-knit team at the moment, which will ever be increasing between now and the beginning of the season, and thereafter,” he explains. “We’ll end up with probably 40 or 50 people from the UK and various other parts of the world coming to join us.” Gray and Keys, who have spent the vast majority of their careers up until now working out of the UK, claim they did not take much convincing to up sticks and move out to the Gulf. Keys says one the most compelling reasons for he and Gray to make the switch was the opportunity to work for Nasser Al Khelaifi. In addition to his role as director of Al Jazeera Sport, the 39-year old Qatari national is also the president of big-spending French champions Paris St Germain, bought out by Qatar Sports Investment in a 2011 deal. “He’s an extraordinary guy. He’s a genius. I’ve never come across anyone who shifts work in the way he does. He’s constantly on the phone, he’s constantly thinking. He’s a clever man. It’s a pleasure to work and do business with him,” says Keys. Both agree that they have so far been impressed with the knowledge within the Gulf state’s football community. This is after all, a country with a national team ranked a lowly 112th in the world, but one that will have the privilege of hosting the FIFA World Cup come 2022. “Their knowledge is very, very good. We were sat in one meeting and someone was talking to Andy about his double win at the PFA Awards — young player and player — all those years ago [in 1978],” recalls Keys.

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CASE STUDY / AL JAZEERA SPORT

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The two main manchester clubs are expected to be battling it out at the top this season.

Al Jazeera director Nasser Al Khelaifi.

IMAGES BY: GETTY IMAGES, ITP IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK

“He also knew that [Cristiano] Ronaldo was the only other man to do it.” Keys claims that the duo’s experiences of working in Qatar so far are in huge contrast to that of their previous career at BSkyB in the UK. After the best part of two decades fronting Sky Sports’ live Premier League schedule, the two were dismissed from the station in 2011 amid accusations of sexism. The two enjoyed a career renaissance at TalkSport in the three years immediately prior to joining Al Jazeera Sport, but Keys says that he does not look back at his time at BSkyB entirely favourably. “At Sky you operated in an arena of fear. Anyone at Sky would tell you that it was a difficult place to work, in that however well you did, few if anybody in terms of personnel would ever say ‘well done’. I think I got told that once, in a letter at the end of the first year,” Keys says. One consideration that was decisive in both men choosing to move to Doha was the opportunity to keep their professional relationship going. Their on-air rapport is renowned among Premier League football fans and was at one stage viewed as an intrinsic part of BSkyB’s success in sports broadcasting. “In terms of acclimatising, it’s great to have your mate. I wouldn’t want to be here, trying to do this on my own. That would be really tough I think,” explains Keys. “When you’ve got somebody to bounce off and work with — that’s brilliant.” Al Jazeera Sport’s deal for live English Premier League coverage runs for the next three seasons, but Keys and Gray both say that if everything goes well they hope to see themselves staying in the region for the long-haul. In the meantime though, their ambition is just to bring the same on-air analysis and light-hearted banter that made them two of Britain’s best loved sporting personalities to a whole new audience in the region. “I’ve personally promised [Al Khelaifi] that we will make this better than the product we were once part of at Sky. With [Al Jazeera’s] ambition and cash, and our experience and desire, I don’t see why we can’t do that,” Keys believes. Lofty ambitions, and we’ll be watching closely.

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REVIEW / IBC AWARDS

IBC REWARDS EXCELLENCE

Awards span the spectrum of the film, TV and broadcast worlds, from global giant Peter Jackson’s International Excellence to Active Video’s Best Small Stand. As ever, this year’s IBC Awards celebrated the very best in production and post-production, as well as newer technologies such as asset management, cloud delivery and advanced networking. Top awards this year looked back on 100 years of Indian cinema, and to one of the most creative and technically demanding movie directors of today. The audience

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enjoyed a huge variety of clips on the IBC Big Screen, ranging from a batsman’s view of cricket to epic Bollywood song and dance. IBC’s highest award, the International Honour for Excellence went to Sir Peter Jackson, renowned director of The Lord of the Ring’s Trilogy, and now its successor The Hobbit Trilogy. “Ever since I was a child I wanted to make movies,” said Jackson on collecting his award. “Sometimes people don’t regard imagina-

tion and technology as being one and the same, and supporting each other. In the case of the film industry – and particularly the films I make – I cannot exercise my imagination without the support of technology.” The IBC Judges’ Prize also recognised 100 years of Indian cinema, looking all the way back to the release of ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1913. Today the Indian movie industry is the second largest in the world and releases over 1,000 new

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REVIEW / IBC AWARDS

THOSE WINNERS IN FULL: International Honour for Excellence Sir Peter Jackson Judges’ Prize Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema Special Award Vision Cloud Innovation Award Content Creation World’s first HFR 3D post for The Hobbit Trilogy Park Road Post Production Innovation Award Content Management FAST - file acquisition and server technology RTÉ Innovation Award Content Delivery Nationwide SDN for uncompressed HDTV in Japan JBA Best Conference Paper Award New-generation scalable motion processing Mike Knee - Snell Exhibition Design Awards Best Larger Free-Design Stand Nikon Europe B.V - 11.B50 Best Smaller Free-Design Stand ActiiveVideo - 3.B13 Most Imaginative Use of Shell Scheme Space Limecraft 9.B02

movies a year. Perhaps the biggest star in Indian cinema is Amitabh Bachchan, and he was on hand to receive the award on behalf of the industry. “It is a great privilege to be here, a great privilege to be a proud member of my fraternity,” he told the audience. “I accept this very humbly on behalf of the Indian film industry.” On the technology side, the IBC Innovation Awards – highly sought after as they celebrate collaboration between

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vendors and users – went to Park Road Post Production in New Zealand, national broadcaster RTE in Ireland, and the Japan Commercial Broadcasters’ Association. A Special Award was presented to a European Union collaborative project, Vision Cloud, working on the practicalities of handling and processing media in the cloud. The IBC Best Conference Paper went to Mike Knee of Snell for his presentation on scalable motion estimation. This was the second time that Knee had won this award, a remarkable achievement by any standards. Finally, at the exhibition itself, the The IBC Exhibition Design Awards went to

the stands of Limecraft for most imaginative use of Shell Scheme space, ActiveVideo for Best Small Free Design and Nikon Europe for Best Large Free Design. “The landscape of our industry has been transformed, and continues to develop, from traditional broadcasting to content everywhere,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s lomg-serving CEO. “We make our awards a central part of IBC because it is a good way of charting those transformations. This year’s winners reflect some of the key themes – like advanced presentation formats beyond HD and big data content in the cloud – which dominate the whole of IBC.”

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20 to 24 Oct 2013 | Dubai World Trade Centre

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TECHNOLOGY / ON-AIR GRAPHICS

MAKING THE VIRTUAL REAL

Social media integration and greater rendering power are two of many developments in the fast-paced world of on-air graphics, reports Adrian Pennington

“CAPABILITIES THAT ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO WERE ALL BUT INCONCEIVABLE NOW ALLOW MORE COMPLEX GRAPHICS WITH MORE REALISTIC LOOKS” Miguel Churruca, Brainstorm

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TECHNOLOGY / ON-AIR GRAPHICS

here has been rapid change in the field of on-screen graphics in the last few years; from having to deal with more real estate on the screen with going from SD to HD, to having to send content not only on-air but simultaneously online and to mobile devices. Rendering power has increased too, with latest systems able to playback 4K feeds for nascent Ultra-HD channels. GPU improvements have enabled graphics systems vendors to develop sophisticated shaders, graphics algorithms running in real time within the GPU which expand enormously the ability to generate 3D materials like reflections, refractions,

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bump, displacement and parallax mapping, detailed animal fur and many more. “These capabilities that only a few years ago were all but inconceivable now allow not only more complex graphics with more realistic looks, but also more complicated projects,” says Brainstorm Multimedia’s Miguel Churruca. Possibly the most visible change is the expansion of realtime 3D graphics. The days of the dedicated hardware islands are long gone and there’s the constant need to provide quality graphics in close-to-air situations, plus the requirement to deliver an increased amount of daily graphics that are more complex because of the requirements of the channel branding. According to Churruca, “That is the

reason why collaborative workflow in graphics is increasingly important also on the creation stage, as broadcast design requires the concourse of different individuals to complete a project.” James Gilbert, Joint MD, Pixel Power (pictured, P36) points to the growing sophistication of cross-channel promotion and onscreen navigation. “Another key trend is the use of graphics to overlay commercials for up-to-the-minute betting odds, along with a call to action. This is something that Pixel Power is heavily involved with. Simply, graphics are becoming important for the viewer in driving interaction and therefore the experience. “People are looking for high performance to eliminate creative compromise,”

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TECHNOLOGY / ON-AIR GRAPHICS

he adds. “They are also very much looking for ease of deployment and integration. Broadcast graphics technology increasingly relies upon – and is integrated with – back end systems and workflows to create playout efficiencies. For example, thirdparty data feeds – social media is a prime example – require open architectures and good integration skills. “Of course there’s still a huge amount of graphics insertion at baseband, simply given the number of channels around the world, we are really starting to see an increase in IP-delivered channels. There’s certainly a lot more interest in file-based than there was even a year ago and our filebased products are something that we see as an important part of our strategy.” The needs of broadcasters to engage audiences in new ways has also changed the landscape in which they operate. Social media, second screen and in-studio interactive tools are reaching a maturity that broadcasters must now have these as a standard part of their broadcast.

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“The ability to interact with the audience in real-time using applications such as twitter, or monitoring the audience’s reaction to a given program can change the way we understand television,” says Churraca. “Realtime interaction requires another level of complexity on shows, real-time analytics and content moderation, and all these areas are now being addressed.” Customers want to achieve more from their graphics technology with monetisation of technology deployment a key demand, asserts Gilbert. “The integration of social media is a key example of that, with broadcasters eager to integrate social media playout as effortlessly as possible with the broadcast. The synergy is seen as an essential tool to enhance viewer engagement and loyalty.” Vizrt’s new Social TV solution moderates social media content and displays it in various ways through interactive graphics, virtual graphics, and tickers. “We take feeds from any of the social media sites and integrate that into the on-air graphics presentation,” explains CTO Petter Ole Jakobsen. “Using second screen apps we can get live feedback from the audience as the news story is broadcast, drawing more viewers and making them more loyal as they become part of the story. Both VizRT and Pixel Power have allied with social TV and social advertising platform never.no to unite primary and second screen activities. Explains Gilbert: “never.no’s Interactivity Suite provides

the back-end framework needed to enable end-to-end social TV, synchronised companion apps and participation TV. One of its core functions is the ability to harvest social media commentaries across e-mail, SMS, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more so that they can be brought into the live broadcast domain.” To be only a traditional character generator is just not enough anymore, yet channel branding remains core to the product suite of graphics systems vendors. Aston 3D is the latest generation of Brainstorm’s on-air graphics products designed to fulfill a wide variety of live broadcast content creation requirements from stand-alone OB solutions to complex, integrated system workflow demands. It is MOS compatible and dual channel ready, and integrates with newsroom systems, video servers, NLEs and third party applications to produce stunning graphics. VizRT just released new versions of

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Sennheiser

WIRELESS SYSTEMS MANAGER 4.0

WSM. WIRELESS SYSTEMS MANAGER - VERSION 4.0 The latest version of Sennheiser Wireless Systems Manager (WSM), version 4.0, is now available for Mac. The software allows sound engineers to conveniently set up, coordinate and monitor wireless microphone and monitoring systems. In today‘s densely populated frequency spectrum, the WSM software has become an indispensable tool for those managing wireless systems.

„All features now available for Mac „Import frequency scans and lists with your licensed frequencies and export or save your frequency plan „Manage your adaptable spectrum scan and device lists „Calculate your frequencies easily via a new algorithm

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TECHNOLOGY / ON-AIR GRAPHICS

“ THERE’S A LOT MORE INTEREST IN FILE-BASED THAN THERE WAS EVEN A YEAR AGO.FILE-BASED PRODUCTS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR STRATEGY” James Gilbert, Pixel Power

Viz Content Pilot and Viz Trio. These are content and control applications while Viz Engine renders the graphics in realtime. A key element added to both of these products is the idea of the non-burn-in workflow. “This is the capability to merge graphics and video together in a single playlist but not burn the graphics into the video until the moment they are triggered to air,” explains Jakobsen. “This is important when broadcasters must provide content to many platforms and to allow for changes at any given time. Graphics are rendered and merged with the video at the time of air and in the various formats needed for HD, phones, tablets and so on. This allows journalists to make editorial changes to the graphics up until the moment they are taken to air.” Pixel Power was a leader in channel-ina-box solutions, launching the ChannelMaster in 2011. “We recognised the considerable role that CiAB solutions have to play but also that as far as truly flexible, high quality graphics were concerned there was market demand to be satisfied,” reports Gilbert. “By installing our Clarity

VIRTUAL AD-INSERTION Image-based tracking is the key to expanding virtual ad-insertion to every broadcaster. Viz Arena is one system for placing graphics and video on the field live. According to Jakobsen, “We can use mechanical tracking and have been doing so for years but now we also give broadcasters the option of using image-based tracking that only requires a video feed. We are able to track cameras in real-time based on a clean video feed then apply the graphics such as virtual advertisements, distance measurements, offside and record lines, player pointers, team badges and others. This technology can be used for any sport.” Orad meanwhile fields virtual ad functionality as part of its Sports Enhancement systems for live game analysis. Eredivisie Dutch Football League, for example, includes one tracked camera that is centre field for virtual advertising and two tracked 16 meter cameras for sports enhancement production. With the centre field camera fixed on the goal area, virtual advert graphics are viewable at all times. Embedded chroma keys extract the players from the green, enabling the graphics to be composed “as if they were real billboards” as opposed to virtual. Moreover, Orad’s system distorts the graphics according to the camera’s perspective, so that television viewers see the ads in a realistic vertical position. This virtual ad placement flexibility provides Eredivisie with additional advertising opportunities as vertical billboards cannot be positioned next to the goal posts.

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graphics engine this marks us out by having ultimate graphics capabilities in a nocompromise technology. Additionally this can run under the control of third party automation or Pixel Power’s Gallium.” Many broadcasters envisage sourcing more elements of their work from servers accessible by anyone regardless of location. Graphics specialist ChyronHego claims 6,000 users of its cloud-hosted Axis platform, primarily in the US market, but has a flagship new European user in ITV. It has just finished replacing the graphics infrastructure across its ten news regions with ChyronHego’s BlueNet MAM. “We have centralised our creative graphics hub, allowing our small team of designers to collaborate and serve our dispersed regional news studio operations,” explains Paul Stevenson, ITV News director of technology and technical operations.” Journalists in the regions will be able to customise Axis graphics templates via BlueNet for everything from maps and bar or pie charts to financial stocks, AP stills or Bing satellite photos and insert into their stories. “Previously to create a map they would have to search the web, cut it out, prep it, move it to a graphics department for finishing and then port to the story,” explains Todd Martin SVP of Chyron’s Strategic Solutions Group. “Now they just browse the template and paste a new asset, freeing up the art department to focus on core creative and design.” VizRT is also placing heavy R&D in outsourced and online cloud tech. Viz World, its template-based mapping solution, “will happily live in a cloud environment” according to Jakobsen. “We also have a cloud-based online management solution as well as a media asset management solution in the Viz Media Engine. We are working tightly with Nvidia today to have our core render engine, Viz Engine, be virtualized to serve as a perfect platform for live productions using multiplatform distribution. This gives the broadcaster infinite scalability and an easy way to serve regional content as well as device adapted presentations rendered on the Viz Engine.”

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CASE STUDY / WEDDING PRODUCTION

MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE Weddings in the region are often productions of monumental proportions, and the technology behind recording the event is also getting ever more professional, finds Mel Noonan. teffan Hewitt designed the first Polecam when he was an extreme sports cameraman and needed such a device. There wasn’t one, so he made it. He is something of a perfectionist, so he kept refining it until he had it working extremely well. Then his friends wanted them, and eventually he started to make them commercially. You may have seen Polecam at video-related exhibitions flying a small minicam at the end of a carbon fibre pole. For the uninitiated, it has always had novelty value, and sometimes video

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and broadcast industry people would stop, watch for a while then wander off, smiling, not realising the true potential. The truth is, since the introduction of HD minicams like the Toshiba, it has always been a serious piece of kit, and now with the latest upgrades and refinements it has become a highly desirable production tool. In the past Hewitt had packaged Polecam as a full and complete system for the professional user, with every last thing you may need on all types of work. This meant that it was quite an investment to buy a full rig and HD minicam. This didn’t stop those who realised the true potential, and a great many have

OCTOBER 2013 / 39


CASE STUDY / WEDDING PRODUCTION

“IN THE GULF STATES, SOME OF THE WEDDING CELEBRATIONS ARE HUGE PRODUCTIONS, AND SO THOSE CONCERNED WANT TO HAVE THE BEST POSSIBLE RECORD OF THE EVENT.” Peter Rear, Filmatography made the investment and done very well with it, furthering their careers. However Hewitt decided to make a package that was more affordable by only including those components that were needed to get up and running. It’s called the Polecam Starter Pack or PSP. He also decided to make a range of new motorised pan & tilt heads that had finer control and which would allow the mounting of DLSRs and larger, heavier cameras. He then introduced a wire strut system for enhanced stability when in difficult conditions. Now you can still use an HD minicam if that suits your shoot, but you can also mount broadcast camcorders from the likes of Sony and Panasonic,

40 / OCTOBER 2013

and large sensor cameras from Canon and Nikon DSLRs and the Canon C300 to Black Magic Design cameras and even the RED Epic. The result is that Polecam’s popularity has grown fast. Recently the 500th rig has been delivered to broadcaster MBC in South Korea for news coverage. With Polecam rigs around the world being used for more and more types of programme making and production, it has now also arrived in the arena of wedding video production in the Middle East. Peter Rear is the man behind Filmatography, with offices and studios in London and Dubai. The company evolved out of his university studies of human sciences

and commerce, combined with a knowledge of computers, digital photographic and video technologies, and a love of photography. The early digital cameras he used couldn’t compete with film, but he and a university colleague persevered as the technology evolved. They found success covering events in the motor racing world, and that led to bookings of related wedding events. Business built up, but the recession hit, and Peter had the idea of taking a commercial presence to Dubai in tandem with London to grow the business there where any recession was not so evident in the way weddings were being celebrated. He bought his business partner out at that time to go it alone. “In the Gulf States, some of the wedding celebrations are huge productions, with several hundred if not thousands of guests, and so those concerned want to have the best possible record of the

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CASE STUDY / WEDDING PRODUCTION

event,” says Rear. “At around the same time as we set up in Dubai the Canon 5D MkIII DSLR camera arrived, with the dual ability to take seriously good pictures and high definition video. I thought ‘We’re doing these prestige events, we’re working with videographers, why aren’t we doing both?’ This was in 2008.” “That’s how Filmatography developed. We saw video in the marketplace as being a bit stagnant, a bit boring, in fact how we

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saw photography when we first started. We wanted to do something that was truly imaginative and different, so we tried to make it artistic, moving photography, using shallow depth of field, creative angles, a wide range of lenses, and then the same with the video camera. It’s typically stuck with one lens all day so it can look flat, so we were using the whole range of L series Canon lenses, both prime and zoom. It is far from simple, and takes a lot of work to get it right. I have gradually been finding

the right people, growing the company, and now have just under 30 highly skilled people on the team all working to the same ethic.” A browse of the impressive Filmatography website will give you a feel for the level he has achieved, with outstanding examples of photography and video throughout the site. Rear explains how he came to start using Polecam on these events.: “The concept of Filmatography is to create a piece of genuine cinema as opposed to videography documentation, and the natural evolution of adding a crane is to create cinematic movements that wouldn’t be possible from a standard production.” “Polecam is an evolution of a crane, but because it is more discreet, it can capture things in a natural way. It’s more mobile, so the move to cinema has prompted the use of cranes, and the move from cranes to Polecam is to be more discreet and much more mobile.” “We had been renting large cranes in Dubai, like the Jimmy Jib, but sourcing professional operators from London. We use a local Dubai rental house, BBH, for the cranes and other kit. When I asked about Polecam, they were aware of it but didn’t own one but in due course they purchased one and rented it to me.” Mai Al Nasrallah, the sales manager at BBH Dubai said: “The biggest market here is for the local Emirati weddings which require female operators because the main celebration is a female only event, except in some cases for the groom - the men celebrate with a meal some days prior to this. Finding female Jimmy Jib operators proved to be impossible locally, but it is relatively easy to train them on Polecam.” Rear explained “There are three dedicated event services we offer – photography, cinematography, and live view broadcast - more often than not the clients choose to have all three. Live view broadcast is such that the cranes provide a constant stream to screens around the venue, so as bride and groom enter the room, they appear on the screens. It also provides a long form traditional edit,

OCTOBER 2013 / 41


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CASE STUDY / WEDDING PRODUCTION

“THE OB VAN HAS GOT THREE REMOTE CAMERA OPERATORS, A SHOW CALLER DIRECTOR – IT REALLY IS LIKE A BROADCAST EVENT.” Peter Rear, Filmatography hence the Polecam has been brought in to give a more creative live view.” “The other cranes are currently Jimmy Jibs. I can see us using solely Polecams when they become available for rental there, for the obvious reasons of portability, movement and discretion as well as safety, and the female operator requirement too.” “Coupled in with the Polecam evolution and help from BBH we’ve also been using an OB van parked outside the venue - we’ll do live view editing, taking the sources in from the 2 Jimmy Jibs and the Polecam for the live view. For the last one we did, we had five remote Sony cameras in the venue, the same cameras that they used for the Jennifer Lopez concert in Dubai. The OB van has got three remote camera operators, a show caller director – it really is like a broadcast event. For the screens

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around the venue we have eight sources.” “I think Polecam is a superb creative tool. The thing that has really impressed me is its mobility and flexibility – the fact that you can use it on a harness as well as on a tripod and dolly to move it around quickly. When a Jimmy Jib is put together it’s there - you’re not going to move it.” “We’re trying to make something that’s dynamic and truly cinematic, and the fact that you can walk up to say the dance floor with the Polecam on a harness and create drifts over and around the dancers, its versatility and flexibility is far beyond that which is offered by a crane.” The Polecam’s flexibility offers operators a vast choice of potential tools for the job in terms of what cameras to use, though Rear, it seems, has his favourites: “For the previous shoots we’ve used a Sony EX-3 because it’s got the remote

control operation,” he explains. “However we’ve been looking at the Canon C300 – we’d love to use that.” In fact the Canon C300 is now the camera of choice for an increasing number of professional Polecam owner operators world wide. The controls can be remoted to the operator position of the Polecam. “Our reputation keeps on growing and through our cinematic imagery we have been chosen to do commercials and product launches outside the wedding industry. We’ve done a commercial for Davidoff, and launch parties for Aston Martin. Polecam has helped us to raise our production values even higher than before.” The local Polecam distributor for sales of the company’s full range of products in the UAE is Dubai-based Argosy Middle East.

OCTOBER 2013 / 43


COMMUNITY

COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST FROM THE REGIONAL PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITY

EMIRATI FESTIVAL SUCCESS

RUSHES

AWARD FOR FESTIVAL DEBUTANTE

NEW DIFF ONLINE STORE SHOP TILL YOU DROP

Can’t wait for December’s 10th anniversary Dubai International Film Festival? Fret not – DIFF has now opened its online store, offering a selection of DVDs, t-shirts and general merchandise associated with the Middle East’s biggest film festival. DIFF premieres such as MI IV: Ghost Protocol are all there, while our own pick was a 50 AED copy of the documentary, Chevolution.

SEARCH FOR A STAR BAHRAINI TALENT HUNT

A search for young talent for a leading role in an upcoming Bahrain-based feature film has begun, says director Mohammed Rashed Buali. Buali is searching for a girl between the ages of 8 and 14 who would be interested in playing the role. The Sleeping Tree is produced by Nooran Pictures and the Information Affairs Authority (IAA),

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Feeding Five Hundred, a short film directed by Emirati filmmaker Rafed Alharthi and supported and produced by twofour54 creative lab, has received a special mention in the Best Documentary Awards category at the UK’s Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival in Bristol. When giving the honour, the jury reported a very difficult decision between runner-up ‘Feeding Five Hundred’ and the category winner. Feeding Five Hundred was the first Arab film ever to be officially selected for the festival, from the 2,372 entries this year. Set in the UAE, it is an evocative documentary about one man’s passion, determination and struggle to feed five hundred stray cats each day since 1995. Feeding Five Hundred has been or is due to be screened at other festivals in 2013, including: Ismaïlia International Festival for Documentary and Short Films, Egypt; Cinemadamare, Italy; Two Riversides, Poland; flEXiff – Cinewest, Australia; Nour Festival of Arts, UK and Beirut International Film Festival, Lebanon.

DIFF SPONSORS ANNOUNCED DIFF HAS ANNOUNCED THAT DUBAI CULTURE, THE DEDICATED AUTHORITY FOR CULTURE, ARTS, AND HERITAGE; THE HAMDAN BIN MOHAMMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD AND IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT REGIONAL FILMMAKING TALENT BY EXTENDING THEIR PATRONAGE TO THE FESTIVAL’S 10TH EDITION FROM DECEMBER 6. SAEED AL NABOUDA, ACTING DIRECTOR GENERAL, DUBAI CULTURE & ARTS AUTHORITY, SAID: “THE UAE HAS WITNESSED EXCEPTIONAL GROWTH IN FILMMAKING OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. A NUMBER OF TALENTED EMIRATIS HAVE ALREADY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOWCASE THEIR PRODUCTIONS.”

OCTOBER 2013 / 45


COMMUNITY

EVENTS OCTOBER 2 National Travel Day Screenings, Wafi, Dubai Celebrate this special day with screenings of internationally-themed films including The Beautiful Game, which will lead onto a promo for the Street Kids World Cup in Rio. www.streetchildworldcup.org

TRAINING LATEST

VIVE LA RESOLUTION IABM hosts panel to discuss ever-growing image quality The International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers (IABM) has hosted a technology even titled “Higher Resolution — Do We Need It?”. Hosted by IABM director of business development and technology John Ive, the expert panel addressed how resolutions beyond HD have caught the imagination of professionals and consumers and the benefits and limitations that such resolutions present from acquisition to production to delivery. IABM members can view complete video of the panel discussion on the IABM site. “There is no doubt that high resolution beyond HD was the most talkedabout topic at NAB this year, but away from the hype of the industry’s largest trade show, we will be discussing the issues that matter,” said Ive, introducing the topic and panel. “It’s a controversial topic, coming close on the heels of HD and potentially requiring even more end-user investment. Are we on the curve of diminishing perceived quality benefit? Do consumers really care about quality? These questions and many more make higher resolution far from a done deal.” Panelists included Stan Moote, vice president of business development at

46 / OCTOBER 2013

Harris Broadcast Communications; Richard Salmon, lead research engineer at the BBC; Alan Bright, director of operations at Presteigne Charter Ltd; Peter Sykes, strategic technology manager, at Sony Professional; and David Crawford, professor at the University of Essex. The group quickly jumped into the technical and pragmatic considerations it viewed as critical to the adoption of higher-resolution formats. PANELIST’S OPINION “As we take a look at television and it starts to move a little bit more towards 4K and even 8K, I think there will be a convergence because, ultimately, it allows television people to start doing film-type productions, and vice versa. As far as equipment manufacturers go, this is a very important aspect to think about because it actually opens up new markets.” STAN MOOTE, VP BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, HARRIS BROADCAST

OCTOBER 20-24 Infocomm MEA, WTC, Dubai Visit Infocomm MEA 2013 and learn how you can apply professional audiovisual communications technology to transform your business to meet rapidly changing market demands, says the PR, with flagrant disregard for capitals which we’ve corrected for your sanity. www.infocomm-mea.com

OCTOBER 20-24 GITEX Technology Week, WTC, Dubai What can we say? A lot of people from around the world bring technology to the World Trade Centre and put it on stands. From the latest production cameras to the latest flash drives. It’s big, it’s techy, and the water is overpriced. www.gitex.com

OCTOBER 28-29 Social Media World Madinat Arena, Dubai Exploring the overlapping issues of Loyalty, Social Media and Big Data, The Marketing Show Middle East gives you the opportunity to attend the focus sessions most relevant for your business.

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COMMUNITY

SCENE CHANGE

DAN DUGAN SOUND DESIGN Dan Dugan has announced the appointment of Don Stevens as Office Manager at Dan Dugan Sound Design. Stevens will be responsible for sales, rentals and general day to day management of the company. Dugan has been actively involved in the audio industry since the 1960’s. and its mixers are essential components of numerous network television talk shows.

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VITEC VIDEOCOMM Vitec Videocom has appointed Jay Dishong as vice president, channel sales, reporting directly to George Kealy, senior vice president for global sales. Dishong commented: ““I’m delighted to be joining the Vitec Videocom team and to have the opportunity to lead the Channel Sales team across my territory. I will be proud to be a part of the team.”

NETIA Netia has appointed of Peter Fong as area sales manager for the Asia-Pacific region. “The appointment of Peter strengthens Netia operations,” said Philippe Fort, CEO at Netia. “Peter brings the skills and knowledge to drive business growth and to help NETIA capitalize on new revenue potential.” Fong has more than 20 years of experience in the media/broadcast market.

NEWTEC Thomas Van den Driessche has been appointed Newtec CCO and will lead Newtec’s global sales team to achieve Newtec’s ambitious growth objectives. He will also remain responsible for the company’s marketing strategy. “These are exciting times for Newtec. I am sure that there will be great opportunities ahead to lead the industry,” said Van den Driessche.

OCTOBER 2013 / 47


THE WRAP

THE WRAP

A RUN DOWN OF THE LATEST UPGRADES AND INSTALLATIONS IN THE REGION

NEW MBC CAIRO NEWSROOM LOCATION CAIRO TECHNOLOGY AVID NEWSVISION, VIZRT GRAPHICS, ROSS SWITCHER, TRILOGY BROADCAST COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, STUDER ALLIN-ONE VISTA AUDIO MIXING CONSOLE

NEW MCR/PCR FOR DUNYA LOCATION PAKISTAN TECHNOLOGY HOST OF BL ACKM AGIC, INCLUDING: HYPER DECK, ATEM 2 M/E PRODUCTION SWITCHER, ATEM 1 M/E BROADCAST PANEL, DECKLINK.

RIEDEL FOR QTV LOCATION DOHA TECHNOLOGY RIEDEL ARTIST DIGITAL MATRIX INTERCOM, ACROBAT DIGITAL WIRELESS INTERCOM, PERFORMER DIGITAL PARTYLINE INTERCOM, AND RIFACE UNIVERSAL RADIO INTERFACE SYSTEMS

48 / OCTOBER 2013

MGI has completed the install of MBC’s new Cairo newsroom, a state-of-the-art facility for the broadcaster’s Egyptian news production. Raed Bacho, Broadcast Manager, MBC Group says: “MGI’s reputation for delivering world-class broadcast solutions was a key factor in our decision to award the company the contract. Our Cairo News facility is a major investment and one that required careful planning. We were delighted by the efficiency and timely results.”

Pakistan’s Dunya TV has made a $250,000 upgrade to its MCR and PCR, with a heavy focus on equipment from Blackmagic. Dunya TV’s technical and operations director, Mohammed Sohail Noor, commented: “Blackmagic is charging low prices on broadcast equipment compared to other products. Moreover, they are providing multiple options in a single solution. The solution is comparable with other major brands. The equipment is easy to handle and does not take up too much.”

Riedel Communications has installed an extensive Riedel intercom system across Qatar TV (QTV)’s brand-new state-of-theart 5,000-square-meter broadcast facility. “The Riedel system enabled and even facilitated open voice communications between our different teams, ultimately resulting in more streamlined and efficient operation here at QTV,” said Mr. Abdulkarim Elsabbagh, head of operations at QTV. The Riedel joins a host of recent additions to the QTV Doha studios.

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THE WRAP

OB VAN FOR LEBANON LOCATION LEBANON TECHNOLOGY FULL SUITE OF GRASS VALLEY CA MERAS, PRO DUCTION SWITCHERS, ROUTING SWITCHERS, ROUTER CONTROL SYSTEMS AND REPL AY SYSTEMS

FOX TURKEY GOES HD LOCATION TURKEY TECHNOLOGY GRASS VALLEY TRINIX ROUTING SWITCHER; SAN-2 STORAGE; KAYAK PRODUCTION SWITCHER, AND K2 SUMMIT SERVERS. PANASONIC HC3500 CAMERAS

RADIO FROM THE RUBBLE LOCATION SYRIA TECHNOLOGY AVID RECORDING, SONY HANDICAMS, ZOOM PERSONAL RECORDERS PLUS TRANSMISSION EQUIPMENT FROM ELENOS, EUROSTAR, ON AIR, ALDENA AND KORAX.

DUNYA TV USES ORAD FOR PAKISTAN ELECTIONS LOCATION PAKISTAN TECHNOLOGY M AESTRO ON-AIR GRAPHIC SUITE, INTERACT GRAPHIC SOLUTION, AND 3DESIGNER AUTHORING SOFTWARE.

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Grass Valley is to supply Lebanese production company Hedgehog with an endto-end workflow consisting of cameras, production switchers, routing switchers, router control systems and replay systems for Lebanon’s first HD OB van so that it can provide better quality HD coverage of live events, particularly sporting occasions. On the ground, Hedgehog will work closely with Grass Valley’s local partner in Lebanon, Pharaon Broadcast.

BTS has won the contract for the second HD upgrade phase of Fox Turkey. After completing the first HD upgrade of the playout center last year, FOX Turkey started to broadcast its HD channel through Digiturk, one of the largest pay TV platforms in Turkey. To increase Fox’s HD production capabilities for the HD channel BTS now will upgrade a large production studio and expand the tapeless HD production system. The whole installation will be finished in August 2013.

Broadcast Systems Arabia has been rapidly establishing itself as the ‘go to’ integrator in the danger zones of the Middle East during the upheaval of the Arab Spring. We’ve already reported on its work bringing radio and TV production and transmission to Libya during the crisis there, and now its set its sights on Syria, where the company has been installing transmitters and equipping reporters on the ground with the necessary equipment to keep independent news flowing in the civil-war torn country.

Orad has announced that Pakistan’s Dunya TV recently deployed its HDVG+ video rendering platform, Maestro on-air graphic suite, Interact graphic solution, and 3Designer authoring software to display powerful on-air graphics to enhance production and the on-air broadcast of Pakistan General Election coverage. The advanced Orad graphics production workflow provided viewers with engaging visuals that clearly illustrated detailed election results in real time.

OCTOBER 2013 / 49


PRODUCTS

MY BEST KIT

COMPACT PROCESSING FROM DSMB DSMB Technologies has launched its Lepton ultra-compact modular video processing and format conversion range at IBC. The Lepton series uses SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) units to deliver a high quality choice of conversion of multiple formats, distribution amps, routers and switchers from SFP modules no bigger than a typical memory stick. The Lepton microCONVERTER is an ultra-

compact unit providing versatile format conversion and signal processing capabilities between interfaces. Up to four SFP modules are accepted by the microCONVERTER unit which is a small, portable stand-alone device of about the same dimensions as a pack of cards. www.dsmbtech.com

ANTON/BAUER DIONIC 90 “It was a fantastic project – one of the most important of my life. The great protagonists, their fates and the overcoming of their challenges have given me inspiration

NEW R&S HEADEND The new Rohde and Schwarz AVHE100 headend can encode, decode and multiplex signals using just a single device. It can also generate multiple physical layer pipes (PLP). The system integrates more functions in a few hardware components than other available solutions can manage with several separate components. Fewer components, in turn, improve the fail-safety of the R&S AVHE100. The integrated headend management system allows

users to conveniently configure and monitor the various components. The second component of the headend - the R&S AVG100 gateway - includes new features as well: It can now receive and decrypt satellite signals and split ASI/SD-SDI/HD-SDI signals for redundant systems. www.rohde-schwarz.com

for years to come. The fluid head was very dependable in every kind of weather. The well-developed fluid damping and the sinusoidal counterbalance system are ideal for every lens focal length and every panning job. On every

TINY PITCH FROM SILICONCORE SiliconCore Technology is launching the Magnolia 1.5mm pixel pitch LED display at InfoComm MEA. Driven by the company’s revolutionary Common Cathode technology, the Magnolia is the smallest pixel pitch display on the market, making direct view LED displays possible for the first time for close proximity applications. Eric Li, CEO of SiliconCore explains: “SiliconCore has revolutionised the LED display industry by developing a new way to drive the LEDs using the

Common Cathode mode, replacing the traditional Common Anode method. The Common Cathode mode is a much more efficient design, ensuring that power is not lost to heat, thereby reducing power consumption and increasing the lifespan, resulting in a market leading lower total cost of ownership.” www.silicon-core.com

filming day, I have to get at least one mindblowing picture which is stunning in terms of content and visual effect!” MICHAEL HAMMON, DIRECTOR, GOLD – DU KANNST MEHR ALS DU DENKST

50 / OCTOBER 2013

3G PREVIEW FROM TSL TSL debuted the new 3G video preview feature, improved GUI and SMPTE linear timecode recognition for its PAM PiCo Audio and Loudness Meter range at IBC. The new software enhancements are available to all existing PAM PiCo users as a free download from the new TSL Products website (). The loudness logging application introduced at NAB 2013 will also be made available to all PAM PiCo owners as part of

the free update. “The SMPTE linear timecode measurement and recognition will give users a frame accurate time reference when combined with the loudness logging application and, the video preview adds a feature which has been high on our customers ‘wish list’ since introducing the SDI de-embedding models,” says Martin Dyster, Head of Audio for TSL Products. www.tslproducts.com

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Danny Holmes Sales Manager Tel: +971 4 444 3744 Email: danny.holmes@itp.com


PRODUCTS

SELL IT TO ME

THAT’S MAGIC! Blackmagic’s new ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K is an advanced Ultra HD live production switcher with 6G-SDI technology, retailing for only US$2,495. At NAB 2013 in Las Vegas, Blackmagic Design introduced the ATEM Production Studio 4K, the world’s first Ultra HD live production switcher. Now this new advanced ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K model will provide customers with added features such as 10 independent 6G-SDI

inputs each with frame sync, built in DVE with zoom, scale and rotate, 4 upstream chroma keyers, 3 independent aux outputs with front panel control and a larger media pool that holds both still frame graphics as well as motion video clips. The current ATEM Production Studio 4K model will be reduced in price to US$1,695. www.blackmagicdesign.com

DOLBY UPDATES MONITOR Dolby has updated its professional reference monitor PRM-4220. With the same accuracy and performance as the Dolby PRM-4200, the updated design introduces several new hardware features including HDMI 1.4 and Display Port 1.1 interfaces. “The Dolby Professional Reference Monitor is constantly being updated to keep pace with evolving workflows,” said Bill Admans, Dolby’s director of production and postproduction solutions. “These new hardware features incorporate

the Dolby monitor with the latest workflow tools, ensuring our customers realize full return-oninvestment.” With an ergonomic design and slimmer profile, the update allows easier integration into installations where space is limited. www.dolby.com

CANON 35MM PRIME LENSES “Canon is committed to developing class-leading tools to support visual story-

NEW STRATUS FROM GRASS VALLEY

telling at all levels. In the past 18 months alone, we’ve launched

Grass Valley has launched the latest version of GV STRATUS, its nonlinear media production tool. GV STRATUS includes powerful upgrades and in-

creased functionality that take file-based productions to the next level by drawing on Grass Valley’s unique combination of user knowledge, engineering excellence, and product portfolio. The forward thinking approach of GV STRATUS is enhancing the business models of news, live, and playout production organizations as they meet the demands of a multi-screen, multiplatform audience. www.grassvalley.com

Cinema EOS and expanded the system to include HD, 2K, and 4K cameras, and a range of different lenses. We continually strive to offer our customers more creative options providing them

NEW NUKE ANNOUNCED

with greater flexibility

The Foundry announced at IBC that a brand new version of its industry standard compositing software, NUKE will launch later this year. In NUKE 8 artists will notice huge enhancements to the Dope Sheet, allowing them see and move keys around in the context of a timeline style view. They will be able to see the results and each property of a node accurately displayed in context. The new viewing capability will make working with any scripts that involve time manipulation a much more simple process and give artists far

that will further sup-

52 / OCTOBER 2013

port the delivery of exceptional imaging content. The new 35mm lens currently in development is a great

greater visibility on their work. One of NUKE’s most hotly anticipated features, a brand new Text node will allow artists to compose, edit and animate directly in the viewer. www.thefoundry.co.uk

example of this.” HENDRIK VERBRUGGHE, MARKETING DIRECTOR, CANON MIDDLE EAST

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CANON

Canon Canon Middle East has expanded its handheld video camera range with the launch of two class-leading compact models for professionals and video enthusiasts. Two new professional X-series models, XA25 and XA20, combine a powerful, all-new imaging system with professional audio and Wi-Fi connectivity in a versatile, compact package that fits neatly in the palm of a hand. Developed using Canon’s industry-leading imaging technologies, these models include a powerful specification that delivers outstanding quality and operability. The Canon HD Video system has been completely redesigned – from the lens through to the image sensor and processor – providing new levels of imaging performance. A range of advanced shooting features and connectivity options make these cameras ideal for either professional or amateur use, and are suitable for shooting everything from news and documentaries to weddings. The XA25 and XA20 benefit from a completely new imaging system, which has been engineered to provide outstanding image quality and versatility. A groundbreaking 20x zoom wide-angle lens offers a 26.8–576mm focal range, employing optical technology found in Canon’s top-of-therange XF305 camcorder.

Complete creative control Designed to provide maximum flexibility, all the new models support multiple recording formats. AVCHD (up to 28Mbps) and MP4 (up to 35Mbps) provide high bitrates suitable for many professional applications. Video is recorded to dual SD card slots in a range of resolutions and frame rates up to 1080/50p, with slow and fast motion options supported in MP4 mode – providing greater freedom to choose an appropriate setting according to creative requirements. All models also support simultaneous recording of different formats to each card – giving users the ability to capture high-quality Full HD footage in the desired format, and smaller MP4 files at the same www.digitalproductionme.com

time. Delivered by the power of DIGIC DV 4, the smaller files can be shared more quickly and easily for time-critical applications, such as reporting breaking news, whilst the high-quality copies are retained for later use. The XA25 and XA20 feature the same removable handle concept launched with the popular Canon XA10. Easily attached or removed to suit the shooting situation, the top-mounted handle houses a range of additional controls, including XLR inputs for capturing professional quality audio from external microphones. The handle also integrates an IR lamp to enhance the shooting capabilities of the infrared mode available in XA25 and XA20 – ideal for recording night-time documentaries or nocturnal wildlife.

terminals, while the XA25 also includes HD-SDI output – offering the high capacity, uncompressed connectivity useful for many broadcast applications. Each camera also features newly-integrated dual band Wi-Fi support (2.4GHz and 5GHz), providing a range of capabilities for use during or after shooting. Camera Remote support allows wireless adjustment of settings via a web browser, and Remote Browser allows users to review recorded footage from the camera in smartphone or tablet browsers – with no need for playback software.

Studio connectivity and wireless support The new XA25 and XA20 offer an advanced selection of interfaces, with physical inputs conveniently grouped together and designed to keep connections in place during handheld use. All include integrated HDMI, microphone, USB and headphone OCTOBER 2013 053


PRODUCTS

DPA MICS UP PLASA DPA Microphones’ award-winning d:facto II Vocal Microphone will be on show at PLASA 2013, alongside the company’s broad live sound microphone range. “Regardless of whether you are recording or amplifying, we now has a microphone for every live miking situation,” says DPA’s CEO Christian Poulsen. “The launch of the d:facto II Vocal Microphone was a major step forward for DPA as it meant we could finally offer vocalists DPA’s

renowned audio quality in a beautifully designed, hand-held wired or wireless unit. In addition, we also have our innovative d:vote™ 4099 Instrument Microphones and our lightweight, easy to wear d:fine Headset Microphones that are so popular with theatre and musical productions and are increasingly in demand for live concerts where singers want superior sound as they dance and perform.” www.dpamicrophones.com

NEW PANASONIC CAM Panasonic is pleased to announce the release of its pro-style shoulder-mount Full-HD camcorder HC-MDH2, equipped with the “Simultaneous Recording” function, which allows recording on dual memory devices simultaneously, a “5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ & Level Shot Function” which thoroughly suppresses blurring and tilting, and a “New High-Sensitivity 1/2.3”Sensor”,” which ensures recording of beautiful images even when shooting in low-light conditions. “Panasonic’s shoulder-mount Full-HD camcorder HDCMDH1 [pictured] has a high reputation from camera operators for its high quality images and operability, in particular,

at wedding ceremonies, where every single scene must be recorded with the best quality, and events such as seminars and meetings”, commented Hitesh Ojha, Deputy General Manager – Digital Imaging,Panasonic, Marketing Middle East andAfrica. Panasonicis now pleased to announce the launch of the HC-MDH2 with greater advanced shooting performance, design and operability. www.panasonic.com

MEDIORNET JOINS STUDER Riedel Communications, one of the leading providers of real-time networks for video, audio and communications, presents the MN-ST-AL-2 – its new MediorNet expansion card for Studer consoles at this year’s IBC. The MN-ST-AL-2 provides two ports each with redundant interfaces for connecting Studer mixing consoles via the STUDER A-Link protocol to Riedel MediorNet Modular frames. In this way the

consoles become an integrated part of the entire signal distribution infrastructure. This offers up to 384 channels per connection and saves significant costs in cabling and maintenance, while still providing unparalleled flexibility and signal quality. The routing of the audio stream is conveniently handled by the intuitive MediorWorks control and management software via drag & drop programming, thus making last minute changes easy and user friendly. www.riedel.net

NEW TSL STUDIO MONITOR TSL launched the SAM1 MADI Studio Audio Monitor at IBC 2013. It’s ideal for both fixed and mobile broadcast facilities, as well as systems integrators who have embraced MADI as the backbone of a facility’s audio infrastructure. “Until now, the choice of confidence monitoring devices incorporating MADI has been extremely limited,” says Martin Dyster, head of audio for TSL Products. The SAM1 MADI is a sophisticated device that provides

54 / OCTOBER 2013

multiple source monitoring of up to 20 channels of audio from MADI, embedded HD-SDI, AES and analogue sources on a user-configurable screen, providing immediate access to any combination of formats, delivering a comprehensive visual and audio feedback for confidence monitoring in a compact unit. www.tsl.co.uk

www.digitalproductionme.com


With rapid advancement in digital technology and the Middle East’s media industry growing each year, DIGITAL BROADCAST Middle East serves to provide the latest industry news, features and analysis to this booming market.

Official Media Partner

Aimed at those responsible for the delivery and management of media content for television, cinema, radio, mobile and online distribution, DIGITAL BROADCAST Middle East is the ultimate information resource for industry professionals.

THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY An ITP Business Publication | SEPTEMBER 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 09 THE BUSINESS OF DIGITAL CONTENT DELIVERY An ITP Business Publication | AUGUST 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 08

TEST CARD

Laurent Roussel, MD and regional sales director, Eutelsat Middle East

We speak with Thomas Birner, director of sales at Quantel

CODECS TO THE RESCUE

IBC 2013

A preview of Europe’s biggest broadcast exhibition

A look at how codecs are changing the broadcast industry

SATELLITE SURGE We speak with the MD of Eutelsat Middle East about his plans for the region

Harris opens training academy; Yahsat appoints new CEO; Rotana announces online VoD service; ADM updates channels; DMI Ramadan website relaunch

FOR ADVERTISING CONTACT:

FOR EDITORIAL CONTACT:

TO SUBSCRIBE:

Peter Davis Sales Director Tel: +971 4 444 3741 Email: peter.davis@itp.com

Clayton Vallabhan Editor Tel: +971 4 444 3682 Email: clayton.vallabhan@itp.com

Subscription is FREE for industry professionals. Simply visit: www.itp.com/subscriptions today.

Napoleon Estampador Sales Manager Tel: +971 4 444 3381 Email: napoleon.estampador@itp.com


5 MINUTES WITH...

3:00 0:00 WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO WORK IN THE TV AND

WHAT ONE PIECE OF KIT COULD YOU NOT LIVE WITH-

FILM INDUSTRY?

You can have the top gear in your kit, but without the proper tools to power that gear, what good would it be? An assortment of Anton/Bauer batteries and chargers are a must.

OUT?

I enjoy the challenge of selling technology that provides solutions and requires explanation. The business is fascinating, the pace of change keeps it interesting and when you relax with the family watching a film or series it is really motivating to know the background, the people and products that made it all possible.

4:00 WHERE DO YOU SEE THE NEXT FIVE YEARS TAKING THE REGIONAL PRODUCTION INDUSTRY?

1:00 YOU’RE MAROONED ON A DESERT ISLAND. BY A LUCKY TWIST OF FATE YOU HAD CHANCE TO PICK UP A DVD PLAYER AND YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE, AND A BOX SET OF YOUR FAVOURITE TV SHOW BEFORE YOU WERE MAROONED THERE. WHAT’S ON YOUR HASTILY ASSEMBLED PALM TREE SHELF, AND WHY?

Well that’s easy. What use is a DVD player and my favorite movies be without power? You would see my Anton/Bauer Solar Panel with charger, batteries and an inverter. [Editor’s note: That’s all very well, but you seem to have neglected to take anything to watch on your solar-powered DVD player!)

5:00 MINUTES WITH...

MARTYN SLY-JEX, EMEA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR MOBILE POWER AT ANTON/BAUER

2:00 3D HAS BEEN BIG NEWS OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS – IS IT JUST ANOTHER FAD SUCH AS WE SAW BRIEFLY IN THE 80S, OR THE FUTURE OF TV AND FILM?

New technologies in this industry are constantly evolving, so the future of 3D is yet to be determined.

56 / OCTOBER 2013

The Middle East and India are still emerging markets. In the next five years we’ll see the region moving steadily away from traditional broadcast to multi-platform delivery, as well as seeing the implementation of 5.1 technologies both in production and transmission. News and Sports are also a major growth area where government and private broadcasters are starting to invest heavily. 5:00 FINALLY, DIGITAL STUDIO’S READERS SHOULD USE MY COMPANY BECAUSE…?

Anton/Bauer has been a leader in developing batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film and healthcare industries for more than 40 years. Our company’s product portfolio includes signature lines such as the leading Gold Mount® system, InterActive® chargers and Logic Series® batteries. We work closely with cell manufacturers to ensure that camera operators needn’t worry about battery life and can instead, focus on capturing content flawlessly.

www.digitalproductionme.com


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Digital Studio | 10-2013  

Digital Studio, TV & Film Prodution in the Middle East Oct 2013 - Volume 15 - Issu 10 by ITP Publishing

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