“Customers have to be clear and realistic in what they are trying to achieve, not what they think they can get away with”
EVENT All the winners from this year’s Digital Studio Awards REVIEW CABSAT comes but once a year. When it does we’re there
JAMES GILBERT P20
NEWS OPINION ANALYSIS HEAD-TO-HEAD REVIEWS COM MUNIT Y CAREERS EVENTS PRODUCTS
HALF EMIRATI DIRECTOR AMAL AL AGROOBI PICKS UP THIS YEAR’S UP AND COMING FILM MAKER AWARD
An ITP Business Publication
Vol. 15 Issue 4 April 2013
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APRIL 2013 7 UPDATE ABU DHABI SPORTS GOES SURROUND/ RIEDEL IN QATAR/ JCC SIGNS DISNEY DEAL/AL AAN GOES HIGH SPEED/DMI UPGRADES SOME MORE/PEBBLE BEACH FOR NEW SHARJAH FACILITY/ NEW OFFICES FOR GRASS VALLEY AND SNELL/BBC ARABIC HACKED/HD GETS MORE ACCESSIBLE/ ATLAS HEADS HOME/ BROADCASTERS ROUND TABLE/ ONLINE LATEST/MORE NEWS FOR LIBYA/ THE KHARTOUM NETWORK 18 CHANNEL ALL THE LATEST FROM THE CHANNEL 49 COMMUNITY ALL THE LATEST GOINGS ON FROM THE MIDDLE EAST’S PRODUCTION AND BROADCAST COMMUNITIES 55 NAB PRODUCTS OUR PICK OF THE LATEST PRODUCT LAUNCHES FROM THE BROADCAST AND PRODUCTION INDUSTRIES, THIS MONTH WITH A SPECIAL NAB-THEMED FLAVOUR
22 CABSAT UP CLOSE In case you missed it, CABSAT hit town last month. We have all the news, views, launches and gossip from the region’s biggest show for the broadcast and production industries.
30 AWARD FEVER And of course, CABSAT wouldn’t be CABSAT without the annual celebration that is the Digital Studio Awards. Check out our bumper guide to who won what on the night and why.
APRIL 2013 / 1
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Registered at Dubai Media City PO Box 500024, Dubai, UAE Tel: +971 4 444 3000, Fax: +971 4 444 3030 Web: www.itp.com Offices in Dubai & London ITP BUSINESS PUBLISHING CEO Walid Akawi Managing Director Neil Davies Managing Director Karam Awad Deputy Managing Director Matthew Southwell Editorial Director David Ingham EDITORIAL Editor Chris Newbould Tel: +971 4 444 3596 email: firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Sales Director Peter Davis Tel: +971 4 444 3741 email: email@example.com Sales Manager Napoleon Estampador Tel: +971 4 444 3381 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Nitesh Patel Tel: +971 4 444 3272 email: email@example.com Japan Representative Mikio Tsuchiya Tel: +81 354 568230 email: firstname.lastname@example.org STUDIO Head of Design Daniel Prescott Principal Creative Simon Cobon PHOTOGRAPHY Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor Staff Photographers Lester Apuntar, George Dipin, Juliet Dunne, Murrindie Frew, Lyubov Galushko, Verko Ignjatovic, Shruti Jagdesh, Mosh Lafuente, Ruel Pableo, Rajesh Raghav PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION Group Production & Distribution Director Kyle Smith Production Co-ordinator Nelly Pereira Managing Picture Editor Patrick Littlejohn Image Editor Emmalyn Robles Distribution Executive Nada Al Alami CIRCULATION Head of Circulation and Database Gaurav Gulati MARKETING Head of Marketing Daniel Fewtrell Events Manager Michelle Meyrick ITP DIGITAL Digital Publishing Director Ahmad Bashour Tel: +971 4 444 3549 email: email@example.com Sales Manager, B2B Digital Riad Raad Tel: +971 4 444 3319 email: firstname.lastname@example.org ITP GROUP Chairman Andrew Neil Managing Director Robert Serafin Finance Director Toby Jay Spencer-Davies Board of Directors K.M. Jamieson, Mike Bayman, Walid Akawi, Neil Davies, Rob Corder, Mary Serafin Circulation Customer Service Tel: +971 4 444 3000
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4 / APRIL 2013
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THIS MONTH IN THE TV AND FILM PRODUCTION INDUSTRY
Just like being part of the crowd, claims Abu Dhabi Sports.
everybody’s talking about...
Just like being there! Abu Dhabi Sports viewers can now take part in a fully immersive aural experience while watching their favourite games, thanks to Dolby’s latest technology.
Abu Dhabi Sports has become the first freeto-air broadcaster in the Middle East region to produce and broadcast its content live both in HD and Dolby Digital Plus (DD+) surround sound. Using the latest technology for HD and Dolby sound, Abu Dhabi Sports channels Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 1 and Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2 are already broadcasting in HD with DD+, while Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya Extra is now showing programs in HD using the “Stereo” sound technique. All additional AD Sports channels CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
APRIL 2013 / 7
AD Sports: Key moments 2009: Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya (Abu Dhabi Sports) rebrands with a new logo, identity and programming. It initially features three channels, including Al Dolby’s Tarif Sayed.
Riyadiya 3, it’s first encrypted channel which will screen
will continue with the standard broadcasting service, but with new improvements to image quality. Mohamed Najeeb, head of Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Al Riyadiya), said: “The unique experience of watching a sports game in Dolby surround sound really brings the thrill of the match in to your home. Watching the Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya Channels with cinematic surround sound and HD technology will be the closest thing to actually being there. “The technology was previously used last year to broadcast some games on our paid platform, Channel 8, but now we have adopted it as our basic broadcasting technique for Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya channels, with viewers able to choose between the available channels sounds.” Abu Dhabi Sports has been broadcasting much of its paid-for international programming in Dolby Digital since August 2010 for Abu Dhabi Sports network subscribers- including the Barclays Premier League, Formula One and WWE. Tarif Sayed, regional director, Dolby Digital, Middle East & Africa & Pakistan, commented: “Live programming such as sports is a great showcase for Dolby surround sound and we are delighted to be working with such a forward-looking partner such as Abu Dhabi Media, and specifically the Abu Dhabi Sports Channels, on this landmark project to present this technology for the first time in the Middle East on free-toair channels. Football fans will truly feel the difference that the Dolby Digital Plus surround sound provides, in experiencing the all the action and capturing the moment.” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7
8 / APRIL 2013
the 2010 World Cup. 2010: The channel wins the rights to broadcast the world’s most popular football league, the English Premier League, from 2010 – 2013. Every single game is available live, with commentary is available in Arabic or English. August 2010: Abu Dhabi Sports begins broadcasting much of its international content, including the EPL, Formula One and WWE, in Dolby Digital to subscribers of its pay-TV channels. 2012: Abu Dhabi TV launches
Qatar TV’s new studios keep in touch with Riedel.
its exclusive Abu Dhabi Sports package to satellite subscribers. For around 30 AED a month, subscribers receive a set top
Phineas and Pherb will be among the Disney shows on JCC.
box, smart card and access to 19 HD channels. 2013: AD Sports wins the rights to broadcast the 2013 Formula One World Championship, beginning with the March 15th Australian Grand Prix. All races are broadcast live and exclusive on free-to-air.
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Riedel keeps Qatar TV connected Intercom for Doha
Qatar TV has installed an intercom system based on Riedel’s Artist platform at its new Doha studios. The system features two Artist 128 and one Artist 64 mainframe, networked via a redundant fibre ring. The three mainframes form a distributed intercom matrix of 296x296 ports. The installation could be expanded easily by adding additional Artist frames to the fiber ring. Qatar TV employs about 65 intercom panels from the Artist 2000 series. The Artist system also provides VoIP connectivity and MADI interfacing to Qatar TV’s LAWO audio consoles. The installation also includes seamless integration with Riedel’s Performer digital partyline intercom and Acrobat digital wireless intercom.
Qatar TV intercom specs 2x Artist 128 matrix mainframe 1x Artist 64 matrix mainframe 65x Artist 2016 intercom panel 7x RiFace radio interface 2x Acrobat CC-8 cell controller 12x Acrobat WB-2 wireless beltpack 4x Performer C44plus system interface 16x Performer C3 digital beltpack
JCC treat for Disney fans Disney fans will be pleased to hear that Al Jazeera Children’s Channel has announced a new free TV agreement with Disney, Middle East and North Africa. JCC, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, has acquired the rights to a selection of Disney’s most popular kids and family content, including Disney and Disney/ Pixar movies as well as Disney
Channel’s live action and animated series. The Disney films and TV shows that JCC will be airing will offer audiences in the Middle East and North Africa a wide range of exciting entertainment. JCC’s acting executive general manager, Haya bint Khalifa Al Nassr said: “Through this agreement, we at JCC look forward to enriching the first Arab children’s channel with a wide range of en-
tertaining shows for our audience. In line with our child-centric strategy, we will continue to address the needs of Arab children and households by creating or acquiring content that is entertaining, culturally appropriate and supports their learning and development.” All programs will be dubbed into classical Arabic and will roll out in the coming months.
APRIL 2013 / 9
khartoum network arabia Ashorooq TV relocates to Sudan
Moving on up! Both Grass Valley and Snell moved into new Middle East offices last month – Grass Valley moving to Media City from its previous home at the Airport free Zone, while Snell opened up its first full time office in the region, and simultaneously appointed Dipesh Makwana as technical sales manager for the region. Naresh Subherwal, president, Asia Pacific and Middle East for Snell, commented: “The media landscape in the Middle East is one of the most vibrant and fastest growing in the world. there is a world of opportunity there for Snell solutions.” Alan Wright, EMEA president at Grass Valley, added: “The Middle East is a high growth market for Grass Valley and it’s key for us to stay market-focused, which is why we have moved our offices to Dubai Media City.”
10 / APRIL 2013
Media Group International has taken delivery of a host of infrastructure products from Argosy to help facilitate the move of Ashorooq TV from Dubai to its new facilty in Khartoum, Sudan. Ashorooq TV, which started broadcasting in 2006, has become one of the most popular Arabic language television channels in Sudan, and broadcasts local news, sports and entertainment, as well as live streaming of radio and TV channels via the web. It is already broadcasting live from its new home. Paul Wallis, sales director at Media Group International, said: “We chose Argosy equipment for a number of reasons but a significant factor was the breadth and quality of their product offering — and more specifically that they hold stock locally in the region that we could source quickly and easily for this project. “Argosy had a solid understanding of what we needed to do at our client’s new television facility and the company was able to deliver the best in class, reliable products needed to support this installation on time, and within budget.” “We are delighted to continue to work with Media Group International” added Mike Purnell, director at Argosy. “Argosy was able to provide Ashorooq TV, with the infrastructure solutions they needed to ensure a seamless transition of their broadcast facility to Khartoum.” MGI’s Paul Wallis.
SMC goes with Pebble Beach Dolphin at Kalba TV
Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) has installed multiple Pebble Beach Dolphin integrated devices for playout and disaster recovery at its new Sharqiya from Kalba TV installation. The brand new installation will feature a Pebble Beach Systems’ Neptune automation system controlling a total of four Dolphin integrated channel devices. Two of the devices will provide main and backup systems for playout, whilst the remaining two act as disaster recovery for the main Sharjah facility.
New Libyan news channel quick launch planned
Harris Broadcast has supplied a range of integrated broadcast solutions to Orbinet International to support the launch of a new TV news channel in Libya. Orbinet worked with Total Media Cast to design and implement the new facility in Tripoli — and has already started testing with the on air date expected in spring 2013. “We recommended a complete Harris Broadcast solution to Total Media Cast because we were confident in their ability to provide proven, reliable and robust end-to-end solutions that would perform to our customer’s exacting requirements.” said Mr. Elie Eid, managing director, Orbinet International.
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1 IN PICS: DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 2 Zee launches Arabic language station
Murk Light will be screening at New York Tribeca
3 Zee Alwan expands dubbed Arabic content
MOVIE MAKES TRIBECA LIST
4 Digital Studio Awards 2013 – full list of winners
EMIRATI SUCCESS IN NEW YORK
5 Digital Studio Awards 2013 – nominations 6 Digital Studio Awards 2013: Winners revealed 7 Digital Studio Awards shortlists announced 8 CABSAT opens with 850 exhibitors from 57 countries 9 Eurostar launches Android 10 Most influential people: Film editors
SPOT POLL WHAT’S BEEN DUBAI’S EVENT OF THE YEAR SO FAR?
60.0% Goldilocks & The Three Bears
6.7% The Stone Roses
0.0% Kanye West
12 / APRIL 2013
Murk Light, a short Emirati movie directed by Iraqi filmmaker Yasir Al Yasiri and supported and produced by twofour54 creative lab, an Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority company, has been nominated in the Best Narrative Shorts category at the 12th edition of the New York Tribeca Film Festival. Murk Light was selected for the Festival out of over 2,800 submissions. The 20 minute short, starring some of today’s leading Emirati actors, narrates the journey of two characters discovering dreams, escape and friendship on their way. It’s a journey of self-dis-
covery, leading to an unidentified destination. Noura Al Kaabi, CEO, twofour54 said: “Murk Lights’ nomination for Tribeca Shorts is an endorsement of the high caliber of work that is being supported by twofour54 creative lab. The aim of creative lab has always been to identify emerging Arab talent and support them with developing their own creative ideas. Yasir is a great example of a filmmaker whose journey with creative lab has seen him transform into an award-winning international filmmaker. We are incredibly proud of Yasir and the creative lab team that helped him make it happen.”
ATLAS ABU DHABI CLOSES Atlas Television, the leading production and kit hire operation, is closing s packs up. Farewell twofour54: Atla its Abu Dhabi office. Keen economy watchers need not worry that this is a sign of darkening skies, however, as Atlas co-owner Cal Barton explains: “We only set up in Abu Dhabi in order to be able to get clearance to film on oil and gas installations. We applied for this shortly after setting up there and after a year and a half or so of trying we gave up. I don’t fully understand the reasons aside from that as an offshore entity twofour54 registered companies were not entitled to get access to these sites.” Barton adds that Atlas will be moving its Dubai office to Studio City due to new parking charges at its current DMC home.
Europe’s first exclusively OLED monitor-equipped broadcast vehicle.
And there’s more! The new facilities at Dubai TV’s new
central transmission and ingest centre are just a small part of a massive ongoing upgrade. Last year, we reported on
Al Aan speeds things up Cygnus has deployed Thuraya IP+ terminals at Al Aan TV. The mobile satellite broadband terminal is designed to achieve the fastest IP speeds, ensuring quick and reliable access to broadband data services over Thuraya’s satellite network. Enhanced capabilities facilitate applications including high-quality video broadcasting, social media communications, data transfer and VoIP applications from remote locations. Al Aan TV’s head of technical, Raad Haddadin, said: “We evaluated the Thuraya IP+ and were impressed with the terminal’s features. The terminal meets our stringent requirements for security, reliability and portability for our field correspondents who have come to rely on Thuraya’s mobile satellite products and services to bring the news to our viewers.”
14 / APRIL 2013
the massive rebuild of Dubai TV’s main newscentre, so here’s a reminder of the gear that was installed there too:
It’s a deal!
Dubai TV up grades apace New monitoring at central ingest
Qvest Media is set to install 16 TSL PAM2 MK2 multi-channel audio monitoring units in operator positions at Dubai TV’s new transmission and ingest room. In a move that will upgrade the current SD tape-based workflow to a full HD/3G enabled file-based one, the channel will use the PAM2s for decoding and monitoring of stereo and Dolby audio formats throughout its HD broadcast chain. The PAM2s are supplied as part of an ongoing TX archive project that will migrate all of Dubai TV’s playout servers onto centralized Omneon Spectrum servers with Pebble Beach automation, and archived onto a StorageTek LTO 5 library managed by Front Porch Digital’s DIVArchive. “The PAM2 MK2 is an excellent fit for Dubai TV as we move them forward with a 3G-enabled workflow – it really takes the complexity out of complex and critical audio tasks - especially with regards to Dolby decoding and loudness-compliance monitoring”, said Mohamed Hamid, Project Sales Manager, Qvest Media. Swarup Mukherjee, regional sales manager for TSL Professional Products in the Middle East, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, added: “The PAM family is fast becoming the new industry standard in multichannel audio monitoring across the ME region,” added “We’re very proud that major broadcasters like Dubai TV have latched on to the benefits that the PAM2 MK2 offers over competitive solutions in the market.”
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HD REACHES OUT MY HD AND ARABSAT TEAM UP
Assad: Not in the BBC’s good books.
BBC ARABIC TWITTER HACKED WARNING FOR BROADCASTERS
The BBC’s Arabic Twitter site was hacked last month, apparently by supporters of Syria’s embattled president Bashar-AlAssad. Faris Couri, BBC Arabic’s editorin-chief commented: “Today at around 11.00GMT, BBC Arabic’s twitter account @BBCArabicOnline was hacked. Since then, several pro-Assad news tweets were published by the account. We strongly condemn such action and apologise to our audiences. We are doing everything we can to remedy the situation.”
HD production in the region received a boost last month when low-cost HD TV platform My-HD Media signed a strategic agreement with Arabsat to expand the reach of its single viewing card, 25-channel HD bouquet in the region. Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD Media, commented: “Arabsat has always been a frontrunner in the region and a prime hotspot for HD in MENA, and our partnership is intended to give us a valuable platform to provide superior HD content to over 170 million viewers across the (MENA) region.”
Cliff Nelson and Arabsat CEO Khalid Balkheyour.
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Mid-session at the round table.
ROUND TABLE FOR NEW TRENDS FIT OUT TAKES CENTRESTAGE
The Apex Group and Media Group International hosted a roundtable event last month, outlining new trends in fibre-based video transmission and studio fit out for Middle East broadcasters. ”We believe the region is moving from being a trend-follower to a trend-setter, and with new media cities and production zones flourishing in the region, the roundtable provided an excellent vehicle for discussing these exciting trends,” said Alex Giannikoulis, CEO, The Apex Group.
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CABSAT channel UPDATE
advanced media says: “come fly with me” First up in this month’s CABSATthemed channel pages, one of the undoubted highlights (quite literally) of this year’s event could be found on the Advanced Media Trading (AMT) stand, where the distributor was showing off the DJI Spreading Wings S800 HexRotor Aircraft. The S800 is a professional Hex-Rotor Platform Big Aircraft, designed for commercial aerial photography (AP) and experienced model enthusiasts, or in layman’s terms a remote control helicopter that carries a camera. It boasts stable flight, large load weight and long flight time. Combined with the DJI WooKong-M multi-rotor autopilot system, the S800 can easily perform precise hovering, constant-speed cruise and has excellent maneuverability when turning. AMT has recently taken on the role of official regional representative for the S800, and it proved a big crowd puller on the Advanced Media stand,
according to Advanced Media’s Serine Gharibian: “There’s been really big demand for the S800,” she says. “This is its CABSAT debut and we’re really pleased with people’s responses.” AMT had a host of other partners’ equipment on its stand, including exclusive Sony equipment and the recently launched Teradek Bolt. Pejman Ghorbani, Advanced Media’s Teradek product manager, commented: “After the success of ‘Cube’ and ‘Brik’, Teradek has come with another brilliant product to hit the market. Answering the needs of cinema and video industry, Bolt provides the fast, reliable, high quality wireless HD transmission remaining affordable at the same time. I believe every studios, production houses and rentals will acquire at least a pair of transmitter / receiver to get rid of annoying cables specially when shooting over the cranes, steady-cam, cars and so on.”
The S800 proved a big hit on the Advanced Media stand.
Qvest enters MGI gains BSI, transfer market shows off 3D
Qvest GM Thomas Müller.
18 / APRIL 2013
new deal with signiant
busy start for rebrand
Qvest went to CABSAT as the new regional distributor for Signiant’s media file transfer products, having signed the deal the day before the show. “The Middle East is a burgeoning market for content creation, so there is demand for solutions such as those from Signiant,” said Thomas Müller, GM at Qvest. “We are committed to providing the top solutions, and then going beyond that by helping implement file-based workflows that expand business opportunities.”
Rebranded Media Group International got off to a flying start, beginning with its immersive 3D theatre with partner HoloVis, and capping the week with the handover of its newly acquired BSI certificate on the final day. CEO Paul Hennessey commented on MGI’s hectic recent history: “There comes a point when you have to make the changes to take you to the next level. We believe we’re operating at the highest standards in the region and we felt that time had now come.”
cabsat channel UPDATE
AROUND THE DWTC
The MGI team collect their BSI certificate.
UBMS UBMS was keeping things light on its stand. Rotolight’s Rod Aaron Gammons was just as enthusiatic as dad Rod about the company’s patented LED technologies, and Digital Studio was particularly pleased to learn that its old Manchester pals done good The Ting Tings have used Rotolight’s technology exclusively on their latest video. Also shining a light was UBMS’ Italian partner Ianaro Solid State Lighting, who brought the new mega-powerful Solaris LED Ianaro with Fresnel lens to town. The maker claims its new generation of LEDs are just as suitable in studios as outdoors, and from what we saw seen they’re right.
MediaCast Mediacast pulled out all the stops this year with its biggest stand to date, which featured large dedicated sections for partners including Blackmagic Design and Tricaster. The stand finally brought the new Blackmagic Cinecam to the Middle East (which regular readers will have spotted reviewed in detail in last month’s issue) and Babak Amini, who took the camera out for a spin for us last month, spoke at Mediacast’s event to promote the camera at the Emirates Towers Hotel during the show. Over 300 of Mediacast’s customers turned up at the camera launch event, which certainly looks hopeful for regional sales.
Oasis ppd Oasis PPD’s hectic stand was hosting a number of new products from the company’s many partners, including the entire range of TV Prompt priducts, the world’s smallest replay machine from Broadcast Solutions, lightweight dollies and cranes from Egripment and an extensive range of JVC cameras. Among the latest products on display was JVC’s new GYHM600 and 650 portable cameras which won approval from EBU for journalistic field work just before the show. Always keen to offer options, Oasis also had Hitachi’s top of the range SKHD1200 on display, alongside a host of other goodies from its many partners.
Mediasys One of the highlights at Mediasys’ stand this year was undoubtedly the hotly-tipped new Ki Pro Quad. The Quad is the first Ki Pro portable device to offer 4K (and QuadHD recording and monitoring, and is quite literally a double-wide version of the popular Ki Pro Mini. The Quad also records 2K and HD and supports both 10-bit 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 colour space. Record a fullresolution 4K ProRes QuickTime file on media, or move those RAW files directly to your Mac via the Quad’s Thunderbolt connectivity and start editing. The Quad can also drive Canon’s new 4K display directly from the camera for monitoring on set.
APRIL 2013 / 19
JAMES GILBERT GRAPHICS CAPABILITIES TAKE CENTRE STAGE t’s clear that the sheer number of vendors entering the integrated playout space indicates the value of integrated playout technologies and the need for function collapse. What became very clear at IBC in Amsterdam last year is that the debate about the relative merits of these technologies has now crystallised around graphics capabilities, though for those operating in the sector this has already been known for a long time. One could argue that being a graphics company that has entered the integrated playout market, we would say that, wouldn’t we? True, but you also then have to ask why such wellknown graphics experts have entered this space – what value can we add that other approaches don’t? There are three routes to graphics for channel-in-a-box (CIB) users. There’s the approach that graphics are easy so companies attempt to do it themselves. But graphics are not easy at all – even the type of graphics that we see being used every day are a lot more complex to play out than video clips. It’s now very clear that this approach isn’t going to cut it for many customers. It may be
20 / APRIL 2013
suitable for relatively simple graphics like logos but not the more desirable and complex – animated logos, DVE moves, tickers, text and upwards to clips and realtime 3D. Before we conceived ChannelMaster, we were selling quite a few LogoVision and Clarity units to sit downstream of CIB technologies because they couldn’t produce the level of graphics the customer required. Speaking to engineers as we do very, very often indeed, it’s usually the graphics that are the most complex parts of their workflow. The second option for the CIB vendor is to partner with a graphics company to build that graphics engine into their box. But this creates very obvious issues – not least how long it takes to do. Also, this isn’t really an integrated solution; it’s two companies trying to shoehorn unrelated technologies into the same box. Whether they are physically in the same unit or not, you still have all the same issues that you would have if they were separate boxes. This is highly inefficient and brings up concerns, for example, of power consumption and heat dispersal – simply throwing more horsepower at a problem doesn’t provide an elegant or efficient solution. It also begs the question of which company do you call when there’s a problem.
Lastly, there’s a graphics vendor who’s lived and breathed graphics for 25 years and built an integrated solution around its graphics engine, which is what Pixel Power has done. The whole tone around the subject seems to be based around the notion of trying to get away with the lowest possible capabilities. But what about future-proofing? The technology might just be sufficient for what you need to do today, but will it be so in three years’ time? Will that supplier even be around in three years’ time? The CIB market is a very fluid one with new solutions appearing all the time, a mix of offerings from large players to smaller, more specialised vendors – but what’s the reality behind those products and companies? Many players do have experience in parts of the chain but as is now being really recognised, not in the crucial graphics part. Customers have to be clear and realistic in what they are trying to achieve, not what they think they can get away with, and given our 25 years of experience in the market we can provide clear guidance. After all, integrated playout is about function collapse, not function removal. James Gilbert is joint MD at Pixel Power.
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INCA 6 A VISIBLE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
DONE AND DUSTED CABSAT is over for the year, and this year’s event proved to be the biggest and best yet. The ﬂoor space almost doubled on last year, and the event featured a host of global debuts for products too. Read on for key news from this year’s show.
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KEY CABSAT LAUNCHES Check out some of the products we spotted debuting at this year’s show:
HARRIS Harris debuted to its Platinum IP3 Router, giving the latest solution pride of place on its stand for an eagerly anticipated launch on day one. The IP3 takes the dual-path architecture of its predecessor, the Platinum, and runs with it, developing a new triple-path architecture that means data such as programme associated metadata, graphics or pure IP signals can be carried alongside separate audio and video signals for every input.
TRILOGY Trilogy launched Messenger, an entry level yet powerful matrix-based intercom that includes the features and functionality typically only found in far more expensive systems. Messenger bridges the gap between the constraints of low-end, two-wire party line systems and the cost and complexity of larger broadcast intercom systems. The Messenger package is easy to install, simple to use and cost effective, says Trilogy. According to Trilogy Director of Business Development Mark Ellis: “Messenger complements our class-leading Gemini intercom and at the same time takes advantage of much of the technical expertise behind it. Messenger refreshes the Trilogy line up for customers requiring the advanced features of a larger system but on a smaller scale and within tighter budgets.” The company expects the product could
be a big hit in this region, where a wealth of small TV channels seek high quality, without the budgets of the likes of MBC or Rotana.
COBHAM Cobham also brought a product for which it has high hopes in the Middle East to debut at CABSAT. Its HD MPEG4 IP Encoder features IP connectivity via 3G, 4G and LAN. The high capacity, 3G capabilities included in the encoder ensure access to wireless 3G internet connections from the most remote locations. Cobham’s broadcast systems director Stuart Brown said, “Our IP encoder provides even more bit rate efficiency with the added beneﬁt of the ability to operate in standard, low and ultra-low latency modes. And with power consumption rated at a very low 7-9 watts, this encoder is ready for extended periods of deployment in virtually any environment.” Easily connected to any camera, the IP encoder features connectivity for composite, SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI video inputs, and audio input options that include balanced analogue audio running on 48V phantom power.
SENNHEISER Sennheiser Group introduced the Neumann KH 310 A, an active near-ﬁeld audio monitor, at Cabsat this week. This compact, horizontal-oriented cabinet is speciﬁcally designed for diverse acoustical environments and use in music production, broadcasting, post-production, mix-
ing and mastering. Sennheiser also conducted the regional launch of Digital 9000, a digital wireless system for transmission of uncompressed audio. Mig Cardamone, sales and marketing manager, Sennheiser Middle East, said: “Sennheiser prides itself as a company that is at the forefront of technological innovation. Neumann KH 310 A and Digital 9000 are both audio masterpieces, offering unprecedented sound quality and ease of use. We see a healthy uptake of these systems by discerning customers in the Middle East who are uncompromising in their quest for quality.”
EVS Not so much a product launch as a company relaunch, EVS was at CABSAT showing off its new corporate branding. Sebastien Verlaine, marketing manager, EMEA, EVS said: “We are here to present our latest solutions. EVS is also here presenting its new logo and its new colours. There are now four divisions created within our organisation, EVS Sports, EVS Entertainment, EVS News and EVS Media. They have been created to develop better products and to better meet the demands of customers within these markets. With this structure each division has its strategy and its own developments, which will in the medium to long-term be very beneﬁcial to customers in those markets.”
APRIL 2013 23
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CANON BRINGS 4K TO LIFE WITH THE EOS C500
he region’s ﬁlming industry is booming with multiple universities now offering production courses, a
growing pool of young aspiring talent, and local platforms such as the regional ﬁlm festivals like Abu Dhabi Film Festival & Dubai Film Festival. As such, there is huge interest in professional ﬁlm making in the region which serves Canon the right opportunity to tap into. Canon’s main goal is to provide tools that offer ﬁlm and video-makers greater creative ﬂexibility. With expertise in sensor development and heritage in lens design, Canon provides high quality, highly versatile products that will offer even greater creative possibilities for both ﬁlm and video professionals. This year, Canon expands it EOS range and launches the EOS C500, a new digital cinema camera capable of 4K-resolution (4,096 x 2,160 pixels) video output. With the EOS C500, Canon is offering nextgeneration 4K performance and ﬂexibility in compact, versatile form factors that offer a huge range of creative possibilities. Designed for motion picture and high resolution digital production industries, the EOS C500 offers the ability to output 4K-resolution images as RAW
data for recording using an external device. The camera’s uncompressed 4K output also
ports 12-bit or 10-bit RGB 4:4:4 output signals for 2K (2048 x 1080 pixels) or Full HD
unleashes the full potential of Canon’s expanding range of 4K-resolution EF Cinema Lenses, while an EF mount with Cinema Lock makes it easier for operators to switch lenses during shooting.
off-board recording – delivering rich colour and high compatibility with image processes such as chroma key positioning. The camera also supports frame rates up to 120p in both 4K and 2K modes, providing enhanced
As well as uncompressed 4K footage, the EOS C500 sup-
creative ﬂexibility for high-speed (slow motion) video capture. The inclusion of Canon Log Gamma delivers the high quality video and wide exposure latitude demanded by professional cinematographers. Based on the same advanced platform as the EOS C300, the EOS C500 delivers exceptional performance, incredible mobility and outstanding expandability. The availability of a PL mount variant provides support for industry-standard lenses, while the EF mount model is the ﬁrst Cinema EOS camera to feature a modiﬁed EF mount with Cinema Lock. Designed as a result of user feedback, EF mount with Cinema Lock has been developed to make it simpler to swap lenses mid-shoot. Instead of the user having to rotate the lens, the new mount rotates to lock lenses into place – providing easier operation during studio and ﬁeld-based shooting.
APRIL 2013 / 25
REVIEW / CABSAT 2013
Alfacam keeps on trucking
Belgian specialist brings OB van to debut CABSAT appearance.
elgium-based Alfacam supplies facilities and services to broadcasters and production houses worldwide. Alfacam made its CABSAT debut this year, and brought along one of its HD OB trucks, which proved a hit with visitors, receiving over 400 visits over the three days of the show. Alfacam communications manager Julien Tilkens commented: “The presence of the truck was very interesting and gave us the opportunity to show to all the customers the quality and efficiency of our TV facilities.”
Alfacam’s OB van pulled in over 400 visitors.
FOR PROFESSIONAL CAMERA NEEDS Thanks for showing great interest in NIPROS STUDIO BUILD UP UNIT at Cabsat ‘13 Even you are a professional broadcaster, NIPROS knows that. Always, you are seeking for new broadcasting equipment that can support your broadcasting plan to be implemented smoothly in different hard working conditions. NIPROS HDS-300 Studio Build-Up Unit in brief: 1. Professional Studio design & Looks for Handy & Shoulder Camcorders. 2. Interface to NIPROS Camera Transmission Systems. 3. For Handy Camcorders can be built up, same as studio camera. 4. Steady for big type View Finder Mount. 5. Complete Studio set up with NIPROS Professional Peripheral 6. Safety and well organized wiring that avoid LIVE or ONAIR accidents. 7. Easy to handle camera transfer. For inquiries please contact SYSTEC INTERNATIONAL Exclusive Distributer Middle East for NIPROS, Libec, I.D.X, AZDEN and TAMGA
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APRIL 2013 27
REVIEW / CABSAT 2013
Yamaha/Steinberg wows the crowds
New audio post-production collaboration looks good for audio post production. amaha was at CABSAT demonstrating its latest Nuage production system, developed in partnership with independent Yamaha subsidiary Steinberg. Commenting on the regional launch of Nuage at CABSAT, Toshihiro Yamamoto, MD of Yamaha Music Gulf FZE, comments: “The Nuage system solution is the quintessence of merging dedicated post-production hardware and software seamlessly together to one complete studio environment, with the Nuage console and Nuendo 6 representing the most sophisticated plat-
28 / APRIL 2013
form for audio post-production available today. We are excited to launch Nuage at CABSAT 2013; an event which we believe provides a great showcase for the product to Broadcast and Post-production industry professionals in the region.” Speaking about the show more generally, Hidetoshi Saito, sales and marketing director at Yamaha Music Gulf FZE, commented: “We received many serious business enquiries from buyers who were interested in our new products and wanted to experience and test them at CABSAT. The event was a very good opportunity for us to showcase our products and I have seen it grow in size over the past three
years that we have participated - this gave us access to more potential trade visitors and business than before.”
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REVIEW / CABSAT 2013
Under the radar
Some of the less ‘newsworthy,’ but no less entertaining snippets from this year’s show. irst up, continuing an occasional series of awards that weren’t given at the show, but possibly should have been, congratulations to Vision 247, undisputed winners of this year’s Editor’s Choice Award+ for Best Sweets on a Stand. Bravely picking up the gauntlet laid down by Riedel’s Gummi Comms at IBC 2012, what V247’s delightful fruit gums lacked in novelty hardware theming, they certainly made up for in fruity taste. Well done to all the team there. Any leftovers gratefully received at the Digital Studio offices. Another heads up on the stand freebies front to Media Group International, whose ‘Blue Noise’ Beenie toy bee, appropriately-striped in Manchester
City colours, has gone down a storm with the most recent addition to our editor’s household. Enough said about that as we’re not going down the Charlie Brooker route of passable journalists turning decidedly less so following such events. We were also amused to hear a story
from a nameless delegateabout a ‘wellknown UK broadcaster’ that recently replaced the lighting in one of its studios with environmentally friendly, costsaving LEDs. A wise and sensible decision, one would think, but for one small problem. It seems the air conditioning the broadcaster had installed to compensate for the heat generated by the previous lighting did not come with a ‘heat’ option. Consequently, in the depths of the British winter, it found itself with presenters struggling against hypothermia in an unheated studio as they went about their jobs. The result? New heating had to be installed in the studio, rendering the anticipated environmental and cost savings somewhat obsolete. There was more about a well known UK public broadcaster, but we’re not one to gossip...
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REVIEW / CABSAT 2013
Riedel introduces new man on the spot Ahmad Magd takes over at Riedel’s Dubai regional office. hmad Magd, Riedel’s new sales manager for the Middle East and Turkey, made his public debut at CABSAT following the recent opening of Riedel’s new Dubai office. Magd commented on CABSAT: “The show was very good; we met many of our partners and potential customers. And we noticed that people in the region have started to think not only of the price but also of the total cost of ownership. This is a good change in attitude, not only for the broadcasters themselves but also for us because that’s exactly what sets our
solutions apart from the others.” It’s been an impressively busy year for Riedel, with major global events such as the infamous Felix Baumgartner’s leap from space under its belt, special goggle cams developed for the World Skiing Championships, and installations closer to home such as the intercom for Qatar TV’s recently opened new Doha studios. Magd noted that the company’s MediorNet was particularly popular during this year’s show: “MediorNet media network drew a lot of interest,” he said. “It’s a very unique and powerful product that provides point to multipoint signal distribution for all kind of signals such as
Riedel’s Ahmad Magd.
Video (3G /HD/SDI), Audio , Intercom and Ethernet. It saves the clients costs in infrastructure and gives their installation unparalleled flexibility.”
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REVIEW / CABSAT 2013
Vislink sends a signal New portable satellite terminal is ‘smallest and lightest’ for SNG. islink brought its latest, broadcast specification Vislink Mantis MSAT to CABSAT. The Mantis MSAT, claims the manufacturer, is the world’s smallest and lightest satellite data terminal for highperformance high-definition satellite news gathering. The portable, one-man satellite terminal, an upgrade from the standard MSAT, deploys from a single lightweight backpack to become a 14kg, 90ck antenna and terminal and can deliver HD video broadcast signals from anywhere in the world. Operational on both KA and KU bands, the Mantis MSAT can be unpacked and working within five minutes, providing up to a HD video capable 8Mbps of upstream data throughput subject to satellite performance, yet is also rugged
and ideal for harsh environments. Mark Anderson, marketing operations manager, commented: “The main focus was twofold, the new 90cm version of the Advent MSAT satellite system and the INCAM Gigawave wireless camera system
both of which went down very well. CABSAT is always a good show for us as it gives us an opportunity to not only meet our customers old and new but a place for our regional VAR’s to meet us and see the new products.”
CMS reports successful CABSAT
New projects to be announced soon, says systems integrator. MS returned to CABSAT this year and showcased new technologies and products with new partners. “It was very special year for Creative Media Solutions in CABSAT 2013,” said managing partner Ghassan Alasad. “We exhibited some very special and unique products such as Storyteller Touchscreen software from AccuWeather and latest storage solutions from NetApp.
34 / APRIL 2013
We are looking forward to next year’s exhibition as it will be very special for our company as it will represent its 10th anniversary.” Visitors to the CMS stand included TV channels from the UAE and all around the other Arab and North African countries, and CMS regional project manager Zayed Hammori claimed there will be new projects announced very soon thanks to the ‘great opportunity for networking and doing business throughout CABSAT.’
Doha’s Al Rayyan TV is among CMS’ clients.
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013
Oh what a n 36 / APRIL 2013
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013
The ninth Digital Studio Awards came to Dubai’s Westin Hotel last month for a sold out event celebrating the very best of the region’s broadcast and production industries. Here are all this year’s winners. APRIL 2013 37
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
M A N U FA C T U R E R O F T H E Y E A R
“THIS IS REALLY GREAT. WE’VE WORKED A LONG TIME IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND HAVE DEVELOPED A REALLY NETWORK OF GOOD CUSTOMERS HERE. SO THIS IS BRINGING TOGETHER ALL THE WORK WE’VE DONE. THIS IS CULMINATION. WE’VE GOT A LONG WAY TO GO YET, BUT THIS IS A GREAT START.” Karl Hijazi, manager of Sony Professional Solutions MEA
Sony has had a hectic year, even by its own globe-conquering standards. A raft of product launches have covered all bases from a host of cameras filling every gap in the large-sensor image capture market to new recording and storage technology and its strong commitment to the development of 4K production, where it has proved a trailblazer with its raft of production, post production and editing products over the last year.Sony was also highly commended as Systems Integrator of the Year category.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
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“THIS IS OUR FOURTH TIME WINNING IN A ROW, SO THIS IS VERY EXCITING. IT WAS A GREAT TEA M WORK AND WE ARE HAPPY AS A TEA M. AND THANK YOU FOR DIGITAL STUDIO FOR THIS GREAT CEREMONY.” Kaveh Farnam, CEO, Advanced Media
Advanced Media is one of the Middle East’s largest suppliers of professional broadcast, video and photography equipment and accessories. More than 40 well-known brands in the industry are on display at its Dubai headquarters and subsidiary shops, while it also offers regular training sessions, houses the authorised Sony Service Centre and offers fast, reliable repairs for many of the brands in its portfolio. New brands to Advanced Media over the last 12 months include Floatcam, Profoto and Teradek, lining up alongside established names like Canon, Sennheiser and Manfroto.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
SYS T E M S I N T E G R ATO R O F T H E Y E A R
“THIS IS VERY NICE. EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SOMETHING. BUT THIS YEAR IT’S FOR THE CHANNEL IN QATAR.” Yasser Chahine, president, TEK Signals
Tek Signals was active all over the region over the last 12 months, with major projects for Sharjah TV, Qtal and Qatar TV, among others. Undoubtedly its biggest project last year though, and perhaps the one that most influenced the judges’ voting, was its installation of Al Jazeera Sports new 3G studios in Doha. The first full 3GHD Studios in the region represented the biggest broadcast project in the region last year and featured fully redundant workflow, MCR, CAR with 40x3G Cameras, 15 slow motion servers, 10 file servers, More than 50x65” & 52” LCD Monitors, five large Routers and much more. Four studios are already completed, with one more yet to follow.
42 / APRIL 2013
Best System Integrator and Technical Implementation Awards Tek Signals would like to dedicate this award to the sincerity and dedication of all the staff at Tek Signals. Many thanks also to all our customers and suppliers for their support for achieving this award.
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“OH IT FEELS GREAT BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN WORKING REALLY HARD, AS SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS, TO GIVE BACK TO THE COM MUNIT Y. SO IT’S REALLY GREAT TO BE RECOGNISED.” Lotfi Bencheikh, co-founder, Aflamnah
Aflamnah is a pioneer. It is the region’s first crowdfunding platform and is an independent, social entrepreneurship project supporting creativity and cultural exchange in the region. In six months since launch, Aflamnah has captured the imagination of the media, supported close to 20 projects and raised over $60,000. Aflamnah has attracted a diverse range of projects including film, publishing and even a mobile art bus designed to take art therapy to children in need in Palestine. Some of the films that have crowdfunded have already screened at international and regional film festivals and have won awards. The Brain That Sings documentary epitomizes Aflamnah’s social angle. The film will raise awareness and educate the public about the subject of autism and raised $15,160.
44 / APRIL 2013
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSORS
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OSN rounded off its multi-award-winning evening (let’s not forget Play’s special commendation in the Innovation of the Year category too) with a win for its new online viewing platform OSN Play, in the Content Delivery Service category. Commenting on its second prize of the evening, Lisa Robinson, head of CA operations, said: “It’s a great achievement after an enormous amount of hard work. And it was fun. It was a fun achievement and it was a learning curve, but we got there. And hopefully OSN Play is going to be the number one digital player in the region.”
“IT’S FANTASTIC. IT’S GREAT RECOGNITION FOR A GREAT PRODUCT AND A LOT OF HARD WORK AND TEAM WORK THAT WENT INTO IT.” Mark Billinge, VP of broadcast operations and technology of OSN Plus HD
OSN’s first award this evening came in the form of the Technology Implementation gong for OSN Plus HD – the region’s first hybrid PVR. The new platform allows viewers to consume the content they subscribe to at their convenience and on multiple devices - not just through the broadcast schedule. It offers the region’s first internetenabled satellite receiver and recorder with full 3D and HD capabilities built around the new Broadcom 7356 chip set, a world first right here in the region.
“IT’S A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT AFTER AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF HARD WORK. AND IT WAS FUN. IT WAS A FUN ACHIEVEMENT AND IT WAS A LEARNING CURVE, BUT WE GOT THERE. AND HOPEFULLY OSN PLAY IS GOING TO BE THE NUMBER ONE DIGITAL PLAYER IN THE REGION.” Lisa Robinson, head of CA operations, OSN
APRIL 2013 45
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
CO N T EN T C R E AT I O N O F T H E Y E A R
Revolution, photographed by Hussain Jian, directed by Amir G Nia and Hussain Jian and produced by AM Studio, used an innovative post stopmotion technique in film making by utilizing 6-frame/second still photography shots. The winner developed the technique itself, and it is unique to the Middle East’s film industry sector. Our judges were all blown away by the work, with responses like “experimental, effective, modern, original and striking.” Perhaps judge Clyde de Souza summed it up best though saying: “Yes! We need more production houses in the region like AM Studio!”
46 / APRIL 2013
“I THINK THAT THIS HAS GIVEN THE MESSAGE TO ALL THE CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS IN THE WORLD THAT PEOPLE STILL RESPECT THEIR CREATIONS.” Amir Ghorbani-Nia, creative and art director, AM Studio
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSORS
BEST POST PRODUCTION HOUSE
BEST PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
REAL IMAGE Real Image picked up the prestigious Best Production Award too for its high quality 3D animation series, Khalid’s Adventures. This animated tale takes its audience on a global environmental journey, both entertaining and educating children about the importance of the environment and energy conservation. With a cast including secret friends, robots and the eponymous hero Khalid - more evidence that Dubai is becoming a growing power in the animation field.
“IT’S REALLY GREAT!” Mohammad Falaknaz, partner and consultant, Real Image
A double-award-winning night for Real Image who made their way up to the stage first to collect the Best PostProduction House award. Real Image this year carried out post-production for clients from the Ministry of Culture to Toronto University Press, via the Shop and Ship service and encompassing TVCs, public information films, corporate work and its own in-house productions as well as a wealth of its own in-house productions.
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“YOU JUST HAVE TO BE HARD WORKING, I KNOW IT’S A TOUGH MARKET, BUT WE’RE TRYING OUR BEST.” Aiham Ajib, MD, Real Image
DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
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“IT’S FANTASTIC. IT’S RECOGNITION OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE DELIVERING GOOD SERVICE TO THE CUSTOMERS AND THE FACT THAT CUSTOMERS BELIEVE IN THE SERVICES THAT WE ARE PROVIDING. IT FEELS FANTASTIC TO BE RECOGNISED FOR THAT.” Mahesh Jaishankar, VP of DataMENA and broadcast commercial for du Broadcast
Du Broadcast provides uplink services to many of the region’s biggest broadcasters through its Samacom service in Dubai’s Media City. With a host of suppliers vying for attention in the growing satellite and uplink market it’s perhaps telling that one of our judges commented: “What would we do without them?”
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
B ES T A N I M AT I O N
Ostora is the first Arabic musical animated 3D film of its kind. The mixed-media 2D cut-out animated short film was also created for 3D stereoscopic viewing. This new technology required five months to complete with the efforts of 40 people, of whom most were amateur Emirati volunteers. The film has been nominated to 26 international film festivals so far including the New York Short Film Festival, the Los Angeles 3D and Music Film Festival and Belgium’s 3DSM Film Festivals and won the “Special Picture” prize at the 3D Korea International Short Film Festival. Written by Faisal Al Sharyani, directed by Hani Kichi and supported by twofour54 Creative Lab.
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“WE’RE ABSOLUTELY HAPPY BECAUSE THIS IS A SPECIAL PRODUCTION, NOT ONLY BECAUSE IT’S OUR FIRST ANIMATED SHORT FILM, BUT ALSO BECAUSE WE USED THE LOCAL TALENT, WHICH WE ALWAYS STRIVE FOR, AND WE ARE ALWAYS PUSHING TO DO, SO WE ARE VERY HAPPY TO ACCOMPLISH THAT. ALSO, THIS IS OUR FIRST INTERNATIONAL NOMINATIONS AND WINS SO IT’S A LOT OF FIRSTS.” Lea Badro, managing partner, Blink Studios
Bridging Worlds Through Animation Blink Studios’ Hani Kichi.
lthough a Civil Engineer by education, Hani Kichi, Blink Studios’ Director and Producer since 2005, carries an unwavering dedication to making animated films that can bridge beliefs and cultures. His first internationally recognized achievement was his primal role in directing Ostora, a first Arabic musical animated short film produced by Blink Studios, written by Emirati national Faisal Al Sharyani, and supported by twofour54’s Creative Lab.
In Kichi’s own words, “I was driven by the challenge of bridging cultural, creative and technological poles at every step of Ostora’s production. Its script had to visually interpret the mix between Western mythology and Middle Eastern factuality. Technological distinction was inspired through the historical Middle Eastern “shadowgraphy” implemented in 2D cutout animation in a world of 3D Stereoscopic. Music composition was a symphony of fantasy smoothly orchestrated with the UAE’s national anthem. Its realization was achieved through directing a team of professional artists
integrated with passionate amateurs.” To date, Ostora has received 28 international nominations including the New York Short Film Festival, the Los Angeles 3D Film Festival and Belgium’s 3DSM Film Festival. Ostora has won “Special Picture” at the Korea 3D International Film Festival, “Best Animation” at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, received a “Special Jury Mention” at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival and most recently was awarded “Best Animation 2012” at the Digital Studio Awards. Kichi’s building blocks to making a worldwide stance continues with his determination in positioning Blink Studios at the forefront of the international animation realm yet keeping true to its Middle Eastern origin. From a creative standpoint, enriching Blink’s own wide-ranging slate of intellectual properties inspired by regional insights and stories that can travel beyond borders. From an expertise standpoint, Kichi very well sums up, “At Blink, we have equipped ourselves with the tools, talents and mind-set that can produce content equally enjoyed by a regional and an international audience.” Kichi relentlessly pursues Blink’s growth in creative distinction and technological expertise. A winning formula that allowed Blink Studios’ the chance to deliver content to international and regional broadcasters, “Thanks is owed to regional content supporters like twofour54 Abu Dhabi for opening the doors to producing internationally-recognized animation content,” reaffirms Kichi. Yet Kichi’s journey is only at its start. His hopes are for greater opportunities of content production that will bridge gaps the world today strives to diminish. Kichi intends to play his role in this challenge though his passion for filmmaking and storytelling while keeping animation at their core.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
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“I’M SO HONOURED. THIS IS ACTUALLY MY FIRST AWARD IN FILM AND IT’S SUCH AN HONOUR. IT’S SO GREAT TO KNOW THAT FILM MAKERS LIKE ME CAN BE SUPPORTED AND THAT THIS IS A REWARD FOR THE HARD WORK I’VE DONE AND I’M SO GRATEFUL.” Amal Algroobi
Amal Agroobi’s first film, Half Emirati, became an important social documentary in the UAE, addressing a controversial topic and taking the number one spot at DIFF 2012. There, it was picked up by a sales agent and people have continued talking about it until now. She is now working on a feature documentary film that addresses autism as a social stigma in the GCC region and is raising awareness for the issue, helping families all over the country and plans to couple the film to a nation-wide and international campaign. She has also since had offers to direct on a number of touching and difficult subjects.
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AL JAZEERA – STUDIO 7 “IT FEELS VERY NICE. IT’S THE FIRST TIME WE ARE PARTICIPATING IN THIS EVENT, SO IT’S VERY NICE TO HAVE THIS AWARD.” Muhammad Saeed, head of central apparatus, Al Jazeera engineering section/broadcast
Al Jazeera’s Studio-7 is the first HD3G studio in the Middle East. It is the the biggest as well the most high tech, with the most state of the art technology of any studios in the Middle East at the present time. Fully redundant workflows, 3G cameras, slow motion servers and lots more state-of-the-art technology keep Al Jazeera’s newest studios at the very top of their game.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
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DIRECTOR AND GENER AL M ANAGER OF HITACHI KOKUSAI ELECTRIC EUROPE
“I’M DELIGHTED, AND AS I ALREADY SAID, I BELIEVE THAT THERE WILL BE MORE DESERVING PEOPLE WHO MAKE BIGGER AND STRONGER CONTRIBUTIONS AND WIN THIS AWARD IN YEARS TO COME. IT’S A REAL PLEASURE.” Paddy Roache - director and general manager of Hitachi Kokusai Electric Europe
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The inaugural winner of the Digital Studio Awards Lifetime Achievement Award has spent 40 years in the broadcast industry featuring stints with Philips, Thorn EMI and his current role with Hitachi. He ‘s been a familiar face in the region since his very first project assisting MBC with Bahrain’s short-lived Big Brother franchise, which managed to use more Hitachi cameras than the program lasted in days (11 days, 45 cameras)! He’s been involved in some of the biggest technological developments of the modern age, from the launch of the UK’s seminal Teletext service, to the birth of CD Rom, and more recently he’s become ubiquitous as the face of broadcasting in Saudi Arabia.
The people and products with ALL the right connections Congratulations to Paddy Roache Director and General Manager Hitachi KEU, for his ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the Digital Studio Awards 2013
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TSL PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS
TSL Professional Products has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 months, with massive advances in multichannel monitoring as well as giant steps in the world of professional sound recording – especially since its takeover of audio specialists Soundfield. Product development, as well as industry-leading customer support, continues to be at the top of the company’s agenda as it becomes an ever bigger name in the industry.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
D I ST RI BU TO R/RESEL L ER O F TH E YE A R HI G HLY COM M EN DE D
MediaCast has had a bumper year since we last sat down at the Digital Studio Awards. The Dubai-based distributor has seen its key brands like Blackmagic Design and Newtek making ever bigger waves in the region, and continued to show exemplary commitment to its reseller network and sales region by appointing specialised staff, implementing support systems and introducing new technologies to the region. New appointments include marketing communications manager Jaffer Mohammed, who has been instrumental in heading up the nearly 40,000 strong Blackmagic Design User Group. Middle East. Education Specialist John McGregor has allowed MediaCast to deepen its work in the education market by launching free student training courses and supporting the implementation of a film studies education programme in partnership with the American University of Dubai and SAE Dubai.
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Shoot, Edit and Grade on set! Blackmagic Cinema Camera
DaVinci Resolve Take your film production experience to a new level with the Blackmagic Design workflow â€“ enjoy creative freedom from capture to grading. With Blackmagic Cinema Camera you can capture film quality video in file format choices from RAW 2.5K Cinema DNG, ProRes or DNxHD to suit your colour depth requirements. The ready to grade files on a SSD drive can then be edited and colour graded on the world's most powerful colour correction system â€“ DaVinci Resolve, now free with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. At MediaCast we are equipped to deliver optimum solutions for your creative video technology requirements from production to post, broadcast to live.
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Launched in 2011, YahLive offers state-of-the-art broadcasting, news gathering, distribution and contribution feed capacities, bringing about a new era of HD services, from its Y1A satellite positioned at 52.5 degrees East. In less than one year since YahLive launched its operations, it has already created an exclusive HD bouquet of more than 40 quality channels including Saudi TV, Dubai Media Incorporated, Abu Dhabi Media, Cartoon Network Arabia, GEM, MBC and channels from Europe. In October it added Russia Todayâ€™s English-language and Arabic (Rusiya Al-Yaum) channels, both in HD. Also in October, it added six Saudi channels to its line-up. The 40+ channels means that the service is now the regionâ€™s market leader in terms of the number of HD channels carried.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
SYS T E M S I N T E G R ATO R O F T H E Y E A R HI G HLY COM M EN DE D
CMS has successfully integrated Libya Al Ahrar TV and Al Doha Channel this year. The MCR with four HD Nexio Video Servers and 73 TB Usable Farad storage each with three outputs controlled by Harris ADC Automation with two playlists and playlist redundancy. Such configuration needs a compatible stable Master Control switcher and thatâ€™s why we integrated two Icon Master with main and backup configuration. The Installed Router is Panacea 32 by 32 Harris Router. Miranda was picked for the Glue equipment part of the project to complete and perform a perfect solid setup. The graphics engines Orad Morpho was installed to fulfill the desired GFX needs. The installed MultiViewer system is EVERTZ VIPX with 12 by 2 configurations. A Yamaha Audio console was installed with Sennheiser audio tools around the studio. Trilogy was our choice for the Talk Back system. The Lighting System with the Lighting Grid was our Lighting Engineers task. Libya Al Ahrar HD Virtual studio was also installed and integrated by CMS specialist integration team. With five Sony HD cameras, a core Network Router, Flashlink Glue equipment, Ross Carbonite production switcher and Orad XYNC IR tracking system. Al Rayyan TV, another CMS installation, also went live last year.
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DIGITAL STUDIO AWARDS 2013 CATEGORY SPONSOR
CO N T EN T D EL I V ERY S ERV I C E O F T H E YE A R HI G HLY COM M EN DE D
Vision247â€™s XtremeIPTV has created the definitive content distribution network to provide broadcasters, TV channels, production companies and content owners throughout the Middle East with the most comprehensive set of tools available to manage, deliver and monetise content across traditional satellite broadcast platforms, as well as over-the-top internet delivered broadcast. The only solution on the market to support all nine broadcasting/streaming delivery protocols, XtremeIPTV is a powerful online video streaming platform with a complete application suite that can power thousands of separate internet TV portals. Clients including Al Arabia, MBC, GEM TV and Iqraa are leveraging Vision247â€™s content delivery for global distribution.
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BEST PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR HI G HLY COM M EN DE D
A return to the stage for Yara Media, which last year won the Best Production Award for Hindistani Season One. SEASON Two was again screened on OSN Yahala and was even bigger and brasher than its predecessor. Choreographers from India and Arabia combined their moves alongside 1,000 different colourful costumes and more than 300 dancers, shooting all around India and the GCC. The production is all about the simple story of a man who falls in love with a rich lady. Yara Media used the new 35mm/ SONY F3 camera for the first time in either India or the GCC to make the second series look even better, and even brought a touch of glamour to the awards event too, with a host of Saudi celebrities joining them on their table.
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Ti22 ‘s 2012 started well with two awards at the 2012 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards for its breast surgery patient exercise videos, while it was shortlisted for a third for its corporate brand film for ENOC. In January of this year it heard that it was shortlisted for five 2013 New York Festival International Television & Film Awards for work produced in 2012, including the official trailer of TEDx Abu Dhabi, an internal film for BASF and a revised corporate film for ENOC. It also closed 2012 shortlisted as ‘one to watch’ at the SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards. Ti22 has a dedicated team that supports clients and builds strong relationships with them while consistently delivering videos to an international standard. It is one of only three companies in the MENA region shortlisted this year at the New York Festival, and it can now go there with the added confidence a commendation at the Digital Studio Awards brings.
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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.
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An ITP Business Publication | MARCH 2013 | VOL. 06 ISSUE 03
A look at how the new H.265 codec is changing the broadcast industry
James Kim from LG Television on 4K TVs
What to see, who to meet and where to go at this year’s show
Andrea Radrizzani Group CEO, MP & Silva
Liberty Global acquires Virgin Media; Nautel bags record number of orders; MP & Silva win EPL rights; BBC launches Urdu TV program; Safa launches Opticloud
THE WINNING BID In a surprise win, MP & Silva has snapped up the rights for the English Premier League in the MENA region
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community All the latest from the regional production and broadcast community
AMT holds Sony session
Alister Chapman leads the way
Aflam tackles the issuese Topical screening
Abu Dhabi’s Aflam film club got topical last month with the screening of screenwriter/director Mohamed Diab’s 678. The film tells the story of three women’s fight for justice against the daily reality of sexual harassment in post-revolutionary Egypt, and the unlikely heroine status achieved by one of the three after she stabs an attacker in the groin.
Francofilm III hits capital French festival time
Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the Institut Francais, alongside sponsors including twofour54, hosted the third annual Francofilm Festival last month. Festival highlights included the regional premier of the new Asterix film and French and Arabic language films from directors closer to home in Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco.
Advanced Media Trading (AMT) organized a launch event for Sony’s latest 4K cinematography cameras, the PMW-F55 & PMW-5, and 4K Workflow, on the 2nd & 3rd of March 2013 at AM Studio for the region’s market professionals. Alister Chapman, the UK DOP who is well-known to local Sony workshop aficionados, shared his in-depth knowledge with attendees during a course that covered topics including: Introduction to 4K. The difference between conventional shooting and using raw. Raw workflow considerations. Using the HD files as proxies. Managing high dynamic range images. Using Look Up Tables for monitoring. Practical: Correct S-Log2 exposure; using EI exposure index to manage latitude; shooting in raw and log and comparing the differences; pushing the camera to it’s limits, and shooting in 4K, re-framing in post production. Over the two days around 80 professionals including DoP’s, cameramen, directors and producers visited the event and tested the products.
GFF announces film market Gulf Film Festival (GFF) has announced the formation of the Gulf Film Market, an initiative aimed at developing local film culture and creating opportunities for Gulf filmmakers in training, development, production and distribution. The Film Market will draw prominent filmmakers to mentor and network with emerging GCC professionals. Mentors for this year will include award-winning Emirati author and screenwriter Mohammed Hassan Ahmad, who wrote the 2011 drama Sea Shadow and Egyptian Yousry Nasarallah, whose After the Battle was chosen for the 2012 Cannes Palme D’Or competition.
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EVENTS APRIL 3 Pan Arab TV Channels Strategy Conference This conference seeks to address the significance of Arab satellite TV channels, the popularity of internet TV and the influence of foreign channels and their shaping of popular thinking and behaviour. www.datamatixgroup.com
Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-GH3 came to town for Gulf Photo Plus Panasonic held a workshop last month to show off the film-making potential of its new LUMIX DMC-GH3 mirrorless camera, as part of Gulf Photo Plus in Dubai Knowledge Village. The electronics giant brought New York-based photographer and filmmaker Eduardo Angel to town for the event, which was attended by almost 100 professional and would-be photographers and videographers, as well as local filmmaker Sherif Mokbel, to host a session on producing film and promoting short films, while demonstrating the video recording capabilities of the GH3 camera. Mokbel told the audience: “The GH3 is an amazing and versatile camera. Compact and light-weight, it puts the fun back in making short films or everyday personal videos. This camera is packed with functions that allow the user to just point and shoot and record fantastic videos. That’s not all, the GH3 also caters to the professional photographer and videographer, because it allows them to be creative by using features such as in-built TimeLapse function.” The GH3 includes features a class above the other G Series models, but is
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still compact when compared with an SLR camera, with comparable performance and functions. The body also features a new control layout with three dials on the front and back as well as single-function buttons. Users can choose from AVCHD, AVCHD Progressive, MP4 or MOV formats, with frame rates at 50p (PAL), 25p (PAL) or 24p. It can record at a bitrate of 72 Mbps (ALL-Intra) or 50 Mbps (IPB) and features built-in WiFi which means the camera can be viewed and controlled remotely from a smartphone or tablet. SPEAKER’S OPINION “As a professional you are always on the lookout for cameras that you can depend on. Teaching people how to take pictures and shoot video becomes so much easier and rewarding when you have products like the GH3 and the fast F2.8 Panasonic Lumix lenses to help you along.” EDUARDO ANGEL, FILM MAKER
APRIL 3-4 Arab Media Forum Dubai Press Club hosts the Arab Media Forum at Dubai’s Grand Hyatt hotel, looking into the latest developments in the regional media from the printed press to TV, film and social media. www.arabmediaforum.ae
APRIL 11-17 Gulf Film Festival The Gulf Film Festival is the annual non-profit cultural in Dubai that seeks to develop local and regional film culture in the Gulf and develop future film projects, as well as be a destination festival for the international film community to discover Gulf cinema. www.gulffilmfest.com
MAY 21-23 PALME ME The definitive showcase of the future of sound and light technologies returns to Dubai with, according to the organisers, nearly 5,000 serious buyers from 69 countries in attendance, with a combined purchasing authority of US$759 million. www.palme-middleeast.com
INT’L DATACASTING Chris Barrett has joined International Datacasting as VP of Research & Development. IDC is a global leader in video, audio and data contribution and distribution solutions serving the world’s premier broadcasters. “I like to take things to the next level,” he said. “I’m pleased to join a company making great strides in product design and development.”
L-ACOUSTICS L-ACOUSTICS has appointed Emma Beer to its new press and media officer post. Stéphane Ecalle, director of marketing said, “The creation of a dedicated communications post is a direct response to the continuing growth of LACOUSTICS, and our wish to increase our capacity to serve the media in the sector. Emma has already begun contributing to our strategy.”
AVID Avid has appointed Louis Hernandez as president and chief executive officer. Hernandez has been a member of the Avid Board since 2008. George Billings, speaking on behalf of Avid’s board, said: “Louis is a visionary, inspirational leader with a stellar track record of driving the operations and growth of technology companies in a variety of industries..”
QVEST Qvest Media has appointed Thomas Müller as GM. Müller thus directly succeeds Stephan Seeländer, who has managed the company in Dubai since the beginning of 2009. Seeländer is moving within the company group to Wellen+Nöthen in Cologne, Germany, where, as head of projects, he is responsible for the management of the international project business.
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AMBERFIN BRINGS CAPTIONS TO NAB At NAB 2013, on booth SU8505, AmberFin, a leading developer of file-based media ingest, transcoding and quality control solutions for content owners, broadcasters, sports organizations and post-production houses will demonstrate how new enhancements to its iCR software help meet the new FCC regulation mandating that all video content broadcast on television in the US now requires captions when it is distributed over Internet Protocol (IP). www.amberfin.com
CALREC DEMOS HYDRA2 COMPATIBILITY Calrec will be showcasing its Hydra2 at NAB this year. The company aims to demonstrate the ability of HydrA2 to interact with third-party control and production automation equipment. To give broadcasters a sense of Hydra2’s potential as a networking solution, Calrec will exhibit its equipment in a scenario akin to how it would be used in an actual production environment. Demonstrating the Calrec Serial Protocol will be a Ross switcher emulator i, which will allow for visibility into and third-party control.
MODULAR INTERCOM MATRIX “Upgrading with the latest RTS products represented the optimal solution. It allowed us to extend and modify
the existing installation selectively. That meant we could save time by installing and programming the update ourselves. “Ideally, you always want to invest in the technology of tomorrow, but, given the pace of development, that is naturally very difficult. With this
DPA GETS VOCAL DPA Microphones will introduce the d:facto II Vocal Microphone at NAB 2013. With a true studio sound that’s perfect for live music broadcasting, this latest addition to the d:facto line offers an extraordinarily natural sound with high separation and extreme SPL handling, giving users unlimited possibilities for their performances. In addition to use with the new DPA wired handle, the d:facto II provides the added benefit of a state-of-the-art adapter system, which allows for seamless integration with many professional wireless systems.
“We are extremely proud to have developed an ingenious adapter range that brings the true DPA sound out of a wireless system,” says Christian Poulsen, CEO of DPA Microphones. www.dpamicrophones.com
system, however, we’re as close as possible to the ideal solution. This is tanks to the backwards compatibility inherent in the RTS philosophy.” PAUL DARBYSHIRE, PINEWOOD STUDIOS’ BROADCAST DIRECTOR
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TRIPPING THE LITE FANTASTIC Litepanels will debut a variety of new LED lighting products at the 2013 NAB Convention. Litepanels will show production models of the largest members of its Fresnel fixture family, the Inca 12 (tungsten balanced) and Sola 12 (daylight balanced) fixtures. These cool-running powerhouses combine
the performance of large Fresnel fixtures with the advantages of LED technology. Both versions supply powerful and controllable illumination comparable to a 2K while using just a small fraction of the energy required by traditional tungsten or daylight Fresnel fixtures. With custom designed, lightweight Fresnel lenses, they emit even, collimated light that is easily controlled manually or via an integrated DMX module to facilitate remote dimming and flood-spot focusing simultaneously. www.litepanels.com
Harris takes Volt to NAB Following its CABSAT debut, Harris will unveil its latest software based NEXIO Volt server at NAB this year. The Volt will provide higher channel counts in a compact form factor, while increasing options for robust media storage. Harris Morris, president, Harris Broadcast, said: “The marriage of highly integrated IT platforms with Harris’ proven NEXIO software allows us to deliver the real-world operational benefits that our customers need today.”
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JVC doubles up JVC’s new GY-HM70 shoulder mounted camcorder offers a professional appearance together with excellent image results in low-light situations, making it ideal for videographers at weddings and other events. Offering superior image stabilisation and loaded with new features for enhanced dependability, it ensures every precious moment is captured in perfect detail. SDHC/SDXC cards are the recording media, the reliability and cost-effectiveness of which make them the most widely used media by professionals today, and dual card slots offer failsafe shooting features. When the card in slot A is full, or if an error occurs, the
Playbox Schedulebox web-based schedule camera switches seamlessly and automatically to the card loaded into slot B. www.jvcpro.eu
OConor launches Blackmagic accessories OConor will debut its full range of lens controls and camera accessories for the new Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera at this year’s NAB. A key to the OConnor accessory family lies in its universality. Each of the
manager “From start-up TV to national broadcasters, customers want solutions, not
OConnor accessories — from the Universal Camera Baseplate, O-Focus Dual Mini Follow Focus, O-Box WM Mattebox to the O-Grips handgrips, works right out of the box, to line up and interface seamlessly with the Blackmagic Design camera. Due to their universality, OConnor’s accessories offer a versatile system, ready to work with Blackmagic or the next new camera innovation.
boxes. At one level
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expanding our line of modules is a step in the right direction. At another, with our global 24/7 customer support and the Broadcast are now providing
Rohde and Schwarz for DVB-S/S2
customers with an A-to-Z service for a
Rohde and Schwarz will introduce the new AVHE100 headend solution at NAB, which is now also available for the DVB-S and DVB-S2 satellite standard. What sets this headend apart from conventional solutions is its architecture and innovative technologies such as R&S CrossFlowIP, which greatly improve failsafety. All major encoding/ multiplexing center features are integrated into just a few hardware components, making it one of the most compact systems on the market.
wide range of their technical broadcast requirements. These are the driving forces of our continuing expansion.” Vassil Lefterov,
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CINEGY FREEBIES FOR NEW PLAYER Cinegy will be unveiling its new Cinegy Player at NAB. The player is a new tool for broadcast professionals that demand outstanding quality, precision and playback performance while working with high-end video formats. Cinegy Player includes native support for most broadcast industry standard video codecs within the two most common containers – MOV and MXF.
Cinegy Player’s performance is beyond anything available on the market so far, using the same underlying technology as Cinegy’s video server and video production and workflow solutions. As a special NAB treat, Cinegy will be issuing free licences, worth US$129 to the first 1,000 visitors to its stand at the show. www.cinegy.com
DIGITAL NIRVANA DEBUTS LATEST MONITOR IQ Digital Nirvana’s latest version of its broadcast monitoring product, Monitor IQ, will make its US debut at NAB. “We’re very excited about this upcoming NAB show,” said Hiren Hindocha, president and CEO of Digital Nirvana. “Our products are unique in the market and offer capabilities and cost savings that customers are demanding.” Monitor IQ provides centralised management, automatic ad detection,
a director’s audio track, as well as an advanced metadata harvester. Monitor IQ combines the functionality of content recording (HD and SD in full resolution), content searching, retrieve and repurposing, web publishing, signal monitoring, air-check logging, archiving, ad verification and tracking, and competitive analysis in a scalable networked appliance. www.digital-nirvana.com
POLECAM ZOOMING IN Polecam will be at NAB for the first official showing in the US of the Z10 high performance HD zoom lens along with the ZIF controller and wide angle adaptor. Polecam rigs will be on site featuring a host of minicams, DSLR cameras and the larger videocams such as the Canon C300 large sensor camera which will be on display and available for demonstration.
Also on show, the new Polecam Long Head with improved circuitry ideally suited to larger cameras such as the C300 or the Sony NEX 700. The Polecam wire strut system will be shown – an option which enhances performance and provides increased stability. Plus, Polecam can usually be relied on for some fun competitions at trade show events. www.polecam.com
SSL UPGRADES C10 COMPACT CONSOLE Solid State Logic will be showing the latest V4 Software for the C10 HD Compact Broadcast Console at NAB. The new software release introduces a range of features and options that expand the capability of the C10, demonstrating the company’s commitment to improvement. The C10 turned the industry upside down by delivering exceptional power at an attractive price point, and the legacy continues with
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this new system upgrade. “As the C10’s popularity continues to grow around the world, we have listened to feedback from our users for the V4 system upgrade,” says Piers Plaskitt, CEO of SSL, Inc. “The new streamlines workflow for operators, and we are confident this will keep the console in its sector-leading position in the coming years.” www.solidstatelogic.com