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Business, insight and intelligence for the media and entertainment industry

February 2017

Exploring the future of


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Cloud native vs cloud enabled

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February 2017


Welcome EDITORIAL Content Director and Editor-in-Chief: James McKeown Editor: Jenny Priestly Staff Writer: James Groves Contributors: Michael Burns, David Davies, George Jarrett, Philip Stevens, Neal Romanek, Catherine Wright Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy +44 207 354 6025

2020 vision; 360-degree perspective Introducing MediaTech 360: the new week of events from NewBay, spearheaded by the good folks at TVBEurope


o be honest, we always knew that

Account Manager: Richard Carr +44 207 354 6000

TVBEurope 2020 as the title of an annual conference had a specific shelf life. And in

Digital Director: Diane Oliver

preparing our events portfolio for 2017, we came

Human Resources and Office Manager: Lianne Davey

to the agreement that to be true to our original

Head of Production: Alistair Taylor

blueprint of creating a peer-to-peer industry

Managing Director: Mark Burton

forum that addresses the strategic implications of

Designer: Kelly Sambridge

a changing marketplace, we had to reconfigure the existing concept to give us the flexibility to

US Sales: Michael Mitchell +1 (631) 673 0072

grow our areas of discussion. (Or, put differently, that we’d got a bit too close to the year 2020 to

Japan and Korea Sales: Sho Harihara +81 6 4790 2222 Circulation Free subscriptions Subscriptions Tel +44 1580 883848

justify one last hurrah in 2017.) All of which has brought us to this: MediaTech 360. So how is it different? Firstly, just like the inaugural TVBEurope annual review supplement that we are launching alongside this issue, MT360 (as I’ll refer to it henceforth) will provide a rare opportunity for the industry to unite, under completely independent terms, to address the good and bad of the current market, while

TVBEurope is published 12 times a year by The Emerson Building, 4-8 Emerson street, London, SE1 9DU England +44 207 354 6002

casting an exploratory net further into the depths

Jenny joins from Global Listings, where she

of an uncertain future ecosystem.

served as editor-in-chief, and arrives to take

Secondly, the format: the conference is now

will operate in conjunction with myself and

moving to a new venue – to be announced

James Groves. Jenny can be reached at

shortly. The remainder of the week will see

affiliated webinars, roundtables, and the

NewBay is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association © NewBay 2017. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the copyright owners. TVBEurope is mailed to qualified persons residing on the European continent. Subscription is free. Allow eight weeks for new subscriptions and change of address delivery. Send subscription inquiries to: Subscription Dept, NewBay, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough LE16 7BR, England. ISSN 1461-4197

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the reins on the TVBEurope brand, where she

set over two days, June 7 and 8, and will be

integration of the 2017 TVBAwards. It promises to

I hope you enjoy this issue, and if you have any questions regarding MT360 or

be our most significant event to date, and I look

anything associated with the TVBEurope

forward to sharing further details with you over

brand, please feel free to contact me directly

the coming weeks.

( n James McKeown

Finally, it gives me great pleasure to welcome


Jenny Priestly as our new editor for TVBEurope.


Philip Stevens Production and post editor

03 TVBE Feb 2017 Welcome_no ad_v2 JG_final2.indd 1

Neal Romanek Technology editor

George Jarrett Business editor

David Davies Audio editor

18/01/2017 16:48


TVBEurope February 2017

In this issue

Production and Post


Philip Stevens revisits the dock10 facility in Manchester to review its progress and discuss 2017

BVE preview


We look ahead to this month’s show at ExCeL London

29 Business

George Jarrett meets the heroes of journalism at the 22nd Rory Peck Awards night

32 Audio

David Davies hears from three leading players ahead of an exciting year in audio

04 TVBE Feb 2017 Contents_v2 JG_final2.indd 1



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TVBEurope February 2017

Opinion and Analysis

2016: the year in review To coincide with the launch of TVBEurope’s brand new series of annual review supplements, we provide an excerpt from the AIB’s CEO Simon Spanswick, and business development director, Tom Wragg, as they seek to summarise 2016 as a staging post for the industry


016 was a tumultuous year, and

players in international broadcasting, and their

Although the climate sceptic debate will

international broadcasting has been

use of algorithms to push news to their consumers

continue in the US and Europe, the practical

buffeted by the shock waves that have

has been questioned for its editorial intent.

effects of the planet’s changing climate still

spread around the globe. For clarity, when I refer

Despite social media companies’ assertions that

exist for the public and our members in many

to broadcasting, I am using that word in the

they are merely platforms, it is self evident that

parts of the planet.

widest possible sense, and including all forms of

they are far more than that as they constantly

content delivery to the public.

take unregulated editorial decisions. Combine

collaborates – albeit grudgingly at times – but

At the AIB, we are focused on organisations

Broadcasting has always been a sector that

this with political pressure groups and lobbyists

2016 has seen a global level of co-operation

that broadcast and support international

who have learnt how to use the algorithms to

that has pleased many of us. Cyber security is a

broadcasting. We have seen the stresses placed

push their own views direct to targeted groups,

growing threat to the operations of broadcasters,

on the sector by world events on almost a

and it seems inevitable that social media will

but is a very difficult one, both to understand

daily basis. Nevertheless, it has not been a bad

come under some sort of oversight, perhaps

and to deal with. It is both scary and costly, but

year for our members. Media, as a market, is

sooner rather than later.

it cannot be ignored. The AIB has established

growing globally, and despite the upheaval caused by rapid technological advances and multiple changes to the ways consumers can get content, it remains a very good market. It is

an international working group that shares

‘It seems inevitable that 2017 will be equally as tumultuous and as challenging’

information and exchanges intelligence on techniques and threats among our members. Importantly, it is collaborating with other groups

also worth mentioning that big stories are always

and other sectors to ensure that broadcasting is

good for broadcasters as they create compelling

made as secure as it can be from cyber threats.

reasons for audiences to watch. For commercial

To illustrate the point, the AIB is supporting the

broadcasters, those audiences attract revenue.

Social media has also been a major disruptive

North American Broadcasters Association (NABA)

For public service broadcasters, big stories are

influence has spread as far as broadcast

initiative to define technology standards for

their reason d’être.

distribution throughout 2016. When TRT World,

equipment that will support cyber security.

2016 has been uncomfortable for many news

the new international broadcaster from Turkey,

Looking ahead, we see the continued merging

organisations, as they became a part of the story

was occupied and taken off air during the

of all forms of media onto IP delivery systems

and, in some cases, the focus. In the UK and the

attempted coup, TRT journalists in their bureau

and the inevitable coming together of TV, print,

US, the rise of nationalist political oppositions,

in London, based at Celebro studios in the heart

radio, online and social media. This was clearly

Brexit and the presidential race have raised

of the West End, used Facebook Live to continue

demonstrated in our 2016 international awards,

many questions about how coverage should

to serve audiences around the world.

The AIBs, where for the first time our judges

be handled. Debate has been started about

Natural disasters around the world have given

decided to award both the short-form journalism

confusion between balance and impartiality.

broadcasters challenges to overcome. Many

and online awards to the UK’s Guardian

In both countries, questions have been asked

of these have brought to the fore the debate

newspaper. This year, the event attracted many

about scrutiny of facts and whether news

about climate change and the media’s role

diverse entries helping to underline the very

reporting held candidates sufficiently to account

within it. While much of world has been coping

rapidly changing market we are in.

for their comments and actions. This debate

with deadly storms and flooding, much of

will continue as broadcasters, politicians and

western media have been embroiled in a

tumultuous and as challenging with elections in

regulators come to terms with the very rapid

debate about whether global warming

Europe, a new president in the White House and

changes in society and what these mean for the

really exists. This is something that is definitely

China flexing its muscles on the world stage.

roles of broadcasters and social media platforms.

not questioned by our members in the Asia

Old certainties have been replaced, although

Pacific region, who are coping with its impact

the world’s broadcasters remain central to

on a daily basis.

informing, educating and entertaining. n

Social media has been under the microscope in 2016. Social media companies are now major

06 TVBE Feb2016 Opinion_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 10

It seems inevitable that 2017 will be equally as

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18/01/2017 16:09

8 TVBEurope February 2017

Opinion and Analysis

De-risking cloud migration By Paul Glasgow, sales and marketing director, Marquis Broadcast


However good service providers and supply side

Our strategy has been to enable both pure

vendors believe their shiny new cloud solutions

play and hybrid cloud workflows. Our product

are, there are still some very practical issues to

roadmap and recently launched developments

overcome. Most of our broadcast and media

reflect this vision with:

any existing broadcasters and media

clients don’t have the luxury of starting with a

companies have an analogous

blank sheet of paper, along with some brilliant

problem with the potential journey

business ideas which will drive revenue from day

to cloud; it isn’t easy, trivial or straightforward

one, and a million rights-cleared assets already

considering where they are today.

hosted in the cloud.

l Cloud-hosted web services, for high quality transcode, legacy workflow support, and multi resolution 4K proxy workflows. l Native cloud object storage support for both ‘on premise’ and ‘in cloud’, enabling

The earliest cloud adoptions were around

The vast majority of assets and workflows are

business processes, light graphics and offline

still very much ‘bolted to the ground’ in billions

editing. Improved network performance

of dollars of legacy infrastructure, often with very

has marked the arrival of ‘heavy lifting’

complex live integrations, and often between

media files to transform the asymmetric

cloud applications, libraries, transmission

incompatible systems, which can’t be teleported

economics of cloud storage

and post. Importantly, it’s the business

into the cloud.

and operational benefits that have been driving these transformations. Think of SaaS, S3 and IP and look forward ten years – will the broadcast and media

The real journey is one of mitigating complexity and risk associated with the migration of live workflows into the cloud. Don’t standards resolve all these issues?

large scale consolidation of any given storage infrastructure l Cloud-based partial file restore for

‘The real journey is one of mitigating complexity and risk associated with the migration of live workflows into the cloud’

world be turned on its head? Perhaps rolling

The reality is that standards simply bound the

out a new media service could be rapid and

complexity without guaranteeing interoperability.

inexpensive; ‘spin up’ on-demand services,

The situation is actually getting worse – driven

applications, network and storage, add creative

by the arrival of new camera formats. Often

In summary, enabling live migration of legacy

ideas, branding, scripts, talent, content, rights

‘proprietary standards’, highly optimised for

workflows to the cloud will accelerate cloud

management, etcetera, and decide who you

acquisition efficiency and quality, don’t use

adoption. However, the integration to legacy

are going the deliver the service to, and how.

professionally supported file formats, metadata,

systems isn’t trivial, so our extensive library of such

codecs, frame rates and resolutions. If we

integrations makes us a natural industry player

concatenate these with post-production

within an open vendor eco-structure.We make it

codecs, transmission codecs, consumer

possible for ground and cloud workflows to co-

codecs and preservation codecs, the

exist. In other words; we make the migration and

complexity becomes astronomical.

integration practical and simple.

‘The vast majority of assets and workflows are still very much ‘bolted to the ground’ in billions of dollars of legacy infrastructure’

We cannot assume that ground-based

Only with such solutions can broadcasters

workflows will simply translate into the cloud

decide when, how and if they move selected

– we have to do better. Cloud and hybrid

workflows to the cloud, making implementing

Maybe this vision is overly simplistic, but even

cloud operations require care and thought-out

this migration a business decision, de-coupled

if it’s half true, it’s a radical change. For large

decisions on all these topics.

by the conventional technical complexities of

media companies’ complex migrations, this

Our experience of integrating ground-

can’t happen overnight, often because of

based workflows with Medway, our media-

All of this enables an agile response to an

legacy of applications, workflows and assets’

centric middleware, gives us an insight into the

increasingly fast-moving and competitive

metadata and media formats.

requirements of cloud integrations and workflows.

media delivery landscape. n

08 TVBE Feb 2017 Opinion with tint_v2 JG_FINAL.indd 8

integration with legacy infrastructure.

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10 TVBEurope February 2017

Opinion and Analysis

‘Datanomics’ key to broadcast future Creating value from content-generated data will drive industry change in 2017, writes Sony’s Michael Harrit

Using data from all sources, whether it’s TV

There is an important role to play here in laying

viewing or production data, good analysis can

the foundations for the present, but also the

help identify waste, new opportunities, and

future; for the vast array of metadata-driven

endorse what teams are already doing right.

innovations which the industry’s brightest minds

Learning to read the feedbacks from all data


sources will underpin future decision making

as viewing habits change. These changing

of cutting-edge skills. Good data analysts can

habits are well documented. Young people, for

be in short supply.

are only today on the cusp of developing. We are in an age where capturing data is

fcom’s Connected Nations 2016 Report

on productions. It’s about turning big data into

already key and will continue to evolve rapidly.

published in December suggested

small, understandable information, but the

Where do broadcasters create value from the

that content platforms must evolve

problem most broadcasters have is availability

data? It’s very difficult now but it starts with good analytics and disruptive ideas.

example, are viewing more and more content

Finding the right skills or developing in-house

via mobile devices and tablets. That is, at

expertise will become – or at least should

least, according to Childwise statistics, while a

become – the New Year’s resolution for all

Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB)

broadcast HR departments. If they get it right,

report points to a more nuanced breakdown of

they will be able to identify efficiency and

viewing preferences. TV is thriving, with multiple

process improvements from content

points of access, digital-based services and

acquisition to delivery.

traditional programming dovetailing to create 24-hour provision – but what’s the next step?

A good analyst, for example, can pinpoint

‘Big data is already playing a significant role in the industry and this year, it will extend further’ This can be applied to content too. There is more data around content consumption, for example,

existing and potential workflow bottlenecks and

and therefore there should – in theory at least –

Big data is already playing a significant role in

translate findings to creative, engineering and

be less content waste. It’s about doing more with

the industry and this year, it will extend further. We

operational managers. What does this mean?

less, and being confident in the commissioning

will go beyond measuring social media-driven

Certainly there is an opportunity to identify and

and production processes.

consumer sentiment and ratings based on aging

fix workflow bottlenecks; a process which should

algorithms. Increased data analytics capabilities

improve production speed and reduce costs.

will provide companies with more accurate

personalised and mined further? The data can

decision making on productions, technology

Enabling unimagined future innovations

adoption, and skills.

Perhaps one of the best-known areas of data

insights, and this will form the basis of everyday

What are people watching and not watching? Where are the creative gaps? What can be start to provide answers to increasingly complex questions. You just need to know what to ask. Where can this go? Could data help

analytics, thanks in large part to the large social

production teams close the loop even further,

how to meet this change within tight budgetary

media businesses, is the use of data to drive

enabling live, evolving productions as data is

constraints. While big data can provide a field of

targeted advertising campaigns. Understanding

analysed in real time? There is huge potential,

information, organisations need good analytic

how data can deliver relevant advertising to

especially as delivery technology and platforms

skills to ensure they harvest the right information

consumers has been a bit of an art form over

evolve rapidly. We have only just started.

for informed decision-making. It will prove a

the past few years, with mixed results. Targeted

worthwhile pursuit. If broadcasters get it right,

advertising can polarise consumer opinion

to start appearing at least in trial form later

they will unlock a vast sea of economic potential.

but it is, without a doubt, the commercial

this year) is expected to have a big impact on

future of our industry. It just has to become

media businesses.

One of the biggest issues broadcasters face is

The emergence of 5G networks (expected

Will tomorrow’s head of production be a data analyst too?

more sophisticated.

What this means for many broadcasters is a

opportunities for advertisers but also improving

will enable new product opportunities and

cultural shift, as well as a change in necessary

content SEO and categorisation. Commercial

could revolutionise media delivery. That’s a

skills. It will be transitional. Nobody is expecting

SEO teams at broadcasting businesses will

great opportunity and a lot more data to

heads of production to become obsolete, but

demand metadata on all content: they will

analyse and act upon.

production teams must develop data analytics

want to automatically capture data at the very

The economics of data, or ‘datanomics’

expertise, tuned to the specific preferences of

first point of acquisition to enable them to drive

will become the cornerstone of the industry,

their existing and future audiences.

targeted ad campaigns around their content.

and it’s already begun. n

10 TVBE Feb 2017 Opinion_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 10

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TVBEurope February 2017

Production and Post One manual and three robotic cameras are used for most progammes

Retail therapy the electronic way Shopping television has come a long way in two decades. Philip Stevens talks to a major player in the market

Chiswick Park in west London, underwent a major

“We put customer service first. It’s hard enough

corporate restructure to align more closely with

to attract customers in the first place, after that

QVC’s six other markets. The aim was to transfer

you’ve got to continually delight them in their

efficiencies, learnings and good ideas across the

relationship with us.”

entire business. Many of QVC’s operations are


now globally led so best practices can be shared

the early days of commercial TV in the UK,

and global content, consider to be the most

there were programmes known as ‘advertising

significant change in shopping TV in recent

magazines’ – in effect 15-minute ‘soap dramas’

years? “The importance of the online digital part

– that brought products to the viewership in

of our business. QVC is not a TV shopping retailer;

Certainly, the UK operation must be doing it right.

various contrived scenarios. But there

it’s a digital retailer that uses TV as one of its shop

The most recent figures in the public domain show

was no direct interaction

windows. We only feature one product at a time

turnover was £470.2 million with pre-tax profits of

hen QVC launched in October 1993, the only model for such live shopping television was from the USA. True, in

across all markets. With that in mind, what does Brian Farrelly, vice president of commerce platforms for UK

between the programme and

on TV, but you can buy any of our products

the would-be consumer.

at any time on our website/mobile apps.”

“More so than ever before, we have to think digitally” Simone Borkar, QVC UK

£58.2 million.

Presenting the goods

So, ‘shopping telly’ was

Over the years, many competitors have

a new experience for the

come and gone, and Farrelly believes that

What about production and presentation? The

British viewer, and although

QVC’s success is down to the company

first auditions for presenters included having to

slow to take off, it wasn’t too

remaining true to its principles. “We have

‘sell’ a pencil for ten minutes.

long before sales increased

good products that we believe in and

“The demands have certainly changed,” reveals

and it became part of the UK retail scene. And as far as QVC UK is concerned, its scope has

carry a lot of major brands. We don’t do a hard sell along the lines of ‘buy now before it’s too late’; we

to write and produce their own weekly blogs, interact with customers via social media, and

and the purchase

work on a variety of QVC live and non-live TV

to four channels.

decision always

In 2015, the UK

12 13 TVBE Feb 2017 Production and Post_v2 JGJMcK_FINAL2.indd 54

talent. “Each of our 21 presenters now need to

showcase our products

increased from one

set-up, based at

Mike Tremain, director of TV production and

Brian Farrelly, QVC

platforms. Social media plays an important part

remains with

in our live shows, with the presenter answering

the customer.

questions live on-air. This adds an extra ‘live’

18/01/2017 16:02


February 2017


Production and Post element that needs to be managed, without

“In my opinion, Shotoku offers the best robotic

“Of course all our fixtures must be silent. At QVC,

taking the focus off sales.”

solution out there,” states Simone Borkar, head

we never use star filters to trick the audience.

Tremain goes on to talk about the gallery staff

of broadcast engineering and technical

With jewellery, we shoot close up, so we need

who support those on-screen presenters. “The

operations for QVC UK. “We have forged a great

to be working at a high F Stop, especially as we

majority of our producer recruitment is completed

relationship with them over the years and they

often use extenders. That calls for a significant

in-house. We need our producers to be great

understand how hard we work our robotics. We

amount of light.”

communicators, both over talkback and face-to

are live 16 hours a day, so if you want to stress test

-face with the many guests who appear live.

something, bring it to QVC!”

They need to be commercially focused and be

He goes on, “We use Sony cameras in our

When it comes to interconnecting the various parts of the production and post production operation, a proprietary system

great time managers, as live TV always throws up

live production – a mixture of HDC 1400Rs and

called JAMM (Joint Asset Media Management)

challenges. Most importantly, though, they need

the older HDC 1500Rs. All our lenses are Canon,

is utilised. Built by a Japanese software house,

to be able to understand what our customer

where the optical quality of the glass and focal

it allows staff to manage the user’s content

is looking for and make sure they construct a

ranges are best suited to our studios. Jewellery is

through rush footage to edit and ingest the

presentation that gets across the key stories of a

the extreme test!”

finished asset onto the Harmonic playout servers

brand or product.”

Sony also features in the two identical galleries

usedin the galleries and master control. JAMM

He says QVC has a tremendous track record of

where the choice of vision mixer is MVS7000X,

allows the programme director to assess all

finding talent in-house, nurturing individuals and

and the configured I/O is 80x48. “It has 3x mix

available assets for any given show or product,

providing opportunities. The last three QVC line

effect, with four keyers on ME1&2 each with 2d

and play them out from a touch screen panel

producers have all come through the internal

resizers. Programme/preview have eight keyers,

during any show.

formal evaluation and training programme. A

each with a 2d resizer and is set up to split the

Borkar adds, “My team of engineers have to be

similar programme exists for directors.

keyers into two outputs with five keyers each for a

cross-tech savvy. More so than ever before, we

main PGM output. We also have four DME’s with

have to think digitally, and by this, I mean web

inbuilt resizers.”

and apps. We have helped the social media

“The directing demands have changed over the years. Back in 1993, we didn’t have any robotic cameras, recorded content was rolled

On-screen graphics play an important part

team improve our stream on Facebook Live with

from tape, and shows were less structured. The

of shopping television output. QVC UK uses

a better camera, sound and lighting. With the

directing role is now more technical as all content

Viz Artist with their own proprietary front end

move towards everything going IP, we need to

comes via our gallery servers, and is available to

software. “Having an in-house developed system

hone our skills, especially with transcoding and

view in advance of shows. There are less people

gives so much more flexibility,” explains Borkar.

distribution. We have learnt some discipline from

in our gallery, but advancement and automation

“Artist allows our designers to have a host of

our cousins in IT, such as change control and asset

of systems have allowed our team to improve on

options available to them when deciding how to

management. My engineers need to be familiar

our high standards of live show execution.”

promote product and events. It enables them to

with networks, MySQL and IP protocols.”

push the limit of their design and animation skills.”

Studio set up

Mention was made earlier of the all-important

Future thoughts

Production is based around three main studios

jewellery programmes – and these, of course,

For Farrelly, there are challenges ahead. “As is the

and an outdoor set. Each is fitted out with one

demand special attention to lighting. “We are

case with all UK retailers, the Brexit result brings

fully manual and three robotic cameras. The

now nearly completely LED. Quartzcolor X3,

continued uncertainty. The pressure on sterling

Shotoku robotic set-up includes pan and hilt

X4, X6 and Dedo LiteMats have allowed us to

makes the cost of most goods more expensive,

heads and pedestal height.

replace our energy-hungry tungsten lights.

which is challenging when buying from around

All camera repositions are carried out manually

“Our main requirements are brightness and a

the globe. That said, I can say that we are always

– with a typical turnaround time of under 90

high colour rendition which, along with a hard

looking to innovate and explore, you cannot

seconds for all cameras.

source, helps the product sparkle naturally.

afford to stand still.” n

12 13 TVBE Feb 2017 Production and Post_v2 JGJMcK_FINAL2.indd 55

18/01/2017 16:02

14 TVBEurope February 2017

Production and Post

Beyond mere graphics Jesper Gawel, CMO, ChyronHego, reveals the brave new world of producer-driven newsroom workflows

Therefore, we see an immediate future in which

solutions that leverage standard hardware and

newsroom-based solutions go far beyond

the existing IT infrastructure.

simple graphics creation to enable a complete,

Let’s take the example of virtual graphics in

producer-driven workflow for creating compelling

the newsroom. There’s no question that virtual

stories and delivering them to air. Here, producers

and augmented elements can add a layer of

are freed from complex technologies that

sophistication and deepen understanding of a

t’s a tough world out there for news

have created delays and required specialised

topic in ways that are far beyond the capabilities

organisations. Producers are pressured

technicians to operate.

of traditional graphics. But these technologies


like never before to hold on to, much

Content creators such as journalists, producers,

haven’t caught on in a widespread way for

less grow, market share while coping

editors, and directors are in the driver’s seat, with

enhancing breaking news, primarily because

with a raft of emerging and

access to a set of software-based, templated

they’re perceived as complex, time-consuming,

transformational technologies.

and difficult to use.

The competitive environment

That’s all changing with the

is hardly the straightforward

template newsroom workflow we’ve

and linear world of yesterday,

described above, as embodied by

when stations competed with

ChyronHego’s Camio Universe. With

each other for eyeballs on the

this approach, a station is able to

evening news. In an age when

take maximum advantage of its

anyone can broadcast live

investment in virtual and augmented

on Facebook using a mobile

graphics technologies to enhance

phone, the demand for content

storytelling for breaking news. The

is exploding, and viewers expect

mystique and complexity of these

ever-greater access to news and

powerful technologies is stripped

information, delivered in new and

away, and non-technical producers

compelling ways.

and journalists can generate highly

How can news organisations

sophisticated graphics in no more

stay profitable and successful

time, and with no more effort, than it

in these challenging times? The

takes to create a simple lower third.

short answer is efficient workflows

At ChyronHego, we believe so

that make it easier, faster, and

strongly in this strategy that we are

more cost effective than ever

continuing to develop and acquire an integrated

before to deliver news stories to air.

product portfolio that addresses every aspect of

Producers need tools that will allow them

news production, whether it’s setting up camera

to tell stories in captivating new ways, while working in a mixed environment where traditional HD-SDI is beginning to give way to 4K resolution, UHD-TV, and IP-based signal transport.

shots and controlling robotic cameras, providing The LyricX 2.0 graphics creation platform enables easy moves between SDI and IP, and 4K and HD video within the same graphics platform

software-based video switching, enhancing a story with sophisticated weather graphics, or template-based graphics for a virtual studio. n

Graphics to suit the platform Dr Stephan Würmlin Stadler, COO, Vizrt, discusses evolution in the graphics world


the industry are generating an explosion of new

For the traditional broadcaster, this means a

content creators. They not only include video

workflow change. Graphics technology needs

management systems, but also new ways of

to work out-of-the-box for all platforms, without

looking at graphics creation and administration.

reinvesting in platform specific solutions. Tools that

It’s not enough to make a video, add graphics

will survive the evolution are those that allow the

e in the media industry are in the

and publish to YouTube or send on-air. Media

journalist, or content creator, to make an editorial

middle of an evolution that is merging

companies must think about how amd where

decision with graphics and video once, and

traditional broadcasters, online and

content will be viewed, and then optimise that

distribute easily to every platform with the right

presentation for each platform.

aspect ratio and visuals automatically adapted.

new media. Tools that allow easy entry into

14 15 TVBE FEB2017 Production and Post_V2 JGJMcK_final.indd 54

18/01/2017 14:39


February 2017


Production and Post There is more to think about than quick and

The technology of graphics rendering is also

We also provide tools for media companies to

easy publishing. How does a media company

going through an evolution. While central

foster viewer engagement on social media,

know that the video and graphics system it is

rendering engines are still the key for great

while maintaining their brand identities on these

purchasing is future-proof? A change in business

looking, real-time graphics, the flexibility of

platforms. Viz Engine now runs as a cloud-based

offerings is in order. A move of technology from

placing these operations in the cloud makes

graphics renderer, and features open APIs for

on-premise to the cloud, combined with SaaS

them easier to access in more locations,

easy integration with any platform. Using open,

offerings and the ability to rent software and

in regional control rooms, or at an event

well-documented APIs designed to accomplish

hardware, will give media companies greater

from a laptop.

anything the user can do with the graphics

flexibility to expand, contract and adapt the equipment they require.

‘Tools that allow easy entry into the industry are generating an explosion of new content creators’

Gaming engines are poised to make their mark on the media industry, having already become

product, ensures the media company is ready for any future integration. n

the world’s biggest entertainment industry, with robust and (quite literally) battle-tested quality. Using a hybrid of gaming technology with a

Today’s flexibility enables content to be accessed more easily - even from a laptop.

broadcast graphics engine, media companies can see highly realistic graphics within the journalist-driven template workflow. The Viz Engine real-time graphics engine and

With video and graphics systems running in the

video server is the backbone of Vizrt’s graphics

cloud, media companies will be able to quickly

and video offerings. The system features plugins

make infrastructure changes on an event-to-

for photorealistic graphics rendering, including

event level. On a day-to-day basis, a local TV

those from Enlighten, Allegorithmic, GPU power

station may not need a large number of graphics

from NVIDIA, real-time global illumination, and

channels. However, when an election comes

sophisticated texture mapping – all desirable for

along, they can quickly expand their channels.

virtual set production. moving the world’s data at maximum speed

14 15 TVBE FEB2017 Production and Post_V2 JGJMcK_final.indd 55

18/01/2017 14:39


TVBEurope February 2017

Production and Post

All about that Baselight Philip Stevens looks at how an Italian post house handles colour management


ocated in the central business district of Rome, Frame by Frame is a well-established but very dynamic boutique post-house.

Founded in 1992, it combines the traditional creative skills of the post house with cutting-edge technologies. It was Italy’s first Netflix Preferred Vendor for media processing, and regards online platforms as important as all other outputs. Business is shared between movies, TV and

Frame by Frame facilities include a 20-seat, fully calibrated theatre

advertising. The company can handle every part of the post process, from dailies ingest through editorial and audio sweetening to finishing. A

The theatre is set up to provide ideal viewing

Together with FilmLight’s transparent media

critical part of the process is grading, and for this

conditions for popular formats, including 4K as

management, simple workflows can be

Frame by Frame relies on the Baselight system.

well as 2K, stereo 3D and HDR.

established however complex the project.

According to CTO Walter Arrighetti, the

Asked if 4K and HDR are hot topics at the

Integrating colour grading tools across

technical underpinning of Baselight is as

moment, Arrighetti was very enthusiastic. “They

editorial, VFX and finishing – using the renderless,

important as its creative toolset. “Colour

are the hottest topics, not just hot ones! Is Frame

metadata-based Baselight Linked Grade (BLG)

management is finally approached the

by Frame ready for it? Yes. Do clients want it?

workflow – Frame by Frame delivers on its promise

right way – scientifically, at the heart of its

Yes. The main downside at the moment – apart

of a colour-managed end-to-end pipeline.

mathematical internals. But it also provides an

from bandwidth of course – is that there isn’t a

easy user experience, so complex colour space

uniformly accepted definition of 4K or HDR.

experience in the business and its integration

conversions are just a few clicks away.”

Some players using/supporting/distributing 4K

expertise, alongside advanced technology

content are up to speed, but there is not yet

from companies like FilmLight, to come up with

to work in native colour spaces whenever

a consistent, robust value chain. We hope

innovative and cost-effective ways to manage

practical. Recent movies Chiamatemi Francesco

emerging standardisation will help, but we

creative projects,” Arrighetti said.

(Call Me Francesco) and Perfetti Sconosciuti

are already fully prepared.”

That is important, because the facility tries

(Perfect Strangers) were graded in ARRI LogC, for example, to get the absolute best out of the raw image before colour space conversion to delivery formats. Frame by Frame has also completed projects using ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) workflow but, as Arrighetti pointed out, it needs everyone to get behind the standard. “Some

“The downside at the moment – apart from bandwidth – is that there isn’t a uniformly accepted definition of 4K and HDR” Walter Arrighetti, Frame by Frame

facilities we work with have yet to integrate it.

“We are taking advantage of years of

However, workflow counts for little if you cannot achieve the creative results you need. Senior colourist Christian Gazzi and his colleagues find Baselight delivers all the required colour control and creativity. “Baselight is like a magician’s hat,” states Gazzi. “You add a bit of fantasy and anything can be pulled out of it.” Arrighetti continues, “We chose Baselight because of the completeness of its grading tools,

But we use it internally – blended with our own

Connectivity and collaborative workflows are

with seamless real-time playback straight from

colour science – especially for projects using

important to Frame by Frame. The facility is built

any raw footage. But our colourists and editors

different cameras, and for integration with other

around a core SAN, allowing projects to be

tell me there are no technical limitations on what

post and VFX equipment, whose colour science

shared and worked on simultaneously. Some

can be achieved artistically either.”

and workflow are not as flexible as FilmLight’s.

of the Avids are fitted with Baselight Editions

I’ve personally been involved in the Academy’s

software, allowing the latest grade to be

and partial results can be combined with each

work for many years now, sharing experience

displayed in the edit suites and the editors to

other for creative effects that are simply not

and exchanging inputs on ACES with their

tweak in real time.

possible with other tools. FilmLight products

international experts’ team.”

“Every single grading operation is a layer,

Frame by Frame’s engineers have also used

offer the computational power and creative

the flexibility of the FilmLight operating system to

tools that allow the ‘wow’ factor at the heart

one is in a broadcast grading suite while

allow direct connections between the grading

of the workflow. And our customers are happy

the other is normally operated from the

systems and other VFX and compositing tools,

as well, because our colourists always meet the

20-seat, fully-calibrated DI theatre.

including Flame and Nuke.

cinematographer’s intent with Baselight.” n

Of the two Baselight systems at the facility,

16 TVBE Feb 2016 Production and Post_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 54

18/01/2017 16:05


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18 TVBEurope February 2017

Production and Post

HQ2 has an audience capacity of up to 600 people and is used for programmes such as A Question of Sport, 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown and Vic and Bob’s House of Fools

Broadcasting is in the dock Philip Stevens revisits the dock10 facility in Manchester to review its progress and discuss 2017


“We built relationships with a number of northern

Joined up thinking

indies including Red Production Company and

dock10 also offers a high level of infrastructure

Shine North. “Working with Red, for instance, has

services. When the facility was conceived, it was

meant that we now do high-end drama, such as

decided to build around a modular system that

Happy Valley and The Five, and that was just the

allowed complete flexibility when it came to

start of expanding the post side of the business.”

connectivity. This means that all connectivity is routed via the Central Technical Area (CTA) so

here were sceptics who, when they heard of the idea of establishing a major media

Acquisitions bring growth

that any studio, camera or mixture of cameras

centre in an old Manchester dockyard,

The commitment to post production is set to

can be joined to any gallery, and any editing or

continue into 2017 following the recent acquisitions

graphic workstation can be routed to wherever

of Edit 19 and now 422, the Manchester-based

the output is needed. On several occasions, the

shift north has been a resounding success.

post production and vfx business. “422 brings a 20-

piazza outside the studio block has been used

Today, dock10, as the facility is now called, is

year heritage and prestige customer base in the

for producing programmes – with cameras being

providing a level of production, post production

agency and corporate markets, and gives us

routed to the designated interior gallery from

and infrastructure services that has attracted

the opportunity to expand our creative audio,

external plug-in points.

broadcasters and production companies alike.

vfx and graphics, grade, animation and CG,”

Regular output from its seven studios includes

states Senior.

thought it was a disaster waiting to happen. Six years on, there is little doubt that the

programmes such as Match of the Day, Football

He maintains that dock10 is now the biggest

“We think of MediaCityUK as an open air data centre,” explains Paul Clennell, dock10 CTO. “There is a fibre network that connects all parts

Focus, Blue Peter and The Voice. In fact, the last

post production business outside of London.

of the campus, but we have a resilient security

quarter of 2016 was the busiest in dock10’s history.

The expanding post business means substantial

partition protocol in place that prevents data

remodelling work will take place within the

ending up in the wrong place. It means, for

of Porridge and several quizzes in the upcoming

dock10 facility during 2017 to accommodate the

example, that if a freelance editor comes in

diary. So, how has that success been achieved?

additional personnel and their associated work

to work on one programme and then the

spaces. “Key to the next twelve months is the

following week is employed on a different

BBC contract after it decided to move a number

consolidation of those acquisitions and growing

production, he or she can only gain access

of its operations out of the capital,” explains

that aspect of our business,” says Senior.

to the appropriate content.”

The future looks equally inviting, with remakes

“The facility was originally set up to service the

Mark Senior, dock10 CEO. “For the first 18 months,

The stated purpose of such interconnectivity

that was our main production activity and we

is that whatever the requirements of a specific

concentrated on making that a success.”

production or post activity, dock10 will make it

The next milestone came when Granada TV

easy to plug-in any element to facilitate the task

in Manchester closed its studio facilities in Quay

in hand. Increasing the concept of a managed

Street, resulting in a substantial amount of northern

infrastructure will feature heavily during 2017.

ITV production moving to MediaCityUK.

To move that part of the service forward,

“At the outset, our post production work

dock10 recently recruited Fabien Robineau as

was heavily BBC focused, but new clients and

head of platform managed services. He brings

programmes meant that was something we had to look at,” says Senior.

18 19 TVBE Feb2017 Production and Post_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 54

The spectacular studio facility at MediaCityUK

over 15 years’ experience serving as a business developer and leader, identifying the best

18/01/2017 16:07


February 2017


Production and Post fit between business needs and appropriate

This aspect of remote working is already utilised for

annual innovations day where creative teams can

solutions. “The future is all about building a

the BBC’s Match of the Day output. Material from

familiarise themselves with developing technology;

sustainable platform,” he says. “The growth in

football matches that is captured in the dock10

including 360-degree productions.

this area will come about by meeting customers’

central server area can be viewed and edited by

demands in terms of services. The parameters

producers in the nearby BBC building.

for playout platforms, for example, are well

Clennell adds, “The obvious extension of this is

All round vision “We took a decision a year ago to take one of

established and we want to cover the same for

to go beyond the campus for production. With

our studio managers out of daily administrative

the post market. Managing the technology is a

the all the talk of remote production these days,

work and gave him a remit to investigate the

core part of the services we offer to clients. We

our connectivity infrastructure is ideally suited to

360 capabilities,” reveals Senior. “We have been

have evolved from a TV production facility and our

meet those upcoming demands. In the future, we

looking at camera technologies and working with

job is to ensure clients do not have to worry about

may see ourselves building galleries that are used

our graphics teams – because there is an obvious

the technology, and concentrate on content.”

specifically for remote production.”

cross over. As a result, we have produced clips for

He continues, “The blurring of lines between IT and

The Voice, shot footage from behind the goal at a

Remote possibilities

broadcast engineering is increasing. We operate

FA Cup match and recorded a music programme

Robineau says that because the technology is

a converged function – bringing in IT experts and

where the viewer is in the audience.

improving, some of the work previously carried

educating them about broadcast, and then

“In simple terms, we want to get up to speed

out within the facility can now be made available

recruiting TV technologists and educating them in

and ahead of the curve – although I’m not

remotely. “That’s one area where we are helping

IT practices. The two are inextricably linked.”

sure if anyone is really certain as to where this

clients, and one that will see more growth in the

The facility uses non-proprietary servers to

technology is going.”

coming months. By operating a data centre in

support the Avid Interplay systems in an IT based

the way that we do, we ensure that if there are

virtual environment. “This is the way forward for

demands and our job is to make their lives as easy

He concludes, “All of our clients have different

production teams located in different parts of

2017 and beyond. Our future investment is all

as possible and to create the solutions. Our focus

the world, they can have instant access to their

about supporting that flexibility,” adds Clennell.

has been – and will continue to be – to serve the

content. That’s how we will provide even more

dock10 is frequently used by manufacturers to

market, whether that is broadcast, corporate or

added value in the years ahead.”

showcase their products. The facility also runs an

commercials, with high end content. n

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18/01/2017 16:07

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18/01/2017 16:49


February 2017



BVE 2017

preview We look ahead to this month’s show at ExCeL London by hearing from Dan Sacchelli, head of events at BVE’s parent company, Ascential


he beginning of the year saw BVE actively expand in to the pro AV and live entertainment market, responding to the

continuing merging of technologies between live events and broadcast sectors. The theme of converging sectors has been one that has continued throughout 2016. What we have seen this year, along with everybody else in the industry, is the exponential progression of VR. Unlike IP or the cloud, this is very much a consumer-driven technology. How the end-user embraces VR determines its place in the market. Many compare it to 3D – another

But we needed last year to learn and build on

It is admittedly more expensive than SDI to set up,

technology whose success was determined by

our knowledge, which will act as the springboard

and then there is training. But where longevity

how the consumer masses adopted it. As much

for us to achieve this monumental growth in the

comes in to play, IP wins. The fact of the matter

as people pride themselves on writing off 3D as a

immersive technology market.

is, whether you are pro, against or agnostic;

‘flash in a pan’, it is still prevalent in our cinemas

The other acronym that has been on

it is the very nature of our industry to stay on

– with all major blockbusters available to watch

everybody’s lips is, of course, IP. There are so

the cutting-edge and therefore important to

in their three-dimensional glory. It may not have

many arguments against whether the industry is

consider every option.

had the warm welcome in our homes that we

ready. Is it like 4K, where the technology is ready

once expected, but has proven itself to work

but the end-user is not? It has been said that with

that were discussed and scrutinised in 2016.

on the larger screen formats for films and sports.

where we stand at the moment, it is easier to

Companies such as NewTek are pioneering the IP

This is what we are seeing with VR. Nobody is

deploy IP in trucks rather than buildings.

movement, whilst in the world of VR, production

quite sure of where this technology is going to sit, and, like 3D, we won’t know until we see how it is consumed. For gaming, advertising, architecture, featurelength films, the possibilities are endless. Much of VR at the moment is still at the R&D stage,

VR and IP are just two of the technologies

companies such as Happy Finish and Jaunt are

‘At BVE 2017, we are taking a broader approach to the broadcast market and delving in to the converging markets’

being used in many industries. This is why, at

pushing forward. On reflection, whilst the world outside of the industry has experienced seismic changes to its political and socioeconomic standing, we have carried on our quest of exploration. That is where 2016 has taken us: despite the uncertainty of IP and VR across the

BVE 2017, we are taking a broader approach

industry, we have continued to probe and look

to the broadcast market and delving in to the

It is, after all, more painless for a truck to go into

at all sides of the argument as to where we are

converging markets. It is not simply the broadcast

maintenance than it is a building which has

heading. We need to prepare for the future and

sector that concerns itself with taking content

legacy technology to contend with. For many

this past year has seen us do exactly that. n

from creation anymore.

companies, SDI is still the most reliable and safest

With Digi-Capital predicting AR and VR

option; to implement an SDI workflow is a more

revenue to hit $120 billion by 2020, 2016 saw just

economically viable option – the infrastructure is

the tip of the iceberg of where this immersive

already in place and staff are already trained to

technology is going to take us.

work with it. IP means investing a lot of money.

21 22 TVBE feb 2017 Feature_v2JMcK_final2.indd 54

BVE 2017 takes place from 28 February to 2 March 2017 at ExCeL London. This article was first published in TVBEurope’s brand new annual review supplement: 2016: the year in review

18/01/2017 16:09

22 TVBEurope February 2017


Talking the talk S

James Groves looks over the speaker list ahead of this month’s BVE expo

peakers define conferences. You can network and network, you can collaborate and collaborate, you can discover and

discover, but the words ringing in your ears as you walk out of that door are those of welcomes, keynotes, and wrap-ups. The capturing of the essence, the setting of the tone. Those unique and distinctive moments engaging the audience’s imagination. BVE’s 2017 list of speakers does not disappoint. Headlining at ExCeL London this year will be actor, director, and writer Dexter Fletcher, international documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux and DPP managing director Mark Harrison, with more names to be unveiled in

Award-winning cinematographer Jonathan

the coming weeks.

Harrison will also take centre stage in the

Known for his work with Lock, Stock and Two

cinematography theatre. Harrison has spent

Smoking Barrels, Eddie the Eagle, Hotel Babylon

18 years as a freelancer, undertaking a wide

and Band of Brothers, Fletcher will be making

spectrum of national and international projects

an appearance at ‘The Screen @ BVE’ on the

from technical and scientific, aerial, special

opening day of the conference at 15:50pm.

effects and in-depth personal documentary to

The 40-minute keynote will see Fletcher discuss his career highs to date, and the challenges and inspirations he experienced on the road to becoming a British filmmaker. He will offer his thoughts on the development

drama and commercials. He shoots regularly for all major UK TV channels. Three speakers have already been confirmed production theatre – Game of Thrones location manager Robert Boake, Rebecca O’Brien,

evaluating the continuing evolution of the

producer at Sixteen Films, and Mark Herbert,

commissioning and creating of content.

producer and joint-CEO of Warp Films. Boake has ten years’ experience working

‘An audience with Louis Theroux’ on 2 March at

on a vast range of productions and genres,

11.20am in The Screen @ BVE Theatre.

providing creative scouting, location

The session will see Theroux share his

management and supervision. He is best

experimental filmmaking highs and lows

known for his work finding locations for

throughout his career, as well as providing insight

Game of Thrones, for which he won an LMGA

into the industry in which he works.

Award in 2014, for ‘Outstanding Achievement

Theroux’s career spans over two decades and specialises in getting under the skin of the

by a Location Professional’. O’Brien has been an independent film

people at the heart of some of the world’s most

producer for 30 years, producing 17 feature

controversial lifestyles and associations. His work

films directed by Ken Loach, including Land

includes Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends, My

and Freedom, Sweet Sixteen and Looking for

Scientology Movie, The Most Hated Family in

Eric. She is currently on the boards of the

America, and Louis Theroux: Savile.

European Film Academy and PACT and is a

‘The Screen @ BVE’ will also welcome Mark Harrison, managing director of the Digital

member of the British Screen Advisory Council. Herbert’s credits include Submarine, Four

Production Partnership (DPP), and Ian Moore,

Lions, This Is England, Phoenix Nights and Dead

content director at the LAD Bible.

Man’s Shoes. n

21 22 TVBE feb 2017 Feature_v2JMcK_final2.indd 55

FURTHER KEYNOTES ANNOUNCED FOR BVE 2017 INCLUDE: Keynote: How to make friends and sell cinematic documentary film to Netflix Speaker: Figs Jackman, head of global development for Spring Films, with credits including The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence Date/Time: 28 Feb 2017 13:50 - 14:20 Location: Production Theatre

to make an appearance at the BVE 2017

and future of the UK film industry, as well as

Theroux will take part in a keynote session titled

Louis Theruox (L) and Dexter Fletcher (R) will appear at BVE

Keynote: From book to TV – Inside the success of The Night Manager Speaker: Simon Cornwell, Executive Producer, The Night Manager and CEO The Ink Factory Date/Time: 01 Mar 2017 12:00 - 12:40 Location: The Screen @ BVE Keynote: Power to the writer Writing a winning Screenplay Speaker: Amma Asante, BAFTA-winning writer and director, with credits including Belle and A United Kingdom Date/Time: 28 Feb 2017 13:15 - 14:00 Location: The Screen @ BVE Keynote: From Studio to Stadium: Contemporary lighting design for two very different situations Speaker: Tim Routledge, Lighting Designer Date/Time: 28 Feb 2017 11:30 - 12:00 Location: AV Integration & Live Theatre Keynote: Masterclass on cinematic lighting Speaker: Natasha Braier, cinematographer Date/Time: 02 Mar 2017 11:00 - 11:50 Location: Cinematography and Lighting Theatre

18/01/2017 16:09

s ar in eb


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TVBEurope will act in the capacity of an independent facilitator and moderator Topics of discussion to be set by the client or in collaboration with TVBEurope Can take the form of either a Powerpoint presentation or a webcast Unlike a 1-2-1 conference it is not restricted by geographical or temporal factors Live Q&A session to encourage dialogue Ideal for lead generation Ongoing promotion following the webinar’s transmission

Standard webinar marketing campaign utilising three separate NewBay Europe digital broadcast platforms: • • • • • •

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TVBEurope February 2017


In association with

Continuously evolving This month, NewBay launches TV Tech Global, a bi-monthly publication expanding its TV Technology Europe coverage to the media tech industry worldwide. Editor Neal Romanek reports


he first issue of TV Tech Global features an

“Research suggests that roles with creative and

interview with Naomi Climer, the first female

interpersonal elements will be amongst the last to

president of the IET (Institute of Engineering

be automated, so I believe human creativity will

and Technology). Climer is on an IET commission

have a place in broadcasting for some time!”

on the future of work. She notes that the effect of advancing technology on our ability to make a

Setting the standard

living is accelerating.

As a member of several standards bodies, Climer

“Research on the impact of automation and artificial intelligence suggests that more than 50

believes that technology can be harnessed to produce new kinds of collaboration in creating.

New OB vans capture German hockey season

In the past, technology advances have created

society is enabling completely new models for

more jobs than they’ve destroyed, but this may

things, from business models such as airbnb and

not continue.”

uber, to significant crowd-sourced projects such


as Wikipedia. Although I’m sure the process

company Broadcast Solutions.

per cent of current jobs won’t exist in ten years.

With the broadcast industry continuing its

“I’m interested in how our hyperconnected

overage of the German ice hockey league by NEP Germany is getting a boost from four new Streamline S8 OB

vans, provided by German production vehicle

process of virtualisation, it seems clear that most

would need careful finessing, I can imagine even

of the technological processes we take for

complex standards being developed very much

OB vans and one 4K OB van, all based on the

granted now – from capture and encoding, to

as Wikipedia articles are; open to editing by all,

Streamline S8 model. All production vehicles

grading and editing, to playout and consumer

peer reviewed and continuously evolving.”

feature a self-propelled truck and are suitable

interaction – will be distributed across server

The role of standards bodies is to create a

The four vehicles comprise three identical HD

for up to eight-camera productions.

farms. The content industry’s bandwidth-intensive

stable, reliable platform – a set of rules – on

requirements may slow the transition down, but it

which more complex structures can be built.

in the rear of the vehicles, which can

will happen sooner rather than later.

But with the technological environment – and

accommodate the complete camera

the rules that govern it – changing so rapidly, it’s

equipment as well as all necessary tripods

broadcast hardware is minimal,” says Climer.

becoming harder to find common ground that

and cables, eliminating the need for an

“Even cameras will eventually just be a lens and

doesn’t crumble away in six months.

additional support van.

“I can imagine a time where the pure

image sensor, with everything else happening in the standard IT infrastructure.” So, in ten years’ time, will the TV industry

“Our industry is changing and there are

The vans incorporate a storage compartment

By implementing the Streamline vehicles,

many new players who are moving faster than

Broadcast Solutions strives for an “off-the-shelf”

our traditional processes. So I believe that our

product which is flexible and can be adapted to

be created by bots, based on audience

standards activities are ripe for evolution, and I

individual requirements. Expansion capabilities

analytics gathered by other bots – a world

hope to see some of the established standards

with UHD technology have already been

where TV is something we no longer participate

bodies taking a lead on this.” Read more in issue

integrated into the basic design in several 4K

in, but only receive?

one of TV Tech Global. n

versions delivered last year. n

CES kicks off 2017


A few TV technology highlights from the show

l Kodak showed prototypes of its new Super

Vegas again kicked off the annual trade show calendar with new technologies

l Industry UHD trade organisations made their

|digital output as well as Kodak processing of

and new predictions for the year.

voices heard. The UHD Alliance completed

film stock. The limited edition camera will be

The show frequently sets the tone for

specifications for the use of 4K content on mobile

available in March 2017 and consumer versions

consumer media tech hype for the 12 months

devices. The new specs lay out requirements for

are said to be on the way too.

ahead, and with the consumer and professional

consumer electronics companies and content

growing closer and closer together, CES

creators in the delivery of 4K content on laptops,

Ektachrome film, which can be used in the new

is becoming a bellwether for professional

smartphones and tablets, covering HDR, wide

camera. The company announced the new

media tech too.

colour gamut and resolution expectations.

Super 8 camera last year at CES.

he Consumer Electronics Show in Las

24 25 TVBE Feb 2017 Technology_v3 JGJMcK_final2.indd 54

8 film camera. The film camera also features

Kodak will also revive its colour-reversal

18/01/2017 16:10


February 2017



In association with

l Dell showed off a new 32in, 8K desktop

of its line of gaming PCs, making it the world’s first

They have integrated those products for set-top

monitor. The Dell UP3218K features a resolution

Dolby Atmos-enabled PC.

boxes targeting cable, satellite and direct-to-

of 7680x4320 with 1.07 billion colours and

home video operators.

100 per cent coverage of the AdobeRGB

l Opera TV and MStar Semiconductor have

and sRGB colour gamuts. It will be available

introduced an OTT platform based on MStar’s

l Irdeto said it has secured a licensing deal

in March for $4,999. Something to plug your

system-on-a-chip set-top box platform. They’re

with Wyplay, enabling it to join more than 140

HDMI 2.1 cable into!

offering the combined system to set-top

companies that are part of the Frog by Wyplay

makers and service providers as a pre-integrated

community. Through the partnership, which

l The international VR/AR Association (VRARA)

platform that builds in Opera TV’s suite of

includes Irdeto Rights and Irdeto Cloaked CA,

launched a new database of AR, VR and mixed

OTT products.

they hope to offer an integrated advanced

reality tech companies, with the goal of making it easier for those in the space to connect with new partners. The directory is only accessible to the 100-plus members of VRARA, but any

middleware and security solution for broadcast,

‘CES is becoming a bellwether for professional media technology’

company can add a listing for free.

hybrid and OTT deployments. l MaxLinear said its Multimedia over Coax (MoCA) 2.0-powred MxL3707 integrated circuit is being designed into the CIG WF-802 Series

l LG Electronics unveiled its new LG Signature

l Nagra and Samsung will create a corporate

HomeMesh MoCA-to-Ethernet adapter product

OLED W-series TVs. The super-thin (2.5mm

body to licence the TVkey, introduced by the

line. CIG is an ODM vendor based in Shanghai,

thick) TVs feature the company’s proprietary

partnership at last year’s IBC in Amsterdam. The

with US headquarters in Santa Clara, California.

Nano Cell technology, which aims to “render

licensing JV will be targeted to third-party chipset

The MoCA 2.0 bonded specification provides up

highly nuanced and accurate colours” while

and device makers and TV and conditional

to 800mbps of MAC throughput.

maintaining picture quality at wider viewing

access vendors. The TVkey licensing terms and

angles. The company says that Nano Cell

technical specs are expected to be available by

l WideOpenWest has selected Universal

LCD displays use uniformly-sized particles one

mid-2017. TVkey, a USB-based security platform/

Electronics to develop and manufacture a

nanometer in diameter to create accurate

dongle for pay-TV operators, enables consumers

new TV remote control that’s optimised for

colours from wider angles.

to sign up and pay for TV services directly via

WOW’s “Ultra” whole-home DVR platform,

Samsung TVs.

and will include a dedicated Netflix key.

l Sony’s new flagship 4K HDR OLED A1E

The new remote is expected to reach Ultra

series TV also turned heads at CES. The super-thin,

l JungoTV introduced ten foreign language

subs by early 2017 and features embedded

Dolby Vision compatible TV is not equipped

channels that will be offered on Amazon

RF4CE tech (removing the need for line-of-sight

with speakers.

Channels, Amazon’s curated OTT-SVoD offering.

between remote and set-top), laser-etched

JungoTV’s line-up, which includes offerings

keys and backlighting, and a simplified three-

itself via Sony’s “Acoustic Surface” technology.

in Chinese, German, Filipino, Italian, Korean,

key set-up process.

Dolby hit the mainstream this year with TCL

Russian, and Vietnamese, will start to roll out in

announcing that its C-Series and P-Series TV

Q1 for $7.95 per month.

Sound comes from the screen

l Multiscreen video app maker You.i TV has

lines will also support Dolby Vision.

adapted Cartoon Network’s app for Apple TV l Broadpeak, a provider of CDN tech and VoD

and Amazon Fire TV devices, complementing

l Onkyo [SBT-A500] and Pioneer [ELITE

servers, and Wyplay, a maker of pay-TV software

its reach on iOS and Android smartphones and

FS-EB70] unveiled their first soundbar systems with

systems, are offering a joint solution combining

tablets and Kindle fire devices. You.i TV will

Dolby Atmos. Lenovo has also partnered with

Broadpeak’s nanoCDN tech with the Wyplay’s

also power the UI for Turner’s new FilmStruck

Dolby to launch the Lenovo Legion Y720 as part

“Frog” middleware.

multiplatform SVoD service. n

SGL has an established history serving the archive needs of broadcast facilities around the world.

SGL works with Sony Ci and S3 via Aspera & Expedat to enable quick and easy transfer of content to the cloud.

Our cloud archive integrations provide an additional means of secure storage and further disaster recovery workflows.

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24 25 TVBE Feb 2017 Technology_v3 JGJMcK_final.indd 55

19/01/2017 09:45


TVBEurope February 2017


In association with

Dogfight drama and wartime glamour By Stuart Ashton, director, Blackmagic Design, EMEA


one day to do one green screen shot - we’ve

same comp to go and work up the shot into its

got half an hour. Fusion is a great tool for that.

broadcast-quality output.”

The workflow would be very different and very cumbersome with anything else.”

Taking VFX to the air One of the most innovative uses came during a

ondon-based effects studio Lexhag deployed

On-set shot visualisation

sequence where a dogfight involving British and

Fusion Studio on ITV’s The Halcyon, using the

“When supervising on set, I’m concerned with look

German warplanes takes place over the skies

VFX suite from Blackmagic Design to help

development,” continues Haggar. “This means

above London.

plan and produce subtle, believable visual effects

either getting the feeling across of how shots

for the wartime drama series.

are going to work, or piping images straight into

looked after the whole shot, bringing in the 3D

the computer so that we can do live comps, to

models into Fusion, lighting and rendering it with

illustrate the concepts.”

the Fusion Renderer. We could rapidly iterate the

A major eight-part series from Left Bank Pictures (The Crown, Outlander, Wallander, DCI Banks), The

Halcyon tells the story of a bustling and charming

Haggar connected an SDI feed from the

five-star hotel at the centre of London society and

camera via a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio

a world at war in 1940.

Mini, and captured live foreground blue screen

“The drama is set during the war, but the story was set in and around the hotel,” says Lexhag founder and VFX supervisor on The Halcyon, Alexis

“One of our lead compositors, Ken Turner,

look of the distant planes to sit correctly in the skies over London,” explains Haggar. “We experimented with capturing flight

frames straight into his laptop over a high-speed

simulation data to animate the planes. We used

Thunderbolt connection.

real flight models of a Spitfire and Messerschmitt

“By importing the images into Fusion, we were

Bf 109. With an old joystick, we flew them through

Haggar. “We decided to use a combination of

able to extract the action and quickly comp them

various combat manoeuvres and recorded their

practical and visual effects for the visions we see

over a background plate we had shot prior to

motion to a simple text file.

of London at war.”

the [main] shoot,” explains Haggar. “I was able to

Fusion’s true 3D compositing environment allows

“We also wrote some custom scripts in Fusion to

put it all together very quickly, along with some

create particle systems for tracer fire and vapour

artists to combine live action, 3D models, cameras,

geometry to bring in some of the features of the

trails,” he continues. “When all was in place, we

lights, 3D particles, volumetric effects and powerful

hotel that weren’t there on the day. I could pop

could freely move the planes around, and the

image processing tools. Lexhag used Fusion Studio,

that in and very quickly layer it up, output that as

whole scene would update automatically.”

and planning component Generation, throughout

a comp frame, and pop it into a PDF as a layout

the pipeline from pre-production through to post.

shot for approval.”

Checking out

“We try to use Fusion as much as we can, as I

This process allowed the director and DoP to

“The biggest benefit of using Fusion on this project

know it better than any other 2D compositor,” says

visualise where to place the camera, and how it

was its flexibility and its speed,” concludes Haggar.

Haggar. “I rely on its speed for everything.”

should be lit to marry up into a seamless shot.

“It’s stable, and it has all of the tools that we need,

“Fusion enabled us to quickly rough up shots

“From a look development point of view, Fusion

at least for all the compositing tasks. Due to the

for fast client approval on and off the set of

a great tool,” adds Haggar. “I can go as far as

way it is licensed, it’s very quick to add a seat

The Halcyon,” he continues. “With the speed

I need to go to sell the idea. Sometimes work

and get someone working on it. You can just sit

demanded by TV, you want as many clues as

you do on set is reusable, so when you get the

someone at a computer, stick the dongle in, and

possible that VFX is going to work. “We don’t have

actual rushes from the editorial, you can use the

off they go. For a small studio, that means a lot.” n

26 TVBE Feb 2017 Technology_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 54

18/01/2017 15:19

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18/01/2017 10:19:11 18/01/2017 17:01


February 2017



The dangerous business of news George Jarrett covers the 22nd Rory Peck Awards event and talks to some canny journalists about safety, risk and luck


“It was very challenging for

from October 2015 to March 2016.

numerous reasons, but the one

He says, “It’s a story that needed to

I would like to address is the

be told. It’s not only very important

emotional toll it had on all of us

for the Middle East, but also how

he Rory Peck Awards 2016

“One of the biggest changes we

working in the field,” he says. “What

Europe is being shaped by the

saw nine experienced finalists

have seen in our industry is the

I found most difficult in the film was

migration crisis.

emerge from 101 entries,

improvement in the quality of both

sticking a camera in front of their

journalism and video,” Mates adds.

faces when they were at their most

that I shot, it’s all about how many

submitted by freelance journalists from 36 nations. UK nationals were

“This is not about how many hours

vulnerable, when they landed on an

hours that went out to clients. At

responsible for 20 entries across the

Nabil Hassan’s news finalist The

island, all of them terrified, and then

least a dozen hours went to outlets

three Sony-sponsored categories,

Battle for Aden, a brilliant report of

going north to the Macedonian

through Agence France-Presse,” he

and another five entries saw UK

anti-rebel militiamen battling Houthi

borders, where the conditions were

adds. “A lot of this footage is rushes

names partner American, Israeli,

rebels for possession of Aden, Mates

absolutely horrific.”

for the news agency, so it is not

Afghan, French and Mexican

is succinct: “News organisations are

journalists on projects. American

desperate for this stuff. It is less than

nationals fielded nine entries, with

possible for Western reporters and

French journalists totalling seven.

cameramen to operate at all, so

BAFTA was the venue for the first

When commenting on (Yemeni)

completely relies – on people like

a single prize saw just 15 entries

Nabil shooting material so we have

competing. Since then, the Rory

some idea of what is going on, some

Peck Trust has become one of the

sense of what’s driving the conflict,

most effective and best-loved small

how serious it is, and how many

charities in the world, thanks to the

victims there are.”

support of the world’s big players in

Hassan is clear about casualties:

the news business, and a constantly

a total of 18 Yemeni journalists had

committed staff.

been killed trying to do what he had done for AFP.

judging panel for news and Europe editor, ITV News, says, “We faced

A lot of it was on the spot

unprecedented quality. Reducing

Greek national Will Vassilopoulos

this to just three finalists was almost

won the Rory Peck award for

impossible. In the dim and distant

news for his story Fear and

past, some of the material you

Desperation: Refugees and

would get from freelancers and

Migrants Pour into Greece.

through agencies was sometimes

respect for the migrants. He shot

necessarily following people from entry to end.”

we completely rely – and the world

awards night back in 1995, and

James Mates, chair of the

Vassilopoulos filmed with utmost

THE FUTURE IS CONTENT-CENTRIC Let’s optimize multiplatform scheduling

This follows a good percentage of

of mixed quality. That is no longer

the 860,000 migrants who landed in

the case.

Greece last year.

29 30 31 TVBE Feb2017Rory Peck awards_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 54

18/01/2017 16:39

30 TVBEurope February 2017

Business Four tons of explosives

He continues, ”A lot of it was on the

stories, without translation as there

“We had excellent support on the

spot, so I could tell many stories.

was no time,” says Salustro.

ground. We were working with two

Refsdal’s film, Dugma: The Button, is

Macedonian journalists and an

about suicide bombers, shot in Syria

I would find particular people,

Migrant family though a lens

ethnic Albanian freelancer from the

in the hosting company of the al-

with them, and try and tell the

nearby villages, so that secured the

Qaida affiliate Jabhat al Nusra.

stories at that location.”

German filmmaker Marcel

locals for us. Journalists were known

Mettelsiefen won the Sony Impact

to be beaten up going into those

one of the ‘martyrdom seekers’ as

A failed state on the doorstep of Europe

award for current affairs with

places, but the village was angry

they call them. I met a Saudi man

Children on the Frontline: The

about the gang operating there,”

who was supposed to blow himself

Italian journalist Marco Salustro

Escape, which is part two of a story

says Gammon.

up within two weeks, when I would

collected the award for news

he told in 2013 about the children of

features with another migration tale

a rebel commander in Aleppo.

gain their trust, build a rapport

called Libya’s Migrant Trade: Europe

Shot in Syria, Turkey and Germany

“The gang themselves didn’t

“I started filming and asked for

be back in Norway,” says Refsdal.

know we were coming and we had

“When I returned for my second trip,

no idea how they would react,” she

he was still alive. On my first trip I also

or Die, which was shot for Vice News

until April 2016, and seen on

adds. “I filmed openly, but it was

met a British convert who was on

in June 2015.

Channel 4’s Dispatches; his winning

difficult, especially in the border

the list, and when I went back, he

story follows the family after ISIS

area controlled by the gangs.”

was getting married.”

Salustro, who was applauded for delivering the sense of fear,

captured the father. The mother,

insecurity and lack of hope that

three daughters and a son escape

dogged all of the migrants he

from Aleppo to Turkey, and then

encountered, says, “The militia I

onto Germany and a new life.

filmed thought my work was useful

The judges say that it is very rare

for them, because they wanted

for a filmmaker to be so immersed in

to have recognition from the

his subject: the consequence being

government. They were quite happy

that the Mettelsiefen camera was

to show me how they were treating

totally invisible.

the migrants.” He shot 20 hours’ worth of

He says, “This took three years of my life. Documentary filmmaking

material, which was cut back to 30

is one of the most unbelievable

minutes for the winning title.

experiences if you are able to gain

‘The Rory Peck Trust has become one of the most effective and best-loved small charities in the world’

Militia support: desperate migrants talk to Marco Salustro

peoples’ trust, to squeak into their lives. This makes our profession so

“There was a point when I tried to

“This made me decide to

beautiful. I managed to gain the

film and they got very angry and

concentrate on these people and

trust of one of the most inspiring

started chasing us. Luckily, another

produce a story about them.”

families I have ever met.”

‘higher up’ trafficking gangster told

Journalists beaten up One of the finalists in news features,

He emphasised that he was

them to back off, otherwise we

studying fellow humans. “They

could have been in serious trouble.”

have their doubts, they change

Once the story was exposed,

their mind. They volunteer, and it’s

“I had been to Libya seven times

Lottie Gammon, and one in the

the Macedonian authorities

a long list because there were few

before this film and I worked

Sony Impact category from Paul

raided the house, freeing around

suicide operations being ordered,”

on another film on this issue a

Salahadin Refsdal, emphasised

200 people while arresting several

says Refsdal. “Even on the night of

few months before, so I had the

the crucial aspects of securing the

traffickers in the process.

driving a truck bomb at the Syrian

contacts and everything was quite

working environment, and also

easy for me,” he explains. “This is a

being lucky.

“It led to Macedonia easing its

army, the bomber can decide he

restrictions on refugees passing

cannot do it. They have a reserve

through, which resulted in nine

on the list. This is not Islamic State. They don’t target civilians.”

big story. The Western media is full of

In shooting Tracking Down

migrant and Islamic State stories, but

Macedonia’s Refugee Kidnap

months when people were able

there are lots of problems in Libya

Gangs for Channel 4 News,

to pass through safe from the

that are unresolved and we are

Gammon had reporter Ramita

kidnappers. But they closed the

started the project in 2013, and

facing a country that is on the

Naval for company. The film hangs

borders in the spring and I heard in

spent about 16 weeks inside the

verge of collapse. In a short time,

on the testimonies of two refugees

Serbia that the traffickers are back

rebel-controlled area until I got

we will have a failed state on the

who escaped.

up and running.”

permission. I had 20 hours of raw

doorstep of Europe, and migration

“We knew about the coordinates

Gammon and Naval shot

How did he get accepted? “I

footage, but it was not as much as

of a house where refugees were

relentlessly for eight days, for an

I wanted. After I spent a month

Some of his wonderful shots are

being kidnapped, but didn’t know

11-minute film. “I very much like

with them on my last trip, they

from inside the detention centre run

what would happen when we got

working in a team,” says Gammon.

said, ‘Now your film is finished.

by the militia. “I was given half an

there,” she says. “The refugees were

“You are a lot safer. You need

Go home’.”

hour there and just left the camera

locked in, and there were definitely

another pair of eyes, especially

rolling while the migrants told their

weapons present.”

when you are shooting.”

will be unanswerable.”

29 30 31 TVBE Feb2017Rory Peck awards_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 55

In one scene, a bomber sits in a truck cab explaining

18/01/2017 16:39


February 2017


Business the system of two buttons he has to push. How dangerous was that?

Mettelsiefen magic: how a mother escapes from Aleppo with her family

“We got bombed several times.

The third finalist in new features was

The Road to Fallujah by Ayman Oghanna and Warzer Jaff. The other

In the film, standing there with the

finalist in news was Waad Al Kateeb

truck, you know it is loaded with four

with A Life in the Day of Aleppo.

tons of explosives, and the Syrian

Waad is the working name of a

army started shelling the area. That

24-year old Syrian mother married to

was a bit hairy,” says Refsdal.

a doctor. She sent a message from Eastern Aleppo, which read, “I am

It is really tough out there

still watching what is happening and

Gammon and Refsdal spent time

filming. I still have hope. We have

plotting safety plans, but Rory Peck

been under siege for 107 days.”

Trust director Tina Carr speaks from

Oghanna and Jaff joined the Iraqi

the experience of sending out over

The camera vanishes

Harrit concludes, “Freelancers

Special Forces as they fought to

200 assistance grants in 2016, to

Michael Harrit, marketing director,

live a dangerous life, and no

remove ISIS from towns and cities in

freelancers and their families.

media solutions, Sony PSE, saw

other organisation supports

Anbar Province. It took 18 months to

“We are proud to help

many of the best entries in his

them in terms of advice and

secure the ride.

freelancers. Many are being

capacity as chair of the Sony

education, and support in

targeted by companies, by factions,

Impact Award judges.

difficult personal situations.”

gangsters, and anyone who wants

“The storytelling was much more

“Being freelancers allowed us to spend the time to develop relationships and trust. We were probably the first ever people to

its own vintage character, and it’s

Every person has to assess risk

getting better, and more varied,”

Ben Steele was a finalist in the Sony

and now, if you look at the situation

he says. “The camera is almost

Impact category, with the judges

in Mosul, everyone is trying to do

population of exiled and displaced

disappearing in the way stories are

noting, “It takes incredible skill to

what we did,” says Oghanna.

freelance journalists, she adds,

told, which is a sign of both good

make such a sensitive and nuanced

“There are more than ever because

journalism and good camera work.

film in those conditions.”

to control the agenda,” she says.

in focus this year. Every year has

“It is really tough out there for them, and it is getting tougher.” On the issue of the growing

have the access to the Iraqi military,

Jaff adds that they spent five weeks in battle zones with ISIS,

“In the case of the Ben Steele

He says, “I wouldn’t go into an

What’s changed is that this is

film The Children Who Beat Ebola,

a war zone, but I was comfortable

now happening closer to home,

where he follows two brothers, a lot

going to the Ebola hot spot in West

Award for heroic levels of support to

happening in countries that we do

of the shots are at the height of the

Africa. Every person has to assess

freelancers went to a woman. Angel

not consider as countries where we

children, and you are more closely

risk and decide what you are

istek Alcu, who works in the Turkish

have that kind of problem.”

relating to these characters,” he

comfortable with, and for me that

city of Diyarbakir, is a journalist, fixer,

added. “You can still relate to the

project felt perfectly acceptable.”

guide and translator. n

of repression, bullying and beatings.

The trust has managed to stretch the impact of its work through links

Ebola story through the humanity

to partner organisations. It wants to

in survival. There were a lot of

stay small to stay personal. “We just

emotional moments present.”

want to be able to do what we do better, and I

Harrit observed that the one topic from so many angles. What is it

do that with

that freelancers need in the way

staff that work

of technology? “A combo of very high picture

week rather

quality, low light performance,

than three,”

and ergonomics. There are many

says Carr.

For the first time, the Martin Adler

of refugees had been covered

would like to

five days a

securing 900GB of footage.

positions that are difficult to shoot, so thinking about how to hold the camera in difficult positions is important,” he says. “It is always

COMPLEX RIGHTS RULE THE CONTENT LIFECYCLE Let’s not leave money on the table

a balance between being small and losing out on some quality or Will Vassilopoulos received the Rory Peck award for news

flexibility. If it gets too big you lose out on flexibility, and may miss some shots. But for Sony, it is not a question of selling cameras. It is all about supporting the Rory Peck Trust.”

29 30 31 TVBE Feb2017Rory Peck awards_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 56

18/01/2017 16:39


TVBEurope February 2017


Exploring the future of

live audio production With exciting developments surrounding immersive and personalised audio, and the continuing implementation of remote production techniques, 2017 is shaping up to be a hugely eventful year for broadcast manufacturers in this area. David Davies caught up with three leading players to find out about their latest projects and predictions

LAWO Christian Struck, senior product manager, audio production


mmersive audio with objects,

and, thus, help the engineer. More

inclusion in a broadcast mix.

but also OTT content, potentially

recently, with the introduction of

The outcome is a mix that is fully

binaural mixes, personalisation,

KICK in late 2015, Lawo took a first

repeatable from match to match

etcetera, all require additional

step to use external tracking data

and remains accurate even after

work from sound engineers. From

for mixing purposes in sports such

90 minutes of play.

monitoring multiple output formats

as football, rugby and American

to defining metadata for objects,

football. Considering that,

support in that it relieves the

new tasks require the engineers’

especially in sports, highly accurate

operator with regard to basic

attention and mostly mean extra

“Today, we normally find broadcast mixes in more places than we think”

workload. Another topic that is key in the music mixing industry is to make sure your mix sounds good on different playback systems. Today, we normally find broadcast

KICK works as an essential

mixing, and automisation creates extremely consistent audio levels and fades. This is an important prerequisite for use as full signal in object-based environments. Manually created

mixes in more places than we think.

close-ball mixes are always in

People listen to content on different

tracking systems are widely in use

danger of level inconsistencies or audible fades.

distribution channels (broadcast,

what’s coming. In Lawo’s mind, it

already, this is an excellent source

cable, network websites), but also

is therefore important to support

of information that can help to

as part of theatrical advertising

engineers with additional mixing

improve and automate major parts

unnoticed in a mix with crowd

or international outlets. If all of this

aids which will allow the engineer

of the mixing. KICK analyses and

and commentator, but just

needs the engineer’s attention

to manage all these additional

evaluates this tracking data for the

imagine a viewer – by using

during the mix, the care taken in

tasks. There have been different

automated positioning of the fader

personalisable audio – being

creating the mix will suffer.

developments in the past – such as

on the console, thereby achieving

able to lower the commentator

This might not be all relevant for

automix or audio follow video – that

a consistent audio level without

channel and turn up the sound

2017, but it is [an indication as] to

automate certain parts of the mix

noticeable fades for seamless

of the FX signals. n

This may be completely

DPA MICROPHONES René Mørch, product manager


n today’s competitive broadcast

the availability of compact live

be cut down to a tiny crew with

environment, where audiences

broadcasting transmission units

the agility of a gazelle, because

have endless viewing possibilities,

that have, to some extent, sent

it’s no longer necessary to send

news and sports coverage have

traditional ENG vans into retirement.

a van to the scene of the action,

become the main drivers used

With this equipment, broadcasting

or set up satellite or microwave

by traditional broadcasters to

live only requires two people:

links to access broadcast station

retain audience share. But with

a journalist and a multimedia

backbones. Two-man crews can

the advent of new and more

engineer carrying all the necessary

simply get on the metro, jump in

economical ways of gathering

gear, with transmission taken care

a car or even on bicycles, and

content, even this traditional

of by a few 4G channels, Wi-Fi or a

within minutes they can be right

advantage is coming under threat.

similar wired or wireless IP stream.

where the story is taking place.

One of the major changes is

Traditionally, costly set-ups can now

This rapid access has inevitably

32 33 TVBE feb 2017 Audio_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 54

18/01/2017 16:17


February 2017


Audio increased the burden placed on

Going from an ENG van to a two-

with a smartphone is gathering

from background noise such

multimedia technicians, as they

man crew is a major evolution,

content, it is even more important

as wind and traffic, while our

now need to control audio, video

but it doesn’t stop there. The next

that good transducers, professional

bodyworn range of headset and

and transmission, as well as setting

trend in newsgathering is the

analogue and digital converters are

lapel mics make it easy to get very

the scene for nice pictures. In this

smartphone. Using smartphones for

employed to send the right audio

close to the sound source. We

respect, audio often receives less

live and pre-recorded content is

signal to the device.

even have an in-ear version of our

attention, as most of us are visually oriented. However, about 80 per cent of complaints received by broadcasters concern poor sound. An audio signal is only ever as good

“News and sports coverage have become the main drivers to retain audience share”

as it is at source – it certainly won’t

Audio equipment targeting these

headset microphone that allows

applications is already available,

you to monitor input and have

but quality varies greatly, from

foldback from the studio so you can

professional units to inexpensive

stay in contact with your producer.

consumer-type products. This is

We are also launching the d:vice

an area where you get what you

Digital Audio Interface, a new input

get better further down the signal

already part of daily life for large,

pay for, so even if you are working

engine consisting of a high-quality

chain. Therefore, delivering good

established broadcasters, as well

solo with a smartphone, it is worth

mic pre-amp, an A/D converter

audio starts with good transducers

as those creating content for the

investing in the best microphone

and a power plug that can be


web and social media applications.

you can afford. DPA’s broadcast

connected directly to an iOS

While we can live with less-than-

microphone range is designed

device, Mac or PC. This accessory

you need microphones capable

brilliant video quality, audio fails

to deliver high levels of speech

takes up to two DPA microphones so

of picking up audio and delivering

that result in distorted or difficult-

intelligibility. The directional quality

users can create a similar blend of

high speech intelligibility with little

to-interpret sound will quickly turn

of many of our microphones

voice and ‘clean feed’ that usually

to no adjustment.

viewers away. When one person

significantly reduces interference

follows a video track. n

If you want to avoid complaints,



ith today’s broadcasters

music and effects. The aim is to

and increased efficiency,

facing increasing

control these sources in such a

while still delivering a predictable

consumer demand for

way that final mixing can become

performance and audio

more content on more devices, the

fully automated. Separate audio

output. This is an important step

need for fast and cost-effective

control rooms are no longer

towards the introduction of

workflows has never been greater.

necessary because mixing can

object-based audio workflows

be done in the transmission centre.

that support the future Next

doubt that Smart Production is the

This solution offers highly automated

Generation Audio (NGA)

answer. This phrase encompasses

workflows with maximum flexibility

codec systems.” n

Against this backdrop, there is no

the use of sophisticated technologies to reach high-quality production results with increased efficiency. An important part of this will be Smart Audio, developed

in another location, you cannot

to help broadcasters embrace

always assume that audio levels

automated audio production,

will be consistent, or that the mix

particularly in live environments. The

will be compliant with relevant

introduction of remote production

loudness standards. The only way

scenarios will benefit from Smart

to ensure that viewers receive a

Production in general and Smart

consistent, clear audio experience

Audio procedures in detail.

is to utilise a chain of intelligent

Broadcasters who buy into this

and adaptive real-time processing

concept can choose devices that

algorithms working together. This is

are fully interoperable with others

what Smart Audio means: delivering

in the broadcast environment and

high quality sound in a very efficient

can integrate with both playout

way, with minimal requirement for

automation systems and logging

manual control or intervention

and monitoring processes.

from an operator.

If you are taking in a feed from

Let’s unify the workflow

Using this concept, we focus

an OB truck, combining it with a

on individual audio sources such

local studio presenter and perhaps

as venue feeds and location

also a feed from a remote reporter

recordings, commentator tracks,

32 33 TVBE feb 2017 Audio_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 55


18/01/2017 16:17

34 TVBEurope February 2017


The critical difference between cloud-native and cloud-enabled According to the 2016 Imagine Communications

and automation, which enable cloud-native

Focus Forward Technology Trends report, 52 per

applications to harness the power of a distributed

cent of broadcasters believe that encoding and

and geo-diverse environment. This allows

transcoding will be the first aspect of broadcast

broadcasters to scale resources up and down as

workflow to transition toward a cloud environment,

required and delivers reliability, easy set-up and

he terms ‘cloud-native’ and ‘cloud-enabled’

followed by advertising, playout, editing and

maintenance, as well as opening the door to

are often used interchangeably to describe

production – with master control, signal routing

countless business continuity scenarios.

an application that is accessible from a

lagging behind. In fact, over 20 per cent expect

By contrast, cloud-enabled applications are

virtual setting, and is not dependent on a specific

that over half of all operations will be conducted

designed for static environments. Having been

type of underlying hardware. However, assuming

in a data centre within five years.

merely ‘enabled’ for the cloud, they are firmly on

By Glodina Lostanlen, CMO, Imagine Communications


both terms mean the same thing can lead to very different results for broadcasters seeking the benefits of a cloud environment. A cloud-enabled application is one that was originally designed

the way to delivering the performance-enhancing

‘Assuming both terms mean the same thing can lead to very different result’

to run on purpose-built hardware located in the

and cost-efficient capabilities of the cloud, but in reality, they lack the ability to truly deliver them. Because technology vendors are conflating the two terms in their eagerness to jump on the

company’s central facilities, but that has been

cloud bandwagon, media professionals in search

retrofitted to be accessible from a public or private

These numbers give an idea of how high the

of a cloud-native infrastructure are facing a much

cloud environment.

stakes are as the industry embraces cloud. Many

more difficult task than they might realise.

Though cloud-enabled applications are

technology suppliers, however, are still incorrectly

Until the advent of a ‘cloud-native’ certification

accessible from the cloud, they lack the ability

promoting the relocation of premises-based

or industry-wide seal of approval, those media

to tap into traditional cloud characteristics, such

applications to virtualised settings as a ‘cloud-

professionals can ask three foolproof questions in

as elastic scaling, geo-dispersion and advanced

native’ solution – by simply dressing them up in

a bid to correctly distinguish the ‘cloud-enabled’

automation. A cloud-native application, on the

what amounts to an IP wrapper. These cloud-

from the ‘cloud-native’ application.

other hand, is developed with the cloud in mind

enabling efforts play a vital role in the migration

from the start, and is built to take full advantage

of the media production, playout and distribution

microservices architecture?” If the application is

of the inherent cloud principles mentioned

process towards realising the benefits of IP, but

based on microservices, a buyer can be assured

above. Cloud-native applications are also

they fall short of the end goal.

that it’s cloud-native. The reason behind this is

described as ‘cloud-centric.’ This may sound like a semantic detail, but

To exploit the full performance, scale,

First question: “Is the application based on a

that a microservices approach to application

reliability and efficiency benefits of the cloud,

development is a deconstruction of monolithic

as software-defined networking (SDN) and the

an application must be designed and built from

application design.

cloud gather momentum year upon year across

the ground up with a virtualised environment

the industry, it’s important for broadcasters

in mind. The power and efficiency of the cloud

on microservices is composed of small, mostly

to understand what exactly is on the table.

come from specialised and built-in orchestration

autonomous components that often perform a

34 35 TVBE Feb 2017 TVBEverywhere_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 32

As the name suggests, an application based

18/01/2017 17:11


February 2017


TVBEverywhere specific function or capability, such as encryption

wholesale replacements of applications and

Several high-profile public deployments

or compression. A cloud-native application

platforms. Continuous software delivery is all

showcasing the successful relocation of integrated

may be composed of multiple microservices

about being able to augment applications

playout operations to the cloud have been

that interact through a shared fabric. A major

with the latest technology without requiring a

revealed in the past couple of years, including

advantage of microservices over monolithic

wholesale upgrade.

Disney/ABC Television Group’s relocation of its

design is the ability to troubleshoot, monitor and

Third question: “How long have you, Mr Supplier,

update on a service-by-service basis, rather than

been talking about SDN and cloud?” Designing

dealing with the entire application.

and developing cloud-native applications doesn’t

Most importantly, a microservices design

channel origination playout operations and master control to a virtualised environment. Whether a broadcaster has already started

happen overnight, and an authentic cloud-native

down the path of shifting its operations to a

enables the nearly immediate incorporation of

application is likely the result of years of extensive

software-centric model, or is in the early planning

new functionality and features.

research and development. Many technology

stages, knowing the differences between cloud-

suppliers lack the resources to fully commit to a

native and cloud-enabled is the first fundamental

continuous software delivery?” Continuous

cloud-native development programme. They

step to securing the future of the business. It’s

software delivery, or innovation, is a more formal

are often on the back foot, because they were

important to stress that the cloud, whether

way of describing how cloud-native applications

late to recognise the need for a new technology

private or public, isn’t for everyone. Rather than

can remain perpetually updated. The component

foundation to support evolving video consumption

pigeonhole companies into a single deployment

nature of an application that was born in the

preferences and business models. Unless there is

scenario, virtualisation provides businesses with the

cloud makes it possible for media companies

evidence that a supplier has been traveling down

ability to choose any deployment option, from

– or their vendors – to continuously improve

the software-enabled, IP-based road for at least a

appliance-based to cloud, or a hybrid approach

their operations with the latest technology and

couple of years, then it’s unlikely that the vendor

that distributes functionality between on-premises

advanced features.

has made it far enough along the path to have

and remote locations. A cloud-native approach

completed a significant shift to the cloud.

also enables broadcasters to migrate operations

Second question: “Does the application support

In the current technology climate, continuous software delivery is the only way to future-proof workflows without suffering through frequent and

34 35 TVBE Feb 2017 TVBEverywhere_v2 JGJMcK_final2.indd 33

Plenty of cloud-native broadcast applications have already been commercially deployed.

to IP-based on business objectives that dictate how and when they embrace the cloud. n

18/01/2017 17:11


TVBEurope February 2017

Data Centre

This TV programme is brought to you by

automation xxx xxxxx By Barry Hartman, product director of media logistics, Ooyala


coined ‘peak’ TV – is unsustainable, and that

a software application that generates game

producers may simply run out of resources

highlight clips that are customised to individual

and bandwidth. There’s some truth to that. In

fan preferences, and then delivers those clips

today’s video ecosystem, content producers

immediately following or during games in

are taxed not simply with producing great

near real time.

onsumers and producers both want

shows, but also with competing for increasingly

more video content. Viewers are

scarce talent, such as writers, actors and crew

dying to see another season of Game

members. These challenges are compounded

of Thrones, up-to-the-minute clips from the

home team’s game, or the next installment of xxxxx

Fifty Shades of Greyxxxx . Content producers are

motivated to create more programming in order

‘It’s neither easy nor straightforward for providers to keep pace with viewers’ and advertisers’ increasing demand for video’

Similarly, a recent New York Times article discussed new technology that helps publishers such as Hearst, Gannett and The Huffington Post increase video production and save costs. This is done by automating the analysis of existing articles or scripts and searching for video clips to accompany that text, or by providing


past year, Netflix promised to double content

by the fact that content must meet the needs of

production and Amazon committed to tripling

different delivery platforms, devices, syndicate

the number of its original shows. Industry

partners, regional variations, technical standards,

for the production of content that already exists

watchers believe the uptick will continue,

and more – often without budget increases.

(for example, repurposing game highlights or

predicting that by 2017, output could reach

Organisations across the entire industry are

articles), but what about automation to help

to capture xxxxx thenhearts, minds, and wallets of viewers and wwww brands. As a result, we’ve recently

points to ‘technology that promises to streamline

seen producers pump up the content: this

more than 500 scripted shows. While it’s exciting to be part of a growing industry, in reality it’s neither easy nor

computerised voiceovers for videos. The article video production, sometimes to the point of

xxxxx struggling to meet this challenge, and few are xxxxx sure where to turn for solutions.

Some producers are hoping to meet

near-full automation’. These new technologies hold great promise

with the production of original content, such as those Game of Thrones episodes that viewers love? Certainly, original content producers

straightforward for content producers,

these exponentially increasing content

would welcome more help with both the non-

broadcasters or VoD service providers to keep

demands – and simultaneously reduce costs

creative and creative parts of production, but is

pace with viewers’ and advertisers’ increasing

and manpower requirements – by using

automation the answer to all those needs? Just

demand for video. In fact, some are saying

technologies that automate various aspects of

how far will producers go with automation – do

that this massive increase in programming –

video production. The NBA, for example, uses

they even know enough to decide?

36 37 TVBE Ooyala Data Centre_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 49

18/01/2017 16:29


February 2017


Data Centre The long road from creation to distribution

for repackaged videos? Well, yes – and no.

automation technology helped reduce the

Production of original content is, in general,

length of its average job from 90 minutes to

When ‘pumping up the content’, content

more creative, nuanced and involved than

just ten! Another commented that automation

producers must consider nearly every facet

repackaged video production, particularly

allowed them to on-board new clients or

of production, from concept development to

when that programming is licensed to scores of

launch new services in a fraction of the time,

scriptwriting, to editing, all the way through

outlets or partners that require quick turnaround

making them significantly more agile in a

to delivery, and often must customise those

and delivery. Given that complexity, it’s

rapidly changing market.

processes in various ways for dozens of partners.

unrealistic to think that automation could help

Consider this example: a major production

original content producers to the extent and

company recently signed a contract with a

in the same ways it’s helping repackaged

control over production, eliminating waste

distributor to produce more than ten animated

content producers – certainly, it won’t take

and saving money. These savings allow

cartoon series based on characters in its films.

the place of Aaron Sorkin’s stellar scriptwriting

organisations to do more work with the same

To meet this demand, the company not only

in West Wing. However, technology can be

budget, or to accomplish the same work

had to find animators, writers, and production

employed for many other creative processes

at a lower cost. The savings can also be

studios to create and produce the series,

involved in production.

reinvested, for example, to hire star-quality

Automation can also provide content producers with increased visibility and

they also had to deliver each of the shows in

For example, tasks that require human input,

multiple languages, with various versions, and

such as collaboration on a script, or the decision

with subtitles – obligations that often required

to move ahead with production after receiving

script changes. Additionally, the company had

comments during a review, can be orchestrated

be invaluable in risk assessment and growth

to package up the content assets to meet

and managed with automation. By removing

management, which can help an organisation

the barriers to collaboration – the large chunks

determine if it can add distribution partners

of time and the sometimes byzantine logistics

xxxxx up reviews and conduct more in total – xxxxx

without adding resources.

a move that can dramatically improve

creativity – the subtleties of plot development,

content quality.

nuances of language, and artistic flair required

‘For all its many benefits, automation will never be a complete substitute for human creativity’

required – a production can significantly speed

And, of course, there are many non-creative

on-screen talent, better producers, or better directors. The visibility afforded by automation can also

For all its many benefits, automation will never be a complete substitute for human

in design, staging, and lighting – but it can

distributor’s preferences. All of these steps had

aspects of original programming production

certainly help significantly augment many

to be completed for each and every episode

that content producers can automate,

creative processes, such as collaboration, and

in all ten series, on a rigorous schedule calling

including quality control, versioning, standards

perform a good share of the non-creative ones,

for production of roughly one episode per day.

and format adherence, ingestion, packaging,

such as ingestion.

Scaling was a major concern, and the pain of

delivery, content commissioning and pre-

managing existing day-to-day needs, combined

production workflows.

with the requirements of the overall increased demand, created a ripple effect felt throughout the entire organisation.

All told, automation technology saves the time and frees up the resources needed to add the creative cycles that can improve the quality

Automation increases more than volume

of programming, and to realise greater overall efficiency and cost savings.

By automating production, content producers

And, yes, automation can also help

Not all video production is created equally

can eliminate many manual tasks and shorten

organisations ‘pump up the content’ to

production cycles, which reduces errors and

meet the demand for ‘peak’ TV – an

So, can automation do for original content

increases productivity, speed and efficiency.

outcome that will make both viewers and

and more complex programming what it does

In fact, one Ooyala customer reported that

content producers happy. n

36 37 TVBE Ooyala Data Centre_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 47

18/01/2017 16:29

38 TVBEurope February 2017

Data Centre

The rise and rise of video streaming apps growth, MLB advanced media took advantage

Paul Barnes, director of Northern Europe and Middle East, App Annie, looks at why television networks are adopting the mindset of app developers


of device features to improve user experience. For instance, as part of its strategy to boost iPad engagement for the 2016 season, a February update introduced multitasking and picture-

he rise of the mobile phone has been

Amazon is a perfect example of the offline

in-picture streaming to iPads running iOS 9.

especially transformative for the media

viewing function directly impacting number of

According to MLB, the update resulted in a

industry. Time spent on apps is growing

users. At the beginning of September 2015, the

20 per cent increase in average minutes spent

globally, and it’s increasingly apparent that

company announced it was allowing users of its

per day, per user, on live viewing compared to

mobile devices are the first screen for many

Amazon Video app to download content and

the 2015 season.

consumers. In fact, over the past two years,

watch it offline. Since then, the base number has

global time spent on media and video apps has

spiked significantly. Netflix recently followed suit to

variety of video streaming services. Although

grown by more than 210 per cent. Growth has

keep up with the competition.

this appears to be a competitive risk to

been much faster than the average for all apps, and they are now on the brink of overtaking games in total time spent. Opportunities being created to reach, impact and influence target audiences is greater than

It’s very common for users to subscribe to a

individual apps, this could also be indicative

‘Opportunities being created to reach, impact and influence target audiences is greater than ever before’

ever before. For example, thanks to in-app

of the broader cord-cutting trend. Users may be picking and choosing the content they most desire – effectively building a custom TV package from available streaming services. However, this also provides a big opportunity

subscription payments, App Annie has seen the

for OTT consolidators, such as and

likes of Netflix, HBO Now and IQIYI storm to the

Beyond the battle of content

ToView, who are providing pre-populated

top of global app revenue rankings. This is before

Netflix and Amazon’s battle for the best content

packages that draw content from multiple

we even consider the revenue opportunities

is well publicised, with the wider media industry

devices. They offer a one-stop shop to consumers

presented by advertising!

appreciating the need to secure the best

that could draw engagement from the original

exclusive content. But what’s equally important

content owner.

Untethering content from Wi-Fi opens opportunities

is the need for a successful app strategy. Key to success for any video streaming app is a

competitive, so how can you stand out?

Consumer behaviour is shaped by digital

combination of the same skills that make any

Following best practices for video streaming

convenience, and technology is similarly

media network successful, coupled with a well-

apps, including effective user acquisition and

shaped by consumer demand. In Q4 2015, 46

informed app development strategy.

engagement strategies, can ultimately lead to

per cent of global video plays were on a smart

One example of this combination in action

The video streaming market is highly

higher viewership, increased loyalty and more

phone or a tablet. With so much content being

is MLB’s introduction of new device features.

frequent engagement. However, in order to

consumed by video, access to Wi-Fi and data

The app is a subscription-based service that

benchmark success, it’s essential to have a clear

usage becomes a key issue for the wider media

allows users to stream league games, while also

overview of the wider app economy as well as

industry. In all countries studied in App Annie’s

providing a variety of supporting content. To drive

competitors in media network industry. n

recent report, the biggest portion of data used by video streaming apps was accessed via a Wi-Fi network. Unsurprisingly, users are primarily accessing videos when they are stationary (for example, at home, in the office or in a Wi-Fi hotspot). So, what does this mean for the media industry? There are several elements to consider. Mobile data can be expensive, and video can have a significant impact on data plans. T-Mobile’s US-based ‘binge-on’ promotion seeks to address this by offering users free data usage

xxxxx xxxxx

for major video streaming providers. Congestion and poor signal can limit the speed and quality of streaming services. The ability to watch content offline while commuting opens up an opportunity that directly confronts these prior challenges.

38 TVBE Feb2017 Data Centre_v2 JGJMcK_final.indd 46

18/01/2017 17:39

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