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www.tvbeurope.com

Business, insight and intelligence for the media and entertainment industry

July 2017

SPORTING

GREATS THE FUTURE OF SPORTS BROADCASTING

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

General Election 2017

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The EBU’s Ingrid Deltenre

eSports

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TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

Welcome

EDITORIAL Content Director: James McKeown jmckeown@nbmedia.com Editor: Jenny Priestley jpriestley@nbmedia.com Senior Staff Writer: James Groves jgroves@nbmedia.com Contributors: George Jarrett, Neal Romanek, Philip Stevens Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy pmccarthy@nbmedia.com +44 207 354 6025 Senior Account Manager: Richard Carr rcarr@nbmedia.com +44 207 354 6000 Digital Director: Diane Oliver Human Resources Director: Lianne Davey Head of Production: Alistair Taylor Managing Director: Mark Burton Designer: Sam Richwood US Sales: Michael Mitchell mjmitchell@broadcast-media.tv +1 (631) 673 0072

3

TV at its best

I

t can be argued that sport is the one thing that unites us rather than divides us. Yes, we probably all have different sports that we

follow – and different teams – but at times of national tournaments, say the Olympics or the World Cup, we gather around our respective TV sets and cheer our teams on to victory (or losing on penalties if you’re an England supporter). Anyway, my point is that we can’t share that experience without a TV. Radio is a great medium, and I love how it paints pictures, but you don’t gather round the coffee machine in the office

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asking if anyone listened to Usain Bolt break the

best in TV coverage of other sports: tennis, athletics,

already appeared on the TVBEurope website, we’ll

Email subscriptions@TVBE.co.uk

cycling, horse racing and eSports.

be covering the event in more detail with a special

100 metres world record. Television is the natural home for sport. So while football is on its summer holiday, we thought it was time to celebrate the

When I first joined TVBEurope, eSports was something I’d heard about but wasn’t really on

e-book in the coming weeks. Finally, I just want to say how proud I am to have

my radar. How that has changed over the last few

been a part of the TV industry over the last month.

months. eSports is big – and in broadcast terms it’s

From the expected (the Champions League Final

getting bigger. From dedicated eSports streaming

in Cardiff) to the unexpected (the Manchester and

channels to BT Sport’s coverage of EA Sport’s FIFA

London terror attacks) and from the sublime (the

17 gaming events in April and May, it’s a new area

One Love Manchester concert) to the ridiculous

of content for broadcasters to tap into. One of the

(the General Election), TV has shown once again

great quotes to come out of our MediaTech 360

why it is the leading medium for news, sport and

event at the beginning of June was ITV’s director of

everything in between. Colleagues throughout the

pay and distribution, Martin Goswami, who told the

industry have come together to bring unparalleled

© Copyright NewBay Media Europe Ltd 2017

audience “The eSports bus is moving along – no-

coverage to the viewer, from the presenters and

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of TVBE are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.

one is driving it and no-one knows where it is going,

journalists to the teams supplying and working in

but it is going at some speed!” Maybe it’s time for

the OB trucks, and have delivered must-see TV in

someone to take control? Speaking of MediaTech

what at times will have been difficult and trying

360, what a fantastic event it was. I certainly learnt

circumstances – and they did it brilliantly. n

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Jenny Priestley

loads and it was great to meet so many industry

Editor

colleagues. As well as the articles that have

SECTION EDITORS

Philip Stevens Production and Post editor

03 TVBE July Welcome_V3 JG.indd 1

Neal Romanek Technology editor

George Jarrett Business editor

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4 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

In this issue

6

Opinion and Analysis

Globecast offers its insights into how the industry could go about integrating broadcast television and the new world of eSports

18

Production and Post

ATP Media executive producer Dominic Gresset speaks to editor Jenny Priestley about innovation, second screens and Hawkeye

04 TVBE July Contents_V2 JG.indd 1

Feature

12

Philip Stevens investigates the BBC’s General Election coverage following the UK Government’s snap election last month

30 Technology

NEP recently secured a four-year deal with ITV Sport to deliver horse racing coverage until 2021. James Groves investigates

Business

26 Feature

Ingrid Deltenre opens up about her upcoming departure from the EBU

32

George Jarrett hears from Linius Technologies CEO Chris Richardson on the ‘incredible benefits’ of virtualising video

20/06/2017 16:02


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6 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Opinion and Analysis

Bridging the gap between eSports and TV By Jeremie Mekaelian, contribution services sales and projects director, Globecast

T

Many now argue that we have recently reached

eSports involve headset-wearing gamers

a tipping point with the eSports market moving

who compete in massive computer gaming

from subculture to mass-market.

tournaments against each other, or in teams.

Peter Warman, CEO of research agency

Types of eSports matches typically – though

Newzoo, says in its recent 2017 Global Esports

not exclusively – include fighting games, first-

Market Report: “2016 was another big year

person shooters and multi-player online battle

he 1980s saw the first real explosion in home

for eSports, with the industry showing signs of

arena games (MOBA). Tournaments are played

computing, with gaming central to that

becoming a global mainstream market.

and streamed all over the world, and players

growth. School playgrounds often echoed

to the sound of arguments about the Sinclair ZX Spectrum versus the Commodore 64 – the keyboard-bashing required in Daley Thomson’s Decathlon versus the subtler space flight of Elite. Of course, these games appear desperately

have become so skilled that eSports are now

‘It will be interesting to see in the next few years where this burgeoning market takes us’

an organised, competitive, and professional segment of the video industry. Some players even get paid for their participation. As Business Insider UK says: “What started as friends gathering in each other’s homes

quaint now. Through the 90s came the rise of

to host LAN parties and play into the night

the consoles and the increasing use of PCs.

has become an official network of pro gaming

With the growth of the internet and its inherent

This year will be no different. As the convergence

connectivity, games began to reach out

of games and traditional media accelerates,

teams, some of which are even sponsored

beyond the confines of living rooms into

eSports is leading the way. Already, eSports

and have international reach. Organisations

connected multiplayer events. Through the

has been broadcast on TV in more than a

such as Denial, AHQ, and MLG have multiple

turn of the century and onwards, this has

dozen new countries, major media companies

eSports leagues.”

been a huge growth arena leading to the

have invested big into eSports, and numerous

development of eSports. But while few will be

traditional sports teams and agencies have

of 16-35-year olds, are sometimes covered live

unaware of the scale of the modern computer

entered the industry.”

and other times recorded, streamed, and edited.

games market – and the associated cost of

There’s absolutely no doubt that the eSports

tournaments and leagues with legitimate

The games, which primarily draw an audience

Today, the dominant streaming platform for

modern game production – how many are

market is a rapidly growing sector, which I’ll get

eSports is twitch.tv (a subsidiary of Amazon). Of

aware of eSports?

on to shortly. But what are “eSports”?

course, eSports events are not platform-specific

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TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

7

Opinion and Analysis and smartphone access is now very much a part

Other broadcasters are also working on shows

It doesn’t matter what the size of production is.

of the proposition in terms of access device and

covering eSports.

If it’s a smaller tournament – a five or six-camera

that’s growing rapidly.

What makes a media service provider like

event – we can produce that event from start

us uniquely positioned for this market segment

to finish and then stream it over the internet or

still nascent industry filled with commercial

is that we have a keen understanding of the

direct to TV channels, or both. Alternately, if it’s

opportunity.” This we completely agree with,

challenges faced by both sides.

a larger – a 20 to 30-camera production – we’ll

Business Insider UK adds: “eSports is a

and is something that has been recognised by

In terms of streaming, event organisers

work with partner production companies.

the likes of football club Paris St Germain with the

know what they are doing, but when it comes

creation of its recently-announced eSports team.

to television, it’s a completely different matter.

story, narratives around competitors and

Warman adds: “Media rights trade is becoming

A high-quality eSports production isn’t just

competitions that flesh out events.

a serious business and is expected to grow

about having the technology in place;

It’s important that a media services provider

sevenfold from only $50 million in 2016 to close

it’s all about working with a partner who

also work across the rights issues too for content

to $340 million in 2020.”

understands how television operates as a

providers like tournament organisers, handling

business, and exactly what the production

the negotiation necessary to maximise the

TV? Is this a streaming-only market or is there

requirements are to be successful. Let’s take

carriage of the channel or event.

more to it than that?

a simple example: on television, you can’t have

What is the relationship between eSports and

In our experience, there’s already a symbiotic

There’s also the need to create a compelling

With many predicting the eSports market

a half-a-second break during a broadcast but

to top $1 billion by 2020 – indeed, Warman

relationship: software developers and event

on the internet, that’s simply not an issue.

predicts that it has the potential to become

organizers want to reach as wide an audience

Television has requirements that the internet

one of the top five global sports – this upswing

as possible, while TV channels want content

doesn’t; it’s not the same QoS. If you want

will continue, attracting even more skilled

that reaches the 16-35-year old demographic.

to broadcast live or from a pre-recorded file,

players, new technology partners, brands and

This is where Globecast comes in. In France,

the quality has to be televisual. We serve as

broadcasters. It will be interesting to see in the

BeIN Sports has already proposed two shows a

the gateway between these two worlds, and

next few years where this burgeoning market

week while Canal Plus are also looking at one.

that’s essential.

takes us. n

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06 07 TVBE July Opinion Globecast_V3 JG.indd 2

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8 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Opinion and Analysis

Small niche in a big pond By Henry Nixon, content manager, BIKE Channel

our audience understands that. In fact, this

needs supplementary content – something

is one of the biggest positives for all niche

for all of our fans to see, read and enjoy –

broadcasters – we connect with our audience

forcing us to be creative, which sees some

on a personal, accessible level.

amazing results.

Every experience that a viewer has of a

The world of broadcast and video is

ur mission statement is simple; to inspire

O

niche broadcaster has to be excellent.

changing so quickly and unpredictably.

our audience in the time between their

Our identity flows through our shows, unlike

Everyone knows that. People’s habits dictate

last bike ride and before their next.

the major players. One wrong technical

where content ends up, and how long it lasts.

Broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a

name, or just a hint of patronising the

The only thing that is remaining constant are

week is no mean feat. Now, push that further in

audience, and you could lose viewers

people’s interests. When you’re in a niche

to one area of interest, and it should be virtually

instantaneously. However, this means every

market, this gives you the creativity to shape

impossible to fill a programming guide. But in

viewer we have is engaged. You don’t end

how people engage, constantly re-versioning

today’s world, content is not the issue. And

up on the fourth page by accident.

what you acquire or make. Whatever happens

when the parameters are pretty tight, it means niche broadcasters are able to really focus on their viewer, giving them exactly what they’re after. Being everything to everybody doesn’t even enter the agenda. You have to be the master in that area –

with the future of content, one thing will be the

‘The age of looking through the TV guide to find nothing interesting is over. We have niche broadcasters to thank for that’

the defining voice for beginners, enthusiasts

same; people will still love cycling as well as so many other interests. We could just exist online and move to hosting a live stream and on-demand on our site, but that’s forgetting that TV is still the best way of watching featurelength content.

and experts alike. So when the biggest events

So, what’s the point in a small, niche-interest

in your area are bought for sums far beyond

No one is watching us just to fill time. They

broadcaster? It’s the interactions with our

your budget, that must spell the end, right?

want to relive their passion, see their heroes

fans, and the credibility they give us through

Wrong. The headline broadcasting is taken,

and explore the world of cycling. This is

watching and engaging with the content we

but everything below that is what gives you

where inspiration comes in to play. Unlike

deliver to them that otherwise they wouldn’t

your real value. There’s no doubt it’s tough

regular entertainment, good sport-related

see. We’re not looking at Sky Sports and BBC

missing out on the biggest events in our world –

content inspires a desire to get out, to travel

Sport’s viewing figures thinking ‘Oh one day’ –

especially when they last for three weeks at a

somewhere, to try something new. This is where

what would be the point? We’re looking at our

time – but in the long run, this only spells good

our digital platforms support.

audience, trying to turn them in to BIKE Channel

news for our area of interest. It means large

BIKE Channel (surprisingly given the name)

evangelists, so that every time they speak

sums of money are moving through the sport,

isn’t defined by our linear platform. There’s

to a friend with this shared interest, the first

attracting sponsors and maintaining a fan

no doubt it’s our strongest channel to reach

thing they talk about is what they saw on BIKE

base unheralded in cycling. As we pick up the

our audience, but it’s just a part of the holistic

Channel recently. In our game, it’s high quality

second-tier races that are often broadcast on

experience. This again gives us a difference

interactions, rather than sheer volume.

TV for the first time, that growth at the top level

to the major players. When a show ends on a

The age of looking through the TV guide to

actually works out well, despite the cost of live

major broadcaster, most of the time, that’s it.

find nothing interesting is over. We have niche

rights. And as a small, relatively new company,

For us, we know all of our flagship programming

broadcasters to thank for that. n

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TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Opinion and Analysis

The build versus buy quandary By Johan Bolin, vice president of products, Edgeware

W

Understanding when the conditions are right to

case put together by Edgeware, the tipping

make the shift from renting space on a public

point when content owners should seriously

CDN to building a private TV CDN can be a

consider building their own TV CDN is when

big challenge. Identifying the optimal tipping

100,000 or more subscribers are located within

point where renting space is no longer the most

a close geographical area and use a service

economically or operationally beneficial model

for one hour per day or longer.

ith TV audience consumption

to follow can have a transformational effect on

patterns changing so rapidly,

a business.

A six-question checklist, which covers scale, reach and quality has also been created by Frost & Sullivan to help content providers to

broadcasters and content owners

determine whether or not they will benefit

that this change presents, or they risk being

Identifying the conditions for a private CDN

left behind. They can no longer bank on the

To help with this process, we at Edgeware

or more of the below questions is an indicator

fact that people will access their content

commissioned analyst firm Frost & Sullivan to

that building a delivery network could be the

in the traditional way, by sitting in front of

research the factors influencing the decision for

right option.

their television sets and watching as the

a private CDN. The findings outline why today’s

programmes are transmitted. Now there is a

entertainment industry has become so reliant

Scale

world of content – mainstream and niche –

on any kind of CDN for viewer engagement,

• Do your concurrent viewers routinely exceed

available on demand to a range of devices,

highlighting the link between the shift in

putting them in control. The growth in choice

popularity from traditional TV viewing to on-

has meant that quality of content has never

demand consumption across multiple devices.

been more important. But no matter how good

They also predict that reliance on CDNs will

the content is, if the delivery to the end user is

increase quickly as more people become

Reach

affected by buffering, delays or glitches, then

accustomed to high-quality OTT services.

• Is your audience densely packed in or

the overall viewing experience will be soured,

Bandwidth-hungry formats are another

must adapt and embrace the possibilities

and people will look for alternative platforms

element to consider going forward. Even

or OTT services.

without including the extra bandwidth that

from a private TV CDN. Answering yes to two

50,000 in number? • Is your traffic volume predictable with few sudden spikes?

geographically concentrated (versus sparsely scattered across disparate regions)? • Is your audience located in regions where

will be needed for VR and 360-degree

commercial CDN traffic costs are high and/or

to deliver their TV services to today’s more

camera feeds and replays, CDNs will need

bargaining power is low?

connected audiences up until now has been

to handle up to four times the amount of

via rented space on an established content

traffic when 4K becomes the norm. When

Quality

delivery network (CDN). The problem with

delivering 4K, the price of renting bandwidth

• Is TVE/OTT a critical part of your viewer

this method is that as a service increases in

on a CDN can be expected to quadruple,

popularity with more people tuning in, and

making it prohibitively expensive.

The most popular way for content owners

higher-quality formats such as 4K emerge,

In comparison, private CDN owners can take

engagement strategy? • Do you offer on-demand HD and 4K content?

CDN-as-a-service becomes more expensive

advantage of all of the available bandwidth

to use and harder to control in terms of

required without having to pay extra to

The build vs buy quandary has finally been

performance. The solution for a growing

transport larger formats. At the same time, they

answered. There is now solid research that

number of broadcasters and OTT providers is

can guarantee quality of service to deliver

identifies the key criteria for content distributors

to build their own private TV CDNs, specifically

amazing TV without the dreaded buffering,

to function more effectively, both operationally

designed to deliver TV services. This gives them

delays or glitches.

and economically. As audiences continue to opt for higher resolutions and engaging

complete control of the available bandwidth, so they don’t have to share with other OTT

Criteria for building a TV CDN

formats, the business case for building a private

services or software updates for personal

According to Frost & Sullivan’s whitepaper;

delivery network will become stronger thanks

devices like iPhones, which can massively

‘Building your own CDN for video delivery: why,

to the trend of multi-screen viewing and online

slow down a network.

when and how’, and a supporting business

video consumption. n

10 TVBE July Opinion Edgeware_V3.indd 1

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12

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Feature

The monitor stack reveals the huge number of sources that were available to the director

Instant response to snap election Philip Stevens finds out more about the BBC’s General Election coverage

H

uge numbers of media professionals were

Burke says that at the beginning of this year he

local officials were also under pressure. We trod

updated his election spreadsheets and picked

very lightly with them!”

which outside broadcasts locations would be

Burke reports that there were fewer OBs than in

needed. When the election was called, he was

2015. In itself, that had nothing to do with cost or

pleased to find that well over half of his plans

the short notice, but rather the programme was

were already in place.

of shorter duration than previous years.

“Even with planning, the short notice did

summoned to Downing Street on 18th

present some problems. There is considerable

IP resources

April to hear UK Prime Minister Theresa

pressure on the officials in each constituency,

“This time around, we used far more resources

May announce a snap general election on 8th

and they were finding it difficult to give us the

from BBC regions,” reports Burke. “By using our

June. Although this came as a surprise to most

declaration times. Normally, they have time to

own vSats, WMT (Wireless Multiplex Terminal) and

people, Tim Burke, editor, Election 2017 OBs (Local

work out these things for us, but this time the

LiveU units and our Live Bike, we have a great

and General Election Results Programme), has

information was not as accurate as usual.”

deal of flexibility.”

The cow problem

simultaneously set up a Wi-Fi cloud of their own

been planning for such an eventuality since the last poll in 2015. “We always have to be ready for the possibility

The BBC’s vSats are vehicles which can He continues: “An added difficulty was the

and feed pictures from a simple small truck. The

of a snap election. I’m always fiddling around

choice of venues for the counts. For example,

Live Bike enables a camera to be set up when

with spreadsheets. After 2015, I looked at the

the usual Leeds venue was hosting an Elton John

the motorcycle is parked up, do an interview,

output and the quality of content I was sending

concert, and they couldn’t ask him to re-arrange.

feed it back to the hub and then move to a

through to the gallery, and saw what we might

And when we phoned the west country, they

new location.

do differently. Beyond that, we have to look at

said we could not come to the normal count

the constituencies boundary review to see if

location because it would be full of cows at the

have in-house, but that doesn’t mean the days

the seats are going to change significantly. That

Royal Cornwall Show. We may have had our

of multi-camera OBs are over. There is always a

determines the places you need to visit.”

problems with different venues, but those poor

need for good shots.”

12 13 14 TVBE July Election_V2 JG.indd 1

“Technology allows us to use the flexibility we

20/06/2017 15:31


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

13

Feature expansion in the BBC’s own fleet of OB vehicles.

The BBC used Star Tracker to drive its VizRt graphics system

“The focus is on IP, rather than satellite delivery – and all our newer trucks are built with that technology in mind. However, from the viewer’s point of view, there was no change.” One area where IP was in greater evidence is Scotland. Unlike other parts where the count can be located at various places, all the Scottish counting is carried out at 32 specific venues. And this means all those sites were IP connected in advance of the election – in fact, in time for the 2014 Scottish Referendum. Of course, some satellite links were used elsewhere in the UK, and facilities provider Globecast built a temporary dish farm in the car park of Elstree Studios. That meant there was better control over the signals and less connectivity was need. Although the BBC resources were used at many of the locations, further vehicles were needed, again provided by Globecast.

Additional resources Gary Champion, head of production, Globecast, explains more: “The BBC allocated their vehicles and we added in four of our own UK trucks, plus a number of others from our French and Italian

The technical needs

Around the hubs

operations. All in all, just over 20 vehicles came

Lawrence Galkoff, the technical lead for

As in previous election programmes, a number

from our fleet.

hubs and OBs, also had contingencies for the

of hubs fed into the main production centre at

unexpected. “It would be daft not have plans in

Elstree, and Galkoff says that the EU referendum

responsible for providing personnel such as

place. This is my ninth general election with the

of 2016 produced an improvement in the way this

camera crews, sound operators, engineering

BBC, so all our planning is built around the fact

arrangement worked. “We were utilising far more

managers and directors. He says that an

that a Prime Minister can surprise us at any time.

smaller OBs and improvements were made to

increasing number of broadcasters are looking

While we have a good idea of where we will be

briefing procedures. Plus, we discovered how to

for turnkey solutions and someone who can

sending resources, it is a moveable feast, and of

make better use of communications so that we

provide the infrastructure, satellite trucks, uplinks

course, the story changes as you go along.”

were not clogging up resources. As technology

and all the production expertise. “Globecast

changes, so must workflows.”

gets the best value for the BBC by collating the

Galkoff says that Studio D at Elstree was, again, used for the results programme. “All the requirements were well documented. In fact, originally when I put together the specifications and design for that studio, it was with election programmes in mind. Lots of thoughts went into the design so we could roll out the programme

Champion reveals that Globecast was

quotes from OB companies.”

“We always have to be ready for the possibility of a snap election” Tim Burke, BBC News

quickly, if necessary.”

He continues: “For example, we looked after the OBs such as Theresa May’s constituency in Maidenhead and awarded the contract to CTV. We also covered Mrs May’s visit to Buckingham Palace after the results. “In that instance, the pictures were pooled

That planning meant that this time around,

for other broadcasters to use. In fact, there

it was generally a case of going to the stores

Alongside the main network broadcast, the BBC

was far more cooperation this time around

and pulling out the monitors, cabling and

in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast produced its

compared to previous elections. For instance,

other equipment, and plugging in the same

own programmes. These hubs sent producers to

at the 2015 election, the BBC had major OBs

configuration that was used in the previous

Elstree, while the main programme despatched

in Sunderland, Downing Street, Abingdon

election programme.

representatives to Glasgow and Cardiff so

Green, Witney, Buckingham Palace, and multi

that there could be a two-way exchange of

camera production in places like Twickenham

and his team had less time to talk to external

resources. “One of the great things about the

and Newcastle. This time broadcasters pooled

suppliers. “Normally, we have six to 12 months to

BBC is the ability to share resources and call upon

together far more, so the BBC were responsible

discuss needs with satellite space and facilities

your colleagues around the UK,” states Galkoff.

for their own output at Abingdon Green, and

The shorter time frame also meant that Galkoff

providers and to get quotes and make plans. This

As has already been stated, more use of

pools at Buckingham Palace and Maidenhead,

time, it was a case of hitting the road running –

IP technology was in evidence for the 2017

Meanwhile, Sky and ITN were responsible for

but it all worked out well.”

programme, and Galkoff explains this is due to an

other sites.”

12 13 14 TVBE July Election_V2 JG.indd 2

20/06/2017 15:31


14 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Feature Tim Burke finds time for some personal hygiene in the gallery at 7am

Directing operations

at a glance all the upcoming declarations and

flexibility. The system is universal and works for

With such a long night ahead of her, how did

names and locations of two-way interviews. “I

cameras on pedestals, cranes and and hand-

studio director Claire Bellis prepare? “I stopped

talk directly with my hub technical contact to

held cameras.”

drinking coffee around 8pm and survived on sips

confirm exactly what is ready to go on air. Tim

of water and wine gums overnight. The adrenalin

will liaise directly with our output editor, Sam

industry and introduced a method with its

and excitement of election programmes always

Woodhouse, who prioritises what he wants to

StarTracking technology that replaces all other

keeps me going. I could pop out during the news

do next.”

more specialised methods. “It is easier, more

bulletins, but I usually find if I stick to the plan I don’t need to!”

“I use ten manned ped cameras, five in the

Geissler says Mo-Sys has changed the tracking

accurate and cheaper. It looks like it is the best

main set, three in the raised interview area

solution in the market when it comes to this

and two tracked in the VR Jeremy Vine area.

technology. Our aim is to make the life of BBC

mixers – one cutting the main programme and

We also have a 30-foot technocrane, which is

operators easier and give viewers an experience

the other looking after inputs into the two-

also tracked, a Steadicam and a tracked slung

that’s even more exciting.”

way screen or DVE boxes – in a fast-moving

hot head.”

She continues, “I always have two top vision

programme with 16 outside sources available at any time, it definitely takes two pairs of hands.” There was just one production assistant who

On reflection

Being prepared Bellis summed up the feelings of many. “This

That tracking system mentioned by Bellis came

general election programme was made more

looked after the running order in the ‘Live Tips’

from Mo-Sys Engineering. This was the fourth

challenging because there was very little set

system and kept the team on top of timings.

time in a row the BBC has used StarTracker to

up time. There are so many people involved

‘Live tips’ is a web-based running order system

drive their VizRt graphics system to visualise a UK

across so many different areas that co-ordinating

developed by the BBC’s Dave Bevan which

election. The principle behind the StarTracker

all these teams to deliver such an ambitious

allows anyone who can access the system to see

system is simple. LEDs or infrared lights mounted

programme is a mammoth task. Steering

the running order and offers.

on the systems navigation camera pick up

everyone in the right direction is made so much

reflected light from ceiling (or anywhere else)

easier by the fact that we have an incredibly

incredibly complex and are under the control

based ‘stars’ to locate the broadcast

talented group of people working on the

of Monica Coyne who does a remarkable job

cameras’ positions.

programme and, frankly, I just let them get on

Bellis goes on: “The election comms are

of making sure everyone can talk to, and hear,

“Mo-Sys is the originator of the ‘star

with it!”

everyone they need to. I have about 33 people

constellation’ star tracker concept and over

on my comms panel!”

the years, the whole system has matured with

team worked well. But as Burke observes: “You

The carefully laid plans of the broadcasting

the help of the BBC,” explains Michael Geissler,

always have to be ready for the unexpected.

put in the details of everything they’re offering

CEO, Mo-Sys Engineering. “There has been a

I am already working on my spreadsheets for

into the ‘Tips’ system, allowing the team to see

fast uptake due to its simplicity, reliability and

the next election!”

She explains that Burke and the OB hub team

12 13 14 TVBE July Election_V2 JG.indd 3

20/06/2017 15:31


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18 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Production and Post

Spidercam captures the action

Delivering smashing tennis coverage Jenny Priestley talks to Dominic Gresset, executive producer, ATP Media, winners of the Overall Broadcast Production Award at the TVBAwards in June, about producing worldwide TV coverage of over 23 events every year

A

what it is today: “We use them more than anyone else in tennis, so we are the main innovators of their system and the only broadcaster in tennis that integrates their data into the coverage.” ATP Media employs 18 cameras for their

TP Media, founded in 1999 as Tennis

“The weather is a complicating factor for tennis,”

coverage of the main court for each tournament,

Properties Limited, has been broadcasting

Gresset adds. “We need to be flexible enough to

with up to ten cameras for the director to chose

men’s tennis internationally since 2001.

cover all matches, which means our production

from on the secondary courts. The Hawkeye

Based in Esher in Surrey, the company covers 23

plans and contracts with our suppliers need to

SMART courts have four cameras. The Hawkeye

ATP events every year – increasing to 24 this year

have some leeway in them.”

ELC uses 10 tracking cameras and one hi-motion

with the launch of the new Next Gen ATP Finals taking place in Milan in November.

Flexibility is important for ATP Media as it hires

camera, these are only used to track the ball and

freelancers to cover the majority of production:

are not for broadcast. ATP Media collects their

“The majority of freelancers have been working

data, which can then be augmented over live

and repeat action plus highlights, ATP Media

with us for many years, including our main

pictures or a virtual court.

also distributes ATP World Tour Uncovered,

directors who all have come through the ranks

the magazine show of the ATP World Tour,

over the last 15 years with us,” explains Gresset.

In addition to its core offering of live, delayed

with a worldwide reach of 195 territories and 75 broadcasters.

“We use facility providers to provide all our

As well as Hawkeye and Spidercam, ATP Media has added more specialist cameras to their line-up for 2017. “We have a new point to point

technical kit and personnel,” he continues. “Our

aerial camera system called BowCam,” explains

main suppliers are Gearhouse Broadcast, Deltatre,

Gresset. “This is like Spidercam but can span

of so many tournaments throughout the year

Solo Communications, GTT, Spidercam, Hawkeye

over 1,000 foot and can move up and down,

certainly isn’t always easy, admits ATP Media

ELC and Hawkeye SMART.”

hence the word Bow. We place it over or next

Being responsible for the broadcast coverage

executive producer Dominic Gresset: “One

to where the concessions and food areas are.

of the main challenges we tend to face is

Innovation is key

When people come to tennis tournaments, most

the logistics of kit and personnel given the

ATP Media was the first company to work with

will spend a lot of time in these areas. Having this

amount of tournaments we produce and

Hawkeye in tennis back in 2003, and Gresset

live tracking aerial shot gives a real feel of how

the back-to-back nature of some of our

believes ATP Media provided them with a

big the tournament is and the huge number of

biggest tournaments.

platform and expertise to build their system to

people that attend.”

18 19 TVBE July Production and Post ATP v2 JG.indd 1

19/06/2017 10:07


s the

TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

19

Production and Post to our broadcasters from our ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, being able to deliver this many 4K feeds is logistically challenging. We are continually testing in this area, especially in HDR and will implement the standard we feel best for our broadcasters when we get the demand.”

Second screen As well as linear coverage, ATP Media offers fans another way of watching their favourite players. “We offer a subscription service called Tennis TV, it’s available as an app,” explains Gresset. “This has all of the ATP matches live and on demand “Bowcam isn’t the only innovation for 2017.

the players, enabling all operation to be carried

with scoring data synced to video, as well as

This year, we are also now providing live camera

out by one person.”

some free content in front of the subscription wall.

shots to our broadcasters, including a live

Every singles match from the ATP World Tour 500s

Tennis TV is available to watch on a number of

practice court, live press conference feeds,

Series is produced this year for the first time.

devices including iPhone/iPad, Apple TV, Roku,

live beauty shots and a live commentator

It’s not just courtside coverage where ATP

Amazon Fire TV and Xbox One.”

viewpoint camera,” Gresset adds. “This

Media is trailblazing: “Following our world first at

last innovation is to give our broadcasters’

the ATP Finals at The O2, London, last November,

watch in full from the ATP Media archive,” adds

commentators watching around the world a

we now have a Sony PlayStation VR Experience

Gresset. “We also have a social media team

window to the court.

that can be activated at each event combining

producing social-first content published to all of

live match action, stats, a ‘virtual hawkeye ball

the major platforms.”

“Rather than just seeing the director’s cut, this camera is a viewpoint from the best

replay’ on a dynamically moveable court and

commentary position we have. So a

social media feeds,” explains Gresset.

commentator, commentating off tube, can

ATP Media has worked hard with the game’s

“There are also hundreds of classic matches to

Asked if ATP Media plans to develop its OTT platform any further, Gresset says: “Tennis TV is continuing to be optimised and new

see everything that’s happening on the court

governing bodies to ensure the company’s

functionality and archive footage will be

at all times and this gives them a greater sense

cameras are used in the correct way without

added regularly. We have channels across

of being on site. All these feeds are available

affecting play. “Our operators and directors know

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube –

through our fibre network and this network is

the timing is crucial to get off the live Spidercam

there are no immediate plans to launch on

the reason we can provide up to 21 feeds from

shot so it can position itself up high and away from

other social media platforms.”

our tournaments.”

the server’s eye line on the ball toss,” he explains.

In summing up, Gresset says ATP Media’s

“We’re also offering all main draw ATP

“We also need to be aware of shadows on the

production model is now the benchmark for

singles and doubles matches at the Masters

court so the pilot’s job is to keep all these things

all tennis productions: “Three Slams are now

1000s events, where we are host broadcasters.

in mind and know where his ‘safe’ position is for

adopting the way we produce tennis as well as

We’re using traditional production for the

when the ball is in play.”

countless other tournaments.

main courts (up to four main courts at each

Despite all the innovation in camera

We see ourselves ahead of the curve when

tournament) and Hawkeye’s SMART production

technology, ATP Media has yet to introduce 4K as

it comes to production, delivery, broadcaster

for the outside courts (up to five courts at each

a standard. “We successfully tested 4K SDR at our

services and innovation, and we continue to strive

tournament). Hawkeye’s SMART production

ATP Finals in 2014 so we know we can produce

to offer the best seat in the house for tennis fans

uses tracking software to automatically follow

in this format. Given we deliver up to 15 feeds

around the world.” n

years Base Station

Camera Unit

3G HDSDI 2x2 or 4x0 Composite Video 1x1 Audio 8x8 Genlock 1x1 Time Code 1x1 GPIO 3x3 Tally 1x1 Serial Data 3x3 Ethernet

TV Tech TOC 5/2017.indd 1

18 19 TVBE July Production and Post ATP v2 JG.indd 2

5/9/17 5:22 PM

19/06/2017 10:07


20

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Celebro celebrates growth in IP-based facilities

The IP Series is a production powerhouse designed from the ground up for IP video Philip Stevens visits an expanding facility in the heart of London

Celebro Media’s portfolio is a new Farsi language

available. For example, an enhancement

news channel. “We are providing the channel

introduced at this year’s NAB means that Celebro

with a full continuous 24-hour transmission

Media can offer uncompromised 4K UHD

from here,” states Dodd. “The content is

production through a single software upgrade to

sent directly from our facility to a satellite and

IP Series, maximising their investment in existing

pened just over a year ago, Celebro

then on to Iran. Alongside the studio is a

equipment. “By embracing software based

Media currently operates five studios

dedicated newsroom providing all the client

production, customers like Celebro Media can

– including the first 4K studio to be

needs for its 12 hours of live news and 12 hours

stay ahead of the curve, building new solutions

of pre-recorded programming.”

for their clients and embracing efficiencies in

O

opened in central London. The company will also be opening further facilities in Moscow, and

One of the key elements to the expansion

production workflows.”

later this year, it will have completed work on

effort is the significant investment in the NewTek

another five studios in London and two in New

IP Series. Although Celebro Media already

shows the company doesn’t build systems for

York. In addition, Celebro Media has recently

has numerous TriCaster systems installed,

itself, but rather listens to customers’ needs and

begun offering a new OB service that allows multi

Dodd explained to NewTek that something

finds the appropriate solution. “The IP Series’

camera switching down a single transmission line.

more was needed to increase scalability for

modular approach to production systems delivers

his upcoming plans.

virtually limitless access to video sources and

“Celebro Media provides a full studio and operations solution – in fact, everything required

“Both our TriCaster and IP Series are production

Waddington emphasises that this approach

video mixing possibilities.”

for producing and transmitting live content,”

powerhouses, providing a ‘complete production

explains chief executive Wesley Dodd.

environment’. Yes, when you enter a gallery you

Talking heads

“Global broadcasters such as BBC World

see a desk packed with buttons and T-bars – all

But NewTek’s involvement with the facility

Service, MTV and TRT World all use Celebro

the things you might expect from a vision switcher,

doesn’t end with the IP Series, as Celebro has

Media’s studios. Now, with our expansion,

but our systems are far more than that,” explains

also taken delivery of several of the company’s

we are dramatically increasing the availability

Chris Waddington, director of sales, UK, Nordics

TalkShow systems. “This was built in collaboration

of the studios, including all that is needed for

and Netherlands, NewTek. “The IP Series has

with Microsoft – who selected NewTek as one of

live TV production, with a focus on news, sports

been designed from the ground up for IP video,

its partners,” reveals Waddington. “TalkShow is

and entertainment programming.”

whilst providing full backwards compatibility with

built upon Microsoft’s Skype TX platform, which

Dodd goes on to say that although many

traditional SDI equipment to deliver a true hybrid

has been adopted by many broadcasters

overseas broadcasters need a hub in London,

platform. Video, audio, control signals, metadata

and production professionals across the globe.

the cost of building and equipping their own

and tally signals are all transported digitally

What makes TalkShow different is that we’ve

facility is prohibitive. By using Celebro’s services,

using NewTek’s Network Device Interface (NDI)

brought our expertise in live video production

and only paying for time and personnel used, the

technology that creates a fully customisable IP

to Skype, offering features such as real-time

operation from the UK capital becomes feasible.

workflow solution with limitless scalability.”

colour correction, audio sweetening, talk-

Beyond that, however, clients can also opt for a full 24/7 operation. One recent addition to

20 21 TVBE July Production and Post Celebro_V2 JG.indd 1

Waddington says this technology means that expansion to meet ongoing needs is readily

back, tally and of course, our NDI technology to name just a few.”

19/06/2017 14:30


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

21

Production and Post “TalkShow is designed for VOIP calling, whether

PlayBox Technology system will be used to control

He concludes: “I am completely sold on the idea

you’re looking to connect with a reporter in

channel branding and presentation, playout of

of IP. It reduces the amount of cabling and means

the field, industry experts, pundits, politicians or

locally archived programmes and interstitials,

that many tasks in the studio and MCR areas can

the viewing audience. It is a cost-effective way

commercials, opt-outs to live news, and the

be controlled with a click of the mouse. In fact,

of connecting with over 300 million monthly-

weather. “The idea is to have as much of the

with software based technology you can build a

connected Skype users anywhere in the world.

process as possible automated,” states Dodd.

complete gallery in a day!” n

That’s one large address book with most people today having access to Skype enabled devices. And, of course, it is a free service, so anyone who wants to use it, can do so.” Waddington reports that using NewTek’s TriCaster and TalkShow solutions, Celebro Media was able to help TRT World to continue reporting on 2016’s attempted coup in Turkey.

Added value He continues: “That kind of use is quite common, but Celebro is taking TalkShow to new and exciting heights. It is being utilised to link up TV studios in different parts of the world. In effect, Wesley Dodd is using TalkShow to provide multiviews from one studio location to another. He can send the gallery stack in London to a studio in, say, Istanbul. That means the production staff in Turkey can see what

HDBaseT, Infrastructure ready Datavideo introduces a new line of HDBaseT products, designed to make your life as an AV installer, integrator or producer much easier. With very limited and low cost cabling you can wire your full setup in minutes. Datavideo delivers you cameras, transmitter/receiver boxes and a complete portable workstation. The HS-1500T is worlds first portable HDBaseT workstation. This suitcase opens up to reveal a full PTZ controller, including presets, and a four channel production switcher with audio mixer. Combined with the ease of single wire installation, this will limit your installation time considerably.

is happening in the London studio.” Celebro is also using TalkShow to transmit prompt output from the newsroom to a location reporter. “With script changes happening up to the last second, this is an effective way of controlling the editorial from the main desk and ensuring the location reporter is working with the latest and must up to date information,” says Waddington. But the workflow using TalkShow doesn’t end there. Celebro Media is using the system for

The PTC-150T is Datavideos thrustworthy and high quality pan/tilt/zoom camera, but with an HDBaseT sauce. This unit comes with or without an HDBaseT receiver box, thats breaks out to regular HDMI, VISCA control and power input, just in case you need to wire up with a regular workflow. The HBT-10 and HBT-11 are transmitter/receiver boxes that convert all regular HDMI equipment to single wire connections. This will make it much easier to install HDMI products, and extend cable lengths up to 100 meters over regular ethernet cable.

foldback to locations, for providing comms and, because it is a two-way transmission system, it also

To receive more information, visit www.datavideo.com

returns both audio and video from the remote site. Dodd adds: “I can use TalkShow to check up on what is going on in any studio. I dial in, say ‘from home’, and can connect to the various galleries. People get worried about using Skype because of drop-outs, but we used one system for 75 days until we switched it off without a single problem.” He says, “Our set up is all about efficiencies. And these NewTek products certainly provide those. And talking of efficiencies, we also decided to create our own robotic system for the cameras. Those already on the market didn’t really suit our purpose, so we worked with Mark Roberts Motion Control to produce our own. We are now the only fully robotic studio facility in London.”

Playout Mention was made earlier about a Farsi language channel – Celebro Media has chosen a complete playout solution from PlayBox Technology to power the new channel. The system comprises AirBox Neo, TitleBox Neo and SafeBox Neo. The

20 21 TVBE July Production and Post Celebro_V2 JG.indd 2

19/06/2017 14:30


22

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Production and Post

Getting the decision right Philip Stevens looks at one video review system that is helping referees

Camera choice

to view the disputed moment from any suitable

Up to 24 50p/60p cameras can be

camera. In addition, the system provides the

accommodated in one system. Although any

possibility of synchronous viewing from two, three

cameras can be accepted, Slomo.tv’s own vR-

or four cameras simultaneously.

O

Cam provides a 30x zoom lens, while the shutter

decisions which could affect the outcome of

a specially designed wireless goal net camera,

a game or match. It has to be said that not

based on a Sony Exmor sensor. These goal net

official or broadcaster? Well, this all depends on

everyone involved with sport approves, but it

camera kits are designed to provide a full view

the requirements. For example, in the Lithuanian

seems inevitable that the practice will expand.

of the goal zone from inside the net and are

Basketball League, a dedicated person constantly

optimised for the videoReferee system. The

manages the system and, at the request of

videoReferee. For the past two years, the judging

camera is installed inside the goal net in a special

the referee, parses the right moment. What

system has been used at various national and

housing, which protects it against direct hits and

the referees are looking at are issues related to

international basketball championships staged

is also moisture resistant. The high quality of the

the validity of the throw, whether it was made

in Lithuania. In fact, the Lithuanian Basketball

camera image is suitable for TV broadcasts.

before the end of the attack time or the end of

All marked events can be recorded with

ver the last few years, various video

speed, aperture, colour correction, focus and

burned scoreboard data on DVD/flash storage

review systems have been introduced

zoom can be controlled via ethernet by the

and provided to match officials and team

into a mixture of sporting events. These

videoReferee software.

representatives. The system can also export all

are designed to check on umpire and refereeing

One of the review systems is Slomo.tv’s

League (LKL) is now using the videoReferee for all

For ice hockey games, the company offers

Slomo.tv’s experience as a pioneer in video

channels to H264 files. So, who controls this review action – the match

the match. Also, the system is used to determine

its matches, and utilised the system during the 2017

judging solutions helped the company to

whether throws were two or three points. In the

Basketball EuroCup.

formulate the basic principles of the judging

NBA, the systems are also used to analyse players’

system. Those practices include the ability to

physical contact.

Video refereeing for the matches was provided by Lithuanian broadcaster ZoomTV, which has

monitor all cameras simultaneously and provide

years of experience using Slomo.tv replay servers.

recording of all cameras, even if they are not

optional video output which can be broadcast,

Beyond that high-profile basketball tournament,

Slomo.tv systems, unlike many others, have an

synchronous. The systems can also receive

allowing viewers the opportunity to observe the

the system has been employed for ice hockey by

scoreboard data and record it on a separate

process of parsing the contentious situation. This

KHL/VHL Russia, and in Kazakhstan, Belarus and

track, mark events live or on recorded video,

gives the viewer an understanding that the game

Croatia. In South Korea, there are a number of

provide the ability to browse by mark, review

is fair, and enhances the fans’ viewing experience.

systems deployed for hockey games, while others

the video in slow motion or frame-by-frame and

are being tested for Russian football. The Canoe

magnify the frame image.

Federation is also weighing up the option for all international competitions.

22 TVBE July Production and Post Video Alliance OB_V2 JG.indd 1

This means that in the case of a controversial situation, the video judge has the opportunity

In KHL, all equipment is in a special room and everything is controlled by a video-judge. At basketball competitions of the VTB24 league, the broadcaster in an OB van controls the system. n

19/06/2017 14:31


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

21

Production and Post “TalkShow is designed for VOIP calling, whether

PlayBox Technology system will be used to control

He concludes: “I am completely sold on the idea

you’re looking to connect with a reporter in

channel branding and presentation, playout of

of IP. It reduces the amount of cabling and means

the field, industry experts, pundits, politicians or

locally archived programmes and interstitials,

that many tasks in the studio and MCR areas can

the viewing audience. It is a cost-effective way

commercials, opt-outs to live news, and the

be controlled with a click of the mouse. In fact,

of connecting with over 300 million monthly-

weather. “The idea is to have as much of the

with software based technology you can build a

connected Skype users anywhere in the world.

process as possible automated,” states Dodd.

complete gallery in a day!” n

That’s one large address book with most people today having access to Skype enabled devices. And, of course, it is a free service, so anyone who wants to use it, can do so.” Waddington reports that using NewTek’s TriCaster and TalkShow solutions, Celebro Media was able to help TRT World to continue reporting on 2016’s attempted coup in Turkey.

Added value He continues: “That kind of use is quite common, but Celebro is taking TalkShow to new and exciting heights. It is being utilised to link up TV studios in different parts of the world. In effect, Wesley Dodd is using TalkShow to provide multiviews from one studio location to another. He can send the gallery stack in London to a studio in, say, Istanbul. That means the production staff in Turkey can see what

HDBaseT, Infrastructure ready Datavideo introduces a new line of HDBaseT products, designed to make your life as an AV installer, integrator or producer much easier. With very limited and low cost cabling you can wire your full setup in minutes. Datavideo delivers you cameras, transmitter/receiver boxes and a complete portable workstation. The HS-1500T is worlds first portable HDBaseT workstation. This suitcase opens up to reveal a full PTZ controller, including presets, and a four channel production switcher with audio mixer. Combined with the ease of single wire installation, this will limit your installation time considerably.

is happening in the London studio.” Celebro is also using TalkShow to transmit prompt output from the newsroom to a location reporter. “With script changes happening up to the last second, this is an effective way of controlling the editorial from the main desk and ensuring the location reporter is working with the latest and must up to date information,” says Waddington. But the workflow using TalkShow doesn’t end there. Celebro Media is using the system for

The PTC-150T is Datavideos thrustworthy and high quality pan/tilt/zoom camera, but with an HDBaseT sauce. This unit comes with or without an HDBaseT receiver box, thats breaks out to regular HDMI, VISCA control and power input, just in case you need to wire up with a regular workflow. The HBT-10 and HBT-11 are transmitter/receiver boxes that convert all regular HDMI equipment to single wire connections. This will make it much easier to install HDMI products, and extend cable lengths up to 100 meters over regular ethernet cable.

foldback to locations, for providing comms and, because it is a two-way transmission system, it also

To receive more information, visit www.datavideo.com

returns both audio and video from the remote site. Dodd adds: “I can use TalkShow to check up on what is going on in any studio. I dial in, say ‘from home’, and can connect to the various galleries. People get worried about using Skype because of drop-outs, but we used one system for 75 days until we switched it off without a single problem.” He says, “Our set up is all about efficiencies. And these NewTek products certainly provide those. And talking of efficiencies, we also decided to create our own robotic system for the cameras. Those already on the market didn’t really suit our purpose, so we worked with Mark Roberts Motion Control to produce our own. We are now the only fully robotic studio facility in London.”

Playout Mention was made earlier about a Farsi language channel – Celebro Media has chosen a complete playout solution from PlayBox Technology to power the new channel. The system comprises AirBox Neo, TitleBox Neo and SafeBox Neo. The

20 21 TVBE July Production and Post Celebro_V2 JG.indd 2

19/06/2017 14:30


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

23

Production and Post

Keeping track Philip Stevens talks to the producer responsible for BBC coverage of this year’s IAAF World Championships

O

Gabby Logan will be the presenter of the BBC’s coverage

some of the domestic athletic events. “The aim is to bring the audience closer to the tension and atmosphere of the key moments. We also hope to have an infield analyst to give ‘ground-level’ insight. However, we need to work with the HB and IAAF for all these things and prove they can

rganised by the International

trust us. It is their event, not ours, and we work

Association of Athletics Federations, the

with their permission.”

IAAF World Championships, commonly

Gabby Logan will be the lead presenter,

referred to as the World Championships in

although a full line up of commentators and

Athletics, is a biennial event. Originally held

analysts was not available at the time of writing.

every four years, first in 1983, the current two-year

However, those commentators will be led

cycle began in 1991. This year, between 4th-13th

by Steve Cram, and it is hoped that US track

August, London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic

and field legend Michael Johnson will also

Park will be the venue for what is described as

be available.

‘a spectacular Summer of World Athletics’. It is claimed it will be the biggest global sporting

Event equipment

event of the year – and will see top athletes

Three main OB units will be utilised at the stadium,

return to the location of the 2012

one for studio, one for event and the third for VT

Olympic Games.

editing and turnaround. Those OB units will be

The BBC will be covering the event for the UK television audience. “We started planning our coverage in September 2016 – post-Rio Olympics

provided by NEP Visions – who is also servicing the Host Broadcaster. “I will operate out of the main scanner and

and ahead of the Broadcasters’ Meeting,”

the event will be transmitted as a normal

explains Micky Payne, the BBC’s producer in

outside broadcast, with two directors, one for

charge of the programming. “We liaised with

transmission and one for the events taking place

the IAAF as governing body and the Host

at the venue,” says Payne. “All the production

Broadcaster (HB) – Sunset & Vine for the stadium

crew work at the stadium and/or Olympic

and Nova for the road races.”

Park – apart from a few on the Marathon day.

Payne explains that the stadium will be the

Plus, there is a separate crew for BBC News and

main venue, including the BBC’s studio, but

Breakfast and Radio. In all, there will be three

there will also be coverage along the Marathon

ENG crews.

course. “A third venue for us is the Olympic Park, where we hope to have a roving camera or two as a secondary presentation area.”

Meeting the challenge

“This is a huge event for us. It is the biggest sporting event of 2017” Micky Payne, BBC

So, what does Payne see as the main Payne reveals there are a great many facilities

challenges? “It’s in London, and on a similar scale to athletics in the Olympics. It populates

“Although the BBC aren’t allowed to use

on offer for Rights Holders. “There is commentary,

peak-time schedules, so it’s huge for the

any specialist cameras, the HB will have

mixed zone, studio and OB space, road race

audience as well as ourselves. What’s more,

some new kit and ideas, and we can take

positions, and so on. All of these are provided

we need the BBC to ‘own’ the event and be

feeds of those where appropriate. As far as

by the HB, and we’re utilising some as we will

creative in how we deliver the event across all

graphics are concerned, we book our own

be on-site.”

our platforms, but also to be accountable within

operators to help us control the timing of start

our budget as well.”

and results lists – otherwise we are beholden

It is the biggest sporting event of 2017, and a

He concludes: “This is a huge event for us.

to the graphics on the world feed from the

great ‘bookend’ for athletics following the

reveals that there are plans for greater and

HB. We use the HB graphics system, Deltatre,

success of London 2012 – with sporting icons

closer access to the athletes within the stadium,

supplemented by our own provider – Moov –

such as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah also making

in much the same way as the BBC has done on

for our TX/Studio operation.”

their athletics farewells.” n

As far as innovations are concerned, Payne

23 TVBE July Production and Post Video World Championships_V2 JG.indd 1

19/06/2017 14:32


24 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Production and Post

From ski slopes to hot wheels and new talent Three top Italian OB companies recently announced a merger. Mike Clark investigates

group’s disposal is the largest in Italy and among

for the management of 52 hours of live international

the largest in Europe. Eight HD OB vans, four Fly-

feed from Alatau, Shymbulak and Sunkar.

case mobile systems and over 150 cameras are just

“The GVG cameras deployed were 24 LDX 80, 30

some of the figures that give an idea of what the

LDX 80/86 and 14 LDK 8000, while GVG slow-motion

T

group is able to deploy in the field, giving a total

units were an LDK 8300 3X, an LDX 86n 6X and an

turnover of around 16 million Euros.

LDK 8300 3X. Audio consoles were two Digico SD 5,

he Alliance is Italy’s first large broadcast service company, formed by the merger

“Our set-up has enabled us to handle very

of three firms (Global Production, ONE and

important, technically complex projects, such as

SBP) that have operated on Europe’s EFP market

the Winter Universiade in Kazakhstan in February

entertainment field have included the 2016 edition

for years. Ownership is divided as follows: Global

2017,” explains Furlan. “For the first time in the history

of Fremantle Media’s X-Factor, the most important

Production 43 per cent; ONE 43 per cent; SBP

of the FISU, seven competitions were assigned to

live event on Sky Italia’s programme schedule, with

14 per cent. The group is managed by Gilberto

a single service provider: Alpine ski, snowboard,

a considerable number of production peculiarities

Steccazzini, Stefano Bianco, Davide Furlan, Andrea

freestyle, cross country, biathlon, nordic combined

from a technical point of view. Quality requirements

Gianolli, Rosario Castaldi and Emanuele Urbinati.

and ski jumping.

are very high, cameras used and lenses chosen

Furlan explains that the merger was the result of

Luigi Pirola, on-site producer in Kazakhstan, fills in

two Digico SD 8 and a Stage Tec Aurus.” To date, Alliance’s key projects in the

had to first pass a series of in-house tests in The

a desire to create a company differing from those

some details: “We produced the HD TV coverage

already on the scene in Italy, and a response to

of the event using three Fly-case units, two of which

the arrival of foreign players much better organised

had double production desks to enable them to

without doubt a winning choice. Connections via

and equipped than the smaller Italian companies.

cover events in adjacent venues simultaneously.

dark fibre from the CCU Twin and Box converter

We upgraded the units with leading edge

greatly facilitated all aspects of the studio cabling.”

“The crisis of the Italian market led to some

Alliance labs to ensure the client’s need were met. Furlan adds: “Using Grass Valley LDX 80 was

operators taking advantage of legal loopholes to

technology such as Evertz EQX and Harris Platinum

keep staff costs low, enabling them to survive with

video matrices and DirectOut MADI audio matrices

company’s Fly-case set-ups, The Alliance covered

low margins on their contracts,” explains Furlan.

to handle multiple desks.

all the Superbike 2017 European races with its

“Our decision to found a new international-grade

“As well as a 143-strong team, 35 tonnes of

After a stop in Thailand with one of the

Infinity 24-camera HD flagship truck and equipment

company was due to the need to say ‘no’ to ‘Latin’

material was shipped via air cargo in 16 containers

including a Riedel MediorNet system and a Vislink

methods of doing business. While Italians’ inborn

and overland with a fleet of trucks; 68 cameras, 35

on-board system with new miniature transmitters.

problem-solving ability is acknowledged, it is also

tele lenses, 25 standard lenses and 20 wide angle

necessary that staff are in a safe environment.”

models, connected with the three XXL Fly-case

Global Production during its eight years’ work on

Having said this, the union of the three

Furlan concludes: “The experience built up by

production set-ups able to realise a simultaneous

the production of Superbike World Championship,

companies enables The Alliance to offer clients

diversified double feed with double mixer video

plus the experience working on Moto GP

enormous production experience. The three players

remote panels, 80 replay channels – 64 km of cable

developed by SBP and ONE, enable The Alliance

are complementary, with experience ranging from

(fibre and triax) provided 64 hours of live coverage

to handle these complex productions ensuring our

the summer and winter Olympics field to top-grade

for Eurosport and countless other broadcasters. We

client the utmost reliability and security, another of

motor sports. The amount of technology at the

also had mixer audio, intercom and replay systems

our strong points.” n

24 TVBE July Production and Post Video Alliance OB_V2 JG.indd 1

19/06/2017 14:51


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12/05/2017 14:24 09:52 19/06/2017


26

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Feature

Euro vision In March, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced director general Ingrid Deltenre is to step down after eight years in the job. Jenny Priestley caught up with Deltenre to discuss her tenure and the future of both the EBU and the industry itself Talk us through your decision to depart from the EBU. I’ve been with the EBU for eight years, and it was not an easy decision to make. But I’ve been combining this role with seats on the board of directors at Deutsche Post DHL as well as Givaudan, which is a great organisation producing fragrances and flavours. I’m also on the board of a small Swiss bank, so I feel like I’m doing two jobs! I feel that doing all of that has been very beneficial for the EBU, but from a personal perspective, carrying all of this out at the same time is too much. I had to take a decision as to what my future is going to be, and as I’ve been here for eight years, I thought it’s probably a good idea to have somebody new leading the team. I’ve implemented most of the objectives I had with the organisation, and met the targets I wanted to achieve. I’m not saying everything Is perfect, and it’s not finished, but I had a lot of ideas when I came here, and it’s looking like they will all be realised.

What has been the biggest industry change since joining the EBU? When I came along, Netflix was still sending out their DVDs in very thin envelopes, and Amazon was doing the same when they bought LOVEFiLM, so what’s happened in these seven, eight years is enormous.

26 27 TVBE July Feature EBU_V4 JG.indd 1

Look at the personalisation of content – we’ve had video players probably from 2006 onwards, but the infrastructure at home was not really big enough to make use of it. Today, all the data you generate, and the personalisation opportunities that it gives you – it’s going to fundamentally change how you communicate and how you engage with your audience. The way you produce and spread news and reach out to younger audiences gives you new opportunities that we still need to learn the use of. To a certain extent, it means we have to reinvent what we are doing. That is happening in a relatively short period.

Do broadcasters need to be active on social media to stay connected with the younger audiences? Absolutely. That has a consequence and impact on what we do, the topics we discuss with members, and what our focus is going to look like. Social media is crucial. The good thing is, public broadcasters in most countries also tend to have the largest number of Facebook followers, so it’s something I would say is crucial if you want to stay relevant in the future. The significant questions are what are you doing, how do you reach out, and how do you carry this out without damaging your core brand.

What have been the landmark events of your tenure? From a consumer point of view, it’s been the personalisation, which has had a huge impact on the business models of the TV industry. The second is the transition to fully IP-based production and a multiplatform delivery, together with cloud-based services. I think we’re at the beginning of this, but there is more to come, and there are a couple of questions related to that. Cyber security issues are growing in importance. Certainly, the IP-based transition in production is the biggest thing that has changed currently. I’m quite surprised that 4K hasn’t figured as much. Over the years, we talked about 3D – where I never saw the positive – but the pick-up of 4K is not as fast as I would have expected, and we’re seeing with the next Olympic Games that 4K isn’t going to be that big of an issue. It is when it comes to football, but still not nearly as much as we would have anticipated.

What are your thoughts on the impact of VR? It’s on the fringes. In a test environment, maybe you can use some of the thinking behind VR to improve traditional signal quality, but it’s not going to go mainstrream any time soon.

How do you see the future of PSB in the coming years? There are two distinctive trends you can identify: the first is that you have an area in Europe where you have a market from a fundamentalist marketer’s approach, where the argument goes ‘why do we need public broadcasting if private commercial media do the job as well’.

19/06/2017 16:04


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

27

Feature ‘Let’s reduce it to the minimum because that’s what we see.’ As long as these kind of debates go on, especially in the context of post-truth, fake news etcetera, I think there is a large conviction and consensus, and you saw this happening in the UK and in the Nordics. There is a conviction that you have to have independent, impartial, successful public service broadcasting that has a positive impact on society and is sufficiently funded. This has been confirmed in all the countries where the remit, the funding module, and even the institution itself was under scrutiny. There is another development in another part of Europe, due to populism – maybe with some regimes that want to have control over the editorial content. That leads to a public broadcaster becoming more patriotic and more supportive of the existing government, and this is a development that has increased over the last couple of years. It’s a trend to move back to the old times. It can really only be sorted together with the public and the audiences in the countries. But we will help with arguments, facts and figures, as we are today, for example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as we have done in the past in other countries.

What challenges will your successor inherit? The EBU today is more influential at various levels than it has ever been before, but I think there is so much more it can do. There are definitely a couple of ideas that I wasn’t able to realise – for example, a European platform, with made-inEurope content. I think there is so much more it could do to promote high quality content. I’ve been trying to do this for six years!

What impact will Brexit have on the EBU and its non-UK members? I think the Brexit situation is mostly an economic issue. In regards to the relationship between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and the EBU, I don’t think

26 27 TVBE July Feature EBU_V4 JG.indd 2

there’s going to be any difference. In fact, I think the relationship between the EBU and the BBC is going to be even stronger because it’s through the EBU where it will have the monitoring of issues with regard to EU policy.

“I had a lot of ideas when I came here, and it’s looking like they will all be realised” Ingrid Deltenre, EBU They also have a close-knit network of broadcasters, which is essential for them, so it’s not weakening our relationship with the British members, because we are not a political organisation. There is no negative impact – rather, it should strengthen and reinforce the co-operation that they already have.

Moving forward, how important are the technical aspects of the EBU? I hope it will remain just as important. I know within member organisations, there is an issue as to whether they can still afford to invest in R&D. There aren’t many organisations in Europe that invest anymore. We are talking about the BBC, RAI and IRT (which is backed by the German speaking broadcasters). So, this is definitely an area where there is shrinking investment, but we have to contemplate what our role will be in the future. We should definitely carry on helping connect the R&D departments of members, developing proofs of concept, and I believe that our advocacy work will open standards for interoperability and shareability of content. I think these are tasks that remain as important as ever. But in response to this whole data, IP, cloud-based production, there are so many topics that the members want to explore and get guidance on, especially the early adopters. It’s a community that works extremely well, and they

see success from working together across borders in international teams, so they certainly don’t want to lose this.

What would members of the EBU would say about you? I hope they would say Ingrid has motivated the organisation! It is a modern, well-oiled group with great experts dedicated to making a difference. I think they would say I have been very successful in terms of public affairs, supporting members at home, as well as at international level. I would be happy if they say she’s a great colleague and we like to talk to and get feedback from her, we appreciate what she has done for the EBU because she has established so many new services, and made this organisation relevant, and increased the value for money with regards to the membership fee.

What are your thoughts on Eurovision crossing continents and finding new audiences? One of the things I’m quite proud of as I leave the EBU is the Eurovision Song Contest. When I look at the show, I think of what a huge revamp it has gone through. It was a little bit old fashioned, but now the support and the production values are just incredible. It has by far the highest production values that you can find for an entertainment show. It really shows a new way of staging music. We produced a small app for Alexa which allows you to ask a question about Eurovision, and you’ll get an answer. But being on Alexa was also a very funny thing, because every Alexa owner got an email, and of course most of them live in the US, so they got this Eurovision Song Contest promotion over there and I wonder if they knew what it was all about! Either way, it reaches out to more people than ever. It could have been different – it could have been dying – but it’s not. It’s bigger and greater and shining more than ever, and I’m really proud of it! n

19/06/2017 16:04


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

27

Feature ‘Let’s reduce it to the minimum because that’s what we see.’ As long as these kind of debates go on, especially in the context of post-truth, fake news etcetera, I think there is a large conviction and consensus, and you saw this happening in the UK and in the Nordics. There is a conviction that you have to have independent, impartial, successful public service broadcasting that has a positive impact on society and is sufficiently funded. This has been confirmed in all the countries where the remit, the funding module, and even the institution itself was under scrutiny. There is another development in another part of Europe, due to populism – maybe with some regimes that want to have control over the editorial content. That leads to a public broadcaster becoming more patriotic and more supportive of the existing government, and this is a development that has increased over the last couple of years. It’s a trend to move back to the old times. It can really only be sorted together with the public and the audiences in the countries. But we will help with arguments, facts and figures, as we are today, for example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as we have done in the past in other countries.

What challenges will your successor inherit? The EBU today is more influential at various levels than it has ever been before, but I think there is so much more it can do. There are definitely a couple of ideas that I wasn’t able to realise – for example, a European platform, with made-inEurope content. I think there is so much more it could do to promote high quality content. I’ve been trying to do this for six years!

What impact will Brexit have on the EBU and its non-UK members? I think the Brexit situation is mostly an economic issue. In regards to the relationship between the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and the EBU, I don’t think

26 27 TVBE July Feature EBU_V4 JG.indd 2

there’s going to be any difference. In fact, I think the relationship between the EBU and the BBC is going to be even stronger because it’s through the EBU where it will have the monitoring of issues with regard to EU policy.

“I had a lot of ideas when I came here, and it’s looking like they will all be realised” Ingrid Deltenre, EBU They also have a close-knit network of broadcasters, which is essential for them, so it’s not weakening our relationship with the British members, because we are not a political organisation. There is no negative impact – rather, it should strengthen and reinforce the co-operation that they already have.

Moving forward, how important are the technical aspects of the EBU? I hope it will remain just as important. I know within member organisations, there is an issue as to whether they can still afford to invest in R&D. There aren’t many organisations in Europe that invest anymore. We are talking about the BBC, RAI and IRT (which is backed by the German speaking broadcasters). So, this is definitely an area where there is shrinking investment, but we have to contemplate what our role will be in the future. We should definitely carry on helping connect the R&D departments of members, developing proofs of concept, and I believe that our advocacy work will open standards for interoperability and shareability of content. I think these are tasks that remain as important as ever. But in response to this whole data, IP, cloud-based production, there are so many topics that the members want to explore and get guidance on, especially the early adopters. It’s a community that works extremely well, and they

see success from working together across borders in international teams, so they certainly don’t want to lose this.

What would members of the EBU would say about you? I hope they would say Ingrid has motivated the organisation! It is a modern, well-oiled group with great experts dedicated to making a difference. I think they would say I have been very successful in terms of public affairs, supporting members at home, as well as at international level. I would be happy if they say she’s a great colleague and we like to talk to and get feedback from her, we appreciate what she has done for the EBU because she has established so many new services, and made this organisation relevant, and increased the value for money with regards to the membership fee.

What are your thoughts on Eurovision crossing continents and finding new audiences? One of the things I’m quite proud of as I leave the EBU is the Eurovision Song Contest. When I look at the show, I think of what a huge revamp it has gone through. It was a little bit old fashioned, but now the support and the production values are just incredible. It has by far the highest production values that you can find for an entertainment show. It really shows a new way of staging music. We produced a small app for Alexa which allows you to ask a question about Eurovision, and you’ll get an answer. But being on Alexa was also a very funny thing, because every Alexa owner got an email, and of course most of them live in the US, so they got this Eurovision Song Contest promotion over there and I wonder if they knew what it was all about! Either way, it reaches out to more people than ever. It could have been different – it could have been dying – but it’s not. It’s bigger and greater and shining more than ever, and I’m really proud of it! n

19/06/2017 16:04


28

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Technology

The quest for the heart of sport BT Sport broadcast this year’s Champions League final. Neal Romanek talks to COO Jamie Hindhaugh about the editorial vision that drove technological innovation

The HD broadcast alone was impressive. Available in 200,000,000 households worldwide, it was the biggest ever audience for multi-camera coverage of a Champions League final.

F

“I’m told it outperformed the Super Bowl, from a

ive years ago, BT Sport didn’t exist. Today,

years ago, when most other broadcasters were

it’s leading the broadcast industry in its

still evaluating whether 4K was feasible at all

dogged mission to bring an ever more

(a discussion which, in most cases, remains

flexed its 4K muscles with a 25-camera, 4K

immersive experience to sports viewers across

unresolved). In the past year, it has produced

production. Traditionally, BT Sport creates an

the UK. BT Sport COO Jamie Hindhaugh has

more than 350 live 4K events.

HD stream out of its 4K coverage, but for the

been a key part of that growth, proving that the

In January this year, BT Sport also rolled out

worldwide reach perspective,” says Hindhaugh. But in addition to the HD broadcast, BT Sport

Champions League final, the team deployed a

motto “who dares, wins” holds true in the world

Dolby Atmos broadcasts, providing an immersive

complete, standalone 4K workflow, separate from

of modern broadcasting.

audio experience to those home viewers with

the HD workflow.

“All of our innovation is delivered around our

the appropriate installations.

editorial aspirations,” says Hindhaugh. “Everything

Twenty-five 4K cameras were employed, 13 of which were shared with the HD production.

we do is a focus on how we bring our audience

Champion coverage

The kit also included a 4K spidercam, as well

closer to the action.”

When BT Sport became host broadcaster for this

as 4K polecams and a 4K helicopter cam.

year’s UEFA Champions League final, the company

Additionally, eleven 4K cameras were used

decided to use it as the ultimate showcase.

for presentation.

Being at “the heart of sport” is the driver for every technological and editorial choice the company makes. This customer-centred focus

“It was one of those wonderful moments, where

has been BT Sport’s guiding light in picking up new

it’s a massive event and you can really use the

A range of dynamics

tools and techniques that might burn the fingers

halo effect of that event to showcase the different

There’s more. The 25-camera 4K coverage was an

of other broadcasters.

things you’re up to,” says Hindhaugh.

HDR feed as well. HDR imaging can add particular

For a start, BT Sport already has more live 4K

BT ran with the opportunity, producing – in

experience under its belt than almost any other

addition to the HD broadcast of the final – a 4K

to a real life experience and eliminating variables

broadcaster in the world. The network decided

multi-HDR broadcast with Dolby Atmos audio, plus

in exposure, which can make shooting sport –

to offer live 4K sport to its customers over two

a VR offering available through online outlets.

especially outdoors – especially tricky.

28 29 TVBE Technology BT Sport_V3 JG.indd 1

value in sport coverage, offering greater fidelity

20/06/2017 16:55


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

29

Technology The Sony 4K cameras output a Sony S-Log signal

coverage was the first 4K HDR production with

“I was blown away by the reaction on social media

– Sony’s proprietary HDR gamma curve – which

Dolby Atmos on that scale, which seems hard to

and by articles by some opinion formers,” says

enables use of the extensive dynamic range of the

refute. But BT Sport was just getting started.

Hindhaugh. “I think people could see the effort

Sony camera sensors.

that had been put into it. It was by far the biggest

Turning a 360

VR coverage of a live game. We had over 290,000

Last year, the International Telecommunication

BT Sport has been working with VR for about nine

people who engaged with that VR feed live.

Union cut short a potential HDR format war

months now. They have been using it primarily for

by settling on two HDR standards, Perceptual

their boxing coverage.

The feed was delivered in multiple HDR formats.

Quantiser (PQ) and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG).

“VR is about being immersive, about being part

“The Champions League final was setting out our stall for what we’ll be doing in terms of 4K, Dolby Atmos and VR. HDR will come later, because we

PQ is the format preferred by online content

of the action,” says Hindhaugh. “But to be blunt,

don’t think the consumer appetite is quite there

providers like Netflix and Amazon; HLG appeals

I think VR is in danger of becoming The Emperor’s

yet. But it’s all about pushing toward that editorial

to broadcasters because of its backward

New Clothes. There are a lot of broadcasters who

strategy of bringing people closer to the action.”

compatibility. BT Sport broadcast the final in both

have forgotten that they are broadcasters, and

PQ and HLG HDR formats, as well as in Dolby’s

instead are just making a single VR camera feed

returns in the long run is still an open question. More

proprietary HDR format, Dolby Vision.

available. That’s not engaged enough for me.

than one company has failed to turn editorial

There’s a way you watch a live football match –

integrity and innovative execution into cash.

Capturing the atmosphere

you want to have a story curated to you.”

Whether BT Sport’s innovations yield big financial

But in the unlikely event that BT Sport’s “closer

The 4K BT TV broadcast also featured Dolby Atmos

Working with UEFA and Nokia, BT Sport placed

to the heart of sport” vision does go the way of,

audio. BT Sport isn’t new to Dolby Atmos. So far, the

12 of Nokia’s Ozo VR cameras around the stadium.

say, Sky’s valiant but doomed 3DTV offering, the

company has broadcast around 37 live Premier

The company developed its own 360/VR OB truck

company’s efforts are producing value not just for

League and Champions League matches in Dolby

and the capability to do a director’s cut from

fans, but for the entire broadcast industry.

Atmos since launching the offering in January.

the 12 VR cameras to create a curated VR feed,

“Dolby Atmos has been very well received.

In the past, the BBC had led the field in

allowing viewers to follow the action entirely in 360.

innovations in technology, content and audience

People really understand that sound is very

The coverage included live VR replays and a virtual

engagement. Reined in by cuts, the corporation

important,” says Hindhaugh. “I know a lot of other

jumbotron, which displayed the feed of the HD

has had to tread a more cautious path in recent

broadcasters are now getting interested in that,

coverage. BT Sport also worked with UK-based VR

years, and in the vacuum are a few alternative

and how you drive awareness to get more people

company Moov to develop live AR graphics.

organisations that will see a mountain and climb it.

to take it up. It’s one of my favourite pieces of innovation actually. It makes such a difference.” The live 4K broadcast was presented to the Dolby

The VR coverage was made available on

Jamie Hindhaugh has always been at pains

YouTube for free. BT also developed its own VR app

to point out that all this technical innovation is

in partnership with LiveLike, which specialises in VR

in service to an editorial vision. As BT Sport gets

theatre at the company’s Soho headquarters,

sports experiences. The app allowed viewers to

audiences closer to the heart of sport, maybe it

in Dolby Vision HDR, with Dolby Atmos sound.

watch the VR coverage live, as well as select up to

can inspire others in the industry to get closer to the

Hindhaugh says the Champions League final

eight different camera angles.

heart of the audience. n

28 29 TVBE Technology BT Sport_V3 JG.indd 2

20/06/2017 16:55


30

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Technology

New year, new OB NEP has continued its long history of delivering OB facilities for UK horse racing after taking on a four-year contract with ITV Sport. James Groves speaks to Jon Harris, technical projects manager, NEP broadcast services, about the latest developments

N

Scaling, lighting and claustrophobia So, how do the various sizes of racing events affect the OB set up? “We have a number of major events each year where we have to scale the operation up to 60+ cameras, so the truck has to be capable

EP has – somewhat quietly – been a part of

“I’ve worked in this sport for 16 or 17 years.

of delivering that. Of course, at these big events,

British horse racing for 30 years, ever since

We’ve got engineers here that worked on it for

such as the Grand National, you’re going to have

the inception of the business back in 1984.

ITV when they had the racing contract way

more presenters and more radio mics, so on a

The company’s various projects in the racing sector

back in the ‘80s. As a crew, we’re like a massive

sound front, you’re upping the infrastructure that

epitomise the sterling work that our industry carries

family as we spend so much time together all

carries that. On a week-to-week basis, the truck is

out, seldom noticed by consumers.

year round.”

actually over-specced for many operations, where

Back in January 2016, ITV Sport picked up the

And by all year round, Harris means all year

we have a core load for a standard number of

rights deal to the UK’s horse racing coverage –

round. “Horse racing doesn’t stop,” he explains.

presenters and pundits, and only around 22-23

and was awarded a four-year contract beginning

“There’s no downtime or beginning and end to a

cameras. What’s great is that, from a production

1st January 2017. They quickly began the search for

season, like football or rugby. It’s 1st January 2017,

point of view, it’s the same environment, the same

a partner to help deliver the coverage and NEP, it

then every weekend for four years. We run 94

space. We can just add extra facilities to the unit

seems, were the obvious choice.

programmes per year. Some of them are multiple

bits in, rather than rolling out different trucks.

“A lot of our competitors could offer most of

day events, festivals such as Royal Ascot and the

what we do,” admits Jon Harris, technical projects

Aintree Grand National. Others are only one-day

team in mind, with high ceilings and light décor

manager, NEP broadcast services. “Ultimately, most

events like Haydock Park. The most time we’ll have

giving the interior a much more homely feel.

companies are capable of owning and operating

is three days – four if we’re lucky – where the truck

Harris explains: “This is the fifth truck we’ve built

the necessary equipment these days! However, our

can be worked on and serviced, and then we’re

this year of this design. The high ceilings are kind

extensive wealth of knowledge of horse racing and

preparing on the road, rigging, testing, delivering

of a new concept. OB trucks have traditionally

how it operates as a sport has helped ITV in their

the show, and travelling back.”

been carpeted, dark, you get used to sitting in a

delivery and with forming their relationships with the courses, as they’ve been able to draw on our experience to get everything in place.”

Full integration Fresh investment, Harris says, has allowed for

The truck has been designed with the production

cramped position and pushing past people all the

“I find that you completely forget you’re in a lorry” Jon Harris, NEP

real innovation. “Part of the new contract has

time. We’ve put an emphasis on the experience for the production team working in this unit. “The response we’ve had across the board, with both production companies and ITV Sport – they love it,” Harris continues. “At Royal Ascot, we were covering all six races – we were on air for the best

meant that we’ve been able to invest in facilities.

of part of four hours, and adding the build-up to

We’ve never seen such a significant investment in

He continues: “With football, for example, there’s

that, the team were sat inside for five to six hours. It’s

technology with horse racing coverage before,”

time between the seasons to make organisational

almost like being in an office all day, so you want

Harris explains. “We’ve been able to deliver a

changes and plan ahead before being back on

to make it as nice as possible, rather than dark and

brand new, custom-built truck. Our experience has

the road, but with the horse racing there’s no real

claustrophobic.” He jokes, “We’ve introduced real-

meant we’ve been able to tailor it for them.”

time to do this.”

life windows for actual daylight, and things like that!

Harris continues: “The investment enables us to

So, what does the custom-built truck offer? “The

I find that you completely forget you’re in a lorry.”

provide the best technology for the production

key thing with creating a custom-build on a truck

Some of NEP’s new trucks are UHD-ready, but

team, allowing them to focus on the programme

is that we can make our operation as efficient as

for the time being, the horse racing truck remains

making. You can hire as many gadget style devices

possible,” explains Harris. “We’re now in possession

HD-only. “The truck is specifically designed for horse

as you want to enhance the coverage, but if the

of a fully integrated truck. Rather than having VT

racing, and for the time being, there’s no intention

talkback doesn’t work, or if you can’t monitor

trucks and other external units trucks that have to

of making it UHD,” says Harris. “Of course, we’re all

feeds in a particular way, then it becomes a real

be interconnected, the technology is now housed

investing in UHD, but there’s still a big market for HD

frustration. This is a significant turning point in what

under one roof. We have VT in one area, then

trucks, and that’s not going to go away overnight.

we’re doing with horse racing coverage, and

vision, sound and production in the other.

In five years time, there’ll still be a HD market. Even

we’ve never had the luxury of this before.”

“We’ve also significantly shortened set up and

if racing goes UHD, this would still be an up-to-date

packing down times. It really adds to the efficiency

truck with the right technology, rather than an old

assimilation process is the number of familiar,

that we can just turn up, open up the truck, and

SD truck that’s been upgraded to HD, which is what

experienced faces brought to the table. Harris says:

everything is there and ready to go.”

a lot of people have done.”

Something that has significantly aided the

30 31 TVBE Technology NEP_V4 JG.indd 1

20/06/2017 17:13


TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

31

Epsom Racecourse

Underestimated talents

If you affect the start of the Derby, all the

fenced in now! We have to be a little bit careful. It’s

So, from a more technical standpoint, what has

bookies and the officials are going to be on

that kind of challenge that makes Epsom unique.”

this new investment offered NEP? “We’re using a

your case. You absolutely can’t afford to have

50-foot mast – subtle as it is – which is very exciting

someone swinging a jib about, spooking horses

An inherited family

for us as it gives us a big advantage in terms of

and delaying races.”

Harris goes back to reflect on that “family”

covering such massive areas,” explains Harris. “In

Harris continues: “It’s very important the crew

other sports, the pitch is often very confined and

that we put in these sensitive positions understand

Cheltenham Festival in March, the Aintree Grand

limited, so that extra help for the racing is very

horse racing and what goes on. Again, one of

National in April, and then in June we produce

useful. That’s where we’ve been able to spend a

the plus sides of NEP doing this contract for ITV is

the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot. Then it’s on to

bit of extra money and do some extra work for the

that we know the dynamics: who and what works

Goodwood Festival in August, and in between all

racing. We’ve never used anything of that size.”

well in what area. We know which cameraman to

of these, we’ve got other large fairly big meetings

put in the jockey’s changing room to get a shot,

going on: York, Doncaster, Haydock, Musselburgh,

board, so it’s far easier to handle within the courses

because he knows the personalities in there, so he

Ayr. We’re yo-yoing up and down the country all

– they’re upgrading every racecourse now to allow

can get the best out of them. We know which jib

the time and we try to maintain a regular crew to

for fibre. In the past, we’ve used old BBC cable from

operator to use at the start of a race, because he

work with the production teams.

20-30 years ago. There was never an investment in

knows most of the stall handlers and he knows how

that, so there’s a continuous upgrade both with the

to conduct himself out there. The tracking vehicle is

keep that continuity with the crew as we establish

courses and with the technology, and we’re using

not just some guy who drives a four-by-four around

that working relationship. It really does become a

that to make it as efficient as we can.”

– he’s a trained driver who’s done it for a number

bit of an endurance test. There was a point where

of years, and again knows the officials and security

some of the crew didn’t even get home for two

team who let him in.”

months! Once we’re a little more settled, we can

Harris continues: “We have fibre technologies on

It’s very easy to say ‘we offer the best in this space’, but what exactly does NEP deliver that others couldn’t? Harris says: “If we take for example,

mentioned earlier. He says: “We cover the

“With it being so early in the contract, we want to

start swapping people out and giving them a bit

we have a jib-mounted camera built in the back

Unanticipated turbulence

of a pickup truck. Again, this is a custom-built

Aside from any technical issues encountered on

vehicle for horse racing, designed to be positioned

a race-to-race basis, Harris describes an issue

weekends. I stay away with them, work with

at the start of a race. It has a two-man team:

rather unique to the Epsom Derby. “The Derby

them and socialise with them. There’s a real pride

one driving, and one operating the jib. I think this

is known for the ‘travellers’ that arrive for it. They’re

amongst the crew in what’s going on, and it’s

is an example that epitomises the underestimated

here all week. We’ve run fibre optics at the starting

really rewarding seeing the positivity coming out.

experienced and talented crew that we have

positions before, say on the Thursday. We’ve come

I’m just here to make sure the crew are happy

nurtured on this contract over many years.

back on the Friday morning, and the wiring has all

and have everything they need. They’re the

been pulled up. Now, presumably (!) they have

brains making it work. I’m just the conductor

but it’s so much more than that because the

thought there must be some copper in there, so

of the orchestra – I can’t necessarily play all

starting point is such a sensitive position.

they’ve torn it up – that’s why we’re so heavily

the instruments!” n

In effect, yes, it’s just a jib managed on a truck,

30 31 TVBE Technology NEP_V4 JG.indd 2

of a break. Harris smiles: “This is my inherited family at the

20/06/2017 17:13


32

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Business

The benefits of virtualised video George Jarrett talks to Chris Richardson, CEO of Linius Technologies, the year’s hottest and most disruptive start-up

it is a similar sort of problem as to what we see in

“The big deal for Linius was to step back and say:

traditional Internet searching.”

‘wait a minute. There is no good reason to work

Richardson put up the case of a white van

that way. Stop. Throw out the film canister and just

driving around an embassy six times. Is it a security

look at the raw data’. We are computer scientists

concern? He says: “We can identify the number

and we have been dealing with big data and data

plate and we can use the equivalent of a YouTube

based management for many years,” he adds.

search where we say where has that van been

“Now, once you have literally unwrapped the

he ability to virtualise video as easily and

for the last week. Then we get 50,000 hits from all

MP4 container and get to the raw H.264 or H.265

securely as our personal finances are

the CCTV footage all over London, and it takes a

embedded data, well then you create anything

virtualised is suddenly real. Welcome to the

couple of days before somebody can assemble

you want. That magical insight is what we are

that footage.”

now able to enable - all those things that people

T

ghost files, from a land down under. On launch, the Linius Video Virtualization Engine,

“Then the analyst looks at it and makes a

thought they should be able to do.” Linius finished the VVE product at the end of

which enables manipulation of video files between

decision as to whether it is a terrorist issue. Since we

source and destination, was aimed at TV content

are returning that as virtual video, we are doing

providers, but the securing of a collaboration deal

that check in milliseconds,” he goes on. “One of the

with IBM – which sees the VV Engine being built into

areas where we are getting the most immediate

technology, and have been since day one.

the IBM Bluemix platform – has helped to open up

traction, in our home market of Australia, is anti-

This is a global platform,” says Richardson. “We

dozens of further applications, deep into areas like

piracy. By making the data virtualised, in the same

are hiring divisional heads for each of those four

IoT and national security.

sense that big data is virtualised, we separate the

initial target markets, in the USA primarily and in

actual thing from the user interaction. We are able

Europe secondarily.

Into his third career decade, Linius CEO Chris Richardson knows he is fronting a dynamic start-up.

to stop piracy in its tracks.

“I have never been anywhere near a project that is as disruptive and formative. Whatever crazy word people want to use, this is incredibly exciting,” he says. “The VVE creation happened over the last seven years. It was invented in the USA and a large engineering effort was put into both attempting to build the product and deliver the functionality, and

2016. It is a small company, but knows what it owns. “We are fully aware of the value of the

“We will really go after those big market opportunities. In every conversation we have had,

“What if your TV reminded you to take your medicine or update your prescription? The possibilities are beyond imagination” Chris Richardson, Linius

whether customers or partners, or the people we are recruiting, somebody comes up with a new application. It will literally be something that would never have occurred to us,” he adds. “For example, we talk about personalisation. We were focusing on personalised ads in the cable TV market because that is a $192 billion industry

get the patents around it recorded.”

that is yet to see the benefits of personalised ads

The VVE follows the standard B-to-B software model, so it will be licensed at the enterprise level

“Data virtualisation is not new, it is just that nobody

from the internet. But I was talking to a guy and he

and there is a per unit fee associated with it.

has been able to do it before with video. And

mentioned dealing with the elderly. There would be

with video being 80 per cent of the traffic on

a huge opportunity here, where instead of showing

what solutions you are building with it. For example,

the internet, we are just imaging the possibilities

them random commercials you give them personal

for cable TV companies it might be per subscriber

for ourselves,” he continues. “We have about

results about pain. Is it time to take your medicine,

or per personalised ad. For a search engine it might

30 application ideas, but we believe there are

or have you gone to renew a prescription?

be per virtual video assembled or virtual search

hundreds more that we have not been thought of.

results,” explains Richardson.

Once people recognise the benefits of virtualising

opportunities and applications come to mind.

“This depends on what industry you are in, and

“We are targeting the cable companies and the

“With the homes for the aged all sorts of crazy

video in the same way we virtualise money, and

Once you are no longer constrained by the single

networks. We are viewing the cable companies

in the same way we virtualise data, video will join

thread that is a video, you can mix and match

as a distribution channel, certainly a home for

everything else on the Internet that is virtualised.”

and splice and dice to do whatever you want. This surely points Linius at the IoT sector?

personal advertising on the internet. Then there is the OTT space: it is not quite a mature market, but it

No good reason to work that way

is certainly a complicated and busy sector.

Richardson talks about the accidental history

We have a commercial lab and that’s where the

“We run our product management internally.

of video, and how film technologists kept the

early on start-up sits. They percolate ideas out

The other three are video search, where the

same workflows when they moved from film to

into the operating division, for the market strategy

opportunity is to provide the same sort of hyper

computers. He explains: “The internet guys took

and figuring out how to commercialise them.

personalised search returns in video that we are

what they were given by the film industry and

The IoT is definitely an area of development in

used to getting for text-based returns on searches

figured out how to make it work. We invented

that lab because we are thinking about the IoT.

of the Internet,” he adds. “And we are also

codecs, compression, content delivery networks,

However, we are not sure yet though how it will

targeting the security and defense space, where

DRM and encryption to protect copyright holders.

commercialise,” says Richardson.

“That is one of the markets we are going after.

32 33 TVBE Business Linius_V3 JG.indd 1

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TVBEurope

July 2017 www.tvbeurope.com

33

Business The Linius tie-up with a cloud platform seems quite logical in terms of accelerating recognition and wide application of the VVE. How did the IBM deal evolve? “To some extent, we’re cloud agnostic. In fact, our current deployment and development environment is with AWS. However, when it comes to business opportunity, while ‘big blue’ may be a bit of a dark-horse from a marketing perspective, it is the clear leader when it comes to capability,” says Richardson. “IBM’s Bluemix provides all the components our customers need for complete, end-to-end solutions. Additionally, from a Linius perspective, our target audience of global companies is all, already IBM customers. The 300,000+ employees that IBM has on the ground to sell and deploy solutions are a clear differentiator when it is compared to the other cloud platforms.”

Only a matter of time It seems this partnership has pulled off the double whammy of hugely expanding the reach of the VV Engine, whilst graduating Linius away from start up status. “The IBM partnership is exciting for us along all of these dimensions. Beyond that, IBM

It fits firmly in the anti piracy story

it will be building up its commercial divisions. The

is a great technology partner for the future. If you

He mentioned what can be done today with a

whole area of virtualisation does not frighten

look at where IBM has been going for the last year

fridge noticing you are out of something, then

people, but they never sound like they know what it

or two, the message is clear: cloud, SaaS, video,”

alerting you via smart phone.

entails. It is a new control level.

says Richardson. “What could be a more natural

“That is great because the fridge talked to

“It is a concept that is hard to get the layman

fit than Linius? And that’s in terms of near-term

your phone, but the IoT has no way of interacting.

to understand. And the example I always use is

sales opportunities, mid-term technological

It can be interactive: in addition to that scenario

money, because we have been virtualising money

integration, and long-term strategic technology

your fridge could say that, based on the 28

for a long time and nobody really thinks about it,

plans. Our technological pursuits align very well

things I have inside of me right now, here are

but everyone understands it,” says Richardson.

with IBM’s R&D direction.”

five pieces of video as recipes you could create

All the interaction with money is done through

Richardson concludes: “Given the move of the

for dinner tonight, and send them right to your

credit and debit cards, Internet banking and wire

text-based, big-data world to virtualisation, we

Ipad,” Richardson says. “When it comes to IoT

transfers. It is exactly what we are talking about

think it’s only a matter of time before all of the

and artificial intelligence, Linius adds a tonne of

for the virtualisation of video: it fits firmly in the

world’s video is virtualised, and we’re leading

value there.”

anti-piracy story. Nobody ever talks about internet

that charge. Once you open up video, and start

piracy and money because that’s not a thing that

treating it as data, the opportunities are limited

happens,” he adds.

only by imagination.” n

The company is gearing up for the cognitive media creation opportunities. Over the next year

32 33 TVBE Business Linius_V3 JG.indd 2

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34 TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Audio

The AoIP revolution in TV systems By Brad Price, product marketing manager, Audinate

W

Today there are over 1,000 networked audio

Primarily focused on the audio networking transport

products available on the market, with Audinate’s

element, AES67 does not specifically address

Dante audio networking incorporated in more than

system control, signal routing or channel labelling.

60 per cent. Complete end-to-end systems from

For audio quality, it requires 48kHz, 24-bit stream

microphones to loudspeakers may be specified

with one-millisecond latency as a lowest common

hile the transition from analogue to

across different brands, and new products are

denominator. AES67 allows for, but does not require,

digital is nearly complete in all realms

constantly being released.

support for higher sample rates and different bit

of professional audio, the next wave

Manufacturers have risen to the challenge of

of change is already here. The use of computer

integrating digital audio networking with existing

networking as a cost-effective and technically

systems, so older equipment can remain a vital

superior means of connecting, routing and

part of modern broadcast facilities. Many mixers,

standards around how audio channels move

managing AV systems is a reality that is changing

routers, intercom systems and amplifiers support

across an IP network, it represents a pragmatic

equipment, workflows and possibilities today.

multiple interface cards, allowing them to bridge

evolution in audio networking. Unlike previous

Broadcasters are currently seeing a steady

older digital protocols such as MADI or CobraNet

specifications (AVB, for example), AES67 offers

increase in the number of audio and video

to a modern Audio-over-IP (AoIP) network, and

a standards-based way to deliver multichannel

channels in use. Controlling and routing all of

dedicated convertors are available for nearly

audio between devices across a network without

these signals using legacy non-network transports

any format.

requiring specialised network equipment. This is

can be a daunting task, involving expensive specialised routers and complex workflows that vary from one manufacturer to another. Adding and incorporating new equipment can mean upgrading and replacing many other pieces of gear to maintain compatibility and provide

depths, which means that supported audio formats may vary between devices in the ecosystem. Since AES67 is essentially a set of network

significant as it is the first specification to achieve

‘The growth of IP systems has resulted in the rapid deployment of hundreds of new products in all key audio categories’

this goal. Like Dante, the AES67 transport operates with common off-the-shelf switches in a Layer 3 architecture. Therefore, we expect AES67 deployments will not face the adoption delays that have challenged AVB rollouts.

bandwidth. Simple tasks such as maintaining lip

Future possibilities

sync can require format conversions and expert use of costly equipment. In contrast, an IP-based solution can handle many hundreds or thousands of channels of audio

This permits audio flows to remain entirely in the

In creating AES67, AES utilised standards which

digital domain, avoiding signal-degradation from

mitigate the risk of moving to networked audio.

intermediate A/D and D/A conversions.

AES67 does not replace complete audio networking solutions – it enhances them by

connecting dozens of devices using inexpensive Cat5E cabling and a few inexpensive gigabit

The AES67 effect

providing a standards-driven approach for low-

network switches. There are no specialised routers

Realistic, functional interoperability is required to

level interconnection with others. Leading audio

needed to provide conversion and distribution; all

allow facilities to use products they prefer even if

networking solutions will continue to provide the

changes are made quickly and easily in software

they employ different AoIP technology. AES67 is a

features necessary for reliable, complete systems

running on ordinary computers, with no disruption

recent standard that seeks to accomplish this. It is

that are easy to use, including matrix-style signal

of production activities. Even metadata delivery

a networked audio interoperability specification

routing software, virtual soundcards, network health

and synchronisation is a natural fit for IP networking,

developed by the Audio Engineering Society. It

and clock status monitoring, real-world naming for

which provides an open and well-understood

describes techniques for exchanging digital audio

devices and channels, and much more.

platform for development of delivery systems that

on a TCP/IP networking using Real-time Transport

non-networked systems cannot match.

Protocol (RTP). Additionally, AES67 specifies

connectivity of audio streams, and more closely

particular implementation constraints to facilitate

resembles an AoIP version of MADI or AES3. It

interoperability between implementations.

focuses on how audio channels move through

Gigabit and faster network speeds have made IP networking an indispensable medium. In broadcast, it is simply the best way to transmit bit-perfect

AES67 is not a complete audio networking

In contrast, AES67 only specifies the baseline

the network between points without defining how

audio between as many devices as needed, with

solution. Technologies provide the layers of

low latency and tight synchronisation. Today’s IP

discovery, routing, diagnostics, auto-configuration,

technology offers a best-of-all-worlds combination

software and support needed to form a workable

continue to be involved in the development

of increasing performance with decreasing costs,

audio networking solution for both users and

and tracking of new standards and protocols

a trend that is sustained by the growing use of IP

manufacturers. A system that uses AES67 to

that further the possibilities of audio networking

networks across nearly every type of industry.

connect multiple network solutions still requires

for TV and radio broadcasting. If one thing

separate management tools in order to control

is certain, it is that the industry will continue

Strong foundations

devices, making set up much more complex and

to develop new standards that require

The growth of IP systems for media has resulted in

error-prone than a single-solution system.

implementation in a sensible way, and it is

the rapid deployment of hundreds of new products in all key audio categories.

34 TVBE July Audio Audinate_V3 JG.indd 1

AES67 promises basic interconnectivity at its core, and has fairly modest and achievable goals.

routing or switch-defined control may occur. It’s important that companies in this area

important to have robust networking solutions that can evolve to incorporate the latest standards. n

19/06/2017 10:00


@IBC2017, 15th – 19th September, Amsterdam

Recognising and rewarding the achievements and innovations in product and service development

ENTER NOW!

ENTRY DEADLINE: 4TH SEPTEMBER 2017 www.newbaybestofshow.com SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: 8th September WINNERS ANNOUNCED: 18th September Brought to you by:

#newbaybos BOStvbe IBC template 2017 FP.indd 1 new remade.indd 1

13/06/2017 14:30 15:07 19/06/2017


36

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

TVBEverywhere

Local content, global opportunities By Richard Amos, chief technology officer, Ostmodern

To capitalise on the appetite for regional

This level of functionality and flexibility can help

content, OTT content providers will have to go

attract new audience segments to a service – even

further; personalising the experience, localising

if the broadcaster is a well-known name and an

the service and offering proactive, editorial-led

international launch is pretty much guaranteed

G

recommendations. To achieve these things,

to succeed. For example, with the emphasis

rowing levels of smart phone penetration

they must employ a content platform that offers

firmly placed on the need to adapt to different

and improvements in connectivity

flexibility; the rigid, white label offerings, which have

audiences around the world, it becomes clear

technologies have allowed video content

become an industry staple, will no longer cut it.

how and why editorial teams require access to

to be delivered to and accessed by an increasingly

Instead, the platform they build their service upon

tools that allow them to capitalise on the quality

global audience. Netflix is now available almost

must facilitate creative and adaptable UI and UX

of their content and take a new approach to

everywhere in the world, whilst Amazon upped its

design, allowing content teams to change the

content discovery and recommendations, as well

game late last year by rolling out its Prime Video

aesthetic of a content delivery service dependent

as platform design. It is these things that allow

service to more than 200 territories worldwide.

on regional tastes and preferences.

a broadcaster to attract viewers beyond their

Although these services vary their content

traditional target, and drive revenue.

offerings dependent on region - and have seen

Go global, think local

remarkable success to date - they still come up

With vast volumes of content now available

and advanced content discovery, to be placed

against the challenge of understanding the often

globally, the way in which this is presented

at the very heart of the user experience. With more

complex relationship between people, culture, and

and discovered by audiences has become a

content available from more places, to more

technology in each country. This has traditionally

competitive differentiator for service providers.

viewers, navigating content libraries and identifying

been the remit of local content providers and niche players, which can provide tailored, localised offerings and have a deep knowledge of their audience’s culture and tastes. Both factors mean such parties could present a real threat to the content kings on a local level in

Perhaps most importantly is the need for content,

what to watch have never been more important.

‘With the right tools, all content providers can make the most of international opportunities’

The human element An increasingly global audience for content has opened up new market opportunities for content providers. The likes of Netflix and Amazon have already exploited this and successfully replicated

the future. However, this situation creates a problem

their offerings to a vast majority of the world.

for smaller players looking to launch international services. If success at home is based upon offering

There is no longer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to

However, this success comes largely off the back

tailored services using local knowledge, then

creating a successful content platform. Attracting

of their strong and extensive content libraries and

launching in new territories will require going

and retaining viewers amidst growing competition

the investment they are able to make in original

beyond content, and offering something more,

is now all about encouraging them to discover

programming. Smaller players searching for similar

something that the likes of Netflix cannot provide.

new programming and ensuring that the service

international success will likely not have the luxury

you are offering is relevant and attractive to a

of either of these assets yet they too can still enjoy

specific audience.

international success by offering a truly localised

Exporting success That’s not to say that regional content cannot be

There is a strong need to move away from a

successfully exported. Just look at the success at

generic, template-based approach to platform

home: the sales of UK TV programmes in 2016 rose

design, which restricts users and editors through

personalisation, requiring a platform which keeps

ten per cent, reaching £1.326 billion. These include

the use of recommendation engines. This

content centre stage, empowers editorial teams,

Top Gear, which alongside the likes of Sherlock,

traditional approach no longer works for either

introduces a human element to content discovery,

Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, is one of

consumer or editor, both of whom expect to be

and steers users towards programming which really

the BBC’s biggest brands and has been sold into

able to design and closely control the viewing

interests them. An understanding of the target

more than 130 territories.

experience. Furthermore, the technology behind

market is a given, and on top of this a CMS

the platform must be service based, to allow

must offer flexibility and functionality to tailor

content being available in different geographical

evolution, replacement – and sometimes in-market

a service accordingly. This agility will also allow

areas, and even shows with a seemingly niche,

substitution – of technology that is not suitable

content providers (both smaller players looking

region-specific audience have proven popular

for delivering the experience audiences expect.

for service differentiation, and established

elsewhere in the world. The Scandi noir trend,

In order for a service to be rolled out to multiple

broadcasters wanting to attract new viewers)

for instance, saw northern European countries

territories, the underlying platform must be highly

to go beyond the traditional content service

become some of the most successful exporters of

customisable and enable teams to create localised

offering and add features like audio, books and

TV to the UK in years, with the likes of The Bridge,

service offerings. Built-in tools and features

games to a platform.

The Killing and Borgen drawing significant ratings

such as translatable metadata and granular rights

and sparking cult followings.

are essential in ensuring international success.

There is undoubtedly a demand for regional

36 TVBE July TVBEverywhere v2 JG.indd 1

service, built on a flexible content platform. Attracting users to a service is all about

With the right tools, all content providers can make the most of international opportunities. n

19/06/2017 14:39


The global resource portal for media technology content

White papers, webinars, opinions, blogs, case studies, tutorials and more. NewBay Connect now offers even wider content for its registered users, is easier to navigate and provides users with dedicated weekly newsletters offering a digest of the latest content and carefully selected content from its themes of the month. NewBayConnect-MediaInfo-PDF.indd 1

Why join NewBay Connect? Free and easy to use: stay informed with the latest industry white papers, opinion pieces, web seminars and case studies that affect your business and your career.

26/05/2015 12:59

• Categorised content All material is organised into clearly referenced, specialist areas. • Customised search You can quickly locate the information relevant to your business or area of interest. • Tailored email alerts Notifications sent to you whenever there is an update within your chosen areas. • Dedicated weekly newsletters Visit www.newbayconnect.com to register, browse and download content for free today.

Content Director: James McKeown jmckeown@nbmedia.com +44 (0) 20 7354 6002

NewBay Connect FP.indd 1

Editor Neal Romanek nromanek@nbmedia.com +44 (0) 20 7354 6002

Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy pmccarthy@nbmedia.com +44 (0)207 354 6000

Campaign Manager: Warren Kelly wkelly@nbmedia.com +44 (0)207 354 6000

17/05/2016 12:10


38

TVBEurope

www.tvbeurope.com July 2017

Data Centre

eSports: A revenue opportunity not to be missed By Lauren Foye, senior analyst, Juniper Research

live comment feeds and forums relating to

top teams, in-depth statistics and additional

individuals and popular teams. Twitch alone

features, seeking to capitalise on the

had over 14 billion chat messages sent in 2016.

personalities (and celebrity) proving so popular

In the UK, there have been some steps

with eSports viewers online. Ginx has been

towards broadcast eSports. In 2015 for

successful through capitalising on video game

example, the BBC showed the most popular

culture, utilising celebrity guests and offering

Sports, or the competitive playing of

eSports contest globally in terms of viewership,

content on specific games, as well as media

video games, has been identified as

the ‘League of Legends World Championships’.

aimed at those interested in the background

Juniper Research’s top tech trend of 2017. We

In addition, 2016 saw the launch of Ginx eSports

and history of this industry.

expect this will be the year that the industry hits

TV on Sky, a 24-hour cable, satellite, and IPTV

‘the mainstream’. Whilst much of the current

channel which focuses on delivering eSports

eSports content is delivered via online platforms,

and video games content.

e

broadcasters are eager to take advantage of this rapidly expanding industry. With Juniper forecasting the eSports and

Therefore, broadcasters must look to add

Moving forwards: Revenue streams and investment A burning question surrounding eSports is who

value in the same way that traditional sports

will invest and where revenues will be procured.

broadcasters do; providing interviews with

To date, Juniper notes that a substantial amount

games content streaming markets to reach

of money is generated through subscriptions to

$1.8 billion this year and the UK market to

individual channels on Twitch. However, there is

account for five per cent of that revenue,

also the growing adoption of advertising; whilst

broadcasters will be eager to take advantage

this is currently a fraction of revenues for online

of the opportunity.

eSports, we see it as a significant channel for the future as larger brands and sponsors come

Potential for broadcasters

on board. UK broadcasters must seek to gain

Currently, much eSports coverage comes

the rights to particular events, then move

through the online platform Twitch. Alongside

to address the need for product partners,

broadcasts of more casual game play

aiming to monetise through both advertising

(termed ‘let’s plays’), Twitch now has over

and merchandise related to the contests

43 million unique viewers per month. Of

taking place. As a result, we foresee more

course, for broadcast TV this wealth of both

money being invested in sponsorships and

live and pre-recorded media provides a

events themselves.

major hurdle when attempting to move into the eSports market. As Martin Goswami, director of pay and

eSports and future technologies Marked as a potentially disruptive future

distribution, ITV, discussed at the MediaTech 360

development, Juniper believes that VR may

event in June, there are a number of dimensions

influence the eSports industry, particularly

to the Twitch versus TV debate. Most urgently,

when we recognise the recent growth in

TV needs to find a strategy that portrays it as

hardware and software adoption. Juniper

providing a better service than Twitch, which

is slightly sceptical as to whether VR can

is the current market leader. Goswami noted:

prove popular for the viewing of eSports,

“Twitch is unlikely to be toppled from its place

as VR is often a personal experience, in

unless the publishers themselves decide to do

contrast to eSports itself, which is very

that. TV has to figure out what it does better

much social. However, we do believe

than Twitch.”

that with the VR evolving to utilise other

Juniper believes that traditional broadcasters

technologies (i.e. treadmills and other

must prove value to the content on offer.

accessories), it is suited for use in eSports.

This could be achieved through the use of

In effect, there will be the creation of a

high quality broadcasts, such as 4K and UHD.

new type of athlete, where contests are

However, one of the key features of online

not played by controller or keyboard, but

eSports is the social aspect, revolving around

rather through physical movement. n

38 TVBE July Data Centre v4 JG.indd 1

19/06/2017 15:28


s ar in eb

W

Thought leadership meets lead generation Content creation, marketing, and delivery: TVBEurope offers the platform to educate our audience through your webinar. Our position in the industry will allow you to present your content via interaction with a global audience while generating qualified leads The benefits of a webinar include: • • • • • • •

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: • • • • • •

5 x e-blasts Advertisement on each of the three sites: TVBEurope, TV Technology Europe, and NewBay Connect Advertisement included on multiple newsletters sent across the three databases All generated leads to be shared with the client Follow up correspondence/reminders to all non-attended registrations Permanent hosting on each of the three sites

COntact details Sales Manager Peter McCarthy +44 (0) 207 354 6025 pmccarthy@nbmedia.com

TVB Europe Webinar FP.indd 1

Account Manager Richard Carr +44(0) 20 7354 6000 rcarr@nbmedia.com

US Account Manager Michael Mitchell +1 631 673 0072 mjmitchell@broadcast-media.tv

06/10/2016 14:30


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19/06/2017 13:29

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