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Business, insight and intelligence for the media and entertainment industry

March 2017



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March 2017


Welcome EDITORIAL Content Director: James McKeown Editor: Jenny Priestley Staff Writer: James Groves Contributors: George Jarrett, Neal Romanek, Philip Stevens Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy +44 207 354 6025 Account Manager: Richard Carr +44 207 354 6000 Digital Director: Diane Oliver Human Resources and Office Manager: Lianne Davey Head of Production: Alistair Taylor Managing Director: Mark Burton Designer: Kelly Sambridge US Sales: Michael Mitchell +1 (631) 673 0072 Japan and Korea Sales: Sho Harihara +81 6 4790 2222 PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS NewBay Subscriptions: The Emerson Building, 4-8 Emerson Street London - SE1 9DU Email

The first shoots of spring

Business transformation, HDR, and IP are all on the early 2017 agenda


arch is upon us,

are reported on in the trade press and shouted

which means,

about at trade shows, there doesn’t appear to

incredibly, that

be a great amount of understanding as to what

we are already hurtling

makes a media company hesitant or enthusiastic

towards the completion of

where IP is concerned.

Q1 2017 and making final

We’ve taken the decision to use this issue to offer

preparations for the pivotal

the first insight into an international market survey

industry gathering on the peripheries

conducted by Snell Advanced Media (SAM) that

of the Mojave at the end of April.

seeks to get to the bottom of these insecurities, and

The year has started with a sense of ‘more of the same’, as discussions continue with regard to the application of enabling technologies such as

NewBay is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association

working towards with full or partial adoption. I also usher you in the direction of Stan Moote’s

HDR and UHD, disruptive ones such as VR and AI,

superb article in this edition, that in premise acts

and the small matter of those pressing systematic

as a lead up to NAB, but in effect sets an insightful

changes on entire broadcast infrastructures. For

and balanced tone around the talking points of

now, we can term the latter ‘transformational’,

the current marketplace. We also speak to – and

although the belief will be that the transforming

hear from – some of the industry’s foremost thought

technology in question, IP, is and will become an

leaders, including Naomi Climer, former president

enabling force for good.

of the IET; Gordon Smith, NAB CEO; WBU’s new

The headaches, concerns, and barriers to more

TVBEurope is published 12 times a year by by NewBay Media Europe Ltd, The Emerson Building, 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU

also understand the sort of timelines companies are

chairman, Simon Fell; Mark Harrison, DPP’s MD; and

widespread IP adoption can vary depending on a

Kyle Ford, Telestream’s new president and COO.

company’s size and scale, their ownership model,

Not a bad roster of authority! Enjoy! n James McKeown

their business model, and much else besides.


Indeed, despite the industry-wide discussions that


© Copyright NewBay Media Europe Ltd 2017 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. Allow eight weeks for new subscriptions and change of address delivery. Send subscription inquiries to: Subscription Dept, NewBay, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough LE16 7BR, England. ISSN 1461-4197

Printing by Pensord Press, Tram Road, Pontllanfraith, Blackwood NP12 2YA

Philip Stevens Production and Post editor

Neal Romanek Technology editor

George Jarrett Business editor

SMART AUDIO Intelligent and complementary audio algorithms that optimize performance for higher efficiency and increased automation

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03 TVBE Mar17 Welcome_FINAL.indd 1

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TVBEurope March 2017

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Neal Romanek talks to Naomi Climer, former president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, about the future of work and how diversity feeds tech development



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ill nts w I nde D o S p s rid of re hyb ch ans 81% either a approa ope re e IP u t k f Eur e c r ta o u u r t p s r ra / IP o rrent inf u to c cts. s ean proje of Europ 65% o t % 1 d 7 l pare s wil com erican SDI / IP m id A r f b o a hy on from the release of its Global IP Following take ach. o r p ap Barometer last month, SAM explores how to

March 2017

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TVBEurope March 2017

Opinion and Analysis

The future of VR Mark Blair, vice president, EMEA, Brightcove offers his thoughts on the future of virtual reality


this same article next year when the predicted

layer would simply open a new array of issues.

breakthrough fails to materialise? The answer

Instead, innovators could look at alternatives

to these questions lies not only in VR’s ability

like sponsorship or product placement as

to overcome its current barriers, but also to

possible routes to monetisation.

face down the competition from other new mongst the standard surge of New


Year predictions, the topic of VR got

Similarly, I could also see the development of VR specials as part of SVoD offerings taking off for today’s ‘hero’ shows (like dramas and

Real-life barriers

documentaries), or for sporting and other live

everyone speculating as to whether 2017

Creating fully immersive VR experiences –

events that encourage mass audience viewing

could be the year it truly catches on. VR

especially in a live environment – is both

and participation. Imagine being able to use

continues to steadily build buzz, but hasn’t

time-consuming and expensive. For it not

VR to feel like you are running around a pitch

quite reached the mainstream.

to be prohibitively so, one of the key priorities

during game analysis – I could see consumers

has to be nailing down how to monetise VR.

being willing to pay for that.

a lot of airtime this January, with

With recent high profile projects such as the BBC’s Invisible Cities, which offered a VR tour

With many avenues to pursue – some more

of Rome, and plans for a three part Planet

complex than others – this is a task far easier

playback experience is different to what we’re

Earth II spin-off series available to view in VR,

said than done.

used to with linear or OTT – viewers are having

the signs are certainly looking positive for the

There is still much debate, for example,

The second hurdle is quality. The VR

to acclimatise. Ultimately, this will rely on the

techonology’s ascent into popular culture. But

around the current ad-supported video model.

quality of the content experience – ensuring

just how bright is VR’s future? Will I be writing

Until this is in a better place, adding VR as a

high-definition, smooth playback that viewers

06 07 TVBE mar17 Opinion with tint_FINAL.indd 8

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March 2017


Opinion and Analysis can comfortably immerse themselves in. If you

my opinion that 360-degree video will be far

an obvious choice. In this regard, the

take a close look at existing VR content, you’ll

more successful than VR (which will instead

continued evolution of consoles into ‘the new

find that lots of it has lost high definition or

become more niche). With no hardware

set-top box’ – a trend we’re already seeing

has a jerky playback experience This is where

involved, 360-degree video can be delivered

take hold as consumers increasingly use

leaders in the online video industry will have to

direct to the consumer – making it much

them in place of operating their TVs – is vital.

help broadcasters to get it right.

easier to consume in both a live or linear

With consoles acting as an aggregated OTT

environment. So, how do we avoid 360-degree

platform, it becomes much easier for viewers

be issues in the first place, you have to

video becoming the content form of choice;

to switch seamlessly between linear, OTT and

get people to use VR consistently. Here,

how do we convince consumers to wear

(theoretically) VR content channels – retaining

hardware is the third barrier – both in terms

the headsets?

a TV-like experience in which VR viewership

Of course, for quality and monetisation to

of cost and adoption. From a business perspective, providing VR kit to an entire live audience, for example, would be vastly expensive – but so are the individual headsets for any consumer hoping to make a personal purchase (though prices are dropping).

could reap the rewards.

‘While VR remains very much in the experimental stage for now, one thing is for sure: it is here to stay’

There’s also still a perception that VR headsets

Conclusion While VR remains very much in the experimental stage for now, one thing is for sure: it is here to stay. Once the hardware and quality associated barriers are resolved,

are a bit of a gimmick.

and the monetisation model mastered, VR

A gamified delivery

has the potential to grow much quicker than

(or even purchase) goggles-based hardware.

In order for VR content to succeed in the

the industry is currently expecting. As VR

We saw the same with 3D glasses and 3D TVs

mainstream, accessibility must expand to

hardware becomes more affordable and

in the home – limited adoption due to the

platforms where hardware isn’t a barrier –

popularity grows thanks to increasing console

associated hardware requirement. Unless we

games consoles, where VR headsets will

usage, I can see a future for VR in

can move consumers past this sentiment, it’s

soon become a standard accessory, are

the mainstream after all. n

The result is a consumer reluctance to wear

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8 TVBEurope March 2017

Opinion and Analysis

Incremental Evolution With potentially hundreds of transmitters,

many: How do we get there, and at what cost?

transposers, repeaters and/or gap fillers

A transition to the cloud eliminates the need for

broadly dispersed throughout an entire

expensive and proprietary hardware. The move

nation, a cloud-based monitoring platform

to COTS platforms to host monitoring and analysis


can provide both a deeper understanding

software, an architecture that enables multi-seat,

he large national transmitter networks,

and quicker analysis of QoS and QoE as it

multi-operator use, removes the capital expense

which comprise most over-the-air content

relates to signal performance from

that still haunts many broadcast facilities.

delivery systems in Europe and the Middle

headend to consumer.

monitoring more channels, more data feeds and

Dynamic systems

points will require a broad extension of the

more sites based on the higher density digital

The dynamic and complex nature of monitoring

monitoring architecture. The only way to keep

terrestrial TV (DTT) infrastructure. This includes

DTT networks begins with the standard itself.

costs from exponentially rising with each point is

infrastructure providers who operate terrestrial

There are more than ten million ways to configure

through widely-dispersed virtualised probes.

equipment and lease their services to DTV

the DVB-T2 standard; baffling to think about,

networks covering both commercial and

but a truthful statement. With so many ways to

for data collection across monitoring points will

public channels.

configure and optimise DTT signals, the delivery

deliver the true long-term cost and operational

path from head end to consumer is challenged

benefits for a cloud monitoring transition.

providers are facing license renewals that

by an extraordinary number of factors that can

These begin with remote deployment options,

correspond with DTT transitions. These renewals

adversely affect performance. The scenario

which eliminate travel expenses and onsite

will come with a series of technology and

of signals freezing, stuttering and breaking up,

commissioning, and enable quick relocation to

infrastructure upgrades that will roll out in waves

and then resuming normal playout, accounts

a new server. This latter capability also provides a

over a typical eight to ten year license period.

for nearly 90 per cent of on-air problems today.

benefit for monitoring one-time events like sports

By Ted Korte, chief operating officer, Qligent

East, are faced with the growing challenge of

In Europe, many of these infrastructure

With these renewals and upgrades will come more programme multiplexes, more shared towers, and more shared transmission sites. Keeping these expanding DTT networks highly competitive requires optimal performance, quality, and service availability. Signal monitoring

However, considering the scale of most transmitter networks, the number of monitoring

The use of software-defined, virtualised probes

and live special broadcasts, enabling users to

‘The cost of standing still is far greater than the cost of intelligent transition to a more efficient monitoring platform’

and analysis, and understanding how network-

rent a virtual server or cloud instance, and avoid the labour associated with set up and teardown. Furthermore, these virtual probes are easily networkable with the main servers at master control or a headend-based NOC, for example. Instead of chasing problems that no longer

wide performance affects the consumer

exist, the connected cloud-based architecture

experience, will become an even greater

Reliance on a standalone monitoring box or

provides operators with a detailed platform to

challenge considering the added complexities

solution that focuses on equipment health

collect, analyse and troubleshoot performance

associated with the evolving DTT business. And it

will not catch these problems. Instead, the

issues across the network as they happen. It is,

will clearly take more than simply connecting a

broadcaster or network operator is left chasing

simply put, a better way to cover everything

box to an existing network management system

ghosts, exasperated as they struggle to pinpoint

from monitoring raw transport feeds; reviewing

to tackle the challenge.

the source of the problems – how long they

and analysing video and audio files; pinpointing

were off the air, and the impact on the viewing

trends and isolating performance issues and

Changing times

audience. All the while, their labour costs rise

developing a clear action plan to improve

Broadcasters have gradually embraced

as more resources are put into identifying these

overall performance.

the cloud as a means to produce and

elusive problems.

deliver content. As workflows are virtualised,

The cloud provides a far more efficient process

It would take another thousand words to detail all the possibilities of what an operator

technologies mature and efficiencies become

for collecting information that correlates with

can address, but the takeaway is that the cost

clear, broadcasters are looking to other positions

the performance of the five critical stream layers

of standing still is far greater than the cost of an

in the workflow where the same benefits of

(physical, transport, video, audio and data)

intelligent transition to a more efficient monitoring

working in the cloud can apply. Signal

at multiple points throughout the network. For

platform. The possibilities for a DTT broadcaster

monitoring and analysis is increasingly identified

those that have already transitioned to the

for new monitoring and analysis across emerging

as the next stop.

cloud, there is an immediate improvement in the

business models are far greater. For example,

ability to effectively audit overall performance,

an extension into the similarly signal-dense OTT

infrastructure, limited hardware and reduced

understand potentially troublesome trends, and

world is at the broadcaster’s fingertips once the

capital expense at the core. On the surface, it’s

drill down to pinpoint and address problems like

core virtualised components are in place. Once

certainly an attractive solution for addressing the

silence, black, blockiness and off-air to determine

in the cloud, the only limitations are those set

challenge of monitoring over-the-air DTT networks.

viewer impact. But the question remains for

by the broadcaster. n

Consider the basic benefits of the cloud: lighter

08 TVBE Mar17 Opinion_Qligent_FINAL.indd 10

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10 TVBEurope March 2017

Opinion and Analysis

Albert-plus Square The latest in our series of sustainability essays, in conjunction with the BAFTA albert Consortium, comes from EastEnders coordinator, Suzanne Dolan


cups and getting recycling bins installed, but the first significant leap was in early 2014 when Workplace took the opportunity to build two

t was in 2009 when Hattie Park and Richard

the site was built in a different era – one when

new stages for EastEnders. BBC sustainability

Smith from BBC Sustainability approached

sustainability and efficiency were not close to the

provided funds to equip them with brand

us at EastEnders to help them test a carbon

heart of the building regulators.

new low-energy lighting.

calculator they had built alongside the Energy Saving Trust. The idea was to collect data from across the production, from light bulbs to paint pots and hotel rooms to mileage, to help ascertain what

EastEnders’ carbon footprint was. At the same time, revolutionary film and television production

The energy savings on these studios have

‘The first big leap was in early 2014 when Workplace took the opportunity to build two new stages for EastEnders’

carbon calculator, albert, was born, which has

kWh per year. Or for those more on my level, it’s a carbon saving (approximately) of one person taking 50 return flights from London to New York. the pay back in terms of the financial savings is

We started making the really small changes,

started, but it certainly wasn’t easy. One of

such as encouraging staff to turn off their

the issues of being based at BBC Elstree is that

monitors after work, eradicating polystyrene

10 12 TVBE MAR17 Opinion_eastenders_v6 JG JMcK.indd 8

it’s given us a saving of approximately 90,000

Although there has been considerable outlay,

now become industry standard. It was then that our Eco-Enders crusade was

been amazing. For any tech geeks out there,

about seven years. albert launched the certification programme in 2014: The ‘diet plan’ for your carbon footprint.

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12 TVBEurope March 2017

Opinion and Analysis



Althoughxxxx EastEnders n has many advantages over

have brought them along on the journey with

We will be replacing tungsten house lights

some programmes because we have been

us. Our caterers are no longer allowed to use

with low energy LEDs, cutting their energy

running for so long and never stop, some systems

polystyrene cups and must provide recycling on

consumption by about 70 per cent and

and processes have been embedded for 30

location, and we now use solar power honey

renovating two galleries to become more

years, so changing culture, in between making

wagons when we can.

energy efficient. We will have mains water

over 200 hours of TV per year, can seem like a tall order. But we’ve never given up. We’ve ridden the rollercoaster of eco-motivation and apathy, and striving for albert certification has really helped focus our efforts. Our biggest injection of enthusiasm came following the carbon literacy course in June 2015.

coolers installed across all studios to

‘We’ve ridden the rollercoaster of ecomotivation and apathy, and striving for albert certification has really helped focus our efforts’

Somewhat reluctantly, a number of HoDs gave

eradicate the use of roughly 50,000 500ml bottles of water per year, saving approximately £9,000 per year. As I spoke about earlier, it is certainly not an easy task changing culture, but when facing challenges, I remind myself of the film that was shown to us at the end of the carbon

up a day out of their busy diaries to attend this

literacy course: a wild and crazy man starts

one-day course. I say reluctantly only because,

We have dramatically reduced our paper usage

dancing alone in a crowd. Initially he looks

as we all know, it’s so difficult to give a whole day

by a about half across scripts, risk assessments

like a bit of an idiot, but then one person joins

over to a course, because when do you then

and our weekly internal gazette and have

him and then another and before long,

pick up that day’s work? And what has carbon

reduced paper usage across all other use by

everyone in the crowd has joined in; and not

literacy got to do with production, right? But

about 20 per cent. This has saved over 1,000

only that, but they are all ‘giving it large’ with

every single person left the day slightly aghast

reams of paper and over £1,750 per year. We

their heart and soul.

at what they’d learned about the urgency of

now use recycled paper and other recycled

climate change, and really understood how

stationary as standard.

I can’t help but feel that production sustainability is a bit like where health and

everyone needs to play their role in taking

We no longer issue rushes on DVD and

responsibility for sustainability, both in their

instead work online using Box, saving 2,500

used to write risk assessments every time an

personal lives and on production. From this, we

DVDs per year as well as all the road transport

actor was required to give someone a gentle

set up a steering group with a representative

associated with sending all these DVD copies

wallop, but now, it is second nature, ingrained

from every EastEnders’ department that meets

around. This is just the beginning. We are proud

in our culture. That’s where sustainability is

quarterly to engage, motivate and share all our

to have just achieved our three star albert

heading. More importantly, that’s where it

sustainability projects and ideas.

certification, but know there are even more

needs to be if we are all to do our bit in taking

ambitious and exciting changes on the horizon

responsibility and preserving the world as we

for the coming year.

know it for our children. n

We have spread the word to our suppliers by requesting their own company eco policies, and

10 12 TVBE MAR17 Opinion_eastenders_v6 JG JMcK.indd 9

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TVBEurope 15

March 2017

Opinion and Analysis

2016: The year broadcasting got a name change By Mark Harrison, managing director, Digital Production Partnership (DPP)

The icon that gets used to denote broadcasting

online, the dark side of the internet came rushing

– the little transmitter with the semi-circular waves

in. Infrastructure: a new commoditised, software

– is a wonderfully telling piece of semiotics.

led, service orientated supply chain is offering

The individual tower of metal sits high on a

huge efficiencies – but also disrupting the

hill, beaming out over the surrounding terrain.

expensive, hardware-heavy, people-dependent

t’s amazing how much you can learn at a

Broadcasting hasn’t just been a one-to-many

technology, operations and finance divisions

trade show without speaking to anyone.

means of sharing media, it’s been a top down

that have been the beating heart of broadcast

I always make a point of taking in the

change process. The evolution of audiovisual

organisations for decades.


language of the stand signage. Each individual

content creation and distribution has been

vendor will have carefully chosen the wording;

largely under the control of the broadcasters

but if you look at the aggregate of these

and their specialist suppliers. In global terms,

individual choices, patterns start to emerge.

broadcasting has never been an especially large

It’s like a peek inside the collective unconscious

sector, and that has worked to its advantage in

of an industry.

managing the pace of change.

So what was our industry unconsciously telling

‘Managing quality, complexity and volume is the core skill of broadcasting that will survive any rebadging’

But then along came the internet, with

us in 2016? In the halls of IBC, the message was

its revolution in consumer habits. And that

loud and clear: media is the new broadcast.

revolution is now spreading higher up the hill.

Talent: how can graduates be persuaded to

The language of the stands was about content

Consider some major trends of 2016. UHD will

for a range of sectors, of which TV was just one.

definitely happen, but whereas the roll out of HD

broadcaster over a well funded, tech-

Broadcasting (capital B) was out, and media

was orchestrated by broadcasters, no single part

transforming start-up or online giant?

(small m) was in.

of the value chain can claim to be orchestrating

‘Live-streaming services from YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat are being gobbled up by media-hungry connected consumers’

So, has media just overwritten broadcast?

UHD. Then there’s IP. Much to its credit, the

Far from it. It was broadcasting that put the

broadcast industry has got itself organised to

mass into mass media. Creating high-quality

make this fundamental shift happen as quickly

content, managing it and distributing it to

and smoothly as possible. But ‘quickly’ can still

vast audiences as a constant, dependable

be measured in years. Meanwhile, live streaming

service is enormously complex, and, ironically,

services from YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and

is only becoming further so with the rise of

so on are being gobbled up by media-hungry

online platforms.

connected consumers. Despite this, as you’ve probably noticed,

choose a cash-strapped, tech-transitioning

Next up is immersive technology: VR, AR and

At times like this an industry finds out about its essence. And managing quality, complexity and

broadcasting has not, in fact, gone away.

360. Broadcasting loves innovation, and so it

volume is the core skill of broadcasting that will

So is this subtle shift in language just a piece

loves immersive tech. But those who will actually

survive any rebadging.

of marketing nonsense? Not at all. It reflects

run with this technology hang out in the part of

a very real shift in the balance of power

the media Venn diagram that overlaps more

anyone will want to put on their trade show

from a world where broadcast called the

with marketing, brand experiences, gaming,

stand. But that’s what broadcasting really is.

shots to one where opportunities now seem

education and training than with TV.

And why, as non-broadcast media grows, it may

to come from a bigger sector: the nonbroadcast media industry.

15 TVBE Mar17 Opinion_v4 JP JG JMcK.indd 10

And now consider the broadcast operation itself. Security: the moment broadcasting went

‘Mass media supply industry’ isn’t a wording

begin to acquire familiar characteristics that will leave the old guard lost for words. n

20/02/2017 11:47

16 TVBEurope March 2017

Production and Post

The winds of change Philip Stevens investigates the change of weather at the BBC

The transitional process is currently underway, with

commercial suppliers – for example, numerical

full implementation later in the spring. Howell says

weather prediction model data from the UK

that the decision will mean the BBC can further

Met Office, US National Oceanic and

modernise its weather forecasting by making the

Atmospheric Administration/National Weather


most of new technology and science to bring

Service (NOAA/NWS) and European Centre for

he weather may be unpredictable in the

audiences an even better service. “We will see

Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF),”

UK, but the BBC will continue to provide the

improvements for the BBC Weather app as well as

explains Dennis Schulze, the company’s chief

best possible information service across TV,

local, national and global broadcasts.”

meteorology officer.

accurate forecast information.

Multiple solutions

headquarters in London assess newly arriving

radio and digital platforms based on timely and That’s according to Liz Howell, head of BBC

He continues, “The forecasters at MeteoGroup’s MeteoGroup was established in 1986 as one of

forecast data from our external suppliers and also

Weather: “We know our viewers, listeners and

the first commercial weather services in Europe,

our own forecasting processes. They also monitor

users expect a high-quality weather service from

and is headquartered in London. UK operations

how the actual weather situation evolves using

the BBC to help make decisions daily, from what

started in 1997 as a joint venture with the Press

observations from weather stations and remote

to wear to what to do,” she says.

Association (PA), which acquired majority shares

sensing techniques like images from satellites

in 2005. In 2014, General Atlantic acquired

and radar sites. The forecaster then prepares

to an end, so over the last year we have

MeteoGroup from PA. Today, the group has a

the briefings for the presenters at our various

been assessing a number of organisations to

local presence in 17 countries, operates in seven

media clients.”

determine which can best shape our weather

languages and provides solutions to media,

coverage for the future. As a result of those

governments and industry.

“Our contract with the Met Office is coming

studies, we have decided that our new partner will be MeteoGroup.”

“MeteoGroup acquires worldwide meteorological data from various public and

MeteoGroup provides services and software solutions to many European broadcasters. As well as Channel 4 in the UK, MeteoGroup also serves ARD and ZDF in Germany, FTV in France, ORF in

MeteoGroup’s jetstream imagery

16 17 TVBE Mar17 Production and Post_v4JPJG JMcK.indd 54

20/02/2017 11:50

TVBEurope 17

March 2017

Production and Post Austria, SRF in Switzerland and DR in Denmark.

weather bulletins in multiple studio facilities,

RTL in Germany is one of its biggest privately

we plan to integrate WeatherSuite in each

owned customers, along with RTL Netherland, VTM

production environment and continue with

in Belgium, MTV3 in Finland and TV1,

existing studio installations – which may, of

BFMTV and M6 in France.

course, include Chromakey.”

Visualising the weather

international channels, such as BBC World.

Nils Paschmionka, MeteoGroup’s BBC product

Although there is likely to be different playlist

manager, takes up the story: “One benefit for the

templates prepared for each channel, the

BBC is that we provide meteorological services

toolset and processes will not differ according

and forecast data in combination with the

to geographical differences or formats.

The contract will also cover the corporation’s

visualisation system. In addition to the UK Met Office model data, MeteoGroup will provide

Other outlets

From left to right: MeteoGroup’s Dennis Schulze and Nils Paschmionka

As part of the deal with MeteoGroup, the BBC is

cross-platform weather presentation, which is an

live on air after loading the playlist. However,

mobile platforms. “Of course, exporting weather-

important topic for the BBC.”

WeatherPresenter offers a wide range of tools to

related content to social media is becoming a

tweak presentations and adapt the template to

key tool for communicating with audiences other

the weather story of the day.

than TV. The integration of social media feeds into

multiple forecast models from different providers. Furthermore, we have lots of experience in

The service for the BBC will be built on WeatherSuite, an existing product offering from MeteoGroup. This package can integrate customer design as well as various data sources. “The main application, WeatherPresenter, will be used by all the BBC presenters to create their daily weather bulletins,” says Paschmionka. “MeteoEarth, our worldwide weather presentation module, is optimised for touchscreen use and non-linear presentations.”

planning to update not just TV, but also online and

weather presentations can be of very high value,

“We have lots of experience in crossplatform weather presentation, which is an important topic for the BBC” Nils Paschmionka, MeteoGroup

especially for hyper-local story telling,” states Paschmionka. Howell says the cross-platform approach means audiences will see a more personalised website with clearer and more searchable graphics and more information on screen and on air. “We are already planning to upgrade our app, which has been downloaded around 15.5 million times

All solutions use graphic engines that were

– or roughly once every ten seconds – using

developed by MeteoGroup. Paschmionka says the main difference for viewers will be in

“The presenters will have many different options to

this enhanced data service to bring even more

the advanced storytelling. “Our WeatherSuite

arrange their presentation in a way that supports

science and forecasting detail, too.”

solution will enable the presenters to create

their story. This will be made possible by a variety

the best fitting story according to the weather

of different inputs like multiple weather forecasting

Howell assures viewers that some things won’t

situation forecast. We will also extend

models, images and videos generated by viewers,

change. “We know how fond people are of our

WeatherSuite to fulfil the BBC’s additional

live-video integration and touch interactions,”

weather presenters. We have taken steps so the

requirements, and that will create benefits from

states Paschmionka. “WeatherSuite is fully

vast majority of our well known and much loved

future innovations in weather visualisation.”

prepared and optimised for touchscreen use.

presenters will continue to front BBC Weather.”

As far as the back-office preparation is

However, MeteoGroup recommends to only use

Despite the appointment of a new provider,

“One long-term forecast we can make today

concerned, presenters will be able to load the

touchscreen in rare, but important cases to guide

with certainty is that audiences will still be able

most relevant playlist template from an existing

the attention of the viewer to the most relevant

to rely on the BBC for an authoritative weather

library. Technically, it would be possible to go

item in a presentation. And as the BBC produces

service in the years to come.” n

16 17 TVBE Mar17 Production and Post_v4JPJG JMcK.indd 55

20/02/2017 11:50

18 TVBEurope March 2017

Production and Post

Lighten up Nick Shapley, managing director, Lights Camera Action (LCA), proposes the questions to ask your supplier when it comes to upgrading lighting technology


he first question to be considered when

fixture for both studio and location work, then

contemplating an upgrade in your lighting

it’s worth asking if it can be run on batteries.

system is whether or not the fixture comes

as a bi-colour version, rather than just daylight or tungsten. That’s because fixed studios, or areas with permanent lighting situations, very rarely require a change of CCT. That said, with very flexible studio usage, the ability to change

‘If you are on set where using mains power is restricted, an AC/DC fixture could get you out of a tight situation’

from tungsten to daylight with a small change on the DMX desk gives the end user much more freedom of creativity. Next, you should question whether the fixture can run AC/DC? If you are looking to use the

18 19 20 TVBE Mar17 Production and Post_FINAL.indd 54

The ability to be flexible may not be something you have considered in the past, but with the advancement in technology and the improved

The Cineo Maverick

20/02/2017 12:30


March 2017


Production and Post light output, an AC/DC fixture could be a

software options and purchased fixtures to

As a supplier of a wide range of lighting

useful tool in your armoury.

grow with technology.

products, LCA has a dedicated studio

For those using lights for primarily studio

Finally, with so many different products out

where customers can come and test

usage, AC/DC lighting may take up to 70

there to choose from, it is definitely worthwhile

out a wide range of fixtures prior to

per cent of a month, with the other 30 per

requesting a demo in a controlled environment.

committing to buy. n

cent being on location where lightweight, dual-powered AC and DC fixtures become lifesavers. Not only that, if you are on set where using mains power is restricted, an AC/DC fixture could get you out of a tight situation.

‘With the advancement in technology and the improved light output, an AC/DC fixture could be a useful tool in your armoury ’ Here’s another question worth raising. Has the fixture been tested for a TLCI (Television Lighting Consistency Index) rating? CRI (Colour Rendering Index) should not be used as a reference for ‘new technology’ lighting, but end users should always refer to the TLCI rating of lighting. CRI was a measuring system from over 40 years ago, which was mainly used for vision and video; the TLCI is the most valid method at this moment, in terms of getting an accurate reading of new technology lighting. Next, you should consider whether or not the fixture you’re interested in comes with any accessories, or if there are extra accessories available. Due to the advancement of 4K – and possibly 8K in the very near future – the style of lighting is being forced to change to softer lighting set ups. The finer image detail that 4K produces can create amazing pictures, but it can show up imperfections, too. This is very relevant when filming people, and using a soft light helps hide imperfections. Using snap bags, grids and diffusers can soften the light and are far more requested as standard kit.

‘The finer image detail that 4K produces can create amazing pictures, but it can show up imperfections, too’ Is this the latest version, or is an upgrade coming soon? Most fixtures today from the ‘new technology’ lighting products offer ‘future safe’ upgradable options via a USB dongle

Virtual Multi Cam 4K Production This efficient and versatile 4K production processor does it all! Up/down/cross, scaling, multi-display processing and generating 1080p “cut-outs” from an original 4K source. The Datavideo KMU-100 creates a virtual 8-camera HD shoot in minutes, with the use of only two 4K sources. KMU-100 is an advanced video processor that converts an UltraHD video (3840×2160) into four user-defined HD windows, ready to ingest into a switcher. With two independent 4K channels, KMU-100 can generate up-to 8 3G-SDI outputs. The RMC-185 controller makes it easier to use the KMU-100. The integrated joystick allows you to easily pan and zoom anywhere on the 4K signal to select up to four user defined shots per 4K camera. For more information, visit our website



4K signal processor Dual 12G/4x 3G/HDMI/DP input 8x 3G-SDI output

Joystick controller Control all features of KMU-100 Works like a regular PTZ camera

€ 4.850,-

€ 915,-

or link to a computer. This allows both your

18 19 20 TVBE Mar17 Production and Post_FINAL.indd 55

20/02/2017 12:30

20 TVBEurope March 2017

Production and Post

The ins and outs of renting a Virtual Reality camera Shaun Wilton, Shooting Partners director, focuses on the world of VR


eight overlapping camera views together to

above the stage provides a less natural, albeit

create a panoramic view, and these ‘stitch

effective, viewpoint. Previewing your panoramic

points’ between can be manipulated to exclude

footage on the shoot is essential to ensure

unwanted elements from the frame. But there’s

that your stitch points and camera positioning

a limit to how much you can cover in this way,

produce the desired effect. Shooting Partners’

here’s a reason why the Nokia OZO looks

so before they arrive on location, teams need to

Nokia OZO kit includes a MacBook Pro with

like it has eyes. Creating immersive VR

plan how they will rig equipment, and where the

Oculus DK2 head mounted display, which allows

and 360-degree videos is all about making

crew will be standing.

directors to preview the output from the camera

the viewer feel like they’re experiencing the content first-hand. And designing the camera to resemble a human head, with two stereoscopic lenses where the eyes would be, and sensors all around, makes it easier to capture a realistic point of view experience.

in real time. A skilled VR technician accompanies

‘Done right, 360-degree videos are the gateway to otherwise unattainable experiences ’

But producing immersive videos isn’t just about

manage the transfer and backup of media from the OZO media modules. Unlike other 360-degree cameras, which generate individual files for each containing all eight camera views, simplifying

Where and how you position the camera will

location, to camera position, your choice of

ultimately determine how realistic or fantastic

lighting and audio equipment, and how you’ll

your viewer’s experience becomes. Placing the

manage your media.

camera at head height in the front

VR shoot locations obviously need to provide

camera and the monitoring software, as well as to

lens, the Nokia OZO outputs a single .OZO file

renting a VR camera. Filming action in 360-degree affects everything; from what makes a good

all OZO hires to set up and operate both the

row seat of a concert will make

a good view all the way around the camera.

viewers feel like they are in the

There are, however, some tricks that can be used

audience, while rigging it

to mask unwanted objects. The OZO stitches

on a zip wire, levitating

data wrangling and post production. Done right, 360-degree videos are the gateway to otherwise unattainable experiences. Doing them right involves careful planning and using professional equipment that can deliver your creative vision. n

OZO: The Nokia OZO camera has eyes in the back of its head

18 19 20 TVBE Mar17 Production and Post_FINAL.indd 56

20/02/2017 12:30


ATSC 3.0












live local










APRIL 22–27, 2017


new tvbe template remade.indd 1

Technology is evolving faster than humankind itself. And we’re living in a world of our own invention. Behavior and business have merged to redefine content, workflows and revenue streams. It’s The M.E.T. EffectSM, a cultural phenomenon fueled by hybrid solutions and boundless connectivity that’s changing the very nature of how we live, work and play. At the center of it all is NAB Show®.


20/02/2017 16:32

22 TVBEurope March 2017


Engineering with wisdom According to research, technology will have eliminated half the workforce in ten years. Neal Romanek talks with Naomi Climer, former president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, about the future of work and how diversity feeds tech development What has your experience at the IET been like? I have been on the board of the IET for quite a few years. I was the president for one year until September 2016, and now I will be on the board until September 2017 as immediate past president. It has been a privilege to play a senior role in the IET. It gave me the chance to make a difference and to meet an extraordinary range of people from all over the world from many different disciplines. I’ve been able to learn about other fields of engineering, and to try to influence people – such as politicians or teachers – to care about how engineering could change the world. And of course I’ve tried to champion the need for diversity in engineering. What are the main issues being addressed at the IET right now?

Each year, the IET puts on an activity at IBC to help

between different styles leading to stronger

The IET championed the cause of ‘horizontal

us engage with our members in the broadcast

decision making and so on.

innovation’ throughout 2016. The Horizontal

industry. In September 2016, the IET collaborated

Innovation initiative aims to drive wider transfer of

with IBC for the eighth year running to produce

seems likely that the technical outcomes will be

technology from one sector to another.

a special interest publication, The Best of IET and

stronger from a diverse team of engineers. It’s

IBC. This year is IBC’s 50th year, so we anticipate

increasingly important that technology is designed

stepping up a gear to celebrate this milestone.

and built with end users in mind. Ensuring that the

It is a concept that all kinds of industries could benefit from, and it could give us the answers

Secondly, partly drawing on that research, it

team is representative of the whole spectrum of

to some of our greatest challenges. I’ve seen innovation between broadcasting and other

Most people agree we need more women in

industries that exploit audio/visual technology

STEM fields, as it’s the right thing to do.

such as surgery, security and many other

You won’t be surprised to hear that I think we

interconnected rather than standalone, it is

corporate environments.

need more women in STEM fields. In fact, we

essential that an engineering team not only be

need more diversity generally. There are a couple

able to design and build technology with an

campaign, which launched in March 2015, has

of reasons that I think this is compelling, apart

understanding of the users, but also that they can

continued with several initiatives to encourage

from thinking it would make STEM a better place

build relationships with many connected parties

parents and young people, especially girls, to think

for everyone to work.

and collaborate with them for the lifetime of the

Also, the IET’s ‘Engineer’ a Better World

annual Skills Survey that 91 per cent of companies agreed employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training to improve the supply of engineers and

Also with the way that technology is increasingly

technology. Although each individual has their

about engineering as an exciting and relevant career. In September 2016 the IET reported from its

end users is important.

“AV is so ubiquitous that our industry has the opportunity to bring expertise that benefits a much wider set of users”

own strengths, a diverse team is better equipped to cover the wide range of skills needed to develop connected technology. How do you think crowdsourcing could be used more effectively?

technicians. As a result, the IET launched a new

Looking at how the world is going to change

campaign: ‘Engineering Work Experience for All’ to champion the need for employers and

First, there’s plenty of evidence – McKinsey,

in the future, I’m interested in how our

universities to collaborate in offering quality

Gallup, World Economic Forum, and others – that

hyperconnected society is enabling completely

work experience to engineering students.

companies, and even countries, with better

new models for things, from business models such

diversity achieve better business results. The

as Airbnb and Uber to significant crowd-sourced

universities, government and students to make

reasons the research gives for this include stronger

projects such as Wikipedia.

a range of different, quality work experience

innovation, better ability to connect with the full

opportunities more widespread.

range of potential customer needs, balance

The campaign is designed to rally employers,

22 23 TVBE Mar17 Feature_v3JPJG JMcK.indd 54

Although I’m sure the process would need careful finessing, I can imagine even complex

20/02/2017 12:31


March 2017


Feature standards being developed very much as

However, research does suggest that roles with

benefits a much wider set of users. I can imagine

Wikipedia articles are – open to editing by all, peer

creative and interpersonal elements will be

a time where the pure broadcast hardware is

reviewed and continuously evolving. My concern

amongst the last to be automated, so I believe that

minimal; even cameras will eventually just be a lens

about our current standards processes is that they

human creativity will have a place in broadcasting

and image sensor with everything else happening

are quite slow while technology evolution is rapid.

for some time. The broadcast industry in particular

in the standard IT infrastructure.

As an industry, I think we have a great track

will be struggling to make meaningful sense of

record of collaborating between companies and

all the data that they have about content and

Who was really responsible for the Sony hack?

internationally. It’s crowdsourcing but with a select

viewers and turning that data into knowledge

I’m obviously not an official spokesperson for Sony,

‘crowd’! However, our industry is changing and

and ultimately, wisdom. Ensuring that those using

but I think it was pretty well publicised that the Sony

there are many new players who are moving faster

bots and algorithms are using the data in the

hack was perpetrated by North Korea.

than our traditional processes. So I believe that our

most intelligent way will be an important role for

standards activities are ripe for evolution and I hope

engineers and creatives in the future.

to see some of the established standards bodies

I was actually based on the Sony Pictures Lot in California at the time of the hack – it was an extraordinary time. I learned a lot from this

Will the TV industry eventually become a pure

experience. I realised that although many things

“IT” industry? Will broadcast standards be

could have been done technically better to

How will automation and virtualisation change

subsumed entirely into IT standards?

improve resilience against hacking, in reality if a

the media industries and the way we work?

The TV industry has become more IT-based than

well-resourced government decides to hack you,

I’m on a commission about the future of work,

ever. Distribution has been transformed by IT-based

you probably won’t be able to spend enough to

and we’re considering this topic in its widest sense.

methods, and production is following first with file

be 100 per cent secure.

Research on the impact of automation and

based working and IP production.

taking a lead on this.

artificial intelligence suggests that over 50 per cent

However, knowing what you might do if a hack

But even within the pure IT domain, I believe that

does occur can really make a difference to your

of current jobs won’t exist in ten years. In the past,

the world of broadcast will have the opportunity to

recovery. For example, do you know how you’d

technology advances have created more jobs

drive some standards. AV is so ubiquitous that our

contact thousands of staff if you couldn’t do it

than they’ve destroyed, but this may not continue.

industry has the opportunity to bring expertise that

through their work email or your intranet? n moving the world’s data at maximum speed

22 23 TVBE Mar17 Feature_v3JPJG JMcK.indd 55

20/02/2017 12:31

24 TVBEurope March 2017


Exploring new pathways Telestream has brought aboard Kyle Ford as its new president and COO. Neal Romanek learns how the new hire heralds a new approach for the company


elestream has appointed a new president and chief operating officer, Kyle Ford, effective immediately.

In the newly created post, Ford will direct the

Telestream hopes that Ford will bring a fresh

the traditional broadcast sector. Telestream

perspective to the company’s go-to-market

had been in discussions with Ford since the

strategy and customer relationships, both

end of last summer.

directly and through the their global channel partner network.

“First and foremost, we already have plenty of insiders at Telestream,” says CEO Dan Castles. “If you need people with 30 years of broadcast

’Ford believes that the future of the industry may not lie with the traditional broadcasters and content providers who have dominated the scene for decades’

tactical implementation of operational strategies

experience, we have a long line of people we can choose from. But recently we’ve launched some live products that go beyond the broadcast and cable market that we’re all familiar with. “We began looking at the depth of the management team. We needed to have a

and will report directly to Telestream CEO Dan

perspective that wasn’t just broadcast – a

Castles. Ford has a background in software and

TVBEurope spoke to Kyle Ford and CEO Castles

software and digital media perspective to be

digital media and has worked with Comcast,

about the new paths Telestream intends to

better able to identify and bring in more of these

AT&T, MediaOne and financial market data

explore and the rapidly changing nature of

other new verticals.”

company Interactive Data, as well as being

broadcast technology – and of what it means

navigator aboard a US Navy cruiser.

to be a broadcaster.

As president and COO, Ford will expand

Ford is careful not to overstate his “outsider” status. “I’m familiar with the industry and I’m not a complete outsider,” he says. “When I was

the company’s market penetration and help

Outside the box

working in digital media, years ago, we were

establish the new live streaming products that

In creating the new position, Dan Castles

trying to figure out how to take content and

Telestream introduced in 2016.

deliberately chose to pick someone from outside

deliver it on all devices.

24 25 TVBE MAR17 telestream Feature_FINAL.indd 54

21/02/2017 10:02

TVBEurope Supplements

March 2017


A game changer The ten things you need to know about high dynamic range

In association with

i - viii TVBE Mar17 Sony Supplement_V2 JMcK_final2.indd 29

21/02/2017 15:43

ii TVBEurope March 2017


In association with

High dynamic range Believe the hype Consumers like it, creatives love it and everyone is suddenly talking about it. But is HDR really the next big thing in television imaging? Peter Sykes, strategic technology development manager at Sony Professional Solutions Europe, certainly thinks so


f all the next generation imaging

This wave of enthusiasm has certainly not

technologies being tweeted right now,

gone unnoticed. Broadcasters and Internet

high dynamic range (HDR) is the

streaming service providers alike are

step-change in television quality that is

embracing HDR. Netflix and Amazon Prime

considered most likely to provide viewers with

already create and stream content with HDR

the ‘wow’ factor.

and, with industry-wide standards for production

Increased resolution and higher frame rates

and delivery to the home being approved,

are certainly important but the deeper blacks,

broadcasters are continuing to conduct

brighter highlights and richer colours afforded

numerous real-world trials. At the same time, HDR

by HDR adds increased realism to moving

televisions are starting to hit a price point that

images and helps to make content significantly

makes them a viable option for the home.

more immersive. Contrary to what you might read elsewhere,

Combined, these factors point to one thing: HDR is on the cusp of going mainstream. But this

however, HDR is not about making TV pictures

is not an entirely straightforward shift. Moving

brighter. What HDR does is take advantage of

from standard to high dynamic range, especially

a modern television set’s ability to show pictures

within live production, is a challenge.

with a greater contrast between the blackest

Fortunately, Sony has been working with

blacks and the whitest whites. It uses that extra

HDR for some time, providing expertise and

dynamic range to present an image that is

technology for non real-time production and

more detailed. The result is more natural

now aiding broadcaster trials for live TV. We’ve

looking pictures.

already learnt a lot and we are happy to share

Content creators certainly love the additional artistic freedom that HDR

our findings with the wider industry. We know that not all the pieces of the jigsaw

offers but are consumers interested? Yes,

are quite in place yet but they are very, very

I believe they are.

close. It is certainly possible to start producing

When you show a TV viewer an HDR image

content with HDR right now with minimal impact

side-by-side with a standard dynamic range

on costs and only subtle changes to existing

picture, more often than not, they prefer

workflows. We also know that there is a genuine

the HDR version.

desire among all parties to make HDR a success.

You don’t have to take my word for it.

If you’re considering HDR, already working

The Warwick Manufacturing Group (WFG),

with it, or even if you are sceptical, the

an academic department at the University

following pages will hopefully help you to better

of Warwick, has conducted research into HDR

understand the current state of affairs when it

images. Its findings, in a paper called ‘A study

comes to HDR. Maybe it will even inspire you to

on user preference of high dynamic range

start producing content with HDR.

over low dynamic range video’, show that,

Whatever your starting point, Sony can help

based on consultation with 60 participants,

you make the move to HDR, providing expertise,

“given the option, end-users prefer the HDR

training, technology and solutions, becoming a

representation of the scene over its lower

trusted partner in your HDR journey. n

dynamic range counterpart.”

Find out more on

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21/02/2017 15:43

What is SR Live for HDR? A key challenge has been the addition of 4K Ultra HD HDR production techniques to the existing HD live production environment while simultaneously maintaining the skill sets and workflows demanded to support the creation of content for the current HD marketplace. Sony has carried out extensive technical research and HDR trials with broadcasters and production companies, which you can read about in our free whitepaper.

Download our free whitepaper at:

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In association with

The Sony briefing

Ten things you need to know about HDR The move to high dynamic range (HDR) has the potential to be the biggest change to television since the introduction of colour more than 50 years ago. In preparation, here are ten things that you really ought to know about HDR

years and are regularly used on mainstream

1. HDR offers more life-like pictures than standard dynamic range

lowlights and highlights visible at the same time,

of 14+ stops latitude and wide colour gamut, they

HDR can help to provide a representation of

have been used on Tomorrowland, Marco Polo,

It might sound like an obvious thing to say

the world that is closer to that which is seen

Mad Dogs, Mozart in the Jungle and more recently

but high dynamic range (HDR) provides a

by the human eye.

Alice Through the Looking Glass and Billy Lynn’s

movies and TV series, even if the final output isn’t mastered or delivered in HDR. Sony’s F55 and F65 are two examples. Capable

significantly better televisual experience than S

For viewers, this additional realism makes

Long Halftime Walk to name just a few.

standard dynamic range (SDR). And unlike

content appear richer and more immersive

increased resolution, the quality of the HDR

while for content creators, the increased

also two other important cameras: the Sony FS7,

image does not depend on screen size, the

dynamic range provides further artistic choices

which is changing the game for documentary

type of content being watched or the viewing

and the chance to produce ever more

production with its HDR latitude, and the

distance from the display itself. Importantly, it also

compelling TV and films.

Sony HDC-4300, a 4K live system camera with

looks increasingly ‘real’.

When it comes to HDR acquisition, there are

HDR capabilities.

and displayed in the shadows and highlights

2. HDR cameras are already in widespread use

three-sensor system, the HDC-4300 was awarded

within an image. With higher levels of contrast

Digital cameras that are capable of capturing

a Technical Emmy in 2016. Outside broadcast

between the light and dark tones, and both

images with HDR have been around for many

facilities all over the world are adopting the

This is thanks to the extra detail that is captured

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Featuring the world’s first 2/3-inch 4K

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TVBEurope v

March 2017

Supplement HDC-4300 for their Ultra High Definition (UHD) units.

Gamma (HLG). The PQ specification, born out

specification mentioned above, being agnostic

In 2016 Euro Media Group chose HDC-4300s as

of research by Dolby, achieves a wide range of

is important. As such, Sony supports both the

part of a deal for the supply of up to 350 cameras.

brightness levels using a transfer function that is

PQ and HLG options, giving customers a

tuned to match the human visual system. While

choice of either.

3. Grading and client monitors for HDR are readily available

HLG, developed by the broadcasters BBC and NHK, offers a degree of backwards compatibility

RAW or XAVC and then working through to an HDR

One of the early challenges faced by content

with legacy displays by matching the previously

master in S-Log3.

creators wanting to make use of HDR was a lack

established television transfer curves.

of professional monitoring. This has now been

HDR content delivery is covered too. In

For post-production, Sony suggests shooting in

With similar characteristics to scanned film and 4,000% (4,000cd/m²) dynamic range, S-Log3

overcome with the launch of the Sony BVM-X300,

November 2016, the Digital Video Broadcasting

is Sony’s format of choice as it is designed to

a 30-inch Trimaster EL 4K OLED HDR reference

(DVB) group’s Steering Board approved a new

preserve the captured source light efficiently

monitor that can be used for accurate colour

version of its audio-visual coding specification,

and is optimised for production, recording and

grading or quality control. A 55-Inch monitor, the

adding support for HDR. Like the ITU’s

future re-use.

Sony PVM-X550, that can display Quad-view

recommendation for programme making and

Full HD images simultaneously with independent

exchange, it supports both the HLG and PQ

from using Sony’s new X-OCN recording format

picture settings, has also been released.

transfer functions.

which offers equivalent picture quality to RAW but

The final piece of the technology jigsaw was

4. Standards for HDR production, programme exchange and distribution have been agreed

A production-to-post workflow can also benefit

generates files that are up to 60 per cent smaller.

completed in December 2016 when HDMI services. This allows set-top boxes to send HDR

6. More TVs with HDR are coming on to the market

content to HDR-capable TV sets.

The consumer electronics industry has been

extended its 2.0b specification to support HDR

Reassuringly, no one is going it alone when it

quick to embrace the possibilities of HDR television displays. Among the announcements

standard for HDR programme making and

5. Post-production workflows for HDR are proven

programme exchange was formally

One of the many positives about HDR is that it

first 4K OLED TV. Part of the Bravia range, it offers

agreed and announced to

can be manipulated within a typical post

unprecedented black levels, rich and lifelike

the wider industry.

production workflow.

colour, dynamic contrast, blur-less image and a

comes to HDR. In July 2016 the ITU’s BT.2100

BT.2100 recommends two HDR options: Perceptual Quantization (PQ) and Hybrid Log-

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One proven route is to separate production and delivery. For delivery, taking into account the DVB

at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas was Sony’s

wide viewing angle. It will be available later this year in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes.

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vi TVBEurope March 2017


In association with

The Holy See On 20 November 2016, Sony, along with other technology partners, supported Vatican Television Centre (CTV) during its live coverage in 4K HDR of the Ceremony of the Closing of the Holy Door by his Holiness Pope Francis. CTV used 12 HDC-4300 cameras and a Sony HDR S-Log3 system as well as MVS-7000X production switcher and the PWS-4400 replay server system. The HLG profile was used for delivery with distribution taking place via Eutelsat’s HOTBIRD satellites. Globecast provided the satellite uplink using the HEVC compression format while Ericsson, NTT Electronics and Vislink supplied the encoding and decoding equipment. The broadcast was made available on Channel 200 of the Tivùsat free satellite platform. Dario Edoardo Viganò, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications for the Holy See, says, “This is a state of the art set-up that reflects Pope Francis’ aim to keep up to speed with the rapid developments in global technology, to support the Catholic Church’s communication mission.” 7. Numerous live broadcast trials have been completed

one, have completed live HDR trials at football

8. The first HDR services are going live

Even before industry standards were ratified,

and beach volleyball events. In the UK, BT Sport

The first commercial HDR television service in

broadcasters had started taking a real interest in

has openly acknowledged that it has tested

the world was launched in October 2016 when

HDR. But while post-produced content with HDR is

HDR for live sports.

Japan’s Sky PerfecTV added HDR content to its

relatively straightforward, live production with HDR is still a challenge. As such numerous trials have taken place and some broadcasters have started to openly talk

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about their experiences. Sky Germany, for

Another notable event captured in 4K HDR was the live broadcast of the Ceremony

Ultra HD channels. A number of web streaming services also show

of the Closing of the Holy Door at the

HDR content. Amazon led the way, making HDR

Vatican City (see above).

content available on its Prime Instant Video

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TVBEurope vii

March 2017

Supplement platform in June 2015. The first title to be released

Sony’s solution to this problem is called SR Live for

technology and expand their network,

with HDR was Mozart in the Jungle, a series that

HDR. It is built around a new convertor unit called

aided by a team of experts. Sony training

was shot on the Sony F55. Since then Amazon

the HDRC-4000 that will launch this Spring.

courses do provide guidance on using Sony

has also released HDR versions of Bosch,

In this proposed workflow, live feeds arrive

systems but they also focus on HDR in general,

Mad Dogs and Man in the High Castle plus

into a 4K HDR S-Log3 domain inside an OB truck

giving course attendees a full and honest insight

various movies.

where they are switched. Then, for the output, the

into how to successfully put in place and manage

HDRC-4000 converts the signal to either PQ or HLG,

HDR-based workflows.

Netflix followed suit in April 2016, kicking off with season one of its original series Marco Polo, again

or to HD. The HDRC-4000 can also be used to up-

From cameras and monitors to end-to-end

shot with the Sony F55. Luke Cage and Narcos

convert any incoming HD feeds to 4K HDR before

workflows and training, if you are considering

followed. The movie streaming service Vudu

they reach the switcher.

adopting HDR for epidodic TV, feature or short film,

also offers titles in HDR and YouTube announced support in November 2016. The BBC has also made content available

As you would expect, Sony provides many of the components required for a live HDR workflow

Sony can help. n

including the HDC-4800 ultra high frame rate

via its iPlayer streaming platform. It successfully

camera system for slow motion replays, the

showed 4K HDR clips from the Planet Earth II

XVS-8000 production switcher and the PWS-4500

wildlife series during December 2016.

4K/IP production server.

9. Live HDR workflows are a real-world, viable option

10. HDR is not just about technology

One of the key considerations when it comes

Sony recognises that an HDR workflow is only

to live production with HDR, ironically, is how

as good as the people that use it, which is

to handle the standard dynamic range (SDR)

where the Digital Motion Picture Centre

feeds. To avoid increasing costs and re-training

Europe (DMPCE) comes in.

technicians, broadcasters are keen to generate

live broadcast trial or a full television service,

Get in touch:

Find out more about our free training:

A leading destination for filmmakers and

both HDR and SDR images from the same

television producers, visitors to the DMPCE can

production set-up.

develop their craft, work with cutting edge


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TVBEurope 25

March 2017

Feature We were at the forefront of something that

Ford believes that the future of the industry may

when you start reaching out beyond

has now become the norm.”

not lie entirely with the traditional broadcasters

your wheelhouse, you have to know what

and content providers who have dominated the

you’re doing.

Ford earned a BA in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA in Marketing and Strategic Management from Northwestern University’s

scene for decades.

“Telestream is prepared to serve a number

“There is a democratisation of content

of verticals. And we have to ask ourselves what

Kellogg School of Management. He also served

creation,” he says. “It is individuals creating

we can do for them. What role do we play

as a US Naval Officer for four years with a

content; it is schools, and corporations.

with the telcos, for example? Well, we have a

deployment aboard a Ticonderoga-class cruiser, the USS Vella Gulf. For 18 years, Ford has been a technology executive managing global organisations in software and digital media and has had senior strategy, operations and sales and marketing roles at Comcast, AT&T Broadband and

live-streaming product for that world with our

“A picture is worth a thousand words, and people around the world are embracing video as a mechanism for communicating with each other” Kyle Ford, Telestream

Wirecast and other desktop applications. And that technology has been embraced by other sectors, even healthcare.“ Wirecast has been a great crossover product for Telestream. It allows for easy live webcasting and has been taken up for use in houses of

MediaOne, as well as the start-ups Eventbrite

worship, education, live events and gaming.

and Quantumshift.

With the quality of production and delivery

Most recently, he served as president of

technology improving, these formerly niche

Interactive Data Corporation’s Desktop Business,

Telestream wants to continue to serve the

markets are in a position to compete with

a company that creates software for retail and

customers we know so well, but want to continue

most broadcasters.

institutional traders. Kyle’s experience spans

reaching some new customers.

strategic planning to operational execution with

“And content is being delivered differently

Dan Castles says that the broadcast industry needs better thought leadership

particular emphasis on go-to-market strategies

than it has been historically. Consumers want

in addressing these new competitors and

for new product launches.

to enjoy that content on all kinds of different

the new opportunities provided by

devices. Broadcasters continue to be huge

alternative technologies.

players in this, but there are going to be a lot of other people creating this content too. A picture is worth a thousand words, and people around the world are embracing video as a mechanism for communicating with each other.”

“Within the vendor community, we need to explain more fully how we intend to resolve the challenges that face our customers’ business operations. “We need a dialogue with our customers and with this new management structure we’re well-equipped to provide that,” he said. “In an

Into new markets

uncertain world, we need a strategic long-term

Telestream has a clear view of the expansion

view, sharing with our customers where this

and diversification of video production

evolution in media consumption could lead us,

distribution and intends to be ready to serve

giving all parties time to prepare for what might

those markets as they continue to develop.

be needed. We need to identify more of a

And the nature of that development is

channel strategy and build.”

anything but certain. “When we start to analyse some of the things

Castles notes that the timing of Ford’s arrival,

Castles, “the one thing that becomes clear

just as the industry enters trade show season,

is there has been a fundamental shift in how

means that the new COO is going to hit the

programmes are consumed and viewed.” The appointment of Kyle Ford suggests Telestream is poised

“We’re in a deep dive mode now. Kyle is up to his eyebrows with some these fundamental changes. People are reporting now to him, and

into those new markets,

he’s on it. Going into NAB, there’s nothing more

to confirm. “As you start to reach beyond your usual core competency, you have to start pulling in new

24 25 TVBE MAR17 telestream Feature_FINAL2.indd 55

ground running.

for an aggressive expansion which Castles seems

“There is a democratisation of content creation. It’s individuals creating content; it’s schools and corporations”

Jumping in

we’ve been talking about here,” observes Dan

stressful than being brand new, but it’s flowing really well. Kyle’s arrival couldn’t have been at a better time.” Ford seems ready to not only take on his new post, but to help bring Telestream into a new phase in its development.

expertise,” explains

“I’m meeting the team. I’m getting to know

Castles. “We really

the business. And we’re planning for 2017 and

know well those things

seeing how we can take our products into

we call core, but

these new markets.” n

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26 TVBEurope March 2017


Keeping assets secure Philip Stevens takes a closer look at protected streaming


ith the threat of content piracy, security of pre-release material has become a priority for broadcasters

and distributors alike. Given that journalists and bloggers are not always available to attend a traditional multimedia screening, and the fact such events can be costly to run, studios need to explore other options for publicising their upcoming content. Traditional DVD screeners are both expensive and timeconsuming to produce and distribute, as well as being unsecure due to the wide availability of software to rip copies. Because of this, services to distribute online screeners are now a major means for the delivery of pre-release content, not only for publicity, but also for international film sales purposes.

‘One major advantage of using an online platform means that each user’s activities can be tracked on the site’

Secure screening helps prevent pirating and unauthorised use of content

Secure environment

in the file, and tracked directly back to the

“The Panther Secure Streaming platform was

source of the leak. Forensic watermarks add

designed to give our clients the peace of

an additional level of security that is resistant

mind that their content can be screened in a

to nearly any transformation of the video in

secure environment, and be accessible only

size, format or resolution. The system can also

During 2016, Warner Bros sued an artist’s agency

by the required recipients. The system uses

lock to an end user’s IP addresses, resulting in

for putting screeners on their in-house Google

email addresses supplied by our clients to

the video not being able to play from any other

Drive account. In the case of media sharing

authenticate the user via a unique password

device, further restricting the ability for an end-

sites such as Google Drive and WeTransfer,

that is generated by the system. Once a

studios strictly forbid any content residing

user logs on to the system, their session is

on these platforms. As such platforms are

tracked, and this also allows us to produce

regraded as unsecure and unencrypted, there

analytics including information based on

Limiting factors

is a very strong potential for accounts to be

the duration of the content viewed.”

Bottrill continues, “One

compromised and content leaked.

Each piece of content screened

user to distribute the content from the system.

major advantage of using

includes a unique burnt-in watermark,

an online platform means

is that they need to publicise films and

normally the name of the person

that each user’s activities

programmes before release to build awareness,

receiving the content. Encryption is

yet they don’t want to risk a leak,” states Neil

utilised to protect the streaming files

Bottrill, digital operations director at DMS. “The

and, in addition, the burnt-in watermark

the number of views a user has

explosion of social media platforms also means

acts as physical deterrent to prevent

to the content, put a time limit

there are more influencers to review content

the end-user distributing

prior to release and, therefore, more people

content. If copies were

who need to see this material.”

distributed, then

“The dilemma for studios and broadcasters

London-based DMS is a digital media agency,

name would

streaming using its Panther Online platform.

be viewable

26 27 TVBE Mar17 Feature_FINAL.indd 54

on viewing content, and most importantly, reports can be

the end-user’s

whose services include distribution and secure

can be tracked on the site. Studios have the option to limit

generated Neil Bottrill, Digital Operations Director at DMS

to see if the user has

20/02/2017 17:16


March 2017


Feature actually viewed the complete file. DMS’s highly

the utilisation of secure streaming for launches

purposes, ensuring that only their employers

secure site also features password-protected

that require internal and external review by

can view the content. Using a Secure Screening

logins. The next release of Panther Secure

stakeholders prior to public release. The IP lock

system allows delivery of pre-release content to

Streaming will include two-factor authentication,

function allows organisations to stream content

an increasing number of relevant parties, with

one being a code supplied to a mobile device

securely internally for training or approval

the bonus of utmost security and user insight.” n

as an extra level of security.” But, as Bottrill points out, it’s not just AV content that Panther Secure Streaming can handle. “Production notes and poster artwork can also be uploaded and viewed along with relevant metadata, making it the natural secure home for all pre-release content.

‘The IP lock function allows organisations to stream content securely internally for training or approval purposes’ In addition, advanced streaming technology and site development allows Panther Secure Streaming to sit alongside our existing Panther Online system to provide more integrated functionality and an easier and more intuitive




user experience.” These services are available not only across PC and Mac desktop systems, but also on all Apple devices, including iPad and iPhone.

Complete service When the action movie Deepwater Horizon was premiered in London, another DMS company, Tiger Films, captured red-carpet action and produced a Video News Release (VNR) of the event. The soundbites, B-Roll and VNR were available on Panther Online on the night of the premiere, with key broadcast and online outlets ordering the content, including Associated Press, ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Film And TV Now, ITN, Press Association and STV News. Of course, this service is not just available in the UK. Paris-based ICTV became the first company to use Panther Online to share assets with French journalists. The Entrepôt Cinema in Paris showcased the sixth edition of Les Ecrans de Chine, a European film festival showcasing the best independent Chinese documentaries of the year. Bostrill explains, “Our service is fully localised into multiple languages, and we hosted promotional assets for the festival and the seven full-length feature films. DMS created a press release, localised into French and distributed to our international database.” He continues, “One emerging key commercial application that is emerging is

26 27 TVBE Mar17 Feature_FINAL.indd 55

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28 TVBEurope March 2017


The benefits of distributed workflows and sharable infrastructure Over at AMWA Labs: George Jarrett salutes a shortterm project designed to resolve issues around implementations in the cloud


can be leveraged in the cloud, and where the challenges are, where the best practices are there, and what we as an industry need to agree on in order to successfully interoperate in a cloud environment.”

octor Bunsen Honeydew’s legendary line,

cloud technology, and in order for it to be

“Where the future is being made today,”

well leveraged in the professional media

behind the technology and what can it spawn

applies just as pertinently to the tool

What does it mean to the business imperative

environment, we have to be sure that the

in terms of the NMOS toolbox if it is just a short

AMWA Labs as it does to the doctor’s pioneering

fundamental assumptions we have come to can

exploratory project?

scientific work with his assistant Beaker.

be supported in the cloud.”

Brad Gilmer, the executive director of AMWA, first explains his organisation’s pedigree. “We have always been in a fairly dynamic

There must be a real purpose behind AMWA Labs, and a sure time restraint? “Yes and yes. The real job is to look at the

“The NMOS Group is a long-running project working on specifications from AMWA. AMWA Labs is a fast but important project looking at simply doing the implementation and learning

area of the industry because we have been

work of the JT-NM (Joint Taskforce on Networked

from it, and then using that work to inform the

focused primarily on software, and that has

Media) and really do a fast implementation

longer specification work,” says Gilmer.

been an area of the planet where a lot of

in the cloud based around JT-NM, to see if

change has been taking place,” he says. “Is this

everything works as expected, or if there are

Hanging on additional analytics

the most dynamic, changing of times? Yes it is,

places where the JT-NM approach needs either

Is it time we had plans for a new or updated

but that is only because the world of software

to be modified or clarified for specifically looking

JT-NM report, to reflect progress and identify

generally is just speeding up. The rate of change

at implementations in the cloud,” says Gilmer.

requisite advancements?

is continuing to increase, with no end in sight.

“The AMWA Labs is a short running project,

“Yes. We have been talking about that, and

specifically looking in three areas. These are

AMWA has already planned an assessment of

of this focused project is to look ‘cloud fit’

Discovery, Transport and Compression, and

the JT-NM reference architecture, specifically

for media over IP technology,” he adds.

within those three areas we are also looking

around connection management, and will

“The industry is rapidly moving to adopting

holistically at security, and at how those things

produce an output report,” says Gilmer.

“Our new activity is AMWA Labs: the purpose

Brad Gilmer, executive director, AMWA (inset) and Howard Lukk, standards director, SMPTE

28 29 TVBE Mar17 Business_FINAL.indd 54

20/02/2017 14:59


March 2017


Business “We anticipate doing this soon, probably

trials, broadcasters have done an awful lot to

Presently however we are not working on any

after NAB, and we have to take the output of

provide business guidance for these projects,

standards that are specifically ‘cloud’ based.

that work and feed it back to the JT-NM and

and in keeping the industry tightly focused on

Having said that, we are concerned about both

potentially update the reference architecture

moving forward.

Registration and Discovery,” Lukk adds. “There

document. And it may be at the same time we

seems to be a number of standards, SMPTE ones

can take the output from the Labs work.

included, surrounding Registration and Discovery

“If we find there are areas where the JT-NM

and we believe that work at the JT-NM needs

reference architecture needs to be modified to

to be done to identify the ‘gaps’ and potential

make it more cloud fit, it is certainly our intention

areas of harmonisation.”

to take what we learned from the Labs project

Where will the IP bandwagon be when we

and share it with the industry,” he adds.

get to NAB?

Any revisions will be certified by IBC. It hangs

“The JT-NM will be demonstrating

on taking into account additional analytics done

interoperability at NAB specifically around the Felix Poulin, EBU, at IBC

regarding connection management. Another cool aspect of the AMWA Labs project is the support element AMWA Basecamp. “This is a collaborative tool available on the

new SMPTE ST 2110 series of documents,” says Lukk. “This will be an improved demonstration

“Broadcasters more keenly than anyone else

versus what happened at IBC as there has been

feel the need to have new tools at their disposal,

a lot of work done lately on ST 2110.”

internet, and it just helps groups to work together.

that allow them to meet the challenges in the

Felix Poulin, senior project manager of

We have been using Basecamp for quite a while

changing business environment,” says Gilmer.

networked media production with the EBU,

and have just established an area to specifically

“They look for collaborative working within

adds his perspective of where AMWA Labs

support the Labs project. AMWA members and

the industry, and responses from their vendor

has its influences.

indeed anyone from the industry can monitor the

partnerships to meet those business needs.

activity of the Labs,” says Gilmer. “People can

Intuitive graphic interfaces are a big new

the transition to our IP roadmap; it will bring the

sign up and watch the progress of the guys as

development area, but broadcasters are riding

benefit of distributed workflows and sharable

they move forward with the project.”

the software development trend generally, to

infrastructure,” he says. “This step was not yet

come up with tools that allow them to prototype

explored much for interoperable professional

and quickly deliver better user interfaces for

media applications, so it is good to see AMWA

hand-held and other devices.”

take a lead on this.

Registration and Discovery

be the validation of the JT-NM Reference

Director of standards Howard Lukk fed in the

Architecture and/or proposal for improvements. I

SMPTE perspective: industry groups that are

believe this will be considered in due time, when

closely aligned with SMPTE, one being AMWA,

AMWA provides feedback to JT-NM,” he adds.

Gilmer wants to pay tribute to broadcasters, and

help by providing input for SMPTE

“We can see a lot of effort behind getting 2110

the way they are fighting off the endangered

standardisation work.

out in the next few months.

“It is good to see AMWA take a lead on this” Felix Poulin, EBU

species tag: “Whether it be the BBC with its

“Cloud production is the ultimate evolution of

“One outcome of the AMWA Labs might

“SMPTE depends on user groups such as

“NAB will show how advanced we are in terms

stewardship of the NMI (Networked Media

AMWA to flush out technology and provide

of interoperability on 2110. I can only say the

Incubator project), the EBU’s continued

information and specifications,” says Lukk.

motivation is there in the industry to show results.

“SMPTE has been aware of AMWA Labs and

Also, AMWA NMOS will have also added iteration

board, or Fox and its continued support of the

is watching this space. As bandwidth increases

so some good progress on the ‘auto-provisioning’

JT-NM and its active support of interoperability

we see users push more tasks into the cloud.

part of the JT-NM roadmap. n

participation in the JT-NM and the AMWA

28 29 TVBE Mar17 Business_FINAL.indd 55

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30 TVBEurope March 2017


Backing the public service ethos against powerful interest groups George Jarrett talks to new WBU chairman Simon Fell about garnering the power to affect change

“We’re promoting things like digital radio chips in

“The standard will not be written/specified until

smartphones. We’re all broadcasting digital radio

2020. What we’re talking about is the US cable

and you can only receive it on one LG phone

head ends that are looking for that last mile to

which has a DAB receiver,” he adds. “It is crazy. If

rural areas; they look to introduce one of the

they would put the chip in every phone the world

parts of 5G, which is the higher bandwidth. They


would have free digital radio, but they would

want to introduce that on the radio links,” he

ith traditional broadcasters under

rather you pay for Spotify or Apple services. It is

adds. “We’re going to see a lot of hype between

threat from giant corporations on

not in the interest of the manufacturers or the

now and 2020: the Winter Olympics in Korea will

the one hand, and journalist-hating

network operators, and governments don’t see

be promoting 5G.”

governments on the other, Simon Fell’s two-year

the case because they see the growth in mobile

tenure as chair of the World Broadcast Union

broadband as beneficial.”

(WBU) will be something more dynamic than the plain honorarium the job has been in the past. The director of the EBU’s technology and

On his appointment, Fell highlighted cyber security and the impact of 5G on broadcasting

The real technology for it comes from the 3GPP standards group, which the EBU has a dialogue with. “We have been submitting broadcast

as two of the big issues that will feature high in

requirements into their standards setting work,

innovation department, Fell discussed his starting

the WBU agenda, and in conversation he added

and we have had good support from the likes of

plan before moving on to the big issues that will

The Internet of Things, the progress with IP to

Qualcomm,” says Fell. “We have been promoting

impact on all eight broadcasting unions that

cloud production, the 4K/8K nexus, and VR.

for a future that must allow for reception of a

comprise the WBU. “The WBU is not that powerful in terms of what

radio or TV service that does not require a SIM

We will see lot of hype

card, in other words, free to air content.”

it does, but I hope to get some policies away

The promise of 5G is another big global matter.

There is an ‘or’ here: the ability to broadcast

that make a difference and get adopted,”

“It’s going to take a long time to come in. The

the same signal over a wide area, say 100 miles,

he explains. “It is important to get the different

EBU was in the US recently talking to broadcasters

and not be limited to something that works within

regions on side, so you can only do it by

about 5G and we got blank looks all round.

100 yards of where you are. It is about replicating

consensus view.

Some said 5G is coming next year,” says Fell.

the broadcast model we know.

30 31 TVBE Mar17 Bus_simonfell_FINAL2.indd 54

21/02/2017 12:39


March 2017


Business “Obviously not every mobile operator wants to

get it right, we could get something that makes

be really difficult and expensive. You need

hear that, but the infrastructure providers that

infrastructure totally flexible.”

to have the VR team following up the main

are working on building the standard can see

Fell was with the EBU Technical Committee

the benefits, and we have been asking for things

on a recent trip to Amazon Web Services and

like the ability to have a signal that is shared

Microsoft Azure.

between network operators,” says Fell.

“The scale of apps that people are putting

crew,” he says.

The threat to journalism The VR story though many times more gigantic

onto Amazon Web Services is now immense. We

than 3D, has too many standards, huge

will be release 16. “There is a definite trend

did a little app for Amazon Alexa, and when you

complexity, but great potential. One of Fell’s

where governments are trying to get behind

do that it is written in LAMBDA code, which can

big concerns is helping broadcasters become

5G because is will be a commercial advantage

call on the resources it requires,” he says. “If you

more athletic.

to industry and commerce. We are just trying

write a piece of code that says take this asset

to ensure that broadcasters are not ignored.

from this folder, convert it to MPEG-4 and put the

OTT subscription services. The model there is to

The mobile guys must understand what the

resultant file back somewhere else, that’s like a

pay a small amount and get exclusive access

broadcaster requirements are,” says Fell.

workflow. You do not have to assign resources.

to a sport say. The trend is away from the big

That is automatic, and that code can be paid for

pay-TV packages on cable, so the big cable

on the 100-millisecond slice.

operators now have to branch out into OTT

The LTE standard commonly known as 5G

“We do not know yet what IoT will be in our industry, but a big part of 5G planning is the IoT and machine to machine communications.

“That shows the huge potential of the cloud

“In the US, what you see is steep growth of the

services to get the customers back, but the rate

We can see an impact in terms of receiving

but it brings certain security aspects with it as

they are getting per subscriber is getting lower

Internet type services in the car,” he adds. “We

well. Amazon said if your infrastructure gets

and lower,” he says.

see now with the Amazon Alexa, the potential of

compromised in some way what you can do

providing access to media. We see radio services

is just dismantle it completely – blow it up and

accessible via a little speaker we can talk to. So

then rebuild it in an automated fashion,” he

broadcasters have to be relevant. In terms of our

adds. “You can just recreate the disc images

production businesses, IoT could be a boon.”

in a different space on completely different IP

He has in mind voice activated remote

numbers, and re-launch. That is one way of being

control, implications for metadata capture

totally ballistic about dealing with security issues.”

in sporting events, and applications for data

Some parts of the WBU are totally behind 8K

“The scale of apps that people are putting onto Amazon Web Services is now immense” “The PBS funding model is constantly being

around athletes. For example, the speed of an

(Japan) while Korea is 4K-minded. Meanwhile

challenged, and yet it does a good job. The

arrow leaving a bow in an archery event. All of

many broadcasters see HD as being good

public service model in Europe is the so-called

that points to apps that augment broadcast and

enough, and they can show you good HD

Eurovision model, free to air broadcasting

VoD feeds: every sport could be instrumented in

upgrades to UHD that require you to be three

providing the backbone service. But in some

that way with new depths of data retrieval.

metres away to not spot the difference.

countries cable is dominant, and in others its is

“What everybody is in agreement on is the

“We’re going to see a lot of hype with 5G between now and 2020”

impact of HDR, so you are going to see HD with

satellite that wins. Then there is DTT.” The many structures lead to the increasing

HDR coming on strong because nobody can

strictures. “The great thing about the broadcast

afford the bandwidth of 4K at the moment. And

unions is that they do try and counter or at least

that makes 8K more questionable,” says Fell.

expose the threat to journalism and the threats

“Everyone wants the bang of the buck that

to democracy, by calling it out when it happens.

HDR gives you now, albeit we need to get on

They try to get behind programmes that provide

Fell moved onto the march of IP: “The big

with it quickly before the standards diverge. It

the right values,” says Fell.

factors remain the timing issues to be resolved.

is largely lining up around HLG being good for

Broadcasters within those eight unions also

We feel that having as much software flexibility

broadcast channels and live, and then the PQ

have to be aware of things like Facebook Live,

as possible gives us the ability to develop apps

curve and HDR 10 being the popular thing in

which may soon see channels offering journalists

we have not even thought of yet. The benefit

Hollywood for pre-recorded content,” he adds.

better money for their stories than broadcasters

to all the broadcasters is that you get a flexible

“It is very hard to get 4K out there unless you are

can afford to pay, or afford to run politically.

infrastructure that is scalable for many years

a big pay operator, like Sky and BT in the UK.”

It is not fake news to add that the WBU

to come,” he said. “You won’t require such

Regarding VR, Fell sees the danger of too

committee has a conference call meeting

dramatic swapping out when you have to

many standards and competing branded

every two months, and gathers at events

do a changeover.”

technologies, not to mention patent disputes.

like IBC and NAB. Its summer technical

On a recent trip to Hollywood he saw a VR

assembly is in Stuttgart in June.

On the 100-millisecond slice

promo for Fifty Shades Darker, and this threw up

Quoting the change from SD to HD, and now

some very good advice.

“We are facing a world now where the consumer electronics companies or the big

the move to UHD, Fell adds: “UHD has stalled in

“It was a seven-minute promo shot from a

gaffer companies are so powerful and have so

a way because you have to change such a lot

scene in the movie. You have to shoot these

much money to invest, they can literally power

of infrastructure. People are looking for the next

things at the same time as the main set is

down the road with a particular technology and

generation and that’s where IP Studio comes

working. If you dismantle the set and the crew

drop it on the market - before a standard is even

into play. As the standards emerge and if we

and you have to put it back together, it will

conceived,” says Fell. n

30 31 TVBE Mar17 Bus_simonfell_FINAL.indd 55

20/02/2017 15:04

32 TVBEurope March 2017


In association with

Will linear TV leave the mainstream? What kind of threat do social media and streaming video pose to linear TV? Can the two live side by side, or is linear TV doomed? Niall Duffy of Renegade Thinking investigates


e are witnessing demographic shifts

needed content – but high-quality, and well-

producer-broadcasters are content owners

in the age of linear TV viewers, with

produced high-quality content costs money –

rather than just broadcasters.

millennials and younger consuming

which most thematic channel operators did not

But there are threats. This time, social media

more content online, and increasingly mobile;

have. The winners from that deregulation were

coincides with the dramatic fall in the cost of

social media outstripping TV as the primary news

actually the people who were predicted to be

production of technically high quality content.

source; YouTube showing the Champions League

the biggest losers – the producer-broadcasters.

Whilst smartphones and consumer video

and Europa League finals, Twitter streaming

They were the only ones with the talent,

cameras may not meet the UHD (or even HD)

the NFL, and Facebook Live. In particular, the

resources and budgets to produce high-quality

standards of traditional broadcasters, this is not

broadcast industry has gone from seeing social

content. It is only many years later that the

an issue for social media.

media as having only marginal impact to

successful thematic channels could afford to

something far more threatening. This potential

commission originated content.

threat was neatly encapsulated in a recent Royal Television Society (RTS) event ‘Social media muscles in on TV’ where Facebook, Twitter and YouTube appeared on the panel. However, the panel members emphasised that they operate

New formats, such as AR, VR and 360-degrees may be capable of bypassing broadcasters altogether. This enables far greater

‘New formats, such as AR, VR and 360 may bypass broadcasters altogether’

distribution platforms that enable content makers

democratisation of the production market, and the minimum equipment investment for a production company making high quality content has never been lower. Importantly, the route to viewers is no longer bound

to publish their content, and are not content

to broadcasters. But is this good news for

makers themselves, adding that they have

The intent was to broaden the market and

production companies? The growth in demand

already established partnerships with existing

deliver niche segmentation rather than diminish

for content on social media may well fuel

broadcasters, rights and content owners.

the existing players.

demand for their services, but the pressure on

The implication is that social media may

With hundreds of channels, the thematic

offer more opportunities for content owners or

genre-based broadcasting model was an

producers, rather than threaten their existence.

effective means of providing more choice.

cost is also likely to increase, and so yet again they face a world of ‘more for less, please’.

The impact on production was more mixed.

Era of competition

Staying relevant

Programme quotas opened the market for

For broadcast technology vendors, the market

This is not the first time that disruption has

independents, and there was a demand for

for specialist hardware is only going one way –

caused concerns for linear TV broadcasters.

more content, but this was not matched by

down. Whilst not yet a ‘meteorite’ moment, it will

The deregulation of TV in the 1980s and 1990s

an increase in budgets, which were stretched

be essential for traditional broadcast technology

focused on increasing competition through

further. The ‘atomisation’ of production – the

vendors to embrace cloud technologies if they

programme quotas and licensing more

ability for smaller new entrants to compete –

want to stay relevant.

channel capacity.

increased. This was enabled by lower cost, file-

‘For broadcast technology vendors, the market for specialist hardware is only going one way – down’

We are moving inexorably towards a binary

based HD cameras, but it did not radically alter

market in ‘broadcasting’; we will have the

the cost or process for making content.

known high-end world of premium content commissioned by big broadcasters and

Social media

global OTT providers, where production values

So, what will be the impact of social media?

remain high, and technology innovation will be

The first has been to massively increase

expected to drive operational and infrastructure

‘atomisation’ of viewers to the point of

costs down.

The most significant impact came from digital

‘hyper-segmentation’, where it is now

thematic channels. At the time, more TV

affordable to serve segments that are very

and brave new world of atomised markets

capacity was seen as heralding an era of

small. So the first effect may be to generate

and production processes; where it’s all about

competition, greater consumer choice and

even more revenue for existing content

personalisation, mobile, on-demand, produced

where Public Service Broadcasters would no

producers, just as the multi-channel model

by commoditised tools and systems. For those

longer be relevant. Of course, this did not

generated a new wave of revenue in the 80s

willing to adapt and embrace the change, this is

happen in that way. These new channels

and 90s. This reinforces the conclusion that the

a compelling opportunity. n

32 33 TVBE Mar17 Technology_FINAL.indd 54

At the other end, we will have the chaotic

21/02/2017 11:40

TVBEurope 33

March 2017


In association with

Silicon Valley assesses European VR S ilicon Valley-based venture firm, The

Venture Reality Fund (The VR Fund) has released its first-ever European virtual

reality (VR) landscape, which features European companies developing infrastructure, tools and apps for the VR ecosystem. The company released an AR (augmented reality) landscape last autumn. The landscape was created in partnership with LucidWeb, the French VR and webVR consulting agency, to depict the growth in the ecosystem, with the hope of increasing

competitive space with well-funded companies

Companies in VR post production are

investment and is based on research gathered

including CCP Games (Iceland), nDreams

developing 3D tools, which leading US

during meetings and calls with regional VR

(United Kingdom), Resolution Games (Sweden)

software companies have acquired over

providers across Europe. Close to 300 VR start-

and Solfar Studios (Iceland).

the past two years: Google acquired Irish

ups were identified and reviewed, of which 116

More than half of the companies included in

Thrive Audio, Facebook acquired

were selected to be part of the first release of

the landscape are based in United Kingdom,

Scotland-based Two Big Ears, and

the VR Landscape Europe. According to the

France, Germany and Sweden. France is taking

Snapchat acquired London-based Seen/

report, the VR gaming industry remains the most

the lead in VR in continental Europe.

Obvious Engineering. n

On Shot On Air

32 33 TVBE Mar17 Technology_FINAL.indd 55

20/02/2017 15:44

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March 2017



Pushing the boundaries

LG OLED TV display at CES 2017

By Brian Morris, vice president and general manager, media and entertainment services, Tata Communications


he raft of new 4K TVs and devices released

Enabling new viewing experiences

show how far videos from a 360-degree

at CES reinforces how the average viewing

CES gave us an opportunity to look at the

perspective have come in recent years.

experience is becoming ever-more

progress made by enabling technologies such

On top of that, Intel’s 360-degree replay

sophisticated and complex. This is great for

as OTT networks, which can have as major an

technology, which has been used in Major

consumers, who get to see their favourite shows

impact on the viewing experience. For example,

League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball

in better quality than ever before, and see new

low-latency feeds can enable new features,

Association (NBA) and La Liga broadcasts,

content produced for these enhanced mediums

such as super-fast channel changes and greatly

provides viewers with a 360 perspective of

and platforms.

reduced buffering times when streaming content.

the action, allowing them to relive the big

It also represents an exciting opportunity for content producers, distributors and broadcasters to push forward the boundaries of TV. However, it also represents a huge challenge. They’ve gone from delivering TV programming through one method – broadcast TV – to delivering live and

moments of a game through the eyes of the

‘The quality, individuality and intuitiveness of the viewing experience now carries greater influence over the choices of viewers’

on-demand content to mobiles, TVs and laptops

More definition, more data These enhanced viewing experiences all require more bandwidth than 2D TV formats, placing additional data loads on OTT networks.

across fixed networks and mobile, in HD, 4K (and soon in 8K) and HDR.

players on the pitch.

This development means that IP networks, These features are exclusive to OTT content

over which broadcasting are distributing

delivery, and are examples of how technology

their content, just as – if not even more –

to provide the same high-quality experience

is allowing broadcasters to enhance the

important than before.

to viewers. Increasingly, they are coming to

viewing experience using non-traditional

depend on the internet as a delivery method,

distribution methods.

Satellite and cable are no longer enough

as well as investing in ever-more sophisticated

Virtual reality is, for the most part, restricted

While content is still the major differentiator for broadcasters and producers, the quality, individuality and intuitiveness of the viewing

infrastructure, such as new connection points and

to gaming environments and applications,

experience now carries greater influence over

protected fibre paths to handle this demand. This

at least for the time being. There are

the choices of viewers, in a world where the

kind of investment is rapidly becoming the key

technologies on the market, however, which

choice of content is near-infinite.

differentiator for those who produce, distribute

are paving the way for more immersive

and broadcast content. After all, whether

entertainment experiences.

2017 will be a big year for broadcasting tech, in terms of which new technologies will find their

360-degree video is an example of a

place in the TV entertainment domain, and how

to work, or on their 4K TV in the comfort of their

technology that’s already out there and

broadcasters will use technology to inspire more

living rooms, viewers won’t wait around if they

very quicly being perfected. Experiences

innovative ways of bringing content to their

can get something quicker and better elsewhere.

such as those produced by Discovery VR

viewers’ screens. n

watching on their smartphone on the commute

35 TVBE Mar17 TVBEverywhere_FINAL2.indd 32

21/02/2017 11:44

36 TVBEurope March 2017


Was 2016 a tipping point for next-gen TV? By Gordon Smith, president and CEO, NAB

watchdog on corrupt government officials and

Yet, despite these successes, broadcasters

shady local businesses.

are not resting on our laurels. We know we

We live and work in the communities we

face stiff competition as viewers increasingly

cover. Somewhere in the US – on each and every

go online to watch their favourite shows or

day – a local TV station is raising funds for a local

turn to smartphones and mobile devices

onumental. Historic. Jaw-dropping.

charity, collecting food or clothing for neighbours

for entertainment or information. That’s why

Those are just a few adjectives that

in need, or devoting free air time to promote

broadcast networks have invested in Hulu and

describe the tsunami-like disruption

education and healthy lifestyles. Being a good

CBS All Access, and it’s why local TV stations

occurring in today’s media delivery landscape.

corporate citizen is in the DNA of the

often host the most populated websites in any

Every day brings a breathless press release

local broadcaster.

given market.


announcing a new app, a new IPO and a new OTT service destined to destroy ‘traditional’ TV. Indeed, broadcast TV faces competitive challenges the likes of which our business has never seen. But make no mistake: local TV stations -- in partnership with broadcast networks -- are the King Kong of TV content, delivering

‘The standard use of an IP-based backbone also enables interactivity for consumers, which could also provide broadcasters with new revenue stream’

millions of viewers each and every day as the US’ premier video entertainment option.

Perhaps the broadcast innovation with the most potential to shake up the video landscape is the development of a new broadcast transmission standard. For the past several years, the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) – a cooperative effort between broadcast, consumer electronics, cable, satellite, motion picture and computer industries – has

And right now, working with the Partnership for

been working on a new IP-based transmission

Drug Free Kids, broadcasters across the US are

standard called ATSC 3.0, also known as next-

entertainment programming, from Modern

running PSAs, airing town hall meetings and using

gen TV. This new transmission standard combines

Family to The Voice. We are the most-reliable

our social media platforms to fight opioid and

the advantages of broadband and broadcast to

source for local news, weather, sports,

heroin addiction, an epidemic that is ravaging so

transform the way we deliver mobile, interactivity

public affairs and emergency information

many communities and families.

and higher quality content – all available to

Broadcast TV remains the most-watched

programming. We are home to over 90 of the

During 2016, local TV stations worked to ensure

consumers for free.

top-100 rated programmes during primetime, as

voters could make informed choices when

well as ‘must-see’ marquee programming such

they went to the polls. Local TV stations aired

just some of the potential advances made

as the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the Olympics.

countless debates between candidates running

possible by next-gen TV. NAB broadcast live

for federal, state and local office. We sponsored

content from the show floor to the pavilion to

that is free and locally based. Local TV stations

voter registration drives to help citizens make

demonstrate the standard’s support of UHD

are in every corner of the country providing a

their voices heard. Broadcasters spent hours

that provides a richer picture quality, HDR that

necessary public service to communities. When

delving into the national and local issues facing

offers a greater accuracy of colours, and Wide

disaster strikes, it is broadcasters who are in the

voters. Our commitment to serving the public

Colour Gamut that shows a broader spectrum of

field with boots on the ground reporting before,

good is a reason the most civically engaged

colours. Because the new standard makes

during and after the disaster. We are devoted

citizens tune into local TV to stay informed about

more efficient use of spectrum, broadcasters

to investigative journalism, serving as a

their communities, according to a recent survey.

could have the chance to offer these features

Broadcast TV is also the only video service

36 37 TVBE Mar17 NABFeature_FINAL.indd 54

At NAB 2016 in April, broadcasters highlighted

20/02/2017 15:51


March 2017


Feature on not just their main programming stream, but

broadcast of a major professional sporting event

should move swiftly on our petition. Next-gen TV

also on multicast channels offering a diversity

in next-gen TV – game two of the World Series.

has the potential to save countless lives through

of programming. The standard use of an IP-based backbone

Sports will continue to help lead the charge

advanced emergency alerting features that are

towards widespread option of next-generation

broadcast to not just TVs but also smartphones

also enables interactivity for consumers, which

TV. In South Korea, there is a mandate to

and tablets and other mobile devices. The

could also provide broadcasters with new

broadcast the 2018 Winter Olympics in UHD.

standard allows broadcasters to ‘wake-up’

revenue streams. A viewer might be able to

Korean-based TV manufacturers, including

devices in given areas with emergency alerts

shuffle through different camera angles while

the world’s two biggest in LG and Samsung,

when danger is near. The standard also allows

watching a football game, or even click on an

will be unveiling new TVs equipped with next-

broadcasters to provide multimedia content,

advertisement and be taken to that company’s

generation TV reception next year in anticipation

which could be used during emergencies to send

website where they could shop.

of these broadcasts.

evacuation maps, videos, pictures, and other

Next-gen TV is also designed with built-in

Despite the progress made by broadcasters

content to help keep people out of harm’s way.

native mobility from the very beginning, and

on next-gen TV, we still need action from the FCC.

was engineered to serve devices in motion.

We need the FCC to bless this standard before

remained at the forefront of Americans’ lives

Viewers would be able to access their local

we can begin innovating with it.

because of our high-quality content, community

broadcast channels on their phones, tablets or even in cars and trains.

In April of 2016, NAB partnered with the

For decades, local broadcast television has

service and dedication to keeping viewers

Consumer Technology Association (CTA),

informed about the world around them. That was

America’s Public Television Stations (APTS)

no exception in 2016. Yet, broadcasters know

progress in deploying the new standard. In June,

and the Advanced Warning and Response

that we must continue to push forward with new

Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL-TV in Raleigh-

Network (AWARN) Alliance to ask the FCC to

and innovative content to keep the attention of

Durham, N.C. became the first commercially

begin the process of allowing local TV stations

the public. A new broadcast standard can help

licensed station to begin broadcasting using the

and TV receiver manufacturers to implement

us achieve our goals. We strongly urge the FCC

new standard. In October, Tribune Broadcasting’s

next-gen TV on a voluntary, market-driven basis.

to join us and help implement next-gen TV to the

WJW-TV in Cleveland delivered the first live

From a public safety perspective alone, the FCC

benefit of all Americans. n

Already we are seeing broadcasters making

EDITORIAL FEATURE THEMES 2017 2017 will see an even greater commitment from TVBEurope to cover more of the pressing areas of concern, challenge, and opportunity within our burgeoning marketplace. Our dedicated team of writers and contributing editors will continue their exclusive coverage of the shifting media and broadcast sector and will this year be bolstered by a new Technology section, run in association with our sister brand, TV Tech Global. More content, more insight, more ways to reach our loyal audience.




• NAB Show issue • Vision switching technology • UHD feature

• TVBEurope Strategy Week preview • NAB review • Live production: Cricket: The Ashes

• TVBEurope Strategy Week preview • Live production: Rugby: the Lions tour of New Zealand • Lightweight cameras for location work




• Live production: Athletics: The World Championships • Specialist camera systems for sports coverage • Virtualisation and playout

• IBC thought leadership insight • Virtual sets • Test and measurement

• IBC show issue: thought leadership insight and product showcase • OTT insight • IP: the latest perspectives

For all advertising and sponsorship opportunities, contact the sales team: Europe Peter McCarthy: +44 (0)20 7354 6025 TVBE Editorial Planner 2017 half page.indd 1

36 37 TVBE Mar17 NABFeature_FINAL2.indd 55

Richard Carr: +44 (0)20 7354 6027

USA Mike Mitchell +1 631 673 0072 21/02/2017 12:11

21/02/2017 12:31

38 TVBEurope March 2017


NAB 2017: we’re all in this together By Stan Moote, chief technology officer, IABM


To achieve this successfully, media technology

technology vendors are transforming their

suppliers are also having to change their

business models, but we will be very much

fundamental structure to a service model. You

aware of how this is flowing into their offerings.

can get personally prepared by attending the

Here are a few trends to look out for on the

“New Broadcast Skill Sets” Ennes/SBE–PBS–NPR

show floor and in the conference sessions.

he NAB Show has always been very much

engineering workshop at NAB Las Vegas on

about showcasing the latest technology

Saturday 22 April.

advances – how they can help end-users

Interoperability and standards Interoperability is one of broadcasters and

be more efficient, more creative and do better

Customer first

media companies’ top concerns, according

business. Over recent years, however, there

For many years, we’ve heard about companies

to IABM research. The same research also

has been something of a reversal; technology

that are supposedly ‘customer-led’. This has

reveals that end-users overwhelmingly want

development today is increasingly being driven

now become an absolute necessity. Just as

to build ‘best of breed’ infrastructures using IP,

by end-users’ rapidly changing business models,

broadcasters and media companies are having

and not be locked into a single vendor. That

and what we will see at in Las Vegas this year

to evolve quickly to keep ahead of customers’

means open, common interfaces are essential –

will undoubtedly reflect this.

changing habits, so too are technology

interoperate or be history!

Broadcasters, media companies and post

suppliers. Agility is key in this new world. We

As a result, the NAB Show has a major new

production facilities are fundamentally altering

need no longer wait years for standards to be

feature this year – the IP Showcase, led by a

their operating models to track the ‘content

universally agreed, nor for a new product or

consortium including AES, AIMS, IABM, JT-NM

everywhere on any device’ revolution. The

service to work its way through development

members AMWA, EBU, SMPTE and VSF, as well

vendor community is responding accordingly,

and field trials to maturity. End-users require the

as the Media Networking Alliance (MNA).

and as a result, also changing its own operating

supply community to be as responsive to their

Not only will visitors be able to witness real-life

model. Today, all the talk – and action – is about

changing needs as they have to be to their

interoperability between the products of 30+

business transformation.

viewers’ shifts. Suppliers and end-users now

vendors based on the forthcoming SMPTE 2110

work interactively on standards and technology

standard, they can also take in IABM theatre

advances. We’re all in this together.

presentations about technology advances,

Business transformation is not only about evolving away from a hardware-based offering to developing media-aware software services that will increasingly run in the cloud.

38 39 TVBE IABM Feature_FINAL.indd 54

How will this all manifest itself at NAB 2017? Of course, we won’t overtly see how the

and the practical steps end-users need to take to begin adopting the next generation of

20/02/2017 15:17

TVBEurope 39

March 2017

Feature broadcast and media infrastructure. They will

their businesses. Keeping the door firmly shut

Advertising and big data

also learn about the implementation roadmap

on cyber delinquents has become a central

Broadcasters continue to feel the squeeze on

and new workflows that are now practical,

concern for the whole industry.

traditional ‘linear’ advertising revenues and

and receive solid advice about transitioning

are increasingly looking to online platforms to

today from SDI to the benefits of both hybrid

Beyond HD

supplement income. To do this, they’re going

and all-IP infrastructures.

It seems everyone I visit these days has a

to need to get to know their audience an awful

4K/UHD TV set, yet most of the time they are

lot better, which means finding out about their

Moving to the cloud

watching HD at best. It is of course easier to

audiences’ preferences and desires in as much

Having already established itself as the

deliver UHD via VoD services, and a number of

depth as possible. Media companies born in the

destination of choice for a rapidly increasing

players are increasingly shooting and delivering

online space such as Amazon already have a

number of playout providers, production is also

content in UHD.

huge head start, but savvy broadcasters will not

making a rapid switch to the cloud, so you can

UHD (and some UHD-2 as well) acquisition

give up without a fight.

expect to see many emerging cloud production

and production equipment will be ubiquitous

solutions on the show floor. In the media space,

at the show. But for broadcasters to join the

knowledge database about their audiences

cloud-native applications can offer fully flexible

party, a major investment in infrastructure is

and be able to use this Big Data on the fly to

media function virtualisation and the ability to

required – and this is unlikely to happen until

serve their individual viewers with exactly what

configure – and quickly reconfigure – entire

it’s driven by consumer demand. That hasn’t

they want – almost before they even know it. A

automated workflows through the intelligent

occurred yet – largely, I believe, because

visit to the Advanced Advertising pavilion at NAB

orchestration of systems.

while viewers could instantly see the difference

2017 will reward broadcasters looking to exploit

in picture quality between SD and HD, the

the power of Big Data and monetise their

to define exactly what we mean by cloud

difference between HD and UHD is not nearly

online platforms.

playout or production – or any other process

so apparent on home-sized screens.

It’s worth stepping back for a moment here

for that matter. Adapting an existing suite of

My prediction is that when consumers

What’s needed is to build a massive

Media supply chain automation

software to run in the cloud will leverage some

are able to see the step-change in picture

Media publishers often need to create well

of the benefits in terms of being able to rapidly

quality that HDR delivers, this will begin to drive

over 70 separate audio, video and subtitle

spin services up and down at will. However,

the market much faster. In the US, the move

files for a single programme, and the

to gain all the advantages of the cloud,

to ATSC 3.0 may well provide an additional

requirements go well beyond simply

applications need to be written from the ground

lever for this.

supporting multiple languages to catch-up, binge, mobile, tablets – with different versions

up specifically for it – this is the difference between cloud-enabled and cloud-native

Fighting fake news

on some devices. The bottom line is that

applications. One of the key differentiators

We have witnessed the impact that fake news

localisation is not just language/culture

here is microservices, which give cloud-native

can have time and again over the last year or

anymore but also audience demographic/

applications major advantages in terms of

so. Not only on the sites themselves, but also in

device specific. Cost and speed are the

scalability, reaction time, load-balancing and

the way they link to a network of like-minded

major challenges – the need to do more for

resiliency among others.

sites, building momentum to such a level that

less. Here is where media supply chain

it can be difficult for even seasoned news buffs

automation comes in. Keep an eye out for

to sort fact from fiction – even search engine

a growing number of vendors at the show

‘auto-fills’ are sometimes duped into putting

offering cost-effective media supply chain

fake news first.

automation solutions that open the door to

‘Today, all the talk – and action – is about business transformation’

Our industry can play a part in turning this

new generation content creators who are

around. Broadcasters have the skills – and

looking to leverage the internet to reach

staff – to report news accurately. They also

the widest possible audience.

Cyber security

have a reputation (in most cases) for fair

The NAB Show has another new feature this

and unbiased reporting – albeit established


year – the Cyber Security pavilion. The ever-

among an older audience demographic.

I’ve reached my word limit and haven’t even

increasing connection between back-office

What broadcasters must do is establish

mentioned some other key themes for this

and front office systems not only makes media

themselves as a trusted source to today’s

year’s show – VR, AR, drones, post production,

organisations’ business systems vulnerable,

audience that gets its news less and less

lighting, camera sensors, OLEDs – and I have but

but also their media assets. Our industry is

from the TV and more from social media.

brushed past ATSC 3.0 which will be out in full

becoming more and more like a media factory

To do this, they need to be able to acquire,

force. As NAB says in its strapline for this year’s

– measuring and recording all processes via the

package and deliver items to a wide variety

show, “Behaviour and business have merged

back office – and this is the way in for cyber

of platforms and devices at the same speed

to redefine content, workflows and revenue

criminals. In response to these concerns, vendors

as the ‘fakers’. The cloud production solutions

streams.” It really is a connected world today.

are taking cyber security very seriously, and in

I discussed earlier have the capability to do

Cooperation, interoperation and agility are

the pavilion, visitors can learn how to protect

this – backed up by mobile and IP delivery –

the watchwords that will drive our industry’s

their most valuable assets from malicious activity

and broadcasters will be looking hard at these

continued success – it is a transformed business

– programmes, networks, data and, ultimately,

systems on the show floor.

in every way; enjoy the show! n

38 39 TVBE IABM Feature_FINAL.indd 55

20/02/2017 15:17

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20/02/2017 16:35


March 2017



Innovation in post production Jon Schorah, creative director at NUGEN Audio, looks at current trends that are driving innovation in the audio post production landscape


ATSC 3.0-equipped TV at CES this year, the technology is set to be a consumer reality in the near future.

Virtual reality

mmersive experiences are the flavour of

(7.1.2 configuration) for use in combination

No discussion about technological trends can

the month in the media world, and audio

with specific objects. Because an object-based

ignore VR. Technological solutions abound and

immersion is leading the way in cinemas.

mix is, in essence, an audio model of infinite

object audio is clearly relevant here; however,

Whether it be Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D, or DTS:X,

resolution, a single mix can be translated to suit

the main interest and research in this area is in

many recent cinematic releases are now

any speaker layout, maintaining backwards

the field of ambisonics.

delivering fully spatial sound experiences to

compatibility with a traditional surround

eager audiences around the world. These

environment and scaling up to the most

in the 3D space and so naturally lend

technologies introduce the final missing

sophisticated systems automatically.

themselves to the responsive world of head-

dimension to the audio experience – height –

Ambisonic recordings are easy to reorient

tracking and VR.

and this revolution is already redefining the way


we think about audio post production.

Object audio is already a daily reality in many

movements in traditional single-perspective

They can also be used to track camera

post production workflows. However, there is

productions, adding to the overall sense of

of addressable speakers for increased audio

another aspect to this technology that may be

immersion. As yet, the mainstream commercial

resolution, allowing specific localisation

the ultimate reason for its wider adoption in TV

applications for these technologies have not

and realism. In a traditional sound-mixing

post production settings: personalisation.

materialised. In the medium-term, this depends

Fully immersive audio utilises greater numbers

environment, this means lots more channels! The problem with this approach is that

Naturally, a personal auditory experience is more satisfying and immersive than a one-size-

as channel counts increase, so does the complexity, leading to an unwieldy mix that does not translate well to different system configurations. Whilst this is manageable for a 5.1 soundtrack that can be effectively downmixed to stereo, the same cannot be said for a 22.2 cinematic release!

on breakthroughs that will bring VR’s myriad possibilities into a focused reality. For today’s sophisticated consumer, audio

‘While swapping multiple channels for vast numbers of objects increases translatability, it does not necessarily lead to a reduction in complexity’

seals the deal. Some of the biggest news stories from the broadcast sphere in recent months have been about audio failing to meet listeners’ high expectations. That’s because audio can make or break our sense of immersion. Planet Earth II, a hugely successful programme with over ten million

Object audio

viewers each week and noted for its stunning

To overcome this ever-increasing complexity,

cinematography, recently drew heated

an all-new paradigm in sound mixing is

fits-all approach. Mixes using objects rather

complaint with regard to its post

required. Object audio bypasses the concept

than fixed channels can allow elements

production sound.

of audio tracks entirely. Instead, the audio

to be exposed to user control. Dialogue,

engineer positions sound at a theoretical point

for instance, can be made available as

shortcomings are complex, it’s clear that

in a three-dimensional space, building a virtual

an individual object, allowing the user to

today’s consumer expects more from the

audio model. There are no prescribed audio

raise or lower the level for intelligibility

listening experience. The resulting opportunities

channels, and translation to the available

and comfort. Different objects can be

should be a source of joy for professional

speaker configuration is handled automatically

activated and deactivated to allow

post production engineers.

in software. This means that the ‘perfect’ model

multiple languages or viewpoints to be

is maintained as the reference mix at all times.

delivered within the same mix.

While swapping multiple channels for vast

This level of control is yet to be realised

Whilst the reasons behind the apparent

Never have top-class skills been in such high demand; however, if we are going to continue to delight our audiences,

numbers of objects increases translatability, it

in the average domestic environment.

it’s clear that audio innovations must

does not necessarily lead to a reduction in

However, with both AC4 and MPEG-H

keep pace with those on the visual side.

complexity. Therefore, the object audio model

codecs being fully capable of supporting

There’s little patience out there for

also includes a 9.1 channel-based ‘bed track’

object formats and LG introducing an

second best! n

41 TVBE Mar17 Audio_FINAL.indd 54

20/02/2017 15:16

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21/02/2017 14:34

TVBEurope 43

March 2017

Data Centre

Conquering IP in 2017 T

By Robert SzabóRowe, EVP and general manager, live production and infrastructure, SAM

organisations as they lack the necessary

and succeed in a consumer-driven era.

technical in-house skills to transition to IP. The

2017 is set to be a big year for IP and the

barometer revealed that only 28 per cent

IP Barometer helps us understand how it

of Europeans believe they have the skills

can further support customers by greater

needed, while 56 per cent consider they only

investment in both customer and partner

‘partially’ have them. Additionally, the gaps

training and education.

he broadcast industry is undoubtedly

in knowledge and awareness of technologies

moving toward IP, but much uncertainty

such as software defined networking (SDN)

Customer IP Innovation Center that runs at our

remains regarding the best practices,

One of these training schemes is the Global

or software defined video networking (SDVN)

SAM headquarters in Newbury (UK). The Center

knowledge and skills needed to get there. The

were noted as a concern by those who

showcases the latest IP innovations as well as

industry, faced with the reality of a changing

participated in the survey.

SAM’s complete IP portfolio including routers,

environment, is finding it hard to cope whilst

Furthermore, 40 per cent of all respondents

switchers and dedicated IP only processing

under pressure to deliver better quality

said they don’t fully understand the above,

and more engaging content to consumers.

while 56 per cent want to know about their

IP technology today plays a key role in

benefits and disadvantages in managing IP

maximising the efficiency and productivity that

infrastructures. Only 22 per cent said they

Working together towards all-IP solutions

will lead the industry into the future. But what

would bring in specialist consultants to support

The pace of IT innovation and the push for

are the obstacles and how can the industry

the IP transition, whereas 69 per cent of all

open standards to future proof network

overcome them?

respondents currently plan on training existing

investment means that the shift to IP is

staff to bridge the skills gap.

becoming a reality. As a founding member

and control products.

Global IP Barometer

of AIMS and a member of the AMWA, at SAM

At Snell Advanced Media (SAM) we’ve

we work closely with other industry players to

conducted a global survey to address the key questions and concerns surrounding IP. The SAM Global IP Barometer gathers the opinions of nearly 1,000 media professionals from all over the world, including their priorities when it comes to the IP transition. According to the survey, the timelines and business benefits of this transition are amongst

“The success of AIMS shows that competitors can work together to rapidly overcome technology issues” Peter White, IABM

the key concerns for industry professionals

achieve a seamless transition to IP, supporting broader industry adoption and integrating open standards to aid interoperability. Peter White, CEO of IABM, the international trade association for suppliers of broadcast and media technology, says, “SAM’s Global IP Barometer complements our own research findings on broadcast and media companies’ concerns and priorities

alongside the need for training to address the

on the move to IP technology.

large skills gap and the imminent technology

From a technology standpoint, 47 per cent

obstacles being faced.

of respondents declared adopting open

that competing companies and end-users can

One of the key findings of the barometer

White continued: “The success of AIMS shows

standards as the most important consideration

successfully work together to rapidly overcome

refers to the transition timelines and business

for IP infrastructure, which ties directly to the

technology issues in the move towards open,

benefits of IP during the current year. On this

goals of achieving more flexibility, and reduced

all-IP and hybrid solutions to meet current and

topic 64 per cent of European respondents

costs. Another priority noted by 31 per cent of

forward-looking needs.”

declared they would start IP production

respondents in the survey is compromising the

infrastructure projects within the next nine

quality of production, followed by another 27

months, versus 56 per cent of Americans.

per cent ranking the cost of the transition as

Learnings that will shape the future of IP

Furthermore, referring to production workflows,

their number one concern. Adding to

It’s clear that in the last 12 months live

Europeans (54 per cent) responded more

that, 71 per cent of Europeans, in

production IP solutions, in studio and outside

positively than Americans (50 per cent)

comparison to 65 per cent of Americans

broadcasting applications, have moved from

regarding moving towards IP systems within the

will take a hybrid SDI/IP approach to current

discussion points to real-world deployments.

next two years. However, 35 per cent of global

infrastructure projects.

However, many of these deployments are

respondents claimed improved flexibility and

In order to address these market concerns,

raising a common set of challenges that need

reduced cost of infrastructure were of highest

we’ve designed solutions across the

to be overcome in order to successfully meet

importance to them as they drive IP migration.

media production ecosystem that enable

the strict technical requirements implemented

broadcasters, content owners and service

today by broadcasters with existing SDI

providers to evolve their business models

technology. So what has been learnt so far?

The survey also uncovered the need for training and the large skills gap within media

43 45 46 TVBE Data Centre_FINAL.indd 49

20/02/2017 17:02

Drive Visitors to your stand To confirm your position in any of the 2017 editions, contact the sales team now!


1 Preview Issue


5 Live Show Issues


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03/02/2017 17:22


March 2017


Data Centre Firstly, it’s important to understand the network

the introduction of PTP (SMPTE ST 2059) brings

unified user experience that is familiar and

topology and edge device connectivity

other challenges around its implementation.

consistent is a core requirement. For example,

that is required in the system to build a truly

Finally, it’s key to always be aware that the

sources and destinations should be managed

non-blocking environment. Not all network

control and monitoring layer is a critical

within the same control system regardless if

switches are equal, whether it’s across multiple

component of the system.

they are SDI or IP. Ultimately, we must always

manufacturers or even within a singular manufacturer’s product. Secondly, always remember that legacy broadcast equipment and its associated connectivity needs to be accommodated in most cases. This is really driven by the pace of introduction of native IP edge devices to replace their SDI equivalent models, applying to cameras, replay servers,

provide adequate and accurate system

‘The industry is finding it hard to cope whilst under pressure to deliver better quality and more engaging content to consumers’

graphics, etc.

monitoring of the edge devices and network switches across the system.

What to expect in the future The broadcasting industry will hesitate to make the move to IP until it can see the same level of monitoring, control, reliability and performance as in SDI systems. The

A third learning focuses on the importance

industry is at a crucial point in its evolution

of system wide timing. Black and burst and tri-

Having to remember an IP or multicast address

and it’s of great importance that customers

level sync don’t disappear, legacy broadcast

to route a source to a destination means

and suppliers join forces and advocate the

equipment needs to be accommodated. But

something has failed. Therefore, providing a

use of purely open IP standards. n

Key findings: Technology approach Adopting open standards is the most important consideration for IP infrastructure according to 47% of respondents.

30% 31% of Europeans

of North Americans

The second highest priority in terms of technology is support for multiple IP switch vendors (30%). Of greatest concern is compromising the quality of production with 31% of the votes, followed by 27% ranking the cost of the transition as their number one concern.

81% of respondents will take either a hybrid SDI / IP or pure IP approach to current infrastructure projects. 71% of Europeans compared to 65% of Americans will take a hybrid SDI / IP approach.

43 45 46 TVBE Data Centre_FINAL.indd 50

65% 71%

of North Americans

of Europeans

20/02/2017 17:00


TVBEurope March 2017

Data Centre Key findings: Transition timelines and business benefit Media companies globally are actively looking to deploy IP across both production infrastructure and workflows in 2017.

64% 56% of Europeans

Starting IP production infrastructure within 9 months?

of North Americans

2 years

9 months

54% 50% of Europeans

of North Americans

Moving to an IP production workflow within the next two years?

35% High Importance 32%

This IP migration is driven by the desire for improved flexibility and reduced cost of infrastructure - 35% of respondents claimed each of these were of highest importance. The number one priority will be migrating media studios to IP infrastructure (35% of respondents), the highest ranked 2nd priority was playout (32%).

Key findings: Skills gap and the need for training The study indicates that media organizations currently do not have all the necessary technical skills available in-house to transition smoothly to IP.

36% 28%

of Europeans

Of North Americans

Just 36% of North American and 28% of European respondents currently have the skills needed, while 47% of North Americans and 56% Europeans say they ‘partially’ have the skills needed.

47% of Europeans

56% Of North Americans

40% of all respondents said they do fully understand SDN/ SDVN, while 56% want to know more about the pros and cons of using SDN/ SDVN in managing IP infrastructures.

69% of all respondents plan on bridging the skills gap by training current staff with just 22% saying they will bring in specialist consultants to support the transition to IP.

43 45 46 TVBE Data Centre_FINAL.indd 51





20/02/2017 17:00

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