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SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
in this issue FALL 2021 Volume 15 Issue 2
ROM THE CHAIRMAN F Fall Returns With Opportunities, Challenges
8 COVERING THE FIELD Innovation, Dedication Continue to Carry Industry Through COVID
10 COLLEGE SUMMIT AND CSMAS
11 SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR SUMMIT 11 SPORTS OTT FORUM 11 REMOTE PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS FORUM 12 IP PRODUCTION SUMMIT 12 RSN SUMMIT 12 SPORTS CONTENT MANAGEMENT FORUM
FALL 2021 specialsections
COVER STORY starts on page 14
16 NBC OLYMPICS – TOKYO 36 NBC OLYMPICS – STAMFORD 46 OLYMPIC BROADCASTING SERVICES (OBS)
LIVE FROM THE
Tokyo Olympic Games
58 INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTERS
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT starts on page 63
64 Q2 STADIUM 68 LOWER.COM FIELD 72 KAUFFMAN STADIUM
76 SVG SPONSOR UPDATE
The latest production technology and news from 200+ SVG sponsors
98 SVG SPONSOR DIRECTORY 104 FINAL BUZZER 4
Reflections on the Tokyo Games
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
Blackmagic Studio Camera
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FROM THE CHAIRMAN
FALL RETURNS WITH OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES By Mike Davies Sports Video Group, Advisory Board Chairman Around this time last year, there was a bit that Fox Sports did on their NFL Pregame Show that spoofed the complexity of the NFL schedule changes. The bit — “A Beautiful Scheduling Mind” — followed James Thompson, asking the question: would “an everchanging schedule push his mind to the limits…” It’s pretty great if you want to watch it. While the NFL managed to start its season on time in 2020 and play every scheduled game, last season included games played on every day of the week. College football was a little wilder, and I recall watching a game at Washington State from our Executive Control Room in Los Angeles and wondering aloud why the equipment guys were taking the stuff off the field. That was how I found out that the game had been postponed. A year later, we are back in the fall, with all sports seemingly crashing in together, and it is a fantastic — albeit daunting — feeling. One of the new challenges is the lack of qualified people to work on productions as, by some estimates, we have lost up to 30% of our workforce due to factors related to the pandemic. Through excellent work being done in the industry, there have been more and more organized ways to pull prospective candidates into the mix. As work on the road and in trucks increases, stationary “Home Run Production” and “Production Anywhere” facilities have offered opportunity to young candidates who want to work in places like Los Angeles, Bristol, New Jersey, Dallas, and many others. Such facilities offer regular work throughout the year and are seeking the operators and production personnel of the future. We have also seen that some who have spent their careers on the road have been more than happy to sleep in their own beds at night, at least for part of the year. This isn’t to say that field work is dead or even dying, as most shows have a mixture of onsite and remote personnel. And while the smaller shows are getting streamlined, it seems the larger shows are only getting bigger. The graduates of the pandemic class of innovation, outside those of workflow and efficiency, are also shining and offering new opportunity to those once outside or coming into our business. The use of drone, both FPV and cinematic heavy-lift; large sensor cameras (Megalodon!); and gaming engine-powered graphics, among many other things, have been expanding rapidly this year in wholly transformative ways. The mixture of increased innovation, the return of sports to a regular schedule, and the added opportunity to those who have “it” will drive the need for new people. At SVG, several of us have taken up mentoring some students from the University of Pittsburgh and will look to expand our learnings after this first class. Also, together with SVG’s SPIRIT diversity initiative, there is a combination to allow access to a variety of different experiences that can change and inspire a young person’s career. Walking around compounds that don’t have constantly changing schedules, COVID testing lines, plexiglass dividers, and regimented zones can make one think that we are returning to “normal.” But with the advances we have made over the last 18 months, normal is anything but compared to the past. <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
Mike Davies, Fox Sports, SVP, Technical and Field Operations
Ken Aagaard, SVG Chairman Emeritus and HOF Chairman Andrea Berry, PRG, VP and General Manager, Broadcast and TV Eric Black, NBC Universal, SVP, Sports & Entertainment Technology Chris Brown, Turner Sports, VP, Sports Production Technology Jason Cohen, CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network, VP, Remote Technical Operations Mike Connelly, Bally Sports, EVP Scott Gillies, VENN, CTO Steve Hellmuth, SVG Chairman Emeritus and NBA Entertainment, EVP, Media Operations and Technology Jeff Jacobs, Skyline Sports and Entertainment, Principal Patty Power, CBS Sports, EVP, Operations and Engineering Tom Sahara, SVG Chairman Emeritus Susan Stone, MLB Network, SVP, Engineering and Operations
>ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Adam Acone, NFL Network, Director, Media Operations and Planning Glenn Adamo, Ivanhoe Media and Entertainment, President Peter Angell, Industry Consultant Tracey Arrowood-Shaw, Industry Consultant Onnie Bose, NFL, VP of Broadcasting Dylan Boucherle, Warner Media/Turner Studios, VP, Technology Strategy and Media Workflows Tab Butler, Industry Consultant Chris Calcinari, ESPN, SVP, Remote Production Operations, ESPN and ABC Sports Mary Ellen Carlyle, Dome Productions, SVP and GM Ken Clausen, HBO, Director of Production Joe Cohen, The Switch, President, Sports Michael Cohen, Bizzy Signals Entertainment, President/Executive Producer Don Colantonio, Industry Consultant Scott Davis, CBS Sports, VP of Broadcast Operations Jim DeFilippis, Industry Consultant Ed Delaney, Industry Consultant Jed Drake, Industry Consultant David Dukes, PGA Tour Entertainment, Senior Director, Technical Operations Jerry Gepner, CP Communications, COO Steve Gorsuch, Industry Consultant Ken Goss, NBC Sports, SVP of Remote Operations & Production Planning Mark Haden, NHL, Group VP, Broadcast Technology Ed Holmes, The Holmes Group, Principal Deb Honkus, NEP Broadcasting, Chairman of the Board George Hoover, Industry Consultant Darryl Jefferson, NBC Sports Group, VP, Postproduction and Digital Workflow Robert Jordan, CVE, 1337 Facilities, CEO; Venue Road, Founder John Kvatek, University of Central Florida Knights, Senior Associate AD/External Operations John Leland, PSL International, LLC, Principal Glen Levine, NEP, President, U.S. Louis Libin, Broad Comm, President Jodi Markley, Industry Consultant Geoff Mason, Industry Consultant Bernadette McDonald, Major League Baseball, SVP, Broadcasting Grant Nodine, NHL, SVP, Technology Ken Norris, UCLA, Director of Video Operations Gary Olson, GHO Group, Managing Director Del Parks, Sinclair Broadcast Group, SVP and CTO Scott Rinehart, University of Notre Dame, Director, Broadcast Technology Larry Rogers, FirstInTV, President Mike Rokosa, NHRA, Technology Executive Scott Rothenberg, NEP, SVP, Technology and Asset Management Oscar Sanchez, CONCACAF, Director of Broadcast Operations Bruce Shapiro, Broadcast Consulting Jack Simmons, Industry Consultant Don Sperling, New York Giants Entertainment, VP and Executive Producer Jerry Steinberg, Industry Consultant Steve Stum, NASCAR, VP, Operations and Technical Production Patrick Sullivan, Game Creek Video, President Jason Taubman, Game Creek Video, VP Design/New Technology Larry Tiscornia, Industry Consultant Jacob Ullman, Fox Sports, SVP, Production and Talent Development John Ward, Industry Consultant Ernie Watts, Industry Consultant Mike Webb, YES Network, VP, Broadcast Operations Jeff Willis, Industry Consultant Dave Zur, KSE Media Ventures, SVP, Operations & Engineering
COVERING THE FIELD
INNOVATION, DEDICATION CONTINUE TO CARRY INDUSTRY THROUGH COVID By Karen Hogan Ketchum, Sports Video Group, Director of Production and Editor, SportsTech Journal
ADDER TECHNOLOGY • AMAZON WEB SERVICES • BIRDDOG • BOSE • CALREC AUDIO / DIGICO • CHYRON • EDITSHARE • EVERTZ • EVS • GRAVITY MEDIA • IHSE USA • IMAGINE COMMUNICATIONS • IRON MOUNTAIN ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES • MARKERTEK • MICROSOFT • PANASONIC • QUANTUM • SHURE • SIGNIANT • TELESTREAM • TELOS ALLIANCE • UNREAL ENGINE • VERITONE • VERIZON BUSINESS GROUP • VIZRT GROUP
AJA • ALDEA SOLUTIONS • AMAGI • ARISTA NETWORKS • ARRI • ATEME • ATOM CREEK • AUDIO-TECHNICA • AVIWEST • BELDEN • BITCENTRAL • BITFIRE NETWORKS • BLACKBIRD • BOON AI • BRAINSTORM • BRAINSTORM ELECTRONICS • CISCO SYSTEMS • CLARK WIRE & CABLE • COBALT DIGITAL • CREATIVE DIMENSIONS • CROWN CASTLE • DAKTRONICS • DALE PRO AUDIO • DEVLIN DESIGN GROUP • DIGIGRAM • DIGITAL NIRVANA • DIMETIS • DMC BROADCAST GROUP • EEG VIDEO • ELUVIO • ENCOMPASS DIGITAL MEDIA • EUTELSAT • FASTLY • FINGERWORKS TELESTRATORS • FLOWICS • FOR-A • FUJITSU • G&D NORTH AMERICA • GENIUS SPORTS • GLOBECAST • GOOGLE CLOUD • GRABYO • HAIVISION • IMAGEN • INTELSAT • JB&A • JOSEPH ELECTRONICS • JVC PROFESSIONAL VIDEO • LEADER INSTRUMENTS • LEVELS BEYOND • LIVE CGI • LTN GLOBAL • M2A MEDIA • MARSHALL ELECTRONICS • MATROX VIDEO • MAXON • MEDIA LINKS • MEDIAKIND • MOBILE TV GROUP • MPE • NEMAL ELECTRONICS • NET INSIGHT • NETSCOUT • NEVER.NO • NEXTOLOGIES • OBJECT MATRIX • OPENDRIVES • PARSEC • PIXELLOT • PIXOTOPE • PLATINA SYSTEMS • PRIMEVIEW • PRODUCTIONHUB • QUANTUM5X • RCN BUSINESS SERVICES • RT SOFTWARE • RTS INTERCOM SYSTEMS • SAFESITE • SANKEN MICROPHONES • SEAGATE TECHNOLOGY • SENCORE • SENNHEISER • SILVER SPOON ANIMATION • SINGULAR.LIVE • SMT • SOS GLOBAL • SPECTRA LOGIC • SPORTRADAR • STATS PERFORM • STORAGEDNA • STREAMING GLOBAL • STREANN MEDIA • STUDIO NETWORK SOLUTIONS (SNS) • SUPPONOR • SYNAMEDIA • TAG V.S. • TATA COMMUNICATIONS • TEDIAL • TELEMETRICS • TELLYO • TELSTRA • TERADEK • THE VIDEO CALL CENTER • TSL PRODUCTS • UNIQFEED • VARIANT SYSTEMS GROUP • VENUE EDGE • VIDEON • VIDISPINE - AN ARVATO SYSTEMS BRAND • VISAIC • VISLINK TECHNOLOGIES • VISTA WORLDLINK • VITAC • VITEC • WAVES AUDIO • WILDMOKA • WOWZA MEDIA SYSTEMS • WSC SPORTS • XYTECH SYSTEMS
3G WIRELESS • ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP • AE LIVE • AERIAL VIDEO SYSTEMS • ALL MOBILE VIDEO • ALPHA VIDEO • ARCTEK SATELLITE PRODUCTIONS • ASU PRODUCTIONS • AZZURRO GROUP • BECKTV • BROADCAST MANAGEMENT GROUP • BROADCAST SERVICES INTERNATIONAL (BSI) • BROADCAST SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (BSI) • C360 • CARTONI • CHESA • CINESYS • CLARK • CONFERENCE TECHNOLOGIES INC. • CP COMMUNICATIONS • CREATIVE MOBILE SOLUTIONS • CSP MOBILE PRODUCTIONS • DISGUISE • DIVERSIFIED • DNA STUDIOS • DOME PRODUCTIONS • DX3 MEDIA • ES BROADCAST • F&F PRODUCTIONS • FILMWERKS INTERNATIONAL • FLETCHER SPORTS • GAME CREEK VIDEO • GEARTECH USA • ILLUMINATION DYNAMICS • INTEGRATED MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES • INTOTO SYSTEMS • KEY CODE MEDIA • KMH AUDIO-VIDEO INTEGRATION • LH COMPUTER SERVICES • LIVE MEDIA GROUP • LYON VIDEO • MEYERPRO • PROGRAM PRODUCTIONS • PSSI GLOBAL SERVICES • REALITY CHECK SYSTEMS • RF WIRELESS SYSTEMS • ROBOVISION • RUSH MEDIA COMPANY • SDTV • SKYCAM/CABLECAM • SMARTCART TECHNOLOGY • SOUTHWORKS • ST ENGINEERING IDIRECT • THUMBWAR • VIDOVATION • WORLDSTAGE
As the calendar flips to October, it’s hard not to think about the fact that our industry should be gathering in Las Vegas, putting the past 20 months behind us to reunite with technology partners, colleagues, and friends. But, with the Delta variant continuing to run rampant, we must postpone our reunion plans a little while longer. Once it is safe to do so, we'll see you back on the NAB Show floor! Ours is an industry comprised of hardworking, innovative, and dedicated men and women whose health and safety is paramount, and while these past several months have tested us in ways we never thought possible, that core of who we are remains true. In fact, it is that hardworking, innovative, and dedicated spirit that’s behind every televised sporting event, in particular the Tokyo Olympic Games that — following a year’s postponement — finally took place this summer. Over two weeks, the Games showcased the fortitude of the athletes, but behind the scenes, an even more impressive feat was taking place. In the midst of a global pandemic, not only were broadcasters able to deliver the Games to their home audiences, but they did so while breaking new ground in UHD, HDR, and immersive audio. Beginning on page 14, we devote a whopping 30 pages to the Tokyo Olympic Games. On page 16, the NBC Olympics team onsite in Tokyo reflects on what was truly a unique Games experience; on page 36, the people responsible for the at-home effort in Stamford weigh in. On page 46, the OBS team shares their journey into UHD, HDR, and immersive audio. And, rounding out our coverage, pages 60-64 highlight the impressive work done from a wide range of international broadcasters, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and many more. On the homefront, SVG continued its successful slate of virtual events. The SVG College Summit (page 10), in particular, took advantage of the virtual format and not only expanded to three days, but introduced Workshop Tracks that catered to the specific needs of large and small/midsize schools. While we hope to return to Atlanta in 2022, we were excited to expand our reach to a geographically diverse range of schools who thrived in the virtual format. Other traditionally in-person events took turns on the virtual stage in 2021, including the Sports OTT Forum (page 11), IP Production Summit (page 12), RSN Summit (page 12), and Sports Content Management Forum (page 12). And two new events — the Systems Integrator Summit (page 11) and Remote Production Workflows Forum (page 11) — were added this year, and may in fact continue to be virtual even as we return to in-person events. Even though the 2021 NAB Show was canceled, our sponsors remain hard at work — pushing the technological envelope as they launch new products and support productions in new and exciting ways. Originally, we intended this publication to include an NAB Preview section, and many of our sponsors sent in previews of the gear they planned to show at the Las Vegas Convention Center; however, due to the cancelation, we invited those sponsors to resubmit a new sponsor update. Our sponsors responded with exciting news about products and solutions, upcoming projects and productions, and company news. Turn to page 76 to learn how our 200+ SVG Sponsors are continuing to support our industry, even during these difficult times. And while we wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. SVG plans to return to in-person events, beginning next month. On November 16, we travel to Los Angeles for the Esports Production Summit and, on December 13-14 — after two years of waiting — we return to the New York Hilton for the SVG Summit. In order to ensure the health and safety of our members, sponsors, and staff, everyone attending must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. We may not be meeting in Las Vegas this month, but we hope to see you this fall as our industry — and world — return to normalcy. <
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
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SUMMIT + COLLEGE SPORTS MEDIA AWARDS
> C OLLEGE SUMMIT AND CSMAS JUNE 22-24
Every year, the SVG College Summit brings together the content creators from a wide variety of athletic departments, conference offices, and networks to discuss video production and distribution at all budget levels. This year’s conference addressed the hottest topics in sports video production including Live Game Production, In-Venue Technology, Automation, Content Engagement, and a lot more. This year, SVG was excited to include Workshop Tracks crafted with the unique needs of both large and small/midsize schools in mind. The Workshop Tracks enabled attendees to discuss top-of-mind issues like live-game production and in-venue production with other schools of similar size and resources.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
> S YSTEMS INTEGRATOR SUMMIT APRIL 21-22
As production control rooms in sports venues, studios, and trucks evolve in both design and scope, the role of the systems integrator must grow and evolve — especially as the pandemic creates a host of new considerations in terms of layout and safety protocols. Meanwhile, the need for mediaasset management and orchestration has never been more integral to the success of broadcasters, leagues, and teams, creating a bigger role than ever for media-workflowsolutions integrators. The inaugural SVG Systems Integrator Summit brought together leading systems integrators to discuss their latest projects, the rise of IP and the cloud, and the latest technological trends being seen in the industry today.
> S PORTS OTT FORUM APRIL 29
From the evolving business models to the growing usership down to the maturing tech stacks, live sports streaming is reaching a breaking point in 2021. The SVG Sports OTT Forum featured a virtual series of conversations and presentations from the leaders in the digital sports space and provided a deep dive into the projects that are reshaping the sports media business.
> R EMOTE PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS FORUM MAY 12-13
SVG’s Remote Production Workflows Forum shined the spotlight on sports networks, leagues, production service providers, and technology providers as they discussed the latest trends and developments in remote production workflows. The challenges of production in the age of COVID, how production teams can work as one despite being in different locations, and the tools that can make a difference were all front and center during the two-day event.
SVG RETURNS TO IN-PERSON EVENTS
SVG Esports Production Summit Nov 16 | Los Angeles SVG Summit Dec 13-14 | New York City
Events Recap continues on following page >
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
EVENTS RECAP continued > I P PRODUCTION SUMMIT JUNE 10
The SVG IP Production Summit explored the most important technological change to hit the sports production industry since the launch of HD services. IP has found many believers, and the IP Production Summit gave those experts a chance to share their experiences, debate the pros and cons of various IP standards and concepts like virtualized production, and much more.
> R SN SUMMIT JULY 15
SVG’s RSN Summit returned this year in an effort to meet the rapidly changing needs of today’s regional sports network technology leaders and content creators. This Summit provided an update on the pertinent challenges and opportunities facing the RSN industry as the business undergoes seismic change on multiple fronts. Networks are being challenged to produce more events and content at lower costs while also navigating new pandemic-era realities and building beyond the linear distribution model. Key production, technology, and business leaders in the industry shared how they are confronting these challenges and opportunities head on.
> S PORTS CONTENT MANAGEMENT FORUM JULY 28-29
SVG’s Sports Content Management Forum included keynotes, panels, and presentations featuring mediaasset–management (MAM) leaders from major sports broadcasters, leagues, teams, OTT outlets, esports organizations, and technology vendors. The agenda addressed the current state of MAM and orchestration, storage and archiving, cloud and virtualization, AI and machine learning, and more. Topics included the growing need for hybrid on-prem/cloud and multi-cloud ecosystems, the future of archives in relation to tapeless and LTO technologies, how next-gen technologies could impact multi-cloud environments, and the role of AI and ML in automated metadata assignment and content discovery.
CHECK OUT VIDEO ON DEMAND FROM EVERY SVG VIRTUAL EVENT! 12
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LIVE FROM THE
Tokyo Olympic Games T
he collective accomplishments of a sports production industry that has been challenged during the age of COVID-19 on all levels cannot be understated. And the Tokyo Olympics, as much as they lacked in pizzazz due to the lack of fans, showed those successes, full stop. The COVID-19 guidelines, testing protocols, and more showed that the sports production industry knows how to work safely and without conflict. And the fact that not only were the events able to be covered as if everything was normal but they could also be produced in UHD, HDR, and 9.1 Surround Sound without major issues? That was something worth celebrating. For more in-depth coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games, please visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog. 14
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
NBC Olympics Reflects on a Unique Games Experience
he Tokyo Games are completed and, for many, the hard work on the Summer Games is giving way to the hard work preparing for the next Olympics: the Beijing Games to be held next February. Dave Mazza, SVP/ CTO, NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics, did take a moment to reflect on an Olympics experience that, for more than a year, has been unlike any other before. “We came in with a bit of trepidation because the extra year of planning saw a plethora of new, good ideas from production to enhance the coverage,” said Mazza, speaking with SVG during the Olympic Games. “And then we were also trying to make good on some very aggressive technical initiatives. It made the plan better, but, for every bit of better that it got, it was more daunting as to how we were actually going to pull it off when we were not even sure how many of our crew would make it into Tokyo. Now I am very pleased with how it has all gone, even though, early on, we had a few near misses, but that has made the accomplishments all the sweeter.” Invariably, an Olympics effort is always compared to previous ones, whether it be ratings comparisons, the scale of the show, or the production achievements. Mazza said the Tokyo efforts were about three times more complicated than the 2016 Rio Games. First, a doubling of the
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
Dave Mazza (left) and Errol Foremaster in Studio A at the NBC Olympics IBC facility in Tokyo. complexity around new technologies and workflows like IP, HDR, 1080p, and immersive audio. Another step up was due to the complications from attempting such a large-scale production during a global pandemic. “What we did in Rio was no small undertaking,” he said. “But everybody here has done an incredible job. The attention to detail and, on top of that, the passion that it took for getting it right and getting it done in the middle of the pandemic; the pandemic adds worries about yourself, your family, the rules, the tests. It was a Herculean effort to get it all done.” From a production-element standpoint, Mazza noted things like the Friends & Family effort, which allowed athletes to see and talk to family and friends back home immediately after their event. Born out of the pandemic, it was a complicated effort, often taking a tremendous number of worker-hours to simply get a 10-second shot on-air. “It allows for a super dramatic moment,” he said. “I remember when one of our cynical ADs yelled from the other side of the room that even he was crying because everybody on screen was in tears. When a special moment like that comes out, it makes it all worth the effort and extra planning.” Another extra effort that paid off was apparent during the Opening
Ceremony. The show was already expected to have a very different feel from the typical Ceremony, not only because fans were absent but also because the teams and parade of nations were being handled in a different way. NBC sought to put a camera on the bus with the U.S. team on its way to the Ceremony. “We weren’t really sure we’d ever get permission,” said Mazza, “but we built out all the plans in the hopes that we would be able to do it. A surprising number of things that we were looking to do came true for us. “I think that somebody was really looking out for us,” he continued. “Two of the organizations that were looking out for us are OBS and TOCOG 2020. They have a lot of very hardworking people whose efforts made everything [we] needed possible.” From a technology standpoint, the big lift this year was to create a wide variety of video formats floating through the ecosystem in Tokyo, the U.S., and Sky in the UK. OBS provided content in 4K HDR and 1080p SDR, which NBC Olympics then intermixed with its own 1080p HDR as the primary production format. But there was also 1080i SDR, which NBC used for all the cable and digital feeds to its Stamford, CT, facility. On top of that, NBC Olympics in Tokyo handed off an HDR signal in the HLG standard to the NBC playout facility in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, where it was flipped to PQ and emitted via HEVC compression. “We did our best to get to one format and stay there,” said Mazza, “and that worked really well. We pretty much normalized anything we had to 1080p HDR, and, once we got there, it was easy.” The improvement offered by HDR, 1080p, and immersive audio, he noted, is dramatic and noticeable, especially with proper compression rates and formats. “HEVC compression looks really good at the bitrate we’re using. But we can’t squash it any further, as has happened to HD, because then it won’t look very good. So we’re very pleased with how it looks now.” With 16 Olympics under his belt, Mazza has seen a lot of advances. He noted a chart on the wall in the IBC from the Sydney Summer Games in 2000: “The chart shows four SD signals coming from Sydney, and we thought that was complicated. Now we have 221 HD feeds, 60 of which are HDR, and 101 feeds coming back. It’s mind-bending. If I think about it too much, it’s a bit terrifying [to be] responsible for making sure it works.” The key, he said, is a team that has been together for several Games; a team that is hundreds strong and has been part of a plan that has grown a little bit each time. “There is a lot of legacy to our workflows,” he pointed out. “The new piece we’re teaching is HDR or immersive audio. We didn’t reinvent everything.” That said, Mazza acknowledged that almost everything under the hood has changed: the facility is fully IP. But the goal is to ensure that the IP changes under the hood do not impact the way the production or engineering team operates. “The guys in transmission, once they’ve stopping thinking about the IP router, are ultimately doing the same thing,” he said. “It’s getting lipsync right, getting the levels right, and getting the right picture to the right commentators. It’s the same goals with entirely different hardware and, in some cases, a different process.” The pandemic did more than just make people concerned about health issues. It also caused operations to shift out of Tokyo, most notably production facilities for beach volleyball, basketball, indoor volleyball, diving, and golf.
Ross Video’s Chris Brown (left) and Bo Cordle managed AR elements. And it’s not just COVID. The weather resulted in events’ changing times, venues, and more. And all those details needed to be conveyed to multiple teams in multiple places. NEP VP, Special Projects, Errol Foremaster was key to keeping the various control rooms on different continents in sync. Printed timetables let him quickly see local times, which was essential to keeping everyone in sync and executing the plan. “We shifted venue control rooms’ homes,” said Mazza. “That was mostly COVID-based. And those are all pretty big efforts: beach volleyball has 16 HDR feeds, golf has 16 HDR feeds, and basketball has 12 SDR feeds. Errol is hyper-aware of the relationship between the competition, production, and truck schedules.” Foremaster was at the center of such issues as personnel-spacing issues in the IBC and how control rooms would be cleaned between shifts and athlete-interview setup. Contingency plans had been drawn up in case production crews and executives needed to isolate and work remotely from a hotel room. “We had plans for turning control rooms here in the IBC into a place for a venue production team to work in case they couldn’t work out of a truck,” Foremaster said. “We also have a few extra crew members and rooms in the Hilton set up with multiviewers in case someone was there under quarantine. We put a lot of those things in place.” Mazza said that the team also had to build out a worst-case plan in case very few people came to Tokyo. “We spun up a lot of scenarios during the year. In the end, we wanted to move as many people home as we could without impacting the primetime product, and it has worked out well. But we had to figure out how to distribute 500 people in Stamford.” The Sky UK team was also involved, handling indoor volleyball, and that introduced some complexity when the producer and director were not able to travel from the U.S. to the UK. The announcers were at the venue in Tokyo, all the feeds went to Sky, and the producer and director were in a conference room in Stamford, talking to the team in the UK as well as the camera operators in Tokyo. “We could not be doing this [here in Tokyo] without the incredibly hard work of the giant team in Stamford; 30 Rock; CNBC; the NOC; the team in Dry Creek, CO; and Telemundo Center in Miami,” said Mazza. “Tim continued on page 20 SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC Chip Adams on Venue Operations and the Move to Fiber
BC Olympics venue operations are the reporter for the questions and then always challenged by everything zooming to the athlete for the response, from weather to venue changes and we try to frame the shot with the and even little things like traveling from the reporter asking the question and then IBC to venues and from venue to venue. zoom in. Trying to get that shot was difThis year, those challenges expanded ficult, but we worked through it.” a bit with the arrival of UHD, HDR, and A production addition at the venues immersive audio. But, fortunately, some that may stick around is the Friends & changes on the OBS front made those new Family effort that allowed U.S. athletes to challenges easier to deal with. see and talk with family members from “The biggest infrastructure change has the mixed zone. been to our benefit, and that is OBS mov“LTN helped us put together a Microsoft ing the delivery of audio and video splits to Teams-like call that we could route back fiber,” said Chip Adams, NBC Olympics, into monitors in the mixed zone,” said VP, venue engineering. “That has been very Adams. “We give the athletes a throw-away helpful: in the past, we’ve always struggled earpiece to hear the return audio. I think with where the trucks are parked in relationthat’s going to stick around as it brings peoship to the OBS TOC, where we pick up the ple in and involves you with the story of the host-provided signals, and the problems athlete and their families and [allows you to] NBC Olympics’ Chip Adams says OBS’s participate in those joyous moments.” that come with trying to move TV signals move to fiber for camera-signal transport long distances over coax.” Historically, one of the big concerns in made a big difference. The fiber infrastructure allows OBS to the run-up to the Olympics is the readiness deliver 12-Gbps 4K camera signals opticalof the venues. Given the pandemic-related ly and provides flexibility where the signals can be terminated. delay, those concerns were nonexistent. “We can be 1,000 ft. away from the TOC, which we are at the “The Japanese did a fabulous job getting the venues ready,” Olympic Stadium,” he added. “That has been a great leap forward.” said Adams. “The biggest challenge was some of the cable paths, The various NBC venue teams bring together the OBS signals but, as far as having the platforms ready, they were done a year along with NBC’s unilateral signals. NBC built venue conversion ago. They also didn’t change too many things inside the venues. “ kits that take the optical fiber signal from OBS, convert it to The only changes needed were some of the camera positions electrical, and use a Grass Valley Miranda XIP signal processor as the expected backdrop of crowds have been replaced by to turn the 12-Gbps UHD feed into a 1080p 3G signal. empty seats. “We’ve also made the move to HDR at several venues,” Adams “Some of the shots that we had envisioned looked pretty noted. “The signals that aren’t HDR, like the super-slo-mo splits empty without the fans,” explained Adams. “There were some and high-speed cameras, come over as 1080p SDR. Once [the last-minute camera changes to minimize the lack of crowds.” signal is] converted to electrical 3 Gbps, we run it through a Cobalt The Tokyo Games have given the broader industry a preview of processor or AJA FS-HDR converter to do the LUT conversion to a future where the challenge will be to manage a variety of deliverget it to 1080p HDR we’re working with in the truck.” able formats, such as UHD HDR, 1080p SDR, 1080i SDR, etc. For NBC unilateral cameras, meanwhile, are on SMPTE hybrid example, at the Hilton, where the primetime set is located, signals fiber. If the cable distance is outside the operation range of are shared between the Today show and NBC Olympics. SMPTE cable, the broadcaster uses SHEDS with fiber. “It is really about understanding the deliverables and what There has been plenty of pivoting at the Olympics, given the people are expecting and what their infrastructure can handle," pandemic and one of the biggest pivots has been around the he said. "It has been a challenge on a lot of levels, but I’m very mixed zone, where reporters interview athletes. fortunate to have a great bunch of guys and gals that work “A traditional mixed zone is a 2-meter-sq. box where you for us as technical managers and maintenance people at the have the reporter, cameraperson, A2, stage manager, PA, etc., venues. The core group of Tom Perley, Doug McGee, Levi supporting the interview,” said Adams. “It has changed in that Phillippe, and Mike Drazen designs the workflows, prepares now we can have only two people — the cameraperson and the the equipment, deploys the systems, and supports the technireporter — in the mixed zone due to COVID countermeasures. cians onsite and are fabulous. With the support of our Field This puts more responsibility on the cameraperson and reporter Shop operation of Billy Gahagan, Dave Person, Rick Ulmer, to have the shot framed, have their earpiece in, mic ready, and and Ilan Hamburg, they are tireless in their support getting the be all set for the interview. Also, the athletes are separated from equipment out the door and installed in the venues. It’s a total the reporter by 8 ft. This poses a challenge when trying to frame team effort.” – KK
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
continued from page 17 Canary, NBC Sports VP, engineering, and Tom Popple, NBC Universal VP, studio operations, have been key to keeping many of the U.S. groups running smoothly. And that is no small feat, with 10 control rooms and 28 announce booths running in just the Stamford plant alone.” As for the team in Tokyo, Mazza noted Chip Adams, VP, venue engineering, who oversees venue operations, and Todd Donovan, NBC Olympics VP, engineering, who took over from the retired Terry Adams to oversee the IBC. But, said Mazza, Terry was willing to come out of retirement to help out. “He has been that consistent connective tissue back to all the things we used to do, and he was very instrumental in the design of the IBC. “Speaking of legacy,” Mazza continued, “I would be remiss if I did not credit our smartest and most kindhearted Senior Engineer Chris Jorgensen, who unfortunately we lost about 16 months ago. Chris could fix anything, he understood how absolutely everything works, and he was patient enough to explain to the mere mortals. We will forever miss him and his contributions.” Mazza also cited Darryl Jefferson, NBC Olympics VP, broadcast operations and technology, and his team, who handled all the file-based workflow and all the editing. The new player on the team, Mike Drazin, director production engineering and technology, NBC Olympics, worked with Director, Advanced Content Production Technology, Chris Seeger, in championing the HDR effort. To keep the Tokyo team connected, said Mazza, Chris Connolly, VP, transmission operations and engineering, NBC Sports Group, and his team engineered the entire transmission architecture. The team in comms, headed by John Pastore, director, broadcast communication, NBC Sports Group, kept the world’s largest trunked intercom work-
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
Shadows brought new realism to AR graphics on the NBC Olympics primetime set. ing. And Karl Malone, director, sound design, NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, and his team worked tirelessly on every bit of sound collected and presented as the perfect immersive mix. The venue engineering team of Levi Phillippe, Tom Perley, and Doug McGee kept all remotecontrolled venue operations running smoothly, which were “caught” at home by Dominic Torchia and the four mobile units in Stamford. Meanwhile, Power Technical Manager Charlie Jablonski kept all of the power on, and Director of Construction John Arvelo oversaw construction of the IBC and the HVAC. “[Dirctor, Broadcast Operations,] Ian Kuchta runs our entire BOC operation,” noted Mazza, “which is a lot like the lead air-traffic controller at the Atlanta Airport, controlling all the traffic on the plethora of transmission circuits. Of course, all of what we do on the tech/ops side ultimately boils down to trying to make the vision of our incredibly talented production teams come true, and none of them are more passionate and dedicated than Mike Sheehan, our coordinating director.” The COVID challenge, Mazza noted, made the efforts of Marsha Bird, SVP, Olympic operations; Ryan Soucy, VP, Olympic operations; Judy Cloyd, director, HR; and Derek Ehmen, VP, technical logistics, that much more challenging and vital. “We couldn’t have done this without those people,” Mazza added, “and about 3,000 other very hardworking skilled people who were on their teams, getting this all done. I’m incredibly grateful for that and very lucky that we have an embarrassment of riches in talented people that happen to be as passionate as I am about doing the Games and keep coming back to do it no matter where we are.” – Ken Kerschbaumer
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
NBC Olympics Team Discusses How HDR Made Leap to Primetime
ollowing the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, the NBC Olympics team had one goal: to make the move to IP, UHD, and HDR. Initially, HDR would take a back seat, primarily existing in a shadow cut of the HD show. But then the pandemic came, delaying the Summer Games, and closing the development gap with the 2022 Beijing Games. “When we realized that we only had six months between the Tokyo Closing Ceremony and the Beijing Opening Ceremony, we realized that whatever we did here we would have to do there and that would mean missing out on HDR,” said Dave Mazza, SVP/CTO, NBC Sports Group and NBC Olympics. “So, we said, let’s pretend IP was already a raging success and also focus on UHD and HDR.” The result was a massive effort at the IBC in Tokyo and back home in Stamford around 1080p and HDR production for primetime, golf coverage, and Olympic Channel linear content. It also required new developments to serve both HDR and SDR viewers without compromise. First, OBS committed to producing every event in UHD and HDR. Mazza credited OBS for undertaking the Herculean effort to find 65 UHD flypacks and mobile units, let alone get them to Tokyo. “I don’t know how they did it and got all of that working in true 4K HDR,” said Mazza. “But our 1080p HDR production layer would not have been possible if OBS had not made the shift to HDR. And intermixing the OBS cams with our 1080p cameras is very seamless.” Many of the Olympic productions involve a mix of OBS UHD feeds as well as NBC unilateral cameras. It’s up to Chip Adams, NBC Olympics, VP, Venue Engineering, and the teams at each venue to bring all this
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
From left: Dave Mazza, Todd Donovan, Michael Drazin, and Darryl Jefferson in front of the UHD/HDR demo area at NBC’s IBC facility. together. For example, at Athletics, the team takes UHD HDR split feeds from OBS, converts them to 1080p HDR, and integrates them into NBC’s unilateral cameras running in 1080p HDR. “That’s a pretty easy transition because it is just resolution, there are no look up tables (LUTs) needed,” said Adams. “We also take the OBS high speed cameras as 1080p SDR and [convert] them to HDR where we normalize them as HLG along with everything else. So that’s been very successful as working in one format is a lot easier than working in three. The NBC Tokyo trucks, flypacks, and edits are primarily working in 1080p HDR.” At the Tokyo IBC, NBC’s workflow requires taking the 4K HDR feed from OBS and down converting it to 1080p as the plant is built for 1080p HDR. NBC also sends a 1080i SDR signal to the broadcast center back in Stamford as the Stamford plant is in the process of transitioning 1080p HDR capable, but not there yet. “Due to the many production enhancements, the sheer quantity of feeds to the U.S. (221 feed to the States and 101 coming back to Tokyo), and replay and super mo servers, file-based workflows, RF links, etc.,” continued Adams, “it was not feasible for us to do 4K at the scale of an Olympics.” So, NBC elected to not reduce the overall storytelling ability simply for the sake of a resolution number. “The overall picture quality through the entire chain is not only about continued on page 26 resolution,” said Mazza.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC Karl Malone on the Move to Immersive Audio and Keeping Remote Commentators Connected
arl Malone, NBC Sports and NBC Olympics, director, sound design, said the 2020 Olympics was truly the audio Olympics. He jokes that he says that every Olympics, but it’s hard to argue with that this time around: next-generation immersive audio, with 5.1.4 (think regular surround sound with four additional channels overhead to give height to the audio), is the norm at every venue. And remote commentary is more important than ever. Simply put, the efforts are impressive. He spoke with SVG in the NBC Olympics listening room at the Tokyo IBC.
It has been challenging, but that’s the fun part: how can we get more out of this sport and bring it home to tell the story?
Any tips for someone who has not worked in immersive audio about what to expect and how to do it? We’ve always talked about having a base layer of ambience for the heights. I think that has always been very successful with us, and that’s what OBS has provided us with: a nice base layer to build on. We’ve gone 16 channels wide with our edits and audio coming from the truck, and we came into this knowing that’s our plan. Sixteen channels of audio gave us the first I wanted to start with your sense of eight channels for our standard 5.1, plus we the sonic landscape of these Games. Does anything stand out to you? do dummy headsets and clean announcer Going into this, the focus was a lack of tracks to help edits. The last eight channels crowd and how things would sound, as are fully immersive: we take the four height Michael DiCrescenzo in the Olympics well as coming in with the newer technolchannels, and we have a stereo mix for the ogies of immersive audio, along with OBS audio-control room at the IBC. Notice the last two pairs, which we’ve been able to place trusses installed to fly the four speakers. providing 5.1.4 audio and a paintbrush to into certain areas of the stadiums to add to do all our venues in immersive audio. But that base. the lack of crowd has tended not to be an issue because we’ve For example, we would use those pairs to isolate a certain had quite a lot of crowds, especially in swimming and gymnassection of fans in the crowd and put that into the heights with tics, where the other teams come in, and that has been great. the base. That hasn’t been borne out at these Olympics, but — That’s not to say that there are no empty-sounding venues, like technically and engineering-wise — we’re getting that through badminton or weightlifting, but, certainly for the primary venues, the edits, and that has been very successful. Making that it. has become sort of a non-issue. 16-channel workflow work and getting editors to edit across 16 Michael DiCrescenzo, NBC senior A1 and audio design channels is something we’ve never done before. And that has engineer, has been mixing the NBC Primetime show in Dolby been very helpful to us. Atmos and creating the immersive mixes to ensure consistency When someone is editing with 16 channels, are they from sport to sport. Peter Puglisi has been mixing NBC golf hearing the height signals? coverage in Dolby Atmos but out of a truck in Stamford, CT. The No, they are not hearing them in an immersive overhead configutechnical complexity of this Games has been dizzying. ration but rather as isolated tracks, which they can solo and QC. Sonically, it has been kind of the best of both worlds, where you Ultimately, they’re passing them through from the trucks or the have crowd and you can pick out the detail of the sport. This was venues. The editors are doing their normal 5.1, and everything’s always going to be the Games that was an audio Games, and mixed live in the audio-control room for the final mix. you’re going to hear these Games like you’ve never heard before. What does it mean to see spatial audio getting its due, We can hear footfalls in athletics, and that’s not in a silent staeven seeing commercials on TV from Apple about it? dium: there is the PA, and there are people cheering. Everything I think anything that can add to the experiences is going to be takes a day or two to tweak, but you’re hearing things that you’ve worthwhile. I know I say this all the time, but immersive audio never heard before, and that has been fantastic. does make the picture look better. If you add spatial audio and I loved the skateboarding where you could hear the board riding down the rail. Yeah, skateboard is good, but we’re sort of challenged a little bit by a couple of sports like BMX. The ramps are soft, and the rubber wheels are soft, so you’re trying to reach for those sorts of sounds. In 3×3 basketball, the court is different from regular basketball courts, where you hear squeaks and ball bounces, so you need to try to pull those [sounds] out as well. With those new sports, you want to promote that sport to people audibly as well as visually.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
the immersive audio to our production, it makes the production overall a much better and more enjoyable production. And it’s not that the pictures don’t look great; they look fantastic in HDR. But it’s all part of that package that you’re providing people: the best-quality audio and the best-quality video give them the best product possible. – KK This interview has been condensed and edited. To read the full interview, visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC continued from page 22 “We felt we could achieve a bigger win with the 1080p HDR, and the better HEVC compression, without having to compromise or reduce any of our production storytelling abilities. We have all the extra accoutrements that our production teams wanted, and we think our audience expects. And we have at a stunning new level of picture and audio quality for a massively large-scale sporting event.” NBC also had to create a production process that made it straightforward and easy for the production team to create content that did not have to be compromised for either HDR or SDR. The result was a new test pattern and color measurement process that enabled the creation of a set of LUTs. Subsequently, NBCU made these LUTs available to the entire industry to continue to spur collaboration and interoperability. Michael Drazin, NBC Sports, director of production, engineering, and technology, said part of NBC’s philosophy is that while HDR gives additional color and dynamic range anything originating from SDR should present in the HDR space perfectly. “A lot of our commercial content and anything that was created in SDR should map precisely in our HDR world,” he said. “And that’s why you see the consistency between our HDR and SDR deliverables, except in HDR, where you see all the additional dynamic range and color.” Drazin added that it was also important to make sure that from a workflow standpoint HDR was straightforward for the team to execute. “It had to work the way we expect it to, from shading cameras to the editors… through graphics and augmented reality systems,” he said. “Using the NBCU LUTs, the team is able to maintain the artistic intent throughout the entire process. It’s been exciting to see the creative team transition to working in HDR and taking advantage of its new capabilities.” One big goal was to have storytellers focused on the story, not the ultimate deliverable, which could be HDR or SDR depending on which control room it is being delivered to. For example, a project may originally be due to air in HDR but then bumped to an SDR network. The production team wants to make sure the editor doesn’t need to get involved in that conversion process. Drazin said Darryl Jefferson, VP Post Production & Digital Workflow, NBC Sports & Olympics, and his team created a predictive system so that creatives could see how a change in HDR would impact SDR and vice versa. “They can protect both deliverables at the same time and I think that is one of the most important operational things we’ve learned,” he said. Mazza said that depending on what folder the content is put in the team knows where it’s headed and can then apply the look up table or up and down conversion. The 1080p HDR production workflows were only part of the process as NBC also had to figure out how to deliver 4K HDR coverage to viewers, including the local affiliates’ ability to roll their local breaks. The live 4K HDR coverage of the NBC Olympics primetime show would not have been possible without a way to localize it for NBC viewers back home. “It will be a while before TV stations are able to fully broadcast in 4K HDR,” said Clarence Hau, SVP, Operations and Technology, NBCU. “In partnership with our NBC affiliates, we undertook a major effort on a
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
The HDR and UHD efforts by NBC Olympics allowed them to take full advantage of the OBS production, which included UHD cameras. new NBC distribution system that seamlessly integrates local commercials into the NBC Olympics programming.” The one-year delay provided the time for NBC to figure out how to integrate each station’s local HD signal together with the 4K HDR signal so local commercials are viewed by both audiences — a first for a domestic broadcast network. NBC was able to get this new system deployed at 52 stations in time for the Tokyo Olympics, translating to about 70% of the national market (look for a future report detailing those efforts). The work that NBC has put in to deliver a 4K HDR service gave plenty of those who own a UHD HDR-capable set a reason to tune in. But watching 4K HDR content can be confusing (think of HD viewers believing they were watching HD when they were really watching stretch SD). “It should automatically set itself, but it is ‘early days’ and sometimes the flags do not make it properly thru the STBs, receivers, soundbars, and TVs,” said Mazza. “The TV should present an indication that it’s in HDR. On the other hand, I believe that DirectTV emits HLG and, in that case, if your picture is under saturated, it is probably set to SDR, when it should be on HLG. If it’s way oversaturated and very bright, it’s probably set to HDR10. Unfortunately, it is very easy to get wrong.” The Olympics has provided arguably the widest variety of 4K HDR content to date in the world and Mazza said the outdoor events have benefitted the most from the move to UHD and HDR. “The contrast in cumulus clouds in a sunny sky are different from the blurry blob of white in SDR,” he said. “And then the speculars in swimming or the shiny outfits in gymnastics are stunning in UHD, HDR, this makes it to the audience with the improvements with HEVC. HDR brought to life the artistry in Opening Ceremony, it provided the audience the feeling of being outside for Athletics and beach volleyball when it’s combined with immersive audio.” The process has not been an easy one, but it is indicative of the kind of innovation that an event like the Olympics and its stakeholders embrace. “It’s a really complicated show, but we’re very happy with how the pictures look, the immersive audio sounds and we couldn’t be doing it without a whole lot of very hard working and talented people and innovation between both the NBC and OBS teams,” said Mazza. – Ken Kerschbaumer
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
An Inside Look at NBC’s IBC Innovation Efforts T
he pandemic might have stopped the Olympics for a year, but it didn’t stop NBC Olympics’ commitment to innovation. In fact, it accelerated it: any innovations at the NBC Olympics IBC plant that the team wanted in place for the Beijing Games in February 2022 had to be ready for Tokyo 2020. NBC Olympics’ Todd Donovan, VP, engineering technology; Kevin Callahan, manager, system design engineering; and Lukas Zahas, senior manager, broadcast technology, discussed how the broadcaster’s IBC plant evolved during the pandemic. Can you talk a bit about the one-year delay and how that impacted the facility here at the IBC? Donovan: When the Games got canceled, everything was on the boat on its way to Tokyo, so the boat came back. While it was in transit, we spent some time rethinking the two-Games model and what technology we would need to get us through the Tokyo Games and set us up where we wanted to be for the Beijing Games because there would be no time to retool. One of the big things to rethink was that separating a 1080i SDR signal for a large audience and a 1080p HDR for a smaller audience didn’t seem like the best answer. And, based on our experience with Notre Dame Football and some other projects, single-stream production seemed right. So the team spent a lot of time retooling. Fortunately, with the IP routing environment and the VSM software layer and the fact that we had just rebuilt the place, it wasn’t a horrific turn, but we also didn’t expect to get there so quickly. Our summer was [spent] getting our primary workflow ready for 1080p HDR, and the big retooling from here will be getting ready for 50 Hz in Beijing. But it has been tested, and we think that will be fine, so it will just be the usual maintenance on the system and replacing the stuff we decided not to touch during the Games, like latest versions of software. The facility looks the same as it has for the past few Olympics. Can you give an overview of the core and how that has changed? Zahas: The core is a Cisco Nexus 9K fabric with mostly Grass Valley gateway hardware. There is Grass Valley control with what is now called Orbit, and that does the orchestration. [The user controls] all of it via VSM. It’s sort of a hybrid monolithic leaf/spine topology: some stuff is connected directly to the core and some on leafs. That’s the gist of the core. And, to your point, it’s a good thing that it looks the same. The user sees a control panel, they punch a button, and they expect to see a source.
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
From left: Kevin Callahan, Lukas Zahas, and Todd Donovan inside the NBC Olympics production-control room at the IBC in Tokyo.
Donovan: We’re using the same Lawo VSM router presentation layer, and Lukas has a lot of sophisticated automation and workflows built into that. When someone showed up in PyeongChang [South Korea] in 2018 and touched the router panel, things happened. Here, touching the router panel is very similar. There is some extra nomenclature to handle the HDR, and the names of the sports have changed, but it looks and feels very similar. The underpinnings are different. That was an essential decision — to not affect operations — but also VSM was a recent investment we were quite happy with and wanted to continue. On the routing side, we were already using Grass Valley XVP cards to process SDI in and out, and now we are using XIP cards for an IP topology. A lot of the work with GV on workflows and capabilities was baked into the first project. So, while the underpinning changed, the logic didn’t, and we wanted to capitalize on that in making the next big step. OBS also underwent a lot of changes with IP, HDR, and UHD. How did that impact your operations? Zahas: It has been straightforward because they are relying on baseband. They give us a 1080i baseband signal over fiber, and, for the UHD, they also give it to us over fiber via 12-Gbps SDI. We immediately downconvert that to 1080p HDR. We don’t have any IP handoffs between us and them. That may happen in the future, but, certainly for today, it’s much easier to hand off an SDI signal and be done with it. There is also a big facility in Stamford, CT, that this facility works closely
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC with. How did that impact decision making? Donovan: We were building a brand-new IBC after PyeongChang, and we had that kind of opportunity to do that. But, in the year that the Olympics got delayed, there was a lot of investment in the Stamford facility. Sure, there is a lot of 1080i there, but there was a pivot to more IP technology for routing, and more capability was built. Callahan: The year gap turned the timetable. Initially, the plan was to get a lot of IP experience with the Tokyo facility. When it was delayed, we advanced the timeline for implementing a new GV router in Stamford with Cisco leaf/spine architecture. We started to get more mileage out of that system than the Olympic system. So, there were things we learned on the Olympic build that helped us change our design for Stamford and then lessons off the Stamford build for the Olympic build. Stamford is getting to be more 1080p-capable, with eyes toward 4K and other advanced formats that the IP router can handle going forward. Anyone looking toward the IP and UHD and HDR world will be having the same sort of conversations you had on current vs. future needs. Any advice on how they can have those discussions? Donovan: Well, it’s a moment in time, and you try to look down the road to see where we’re going to be. At NBC Olympics, the conversations are about whether an investment is for Beijing, Paris, or beyond 2024. In Stamford, it is about what level of investment to make based on business going forward. It’s always a balance between being advanced and on the leading edge technically but also being able to deliver new things to the production community that enhance and reinforce storytelling. At the same time, you minimize any technical risk, although that is completely opposite from being on the leading edge. For example, the Olympics are a highly watched show, so risk tolerance is obviously extremely low. At the same time, we can’t just do HD anymore; that would be like continuing to just do analog. So we tried to find test events, learn what people are doing in the industry, see what can be done better. We also talk to manufacturers and put it all together to come up with something we are confident about. It seems that you have workflows here that are designed to make it so that editors and storytellers don’t have to try to understand wide color gamut, HDR, IP, or 5.1.4 audio. Donovan: The system must pass things along, whether it’s 10-bit processing, wide color gamut, HDR, or the 16 channels of audio. In some areas, the user just must let it flow by them so that it gets to the user who needs it and knows what to do with it. The infrastructure is much wider in terms of audio and video capacity, but that doesn’t mean that every person must be burdened with all that knowledge. That has helped a lot: just move the media. In the past year, there has been a lot of talk about virtualization and new workflows. Where do you see technology headed in general? Callahan: In terms of virtualization of commodity hardware into VM stacks, I think we are getting there with appliances that can spin up multiple instances of a processor, whether it is a video proc, up/downconverter,
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The NBC Olympics outdoor set provided multiple looks and backdrops. etc. We’ll investigate it when we have an application for it. But we aren’t to the point where you schedule and command and control that virtual hardware. Yes, you can deploy VM for 15 multiviewers, but you still need an engineer to go and load a different VM and change all the routes and NMOS handlers. I hope where we’re heading is buying a blade of processors that, if you buy the licenses, can be up/down/crossconverters or color correction. Color correction is something you still need to bring down to baseband to do it in a logical way, and we would love to just put it in virtual hardware that we can dynamically spin up as needs arise. There have been some big advances, similar to what you have done here in our industry, that didn’t go too smoothly. How did you prevent that? Donovan: That’s the downside of trying to do something new and different because there isn’t all the reporting behind it or experience. You’re kind of out there and exploring together with vendors and each other. And the trick is balancing where the right place is to use the amazing new technologies to their fullest but also be able to train hundreds of users to come in and operate the broadcast center. You need to get them trained and get it reliable so that they can focus on the storytelling and not on “Is my tool going to work?” You mention working with vendors. What are your thoughts on interoperability? Zahas: We don’t want to gloss over the complexity of it and the difficulty of this. We had a lot of challenges, and we hoped that NMOS would make interoperability smooth. Unfortunately, it’s less than smooth right now, and it takes a lot of pushing to get the vendors to work together to fix things, because, when it comes to interoperability, there is little that works at 100% on the first try. It’s important to have vendors who are willing to work with you to get things working, because it’s difficult right now. The video-transport part of it is straightforward. It’s the control and getting different systems to talk to each other and then control of destination devices that is hard. NMOS still has a lot in the spec that is left up to interpretation: a manufacturer can be compliant with the spec, but you must get vendors to work it out so that their equipment talks to each other. – Ken Kerschbaumer This interview has been condensed and edited. To read the full interview, visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog.
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
Darryl Jefferson and Jim Miles on NBC Olympics’ File-Based Workflows, Storytelling
very NBC Olympic effort sees massive changes and advances with respect to file-based workflows, editing, and more. Toss in UHD, HDR, and immersive audio, and those advances are even more challenging and, ultimately, impressive. Darryl Jefferson, NBC Olympics, VP, broadcast operations and technology, and Jim Miles, NBC Olympics, director, digital workflow systems, discussed the multiple-continent, -time zone, and -facility effort with SVG.
Darryl Jefferson (left) and Jim Miles and the team worked hard to allow creatives to focus on storytelling during the Olympic Games.
Can you describe the ecosystem here? Miles: It’s Avid Media Composer for craft editing, and Avid Interplay MAM is the record apparatus for highlight-shot selection as well as our archive. The entire Olympic archive is Interplay and Media Central, and our playback turnaround is EVS. We do a lot with Telestream for transcode, flipping, and orchestration, and we use Signiant as our file mover and for transfers from the venues and to Stamford. Jefferson: We also have a new ingest device from Telestream called Live Capture, which can capture to 1080p HDR content as well as the older flavors of content. And our big monster storage is Dell/EMC Isilon. Miles: The interesting story on the editors is that we are still using hard workstations for the primary craft edits but all our auxiliary edits
You have teams around the world diving into your file-based workflows. Are the workflows the same everywhere? Miles: More or less. We try to put the high-resolution recording where it’s needed. If somebody is doing a turnaround at a venue, we’ll put it right there next to them in their local storage. If something is needed for primetime, we can move the content here to the IBC. But our main record apparatus has moved back to Stamford, and the hundred feeds that are coming in from different venues, from the host, and from our own all go back to Stamford and are recorded there, where the bulk of our ancillary users are. Then there are other business units in Miami, in the news organization at 30 Rock that are pulling from that recording wall in Stamford.
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are virtual machines. We used to have to bring 30 Avids to the IBC, but, this year, we had to bring only a dozen, and we have the VMs for the producers and those lighter-weight tasks. That has been huge for us in terms of the complexity of what we must build.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC Jefferson: The other thing is the added wrinkle of HDR for the primetime show and for our venues. That adds a layer to know which version of a recording you have and if we’re doing parallel recordings or is it an SDR sport contributing into an HDR primetime show or vice versa. We try to normalize the content for the end user so that complexity is obscured and people have to think about it less. Miles: We have well over a 100 different paths, many of which have file conversion or interlace-to-progressive or progressive-to-interlace conversion in the middle. It has been an interesting challenge to build it all ahead of time and then get it running in a matter of days. Jefferson: It has been an education for our legion of freelance editors and freelance operators in general. They need to wrap their heads around where is the recording that is closest to the output of my show. Or, if someone’s delivering into a show that’s different from the format they’re normally cutting in, it takes a little while to get up to speed. But we do have islands of 1080p HDR, like at the venues, and, once they’re at the venue, they have to worry much less about their environment. They only need to worry about the outliers, like an ENG camera, coming in or an interview or reaction shot from another broadcaster that won’t be in 1080p HDR. Miles: Content+ is a great example where we have that fire hose of content coming in from OBS and, depending on who’s pulling it, some of them will just take it natively and some are taking it with a LUT [look-up table], or some are taking it with a transcode depending on where it’s going. Over the past year, there has been a lot of talk in the industry about how editors, for example, don’t need to be onsite. What do you see as the benefit of having editors at the A venues — swimming, gymnastics, athletics — and at the primetime set? Jefferson: Having folks in the city and venue where the event is happening lets them feel the pulse of the Games, and they can interact with the players or the coaches. In some cases now, we bring those athletes and families together with our technology, and that’s a bonus. But, for every editor that’s here, we have probably five or six in Stamford. Our onsite complement is down substantially from Games past, but you do need a handful of editors that can do the fast turnarounds, keep up with the Games, and cut up stories and inbound elements that are happening now. Miles: To achieve the level of efficiency for those tight turnarounds and when they are in higher resolution or more complex things, you need people onsite. But the more casual editing, like if you’re just clipping a shot for a highlight, that has been [done at] home for a decade. I wanted to ask about OBS Content+, which is where OBS makes everything available: the live events, highlights, features, B roll, and more. How does your team use that, and what does it mean for your content-creation efforts? Jefferson: It does give us raw material for interviews, profiles, their aerial shots, course, animations, all those types of things. But, at the end of the day, the deeper dive on U.S. athletes still ultimately comes from us, following athletes all the way back to their hometowns and that type of thing. We have a zeroed-in approach on the U.S. team.
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Beach volleyball continued to be popular with viewers, especially here in the U.S. Content+ helps when we do deeper dives on non-American athletes. Normally, we send crews all over the world, but this has been an odd year for travel and for capturing people in their homes or training facilities. Leaning on OBS for that type of thing comes at a really good time. Miles: And it gives us content that we didn’t plan for. We plan for the U.S. athletes, but, if there’s the breakout star from Argentina or somewhere else, we can find the deeper dive there. I am assuming it is also great because it means you can’t miss anything. Jefferson: Sometimes, you have mechanical failure on something, and you realize that is the only place something is rolling, but now there are many other opportunities. Miles: It’s a delicate balance, too. For example, we have splits at the venues and tons of our own cameras at each venue, and it’s not really feasible for us to save every frame of video from every camera for the duration. So we do go through our own process of melting things down to the best shots. Sometimes, you do miss something, but, generally, we do an incredible job of capturing not only what OBS is doing but our cameras as well. Jefferson: Now it’s less about missing coverage of an event but more likely an iso shot that zeros in on a footfall or a nudge on track. Our team is looking for a specific angle, and maybe, in that moment, we have 50 other angles but not the one they’re looking for. There is a bit more nuance now as to what people are looking for. We discussed HDR, but you are also working in 5.1.4 and Dolby Atmos. How are you handling that for editors? Jefferson: If you’re doing a tight turnaround, you want to carry those height mikes as an additional element on the timeline, and that has been an interesting process. What does the submix look like before it’s delivered for final mixing and Atmos and coding on the backend? That has been an additional kind of learning experience for all of us, figuring out how to mix in the environment we have. Having a mixed audio environment is odd, but it has been interesting teaching folks about it. – Ken Kerschbaumer This interview has been condensed and edited. To read the full interview, visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC
Stateside Olympics Effort Deploys Army of Studios, Control Rooms, Trucks, ‘Family & Friends’ Unit
BC Sports went all out for its coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics overseas, but, for this large-scale effort, the stateside team in Stamford, CT, pitched in with plenty of resources. Stamford played its largest role in an Olympics production to date: the two-week event called for five simultaneous studios and control rooms, four mobile units at the truck dock, and the largest iteration ever of NBC’s Off-Tube Factory remote commentary operation. “Technologically, I think we’re stretching the boundaries,” said Tim Canary, VP, engineering, NBC Sports Group, during the Games. “It’s truly a technological marvel how we’ve able to do all this, considering all the challenges of the past year and a half.” One of the biggest complements in NBC’s Olympics coverage, the number of studio shows was staggering. Whereas the sets in Tokyo were designed for virtualization, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, the sets in Stamford were based on versatility. The profusion of Olympic events called for ample studio presence, and, with a 13-hour time difference, the broadcaster deployed all available spaces in a variety of sizes. The schedule began in Stamford at 6 p.m. ET on USA with host Kathryn Tappen, Director Jennifer Morrison, and Producer Matt Casey from the Odaiba TV Tower in Tokyo. They were followed by host Ahmed Fareed, Director Mike Torello, and Producer Aaron Bearden at 2 a.m. on USA in Studio 3. Seven hours later, Liam McHugh took over
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The main Off-Tube Factory in Stamford
at 10 a.m. on USA in Studio 2 with Director Ray Herbert and Producer Brett Castelluccio. McHugh remained in Studio 2 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. for coverage on NBCSN with Producer Paige Shepperly. Wrapping up the broadcaster’s linear coverage in Stamford, Golf Channel’s Live From provided a prematch show from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and a postmatch show from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. Located in Studio 1, Anna Whitley worked alongside Coordinating Producers Ben Daughan and Matt Hegarty, Producers Alan Robison and Arthur Volpe, and Directors Will Siegrist and Mark Mosback, while Todd Lewis offered commentary from Tokyo. On the digital side, Rich Eisen headlined Tokyo Gold from 11 a.m. to noon in Studio 6 on Peacock with Producer Dan Steir and Director Patrick McManus. Studio 3 was in use for Tokyo Tonight, with hosts Kenny Mayne, Cari Champion, and Jac Collinsworth conducting interviews. This show on Peacock, running from 7:30 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 6:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday, was handled by Producers Alexa Maremaa and Adam Littlefield and Director Susan King. Studio 1 is on the air for On Her Turf on Peacock from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and for hits on Twitter. On Her Turf was continued on page 42
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC Extra Year of Prep Boosts NBC Olympics’ At-Home Operation
ince launching in 2013, NBC’s Sports Production Operations Center (SPOC) in Stamford, CT, has used each Olympic Games as an opportunity to take a substantial technological leap forward. With the pandemicmandated extra 12 months of preparation for this year’s Tokyo Games, NBC’s Stamford engineering team kicked its innovation efforts into hyperdrive. “Of course, we always take a big step forward from one Olympics to the next, but [the delay] accelerated a lot of things that we already had on our radar,” said Tim Canary, VP, engineering, NBC Sports. “It’s almost mind-boggling how much we were able to do in such a short time out of necessity. I’m proud of what the team has done, and it’s very humbling to see how everyone pulled together to pull this off.” Since the PyeongChang 2018 Closing Ceremony, Stamford has continued moving toward an end-to-end IP-based facility while preparing for a 4K HDR future. At the same time, Canary and company have innovated in other ways as well, including launching a trio of “micro control rooms” (two based on SimplyLive and one on Ross Video Graphite all-in-one). “Technologically, I think we’re stretching the boundaries and it’s truly a technological marvel how we’ve able to do all this,” said Canary. “There were things that we thought about for years that we ended up doing simply because we had no other choice during COVID. A lot of those things that would never have been strongly considered for prime shows are now
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NBC Sports erected a digital network operations center in the lobby of its Stamford facility to support Peacock. essential parts of our workflow, and we continue to harden those [tools]. It just forced us to come up with creative ways to do new things.” NBC Sports installed a Grass Valley IP core router using GV’s Orbit Control system, UCP gateways, and XIP Frame Syncs on a Cisco leaf/spine architecture. The end-user interface was via an Evertz Magnum control system and panels featuring an Evertz BRC card to accommodate the multiple routing systems. Roughly half the content being produced in Stamford ran on this new router, including the entire Off-Tube Factory commentary operation. “That gets us to a point where we can be completely formatindependent and be fully capable of 1080p HDR 3-Gbps across the board,” said Canary. “We can also intermix 50- and 60-Hz signals on an input-by-input basis, rather than a card-by-card basis, which we absolutely had to do in preparation for [the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics] since [China is a] 50-Hz country and we’ll still have a very large 60-Hz complement going on at the same time.” In addition to the need to support mixed 50-Hz and 60-Hz workflows in Beijing, he added, the short timeline between the Tokyo Games and the Beijing Games in February played a major role in NBC’s decision to deploy the new Grass Valley IP core router.
“Absolutely, our thinking for Tokyo was greatly influenced by our needs for Beijing,” Canary explained. “We knew we could not handle the mix of 50- and 60-Hz needs on our existing infrastructure; just wasn’t going to happen. Everything we did for that project was with an eye toward how we use it for Beijing and [whether] it meets those needs.” In addition to the new core router, NBC completed a major upgrade in Central Tape and Ingest with the installation of EVS XT-VIA replay servers across the board. With native support for SMPTE ST 2110 and more than triple the internal bandwidth of the flagship XT3 server, the XT-VIA provides 12-plus channels of 1080p and six or more channels of UHD/4K in both SDR and HDR. “We did a wholesale swap out of all the XT3’s for XT-VIA’s beginning pre-COVID,” said Canary. “We continued that during the pandemic. Some of those machines were supposed to go to Tokyo and then come back, so we had to do quite a dance of hardware to make sure we were covered both here and in Tokyo.” In addition, during the pandemic, NBC swapped out two Sony MVS-7000 switchers for Sony XVS-9000 models in its largest control rooms in Stamford. The broadcaster also purchased another XVS-9000 for its IBC plant in Beijing. After the Winter Olympics, it will be shipped to Stamford and installed in PCR3. Two XVS-8000 switchers are being transferred from the former Golf Channel facility in Orlando (Golf Channel media operations migrated to Stamford near the end of 2020) and will be installed in PCR8 and PCR6. All control rooms will then have currentgeneration Sony XVS switchers. “With those switchers and the IP router in place,” said Canary, “we’re getting very close to being [end-to-end IP]. I think the experience from the [IBC] build in Tokyo and all the learning that’s taking place there about IP will have a great influence on what we do here [moving forward] for sure.” Even prior to the pandemic, NBC was looking for a simple way to produce the live gymnastics show in Tokyo remotely from Stamford. After exploring a variety of solutions, Canary’s team elected to build a control room based on SimplyLive’s ViBox allin-one production system. “We did a lot of testing with it and were getting ready to go when the Olympics got postponed,” he said. “That gave us a lot of time to use that room for a lot of different sports, including golf, and we were very happy with the results. We ended up converting two offices into two more control rooms.” The second micro control room was also based on SimplyLive technology but featured a more powerful audio console (instead of the Allen & Heath console, a Calrec Brio 12 is interfaced to Stamford’s Calrec Hydra2 audio network), which was used for the gymnastics show streaming live on Peacock. The third micro control room was built around a Ross Video Graphite all-in-one production system and used to alleviate bottlenecks on larger control rooms when necessary (such as for the Stanley Cup Playoffs). Although it was not used for Olympics content, it did play a key role serving ancillary shows displaced by the Games. “The second SimplyLive room and the Ross Graphite room never would have gotten done had the Games not been moved [back a year],” said Canary. “Many things were tipped over the edge because of [the pandemic], and it made us have to think of new ways to do things.”
PCR4 produced part of USA’s Olympics coverage. NBC parked a quartet of mobile units at the truck dock in Stamford to aid in Olympics production. To connect the trucks with both the Stamford and Tokyo operations, the engineering team created a temperature-controlled equipment-interconnect room with gateways and 64 ins and outs to the Stamford routing system, as well as an AT&T/Media Links transmission frame that ties the trucks into the overall global transmission scheme. The new equipment room was a result of NBC’s on-the-fly efforts to remotely produce the 2020 Kentucky Derby from Stamford. “For the Derby during COVID,” Canary explained, “we had to quickly come up with a place to put the AT&T/Media Links frame on the dock. We took an old heavy metal announce booth, drilled some holes in it to get cables in and out, put it in the loading dock, and that was the housing for the AT&T frame. Obviously, we knew we had to do something better for Tokyo, so we built a stadium-style interconnect room at the loading dock to assist with all that. “If we hadn’t had that extra year and been forced to adapt for the Derby,” he continued, “we wouldn’t have had the truck-bay interconnect room. Now our ability to pull trucks in and have them ready to go has been pretty great. It was certainly because the pandemic completely opened everybody’s eyes to needing that.” The COVID era has seen many new technologies arrive at the Stamford facility: remote ChyronHego graphics operations for Sunday Night Football, an EEG automated closed-captioning system for Olympics live streams, and much more. However, Canary stressed, none of these innovations would have been possible without the core engineering and operations staff that powers Stamford year-round. “It’s so easy to talk about technology,” he said, “but it’s the team behind it that truly makes the difference. Every Olympics, there are unsung athletic heroes who come out and win the gold in different sports. It’s the same thing here: people had opportunities that were just thrown at them. “So much was added so quickly,” he continued, “that we had to ask people who had never done things on this level before to build entire systems. You don’t often give a junior heart surgeon the opportunity to do a heart transplant, but that was what we had to do — and all with COVID protocols and those challenges in place. And everyone truly delivered.” – JD
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC Inside the ‘Off-Tube Factory’ Remote Commentary Workflow
hen the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the U.S., sports networks audibled and kept on-air talent away from the venue. This is customary for an international event like the Olympics, but the decision also satisfied safety concerns and streamlined operations. In Stamford, NBC Sports developed the largest iteration of its OffTube Factory to add remote commentary to the XXXII Olympiad. “[The Off-Tube Factory] at one point was one person, but now we have two shifts of two people [who run this] 24 hours a day,” said Tim Canary, VP, engineering, NBC Sports Group. “This is all coordinated with [CVT Supervisor/ Director] Kaare Numme, Gino Tanasescu, and the EVS team, so they’ll make sure that the feeds are routed and go through the testing process ahead of the event.” To handle the profusion of shows and analysis, the studio-operations team worked closely with Senior Manager, Production Engineering, Gary Bartunek and his crew during each day’s events. The broadcaster transformed Studio 4 into the epicenter of the effort with a mini BOC (Broadcast Operations Center) manned 24 hours a day by two staffers. All video signals were routed into 28 booths controlled in Stamford. Twenty-five announce booths (11 in Studio 4, nine in Studio 5, four in PCR1, one in PCR8) and a producer-only booth, which communicated with the commentators onsite in Tokyo, were in Stamford. Two announce booths were located at Telemundo’s facility in Miami. Each commentary pod in Stamford comprised a play-byplay announcer, a color commentator, and a dedicated producer. Because of the ongoing pandemic, a wall separated the announcers, who were located next to each other; the producer worked on the opposite side of another wall. To troubleshoot audio issues, the Off-Tube Factory used four roaming A2s, who monitored each feed and announcer levels and also helped the announcers with headsets/boxes and the producer with comms. On the announcers’ end, each talent received a world feed from OBS, a video feed from the corresponding Stamfordbased control room, a mixed-zone feed for specific sports, and a CIS (Connectivity Information System) computer for real-time data. The producers’ section of the booth provided communication with the talent, the production-control room, statistician, and the individual working in the central tape area. Given the simultaneous nature of the Olympics, the announcers came from different networks to provide their expertise. Some of the 50 Olympics events were being called by high-profile industry names: for example, Jason Benetti and Eduardo Perez on baseball, Fran Fraschilla and Monica McNutt on
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The Broadcast Operations Center (BOC) in Stamford basketball, Kenny Albert on beach/indoor volleyball, Noah Eagle on 3×3 basketball, and Beth Mowins on softball. The audio side was worked out from every angle, including a workflow that streamlined commentary for both HDR and SDR productions. “We’re using some of the processing paths for what we call ‘virtual’ booths,” said Canary. “If we’re calling something in 1080i, we can also route the video through a Lawo [V_pro8 video processor] so it can be done in 1080p HDR at the same time, with audio copied to both versions via MADI.” Since the Stamford facility is massive, the operations team found ways to utilize empty spaces and unused rooms. Studio 4 was one example, but PCR5 was also being used as an extension of the Off-Tube Factory. Statisticians were assigned to a booth for the duration of the sport’s broadcast. At their desk, all statisticians had an output monitor of the booth, communications with talent and producer, a CIS computer for stats, and space for an additional computer. In response to health and safety protocols, the Hawk-Eye system was used to feed research and data from the statisticians to an iPad in the announce booth. Delivering the Tokyo Games to the masses was an impressive feat, but NBC Sports developed this plan as well for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics just six months away and for the upcoming season of Sunday Night Football. The infrastructure has come a long way since its first iteration in 2008, and it will continue to be the foundation of the network’s Olympics coverage moving forward. “We started with 10 booths in 2008 for Beijing and then 18 booths in 2016 for Rio, and now we’re at 28 booths [for Tokyo],” said Canary. “We also left our SNF setup with a couple of Chyrons, because, in a week or so [after the Games], we’ll be doing a bootcamp with our graphics producers.” – KH
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC continued from page 36 driven by hosts Lindsay Czarniak, MJ Acosta-Ruiz, and Lolo Jones; the Twitter coverage starred LaChina Robinson and Adam Rippen. A Gymnastics Digital show was based in Studio 7, with hosts John Roethlisberger and Bridget Sloan, Producer Lana Sherman, and Director/ TD Corey Boudreau. Driving these studios were five control rooms. PCR3 handled McHugh’s coverage on USA in Studio 2; the rest of the action on USA with Fareed in Studio 3 was driven by PCR4. PCR6 controlled the two digital shows on Peacock: Tokyo Gold in Studio 6 and Tokyo Tonight in Studio 3. PCR8 controlled a mix of linear and digital coming from Studio 1, including Live From, On Her Turf, and the Twitter-only coverage. The SimplyLive-based PCR9 was at the helm of the Gymnastics Digital show in Studio 7. The 24-hour cycle of operations was controlled by two teams on separate daytime and nighttime shifts. With a new surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the broadcaster prioritized the well-being of staffers. Throughout the long hours of the late night into early morning, control rooms received substantial cleaning to curb the potential spread of the virus. When cleaning was being done to a certain room or a competition overlapped into another, the production team that was without a technical home went to Live Media Group Gracie mobile unit in the docking bay. “Distancing was one of the challenges that we needed to overcome, and this can’t be done without all of our departments working together,” noted Tom Popple, VP, studio operations and facilities, NBC Sports Group. “Previously, the Highlights Factory and other [workflows] were consolidated into one room, but this is something that we did for other events, like the NHL and Sunday Night Football.” To stitch the studios and control rooms together, NBC Sports developed the Content Command Center: an area where the best highlight packages could be created for linear and digital coverage. Led by Manager, Editorial Content/Story Editor Megan Soisson, this new area took over the space used as a screening room by researchers for Football Night in America. “Since OBS offers the highlights in a package,” said Popple, “we wanted to make sure we took advantage of it and give each day the best possible clips. The team sees the footage in here and calls to the producers to let them know of a great highlight.” Besides all the PCRs in-house, NBC pulled up four mobile units at the truck dock in Stamford. Mobile TV Group’s 39 Flex (serving as PCR13) handled golf coverage (on Golf Channel and a 4K/UHD specialty channel), and HDX-41 handled beach volleyball — both in 1080p HDR. Meanwhile, Live Mobile Group’s Sophie (PCR11) was home to men’s and women’s basketball (in 1080i SDR), and Gracie served as the swing unit/backup PCR.
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NBC Sports Group’s central tape and ingest team benefited from the upgrade to EVS XT-VIA production servers in advance of the Games. To allow social distancing on the trucks, NBC moved graphics operators from the trucks to a trailer in the compound. An extra trailer was also on hand to house tech managers and provide extra space as needed. MTVG’s trucks arrived early to serve as the home of NBC’s Open Championship coverage, which was produced remotely this year from Stamford due to COVID travel limitations. The Open provided NBA with a valuable opportunity to test and debug any issues prior to the Games. “It has been quite an interesting puzzle trying to get all this together,” said Dominic Torchia, director, remote engineering and technology, NBC Sports Group. “Pre-COVID, we had only one truck that was scheduled to be here. But, after the COVID delay happened, [the production team] had to rethink the way that they were going to produce everything from the building, so we added these additional trucks. Thankfully, the mobile-unit vendors have been excellent about being flexible with us.” All trucks were hooked into the interconnect room that NBC built this year to house the AT&T/MediaLinks transmission frame and other routing equipment. The trucks had dual 10-GB connectivity to the MediaLinks shelf, which connected to the broader AT&T network that NBC relied on to bring feeds from Tokyo. In addition, the trucks had access to 60+ feeds from the Stamford router system. The trucks were equipped with Calrec consoles that connected to Calrec RP1 units at each venue in Tokyo (where announcers are located). The A1 directly controlled the audio mixer at the venues for the local announcing mix. “That has actually worked flawlessly,” said Torchia. “The A1s have been happy with it, and it feels like they were onsite. Also, all the Olympics intercoms are trunked together, and these trucks are no exception. They’re all connected
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: NBC so [the production team] can talk to anybody here, at any venue in Tokyo, or at 30 Rock or CNBC. It has been an amazing setup in terms of comms.” In addition to Stamford as the primary base for content operations, NBC leveraged an additional seven U.S. locations for its sprawling Olympics operation. 30 Rock in New York City was home to the NBCSN production and handled all network commercial insertion. Telemundo’s Miami facility handled the Telemundo and Olympic Channel productions and also served as the home for wrestling and tennis live shows. CNBC broadcasts were produced out of its HQ in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. NBC’s NOC at Englewood Cliffs was also responsible for cable-network release, longform VOD, Off-Tube DR, and network DR. In Denver, NBC’s Dry Creek facility handled network transmission, network DR, cable DR, and the stations hub. And iStreamPlanet oversaw all streaming at its Las Vegas facility. “Due to COVID,” said Canary, “we needed to travel fewer people and limit the footprint [in Tokyo] as much as we could, so we moved a lot of things to Stamford. But the challenge became that this building started to be too full, so we moved complete production-control rooms for different networks — like CNBC, NBCSN, and the Olympic Channel — to other
Play-by-play and color commentators work next to each other.
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NBC Sports’ Tim Canary (left) and Tom Popple on the set in Studio 2 locations. That’s a huge change for us.” In addition to the studios, control rooms, and trucks in Stamford, NBC created a “Friends & Family” production room, which integrated athletes’ loved ones into its Olympics coverage (since fans were not permitted at the venues in Tokyo). Canary and his team converted an RSN’s unused social-media–monitoring room to create the Friends & Family production room, and the effort paid off with clips lighting up social media night after night. Friends & Family moments were often captured at family homes or private locations, with LTN deployed to connect families via remote setups and Microsoft Teams calls. NBC also had an ENG team on hand at the daily live USOPC/NBC watch party (5 p.m.–midnight ET) in the ballroom at the Loews Sapphire Falls hotel in Orlando (Stamford has four LTN connections to the hotel and two directly to Tokyo). After a year-long delay fraught with unprecedented challenges, the NBC Olympics team looked to end its massive Tokyo campaign on a high note. “It’s hard to put into words what everyone on the team went through to get here and the sacrifices that everyone made,” said Canary. “But to be here at this point is amazing. It’s very humbling to see how the people come together and rise to the challenge to get everything done and create all these new and exciting things.” – Jason Dachman & Kristian Hernandez
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS
OBS CTO Sotiris Salamouris on the Move to UHD, HDR, IP, and Immersive Audio W
hen the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games ended, OBS CTO Sotiris Salamouris and his team laid out an ambitious vision for the 2020 Tokyo Games. Not only did they want to transition from SDI to IP, but they also wanted to go all UHD and HDR. It was an ambitious plan, but the team pulled it off, despite a pandemic-mandated delay that may have allowed more time for testing and development but also meant less time to get ready for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Even with multiple years to plan, there was little in the way of wiggle room because there was always another Olympics to plan for, new technology to embrace, and new projects to launch to better meet the needs of rightsholders. When the Games were delayed by a year, noted Salamouris, it gave the team a bit more time to do testing with broadcasters. But the team tried hard not to change the scope of what they were looking to accomplish as it dealt with other issues, including logistical challenges and, of course, the pandemic. “When the postponement happened,” said Salamouris, during the Games, “we already had about 150 people here in Tokyo. It was a project in and of itself just to figure out how to freeze things and then get people back home. We needed to deal with the situation here, coordinate with Beijing, and then also deal with new requirements from broadcasters, who were all concerned with how they would work remotely and their space inside the IBC.” “It was difficult,” he continued, “because, in order to be ready for the
event, we have a very well-coordinated plan. And we had two areas of difficulty. One was international logistics, which were also affected by the pandemic with frequent flight changes and cancellations. In addition, as though one bad option was not already enough, sea transports were experiencing challenges due to the overall backlog created by the Suez Canal blockage some time ago.” And then there were pandemic issues, he added. Because OBS brings thousands of international staff in to work the Games, the Japanese authorities and the Organizing Committee established a thorough regime to safeguard the health and safety of the international personnel and, of course, the local population. This famous “playbook” mandated rigorous testing and other measures to minimize infection in the Games environment. Salamouris noted that there were some disruptions in OBS operations. Contact tracing on the plane to Tokyo, for example, required some personnel to quarantine, making them unavailable to work. “We had Plan Bs to address such eventualities,” he said. “It is totally impossible to fully predict what kind of impact you may have if someone from your personnel, who have very varying and sometimes unique skillsets, may need to quarantine. “We have the playbook,” he continued, “and people were tested and tested. The reality was that the percentage of positives found was extremely low. However, there were cases where people may have been in the vicinity of suspicious cases or even positives and then had to quarantine. Suddenly, you have people that are essential to your team disappearing, sometimes for two weeks.” Despite the travails, dozens of rightsholders, thousands of production professionals, and thousands of athletes and volunteers were onsite for Tokyo Games. And, although technical innovation may have taken a backseat to the ongoing concerns around COVID-19, it’s important to look at some of the innovations that made these Games arguably the single most impressive technical achievement in the history of sports production. As rightsholders reshaped their plans for the Tokyo Games, the OBS efforts around cloud-based services started to become more important. “They became a OBS’s Sotiris Salamouris inside the OBS Tech Area at the IBC in Tokyo.
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priority,” said Salamouris, “as they would allow rightsholders to do more remotely and operate from wherever they are located.” OBS cloud-based services were built on the Alibaba cloud platform, and Salamouris said it would not have been easy to do without their support. “You need specialized support to do this, and we are able to get Alibaba’s attention.” The more popular cloud services included Content+, Content+ Extra, and Live Cloud, although there were several others that OBS had developed over Alibaba’s public cloud for either its internal consumption or delivery to the RHBs. “We’ll produce more than 9,000 hours of content, 5,500 hours of which is live competitions, ceremonies, and other scenes and content from the venues,” said Salamouris. “The rest is postproduced. The point is, how do we make that accessible to broadcasters?” The two main ways for rightsholders to access all that content was Content+ and Content+ Extra, which were basically the same service but with different access rights. Content+ gave access to all the postproduced content, such as features, interviews, and highlights. A file-based system, it gave the user the ability to download an entire clip or part of it or even do some editing in the cloud. “Content+ Extra is the same things but with access to growing files for competitions as they are happening,” explained Salamouris. “You can browse it and clip whatever you want and download it while the session is still on. You can’t feed it to distribution, but you can build your own highlights once you select what high-resolution file [is] sent to you.” For rightsholders looking to do cloud-based distribution, there was Live Cloud, which made all the video and audio signals available via IP packets streamed over the public internet. The whole process was controlled by cloud-based applications built and made available by OBS. “They can select whatever they want from our available 75 HD and 46 UHD distribution channels,” Salamouris explained, “and they can get it wherever they are in the world over the public internet.” The signals were available at 100 Mbps per UHD feed, exceeding even the compression specs for UHD, which are common via satellite.
The OBS contribution, distribution, and unilateral signals area was the mission control for a wide variety of content feeds. “It goes from one part of the world to another with no packet loss, no breaks, and with latency that is similar to satellite transmission,” he pointed out. “That is great news, because one of the big things about UHD is the cost of getting the signals back home. This is a very costeffective way of getting as much UHD as you want.” The move to IP has been intense, interesting, but ultimately very successful, Salamouris said, because OBS was able to combine the move to IP with the move to UHD. Native coverage is UHD with HDR and wide color gamut (WCG), and an HD SDR version was derived from that UHD HDR production. “We wanted to move to UHD,” he noted, “and we knew that we could not scale with a standard quad SDI workflow for the volume of content we wanted. Since we are using a substantially large fleet of existing OB units but also fly-away systems (31 OB vans and 22 fly-away systems, quite often with multi-feed outputs), it was impractical and unnecessary to impose the exact type of internal technology that these systems could use. Many of those had migrated to IP, but the majority were still based on quad SDI, ‘legacy broadcast’ technologies for their internal signal routing. “We had no issue with that,” he continued, “as long as they were engineered to support our UHD workflow, including, of course, our expectations for capacity and resilience. Each production unit, however, had to deliver a double UHD HDR version and a double HD SDR signal in parallel paths. From this demarcation onwards, HD and UHD followed independent paths and were based on totally independent technology stacks. We used our legacy contribution and distribution systems for HD, but, for UHD, we moved fully to IP.” The UHD contribution — what it takes to move UHD content from the venues to the IBC — was a combination of technologies based on SMPTE ST 2022, which Salamouris said had several advantages over ST 2110 at this stage. continued on page 50 SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS OBS Head of Engineering Isidoro Moreno on Move to UHD, HDR, IP
s Head of Engineering for OBS, Isidoro Moreno knows his tech. And at the 2020 Tokyo Games he drew on all his skills as well as those of his team. Why? Because not only were the Tokyo Olympics the first ever to be all IP, but the Games were also all UHD, all HDR, and all immersive audio with 5.1.4 channels. Moreno discussed the new developments and more with SVG.
Transitioning to UHD, HDR and IP all at once is a pretty big lift. How has it been going and what have you learned? We are learning a lot and it’s an opportunity for us to streamline our workflows. Here in Tokyo, the number of new projects we have started is huge and the number of services we offer to rightsholders has increased by about 50% since the Rio Olympics in 2016. And those new services can be only achieved by applying new technologies. For instance, in the IP world we have increased the capacity between the venues and the IBC. In London there was just one video feed per fiber and things were extremely big because you needed a lot of lines. But now with IP, we can create trunks and aggregate services on a single fiber. And we also have redundancies we didn’t have in the past as we can have two services and have a guarantee against failure. Also, the transition from HD to UHD is gradual [for rights holders]. We have to separate the UHD signal from the HD signal in order to stay consistent with the service level we had in the past. We cannot force everyone to change to a new format, so IP is useful in offering both HD and UHD services.
I was speaking with Dave Mazza at NBC, and he said it is amazing that you were able to find enough UHD trucks and facilities to go all UHD. How did you do that? It was one of the bigger challenges and how to find enough trucks to do UHD was one of the first studies that we did. We wanted to figure out if we could do 100%, 50%, or whatever and at the beginning it did not seem possible to cover 100%. But we had contracts with companies that were about to build trucks and we were counting on them being built for UHD. At the Opening Ceremony we used a UHD flyaway system that was designed specifically to do the opening ceremonies and it was based on ST-2110 IP. There is an opportunity to develop new systems that can be used for future games.
Did the one-year delay give you a chance to change anything? We went to the market looking to see what could help us fulfill our needs. In UHD we saw a mature market that offered us what we were looking for. We had to offer services like splits in the cameras, replays, super slo mos, and RF systems so we were investigating how to upgrade those to UHD. So, out of the 1,049 cameras we are using, very few are natively 1080p. And one thing we have learned [in tests] is that using native 1080i equipment and upconverting to UHD did not create content at the level we wanted. But when you start with 1080p and then go up to UHD and then down to 1080i there is a much better result. One important decision we made, which was risky, was that in the past experiments were done in parallel. For example, in 1992 in
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OBS Director of Engineering Isidoro Moreno Barcelona the Olympics HD production was a completely parallel production as we didn’t want to interact or interfere with the main production. But here we are doing a single production with maximum UHD quality. All the elements are fully native UHD or [upconvert] at a good level. We wanted to have full athletic coverage with the same number of cameras we had in the past and that has been super helpful to broadcasters.
How about working in HDR? Once you understand HDR, it’s a big improvement. When we were talking about UHD SDR, it was more pixels, bigger resolution, but we didn’t explore the whole world of colorimetry and wide color gamut. We studied how to make HDR compatible with up and down conversion as our main product is 1080i SDR. So, we have three transforms that keep the color spectrum of UHD as much as possible within the 709 color space used for SDR. With things like country flags in graphics the colorimetry is important. We want to maximize the quality and user experience in HDR without compromising 1080i with things like shifting colors that are not correct. So, we created our own set of Look Up Tables (LUTs) that broadcasters can use free of charge. We want to make our pictures compatible with the personalized pictures they create with their own cameras. It’s been a complex process and we are collaborating with broadcasters to better understand their needs. At the end of the day that is our mission: not what OBS wants but to help the broadcasters.
The Beijing Games are only six months away. I am assuming you won’t look to do any major changes. We want to keep things the same in Beijing as much as possible but obviously we will refine something if we need to. But it’s a special situation as usually we have a year and a half and now, we have only months. We do have some things in our road map, but we can’t apply them in Beijing as it would be too risky. – KK
This interview has been condensed and edited. To read the full interview, visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS continued from page 47 “Within the IBC,” he noted, “all the signal routing and distribution is based on an SDN infrastructure carrying ST 2110, as is all the signal monitoring. We also have PTP timing that has worked very well, and we’re surprised at how robust the whole thing has been when it comes to networking. We’re very, very happy to establish ST 2110 and PTP as our basic technology.” The production efforts for the Tokyo Olympics were massive, deploying more than 1,050 cameras. About 70% of those cameras were broadcast, CCU/BPU-supported native UHD; the remainder were SDI-output cameras, mostly in native UHD but a few also in 1080p (there are no 1080i camera sources). “An important innovation from our side,” he said, “was the combined/ common live workflow for UHD HDR and HD SDR. We very soon realized that we had only one option for introducing UHD in the Olympics: to build a unified workflow that will be delivering both UHD and HD from the same higher-quality format, which of course could only be UHD in BT.2020, with HLG HDR and WCG. Of course, such a single workflow will always need to guarantee a premium quality in HD, since this is the format that the great majority of the world broadcasters still use. UHD had also to be visually implacable; otherwise, its introduction would not make sense at all. “To achieve all these quite aggressive and challenging goals,” he continued, “we had to develop a unique workflow that had to deviate substantially from what had been so for the more common approaches of producing UHD with HD for live sports. We ended up developing three types of our own HDR look-up tables. We realized that, because our own needs are very specific we had to create our own conversion tables.” Each of the look-up tables (LUTs) had a specific purpose. One took existing SDR sources, such as archival material or specialty cameras, and placed them into the HDR domain. A second table was specifically designed for graphics needs. And then a final table helped convert UHD to HD. “We incorporated those LUTs in converters in the trucks, or the trucks
themselves have their own ability to program the LUTs into equipment like the vision mixer,” said Salamouris. “But it was a very long process with very extensive testing and a rigorous certification phase every time that we were deciding to use existing truck resources.” The result was a single workflow for all 50+ production units. “They all have exactly the same workflows regardless of which sport they are doing or what venue,” he explained. “That has proved to be nice, as we have had zero issues with our UHD HDR output and our HD SDR output. It’s the same picture but enhanced in resolution due to 4K, brightness highlights wherever they exist (this is due to HDR), and color fullness wherever it exists (and this is due to WCG), which is what it should be.” Each truck also had a visual expert who worked with the shading team and was also in contact with a centralized VQC in the IBC, where experts made sure that the results across all the sports are dialed in similarly. Along with improvements on the video side was the move to 5.1.4 discrete immersive sound, which added four channels above the listener to provide a sense of height. According to Salamouris, 5.1 surround sound, despite being available for some time now, has not caught on with viewers because it requires placing dedicated speakers around a room. He believes soundbars could change the equation, especially with 5.1.4. “The technology in soundbars has developed so much and they are so sophisticated that they are close in quality to a dedicated surround-sound system,” he explained. “It makes a difference with the sound space on top of you, especially in sports, where you want to feel like you are there.” For more than a decade, OBS has been working hard to figure out how to make it easier for rightsholders to have a smaller onsite presence. The pandemic caused that to happen in terms of personnel, but the physical space was also smaller, around 10,000 sq. meters less than Rio in 2016. “It has been engineered to make that happen,” Salamouris explained. “One important way is the consolidation of all the technical spaces in our CTA, or Centralized Technical Areas. It has helped a lot with the overall efficiency of space needed but is even more important in providing efficiency in the cooling and the power system.” The CTAs and all the efforts by OBS to create cloud and other services are also designed to shorten the setup time for an IBC that is creating more content than ever and in more-complex ways. Over the past 20 years, the time to set up the IBC has remained static. Salamouris and OBS hope to change that. “We are always given just some weeks or some days to set up and do our job,” he says. “That is why the cloud is important to us: you can set up a workflow at any time and test it for months before the [event]. You can commission it, switch it down, and then switch it up before the Games. That is a concept that works for us.” – Ken Kerschbaumer The OBS technical area was home to hundreds of freelancers and staffers who worked on a wide variety of OBS Olympic initiatives.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS
OBS Director of Digital Content Production Matt Millington on Widgets, Athlete Moments, VR O
BS puts a lot of energy and time into digital fan engagement offerings, so what happens when the fans aren’t in the stands supporting their nation, and cheering on their friends and family? For OBS, it meant filling the gap with a new type of digital experience, one that not only can get virtual fans into the venues but also connect athletes with their friends and families immediately following a competition. Oh, and OBS had to do it quickly. “It was a very late project that we basically started working on about four months ago when the announcement was made that international fans would not be allowed into the venues,” said Matt Millington, OBS, director of digital content production. “So, we started working on three products, two of them are geared towards the fans and one is geared towards the athletes.” The two fan experiences were the Cheer Map and the Fan Video Wall. “They are widgets that can be integrated on any rightholder’s page or any other partner like federations and national Olympic committees,” said Millington. “Cheer Map is a widget that allows fans to cheer for their country of choice and while it does default to where the IP is address is based, they can choose another country.” Once in the widget, fans could virtually clap for their favorite nation’s athletes. “We have a heat map of the world where you can see bubbles of support for different nations,” said Millington. “Interestingly, we’re getting a lot of traffic from India, a lot from Japan, obviously lot from Australia and we credit that to the time zone. But we have 205 countries or national Olympic committees and all of them have had cheers.” As of July 30, more than 120 million fans had cheered and some also uploaded a selfie video from their phone or their laptop. Those videos were placed into a video matrix with 45 fans and those videos were then played out on the big screens at all the venues and made available to rightsholders. “It allows fans to virtually be there and the sports presentation teams who control the video scoreboards can utilize both the map and the video,” added Millington. The big addition, however, was the Athlete Moment, as it connected
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Matt Millington and the OBS digital team worked hard to connect athletes with family and friends during the Games. athletes with family and friends via video immediately after their competition. “It’s been my favorite part of the project,” said Millington. “We’ve set up Athlete Moment viewing stations in selected venues, and we positioned it in a good place right before the mixed zone so it’s right in their path.” Millington said there have been some fantastic moments, with the best usually involving a family gathered in a room having a watch party. “It’s not the first time that this has been done but definitely the first time at this scale,” he said. “We have an operations center in Belgium, with a large team who are connecting with families prior to and during the event. And then we link them to the athlete.” Key was making it simple for families at home to use. An athlete signed up to be part of the program and got a link that they then shared with family and friends. “The family and friends click on that link and are connected to the team in Belgium who tells them what is going to happen and about things like delay,” he said. It also appeared to be one of those things born of the pandemic that will stick around. “We think it’s here to stay and we haven’t been able to cover every continued on page 56
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS OBS Audio for the Tokyo Olympics Featured Immersive Sound, Augmented Crowd Noise
f you listened closely to the sound of the Duarte attributed the huge number and Tokyo Olympics, there were a lot of firsts. diversity of microphones to the wide range For instance, the broadcast by Olympic of events at this Olympiad. New sports — Broadcasting Services (OBS) was the first skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, and in 5.4.1 immersive audio, with four overhead surfing among them — particularly created channels adding an upper dimension to new challenges for Olympics audio. indoor events. And, because of last-minute “For example, [for] climbing, we’re using government-imposed COVID restrictions a lot of microphones, as you can imagine,” barring spectators from most venues, it was he said. “You have three walls that you the first-ever Olympics to deploy some form have to fill with microphones. We have of artificial crowd noise. a lot of new microphones — small shot“Immersive sound is our biggest chalguns, boundary microphones, new models, lenge, because it’s new for 99% of the instead of the usual long shotguns — and it A1s and broadcast engineers,” said Nuno has been very successful. A big part of the Duarte, senior manager, audio, OBS, from the OBS philosophy is to capture the details of International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Tokyo. the sports. Effects microphones are great The OBS production encompassed 42 comfor that.” petition venues, with customized production Some of these sports benefited from units and workflows. Overall, OBS deployed 31 deployment of two new immersive 4.0 outside-broadcast (OB) vans and 22 flypack and 8.0 microphones developed with the systems designed specifically for and outfitted Olympics microphone partners. Divided to meet these Games’ new and unique prointo upper and lower layers of transducduction and distribution requirements. ers, these custom mics allowed the Games’ OBS captured the sounds of the Tokyo audio technicians to capture conventional Olympics through an immersive 5.1.4 audio horizontal surround and the immersive configuration that expanded on 5.1 survertical overhead channels from a single Olympic Broadcast Services’ Nuno Duarte round sound: an overhead dimension in microphone. indoor venues is provided with the addition “The lower layer is used for 5.1 surround,” of four hanging ceiling microphones, whose height was adjustDuarte explained. “What the upper layer generates is the third able based on the venue, and two new microphones — using 4.0 dimension, used for events like the marathon or outside events, and 8.0 transducer configurations — were designed specifically for where it’s more difficult to create these two layers with several immersive-audio production. microphones.” In total, OBS deployed 3,600 microphones in 28 models. Three Duarte, who has worked in various capacities on Olympics broadimmersive-audio quality-control rooms supported the venue casts since Beijing in 2008, said this year’s approach to sound design production and guarantee sonic consistency and quality across was similar to what he has done in the past: building his sound all sports. Only the coverage of the seven outside tennis courts design with a foundation of venue ambience, including crowds, and remained in HD. There were also 46 stereo channels of radio feeds. then layering effects and finally direct sound atop that — the details, Broadcast-rightsholders took the immersive-audio signals from he calls it — and keeping the focus (though not microphones; only the OBS as a generic, linear, immersive 5.1.4 feed. Broadcasters some coaches and officials will be wired for sound) on the athletes deploying the Dolby Atmos codec in the U.S., UK, and Europe and the microphones out of the cameras’ way. encoded their broadcasts locally. South Korea’s SDS broadcasted “Or at least to be discreet,” he added. “But I should say that the Games in UHDTV using the MPEG-H format, which can supmore and more international federations are open to getting the port up to 64 loudspeaker channels and 128 codec core channels, sounds of the athletes or the coaches.” confirmed by the Fraunhofer Institute, the codec’s owner. The Olympics aren’t necessarily known for low-frequency effects, NBCUniversal, as it did with its broadcasts of the Rio and Sochi but Duarte said effort was made to look for and capture as much highOlympics, took live coverage from Tokyo and work with distribution impact sound as possible, such as by placing contact microphones on partners, such as parent company Comcast/Xfinity, to deliver the the water-polo goalposts to catch the sound of near misses. Games to viewers in Dolby Atmos. NBCUniversal Director, Sound “There are a lot of challenges this time,” he said. “Immersive Design, Karl Malone confirmed that NBC used Dolby’s Atmos foraudio is new to most of us, and now the situation of no crowds will mat, which took the raw 5.1.4 PCM feed from the OBS and encode make the challenge bigger. We don’t see problems; we see chalto Atmos at its Englewood Cliffs, NJ, facility. The process, he said, lenges, and we also see opportunities. Everybody’s going to be out works similarly to the Atmos workflow that NBC Sports developed of their comfort zone. But it’s going to be good.” – Dan Daley over three seasons of Notre Dame Football broadcasts. “We will build This interview has been condensed and edited. on the OBS base layer and then add our own microphones to it.” he explained. To read the full interview, visit the SVG SportsTechLive Blog.
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS continued from page 52 venue and every sport but, in the future, that would be our real goal: to cover every sport. But there are some challenges like team sports with 11 or more members. How do you manage that with the time allowed? But we’ve learned a lot in the last two weeks about how to make the workflow better and what technology works best.” Even the virtual fans could be a keeper. “Clearly the audience within a venue is tiny compared to the worldwide audiences watching on television,” said Millington. “We’d like to see the technology progress to allow people to not only upload a video, but for us to be able to point to that video so they can get a link some minutes later to the video they are in.” Since the PyeongChang Games in 2018, the OVP has undergone a redesign to not only make it cleaner but to also make the full app available as widgets and modules. Widgets included live sports results, the medals table, the schedule, athlete profiles, and video highlights or interviews. Live video was also available. “We decided to split the OVP into widgets and we’ve seen huge uptake in those widgets or modules,” said Millington. “Rightsholders can take the live results, the medal count table or schedule as individual widgets. In fact, those three are the most popular as it is an easy way to integrate all the data. For a single rightsholder to try and take on the onus of stats is very impractical.” On top of that, OBS also offered a simpler version in the I-frame that is slightly less customizable and was in use by more than 80 national Athletes celebrated their achievements with friends and family via the OBS Athlete Moment setup. © 2021 OBS / Owen Hammon
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Olympic committees and international federations. VR also continued to be a part of the OBS deliverables, and the sports covered in VR for these games included beach volleyball, basketball, athletics, gymnastics, boxing, and the ceremonies. “We went for sports where we could get pretty close to the action,” said Millington. “VR doesn’t really work very well on some of the larger venues like football where you’re a bit too far away from the actual field for a large amount of time. And then we have crews doing short pieces for all the other sports and that’s where we do a lot of the POVs with things like cameras on BMX, mountain bike, canoeing, or rowing.” The biggest news on the VR front had less to do with the consumer experience and more with leveraging it to help solve a problem for broadcasters: getting a great venue image for a virtual studio backdrop. The images from the high VR cameras that provided an overall view of the venue solved that issue. “Rightsholders can bring that back to their home base and make it look as if their announcers are in a VIP box,” said Millington. “It’s actually very good and really effective and that will be seeing more progress in the Beijing Games [next February] where it will be in all venues. It’s not a difficult thing to do as it’s just a single fixed camera feed straight from the venue.” VR will also make the move to 8K acquisition in Beijing, something Millington said will make the viewing experience much better. “When you see 8K in VR, it’s distinctly different and you don’t need to be a visual expert to see a massive improvement,” said Millington. “So, we’ll be doing that in Beijing.” – Ken Kerschbaumer
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TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: GLOBAL UNITED KINGDOM Eurosport
Discovery unveiled an enhanced three-story, multiple ‘room’ Cube for the Tokyo Olympics that includes cuttingedge analytical capabilities and a more gamified viewing experience for sports fans. The new extended reality Cube studio was the centerpiece of Discovery’s coverage of Tokyo 2020, showcasing new software and motion graphics that pushed the Cube’s analytical capabilities to a whole new level, while giving viewers the chance to deep dive into the details of why an athlete won gold — or did not. The multi-location Cube studio for Tokyo 2020 featured seven different immersive real-time video environment locations, or ‘rooms’, which were used for different shows, bespoke 360-degree beauty shots of Tokyo as backdrops, newly released 3D Zoom software to allow viewers to see wider panoramic views of Cube locations, and a virtual set extension with cameras able to roam around the digital environment, taking the gamification of this presentation studio to new heights. On the new enhanced Cube, Scott Young, Discovery’s SVP of content and production, said from Tokyo: “Well, this is an extraordinary piece of kit. Virtual studios are not new in the world, but what Alex Dinnin [Discovery Sports’ head of graphics and innovation] and his team have created is extraordinary. It’s world-class.” Added Young: “This is virtual studios next level. It’s quite extraordinary.” Coverage within the Cube followed the Japanese clock, creating night and day effects, and the presentation moved around the virtual three-story building to different ‘rooms’ to suit each show style, from informal to formal.
BBC Sport’s onsite presence for the Tokyo Olympics may have been smaller than originally planned, but the socially distanced crew worked hard using two 10Gbps circuits to transport Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) content feeds back to Salford in Greater Manchester, where the production team kept fans engaged with what was a very successful games for Team GB. And it resonated with viewers. “We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the UK and we’re very pleased with the audience who are taking to it like this is a regular Games,” said Jonny Bramley, executive producer of major events for the BBC. Of course, this was ultimately not a regular Games and, like all the broadcasters at the IBC, the BBC had to make some big adjustments. A key feature back home was a completely virtual studio as all commentators, hosts and analysis is being done in the UK. “We realized it was going to be physically impossible for us to replicate what we had planned to do with on-set crews, so we established the studio back in Salford,” said Bramley. “And the commentary positions here didn’t meet with our socially distanced guidelines, so we’ve pretty much moved all of our commentary home and the comment off screen.” As for the virtual studio, Bramley said it worked out great and gave the effect of the BBC team being on top of a skyscraper in Tokyo. “It’s really effective and as a virtual studio has been a success,” he said. “We’re very happy with that.”
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United Kingdom: Jonny Bramley (left) and Richard Morgan inside the BBC production center at the IBC. Ron Chakraborty, BBC Sport’s lead executive for major events, added: “So many viewers think we’re in Tokyo, I think it’s a really great compliment for the technical teams and production management that have made this work and made the viewers think that this is a normal BBC Olympics production.” There were 32 international circuits to Salford and the BBC also took the host MDS commentary package. Ten commentary booths back home were also in use and one of the ongoing themes in discussions with any sports broadcaster over the past 16 months was what is lost when commentators are not onsite. BBC Sport chief engineer Richard Morgan said that a total of 46 HD circuits (the 32 international plus 14 news) are outbound and five are inbound and that technically things are going well. “The idea of remote is nothing new to us whatsoever so that’s not an issue,” said Morgan. “And I’m sure we’ll be doing more remote because of sustainability as the challenge is a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030. But COVID did push us slightly further [into remote].”
IRELAND Irish broadcaster RTÉ produced over 270 hours of Tokyo 2020 coverage on TV channel, RTÉ2, and 408 hours of live coverage across the RTÉ Sport website and the RTÉ News app, celebrating the achievements of the largest Irish Olympic contingent of athletes in the country’s history. In addition, the Irish broadcaster carried out its first remote production for a live event. “We had a remote presentation position for a live show for the first time ever, for the overnight program,” said Cliona O’Leary, deputy head of TV sport at RTÉ. “The workflow to have a remote presentation in Tokyo and control room in Dublin is a big innovation for us,” noted O’Leary. “This was conceived by our execs Mark McKenna [TV producer] and Kevin Corcoran [executive producer], and facilitated by Tom Nugent, RTÉ’s technical lead in Tokyo, and others in RTÉ.” “Our remote production was a first for us and it was very successful,” continued O’Leary. “We sub-let our presentation studio in Tokyo from the BBC and they gave us space, power and fiber connectivity. We also had a two-way with David Gillick, Olympian, who worked as our resident expert across all sports and he was our reporter on the athletics as well.” This year, much like BBC Sport, RTÉ was more limited in what it could show due to Discovery’s rights deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). O’Leary commented: “We bought linear rights to the
Ireland: Jacqui Hurley, presenter for RTÉ, hard at work in Japan Olympics through Discovery. We are taking all of the feeds from OBS through the multi offering and we have DX feeds coming into our office in the IBC in Tokyo, which we switch to on occasion over there when we have an Irish athlete competing that is not on the multis.” RTÉ Online provided 24 hour a day coverage over the course of the Games. The results and reactions from all the Irish athletes on each day were published as they happened, while live blogs were published on all the action from the Games through the night. There were athlete profiles, exclusive video interviews and analysis from RTÉ’s team of pundits, as well as the breaking news from Japan, RTÉ.ie/sport and the RTÉ News app. O’Leary commented on how RTÉ’s crew in Tokyo was affected by the pandemic. “Our team on the ground was reduced significantly because of COVID,” continues O’Leary, “but we managed to bring back interviews with all of our Irish athletes and our friends in the BBC helped us to achieve that. We are very grateful to our colleagues in the BBC who are always so helpful to us.” Said O’Leary on the crew running the production: “We had a team of 29 people in Tokyo rather than 60, which we would have normally sent, led by Paula [Fahy]. Within that, we had six camera people who were covering interviews from our 116 Irish athletes across 19 sports. It was the largest Irish team of competitors [ever in our history].”
FRANCE France Télévisions had 190 people, 10 ENG crews, seven edit suites, and a unique studio set-up where they had a prime location overlooking Tokyo Bay. What made it unique? All the talent was back in Paris and greenscreened into the set, which was located at the France House, about a mile from the IBC. “This is the first time we do a virtual studio from 10,000 kilometers away so it’s a new experience for us,” said Frederic Gaillard, head of production for sports at France TV. “We have seven cameras in the studio, and they all go back to Paris where the studio show is produced.” About 100 people were back home in Paris finalizing coverage, which was seen on France 2, 3, and 4. Master control in Tokyo pulled in the 76 OBS feed and routed 34 of those to the control rooms in Paris. There were also four return paths. “We also have a digital service where all the sports are available so everyone in France can see anything,” added Gaillard. Athletics had the biggest France TV presence with four unilateral cameras. Those signals were sent to Paris to be cut with commentary, which was done live from the stadium.
France: Frederic Gaillard in master control at the Tokyo IBC. As for UHD HDR, normally France TV would carry it but the cost of getting those signals back home was cost prohibitive. Up next? Getting ready for the Beijing Games, a process that begins with sending the equipment back to Paris as rental equipment needs to be returned. But expect the France TV team to pretty much have the same workflow in place.
GERMANY ZDF and ARD produced 17 hours of live programming per day on its main feed for the Olympics, plus 10 online streams that are being shown on the ARD and ZDF MediaTek over the top (OTT) platform, making this the biggest production so far in ZDF’s history. It also was heavily split between Tokyo and a National Broadcast Centre in Mainz, Germany. ZDF decided to start the build of its NBC in 2019 when it realized that the 12-day gap between the end of Euro 2020 and the start of the Olympics would make it impossible to get equipment from Europe to Tokyo in time (even without a pandemic). The team at the NBC received all signals using Net Insight Nimbra technology for long distance media networking. Once there, an Evertz baseband router, as well as an IP router controlled by Nevion iPath, were used with the latter for multiviewer and online streams. The temporary NBC was located opposite ZDF’s HQ in an extensive building. While half the office-based area reserved for editorial, a former TV-studio was converted into a chipboard-constructed classic IBC copy over two floors containing 22 editing suites, four production control rooms, and a master control room. The build finished in March 2020, just before Germany hit its first lockdown. Florian Rathgeber, co-head of engineering, said Riedel was used for communications (with “massive trunking technology” that connected the Riedel mainframes in Tokyo with Riedel mainframes in the NBC. “We have no big difference compared to [what we’d have if we connected] to mainframes in an OB van; there is no major delay talking to each other,” he said. Gunnar Darge, ZDF co-head of engineering said the 10 online streams made it the biggest production the German public broadcaster had ever done and much of the work was being done back in Mainz at a National Broadcast Centre. When German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF originally planned out their Tokyo Olympics plans, they included a studio with a view to Rainbow Bridge and a control room for the studio as well as edit facilities and more. The studio location was shared with Austria’s ORF and SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
TOKYO OLYMPIC GAMES: OBS Switzerland’s SRG (each has their own studio) was still located along the water and still had a dramatic view and gave talent a chance to interview athletes in person. Many of the other facilities, however, were not. Vito Zoiro, ZDF, technical manager, special projects, said the studio was connected directly to production control in Mainz. “We don’t even see the signals here in Tokyo,” he said. “We also have our own cameras from athletics and aquatics going directly to Mainz where there is a sub control room for each.” Four 10 Gbps circuits from Telstra helped transport signals to the NBC. LiveU systems were also in use, sending ENG signals directly from mixed zones to home. The IBC facility basically passed on the OBS signals as well as audio signals from eight voice over booths (an additional 18 are back home in Mainz). On the challenges of working with the majority of crew in Germany
Germany: Vito Zoiro of ARD/ZDF said that all production control was done out of Mainz for the Tokyo Olympics. and the rest in Tokyo was getting a good workflow in place that everyone understands. It took some time, but everyone caught on quickly. “I think technology is two steps ahead of the editorial plans and workflows and we can do more [technically today] than the editors can actually anticipate," said Rathgeber. "But it is essential for us to have centralized production, either back home or onsite.”
ITALY The first of August is a day that will go down in Italian sports history as Lamont Jacobs won the gold medal in the men’s 100 meters only minutes after fellow countryman Gianmarco Tamberi captured gold in the men’s high jump. And Italian national broadcaster RAI was onsite in force as more than 240 staffers are in Tokyo to fully produce the coverage which is seen back home. “We have 25 people from radio and then on TV 125 production and technical personnel and then the rest are journalists and commentators,” said RAI’s Daniele Gotti, Olympics project manager. Two full production galleries were at the IBC with one for the Olympics coverage and one for news coverage. With 40 channels of EVS and a separate audio area, it was ready to take on the task of producing a full day of coverage every day of the games. Three signals were sent back to Italy, one each for the Olympics coverage and news plus a third for a late-night “best of” program. While most broadcasters leaned heavily
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Italy: RAI’s Daniele Gotti in the RAI sports production gallery at the IBC in Tokyo. into remote production, back home RAI went the other way, producing everything from Tokyo. “We didn’t change our plan from last year and just a couple of people decided at the end not to come,” said Gotti. “But, basically, this is the same production plan as last year.” For the first time, RAI rented an external studio from OBS. It was located in the OBS studio tower in Odaiba that overlooks the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Bay. Six ENG crews were also part of the plan, using bonded cellular packs to get signals back from mixed zones in athletics, swimming, and fencing. And the team also made use of the OBS Content+ system. “It’s the first time we’ve used it and it’s absolutely a good system and we take a lot of stuff from it,” said Gotti.
FINLAND Finland’s YLE was planning a mostly hybrid production model, with a team in Tokyo producing the athletics coverage for viewers back home, but the COVID pandemic required a shift in plans and an increase in signals being sent home: there were 20 lines connecting the IBC in Tokyo to the OB1 production truck and a flypack parked outside YLE headquarters in Helsinki. “We need roughly eight to 10 lines for athletics back to Helsinki, and we also have 76 EVS ports in OB1,” said Kaj Flood, YLE, senior technical advisor. “It’s completely full right now.” A Lawo VSM control system in Tokyo allowed the team in Finland to automatically get the source they desire. “With automated switching,” added Flood, “everything is fine. The VSM takes care of the switching or fast changes.” The onsite production presence included seven ENG crews with LiveU units, two crews in mixed zones (at athletics and Olympic Stadium), and a hard camera on the main camera platform at Olympic Stadium.
Finland: Kaj Flood, YLE, senior technical advisor
“We have commentators onsite at athletics,” Flood noted, “but the rest of the sports are called off-tube in Helsinki, where we have 25 off-tube positions.” The OBS Content+ system made a difference, allowing both the team in Tokyo — where there were three editing suites — and the team back home to find the content they need. “We’re IP,” Flood pointed out, “so we have Lawo, vMix, and Arista switchers and NTT encoders and decoders.” YLE’s Olympics broadcast began around 8:30 a.m. and continued to 11 p.m. It’s complemented by five live streams of content. “The ratings have been quite good,” said Flood. “Finnish people just like to watch sports.”
cheaper way than Discovery, but it’s our version of the Cube.” Also, in Tokyo were 16 LiveU units: 12 for the ENG crews, three for news, and one installed with Team Canada in the athlete’s village. According to CBC Technical Producer Sylvain Archambault, a camera, LiveU, and a robocam with a mic stand gave athletes a chance to step up and take part in interviews. One interesting aspect of CBC’s operations was that, in early 2020, the French-language team in Montreal moved into a new building that uses ST 2110 IP for signal transport. The English-language broadcast center in Toronto, however, is still HD-SDI. Sylvain Taillefer, CBC, technical engineer, said ST 2110 was used for audio in the voiceover booths but the rest of the facility is in SDI.
Events like the Olympics have always given CBC a chance to bring together its Montreal team, which serves French-speaking Canadians, and its Toronto team, which serves English-speaking viewers. The pandemic may have reduced the number of personnel onsite in Tokyo to 140, but it didn’t dampen the spirit.
Channel One Russia delivered 12 hours of live sports content to viewers back home, and its production philosophy was unique this year: a production gallery that integrated commercials and other elements in Tokyo and sent a complete show back home. It was also the first Olympic broadcaster to use EVS IPD-VIA. EVS IPD-VIA is an asset-management system using web-based HTML5 applications and virtualized machines, which allowed the Channel One team to collaborate and produce from any device anywhere. “They have four NLE stations, three off-tube studios, graphics, and then ingest, contribution, and playout,” said Olivier Dwelshauvers, EVS Channel One senior project manager. “IPDirector is being used for playout, and IPD-VIA controls ingest.” Two EVS PAM suites were in use with IPD-VIA, providing the applications needed for live-media-content browsing, control, edit, and playout. “The editors edit in low resolution,” Dwelshauvers explained, “and then an EVS plug-in renders in high resolution and gives the team here access, or they can send it to Moscow for contribution to news or sports.” It also provided access to the OBS Content+, and he noted that the team had 20 record channels for recording the live paths but can also dive into Content+ for action that might have been missed
Canada: From left: CBC’s Sanjay Rana, Francois Messier, Sylvain Archambault, and Sylvain Taillefer “We have crews coming from Montreal, Toronto, and all across Canada when the Olympics come, and we become one family. That is what we’re seeing,” said Francois Messier, CBC/Radio-Canada team leader. “There is a feeling of collaboration between the teams, and it’s amazing. It’s really a feeling of family.” He noted that the team in Tokyo consisted primarily of reporters, who were in the mixed zones, and personnel to support commentary from the aquatics and athletics venues. CBC News was also being supported. According to CBC Systems Technologist Sanjay Rana, two 10-Gbps circuits were used to send a multiviewer of all the available OBS feeds to Montreal and Toronto. The team there selected the 20 feeds to send over the Zayo network in JPEG 2000 at 120 Mbps. Two main broadcast-control rooms in Montreal and Toronto were involved, and the broadcast alternated from one control room to the other between the different programs as part of a COVID protocol. Viewers back home got 23 hours of Olympic content a day on the main networks; subchannels featured long-form events like tennis, soccer, and golf. Bell and Rogers got content out to viewers via TSN 1 and 2 and Sportsnet, and a distribution deal with Amazon served the OTT market. “We were supposed to have two studios here, but it was decided to keep those in Canada,” said Messier. “Our main hosts are back home, but we have a green-screen studio here for athlete interviews. That is a
Russia: Olivier Dwelshauvers oversaw EVS operations for Russia’s Channel One, including the Olympics debut of the EVS IPD-VIA.
Although many broadcasters in Tokyo adapted their plans from last year, Channel One remained steady. The EVS IPD-VIA would have been part of its plans if the Games had been held in 2020, and having the production-control room onsite allows the team at home to remain focused on local news and sports. – Global coverage by Ken Kerschbaumer, Heather McLean, and Jo Ruddoc SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
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VENUE SPOTLIGHT > Q2 STADIUM
MLS’s Austin FC Highlights Inaugural Season With Debut of Q2 Stadium
he state of Texas is filled with professional sports — 13 teams, to be exact — but none have created more excitement than Austin FC. The club has drawn positive headlines for many reasons since the start of the season, including as the 27th and newest organization in Major League Soccer and the announcement of Matthew McConaughey as a minority owner. But the biggest reason was the opening of the team’s new home: Q2 Stadium. One of three new venues in the league, the stadium first welcomed patrons on Saturday, June 19 for the team’s match vs. San Jose Earthquakes, and its christening is another feather in the crowded Stetson of Texas sports. Seen during the construction and concluding phases of a project, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is still felt in new builds around the country. In this case, the virus played a particularly significant role during the development’s earlier stages in 2020. With safety guidelines in place and the health of the folks on the ground in Austin a high priority, both the club and systems integrator Diversified moved with caution. The duo couldn’t fully eradicate the impact of the pandemic, but they made it as much a non-factor as possible.
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“We were able to mitigate some of the delays from COVID-19,” explained Tony Gaston, senior account executive, sports and live events, Diversified. “Those delays affected our ability to have people onsite at times.” COVID-19 has become a common obstacle over the past year, but another set of challenges came from an unlikely source. In February, a
Diversified and other onsite crews navigated COVID-19 issues to complete the project.
VENUE SPOTLIGHT > Q2 STADIUM Daktronics provided all the LED displays, including the 24- by 84-ft. main videoboard at the stadium’s north end. large chunk of the nation that isn’t accustomed to wintry weather was hit by an unexpected snowstorm and historic low temperatures. Local news outlets reported up to 6.4 in. of snow on Valentine’s Day — the fourth-largest amount in the city’s history. The weather delivered five consecutive days of snowfall, smashing the previous record of three straight. The surprise from Mother Nature spurred a handful of alterations in their plans with other members of the project. On the bright side, Diversified’s collaboration with the club and supporting companies paid substantial dividends in moving construction forward despite the obstacles. Among these groups were Gensler as the main architect, Idibri as general contractor, Austin Commercial as construction manager, and CAA ICON in the early planning stages. Gaston and his team handled these other relationships before approaching the key production personnel about fine-tuning elements to their liking. “We worked closely with [these companies] to develop the broadcastcontrol room before [Austin FC] Senior Director, Fan Experience and Events, Al Raitt was brought onboard,” Gaston said. “Once Al was in place, we tweaked a few items to tailor the production [technology] towards his goals. We leveraged our previous experience in live events and MLS workflows to develop a cost-effective solution for Austin FC that met project budget and timeframes.” With a plan in place, Diversified installed a handful of technologies to produce a stellar match-day presentation. Controlling the shots displayed to the crowd is a Ross Video Carbonite Black Plus production switcher with 36 inputs, 22 outputs, and a 3M/E CB3X panel. Other equipment from Ross includes XPression for CG, two XPressions with Tessera SE for display control, Utility Server for encoding, Project Server, and Dashboard for a unified venue-control system that operates such elements as stadium lighting and the Triple Play IPTV. At the control room’s core are an Evertz EQX SDI router and DreamCatcher replay servers. Outside the control room, the club is deploying Triple Play IPTV to seamlessly beam information to all areas of the venue. For game coverage, Hitachi cameras are equipped with RF capabilities from Wave Central and Canon lenses. Daktronics provided the 5,580 sq. ft. of LED space in the venue. Highlights include a 24- by 84-ft. main videoboard at the stadium’s north end, two ribbon boards, a 3- by 551-ft. pitch-perimeter display, and a double-sided marquee with two 14.5- by 26.5-ft. screens. Besides broadcast control, Ross Video gear is deployed for the invenue presentation. Graphics shown on the displays were developed by the company’s Rocket Surgery team. Two of the three XPressions are tasked with operation of videoboard content: one dedicated to the main display, the other to the ribbon boards and pitch display. In addition, two of the three M/Es in the switcher are dedicated to the main videoboard. The random onslaught of snow last winter was quite the anomaly. During the summer months in the state capital, the sun sends temperatures to
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uncomfortable levels. With that in mind, the club worked extensively with the contractors to develop a canopy that covers a large number of seating areas and has four open corners to allow ample flow of natural air. “We built a stadium to reflect Austin’s love of the outdoors while also offering amenities that can offset the impact of the climate,” explained Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “Q2 Stadium was optimally designed and constructed specifically for this city.” For one of the league’s more anticipated new venues this season, Loughnane and his colleagues pushed to incorporate the best technology possible to ensure an enjoyable time. This includes enabling fans to interact with mobile devices while seated in the lower bowl. The club recruited Boingo to make Q2 one of the first major-league venues to feature WiFi 6 capability. Like Raitt, who ran LAFC’s game presentation at Banc of California Stadium in that team’s first season three years ago, Loughnane is bringing to Austin FC a wealth of knowledge from his time in the National Hockey League. Having worked previously with MLS’s Columbus Crew, he was a part of the maiden season of the NHL’s Blue Jackets in 2000. First-year clubs enter the league with positive momentum and community influence, but, when a seasoned veteran is needed, Loughnane and the experienced team assembled at the Austin FC are able to answer the call. “Launching a new team is a high-pressure, high-stakes environment,” he said. “We’ve established an operational spine that is filled with experts that have experience in Major League Soccer.” That team includes Founder/Majority Owner/CEO Anthony Precourt (former owner of Columbus Crew) and VP, Stadium Operations, Jordan Enke (formerly with Columbus Crew). Nearly three years since being founded and after two months of eight consecutive away matches, Austin FC is finally home. Members of the team that pushed this endeavor over the finish line are filled with immense pride and satisfaction. For the club, the new building is a physical reminder of a new era of professional sports in Texas and how the franchise came together to deliver a top-notch experience for fans. “The opening of Q2 Stadium represents a remarkable accomplishment,” said Loughnane. “The perseverance of our ownership group and fanbase allowed us to create history as the first major-league club in Austin.” < – Kristian Hernandez
VENUE SPOTLIGHT > LOWER.COM FIELD
Columbus Crew’s Lower.com Field Caps Off Busy Year for New MLS Venues
ne of the more decorated clubs in Major League Soccer, the Columbus Crew closed out their last full season at Historic Crew Stadium in 2020 with an MLS Cup celebration. Fast forward to this past July, and the organization welcomed supporters to the new Lower.com Field. As the third of three soccer-specific that were slated to open this year (joining Austin FC and FC Cinncinati), the building is suited for one of the founding members of the league. “This stadium is a huge accomplishment for the fans, the city, and our staff,” said Kyle Millen, director, scoreboard operations, Haslam Sports Group. “Our game-day staff was in awe the first time they came because they now have a state-of-the-art control room with all the resources they need to put on the show that we want.” When the club broke ground on their new $314 million home in October 2019, the franchise was on the hunt for a reliable group of partners. Assigned to the hefty responsibility of putting together the brick-andmortar structure and the technological backbone of the control room, the club tapped the services of WJHW and BeckTV. On the tech side, Beck TV
had lengthy discussions with Millen and his colleagues to develop a strategy that would accomplish the production goals of the crew. “We were involved from Day 1, so we were able to say what we wanted the show to have and how we wanted the atmosphere to be,” he said. “Then, we reverse engineered [our plan] to make sure we included everything into the project.” On any of these large-scale projects, there could be a possibility of not being on the same page as the systems integrator, but in this case, BeckTV had a lot of familiarity with the production personnel at the Crew when they were brought onto the project last spring. As an added plus, the company has history with the club’s ownership, Haslam Sports Group, after revamping the efforts of the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in 2014. “I’ve known Kyle throughout my entire career, and Haslam Sports Group likes to push the envelope on their show,” said Brock Raum, project engineer, BeckTV. “This is one of the best rooms in the MLS and it’s run by one of the best crews in the MLS. When you put those two things together, that’s what makes jobs like this a lot of fun.” With a sound relationship with the systems integrator, Millen and the club moved forward on bringing other key players into the fold. To differentiate them-
A view from the pitch of one of the two videoboards inside Lower.com Field. 68
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VENUE SPOTLIGHT > LOWER.COM FIELD Director of Scoreboard Operations Kyle Millen overlooks the field from the control room. selves from the other 26 organizations and take their content to the next level, the team established a full-time producer position that would be dedicated to rethinking their videoboard material. At the end of their search, Scoreboard Operations Producer Erik Shear was the chosen individual. “We wanted someone who could really own and manage the show going on in this building,” added Millen. “We were able to bring Erik on board, and he’s been able to not only produce the show, but also build up our content.” In addition, the team is now working with some of the latest in production technology. Similar to Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium, Ross Video has a significant presence in Columbus, including a Carbonite Ultra Black 2 ME production switcher with a TouchDrive TD2S Panel, OpenGear OGX for signal processing, an Ultrix FR5 router, Dashboard control system, Mira+ for replay, and an XPression Studio graphics package. “It’s a full 1080p system that’s really driven by a lot of Ross Video technology,” added Raum. “When we ordered and installed the new TouchDrive panel system, it was one of the first ones rolling off the line, so it was pretty exciting for us to integrate some new equipment that hadn’t been out there yet.” The control room is configured with other household names around the industry, including two Blackmagic Design Hyderdeck Studio Minis, a Yamaha audio mixer, and multiple converters from AJA. Outside of the control room, the action is captured via four wired Sony HXC-FB80SN cameras with Canon CJ45ex13.6B lenses and a wireless handheld Sony HXC-FB80SN with a Canon CJ45ex13.6B lens. Down below, Daktronics LED displays are lighting up the pitch during nighttime matches with 8,700 total sq. ft. of LED real estate. The two main videoboards both have a 13 HD pixel layout. Adjacent to the league’s second largest supporters’ section, the Crew’s “Nordecke,” a smaller 25-ft. high by 44.5-ft. wide illuminates from the northeast corner. Directly opposite, a much longer screen is positioned in the southeast at 25-ft. high by 108-ft. wide. Other LED structures include two ribbon boards (2.5-ft. high by 408-ft. wide on the east and 2.5-ft. high by 270ft. wide on the west) at 15 HD pixel layouts, a perimeter display at 3-ft. high by 942.5 ft. long and 10mm pixel spacing, and a videoboard on the venue’s exterior at 14.5-ft. high by 24-ft. wide. In addition, the club is leveraging Daktronics’ Show Control solution. As for the stadium’s audio capabilities, the club called on their audio integrator, New Era Technology, who worked with ATK Audiotek to pack a powerful punch. Through four Powersoft subwoofers positioned at each corner of the pitch and a pair of Roland SPD-ONE drum pads up in the control room, an audio technician is supplementing in-venue crowd sound with an
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additional bassline of sound for an over-encompassing sound profile. When you combine the technological arsenal in the control room and the new LED videoboards surrounding the pitch, it’s a pairing that can create a buzz around the building every single night. It’s exhilarating to see the outcome of each show, but from someone who has worked alongside Millen and Shear during the early stages of the process, Raum acknowledges the limitless potential of the crew. “Everything that surrounds [Lower.com Field] brings a competitive advantage on game day,” he said. “After being at their first game, feeling the atmosphere, and understanding the passion that this city has for the club, you can tell that it’s already made an impact. You can also see that the Crew is so excited to put on an excellent show and they’re pulling out all the stops.” While putting the finishing touches on their high-quality home, the production team sent their former abode off with a fitting farewell during its last six matches (four in the MLS regular season and two in the CONCACAF Champions League). During this transition, the crew focused on providing a stellar in-venue show, but also getting colleagues onboard with the new technology that was waiting to be used at Lower.com Field. Despite these past couple of months being a bit of a daunting task, Shear still believes that Historic Crew Stadium ended with a formidable roar. “There was so much nostalgia and history made inside that stadium that we wanted to pay it the respects that it deserved,” he said. “Our final game there was our first full capacity game in more than a year, and that was so important for not only us in the control room, but also the fans. It was a really beautiful moment that we all were able to share together.” Although official matches won’t be played in the old venue anymore, it’s far from being demolished. In fact, the club’s new training facility is now sharing the same plot of land as Historic Crew Stadium and the latter will still be used as a venue for concerts, high school sporting events, and other community events. Lower.com Field is already a masterpiece, but the club has its eyes on expanding towards a bigger and brighter future. And while that may be months or years from now, the work done over the past year by Millen, Shear, and the entire team has set themselves up for success. “We really have a great facility with great technology,” concluded Millen, “and we hope to develop the best production in MLS.” < – Kristian Hernandez
VENUE SPOTLIGHT > KAUFFMAN STADIUM
Kansas City Royals Unveil New HDR Videoboard at Kauffman Stadium
auffmann Stadium — home of the Kansas City Royals — has seen its fair share of offseason projects and renovations. The previous videoboard, built prior to the 2008 home opener vs. the New York Yankees, debuted the recognizable crown atop the structure’s highest point. Thirteen years later, the crown-adorned videoboard is trading in its LED panels for ones with HDR capability. In a project beginning last November, the Daktronics videoboard was carefully installed during the cold winter months in the Midwest. After four months, the physical construction was complete. Measuring 105 x 85 ft. and featuring Daktronics’ 15-mm SMD technology, the league’s fourth main HDR videoboard (after the Texas Rangers’ and Cincinnati Reds’ in 2020 and Colorado Rockies’ in 2018) has a pixel increase of 138% and eclipses a handful of in-venue achievements in the professional ranks, including the tallest videoboard in Major League Baseball. “From a fan’s standpoint, there’s going to be a lot more opportunities to take in the in-stadium experience,” said Steven Funke, director, event presentation and production, Kansas City Royals. “[This videoboard] is going to be quite an improvement from where we were before.” In addition to the main videoboard, the Royals have upgraded other
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LED displays in the venue. The Hall of Fame display, an area located behind the left-center-field fence where retired numbers are prominently shown, also has an HDR-capable board. This 20.5- x 108-ft. videoboard features 2,200 sq. ft. of LED real estate and 900,000 pixels and spans fivetimes larger than the ribbon board that it replaces. In addition, two 7- x 127-ft. ribbon boards occupy the outfield wall running from left center field to center field and right center field to center field, respectively.
Along with the new HDR main videoboard, the Royals installed an HDR-capable Hall of Fame display and two LED screens on the outfield wall.
VENUE SPOTLIGHT > KAUFFMAN STADIUM With a grand total of more than 5.1 million LED pixels, Kauffmann Stadium has been shining all season long. Besides this new project, Funke and his team decided to invest in new production equipment as well for the current season. The space’s most important addition is an AJA FS-HDR 1RU rackmount converter/ frame synchronizer, which converts the camera feeds to HDR on the videoboard. Other notable upgrades include a slate of products from Ross Video (a 5M/E Acuity production switcher, three outputs of XPression graphics, and the new Kiva live-production server), EVS XT4K and XTSK replay servers and IPDirector, Evertz EQX10 router, four Sony HDC-5500L and three PXW-Z750 cameras, Riedel Communications wireless intercom, and Wave Central wireless camera support. These examples illustrate a massive turnover in the control room, and another technological supplement will change the way in-game prompts are designed and presented. “The only holdover that we have from the old room are our EVS replay servers from 2018 and some experience with Ross XPression from 2017,” Funke said. “We’re bringing something new to game presentation that probably hasn’t been seen in baseball, and we’re looking forward to working with Ross Video’s Rocket Surgery to come up with a new and creative way of displaying stats.” Similar to the project seen in Colorado, Cincinnati, and Texas, Diversified played a huge role in the process in Kansas City. With the addition of the new equipment, the Royals needed to make adjustments to the physical structure to accommodate for these changes. On Diversified’s end, Director, Sports and Live Events Stuart Reynolds drew up the plan that would allow the franchise to mix their pre-existing technologies with new tools. For the boots on the ground, including Project Engineers Matt George and Sean McFarland, employees needed to follow stringent COVID-19 protocols. “This was a design project where we worked with the Royals to implement new workflows with some of their legacy equipment,” said Brad Fisher, senior account manager, Diversified. “We had to limit the number of installers that we had in the control room at a single time to account for social distancing.” Along with the brick-and-mortar adaptations in the space, Diversified overcame other infrastructure challenges to make significant upgrades to air ventilation in the control room. “The big challenge was the original layout,” added Fisher. “The Royals had some heating and cooling issues, so we went in to develop a new method of air flow along with the structural work.” Large-scale renovation isn’t new to Funke, but being at the front of the line is a different perspective. The crew used Spring Training and the remaining time in the offseason to practice, but he also made some phone calls to colleagues around the league — Colorado Rockies Senior
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The Royals decided to go with new equipment inside the control room at Kauffman Stadium. Director, In-Game Entertainment and Broadcast, Kent Krosbakken and Cincinnati Reds Director, Productions, Jami Itiavkase — who have already dealt with this transformation. “This was the first time that I oversaw an entire project,” Funke said, “so it has been an interesting experience. I was curious to see the pitfalls that they came across.” And he has a bit of a roadmap to follow from those who have done an HDR implementation. Itiavkase and Krosbakken — the former having learned these new practices at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latter having been with the first MLB team to go down this route — were invaluable resources. “We haven’t actually gone through the process yet, but it seems like we jumped in at the right time,” Funke explained. “There was confusion with conversion of the color spectrum, but [the Reds] have figured out a workflow that makes sense.” The Royals are experiencing the growing pains of technical change, but they’re also applying the new technology to an already challenging stylistic format: vertical video. HDR workflows will ultimately make content display a lot clearer and more precise, but the production crew will still have to reconfigure the game-day pieces to fit the unique output. “It’s tough to build vertical video in a horizontal world,” Funke added. “We’ve always had to deal with that, so you have to rethink everything.” In the past 21 years, the Royals were able to capture pro-baseball glory by defeating the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series. Six years later, both the front office and in-venue production staff are laying the groundwork for even more possibilities in the City of Fountains. “We don’t want people to feel like they’re getting a better product at home on their couch,” noted Funke. “We’re looking to take the statistical aspect of baseball and bring it into the ballpark. It’s the new perspective and direction of the game, and we’re really excited about it.” < – Kristian Hernandez
It truly is remarkable how easy it is, with the push of a button, to make our system work seamlessly. Everything is seamless now. We can bounce from a rodeo to a football game to a baseball game easily with no loss of quality in our production. – Chris DeRuyscher, Senior Director of Game Presentation & Productions at the Texas Rangers
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SPONSORUPDATE >3G WIRELESS
g is an award-winning broadcast engineering services company that specializes in providing RF products and services for live remote productions, primarily to sports, entertainment, and news companies. While we are a technology and engineering company, we are deep down a people company. 3g is focused on our relationships with the people that are our customers. We are also all about our people and their unrivaled talents. Our people combine an insatiable technical curiosity and well over 100 years of broadcast engineering experience.
or more than three decades, Adder Technology has worked with some of the world’s leading broadcasters, sports production specialists, and live event organizers, to deliver unprecedented flexibility and control of their IT infrastructure via KVM technology. As a leader in its field, Adder’s KVM switches, extenders, remote access, and matrix solutions are designed to support the full broadcast and AV workflow — from content creation and postproduction through to broadcast control rooms and live event environments.
>ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP
dvanced Systems Group has provided engineering, systems, integration, support, and training to the multimedia creative and corporate video markets for more than 20 years. With unmatched experience in high-speed shared storage, media asset management, archiving, editing, color, and VFX systems, ASG has become one of the largest installers of postproduction and shared storage systems in North America. Highly focused on customer success, the ASG team has installed and supported more than 500 storage networks, along with production and postproduction systems. As part of its complete solution approach, ASG also offers a range of managed services, providing expert staffing for media production and event management.
espite the difficult circumstances, the last year has been another exciting one for AE Live. Most notably, we have expanded our global footprint by increasing our presence in North America and we have a number of exciting opportunities in the pipeline to look forward to over the course of the next 12 months and beyond. We have also invested heavily in the field of remote production by installing six purpose-built graphics hubs at our UK office which have already been used to deliver graphics solutions remotely for major clients including Sky Sports, BT Sport, and WTA Media. We have also been involved in a number of high-profile projects, delivering our broadcast services across a number of sports. With soccer in particular, we have had an extremely busy schedule of events including the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar where we delivered world feed graphics throughout the tournament. 76
>AERIAL VIDEO SYSTEMS (AVS)
VS is part of the NEP Broadcast Services Company and the leader in high-bitrate wireless 4K, HD, and aerial production with over 120 Vislink HD and 4K RF systems, including the new HCAM. AVS offers two 4K GSS and four Cineflex gyro-stabilized camera systems for vehicles, boats, helicopters, or its three Partenavia fixed-wing aircraft for aerial coverage. They also collaborated with Vislink and Canon to provide the Canon C-500 shallow depth of field camera with control. AVS inventories the Sony P-50 cameras and was the first to integrate these into RF Steadicam systems with video return and prompter. This is the preferred package for major sporting events including Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night Football; the Super Bowl; NBA All-Stars; and virtually every live award and entertainment show. AVS is a part of NEP’s Specialty Capture division alongside BSI and the Fletcher Group.
>AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS
ince 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions, and professional cameras, bringing high-quality, costeffective products to the professional broadcast, video and postproduction markets. AJA products are designed and manufactured at our facilities in Grass Valley, CA, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators.
ldea Solutions, a Canadian company, is a leading provider of high-quality video services and solutions for the television and media industries. The company provides end-to-end worldwide transmission and content distribution services and operates an extensive fiber-based network, with points-of-service covering 35 cities and 25 countries throughout the Americas and Europe.
>ALL MOBILE VIDEO
s one of the country’s premier providers of end-to-end video and audio solutions, All Mobile Video offers a full spectrum of production services: Mobile Production units, Sound Stages, Post-Production, Streaming services, Equipment Sales & Rentals, and Centralized Master Control. The All Mobile Video team commits to serving clients and building relationships, catering to the individual needs of each production with unparalleled attention to detail. From Video and Audio Engineers, Camera Operators, Editors, Graphics Specialists, Sound Designers, to Production Support, AMV boasts an experience level to rival anyone in the broadcast industry with a solid team of smart, strategically driven and highly trained thinkers. All Mobile Video was built on the simple notion that if we are able to find solutions where others see only obstacles everything else will fall into place. By integrating new technologies and existing capabilities, AMV continues to push the envelope and meet the needs of any production.
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he Sports Group continues to be a leader in the design, deployment, and service of technology systems that help our clients engage fans, enhance teams, and expand revenue in their venues and facilities. In addition to assisting several of our professional and collegiate sports clients with small upgrade projects to prepare for their upcoming seasons, we have also begun design/build projects with two MLB teams on major control room renovations, along with the control room for Nashville SC’s new stadium — all of which will be ready for Opening Day 2022. We are also continuing with Phase 2 of the AV systems for the University of Georgia’s Butts-Mehre Football Complex renovation and expansion. Once complete, it will set the standard for college football complexes and cutting-edge technology. Lastly, we are working on multiple sound systems, IPTV systems, and other technology upgrades for several various clients.
magi is a next-gen media tech company that provides cloud broadcast and streaming TV solutions to TV networks, content owners, and streaming TV platforms. Amagi enables 800+ playout chains and 2,000+ channel deliveries, with deployments in over 40 countries. It also offers 24x7 cloud managed services bringing simplicity, advanced automation, and transparency to the entire broadcast operations for traditional TV networks. With end-to-end cloud-architected solutions, Amagi helps launch, distribute, and monetize live linear sports channels across streaming TV platforms. It enables live recording, highlights creation, playback, and VOD deployment — all within the same system. With Amagi’s strong integration and customization capabilities, sports broadcasters can meet their unique needs, while orchestrating events with very low latencies. Sports broadcasters can also deliver great viewing experiences with Amagi’s advanced graphics solutions. Its dynamic ad insertion platform helps monetize content with targeted ads, while its analytics solution delivers accurate data and insights on audiences and viewership.
>AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS)
or 14 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. AWS offers over 175 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 77 Availability Zones (AZs) within 24 geographic regions, with announced plans for 18 more Availability Zones and six more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland. Millions of customers — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs.
>ARCTEK SATELLITE PRODUCTIONS
RCTEK took delivery of their newest uplink encoding truck, ARCTEK Black, in June 2021. Black hit the ground rolling right to motocross and then off to MLB, WNBA and MLS throughout the summer. ARCTEK Black is a 10-source MUX encoding truck with a C-band uplink. The straightforward yet versatile design makes ARCTEK Black capable of transmitting via satellite, ASI over fiber, or GigE back to the head end. ARCTEK Black can handle all video formats from HD to 1080p HDR and 4K with Mpeg 4 or HEVC compression. ARCTEKs fleet of 3 KU-band and 2 C-band uplink encoding vehicles crisscrossed the country this summer. Most notably, ARCTEK transmitted the Olympic trials from Eugene, Omaha, and St. Louis, as well as Professional Bull Riding, Professional Bowling, and motorcycle road racing. ARCTEK is ready to roll whenever and wherever you have encoding or transmission needs. Nothing is more reliable than satellite.
rista Networks pioneered software-driven, cognitive cloud networking for large-scale datacenter and campus environments. Arista’s award-winning platforms redefine and deliver availability, agility, automation, analytics, and security. Arista has shipped more than 20 million cloud networking ports worldwide with CloudVision and EOS, an advanced network operating system. Committed to open standards across private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, Arista products are supported worldwide directly and through partners.
RRI is a global company within the motion picture media industry, employing around 1,400 staff worldwide. The ARRI Group consists of the business units Camera Systems, Lighting, Media, and Rental, all dedicated to connecting art and future technologies for moving images. ARRI is a leading designer and manufacturer of camera and lighting systems for the film and broadcast industry, with a worldwide distribution and service network. It is also an integrated media service provider in the fields of film post- and coproduction, international sales, as well as equipment rental, and supplying camera, lighting, and grip packages to professional productions.
on and Jessica Collopy started American Satellite Uplink in 2007. As the company progressed, they started doing more and more production work forming what eventually would become ASU Productions. Don started his career in the television industry with CBS Sports in New York City. In 1998, he began working for Fox News Channel as a satellite engineer on their New York satellite truck. He did extensive travel during his time at Fox News beyond his duties as a truck engineer. Don has covered some of the biggest news events over the 20 years. We wanted to use our many years of experience to provide a dependable solution for all of your uplink and production needs. We have a team of experienced and talented satellite engineers, photographers, and audio technicians who will provide our clients with the professional result they are expecting.
T&T is leading the way to the future — for customers, businesses, and the industry. The company continues to develop new technologies to make it easier for customers to stay connected. AT&T envisions a world where everything and everyone work together, a world that works for you. AT&T Global Video Service features flexible, costeffective connectivity tailored to suit your business needs. Available in over 200 points of presence globally, including sports venues, production studios, network bureaus, and virtually anywhere content originates, this service features a highquality network designed to meet the rigorous requirements of the broadcast community — a network built to provide customers a “hitless” switching experience with quick access, more bandwidth, dual and diverse end-to-end routing connection arrangements to help ensure network survivability.
treaming high-profile sports events presents a challenge. On the one hand, because these events are high profile, streaming service providers must deliver an outstanding experience. On the other hand, the number of viewers can strain the streaming platform, potentially degrading the viewing experience. So the challenge is: how to provide high-quality streaming during peak viewing times. One U.S.-based virtual MVPD (Multiple Video Programming Distributor) used ATEME’s TITAN head-end to offer immersive video, enveloping sound, and outstanding video quality when streaming the Summer Olympics this year. It used TITAN for transcoding and packaging for live OTT distribution, with content available in 4K Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio technologies. And the solution ran 100% in the cloud. This marked the first use of Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos immersive audio technologies for the Olympics, enhancing the viewing experience for audiences in the U.S. and transporting them closer to the heart of the action in Tokyo.
tom Creek is an Information Technology solutions provider with a focus on infrastructure and security. Our focus is to provide enterpriselevel subject matter expertise to our customers so their business can rely on their technology infrastructure for operational reliability and extensibility for growth. One of our biggest client wins in the past year was building a centralized and complete storage solution for a sports media group client. This multi-site deployment allowed for policy-based tiering of data to ensure efficiently and availablity no matter what form the data was in (i.e. flash or tape). This solution created a single platform that encompasses all of the clients business storage requirements from production to archive to disaster recovery.
elebrating over 50 years of audio excellence worldwide, Audio-Technica is a leading innovator in transducer technology, renowned for the design and manufacture of microphones, wireless microphones, headphones, mixers, and turntables for the audio industry.
VIWEST launches RACK400 UHD/multi-HD encoder for Sports Remote Production. The RACK400 is AVIWEST’s brand new video encoder driving efficiencies into your sports remote production. Designed in compact half 1U form factor, the RACK400 supports 4K UHD and multicameras workflows, up to four high-resolution, fully frame-synced feeds. The RACK400 provides robust, error-free transmission over any network (cellular, satellite, IP leased line or the public Internet) at low latency, down to 0.5 sec, thanks to the AVIWEST double Emmy Award-winning SST Technology. As a remote production encoding solution, the RACK400 offers all the features needed to be used more efficiently from a central facility, such as perfect video sync between multiple cameras to ensure seamless camera switching in the studio, video return to the field for confidence monitoring, full duplex intercom between field crews and studio operators and data bridging for remote control of cameras, tally light, or any other IP device during a live event.
he Azzurro Group is an integrated media services company offering advanced cost-effective solutions for connecting remote talent to air.
ith almost 40 years of history in the broadcast industry, BeckTV is a premier design-build systems integrator working with customers across the United States. This past year, we were proud to work with customers across the country, including the UFC, TEGNA, Phoenix Suns, PBS Colorado, the Columbus Crew, and Nerd Street Gamers. In virtually every application, from broadcast and cable networks, local TV stations, sports trucks, and stadium venues to educational institutions and houses of worship, BeckTV uses a collaborative approach to assure successful outcomes, on time and on budget.
elden Sports & Entertainment venue solutions successfully integrate technology into the fan experience with Belden products and expertise. No matter the size of your operation, the needs are the same: maximizing new revenue streams while enriching the fan experience with live-action replay, integrated graphics, second screen publishing to mobile, automated multiformat content production, remote or local production and advertising throughout your stadium/venue. We’ve got you covered with solutions that will generate buzz inhouse, at home, and on your bottom line.
exel, an NEP Broadcast Services Company, is the leading global provider of broadcast solutions. For 40 years, Bexel has supported major broadcasters in bringing the most important events to a global audience. Our team of technicians and engineers build custom, scalable broadcast solutions for a range of services including production equipment rentals, RF audio, 4K technology, fiber-optic solutions, virtual production, systems integration, product sales, and auction services. Bexel is supported by the strength and resources of the NEP Worldwide Network, ensuring superior, consistent service anywhere in the world, with technical support available
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SPONSORUPDATE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have the proven experience and industry-leading technology to cover your live sporting event, entertainment production, studio facility, venue, or house of worship, and government broadcast. NEP Group is the leading technology partner for content creators around the globe. Headquartered in the United States, NEP has offices in 25 countries with over 4,000+ employees supporting content creators worldwide. Learn how we are helping clients bring their creative visions, content, live sports and entertainment to life at nepgroup.com.
first year, the team worked with such notable clients, including the MLB Network, CBS Sports, TEGNA, Tamron Hall, and Judge Jerry. BitFire’s technology combined with our production resources were integral in supporting our clients, whose productions included events for the NHL, MLB, PGA Tour, and NCAA Tournament. BitFire has built several key partnerships that we are proud to support. Our partners’ willingness to collaborate and desire to adapt to new workflows have allowed us to provide cutting-edge solutions in a dynamic market.
irdDog have been extremely busy in the last 12 months releasing a heap of new products and updates including Cloud Connect, a gamechanging set of apps for receiving NDO to Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Android Mobile, Android Tablet, Android TV, and BirdDog PLAY; PLAY, the World’s lowest cost NDI 5 and NDI HX decoder; PF120, a Full NDI box camera with 20x Optical Zoom; Flex Family, tiny 4K NDI encoders and decoders with Tally and PoE; SDM Family, a revolutionary design in partnership with NEC that brings NDI inside the screen itself for elegant and seamless integration; A200 and A300 Gen 2, all-weather NDI cameras perfect for stadiums and permanent installations; Crestron and Rest API’s for all products; New Advanced Color Toolsets for P100, P200, A200, and A300 PTZ camera range; and updating products to support NDI 5.
UEL is a next-generation video and distribution platform. Unified video management platform, including rules-based dynamic playlisting. Manage content for codeless distribution into web, mobile, OTT applications, social, live and clip syndication, and FAST channel environments. Ultra-efficient dynamic automation to manage and publish large volumes of content, which decreases manual time, effort, and cost. Dynamically created linear channels. Automated transitions dynamically inserted into the stream. Unique live and on demand workflow with easy to use tools to decrease the complexity of expanded digital publishing. Seamless VOD – Live – VOD workflow into a continuous linear experience. Eliminate “dead air” or “coming soon” slates. Broadcast quality presentation across digital platforms and a broad array of third party partner distributions. Player agnostic for web and mobile. Ad blocker proof. Monetization flexibility. Supports both client-side and server-side ad insertion. Ad server agnostic. Optional programmatic demand.
itFire Networks announces plans for continued company expansion amid a year of major growth within the video transmission industry. BitFire will open a new, state-of-the-art production studio and live control rooms in Phoenix, AZ, in October as the team continues to expand its core product offering with an eye towards the ever-changing landscape of original and live content production. In BitFire’s 78
lackbird is the world’s fastest, most powerful professional cloud native video editing and publishing platform. Enabling remote editing, Blackbird provides rapid access to video content for the easy creation of clips, highlights, and longer form content to multiple devices and platforms. A fully featured editor accessed through any browser, easy to learn and needing only limited bandwidth to use, Blackbird powers significant productivity and efficiency benefits for any enterprise organization working with video. An ultra green technology, Blackbird supports the carbon reduction goals of the media production industry. Our sports clients include the NHL, IMG, EVS, Tata Communications, Eleven Sports, NRL, BT Sport, Deltatre, Riot Games, and, most recently, Athletes Unlimited.
ver the past year, Blackmagic Design has released several creative video products that are perfect for the sports industry, including a new family of Studio Cameras, new HyperDeck Studio recorders and the new Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K. Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus and Studio Camera 4K Pro include large integrated 7” viewfinders and are lightweight, making them easier to transport and set up than traditional studio cameras. To eliminate the need to reach around to adjust the lens zoom and focus, the optional focus and zoom demands let customers adjust the lens from the tripod handles. The Blackmagic Studio Converter handles all video conversions at the switcher end and adds power to the Ethernet cable. The new HyperDeck Studio models support record and playback to H.264, ProRes and DNx files, as well as PCM or AAC audio. All models support SD Cards and UHS-II cards, with the Pro models adding extra SSD support. There are four different models: HyperDeck Studio HD Mini, the larger HyperDeck Studio HD Plus, the full rack HyperDeck Studio HD Pro and the incredibly powerful HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro. Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K has an upgraded Ultra HD resolution H.264 encoder for live streaming in native Ultra HD. It includes a 12G-SDI input with down converter, so customers can select to stream in 1080p HD or 2160p Ultra HD resolutions. It simulates a USB webcam when connected to computers, and the USB webcam feature also supports 1080p HD or 2160p Ultra HD resolutions.
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ounded in Berkeley, CA in 2014, Zorroa set out to make AI and machine learning (ML) accessible to teams of all sizes. We are a diverse team of Emmy and Academy Award- winning technologists, data scientists, and media industry veterans dedicated to breaking down the barriers of ML adoption through no-code ML. Zorroa is backed by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI fund.
Over the past year, sports production teams across a wide spectrum of sporting events have been using Bose SoundComm headsets,” says the company’s senior product manager Matt Ruwe. “The most visible examples include on the sidelines of the NFL, during the Riot Games League of Legends global championship tournaments and by the crew members of Corvette Racing. As we near a post-COVID-19 era and see venues begin to fill up again, production crews will have to overcome the increasing noise to ensure a seamless production,” he adds. “Camera, lighting, and other production staff will need a quality headset that is comfortable to wear for hours on end. Bose stands ready to support production teams with our latest offering — the SoundComm B40 headset.” Looking forward, Ruwe sees Bose increasing its presence and efforts to bring high-quality headset systems to production teams. “We are committed to improving the capabilities of production staff and crews by leveraging the benefits of our noise-cancelling headset technologies,” he says. “To do that, we will continue to deepen our connections with production professionals across the industry to better understand their challenges. And that will help us create even better products and services in the upcoming years.”
rainstorm is a specialist company dedicated to providing industry-leading real-time 3D graphics and virtual set solutions for broadcast, feature film production, and corporate presentations.
n this new era of media over IP, PTP has become essential as the new sync standard for AES67, SMPTE 2110, Dante, and Ravenna. Flexible, reliable, and easy to use, the DXD-8 and DXD-16 universal clocks offer PTPv1, PTPv2.1 AVB, and legacy clocking options. In addition to its internal crystal and legacy reference inputs, a GPS receiver is offered as an option. The DXD-16 includes FOUR network connections for independent or ganged applications. Additionally, analytical tools are included. Brainstorm Electronics is a world leader in sync solutions and have been used and trusted for over 30 years by engineers in post, broadcast, and live environments.
>BROADCAST MANAGEMENT GROUP
roadcast Management Group opened its stateof-the-art REMI Broadcast Hub in March 2021. This model allows for centralized technology with
decentralized staffing. This facility has three broadcast control rooms, three workstations, playback, video shading, QC, and master control. The facility offers transmissions, master control, content storage, and streaming. BMG has designed several multicamera REMI and at home broadcast packages and a REMI mobile unit. The Big West hired Broadcast Management Group as its production partner for 13 championship events to air on ESPN+. The Big West telecasts will feature live coverage of championship events and 30-to-60-minute highlight shows. BMG recently completed 10 hockey games for the Henderson Silver Knights 2021 season. The CW Las Vegas and MY LVTV hired BMG’s Sports Packaging Division to broadcast 11 home games. The combination of a cutting-edge facility and proven track record of REMI sports production has positioned BMG as the leader in the REMI workflow.
>BROADCAST SERVICES INTERNATIONAL (BSI)
roadcast Services International is a recognized leader in Domestic and International Broadcast markets. Providing full turn-key production solutions including technical consulting, equipment rentals, RF Wireless solutions, Commentary systems, Host broadcast, and integration packages, BSI is finishing its 2021 season strong. Wrapping up production on three ITU Triathlon events in both Canada and Bermuda while moving quickly into preparation for a busy winter season with a series of Ski and Snowboard events across Canada that will go into production through the 2021-22 winter months. In addition, BSI has been awarded multiple integration contracts starting with design and facility services to the BBC for the Beijing Olympic Winter games along with other design, engineering, and integration services at the Men’s FIFA World Cup in 2022. BSI is also transitioning one of its longest standing customers of 33 years into new production facilities for the 2022 Masters golf Tournament. Visit BSI at www.bsi-tv.com.
>BROADCAST SPORTS INTERNATIONAL (BSI)
roadcast Sports International (BSI), an NEP business unit, has provided wireless cameras, microphones, and communications for over 30 years. In 2021, we maintained our high level of service while adding shows to every division. Our Golf sector added USGA events and serviced many Majors, including the Players Championship where we supplied 33 RF Cameras. Racing remained focused on NHRA, NASCAR, Indycar, and more, opening the door to work with the new SRX Series, covering 6 weeks with 12+ Dual Stream In-car Systems. Our Core Plus division continues to expand with growing pylon systems and shows. BSI’s progress in the industry has generated new hiring across various positions and, as always, we attribute our success to the unmatched talent of our people. We’d especially like to recognize EICs and techs who work closely with clients to manage every issue amid COVID protocols and increased momentum as we look forward to 2022.
360 is personalizing the sports viewing experience. We’ve entertained millions of viewers worldwide while working with the largest sports broadcasters and Fortune 500 companies across the globe. Our platform integrates the smallest, most
innovative cameras and patented software with vcommerce, sports betting, and player/object tracking. C360 is leading the personalized viewing revolution across every streaming channel, device, and social media service allowing unlimited viewers to control their own fully immersive viewing experience.
n 2021, Calrec has been involved in a number of huge sporting events like the Euros, Wimbledon, and the US Open — some with actual spectators! Alongside traditional broadcast coverage, Calrec has helped create multiple hybrid workflows; recent events have seen a shift to remote control of audio signals in the cloud and a clear shift to exploit more distributed workflows. While Calrec equipment was heavily involved in the Euros with consoles in trucks across multiple countries, Extreme E’s international races were mixed on a Calrec Artemis console remotely from NEP Group’s centralized Broadcast and Media Center in London. Calrec is enabling hybrid workflows combining cloud processing, on-premise hardware and edge processing for IFB feeds as broadcasters assess the most efficient way of working for each broadcast. In 2021, every workflow exists on its own merit. Calrec is heavily involved in the design and build of multiple remote operations centres (ROC) as a more cost-effective way to mix events, while IP products like Calrec’s Type R and ImPulse cores have both allowed multiple mix environments to operate from remote locations All these models are flexible and cost-effective, simplify remote working, and bring us closer to pure distributed production models.
anon U.S.A. is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean markets. With approximately $33 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc., ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2019 and was named one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2020. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility.
ince 1935, out of Rome, CARTONI SpA designs, manufactures, and markets high-end Professional Camera Supports and accessories for the Motion Picture and Television industries. Internationally recognized in the industry as a pre-eminent brand for camera support equipment, CARTONI prides itself on its engineering ability, innovative and leading technology. Constant innovation has ensured the company’s success. CARTONI owns and uses 33 different patents on Fluid Action Counterbalance Systems and tripods, registered in Italy, Europe, United States, China, and India.
stablished in 1990, CHESA is a full-service provider of technology systems and solutions that specializes in optimizing media workflows from creation to distribution and preservation. CHESA’s expert architects design pioneering asset management solutions that enable creative teams and drive efficiencies in IT, all backed by steadfast customer support. Dedicated to building long-term rela-
tionships as trusted partners, CHESA offers a rare level of passion and understanding in the design, development, deployment, and maintenance of secure, high-performance media asset management solutions (MAM/DAM/PAM); storage, backup and archival systems; workflow automation; cloud platforms; media transcoding and delivery; and API integration, among other services. CHESA is headquartered in Baltimore with operations in New York, Los Angeles, DC-metro, and Denver.
t’s been an exciting year at Chyron, starting with rebranding and recapitalization in Q1. In addition to the Chyron brand, the corporation includes Tracab, focused on sports tracking, illustrated replay, and visualization for coaches and leagues, and Hego, focused on live event production. Keeping a rapid pace of development, Chyron introduced numerous new functionalities on the PRIME Live Platform. Flexible and scalable for on premises, cloud, and hybrid workflows, the platform features an array of graphics modules including CG, Video Walls, Clips, Branding, Touchscreen, and more. With significant releases in Q2, the PRIME Live Platform also supports PRIME Switcher, with 2 MEs and audio mixing, along with PRIME Commander for production automation. Chyron continues to be widely used for sports broadcast and venue control. For coverage of the Tokyo Olympic Games, NBC utilized PRIME CG for on air graphics and Telemundo resourced PRIME VSAR for its stunning virtual studio. CBS continues to employ PRIME Touchscreen for its SmartCart, covering the PGA. For the La Liga series, Chyron partnered with sister brands Hego and Tracab to provide graphics, data, illustrated replay and production services. We are deeply grateful to these and all of our sports-related clients for a great year!
ineSys is a Broadcast and Media Systems Integrator providing solutions, development, and support for digital content creators across North America. With extensive IT experience and a foundation in media, CineSys serves a range of industries from post-production companies to broadcast and sports organizations. This year, CineSys has helped businesses large and small push their workflows to the cloud by leveraging existing infrastructures and providing secure remote environments. They also developed the CineStudio kit, while helping a major sports broadcaster record high-quality broadcasts from home. If you’re looking to migrate your sports archives, need secure remote access, or more efficient storage for the increasing amounts of data, call CineSys. With development and MAM teams in-house, CineSys can help you make the most of your workflow with customized collaborative solutions. Get in touch to discuss how CineSys can help strengthen your collaborative workflow.
BC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, selected Cisco to provide the networking technology to enable the first-ever all-IP delivery for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Cisco enabled NBC Olympics to produce the first-ever All-IP International Broadcast Center of its coverage of the Tokyo Olympics. Cisco’s rout-
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SPONSORUPDATE ing, switching, and security technology was utilized, plus new management capabilities that helped maintain network uptime and deliver an exceptional user experience. A key part of the solutions was Cisco DNA Assurance, which uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and wireless sensors to allow for easy management of all devices and services while also helping to quickly identify, prioritize and resolve network issues. NBC also utilized Cisco Webex Calling to keep employees connected during the Games. The collaboration platform aids NBC Olympics by reducing host country device costs for hundreds of employees ensuring connectivity for their team.
lark has over 25 years of history revolutionizing how creative content producers engage their audience and further their mission. From the very beginning, Clark has been on the leading edge of innovation by pioneering practical and relevant solutions to today’s challenges. Clark is partnering with a transformative new sports league, Overtime Elite (OTE), on their new Atlanta-based broadcast facility and venue. Clark’s extensive experience with professional broadcast systems and video transmission has perfectly aligned the partnership with OTE. The desire for creative workflows and the mixing of the cinematic and broadcast worlds within their new facility was a task Clark was ready to tackle. The team and Clark’s experience in sports broadcasting has charted a path for expansion and growth well into the future.
>CLARK WIRE & CABLE
lark Wire & Cable, a leader in broadcast and professional AV interconnect technology, is celebrating over 30 years of business. With a focus on quality and innovation, Clark Wire & Cable delivers unique and reliable solutions dedicated to the markets it serves. From precision engineered bulk cable and cable assemblies to connectors, tools and custom panels, Clark Wire & Cable has remained committed to delivering comprehensive interconnect solutions.
obalt Digital’s new Indigo ST 2110 is an openGear SMPTE ST-2110 solution featuring multiple 25G interfaces and 4K support. Indigo can operate as a standalone bidirectional gateway or can be coupled with Cobalt’s award-winning 9904-UDX-4K for additional native processing functions, including up/down/cross conversion, audio processing, 3D-LUTs, and SL-HDR support. Indigo is unique in its feature integration; the same device can perform scaling, color correction, static and dynamic HDR processing, plus other features, with native ST-2110 interfaces and 4K support (no gateways needed). Its openGear form factor allows functions to be mixed and matched in the same chassis, or it can achieve higher densities using multiple cards. Indigo cards are hot-swappable with redundant power. The solution joins Cobalt’s existing ST 2110 80
solutions including throw-down gateways (2110 to SDI and SDI to 2110), the flexible 9915DA 12G series with 2110 options and the 9904-UDX-4KIP high-end video processing card.
>CONFERENCE TECHNOLOGIES INC. (CTI)
pgraded gameday experience technology at the Philadelphia Union stadium.
hen faced with the challenges of broadcasting during a global pandemic, the world’s major broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, and event production companies turned to CP Communications for solutions. With more than three decades of experience, CP has earned the reputation as an industry leader, recognized for innovation in the design, planning, and implementation of seamless live event and broadcast productions. Red House Streaming, a CP subsidiary that focuses on IP, cloud, and bonded cellular technology, launched in-house studio productions in January 2021. The Red House Streaming ecosystem includes a state-of-the-art 5,600-square-foot production studio and network operations center in St. Petersburg, FL, as well as a complete family of mobile production and streaming packages that are accessible from any location. Offering its core services and the Red House Streaming brand, CP Communications creates the best custom solution for every client and every event — no matter how big or small.
et’s assume you have engaging content and a bunch of fans, BUT your design, equipment, and lack of impact are not getting you noticed. VERSA CAST is the solution for you and your team. What exactly is VERSA CAST? VERSA CAST is your one-stop shop to make sure your podcast looks its best. We have partnered with Broadcast General Store to create the podcast set-up that is perfect for you. We offer a variety of packages so you can pick what works for your needs and budget. So what’s included in VERSA CAST? VERSA CAST packages include any combination of: Tables and Desks, Versa Mic Flags, Lighting Pop-Up, Graphic Backdrops (Including Green Screens), Digital Signage, Dimensional Signage, and Equipment and Hardware (Soundboards, headphones, mics, etc.). And yes, we do custom podcast studios too! Give us a call today!
>CREATIVE MOBILE SOLUTIONS
reative Mobile Solutions provides tapeless workflow solutions for live events and studiobased shows. We stay on the cutting edge of tapeless workflow and use our expertise daily in live production environments. Our goals are increasing efficiency and saving your production time and money. We provide services for television, film, commercial and other video productions. The experts on our team have worked with TV shows like Survivor and The Apprentice, films including Iron Man and Sex and the City: The Movie, award shows
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like the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and the MTV VMAs, and major sporting events such as ESPN’s ESPY Awards, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, the US Open (Golf Channel & ESPN), ESPN College Football Gameday, the NBA Finals, and the Super Bowl.
rown Castle owns, operates, and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and approximately 80,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major U.S. market. This nationwide portfolio of communications infrastructure connects cities and communities to essential data, technology, and wireless service — bringing information, ideas, and innovations to the people and businesses that need them.
>CSP MOBILE PRODUCTIONS
n business for over 25 years, CSP Mobile Productions is one of the fastest growing mobile HD and digital television production companies in the U.S. The company provides clients with the highest quality mobile television facilities, the most professional and service-oriented staff, and the best equipment at reasonable prices. With one of the industry’s newest fleets, CSP’s mobile units are cutting-edge, powerful, and efficient, and they can be on location for any level of need in the majority of North America. In a competitive business where you are only as good as your last job, CSP has earned its reputation for being on time, on budget, and on target.
s the Texas Rangers began their first full season at home in Globe Life Field, they did so with new Daktronics LED displays and a robust control system. With eight LED displays providing 18,368 square feet of digital canvas, integration and coordination is extremely important. To maximize the visual experience using the technology, Daktronics Show Control system with Live Clips and Camino technology brings an atmosphere to the stadium that simply can’t be achieved at home. HDR-capable video displays driven by the most advanced live event control solution, all in an easy-to-use interface, helps the Rangers deliver a broadcast-style production for their fans and also helps them generate additional revenue while providing awareness for their sponsors and partners. The improved screen quality combined with attention-grabbing graphics for data and information with layers and effects that are able to be rendered in real time give fans an unforgettable game-day experience.
>DALE PRO AUDIO
he broadcast audio world may be constantly changing, but one thing has stayed the same at Dale Pro Audio: our 65 years of commitment to customer service and expertise. We have a sales and support team second to none, carry hundreds of the industry’s best brands, and stock thousands of products in our NYC warehouse. We’ve spent the last two years helping audio professionals find
ways to adapt their workflows, face logistical challenges, and continue to get sound where it needs to go. Whatever today’s (or tomorrow’s) audio landscape may look like, you can count on us to continue to be “A Partner in Your Success”.
>DEVLIN DESIGN GROUP
hen it comes to sports and esports set design, the team at Devlin Design Group covers all the bases. We understand engaging your fans is at the top of your game-winning strategy. We’re all in it to help you win them over! Fans like stories and react to captivating content about their favorite teams and players. Content comes alive with custom scenic design for your on-air team’s expert analysis of the day’s match, insightful interviews with your fan’s favorite athletes, and dynamic visuals. Our recent clients — the Tennis Channel, Riot Games LCS, Marquee Sports Network, and VENN — chose us because of what makes us different in sports and esports production. We’re constantly seeking out new ways to offer a fresh aesthetic to set design. We stand by our mantra: Creativity, Knowledge, and Innovation. Our services include scenic design, lighting direction, virtual set design, fabrication, and lighting equipment.
ynthax is the exclusive distributor in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America for RME, Ferrofish, myMix, Appsys, and ALVA CableWare, as well as DIGIGRAM for the U.S. and Latin America. We supply a nationwide network of dealers with products for professional audio, live music, broadcast, install sound, music industry, and more.
igital Nirvana is a global knowledge management technology developer that empowers organizations to create, share, and mine insights from electronic media. The company’s comprehensive portfolio of solutions includes media monitoring and analysis; generation and management of closed captions, subtitles, transcripts, and metadata; and advanced AI-based technologies that drive custom production workflows. Organizations worldwide rely on Digital Nirvana to improve operational efficiencies, ensure compliance, reduce costs, and expand revenue streams. The company applies AI and ML technologies to media workflows that can auto-generate highly accurate metadata transcripts of video content much faster and less expensively than traditional methods. This aids in high cost and time benefits for fastpaced news operations. A set of core AI capabilities can be easily accessed by newsrooms, live sports and entertainment productions, postproduction houses, and other media operations that will expedite critical processes, reduce mundane tasks, and free creative personnel to do their jobs.
imetis helps enable your software-defined network across your sports production workflow. From the stadium to the production facility to the distribution point, Dimetis offers a suite of software that can manage and monitor your devices and services. Dimetis is vendor-agnostic and cloud-enabled, allowing for quick and flexible deployment across your fiber, copper, and web networks.
isguise technology platform enables creative and technical professionals to imagine, create, and deliver spectacular live visual experiences at the highest level. With a focus on combining realtime 3D visualization-based software with highperformance and robust hardware, they enable the delivery of challenging creative projects at scale and with confidence. Turning concepts into reality, disguise has offices in London, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, and Shanghai, with technical teams across all to support customer needs, as well as sales recorded in over 50 countries.
echnology surrounds and engages, permeating the consciousness with sights and sounds. It’s facts, data. Pitch speed. 3-pointers shot and made. Yards needed in a game of inches. But it’s much more. It’s a link. A connection between you and your fans. An announcer recounting the goal to thunderous roars. A fourth quarter hype video bringing the crowd’s soul to your team’s ear. Excitement. Engagement. Empowerment. Images and sounds connecting you, telling your story. With more real-world experience than any other sports technology solutions provider, Diversified understands your technology needs. Replay control rooms, sound, core IT networks, social media platforms, IPTV, electronic security, structured cabling, mobile production units, storage, and archive. Even how to expertly navigate your transition to IP. Diversified is enabling a digital future by designing, building, commissioning, and managing everything for you. For your fans. Your brand. Diversified is imagination engineered. Learn more at onediversified.com/sports.
>DMC BROADCAST GROUP
MC Broadcast Group represents manufacturers from all over the world. We help them sell, distribute, and market their hardware and software products for broadcast, cable networks, station groups, postproduction facilities, and studios. With over 30 years’ industry experience, we source cutting-edge solutions from across the globe to provide high quality, cost-effective products from the most trusted manufacturers.
NA Studios, a mobile production truck and studio vendor, has seen its busiest summer ever. Multiple soccer clients, pageants and government clients have kept the growing staff busy. DNA also debuts two new mobile units for the fall: HD21 and HD12. These units have Ross Carbonite switchers, XPression graphics, and Dreamcatcher replay systems. They are designed for regional-level shows with five Grass Valley cams, Dante audio, and large HD box lenses. DNA is also near completion of their 12,000-foot new broadcast facility that will house more REMI control rooms, studios, and offices. With 10 different brands of IP encoders, DNA Studios will be able to connect to many different networks and transmit facilities worldwide. The facility will complete a robust set of resources allowing DNA Studios to transmit up to 12 events per day.
olby’s remarkable audiovisual technologies heighten and deepen your experiences, helping you feel more. It’s the heavy downpour in a moody scene. The stunningly vivid sunset in the show’s season finale. The song you feel deep in your chest. The footsteps lurking behind you on the video game battlefield. The voice of a colleague on a call who lives across the globe but sounds like they’re right next to you. We breathe life into these experiences through our innovative audiovisual technologies. This is the Dolby Difference.
ome Productions is owned by Bell Media and Rogers Media. As one of North America’s leading production facilities providers, Dome Productions offers mobile production facilities, transmission services, studio facilities, and full turnkey host broadcast services.
X3 Media is a media production management and consulting company. Its Managing Director has a reputation unparalleled in the industry with over 25 years experience providing cost-effective client options on a variety of projects. DX3 Media Inc. excels at providing out-of-the-box thinking resulting in creative solutions for clients’ projects.
ditShare is a technology leader that delivers software solutions enabling storytellers to create and manage collaborative media workflows onpremise, in the cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. The high-performance software suite includes media management, media-optimized shared storage, as well as archiving and backup, all supported with open APIs for extensible integration. EditShare FLOW, a streamlined asset management platform that focuses on creative workflows, cleanly integrates with existing tools and simplifies workflows through easy-to-configure automation. Underpinning FLOW is EFS, a software-optimized storage family with the performance and features needed by teams and enterprises to build out their production environments. Highlights of the portfolio include integrated NLE panels to provide seamless asset management integration; open APIs for easy integration with existing tools and infrastructure; flexible solutions that enable you to embark on your journey to the cloud, including cloud backup, remote proxy, all the way to full cloud production; and scalable solution based on industry-leading HPE products. The solution features align with their goal of creating workflows built on truly open platforms, allowing customers to work with the tools they know and love.
EG Video is the leader in closed captioning technology, equipping broadcasters, producers, and more with solutions to reach more audiences. EEG has released a range of new releases, including the debut of Smart Lexi, EEG and Ai-Media’s groundbreaking live automatic captioning solution. Smart Lexi layers human curation, custom dictionaries, and machine learning to provide high-accuracy captioning that’s available 24/7. An addition to the Alta line of captioning solutions, CDI Alta, supports AWS CDI and makes caption-
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SPONSORUPDATE ing cloud-based live video production easier and more affordable than ever. For captioning in 4K resolution, the iCap Connect AV650 represents the next generation of EEG’s industry-standard HD492 iCap encoder. The AV650 provides native support for UHD 12G-SDI caption encoding and decoding. Finally, EEG’s live stream captioning solution, Falcon, now provides extensive support for world language web captioning.
luvio uses the philosophies of decentralized design and content-centric networking, and we harness breakthroughs in machine learning, blockchain security, advanced cryptography, and low cost compute to achieve efficiency and simplicity. Several of us have spent our careers dealing with the challenges of current architectures and see now an opportunity to change the Internet for the better, for good, and an economic imperative given the imbalances in the content distribution chain working against Content Publishers, Sponsors, and Viewers. Many will recognize that Eluvio is the “rest of the story” following our creation of the first content transport for the Internet 15 years ago. Our team is humble but equipped with intellectual passion and a powerhouse of technical depth. In Latin, “fluvio” is a flood. Hence our ambition.
>ENCOMPASS DIGITAL MEDIA
ncompass provides world-class media services to professional sports leagues, top-tier networks, and platforms, including content acquisition, media processing, playout, distribution, and disaster recovery. On average, Encompass acquires/distributes 100,000 live events/feeds annually and services approximately 1,500 full-time channels globally on a daily basis. As a strategic technology partner, Encompass offers continuous innovation, supporting its customers’ business needs as the next generation of media workflows evolve to a fully managed virtual environment. The company’s private Altitude Media Cloud is designed around broadcast media interfaces, protocols, performance, and service levels. Channels are deployed across diverse geographic regions, supporting both pre-recorded and live events with built-in disaster recovery. Not only does Altitude solve the issue of running critical broadcast applications on virtualized infrastructure, but it also provides exclusive and direct access to Encompass’ global satellite and video fiber footprint. Services: channel playout, global distribution, streaming, live events, disaster recovery, radio. YOUR SPORTS CONTENT. DELIVERED.
S Broadcast’s U.S. operation continues to flourish and, in recent months, has provided broadcast equipment to several NBA teams, to mobile unit companies working in live sports, and to specialist esports broadcast and production services provider Esports Engine. Continuing in the realm of esports, ES Broadcast completed a portable production unit for leading competitive PvP platform FACEIT. The PPU will act as the central produc82
tion system for a new 12,000 sq. ft. studio facility in Santa Monica, CA, but can also be deployed as a temporary system. Internationally, ES Broadcast supplied a huge roster of rental kit for the Tokyo Olympics, including 80 Sony and 151 Grass Valley UHD channels alongside some 200 lenses and 15 Grass Valley Kahuna switchers. The systems integration division, meanwhile, continued its program of upgrades for global OTT sports broadcast DAZN, with the installation of SMPTE 2110 routing infrastructure in its Northern Ireland playout facility.
urovision Services’ (ES) world-class customer service allows our clients around the world to focus on what matters: creating amazing experiences for their fans as the world begins to emerge from a global pandemic. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us, but with the postponed events from last year added to the sports events already on the 2021 calendar, our focus was on expanding our capabilities for handling the global distribution of all these additional events, including the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. While successfully delivering all major postponed events to broadcasters worldwide, the schedules for our other major clients, including the PGA TOUR and the NBA, were back to their full 2019 levels. Eurovision Services was there to resume our normal services as well as adding IP distribution of additional, targeted content to NBA partner broadcasters in Europe and Asia. Eurovision’s IP technology services adds critical diversity to the delivery of our client’s content to more than 200 countries and territories. Eurovision Services also resumed our delivery of specialized content to NBC Sports from major global events in 2021, beginning with the rescheduled French Open, as well as for other events airing on their Olympic Channel.
ounded in 1977, Eutelsat Communications is one of the world’s leading satellite operators. With a global fleet of satellites and associated ground infrastructure, Eutelsat enables clients across video, data, government, fixed and mobile broadband markets to communicate effectively with their customers, irrespective of their location. Over 6,600 television channels operated by leading media groups are broadcast by Eutelsat to 1 billion viewers equipped for DTH reception or connected to terrestrial networks. Headquartered in Paris with offices and teleports around the globe, Eutelsat assembles 1,000 men and women from 46 countries who are dedicated to delivering the highest quality of service.
uring 2021, Evertz has developed technology and solutions that address the post-COVID challenges for sports production. We have introduced DreamCatcher BRAVO Studio as our Virtual Production Control that operates in on- or off-premise data centers. BRAVO Studio enables customers to launch all elements required for a
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production or live event (sports, news, or entertainment). BRAVO Studio provides co-pilots to make the production more efficient. This includes our Metadata Co-pilot for auto clipping and playlists, using sensor-based ShotTracker data for virtual cameras, and Studer for advanced audio mixing. For stadiums and venues, we have launched two new switching cores to address growing demands for UHD. For IP, we have added the NATX to our SDVN portfolio. NATX provides high-capacity switching for UHD with built-in NATs that simplify configuration and control. For 12G-SDI, we are introducing the NEXX routing platform. NEXX is the next generation of enterprise SDI routing that provides a seamless path to IP. For fan engagement, we have added features to Ease Live. Some of the largest sports networks use Ease Live to enhance the user experience on their live streaming apps, with some broadcasters experiencing double-digit growth in fan engagement and duration on their apps.
f live sports production is your game, then EVS’ LiveCeption solutions have you covered. As a pioneer in Live Slow Motion and a trusted leader in live video technology for broadcast and new media productions, EVS enables production crews across the globe to craft the most amazing stories and trigger the best return on emotion with its set of LiveCeption solutions. LiveCeption Signature combines the power of our XT-VIA live production server with the new LSM-VIA to deliver premium sports productions with outstanding replays and highlights. The solution supports all the latest industry formats and native IP connectivity to enable flexible operations including remote and distributed workflows. XtraMotion, our new cloud-based service, can be added to the LiveCeption workflow to create smooth super slow-motion replays from any camera angle. LiveCeption Pure is designed with EVS’ reliability and responsiveness at its core, and will give you the professional results you desire, while maintaining your production costs under control. EVS’ entry-level replay solution offers a controller operators are familiar with as well as the broadcast quality and scalability that will help to grow your business by addressing a much wider range of productions. LiveCeption X-One brings EVS’ market-proven technology into a compact and easy-to-deploy solution that puts all the capabilities of a control room into the hands of single operator. To learn more, go to evs.com.
or more than three decades, F&F Productions has remained a first choice of veteran producers worldwide for all major league sports, network series and entertainment specials, live concerts, and large-scale corporate events for Fortune 500 companies. Our GTX signature series fleet has provided live network coverage for NCAA Men’s Final Four, U.S. Open Tennis, NFL Football, Super Bowls and their halftime shows, Major League Baseball World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Playoffs and Finals, The Masters, The Kentucky Derby, NAS-
CAR, countless NCAA Football and Bowl Games, and more.
astly’s content delivery network gives businesses complete control over how they serve content, unprecedented access to real-time performance analytics, and the ability to cache frequently changing content at the edge. Our secure, global network allows enterprises to increase revenue and improve customer experiences across their websites and mobile applications while maintaining fast, consistent, and reliable performance. Fastly is funded by Amplify Partners, August Capital, Battery Ventures, Iconiq Capital, IDG Ventures, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. With offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Tokyo, and Denver, Fastly powers popular online destinations including Twitter, the Guardian, GOV.UK, Imgur, Fast Company, GitHub, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, and Shazam.
ilmwerks enjoyed another year of supporting live production at a multitude of events which were able to safely continue to broadcast throughout this past year. The business did see a downturn relating to effects of the pandemic, but several projects outside of live broadcasting helped keep the company on solid financial footing. The return of golf, paired with set construction and scenic elements, gave us the consistent flow of business we needed to bring all of our employees back. Filmwerks’ UPS systems for location and permanent studio installation has continued to grow. Filmwerks provides redundant power systems, scenic and specialty structures to the live sports broadcast industry.
ingerWorks is pleased to announce that FW6 is available in three new modes! FingerWorks6 LIVE mode (FWLIVE) used by Broadcasters worldwide, FWLIVE mode gives your on-air analyst immediate access to custom analysis tools, Web pages, and social media assets, all in one interface. FWLIVE supports all formats including HDR. FingerWorks6 Presenter mode (FWPresenter) includes the features of FWLIVE, but adds clip ingest and control. Used extensively in esports plus in-studio sports productions that require large on-camera touchscreens, the user interface can be customized and skinned to your own look and feel. FingerWorks6 Producer mode (FWProducer) allows analysts to ingest clips, trim, and analyze them using FingerWorks6 Telestration tools. Then add voice over and publish. This enables analysts to create a complete package that can be used for training sessions or delivered on any broadcast medium. Recent wins include MSG NHL road game low-bandwidth cloud-based production facility.
or over 25 years, Emmy Award-winning Fletcher Sports has created some of the most innovative and memorable images for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, plus many other sports broadcasts. Fletcher also provides specialty cameras to a variety of Entertainment shows, concerts, and Spe-
cial Events for broadcast or in-house production. Fletcher serves the international sports broadcasting market with our Fletcher London operation.
lowics provides the most comprehensive cloudbased platform for in-studio or remote production of live graphics and interactive content for venues and linear and digital broadcasters. Flowics is used by sports and media organizations — such as Telemundo, IRONMAN, TUDN, Audacy, beIN Sports, EA Sports, and more — to enhance fan engagement and simplify production workflows. The new data connectors architecture incorporated into Flowics Graphics now includes native integration of leading data providers such as Stats Perform, SportRadar, and Genius Sports and sportsbooks like BetMGM. It enables sports broadcasters and producers to create data-driven graphics with live stats and betting odds in minutes — no custom development needed. The ease of implementation makes workflows more agile, which saves time and optimizes technical and creative resources. Flowics also provides multiple options for engaging fans on social media and digital properties, including polls, quizzes, and ratings, which can be easily incorporated into the live broadcast. www.flowics.com
yon Video, a video broadcasting and production company based in Columbus, OH, has purchased 10 FOR-A FA-9600 multi-purpose signal processors with the high dynamic range (HDR) software option for Lyon-14, a 53-foot expando OB truck that is being used for a 13-game NCAA Division I college football package during the 2021 season. Lyon-14 includes a complement of 11 native 4K UHD cameras. Although Lyon Video will produce the football games in UHD, not all content from outside sources — such as graphics, POV cameras, and effects — is supplied in UHD. The FA-9600s will provide upconversion of the HD signals, which helps avoid a jarring difference in picture quality between elements for the viewer. Designed for live broadcast production, each of the FA-9600’s two 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs includes a frame synchronizer, HDR and Wide Color Gamut support, and conversion of multiple formats, including 12G, 4K (UHD), 1080p, and HD/SD-SDI.
t Fujifilm, we are continuously innovating — creating new technologies, products, and services that inspire and excite people everywhere. Our goal is to empower the potential and expand the horizons of tomorrow’s businesses and lifestyles. We take an open and flexible attitude to innovation, combining our own original technology with human resources, expertise, and technology from around the world. Through this powerful synergy, we develop new solutions that address the true needs of our global customers.
ujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company, offering a full range of technology products, solutions, and services. Approximately 140,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT
to shape the future of society with our customers.
>G&D NORTH AMERICA
VM manufacturer G&D developed with its “VisionXS” a new compact multi-purpose KVM tool. The main idea: a wide range of functions in the smallest possible housing. The new VisionXS-IP-DP-UHR systems are high-performance KVM-over-IP extenders with a bandwidth of 10G and video transmission for resolutions up to 4K. Users can expect the best video quality and an even better performance. With a bandwidth of up to 10 Gbit/s, VisionXS opens up a new dimension of possibilities. Especially fast videos and frequently changing image content now require significantly less compression thus improving the user experience many times over. VisionXS products can either be operated in pairs as an extender line or they can also be integrated into matrix installations. Universal compatibility with G&D’s IP KVM matrix systems thus enables a high degree of flexibility. This makes it even easier to plan and expand KVM installations, even at a later date.
>GAME CREEK VIDEO
ame Creek Video sets the industry standard for facilitating successful live broadcasts and recordings. As a family-run, privately owned company, Game Creek works with the world’s largest television networks, production companies, and news organizations to provide them with comprehensive mobile production solutions. We combine an advanced, state-of-the-art fleet of mobile production units with an accomplished, reliable team of experts to ensure that the largest events in the world are televised flawlessly. For clients requiring dependable technology, exceptional response time, and consistent quality results in high-pressure environments, Game Creek Video delivers awardwinning productions of sporting events, concerts, awards ceremonies, corporate events, and more.
ince 2003, Geartech Technologies has been offering a variety of high-end products in the field of telecommunications, broadcasting, and cable. With offices in strategic cities, the Geartech Technologies team is available to better serve, advise and support you as a distributor or supplier. Geartech Technologies provides top quality broadcasting and telecommunications equipment for businesses in the North American markets.
enius Sports is the official data, technology, and commercial partner that powers the global ecosystem connecting sports, betting, and media. Our mission is to champion a more sustainable sports data ecosystem that benefits all parties — from the rightsholder all the way through to the fan. We are the trusted partner to over 400 sports organizations globally, capturing the highest quality data for many of the world’s largest leagues and federations such as the NFL, EPL, FIBA, NCAA, NASCAR, AFA, and PGA. From enabling leagues to take control of their official data, to creating immersive fan experiences for sports, betting and media organizations, we are driven to the deliver the difference for our partners.
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s for everyone, 2020 and 2021 have been very challenging but have also seen exciting developments, not least with remote production and remote working more generally. Given the scale of the global sporting events that Globecast works across, being able to adapt to each specific circumstance is vital and we see increased use of remote production ahead, which we’re supporting with our market-leading network infrastructure. One new, multi-year partnership that stands out is with Infront, for which we’ve already provided multiple services across different sporting events including global distribution services for the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. We provided all of the encoding and connectivity from the site for the contribution path back to London via fiber, along with international distribution of the world feed. Alongside our premium connectivity, we’ve really focused on our customer approach with this partnership, providing a very ‘high touch’ service, paramount in today’s market.
oogle Cloud accelerates organizations’ ability to digitally transform their business with the best infrastructure, platform, industry solutions, and expertise. We deliver enterprise-grade cloud solutions that leverage Google’s cutting-edge technology to help companies operate more efficiently and adapt to changing needs, giving customers a foundation for the future. Customers in more than 200 countries and territories turn to Google Cloud as their trusted partner to solve their most critical business problems.
uring 2021, Grabyo has been building broadcast-grade developments to add to its cloud video production platform. Over the past year, the company has released a number of new capabilities to its live broadcasting tool, Grabyo Producer. The platform currently supports the ingest of the SRT, Zixi, RiST, and RTP video protocols, with egress support coming in the next three months. Grabyo’s new browser-based multiviewer and audio mixer services offer the ability to scale live video monitoring and audio mixing infinitely. Both of which can be operated remotely and customized for the needs of individual users and events. With further updates to its remote guest contribution app, such as director talkback and intercom, ISO recording, and scene snapshots, Grabyo offers broadcasters the ability to reduce the amount of hardware and software needed to produce live programming for broadcast TV, OTT, and digital platforms in one, browser-based, streamlined workflow.
rass Valley has worked closely with its media customers over the past year to enable them to harness the potential of cloud technology. The esports division of Electronic Arts Competitive Gaming Entertainment deployed an end-to-end cloud workflow built around the GV AMPP (Agile Media Processing Platform) for its major competitive gaming events, EA SPORTS FIFA 21 and 84
Apex Legends — facilitating truly global remote productions, with talent and staff distributed across Europe and North America. The adoption of cloud-based solutions has accelerated as media organizations become more aware of the benefits cloud can provide, such as scalability, agility, and cost-efficiency. To allow Grass Valley customers to seamlessly transition to cloud-based workflows, the company has been developing and building out new functionality within the cloud-based GV AMPP platform. This year, it introduced GV KFrame on AMPP, a SaaS version of the K-Frame switcher engine running on AMPP — as well as the AMPP Audio Mixer to enable true cloud-based audio mixing. Grass Valley’s vision for transitioning to a SaaS and cloud-based media is grounded in the GV Media Universe — a digital ecosystem that enables media companies to produce and deliver more content with ease, flexibility, and efficiency. With GV AMPP at its core, Grass Valley and verified partner solutions within GV Media Universe provide seamless, end-to-end media workflows that scale rapidly, enhance business agility, and drive cost-effectiveness for its customers.
ravity Media is a leading global provider of live broadcast facilities and production services. We supply production, programming, and content services for a wide range of broadcast needs, working with content owners, creators, and distributors. We’ve worked both in front of and behind the camera for many years, delivering premium TV content and technical services across a range of live sporting events, including college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, and Olympic sports such as swimming, diving, field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. The defining feature of all these projects is that they have been REMI productions, utilizing our in-house fleet of mobile production units. Indeed, Gravity Media is one of the leaders in this space, having completed well over 2,000 events in the past eight years. With sophisticated sports consumers demanding increasingly personalized and immersive experiences, Gravity Media has remained at the forefront of production technology and process innovation. We continue to pioneer new AV solutions to offer fresh and unique perspectives in sports coverage, including wearable and on-field RF packages — just two of many specialist camera and microphone solutions we’ve developed as part of our ongoing R&D program. To discuss how we can help with your next production, visit gravitymedia.com.
aivision is a leading global provider of mission-critical, real-time video streaming and networking solutions. Our connected cloud and intelligent edge technologies enable organizations globally to engage audiences, enhance collaboration, and support decision making. We provide high quality, low latency, secure, and reliable live video at a global scale. Haivision open sourced its award-winning SRT low latency video streaming protocol and founded the SRT Alliance to sup-
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port its adoption. Awarded an Emmy for Technology and Engineering from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Haivision continues to fuel the future of IP video transformation.
n 2021, IHSE is offering several new KVM display management products designed to meet the workflow demands of operators requiring realtime access to computer-based systems. Operators working in broadcast-related environments will be able to access a wide variety of devices, whether they are local, remote, or accessing virtual sources. As more companies come to depend on networkcentric solutions, IHSE’s KVM display management systems allow them to integrate all types of workstations in a hybrid concept that can be seamlessly configured to a physical KVM matrix system that is non-intrusive to critical workflow needs. As a close partner of some of the best names in mobile production, IHSE provides display management systems for A/B truck designs that allow multiple sources to be easily accessed from a single keyboard and mouse, no matter which unit the source resides in. Another IHSE product advancement for 2021 is our popular extenders for esports that now offer built-in frame rate conversion at the receiver device to connect 240Hz gaming displays or 60Hz streaming sources from the same high frame rate computer system.
llumination Dynamics (ID) is a rental and services provider of automated and conventional lighting and mobile power generation equipment for the motion picture, television, special events, and sports broadcast markets. With locations in Los Angeles, CA, and Charlotte, NC, ID has an excellent reputation in all markets served, and is considered to be an industry leader in quality, customer service, and integrity. We are a wholly owned subsidiary of ARRI Rental, which operates through a network of rental facilities in North America and across Europe. ID was founded in 2001 by a team of industry experts including Carly Barber and Jeff Pentek.
NDYCAR implements Imagen’s cloud-based media management platform to streamline access to the rich archive of Penske Entertainment Corp. Penske Entertainment Corp.’s new digital content site, uses the Imagen Pro platform for media, race teams, race promoters, domestic and international broadcast partners, and corporate partners to download video, audio, images, news content, publications, and much more. The Imagen Pro platform offers detailed information on each piece of content, with additional related content available just a click away. The platform also will allow Penske Entertainment Corp. to provide much more video content and clips, a mainstay of social media and other popular digital platforms. Imagen Pro also provides Penske Entertainment Corp. with full control over storing, managing, and tracking the INDYCAR and IMS media libraries,
with automated processes for ingest, tagging and distribution. To find out more about Imagen Pro, CLICK HERE.
magine Communications’ state-of-the-art technology has been center stage at the most iconic sports and live events for decades. Today, media companies are using Imagine solutions to make broadcast history — from implementing pioneering SMPTE ST 2110-based distributed workflows in sports venues at top-ranked U.S. universities to creating unique live production architectures from preconfigured IP modules for the world’s largest sports events. In a groundbreaking deployment earlier this year, Imagine provided Sinclair’s Tennis Channel with core infrastructure for a large-scale ST 2110 live production center and a cloud-based environment for pop-up live events. This allowed Sinclair to spin up live channels covering the 2021 Miami Open tennis tournament in March, marking the first time that any broadcaster had supported such a high-profile live sporting event via live realtime cloud playout. They used the same platform for coverage of the 2021 French Open from Roland Garros. Recent Imagine introductions include a UHD/HDR-capable, ultra-low latency production multiviewer within the company’s award-winning Selenio Network Processer (SNP). Imagine is also introducing JPEG XS encoding and decoding in SNP — supporting the next generation of HD and UHD contribution circuits — to allow high-quality remote production workflows.
>INTEGRATED MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES
ounded in 2007, IMT is a systems integration company servicing media and entertainment, enterprise and institutional clients with a broad range of media technology, IT, and video collaboration solutions. Since its inception, IMT’s software team has developed and delivered a broad range of software solutions designed to solve critical customer problems to make technical organizations more accountable and efficient.
s the foundational architects of satellite technology, Intelsat operates the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructure. We apply our unparalleled expertise and global scale to connect people, businesses, and communities, no matter how difficult the challenge. Intelsat is uniquely positioned to help our customers turn possibilities into reality — transformation happens when businesses, governments, and communities use Intelsat’s nextgeneration global network and managed services to build their connected future.
ll of Intoto’s services are influenced by our Agile development approach. We believe in continuous demonstration and client feedback. This gives us the ability to course-correct until the deliverable is exactly right for our client. Intoto adopts a whole-system perspective, considering both technical and business needs. Our interdisciplinary approach is applied through all phases of the design and deployment process, integrating sub-specialties into a single team deliverable. Our
goal for every project is to deliver not only a wellengineered product, but to ensure that our client has the capacity to continuously manage and sustain the system — designing, testing, and implementing change as necessary to support the business at it develops.
>IRON MOUNTAIN ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES
>KEY CODE MEDIA
ron Mountain Entertainment Services (IMES) is the leading physical and digital asset preservation and archiving service for the Entertainment industry. We partner with our clients in the film, music, broadcast, and sports industries to bring them the global resources and unparalleled safety and security of Iron Mountain. Our team of veteran industry experts provides best practices and technology to content owners and creators to empower them to preserve, access, and monetize their archives, across all stages of the asset lifecycle.
alue-Added Distributor. Experts in Video, Broadcast, Production, and ProAV. Founded in 1996, JB&A is a leader in the field of Video, Broadcast, Production, and ProAV. We’re a unique mix of Value Add Distributor, Channel Partner, and Solutions Provider with an ecosystem of certified, tested and proven products and workflow solutions. The JB&A Team is dedicated to bringing the most innovative and complete Digital Media Management, IP/Streaming, Digital Projection, and Connectivity solutions to market. We’re staffed by industry experts in the products and solutions we represent. JB&A provides world-class customer support driven by a team that cares.
oseph Electronics (JE) is an authorized stocking distributor for more than 100 premier broadcast and pro AV brands with stocking locations in both Illinois and California. JE also designs, manufactures, and supplies innovative custom fiber solutions — such as the Caddie Series, DFT Series, and 4K fiber transport gear — for broadcasters and system integrators alike. Equipped with a state-ofthe-art fiber lab staffed with fully certified professionals, JE can fabricate, terminate, or repair any connector, assembly, panel, breakout, or interface in use today. JE has served the broadcast industry for more than 70 years and has representatives in California, New York, Georgia, and London.
>JVC PROFESSIONAL VIDEO
to prevent packet loss typically found on internet connections. It also offers stream encryption for content protection. Additionally, with the incorporated Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC) with Network Time Protocol (NTP), the new JVC PTZ cameras also feature multi-camera synchronization for sports production.
VC Professional Video’s new 4K KY-PZ400N and HD KY-PZ200N CONNECTED CAM PTZ cameras provide optimal streaming image quality and performance for sports and remote production over the internet and are equipped with NDI|HX and SRT streaming, H.265/H.264/MJPEG encoding and VITC (Vertical Interval Timecode) multi-camera synchronization technologies. With integrated NDI|HX technology, JVC’s new PTZ cameras offer a high-quality, low-latency IP video transmission standard that is ideal for streaming in an ever-evolving sports landscape. In addition to NDI|HX, the new cameras include SRT, HTTP, RTSP, RTMP/RTMPS, and standard protocols. The advanced streaming capabilities of the incorporated SRT technology adds automatic repeat request (ARQ) and forward error correction (FEC)
ey Code Media is the preferred resource for audiovisual equipment, installation, and aftermarket support. We approach complex projects with a high-touch customer service focus, ensuring equipment is delivered, installed, and adopted by a customer successfully. Our solutions include: AV (Conference Rooms, Lecture Halls, Classrooms, Video Walls, Collaborative Offices, City Council Chambers); Broadcast (Comm Systems, Flypacks, OB Truck, and Control Rooms); and Production Equipment (Audio Suites, Video Edit Suites, and Networking). We focus on your vision and business needs, deploying solutions that work today and into the future, keeping you ahead of technology.
>KMH AUDIO-VIDEO INTEGRATION
ports media professionals should spend their time creating engaging content, not worrying about the technology behind it. KMH Integration removes the complexity and reduces headaches for sports broadcast and production teams installing or upgrading an AV system — delivering end-to-end design, integration, and consulting services for any project of any scope. Recent projects include designing studios, production spaces, TV/ radio operations, and a file-based MAM workflow for the Pittsburgh Steelers, installing an IPTV system for the New York Giants, and ongoing upgrades for the New York Red Bulls. KMH Integration is also providing ongoing consulting services for customers beyond sports and across several industries to help them adapt to changing business environments: customizing video networks, designing remote production workflows for WFH or hybrid employees, and deploying new media distribution systems and IP encoding platforms. To find out more about why KMH Integration is “Best by Test,” contact KMH at (929) 295-6347 or visit https://kmh-integration.com/.
awo enables world-class content production by leading innovation in media infrastructure, cloud, and workflow solutions. We design and manufacture pioneering network, video, audio, control, and monitoring technology for TV and radio broadcast, the performing arts, houses of worship, stadiums, and corporate applications. Products include IP-based media infrastructure solutions, control and monitoring systems, video processing tools, and digital audio mixing consoles. With software-defined platforms for video processing and multiviewing, radio applications, and digital audio, Lawo has set a trend with all the ingredients of a private cloud, enabling decentralized, multi-campus and flexible remote operation. This includes an evolving catalog of video-related applications as well as plug and play operation through HOME, a micro-service-based management platform. Already built into the new mc²36 audio console and the latest software version of
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SPONSORUPDATE the A__UHD Core (Phase 2), HOME is now being rolled out for all current and selected legacy video, telemetry, and audio solutions. HOME’s operatorfirst approach makes connecting IP devices as easy as in a baseband environment. An audio console, for instance, automatically detects new I/O devices and makes them available at the touch of a button. HOME manages IP addresses, multicast ranges, and VLANs. It includes robust security features like access control, quarantining of unknown devices, and provides centralized access and control for all compliant gear within a setup. With HOME, operators are able to effortlessly manage modern IP infrastructures thanks to automated discovery and registration of devices, connection management, flow control, software and firmware management, scalability, and security.
eader Electronics has earned a worldwide reputation for designing and manufacturing highly reliable, practical and powerful test and measurement instruments. Leader products are specified for broadcast, production, post production, research, product development, and service applications. Manufacturing quality is built in every step of the way. The Leader product range includes award-winning 3G/HD/SD SDI waveform monitors and rasterizers, all with customizable layouts. Among the available options are 4K/UHD, CIE color chart, HDR measurement, test pattern generation, eye and jitter measurement, closed caption display, IP and 12G/6G-SDI. Leader has helped many customers manage their transition from analog to digital, from SD to HD, from HD to 4K/UHD, from SDR to HDR and from BT.709 to BT.2020 wide color gamut. Now Leader also provides SMPTE ST2022-7 and ST2110 support for the transition from SDI to IP.
or over 15 years, Levels Beyond has been trusted by the biggest names in media and entertainment to help create, manage, and distribute their media with their REACH ENGINE platform. With the ever-expanding growth of video content, the company’s cloud-based and on-premise/hybrid software services and solutions today are enabling industries from media and entertainment, national sports leagues, and teams to corporate marketing and advertising and new media distributors to produce, manage, and distribute more content, through more channels, with fewer resources.
>LH COMPUTER SERVICES
H Computer Services is a reseller specializing in video storage solutions for professional and collegiate sports. LH offers solutions that provide next-generation storage platforms providing content production, distribution, and archive with the performance and reliability needed to meet extreme production and delivery deadlines. The company offers solutions with file systems, optimized for video, in an end-to-end solution from ingest to archive that are designed for performance from the ground up and built on the foundation 86
of providing high-performance collaboration to leading post and broadcast organizations. LH has a variety of manufacturers to draw from providing direct-attached storage, FCSANs, as well as a traditional NAS, to meet the demanding needs of your workflow. Trust a partner like LH Computer Services that has a proven history of architecting and providing solutions to clients in the NBA, NCAA, and more.
ive CGI is a software platform to enable you to make live branded content. From games to education to entertainment, our tool kit combines everything you need to bring your vision to life in almost any format (AR, VR, Flat screens) in realtime.
>LIVE MEDIA GROUP
ive Media Group offers a complete turnkey solution for our clients and their audience. The company was founded on the fundamental principle of creating the highest quality product and experience for our clients and their viewers. “Status quo” was not good enough, so we created the ultimate turnkey solution. How do we do it? Ownership and invention. Our experienced, interdisciplinary team developed all of our internal systems and processes for encoding and transmission. Furthermore, we own our own production and broadcast equipment (including production vehicles) to reduce cost and maximize control and redundancy. In response to our clients wanting a better solution to less-thansatisfactory video players, we created the fully interactive nowlive video platform, which also provides pay-per-view capabilities with our Virtual Wristband technology. With our comprehensive suite of services and products, Live Media Group can handle every aspect of a live campaign, from initial concept to final delivery to your audience, all with measurable results.
iveU is changing the rules of the game for live news and dynamic sports coverage, with flawless 5G 4K HEVC live streaming and remote production. Together with its cloud-based management and next-gen IP distribution platforms, LiveU offers the most cost-effective end-to-end contribution, production, and distribution solution. The inventor and innovator of cellular bonding, the company is synonymous with high-quality live video solutions, transmitted from anywhere in the world. Our broad portfolio of products sets the industry standard for live video production ranging from our newest, portable production-level field units and smartphone app to satellite/cellular hybrid and external antenna solutions. LiveU creates a consistent bandwidth and a reliable connection so you can acquire, manage and distribute high-quality remote live broadcasts. With over 3,000 customers in 130+ countries, LiveU’s technology is the solution of choice for global broadcasters, news agencies, sports and entertainment, streaming live video to TV, mobile, online and social media. LiveU units are used to cover all the major news, sports, and entertainment events
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worldwide, including the U.S. Presidential Election, the FIFA World Cup, Winter and Summer Olympic Games, Super Bowl, U.S. Collegiate Championships and red-carpet events.
ports broadcasting has become increasingly complex, with onsite personnel limitations and an ever-increasing number of viewing platforms and devices. LTN Global provides transformative and reliable solutions to navigate these challenges. We are well-equipped to enable organizations to deliver exceptional live content to viewers — under every circumstance. Our solutions include our low-latency, ultra-reliable multicast IP network, a centralized video production service, LTN Flex, and a fleet of onsite production vehicles to create flexible, highly modular solutions for our sports customers, from fully centralized to onsite production workflows. We’ve also recently enhanced our transmission capabilities by offering IP multiplexing that maintains the timing relationship of multiple live feeds more efficiently and cost-effectively for remotely produced events, including horse racing, college football, and major sporting events.
ucidLink Filespaces is a high-performance cloud storage and file system providing video editors and creatives the quickest possible access to media assets stored in the cloud. Explicitly designed for rapid data access over distance, huge media files are immediately accessible from any location and any machine, by streaming data ondemand. LucidLink eliminates the need for downloading or syncing files. Creative teams across the globe easily collaborate simultaneously on projects just the same as if they are working on their local drives. LucidLink works with any NLE tool and all major operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Data is infinitely scalable and globally accessible. Editors can immediately begin to edit, share and collaborate on live sporting event footage, literally as it is being streamed. LucidLink was used behind the scenes during the 2021 Super Bowl. Sports customers include the National Women’s Soccer League, Major League Soccer, Vanderbilt University Athletics, and others.
umen is guided by our belief that humanity is at its best when technology advances the way we live and work. With approximately 450,000 route fiber miles and serving customers in more than 60 countries, we deliver the fastest, most secure platform for applications and data to help businesses, government, and communities deliver amazing experiences. Lumen is the trusted provider of content acquisition, distribution, and delivery for many of the world’s largest and most innovative media companies. From live sporting events to 24/7 news, we offer a full portfolio of end-to-end video solutions that run on top of our global adaptive network. From over-the-top (OTT) to channel distribution, Lumen brings 30+ years of video experience. Our comprehensive portfolio of end-
to-end video services and solutions leverages our global network, so your content goes where you want it, when you want it to. Learn more about the Lumen network, edge cloud, security, communication and collaboration solutions and our purpose to further human progress through technology at news.lumen.com/home, LinkedIn: /lumentechnologies, Twitter: @lumentechco, Facebook: /lumentechnologies, Instagram: @lumentechnologies and YouTube: /lumentechnologies.
ounded in 1986, Lyon Video provides mobile production units, event crewing, full service video and film production, post-production, live streaming, and equipment rentals. We’re a 100% employee-owned company comprised of passionate and highly-experienced video production and broadcasting technicians. Our team is dedicated to continuous innovation and improvement.
2A Media has accelerated the development of our leading cloud video products. Since its initial launch in 2020, M2A Connect, the cloud acquisition, aggregation, and distribution product that simplifies, automates, and scales live video feed management, has had major new features added. Upgrades include enhancing controls for setting output protocols, switching of streams, and triggering live video capture. M2A Connect now offers one click routing of live feeds and the ability to seamlessly use M2A Capture for creating an archive, publishing catchup VOD or regulatory adherence. Working with InSync Technologies and Hiscale, we’ve integrated into M2A Connect the first motion-compensated, cloud-based frame rate converter for scalable, ad-hoc conversion of video when on-premise equipment cannot meet demands. M2A Live continues to be at the forefront of live video streaming delivering five nines availability, low latency and leading dynamic content and advert insertion (DCI/DAI) capabilities.
arkertek continues to uphold its outstanding 34-year old reputation as America’s Broadcast Supply House for delivering cutting-edge solutions. We have launched an all-new website with enhanced features designed to deliver a more seamless shopping experience than ever before! Markertek is the nation’s exclusive Neutrik opticalCON DRAGONFLY fiber optic assembler. DRAGONFLY is the world’s first SMPTE Hybrid Fiber connection system to incorporate Expanded Beam technology. Its high performance XB2 lens is 322 times bigger than physical contact surfaces for insensitivity against dust and dirt in UHD transmission. Our Personalized, Award Winning Customer Service reached new heights in 2016 when Markertek became an Employee Owned Company. Know that when you deal with us, you deal directly with an owner. In addition, our Custom Manufacturing for fiber optic cables, rack panels, wall plates, wall boxes, as well as any copper cable under the sun, deliver added value like no other industry supplier.
arshall has become a global source for broadcast-quality video cameras in HD, UHD, and
4K, servicing a variety of workflows. Over 40 years of experience collaborating with top broadcast production integrators has conditioned Marshall to design and build only the highest level of performance. The brand new CV568/CV368 Global Shutter Cameras with Genlock Signal Sync is an ideal POV camera for fast motion and quick seamless switching. Built around an impressive 1/1.8” Sony Global Shutter HD sensor and interchangeable M12 lenses (ships with 4.4mm - 84°) make this the most capable POV camera on the market even in fast motion. The brand new CV420-30X Compact 30X Zoom Camera is a 4K60 camera with 12GSDI, HDMI and IP (HEVC/SRT) output. It starts with a professional grade 8.5 Megapixel Sony sensor and produces crystal clear UHD video up to 3840x2160p at 59.94fps simultaneously through all available outputs. View the full Marshall family of cameras at marshall-usa.com/cameras.
atrox Video technologies play a pivotal role in driving today’s sporting events, and in 2021, Matrox was everywhere. At this summer’s European football championship, Matrox Monarch EDGE E4 encoders and D4 decoders enabled highquality, multi-camera sports remote productions (REMI) by delivering multiple synchronized camera feeds over LAN/WAN/internet and back to the studio for SDI-based vision mixing. An internationally renowned motorsport automobile endurance race also benefited from a similar Monarch EDGE-based platform — with its built-in tally and talkback features and advanced REMI workflow — transmitting multi-camera video feeds between the racing circuit and the production studio over 1,000 km away. Last but not least, Matrox’s entire product portfolio was in action to cover this year’s Olympic Games. Every major television network used Matrox SDI/ST 2110/H.264 codec cards, Monarch EDGE encoders, and/or Extio 3 IP KVMs to power cutting-edge broadcast workflows, including state-of-the-art virtual studios, next-generation graphics, in-studio video walls, and highquality REMI and IP KVM-based live productions.
axon makes powerful, yet approachable software solutions for content creators working in 2D and 3D design, motion graphics, visual effects, and visualization. Maxon’s innovative product portfolio helps artists supercharge their creative workflows. Its product lines include the award-winning Cinema 4D suite of 3D modeling, simulation and animation technology, the diverse Red Giant lineup of revolutionary editing, motion design, and filmmaking tools, and the high-end production, blazingly fast Redshift rendering solutions. Maxon’s team is comprised of fun, passionate people who believe in building and empowering a successful artistic community. From its popular, inclusive events to its free Cineversity educational resources, Maxon recognizes that developing strong connections with creatives and fostering their professional growth is integral to Maxon’s ability to stay on top of industry trends and better serve customers.
DP3020 MAX is a multi-functional IP media gateway that encodes/decodes video,
audio, and data content over optical IP networks. It is designed primarily for lower channel count, smaller scale edge applications such as live remote production where economical, but contribution-quality IP media conversion is required. MAX supports up to 4 video channels using JPEG-XS compression, which achieves ratios of up to 10:1 and beyond, visually lossless quality and sub-millisecond latency. This makes it ideal for the edge of the IP network where bandwidth is typically quite limited, where minimal latency is necessary for live broadcast interactivity, and where the transport of uncompressed high-quality video is just not feasible. Also new is MetroXPRESS, a self-contained metropolitan networkbased IP over fiber transport solution package, allowing simple/easy provisioning and monitoring of media services. Intended to replace legacy point-to-point fiber infrastructures that are typically inflexible, “nailed-up” and unmanaged, MetroXPRESS supports scaling from SD to UHD video as well as 100Mb/1Gb/10GbE data services at trunk bandwidths up to 100Gb/s, with remote service provisioning and monitoring.
ith live and on-demand streaming being a fundamental part of all media, particularly sports, and internet-based delivery representing the present and future of all content distribution, MediaKind announced the launch of its latest, exciting solution, MediaKind Engage, earlier this year. Engage is a new end-to-end Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) solution for video contribution, production, streaming, and audience engagement. The solution enables sports entities, broadcasters, and content owners to make a seamless transition to operating workflows in the cloud while also expanding the reach, scale, and reliability of their video streaming content to a global fan base. Engage is a service based on a broadcast-grade framework structured around Platform and Software-as-a-Service (aaS) models, embracing modern agile and DevOps to drive feature velocity. This cloud-native technology service speeds up time-to-market and lowers setup costs for fast, efficient D2C service delivery, guaranteeing stability at scale. It also offers a pricing model aligned to the revenues that content owners can achieve across subscription, transactional and ad-supported services, creating greater relevance to sponsorship and branded content.
ediapro is a leading group in the global audiovisual sector, unique in content integration, production, and broadcast distribution. With operations worldwide through its 58 offices distributed across 36 countries on four continents, it provides the creativity and technical solutions necessary to design, produce, and distribute any audiovisual or multi-channel project. Mediapro offers “end-to-end” production and transmission for the coverage of all kinds of sporting and entertainment events. The company works with highly experienced staff and has established key worldwide relationships that allow it to provide clients with a high-quality, cost-effective proposal for their projects. With mobile units, sports production automation systems, high-end graphics systems, and cameras filming from above and below, Mediapro uses innovation to push bound-
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SPONSORUPDATE aries and production technology to a whole new level. Mediapro successfully produced the MLS is Back Tournament 2020 for ESPN with Omnicam4Sky aerial camera system and provided realtime tactical feed to the teams with Automatic TV technology. Also, our Omnicam4Sky aerial camera system was used to produce the CONCACAF Nations League and Champions League final rounds. In addition, Mediapro, was selected by fuboTV to provide full studio production services for the South American Qatar World Cup 2022 Qualifiers.
bles by different providers that run at 10 Gigabits per second. All the heavy lifting in terms of hardware and software is performed by MPE systems in their data center while your team ties in with a basic computer at home or in the field. Flexible hybrid models are also available should you need to operate in person. Use MPE’s 60,000 sq. ft. NYC facility for in-person editing, on-site collaboration, screenings, and finishing. Finish your projects in their Dolby Atmos Certified Sound Mix Studios and 4K UHD Online and Color Correct Suites, also available remotely.
>NEMAL ELECTRONICS INTERNATIONAL
021 has been an exciting year for MeyerPro. Last year, MeyerPro set the bar for large scale virtual conferences and live events. After fully implementing the xR (Extended Reality) Stage solution, the growing team of skilled technicians at MeyerPro have been consistently delivering next level virtual sets and AR/VR to virtual event production. Additionally, MeyerPro has invested in next-generation equipment and deepened their commitment to providing industry best technical solutions to their clients. For their clients, having MeyerPro as a partner has been a gamechanger when navigating the uncertain landscape of both live and virtual events. Utilizing MeyerPro’s reliable, flexible, and skilled team broadcasters and event organizers have been able to deliver their message in an engaging and impactful way to their audience. To learn more about MeyerPro go to www.meyerproinc.com. We’d love to talk to you!
icrosoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
>MOBILE TV GROUP (MTVG)
obile TV Group (MTVG) has recently launched IP mobile unit 49 FLEX-CC. As part of further expansion to its fleet, MTVG’s 50th mobile unit is nearing completion for a Fall launch! MTVG’s Cloud Control continues its buildout and launch throughout the country, now with over a dozen Cloud Control rooms located in most major U.S. cities. With Cloud Control, MTVG has given its clients remote access to all MTVG production systems without sacrifices. Cloud Control is a complete production system that allows for broadcast level systems, unlimited cameras, SSMO, and even 4K to be controlled remotely with low bandwidth.
PE now offers all encompassing, costeffective resources and services to host remote postproduction. Your entire postproduction team can work remotely, from anywhere in the nation, safely, securely, and without lag. HOW IT WORKS: MPE’s brand new infrastructure includes state-of-the-art data centers with multiple dedicated internet circuits and firewalls, operating across separate fiber-optic ca88
emal Electronics is pleased to announce that The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has awarded the company its prestigious Technology and Engineering Emmy for Standardization and Commercialization of Television-Broadcast, Hybrid Electrical and Fiber Optic Camera Cable and Connectors. This Award recognizes the 20+ years of development of SMPTE HD Broadcast cabling systems as well as the recent UL Plenum approval of our Stadium-4 multi-channel SMPTE cable. During the past year of COVID, we have continued to design and manufacture new products including Tactical SMPTE cable, CAT6 snakes, AVFlex cables for high power sound and lighting, a family of hi-rel XLR adapters, and our newest product innovation, Nemal Scoreboard cable. This flexible hybrid cable is designed for large retractable HD Stadium Scoreboards and includes 3-SMPTE camera cables, 4 channels of AES Audio, and a 15-conductor shielded control cable.
EP Group is the leading media technology partner for content creators around the globe. For more than 35 years, we have created innovative products and services for Live Production, Virtual Production, and Media Processing to enable our clients to make, manage, and show the world their content — anywhere, anytime, on any platform. NEP offers a complete set of end-to-end solutions, from content capture to distribution — including a growing portfolio of transformational cloudbased, software-based, and virtualized technologies. In addition to growing and maintaining our industry-leading fleet of mobile units, NEP continues to develop new technologies for centralized and cloud-based production. After adding VISTA Worldlink — leaders in remote production solutions — to our global network earlier this year, NEP will launch two new US-based centralized production facilities this fall. Based in New York and the Los Angeles area, these adaptable and forwardthinking facilities can flex to meet the needs of any production large or small. In addition, NEP’s Virtual Production solutions start with creative development and end with exceptional execution across ICVFX, augmented reality, LED stages and more. And, our Media Processing solutions provide the tools and products our clients need to ingest, edit, store, search, manage, and distribute their digital
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assets to rightsholders across multiple platforms. Headquartered in the United States, NEP has offices in 25 countries with over 4,000+ employees supporting content creators worldwide. Learn how we are helping clients bring their creative visions, content, live sports, and entertainment to life at nepgroup.com.
et Insight is defining the new media highway, opening up opportunities for content owners, broadcasters and service providers to create exciting live sports experiences. We’re driving the transformation of video networks with open IP, cloud-based solutions for contribution, ingest, streaming and orchestration — on one platform. The world’s leading media brands have trusted Net Insight for over 20 years. We set the benchmark for media transport in the digital TV era and now we’re bringing our deep knowledge of IP, internet streaming, and cloud to help customers open up new media business models and maximize the value of their content and rights. During this big sports event year, we supported many of our customers during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, who are relying on our media platform to deliver exciting sports experiences. We’re now looking forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Please visit us at www.netinsight.net.
etscout Systems assures digital business services against disruptions in availability, performance, and security. Our market and technology leadership stems from combining our patented smart data technology with smart analytics. We provide real-time, pervasive visibility, and insights customers need to accelerate, and secure their digital transformation. Our approach transforms the way organizations plan, deliver, integrate, test, and deploy services and applications. Our mission is protecting the global leaders of industry from the risks of disruption, allowing them to solve their most challenging network performance and security problems, ensuring the connected world runs safely and smoothly.
ounded in 1999, Never.no was a pioneer of interactive TV. Since then, our philosophy has always been about making TV more engaging. We are continuously developing our technology to deliver on evolving audience interaction trends for broadcast, digital, mobile, and social media consumption. We pride ourselves on being innovators in the social TV space — whether linear, digital, or dynamic advertising. The results of increased viewership, greater brand awareness, and better engagement help our clients achievements speak for themselves.
extologies has the world’s largest broadcast video delivery network specializing in awardwinning, broadcast-grade video connectivity for broadcasters and content owners across the globe.
Operating out of multiple teleports and data centers, Nextologies is the only solutions provider that has instant access to over 55,000 linear TV channels downlinked from 75+ globally-placed satellites. In addition, Nextologies is a leader in signal acquisition and delivery providing fiber, IP, and custom end-to-end solutions for IPTV and OTT platforms and video-centric applications across all platforms. Notable clients include established broadcasters, enterprise, and emerging companies.
ver the past year, MatrixStore Cloud and OnPrem business has continued to grow with new sports-related customers in the UK and U.S. These include an emerging U.S. sports championship using MatrixStore Cloud to protect their growing archive and to collaborate with partners. An existing customer (U.S. sports broadcaster) also recently upgraded their MatrixStore On-Prem to 14 Petabytes in order to migrate from LTO and create their own private cloud infrastructure accessible to all via the Vision media management application. MatrixStore object storage and Vision enhancements include timecode metadata, file acceleration (can be used anywhere in the world), and security enhancements include multi-factor authentication to bolster defenses against cyber attacks. Object Matrix is the award-winning software company that pioneered object storage and the modernization of media archives. Our onprem, hybrid, and cloud storage solutions bring operational and financial benefits to our customers by securely managing content at every stage of its lifecycle.
penDrives is a global provider of enterprisegrade, hyper-scalable network-attached-storage (NAS) solutions. Founded in 2011 by media and entertainment postproduction professionals, OpenDrives is built for the most demanding workflows, from Hollywood to healthcare, and businesses large and small. OpenDrives delivers the highest performing solutions to match individual performance needs, even for the most robust, complex, and mission-critical projects, on-premises and into the cloud. OpenDrives is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
anasonic System Solutions Company of North America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, delivers gamechanging technology solutions that deliver customized experiences to drive better outcomes — for our customers and our customers’ customers. Panasonic designs and manufactures reliable, flexible, and dependable products and solutions to help create, capture, and deliver information of all types, especially where, when, and how it is needed. The complete suite of Panasonic professional solutions for government and commercial enterprises of all sizes addresses unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, audio and visual systems (projectors, displays, and digital signage), and professional video production.
ounded in 2016 by CTO Chris Dickson and CEO Benjy Boxer, Parsec delivers a best-in-
class high frame rate, low-latency remote desktop experience. The Parsec app is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Raspberry Pi, and the web, and Parsec’s SDK allows its streaming technology to be leveraged across any platform. Parsec is headquartered in NYC.
single pane of glass and deployable from scratch in record time. Platina’s private cloud solutions have already been used to activate multi-petabyte preservation archives, making operating private clouds a reality.
o date, Pixellot has produced over 1 million live games from 55 countries across the globe! New wins include Major League Baseball’s Appalachian League who will install Pixellot systems at 17 venues to capture, produce, and live-stream of all games and practices. In Poland, more than 250 games of Poland’s 3rd division football league are scheduled for broadcast next season using Pixellot systems. In Scotland, every second-division Scottish Professional Football League match will be broadcast internationally using Pixellot systems and in Ireland, Pixellot systems will enable LOITV to stream all matches of the SSE Airtricity First Division and the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League. Pixellot’s award-winning AI-Automated technology solutions fully automate live sports capture, production, and distribution. Over 15,000 Pixellot systems are deployed globally by broadcasters, production companies, clubs, federations, universities, high schools, sports portals, etc.
ixed reality and virtual production solutions company, Pixotope Technologies has sustained a period of exceptional growth throughout 2021. Amongst a raft of successful virtual productions across the world, Pixotope has enabled some world firsts for the biggest names in sports. Most notably, in collaboration with its technical partners, Pixotope has provided the on-air real-time graphics for the NFL Super Bowl LV. Additionally, Pixotope’s graphics amazed fans around the world with the recent Carolina Panthers graphics, which saw a larger than life realistic panther pouncing onto the pitch and jumping across the stadium. Pixotope has also recently announced the launch of Pixotope 2.0 — its newest software update set to transform the way users create large-scale immersive content. Pixotope 2.0 includes a broad range of new features that make high-budget creative productions both more efficient and easier. Amongst them, improved multi-computer synchronization, fully-customizable API.
latina Systems: Bringing Archives Back to Life. Monetizing your assets has never been more important but many remain dormant. AI and analytics can transform forgotten data into valuable insights; doing so requires infrastructure to store and process growing datasets. For data not held within public clouds, the challenges of building and operationally maintaining these large, complex environments can stop you before ever getting started. Platina’s cluster management solutions minimize the time, expertise, and budget to implement and manage clusters that unlock the value of your data. The solution discovers, provisions, and monitors networked 3rd party physical server/ storage hardware, adding fundamental services enabling bare metal, S3-compatible object storage (via Ceph) and/or Kubernetes-managed microservices. Clusters are simple to manage through a
he events of the past year have forced transformation in the events industry. PRG has emerged as a new company, ready for a new world, with a focus on the people who deliver endless possibilities in every form of production. It’s the people who make PRG. The gear only matters in the hands of our expert engineers, experts, artisans, and technologists who shape the solutions that bring our customer’s ideas to life. If you call us and ask for the impossible, we’ll say yes — because we have the people capable of delivering it. We’re better, sharper, faster, and more broadly skilled than we were before the pandemic started. PRG has historically been the home to the deepest and most respected bench of talent in our business, and that’s more true now than ever. We’re ready for anything a customer may need, individually with our expanded skillsets and collectively with our expanded portfolio of solutions. Rethink what you know about us and discover all we have to offer.
rimeview is a privately held global manufacturing company that was launched in 1997 specializing in advanced display solutions, with a focus on the industrial market. Primeview manufactures on the most advanced ISO-certified production lines, maintaining high-quality control standards to build products for the most demanding markets. Primeview offers a true “one-stop shop” for display solutions from touchscreens, video walls, and specialty. The company’s solutions can be found in board rooms, museums, casinos, retail stores, hotels, and properties around the globe.
fter nearly 20 years, ProductionHUB has grown beyond an alternative to production guides and the yellow pages into the largest global network of film and video professionals ready to bring your content to life. ProductionHUB has come a long way since their lean beginnings. No matter what you need for a production, they’ll help you find it with plenty of time before the cameras start rolling. Search their growing network of over 150,000 professionals, place a request for something specific, post a full-time job, or let them do all the crewing for you. Beyond their crewing services, they keep you up to date with emerging trends in the industry with their blog and press from leading, innovative companies. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking to hire someone from the industry, ProductionHUB is your resource for everything in the film and video production industry.
rogram Productions is North America’s largest crewing and live event labor management firm. Their geographical network of resources covers all 50 states and Canada. With a projected 15,000 event days in 2021 and over 16,000 technicians in their nationwide database PPI leads the industry in labor management. ProCrewz, the industry’s only labor management software and mobile ap-
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SPONSORUPDATE plication built for live broadcast, allows PPI to manage the demands. With over 10,000 current app users, ProCrewz revolutionizes the industry. Scaled to handle an unlimited number of events and technicians, ProCrewz lets clients check availability and book crew, review cost, distribute event information, and track event data. Crews use the ProCrewz Mobile App to accept and confirm jobs, punch in and out with a geo-fenced time clock, submit expenses, communicate to coordinators, view pay information, and more. To learn more contact, email@example.com. For more information about Program Productions, visit programproductions.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
leled in comfort, strength, and concealability, and a groundbreaking system for remote control of transmitter by computer. The RCAS (Remote Control Audio System) has revolutionized the way transmitters are managed. Q5X has revolutionized audio capture in professional sports and become the leader in wireless sports audio, with installations in dozens of major sporting arenas, most professional sports leagues and major TV networks. These advancements in sports audio capture have translated exceptionally well into other fields, surpassing traditional audio transmitters with a mature, unrivalled solution for live theatre, reality shows, film and television series, public speaking and other live events.
>PSSI GLOBAL SERVICES
>RCN BUSINESS SERVICES
ith the largest fleet of transmission vehicles in North America, one of the largest Privately owned teleports in the world, and an expert team available 24/7 for events across the globe, PSSI Global Services provides comprehensive event, transmission and connectivity solutions via satellite, fiber, IP, and beyond. For more information, visit http://www.pssiglobal.com.
uantum has been accelerating its technology transformation to help our SVG customers, partners, and friends respond to ever-changing market demands and opportunities. Together, Quantum’s StorNext end-to-end shared storage platform combined with CatDV’s workflow orchestration and highly extensible capabilities give you the best of in-facility and remote capability and performance, and more tools and choices to fit your storage to your workflow. The new virtualized, containerized, and cloud-ready architecture in StorNext 7 opens up agile, faster-to-deploy options, from the Quantum H4000 Series converged StorNext appliance — allowing you to quickly stand up shared storage and collaboration for a new team or remote event in minutes; to cloudbased deployment, or deliver the highest possible performance for the largest deployments and most complex workflows. Beyond its new architecture and deployment choices, StorNext 7 gives you a new pay-as-you-go subscription option that does away with the need for client licenses, and is all managed in a new highly productive and unified interface. StorNext 7’s optimization for NVMe storage like the Quantum F-Series has proven to be the fastest at delivering streaming video performance per SPEC-SFS benchmarks, and customers have been deploying it to blast through traditional workflow bottlenecks and dramatically speed production time and delivery.
uantum5X (Q5X) specializes in wireless audio solutions for challenging applications such as sports, broadcast, and entertainment. Founded in 2002, Q5X first set out to create wireless bodypacks that are tough enough and unobtrusive enough to be worn by professional athletes. Q5X succeeded in creating a line of audio transmitters unparal90
CN provides advanced High-Speed Internet, Digital TV, and Phone services to residential customers as well as small, medium, and Enterprise businesses. By design, RCN’s wholly owned, scalable, fiber-rich network supports continuous product innovation and service enhancement for its customers. RCN’s success stems from its foresight in acquiring, maintaining, and growing its expansive fiber-rich network with an unwavering commitment to offering premium telecommunication services with the very best in value, all supported by 100% U.S.-based customer service. RCN delivers on its commitment to customers with incredible value, affordability, speed, reliability, and outstanding customer support. Coupled with industry leading Internet speeds and partnerships with innovators like TiVo, you have a company that is a solid, reputable, competitive option for residents seeking a better choice for Internet and TV. RCN is a recognized leader — topping the speed and customer service rankings of big industry brands like Netflix, YouTube, and PC Magazine, all while maintaining deep community roots and employing more than 1,300 company-wide.
>REALITY CHECK SYSTEMS
eality Check Systems (RCS) ignites on-air viewing experiences for some of the mostwatched sporting, esports, and entertainment events on television, second screen, and OTT services. With offices in Burbank, CA, and London, RCS has partnered with the world’s leading sports leagues, federations, networks. and social media giants since 1997 to fuel audience engagement through a customized fusion of dynamic graphics, real-time data, and social media. To give shape to each client’s unique vision, RCS develops sophisticated graphics and production systems that can be seamlessly deployed in a wide array of professional environments.
>RF WIRELESS SYSTEMS
F Wireless Systems has an extensive inventory of broadcast-quality microwave and RF audio equipment as well as two-way radio communications equipment, together with all accessories. RF Wireless has many modes of deployment to meet the constantly changing needs of clients large and small. We have solutions that can ship out in an air-
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pack format all the way up to our fully integrated mobile trailer with mast and generator onboard. Through the provision of personalized service, RF Wireless Systems ensures client needs are fulfilled in the most efficient and effective manner. RF Wireless Systems and all of its team members are dedicated to successful events and excellent service delivery to all clients.
021 has been a busy year for Riedel Communications, with several major sports broadcast projects coming to fruition that had been a long time in the making. All over the world, sports productions are defying the crisis and — with a wealth of ideas and creativity — are providing impulses for the “new normal” and beyond. Here, Riedel solutions often act as a catalyst, opening up new workflows and possibilities. On the intercom side, Riedel’s RSP-1216HL SmartPanel, the all-new 1RU model in the company’s acclaimed 1200 Series of intelligent intercom and control panels, empowers users with its intuitive UI and its software-defined architecture. With the all-new system-agnostic Control Panel App for the 1200 Series, the RSP1216HL unites powerful intercom and control functionalities into a single keypanel while reducing costs and saving valuable rack or desk space. But there has also been a lot of action on the video side: Riedel has greatly expanded the MediorNet family of video networking devices. Based on innovative ultra-dense SFP technologies, the processing modules MediorNet MuoN, FusioN and VirtU round out the Riedel video portfolio with full IP solutions. And for those relying on SDI, Riedel has launched MediorNet MicroN UHD, an app-based media distribution and processing device that adds more bandwidth, I/O, processing power and UHD resolution to the MediorNet platform. In today’s fast-paced, volatile times, customers are looking for solid and reliable supply partners. Partners that they can cooperate with, that they can trust, and who are able to provide proper support over the long term. Riedel is that kind of partner.
roduction industries change and so do innovative companies. Robovision has successfully navigated 30 years of production changes and it continues to position itself at the forefront of remote camera systems, even in a post-pandemic production environment. Robovision has developed custom camera solutions for numerous high profile broadcasts. Our custom turnkey systems are tailored to address specific client needs. The result has been, and will continue to be, nextlevel technical performance from every system we install. Robovision’s Emmy Award-winning personnel are qualified, safety-conscious, skilled technicians capable of collaborating with clients to ensure exceptional results. They are the most experienced camera operators in the world. As a result, Robovision has provided countless clients with the highest possible returns on their investments.
he Ross Unified Venue Control System has taken game-day productions to the next level while establishing more efficient workflows for operators. From massive LED video walls, field signage, and 360-degree fascia boards to concourse displays and lighting systems, the Unified Venue Control System ties these elements together to ensure a seamless and more immersive game-day experience for fans and spectators. Best of all, the system is completely customizable and can be tailored to specific operational needs through the award-winning DashBoard user interface. As part of its end-to-end sports venue solution, Ross has several new products that have continued to make an impact with our customers. With PIERO Live Down & Distance, operators in football venues can quickly and easily deliver the features that fans and sponsors have come to expect from a football broadcast: First Down lines, Red Zone markers, advertising logos, and more! Kiva is another product from Ross that instantly simplifies sports venue productions. As an impressive operator-driven digital media playout solution, Kiva’s highly intuitive interface allows you to present a wide variety of media assets and advertisements into venue videoboards with maximum flexibility and ease. From top-tier professional teams and leagues to amateur and collegiate level sports, the Ross team has developed custom solutions for venues of all different sizes. To learn more, visit rossvideo.com/sportslive-events.
T Software, an award-winning provider of innovative and industry leading broadcast graphics solutions, including Virtual Studios, overlays, sports analysis, and embeddable graphic libraries for OEMs. While RT Software’s products have been ready for virtualized, IP-based, or remote production workflow for some time now, 2021 saw Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence introduced to their Tactic Pro analysis solution with the new Player Detect function. This meant that RT Software were in an even better position to support their growing customer list what has been a very challenging 18 months for sports production. Viewers of the delayed Euro 2020 international soccer tournament were able to see not just Tactic solutions in use, but in the case of LNK Lithuania, Augmented Reality graphics as well. Meanwhile, users such as TVTEL in Chile were able to provide remote services to customers by adding graphics from their base in Chile to Live games wherever they may be taking place.
>RTS INTERCOM SYSTEMS
TS is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of intercom solutions. From the Advanced Digital Audio Matrix (ADAM) systems used to coordinate major network broadcasts of the world’s largest events to small-format systems used for in-house productions, RTS is dedicated to innovating the future of global communications. RTS, Dynacord, Electro‑Voice, and Telex are part of Bosch Building Technologies, a leading global supplier of security, safety, and communications products and systems.
>RUSH MEDIA COMPANY
ith clients that include every major network and sports league, Rush Media Company has a proven track record of producing, packaging, and innovating live television productions at every level. With a fleet of more than 23 mobile production units, offices, and facilities located around the country, Rush Media Company is the leader in packaging live events. With 23 production vehicles currently in our fleet, Rush Media Company is uniquely positioned to provide you with the best production vehicle to fit your needs. All of our production vehicles are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and world class engineers to ensure that your production is delivered with innovation and creativity.
afeSite is a data-driven COVID-19 screening and testing solution that combines onsite mobile laboratories with lab-based RT-PCR and rapid-response, repetitive testing to ensure a location is as free from COVID-19 as currently possible. SafeSite’s comprehensive protocol accurately and quickly tests a workforce, location, event, school, or team daily and immediately prior to entering a location. Combined with a smartphone app, SafeSite PASS, we manage all test results, reporting, tracking, and tracing to ensure only individuals that are COVID-19 free can enter a location.
onored in 2021 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a Scientific and Engineering Award Plaque, the innovative, ultraminiature COS-11 lavalier microphone continues to set the standard. Performance, reliability, and outstanding sonic quality characterize Sanken Microphones for professionals in broadcast, film, and live applications. The COS-11D ultra-miniature lavalier mics with their legendary vertical capsule design are an industry staple. Sanken recently introduced the new CMS-M50, an M-S version of the popular CS-M1 short super cardioid 4” mic, with the rejection of a shotgun and quality of a studio mic. Ten Sanken shotgun microphones offer a mic to meet every need: mono, stereo, and 5.0. Featuring superior off-axis rejection, they are the new industry standard for high-quality production work.
ounded in 1990 by industry professionals, SDTV began with a simple idea to bring an efficient and valuable product to the television industry. We have since designed, built, and operated mobile production units that have become the industry standard. We have the capacity to provide an instantaneous television or data feed to locations around the world. We are setting a new standard by offering cost-effective high definition television production solutions while using the most advanced broadcasting equipment to clients of all sizes. SDTV is committed to leading the industry in innovation to create the best possible productions for our clientele. Adding this to our reputable customer relations and our benchmark network of reliable contractors is sure to make the future bright.
ata storage solutions built on trust, affordability, and ease from the only enterprise storage manufacturer that designs and builds its entire system. Owning our supply chain and offering petabytes to exabytes, Seagate provides the best value with industry-leading capacity, firmware, and multi-core capabilities. With over 1 million systems in service today, our ASIC-based hardware designs enable lower costs, better performance and longevity, and protection for your data. Discover a better way to store data with Seagate’s ultra-dense hybrid SANs, entry level all flash arrays, and the biggest cloud building blocks available. Seagate is your single point of contact for support on self-healing RAID solutions, reliable backup and recovery, and demanding data workflows.
encore, the gateway to better video delivery, celebrated 70 years in business in 2021. With new and innovative solutions in all aspects of video transmission, Sencore continues its tradition of being one of the most reliable, efficient, and affordable ways to transport contribution and distribution content. Sencore’s encoding, decoding, and monitoring platforms continue to push the boundaries of innovation with support for new compression standards, including protocol agnostic gateways featuring SRT, ZiXi, RIST, HLS, and RTMP. As an OEM, Sencore can pivot our production to bring new technologies like ATSC 3.0 to market quickly and effectively. And as always Sencore’s customer support services remain the best in the business.
ew dimensions of listening, impressive sound experiences, and moments to give you goosebumps — the world of audio can deliver all of this. At Sennheiser, we seek to excel in shaping such experiences each and every day. Since the inception of our company 75 years ago, we have become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, loudspeakers, microphones, and wireless transmission systems.
ES has a bold vision to deliver amazing experiences everywhere on earth by distributing the highest quality video content and providing seamless connectivity around the world. As the leader in global content connectivity solutions, SES operates the world’s only multi-orbit constellation of satellites with the unique combination of global coverage and high performance, including the commercially proven, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit O3b system. By leveraging a vast and intelligent, cloud-enabled network, SES is able to deliver high-quality connectivity solutions anywhere on land, at sea or in the air, and is a trusted partner to the world’s leading telecommunications companies, mobile network operators, governments, connectivity and cloud service providers, broadcasters, video platform operators, and content owners. SES’s video network carries over 8,650 channels and has an unparalleled reach of 361 million households, delivering managed media services for both linear and non-linear content.
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xient Digital. Now Portable. Introducing the ADX5D Axient Digital Dual-Channel Portable Wireless Receiver. You can now leverage industryleading Axient Digital wireless technology for your location sound applications. We took the AD4D dual channel rack receiver, shrunk it to fit a camera slot or audio bag, then added Showlink remote control capabilities. Backplate accessories (sold separately) enable the ADX5D to work with multiple slot configurations. From industry leading wireless audio to IFB to lav, headset, and shotgun mics, Shure has you covered. Visit shure.com to see our full line of audio solutions for your production.
igniant has a history rooted in developing file transfer software for some of the world’s largest companies. Originally created to move huge code bases around the world for global software development, Signiant’s solutions are useful wherever there is a critical need to move large data sets with security, reliability, and speed. Media & Entertainment was the first sector to broadly adopt the technology, with Signiant’s file transfer software becoming indispensable in the mid 2000s as the industry transitioned from videotape and film to file-based workflows. With early adopters like Disney, NBC, and Apple iTunes using our on-premises solutions as enterprise-wide elements of their global technology infrastructures, Signiant quickly emerged as a trusted partner to leading media companies. Most of the world’s mission-critical media workflows are powered by our Manager+Agents enterprise software. And, while we’ve worked with a range of wellknown big players, our commitment to developing cloud-native software makes our SaaS solutions scalable to any size busines
>SILVER SPOON ANIMATION
ilver Spoon is a leading provider of real-time animation and virtual production for all screens, from broadcast to emerging social media formats. With roots in premium performance capture, we work nimbly across industries, from advertising and gaming to film and TV. At our 12,000 sq. foot facility in Brooklyn, NY, we are constantly innovating, and expanding the boundaries of what can be made in real time.
ingular.live has seen continued growth, particularly among larger Enterprise customers including the likes of Sky News and ITV using our platform. We have also released new enterprise features that include enhanced data handling, SSO security via SAML and Singular Analytics. Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), via its official broadcast partner QTV, has been using our Intelligent Overlays for broadcast graphics across various Scottish Premier League TV channels. Singular is working with leading broadcasters to provide Intelligent Overlays for digital streaming content including live graphics for Turner’s NCAA March Madness coverage and the new MLS digital show — Group Chat. Singular.live recently launched Sin92
gle sign-on (SSO) for enhanced security, and Account Analytics to provide a range of in-depth live data covering account usage, audience engagement and much more. Singular.live enables Intelligent Overlays — dynamic and responsive live custom graphics that can be created and controlled from a browser.
kycam is a leading designer, manufacturer, and operator of mobile aerial camera systems. Skycam plays a significant role in changing the way sports are broadcasted in America, appearing at marquee broadcast events such as Super Bowl XXXVII, US Tennis Open, NCAA Final Four, NFL Pro Bowl, Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and NCAA College Football.
martCart SVX is a highly innovative outdoor mobile interactive touch screen system designed for live production use by TV Sports Broadcasters worldwide. It uniquely overcomes a number of design hurdles and physical constraints to provide a highly reliable touch experience as well as outstanding system reliability tried and tested on major events in the most extreme conditions likely to be encountered. With a screen as bright as the latest stadium screens in full daylight, it provides a greater presence at an event and adds a compelling new dimension to broadcast sports events providing a new method presentation and analysis live and on the pitch — enabling TV fans to enjoy in depth video analysis and interviews with their heroes discussing their performances live at the screen — away from the traditional studio scenario at a much lower cost.
MT, the pioneers in data-driven graphics, virtual enhancements, player-and-object tracking, and clock-and-score systems, has added REMI production to its suite of services. SMT’s state-of-the-art “ROOSTER” studios, located at its U.S.-based divisions, deliver the same streamlined broadcast workflow that SMT is famous for with greater efficiency, minimal onsite footprint and low latency. SMT’s ROOSTER (Remote Optics Operator Staffing & Technology for Eliminating Risk) model allows graphics coordinators and broadcast operators to communicate in real-time with production teams around the world, providing clients with data integration, in-game statistics, virtual insertion, graphics production, player and object tracking, and more. To further minimize its onsite footprint, SMT has added to its fleet two customized vans that serve as mobile production studios, reducing the need to use valuable facility space to set up equipment. The mobile units are outfitted with an array of remote tools, backend infrastructure, and workstations.
ony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehen-
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sive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics, and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution, and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the awardwinning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs.
s we move beyond 2021 and with Tokyo in the rearview mirror, the focus turns to 2022 and the Beijing Olympics, FIFA, Ryder Cup, the World Games, UEFA, IIHF World Champions, and the British Open. 2021 has seen disruption in the logistic chain. With not much relief expected in the near future, the situation reinforces the value of solid partnerships to execute our engineered solutions successfully. Our continued client commitment to assist them in identifying those seen and unseen challenges they face as they move through 2021 and into 2022 is what sets SOS apart as a leader in production logistics. This next year will undoubtedly be filled with unknowns, but with close client communication, it will be yet another great year. Formed in 1986, SOS Global Express now employs more than 130 logistic specialists worldwide, focused on TV Production, Sports, Music Touring, and Major Live Events, delivering turnkey solutions and operational support 24/7/365.
OUTHWORKS is the global software development firm people turn to for their most complex, high-profile projects. SOUTHWORKS’ global team of remote engineers bring dev-intensity and technology expertise to organizations, delivering quick strategic wins that help sports organizations and broadcasters accelerate, grow, and scale. SOUTHWORKS delivers results, without the endless handholding and do-overs outsourcing is known for. That’s why some of the biggest names in sports, media and broadcasting count on SOUTHWORKS to solve their toughest dev challenges and Make Everything Right.
pectra Logic is a leader in delivering modern data management and data storage solutions that enable media and entertainment professionals to manage content from ingest through archive, activating seamless workflows, greater efficiencies, creative collaboration, and cost-effective automation in production and post-production environments. Spectra’s full suite of modern media and entertainment storage and data management solutions allow you to safely protect terabytes of valuable content, while ensuring that
it’s accessible and shareable for the long-term, without the costs and complexities associated with legacy archives. Reach out to Spectra to hear about StorCycle software and other Spectra solutions that deliver insight, automation, management, ransomware defense, and preservation of your growing content repositories. From content storage to content lifecycle management to cloud integration for collaboration and business continuity, Spectra has the solutions and expertise to help you create and deliver exciting stories for today’s fan base and for future generations.
portradar is a leading global provider of sports betting and sports entertainment products and services. Established in 2001, the company is wellpositioned at the intersection of the sports, media and betting industries, providing sports federations, news media, consumer platforms, and sports betting operators with a range of solutions to help grow their business. Sportradar employs more than 2,300 full time employees across 19 countries around the world. It is our commitment to excellent service, quality and reliability that makes us the trusted partner of more than 1,600 customers in over 120 countries and an official partner of the NBA, NHL, MLB, NASCAR, FIFA, and UEFA. We cover more than 750,000 events annually across 83 sports. With deep industry relationships, Sportradar is not just redefining the sports fan experience; it also safeguards the sports themselves through its Integrity Services division and advocacy for an integrity-driven environment for all involved.
>ST ENGINEERING IDIRECT
T Engineering iDirect has integrated its SCPC or VSAT solution for the modulation and multicast transmission of the NativeIP content over satellite. For unidirectional or bidirectional delivery, ST Engineering iDirect’s solutions provide best in class efficiency of the physical layer with full robust ACM support using Thin Margin Manager (ThiMM) and Noise and distortion estimator (NoDE), to deliver GSE or MPE encapsulation for forward (DVB-S2X) and return paths (MultiResolution Coding), with up to 500Mbaud per carrier, full redundancy and reliability, encompassing integration services, network planning and link budgeting. With its collaboration with Broadpeak, EKT, and EasyBroadcast, ST Engineering iDirect is first to market in providing a hybrid system that combines VSAT connectivity with a DTH grade, cost effective, native STB reception. Our Broadcast equipment and technologies can be applied in a wide range of applications from DTH broadcasting, video contribution and distribution.
tats Perform is the market leader in SportsTech providing the most trusted sports data and the latest advancements in applying AI and machine learning to deliver better predictions for teams, sportsbooks, and a more engaging broadcast, media, and fan experience. The company collects the most detailed sports data to create new experiences across sports. Leveraging the richest sports database, Stats Perform enhances sports competition and entertainment through machine learning and computer vision to create advanced predictions and analysis — be that for digital and broadcast media with differentiated storytell-
ing, tech companies with reliable and fast data to power their innovations, sportsbooks with in-play betting and integrity services, or teams with firstof-its-kind AI analysis software. SportsContentCo is the exclusive reseller of Stats Perform premium sports betting content to licensed sportsbooks in the United States.
ince 2004, we have been helping film, video, and broadcast professionals master their digital workflow, enabling them to work more efficiently and save costs. Advanced technologies and a commitment to innovation are the backbone of our company. Our mission is to engage with our community of customers, resellers, and partners; evolve our product offerings; and provide these solutions at an unparalleled value. Many media professionals face a number of challenges as a result of the phenomenal growth of digital filebased workflows, including how to cost-effectively backup and store content; protect digital assets long-term; and easily archive, search, find, restore, and/or directly access content when needed. DNA Evolution, StorageDNA’s intelligent workflow solution built on Linear Tape Open (LTO) and Linear Tape File System (LTFS) technologies, allows users to streamline their file-based workflows, work more efficiently, and save significant storage costs.
treaming Global is the world’s fastest and most scalable media delivery technology, by design. The Streaming Global pipeline is a flexible technology solution for live, OTT, and on-demand streaming services. By eliminating the unnecessary steps of the conventional streaming methods, this modern delivery pipeline is able to achieve unmatched benefits of low latency at reliable scale for a fraction of the cost. Shorten the path to success and take the step towards next-generation media delivery.
treann Media is the most innovative and interactive OTT streaming platform in the world. With Streann, content providers and broadcasters can build the next Netflix or Spotify, with more than 100 proprietary features for distribution, engagement, gamification, and market-first monetization technologies. Established in 2014 in Miami, FL, the company has earned several industry awards thanks to its user-friendly, all-in-one solution, and has been deployed in 141 countries. We have built reliable streaming platforms for major sports events such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 Copa America. For more information, please visit https://streann.com/
>STUDIO NETWORK SOLUTIONS (SNS)
tudio Network Solutions (SNS) is a leading media technology company committed to helping video production teams around the world transform the way they store, share, and organize media. By combining scalable, high-performance shared media storage hardware with powerful software and workflow tools for teams working on-premise or remotely with Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, and other creative applications, SNS solutions empow-
er post-production, broadcast, and VFX teams in over 70 countries to create amazing content, faster. For more information, visit studionetworksolutions.com.
upponor continues to lead the way in virtual advertising with a complete platform, trusted by some of the world’s leading sports rights owners for nearly a decade. Today, we deliver the ultimate in operational flexibility, including traditional onsite operations or fully remote integration (REMI) which can be hosted centrally or in the cloud, and are capable of delivering unlimited targeted feeds fully downstream of TV production. When delivered remotely, Supponor requires absolutely nothing on site; no people, no proprietary camera kit or adaptors, no special surfaces or LED boards with covers or coatings, just access to standard video signals. Our groundbreaking next-generation technology, Supponor AIR — a pure software-based solution launched in 2021 — uses advanced AI techniques to deliver a range of powerful virtual applications on any surface, in any sport at any time, and all as part of a single, trusted, broadcastquality solution.
ith live sports back in full force around the globe, viewers are counting on undisrupted and high-quality sports viewing experiences. As the largest independent global provider of video solutions, Synamedia is committed to delivering those experiences. Our award-winning video network portfolio empowers video service providers to deliver ultra-low latency and compelling live multi-screen viewing experiences, leveraging our cloud-native portable video workflows, converged broadcast, and broadband end-to-end ATSC 3.0. Additionally, our security solutions equip both service providers and content owners with the tools needed to preserve their revenue and protect their content. With a multi-level holistic approach, these solutions help safeguard OTT services against pirates targeting vulnerabilities across the OTT ecosystem. And with our business insights and addressable advertising solutions, Synamedia Iris and Clarissa providers can transform data into actionable insights aimed at subscriber retention. Just like our customers, and the sports teams themselves, we remain “in it to win it.”
>TAG VIDEO SYSTEMS
AG Video Systems was busy this summer. NBC Sports Group tapped TAG to provide OTT monitoring and multiviewing for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. TAG provided NBC Olympics with an integrated software-based IP probing, monitoring and multiviewer solution to monitor MPEG Transport Streams originating in Tokyo, which were logged, categorized and archived in NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, CT, on true COTS servers. TAG continues to break down barriers with the introduction of its Realtime Media Platform, the industry’s most advanced and truly unique platform to monitor, manage and display realtime data. The Platform integrates with open-source industry standard analytics tools, giving users full access to their data without the limitations of pre-configured closed analysis. That enables users to learn more from their monitoring and metrics, giving
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SPONSORUPDATE them the insight needed to improve the customer experience with better programming, thus increasing fan engagement and encouraging loyalty.
ata Communications’ Media and Entertainment Services offers comprehensive solutions covering the entire media value chain including content acquisition, processing, and distribution at scale. Our #BuiltForMedia network, ecosystem, and cloud have been driving innovation and delivering business efficiencies for leading broadcasters, sport federations, OTT platforms, streaming, content owners, and gaming and esports players. Over the past decade, our agile and seamless solutions supported by a dedicated team of experienced media services personnel have enabled several world-first achievements — Live 2K, 4K, and 8K deliveries, Live 360-degree video stream, cloudbased remote production, and, most recently, a virtual video assisted referee solution for ‘anywhere refereeing’. Find out more about our work in golf, motorsport, cricket, among other sports, and how it has made us #TrustedToWin.
edial’s SMARTLIVE is a cutting-edge, automated live sports production solution developed to maximize content visibility in the moment that it is happening. Utilizing AI tools, SMARTLIVE leverages its unique metadata engine to automate the entire process from ingest and clip creation through multi-platform distribution to digital networks, social media platforms, and traditional broadcast channels. SMARTLIVE was recently used to deliver an elevated viewing experience of the UEFA Champions League, one of the most prestigious football tournaments in the world. Tedial configured SMARTLIVE to meet specific requirements, including compatibility with an installed SDI infrastructure and legacy resources, ease-of-use for operators responsible for generating significantly more content, and a highly automated production process to allow concentration on editorial outcomes rather than on workflow processes. SMARTLIVE addressed all these requirements with tools that produced real-time highlights on the production company’s satellite platform and also produced parallel content for subscribers’ YouTube and Facebook platforms.
elemetrics has added new features and capabilities to its reFrame Automatic Shot Correction technology, which now includes special AI-assisted sensors that complement its existing facial and object tracking capabilities. This has made reFrame the most accurate talent tracking software in the industry. ReFrame is included with the company’s RCCP2A STS (Studio) and LGS (Legislative) robotic camera control panels. Telemetrics has also recently developed a new Hyper-Column robotic elevating camera pedestal that provides twice the extension of other Televator products. It features easily maintained cable management on the front and back of the unit, mak94
ing performance at its longest extension (14’8” with camera and Pan/Tilt Head) and most compact (4”5”) form factor sturdy and reliable. The unit is designed to be mounted on a ceiling extending down from a Telemetrics TG4 track system and trolley for unique shots, even when on air.
elestream has new and enhanced solutions covering the gamut of live, studio, post, VOD, content management, and monitoring. The company has continued to advance the state of the art in cloud and hybrid deployments for media processing and monitoring. Several Telestream processing and workflow automation tools have been updated, including new versions of the Vantage Media Processing Platform, ContentAgent, and Lightspeed Live Capture. The Telestream Cloud suite of services allows customers to mix and match services as required. For development teams building custom cloud workflows, cloud-native transcoding has been added with a new Transform service. The latest versions of Content Management solutions including Kumulate and DIVA allow customers to easily migrate, update, and upgrade their media libraries without affecting day to day operations. This enables users to intelligently manage their storage on-premises, remotely, or in the Cloud. For monitoring and analysis, Inspect 2110, monitors and troubleshoots the QoE and QoS of ST 2110 and ST 2022-6 streams. The latest PRISM SDI/IP small form factor waveform monitors with the industry’s largest touchscreens for ST 2110, 4K/8K HDR measurement are also available. Enhanced offerings also include monitoring of Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) and additions to iVMS ASM, Inspector LIVE, Sentry and Surveyor ABR Active.
ellyo was founded in 2012 via the Nokia Bridge Programme, initially focusing on developing hardware solutions for sharing TV content to social media. In 2015, the company founders Jakub Majkowski and Mariusz Ostoja-Świerczyński were joined by Richard Collins, and pivoted the business to create a professional cloud-based video editing, publishing and streaming platform for broadcast and sports right holders. First exhibiting at IBC in September 2016, Tellyo was quickly adopted by broadcasters and international sports right holders, leagues and federations. At IBC in 2018, Tellyo demonstrated an early version of Stream Studio, a fully cloud based remote production platform, providing a complete workflow for the creation of live streaming content. Tellyo’s suite of products are holistically integrated and designed to meet the real-time needs of digital platforms, to enhance content and engage global audiences. The platform is constantly iterating, and we actively work with our clients in the development of the platform to meet current and future needs.
or three decades, the brands of Telos Alliance have revolutionized radio and television by pio-
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neering disruptive, cutting-edge audio technology with the goal of helping global networks and local stations produce better programming, improve audience engagement, and bolster ratings. Telos Alliance is made up of six brands—Telos Systems, Omnia Audio, Axia Audio, Linear Acoustic, 25-Seven Systems, and Minnetonka Audio. Distinctly and collectively, these brands raise the bar for support, performance, and innovation in the radio and television industries.
hrive on trusted media networks. Telstra Broadcast Services and the wider Americas Enterprise+Technology team offer multiple existing and new capabilities tailored to the needs of media companies and broadcasters. World-class media networks, including our Special Events Network, Global Media Network, and our new Internet Delivery Network, which is a new offering through Telstra’s acquisition of MediaCloud. With this acquisition, Telstra also enhanced its UK broadcast operations with a new master control room in London. A growing partnership with PSSI Global Services with which Telstra has opened its first Broadcast Operations Center in North America. Innovative services and solutions for the industry, including international remote production, major events and tours, global content delivery, connectivity and IP transit, streaming and online delivery, and more.
eradek designs and manufactures high-performance video solutions for broadcast, cinema, and general imaging applications. From wireless monitoring, color correction, and lens control, to live streaming, SaaS solutions, and IP video distribution, Teradek technology is used around the world by professionals and amateurs alike to capture and share compelling content
n the action-packed world of live video production and distribution, The Switch is always on and always there — setting the industry benchmark for quality, reliability, and unmatched levels of service. Our comprehensive production platform combines mobile and at-home/remote services and includes the provision of highly skilled production personnel to enable our customers to cost-effectively capture, edit, and package compelling live coverage. The Switch global transmission network connects over 800 of the world’s largest content producers, distributors, and sports and event venues — seamlessly linking rightsholders, broadcasters, streaming platforms, media outlets and web services. With connections across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, all our feeds are monitored for utmost reliability from our 24/7 Network Operation Centers (NOCs) in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in New York, we’ve been connecting viewers around the world
to live events for almost three decades, bringing them the content they want across linear TV, ondemand, and streaming platforms — on multiple screens and devices. Our services are trusted every day by corporate enterprises and leading sports, esports, news, entertainment, house of worship, and government organizations that rely on The Switch to turn on their live content. Our customers include: leaders in the Tech industry: Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo; major global broadcasters: BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, and Sky; and household names in the field of Sports: ESPN, MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL, and PGA.
>THE VIDEO CALL CENTER (VCC)
CC powers IP-remotes for live and taped productions, leveraging billions of internetconnected devices to extend reach, lower costs, and facilitate location-agnostic workflows. NFL Network, Turner, Discovery/TLC, Bally Sports, FS1, MLB, MSG, NBA, NBC, WWE, and others use VCC’s high-quality IP video connections, adding depth and variety to their shows. VCC 2-way remotes provide flexible, green options for securing interviews and fans from anywhere in the world. VCC expert staff and patented SaaS platform ensure long duration, stable, lag-free connections that encourage natural conversation without needing on-site crews, centralized studios, or control rooms. Instant return video lets remote guests view hosts live on their devices. Participants only need a smartphone or laptop to appear on camera, and there are no downloads or user names required. VCC CrowdView delivers live audience reaction shots and cheers with exclusive BoP technology that enables direct interaction with individual audience members.
HUMBWAR co-founders David Vottero and Brian Carr met at Emerson College, where they collaborated often, putting their technical and creative skills to synergistic use. When they moved to Los Angeles and found success as problem-solving freelancers, they quickly decided their clients would be better served by an alliance between their skillsets. Brian is a multitalented engineer and technical problem solver, coming from systems design and project management with a background as a broadcast technician; David is a visionary creative director and producer with a background in broadcast television. Together, they created THUMBWAR — a meeting of the technical and creative minds.
SL has maintained its R&D investments to ensure its products meet the latest needs of sports broadcasters, including updates to its TallyMan Controller, Flex Control Network, and SAMQ Audio Monitoring platform. With the increased demand for remote control, TSL’s control offering allows broadcasters to control major production installations and third-party devices from any location. Also new to TSL’s TallyMan is the Redundancy Package, which adds protection with autofailover during operation and manual failover for system maintenance. It also introduces users to virtual re-entries, which streamlines the operation of switching signal routes during fast-paced sports productions. TSL has also added the new SAM-Q-
NET and SAM-Q-EDIT. SAM-Q-NET brings together the cost-efficiency of 1Gig/E device deployment within ST-2110 networks, alongside tight integration with control systems via in-band and out-of-band control. SAM-Q-EDIT is an offline editing tool that expedites system setup as configurations are ready to load upon arrival at an event.
ith TVU Remote Commentator, sports producers can add synchronized, real-time audio commentary using a public internet connection. Talent no longer needs to be on location or using expensive REMI setups. Using a browserbased interface, TVU Remote Commentator allows talent to join the production from virtually anywhere. All sessions are created and managed in the cloud, which eliminates the need for expensive hardware or software. Pricing is based on usage, not annual contracts, with organizers only paying for the hours used for each event. The interface provides a low-latency, high-quality preview of the event, which allows the talent to add commentary that is in sync with the program. TVU autosync technology ensures all the audio and video of all commentators is synced with the main video feed, regardless of network latency or distance from the event. Not only can they hear each other with full mix-minus capability, but a private back channel lets them see each other as well, which helps observe critical body-language queues and replicate in-person talent interaction. TVU Remote Commentator also makes it easy to setup a production with language-independent groups for localized coverage. Commentators in the same group can communicate with each other — and all groups see the same live feed — but members of each group only see and hear their own group. An audio operator can manage all commentator feeds using TVU’s web-based audio mixer, which offers level control, recording, mute/unmute, and audio channel mapping for outputs. tvunetworks.com
t uniqFEED, our priority is to make virtual advertising simple for our clients and partners. Our solution is based entirely on software, requiring no costly hardware or intrusion on the production workflow, enabling rightsholders to maximize sponsorship revenue, hassle-free. In April this year, Roger Hall joined uniqFEED as CEO, bringing a wealth of experience to the organization, having run technology businesses in the sector and worked as a consultant advising top-tier leagues and federations on virtual advertising. Since his appointment, Roger has been driving uniqFEED’s development of multi-sport virtual advertising solutions and the company’s commercial objectives. The sports industry has had to adapt quickly to challenges such as shortened seasons and crowdless stadiums. However, the greatest advancements have surely been in remote production. We believe that remote production is key for the future — good news for uniqFEED as our solutions are designed for seamless integration with remote production workflows.
ounded in 1991, Epic Games is a leading interactive entertainment company and provider of 3D engine technology. Epic operates Fortnite, one of the world’s largest games with over 350 million
accounts and 2.5 billion friend connections. Epic also develops Unreal Engine, which powers the world’s leading games and is adopted across industries such as film and television, architecture, automotive, manufacturing, and simulation. Through Unreal Engine, Epic Games Store, and Epic Online Services, Epic provides an end-to-end digital ecosystem for developers and creators to build, distribute, and operate games and other content. Epic has over 40 offices worldwide with headquarters in Cary, NC.
>VARIANT SYSTEMS GROUP
ariant Systems Group, being very active over the last year, has now developed two new products under the Envivo brand for broadcast production: Envivo Review and Envivo Ribbon. While Envivo Replay focuses on live broadcast storytelling and Envivo Studio centers on brand advancement and fan engagement, Envivo Ribbon ties in the LED board market and offers the best solution in driving in-arena and stadium sponsorships. Envivo Review delivers what referees, stewards, and coaches have required to evaluate and rule on a situation in a live environment. Offering a solid range of options, VSG Envivo products have disrupted the market by being the easiest to use and being surprisingly affordable. This has led to organizations making the Envivo product line a key to their integration of live production tools. VSG will continue to demonstrate products through virtual in-person shows and online demos for the remainder of 2021.
enue Edge delivers and supports collegiate and professional sports organizations by aligning innovative content, activations, and new technology together to form an improved fan experience. Since its inception, the organization has consulted and delivered live production and creative technology support to its long-standing partners, Florida Citrus Sports and the Orlando City Soccer (MLS) club. Over the past year, Venue Edge has witnessed growth by partnering with intercollegiate conferences, such as the Big West and Mountain West, and the 2021 Vegas Kickoff Classic and Las Vegas Bowl. The Venue Edge designed the games’ invenue game presentation for the upcoming college football kickoff game as well as the bowl game as it moves to Allegiant Stadium.
e are driven by the belief that Artificial Intelligence is mankind’s greatest invention. It is the key to building a safer, more vibrant, transparent, and empowered society. We are determined to be an active contributor to shaping our future for the better. We care about the ethical implications of AI and the prosperity and well-being of all individuals, as well as the growth and continued successes of our employees, customers, and partners. Veritone’s mission today is more important than ever. We’re here to democratize AI and enable every organization and every person with the power of AI. What started in 2014 with the idea of providing unified access to hundreds of cognitive engines through one common software infrastructure, evolved to the world’s first AI operating system, aiWARE, which orchestrates a diverse ecosystem of cognitive engines to power intelligent automation for both commercial and government organizations.
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SPONSORUPDATE >VERIZON BUSINESS GROUP
egardless of your business’s size, you’re always on the lookout for the right partners. Our industry insight, information, products and solutions help improve your business outcomes, so you can grow and thrive.
of signal loss, latency, interference, noise, and security issues. VidOvation excels in helping clients like you integrate custom video transmission, streaming, contribution, and distribution systems into existing infrastructure, with the ability to satisfy almost any application or budget.
ideon’s innovative approach to video streaming enables content owners and broadcasters to revolutionize live video streaming. Videon’s EdgeCaster video compute platform and LiveEdge ecosystem take flexible and reliable cloud computing functions to the point where video is created. Live video can now be processed and distributed at the source by combining functions running on our video compute platform with additional capabilities from the cloud. This eliminates complex workflows, enables ultra-low latency, reduces cloud costs, and opens the floodgates to creating differentiated video experiences. Videon can simply and cost-effectively stream more content feeds from games across platforms, while reducing delays to broadcast standards. This is critical for fans engaging on social media or placing bets during live games. Get inspired with the ability to create your own unique custom sports streaming experiences.
>VIDISPINE - AN ARVATO SYSTEMS BRAND
lobal IT specialist Arvato Systems supports major companies through digital transformation. Nearly 3,000 staff in over 25 locations epitomize in-depth technology expertise, industry knowledge, and focus on customer requirements. Working as a team, Arvato Systems develops innovative IT solutions, transitions clients into the Cloud, integrates digital processes, and takes on IT systems operation and support. Vidispine is a brand of the Arvato Systems Group. The Vidispine portfolio enables companies working with media to focus on their core business by providing easy access to technology that supports their business needs. Arvato Systems’ platform enables customers to get the maximum value from their assets, rights, media inventory, and market.
idOvation is a leading technology integrator of live television transmission, contribution, distribution, and streaming systems that easily integrate into your existing workflow. Encompassing Emmy Award-winning bonded cellular technology, VidOvation, known for the most significant multi-camera at-home projects in live broadcast, delivers frameaccurate video genlock and audio lipsync across dozens of untethered cameras in the field, delivering true At-Home Production and REMI workflow. VidOvation also provides expertise in wireless video, video streaming, video over IP, encoding, IP probing, monitoring and multiviewer, enterprise IPTV, digital signage, and fiber-optic communications systems. Our solutions improve video transmissions by providing workflow advantage while mitigating the frustrations 96
isaic is a full-service digital content distribution platform empowering sports leagues and clubs, media companies, and others to reach, engage, monetize, and grow their viewer and fan bases. Visaic’s founding team brings years of domain experience and strong industry relationships to offer scalable cloud enabled, end-to-end solutions for creating, launching and monetizing media applications. Visaic offers clients and partners a range of engagement and monetization models on a modern cloud based video platform leveraging AI, advanced analytics, and customer-focused managed services with the latest UI/UX experiences. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Visaic believes in the deep connection between people, entertainment, and the communities it creates. We created a company to build and unite these communities through the delivery of engaging digital experiences.
t Vislink, our mission is to ensure our customers capture and deliver unique and compelling live video content and secure a competitive edge. #AttheHeartoftheActionVislink Technologies brands are recognized as the global leaders in the design, manufacture and deployment of end-to-end live video communications solutions. They are trusted suppliers to tier-1 customers in broadcast/sports/ entertainment, and law enforcement/public safety/ defense markets. Their products are recognized for high levels of performance, reliability, build quality, extended operating ranges, and compact form factors. In the broadcast, sports, and entertainment sectors, IMT and Vislink provide high-definition communication links to reliably capture, transmit, and manage live event footage. In the law enforcement, public safety and defense markets, IMT and Vislink provide secure video communications and missioncritical solutions to local, national and international agencies and organizations.
edicated to providing successful solutions to its increasingly diverse clientele, VISTA is committed to disruptive innovation in the media industry. For over 30 years, VISTA has consistently raised the industry standard by developing valueadded services for the media industry, consistently maximizing a client’s reach while effectively offering competitive prices.
ITAC is a full-service captioning and communications accessibility provider with more than 35 years of industry experience. VITAC offers a variety of accessibility solutions, including live and offline
SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
captioning, audio description, subtitling, and transcription services. Captioning hundreds of thousands of programming hours each year, its customers include sports leagues, broadcasters, TV networks, OTT providers, stadiums, and arenas as well as Fortune 100 corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies. VITAC specializes in accessibility and compliance, helping sports-video providers meet FCC and ADA requirements. Recent successes include providing captioning services for the XXXII Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan, the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA. The company’s commitment to communication accessibility is evidenced by its talented captioners, technical expertise, and exceptional client service. VITAC’s recent combination with Verbit, the world’s leading interactive transcription and captioning platform, has resulted in increased accessibility offerings, enhanced solutions, and even greater customer service.
ITEC is rolling out the newest release of our IPTV & Digital Signage platform including our patented Multicast-to-the-Edge technology providing the most efficient delivery of video streams across an enterprise network. Utilizing our IPTV browser player, EZ TV Player Lite, organizations can stream via existing network configurations to deliver live, multicast video directly to any workstation, laptop, or mobile device with no browser extensions or plugins. Reaching the end user — or edge as we call it — with the original multicast video, our solution is easy to deploy and manage, making it ITfriendly in terms of bandwidth utilization and costs. We have expanded our IPTV & Digital Signage suite with Exterity’s product line, harnessing the power of video to communicate, educate and entertain in accommodation and corporate sectors, with global expertise in delivering complex, proAV solutions. VITEC is also the first Zero Carbon MPEG company and encourages customers to buy GreenPEG.
izrt Group is comprised of three of the strongest names in the broadcast technology industry: NewTek, NDI, and Vizrt. Each empowering content creators to produce visually impressive and remarkable stories using software-defined visual storytelling (#SDVS) solutions. Over the past year, Vizrt worked with several production companies creating world-class sporting matches and tournaments, including the UEFA Euro 2020 and the Summer Games in Tokyo. Vizrt storytelling technology provides live production in the cloud and on-prem, extended reality, augmented reality, world-class graphics and more — bringing innovative capabilities to global audiences. NewTek solutions such as the groundbreaking TriCaster 2 Elite, which seamlessly integrates a near limitless amount of video, and 3Play 2, our unmatched sports replay solution — provide the ultimate digital media production systems. NewTek’s software-driven, IP production solutions future-proof your operations for whatever comes next. All this, our #SDVS ecosystem, is completed with the all-
new NDI 5 — the only video-over-IP transport and codec that you need to run your remote, cloud or hybrid-based production. NDI version 5 is a true revolution in video storytelling that turns the whole world into your studio. See how Vizrt Group is shaping the future of sports media. Visit: www. vizrtgroup.com www.vizrt.com www.newtek.com www.ndi.tv
or 25+ years, Waves has been the world’s leading developer of professional audio plugins for music production, mixing, mastering, live sound, and postproduction. In 2011, Waves received a Technical GRAMMY Award to honor its innovative software, which is used to create hit recordings, major motion pictures, and top-selling video games. Waves also offers licensable algorithms for consumer electronics to dramatically enhance audio performance in products by Dell, Google, Fitbit, Asus, and more.
dopted by 100+ broadcasters and rightsholders worldwide, Wildmoka’s Digital Media Factory has been used extensively at major sports events in 2021, including the summer Olympics. The platform’s speed, scalability, and innovative edge allowed major broadcasters like DiscoveryEurosport, France Télévisions, or NBC to offer unlimited coverage across web, mobile, OTT, and social networks. As an example, one of Wildmoka’s customers managed, edited, and delivered the equivalent of eight days’ worth of Olympic live OTT coverage through the Digital Media Factory during each day. This amounted to 1,100 live events for the 2.5 weeks, with an average of 89 live events per day and up to 39 concurrent streams — all delivered with broadcaster-grade SLAs. This enormous quantity of live coverage was further enhanced by massive numbers of clips, highlight reels and replays, allowing fans to enjoy the Olympics in a variety of formats and renditions. Contact Wildmoka to learn more.
orldStage continues our 40-year legacy of providing video, audio, lighting equipment and creative engineering services for a wide variety of sporting events across the country this year! A concert PA at a Surf competition in Long Beach, NJ for Red Bull? No problem! A large LED wall on a barge for the NHL’s Kraken Expansion Draft in Seattle? Got it! Or a Guinness World Record for creating the largest video game display ever while projection mapping the entire side of the Tropicana in Vegas? We’re in it to win it with you, and look forward to supporting your efforts soon! WorldStage Inc., is the ultimate resource for event engineering, technology, and imagination. For more information visit www.worldstage.com.
>WOWZA MEDIA SYSTEMS
owza is the market leader in providing reliable streaming solutions that enable applications to deliver to any device, anywhere, at any scale, for any purpose. Dedicated to fueling the explosion of live streaming by ensuring the best possible user experience, we apply our deep knowledge and years of experience to provide reliable streaming solutions to video platforms (broadcasters, CDNs, OVPs, EVPs) and product/app builders in retail, auction, government, security, mobile, etc., as they use live streaming to engage their audiences and enhance their products. Through our battle-tested software, hardware, and services, we tailor infrastructure for any use case to handle the difficult process of streaming live video over the internet to an endless number of playback options. In the end, Wowza live streaming just works. For more information, visit www.wowza.com.
ersonalized videos for every fan — automatically and in real time. WSC Sports’ AI driven platform analyzes live sports broadcasts, identifies each and every event that occurs in the game, creates customized short-form video content and publishes to any digital destination. This seamless and frictionless workflow enables partners to instantly generate and distribute professionally edited videos on a large scale, to maximize exposure and create innovative monetization opportunities.
ytech, the leader in resource management software for the broadcast, studio, media services, and video transmission industries, has launched its MediaPulse version 10 update. The version 10 update focuses on the personalization of the MediaPulse experience for each user, supported by a fast and robust user interface. Significant upgrades include the expansion of MediaPulse Mobile, security project budgeting, asset management as well as an abundance of updates to the scheduling system. In April 2021, Xytech acquired ScheduALL, and with the version 10 launch, MediaPulse is now the perfect upgrade path for ScheduALL customers. The platform has added conversion routines and feature updates to provide not only a seamless migration but a rich feature footprint on a state-of-the-art platform. For the first time, these clients will have a cloud option for their systems with Xytech managing the platform, updates, backups, and configuration.
ixi continues to add features and functionality to the Software-Defined Video Platform and associated services that are utilized by the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB. Zixi as a Service (ZaaS) provides broadcast infrastructure as a service, enabling media companies and service providers to quickly leverage SaaS to ingest and distribute live video over any IP with ultra-low latency with all the features and functionality of the SDVP. The Intelligent Data Platform (IDP) provides the transparency and control needed to guarantee reliable operation. Using advanced analytics, machine learning and AI, the IDP can intelligently alert users to problems before they happen through alerts, graphs, maps, charts, and data visualizations that enable users to quickly interpret vast amounts of stream data and ensure broadcast-quality results. Zixi has also introduced the Zixi Content Xchange, a central cloud-based location for all redistributable content. The Content Xchange makes moving and monetizing content simple due to our unrivaled network of customers and partners ready to provide and distribute content, all in one location. <
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SPORTSTECHJOURNAL / FALL 2021
THE FINAL BUZZER
REFLECTIONS ON THE TOKYO GAMES By Ken Kerschbaumer Sports Video Group, Executive Director, Editorial Attending an Olympic Games is always a great chance to catch up with professional friends and colleagues and, more importantly, visit with multiple national broadcasters in a day without having to do any traveling. It is also a chance to experience a city that is fully alive with activity, visitors from around the world, and, yes, even pin swapping. This year’s Games had plenty of the former and none of the latter. Despite the lack of spectators, it was still a great experience. And, if you want to get a sense of where the industry is headed and what technology trends are about to become standard operating procedure, there is no better place to be than an Olympics IBC. Of course, trying to see trends in the middle of a global pandemic is tricky. Some of the trends are clearly in place because of the pandemic while other trends would have happened regardless of the pandemic. So, which ones on display in Tokyo are here for the long haul? Clearly, the first trend is remote production, where a broadcaster can keep more people in the home country, working remotely. It became clear in Tokyo that major global events where a production partner like an OBS or an HBS creates tons of content, the onsite team will primarily be in place to make sure that signals safely get from the IBC to a production team waiting back home. The second big trend was the use of green screen technologies in more and more innovative ways. Eurosport’s efforts with the Cube in Tokyo really took the green screen studio concept to the next level and broadcasters like the BBC and France Télévisions both embraced green screen technologies for studio shows. It was especially interesting to see France Télévisions have a studio location in Tokyo complete with manned cameras and camera tracking but without talent. Instead, the talent — back home in Paris — was made to appear as if they were in the Tokyo studio. As for trends that might be limited to the pandemic era, it seems that calling events off tube is the one most likely to revert to the pre-pandemic days when talent and reporters are onsite. In a COVID-19 era where the talent cannot get close to athletes, coaches, and team officials, the ability to really take advantage of being onsite is limited. But when this era ends — and God willing, it is next spring — the relationship between talent and athletes can return to normal. Not only can talent call a better game when they can see the entire field of play as well as the feel the energy in the stadium, but they can also get that small little tidbit that can enhance a broadcast in a hallway or by being able to look around the venue. At the end of the day, covering a sports event is entertainment and it is about storytelling. And good storytelling begins with fully understanding the subjects of the story, getting close to them, and providing deeper context. One can only hope that the budgetary savings of keeping talent away from an event give way to the need for great storytelling. But the biggest trend of all at the Tokyo Games was simply how important technology has been to allowing national broadcasters and others to produce and deliver more and more of the Olympic Games to viewers back at home. Every broadcaster was delivering not only a linear TV channel but multiple channels of additional live event coverage. And, by the way, they were doing it with fewer people than ever but with more content creators than ever. The collective accomplishments of a sport production industry that has been challenged during the age of COVID-19 on all levels cannot be understated. And the Tokyo Olympics, as much as they lacked due to the lack of fans, showed those successes, full stop. The COVID-19 guidelines, testing protocols, and more showed the sport production industry knows how to work safely and without conflict. And the fact that not only were the events able to be covered as if everything was normal but they could also be produced in UHD, HDR, and 9.1 Surround Sound without major issues?
That was something worth celebrating. And here’s to more celebrating in 2022 and beyond. < 104
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PUBLISHED BY SPORTS VIDEO GROUP 19 West 21st St., Ste. 301 • NY, NY 10010 Tel: 212.481.8140 • Fax: 212.696.1783 www.sportsvideo.org EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS PAUL GALLO, Executive Director
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The Sports Video Group was formed in 2006 to support the professional community that relies on video, audio, and broadband technologies to produce and distribute sports content. Leagues, owners, teams, players, broadcasters, Webcasters, and consumer-technology providers have joined SVG to learn from each other, turn vision into reality, and implement innovations, while sharing experiences that will lead to advances in sports production/distribution and the overall consumer sports experience.
SportsTech Journal is produced and published by the Sports Video Group. SportsTech Journal © 2021 Sports Video Group. PRINTED IN THE USA.