Keeping the beat at the National Tattoo Film industry promotes indigenous culture & language MENOS wins IBC Innovation Award Top 10 business uses for You Tube
Abu Dhabi open for business
Are you MISLEADING your customer
IBC launch development programme
Contents AV Specialist Volume 108
ASBU’s MENOS project wins IBC Innovation Award During IBC 2009 the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Arabsat and Newtec were jointly awarded the judges prize in the highly respected IBC Innovation Awards.
South African films promote indigenous language Dv8 Films, a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, produces feature films aimed at audiences both in Africa and globally, focussing on commercial, challenging stories that are innovative, unique and able to be financed and produced locally. Hind Shoufani takes a cinematic stroll with Jeremy Nathan.
18 Against the challenging economic and industry backdrop, IBC2009 saw 45,547 actual attendees; only 7% down on 2008. The show continues to exhibit a positive image for the future of the electronic media and broadcast technology industry Publisher & Managing Editor Kevan Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Feature Editor Dick Hobbs email@example.com Circulation Anne Ebrahim firstname.lastname@example.org Designer Rajiv Gopalan email@example.com
South Hook comes alive with Christie HD A 12.6m widescreen Christie HD projection backdrop dominated the official opening ceremony of the South Hook LNG Terminal at Milford Haven in South Wales recently.
Gearhouse supplies South African Tattoo Gearhouse South Africa supplied all technical production including, sound, lighting, power and structures - plus audience seating for the hugely popular 2009 South African Tattoo, staged at Montecasino, Johannesburg, ZA.
Top ten business uses for YouTube Joe Dysart is a journalist with 20 years experience. His articles have appeared in more than 40 publications, including The New York Times and The Financial Times of London. He also contributes articles to a number of vertical market industry publications..
Advertising sales Africa, Middle East, UK Richie Ebrahim firstname.lastname@example.org Europe Emmanuel Archambeaud email@example.com Represented in North America by: Broadcast Media International Michael Mitchell Tel: +1 631 673 3199 firstname.lastname@example.org Represented in the Middle East by: AV Specialist MENA FZ LLC PO Box 502314, Dubai United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 (0)4 391-4718 Fax: +971 (0)4 345-2898 Published in South Africa by: Doddington Direct cc PO Box 3939, Honeydew, 2040, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 434-4227 Fax: +27 (0)865253852 Represented in Europe by: Def & Communication 48 Bd Jean-Jaurès, 92110 Clichy, France Tel: +33 (0)1 4730 7180 Fax: +33 (0)1 4730 0189 Ave qualified circulation (Jan - June 2009) 5437
Against the challenging economic and industry backdrop, IBC2009 saw 45,547 actual attendees; only 7% down on 2008. The show continues to exhibit a positive image for the future of the electronic media and broadcast technology industry. This year, faced with the twin challenges of a rapidly changing media landscape and the chill winds of a world economy in recession, IBC needed to invest in knowledge to enable attendees to compete in the brave new environment. And IBC2009 exceeded expectations on every level. The exhibition played host to more than 1,300 of the world’s key technology suppliers and visitors from 140 countries around the world passed through the halls. In addition to the regular technology we’ve come to expect at IBC, the organizers also added specialist zones that covered digital signage, IPTV and mobile technology. There was also a real buzz around the new Production Village which allowed exhibitors to target customers - videographers, film makers and camera enthusiasts – like never before. New for IBC2009, the village was a hit with visitors and exhibitors alike, combining a comprehensive collection of the latest in digital and broadcast camera technology with professional and exhibitor training sessions on everything from how to shoot in low light conditions to how to capture the perfect interview. Value also arrived in the form of movie screenings and expert reviews of the best technology from the show floor. All in all, IBC stood the test of time and proved itself in a market that’s seen many players – both buyers and sellers – riding a rough course through these trying times.
news Anton Bauer introduces Dionic HC camera battery
Anton Bauer has introduced its Dionic HC high current camera battery. The Dionic HC is capable of delivering up to 10 amps for high current draw applications, including on-camera lighting. With a 91 watt-hr capacity, it can operate a 40 watt HD camcorder for over two hours.
The built-in and newly designed LCD real-time fuel gauge tracks up to four hours of run time. Using a seven segment numerical icon display, it indicates hours by number and circular arcs illustrate 15-minute time intervals. “Cameras and other pieces of equipment have gone up in power requirements as digital technology has spread throughout today’s professional video industry,” says Joe Murtha, Anton Bauer engineering manager. “By introducing the Dionic HC cell pack, we are able to offer users the level of support required for powering such products.”
IDX weave magic with Hocus Focus The Hocus Focus system is designed to allow precise wireless operation of the focus ring on 35mm SLR and broadcast lenses from up to 200m away. The system allows the follow focus function to become more efficient and ultraprecise, especially in situations where manual focus control becomes difficult or even impossible if, for example, the camera is mounted on Steadicam, crane or jib arm equipment. Using the Hocus Focus, a remote operator can simply mark designated focus points on the transmitter’s acrylic marking ring and pull the focus wheel. The Hocus Focus system consists of a transmitter and receiver unit, motor unit and a choice of 3 interchangeable lens gears depending on the lens model. Mounting and installing the system to camera equipment is simple. The transmitter can attach to the operator directly through an integrated belt clip or lanyard point when not in use, while the receiver can be fixed to the camera.
Polecam introduce nanoFlash ultra-compact solid-state recorder
Massive update for all DeckLink cards Blackmagic Design has announced the immediate availability of DeckLink 7.3 with loads of features for the video professional. DeckLink 7.3 is a free update and available for download now to all DeckLink customers for Windows, Mac OS X 10.6 and now Linux. Included in this software release is Media Express 2.0 public beta which is a major update with DPX support, playlists and an easy to use interface that’s identical between Mac OS X, Windows and Linux platforms. Now Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink cards can be plugged into either of these three computer platforms to allow a total solution for capture and playback of media. Intensity and Multibridge installers have also been updated to include the new Media Express 2.0. For customers using advanced 1080 progressive HD video standards, DeckLink 7.3 updates the software in the DeckLink HD Extreme 3 model with full support for 1080p50, 1080p59.94 and 1080p60.
During IBC 2009 Polecam introduced the nanoFlash - a powerful new addition to the Polecam range of portable video production equipment. Capable of operating in HD or SD direct to dual Compact Flash solid-state cards, it can be attached to a Polecam rig or mounted direct to a camera. It can also be connected to any HD-SDI source via BNC coax. 2
"The nanoFlash is the perfect solution for truly portable digital film, HD and SD video origination," comments Polecam founder and managing director Steffan Hewitt. "Both the recorder and its Compact Flash storage media are very competitive in comparison with traditional tape-based video recorders. Measuring only 107 x 94 x 36 mm and weighing just 400 g, it creates digital files for fast transfer to industry-standard editing software such as Final Cut Pro, Avid and Premiere. Besides its very small size and low weight, the nanoFlash consumes a tenth the power of a typical hard disk drive and has practically zero maintenance cost.
NOW FOR CS4 !
New DeckLink HD Extreme has Dual Link 4:4:4/4:2:2 SDI, HDMI and analog connections in SD, HD and 2K! Advanced 3 Gb/s SDI Technology
The new DeckLink HD Extreme is the world’s most advanced capture card! With a huge range of video and audio connections plus a hardware down converter, and Dual Link 4:4:4/4:2:2 3 Gb/s SDI, advanced editing systems for Microsoft Windows™ and Apple Mac OS X™ are now even more affordable!
With exciting new 3 Gb/s SDI connections, DeckLink HD Extreme allows twice the SDI data rate of normal HD-SDI, while also connecting to all your HD-SDI and SD-SDI equipment. Use 3 Gb/s SDI for 2K and edit your latest feature film using real time 2048 x 1556 2K resolution capture and playback!
Connect to any Deck, Camera or Monitor
Microsoft Windows™ or Apple Mac OS X™
DeckLink HD Extreme is the only capture card that features Dual Link 3 Gb/s SDI, HDMI, component analog, NTSC, PAL and S-Video for capture and playback in SD, HD or 2K. Also included is 2 ch XLR AES/EBU audio and 2 ch balanced XLR analog audio. Connect to HDCAM SR, HDCAM, Digital Betacam, Betacam SP, HDV cameras, big-screen TVs and more.
DeckLink HD Extreme is fully compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro™, Adobe Premiere Pro™, Adobe After Effects™, Adobe Photoshop™, Fusion™ and any DirectShow™ or QuickTime™ based software. DeckLink HD Extreme instantly switches between feature film resolution 2K, 1080HD, 720HD, NTSC and PAL for worldwide compatibility.
Hardware Down Conversion If you’ve ever wanted to monitor in both HD and SD while you work, then you’ll love the built in high quality down converter. Use the Dual Link SDI outputs as a simultaneous HD and SD output, or you can switch back to Dual Link 4:4:4 when working in the highest quality RGB workflows. Select between letterbox, anamorphic 16:9 and even center cut 4:3 down conversion styles!
DeckLink HD Extreme
Learn more today at www.blackmagic-design.com
Innovation Award - Content Delivery
ASBU and Arabsat
“We are very proud of MENOS as one of our most innovative and challenging projects, and we are really appreciative to IBC and to the international community to recognise it. I would like to thank all those who have worked very hard from ASBU to make this regional and Arab project achieve this recognition in the international arena. ” Dr. Riyadh Najm, ASBU President “The introduction of MENOS has been a historical moment for the broadcast industry, and we are delighted that the Arabsat satellites are playing a key ave a role in this. We have worked closely with the ASBU to ensure that they have real technological leadership with this advanced service and are proud of the recognition from the industry, validating our vision for the future.” Khalid Balkheyour, CEO of Arabsat
The ASBU MENOS network, developed by Newtec and hosted by Arabsat, is a revolutionary concept for the broadcast industry. A next generation all-IP network for contribution and exchange of multimedia content over satellite. The MENOS system also provides ASBU a complete range of tools to facilitate coordination tasks and provide additional IP services across the network. Advanced DVB-S2 modulation technology, combined with the statistical multiplexing of the data, voice, television and radio signals, ensures the optimum efficiency of the satellite bandwidth usage. This success – coming at such a showpiece event for our industry – caps another remarkable year for Newtec and is really an acknowledgement, not just of our own people and their commitment but for the teamwork between ourselves, Arabsat and the ASBU,” Serge Van Herck, CEO of Newtec.
Newtec Multimedia Exchange Network Over Satellite
THE WEIGHT IS OVER
Take the flexibility of IP-based file exchange. Add cutting-edge satellite transmission technology. Package the whole in a service offering unlike anything the broadcasting community has ever seen. What you get, is the most agile and fastest ever satellite contribution network for broadcasters. Newtec presents MENOS: Multimedia Exchange Network Over Satellite. Or as we like to call it: broadcasting at its best.
Multimedia Exchange Network Over Satellite
MENOS means you will cut down on field personnel and expensive uplink stations, and get maximum performance out of that precious satellite bandwidth. MENOS means you no longer need heavy equipment and complicated procedures to offer flawless real-time and on-demand video delivery over satellite. The wait is over. MENOS is here to permanently change your business as a broadcaster. The solution is satellite communications. The name is Newtec. The broadband system is MENOS.
Did you know a MENOS station needs less than 4 Watts to uplink a TV signal in Ku? Get full MENOS system specs on www.newtec.eu/menos Belgium
How many bulbs does it take to change your mind?
Until Christie’s Entero™ LED powered displays, every video wall used lamps. And we do mean used. For over its life a wall could consume hundreds – an expense that could outstrip the initial cost. And then of course there was the downtime, the consumables, the maintenance charges. But where conventional lamps might last 10,000 hours, our LED light source lasts 60,000. That’s almost seven years running twenty-four hours a day. It could outlive the wall itself. So, with Christie Entero™ LED powered rear screen displays, when you buy a video wall, you buy a video wall. Not a lifetime’s commitment to never-ending expense. Isn’t it time you changed technology – not lamps?
THE ENTERO LED SERIES REAR PROJECTION MODULES
when it matters.
news High speed camera for serial production After more than 2 years of development the complete WEISSCAM HS-2 product family is ready for serial production and deployment and has already been shipped to the first fifteen discerning clients all around the globe. The first clients are very impressed by the image quality, the easy handling and workflow of the stand-alone version of the camera: “You can shoot and see it right back in HD without having to render it first. We were shooting around a swimming pool and when the shot was done, we had the WEISSCAM HS-2 cued up and ready for playback by way of wireless control before the operator could even get off the dolly. I believe this is the best high speed camera out there. I own two and already wish to have more,” said Denny Clairmont from Clairmont Camera in Canada. The WEISSCAM HS-2 is the latest, uncompressed digital high-speed stand-alone camera and has a full format Super35 CMOS Sensor with a global shutter. The PL lens mount accepts 35mm lenses like Cooke S4s, but by using the Interchangeable Mount System (IMS) from P+S TECHNIK you can attach nearly every lens on the camera (PL Mount, Nikon F Mount, Panavision Mount, etc.) or change the mount within a few seconds.“The possibility of working either in HD or in RAW makes the camera very flexible and covers the different needs of our customers,” says Kaveh Farnam from Advanced Media Trading, distributor for the camera across the Middle East region.
Autoscript LEaD the way in LED technology. Autoscript is the first and only manufacturer to leverage recent and considerable advances in LED technology and offer this next-generation illumination technology across its current TFT (thin-film transistor) display range. LED technology has major advantages for display longevity, performance, reliability, and “green” energy savings. The superior light distribution of Autoscript’s LED TFT-Plus delivers higher contrast levels and an overall picture quality that vastly improves on the current fluorescent back-lit monitors. The LED unit uses significantly less power than existing TFTs, thereby increasing the monitor’s efficiency, which is particularly important for teleprompter monitors powered from the camera head. Another benefit of LED is the virtually instant warm-up to full brightness, unlike CCFLs [Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tubes], which take many minutes to reach full efficiency and light output. As with all Autoscript products, the LED TFT-Plus is purpose-built in-house and packed with prompting-friendly.
EVS strengthens its live sport analysis
Rycote’s Universal camera kit
At this year’s IBC show, Rycote exhibited their new affordable camera-mounted microphone windshield and shock-mount system for
videographers and consumers. IBC offers international customers and press their first chance to see the new system since it was announced earlier this summer. Known as the RUCK (Rycote Universal Camera Kit), it offers videographers, video production companies and consumers everything they need to protect highquality camera-mounted mics from wind noise and unwanted vibrations from the camera's operator and motor when working on location.
At IBC2009 in Amsterdam, EVS raised the curtain on its future live Offside Line graphics solution, which will become an integral part of the renowned XT server and its Live Slow-Motion controller. LSM operators can instantly control the offside line graphic overlay, allowing them to optimize their live production workflow 7
without additional resources. “We are extremely pleased to present to the broadcast industry the future graphic features that EVS is going to include in its XTMulticamLSM live production technology,” said Pierre L’Hoest. “We aim to offer sport broadcasters enhanced live production capabilities for the football competitions that will take place in 2010. EVS is committed to help broadcasters and sport producers to optimize the quality and pertinence of their live productions. We firmly believe that EVS’ graphic tools for live analyses, and their integration with the XT-LSM system, will without a doubt add value to our offering.”
news Next generation of ARRI digital cameras
Tektronix introduces highperformance waveform monitors Tektronix has introduced the WFM8200 and WFM8300 advanced waveform monitors, the latest additions to the popular Tektronix waveform monitor lineup. The new high-performance instruments provide high quality, real-time, automated 3Gb/s SDI Eye pattern display and jitter measurements that help broadcasters and network operators effectively diagnose signal problems and help equipment designers and manufacturers reduce time to
ARRI announced a new range of 35mm-format digital cameras at IBC 2009 - codenamed Alexa - that will redefine the limits of digital motion capture. Based around a newly developed CMOS sensor with unsurpassed sensitivity and dynamic range, the cameras will couple exceptional image quality with flexible, integrated workflows designed to meet the needs of modern post-production. The Alexa product line-up will be available for sale commencing the second quarter of 2010. Compact and lightweight, the new range of cameras will provide an affordable toolset to address every level of the broadcast and feature film markets. The planned entry level model utilises a 16:9 sensor and the most advanced electronic viewfinder on the market. A more fully-featured version continues ARRI’s tradition of offering a 4:3 sensor and a rotating mirror shutter linked to an optical viewfinder as the optimum choice for cinematographers. This new generation of ARRI digital cameras is the result of exciting technological breakthroughs, close communication with prominent industry insiders and invaluable experience with ARRI’s current digital camera, the market-leading D-21.
market of new 3Gb/s SDI products. The WFM8300 (with Option PHY) also provides multi-rate HD/SD-SDI and 3Gb/s SDI (with Option 3G) color bar and pathological signal generation capabilities that provide engineers with a simple signal source for quick signal path verification during system and equipment setup and troubleshooting. The new models also feature notable advances in color grading with new patented Luma Qualified Vector (LQV) and Spearhead Gamut displays.
Freely adjust the camera height
New matte box from Chrosziel During IBC Chrosziel introduced a number of new products, including two new MatteBoxes; a new Follow Focus with quick locking mechanism for cine respectively video lenses and a LightWeight Support for the new JVC GY-HM100 camera. The MatteBox Series 450 for 1/3-inch chip cameras will be enlarged by the MB 450 R2 Super Wide. It is equipped with two rotating filter-stages for 4x5.65” filters, SunShade function with 130mm clamping, as well as connector for 15 mm support systems. The Super Wide works unrestrictedly from 3.3 mm focal length. In its “super light weight” SunShade version, it can be used up to 16 mm wide angle on cameras with 35mm Academy format.
The new combination pedestal from Miller allows quick height adjustments utilizing a pressurized air system. When shooting at different heights or altering tilt angles; the pedestal freely
readjusts the height of the column to the desired position. The air assisted system is able to hold any camera configurations up to 30kg. Ideal for small studios, sport, education, corporate and independent media organisations who wish to achieve high production values with this attractively priced camera support. System packages are available with the renowned range of 100mm Arrow fluid heads. A bowl adaptor is also available to allow the use of smaller 75mm heads. Miller products are distributed in Southern Africa by Spescom Media.
news Extending flexible Anytime, Anywhere collaboration With more than 600 Interplay sites deployed worldwide, Avid has enhanced its industryleading production asset management solution by delivering the most significant update of the product to date: Interplay 2.0. The new version empowers broadcasters and post facilities to extend collaborative productions beyond the four walls of a facility — enabling customers to consolidate production operations as well as manage and contribute to projects when
Editshare introduce new SD/HD multi-channel ingest EditShare has unveiled new workflow engineered ingest and browse capabilities for EditShare Flow, its multi-channel SDI ingest solution. Fully integrated with the EditShare awardwinning shared storage solutions, Flow delivers groundbreaking recording and media management capabilities such as the EditShare Universal Media File technology that enables Avid and Final Cut editors to simultaneously access and read the same media files stored on an EditShare media space. Partnering efforts with developers like Automatic Duck further leverage Universal Media File technology by enabling editors to not only open the same media file, but to read sequences and their associated media using Avid and Final Cut. No media transcoding, re-linking or re-rendering required. New EditShare Flow features include the ability to make Avid or Final Cut sub-clips during ingest, real-time live logging with customizable metadata fields and logging templates. In addition, EditShare Flow will offer an EditShare Media Space Scan feature that indexes content ingested outside of Flow; optimizing media searches and management across an EditShare media space.
working remotely. Lower bandwidth streaming proxies enable Interplay workgroup members to work with media at anytime from anywhere, using a qualified Mac or PC with a 1Mb/s Internet connection. Highlights of Interplay 2.0 include WAN workflow with Interplay access. This feature enables journalists, producers and editors to remotely search and work with media assets across multiple workgroups – no longer requiring them to return to the edit suite/news station to assemble stories.
Matrox announces Matrox MXO2 LE
Matrox has announced Matrox MXO2 LE, an HDMI, SDI, and analog I/O device based on the award-winning Matrox MXO2 that streamlines editing with Apple Final Cut Studio on Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. Matrox MXO2 LE provides all the features of an I/O card in a sturdy, portable breakout box with professional audio and video connectivity. Matrox MXO2 LE is also available with Matrox MAX technology for faster than realtime H.264 file
creation using professional application such as Apple Compressor and Telestream Episode. “Content creators are buying Matrox I/O devices not only to meet their input, output, and monitoring needs, but also to speed up delivery to today’s digital formats. Creating Blu-ray discs and video for the web and mobile devices is much faster than ever before with Matrox MAX H.264 encoding technology,” said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior sales and marketing director. “The new Matrox MXO2 LE provides all the features professionals need in a compact, affordable, end-toend productivity tool.”
Grass Valley introduces affordable K2 Solo 2-channel server Grass Valley has unveiled the latest addition to its growing family of K2 server products, the K2 Solo portable multi-format standard- and high-definition server, designed for remote live productions and small studio post production applications. The new and totally unique K2 Solo is a compact, costeffective, broadcast-capable, 2-channel standalone server, with up to 20 hours of HD or 40 hours of SD storage. The K2 Solo leverages the K2 Summit production client architecture, making it compatible with the entire K2 family of software applications, control protocols, and formats for file-based environments. K2 Solo also includes all of the same functionality as the standalone 4-channel K2 Summit and can be used in any broadcast facility under automation control or with its internal playlist capability. While K2 Solo is optimized for live event workflows it can also be used in a traditional broadcast environment under automation or manual control. 11
ASBU’s MENOS project wins IBC Innovation Award During IBC 2009 the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Arabsat and Newtec were jointly awarded the judges prize in the highly respected IBC Innovation Awards.
he three companies received the award for their work on the revolutionary MENOS project an IP-based networking concept that allows for the exchange of multimedia content over satellite which allows broadcasters to share video and audio material among scattered sites in a totally automated and efficient way. The MENOS system provides a complete range of tools to facilitate the coordination of TV and radio exchanges, as well as providing member states with access to additional IP services across the network. The project started in June 2006 when the Arab State Broadcasting Union (ASBU), Arabsat and Newtec signed a partnership to develop and deploy a revolutionary, cost-effective IP-based satellite exchange service for TV and Radio contribution and distribution in the Middle-East. The goal was clear: to develop a single, fully integrated network solution to address all challenges that ASBU and the broadcasters in the region were facing.
Exchange file-based content The “all-IP” based service was named MENOS (Multimedia Exchange Network Over Satellite) and was launched on Arabsat BADR-4 in Ku-band. The MENOS system is intended to be used daily by all 28 members and associated members of ASBU, in order to exchange real-time or file based radio and TV content. The new MENOS service is based on a single network platform and replaces all previously existing satellite systems used by the ASBU members.
Central hub station MENOS is fundamentally different compared to traditional satellite contribution systems. With IP as the coreprotocol, all exchanged material transits through a central hub station, which also provides permanent two-way satellite IP connectivity to all remote stations of the members. The multimedia content, whether it is audio, video, or data, can be transmitted in real-time or be transferred
as data files. It can also be archived in the central hub station for later access by other stations. The reservation of the bandwidth and the line-up procedure are fully automatic and the uplink stations are smaller and much less expensive than traditional systems. The two-way IP connectivity is ideal for VoIP coordination channels, e-mail exchange, Intranet and Internet access, other collaboration tools & IP services.
Advanced DVB-S2 modulation MENOS is also unique in the way it uses the satellite capacity. Advanced DVBS2 modulation technology, combined with the statistical multiplexing of the data, voice, television and radio signals, ensures the optimum efficiency of the bandwidth usage and thus reduces operational costs. Amongst its key advantages is the deployment of easy-touse terminals. Once installed, MENOS terminals are connected to the network in an always-on mode. All network services and terminal features are available on a single graphical user interface. Starting a video or audio transmission requires no line-up procedure as the bandwidth reservation is done automatically.
MENOS remote terminals
The MENOS system really came into its own during the Beijing Olympics. The ASBU has held the rights to broadcast the Olympic Games to the Arab region since 1976. With each Olympics, the challenges for the ASBU are increasing. The need to ensure maximum exposure and audience penetration for the Games in the Arab world, and must meet the ASBU members and viewers expectations. In the 2008 Olympics, this included live TV broadcasts of the major Sports and two daily summaries with Arabic and English commentaries, generated mainly from the IBC (International Broadcasting Centre) in Beijing. The technical challenges included the use of the new exchange system with IP and DVB-S2 at its core, archiving all Olympic content and delivering store & forward services and backup scenario’s to the ASBU members.
Different types of MENOS remote terminals are available, depending on the type of applications performed at the remote site. Data terminals only provide data and VoIP connectivity and can be used for Internet, Intranet, Private Networks and interactive collaboration tools. Radio terminals provide all the service of a Data terminal in addition to radio exchange services. Television terminals provide all the service of a Data terminal in addition to television exchange services. MENOS terminals can also be integrated into mobile units, in the form of DSNG trucks or Fly-Away kits. Through a MENOS certification programme 3 suppliers have already been accredited to build MENOS DSNG trucks: Sematron (UK), OmniGlobe (UK/Canada) and NDSatcom (Germany). Another key advantage is the lower terminal cost. As all communications are established via a central hub, MENOS terminals require
much less power and smaller dishes (1.21.8m) than point-to-point media exchange systems. The transmission equipment in the terminal is IP-based, resulting in an overall terminal cost that is only a fraction of the cost of other types of satellite TV or radio uplinks. This in itself is a revolution in the world of high quality video content transmission.
amount of work for coordination and administration has reduced tremendously. ASBU members were quick to use the web based automated booking system and the automatic archiving, as well as the store and forward services. The local storage capacity on the MENOS terminals also proved particularly efficient in helping the members’ operations.
Faster technology introductions
A MENOS system offers higher flexibility, as the bandwidth is negotiated dynamically or reserved automatically depending on the requested speed of delivery and the nature of the exchanged material. The multimedia material can be stored anywhere in the network, including in a central archiving system where it can be previewed and accessed by any other remote station, via another satellite transmission. Lower operational costs are obtained by using the most advanced satellite transmission technologies such as DVB-S2. By dynamically sharing the available bandwidth among various applications, MENOS reduces the costs linked to the space segment.
Looking to the future, MENOS will help ASBU incorporate future technology changes, as the star topology of MENOS and the ‘All-IP’ approach allows faster technology introductions, including the expected switch from MPEG2 to MPEG4, the evolution from SD to HD, moving to file based fast news gathering over IP and ever further satellite bandwidth optimisations. Future service expansion will include fast file transfer, distance education and more efficient and feature rich collaboration tools
Minimise operational costs On the ground, operational costs are also kept to a minimum thanks to the ease of use of the terminals and the automation of the network management. The integrated billing and reporting system automatically collects and formats billing and accounting data according to specific business rules. MENOS is much more than a system to exchange video and audio: it allows ASBU to maximize the profitability of its satellite capacity by developing additional sources of revenue such as Voice over IP (VoIP), corporate VPNs and Internet broadband access services.
Beijing Olympics 2008 The MENOS system really came into its own during the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The ASBU has held the rights to broadcast the Olympic Games to the Arab region since the Olympics in 1976. With each Olympics, the challenges for the ASBU are increasing. The ASBU needs to ensure a maximum exposure and audience penetration for the Games in the Arab world, and must meet the ASBU members and viewers expectations. In the 2008 Olympics, this included live TV broadcasts of the major Sports and two daily summaries with Arabic and English commentaries, generated mainly from the IBC (International Broadcasting Centre) in Beijing. The technical challenges included the use of the new exchange system with IP and DVB-S2 at its core, archiving all
Laurent Roussel (Managing Director, Newtec MENA), Mueid G. Al Zahrani (VP & CTO of Arabsat), Dr. Riyadh K. Najm (ASBU President and Assistant Deputy Minister for Engineering, Ministry of Culture and Information, KSA), Serge Van Herck (CEO Newtec)
Olympic content and delivering store & forward services and backup scenario’s to the ASBU members. Some ASBU members also had no direct satellite coverage to China, so a dual-satellite-hop transmission link with the use of Intelsat and Arabsat satellites had to be set-up especially for those members.
Tight operating deadline While together, the ASBU, Arabsat and Newtec intensively prepared the implementation of MENOS for the Olympic Games, the timing to realise the project was challenging. In only 6 months, the whole MENOS system had to be shipped, installed and put into operation. In Beijing, the ASBU transmitted Olympic content to viewers in the Arab region using the satellite capacity of Intelsat and Arabsat, and for the very first time, transmitted over IP and DVB-S2 via the brand new ASBUMENOS system. Based at the Beijing International Broadcast Centre, ASBU exchanged an average of 55 hours of programming per day, over 11 satellite channels and two MENOS channels, which were continuously archived and redistributed over the MENOS system. The automatic archiving capability of MENOS proved to be particularly efficient to assist the ASBU members in their coverage of the Games.
Outstanding Olympic performance MENOS at the 2008 Olympics represented a major step forward that boosts the ASBUs services to its members, and opens up many more possibilities. The system has proved to be very reliable, also including outstanding performance and quality of satellite VoIP. Thanks to the fully automated way of working, the manual 13
Expanding the role Expanding the ASBU MENOS network to other customers is also on the horizon, as the role of ASBU is extending to be a service provider also offering MENOS services to non-ASBU members. In addition, ASBU sees benefits for local broadcasters exchanging content within the country of origin, reaping the benefits that MENOS has to offer. According to Abdelrahim Suleiman, ASBU’s technical director, from the opening ceremony onwards, MENOS played a key role in archiving and redistributing two major feeds from the Beijing Olympics and was a crucial element in the successful coverage of the event for ASBU members.
6 objectives behind the introduction of MENOS • To introduce new services requested by the members of ASBU, such as file transfer, intranet access, archiving and VoIP • Increase revenues by adding new users to the network • Reduce the cost per satellite transmission • Manage an increasing number of platforms and cope with technological complexity with only a small technical team • Reduce transmission errors due to the manual planning of the sessions and the manual operation of the equipment • Reduce the cost of the ground stations while increasing performance and mobility
I’m taming the Amazon. Ed Stafford is walking 4,000 miles through the most dangerous ecosystem on the planet. Some say it’s impossible, others crazy but sharing it all with an HVR/A1E from Sony is a smart move. You may not have to go as far for your next hit of wild inspiration...
Explorer Ed Stafford shoots on HVR/A1E from Sony.
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DU B A I 200 9
ZED recording mixer provides solace to Rwandan charity With the help of Brighton-based studio manager, Dicken Marshall, a Rwandan charity has built a recording studio to help improve the lives of genocide survivors, choosing to install two Allen & Heath ZED-R16 Firewire recording mixers in the new facilities.
olace Ministries was established in 1996 to help provide comfort to widows and orphans of the 1994 atrocities through counselling, childcare and development support, healthcare, farming associations and supportive programmes. “Music is a fundamental part of Rwandan life, and for many people it is one of the few comforts they have left,” explains Dicken Marshall, a UK-based singer, composer and producer . Marshall decided to offer his expertise to provide a recording space for the charity’s music development programme, which includes a full choir. He raised funds in the UK to buy all the necessary equipment, personally installed it, and trained the venue’s staff. In a space once used for food storage, Marshall established a new 30 square metre live room and adjoining control room, acoustically treating and kitting out the new facilities with Shure mics, KRK monitors, an eight-core Mac Zeon computer running Logic 8 and a host of high-end plug-ins, based around two Allen & Heath ZED-R16 Firewire recording mixers. “Generally, recording mixers are large and expensive, so I was thrilled to discover Allen & Heath’s ZED-R16. It’s compact, has a versatile and contemporary feature set, offers both an
analogue and digital interface, and is remarkably affordable,” explains Marshall. “It’s the heart of the studio, and has given
so much joy to the musicians and budding engineers who are involved with the facility.” The ZED-R16’s were used to record the Studio’s first album, ‘The Songs of Solace’, featuring the 14-piece Solace Choir and various studio musicians, which has been released through a new record label, Rafiki Records. The Solace Studio is now the leading recording facility in Rwanda, providing a steady income stream for the charity and the engineers who work there, as well as enabling people whose lives have been shattered by genocide to cement their music in recordings they might otherwise never have realised.
Listen to your heart and take action Just over a year ago, Dicken Marshall, a session musician and studio engineer, listened in dismay as a friend who was working with the Rwandan charity Solace told him the story of a choir of orphans who had paid £3,500 to record an album which never came to fruition. Sadly, the German producer paid to record the album disappeared, along with the money. Marshall was horrified and decided it was his time to help the charity. Six months later, he found himself in central Africa lining the walls of a brand new live room with shiplap, an acoustic
treatment, which was to prove ideal for the acoustic acts that would perform in the new studio. The 30 square metre room adjoined a slightly smaller control room, which was subsequently kitted out with KRK monitors and a state-of-the-art, eightcore Mac Zeon computer running Logic 8 and a host of high-end plugins. Two Allen & Heath Zed R16s provided the mixing facilities, while a modest selection of outboard included Focusrite’s ISA 430. Mic manufacturer Shure also chipped in, contributing a substantial selection of their products.
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Lami by Madoda Ncayiyana. This year, Dv8 has Shirley Adams by Oliver Hermanus also in Competition in the Muhr Africa Asia Section of the Festival. Zimbabwe is the story of a young woman, named Zimbabwe, who after the death of her mother, leaves the family homestead in search of a better life, any new life at all. Her journey takes her through the devastated world of modern day Zimbabwe as she is smuggled across the border into South Africa, and almost becomes a slave to a white family. She does however escape, and returns to Zimbabwe, only to find that her brother has left on the same journey to South Africa to find her.
Films and social awareness
South African films promote indigenous language and culture Dv8 Films, a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, produces feature films aimed at audiences both in Africa and globally, focussing on commercial, challenging stories that are innovative, unique and able to be financed and produced locally. Hind Shoufani takes a cinematic stroll with Jeremy Nathan.
heir self described mission is to be a digital film initiative that could, develop, produce and market genuinely South African digital feature films. But Dv8 Films also produces content across the entire audiovisual spectrum. From feature films to documentaries to commercials and corporate videos and this content is geared towards cinema, television, mobile and Internet distribution platforms. Jeremy Nathan, one of the founders and a producer with Dv8, has been working in the South African film and television fields for almost twenty years. He has produced several features, television dramas, documentaries as well as short films. They include Boesman and Lena (with Danny Glover and Angela Bassett) by John Berry, Promised Land by Jason Xenopoulos, In a Time of Violence (aka The Line) by Brian Tilley, The Foreigner
by Zola Maseko, The Quarry by Marion Hansel, Husk, by Jeremy Handler, and Jump the Gun by Les Blair, and the Africa Dreaming series. He also produced the 5 hour documentary series, Ulibambwe Lingashoni (Hold up the Sun), an indepth history of the ANC.He is on the International Advisory Board of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR), and has been a consultant for the South African Department of Arts and Culture and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) on film finance. He is also Board member of the Independent Producers Organization (IPO).
Dubai International Film Festival This past year, Dv8 had two films in Dubai, both in Competition in the Muhr Section for African and Asian films, at the Dubai International Film festival. They are Zimbabwe by Darrell Roodt, and Izulu 16
Izulu Lami follows the story of two young orphans from rural KwaZulu/Natal, who leave their hometown to search for a priest whom they think can help them get money from the sale of their mother’s expertly woven mat. In the city of Durban they encounter and fall in with some vagabond kids, who help them navigate the harsh realities of life on the streets. Both films deal with the important theme of the consequences of parents dying of HIV/Aids, and the effect this has on the children left behind.
Shirley Adams is the story of a woman who loses her family to violence and poverty, but gains her own sense of self worth, and stars popular South African actress Denise Newman. The film is the debut of Oliver Hermanus, has won numerous awards worldwide, including Best Feature film at Amiens 09, Best South African and Best First Film at Durban, 09, Best Actress at Durban and Reunion, and has been nominated for 9 SAFTA’s at South Africa’s Golden Horn Awards in 2010. “Dv8 Films is the producer of all the films we get involved with” says Jeremy Nathan, who together with producer Michelle Wheatley manages the company. “The budgets we are working on vary between US$200,000 to US$500,000. We have designed a financing system that tries to incorporate 5 key pillars: government, broadcasters, distributors, private finance and soft financers. Great African cinema has in the past been ghettoized to the festival circuit, with a few
Johannesburg in the hopes of becoming a doctor. But Max unwittingly gets tangled up with the wrong crowd and his only hope for survival is to fall back on his one talent- crying on cue and becoming a professional mourner at funerals.
broadcasters in the UK, France and Germany buying a few films each year.”
An exclusive club Nathan goes on to describe the international film market as exclusive in general. There has been a clear development of a new genre lately, where financiers in Hollywood and Europe make films about Africa that are nonetheless produced and directed by Europeans which generally means that a white European perspective is the dominant point of view, and the films tend to deal with a few white people helping out the impoverished Africans. The examples he gives of such films are blockbusters and internationally acclaimed films like “The Constant Gardener”, “Hotel Rwanda”, “Blood Diamond” and the “Last King of Scotland” to name a few. Whilst not authentic, he further states that these films have actually increased worldwide interest in the stories to be told about Africa.
Government mandate The South African government does seem to want to seriously rectify this situation. The National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) has been mandated by the government to spearhead the development of the South African film and video industry. The NFVF has several goals, such as developing effective relationships between government, the film industry and regulatory bodies to enable filmmakers to access finance through public funding, private investments, the lottery and other means. They also seek to stimulate the development of crew skills, film education and training whilst encouraging South African film and television audiences to appreciate their home grown industry. They also have long term plans to develop film exporting mechanisms as well as a plan to attract international productions and investment.
Promote culture and language In order to garner international acclaim while properly reflecting South African culture and language to both local and international audiences, the NFVF supports particular themes in the proposed projects. Filmmakers seeking aid have better chances if the stories revolve around themes such as liberation and any undocumented South African history, as well as creative adaptations of prominent South African literary works. The NFVF has also realized that the film industry is highly labour intensive and therefore is one of the industries that can contribute heavily in the creation of new
Co-production treaties jobs for skilled talent. They also have an educational program to develop local crew for feature films. “The struggle has always been, and will always be, to allow African filmmakers a voice and a point of view,” continues Jeremy. “Since most of the finance for African films has come either from European soft finance and funds, or a few broadcasters, we are seeing more finance coming from Africa, especially Nigeria and West Africa. Having said this, in West Africa, filmmakers are beginning to connect with their own audiences, with ultra low budget digital films being made primarily for DVD distribution.”
South Africa has four Audiovisual Co-Production Treaties with Canada, Italy, Germany, Holland and the United Kingdom. The hope is that South Africa will continue to enter into future coproduction treaties with various countries to further enhance this burgeoning industry. One of the positive effects of these agreements is that a film or television program approved as an official co-production can now be regarded as a local production of each of the coproducing countries, and is therefore eligible to apply for any benefits or assistance programs offered in either country as well as bringing more access to both those domestic markets.
Abundance of technology Production obstacles Aside from production obstacles, the obtaining of global distribution is also difficult, although Dv8 has been fortunate with some of their films. Market buyers prefer to wait and see if the film is well made, and then if it gains recognition at major festivals, they get involved. They then cherry pick the top couple of films. Dv8 has also managed to sell some films in the USA, UK, Scandinavia and the Benelux countries, not for huge amounts, but they are at least being seen by increasingly larger audiences globally. “It is imperative that there is a collaborative effort between government, broadcasters, distributors and filmmakers. No one sector can do it alone. Everyone needs to talk to each other. South Africa has finance, although limited, but I am hopeful we will see more collaboration between African, Middle Eastern and Latin American companies.” continues Jeremy, “You can fast track it very quickly if there is the mutual will to do so. Film is imperative for a country and its people, as it provides a unifying influence, people want to see their stories told well, and it makes people proud of who and where they are.” Another of Dv8’s past successful films is “Max and Mona- The King of Tears” a comedy combining love, tears and death in a clever presentation of South African life through the dramatic and funnily eventful journeys of Max Bua, a country bumpkin who journeys to the wild and exciting metropolis of 17
One of the main encouraging elements for Dv8 is the abundance of accessible technology in this day and age. "People must urgently learn about and embrace the technological revolution taking place if they want to become part of the global cinematic culture. Mobile, Internet and digital equipment now enables films of all sorts to be made faster and cheaper than ever before," says Nathan. It is often stated that the best advice to budding filmmakers trying to get their stories out in the world would be to ask everyone they knew for everything they can give, to knock on the door of every potential donor possible, and to understand that one must never give up, no matter how long it takes. Sometimes, small miracles do happen.
Building an industry In South Africa, producers and directors like Jeremy Nathan are pioneers in building the kind of industry that appreciates the importance of a nation telling its stories worldwide. Dv8 have been extremely active in shaping the development of cinema, using the little they had access to promote an endless enthusiasm and encouragement for younger filmmakers who may no longer deem their dreams of making films an impossible endeavor. Their insistence that there is a vital and deep need for a vibrant film community to commemorate the past and present of South Africa is bringing in a more knowledgeable, connected and hopeful future.
South Hook comes alive with Christie HD Widescreen A 12.6m widescreen Christie HD projection backdrop dominated the official opening ceremony of the South Hook LNG Terminal at Milford Haven in South Wales recently. The event was attended by Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by HRH Prince Phillip, and HRH The Amir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (who along with the Queen carried out the inauguration) accompanied by her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser AlMissned and members of the Qatari Royal family.
he brief handed down by production company WRG to The Projection Partnership was to provide for both HD source material and live camera coverage. The Tectoniks dome structure contained a curved screen that was to provide the backdrop to timecode-locked video / digital audio playback of both live action and high definition footage produced by WRG. Christie M series projection and Vista Spyder processing were called on to help deliver the solution. The video content contained HD animation that symbolised the link between Qatar and the UK in the production and supply of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). The content also contained footage shot at 720p and1080i, produced on location in Qatar.
Hard drive replay WRG elected to use HD hard drive replay for the video content and a digital audio server, which were coupled with time code to provide sync playback. The projection was specified to HD level for maximum image fidelity and the internal
camera system to SDI, as Projection Partnership had live links to the host broadcaster for national news inserts.
Severe rigging limits “Because the venue was a temporary structure and dome shaped, the challenge was to find projection equipment that was very light in weight as there were severe rigging limits,” explained Projection Partnership owner Thomas Conlon, who was also the event’s Vision Director. “We also had to ensure the microphones didn’t pick up the fan noise of the projectors.” Factor into this the requirement for native HD resolution 18
projectors that would be able to correctly line up a 3-projector widescreen blend across the screen area — and the obvious choice was the Christie M series. “This unit’s considerable output (9500 lumens) and virtually non-existent noise kept the sound department very happy, while its low weight factor (just 25kg) really helped to meet the rigging criteria,” Thomas continued. “In fact we really only had one choice of kit for this project. Knowing the reliability of Christie projectors I had no hesitation in ordering three HD+10K-M devices to handle this project. The M series has a dual lamp system and this gave our client a tremendous amount of confidence in the choice of projection units.”
Line up the blend area The built in Warp/Twist function helped Projection Partnership to line up the blend area, and because they were able to employ the Christie network remote control over a LAN network the engineers could get close up to the screen and produce a pixel-perfect line
up. Oliver Phipps was HoD on this event, specifying fibre optic links for the projection vision feeds and utilising CAT 5 for all the control of the projectors. The Vista Spyder 344 was used to provide the 3-projector background and provide the PIP windows for live action content. “This unit’s superlative image processing meant that both HD 1080p and 720p MPEG source material could be displayed without compromise,” Conlon stated. And because the Spyder can accept so many formats, the production company did not require a lot of external devices for conversion and reformatting. “This also kept all the lip-sync issues at bay and meant we could get the image on screen, on budget and on cue.
Faultless delivery “In fact the Christie projection helped deliver an event which was faultless — which is the way our clients like it.” The event’s Technical Director, WRG’s Tim Williams, agreed. “The three Christie Digital HD10K-M Projectors that were used on the project provided excellent edge blending and HD synching capabilities resulting in a seamless 12.6m wide HD image to showcase the video content and provide a stunning backdrop to the live stage performance.” Williams was
The Vista Spyder 344 was used to procide the 3-projector background and provide the PinP windows for live action content. “This unit’s superlative image processing meant that both 1080P and 720P source material could be displayed without compromise,” said Thomas Conlon, visual director for the event, “and because the Spyder can accept so many formats we didn’t need too many external devices for conversion and reformatting.”
supported by Executive Producer, Alie Tiley, and Show Producer, Justine Catterall. Environment Designer was Paul Bonomini, while Delta Sound and Richard Sinclair provided the audio infrastructure,
Stage One the set and stage, Essential Lighting the lighting, Tectoniks the venue structure and Vertigo the rigging. Finally, the broadcast links supplier was Feltech Electronics.
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17/10/04, 4:37:32 AM
The Gate reopens its doors and expands service options Lebanon-based company The Gate has reopened its doors and expanded its offering from a telecine facility to a full-service post production house to cater for the increased demand for high-quality post production work in the region.
o accommodate these new offerings - which includes visual effects, editing and colour grading - The Gate has invested in an Autodesk Smoke editing and finishing system and an Autodesk Lustre digital colour grading system. The decision to invest in Autodesk solutions was driven by the need to remain an industry leader, as managing director Sten Walegren explains, “Over the past year we’ve seen the demand for high-quality post production work increase in our region. Digital Intermediate (DI) work is also increasing by the day and, in anticipating this shift, we decided that investing in Autodesk solutions would allow us to be at the forefront of this change and enable us to turn work around quickly to cater for the creative work which our clients are demanding.”
The facility has already put Smoke and Lustre to good use working on commercials, music videos and feature films for a variety of clients including Zoe and The Talkies. “Smoke is the industry standard for online editing and finishing and it’s optimised the output of our final production film quality,” comments Walegren. “Lustre is now our main grading tool and has proven
to be very popular among our artists who have found its compatibility with Smoke very practical,” he adds. Although 70% of The Gate’s work at present is commercials, Walegren anticipates that the company’s work on feature films will increase. “We’re seeing more feature film work come through the door and with our investment in Lustre we’re now equipped with the right tools to turn feature films around.” First opened in 2001, The Gate has relocated premises to Mkalles 691 centre, a move which Walegren explains is very strategic, “We wanted to be closer to our clients and, together with the demand for a larger space to accommodate our expansion, we decided that moving closer to the central district would make it easier.”
Imagenation’s $75million financing partnership Imagenation Abu Dhabi and Ashok Amritaj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group have announced an extension of their partnership to create a strategic alliance with Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). Under the deal, Imagenation Abu Dhabi and Hyde Park will fund three to four films a year - worth an estimated production value of US$75 million over the next five years. The multi-party venture will commence with an English language cross-cultural production to be named in the coming weeks.
n addition, the new venture will soon open an office in Singapore, which will serve as the Asian headquarters and will hire a management team. Hyde Park International President, Mimi Steinbauer is handling foreign sales for films produced by the company, Hyde Park EVP Patrick Aiello will be supervising creative affairs and Imagenation Abu Dhabi COO Stefan Brunner will oversee business affairs. “Abu Dhabi and Singapore are collaborating on multiple levels – both political and economic,” remarked H.E. Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Imagenation Abu Dhabi. “This new venture solidifies our ties and commitment to the region.” Hyde Park’s Ashok Amritraj said: "Hyde Park and
Imagenation’s activities in Hollywood and throughout Asia are further strengthened by this new relationship with Singapore. We look forward to working closely with the MDA and being a leading force in the global media growth in Asia.” Imagenation Abu Dhabi CEO Edward Borgerding added: “Our continued 21
relationship with Hyde Park and new partnership with Singapore’s MDA truly embodies our ethos of focusing on global cinema and establishing strong alliances to create quality commercial feature films. This deal brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.” Imagenation Abu Dhabi and Hyde Park Entertainment first partnered in November 2008 on a $250 million financing deal to develop, produce and distribute up to 20 feature films over seven years – with additional financing for the production of local language and cross-cultural films. Their partnership with MDA follows Hyde Park’s 2008 announcement of its plans to set up a multi-million dollar fund based in Singapore.
Convergence and the Broadcast Industry Convergence, which is the joining of communications, computing and - for us - digital media into a combined technology base, is a process that has such profound implications for our future that it's difficult to take in the scale of change it will cause. Partly, that's because no-one can truly predict what's going to happen; but it's also because sometimes things are so big that we completely lose our frame of reference. To make matters more complicated, convergence happens on several scales at once. For the broadcast and content creation industries, it's all about putting video, audio and other content on a network cable, but on a wider scale, whole industries are converging.
lready, companies like Cinegy are selling entire broadcasting infrastructures that are based on commodity IT equipment (PCs, network switches, Ethernet cables, etc) and, at the consumer end, Toshiba's just announced the Cell Regza 55X1: a 55 inch high definition television incorporating a "Cell" processor, the same chip that powers the Sony Playstation 3. The device also has a multi-terabyte disk drive, and can record and play back eight channels simultaneously. This is a television with more processing and storage than the average desktop PC. Unsurprisingly, it has a network socket. Networks are the key technology in convergence. Just a few years back, they were pretty slow, which meant that that you certainly couldn't dream of sending broadcastquality Standard Definition, (D1) â€“ quality moving images over them.
Networking convergence But today, you can buy a complete television studio and production facility infrastructure based around network technology rather than co-axial cables, with their associated matrix switches. Standard Definition SDI has a bitrate of 270Mbits/s. HDSDI is around 1.5Gbit/s, and SDI 3G is just under 3GBit/s. So a Gigabit network is adequate for SD, whereas uncompressed HD will need 10 Gigabit Ethernet. 40 Gigabit and 100 22
Dave Shapton is a visionary whose ideas about future technology have been documented in the hundreds of articles he has written across the years. After extended periods of working in the broadcasting and digital media industries, as a trainer and as a CTO, his mission is to prevent individuals and businesses from stumbling into a future that they havenâ€™t prepared for.
Gigabit Ethernet are being developed in the labs, but there is almost no limit on future bandwidth. By sending multiple wavelengths of light down the same optical cable, you can achieve unimaginably high data rates. Optical cables are tiny. There's no reason why you shouldn't bundle several hundred of them together into the space of a single copper cable, giving you terabits per second. That would mean that you can transfer the entire contents of your laptop computer's drive in around a second.
No limit to network speed So, don't believe anyone who tells you there's a limit to the speed of networks or the Internet. In my view, there is no technical reason why within a few years we shouldn't have IP-based delivery of cinema -quality video (ie 4K) to the home, quite probably in 3D stereoscopic form as well. Effective compression and multicasting will bring this time even closer. All of the above is important, but it's not the whole story about convergence, by any means. Convergence has reached the stage now where the whole business landscape is changing. We rely in business on telecoms and IT, and when we've finished working, we like to watch TV. Meanwhile, all day we're consuming media in the form of advertising. You can think of all of this being supported by three pillars of technology: Media in it's conventional sense (broadcasting would be part of this), Telecoms (because where would we be without the telephone, and, more recently, broadband); and IT, which would include all the computing paraphernalia that we find in just about any business.
No limit to network speed
Ownership of content
Each of these industries is having to totally rethink its business model, as old ones become obsolete, and new ones sail into view - and possibly out of view again just as quickly. Telecoms is a good example of an industry that's having to re-invent itself quite regularly to stay relevant and maintain a viable business model. It's under attack from all directions, and yet, manages to find new ways to be key to virtually every business. With majorly disruptive threats from mobile phones and Voice-OverInternet Protocol, traditional voice circuit revenues are diminishing; but telecoms companies still have reasonably profitable businesses, although more by default than strategic brilliance. The reason for their ability to survive under such hostile conditions is that they continue to own a network infrastructure that delivers to the home. Incredibly sophisticated Digital Signal Processing (DSP) means that the copper wire that forms the veins and arteries of the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) can be used to deliver data at many times the speed of a conventional modem. Without DSP, telephone networks' copper cables would be relics, like disused railway lines. Telecoms companies have always tried to be more than just a provider of cables. To a customer, what matters is that they can make and receive calls. Mobile phones have radically changed the landscape for voice calls. As mobile calls become cheaper - or sheer convenience justifies the expense, landlines are relegated to being a backup for when the cellphone battery is flat. If voice was the whole story, then most "traditional" telecoms companies would have vanished by now. Today, it's actually broadband that dictates whether you need a landline. If you live outside an area which is cabled for TV, then the only viable way to get broadband is with a landline.
There may actually only be one thing that can produce a stable business in this new convergence jungle: ownership of content. Putting aside questions about illegal copying for a moment (which is a bit like saying "let's not worry about the harsh vacuum" when you're working out how to colonize the moon, admittedly) the only way you can realistically control who sees what and how, is to either create the content, or buy the rights to show it. So content owners are wondering about the new converged media landscape as well. One result from this is digital cinema, which might not seem to be an obvious convergence product, but if we define convergence in the wide sense of "anything that can be delivered over a network" then digital cinema certainly is. It may rejuvinate the cinema industry, or it could kill it. It won't be long before 4K "prints" of new movie releases are available on demand over an IP network. The first 4K screens are just appearing, and the chances are that they'll have an Ethernet port.
We'll always be connected In the future, we'll get to a point where we don't even think about how we're getting our internet connectivity. We'll always be connected, and it won't matter to us how it happens. What we'll be more concerned about is what services we can receive, who we get them from, and what they cost. This socalled "Service Layer" is something that the Telecoms companies understand very well, and it is what they are pinning their hopes on for survival. It's the only way they can distinguish themselves from their competitors. The issue is this:
if you're perceived as a "vanilla" data pipe provider, you enter a fiercely competitive marketplace, where there are only two factors that you can compete with: price and bandwidth, or, to simplify further, price per unit of bandwidth. In other words, you enter a commodity market rather than a specialised technical market. The telecoms industry really doesn't like this, and they will go to extreme lengths to avoid commodity pricing being their endgame, although in certain sectors it's unavoidable.
Video on demand service This is why British Telecom now has a Video On Demand (VOD) service, and it's why many major telecoms companies are sourcing broadcast technologies - such as broadcast servers and media management infrastructures - as part of their new service platforms, which will include everything from multicast IPTV to national, regional and localised digital signage. The content of this paragraph alone could be incendiary to the broadcast business. For the telecoms companies, creating new service platforms around converged media businesses is a priority, but it's made harder by the fact that creating a stable business in the presence of the internet is like trying to nail jelly to the wall. The problem is that, even though the telcos actually provide internet access to the majority of users, allowing consumers to use such a raw but powerful facility gives them the perfect means to undermine the providers themselves. It's like biting the hand that feeds you, but consumers don't mind, because they've got no loyalty: bits are the same whoever you get them from. YouTube is a great, if limited way to consume video content, and Skype is an almost ludicrously simple alternative to the voice services provided by the telcos. Similar seismic waves are devastating previously prime business landscapes, such as the one occupied by Microsoft Office, now under threat from the ever-improving Google Documents. 23
Diverse range of options Convergence offers a diverse range of options for content distribution, and one of the benefits for the broadcast technology industry that they will be asked to supply products and platforms that will facilitate simple and reliable distribution to a range of devices. This will entail effective media management (including the ability to keep track of multiple copies of content, all at different resolutions - reflecting the requirements of the various means of distribution). It will need comprehensive transcoding, and, something that's fairly new to broadcasters, an ability to manage and switch IP content streams. From the IT industry, it will demand billing and payment platforms.
Convergence trends One of the best ways to gauge large convergence trends is to have a look at the roadmaps of the big semiconductor companies. There's no secrecy involved here: you just look at their press releases. Intel's a case in point. Intel has just announced their new CE4100 System On A Chip. A single chip will provide MPEG-4 support, 3D graphics capability, high-end audio and will also be able to capture uncompressed 1080p video, all in a lowcost package, primarily intended for settop boxes (STBs). Absolutely key to the functionality of these new STBs will be
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just about every format of network streaming, as well as conventional DVB, home media networking, and they can act as a PVR.
Social networking has the power to influence consumer choices on a massive scale and when there’s a breaking news event, consumers are increasingly turning to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. They’re realtime, crowdsourced information channels – and there’s always someone on the scene with an internet-connected phone or camera who can respond faster than a dedicated news crew. In the case of the Hudson River plane crash, photographs were distributed worldwide via Twitter long before news crews were able to reach the accident scene. CNN are discovering that online media is the biggest referrer of all to their online media.
that they can run Flash version 10, giving them an easily authored user interface and graphical capability. (Microsoft Sliverlight and HTML 5 are possible alternatives.) They're ready for IPTV, and
These little boxes are probably the purest expression of convergence so far: a network-attached multimedia processor as the end-point of an all-IP content creation and delivery infrastructure. Set top boxes are so cheap to produce that you can expect to find one attached to every television screen. They'll be built-in to televisions as well. It's also just possible that STBs will catalyze growth in digital signage, because the new STBs are, essentially, network-attached digital signage players. This could herald another shift in the business landscape, where STBs deliver widespread digital signage, with national content distributed by multicasting, and regional and local content inserted from on-board storage, or triggered by interactivity. This would make commercial sense because advertising sales teams could double up by selling conventional TV advertising and outdoor advertising; as long as the digital signage networks are big enough. Finally, a rather abstract, but
nevertheless very real effect of convergence is that it gives choice to consumers - and not just individuals. Social networking has the power to inform and influence choices on a mass scale. When there's a breaking news event, connected viewers don't turn to the Electronic Program Guide (EPG) but to Facebook and Twitter. They're realtime, crowdsourced information channels. They can even contribute to broadcast content, as in the case of the Hudson River plane crash, where the first pictures to be distributed worldwide were via Twitter. From now on, someone will always be on the scene with an internet-connected phone/camera faster than a news crew. Major broadcasters like CNN (who now have a tie-in with Facebook) are discovering that social media is the biggest referrer of all to their online content.
Social impact Convergence might be a technological phenomenon, but it's biggest effects are at a business and social level. And that means that there are probably too many variables at work to predict the future direction of any media business more than about a week ahead. If you're lucky.
Vislink wireless camera system reveals the new Dubai Metro Cubic Vision chooses LINK L1500 for ease of set-up and signal reliability inside the challenging confines of terminal buildings and tunnels
islink’s LINK wireless camera system was used to reveal the first TV pictures, in High Definition, of Dubai’s new state-of-the-art Metro system at its inauguration by HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Makthoum. Cubic Vision Production covered the proceedings for live broadcast on Dubai TV. The inauguration took place in September, starting at the Mall of Emirates Metro station. HH Sheikh Mohammed then walked from the ticket hall via several passages and tunnels into the station. This was a challenging assignment for a wireless camera system, as the passages were underground and about 30 meters apart. For the walk-about element of the ceremony Cubic Vision selected Vislink’s L1500 HD wireless camera system with LMS-T modulation to deliver
high quality, interruption free coverage. Muder Abu Fasha of Cubic Production comments: “Extremely good quality signals throughout the coverage, no delay or loss, exactly what we need for a live application. In a public place with restricted space we can’t use too many cables. What we loved about the LINK L1500 was the fact that it was so 25
easy to use. The set-up was extremely quick and straightforward and the down converters are very small and neat, so we didn’t need to carry any heavy tripods and thick triax cables.” LMS-T was developed by Link Research to provide a higher performance alternative to DVB-T for wireless camera systems. In contrast to DVB-T, LMS-T modulation does not suffer the frequent drop-outs and interference at the bandwidths required for high quality HD transmission, particularly in challenging indoor environments. Vislink’s Middle East headquarters is located in Dubai. Broadcasters throughout the region are deploying Vislink’s ADVENT satellite communications systems, MRC microwave links and LINK wireless camera systems.
TRAINING SCHEDULE Over the last two years InfoComm International have ramped up their skills development programme throughout Africa and the Middle East, and in partnership with the Southern African Communications Industries Association (SACIA) and the Middle East Communications Industries Association (MECIA), have committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards, training and industry certification for the professional AV industry. The following courses will be presented during the first few months of 2010
GEN111 Essentials of the AV Industry
The course provides in-depth explanations of the science and technology for basic audio, visual and audiovisual systems integration. A brief overview of the sales, rental/hire, design, and installation functions is included the course content. This course will build your understanding of the fundamentals used on a daily basis in the audiovisual industry. Location: Johannesburg, South Africa 13-14 January 2010 Cost: Members R6,000.* Non-members R7,500.*
EVS212 Staging and Events Management
This course examines the diverse parts of a staging event and teaches you how they work together as a whole. Learn how to minimize costs, keep the client happy and make money for your company. Discuss each technical department in terms of pre-show planning and interoperability. Learn how to analyze an infrastructure, including power, rigging and labor. Discover how putting good pre-show planning into practice can reduce the potential for unknown challenges onsite. Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates 25-27 January 2010 Cost: Members US$1,000. Non-members US$1,500.
GEN112 CTS Study Group
This provides a forum for people to explore the new exam format and work collaboratively, studying the exam content areas with the help of facilitators. CTS Study Group includes: • Instructor and student led delivery of selected topics • Opportunities to study areas where you know you need help • Collaborative work groups with peers • Tips on how to assess your learning style to enhance the effectiveness of your study skills • An overview of the testing process, using the CTS Candidate Handbook Location: Johannesburg, South Africa 16-18 February 2010 Cost: Members R7,500.* Non-members R10,000.* * SACIA is not registered for VAT purposes and VAT is not included within our pricing structures. For more information on any of these courses please email: email@example.com
S In partnership with
Setting the standard for AV Excellence
Learning for life: participants in the live sound workshop in Johannesburg with seminar leader Anthony Sawyer
Electro-Voice training in South Africa Earlier this year, two intensive courses on Electro-Voice technology were held in South Africa. Seminar leader Anthony Sawyer, technical support manager in the EVI Audio team, schooled young technicians from SARA and students at the SAE Institute in fundamental aspects of audio technology. In each case, the content of the seminars was tailored to the knowledge level of the participants. The first seminars, comprising a live sound workshop, were held at the South African Roadie Association (SARA) in Johannesburg. Since 1992, this well-known institute has been offering young South African technicians a well-rounded curriculum with excellent job prospects for all who complete the course. During the two-day workshop, fifteen students from SARA were able to acquire practical rudiments of audio technology, such as the balancing of level chains and the correct programming of limiters. Another main theme was the assembly of systems tailored to particular events and production requirements. Here Sawyer explained the way the various components in the signal chain – the microphones, the mixer, the signal processors, the amplifier and the loudspeakers – interact. The second workshop was held on the Cape Town campus of the worldwide SAE Institute (formerly the School of Audio Engineering). Around thirty students – joined by employees from local rental companies – took part in the seminars. “The SAE in Dubai and Anthony Sawyer have collaborated for years and they hold him in the highest esteem,” says Oliver Sahm, Director of the Technical Support Team Pro Audio, explaining the origins of the workshops. “As ‘our man in Dubai’, he has already taken several years of SAE students successfully through a variety of workshops series devoted to live sound. The feedback from the Dubai campus was so positive that the SAE in South Africa asked him to conduct some seminars for them this year as well.” The thirst for knowledge and the level of participation of the seminar participants is what struck Anthony Sawyer the most on each of the courses he conducted in South Africa this year. “They’re reluctant to even break for lunch! That kind of enthusiasm for pro audio is bound to set them up for future success when they begin launching their careers.” 26
African nations commit to bridge the digital divide
ountries from across the African continent came together during October at ITU’s Telecom World 2009. Pavilions representing Burundi, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and the Africa Lusophone countries united with the common goal of reasserting their commitment to ICT and digital development. Speaking at the event, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré joined with pan-regional industry stakeholders to discuss how to sustain the gains of telecom development in Africa over the past ten years. "It has been an extraordinary decade for Africa," said Dr Touré in his keynote address. "Just ten years ago, virtually nobody in Africa had a mobile phone; today mobile cellular subscription tele-density has reached 32.6 per cent, and more than 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa access the Internet. What is needed now is a major push forward in broadband access."
Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General at the Nigeria Day celebrations, arranged by the Nigeria Pavilion at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009
ICT development in Rwanda and neighbouring African nations. "IT has been identified as a strategic industry for
Important industry event The ITU’s Telecom World event is seen as an important industry event for the developing world, providing an opportunity to benchmark local ICT sectors in terms of policy, regulation, and infrastructure development. It also enables the showcasing of local ICT, and represents an invaluable opportunity to attract inward investment and seek opportunities to engage with ICT companies from the developed world.
Socio-economic development The event welcomed some 30 Heads of State and government officials from The Gambia, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Lesotho, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "The presence of these and other world leaders at ITU Telecom World provides a tremendous boost to ICT development, and sends out the right message to industry leaders about the importance of ICT infrastructure to ongoing socio-economic development," said Dr Touré. Nkubito Bakuramutsa, deputy CEO of the Rwanda Development Board for IT, was one participant who has seen strong
Speaking at the ITU’s Telecom World 2009, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré joined with pan-regional industry stakeholders to discuss how to sustain the gains of telecom development in Africa over the past ten years. "It has been an extraordinary decade for Africa," said Dr Touré in his keynote address. "Just ten years ago, virtually nobody in Africa had a mobile phone; today mobile cellular subscription tele-density has reached 32.6 per cent, and more than 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa access the Internet. What is needed now is a major push forward in broadband access."
Rwanda's development," he said, “and attendance at this event is the best way to learn about new developments and future plans." Away from the exhibition floor, African nations also played an important role in the event's Forum, with top-level speakers participating from Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Uganda. Professor John Sydney Nkoma, Director General of the Tanzania Communications Regulator Authority (TCRA), said, "Driving towards success, Tanzania has created an environment that is very attractive to investors - built upon innovative policies, and a strong legal and regulatory framework. Now that this framework is in place, we are better equipped to face further challenges and opportunities that will come with the growth of new technologies beyond voice and SMS."
Welcome to the largest Arab community in the sky — only from Arabsat In a world getting more and more interconnected, Arabsat is helping to bring people closer and make the world a smaller place. As the largest satellite operator in the Arab world covering the Middle East and Africa—as well as Europe and beyond—only Arabsat offers the full spectrum of broadcast, telecommunications and broadband services. With the youngest satellites in the region, plus more satellites launching every year until 2012, this capacity will continue to grow and provide unprecedented reach, superior reliability and unmatched flexibility for broadcast and telecom operators. Indeed, Arabsat gives you the most powerful way to reach and connect with the largest Arab community in the sky—and much more. Join our premium neighborhood now. www.arabsat.com
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Arabsat. Youngest fleet. Highest reliability. Maximum flexibility. Founded in 1976 by the 21 member-states of the Arab League, Arabsat has been serving the growing needs of the Arab world for over 30 years. The Arabsat world now covers millions of homes in over 100 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Europe, including over 164 million people across 21 Arab countries. Serving the Middle East & Africa
Arabsat’s main coverage area spans the Middle East and North Africa including Sudan. However, in the last 5 years , the telecommunications sector in the north and south of Africa has experienced huge demand. Arabsat has thus started expanding its reach to bring all of Africa within its coverage area. To achieve this, Arabsat has added its 5-A, 5-C and Badr-5 satellites to cover Africa, complementing its original Middle East coverage. These satellites are located at the Arabsat orbital positions of 20º, 26º and 30.5º East . This vastly expanded reach will lead to the following enhanced offerings in Africa:
The current Arabsat 2-B satellite at 30.5º East and Badr-6 satellite at 26º East provide C-band coverage for two-thirds of the African continent. To expand its African coverage and reach all of the continent, Arabsat 5-A will be located at 30.5º East, replacing Arabsat 2-B by the end of 2009. Arabsat 5-A will provide higher spot power over the eastern and western parts of Africa.
Broadcasting sector Arabsat has started C-band transmissions of its Digital TV bouquets from its 30.5º East orbital position, creating a TV Hot-Spot for DTH TV services for all of Africa. Two bouquets are currently carrying over 20 TV channels. These bouquets will be transferred to the new Arabsat 5-A satellite planned for launch by end of 2009 to the same orbital position. Once launched, Arabsat will have 100% coverage of the African continent with excellent downlink power allowing dishes of just 1 to 1.2 meters to receive these TV channels. Additionally, Arabsat will launch its Badr-5 satellite in the first quarter of 2010. Badr-5 will cover the whole Middle East and North Africa, supporting its existing Ku-band TV Hot Spot at 26º East. It will act as an in-orbit hot backup satellite for the existing Arabsat fleet (Badr-4 and Badr-6) and provide expansion capabilities. On board the new Badr-5 satellite, a steerable Ku-band beam can be directed toward any area in the west of Africa—from Morocco in the north to South Africa in the south—to provide DTH services in Ku-band over specific target areas.
In addition, Arabsat has deployed another beam covering two-thirds of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. This beam operates in a planned C-band spectrum of 6.7 to 7.0 Ghz uplink. This new addition—which also covers Europe’s main Internet backbones—will provide vastly enhanced capacity for various telecom services, GSM backhauling, Internet and other VSAT or dedicated networks across the expanding Arabsat world. Towards the end of 2011, Arabsat will also launch its 5-C satellite and position it at 20º East, an ideal orbital position to cover the African continent. Arabsat is launching one satellite every year until 2012, vastly expanding its coverage across all of Africa. With its enhanced capacity, the Arabsat fleet will be a vital contributor to African development, opening new business opportunities in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors, generating new jobs and stimulating the business environment with new tools for developing and growing the African economy.
For further information, please contact: Arab Satellite Communications Organization, P.O. Box 1038, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh 11431, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fax: +966 1 483 0940 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Avid customers honoured for creative excellence Tthe vast majority of Emmy Award winners at the 61st Annual Emmy Awards once again chose to use one or more Avid audio or video solutions to create this year’s top television programming.
n total, more than 125 nominees in 33 categories used Avid systems including first-time nominees and winners such as Generation Kill: The Cradle of Civilization, Little Dorrit and Grey Gardens as well as repeat honorees such as 30 Rock , Damages, House, Mad Men, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List, The Office, and True Blood. This year’s Emmy Awards support the ongoing trend that Avid solutions continue to be the tools of choice for professionals in post production. Earlier this year, the American Cinema Editors (ACE) Board of Directors named Avid Media Composer the “preferred choice” of professional editors. Additionally, one or more Avid solutions were once again used to create the vast majority of 2009’s Academy Award and A.C.E award winners, including 2009 Academy Award powerhouse Slumdog Millionaire, which
took home the Oscar for Motion Picture of the Year, Achievement in Sound Mixing and Achievement in Film Editing, among many others.
The team behind the hit TV series 30 Rock, which received a 2009 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy Series (Single or Multi-Camera)” and was nominated in 21 other categories used Avid Media Composer, Avid DS Nitris, and Avid Unity systems for editing, finishing and shared storage; and Digidesign Pro Tools and ICON systems to handle the show’s sophisticated ADR, dialogue editing, sound effects, music editing, and mixing. “It is a pleasure working on the comedy 30 Rock with such a great cast and crew. The shows are very fast paced, usually with three story lines, and often include a lot of visual effects. The Avid Media Composer makes our job a lot easier and has never let us down,” said editor Ken Eluto, 2009 winner of the Emmy Award for Outstanding Picture Editing for a Comedy series for the 30 Rock episode “Apollo, Apollo.”
SES provides broadband connection to African market SES is expanding the reach of its satellite-based broadband service Astra2Connect to Africa through a signed agreement with Intersat Africa, the leading provider of satellite-based internet services on the continent. The service, which will start in January 2010, will be offered to households, small and medium enterprises as well as schools.
ith capacity coming from SES World Skies’ NSS-12 satellite, Intersat Africa will use the proven satellite broadband platform to introduce cost efficient, interactive satellite-based broadband services to the African market. Astra2Connect will be sold in ten countries in East and Central Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Newtec, a highly experienced manufacturer of state-of-the art satellite equipment and a long-term partner for Astra2Connect, will supply Intersat Africa with the respective satellite broadband user terminals based on the award-winning Sat3Play technology. Astra2Connect offers customers in regions without terrestrial broadband networks an easy, reliable and
cost-efficient solution to access the internet through an always-on interactive broadband connection for a flat service fee. The customer premises equipment – a modem and a satellite dish – is low cost and delivered with a unique Point&Play tool for easy self-installation. Astra2Connect was first marketed in early 2007 and is already available in 14 countries throughout Europe. The service is marketed throughout via wholesalers
and internet service providers.“Our agreement with Intersat Africa marks a milestone for the roll-out of Astra2Connect beyond Europe, and we are very proud that we are now able to offer our service in a dynamic market such as East and Central Africa,” said Norbert Willems, managing director at Astra Broadband Services. “Stable and cost-efficient broadband connections are important for economic growth and social wealth, and Astra2Connect is an ideal solution for all households in Africa which have so far been excluded from the digital revolution.” “Our strategic partnership with SES Astra and SES World Skies opens new horizons for delivering internet service to the masses in rural Africa,” said Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of Intersat Africa.
Sennheiser establishes Middle East branch After several years of growth in the region, Sennheiser has embarked on an ambitious expansion of its operations in the Middle East by establishing a new branch office in Dubai Airport Free Zone, headed up by Mig Cardamone, Business Area Manager for the Middle East.
ith a diverse portfolio of products, this step has been taken to facilitate better support of its existing dealer network, as well as expanding its distribution channels. Key areas such as consumer headphones and multimedia headsets an area in which Sennheiser has achieved significant success in Europe and the US in recent years - as well as cockpit and cabin solutions for the aviation sector and its more diverse pro audio solutions, including automated guided tour systems and digital interpretation systems, offer new opportunities for this well-established brand. Responsibility also encompasses the distribution of all Sennheiser Group brands, including Neumann and Klein+Hummel, as well as distributed brands such as K-Array, NetCIRA and Rycote. “This is a logical step for Sennheiser as we look to grow the Group’s direct sales in the Middle East,” says Cardamone. “The last few years have seen us put a great deal of effort into growing our representation and presence. The importance of working in the same time zone and being available
From left to right, Amin Hagroo, Mig Cardamone, Ryan Burr
during our partners’ working hours to offer manufacturer support and, even more importantly, local stock is key to establishing more effective relationships with our customers to provide a better solution for those regional partners. For this reason we have not only established the Branch office, but also a warehouse facility in Jebel Ali, serviced by our international logistics partner, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. We will be holding significant stock in expectation of being
able to act swiftly to a market that, by its nature, demands short lead times, flexibility and accurate forecasting from suppliers.” Responding to the question of the timing of such a move in light of the current state of the world’s economy, General Manager of Sennheiser UK, Phil Massey, was unequivocal: “It is fair to ask the question at a time when many companies are being forced to consolidate operations and cut costs, but this is a long term project and there are benefits to being ahead of our competition in establishing our operation in the Middle East. At a time when our competitors are perhaps not able to give this area the attention, we are still able to maximise the opportunities in our diverse business segments and offer more direct support to our distributors in a joint effort to grow market share and win business.” Joining the Sennheiser Middle East team is Ryan Burr, formerly of local distributor Venuetech and also EV/Dynacord, in the support role of Business Development. Amin Hagroo also joins the team from consumer distributor Jumbo Electronics as Sales and Purchasing Officer.
New applications and solutions for the demanding and changing Broadcast world – fixed and mobile microwave links, wireless camera systems, cellular receive city centre networks, satellite uplinks and IP data transfer. Professional broadcast equipment and support services for news, sports and Outside Broadcast. Quick set up, effective operations and superb performance for 24 hour live news, sensational sports and creative camera work. Secure Communications from Vislink.
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Harris powers first DVB-H Mobile TV network in Middle East Harris has provided Iraqi satellite television network Alsumaria TV with five Atlas DVB-H gap-filler transmitters to strengthen the signal of its new MOBISION service — the first DVB-H mobile television network in the Middle East.
ocated in Baghdad and Kurdistan, the Harris transmitters form part of a larger network infrastructure around Iraq, which was used to launch MOBISION as a nationwide commercial service earlier in the year. Middle Eastern dealer May Electrical Engineering (MEE) provided the technical support and assistance on this project. “We are proud to be the regional leader in terms of mobile TV and the first DVB-H provider in the world to offer 20 satellite channels,” said Andre Abi-Nassif, deputy general manager of Alsumaria TV and senior vice president of MOBISION. “After careful consideration by Jad Atallah, Mobision technical vice president, we chose to use Harris transmitters to strengthen our signal coverage because of the great reputation that Harris has in the area of transmission technology, as well as the strong relationship we enjoy with their dealer, MEE.”
Simultaneous transmission The DVB-H standard allows simultaneous transmission of multichannel television, radio, video, audio and IP data to a range of multimedia receivers, including cellular phones and other handheld devices.
customer relationships and improve local reaction time. This installation shows that Middle East broadcasters recognize both the strength of the Harris transmitter portfolio and the value of working with a manufacturer with a strong regional presence.”
Wide range of solution
With transmission infrastructure currently installed in Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymanyah, Diwanyah, Duhuk, Basrah — and soon to be deployed in Najaf, Kirkuk and Mosul — Alsumaria TV have launched the MOBISION service with 20 satellite channels available to any DVB-H-enabled handset.
Emerging broadcast models “Harris is committed to the Middle East market and to emerging broadcast business models, so we are delighted to support the first mobile TV service in the region,” noted Said Bacho, managing director, Harris Broadcast Communications, Middle East region. “Since the opening of our office in Dubai, our team has worked to establish closer
From gap-filler to high-power UHF transmission solutions for singlefrequency networks, Harris offers a wide range of DVB-H transmission solutions, which can broadcast television content to mobile devices. The five Harris Atlas 100 W DVB-H transmitters that are serving as gap-fillers in Baghdad and Erbil will be later retro-fitted with options allowing them to operate synchronously in a single-frequency network. “The launch of MOBISION is a proud achievement for the people of Iraq and the Middle East,” said Andre AbiNassif. “With the consistent support of our sister company E2M, who acted as our systems integrator, MOBISION is the first mobile TV service to offer a commercial business model that is completely independent from any mobile network operator by using its customized self-innovative Subscription Management System.”
Gearhouse supplies South African Tattoo Gearhouse South Africa supplied all technical production - including, sound, lighting, power and structures - plus audience seating for the hugely popular 2009 South African Tattoo, staged at Montecasino, Johannesburg, ZA.
he extravaganza featured over 600 local and international performers, blending the traditional Tattoo spectacle of massed pipe bands and Highland dancers with a distinctly African flavour. It was the second year that Gearhouse has been involved in the event, working for producers MC Squared. SABC2 also supported the show and recorded it for future broadcast. This year the show's production and lighting designer Tim Dunn wanted a fresh, vibrant, contemporary feel, and so chose to light the 'Parade Ground' performance area solely with moving lights and LED fixtures. With all events being budget conscious in the current climate, this was also smart lateral thinking, enabling a dramatic reduction in the amount of power needed to run the show from that of 2008 - all production elements ran off 2 generators as opposed to 5!
Match the budget The design and supply became a carefully calculated equation that both matched the budget and delivered all the visual dynamics expected by the client. The 4500 audience seats were supplied by Havaseat (part of the Gearhouse Group of companies) and configured as 3 stands, positioned around 3 sides of the arena. 12 interlink trucks were required to transport the 90 tonnes of scaffolding and 200 tonnes of seating stands to the site, but the build took only 6 days to complete! The fourth element of the space was an impressive 'castle wall', a 40 metre wide by 7 metre high Layher structure built by Gearhouse Structures, with a printed skin stretched across the front, simulating the real wall of the Montecasino Castle.
The 2009 SA Tattoo presented a new, never seen before, combination of South African and International acts. Six hundred (600) strong casts celebrated our modern SA culture, with new overwhelming musical arrangements, vibrant energy of dance and the precision of marching bands. The event was produced by MC Squared with the support of Gearhouse SA and SABC2. This year the showâ€™s lighting designer Tim Dunn wanted a fresh, vibrant and contemporary feel so he decided to light the parade ground solely with moving lights and LED fixtures.
play The Last Post. Sound was designed by Gearhouse Audioâ€™s Dave Tudor and mixed by Pierre Slabbert. It consisted of an L-Acoustics Kudo near-field system, positioned around the arena on 8 x 1.3
metre high platforms, each containing 3 cabinets plus a single SB118 sub. This was carefully aligned to produce an even, robust, full-on sound coming from the Parade Ground and spreading out around the space. Six L-Acoustics HiQ fold back monitors on stands were placed around the Parade Ground. Slabbert mixed the show using a Yamaha LS9 32 channel console.
50-metre technical platform Gearhouse Structures built 50 metre scaffolding-based technical platforms running along the back/top of the two lengthways seating stands to facilitate the rigging of moving lights, which were then ideally positioned to swoop down into and around the Parade Ground. The FOH and another identical 'production' tower were built house left and house right, strategically offset in the gaps between the ends of the back stand and long
Authentic wall Gearhouse had created this same scenic element last year, with photographic images taken from the real Monte castle wall. Apart from looking very authentic, this facilitated practical requirements like having a deck inbuilt at the top of the structure, so the Lone Piper could assume the appropriate position to 34
stands to keep the site lines clear. An additional - lower - camera platform was built in between these, and then two trussing goal posts, one each side, were erected between the two outer towers and the camera platform. These gave extra rigging points for lighting fixtures. Lights were also rigged along the top of the castle wall, and on the floor of the Parade Ground, for dramatic, low level beam effects.
120 moving lights Dunn's design used approximately 120 moving lights - a mix of Robe ColorWash and ColorSpot 700 and 2500E ATs and Martin Professional MAC 2Ks. For audience illumination, 110 i-Pix Satellite LED bricks were utilised, taking advantage of their brightness and versatility. These were dotted all along the tech platforms each side, on the FOH and production towers, the camera platform and the goalposts. Dunn programmed and operated the lighting using a grandMA full size console.
Follow spot towers Gearhouse Structures also built 2 follow spot towers in the corners facing the castle, each housing 2 x 3K
Gladiators, with two more towers and 1 x Gladiator each at both ends of the castle wall. Gearhouse Power supplied two 300KVA generators to run all the various technical production elements - drawing an expedient maximum load of 464 Amps. The cable runs of 150m and 100 m were split into 2 sides and a further split between lighting and audio to ensure no interference from lighting equipment was heard on the audio system. The Tattoo was project managed for Gearhouse by Michael Lewis. It again saw the integration of skills and resources from a single company, and some great
teamwork, energy, imagination and interdepartmental collaboration. All this combined to produce the stunning results helping to take the South African Tattoo into a new league of event presentation. Audience and cast members who have experienced other Tattoos around the world including Edinburgh and Basel, have said that the SA Tattoo, from both a production and organisational point of view, "Can now be ranked among the best in the world. This is only possible through working with tirelessly committed partners like Gearhouse,” concludes Simon Carter, Executive Producer for the SA Tattoo.
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Gearhouse provide broadcast solution to state Mosque of Qatar Gearhouse Broadcast has won a contract to carry out a turnkey broadcast solution for the State Mosque if Qatar.
hey will deliver a complete turnkey broadcast installation. The broadcast control room will be fitted with a Sony DVS 9000 vision mixer, Harris routing, glue and Inscriber graphics, Sony VTRs as well as a Miranda Kaleido multi-viewer driving six JVC 42” LCD display monitors. The audio mixer supplied is a Soundcraft BB100 and it all fits in bespoke Custom Consoles technical furniture. The five Sony BVP-E30 system cameras supplied with a mix of Canon J35 and J22 lenses are supplemented by ten Panasonic AW-E860 cameras with Canon YJ20 lenses on hotheads. Some of the other major system components are provided by Trilogy Communications, Tektronix and Evertz. Additional to the broadcast control room installation is the provision of
comprehensive technical cabling to custom wall boxes throughout the Mosque some fitted with marble inserts. This allows great flexibility as each wall box is fitted with varying numbers of triax, video and
audio connectivity back to the control room. The installation is also set up to provide a connection for Qatar Television’s live broadcasts. QTV will be use the mosque for live feed in every occasion during Ramadan, Eid and every Friday during praying time. Eamonn Dowdall, managing director at Gearhouse Broadcast explains “the State Mosque is being built for the Emir of Qatar, and is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East. The entire development has an incredible land area of 175,000 square metres and the mosque itself will be able to accommodate 10,000 worshipers. Gearhouse Broadcast is carrying out a high specification broadcast installation for this prestigious place of worship.”
MHz selects Zimele to support growth in Southern Africa Megahertz (MHz), the UK-based independent systems integrator, has appointed Zimele Broadcasting Services as its distributor in Southern Africa. As part of the agreement, Zimele will represent MHz’s interests in Southern Africa and provide local service and support for MHz’s clients in the region.
privately owned South African company, Zimele Broadcasting Services was founded in 1996. The company provides a one-stop integrated turnkey service including system design, project management, maintenance contracts and consultation to the analogue and digital television, radio, satellite and audio visual worlds. "We are delighted to be partnering with Megahertz for their business in the African subcontinent as they are considered to be one of the leading independent global systems integrators for the delivery of HD filebased workflow solutions and the design and build of production trucks,” said Casper Klopper, Chief Executive Officer at Zimele Broadcasting Services. “MHz already
has a substantial foothold in the South African market and we are looking to extend their reach further as the country prepares for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”
Support future business “Megahertz continues to expand its market penetration globally through the opening of new direct and indirect sales channels and the appointment of Zimele in South Africa provides us with a serious opportunity to support future business in this region,” said Greg Hoskin, Managing Director of Megahertz. “Zimele’s ability to offer extensive local market knowledge alongside a team wellversed in both Broadcasted and IT skills provides MHz with the ideal partner to promote our integrated 36
solutions to southern African broadcast, media and telecommunications businesses. We have completed a number of successful projects recently in South Africa, most notably the recent delivery of a Humvee DSNG truck for Telemedia and the ongoing expansion of a file-based system at e.tv 24-hour news channel.”
Innovative solutions Part of the AZCAR Group, one of the world’s largest and longestestablished independent broadcast systems integrators, MHz plays a significant role in designing and delivering innovative solutions to the world’s leading broadcasters, telecommunication and digital media companies.
ATV Jordan choose BTS Enterprise system ATV Jordan, has joined the rapidly increasing number of broadcasters using the Broadcast Traffic Systems (BTS) Enterprise scheduling and sales management system. Commencing operation this month at the network's Amman headquarters, BTS Enterprise will be used to manage the playout of programmes as well as ensuring precise placement and transmission of advertisements and programme-related interstitials.
TS Enterprise was installed by BTS using its Internet-based installation process. Replacing an earlier scheduling device from a third-party source, Enterprise is both easier to operate and provides a wider range of features including tight integration with the technical infrastructure at ATV Jordan. "We had seen BTS Enterprise in operation and were greatly impressed by its browser-based user interface, its ease of use and its ability to function seamlessly with our Pebble Beach automation system," comments ATV Jordan's Director of Engineering Hussein Saraireh. "The advanced automation gateway in Enterprise automatically keeps the traffic database synchronised
with the automation. Enterprise ensures that our schedulers have accurate timing information of items to be broadcast. Schedulers can also use their desktop PC browsers to view clips from the scheduling screens." "Enterprise is a modular system offering all the features needed to
manage traffic scheduling and advertising sales," adds Craig Buckland, Technical Director at BTS. "Running on an open platform, it is configurable to match any size of broadcast operation and provides multi-channel transmission as well as multi-currency transactions. User-maintained libraries of commercials and promotions are employed to create frame-accurate transmission schedules. Enterprise also includes comprehensive asset-management routines such as programme amortisation updated automatically from as-run logs. Control of media movement is achieved through the use of integrated bar-code printing and reading. Media can also be linked to playout equipment to control the ingest process."
‘Inside The National’ returns with online highlights ‘Inside The National’, the first TV show in the region to be broadcast from a newspaper newsroom, has moved to prime time with Arabic subtitles on Abu Dhabi Al Emarat. Presented by former BBC foreign correspondent, Crispin Thorold, the show gives viewers an exclusive insight into the stories shaping the news agenda of The National.
fter the highly successful start of 'Inside The National', we are delighted to be broadcasting with Arabic subtitles and reaching a wider audience,” said Thorold. “I am often stopped in the street by Emiratis and other Arabs who enjoy our unique look at the news - adding subtitles means that many more people will get access to all that the show has to offer.” Executive Producer, Matthew Sansom, said: “Moving to our new primetime slots is the biggest compliment we could have been paid for our success to date. Broadcasting late at night then repeating first thing in the morning potentially doubles our audience.” Martin Newland, Editorial Director of
’Inside the National’ highlights some of the most important stories in the Middle East and beyond as well as provides the viewers with the opportunity to get involved in the discussions about the recent happenings and events.
The National, said "Inside the National is an example of how a core brand in this case the newspaper - can extend its influence to other platforms, increasing reach and opening new avenues for commercial and strategic exploitation. Over the coming months, other products and services will follow the path pioneered by the programme." 37
Islam channel goes Vectorbox for broadcast automation London-based operation puts Vectorbox at the core of their multi-channel playout operation
ector 3, a pioneer in graphics and playout solutions, has announced that Islam Channel has installed 2 Vectorbox 8000 HD systems and Vector configured NAS system to manage automated, multi-channel playout and production storage of three Islam Channel signature channels; Islam Channel, Islam Channel Urdu, and Noor TV. With headquarters in Central London, Islam Channel provides alternative news, current affairs and entertainment programming from an Islamic perspective. A popular and well respected channel, Islam Channel has a global viewership with simultaneous transmission to studios in South, West, and East Africa. "Our broadcast facilities will support up to 20 channels," comments Kiarash Bodouhi, Head of IT, Islam Channel. "Knowing this, we went through a rigorous qualification process to ensure the playout automation technology we installed today would support the imminent growth of our operation with the same capabilities and reliabilities. Vector3 technology scored high when it came to adapting and supporting this rapid expansion." Islam Channel has
two locations in London; a production center where all programming is created and a broadcast centre for continuity and live program playout and transmission. The broadcast Centre houses the 2 new Vectorbox 8000 HD automated playout systems and a custom Vector 3 NAS system to facilitate continuity playout of prerecorded programs and live playout of thematic magazine format shows with fully integrated production storage.
High definition playout Vectorbox 8000HD offers exceptional high definition playout performance with 24/7 reliability. Known as the all-in-one server, Vectorbox includes automation with a built-in video server and CG to offer broadcasters like Islam Channel robust solution that supports multi-channel, multi-format playout. Features like automatic upscaling and downscaling enable engineers and operators to play out in either format from a mixed HD/SD playlist. "The Vectorbox is very versatile and will perfectly support rapid growth situations like Islam Channel. It is a well proven platform when it comes to reliability and scalability. It also 39
incorporates the latest technological advancements ensuring broadcasters are keeping pace with the technology trends," comments Roman Ceano, president and founder, Vector 3.
About Vector 3 The Vector 3 team commands over 25 years of experience in developing leading graphics and playout solutions for broadcast. Boasting an impressive client list of over 900 broadcasters worldwide, their legendary flagship solution Vectorbox is a world-renowned playout solution known for its unparalleled reliability, tremendous scalability and outstanding performance. Since its launch in the mid 1980's, Vector has focused its research and development on the broadcast industry. Their exceptional real-time graphics and total playout solutions ensure master control room systems work in concert and with maximum flexibility. The result is a perfectly timed playout with stunning image quality and station branding. The range of Vector solutions and applications serves stations from the small one-channel station to the multisite, multi-channel broadcaster.
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K-Array on show at Dubai Palladium Italian loudspeaker manufacturer K-Array recently showcased its innovative range of products to both the rental and installation fraternity in the UAE. The demo was orchestrated by Middle East distributor, Sennheiser UK and supported by UAE partner for K-Array, AMB.
-Array produces a wide range of unique products representing a new breed of cutting edge loudspeaker technologies and embracing a new era of slim stylish audio solutions, which are very relevant to this emerging market,” enthused Nigel Miller, AMB’s general manager. “We were happy to engage with Sennheiser and The Palladium to make this happen.”
Innovative products Amongst the innovative compact products on display were the Redline Systems: the KR-100s, consisting of a 12” sub-woofer and a single unit of top section; and the KR-200s, consisting of an 18” sub-woofer and two units of top section. Both products have DSP built into the sub-woofer section, which has 16 different presets for tonal and room adjustment. The sub-woofers also house amplification for both top and bottom sections. The star attraction of the day was the ultra slim line array comprising the KS-4 sub-woofer and KH-4 mid/high element, which when driven can generate SPLs of up to 139dB. The most significant part of this system was its size, at an impressive 16cm deep, catering for installations where space is
and innovative products for the Middle East Pro Audio market. Created to provide compact, light, unobtrusive, intelligible and, where necessary, loud audio solutions, the K-Array range is ideal for applications where an efficient architectural solution is required without compromise on audio quality. The Palladium is Dubai's hottest and most flexible venue - designed to be the region's first multi-purpose entertainment and event venue capable of accommodating a variety of world-class from stage musicals, theatre, concerts, illustrated lectures and large conferences, spectator sport events, exhibitions and major social functions.
a real issue whilst remaining attractive to rental companies because of its ease of transportation. The Palladium, Dubai’s latest and most flexible venue, agreed to host the demo. “We were very interested to find out how this sound system would perform in the Palladium, especially when it was pushed to the limit,” said Raymond Gaspar, general manager at The Palladium. “I was very pleased that the main auditorium’s acoustics ensured that a true interpretation of the sound was produced. Designed and manufactured in Florence, Italy, K-Array loudspeakers and amplifiers are new
Dubai Palladium “It was important that we had the right venue to showcase the full range of K-Array products,” explained Sennheiser Middle East’s business area manager, Mig Cardamone. “We were especially grateful to the Palladium team for their warm hospitality, whilst partner AMB lent its technical skills to ensure that all the systems performed faultlessly. “Many of the attendees commented on how impressive the clarity and power were for such compact solutions; much of the interest came from system integrators who face increasingly demanding architectural challenges when it comes to discrete speaker positioning in confined spaces, whilst also ensuring the highest audio quality. “K-Array’s perfect combination of size and power offers unique possibilities when approaching these challenges.”
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Exhibit at IBC2010 Raise your profile, move into new markets, develop distribution channels and generate sales leads •• • • •
45,000+ attendees from over 130 countries 1300+ of the industry’s leading companies 76% of visitors at senior decision making level Specialist Mobile, Digital Signage and IPTV zones Leading event for professionals involved in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and electronic media content
the content creation management delivery
World renowned conference with over 300 global leaders presenting their views on the future direction of this industry sector To exhibit at IBC2010 contact the Exhibition Team at:
Conference 9 - 13 September Exhibition 10 - 14 September RAI Amsterdam be sure to be part of IBC2010, keep tabs at...
www.ibc.org IBC Fifth Floor International Press Centre 76 Shoe Lane London EC4A 3JB UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7832 4100 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7832 4130 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
IBC launches development programme to reflect industry IBC, the world’s leading meeting place for content creation, management and delivery, has launched an industrywide consultation programme on its future development. This follows a detailed research project, conducted among both broadcasters and vendors, to determine the future shape of the electronic media industry and how best IBC can serve it.
he consultation programme will ensure that the event is sharply relevant to all decision makers, who increasingly include board level staff in broadcasters and production companies. The project is intended to enable rapid change, with the first innovations appearing at IBC2010. As a result of the decision to undertake this organic development, IBC will remain in Amsterdam for IBC2012. This will allow IBC to focus its resources on creating the right event for the media technology landscape of the future. “For more than 40 years IBC has been the global event at which the industry meets to exchange wisdom and invest in knowledge,” said Michael Crimp, IBC’s chief operating officer. “We all acknowledge that the industry today is changing faster than at any time in its history, and IBC has to change fast to maintain its alignment with the new environment.
Engage the market “This development programme will identify ways to strengthen our engagement with existing and new buying groups and thereby maintain our position as the event at which business is really done. We need to be sure that we consider every idea, however radical, that will deliver the audience to our exhibitors and impart knowledge to our delegates and visitors.” Talking of the decision to stay in Amsterdam for IBC2012, Crimp explained “As most people will know we have been seriously considering a move to Barcelona, and we remain extremely impressed with the facilities available
venue for IBC,” he continued, “and there are strong advocates in our membership for Barcelona as well as for retaining the status quo. Our conclusion, though, was that IBC’s first priority is to determine the right parameters for the event in future, which in turn will lead to a tight specification for the most appropriate venue.”
IBC takes the lead there, both the Gran Fira convention centre and with the city itself.” “In the immediate future, though, we believe our resources are best used in consulting with all our stakeholders and pushing through the innovations which will result from that consultation,” he continued. “IBC now has a reputation for delivering sustained excellence, and we would certainly not want to risk that in any way. Our belief is that, for the next three years at least, we need to focus all our attentions on developing new and different engagements as part of the IBC experience. We are determined to make a significant and innovative impact to kick this off in 2010.”
Identify opportunities To reach this stage IBC has been working with a group of senior industry experts to identify the right opportunities in the future industry landscape. These ideas have then been tested and refined with IBC’s International Council of Broadcasters and with the IABM, the body that represents broadcast and media technology suppliers worldwide.“As the representative body for the exhibitors, our interest is in ensuring that IBC attracts key decision makers from around the world, in an event which represents a sound marketing investment for our members,” said IABM director Roger Crumpton. “We applaud the IBC decision to take a fresh and radical look at the whole event and its audience, and look forward to taking a leading role in the programme.” “We have been closely involved in the debate about a future 43
Summing up the announcement, Michael Crimp said “IBC has always innovated, taking the lead in fields like digital cinema and 3D, mobile television and IPTV, and digital signage. At IBC2009 we transformed the conference, bringing in thought leaders from around the industry and around the world. “We now need to increase the pace of our evolution, to ensure that IBC remains a compelling proposition to all our stakeholders: senior executives from across the extended industry, engineers and creative talent actively engaged in making content, and vendors who need a thriving marketplace to present their innovations. You will see compelling new initiatives from IBC beginning in 2010. This consultation will ensure our ideas match and meet our customers’ needs and aspirations at a pace of change that is sustainable for all.”
Waterfront Studios choose recording system for d-workflow Waterfront Studios, one of Africa’s most influential facilities, has installed a BrightDrive recording system and two Bones Dailies nonlinear solutions for its Cape Town head office. Together, the new systems are providing a highly advanced and collaborative dailies management and transfer process.
aterfront Studios’ BrightDrive is specified for 3 x 2K or HD4:4:4 streams from one 14.4TB online workspace. Operators are able to scan film via a Spirit DataCine and Bones Dailies directly onto the BrightDrive in 2K or HD 4:4:4. The media is available immediately to all operators on the network for Best Light colour correction, audio syncing, logging and laying off to SD tape, DVD, file based video (Avid DNXHD or FCP QuickTime) and HD master tape simultaneously as digital dailies. This ‘scan once’ datacentric approach to workflow gives high levels of flexibility and efficiency in the way resources are utilized as operators are able to begin work as soon as the frames come into the workflow.
Increasing demand Based partly on the increasing demand for digital dailies, Waterfront Studios invested in two Bones Dailies systems, which is a first for Africa. Bones Dailies has provided Waterfront Studios with a technologically advanced approach that is giving them and the local industry a competitive edge. Bones Dailies integrates with Waterfront Studios’ existing Spirit DataCines. Together they create a filebased non-linear dailies infrastructure that allows them to work on multiple feature film projects concurrently. Bones Dailies manages the entire dailies process, from ingest to the creation of fully graded, fully logged, fully sound synchronized high quality dailies. Image and audio synchronization is semiautomatic, and colour decisions used for dailies can be carried through to the DI stage, utilizing the American Society of Cinematographers Colour Decision List (ASC CDL). With the BrightClip file system support, Bones Dailies records HD or 2K RGB 10-bit 4:4:4 images directly to the BrightDrive system. Playout from Bones Dailies is at the same high quality as the content that originally came off the Spirit DataCine.
International destination “At Waterfront Studios, we acknowledge that South Africa has become a destination preferred by many international filmmakers by ensuring we provide our clients with world-class solutions for their creative projects,” said facility manager Paul Merrington. “The combination of BrightDrive with Bones Dailies and Spirit DataCine allows us to offer a reliable and powerful digital workflow that uses the most advanced digital technology designed specifically for the challenges of the film and video
industry. Consequently, we ensure efficiency and safeguard quality in the post process. We are proud to demonstrate to the international film community a whole new level of service in South Africa.”
Unlimited streams The BrightDrive recording system delivers unlimited streams of real-time film and video up to 4K resolution allowing teams of creative professionals to access, share and work on the same media files concurrently. This means that even with the most complex projects, facility managers no longer need to spend time copying files between applications or waiting for individual processes to be finished before media can proceed through the workflow. Users also gain significant business-level benefits including lower operating costs. BrightDrive provides superior workflow performance and reliability due to its use of Bright’s much acclaimed BrightClip recording technology. The result of an intensive 3-year development programme, BrightClip recording technology permanently overcomes the
limitations of IT-oriented approaches to recording such as NAS and SAN where media files become naturally randomized during the course of normal production operations. This industry-wide problem of randomization causes erratic and degrading system performance, frequently bringing projects to a standstill and adversely affecting revenues and facility reputation. â€œBrightClip is a much needed solution to the problem of sequence randomization. Using BrightClip means that we donâ€™t have to worry about unscheduled down-time to get the disks optimized. Instead, our workflow remains at a consistently high speed even when it is very heavily loaded,â€? continued Merrington.
are managed. Facilities can work concurrently on the dailies processes â€“ audio and video ingest and synchronization, ASC CDL based primary, and secondary colour correction, and playout of the colour corrected, sound
Free Willy comes to South Africa
Streamline dailies process â€œBones Dailies allowed us to streamline our dailies process, satisfy the needs of our client by providing them with an accurate representation of the film look, and saved us time further down the production chain. The implementation of BrightClip makes sure we can use the system 24/7 without any sudden storage surprises.â€? Bones Dailies has turned the last remaining linear process in post production into a data-based nonlinear workflow that has changed the way dailies
synchronized, fully logged dailies to multiple file formats, all while transferring the next film roll. This not only saves time and ensures the highest quality deliverables; it also increases the capacity of the DataCine or Telecine suite.
Waterfront Studios is currently using its BrightDrive and Bones Dailies workflow for Free Willy 4. The latest in the Free Willy series tells the charming tale of Kirra, a young Australian girl who is sent reluctantly to stay with her grandfather, Gus, in Cape Town. When a young orca whale, Willy, is trapped by a storm in Gusâ€™s run down water theme park, Kirra slowly but surely finds herself
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adapting to the new surroundings and an ever-growing friend. But, when Gusâ€™s latest attraction starts eating too much, he is tempted to sell Willy to an unscrupulous competitor. The race is on for Kirra and her friends to find Willyâ€™s family and return him to the oceanâ€Ś â€œThe Free Willy films are known worldwide for being inspirational, familyoriented, quality entertainment and weâ€™re very excited to be continuing this tradition with â€˜Free Willy: South Africa,â€™â€? said Diane Nelson, president of Warner Premiere. â€œWith a heart-warming, compelling story line and a terrific cast, weâ€™re sure this film will be a hit with new audiences of all ages as well as fans of the earlier releases.â€? Waterfront Studiosâ€™ BrightDrive system was supplied through Touchvision Digital Media Solutions, Bright Systemsâ€™ business partner in South Africa.
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Are you misleading your customers? Nothando Ngcobo is a Candidate Attorney with Deneys Reitz, a South African law firm which provides an international pan-African legal service.
dvertisements are an important marketing tool. They enable a business to not only maintain the clients that they have, but also to attract new ones. There is however a thin line between honest advertising and advertising which has the effect of misleading the consumer. For this reason, the Advertising Authority of South Africa (ASA), which is a regulatory body, has published a set of Codes which serve as a guide to companies when producing advertisements. The preamble of the Code states that all advertising should be legal, decent, honest and truthful, should be prepared with a sense of responsibility to the consumer and should conform to the principal of fair competition in business. In assessing an advertisement’s compliance to the Code, the primary test which is applied is that of the probable impact of the advertisement as a whole upon those who are likely to hear it or see it. The Code states that advertisements should not contain any statements or visual presentations which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity, inaccuracy, exaggerated claim or otherwise, are likely to mislead the consumer.
Numerous complaints In terms of puffery it is stated that value judgments, matters of opinion or subjective assessments are permissible, provided it is clear that what is being expressed is an opinion and there is no likelihood of the opinion or the way it is expressed misleading the consumers about any aspect of the product or service. The ASA Directorate has to deal with numerous complaints on a daily basis regarding adverts which have had or will have the effect of misleading consumers. In September this year the ASA Directorate considered numerous cases dealing with misleading claims. In Solid Doors v Van Vuuren the ASA Directorate had to deal with a complaint that the advertisement was misleading. The advertisement was headed “In every industry there is a leader” at the bottom of the advertisement it was stated that the
company is “internationally recognised as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of timber products”. The complainant claimed that the advertisement was misleading as the advertiser is not even one of the largest manufacturers in South Africa.
Claims must be supported It is arguably a claim that lends itself to market research or survey data. The ASA Directorate considered the documents submitted by the advertiser in substantiating its statement in the advertisement. Among such documents were letters from various companies to confirm its claim. The ASA Directorate held that the letters were not appropriate to substantiate the statement as they did not emanate from independent and credible experts.
Walking a fine line Based on this reasoning it was held that the claim was unsubstantiated and in breach of the Codes. In the case of Mutual and Federal v Outsurance the complaint was based on the allegation made by Mutual and Federal that Outsurance was misleading the consumer in a television advert as they were purporting to be the only insurance company to provide the services being advertised. Mutual and Federal complained on the basis that all the services being advertised were standard services that most, if not all insurance 47
companies were providing. The ASA Directorate did not have to deal with this complaint as Outsurance gave an undertaking to withdraw the advertisement. The nature of these complaints illustrates that there is a fine line between what may be viewed as harmless advertising and what will be viewed as misleading. Companies need to ensure that when embarking on any advertising campaign they take heed to the Codes to ensure that the statements contained in their advertisements are not found to be in breach of the Codes. It is clear that even pointing out the services a business provides, without twisting the truth in any way, could be construed as misleading if it can be alleged that such business is attempting to portray itself as the only one that provides those services or products, no matter how ingenious the concept.
No clear-cut answer The question is then where does one draw the line? Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer as advertisements should be assessed on a case by case basis. Should a business be found to have breached the Codes, the ASA Directorate may order the withdrawal of the advertisement in its current form, and direct the advertiser to submit the proposed amendment for pre-publication advice. It may also direct the advertiser to submit all future advertisements to the ASA Advisory Service at the cost of the advertiser, prior to publication. This sanction is normally imposed for a period of six months for repeated breaches. A company will just have to ensure that when brainstorming their adverts they take heed of the guidelines set out in the Code so as to avoid any unnecessary costs.
Top ten business uses for YouTube Joe Dysart is a journalist with 20 years experience. His articles have appeared in more than 40 publications, including The New York Times and The Financial Times of London. He also contributes articles to a number of vertical market industry publications.
hile YouTube has emerged as a marketing juggernaut for businesses, many AV firms are also discovering the free video-sharing service has scores of other uses – all of which are also free for the taking. Company recruiting, client communications, product/service how-to videos and dissemination of company news are all increasing in popularity on YouTube, as firms transform the medium into a Swiss Army Knife of business communications. “Within the last two years, DreamCo Design added a video studio to its offices for this very reason,” says Jason Correia, director of marketing at Dreamco Design, a US-based Web design firm. “It is becoming a more and more important element for a business to have if it wants an “edge” over its competition.”
Hottest thing on internet Currently, most AV firms throughout Africa and the Middle East are using the free site for marketing. “If you’ve never visited the YouTube Website, you’ve missed out on the hottest thing on the Internet today,” says Michael Miller, author of ‘YouTube for Business,’ an excellent guide. “YouTube has become so pervasive and innovative that Time magazine named it Invention of the Year in 2006.” Ben Becker, president of Becker Solutions agrees: “The introduction of video and other animated media into a website is mainstream and for good reason. Having video content messages and content makes a person’s visit to a site more personable. Instead of looking at a static page of text about a company or service, you have the ability with video to see and hear from company personnel, which adds a personal connection.” Another major reason AV businesses are flocking to YouTube is its unbridled popularity. Just a blip on the Web’s radar a few years ago, the videosharing service has rocketed to one of the most visited sites on the Internet. These days, the site enjoys one billion views
each day, according to figures released by the company in October. AV organizations also find YouTube’s ease of entry and low-cost hard to resist. Virtually anyone with basic PC skills can upload a video to YouTube - for free - in a matter of minutes. And since YouTube’s videos are generally viewed in a relatively small viewing screen, there’s no reason for AV businesses to endure painful budgets for video production costs. In fact, the subtleties of high-end video production are generally lost on YouTube, according to Miller.
These videos can of course serve a dual purpose for an AV business, offering detailed instructions for novice clients and customers, while serving as a promotional spot for casual viewers. I personally mustered the courage to swap in a new, faster CPU on my PC – something I perceived as akin to open heart surgery – after viewing a slickly produced how-to video by AMD. Without the video, I would have never attempted the swap, nor purchased the CPU.
Significant savings Plus, AV business users are saving significant coin by shifting hosting responsibilities for their videos onto YouTube. The reason? Ordinarily, a firm needs to pay bandwidth transmission charges anytime a Web site visitor views a video hosted on its company Web site. But when that same video is uploaded to YouTube’s servers, businesses never pay a bandwidth transmission cost – no matter how many times that video is viewed. All told, it’s a frothy mix of remarkable popularity, ease-of-entry and virtually non-existent costs that have the wheels of innovation spinning at countless AV organizations as they continually find new uses on YouTube. So far, here are the top ten uses that experienced users of the service have come up with: 48
Marketing This is without doubt he most popular business use of YouTube, and can be wildly successful. Firms with shoestring promotional budgets have become overnight stars on the service, often with zany and off-the-wall marketing pitches. Across all industries, one of the classics is “Will It Blend,” a campy series from blender manufacturer Blendtec, which proves the mettle of its product by ‘blending’ some rather unorthodox items in its blender. Among the hapless victims of the series are an iPhone,Rake Handle and 50 marbles.
Company Video FAQs
Recruiting Given that many firms already have videos touting their businesses as inviting places to work, posting those same productions on YouTube is a no-brainer. Top firms already cashing in on the free exposure include Intel, Siemens and Google. “Don’t limit yourself to a single, long puff video,” Miller says. “Produce separate videos for individual departments, as well as to illustrate company values, employee benefits, facilities and the like.”
Any AV firm can leap over the image of faceless service provider with on-the-fly videos that feature charming customer service people answering frequently asked questions. Sure, many businesses already have written FAQs on their Web sites. But there is something to be said for going the extra mile and offering the personal touch inherent in the video medium.
Any AV company with multiple locations across the Middle East or Africa, or across the world, can immediately see the benefit of posting training videos on YouTube, and having the appropriate employees dial in. And by using YouTube’s ‘private broadcast’ option, those companies can ensure the training videos stay internal. “Many companies find that YouTube is a fast and effective way to disseminate all kinds of employee information,” Miller says. “Done right, it gets information out there in near-real-time, with all the benefit of face-to-face communication.”
Employee-to-Employee Communications As far as Google, the parent company of YouTube is concerned, ‘videomail’ could be poised to become the email of the next decade. In fact, Google has added ‘Google Video’ to its own Google Apps suite for business. Makes sense. Why not zip off a response to a thorny problem or challenge using video, if it’s easier to do so than in another medium? At the very least, videomail is a trend worth experimenting with and monitoring.
News Video Clips
The beauty of posting your AV company news to YouTube is that your information is not sliced, diced or in any other way whittled down to a mere shadow of its former glory.
Client Communication When an email or friendly phone-call simply doesn’t cut it, many firms are posting videos to YouTube to connect with clients concerning project updates, personalized descriptions of new products or services and the like. The medium conveys the message that the company places a special value on its client or customer, and is willing to go the extra distance to prove it. Plus, such communications can be easily made private on YouTube by selecting the ‘private’ option under its ‘Broadcast Options’ variable. This ensures only the viewers you select get to see the video you’ve uploaded. 49
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Many sophisticated users of YouTube are also using the service a free testing ground for commercials they plan to run on cable and broadcast TV, and elsewhere on the Web. Specifically, they use YouTube’s free analytical tool, Insight, to test the marketing punch of their commercials. Insight’s metrics include the overall popularity of your video, who’s viewing your video, where those viewers are coming from on the Web, and what keywords they used to find your video.
Savings on Business Travel
All the videos sent to employees and clients are also enabling businesses users to rack up substantial savings on business travel. Granted, there are plenty of instances where true face-to-face interaction is irreplaceable. But in many other situations, a video overture is a bullseye compromise between basic email and an all-expenses paid business trip for one or more employees to multiple cities.
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Strength and stability let you deploy Harris technology with confidence. For nearly a century, Harris has pioneered the technologies that drive the world’s leading television and radio broadcast operations. Today, our unique ability to merge traditional broadcast and IT systems enables an advanced media workflow that allows you to work more efficiently, save money and profit from new revenue streams. Where are we headed in the coming decades? Wherever you — and your audience — want to go. For more information, please visit www.broadcast.harris.com. Europe +44 118 964 8200 Sales.Europe@Harris.com
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MEIFF announces winners of 2009 Black Pearl Awards The Closing Ceremony for the third annual Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) was held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in October. During the ceremony, celebrity guests including Naomi Watts, Eva Mendes and Orlando Bloom presented the 2009 Black Pearl Awards to the winners of MEIFF’s competitions.
he third annual Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) was held at the Emirates Palace Hotel during October. At the closing ceremony, celebrity guests including Naomi Watts and Eva Mendes presented the 2009 Black Pearl Awards to the winners of MEIFF’s competitions. The awards were the culmination of 10 days of cinema, with 128 films screened. Seventeen Narrative Features, fourteen Documentary Features, twentyfive Short Films, and ten Student Shorts competed for Black Pearl Awards. A special Black Pearl Award for lifetime achievement was presented to Vanessa Redgrave on the festival’s Opening Night. The Black Pearl Award for Best Middle Eastern Narrative Film ($100,000) was awarded to The Time That Remains (Al Zaman Al Baqi), directed by Elia Suleiman. The festival included a series of three Master Classes devoted to celebrated film composers who gave rare insight into their creative process, while a fourth Master Class focussed on the role of film archives in the modern world
Composing for film Composers Sussan Deyhim and Richard Horowitz spoke about how they compose for films, and how their film scores have been influenced by Middle Eastern music. Tehran-born Deyhim is a dancer, composer and vocal artist whose work has appeared on soundtracks including Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ; Horowitz, who studied Middle Eastern flute and music theory during a 12-year sojourn is perhaps best known for his soundtrack for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky. Their presentation carried the provocative title, “The Cosmic Symphony – How to use the original vibrations from the Big Bang in film scoring.” Composer, conductor and musician David Amram is perhaps best known for his film scores for Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie’s classic underground film Pull My Daisy (1959) as well as Splendor in the Grass (Elia Kazan, 1961) and the original version of
Improvising for silent film
The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962). He has recently composed a score which fuses classical and jazz music for T.C. McLuhan’s The Frontier Gandhi, which won the Black Pearl Award for Best Documentary Film. His talk included a mini-concert with performances on the “dumbek” (a Middle Eastern ‘chalice drum’), shenai (Indian woodwind) and various Middle Eastern flutes.
Silent film accompanist Neil Brand, also provided live keyboard accompaniment for MEIFF’s “Laugh Till It Hurts” programme of silent comedies. In his master class he illustrated the art of improvising for silent films, which he's been doing for over 25 years. Having originally trained as an actor, Brand's skill and charisma as a performer have been widely noted, and his show leaves viewers in far from silent awe at the art of the great filmmakers of the silent era and the magic of the accompanists who breathed life and sound into their work. Brand’s work was described by the UK’s Guardian newspaper as ‘elevating silent movies from slapstick to subtle ballet’ A fourth MEIFF master class was presented by Paolo Cherchi Usai, author, film historian, and director of the Silent Film Festival in Pordenone, Italy. His talk, “Preserving the film heritage of the Arab World” focussed on the challenges faced in the attempt to preserve the moving images of the preceding century. Over 80% of the films made before 1930 no longer exist, and although 149 film archives now exist throughout the world dedicated to collecting and archiving motion pictures, only four of them are in the Arab world.
Corporate gaming, virtual worlds, and virtual business simulations
hroughout 2009 the corporate world has been exposed to the reality of virtual worlds which has seen a growing influence on how companies train and communicate. This trend was largely driven by the rising influence and profile of virtual online worlds, which allow users to create alternate realities such as that offered by Second Life, and in a similar vein the computer game SIMS. This is a trend that is expected to continue into 2010 as organisations begin to recognise the merits of incorporating gaming into their basket of training tools. While discussions have revolved around the benefits these environments offer business, there have been as many articles rooted in the experiences of early adopters who critiqued the actual value they managed to extract from these tools. This largely because from a South African perspective, high data costs and bandwidth constraints led to early adopters experiencing issues unique to the local environment. But this limitation is less of an issue and today, nothing stands in the way of organisations joining the virtual revolution.
An uptake in opportunity It is safe to say therefore that through 2010 we can expect more, rather than less, uptake of the opportunities offered by these environments. There are several reasons for anticipating this; some of which are rooted in the economic experiences of late 2009 and those expected in early 2009, while others are driven by the desire for innovation and competitive advantage endemic within corporate culture. As a social dynamic, computer gaming is a growing and influential reality. People under-35 years old grew up in a world influenced and informed by computer gaming rather than traditional board games. If we consider that society has always used games to teach children the skills they need to be successful adults, the role and influence of computer games is going to grow and increase within the corporate world – driven by the fact that an increasing
training programmes allows a company to achieve significant economies of scale related to the costs of delivery, but also the costs of supporting the training. As the environments are robust and largely self-contained, less trainee support is required when delivering material. Furthermore, this training can be delivered directly into the person’s working environment using existing internal infrastructure. This means that training can be effectively performed using a ‘Just in Time’ model – consequently no time is wasted on unnecessary training. Training wont need separate venues booked, and employees dragged away from their work environment for days on end. In the economic climate that will dominate much of 2009, these benefits will add significant value to companies that pursue the path of virtualisation. Wisdom Games CEO, Raymond de Villiers explores the Implications of online realities in the new economy
segment of our employee demographic have had their values and worldview influenced by computer gaming. This growing social effect is one of the drivers behind the probable increase in virtual world activity, by the corporate world, through 2010.
Increasing importance For those who have never played a computer game in their lives, virtual worlds look foreign, sinister, scary, and like a waste of valuable corporate resources. However, for those who grew up in a world where they played virtually, their expectation of being able to apply the consequent life lessons will be expressed in their expectations of the work environment. Computer gaming, and the associated virtual worlds, will as a result, be seen as an increasingly important infrastructural consideration. The economic melt down experienced through late 2008 and early 2009 has and will continue to see companies seeking out ways to save money and extract costs out of the business. Appealingly, virtual worlds and business simulations, built using computer gaming technology, offer significant cost savings. Virtualising 52
Virtual environments Finally, the lessons of the early adopters that have been publicised in 2009 will serve as ‘school fees’ for 2010. Companies that engage in the virtual and game-based business simulation areas through 2010 will have adjusted their expectations accordingly. Virtual environments will be used less for marketing and product placement, and more for global project teams and collaboration, along with a healthy dose of training activity. While activity in generic environments like Second Life will grow marginally, the real growth will occur in companies investing in the development of their own environments and applications. These environments will mimic their real-life environments and processes so that they are able to use the virtual environment to leverage internal Intellectual and Human Capital in a way that delivers contextually relevant competitive advantage In this space, in 2010, South Africa will still largely be a trend-follower rather than a trendsetter. But, with the rise of local companies like Wisdom Games building applications specifically for the local market, with its own unique constraints and dynamics, significant local innovation can be expected by the end of 2010.
BBC extends Omneon Spectrum at BBC Persian TV Omneon has announced that their Omneon Spectrum media servers are being used for ingest and playout for BBC Persian TV, a new service launched in January 2009 by BBC World Service. servers under the control of DaletPlus is nstalled in BBC facilities in London, the Tapeless workflow model
Omneon server systems support an efficient and reliable tapeless workflow for BBC Persian TV, which currently broadcasts eight hours of daily current affairs and features news content for Persian speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and around the world, complementing the BBC's existing radio and online news offerings in Persian. "The integration of different systems to create a streamlined workflow in a fully digital file-based environment is among the most critical parts of an effective installation," said Mike Cronk, controller for future media, technology and distribution at BBC Global News. "Our past experience with the interoperability and known performance of Omneon Spectrum systems in a fast-paced news environment gave us confidence in deploying the servers again in a mission-critical application."
The installation for BBC Persian TV is based on the same tapeless workflow model used successfully for the launch of BBC Arabic TV in 2008. Employing Spectrum servers at the heart of the BBC Persian TV project, the BBC again leverages the systems' open architecture to enable tight integration with other leading broadcast systems for optimal workflow efficiency. The Spectrum systems feature a modular design that enables easy scaling of capacity and functionality without disruption of news delivery.
DaletPlus integration The Omneon systems are integrated with the DaletPlus News Suite media asset management (MAM) platform and production tool, along with IBIS playout control, to provide a streamlined news production workflow for BBC Persian TV. Content ingested to the Omneon Spectrum ingest
identified and registered by the MAM system and made available for editing on journalist workstations. Once news clips are finished, they are registered in the MAM system and transferred to redundant Omneon Spectrum playout servers. IBIS ServerPlay, integrated with the facility's ENPS, cues up clips based on a continually updated rundown and triggers playout from the Spectrum system accordingly.
File based news environment "The BBC has developed an efficient file-based news environment that supports high-quality news production for the company's growing international broadcast services," said Geoff Stedman, Omneon senior vice president of marketing and business development. "As the BBC continues to roll out news services worldwide, the Spectrum media server provides the reliability and flexibility vital to timely news delivery."
Projector Solutions establish Christie in Nairobi Since starting out seven years ago, Nairobi-based Projector Solutions has been steadily educating the local market in the wonders of big screen projection by operating a highly-efficient audio visual service.
ecognising a need in the market, managing director Mercy Mahiaini first approached the larger corporate entities “as they were not only the big users of projectors but at the same time seemed less satisfied with the service being offered by other players.”Projector Solutions set out to rectify that. Starting circumspectly by purchasing some basic data projectors, screens and laptops, they soon heard about Christie (from South African-based Gearhouse). As a result, they became the first company in Nairobi to purchase Christie projectors after listening to the positive feedback from users down in South Africa. Mercy explains. “We settled on the LX500 [4500 Lumens XGA LCD Digital Projector] series with Short Zoom and Zoom lenses because we first wanted to evaluate the capabilities.” The investment quickly paid
dividends and Mercy says they are receiving ever-increasing enquiries from customers coming to terms with the benefits of hiring top quality projectors. However, both the market education and technician training process are a long process, she acknowledges. “Our 53
technicians are trained on the job, so they learn as they go along. But this month we will take one of our technicians to South Africa for training.” The appetite for big screen projection extends through product launches, awards shows, fashion events, outdoor sports events and Houses of Worship in the local region. It was in a church that Projection Solutions recently achieved one of their most notably successes, rigging two 140ft x 120ft rear projection fast-fold screens and projecting signals from live cameras and various playback sources via their two LX500’s. The venue is a tented dome which admits a fair amount of light. Mercy reports, “With the LX500 projectors we were able to project very clearly to the 3,000 congregants, easily outperforming the church’s resident projectors.”
Optoma enters Digital Signage market Optoma has entered the digital signage market with the launch of its SignShow D5000 high definition (HD) media player and the SignShow 7POP, a 7-inch point of purchase LCD display panel. The products are the first of many planned for the Optoma SignShow range, designed to offer installation partners flexible, profitable, high specification digital signage solutions that suit a number of applications, such as commercial, retail outlets, hotels and leisure chains, restaurants and bars, plus travel sites such as airports and train stations. The Optoma SignShow D5000 is an advanced HD media player that provides the ideal hub for powering any stand alone or networked digital signage installation. The player can output a total combination of up to seven zones to the same display panel with output resolutions from VGA up to 1080P, plus deliver content to all networked screens. With SignShow Creator Software for Windows included as part of the complete offering, users can easily design, preview, publish and manage the schedule signage content and messaging.
Panasonic unveils 85-inch display At IBC 2009, Panasonic unveiled its new 85-inch large format plasma. Formally announced in June, the new display features a screen size equivalent to four 42-inch panels and closes a size gap between the company’s 65” and 103” displays. “With the launch of the 85” Plasma, Panasonic is continuing to lead the market for large format display with the most complete range of products to suit all applications,” said Enrique Robledo, Panasonic’s Plasma Marketing Manager in Europe. “With a high volume of pre-orders already, we’re seeing incredible demand for larger display products across all sectors including events and rental, retail and leisure, and specifically markets such as fashion retailing, casinos and cinema installations for both Out of Home Advertising as well as for Point of Sales and Point of information. Both, impact and volume of information are the key factors considered by the market, and with life size formats, image quality and amount of surface space speak volumes for themselves.”
Crestron announces MPC-M50 Media Presentation Controller
Crestron introduces the first MPC unit with a fullyprogrammable LCD front panel – the MPC-M50. This product joins the Crestron MPC family of AV room controllers which delivers the most simple, cost-effective routing and control solution on the market today. The MPC-M50 features a built-in
Next generation digital cinema
2-Series control system and fits onto a standard 3-gang electrical box. Its large LCD display has four soft and seven hard key buttons with LED feedback, all fully programmable for controlling system functions such as power, source selection, transport control, audio settings, lighting, and more. In addition to the LCD screen, the MPC-M50 has a total of 16 programmable buttons, customisable backlit labelling, volume control knob, 17 various control ports, and wireless remote capability.
Christie has launched its next-generation digital cinema solutions, the Christie Solaria series. Recognized as “the future of digital cinema,” the CP2220 digital cinema projector features Texas Instruments’ next generationLP cinema technology and an optional integrated 2K/4K media block. While maintaining support for 2K external servers, these new models allow exhibitors to easily project 2K or 4K content, giving them the widest choice in digital cinema options. The Christie CP2220 is the first in the new series of digital cinema projectors that also includes the Christie CP2210 and the Christie CP2230. The Christie CP4220 and the Christie CP4230, also introduced at InfoComm in June, are the Company’s premium 4K projectors and among the brightest in the world – like the 2230, the 4230 is capable of delivering over 30,000 lumens on the largest screens and delivers breathtaking 3D images. All next-generation Christie digital cinema projectors continue to utilise Christie Brilliant3D technology providing the ultimate 3D experience with the lowest cost of operation. 54
Mitsubishi introduce 3D-ready projector
Tandberg at the forefront of video integration
Mitsubishi has introduced a new range of fully featured projectors. The first in this new series the XD600U was previewed earlier this year at InfoComm and features 4,500 ANSI lumens, XGA resolution and weighs just 3.6kg. Designed for both business and education users the XD600U features a lamp life of up to 5000 hours and for really effective presentations it also benefits from a number of audiovisual functions including; a 10-watt speaker and audio mix capability, closed captioning decoder, a visual public addressing (PA) feature and user-friendly menus. The XD600U is also the first projector in Mitsubishi's range designed with the latest DDP2230 and DLP Link« chipset, making it 3D-ready for three-dimensional display content. The projector supports a 3D experience when users input and display their 3D content and watch the display with optional DLP Link-compatible 3D glasses.
Telepresence and video conferencing have been instrumental in helping businesses address the challenges of recent economic pressures, such as travel reductions and employee productivity. With Frost & Sullivan predicting the global video market will reach $4.7 billion by 2014 the technology will bring even greater benefits for business as video conferencing expands from conference rooms to the individual - strengthening distributed workforces and supply chains. However, the ROI for both group and “personal” video will be further realised through seamless integration into a unified communications (UC) platform. The Tandberg end-toend solution delivers unrivalled H.323 (SIP) dual stack capabilities to bridge the world of existing telepresence and video conferencing solutions with VoIP and UC so businesses can make the most of their investments. “Unified communications is transforming the way companies work, allowing people to communicate and collaborate from virtually any place and any device,” said Yancey Smith, director of unified communications product management at Microsoft Corp. “With the integration of video conferencing and telepresence in the Office Communications Server environment, Tandberg is helping its customers make the most of existing video infrastructure investments.”
Extron 72x72 High Performance Switcher Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the introduction and immediate availability of the FOX 4G Matrix 7200, a high performance, modular fiber optic matrix switcher for complete, end-to-end digital A/V signal transmission and routing over fiber optic cable. It is expandable from 8x8 up to 72x72, and supports digital switching at rates up to 4.25 Gbps. With hot-swappable I/O boards, real-time system monitoring, and redundant, hotswappable power supplies, the FOX 4G Matrix 7200 delivers highly reliable, enterprise-wide switching of fiber optic A/V and control
Vogel’s introduces more secure display wall mounts Vogel’s Professional is extending its range of wall mounts for flat LCD and plasma displays with the PFW 52xx models (for 23 to 32-inch) and PFW53xx models (for 26 to 42inch), for super flat and extra secure mounting. Designed for use in public areas that cannot be continually supervised, they feature a sturdy locking system that secures the display effectively and closely to the wall to hinder removal. The mounts have an elegant look and take up little space, yet still allow easy access to the display for service. For portrait mounting, two new wall mounts are available, PFW 5015 and 5515. By adding these new mounts the PFW 5000 series now comprises of a full range mounts for 23 to 70inch flat displays weighing up to 75kg. 55
signals for any missioncritical environment. "The FOX 4G Matrix 7200 is designed for facilities requiring a highly robust, dependable switching system using a fiber optic infrastructure," says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. "Our high speed digital architecture assures the utmost in signal performance and accuracy." The FOX 4G Matrix 7200 is compatible with the FOX Series of fiber optic digital transmitters and receivers. It accepts and routes standard definition video, high resolution computer-video, DVI, and multi-rate SDI.
production, and store content all within the supportive twofour54 campus environment. We have already received high levels of interest in our services and the launch coincides with our new freelance framework providing real impetus to the production and post production industry in the region.”
Five hi-def studios
twofour54 intaj launches world class production facilities in Abu Dhabi twofour54, the Abu Dhabi based content creation community, has announced the launch of twofour54 intaj, offering state-of-the-art production and post-production facilities, media asset management, digital archiving, playout and broadcast services.
ommenting on the launch of twofour54 intaj, CEO Tony Orsten said: “This launch introduces the final component of twofour54’s content creation community, which is designed to facilitate the development of a sustainable media industry in the Middle East & North Africa region. To be able to produce world class Arabic content you need world class facilities and we believe intaj’s facilities are a first for the region.”
Skilled operational staff twofour54 intaj offers two choices for users – to have the facilities fully operated by a team of highly experienced broadcast technicians, or to hire the equipment and studios only. The twofour54 intaj team is made up of skilled in-house technical, operational and creative staff or from a roster of global industry experts for additional specialist consultancy. twofour54 recognises the role of freelancing in the production process and broadcast industry and has unveiled plans for its freelance licensing system, which will launch in phases at the end of October increasing access to flexible talent utilising the twofour54 intaj facilities.
Freelance employment opportunity
A content community The opening of these facilities completes the infrastructure for the content creation community proposition of twofour54, standing alongside twofour54 tadreeb, the region’s premier vocational training academy and twofour54 ibtikar which provides industry funding and support for early stage businesses and creative talents across the region. Hasan Sayed Hasan, head of twofour54 intaj commented: “twofour54
twofour54 intaj offers five high definition (HD) production studios ranging from 60m2 to 650m2. The studios are equipped to support production in a range of fields from news to sports programming, game shows to serial dramas and light entertainment. Each studio has its own dedicated support services, with the larger studios allowing full drive-in access to cater for even the largest scale productions. The production facilities are complemented by 22 fully equipped postproduction suites – including audio, video, graphics and high-end finishing as well as media asset management and full broadcast services – including play-out, satellite uplink and downlink.
intaj is the solution for the content creation industry in the region. We enable content creators to produce, complete post56
In the first phase, television professionals such as sound and video editors, camera operators, production engineers, special effects technicians and hair and make-up artists will be able to license themselves directly with twofour54 as freelancers. Freelancers will get a UAE residence visa and will be able to work for twofour54 intaj and for any other twofour54 partners such as CNN, Abu Dhabi TV, Baynounah TV, Atlas Television and C-Sky Pictures. Further categories will be introduced in 2010. Orsten added in closing, “We are now open for business and we look forward to a new generation of Arabic content being created under our roof.”
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