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3D at FIFA World Cup Gearhouse take on Miss World pageant Broadcasters tighten their belts Editing under fire in Iraq KAUST inauguration See us at

spectacular Westwood wins Race to Dubai


Contents AV Specialist Volume 109

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Tales from the Online Video Trenches How technology pioneers in MEA and around the world are moving video to the Web one channel at a time.

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World’s First 3D FIFA World Cup The Excitement and Action of World’s Most Popular Sporting Event Will be Viewed as Never Before

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Christie stars in KAUST inauguration spectacular Saudi National Day saw one of the biggest armouries of Christie projectors and processors ever assembled on a single show, in order to fulfil a long-held dream by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

26 The PGA European Golf tour’s season-ending Dubai World Championship took place at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ newly opened Earth course in November. Publisher & Managing Editor Kevan Jones kevan@avspecialist.tv Feature Editor Dick Hobbs dick@avspecialist.tv Circulation Anne Ebrahim ann@avspecialist.tv Designer Rajiv Gopalan rajiv@avspecialist.tv Advertising sales Africa, Middle East, UK Richie Ebrahim richie@avspecialist.tv

The global recession, one year on While professional economists now point to the beginning of the economic downturn as being in July 2007, for most ordinary observers it was the crash of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 which started the slide.

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Editing under fire Taking the prize for album of the year at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards were the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Spirit of the Glen: Journey is a remarkable album in many ways - but perhaps most remarkable because a large part of it was recorded in the middle of a war zone, with sessions constantly threatened by rocket attacks.

Publisher’s Note

Europe Emmanuel Archambeaud earchambeaud@defcommunication.com Represented in North America by: Broadcast Media International Michael Mitchell Tel: +1 631 673 3199 michael@avspecialist.tv 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

Over the last year you’ll have realized that I’ve been involved in kick-starting a skills development programme for the ProAV industry in Africa and the Middle East. We seem to be achieving most of our objectives but I’m constantly thwarted by organizations who’ve slashed training budgets and eliminated any pretence at skills transfer. I understand that the current trading conditions have forced employers to make some tough choices but there is one sure truth about remaining competitive. Maintaining a well trained, multi-skilled workforce is more than just an overhead cost. Without appropriate knowledge and skills, a company, irrespective of size, can lose its competitive and distinctive edge. The training budget is usually the easiest place to cut costs because training is viewed as an expense for the good times. This is simply not true. All conventional wisdom supports the notion that training is critical to the efficient functioning of an organization, but the link between conventional wisdom and practical reality gets lost when the idea is to keep the ship afloat. Training is not a ‘recreational’ luxury to be implemented when times are good, but is an essential survival tool when times are pretty rough. As the economic cycle continues to turn, many organizations are weighing the importance of training in lieu of other seemingly pressing concerns. The doubts are probably tied to an inability to measure the true impact of the training experience, and, consequently, its true worth. When all else fails, perhaps some reflective thought on the next quote and its corporate interpretation might shed some light. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” In the business setting, that quote is taken to mean, “If you think training is expensive, try incompetence.”


Product

news Sony implements AVCHD technology Sony has announced the arrival of the HXR-NX5E, the first product of its recently announced NXCAM family brand to the Middle East market. The new camcorder utilises the professional implementation of AVCHD technology, bringing seamless production workflow to professionals across the UAE. The entry level file-based camcorder uses both Memory Stick Pro Duo recording media and an optional HXR-FMU128 128GB Flash Memory Unit to offer professionals and semi professionals the very best in hybrid recording. Both the HXR-NX5E and HXR-FMU128 are now available across the UAE. The HXR-NX5E is the first camcorder by Sony Professional to combine low-cost consumer memory cards with the latest AVCHD technology. AVCHD has been widely adopted in the consumer camcorder market and with further developments in non-linear editing tools and IT products, Sony has now created a professional offering designed to allow maximum versatility and cost-effective video production. “There has been a high level of interest in NXCAM since our customers first experienced the HXRNX5E prototype back in November,” said Bill Drummond, senior product marketing manager, Sony Professional.

Canon keeps fast moving images in sharp focus Canon’s latest HJ15ex8.5B KRSE-V HDTV portable zoom lens combines HD with an optical image stabilizer function. The 15x HD lens is a compact-size and light-weight option that will support creating the stable and high quality images in various shooting environment. An HD alternative to Canon’s J13x9 KRS VAP SDTV lens, the HJ15ex8.5 KRSE-V offers a higher zoom ratio and wider angle. In addition, Canon’s patented Vari-Angle Prism image stabilizer technology provides a high level of image stabilization with a wide frequency range throughout the whole zoom range from Tele to Wide. Four stabilization modes are available to meet different shooting conditions. With Canon’s original optical design, curvature of field, chromatic aberration and other types of aberrations are easily corrected. Flat and high resolution /contrast image is possible through the whole zoom range covering from wide-end to tele-end. This lens is ideally suited for various shooting environments as a wide range of vibration frequencies can be stabilized, such as low frequency vibration when used on the operator’s shoulder to higher frequency vibration when operated on vehicles and motorbikes.

Peace of mind with reliable D-90 battery

Anton Bauer continues to see a steady increase in sales of its lightweight, lithium-ion Dionic 90 Battery from customer’s worldwide, sending strong feedback on its long battery life. “We’re proud to supply our Dionic series batteries to some of the largest, most recognized broadcast corporations and rental houses across Africa

and the Middle East,” says Martin Sly-Jex, EMEA manager for Anton Bauer. “With the Dionic 90 continuing to perform for our customers after three and a half years, we’re meeting our goal as a company that provides our customers not only with the most cuttingedge technology, but with value on their investment. The D-90 is the right choice as a dependable, durable and long-lasting battery, guaranteeing that a production team is never stuck without a reliable power source.” Anton Bauer is represented in the Middle East by United Broadcast & Media Systems.

Blackmagic Design updates Videohub Blackmagic Design has announced a major new update for all its Videohub SDI routers. This new Videohub 4.2 software update features a new updated design, new multipage view, more equipment icons, and a software development kit to let any developer write custom software for Videohub routers. Blackmagic Design customers who enjoy the powerful broadcast quality of Videohub routers, will love the new updated design of the Videohub user interface with its new elegant look and feel. The new software update also introduces a new multipage view where users can swap whole pages of buttons for a massive 550 sources and 110 destinations. The new Multipage feature makes it even easier to have many more buttons for sources and destinations. This new software update introduces an easy to use Software Developer Kit (SDK) so custom programming for all Blackmagic Videohub routers is now extremely easy. This new SDK is free of charge and includes full documentation. 2


K D S E E FR

UX C and LIN OWS, MA D IN W r fo Available

The new DeckLink SDI gives you true broadcast 10 bit HD/SD-SDI capture/playback for US$295! For less than the cost of a box of videotapes, the new DeckLink SDI is the world’s most affordable and smallest capture card ever! DeckLink SDI works in true 10 bit SD and HD plus includes RS-422 deck control and reference input. Now you get a fantastic solution for editing, paint and design that meets tough broadcast technical standards.

Built in SD Keyer DeckLink SDI includes an internal SD keyer that lets you layer RGBA images over the live video input. You can also use the included Photoshop plug-ins for broadcast graphics! Use the free developer SDK to access all the DeckLink SDI features for Win, Mac, and Linux.

Connect to any SDI Deck or Monitor If you’re looking for an SDI solution that’s perfect for use with SDI decks, or large facilities with SDI routers, then DeckLink SDI gives you incredible 10 bit quality SD/HD-SDI capture and playback on Windows, Mac OS X and now Linux computers. DeckLink SDI also includes blackburst/tri-sync compatible reference input and 8 channels of SDI embedded audio.

Windows™, Mac OS X™ and now Linux™! DeckLink SDI 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 SDI instantly switches between 1080HD, 720HD, NTSC and PAL video formats.

Choose Your Video Quality DeckLink SDI gives you the freedom to choose the compressed or uncompressed video file format best for the work your doing. Easily work in JPEG, DVCPRO HD, ProRes(Mac), DV, HDV Playback and even perfect quality 10bit and 8bit uncompressed codecs!

DeckLink SDI

US$295

Meets Tough Broadcast Specifications SDI Eye Pattern in HD

SDI Jitter Performance in HD

SDI Eye Pattern in SD

SDI Jitter Performance in SD

Learn more today at www.blackmagic-design.com


Emmy awarded for outstanding achievement in engineering development: the Precision Focus System from Fujinon.

www.fujinon.de

Medical

TV

CCTV

Machine Vision

Fujinon is the winner of the prestigious 2009 Engineering Emmy Award, which is awarded by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Fujinon was previously honoured for its technical innovations in 1996 and 2005. This time Fujinon received the award for the development of its unique Precision Focus system. The third-generation system guarantees crystal-clear HDTV images – even extremely fastmoving objects can be tracked with ease. With the push of a button, the PF system will automatically lock on to the object and pull the object into perfect focus, which permits the camera operator to fully concentrate on the action unfolding before their eyes. Fujinon. To see more is to know more.

FUJINON (EUROPE) GMBH, MIDDLE EAST OFFICE, JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE, P.O. BOX 18408, Dubai, U.A.E., TEL.: +971 4 887 3074, FAX: +971 4 887 3053, fujinon@emirates.net.ae FUJINON (EUROPE) GMBH, HALSKESTRASSE 4, 47877 WILLICH, GERMANY, TEL.: +49 (0) 21 54 9 24-0, FAX: +49 (0) 21 54 9 24-290, www.fujinon.de FUJINON CORPORATION, 1-324 UETAKE, KITAKU, SAITAMA CITY, 331-9624 SAITAMA, JAPAN, TEL.: +81 (0) 48 668 21 52, FAX: +81 (0) 48 651 85 17, www.fujinon.co.jp

Binoculars


Product

news Avid upgrades DS finishing solution Avid has announced Avid DS version 10.3 – a solution that combines advanced effects, compositing and graphics capabilities with new features designed to deliver real-time finishing and accelerate the rendering process of popular filebased formats. DS is also now optimised to handle RED, 2K and ARRIRAW projects and offers support for the RED Rocket Accelerator Card, which decodes .R3D files alleviating this process from the CPU, among other key features tailored for film and television programming. The latest version of DS allows post facilities and high-end independent professionals to more effectively manage file-based project pipeline by reducing ingest and conform requirements. New features include Native conform from Avid Media Composer for .R3D and ARRIRAW files. This enables customers to instantly recreate complete timeline information, including effects, titles and colour, for real-time playback and faster rendering. Support for the RED Rocket Accelerator Card and ARRIRAW file format allows DS artists and creative teams to reference pre-composited effects, eliminating guesswork associated with maintaining the original creative vision. This ultimately helps speed project turnaround from offline to online and delivers real-time capabilities identical to a standard video or filmbased media workflow.

Truly affordable five channel HD Switcher Datavideo will use ISE to show off their SE-2000 digital switcher. This rugged little unit was introduced at IBC last year and has proven itself in the demanding high-definition production environment. It’s a five channel full HD 10-bit HD-SDI and DVI video and audio switcher designed to exceed requests for true full 1920 x 1080 HD quality. It also provides an array of simple-tooperate features including a high quality multi image Program & Preview & Clock display, up to 14 pre-stored logos, digital clock display, five user setup, DVI-D connection for use with presentation software and easy titling. The integrated audio mixer with balanced XLR connectors allow up to four channels microphone or line audio inputs. Whether you’re working in worship, education, conducting a live outside broadcast or shooting inside a production studio, the Datavideo SE-2000 full HD video and audio switcher enables you to switch seamlessly between video and audio sources and blend high-quality digital content on the fly, even without external genlock, thanks to the built in TBC.

Unleash the power of Real-Time AVCHD editing

Grass Valley has begun shipping its highly anticipated option for the EDIUS Neo 2 NLE software, the EDIUS Neo 2 Booster, to customers worldwide. The EDIUS Neo 2 Booster allows for real-time, native editing of AVCHD video under Windows XP, Vista, and now Windows 7. Native AVCHD files have previously been difficult to edit with NLE software, due to the high compression of the video, and

Innovative LED lighting Martin’s new MAC 401 Dual is a creatively fresh and versatile LED moving head washlight with an innovative double-sided design that gives it flexible dual functionality, allowing it to double as either a washlight or beam reflective mirror. Introduced to the South African market by Electrosonic

late 2009, the units advanced wash characteristics combine with a host of other useful features like fast zoom and individual LED segment control to add a new and inventive element to touring and rental applications, TV shows, corporate events, night-time venues and leisure environments. 5

often required dedicated hardware solutions. The new EDIUS Neo 2 Booster allows for smooth, full-frame editing of native AVCHD video in software only, courtesy of a newly-developed AVCHD codec engine that can process more than 3 real-time streams simultaneously with EDIUS Neo 2 (tested with an Intel Core i7 CPU system). Full-screen, real-time playback of AVCHD video on external HD screens can also be achieved when using the Grass Valley HDSPARK, both in file preview as well as when editing projects. The EDIUS Neo 2 Booster makes real-time AVCHD editing an affordable reality and enhances Grass Valley’s commitment to the real-time “anything in – anything out” editing platform.


Talking technical

As the foremost electronic media, broadcasting and entertainment forum in the world, the IBC Conference is the place to unveil the latest in engineering innovation and technological thinking. The peer-reviewed Technical Papers Sessions remain the cornerstone of the conference, having become world-renowned for their up-to-the-minute reports and presentations on leading-edge technologies and their applications.

The IBC Technical Papers Committee now welcomes individual proposals for contributions to these sessions. It’s an excellent opportunity to put your technology, strategic thoughts and company on the global technology map – and help contribute to a successful 2010 Conference.

Submit your Technical Paper or Poster synopsis by Friday 12 February 2010

To find out how to submit your synopsis, visit:

the content

creation • management • delivery

experience

www.ibc.org/contributions

IBC2010 Conference 9 - 13 September Exhibition 10 - 14 September RAI Amsterdam


Product

news Matrox MXO2 LE Now Shipping

Reliable dimming solution from ADB

Matrox has announced that Matrox MX02 LE, an HDMI, SDI, and analogue I/O device for the Mac, is now available from authorized dealers worldwide. Matrox MXO2 LE streamlines editing with Apple Final Cut Studio on Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. It 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. “Matrox MXO2 LE is more than just an I/O device,” said Alberto Cieri, Matrox senior sales and marketing director. “Not only does it meet content creators needs for input, output, and monitoring, it also speeds 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.”

ADB Lighting Technologies has launched its brand-new MIKAPACK dimmer range, designed to provide increased programming functionality and flexibility for the entry-level market. MIKAPACK replaces ADB’s MICROPACK/ RACK dimmers and means that, in combination with ADB’s luminaire range and the latest MIKADO and DOMINO controllers, ADB can now supply a full range of equipment for customers looking for simple yet reliable equipment built to the highest ADB quality standards. MIKAPACK 15 is a 6 Channel compact portable dimmer built in a 19” rack only 2 Units high, with an optional truss clamping kit for distributed dimming solutions. The dimmer unit is 4kg lighter than its predecessor at just 10,3kg, and offers a wide range of common European connectors; while for fixed rack installations a terminal connector strip is also available. The new MIKAPACK 15 can control 6 channels of up to 3000 Watt, continuously to all 6 channels on full load for ambient temperatures up to 35°C. Filtering has also been improved. ADB Lighting CEO Christian Léonard said: “We see a growing demand for more sophistication in the entry-level market and the MIKAPACK range is designed to give customers precisely those options.”

First file-based switcher macros

Broadcast Pix have announced the release of Slate Version 7.3, a significant upgrade to its integrated live video production systems. Version 7.3 features Fluent Macros, the industry’s first filebased switcher macro memory system. It also provides enhancements to its Fluent Multi-View and its 2 M/E Slate 5000 switcher control panel, as well as support for the new low-cost Slate 100 Control Panel. “Fluent workflow tools are what make our switcher a live integrated production system,” said Ken Swanton, President of Broadcast Pix. “No other switcher contains

IDX launch multi-format play-out server IDX has announced the introduction of a new multi-format play out server. The MFP-100, known as PlayMagic, marks IDX’s formal entry into the post production market. Setting the MFP100 ahead of current standalone servers offering traditional HDD storage and access is a dedicated SSD (Solid State Drive) configuration with outstanding HD/SDI quality, speed and reliability. SSD technology offers many advantages with multiple GB per second throughput, much faster access times than HDD, no moving parts, low power consumption, simultaneous record/playback and a highly stable output of digitally stored video/audio - even if problems occur from external content servers. With a slim 1RU chassis design, the MFP-100 playout Server ingests and delivers HD-SDI/SD-SDI using a multi-layer chip equipped with a robust and long-life access engine to optimise faster I/O results than a single layer chip. PlayMagic also uses an automatic cache control protocol to ensure confident data security.

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the IT technology to deliver powerful file-based workflow tools. Today we add Fluent Macros, so now with a single button push you can recall a powerful sequence of switcher moves with specific clip and graphic files. This packs more power into a single button push than any switcher, ever.” Fluent Macros are the only macros that combine switcher moves and file recalls, which is ideal for complicated combinations. They can also include control of robotic cameras, audio mixers and video servers. "The new Fluent Macros allow a level of effects creation that blows the competition out of the water,” said Kaveh Farnam from Advanced Media Trading, distributor for the products in the Middle East. “They allow users to create extremely complex effects and recall them with the touch of a button.”


Product

news Snell introduce new standards and format converters Snell has announced the launch of the CVR800 and TBS800, two new HD standards and format converters in the Kudos Plus line of cost-effective rack-mountable signal processing systems. The new CVR800 frame-rate and format converter and TBS800 format converter and synchronizer both offer a range of features and functionality, including support for 3Gb/s operations and composite video I/O, designed specifically to streamline HD broadcast workflows. "The CVR800 and TBS800 are a direct response to customer input and requests. Not only do they offer Snell's state-of-the-art HD standards and format conversion at an extremely attractive price point and in a small footprint, but both products also provide a rich set of tools that give operators greater control over the final video output," said Paola Hobson, product manager. "These systems have features designed to help broadcasters get specific tasks done more easily and more efficiently."

Band Pro offers new set of 4K lenses Band Pro have introduced a groundbreaking new brand of ultra-high performance PL mount prime lenses, designed to deliver optical performance for true 4K imaging and beyond. After three years of design and prototyping, the new T1.4 lenses, still code named “Mystery Primes” within Band Pro, are fully developed. The series of prime lenses, available exclusively worldwide from Band Pro, will eventually total 15 different focal lengths, ranging from 12mm to 150mm. Delivery of

production models of eight of the lenses will begin in early summer of 2010. “A unique use of aspheric technology and cutting-edge mechanical cine lens design provides the “Mystery Primes” with unmatched evenness of illumination across the entire 35mm frame and into the corners with no discernable breathing” said Michael Bravin, Chief Technologist of Band Pro. “Suppression of color fringing into the farthest corners of the frame is superior to any lenses I have ever seen.”

New update for GY-HM700 camcorder at IBC

Award-winning EL-series Optical Fibre Jacks

Argosy has announced it has added the awardwinning Winchester Electronics EL Series Fibre Optic Video Jack and Fibre Patch Cords to its ever expanding state-of-the-art

JVC has announced an updated version of the GYHM700 camcorder, bringing further benefits to customers in their choice of workflow. As with the smaller GY-HM100 camcorder, .MP4 files can now be recorded onto the SDHC card along with .MOV files when the SxS adapter is not attached, providing great flexibility for your shooting and offering a unique dual media concept. Additionally, the new version of the GY-HM700 camcorder has a more powerful builtin DNR, producing higher picture quality. The GY-HM700, in combination with the optional SxS adaptor KA-MR100, provides the unique properties of dualmedia recording capability and a choice of industry-leading file formats on both inexpensive and high-performance media. With the KA-MR100 media recorder docked, it is possible to record Sony XDCAM EX compatible .MP4 files onto high-speed SxS memory cards, while at the same time recording the same .MP4 files to inexpensive SDHC cards. Having two copies instantly available provides more versatility in the field, with the assurance of always having a back-up.

range of high-definition and fibre optic infrastructure products. Winchester Electronics’ EL Series Fibre Optic Video Jack, which had its European début at IBC 2009, provides a means to achieve an all fibre broadcast facility. This breakthrough product enables broadcasters to replace existing coaxial copper components or traditional ferrule-based fibre connectors with an expanded light beam connection technology and manually actuated fibre switch.

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Mirror, Mirror, on the wall who’s the fairest one of all? Miss World 2009 returned to South Africa for the second year running, this year staged at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.

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t again united the design team of Tim Dunn (lighting & visuals) and Dewet Meyer (set), who were challenged with the task of producing produce a vibrant, colourful visual and scenic environment with a distinctly African flavour as a dynamic backdrop to stage the world's favourite and highest profile beauty pageant. Dunn took the opportunity of showcasing the newest moving and digital lighting innovations from Czech Republic manufacturer Robe, true to form pushing technical and imaginative boundaries to the limit in presenting a world class event. The full technical production package was delivered by Gearhouse South Africa.The aim was to make it look stunning on TV - the telecast was directed by Ian Hamilton, recorded by SABC and broadcast live to 80 of the 112 participating countries. For the first time this included the US, India for both Hindi and English channels and China via CCTV4, reaching an estimated viewing audience of 1 to 2 billion. It also had to look good for the 3500 live audience who packed into the venue for the show.

Stylish design concept

Lighting designer Tim Dunn used nearly 300 Robe fixtures in his colourful and vibrant design for Miss World 2009, which was staged at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was the largest number of Robe fixtures to date that Dunn has used on a single event – and the results were truly stunning! It had to look fabulous on TV – the show was recorded by SABC and broadcast live to 80 of the 112 participating countries, and for the first time – to the US, to India for both Hindi and English channels and to China via CCTV4, reaching an estimated viewing audience of between 1 and 2 billion. It also had to look great for the 3,500 live audience who packed into the venue to watch the show.

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With the memories of the 2008 event still fresh in everyone's minds, the stylish design concept that evolved had to be something completely different, whilst retaining the essential elements that had worked before in translating the event into a fluid and eloquent TV extravaganza. The set was an impressive 45 metre wide by 38 metre deep spherical structure based on African jewels, circled by two dramatic radial rings that appeared to float in their own spatial dimension - planetary fashion. The rings were painted white to maximise the carefully crafted lighting effects, and the forestage and other areas of it were combinations of white and pale grey, also to allow lighting the freedom to add expression and texturing. The front steps below the key lighting fixtures (29 x 5K fresnels) were clad with printed PVC for additional depth and to provide a complimentary background contrast to the contestants when on camera. The whole structure was finished off by a surrounding white PVC cyc, with its elegant support legs


clad in the same finish. The stage was constructed by SDS, one of Gearhouse's sister companies. Overall, the Miss World 2009 production involved a total of 4 Gearhouse companies spanning 9 disciplines - lighting, sound, AV, LED screens, media, structures, staging, rigging and power - an operation coordinated on site by project manager Eyal Yehezkely.

Lighting, media & AV Last year Dunn broke new ground by being the first person to use Robe lighting's new DigitalSpot 7000DTs and REDWash 3?192 LED wash lights on such a large scale and in such quantities. This year, he was equally as determined to push new barriers of technical daring, and worked closely with Robe in specifying their latest new products. These included 72 of the new Robe ROBIN 300 Series - Spot, Wash & Beam version fixtures - which are small and very powerful. He also used 12 of Robe's new ColorBeam 700E ATs which he found "Incredibly" bright, and ideal for funky camera-candy effects and chases. other new Robe products included CitySkape 48 LED wash fixtures, utilised to illuminate the edges of the set, its support legs and the cyc.

Enormous creative scope

the massive set and stage area, even when it was full with all 112 contestants. He also used 72 of Robe's currently most powerful moving light, the ColorSpot 2500E AT, which gave yet more options for adding layers of different quality bright lighting. All the overhead lighting was hung on 6 circular trusses, plus a series of curved trusses that harmonised perfectly with the set architecture. The centres of the circles

He worked 12 DigitalSpot 3000DTs into the design, keen to build on last year's experience and the enormous creative scope of these digital moving light projectors which produced some way cool liquid effects traversing the whole set. This year, the rig contained 42 Robe REDWash 3?192 LED wash fixtures, known for their smooth homogenised lightsources, and now 40% brighter than the original versions launched last year. With a total of 282 moving and intelligent lighting fixtures on the rig - all Robe - there was plenty of headroom for visual fun and invention. It's hugely "refreshing and very exciting" he says, to work with a company like Robe, who keep developing inventive and relevant products and are really prepared to invest energy and effort into them being used on such a high visible worldwide TV broadcast.

Power and flexibility He was "amazed" at the power and scope of all the new fixtures, which enabled him to run his key lighting - the 29 meticulously focussed and balanced 5K fresnels - and retain rich colours and high quality texturing with light across

were filled with stretched white PVC forming a ceiling that could be lit and toned which looked great for low, wide angled camera shots. The set rings were delineated by 50 x 30 mm plastic spheres internally lit with Anolis Ark-Link 3 colour changing LED strips. The Robe fixtures were supplied to Gearhouse South Africa via Robe's very proactive South African distributor DWR who also arranged for the Anolis Arc-Link 3s to be air freighted out from the Czech Republic at short notice.

LED bricks

The stage was constructed by SDS, one of Gearhouse's sister companies. Overall, the Miss World 2009 production involved a total of 4 Gearhouse companies spanning 9 disciplines - lighting, sound, AV, LED screens, media, structures, staging, rigging and power - an operation coordinated on site by project manager Eyal Yehezkely.

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Also significant in the visual mix was 114 i-Pix Satellite LED 'bricks', inbuilt into the set surrounds, and pixel mapped so the same video content could be run through them as was used in the DigitalSpots or on the rear LED screen. This matched all three digital lighting elements in colour and movement, creating delicate swirling effects throughout the whole space. Dunn controlled all the lighting via an MA Lighting grandMA full size console, his lighting desk of choice, networked together with 7 NSPs (network signal processors) running a total of 24 DMX universes, controlling approximately 12,600 channels across the whole rig. Lighting control was networked via fibre optic cable, with one link to FOH. He programmed the desk with lighting director Hugh Turner during 5 long and productive overnight sessions. They also had to be there during the day for rehearsals and prerecords, so the schedule was gruelling, sleep was scarce and the concentration levels were intense, but all the time they


An event to remember? Commit it to memory with the new NXCAM. The new HXR-NX5E gives you totally flexible recording through Memory Card and Flash Memory. It’s the new entry level professional camcorder with AVCHD by Sony. Whether it’s a magical wedding, major function or ground breaking documentary, you can commit it straight to memory for easy editing and fast IT based workflow. Giving you time to capture more great events for more satisfied customers. Leaving you to fast forward your creativity with images that live long in the memory. To see more of our new professional tapeless camcorder NXCAM, visit our website.

www.pro.sony.eu/nxcam

HXR-NX5E


never lost their sense of humour or ability to smile! Marcel Wijnberger and Chris Grandin from Gearhouse Media created special playback video content that was stored on 2 MA Media Servers, triggered from the grandMA console. Wijnburger and Dunn also edited and produced a video for the opening "Umoja" production number whilst on site.

3 times more roof weight loading then last year, of which Tim Dunn took full advantage when designing the lighting rig. The rear LED screen was suspended on a 5 leg TFL ground support system as there were no pick-up points towards the rear of the venue.

Impressive and elegant

Two continuous shifts The lighting crew worked in 2 continuous shifts during the short get in period, just a week before the show, and was chiefed by Lucky Nkosi The playback video, plus logos, stings and show graphics all appeared on the central LED screen, a 10 x 5 panel configuration of Lighthouse R16 supplied by LEDVision, output via a Barco Encore screen management system operated by Gearhouse AV's Craig McGinn. He also received multiple camera and EVS feeds from SABC's OB truck to output to two 8 x 4.5 metre side screens, each fed by a pair of double stacked Christie 18K projectors.

Precise sound For Jako de Wit from Gearhouse Audio, it was a relatively straightforward set up, requiring precision and good coverage. He has worked in the Gallagher Convention centre on numerous previous occasions, so is well acquainted with the nuances of the room. They flew main hangs of 8 LAcoustics V-DOSC cabinets a side, each with 3 dV-DOSC downfills, and 7 single dV delays to cover the raised audience seating area. Monitors were 6 x LAcoustics HiQs dotted around the stage, discreetly concealed out of the camera shots - all powered by LA8 amps. De Wit mixed FOH using a Yamaha M7CL console, with active splits going to the OB truck - De Wit sending them all the live mic feeds, and the OB sending him audio for all the playback tracks, VT inserts and stings to be output in the venue. Gearhouse Audio supplied 12 Shure Beta 58 hand held radio mics and 4 lavaliers for the presenters. Monitors were driven from FOH, with a Yamaha LS9 located onstage for 'local' control for control as and when needed, minded by Nathi Ntuli. The whole system was networked and run via fibre optic and processed via Dolby Lake units at FOH.

Squeeze the trim height Gearhouse Rigging's work on this event involved both Johannesburg and Durban branches, with Miss World lead

Over the last 12 years J. Dewet Meyer has worked on international projects and many local multi-camera spectaculars. For Miss World 2009 he produced a colourfull environment with a distinctly African feel. It provided a stunning backdrop to the world’s favourite beauty pageant and established a new technical benchmark against which future events will be measured.

rigger Kendall Dixon from Johannesburg and Head Rigger/Operations Manager Roy Wood from Durban plus a team of 5 others. Their first task was installing 44 x 9.5 metre load beams into the roof at the Gallagher Convention Centre. This covered about a third of the venue utilising 7 of the 12 available house beams, and by the time they were completed offered a flexible solution with points everywhere they were needed to fly the complex trussing system for the lighting rig. The roof height was 2 metres lower than last year's show at Sandton Convention Centre, so it was paramount to squeeze every millimetre of trim height out of it! They also had to wait for quite a substantial proportion of the kit they needed to return from the FIFA World Cup Final Draw in Cape Town, which was also serviced by Gearhouse. A hundred and two Lodestar motors were used to rig the regular points, with a further 88 attached to the roof beams utilised to fly the 44 load beams - which is the most points that Dixon has used on a single gig to date. All departmental schedules this year benefitted from an easier get-in than for the 2008 event, and Rigging also had 13

The staging department was headed by Craig Pretorius and Pieter Joubert from SDS, working with 10 crew and 16 locals each day of the build. They also benefitted from the more accessible load in, which was straight from the loading dock - that accommodates two trucks simultaneously - into the hall. The impressive and elegant spherical stage measured 45 metres wide by 38 deep and was 3.1 metres at its highest point. The side sections of stairs each side tracked in and out to create additional access to the front centre and forestage areas. The entire floor was clad with 1480 square metres of printed PVC material, protected during the build and rehearsal period by a low tech self-adhesive clear skin stretched over the top, peeled off just before the show. They received the sign off on the design just 8 days before the load in, which intensified the build process, 90% of which was completed beforehand in SDS's large workshop, also incorporating some of the most successful elements from the 2008 set.

Custom scaffolding A combination of scaffolding and custom set pieces were used to construct the base of the stage and its complicated shape, which was all radiuses, without a single straight line. SDS also made the matt white PVC cyc surrounding the whole set and clad all the set supports in the same material, as well as supplying a 120 metres of starcloth to dress the venue, and building follow spot towers, camera platforms and the FOH area. The end result was some great teamwork, communication and creative vision between Robe, Gearhouse, Tim Dunn, Dewet Meyer and all the various crews working on site ensured the delivery of yet another visually spectacular production of Miss World from South Africa, setting a real technical and imaginative benchmark for subsequent events to follow. Miss Gibraltar, Kaiane Aldorino was crowned Miss World 2009, with Miss Mexico, Perla Beltran Acosta, and Miss South Africa, Tatum Keshwar, the second and third runners up respectively.


Tales from the Online Video Trenches How technology pioneers in MEA and around the world are moving video to the Web one channel at a time.

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round the world, internet video is elbowing its way to the front of audiences’ viewing queues. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), technological challenges haven’t stopped Internet companies working to capture this growing market. Regionally, Middle East IPTV adoption is experiencing a 40% annual growth rate and sub-Saharan bandwidth is expected to increase 3000% between now and 2011 as the West Africa Cable System readies its $600 million, 5Tbps cable roll out. Free, live African television channels are about to become available over the Internet. U.S. Seattle-based start-up ivi.tv’s encrypted peer-to-peer service delivers content from traditional broadcasters as well as independent producers. They have inked deals with 37 channels, the first of which include GTV in Ghana, Channels TV (Nigeria), AfriCable (Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Guinea), Ragga TV (Congo), and KTN in Kenya. “These are all regular air broadcasts 24/7” says ivi Founder and CEO Todd Weaver, “that we will rebroadcast with ivi to the world.” DVR-like features including record and rewind are

expected to be attractive to local and expatriate audiences alike, as is their upcoming pay-per-view premium content service.

Howard Greenfield is a digital media industry strategist, columnist, and co-author of IPTV & Internet Video (Focal Press, 2nd Edition, 2009). He is principal of Go Associates, a leading consultancy that develops and implements high-tech product marketing and global business development strategies.

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Internet video comes of age Why is online video becoming such a dominant form of TV consumption for viewers around the world? For students who have been raised on Web content it’s a natural for entertainment and educational reference, in the workplace employees watch to learn about new products and policies (and goof off a little), while home PC and iPhone users now watch everything from soaps and movies to live sports, news, and arts events. For many, online video finally came of age in 2009. In the U.S. alone, over 80% of all Internet users now watch videos online. October’s world-wide YouTube webcast of rock band U2 live from Los Angeles commanded nearly 10 million viewers – the largest webcast in YouTube’s history. And the same month, primetime Internet video aggregator Hulu delivered over 850 million streams, and 161million internet users watched 25 billion video clips. But despite the large and growing market, barriers to smooth, wide-spread delivery remain, and that’s especially true in MEA. In a recent AV Specialist survey, readers were evenly divided between bandwidth, cross-platform


integration, and lack of business model as the biggest impediments.

ecosystems. “Africa is not for sissies” says Palmer. “The competition’s a bit stiffer, and, to my knowledge, we engineer things over much lower bandwidth than anyone else in the world.”

Social media in Jordan We are living in one of the most fascinating and fast-changing times in broadcast history. Yet online video delivery and growth must overcome a dizzying array of technical challenges before anyone hits the jackpot. The fact that much of MEA Internet bandwidth doesn’t support proficient streaming of standard video delivery, let alone HD, is just part of the problem. In Jordan, the recently launched social and cultural web TV site Aramram.com exemplifies the dilemma. Like many others in the region, this innovative site faces limited audience bandwidth and PC RAM configurations. Aramram.com produces its own content in-house, then

transcodes and uploads it from its offices to a server in the U.S. In addition to users lacking enough download speed for videos, the site’s implementation hit snags due to a lack of interactive web TV expertise in the Middle East, according to AbdelSalam Akkad, Aramram.com’s producer and managing partner. “Implementing the full vision was the main issue” says Akkad. “The technical team subcontracted to implement the architecture delivered half the final result due to the limited budget. Backers tend to seek an early return on investment [two years]” explained Akkad “which I think is the wrong way to approach such a project in an industry still under transformation.”

The World Cup online

the same information. This must be the reason why our videos are so popular.” They also reach their customers with videos published on YouTube and their own website. Like many parts of MEA, the comparative low quality of bandwidth, support, and associated costs push organizations to innovate. Some seem to relish the challenge and are thriving online and in the bush. Earth-Touch, a wildlife documentary company, delivers nearly one million HD episodes a month from their office in Durban, South Africa. “As Africans” says Brian Palmer, founder of Earth-Touch, “we have a wonderful ability not to read the instruction manual and cowboy solutions that our suppliers could not even think of.” To some, the telecom companies are seen as an Achilles heal to today’s online video business, some even refer to them as a government bandwidth monopoly that controls the data flow. Earth-Touch’s work-around was to pioneer a system with a local line-ofsight company using Verizon’s backbone for content transport. The existing telecoms infrastructure was built for smaller voice-orientated networks, as Palmer puts it, so even running SD video within Africa is problematic. Earth-

Africa is not for sissies In South Africa, several companies wrestling with these and other technological issues are pushing the envelope of what is achievable today. Using Izenso Mediacaster, film and broadcast technology vendor Visual Impact uploads content and streams it to their Cape Town and Johannesburg branch LCD TVs. “Showing people a video” says Calvyn Du Toit, Marketing Manager at Visual Impact, “is much more effective than getting them to read

Sports are another bellwether of global Internet TV momentum. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, U.S. broadcaster NBC, which paid $894 million for exclusive broadcast rights, attracted nearly 5 million online video viewers in one day, four times the peak viewing of the Winter Games in Torino, Italy, just two years prior.

FIFA debuted the German World Cup with over 125 million mobile phone video streams in 2006. Four years on, we can expect significant advances in online programming for the 2010 South African FIFA World Cup. In Johannesburg alone FIFA, the official international governing body, has required a 20Gbps data connection between stadiums and their broadcast network operations International Broadcasting Centre (IBC). Millions will be tuning in by TV, PC, and mobile phone. With nearly eight times as many mobile subscribers as Internet users in South Africa, mobile video is sure to command a lead as the new “third screen.”

Technology issues

Touch’s private network and relay servers enable the company to reach its goal of providing audiences with near real-time footage of everything from elephants, wildebeest, and lions to entire coral reef 15

For most viewers, the technical complexity of online video remains out of sight, under the hood. But a successful platform must support seamless encoding, encryption, and play-back. Adaptive bit-rates for example, determining the viewer’s display quality based on their ISP connection speed, is one key to successful streaming. MediaPlayer’s multi-bit-rate format


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Distributor for South Africa,Africa, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Distributor for South Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Datavideo EMEA office - Datavideo Technologies Europe BV Floridadreef 106, 3565 AM Utrecht -346 The Netherlands - +27 Telephone +31 30 261 96 56 Macro Video (PTY) Ltd. Tel :: +27 7601, Fax: 12 346 7831 Video (PTY) Ltd. Tel :12 12 346 Fax: 12 346 MacroMacro Video (PTY) Ltd. Tel +27 346 7601, Fax: +27 +27 12 346 7831 Macro Video (PTY) Ltd. Tel 12 : +27 +27 12 346 7601, 7601, Fax: +27 12 346 7831 7831 www.datavideo.info e mail to: info@datavideo.nl Attn: Eric E-mail: info@macrovideo.co.za Web: www.macrovideo.co.za Eric E-mail: info@macrovideo.co.za www.macrovideo.co.za Attn: Attn: Eric Wiese Wiese E-mail: info@macrovideo.co.za Web:Web: www.macrovideo.co.za Attn: Eric Wiese Wiese E-mail: info@macrovideo.co.za Web: www.macrovideo.co.za


system, for example, encodes a single video file for playback at different speed settings. This way a single file caters to viewers connecting at various speeds. “What we usually do” says Dave Ingram in his Internet TV Book “is encode one multi bit-rate file at 100, 200, 350, and 500kps, and then separate files for the high bandwidth streams - 700kps 1200kps, and maybe 1800kps”. A related step is to allocate for audio, and to indicate display width, height and aspect ratio. Fortunately, encoding cards and software make this a straightforward process. Adobe’s Flash, a fixture in the world of online video has nearly 99.6% market penetration. Adobe’s aim to facilitate world-class Web video delivery to all devices is a common industry goal. In 2010, Flash will deliver “unification…across all platforms, whether you’re on a set-top box, mobile phone, or computer PC” says Kevin Towes, Adobe Flash Media Server Product Manager. The simple goal is to make it easier and cheaper to deploy online video by eliminating quality of service issues for content providers who shouldn’t need to worry about server and CDN connectivity code or fail-over if playback is disrupted. These and other advances are part of a technology wave

pushing things forward as the Web video sector comes of age. Ankeena’s Media Flow Director, claims to consume less bandwidth in delivering video by preventing buffering issues. Dyyno.com, a video sharing platform, lets users quickly build their own brandable channel (“one click to broadcast, one click to view”). Personal channels are free, business channels serving up to 10,000 concurrent viewers and are priced at $100/month. Finally, from Hollywood, Clicker, a TV guide for the Web that covers 450,000 episodes from over 1,200 networks, is available today in the U.S. as the company explores editions for other countries.

One channel for the future The forces behind online video growth are getting stronger and over time online video quality, accessibility, and navigation will continue to improve. “Moore’s law is a wonderful thing” says Reed Hastings, CEO of U.S. DVD and streaming rental giant Netflix. “What we’ve seen” says Hastings “is bandwidth costs dropping over the last several years, with competition between Limelight, Level 3, and Akamai. What’s fueling the whole system are the end users who are paying $40-60 to their ISP.

So, broadband costs are falling steeply. If you look at Amazon who publishes their cloud delivery rate card, it’s a nickel ($0.05) per gigabyte, or think of it as a nickel per movie. That’s pretty cheap!” It is expected that in four years, the volume of global IP traffic will reach nearly 700 billion gigabytes. Put another way, 90% of all consumer web data and nearly two thirds of all mobile data traffic will be video, according to Cisco. What we will soon see, irrespective of geography, are new features that leverage the social space, capabilities previously unavailable on traditional linear TV. CBS Interactive today allows you to ‘watch and chat’ with other viewers. Shared viewing tools enable viewers to draw on the video, share live laughs and comments, and integrate with social networks like Facebook, all just an inkling of what’s ahead. “You can’t watch TV all the time” says YouTube Hunter Walk speaking at the November Television Reinvented conference in San Francisco, “so we try to answer the question ‘what should I watch today?’ Tomorrow” adds Walk, “will not be defined by a million channels. In the future there will be just one channel – the personalized viewing experience.”

South Africa selects MHEG-5 for digital switchover IMPALA, the International MHEG Promotion Alliance, is pleased to announce that South Africa – via its Digital Dzonga Advisory Council – has selected MHEG-5 as the interactive TV middleware for its digital switchover.

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ollowing on from a successful DTT trial that began last year, the SABC, South Africa’s public broadcaster, led the process of developing a MHEG-5 profile for South Africa to meet some of the unique needs of the South African market. The South African MHEG-5 profile has now been finalised and can be obtained from SABC while the overall receiver specifications are now also being completed. The MHEG specification includes a platform-wide EPG that will allow consistent listings and onscreen branding. The profile also includes support for the delivery of a wide range of interactive services. The Digital Dzonga Council is an advisory body appointed by government in 2008 to oversee South Africa’s migration to digital terrestrial broadcasting. Government has taken an inclusive and transparent approach to the

development and implementation of the digital migration process, and the Digital Dzonga Council includes representatives from both the public and private sectors. Council members include government 17

(Department of Communications), consumer groups, broadcasters (SABC, e.tv, M-Net), manufacturers, the national signal distributor (Sentech) and the regulator (ICASA). Aldred Dreyer, SABC Technical Project Manager, DTT, says, “We selected MHEG-5 because it is cost-effective with lower royalties than other middleware solutions and it is an open standard and not proprietary to any one vendor. In addition it uses little memory.” Giri Valliappan, Director of Market Development with IMPALA, says, “It is very pleasing to be able to announce that another countrywide project has chosen MHEG-5 as its interactive middleware. 2009 has seen a host of developments for the technology including the IP-based MHEG Interaction Channel and significant HD advances, both now with ETSI for its approval.”


USA for Africa recognise outstanding work of Mo Amin USA for Africa recognises the outstanding work of The Mohamed Amin Foundation in training African media students and has pledged their support by launching the USA for Africa /We Are the World Scholarship Programme.

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Mohamed Amin Foundation equip an even greater number of young African media students with the skills and techniques required to tell the African story to the world in a professional and compelling way. Donations made in the USA are Tax Deductible through the Friends of The Mohamed Amin Foundation, a US 501(c) (3) registered public charity. Complete scholarships can be sponsored at the cost of USD 12 thousand per annum. Individuals can also make smaller contributions into the USA for Africa / We are the World scholarship fund that collectively will form scholarships. The Friends of The Mohamed Amin Foundation has an independent board of prominent US-citizens from the fields of media, media education, business and law. The board donates their time on a pro bono basis to insure that all donations go directly to the training centre for the purpose they were intended to support.

hen the first footage of the Ethiopian famine victims appeared on television back in 1984, it touched the conscience of the world. Across the continents, viewers in different countries – communicating in different languages shared a common outrage at the plight of fellow human beings. Famed Kenyan photojournalist, Mohamed Amin, shot the footage that generated these reactions. Thanks to the motivation and the desire to do something that was expressed by Harry Belafonte, along with other artists, who also saw the footage, the seeds were planted that lead to the creation of United Support of Artists for Africa (USA for Africa) and the recording of We Are The World. Both the organization and the song will be 25 years old in January 2010.

25-year milestone We Are the World went on to sell more than 7 million copies and USA for Africa received more than $60 million dollars since its inception. As USA for Africa prepares to meet this 25-year milestone, their Board has approved the creation of the USA for Africa/ We Are the World Scholarship programme for study at the Mohammed Amin Foundation Media Training Centre. This scholarship is an excellent way for USA for Africa to acknowledge the importance of what Mo Amin did some 25 years ago and the need to have capable journalists like Mo Amin for the future.

Raising communication standards The Mohamed Amin Foundation was formed in 1998 with the mission of raising the standards of communication in Africa. Mo Amin strongly believed that the African story needed to be covered and told by African journalists and filmmakers. His dream of a centre of excellence “where young Africans could learn the skills and techniques that would enable them to tell African stories in the tradition of courage and truth” has become a reality through The Mohamed Amin Foundation’s media training centre

In Africa, no journalist enjoyed more mythical status than Mo Amin, the Kenyan photographer and cameraman whose searing footage of the 1984 Ethiopian famine prompted Bob Geldof to launch Band Aid. In 1998 the Mohamed Amin Foundation was established to provide training to media students across East Africa. The Foundation is the only one of its kind of the African continent and the students have received many local and international awards for the journalism, films and documentaries.

in Nairobi, Kenya. The USA for Africa/ We are the World scholarship programme will assist talented African students, regardless of their financial status, to study at The Mohamed Amin Foundation’s training centre where they will gain the skills and techniques that will allow them to pursue professional careers in the media industry and help them to tell the African story to the rest of the world.

Telling the African story The USA for Africa/ We are the World Scholarship programme is requesting other donors and individuals to join the programme and to help The 18

Non-discriminatory policy The Mohamed Amin Foundation’s African Television & Film Training Centre admits students of any race, colour, national origin and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the Training Centre. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, national origin or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, scholarship programs and other Training Centre administered programmes. The Foundation was founded in 1998 by Salim Amin, David Johnson and Christel de Wit, to honour the late Mohamed ‘Mo’ Amin, photo-journalist extraordinaire, by training media students to attain international standards in television journalism and film production. Africans must be able to deliver African stories to the world in a dynamic and compelling fashion. To accomplish this aim, the Foundation currently runs the MoForce training programme. This is a 3-year, hands-on, training centre that covers all aspects of television and film production.


documentaries. The Foundation also hosts an annual international student cultural exchange and filmmaking workshop between young film students from Kenya, Finland and India. This project, started in 1999, helps broaden the perspectives of media students. The short films produced during the past 11 workshops have won several international awards. Students also produce the Hutua TV Talk Show - a human-rights programme currently in production for season 5. The show is broadcast nationally in prime time and has attracted a TV viewer ship of over 4 million people.

By mid-1984 it was evident that another drought and resulting famine of major proportions had begun to affect large parts of northern Ethiopia. Just as evident was the government's inability to provide relief. The almost total failure of crops in the north was compounded by fighting in and around Eritrea, which hindered the passage of relief supplies. Although international relief organizations made a major effort to provide food to the affected areas, the persistence of drought and poor security conditions in the north resulted in continuing need as well as hazards for famine relief workers.

Outcomes based curriculum The programme is unique in its outcomes based curriculum and can rightfully claim to be the only training

centre of its kind on the African continent. MoForce Training has received many National and International Awards for its student journalism, films and

Imago scoops Lifesize distributor award LifeSize Communications has announced that Imago Communications South Africa has won their award as Distributor of the Year 2009 - EMEA Emerging Markets. Imago South Africa is part of Imago Group plc, Europe’s leading distributor of video communications products.

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he award comes only 14 months after LifeSize appointed Imago to handle distribution in South Africa and marks a hugely successful initial partnership for the two companies. “In South Africa we have built a strong channel base of resellers over the past year,” says Clint Cronje, Managing Director at Imago Communications SA. “Who are strongly promoting and selling the LifeSize brand. We have had success in various segments of the market, in particular amongst SME businesses, and some significant wins in the corporate and government sector. These successes bear testament to the fact that LifeSize is, and will remain a powerful competitor in the video communications market.” Imago Communications South Africa was established in May 2008, and now markets a wide range of leading video

communications solutions. Andreas Wienold, VP EMEA Sales Director, LifeSize commented: “We have been impressed with the results Imago has demonstrated in South Africa since they came on board with us 14 months ago. This award is testament to Imago’s dedication as a LifeSize Partner and the value they create for resellers and 19

end-users in the region.” Since presenting this award, LifeSize have announced that they are to be acquired by Logitech, the leader in PC-based video communication, for $405 million in cash in a deal that is expected to close in December. Logitech and LifeSize share a vision that anywhere there is voice there should be video.


Sony and FIFA announce world’s first 3D FIFA World Cup The Excitement and Action of World’s Most Popular Sporting Event Will be Viewed as Never Before

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ony Corporation and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) have announced an agreement for select media rights to produce some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup games in 3D. Up to 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches will be covered using Sony’s next generation 3D professional cameras to broadcast action in unprecedented depth, clarity and excitement to viewers around the world. By combining the excitement of the FIFA World Cup with 3D images generated through Sony’s cutting-edge technology and products, Sony and FIFA will seek to deliver images that will convey the action and emotion of the games, offering an unprecedented experience. Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation, said: “The transition to 3D is underway, and, we, at Sony, intend to be

leaders in every aspect. Our sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup allows us to leverage our cutting-edge 3D technology and premier products with dazzling content to produce a unique and totally compelling viewing experience. 3D viewers around the world will feel as though they are inside the stadiums in South Africa, watching the games in person.” Jérôme Valcke, FIFA Secretary-

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General, said: “This propels the football fan into a whole new viewing dimension and marks the dawning of a new era in the broadcasting of sport. We are proud that the FIFA World Cup can serve as a platform for advancing technology and the viewing experience, and are truly fortunate to have Sony as a partner in this endeavour.” From 2010, Sony will be incorporating 3D compatibility into a wide range of consumer products such as BRAVIA LCD TV, Blu-ray Disc recorders and players, VAIO and PlayStation®3, to provide a multitude of ways in which 3D content - from 3D movies to stereoscopic 3D games - can be enjoyed at home. By having viewers around the world experience sensational 3D content from the World Cup tournament, Sony aims to accelerate the expansion of 3D from professionals to consumers in 2010 and beyond.


Queen Noor delivers keynote address at Dubai festival The heartbeat of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) – the Cultural Bridge Programme – brought together a formidable line-up of illustrious personalities and film veterans who explored ways and means to promote solidarity and break down cultural barriers.

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er Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan delivered the keynote speech, and was joined by Julia Bacha, director of the Cultural Bridge Gala-Film Budrus, Hollywood producer Mike Medavoy and MIT Professor, Rebecca Saxe. Shamil Idriss was the moderator of the event. The highly impressive quartet of speakers analysed the role of the media in widening and uniting diverse cultures, and share cutting-edge research from the fields of neuro-science and social psychology, providing a unique forum for topical discussion. DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said the Cultural Bridge panel had firmly established itself as one of the festival’s principal highlights, providing thoughtprovoking subjects which strongly resonate with Dubai’s cosmopolitan, culturally-aware audience.

“We were honoured to have Her Majesty Queen Noor with us this year, given her status as an inspirational role model across the Arab world and globally admired as a humanitarian. We were also grateful to the three industry representatives, who provided a forum for

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lively discussion.” Her Majesty Queen Noor’s work across the Arab World has focused on education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Initiatives such as the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, King Hussein Foundation and King Hussein Foundation International – all of which she chairs – have transformed development thinking in Jordan and wider Middle East. An integral part of DIFF since its inception, the Cultural Bridge programme explores ways to unite all nationalities, which is exemplified in the core slogan of the festival - ‘Bridging Cultures, Meeting Minds’. Participants take into consideration the significant changes taking place globally, and the role cinema can play in articulating the shifts in economic and political influence.


Christie stars in KAUST inauguration spectacular Saudi National Day saw one of the biggest armouries of Christie projectors and processors ever assembled on a single show, in order to fulfil a long-held dream by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

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he multi-million dollar spectacular inauguration of KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) on the banks of the Red Sea presented technical director, Simon Ransom, with a challenge on the same macro scale as the one he delivered for the memorable opening of the Atlantis Resort the previous year. Once again Christie was his preferred projector of choice, with French company VLS shipping quantities of the company’s high-powered projectors into the Kingdom and Dubai-based Eclipse Staging Services supplementing these with a further eight HD8K’s for use in the stunning interactive exhibition area. Complex matrix routing and image manipulation required sophisticated processing, and VLS provided this in the shape of three Spyder 344s, a Spyder 380 and two Spyder 240’s from Vista, a Christie company.

Scientific success KAUST was founded with the intention of creating an international university research unit which would contribute to scientific success in Saudi Arabia and bring benefits to the Middle East region as a whole. The first coeducational university in the Kingdom, the campus is spread over more than 36 square kilometres along the Red Sea coast and the level of installed technology needed to be matched by the inauguration itself, which saw 3,500 heads of state, Nobel prize winners, VIPs and civic dignitaries assemble for the event.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia is an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom that will also benefit the region and the world. KAUST is the realization of a decades-long vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The core campus is located on more than 36 square kilometers along the Red Sea at Thuwal – about 80 kilometers north of Saudi Arabia's second largest city, Jeddah.

square metres, and were produced by around 350 technicians. This included a huge, tracking 70m x 15m giant movable screen matrix for the opening ceremony, comprising seven separate displays — each of a different shape and size — onto which 16 Christie Roadie 25K projectors were firing. In view of the sheer scale, it provided an awesome sight. “Two Christie 25K’s projected onto each of the seven separate segments,” said Simon Ransom. “Each screen could track individually with its associated image — so that when we moved the screens in and out, the video, complete with animations synchronised to the screen’s movement, moved with it.”

Local production The contract for the construction and production of the inauguration events was won by Filmmaster Group (through their local company Filmmaster Events Dubai), with the project led by Piero Cozzi.They in turn appointed Simon Ransom having collaborated successfully with the TD on earlier projects such as the Dubai World Cup Opening Ceremonies. The three temporary structures occupied around 24,000

Screen movement The screen movement was achieved using Stage One’s Qmotion in house motion control system, so that each screen could not only be moved independently but also at its own speed, 22


offering creative director, Daniele Zambelli, full flexibility and guests an astounding view through the screens to the Red Sea behind. The company, three monkeys, enriched the inauguration show with interactive real-time graphics content. King Abdullah himself triggered the grand finale by touching an interactive pylon, which initiated the opening of the vast, shaped projection screens to reveal a spectacular laser, lighting and firework display. The one-hour presentation itself featured various applications presenting all aspects of KAUST as well as milestones in the history of Arabic, Islamic and world science and was also brought to life by the production lighting (with LD Tom Irthum using among other equipment, 50 Syncrolite large searchlights in his plot). Elsewhere, in the Interactive Exhibition area, a further seven Christie Roadster S+10K and two Roadster HD10K DLP projectors were deployed to animate the inner screens while Eclipse’s eight HD8K projected onto the outer screens. Handling the 3D projection was Christie’s state-of-the-art digital cinema projector, the CP2000, provided by VLS.

Interactive LED cylinder The centrepiece of the Interactive Installation included an 8-metre tall LED cylinder (6m in diameter, and provided by Eclipse) with 360° animations and four curved, edge blended projection screens also displaying a 360° animation. With the animations synced to each other a full immersive environment was created, while a spherical projection displaying a virtual earth was sitting beneath the LED cylinder. The visitors controlled the information displayed on the earth by four touch screens. “We used Christie Twist modules everywhere to achieve the 360° panoramic projection and image manipulation required,” noted Simon Ransom.

Interactive coffee tables In addition, four interactive timeline tunnels were created. Combined with a laser tracking system, these allowed visitors to trigger animations by walking past them or interact with the content by simply waving their hands in front of it. Finally, 23 holographic touch screen displays with a fully animated 3D user interface were installed around the exhibition area along with four interactive coffee tables with integrated touch screens. Whatever the application, Christie had a product that was equal to the task, confirmed Simon Ransom. “As a result we were presented with no real

KAUST is established to advance science and technology through bold and collaborative research. It will educate scientific and technological leaders, catalyze the diversification of the Saudi economy, and address challenges of regional and global significance. The University will also conduct scientific research that leads to discoveries and inventions in strategic fields.

challenges. Christie projectors again met all my expectations so that I still have no reason to use anything else.” He notes that the CP2000 had been particularly effective in the immersive exhibition space where guests could walk through and interact with the 3D content.

Background imagery In addition, a further four Christie S+20K’s provided ‘background’ imagery onto two ceiling-hung screens, playing video to the guests assembled for dinner. Finally, a Christie Roadster HD18K was sited in the press and media lounge to provide a relay of the show. The Christie projectors integrated seamlessly with the various processors and servers, taking fixed source material from the VLS hard disk players which were sent to the screens via multiple outputs on the Spyders. Other content was delivered from three monkeys’ Ventuz system and a 12 x HD camera PPU which was fed via a Kahuna mixer into the Spyders. “This handled all the image control for the seven matrixes magnificently, drawing their feeds from multiple sources,” said Ransom. The Spyders have become standard pieces of control equipment for VLS, who were responsible for all the image capture and HD cameras through to the Christie HD image projection. “This interfaced beautifully with the Ventuz devices, which provided live rendering of graphics,” confirmed Ransom. 23

Pooled resources In addition to VLS, Ventuz, Stage One, three monkeys (who also provided the interactive pylons) and Eclipse (who were responsible for lasers and power distribution in addition to the HD8K’s), other global technology leaders also pooled their resources to ensure that this was a memorable production. These included London-based ESG, who provided the structure, the sound system was designed by Andy Jackson from Delta Sound’s Dubai office, Arpege took care of the lighting, Groupe F the fireworks, and Stereolize, Atlas TV (helicopter mounted camera, with Cineflex head), Aquatique (the water fountains), Crystal Group (effects lighting), CFX17 (smoke effects), Electra Exhibitions (décor), Bonsai Ninja (graphics), GioForma (who assisted Filmmaster Events with the design) and Mediascreen; all played pivotal roles. Summing up, Ransom stated, “The University took two years in the building and the inauguration had six months of planning — but it all came together in just three months on site, for a one day memorable event and a month to de-rig afterwards.” The event, which was webcast to the KAUST website, was funded by Saudi Aramco who were responsible for building and also running the university.


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Last tour Tee-off for CT at Dubai World Championship

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he PGA European Golf tour’s season-ending Dubai World Championship took place at Jumeirah Golf Estates’ newly opened Earth course on 19-22 November. The event saw 58 players tee off for the finale, which had a total prize fund of US $7.5 million. This stunning event was rewarded with an exciting finish which saw Lee Westwood winning both the championship and the overall Race to Dubai title. CT currently provide the on-site television service to the European Tour (trailer mounted LED screen, 35 LCD TV’s, Tournament Television programme and distribution services) but for this event were asked to provide an enhanced service comprising of 4 additional LED screens, 56 LCD TVs for the hospitality units, Clubhouse, Tour offices, and each day provide a 3 camera Grass Valley PPU system for live coverage of the first hole until Sky TV cameras went live.

Trailer mounted LED screen CT provided 23sqm (6x5 panel) Lighthouse R7 LED screens on the 1st tee and in the Tennis Academy, and on the 17th and 18th greens 62sqm (10x8 panel) Lighthouse R7 LED screens. The standard service trailer-mounted 18sqm Barco Olite 612 LED Screen, used throughout the Tour in Europe, was specially shipped in for the event and was positioned in the Championship Village. Each of the LED screens and LCD TVs displayed Tournament Television (TTV), CT’s onsite TV programme providing a mixture of live feed, recorded highlights, interviews, golf edits and advertising as well as a graphical leaderboard and game play information. The LED screens on the 1st, 17th and 18th also displayed a combination of leaderboard graphics, live feed and player profile information, and the 17th screen displayed a Flightscope information page. All screens and TVs displaying TTV were fed high definition pictures by CT’s IPTV distribution system via a sophisticated network of fibre and CAT5 cable. For the Tournament Television Services provided to the European Tour, CT has just been awarded the Gold

Lee Westwood has been named The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Year following a momentous season which culminated in him being crowned Europe’s Number One golfer for the second time in his career. The award comes at the end of a year in which he won twice - in the Portugal Masters and Dubai World Championship presented by: DP World - and became the inaugural winner of The Race to Dubai with record earnings of ?4,237,762. In the process, he climbed to Number Four on the Official World Golf Ranking. The 36 year old Englishman has been named The European Tour Golfer of the Year on two previous occasions, in 1998 and 2000, and joins Severiano Ballesteros, Ernie Els and Sir Nick Faldo as a three-time winner. European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie is the only player to have won the award four times.

An exciting challenge “Working under the Dubai heat and on a golf course where surfaces are not level is always a challenge,” said Mark Woodhouse, Project Manager at Creative Technology Dubai. “The last minute changes also meant we had to lay down extra fiber cable around the course. But the entire show was a great success and the visitors enjoyed watching the golfing on the screens around the course and in the comfort of the hospitality lounges while enjoying a cool drink. We look forward to doing this again next year.”

Award for Event Services at the annual Sports Business Awards dinner, held recently in London. “The Dubai World Championship certainly presented a new challenge to us having spent most of the year in the UK and central Europe” said Richard Smith, CT’s project Manager for the golf contract. “With assistance and support from CT’s Dubai office, this proved to be another very successful event and again showed CT’s ability to adapt and even enhance the golf service”. 25


Tighten your belt as the recession continues While professional economists now point to the beginning of the economic downturn as being in July 2007, for most ordinary observers it was the crash of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 which started the slide.

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eptember 2008 was also the regular publication date of the most authoritative study on the state of the broadcast and media technology industry, published by IABM, the body which represents suppliers worldwide. In order to quantify the impact of the global recession, a special edition* has just been published which completely revisits the research. The numbers make interesting reading. The International Monetary Fund calculates that the global gross domestic product, the total value of all production and services in the world, will decline by 9.6% in 2009 over 2008. The research by Screen Digest for the new IABM report says that the broadcast industry will fall by 9.5% - a pretty close match. A fall in revenues of 9.5% may not seem like good news, but it is dramatic turnaround from the first half of this year when most companies were reporting big dips, some exceeding 20%.

election which can drive news equipment programmes in North America.

Winter Olympics 2010 sees first the Winter Olympics in Canada, a country which had already invested in comprehensive HD facilities so the Vancouver games will have relatively little impact on the market. The next global event is the football world cup in South Africa in June and July 2010. Those close

Beyond that, the next major event, and the next peak in the cycle, is the London Olympics in 2012. That will certainly aid in achieving the IABM forecast, which is that overall growth will return in 2011, and by 2012 industry revenues will return to the level they achieved in 2008. The global figures mask the fact that the Middle East and Africa are rapidly growing broadcast economies, and will far outpace the rest of the world. Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2008 to 2012 in the Middle East will be 8.5% and Africa will see a huge 14.6% growth. The Middle East has established itself as a rapidly maturing market delivering advanced services to local audiences. It has also established strong production capabilities both to serve the region and, increasingly, to bring in work from outside.

Major media hubs

Analyse the data Taking a more analytical view of the data, overall revenues fell, year on year, by 12% in the first quarter of 2009 and 14% in the second quarter. But the Screen Digest researchers, who spoke in depth to a broad range of vendors as well as processing a lot of data, predict a slowing in the decline with falls of 5 to 6% in the second half of the year, leading to the overall figure of 9.5% which is, as I said, very much in line with the scale of the depression. It is worth making the point here that the fall in industry revenue is not entirely linked to the recession. The broadcast industry works on a very clear four year cycle, and 2009 is the quiet year of this cycle. Revenues were always going to fall. The main driver of the cycle is the Olympic Games, and the very lavish spending in Beijing – which included a major modernisation of the China broadcasting infrastructure as well as remarkable HD coverage of every event – pushed the peak of the four year cycle even higher than might be expected. The Olympic year also sees a US presidential

London Olympics 2012

Dick Hobbs is a well known commentator and writer on broadcast technology. Amongst his many roles is editorial consultant to IABM, the body which represents broadcast and media technology suppliers worldwide.

to the television side of the project tell me even major contracts have yet to be placed, and so purchasing decisions are also being pushed back. It is likely to drive significant sales at the very end of this year and in the opening months of 2010.

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As well as Dubai there are major media hubs in other cities such as Jordan Media City in Amman and TwoFour54 in Abu Dhabi. These are in competition with the traditional creative centres like Cairo and Beirut. This competition is attracting excellent talent as well as driving up technical standards, with new installations featuring 1080p capture and processing, fibre connectivity, and robotics and virtual environments. The situation in Africa is rather different, and its dramatic growth is from a very low level of investment. Many nations are still using very basic facilities, although growing international interest is driving up technical standards. The recent under 19s football world cup in Nigeria, for example, saw the construction of new high definition facilities and outside broadcast trucks.


Rich variety of locations South Africa has long pitched itself as a production centre on the global scene, with its rich variety of locations and peoples as well as good local talent. It is interesting that, for its final (and successful) pitch, the London Olympic Committee chose to shoot the promotional video not in London but in Johannesburg. The World Cup in 2010 has pushed SABC, and its commercial rivals, into a major reinvestment and preparation for HD. SABC itself has taken delivery of four huge new outside broadcast trucks (built in Europe by Sony), and at least one major European outside broadcast player has opened up a permanent office in South Africa.

Low cost - high quality For the rest of the continent, there is good news to be had from the fact that they have not invested for a considerable time. The new generation of “prosumer� products, low cost and acceptably high quality, means that broadcasters can now re-equip, and even move to HD, for a surprisingly low cost by leapfrogging many of the stages that broadcasters in other markets have gone through. There are small broadcast facilities cropping up in sub-Saharan Africa running entirely on commodity PC hardware and software with capture on prosumer camcorders. This does not mean low standards: a powerful Mac, Final Cut Studio and a good solid state camcorder from Panasonic or Sony can be bought for less than $10k and achieve potentially admirable results.

Many African broadcasters are funded to a greater or lesser degree by governments, and again this is a strong position in the current economic climate. In the Middle East it is the satellite sector which has driven the mass growth. Both of these play very much to another future trend identified in the IABM report.

Government funding As the pie chart shows, at the moment the funding for television broadcast comes roughly equally from subscriptions and from advertising, with around 11% of services funded by licence fees or direct government grants. But conventional television advertising is under threat, faced with stiff competition from online services. Globally 2009 saw a drop in advertising revenues of almost 10%, the largest single-year drop for more than 40 years. But while advertising

revenues are dropping, pay television revenues are holding very strong. With large screen televisions in most homes, a lot of consumers are keen to have a good selection of programmes to watch. Sport is a very important driver, of course.Licence and government funding for broadcasting is also a reasonably reliable source of income. Ultimately the level of funding is a political decision, but historically the tendency has been to at least match national economic growth. Whatever the funding for the broadcaster, though, there is no doubt that it will have to fight to maintain its audience, using a strong brand identity developed through characteristic, engaging programming. Those who create content will need to identify all the ways of delivering it to multiple platforms cost effectively.

Consumer oriental products The same techniques and technologies are spilling out from broadcast just as consumer-oriented products are moving in. The highest award at IBC this year, the International Honour for Excellence, went to the Metropolitan Opera of New York, which takes its performances around the world through live HD transmissions to digital cinemas. Equally, digital signage has suddenly taken off, driven by creative marketers who have realised that it is a creative medium in its own right not a poster site that can be updated electronically. Every single piece of equipment in the digital signage chain is core broadcast technology, and the key to success is creative imagination.

Black time for vendors The conclusion of the new IABM study is that the first half of 2009 was a very black time for broadcast vendors, and that there were three underlying reasons. First, of course, was the global recession; second, the inherent four year cycle of the industry; and third, the way that the industry is transforming as audiences become engaged by new ways of delivering and receiving content. That suggests we are suffering a structural reset of the industry, characterised by a sharp downward shock, rather than an endemic decline. The businesses that will continue to thrive are those which recognise that the balance is changing between market segments, between equipment and services, and – most significantly for readers of AV Specialist - between geographies. 27


Call for papers

Promoting AV excellence in Southern Africa As part of InfoComm International’s AV Week, SACIA (the Southern African Communications Industries Association) are hosting an exhibition and conference programme that will focus specifically on the use of audiovisual technologies in business, government, education and Houses of Worship. We are now inviting submissions from organizations, companies or individuals who are interested in presenting a paper. Presentations should focus on the successful application of AV technology and while manufacturers and dealers are welcome to submit papers, presentations should not be structured to sell or promote a particular brand or product. Presentations can vary in length from 30-90 minutes based on relevance and content. Priority will be given to papers which address the use of AV technology throughout Africa and the Middle East.

When: 20-21 October 2010 Where: Gallagher Conference Centre, Gauteng, South Africa The SACIA ProAV Forum will comprise four half-day conference sessions each supported by local media and industry bodies specific to their market. Each session will focus on the use of AV technology in: • Government • Business • Education • House of Worship If you’re interested in presenting a paper during the SACIA ProAV Forum please send a detailed synopsis to forum@proav-africa.org or call +27110836418

17-23

The South African Communications Industries Association is a not-for-profit Trade Association committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards in the audiovisual industry throughout Africa.


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SAE Institute Dubai to launch diploma course in digital journalism SAE Institute Dubai, a world-renowned post-secondary creative media educator, has announced that Dubai will be the first campus for the launch of a one-year professional diploma in ‘Digital Journalism,’ also known as ‘Backpack Journalism.' 'Backpack journalism’ is a growing movement that sees independent journalists travelling to hard to reach areas to file stories using only tools that they can carry with them. Each student will receive a backpack with the equipment they will need for their future career, including a JVC digital video camera and a Macintosh laptop equipped with editing software. While the first student intake is set to commence in March in Dubai, the global launch of the programme is scheduled for October 2010, placing SAE Dubai at the forefront of innovative responses to a changing media landscape. Suitable for the amateur single practitioner as well as seasoned professionals, SAE Dubai’s intensive immersion in digital journalism will deliver the full range of skills required for effective storytelling, from idea development and successful pitching to scriptwriting and editing. SAE’s partnership with JVC Professional, globally renowned manufacturers of a wide range of high quality solutions for broadcast, professional and industrial applications, will allow students to use state-of-the-art technology to hone their technical skills in digital film as well as photography, sound and video editing, podcasting and blogging. Marco Bettelli, director of business development at the SAE Group, said: “The Digital Journalism programme combines industry standards with practical, hands-on exercises. The course was designed by industry professionals to train journalists who are compelled to go beyond the remit of traditional media to seek out underrepresented stories. Our global partnership with top-of-the-range audio and video equipment makers JVC allows us to consistently keep in step with the latest developments in technology. The synergy will allow independent journalists to package their stories for multiple platforms, including major broadcasters and webbased media outlets.� Upon completion of the one-year programme, students will receive a professional diploma that will enable them to pursue a career with publishing or media companies, online portals, as well as broadcast segments such as radio or TV.

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Editing under fire with Scots Guards in Iraq Taking the prize for album of the year at the 2009 Classical Brit Awards were the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Spirit of the Glen: Journey is a remarkable album in many ways - but perhaps most remarkable because a large part of it was recorded in the middle of a war zone, with sessions constantly threatened by rocket attacks.

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his situation is reflected in the promotional video which accompanies the album. It, too, was shot on site in Iraq, which is how Paul Bates of Whitewater Media, a veteran of the London post production scene and now an independent movie-maker specialising in music, found himself in the middle of the desert, in mid-summer, shooting and editing in a sandstorm.

Making music history “I have a lot of contacts in the music business, so when Tom Lewis, the A & R manager at Universal Classics and Jazz, called me, it was not a surprise – I have known him a long time,” he recalled. The conversation, though, was to take an unexpected turn. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards have an important place in musical history: it was their recording of Amazing Grace in 1972 which topped the charts around the world and created a new audience for the highland bagpipes. More recently, they had a surprise hit with their 2007 album Spirit of the Glen, which mixed traditional pipe airs with popular

music in inventive modern arrangements. As well as being pipers, of course, they have a real job in the army: driving tanks. The band was halfway through recording a follow-up album when the regiment was posted to Basra. “When Tom called me, it was to explain that they had decided to complete the recording in Iraq,” Paul Bates continued. “He called to ask if I wanted to go to Basra to make the accompanying video. I thought about it for a moment or two, and knew that if anyone was going to go, I wanted it to be me.”

En route to Basra Very soon afterwards, he found himself, in the company of Pipe Major Ross Munro, flying from RAF Brize Norton to Qatar on the Gulf. “From there we flew on to Basra in a Hercules, in flak jackets and helmets. It was a bit scary.” He was shooting with the Sony EX1 solid state camera, a relatively new model and format. “It was not that tried and tested in 0 50 temperatures,” he recalled. “It worked flawlessly, although I had to put it in a freezer occasionally: it became too hot to touch at times.” 30

Full highland dress Although the music was recorded in a tent (nicknamed “studio 2” for the duration, where the air conditioning failed to cope and the musicians struggled to keep their instruments in tune) Paul needed to get external shots for his video. Some of these featured the musicians including a stunning sequence of Pipe Major Munro, in full highland dress, on the runway of Basra airport at dusk – but much of it featuring the men doing their day job. For this he was out and about, in the full heat of an Iraqi mid-summer, ever aware of the constant risk of attack. At the time he was using Sony’s proprietary SxS cards in the EX1 camera (Bates has now extensively tested off-the-shelf SDHD cards with the camera, which he finds perfectly robust and very cost-effective). On location he had ready access to the content to start cutting, working directly into the EDIUS editor from Grass Valley. “I have EDIUS on my laptop so, with an SxS adaptor, I could just drag and drop from the cards to see if what I shot was going to work,” he said. “EDIUS edits right off the SxS card: there is no need to transfer


the content to another drive, which is terrific. Using plug-ins and filters in EDIUS on the laptop, I could show Tom what we had got and where I thought we were going.”

Painless HD edit With the music recording and the shoot complete, Paul was ferried back to the UK by the RAF. But before he could return to his home in the Mediterranean, Universal asked him to stop off in London to finish a rough cut for them. “From my laptop and an external drive I could set up EDIUS and cut perfectly happily,” he said. “I did a quick DVD of the piece in a couple of days. When I got home, I reopened the whole thing on my main machine and just carried on working.” Paying tribute to the power of EDIUS, Paul Bates said “I am pretty amazed that I am able to do a painless, multi-stream, HD edit on a laptop, without worrying about video formats. “And I love being able to output to Windows Media right from the timeline, or burn DVDs straight from the timeline – that is great for clients,” he continued. “With the latest release I can burn Blu-ray straight from the timeline which is even better. Everyone is shooting in HD now, so delivering in SD, even for viewing copies, is not ideal. Being able to give clients a Bluray disc is really powerful.”

Power and stability In his career Paul Bates has used most editing platforms, looking for the solution with the right combination of power, flexibility and stability. His first encounter with EDIUS technology came with the codecs built into Adobe Premiere 6.5. As the EDIUS editor came to maturity, it became a natural choice for him. “It has always been able to handle more codecs and formats than anything else,” he noted. “It does not matter what it is, you just put it on the timeline. And Grass Valley gives it good support, so when a new camera or format comes out they are quick to get it

on EDIUS. “It is far faster than anything else, especially when working in multiple formats,” he added. “You tend to forget all the good things about EDIUS – it just works.” The regiment’s commanding officer, Lt Col Felix Gedney, described the pipes and drums as “a very emotional form of music – it rouses a deep passion.” The new album, Spirit of the Glen: Journey – perhaps the first to be recorded in a theatre of war – was released at the end of 2008 and clearly captured the imagination of the public as the Brit album of the year award is the result of a public vote.

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Infinity TV to train University Students Infinity TV entered a collaborative agreement with Dubai based Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), to offer its students of “Media Sciences” hands-on experience, through projects and internships at its state-of-the-art facilities and studios.

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he undertaken projects/internships will earn the students 6 credit hours from their ongoing degree program. Additionally, representatives from Infinity TV will also offer regular courses at SZABIST on technologies and relevant field advancements as part of this noncommercial academic effort.

Leading entertainment channel Operational since 2004, Infinity TV a part of Abu Dhabi’s Pal Group is a leading family entertainment channel in the UAE that features movies, sitcoms and documentaries as well as musical, educational and sports programs as part of its wholesome bouquet. Besides featuring some of the most recent international movies and shows, Infinity TV maintains a healthy percentage of its

very own local content production. “Hands-on experience and real-time knowledge are an essential part of professional academic programs. These factors become even more important if the field in question is as dynamic as media sciences. We are pleased to be an

official part of UAE’s academia through SZABIST and are committed to aiding the development of quality human resources through our experience and expertise,” said Muhammad Nasir Ali, Station Manager, Infinity TV. SZABIST is a fully Chartered Institution with campuses in Pakistan and the UAE. “To impart the finest educational experience that in addition to academics, comprises the skills needed to manage real world scenarios has been the SZABIST vision since its inception. And it is partnerships like these that have always enabled their realization. I would like to thank Infinity TV for their commitment and support and commend their stance of a socially responsible corporation,” said Aftab Ahmed Khan, Deputy Director, SZABIST – Dubai.

Brainwaves and SGT reinforce partnership in the Middle East The cooperation of the two companies goes to the next level after a first, jointly managed customer project at the American University of Cairo.

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GT and Brainwaves have announced that the two companies are going to reinforce their partnership to market, deploy and maintain SGT´s VEDA software suite in the Middle East. The cooperation started beginning of 2008 with a joint project for the American University of Cairo (AUC). Brainwaves were leading the project onsite to install and integrate the VEDA ingest, content management and news transmission systems.

Workflow automation “The first experiences to work with SGT were very positive and we are convinced that VEDA constitutes an optimized and highly promising broadcasting solution to manage workflow automation and media asset management for our customers in the region”, said Eyad Labib, CEO of

Brainwaves. “We are very happy to strengthen our partnership with SGT. The combination of Brainwave's unique knowledge of the Broadcast industry in the Middle East associated with SGT leading products is a great opportunity for a long lasting, fruitful partnership, which provides a high level of confidence for our joint customers.” Brainwaves is a Cairo-based IT-Broadcast systems integrator that combines best-of-breed technologies with an extensive engineering services portfolio to grant broadcast and postproduction customers the decisive competitive advantage. Brainwaves partners with leading Broadcast and IT vendors like SGT to allow Middle East customers to exploit the key opportunities and challenges resulting from the convergence of broadcast, telecommunications and IT industries. As a pioneer in Broadcast IT 33

technology, SGT has built the most comprehensive software range in the industry, from programme management to play-out automation. With its new VEDA software suite based on a ServiceOriented Architecture (SOA), SGT is now leading the way towards workflow automation, rich-media content management and new distribution media such as the Internet or mobile phones.

Professional services Tailoring a VEDA solution to individual customer needs requires a full range of professional services. "The Middle East is a strategic region for SGT and we have proven that by joining forces with Brainwaves we allow media and TV companies in the region to optimize and enhance their broadcasting systems," said François Chiche, Vice President Sales and Marketing of SGT.


Media kingpins discuss way forward A meeting of leaders in African broadcasting took place in Sandton, Johannesburg in early November 2009 at the Media and Broadcasting conference. The conference focused on the future of the industry in Africa, in all its various forms.

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A fascinating talk about online media and content was presented by Salim Amin, Chairman of A24 Media in Kenya. Topics he covered included how to develop profitable revenue models, generating profits through innovative market offerings and exploiting revenue opportunities for cross-media platforms. He also shared his thoughts about trends and predictions for uptake and usage.

he conference was chaired by Russel Southwood, CEO of The Balancing Act, a UK-based company. The theme was adapting to change in the broadcasting industry, very appropriately symbolised by the chameleon in the logo. Speakers included Michael Armstrong (BET International, USA), Nolo Letele (Multichoice, South Africa), and Jason Lobel (NDS Limited).

Cable & satellite TV in Africa Accessing new markets In his keynote address, Michael Armstrong spoke about accessing new markets in our current competitive times. He suggested ways of gaining access to new markets and expanding company’s reach in Africa. He also discussed cost control strategies for growth in the current competitive markets and creating value for shareholders. An interesting panel discussion was held later on the same day, hosted by William Ampem-Darko (Director-General, Ghana Broadcasting Corp.), Edward Musinguzi Mugasa (Managing Director, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation) and Yvonne Osei-Tutu (Country Manager, Next Generation Broadcasting Africa, Ghana). Topics included HDTV’s growing viewership and advertising revenues, challenges in transmission and distribution, accommodating consumer demand for HD content and maximising digital opportunity.

Michael Armstrong joins the audience for a panel discussion

Michael Armstrong of the USA-based BET International presents a keynote address about accessing new markets

IPTV – deployment and returns Another area which was explored was IPTV, or Internet Protocol Television, and its deployment, uptake and returns. Suhayi Esmailjee, Chief Operating Officer of Zuku in Kenya spoke very eloquently about delivery solutions for IPTV, cost models and revenue generation, broadbanding offerings and generating revenue through media campaigns. Aliyu Bello Daku, co-founder of AfricaMars Media, Nigeria, shared his knowledge about discovering new markets and revenue through webcasting technologies. His case study gave insight into reaching global audiences including those without broadband, by using peer2-peer TV streaming technology. He also discussed the use of targeted ads through user behaviour and geographical location, audiences for small content producers such as independent TV shows and documentaries, on-demand and subscription-based services and the need for more control for content owners. 34

The future of cable and satellite TV in Africa was discussed by Joseph Hundah, Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria. He described successful revenue models, and future potential and demand on satellite bandwidth/services. He also gave some hints about exploiting revenue opportunities in terrestrial broadcasting environments, and the future potential and impact of broadcasting technologies. Another interesting panel discussion concerned the economics of producing high quality content in the African market competitive whilst retaining different services, getting African content to the market and generating viewership. Speakers included Mfundi Vundla (Morula Pictures, SA), Duncan Irvine (CEO of Rapid Blue/African Union of Broadcasting, SA), Afam Okereke from Nigeria, Stan Joseph of Ochre Media, SA and Levern Engel of Endemol, SA. Social media tools such as FaceBook, Twitter, Youtube and Wikipedia were also discussed.


Edutech rolls out major elearning project for KKU Edutech has deployed an extensive elearning project for King Khalid University (KKU) in Saudi Arabia, which will serve over 70,000 students.

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he integrated elearning solution will give KKU improved efficiency and co-ordination of activities, with a unified view of student, faculty, and course and enrolment data; well accurate tracking and reporting for enhanced performance and consistent standards of teaching through a centralised leading environment The project will also allow the University to extend its distance learning programs, by capturing and broadcasting classroom sessions to students across all their campuses and in remote locations, while giving students ‘anytime anywhere' access to course work and data. Dr Abdullah Alwalidi, Director of elearning Center, King Khalid University commented: "Our history as an institution formed through the merger of two universities and numerous community

colleges with multiple campuses has made standardising learning methodologies and processes a true challenge. As one of the biggest centres of learning in the Kingdom, we have made a decision to adopt eLearning as a tool to offer quality education, better student and faculty experience, and streamlined teaching and learning processes. This prompted us to partner

with Edutech, who have risen up to the challenge by implementing a whole gamut of eLearning solutions, which are now a part of the total learning experience at the university." The wide-ranging solution includes comprehensive learning management system, virtual classrooms, collaboration tools, content authoring and capturing tools, and digital repository systems. Edutech also provided training for over 200 staff and faculty to ensure a smooth transition to elearning. "We are very proud of this implementation that we have rolled out for King Khalid University, as it successfully addressed the University's needs and has placed them in a position where they can effectively create and sustain an eLearning culture within their entire academic community," said ASF Karim, CEO, Edutech.

Middle East’s Rotana network invest with Harris Harris has provided an end-to-end, broadcast channel playout solution to the Rotana television network for the upgrade of its central master control room.

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he Harris solution, which includes automation, servers, master control switchers, branding systems, routers, multiviewers and processing equipment, supports the expansion of Rotana TV in the Middle East. Local systems integrator and Harris dealer Systems Design was contracted to handle the complete setup of the master control room at the headquarters of Egyptian telecommunications company Nilesat in Cairo, Egypt. “Our previous infrastructure could only support four channels,” said Dr. Naser Refaat, technical advisor at Rotana TV. “As our presence throughout the Middle East expands, we need an advanced infrastructure to support us and ensure we are future-proofed. The Rotana technical and commercial committee selected Harris because of its high-quality, comprehensive broadcast

transmission solution, as well as for the company’s very strong regional presence and local support team.” Core to the upgraded infrastructure is a Harris ADC automation system. It consists of three device controllers, two redundant database servers, five air clients and four media clients. The automation system manages playout — with six Harris NEXIO servers and two legacy servers, four IconMaster master control switchers and 13 Inscriber RTX systems for on-air graphics. The install also includes a 128x128 Platinum router with an integrated CENTRIO multiviewer and four X75 all-in-one processors to handle incoming feeds. The upgraded MCR enables Rotana to support 14 TV channels — with the ability to upgrade to HD transmission chains in the future. The system is integrated with Rotana’s channel management system, as well as 35

with the Rotana media central archive library system, which is located 20 kilometers from the master control room. “With Harris, broadcasters can streamline workflows, centralize media management and lower per-channel costs in multichannel applications,” said Richard Scott, vice president of Europe, the Middle East and Africa operations, Harris Broadcast Communications. “This installation illustrates the strength of Harris when it comes to providing integrated ONE solutions.” Harris Broadcast Communications offers products, systems and services that provide interoperable workflow solutions for broadcast, cable, satellite and out-ofhome networks. The Harris ONE solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that enable advanced media workflows for emerging content delivery business models.


More than 100 new exhibitors at ISE2010 Professional audio, digital signage, lighting-video convergence and home automation will all spur exhibitor growth in Amsterdam

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hen the 2010 edition of Integrated Systems Europe opens its doors on 2 February, over 20% of its 500-plus exhibitors will be completely new to the show, organiser Integrated Systems Events has revealed. ISE is continuing to attract new interest from record numbers of exhibiting companies because its attendee base offers manufacturers the chance to broaden their market horizons, as Mike Blackman, managing director at Integrated Systems Events explains: “No tradeshow can thrive without bringing new customers and new markets to its exhibitors. Right from its first showing in Geneva in 2004, this is something ISE has proved it can do. AV manufacturers are turning to ISE as a platform from which to launch their products and services into new and emerging sectors, and that is one reason why we are hosting so many new exhibitors in Amsterdam in February.” The pro-audio sector is a prime example of this trend, with the likes of LAcoustics, HK Audio, Sonus, Ateïs, Out Board/TiMax, Baldwin Boxall, Seeburg, Cloud Electronics, and XTA/MC2 Audio all showing their wares at ISE for the first time in 2010. Digital signage continues to grow in significance for ISE, with a second dedicated area for these

technologies being created in Hall 10 after the main Digital Signage Hall, Hall 12, sold out. Also growing is the market for home automation, as many exhibitors recognise that the market for residential systems technologies in mainland Europe is still in the development phase and has continued to grow in 2009. New technologies are also enabling manufacturers to diversify, and nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the automated lighting industry, where LED light sources are bringing visual effects once unique to the entertainment world to a much broader range of applications. This is the reasoning behind Martin Professional’s decision to exhibit at ISE for the first time, as Lars Dall, Vice

President at Martin Visual Solutions explains: “Over the past few years, Martin has redefined itself into a more broadbased visual solutions company rather than just a manufacturer of lighting products. This has opened up a variety of markets for us such as cruise ships, theme parks, sports arenas, shopping malls, hotels and resorts, and other commercial settings. ISE attendees serve these markets and are precisely the group of people we are trying to reach. We will be showing new solutions at ISE and are very much looking forward to everything the show has to offer.” The broadening of ISE’s exhibitor base will also serve to strengthen the show’s attendee appeal, Mike Blackman believes: “With its emphasis on integration and convergence, ISE has always been the kind of show where visitors can find something truly unexpected. With so many new exhibitors to complement our hundreds of returning companies, together with a wide variety of training opportunities from CEDIA and InfoComm International, we believe our attendance will hold up exceptionally well. Indeed, our pre-registration levels are already running ahead of expectations – confirming that this is the show to attend if you are looking for new opportunities in 2010.”

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Barco releases 3-chip DLP projector with WUXGA resolution Barco has announced the launch of the RLM-W6. This is the world's first three-chip DLP projector with a WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution at the price of a single-chip DLP projector. With an extremely low noise level of 32dB, power consumption 33% lower than comparable systems and a 6,000 lumens light output, it is a green, ergonomic and costconscious choice for boardrooms, lobbies and auditoriums. Barco's RLM-W6 premieres the superior colour saturation and image stability of three-chip DLP technology in applications hitherto mostly reserved for single-chip DLP systems. In addition to its low price, the RLM-W6 offers a minimal total cost ownership due to its low energy consumption. In terms of ergonomics, its near-silent noise level is a significant improvement over competing three-chip DLP systems. The RLM-W6's WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution gives it the versatility to display a wide array of sources. This includes the possibility to display video content in native HD with unobtrusive banners, news tickers or subtitles, as well as full compatibility with the latest generation of laptops. Barco products are sold throughout Southern Africa by Questek Advanced Technologies.

Retractable monitors for furniture integration Albiral has introduced an elegant solution of retractable monitors that can be easily integrated into meeting, board and conference tables. The system has multiple possibilities, such as integrating the microphones and speakers in the upper cover, to add a tilting system or to integrate a camera for video conferencing. Albiral is also offering a lift system designed to hide a flat screen into a table or any other piece of furniture, with a maximum lift capability of 8kg. The complete range includes monitors from 15” up to 22” in both stainless steel and aluminium versions. Several types can also be automatically tilted to 20 degrees. The product is distributed throughout the Middle East by Audipack ME.

NEC bring P-series 3D projections to ISE 2010 Mitsubishi presents latest 42" Slim Bezel monitor

NEC Display Solutions brings an impressive range of products and solutions to this year’s Integrated Systems Europe (ISE), in Amsterdam. Live demonstrations at NEC’s booth will highlight its latest 3D projection technology and unique 20,000 ANSI lumens projector stacking solution. A highlight at the event is its NEC P701, a 70 inch high-end public display from the latest top-of-the-range model P-series. ISE visitors will get a first impression of NEC’s future display solutions that use sensors for real-time audience measurement, adapt content to persons standing in front and experience the NEC BarType display, for signage applications in areas with space restrictions. NEC this year also focuses on numerous innovative software solutions. Visitors will have also the opportunity to experience unique viewing demonstrations of NEC’s NP3250 projector. Up to four of these units can be combined to form an overall projection, featuring an impressive brightness and quality. NEC Display Solutions will also be using these stacking models to present a 3D solution. Thanks to a very quick automatic setup, this solution provides a fantastic three-dimensional image for stereoscopic projections.

Mitsubishi has extended its range of slim bezel digital signage LCD displays and launched a new 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) 42" full HD display monitor. Complementing the MDT521S, the new MDT421S comes fully featured and benefits from an advanced technological design, making it ideal for digital signage, message boards, video conferencing, retail kiosks, and broadcast displays. Similarly to the MDT521S, the MDT421Sis beautifully designed and benefits from an attractive 16mmaluminum bezel, available in either a black or silver option. The narrow bezel gives the monitor a sleek appearance and minimizes image distortion in tiled installations; a combination of 25 panels (5 wide x 5 high) can be installed in one configuration to create a large format image or a variety of smaller high impact displays. For flexible installation the MDT421S provides both landscape and portrait display setting modes, suitable for areas that require either tall or wide applications. 38


Digital signage from Gefen Connectivity solutions provider Gefen will show its new extension, integration and distribution solutions at Integrated Systems Europe 2010 in Amsterdam, including a selection of digital signage devices that automate content and create video walls with ease. "Integrators turn to Gefen for the infrastructure that ultimately makes their life easier by streamlining audio/video installations," said Hagai Gefen, president and CEO, Gefen Inc. "At ISE 2010, we aim to further solidify our reputation as one of the most reliable and innovative solutions providers that anticipates integrators’ needs and delivers solutions right when they need them.” Digital Signage Player allows users to create playlists very easily from any computer. They can upload pre-recorded video, customize scrolling text and select music to be displayed publicly using the HDMI format. A built-in 2G flash drive holds all content, which can be uploaded through the Ethernet or USB connections. Scrolling text to accompany the video can be input and changed as often as necessary, so users can tailor their messages. A variety of fonts and sizes can be selected giving users additional flexibility.

Tandberg breaks down the barriers Tandberg has announced new advanced capabilities for Movi, its business-quality PC video solution, for collaboration without boundaries. Movi delivers the total package for mobile video collaboration by coupling the ability to share content with its already best-in-class video and audio capabilities and centralized management. “This Movi upgrade delivers a series of exciting and critical new capabilities that add significant value to the Tandberg mobility solution,” said Ira Weinstein, analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research. “Movi’s new user interface makes it easier to use and more intuitive for users. However, the key enhancement is the ability to share PC content with other session participants. This new capability allows Movi users to not only participate in, but also to host high impact, rich media collaboration sessions.” In combination with the award-winning Video Communication server, Movi enables any PC to become a business-quality video system that seamlessly connects users to any other standards based H.323 and SIP video and telepresence system.

Lighthouse launches new Rn12i/o-SMD at ISE 2010

ISE 2010 sees leading LED screen manufacturer, Lighthouse Technologies, launch a new panel for the rental market, the Rn12i/oSMD, which heralds a new era for outdoor rental applications. The Rn12i/oSMD brings the same clarity of image and colour reproduction that has made Lighthouse LED screens a firm favourite around the globe in a brand new 12mm pixel pitch rental product. Stunning visuals are ensured

by 5000 nits, 16-bit processing and a 140 degree horizontal viewing angle. Additionally, SMD lamps deliver beautiful colour renditions and wide viewing angles. Durability is also a key feature; this model comes with IP65 for both front and rear, and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees and as high as 50 degrees, making it the ultimate panel for outdoor rental applications such as concerts and sports events, just about anywhere in the world. The Rn12i/o-SMD is also designed with convenience in mind, making it an ideal model for rental operations. Its lightweight makes it easy to transport, install and dismantle and a tool-free stacking method simplifies set up.

Harris exhibits digital network solutions Harris is demonstrating its complete digital signage solutions at ISE where their stand will include demonstrations of the Harris InfoCaster digital signage players and Punctuate software; the first traffic and sales system for digital signage. The demonstration will illustrate the strength of these systems for a wide range of applications that include banking, retail, medical and hospitality. The combination of the InfoCaster and Punctuate products creates the most legitimate, end-toend solution in the industry. It allows businesses to operate profitable, scalable digital signage networks and leverage new opportunities to generate revenue. Harris Digital Signage solutions offer a complete suite of products for creating, scheduling, distributing, playing and reporting video and graphics. Unique in the market, Punctuate builds on Harris expertise in the broadcast advertising sales management sector. Punctuate enables the industry's most targeted placement of advertising content and unique inventory control to support business growth. 39


systems, was also cited as a major differentiator and source of income for the regional business. The Power of Images event took customers and prospective customers on a visual journey aimed at starting a constructive conversation about challenges and successes of the local industry. It showcased some of Sony Professional’s recent, state-of-the-art equipment such as its first Solid State Shoulder-mount camcorder the PMW350 and also offered hands-on demonstrations so attendees could understand the latest technology and the best ways of using it to get maximum experience and return on investment.

Exciting opportunity

Sony Professional experiences 20% growth in 2009

Awad Mousa, Marketing Manager for audiovisual products commented, “We are excited by the opportunity to host the region’s first Power of Images Event which places ‘experience’ at its centre in a way that a traditional trade shows aren’t always able. We have the wonderful opportunity to demonstrate not only how our equipment is transforming the future of film internationally, but also what Sony Professional is doing right here and now in this region to realise this goal.”

Profitability underpinned by strong sales in HD products Period of rapid change

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uring December Sony Professional Solutions Middle East announced it has experienced 20% growth for fiscal year 2009, now marking continuous growth for the past five years in the region. The announcement was made at its Power of Images event 2009 in the UAE, its biggest event for the region this year, attended by more than 60 VIPs travelling from 16 countries.

Expansion plans It also took the opportunity to share expansion plans and to comment on the changing local broadcast industry, revealing figures from Futuresource Consulting that show a significant move from StandardDefinition (SD) to High-Definition (HD) – with HD products now accounting for 60.7% of the market in 2008 and HD pro camcorders accounting for 70.5% of sales in the Middle East in 2009 (year to date). The independent analyst also released figures showing that Sales of HD pro camcorders in the Middle East have been boosted over the past few years by the release of the incredibly

Awad Mousa, Sony’s marketing manager for audiovisual products, was excited by the opportunity to host the region’s first Power of Images event. “We have an opportunity to demonstrate how our equipment is transforming the future of the film and television industry,” he said.

successful Sony HVR-HD1000E camera. Sony Professional’s systems integration business, covering end-toend solutions such as HD studios and Outside Broadcast (OB) vehicle HD 40

Adam Cox, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting said, “The broadcast industry in the Middle East is going through a period of rapid change at the moment, although so far in 2009 HD still has only accounted for just 24% of 2/3 inch sensor ENG camcorder sales compared to 88% in Western Europe. While there is evidently still a way to go, we are seeing significant progress being made with large deals being signed across the region and the inauguration of the Middle East’s first HD channel July 2009. Broadcast is currently a huge focus of investment in the area although the more widespread adoption of HD is dependent on the technology being pushed to the fore by pay TV operators as has been the case in more mature markets such as Europe and the US.” To support this transition, Sony Professional has invested more resources in the region, planning to increase the number of broadcast events it holds each year. In addition and as part of its growth, its Middle East operations has also expand to a new facility located in the UAE’s International Media & Production Zone (IMPZ).


AV Specialist Vol. 109  

AV Specialist is a magazine for the broadcast & AV industry in Africa & the Middle East

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