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CatDV Case Study – SportsMax Jamaica

Technology Partners Deliver Complete Production Ecosystem for Caribbean Cable Sports Giant SportsMax

SportsMax logoWith 23 countries in the Caribbean tuning into sporting content from SportsMax, it has become one of the most successful cable sports channels in the world. Parent company, IMC, founded in 2002, are rights holders for the world’s top sporting content including the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

For the 2012 London Olympics, SportsMax took on its most ambitious challenge; bringing the Olympics to the Caribbean, 24 hours a day in realtime from London. And an even bigger challenge to the production team at Sportsmax, getting a new production pipeline up and running in less than three weeks. “We knew we needed a SAN solution to serve as central storage for the Olympics,” stated Kerry Gibbons, Executive Producer, Production & Technical Operations and Creative Director, SportsMax. “What we ended up with was a much-needed complete overhaul of our entire workflow.”

One of the biggest issues for SportsMax is that investing in an entire studio of new equipment is unaffordable. The Jamaican dollar is currently at 100 to 1 USD making what would cost $50,000 in the states, a half a million dollar purchase in Jamaica. To this point, choosing the right equipment, and the right technology partners and suppliers is not just crucial but a necessity.

Broadcast audio and video consultant, Carlos Sezumaga of Enhanced View Services, assessed the workflow situation for SportsMax. “I was concerned about the inefficiencies in their workflow,” explained Sezumaga. “Or as some at SportsMax have called it, all work and no flow. Not only were they facing the technological challenges that are common in a live production environment but a constantly growing frustration amongst staff which was leading to a reduction in productivity.”

After a week long visit to SportsMax HQ in Kingston Jamaica, Sezumaga designed a strategy for solving the workflow issues then reached out to Technology Partner, JB&A, who helped put together an entire production ecosystem that could handle, not only their needs for the London Olympics, but take them into the future with a solid infrastructure.

“We knew that without the right system in place, it would be total chaos,” said Gibbons. “We had two 14 person teams in London and over 100 people in the Studio in Jamaica–many of whom were students learning on the go. We weren’t sure if we could get a new system in place in time, but Carlos and the team at JB&A made it happen.”

The Olympic broadcast required capturing six different feeds from Satellite and Fibre, coming into the Studio in Jamaica. They had six logging stations set up running 24 hours a day, an all Mac workflow for the Olympics with a mix of iMacs and Mac towers running both Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Creative Suite. With the London team in place and a Studio set up in Jamaica, there were six TV programs running at different times daily producing 12-18 hours of content a day. Quick turnaround on edited footage was essential, often needing to insert relevant clips and/or stills on the fly during broadcasts. Without a clear asset management system in place, no centralized storage, archiving and backup solutions, or the ability to ingest the Satellite feeds, this would have been impossible.

To handle these demands, the newly defined workflow ecosystem from JB&A consisted of several components working together in concert: EVO Shared Storage Server from Studio Network Solutions (SNS) to serve as the central storage hub; CatDV digital asset management application from Square Box Systems to manage, organize and categorize all the multimedia assets; Pipeline Dual HD from Telestream for ingest of the Satellite feeds to EVO and CatDV for shared storage live logging respectively and; Cache-A LTO to archive the files created from the Satellite feeds after the content was created.

Together with Sezumaga, Enhanced View Services and JB&A,the new ecosystem was installed onsite at SportsMax. Lead by Sezumaga, this “dream team” of technology and broadcast specialists worked cohesively to install, train and support the project through the completion of the Olympic games. “This was a team effort,” stated Sezumaga, “It couldn’t have happened without any of the facets missing.” A technician from SNS was also on site in Jamaica to do the install and training of the EVO system.

“We’ve come a long way since I started 14 months ago,” said Gibbons. “With this new system, everything is more manageable. We could never have pulled off the this unprecedented achievement, broadcasting the Olympics to 23 Caribbean countries, without this new system in place. The more we use it the more we love it. SportsMax is well positioned for the future.”

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4K: Ready or Not

By TOM BUTTS, TVTECHNOLOGY on July 11, 2013 10:42 am

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With much less fanfare than when HDTV was introduced in the market 15 years ago, the first UHDTVs started appearing in major consumer electronics retail showrooms this spring. Looking for a modest 55-inch set to replace your current one? You can drop a cool $5,000 on the Sony XBR55X900, which it announced at the NAB Show. For even less than that, you can purchase a Seiki Digital 50-inch screen for $1,400. A digital cinema enthusiast can splurge for a $17,000 LG 84-inch UHDTV.

Apart from a lighter wallet and neighborhood tech bragging rights, what are you really getting for all that? If you’re expecting what the marketers tell you, you’re getting state-of-the- art display technology but you’re also in for some frustration if expectations don’t meet reality.

What is the reality of UHDTV/4KTV today? A lot like it was in the early days of HDTV; that is, beautiful displays that looked nice on the wall but very little to no content. But unlike 15 years ago, expectations weren’t as high as they are today either. Back then, showing an analog picture side-by-side with HD was an eye opening experience for many consumers who were just beginning to enjoy digital quality imaging via DVDs (one could argue that it was DVDs that influenced consumers’ attitude about picture resolution more than HDTV). Today, with a TV life cycle replacement of 6-8 years, many viewers are just beginning to replace their first HDTV sets and many of them became disillusioned with the rapid rise and fall of 3DTV and are understandably skeptical about the next generation of TV technology.

A few of the major consumer electronics companies are aware of this and are trying to dampen enthusiasm. Several months ago, a Samsung executive told a gathering in Europe that when it comes to content, the current crop of UHDTVs are not market-ready. “No UHD TV today will be compatible with UHD standards to come,” said Michael Zoeller, Samsung’s senior director of sales and marketing for the company’s Europe market, according to TV Technology sister publication TWICE. Zoeller added that although Samsung’s line of UHDTVs offers an “Evolution kit” that keeps its S9 85-inch UHD backlit TV updated, even that will not last beyond four or five years.

With major manufacturers bleeding red ink over declining profits from TV set sales, the early decisions will go to those who also own the content. Sony, for example, is offering three 4K mastered 4K Blu-ray discs with the purchase of a new Sony 4K Ultra HDTV. For others though, the road to 4K content will be a long hard slog.

Some primetime television programming is being shot in 4K and that’s only expected to increase as production costs decline. Such future-proofing includes the ability to distribute that content to consumers, but simply put, the lack of infrastructure and evolving standards are standing in the way.

There are intermediate solutions, however. Upconverting 1080P content sounds promising except when you consider that very little of it is being broadcast to consumers already due to bandwidth constraints. Sharp’s new Ultra HD set offers advanced upscaling technology but early reviews have been mixed. Broadcasters are still years away from sending 4K pictures over the air, although the pressure of spectrum auctions and market demand could put pending standards such as ATSC 3.0 on the “fast track.” Ericsson recently demonstrated the first successful end-to-end transmission of true 4K UHD via satellite to Turner Broadcasting’s facilities in Atlanta. Netflix’s anticipated launch of 4K programming will present an interesting look at how such files are handled in an increasingly crowded broadband environment. And new standards such as 6G-SDI and HEVC and the increasing use of fiber in the facility make the future 4K facility inevitable.

As recently as a year ago, there was a high degree of skepticism in the broadcast engineering community about the future validity of 4K for the consumer market. That has subsided somewhat with the introduction of 4K-ready production gear introduced at this year’s NAB Show and the even more rapid market introduction of UHDTV. But as we report in this issue’s cover story on the format, putting all the pieces together for a true end-to-end 4K production/distribution workflow will take a bit longer. If content is the lifeblood of the media facility today, we’re going to need larger, more efficient arteries.
– See more at: http://www.c2meworld.com/creation/4k-ready-or-not/#sthash.mz2CJR1L.dpuf

Quickly Create Instant Replays in Final Cut Pro X

Creating instant replays in Final Cut Pro is now easier than ever with the new automated speed tool.

Although it has always been possible to create instant replay in Final Cut Pro, it required a combination of manually duplicating clips, applying speed filters and then modifying clip speed.  Apple has simplified this process in Final Cut Pro X, with a built in instant replay tool.  This new function is great for sports, news-style or action-heavy programming!

How To Use the FCPX Instant Replay Function

Select a clip or a section of a clip from your FCPX timeline that you’d like to replay.  In this example I’ve selected a section from the middle of one clip.  To select a clip range use the shortcut “R” and highlight a section of a clip (range selection).  For information about using the range selection tool see our post here.

Now, click the clip retiming button in the FCPX tool bar.

Choose “Instant Replay”

When you create an instant replay FCPX will duplicate your selection and automatically add it in the timeline immediately after the original.  All other media behind your “instant replay” will move further down the timeline to make room for it (made possible by FCP’s magnetic timeline).

A retiming bar will now appear above your clip. In this example you will see 3 green bar sections…the first over the original selection, the second over the newly created “instant replay” and the third over the remainder of the original clip.

To adjust the speed of the “instant replay” (the section under the second green bar) drag the bar above it to the right.  The further you drag the bar the more you will slow down the footage.

Expert tip:  In FCPX, the instant replay function is not a default keyboard shortcut (command).  However, this function can be mapped  to a key or shortcut (from the menu bar choose Final Cut Pro > Commands > Customize…)

For some projects, such as sports oriented programming, this new instant replay function could result in significant time savings… a nice addition to FCPX!

3 Power Tips to Take Your Broadcast Graphics Production to the Next Level

Avid Motion Graphics Gridlines

Technology Partners Deliver Complete Production Ecosystem for Caribbean Cable Sports Giant SportsMax

(June 18, 2013) With 23 countries in the Caribbean tuning into sporting content from SportsMax, it has become one of the most successful cable sports channels in the world. Parent company, IMC, founded in 2002, are rights holders for the world’s top sporting content including the 2006, 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, the London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

For the 2012 London Olympics, SportsMax took on its most ambitious challenge; bringing the Olympics to the Caribbean, 24 hours a day in real-time from London. And an even bigger challenge to the production team at Sportsmax, getting a new production pipeline up and running in less than three weeks. “We knew we needed a SAN solution to serve as central storage for the Olympics,” stated Kerry Gibbons, Executive Producer, Production & Technical Operations and Creative Director, SportsMax. “What we ended up with was a much-needed complete overhaul of our entire workflow.”

One of the biggest issues for SportsMax is that investing in an entire studio of new equipment is unaffordable. The Jamaican dollar is currently at 100 to 1 USD making what would cost $50,000 in the states, a half a million dollar purchase in Jamaica. To this point, choosing the right equipment, and the right technology partners and suppliers is not just crucial but a necessity.

Broadcast audio and video consultant, Carlos Sezumaga of Enhanced View Services, assessed the workflow situation for SportsMax. “I was concerned about the inefficiencies in their workflow,” explained Sezumaga. “Or as some at SportsMax have called it, all work and no flow. Not only were they facing the technological challenges that are common in a live production environment but a constantly growing frustration amongst staff which was leading to a reduction in productivity.”

After a week long visit to SportsMax HQ in Kingston Jamaica, Sezumaga designed a strategy for solving the workflow issues then reached out to Technology Partner, JB&A, who helped put together an entire production ecosystem that could handle, not only their needs for the London Olympics, but take them into the future with a solid infrastructure.

“We knew that without the right system in place, it would be total chaos,” said Gibbons. “We had two 14 person teams in London and over 100 people in the Studio in Jamaica–many of whom were students learning on the go. We weren’t sure if we could get a new system in place in time, but Carlos and the team at JB&A made it happen.”

The Olympic broadcast required capturing six different feeds from Satellite and Fibre, coming into the Studio in Jamaica. They had six logging stations set up running 24 hours a day, an all Mac workflow for the Olympics with a mix of iMacs and Mac towers running both Final Cut Pro and the Adobe Creative Suite. With the London team in place and a Studio set up in Jamaica, there were six TV programs running at different times daily producing 12-18 hours of content a day. Quick turnaround on edited footage was essential, often needing to insert relevant clips and/or stills on the fly during broadcasts. Without a clear asset management system in place, no centralized storage, archiving and backup solutions, or the ability to ingest the Satellite feeds, this would have been impossible.

To handle these demands, the newly defined workflow ecosystem from JB&A consisted of several components working together in concert: EVO Shared Storage Server from Studio Network Solutions (SNS) to serve as the central storage hub; CatDV digital asset management application from Square Box Systems to manage, organize and categorize all the multimedia assets; Pipeline Dual HD from Telestream for ingest of the Satellite feeds to EVO and CatDV for shared storage live logging respectively and; Cache-A LTO to archive the files created from the Satellite feeds after the content was created.

Together with Sezumaga, Enhanced View Services and JB&A,the new ecosystem was installed onsite at SportsMax. Lead by Sezumaga, this “dream team” of technology and broadcast specialists worked cohesively to install, train and support the project through the completion of the Olympic games. “This was a team effort,” stated Sezumaga, “It couldn’t have happened without any of the facets missing.” A technician from SNS was also on site in Jamaica to do the install and training of the EVO system.

“We’ve come a long way since I started 14 months ago,” said Gibbons. “With this new system, everything is more manageable. We could never have pulled off the this unprecedented achievement, broadcasting the Olympics to 23 Caribbean countries, without this new system in place. The more we use it the more we love it. SportsMax is well positioned for the future.”

Why Mobile Video Is Exploding

Why Mobile Video Is Exploding

bii_mobilevideoupdate_shareBI Intelligence

Mobile video has exploded for a few main reasons. One is the rollout of faster 4G LTE wireless networks, which support on-the-go video habits.

A second reason is that younger audiences are adopting mobile video habits very quickly.

Another is the spread of tablets. Devices like the full-size iPad and Kindle Fire — with their nine or 10-inch high resolution screens — are emerging as consumers’ favored video playback devices. The tablet owner is therefore emerging as a hotly pursued target for mobile video.

In a recent reportBI Intelligence breaks down the mobile video ecosystem, analyzing the behavior and devices behind the growth in consumption, examining the demographics and behavior of mobile video consumers, detailing how mobile video monetization is booming, and looking at potential barriers to mobile video’s continued rise.

Access the Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>>

Here’s a brief overview of how tablets are driving an explosion in mobile video:

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-mobile-video-is-exploding-2013-6#ixzz2WKgSVZQJ

Cambridge Imaging Systems Case Study The British Library – Broadcast News Service

Cambridge Imaging Systems Case Study The British Library – Broadcast News Service

The British Library’s ‘Broadcast News’ service was commissioned in 2010 and is now available for public use in their reading rooms. The system uses Cambridge Imaging Systems’ Orbital Enterprise Video Recorder and Imagen software to record, store and index news content and provide a powerful research tool for researchers and the general public.

Orbital is an advanced off-air recording and scheduling system which has been developed over a number of years, principally for use by the BBC, BUFVC (British Universities Film and Video Council) and the Ministry of Defence.

British Library use Orbital to record eighteen UK and Inernational news channels. The Broadcast transport streams are stored on RAIDs in a rolling archive. Pre-selected news programmes are automatically extracted from the broadcast buffer’ss RAID on a daily basis using Orbital’s scheduling application.

Orbital integrates directly with Imagen – Cambridge Imaging Systems Digital Asset Management software. Selected news content is submitted to an Imagen workflow which generates a series of proxies for playback in a web browser. The transcode process also extracts subtitle and EPG information from the broadcast stream to create a unique metadata record.

This rich source of metadata can then be used for searching the archive by users in the Library’s reading rooms via a standard web browser.

The British Library wishes to make more moving image content available to researchers in an integrated environment, so that they can be discovered on its catalogue alongside books, journals, sound recordings and other media. It will do so partly by building up its own collections, such as Broadcast News, but it hopes to achieve more extensive access to moving image content through strategic partnerships with key moving image institutions.

Broadcast News is the first expression of the British Library’s new commitment towards moving images as an essential component of scholarly research. In particular it is a significant step in delivering an eventual multimedia news service, when the Library will start to bring together newspapers, television news, radio news and news websites.

For more information about Cambridge Imaging Systems, Please contact me or fill out the informatiopn below and I will get back to you promptly.

Softron Media Services releases Smart Playout Engine

Smart Playout Engine
Multi-format, and multi output (Video and Streaming) with Graphics Overlay

At NAB2013, Softron Media Services has announced its new Smart Playout Engine (SPE) which will replace the current playout engine (NAVI) that is used in OnTheAir Video and OnTheAir NodeOnTheAir Video Express which is completely based on the QuickTime APIs will remain unchanged.

The current version of the playout engine has been used in most of our play out solutions (except OnTheAir Video Express) since 2003 and has allowed an unequaled stability and efficiency. It now allows the playout of up to 4 streams of HD on a Mac mini. Over the years, we have seen the changes in the number of formats and requirements our customer have as broadcasting on the Mac has become more and more accepted.

We are very proud to introduce our next generation of playout engine which we will start implementing in our playout solutions in the next few months. We think it brings most of the feature requests we had from our customers built on top of our many years (30!) experience on the market. Have a look below at what will make the Smart Playout Engine, the playout solution for the future.

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Wide range of codecs supported.
NAVI’s playout engine used to play only i-frame codecs. The new Smart Playout Engine will play files in almost all codecs you need in a professional broadcast. Apple ProRes, AVC-Intra, H.264, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD.
QuickTime, MXF and .ts containers.
Containers are an important part to ensure the compatibility with most workflows. QuickTime’s .mov files are supported widely, but we know that some workflows require specific containers. MXF is used in various situations, as it is the container user by some Camera manufacturers or AVID for example. The Smart Playout Engine will be able to support .mov, .mxf and .ts files transparently, without the need of any additional option or third party requirement.
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Mix and Match multiple resolutions.
We know that you will receive files in different formats. Be it that you broadcast in HD, and have still “old” files in SD, or you are broadcasting in 1080i, but receive files in 720p. You don’t want to convert all your files to have the good dimension. And we don’t want you to either. Softron’s Smart Playout engine will mix and match multiple resolutions in the same playlist, seamlessly.
Video and Graphics on the same output.
Softron’s NAVI playout engine has a simple “logo overlay” option. For animated graphics, you had to use OnTheAir CG which is running on a different video card. And you then have to output the video with OnTheAir Video or OnTheAir Node to enter it in the card with OnTheAir CG to overlay the graphics. With Softron’s Smart Playout Engine, everything will be from the same output, with just one video card (or just streaming… see below…)
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Video and / or Streaming output.
Almost every TV station is streaming its program today. But most of the times, it requires an additional device. Also some Web-TVs only output to the Web, but they currently still must output to a video card first and then convert that for the web. With Softron’s Smart Playout Engine, you will be able, from the same application, to output to a video card for “regular” video broadcasting, and to the web for streaming. Web-TVs will also be able to “just” output to the web. No video card needed. Take one Mac mini, connect it to the web, and you’re good to go! Also, you can simply record a QuickTime H.264 file locally for compliance recording.

Grass Valley’s “Director”

GV Director (PRELIMINARY INFORMATION)Masterful Multitasking

Create, Collaborate, Control

The GV Director™ Nonlinear Live Production System is the ultimate multipurpose tool for live production. Integrating video switching, multi-layer effects, animated graphics, multiviewer monitoring, and more—all in a single, intuitive, and highly creative system, GV Director may pack small, but it sure produces big.

Step On Up: GV Director raises the creative bar for all event producers by removing the typical complexity of production and simplifying pre-production and production processes using one intuitive and dynamic platform. Starting from scratch or using a pre-built template, sophisticated productions are easy since elements can be created, packaged, and saved offline using a Mac or PC, then delivered live when needed. With the ability to collaborate and share work-in-progress, producing highly creative and valuable content is ensured.

Control Your Universe: GV Director brings it all together—switcher, video server, graphics generator, and multiviewer display—in a simple, powerful, and creative workspace for live monitoring and switching. GV Director’s interface gives you the choice of how you want to work. There’s a smart control surface with touchscreen panel, assignable buttons, a T-bar, and a multiviewer, as well as a keyboard, mouse, and computer monitor for maximum operational flexibility.

Small, Yet Mighty: While GV Director’s unmatched production capabilities are powerful on its own, it can also be teamed up with GV STRATUS® nonlinear production tools to add ingest, logging, content management, NLE integration, and router control. Its compact form factor boosts deployment flexibility and makes GV Director ideal for various environments

Key Features

  • 8 HD/SD inputs and 4 HD/SD outputs
  • 8 SDI embedded audio inputs (16 embedded audio tracks maximum), 4 SDI embedded audio outputs, 2 analog inputs, and 4 analog outputs
  • Multicodec video support: MPEG & DV
  • Standard media file import: MXF & MOV
  • DVI output supporting optional touchscreen monitor interface
  • Supported graphics formats: Targa (TGA) type 2 (uncompressed RGB) in 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA formats (top/bottom-first bit supported) and BMP in 24-bit uncompressed RGB
  • Brand new and revolutionary nonlinear live production workflow
  • Small form-factor, fully integrated solution including:
    • Switcher capability
    • Real-time graphics engine
    • Clip store/clip player
    • Multiviewer
  • Empowers creative processes before and during live productions
  • Ease of operation – emphasis on creativity not technical knowledge
  • Create Once and Publish Everywhere (COPE): the complete look and style of a production can be created offline—with full preview—via the authoring tool (Mac or PC) and published to multiple live locations

Focal Point Server – Collaboration Defined

BRINGING SIMPLICITY TO PRODUCTION WORKFLOWS AND EFFICIENCY TO FILE MANAGEMENT.

FOCALPOINT SERVER IS A PROJECT-BASED MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR COMPANIES WITH LARGE AMOUNTS OF MEDIA. FOR BROADCAST, POST PRODUCTION, OR ANY COMPANY THAT NEEDS TO SHARE DOCUMENTS IN THEIR TEAMS AND WORKS IN PROJECTS.

DO YOU STRUGGLE TO FIND FILES? – SIMPLIFY SEARCH

  • Focal point offers a natural way of searching through your projects.
  • Create coloured tags for your most common searches for lightning fast searches.
  • Your projects never get lost!

ARE YOUR FILES INCORRECTLY NAMED?  – SIMPLIFY DATA MANAGEMENT

  • Focal Point Server takes care of naming conventions and saving locations of your project files.
  • Data management is as simple as a mouse click and drag & drop!

NEED TO KNOW INSTANTLY WHEN YOUR PROJECT IS READY FOR YOUR INPUT? – SIMPLIFY PROJECT TRACKING

  • Create filtered views of your many projects and track the important ones at your stage of production.
  • The documents find you!

NOT EVERY MEMBER OF THE TEAM IS A TECHNICAL EXPERT? –  SIMPLIFY USER EXPERIENCE

  • Focal Point Server‘s natural and intuitive interface hides the complexity of your entire workflow from your team.
  • Your team will love the simplicity and intelligence of Focal Point!

SOMEONE ELSE DELETED YOUR PROJECT? – SIMPLIFY DATA SECURITY

  • Protect your projects from accidental deletion by maintaining version histories for all your project data.
  • Focal Point Server brings simplicity to your data security policies!

WANT TO ARCHIVE YOUR ENTIRE PROJECT IN ONE SPACE? – SIMPLIFY ARCHIVING

  • Simplify your archiving practices. Either periodically or by mouse click Focal Point Server archives all data and metadata of your media projects in a single archive set.
  • Error reporting means you always know where the project is.
  • Your project data is safe and available whenever you need it!

NEED ACCESS FROM MANY LOCATIONS? – SIMPLIFY DEPLOYMENT

  • Just login to the client interface from the cloud and you are ready to create.
  • Deploying Focal Point Server is as easy as visiting a website.

COMPLIANCE ISSUES? – SIMPLIFY COMPLIANCE

  • Model your production processes and stay up to date on your team’s progress and compliance in real time.
  • You will find your team more productive than ever!

NEED MORE EFFICIENCY? – SIMPLIFY AUTOMATION

  • Increase your output by automating recurring workflows, processes and project or data management tasks.
  • Automation with Focal Point is your key to higher productivity!

NEED MORE STANDARDISATION? – SIMPLIFY QUALITY ASSURANCE

  • Enforce predefined company-wide standards and conventions to make it simple for your team to comply.
  • Maintaining high quality was never this simple!