IBC 2023 in Review, Halls 4-6: Amagi, Tata, AWS, Signiant, TVU Networks, Zixi, and more
The SVG and SVGE editorial teams were out in full force at IBC 2023, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily live roundups. Here is a look at the news from exhibitors in Halls 4-6 .
Featured in this roundup are AI-Media. Amagi, Audinate, AWS, Brightcove, Deltatre, Diversified, Dizplai, Edgio, Evergent, Globecast, Grabyo, Imagen, LTN, Magnifi, NativeWaves, NEP, Pixotope, Planetcast, Signiant, Tata, Telstra Broadcast Services, TeraVolt, TVU Networks, Vivaro Media, and Zixi
AI-Media (Stand 5.C31) is emphasizing the capabilities of its AI-powered live-automatic-captioning solution: LEXI. With the help of artificial intelligence, the solution is making a noticeable impact in real-time captioning cost-effectively. Further updates include the LEXI Captioning Tool Kit to add such features as translation, archiving and search, and disaster recovery. Another technological tentpole is AI-Media’s ALTA solution for IP-compatible closed captioning and subtitling encoding. ALTA supports global broadcast standards like SMPTE ST 2110 and MPEG-TS inputs and can output ST 2110-40, DVB subtitles, DVB TTML, DVB Teletext, and SMPTE ST 2038. Along with effortlessly handling six languages per instance, ALTA also supports insertion of advertising cues using SCTE-35.
Amagi (Stand 4.A06) is unveiling the DYNAMIC live-production and playout system, demonstrating how it can be used to launch pop-up channels for single live sports events. With Amagi DYNAMIC, content owners spin up the cloud system for the duration of the event and retire it when the event ends. It is said to be ideal for rights owners and holders who want to maximise their content library to create multiple, parallel live events, distribute them to D2C apps and other platforms, add new viewers, and generate additional ad revenues.
Audinate’s (Stand 5.C90) Dante Connect is now shipping. Multiple customers are using the audio-transport solution for cloud-based workflows in production, with more currently executing proof-of-concept tests prior to deploying to production. According to Audinate Principal Product Manager Will Waters, Dante enables mixing editors and A1s to support remote-audio-production workflows. The complete remote production of audio is enabled by Dante Connect, from transmission of audio from any Dante-enabled device on location through cloud services and back down for broadcast. Audinate also announced that Advanced Systems Group (ASG) and Diversified have signed on as distributors, joining HHB Communications.
Big news from AWS (Stands 5.C90, 4.C13): Its Elemental Link UHD now supports AWS Elemental MediaConnect. Combining Link UHD with MediaConnect is a simple and cost-effective way to create live-video workflows in the cloud, saving time and resources compared with traditional on-premises, satellite, or fiber infrastructure. Customers have more flexibility in processing live video and can add broadcast-grade monitoring or integrate ISV or AWS Partner applications into live-video applications. Previously, Link could connect only to AWS Elemental MediaLive as a channel input.
The big news from Brightcove (Stand 5.B90) is a deal with the National Hockey League (NHL), under which the streaming company will provide its technology and platform for delivery of digital video content on the websites of the league and its 32 clubs and on the NHL app. Brightcove’s streaming solutions —ingest, players, management, data and insights, monetisation — will transform how the NHL delivers its video to hockey fans across the globe, including by offering high-quality video, fast load times and fewer disruptions, according to Brightcove. Its stand also highlights monetising live and on-demand streaming content and maximising audience value across a broader range of revenue models as sharing content to larger audiences and new audiences.
Deltatre (Stand 5.H20) has announced the launch of D3 VOLT, an integrated streaming platform for both established streaming operators and new entrants to the market. It offers fully native reference apps across web, mobile, tablet, TV, set-top–box, and game-console applications, as well as new levels of functionality spanning acquisition, packaging, encoding, security, distribution, content management, and playback. D3 VOLT comprises several Deltatre products: AXIS, the UX product to configure streaming services; DIVA, the video player for rich user interactivity; and the FORGE content-management system. The company said, “It is the first platform to be so flexible it can launch new streaming services and grow with them while scaling up the user base and adding substantial new functionality without major revamps.”
Diversified (5.C90) Thanks to its success in sports broadcasting in America and APAC, Diversified is expanding further into the European market and is currently working on several exciting new projects in the region. The company is at IBC meeting and greeting potential and existing customers from Europe. Commented Jens Fischer, senior sales and business development executive, Diversified: “At Diversified, we always take a holistic approach. Whilst EMEA is a new market for Diversified, in broadcasting and cloud we are looking to build on our dynamic, proven success from around the world.
“We are seeing an increase in demand for services and consulting across the industry. The topic of service outsourcing is certainly the most in demand. The reason for this varies from customer to customer. Maybe one of them will lose one-third of their current inhouse staff in the next years, or their existing staff does not have the knowledge needed for a new project or business task. But also, cost decisions – OPEX instead of CAPEX – are in play; do I still want to take over the monitoring of these systems by myself, or do I let an external team of experts do it? These are issues that we see again and again. These are just a few reasons why Diversified already operates five NOCs in the US.”
Dizplai (Stand 5.C62) is using IBC 2023 to showcase its agreement with Stats Perform, under which sports data from Opta is integrated into the heart of its platform. Dizplai helps content creators — including sports broadcasters, OTTs, and clubs — to produce interactive viewing experiences across apps, the web, and more, with everything managed through a web browser. The Stats Perform agreement allows producers to use Dizplai to create live data sets within the onboard cloud graphics or through hardware graphics tools and display real-time Opta data from connected live sports and archived statistics. This could include live text commentary, analytics, predictions, and live game views delivered during a live broadcast. Dizplai customers include Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Manchester City FC, and The United Stand.
Edgio (Stand 5.F18) is touting an enhanced version of its Uplynk solution. Uplynk allows media companies to deliver high-quality streaming experiences to global audiences, while reducing time-to-market and driving operational scale. The company also has announced a partnership with Accedo, Bitmovin, Grabyo, and Vimond to jointly offer a streaming ecosystem that “delivers high-quality linear live or on-demand video while reducing costs and increasing efficiencies.” Edgio is leading the alliance as a Managed Service Provider, working with the other companies to integrate technologies across the streaming tech stack — from content production, personalization, and distribution to user experience and monetisation. Edgio will provide a single point of contact for all support needs, regardless of vendor, as well as Uplynk and CDN. Accedo will do app development, Bitmovin will provide the Video Player and Analytics, and Grabyo will handle clipping and live production. The Content Management System is Vimond.
Evergent (Stand 5.G80) is promoting integration of advanced artificial-intelligence (AI) tools into its Captivate Product Suite for payment recovery and proactive churn management. The new AI-backed tools allow enterprises with subscription models to analyze and enact intelligent payment retries, leading to reduced payment failure and an improved customer experience. On the sports front, the company has unveiled its Sports Accelerator package to optimize monetization of live-event programming for sports OTT providers. Customers involved in the project are the National Basketball Association (NBA), YES Network, Bally Sports, MSG Network, and Marquee Sports.
With less than 12 months until the Paris 2024 Olympics, Globecast (Stand 4.C16) is looking to ramp up its distribution, delivery, and production-services offering for the Summer Games, for both rights holders and non-rights holders. With the event taking place in its own backyard and with parent company Orange as a premium partner, the opportunity is there for Globecast to do “a lot more than we would normally do,” said Tim Jackson, SVP, sales and marketing, Americas. The resources and services will cover fibre, satellite, and IP — and hybrids of all three — for both main signals and redundancy. At IBC 2023, Globecast is also touting its tie-up with Simplestream, supplier of live- and VOD-streaming services. Under the agreement, Globecast will provide fully managed services for production, ingest, and encoding workflows, as well as eyes-on support, which encompasses a 24/7 service desk with instant Slack and telephone support during events. The alliance extends to live channel acquisition from satellite, using a global network of facilities.
Grabyo (Stand 5.A20) is showcasing updates for its cloud-native live-production platform. Grabyo Producer now includes keyboard-triggered multi-action sequences and the ability to customise the workspace alongside enhanced vision mixing and replay capabilities. Personalised and localised ads can be inserted into live outputs using SCTE-35 markers and YouTube RTMP markers and can be integrated with playout systems and third-party ad servers. The system also now offers clean/dirty live outputs, multi-track audio outputs, audio compression, and X-Keys device support. The company is also working with Magnifi, bringing enhanced “human-centric” AI to its clipping offering.
Sports federations, producers, and broadcasters looking to manage all their live and archive content in one place might want to pop by the Imagen stand (5.D44) to see Imagen Live Connect. This service enables rights owners and rights holders to store, manage, edit, and redistribute live video in the cloud. Connect enables capture and automatically storage of multiple live feeds via SRT or RTMP, gives producers and broadcast partners a single destination for feed keys, and provides secure, permission-based access to download, watch, or edit live content. Multiple camera angles can be ingested to enable content creators to choose what they want to clip, edit, and highlight. The system comes with extensive analytics and media-intelligence features, too.
LTN (Stand 5.A76) is evangelising the move to a fully managed IP-powered network, where content versioning happens inside the cloud. According to the company, working this way enables sports broadcasters to reach more market segments and address specific needs through intelligent routing and workflows. This is done through LTN Arc. Providing automated workflows and supported by the highly redundant video transport backbone of the LTN Network, Arc delivers the versioning, customisation, and decoration capabilities that rights holders need to tailor and deliver content for worldwide audiences while enabling downstream monetisation. The company recently opened an office in Cologne targeting broadcast-level customers in Central Europe.
The key attractions on the Magnifi stand (5.C96) are an early-access demo of an AI-infused application for speeding up craft editing and a showcase of the tie-up between the company and Grabyo. The former, codenamed Pluto, automates creation of short clips from long-form content, using advanced recognition of faces, speech, places, objects, actions, and audio cues. It expands Magnifi into the scripted content market. At the same, the partnership with Grabyo is intended to create a “human-centric” automated video workflow that it hopes will reshape how sports content creators and broadcasters engage with audiences worldwide. The partnership combines Grabyo’s live clipping, editing, and publishing platform with Magnifi’s automated highlights-production solution, which uses machine learning and computer vision technologies, to give sports organisations the ability to capture, edit, and publish highlight clips from live sports broadcasts quickly and at scale.
NativeWaves (Stand 5.A41) is highlighting in-venue fan experiences with low latency. With partner Synamedia, the company has developed a multiview offering that uses low-latency HTTP-based streaming to deliver the NativeWaves EXP to fans at their seats inside the stadium. Feature possibilities include accessing multiple camera angles, data and analytics, instant replays of key events from the camera of their choice, and gamification and e-commerce. A demo of this solution, which has latency of 200m end to end, is available at the stand.
Pixotope (Stand 6.A16) is featuring its new all-in-one graphics-control solution for broadcast virtual-production workflows. Driven by Unreal Engine, the Pixotope Live Controller introduces reusable no-code templates and rundown-based virtual-production workflows to all broadcast-control rooms in a single-user software package. According to Pixotope VP, global marketing, Ben Davenport, the new controller allows any broadcast operation, regardless of size, to easily implement virtual production as part of its programming without bespoke engineering teams to synchronize the separate graphics pipelines needed to bring CG, AR, XR, and virtual sets together on-air.
Planetcast (Stand 5.H78) is prioritizing solutions in the cloud to handle content processing, distribution, and monetization. To promote this strategy, the company is showcasing two platforms: CLOUD.X and Contido. Enabling FAST workflows and rapid ad insertion, the CLOUD.X playout platform is achieving this through a partnership with Wurl. A cloud-native content-supply-chain-management solution, Contido powers video processing and publishing across multiple platforms. Other services displayed at Planetcast’s stand include Recaster for IP transport, Managed Post-Production Services for process automation with AI-enabled capabilities, Playout Disaster Recovery to avoid broadcast-service disruption, and various OTT partnerships. The company is also showcasing a unified service layer that enables users to access its suite of content-preparation, enhancement, distribution, and monetisation products and services. Over the past year, Planetcast has been building out its product portfolio organically by developing its distribution suite (Playout and IP distribution) and through acquiring products like Contido (content management) and BATS (billing and subscription) as well as forming strategic partnerships with such companies as Switch media (OTT platform) and Wurl (ad tech). Demos of the Planetcast product suite will include solutions for content management, preparation and enhancement, playout, FAST and OTT. The Planetcast team are also showcasing Recaster, an IP transport solution that delivers a secure internet stream from anywhere to anywhere, be it a linear channel or a live sports stream.
Visitors to the Signiant stand (5.B82) can see several innovations that can improve the way live sports content is streamed to fans. The Jet feature for automating and monitoring file transfers now supports cloud-to-cloud operations for mission-critical transport where both source and destination are public-cloud endpoints. Jet now supports both on-premises and cloud storage endpoints. One of last year’s launches, Media Engine, has also been enhanced, allowing SaaS customers to search, preview, and take action on media assets across all Signiant-connected storage from anywhere in the world. New features for Media Engine at IBC 2023 include the ability to generate and retrieve clips, Adobe Premiere Pro panel integration, and Proxyless Play.
Internet delivery is accelerating “in a major way” for sports, according to Andreas Eriksson, head of Telstra Broadcast Services (Stand 5.B80). The internet is relevant for both distribution and contribution of sports content, and many large sports events, leagues, and tours are going that way, he says. Hybrid solutions — taking in a combination of fibre, satellite and internet — are also popular, he added, especially for redundancy and backup but also for main feeds, with some federations mixing and matching depending on where the signal is being sent. Managed services are also popular at Telstra, especially media-production value-adds. The company has a tie-up with Grass Valley for AMPP for remote production, playout, localization, and media conversion.
Video interview Telstra’s Andreas Eriksson
Among the OTT offerings from TeraVolt (Stand 5.F45) at IBC, the TVXRAY personalised live-sports–viewing experience provides real-time auto-highlights and interactive live data. TVXRAY powers the Bundesliga’s “DFL Interactive Feed,” removing the need for viewers to rely on a second screen while keeping track of live top-flight German football. Features include AI-based interactive timeline, auto-highlight technology, video alerts of concurrent matches, interactive sports data on demand, and gamified player KPI. It can be incorporated into apps for TV, set-top boxes, mobile, and the web. TeraVolt was this week acquired by the Qvest Group.
A next-generation 5G transmitter called the One is the star of the TVU Networks exhibit (Stand (5.C82). Suited to outdoor sports, the four-camera remote-production device weighs 1.79 kg, has updated modem technology, and can be used on private or public networks. The One also includes the latest version of TVU’s Inverse StatMux (ISX) transmission protocol. This is said to provide reliable and efficient transmission even in the most challenging transmission environments. Low latency of 0.3 seconds using cellular connectivity is possible. Also on show are 4K capabilities for TVU’s Cloud Ecosystem, allowing broadcasters to “move to 4K without the heavy cost,” and an AI-based integration with Adobe Premier Pro for TVU Search.
Video interview TVU’s Yoni Tayar
Ahead of IBC 2023, Vivaro Media (Stand 5.A40) launched an on-demand procurement platform designed to simplify and speed the way content providers and broadcasters connect with one another and deliver live video content. Showcased at IBC 2023, FLOW allows the booking of live sports events with an automated online “click-to-content” experience. This enables content providers to sell content to a global customer base of broadcasters, while also enabling the broadcasters to move quickly when procuring and managing live-video transmissions. It works over both fibre and the public internet and has multiple layers of redundancy to ensure maximum uptime. 24/7/365 monitoring is possible via Vivaro’s global Network Management Centre. FLOW is being.
For Zixi (Stand 5.A.85), IBC 2023 is all about the new live capabilities of its Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP), which now includes ultra-low latency with what the company describes as “unparalleled throughput, compute, and efficiency improvements.” For sports broadcasters and streamers covering events live, this enables workflow optimisation and cost savings. Pre-event scheduling and staging is a key part of this, explained Zixi director, marketing, Harjinder Sandhu. It allows “efficiency at scale,” he added. At the same time, Zixi Broadcaster version 17 is being showcased, with improved processing capacity requiring 80% less compute power while reducing egress costs by up to 50% compared with other industry solutions. Also on display is the ability to run on ARM processors, including AWS Graviton 2/3, which represent 50% of the cost and energy consumption of Linux.