Live from IBC 2022: Sunday’s latest from Amsterdam
The SVG Europe and SVG Americas teams are onsite in Amsterdam for the triumphant return of the IBC Show. As the production and broadcast industry gathers at IBC 2022 to launch new products and reconnect, the SVG team is out in force in the exhibition halls of the RAI to gather and share the latest news with the SVG community. You’ll find all the key announcements and news here with daily updates through Monday.
Today’s issue features Accedo, Aeta Audio Systems, Amazon Web Services, Brainstorm, Canon, Caton Technology, Cobalt Digital, Dolby.io, Domo Broadcast Systems, EditShare, EVS, Imagen, Lawo, LiveU, LTN Global, Magnifi, Marshall, Mavis Broadcast, Net Insight, Phabrix, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz, Salsa Sound, Sencore, ST Engineering iDirect, Studio Network Solutions, Telos Alliance, Worldcast, Zero Density.
Accedo (Stand 5.D65) is talking about a range of things at IBC, but perhaps of most interest to sports broadcasters and federations is a tie-up with JUMP Data-Driven Video. The offering combines the two companies’ data and UX expertise to provide rights holders with audience insights that they can quickly and automatically respond to and monetise. Existing data and user experiences are analysed to deliver a growth strategy that the company says will help broadcasters increase user retention and unlock new revenue streams. Another interesting development is a proof of concept with AWS for what they are calling “shoppable TV”, a concept that combines e-commerce with video content and allows viewers to interact with shoppable items in the video. For example, a footballer’s shirt could be made available to buy online seconds after the player scores a goal during a live-streamed match.
Aeta Audio Systems (Stand 8.F83) is taking commentary to the next level with its 5G-enabled product line. Said GM Yann Vonarburg, “At Aeta, we’ve always been ahead in terms of mobile, and we’re on the same track with 5G. All our latest products are 5G-enabled: just put a SIM card in and you’re good to go. We’ve got our fourth-generation ScoopyFlex here on the stand. It’s built to be flexible and can take two mics, so it’s good for small sports events where you only have two commentators; for bigger events, you just put it into its docking station, and you have the capability to do four commentators.”
Amazon Web Services (Stand 5.C80) is on a recruitment drive, with a particular focus on those with experience in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). “Data in sport is prodigious,” said AWS head of sports global, professional services, Julie Souza. “Tracking data from the field of play and being able to turn that data into insights that serve leagues and teams and fans is no small task. If you look at F1, we are collecting 1.1m data points per second from the cars. From a sports perspective, I would love more expertise around that. We already have some brilliant minds in AWS, but there is so much data, and the more folks we can have thinking about how we can use that to engage fans, the better.”
Brainstorm (Stand 7.B01) has made several announcements, including release of Suites 5.1 and 5.2 of the company’s InfinitySet and Edison 5.1 for live immersive presentations. As mixed-reality (MR) and extended-reality (XR) productions become entrenched in the industry, Suite 5.1 is dedicated to streamlining users’ ability to improve their virtual content creation, including content captured on LED video displays or other forms of background. Suite 5.2 works closely with Version 5 of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine rendering. Tapping a highly regarded platform like Unreal Engine, Brainstorm fully integrates objects created in InfinitySet or Aston and vice-versa. Edison 5.1 is essential to the experience on the newly introduced EdisonGO app, a mobile application that offers video and tracking information to Edison PRO.
Canon (Stand 11.C45) has one of the larger exhibits at the show and is offering several new products. Most impressive for attendees looking to take the next step in big-time broadcast lenses is the UHD Digi-Super 122xAF (UJ122X8.2B AF) offering auto focus. According to Jack Adair, product marketing specialist, Canon Europe, operators still have complete control over focus controls, but, with the demands of UHD, the auto-focus control provides an extra level of support where focus issues are more noticeable. Also on display, the just-released CR-N700 broadcast PTZ camera can do 4K 60 fps over SDI, HDMI, SRT, or IP and has professional XLR inputs; the CR-N500 can do 4K at 30 fps via IP; and the CR-X500 PTZ has 12-Gbps SDI connections. Says Adair, “We also have introduced our XC protocol, which is available for our PTZ, cinema EOS cameras, and XF cameras and allows control of up to PTZ cameras.”
Caton Technology (Stand 1.F36) is touting the benefits of IP transmission, with the message that IP transmission is robust and efficient enough for primetime content and not just for backup or low-value media. According to Caton Technology SVP, global operations, Gerald Wong, CatonNet Video Platform (CVP) can provide a comprehensive service to link any event to any broadcaster around the world, with Caton’s recent implementation of the first stage of a new contribution network for NBA, MLB, and Premier League rights-holder Eleven Sports in Taiwan given as an example of the technology in action.
Cobalt Digital (Stand 10.B44) is demonstrating its Indigo 2110-DC-01 SMPTE ST 2110 solution on its 9904-UDX-4K card. The new option offers support for high-density native-4K ST 2110 audio and video processing on an openGear form factor. Indigo 2110-DC-01 is a highly integrated factory option that includes dual 25G Ethernet interfaces and now supports uncompressed 4K on the company’s 9904-UDX-4K card. Support for ST 2022-7 seamless redundancy switching is incorporated for improved network reliability; support for IS 04/IS-05 NMOS offers automatic discovery and configuration. The included support makes interfacing to an existing network very straightforward, as the devices are auto-discovered by the network management and made available for interconnection.
Dolby.io (Stand 5.A10) is focused on streaming with high-quality and high-fidelity audio. A key differentiator in a crowded market is the ability to deliver high-quality streams around the globe with latency of less than half a millisecond and at scale. A new data center is operational, increasing Dolby.io’s capabilities as clients take advantage of APIs to live-stream events and more via RTMP to a variety of third-party services, such as Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. High-quality codecs like AAC are an option as well.
Domo Broadcast Systems (Stand 10.D40) is showcasing Onyx HEVC, a broadcast-quality H.265 encoder offering compression ratios on video resolutions up to 4K UHD. It is suited for remote-production applications over leased lines or satellite, handling 4X HD or 1X UHD 4K feed with ultra-low latency. Said broadcast systems integrations director Stuart Brown, “The whole industry is moving to remote production. We’ve developed a plug-and-play platform to allow customers to do remote productions easily. It’s a modular system, but a single box allows you to plug in four cameras, and they don’t have to be the same format or synchronised. You can also very easily stack these up to a 16-camera OB without a serious engineering effort.”
EditShare (Stand 7.A35) is demonstrating a new integrated solution with Cinedeck running on AWS. Cinedeck’s live multicam video-ingest solutions have been integrated with EditShare’s storage and Media Asset Management solutions: EFS and FLOW. According to VP, product management, Sunil Mudholkar, the partnership allows media captured with Cinedeck hardware appliances or Capture2Cloud to be written directly to, respectively, on-premises EFS hardware or cloud-based EditShare EFS Flex systems. When assets are recorded by Cinedeck, a real-time Flow-compatible proxy file is created and immediately checked into FLOW for preview, searching, tagging, markers, and other metadata.
EVS (Stand 10.A25) has three years of innovation on display, beginning with the XtraMotion cloud-based service that can take regular-speed video and turn it into super-slo-mo. “We don’t need to be connected to a super-motion camera,” says EVS CMO Nicolas Bourdain. “We are also demonstrating a proof of concept to add channels in the cloud. With the LSM-VIA server, you can activate additional channels for things like a PTZ or GoPro camera. And, instead of using server channels, you can browse the channels using the LSVM system. It’s a full SAAS model, where our customers will buy credits and use for integrating those cameras.” Also on display are other new LSM-VIA features, such as multi-review across multiple servers, along with EVS’s balanced computing efforts and the latest developments in the Cerebrum broadcast-control and -monitoring system.
Imagen (Stand 1.C37D) has launched prepackaged delivery workflows to leading OTT platforms. The Imagen platform auto-packages finished content according to the specific needs of each OTT platform, such as metadata, format, artwork, and resolution. Imagen chief executive Charlie Horrell said that OTT delivery workflows “remove considerable friction from the content lifecycle, reducing the amount of time spent manually delivering content and enabling teams to scale their delivery without limits.” Imagen’s clients include English Premier League, International Tennis Federation, and National Basketball Association.
Lawo (Stand 8.B90) is showcasing the latest additions to its IP video infrastructure offerings. In its European debut is .edge, an SDI-to-IP interface that includes a JPEG XS compression module for Lawo’s V_matrix platform. The company is also exhibiting new features, such as health monitoring, for its Home IP-management platform. Noting what it feels like to be back at IBC, Lawo CMO Andreas Hilmer said, “This show is about meeting people, and it’s so good to finally be able to that that again in immersive 3D! We’ve been completely blasted on the stand since the show opened; it’s going brilliantly.”
LiveU (Stand 7.C30) is promoting reliable workflows that cater to remote productions and services in the cloud. The company has released two significant products and improved an existing solution. According to LiveU VP, sales, Mike Savello, the LU810 and LU610S encoders are enabling 5G, 4, and synchronized, multi-camera contribution via LiveU’s Reliable Transport (LRT) protocol. Boasting flexibility and simplicity, these two appliances can be controlled from anywhere via the LiveU Central cloud management-platform interface. Additionally, the LiveU IP Matrix is enhanced with the introduction of the Matrix Transceiver for versatile switching between live-video distribution and contribution. Another product controlled by LiveU Central unified-management platform, Matrix Transceiver promises easy-to-use setup and full remote adoption.
LTN Global (Stand 5.A77) is talking to sports-rights owners and holders about how it can provide reliable video-transport services that go beyond private-line networks, including satellite. This comes in the form of LTN Wave, a terrestrial IP-based distribution solution designed as an alternative to satellite distribution, enabling broadcast-quality multicast distribution over IP. Monetisation is a key focus for the company, too, especially where it can help with cloud-based versioning. This is done using LTN Arc, a fully managed production service that enables users to deliver customised streams and extend reach across platforms and geographies, and LTN Lift, a cloud-based playout solution with automated versioning capabilities. The company is also keen to emphasise the expansion of its Cologne facility to which the company is “adding more operational capabilities” to better mirror its offering in the U.S.
Magnifi (Stand 5.F12) is an Indian startup that has developed an AI-based enterprise solution for automating video editing and metadata tagging that could be of interest for broadcasters and federations looking to do fast-turnround highlights. Live and recorded demos are taking place on its stand to show how content can be taken from the stadium and repurposed in real time for various platforms. A new user interface with a more intuitive user journey is included. The company is using IBC not just to showcase its technology, though. It also wants to gather feedback from potential customers and to listen to ideas for further developing the solution, which is very much not an off the shelf offering.
Cloud-based live-production specialist Mavis Broadcast, exhibiting at the Atomos stand (11.D25), has announced a partnership with ES Broadcast, which will offer the Mavis Live SaaS-based ultra-low-latency, cloud-based production platform as part of its systems-integration solutions. Mavis Live enables remote production for live events and provides a suite of professional virtualised production tools, including vision and audio mixing, instant replay, talkback, commentary, VT, and graphics. Both progressive and interlaced workflows are supported.
The big news for Marshall (Stand 11.C23) this year is that all of its NDI cameras are able to use NDI HX high-efficiency transport, reducing the required network bandwidth thanks to H.264 compression, improving the color matrix of its cameras, and adding global shutter via the CV568 miniature camera. “We also have a high-bandwidth camera coming out towards the end of the year,” says Tod Musgrave, senior director, cameras, Marshall Electronics. “We also have a new 4K 60-fps camera with IP, HDMI, and USB support that is a good streaming camera and also allows an HD image to be extracted from the 4K sensor via what we call ePTZ.”
Net Insight (Stand BS18) has consolidated its R&D efforts and has established a new CTO group led by Ulrik Rohne, with Per Lindgren taking on the role of group CTO and head of sync. At IBC, the company is also highlighting its “offensive investment in 5G sync” and updates to its Nimbra platform. Lindgren told SVG, “Our key customers are service providers, but we also see, especially with our Gateway products, that we are much closer to production companies and sports broadcasters because the network is more important to them when they move to IP and remote and distributed production workflows.”
Phabrix (Stand 10.C01) is introducing a portable version of QxL, the QxP. The brand-new QxP inherits the flexible architecture and extensive workflow support of the QxL rasterizer. It incorporates a 3RU multi-touch 1920×1200 7-in. LCD screen and is equally at home on-set in SDR, HDR, grading, and shading applications, as well as in QC, MCR, engineering, and R&D environments. The QxP’s extensive feature set is headlined by its capacity for 25GbE UHD IP workflows and its suitability for portable operation, thanks to an optional V-mount battery plate. Said CEO Phillip Adams, “We’ve made the QxL portable. We’ve launched it here at IBC and will be shipping it in November. At the point of launch, it will have all the QxL features but with 12 V, mains, and a battery option that can keep you mains-free for two to four hours.”
In addition to the acquisition of Simply.Live (Stand 11.B28), Riedel (Stand 10.A31) is celebrating its acquisition of SDNsquare (Stand 10.F40b). Riedel CEO Thomas Riedel noted of the two deals, “Both at their core are about technology. SDNsquare has a knowledge of orchestration in broadcast IT networks and that gives us another building block for the bigger picture. And Simply.Live is a very established company with their all-in-one-box production units for replay, remote multiviewing, and other applications. That gives us technology for remote production, cloud production, and all the buzzwords these days. Our portfolio is more complete with the same top-of-the-pyramid positioning we want, and we are getting great teams that will bring us to more than 1,000 people in the company.”
Rohde & Schwarz (Stand 7.B21) is highlighting the constant yet gradual move from SDI to IP. Taking center stage on its stand is the R&S PRISMON: a fully software-based, IP ST 2110-ready solution that specializes in monitoring and multiviewing and prepares clients to make the leap to IP. Combining with the R&S PRIMSON — and the PRISMON Scalable Distributed Multiviewing (SDM) tool — is the new Multiviewer Control Centre (MCC). Through SDM, any user can permit PRIMSON to share resources across a network, Leveraging both MCC and SDM will enable customers using PRISMON to build highly efficient, scalable large multiviewing systems.
Salsa Sound (Stand 8.B77c) is highlighting three demos. One is a world-first automated MPEG-H production showcasing true object-based audio. In partnership with Fraunhofer, Salsa Sound has implemented the MPEG-H authoring tool with MixAir, its AI-driven automatic–audio-mixing solution for live sports coverage to allow automated MPEG-H production. Said co-founder Rob Oldfield, “You can interact with the audio to create audio personalisation and it’s all done automatically in MixAir. We’ve been talking about personalisation for years, and it’s amazing to actually be able to show this for the first time.” Salsa Sound is also showcasing 360 immersive football in partnership with BT Research and Innovation and BT Sport, based on part of the 5G Edge-XR project. “We’re doing adaptive immersive audio so the audio matches the video, SAID Oldfield, “so you can experience sound in different parts of the stadium; as you move, the audio follows. This is important because, without the audio matching the visual perspective, it’s just not as compelling. If the visuals are interactive, the audio needs to adapt accordingly so the viewer buys into it. This is volumetric audio.” In addition, MixAir is being demonstrated with an as-live sport production showing AI auto mixing stems and multiple output formats.
Sencore (Stand 1.F72) has launched the SaaS-based Centra Gateway network-orchestration system. Senior Product Manager Aaron Doughten described Centra as “an end-to-end, holistic mothership of orchestration” that allows broadcasters to manage their entire media chain from a centralized, intuitive interface either located in the cloud or installed onsite. Although Sencore plans to expand functionality over the upcoming year, the IBC-ready release features the core functionality of the Centra Gateway: the reception, transmission, and conversion of internet protocols (RIST, SRT, Zixi, and HLS, along with MPEG-over-IP) for optimised distribution of video.
ST Engineering iDirect (Stand 1.A49) is launching its MCX8000 multi-carrier satellite gateway, which enables broadcasters to cater to every type of broadcast scenario, including high IP encapsulation rates for OTT applications. According to VP, market development and strategy, Jo De Loor, the unit’s hot-swappable design allows users to avoid downtime for repairs and reduce operating expenses (OPEX). The energy-efficient MCX8000 also features the company’s Clean Channel Technology, which ensures high bandwidth efficiency and thus also lowers OPEX. The brand-new, intuitive interface is designed to streamline the entire process, reducing the requirement for specialist knowledge.
Studio Network Solutions (Stand 7.A26) has unveiled updates to its EVO Suite of workflow tools: new features for ShareBrowser media-asset manager (MAM), Slingshot automations engine, and Nomad remote editing utility included with the EVO shared-storage workflow solution. In addition, according to marketing manager Melanie Ciotti, key enhancements to the EVO Suite include transcoding for Blackmagic, RED, and ARRI RAW files (as well as faster transcoding time), custom watermarking and burnt-in timecode (BITC) for proxy files, and improved integration with NewTek TriCaster workflows.
The Telos Alliance (Stand 8.A44) has its own stand but is also participating in the Grass Valley (Stand 9.A01) and AWS (Stand 5.C80) exhibits, where the Telos Infinity virtual intercom platform is demonstrated on the Grass Valley Agile Media Processing Platform (AMPP) and on AWS, respectively. Meanwhile, the Telos Alliance exhibit features a team of audio and broadcast experts ready to collaborate with visitors on projects and concepts, as well as providing insights into how hardware, software, or a hybrid combination allows them to enhance capabilities or solve problems in their facilities. “As we continue to provide more solutions to the industry,” says Marty Sacks, EVP, sales, marketing and strategy, Telos Alliance, “IBC 2022 is the perfect event at which to showcase our continued work across a wide range of file-based and real-time media workflows, including virtualization to empower our customers to broadcast without limits.”
Worldcast (Stand 8.C58) has launched Version 4.7 of Kybio, which includes an umbrella feature allowing a single instance of Kybio to monitor other Kybio instances and thus provide visibility over a decentralised team., “We came out with this feature out of the needs of our customers,” said Cyrus Uible, application engineer solution architect, Worldcast Group. “For distributed teams and, off the back of COVID, remote teams, this gives central management a way to get their fingers on everything.” Kybio also now has built-in self-monitoring, which provides an overview of the health of the system and allows problems to be stopped before they arise. Noted Uible, “The big [problem] is running out of disc space or being resource-starved. It gives you some visibility over that sort of issue.”
Sports broadcasters looking for advanced virtual-set technology might want to drop by the Zero Density (Stand 7.A59) exhibit. On show is TRAXIS talentS, an AI-powered markerless stereoscopic talent-tracking system that can identify the on-screen presenter or host inside a 3D virtual environment without the wearables. Location data is sent to Zero Density’s Unreal Engine-native platform Reality Engine from where accurate reflections, refractions, and virtual shadows can be created. Users can also automate graphics by location, trigger animations, and follow graphical “props”. Zero Density’s technology is used by BBC Sport on its Match of the Day programming and by IMG’s Premier League Productions for its international presentation studio. A new version of Zero Density’s Reality Hub control application is also on show. Version 1.3 includes a new form builder and separates user management into its own module.