Live from IBC 2023: Saturday’s latest from Amsterdam

The SVG Europe and SVG Americas teams are onsite in Amsterdam for IBC 2023. As the production and broadcast industry gathers to launch new products and to network, 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 AJA Video Systems, Black Box, Calrec, Caton Technology, Chyron, Dalet, Deltacast, Dizplai, Evertz, EVS, Ikegami, Imagen, Imagine Communications, Lawo, LiveU, MultiDyne, NativeWaves, Pixotope, Pliant Technologies, Quantum, Salsa Sound, Sencore, Sennheiser, SSL, TVU Networks, Vizrt, White Light, Zixi.

AJA Video Systems’ Nick Rashby

AJA Video Systems (Stand 7.C19) is highlighting new products and solutions: notably, KONA X and Desktop Software v17, HDR Image Analyzer 12G v3.0 Software, and add-ons to 12G-SDI openGear solutions. Compatible with new AJA Desktop Software v17 and with version 17 of the company’s world-class software-development kit (SDK), the KONA X four-lane PCIe 3.0 card offers ultra-low-latency video capture and playback for applications spanning M&E, live production, OEM development, and more. A 12G update to the popular HDR Image Analyzer HDR monitoring and analysis solution provides several new workflow capabilities to keep pace with evolving demands across live, on-set, QC, and postproduction environments. And AJA’s OG-12G-AM and OG-12G-AMA enable 16-channels (eight two-channel pairs) of AES/EBU and analog audio embedding/disembedding, respectively, and support 12G-SDI input and output up to 4K UHD. Overall, the company is working hard at keeping a consistent dialogue with their clients to ensure high-quality solutions that can solve the industry’s current challenges. “We’re continuing to talk to people and understand where our customers want to be in a year from now,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. “That certainly means the adoption of more IP video throughout the industry at every level, so you’ll see more products from us in the future that help support [IP].”

Audiotonix has announced that two of the companies under its umbrella, sister businesses Calrec (Stand 8.D60) and SSL (Stand 8.B81), are demonstrating the result of a joint development of a cloud-based processing block on the AWS stand (5.C90). Capitalising on their joint broadcast experience and DSP knowledge, both brands have spent time working with multiple broadcast clients across several PoC projects in the field to push the boundaries of cloud production. The resulting cloud-based processing engine will provide the backbone for future remote solutions for both manufacturers, with each brand developing its own commercial solutions with signature DSP sound and control. Said SSL director, product management, Tom Knowles, “Cloud production is going to give sports broadcasters additional ways to manage remote and distributed productions, allowing more events to be broadcast than they could traditionally do with onsite production.”

Black Box (Stand 10.F40) offers the Emerald DESKVUE receiver to give control-room users looking to create a personalized workspace all the power they need. Users tailor their workspace by connecting a single keyboard, mouse, USB 3/2 devices, audio, and up to four 4K/5K monitors to simultaneously monitor and interact with up to 16 preferred systems, whether physical, virtual, or cloud-based. It also supports 4K or 5K video on one to four screens, with instant mouse switching between sources, eliminating hotkey errors. Also on exhibit, the Black Box Emerald AV Wall facilitates display of a single source from an Emerald system on a video wall for viewing by a group. It directly supports a 2×2 video wall while allowing expansion in the number of supported monitors via additional units.

Calrec (Stand 8.D60) has launched ImPulse1, a DSP processing engine to go with its Argo consoles. Designed for smaller, single-mixer applications, ImPulse1 is offered with a DSP licence of 128 input channels without compromising its ST 2110 capability. The company expects it to be the mainstay of its new, smaller sports events and gameshow client productions.

Caton Technology (Stand 1.F36) is highlighting its global IP connectivity solutions, with the Caton Media XStream service taking centre stage. Media XStrea can carry content at high quality from any location, via the Caton Cloud. AI-based technology is used to reroute signals across multiple paths, resulting in a reliability rating that consistently exceeds 99.9999%, Caton said. At IBC 2023, the company’s demonstrations focus on three key applications: broadcast networks, live sports broadcasting, and delivery of live events to cinemas around the world.

Exhibiting at IBC for the first time since 2019, Chyron (Stand 7.A45) is highlighting live-production workflows for sports and news, featuring cloud-native all-in-one production tool Chyron LIVE. Shown in 1.5 beta version, the cloud-native, all-in-one live-production application is hosted on AWS, emphasizing security and improved user experience. Key elements of Chyron’s news portfolio are also being showcased in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS). New product offerings include PRIME 4.9 with enhanced performance, PAINT 9.6 featuring multi-angle telestration, and the debut of Chyron WEATHER 2.0, promising versatile weather-data presentation and integration with its CAMIO newsroom system. According to Chyron, CAMIO 5.4 underlines the firm’s commitment to cloud production, offering a mixer-free workflow solution that drives various graphical elements, video walls, and camera cues.

Dalet’s Robin Kirchhoffer (left) and Aaron Kroger

Dalet (Stand 7.B45) has unveiled Dalet InStream, an elastic IP ingest SaaS solution that enables customers to dynamically scale ingest operations in a matter of seconds. Complementing the high-density Dalet Brio on-premises ingest and playout platform, the cloud-native Dalet InStream leverages the agility and performance of the cloud in a pay-per-use model. According to Dalet chief marking officer Robin Kirchhoffer, InStream improves efficiency, flexibility, and cost savings in the captur of sports, news, and other live events. InStream also seamlessly integrates across the Dalet ecosystem — Dalet Flex, Dalet Pyramid, and Dalet Galaxy 5 — enabling customers to schedule, record, access, edit, and deliver content from anywhere, faster than ever. In addition, the company is showcasing new features for its Dalet Cut web-based editor, which debuted at NAB 2023.

Deltacast DELTA-stadium

Deltacast (Stand 7.B12) is showing a new studio application for its DELTA-stadium solution. The DELTA-stadium turnkey system manages screens and LED ribbons from a single interface. When it is combined with Deltacast’s DELTA-cg graphic engine and Template Editor real-time graphic editor, projects can be designed and imported into DELTA-stadium while on-air. With the system well-established in stadiums around France — Monaco, Stasbourg, Lens, Lille, Nice, Olympique Lyonnaise, Stade de France and Toulouse — Deltacast is using IBC 2023 to demonstrate it in a new studio configuration.

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.

SaaS (software-as-a-service) tools represent a major trend at IBC 2023, and Evertz (Stand 1.B79) is offering Reflektor, a SaaS media-transcoding and -distribution platform that can make remote contribution easier. It’s designed to help users manage MPEG-TS, NDI, SMPTE  ST 2110, HLS, MPEG DASH, and other digital-signal formats; SRT and RIST secure and reliable transport protocols; and H.264,HEVC or JPEG-XS high-quality codecs found in today’s remote-contribution applications. For example, Reflektor will transcode incoming formats to handoff NDI and/or route SRT/RIST streams for cloud applications, and it uses licensed microservices and processing nodes on-premises or in the cloud to normalise signal types to suit the needs of the end user or final application.

EVS (Stand 10.A25) has launched VIA Media Asset Platform with the aim of “reshaping the landscape of content creation and media management.” VIA MAP enables a cohesive and open ecosystem by bringing live production together with distribution and review. The platform comprises a series of applications and backend engines, including a core engine for ingest, playout management, import/export capabilities, and search and browsing. Also, a data engine to optimise workflows and OpenGate API, which is described as a versatile API gateway that flawlessly integrates third-party systems. According to EVS, the introduction of VIA MAP is a direct outcome of the strategic investments the company has made in research and development resources over the past years. Said EVS CTO Alex Redfern, “The diverse applications and core engines composing the platform establish a flexible and scalable environment for our customers, enabling a seamless transition from traditional production models to a fully cohesive media environment.”

If you love checking out new cameras, the Ikegami stand (12.A31) offers plenty to see. The company is rolling out three new lineups with a total of seven cameras the European market: UNICAM XE product family offering 4K, HD, HFR, and HDR; UNICAM HD system, HD and HDR; and UHL-Compact Series for low-light shooting in 4K, HD, and HDR. Topping the list, the UHK-X600, the latest in the famous UNICAM XE line-up, is designed for use in studio or OB applications. Incorporating three 2/3-in. oversampling UHD CMOS sensors with global shutter, it delivers 1000 TVL resolution and minimal aliasing plus a high sensitivity of F11 at 2000 lx (in 50p mode) and offrs full support of HDR (Hybrid Log Gamma) with the ability to select between BT.2020 and BT.709 colour spaces.

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.

Imagine Communications (Stand 2.A15) is encouraging IBC visitors with questions about the technical, operational, and business aspects of adopting SMPTE ST 2110 to visit its stand and speak with the company’s IP experts. Imagine president Steve Reynolds said the company wants to share its “real-world experience and showcase our latest open-standard ST 2110 solutions that enable media companies to migrate from SDI to IP at the pace that works for their business.” Recent deployments include Italian communications and broadcast-transmission specialist EI Towers, which aired the 2022-23 season of Italy’s football Lega Serie A from a new broadcast centre built on ST 2110–compliant IP infrastructure produced by Imagine and implemented by Creative Technology, and Sky Italia, which used a planned technology refresh to migrate its Rome operations centre to ST 2110.

Lawo’s (Stand 8.B90) HOME apps are taking centre stage at IBC 2023. HOME Multiviewer, HOME UDX Converter, HOME Stream Transcoder, and HOME Graphic Inserter harness the power of a flexible microservice architecture. They deliver processing capabilities with minimal compute power and energy consumption, allowing customers to adapt swiftly to changing requirements and budget conditions, according to Lawo. The apps support SMPTE ST 2110, SRT, JPEG XS, and NDI for increasingly mixed technology environments and can easily adapt to new format requirements as these become relevant. The apps run on standard servers on-premises, in remote data centres, or in the public cloud. Said Lawo Chief Marketing Officer Andreas Hilmer, “HOME apps provide the ultimate flexibility for broadcast infrastructure, allowing users to adjust to any last-minute changes without the need to have additional hardware with them. They can easily spin up or spin down an app; it’s the ultimate commercial flexibility.”

LiveU’s Ronen Artman

LiveU’s (Stand 7.B19) EcoSystem is at the center of its efforts at IBC 2023 through partnerships with numerous companies, including Dina/Mimir, Marquis, and Wolftech. The LiveU EcoSystem is highly adaptable and open to other IP protocols. It is built on LiveU’s LRT (LiveU Reliable Transport) protocol for low latency, high quality, and rock-solid resiliency. The company is presenting its EcoSystem across contribution, production, and distribution with its suite of IP-video solutions. As a whole, LiveU’s mission is to supply a full suite of offerings that cater to all of its clients’ needs. “When you put everything that’s included into our EcoSystem together, we’re providing an end-to-end solution for each of our customers,” says Ronen Artman, VP, marketing, LiveU. “While we’re still focusing on 5G solutions as our bread and butter, we want to change people’s perception of what we provide.” Also, the company is demonstrating the private 5G workflow used for the coronation of King Charles III.

MultiDyne’s (Stand 10.B40) Honey Badger stadium signal extender, a big hit at NAB 2022, is having its IBC debut. On the remote side, the 5RU rack-mountable chassis can handle up to eight cameras with return feeds, as well as Genlock extension and partyline intercom channels (and eight mic pre-inputs) as well as two isolated 1 GbE LAN extensions for IP connectivity. On the local side, a 4RU chassis has full-size BNCs for video and XLR input for audio, as well as Phoenix connectors for serial-data needs. It can also support 12 G-SDI for 4K applications.

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.

Pliant Technologies (Stand 10.C67) has introduced a wireless beltpack that can be used in unlicensed spectrum across most of Europe (specifically the 863-865–MHz ISM band). Key features include two intercom channels and the ability to support up to six full-duplex users with unlimited listeners as well as 12-hour field-replaceable battery.

Quantum’s Natasha Beckley (left) and Skip Levens

Quantum (Stand 7.C41) is offering preconfigured bundles to make it easier to purchase and deploy its ActiveScale Cold Storage S3-enabled object-storage solution. The solution, which is architected for both active and cold data sets and reduces cold storage costs by up to 60% (according to Quantum). With the massive amount of data that customers need to retain for business and compliance purposes, customers are using both public- and private-cloud resources to store and manage this data, driven by budget, frequency at which access to the data is needed, and data-protection requirements. According to Skip Levens, marketing director, M&E, ActiveScale allows customers to build their own cloud-storage resource to control costs and ensure fast, easy access to their data for compliance, analysis, and deeper insights.

Salsa Sound (Stand 8.B77d) is demonstrating MixAir 3.0, the biggest update to MixAir since its first release. Among the features of the new version are NDI and SRT over IP simultaneous with normal channel-based and next-generation formats. Said Ben Shirley, co-founder/director, Salsa Sound and associate professor, audio technology, University of Salford, “It’s an easy interface to connect to. It’ll sit anywhere you want in the broadcast chain. We’re demonstrating the full broadcast chain here, including mixing multiple simultaneous sports to audio over IP. Also,” Shirley added, “we can now do more with next-generation audio formats. We showed the integration of MPEG-H last year in a real-time workflow; this year, we’ve enhanced our capability in object-based authoring still further. Come and see us!”

Sencore (Stand 1.F72) is highlighting the latest innovations in internet delivery, monitoring and analysis, and commercial AV solutions. Four main products — Centra Gateway, Quad-Port RF Monitoring Blade VB258, OmniHub 6-16 Modular Video Processing Platform, and the Impulse 400D 4K UHD Receiver Decoder — are on display. Centra Gateway is redefining content delivery and distribution. The Quad-Port RF Monitoring Blade VB258 is a solution for real-time monitoring of RF signals with twice the density of its predecessor. OmniHub 6-16 is an efficient solution for video processing and content management. The Impulse 400D offers decoding capabilities for heightened UHD-content delivery.

Sennheiser (Stand 8.C47), Neumann, Dear Reality, and Merging Technologies are demonstrating state-of-the art immersive-production workflows as well as exciting solutions for audio capture, monitoring, and processing. In the immersive presentation zone, powered by a 5.1.4 Neumann monitor setup with nine KH 150 monitor loudspeakers and two KH 750 DSP subwoofers, attendees will be able to get hands-on with the Dolby Atmos and immersive-broadcast workflows facilitated by the products of Merging Technologies, the newest member of the Sennheiser Group. The company will show its Anubis, Hapi, Pyramix, and Ovation solutions integrated in typical broadcast workflows. In addition to its new Dolby Atmos-certified monitoring package, Merging Technologies will show a brand-new interpretation solution.

SSL (Stand 8.B81) has launched the Tempest Control App for System T. TCA allows the user to run software from a physical console on a computer or virtual machine to directly control the Tempest Processing Engine. It can be used in many scenarios: for instance, to build a flypack with an IO to send to a venue, controlled directly from a console in a broadcast centre, or to use as backup for an existing surface for additional redundancy. Said SSL broadcast product manager Bernie Carpenter, “We’re excited about the additional flexibility this brings to the System T platform, with software-only control that allows us to better add use cases, such as remote production, automated news, or [applications] anywhere you might not want large physical control surfaces.”

TVU Networks The One 5G transmitter

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.

If stopping by the Vizrt stand (10.A41) and checking out new TriCaster products is on your to-do list, you might want to schedule some extra time: the portfolio has expanded by 50% since last year. One cool new option for streaming sports content is TriCaster Mini Go, which is priced at $US4,995 and features USB, NDI, and SRT connectivity; four inputs; 2M/E; two layers; two keyers; and mix outputs at HD resolution. According to Vizrt, it offers creators anywhere a simple setup with a wealth of professional-level video-production features, such advanced graphics capabilities using Live Link. And real-time social-media publishing helps content creators get content out to fans as simply and quickly as possible.

Consultancy skills in studio installations are a big part of White Light’s (Stand 3.B24) exhibit. The company played an important role in development of a new flexible-use mixed-reality presentation studio  that Sky Sports has built in the UK for its flagship Monday Night Football show and other sports output. And it is this kind of work that White Light business development director Neil Coles wants to accentuate: “No two studios are the same. We provide the building blocks.” The company is also involved in three IBC Accelerator projects, including Real-Time XR Sport Edge. The PoC and its findings will be shared on Monday 18 September at 12:15-13:15 on the Innovation Stage.

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.

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