SportTechBuzz at IBC 2018: Sunday’s Latest From Amsterdam
IBC is in full swing here in Amsterdam and the SVG Europe and SVG editorial teams are chasing down the hottest stories from all over the Rai convention centre. To make the onslaught of announcements easily digestible for our readers, SVG Europe is sending you a daily SportsTechBuzz at IBC 2018, with all the top stories gathered together in one easy to read blog from our newshounds.
Today’s edition features AJA, Amimon, Arista, Audinate, AWS Elemental, Canon Europe, ChyronHego, Cisco, Dolby, Euro Media Group, EVS, FOR-A, Hitomi, Imagine Communications, Limelight Networks, LiveU, Genelec, Grabyo, M2A Media, Media Links, NEP, Net Insight, Quantum, Ross Video, Sony, Tedial, V-Nova, VSN, Wave Central, WorldCast Connect.
Dolby (2.A11) has announced that the 2018 Super Penguin Ultimate Game, which took place on 15 September, was streamed live in Dolby Vision HDR via Tencent Video and was accessible to Tencent Video Super VIP users in China with select Dolby Vision-enabled TVs. This makes Tencent Video the world’s first OTT content service provider to deliver a live Dolby Vision experience. The 2018 Super Penguin Ultimate Game was Tencent’s third annual celebrity basketball game. This year, former NBA players Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh joined seventeen of China’s top celebrities and two Chinese professional basketball players. Dolby Vision can deliver colours never seen before on a screen, incredible contrast, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker.
Media Links ((1.C31) has added TICO lightweight compression to its new MDP3040 IP Media Gateway. This is a two channel 4K/UHD TICO lightweight compression encoder/decoder, supporting several configurations. Two 12G-SDI inputs can be TICO encoded and transmitted over dual 10GbE network trunk interfaces or two TICO encoded network streams can be simultaneously received and decoded as two 12G-SDI outputs. For delivering 4K/UHD signals over existing 3G-SDI infrastructures, the MDP3040 can function as a standalone two channel 12G-SDI input to two channel TICO compressed BNC output encoder, or as a two channel TICO compressed BNC input to two channel 12G-SDI output decoder.
Hitomi (2.C11) has gone all out and launched its new test pattern generator, IndentBox. This solution offers a complete range of test patterns and also provides a comprehensive video and audio identing system, which is easily controlled via an intuitive user interface. Video identification is achieved using text overlay, designed for clear readability and contrast against any background. It also has an HDR pattern. Said Steve Pritchard, lead engineer: “This launch of IndentBox is crucial because HDR is becoming more popular, so this test pattern generator is going to be important for the industry. This system is also easily upgradable to MatchBox.”
FOR-A (2.A51) is using this edition of IBC to showcase its 12G-SDI strategy. The company, “strongly believes 12G is currently the right choice for sports, concerts and corporate events, and 4K productions,” as a result of its reliability, ease of operation and quality interfacing. But while it is showcasing multiple new 12G products at IBC 2018, FOR-A is also developing IP-based products, the company confirmed.
LiveU (3.B62) has enjoyed an incredibly successful 2018 with the company’s popular products, including its on-the-go cellular-bonder uplink units, seeing wide usage at major global sporting events like the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Here at IBC, the company’s big announcement is the introduction of the LU600 unit, which brings all of the high-powered benefits of HEVC 4K-SDI is an even smaller form factor with extended battery life. Mike Savello, LiveU’s VP of sales, is bullish on the product and is expecting the units to sell quickly.
On Friday, (1.A71) Cisco presented a special panel, moderated by SVG director of digital, Brandon Costa, that dug into how IP is playing a role in “Advancing Hollywood and Sports Technology Innovation”. The panel featured Walt Disney Studios VP of technology and innovation Ben Havey, SWR director of engineering and production Markus Ostertag, Arena TV deputy director of operations Dafydd Rees, and Cisco global director of M&E, Roger Sherwood.
Net Insight (1. B40) head of business development, Kristian Mets, said that the company is showcasing its new ST 2010 wide area networking (WAN) tool at IBC 2018. He explained how the move to IP-driven remote production for sports and events was proving a huge catalyst for the Swedish company. “We are working to enable a distributed media factory,” he said. “This will allow for unified workflows and structure that will ultimately deliver efficiencies across equipment, talent and human resources. What we offer is the chance for companies to operate seamlessly across organisational and geographic boundaries.”
At its press conference at IBC, AJA (stand 7.C25) announced new tools and updates that optimise the creation and delivery of multi-format content, allowing professionals to embrace the latest 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 technology, as well as emerging IP and HDR standards and formats. From KONA 5 with 12G-SDI I/O and the IPR-10G2-HDMI and IPR-10G2-SDI SMPTE ST 2110 receivers, to the HDR Image Analyzer, AJA’s latest developments look to address the dynamic needs of production, post, broadcast, streaming and AV professionals. The company also announced updates for its KONA, Io and T-TAP I/O products, FS-HDR converter, Ki Pro Ultra Plus digital recorder and player, and HELO for H.264 streaming and recording.
ChyronHego (7.C21) has launched Vidigo News, an all-in-one newsroom production solution designed specifically for OTT content creation and publishing. Vidigo News packages ChyronHego’s Vidigo Live Compositor, a software solution for live multicamera production, with the LyricX graphics creation and playout solution, Live Assist playout automation system, and a custom GUI based on the Live Assist Panels user interface and control panel creation tool. Vidigo News combines a scalable switcher, audio mixer, video effects engine, LyricX graphics channel, clip players, and even robotic camera control into a single system that can be controlled by a single operator.
AWS Elemental (5.C80) reflected on a big deployment this summer as part of global coverage of this summer’s big football tournament. Supporting numerous international rightsholders, AWS Elemental Media Services powered live streamed experiences as an estimated 3.4 billion people who watched with its equipment being used in the central equipment room by the tournament’s host broadcaster.
In addition, US Spanish-language rights holder Telemundo Deportes – powered by NBC Sports’ Playmaker Media – used AWS Elemental to send contribution streams from its network operations centre in Moscow back to NBC Sports in Stamford, Conn., and to power HD streaming of the matches nationally on En Vivo and NBC Sports apps. According to GlobalWebIndex, the largest TV audiences for this event were in Latin America. Among AWS deployments in that region were izzi, the largest cable provider in Mexico, which serves approximately 4.5 million households. izzi used AWS Elemental Media Services, AWS Elemental solutions, and the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) for streaming premium channels and in the 40 matches that izzi had the rights to transmit games over the izzi GO app.
Quantum (7. B07) is on hand in Amsterdam to debut the latest version of its flagship StoreNext storage platform (version 6.2) and the introduction of high speed NVMe storage to its Xcellis scale-out storage appliances. According to Molly Presley, VP, product management and global marketing, the addition of NVMe storage, which offers 22 GBps streaming bandwidth, can boost ingest speed by up to 10 times. In addition, Xcellis can now deliver shared content and files across SAN and NAS, creating the optimal solution for hybrid fibre channel/Ethernet environments. Quantum also now offers an S3 interface to Xcellis appliances, providing easier integration to the cloud or web-based applications.
This year at IBC, VSN (7.B19) is debuting new integrated AI tools in its VSNExplorer MAM focused on automatic metadata detection and cataloguing, and improved content creation and news production. According to Roberto Duif, sales director, Latin America and Caribbean. and Juan Valcarcel, pre-sales and solutions architect for Americas, VSN is staying vendor-agnostic in order to allow clients to choose from Microsoft, Google, IBM Watson, and other AI technologies. In addition, VSN debuted a beta version of a cloud-based VSNCrea traffic and scheduling tool.
Limelight Networks (stand B.52) has introduced Limelight Realtime Streaming, the first globally scalable, sub-second live video streaming solution that’s natively supported by major browsers and devices. The new service also supports integrated real time data, making it possible to create interactive live online experiences. As viewing data from the recent FIFA World Cup and live streaming services from social media platforms have revealed, people are watching more live events online than ever before. However, streams of live events are typically delayed from the broadcast feed by 30 seconds or more. Limelight Realtime Streaming eliminates these challenges by enabling organisations to stream live video from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world in less than a second, providing online viewers with the same experience enjoyed by broadcast viewers.
EVS (8.B90) announced yesterday that Fox Sports Australia would be producing all of its upcoming cricket broadcasts in 4K UHD. NEP Australia will be delivering the content from its four 4K UHD production trucks. NEP has recently taken delivery of 18 XT-VIA and 4 XS-VIA servers for the project. The first match will be broadcast on 4 November. EVS also revealed how it has recently equipped NEP’s two Andrew’s Production Hubs, based in Sydney and Melbourne, with 27 XT servers, enabling it to produce over 500 events each year via remote production from 30 venues. Mark Segar, NEP Australia director of technology, said: “All cricket that will be broadcast on Fox will be 4K UHD. It is captured in 4K and replayed in 4K.” He went on to explain how EVS technology is enabling NEP to develop its anyone, anywhere, approach to remote production. EVS also showcased its successful 4K strategy by highlighting high profile sports productions undertaken in Switzerland and Germany.
Tedial’s (8.B41) SmartLive automated production system, which launched at NAB in April, is making its European debut at IBC. According to VP of products Jermone Wauthoz, the SmartLive system marries AI with a unique metadata engine to automate the production of highlights packages, media logging, and clip creation and distribution (including social media campaigns). At IBC, Tedial has integrated Speechmatics speech-to-text technology and added a new AI-powered auto-logging tool.
“This is the year that we can truly say ‘IP is real,’” said Ed Chapman, VP business development, alliances, and sales at Arista (8.E30). Arista is showcasing its scalable switching platforms, which Chapman says have been increasingly adopted by live sports producers, including NEP (in conjunction with Wimbledon), Timeline TV, and others. In addition to participating in the AIMS IP interop at IBC and showcasing IP workflows at its booth with partners like Lawo, EVS, Axon, and Nevion, more than two dozen companies are utilising Arista switches at their booths throughout the RAI.
Ross Video’s David Ross spoke at a press conference about a plethora of launches and enhancements to the company’s portfolio being launched here at IBC (stand 11.C10). Among the highlights were Newt, an IP ST2110 point of use gateway, with V2.20 offering UHD at 2160p 50 with redundancy, that Ross said, “We’re doing especially for UHD in Europe”. The company also announced Iggy, a broadly interoperable AES67 and ST2110 to Madi audio converter. Ross noted that, “some of the people in our industry seem to have almost forgotten audio,” but that Ross had not and Iggy was the rather cool answer. The company also announced the launch of BACH Liberty and XPression V.85.
On stand 8.D61 Genelec international project manager, Howard Jones, said there has been, “a huge amount of interest,” in its new high SPL SAM products, the two-way S360 monitor and the 7382 subwoofer. Both models have been developed to suit professional applications where there is a particular requirement for high acoustic power or listening at a distance, including immersive set ups. On a related note, Genelec is also highlighting the recent publication of its Genelec Immersive Solutions guide to making better use of immersive audio.
IP audio leader Audinate (8.A19) is previewing a new feature in Dante Controller at IBC2018. Dante Updater allows devices to easily update with the latest firmware, adding to Dante’s innate interoperability. To be installed with new versions of Dante Controller, Dante Updater will automatically scan the Dante network, identifying devices for which it has new firmware or manufacturer software available, and download the required files from its own managed database.
Software solutions provider WorldCast Connect (8.C58), a spinoff of WorldCast Systems, is making a splash at IBC this year with the introduction of WorldCast Manager, its enterprise NMS/OSS software. The platform is scalable and multi-faceted, centralising the monitoring and management of all connected devices across one or multiple networks. The company is also offering a follow up look at its Mobile SureStreamer that first launched back at NAB Show. Designed by WorldCast Systems’ APT Codec division, it can be used to maximise the uptime and broadcast quality of existing hardware or software audio codecs over 3G/4G networks.
Wave Central’s Axis integrated 4K/HDR/HFR slo-mo RF system is on display at the Grass Valley stand (9.A01) tied into the Grass Valley LDX-86 universal camera. The system allows the user to switch from 4K or HDR mode to 1080p/180fps mode and the system also offers paint control and makes use of h.264 or MPEG2 encoding.
Canon Europe (12.D60) has bolstered its professional 4K broadcast lens range with the launch of three new lenses, including two new broadcast field zoom lenses in 4K Premium optical quality. Firstly, the UHD DIGISUPER 122, which is claimed to achieve the world’s widest angle, longest focal length and highest zoom ratio and secondly, the UHD-DIGISUPER 111, which offers a long focal length and high zoom ratio for a wide range of shooting scenarios. The CJ25ex7.6B has also been added to Canon’s UHDxs series of portable zoom lenses for 4K broadcast cameras with 2/3-inch sensors, offering a 25x zoom ratio, a focal length range from 7.6 mm to 190 mm and high optical performance.
At IBC Grabyo (14.D22) has introduced its enhanced video editing platform, Grabyo Editor. It is a set of browser-based editing tools for creating and distributing short video clips, highlights and social video from live streams, VOD and mobile sources. The new service combines the speed and flexibility of Grabyo’s cloud-based platform with simple, effective tools for video editors. Accessed using a web browser, Grabyo Editor significantly reduces the time it takes to produce high-quality video content by enabling users to produce short clips and longer-form videos with multiple video inputs, graphics, imagery and audio.
Video compression company V-Nova (14.C36) has announced the availability of its Perseus Plus SDK for the Socionext security and broadcast solutions based on its SC2A11 processor. It combines the compression performance of Perseus Plus and the density and power-efficiency of the Socionext processor. In a broadcast environment, the joint solution enables operators, service providers, and transcoding equipment manufacturers to build and deploy an efficient and cost effective encoding and transcoding solution. Unlike H.264 or HEVC, Perseus Plus enables delivery to all devices even in bandwidth constrained conditions. On a sample 2U server with 32x CPU cards loaded, a complete ABR ladder for twenty full HD 1080p60 Perseus Plus-enabled channels can be encoded, in real time, at 300W compared to using 2x 4U appliances consuming over 4KW for lower picture quality.
Sony (stand 13.A10) is growing its IP Live Production System solutions with further support for SMPTE ST 2110 in both HD and 4K. This strengthens its commitment to driving interoperability based on open standards and supports wider industry adoption. In addition, Sony today announced a new model to its NXCAM handheld camcorder line-up, the HXR-NX200. Lastly, Sony showcased a new 31-inch Grade 1 reference monitor, the BVM-HX310. “The industry transition to IP has been driven by collaboration,” explained Deon LeCointe, senior manager for sports and IP solutions, Sony Electronics Professional Solutions Americas. “Sony has been leading the transition and we continue to actively invest in shaping the IP landscape to offer customers the best systems, services, and support they need to unlock IP’s full potential. By enhancing our live production offering with new support for SMPTE ST 2110 in both HD and 4K, we’re giving our customers ecosystems and technologies they need for their future.”
Amimon (12.G74), creator of wireless HD Joint-Source-Channel-Coding (JSCC) technology, and Teradek (12.E65) are partnering to launch Amimon Original Programme here at IBC. This programme aims to provide customers with the tools to recognise original products, and to fully understand the differences and risks associated with using replica and unoriginal products. The movie production, aerial filming, live broadcasting, and real time video distribution systems require wireless video with near zero-latency and high picture fidelity. Original products are critical to avoid interruptions or unexpected cut-offs and to ensure robust, smooth production flows with top quality transmission.
M2A Media (14.H04) has unveiled its new Dynamic Content Insertion product at IBC. The M2A DCI solution allows broadcasters and OTT content publishers to serve customised content, be it adverts, promos, subtitles or audio, to different viewers depending on where they are in the world, so better localising and monetising live video streams. Valentijn Siebrands, solutions architect, commented: “This solution means you only have one playout to manage for multiple regions, which makes the whole process more efficient and easier to control, and cost efficient; playout systems are usually expensive.” The new product is designed to be integrated server-side, enabling a seamless transition between broadcast and embedded content resulting in a single stream that can be deployed across all devices, including set-top boxes, mobiles and tablets.
In the IP Showcase on Saturday, SVG’s own Ken Kerschbaumer chaired a discussion on stage with Tom Giles, technical manager at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), and Ronald Meyvisch, CTO at Euro Media Group (stand 0.A01). Titled, ‘IP and Sports Production: Winning Ways’, the session looked at how IP is impacting sports production. Giles spoke about how he, with the help of partner NEP (stand 14.C48), overhauled, rebuilt and remodelled Wimbledon, AELTC’s infamous base, starting in 2016 when AELTC took over as host broadcaster from the BBC’s 90 year reign. Meanwhile Meyrisch went into detail on the in, outs, practicalities and realities of the company’s OBjective 2020, aimed at designing a new concept for future media production solutions.
Imagine Communications (4.A01) has worked with Italian systems integrator Chromaline to build a state-of-the-art truck for Italian outside broadcast company, Global Production. The new truck is a first in terms of the number of true 4K Ultra HD cameras it supports and its comprehensive production capability. While there are a number of Ultra HD trucks on the road today, most rely on up-conversion of some cameras to provide the number of viewpoints that sports viewers expect. Global Production aimed for maximum quality, and asked Chromaline to investigate the practicalities of an uncompromised vehicle capable of supporting as many as 30 4K cameras.
“The challenge lies in the maximum size and weight of vehicle which can be taken on the roads,” said Nicola Dall’Asta, CEO at Chromaline. “It simply would not have been conceivable to fit everything into the truck using conventional technologies and architectures. The only solution was to make everything ourselves, relying upon software solutions as much as possible to maximise space and ensure the best operational environment for the crews.”