SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019: Tuesday’s Latest From Vegas
The NAB Show is in full swing in Las Vegas, and the SVG and SVG Europe editorial teams are chasing down the hottest stories from all over the LVCC show floor. To make the onslaught of announcements easily digestible for our readers, SVG is sending you a daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019 roundup, with all the top stories gathered together in one easy to read blog from our newshounds.
Today’s edition features Akamai, Blackmagic, Calrec, CenturyLink, Cobalt Digital, CP Communications, Disguise, Evertz, EVS, Focusrite, Genelec, Gerling and Associates, Grass Valley, G&D North America, Hitomi, Imagine Communications, Leader, LinkedIn, M2A Media, MediaKind, Mobile TV Group, Mobile Viewpoint, Net Insight, Nevion, Nine Entertainment, Open Broadcast Systems, PCCW Global, Qvest Media, Red Bee Media, Riedel Communications, RIST Working Group, Roe Visual, Roland, SailGP, Sennheiser, Shoflo, Shure, Signiant, Skyline Communications, Solid State Logic, Sony Imaging Products and Solutions, Spectra Logic, Streamroot, Telstra Broadcast Services, V-Nova, Whisper Films, WorldStage, Zixi, Zixo.
Shoflo (Booth N3924) arrived at its fourth NAB Show with a focus on eSports. “We’ve got a lot of eSports teams that are already using our software around the globe,” said Founder and CEO Stephen Bowles. “We’ve been really dialing in the product around their workflows.” In addition, Shoflo is showing off the integration of teleprompting capabilities within its production rundown software, enabling producers to manage and make adjustments to their rundown and scripts on one platform, keeping both in sync. Following its acquisition of TSE ScriptPro last year, Shoflo invites TSE’s clients that are now part of the Shoflo family to stop by.
After demoing the prototype of its KVM-over-IP matrix switching system at last year’s NAB Show, G&D North America (Booth N3424) is now showing the final, shipping product on its booth. The system enables highly scalable and flexible distributed switching of computer signals via standard IP-based networks and over existing network infrastructures, and offers broadcasters cross-system, platform-independent operation and extensive interoperability. The KVM-over-IP extends real 4K over IP and ensures pixel-perfect video transmission for DisplayPort 1.2 signals for resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz. In addition, G&D is showing its the DP1.2-VisionXG KVM extender, which provides transmission of high-resolution, 4K and 8K video signals at 60Hz, uncompressed and latency-free.
Riedel Communications (Booth C6537) unveiled its new Artist-1024 node, a powerful expansion to the Artist intercom ecosystem, at a press conference here at NAB. The Artist-1024 node offers 1,024 non-blocking ports in 2 RU, reducing rack space requirements. This latest addition to the Artist ecosystem introduces a range of technical innovations centered on software-definable Universal Interface Cards (UIC). This entirely new type of interface card combines networking, mixing, and management, and can be configured to act as an AES67 or MADI subscriber card, or as an Artist fiber/router/processor card. “System compatibility and the sustainability of client investments are of the utmost importance to us,” said Thomas Riedel, President and CEO at Riedel Communications. “The Artist-1024 node will suit new clients looking to have a comprehensive and future-ready system today as well as those clients who have supported us for years and are now ready to take the step to IP infrastructures.”
Those looking for new solutions to the challenge of producing tier two and three events more affordably will want to swing by CP Communications (Booth C3307, shared with Mobile Viewpoint). Kurt Heitmann, CEO of CP Communications, said the Red House Streaming production packages can meet a variety of needs and make use of public internet and Mobile Viewpoint TerraLink encoders. Cam Stream is for one or two-camera shoots; Multicam Stream for at home productions with up to four cameras, and Production Stream is for productions with up to seven cameras (the latter package also includes a SimplyLive ViBox 8 switcher). “It’s a truck in a box and pricing depends on how you configure it,” said Heitmann. “We have been looking at the competitive marketplace for years and we know the business is out there. We think if you build it, they will come.”
Solid State Logic (Booth C3026) has joined Sennheiser’s (Booth C1307) Ambeo for VR Partnership Program. Solid State Logic’s S500, S300 and TCR System T broadcast mixing consoles will now feature onboard Ambeo A-B conversion for the Sennheiser Ambeo VR Mic. “The partnership with Sennheiser Ambeo expands our growing functionality to provide processing for multiple audio formats for immersive and three-dimensional audio; channel-based, objects, Ambisonics and binaural,” commented Tom Knowles, SSL Broadcast Product Manager.
Focusrite (Booth C2052) has released RedNet Control 2.3, a free update that unifies RedNet Control with configuration, status monitoring, metering and extended operational control of the Red 4Pre, Red 8Pre, Red 16Line, Focusrite’s range of audio interfaces offering up to 64 in / 64 out Thunderbolt I/O with Pro Tools, HD and Dante network audio connectivity.
Genelec (Booth C4748) demonstrated a selection of its active monitors in an immersive 7.1.4 Atmos configuration. The system is composed of S360A Smart Active Monitors (L-C-R), 8341A’s (side and rear), 8331A’s (overheads), and 7382A and 7360A subwoofers (sub and bass management). These models will be used to demonstrate monitoring solutions for immersive mixing for music and post in Atmos.
Roland (Booth C7712) demoed its VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer, which can produce dynamic, multi-camera vlogcasts, podcasts and live-streamed performances. Compact and portable, the VR-1HD has three HDMI inputs that each accept HD and computer video resolutions up to 1080p, avoiding compatibility issues. HDMI-embedded audio from all sources can be mixed with the two studio-quality XLR microphone inputs and analog line input. The VR-1HD is designed with dedicated controls and features that accommodate operation by talent during live broadcasting, a benefit that easily puts talent in their own director’s chair.
On Monday morning Shure (Booth C6015) unveiled TwinPlex, the company’s new line of premium subminiature (5 mm) omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones. TwinPlex consists of four lavaliers (TL45, TL46, TL47, TL48) and an ultra-light, fully adjustable headset microphone (TH53) with extensive accessories and options. The dual-diaphragm omnidirectional design yields extraordinary off-axis consistency. Available in 1.1 mm and 1.6 mm options, the paintable cables are immune to kinks and memory effects. The superhydrophobic coating and interchangeable sweat-resistant frequency caps keep perspiration and moisture from upstaging the audio.
Mobile TV Group has rolled out its latest truck, the 45 Flex, at Gerling and Associates’ NAB 2019 stand (Booth OE2000), marking the first-ever, “end-to-end native IP mobile unit,” according to MTVG President Philip Garvin. The entire truck is fully ST-2110 integrated, including the Grass Valley Kayenne K-Frame X switcher, Grass Valley LDX 86 and LDX 82 cameras (with IP XCU’s), Evertz EXE-VSR router and Magnum control systems (100GB port capability), EVS XT VIA replay servers, Evertz multiviewer, Calrec Artemis audio console, and Leader LV7600 IP waveform/vector rasterizer.
SOUTH LOWER HALL
Cobalt Digital (Booth SL9111) offers up a couple of reasons for current customers and those who want to learn more about the company to stop by. Topping the list is a prototype of a decoder that Chris Shaw, Cobalt Digital, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said answers the needs of current customers and those who have been holding off on purchasing a Cobalt Encoder because there was not a decoder component. “It’s going to increase our business,” noted Shaw of the ability to offer a comprehensive system. “It can auto decode h.264 and h.265 and also has 4K capability.” And with respect to encoders the 99920-ENC series of HEVC/h.264/MPEG-5 encoders for OpenGear frames is also on display. It has low-latency 8-bit and 10-bit 4:2:0 encoding and for high-end contribution optional license keys support HEVC and 4:2:2 encoding.
Another reason to stop by the Cobalt booth is to learn more about the RIST Working Group which was born out of the Video Services Forum (VSF). It is comprised of a number of manufacturers, including Zixo, Net Insight, Evertz, Nevion, and more, and the goal is to make it easier to use the Internet as a cost-effective contribution link for broadcasters. Ciro Noronha, Ph.D, Cobalt Design, director of technology, said that many products can do that but that, until RIST, they were not interoperable. “Now you can have a mix-and-match of equipment from different vendors and it will all play nice,” he said. To check out a real-world demo visit YouTube and search for RIST at NAB 2019.
Signiant (Booth SL10216) has launched Jet, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that is said to make it easier to automate and speed-up the transfer of large files between geographically dispersed locations. Targeted at simple “lights-out” use cases, Jet is an alternative to scripted FTP and makes use of Signiant’s SaaS platform, which also underpins the company’s Media Shuttle. Marketed at small and mid-sized businesses, it is based on a proprietary transport protocol that optimizes network performance under all network conditions.
An interesting newbie to NAB this year is Disguise (Booth SL9324). The London-based company has huge experience in the music touring market and is now bringing that expertise to the broadcast sector where it is looking to disrupt in augmented reality (AR) and virtual sets, particularly within sports television. Exhibiting alongside its certified solution provider WorldStage and Roe Visual, Disguise is showcasing extended reality (xR) at the show. The technology gives production teams the ability to deliver AR and mixed reality within a studio environment. With no need for a green screen, benefits include talent immersion, interaction with CG elements, real lighting information on actors and real objects. xR is still in development, alongside a beta development group.
Akamai (Booth SL3324) is touting Cloud Wrapper, a newly available development for its live and on-demand streaming media service Adaptive Media Delivery. Cloud Wrapper optimizes the connectivity between public cloud infrastructures and the Akamai Edge in order to remove common barriers to over the top (OTT) delivery in cloud environments. It serves as a custom caching layer that wraps around centralized cloud providers, shielding them in order to improve origin offload. The upshot is more end user requests for live or on demand video content are served from Akamai, resulting in lower cloud egress charges and a more consistent, high quality viewing experience, the company said.
Imagine Communications (Booth SL1516) has announced its evolving role in Nine Entertainment’s 9Galaxy automated TV trading platform. As one of the largest free-to-air broadcasters in Australia, Nine is changing the game for how audience buying takes place across its programming, helping media agencies remove 80 percent of the workload associated with trading TV by moving away from spot-based sales. Nine is using Imagine’s xG GamePlan cloud-native booking optimiser to take an audience-based approach to ad inventory management to deliver campaigns as efficiently as possible. The rollout expands Imagine’s long-standing work with Nine in support of multichannel playout.
Blackmagic’s (Booth SL216) Bob Caniglia, director, sales operations, North America, said that the ATEM Constellation 8K and UHD live production switcher cannot be overlooked for what it delivers for those working in 4K. “For 8K it has 10 inputs and one ME but it is also a 40-inputs (at 12Gbps each), 4 ME switcher when it is in UHD,” he stated. “It’s an economy of scale thing, and that also allows it be used today for one thing and then tomorrow for something else.” And priced at $9,995 it proves that 8K production options don’t need to break the bank.
M2A Media (Booth SL5121) is using NAB to discuss Dynamic Content Insertion (DCI), a development that allows over the top (OTT) live event streaming content to be localized without the need to run multiple local playout systems. Based on public cloud technology, DCI both replaces video segments in all formats and rewrites manifests in order to localize ad break content while maintaining compatibility with different connected TVs and operating systems. Static content is inserted in a live stream as if it was live. That means for each inserted fragment, M2A Media manipulates the replacement content timecode to match the original one. To maintain compatibility, all encoded static video content is encoded using exactly the same encoding profile as the live stream.
Spectra Logic (Booth SL11516) has introduced a new data mover feature, dubbed Spectra RioBroker, to its BlackPearl converged storage platform. According senior vice president Hossein ZiaShakeri, Spectra RioBroker version 1.01 acts as a data mover to speed file transfers, streamline workflows and scale out BlackPearl in both performance and capacity to accommodate growing amounts of digital assets. Spectra’s RioBroker software is available now. In addition, the company introduced Spectra Swarm, which adds Ethernet connectivity to Spectra LTO tape libraries. Spectra Swarm will be available in July.
Hitomi (Booth SL5221) is providing NAB visitors with sneak preview of an upcoming iOS app that can be used to do lip sync alignment on an outside broadcast or location news report. Matchbox Glass works with existing Matchbox analyzer software and allows users to wirelessly synchronize microphones with cameras by simply holding an iPad or iPhone in shot. The Analyzer at the other end of the broadcast chain then gives a measurement of AV alignment.
Open Broadcast Systems (Booth SL5624) has updated the encoding and decoding software on its C100 contribution device, giving it the ability to offer a latency rate of just 60 milliseconds with 1080p 60 video. The C100 is built on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) IT hardware and promises to achieve that level of latency with no reduction in picture quality. “It will get even lower,” said managing director Kieran Kunhya. “It’s taken 18 months of R&D and a major investment to get to this point. It’s a game changer.”
SOUTH UPPER HALL
Telstra Broadcast Services (Booth SU6110) has added new partners in the Americas and Europe, expanding its Global Media Network (GMN) to a group of thirteen. The expansion brings together Telstra’s GMN with its first Latin American partner, Gold Data, one of the region’s top telecommunications providers, Zayo Group, which is a major provider of American and global communications infrastructure, and Norkring, a division of Telenor that provides broadcast and connectivity services across the Nordic region.
Emmy-award winning Zixi (Booth SU10102) has released an updated version of its core platform, adding improved analytics and AI-driven quality scoring, multi-cloud integration and a combination of enhanced broadcast workflow visualization and root cause analysis capabilities. The latter comes as part of Zen Master while the analytics and quality scoring provides a “comprehensive” view into live video delivery workflows and includes video and audio health reports, enabling real-time decision making, the company said. The cloud options now include Microsoft Azure as well as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS MediaConnect. On Sunday (April 7) Zixi accepted the 2018 Emmy Award for Pioneering Reliable Transmission Method for Live Contribution and Distribution TV Links.
Net Insight (Booth SU2806) has launched Nimbra Edge, a secure, interoperable cloud transport solution to scale and deliver professional live media workflows, such as primary distribution and interconnect services. The volume of live media being transported is growing rapidly as consumer demand for more personalised, high quality immersive content is increasing. Furthermore, the introduction of 5G is shifting the transport medium from satellite to other infrastructure to free up spectrum and reduce transport costs. Meanwhile, the company continued, the market for internet distribution is reaching the technology and quality maturity needed in order to move live content over public and private cloud, thus enabling customers to move workflows to the cloud and leveraging the elasticity, robustness and price benefits that cloud-based infrastructure offers.
At NAB Net Insight also announced that LinkedIn utilises its Nimbra solutions for low-latency transport of corporate video production feeds between its central control room and multiple studios. LinkedIn has selected and implemented a Nimbra-based media network covering its Manhattan office in the Empire State Building on Manhattan in New York as well as at studios in Sunnyvale in California. The media network enables LinkedIn to efficiently produce internal corporate videos as well as videos for their live professional networking platform. The order was placed and delivered in the first quarter.
MediaKind (Booth SU720) has launched its Cygnus 360º-as-a-Service (360aaS) solution for live events, creating a cloud-based workflow for live 360º video processing and multi-platform publishing. With MediaKind’s Cygnus 360aaS solution, content owners and operators can efficiently capture and process live 360º video at up to 8K resolution and deliver immersive content to the consumer with delivery bitrates of between 10Mbps to 15Mbps, according to Olie Baumann, Senior Technical Specialist. From a single contribution source, live 360º video is processed and delivered into suitable resolutions and formats for simultaneous live publishing to an operator’s app over public CDN, as well as via social media platforms. The new solution is leveraging MediaKind’s new partnership with Google Cloud Platform.
Meanwhile on booth SU5515, CenturyLink has enlisted the help of Streamroot, a provider of peer-to-peer networking solutions, to create CenturyLink content delivery network (CDN) Mesh Delivery, a software-based mesh platform that can easily manage peak traffic loads. Steamroot’s peer-to-peer video delivery technology has been deployed within CenturyLink’s CDN. CenturyLink’s new mesh delivery platform intelligently sources video content from both a CDN and a mesh network of devices watching the same stream. This allows for rapid scalability and resiliency, even within hard-to-reach markets, claimed the company.
At booth SU9014, Qvest Media has introduced the newly developed product lines Qvest.Cloud Ultimate for enterprise solutions and Qvest.Cloud Go!. Qvest.Cloud Go! includes its first ready-to-use packages for media tasks such as live event production, post production, archiving, disaster recovery or playout. The packages are pre-configured with cloud applications from top software manufacturers. Qvest.Cloud is built for companies that want to efficiently orchestrate, manage and monitor their media technology, either on-premise, with a single cloud provider, in a multi-cloud environment, or using a hybrid model. Furthermore, system resources can be scaled on demand and the cost structure of production processes can be analysed and planned.
As dependency on the cloud and on IP platforms continues to grow, PCCW Global’s (Booth SU9821) Console Connect provides clients with a private IP network that enables access from the broadcast studio to the cloud, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, or wherever that content needs to go. At NAB 2019, PCCW Global announced that Console Connect is going to be extended across its global TV network, allowing clients to schedule on demand bookings and streamlining the purchasing and turning up of occasional use satellite services in the event of a special event where additional bandwidth is needed.
At 10:20am today, PCCW VP of Sales Margareta Sauger will discuss an eSports event held in Hong Kong that used Console Connect, in a presentation entitled, Enhancing Media Workflows with Private, On-Demand, Flexible IP Delivery Utilizing Automated Networks, in the CM|IP Presentation Theater, located in SU11621.
Red Bee Media, a global media services company, and V-Nova, a provider of video compression solutions, are demonstrating advanced workflows for remote production and site-to-site contribution, live at NAB, on stand SU1620. Using V-Nova’s P.Link encoder, Red Bee Media is showcasing an optimised contribution network, enabling top-of-the-line workflows for inter-site working and remote production. Using solutions like P.Link enables Red Bee Media to deliver low latency, high quality streams from remote events.
Skyline Communications (Booth SU7317) has collaborated with Sony Imaging Products and Solutions in the development of its new Live Element Orchestrator, its system orchestration solution, to increase the performance and utilisation of resources as well as to reduce the system downtime, further improving productivity in content production. “Our first-ever Live Element Orchestrator performs the overall system management of an IP-based production system including third-party solutions. In this development, Skyline Communications’ DataMiner was adopted as a core technology,” said Masakazu Murata, general manager Media Solution business division at Sony.
Annual global sports championship SailGP has stated that it used an ambitious remote production strategy for delivery of the world feed at its world premiere event in Sydney in February this year. The nature of the new sport, featuring supercharged F50 catamarans engineered for intense racing at electrifying speeds, meant that capturing the world’s fastest race boats and the athletes piloting them was going to be challenging, and required an innovative solution. SailGP worked with Whisper Films to create the world feed, which used drones and patented LiveLineFx technology to deliver impactful on-screen graphics, as well as information derived from a total of 1,200 sensors placed on the boats and athletes.