SVG Europe Sit-Down: Rainer Kampe from Broadcast Solutions on remote production and HDR

Broadcast Solutions has successfully delivered over 300 outside broadcasting units in every conceivable variant, from small radio cars to 31-camera HD outside broadcasting vans. Furthermore, the company has planned, implemented and commissioned broadcast facilities, DSNGs, fixed uplink and downlink stations as well as Satcom on the Move solutions. In fact, Broadcast Solutions is a partner for all technology in the fields of broadcasting, multimedia, infrastructure, engineering or consultancy. Our Sit Down with Rainer Kampe, managing director and chief technology officer, began with remote production.

Broadcast Solutions’ Rainer Kampe

What impact has the increasing use of remote productions had on your business?

With regards to the OB van business, we don’t see a displacement of the OB van with remote production technology. Our customers do have the need to implement technologies to be ready for future remote productions. In our OB vans we implement technologies to enable enhanced remote connectivity and scalability. Talking about fixed broadcast facilities, this is a topic we address. For example, we did so with one of our latest projects; the MySports Studios in Zurich and Rossens, Switzerland. The remote studio in Rossens is controlled and managed from the main studio facility in Zurich. We implemented as many as possible tools to realise a remote production that was easy to operate; these included network management, MCR, playout and storage.

What is so special about Broadcast Ultrasoft?

Broadcast Ultrasoft is a fully IP and software-based powerful suite for software defined broadcast. It is a software tool that manages almost every process within a TV station. It provides a sophisticated and customised solution for any broadcast station to be both cost effective and fast by employing rapid processing structures, collaborative tools, COTS hardware and future-proof technologies as well as IP-based workflows. Broadcast Ultrasoft runs browser-based using the latest cloud technologies that enables the users to work from nearly everywhere.

Broadcast Ultrasoft consists of various modules to master and control the workflows for your media, including ingest, MAM, scheduling, graphics, playout and automation. Further, Broadcast Ultrasoft gives users integrated tools for resource allocation, advertisement booking and accounting. During all stages, users have a clear view on costs, resources and profit.

Your website states “The Broadcast Solutions Virtual Reality Lab increases workflow efficiency during the planning stage of an OB Van”.  How does that work?

Broadcast Solutions My Sports MCR and playout

With our Virtual Reality Lab, customers can make use of a unique technology in the design and implementation of OB vans. Used during the planning stage, developers and customers can literally experience, feel, test and change space concepts virtually one-to-one. With this fully-developed solution different ideas can be tested and compared, and adjustments are made easy. The Broadcast Solutions Virtual Reality Lab increases workflow efficiency during the planning stage of an OB van, once more pushing the envelope in OB vehicle design and production.

Where do you think we will be with regards HDR by the end of 2018?

What is missing in live TV is an artistic idea about the finished product, as it is known for film. Other than in cinema production, where from recording to distribution the artistic “look” is consistently predefined, live TV lacks the homogeneous idea. Regarding live TV, HDR isn’t a merely technological challenge, it is more about the complete production and distribution chain. Issues during production, for example. offering several different formats in real time, will be fixed, but if this will happen within this year, we will see. But for the live distribution TV, stations and networks are struggling with undefined workflows or standards.

At Cabsat early this year you showed your SI capabilities and your products, and new this year was ChyronHego on your stand, why?

Well, we all know them as the global leader in broadcast graphics creation, but in reality, they are so much more nowadays, and this is what we wanted to show. With an exclusive representation agreement in place, we aim at utilising Broadcast Solutions strong market presence and expertise in system integration to strengthen the position of ChyronHego in the Middle East. Today, their portfolio has expanded massively to include for instance playout solutions, real-time data visualisation and telestration and we are happy to help bring these cutting edge products and solutions to the prime position they deserve.

And continuing the theme of exhibitions, what innovations are you hoping to see at NAB?

It will be interesting to see what products will be on the show with regards to HDR and if they already will affect live TV workflows. Further topics could be the road to IP, especially NMOS, progress in standardisation of stream registration, discovery and control and parameter control such as audio-shuffling has not been touched yet.

And a very important question: do we control the network and its routing or is a network-inherent protocol mechanism like IGMP protocol doing the work?

Do you have an innovative sports related case study you can share?

The MySports studio and playout centres in Switzerland, which we implemented with NEP Switzerland, is one of the latest innovative solutions we implemented.

The content of MySports is produced in a broadcast centre in Erlenbach, while a second studio for French-language programming is situated in Rossens. In Erlenbach, we constructed a state-of-the-art 4K/UHD studio and playout complex. This playout operation delivers 20 live outlets, including two 4K UHD channels. The second – and identical – studio in Rossens, is responsible for the production of the French programme, but is remotely operated from Erlenbach. The signals between the locations are transmitted via an IP-based network and production infrastructure.

The operation went live in late 2017 for the start of the 2017/2018 professional hockey league season. The output includes the Swiss National League, the Swedish Hockey League, and the Russian KHL. MySports also broadcasts Bundesliga football, basketball, handball, winter sports and eSports events.

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