Broadcast Engeeniring June 10


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Broadcast Engeeniring June 10

  1. 1. RAI Amsterdam Conference 9-14 September : Exhibition 10-14 September IBC2010 Experience the state-of-the-art IBC is the premier annual event for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and news content worldwide. • 45,000+ attendees from 140+ countries • NEW Connected World for IPTV, Mobile & Digital Signage (Hall 9) • 1300+ key international technology suppliers across 11+ exhibition halls • FREE hands-on training; Production Village (Hall 11) and Post Production • world-class demonstrations of (Hall 7) groundbreaking technology such as stereo 3D • FREE Exhibition Business Briefings • agenda-setting conference with • FREE movies screenings in the IBC 300+ high-profile international speakers Big Screen • FREE entry to the prestigious awards ceremony on Sunday 12 September t o w a ter ter n egis r gis .org/ e c R b IBC Fifth Floor International Press Centre 76 Shoe Lane London EC4A 3JB UK w.i ww T. +44 (0) 20 7832 4100 F. +44 (0) 20 7832 4130 E. 2 | June 2010
  2. 2. Table of ConTenTs Volume 52 | Number 6 | JuNe 2010 World editioN Features 24 New technology helps directors meet the demands of sports Sporting events draw a big investment in new technologies like 3-D. 30 Pick Hit Awards Check out the 20 most exciting products from the 2010 NAB Show, 24 chosen by a group of your peers. 34 Technology seminar 3-D was arguably the on The Cover: biggest buzz at this year’s NAB Show. New technology, like telegenic’s 3-d truck being used for live coverage of the 2010 World Cup, 52 Product Jackpot help make sporting event productions cutting edge. These don’t-miss technologies could make your facility state of the art. 30 continued on page 4 Get connected! Have a burning question? Go to Broadcast Engineering’s Forum and ask questions of fellow experts. Or join our online community on Facebook. Learn more at http://community. 34 see it online! Receive updates about the FIFA World Cup by signing up for our Sports Technology Update e-newsletter and visiting the Broadcast Engineering website. Learn more at worldcup/ June 2010 | 3
  3. 3. Table of ConTenTs (CoNTiNued) 8 Volume 52 | Number 6 | JuNe 2010 Beyond the headlines DownloaD 8 digital media asset management DMAM systems help maintain brand awareness and monetize assets effectively in a multiplatform environment. Technology in acTion 12 intercom system evolution Cable-agnostic, mesh-networked intercom technology helps drive progress and future growth. diGital handBook TransiTion To DigiTal 16 Google’s version of interactive television The search company attempts to bring the Web to the living room. ProDucTion cliPs 20 Automating graphics 12 Automated branding and promo systems can respond quickly to schedule changes. new Products & reviews 56 Technology in TransiTion display technology Displays are changing fast; don’t be left behind. dePartments 6 eDiTorial 58 aDverTisers inDex 16 latest news! The FIFA World Cup this month will be a great test bed for mobile television. People in multiple time zones will be tuning in, many at odd times, forcing sports fans to find alternative ways to watch besides sitting at home. Learn more at 4 | June 2010
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  5. 5. Editorial Department Will P2P replace broadcast? a I have been reading a recent report by the EBU on peer- number of uploaders, then to-peer (P2P) Internet file delivery. While broadcast the average download band- (one-to-many distribution) from a transmitter has a width is limited by the aver- fixed cost, no matter how many receivers are tuned in, age uplink bandwidth — not very much with asymmetric Internet is generally unicast, or one-to-one delivery. That links. means the media server must run a small application for Not all the problems with P2P are insurmountable, every single Internet browser viewing the stream. Typi- and research and development continues. Will it someday cally, a server can run a few thousand streams, so a large break out of the pirate mold, or will other technologies webcast to millions of viewers potentially needs hundreds like edge caching and multicast provide the solution to or thousands of servers, plus all the associated firewalls at lowering the cost of Internet distribution? the server farm and routers throughout the network. The EBU report describes possible receiver devices be- However, there yond the PC. There is no reason is a halfway house: why a hybrid broadband-broad- multicasting. Each Will P2P someday break out cast receiver could not also act as a router can split a sin- of the pirate mold, or will P2P client with suitable additional gle stream to many other technologies provide processing power. paths, potentially The report concludes that P2P saving on server re- the solution to lowering the could supplement, but not re- sources. But mul- cost of Internet distribution? place, conventional cable, satellite ticasting has never and terrestrial broadcast, or Inter- been that successfully deployed, especially across the many net multicasting and content distribution networks. separate networks that make up the Internet. It proved to As network capacity expands to support 100Mb/s and be simpler to use unicasting, but it doesn’t scale very well. beyond, the economics of different methods will change. The content pirate solution is P2P, in which a browser Maybe P2P will become a real commercial proposition to pulls content from other client PCs on the network. With reliably deliver video material. I encourage all of you to no central server, it has been difficult to prosecute the pi- read this report, available from the EBU as Technical Re- rates. It was this technique that the EBU decided to inves- port 009; it is a thorough review of what could be a game- tigate back in 2006 to see if it could be used as a way to changing technology. deliver broadcasters’ files. The report also touches on spectrum issues with uni- P2P is not without problems. Most domestic Internet casting to 3G phones. These newer technologies all prom- connections are highly asymmetric, with upload data rates ise great ways to deliver niche and long-tail content, but as about 10 percent of the download rate. P2P also does not a way to deliver live TV to the masses at a low cost, broad- work well across different networks, and many countries cast is a tough technology to beat. have a number of network operators. The EBU investigation identified the efficiency advan- tages of P2P over unicast, but found that many of the features needed by broadcasters, such as audience meas- urement and content distribution control, are difficult to implement. Latencies to access content can be high (up to 20 seconds), and it is also difficult to maintain QoS with P2P. It is all very well with pirated content, but broadcast- DavID austerberry, eDItor ers need QoS control. Send comments to: P2P accounts for half of the Internet traffic in some countries, even though it has been associated with piracy, and ISPs do not receive direct revenue for the service. It could be said that all Internet users subsidize the P2P us- ers. One downloader relies on many uploaders to serve content. If the number of downloaders is the same as the 6 | June 2010
  6. 6. Data rates from 4 to 50+ Mbps / DVB-T compliant COFDM modulation (5 to 16 MHz bandwidths) Ultra-low latency of 45ms 2.0 to 2.7 GHz, 3.4 to 3.6 GHz, 5.7 to 5.9 GHz and 6.4 to 7.7 GHz bands Camera control options Two-way and Four-way Maximum Ratio Combining options to provide exceptional coverage Comprehensive on screen display Integrated MPEG2 HD/SD decoder Compact, remote, ‘intelligent receivers’ to manage challenging antenna placements and crowded RF environments I United Kingdom I +44 1284 757982 European Regional Headquarters Asian Regional HeadquartersI Singapore I +65 915 97815 US Headquarters I New Jersey I +1 908 852 3700 June 2010 | 7
  7. 7. DownloaD Beyond the headlines Digital media asset management dMaM systems help maintain brand awareness and monetize assets effectively in a multiplatform market. By Christine JeCko B roadcasters and other Internet portals and mobile media line. The entry of telcos and ISPs content providers realized services. Making it easier than ever into the fray further heightened the enormous gains in flex- for consumers to access and “pull” urgency of effective multiplatform ibility as they transitioned content at their convenience, these delivery as newcomers to the broad- from tape-based operations to digi- new technologies and platforms put cast industry began acquiring rights tal media. Coincident with this tran- increased competitive pressures on to content; providing voice, video, sition came the rapid expansion of content providers. They recognized and data to customers; and billing content distribution channels, which an urgent need to offer services over for those services. extended beyond conventional print new channels if they were to main- To remain competitive and to meet and broadcast media to include a tain audiences and the correspond- consumer demand for content across variety of new platforms, such as ing ad revenues vital to the bottom multiple platforms, many content providers initially established paral- lel production chains for delivery of repurposed content. Facing growing volumes of media in multiple versions — and facing still-increasing num- bers of distribution targets — many media companies found it necessary to recast their operations with a new focus on managing a single brand across multiple outlets, including broadcast TV channels, newspapers, radio stations, Web portals, mobile TV and iPhone applications. This brand-focused model is de- fined by one primary objective: keep- ing consumers on the brand from dawn until dusk, across all activities performed and locations visited in the course of a day. To satisfy this challenge, the content provider must be equipped to feed each platform and device on a daily basis. Building more and more production chains to achieve this goal is a highly inefficient exercise. Rather, for the brand-focused multiplatform model to be economi- cally viable, the content provider must be able to provide significantly more content with a minimal incremental increase in the cost of producing that content. If deployed appropriately, A workflow engine can process video to prepared templates, in this case, capturing and today’s advanced digital media as- resizing frames, and then storing them as a single JPEG files. set management (DMAM) systems 8 | June 2010
  8. 8. DownloaD Beyond the headlines June 2010 | 9
  9. 9. DownloaD Beyond the headlines offer the flexibility and functionality Technical and infrastructure Integration to enable the necessary efficiencies issues In a departure from the history and economies of scale required for The content provider rarely starts of proprietary solutions developed maximum revenue in multiplatform from scratch when implementing for the broadcast industry, a high distribution. an end-to-end workflow supporting degree of interoperability is a vital multiplatform media distribution. characteristic of a DMAM system Workflow definition The requisite servers, archives, non- intended to support multiplatform The shift to digital media and IT- linear edit systems and other major media delivery. High interoperability based workflows represents more production and broadcast systems enables tight integration, and estab- than a technical change; it has a prac- are likely in place already. The key lies lished DMAM systems typically of- tical impact, too, changing the way in building both the technical foun- fer more of this functionality — and content providers work. When op- dation and the operational model to do so more reliably — as a result of erations were dependent on tape as a support a streamlined workflow that already being installed across a large vehicle for moving content through allows producers, journalists, archi- base featuring a variety of third-party a facility and workflow, it was tape vists and others to access, prepare and systems. that served as the link between pro- deliver content via the appropriate The capacity of a vendor to pro- prietary, independently operating channel. vide an API and SDK for its solution storage, automation, post produc- By supplying content owners with a is critical to successful integration, as tion and other essential systems and strategy for linking vital systems and by these tools offer users a way to enter determined how they would work facilitating the ingest, indexing, broad- the DMAM system and to create a together. Moving from that world cast/publishing and archiving of con- bidirectional dialog with the system of proprietary technologies to more tent — whether video, audio or images and other devices in the workflow. open IT-based environments, con- — on any medium or platform, a single Without this dialog, the system is a tent providers must capitalize on DMAM system can support effective black box. the opportunity to optimize overall management, repurposing and mon- workflows through smooth interop- etization of media assets. The DMAM Multiformat compatibility erability and seamless integration of must address four fundamental chal- Multiplatform media delivery has critical systems. lenges to perform this role successfully: exploded, allowing consumers to ac- Prior to taking on technical and interoperability, integration, compat- cess media on virtually any device. infrastructure issues associated with ibility and ergonomics. The dramatic rise in the formats implementation of a DMAM, the required to target all these devices content provider must define the Interoperability presents a real challenge to content desired workflow and identify the In an ideal IT-based environment, providers, and the DMAM system roles staff and systems will play in all systems should be interoper- being implemented should be suf- that workflow. After determining able. In reality, it often is up to the ficiently robust to accommodate this the distribution chains that must be DMAM system, relying on standard profusion of formats. Future-proof supported, the company must cre- IT technologies, to enable interoper- operation depends on the DMAM’s ate a step-by-step model and parallel ability among different applications flexibility in handling new formats. processes by which raw material is running on different platforms or In other words, the content provider transformed into the products de- frameworks. This is made possible by cannot afford for its investment in as- livered to different platforms. In a Web Services Architecture, which set management to be compromised building this digital media factory, uses HTTP with an XML serializa- by limited format support. the content provider needs to ac- tion, along with other standards, to Efficiency in multiplatform deliv- count for future growth in network exchange messages with third-party ery depends on the DMAM system’s size, increase in number or capac- systems and streamline their opera- ability to retrieve and leverage a single ity of server systems, the addition of tion across the workflow. Additional master to create the appropriate ver- transcoding facilities and any other “connectors” enabled by the system’s sions of content for each platform changes that might require scaling API and SDK can provide command and to publish the resulting content up of the DMAM system. Finally, lists that allow the DMAM to send to the right places or target devices in the DMAM system should include a and receive information from other the right formats. A key feature of the mechanism for monitoring the soft- third-party systems in a standardized DMAM system is its ability to man- ware and hardware comprising the manner. Thus, each time the DMAM age different formats and versions overall workflow and for detecting interfaces with a particular system, it of the same video master. Over the issues and resolving them before the is equipped with a set of rules guiding lifetime of an asset, as one master is production chain is disrupted. and governing the interaction. used to produce content for different 10 | June 2010
  10. 10. DownloaD Beyond the headlines distribution platforms, the growing consumers’ awareness. Every month, ing, transcoding, quality control, FTP collection of related media assets cre- across all its outlets, L’Equipe reaches delivery and other critical functions ates a complex tree. The content pro- 18 million people. They read the pa- saves time and improves the accuracy vider needs a way to manage meta- per in the morning, check the web- of media handling. data across all of this content and, in site when they get to work, get news Because the DMF at L’Equipe is turn, to manage all of its versions and and sports during the day on their connected to various third-party sys- maintain an understanding of how iPhones and then — back at home in tems by modules defining their inter- the content has been used. the evening — watch a TV broadcast actions, applications such as editing or return to the Internet for further platforms, automation and archives System GUI and content. The company instituted a operate smoothly together. While ergonomics new DMAM to feed all of these out- production is under way, metadata A DMAM system can grow to be lets quickly and cost-effectively. related to digital rights for each piece complex, but the interface and func- The digital media factory (DMF) at of content is used to confirm whether tionality it provides to each user must L’Equipe was created to facilitate cre- or not the material can be prepared remain as simple as possible. The sys- ation and delivery of video on virtually and delivered to certain outlets. tem must be versatile enough in its configuration options to show each user the minimum required to per- form his or her job. So, the DMAM must be sophisticated in its opera- tions in the background, handling a complicated workflow based on a complex metadata model, but it must offer users an easy-to-use interface that supports their everyday work. A modular design enables provi- sion of just the right functionality or features required by the user. In some cases, the interface can be populated by a series of widgets or applications suited to a particular job. In other cas- es, a specific screen might be created for each job or position. One screen might provide the information re- The process workflow in a DMAM system can be edited using a GUI to suit quired by a supervisor, another might changing work practices. offer search/retrieve tools optimized every platform, including TV, Web, Looking ahead for journalists and another indexing mobile and VOD. Media archives dat- Though the IT-based solutions capabilities to the archivist. As long ing back to the 1920s were digitized supporting efficient asset manage- as people are a part of the workflow, and brought onto the system along ment continue to evolve, it’s not the the DMAM system interface is essen- with newer assets, putting content at underlying technology that will de- tial to efficient and effective use of the the fingertips of the “L’Equipe” news- termine the success of today’s and system. room, website, broadcast and print tomorrow’s content providers. With staff. Select business partners and cli- the consumer now able to choose Practical implementation ents also gained fast, convenient access how, where and when to view media, Global media brand L’Equipe to licensed content through the DMF. content is king. The true key lies in Group comprises the L’Equipe TV In addition to providing a content producing or acquiring content that sports news channel, the www. archive, the DMAM system enables viewers want. If a content provider website, the RTL-L’Equipe powerful searches and low-resolution or media brand is able to offer the digital radio station and the print browsing from any Web-based inter- programming and personalities that magazine and newspaper also dubbed face. A partial-restore function en- consumers demand, then it can lever- “L’Equipe.” The French media group ables editors to access only the high- age a good DMAM system to manage serves as a real-world example of how resolution media they need and to and monetize this content to its best an effective DMAM system can en- do so quickly rather than wait for the advantage. BE able a content provider or owner to entire file to transfer. Automation of Christine Jecko is vice president of sales maintain its brand at the forefront of tasks such as speech-to-text process- at Netia. June 2010 | 11
  11. 11. Technology in acTion Beyond the headlines Intercom system evolution Cable-agnostic, mesh-networked intercom technology helps drive progress and future growth. By Jake DoDson s ince the introduction of the That being said, this article will party-line systems up to two, four first analog intercom sys- take a look at where intercom systems or more channels. The emergence of tems 40 years ago, it would are headed next, what some of the key point-to-point or matrix intercoms be easy to think that the use enabling technologies are that will beallowed individual, one-to-one com- of broadcast and live performance in- used and how they will likely be in- munications or multiple groups to be tercoms has reached an evolutionary tegrated in future intercom systems. configured for a variety of situations. apex. The development of point-to- New concepts such as cable-agnostic This evolution has continued over point or matrix intercoms, and the transport, mesh-networked inter- the years with the addition of inter- more recent transition to digital wire- coms and role-based configuration ruptible fold back (IFB), control logic less systems, has already had a pro- also will be discussed. and the multiple interconnected sys- found effect on workflows, enabling tems that we see in modern intercom even more complex productions. Yet Party line and setups. the modern production environment point-to-point matrix The seemingly limitless flexibility of still faces many challenges, such as in- In the early days, intercoms were matrix intercoms is an advantage that creased demands to improve efficiency, exclusively based on party-line tech- should have spelled the death of the reduce complexity and provide rapid nology, where all users talked and party line, yet today, party-line systems setup and configuration, while bring- listened to all other users. As pro- are more prevalent than ever with no ing together additional team members ductions grew, the need to segment signs of diminishing. Why is this? The with varying degrees of expertise. became more necessary, driving simple answer is that party-line sys- tems are easy to set up, easy to operate and require little operator training out of the box. Matrix systems, on the other hand, require a much higher level of user configu- ration, workflow mapping and system tuning to obtain the benefits afforded by the extra levels of functionality they provide. In addition, matrix im- plementations tend to be characterized by hub-and- spoke cabling architectures, compared with the daisy- chained and passive Y-split cabling schemes that analog party lines are based on. This latter approach affords a much greater simplification of the cable infrastructure, with the user able to choose whether to home run or split The production gallery at France 2 features a Clear-Com intercom panel above Sony CCUs. at the end of a single cable 12 | June 2010
  12. 12. Technology in acTion Beyond the headlines Route it. Convert it. Connect with AJA. 3G SDI Routing, set-up in seconds... KUMO 1604 - 16 SDI inputs - 4 outputs KUMO 1616 - 16 SDI inputs - 16 outputs KUMO CP - 1RU Control Panel Compact and cost-effective, KUMO SDI routers are ready for any broadcast, production or post-production environment. Easy to install, KUMO runs Embedded Linux for fast configuration and operation via any standard web browser or the optional KUMO CP 1RU control panel. KUMO routers and the KUMO CP panel also support Bonjour - enabling zero-configuration networking with Mac’s and Bonjour-enabled PC’s. SDI - at the speed of light... The latest addition to our class-leading range of Mini Converters, FiDO is a family of SDI/Optical Fiber converters that allow the transport of SDI, HD-SDI and 3G SDI over distances of up to 10km. There are 5 models, including dual channel transmitters and receivers, offering the highest density and lowest cost available. FiDO brings AJA’s renowned quality and reliability to Optical Fiber conversion. Find out about our latest broadcast and conversion solutions by visiting us at B e c a u s e i t m a t t e r s . June 2010 | 13
  13. 13. Technology in acTion Beyond the headlines run depending on the level of cabling only useful if intercom elements can line main stations and intercom pan- redundancy required. But cable posi- be easily connected and are able to els, can become nodes on the same tioning has to be carefully considered talk to one another. Take, for example, network. This new paradigm of mesh for some applications to minimize the need to add an intercom panel at intercom networking will allow the noise artifacts created by crosstalk and a new location. In this case, imple- development of highly flexible inter- power supply-related interference. menting a new panel typically means com environments with each node Instead, what is required is a new adding a new cable home run and, in able to provide specific local func- cabling paradigm that combines the some cases, additional interface boxes tions, yet still be part of an overarch- flexibility of current analog cabling for format conversion. This can be a ing intercom environment that can be environments in an all-digital, noise costly and time-consuming process. managed remotely. This reduces con- immune environment. IP-based products are solving this figuration and administration costs connectivity problem, allowing inter- and allows rapid changes to configu- Cable-agnostic transport com elements to be added to the LAN rations anywhere in the network. Cable-agnostic transport is a new or remotely over a WAN or Internet concept that minimizes the depen- connection. The “read the manual” dence on different cable types by The key question here is how to challenge using a combination of new tech- leverage the flexibility of connection How many iPhone users do you nologies that have a high tolerance without compromising audio quality. think have ever read the product man- to the impedance characteristics of a Traditional VoIP technologies are no- ual? Does a product manual even ex- variety of cable types. Imagine being torious for poor audio quality where ist? In today’s intercom environment, able to choose between a regular mi- architectural limitations — thanks we expect users to do just that (read crophone, Cat 5 or coax cable, where to multiple jitter buffer stages, mul- the product manual) to train them- the main consideration is the physical tiple encode/decode cycles and the selves to understand the complexities of manually configuring hardware, but this process takes up their valu- able time that could be better spent The concept of plug-and-play elsewhere. operation, while prevalent in other How much easier would it be to industries, is only now finding its plug a number of intercom elements (frames, interfaces, panels, etc.) to- way into the intercom domain. gether and have the system discover and configure them accordingly? The concept of plug-and-play operation, connector and not a costly conversion subsequent reliance on narrowband while prevalent in other industries, is process or additional interface card. codecs — create an unappealing ex- only now finding its way into the in- These technologies are beginning to perience. Next-generation IP tech- tercom domain. emerge in new systems that not only nologies are solving these limitations allow a choice between Cat 5 or mi- by replacing central IP mixing archi- Role-based architectures crophone cable, but also enable dif- tectures with fast IP routers and dis- As we solve today’s configuration, ferent impedances and cable gauges tribution of mixing at the extremities. connectivity and cabling issues and (18 to 24) without being limited to This reduces jitter buffering (and its move toward the reality of a mesh specific high-grade, AES-rated 110V associated latency), eliminates mul- intercom architecture, further op- cable to achieve links in the 300m to tiple encode/decode cycles (and their portunities to increase usability will 500m range without using repeaters. associated audio corruption) and en- become available. Establishing such technologies over a ables flexible codec choices, such as One such concept is role-based op- range of intercom products opens the the ability to move to wideband, low- eration. Today’s intercom systems es- potential for plug-and-play intercoms latency codecs with a corresponding sentially are location-based, meaning in an all-digital environment, with the improvement in overall audio band- a user is fixed to a physical panel or added advantage of passive Y-splitting width and quality. beltpack location in a particular part and daisy-chaining capabilities. By embedding IP technologies of the studio or venue. Role-based across multiple devices, a common, architectures change this dynamic by Connectivity and mesh flexible communication transport allowing specific attributes such as intercoms system begins to emerge in which key settings, labels, audio level prefer- Simplifying cable transport will add previously disparate intercom ele- ences and security levels to be linked a large degree of freedom, but this is ments, such as matrix frames, party- to a user or role rather than a location. 14 | June 2010
  14. 14. Technology in acTion Beyond the headlines If the user moves location or changes intercoms for cues and safety. produce a solid user experience. But hardware, a simple act of logging in to In the 1970s, VHF wireless was as greater percentages of production the new hardware via a keypad entry king, but the emergence of wire- teams evolve toward wireless con- or hardware dongle will enable his or less microphone technology caused nectivity, a new conflict emerges, her personal characteristics to be im- crowding in the VHF space toward namely the pressure to devolve cur- plemented on the new hardware. the end of that decade and drove the rent point-to-point wireless systems This type of approach promises evolution of new wireless products in back into party-line-based opera- a highly flexible environment for the UHF bands in the early 1980s. We tions. Point-to-point wireless systems the end user while at the same time now face similar crowding in the UHF require multiple RF channels, thereby limiting the maximum number of us- ers on any given system due to limited RF spectrum. Future wireless devel- opments will need to trade between a variety of modulation schemes, such as orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), which offers more bandwidth and higher audio quality, and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), which provides more channels. Today the ideal solution is not clear, but the ability to address a high number of individual beltpacks and maintain good audio quality may require a hybrid approach spread across multiple wavelengths. Such an environment could include the ability to partition wireless users based on QoS criteria and combine both party- Russia’s Zvezda TV channel, launched in 2005 by the Russian Defense Ministry, line broadcast and selective point-to- uses a 96-port Clear-Com Eclipse Omega digital matrix intercom system. point schemes in a single network for optimum efficiency. offering a personalized approach space as new legislation takes hold. tailored to the specific individual. A While UHF technology typically pro- The future much more dynamic system is creat- vides good coverage across a variety Intercom systems form the back- ed by enabling the intercom environ- of venues, the recent changes in UHF bone of today’s production environ- ment to tune itself to the needs of the spectrum licensing are promoting the ment, and the continuing evolution to individual yet remain flexible enough development of narrower-band UHF. reduce setup time and configuration to allow easy hardware swap-outs or This increases capacity at the expense costs, improve connectivity, and en- user movement to different parts of of voice quality and, therefore, may be hance workflows through added user the network. As teams become more of limited value to the end user. mobility is fundamental to helping fluid and mobile, such concepts will As party-line systems have evolved the modern production environment allow the intercom infrastructure to to point-to-point matrix intercoms, achieve the necessary efficiencies to move with the users, not restrict them the desire for more wireless channels be successful. While there have been to a fixed workspace. has increased. The emergence of digi- great strides made in the advance- tal wireless intercoms is a direct result ment of intercom systems, there is Wireless intercom systems of the need to overcome frequency still a long way to go. Intercom devel- Traditionally, wireless intercom crowding while at the same time in- opers will continue to be challenged systems have been designed to pro- creasing the level of channel flexibil- to bring next-generation technologies vide mobility to key personnel, such ity offered to the individual user. to market as rapidly as possible, ush- as directors and producers, who need New license-free digital systems ering in a new era of communications full-duplex and multichannel access in the 2.4GHz frequency range have flexibility. BE to the main intercom system, and the advantage that they can be used lighting crews, cameramen and other anywhere globally with the ability to Jake Dodson is vice president of product support crews, who rely on wireless mitigate noise and audio artifacts to management at Clear-Com. June 2010 | 15
  15. 15. TransiTion To digiTal DIgITal hanDbook Google’s version of interactive television The search company attempts to bring the Web to the living room. By Michael Grotticelli I t has been tried unsuccess- by Logitech. Intel will make the Atom greets him or her. The viewer then fully many times before, but chips to power the box. The devices types in what he or she would like to last month, Google introduced will go on sale at some U.S. stores in watch. This might be the show name, Google TV, a new effort to turn the fall. a search term or a channel number. the living room TV set into a lean- So far, consumers have shown little The system will then display a list of back viewing experience. The goal interest in connecting to the Internet options that includes both TV sta- for Google is to make the viewer’s in- through TV sets, and there are formi- tions or a specific TV program. The teraction go far beyond just a big PC dable challenges in persuading televi- software will point to places to find display. sion set and peripheral manufacturers the desired entertainment program, Accompanied by several major to back the effort. However, Google whether that’s through a cable sub- high-tech companies at its developers’ has strong assets, including its Android scription channel, Netflix or even conference in San Francisco, Google operating system for mobile phones somewhere on the Web. With this announced that the Google TV ser- and a powerful search and advertising mix of Web and TV, the user can also vice would be built into HDTVs and system. Much like Apple, when Google view multiple sources of information Blu-ray players made by Sony as well speaks, the industry listens. in multiple panes. as a set-top box/remote built Using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the User interface user will also be able to load a Web When a user starts any Google TV page from a Google Android phone device, a simple search bar and beam it to the TV. The Android phone’s voice recognition can be used to search for shows by verbal com- mand. Also, closed-captioning for any TV program will be available through Google Translate in real time. Multiple partners Google is pitching its new platform as an easy way to search for TV pro- gramming and Internet content with- out having to navigate slow on-screen directories. Howard Stringer, chief executive of Sony, the third-largest maker of flat-panel TVs in the U.S. market, ap- peared on Google’s stage to say Sony would build Google’s software into an HDTV called the Sony Internet TV as well as a Blu-ray player. Stringer said Sony was likely to gradually adopt Google’s software, which he said was more robust and comprehensive than his company’s own Bravia Internet service for Inter- net-connected TVs. 16 | June 2010
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  17. 17. TransiTion To digiTal DIgITal hanDbook There are many ways Stringer was joined on the stage by pany said users would have control to maximise the the chief executives of companies Best over what information was shared Buy (an electronics seller), Adobe, with advertisers. performance Intel, DISH Network and Logitech, Google, looking to expand beyond of your schedule where Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief its lucrative online advertising busi- executive, interviewed them about ness, is betting that more consumers their plans. will want to buy TVs that can connect Schmidt said that people had been to the Internet. ABI Research found talking about bringing the Web to the that demand for Internet-enabled TV for two decades. “It’s much harder television sets is rising along with the to marry a 50-year-old technology popularity of Internet content. The and a brand-new technology than research firm estimates that 46 per- those of us from the brand-new tech- cent of flat-panel TVs will have In- nology industry thought,” he said. ternet connections by 2013, up from Logitech’s set-top box will allow 19 percent this year. users to receive Google TV without having to buy a new TV set. The com- Google versus Apple pany said it was also working on key- A subtext to the Google TV an- board-equipped remote controls and nouncement was Google’s intense peripherals to allow people to surf the competition with Apple and its chief Web from the couch. executive, Steve Jobs. Vic Gundotra, If Google’s effort is successful, it might create competition for traditional cable companies, because more people could look at content on the Internet and bypass their cable provider’s VOD offerings. Many companies have already vice president for engineering at tried to bridge the gap between the Google, used the momentum of TV and the Web. Apple, TiVo, Boxee, Android, a free, open-source operat- Roku and Vudu, now a division of ing system platform with few rules Walmart, all make devices that offer governing its use, to draw a sharp a variety of Internet video on TV. All distinction between the control Apple have struggled to gain broad adop- exerts over devices running the iP- tion, in part because most consumers hone operating system. have avoided hooking up another set- “If you believe that the only way to top box to their TVs. get a good smart phone is to bet on one man, one device, one carrier and Scheduling & content lifecycle Is it a threat to cable? one choice, that is a different model If Google’s effort is successful, it than we believe in,” Gundotra told for linear & VOD broadcasters, might create competition for tra- “The New York Times.” “We believe Telco’s & Platform Operators ditional cable companies, because innovation doesn’t come from one more people could look at content man; it comes from all of us.” on the Internet and bypass their ca- ble provider’s VOD offerings. Google DISH and DIRECTV launch did not talk about its advertising interactive advertising strategy for Google TV, but the com- Other vendors are launching inter- MediaGeniX pany has formidable data-collection abilities to aim new types of ads at active solutions. DISH Network and DIRECTV announced a cooperative TV-watching consumers. The com- effort by releasing a new interactive 18 | June 2010 adcast Engineering pre IBC.indd 2 24-06-2009 15:34:54
  18. 18. TransiTion To digiTal DIgITal hanDbook advertising platform. The platform is vertisers with independent metrics of • Phase 2: Change the rules by intro- called Advanced Satellite Advertising the platform’s performance. ducing value-added services that cre- Platform (ASAP) and provides na- ate new opportunities for service pro- tional television advertisers access to The key is changing the viders, content providers, advertisers nearly 30 million U.S. households. viewer’s experience and consumers; One important feature of the plat- In an article from Broadcast • Phase 3: Create new business models form aspect is the ability to deliver Engineering’s sister publication, that grow the TV market in new ways interactive content and capability to Connected Planet, Christine Heckart, and shift share from other media.” viewers. The content will be displayed general marketing manager for Looking at her predictions, step on a uniform satellite-delivered chan- Microsoft TV, listed three steps that one is completed through the Google nel dedicated to interactive advertis- IPTV must complete to become a TV solution. Step two is in process as ing. Viewers will have the option to success. She said, “ ... you can discern viewers gain access to new informa- watch commercials and then, if de- three distinct phases, each of which tion and are provided with more con- sired, engage in further activities with will take us one step closer to un- trol over what they see and enjoy on the advertiser. Possible additional locking the potential of TV and cre- their televisions. content and activities might include ating new connected and personal- Step three has yet to be completed. expanded product information, spe- ized experiences.” Each of these three However, the foundations for suc- cific regional information, such as phases will drive gradual changes in cessfully meeting this criteria are now retailer location, simple gaming and telecommunications, entertainment being released into the marketplace. easy ways to request more informa- and advertising, the three industries We’ll have to see if consumers em- tion. Contests could be used to help most impacted by IPTV: brace them. BE drive participation. • Phase 1: Shift the purchase criteria Michael Grotticelli regularly reports on the The ASAP program will use third- from price and channel lineup to over- professional video and broadcast technol- party research services, providing ad- all user experience; ogy industries. LP_Sola1.2P_Penton_LP_Sola1.2_Penton 5/27/10 1:54 PM Page 1 Rethink Fresnel. Litepanels revolutionary ™ ® Sola Series offers a whole new world of LED Fresnel lighting. Designed for today’s production, the Sola Series combines the pleasing single-shadow properties of a Fresnel with Litepanels award-winning advantages including full range dimming with no external ballasts or head feeders. Daylight-balanced Sola fixtures are simply the most versatile Fresnels ever made, offering beam control of 70º to 10º, along with focus & dimming – via a convenient touch screen (Sola6 & Sola12) or easy to use camera-like controls (SolaENG). And, unlike HMI Fresnels, Litepanels Sola Series offers full range dimming from 100% down to zero without noticeable color shift. What’s more, powerful and energy efficient Solas draw just a fraction of the power of conventional Fresnels and can plug into a standard household outlet to produce soft, luminous output. ! NewSola Series LED Fresnels: • Heat & flicker free • No external ballasts • 100% to 0 instant dimming • Instant restrike • No noticeable color shift • Eco-friendly: 95% less energy • 1/3 the weight of HMIs • 50,000 hours LED life Think Litepanels. Touchpanel controls ® & DMX built-in. SOLA MODELS SolaENG Sola6 Sola12 WEIGHT 10 oz. (.28 kg) 6 lbs. (2.7 kg) 14 lbs. (6.4 kg) SolaENG POWER DRAW 30W 75W 250W Sola12 Sola6 OUTPUT EQUIV. 250W tungsten Fresnel 650W tungsten Fresnel 2000W tungsten Fresnel Litepanels 818 752 7009 • • ® ® A Vitec Group brand June 2010 | 19
  19. 19. Production cliPs Digital hanDbook Automating graphics automated branding and promo systems can respond quickly to schedule changes. By Pete Challinger E ffective branding and pro- Figure 1.) Three core sources of in- enable the additional information to motion graphics are vital formation are available as a starting be made available. to channel differentiation. point: An automated promo system will These days, however, they • The “live schedule” from automa- use this, for example, to see the next present a real challenge. Typically tion that details the next 24 hours of program coming up. It identifies the such graphics are prepared manually playout; program via metadata, such as mate- and then submitted to the transmis- • The “day schedule” from traffic that rial ID, and searches its database for sion chain. Items such as promos are looks two to three days ahead; the correct title it needs to put to air. built in a nonlinear editor and then • The “listing schedule” from traffic In addition to metadata, assem- loaded onto the video server for play- that is used for EPG, print and online bling graphics requires the integra- out. These approaches are laborious, schedules. tion of several components including time-consuming and costly. With A server-based automated system a set of graphics templates, prepared tight budgets for promotions depart- reads the metadata from these sys- forms that have fields for text, im- ments, managers find themselves in a tems to create its own consolidated ages, logos and video clips. Those ele- tough spot. database of the upcoming schedule. ments will be filled in by the graphics We can, however, take advantage In addition to schedules, finding system based on the decisions taken of the data available across the net- more information related to pro- by the automated promo system. The work to create an automated system grams, events, sponsors, etc., can automated promo system will have a for producing and playing interstitial, lend greater flexibility for populating control link to the graphics system to branding and promo graphics. (See graphics. Simple data entry would enable it to build graphics using the Listings information, EPG Automated Scheduling Rules system promo library Day schedule system Live schedule Automation Asset Build system Store Program transfer graphics metadata Program Graphics Video system Nonlinear server editor Traditional broadcast workflow Playout New elements introduced for the automated promo and branding graphics system Figure 1. In this figure, the blue elements represent a traditional broadcast workflow. The red elements represent new parts introduced with an automated promo and branding graphics system. 20 | June 2010
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  21. 21. Production cliPs Digital hanDbook template. The system will also need a have gained the flexibility to make for each language, including the ap- set of governing rules. changes to the promo graphics right propriate country voice-over. For example, consider a typical in- up to playout time because a change The program metadata database program pointer (IPP) such as a low- in the schedule automatically updates can be expanded further with things er-third “Next Up” snipe, which we’ll the graphic. such as video clips to create upcoming call IPP1. IPP1 is listed in the sched- We can go beyond program data program menus with moving video. uling system for playout at the appro- with interfaces to any number of ad- In the past, assets such as clips were priate time. The automated promo ditional sources of data: news and stored on the main video server and system sees that, and then looks into sports, weather forecasts, stock and played into an auxiliary input on the the automation schedule to see the exchange rate data, SMS messages, graphics system with a squeezeback to next program and checks its own da- RSS feeds, e-mails, etc. These sources open the clip in a window. This would tabase for the full title information. can be polled regularly by the promo require an additional, expensive port The system uses its rules to populate system, or they can push their data to for each desired simultaneous output the fields in the template, such as title watch folders. This flexibility lends from the video server. It also requires and time. At air time, the automation itself to the creation of sophisticated a secondary video event in the sched- system will call for that automatically graphics that can give a channel a dis- ule for the server, increasing work for produced graphic from the graphics tinct character. the scheduling staff and adding con- system, and the system will overlay This setup also lends itself to mul- siderable complexity. the snipe on the program stream and tilingual promo requirements. Simply Instead, we can use a clip player on play out. add fields to the metadata database the graphics system. Those assets can An operator is no longer required for each language. The same ID on be stored on a low-cost central SAN, to piece together the graphic. By elim- the scheduling system will then trig- NAS, server or even on the same server inating the manual labor, broadcasters ger multiple versions of the graphic that runs the automated promo system. 22 | June 2010
  22. 22. Production cliPs Digital hanDbook The scheduling system need only issue So who benefits from an automat- capable of running a complete channel a single instruction for the predefined ed promo system? Stations that have with the ability to create interstitials graphic. The automated promo system a stable schedule with few last-minute on the fly based on rules to evaluate will use the information it has in its changes, such as movie and themat- context and using an extensive range database, gather the appropriate meta- ic channels, can deploy a relatively of data sources both internal and ex- data from its metadata store, get the simple system that builds automated ternal. This solution has no impact on times from the scheduling system and graphics sequences based on sched- station automation. Instead, it moni- populate the template on the graphics ule analysis and file processing. Such tors the live automation schedule and system, which will be recalled by the a system would support the need automatically generates a sequence of automation system at the correct play- for automated “Next up” graphics, sufficient duration to match a given out time. menus, lineups and automated ver- gap in the schedule. Watch folders on the central store are sioning of audio and video assets. Deploying an intelligent automat- monitored by the automated promo If a broadcaster needs to make ed promo system that collects data system, which then matches it to its changes close to or at air, it is neces- from numerous sources and uses that metadata database and can manage the sary for the system to maintain a live information to populate templates movement and life cycle of those assets. connection to both master control on a modern graphics device is an The same system should manage the automation and a central store for as- elegant solution that meets today’s deletion of assets that are no longer im- sets. This system would build graph- branding requirements with com- mediately needed from the clip player. ics within seconds of air, so it can also plete sequences, created on demand An advantage is that if a system needs include up-to-the-minute informa- and in real time, with minimal or no to be swapped for any reason, the auto- tion from a variety of data sources. human involvement. BE mated promo system can automatically In its most advanced implementa- repopulate the replacement clip player. tion, an automated promo system is Pete Challinger is CEO of Pixel Power. +31 (0)20 5458905 | +44(0)1737 220539 June 2010 | 23
  23. 23. Feature sports production technology new technology meet the dema W Telegenic’s new 3-D truck is being used hile TV audiences may be tion techniques. for live coverage of the 2010 World Cup. migrating to online and Many programs go through post mobile entertainment, production as an essential part of one area where television excels is the the workflow: selecting shots, add- live event, specifically sports. One of ing VFX, color correction and finish- the genres where 3-D is expected to ing. The sports director has no such be most successful is sports. Sport- luxury to refine the program. He or ing events also attract large revenues she can select from the camera angles for subscription television. Put all available on the monitor stack, use that together, and it is easy to see why on-the-fly switcher effects like DVE sports receive a big investment and moves and run replays of key action are a focus for innovation in produc- from video servers. 24 | June 2010
  24. 24. Feature sports production technology helps directors ands of sports By DaviD austerBerry This places a special emphasis on they want the latest format: HD, 5.1 International sporting events demand what the camera delivers to the truck. and even 3-D. commentaries in many languages. The commentary facility boxes shown are To this end, point-of-view (POV) To meet these needs, the sports from Glensound. cameras give sports fans a perspective production must use custom cameras on the game that they could never see and camera support systems, logging from a seat in a stadium or standing by systems, and specialized graphics sys- the green. tems. International events present Viewers expect unusual views of especially complex demands, as the their favorite sport. They expect the various broadcasters taking the feeds tactics to be explained with graphic have different requirements, from aids like telestrators, and they want a 3-D down to a few SD highlights for constant stream of statistics. Finally, use in a newscast. June 2010 | 25