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17/02/2017

BVE 2017: Kit And Creativity

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George Jarrett looks at some of the many reasons to visit the BVE Show, where intuitive graphic interfaces point broadcast technology at an era of total flexibility.

The billing of the brilliant and prolific documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux and BAFTA Award winning writer and director Amma Asante as keynote speakers strongly suggests that BVE has become a blue chip event.

Coincidental to the marked rise in the quality and targeting of the conference program comes a greater willingness of the big name exhibitors to show exciting products. It matters not that many 'come on' from IBC because a high percentage of attendees will have missed Amsterdam.

An audience with Louis Theroux will probably require streaming to an overflow audience, and Asante will dissect the secrets of what everyone wants to crack – Writing a Winning Screenplay. Over five theatres – cinematography and lighting; production; post and workflow; AV, integration and Live; and, The Screen/Keynotes – visitors will get 120 hours of learning opportunities. The other big names include filmmaker Dexter Fletcher, and British Film Commissioner Adrian Wootton.

Explaining how BVE works (in house, not by industry committee) for the creative community, head of content Sindy Cain said: "The content is entirely built on researched visitor needs. The mission statement is to 'facilitate the growth of UK content globally'. A couple of years ago we had eight theatres, but we consolidated it down to five, which makes it more difficult. You have to be really selective, and more focused on what you are putting out there.

"It is richer in terms of information," she added. "The content at the show is a narrative and a backdrop to the debate about the future of production."

Sponsored sessions, speaking opportunities based on theatre sponsorships, must be based on topics that came out high on expectation lists amongst target one and two groups (buyers and influencers). "Because, unlike others including our competitors, it is a free to attend seminar program we need to make sure that the content is gold," said Cain. "Ultimately though, it is a show about buying kit as well as creativity."

AJA (K23) has started to ship its ROI-SDI
3G-SDI to HDMI/3G-SDI Scan Converter – which offers 3G-SDI to 3G-SDI scan conversion, 3G-SDI to HDMI scan conversion, plus region of Interest scaling – and for the show it will also showcase the new HELO streaming and recording device, the RovoCam compact block camera with an HDBaseT interface, its mini-converters, Ki Pro recorders, and KUMO routers.
The HELO H.264 device allows users to simultaneously stream video signals directly to web CDNs and encode and record H.264 files. AJA will also showcase a range of products that facilitate broadcast IP workflows, including KONA IP for simplifying I/O for IP pipelines, and JPEG 2000 IP video/audio converters.

ARRI (H30), in large part, will be repeating its BSC Expo exhibit, and tipping off key users about what it plans to launch at NAB. The products to look for are the AMIRA Multi-cam master grips; the very interesting TRINITY rig, built by ARRI's new camera stabilizer systems group; and, the SkyPanel family of lighting products. The exciting one here is the S120-C LED soft light. Camera fans can expect to see the full range (ALEXA SXT, ALEXA Mini and AMIRA) plus plenty of ARRI cine lenses and accessories.
In terms of an upgrade (from the XT) the Alexa SXT is effectively a heap of new values: the multiple recording formats include seven new ones; the monitor options bring HDR into the picture and you can output to Rec. 709 and Rec. 2020 via simple selection on the side of the camera; the four image paths are viewfinder and three monitor outputs; and, there is new look management, the use of XSR drives, and single speed mode of 0.75 to 120fps.
The S120-C is the biggest member of the SkyPanel family. It consumes less than 400 watts, yet it introduces a little more brightness than the S60-C and gives users an efficacy of 90 lumens per watt. Aperture is 1290 mm x 300 mm. With the light come all the extras for sculpting and controlling – notably honeycombs, egg crates, barn doors, diffusion panels, the SkyBender and the new fabric barndoor FlexDoor.

Aspera (K30) is an IBM company, specialising in technologies that move data around the globe at maximum speed. Expect to see its complete portfolio of high-speed file transfer software and automation solutions for the broadcast and media industries. Its fields of operation are content sharing, file transfer software, workflow automation solutions, live-streaming and cloud enablement.
The highlight will be the SaaS platform Aspera Files, which is built on the company's FASP transport technology. This enables organisations to establish a branded web-based presence for the fast, easy and secure exchange and delivery of any size file-based media or data between end users across separate organisations, combining multiple storage platforms.
Also available will be FASPStream, an interesting new transport technology for live and near-live data streaming, which expands the capability of the patented FASP high-speed transfer technology to provide a fully reliable streaming protocol for in-order data delivery over Internet WANs. The new version of Aspera's web-based workflow automation platform, Aspera Orchestrator, features improved performance within high concurrency environments. It adds native installers and usability improvements for large and multi-tenant environments; support for new plug-ins; and, inline file validation capabilities to verify media and metadata formats against ADI and DPP standards.

ATG Danmon (G39) is renowned for its prowess in the systems integration (SI) area of the market, and recent client jobs include work for Molinare, Input Media, and Universal Music Group.
Stand talk will be about the many services of consultancy, project planning, workflow design, system installation, testing and commissioning, documentation, training and technical support. The company created UHD flyaway systems for UMG, and in a sign that corporate work is as vital as broadcast industry work; it built green-screen virtual reality production facilities for the London and Hong Kong offices of a global investment bank. It is also a distribution channel partner, handling the full range of shared-storage equipment from Studio Network Solutions, as well as the Amberfin range of software from Dalet, and the Vidcheck range from Telestream.

Avid will have a strong presence amongst its resellers and partners. These will display the most proven and trusted tools built into the MediaCentral Platform.
Digital Garage (K52) will focus on Avid Interplay Production, and will be exploring the most effective ways of expanding workflows with Avid's web services – supporting tiered storage, archive and automated workflow solutions.
Digital Garage, along with HHB Communications (K45), will also be showcasing a range of Avid's most popular pro audio equipment and workflow solutions, including the Avid S6 mixing console. Look for the latest software release Pro Tools 12.7 integrated with the new MTRX audio interface.
Root6 (J19) and Digital Garage will put a special focus on how users can future-proof investments in the MediaCentral platform. They will also show the Avid Media Composer as the perfect editing tool for Virtual Reality, running a 4K workflow alongside Avid's DNxIO.
Tyrell (Q16) will major on Avid's live production tools and its next-generation storage solutions, including the NEXIS | PRO. NEXIS storage is claimed to be the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform specifically designed for media.
Perhaps the biggest attraction will be the 'Inside the Edit' master class featuring high-profile TV editor Paddy Bird. Bird has worked on dozens of prime time documentary, entertainment and reality TV shows for British and American channels. This tutorial will happen in the Post & Workflow Theatre.

Axon Digital Design (G44) will create a stir with the AZilPix Studio.One virtual camera system for live video capture and streaming. A team of academics created this as a cost-effective, ultra-high resolution camera system with wide angle and/or fish eye lenses. The idea is to capture every aspect of a live event from multiple angles, and to integrate into a traditional or IP broadcast environment and blend seamlessly with Virtual Reality video production.
Axon was founding partner in (the Belgian project) AZilPix, and has created an interface that allows the cameras to link to its Cerebrum control and monitoring software. The camera is comprised of three tightly integrated components: camera, capture server, and processing software. The server ingests the raw, wide-angle video data output from the camera and allows recording and live processing of this data into one or more rectilinear views and a view mosaic. Framing can be conducted live; a key advantage of this system is that framing can be carried out offline at the viewing or finishing stage. Using software-based pan-tilt-zoom 'virtual camera' cutouts, a single operator can capture perfect shots from multiple vantage points.
Dr Philippe Bekaert, one of the founders and CTO for AZilPix, said: "By generating multiple 'virtual' cameras from a single physical camera and by using wide angle lenses that ensure no aspect of a live event is ever missed, Studio.One gives content producers endless creative possibilities when it comes to deciding how they want their program to look. The cameras are very small and unobtrusive, and it is possible to automate the system using pre-programmed camera motions or motion tracking, while our server allows cameras to be shuttered precisely and simultaneously and frames to be time stamped with an SMPTE LTC or other timecode."

Canon (H50) will repeat its BSC Expo effort, based heavily on its dynamic and versatile EOS C700 4K camera and associated UHD workflows.
This camera is aimed at both movie cinematographers and broadcast drama producers, and it comes with a wide range of dedicated accessories for shaping a shooting rig. The key things to look at are a specifically-produced Codex external RAW recorder that lets users capture 4K RAW in up to 100P/120P, the full HD OLED viewfinder system offering a wide colour gamut, plus the shoulder support and grip, and the remote operational abilities.
It would not be a strong Canon presence without its wide range of broadcast and cine lenses. Look at the new CN-E18-80mm T4.4 L IS KAS S. Designed for professional and advanced amateur filmmakers, this lens offers an attractive balance of operability and precision and quality. Also worth close scrutiny are the 24-inch and 17-inch 4K HDR monitors (DP-V1710 and DP-V2420) seen first at IBC. These models combine Canon’s image processing engine with a proprietary backlight system and an IPS LCD panel.

Cinegy (F14), which is renowned for software products aimed at wide applications across digital video processing, asset management, video compression, and automation and playout, will major on its new Cinegy Air PRO version 11. This is an upgrade to its real-time playout server and multi-channel broadcast automation software. The systems integrator and reseller Trams will share the booth, and will promote its QsmartStorage consultancy capabilities. Cinegy Air PRO integrates HEVC stream encoding with high-end NVidia graphics cards, and gives users the ability to entirely offload HEVC and H.264 stream encoding to the NVidia GPU. Users can stream UHD using only off the shelf commodity hardware and take advantage of a loudness limiter, Dolby E encoding and decoding, and compliance options. V11 also unveils Cinegy's next-generation of in-built channel branding. This works in a cloud or virtual environment. Look too for Cinegy News.
Dalet Digital Media Systems (H19) intends to unveil a foundation for the future of broadcast at the show. The tactic will be maximizing workflow orchestration.
The technology behind this starts with the BMPN 2.0-compliant workflow engine within Dalet Galaxy: it offers users powerful tools for managing complex workflows such as program management, news, radio, sports, and archive, driving higher efficiencies, and user creativity and collaboration.
The Dalet Galaxy Workflow Engine automates user and media migration tasks such as ingest, logging, editing, transcoding, wrapping, file transfers and file-based QC from a single platform. The interface lets administrators quickly design and model business processes, including user tasks, service tasks, metadata-based gateways, and timeout and error management. The company's API encompasses third-party systems: it supports over 100 industry-leading vendors across file delivery, QC, storage and postproduction. The end goal is finding the flexibility required for facilities, operators and content creators to build a robust, best-of-breed workflow solution.

EditShare (H14) will focus on its collaborative media platform offerings, including its flagship tiered media storage and integrated asset management products XStream EFS and Flow.
The XStream EFS demo will be all about optimised storage technology and file protection. This platform is a powerful distributed scale-out file system combined with a highly resilient architecture, specifically developed for media intensive workflows. It's designed to support large-scale workgroups requiring high-bandwidth, high-volume media ingest, transcoding, online collaborative editing and multiplatform distribution of 4K/UHD, 8K and VR content. New for the show: EditShare states that the XStream EFS is the first storage system to allow users to dynamically define the combination of storage technology (HHD/SSD) and file protection that is applied to media and project spaces. This new capability will enable users to optimise storage technology and file protection for each step in their finishing workflow. This all happens on a single storage platform, with a single media namespace.

EVS (E18) will front its show effort with the XT4K live production server, its DYVI switcher, and the Xeebra multi-angle review technology. The server supports four channels of uncompressed UHD-4K on a single 12G-SDI cable with XAVC-4K recording, and 10 bit HDR support. It supports a dozen or more HD channels and/or 1080p channels, with Channel IMAX configuration. The live tools to check out include the operator's interface LSM Connect, the live replay enhancement suite of Epsio branded tools, and the remote browsing app IPWeb.
In any live production EVS operators can use LSM Connect to have instant access to and control of all clips, playlists and metadata created with the LSM Controller and stored on EVS servers. The Epsio products can then be used to enhance replays and highlights with graphics overlays (Epsio Live), telestration effects (Epsio Paint) and data graphics (Epsio FX). Epsio zoom allows operators to zoom into 4K camera feeds to deliver HD replays from an additional angle. In a demonstration of its Connected Live environment show, visitors will be able to use IPWeb to access, browse, select and clip content stored on servers at the company's HQ in Liège.

Garland Partners and LiveU (K08) will front a show partnership founded on Garland's experience in the area of digital video solutions, and the new LU600. Billed as LiveU's flagship, this kit is a combo of high-performance and portability for cellular up-linking.
LiveU boasts a global installed base of over 2,000 Tier 1 media customers in more than 80 countries, and the LU600 answers user calls for a portable transmission unit for global newsgathering and live sports and events coverage. The bit rate reach is up to 20Mbps, and the other eye catchers are fast file transfer (80Mbps), low delay (0.5 sec) and 100Mbps high-speed bonded Internet connection. The new unit is also field-upgradable to H.265 HEVC, and offers a new streamlined UI, with a fast response capacitive touch screen. Also check out LiveU Solo, a 'plug and play' live streaming bonding solution that connects users to social networks and popular CDNs and OVPs. It offers one-touch integration with Facebook Live and connects seamlessly to Periscope/Twitter, YouTube Live, and Wowza Streaming Cloud.

HHB Communications (K45), which has traded for four decades, is planning to stage its biggest ever square footage exhibit. Known for professional audio technology and Avid equipment supply as an Elite Solutions Partner, it will be brand heavy thanks to kit from Avid, DAD/NTP Technology, Genelec, IPE, iZotope, NUGEN Audio, RØDE, RTW, Wohler, Yellow Technology and Zoom. Additionally, it will show Vicoustic acoustic treatment panelling and products.

Matrox (J18) sustains a line of high-quality, easy-to-use video and graphics products, so will feature the complete Monarch line of streaming and recording appliances alongside the newly launched Matrox Monarch LCS dual-input lecture capture appliance. This eliminates the requirement for complex recording equipment in order to capture and stream sources in classrooms, houses of worship, or lecture theatres.
Monarch HDX and HD enable an easily implementable, full streaming experience from any and all sources. Built on H.264 encoding, the Maevex 6100 delivers low bit rate capture, encoding, streaming, and recording – and fits seamlessly into existing infrastructures. It interoperates with any device on the network. Other enabling products to look for are the Matrox Mura IPX 4K IP decode and display card, and the Matrox VS4Recorder Pro.

Ortana Media Group (K18) plans to show upgrades to its Cubix media asset management and media orchestration platform. This can be configured to handle all media-related workflows from inception through ingest, archiving and manipulation, and right through to billing. Each process can be operated via a highly intuitive unified graphical UI.
The tracker and reporting side of Cubix provides visual displays that enable non-technical staff to review any task flow and drill down into detailed file-related information as well as corporate data. The upgrade here gives the user the ability to track physical assets right through to digital delivery and archiving. This embraces film scanning, barcode generation and management, plus easy image capture of a workflow configuration. Other additions are multi-language subtitle support, track-stacking/audio-shuffling, improved audio library and proxy waveform support. The designer part of Cubix allows system administrators to create their own workflows and design task-specific user interfaces. Cubix operates as a true hybrid cloud platform with native support for Microsoft Azure SQL and Amazon RDS.

Panasonic (H39) will take a mix of its latest production and live system technologies to the show. In the complete VariCam line-up, the big attractions will be the VariCam 35, the compact VariCam LT, and the VariCam Pure, which provides 4K uncompressed RAW at up to 120fps.
These will be configured to meet a variety of production requirements that demonstrate the VariCam's capabilities across documentary, drama and feature shooting. The renowned low light performance, thanks to unique dual native ISO functionality, is one big factor and works with strong colour reproduction to create the distinctive VariCam look.
A full live system solution will make use of the 4K remote camera range: this includes the AK-UC3000 4K live camera system and AK-UB300 4K box camera. Panasonic's full remote camera line-up includes the AW-HE2, AW-HE40, AW-HE130 and the AW-UE70 4K PTZ. Users like the Control Assist and Auto-Tracking solution for lecture capture.

PlayBox Technology (L14) will major on upgrades to its server-based Neo and SaaS-based CloudAir broadcast playout solutions. Neo gives users the ability to own and operate a complete on-site playout system while CloudAir allows a remotely located playout service to be controlled via a secure internet connection. There is also a hybrid of Neo plus CloudAir.
The Neo series enhancements include new control features, expanded file handling capabilities, greater input and output connectivity, and Microsoft Windows 10 compatibility. All have all been implemented within the intuitive graphic interface.
AirBox Neo is boosted with streaming input compatibility for HTTP (S), UDP, RTMP, MMS (H) and YouTube, plus streaming output support for UDP, RTSP and ATSC.
The TitleBox Neo on-air graphics and CG now offers the ability to accept and export database and spreadsheet content in the CSV (comma-separated values) format. Also added is support for the NewTek Tricaster NDI protocol and an API plug-in for Blackmagic DeckLink audio/video capture and playback cards. Enhancements to the CaptureBox Neo multichannel ingest server include a new streaming input compatible with HTTPS, HTTP, UDP, RTMP, MMS, MMSH and YouTube. CaptureBox Neo also now supports the HEVC file format and direct ingest from Sony's XAVC 4K recording format.
Multi Backup Manager now has a GPI alarm plug-in and router control for the Grass Valley NV9000.
The CloudAir boost is a new transcoder capable of handling multiple file containers and formats including MPEG PS/TS, MXF, QT, AVI, MP4, GXF, MPG2, H.264, ProRes, DNX HD and MJPEG.

Suitcase TV (E34) will plug its Iphrame flyaway production system, which promises users new values in the fast developing area of IP-based production. A software-based remote architecture framework combines IP, ASI, and SDI signals in an easily portable system to provide real-time, ultra-low latency production on the run. Iphrame handles video, audio, and graphics on standard IT hardware or VMs, which eliminates the need to acquire and transport the majority of traditional hardware as we have known it. The demo theme will be: users can broadcast more events without sacrificing quality, and for much less money.
Iphrame incorporates Suitcase's TimeLock functionality, which uses PTP reference clocks to ensure that all sources and processes are accurately time stamped on site. It will share its exhibit with Arista Networks, a specialist at building scalable, high-performance and ultra-low latency cloud networks.

Telestream (N22) will give 'UK debuts' to a number of software and hardware tools aimed at streaming and workflow automation. This will be first show since Telestream bought the file-based QC specialist Vidcheck, so expect integration between Vidchecker and the Vantage brands.
The Vantage media processing platform will be the big number, as it is the base for a number of transcoding and workflow automation software products. Telestream will spotlight new ways in which Vantage supports a diversity of trending technologies and standards. Look at the free update to Vantage Timed Text Flip, which adds support for DVB subtitle conversion and insertion, and at the Vantage 16-bit video-processing pipeline supporting HDR. Other things of note will be Telestream's support of the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) delivery specifications, and support for the emergent IMF standard. Another focus will be live video streaming, for which Telestream boasts over 50,000 active licence holders of its Wirecast platform. This supports Facebook Live. Also look for the Lightspeed Live Stream enterprise-class live multi-screen encoding, packaging and distribution system.

www.bvexpo.com

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 36.

(JP/LM)
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