Riedel Provides Signal and Comms Infrastructure for The Eurovision

The 63rd annual contest was broadcast live in May from the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal, with Riedel’s MediorNet real-time media network providing redundant and decentralized signal routing and transport from start to finish.

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Through tight integration with MediorNet, Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom system and Bolero wireless intercom provided comprehensive and reliable communications for crew and performers.

Over its six-decade history, the Eurovision Song Contest has become one of the most-watched nonsporting events in the world, with this year’s broadcast reaching an estimated global audience of around 200 million. For all three broadcasts, including the semifinal on May 8 and May 10 and the finals on May 12, Riedel supplied the signal and communications backbone for Videohouse, which produced the show’s world feed on behalf of EBU and Portugal’s public broadcasting company, RTP. Riedel also supported the production with a 25-member onsite engineering team.

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“I was heavily involved with setting up a long-term contract between EBU and Riedel,” said Ola Melzig, Head of Production for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. “Pretty much every single OB truck in Europe that is big enough to do a Eurovision, has a Riedel main frame installed. This means that everything you connect to this truck needs to be Riedel gear, for it to be 100 percent compatible. So, since the delivery of radios, intercom panels, commentator panels, accreditation, fiber backbone, and signal distribution are static from year to year, it made all the sense in the world to set up this deal, since it generates significant savings both for this year’s host broadcaster, and future ones. In addition to that package, we also bought the whole IT solution from Riedel, so we had a one stop shop for our digital ecosystem. It was absolutely perfect!”

Eurovision-MediorNet

The Riedel MediorNet backbone consisted of six MetroN core routers, 24 MediorNet modular frames, and 30 MicroN high-density media distribution network devices. Deployed in a decentralized configuration, the MediorNet network ensured fully redundant distribution of all video and audio signals for commentary, intercom, signal distribution, and radio communications, including the feeds for monitors in commentary booths and for displays and projectors in the Altice Arena.

For the first time at the European Song Contest, Riedel deployed a complete solution based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to support commentary booths for almost 30 countries covering the contest for their local audiences. Anchored by four Artist 64 intercom mainframes and 40 Artist CCP-1116 commentary panels, the system used Cymatic Audio’s uTrack24 devices, loaded with Angelbird SSD hard drives, to manage line IDs for the commentary booths.

Eurovision-Riedel2Crew communications were facilitated by a robust intercom system anchored by four more Artist 64 mainframes and more than 100 Artist RCP and DCP intercom panels. The Artist panels provided fully redundant, decentralized distribution of all Bolero wireless intercom signals, with 32 Bolero beltpacks deployed to the production team. Bolero’s Advanced DECT Receiver (ADR) technology ensured clear communications throughout the Altice Arena using only six AES67-networked antennas. The Artist infrastructure also supported almost 600 Hytera and Motorola TETRA handheld radios.

In addition, DECA, a Riedel subsidiary, provided an access control system designed to simplify guest and crew entry into the arena, boost security, and provide efficient visitor management. The system required personnel to pass through turnstiles where their accreditation cards, embedded with RFID chips, were swiped with stationary or wireless reading devices, and the RFID data was matched to an online database. Also, Riedel once again worked with partner TPO to provide a comprehensive IT and cybersecurity infrastructure, including all switches, servers, and 170 wireless access points, for up to 2,000 journalists in the press center.

“The European Song Contest has become a massive undertaking, but our team lives for this type of large-scale, immensely complex challenge. To really appreciate what Riedel and Videohouse pulled off for this year’s show, take a look at some of the numbers — more than 5,000 buttons spread across 200 comms panels, over 800 intercom users, and a record-breaking 46 km of fiber cable,” said Benedikt Leister, Project Manager at Riedel Communications. “We can’t wait to see what the producers have in store for next year, but we’re confident that our MediorNet, Artist, and Bolero technologies will be up to the task and provide the robust and reliable infrastructure needed to deliver a dazzling and memorable show.”

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Photos by: Ralph Larmann / Riedel / Videohouse

VITEC to Showcase IPTV and Digital Signage Solution for Sports Venues at NACDA Convention

VITEC announced it will feature the latest release of its award-winning IPTV and Digital Signage Solution for Sports Venues at the 2018 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, at booth 307.

Held June 28-30 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, NACDA’s annual convention is the largest gathering of collegiate administrators in the country.

The new release adds video wall functionality and certified interoperability with the latest content protection and DRM standards required by the leading services providers for IPTV deployments, while enabling collegiate athletic departments to stream broadcast-grade video and manage digital signage campaigns from one comprehensive platform.

“Colleges are looking to enhance the game-day experience with the same visual amenities fans have come to expect when they attend pro sporting events. The challenge is to keep those solutions affordable,” said Joe Walsh, VITEC’s sales director for sports and entertainment venues. “VITEC’s IPTV and digital signage platform is the ideal solution for collegiate renovation or new construction projects because it gives universities the ability to install it in one sports facility — such as the football arena — and then scale it step-by-step to other venues until it encompasses the entire athletic department.”

VITEC’s IPTV and Digital Signage Solution for Sports Venues allows stadiums, arenas, and other sports faculties to stream high-quality live and on-demand video seamlessly and cost-effectively, create dynamically personalized content and digital signage, and deliver it over existing IP infrastructure without impacting other network services. As a result, each display becomes a visual attraction that fans can enjoy. In suites, for instance, the automatically updated electronic program guide and video-on-demand capability provide access to nonlinear content that cannot be seen in homes.

Furthering the value of the system, the platform’s new video wall capability simplifies deployment and management of projects involving IPTV, digital signage, and video wall content. VITEC’s video wall processors are 100-percent hardware-based, feature low-latency native playback of IPTV streams up to 4K, and support interactive content, video, and imagery transformations. More than 50 displays can be managed from a single processor, including nonstandard layouts and resolutions of TVs and LED walls. The new release of the platform also expands its DRM interoperability and adds enterprise IPTV capabilities like time-shifted TV and a new mobile app for iOS and Android, which allow users to stream IPTV content on their own devices.

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MEDIAPRO to provide TV production services for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima

The MEDIAPRO Group has been chosen as Host Broadcaster of the 2019 XVIII Pan American Games and the VI Parapan American Games in Lima, the largest sports competition in North and South America.

MEDIAPRO will be in charge of broadcasting all sporting events that form a part of both Games held at 24 venues, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies which will be held at the Estadio Nacional in Lima.

The Games include competitions in 39 sports and 62 disciplines and will be held from July to September 2019. A total of 900 hours of live coverage will be broadcast around the world. The MEDIAPRO Group was selected after an international call for bids in which the major audiovisual groups around the world participated.

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from left to right: Francisco José de la Fuente, Jaime Reusche, John Chuman

The project is expected to cost a total of 15M dollars. The Pan American Games are the biggest multidisciplinary sporting event for Northern and Southern American athletes, including those from the USA and Canada.

A complex operation of 600 specialized professionals will cover nearly 2,800 events with 16 mobile units and 300 tons of equipment with state-of-the-art technology capable of covering any sports discipline from a marathon to athletics, gymnastics and aquatic sports. Said coverage will rely on telephoto and wide-angle lenses, underwater cameras, aerials, special slow motion cameras, Steadicams and drones among other high-definition technical equipment.

MEDIAPRO will also be in charge of setting up the International Broadcast Center (IBC), located at the Lima convention center where all of the signals received from the 24 venues will be centralized for later distribution to the international TV operators with broadcasting rights for the Games. The IBC will also provide technical coverage for media outlets travelling to Lima for the event and will include TV studios and live connection points.

MEDIAPRO has extensive experience in the production and distribution of major sporting events. It currently handles production (fully or in part) for 13 soccer leagues, including the championships in Spain, France, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Colombia, Bolivia, Kenya, Gabon and Mozambique. Its production history includes the finals for the UEFA Champions League, the Copa América de Naciones, the FIBA Basketball World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup, the EuroLeague Final Four, the Arab Games, the F1 championships, the French Open and the World Surfing Championship in Australia.

The 2019 Pan American Games will be held in the Peruvian capital from July 26 to August 11 next year and feature more than 6,600 athletes from 41 countries competing in 62 disciplines and 39 sports. The 2019 Parapan American Games will be held from August 23 to September 1 in Lima, bringing nearly 2,000 athletes together to compete in 18 disciplines and 17 sports. Both Games will have qualifying disciplines for the 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

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2018 French Open in Ultra High Definition

France Télévisions and the French Tennis Federation, in collaboration with TDF and FRANSAT, a subsidiary of Eutelsat, will provide 4K coverage of the Philippe-Chatrier court, Roland-Garros’ primary venue during the two-week tournament.

All matches will be captured by France Télévisions’ production channel. Once again, the event channel whose broadcasting scope was extended in 2018 demonstrates the public broadcaster’s strategy of technological innovation and its distribution policy that is optimised to reach and serve all audiences.

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Broadcast live from 27 May to 10 June, the matches will be aired:

  • everywhere in France on channel 444 of the FRANSAT free-to-air satellite platform;
  • in Paris and the Île-de-France* region, as well as in Nantes and Toulouse on channels 81 or 82

to all homes equipped with a 4K/UHD** compatible TV set.

For the 2018 edition, Ateme has been selected to provide digital compression for the entire offer and Zayo for its expertise in fibre signal transport.

UHD or 4K offer viewers true immersion and an unprecedented viewing experience with an image quality four times richer than the current Full HD and two times more images per second.

This new operation confirms that the transition to UHD is now well underway at industrial level. The switch to UHD (4K) is a key component of the CSA’s planned modernisation of DTT.

* From the Eiffel Tower and the Chennevières, Meaux and Chaville sites

** For DTT homes, the “4K” or “UHD” TV set should also receive programmes broadcast in DVB-T2 and HEVC.

Denver 8 TV Uses TVU Networks to Live Stream Outdoor Concert Series

Denver 8 TV, the municipal access television station for the City and County of Denver, Colorado government, will resume broadcasting and live streaming its concert series, Live@Levitt, on June 1st, using TVU Networks’ TVU One mobile IP transmitter to send live feeds from the Levitt Pavilion Denver to master control in Denver’s City Hall, which distributes the signals for live streaming and broadcast.

A remote production control room at the back of the amphitheater switches the program, which is then fed into the TVU One and sent to TVU video receivers at City Hall for live broadcast on the Denver TV 8 Comcast channel and streamed to the website Denver8.tv.

TVU_One_TM1000GwThe Pavilion lies within a natural bowl in the middle of Ruby Hill Park, which also has one of the highest elevation points in Denver. While the park offers 360-degree views of the mile-high city, it completely lacks Internet connectivity. Even the City and County of Denver’s own network that connects other outlying facilities doesn’t run close enough to provide a short extension to the venue.

In addition to the park’s lack of connectivity, part of it lies in a river valley. City Hall, the site of Denver 8 TV’s master control operation, is in the middle of the city, surrounded by tall buildings. Without line of sight, renting a microwave hop to broadcast these concerts is not possible. And renting a satellite uplink is cost prohibitive for this public organization. The installation and monthly contract charges forecast by a local high-speed Internet provider attempting to connect the production to a network for a wired feed also proves far too costly for Denver TV 8.

The TVU One IP-based, portable transmitter was selected as a one-step solution for the city’s remote transmission needs. The TVU One is available with HEVC video compression and TVU’s patented Inverse Statmux Plus (IS+) transmission algorithm to transmit full HD quality video with half-second latency at 3Mbps. It’s available with embedded modems and can transmit simultaneously over multiple connections, including cellular, microwave, satellite, BGAN, WiFi and Ethernet.

Despite the park’s less-than-optimal transmission location and the stormy Denver summer evenings, there’s never been any service interruption with TVU One’s transmission.

“We had a lot of rain storms last summer and never experienced one interruption in our transmission,” said Alan DeLollis, TV Communications & Video Operations Mgr., Marketing and Media Services, City & County of Denver. “Weather destroyed two audio boards and front-of-house tents were torn down by the wind and rain, but the TVU unit kept on working.”

DeLollis believes the unit brings more potential for collaboration between city agencies and as a pool feed shared to commercial networks and social media.

“We see our TVU One unit offering us the option to change the dynamic of how we deliver our production services to other city agencies and create a platform where community engagement in public outreach is much more possible,” said DeLollis. “The next step is using TVU One as an engagement and a sharing tool.”

The organization is discussing increasing coverage of live city events that can now, with TVU One, be distributed to others. That includes potentially creating a pool feed dedicated to City-related press conferences, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, etc. that can be shared with commercial media or live to social media.

“If they have a news hole, they could look to our feed and immediately have something to fill it,” explained DeLollis. “If something comes up that they’re modestly interested in, they’ll have our pool feed to use. It would also help them contain remote production costs. Our feed would show up on their TVU system, and they can choose to use it or not. It could provide the city a lot more exposure.”

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Broadcast Pix Anchors HD Upgrade for City of Mankato

Installed in mid-April, the new system has simplified the production workflow and improved the quality of meeting coverage.

About five years ago, the Mankato City Council and Mankato Area Public School Board were moved to new chambers, but most of the old video equipment was transferred to the new space. As a result, the city had three aging SD cameras in its council chambers and outdated hardware in its control room.

“It was time for an upgrade,” admitted Christine Buller, computer and network administrator. “It is just such a very nice change. It looks so much better.”

Located in its own small room, the control room is separated from the chambers by a large window. The area used to be crowded with a switcher, CCU, three monitors, and other equipment. Now, the uncluttered workspace only has a keyboard, mouse, and two touchscreens.

“It’s just so seamless, that’s what I like about it,” Buller said. “We used to have so many different pieces of equipment. It was just kind of cumbersome.”

Meeting coverage is available locally on public access channel KTV, and is streamed live (and is available on-demand) on the city’s website. The meetings are recorded to the Broadcast Pix for archive while the system simultaneously outputs a live stream for the web.

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The City of Mankato, Minn., upgraded to HD production for its city council and school district meetings in April with a new Broadcast Pix BPswitch integrated production switcher.

Instead of a traditional control panel, Mankato uses the Broadcast Pix Commander™ touchscreen interface. Designed for non-technical personnel, Commander offers intuitive controls to simplify switching, camera control, and the use of graphics, clips, and graphics.

The personnel responsible for Mankato’s meeting coverage are not video professionals, but they are able to produce high-quality meeting coverage by using the touchscreens. The system was installed by Mankato-based Video Services, Inc., which provided training and built lower-third graphics for participants in both the city council and school board.

Buller thought she’d rely mostly on the mouse during production, but she quickly adapted to the Commander interface. “We’re finding it so much faster using the touchscreen,” she explained. “It’s so intuitive. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the touchscreen is. It’s amazing – it’s just really smooth in how it works.”

The new setup also includes three Panasonic HD PTZ cameras, which are controlled through the Broadcast Pix. Two cameras are positioned in the back of the room; one provides a wide shot of the council and presets of several council members, while the second has presets for the other council members. The third camera was installed in the front of the room and focuses on the guest speaker table. The BPswitch can also display the meeting agenda or other visuals from a connected laptop. Presets are used to follow the action, but the cameras can be adjusted on the fly to fix headroom or other issues.

So far, the new system is only being used for two city council and two school district meetings per month. However, Buller said the new system could be used to record training sessions and other meetings.

“There are no plans yet, but now we know that we’ve got some options,” she added. “This will allow us some future growth.”

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ATEME Enables Swisscom’s Innovative Video Headend to Go Virtual at Lower Costs

The project’s aim is to build one of the industry’s first IPTV virtualized video headend systems based on video transcoding to manage the numerous TV input formats.

Alongside this, Swisscom wants to adapt the output video channels to meet the requirements of Swisscom’s consumers.

Transcoding Swisscom’s live TV channels with TITAN, ATEME’s virtualized and containerized transcoder enables Swisscom to enhance its MediaCloud project with virtualized, cloud-based technology, providing increased system agility at reduced costs with the following benefits:

  • Lower OPEX: TITAN pure software solution simplifies integration and operations thanks to hardware abstraction and operational simplicity
  • Flexible architecture: ATEME’s TITAN can run on private/public and on-/off- premises cloud infrastructure with the same benefits and value proposition
  • Virtual Video Headend: TITAN is a pure software-based encoder that can run on any COTS or virtualized server, enabling customers to quickly deploy high quality live channels

“ATEME is a leader in the world of cloud-based transcoding. The team understood our needs to build an IPTV virtual video headend which offers rapid channels set up and tear down, along with providing agility to keep up with consumer demand and technology changes” said Bruno Haug, Head of TV Development, Swisscom. “Our new virtualized headend has the ability to onboard a new channel in minutes, enabling it to match consumer technology demands by rapidly adding popular new programming, offering dedicated channels for big events, upgrading channels to 4K and adding new compression standards to support the latest TV-watching device”, he added.

 

“We are very proud to be Swisscom’s trusted partners and support them in building a virtualized video headend to dynamically adjust channel line-ups very quickly,” said Claude Stoffel ATEME EMEA Director.