Hotwire Communications partners with Globecast in Americas to distribute seven new Arabic channels

The channels include Alaraby, Dubai TV, Sama Dubai, Kuwait TV, Panorama Films, Panorama Drama and Sky News Arabia.

Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Hotwire is the nation’s leading fiber optics communications provider, utilizing its all-fiber network to deliver best-in-class services to residential, commercial and government customers.

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Jonathan Bullock, VP of Development and Government at Hotwire Communications commented, “In the past year, we have experienced an increased demand for Arabic language content. These channels meet the demand and allow Hotwire Communications to expand its library of content for Arabic-speaking viewers. Partnering with Globecast on this project was an incredible opportunity to work with global experts of international content.”

Leveraging its worldwide satellite, fiber and IP network, Globecast is aggregating the channels at its Culver City, CA facility and delivering them directly to Hotwire’s headend in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Natalie Rouse, Vice President of Content Acquisition, Aggregation and Distribution at Globecast Americas commented, “Our goal is to provide our partners with top tier content that directly addresses the needs of their particular markets. Our partnership with Hotwire Communications is a great example of that. Over the past few months, we’ve worked very closely with Hotwire to develop a deep understanding of their markets, the demographics of their customers and the types of content they were asking for. We feel the addition of these seven Arabic language networks will go a long way in addressing their customer needs and providing content that their customers will enjoy. Given Hotwire’s growing Arabic audience, we’re confident these new channels will be successful.”

The project expands Globecast Americas’ overall channel portfolio and increases its line-up of international content to 29 channels from around the world.

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Twin Pines reconstructs 16th-century Seville for “The Plague”

A team of 35 VFX artists created over 500 shots over a period of ten months for this story set in 16th-century Seville.

The biggest challenge was digitally recreating the city of Seville of the period with the same historical seriousness as a history documentary. To this end, throughout the production process it worked alongside a whole series of historical advisors, documentary makers and an art director for VFX. The exhaustive development of visual layers and the creation of 3D elements by computer relied heavily on maps, etchings and paintings from the period.

“The job of reconstructing the city was formidable given that there is practically nothing existing today of 16th-century Seville”, explained Juanma Nogales, VFX supervisor at Twin Pines. “It required a painstaking process combining historical seriousness with aesthetic taste. And that’s where the collaboration between all the different teams came in: art (Pepe Domínguez), make-up (Yolanda Piña), photography (Pau Esteve), VFX (Juan Ventura, Juanma Nogales), postproduction (José Moyano, Iván Benjumea)… Unless everybody is on the same page, working in the same direction, such an ambitious production as The Plague would not have been possible. And the results are there for everyone to see.”

Twin Pines started working on the project a long time before shooting actually begun. First of all, there was an initial phase of contextualisation, which was then followed by execution, and this took up to ten months of work.

“One of the biggest technical problems we came across was that, unlike other productions we had done before, we didn’t work in fields but in different sets in which the cameras moved freely in 360 degrees. Using immersive techniques, we had to insert the computer-generated elements”, recalled Nogales.

One of the most complex parts to replicate was the port of Seville, which was the most important in the world at that time. Twin Pines solved the problem by recording several images of the Guadalquivir river around the area of the Isleta in Coria del Río, which was then digitally mastered to achieve an end result faithful to history. The team at Twin Pines also had to model the ships and galleons in the port in 3D, which were then integrated into the different scenes.

At the beginning of the first episode, the main character appears on horseback looking down on Seville from a distance. The only real thing in this scene was the horse. In fact, the character was on a hill overlooking a motorway and, using a green screen, 16th-century Seville was reconstructed using computer-generated 3D elements.

Also worth underscoring is Twin Pines’ work reproducing the crowds of people. For instance, in one of the episodes, a space holding around 15,000 people was filled with just 100 extras, with the help of a greenscreen and a lot of individuals recreated digitally after scanning the extras and their clothing in 3D.

At the same time, a large part of the buildings and monuments that feature in the series are not actually from Seville. What the team did was to use similar buildings as references, many of which were photographed and rebuilt in 3D, like the cathedral, the city walls, the poor quarters, the city gates and St George’s Castle. Nowadays these buildings or areas are completely different or the still existing monuments are now surrounded by a different landscape.

In addition, the visual effects in The Plague included a major work of digital extension of the sets, the reconstruction of natural spaces, the integration of backdrops, and a long etcetera. The whole process generated a volume of data for VFX of around 50 terabytes and over 19,500 hours of rendering. Nuke Studio software by Foundry played an instrumental role in the project by enabling VFX, editing and finishing with one single application.

Juanma Nogales is taking part in a talk on FMX on Wednesday 25 April at 17:00, precisely to talk about the use of Nuke Studio in The Plague, as part of the most important symposium on digital visual arts in Europe, held annually in Stuttgart (Germany).

Created by Alberto Rodríguez and Rafael Cobos, the first season of The Plague, consisting of six 50-minute episodes, can be seen on Movistar+. Following the fantastic results since it was first screened, the company has already confirmed a second season for 2019.

With a budget of 10 million euros, around 200 actors, over 2,000 extras and 400 technical experts were involved in this superproduction. The Plague was the first TV series included in the official section of an A-list international film festival, as was the case in the San Sebastián Festival. With a January 12 premiere, the show became the best premiere of a series in Movistar+ in 2018. The Spanish telco recently launched a drama channel across Latin America called Movistar Series, with 12 original series to debut throughout 2018, including The Plague.

NET INSIGHT wins order for Multi-Sport event in Asia

Net Insight will deliver its redundant true WAN, high-quality media transport solution Nimbra for production and contribution of live sports content from the sports venues to the International Broadcast Centre (IBC).

“We look forward to working with our new customer in this rapidly growing region,” says Fredrik Tumegård, CEO of Net Insight. “With our high-quality Nimbra platform and experienced event support staff, the customer will bring superior live sports content to TV viewers all over the world.”

The order includes products as well as services and the delivery and implementation will take place during the second and third quarter. The order was won together with PT Transtel Universal, Net Insight’s partner in the region.

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DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON+ added to the CANAL offering

The channel offers a wide choice of classical works with some 400 programs including short documentaries, interviews, portraits, great artists and composers’ features, music excerpts, album highlights, presentation of new recordings and events benefiting from an access to all French opera houses.

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Initially available to all subscribers with the latest generation of Canal decoders or via streaming using the myCANAL app, DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON+ is a cutting-edge digital service with superior sound and high-resolution pictures. For the first time, users will be able to enjoy an immersive audio experience thanks to the Dolby Atmos technology.

The creation of DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON+ highlights the synergies between two of Vivendi’s complementary divisions, UMG and Canal+ Group, by bringing together premium brands in television and music.

LynTec Resolves Power Control Complexities With New Scalable Solutions at InfoComm 2018

LynTec, a leading manufacturer of innovative electrical power control solutions for professional audio, video, and lighting systems, will showcase its new, robust power control solutions for venues of any size at booth C1319 at InfoComm 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 6-8.

On display will be the company’s Whole Venue Control offering as well as its Single DMX Address Zone Control feature and the outbound relay (O/R) control option for its award-winning Networkable Power Automation Control (NPAC) rack-mounted system.

These options expand the reach and versatility of LynTec’s proven power control technology, providing integrators with a complete portfolio that scales to their project requirements, reduces installation woes, and simplifies operation with advanced monitoring and protection capabilities.

“Across all commercial verticals we’re seeing demand for more advanced AV and lighting installations that can span a facility, adding an increased level of complexity to a system design that will truly meet customers’ needs and budgets,” said Mark Bishop, president of LynTec. “Now integrators can mix and match our RPC Remote Control Breaker Panels, RPCR Automated Relay Panels, and our NPAC Multi-Circuit Rackmount units within the same network on a single interface without exploding installation and operating costs. We continue to build upon the value of their investment with new features and updates that will provide unparalleled control flexibility and protection.”

At the show, LynTec will demonstrate how customers can build a completely tailored Whole Venue Control audio, video, and lighting (AVL) power ecosystem comprised of RPC Remote Control Breaker Panels, RPCR Automated Relay Panels, and new NPAC Multi-Circuit Rackmount units. Whole Venue Control allows integrators and system designers to address the unique infrastructure requirements across a broad range of applications.

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Through a single IP address, customers can set up, control, and monitor all their AVL sequences or DMX lighting zones across the facility, making LynTec the ideal power control and management solutions provider for mega churches, theaters, stadiums and arenas, conference centers, and other large venues.

LynTec will also showcase Single DMX Address Zone Control for the company’s NPAC unit, RPC, and RPCR panels. Enabling use of a single DMX address to turn on and off a selected group of electrical circuits, the new feature is easy to set up using any web-browser-enabled device, a network connection, and LynTec’s built-in web server. It reduces the number of addresses required for lighting control and, in turn, allows installers to use smaller, lower-cost DMX control boards for their projects.

Users can add or remove circuits from a group associated with a single DMX address, and the group — effectively a zone — can include anywhere from two circuits to all the available circuits in the power control system. When it is necessary to operate each circuit independently, the user may assign each circuit a unique DMX address. Any DMX control source can be used to operate the system.

The NPAC series is pre-terminated for easy installation and provides critical protection and control for a range of applications. For large venues or equipment spread across a facility, the system’s master/remote architecture enables control for up to 10 NPAC units on a single network. Engineered to protect and control installed entertainment AVL systems, the NPAC can also control lighting and AV systems across multiple control zones and with multiple control protocols (HTTP, Telnet, sACN, DMX), and simple contact closures. From the NPAC’s interface, users can select the protocol for each zone as well as set up, troubleshoot, control, and monitor status remotely across existing networks from any computer, tablet, or handheld smart device. In addition, users can receive alerts via text or email for notification of voltage anomalies.

Also at its booth, LynTec will feature the new outbound relay (O/R) control option for the NPAC, the industry’s first complete, ready-to-install power management solution that’s preterminated for easy installation and incorporates intelligent power control and audio sequencing in a single 2RU unit that can manage up to 80 amps. The new feature is available as a factory option (as a replacement for the DMX IN and OUT connections), allowing users to control external devices equipped with contact closures as part of their AVL control platform. It adds two single-pole, double-throw, 2-amp, low-voltage relays for independent control of devices external to the NPAC. The NPAC GUI makes it easy to configure the contacts for individual or merged functions with latched or momentary operation.

For large venues or equipment spread across a facility, the system’s master/remote architecture enables control for up to 10 NPAC units on a single network and with multiple control protocols (HTTP, Telnet, sACN, DMX), and simple contact closures. From the NPAC’s interface, users can select the protocol for each zone as well as set up, troubleshoot, control, and monitor status remotely across existing networks from any computer, tablet, or handheld smart device. In addition, users can receive alerts via text or email for notification of voltage anomalies.

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