Magewell USB Capture Solution Helps Phenix Deliver Real-Time Streaming for Interactive Sports Experience Your Call Football

In May 2018, gaming technology startup Your Call Football (YCF) kicked off the inaugural season of its innovative, interactive sports experience.

Behind the scenes, global, real-time IP video solutions provider Phenix deployed plug-and-play capture hardware from Magewell to help enable real-time, high-quality streaming of the matches.

Your_Call_Football_Mobile_OutputYour Call Football provides fans with play-calling control of a live-streamed American football game. Leveraging patented YCF technology, fans use the YCF iOS or Android app to control the action by voting on three coach-selected plays for each offensive down. The fans then watch as the majority-voted play is executed live on the field by YCF professional players. Participants accumulate points based on their play-calling skills and compete with other fans for YCF cash prizes.

Phenix delivers high-quality synchronous content to broadcast-sized audiences while maintaining less than 1/2 second of end-to-end latency. The company offers an end-to-end solution that starts by capturing video and audio at the source, and handles encoding, ingest, transcoding, composition and content delivery to any viewing device. While most customers operate the streaming system themselves, Phenix goes on-site for some large events to provide an extra level of support.

For the YCF games, the program feed crafted by the events’ production company was output as an HD-SDI signal, and brought into a computer running the Phenix encoder software using a Magewell USB Capture SDI device. The encoder software then published the resulting high-quality streams onto the Phenix delivery platform.

“Utilizing a Magewell capture device to ingest our production feed into the Phenix encoder onsite at YCF’s first-ever fan play-calling football games enabled us to deliver a real-time user experience that was second to none,” said Julie Meringer, President of Your Call Football. “Our fans watched the first season of YCF games in real-time from our iOS and Android apps, as well as on yourcallfootball.com and barstoolsports.com.”

Your Call Football is one of many projects for which Phenix has used or recommended Magewell products. As the Phenix platform’s technical capabilities grew and the company took on higher-tier customers, they needed to find a reliable capture solution to bring in HD-SDI and HDMI feeds from their clients’ multi-camera production infrastructures while maintaining quality. Magewell capture devices proved to be ideal.

“We support other vendors’ capture cards too, but we have had the most success with the Magewell products over other brands,” said Dr. Stefan Birrer, co-founder and CEO of Phenix. “In fact, if we’re on-site ourselves doing the streaming for the customer, we prefer using Magewell products.”

Magewell’s external USB Capture family is particularly appealing for customers with non-permanent installations, minimizing effort and support requirements.

“With the USB Capture products, users can simply have an external device and don’t need to build their own custom ingest computer with internal cards,” said Birrer. “Magewell’s automatic input detection also makes it easy, taking the guess work and configuration effort out of having to know the technical details of the input signal. Our customers’ goal is to reliably deliver the best quality and user experience with the simplest workflow, and Magewell fits those use cases perfectly.”

 

“Magewell’s high-quality, reliable and easy-to-deploy capture solutions are ideal for innovative use cases such as the Your Call Football project and Phenix’s streaming platform,” said Darryl Spangler, president of Magewell’s U.S. distributor, Mobile Video Devices. “We are excited that Phenix chose the USB Capture SDI as a critical workflow component for these ground-breaking events.”

IBC sees TVU Networks demonstrate Remote Production Solutions that greatly minimize complexity and cost for live event coverage

TVU Networks, the global technology and innovation leader in live IP video solutions, today announced that it will demonstrate its portfolio of intuitive remote productions solutions on its IBC 2018 stand (2.B28), including TVU Producer, it’s latest cloud based solution with game changing features, already popular within eSports and third leagues European football championship.

Offering frame-accurate synchronization over the public internet, these solutions remove the requirement for an OB truck and dedicated circuits, making live events much simpler and more cost-effective to broadcast.

“We reduce cost and complexity in a number of ways,” said Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “TVU RPS removes the requirement for dedicated circuits and OB trucks by editing at the broadcaster’s studio; TVU Producer provides the highest level of flexibility, enabling virtually any organization to produce live events from any location in a matter of minutes. TVU Timelock enables the hundreds of broadcasters with TVU One solutions to elegantly and cost-effectively move to wireless remote production, ideal for navigating through concerts and other crowded events. By providing these three routes to remote production, we enable all operators to make the most of live-event programming, an incredibly important weapon in today’s highly competitive video marketplace,” concluded Paul Shen.

The solutions demonstrated include:

TVU Producer: a cloud-based multi-camera remote production solution including features such as graphics and video replay. Capable of professional quality production, no hardware or software installation, and yet thanks to its simple WYSIWYG user interface it can be used by operators with virtually no experience or training. The minimum solution requirement is internet access and a smartphone. With a multi-channel IP video switcher and simultaneous output to social media, including Facebook Live, Periscope Producer and YouTube Live as well as most CDNs, TVU Producer is the easiest way to produce professional quality multi-camera live events with perfectly synchronized switching.

TVU RPS: This frame accurate solution delivers a cost-effective alternative for live multi-camera remote television coverage, using a broadcaster’s existing studio control room staff and equipment and a public Internet connection from the field. Mostly used to cover sport events globally, it also benefits news broadcasters who have used it to cover a wide range of events such as the last Catalonia presidential election. The TVU RPS transmitter encodes up to six synchronized SDI sources and transmits high quality and low latency IP video to a remote studio based TVU RPS receiver. It also features individual bit-rate configuration per channel and optional channel priority to guarantee a constant signal for the most important live footage.

TVU Timelock: This solution enables wireless remote production for broadcasters that already own multiple TVU Transmitters such as a TVU One, synchronizing their signal. As a cost-effective alternative to traditional on-location multi-camera video production, TVU Timelock allows broadcasters to cover many more live events.

More info

GatesAir and Sonotec Transition Bolivian Broadcaster to Digital TV in Two Cities

With the multi-year analog sunset now underway in Bolivia, GatesAir, working closely with regional partner Sonotec, has successfully transitioned private broadcaster ATB Bolivia to ISDB-Tb digital television in the cities of Cochabamba and La Paz, fulfilling the first government mandate to deliver DTV programming in these two cities and the city of Santa Cruz within a six-month window.

GatesAir supplied its latest-generation, high-efficiency Maxiva ULXTE liquid-cooled transmitters to support the transition in Cochabamba and La Paz, with an accelerated delivery timeline that enabled Sonotec to install and commission both systems in advance of the June deadline.

The Government of Bolivia adopted the ISDB-Tb standard in 2011, and is now in phase one of a gradual, country-wide transition that will be completed in 2024. ATB chose GatesAir for the Cochabamba and La Paz projects due to the longevity, reliability and performance of GatesAir analog TV transmitters in service for many years throughout the country. The new DTV systems transmit one ISDB-Tb HD channel and one mobile channel to populations within and near the city limits, with satellite relay to TV service providers in rural areas in compliance with Bolivian government regulations. ATB anticipates that a third DTV channel will be added to the network shortly, noting that the ULXTE’s exceptional bandwidth will help to maximize ISDB-Tb spectrum.

“While the Santa Cruz site had an existing analog TV transmitter we were able to convert in the field, the Cochabamba and La Paz sites were very challenging as we needed new transmitters that could work with the existing RF infrastructure,” said Javier Fernandez, ATB’s CTO. “We have so far experienced a remarkable improvement in signal quality and expanded coverage throughout these regions with the GatesAir system, along with a flexible architecture that readily supports the introduction of new channels and services. These high-performance, digital TV workflows will dynamically change the business of television in Bolivia, as it represents a great economic and financial effort for our nation’s broadcasters.”

ATB specifically selected the Maxiva ULXTE transmitter due to the efficiencies of its liquid-cooled design. According to Fernandez, this design greatly lowers air conditioning usage, reducing overall energy consumption. That will eventually translate to much lower power bills when the current air-cooled analog TV transmitters are fully phased out.

Fernandez adds that the ULXTE design additionally delivers stronger efficiencies across other operational and maintenance aspects.

“The compact size and modularity of these transmitters simplified all installation logistics, which was of high importance due to the challenging timeline for this phase of the DTV transition,” said Fernandez. “Additionally, the ULXTE runs very quietly, and has significantly reduced noise pollution in the transmission environment. The user-friendly modularity will also make it very simple to swap our parts and make adjustments and repairs, though we trust that will be not be necessary for several years given our positive experience with the GatesAir brand.”

To ensure a smooth installation and commissioning process, regional GatesAir sales engineers held local training seminars, followed by on-site visits — efforts fully recognized and appreciated by both the Sonotec and ATB Bolivia teams.

“We’re very thankful for the opportunity to work with ATB in these early stages of an important transition that will delicately balance the delivery of analog and digital TV services over the next seven years,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are confident that the performance and efficiency of our Maxiva transmitters and ULXTE liquid-cooled architecture will reap benefits for ATB Bolivia for years to come, at once reducing labor and expenses for both organizations, while also enabling new DTV services for the Bolivian population.”

More info

Sonnet Technologies at IBC2018

Thunderbolt™ 3 External Graphics (eGPU) Solutions

At IBC2018, Sonnet will showcase its new, award-winning eGFX Breakaway™ Box 650, a Thunderbolt™ 3 to GPU card expansion system designed and qualified specifically for large, power-hungry graphics (GPU) cards, including the AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 64, Radeon Pro WX 9100, 9100 SSG and overclocked NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 10 series-based cards. The 650 model enables the use of all GPU cards that support connecting to a computer over Thunderbolt — such as AMD Radeon R9, RX, RX Vega, and Pro WX models and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 9 and 10 series, Titan X and Xp, and Quadro® models — with Thunderbolt 3-equipped computers, providing GPU support for computationally intensive applications and games. (Lists of supported computers and GPU cards are available at http://www.sonnettech.com/product/egfx-breakaway-box.html). Mac®- and Windows®-compatible, the new Sonnet system is the coolest and quietest eGFX box on the market, with a built-in, variable-speed, temperature-controlled fan that quietly and effectively cools the installed card.

Sonnet will also display two new external graphics solutions, the eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 560 and eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 570. Compact and powerful, these integrated Thunderbolt 3 external graphics processing unit (eGPU) systems are highly portable and offer users tremendously improved graphics performance when used with thin and light laptops.

Solo10G™ 10 Gigabit Ethernet Adapters

Sonnet will showcase its new Solo10G™ Thunderbolt™ 3 Edition adapter and Solo10G PCIe® Card, the latest products in the company’s expanding line of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) solutions. The Solo10G Thunderbolt 3 Edition adds lightning-fast 10GbE network connectivity to any Mac® or Windows® computer with a Thunderbolt 3 port, enabling users to easily connect their computers via copper cables to high-speed network infrastructure and storage systems using the 10GbE standard. Its performance, diminutive size, simple setup, and silent operation make this Sonnet adapter ideal for use in a variety of workflows and environments. Its $199 MSRP sets a new price standard for 10GbE connectivity over Thunderbolt. The Solo10G PCIe Card adds 10GbE network connectivity to any Mac®, Windows®, or Linux® computer with PCI Express® (PCIe) slots. With its $99 MSRP, the card offers users an affordable and powerfully simple solution for adding blazing-fast 10GBASE-T 10GbE network connectivity.

Thunderbolt™ 3 Editions in Echo™ Express Family

Sonnet will showcase new Thunderbolt™ 3 editions of its award-winning Echo™ Express Thunderbolt-to-PCI Express® (PCIe®) card expansion systems. Sonnet’s top-of-the-line Echo™ Express III-D (desktop) and Echo Express III-R (2U rackmount) systems support the installation of up to three full-length, full-height PCIe cards, and connect them to the computer through a single cable. With the latest interface, both systems enable users of Mac® and Windows® computers equipped with 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports to take advantage of Thunderbolt 3’s 2,750 MB/s of PCIe bandwidth to support the most demanding, highest-performance adapter cards. Both systems feature a built-in, universal 300-watt power supply with a 75-watt auxiliary power connector for installed cards, plus two large, ultra-quiet, temperature-controlled cooling fans to enable their use in noise-sensitive environments.

1TB And 2TB Fusion™ Thunderbolt™ 3 PCIe® Flash Drives

Complementing its popular 1TB model, Sonnet will showcase the new 2TB Fusion™ Thunderbolt™ 3 PCIe® Flash Drive. The rugged, pocket-sized, solid-state drive (SSD) storage device features NVMe flash storage and leverages the 40Gbps bandwidth of its Thunderbolt 3 interface to deliver data transfer speeds up to 2,600 MB/s. Designed for pro users requiring ultimate performance in a truly portable storage device, the Fusion Flash Drive is bus-powered and features a rugged aluminum enclosure that effectively cools the SSD and eliminates the need for a fan, enabling silent operation. The Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive connects to any compatible Mac® or Windows® computer with its 0.5-meter Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) cable.

SF3™ Series Pro Card Readers

Sonnet will show its line of SF3™ Series dual-slot Thunderbolt™ 3 pro media readers. Each SF3 Series reader features a compact, rugged aluminum enclosure designed for stacking multiple readers. The SF3 Series — CFast™ 2.0 Pro Card Reader is bus-powered with no power adapter required, and can ingest files from two cards at concurrent data transfer speeds up to 1,000 MB/s. The SF3 Series — SxS™ Pro Card Reader features dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, can support a bus-powered device (such as the CFast 2.0 reader), and can simultaneously ingest files from two SxS cards at their maximum supported data transfer speeds.

Sonnet will also preview the newest member of the family, the SF3 Series — Sonnet RED MINI-MAG® Card Reader. Featuring dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, the reader can support a bus-powered device (such as the CFast 2.0 reader), and can simultaneously ingest files from two RED MINI-MAG cards at their maximum supported data transfer speeds.

More info

Vitec Group Supports Local East Anglia Filmmaker And Cast To Produce Debut Feature Film

Cook’s production company has just released the trailer for “Magpie,” a crowd-funded film about a British soldier and his wife who suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during and after World War II. Vitec Group equipment used in “Magpie” includes Litepanels LED lights; mobile power solutions from Anton/Bauer; Sachtler and Vinten tripods, including the new flowtech 75; and OConnor grips.

Cook was producer and director of photography for “Magpie” and also served as co-writer and co-director together with Carmel Hannant. The Kickstarter-funded film delves into the vast changes in the physical and social landscape of the East Anglia area of England during World War II. Shot entirely with a local cast and crew from Norfolk and Suffolk counties, “Magpie” will be shown at major film festivals before its release in early 2019.

“The Vitec Group’s support has been critical for the success of this project. ‘Magpie’ is the largest and most challenging film I have ever worked on, and I knew that its brands could provide the best and most reliable equipment in the industry to help me realise my creative vision,” Cook said.

Cook shot “Magpie” using a single Sony PXW-FS7 camera supported by Sachtler FSB 10 tripods throughout the production. In addition to providing a stable platform for the 12-kilogram payload of the camera, the FSB 10s offered the robustness and reliability the production required for on-location shooting, with extra-smooth movement that eliminated wobble or shake when the crew worked with long lenses. In addition, Cook was able to serve as a beta tester for Sachtler and Vinten’s new flowtech 75 carbon-fibre tripod.

“The FSB 10 was the perfect choice, especially in the earlier stages of filming, and it never let us down. It’s lightweight, yet stable enough that our slider system could handle the overall weight of the camera and head with silky smooth operation,” Cook said. “And the flowtech 75 is a marvel; it’s incredibly fast to set up and use. ‘Magpie’ was the perfect environment to test its innovative features, such as the ability to go low without the need for a spreader. That was an important capability for shooting many of the military scenes of the film.”

The entire “Magpie” film was shot using LED lighting from Litepanels. The production used two Sola Fresnel LEDs as the main light for a majority of the scenes providing a strong, yet energy-efficient, daylight source. Sola and Inca 4 and 6 fixtures provided additional hard lighting, as well as traditional tungsten-balanced lighting for mimicking real-world light sources, such as nighttime interior scenes when daylight was not present. Litepanels Astra Bi-Color and Astra soft LEDs provided a powerful but compact light source that was vital for lighting small internal spaces.

Anton/Bauer Cine 150 batteries were the go-to power solution for all equipment on set, from cameras and lighting to monitors and other peripheral devices. In addition, the “Magpie” crew used OConnor O-Rig grips and shoulder rigs to provide strength and versatility for all types of shots throughout the production. The variable positioning of the OConnor O-Grips shoulder mount allowed Cook to adjust the camera setup quickly to suit each shot.

Cook noted, “The Litepanels LED lights gave us the flexibility we needed, even when we were shooting in sensitive, meticulously maintained period locations where space was limited. Having powerful lighting that could run from standard 13A power sockets was incredibly important, because many of our locations could not accommodate a generator, and neither could our budget! And when we were mobile, the ability to power the lights and other peripheral equipment using the Anton/Bauer batteries meant we could use our gear reliably in any exterior location.”

 

“It was a pleasure to support this outstanding project. Paul’s film not only champions the talent base we know exists here in East Anglia, but it tells the story accurately by using real WWII locations in which the scenes are set,” said Andrew Butler, product manager, Vitec Production Solutions. “The Vitec Group is very proud of its history in Bury St Edmunds, also Paul’s hometown, and we are privileged that he chose to make his film at the amazing locations right on our doorstep and using our equipment.”

More info

Singapore’s AIMS Productions Chooses Riedel MediorNet for High-Profile Resorts World Sentosa Project

Riedel’s MediorNet MicroN high-density media distribution network devices will provide flexible signal connectivity for a dazzling new 360-degree projection system in the ballroom.

Resorts World Sentosa is an integrated resort community on the island of Sentosa, off the southern coast of Singapore. Developed by Genting Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa occupies more than 49 hectares and is the third most expensive building ever constructed. In consultation with its client, AIMS has developed one of the world’s largest — if not the largest — 360-degree permanent projection systems for the ballroom.

“To address signal connectivity for the entire projection ecosystem, we turned to Riedel Communications. Riedel has proven itself time and time again as the leader in the field of fiber-based, real-time media network technology,” said Choong Yip Weng, General Manager, Aims Productions (SG) Pte Ltd. “We firmly believe in the adage ‘the chain is only as strong as its weakest link,’ and for that reason we chose Riedel for its cutting-edge, high-bandwidth data transport and signal-distribution technologies.”

 

Weng added, “The MediorNet MicroN devices give our customer unlimited flexibility in moving, processing, and distributing signals. Each MicroN offers a highly versatile, high-density signal interface with built-in signal processing features that eliminate the need for many external devices. We are elated to partner with Riedel for this project, and the after-sales service and support have been second to none.”

 

“It is an honor to be in partnership with AIMS Productions, renowned for its high-profile installations that offer eye-catching multimedia presentations to inspire and challenge the imagination,” said Rajveer Singh, Riedel Communications’ General Manager for Southeast Asia. “We are very proud to bring Riedel’s MediorNet family of products into Singapore, especially with such an esteemed customer as Resorts World Sentosa. Riedel’s system consulting team played a proactive role in the design of the system, working hand in hand with AIMS to construct an efficient solution. This cooperation, coupled with the comprehensive feature set that MicroN is known for, resulted in a winning solution for Resorts World Sentosa.”

More info

Anevia Integrates New Software Solutions and Storage Capabilities with HPE Hardware

Through an existing relationship of over 10 years with HPE, and with access to its advanced testing labs, Anevia is able to simulate the performance of its software on HPE platforms to benchmark and test next-generation solutions. Over this time, Anevia has acquired extensive knowledge and abilities to integrate its own software to deliver solutions that will offer customers the best possible performance on HPE servers. For example:

  • NEA-DVR can leverage its EDS technology by running on HPE’s hyper-scaled platform Apollo. This results in simple clusters able to store years of content across hundreds of channels.
  • Genova can use a mix of GPUs and CPUs hosted in HPE DL 380s in order to provide multiple 4K TV channels per server.
  • NEA-CDN can leverage NVME and DPDK technologies in HPE Gen 10 DL servers to provide up to 100 Gbps streaming.

In addition, Anevia customers will benefit from a combination of outstanding record on maintenance response. With HPE Pointnext, support can be onsite within four hours of a problem being reported at a physical installation while Anevia complements this with 24/7 remote support for software issues. This combined proposition adds up to an unrivalled, world-class service level agreement offering unable to be matched by hardware-specific vendors alone.

As part of this extended relationship, Anevia customers can also take advantage of HPE’s experience in the transitioning of video infrastructure into a new, virtualised environment, making further use of HPE’s Pointnext services designed for this purpose. Included in this initiative, Anevia is working on the integration of Genova in HPE’s Virtual Headend Manager which would create a virtualised, open-architecture, headend platform that manages core software functions such as encoding, transcoding, multiplexing and packaging.

“Our newly formalised arrangement means that our customers now have the benefit of combining Anevia’s personal approach with all the reassurance of working with one of the world’s leading technology firms, backed by a wealth of research and development. Our work with HPE in its labs over the past decade has provided us with unprecedented insight into its technologies, ensuring we can use the most effective products to maximise our software’s capabilities,” says Damien Lucas, Anevia CTO and co-founder.

 

“HPE Pointnext services are unmatched within the industry – and we can now strengthen these further with our 24/7 remote software support. In addition, we recognise that many of our customers are currently moving towards virtualising their infrastructure and HPE’s proven tools and technologies will provide significant support for this migration.”

 

Mathieu de Fressenel , Vice president Hybrid IT Division , HPE France said: “Working together with Anevia to maximise the benefits of our combined technologies has allowed a new end-to-end server offering, complete with full storage capabilities – something that is pushing the boundaries of product offerings to our customers and will be a huge benefit to the broadcast industry.”

More info