Ekstraklasa Live Park’s New UHD/4K and HDR-Ready OB Van by Broadcast Solutions

The OB Van is designed and built by system integrator Broadcast Solutions together with partner NEP. The 16-camera outside broadcast truck, currently in deployment at Broadcast Solutions’ headquarters in Germany, can be seen at IBC Show at outdoor stand O.E02.

With the new OB Van Live Park takes the next step in updating its production fleet and moving forward to UHD and HDR. The new truck is the second unit delivered by Broadcast Solutions, after initial delivery of a Streamline S12 HD OB Van in 2015.

Marcin Serafin, COO at Live Park, comments: “Essential requirements for building a new OB Van are the coming changes towards remote production workflows and IP-connectivity. Additionally, viewers show a growing demand for higher resolution we have to address. Due to its future-driven approach and innovative toolset we are sure the OB Van fulfils our expectations – now and in the future.”

The OB Van leverages the latest technology to ensure for a seamless and simultaneous SDR/HDR and HD/UHD production workflow. To advance productions for HDR content Grass Valley’s LDX 86N 4K cameras are upgraded with perpetual HDR licenses. For conversion and HDR-processing, Live Park and Broadcast Solutions opted for AJA solutions. Ten FS-HDR units handle HDR remapping and SDR conversion.

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In today’s live production environments with their growing demand for interconnectivity, collaborative/multisite workflows and IP-connected productions it is vital to have the most flexible and reliable tools at hand. To meet all these challenges and to deliver Ekstraklasa Live Park with a future-proof production unit, Broadcast Solutions deployed a proven set of equipment offering more flexible interconnectivity capabilities and using IP-based or enabled audio and video bridging devices. For audio and video processing Broadcast Solutions implemented Riedel’s MediorNet solution, based on MetroN Core Routers, MicroN I/Os and MicroN multiviewer devices, as a decentralised signal routing and distribution backbone.

Further on the unit is equipped with EVS’ newest live production server generation XT-VIA plus LSM Connect and XFile3. The fully networked EVS eco-system enables multisite and collaborative workflows. With its external stage boxes, equipped with Riedel MicroNs, Lawo I/Os and DirectOut bridging devices the new OB Van is ready for the most demanding production purposes.

See the new Ekstraklasa Live Park OB Van in action at IBC Show Amsterdam between 14 – 18 September. The Broadcast Solutions stand is located outside O.E02.

Ster Improves the Quality of VAST-Formatted Ads With Interra Systems’ BATON Solution

Interra Systems, a leading global provider of software products and solutions to the digital media industry, today announced that Ster, a major video advertising provider in the Netherlands, has upgraded its Interra Systems’ BATON® QC platform in order to take advantage of Interra Systems’ support for the IAB’s Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) protocol.

Using BATON, Ster can perform comprehensive quality checks on VAST-formatted ads to ensure high quality of its advertising output.

“For Ster, the viewer experience is of utmost importance. We are using the BATON QC solution for radio and TV. The EBU128 loudness checks are a great way to make sure viewing a commercial break isn’t unpleasant thereby preventing viewers zapping to another channel. The same goes for online commercials,” Marc Punte from Ster commented. “We will now use BATON to do QC on VAST tags hosted by advertisers just like we do now for radio and TV, thus preventing viewers from leaving the website. A second reason for using BATON is lost revenue. A VAST tag with material that can’t be streamed properly can’t be billed because the commercial hasn’t been fully displayed. With BATON, we now have a tool that can check the quality and availability of commercials. Using the API, we can do this check not just once, but also at any interval during the lifetime of a commercial.”

BATON is an automated VAST-aware QC solution that can check the quality of content hosted at an http server with the same ease as any other content on a file server. With BATON, Ster can cover all of the rotating creatives of a VAST-formatted ad. Unique instances are thoroughly checked for quality, and a consolidated report is created to ensure success and monetization of ad campaigns.

In addition, BATON provides Ster with vendor-based stats about the success and failure rate of ads, enabling quick decision-making. The BATON platform includes all of the required VAST checks and an extensive list of conformance checks to ensure the validity of VAST response.

“The quality of advertising has a direct impact on monetization, and that’s exactly why we recently added VAST support to our widely deployed BATON QC system,” said Penny Westlake, Director, Europe, at Interra Systems. “Ster has a long history of providing top quality advertising, and with BATON’s comprehensive quality checks and extensive feature set, it can continue that legacy.”

Interra Systems will demonstrate its BATON automated QC system at IBC2018, Sept. 14-18 in Amsterdam at stand 7.C09.

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ENCO Boosts Global Captioning Game with Broader Multi-Lingual Support for enCaption

ENCO continues to make technical and operational strides forward with its market-leading enCaption4 solution for automated closed-captioning, deployable on-premises or in the cloud.

IBC2018 marks the European debut of a new speech-to-text engine for enCaption4 that takes real-time accuracy to unprecedented new levels, along with workflow efficiencies that range from NDI compatibility to captioning for live and on-demand streams.

The latest improvements in accuracy include a dictionary database that has, for the first time, been expanded to 29 languages in time for IBC, making enCaption4 a viable solution with true ROI value for broadcasters worldwide. Leveraging breakthroughs in machine-learning technology, ENCO’s patented, Artificial Intelligence-driven solution allows new languages to be added on short notice. Furthermore, integration with popular newsroom computer systems from ENPS and Octopus among others takes advantage of news scripts and rundowns to learn and validate the spelling of local names and terminology.

“With more than three times the language support of previous generations, enCaption4 is now helping broadcasters around the world to reduce or eliminate the rising costs and short-notice staffing challenges of real-time stenocaptioners,” said Ken Frommert, president, ENCO. “We have significantly raised the bar for accuracy in live captioning environments and have surpassed the speed of professional human captioners. We’re helping our customers make an immediate on-air impact in news, sports and other programming with automated closed captioning.”

EnCaption4’s higher speed benchmark closes the gap between live speech and the corresponding caption display for an overall improved viewer experience, with accuracy rates now regularly exceeding 90 percent.

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Interoperable Workflows with enCaption

For the first time in Europe, ENCO will demonstrate enCaption’s new NDI compatibility, which simplifies the captioning workflow by eliminating the need for specialized encoding hardware. enCaption4 can now automatically generate captions through its NDI input stream, and output an NDI signal with captions keyed directly on top of the video stream. This interoperability also offers a strong and reliable solution for accurate closed captioning within live web and social media streams, such as Facebook Live.

“While online video distribution is not subject to the same stringent closed captioning regulations as broadcast TV, the use of captions ensures a larger audience for any online video,” Frommert said. “Advocacy groups for the hard of hearing are also actively pushing for online video programs to contain captions. And many watching video on portable devices in public places prefer to keep their volume down and turn on captions instead.”

In further support of captioning needs for online video, ENCO will demonstrate its collaborative solution with StreamGuys – co-exhibiting at ENCO’s IBC stand, 8.A59 – for the automatic generation of captioning in live and on-demand streams. The workflow covers both transcriptions of new recordings, and captions for pre-recorded files that exist in the archives. Users also have the power to search the captioned content and can export the resulting captioning files (SRT or VTT), and save transcripts of any selected media content for later use.

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Broadcast Solutions introduces hi, the human interface for media applications

Focusing on Systems Integration, the outdoor stand (O.E02) is accompanied by an indoor stand (Hall 8 D74) where Broadcast Solutions is presenting its answer to today’s and future challenges in managing media infrastructures.

Based on more than 20 years’ experience in system design Broadcast Solutions has developed hi – an intuitive and easy-to-use control layer for media appliances. Using the latest auto-discovery and zero-config technologies, hi reduces the setup and configuration time of broadcast and A/V-media systems dramatically via a user interface that provides easy control and monitoring of complex infrastructures, and resembles those of common smart mobile devices.

Media technology has experienced several revolutions in recent years: from SD/HD to UHD, from baseband to IP, from monolithic core systems to modular and software-defined platforms. But with great power comes great responsibility – networked and software-driven systems offer unprecedented flexibility for broadcast and media environments, but require special caution. It is the user’s responsibility to define functionalities, workflows and control mechanisms for all the new devices.

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These configuration processes can take a lot of time and effort – and, in the worst case, need to be redefined each time a piece of the system has changed. Misconfigurations in an IP-based system have dramatic effects on the whole infrastructure with the result that the need to provide a fail-safe environment increases dramatically. This is why Broadcast Solutions created hi!

Broadcast Solutions’ hi makes the configuration process smart and easy, detects new devices automatically and protects the user from false-configurations.

Built on decentralised software architecture, the hi system can run on almost any platform – a laptop, dedicated servers, server clusters, and also in data centres or on cloud services like AWS or Microsoft Azure. This architecture ensures uninterrupted availability, even in the event of hardware, power or protocol failures. Self-healing algorithms ensure that all parts of the system are up and running properly – even if they are distributed over different hardware platforms, or working from different locations.
Reliability and ease-of-use are the keys to successful interaction between the system and the operators, driving the main development focus to be on the user and how workflows can be simplified.

For further information, please visit the Broadcast Solutions indoor stand (Hall 8 D74) and try out a new way of controlling media infrastructures. Come by and say hi!

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M6 Group Transitions to an All-IP Workflow With Harmonic

Harmonic today announced that M6 Group, leading operator of multiple TV channels in France, will upgrade its ingest, playout and storage infrastructure to a media-over-IP solution from Harmonic.

Offering support for the SMPTE ST 2110 suite of standards for professional media delivery over IP networks and SMPTE 2022-7 for seamless protection switching, Harmonic’s playout and storage solutions will streamline the broadcaster’s transition to all-IP video delivery.

“Having relied upon Harmonic’s video production and playout solutions for over a decade, we know firsthand the reliability and innovation they provide,” said Mathias Bejanin, CTO at M6 Group. “When the infrastructure goes live, we will be leading the market in global deployments of SMPTE ST 2110 and SMPTE 2022-7 protection, setting the benchmark for workflow modernization, efficiency and redundancy.”

M6 Group chose Harmonic’s Spectrum™ X media servers and MediaGrid shared storage system based on their rock-solid reliability and workflow simplicity. They will use the Spectrum X media servers for content ingest, live switching with graphics, DVE, 24×7 playout and manual review, with manual control supported through Broadteam’s Omnium video controller. Harmonic’s MediaGrid shared storage system will support M6 Group’s real-time editing and playout operations.

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“The transition toward an all-IP workflow is rapidly gaining traction in our industry based on the significant workflow efficiencies and cost savings that it provides,” said Ian Graham, senior vice president of sales, EMEA and LATAM, at Harmonic. “We’re excited to support M6 Group and unleash the full power of IP for playout and storage workflows utilizing the SMPTE ST 2110 and SMPTE 2022-7 standards, which are supported by Spectrum X, the industry’s trusted media server.”

Harmonic will showcase its latest innovations in production and playout at the IBC2018, Sept. 14-18 in Amsterdam at stand 1.B20.

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Freecaster further boosts Live Video Streaming with BCE at IBC2018

Provider of extended streaming services to key customers such as Tomorrowland, MXGP, Tag Heuer, LVMH, RTBF to name but a few, Freecaster’s streaming solution can be customised to meet the needs of the most demanding and most creative customer. Recent deployments included players with multiple video or multi camera feeds in one player all in adaptive streaming.

“In July we managed the live streaming coverage of Tomorrowland, the world’s largest electronic music festival. Our platform can deliver video worldwide to the largest audiences including in China and our player providing multiple video feeds offered a more interactive user experience” explains Raymond Dulieu CEO Freecaster.

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Photo credit: Tomorrowland 2018

This technology was recently combined to BCE’s expertise, platform and network at the recent Montreux Volleyball Master (MVM). During the 6 days of the event, BCE and Freecaster teamed up to produce and stream live interviews from BCE’s StudioTalk platform.

The flexibility and portability of BCE’s StudioTalk was used to set-up a fully automated multi camera interview studio. Freecaster’s streaming platform was used to publish the StudioTalk feeds to MVM website and social network accounts. The feeds were also recorded for VoD purposes.

BCE created the channel branding for the event, perfectly integrated within StudioTalk, the team was able to trigger the different secondary events with the synchronized graphics and effects.

“BCE and Freecaster worked hand in hand to deliver outstanding services. The team was always available and ensured the best results for Montreux Volley Masters. We were impressed by the quality of the productions and the seamless streaming quality for our viewers” comments Maria Möller, Media & Marketing Manager at Montreux Volley Masters.

Freecaster will be present at the IBC2018 on BCE’s stand 7.C37 in hall 7.

TVU Networks Unveils Innovative Cloud-based, Multi-Camera Production Solution

TVU Networks, the global technology and innovation leader in live IP video solutions, today announced that it will debut TVU Producer, its powerful cloud-based video production solution at IBC 2018 (Stand: 2.B28).

Part of TVU Network’s range of innovative remote production solutions, TVU Producer enables anyone to produce professional, multi-camera video, eliminating the need for expensive hardware and software or prior training.

Covering a wide range of applications, from live sports events and e-games competitions, through to house of worship services and concerts, the simple web-browser interface of TVU Producer enables it to handle any multi-camera production from virtually any location. Producer supports simultaneously output directly to major social media platforms (Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, etc.), as well as to virtually any CDN platform. SDI delivery is supported through a TVU transceiver and the solution also offers a multi-channel IP video switcher, graphics and slow motion replay capabilities.

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Producer’s patent-pending frame-accurate switch technology overcomes the issue of Internet delay, which can impact processes such as switching, enabling frame accurate previews in the web-based interface. Producer also supports multi-user operation enabling a number of production teams to collaborate.

“The consumer appetite for live content is strong, however, the cost and complexity involved in covering live, multi-camera events is often a barrier for content producers; as a result, multi-camera productions are often confined to large premium events,” said Paul Shen, CEO, TVU Networks. “With Producer TVU is providing a flexible, economical and simple to use alternative that can be used by any operator – regardless of training – removing the need for expensive equipment rentals or large headcounts. This is the perfect solution for broadcasters who are under pressure to deliver more and better content with less resources.”

Non-professionals can easily manipulate graphics, scoring and text overlays during production, thanks to the simple WYSIWYG interface design. Producer integrates with existing TVU transmitters, including TVU Anywhere, TVU One and TVU MLink, as well as with any IP video source or any standard IP video stream (HTTP, RTP, RTSP, UDP, etc.). Up to six live streams an easily be added at any time directly from the Producer interface and any user of an iOS, Android or MacOS device can be added as a live video source within seconds by downloading the TVU Anywhere application.

Producer will be demonstrated at IBC 2018 alongside the innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven TVU MediaMind Platform. At the core of the MediaMind is TVU’s unique metadata-driven workflow engine, which potentially changes how content can be produced and consumed.