Bannister Lake Complements Broadcast Election Data Solutions With Online and Mobile Capabilities

With both Canada and the United States gearing up for national elections, Bannister Lake is now offering media organizations innovative web-based solutions to complement and augment their on-air presentations and dramatically expand election coverage. Bannister Lake HTML5-based web widgets use multiple static and real-time data sources to provide online and mobile audiences with easy-to-navigate, map-based visualizations to dig deeper into contextual election data. As broadcast audiences continue to drift online, the solution provides broadcasters with an opportunity to retain audiences with dynamic election graphics synchronized with their on-air presentations.

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Bannister Lake’s development team has taken full advantage of the React JavaScript Framework to build web solutions that are lightweight, fully responsive, and run on the client side. This approach efficiently manages large volumes of election data while dramatically speeding up data retrieval and allowing users to access the solution on any device.

“At Bannister Lake we chose to develop web widgets that fully leverage the client side to avoid each query going back to the server,” said Bannister Lake President Georg Hentsch. “This provides a far superior user experience. And by incorporating live results, key demographic data, historical voting patterns, or other important data — all run through our unique development approach — producers can create more compelling journalism.”

The highly visual, animated, and interactive web widgets allow users to easily navigate directly to specific election races, districts, or regions to retrieve results. This capability provides broadcasters with more editorial options, allowing their on-air productions to focus on national trends, background, key races, and upsets, while the online presentation can provide a more localized and interactive presentation. Web widgets can be embedded directly into web pages or into applications to take full advantage of audiences using any device.

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Web widgets can also be incorporated into on-set presentations via touch-screen displays, allowing presenters to walk viewers through important races and examine election trends.

Bannister Lake offers broadcasters two powerful election software products; Elector, designed for parliamentary style elections and Chameleon, which is equipped with an election module geared toward U.S. elections. Both solutions allow producers to take full advantage of Bannister Lake’s industry-leading query, data management, and RESTful API capabilities.

Web widgets expand upon Bannister Lake’s expertise in handling election results data while creating exciting new opportunities for journalists to target online and mobile audiences.

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Veritone Inks Deal With ART19 to Use aiWARE for Intelligent Ad Targeting in Podcasting

Veritone announced an agreement with ART19, a leading podcast hosting, content management, monetization, and measurement platform. ART19 will use aiWARE to run cognitive analysis and topical extraction on publisher podcasts that are part of ART19’s targeted ad sales platform, making it possible for ART19’s advertising partners to target ads based on the content of an individual podcast episode.

“ART19 knows podcast advertising works. And advertisers know that ads can be incredibly successful if they’re reaching the right listeners at the right time,” said Lex Friedman, chief revenue officer at ART19. “By adding aiWARE to our platform, we’re empowering buyers to target ads to consumers based on the content of the episode they’re listening to. Listeners appreciate contextual and relevant ads — and that means they pay more attention to them.”

ART19 will integrate aiWARE’s transcription and topic analysis capabilities to enhance its targeted marketplace. The ART19 sales team will then be able to place contextually relevant advertisements within the podcast based on its subject matter.

Programmatic digital audio ad serving generally allows advertisers to reach users based on a combination of targetable attributes derived from first-party and third-party user data (such as zip code, age, gender, device ID, or internet browsing behavior). ART19 will use aiWARE to identify the topics discussed in a podcast episode, enabling the digital audio ad server to target or exclude ads based not only on who is listening to the content, but on the topical taxonomy of that content. Now, for example, a financial services firm can target ads to be played in podcast episodes that are discussing personal finance and are being listened to by 25- to 34-year-olds. Conversely, aiWARE can also support brand safety use cases, in which an advertiser requests that its ads be excluded from any podcast episodes that discuss controversial topics.

Before aiWARE, there was no way for ART19’s employees to analyze and categorize topical metadata efficiently across thousands of podcast episodes. Now, with aiWARE’s topical extraction capabilities, ART19 can automate this workflow and pass the metadata to the ad server, which will automatically include or exclude ads based on rule sets.

“We’re always looking for powerful tools that benefit everyone in our ecosystem to keep pushing podcasting forward — for publishers, advertisers, and listeners alike,” Friedman added. “aiWARE will lead to contextually relevant ads, which will serve publishers well in terms of revenue; yield great results for advertisers; and provide listeners with ads that feel native, custom, and in line with their interests.”

Unlike a single-point solution that solves only one use case, aiWARE affords ART19 a true AI operating system that makes its investment in AI future-proof. The aiWARE platform’s open architecture allows ART19 to integrate cognition from multiple machine learning algorithms into its existing technology stack seamlessly and to add more cognitive categories easily as new needs arise.

“aiWARE enables ad-tech capabilities within audio and video formats that were previously impractical because they exceeded the capacity and financial resources of human workforces. In a parallel to Google’s indexing of websites, Veritone’s aiWARE automates the systematic indexing and contextual extraction of hundreds of thousands of hours of audio and video content to enable new targeting and brand safety workflows,” said Veritone President Ryan Steelberg. “ART19’s deployment shows how refined targeting capabilities can deliver more efficiency for advertisers with a higher ROI on ad spend, all while creating a better listener experience.”

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Big South Conference Standardizes on JVC ProHD Cameras for ESPN+ Streaming Sports Platform

“It’s a really nice piece of equipment, and it’s the right tool for the job for us,” said Mark Bryant, director of broadcast services and development for Big South. “I’ve gotten positive feedback from virtually all the members – they are appreciative of having these JVC cameras in their arsenals. These are top-notch camera setups.”

When Bryant first arrived at Big South 12 years ago, he said the video equipment across the conference was a “ragtag collection” of technology. When the conference began streaming its sports content to its website, an agreement between the 11 member schools created “centralized video planning” with a basic production infrastructure and workflow to provide some consistency in coverage.

Since then, the conference has adopted a staggered upgrade path that continues to set new benchmarks in quality. Bryant said the need for a camera upgrade coincided with the move from the Big South website to ESPN+. “Last year, we knew it was time to do the cameras,” he explained. “We wanted to make a serious investment, and we wanted to do it right.”

The conference purchased 36 camera packages – three for each of the 11 member schools and three for the conference office in Charlotte, N.C. – that included the GY‑HM850, interchangeable FUJINON lens with hand grip focus and zoom controls, ProHD seven-inch LCD viewfinder, and Miller tripod. Camera packages were delivered last fall, with all schools equipped in time for basketball season. Bryant said the new cameras are a significant improvement over the Big South’s previous camcorders, which were smaller, handheld models with integrated lenses.

“What we wanted was the ability to tell our schools, ‘Here’s everything you need,’ and execute that within our budget,” Bryant explained. “JVC really understood what the conference was attempting to do and where we were going. There was really one clear winner on that.”

As part of the Big South’s agreement with ESPN+, each school provides at least a three-camera shoot for all home games for nine different sports – football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, volleyball, and lacrosse – plus championships and other sporting events as scheduling allows. The conference streams hundreds of sporting events throughout the school year, and provides a package of about 50 contests to ESPN3. The new JVC cameras are also used to provide coverage of press conferences on the Big South website, and each school’s athletic department can use the cameras for other projects across campus.

The GY-HM850 offers full HD image capture and delivery, plus a built-in streaming engine with FTP and 4G LTE connectivity. It features three, 1/3-inch CMOS sensors that provide 12-bit readout, F11 sensitivity (60Hz), and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Dual SDHC/SDXC card slots allow simultaneous recording for instant copy/backup or relay recording for continuous shooting. The camera supports multiple native file formats at a variety of bit rates, frame rates, and resolutions. Other features include a four-channel audio system with stereo AUX inputs and two XLR inputs with phantom power, 12 assignable user buttons, and genlock and time code terminals for multi-camera setups.

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Dynaudio Launches Custom Install Product Bonanza at CEDIA Expo 2019

Danish loudspeaker legend Dynaudio iwill be showcasing a salvo of new products at this year’s CEDIA Expo 2019 in Denver. The company is taking the wraps off its Performance range, a brand-new, slimline product family comprising high-end in-wall and in-ceiling custom-installation speakers, plus a special fire-resistant back-box. Dynaudio also announced two new outdoor loudspeaker models, its first-ever offerings in this category. All these products use the same technologies and undergo the same expert tuning process as Dynaudio’s legendary home, professional, and in-car systems.

Dynaudio Performance Series In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers

The new Performance range marks the entry point to the award-winning Dynaudio Custom Installation product lineup. It was designed to deliver high-quality sound in distributed audio, media room, and other architectural audio applications.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for installers to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, which is why we’ve kept our entire Performance range super-simple to specify and install,” said Andrew Werdean, president, Americas, Dynaudio. “Most of all, we want their clients to experience incredible sound quality and truly enjoy music and films as they were meant to be heard. These new products make it even easier for installers to achieve both.”

For installers, specifying Dynaudio Performance speakers means not having to choose between deep or shallow versions of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers: The new lineup keeps things simple with just one relatively shallow depth. They also no longer have to compromise between fit and performance. Every Performance speaker installs perfectly the first time and simply delivers high-quality audio.

The rectangular in-wall speakers are a simple one-piece design that slots into place and is secured simply by tightening the special doglegs that grip the drywall. The round in-ceiling speakers make installation even simpler with no tools to install; users can just fit the frame and simply twist the speaker module to lock it into place.

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Dynaudio Custom Outdoor Speakers

Dynaudio has also announced two new outdoor speakers: the OW-6, with a 28mm soft-dome tweeter and a 6.5-inch woofer; and the OW-8, with a 28mm tweeter and an 8-inch woofer. They can be connected to a regular amplifier as a pair of passive 8Ω speakers or daisy-chained on a single 70V/100V system by using the selector on the rear. This is an ideal feature for outdoor spaces or commercial applications where multiple speakers are needed to create a consistent sound level across a larger area.

The OW-6 and OW-8 are both IP65-rated, enabling them to withstand everything but a high-pressure jet-washer, and they can operate in temperatures from -27.4 °F to 104 °F (-33 °C to 40 °C). Each OW-6 is available for $499, and the OW-8 is $649. Both models are offered in black or white and include articulating wall-mount brackets.

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Hiltron Announces HMAM-PM Polar Mount Motorised RXO Satellite Antenna

Designed as a cost optimised and quickly installable solution for professional receive-only downlinks, it is intended for use in satellite monitoring, programme acquisition, SNG downlinks or automated backup at cable headends and teleports.

“Satellite antenna mounts in the HMAM series have already proved their reliability, flexibility and ease of use at hundreds of stations around the world,” comments Hiltron Managing Director Antonio Monteverde. “The HMAM-PM continues this tradition of robust construction and high-precision performance. Its design and the use of a 17 bit optical absolute encoder provide highly reliable and very accurate positioning far beyond the stability of commercial grade actuator devices.

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The HMAM-PM has all the remote control capabilities of larger mounts in the HMAM series. Included with the HMAM-PM is an integrated modular Hiltron Antenna Control Unit (HACU) with an integral web interface. The HACU is based on the architecture of Hiltron’s established and proven HCS controller which has four free module slots providing room for options like polarisation drive, LNB supply and monitoring or switch control. All the information required to set and maintain antenna positions is displayed on the control GUI, including current and target positions plus a database of potentially accessible satellites. An SNMP interface is available for integrating the polar mount antenna into an existing monitoring and control system.

“Once a satellite orbit position is known, precise access parameters can be calculated at the press of a single button. With its frequency controlled induction motor and drive system, the HMAM-PM acquires any position within a 90 degree orbit arc in less than 30 seconds. The very high rigidity of the construction ensures essentially zero backlash and a relative positioning accuracy of better than 0.04 degrees.”

Two versions of the HMAM-PM are being introduced: one basic and one with a fully integrated de-ice system for the reflector and feed arm. The Hiltron DCU antenna heating module integrates with the HACU to provides user-configurable current monitoring and alarms, ambient temperature and snow sensor. Operators can choose between manual and fully automatic operation mode.

The entire system is built to withstand standard atmospheric pollutants and to operate from zero to 95 per cent humidity over a temperature range of 35°C (optionally 55°C) down to -25°C. The HMAM-PM can be built, if so required, to withstand pollutants such as salt encountered in coastal and industrial areas.

Meet Hiltron Communications on stand 5.B80 at IBC 2019, Amsterdam, September 13th-17th.