GatesAir to Unveil Expanded TV Transmission Product Family

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will unveil a broadened family of TV transmitters at IBC2019 resulting from the company’s recent acquisition of ONEtastic, operating forward as GatesAir S.r.l. in Brescia, Italy. The expanded portfolio both strengthens GatesAir’s low-power TV range and introduces several engineering innovations that will be new to GatesAir customers. GatesAir exhibits at Stand 8.D60 from September 13-17 at the RAI Conference and Exhibition Center in Amsterdam.

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While GatesAir has long offered low-power UHF and VHF air-cooled solutions through its Maxiva Compact series, the acquisition fills important power level gaps in the low-to-medium DTV product line. This includes ultra-compact 1RU transmitters at six power levels from 15 to 150 W; 2RU systems up to 400 W; 3RU systems up to 700 W; and 4RU systems up to 1100 W, with all systems available for analog TV.

At IBC, GatesAir will demonstrate the high-efficiency 1RU and 3RU systems, along with a new outdoor pole-mounted DTV solution that can house multiple UHF or VHF transmitters and/or remux up to four satellite feeds into a single transport stream for transmission. The high-efficiency, DC-powered pole-mount design eliminates all moving parts and air filters, dissipating heat to the pole’s surface. The tower becomes the heat sink, eliminating the need for fans and cooling systems — making it a true outdoor solution. The transmitter is completely sealed by a telecom-grade weatherproof enclosure, ensuring continuous operation even in the harshest outdoor elements.

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GatesAir will also show a new “intra-mast” transmitter, designed for installation inside a cylindrical tower. It comprises a very compact chassis which and can house up to six 70 W UHF or VHF transmitters. Each transmitter can also be individually configured as a transposer or on-channel gap filler, offering customers a broad variety of options to fulfill all requirements for regional and national networks.

“GatesAir is extraordinarily positioned to equip today’s largest national DTV networks with complete, fully integrated solutions,” said Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “These networks require a significant number of transposers and gap fillers to address challenging coverage areas, especially in the valleys that experience blockage from hills and mountainous terrain. Our expanded product range also brings clever design philosophies that introduce new time- and cost-saving benefits to our customers, strengthening our ability to deliver high-efficiency, high-performance, and competitively-priced transmission solutions.”

These new design innovations and feature sets to the GatesAir transmitter family include no-cable, plug-in architectures that accelerate assembly and maintenance, reduce clutter and maintenance, and increase system reliability. Furthermore, these transmitters expand configuration options with extensive modularity, including plug-in input cards to support satellite reception, ASI, IP and other transport streams.

GatesAir will also demonstrate its existing range of medium-to-high power ULXTE (liquid-cooled) and UAXTE (air-cooled) transmitter families. These transmitters, along with the expanded low-power range, including cutting-edge echo cancellation and optimized modulation error ratio (MER) technologies that far outperform competitive solutions. The two technologies deliver a more robust broadcast signal for viewers, providing better reception in regions with challenging terrain.

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StreamGuys to Showcase New Monetization, Visualization and Social Media Innovations for Radio Streams and Podcasts at IBC2019

StreamGuys is heading to the IBC2019 exhibition in Amsterdam (September 13-17) with a bevy of new features in its SGrecast live stream repurposing and podcast management system that help radio broadcasters and podcasters maximize the monetization of their content and better engage their audiences. Co-exhibiting in stand 8.A59 with partner ENCO, the company will showcase enhancements including server-side ad insertion support in the SGrewind live stream time-shifting module; expanded Audio2Video functionality for turning on-demand audio into compelling visual experiences; and live broadcasting to social media platforms.

These additions complement other recently-announced SGrecast upgrades including a comprehensive API for integration with customers’ existing enterprise systems; direct incorporation of SGreports analytics functionality for detailed content performance metrics; and support for Remote Audio Data (RAD) podcast analytics technology, including quick tagging of many commonly desired RAD events.

Relevant Ads when Rewinding Radio

StreamGuys’ cloud-based SGrecast solution lets radio broadcasters record, repurpose, replay and rewind their live streams to improve audience experiences and create revenue-expanding side channels and podcasts. Its SGrewind feature offers listeners DVR-like control of their live-streamed audio, allowing them to pause and resume a stream without missing any content; rewind the stream to hear something they missed; or restart the stream from the beginning of a preceding program or segment.

StreamGuys_SGrewind_Player_Interface

Complementing StreamGuys’ existing dynamic advertising capabilities for live streams and on-demand content, the new AdsWizz-enabled SGrewind ad insertion functionality delivers targeted ads to listeners when they rewind and replay live streams. The new feature leverages ad-triggering metadata from the original live stream to insert fresh advertising content into the same position during the replay. Whether rewinding a live stream by minutes, hours, or even days, listeners will hear timely, relevant advertising.

“The addition of server-side ad insertion to SGrewind rounds out our robust dynamic advertising support, enabling broadcasters and producers to target ads across their live streams, on-demand content, and now linear replays,” said Jason Osburn, executive vice president, StreamGuys. “Instead of hearing the same ad again after rewinding a stream, a listener could hear a spot from a completely different advertiser, thus providing further revenue opportunities for the broadcaster. And even if a listener rewinds by a few days, he or she shouldn’t hear an ad for an event or promotion that is already over.”

Bolstering Audio with Video

SGrecast’s expanded Audio2Video features provide users with greater control and more customization options when turning their on-demand audio content into compelling video clips. The new toolset and editing interface enable broadcasters and podcasters to creatively craft the look and feel of the videos they create from their audio, combining the auditory source with graphics, custom text, visual waveforms, motion backgrounds and transitions. The Audio2Video functionality can also be seamlessly integrated with ENCO’s enCaption4 automated captioning system to overlay captions of the audio.

“Social media is one of the most important outlets for content providers to engage their audiences, and video is a powerful way of attracting and retaining followers,” said Osburn. “While our expanded Audio2Video features can be applied to any length of content, they are particularly effective in turning short-form content such as sports, news and talk segments into catchy visual experiences for repurposing to social platforms and promoting their brand.”

Bringing Live Streams to Social Media

While the new Audio2Video capabilities focus on bringing on-demand content to social media networks, StreamGuys will also provide IBC attendees with a sneak preview of upcoming SGrecast capabilities for live broadcasting to social outlets. Customers will be able to ingest their existing live broadcast streams into SGrecast; overlay them in real time with elements such as a graphic or waveform; and immediately rebroadcast them to all of their social media platforms. Users will also be able to create scheduled linear rebroadcasts of archived content and deliver them to social media channels as live streams, enabling them to repurpose existing material into live-like experiences to attract new audiences.

“Customers using our managed CDN services can already deliver their live streams to social networks, but our upcoming new functionality will give our users more control, providing access to their archives to create linear rebroadcasts while letting them customize the visual presentation of the audio,” concluded Osburn. “We look forward to discussing this upcoming feature with IBC attendees and getting their feedback as we finalize its development.”

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CP Communications Covers Multi-Venue CrossFit Games with Hybrid Broadcast and Production System

CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for complex live event productions, exhibited the full power of IP streaming and bonded cellular networking for live sports production at the 13th CrossFit Games, which represents the world championship event for the athletic competition. Contracted by Carr-Hughes Productions, CP Communications provided all content acquisition, networking and delivery services across all areas at the multi-venue, 20-acre Alliant Energy Center complex in Madison, Wisconsin. The complex includes an exhibition center, vendor pavilions, a sponsor’s row, a beer garden and an outdoor competition area – North Park Stadium – built specifically for this event.

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CP Communications established a base at the exhibition center outside the Alliant Energy Center, and built a fiber infrastructure from its 40-foot CP-1 Digital Communications Trailer to cover the entire competitive course. The fiber infrastructure also delivered the live event production feeds that were distributed throughout the complex, allowing fans, participants and sponsors to watch the events in real-time. The 13th CrossFit Games took place August 1-4, with a focus on aerobic, weightlifting and gymnastics for the nearly 200 male and female participants.

The fiber infrastructure was based around four, 48-strand fiber trunks to a demarcation point, where anywhere from 24 to 60 fiber strands were run to the various competition and spectator areas. The fiber network accommodated all audio, data, and video acquisition, transport and distribution services required between these locations and CP-1, which served as CP Communications’ production workspace in the broadcast compound. MultiDyne VF-9000 high-density video fiber transmission frames and MD-3000 fiber transceivers were used at all locations to move and process signals between any point, with a Dante® network deployed to support audio and intercom on the same fiber backbone.

CrossFit_RFCameras

CP Communications’ technical personnel covered the event outside using multiple cameras (a mix of wireless RF handhelds, PTZ and POV cameras, and hard cameras on scissor lifts), with Mobile Viewpoint Airlinks used to encode and deliver signals over a bonded cellular network.

“We employed six bonded cellular rigs to cover events outside the Alliant Energy Center campus, including the ruck race and the swimming events downtown,” said Kurt Heitmann, CEO, CP Communications. “All of our wireless audio, communications and video systems worked seamlessly both inside the coliseum and outside at North Park Stadium, including our traditional CODFM wireless cameras. This flexibility is yet another example of our leadership and expertise in building customized, hybrid systems to ensure reliable event coverage across multiple sites. While we remain RF specialists, we can simplify the overall infrastructure and ensure 100 percent coverage by leveraging the power and flexibility of IP and bonded cellular networking.”

The CrossFit organization also served as the World Feed host broadcaster, providing a completely IP-based world feed to various websites and social media services (including YouTube and Facebook) in multiple languages. CP Communications engineers monitored the all fiber, IP and bonded cellular feeds on board CP-1 — including the acquired signals coming back to the trailer, and the world feed transmissions going out.

CrossFit_CP1_Trailer

“We provided H264 video from the Airlinks and managed the bitrate with a ceiling of 16 Megabits per channel,” said Heitmann. “Using the Mobile Viewpoint LinkMatrix, a cloud-based management portal, we could easily make adjustments and troubleshoot on the fly. We are able to adjust parameters like bitrate in real-time to ensure continuous high-quality performance from the bonded cellular transmitters.”

CP Communications also took advantage of the public internet by deploying a Unity Intercom system for team-wide communications.

“We communicated with our entire team over a standard public network, which enabled us to react quicker to technical issues and even use Wi-Fi hotspots as necessary,” said Heitmann. “The Unity system is a cellular system that also matches with our bonded cellular cameras. It gives us the freedom to move as needed and still keep the lines of communication open, which is vital to the success of a project of this enormity.”

L’Équipe Transmits Live from the Field with TVU Networks

“When we started back then with LiveU systems, sports and news executive management imagined that these new transmission solutions would decrease the need for SNG vehicles,” says Patrick Vautier, technical director, L’Équipe. “That it would be enough to leave with a camera, a small bag and a cable.”

Vautier notes that even though the cellular video transmitters were a small revolution in 2010, it was necessary to roll with the punches when using these solutions as 3G’s prevalence and its saturated MMS networks made the task difficult, both for live broadcasting and for routing images.

“We quickly understood at that time that the successful trials were far from the expected results during and after the games, so it was necessary to find countermeasures, such as preparing enough batteries to avoid getting disconnected,” he recalls.

News reporters often went into the field without a team.

“Early on, the technology did not allow the solo reporter to overcome potential technical problems – even if the connection procedures were greatly simplified,” states Vautier.

For the technical direction of the station, it was important not to depend on a single system:

“That’s why we quickly chose to add a second solution to L’Equipe’s journalists: TVU Networks,” notes Vautier, “We started deploying TVU Networks in 2012, as soon as L’Équipe TV became L’Équipe 21 for digital news, which became L’Équipe in 2016.”

Meanwhile, 4G LTE cellular networks have been on the rise, the size of the packs has been reduced — especially with the TVU One TM1000 — and network connections have become more reliable and simplified. TVU products are now part of our journalist’s daily life.

“After mastering this new way of working, we are now able to transmit 6 Mbps in HD quality, while significantly reducing contribution costs.”

Tvu l'équipe control room

Today, in the newsroom, “there are four TVU feeds (two per server) and two other feeds from its competitor, that we use every day,” says Jean-Guy Blum, audiovisual and computer maintenance technician, L’Equipe.

For Maxime Bidan, newsroom operator, L’Equipe, TVU is

“simply the most intuitive and easy to use. We take control of the equipment remotely, freeing the journalist of any technical constraints.” He particularly appreciates the ability to modify the delay within TVU equipment: “This option, which is only available on TVU solutions, provides us with better video quality, especially in difficult environments with limited, congested or a fluctuating cellular network.”

The journalists’ satisfaction continues to grow as TVU solutions continue to improve, particularly operations in congested environments.

L’Équipe started using TVU One as soon as it was released, “which allowed us to improve in compactness, lightness and efficiency in the field with built-in batteries,” says Blum.

 

“Our next evolution will undoubtedly be the transition to the TVU One with HEVC,” adds Patrick Vautier. “HEVC consumes less energy and therefore less data without compromising quality. It provides autonomy to the user.”

 

“In the field, we have become used to working with several sets of SIM cards,” says Blum. “Mobile operators Orange, SFR and Bouygues for France; Orange and Vodafone for Europe; and 3HK cards for the rest of the world.”

 

“This strategy allows us to be ready for nearly 85% of the situations we encounter,” says Vautier. “In order to mitigate the unfortunate hazards of cellular networks, such as different frequencies from the rest of the world, we rent additional TVU units from our dealer Magic Hour for some countries. This is what we’re doing for our coverage of the next Rugby World Cup, to be held in Japan.”

While L’Équipe has used TVU Networks solutions for contribution toward its final distribution for a few live matches (basketball and volleyball local games), the main usage is for video transmission of daily news and live feeds during the program L’Équipe du Soir.

“We estimate around two hours of daily use, from the TVU One TM1000 packs and the TVU Anywhere app on smartphones,” says L’Equipe traffic operator Maxime Bidan.

Tvu prod l'équipe

It’s a “revolutionary” solution, according to Vautier: “We reach speeds of 5 Mbps and render great video output.”

The TVU Anywhere application makes it possible for twenty journalists from L’Équipe to be sent anywhere in the world and for regional correspondents to contribute to the live show or the website.

For a sports-only broadcaster like L’Équipe, with its combined broadcast, print and digital efforts as well as journalists’ daily contributions, TVU Networks best-in-class support is considered a significant strength.

“Magic Hour engineers always keep our solutions up-to-date and ready-to-use. What’s more, TVU support in France and abroad are always ready to meet our requests, 24/7,” concludes Vautier.

 

FOR-A to Intro Advanced 12G Tech and Showcase Live Production Systems Used by Universities

As evidenced with the introduction of new technology that supports uncompressed 12G video streams, FOR-A® continues to push the envelope of what’s possible. At IBC 2019, the company will introduce an optional IP interface card for its 3 M/E HANABI HVS-6000 vision mixer and 2 M/E HANABI HVS-6000M vision mixer that provides 25G input/output capability. FOR-A will also showcase its HANABI HVS-1200, a compact 4K/HD compatible vision mixer that supports 12G-SDI, and the new Envivo Studio – an all-in-one live production system.

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IBC 2019 will be held from September 13-17th at the RAI Amsterdam. FOR-A will exhibit in Hall 2, Stand A51.

The new HVS-6000IP-8IO card provides the HVS-6000 and HVS-6000M vision mixer with 25G IP input/output capability. With it, the HVS-6000/6000M can convert IP inputs to SDI, or SDI to IP outputs. It removes the need for IP gateways in hybrid IP/SDI systems and supports as many uncompressed video streams as 12G-SDI can send and receive. Eight uncompressed 4K UHD streams can be processed per card, with input/output parameters set within each SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) port. SMPTE ST 2022 and ST 2110 standards are currently supported. Control protocols to be supported include the Ember+ protocol and the AMWA NMOS IS-04/05 network control API’s.

In addition to offering 12G-SDI capability on all inputs and outputs, this 12G-SDI vision mixer uses a single cable link. Video signals are processed throughout as a single image. The HVS-6000 is a 12 RU vision mixer, with a maximum of 80 inputs/32 outputs or 64 inputs/48 outputs. The HVS-6000M is a 7 RU vision mixer with a maximum of 32 inputs/24 outputs. Designed for use in 4K UHD systems in the same manner as HD systems, both mixers provide the same number of inputs/outputs, M/E’s and keyers with 4K and HD operations.

The HANABI HVS-1200, a compact 4K/HD compatible vision mixer, will be on display at IBC as a package supporting 12G-SDI – with the MFR-1000 routing switcher offering 12G-SDI compatibility across a matrix of up to 16 inputs/16 outputs. The HVS-1200 vision mixer is ideal for applications such as: live staging, event productions, OB vans, house of worship, and in flypacks. The integrated HVS-1200/MFR-1000 combination creates a compact and affordable 12G-SDI/4K production system. The HVS-1200 also utilizes a single cable for image processing and is configurable as both a 12G-SDI/4K and as a 3G-SDI/HD vision mixer.

Envivo for-a

Being shown for the first time in Europe are the Envivo Studio production suite and Envivo Replay sports and live event replay solution from Variant Systems Group. Introduced at NAB 2019, Variant Systems’ Envivo Studio is an all-in-one live production system that includes a clip player, still store, shot box, and powerful capabilities, including:

  • Live switcher (cut camera inputs)
  • Internal keyer (multi-layer overlay)
  • Switcher support (key/fill)
  • Drive multiple venue screens (IMAG)
  • VDCP control
  • 24hr loop record inputs
  • Built-in slow-motion replay
  • Coaching review tool
  • Time shift

Envivo Replay offers a complete replay solution packaged in an intuitive user interface with continuous multiple iso-channel recording capabilities, simultaneous clip storage of multiple angles to clip bins, playlists for highlights playback, built-in branding capabilities, direct publishing to social media platforms, and support for high speed super slow-motion cameras. Both Envivo systems will be shown with a Dante® audio interface, enabling the systems to support uncompressed, multi-channel, low latency digital audio over a standard Ethernet network. Studio and Replay also support NDI® (Network Device Interface), a free protocol for Video-Over-IP, developed by NewTek.

Western Michigan University (WMU) uses two Envivo Replay systems for social media branding and video playout. Envivo Replay captures slow motion footage of the school’s Division I football team for in-stadium replays and streaming coverage to ESPN and ESPN+. UCLA Athletics uses Envivo Replay to help analyze player performance during team practice.

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