Broadcast Solutions Finland modernises Director’s Cut production control rooms

The Finnish production company Director’s Cut, based in Helsinki, has recently equipped part of its production facilities with new technology and optimised workflows.

Broadcast Solutions, with its Finnish subsidiary, planned and implemented the measures. The aim of the modernisation was, besides renewing the technology, to increase flexibility in daily work and optimise production workflows. Director’s Cut’s existing infrastructure proved too outdated and inflexible to cope with the increasing number of simultaneously produced sports programs.

In the two renewed multipurpose control rooms, Director’s Cut creates the Finnish national programmes for international sporting events (e.g. football Champions League, ice hockey or tennis). Director’s Cut’s primary customer is MTV3, Finland’s largest private television station.

After the successful implementation, it is now possible to produce up to six Finnish-language programme feeds simultaneously from two multipurpose control rooms with only two producers. One Mainfeed and two Sidefeeds can be produced per control room. Audio processing takes place in a Lawo Powercore. Control is via Lawo VisTool user interfaces and an 8-fader Ruby console for the Mainfeed and via two 4-fader Ruby consoles for the two Sidefeeds. Broadcast Solutions created the VisTool interfaces especially to meet the individual workflows of Director’s Cut.

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The new facility also includes six commentator booths equipped with Lawo LCUs and 43″ Sony monitors. One Grass Valley 1ME Kula vision mixer and two Grass Valley channel branding processors are available per control room for image processing.

As part of the renewal, Broadcast Solutions also replaced the video matrix, which had become too small, with a 168×168 Grass Valley Sirius 830 matrix with an integrated 96 x 12 multiviewer. A Lawo VSM system controls the complete installation.

One challenge of the successfully implemented project was the short project period and the fact that the modernisation was carried out during ongoing operation with only ten days available for the actual switch-over.

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Customer demand for personalized TV services is spurring majority of broadcasters to offer tailored ads

Over half of broadcasters are investing up to 20% of their budget in trialing new customer content or services.

Four-fifths (80%) of broadcasters are considering implementing ads tailored to the consumer but are increasingly falling behind streaming services due to hesitance around adopting cloud technologies, according to research carried out on behalf of ATEME, the emerging leader in video delivery solutions for broadcast, cable, DTH, IPTV and OTT.

The survey of those in middle management positions or above within the realms of TV and broadcast also found that 96% of broadcasters feel there is a demand from customers for more personalized services. As over a third (34%) of broadcasters currently generate revenue through adverts, offering personalized adverts could help them increase this revenue. Consequently, over a quarter (26%) are currently looking into how to offer these services to customers.

“Our research found that more than half (58%) of broadcasters are investing up to 20% of their budget in trialing new customer content or services as they prioritize personalization to offer customers enhanced viewing experiences,” said Remi Beaudouin, Chief Strategy Officer, ATEME. “By using technology and the data available to them to tap into this trend, traditional broadcasters will be able to create a tailor-made viewing experience and potentially open up new revenue streams,” he added.

As broadcasters look to adopt the latest technologies, 66% say they would consider moving to the cloud, while 28% have already done so, in a move that would allow them to store their content catalogue more effectively and add more personalized services, as is the case with streaming platforms.

The speed of cloud will also allow broadcasters to innovate faster, using virtual broadcasting to create new one-off channels in a matter of hours to capitalize on events and develop offerings to appeal to more niche audiences. This technology is currently being used by almost two-thirds (60%) of broadcasters, while of the broadcasters not currently doing virtual broadcasting 70% said they will do so within a year. However, despite the use of cloud becoming more commonplace in broadcasting, 44% cited a perceived lack of control over their content as their biggest concern about this development.

“Cloud has been surrounded by many misconceptions over the years which have deterred broadcasters from adopting it. However, as broadcasters get to grips with the potential impact of cloud on their business and the services they are able to offer, we are seeing its adoption increase,” added Beaudouin. “Moving to the cloud will allow broadcasters to adopt new technologies and make more effective use of their data so that they can begin to offer the level of personalization more often associated with streaming platforms and their algorithms.”

GatesAir Exclusive TV Transmission Deal with Doordarshan Expands to Northern India

India’s national broadcaster will deliver six GatesAir Maxiva liquid-cooled, digital-ready UHF transmitters to equip three greenfield sites in the Jammu region

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, has received a new TV transmission order from Doordarshan, India’s national broadcaster, to strengthen analog UHF television coverage in the Jammu region. GatesAir, Doordarshan’s exclusive TV transmission supplier since 2012, will deliver six digital-ready Maxiva ULX liquid-cooled transmitters by the end of 2019. The transmitters integrate GatesAir’s APEX M2X multi-standard Exciter, allowing Doordarshan to convert the transmitters to DVB-T2 or DVB-T2-Lite at any time.

GatesAir has delivered more than 30 digital-ready Maxiva TV transmitters to Doordarshan over the past seven years. The six new 10kW transmitters will be deployed in redundant 1+1 configurations at three sites in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh, and will especially improve coverage along India’s northwest border.

Doordarshan selected GatesAir due to the continued reliability of its existing transmitter fleet, which is particularly important in the Jammu region due to its dynamic climate and mountainous terrain. GatesAir was also the only vendor able to meet Doordarshan’s exacting technical requirements outlined in the tender document. The broadcaster’s testing and evaluation standards were met with 100 percent compliance upon a recent visit of Doordarshan executives to GatesAir’s Quincy, Illinois manufacturing center.

“GatesAir has been careful to meet our technical and design requirements for all transmitter deliveries to date, and their systems have worked reliably and beyond expectations since going on the air,” said Mr. D P Singh, Deputy Director General for Doordarshan. “Our recent visit to Quincy also proved the dedication of the people that work at GatesAir, and the commitment they show to their jobs and their craft. The GatesAir team clearly communicated the functionality and high quality of their transmitters during our visit, and we look forward to continuing our relationship.”

GatesAir has long had a strong transmission presence and market share in India. Beyond its long-term relationship with Doordarshan, GatesAir continues to win business associated with India’s private FM licensing initiatives. The company announced two major FM radio deals earlier this year.

“GatesAir is proud to continue its long-term relationship with Doordarshan, and is uniquely prepared to offer guidance, service and support through its continued DTV transitions while reliably supporting its analog TV initiatives today,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “Furthermore, our high-efficiency Maxiva systems will provide Doordarshan with the lowest total cost of ownership over their lifecycle by reducing power consumption, simplifying maintenance, and optimizing performance and reliability for analog and digital broadcasts over many years.”

The European Central Bank selects BCE for advanced live streaming

Following a European Invitation to tender, the European Central Bank selected BCE for handling the webcasting of live and on-demand monetary policy decisions press conferences.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank of the 19 European Union countries which have adopted the euro. The ECB was looking for a video partner to ensure the coverage of the Governing Council press conferences and other event webcasts.
BCE was selected for its advanced webcasting platform allowing content reception, transcoding, packaging and worldwide distribution.

 

This project benefits from the recent acquisition of Freecaster, combining expertise and know-how of both companies to perfectly answer the needs of the ECB.

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Connected to RTL City, its headquarters, via dark fibre, the teleport of BCE will ensure the downlink of the ECB production feeds. With its advanced IP-based infrastructure, BCE can transcode the live content and repackage the streams. BCE’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) will then ensure the worldwide stream distribution.

“For this project, BCE will rely on three pillars, its teleport, allowing content reception from anywhere in the world, its 1000 square meters datacenter with IP connectivity and transcoding platforms and its CDN with a worldwide connectivity,” explains Baptiste Fosséprez, Products & Services Development Director at BCE. “The software technology layer will be a mix between BCE’s existing streaming solutions and Freecaster advanced solutions.”

The live streaming expertise of Freecaster grants access to new solutions such as an advanced video player. Besides the stability of the player and its classical features such as adaptive streaming and multiplatform compatibility, the system will be completely customized to ECB’s needs and will integrate a video teaser with a countdown before broadcasting and multilingual selection during the live stream.

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The videos will be distributed as live stream and as Video on Demand (VoD) on the ECB website as well as on social networks including Periscope, Twitter and YouTube. The live stream workflow will be monitored from BCE’s Network Operations Centre (NOC) during each production and the ECB will have access to advanced statistics tools to both measure the audience and monitor the quality of service.

“Acquiring Freecaster was part of BCE strategy to develop its Total Video offer. The ECB project reflects perfectly the new dual expertise of BCE (linear and non-linear), with the combination of live broadcast and a VoD portal.” Concludes Frederic Lemaire, CEO at BCE.

Broadcasters look to virtual programming to exploit their content libraries

More than a third (36%) of broadcasters are failing to utilize their content library despite facing increasing competition from streaming services, according to research by ATEME.

Although almost all (98%) of the broadcasters surveyed use their content library to create new channels for particular events or occasions, the majority (82%) are impeded in the ability to do it quickly, unlike their streaming counterparts. 44% of broadcasters revealed it takes them up to three days to create a new channel, while over a third (38%) say it takes them up to a week, which not only hinders their ability to capitalize on events but could result in potential revenue loss.

“With a continuous influx of competition from all angles, broadcasters must begin to do more with their content libraries. Creating new, virtual channels would allow broadcasters to take advantage of topical and cultural events, such as award season, during which they could use their back catalogue to quickly develop one-off channels to celebrate winners as they are announced,” commented Remi Beaudouin, Chief Strategy Officer, ATEME.

As broadcasters explore ways to use technology to maximize their content, almost two-thirds (60%) of broadcasters are utilizing virtual broadcasting to create one-off channels, while of the broadcasters not currently doing virtual broadcasting 70% said they will do so within a year.

“For over half (52%) of broadcasters this ability to capitalize on unexpected or timely events without disrupting usual viewing schedules is seen as the biggest benefit of creating one-off channels. This approach also allows broadcasters to widen their appeal and cater to niche audiences with targeted or local content which 46% of broadcasters think virtual broadcasting would help them achieve,” said Beaudouin.

While currently very few broadcasters are able to create new channels quickly, the use of cloud technology, which 66% of broadcasters would consider moving to, could allow them to adopt a more proactive approach to creating virtual programming.

“Virtual broadcasting can be highly beneficial for broadcasters as it allows them to create tailored channels in just a few hours and use their catalogue to better effect. This will allow them to offer content that is different from that shown on their main channels and appeal to a wider audience,” added Beaudouin. “As traditional broadcasters continue to face opposition from streaming platforms, adopting virtual broadcasting is an ideal way to compete with their services as 50% of broadcasters see one of the biggest advantages of its use as the ability to offer a package other broadcasters currently aren’t. It will also enable them to cater to the increased variety the modern TV viewer has come to expect.”

Riedel’s Bolero Wireless Intercom on Stage at Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London has adopted Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom to ensure reliable and flexible communications across the 10,000-square-meter building and the adjacent Lilian Baylis Studio. Located on London’s iconic Rosebery Avenue, the theatre is renowned as one of the world’s leading dance venues, staging contemporary dance and ballet performances in its 1,560-seat main auditorium. The theatre also has a unique link to Riedel’s home city of Wuppertal through an ongoing residency with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, a partnership that spans more than 35 years.

As well providing a stage for visiting companies, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre is a producing house with a number of associated artists and companies creating original works for the theatre, and many locally produced shows are also recorded for cinema. Visiting OB trucks that are also equipped with Riedel Artist systems can easily interface with the theatre’s systems, creating smoothly integrated workflows and tremendous convenience.

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Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London has adopted Riedel’s Bolero to ensure reliable and flexible comms across the 10,000-square-meter building and the adjacent Lilian Baylis Studio.

Bolero covers the spacious theatre with only four antennas. One is located at the side of the stage, with another in the auditorium and the third on the fly floor, which also covers all the dressing room corridors and backstage studios. The fourth antenna uses the IT department infrastructure and covers the cafeteria and the entire Lilian Baylis Studio. The setup also provides coverage for all basement areas including technical offices, dressing rooms, and the orchestra pit, and even provides full coverage in the Sadler’s Wells Studios — despite the studios’ separation from the antennas by several concrete walls.

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“The Sadler’s Wells team has taken full advantage of Bolero’s customizability and has fully tailored the system to the theatre’s needs,” said Nacho Lee, UK Sales Manager at Riedel Communications. “The team has made extensive use of Bolero’s profile function, giving each full-time member of staff a dedicated Bolero beltpack that has been set to a profile specific to that person’s requirements. In this way, parameters like volume, screen brightness, and quick menus are preset to the user’s liking.”

Mark Noble, Head of Sound at Sadler’s Wells, has designed highly creative workflows for Bolero using the theatre’s NSA-002A interface. In one example, the team has reassigned Bolero’s red reply button on stage managers’ beltpacks to open a channel to the paging system through the 4W-Interface. This enables stage managers to use the paging system to make backstage calls to all the dressing rooms and other backstage areas from wherever they are. With another profile, the reply button switches between brightness modes to allow the user to remain unseen onstage. The theatre’s NSA-002A sits on a comms network switch that is attached to Wi-Fi, making it easy to reconfigure on the go using a tablet.

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“People are amazed by Bolero’s battery life, coverage, and overall user friendliness — and the integrated bottle opener has also come in handy. This versatile system really has worked wonders for us,” said Noble. “With the newly released Bolero 2110 (AES67) mode, we will enjoy an even greater degree of flexibility and scalability, so it’s a great thing that the new license is already included in our stand-alone license. We were looking for truly future-proof equipment and have found it in Bolero.”

Pictures © Philip Vile.

janda Productions to grow the digital reach of Huawei New Zealand TV Awards with Grabyo

janda will use Grabyo’s browser-based video production platform to clip, edit and share video clips from the Huawei Mate30 Pro New Zealand Television Awards to social media in moments. By providing live social video updates, janda will ensure the awards can be accessed from anywhere in the world by increasingly mobile-centric audiences.

The production company will increase exposure for event sponsors and raise awareness of the event with branded video bumpers, automatically added to clips distributed through Grabyo.

janda will also raise awareness of the awards by leveraging the social reach of New Zealand’s finest television talent who will be in attendance.

Once clips are created using Grabyo, janda will share relevant branded clips with high-profile influencers at the event and encourage them to distribute across their own channels. By tapping into the social networks of actors, directors, and producers across New Zealand’s TV industry, janda is able to reach a highly targeted audience with tailored video content.

Andy Dowding, Co-founder and Director of janda Productions, comments: “The Huawei Mate30 Pro New Zealand Television Awards is a huge night for the local media industry. The awards have grown each year in popularity and we want to make sure the night is enjoyed by as many people as possible. This is why we will be creating more content for our channels than ever before, as well as sharing content with the faces of TV in New Zealand – to make sure everyone can celebrate the achievements of this fantastic industry.”

 

Elliot Renton, Head of APAC at Grabyo, added: “We’re excited to help janda Productions enhance the digital content offering of the Huawei Mate30 Pro New Zealand Television Awards. janda is a market-leader, and combining its expertise with the power of Grabyo’s platform will result in something special for New Zealand’s TV industry. This partnership will allow janda to connect to social audiences with quality content.”

janda Productions will use Grabyo’s Studio platform to clip, edit and distribute content to its social channels in real-time. Grabyo Studio is accessed through a web browser, only requiring a laptop and internet connection to use. The platform’s intuitive tools reduce the cost and complexity of digital video production and distribution to all major mobile, social and online video platforms.