BCE live streams the Luxembourg 5G Conference 2019

The Department of Media, Telecommunications and Digital Policy and Digital Luxembourg selected BCE for the coverage and live streaming of the Luxembourg 5G Conference 2019 taking place at the European Convention Center on December 11 & 12, 2019.

The Luxembourg 5G Conference 2019 welcomes participants from very different backgrounds, who are invited to attend various workshops: C-level representatives from telecom and IT companies, experts and consultants, representatives from regulatory and public authorities as well as citizens and members of NGOs and students.

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The keynote speakers highlight the latest developments and current trends that is awaiting the market in the deployment of 5G. The outcomes of this conference serve all participants to drive their current and future projects.

Digital Luxembourg is a collaborative, multidisciplinary government initiative launched to unify & strengthen the country’s digitalization efforts. The Department of Media, Telecommunications and Digital Policy is part of the Ministry of State and directly reports to the Minister for Communications and Media. Since its creation, it has been supporting the development of new IT technology and media.

“Innovation has paved the way of BCE’s activities, 5G will allow many developments in the Media sector including more flexibility and efficiency in live production with an increased interactivity with the viewers,” comments Tun Van Rijswijck, COO at BCE.

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BCE’s production team is on site with remote controlled cameras to ensure the live coverage of the event. Directly connected to the YouTube channel of Digital Luxembourg, BCE live streams the event and makes available all produced sessions.

“We are glad to ensure the coverage of the Luxembourg 5G Conference 2019, our recent acquisitions allow us to easily cover and live stream an event on an existing channel or through our platform for geo-targeted broadcast.” Concludes Xavier Thillen, Head of Production and Digital Media Operations at BCE.

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CP Communications Leverages Complete IP and Bonded Cellular Networking Architecture for New York City Marathon Coverage

Live event production specialists add new tricks and technologies to the mix that reduce reliance on complex and expensive RF systems

For the 25th year, CP Communications managed end-to-end content acquisition for the TCS New York City Marathon. Now in its 49th year, the TCS New York City Marathon is the world’s largest marathon and the signature event of New York Road Runners (NYRR), the world’s premier community running organization. The race course begins in Staten Island and winds its way through Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx before finishing in Manhattan in Central Park.

CPComms_Marathon_RaceCourse_RooftopSiteViewOver the past four years, as bandwidth and network availability have improved, CP Communications has gradually reduced its reliance on traditional RF technology to cover the race in favor of more cost-efficient IP and bonded cellular systems. CP Communications this year completed that transition, leveraging a 100-percent IP and bonded cellular networking infrastructure for live coverage of the Men’s and Women’s races across all five boroughs.

The company brought back many of the same platforms and technologies that have proved successful in recent years, while making strategic changes to the technical infrastructure and production workflows to ensure reliable coverage throughout the entire 26.2-mile course. Utilizing the expansive fiber network throughout NYC allowed CP Communications to increase flexibility at all locations, and further reduced reliance on traditional video transmission circuits.

Four cars and three motorcycles were equipped with stabilized mounts and lenses, with an additional POV camera for talent installed on two of the cars. Mobile Viewpoint Agile Airlink encoders captured and streamed the live action via bonded cellular with bandwidth-efficient H.265/HEVC video encoding back to CP Communications HD-21 production truck, located at the finish line. Agile Airlinks were also utilized on two rooftop locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and at three REMI (Remote Integration Model) production locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. The rooftop sites also leveraged traditional microwave links as backup transmission for cellular-congested areas at the start and finish lines. The Agile Airlinks at the REMI sites captured live interviews with racers, NYRR spokespeople and other subjects over the course of the day.

For the first time, CP Communications added a Mobile Viewpoint 2K4 playout server at each rooftop and REMI site, allowing technical personnel to route any signal between any of those five locations. The same technology was added to each vehicle, which CP Communications Technical Manager Frank Rafka describes as an important first for this event.

“Having return video to the cars over the entire course was an important step forward, and overall we had a valuable return system to move video, audio and other signals between all of our acquisition points,” said Rafka. “This was one of the biggest changes to the infrastructure this year, as we could seamlessly monitor all locations and dynamically make changes as necessary — a major benefit of managing IP encoding in the cloud. The hotspots and cellular networks associated with Mobile Viewpoint technology made it very easy to achieve.”

CPComms_Marathon_RooftopSite3Rafka added that the Mobile Viewpoint systems allowed CP Communications to send IFB return to each vehicle and REMI site. This enabled the team to communicate with talent seamlessly across all locations. Microphones were embedded locally at each site, which allowed all the audio to remain in lip sync with the video.

Vehicle and REMI audio were managed and delivered to the broadcasters via a Dante network, which was managed on board HD-21. CP Communications utilized RTS OMNEO intercoms to link HD-21 to the host broadcaster, which allowed seamless communications throughout the TV broadcast compound. CP Communications separately used a Unity Intercom system deployed over the cellular network, allowing NYRR personnel and spotters along the course to communicate with the broadcast compound.

CPComms_Rooftop_SiteAll video and audio signals were delivered from HD-21 to an NEP broadcast truck at the finish line using a MultiDyne VF-9000 fiber transmission system. On board HD-21, CP Communications personnel monitored bitrates and dataflow from all Agile Airlink devices, as well as signals leaving the truck through its 24×24 routing infrastructure. NEP produced world feed uplinks as well the domestic national broadcast for ESPN2.

CP Communications CEO Kurt Heitmann noted that his team wrote software to interpret data and GPS locations from 28 inbound signals to HD-21, which, when transposed over a Google map, provided valuable information as the race moved into areas and zones with more challenging cellular coverage.

“These technologies and workflows, along with overall better network bandwidth and availability, made it possible to leverage a 100-percent modern network infrastructure to cover this year’s event,” said Heitmann. “Collectively, we continue to push the envelope using traditional technology mixed with secure, reliable and cost-efficient IP and bonded cellular systems.”

The future is video: IPV secures £4m investment to accelerate global growth

New finance will allow the UK-based video asset management specialist to pursue an ambitious growth plan and enhance its worldwide partner base.

Media asset management software provider IPV has confirmed details of new growth capital that will enable it to further expand the global reach of its acclaimed MAM product, Curator. The £4m Series A round was led by SME-focused venture capital firm Mobeus Equity Partners, with additional ongoing finance secured from Calculus Capital.

Mark Fagan, IPV CEO said, “Multiple industries are rapidly expanding their use of video but are facing significant challenges during the content creation process. Curator makes it easy to remotely edit, collaborate and publish high quality video content – enabling customers to ensure consistency of messaging and sustained audience growth via digital, online and mobile platforms.”

This capital will enable IPV to deliver the benefits of Curator to an even wider audience, expanding into areas of digital marketing, customer experience and enterprise video management.

IPV has built a market-leading client base that includes leading players such as HBO, Monster Energy, NASA, Nintendo, PGA Tour and Turner who use Curator to manage and create significant and complex video content across their organisations, wherever in the world their creative teams are based.

Rowan Grobler, Investment Manager for Mobeus, comments: “We are delighted to be leading an investment round into a business with a best-in-class product and a senior team of proven operators that, with further capital to support the sales and marketing function, will be well-positioned to target the digital marketing market both in the US and UK.”

 

Calculus Capital Co-Head of Investments, Richard Moore, said, “After the great progress of our initial investment, we’ve been proud to watch IPV transform itself into a globally recognised, leading video management platform with a notably enhanced client list. We are delighted to continue to support the company as video continues to grow exponentially as Curator is ideally placed to meet the substantial demand of this sector.”

Digital Nirvana’s New MonitorIQ 6.1 Enhances Ad Insertion, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting

Digital Nirvana, a provider of leading-edge media-monitoring and metadata generation services, today announced new enhancements within MonitorIQ 6.1, the company’s next-generation broadcast monitoring and compliance logging platform. A new Digital Program Monitoring application in MonitorIQ 6.1 gives users unprecedented visibility into SCTE 35/104 messages for more effective resolution of digital program insertion (DPI) issues and better control over advertising insertions in a variety of streaming environments.

“MonitorIQ 6.1 incorporates powerful new features and capabilities that take compliance monitoring and advertising optimization to a new level,” said Russell Wise, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Digital Nirvana. “The platform’s new Digital Program Monitoring application simplifies the monitoring of content and SCTE 104/35-based metadata to ensure DPI messages were inserted correctly. We monitor the presence of markers that allow the ad to be inserted, which provides our users better control in existing and new streaming environments. Thanks to these and other enhancements in MonitorIQ 6.1, broadcasters are better prepared than ever to identify, resolve, and document critical issues and, in turn, meet their regulatory, compliance, licensing, and advertising requirements.”

In-Depth Digital Program Insertion Monitoring and Troubleshooting
The Digital Program Monitoring application within MonitorIQ 6.1 enables the monitoring, logging, and frame-accurate display of content along with SCTE 35/104-based metadata to determine if DPI messages were conveyed properly. Fully detailed, human-readable SCTE 35/104 message information provides the user with all the information necessary to take a deep dive into any SCTE 35/104 issues, and even download specific triggers. Within the application’s Viewer page, users can compare two different points in the video delivery chain for the same channel and thereby ensure SCTE messages are not getting dropped during any conversion/encoding process. Flagging issues, for example, with advertising or promotions is faster and easier.

Advanced DPI monitoring capabilities make MonitorIQ 6.1 a best-of-breed solution for broadcast monitoring and compliance logging. Building upon the success of MonitorIQ6.0, version 6.1 is now monitoring operations in the top seven US broadcast networks. The platform also integrates tightly with Digital Nirvana’s Media Services Portal, a suite of smart, self-service tools that gives broadcasters access to AI-based cloud microservices for closed caption generation, caption quality assessment, caption realignment, and video intelligence for objects, ads, logos, and facial recognition. MonitorIQ 6.1 also is the first compliance logger to combine cloud services and cloud storage with on-premises compliance recording and the first to run in on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments.

Radio: the next generation of video shows

Radio and TV were during decades two different worlds, but we have been able to see an evolution of radio towards video. With the development of internet, social network and technology, the industry is more than ready to trigger its mutation.

Looking back in time, I remember those radio stations installing one or two webcams to film their studios while broadcasting at the same time some useless information and some adverts. There was no interest for the audience as it was only used as a way to sell advertising space. In fact many time you could connect on the website of the radio station and see a beautiful and empty studio while the automatic playlist was running.

Fortunately the market is changing with real shows which put the audience / viewers in the action. We are talking about real live production now, with multiple HD cameras, multiple video feeds, graphics inserts, studio branding (completely synchronized with the radio playlist and the shows actions) and distribution.

I have been amazed by some solutions like StudioTalk (from Broadcasting Center Europe), the solution was recently installed at NRJ Belgique (a leading radio located in Belgium), RTL (France), FunRadio (France), BNJ (Jura) and RTS (Switzerland). From one single touchscreen it gives access to a complete production tool, with content management, live feeds management, integration of picture in picture, live interviews, animated graphics and distribution to any streaming platforms and social networks.

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When visiting the studios at RTS (Switzerland), the final broadcast result going out from StudioTalk is at a level which outperforms many television shows, but we are still on radio there, we are looking at radio and actually if you turn off the video and listen to the show, the experience is equally immersive.

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Of course its not only a question of technology, there is also a big work from the radio station to create content which suits both the video and the radio worlds. But again, those visual radio solutions integrate automated production systems which create the interactions, integrate the right graphics and switch to the right content in real time, so there is no excuse… Radio is becoming a fantastic video show and you decide if you want to listen or to watch it.

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So if you are at home looking at your favourite show on TV, you can go out in your car switch on your radio and continue to listen to it, and finally while taking a coffee at the restaurant, you can watch it on facebook.

A few years ago, many people were talking about the radio extinction, I believe that radio is evolving and that the next generation will enjoy richer content with maximized interactivity.

So what about you? Do you enjoy listening and watching radio? Do you know other “visual radio” stations? In your opinion, which radios should go visual now?

Sky News Australia installs vinten robotics and autoscript intelligent prompting in remote studios

Cutting-Edge, IP-Based Solutions Reduce Operational Costs Through Centralised Control of Remote Broadcasts

Sky News Australia has made a major investment in state-of-the-art robotic camera support systems from Vinten and Intelligent Prompting solutions from Autoscript for its six remote studios located throughout Australia. With the latest build-out just completed in Sky News’ Canberra Parliament House studio, the Vinten and Autoscript equipment is a vital link in the network’s strategy to reduce operational costs through centralised, IP-based control of remote broadcasts.

Sky News is a 24/7 multi-channel network providing international news, local news, and current affairs programmes to viewers throughout Australia and New Zealand. With headquarters, master control, and main studio based in Sydney, the network operates remote studios in Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

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In the newest project, Sky News has fitted out its Canberra Parliament House studio with three Vinten FH-145 robotic pan/tilt camera heads, driven by the Vinten HD-VRC control system, three Vinten Quattro pedestals, and three Autoscript EPIC-IP 19″ prompting monitors with integrated talent feedback monitors, driven by Autoscript WinPlus-IP News prompting software. Amber Technology, a Vitec Production Solutions Premier Partner, supplied the Vinten and Autoscript solutions and is partner for the build-out.

“Cost is a significant factor in today’s television production environment,” said Rick Zecevic, chief technology officer, Sky News Australia. “By allowing us to control all of our remote studios from Sydney, IP-based networks and technologies like those from Vinten and Autoscript are playing a huge role in helping us operate as cost-effectively as possible. At the same time, we have the flexibility of local control at each location when the need arises.”

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Rick Zecevic, CTO at Sky News Australia, and Tom Pavicic, Regional Sales Manager, Australia and New Zealand, at Vitec Production Solutions.

Zecevic added, “The Vinten robotic heads and pedestals, coupled with Autoscript’s prompting solutions, are a perfect choice because of their outstanding remote-control-over-IP capabilities, renowned reliability and performance, and advanced features. Plus, Amber Technology is providing us with outstanding local support throughout the process.”

With the completion of Sky News Studio 1 in Sydney, all six of the network’s studios will be fitted out with robotic heads from Vinten and pedestals working in concert with Autoscript Intelligent Prompting solutions.

“Sky News Australia is already reaping the benefits of lower overhead and operational costs since implementing our cutting-edge Vinten robotics and Autoscript prompting systems, which can be remotely controlled over an IP network with minimal local operator involvement,” said Tom Pavicic, regional sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, Vitec Production Solutions. “The ability to reduce costs while increasing quality is an ongoing goal for so many of our broadcast customers, and leveraging state-of-the-art robotics and prompting technologies, particularly within IP-based workflows, is allowing our customers to achieve this goal, just as we’ve seen with Sky News.”

FedNet Uses TVU Grid for Exclusive Live Coverage of U.S. Presidential Impeachment Hearings to Schools and Media Outlets

Capitol-based Multimedia Provider Selected TVU Networks’ IP-based Solution for Its Scalability in First Live Streaming Initiative

FedNet is providing live broadcast coverage of the impeachment inquiry hearings and the upcoming U.S. Senate trial against U.S. President Donald Trump this month using TVU Grid from TVU Networks, a technology and market leader in IP-based live video solutions, for video distribution over IP networks. FedNet maintains a secure video network throughout the Capitol complex, broadcasting thousands of hearings, press conferences and live coverage of Senate and House Floor debates every day. FedNet’s selection of TVU Grid’s IP-based video switching, routing and distribution for the impeachment hearings marks the first live streaming initiative by FedNet.

FedNet is providing live gavel-to-gavel, multi-camera switched coverage of the hearings, plus live interviews with legislators. Multiple event broadcast feeds will be available as a service offering on TVU Grid, with FedNet looking to reach educational institutions with relevant fields of study such as political science and journalism as well as commercial media outlets.

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“We needed an infinitely scalable set up,” said Keith Carney, President, FedNet. “With TVU Grid, we can scale to any number of locations to our network without increasing bandwidth requirements at each site. And we can route live video streams using TVU Grid anywhere in the world with sub-second latency. It’s an extremely fluid system, which is perfect for us. And we’re very confident in the robustness of the platform with the number of national media companies currently on TVU Grid.”

TVU Grid provides point to multipoint bidirectional live video distribution over IP. Using the TVU Grid platform, users can view public video sources that are available around the world, and request to take the stream and make it available for their own viewing audience. TVU Command Center, the centralized management platform for all TVU solutions, is also the source of control for TVU Grid. Through TVU Command Center, you can see the status of all transmissions and TVU Servers.

“The hearings this month are a large national and international news event,” said TVU Networks’ CEO Paul Shen. “We’re honored and thrilled FedNet selected TVU Grid for its scalability and centralized control for their first live streaming endeavor. We look forward to what they’ll be able to accomplish with future events such as the State of the Union, political conventions and the 2020 U.S. Presidential elections.”

FedNet is now live streaming the hearings on TVU Grid. Current FedNet and TVU Grid users can access the stream through TVU Gridlink on TVU Grid. Others can preview the live stream by signing up for TVU Gridlink at gridlink.tvunetworks.com.