Just Add Power Set to Rock and Rotate at CEDIA Expo 2019

Just Add Power (J+P) announced its technology line up for CEDIA Expo 2019 (CEDIA), taking place Sept. 12-14 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. At Booth 1817, the company will highlight a range of solutions designed to simplify multiroom video installations for the residential market. These solutions will include the 3G+ 767DSS Dante Enhanced Sound System transmitter — showing for the first time at CEDIA — and the new Warp Engine transmitter/receiver, Instant Install application, and slim two-gang HDMI wall plate, all of which will be making their world debut. The company is also hosting its annual CEDIA party on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Summit Music House.

“This year at CEDIA, visitors to our booth will experience a variety of products that introduce exciting new capabilities to the Ultra HD Over IP ecosystem,” said Taft Stricklin, sales team manager at J+P. “Our 767DSS transmitter adds compatibility with Dante and AES67 audio networks, while the Warp Engine allows installers to get creative with their video walls by mounting displays at any angle. In addition, the Instant Install application takes all the guesswork out of any project — integrators who have seen it in action have been floored by its speed and reliability — while our new HDMI wall plate offers a slim design for installation flexibility.”

The 767DSS transmitter is the industry’s first such solution to support the latest Dante eight-channel chipset. The transmitter allows installers to input up to eight audio channels from the J+P system for playout on Dante-enabled and AES67 devices and extract up to eight channels from the audio network for playout across the J+P system. The 767DSS is backward-compatible with legacy two-channel Dante and AES67 devices while offering higher performance with lower compression — bit rates of 176.4 and 192 kilohertz — and latency as low as 0.25 milliseconds on Gigabit Ethernet.

With the new Warp Engine, installers can rotate any HDMI source — cable boxes, media players, game systems, cameras, and more — in a J+P matrix in 0.1-degree increments in real time for incredibly low latency. The rotated image can then be sent to an unlimited number of receivers in the network, allowing for the creation of massive artistic video walls using a single Warp Engine. Fully HDCP-2.2-compliant, the unit can be added to any J+P 3G or 2GΩ/3G system running Just OS.

Part of Just OS, the Instant Install application allows installers to easily incorporate any gigabit switch that supports jumbo frames — managed or not — into their J+P matrix. They simply connect their devices anywhere on the switch and click a single button, and their devices are found and configured, and a driver is built — all in less than two minutes.

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J+P’s new two-gang HDMI wall plate is less than 1 inch deep, offering installers the flexibility of mounting it in a table, podium, or the thin walls of international installations. The thin wall plate features a field-serviceable modular design, making it easy to service with a screwdriver in the event of damage.

Each day at 3 p.m. during CEDIA, J+P will give away one of three classic red bullseye-designed Kramer ’84 guitars. For each guitar awarded, J+P will donate four acoustic guitars — with the winner’s name on them — and a year’s worth of lessons to American military veterans.

For the third year in a row, to celebrate CEDIA, J+P will roll out the red carpet with an invitation to party with Dr. Crüe, the world’s premier Mötley Crüe tribute band, Sept. 12 at the Summit Music House, with doors opening at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored in partnership with Luxul, and attendees can pick up tickets at the J+P booth.

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VuWall and Matrox Join Forces at GSX 2019

VuWall and Matrox Graphics Inc. will partner at Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2019 conference and expo, Sept. 10-12, in Chicago. On InfraGard’s Booth 1187, attendees will see state-of-the-art technology from the two companies integrated to deliver the best deployment and visualization experiences inside command and control rooms.

“As more and more organizations expand their facilities with command and control rooms, they require advanced solutions that streamline the configuration and deployment process, and simplify the user experience,” said Paul Vander Plaetse, CEO at VuWall. “Matrox is a trusted provider of a broad range of advanced video wall, IP KVM extension, and streaming and recording technologies for security applications that are at the heart of VuWall’s integrated solutions. GSX 2019 is a great opportunity to see how our respective technologies integrate, creating the most advanced, yet easy-to-manage command and control rooms.”

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For the first time, VuWall will demonstrate its VuStation visualization and control workstation with Matrox’s Extio 3, a high-performance IP KVM extender, across four full HD displays. The KVM solution for personal video walls, VuStation, enables operators to seamlessly interact with multiple sources from a single KVM station, having all critical controls and information at their fingertips. Matrox Extio 3 works as either a point-to-point or networked KVM extender and creates a scalable and cost-effective KVM matrix switching environment using standard 1-Gigabit network switches. Designed for high-performance applications, Matrox Extio 3 Series IP KVM extenders deliver 4Kp60 4:4:4 or quad 1080p60 4:4:4 over a standard Gigabit Ethernet network (fiber optic or copper) at unprecedented low bitrates. The integrated solution delivers the best visualization experience and the easiest AV network management system for the control room market.

“Operators rely on our solutions to provide unmatched performance,” said Samuel Recine, director of sales for the Americas and Asia Pacific at Matrox Graphics Inc. “When paired with VuWall’s ecosystem, they can quickly visualize information for collaboration and improve communication and critical decision making, helping them keep pace with the 24/7 demands of any command and control environment.”

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VuWall and LG Partner to Deliver Integrated Video Wall Control and Display Tech for Control Rooms

VuWall announced a corporate partnership with LG Electronics, the leading global manufacturer of monitors, personal computers, digital signage, and commercial displays. This partnership allows VuWall and LG to offer customers a fully integrated control room solution that combines VuWall’s advanced VuScape video wall processor with LG’s latest 55SVH7F video wall display.

“Our goal is to provide an easy-to-install, easy-to-use solution for professionals in command and control room environments so that they can focus on their 24/7 visualization experience and not worry about the technology,” said Paul Vander Plaetse, CEO at VuWall. “By partnering with LG, we continue to deliver on that commitment — by combining these two great technologies, our customers have even more powerful solutions for solving their real-world challenges.”

VuScape is a series of modular video wall processors and controllers designed for small and large-scale video walls. They can be combined with the VuWall Touch Panel, a PoE tablet with an intuitive interface designer, and as a complete, easy-to-use video wall management and operation solution.

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The LG 55SVH7F video wall display features a razor-thin, 0.44mm bezel or 0.88mm when measured from bezel to bezel. It also boasts vivid, dynamic picture quality with a higher and wider viewing angle, uniform color expression, and image gap reduction. Moreover, it features Smart Calibration, a simple and fast process that does not require an external device or human intervention.

The VuWall and LG integration offers customers the ability to control LG displays remotely using the VuWall scripting tool with VuScape controllers, giving control room operators and supervisors the utmost flexibility and ease of use. As a fully integrated platform, organizations will have a comprehensive ecosystem driving their video walls from anywhere in the facility. Customers can have their first look at the integrated solution in LG’s new prestigious showroom in Paris where they can experience all the benefits of the new control room ecosystem.

“LG strives to continually advance and push the envelope, providing our customers with the best display technology in the world. This makes it vital to choose the right technology partners to address the needs of our customers in specific markets,” said Harri Ekholm, Vice President of Sales from LG Electronics. “VuWall is a recognized leader in the command and control room industry with solutions known for their reliability and high-performance technology designed with a deep understanding of mission-critical needs. These features make VuWall the perfect partner for us.”

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Qligent Strengthens Vision Analytics Platform to Measure Return on Engagement

Qligent has updated its industry-first, award-winning Vision Analytics™ innovation for IBC2019 with a fully matured, open platform that harnesses the power of data mining, machine learning, and predictive data analytics. Vision Analytics exists to address three main concerns: user engagement, silent sufferers, and audience churn. Qligent will exclusively showcase Vision Analytics at a special stand (14.C19) from September 13-17 in the RAI Exhibition and Conference Center; Qligent will also retain its usual location at Stand 8.E47.

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Vision Analytics addresses the “4 Vs” of big data: velocity, volume, variety and veracity. Its engines leverage scalable cloud processing to manage a nearly limitless number of static, dynamic or event-based datasets to help broadcasters, MVPDs and OTT service providers quickly address issues and take corrective and preventative action. The software samples video content and aggregates data from a variety of systems and components throughout the ecosystem to understand and correlate the factors that contribute to higher engagement. With a reliable data set, users can develop a host of analysis results, visualizations, and automated reports to suit unique business needs.

“Vision Analytics not only monitors network performance in real-time, but leverages machine learning and other data science technologies to predict conditions that, left unchecked, could sour viewers on the media brand,” said Ted Korte, CTO, Qligent. “Users will know which events cause viewers to become disengaged, and how to keep track of subscribers by merging Quality of Experience with Qligent’s true end-to-end™ technology. This gives service providers a powerful prevention-oriented toolset, as well as cloud-based quality assurance across every distribution network out to each viewer’s home and mobile device.”

Qligent has added several important new features to Vision Analytics for IBC2019:

  • Key Quality Indicators (KQIs) with specific performance parameters for broadband and internet delivery
  • Service-independent correlation engines to identify and reconcile problems over any delivery network
  • An intuitive Reports Builder application that allows users to create actionable reports, customizable to each service
  • A new Dashboard Constructor for web and mobile devices that allows users more flexibility in adding widgets, graphs and other customized reporting elements meaningful to their operations
  • A refined predictive analytics model to more effectively combat buffering issues for IPTV, OTT and mobile delivery services

“Collectively, these new features and applications simply make things faster, better and easier for our customers by ensuring that the actual data used for analysis is more trustworthy,” said Korte. “Vision Analytics puts the power back in the hands of our customers, and helps them prevent problems from happening at the first signs of trouble.”

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Qligent’s unique deployment of networked and virtual probes creates an end-to-end, controlled data mining environment to produce trusted and secondary opinion datasets within Vision Analytics. The analytics engines are never thrown off by variables, such as operator error, viewer disinterest, or user hardware malfunction, assuring that the integrity and variety of the data is maintained. All findings are presented on a user-friendly dashboard and reports that summarizes key performance indicators (KPIs), key quality indicators (KQIs), and other vital criteria pertaining to multiplatform content distribution across creation, delivery, and consumption.

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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Actus Digital to Demonstrate Intelligent Compliance and Unified Media Platform at IBC2019

“We have enhanced the Actus Digital intelligent media platform to include more functionality, additional AI options, and extended automation related to compliance, clips creation and export to social media, and content monitoring and analysis,” said Raphael Renous, CTO at Actus Digital. “At IBC2019, we will present how the new platform improves the daily workflow for media companies.”

A Compliance Platform That Goes Beyond Standard Requirements

Media companies today need a compliance solution that pushes the boundary of innovation, going beyond supporting simple tasks, such as logging, monitoring, and regulation compliance. They expect the compliance solution to provide quality assurance tools, video analysis reports, advanced clip creation, OTT monitoring, and multiviewer capabilities, all from a single platform. Moreover, since the industry is changing rapidly, the industry needs flexible solutions that support a range of deployment models. At IBC2019, Actus Digital will demonstrate the expansive functionalities of the Actus media monitoring platform, which offers an intelligent approach to monitoring and support for multiple deployment environments, including on-premises, virtualization, the cloud, and hybrid combinations.

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Clip Factory Makes Content Repurposing Fast and Easy

Being able to publish content as fast as possible to new media platforms, integrate with social media, OTT platforms, and leverage the benefits of AI is becoming an increasingly important requirement today for media companies. The content repurposing workflow has to be simple and fast.

Actus Digital’s Clip Factory clips creation workflow offers a simple web browser interface for creating and exporting clips, enabling content repurposing from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Clip Factory ensures that all content is exported fast, whether it’s done manually or automatically. With Clip Factory, media companies no longer require a special workstation or professional editors..

How mature is AI development throughout the broadcasting industry?

By Chem Assayag. Chem Assayag is VO’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. With a strong experience in the world of digital television and content services, and during his tenure at OpenTV, the worldwide leader in interactive television, he managed operations in Europe and the Middle East, growing revenues in the company’s largest business region.


IBC recently ran a feature looking at AI in the broadcast industry and came across real world projects as diverse as using AI to automatically generate metadata, generate intermediate frames and thus super slo-mo from regular camera feeds; analyze audience behaviour patterns, provide speech to text, refine complex workflows, and much more.

Much of it is to do with automation in the value chain and currently it is mostly this that is driving the broadcast industry uptake. Broadcast is a very process-oriented business and many of these processes — think of Quality Control, monitoring channels for rights purposes, conforming, closed caption generation, ingest… the list is a long one —  map well into automation. The use of technology to increase speed and efficiency while at the same time cutting costs, is an attractive proposition.

Where is AI in Broadcast in 2019?

First off, it has to be said that, at time of writing, there is a lot of hyperbole regarding AI technologies and their impact in the value chain. A lot of what is being talked about is either projection, prototypes, or concerns projects that have a so far rather limited scope. The hype machine is in full flow as companies looking to leverage AI technologies look to raise funding and maximize interest.

This is not helped by a media that is fully buying into the more fanciful elements of the AI story. Sometimes these showcase legitimate concerns as well as rattling the funding tip jar, such as the story headlined ‘New AI fake text generator may be too dangerous to release, say creators’, which highlighted the problems of text-based deep fakes. On the whole though, there is a depressing willingness to buy into the trope of the inanimate becoming animate and leading to disaster, which is a cultural artefact you can trace from Talmudic stories of golems, through Frankenstein, and on to the Terminator movies and SkyNet; a point which the same newspaper as the previous link adroitly made a few months earlier in a piece titled ‘The discourse is unhinged’: how the media gets AI alarmingly wrong’.

Indeed, in its introduction to a gated reportexamining the hype cycle in relation to AI, analyst Gartner wrote: “AI is almost a definition of hype. Yet, it is still early: New ideas will surface and some current ideas will not live up to expectations.” Away from there alarmist mainstream headlines the AI-based technologies it sees as currently sliding into the Trough of Disillusionment (see here for an explanation of the Hype Cycle phases) include such high-profile cases as Computer Vision, Autonomous Vehicles, Commercial Drones, and Augmented Reality.

So, where are we in broadcast? Gartner has also produced a useful AI Maturity Model (see below) where companies and industries can measure their progress along a line that illustrates the growing deployment and impact of the technology.

ai in broadcasting diagram

As a whole, at this stage early in 2019 the broadcast industry is probably strung out in a line somewhere between the start of Level 2 and the early stages of Level 3. Level 2 is Active, and defined as AI appearing in proofs of concept and pilot projects, with meetings about AI focusing on knowledge sharing and the beginnings of standardization.

The Level 3 Operational stage sees at least one AI project having moved to production and best practices, while experts and technology are increasingly accessible to the enterprise. AI also has an executive sponsor within the organisation and a dedicated budget.

Things are moving swiftly though. IBC2017 was, after all, only eighteen months ago. But one of the accelerants for the introduction of technology is that the broadcast industry has been moving into the cloud at the same time. Companies no longer need to invest in their own infrastructure, hardware and software to implement AI in the value chain; they can outsource it via the cloud.

This is becoming easier to do than ever as well. As an illustration of what is available, AWS has a Free Tier that it bills as offering ‘Free offers and services you need to build, deploy, and run machine learning applications in the cloud’. The cloud-based machine learning services organizations and individuals can hook up to for no cost include:

  • Text to speech: 5 million characters per month
  • Speech to text: 60 minutes per month
  • Image recognition: Analyze 5000 images and store 1000 face metadata per month
  • Natural language processing: 5 million characters per month

Even the full costed versions can make a compelling argument. The Amazon Transcribe API is billed monthly at a rate of $0.0004 per second, for instance, meaning a transcript of a 60-minute show would cost $1.44. And, of course, though it is enormous and has a global reach, AWS is only one of a growing number of cloud-based companies offering AIaaS.

AI is Augmentation over Automation

One key point to make about AI in 2019 is that the industry is still largely working out the use cases. Automation is only the start of it, and indeed only looking at the places in a broadcast workflow where AI can automate processes is to underestimate the potential of the technology. AI holds out the promise of augmenting human actions, of being able to analyze information and make predictions based on those results faster than humans can.

That means when examining loci in a workflow where the technology can help, there are a few key considerations:

  • Does expert knowledge add value?
  • Is there a large amount of data to be processed?
  • Is the organization looking to affect an outcome included in that data?

If the answer to all those three questions is yes, then that is a business point that can be further augmented by AI.

AI in Broadcasting: All About Context

As we’ve said, there are lots of use cases and projects involving AI currently underway across the industry, but we’ll end by highlighting one example of what can be achieved in the field, the UK’s Channel 4 and its trials of Contextual Moments. This is an AI-driven technology that uses image recognition and natural language processing to analyze scenes in pre-recorded content, producing a list of positive moments that can then be matched to a brand.

Low scoring moments are discarded, whilst all candidate moments are checked by humans to ensure brand safety. After that, to use C4’s example, a baking brand might previously have contextually advertised around a show such as ‘The Great British Bake-Off’, now it can be presented with a list of programs where baking happens in a positive light, from dramas to reality shows.

Channel 4’s initial testing with 2000 people showed that this AI-driven contextual version of targeted advertising, boosted brand awareness and doubled ad recall to 64%. It will be interesting to see how those results are mirrored in real world data.

As yet, the Level 3 ideal of AI having a dedicated budget within an organization is largely fanciful; we are at too early a stage for ROI data to be reliably collated. The tendency for it to be applied mainly for automation purposes limits its impact, even though cost reductions can be impressive. More complex projects and thus more strategic impacts are on the way, though.

Gartner’s Level 4 of AI implementation sees all new digital projects at least consider AI; new products and services have embedded AI, and AI-powered applications interacting productively (and, presumably, with a degree of autonomy) within the broadcast organization. Given the speed of the timescales so far, you wouldn’t want to bet against some of the companies at the forefront of AI development starting to push into that territory towards the end of the year.

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