BlackWire Designs Named Distributor for AVPro Edge’s New Customizable Card-Based HDMI/HDBaseT Matrix Switch

BlackWire Designs, a leading distributor in the custom installation market, today announced that the company will distribute AVPro Edge’s new AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-CHASSIS, the industry’s only customizable, card-based HDMI/HDBaseT matrix switch. For multizone video distribution systems requiring the downmixing of Dolby Atmos/DTS-HD Master Audio, two-channel PCM audio, or both, the flexible unit allows integrators to deliver custom-tailored solutions designed to meet the specific requirements of any installation, without the added cost of unneeded functionality. AVPro Edge named BlackWire as the only distributor authorized to customize the product in-house, offering its signature design services and support to customers.

“When it comes to video distribution, one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why AVPro Edge’s new customizable matrix switch is a complete game-changer for the residential and commercial markets,” said Kevin Luther, owner of BlackWire Designs. “With fixed matrices, integrators are often paying for more than they need — whether it’s too many inputs and outputs or advanced functionality that will go unused. Unfortunately, they may have to pass these costs on to their clients. The switch is a truly forward-thinking solution, and we are thrilled to bring its unique benefits to our customers.”

Available with a total of 16 inputs and 16 outputs, the AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT is offered with two HDMI input card options, each of which features two inputs and is capable of 4K60 4:4:4. The AVDM card decodes Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio for devices such as streaming media players. AVPro Edge is the only switch manufacturer that provides this capability. For security cameras, on-screen controllers for automation systems, and similar devices, the AUHD card converts two-channel PCM audio into analog. The AUHD-HDBT output card features two zoned HDBaseT outputs, one of which has an HDMI mirror.

With its unmatched flexibility, the AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-CHASSIS dramatically lowers overall solution costs for integrators and their customers. While standard matrix switches offer a fixed number and type of inputs and outputs, the AVPro Edge solution allows dealers to purchase only the amount and type they need for each specific project. So, if an installation doesn’t require more expensive Dolby Atmos decoding, there is no need to include it. The result is a cost-effective solution to meet a system’s current requirements, while offering the flexibility to accommodate its needs of tomorrow.

“We couldn’t be more excited to team up with BlackWire to bring our custom-built matrices to the AV industry,” said Matt Murray, CTO of AVPro Edge. “For integrators, working with the company is a completely unique experience, like having a technology partner that understands all of their needs — from hardware and implementation to product availability. And BlackWire’s easy-to-use website makes it simple to order a custom matrix in any configuration integrators need, backed by unmatched technical support before and after the sale.”

Custom AC-MX1616-AUHD-HDBT-CHASSIS matrix switches are available from BlackWire now and come with free drivers for seamless integration with leading control and automation platforms. AVPro Edge will have the solution on display at CEDIA Expo 2019 at Booth 739.

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Nevion-led consortium receives 2 million euro EU funding for 5G broadcast remote production project

Nevion, award-winning provider of virtualized media production solutions, announced today that a mobile-5G remote production project by a consortium it is leading has received a grant of €2 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program ‘Fast Track to Innovation’. Project “VIRTUOSA” was selected as the best proposal of a highly competitive call with 225 applications.

The winning consortium comprises four international leading industry players with complementary competences and a common goal to bring 5G (the Fifth Generation of Cellular Network Technology) Broadcast Remote Production solutions to market: Nevion AS (Norway), Mellanox Technologies LTD (Israel), LOGIC media solutions GmbH (Germany) and IRT – Institute for Broadcasting Technology (Germany).

The purpose of the EU project VIRTUOSA is to explore “Scalable Software Defined Network Architectures for Cooperative Live Media Production exploiting Virtualized Production Resources and 5G Wireless Acquisition”. In practical terms, this means demonstrating through real-life examples how 5G can be combined with virtualization concepts to enable broadcasters to produce live content (such as sports or music coverage) more efficiently and cost-effectively across locations, to meet growing consumer demand.

VIRTUOSA Project Coordinator Thomas Heinzer, EVP Strategic Projects, Nevion, commented: “We at Nevion are honored by the European Commission’s acknowledgement of our VIRTUOSA EU project. After being at the forefront of the professional media industry’s move to IP for more than a decade, we look forward to working together with our consortium partners to take our proven SDN technology to the next level by leveraging the capabilities of 5G for live production.”

Nevion’s SDN technology provides the means to control media networks more effectively in order to achieve the defined and predictable reliability and performance required for the transport of video, audio and associated data used in live broadcast production.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 866656.

MultiDyne Unleashes Next-Generation SMPTE-HUT Series at IBC2019

MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions comes to IBC2019 this week with a new generation of its legacy SMPTE-HUT system, a universal camera transceiver that frees camera operators from the limitations of hybrid cabling. The latest iteration streamlines connectivity, reducing the dual-strand architecture to a single fiber strand.

The latest SMPTE-HUT generation also integrates optical budgeting and remote power cycling, removing the need for external docks to regenerate signals for long-distance camera-to-studio transmission.

“There are certainly cost- and labor-saving benefits through using a single fiber strand, notably in stadiums or metropolitan areas where it’s necessary to lease fiber,” said Frank Jachetta, CEO, MultiDyne. “The real value comes through the SMPTE-HUT’s ability to regenerate optical power within the fiber. The optical budget is also now viewable on the device, giving camera operators a detailed troubleshooting tool to quickly determine if there is a power issue or another problem. The ability to remotely cycle power adds further value, allowing operators to reset cameras and make power adjustments as required.”

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The next-generation SMPTE-HUT also integrates a higher level of intelligence than previous versions. For example, the devices will now operate with every SMPTE camera model and vendor, and translate important settings and details to the built-in display.

The SMPTE-HUT remains one of MultiDyne’s popular product lines with outside broadcast and mobile production companies for long-distance transmission. The devices eliminate the need to mix copper connectivity with fiber, enabling faster setup and strike times while reducing weight on trucks. The elimination of copper also removes RF, EMI and grounding issues from the infrastructure, ensuring the best possible signal integrity over very long distances.

MultiDyne will demonstrate the SMPTE-HUT alongside other new and existing innovations at IBC2019, beginning this Friday, September 13 through Tuesday, September 17. MultiDyne exhibits at Stand 11.D40 in the RAI Exhibition and Convention Center.

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Casablanca Online successfully enables live broadcasts of Copa America with SES and Newtec Dialog®

Broadcasters are often faced with unstable connectivity whilst covering live events. In order to ensure a stable service, Casablanca Online sought a reliable and cost-effective solution.

Based on Newtec Dialog®, SES’s OU Flex product combines live video transmission and IP connectivity via satellite to enable both data and video applications for Occasional Use (OU) services. It was installed for Casablanca Online – which has a fleet of more than 20 Outside Broadcast (OB) trucks – at the Morumbi Stadium, São Paulo, where the opening game of the Copa America between Brazil and Bolivia was held.

This enabled a two-way connection between the stadium and the studio, providing greater flexibility to facilitate remote production and distribute video content to online platforms. As a result, Casablanca Online was able to provide guaranteed and glitch-free internet connectivity over a 40/40 Mbps bidirectional link, allowing the field teams to operate optimally.

“While our OB trucks are equipped to carry out video contributions, we also require IP connectivity which often involves installing a leased line,” said Alex Pimentel, CEO at Casablanca Online. “This is expensive and quite often of a low quality. Leveraging Newtec Dialog, the SES OU Flex solution completely transformed our operations, bringing dynamic bandwidth allocation which enabled high-quality IP connectivity alongside efficient content delivery.”

The OU Flex solution was integrated into Casablanca Online’s existing Satellite News Gathering (SNG) trucks via an MDM3310 broadband modem. This required significantly less investment compared to other technologies.

“Live event coverage poses significant challenges to broadcasters when it comes to meeting viewers’ expectations,” said Steve Bisenius, VP Regional Sales Engineering at SES Video. “Instantaneous access to information, a high-quality picture and the ability to watch anywhere, on any device are becoming standard requirements – and OU Flex addresses these needs in a cost-efficient way.”

The capabilities of OU Flex are enabled by Newtec Dialog which provides a choice of three return technologies – TDMA, SCPC and Mx-DMA®, Newtec’s unique technology which combines the best qualities of TDMA and SCPC.

“With Newtec Dialog and SES OU Flex, broadcasters have a very flexible solution that enables reliable broadcasts and reduces overall costs,” said Bart Van Utterbeeck, VP South America at Newtec. “Scalability in geography and volume is also enabled by the IP-based transmission, creating endless options for content contribution and distribution across the globe.”

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Digital Nirvana Adds Cloud Storage and Processing, AI to MonitorIQ Compliance Logger

It 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.

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“MonitorIQ 6.1 lets today’s broadcasters do more than they ever could before. For example, they can now use cloud-based, AI-driven microservices to add transcription to video assets automatically. They can also search stored video using face detection, logo recognition, and on-screen text detection,” said Russell Wise, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Digital Nirvana. “The integration of MonitorIQ and Media Services Portal opens up a whole new world of AI-enhanced possibilities for broadcasters to record, store, and repurpose content. Through intelligent and immediate logging and feedback of content quality and compliance, broadcasters are better-positioned to meet regulatory, compliance, and licensing requirements for closed captioning, decency, and advertising monitoring.”

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The new capabilities in MonitorIQ 6.1 are:

  • A reliable, scalable, and expandable architecture that enables on-premises, cloud, or hybrid implementation. MonitorIQ was designed to run locally as a full turnkey solution or in a virtual environment, using local customer hardware or residing in the cloud or in a hybrid configuration. MonitorIQ also provides an extensible list of open APIs for easy integration into broadcast workflows or third-party systems.
  • Seamless integration to AI-based cloud microservices that can be spun up very quickly as needed and run on top of the compliance system. Microservices include:
    – Automated speech to text for closed-caption generation and transcription.
    – Closed-caption/teletext conformance and correction to meet streaming services’ standards (Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.).
    – Powerful text and video-intelligence functions for detecting faces, logos, images, and on-screen text.
    – Detection of ads in competitive programming and identification of the category of the ad and advertisers.

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MonitorIQ 6.1 provides tight integration with Digital Nirvana’s Media Services Portal, a suite of smart self-service tools, which empowers broadcasters to apply AI capabilities to broadcast workflows. These microservices include speech-to-text for automated closed-caption generation, quality assessment for postproduction closed captioning, and transcription of recorded assets. A video intelligence engine provides logo, face, and object recognition.

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THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO’s “THE HEAD”, produced in association with HULU Japan and HBO Asia, is currently shooting

Directed by Jorge Dorado (“El Embarcadero”, “Mindscape”) for 12 weeks, this survival thriller is set in one of the remotest places on the planet – Antarctica. The shooting is taking place in the Canary Islands and Iceland.

The Pastor brothers and Jorge Dorado have worked with Ran Tellem (“Homeland”), Head of International Content Development of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, in the creation of this thriller.

The project, one of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO’s major investments, took its first steps in 2017 at the prestigious International Series Mania Forum, held in Paris. The Head was presented at a pitching session and aroused great interest among representatives from the media and entertainment sector.

Álvaro Morte (The Professor and mastermind behind the ambitious robbery in “Money Heist”, and a character that has earned him widespread international success; “The Pier”, “El secreto de Puente Viejo”, “To Love is Forever”), Tomohisa Yamashita (“Code Blue”), Laura Bach (”Sprinter Galore”, “Rita”), Mònica López (“Hierro”, “In the city”, “The uninvited guest”, “Acusados”), Alexandre Willaume (“Below the Surface”, ”Deep State”, “Tomb Raider”), Katharine O’Donnelly (“Mary, Queen of Scots”), John Lynch (“The Terror”) and Amelia Hoy (“Below the Surface”, “Killing Eve”) are part of the international cast of the series.

According to Javier Méndez, Chief Content Officer of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, “The Head is an example of the direction we’re headed in, with ambitious and complex international projects based on great stories. The Head is a major step in the Studio’s strategy to guarantee that the best stories reach our clients around the world; to do so, we have excellent partner like Hulu Japan”.

Laura Fernández Espeso, Corporate Director and CoHead of TV of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, commented: “The Head is the fruit of many months’ labor to meet deadlines when demand for content is huge. Having talent like Jorge Dorado and Àlex and David Pastor working from the beginning to build and shape this project, altogether with a great international cast and a prominent partner such as Hulu Japan, gives an idea of the magnitude of the project. It is a privilege for THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO to bring this amazing series to the audiovisual market”.

The dark, long months in Antarctica, the cold, the wind and the large stretches of ice, along with the feelings of loneliness and claustrophobia, are the distinguishing features of this six-episode series.

The plot of “The Head”, with dialogues in English and Danish, is set in the Polaris VI international base, in Antarctica. A small group of scientists from several countries will be in charge of the base during the long polar nights. But in the middle of winter, the base stops communicating with the outside world.

“After a process lasting two and half years, we at THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO are proud to bring this unique story to the screen”, explained Tellem. “’The Head’” is about Good and Evil. Our story begins when a group of people find themselves completely disconnected from the world, in the frozen darkness of the South Pole winter. For the unknown killer among them, this is the perfect setting. For everybody else, telling good from evil just might be the thing that saves your life.”

 

“In ‘The Head’, I made some contribution to the development, which is quite unusual,” director Jorge Dorado explains, “because directors normally join in at a much later stage. And this is very interesting, because this way, the story in a way becomes yours too.” The director also emphasizes the work of THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO: “At the moment, no one else in Spain is doing projects of this magnitude and with such international ambition.”

Àlex and David, who have worked on the screenplays of “The Head”, along with Isaac Sastre, define the production as a “claustrophobic thriller with a central mystery.” “The series plays with two different times, because the idea is to find out who the murderer is, the reasons why they have done this, and if there is something else behind or beyond what seem to be a series of crimes,” they suggest.

The Pastor brothers have a brilliant track record in filmmaking with titles like “Carriers” and “The Last Days”, both written and directed by them, and “SELF/LESS”, written by them, directed by Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”) and starring Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds. They made their debut in the TV world with the series “Incorporated”, for the US channel Sy Fy, produced by Pearl Street Films, which is Matt Damon’s and Ben Affleck’s company. The Pastor brothers were in charge of the screenplay and the direction of the pilot episode. Recently, they have directed the film “Hogar” for Netflix.

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NEP UK Deploys Embrionix emFUSION-6 SDI-IP Gateways

The emFUSION-6 enables NEP UK to provide remote monitoring for multiple channels with multiple languages, special POV cameras, and remote sports commentary while maintaining remote control on every site during each event.

“The Embrionix emFUSION-6 has supported the host feed, live commentary, and special points of view for major sporting events since last February, and the miniaturized gateway delivered during the 12 world championship events covered already in the season, performing flawlessly with 100% signal availability at all times,” said Donald Begg, director of technology, NEP Major Events. “The talented and dedicated team at Embrionix worked with our own team of talented engineers in the U.K. and Australia, allowing us to successfully roll out this high-visibility media-over-IP project using state-of-the-art solutions. I have plans to use the Embrionix IP kit, including the new emVIRTU solution, on a number of high-profile projects on the horizon.”

The compact emFUSION gateway deployed by NEP is a versatile, stand-alone gateway designed for remote control applications. As an SDI-to/from-IP and IP-to-HDMI gateway with support for SD, HD, 3G, and HDMI, the software-defined gateway is ideal for remote broadcast production, interconnecting SDI signals to a SMPTE ST 2110 or SMPTE ST 2022 IP infrastructure via a single 25GE aggregation link or via dual links for (SMPTE ST 2022-7) hitless redundancy. Enabling a local network connection per site, embedded on 25GE links, the emFUSION-6 also helps NEP to minimize cabling. The Embrionix gateway supports up to eight channels of encapsulation/de-encapsulation. Black burst can be extracted from the PTP to synchronize cameras, and a local network connection can be dropped at any location.

“Embrionix is proud to supply NEP UK with the highest-quality IP solutions,” said Renaud Lavoie, president, Embrionix. “We’re excited to see innovators like NEP pushing the IP remote production envelope in a distributed manner.”

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