Sportsnet stays ahead of the game with Quantel


Roger Thornton TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Roger Thornton
Issue 81 - September 2013
Over the last 15 years, Sportsnet has risen to become one of Canadas leading sports media operations. The Sportsnet and Sportsnet One TV channels are complemented by Sportsnet Radio, Sportsnet Magazine and its premium international sports channel, Sportsnet World. In May 2013, parent company Rogers Media also acquired Score Media, owner of The Score Television Network, further extending its reach in the sports broadcasting market. For the last five years, Sportsnet has been relying on a Quantel Enterprise sQ system for all its production needs. Over this period, the system has not only handled Sportsnets full workload, but also accommodated a doubling of operational requirements.

Scoring with Hockey

Ice Hockey regarded by many as Canadas national sport is at the heart of Sportsnets offering. For those who havent seen ice hockey, it is one of the most physically demanding of sports, with players frequently taking a pounding on a level with what a heavyweight boxer might expect.

Its an exciting, all action game that commands a huge TV audience for Sportsnet. Sportsnet also covers baseball, basketball, American Football and soccer. Sportsnet also took a share in 2012 London Olympics coverage and will be a partner in the 2014 Winter Olympics coverage at Sochi in Russia.

VP Operations and Engineering, Virginia Gibberd, explains Sportsnets approach: Hockey is the business driver for Sportsnet. We go head to head with CBC (Canadas state broadcaster) and often beat them on multiple games nights. A big part of our philosophy is that if you get all the content digital, magazine, radio then the audience can all benefit to the maximum. Our business model is national and regional CRTC (the Canadian broadcasting regulatory body) regulates that we support regional as well as national events.
Planning pays

Sportsnet shared premises with CTV in Toronto until 2008. Three years of research and planning culminated in Sportsnets move into its spacious, purpose-designed premises at The Rogers Building - One Mount Pleasant - in downtown Toronto in April 2008. Director of Technical Operations, Andrew Thomas, remembers it well he led the Operations team that made all the workflow decisions. The team that designed One Mount Pleasant known to everyone here as OMP started research in 2005, and the first thing we chose was the edit system that would be at the heart of the workflow. We wanted a central ingest, edit, production and playout solution all in HD, Thomas recalls. As part of the selection process, we looked at several manufacturers systems in use with other customers. Included in this process were visits to the Quantel installations at ESPN in Bristol, CT and Fox in LA to see how they supported highlights packages and high end productions in a single solution. Quantel was the only system that could do what we wanted.

Frank Bruno Rogers VP of TV Engineering states the Enterprise SQ system is the heart of Sportsnet. A critical design element was the integration of this system to multiple third party systems. Quantels R&D team worked closely with Vizrt, Autocue, Dixon Sports, Harris Automation and Rogers Corporate IT to ensure all these systems communicated with each other reliably. This was a fundamental requirement towards new and efficient Operational workflows, Bruno says.
Starting over

What was great about starting from scratch at OMP was that we were able to throw out old workflows and start afresh. Sometimes its easier to change peoples lives completely rather than piecemeal, Thomas continues. The scale of the Sportsnet operation is mind-boggling as are the production demands that it supports.

At the heart of the system is 2000 hours of 1080i HD storage on sQ servers, which are split into two zones to provide operational redundancy. The system includes 84 sQ View desktop shot selection and review applications, 11 sQ Edit advanced editors and six sQ Edit Plus HD craft editors. Between 150 and 250 hours of new footage are recorded into the system daily, across a total of 40 ports on the Enterprise sQ system under the control of Vizrt DART. ENG crews send their edited material back to Sportsnet via ftp, which is transcoded using Rhozet and then transferred into the sQ server. Similarly, edited material in Enterprise sQ is exported via ftp to Rhozet for transcoding for Sportsnets websites.
Running on full

The system typically runs between 70 and 90% full on a daily basis. Media management is all handled in the Ingest Area. This critical part of the operation is run by Media Asset Coordinator Paul Peterson, who as well as checking automatic deletions and archiving, also keeps an eye on naming conventions evidently some staff will try anything to keep their clips on the system forever but Peterson knows all the tricks!

Long term media asset management is now via Viz Ardome, which was installed in 2010. It has 2500 hours of intermediate (nearline) storage populated mainly with lo-res media, linked to an LTO-5 archive robot for storage of hi-res media. Current capacity is 200,000 hours. The Viz Ardome has an umbrella view of material stored on both Quantel and Ardome. Users are able to search material and captured closed captioning, and initiate transfers for edit or playout or to Rhozet for transcoding for web use.

The result is that everything that is produced and aired can be seen by everyone, says Lisa Bowditch, Director of Media Operations. Sportsnet is now well advanced in its program to transfer 120,000 hours of media that is still on tape into the Ardome archive. This all happens in the quieter surroundings of the 3rd floor media operations area, where footage that was not logged live is also logged so that relevant clips can be easily found via the MAM system.

Capturing the highlights

There are three main studios at Sportsnet, each with its own control room. Studio One aka The Stage - looks out through its glass walls over the logging, editing and news room. Games are logged live using sQ View within the Dixon Logger - each sport has its own customized template, optimizing productivity. The logger uses Sportsnets Autocue newsroom system to create script notes for the highlights packages clip 34 great goal etc. On a busy night all 15 logging stations will be in operation under the watchful eye of the Highlights Supervisor. Up to eight editors sit opposite the loggers compiling the highlights packages on sQ Edit applications with the producers close by. The assignment desks are alongside, scheduling crews all over the country to get up to the minute interviews into the programs.

Studio 2 has been deliberately designed with a more generic look so that quick changes in lighting and whats on the big monitors can instantly reconfigure it for soccer, skiing or any other sport. Its control room is technically identical to Control Room 1, providing 100% redundancy if required. Finally Studio 3 is largely reserved for hockey and its control room mirrors 1 and 2. All three control rooms have three playout channels of the Enterprise sQ system available so they can go straight to air via sQ Play if required.

For any sports programming, graphics play an important role in helping viewers understanding, and Sportsnet puts a lot of effort into producing high quality animations and over-the-shoulders to explain and inform, using a combination of After Effects, Photoshop and 3DS Max. When graphics are completed they are uploaded to the sQ system using a Quantel I/O station that lives in the graphics area.
Wonderful simplicity

Editor Chris Moskavec left college four years ago, having learned to edit on Final Cut, Avid and Adobe. He was taught to edit on Quantel at Sportsnet in two days of training I was editing for real within a week. Its all on the server in pieces loggers do a loose script for a one and a half minute highlights package. Theres a wonderful simplicity to sQ Edit I couldnt imagine going back to another system it caters for a range of very different editing styles.

Speed counts

The six sQ Edit Plus craft editors handle all the feature jobs, promotions, show packaging and effects work. Editor Vince Monteleone took a little while to re-orient to Quantel after spending seven years editing on Avid, but with the arrival a few years ago of V4.2 with its multilayer timeline, he is now a Quantel convert and really looking forward to the forthcoming V5 upgrade. Im an editor not a sports fan! Quantel is by far the fastest turnaround system I have ever seen, and the color corrector is also by far the best I have seen - I got frustrated trying to do color on Avid. I now use effects a lot more. Its a solid system. I also like that even after flattening finished pieces for playout, I still have the kit of parts on the server or the Ardome archive for older jobs which is great for re-edits or working into different stories.
Complete programming playout

As you would expect, all studio production playout comes from the sQ system, but Sportsnet is also making full use of its Enterprise sQ system for program content too. Under the control of automation, the sQ system provides reliable, redundant playout to air of programming content for all six Sportsnet channels, with plenty of room for future expansion.

Connected with QTube

QTube also plays a major role in helping Sportsnet share media across the country. I dont know how I did my job without it, reflects Virginia Gibberd. It means we can make content available to all our stations and City operations, helping to make their sportscasts richer.

Nimble and creative

Quantel has been a very good product for us it allows us to have universal desktop access to media, through high end editing and producing content for master control ubiquitous usage of that content is what allows us to be as nimble and creative as we are, Gibberd explains. Last summer we had staff coming back from the London Olympics having watched other peoples workflows, and they reported that their Quantel system was better than anything else there from the associate producer, producer and journalist perspective. It reminded us that we have a technology solution that were happy with and thats four years on from installing it. And weve doubled live event content since then, added two channels and Quantel technology has sustained it all weve done is added more storage, Gibberd concludes.


Tags: iss081 | quantel | sq | editing | live sports | sportsnet | radio | magazine | editing | content | management | case study | Roger Thornton
Contributing Author Roger Thornton

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2013

  • Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

    Quantel LiveTouch at IBC 2014

  • Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

    Quantel deal with AFP at IBC 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

  • Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

    Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at IBC 2013

  • Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

    Quantels Stream-based Workflows at IBC 2013

  • QUANTEL CEO at NAB 2015

    QUANTEL CEO at NAB 2015

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2013

  • Quantel at IBC 2012 Part One

    Quantel at IBC 2012 Part One

  • Quantel at IBC 2012 Part Two

    Quantel at IBC 2012 Part Two

  • Quantel at IBC2011

    Quantel at IBC2011

  • Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

    Snell Kahuna Production Switcher at IBC 2014

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) 4k workflow at IBC 2015

  • Snell Advanced Media (SAM) at IBC 2015

    Snell Advanced Media (SAM) at IBC 2015

  • Photon Beard: Square One Light at NAB 2013

    Photon Beard: Square One Light at NAB 2013

  • Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

    Cooke Optics technology at IBC 2014

  • Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

    FORSCENE Cloud Editing at NAB 2015

  • Dalet at NAB 2013

    Dalet at NAB 2013

  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Forscene at IBC 2014

    Forscene at IBC 2014

  • Editors Keys at NAB 2014

    Editors Keys at NAB 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

    Forbidden Technologies FORscene App at BVE 2014

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Lightworks on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

    Scott Hill uses EditShare: Lightworks at NAB 2013

  • NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

    NUGEN Audio: Loudness Toolkit at NAB 2013

  • AJA at BVE 2013

    AJA at BVE 2013

  • Autodesk at NAB 2012

    Autodesk at NAB 2012

  • Avid at BVE North 2011

    Avid at BVE North 2011

  • Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

    Live Sports Broadcast Commentator from Glensound at NAB 2017

  • Skype TX for Radio from Broadcast Bionics at NAB 2017

    Skype TX for Radio from Broadcast Bionics at NAB 2017

  • Broadcast Bionics PhoneBox at BVE 2017

    Broadcast Bionics PhoneBox at BVE 2017

  • Broadcast Bionics at BVE 2017

    Broadcast Bionics at BVE 2017

  • RTW at IBC 2014

    RTW at IBC 2014

  • Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

    Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

  • Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

    Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

    Sony Wireless Microphones at BVE 2014

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

    Jampro Antennas at NAB 2013

  • IMT at NAB 2013

    IMT at NAB 2013

  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013

  • Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

    Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

  • RTS Telex at IBC2011

    RTS Telex at IBC2011

  • TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

    TMD at NAB 2013: Content Intelligence

  • Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

    Volicon discuss creating content and publishing for online and social platforms

  • Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

    Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at NAB 2013

    Facilis at NAB 2013

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Reporting Module

  • TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

    TMD at NAB 2013: MediaFlex Systems

  • Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

    Object Based Storage Solutions from Object Matrix at NAB 2017

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

  • ROOT6 Technology at IBC 2015

    ROOT6 Technology at IBC 2015

  • ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Paint at IBC 2013

  • Facilis at IBC 2013

    Facilis at IBC 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

  • Root6 at NAB 2012

    Root6 at NAB 2012

  • Prime Focus at IBC2011

    Prime Focus at IBC2011

  • Prime Focus Technologies Showcase Work Order Management at IBC 2017

    Prime Focus Technologies Showcase Work Order Management at IBC 2017

  • Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

    Cloud Media Management with Medway from Marquis Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • Facility Management Software from Xytech at NAB 2017

    Facility Management Software from Xytech at NAB 2017

  • Media Asset Management Software from Blue Lucy at NAB 2017

    Media Asset Management Software from Blue Lucy at NAB 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

    Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

  • Blue Lucy at IBC 2015

    Blue Lucy at IBC 2015

  • TMD at BVE 2015

    TMD at BVE 2015

  • EditShare at BVE 2015

    EditShare at BVE 2015

  • NETIA at BVE 2015

    NETIA at BVE 2015

  • Movidiam at BVE 2015

    Movidiam at BVE 2015

  • BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

    BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

  • Dalet at IBC 2014

    Dalet at IBC 2014

  • WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

    WohlerGateway at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at IBC 2014

    Pronology at IBC 2014

  • TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

    TMD summarises their work this year at IBC 2014

  • Harmonic at IBC 2014

    Harmonic at IBC 2014

  • TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

    TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

  • TMD at IBC 2014

    TMD at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • Pronology at NAB 2014

    Pronology at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Ross Video at BVE 2014

    Ross Video at BVE 2014

  • Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about LTFS at IBC 2013

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Mediaflex CI

  • Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

    Tony Taylor from TMD talks about Post Production

  • Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

    Haivision: Video Cloud at NAB 2013

  • TSL Products at BVE 2013

    TSL Products at BVE 2013

  • Dalet at NAB 2012

    Dalet at NAB 2012

  • TSL at NAB 2012

    TSL at NAB 2012

  • Broadway Systems at NAB 2012

    Broadway Systems at NAB 2012

  • TMD at NAB 2012

    TMD at NAB 2012

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

    PlayBox Technology at BVE 2012

  • ERA at BVE North 2011

    ERA at BVE North 2011

  • Pilat Media at IBC2011

    Pilat Media at IBC2011

  • Netia at IBC2011

    Netia at IBC2011

  • Globecast at IBC2011

    Globecast at IBC2011

  • Tedial at IBC2011

    Tedial at IBC2011

  • TSL at IBC2011

    TSL at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE

    Larry Jordan and Den Lennie talk editing at BVE


Articles
Have Lorry will Broadcast - NHS70
Charlie Watts One thing that has become a permanent offering here at the University of Portsmouth is our focus on big, outside broadcasts that we offer to students studying BSc Televisions and Broadcasting. Students spent their third year making multiple live programmes, but as they reach the months of April and May, we shift the experience to something that is external, and from a different location.
Tags: iss132 | university | portsmouth | ccitv | nhs70 | outside broadcast | ob | education | student | Charlie Watts
Contributing Author Charlie Watts Click to read or download PDF
Will we soon be paying our respects to PayTV
Malcolm Harland Recent reports show pay TV in the US peaked in 2012 and will keep dropping over the next five years. Digital TV Research’s North America Pay TV Forecasts state the US will see a 20% drop between 2012 and 2023. Should the UK be readying for a similar change in consumer viewing, or is something different happening here?
Tags: iss132 | garland partners | GPL | paytv | ott | iplayer | youtube | ofcom | workflow | sky | virgin media | talktalk | Malcolm Harland
Contributing Author Malcolm Harland Click to read or download PDF
What is next after University
Ruta Kairyte

I currently find myself in between two landmark moments. A few weeks ago I was completely immersed in producing live television content, and in a few weeks time I will become an official BSc (Hons) Television & Broadcasting graduate from the University of Portsmouth. When I look back at who I was in my first year of university, I remember a shy girl from the other side of Europe, unsure at whether a career in television was the right path to take. Now, after three years of university, I can definitely say that I made the best choice of my life by choosing this degree. I’m leaving university confident and motivated, knowing that I made the right choice in study, and I really want that career in the television industry.

Tags: iss132 | portsmouth university | ccitv | graduate | bsc | degree | education | cv | Ruta Kairyte
Contributing Author Ruta Kairyte Click to read or download PDF
AoIP Solutions at Sky TV
Tom Pidsey Sky UK has recently moved the whole of its Sky News operation into new, state-of-the-art facilities in the Sky Studios building on the Sky TV campus in Osterley, West London. Described as being both the most sustainable broadcast facility of its kind in Europe as well as the most technologically advanced, the Sky Studios project is set to completely change the way that Sky TV works and the scope of content they deliver.
Tags: iss132 | aiop | sky tv | sonifex | avn-pxh12 | ravenna | aes67 | calrec | Tom Pidsey
Contributing Author Tom Pidsey Click to read or download PDF
Cellular Network Congestion at the Royal Wedding
Rob Waters As with all major events, planning for the Royal Wedding and surveying potential broadcast locations and securing reliable connectivity for video over IP workflows was top of mind for Canada’s Global TV. For major live broadcasts, in particular, when the entire world is watching, an extremely high degree of confidence is crucial because the live feeds need to be transmitted without fail.
Tags: iss132 | dejero | wedding | global television | canada | bandwidth | cellular | cellsat | satellite | stremaing | broadcast | ob | Rob Waters
Contributing Author Rob Waters Click to read or download PDF
Run Leaner, More Agile and Scalable OTT Operations
Olivier Karra The migration to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for media processing is underway and growing as broadcasters and content service providers explore new ways to increase agility and operational efficiencies. With media processing SaaS, content and service providers can quickly and easily deploy new channels, deliver a better quality of experience (QoE) to their audiences from anywhere in the world with low latency across all screens.
Tags: iss132 | ott | harmonic | saas | cmaf | vod | delivery | Olivier Karra
Contributing Author Olivier Karra Click to read or download PDF
Dedo DLED3 Microlighting Kit Review
Jonathan Harrison Having recently had the immense pleasure of getting my hands on the new Minisoftbox adapter ring for the Dedo DLED3 that takes the soft box that fits the standard DLH4 & DLED7. Size matters here! I discovered that there is only about a half stop difference between the DLED7 and the DLED3 output at the surface of the diffusion fabric which is amazing in terms of efficient light output from these delicious and perfectly formed tiny Bi-colour LED lights.
Tags: iss132 | dedolight | dled3 | review | lighting | led | dled7 | dled4 | Jonathan Harrison
Contributing Author Jonathan Harrison Click to read or download PDF
A Sound in Motion QA
Antonio Morais “A Sound in Motion started as a camera test for the new Sony VENICE CineAlta 6K Digital Cinema Camera and evolved into a much bigger project. The film, presented by Golpe Filmes and released this summer, was directed/edited by Ricardo Teixeira. It is a fictional story based on the way deaf people adapt themselves to daily life situations. The intent of the film is to be a positive influence in the way people think about the ‘differences in human beings’ and about issues related to social inclusion, but without turning it into something moralistic or that seems fundamentalist. Through sounds not speech, words or verbal expression we want to relay a positive message and display a clear gaze upon that difference.”
Tags: iss132 | miller | arrow x7 | tripod | atomos sumo | sony | venice | Antonio Morais
Contributing Author Antonio Morais Click to read or download PDF
Twenty Years of Transcription
Dom Bourne In 1998 Dom Bourne dropped out of university and started a business providing transcriptions to production companies. The company operated from his childhood bedroom and Dom hoped it would keep him in beer money for a year or two before he decided what he really wanted to do with his life.
Tags: iss132 | transcribe | take 1 | ott | cvaa | closed caption | xml metadata | Dom Bourne
Contributing Author Dom Bourne Click to read or download PDF
League of Legends European Masters
Sam Deans ESL, the world’s largest esports company, relied on a full Blackmagic Design live production workflow at the inaugural League of Legends European Masters tournament. The new league launched this Spring, with the first split taking place in the UK, specifically, at the historic Haymarket Theatre in Leicester.
Tags: iss132 | esports | blackmagic design | esl | videohub | decklink | pci | quadlink | atem 2 me | supersource | multiviewer | Sam Deans
Contributing Author Sam Deans Click to read or download PDF
G-Teching Storage to another level
Phil Vinter That heart-dropping, cold-sweat evoking moment your external hard drive fails to connect to the computer and you realise the precious project you’ve been working on for weeks is lost for good (unless you want to spank hundreds on a recovery service that may or may not retrieve some of the mangled data!)
Tags: iss132 | gtechnology | western digital | san disk | speed shuttle ssd | mobile pro ssd | g-drive pro ssd | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
Panasonic EVA1 and Atomos Shogun Inferno ProRes Raw Review
David Fernandes Filmmakers all over the world are embracing an affordable new route to higher-than-4K video recording. It’s just a few weeks since Atomos enabled support for 5.7K Apple ProRes RAW recording from the Panasonic EVA1 with the Shogun Inferno monitor/recorder, but filmmaker David Fernandes and DP Gregory Bennett have already become the first to use 5.7K ProRes RAW on a full-scale production.
Tags: iss132 | panasonic | eva1 | prores raw | 5.7k | review | inferno | atomos | David Fernandes
Contributing Author David Fernandes Click to read or download PDF
How machine learning might affect media
Bruce Devlin - new I have a curious relationship with technology. I’ve been doing it all my life and I see topics come and go over the years. This is the 3rd time around that I’ve seen Artificial Intelligence become trendy and this time, I think it will stick. There are 4 things that are different this time around and they are (in alphabetical order) Amazon, IBM, Google, Microsoft. All of those companies have had AI research programs running for years, but the big change now is that there is enough ubiquitous compute resource in the form of the cloud to make it commercially viable to build products around the platforms.
Tags: iss132 | class | machine learning | ml | watson | ibm | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation
Dick Hobbs - new

I am writing this in the middle of a record-breaking heatwave in southern England. Yet it is time to be thinking about the mists and mellow fruitfulness of autumn, or at least the predictably damp and chilly Amsterdam when IBC hits town.

What will be the hot talking points of IBC this year? I am not in a position to talk about what the big vendors will be showing: I have so far received just the one preview press release (take a bow, Calrec).

Tags: iss132 | ibc | ibm | watson | ai | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Investing in the Future of Broadcast Media
Clive Northen At the time of writing, the summer World Cup is providing its usual challenge to camera crews trying to televise the bright sunlight of the stadium without losing detail in shaded areas such as the covered terraces. It is a perfect demonstration of the need for high dynamic range. Several broadcasters are experimentally covering this year's tournament in 4K HDR, including the BBC which is streaming dozens of matches via its iPlayer service. HDR is also accompanied by a wider colour space, meaning millions more colours can be displayed than previously. Yet another advance is the adoption of 50p delivery rather than traditional 50i.
Tags: iss132 | finepoint | hire | 4k hdr | Clive Northen
Contributing Author Clive Northen Click to read or download PDF
Delivering on the 4k Promise
Lorna Garrett It’s happened. Consumers are demanding 4K UHD content. They have the TVs, smartphones, tablets and other devices they need, and with much of Netflix and Amazon original content in 4K, as well as sports coverage from BT and Sky, consumers have tasted the future of content quality and are hungry for more. But broadcasters need not worry if their customers have enough bandwidth to receive 4K content - the solutions are ready to make 4K distribution a reality. New viewers are waiting if you’re ready to get to them first.
Tags: iss131 | garland | 4k | uhd | hevc | hc11000 | media excel | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF
TVFutures : Bouncing Back
Jane Lawrance When I arrived at the University of Portsmouth three years ago, I would never have thought in my wildest dreams I would end up where I am now. My time at university has been eye opening, informative and fun. Of all the lessons I have learned in the past three years, resilience is the one that has taught me the most. Starting out in the television industry is hard. Like many others, I’ve applied for graduate job after graduate job and been pipped to the post and rejected many times. I have also started projects and been faced with a variety of unexpected setbacks. Yet, my drive to enter this industry remains just as strong because bouncing back is the joy of resilience.
Tags: iss131 | portsmouth uni | graduate | job | Jane Lawrance
Contributing Author Jane Lawrance Click to read or download PDF
Why is ST2110 important
Penny Westlake Presenting to a capacity audience at a joint meeting of the RTS Thames Valley Centre and SMPTE in Reading, research engineer and industry commentator Tony Orme opened the evening with the assertion - “SMPTE’s ST2110 is the most important development to hit broadcast television since John Logie Baird went head to head with EMI-Marconi at the 1936 BBC trials in Alexandra Palace, London”.
Tags: iss131 | st2110 | rts | aes | madi | st2059 | wcg | hdr | Penny Westlake
Contributing Author Penny Westlake Click to read or download PDF
What is Next for Broadcast
David Schleifer The Broadcast industry is always chasing new technology. Some of that technology is further than it appears to be, and some of it is closer to adoption than it seems. In part, early adopted technology is accelerated because of customer or business demands, and in the case of IP based environments, the driving factors are speed, cost reduction, and flexibility of workflow. To counterbalance these efficiency-based factors is a desire by content creators and customers to see more 4K HDR content on their new big screens. In some ways the push to deliver 4K workflows also makes the need to manage cost/performance even more urgent.
Tags: iss131 | 4k | primestream | hdr | hls | mpeg dash | rtsp | rtmp | streaming | David Schleifer
Contributing Author David Schleifer Click to read or download PDF
How to shoot the perfect lighting mix
Alan Ipakchian Advances in high-quality LED lighting over the past couple of decades might be one of the best things that’s ever happened to broadcast and cinema production. Compared to traditional tungsten fixtures, LED lights offer powerful operational and financial benefits from longer life and lower energy bills to brighter, more consistent light and greater control over color temperature. LEDs generate much lower heat and are relatively cool to the touch, meaning they can be used in much smaller rooms and studios without sweating out the talent and crew or damaging property. Plus, compared to traditional tungsten bulbs, LED lights are virtually maintenance-free and can deliver tens of thousands of hours of lamp life.
Tags: iss131 | litepanels | led | lighting | 2 person interview lighting | Alan Ipakchian
Contributing Author Alan Ipakchian Click to read or download PDF
Listening to the needs of audio engineers
Alan Wheable Monitoring SDI video content within an installation is and has always been straight forwards. If you have a monitor, and you can see the image correctly, all is well. This is not necessarily the case for metadata and especially not for audio.
Tags: iss131 | omnitek | audio monitoring | aes | ebu | smpte 2110 | st2110 | smpte 352 | dolby | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Tips and Tricks to Giving Sci-Fi a New Look
Mathieu Marano From Terminator to Blade Runner, Alien, and even E.T., science fiction is a genre that will never fail to capture an audience’s imagination. It’s also a genre that encompasses so much more than just space crafts or time travel: frequently providing filmmakers with a platform from which to not only highlight social and political issues, but also explore innovations in the world of filmmaking itself.
Tags: iss131 | sci-fi | blackmagic design | vfx | resolve | 4k | cinemadng | davinci | ursa mini | Mathieu Marano
Contributing Author Mathieu Marano Click to read or download PDF
Opting In or Opting Out
Peter Savage 2 Peter Savage, CEO of Azule, explains whether you should opt in or opt out of the current red tape nightmare facing businesses large and small.
Tags: iss131 | azule | gdpr | consent | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Informed Disruption
Marc Risby The industry is currently going through an enormous amount of disruption, and while many are charging in to embrace the changes, others are wringing their hands with indecision.
Tags: iss131 | boxer | ip | hdr | 4k | Marc Risby
Contributing Author Marc Risby Click to read or download PDF
Moving to an IP Platform Considerations
Stephen Brownsill Audio transport methods have remained virtually unchanged in the broadcast industry for more than half a century. Common approaches to routing audio around large broadcast facilities have closely followed methodology employed in telco central offices, with the use of X-Y crossbar or crosspoint switching.
Tags: iss131 | ip | smpte | st2110 | Stephen Brownsill
Contributing Author Stephen Brownsill Click to read or download PDF
Artificial Intelligence and Economics
Dick Hobbs - new It’s May, so it seems inevitable that this month’s column should be a bit of a reflection on NAB. And it will, in due course. But first, some news which I think is interesting. Cisco, the IT giant, is selling off its video software solutions business. It is being bought by an as-yet unnamed new company, backed by venture capitalist Permira Funds.
Tags: iss131 | AI | dejero | evs | sky news | xeebra | state of the nation | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
UHD 4k and HDR Picture Quality
Tobias Kronenwett And as good as it is, and as easy as it is to do, one of the raps on HDR is that some feel that it’s so bright and sharp that it looks odd, unnatural, almost harsh. It’s similar to when we did our first trials with 4K. The resolution was so high you could easily see, for example, even very minor blemishes. It’s perhaps an irony of new technology that the higher the resolution of natural objects the more artificial they tend to look. It’s often a case of capturing images with more resolution or a greater colour space than our eyes and brains can actually perceive.
Tags: iss131 | sonovts | uhd | 4k | hdr | oled | Tobias Kronenwett
Contributing Author Tobias Kronenwett Click to read or download PDF
What is Serial Communication
Mike Colyer

Don’t get me wrong - the advent of IP technology has done wonders for the broadcasting universe, especially here in Special Cams land where changing a setting could have involved a rather long walk and climb to a remote camera location! Nevertheless, this said, I still feel that serial communication is a huge contender - not only just in the realm of odd robotics systems, but also across broadcast in general.

In this article, I will walk through the very basics - introducing a few different types of serial and how they work.

Tags: iss131 | rs422 | rs232 | parity | rs485 | Mike Colyer
Contributing Author Mike Colyer Click to read or download PDF
The Pitfalls of Online File Sharing and Sending Services
Mike Nash Easy-to-use, readily-accessible, and consumer-oriented, online file sharing platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive are, to end users, a pleasant replacement to older file transfer methods such as FTP. FTP is complex to use and requires IT intervention to make almost any change. The pain associated with FTP, which was developed in the 1970s, is one of the factors that opened the door for the rise of online file sharing services in the workplace.
Tags: iss131 | ftp | signiant | efss | dropbox | google drive | ftp | ofss | media shuttle | Mike Nash
Contributing Author Mike Nash Click to read or download PDF
Security, Identity and Privacy
Bruce Devlin - new Put your hand up if you have more than one online-identity. Keep your hand up if the adverts for your latest online purchase follow you between identities as you surf the web. You can now let your hand fall into your lap because adverts that follow you indicate algorithms that have merged your multiple identities into the one and only you.
Tags: iss131 | class | Security | Identity | Privacy | gdpr | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read or download PDF
Betting Industry Transformed by Video Technology
Chris Thornton In the betting and gaming industry, the streaming of live sports from across the globe is a big business. It’s proven that revenues increase when bettors are able to watch the event that they have placed a bet on, providing a far more engaging experience.
Tags: iss131 | sis | betting | latency | satellite | jpeg2000 | Chris Thornton
Contributing Author Chris Thornton Click to read or download PDF
The Ongoing Evolution of Subtitling Technology
Dean Wales As a subtitling technology developer and manufacturer we’re currently and frequently hearing remarks along the lines of us ‘having it easy’ at the moment. This has typically spun out from the fact that there hasn’t been any really significant and therefore demanding technology shifts in the industry that have affected us for a while.
Tags: iss131 | captions | subtitling | ott | speechmatics | live subtitling | live subtitles | Dean Wales
Contributing Author Dean Wales Click to read or download PDF
Broadcasting Indoor Sky Diving
Daniel Harker Barnes When you say you’re broadcasting skydiving, there are two types of reactions. One is the creative, who’ll say something along the lines of “Wow. Those shots must look great” and other is the engineer who’ll say “That must be a real hassle to get all the infrastructure in and secure.”
Tags: iss131 | sky diving | ally adams | roaming camera | Daniel Harker Barnes
Contributing Author Daniel Harker Barnes Click to read or download PDF
Slow Motion Video Techniques
Phil Vinter Well, those kinds of higher frame rates still pretty much belong to the big guns. The Phantom Flex will give you 2,000 frames a second at ultra HD or 1,000 fps at 4K. It produces truly stunning images, but at a price that is beyond the reach of all but those with the biggest budgets. The camera retails at a cool £100,000 (I’ll have three please) with a daily hire out charge of around £3,000 (including lighting and a technician). IDT’s OS series cameras produce equally high quality images at a cheaper price, but you’re still talking tens of thousands.
Tags: iss131 | slo-mo | phantom | idt | fs7 | fs5 | rx10 mk111 | hfr | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
TV Futures, Tales on Location
Georgia Thirtle If I think back to last May, I was just finishing my second year at the University of Portsmouth, studying Television and Broadcasting, and winding down for the summer. Then out of the blue I got a message from my course leader, saying I might be getting a call from someone who was a location manager working for Raider productions, you know, the production company behind the upcoming Tomb Raider film, I mean, what!?
Tags: iss130 | portsmouth university | tomb raider | cci tv | ccitv | Georgia Thirtle
Contributing Author Georgia Thirtle Click to read or download PDF
VR and the importance of tracking
KitPlus I would like to begin this article by clarifying what we at Shotoku mean when we talk about VR in live production. It’s not the production of immersive, 360 content where you need to wear a headset; we are talking about virtual studio (VS) and augmented reality (AR) work, such as placing graphics into a green screen environment or physical set. The technology used for this work is entirely different, though equally specialist – therefore it is important to understand the challenges of this kind of production in order to make informed kit choices.
Tags: iss130 | shotoku | vr | live production | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Grand slam IPTV and digital signage platform
Joe Walsh Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, is home to major league baseball’s Kansas City Royals. Built in 1973, “The K” has a proud baseball legacy, and goes down in history for winning two World Series championship titles; one in 1985 and another in 2015 — exactly 20 years apart. The most recent win brought a resurgence of baseball fever to the stadium, hosting more than 2.7 million fans during its 2015 winning season.
Tags: iss130 | iptv | vitec | eztv | Joe Walsh
Contributing Author Joe Walsh Click to read or download PDF
The shining star of Dancing On Ice
Rod Aaron Gammons Lighting is an incredibly important part of any TV production, and it can make a huge difference to what is seen on-screen. If the right lights are used in the right way, it can create a mood, set a tone and convey a certain atmosphere.
Tags: iss130 | rotolight | led lighting | anova pro 2 | chris yacoubian | Rod Aaron Gammons
Contributing Author Rod Aaron Gammons Click to read or download PDF
How IP-based KVM can improve workflow in broadcast control rooms
John Halksworth One of the most significant shifts the broadcast industry has seen over recent years is the adoption of IP technology as a standard infrastructure across the entire broadcast workflow. IP provides a network suitable for routing audio, video and control around a broadcast facility and is providing the answers to many industry challenges.
Tags: iss130 | kvm | adder | adderlink | alif100t | John Halksworth
Contributing Author John Halksworth Click to read or download PDF
Interview with Peter Rowsell, Polar Graphics
Polar If you don’t recognise the name Peter Rowsell instantly you no doubt would recognise him in person, from the famous ‘Pink Coconut’ parties during IBC (Brighton) in the 80s or the name ‘Polar Video or Polar Graphics’ both companies which he’s built up over the years.
Tags: iss130 | polar graphics | apantac | bluefish | cinedeck | focalpoint | mediaproxy | stardom | storagedna | Polar
Contributing Author Polar Click to read or download PDF
Out of the box: Sennheiser Ambeo VR microphone
Jon Pratchett 2 The use of 360 video, especially on platforms like Facebook and YouTube is really starting to take off. Gone are the days when you needed to buy multiple GoPros and rigs in order to get something decent looking. Now players like Insta360 and even GoPro with their fusion 360 camera are providing single camera, high quality solutions, enabling the masses to put out reasonable quality, certainly watchable, 360 video.
Tags: iss130 | vr | virtual reality | audio | ambiosonic | Jon Pratchett 2
Contributing Author Jon Pratchett 2 Click to read or download PDF
Six steps for award winning sound design with Jungle Studios
Chris Turner Few can argue that great sound design is one of the most important elements to any moving picture. Mute most horrors, and the difference in fear factor will be enormous. Visualize Jaws or Star Wars, and John Williams’s iconic score will instantly come to mind.
Tags: iss130 | jungle studios | fairlight | blackmagic design | davinci | Chris Turner
Contributing Author Chris Turner Click to read or download PDF
NAB is all about people
John Smith -new The relative success of NAB is down to people. The individuals we meet, the relationships we make and renew with customers and the desire to work together to develop a technology solution to any given challenge.
Tags: iss130 | media links | nab | mdp 3020 | md8000 | John Smith -new
Contributing Author John Smith -new Click to read or download PDF
Tried and tested: DPA d:vice
KitPlus KitPlus recently took delivery of an interesting piece of equipment for review. We like our iPhone gadgets here. For us, useful iPhone gadgets started when the Olloclip lens gave us a wide angle adaptor. This was a good start, finally evolving into a proper tool when Ziess produced the Exolens system for the 5,6 & 7 series iPhones. Around the same time as the Olloclip came out we were testing the Fostex AR4i which was a very exciting development at the time. You have a portable device, that you carry everywhere with you, connected to the world but with very limited audio capabilities. A stereo interface with decent microphones was a real boon!
Tags: iss130 | dpa | dvice | iphone | journalist mic | filmic | ios | microdot | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Reliable back-up at the Music City Bowl
Sam Gordon WLEX – LEX18 – is the NBC affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, and part of the Cordillera Communications Group. As a very popular local station with a broadcast area that covers 40 counties across central Kentucky we have a big commitment to news, broadcasting more than seven hours of live programming on a typical day.
Tags: iss130 | wlex-tv | dejero | engo | gobox | cellsat | Sam Gordon
Contributing Author Sam Gordon Click to read or download PDF
Transforming asset management and monetization
Chad Hamilton FremantleMedia is one of the largest global television-production companies in the world — with one of the biggest and most valuable catalogs. We operate in 36 markets, creating, producing, and distributing content across traditional TV and digital platforms at a rate of more than 10,000 hours of programming per year.
Tags: iss130 | freemantlemedia | core | wazee | Chad Hamilton
Contributing Author Chad Hamilton Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation
Dick Hobbs - new

On the most recent occasion I was trimmed, my hairdresser had just returned from a holiday in Hawaii.

Where she thought she was going to die. She thought this because the state’s emergency alert system was triggered, sending messages across all available platforms, for 38 minutes, that a ballistic missile was about to strike. That, I suspect, is the sort of thing that casts a pall across your holiday.

Why did it happen? Essentially it happened because an operator selected the wrong menu item. “I feel very badly from what’s happened,” he is quoted as saying, in a somewhat mangled version of English which may at least in part explain his difficulties with menu items.

Tags: iss130 | alertsense | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
Why OTT needs multicast ABR
Damien Lucas Last year, Netflix’s global revenue reached $11 billion, with 24 million new names added to its subscribers’ list. Viewers are certainly making their preferences heard – and voting with their remote controls to show that over-the-top (OTT) content is here to stay.
Tags: iss130 | ott | abr | adaptive bit rate | cdn | dsl | lte | Damien Lucas
Contributing Author Damien Lucas Click to read or download PDF
Technological advances in the broadcast industry
Alan Wheable Since it is Omnitek’s 20th anniversary this year, I thought it would be interesting to look back over the technological advances in the broadcast industry over the last few decades and look at the similarities between then and now.
Tags: iss130 | omnitek | test and measurement | smpte 2110 | untra tq | 2022 | sdi 2022-6 | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
Innovation in cameras moving to 4k
Tony Valentino For a number of reasons, wireless camera links needed time to migrate to 4K. However Broadcast Sports International, BSI, designs their own cameras and builds their own hardware and their transition to 4K is already complete.
Tags: iss129 | bsi | ref-cam | wireless | 4k | Tony Valentino
Contributing Author Tony Valentino Click to read