The filming of Lands End to John OGroats


I’ve been here for several minutes now. Standing in the pouring rain with a camera pointing at the road sign for Somerset, the drops of rain tapping on the camera rain cover add a certain atmosphere to the wild track. I stood trying to work out who was the madder, the two cyclists I was waiting for, or me. Here they come, 10 seconds on the tape, back to the car, release the camera, collapse the tripod, shake the rain off the waterproofs, jump into the driving seat and off to find the next vantage point for a good shot. Rinse and repeat between 50 and 60 times per day, 12 hours a day for 7 days. Oh, and I forgot to mention getting up at 5.00am to check the cyclists were up and to start loading the camera kit back into the car and fix the car mount and mini camera ready for the off. There is an unspoken rule: no waiting and no re-runs.
Three months earlier, I bumped into Simon Tillyer at the Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) at Earls Court where he tells me that he and Trevor Howard, a mate from Simon’s home village, were going to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in May for charity, aiming at an average of 130 miles a day to complete the ride in a week. We were both thinking the same thing, ‘Wouldn’t that make an interesting TV programme?’ And the rest as they say, is history.
We decided to make the programme as a cyclist’s guide for the trip to give people new to cycle touring (like Simon and Trevor) information on routes, training, dietary requirements, bike prep etc. as well as a travelogue of the journey itself.
As it would be a self-funded project the only idiot I could get to work for nothing was me, so that was the staffing sorted out, now for the equipment. And top of the list was a car, although this is apparently an option. Whenever I mentioned the project to anyone their first question was, ‘Are you cycling too?’ Yes of course I am, with 42 kilos of video kit and other stuff, none of which comes from the Sony WetMan range. And after I’ve stopped and climbed a hill to film them cycling past I will only have to achieve 52 miles an hour for 15 minutes to get past them again to set up the next shot. Silly, lazy, unfit old me, fancy taking a car. So anyway I took a car. And I must say I can thoroughly recommend the one I took. It was a VW Golf diesel hatchback and all the kit fitted in very comfortably. I don’t know if there were as many hidey-holes for cake as Bob Butler’s Landy (Peking to Paris tv-bay magazine issue 20) but I managed to distribute remarkably large quantities throughout the car. I could park in extremely small (and often stupid) places, I could turn on a sixpence (anyone remember those?), I had power sockets in the front and in the boot for charging batteries/kit and best of all I could get almost 50 miles a gallon, which is quite significant on an 874 mile journey, which was in fact 2,130 miles by the time I delivered and collected said cyclists, searched for good vantage points and regularly dropped off the route to get some decent cutaways. It was also fitted with a SatNav, which helped hugely – it even helped on one occasion, to find a hotel for the night. It got me out of several lost moments and only once tried to send us to Scotland whilst on route for Lands End. Perhaps it too, thought we were mad and was just trying to help. All in all an ideal car, but perhaps the greatest benefit of all was that it could, without too much effort, go faster than a bicycle – sorry Simon and Trevor, I know you trained a lot.
When I finished the boat building programme (tv-bay magazine issue 16) I had a kit wish list, which included a Sony EX1 camera. Well, I didn’t go for the EX1 or EX3 in the end. Why? Well I’ve worked with tape for over 25 years now and I take great comfort in the physical existence of a tape cassette. I know, I know, there are all sorts of advantages with a solid-state recorder too numerous to list here. But just let me be a bit old school for a moment. Old school, old fashioned or just old – probably all three. I like tape. It’s just there in a box in the cupboard ready to pick up anytime and see the shots you didn’t digitise when you first cut the programme. It only costs a few quid and you can write all over the case and stuff notes inside it. You can’t delete it, it’s not easy to accidentally record over it and you don’t have to spend any time out in the field transferring it to a hard drive so you can re-use the very expensive media. Actually you’d better transfer it to another hard drive as well just in case the first one fails. So I’m a Luddite, I know, but at least I’m a digital one. And here’s another thing; when you make a 2,130 mile journey on your own, jumping out of the car on average every 12.7 minutes it’s very difficult to keep track of all your shots. Oh the joys of a linear tape. The shot has to be further up the road because it’s further up the tape!
So I bought a Sony HVR Z7, the big brother of my original HVR A1E. And there is another good reason. I used both cameras extensively on the project and it is very helpful to record to the same format on each camera for all the obvious reasons.
I spent some time getting to know the Z7 before embarking on the trip. It really has impressed me with its ease of use, picture quality and feature set. Dartmoor (been there) or Exmoor (been there too) or whatever it’s called – jolly clever noise reduction technology anyway. I really like the little things like the spirit level option in the viewfinder – so quick and easy for hand held shots. I like the focussing ring that moves simply from auto to manual although there were occasions when it didn’t want to play so I used one of the assign buttons for manual focus switching and that seemed to work fine. After the A1E - which, don’t get me wrong, is a truly great little camera – it was refreshing to have actual switches and not to have to drop down through touch screen menus to set common parameters. Good clear LCD screen, simple manual override on any or all controls, still relatively compact and lightweight and when you are in a tight spot you won’t go far wrong if you just chuck it into auto-everything.
And anyway, apart from tape it can record to solid-state memory as well! So when I’ve recovered from my senior moment I can stick a chip in it if I want. One thing though, if you don’t override it, the AGC is on the whole time and sometimes the camera seems to decide to close the aperture and increase the shutter speed whilst increasing the gain at the same time. So if you don’t want noisy shots make sure, that in any conditions other than good daylight, you switch gain to manual. Easy to tell because it gives you a Db level in the viewfinder.
The tripod I have for my A1E was not up to taking the Z7 so I bought a Manfrotto 525MVB with a 501 fluid head. It’s well made; a lot less money than ones starting with an S or a V and the head has a lovely smooth action, good friction adjustment and a clever balance system for the camera, but there is a small but. The camera plate sometimes doesn’t slide onto the head as smoothly as I would like – in fact it can be a bit tricky – please get this sorted out Mr Frotto, it upsets what is otherwise a well-priced, good bit of kit.
I just knew it was going to, and for a couple of days it rained relentlessly, so the investment in the rain-cover paid off, if not as a deterrent. The only rain cover I could find was a Petrol (matches all my other cases dear) and good value it was too at £58+VAT. It was designed to fit the PMW EX1 and the Z7 but I think that was slightly wishful thinking by Petrol. EX1 maybe, but you really couldn’t use the LCD screen with it on the Z7 and however hard you tried, the microphone could rub against the hood if you weren’t jolly careful and on full wide you could see the lower edges of the hood unless you zipped the back end up really tight. However it did keep the camera dry and half my shots would not have existed had it not been for the cover and as for the colour scheme, well…
I took my original Sony A1E for all the car-mounted shots. This was an ideal camera for the job; HDV, small, light and simple to set up. I bought a Manfrotto car suction mount and bracket from B Hague and what a great piece of kit it is. I mounted it low on the outside of the doors, on the roof facing back and on the inside of the windscreen facing forward and sideways through the passenger window. It’s very sturdy and you simply pump the air out from behind the suction pad to create a powerful grip. I still used a bit of cord as a safety harness though. Amusingly, it left a circular mark on the windscreen just like a massive SatNav – one that could get you to Saturn avoiding tolls.
I am indebted to Hire-A-Camera who very kindly lent me an A1E for all the preparatory filming whilst my own camera was in for repairs. It’s ribbon cable to the LCD screen had given up – apparently quite a common problem according to Broadcast Service Centre who were brilliant and got it repaired ready to take on the LEJOG journey. Special thanks to Vic Thomas who worked hard to make sure I had it in time.
I looked into a professional LCD monitor to help set up the “CarCam” as it was virtually impossible to use either the screen or the viewfinder once the camera was mounted. They were all good but quite expensive, and as I literally only needed a viewfinder I didn’t need to splash out on a pricey screen as the camera would be pretty much set to auto anyway. So I found a Philips twin screen car DVD player, flogged the player and was left with 2 7inch 12v screens with a composite input costing me just over £100 between them. Sit in a lay-by, wedge the screen in the open glove box, set up the shot from the driving seat and then switch the screen off before pulling away Your Honour…
And then a stills camera for graphics work on the programme. I wanted to take a small pocket camera, not a digital SLR, I just didn’t have time or any more shoulders to hang stuff from, so took a Panasonic Lumix 10MP 5X Optical zoom. Well, the magazine cover shot and all the pictures here were taken with it so I reckon it’s pretty good for a compact. I also took a Manfrotto monopod for super quick shots but as I had to change the camera plate each time it was sort of self-defeating.
All the interviews with specialists for the route, bike prep, nutrition and training were filmed prior to leaving for Land’s End and wherever possible I used both cameras to make filming and editing more straightforward. I used Sennheiser EW100 G2 radio mics for all the interviews and a Lowel DV Master lighting kit with a 235w. focusing Pro Light, Rifa 300w. soft light and a 500w. broad V-light.
I used Sennheiser HD25-1 MkII headphones for audio monitoring, which are on-ear closed back headphones with very good external noise cutout without actually having active noise cancelling. I’ve got little experience of headphones so I noted that the HD 25s were considered the industry standard for cameramen. I should have bought the ones with a curly cable though as I kept running out of length and jogging the camera!
So there we are, all set to go. A decent set of waterproofs, generous supplies of Werthers Originals (I said I was old didn’t I?) a stack of CDs and one of those natty little 12v fridges in the boot and I’m ready for the off. Ready to be part of a truly great adventure….
Well, of course I’m not going to tell you what happened. You can buy the DVD in a few weeks time and don’t forget, £2.50 from each one goes to Simon’s chosen charity.
So in the meantime, on with the programme making and what next?
‘Favourite Lay-bys across Britain’?
Graham Young is based in West Berkshire and has worked in broadcast graphics and programme production for over 25 years. He has produced graphics and programme content for major corporate production companies and has created titles and graphics for BBC 1, BBC 2, Channel 4 and ITV.

Tags: lejog | cyclists guide dvd | iss031 | hvr-z1e | sony ex1 | ex3 | hvr a1e | z7 | mafrotto 525 | 501 fluid head | sennheiser ew100 | radio mic | lowel dv materlighting kit | hd25 headphones | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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
  • Thear Technology at BVE 2013

    Thear Technology at BVE 2013

  • Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011

    Thear Technology Limited at ProVideo2011


Articles
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Class: Do we still need standards
Bruce Devlin - new On the 1st January 2018, I officially took on the post of SMPTE Standards Vice President. The role has responsibility for all of SMPTE’s standardisation activities and it fills me with equal measures of excitement and terror.
Tags: iss129 | smpte | st2110 | dpp | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read