Truth Lies and LEDs


As an emergent technology within film and broadcast over the last six years, LEDs have generated strong opinions for and against, adjudging their capabilities and relative merits, when compared to traditional light sources. Development has seen them grow from the small coloured pinpoints of light on your stereo or TV, to a level where they can produce a volume of usable white light.
Like all technologies, the path of true development has not run smooth, and arguably some views currently expressed are products of both the state of development at the dawn of the high brightness technology, and a very mixed bag of product quality. Mix into this some good old fashioned FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt), from purveyors of other lighting technologies who perceive a threat from "the new kid on the block", and it can become difficult to sift the information available in order to make properly informed decisions in regard to their use.
So what is the truth about their capabilities? Are there issues with their safety? Do they produce a sufficient quality of light to be regarded as a serious tool when used for image capture?
There are a number of fundamentals in relation to their physical capabilities which can be reviewed first, before looking at issues relating to their output.
Efficiency
Power efficiency of an LED is currently about 5-6 times that of a traditional tungsten light source. In the league table of efficiency they rate more highly than both tungsten, HMI (including all strike sources, CSR, MSR etc), Halogen, and are slightly more efficient than fluorescent tubes.
The only real method of assessing efficiency accurately is through use of a light meter and knowledge of what a comparative light source would produce for the same power consumption. It is important to measure like for like, factoring beam angle, rather than relying on optimistic peak photometric readings which are often unreliable. Interestingly power efficiency is equally impressive with large LED fixtures. The biggest LED fixture currently in existence will outperform a 6 kW space light in black skirt mode on both peak output and volumetric distribution. The power requirement to achieve this is less than 1 kW, giving an efficiency compared to a conventional fixture of over 6 to 1.
Types of LED
The first LEDs used commercially as indicator lights in our home appliances and then in first generation film and broadcast fixtures were of the 'through-hole' type. To look at, they are smallish clear pimples which have two wire tails that pass through the circuit board and are then soldered on the back.
The most common soft panels use this type of technology still (including the many that now herald from China). This is not to knock them; like many things in life, you generally get what you pay for. If there is an issue with this iteration of the technology, it is in its colour accuracy and level of output (they tend to lack punch), all issues which are better addressed with the later generation of surface-mount LED technology which are now state of the art.
Surface-mount LEDs are like many other modern solid state components in that they affix directly to the face of a circuit board. Most commonly they are seen now in ever increasing numbers of cars as side and tail lights. All the continuing investment by the core technology providers is in surface-mount devices.
With both through-hole and surface-mount technology, colour and consistency are achieved entirely by the lamps originator having a suitable binning arrangement with the LEDs manufacturer (‘binning’ is simply a test and classification process that sorts finish product, as it is impossible to predict the exact finished characteristics of the devices through manufacture). This ensures that only LEDs which conform to certain parameters of efficacy and colour temperature accuracy are delivered. The reality of this to a high-quality fixture builder is that something less than 1% of any type of LED produced are of suitable standard for use in film and broadcast, which naturally has a cost implication for the final product. Both the cost and quality issues can be negated by sourcing LEDs to a much wider tolerance but quality of output is then inevitably compromised.
At the cutting edge of development in LED technology is the multi-chip array. This is a surface-mount LED which has within it the ability to host multiple colours; these are mixed to produce the final colour temperature output, unlike through-hole and simple surface-mount LEDs which are reliant on the colour space of a single device.
Whilst still fundamentally an LED, this represents a sea change in technology on a variety of levels.
Firstly colour temperature output is the controllable product of a mix of devices creating a broad spectrum (mixed wavelength) of light controlled by calibration and on-board software, and not simply a suitable binning arrangement with the manufacturer.
Secondly, output from a single multi-LED chip can be much higher, allowing for the first time the production of focusable lamps that produce a hard shadow, much the same as a tungsten-based Fresnel.
Thirdly, because there are multiple components on one LED chip, software control can allow the introduction of a colour-changing dimension. In practical terms this extends to the production of whites between about 2900 K and 6500 K, as well as saturated colours.
The highest realistic output of single array LED lamps incorporating this technology, is approaching direct comparison with a 1 kW tungsten source.
Dimming
LEDs can be driven using two basic methods, either by constant or discontinuous current.
Both have issues in their use which have implications for use in image capture.
Lamps driven by constant current are dimmed by reducing the voltage that the LED receives to reduce intensity. There is unfortunately an unassailable physical fact which relates to LEDs: if the input voltage on an LED is changed, its colour temperature of output will change. The greater the change in voltage, therefore, the greater the colour temperature shift. This is problematic in image capture, where gel may be required to maintain colour temperature of a dimmed fixture which in turn reduces intensity yet further.
The alternative method of driving an LED is with a discontinuous current. The device therefore flickers at a rate which is not visible to the naked eye and in a high-quality fixture, the camera.
To dim a fixture discontinuously often involves a technique known as pulse width modulation (PWM) which entails rapidly switching the LEDs on and off. If the gap between the LED being on in the cycle is lengthened, the eye and camera see the lamp as being dimmed.
The benefit of this is that, at all points, the LED is powered at a consistent voltage, minimising any colour drift as it dims.
This can, however, introduce another issue should the fixture not be designed for use with a camera. For the camera not to see the flicking of the LED (at 25 frames per second or more), it requires a switching rate of about 800 Hz. If the lamp is to be used in high speed applications then a rate of 35 kHz and above is required, which will allow shooting to a rate of between 7,000 to 8,000 frames per second. High frequency ballasts on fluorescent lamps are at around 20 kHz which allows shooting rates of up to 1,000 frames per second.
Examples of LEDs operating at a cycle discernible by the camera are sometimes seen when architectural LED based fixtures are used in TV set designs. These produce interesting colour, but, once in shot, appear to flicker because they are running at a switching frequency of only 200-300 Hz.
The more recent multichip array technologies, because of their broad spectrum characteristics use a combination of software algorithms and voltage change to maintain colour consistency whilst dimming. As dimming is not a linear process, accuracy can be maintained by the complicated process of on-board number crunching.
Life-expectancy
This is one topic in relation to the technology where it would be useful to define some terms before making any claims. As an attempt at doing this we could perhaps state the following:
Life-expectancy for an LED should be defined as its continuing ability to produce usable levels of light output with no variance in its original colour temperature. This is often expressed with terms such as 'L70', the associated value of which expresses the time elapsed to a point at which the LED output drops to 70% of its original.
The problem with which we are faced is that the relative age of the technology, coupled with some of the early claims made within the market place (50,000 to 100,000 hours of use), make realistic life-spans hard to prove at this juncture.
Bearing in mind the above definition, a more realistic life-span would probably be in the region of 20,000 hours. Before throwing your hands in the air at the inadequacy of this, the maths extrapolates this to eight hours per day, five days per week for 10 years. How many 10 year old tungsten light bulbs or fluorescent tubes do you own that have been in virtually constant use?
Once again the better multi-chip array technologies provide longevity by the use of the ubiquitous software control in combination with closed loop feed back, to boost colour channels that start to under perform, as a consequence of degradation through age. Total life is again difficult to predict as the clever sums are compensating for the loss in output, so comparing this technology with simple ‘L70’ devices is not easy, but on the up side a guarantee of 100% output is achievable and arguably more useful. This does make the provision of warranties by manufactures in relation to colour temperature accuracy and level of output, far more realistic.
Heat
Despite their apparent cool running, LEDs do produce heat, which needs to be accounted for and managed with good fixture design. Unlike traditional fixtures there is no heat transmitted in the light beam (if shooting ice cream is your thing, LEDs are definitely for you). The heat produced does, however, need proper dissipation if the lamp is not to risk colour shift as its temperature rises. (Temperature is a significant factor in the performance and life of LEDs).
In comparison to traditional fixtures, the heat produced is minimal because of the improved efficiency over conventional technology as discussed earlier. The knock-on benefit in a studio therefore is a greatly reduced requirement for environmental control such as air-conditioning. Major broadcasters use an air-conditioning metric of 2.5:1 which, when compounded with a conservative technology efficiency of 5:1, gives an overall power saving of 12.5:1.
Safety
Research has been done into the safety of LEDs and the possibility that they can cause retinal burn. The claims have been made based on research carried out by the National Physics Laboratory in Teddington, Middlesex.
The concern relates to 'cheaper' through-hole LEDs of a lesser quality. Fundamentally an LED is powered by a blue pump at 450 nm. Output is then passed through a suitable phosphor to produce a broader spectrum and the final colour temperature output. Fluorescents work in much the same way.
In the case of poor quality LEDs, the quality of the phosphor and its early degradation can leave a blue spike in the spectrum of light produced. The blue spike can potentially disable what is known as the blink-away function of the eye, which is a reflex preventing damage from harmful wavelengths of light.
LEDs of this type would be of little use in the world of image capture because of the way the light produced would render on film or digital formats. Once again it is the superiority of the LEDs used within fixtures which is immediately discernible in their quality of output.
One other concern mooted in an allegation in the US is the possible damage that can be done to the eye as a consequence of multiple point sources of light. LED lights like any other form of film or broadcast lighting should appear as single source to avoid unwanted shadow and other aberrations in image capture. A high-quality fixture therefore will have suitable diffusion, ensuring even rendering on the subject, thus negating the possibility of any potential eye damage to say nothing of the avoidance of poor images or 'sharp' tiring light for subjects.
It can also be said that fundamentally any source of bright light can damage the eye – isn’t that why we don’t stare at the sun?
The issues raised thus far all relate to the technical characteristics of LEDs. But what of the practical capabilities of fixtures and the artistic potential they enable.
Versatility
In practical terms, LED lamps can now provide both hard and soft sources of high-quality light.
Their low power requirement, hence low voltage requirement, means that in many instances they can be run on batteries or any of the generally available voltages found on a film set (12 to 40 V).
This makes them highly portable, and given their solid state components, highly resilient without need for consumables such as bulbs or tubes.
Further, in the case of multi-chip array technology, they are colour tunable which negates the need for gels or the time taken to apply them, as their colour can be altered on-board or remotely via DMX.
All of the above can lead to a reduction in the volume of equipment needed, as well as a reduced infrastructure to support it. In the case of a spacelight replacement, the cable to run the lamp is reduced dramatically as the current requirement drops sixfold from 25 A to 4 A in the UK. A staggering 11,000 A would be required to run 200 traditional spacelights in the US. The benefits either in the studio or on location therefore are many.
Colour Spectrum
The acid test for any fixture manufactured for film and broadcast is the quality with which it renders subjects during image capture, on its own and in conjunction with lamps based around other technologies.
Simply put, if it is not in the source, it will not end up in the camera.
First off, LEDs, like fluorescents, are what is known as a discontinuous light sources. The Sun produces a broad spectrum of light that can be depicted as a spectral power distribution curve, which expresses the intensity of the various colours which go to make up the final temperature of white light experienced. When represented as a curve it has a smooth arc as it traverses from blue through green and yellow to red.
Imagine a dark thunderous day with heavy rain showers. If the sun breaks through, refraction can occur in the form of a rainbow. The make-up of the visible spectrum of light is dissected in a moment to the naked eye. What nature provides insight into in this instance is the spectral breadth of the various constituent colours which provide us with natural daylight. This is more than just red green and blue; it is a whole palette of colours.
Any light source can be broken down in this manner and it is the nature and 'completeness' of the spectral curve resulting from its output which dictates the ultimate quality of the light source.
What a discontinuous light source does is produce colour at far fewer points along the spectral curve, tricking the eye and camera into rendering the resulting output as a single shade of white light. The perfect discontinuous source for image capture would have an infinite number of peaks between 400 and 750 nm and no gaps in the spectral distribution.
The quality of the light produced by the LED is determined very much, therefore, by the quality of the phosphors and dies contained within it, which dictate the final colour of white light emitted.
One obvious method of checking colour temperature is to reach for a meter. But there is a problem. Calibrated to work with a continuous spectrum of light (such as a tungsten lamp), when confronted with an LED, meters cannot interpret the gaps in the spectral curve, because the final colour temperature is constituted of a limited number of colours. Consequently they provide wildly inaccurate readings. In short, with LEDs (and fluorescents) meters won't work and cannot be trusted.
The best test of colour quality is to look at images that have been shot with a particular LED light source to see if there are any obvious aberrations. Does the light in the images look blue, green or magenta for example. Is the LED light source directly comparable to or not discernible from another trusted tungsten or daylight source.
It must be said that, as a quality issue, colour inaccuracy is not confined to LED technology. As an example, lesser-quality fluorescent tubes can render noticeably green, and HMIs can look very blue. As we know, HMIs shift in CCT for every hour of use which makes matching lamp to lamp difficult, and other sources will shift CCT when dimmed.
Any issue which might exist with the colour quality of a single-colour LED is very much negated by the cutting edge multi-chip LED array. More advanced LED chips of this type will contain, for example, seven different colours. In addition to the obvious red, green and blue, there are intermediate hues which create a much more complete spectrum of light. The spectral curve of the output produced is therefore something far more approaching what one would expect from traditional light sources such as tungsten. It is also more complete or balanced than the outputs of either fluorescent or HMI light sources.
The requirements of the camera to interpret the output accurately are more than satisfied, as is their ability to work in conjunction with other light sources. Moreover with multiple colours on the chip, the ever-present software can modify the relative intensities of each to alter the colour temperature of output. This can be especially useful if matching other less-than-perfect sources elsewhere on the shoot.
Summary
LED technology is now more than capable of illuminating a subject, for the purpose of capturing quality images either digitally or on film. As with any other technology, it is the quality of the light source which has a direct bearing on the final result.
The truth surrounding the technology, like most lighting technology that has preceded it, can be prone to misinterpretation as a consequence of gaps in our understanding. As we become more confident in its use, however, and more discerning of quality, a point will be reached where we forget that a lamp is an LED and it becomes just a lamp again. Then we will know the truth about LEDs.

Tags: Guild of British Camera Technicians | gbct | iss048 | led | lighting | dimming | life expectancy | hmi light sources | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Taking the lead in the HEVC and 4k revolution
Malcolm Harland There’s probably a good reason that BVE is held in late February — it offers you a few weeks to set your annual plans in place. Then, once you’ve decided on the opportunities you want to take advantage of and improvements you want to make, you have a chance to visit this massive exhibition to see the latest technological innovations that will help to bring your plans to fruition.
Tags: iss129 | garland | hevc | liveu | hc11000 | media excel | ntt | bws | lu600 | Malcolm Harland
Contributing Author Malcolm Harland Click to read