What is the future of video contribution?


Mark Andrews - new TV-Bay Magazine
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What is the definition of Video Contribution? Is it the same as live streaming?

Live Streaming is a generic term and can apply to any part of the process from capture on the camera where video is immediately streamed, to the process of playout on any device. Playout is a huge subject in itself. However "video contribution" is considered the terminology used to capture at the camera end, and to deliver live video from the camera to where ever it needs to go. Normally in an outside sports environment this maybe to use RF links to an Outside Broadcast Truck, or in a live news environment the feed may go back to the studio via a satellite dish on a SNG van.

What about using LTE links to do outside video contribution instead of satellite or RF links?

The 3G and 4G network is very capable of streaming live video, especially if good compression is utilised. The issue of course is reliability. Telco providers vary in coverage and signal strength, so picking a single provider for the whole of a cycle race for example, may prove unreliable. What can be done is to "bond" multiple providers together to form a single connection. If one of the providers loses signal strength, then the others can automatically compensate, assuming the right bonding technology is utilised that can act in real-time.

What does Soliton do in outside Live Contribution?

Soliton Systems is technology company that manufacturers mobile encoders and decoders for video contribution. Used by many sports companies, news gathering and other live event production companies, their Smart Telecaster range of products will encode to H.265 (HEVC) and rather than using satellite or line of sight antennas with RF, it can simply use multiple 3G/4G mobile phone providers to live stream over the internet. It is cheaper and has less latency than satellite. It can deliver live video to any decoding server with a global IP address, typically back at broadcast centre or command centre. Also given the Zao is a lightweight and rugged mobile device, the Zao can be placed on motorbikes, bicycles, cars, vans, helicopters and drones to stream live video to anywhere in the world.

Will this make satellite and OB Trucks obsolete?

It will certainly eat into that market. But the issue is to guarantee a Quality of Service to be provided by the mobile phone network. As mentioned, signal strengths go up and down and coverage is not always guaranteed. Also within a stadium environment, if 80000 people are accessing Facebook then again bandwidth availability may be limited. However one advantage of Soliton over their competition, is their H.265 over traditional H.264 offerings. At the Olympic opening ceremony, the Zao was still delivering video. When 5G comes of age, then video contribution across the mobile phone network will become much more the norm.

Why is special about H.265?

With the use of mobile phone networks and utilising SIM cards to stream video across the 3G and 4G LTE networks, video compression is critical. Traditional live streaming video solutions utilise H264 encoding to compress video, but the Zao utilises a hardware based H.265 encoder, that gives up to 50% more compression without loss of quality. H.265 (also known as HEVC) combined with multiple bonded SIM cards, is a winning solution. It provides much more reliability as it only need half the bandwidth and will still deliver video with a just a few hundred kb/sec of availability. Typically each LTE network should provide multiple MB/sec of availability. The other benefit is latency - typically half a second which is a positive effect of H.265 - ideal when giving news interviews without the embarrassing delay.

Is the cloud the future?

The cloud is the present! But in terms of video contribution then there are some advantages given you can decode in the cloud and stream straight to a video delivery platform such as Wowza. But at some point you still need to edit, add commentary, tracks, titles, music etc. The two major drawbacks of cloud are security and latency. The Zao can use the cloud, or at least a browser interface so it can be managed from anywhere, including a support person who maybe at home on Saturday night and suddenly needs instant access from their sofa. The Zao has the option to encrypt and typically it will stream direct to a decoding server, normally in the customer's data centre.

What else do I need?

For the Zao to work, it needs a power source, and as a mobile device this can be standard camera v-lock battery. Dongles containing Sim cards are then attached to the Zao - it can support up to 6 but typically 3 is acceptable, preferably from different providers such as Vodaphone, T-Mobile, Orange etc. Then on the decoding receiving end, the Zao uses a decoding software solution called HD-View, that can run on a standard Win 7 or Win 10 platform, and this will be installed with a Blackmagic Decklink card to provide the HD-SDI output from the decoder. HD-View can also provide an RTMP (IP) video stream. A global facing IP address is needed for the server.

My camera-people are not technical savvy - is the Zao easy to use for them to use?

I always think this is a cruel question - most camera people I know are pretty clued up on technology - but the Zao is very easy to use. It can be pre-configured; all the camera person needs to do is to hit the green button and it goes live. The green button is also available as a smart phone app should the Zao not be easily available, for example if it is in a backpack. The Smartphone app also can be used to control other elements of the Zao if required locally. But the Zao can also be remotely controlled, either via HD-View (the decoder) or via a browser interface with the correct sign on credentials.


Tags: iss123 | soliton systems | streaming | hevc | telecaster | 3g | 4g | h.265 | lte network | Mark Andrews - new
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Tags: iss126 | garland partners | gpl | liveu | streaming | lu600 | liveu solo | Lorna Garrett
Submitted by Lorna Garrett Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The challenges of media workflow automation
Dave Clark The media workflow challenge has never been more complex, and it's growing. In response exploding consumer demand for high-quality, engaging programming, media operations are under the gun to create content and deliver it to an ever-growing range of platforms and devices. Managing video assets - that is finding them, accessing them, and using them efficiently and effectively - is one of the biggest barriers to success in today's environment.
Tags: iss126 | automation | workflow | cloud | on-premise | hybrid | mam | square box | Dave Clark
Submitted by Dave Clark Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Getting started with IMF
Bruce Devlin - new Content is still King, but only if you can get it out to the consumer. I have just had the privilege of doing a live episode of Bruce's Shorts at the EBU IMF Workshop in Geneva. It was a privilege because I was able to talk about real world issues in making IMF compositions rather than talking about the theory of IMF. I was happy that people laughed at the jokes but even happier that people were taking notes and came up to discuss practical solutions to these difficult problems.
Tags: iss126 | class | imf | mam | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Ad servers and switching solutions
Peter Blanchford Hardware-based ad servers and switching solutions have been around for a long time and, broadly speaking, do the job just fine.
Tags: iss126 | starfish technologies | ad server | ts splicer | ts switch | gop | Peter Blanchford
Submitted by Peter Blanchford Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Live sports and event production
Brian Eldredge There is an overwhelming amount of content being recorded by sports broadcasters and digital services teams. A broadcaster might capture hundreds of hours of content over the course of, say, a golf tournament, yet only a fraction of that content makes it to air. But what about the rest of it, such as interviews, scenic shots, promos, and behind-the-scenes footage? Too often, priceless moments that don't make it into the broadcast get left on the cutting room floor because they're either not preserved or the right people can't access them, or both.
Tags: iss126 | wazee | dam | cloud | Brian Eldredge
Submitted by Brian Eldredge Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
State of the Nation - part 1
Dick Hobbs - new Imagine you are the director of the Champions League Final, knowing that 200 million people will be watching your every decision. Or you're directing the Eurovision Song Contest. Or even, to be honest, the Tunbridge Wells local news opt out. And at live minus 30 seconds, all the screens in the monitor wall suddenly go black then show a demand, in broken English, for 300 Bitcoin.
Tags: iss126 | iabm | british airways | ransom | bitcoin | cybersecurity | cots | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Media Production Show and other news
Duncan Payne So, the 2nd Media Production Show has been and gone. Hands up who went to Islington by mistake? I know at least two people who did. Their secret is safe with me! For me, the sign of a great trade show is when I come away really enthused about an innovative use of existing technology or a brand new product. When I find something that combines both these things, then I'm a very happy man.
Tags: iss126 | adamantean | finance | leasing | mps | ptz | sam | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Implementing an IP workflow
John Smith -new The eventual move to incorporate IP into your infrastructures is an inevitability. However, with justified concerns about interoperability and uncertainty about which vendors are best placed to help organisations achieve their IP media networking and content delivery goals, is it any wonder there is hesitation about moving forward? Broadcasters very wisely, don't want the pain without the gain!
Tags: iss126 | medialinks | ip | mdp3020 | gateway | John Smith -new
Submitted by John Smith -new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Monetizing OTT
Oliver Botti Competition in the TV arena is hotting-up for traditional broadcasters with even ESPN, a strong-hold of sports TV, seeing a reduction in subscriptions with the number of American homes paying to get the service declining by more than 12m since 2011. With Mintel reporting that the subscription video streaming market in the UK is due to exceed revenues of GBP 1 billion (EURO 1.37 billion) by 2019, and account for 38% of the total UK video market, traditional broadcasters clearly cannot afford to turn a blind eye.
Tags: iss126 | ott | moentizing | fincons group | Oliver Botti
Submitted by Oliver Botti Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Dressing Room - shooting steamy scenes
Josh Portwine W's latest factual entertainment series relies completely on the ability of fixed rig filming setups to make cast members forget their inhibitions. Described as a fly-on-the-wall documentary, "The Dressing Room" gives TV audiences unprecedented access to team-sport dynamics off the field of play by inviting them into the hidden world of dressing rooms at venues across the country.
Tags: iss126 | aw-eu70 | aw-rp120 | stv | motion content group | shooting partners | Josh Portwine
Submitted by Josh Portwine Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mobile internet connectivity in the field
Bill Nardi Mobile Internet connectivity is critical to the success of remote news crews. Whether they're doing a reporting assignment for news, sports, or live events, they need a strong and reliable Internet connection. To have an edge over their competition and get content to air faster, crews need to be able to work just as if they were in the studio, but from the field.
Tags: iss126 | dejero | mi-fi | gateway | wi-fi | cellular | Bill Nardi
Submitted by Bill Nardi Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Lighting - the stuff you do not see
Tama Berkeljon Lighting is the stuff you don't see that makes a difference in what you do see. How the audience feels about a character and whether the scene is scary, tense or upbeat are communicated by the quality and placement of light. Lighting can take the drama to a whole new level - think about film noir with all those shadows on the wall.
Tags: iss126 | outsight | ghost in the shell | led lighting | Tama Berkeljon
Submitted by Tama Berkeljon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Integrated and automating marketing campaign production
James Gilbert ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. It operates the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and delivers its content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. ITV has the largest share of the UK television advertising market and its family of channels attracted a total share of viewing of 21.4% in 2016, the largest audience of any UK commercial broadcaster. ITV's main channel is the largest commercial channel in the UK, delivering 99% of all commercial audiences over five million.
Tags: iss126 | pixel power | itv | marketing campaign | James Gilbert
Submitted by James Gilbert Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Canon CN-E 18-80mm T4.4 Review
Ben Sherriff The Canon Cine range of lenses have been around for quite a few years now. The CN-E Cinema Prime lenses became an early alternative to using PL adaptors or the Zeiss Compact Prime lenses. Other than that the choice was rehoused stills lenses or maybe if you were lucky a set of Zeiss super speeds. The cine lens set became a cost effective offering for sharp prime lenses with clear and accurate markings for proper functionality.
Tags: iss126 | canon | review | cn-e | 18-88mm | t4.4 | Ben Sherriff
Submitted by Ben Sherriff Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Audience engagement with advertising in an OTT world
Hank Frecon Adapting to how we advertise in an OTT world starts by reaching audiences on every screen with tailored content. Most consumers viewing habits include multi-tasking and juggling different activities at the same time, particularly the younger viewing audiences who tend to watch in a more fragmented, on-demand manner. The task of monetizing content in a way that suits this method of viewing pushes monetization strategies to adopt new technologies, so first let's look at the opportunity.
Tags: iss126 | ott | advertise | acr | source digital | Hank Frecon
Submitted by Hank Frecon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Facebook Workplace - why it might just work
Jake Ward At the Facebook F8 Developer Conference last April, Facebook's Workplace, a collaborative platform for organisations, announced enhanced live video functionality. Being able to stream live into Workplace will fundamentally change the way companies communicate, from broadcasting weekly meetings and webinars to live streaming Q&As. The possibilities really are endless.
Tags: iss126 | facebook | workplace | groovy gecko | Jake Ward
Submitted by Jake Ward Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
360 degree video storage requirements
Dave Frederick Swim with bears, run with the bulls, get a pads-eye view of a rocket launch: 360 degree video production, also known as cinematic VR, makes these and many other bucket list-worthy events more accessible than ever. The format has evolved into a powerful storytelling tool, and one that changes not only the way in which visual experiences are shaped, but also the way in which media consumers perceive and interact with video content.
Tags: iss126 | 360 degree | vr | storage | vfx | ssd | san | nas | quantum | Dave Frederick
Submitted by Dave Frederick Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Remote Production - Speed, Control, Infrastructure
Ian Cookson - new Remote production gives broadcasters the ability to capture a wider range of live events, such as regional sports, news or music festivals, and mix them in a remote facility hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Tags: iss125 | calrec | live production | pac-12 | artemis | Ian Cookson - new
Submitted by Ian Cookson - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine