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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Submitted by Rene Morch Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A Bluffer Guide to....CMOS
Mike Colyer I like to break my employers' cameras. For me, there is nothing more exciting than considering a daring location to install a micro camera system. It could be in a trackside breaking board at a motorsport event (culminating in slightly-too-extreme close up of, say, a Porsche bumper) - or a system installed a tad too high up a tree in a jungle (where a direct lightning strike can push the system somewhat over its 12 volt max). Thanks to modern CMOS camera design, however, not only can this be done safely (unless you are a camera) - but it can be done cheaply, often with impressive results.
Tags: iss125 | cmos | bluffers guide | ccd | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer 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
IP-Based Intercom Solutions
Jon Ridel The broadcast market has experienced a huge change over the last decades, resulting in the need for larger and larger intercom systems. As the demands of broadcasters have grown, the central factor for manufacturers keeping up with demand has been IP. A company at the forefront of this development is RTS. In the new millennium, the company has established its IP-based intercom solutions based on OMNEO media networking architecture.
Tags: iss125 | omneo | rts | roameo | intercom | IP | Jon Ridel
Submitted by Jon Ridel Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Motor Sports - Some Like it Hot
Gordon Capaccio High performance race cars, their drivers, and teams supported by manufacturers participating in a sport for which the combined, visceral thrills and sensations of burning tires, megadecibel roars, pungent racing fuel and throngs of enthusiasts can be difficult to convey, even on the largest big screen television.
Tags: iss124 | motorsport | 3g wireless | imsa | rolex 24 | domo | dtc | prorxd | diversity rf | Gordon Capaccio
Submitted by Gordon Capaccio Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Thinking clearly about the cloud
Chris Steel 2 As someone who is constantly trying to build better products, I'm always asking questions and listening to the ones I get asked. For several years now I've asked every broadcaster and media production company I've met what they plan to do about 'the cloud'
Tags: iss124 | cloud | marquis | archive | network | Chris Steel 2
Submitted by Chris Steel 2 Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Designing the correct workflow
Harry Smith Last year I took a year-long placement as a video editing support technician. The role exposed me to the common issues that students run into when editing their projects, and I developed an understanding as to why they might struggle understanding the complexities of video workflow.
Tags: iss124 | portsmouth | tvfutures | ccitv | post production | Harry Smith
Submitted by Harry Smith Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Dick brings out his cutting room scales
Dick Hobbs - new At this time of year, in the run-up to NAB, my in-box is even more filled than usual with press releases craving my attention. It is one of the universal truths so unloved by PR people that the sheer weight of numbers threatens to overwhelm.
Tags: iss124 | cutting room | nab | kpmp | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs - new
Submitted by Dick Hobbs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Is now the time to compromise on investment
Mike Ransome - new It would seem on the face of it that many broadcasters and production companies are trimming spending to the bone, or at least postponing it in anticipation of more lucrative days to come.
Tags: iss124 | investment | presteigne broadcast hire | 4k | eng | Mike Ransome - new
Submitted by Mike Ransome - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Navigating Unfamiliar Territory
Vijay Sagar Vinnakota The traditional broadcast model - where TV networks play content on a linear schedule, and viewers tune in on their TV sets - is under siege. Linear TV is not going away anytime soon, but the model is becoming less and less relevant. Thanks to the rise of OTT services, viewers have become accustomed to watching content when and where they want, on just about any device with an internet connection. For that reason, broadcasters must add an OTT component to their offerings.
Tags: iss124 | cloud | amagi | ott | hls | rtmp | mpeg-dash | yupp tv | netflix | amazon prime | sling tv | Vijay Sagar Vinnakota
Submitted by Vijay Sagar Vinnakota Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Controlling the Chaos of Remote Uplinks
Roger Franklin For Satellite Broadcasters, consumer needs have never been so varied. Audiences are increasingly accustomed to personalisation in every type of content they consume. They now demand, or rather expect to receive breaking news from a scene, content specific to their regions and access to live sporting events held thousands of miles away.
Tags: iss124 | uplink | satellite broadcast | crystal | Roger Franklin
Submitted by Roger Franklin Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why is drone training even an option
Tim Bearder It's fair to say that one of the most disruptive, liberating and inventive technological advances for independent filmmakers in recent years has been the incredible leaps made in the world of Drones.
Tags: iss124 | caa | drone | drone training | drone academy | Tim Bearder
Submitted by Tim Bearder Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
You need wave power if you are going surfing
Tim Bonython Tim Bonython's association with surfing films began in 1978, when armed with a Super-8 camera he set off to Hawaii's infamous North Shore, to capture the big waves and their riders. From that moment he fell in love with the sport, and became obsessed with making it the subject of breathtaking and inspiring films.
Tags: iss124 | surfing | red scarlet weapon | red brick | pag | battery | paglink system | 153wh | Tim Bonython
Submitted by Tim Bonython Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
The Masters of Dirt - Extreme Production
Rian Bester On 22nd April 2017 Inside the Masters of Dirt, the world's wildest unscripted motocross reality series, will launch exclusively on INSIGHT TV in 4K UHD. Produced by Masters Of Dirt (M.O.D) and XTreme Video, the series follows the adrenaline-addicted crew that produces the popular freestyle motocross arena show of the same name.
Tags: iss124 | insight | masters of dirt | motocross | freestyle | fs700 | sony fs700 | 4k | uhd | Rian Bester
Submitted by Rian Bester Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls
Paul Scurrell How do you make a polished television show worthy of broadcast on Channel 4 when the camera operators are starving, dehydrated and sleep deprived? Most of them also have no previous experience of professional filming and are more concerned with finding their next meal than making sure they've got their cameras switched on ready to record. Welcome to the world of filming The Island with Bear Grylls.
Tags: iss124 | bear grylls | channel 4 | gopro | timecode | sync | Paul Scurrell
Submitted by Paul Scurrell Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Modernizing the Cutting Edge
Myles Carter - new Over the last decade, streaming as a medium has seen tremendous growth. Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video are no longer just post-hoc distributors of broadcast television content, they have become content creators and are producing some of the most well received "television" content of the past few years.
Tags: iss124 | matrox | ip | h.264 | h.265 | streaming | Myles Carter - new
Submitted by Myles Carter - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Mr MXF does Vegas
Bruce Devlin - new For quarter of a century I have been boarding planes to Las Vegas every April and the thing I look forward to most is the Sunday morning cycle from the Strip up to the top of Red Rock Canyon to look back down upon Vegas. From up there, you get a sense of perspective of how alien the city stuck in the desert really is.
Tags: iss124 | nab | mrmxf | cloud | ptp | imf | ip | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel from Blackmagic Design - Reviewed
Rebecca Goodeve - new Blackmagic's new, more affordable control surface for professionals is probably the most perfect panel I've ever used......
Tags: iss123 | blackmagic design | minipanel | davinci | grading | Rebecca Goodeve - new
Submitted by Rebecca Goodeve - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
What Virtual Dreams Are Made Of
Mike Jacobs - new As you might expect, virtualisation is now a very common topic in terms of the questions we get from customers and partners and it also appears in almost all RFPs that we take part in.
Tags: iss123 | cinegy | nvidia | ip-based broadcast | cloud | Mike Jacobs - new
Submitted by Mike Jacobs - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine