Exploring the future of media technology
FAST channel fever
Live from the classroom
Rocking the rodeo
Change management 101
EDITORIAL EDITOR Verity Butler +44 (0)1223 492246 email@example.com STAFF WRITER Katie Kasperson DIGITAL WRITER Samara Husbands DEPUTY CHIEF SUB EDITOR Matthew Winney
SUB EDITORS Harriet Williams, Ben Gawne
JUNIOR SUB EDITOR Lori Hodson
CONTRIBUTORS David Davies, Nick Easen, Adrian Pennington, Fergal Ringrose, Neal Romanek
he idea of a ‘hive mind’ is defined as a notional entity formed from a group who share knowledge with each other and produce a collective intelligence.
Change is afoot – and I’m not just talking about this issue’s change management special. Just as FEED reached its fifth birthday this year, creator Neal Romanek has moved on – off to battle for greener practices in the M&E trades. FEED has always served as a quirky quarterly encyclopaedia for the broadcast and streaming media spaces. Looking beyond the presentation of cutting-edge solutions, it identifies deeper implications behind them, all the while discussing industry-wide issues that, quite frankly, most are unwilling to face up to. I’m thrilled to jump into the driver’s seat of this visionary train. After three inspiring years as part of the FEED family, it’s my honour to steer its continued success, alongside the rest of our innovative team.
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This concept is omnipresent within our schools, which have shifted into the colossal digital databases we see today. FEED ’s spring issue is here, and we’re diving into media tech’s role in morphing colleges into virtualised hubs of knowledge. Have you managed to keep up with the pace of FAST’s growth? In our Genius Interview, we sit down with FAST expert Brielle Urssery. Plus, a panel of major industry players feature in our round table, we break down reports of rising opportunities in the LatAm region, and explore an edgy esports studio in France.
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FEED:SHOW Our rundown of the latest in media tech news and product releases
Our 2023 Plans A new year means another set of shows, conferences, trends and topics for FEED to cover The cream of Taiwan’s digital crop gathered in London, focusing on the cyber threat faced by the country
20 Taiwan Forum – Cybersecurity
EDUCATION 28 B roadcasting on Campus
Exploring case studies which show how education is defined by broadcast tools Hybrid Learning Uncovering the technology used by UK classrooms to deliver a hybridised form of teaching
FAST FOCUS 50 Genius Interview Meet Brielle Urssery, who bears a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the rip-roaring world of FAST 60 VOD Voices – Building a FAST Channel Understanding opportunities is one thing. Building a FAST channel from scratch is another altogether 70 Masterclass – FAST for the Future This issue’s panel of experts explore the real impact of free ad-supported streaming TV
80 Just the Numbers – All About LatAm
The Latin American region is becoming one of the most lucrative for the M&E industry. We bring you the stats to support this
90 Sports Reporter
A round-up of all the headlines from the sports content stratosphere, including a 2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar spotlight Ever found yourself associating a Texan rodeo with state-of-the-art streaming tech? If not, you certainly will now We uncover the moves made by production specialist Way of Live for delivering high-end esports content to the French capital
102 Livestreaming Case Study
108 Esports in France
116 Future Shock – Change Management
Businesses can be like tectonic plates when it comes to change. How are you managing your brand’s approach?
124 Industry Inventory – Sound Special
Struggling to keep pace with audio trends? Look no further!
25 Venue 49 iSize
88 Tinkerlist 98 Dropkey 112 Aims
134 Over the Top – A New Chapter
FEED founder Neal Romanek bids his final farewell, reflecting on the journey the brand has been on since its 2018 inception
26 Sony 36 Panasonic 46 Ross Video 57 Pebble 58 MPB
66 Harmonic 77 Origin 78 Qvest 84 Lawo 99 Dejero
100 Sony 113 Brainstorm 114 Signiant
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS
122 TSL 132 Zixi
Our technology trade show in a magazine has everything you need to know in the world of video workflow and distribution
Words by Katie Kasperson
Things change quickly in our industry! That’s why FEED is here to keep you up to date with the latest tech updates and announcements TECHNOLOGY & DEPLOYMENTS
UNDER THE SEA
Sony Electronics has added two new PTZs to its line-up. The SRG-A40 and A12 have 4K resolution and built-in AI analytics to track movement and keep subjects in-frame. Other highlights include high image quality (thanks to Sony’s Exmor R CMOS sensor), 40x optical zoom, remote control and streaming, as well as simple operation and connectivity between cameras. The PTZs – ideal for lectures, conferences and other live events – will likely be available in summer 2023 and start at £3600. NEW ENTRIES TO SONY’S PTZ SERIES
What sound does the earth make? German comms brand HDwireless went on a submarine expedition to find out. Filmed for TV, the project took five days, with a dive team retrieving a hydrophone from Austria’s deepest lake. The journey required approval from the military and impeccable wireless tech to ensure comms between land and lake. Enter: Clear-Com. The crew used Clear-Com’s FreeSpeak Edge Wireless System – supplied by German Audio-Technica – with the submarine’s pilot, co-pilot, the presenter and a guest each equipped with beltpacks. “At a depth of 200m, you have to be very safe,” said Patrick Nußbaum, CEO of
HDwireless. Ashore, a production van combined the Eclipse HX Digital Matrix System with V-Series Iris Keypanels and the Agent-IC mobile app. By taking advantage of wired and wireless Clear- Com systems, the crew safely navigated the mission. Returning to the original question, what sound does the earth make? “I don’t want to make it!” laughed Patrick.
MAKING WAVES AT THE WORLD CUP
V-Nova recently partnered with Brazil- based Globo to debut the first-ever MPEG-5 LCEVC-enhanced channel during the 2022 Fifa World Cup. The showcase included two major
experiments during live broadcast. First, they used an LCEVC enhancement layer to turn a TV 2.0 signal into an HDR 10-bit channel. Second, they provided 4K HDR visuals and complete, personalised audio
by Dash, streaming an LCEVC-enhanced VVC video. These moves signal a transition to TV 2.5 and 3.0, with future formats supporting high-resolution video and next-generation audio on both broadcast and streaming platforms.
UPGRADING SKY NZ
Due for an upgrade to its production console, Sky New Zealand opted again for Lawo. Sky commissioned Lawo’s partner, Professional Audio & Television (PAT), to design a new IP audio system; the Lawo mc²56 MkIII. The console works with Lawo’s UHD Core audio engines, RTW
TM7 metering unit and Home management platform. Once complete, Sky hopes to integrate its Lawo mc²36 console and V_pro8 video processors. Both Justin Loza (platform owner broadcast core, Sky NZ) and Mike Heard (senior solutions architect, PAT) have full faith in the joint venture.
Snapchat has added Minibeats to its set of innovative AR lenses. Made to connect music creators with their fans, Minibeats offers four unique lenses – each featuring a different artist – allowing users to visualise music in radically new ways. The AR platform has partnered with Killboy, Alice Glass, Taetro and Phil Good, with hopes to recruit other musicians over time. In one lens, users can create ‘musical tattoos’ as they listen to Killboy’s Loser . In another, they can lip sync to Alice Glass’ Lips Apart by waving an arm AUGMENTING SNAPCHAT ENGLISH INTO ARABIC Fremantle is partnering with Papercup to localise content into Arabic. The YouTube channel Talent World will offer select Fremantle flagships, such as The X Factor and Got Talent , with Arabic audio. Papercup uses AI and machine learning to create synthetic yet realistic voices, eliminating the need for subtitles and significantly decreasing time and energy spent on traditional studio dubbing. This project follows the two companies’ previous partnership, where Fremantle launched a Spanish YouTube channel with dubbing done by Papercup. Los Mejores Talentos en Español (The Best Talents in Spanish) garnered millions of views in its first few months – a metric that will hopefully be repeated.
of Taetro’s songs. Lastly, they can wear a ‘musical mask’ and belt the chorus to Phil Good’s Crying, Dancing . For the first time, Snapchat will offer in-lens purchases, bridging the gap between creators and consumers. Perhaps more importantly, the Minibeats lenses will allocate 50% of revenue to partnered artists – a drastic improvement in an industry that’s become infamous for low royalty rates. Minibeats plans to launch its own AR music creation app later this year.
or opening their mouth. Platform users can transform their space into a studio, with ‘musical objects’ that play snippets
Flowics has released a major update to its control interface, Flowics Graphics. The HTML5-based broadcast solution software now offers Rundown Control, enabling operators to sort, rename and duplicate individual overlays as needed. When doing so, the design remains intact, but operators can manipulate text and images without needing a specialised graphics designer. The ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY
update also features a playlist function, letting users create collections of overlays to represent the scenarios that could arise mid-broadcast. Flowics Graphics supports collaboration between operators and designers, yet maintains distinction between the two roles. The platform is cloud-native, negating the need for local hardware or virtual desktops.
VIZ FOR VIDEO
Bluefish444 has announced upcoming integration of the Kronos K8, Epoch 4K Neutron and Epoch 4K Supernova S+ with Viz Engine 5, a Vizrt software. Viz Engine 5 features live video input and output, IP streaming, Dolby E encoding, full scene anti-aliasing and much more. The Kronos K8 is Bluefish444’s most powerful professional card to date, supporting low-latency HD and UHD SDI I/O for live broadcast, virtual production, mixed and augmented reality and in-camera VFX. Users of the Kronos K8 and the Epoch 4K range will be able to incorporate both Viz Engine 5 and Bluefish444’s Adaptive Graphics to improve workflows, simultaneously deploying multiplatform graphics and enhancing overall efficiency. Additionally, Viz Engine 5 can combine with Unreal Engine to blend render paths during live productions, resulting in even purer visuals.
STORE IN STYLE
Nagra, Canal+ and Otodo have partnered to provide a smart home automation application called Nagra Scout. This app combines Nagra’s intelligent security solution with Otodo’s home automation to identify and classify all connected devices, keeping consumers and their data safe. Nagra Scout can provide full visibility on connected equipment, content filtering and security alerts. In turn, this info will go to operators like Canal+ to optimise service for each consumer. With the continual rise of the IoT – ensuring home security will become increasingly important – users can now access their entire collection of smart devices all from one application. SMART HOME SECURITY EditShare has supplied storage platforms to production and post- production companies worldwide, thanks to its relationships with regional partners like ThinkTone (China) and Advanced Media Trading (UAE). First, EditShare collaborated with Chinese company BKW, which produces the regional reality TV show, Love Actually . The production uses over 100 cameras to follow 12 contestants as their relationships develop both within and around a shared house. The 2PB EFS450 storage system supports 56 available workstations across three on-site production rooms. According to BKW CEO Xu Bing, Love Actually owes its success in part to EditShare’s seamless solution. EditShare also helped Last Cut Media – an Abu Dhabi-based post- production studio – consolidate its storage and media management. The company implemented a 160TB shared storage node, fully compatible with its Flow management platform. This allows Last Cut to bring efficiency and security to every client interaction.
TVU Networks has helped make history – not once, but twice – by broadcasting a space expedition and ship excavation. On 31 October 2022, Tiangong space station launched the Mengtian module. Meaning ‘dreaming of the heavens,’ Mengtian includes eight pressurised research cabins, designed to conduct cosmic, solar and zero-gravity experiments. Chinese digital newspaper The Paper used TVU Networks’ technology to broadcast 19 hours of content, including interviews with industry experts, leading up to the launch itself. By using a TVU One 5G mobile transmitter, The Paper transmitted all 19 hours to the TVU Transceiver at its Shanghai production centre to be transcoded. Then, in late November 2022, a team of archaeologists excavated one of China’s largest wooden sailing ships from the bottom of the INTERSTELLAR STREAMS
Yangtze River. The ship had been submerged for over 150 years and contained over 600 recoverable relics. The overnight process was broadcast live by Shanghai Media Group (SMG). Due to the project’s nautical nature, the SMG had to strategise; communication, timing and crew restrictions were key challenges, as well as how to best capture underwater images. SMG created a temporary, container-style studio with microwave transmission equipment transmitting to an OB van parked on the embankment. From there, SMG used a TVU G-Link encoder and multi-network router to transmit live content to the Shanghai studio, which broadcast the excavation to a global audience.
A new browser-based editing system has been released by EVS as part of its production asset- management solution MediaCeption Signature. IPD-VIA Create is the latest application in the IPD-VIA web-based PAM platform at the core of MediaCeption. IPD-VIA Create is an editor, incorporating Blackbird cloud-native video-editing technology, enabling teams to quickly edit live events, even while the event is being ingested. The editor also features colour-correction tools and transitions, as well as an easy-to- use thumbnail mode for building out rough cuts or storyboards. Using IPD-VIA Flow, finished sequences can be exported to multiple outlets at the same time. CLOUD CONTROL
The system is made to be taken up by any busy teams that are under pressure to release content, without needing specialists or to engage in lengthy tutorials. “If the learning curve lasts no more than ten minutes, we’ve done our job,” said Michael Shore, EVS senior vice president, who demonstrated the system at a press conference attended by
FEED . “No one should have to relearn anything.” EVS has a history of delivering mission- critical playback for live broadcast, especially sports. The scalable MediaCeption toolkit will open up EVS technology to an even wider array of broadcasters. Referring to the company’s legacy in high-end sports, Shore quipped: “We did all the hard stuff first.”
Skytel, a Mongolian telecom company, has seen an increasing number of viewers on its Skymedia OTT service. As such, it’s selected Ateme’s video-delivery technology – complete with a Titan encoder, NEA Cloud DVR and CDN VIEWER-RECORDED VIDEOS
solutions, as well as an EDS system – to store user-recorded content. “Viewers in Mongolia increasingly demand to watch video on their terms,” says VP of Ateme’s APAC team, Gautier Vandomme. Via Ateme’s EDS solution, a video recorded
just once will be available to everyone on that server – ‘anywhere, at any time, on any screen.’ This helps not only to advance the viewer experience and simplify the system’s infrastructure, but also cut down environmental impact.
Unified Streaming has launched Unified Virtual Channel, an OTT solution combining VOD and live content into a single, traditional TV-like experience. Users need only upload their desired mixture of prerecorded and live content – Unified Virtual Channel does the rest, transforming it into a ready-to-stream format. By using Unified Virtual Channel, production companies can accelerate the channel-creation process, diversify and curate content offerings, target ads and – most significantly – stay relevant by adopting a hybrid model. Unified Virtual Channel also uses less energy, with less time spent on encoding and decoding, while video quality goes uncompromised.
Gcore has launched a simplified price plan for its streaming platform, starting at $0.001 per minute. Businesses across a range of industries – education, entertainment, e-sports and more – have trusted Gcore to stream content to end consumers. Working with global clients means dealing with high traffic volumes, unstable internet connections and other technical difficulties. Gcore manages these concerns by offering low-latency streaming and adaptive bit rates, with its infrastructure simultaneously supporting up to 100 million viewers. Whether for live streams, group calls, video hosting or machine learning, Gcore promises high performance. It offers a 14-day free trial, plus a pricing calculator and personalised customer service to prospective clients.
Broadcast Solutions is providing new production vehicles to SRG (Swiss Radio and Television Company) as part of a fleet renewal project for several Swiss broadcasters. Broadcast Solutions came up with new UHD-capable units called PaaM (Production as a Module) to advance operations. Each vehicle includes a truck box-body, weighing 25 tonnes and measuring 11 metres long. Inside, there are eight to ten Sony HDC- 5500 cameras and 12 workstations, which can be extended and rotated as needed, depending on the purpose of use. The vehicles are climate controlled for optimum air purification, and all light sources are adjustable in brightness and colour. In terms of tech, PaaM includes Riedel’s MediorNet MicroN UHD router system, with 16 units distributing AV signals and acting as an intercom. The vehicles also include two EVS XT-VIA servers and Broadcast Solutions’ own HI (human interface) control system. Impressively, the vehicles are the first in Europe to support Dolby Atmos audio, enabled by acoustic isolation and noise suppression. Two of an eventual three PaaM vehicles are already being used for news, sports and other events.
ONE STEP AHEAD
AJA has helped businesses across the world simplify workflows and stay ahead. Focal Point Productions, based in Baltimore, provides live, often large-scale event services. Its projects typically require several cameras, monitors, projectors and so on – in other words, extensive SDI cable runs. To significantly reduce set-up time and provide more flexible equipment placement, Focal Point uses AJA FiDO and Hi5-Fiber converters. Singaporean company VStream Media provides similar services, with attention given to virtual events. It uses the AJA Ki Pro Go multichannel H.264 recorder to send SDI feeds, which are then converted
and uploaded to the cloud. VStream integrates other AJA products and solutions, including the Kona 4 I/O card, the U-Tap SDI and HDMI capture devices and the Fido-2T-12G fibre transmitter. “We need all equipment to perform well,” says VStream co-founder Adarsh Mohan, “and AJA products provide that.”
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY Time to hear the latest partnerships, mergers and business acquisitions shaking up the industry right now – from a European expansion to the growth of APAC
DYN MEDIA SHOWS FRUITS OF ITS LABOUR Dyn Media has selected Spicy Mango Gameday, a live sports data management system, for its upcoming sports OTT platform, which is set to launch in summer 2023. This platform will act primarily as a streaming service for certain German sports, for example handball, table tennis, basketball and volleyball. Fans will be able to watch live events and season highlights, with recommendations and personalisations made possible by Gameday’s advanced analytics. By employing Gameday, Dyn Media can deliver search capabilities, images, artwork and even more without spending hours on complex engineering.
BOLT FROM THE BLU
Blu Digital Group has expanded its reach with the recent acquisition of the Denmark-based Dicentia Studios. The company, specialising in audio-visual services such as distribution, localisation and post-production, focuses largely on media management within the European market. Impressively, Dicentia is both an iTunes Preferred Encoding House and a Netflix Preferred Fulfilment Partner – and a vital addition to Blu Digital Group’s portfolio. This acquisition marks Blu Digital Group’s third last year, after Central Post LA – a recording and dubbing studio – and Haymillian. All three additions have grown the company’s presence both globally and locally – across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and at home in Hollywood.
In case you missed it: iWedia and Simply.TV announced a strategic partnership at this year’s CES. With the shared goal of enhancing the Live TV experience, the companies plan to boost user engagement while offering
new opportunities to OEMs by enabling new revenue streams. Simply.TV’s metadata collection and iWedia’s software solutions will enable advanced content discovery, ultimately adding value to Live TV and its manufacturers.
KITTING UP SLOVENIA
Cinegy has expanded into the Slovenian market with local partner Pulzar Media. The country – dominated by cable television – requires playout and asset management servers for each of its local operators. Cinegy, and specifically the Cinegy Air Pro platform, can provide cost-effective content management systems to Pulzar Media, adding value and versatility to its offerings. Together, they can ensure smooth, reliable operation from the ground up.
Aims announced new members – Netgear and Megapixel VR – who formally joined the organisation at ISE 2023. Netgear designs solutions for AV over IP, while Megapixel VR develops leading LED displays. Be sure to check out the full AIMS story by checking out their Start-up Snapshot, appearing in page 112 of this issue.
BLADE//RUNNER 2023 ULTRA LOW LATENCY
Ant Media recently announced integration of its Ant Media Server (AMS) with Zixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP) to deliver live video streaming over any IP network. By incorporating Zixi’s SDVP, AMS can provide ultra-low-latency streaming at <0.5 seconds. This partnership will support AMS’s millions of global streams (and viewers) by offering live transcoding, connection bonding, visual enhancements, centralised system management and more. SDVP promises error-free video transport, including over unmanaged IP networks. With attention to network congestion, bandwidth and encryption security, Zixi and AMS provide reliable and robust live video to esports, edtech and other streaming platforms. Find Ant Media at NAB 2023 (West Hall, booth 3301).
IN THE PIPELINE (Left to right) Jukka Keski- Loppi, Erling Hedvkist and Wiggo Evensen
Arkona Technologies has partnered with Helsinki-based Pipeline Media Oy, which specialises in systems integration for the entertainment industry. Led by CEO Jukka Keski-Loppi, Pipeline will head the sales and marketing efforts for Blade//runner, Arkona’s IP infrastructure product line. Blade//runner provides tools for AV routing, compression, processing and multiviewing – and is easy to integrate, according to Keski-Loppi.
Pipeline Media Oy is best known for designing and implementing IP solutions for broadcast and production studios, combining different controls to create multifunctional systems. Wiggo Evensen (partner manager), Erling Hedkvist (sales and business development) and Keski-Loppi will direct this latest project. By partnering with Pipeline, Arkona further solidifies its presence in Finland.
Visual Data became one of the first adopters of the Trusted Partner Network’s (TPN) membership programme. This aims to guide companies through security issues like data leaks, breaches and hacks by raising industry awareness. TPN’s multi-tiered membership model encourages all sizes of media companies to assess and address content security throughout the supply chain. The programme offers internal communication between orgs as well as self-assessments on security best practices, plus up-to-date information on industry protocols. Given its global reach, Visual Data prioritises compliance with local security standards and cloud-based workflows. With TPN’s programme, Visual Data’s clients can validate its accreditation themselves, both saving time and building trust. TPN is owned by the Motion Picture Association.
According to a joint poll by Telenor and OMDIA, APAC is scheduled to overtake the rest of the world in IoT adoption by 2030. APAC can be split into developed (South Korea, Japan, China and Australia) and emerging (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Thailand) IoT regions. China’s tech giants are driving the country’s IoT adoption. The rest of the region is more fragmented, with disparities in internet access, industrialisation and urbanisation. With growing population gaps between the nations’ metropolitan and rural zones, APAC faces a unique challenge, as certain subregions run the risk of getting left behind.
As of 2022, there were 14.5 billion IoT devices across the APAC region; by 2027, experts predict 38.9 billion. IoT devices include anything from smart watches to self-driving vehicles. Thus, their multiplication can impact almost any industry, with today’s main players being telecom providers, app developers and device manufacturers. In certain areas, like energy and utilities, enterprises will need to prioritise a sustainable approach; in others, like tech and healthcare, cybersecurity will be paramount. By successfully implementing IoT devices, APAC-based businesses can contribute to an increasingly globalised future.
CABLING UP TIMELINE many years, including for
s the demand for large-scale productions, studio shows and remote production hit an all-time high in 2020, Timeline Television embarked on an exciting new project to help service its own clients’
the Ealing Studios just down the road and at BT Sport’s studios in Stratford. For the new EBC, Argosy provided thousands of metres of video cabling, a range of MDUs and multiple equipment racks. This critical infrastructure was supplied by Argosy and prefabricated by DIS Consulting. Argosy’s Image 360, 720 and 1000 series of digital
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demands and begin building what the tech provider branded a ‘fantastic space that allows creativity to thrive.’ The Timeline Television in-house systems integration team set about planning the state-of-the-art EBC (Ealing Broadcast Centre), set over three floors, in April 2021. It teamed up with Argosy for infrastructure components and DIS Consulting for wiring. Argosy has been supplying Timeline Television with infrastructure projects for
TIMELINE TELEVISION AND ARGOSY CASE STUDY
video cables run through the entire EBC, connecting the facility’s routers, vision mixers, servers, monitors, decoders, encoders and more. The Image Series is
designed to provide superior performance at the higher frequencies of digital applications, as well as being suitable for use at lower frequencies for analogue applications.
Words by Verity Butler
Australia and New Zealand. Following on from the resounding success of the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022, each passing year brings women’s sports further to the forefront. Several key M&E milestones have transpired already. The Walt Disney Company’s 100 Years of Wonder celebrations for its landmark centenary later began on 27 January at Disneyland resorts globally. The Australian Open tennis tournament has been and gone, and the Oscars will take place just days after this issue goes to press. Those are the global events, but what about the industry events? In the coming year, FEED will get more hands-on with trade shows
023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the broadcast, sports and online video sectors. Perhaps the most history-defining moment will be the first European coronation of the 21st century, with the crowning of King Charles III taking place 6 May. Predicted to be a record-breaking broadcast, the soaring viewership numbers will be reminiscent of his mother’s crowning – one of the first major events to be internationally televised live. On the other side of the globe, 2023 sees the Thai general election, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in India and the postponed 19th edition of the Asian Games. Another major date in the sporting calendar is the Fifa Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by the nations of
At FEED, we know what we have our sights set on for 2023. Do you?
than ever before. Check out some of the topics, trends and events we’ll be part of in 2023.
FEED ON TOUR ISE
Europe’s premier AV systems integration exhibition, Integrated Systems Europe, took place this year in its new home at Fira Barcelona for another epic expo. Since the very first ISE in 2004, the event has gone from strength to strength each year – and it was fantastic for the FEED team to touch base with exhibitors face to face for the first time in 2023.
2023 marks 100 years since the first meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters. Celebrating its centenary at this year’s NAB Show, it can lay claim to witnessing the full evolution of broadcast and AV technology. From sound to picture, analogue to digital
and static to immersive, the show is a personification of broadcast tech’s 100-year rollercoaster ride. The FEED team will take to the Las Vegas halls from 15-19 April.
THE MEDIA PRODUCTION AND TECHNOLOGY SHOW The Media Production and Technology Show (MPTS) is back in business for its seventh year running at London’s Olympia from 10 to 11 May. Launched in 2016, it has rapidly cemented its position as the UK’s largest event for the media and broadcast industries. The initial concept was centred around the creative side of content, however the show quickly transformed into the UK hub of technological innovation we see now.
Opening its doors 16-18 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the FEED team are proud media partners for this year’s event. Acting as the MEASA region’s leading show for innovation and engaging experiences in the content, broadcast, satellite and pro AV communities, CABSAT is an exciting place to boost your business needs.
We can’t wait to catch up with everyone at 2023’s IBC. Despite some controversies surrounding the show, it still stands as Europe’s top broadcast and AV trade event, and is an unmissable stop on this year’s event route map. Top tip for UK visitors: get the Eurostar instead of flying...
Serving as Asia’s largest broadcast-technology stage, Broadcast Asia brings together the most influential regional broadcasters and media and entertainment professionals. Filling the Singapore Expo show floor from 7-9 June, make sure to grab your latest copy of FEED while you’re there!
Half a year after Las Vegas and on the other side of the continent, NAB Show New York is where the broadcast, media and entertainment professionals of the east coast gather. Rediscover ways to get more creative and efficient with the tools of your trade from 25-26 October. NAB SHOW NEW YORK
BUZZWORD BINGO! People often attach negative connotations to buzzwords. We simply see them for what they are – a useful way to keep track of what’s currently making the industry tick
FAST There’s a reason that this issue is bursting at the seams with all things FAST. Free ad-supported streaming TV channels have proliferated internet-connected TVs in households all across the globe, and are one of the largest cash generators in the broadcast stratosphere. CTV Not vastly dissimilar to the topic of FAST, connected TVs (CTVs) are also a piping-hot topic of conversation to watch out for in the coming year. CTVs are devices that are embedded into televisions in order to support video content streaming. Examples include Xbox, Playstation and Roku. CORD-CUTTING A word that succinctly sums up the impact of the above two trends is cord-cutting. A quite disturbingly clinical-sounding term, it concerns the swathes of customers cancelling traditional cable and satellite subscriptions in favour of using streaming or VOD platforms.
WEB3 Didn’t you hear? The world wide web is a thing of the past. Web3, otherwise known as Web 3.0, is a term that refers to the next stage of the internet. It promotes decentralised protocols and has ambitions to reduce the current web’s dictatorship-style dependency on large tech monopolisers like YouTube, Netflix and Amazon. CHATGPT After last year’s earth-shaking release of AI image generator Dall-E 2 (covered in FEED ’s autumn 2022 issue), OpenAI returned with the release of ChatGPT at the end of 2022 – now the internet’s best-known language-processing AI model and capable of generating eerily human-like text. HYPER-DISTRIBUTION Distribution is part of everyday broadcast life. But it’s about to get… crazy. The idea involves using OTT technology, but to present the opposite of linear TV experience. OTT hyper- distribution democratises
access to content and allows the audience to tailor viewing experiences to their own needs. THE CLOUD This must be the buzzword record holder. Whether you’re sick to death of hearing about it or not, the omnipresence of the cloud will only accelerate. Broadcasters and networks are making a cloud transition their number-one priority, more than ever before. Whether it’s to tick the sustainability checkbox or save on costs, we have become increasingly saturated with cloud-based solutions. HTML5 A new standard for the creation of content. With the addition of HTML5, live and adaptive bit-rate streaming of video can be accomplished in an HTML5- compliant web browser without need of a third-party plug-in. NDI Certainly not a brand-new abbreviation, but definitely a consistent in its presence, Network Device Interface is
a high-performance standard that was developed by NewTek, letting anyone use real-time, ultra-low-latency video on existing IP networks. VERTICAL VIDEO We talked about it last year and we are talking about it this year. Vertical video and short-form streaming content have permeated into the social media and video stratospheres. phrase ‘second screen’ refers to any device (often a phone) being used while watching television. In other words, every advertiser’s worst nightmare. SUSTAINABILITY Last, but by no means least, sustainability continues to reign as the most concerning topic on everyone’s minds. Every year marks more destruction mercilessly inflicted on our planet and its ecosystems. What is your workplace doing to help right now? SECOND SCREEN A direct result of the buzz about vertical video, the
FIGHTING DISINFORMATION WITH ‘HUMOUR OVER RUMOUR’
At a gathering in London, Taiwan’s top digital minds shared their experiences combatting cyberattacks and information disorder
Words by Neal Romanek
country under martial law as recently as the nineties, Taiwan now
ranks highly among the world’s top functioning democracies. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual Democracy Index noted a global collapse of democracy in 2021, but Taiwan ranked eighth overall in a tally across a variety of democratic indicators – beaten out only by the six Nordic countries, Ireland and New Zealand. The next Asian countries on the list were South Korea and Japan, ranking 16th and 17th respectively, with the US at 26th, Hong Kong at 85th and China at 148th. As the invasion of Ukraine has reminded us, there are people who will go to any lengths to destroy a burgeoning democracy, especially if it is one that could give their own citizens funny ideas about freedom and the future. Taiwan’s history has been intimately bound with imperialism; first by China, then Spain, the Netherlands, then China again, then Japan. When the Chinese Communist Party took control of the mainland in 1949, the nationalist government fled to Taiwan, declaring itself the legitimate Chinese government. The two states continued to diverge, with Taiwan becoming the flourishing democracy it is today. The split remains unresolved, with the CCP still claiming Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China.
This makes for some complex international relations. Only 14 states have officially recognised Taiwan – thus forswearing relations with China – including Guatemala, Vatican City and Tuvalu. All other countries comprise a spectrum of association, some maintaining a relationship with China only (Uruguay, Norway, Egypt, Pakistan), and others keeping ties with Taiwan in an unofficial capacity (USA, Brazil, UK, India) – which often involves tiptoeing around China. There is online combat going on all around us all the time, sometimes
state-sponsored, sometimes purely criminal, and sometimes through organisations operating on behalf of states, but kept at arm’s length for plausible deniability. The People’s Republic of China operates one of the world’s most aggressive cyberwarfare programmes – and odds are that you have been personally impacted, be it through election meddling, hacks of governments and businesses or disinformation on social media. Taiwan has been a particularly prominent target. A major attack in August of last year, apparently
REAL SOLUTION Audrey Tang is a proponent for improving media literacy to fight disinformation
showing disapproval of then US speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the country, included disabling Taiwanese government websites and disrupting train and air travel, as well as hijacking screens and monitors in public places. OPEN FORUM In November of last year, the Association for International Broadcasting and Radio Taiwan International held the Taiwan Forum in London. This brought to light issues around Taiwanese cybersecurity and shared how it has been using cyberspace to defend its democracy and project soft power in the world. Speakers included Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who gave a prerecorded speech to the event. This was followed by addresses and Q&As by Taiwan’s minister of digital affairs, Audrey Tang, joining live over video; and founder of Taiwan Digital Diplomacy Association, Chia-you Kuo, who spoke on ways of promoting Taiwan globally using digital tools. “Taiwan has come a long way in our pursuit of press freedom,” says WE UNDERSTAND BETTER THAN MOST HOW AUTOCRATIC ACTORS SEEK TO SOW SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DISCORD IN DEMOCRACY
“Totalitarian regimes are taking the opportunity to shape the internet into a pervasive tool of control. This power asymmetry, brought about by centralised AI, enables dictators to impose state surveillance and top-down takedowns, turning AI into ‘authoritarian intelligence,’ a draconian weapon against journalism, the free press and civil society.” Tang believes that Taiwan is a front-line state fighting against the global resurgence of authoritarianism, and notes that if a certain type of cyberattack is effective in Taiwan, it’s much more likely to be deployed in other countries around the world. Taiwan incorporates not just media literacy but media competence into its basic education curriculum. This extends to government personnel, too. The result is a population positioned in a state of active mobilisation against cyberattack. “Instead of static media education that teaches literacy in consuming media, citizens see themselves as competent contributors and investors in civic journalism,” explains Tang.
President Tsai. “In just a few decades, Taiwan broke down long-standing restrictions on civic participation and the media. Today, Taiwan is home to a vibrant media landscape, recognised as one of the most free in Asia by Reporters Without Borders. “With our decades of experience in countering authoritarian influence, we understand better than most how autocratic actors seek to sow social and political discord in democracy. We also know that our responses to the spread of disinformation must be rooted in democratic governance that values transparency and openness.” FRONT LINE OF CYBER DEFENCE Taiwan’s Ministry of Digital Affairs was officially launched last August and is headed by literal super genius Audrey Tang, who became involved in Taiwanese politics during the 2014 Sunflower Student Movement. Tang is the first non-binary official in Taiwan’s top cabinet and has been a powerful architect of open-source solutions to boost democracy and civic participation.
DIGITAL DIPLOMACY Chia-you Kuo
spoke on ways of raising Taiwan’s
profile using digital tools
TOP DOG Taiwan employed cute mascots to ease public anxiety and fight disinformation during the global pandemic
RELEASE THE SPOKESDOGS At the height of the pandemic, Taiwan established its own command centre, with dedicated teams focusing on media clarification and debunking conspiracy theories in what Tang called the ‘infodemic.’ The flood of disinformation was countered with a strategy deliberately employing fun. “‘Humour over rumour’ was our approach, in which a vaccine of the mind is voluntarily developed and shared by the people.” Creating humorous content to combat online disinformation begins to crowd out falsehoods with higher viewing numbers and greater engagement. Memes featuring adorable shiba inu as ‘spokesdogs’ – headed by top ministry spokesdog Zongchai – helped relay information during the pandemic and counter
both rumours and conspiracy theories. One illustration reminded people to stay two shiba inu away from people in public spaces and three shiba inu away indoors. Taiwan – as it happens – got the pandemic under control far earlier than most other countries. The shiba inu memes inspired the NAFO (North Atlantic Fellas Organization) movement, which counters Russian propaganda in the Ukraine war with humorous quips from edited shiba inu images. NAFO memes directly engaged Russian politicians with their impervious silliness, and have subsequently been adopted by heads of state and military officials as their Twitter avatars. “Any response that begins with top-down takedown, lockdown and censorship faces extensive resistance in our pluralistic democracy. Anything that resembles censorship is a non- starter, so we have to innovate ways to outrun the architects of conspiracy theories and information manipulation campaigns,” says Tang. In an era of automated content, where the dream of many content owners is a fire-and-forget model requiring as little monitoring as possible, countering disinformation
SOUTH CHINA SEA
ANY RESPONSE THAT BEGINS WITH TOP-DOWN TAKEDOWN, LOCKDOWN AND CENSORSHIP FACES RESISTANCE IN OUR PLURALISTIC DEMOCRACY
properly may seem old-fashioned. It requires human creativity and real- time understanding of public needs, as well as the most effective response to the attack. It’s like improv comedy on the battlefield. There’s a practicality to all this fun. Outrage is the most viral emotion in social media and the fuel for most disinformation, which often takes a conspiratorial tone. The Taiwanese line has been to provide a logical response to any trending rumours, using humour as a deliberate way to defuse the anger. “When people laugh, anger is vented as humour,” says Tang. “Then we’re quick to organically clarify and participate in fact-checking and civic journalism. This inoculates against outrage, as humour and anger are mutually exclusive. Fast, fair and fun underpin our digital social innovation approach where the government
doesn’t innovate for the people, but with the people.” CREATING DIGITAL RESILIENCE Taiwan’s Ministry of Digital Affairs focuses not just on cyber defence, but on resilience. It’s impossible to counter every single cyberattack or disinformation campaign, but inside Taiwan’s responses is a mindset where every danger becomes a chance to learn and develop stronger countermeasures and strategies. The technology backbone has developed in response to threats in cyberspace, keeping in mind the principle that preservation of openness and democracy are core ingredients of any defence. Government websites all operate on the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), which is a global peer-to-peer file sharing and storage network created in 2014. This allows the government to
HUMOUR AND OUTRAGE ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE
keep its sites and communications in the face of DDoS attacks. The country is also investing in non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellites to ensure communications and broadband access even in the event of its submarine cables being cut. The Ministry of Digital Affairs is advancing a ‘data altruism’ model, in which the data of individual donors can be processed for the public good without violating the individual’s personal data privacy. This promotes the beneficial use of data for journalism, scientific research and improving public services, while also acting as an invitation for international organisations to collaborate in using data for the public good. Lest you think Taiwan has something your country could never possibly possess, its digital governance protocols and operational procedures have all been released into the public domain through a Creative Commons licence. “This will insure the foundation of our resilience,” explains Tang, “as well as creating a leading model of digital governance in collaboration with other members of the free world.”
STARTED: 2020 VENUE. VIDEO
What’s your origin story? My name is Jason Goldlist and I am the CEO and founder of Venue.video. Venue started by reimagining the live video experience for large remote teams. We made simple production and engagement tools in the cloud and gave anyone the ability to design and deliver engaging meetings at scale. Companies like Shopify started to use Venue every day for town halls, kick- offs, training, webinars and more. These tools are still part of Venue today. We were part of Y Combinator’s winter 2022 batch, and raised a £3.3 million seed round led by Accel and prominent angels including the founders of Slack, Squarespace, Frame.io and Remote. What is the company working on right now? Venue is the one place for all your videos. Our clients call us ‘YouTube for teams’ because we transform your workspace of recordings, meetings and video files into organised, searchable and shareable channels. You can easily drag and drop videos into channels and assign channel owners to feature and highlight important videos. Every video is automatically transcribed, so your team can find what they need before pressing play, and simple tools to record videos and take them to the next level are built right in. The platform is secure and compliance certified to keep your team’s sensitive information secure. Robust analytics and insights are available at group and individual levels, and we also integrate directly with Google, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and many more, in order to import recordings as meetings happen. What is the next step? As long as videos are part of how teams communicate at work, we’ll be working on Venue! We’re constantly striving to make the Venue platform more simple, effective and affordable. New features that automatically clip, highlight and summarise videos are in the works, and more opportunities to highlight key messages are being added to the platform. What’s more, we’re continuing to optimise the platform to reduce the total cost of managing your video archive. What one thing does the business need most? Our vision is to be the best video workspace for modern, distributed teams. If you’re interested in helping to shape the future of corporate video communications, we’d love to hear from you. You can learn more at venue.video
Sony’s Crystal LED and Venice innovations have joined forces to enable a virtual production world-first for Plateau Virtuel and Studios de France
ony, Plateau Virtuel and Studios de France have teamed up to launch Europe’s first Crystal LED virtual
of Plateau Virtuel, a virtual production studio and subsidiary of the Novelty-Magnum-Dushow Group. “We had a direct conversation with Sony during this shoot where they showed us a new screen: the Crystal LED. “Now, we can turn off the light and have complete darkness, which brings high contrast – extremely natural, like setting up scenes in the real world – and at the same time a very fine pitch. Until now, we had a gap of roughly 2.6mm: now it’s 1.5mm, which is very little. This allows us to shoot really close to the screen.
production studio. The state-of-the-art 90 sq m screen in Seine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris, offers world-leading image quality for premium film, commercial and TV production – as the Sony Crystal LED display is combined with Venice camera capture technology. The curved screen, measuring 18m wide and 5m high, is composed of 450 ‘assortments,’ each including a combination of eight LED modules. Sony’s Crystal LED tech allows for a very high contrast ratio, very thin pitch (1.5mm vs 2.6mm, the current market standard) even with a curved screen and the best reproduction of detail and movement. “We met the Plateau Virtuel team during shooting of a campaign for the European Space Agency, which was a virtual production using the Sony Venice camera,” says Fabien Pisano, sales head at Sony Professional Europe. “This is where the discussion came about, regarding how to bring the virtual production quality to the next level.” “Most screens that we used before had moiré patterns, plus banding, synchronisation and display problems,” according to Bruno Corsini, co-founder
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INTRODUCING THE FIRST VIRTUAL PRODUCTION STAGE WITH SONY CRYSTAL LED TECHNOLOGY
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