Exploring the future of media technology
First 4K CS:GO major
Sports and sustainability
Lascaux caves in VR
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there, it stays there – the submersible doesn’t unleak. Though we continue with some usual focuses – like VOD, live streaming and esports – a lot of this issue is devoted to how the media industry can tackle this crisis. Our parents used to think that the environment was something outside us. Today, we’re all too aware that it’s in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink – and that the systems keeping those in balance are far more delicate and unstable than we previously thought. We hope you’ll gain knowledge from the following pages, but most of all we hope you’ll start to talk with industry colleagues and get to action. The climate crisis is not something any individual can make a dent in. To find solutions for building a survivable – and even a better, more prosperous – future, we need to collaborate. Let’s go.
ith COP26 having just concluded in Glasgow, reducing our carbon emissions is being talked about more than ever. This
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issue’s Genius interviewee, Dr Max Boykoff, studies how the media responds to climate change and – in a recently co-authored report – shows that coverage is at an all-time high. FEED ’s last sustainability special was published in February 2020. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same: the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is growing. We are like Ed Harris and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio trapped in the leaking submersible of James Cameron’s The Abyss . The water level continues to rise, and with every passing moment there is less and less space in which to stay alive. Once the water is
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FEED:SHOW Our rundown of the latest in media tech news and product releases Meet the Team Say hi to FEED associate publisher and sales director, Matt Snow! A new trade event gets media tech companies thinking about sustainability Security Report Africa is an emerging market for digital content – but for cybercrime, too We look at the agile production that went into a live investigation documentary on Britain’s pollution problem VOD Voices AWS cloud is helping Polish content businesses innovate with VOD
44 The Live Life
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS
125 AJA 81
61 Grabyo 34 Grass Valley 73
Blackbird 26 Blackmagic Design 41 CGI
Sports reporter Tech highlights from the world of sports broadcast Sports and sustainability Professional athletes are using their platforms to sound the alarm on the climate emergency Multiple POVs and watch parties are just some of the new sports experiences enabled on mobile PGL Major Stockholm brings live esports audiences back – and innovates with a 4K delivery
102 Genius Interview
IPCC contributor Dr Max Boykoff talks about how the media is – and isn’t – reporting on climate change Streaming isn’t as bad for the climate as some studies have claimed. But we still have a lot of work to do Our panel of media experts discuss how the industry can get to zero carbon, before it’s too late
86 Mobile-powered fans
112 Just the Numbers
92 4K esports in Stockholm
116 Zero Carbon Round Table
126 Future Shock
The mysterious caves at Lascaux are now open to everyone, through the power of VR
132 Industry Inventory
We ask tech leaders what tools have been working best for them – and what they want for 2022
142 Over the Top
Editor Neal Romanek on why we should stop using the word ‘sustainability’
= Our sustainability special
63 Lawo 98 LiveU 110 MediaKind
50 Panasonic 25 Pebble 66 Red Bee
74 Riedel 42 Ross Video 18 Sony
100 TSL Products 82 Vizrt 90 Zixi
FEED:SHOW is our one-stop shop for all the latest in the world of video workflow and distribution – from tech, to live events and rebrands
Words by Verity Butler
Having trouble keeping up with the announcements of recent months? FEED is here to help, with a rundown of the hottest topics, industry vendor news – and so much more! TECHNOLOGY& DEPLOYMENTS
VFX HITS THE WEST END STAGE
Disguise is very familiar within the broadcast space, but its 3D virtual set software is taking on plenty of outside-the-box projects. This was apparent in its work on the Back to the Future musical, which opened recently on the West End stage. Following its world premiere at the Opera House in Manchester in February 2020, the VFX-filled show set up residency at London’s Adelphi Theatre during August 2021. It utilises three disguise gx 2 media servers, which power extensive
Notch LC Video files and Notch generative video content. Back to the Future has a design that requires traditional playback and live-generated content. Long before the installation of the show took place, the team had begun modelling and visualising the complex time-change sequences using the disguise software. Fray Studio, which created the show’s video elements, made extensive use of pre-visualisation within disguise, to develop the famous moving car sequences.
For-A announced its MV-3240 multi viewer – a 32-channel multi-format product, supporting layouts for up to 25 windows, with one 4K output. Working with up to 16 inputs for 6G-SDI, and up to 32 inputs for others, the MV-3240 supports HD-to-4K up-resizing. Connections between multiple units allow users to grow the number of inputs with low latency. “Not every facility is ready to move to IP, but they still need to manage extensive SDI inputs,” says For-A president Satoshi Kanemura. “The MV-3240 offers the flexibility to display HD or 4K sources, and the ability to support multi-format productions that use both. You can enjoy the highest picture quality, with customised layouts.” MULTIPLYING MULTIVIEWERS
UNLOCKING REMOTE POTENTIAL
Ooona has launched an app for both iOS and Android that allows translators and project managers to monitor their work remotely. Developers of professional management and production tools, Ooona software deals with subtitling, voiceover, dubbing and captioning. “Users are able to view the dashboard, confirm assignments and answer requests, as well as set a ‘quiet’ time when they do not
want notifications distracting them,” states product manager Maya Venturero. The app allows users to complete short tasks quickly, from any location. It is accessible via Ooona- integrated user accounts. Project managers are able to view, assign and reassign work. On top of this, the app allows for urgent jobs to pop up on translators’ mobiles, so resources can be assigned most efficiently.
AUDIO OVER 5G
Aeta Audio Systems has added 5G capabilities to ScoopTeam. The update focuses on the commentary unit. It provides a solution for both large and small stations, which can now cover events with strengthened audio quality. “After carrying out in-depth R&D, we’re happy to be able to offer our clients the most advanced network connectivity available today,” describes EMBA Yann
Vonarburg. “That ScoopTeam can embed a 5G network connection, resulting in safer audio links – even via wireless networks. This will greatly reduce obstacles inherent to AoIP connections.” The 5G upgrade comes as Aeta also announced that the unit can embed two wireless modules. Now, ScoopTeam can simultaneously connect to both 4G and 5G networks.
UNO, DOS, TRES
Singular.live have launched Uno Templates – customisable graphics, featuring a mobile- friendly interface. It aims to simplify adding broadcast- quality overlays to content. Each template is designed for a specific type of image. One example is the ‘soccer scorebug.’ This is a digital on-screen graphic displayed during a live broadcast, to show the game time and score. A countdown clock is also available. The Uno Templates are also straightforward when it comes to docking the Uno interface into OBS video steaming software.
A new sales growth platform, built specifically for broadcast TV and radio, has been unveiled – dubbed Marketron REV. Simplifying the entire sales process into one platform, Marketron REV brings together all elements. This includes proposals and order management – allowing people to focus time and energy on selling. Integrated with CRM, the platform enables salespeople to track leads. “Marketron REV transforms the sales process with unprecedented efficiency, allowing sellers to gain the freedom to focus more time on hitting STREAMLINING SALES
quotas,” emphasises SVP of product Jimshade Chaudhari. More information can be found online at marketron.com.
THE NDI NEED
In a bid to supply the market with a new option when selecting an NDI stream multiviewer, ViewMaster has been revealed by Rascular. It adds to the company’s current offerings of RouteMaster and RouteMaster Lite applications. Sales director Ephraim Barrett spoke of the importance of the
launch: “NDI has really taken off across the world of IP video, and this has been reflected in our activities and sales. “Speaking with our customers, it’s clear that they need a simple and flexible, but powerful, NDI multiviewer, suitable for use across broadcast, A/V and
KEEPING STORAGE SYMPLE
streaming. ViewMaster is the answer.” ViewMaster takes multiple video and audio streams, and pairs them to create flexible layouts on one screen. This enables its users to quickly view all the streams they want to.
Shared media storage solutions provider, Symply, introduced a new product family called SymplyFirst. The range tackles personal RAID protected storage, backup/archive, cloud/archive, cloud/archive/transfer and connectivity challenges. These difficulties are often faced by a variety of media pipelines, including on-set production, VFX, in-house creatives and photographers. “We’re calling this product SymplyFirst because it really is the first step in creating a democratised storage solution that’s easily accessible, but incredibly extensible,” states Symply founder and CPO Alex Grossman.
Woody Technologies’ IN2IT live has become a growing star among the live capture community over the past year. This being said, AJA has been working with the provider, having already created a server using AJA’s Corvid 44 and Corvid 88. It is now beginning development of an IP version of IN2IT live. This new IP model will include an AJA Kona IP audio and video I/O card. Co-founder of Woody Technologies, Aurélien Brelle,
comments on the decision to move towards IP: “As client infrastructures start to age out and rebuild, they’re thinking about how they can future- proof with IP, which makes perfect sense,” Brelle describes. “IP offers unprecedented flexibility and leaves the architecture more open-ended, so that iterating the workflow in the future will be easier as new evolutions emerge. This is why we’re developing an IP version with AJA’s Kona IP built-in.”
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News came from SaaS-based data protection provider Cobalt Iron about a new API integration with ServiceNow. The integration allows Cobalt Iron’s SaaS backup platform to transmit directly with ServiceNow’s digital workflow platform, as well as enabling event details to be sent to ServiceNow. All without any intermediary messaging service. Backup management backup, recovery and restoration of event messages – delivered directly via the new API. Media processing techs-perts, Appear, has come forward with an update to its X Platform. “Our upgrades to the X Platform provide an unparalleled offering, with fewer delays, low latency and increased network capacity – without sacrificing quality,” comments product director Thomas Lind. X Platform allows for low- latency networking and improved IP security – as well as advanced compression for remote production, contribution, and distribution markets. The update entails JPEG XS, OTT and BiSS support. UPDATES APPEARING operators can work with customisable control over
The Vizrt XR set has been unveiled, further combining its Viz Engine with the natively integrated Unreal Engine. With the upgraded set, customers can select new render blades that can be used to create graphics. One blade is called ‘Fusion,’ a specialist broadcast render blade, and deploys PBR (physical-based rendering). “For many of our customers, virtual sets and extended reality are part of the creative output they want to use every
day,” describes Vizrt SVP Remo Ziegler. “With the release of the new XR set, we make the everyday workflow simple. So, more can be done with less effort, at a higher level of quality.” Vizrt and Unreal Engine will include native integration to improve interoperability performance – namely to achieve fluid depth-of-field sync between the two solutions. The XR set makes renderings transparent and provides a fast set-up.
A BRIDGE BETWEEN SDR AND HDR
BREAKING DOWN THE VISUAL LANGUAGE
Bridge Technologies is accelerating the HDR capabilities of its VB440 iP probe. The monitor ’s new functionality allows production teams to easily visualise, monitor and analyse both HDR and SDR production outputs, using an HTML5 browser. VB440 delivers low-latency analytics of compressed and uncompressed video and data. It enables teams to continuously survey all layers of media transportation on an IP network, and facilitates quick rectification of potential problems. The VB440 identifies the type of encoded streams coming in – either through manual setting, or automatic recognition from ancillary data of NMOS signalling data. In addition, Bridge Technologies has adjusted the graticule to accommodate the needs of HDR more comprehensively.
A suite of design elements and a visual language guide have been released by MovieLabs. It aids developers and producers, so they can easily create workflows in a visually consistent way. Using the Ontology for Media Creation (OMC), the Visual Language for Media Creation provides mechanisms for both human-to-human and machine-to-human illustration aspects of a media workflow. The Visual Language is a voluntary system that uses consistently defined shapes to convey the main elements of a workflow. The MovieLabs version of Visual Language entails documentation, visual elements, best practices and examples. It also incorporates a first wave of icons for commonly used industry terms, which may not be well defined in typical icon libraries – for example, scene, slate and prop. The Visual Language asset package is available for download from movielabs.com.
Aviwest have disclosed the next range of Rack Series encoders, for remote video production over unmanaged IP networks. Available in a half-1U form factor, the Rack400 functions in 4K UHD. “The Rack400 is a game changer for the broadcast industry: accelerating live remote production, offering the potential for greater
productivity, and huge savings in capital expenses,” explains senior product manager Samuel Fleischhacker. The latest encoders aim to take on challenges faced by broadcasters in remote production. This will cover many live events, including sports, entertainment, concerts, political rallies and interactive TV shows.
A collaboration and remote editing tool, Quantum Workflow Solution, was announced by the Quantum corporation. A solution for Adobe Premiere Pro users, it addresses challenges relating to the exponential growth in remote work. The tool aims to help teams overcome problems caused by being dispersed, with some members working on-site, some in an office, and some remote. “Collaborative teams, who rely on Adobe Creative Cloud apps like Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop, need a platform that gives them performance and flexibility to realise their vision,” states head of partner relationships Sue Skidmore. FIXING THE REMOTE CHALLENGE
New functionalities have been released for Lightspeed Live Capture by Telestream. Introducing fresh hardware interfaces, 12G and ST 2110, the updates further enhance the pool of large-scale capture platforms. “The move towards IP- based production workflows is gaining momentum, and this development places Lightspeed Live Capture in the vanguard of live IP production scenarios,” says senior director of product management Scott Matics. First brought out in 2019, Lightspeed Live Capture has been used at global sports THE LATEST IN LIVE CAPTURE
events, including the Fifa men’s and women’s World Cup finals, in both Russia and France. On top of this, it was used at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, by several North American and international broadcasters.
Things have been changing in the
Pebble labs, with the announcement of new configurations and an update for its remote monitoring and control brand – Pebble Remote. Previously known as Lighthouse, the tool works to provide users with secure management of their channels – inside or outside the normal transmission environment. “With remote access a priority in new project planning and expansions to existing systems, Pebble Remote meets a key need,”
EASING INTO IP
Interra Systems has hailed the arrival of Orion 2110 Probe for IP-based workflows. The platform supports SMPTE ST 2110 standard and aims to provide broadcasters with a future-proof, end-to-end monitoring solution. “As the broadcast world transitions towards IP infrastructure to simplify content preparation and delivery operations, having the capability to monitor the new and complex ST 2110 workflow will become absolutely essential,” describes Interra Systems vice president Anupama Anantharaman. Addressing the complexities surrounding SDI and IP, the probe offers a fresh approach to content monitoring within production applications. It boasts a range of REST APIs, ensuring integration with third-party software.
comments head of sales at Pebble, Mat Shell. “Our user base has relied on Pebble Remote to provide continuity of operation and enable flexible working scenarios over a series of
lockdowns and, at times, reduced physical access to their playout facilities.” The solution was shortlisted for an award for Best Networking and Monitoring tool.
Revenue intelligence platform Watching That is now available on the Brightcove Marketplace. This allows customers to add Watching That’s revenue insights to their video workflows. As audiences shift en masse to new ways of consuming television, the Brightcove Marketplace enables OTT providers to search innovative ways to monetise video experiences. “With other vendors, customers are often left to their own devices, which creates a lot of confusion and wastes valuable resources. But now they can benefit from the Brightcove experience they love, coupled with Watching That’s WATCHING THAT SPACE
market-leading revenue intelligence platform and experts to guide them,” describes founder Cameron Church. Watching That provides access to video streaming data, which in turn allows OTT providers to deliver better viewer experiences, manage their advertising inventory and grow revenue.
New Blackmagic Studio Camera! The ultimate live production camera in a revolutionary all-in-one design!
Powerful Broadcast Connections Blackmagic Studio Cameras have lots of connections for connecting to both consumer and broadcast equipment. All models feature HDMI with tally, camera control and record trigger, so are perfect for ATEM Mini switchers! The advanced Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro model is designed for broadcast workflows so has 12G-SDI, 10GBASE-T Ethernet, talkback and balanced XLR audio inputs. USB Expansion Port for Accessories The Blackmagic Studio Camera features a high speed USB-C expansion port that allows you to record to external disks or connect accessories. Plug in an external USB flash disk and the camera can record high quality 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files for later editing and color correction. Plus the files are small and fast, so editing responsiveness is incredible!
Introducing the world’s most advanced self contained studio camera! Blackmagic Studio Cameras have the same features as large studio cameras, miniaturized into a single compact and portable design. Advanced features include talkback, tally, camera control, built in color corrector, Blackmagic RAW recording to USB disks and much more! You can even add a focus and zoom demand for lens control! Revolutionary Studio Camera Design The distinctive Blackmagic Studio Camera has the benef its of a large studio camera because it’s a combination of camera and viewf inder all in a single compact design. The camera is designed for live production so it’s easy to track and frame shots with its large 7" viewfinder. The touchscreen has menus for camera settings, and knobs for brightness, contrast and focus peaking. Get Cinematic Images in Live Production! The amazing 4K sensor combined with Blackmagic generation 5 color science gives you the same imaging technology used in digital film cameras. Plus, when combined with the built in color corrector you get much better images than simple broadcast cameras. The color corrector can even be controlled from the switcher. The resolution of 4096 x 2160 allows both HD and Ultra HD work.
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus ���������� £975 Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro ������� £1,335
Camera shown with optional accessories and lens. SRP is Exclusive of VAT.
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY Acquisitions, deals and partnerships – we give you an inside look at the latest. Plus, recognition and networks for the people doing the work to make the tech world tick
WOMEN OF THE YEAR JOINT WINNERS
Rise has announced the recipients of its Woman of the Year award. Inga Ruehl from Sky Sports and Borika Vucinic of Bell Media will be taking home the honours. Ruehl’s teams look after the planning and delivery of all home- produced content across 11 live sports channels, with responsibility for studios, post-production staff and facilities – as well as outside broadcast and crewing. Ruehl and her teams led the way for Sky Sports’ introduction of remote production operations – experience which came to the fore during the pandemic. She is a rare example of a female leader in a male-dominated environment, and is passionate about creating a more diverse workforce. Vucinic’s role is to oversee engineering support and operations for the Bell Media network broadcast sites in Montreal and Toronto, and project engineering and network support for television and radio stations across Canada. With 25 years of experience with the Bell team, Vucinic has earned a reputation as an innovator, driving people and process transformation to enable new features, services and cost efficiencies. She is also recognised as a pioneer and a voice for women in communications and technology.
In partnership with virtual studio Moov, Rise has announced a first-of-its-kind international job board for the industry. An award-winning advocacy group for gender diversity, the board aims to encourage a more diversified pool of applications when it comes to engineering, technical and other roles across the industry. The Rise Job Board is open to all companies in the media-tech space and enables recruiters to have easy access to job vacancies. Visit the Rise job board here: risewib.com. THE RISE JOB BOARD
A major deal was signed between CBS Sports Digital and Blackbird, in a huge step by the network towards cloud video production. CBS will be deploying Blackbird via its browser-based solution, removing the requirement to travel MOVING TO THE CLOUD
to a facility – as well as the need to transit material to and from multiple storage environments. CBS Sports Digital editors will have access to live and file-based material for editing and enriching content, with Blackbird’s platform.
A STREAMING SECURITY MILESTONE
Haivision, a global provider of real-time video streaming and networking solutions, reported that Google Cloud has signed on to the SRT Alliance. A community of over 500 product, service and solution providers, the SRT Alliance supports the adoption of the Secure Reliable Transport open- source video streaming protocol. Ateme became an AWS Technology Partner, on the ISV Partner Path. The move comes after it completed the foundational technical review for Titan File MS – Ateme’s multi-codec/format video transcoding software. “This collaboration brings together two leaders in their fields, and presents us with the perfect opportunity to work with AWS to test and improve our solutions, and ensure they are fully integrated with the AWS cloud,” notes chief marketing officer for Ateme, Rémi Beaudoin. The AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR) allows partners to identify risks in products or solutions. PARTNERING UP
SRT enables secure delivery of video across the internet. Since 2017, many major streaming services, cloud platforms and broadcast solution providers have adopted SRT. This marks a huge stepping stone for the alliance, as SRT support in Google Cloud helps media companies to better contribute secure, reliable video
streams to Google native cloud services.
“Google Cloud is committed to helping media organisations transform their audience experiences,” says Anil Jain, managing director of media and entertainment solutions at Google Cloud. “We are delivering on that commitment by innovating alongside partners like Haivision.”
The global premiere of Dalet Pyramid took place in October. GOING GLOBAL
VIDEO AT FEEDMAGAZINE.TV/LATEST-ISSUE
Accommodating both digital-first and linear end-to-end workflows, the cloud-native solution builds on Dalet’s unified news operations. These include planning, content creation, asset and resource management; combining into a single platform that works to enable production on
fast-breaking digital and live news shows, and much more.
It works under a storytelling 360 approach, letting users develop the
various angles required for digital, social, TV and radio, simultaneously. Subscription-based, the solution works with a variety of cloud providers.
EXPANDING SPANISH HORIZONS
Big news came from VSN – following its acquirement by Montreal-based Valsoft. With its HQ in Barcelona, Spain, VSN supplies operations in media management, production and planning. This acquisition applies Valsoft’s Aspire Software in a new area and works to strengthen Aspire’s presence in Spain.
“This new stage with Valsoft is, without a doubt, a great opportunity for VSN,” comments VSN CEO Jordi Utiel. “We are thrilled with the strategic projection that Valsoft will bring us, expanding and consolidating our international growth and outlining a new horizon for VSN in the industry.” This will be the second Spanish organisation
to become a part of the Aspire Software family – following construction company Telematel.
Under its new Valsoft
umbrella, VSN will continue to work with its clients.
Grass Valley has signed a $25m, multi-year contract with Qvest. The deal will see the companies combine market offerings to meet the hefty media-industry demands. “We are delighted to be embarking on this next phase of the strategic partnership with Qvest and look forward to realising the benefits of the win-win enterprise agreement,” comments CEO and president of Grass Valley, Tim Shoulders. The deal encompasses technological, operational and financial benefits to Qvest, by standardising with Grass Valley’s solutions. MEETING INDUSTRY DEMANDS
VIDEO AT FEEDMAGAZINE.TV/LATEST-ISSUE
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the exponential growth of cloud-based video collaboration platform, Frame.io. As a result, the announcement of its acquisition by creative software giant Adobe came ACQUIRED BY ADOBE
as a surprise to the wider tech and media communities. Boasting over a million users, Frame.io excels in streamlining video production processes by enabling key project stakeholders to seamlessly collaborate, using cloud-first workflows. The acquisition’s aim from Adobe’s end, is to deliver a collaboration platform that, in turn, powers the video editing process – combining with the powerful Adobe toolkits such as Premiere Pro and After Effects.
MATT SNOW: TECHNOLOGY WILL BE CONTROLLED THROUGH EYE-GAZE ALONE
att Snow has been part of FEED since Bright Publishing’s very first brainstorming sessions about bringing a bold new publication to the media industry. As associate
publisher and sales director, he keeps the ship sailing through all weathers, working with our partners to help them produce and distribute their own bespoke content and messaging.
NAME? Matt Snow.
JOB TITLE? Associate publisher/sales director.
TELL US HOW YOU BECAME A PART OF FEED ? I‘m a founding member of Bright Publishing, which was launched in 2006. Over the past few years, we noticed how fast the media tech world was moving – and how the launch of an exciting new brand (like FEED !) could make a positive impact and reflect the limitless growth of media technology in this sector. Always one for a challenge in regards to helping shape brand vision and focus, I’ve embraced the whole opportunity. The rest is history! WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INTERNET WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE YEAR 2050? Technology will be accessed and controlled through eye-gaze alone, there will be even more concerns around data control, and (perhaps wishful thinking) an end to internet trolls and polarisation of cultures, as social media platforms finally take responsibility. WHAT TECHNOLOGY OR DEVICE DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD INVENT? Anything to help us be less reliant on plastics, or something that can help eradicate the poisons and pollutants in our rivers and waterways. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING LATELY? I think I’m the only one at Bright Publishing still yet to watch Squid Game . As I hotly anticipate Ozark , Season 4, I’ve opted for more home-grown
UK gems, like Line of Duty , Ghosts and Detectorists on BBC iPlayer.
VIDEO GAMES OR BOARD GAMES? Board games. After all, what would Christmas be without an argument over Monopoly? COOKIES OR CAKE? An oversized slice of coffee and walnut cake, with a cuppa. CITY YOU MOST HOPE TO VISIT SOME DAY? Tokyo. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF TEAM FEED ? I love seeing the magazine at the end of each quarter – knowing the hard work that every department has put into it, during an especially tough 18 months. The creativity,
dedication and collaboration make the process enjoyable and the result so rewarding.
Sony’s new C3 Portal allows camera crews to stream their footage back to editing facilities in real time
loud is not the solution to every media technology problem. However, when leveraged in the right way, it has empowered both
seen as an add-on, a back-up or an experiment, is now centre-stage in the production workflow. Sony has continued to innovate in cloud- based production tools, most recently with the release of its C3 Portal this autumn. C3 Portal – short for Camera- Connect-Cloud Portal – enables camera operators to send their files from on location directly to the edit suite, via an Android OS or iOS mobile app. With a simple login and scan of the QR code on Sony cameras, operators connect the camera to their smartphone via USB, and securely transfer files to the cloud via 5G, LTE or a wireless network. Using Android,
organisations and individuals to be more efficient, flexible and ambitious. Production is one part of the media workflow that has often been hardware-reliant. From SDI cables to digital recording hardware, production teams have clung to the speed and high bandwidth that hardware can provide – and workflows have been slow to change. But the digitally connected world means content production teams have the opportunity to think about new workflows, ways of
it is possible to combine cellular networks to accelerate
producing media, and means of monetising content. The pandemic, too, has
IT IS BRINGING CLOUD POWER TO YOUR SONY CAMERA
Chunk file transfer
forced a rethink of how content production is done. Remote and distributed workflows, which had been waiting in the shadows, have been widely deployed – and in some cases permanently adopted. Cloud, once
allows users to send files to a facility while still shooting. Metadata is then automatically assigned to the files sent to the cloud. In parallel, camera operators can add comments and essence marks to the metadata when previewing XAVC proxy files, before they are sent to the smartphone and made available on the cloud. C3 Portal offers a speech-to-text capability by voice recognition, and fully integrates with Sony’s cloud-based AI service, Media Analytics Portal and other Sony cloud services, as well as third-party suppliers. C3 Portal is already compatible with some existing Sony cameras, like the PXW-Z280 and PXW-FX9, and more models will incorporate wireless C3 Portal connectivity. Other cameras not immediately enabled – the PXW-Z750 and ILME-FX6, for example – can still be connected to C3 Portal via USB. CLOUD POWER “It is bringing cloud power to your Sony camera,” says Khan Odza, Europe’s solutions marketing manager at Sony Professional Solutions.
CONNECT IT Sony is set to make more cameras compatible
REMOTE CONTROL Another key feature of C3 Portal – and one which is becoming more essential – is the ability to control the camera remotely. Streaming can be stopped or started, or footage retrieved, from back at the facility. According to Odza: “I was talking to CH Media in Switzerland, who were saying it was really important not having to send an entire crew to a location. They liked being able to send one operator and then control the camera from the base. It’s going to have a positive impact on the workflow. We’re moving away from linear processing and physical media, to files that are instantly accessible by everyone.” (See the video case study.) The bounty of metadata, automatically coming from the camera to the facility, allows for a deeper collaboration between production and editing teams. The camera and settings, camera operator, location and any other relevant metadata are all immediately visible. If there is an issue, it can be discovered and corrected quickly, while the shoot is in progress. C3 Portal also uses chunk file transfer. The data is cut into smaller pieces and sent as proxy files to the main location, where they accrete into the full, continuous video. The speed at which the files become available can be throttled according to available bandwidth. This means editors can work while the camera is still running.
C3 PORTAL LETS YOU GET YOUR MATERIAL BACK TO THE EDITING SUITE WITHOUT TRANSPORTATION COSTS
“We’re closing the gap in modern workflows and creating a digital version that really is going to function. “People have been shooting footage for years,” Odza continues, “but the production workflow has stayed the same, with people still physically transporting it from the location – so the advantages of digital shooting are never fully exploited. But livestreaming your footage back to the editing facility has been expensive and complicated. C3 Portal lets you get your material back to the editing suite without any transportation costs, additional personnel or waiting times.” Odza emphasises that what makes C3 Portal special is the ability to upload files directly from the camera, using 4G, 5G or Wi-Fi – without the need for additional kit. This can be done literally right out of the box. All that users are required to do is download the C3 Portal iOS or Android app to their device, and then scan the QR code on the side of the camera.
BOLD VISION Khan Odza believes the future is exciting,
with more production
opportunities in the pipeline
FUTURE PROOF C3 Portal is the next step in production workflows
DREAM TEAM Editing can begin while the camera is still rolling
A PORTAL FOR ALL SEASONS The simplicity and flexibility of the new solution is likely to be a boost for many content businesses. C3 Portal brings remarkable features and benefits for broadcasters involved in news production, and creators of a wide range of content genres. It is already geared to the needs of news production, building on Sony’s vast expertise in supplying diverse kinds of organisation around the world. “We have a lot of experience in the area of news, and we know what those customers are looking for – but we’re not limiting C3 Portal to just news production. This is going to expand to all sorts of areas. You could be shooting weddings, for example, and now you can get this material
out directly, able to turn it around so people can watch it right away.” Odza is also seeing new opportunities in sports production. The possibility of having elements like a post-game interview camera operated completely remotely, with the camera controlled entirely from an editing suite using C3 Portal, is real and exciting. “There are many avenues we can explore. We think, because of its easy set-up, using the C3 Portal is going to feel very natural. “It’s going to be an important part of Sony’s professional services. It will sit within the whole ecosystem, alongside Sony Hive, Media Solutions Toolkit and Ci. C3 Portal is a gateway to all of these other software solutions and cloud services,” he concludes. Version 1.0 of C3 Portal is now available. Users can opt for licences found through Sony sales channels that adapt to their requirements, including numbers of users, data service and AI capability. Further development will see the support of other Sony cameras and advanced features. C3 Portal will have a tiered price structure, based on time used and features required.
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CEO: JJ PARKER COUNTRY: US STARTED: 2021 SCREENWEAVE
What’s your origin story?
I’m JJ Parker, CEO of Screenweave LLC. The company was born out of Tightrope Media Systems, which for more than two decades has been developing software
managing, presenting and delivering video to consumers, via OTT platforms and mobile apps. Screenweave allows organisations to quickly launch and manage their own branded video channels on iOS and Android mobile devices – and on OTT platforms including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. Screenweave gives users all the power and convenience they need to distribute and promote their content, with ‘add once, available everywhere’ efficiency. Put the material into Screenweave, and it’s automatically available on all the different OTT and mobile platforms. They can publish content as customised channels within the standard Screenweave-branded OTT and mobile apps, for no additional charge – or upgrade to their own fully custom-branded, dedicated apps for a modest design fee. What’s next? With the public release of the Screenweave platform imminent (we’re in beta testing as I write this), the next major step is in sales and marketing. From a product perspective, we have a lot of expertise building video management software, and want to bring the best concepts we learned developing Tightrope’s Cablecast to Screenweave. Now we have core apps and functionality done, the upcoming stage is to really apply the unique insight we have into large content-library management. If you could have anything right now, what would that be? It’s all about building brand awareness. While there are a lot of benefits to forming Screenweave as a new company, separate from Tightrope, one challenge with that approach is starting over to build brand equity and name recognition. I do appreciate this opportunity to help get our story out there!
to help broadcasters manage operations of their television channels. Over the years, it expanded to include online streaming at TV stations, mobile and OTT initiatives – we developed functionality for managing content across all these platforms. Recently, we have seen a demand for similar content management capabilities in other organisations, such as schools, government agencies, businesses and houses of worship. Institutions that want their own custom-branded video apps, on OTT and mobile, discovered that it was really hard to do – lots of elements are needed to bring everything together. Forming Screenweave as a separate company lets us leverage our rich experience, while focusing on the unique needs of establishments for whom video is simply a powerful communications medium, rather than their core business. What are you working on? We just unveiled our first solution – the self- named Screenweave content publishing platform. It’s a complete, cloud-based SaaS solution for
CEO: ALEXIS NORMAND COUNTRY: FRANCE STARTED: 2019
What’s your origin story? While working at eHealth tech company Withings, I realised that gamification could be a good way to change behaviours. Why not apply this to carbon emissions? We launched a free mobile app to help people estimate their carbon footprint and make more sustainable choices. The app helped us raise awareness, with more than 50,000 users. We then opened our automatic, personal CO2 calculator as an API. As banks became more aware of their societal role, they integrated Greenly into their mobile apps. We partnered with BNP Paribas, Tink, Pixpay and more. Today, millions of bank customers can become actors in the energy transition, by monitoring their personal carbon footprint. At Greenly, we estimated that with simple changes – such as green mobility or lower meat consumption – everyone could reduce their carbon footprint by ten to 20%. deployment of its B2B SaaS and shift its focus specifically on SMEs. Indeed, pressured by the US Green New Deal and new ‘EU taxonomy for sustainable activities,’ all businesses must manage their emissions – yet SMEs remained the missing link. This is where Greenly comes in: fresh with new capital, we will make carbon footprint tracking even simpler for SMEs. What are you working on? We recently raised $3m to accelerate the One of Greenly’s key innovations is to automate carbon analytics, using data accessible through APIs – namely accounting data or billing information from large GHG emitters. Greenly has developed an AI-powered analytics and recommendation engine to suggest practical ways to reduce emissions. For example, less carbon-intensive alternatives to suppliers. On the Greenly app, companies can train on fundamentals of corporate climate strategy. They benefit from gamifying carbon reduction initiatives through in-app challenges. Greenly complies with all international standards (CDP, GHG and TCFD).
What’s next? Greenly aims to set a new standard in the emerging field of automated carbon impact analysis! It makes carbon accounting easy and intuitive, helping companies of any size on their journey towards net zero emissions – through a 360 solution that provides carbon tracking, sustainability strategies and advanced AI-based tools. Each company should play their part in the fight against climate change. With this in mind, we aim to expand globally, work with more organisations and accelerate the vital transition to a low-carbon economy. If you could have anything right now, what would that be? Greenly is already being used by companies such as Gorgias, Outsight, Payfit and Swile. We need to strengthen our position in France to conquer the American market and go fully global. This requires raising funds. Combating climate change has entered the mainstream; corporate and venture capital investment in climate technologies is on the rise. Now, billions are pouring into the business of decarbonisation: the market of emission management will reach an estimate of $15bn to $26bn in the next five years. We are confident that Greenly will succeed – and help carbon tracking become a standard to reach zero emissions.
TIME TO START PLANNING YOUR CLOUD JOURNEY Broadcasters may not want all their playout in the cloud yet, but a solid strategy is essential
t seems inevitable that everything in media playout – and all other domains in media capture, management and delivery – will eventually be based on cloud technologies. But, despite the rising noise around cloud adoption, most playout today is still based on-premises – in dedicated, purpose-built facilities. And there are significant revenue streams dependent on their uninterrupted operation. That said, the Opex financial structure of cloud is becoming an increasingly desirable operational goal. In practice, switching to a fully cloud- based system over a short period may be difficult. Investment cycles, capital availability, personnel capabilities and local network capacity can all
hinder adoption. But the industry is transitioning, though the rates of change will vary considerably between broadcasters. Deploying cloud technologies on-site has become a stepping stone in migration to a public cloud – and a learning opportunity for broadcasters. A broadcast organisation is unlikely to have just one type of channel under its umbrella. There may be content that is not time-critical, which works perfectly well at SD, made available to OTT customers only. Channels like this can be made up of pre-prepared videos and pre-rendered graphics, with simple automation. It’s feasible to operate these entirely in the cloud, where content is uploaded once and stays there. On the other end are channels delivering quality live content, both over the air and OTT – like sports or continuous news channels – that are time-critical. Add in HD and UHD resolutions, a wider colour gamut for HDR content, or complex real-time graphics, and committing fully to the cloud may make less sense financially. But even these can benefit from a hybrid approach,
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will live alongside static channels, and back-to-back clip playback channels will be next to pop-up event channels. Technologies for deployment will be tailored to clients’ circumstances and business models. To support these diverse scenarios, Pebble provides solutions designed, installed and adapted for each type of deployment – whether SDI, IP/cloud or hybrid. Pebble’s new cloud-native, service-orientated platform, Oceans, represents not only new technology, but an innovative way to collaborate with customers. Oceans has been developed for easy deployment of updated software, with an emphasis on remote web-based operations, management and solution monitoring. A reflexive move to ‘all cloud’ may not be the most effective way to evolve your business. Having a solid technology strategy – and the right partner to help with it – means you don’t need to rush. No matter what stage of your broadcast journey, Pebble can make it work for you.
which provides improved redundancy, analytics or archiving via the cloud.
The coming years will see a variety of playout deployment models. Dynamic FAST channels
BL ACKMAGIC DES IGN – WATCH THI S SPACE
he meteoric rise of YouTube has been a spectacle of streaming and
an article-based website. In 2015, it trialled a YouTube channel focused on film and branched out into wrestling; a topic the team were passionate about. The latter was the golden ticket for WhatCulture, and off the back of this unprecedented success, it has since branched into other avenues. Focusing on a broad range of content, it found its own unique formula for YouTube triumph. “The growth of our wrestling channel gave us a recipe for success,” asserts video editor and content producer at WhatCulture, Phil Chambers. “Now, we have 12 channels reaching more than seven million subscribers every month.” As WhatCulture expanded impressively, its need for bigger and better studios grew with it. “The first studio we had was a storeroom inside our previous office,” says Chambers. “We stuck some
content over the past 15-plus years. Its transformation from a platform to watch pixelated cat videos, to multibillion-dollar content engine, has been an unprecedented realisation. A key stage in this transition was when YouTube turned its creators into benefactors. This triggered a tidal wave of budding content creators, diversifying the platform into a competitive marketplace, where to make it you had to find your niche. WhatCulture began its journey in 2006 as a blog discussing movies and popular culture, later becoming
WhatCulture is a cultural hub which includes a network of YouTube channels boasting millions of subscribers. Video editor Phil Chambers reflects on the journey from humble beginnings, to popular content streamer, and recent expansion
GOING ALL IN A new building has given WhatCulture a new lease of life
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