Exploring the future of media technology
Reporting on Ukraine
Movie studios and cloud Our NAB wrap-up
QC for streaming
Live broadcast round table
EDITOR IN CHIEF Neal Romanek +44 (0) 1223 492246 email@example.com
DIGITAL AND FEATURES EDITOR Verity Butler
CHIEF SUB EDITOR Alex Bell
SUB EDITORS Matthew Winney, Harriet Williams
CONTRIBUTOR David Davies
SALES DIRECTOR Sam Scott-Smith +44 (0) 1223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org
hat is the metaverse anyway? Don’t let the tech bros intimidate you. All you need to know about the metaverse
Ukraine is fighting for its existence, not to mention the rights of democracy and self-determination for people everywhere. Russia’s assault is a war of information as well, and one which began long before February of this year. In a special piece on war reporting, we hear how a Ukrainian broadcaster is getting the facts to its people – and learn how western broadcasters are sending the story to the rest of the world. Back in April, the team returned to NAB Show in Las Vegas. Our digital and features editor Verity Butler gives a complete review, including the top trends and friends we got to see first-hand. FEED loves to get out, meet people and cover the latest industry gatherings, so be sure to tell us about your media event and save us a seat!
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– and all just about anyone knows right now – is that it’s the internet with the characteristics of a 3D video game. Whereas the internet as we know it is based loosely on an old-school publishing paradigm, the metaverse internet will be much more like gaming. In this issue, we talk to tech companies already creating applications and services for the metaverse. Regardless of what it ends up looking like, there’s no doubt that virtual 3D spaces and assets are going to be a huge market in the future.
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Audio. Control. Power.
FEED:SHOW Our rundown of the latest in media tech news and product releases
Meet the Team Let us introduce FEED ’s new head of sales, Stephen Palmer! FEED is launching a brand to help you build winning sports content – welcome to FEED:Xtreme !
22 Announcing FEED:Xtreme
28 NAB Review
The broadcast tech industry returns to NAB Show in Las Vegas. Here’s the breakdown of what we saw NAB hosted a series of sessions for brainstorming solutions to media pain points. Check out their bright ideas
42 Cloud World – Studios
Major Hollywood studios are reaching for the cloud to boost their business, as well as their content We sit down with Paulette Pantoja, whose one-woman start-up is now a major QC solution for the biggest content owners on the planet
52 Genius Interview
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS
48 Ateliere 33 Blackbird 78
59 Dalet 99 Dejero 35 Grabyo 60 Grass Valley
How to build the metaverse We strap on our headsets and talk to the tech companies helping your business enter the metaverse A report by JP Morgan proves there’s a lot of real-world money to be made in the metaverse
102 Just the Numbers
Audio Design Desk
106 OraStream 110 Sensethefuture
66 War Journalism – Ukraine
News agencies are fighting to get the truth about the Russian invasion to the people of Ukraine – and the rest of the world Industry experts share their experience on live streaming and broadcasting in a post-lockdown landscape Our media friends share stories about their biggest tech challenges, and how they solved them – or didn’t
80 Masterclass – Live broadcast
114 Industry Inventory
121 Imagine Communications 88 Lawo 87 LiveU 108 MediaKind
74 Panasonic 36 Ross Video 16 Sony 100 Teradek
112 TSL 24 Vizrt 40 Zixi
FEED:SHOW is our tech expo in a magazine, headlining video workflow and distribution, new innovations and acquisitions – it’s all here
Words by Verity Butler
The past few months have seen a glut of fresh announcements, but don’t worry, FEED has you covered! We break down hot topics, industry vendor news – and more! TECHNOLOGY & DEPLOYMENTS
WALL-TO-WALL VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
LED virtual production studio ARwall and creative content company Butcher Bird Studios have combined to release a lens- emulation solution – ARFX Lens.
Rene Amador, CEO at ARwall, comments: “Working directly with major studios has given us insight into the best applications of XR virtual production.”
In a bid to make virtual production more accessible, ARFX will allow independent filmmakers access to the same tools available to major studio productions. “This new ARFX Lens integration of Canon – with our ARFX Pro plug-in for Unreal Engine – drives lens emulation for green/blue screen, AR overlays and edge matte set extensions, all in one product. Just plug in the serial cable to your on-set workstation’s USB port and it tracks focus and zoom, complete with lens distortion. “No additional video cables or gear-heavy lens encoders are required. There’s no set-up time at all, it’s plug-and-play – just connect the lens to your EF mount camera and it’s ready to shoot,” concludes Amador.
As trends surrounding PTZs continue to grow exponentially in 2022, a new launch arrived from Lumens. The VC-R30 IP PTZ comes with Visca control, as well as a new-generation Sony sensor. “Our customers increasingly need cameras that have the flexibility to adapt. The VC-R30 is ready to fit into traditional video workflows, IP-based streaming networks and interactive communication systems,” states general manager of Lumens Europe, Joris Nevens. The VC-R30 offers simultaneous 3G-SDI, HDMI, USB 3.0 and Ethernet video connectors, which allow for improved workflow flexibility.
Powered by Viz Engine, Vizrt’s latest announcement of Viz Trio is a module that can now be added to Grass Valley’s AMPP system for cloud-based live production and playout. Using the integration, customers will be able to easily access and deploy Vizrt graphics throughout playout tools, via GV AMPP. “Graphics are the most powerful tool a visual storyteller has access to. Engaging, realistic imagery adds visual quality, explaining complex concepts in seconds – this gives immeasurable benefit to the audience and the customer. Now, even more storytellers can access our innovative, creative graphics tools from within the AMPP system,” describes Gerhard Lang, Vizrt CTO. Viz Trio is also an NDI-native solution and will fit into any NDI-backed workflow. Coupled with graphics from Vizrt – through Viz Trio – endless possibilities are unlocked, for customers to create and distribute live content through the cloud.
The camera contains a 12x optical zoom lens, suitable for any location – from an auditorium to a small studio. On top of this, the autofocus system enables the VC-R30 to deliver sharp pictures. Covering a 72.5° horizontal FOV and with plug-and-play USB, the camera is also deployable for visual radio production. Compliant with most video production, video conference and streaming applications, the camera can be positioned upright or inverted to suit your space.
PLUG INTO THE FUTURE
Blu Digital Group launched BluSpot, its new cloud-based ad-marking software, available for licensing to content distributors and digital media service companies. Harnessing AI to take any video and automatically detect ad placement opportunities, BluSpot also validates selected ad breaks, based on a database of custom or predefined rules. “Distributors have had to update their monetisation strategies to keep audiences engaged, as the streaming SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
marketplace has evolved from pay- per-view to subscription, and now to advertising-funded models,” comments CPO George Rausch. BluSpot can be licensed as a stand-alone application integrated with other systems, or licensed with BluConductor. “Making the right choices contextually for ad breaks is crucial, to keep your audience engaged and happy. We are harnessing machine learning and AI, while putting a human-in-the-loop, so ad breaks enhance the viewer experience.”
Signiant has announced Media Engine, a management service that is built into the original Signiant Platform. Media Engine allows the company’s SaaS clients to easily search, preview and take action on assets throughout all of their storage. “Media Engine is a nimble, lightweight service built on the Signiant Platform, which is already widely deployed across the media supply chain thanks to its foundation of fast file transfer,” notes Signiant CPO, Rick Clarkson. “The platform’s unique architecture enables us to bring a variety of disruptive new services to market for our SaaS customers — Media Engine is the first.” Media Engine will come with every Signiant SaaS subscription, extending the value of its products – Media Shuttle, Jet and Flight Deck – well beyond file transfer. This expansion provides additional tools to help media companies streamline operations. ACCESSIBLE ASSETS Tedial has unveiled its new plug-in for Avid’s MediaCentral, which is fully integrated with the latest version of Tedial Evolution. Using simple drag-and-drop functionality, users can easily archive content from the Avid production environment or retrieve content from Tedial’s platform using MediaCentral – a single application that views Tedial as an additional content source or destination. Users browse the Tedial archive without downloading any content. They can then select the Avid MediaCentral location where they want to send the media.
GRASS IS GREENER
Grass Valley’s AMPP offering now provides full support for NDI, allowing users to benefit from a complete end-to-end integration for both on-premises and cloud workflows. With native integration of NDI into the AMPP infrastructure, it is possible to route a vast number of signals anywhere in the world. On top of this, the integration means AMPP provides support for full, graph-based signal flow manipulation, including provision for signal telemetry, routing, multiviewers and remote callers. “Building NDI into Grass Valley technology aligns with our vision to help customers as they transition to the future of media and entertainment, embracing software, cloud and IP workflows,” according to Andrew Cross, CEO of Grass Valley. NDI into AMPP can be used natively with all AMPP applications, including the
Live Producer, Master Control Switcher and full K-Frame production system. “This integration empowers media companies to employ streamlined workflows, giving them the agility to produce and deliver compelling live content,” Cross adds. More GV news came from its press conference at NAB Show, with the addition of free playout on its GV AMPP platform. Removing the playout charge on GV AMPP makes the cloud-native solution far more accessible to media and entertainment companies. “Just like any operating system, there are some core capabilities that should be included,” continues Cross. “Playout is one of these features; it should not be chargeable. By removing the cost of our basic AMPP playout product licence, we will make it more accessible, enabling firms to deliver the content they manage on AMPP effectively.”
Introducing ATEM Constellation HD New live production switchers with standards converters on all 3G-SDI inputs, DVEs, multiviews and more!
Includes Multiview with Labels, Tally and Meters The built in multiview lets you monitor multiple sources on a single monitor. All external SDI inputs, plus all internal video sources can be routed to any view. The multiviews are fully customizable and can be set to 4, 7, 10, 13 or 16 simultaneous views. You can also get a tally indicator, source label and VU meter overlay on each view. Broadcast Transitions, DVE, Stingers and More! ATEM Constellation HD includes a wide range of broadcast quality transitions such as mix, dip, wipe, and more. All transitions can be customized in the system control menus with adjustments for border color, border width, position, direction and a lot more! The ATEM Constellation switcher also includes a powerful digital video effects processor for DVE transitions. Choose from 3 Powerful Models! ATEM 1 M/E Constellation HD ��������������������������������� £789 ATEM 2 M/E Constellation HD ���������������������������� £1,329 ATEM 4 M/E Constellation HD ��������������������������� £3,009
Introducing the world’s most powerful HD live production switchers! ATEM Constellation includes advanced features such as DVEs, advanced chroma keyers, media players, multiviews and more! The built in Fairlight audio mixer includes a compressor, limiter, 6 band parametric EQ and expander on each input. Plus it includes the free ATEM Software Control for Windows and Mac. Standards Converted 3G-SDI Inputs! The ATEM Constellation HD family features models that have up to 40 independent 3G-SDI inputs, with each input featuring its own dedicated up and cross converter. That means it’s possible to convert any 1080p input source to the video standard of the switcher! That means each switcher SDI input can run a completely different television standard and it all just works! Customizable 3G-SDI Outputs The ATEM Constellation HD family have a massive number of fully independent 3G-SDI outputs. These SDI outputs are very powerful because you can independently route any SDI input or any internal source to each SDI output. That’s perfect for running independent feeds to stage screens, recorders and streaming processors. Plus all SDI outputs include RP-188 timecode, SDI camera control, tally and talkback.
SRP is Exclusive of VAT.
PASSED WITH FLYING COLOURS
This year has seen the start of many collaborations. That’s no less the case for Globecast, who recently joined the AWS Partner Program. Having completed and passed the AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR), Globecast can officially call itself an AWS Partner. The FTR allows Partners to identify and remediate risks in their products or solutions – including specific guidelines to reduce
manager at Clear-Com, Stephen Sandford. “With EHX 13, we’re offering greater redundancy options, as well as a truly game-changing feature with role-based workflows. We’re thrilled to continue to support our Eclipse-based systems with these innovations.” Redundancy is critical to ensuring that the Eclipse-based system will remain functional, even if there is a network failure. hazards around security, reliability and operational excellence. “We have worked with AWS across our media supply chain services, including major cloud playout projects with Crown Media and GAC Family,” comments head of marketing for live and sports at Globecast, Sebastien Fauzan. “AWS really looked at the services we can provide with MCN, closely examining the design, build and way it was operated.”
A ROUSING RECEPTION
A software update came from Clear- Com, with the release of version 13 for its Eclipse HX Digital Matrix Intercom. The initial release of EHX 13 includes N+1 IP card redundancy and network redundancy – as well as Layer 3 support for AES67 endpoints. “Clear-Com understands that users are constantly looking for improvements to both usability and reliability,” says senior product
Live video technology provider EVS has launched MediaCeption Signature 1.0 – the company’s latest-generation end-to-end asset management solution. It is aimed at productions requiring a fast turnaround. First presented at NAB Show 2022, the solution addresses challenges currently faced by sports, news, entertainment and generalist production centres. The product has been well-received by the industry, having already been selected for deployment by several major customers around the world. “Today, production centres need to manage and deliver a huge amount of content through a growing number of channels, while dealing with increasingly complex media workflows,” describes VP of solutions at EVS, Kerem Can. “The MediaCeption signature provides teams with the operational flexibility they need to be more productive in high-pressure environments – and situations where fast time to air is critical.” Leveraging EVS’ production servers, media workflow management tools and storage, the solution provides tight integrations with automation, NRCS and MAM systems for workflows, from ingest to playout.
A FLEX FOR TEAMS
Additional news from Dalet that coincided with NAB was the launch of Dalet Flex for Teams. Now fully hosted and maintained by Dalet, the SaaS offering lowers the cost of entry to professional tools for media companies, sports brands and corporate creative teams. “Dalet Flex has been cloud- native from day one, providing a strong foundation for our multi-tenanted SaaS offering,” says director of product strategy
and media workflows at Dalet, Mathieu Zarouk. “Key workflows like library management and content distribution were conceived with cloud operations in mind, and perfected through customer feedback, allowing us to bring these solutions packaged for fast deployment to a wider audience.” Using Flex’s tried-and-tested functions makes it far easier for customers to manage multimedia content libraries.
BUSINESS & INDUSTRY Get the inside track on crucial media deals – with a streamer’s acquisition of a star-backed data specialist, and more climate-committed companies declared
BROADCASTING TO ITALY Italian multichannel broadcaster Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) unveiled a multi-year agreement with Avid. “As a multichannel broadcaster delivering a massive volume of original content, it’s crucial to be ready to scale production capacity whenever we need it,” insists Ubaldo Toni, director of technology for RAI. “Augmenting our workflows
with the latest Avid solutions gives us a powerful foundation to deliver on today’s commitments and easily scale to support future projects.” The agreement consists of an extension to its long-standing use of Avid solutions, while also upgrading to the MediaCentral platform, Media Composer editing software and the addition of Avid Nexis storage systems.
Good practices and environmental sustainability across the media and broadcast industries are increasingly hot topics. Fuel was fed to this fire when DPP announced that 50 media companies had officially joined its DPP Committed to Sustainability programme. “As businesses must become more environmentally conscious, I’m delighted to have reached this important milestone,” emphasises Abdul Hakim,
the DPP Committed to Sustainability lead. “It’s a great start for our industry, but there is still a very long way to go. I’m looking forward to supporting more organisations with their ongoing sustainability journeys.” Enabled by members such as Atos and Red Bee Media, the scheme was first launched in 2019 and entails an assessment of a company’s progress against key environmental measures.
It also provides a common framework for procurement teams to assess the environmental impact of their suppliers. “Sustainability is becoming a key consideration for media companies, and we see a growing commitment to making a tangible difference in our industry. There is power in numbers, and as the programme grows, we will increase our positive impact,” states CFO of Red Bee Media, Edward Odevall.
End-to-end video streaming provider 24i revealed it had acquired UK-based data specialist, The Filter. Co-founded by musician and former Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel, The Filter’s data science, analysis and machine-learning technologies have helped consumers find and watch more of the video content they love. “OTT and pay TV customers at 24i know that increased consumer engagement is an essential element of business success. It drives down churn for subscription services and increases the lifetime value per customer in ad- supported business models,” highlights Neale Foster, CEO of 24i.
With a customer base consisting of Joyn in Germany, Epix in the US, BT TV in the UK and the BBC Studios- owned UKTV Play, The Filter’s managed service approach has accommodated a demonstrable increase in consumer engagement for streaming. “The Filter’s managed service is based on a ‘test, learn and refine’ AI-based methodology that sets it apart from other off-the-shelf recommendation engines and analytics packages. We are excited to bring this expertise in advanced, data-driven personalisation and recommendations to 24i’s modular offering,” concludes Foster.
LIVE MEETS LIVE
SHAPING THE FUTURE
A massive announcement came from Ateme, unveiling its creation of a strategic advisory board consisting of five people, that each represent distinct areas of the wider industry. Serving as a resource to Ateme’s executive leadership, the company hopes the advisory board can address the industry’s general transformation, reflecting on the future of content distribution and consumption. technology officer of Microsoft Azure Media and Entertainment. y Pascal Crochemore, vice president of technology and distribution at Discovery Networks International. y Weidong Mao, senior fellow (SVP) at Comcast. y Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV. “Our advisory board is a melting pot of leaders from different companies, regions and backgrounds, who each understand the challenges and business requirements of these changes, while not forgetting the key issue that we face today, which is sustainability,” explains Rémi Beaudouin, chief strategy officer at Ateme. “By creating the advisory board, Ateme surrounds itself with a combined expertise never before achieved in the industry, to continue its growth.” There are plans for more industry executives to join the board. The current members include: y Hanno Basse, former chief
Acquisitions are often a clear indicator that a vendor is solidifying a specific course for its offerings. This seems true for live streaming and remote production giant LiveU, as it has acquired Easylive.io. In a bid to expand its cloud video platform, the move comes with plans from LiveU to provide its customers with remote and collaborative tools for both cloud-based and hybrid productions – ultimately allowing them to quickly and easily scale up their productions. Samuel Wasserman, CEO and co- founder of LiveU, stated: “We’ve been reinforcing our strategy, as the industry
moves to cloud-based production, introducing brand-new services that meet the needs of customers moving to the cloud. “Recognised as the leader in mobile backpacks, we’re now consolidating our leadership in cloud-based offerings. This announcement is an important step, delivering future-proof tools that help our customers grow their business, building on our deep expertise in live production.” Easylive.io is a livestreaming production studio that sits in a browser, allowing users to mix any content type into live videos – and distribute to a wide audience.
STEPHEN PALMER: PEOPLE WILL SPEND MORE OF THEIR LIVES IN VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT BEING PART OF TEAM FEED ? Having only been in the industry for a few months, it’s been incredibly helpful speaking to Neal and Verity on the editorial team, and just soaking up their massive collective knowledge. We recently attended NAB Show in Las Vegas, and everyone commented on how much they loved FEED and the articles we put out, which makes my job so much easier.
virtual environments. While I can see the benefits this might offer in some cases, using VR to keep in contact with friends and family abroad for example, as a trend it might cause people to become more insular. WHAT TECHNOLOGY OR DEVICE DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD INVENT? I’m still waiting for my hoverboard from Back to the Future Part II … WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING LATELY? I recently binge-watched all of Succession and completed a second watch of The Expanse . I’ve recently started Yellowstone , which so far is just Succession with cowboys. Video games – I’ve had a PlayStation since I was about ten years old and still love playing all these years later. I’d say Red Dead Redemption 2 is my all-time favourite – it’s the best example of video games as an art form that I’ve ever seen. COOKIES OR CAKE? Cookies all day long. The chewier the better, and milk is a necessity. CITY YOU MOST HOPE TO VISIT ONE DAY? Somehow, I’ve still not managed to get over to Italy – so I’ll say Rome. VIDEO GAMES OR BOARD GAMES?
tephen Palmer joined FEED in the spring as our new head of sales. He’s responsible for helping customers and clients boost
their brands through advertising, sponsored articles and content creation services. Without that, we can’t keep the lights on. Call him and tell us how we can help boost your business.
NAME? Stephen Palmer.
JOB TITLE? Senior account manager.
LANGUAGES? Just boring old English, I’m afraid. WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE JOINING THE FEED TEAM? I spent eight years at PayPoint as media sales manager, helping companies in the FMCG, energy and mobile markets connect with shoppers in convenience stores. In total, I’ve been selling advertising for over 15 years. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE INTERNET WILL LOOK LIKE IN THE YEAR 2050? Probably not for the better, I think people will spend more of their lives in
Sony has been taking its environmental goals seriously for years – but is also on the road to pushing ethical business further. And it’s all part of a wider willingness to do the right thing for humanity
ustainability has become a blanket term that covers a multitude of processes. When we talk about
and our technological, economic and political systems have unleashed a tremendous amount of power in the past few decades. The global push toward sustainability is a recognition that we need to use our power with wisdom and care, if we plan to stick around for the decades to come. Vitally, when a global company puts principles of sustainability into action, the benefits can be huge. “With sustainability, we’re often talking about the environment and carbon footprint – but it’s wider than that,” says Barbara Rosseel, strategic marketing lead at Sony Imaging Products & Solutions. “It’s about inclusion and community impact.” ENVIRONMENT Caring for the environment is still one of the pillars of sustainability. Physics
making a business more sustainable, we may be referring to reducing its carbon footprint or water usage, its recycling policy or even its social impact. It has become so broad an umbrella that it is in danger of losing its meaning. In fact, when we sit down and ask ourselves what ‘sustainability’ really means to our company, it may take some time to pin down the issue. But when one gives it some sustained thought, what becomes clear – is that we, as businesses and individuals, have the ability to cause harm that’s dramatically out of proportion to the benefits we are creating. As Voltaire said, ‘with great power comes great responsibility,’
across all sectors. Road to Zero was implemented back in 2008, when scientists were still shouting about environmental emergency, but few companies were paying attention. The plan sets goals from four environmental perspectives: curbing climate change, conserving resources, controlling chemical substances and promoting biodiversity.
In keeping with most corporate responses, 2050 was selected as the year when Sony was to become carbon neutral. But realising the gravity of the situation, the company just announced that its targets were to be moved up ten years to 2040. CLIMATE In December last year, Ethisphere recognised Sony as one of the ‘World’s Most Ethical Companies’ for the fourth consecutive year. Ethisphere evaluates organisations across five categories – governance, leadership and reputation, ethics and compliance, culture of ethics, and environmental and societal impact. This year’s list includes 136
and nature don’t care about our good intentions. If companies don’t start making dramatic changes in how they operate, the results are going to be ugly – in many cases irrevocably so. Sony’s ‘Road to Zero’ is the company’s environmental plan, which strives to achieve a zero environmental footprint throughout the life cycle of Sony’s activities,
WITH SUSTAINABILITY, WE’RE OFTEN TALKING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT – BUT IT’S WIDER THAN THAT
IF WE WANT TO IMPROVE, WE NEED TO START BY MEASURING CORRECTLY
companies from across 22 countries and regions, and 45 industries. The media and entertainment wing of the company is making its own inroads into sustainability, responding to an industry that has listed this as a high priority. A report from industry trade association, the DPP (Digital Production Partnership), outlining the key issues media businesses face listed sustainability as a priority. “What was interesting, however,” notes Rosseel, “is that a DPP round table on this issue admitted there is not a common understanding about what exactly sustainability means – and that we don’t know how to actually measure it. If we want to improve, we need to start by measuring correctly.” Organisations like Bafta’s Albert initiative and CDP have started offering the industry simple and standardised ways of accounting for their environmental impact. Sony is looking into partnering with these bodies to help set up easy ways of measuring carbon emissions and ecological impact. Sony has been a major proponent of cloud working and IP technologies, launching one of the first major film industry cloud services with its Ci platform. Remote working, enabled by cloud and IP, are going to be essential in reducing environmental impact going forward. It’s a simple truth that flying will need to be dramatically curbed, in order to stay safely within survivable carbon budgets. These technologies can curb the need for excessive transport, heavy hardware and idle on-premises hardware. “Cloud won’t make all the difference,” says Rosseel. “But travel is the thing in production that has the
biggest impact. We want to be able to help broadcasters and productions collaborate efficiently using cloud, with less travel and fewer resources needed on the ground.” MATERIALS Sony is a manufacturing company, so innovation around what and how it produces goods is particularly important. R&D on this issue is ongoing and ambitious. The company recently invented a new carbon material, dubbed Triporous, made from rice husks. It offers potential applications in fields such as water and air purification, and industries like textiles. The innovation enables the intelligent use of rice husk waste – which is normally a carbon emitter – by creating a substance with a unique microstructure that makes it a much better filter medium than conventional activated carbon. Sony has also developed a material called Sorplas, made by blending recycled and waste plastics, such as from optical discs and water bottles, with a Sony-developed retardant. The new material can then be used in the production of other Sony products. In its more conventional product line, Sony engineers are finding ways to reduce the use of virgin plastics – and manage materials more efficiently in the hardware they produce. The Sony VENICE cinema camera, for example, was made to be 20% lighter and 40% smaller than its Sony F65 predecessor. Lenses are also lighter, meaning more efficient shipping, as well as reduced raw materials in their manufacture. Well aware that its job is to produce material goods, Sony’s focus is on making those goods as sustainable as possible – and using them to help other companies.
WATCH THIS VIDEO WITH QR CODE
SUSTAINABILITY ROUND TABLE WITH SONY’S PETER SYKES
“We do build hardware. It’s not eggs and tomatoes,” says Sony’s Zab Pierce, senior European PR and social media manager. “We don’t want to be hypocritical. We want to be committed partners in helping our customers be sustainable. So not only do we have our corporate policy initiatives, but we also work with customers to help them deliver sustainable solutions.” Sony offers recycling and take- back initiatives for used equipment. Its camera factory in Pencoed, Wales – powered by renewable energy sources – is a hub for camera refurbishment. Machines that can be given a second life are sent back out into the industry. “We’re also making codecs more efficient,” says Pierce, “so that – at every level – we’re reducing the carbon footprint.” WORKPLACE Ultimately, sustainability is about creating a quality life for people. Sony’s workplace culture and business practices come back to this theme again and again. Every vendor Sony interacts with needs to be operating in an ethical and responsible way, in line with Sony’s
Supply Chain Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct requires that Sony suppliers treat their workers fairly and according to principles laid out by the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). Notably, this also includes a recognition of workers’ rights to form and join trade unions, and bargain collectively – an indication that Sony’s respect for worker wellbeing is more than just talk. Industry organisations that promote equity and wellbeing are also very much on Sony’s radar. The company is a major sponsor of the Rory Peck Trust and its annual awards show. Rory Peck is a charity established to support freelance journalists and their families globally, with financial assistance, training and personal welfare assistance. Sony also backs Rise, the broadcast industry organisation devoted to furthering gender diversity across the media tech sector. Mechanisms are in place to help Sony toward reaching its ambitious sustainability aims. To hold itself accountable, the company requires that executive bonuses are tied to sustainability performance measures. When a company of Sony’s size makes positive changes, results can be significant, and – perhaps just as importantly – might start to influence others to do the same. The business leaders of the 21st century have to put more into the world than they take away. “We’re aware that sustainability is more on our customers’ radars, especially since COP26 last year,” says Pierce. “But Sony has an edge in this space, because we’ve been very public and quite ahead of the game compared to some competitors.”
AT EVERY LEVEL, WE’RE REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT
AUDIO DESIGN DESK
CEO: GABRIEL COWAN COUNTRY: USA STARTED: 2020
What’s your origin story? My name is Gabriel Cowan. I am the CEO and co-founder of Audio Design Desk. When I was 20 years old, I was lucky enough to get signed to Geffen Records and went on to receive a couple of platinum albums. In 2000,
I was hired to score a movie for Roger Corman and discovered my love of filmmaking. I went back to school and earned a masters degree in film directing from CalArts in 2008. I then started a company called New Artists Alliance and produced over 20 feature films. Independent filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. You bring everything you know to every production. Having spent so much time creating music, the sound for our films often landed in my lap. Audiences may tolerate bad visuals, but they will not stand for poor sound. Yet the tools we use to create our soundscapes are digital versions of a tape machine, a technology that is over 100 years old. As a result, the process of finding and placing sound for visuals is manual, slow and frustrating. This problem affects every film, podcast, ad and social media post. What are you working on now? Audio Design Desk is the only DAW built for videomakers. It uses a patent-pending AI called Sonic Intelligence to assist creatives in producing sound, resulting in a creative experience that outpaces the competition. It comes with 50,000 royalty-free sounds, loops and music cues, and works as a stand-alone application or through
integrations with Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, Avid, Resolve and most other video software tools. Our mission is to replace the manual and frustrating process of sound for video with an experience that is easy, inspiring and fun. What’s next? In January, we won a CES innovation award. In February and March, we started working closely with Adobe and Apple. We launched our Final Cut Pro workflow extension at NAB in April and won product of the year and best of show. Now it is time to raise a seed round, so we can tighten integrations, build our mobile offering, expand marketing efforts and multiply the user base. If you could have anything right now, what would that be? I’ve always wanted a pet dragon, but if that’s not possible, I’d like to amplify our message. Audio Design Desk democratises cinema-quality audio, so anyone can make great soundscapes easily.
INTRODUCING FEED:XTREME! FEED’s popular sports section Xtreme is launching as its own brand! s one of the top news and information sources
finally ready to go into the world as its own B2B media brand! FEED:Xtreme is a bimonthly magazine, accompanied by content across multiple media, including video, web and events. Whether you’re a broadcaster, a stadium, an esports company, a college conference or even a high school team, Xtreme will offer you case studies, tech profiles, research and expert opinion to help take your media to the next level. So, what exactly can you look forward to in Xtreme ?
for the broadcast industry, FEED has always made sports coverage a priority. The section Xtreme dealt with news, as well as case studies, interviews, round tables and analysis from the world of sports and action media. With more FEED readers – and partners – taking an interest, the section grew bigger until... well, we’re proud to announce that Xtreme has outgrown the confines of FEED magazine and is
SCAN TO READ THE FIRST ISSUE OF FEED:XTREME !
The ever-popular Game Zone section will continue, with even more coverage of esports, gaming and digital competition. From lone Twitch streamers to fully VR-enabled combat in virtual environments, the video gaming sector is a wellspring of new content – watched by a fan base that dwarfs most conventional sports. Game Zone will educate on esports trends, while illustrating how gaming can be turned into content in surprising and lucrative ways.
Live is at the core of sports broadcast. Delivering action as it happens is more than just getting the perfect shot. It’s about the right workflows, communications and distribution partners. There’s only one chance to capture a goal. Miss it, and you’re fighting off a lot of angry fans – and advertisers. Learn how the experts are innovating on the pitch and in
the studio, using everything from cellular networks to satellite, bringing audiences closer. Live broadcast is in a whole new realm, with remote production and cloud-based tools replacing dispatched crews and OB vehicles. This, plus other innovations around lighting, power and smart vehicles, means that the sector is getting much greener!
OTT & STREAMING
Of course, it’s ‘stadia,’ not ‘stadiums’ – as you well know. The word ‘stadium’ originally indicated a measure of length, about 1/8 of a Roman mile – around 180 metres – and was derived from the Greek ‘stadion,’ meaning both a running race in the original Olympics, the building in which that race was run and the length of that race (again around 180m). Events today aren’t that different from 750 BC Greece. What has
changed is how spectators can enjoy the action, with big screen A/V, interactive mobile content, pre- and post-game initiatives and ever-expanding capabilities for connectivity and production. Whether it’s a school football pitch or even a one-of-a-kind international event space, Xtreme ’s coverage and insight around stadium tech will help you build the best live experience possible for fans.
Easily available streaming platforms mean that even a small sports brand can reach people globally. Whether broadcasting via social media, or through your own platform, Xtreme will introduce you to technologies and techniques which leverage everything internet distribution has to offer. Most fans are now ready to access content on multiple devices, via streaming and on- demand. This is an amazing opportunity for entrants into sports media to interact in newer or better ways – offering more engagement for existing broadcasters, clubs and federations.
ON THE SAME TEAM Sports can inspire us to rally round a community, or just get out the door and challenge ourselves. Contrary to the misinformed opinions of a few, sports have always been a force for social and political influence. The initiative of individual athletes can encourage society to do better. Muhammad Ali’s outspoken protests against war and racism cost him his title, but
In every issue, Xtreme talks with top innovators about new ways of getting sports action to audiences, building revenue and staying on the cutting edge of content creation. We sit down with broadcasters, heads of leagues, clubs and federations, technologists, start-up innovators and, of course, athletes. Round tables discuss fan engagement, workflows, sustainability or esports. And provocative conversations yield important insights – for readers and the participants. COACHING FROM THE EXPERTS
became an inspiration for human rights activists around the world. Today, organisations and athletes are increasingly vocal about issues like gender equality and racial justice, or bringing people together to take on the biggest challenge humanity has faced: environmental collapse. Xtreme brings you those stories of how sports media is being used to make the world better.
CLOUD IS READY FOR SPORTS – AND FANS Live sports producers are jumping into cloud production – and Vizrt is giving them the tools to do it C
t this past NAB Show, everyone wanted to talk about cloud and NDI ® ,” recalls Sam Leadsom, Vizrt commercial director of global sports, about this spring’s return to the annual Las Vegas mega trade event.
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Vizrt, with the acquisition of NewTek and its NDI technology in 2019, has found itself in a sweet spot. The company can provide NDI-enabled IP and cloud solutions married to high-end broadcast technology, at a time when businesses are rethinking how they produce live content. “We have done several POCs with broadcasters, sports federations and production companies, and there’s interest in the abilities of our products in the cloud – and how they integrate natively with NDI. We also have excellent collaboration with providers like AWS and Azure, helping us support those customers,” asserts Leadsom. The pandemic brought the possibilities – and necessities – of cloud and remote production to the forefront of everyone’s minds. How could people do production, when they weren’t able to access their on-premises set-ups? At the height of lockdowns, Netherlands-based marketing and advertising services firm Media.Monks was tasked by a sports league to
THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL SPORTS ANALYSIS SOFTWARE
help produce 20 games in 4K UHD. However, each arena could only have two crew members on-site. CREATIVE WITH CLOUD Media.Monks produced a solution that included six unmanned cameras placed around each arena, with live games distributed via AWS. Vizrt’s live- production Viz Vectar Plus offered the company a completely remote solution and secure bridge to the cloud. Media.Monks’ distributed, cloud-connected team was truly international, with members in the UK, US and Brazil.
By the end of last year, Vizrt had considerable experience under its belt in helping customers produce live productions in the cloud. Sky Germany presented the top match in the Liqui Moly Handball- Bundesliga between SG Flensburg-Handewitt and Füchse Berlin fully in the cloud, using Vizrt’s switching, graphics and sports analysis tools deployed in AWS. The broadcaster employed Viz Vectar Plus for switching, Viz Libero for sports analysis, plus Viz Engine and Viz Arc for graphics, using the NDI Bridge feature to bring the program feed from the cloud back to Sky HQ in Munich. The set-up included a mix of broadcast and mobile phone cameras, using simple 5G transmission – provided by O2 – to move signal from camera to cloud with near-zero latency. In addition to TV coverage, the game was streamed for fans on skysport.de, and Sky Sport Germany’s YouTube channel. A TRUE CLOUD PRODUCTION – WITH HARDLY ANY LATENCY
FOR THE FANS More recently, Vizrt helped the NHL implement a full-cloud workflow to create a dedicated fan-engagement feed. “It was really interesting. The feed was trying to reach the Gen Z audience and employed AR models and Roblox,” remarks Leadsom. “For the live broadcast, the director was in New York, the technical director in Los Angeles, and the analysis using Viz Libero was done from Toronto. A true cloud production – and there was hardly any latency.” Cloud-native parallel broadcasts like this create huge opportunities for reaching out to fans on multiple platforms, with content tailored to various audience segments. Most sports broadcasts start with a hybrid approach, choosing replay or graphics remotely in the cloud – with a switcher on-site, for example. “We’re at this hybrid level, where we want to provide the ability to choose which parts of the production the customer wants in the cloud, and which on-site.” Sports broadcasters will get a further boost from this year’s release of Viz Libero 8, Vizrt’s editorial analysis tool – and they will be employing it at the end of this year on one of the biggest events in the calendar. “Viz Libero 8, the latest update, was delivered after extensive customer research and feedback,” says Leadsom. “Every aspect has been improved, and we’re really pleased at the initial response. It comes
FROM A DISTANCE While the broadcast itself involves many moving parts, the logistics of a full-cloud workflow are simple and can be conducted anywhere
with a new GUI that offers faster interactions and fewer clicks when creating analysis clips. The design effectively shortens the time needed to create pre-, post- and in-game content for live sports. “Reducing turnaround time is one of the most important things. If a goal is scored just before half- time, the presenters want to analyse that goal as the first thing in the half-time highlight reel. You need to be able to give the producer choice. ”The Football World Cup is happening and Viz Libero is going to be an excellent tool for broadcasters to enhance their coverage. We are offering 3D models of all World Cup stadiums and in time for the event, customers can look forward to more improvements coming with another release.” DEFEATING LATENCY “Vizrt’s ambition since inception,” explains Leadsom, “has been to provide products and solutions for each room in the broadcasting house – supporting social media and user-generated content. We constantly innovate in live production and recently introduced the Object Tracker, an application enabling real-time tracking and adding graphics to multiple objects in a video. XR Playbook and Arena with its real-time AR and virtual advertising capabilities, Viz Libero and the
PITCH PERFECT Viz Libero 8 is an elite sports analysis software package
upcoming release of Viz Engine 5 – which integrates with Unreal Engine 5 – are perfect for sports, showing how we respond to our customer’s needs. Eventually, all of these products will be cloud-ready.” Latency is the enemy of sports content. Split- second timing and synchronisation of elements are the essence of competition itself. So, it’s no wonder broadcasters approached cloud cautiously initially. But offering production capabilities under its new vision of ‘cloud at the speed of live,’ Vizrt is making high-stakes cloud production not just a possibility, but a necessity. “There is a lot of latency out there – a lot of delay. But we really can offer ‘cloud production at the speed of live.’ Most stadium sports could be done in the cloud now. It’s just a matter of scalability.” Find out more about Vizrt World Cup Offer 2022 – bit.ly/3Gb2LYT . Sign up for a Viz Libero Premium or Ultimate edition, and the Libero AR option, to receive virtual 3D models of every World Cup Stadium – ready for use*. Terms and conditions apply.
WE REALLY CAN OFFER ‘CLOUD PRODUCTION AT THE SPEED OF LIVE’
Words by Verity Butler
It was finally showtime in Las Vegas, and the FEED team was there, talking face to face with media tech exhibitors and vendors for the first time since 2019. Here’s our debrief on what we found, who we met and the patterns that emerged
ell folks, we did it. After three years
apart, we finally got the chance to meet in-person. From the moment we set foot in the Las Vegas Convention Center for this year’s NAB Show, there was a sense that something special was taking place. With only a few scattered meetings booked in on the Saturday, we felt a tangible buzz in the air on the LVCC floor. Teams busied around like ants, perfecting their booths, readying for kick-off the next day. The Saturday prep day was helpful for us as a team, to get our bearings. That included walking the brand-new and impressive West Hall (which quickly turned out to be quite the trek from the North and Central Halls) – but then discovering the futuristic solution to that trek: the Loop. A bizarre, underground tunnel, glowing in spacey blue lighting, you could jump into one of a constant
THE WILD WEST Check out the exterior of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s brand-new West Hall. It was so expansive and a fair distance from all the other halls, so the Tesla-powered Loop proved essential transport throughout the show
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