Exploring the future of media technology
Exploring the future of media technology
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STAFF WRITER Katie Kasperson DIGITAL WRITER Samara Husbands CHIEF SUB EDITOR Matthew Winney SUB EDITOR Ben Gawne JUNIOR SUB EDITOR Lori Hodson CONTRIBUTORS David Davies, Jeffrey Metzger, Adrian Pennington, Phil Rhodes, Fergal Ringrose ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Sam Scott-Smith +44 (0) 1223 499457 firstname.lastname@example.org SALES MANAGER Emma Stevens DESIGN DESIGNER AND AD PRODUCTION Man-Wai Wong DESIGNER Emma Di’Iuorio JUNIOR DESIGNER Hedzlynn Kamaruzzaman DESIGN MANAGER Alan Gray DESIGN DIRECTOR Andy Jennings PUBLISHING MANAGING DIRECTORS Andy Brogden & Matt Pluck FOLLOW US linkedin.com/company/feedzine @feedzinesocial +44 (0) 1223 499462 +44 (0) 7376 665779 email@example.com
kay, we’re doing this. Welcome to the autumn issue of FEED , where we attempt to tackle arguably the biggest tech topic of 2023. Conversational AI tools, chatbots, whatever you want to call them, have dominated headlines for the last year. A lack of understanding of the ethics surrounding the AI-powered tools has led to a series of legal battles, political confusion and social media fails. But, fears aside, this mightily powerful tech is redefining almost every industry in the world at an exponential rate. Speaking of, this issue also delves into the ways broadcasters are cleverly leveraging AI, and how vendors are increasingly integrating it into media solutions. 5G has only just been rolled out, but we are already thinking about what’s next. We have an exploration of the potential offered to M&E by 6G in this issue’s
Future Shock. Also, don’t miss Genius Interview, where we meet broadcaster turned podcast producer Erin Trafford – who shares her insight on the closing gap between the two media models. Meanwhile, the latest Xtreme shares updates on all things sports graphics, as well as a data-related case study exploring the IPL cricket tournament. This issue comes on a bittersweet note, however, as we wave goodbye to FEED ’s head designer Man-Wai Wong. Over the years, Man-Wai has delivered edition after edition of wickedly creative designs, shaping FEED into the iconic brand we know it as today. Exceptional talent aside, he is a good friend and will be sorely missed. Be sure to fully appreciate his final work in this issue, and head to our digital library to delight at his large portfolio of FEED design ingenuity. Goodbye, and good luck!
This month’s cover illustration was created by Man-Wai Wong at Bright Publishing
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IN THIS ISSUE
078 Masterclass: Live tech People now expect perfection for all live streams. Our expert panel probe how to achieve it 066 Sustainability journeys Big media brands have reviewed their environmental impacts and developed low-carbon roadmaps 046 Just the Numbers 036 AI in broadcast 056 Genius Interview 020 AWS Summit 2023 We attended this year’s AWS Summit – and it was bigger and better than ever 026 Interviewing ChatGPT Conversational AI tools dominate the headlines at the moment. We ask one to explain itself 016 Happening: Studioverse The FEED team headed over to London to check out Studioverse’s Festival of Limitless Creativity 006 FEED:SHOW Our rundown of the latest media tech news and industry announcements Reports show that, despite the steadfast popularity of radio, it is on something of a gradual decline Broadcast tech vendors are becoming increasingly creative when it comes to leveraging AI Podcasting and broadcasting are increasingly intertwined – expert of both, Erin Trafford, explains why
090 VOD Voices: YouTube YouTube is the founding father of video platforms. What does its future hold? 102 Future Shock: 6G 6G is going to enable a lot of metaverse-related technologies, but are we ready for it? 108 Industry Inventory Meta-experts predict what impact the metaverse will have on media and entertainment
START-UP SNAPSHOTS 033 Gan.ai 050 Hydrologiq 065 Riverside 075 Sparkup 084 Louper 095 Volograms
117 Sports Reporter The biggest news bulletins from the sports and esports divisions of broadcast media 128 Sports graphics special We uncover the latest tech and trends in the rapidly evolving sports graphics space
138 Delivering the IPL
FEED finds out how to achieve a sports live stream as successful as the 2023 Indian Premier League
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT FROM OUR PARTNERS
023 Cobalt 024 Zixi 034 Ross Video 042 Norsk
052 Sony 055 Grass Valley 062 TSL
085 Dejero 086 Harmonic
126 LTN 134 Brainstorm
096 Lawo 100 Riedel 112 CVP 124 LiveU
136 Qvest 144 Sony
064 Signiant 074 Appear 076 MPB
044 Atomos 051 Pebble
Apple breaking into VR, virtual
production collabs and
green podcasts are merely a few updates from the broadcast world
Words by Katie Kasperson
It’s hard to keep track of the freshest announcements in such a fast-paced industry – but FEED has all the headlines in product launches and innovations! TECHNOLOGY & DEPLOYMENTS
SAFE AND SOUND NanoStream Cloud is now even more secure with NanoStream Guardian, which blocks unauthorised access. The new service provides robust stream protection and addresses the concerns of publishers and IP holders. Illegal playback and replications are a challenge for many content providers, since they may be forced to compete with their own content that is being distributed on an illegitimate platform. NanoStream Guardian appears on NanoStream Cloud’s analytics dashboard, providing an overview of suspicious activity and subsequently blocking identified threats. GOING FOR GOLD TVU Networks is providing its cloud-based live production tools to broadcasters and content creators at the 2024 Summer Olympics. The Games, due to take place at 35 venues in mainland France and Tahiti, will also require a dedicated technical support team. TVU’s key offerings will include its remote-production ecosystem, which features the TVU RPS One, RPS Link Encoder, Producer and Remote Commentator. The company will be able to provide synchronised multicamera production – with
ON THE HUSH-HUSH Yellowtec’s OnAir Controller, which – it’s in the name – controls on-air signalling, is available as the Hush or Hush+. Both offer extensive features and functions, but Hush+ has additional controls such as a mute button. The devices work with any M!ka mic arm or mounting system. Hush+ also serves as a full-strength mic preamp. With the Hush app, users can adjust the gain of their microphone signal, activate phantom power and even remove unwanted background noise. Five modes cover integration options for applications such as live streams, prerecorded audio productions and the like. camera, a new area for apps and life- sized FaceTime calls – all controlled by sight, sound and touch and housed in a dedicated operating system – VisionOS. Users can switch from augmented to A NEW VISION In June, Apple unveiled its ‘spatial computer,’ a VR/AR headset called the Apple Vision Pro. It features two ultra-high- res displays and advanced spatial audio for immersive entertainment experiences, wherever the wearer. Branded by Apple as a ‘personal theatre,’ the Vision Pro boasts more pixels than a 4K TV. Other impressive features include a 3D
virtual realities for working, gaming, streaming and so on. The Vision Pro includes something called EyeSight, meaning the user’s eyes can be visible or blurred to signal whether they can see their surroundings. For those who wear glasses, Apple plans to offer an additional lens attachment. The battery life leaves something to be desired, promising two hours of use before needing to be plugged in. But that aside, the Vision Pro will be available in early 2024 in the US (late 2024 in other countries) for a retail price of $3,499.
shots of the venues, athletes and fans, of France and any relevant breaking news – and accompanying audio commentaries. TVU will also offer 24/7 support throughout the entire event, in addition to an onsite team.
PODCAST FOR THE PLANET Planet Hope, a 12-part podcast series by The Times , uses Emmy award-winning Cleanfeed to record remotely. This podcast is one of many produced by Anya Pearce, as well as The Times environment editor Adam Vaughan, and includes interviews with individuals providing solutions to protect the planet.
Cleanfeed’s online studio for audio recording is popular with radio journalists and podcasters. Multiple tracks support interviews with more than two people at a time. According to Pearce, who needs to broadcast top-quality, real-time audio over the internet, Cleanfeed ‘makes location irrelevant in terms of audio quality.’
CRITICAL CONNECTION Dejero provided connectivity to TJC, a British home-shopping network, after the facility’s fibre lines went down. TJC usually relies on a single network, which was compromised for a number of days. Dejero’s EnGo mobile transmitter provided wireless connectivity during this critical period. “Our management team were incredibly grateful for the immediate support and understanding Dejero delivered,” explained Martin Willingham, TJC broadcast manager. The EnGo helped TJC push live video onto YouTube, provide graphics and price updates to an auction channel from an off-site location and assist with the operational side of TJC’s business.
IN ALL DIRECTIONS Profuz Digital’s latest version of SubtitleNext includes innovative capabilities in vertical text, supporting East Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The system offers text in every direction – right to left, left to right, top to bottom and bottom to top – and emphasis elements to aid in pronunciation. SubtitleNext also allows exports of error lists as CSV files, issue checks and processing times, all while ensuring aspect ratios are not disrupted. “SubtitleNext’s new version brings game-changing advances that enhance functionality and user experience,” noted Profuz CEO Ivanka Vassileva.
Dejero also deployed GateWay, with Smart Blending Technology to combine wired and wireless IP connections and form a ‘network of networks.’ This provided a powerful temporary connection. “Dejero’s customer service was incredibly impressive,” continued Willingham, explaining how this helped TJC ‘establish solid, secure connectivity for a multitude of devices and systems that would have otherwise been offline.’
CONCERTED EFFORT Launched in 2019, Funicular Goats – a multicam, cinematic production company – has established an impressive reputation across the live event, broadcast and streaming industries. It has worked on high-profile projects such as stadium concerts, Super Bowl halftime shows and much more – and achieves its success using AJA equipment. Funicular Goats works with stakeholders to establish a workflow design and equipment list tailored to each project. This may include cameras, intercoms, monitors and more, with projects averaging 10-20 cameras. Most projects require live grading and SDR delivery, though HDR is becoming more commonplace for larger- scale events. Additionally, 4K footage is a must. Recent credits include working with Elton John, The Weeknd and the Foo Fighters, plus Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Rwanda’s Authentic Church is a religious community, with its Kigali- based Radio O broadcasting services to regional listeners. To manage this successfully, Radio O implemented Lawo’s Relay solution with help from distributor Mediacity. Though the group operates out of a 5000-person capacity place of worship, it lacks a central equipment room. To circumvent this, Radio O installed Lawo Relay, a virtual radio mixer. This way, the station can
use its existing IT infrastructure and route signals to Lawo Relay via Ethernet. The software allows operators to broadcast an entire radio station via a single computer and even control it remotely. This project is the first of its kind in Africa and represents a trend within faith-based broadcasting. According to Radio O’s head of programming Evans Mwendwa: “The new workflows now elevate the quality of our programmes.”
ITALIAN INNOVATION Grass Valley is supplying broadcast production company NVP’s Cologno- based Innovation Hub with an AMPP SaaS platform, Orbit orchestration, Fabric IP switching, Kahuna 9600 production switch, Kaleido-IP multiviewer and Audio Live for audio routing. Italian Grass Valley distributor Video Progetti was responsible for the entire integration process.
The Innovation Hub currently contains two studios, six dubbing rooms and OB van gateway, allowing for quick integration. NVP has plans to replicate this hub in its Rome, Naples and Messina centres to aid in remote production of sporting events. With Grass Valley’s Orbit orchestration and AMPP platform, NVP productions are scalable, flexible and cost-effective.
MEETINGS MADE SIMPLE Ross Video’s newest broadcast system, Quorum, represents an advance in meeting- control technology. Designed for legislative customers, Quorum promises an easy-to-use platform even for inexperienced operators. Quorum’s simple controls and intuitive UI minimise complexity, and it integrates with a wide range of existing equipment. With thumbnail-based camera selection, users can choose the most appealing angles from up to three concurrent shots, and incorporate high-quality graphics and overlays to enhance presentations. Quorum also includes built-in security to adhere to corporate IT policies, granting access only to authorised users.
EUROVISION 2023 The United Kingdom – on behalf of 2022 winner Ukraine – hosted the 67th Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) earlier this year, broadcasting live from the Liverpool Arena. Over 160 million people tuned in to watch 37 countries compete, requiring complex light, sound and stage designs. Disguise rose to the challenge, creating a custom- developed stage-management system that was essential to the programme’s success. Disguise delivered several LED displays for the stage – covering the floor, side walls and ceiling. This was then managed by five programmers, one projectionist as well as two system engineers, who collectively designed, layered and processed content that was unique to each act. They used Disguise’s Designer to create and switch between assets during live performances. This year’s ESC saw turnaround times of under a minute between acts – not nearly enough time to physically rearrange the set. To circumvent this, Disguise created a digital solution that illuminated 1250 individual marks on the LED stage throughout the event. These were developed for four months in conjunction with the BBC as well as the screens production and stage management teams. These quick transitions, controlled remotely via iPad, ultimately ensured a smooth show. Disguise has now completed two official ESC partnerships – the first being in Tel Aviv in 2019. ESC’s success results from the collaboration that occurs behind the scenes. “Everything and everybody performed above and beyond expectations,” insisted the performance’s head of video, Chris Saunders. Having won this year’s contest, Sweden is now set to host the 2024 ESC in the southern city of Malmö.
IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH Asklepios Kliniken-owned private TV station Health TV – which serves the German hospital group – is using Amagi’s cloud solutions to delve into FAST technology. The channel will enjoy increased reach, educating audiences on health, medicine and well-being. Amagi’s Cloudport playout platform and Planner content scheduler are enabling Health TV to create, manage EQUIPMENT UPGRADE Spanish public broadcaster RTVE has selected LiveU to provide IP bonding technology and cloud-based services to production centres all across the country. With over 150 items supplied, RTVE has increased its content- gathering capacity as well as its production efficiency. LiveU provided LU800s, LU300s, LiveU Ingest and LU-Smart mobile apps with the help of its local partner, Sinopsys Distribución Integral (SDI). RTVE’s national centres include two in Madrid – including the main hub – one in Barcelona and one in the Canary Islands. RTVE has another 17 regional centres and a number of international field units.
and distribute its linear channel, with the optional inclusion of adverts. Health TV is one of the largest digital video platforms in German healthcare, adhering to guidelines set by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, the WHO and the National Academy of Medicine. The channel already streams to Waipu.tv, Rakuten TV and Zattoo and plans to launch on even more platforms in the coming months.
Media tech business strategies are constantly evolving to keep up with broadcast trends. That leads to a stream of new partnerships – and these are the latest! INDUSTRY NEWS
WEST COAST BEST COAST M2A Media is expanding into the North American market, signalling the company’s increasingly international focus. Putting roots down in Portland, Oregon, M2A’s operations team will manage a new media control room (MCR), enabling them to further serve close to 25,000 live events every year. M2A now has MCRs in Portland, London and Dhaka, with teams in various time zones. This will allow them to respond to customer needs in real time. “Not only are we now closer to our customers on the West Coast, but also to key technology partners such as AWS,” said M2A Media COO, Leon Box.
FOR THE LONG HAUL ERA and Tedial recently announced a long-term partnership, in which ERA will deliver services through Tedial’s SmartWork media integration and Evolution asset-management platforms. By combining both companies’ unique capabilities, ERA clients will be able to access an all- encompassing service. “This is a mutually beneficial partnership that’s going to bring many exciting opportunities to both of our companies,” claimed Tedial’s business development manager, Manu Martínez Ruíz. The integration will make consumers’ lives easier, letting them be ‘self-sufficient and able to deliver managed services quickly and cost-effectively.’
ON THE DOCK The BBC and Dock10 have extended their multi-year contract, with Dock10 continuing to provide studio space, infrastructure and post-production services to the BBC until at least March 2027. Since 2011, Dock10 has helped the BBC create hundreds of programming hours. Dock10 has collaborated on both pre-taped shows like Blue Peter , Match of the Day and A Question of Sport , and live events like the investment in dedicated local resources to serve the needs of our partners and customers there,” commented Hénique. Biatturi and Gudino bring over 35 years LET’S GO LATAM VuWall has expanded its Latin American presence with the appointment of two new hires: Jorge Biatturi, sales director, and Diego Gudino, senior applications engineer. Both employees will ensure local sales and engineering support in the LatAm region and report to Eric Hénique, executive VP of international sales. “These appointments reflect the
of combined AV experience to VuWall, helping the company continue its innovation in visual solutions.
Olympics, Fifa World Cup and Children in Need. The company also contributed to the creation of BBC Bitesize Daily . “Over the last 11 years, we have worked closely with the BBC to grow and adapt our services in the fast-moving world of television,” said Dock10 chief executive, Mark Senior. “We look forward to supporting the BBC as they continue to make world-class content using our facilities.”
AD ECOSYSTEM Yahoo and Samba TV have entered a strategic partnership, allowing Yahoo to provide its advertisers with a campaign- targeting and measurement solution in the UK and Canada. This follows a preexisting deal in Australia, which helps advertising agencies manage their TV budgets within the Yahoo ecosystem.
Samba TV’s smart TV solution will integrate into all three markets, helping advertisers connect with audiences across digital devices. The move “reflects ambition to bring solutions connecting advertisers to audiences with greater precision, scale and seamless ad experiences,” said David Barker, SVP of international sales at Samba TV.
LucidLink added Minute Media and DC Thomson to its list of clients – media companies that use its tech for remote collaboration. LucidLink’s cloud- based solution allows teams to prioritise creative output. LucidLink helps Minute Media’s video content creators collect on-location coverage. DC Thomson, publisher of the world’s longest-running weekly comic, The Beano , uses LucidLink to eliminate upload and download times. It allows “editors, photographers and videographers… to work fluidly in a way that wasn’t possible before,” remarked DC Thomson video editor Callum Main.
Visual Data has fully acquired EVA Localisation, a European provider of both dubbing and accessibility services, with 56 studios across Spain, Germany and France. This acquisition will now enable multi- language dubbing, subtitling and more – with a keen focus on the European market. Visual Data’s team of international experts will benefit content creators and distributors both globally and locally. “With EVA, we are better equipped than ever to support our customers in delivering high-quality localised content,” said Visual Data CEO John Trautman. Visual Data already enjoys regional expertise in the US, the
UK, India and the Philippines, but anticipates Europe being a key market. “We want to ensure our clients have access to these services when they need them,” stated Simon Constable, Visual Data’s EVP of global language services. Thanks in part to EVA, Visual Data can offer content from VOD and audiobooks to podcasts, in a wide range of languages.
EASTERN OPPORTUNITIES Quickplay has coupled with Google Cloud to deliver digital opportunities to broadcasters, streaming providers and others in the Middle East. This effort comes as part of Quickplay’s global expansion strategy. Existing customers include Aha in India, PLDT in the Philippines and MSG Networks in North America. By leveraging Google Cloud’s regional data centre in Qatar, Quickplay can serve customers cloud-native solutions, FAST services, low-latency video as well as real-time recommendations. According to Kip Schauer, Google Cloud’s global head of M&E and gaming partnerships: “Quickplay has proven repeatedly they have the vision, commitment and expertise to drive positive market results for the media industry in the Middle East and beyond.”
REAL DEAL Advanced Systems Group (ASG) has partnered with Zero Density to provide its line of virtual studio, AR and graphics technologies to broadcast, esports and live event productions. This association sees ASG expand its existing systems- integration portfolio. Zero Density is best known for its Reality Engine, which uses Unreal Engine
graphics for real-time video I/O, keying, compositing and rendering, all via one machine. It also offers Traxis, an AI- powered tracker for LED sets and green screens, for producers to create and capture photorealistic displays. “They’re taking photorealistic XR to a new level,” said Dave Van Hoy, ASG president. “We believe it’s the highest quality available.”
Feature Productions Inc, a Canadian live event production company, uses a variety of Atomos products in its mobile production trucks. With multicam coverage of sporting events like rodeos, bull riding, hockey and MMA, Feature Productions requires a range of equipment to provide content across Western Canada. “Atomos has its fingerprint on everything we do,” said Steve Prankard, owner of Feature Productions Inc. The largest production truck contains two Shogun Studio 2 and two Sumo 19SE recorders, multiple converters and Sumo, Shinobi and Shogun monitors. The ‘B’ truck is also loaded with Atomos products. “We love the compact design and powerful impact,” Prankard continued. “Atomos has been a game changer for us in building our mobile production facilities.”
STUDIOVERSE: THE FESTIVAL OF LIMITLESS CREATIVITY
The FEED team attended this one-of-a-kind festival hosted by Studiospace in the creative heart of London’s South Bank
Words by Katie Kasperson
tudioverse: The Festival of Limitless Creativity was an all-afternoon event that truly lived up to its label. Held in South London’s Oxo Tower Wharf, the festival featured a stacked line-up, endless
“We’re removing the wizard behind the curtain,” revealed Boris Guyon-Pelfrene, the head of design at Studiospace. He and Hyde demonstrated Studiospace 2.0, a new platform that provides even more choice, convenience and control. The update has a modern look and feel, improved taxonomy of agency services, integrated contracting as well as algorithmic matching. “Everybody is talking about AI,” said Guyon-Pelfrene about the latter, explaining they would have been wrong to overlook it. But The Festival of Limitless Creativity wasn’t one big, in-your-face advertisement. Chock-full of exhibitors – some Studiospace clients and others thought leaders – Studioverse had something to offer every attendee, including a gallery of select photos by Rankin, a live mural creation and an escape box. There was a lot to learn, too, with talks on the hottest topics including AI, TikTok and NFTs. DIGITAL DISRUPTION NFTs were a contentious subject, with Rankin being anti and Gala CEO Sarah Buxton being pro. For artists like Rankin who have been creating for decades, NFTs can seem like a Ponzi scheme if not researched properly. Buxton explained the opposite is true – buying an NFT is like collecting a work of art. Historically, art collectors profited while artists suffered, but with NFTs the creator earns and the consumer still enjoys exclusivity. Buxton provided examples of how Gala uses NFTs to encourage decentralisation. Gala’s music platform operates on a token-based system, with fans allocating tokens to artists whose music they want to hear – taking a cut when that music is played. Snoop Dogg, one of Gala Music’s early adopters, met with fans as a thank you for their investment, both financial and figurative.
food and drink, a sprinkle of celebrities and plenty of energy. Kicked off by Studiospace CEO Pete Sayburn, it served as a live demonstration of what the company does – in brief, it’s a matchmaking service that helps indie agencies find clients and vice versa. CREATIVE COLLECTION Founded by Sayburn and Gideon Hyde not yet two years ago, Studiospace is a one-stop shop for agencies across marketing, digital and everything in-between. In that time, it has onboarded over 250 agencies, matching them with big-name clients like Google, Walmart and more. The company hopes to shake up the industry and put an end to the Mad Men era. In other words, it helps clients go from brief to kick-off in days, ensuring every project is tackled by the best possible team.
POWERING THE FUTURE The event was full of fascinating talks and exhibitors
Creative industries, like music and streaming, are being disrupted across the board. Rankin has seen this first-hand with photography, thanks to the rise of social media and smartphone cameras. “We’re competing with amateurs professionalising one TikTok at a time; a cultural land grab,” he said during the talk ‘Why a picture is worth a million pounds.’ “Five years of training costs a lot of money to learn what any five-year-old can do on a camera phone in five seconds. It can feel very reductive,” Rankin said. “But that doesn’t mean the power of photography has been diminished.” He argued that photography is more powerful than ever. Images are our new cultural currency and primary form of communication. “We live in a performative society and people are getting better at performing – at capturing and editing content.” So how can photographers stand out among the crowd? Rankin listed 15 hacks, including: do the opposite, simplicity sells, brands are people and shareability is key – to make (not take) great photos. “Great photographers make me feel and think something. That’s the holy grail of image making.” SUCCESS IS SQUIGGLY Another standout session was Helen Tupper on ‘How to create a squiggly career culture.’ Based loosely on Carol Dweck’s research on mindsets, a squiggly career takes a non-linear approach to success, treating failure as necessary and valuable. “There are know-it-alls, and learn-it-alls,” explained Tupper. Learn-it-alls have room for growth, whereas know-it-alls have nowhere to go. Squiggly career companies honour your values and strengths, work to build confidence and community, are not afraid to instigate tough conversations and encourage exploring possibilities. As part of the company she co-founded (Amazing
If), Tupper works with organisations like the BBC, Visa and Microsoft to support squiggly careers. A LASTING IMPRESSION Studioverse: The Festival of Limitless Creativity offered marketing executives, agency leaders, artists and journalists a chance to meet potential collaborators in the heart of a creative enclave. Pete Sayburn, Gideon Hyde and the Studiospace team made each attendee feel valued – a testament to their person-centric approach. After mingling, listening and learning, we came away feeling inspired and excited about what’s next for our digital world – and the people within it. SAYBURN, HYDE AND THE WHOLE STUDIOSPACE TEAM MADE EACH ATTENDEE FEEL VALUED
SAFE SPACE Pete Sayburn, Studiospace CEO and co-founder
Words by Verity Butler
June saw the FEED team head over to London’s Excel for the latest from the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud provider
eginning its lifespan in a similar fashion to a stamp collection, AWS started as Amazon’s side project in 2006.
entry of these businesses into this exhilarating new technological era. AWS summits are free events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate and educate. Held in cities across the globe, they attract technologists from all industries and skill levels who want to learn more about how AWS can help them innovate quickly and deliver flexible solutions at scale. A GENERATIVE GENERATION The day was crammed with keynotes, speakers and seminars to target the range of trades present. We made sure to attend the session ‘Generative AI industry accelerators for enterprise transformation,’ where representatives from AWS and its partner Accenture delivered insights into how enterprises can leverage this pervasive technology. The Accenture Amazon Web Services Business Group combines the resources, technical expertise and industry knowledge of both Accenture and AWS. It aims to enable businesses to accelerate the pace of digital innovation and realise incremental advancements in value from cloud adoption. It’s no wonder that the next step of this partnership’s
Fast-forward to 2023, and AWS is cloud royalty. Of course, there are so many other offerings out there, but as of 2023, AWS is considered the household name. Here are some metrics to highlight this: y AWS accounted for 32% of the cloud infrastructure services market in Q2 2021. y It generated a revenue of $13.5 billion in Q2 2021 – representing a growth rate of 37% over the previous year. y It is used by one million active customers across 190 countries. That’s what made this year’s AWS Summit in London even more pivotal. Centralising its deep well of customers in London’s Excel conference centre, the summit saw swathes of visitors from broadcast to fintech and banks to insurance firms. Everybody was there to learn how the cloud giant is coping with the ever-changing tech landscape; and most importantly, how it can help facilitate the
messaging was to encourage the early adoption of generative AI. ‘Machine learning is at an inflection point’ and ‘machine learning has reached an age of industrialisation’ were the two arguments central to the presentation. There was a breakdown of how every single industry can be impacted by generative AI. Therefore businesses need to stop doing two things – fearing it and viewing it as a fad. OPTIMISED SUSTAINABILITY Another talk that caught our attention was ‘How Channel 4 optimise for sustainability with AWS Well-Architected.’
Beginning with an interesting bit of Channel 4 VOD trivia (did you know 4OD was the first VOD platform of its kind for UK TV?), it quickly delved into explaining how AWS was able to optimise its digital infrastructure for greener practices. Usually, networks dodge any technical sustainable practices questions with the simple answer: ‘Well, we’ve migrated into the cloud.’ But the speakers from Channel 4 highlighted the fact that they felt just moving your digital architecture into the cloud isn’t enough. That’s what made this interesting. It’s refreshing to see a function within cloud computing that works to optimise your systems for sustainability. AWS Graviton processors deliver the best performance per watt of energy used in Amazon EC2 – and the best price performance for a range of workloads. According to AWS, Graviton-
SPEAKERS FROM CHANNEL 4 HIGHLIGHTED THAT MOVING YOUR DIGITAL ARCHITECTURE INTO THE CLOUD ISN’T ENOUGH
based Amazon EC2 instances help customers like Channel 4 reduce their carbon footprints by using up to 60% less energy for the same performance as comparable x86-based instances, while also providing up to 40% better performance. WHO RUNS THE WORLD? Other news from the summit included a report from the data analytics firm Beauhurst, exploring female founders of tech start-ups and demonstrating their determination to defy trends in investment deals. Research shows tech companies with at least one woman founder have grown from £71.5m in 2013 to £1.85b in 2022. The number of these deals has jumped from 103 to 850 in the same period. But despite this, start-up tech companies with at least one woman founder are still underrepresented in terms of private funding, receiving just 8.96% of equity investment made into high-growth technology businesses in the UK. TECH COMPANIES WITH AT LEAST ONE WOMAN FOUNDER HAVE GROWN FROM £71.5M TO £1.85B
The report shines a light on the UK’s funding landscape – with a focus on women tech founders and other underrepresented entrepreneurs – to show where progress is being made and highlight opportunities to further support diversity. Additional key insights include: y UK company incorporations with at least one female director increased from 211,000 in 2013 to 272,000 in 2022. But they only represent 34.2% of 796,000 total incorporations in 2022. y Between 2013 and 2022, the value of deals secured by tech companies with one or more
Scan the QR code to download the full report
founders from outside the UK rose from £794m to £12.6b; meanwhile, the number of deals increased from 765 to 2784.
Words by Ciro Noronha, PhD A LESSON IN
An efficient and low-latency remote production is a basic broadcast requisite. Slick video compression is the answer
ou have probably heard the old saying ‘there is no free lunch’ – we are going to apply this to video compression. You would
so the trade-off is simpler – quality versus bit rate. If you can afford the higher bit rates, it is visually lossless. HANDLING BIGGER BIT RATES Going down even further in bit rate requires more advanced compression. We are now talking about AVC (H.264) or HEVC (H.265). Options such as JPEG XS and similar technologies process each frame in isolation, only looking at a few lines at a time. They cannot benefit from the correlation that exists between larger areas of a frame, or between frames. However, making use of such correlations increases the latency. So, we are back to our latency/bit rate/quality trade-off. We can get good quality at a low bit rate, but the latency may be unacceptable. For example, you can get good-looking 1080p60 content at 3Mbps (a 1000:1 compression) using HEVC, but the latency will be several seconds – which is clearly wholly unsuitable for remote production. The good news is that these compression standards (especially HEVC) can be fine-tuned for extremely low latency, still providing a reasonable bit rate. That 1080p60 signal can be compressed to something between 30 and 60Mbps, with excellent quality
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like to have high quality, low latency and low bit rate. Unfortunately, you need to pick two and compromise on the third. If you are doing remote production, you want high quality and low latency, which will cost you in bit rate. This is true regardless of technology; what changes is how much bit rate it will cost. BEGINNING WITH BASEBAND Baseband digital video can be transported directly over IP using SMPTE ST 2110. Quality is pristine, latency is usually negligible, but you are looking at 1.5Gbps for HD, 3Gbps for 1080p50/59.54/60 and 12Gbps for 4K. If you have access to that kind of bit rate and are prepared to pay for it, that is your solution. If you need to go down in bit rate, look at JPEG XS and similar technologies which can be carried over IP, using VSF TR-07 or TR-08. And it gives you a compression rate selectable between 2:1 and 10:1, so 1080p signal can go as low as 300Mbps. The latency is only a few lines regardless of compression ratio,
and an end-to-end latency of less than a frame because it uses past frames to help compress the current frame. Keep in mind, not all HEVC encoders and decoders are capable of operation at such latency ranges. Don’t forget audio – you won’t be able to use a traditional audio codec, which will add at least 20 milliseconds of latency, if not more. Audio needs to stay in baseband: use SMPTE ST 302M for putting it in a transport stream with the video. Regardless of where you are in your bit rate requirements, Cobalt Digital has the right product. If you want to go baseband with ST 2110, look at the Indigo line. If you need JPEG XS, there is the Sapphire line. Finally, if you want to go all the way into compressed streams, Cobalt can offer the Pacific 9992 encoder/decoder line, with ultra-low latency options.
BASEBAND DIGITAL VIDEO CAN BE TRANSPORTED DIRECTLY OVER IP USING SMPTE ST 2110
Live video distribution innovator Zixi is enhancing the efficiency of its software platform as part of a broader drive to encourage sustainability in broadcast & media
he vision of a media landscape full of highly efficient and sustainable
businesses is widely shared. But in terms of demonstrating a meaningful way forward for vendors and software companies in particular, there is no question that live video distribution innovator Zixi has been a trailblazer. With more than 1000 media customers and 400 partners, Zixi’s Software-Defined Video Platform (SDVP) provides a comprehensive modular platform for live video distribution. Designed to work with any IP-based technology – although delivering the greatest efficiencies when deployed with Zixi’s own protocol – SDVP comprises five main elements: ZEN Master (control plane), Zixi Broadcaster (media gateway), Live Video Transcoding (transcode option), Intelligent Data Platform (AI/ ML analytics) and Zixi Edge Compute (high-performance connectivity). Zixi executive chairman and CEO Gordon Brooks confirms the centrality of energy efficiency to its sustainability goals, and reveals the most recent development revolves around a shift to the use of ARM chips with the latest version (V16) of Zixi Broadcaster. “ARM processors require 50% less energy, and cost 50% less than other processors,” says Brooks. “Already a huge improvement in efficiency – increasing even more when our own protocol is used.” A brief look at the statistics confirms the resulting boost to energy efficiency. “Compared with a software using SRT as an example, Broadcaster V16 is 4.4x more efficient when transporting live video,” explains
GORDON BROOKS Executive chairman and CEO, Zixi
Brooks. “When we launch V17 in time for IBC 2023 later this year, that figure will rise to 14x more efficient. Moreover, these efficiencies carry forward to ARM, which creates a multiplier effect (throughout the distribution workflow). It’s important to note the Zixi Protocol compresses null packets and is video aware, resulting in a bit-rate requirement of 50% – this is network-efficient and cuts cloud egress by 50%.” FULLY FOCUSED ON SUSTAINABILITY For Zixi, this is only the latest in a series of measures designed to boost the efficiency and sustainability of its many solutions. “We have been very focused on these areas for the last three or four years,” says Brooks. “You could summarise it briefly as giving our customers the ability to do more with less! Sustainability is becoming more important for many customers, but
Significantly improved processing throughout, shaving as much as half off infrastructure requirements 60% LESS COMPUTE
Content-aware delivery efficiencies to further reduce infrastructure load 50% LESS BANDWIDTH
Added support for ultra-efficient ARM processors, enabling exponentially efficient resource utilisation, including new AWS Graviton 2/3 processors, delivering enormous leaps in performance while reducing carbon footprint
Awarded DPP Sustainability shelf for developing innovative sustainability solutions
As well as making its platform more efficient, the company has been subjecting the environmental impact of its day-to-day operations to scrutiny. “We are as mindful as possible of our business practices,” says Brooks, who agrees with the suggestion that the pandemic has increased the industry’s acceptance of remote working. “For example, we have reduced our travel requirement considerably. Unless there is a specific
around 100 people. “We have a primary headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts, US and a factory in Tel Aviv, Israel, along with people in Asia, Europe and Latin America. But most of those are based out of their homes,” states Brooks. Looking ahead, Brooks is confident of further enhancements to SDVP’s efficiency, thanks in no small part to the vision of Zixi chief technology officer and founder Uri Avni. “He is brilliant and knows this space so well having worked in it for many years now,” he concludes. “Whenever he sets his mind to something, he studies it from all angles in order to get the best possible result. For specific next steps, we will be looking at GPUs and how that whole aspect can become more efficient – it’s an incredibly exciting area.”
it’s also the right thing to do whether or not they are especially involved. Certainly, if you can present the economic benefits – and with such big reductions in energy consumption that’s not hard to do – then more and more people will engage with the topic. As I know from a recent online event in which I participated, ‘sustainability with payback’ is a term that is used a lot these days.”
training session or a meeting that calls for in-person attendance, we don’t require people to go into the office.” In any case, the company itself is
WHEN WE LAUNCH ZIXI BROADCASTER V17 FOR IBC 2023, THAT FIGURE WILL RISE TO 14X MORE EFFICIENT
streamlined, with a global workforce of
Words by Verity Butler and ChatGPT
Mainstream news headlines have been prolific with conversational AI coverage. We’ve decided to let it argue its own case
n the ever-evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, one breakthrough has captured the attention of researchers, developers, and enthusiasts alike. Meet ChatGPT, an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, designed to engage in natural and dynamic conversations with users. With its remarkable ability to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses, ChatGPT is setting new benchmarks for conversational AI systems. ChatGPT is built upon the foundations of the highly acclaimed GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, which has been at the forefront of language generation models. It has been trained on a vast corpus of text from diverse sources, allowing it to grasp an immense amount of knowledge and patterns in language. The model has a remarkable capacity to understand and respond to queries, making it an invaluable tool for a wide range of applications. One of the key strengths of ChatGPT is its ability to engage users in conversation across a multitude of topics. Whether you’re seeking assistance with technical problems, looking for creative writing suggestions, or simply engaging in casual banter, ChatGPT can hold its own. Its versatility is due to its vast knowledge base, which covers a wide range of subjects, acquired through its extensive pre-training process. With each interaction, ChatGPT further refines its responses, ensuring that conversations become more accurate and contextually appropriate over time. SMARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE Verity here. Now we’ve allowed the robot to finish its sales pitch, let’s take a moment to appreciate that within 30 seconds of typing the cue ‘write an article on ChatGPT,’ all you have just read (and more that I didn’t include) was adeptly composed. The wider FEED team and I seem determined to put ourselves out of work. Last year’s AI special delved into the
ITALY WAS THE FIRST WESTERN COUNTRY TO BLOCK CHATGPT DUE TO PRIVACY CONCERNS
SOCIETY HASN’T DECIDED YET
A headline story in May 2023 was that of a New York lawyer facing a ‘court hearing of his own’ after it was found that his firm had used ChatGPT for legal research. According to the BBC, the lawyer protested a collective naivety when it came to the
tool, ‘unaware that its content could be false.’ The reason the firm was found out in the first place was because its filing was found to reference example legal cases that did not exist. A pretty massive mess up on its end, granted.
However, the example does highlight a greater issue surrounding the tool – the dangerous combination of ignorance and a lack of understanding; which then causes a greater societal confusion concerning the ethics of technology. Think
of people’s fears about the invention of the telephone. Different countries around the world are taking decisions into their own hands. In April 2023, Italy was the first western country to block advanced ChatGPT, due to privacy concerns.
mysterious realm of AI art, where our designer worked in collaboration with the tool Midjourney to create one of our most exuberant covers to date. Now we have acknowledged my imminent career-end, let’s ask ChatGPT about some of the other societal impacts that come in tandem with the recent advancements in conversational AI. VERITY: Outline both the positive and negative societal impacts of ChatGPT.
ChatGPT: Positive societal impacts of ChatGPT:
y Access to information: ChatGPT provides users with access to a wide range of information. It can answer questions, provide explanations, and offer guidance on various topics. y Language learning: ChatGPT can assist in language learning by engaging in conversations and providing feedback on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. y Customer support: Many companies and organizations use ChatGPT as part of their customer support systems. It can handle customer inquiries, provide basic troubleshooting assistance, and offer product or service information. y Mental health support: ChatGPT can serve as a supportive tool in mental health settings. It can provide a listening ear, offer coping strategies, and suggest resources for further assistance. Negative societal impacts of ChatGPT: y Misinformation and biases: ChatGPT may inadvertently provide incorrect or misleading information, as it generates responses based on patterns it has learned from training data. If the training data contains biases or inaccuracies, ChatGPT can reinforce those biases or perpetuate false information, potentially leading to the spread of misinformation. y Lack of accountability: As an AI language model, ChatGPT does not have a personal identity or responsibility. This can make it challenging to hold ChatGPT accountable for its actions or the consequences of its responses. It may not have a moral compass or ethical judgment, potentially leading to harmful or unethical advice or behaviour. y Dependency and reduced human interaction: Relying heavily on ChatGPT for information and communication may reduce human-to-human interaction. Excessive
dependence on AI for social interactions can hinder the development of social skills and empathy, leading to potential isolation or diminished interpersonal relationships. y Privacy concerns: ChatGPT interactions may involve sharing personal or sensitive information. There is a risk that this data could be stored, analysed, or used for purposes beyond the immediate conversation, potentially compromising user privacy and security. Overall, while ChatGPT has several positive impacts, it is important to address the potential negative implications and work towards mitigating them through responsible development, continual improvement, and robust oversight. LACKING THE HUMAN TOUCH Verity again. Although it is a thoroughly comprehensive, if slightly wooden, list of AI societal side effects, the list of negatives is lacking one crucial bullet point. Perhaps the AI is too ashamed to admit it to itself? Who knows. No matter how well explained, precisely worded and concisely structured, it just doesn’t read or feel the same. And I’m not the only one who feels this way. Casey Neistat is one of YouTube’s loudest voices, amassing a following of 12.5 million subscribers and a gargantuan 3.1 billion total views of his content. Documenting his life in New York, Neistat’s videos warmly resonate with his audience. Delivering a shockingly raw, emotional – but humorous – style of filmmaking, his IT DOESN’T READ OR FEEL THE SAME. AND I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO FEELS THIS WAY
Here is a poem that ChatGPT wrote about FEED : A ROBOT’S SONNET
Man-Wai Wong, with design, cast his spell, creating a visual symphony, where stories dwell. Each page a canvas, a fusion of art and thought, engaging readers’ minds, leaving them begot. And in the new year, a change took flight, Verity Butler, the editor, shining bright. January arrived, a torchbearer to succeed, continuing FEED’s legacy, fulfilling its need. From Neal’s departure, a new chapter unfolds, Verity’s pen, the story now unrolls. She guides the ship with grace and insight, nurturing the voices that bring FEED to light. So let us raise a toast to FEED’s boundless might, a magazine that illuminates with its might. With BRIGHT’s creative touch and Verity’s reign, FEED shall thrive, its brilliance sustain. For in the realm of knowledge, where ideas intertwine, FEED magazine stands tall, its essence divine. Broadcast, media, sports, tech, and more, a beacon of wisdom, forever to explore.
In the realm of knowledge, where ideas ignite, a magazine was born, shedding vibrant light. FEED, the quarterly publication it became, a beacon of wisdom, setting minds aflame. Launched in 2018 by Neal Romanek’s hand, covering broadcast, media, a wide-ranging strand. Sports, technology, and entertainment’s embrace, FEED unveiled secrets, a world to embrace. Within its pages, a treasure trove unfolds, insights and strategies, stories untold. A knowledge hub for businesses far and wide, to accelerate and grow, with confidence as theirguide. Published by BRIGHT, a creative agency’s heart, in Sawston Cambridge, where innovation’s art. Their vision, a tapestry woven with care, bringing brilliance to life, beyond compare.
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