AV Cover 120.qxd 11/28/11 11:11 PM Page 1 Brave new world of 3D television New OB truck for Supersport Nigeria Facelift for Dept of Health learning channel Record Record attendance attendance at at IBC IBC Video analytics in retail environment InfoComm MEA ends on high note Transforming staff in broadcast environments Contents AV Specialist Volume 120 12 3D television – brave new world In his series of articles aimed at provoking a debate, AV Specialist features editor Dick Hobbs considers the 3D debate at IBC2011 15 UbiSoft to open video game studio in Abu Dhabi Ubisoft and twofour54 Abu Dhabi have announced the upcoming opening of a new Ubisoft development studio in Abu Dhabi. 20 Record attendance at social IBC Dick Hobbs reflects on IBC2011, and considers the implications of the biggest talking point, connected TV and multi-screening Avatar director James Cameron was at IBC this year making a number of highprofile appearances. His plan is to take the Cameron Pace Group worldwide and demystify 3D production - making it practical and affordable for television. Publisher & Managing Editor Kevan Jones [email protected] Feature Editor Dick Hobbs [email protected] Editor Bev Kempster [email protected] Circulation Renate Mortimer [email protected] Designer Rajiv Gopalan [email protected] Advertising sales Africa, Middle East, UK Kevan Jones Europe Emmanuel Archambeaud [email protected] Represented in North America by: Broadcast Media International Michael Mitchell Tel: +1 631 673 3199 [email protected] Represented in the Middle East by: AV Specialist MENA FZ LLC PO Box 502314, Dubai United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 (0)4 391-4718 Fax: +971 (0)4 345-2898 Represented in South Africa by: Doddington Direct cc PO Box 3939, Honeydew, 2040, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)11 083-6418 Fax: +27 (0)86 525 3852 Represented in Europe by: Def & Communication 48 Bd Jean-Jaurès, 92110 Clichy, France Tel: +33 (0)1 4730 7180 Fax: +33 (0)1 4730 0189 Ave qualified circulation (July - December 2010) 4079 24 Video analytics go beyond loss prevention More and better tools to combat retail theft have come to market in recent years, including video analytics software. 36 Broadband meeting highlights key role of youth Broadband commissioners and interested representatives of governments, private sector and civil society met in Rwanda’s capital Kigali during September to focus on challenges, priorities and strategies that can help get the African continent wired to high-speed networks. Publisher’s Note As we head toward the end of the year I am reminded of a quote attributed to Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth President of the United States. “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” It’s a mindset that I embrace most heartily so while I’m writing this column in early November I think it’s as good a time as any to share peace and goodwill with our readers and their families. Christmas is still a while away but since this is the last issue of the year, please accept my thanks for your continued support and my best wishes for a prosperous 2012. During the first quarter of 2012 SACIA is presenting the IABM’s new training programmes to the broadcast industry in South Africa. From 18-19 January we’re hosting their new course; Broadcast & Media Technology – Understanding your Industry. This 2-day course aims to familiarize delegates with the latest developments in broadcast technology. It’s a general course designed for people who require a broad appreciation of the technology trends impacting the market. From 9-10 February we’re then running Audio & Video Essentials for Engineers for graduate engineers and technologists. (more information on page 35) Both courses have been developed by the IABM based on feedback from the broadcast market so they’re up-to-date and specifically relevant to today’s market conditions. 1166019 Product news JVC Professional introduce GY-HM150 ProHD camcorder At IBC 2011, JVC introduced the GY-HM150 – the latest model in their popular ProHD handheld camera line. The GYHM150 includes a range of technological improvements that offers users total flexibility and a fast editing workflow, including the option to record in both SD and HD formats and the ingenious Pre Rec mode. It’s also JVC’s first handheld to feature dual SDHC/SDXC card slots allowing simultaneous recording to both cards for instant back-up or seamless relay recording between cards for continuous shooting. The compact hand-held 3-CCD camcorder records 35Mbps high definition video and uncompressed audio directly to inexpensive SDHC/SDXC media cards in both the native QuickTime format used by Apple Final Cut Pro and MP4 file format, offering one of the industry’s fastest shoot-to-edit workflows. Grass Valley launch LDK3000+ camera At IBC2011, Grass Valley launched a new version of its Xensium CMOS camera, the LDK 3000, adding functionality normally found only on premium system cameras. The new LDK 3000+ includes secondary colour correction and new software algorithms to get the very best performance out of lenses, all while the price remains the same. To address the problem of chromatic aberration, the shifts in colour registration detectable at the edges of a lens, Grass Valley has developed a solution called CLASS—Chromatic Lens Aberration and Sharpness Solution—a software process which works in conjunction with lens data using industry standard interface protocols. As well as minimizing the effects of chromatic aberration, the process also results in up to a 40% improvement in overall image sharpness at the left and right edges of the picture. Broadcast feel for smaller cameras New Carbonite Control Panel Unveiled at IBC 2011 Following the successful launch of the Carbonite midsize production switcher earlier this year, Ross Video unveiled their new Carbonite 1M - 1 MLE control panel at IBC 2011. This stylish new control panel is based on the award winning Carbonite 2M introduced at NAB. The Carbonite 1M shares all the same features of the Carbonite 2M and controls 2 full MLE’s via its unique MLE swap function. The Carbonite 1M is a feature rich control surface providing single button access for up to 24 sources as well as instant access to Carbonite’s powerful custom control macros, advanced transitions and multi-function menu buttons. “This new panel will give operators direct access to all inputs,” states Nigel Spratling, Marketing Product Manager - Communications, Switchers at Ross Video. During this year’s IBC show Sachtler launched a completely new fluid head aimed at the fast-growing market of videographers and DSLR filmmakers. With a payload of up to 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds), Ace is ideal for smaller HDV camcorders and video-enabled DSLR cameras. Ace is also compact and durable, and thanks to a 3 special composite material, it is extremely lightweight. As with all Sachtler products, it is ergonomically designed and offers an intuitive feel. For Ace, the completely new patented drag, SA drag (Synchronised Actuated Drag), was developed which guarantees the familiar accuracy and repeatability at an astonishing price/ performance ratio. For the first time, the Ace tripod system offers those who shoot low-budget documentaries, industrials, wedding/ event, training videos and webinars Sachtler’s quality and dependability for professional work. With 3 vertical and 3 horizontal grades of drag (+0), the new patented SA drag enables fine adjustment for precise panning and tilting. With the Ace tripod system, Sachtler offers videographers who work with lightweight cameras the best camera support available in this payload range in a completely new price category. Product news Avid unveils dynamic new graphics platform During IBC Avid launched their next-generation graphics platform. With a revolutionary new real-time 2D/3D graphics rendering engine, Avid Motion Graphics lets media enterprises— including broadcasters, sports teams, and post production companies—create thrilling graphics and arresting imagery while journalists and others integrate those graphics into their stories. Incorporating a bridge to the Deko product family, Avid Motion Graphics makes it easy for existing users to migrate their assets to the new platform and transition at their own pace. “In today’s highly competitive, image-dominated media industry, producers need to create stunning visual imagery that cuts through the clutter, get content quickly to air, and build strong brand recognition,” said Chris Gahagan, senior vice president of Products for Avid. “At the same time, our customers have told us they need to streamline their workflow with a solution that’s easy to use and lets them reduce costs. With Avid Motion Graphics, Avid is meeting those needs, and investing significant resources and creativity to develop one of the industry’s most advanced graphics toolsets.” Blackmagic Design announces Intensity Extreme Blackmagic Design has announced Intensity Extreme, a new low cost and extremely high quality video capture and playback product for professional videographers with HDMI and analogue video based on the new Thunderbolt technology. Intensity Extreme is the first Thunderbolt technology based device to combine the high quality of HDMI capture and playback with the wide compatibility of analogue component, NTSC, PAL and S-Video and analogue audio capture and playback in a compact size that’s completely powered from the Thunderbolt connection on the computer. This means Intensity Extreme is the perfect solution for adding video to laptop computers as it powers from the laptop battery. For the ultimate in leading edge design, Intensity Extreme features a chassis machined out of a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium. This ensures an elegant look that’s compact, strong and looks great on the desktop. Intensity Extreme enables users to capture directly from the HD camera’s image sensor, bypassing the video compression chip for true uncompressed video quality. Now users can go beyond the quality limits of HDV or AVCHD for editing, design and authoring with Intensity Extreme. Clear-Com launches Concert for Newsroom AJA Introduces KONA LHe Plus at IBC 2011 During IBC AJA debuted their next-generation KONA LHe Plus, offering powerful video capture and playback capabilities at a price almost 25% lower than their preceding model. KONA LHe Plus offers a host of professional features including 10-bit or 8-bit uncompressed video I/O, two-channel AES digital audio and eightchannel SDI embedded digital audio I/O, analogue composite or s-video or SD/HD component video I/O, two-channel balanced analogue audio I/O and 10-bit quality hardware downconversion from HD to SD. KONA LHe Plus offers improved performance with RGB graphics applications, such as Adobe After Effects. AJA’s renowned OS X and Windows software and application integration is included. KONA LHe Plus is also fully extensible via an optional 1RU breakout box. During IBC Clear-Com launched their new “Concert for Newsroom,” solution designed for integration with newsroom applications such as Associated Press’ ENPS to allow AP’s newsroom members using ENPS news applications to quickly, easily and cost-effectively communicate with other newsroom members who also have access to Concert for Newsroom. Ideal for SNG 4 applications, Concert for Newsroom will assist busy reporters chasing stories in the field to get in touch with their editors, producers and other production team members with the click of a mouse. To start a chat with Concert, ENPS users need only scroll through their contacts and click the appropriate name or icon to initiate a call and/or chat, simultaneously. In cases where multiple members need to have a conference about a story, the user can drag-anddrop multiple contacts into a conference, or members can double-click on a session link and join the call—all while working within ENPS stories. Users can see immediately the availability of any other ENPS participants for a call or text message, saving journalist’s time when deadlines are fast approaching. Introducing HyperDeck Shuttle, the perfect uncompressed SSD recorder for SDI and HDMI Now you can get incredible quality uncompressed SDI and HDMI video capture and playback using removable solid state disks! HyperDeck Shuttle is the perfect quality broadcast deck you can hold in your hand. HyperDeck Shuttle lets you bypass camera compression for the highest quality on set recording, and is perfect for digital signage or instant replay and program recording with live production switchers. Video is recorded to QuickTime™ files, so you can mount and edit directly from the SSD eliminating time wasting file copying! Solid State Disk (SSD) Recording Simply plug in a fast 2.5” solid state disk into HyperDeck Shuttle and start recording! SSD’s are used in desktop and laptop computers so prices are constantly falling while sizes are getting bigger! Plug the SSD into your computer and the disk will mount right on your computer’s desktop! Files are stored in standard QuickTime™ 10 bit format so you can use the media in Mac™ and Windows™ video software! Use Cameras, Switchers and Monitors Absolute Perfect Quality HyperDeck Shuttle lets you bypass all video camera compression for perfect uncompressed 10-bit SD/HD video. Get deep color dynamic range for color correction and perfectly clean keying. Only uncompressed gives you a mathematically perfect “clone” recording between capture and playback. Only uncompressed lets you trust your recording and there is absolutely no higher quality possible! With SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, HyperDeck Shuttle works with virtually every camera, switcher or monitor! Plug into televisions or video projectors for instant on set preview or get exciting live action replay with ATEM production switchers. Even use it for digital signage. Just press play twice for loop playback! Imagine using pristine uncompressed recording on your next live event! Record and Play Back Anywhere! HyperDeck Shuttle is machined out of a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum for incredible strength! Take your HyperDeck Shuttle into the field, on set and to live events. With an internal battery, just recharge and go! Only HyperDeck Shuttle gives you recording and playback in a compact solution that fits in your hand! HyperDeck Shuttle 345 US$ Learn more today at www.blackmagic-design.com/hyperdeckshuttle Product news RTS presents RTS VLink (Virtual Linked Intercom) system RTS presented their new RTS VLink (Virtual Linked Intercom) system at IBC - a new, fully interconnected, DHCPcompliant virtual communications solution for RTS intercom systems. RTS VLink enables remote users to interface with RTS matrix intercoms via the Internet using a simple PC-based application, allowing an unprecedented degree of control and flexibility from anywhere in the world. VLink supports SIP to provide enhanced connectivity. Two RTS VLink systems are available: the basic RTS VLink-LE system comprises a standalone software/server-based intercom providing limited interconnect functionality into any existing audio feed; the premium RTS VLink system provides intelligent trunking links into an RTS intercom matrix to provide full support for RTS intercom alphas and matrix access for standard communications workflows. VLink is fully compliant with the EBU Tech 3347 Standard specifying the transport protocols; coding algorithms, encapsulation, and signalling required ensuring interoperability in audio-over-IP production intercoms. NewTek showcases hardware control surface for TriCaster 450 Series During IBC NewTek announced the TriCaster 450 CS, a hardware control surface for the new TriCaster 450 series of HD portable live production systems. The TriCaster 450 CS provides tactile control of the 14-channel system's functions and effects, allowing operators to make snap decisions with confidence and ease. TriCaster 450 CS hardware provides illuminated push buttons, twist knobs, a premium T-bar and three-axis joystick to gain instant control of the functions in the TriCaster 450 series, letting operators perform commands on the fly. “The TriCaster 450 CS gives broadcast professionals the high performance, hardware interface they expect to find in a traditional television control room,” said Andrew Cross, NewTek CTO. Litepanels introduces Sola 4 Fresnel fixture FOR-A debuts MV-42HS compact multiviewer Litepanels have announced the Sola 4: the smallest DMX controllable LED Fresnel fixture on the market. The new focusable Sola 4 features a 10cm Fresnel lens and uses a small fraction of the power consumed by conventional fixtures. It employs Litepanels’ proprietary LEDs to produce the company’s hallmark soft light quality in 5600°K daylight colour balance. Sola 4 is FOR-A has launched their new MV-42HS HD/SD Multi Viewer at IBC2011. The compact, low-cost unit supports up to four asynchronous or mixed HD-SDI and SD-SDI inputs, including 1080i, 1080p, and 720p sources at a variety of frame rates. The MV-42HS has a variety of on-screen features for a customized display environment. Its half-rack size (W 212 x H 44 x D 161.5 mm) and simple user interface make it an ideal multi viewer for OB trucks and master control facilities. The MV-42HS offers highresolution HD-SDI and DVI-D output as either a full-screen picture or four-image split view. It has an auto resize engine for SD input. Embedded timecode as well as level meters for up to eight channels of embedded audio can be displayed for all inputs. A title display of up to eight characters is available for each input as well. 7 based on the same breakthrough Fresnel technology as Litepanels’ award-winning Sola 6, but in a smaller, more lightweight form factor. It provides the controllability and lightshaping, single shadow properties inherent in a Fresnel light, focusing from 70 to 10 degrees. Like all Litepanels fixtures, Sola 4 can be dimmed from 100% to 0 with no noticeable shift in colour temperature. Both focus and dimming can be controlled manually with dials on the fixture, or via remote DMX control. The compact new Sola 4 weights just 0.62kg and measures just 229mm x 203.2mm x 178mm. Its small size and minimal weight make it adaptable to both studio and field applications. www.fujinon.eu That about wraps it up for stiff thumbs The new grips for DIGI POWER HD ENG lenses Now long takes are nothing but a pleasure: much lower energy consumption in standby, even less backlash for more natural shots, lots of space for your thumb, and an especially comfortable grip. On top of which, these ergonomically designed grips offer the usual easy operation and less zoom noise. Fujinon. To see more is to know more. Product news Canon introduces cost-effective 20x portable 2/3-inch HD zoom lens Canon is famous for using the latest optical technologies to deliver high performance at an attractive price. Now, the global technology pioneer has introduced the newest member in its cost-effective HDgc series of portable HD zoom lenses. The new KJ20x8.2B IRSD portable HD lens is specifically designed to support low-cost image acquisition systems for a wide range of applications and users, from broadcast ENG to professional freelance HD shooters. Top of the list of the new lens’ advanced features is its built-in 2x extender, an important imaging option previously seen only on higher-end HD lenses. As a result, the KJ20x8.2B IRSD offers ENG shooters and other camera operators greatly improved subject framing flexibility. At 8.2mm, the new KJ20x8.2B IRSD is also Canon’s widest lens in the affordable 20x zoom class, and it covers a generous range of focal lengths, particularly when combined with its built-in 2x extender expanding its 8.2mm-164mm focal length to 16.4mm328mm. Faster, better content more economically Quantel previewed a major new development for its unique and revolutionary QTube global workflow technology at IBC 2011. QTube provides instant access to live production for frame accurate editing from anywhere over the internet. The new development enables users to access and seamlessly combine content from multiple sites. This breakthrough enables creative staff to work with media held on servers in multiple locations anywhere on the planet to produce a finished edit over the internet incorporating clips from different sites. The result can then be published, with QTube automatically managing the movement of only the required frames of high resolution media from all the different servers to the destination server. QTube's Service Oriented Architecture and use of RESTful paths simplifies the complex management required to integrate content from multiple sites. More Fujinon products for 3D On show for the first time in Europe at IBC 2011 were more additions to Fujinon's growing range of products for the 3D broadcast and cinematographic markets. The new 3D products in the Fujinon range are the XA4x7.5BMD-D3R/L motor drive 3D HD lens, HJ-303A08A 3D synchronisation unit, and the WL-325A wireless controller for increased operational flexibility plus 3D lens control. The HJ-303A08A controller system allows Digital Rapids previews hybrid encoder for multi-screen delivery As part of Digital Rapids’ comprehensive range of live encoding solutions being showcased at the IBC 2011 exhibition in Amsterdam, they provided a preview of their upcoming, carrier-grade StreamZ Live Broadcast hybrid encoder. StreamZ Live Broadcast combines the superior quality and flexible, multi-screen output capabilities of Digital Rapids’ StreamZ Live encoder family with robust features for the unique demands of broadcast, cable, telco and satellite television operations. StreamZ Live Broadcast features simultaneous encoding for ‘traditional’ television and ‘anyscreen’ streaming delivery to a broad range of devices – including mobile phones, tablets, PCs, IPTV set-top boxes, game consoles and more – in a single 1RU encoder. 9 for perfect 3D synchronization of standard lenses in a 3D environment. “In order to shoot perfect 3D images the left and right camera lenses must have exactly the same settings,” explains Tink Minster from The Camera Platform in South Africa. “Using standard Fujinon zoom and focus controls, the HJ-303A08A controller system will automatically synchronise both zoom lenses with precision servos to achieve this.” The Fujinon 3D synchronisation controller unit features several ports for production efficiency and operational flexibility, as well as easily accessible RS232C serial data, encoder output and raw encoder output. Moreover, the 3D lenses can be remote controlled by means of Fujinon's WL-325A wireless controller. Harrods unveils new-look escalator Harrods is set to offer its brands and clients the very latest in digital media advertising. The unveiling of a revamped state-of-the-art escalator complete with the latest generation of digital screens follows a multi-million pound redevelopment programme. T he redesign of Harrods escalator 10, located at the stores premium entrance on Hans Road, reveals a minimalist, cutting-edge design concept with the installation of five giant high-definition video walls, replacing the previous static poster sites and individual display screens. Two 16 screen super-size video walls at the foot of the escalator, tower a staggering 13 feet tall, with a further three located at the Lower Ground, Third and Fifth Floors. The screens are thin bezel NEC LCD screens configured as video-walls and powered by Harris Corporation’s digital out-ofhome solutions featuring ‘InfoCaster’ software. Harris has also upgraded Harrods existing storewide digital signage network with their InfoCaster system, which provides high-definition content and state-of-the-art scheduling capability. 150 digital screens have been installed throughout the Knightsbridge store and its UK airport The new digital signage comprises of large digital media walls on the Lower Ground floor, x2 giant portrait digital walls (x16 screens per wall) on the ground floor in portrait format, a digital-wall above the entrance to the third floor, and another at the entrance to the fifth floor. stores. This latest innovative development follows Harrods extensive investment programme into its digital media infrastructure, as Harrods cements its position as the leading retailer providing luxury media. Guy Cheston, Director of Harrods Media, said: “This new upgrade has transformed our digital signage offering by providing tremendous impact and visibility for the brands advertising on these digital media walls. We see this as the future, reducing clutter, enabling much greater scope for creativity with content. We have already seen keen interest from our brands, and an uptake in sales and footfall in-store as a result.” Harrods Media offers brands a truly unique and premium platform of communication in the most captivating and exclusive environment, with a desirable clientele to match. A dedicated team of experts provide a production, design and installation service for all Harrods clients, and manage all media operations in-house, including the technical logistics and digital creative for the digital screen network. 24 x 7 x 128 24 7 128 HOURS PER DAY, EVERY DAY YEAR WARRANTY PROTECTION X128 IN ONE 8RU FRAME 3G HD-SDI VIDEO ROUTING Ŷ HD-SDI/SDI multi-format bandwidth flexibility - from 19Mbps to 3Gbps Ŷ Expendable modular design Ŷ Two frame sizes: from 8x8 to 64x64 in 4RU, up to128x128 in 8RU Ŷ Hot-swappable video I/O boards, CPU boards and power supplies Ŷ Optional A-D / D-A Conversion modules Ŷ Optional redundant power supplies & control processors Ŷ Optional LC-style fiber I/O connectors with fiber, allowing cable distances up to 10km @ 3Gbps W kXÎÂÅXÌ/ÌÌWÌÐÐÌàÌÝk×k_Ì"ÂÎXxxÌÕ¥zÌWÌ,²$²ÌßÌ--ÉÐz¥z_Ì@Â@bÌÕæÐæÌW W .k×NXÌ$xÌ/×ÎÌxÂ[email protected]ÌWÌÞÞÞ²kkXÎÂÅX²X²ä@ÌWÌkÌkÌ8^ÌæpÊ¥Ì8,Ì¯ÕpÌ}ÐÌzÉ°ÌW W kÌkÌÎ^Ìæp-ÊæÌ!.1"Ì¯ÊÕÌÉpÌ}Ê°ÌW © 2011 Kramer Electronics, Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited 11 3D television – brave new world or expensive diversion? In his series of articles aimed at provoking a debate, AV Specialist features editor Dick Hobbs considers the 3D debate at IBC2011, and whether stereoscopic production is making the impact its advocates would like I n this magazine a year or so ago I challenged the rush towards stereoscopic 3D that was then in full flood. I questioned whether there was enough of a boost in enjoyment, for enough people, to counterbalance the technical, creative, logistical and psychological challenges which it inevitably brings. 3D gimmick At IBC2011 there was still much talk about stereoscopic 3D, particularly in the conference. On the show floor there was much less emphasis, with exhibitors preferring to concentrate on solving the issues that their customers need to resolve today, not adding complications for the future. Before we look at the latest thinking and developments, we have to return to the key question: do audiences actually want 3D? A recent survey by the UK’s Guardian newspaper found that only 19% of cinema-goers think 3D improves a film, while 41% think it is a gimmick. Interestingly, the producers of the awardwinning documentary Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough have made two versions: one for television, one for movie theatres. The television version, despite being significantly longer, is much better, with the movie version (I saw it in Imax) resorting to unnecessary gimmicks. American Phycological Association That has certainly been my impression recently. The best film I have seen in the last year or so was The King’s Speech, which was simply a good story brilliantly told, and could not conceivably be improved with 3D. On the other hand, I watched the last part of the Harry Potter series in 3D and it was awful: I wish I had saved the premium and watched it in 2D. A more scientific study than a newspaper poll and my thoughts was carried out by Mark Carrier of California State University and reported to the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association. “3D movies do not allow viewers to experience more intense emotional reactions, are no more immersive, and do not offer any advantages over their 2D counterparts in terms of enhancing the ability to recall a film’s details,” he found. On the other hand, he did find that it increased by a factor of three the risk of eyestrain, headache or trouble with vision. “All other things being equal,” Carrier told the APA, “I would say you are increasing your chances of having some discomfort, and there are not going to be any benefits in terms of understanding the movie better or 12 making it more meaningful, as far as we can tell.” Some productions do win audience approval through the use of 3D, and the 2009 blockbuster Avatar is the best example. Its director James Cameron was at IBC this year, making a number of high profile appearances. The reason was that he had something to sell: with his partner Vince Pace he is talking the Cameron Pace Group (CPG) worldwide, with its aim to demystify 3D production and make it practical and affordable for television. Powerful alliances Cameron first appeared as a surprise guest at the Grass Valley press conference. The newly-independent Grass Valley scooped CPG as a partner in the sort of announcement you would normally expect from Sony. “It is a little bit daunting staying ahead of technology change, so we have to have powerful alliances with people who are major players in broadcast in order to really be able to fulfil this future and supply the kind of quality 3D entertainment that people are going to demand,” Cameron said. “We are on a relentless push to grow the 3D business.” The CPG message – which has been available in the States for some time, and is now available in Europe as part of a global expansion programme – is that you have to find a way to shoot 2D and 3D at the same time. It is not economically feasible to have two parallel crews, goes the argument, and at sporting events the key viewpoints can only be occupied by one camera, whether it is 2D or 3D. Creativity V Technology “There is no business model that makes sense for two separate productions,” Cameron explained. “There is no technical reason why you need to do that. You want the best sports directors to embrace the 3D tools and then make their own creative decision about whether to have two separate line cuts or one that bridges both worlds.” His automated camera rig technology, backed up now with switchers and servers from Grass Valley, solves many of the technical issues of shooting 3D live. I am yet to be convinced – and Cameron was noticeably reticent – that it solves the creative challenges. The inescapable fact is that 3D works best with cameras relatively close to the action, and low down looking up. Traditional sports coverage – sport will be the driver in 3D as it has been in all advances in television technology – relies on relatively wide master shots from above the action. Watching football or rugby largely from low, close shots would be impossible. It is this problem, I believe, that is slowing the progress of creating original 3D content for television. Duncan Humphries of Can Communicate was behind the experimental coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament this year. He told the IBC conference that since then he has been taking 20 calls a week from producers interested in covering an event in 3D, “but few come to realisation. There are only so many live events, concerts and so forth that people want to watch in 3D.” electronics manufacturers because the television set itself needs little modification: a chip to enable the synchronisation of screen and glasses, adding maybe $5 to the factory gate price. Passive V Active Audiences are used to the passive, polarised glasses they are given in cinemas and other public projections. These are lighter and much less expensive at around $2 a pair. According to many commentators, they also produce better 3D. But to make a consumer television for passive glasses means another complex manufacturing process, bonding the polarising screen to the front of the display, which adds significantly to the cost. It also reduces the light output on all channels, not just 3D, which means it can look less impressive in the store than a 2D television (or a 3D television for active glasses) so consumers are less likely to buy. We also have the challenge of delivering 3D content to the home. Early in 2011 the DVB Project completed its 3D specification, which has now been ratified as an ETSI standard. This uses the frame compatible system, designed to make the 3D signal appear as a normal HD channel and so pass through the infrastructure from studio to set-top box without hardware modifications. To do this the horizontal resolution of each channel is halved so the two pictures can be transmitted side by side. In the set-top box each eye is extracted and the resolution doubled to fill each frame, with the 3D illusion aiming to conceal the fact that the viewer is no longer seeing a true HD image. Bandwidth restrictions This works reasonably well where there are just one or two stereo 3D channels. But should more services be launched then it could cause a problem for bandwidth: whether on terrestrial, cable or satellite platforms, broadcasters pay by the megabit. Delivering simultaneous 2D and 3D services would double the bandwidth cost, but simply using the left eye stretched to fill the screen would be obviously sub-HD resolution. The next generation of 3D transmission system, already in development by DVB, will be “service compatible”, that is you will have full resolution left and right eye channels, as you do on 3D Blu-ray disks. But it will demand more bandwidth so will either cost more to transmit or will depend upon future more efficient codecs. Either way, it will also need all the hardware to be replaced, including the set-top box. Beyond that, technologists are still pointing to “object wave” systems. We are most familiar with the idea of holograms which are one object wave display system, aiming to get a truly three dimensional image to the home. Holographic imagery This, though, may just be the point at which technology and creativity diverge so far as to be irreconcilable. I had the privilege of interviewing Sir David Attenborough for his acceptance of the IBC2011 International Honour for Excellence. He has always seized on the latest in technology, and urged the invention of things he needed, but he made a telling point about developments beyond stereoscopic 3D. “There is also the question of holograms,” he said “in which an animal can hop out of your television and sit on your hearth rug. You could see all around it. That is a mind-blowing concept. But how you would make a plot with that, how you would tell a story with that, would be a huge problem.” Quiet year for 3D Timo Koch of Belgian company Outside Broadcast agrees. He already has a 3D-capable truck on the road and another under construction, yet he admitted “last year we typically covered an event each month in 3D. I have to say that 2011 is much quieter.” Steve Schklair of 3ality Technica, the major rival to CPG in the camera rig and acquisition technology business, thinks one of the critical aspects limiting stereoscopic 3D in the home is the television sets available. Most on the market today display alternating frames so need active glasses. These are heavy, expensive ($100 a pair) and need regular charging, but are attractive to consumer 13 UbiSoft to open first major video game studio in Abu Dhabi Ubisoft and twofour54 Abu Dhabi have announced the upcoming opening of a new Ubisoft development studio in Abu Dhabi. This marks the first time a major games publisher has established a direct presence in the GCC region. U bisoft is one of the world’s leading video game publishers and the developers of brands such as Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia. twofour54 is the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi, an initiative by the Abu Dhabi government to create an Arabic media & entertainment hub for the Middle East & North Africa. Slated to open its doors in December this year with a core team of Ubisoft veterans who will help to train an initial team of local recruits, the studio will also contribute their expertise to the ‘twofour54 gaming academy’ a new, full-time game development academy run by twofour54 tadreeb, twofour54’s media training arm in partnership with Ubisoft. Abu Dhabi’s excellent technological infrastructure and quality training institutions and its long-term commitment to create a thriving regional media and entertainment industry were key factors in the decision for Ubisoft to establish a new studio in the Middle East. “We are excited by the partnership with twofour54. Strong gaming industry Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is a series of video games, the first of which was released in 2002, and their tie-in novels. The protagonist, Sam Fisher, is presented as a highly-trained agent of a fictional black-ops sub-division within the NSA, dubbed "Third Echelon". The player guides Fisher, who usually has the iconic trifocal goggles at his disposal, to overcoming his adversaries in levels based on Unreal engines that were extended to emphasise light and darkness as gameplay elements. priority sector for twofour54 and to partner with an international market leader such as Ubisoft is great news Their commitment to developing a strong regional gaming industry and their knowledge of the region were the perfect foundation on which to continue building our development teams,” said Christine Burgess-Quémard, executive director, worldwide studios at Ubisoft. “The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East and North Africa region are key factors that will contribute to the success of this new studio.” Priority sector for development Ubisoft’s Abu Dhabi studio will start by working on online gaming titles in collaboration with other Ubisoft studios, and will eventually create original titles that will appeal to local and international audiences alike. “Digital gaming has always been a “The demographics and the pool of skilled technical talent in the Middle East are key factors that will contribute to the development of our new studio in Abu Dhabi,” says Christine Burgess-Quemard, executive director at Ubisoft. 14 for the region’s gaming industry,” commented Wayne Borg, Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, twofour54. “The digital games played by Arabs have traditionally been developed outside the region, which means that they rarely have a direct relevance to Arab gamers. Our agreement with Ubisoft will benefit the region in that it will enable the development of titles that resonate with the local population, whilst also building the skills of young Arabs to allow the region to create its own games and developing a gaming industry base here at twofour54.” Yannick Theler, a ten-year veteran at Ubisoft has been chosen to manage the new studio. Yannick’s experience at Ubisoft began at Ubisoft Switzerland as Marketing & Sales Director before being appointed Vice President of Business Development for Ubisoft’s China activities and most recently served as Human Resources Director of Ubisoft Shanghai. Christie achieves world’s first 3D high-frame rate demo Christie used the occasion of ‘the IBC Big Screen’ theatre screenings in Amsterdam to deliver the world’s first mass-audience demonstration of a 3D High Frame Rate (HFR) D-Cinema system using a single projector – the Christie Solaria Series CP2230 projector – in combination with other currently-available components. T he RealD XL Cinema System and International Datacasting’s SuperFlex Pro Cinema Event Player (PCEP) are available today, along with Christie’s DLP projectors, providing cinema owners and content owners with the foundation they need to realize new revenue streams from the projection of ‘alternative content’ sporting and theatrical events in 3D HFR,” said Dr. Don Shaw, Director of Product Management for Christie’s Entertainment Solutions division. Content showing the world-famous Cavalia equestrian production company in action was flawlessly projected in 3D at 60 frames per second (FPS) during Dr. Shaw’s Exhibitor Considerations for High Frame Rate 3D Technology seminar, using the aforementioned suppliers and formatted by the SENSIO Hi-Fi 3D compression codec. 3D HFR Cinema Content “This demonstration sets the scene for single-projector 3D HFR cinema content delivery, following on James Cameron’s ground-breaking ‘proof of concept’ of HFR cinema content at CinemaCon 2011, which Christie assisted with,” noted Shaw. “The delivery setup used at CinemaCon was a customised solution that used two Christie projectors, broadcast (rather than cinema) servers and unencrypted, chroma sub-sampled colour data, and as such was not intended to be duplicated in cinemas globally when the latest digital 3D content in such widely-anticipated movies as Avatar 2 and 3, and The Hobbit, are released beginning at the end of 2012. “Exhibitors are looking for complete systems that can be readily installed in cinema projection rooms to facilitate the rollout of these and other 3D HFR 15 cinema productions, but to do so, technology manufacturers need to step up with cost-effective solutions that seamlessly integrate projectors, servers and 3D cinema equipment,” added Dr. Shaw. “The next step in the 3D HFR solution is for vendors to develop and market new, more powerful and more versatile Integrated Media Block (IMB) server technology to provide the performance and security that exhibitors demand.” In a related move designed to accelerate the development and adoption of next-generation 3D digital cinema, Christie and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, Inc., announced the signing of a milestone, five-year agreement that will see these two industry leaders exchange research, testing, development and technical support on the industry's most exciting new technology. Etisalat to go on-air with a 20-channel playout center With more than 100 million customers, Etisalat is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. Based in the United Arab Emirates, they’ve recently commissioned Qvest Media with the construction of a multiformat playout center for the production and transmission of nine playout channels. With this move the telecom operator, which owns a cellular network as well as one of the largest Internet and IPTV networks in the whole Middle East region, is pushing ahead with the organic growth of its triple play strategy in the TV sector. W ith the expansion of its service spectrum, Etisalat will be offering national and international TV stations as well as feed suppliers a fully equipped infrastructure for handling their broadcast management. The company will also be reserving part of its SD/HD playout channels for customers who not only want to distribute their signals but also want to edit their content. To achieve this, Etisalat will offer a fully equipped production and editing platform – comprising quality check for audio and video and on-air graphics together with transcoding and archiving systems. International tender process After an international tendering process spanning several months, Qvest Media has received the goahead from Etisalat for the role of general contractor in planning, construction, commissioning and support for the on-air phase of the entire project. Qvest Media is therefore once again highlighting its strong position in the implementation of the world’s most high-profile system integration projects. The company particularly impressed Etisalat with its sophisticated technical concept which combines the customer’s requirements in the most effective way possible. One of the particular challenges is to equip the technical environment with a workflow that is as easy and intuitive as possible for alternating operators. Another challenge is to make the platform as compatible as possible for various standards and formats, so that Etisalat can offer an infrastructure that adjusts seamlessly to even the most diverse production and broadcasting requirements. To accomplish this, Qvest Media will specify the system components and processes of the central media asset management “The order from Etisalat once again highlights the growing convergence of the media,” says Peter Nöthen, Managing Director of Qvest Media. “The classic separation into various types of network operators is now truly a thing of the past." system (MAM) VPMS. The crossfunctional control will systematically be pursued in all areas such as ingest, playout, central storage, studio automation as well as video, audio and graphics editing. Media convergence “The order from Etisalat once again highlights the growing convergence of the media,” says Peter Nöthen, Managing Director of Qvest Media. “The classic separation into various types of network operators is now truly a thing of the past. NTT in Japan, Verizon from the USA, Deutsche Telekom and even the major cable providers – all the leading infrastructure providers have long since adjusted to the interaction of telecommunications, TV and the Internet, and are expanding their business strategies massively on this basis. For us, this has opened up a market with new customer segments 16 for which we thoroughly prepared ourselves years ago with the creation of internal expertise.” Consequently, Qvest Media can cite a raft of similar international projects as references – such as for the Al Jazeera broadcasting network – and has a strong network of partner companies. Its affiliation to the German Wellen+Nöthen Group gives the company access to more than 100 international producers of broadcasting and IT technologies. This enables Qvest Media to set up an infrastructure for Etisalat that is based on products only from the world’s leading manufacturers. In the first stage Qvest Media will set up the environment for nine operating playout channels. Getting started The entire new infrastructure and technology is all over prepared to go on-air with up to eleven additional playout channels with minimum of setup time. The environment will essentially comprise a recording center for ingest control, processing and monitoring together with automated Baton content verification. The system will include a fully redundant Omneon video server system and an Isilon archiving system with 10,000 hours of XDCAM HD storage capacity. It incorporates a clustered IT architecture from Hewlett Packard (HP) plus a fully redundant IT backbone for IP switching with Cisco core switches. Even during the sourcing phase, Qvest Media will begin preparing the on-site premises for the later system integration. Among others, this includes the manufacturing and integration of customized studio furniture. Qvest Media has also been commissioned with putting all systems into operation following the integration phase, as well as providing ongoing maintenance support for the playout center. C2S builds dual-truck OB for Supersport C2S Systems, the systems integration arm of WTS based in the United Kingdom, has completed the second of two HD Outside Broadcast units for South African broadcaster SuperSport. T he two-part project was commissioned in October 2010 following completion of a threestudio complex by C2S Systems for SuperSport and their sister company, M-Net, in Nigeria. The first half of the project, OB1, was delivered in April this year. The two OB’s were ordered as part of SuperSport’s expansion and upgrade plan, to provide enhanced coverage of the Nigerian football and basket ball leagues in HD, freeing the current fleet for coverage of other sports and events. Both of the new OBs will also be used as general production units for MNet. Because of difficult African road conditions, the OB requirement of the broadcaster was fairly unusual. Instead of a single-truck solution using articulated trailer-lorries, common for OB in Europe and the US, C2S Systems provided SuperSport with two smaller and more mobile rigid chassis trucks, designed to join together once on location to make a single OB. Four Mercedes Axor-R 2529’s were selected as the truck model for the OB units with two further vehicles being provided for support. Each operational pair provides enough space for production, audio and replay areas in one truck and an engineering and uplink area in the other. The production area was designed to include capacity for six VT’s and three on-air graphics systems, while the engineering truck includes capacity for five EVS media servers for slow-motion replay and highlights editing. 20 HD cameras Each equipped with twenty HD system cameras, including one super slow motion, plus two HD box cameras on robotic heads, the units provide all the functionality of a single truck with the advantage of additional operator space and an on-board uplink removing the need for a satellite van. Dolby D and E encoding enables 5.1 audio capabilities. The two complete OBs were designed to be almost identical with only the choice of audio mixer differing between them. “The real challenge and the unique element of this build was joining the two units to give a seamless overall system,” commented Jonathan Lyth, C2S Systems’ head of projects. “Connecting the two had to be easy and relatively quick for operators on location, so we based the interconnection around 4 duplex fibre cables capable of carrying a total of 96 bi-directional HD-SDI signals and intercom. Audio is carried by eight 64 channel MADI streams over copper, which integrated directly into the router. Because the local skill-set is still developing, these units will generally be used by less experienced operators than might be found elsewhere, so we factored this into the overall design, using a customised control solution to help simplify both operational and engineer tasks, while still allowing for upgrade and expansion in the future.” Complex integration project Andre Venter, Director of SuperSport Media Solutions Africa, commented: “It was a going to be a complex and ambitious integration project from the outset, so having previously worked with C2S Systems 17 on our studios in Nigeria; we knew they had the right team to design and build the units to the standard we were after. They already had experience in the region and a strong relationship with our team; we were impressed by their commitment to understanding the intricacy of our operations, designing a solution to perfectly suit our needs. We needed mobility and scalability as well as space, so there were a lot of problems to solve. Our mission is to provide viewers with thehighest quality picture & audio possible, with these new OB units, C2S Systems are helping us to deliver this promise to our audience.” Jasco gives DoH's iCAM learning channel a R12m facelift The pioneering Interactive Learning, Communication and Management (iCAM) project, an interactive distance learning solution, was initiated in 2000 by the Free State Department of Health (DoH) to assist in the training of health workers across the province. It has since won a number of awards - and it's just got a R12 million facelift. A brand new turnkey iCAM studio has been implemented at Bophelo House, the Free State DoH's headquarters, by Jasco ICT Broadcast Solutions. Says Louis Barnard who heads up of the iCAM project for the Free State DoH: "The new studios, which were commissioned for the first time in May 2011, will allow us to more efficiently and effectively create content, edit it and repurpose it for different audiences. This solution sees us move from outdated technology and infrastructure to a digital system which will serve us more than adequately over the next three to five years, allowing us to scale our operations as needed. And with this set up we will be able to easily move to HD technologies in a couple of years if we feel it necessary." Custom built studio The new iCAM facilities at Bophelo House are housed on the fifth floor, an addition to the building that was specifically built to accommodate the studio. The iCAM facilities include three control rooms, one main and two smaller broadcasting studios, two editing rooms with voiceover booths, and one central apparatus room. The auditorium at Bophelo House can also serve as a broadcasting studio. There is also editing equipment and central storage with server based play out. The studios are used for content creation by DoH trainers and officials, as well as University of the Free State lecturers and professors who have entered a partnership with the Free State DoH. Traditional tutor led training using teaching aids like projectors, videos and slides is recorded, as are announcements and 'magazine' show interviews and debates on topical issues. Content is then broadcast via a dedicated 24-hour satellite channel leased from Telkom to the 40 iCAM enabled classrooms at clinics, hospitals and other DoH facilities dotted around the province. Content is decoded at these sites using set top boxes. In the majority of instances the tuition is interactive, with facilitators standing by to respond to live questions from learners around the country. iCAM is also used for managerial meetings and corporate communication. 16 thousand students Explains Barnard: "Almost 16 000 DoH students - from administrative to nursing staff, emergency services personnel, doctors and pharmacy staff pass annually through the 40 iCAM enabled classrooms dotted around the province. The iCAM system is vital to the Free State DoH and its benefits are enormous. It not only allows us to inexpensively enhance skills levels of different personnel groups, but ensures new methods, approaches and information are disseminated to the correct groups timeously. It also ensures staff earn CPD (continuous performance development) points. Compared to the traditional classroom teaching, it's a nobrainer in terms of cost savings, reach, maximising staff productivity and, most importantly, optimising the qu ality of service patients receive at our clinics and hospitals. Content creation "With a full schedule for content creation and delivery, equipment that had reached end of life and studio space we had outgrown, we needed to refresh our infrastructure to enhance the efficiency, volume and quality of our outputs. Jasco ICT Broadcast Solutions won the tender bid against eight other contenders with a solution custom made to suit our needs." Notes Steven Lauter, Sales Manager, Jasco ICT Broadcast Solutions: "The Free State DoH studios are on a par with any commercial studio. We designed, supplied and installed a turnkey digital solution to meet their needs now and into the future. Among others, the main studio is fully kitted out with four Sony cameras, while the two smaller studios make use of a 'hands free' PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) solutions that do not need a cameraman. 18 Leading brand products used include Sony cameras, Autocue teleprompters, Clearcom intercom systems, Ross vision mixers, Miller tripods, Avid Deko Character Generators, and Avid post production editing and storage solutions." Budget restraints The Free State DoH came up against a number of challenges in completing and commissioning the studios. Says Barnard: "There was a budgetary challenge which delayed implementation for two years, and then there was a two-year delay in getting the necessary satellite link at Bophela house. Eventually in May 2011, we got a temporary satellite dish onto the roof. We stopped broadcasting for a single week to get our 25-person iCAM team, which includes trainers and technicians, up and running at the new studios." Jasco ICT Broadcast Solutions assisted with training for operators and technicians on the new technology, as well as for first line problem solving. Notes Barnard: "Jasco ICT Broadcast Solutions assisted us throughout this period, remaining highly accessible and not only delivering a first class installation but finding real solutions to our unique challenges." Harmonic_AVSpecialist.pdf 1 9/13/11 The Free State Dept of Health have upgraded their broadcast infrastructure to create content that is used to train healthcare professionals within the Province. Lectures at the University of the Free State are also recorded and sent out to 40 iCAM enabled classrooms at clinics, hospitals and other DOH facilities throughout the province. 6:52 PM C M Y CM MY CY CMY K 19 Record attendance at social IBC Dick Hobbs reflects on IBC2011, and considers the implications of the biggest talking point, connected TV and multi-screening W ith an all-time record attendance finally breaking the 50,000 marker, there was a strong feeling that IBC2011 was a successful show all round. Visitors and exhibitors alike reported success, with satisfactory negotiations completed, some big deals signed (or at least announced – deals are very rarely done on the show floor) and new technology investigated. Sky News Arabia Some of the deals were very large indeed. The Sky News Arabia, currently under construction in Abu Dhabi, was being celebrated by a number of manufacturers, not least Grass Valley which is supplying Kayenne switchers, and EVS which is providing a large server infrastructure. Because it is effectively a greenfield site, systems integrator TSL has had to build from scratch. The complete system was assembled in one of its UK facilities, taking over a huge workshop space originally designed to allow work on two large OB trucks simultaneously. With more than 100 equipment racks and the largest monitor stack I have ever seen, this is a very impressive project. Turkmenistan broadcast centre Harris was celebrating its part in a new broadcasting centre in Turkmenistan. An architecturally bold building houses 13 television and 50 radio studios as well as all the supporting infrastructure. Turkish SI Policom is implementing the technical systems. Harris was reluctant to talk about the value of the order, saying only that it is the largest supplier to the project, but my understanding is that it is measured in tens of millions of dollars. While these sorts of major projects are always going to be vitally important to the state of our industry, and will always excite engineers as well as sales managers, the really hot topic of discussion at IBC this year was around multi-screening, the way that consumers are increasingly using other electronic devices at the same time as watching television – and sometimes instead of watching television. This genuinely was the IBC2011 hot topic. Sometimes there is a disconnect, with the conference debating an issue that is not yet a commercial reality (or, sometimes, an issue that has been looked at by vendors 20 and users and already rejected). Multiscreening, though, was talked about as much on the show floor as in the conference rooms. Jeff Kopang of Viewcast summed the issue up nicely. “Multi-screen was a nicety, now it is a mandate: that is the challenge for the service providers,” he said. “We have resolved a lot of the technology challenges. The question now is how do you monetise it.” 100 million iPad users The iPad as a product may be less than two years old but (according to Gartner Group research) there will be 100 million in use by the end of 2012, and its effect on behaviour is remarkable: “totally disruptive”, according to Anthony Rose of Zeebox. Nicolas Bourdon of EVS said that 70% of iPad users watch television with it on their knees; Claire Tavernier of production company Fremantle Media said 80% of under 24 year olds watch television with another screen in their hands. I neither have mine on my knees or routinely in my hands, but my iPad is always on the coffee table in front of me. The key, then, is to make sure that the content on the iPad – or other tablet, or laptop, or smartphone – is linked to the programme on the television and, as Jeff Kopang suggested, is making money for the producer and broadcaster. The game show Million Pound Drop Live in the UK now has an eighth of its audience playing along on tablets and laptops. Because the show is live the presenter can refer to the performance of people playing at home. In the latest series recruits for contestants on the show – who can win (at least in theory) a million pounds – come solely from those who have performed well online. Extra content Channel 9 in Australia has recently run a trial using the C-Cast system from EVS to augment its rugby coverage. This relies on the multi-channel server network which would be in place for the broadcast anyway, and allows tablet users to chose their own camera angle by going to the stadium camera plot and touching the one they want to see. Other options for tablet users include player profiles and additional replays. “For broadcasters to keep the attention of multi-screening audiences, they have to have the ability to provide extra content, instead of losing them to other internet sites,” suggested EVS’s Nicolas Bourdon. Gaining additional information about the programming, and interacting with it, is one way in which audiences are multi-screening. The other big trend is social networking: talking about the programme with friends. The IBC convention keynote was given by Joanna Shields, EMEA managing director of Facebook. The most successful social network by far it now has 750 million members, half of which use it every day. Harnessing even a part of that massive potential source of shared knowledge is a powerful marketing tool. Wisdom of friends According to Shields, “we are shifting from the wisdom of crowds to the wisdom of friends”. Comments from friends on Facebook and other social sites are likely to have a direct influence: if someone discovers a programme and tells their friends then they, too are likely to try it. As the average Facebook member has 130 friends, you can appreciate how quickly the message can spread. The American animated comedy series Family Guy has more than 37 million Facebook friends. BBC Worldwide has taken over the curation of the Top Gear Facebook page and, according to CEO John Smith, now sees more than a third of visits to topgear.com coming from the Facebook page. Managing the Facebook presence The IBC convention keynote was given by Joanna Shields, EMEA managing director of Facebook. The most successful social network by far it now has 750 million members, half of which use it every day. Harnessing even a part of that massive potential source of shared knowledge is a powerful marketing tool. may be a new operational cost, but it translates into greater revenues from merchandising on the programmes own website. Shields was keen to point out that Facebook has no interest in becoming a source of content itself, remaining a channel for people to talk about, and recommend, good content elsewhere. She coined the term “social TV”, saying that for producers and broadcasters it delivered “better discovery, better viewing, better marketing and better monetisation”. Social TV Her claim that “all TV will be social” was backed up by Alex Blum of Kit Digital, who said “social TV is not just a buzzword. It is the future of TV and people’s desire to have a deeper engagement with their favourite content. “The key to success lies in developing a second screen strategy that provides control while complementing and enhancing the viewer experience,” he added. But while creating that content to lock the audience in is the big challenge for broadcasters and producers today, providing the connectivity to support the multi-screen universe is a technical issue which is rapidly approaching a crisis. According to Amy Cravens of researchers In-Stat, “tablets have had a huge influence on bandwidth consumption”. Gabrielle Gauthey of Alcatel-Lucent raised the prospect of a 30-fold increase in the demand for wireless bandwidth. In five years, she suggested, “70% of mobile devices will be internet-enabled, and 80% of the traffic on wireless broadband networks will be video”. 21 IP transport Broadening the scope of the discussion to look at the load not just on wireless spectrum but on the IP backbone that supports it, Roberto Viola of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group urged the need for change to accommodate IP traffic in a much more efficient way. “The internet will not replace traditional broadcasting tomorrow,” he said, “but transformation is necessary. Whether we like it or not, IP transport will be the standard, and the question is whether to have a network that is flexible enough to allow for different priorities of traffic.” While well designed apps for smartphones and tablets can minimise the amount of data required, there is another development which may call for ever more bandwidth into the home. The idea of the connected TV is, in effect, to put the multi-screen experience onto a single screen: a television set with an ethernet socket alongside the HDMI. Connected TV That is the idea being promoted by consumer electronics manufacturers, at least, who are keen to find a new way of selling replacement televisions. In truth it is unlikely to see much take-up. Consumers buy large television sets for their living rooms because they want to enjoy large HD pictures, not because they want to obscure those pictures with pop-up boxes, Twitter crawls and email windows. More to the point, while watching television programmes still remains a communal activity, with several people looking at the main screen, social networking is an individual activity, and one family member www.reassuringlyinexpensive.ae Tel: +971 (0)4 3206688 Don’t lower your standards. Be driven by value. In the current economic climate, it can be challenging to maintain one’s standards. 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It will be the point at which video on demand services finally become a mass market – provided that there is sufficient bandwidth to deliver the quality of experience consumers used to broadcast HD television have come to expect. It also depends upon the design of that common user interface. Dan Danker, general manager of the highly successful BBC iPlayer service, was scathing about the way that we have to work through complex remote controls to get to interactive content. He quoted the statistic that in the UK, home of the BBC, 80% of internetenabled households have not tried the iPlayer because it is too difficult. Unstoppable movement He was criticised on stage in the IBC conference by consumer electronics manufacturers, but he persisted, asking “Why are we allowing our end users to stitch together the parts in our organisation that do not talk to each other. By 2017 During IBC Harris was celebrating it's part in a new broadcasting centre in Turkmenistan. An architecturally bold building houses 13 television and 50 radio stations, as well as all the supporting infrastructure. nearly every household will have a connectable TV, according to industry forecasts, but whether they use it or not is down to us.” The message coming out of IBC2011 is that there is a clear understanding that, as Facebook’s Joanna Shields said, “all TV will be social”. That is an unstoppable movement because it is driven by consumers. The challenges are both creative – developing content that locks in the audience – and technical – finding enough bandwidth to support all these online devices. We face interesting times. One Workflow Create, manage and play your video and graphics onto TV, the Internet and Mobile with one unified workflow. Viz Media Engine provides a single, eﬃcient path from acquisition to play-out and distribution, oﬀering the ideal workflow with integrated real-time graphics and intelligent device adaptation for multiple platforms. For more information, visit vizrt.com or contact your local Vizrt sales representative, TJ Nuckolls, on +971 4365 4649 23 Video analytics go beyond loss prevention in retail environment More and better tools to combat retail theft have come to market in recent years, including video analytics software. W hile video analytics is most commonly deployed in loss prevention applications, it is also useful to address a variety of other challenges. In fact, the current trend is to use video to improve revenues and enhance operations. Here, then, are some productivity, merchandising and customer service applications for video analytics: Staffing Retailers often guess at what staffing levels should be at certain times on given days based on vague information (comments like: “we were pretty busy yesterday afternoon”) regarding store traffic. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find too many or too few staff on the floor, which can translate into either unnecessary personnel expenses or poor customer service levels and lost sales. But with the use of “people counting” applications linked to video cameras that focus on entrances and exits, some retailers are taking the guessing out of staffing. Once they know how much busier the store is at specific days and times, they can delegate staff appropriately. Other retailers have taken this even further. They’ve added additional cameras and are analysing the amount of foot traffic moving into individual department areas to determine, for example, grocery department staffing needs vs. those of the clothing and electronics departments. Beyond staffing, counting the volume flow of shoppers can be useful in merchandising. One retailer had promotional signage near the entrance it believed most customers entered. Through video-based people counting, it quickly discovered that almost half were actually entering through another area with limited signage and therefore increased its promotional signage there. 1 Customer Flow Analysing more than the number of people entering and leaving the store can 24 provide additional benefits. For example, one jewellery chain uses video analytics to measure customer traffic flow patterns by aisle and displays. The retailer then evaluates whether merchandise is being displayed properly and analyses the impact of sales promotions. The technology is so advanced it can now accurately note how many people stop in front of an endcap or display for a length of time (say 10 seconds) to gauge their interest in an item or items. By filtering out all other video footage, retailers can view all such behaviour that takes place over the course of a month in a matter of minutes. This enables them to redesign the shop layout and to test whether customer browsing increases with the change. Over time, retailers can conduct trend analysis month-to-month or year-to-year— to uncover hidden trends and anticipate unusual customer traffic. That same 2 jewellery chain also uses analytic motion tracking/thermal zone capabilities to determine locations within the store that customers most frequent. For example, it is able to identify whether customers go directly to specific counters with sales items or browse throughout the entire store first. Another retailer wanted to know more than just how many people are lingering next to a particular item. It wondered whether they were male or female. This retailer now calls up each 10second video of individuals who stopped near specific items, identifies their gender, then skips to the next video clip and so on. By doing so, it can determine within an hour the gender of more than 350 people who have been near an area of interest, something that couldn’t be done in the past. analytics to be alerted when a customer arrives at the register, detect how fast checkout lines are growing and even predict when they will reach a size that requires additional cashiers. By doing so, they can address long lines and impatient customers before they become dissatisfied. Market Research terms of liability and insurance. With analytics, the retailer can be alerted to potential safety threats without putting staff in danger and have advanced search tools for quickly reviewing recorded video for investigational purposes. In some cases, these tools have saved retailers from fraudulent lawsuits originating when shoppers fake falls or other injuries in aisles. 5 Customer Service Loss prevention Knowing when customers need assistance can improve their level of satisfaction and increase sales. Aiming video cameras integrated with analytics on high-margin items to see when customers loiter more than 10 seconds is an easy way to accomplish this. One retailer found that 75% of customers standing at highvalue items were not getting customer service help. It implemented video analytic alarms linked to store associates’ mobile devices so personnel would approach customers who appeared to need assistance. Doing so dramatically increased these interactions and improved sales. That same retailer also conducts periodic audits via analytics to ensure that over time a high percentage of these customers continue to get assistance. Another retailer links local store video to its central headquarters where it conducts periodic audits to ensure that products are being displayed properly and customers are receiving proper service. On occasion, it has even sent remote alerts to staff that customers require assistance. Given that some stores are 2 500 miles away, in addition to improving the customer experience, it has also saved considerable travel time and staff expense. In other cases, retailers have used 3 Getting accurate metrics regarding buyer behaviour can be frustrating. But when various analytic capabilities are combined, retailers can determine how many people walked in the store, then determine what percentage entered a given department, figure out how many of those paused for a period next to an item and received help from an associate. The retailer then compares POS numbers to determine what percentage of those who showed interest in a given product resulted in a sale. Doing so enables retailers to analyse multiple store elements that can be improved. 4 Safety and Security The safety and security of both employees and customers is of critical importance and is a significant factor in 6 Loss prevention groups will continue to use video analytics to reduce shrinkage; we shouldn’t minimise that value. But retailers are also finding new and creative ways to improve operations, merchandising and customer service with video analytics. About the author Bradley Cabral is director of ANV Holdings in Johannesburg. The company provides integrated intelligent video management solutions for security surveillance and business intelligence applications using Huawei Symantec’s hardware and security software platforms. 25 working very closely with director, Gavin Wratten, who is very proactive about the look and feel of the show. Aesthetically, Cutts wanted to give it a cleaner and more sharply defined look this year, with lots of strong and distinctive back lighting - more akin to an American Idol look - on considerably less budget! With series six hailed as a cut above the first five in terms of production values, there was a strong commitment to "Raise the bar" further on this one in terms of technology and fabulousness A major challenge was the tight stage space and relatively low headroom of the Mosaiek Teatro, which is also a practicing church. Tight production schedule Using the Robes enables Cutts to bring plenty of dynamics into play. Over the 10 week series he has to light a massive number of different performances covering all musical genres, making each look unique and interesting on camera and live. Another challenge is the weekly programming schedule, which is intense, with a very limited time between finding out the performance schedule and having to be ready with some spectacular Robe for Idols South Africa Idols is one of the most enduringly popular global TV talent shows ... and Robe moving lights have joined the thrills, excitement and action on several Idols' around the world, with the latest being the current series of Idols South Africa. This is recorded at the Mosaiek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg live in front of 3,500 people, and broadcast on M-Net, M-Net HD and Mzansi Magic on Sunday and Tuesday evenings. T he lighting and video visuals for this seventh series of Idols SA have been created by Joshua Cutts, one of South Africa's most innovative designers who is working for the first time in this role, having operated last year's series. It is the first time that Idols South Africa has featured a coherent 'visual' design incorporating both mediums, which is going down a storm with everyone, bringing a new fluidity and harmony to the show. The set is designed by the renowned Dewet Meyer, and lighting equipment is being supplied by Dream Sets from Johannesburg, all brought in by production company, Nevermachine. Huge investment Dream Sets made a huge investment in Robe kit last year, and on this show are six ColorWash 700E ATs, six ColorBeam 700E ATs, 18 ColorSpot 700E ATs and 18 ColorWash 2500's, plus strobes, generics and LED fixtures. These are rigged on a combination of installed trussed and dead-hung house LX bars over the stage, plus two advance trusses in the auditorium, with some clamped to the downstage edges of the set. Directly in front of the main set wall - clad in striking LED panels - is a skeletal arched truss which complements the elliptical shape of the set, echoing its sweeping curved side staircases. Idol's design directoves Cutts received some general Idols brand design directives which ensure maintenance of a degree of global continuity as stipulated by format owners Freemantle Media. He also had the opportunity for his own creative input and styling as well as 26 Dene Vorster from Rodepoort took the crowd "Higher And Higher" when she put her own spin on this Jackie Wilson classic. This ambitious teenager dreams of one day becoming a singer or actor, and if that doesn’t pan out she has her eye set on studying medicine. lighting for the record session. The six ColorBeam 700E ATs are positioned on the floor and used to make dramatic, powerful high impact beam and silhouette effects. The mega-bright ColorWash 2500s are on the upstage bars in the ceiling and give high level, high quality beamage and also introduce an element of rawness. In addition to the moving lights, 12 Robe CitySkape48 LED wash lights are used to wash the set very effectively. "They are great lights," Cutts says of the Robes, describing the ColorWash 2500s as "Awesome". In particular he likes the flexibility of being able to zoom right out for optimum stage coverage, or right in to make it into a tight, collimated beam light. He adds the consistency between the different Robe models and fixtures is also helpful. He runs the show from a grandMA2 full size console which is triggering a Pandora's Box media server feeding all the video and LED surfaces. Dave Van Vuuren is the new South African Idol. Dave became the seventh person to win M-Net’s Idols at a star-studded Finalé at the Mosaïek Teatro in Fairlands, Johannesburg, beating fellow finalist Mark out by just 0.5 percent of the public vote – the smallest margin in South African Idols history. again prove reliable and well built. He also praises service from Robe's South African distributor DWR Distribution as "Second to none". There has been a stunning line up of talent on this year's Idols SA, which is executive produced by Anneke de Ridder and production managed by Michelle Miller. Other Reliable and well built From a technician's viewpoint, Dream Sets' Eben Peltz comments that the Robes are worked hard and are on all their major shows and time and Suppli ers of st Q u e st e k is o f f e r in g e xc it ing a n d r e war d in g c ar e e r s in lead in g e d ge br o ad c ast te c h n o lo gy: a te -of-th U Broadcast Sales Engineers e- U Broadcast Service Engineers a rt t ec h Career opportunities also in no other fields of visualisation such logies as digital cinema, control rooms, OOH, corporate audio visual and medical. Candidates to have solid . .. highlights have included James Blunt opening one show, US singer Chante Moore joining the judging panel for the same programme that also featured the incredible Mzanzi Choir, who made their presence and rhythm felt as they performed special numbers with all the contestants reaching the final 7 stage. Ac qu technical or IT background isi Contact George van Gils at (011) 706 0405 tio n t o tr ans mis sion [email protected] 27 to dig ital cinem a cell 082 825 5592 www.questekadvanced.co.za Allen & Heath selected for new Saudi University Allen & Heath mixing consoles have been installed throughout the new Princess Noura bint AbdulRahman University for Women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. S upplied by CAP France BAT with the support of Allen & Heath distributor PAXT Pro Audio Engineering, the audio installation encompasses the University’s Convention Centre including a 2,800 capacity theatre, a smaller 1,400 capacity theatre, a rehearsal/ multipurpose theatre, and ten seminar rooms. The University was officially opened by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah less than three years after laying the first foundation stone. The major building project covers 8 million square metres, and includes administration buildings, 13 faculties, a 700-bed student hospital, laboratories, research centres and a residential area including accommodation for students and staff. The capacity of the university is around 26,000 students. seminar rooms to mix wireless, gooseneck mics and programme audio sources. The two larger theatres feature a total of four iDR-48 MixRacks and four iLive-T112 Control Surfaces to manage FOH and monitors, whilst the Black Box rehearsal theatre contains an iDR-32 MixRack with iLive-T80 Control Surface. Additionally, ZED-14 analogue stereo USB mixers are installed in each of the Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University is composed of a 32 colleges across Riyadh region. 3 TELEPROMPTING SOLUTIONS IN 1 On-camera unit Straight-read above camera teleprompter Floor or tripod standing straight-read monitor Starter Series 17” Prompter THE BROADCAST PROFESSIONALS’ CHOICE FOR OVER 55 YEARS. Visit us at Showroom No.1, Rashid Al Majid Building, Airport Road, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel.: +971 4 282 7171, Fax: +971 4 282 7373, E-mail:[email protected] 28 unitedbroadcast.com Alsumaria TV purchases iQ for promos, commercials and idents The Lebanese arm of Alsumaria TV has purchased a Quantel iQ 2K multi-resolution finishing system for its creative department. The iQ will be the lynchpin of Alsumaria TV’s intensive promotions production operation, and will also help drive the broadcaster’s channel identity design, commercials creation, post production and programme graphic design. W e produce more than 35 different promos every week, 15 or more 3D jingles and 20 2D animations each month as well,” said Walid Melki, Antenna Management Director of Alsumaria. “When you’re under that kind of pressure, you need a system which is really fast and efficient, and nothing beats Quantel in these areas. The iQ also fully integrates all the editing and graphics tools we need in a single system, which will further help speed work through the creative suite. And when Alsumaria TV moves into HD broadcasting, being a 2K capable system, the iQ will make the transition seamlessly. “As regards selecting the iQ, I knew what we wanted right from Louma Rabah and Carl Sakr of Alsumaria TV at the controls of the iQ the beginning. I’ve worked on Quantel systems for many years,” Melki continued. “I started at TF1 in France on Paintbox, then Harry, Hal, Henry and Editbox. When I moved to Lebanon in 2004 I began working on Final Cut, After Effects etc, but I missed the speed and efficiency of Quantel systems, so when the chance came to bring Quantel back into my working environment, I took it eagerly. I know our operators will take to iQ easily and will make the best use of it. I count on Quantel all the way.” According to Quantel, iQ delivers the only DI business model that works and works. It’s been used to produce thousands of movies and is widely regarded as the world’s number one DI system, delivering real benefits to the entire finishing and DI pipeline:. “iQ helps everybody by making late changes easier to handle,” concludes Melki. Marshall Electronics presents OR-70-3D The world's first portable 7-inch 3D production monitor with innovative "glasses free" autostereoscopic technology. High Resolution (1600 x 600) Multi-Format Support Dual Real-Time Waveform Monitor Dual Real-Time Color Vectorscope Dual Real-Time Image Processing Analysis 3G-SDI Input with Loop-Through Red/Blue/Green/Mono Channel Time Code (VITC/LTC) unitedbroadcast.com Visit us at Showroom No.1, Rashid Al Majid Building, Airport Road, Dubai, U.A.E. Tel.: +971 4 282 7171, Fax: +971 4 282 7373, E-mail:[email protected] 29 RAI Amsterdam Conference 6-11 September : Exhibition 7-11 September Catch the Industry’s Imagination Enter the IBC Innovation Awards and share your applications of innovation. This is your opportunity to be part of one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the electronic media, entertainment and technology industry. If your organisation has applied an original solution to a real-world challenge to move the industry forward, then IBC want to hear about it. The IBC Innovation Awards are unique in the sense that they recognise how manufacturers, vendors and end users work together to achieve a real benefit, be it technical, creative or commercial. The Awards celebrate the visionary application of technology and the innovation that was achieved through collaboration. The awards are presented in three categories – most innovative projects in: • content creation • content management • content delivery In addition to the Innovation Awards, the IBC Awards ceremony also honours those in the industry who have made an exceptional and outstanding contribution to broadcasting, including the International Honour for Excellence, Judges’ Prize, Best Conference Paper and the Exhibition Design Awards. To find out more information about the IBC Innovation Awards and how to submit your entry by Friday 10 February 2012, visit: www.ibc.org/awardsentry Previous Winners Include: Apple, Atlantic Productions, BBC, BSkyB, CNBC, CNN, DNA, Dreamworks Animation SKG, ESPN, FIFA, Freeview, HBS, Manolo Romero (IHFE), NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Red Bull Air Race, Sir David Attenborough (IHFE), Sony, Walt Disney Pictures IBC Fifth Floor International Press Centre 76 Shoe Lane London EC4A 3JB UK T +44 (0) 20 7832 4100 F +44 (0) 20 7832 4130 E [email protected] www.ibc.org First InfoComm MEA ends on high note Exhibitors at the first InfoComm Middle East & Africa (MEA) gave the event a thumbs-up at the close of the show as more than 90% booked for next year’s event. In an initial feedback, exhibitors pointed to the substantial traffic flow, the quality of visitors and the excellent organization of the event that contributed to a more-than-satisfying experience for them. W ith about 12 thousand visitors attending the 5-day show, the organisers acknowledged that the synergy with GITEX Technology Week has proven to be beneficial. IFMEA will return with a bigger show next year and will again be co-located with GITEX Technology Week. Companies like Extron, Crestron, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Jupiter, Samsung, Venuetech, Wolfvision, Hitachi, NEC, AMX, Arrive System and many others have rebooked their booth space; while Sony and Vtron who missed this year's show have also reserved a booth for the 2012 event. Good traffic flow According to Alistair Duthie, Divisional Manager of Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Visual Information Systems Division: "This is the only event that covers the entire Middle East region for the pro AV industry. There's been good traffic flow and quality visitors who are clear about the products and services they are looking for. We will definitely be back next year!" His enthusiasm for the event is shared by Brady O Bruce, Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Jupiter Systems. "We jumped at the chance to participate in an InfoComm event covering the Middle East and Africa as a way to form new partnerships and drive more business in the region. We have not been disappointed. The quality of attendees has been fantastic. We have met with top-notch integrators, as well as key figures in government and the private sector, working on specific and substantial projects. In fact, we've issued some large sales quotes at the show. This has been another terrific InfoComm event - well planned, well organized, and well marketed. We will be back." Analog Way's Area Sales Manager, Demetrio Faroldi has this to add: "This is the most professional and dedicated industry event in the Middle East. Despite this being the first showing, it is already the most important event for Analog Way." Encouraging response The organisers were equally elated by the encouraging response to their first MEA event. Richard Tan, General Manager of InfoCommAsia, the Asia-Pacific regional subsidiary of InfoComm International, said: "We are delighted with the feedback and responses from our exhibitors. The statistics are very encouraging indeed, 31 especially in the light of current global economic uncertainties. We are heartened that the pro AV industry has shown resilience and kept its focus on growing the industry and markets. This show was made possible at the urging of and with the support of the AV industry players. They know where the business opportunities are and we are honoured that they have asked us to put the show together for them." More than 70 pro AV manufacturers and suppliers from 16 countries participated in InfoComm MEA 2011. Christie projects at Kuwait 360 Mall family entertainment center The 360 Mall’s Family Entertainment Center complex in Kuwait features an all-around immersive mall experience that offers top-of-the-line rides, the latest video games and skill tests for the entire family. C reated by Tamdeen Entertainment Company and designed by Concept i Design, Electrosonic designed, supplied, installed and programmed extensive LED lighting, digital signage, video projection, special effects, audio and show control — drawing on Christie projection — for what has become a go-to destination. Helping to put the ‘fun’ into the ‘Infunity Zone’, with its assortment of rides, is a Christie DS+750, 7500 ANSI lumens single-chip DLP SXGA+ projector. Working in combination with GestureTek gesture-controlled tracking technology this fires vertically down onto the floor to enable children to interact with the content of popping balloons and swimming fish. Elsewhere, the Freeze Club (with its North Pole motif) offers a unique venue for Kuwaiti teens with arcades, video games and simulators. An interactive video wall at the entrance features two flexible Christie DHD700 single-chip DLP HD projectors — again working with GestureTek cameras and tracking systems, and outputting 6500 ANSI lumens — allowing young guests to interact with the content, while low-lying fog is generated underneath the video wall itself. Extremely popular in visitor attractions, the DHD700 contains a unique, user-changeable, twin-colour wheel system (to offer high brightness and rich-colour options) so that the presentation can be optimised according to which mode is preferred: there is also a choice of six motorised HD lens. Creating further impact in Infunity 67 LED fixtures wash the games area and generate excitement with colour changes, while an entire wall of 18 displays forms an art installation in the middle of the zone’s large atrium. Infunity also features what is believed to be the largest LED wall in Kuwait — a 10mm, 7.68 x 4.8 meter LED 32 video wall. Electrosonic have also injected the Freeze Club with 15 LCD digital signage systems to display advertising and information, while a lo-res wall, boasting over 2,000 meters of LEDs, wraps around the entire room and displays fire, rain, graphics and abstract patterns. A laser system, installed by Electrosonic, recreates the Aurora Borealis on the domed ceiling and is enhanced by smoke effects. The complex also incorporates a 20 lane Bowl Room (plus separate VIP lanes), which includes 3,500 individual strands of colour-changing fibre in a nine-chandelier array, while the overall installation incorporates an advanced audio solution, with central and local control racks, while centrally-located Medialon servers control digital signage throughout the complex. Electrosonic’s scope of work in the complex spanned a total of 18 months. Local labour and support was provided by aDawliah. Trilogy selected for Mauritius Broadcasting expansion Trilogy Communications has announced that the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, national provider of radio and television in Mauritius, has selected their Orator Digital Matrix Intercom system as part of their expansion to new studios. S upplied directly to Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation, the installation of the new Orator, a fully featured compact Digital Intercom with a 36 port configuration, will be used in the corporations’ new Central Equipment Room, Master Control Rooms and two studios. The link between the matrices and control panels is easily established via CAT 5 cables with RJ45 connectors. With an Orator Digital Matrix Intercom already installed in their current facility, the new and old systems are E1 networked together and to a Master Control Room (MCR) allowing for seamless operation between users in the different studios. Easy to configure The familiarity of the Intercom and its Pathfinder Lite Configuration software, combined with the flexibility and scalability the Orator offers, meant that custom configuration was set up quickly and easily. Key to Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation’s selection of the Orator Intercom was the ability for it to store four complete configurations within the matrix, which can be selected and run without the matrix being linked to a PC, when they have a short period of time to set-up and prepare new engineering team when needing to adjust settings according to demand. Additionally, use of the Rapide software allows for non-intrusive real time configuration changes to the system. Long-standing relationship "Having previously deployed Trilogy equipment, Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation wanted to utilise their previous investments but add additional capabilities and increase the scalability of their communications network across the new studios," says Barry Spencer, general manager of Trilogy Broadcast. configurations for different events. The intuitive Pathfinder Lite software is an easy to use interface that allows any system parameter to be readily edited or modified, meeting Mauritius Broadcasting Corporations’ desire for a system that is easily configurable by the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation has a long history of utilising Trilogy’s equipment, having first installed the Orator Intercom, with in-ear monitoring and beltpacks, and two Mentor XLs and a MasterMind change over unit in their first fully digital Outside Broadcast (OB) vans in 2003 as part of their transition from analogue to digital. Barry Spencer, General Manager - Broadcast at Trilogy, commented: “ Having previously deployed Trilogy equipment, Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation wanted to utilise their previous investments but add additional capabilities and increase the scalability of their communications network across the new studios. Working together, we provided full on line support to MBC Engineers to ensure they had maximum performance, whilst minimising expenditure and time spent on configuration. We look forward to continuing to work with them to meet all of their future studio and OB van requirements.” Please add www.avspecialist.tv to your SAFE SENDERS list Is our mail in the junk? As the internet becomes ever-more invasive, computer-savvy consumers are using SPAM filters to separate legitimate email from the hoard of promotional messages that invade our email INBOX every day. They’re very smart and very useful. But sometimes these filters are a little too smart for their own good – shifting essential email into your Junk mail folder and cutting you off from critical information. To ensure that you receive reliable email communication from AV Specialist, please add www.avspecialist.tv to your SAFE SENDERS list. We promise: We’ll only send you information that’s relevant and adds value to your business. AV Specialist conforms to the US Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) which establishes requirements for sending commercial e-mail and gives consumers the right to ask e-mailers to stop spamming them. 33 The $75 billion audiovisual industry provides critical support to large corporations, small businesses, retail outlets, education and healthcare institutions, entertainment venues, the government and more. AV helps us communicate better, protects critical infrastructure, assists with life-saving diagnoses, educates students around the world and keeps society informed and entertained. To learn more about the audio visual industry in Middle East visit www.mecia.org Dubai TV selects Prysm Display to transform its Sports channel Prysm’s display solution has transformed Dubai TV’s sports studio backdrop by installing a 4m x 1.2m video wall which went live at the end of September. Prysm’s Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) will transform broadcast applications with its low power consumption, wide viewing angle and crisp images. R ashed Amiri, Head of Dubai sports channel said: “We met with four other manufacturers of different videowall platforms before deciding that Prysm was the right solution for the studio. The qualities and features of Laser Phosphor Display technology within the broadcast environment are in line with what we want to bring to the sports channel in the future.” Ihab El Baba, Managing Director of Baba Broadcast Services explained: “I first became aware of this new technology platform at PALME Middle East exhibition. The crisp picture quality, low power consumption and long life span are all qualities that go beyond existing platforms and I will recommend that other stations use this for studio backdrops from now on.” Ihab has over 20 years of broadcasting experience, as well as strategic consultancy for workflow design for televisions station and newsroom systems. Solid state laser technology Prysm’s LPD technology works by solid state lasers scanning the surface of the screen to excite the phosphors and create the image. This has a number of benefits for broadcasters. From an environmental perspective, each 25” tile draws an average of just 30 watts of power, 75% less than traditional LCD and projection solutions usually found in studios. The products also emits almost no heat so no additional HVAC cooling infrastructure is required which can be costly and noisy in small studios. In terms of picture quality, LPD delivers an ultra wide viewing angle of 178°, ideal for different camera angles as the screen never loses its picture quality and colours remain consistent within tiles and throughout the videowall. The temperature of the screen can be individually set depending on the studio environment and use, ranging from 11,000K to as low as the 2700K, ensuring skin tones are portrayed accurately and in line with the presenters in the studio. IABM broadcast training comes to Africa Working in association with the IABM (International Association of Broadcast Manufacturers), SACIA will be presenting a number of training courses in Johannesburg during January – February 2012 18-19 January 2012 Broadcast & Media Technology – Understanding your Industry This two-day course aims to familiarise delegates with broadcast and media technology, the associated jargon and the role that technology plays in the business in which they operate. It is designed for staff in broadcasters, their technology suppliers, post-production, facilities and related businesses where their work requires an appreciation of the technology as opposed to an in-depth understanding of it. 9-10 February 2012 Audio & Video Fundamentals for Engineers This course is for graduate engineers and technologists who need to orientate themselves to the specific technologies and applications involved in the generation, movement and monitoring of audio and video signals and files in a broadcast and media technology environment. For more information on these courses visit www.iabmacademy.org or email [email protected] 35 Kigali broadband meeting highlights key role of youth Broadband commissioners and interested representatives of governments, private sector and civil society met in Rwanda’s capital Kigali during September to focus on challenges, priorities and strategies that can help get the African continent wired to high-speed networks. T he meeting was held at the invitation of the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who cochairs the Broadband Commission for Digital Development. President Kagame is a staunch champion of the transformational power of technology, and has prioritized the construction of information and technology (ICT) networks as part of his national rebuilding programme. The meeting’s first day focused on the role of youth in defining new ICT services and driving take-up. In a continent where over half the population is yet to reach adulthood, Rwanda has an exceptionally young population, with 42% of people under the age of 15. Energy and passion “African youth possesses the energy, passion and dedication to use these technologies to address global challenges and truly benefit from ICTs. Our duty as leaders is to build the right environment and promote the necessary investments to allow them to fulfil their potential. Let´s not wait another century to recognize that broadband was another missed opportunity for Africa”, highlighted Kagame. Two high-level round table debates looked at the policies needed to help ensure African youth gain access to online services such as education, healthcare, and considered how government and industry can support strategies to encourage youth entrepreneurship. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has presented its 2011 Access to Learning Award of $1 million to the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN), which provides knowledge and information through a variety of innovative channels in remote communities throughout Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Members of these communities use the technology and other tools at ALIN’s Knowledge Centers to gain information to improve their health, increase their incomes, and better their lives. Microsoft, a partner of the foundation in its efforts to help public libraries connect people with relevant technology and skills, will provide ALIN with a donation of over US$270,000 worth of software and technology training curriculum to help the organization serve the local community. Most powerful tools Speaking at the opening of the Youth session, Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary general of the ITU, told participants, including 135 young students from Kigali’s leading tertiary education institutions, as well as from other neighbouring countries, that broadband is the single most powerful tool available to accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and to drive social and economic development. “In the 21st century, with broadband, no young African should ever again need to be sent abroad in order to enjoy the benefits of an excellent education,” said Dr Touré. “If you are connected, it no longer matters if you are geographically or socially isolated; you are still connected to the information society. But if you are not connected, you are, literally, cut off from a whole portion of the world’s riches.” Broadband prices falling, but much of Africa remains unconnected. Figures 36 released by the ITU earlier this year show that worldwide, on average, consumers are paying 50% less for high-speed Internet connections than they were two years ago. However, this fall is mainly due to price decreases in developing countries, with steep declines often reflecting the extremely high cost of broadband in the developing world. In 32 countries, a broadband connection still cost more than 50% of monthly GNI per capita in 2010. And in 19 of those nations, the monthly price of a fast Internet connection was still more than 100% of monthly average income. Despite encouraging trends, Africa continues to stand out for its relatively high prices. Fixed broadband Internet access in particular remains prohibitively expensive. By 2010, only one out of nine people in Africa had access to the Internet, and fixed broadband penetration was just 0.2% – compared to 24% in Europe and 26% in the USA. Transforming staff alongside the technology We have talked about transformations in the broadcast environment at every big change: black and white to colour, analogue to digital, SD to HD. But today’s change – from linear audio and video to file-based architectures – is a real transformation, and it requires careful planning not just for the equipment but for the people. F rom the dawn of television you could unplug a BNC and plug in a waveform monitor to see what the signal was like. If the automation went down you could still put an emergency programme into a VTR to keep the station on air. Yes, staff needed training on new equipment, but it was always a development on the familiar. The systems we are building today for our customers are largely filebased, built on IP infrastructures. To give one example, we are currently building what is effectively a greenfield start-up for Sky News Arabia. As well as what we might regard as the traditional HD newsroom and production system this involves accepting content from new platforms like Skype video calling, and it has to deliver to the internet, tablets and mobiles as well as broadcast channels. File based architecture The only practical way to achieve this is through a file-based architecture, and no-one, I think, could argue with that decision. But it does mean that, for broadcast engineers, the 100 or so racks of equipment are largely alien territory. The “Success in any integration project depends on identifying the right people to support the system once it’s installed and operational,” says Suhail Ahmed, manager of Technical Services for TSL Middle East in Dubai. “When a new station goes to air the operational staff need to be fully equipped and fully enthused to make it work.” 37 risk of bottlenecks and critical points of failure are around the IP switches and server drivers, not router ports or VTRs. So the system integrator has to take responsibility for designing a system that can be supported, incubating the internal resources within the broadcaster to understand what the system can and should do, and provide a common point of support to triage faults and get them corrected as quickly as possible. The first critical decisions come at the design stage. The choice of equipment has to be led not by performance alone but by how it can be supported. There is no point in specifying a mission critical piece of equipment if there is no local support in the territory in which it will be installed. Relying on shipping in spares – or an expert engineer – from half way around the world is not acceptable in broadcasting. Design decisions The second and more subtle design decisions are around what happens when THE LENS that captures the widest, deepest, most powerful shots The new DigiSuper 95 field lens lets you capture the widest, most detailed, most vivid HD images ever. It has the widest angle in its class (8.6mm) and an incredible zoom ratio (95x) that’s longer at the tele end with superior image stabilization. Yet it remains surprisingly light and compact. It’s an innovation that could only come from the number one broadcast lens maker in the world. XJ95x8.6B. The Lens The new DigiSuper 95. It’s the new generation. www.canon-europe.com/tv-products a fault does occur. How can problems be mitigated? Without the fall-back of putting a tape into a VTR and patching it on air, you need to understand where the redundancy paths lie, and how they will be implemented should disaster strike. Systematic transfer of skills It is at this point that the staff of the customer organisation starts to become involved. Because you are implementing not just new equipment but new concepts, there has to be a systematic transfer of skills. Installing the system then planning for two weeks of training is probably not going to work. It is only by understanding the logic of the design that engineers will be able to work through issues and develop a clear idea of where a problem lies. Those engineers will come with different skill sets, so the way in which knowledge and understanding is passed on will need to be tailored. Lack of engineering talent As I said earlier, some of these major file-based installations are going into greenfield sites, which means the in-house engineering team will have to be recruited. It is important, therefore, that the system integrator works with the human resources department of the broadcaster to understand who is coming, what skills they bring with them, and when it will be most advantageous to develop those skills with site-specific knowledge. There is real concern around the lack of new engineering talent coming into the industry. The IABM is beginning to tackle this, with introductory courses on the fundamentals of broadcast technology for IT engineers, but much more will be needed. While some technology will be based on commodity IT hardware and software, the special requirements of television will always be there, making extra demands on processing. Bringing the brightest and best engineers into broadcasting is going to take years, so for now at least the system integrator and customer have to work together to develop an effective support structure. It cannot happen overnight, so it needs to be in the implementation programme from the beginning. Finally there is the issue of long term support. In a traditional broadcast architecture the end user would agree an SLA with the key vendors, specifying the speed of response to issues and the replacement of faulty components. When things go wrong But that implies knowing where the fault lies. It is fairly obvious if a VTR stops replaying, or a DA goes dead, but it can be far from obvious when data no longer moves around a complex infrastructure. At that point the broadcaster needs a single person to turn to, and it is likely that the system integrator is the best placed to triage the fault and bring about a speedy resolution. In a support agreement the system integrator can manage the individual SLAs to ensure minimum downtime and maximise performance, as well as verifying upgrades. Commercial benefit Am I suggesting this as a way of justifying further fees for the system integrator? No, I do not see it as a new way of driving profit. There is a commercial benefit, though, in that it helps the SI get even closer to the broadcaster, thereby understanding the real requirements and helping focus future investments as the system evolves. That, I would suggest, benefits both parties. Ultimately, though, success depends upon identifying the right people to support the system, helping them to buy in to the thinking behind it, and developing their understanding of it over time. The goal is that, at the moment of going on air, the broadcast team know the system and are fully equipped, and fully enthused, to make it work. Revised code of practice for sound systems at sports grounds The British Standards Institution has launched the revised BS7827, a code of practice for audio systems designers in sports venues. T he BS7827 code of practice for designing, specifying, maintaining and operating emergency sound systems at sports venues, was initially drawn up in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, and covers not only stadia, but any venue where sport is played such as race courses and swimming pools. It is also applicable to large public facilities such as shopping malls, conference and exhibition centres. Steve Jones, a Consulting Engineer specialising in sound and Chairman of the EPL 100-2 Working Group at BSI, who produced the revised standard, said: “The origins of this standard are a code of practice produced by a working group within the Sound Communications Industries Federation, which I chaired back in 1989 after the Hillsborough disaster. It was then taken into the British Standards and became BS7827 in 1996. Four years ago we had a meeting of the EPL 100 Group, and decided to revise that standard, and I was appointed chairman of the revision panel. Our first meeting was in January 2008, and now 3 and a half years later, we have published the revised standard.” The new revision, BS7827:2011, was formally concluded at PLASA 2011, which provided the perfect setting to put forward this new code of practice to the pro audio industry. At the launch, Steve commented: “This is a code of practice; a guide as to what to think about when you are designing a system right through to commissioning a system, and also the part in the middle, which is the electro-acoustic design and the system design and so on. We’re hoping that some of the good work that we have put into this standard will go into EN54 part 32, which is being written at the moment by the European Working Group 3, and that will effectively be a performance standard for voice alarm systems.” 39 The Hillsborough disaster was a human crush that occurred on 15 April 1989 at Hillsborough football stadium, resulting in the deaths of 96 people, and 766 being injured, all fans of Liverpool FC. It remains the deadliest stadium-related disaster in British history and one of the worst ever international football accidents. The official inquiry into the disaster concluded that "the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control." The findings of the report resulted in the elimination of standing terraces at all major football stadia in both England and Scotland, as well as the BS7827 code of practice for designing, specifying, maintaining and operating emergency sound systems at sports venues. The No.1 show for professional AV and electronic systems integration presented by See. Hear. Touch. ISE 2012 will have more new technology on display than any other AV industry tradeshow. With thousands of new products from over 750 exhibitors, you’re bound to find something you have not seen, heard, or touched before. If it’s going to make an impact on tomorrow’s media and communications environment, you’ll find it at ISE 2012. Platinum Sponsors: www.iseurope.org CNN revamp core production workflows CNN has, over the past 3 years, transformed its newsgathering and production environment from a heavy reliance on tape with several 'digital production islands' to an entirely file-based system of functions that facilitates content awareness, sharing, interoperability and reuse. These systems have been a fundamental enabler in CNN's content ownership strategy and transition to HD. B ased on industry standards and open architecture, CNN have leveraged MXF as a single common format across hundreds of devices that constitute their end to end workflow. A bespoke media asset management system, MediaSource, provides management of over 20 content repositories around the world. With more than 400 cameras (all file-based by summer 2011) and edit systems in the field, many endpoints were required to accept file-based material. CNN developed a workgrouporiented media asset management system known as MediaSource for these endpoints, which were typically small to mid-size bureaus or production units. This system has an advanced knowledge of how to migrate material from the various camera storage formats. Metadata generated in the field is preserved when files are ingested into the system. The system facilitates both local production via an advanced interface with Apple's Final Cut Pro, as well as connection to their central digital library for deep archive. Formerly, this video would have been lost, or resided in ad-hoc libraries with little to no potential for re-use, especially across locations. There are currently over 20 of these systems deployed around the world, which federate together so remote users can search, find, view - and if needed transfer material to their local environment for production John Nowak / CNN Worldwide content visibility and access their networks and platforms. They have high throughput, recording a total of 90 HD feeds concurrently, with 90 craft edit systems, resulting in 10-20 thousand media assets per week. Cumulatively they service thousands of concurrent users from around the world who interact with these systems. Due to the fact that they support several businesses with different production schedules, the maintenance windows are counted in minutes per week, so they must have very high availability and the ability to be serviced "in flight." Core production systems Having established a file based newsgathering and workgroup production infrastructure, CNN turned their focus to the core Atlanta and New York production environments. These systems are responsible for producing the vast majority of material for all of John Nowak / CNN 41 CNN adopted the look and feel of MediaSource for the user experience. As such, users were able to see across the breadth of their network, from production centre to small bureau, with a single search - and maintain a common user experience across all underlying infrastructure. The core of the system consists of Omneon servers responsible for ingesting, file storage, file movement and playback of video files to air. Omneon Media Application Services (MAS) allow MediaSource 2 to manage assets across this broad infrastructure base. MAS also ensures that files are replicated across the two large MediaGrid storage arrays, which can be switch dynamically with no impact to production.Similar to the bureaus, Final Cut Pro was integrated directly into MediaSource to facilitate production workflow. In this case, Sony provided a new plug-in for Final Cut Pro that allows the editor to directly access the MXF material recorded by Omneon. New approaches were implemented to enable frame chase editing for growing files, GOP-splice smart rendering and specialized API's The South African Communications Industries Association is a not-for-profit Trade Association committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards in the audiovisual industry throughout Africa. An informed business choice Question: When selecting a vendor for your next AV installation, which of these items is the LEAST important item you should consider? a. b. c. d. Price quoted for the project Installation quality of the installations dept Company reputation in the marketplace Financial stability of the supplier Answer: (a) In today’s tough economic climate it’s obviously important to consider price as an important factor in choosing a supplier for your next AV installation. But choosing a supplier based on price alone is a surefire path to failure and an ineffective AV solution. Chose a vendor based on their ability to provide an AV solution that meets your requirements and make sure you’re buying from a reputable organization with certified staff and the resources to back-up your installation on a longterm basis. SACIA is the leading trade association for the professional AV industry in Southern Africa. We promote the adoption of professional standards in the local market and our members commit to truth, honesty and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of the audiovisual profession. When you’re looking for a reputable supplier with a proven track record in the professional AV market, our members are a good place to start. For more information on SACIA and a full list of members, please visit www.sacia.org.za to provide streaming output of rendered sequences back to MediaSource and Omneon. IPV provided live access to low resolution proxy of HD recordings and cut material, viewable in MediaSource. They are also in the process of rolling out a "reduced UI" version of Adobe Premiere to provide desktop editing capabilities utilizing IPV proxy to hundreds of journalists. Adobe's 64 bit render engine has been extracted from the editor and deployed in a backend render farm, controlled by MediaSource. From cameras, to servers, to editing, playout, web delivery and archive, a single canonical media format was been utilized - MXF OP1 a. Any file from any point in this process can now be utilized around the world with no transcoding or trans-wrapping. CNN and their vendor partners have ensured compatibility and interoperability with this open standard format. Their digital library, revamped for this initiative, accepts archival media from all MediaSource systems, normalizing legacy content formats to the house format upon subsequent fulfillment. Conclusion Ultimately, this system of systems has enabled new business capabilities never possible in the world of tape or "digital islands". They can pursue a location independent production strategy, no longer forcing themselves to locate production close to the point John Nowak / CNN Open Standard Media Architecture of acquisition or recording. Due to common user experience and consistent tooling, skill sets have become transferrable between divisions and across locations. Efficiencies have been realized by capturing metadata close to its origination, rather than at great cost later in the workflow. A single interoperable media format allows us to get more value for money in their storage and networking; there is little to no generation loss mandating highdata rate encodings. Finally, entire systems need no longer be fork-lifted at the end of their useful life. Open architecture with standardized interfaces allows for component replacement and renewal. CNN has, over the past 3 years, transformed its newsgathering and production environment from a heavy reliance on tape with several 'digital production islands' to an entirely file-based system of functions that facilitates content awareness, sharing, interoperability and reuse. These systems have been a fundamental enabler in CNN's content ownership strategy and transition to HD. Based on industry standards and open architecture, CNN have leveraged MXF as a single common format across hundreds of devices that constitute their end to end workflow. A bespoke media asset management system, MediaSource, provides management of over 20 content repositories around the world. Share ideas on LinkedIn Join the SACIA LinkedIn group and share the online discussion about products and issues impacting the future of the professional AV industry in Southern Africa. To find us, click the Groups Tab in your LinkedIn profile and search for SACIA 43 Mitsubishi’s latest projectors go to the front of the class Mitsubishi Electric’s XD360U-EST and WD380U-EST projectors have been specially designed for classrooms or small meeting rooms. The EST Series’ large-diameter lens and unique optical design results in a throw ratio of 0.375(XD360UEST:0.469) - one of the industry’s shortest from a non-mirrored projector. This means large, clear images from very short throw distances without the presenter being blinded by the projector or creating intrusive shadows on the screen as they present. 2800 Lumen brightness (XD360U-EST:2500 Lumen) ensures clear images even in normally-lit rooms. The latest Dark 3 DLP™ chip delivers superior performance and a contrast ratio of 3000:1, helping to make text and diagrams easily readable. The ultra-quiet 28dB fan ensures viewers are not distracted by background noise, while an integral 10W amplifier and speaker provides built-in audio or speaker support via an external microphone. EST series projectors accept wired inputs via VGA, USB or LAN, and wireless LAN connections via commercially available wireless dongles. When used on a network, the projector can show up to four PC inputs simultaneously. SMART Podium 500 Series Interactive Pen Display SMART Technologies has announced the new SMART Podium 500 series. The SMART Podium 518 and 524 interactive pen displays provide the functionality of a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, optimized for individual use, and enable business users and educators to turn any work area or classroom into an interactive collaboration space. The new widescreen, high-definition (HD) series features SMART’s patented DViT (Digital Vision Touch) technology, enabling accurate digital writing and an interactive experience. Both the 518 and 524 models are high-bandwidth digital content protection (HDCP) compliant to ensure safe transfer of files. Because the tethered pen is the point of contact, users can rest their hand on the interactive display while writing notes or interacting with content while the Smooth Tilt Stand enables users to adjust the angle for a more natural writing experience. The SMART Podium 500 series will begin shipping globally by the end of October 2011. Extron introduces TLP 710CV 7" cable cubby Touchpanel New Network Education Series 3LCD Projectors Extron Electronics is pleased to introduce the TLP 710CV Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel. The Extron TLP 710CV is a fully configurable 7" Cable Cubby TouchLink Touchpanel with a contemporary thin bezel design that combines AV system control with the convenience of an Extron Cable Cubby enclosure. It features a tilt-up, full-colour, high-resolution touchscreen in an elegant, metal enclosure that can be mounted securely into a tabletop, lectern, or other flat surface. An integrated MTP twisted pair receiver accepts S-video or composite video and audio input signals over a single CAT 5-type cable. Power over Ethernet - PoE allows the touchpanel to receive power and control over an additional CAT 5-type cable, eliminating the need for a local power supply. The TLP 710CV touchpanel enables integrators to deploy furniture-mountable, fully configurable touchscreen control, with cable management and easy access to AV connectivity and power. Hitachi has introduced three new Network Education Series 3LCD projectors: the CP-WX3014WN, CP-X3014WN and CP-X4014WN. The new models offer networking capability, HDMI inputs and a host of upgraded connectivity and performance features that makes them perfect for use in classrooms and business environments. The CP-WX3014WN, CP-X3014WN and CP-X4014WN all provide networking capability, allowing them to be remotely controlled via a LAN network connection. Hitachi’s exclusive PJMan Projector Management software gives users the ability to operate and monitor the projectors from a remote location, and receive diagnostic information (such as remaining lamp life), making the Network Education Series models ideal for installations where multiple projectors are used, such as an entire building or campus. 44 Gefen introduces new Digital Signage media player Christie introduce next generation 3-chip DLP Xenon platform Gefen has announced the release of its new HD Digital Signage Media Player (EXT-HD-DSMP). Marketed at a compelling retail price, this new media player offers fundamental content playback with support for 1080p full HD. It supplies outputs for HDMI, component, composite and s-video connectivity with audio. Calendar-based scheduling using Gefen’s new Content Management Software (CMS) is accessible through any network to manage all digital signage content from any computer on the network. Based on widely used file transfer protocols (FTP), content can be pushed to the HD Digital Signage Media Player or pulled based on automated calendar scheduling. Like all Gefen digital signage solutions, software is included for the player. Built-in feedback for key functions such as playback, system status and uploaded content makes this HD Digital Signage Media Player easy to manage and simple to operate. An intuitive directory and file structure can be managed through any text-based editing program for added convenience. During IBC Christie announced the next generation of its 3-chip DLP Xenon platform – the Christie J Series. This new platform targets a variety of applications within the rental, staging and fixed install segments, requiring high brightness, superior performance and crisp, clear images – all in a compact, rugged and reliable package. “The best image in the world just got better. Christie has taken its highly successful Xenon product line and evolved it with exciting new features like embedded Christie Twist that allows for image warping without the need to purchase additional electronics cards. Driven by a Xenon illumination system that offers the best colour reproduction and stability, J Series also offers lenses with Intelligent Lens System (ILS) functionality and three resolutions, SXGA+, HD and WUXGA,” said George Tsintzouras, senior director product management, Business Products, Christie. The Mirage versions of the J Series models are high-performance, active stereo projectors providing exceptional 3D performance. Easy to set up and configure, these models are compact, yet powerful and flexible. The new capabilities include full native resolution 3D inputs of 60Hz per eye and triple flash 144Hz 3D for exceptional 3D movie content playback. Epson’s new HTPS panels to revolutionize 3D projection Vogel’s Motorized large display trolley Vogel’s have designed the PFFE 7110 motorized height adjustable trolley especially for large LCD/ plasma displays and large touch screen displays. It is ideal for use in schools, businesses, office centres and video conferencing. The operation of the PFFE 7110 is extremely quiet and smooth. The touch screen trolley can be used for displays up to 85 inches and 160 kg. Two internal motors give the PFFE 7110 display trolley a height adjustment range of 50 cm. In the back there is space for a PC, cable socket and cable over length. The wide wheelbase and large casters make it very stable and safe. Epson has launched the world’s first hightemperature polysilicon (“HTPS”) TFT liquid crystal panels for 3D 3LCD projectors. Developed and manufactured using the latest processing 45 technologies, the HTPS panels employ ‘Bright 3D Drive’ - a new technology that brightens 3D images by doubling the image refresh rate from 240 Hz to 480 Hz. The faster refresh rate results in 3D images that are at least 1.5 times brighter than those created on panels refreshed at 240 Hz. Epson applies this technology in a new range of 3D HTPS panels currently in volume production. Nobuyuki Shimotome, Chief Operating Officer, TFT Operations Division, Epson, said, “Thanks to our new HTPS panels users will enjoy bright 3D images. In addition, projector manufacturers looking for the quality and technical advantages that Epson provides, will also benefit from our new panels. Analog Way introduce Eikos switcher Analog Way used the recent InfoComm MEA show in Dubai to introduce their new Eikos seamless switcher to the Middle East market. Already recognized as the “Most InAVative Commercial Video Processing or Distribution Product” at ISE 2011, and “Best Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product – Matrix Switching” at InfoComm 2011, the Eikos switch is a multi-layer seamless unit that offers up to 12 inputs including 4 fitted with SDI and 2 fitted with DVI-D. Eikos offers 3 operating modes: Multi-Layer Mixer, 12 x 2 seamless native matrix and QuadraVision modes. In Multi-Layer Mixer mode, Eikos can display up to 6 layers: 3 Live Sources, 1 Frame and 2 Logos. Up to 2 PIPs can be displayed on a live background, or 3 PIPs on a still background. Live layers can be customized by the user. New effects are also available and can be combined during transitions. HDMI over Fibre from TV One Now Available from TV One, the new 1T-CT-670 series extends HDMI signals to remote display devices, using a single fibre optic cable. The 1T-CT-670 system is the latest addition to TV One’s SDI or DVI over fibre product range as well as a perfect addition to their range of HDMI Scaler, Switcher and Distribution Amplifiers. The individual components of the HDMI over Fibre Extender system consist of the 1T-CT- 671 Transmitter and the 1T-CT-672 Receiver which constitute a system used to transmit deep colour (12 bits) v1.3 HDMI with HDCP signals at resolutions up to 1080p, plus transmission of embedded lossless audio, over a single fibre optic cable. The 1T-CT-670 series can also be used to transmit encrypted, audio based, graphics data. The system can achieve signal distribution distances of up to 1,000 meters (3280 feet) for signals up to and including 1080p resolution. The transmitter and receiver products also feature the unique TV One-task locking power connectors to enhance overall system mechanical. New Bose solution for fixed installations The Bose Professional Systems Division has introduced the RoomMatch series of array module loudspeakers and PowerMatch PM8500 configurable professional power amplifier. Using new Bose technologies and innovative designs, these products provide sound designers with unprecedented scalability and configurability for venues including arenas, performing arts centres, and houses of worship. Now, concert-quality sound can be delivered more consistently and efficiently, regardless of room size, shape, or acoustic properties. “Our engineers challenged conventional wisdom for both loudspeaker and amplifier design,” said Ratish Pandey, General Manager, India, Middle East & Africa. “The result is a new approach for the industry, one that lets sound designers and integrators meet the acoustic challenges of any fixedinstallation sound system –with more flexibility and far less compromise to audio performance.” Bose products are distributed in Southern Africa by TI Distribution. Screen surface reformulated to increase contrast In a move to meet the market demand for its Dual Vision projection screen material, Da-Lite Screen Company has increased the contrast on this innovative screen fabric. The recently reformulated Dual Vision with a viewing halfangle of 65 degrees replaces the previous 50 degree halfangle fabric, providing a dramatic improvement in the viewing cone and increasing the image uniformity. Dual Vision offers a light grey tint for enhanced contrast and a 0.9 gain, which makes this screen surface an excellent choice for wide aspect ratio and multiple projector applications. “Although Dual Vision has been a standard surface for many years,” stated Wendy Long, Da-Lite’s Vice President of Marketing, “we are continually improving our proprietary projection screen fabrics through better chemistry and listening to the market.” Dual Vision is a flexible projection fabric capable of both front and rear projection. 46 Quick and reliable switching of HDMI signals Kramer Electronics is pleased to introduce the highperformance VS?88H, VS?66H3, VS?84H and VS?48H high quality 8x8, 6x6, 8x4 and 4x8 matrix switchers for quick and reliable switching of HDMI signals. All four units support bandwidths of up to 2.25Gbps bandwidth per graphic channel and offer HDMI support (V.1.4 with 3D, Deep Color, x.v.Color and Lip Sync). They are HDCP (High Definition Digital Content Protection) compliant and HDTV (High Definition Television) compatible. The models include Kramer’s I?EDIDPro? intelligent EDID processing technology that ensures EDID information is properly processed, resulting in Plug and Play operation for HDMI systems. The units reclock and equalize all signals, and can route any input to any or all outputs simultaneously. These new HDMI matrix switchers also incorporate Kramer's unique I?HDCPro technology ? intelligent HDCP processing that constantly verifies and maintains HDCP encryption between input and output devices to ensure quick and reliable switching with minimal switching time. Each matrix switcher can store up to 16 preset switches in memory locations for quick access to common configurations. These preset switches can be recalled from memory and executed when needed. World’s highest resolution 3D single chip DLP projector Further consolidating the Norwegian manufacturer’s reputation for innovation in display technology, projectiondesign has announced that its F35 AS3D – the world’s highest resolution Active Stereo 3D DLP projector – is now available for immediate shipping. With up to 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution at full 120 Hz refresh rates, the F35 AS3D displays fully uncompressed 3D with more detail than any projector in its size, price and performance category, creating the best and most life like 3D experience available anywhere. “One of the real user benefits lies in the deployment of our newly developed dual bandwidth imaging”, says Anders Løkke, Marketing Director at projectiondesign. “With double the image processing speed of competing products, we are able to display pictures that do not rely on compression technologies, thus outputting full image detail and accuracy without artefacts.” Barco launches video-over-IP solution for the integrated operating room Barco has introduced Nexxis, the world's first fully IPcentric solution for image distribution in medical operating rooms. Nexxis has been specifically designed to meet the performance standards and unique requirements of medical imaging in the surgical suite, such as high-quality imaging, ultra-low latency, and real-time communication. It allows better communication both in and beyond the operating room and helps improve operational efficiency. “Due to increasingly complex surgical and interventional approaches, today's operating rooms require more advanced technologies that facilitate integration of all surgical equipment and ensure optimal collaboration between surgeons, technicians, and other clinical staff”, Johan Stockman, VP Strategic Marketing Surgical Imaging at Barco, explains. “Since the overall demand for surgery is projected to increase by 47% over the next ten years, surgeons need a system that improves workflow. Optoma Launch New Range of Ultra Short Throw Projectors Optoma has unveiled its new range of Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors. The line-up consists of the widescreen EW675UT, WXGA (1280 x 800) and the EX665UTEDU XGA (1024 x 768) model. Each model is supplied as either interactive (i) or non interactive. Designed with the growing business and 3D education markets in mind, the new projectors are capable of producing a 60 inch (152cm) diagonal image from just 39cm in the case of the widescreen versions and from 46cm away in the XGA format. All four models are 3D Ready. For added peace of mind all four models come with a specifically designed Optoma wall mount with cable management so they can be installed above the projection surface, making them suitable for the widest range of environments, even where the ceiling height is limited. The EW675UTiEDU and EX665UTiEDU models have built in interactivity allowing the user to transform practically any surface into an interactive whiteboard using the latest PointBlank technology from Texas Instruments. 47 MECIA exhibit at inaugural InfoComm MEA event SACIA at IBC Innovation Awards During September’s IBC exhibition in Amsterdam, SACIA executive director Kevan Jones was honoured to present the IBC Innovation award for content management to CNN. Established in 2006, The IBC Innovation Awards are unique Once again, MECIA members volunteered their time to man our stand at the inaugural InfoComm MEA event that took place in Dubai during October. The Association’s core message is that our members are committed to promoting the adoption of professional standards in all aspects of the audiovisual profession. MECIA also hosted a networking in the sense that they recognise how suppliers and customers work together to create something truly innovative, celebrating the application of technology in bringing creative, commercial or operational benefits to the end user. breakfast at the Fairmont hotel on the third day of the show. The event attracted nearly 100 AV professionals who gathered to exchange ideas and business cards. Attendees were treated to a presentation by George Puthenkulum CTS who described the proceeding of the recent InfoComm 100 event which took place in Portland, Oregon. Share ideas with LinkedIn Earlier this month we cracked 300 members on both our MECIA and SACIA LinkedIn groups. We set them both up in October 2010 and over the last year they’ve provided a forum for the exchange of ideas and information between members. Both operate as ‘closed’ groups so posts can only be seen by approved members. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. It connects you to your industry colleagues and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals. If you’ve not joined yet, just open the Groups Tab in your LinkedIn profile and search for either MECIA (if you are primarily involved in the AV industry in the Middle East) or SACIA (if you’re interested in the market in Southern Africa). SACIA Training programmes in January During January SACIA is hosting the new IABM training course: Broadcast and Media Technology – Understanding your Industry. This course was originally scheduled to run in November but has been re-scheduled for 18-19 January. The course aims to familiarise delegates with broadcast and media technology, the associated 48 jargon and the role that technology plays in the business in which they operate. It is designed for staff in broadcasters, their technology suppliers, postproduction, facilities and related businesses where their work requires an appreciation of the technology as opposed to an in-depth understanding of it.
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