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Brave new world of
3D television
New OB truck for
Supersport Nigeria
Facelift for Dept of
Health learning channel
Record attendance
attendance at
at IBC
Video analytics in retail
InfoComm MEA ends
on high note
Transforming staff in
broadcast environments
AV Specialist
Volume 120
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
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.
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]
Bev Kempster
[email protected]
Renate Mortimer
[email protected]
Rajiv Gopalan
[email protected]
Advertising sales
Africa, Middle East, UK
Kevan Jones
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,
Tel: +33 (0)1 4730 7180
Fax: +33 (0)1 4730 0189
Ave qualified circulation
(July - December 2010) 4079
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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With SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs,
HyperDeck Shuttle works with virtually every
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pristine uncompressed recording on your next live event!
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HyperDeck Shuttle is machined out of a solid block
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HyperDeck Shuttle
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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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
HD-SDI/SDI multi-format bandwidth flexibility - from 19Mbps to 3Gbps
Expendable modular design
Two frame sizes: from 8x8 to 64x64 in 4RU, up to128x128 in 8RU
Hot-swappable video I/O boards, CPU boards and power supplies
Optional A-D / D-A Conversion modules
Optional redundant power supplies & control processors
Optional LC-style fiber I/O connectors with fiber, allowing cable
distances up to 10km @ 3Gbps
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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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."
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
at clinics, hospitals and other DOH facilities throughout the province.
6:52 PM
Record attendance at social IBC
Dick Hobbs reflects on IBC2011, and considers the implications of the biggest talking point, connected TV and
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
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 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
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”.
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
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.
When presenting to the masses, where only large-screen
projection leaves the right impression, one desires
luxuriant, colour-rich images. Where red is red, green
is green and blue is most definitely royal.
Fortunately those chaps at Christie know a thing or two
about quality. Expert technical support, industry renowned
reliability and now two reassuringly inexpensive models
in the NEW Christie E Series.
Of course one has to make certain sacrifices, but as mother
used to say ‘it never pays to lower one’s standards’.
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when it matters.
may not want other family members to see
what they have written. Where the
connected TV will find a role is in bringing
multiple sources of content into one place.
Users will be able to use the same
interface on the same screen to watch
broadcast television, streamed video on
demand and content from local servers. 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
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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
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
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.
Customer Flow
Analysing more than the number of
people entering and leaving the store can
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Safety and Security
The safety and security of both
employees and customers is of critical
importance and is a significant factor in
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
U Broadcast Sales Engineers
U Broadcast Service Engineers
Career opportunities also in
other fields of visualisation such
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.
technical or IT background
Contact George van Gils at (011) 706 0405
n t
o tr
[email protected]
to dig
cell 082 825 5592
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.
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
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.
On-camera unit
Straight-read above camera teleprompter
Floor or tripod standing straight-read monitor
Starter Series 17” Prompter
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]
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.
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
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)
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Dual Real-Time Waveform Monitor
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3G-SDI Input with Loop-Through
Red/Blue/Green/Mono Channel
Time Code (VITC/LTC)
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]
RAI Amsterdam
Conference 6-11 September : Exhibition 7-11 September
Catch the
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:
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]
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.
ith about 12 thousand
visitors attending the
5-day show, the
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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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
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.
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
or email [email protected]
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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
Design decisions
The second and more subtle design
decisions are around what happens when
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.
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
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.
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
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:
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.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
“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
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
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.
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
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
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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