SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2017: Monday’s Latest From Vegas
A quick tour of what’s new, exciting, and interesting at the show
The NAB Show is in full swing in Las Vegas, and the SVG editorial team is out in full force, covering all the latest news from the show floor. In an effort to make the tidal wave of news and announcements more digestible to our readers, SVG is providing a daily “SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2017” roundup. This daily rundown provides snippets of big announcements and what is on display at more than 150 booths at the LVCC this year. Here is SVG’s first SportsTechBuzz roundup, featuring news from Sunday’s press conferences and other major announcements:
Today’s edition features Alteros, Canon, ChyronHego, Clear-Com, Dolby Labs, DTV Audio Group, Ericsson, Evertz, Ericsson, Gearhouse Broadcast, Harmonic, Imagine Comms, Leader, MRMC, Panasonic, Q5X, Ross Video, RTS Omneo, Sling Media, Slomo.tv, Snell Advanced Media, Sony, and Vizrt.
It’s Alteros’s first-ever NAB Show, and the new company, a spinoff of Audio Technica (Booth C2622) that focuses on a post-auction RF landscape, is showing its first products: the SWX-8 and SWX-8C, IP switches that can be used to create receiver zones on audio networks and that provide failover redundancy for microphones on those networks.
For large-scale operations, the EOS C700 from Canon (Booth C4325) is making its NAB debut. The flagship camera in Canon’s Cinema EOS lineup, this camera boasts a Super 35mm 4.5K sensor and 15 stops of dynamic range. For those looking to capture a cinematic look in a compact form factor, the EOS 5D Mark IV is shown for the first time with the newly announced Canon Log feature upgrade. This upgrade will allow footage from the EOS 5D Mark IV to be easily matched with Cinema EOS footage.
Clear-Com (Booth C6908) has announced the release of two V-Series Lever Key-Panels: a 32-key intercom panel (V32LD) and a 16-key expansion panel (V16LDE). The new panels offer higher key density and advanced programmability in the same panel space as the current models. The panels are available with immediate effect.
Robust venue Wi-Fi is always a challenge, but the Philadelphia Eagles think they have found a solution with Panasonic’s (C3607) Everest ultra high-density Wi-Fi. Why? It increases the number of simultaneous users on an access point by 13 times and increases aggregate throughput by five times.
Q5X (Booth C1539) introduced an entire suite of products based on its QT-5100 remote-control transmitter; the package comprises the Aqua Mic, a new version of its seminal Player Mic, and the Incognito Mic, with a separate power pack for longer battery life. “People want to hear athletes on the field as much as they want to see them,” says Q5X CEO Paul Johnson.
Centerpiece of the Leader (Booth C9021) demonstration is the latest additions to the LV5490 multiscreen waveform monitor. Occupying a half-rack width by 4RU-high housing, the LV5490 offers 4K, UHD, 3G, HD, and SD test and measurement features in a compact portable unit. Waveform, vector, five-bar, and picture display can all be viewed at the same time on the LV5490’s 9-in. LCD monitor. The monitor is full 1920×1080 HD resolution with a wide viewing angle and high color reproduction.
MRMC’s (Booth C5646) new Multi-Head Controller (MHC) software is making its debut at the show. As the name suggests, it controls robotic heads at the touch of a button from a single workstation. Among key features being demonstrated are “store and display” capability. Key to MHC is its ability to be UI-tailored to virtually any broadcast requirement. This means that any environment can be mirrored into MHC’s UI functionality, giving users instantly recognizable buttons, graphics, moves.
Slomo.tv (Booth C11125) is launching the Dominator AT/3G multichannel 3G/HD/SD video-recording server. The system supports up to 10 3G/HD/SD recording channels, four playback channels, and search capabilities on up to 10 channels without disrupting the core recording and playback functions. In “record for editing mode,” the server system can record up to 12 channels of HD/SD video.
Sony (C11001) has plenty of production-tool news at the show, but the company also announced acquisition of Crispin Automation, a move that broadens the Sony portfolio in an interesting way. Crispin CEO Alan DeVaney says his company is honored to become part of Sony and excited about the work the two companies have recently completed as well as new future projects.
SOUTH UPPER HALL
Avid (Booth SU902) has entered a strategic partnership with Microsoft, choosing Azure as its preferred cloud-hosting platform and plans to launch a range of SaaS and PaaS offerings from its MediaCentral platform. Avid is also working on an end-to-end 4K/IP workflow and will collaborate with EVS on connecting EVS IPLink to Avid MediaCentral | UX.
In the search for a common format for transporting metadata over IP, according to Kent Terry, senior manager, audio technology, Dolby Labs (Booth SU1702) AES67 has emerged as the industry’s default choice. “The metadata itself is still an open issue, but it looks as though the industry has coalesced around AWS67 as the standard for transporting PCM audio over IP,” he says. “That’s the framework we can use to get started.”
At its NAB 2017 press conference on Sunday, Ericsson (Booth SU720) unveiled how it plans to “transform TV” with new OTT dynamic–ad-insertion technology (MediaFirst Stream Personalization), MediaFirst video-processing solutions (MediaFirst Management Controller and MediaFirst Encoding Live 8.1), and cloud-based captioning services (Snap Captions, Subito Vault, and Subito Conversion and Delivery Engine), as well as its Content Discovery Ecosystem and Unified Delivery Network.
SOUTH LOWER HALL
Center-stage at NAB 2017 for ChyronHego (Booths SL1210, S109LMR) is Click Effects PRIME. An integrated, turnkey graphics-authoring solution for live arena- and stadium-based AV presentations, the new offering unites the PRIME graphics ecosystem and the Click Effects CrossFire and Blaze solutions, which deliver arena-graphics generation and custom digital display control.
“Sometimes it’s good to look back and see that you were right. Well, we were right!” said Imagine Communications (Booth SL1516) CEO Charlie Vogt at a press launch that showcased numerous new solutions, including the Selenio Network Processor (SNP), an all-IP-capable processing solution optimized for handling uncompressed UHD signals based on SMPTE 2110.
Snell Advanced Media (Booth SL1805) has launched VIBE, its real-time news- and sports-production solution. LiveTouch UHD, SAM says, promises workflows for live 4K UHD sports replays not possible before. LiveTouch offers integration with tOG Sports Graphics from RT Software. SAM is showing what it says is the world’s first UHD master-control switcher, Masterpiece 12G-SDI, and the new Orbit control, configuration, and monitoring solution. SAM’s IP Routing System now supports 25, 40, 50, and 100 GbE technology.
Vizrt’s (Booth SL2416) story-creation tool, Viz Story, allowing journalists to edit and quickly publish to social media within, was a tech demo at NAB 2016 but is now a working product. Vizrt is also demonstrating the integration of its asset-management tools with professional video applications included in Adobe Creative Cloud. Vizrt is working with Epic and Ncam to merge the visualization methods in gaming and broadcast together for a new design capability. Also new for NAB 2017, Viz One supports 4K UHD media in both Apple ProRes and Sony XAVC formats.
The ability to bring graphic elements created with Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 into Viz Engine (SL2416) means more than new graphics templates, according to Vizrt CTO Petter Ole Jacobsen. It also means an expanded talent pool as Unreal Engine 4 artists can create for Viz Engine, giving exciting new creative options to a production team.
As part of its family of Software Defined Video Networking (SDVN) IP-based solutions, Evertz (Booth N1503) has chosen NAB 2017 to introduce 25GbE products, new evEDGE FPGA accelerated compute blades, and the 5700MSC-IP IP-based Grand Master Clock and Video Master Sync Generator.
A variety of new developments to support high-quality OTT video are promised by Harmonic (Booths N628FP, SU1210). These include a new real-time streaming workflow said to match the latency of live broadcast and is enabled by a combination of packaging content in the new Common Media Application format (CMAF) and HTTP chunked transfer encoding.
After announcing its acquisition of Abekas at last year’s IBC, Ross Video (Booth N3706) announced a jointly developed replay server geared specifically to the regional sports and collegiate markets: the Mira Express. “Mira Express is the best of both worlds: reliable, purpose-built hardware, easy to use, and affordable,” says CEO David Ross. “The new Mira is designed for the mid-market sports replay. … This is a great solution for college and regional sports.”
Dish Network’s Sling Media (Booth N5135MR) has officially entered the live-production business with SlingStudio, a new wireless, portable multicamera system (starting at just $999) that monitors and edits four HD video inputs from up to 10 connected cameras or smartphones. It also live-streams to Facebook Live and YouTube while simultaneously recording to USB hard drive, SSD, or SD card for postproduction.
Looking for the next step in camera-crane evolution? Gearhouse Broadcast’s Kevin Moorhouse says SkyTechno will make its debut at booth OE836 and OE841. The 24-ft. underslung tracking jib covers all axes and is ready to go for real-time AR graphics. Telescopic and Big Shot Camera Cranes collaborated on the advance.
At Sunday’s DTV Audio Group conclave at the Alexis Park Hotel, Karl Malone, director, sound design, NBC Sports & Olympics, got to review the remarkable numbers from the 2016 Rio Olympics: the Peacock Network covered 32 venues over 18 days delivering 2,084 hours of broadcast programming across 11 NBC-owned networks and 3.3 billion total streaming minutes, 2.71 billion of which were live streaming.
Also at the DTV Audio Group conclave, Malone offered some information about the NBC’s plans for the 2018 Olympics from PyeongChang, South Korea (Feb. 8-25): what are expected to be the largest Winter Games in history will have virtually no copper cabling in the IBC, with heavy reliance on AoIP using Dante and RAVENNA networked formats; 90% of the intercoms used there — RTS Omneo (Booth C5409) and LQ Clear-Com (Booth C6908) — will also use IP.
SVG SportsTechBuzz is compiled by the SVG U.S. and SVG Europe editorial teams: Ken Kerschbaumer, Brandon Costa, Jason Dachman, Dan Daley, David Davies, Karen Hogan Ketchum, and Fergal Ringrose.