SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019: Monday’s Latest From Vegas
The NAB Show is in full swing in Las Vegas, and the SVG and SVG Europe editorial teams are chasing down the hottest stories from all over the LVCC show floor. To make the onslaught of announcements easily digestible for our readers, SVG is sending you a daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019 roundup, with all the top stories gathered together in one easy to read blog from our newshounds.
Today’s edition features Aldea Solutions, Alteros, Amazon Web Services, Avid, Axon Digital Design, Blackmagic Design, BlackTrax, Brainstorm, Calrec, ChyronHego, DTV Audio Group, Epic Games, Evertz Microsystems, FACEIT, Fujifim, Game Creek Video, Globecast, Grass Valley, Group One, IP Showcase Theater, Leader, Microsoft, Mobile Viewpoint, NBC Olympics, Ncam, Net Insight, Newtek, Panasonic, Pebble Beach Systems, Pixellot, Qvest Media, Q5X, RaceTech, Red Bee Media, Ross Video, Slomo.tv, Sony, Technopoint, TVT Media, TVU Networks, Vizrt, Zixi.
At NAB Axon Digital Design (Booth N2824) has introduced the Neuron Network Attached Processor (NAP). Developed to address the needs of complex IP and hybrid environments, this signal processing platform supports 200Gbps and 64 channels or 16 UHD channels in a single rack unit. Whether deployed as ‘modular glue’ in a pure native IP infrastructure or to bridge legacy SDI technology into an IP environment, Neuron’s FGPA-based processing power provides guaranteed bandwidth performance to deliver complex Ultra HD and 8K productions.
Among a long list of announcements, Evertz Microsystems (Booth N1503) revealed that it is moving into the cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) market with the launch of Evertz iO, a collection of on-demand and pay-as-you-go cloud native services for broadcasting and media. Making use of a server-less architecture, the available tools will include browse generation, technical metadata generation, content moderation, audio transcription, scene detection and text detection. Another announcement of interest for sports broadcasters is Bravo, a new collaborative production platform that works with DreamCatcher to allow users to easily scale their sports production capabilities up and down.
On the customer sales front, Evertz Microsystems announced the purchase and deployment of its DC-ONE replay system and production suite by TVT Media in Amsterdam and revealed that UK’s RaceTech, the technical and production services provider for the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), is using the DreamCatcher platform for race course coverage and stewards review.
TVU Networks (Booth C1707) has introduced TVU G-Link, an internet-based solution for live point-to-point transmission. TVU G-Link provides an affordable way to achieve high-quality transmission using only the public Internet to deliver HD video from one location to another with half-second latency. G-Link is ideal for applications such as news and sports broadcast looking to send live HD video from point to point. G-Link runs on TVU MediaMind servers, with two servers paired together to form a link. Within G-Link, one server acts as the transmitter/encoder and the other as the receiver/decoder.
Fujifim (Booth C7225) has premiered the Fujinon UA125×8, 4K compatible box-type broadcast zoom lens that is under development with what is claimed to be the world’s highest zoom ratio of 125x. The Fujinon UA125×8 covers a wide range of focal lengths from 8mm at wide angle to 1,000mm at telephoto (2,000mm with the built-in Extender). It is a multi-purpose high-power zoom lens that can be used in diverse situations, including live broadcasts of sporting events and concerts.
Leader’s (Booth C8008) new LV5900 8K waveform monitor is designed for content producers, broadcasters and equipment manufacturers progressing into the Super Hi-Vision standard. The LV5900 provides full support for SMPTE ST2082-12 in 8192 × 4320 and 7680 × 4320 resolution plus 12G-SDI quad link. The instrument’s feature set includes 8K colour bar and test pattern generation as well as four-input simultaneous display of HD video from HD to 3G-SDI and 4K video. The audio interface is compatible with MADI.
Additionally, Leader’s LV5600-SER06 is a new 4K-IP-compatible option for the LV5600 waveform monitor. Option LV7600-SER06 is its equivalent for the LV7600 rasterizer. Both options provide full conformance with the SMPTE 2110 standard for transmitting 4K content in a non-compressed format at up to 25Gbps. ST 2110-20 audio, ST2110-40 auxiliary data and ST2059 PTP sync specifications are all fully supported.
Mobile Viewpoint (Booth C3307) has announced the launch of its Agile AirLink 4CK mobile transmitter. The product is the latest addition to Mobile Viewpoint’s AirLink family. The Agile AirLink 4CK is claimed to be the broadcast equivalent of a modern outside broadcast (OB) van, delivering live video content in UHD quality. It can support four live video streams and delivers 4K streams using Mobile Viewpoint’s cellular mobile channel bonding technology. It also boasts an ultra-thin design, which means it can fit onto the back of a camera or in a backpack.
Ncam (Booth C9144) has revealed the latest version of its camera tracking solution, Ncam Reality 2019.1. This major new release includes more than 80 new features as well as significant system optimisation for improved performance. Ncam has added support for the Extreme Camera Bar, an additional camera bar that enables users to track environments that are subject to dynamic lighting changes. Lens profiling and calibration of the original Ncam Reality camera bar has also been refined to improve tracking quality and speed up the setup process. The number of supported video capture cards has also increased with the addition of support for Blackmagic Design’s DecLink SDI 4K video card supplementing the existing support for AJA Corvid 44 and Kona 4 video cards.
Sony’s big news at NAB (Booth C11001) is the HDC-5500 multi-format live camera. It’s the world’s first camera to have three 2/3-inch 4K global shutter CMOS sensors and also has direct 4K signal output via 12Gbps SDI. And later this summer it is expected to be capable of eight-times high-frame rate recording (as well as 4K at two-times speed). John Studdert, Sony Electronics, VP, media segment, Sony Electronics, Imaging Products and Solutions said there are three key features to the camera: the camera’s eloquent 4K over IP solution as well as the global shutter and wireless 4K capabilities. Also check out the HDCU-5500 camera control unit which supports SMPTE ST2110 and NMOS IS-04/05 and can also transmit two 4K signals from two separate cameras at the same time.
Game Creek Video will break Sony’s record for a single order in North America when it takes delivery of 48 Sony HDC-5500 multi-format live cameras later this year. The sale was announced at the Sony press event by Studdert and Game Creek Video President and Founder Pat Sullivan, who was on hand to discuss what the camera means to Game Creek Video. “It’s exciting because there are elements of the camera that will be really beneficial for our clients,” he said. “You can do wireless 4K and in our environment that is important. And it’s also very flexible.” Game Creek Video already has 381 Sony broadcast cameras in its arsenal.
The IP Showcase Theater (Booth C12634) returns to NAB for the third year, providing a great educational opportunity free to all attendees. Vendors, broadcasters, service providers, and integrators alike highlight their solutions to the challenges related to the transition from SDI to IP. There’s a full slate of presentations on IP technology and installations, so professionals ranging from broadcast and IT engineers as well as CEOs to TV producers can learn how to unlock the full potential of using IP for real-time professional media.
Panasonic’s NAB presence (Booth C3607) features a number of new innovations, including an 8K camera system that can be coupled to a processing unit that can crop up to four HD video regions of interest and also allow individual pan, tilt, and zoom within each of those images. Also look for a preview of a 4K P2 camcorder in a shoulder-mount configuration to be released later this year and a demo of P2 Cast on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a service that deploys P2 Cast, a news production workflow solution, on the AWS cloud. Trial operation together with EDIUS Cloud (Grass Valley) on AWS has already commenced, and preparations are being made to roll out the service within 2019.
Another exciting development at Panasonic’s booth is the demonstration of Smart Studio automation workflows and the Live Production Suite (LPS). The demo at the show involves a studio environment where a switcher that makes use of both 12Gbps SDI and 25Gbps ST2110 compliant IP transport works hand-in-hand with Brainstorm real-time augmented reality (AR) graphics, BlackTrax real-time tracking of talent on the set, and a Technopoint camera pedestal with a Panasonic AW-UE150 4K PTZ camera to create a compelling on-air look with a very small production team. The AW-UE150 is also the first camera in the industry to have the FreeD industry protocol for marrying AR with video integrated into the camera.
SOUTH LOWER HALL
ChyronHego (Booth SL1208) is using NAB 2019 to showcase a new graphics rendering product for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Fresh is based on the Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4, allowing it to deliver photorealistic AR and VR images. It includes a text rendering layer and supports Camio newsroom workflows. The company has also released version 3.5 of its Prime platform which now features HDR graphics creation capabilities.
The big customer news from ChyronHego at NAB involves the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL team is refreshing its in-stadium AV screen capabilities at the AT&T Stadium in Texas, moving to 4K and buying ChyronHego’s Paint and Virtual 1st products to use for telestration so that fans inside the ground get a similar viewing experience to those watching on TV at home. Click Effects Prime will play a key role in the new setup, eventually driving 4K graphics to more than 3000 displays including a huge center-hung LED and two levels of ribbon boards.
Vizrt (Booth SL3308) is continuing to discuss its acquisition of Newtek at NAB, outlining the benefits of the merger to customers. When attempting to answer his own question about what happens next, however, CEO Michael Hallén had to admit that, “we haven’t really decided yet”. Yet he did set the combined R&D teams a challenge, asking them to invent “the next big thing” once they start working together. It was noted that the two companies have $200m in combined sales, with 40% coming from the US and 40% from Europe.
On the product side, Vizrt is touting version 4 of Viz Engine. The update to the render engine includes a choice of three render pipelines: a new Reality Fusion render pipeline for “added effects of realism”; an existing render pipeline to ensure full backward compatibility with previous work; and integration with third party technology such as Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. Version 4 can be used in either an IP-based or SDI-based workflow and features brand new Fusion Keyer.
At NAB Slomo.tv (Booth SL3829) is demonstrating what it claims to be the world’s smallest video broadcast grade replay server and videoReferee system Ripley Plus in the form factor of the replay controller. The new Ripley Plus supports a 6Rec+6Search+2Play channels configuration, and can work as an 8-channel videoReferee-R video judging system that meets the minimum FIFA requirements for VAR. Ripley Plus provides simultaneous recording of six HD video inputs, playing two channels with transition effects and searching on all six recorded channels. The maximum capacity of the built-in SSD storage is now up to 133 hours of 100MB HD video.
Pebble Beach Systems (Booth SL4528) is demonstrating some emerging solutions for replacing – and surpassing – wired GPI capabilities in modern broadcast facilities as they migrate to IP. Pebble Beach Systems has been a key contributor to the IS-07: NMOS Event & Tally Specification (‘IS-07’) which is under development by the Advanced Media Workflow Association as part of the Networked Media Open Specifications initiative. It defines a mechanism for emitting and consuming states and state changes in an IP environment, allowing equipment from multiple vendors to be connected using open standards, and for those connections to be easily and simply remapped.
Grass Valley (Booth SL106) is debuting a new camera shading system, dubbed Grass Valley Creative Grading (GVCG), at NAB 2019. Comprised of a new control panel and a companion touchscreen application, GVCG combines color-grading and shading applications into a single common user interface. Camera shaders can now easily and quickly manage adjustments, such as transitions from indoor to outdoor lighting. The new system also makes it easier to dynamically control the complexities of HDR, WCG, and 4K in real-time. Using GVCG, camera shaders can also use a WiFi-enabled tablet in the front of house to establish visual matching between physical and digital elements.
Grass Valley is also beefing up its LiveTouch replay system at NAB, incorporating 4K slow-motion replay, direct playout, and full super slow-motion support (2x, 3x, 4x, 6x, 8x), integrated color mapping for HDR, and an advanced audio editing suite. For at-home production applications, LiveTouch panels can be used either at the event site while the LiveTouch server remains at home, or in a production facility with the server in an engine room miles away.
Other major announcements at the show for Grass Valley include the launch of the new Grass Valley Technology Alliance (GVTA) and the launch GV Fabric, a high-speed commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) IP switch tuned expressly for open architecture broadcast environments. Grass Valley is also hosting a live esports competition at its booth (in conjunction with FACEIT) that is utilizing its new Grass Valley Stratus One product, which takes the full capability of Grass Valley’s Stratus content management platform and packages it in a compact two RU footprint that can be deployed in hours.
Ross Video (Booth SL1805) delivered all of the pomp and circumstance expected from its NAB Show Sunday afternoon press conference. Among the highlights includes the launch of Voyager, the company’s new graphics rendering solution for augmented reality (AR) and virtual studio applications. It is powered by Unreal Engine 4 from Epic Games.
Ross Video’s replay solutions also got a jolt in the arm on Sunday with the company announcing a bevy of upgrades across the Abekas Replay and Video Server product lines. Visitors to the booth this week can expect new channel configurations, new media storage capacities, and new codecs. Re-branded to Mira+, this upgraded system is fitted with AVC-Intra hardware and is offered in 6-, 8- and 12-channel models. In addition, Mira+ media storage capacity is increased to 280 hours or 580 hours.
SOUTH UPPER HALL
Avid (Booth SU801) unveiled a major redesign of its flagship Media Composer video-editing system at Avid Connect 2019 on Saturday, featuring a new user experience, a next-generation Avid Media Engine, new finishing and delivery workflows (including a new 32-bit full float color pipeline to handle 8K, and 16K) and a customizable toolset. Media Composer 2019 is expected to be available at the end of May.
Avid also announced the new Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces SaaS storage offering, giving users instant access to more storage when needed. The new platform marries Avid’s NEXIS storage system with the flexibility and scale of the cloud, allowing users to sync or park on-premise Avid NEXIS workspaces to Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces with commonly used media management tools. Users can also easily offload projects and media not currently in production in order to save on local storage. Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces is now available and Avid is offering up to 2 TB of storage for free for the first three months.
Jeff Rosica, who came on as CEO of Avid in February 2018, opened up Avid Connect 19 by making a pledge to the industry: “We know that [in the past] at Avid Connect we talked about things that weren’t nearly ready for primetime – products that were just entering development and weren’t close to being available. I’ll say this – no more. One of my early mantras to this team was to make sure…that we are now only unveiling [products] on this stage that are near the end of development and we have a clear line of sight that the availability of that product is very near. Innovation doesn’t help anyone if it’s not here and now. We have to focus on innovation that will make a difference today.”
Zixi (Booth SU10106) has announced a partnership with Red Bee Media (Booth SU1620) to enable stable, secure and cost-effective distribution of high-quality video content over IP to Red Bee Media’s customers worldwide. Every year, Red Bee Media delivers more than four million hours of programming in more than 60 languages for over 500 TV channels. To keep pace with demand, the company has adopted the Zixi Platform to expand its distribution offering with secure and reliable delivery over the internet.
Pixellot (Booth SU11206) has announced the launch of Pixellot Prime, a new broadcast quality version of its automated sports production solution. The new capabilities create an opportunity for sports broadcasters and distributors to offer more sporting events than ever before, without the costs associated with live productions. Pixellot Prime adds full HD 1080p broadcasts at native 50-60 FPS, 8K capture delivered via streaming or uncompressed SDI, low-latency streaming, automated game highlights and graphics. In addition, clients can choose either a clean feed or a programme (‘dirty’) feed and select from a collection of integrated graphics, adding additional opportunities for ads and sponsorships.
Systems architect and ICT integrator Qvest Media (Booth SU9014) has announced the expansion of its partnership with Avid to become an Avid Certified Cloud Partner for use in Microsoft Azure. Qvest Media and Avid are bundling their cloud strategies, so that clients of both companies benefit from more flexible access to cloud applications. A ready-to-use post production infrastructure, based on virtualised Avid | NEXIS storage systems that runs on Microsoft Azure, will be made available for Avid users. Avid’s Media Composer software will be available using flexible deployment offerings. Qvest Media is authorised to perform the necessary license management for required Avid products.
Net Insight (Booth SU2806) has announced at NAB that Aldea Solutions has selected its Nimbra platform for live video transport between 17 arenas and the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) during the Pan American Games in Peru from July 26 to August 11. Aldea is building a media contribution network based on Net Insight’s Nimbra solution transporting JPEG2000 compressed live video and audio feeds from the arenas to the IBC.
New for NAB 2019, Globecast (Booth SU9910) has launched Server Side Dynamic Ad Insertion (SSDAI), an advertising insertion technology. SSDAI dynamically detects and substitutes broadcast ads with more personalised or targeted ads for premium over-the-top (OTT) streaming video environments. As part of a new partnership with SnifferCat patented cloud-based technology, Globecast’s expanded offering allows media owners and their service providers the ability to automate and simplify their OTT migration by employing sophisticated automated cue point detection, ad insertion, channel scheduling, and advanced data analytics.
Heard around the room at the DTV Audio Group meeting. SVG asked: What products are you showing new here, and what are your expectations for the NAB Show 2019 and the industry?
Chris Fichera, VP/US Sales for Calrec distributor Group One: “We’ve got three new virtual products this year, the RP-1, VP-2 and Type-R. All are IP based and designed to help us expand our customer base into new smaller broadcast markets.”
Paul Johnson, CEO of Q5X: “We’re showing two new receivers tomorrow, the QR-M3 mobile receiver and the QR-3200 dual-channel rackmount receiver, both operating between 470MHz and 700MHz, so they cover the entire spectrum of our receivers. This year, we’re expecting to see increased use of our Player Mic, and in general more athletes wired for sound on the field, everywhere. We’ve been getting more and more input about that from around the world.”
Jackie Green, President and CEO Alteros: This year our new product is the GTX FX8 direct-to-fiber breakout box, which mates with our GTX 3224F series wireless. Since last year, we’ve been seeing a shift in how audio is being used to create and maintain a more authentic experience for audiences, and how sports is becoming more and more of an entertainment type of experience. We see our mission as providing creative wireless tools that help make that happen, but tools that free you to be creative by minimizing operational complexity.”
Karl Malone, Director of Sound Design, NBC Olympics: “At this show we’re expecting to see how far immersive tools from manufacturers have come for immersive mixing and QC. Things are going quickly with Atmos considering it’s still early days. Also, we’ll be looking at more IP-based tools that allow us to do our jobs more efficiently and effectively.”