NAB 2019 SportsTechBuzz in Review: South Upper Hall
The SVG editorial team was out in full force at last week’s NAB Show, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019 roundups. Here is a look at the NAB 2019 SportsTechBuzz from South Upper Hall.
In this post, check out NAB news from Avid, Zixi, Red Bee Media, Pixellot, Qvest Media, Microsoft Azure, Net Insight, Globecast, Telstra, CenturyLink, MediaKind, PCCW Global, V-Nova, Skyline Communications, The Switch, Aperi, Brightcove/Ooyala, Nevion, Tedial, NTT, Intelsat, Synamedia, Zype, Telos Alliance, Fraunhofer, Artel Video Systems, PSSI Global Services, Nextologies, AT&T Global Video Services, Encompass Digital Media, Akamai, Octoshpae, Dejero, The Video Call Center, Masstech, DVEO, and Media Links.
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.
Telstra Broadcast Services (Booth SU6110) has added new partners in the Americas and Europe, expanding its Global Media Network (GMN) to a group of thirteen. The expansion brings together Telstra’s GMN with its first Latin American partner, Gold Data, one of the region’s top telecommunications providers, Zayo Group, which is a major provider of American and global communications infrastructure, and Norkring, a division of Telenor that provides broadcast and connectivity services across the Nordic region.
Emmy-award winning Zixi (Booth SU10102) has released an updated version of its core platform, adding improved analytics and AI-driven quality scoring, multi-cloud integration and a combination of enhanced broadcast workflow visualization and root cause analysis capabilities. The latter comes as part of Zen Master while the analytics and quality scoring provides a “comprehensive” view into live video delivery workflows and includes video and audio health reports, enabling real-time decision making, the company said. The cloud options now include Microsoft Azure as well as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and AWS MediaConnect. On Sunday (April 7) Zixi accepted the 2018 Emmy Award for Pioneering Reliable Transmission Method for Live Contribution and Distribution TV Links.
Net Insight (Booth SU2806) has launched Nimbra Edge, a secure, interoperable cloud transport solution to scale and deliver professional live media workflows, such as primary distribution and interconnect services. The volume of live media being transported is growing rapidly as consumer demand for more personalised, high quality immersive content is increasing. Furthermore, the introduction of 5G is shifting the transport medium from satellite to other infrastructure to free up spectrum and reduce transport costs. Meanwhile, the company continued, the market for internet distribution is reaching the technology and quality maturity needed in order to move live content over public and private cloud, thus enabling customers to move workflows to the cloud and leveraging the elasticity, robustness and price benefits that cloud-based infrastructure offers.
At NAB Net Insight also announced that LinkedIn utilises its Nimbra solutions for low-latency transport of corporate video production feeds between its central control room and multiple studios. LinkedIn has selected and implemented a Nimbra-based media network covering its Manhattan office in the Empire State Building on Manhattan in New York as well as at studios in Sunnyvale in California. The media network enables LinkedIn to efficiently produce internal corporate videos as well as videos for their live professional networking platform. The order was placed and delivered in the first quarter.
Meanwhile on booth SU5515, CenturyLink has enlisted the help of Streamroot, a provider of peer-to-peer networking solutions, to create CenturyLink content delivery network (CDN) Mesh Delivery, a software-based mesh platform that can easily manage peak traffic loads. Steamroot’s peer-to-peer video delivery technology has been deployed within CenturyLink’s CDN. CenturyLink’s new mesh delivery platform intelligently sources video content from both a CDN and a mesh network of devices watching the same stream. This allows for rapid scalability and resiliency, even within hard-to-reach markets, claimed the company.
MediaKind (Booth SU720) has launched its Cygnus 360º-as-a-Service (360aaS) solution for live events, creating a cloud-based workflow for live 360º video processing and multi-platform publishing. With MediaKind’s Cygnus 360aaS solution, content owners and operators can efficiently capture and process live 360º video at up to 8K resolution and deliver immersive content to the consumer with delivery bitrates of between 10Mbps to 15Mbps, according to Olie Baumann, Senior Technical Specialist. From a single contribution source, live 360º video is processed and delivered into suitable resolutions and formats for simultaneous live publishing to an operator’s app over public CDN, as well as via social media platforms. The new solution is leveraging MediaKind’s new partnership with Google Cloud Platform.
At booth SU9014, Qvest Media has introduced the newly developed product lines Qvest.Cloud Ultimate for enterprise solutions and Qvest.Cloud Go!. Qvest.Cloud Go! includes its first ready-to-use packages for media tasks such as live event production, post production, archiving, disaster recovery or playout. The packages are pre-configured with cloud applications from top software manufacturers. Qvest.Cloud is built for companies that want to efficiently orchestrate, manage and monitor their media technology, either on-premise, with a single cloud provider, in a multi-cloud environment, or using a hybrid model. Furthermore, system resources can be scaled on demand and the cost structure of production processes can be analysed and planned.
As dependency on the cloud and on IP platforms continues to grow, PCCW Global’s (Booth SU9821) Console Connect provides clients with a private IP network that enables access from the broadcast studio to the cloud, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, or wherever that content needs to go. At NAB 2019, PCCW Global announced that Console Connect is going to be extended across its global TV network, allowing clients to schedule on demand bookings and streamlining the purchasing and turning up of occasional use satellite services in the event of a special event where additional bandwidth is needed.
At 10:20am today, PCCW VP of Sales Margareta Sauger will discuss an eSports event held in Hong Kong that used Console Connect, in a presentation entitled, Enhancing Media Workflows with Private, On-Demand, Flexible IP Delivery Utilizing Automated Networks, in the CM|IP Presentation Theater, located in SU11621.
Red Bee Media, a global media services company, and V-Nova, a provider of video compression solutions, are demonstrating advanced workflows for remote production and site-to-site contribution, live at NAB, on stand SU1620. Using V-Nova’s P.Link encoder, Red Bee Media is showcasing an optimised contribution network, enabling top-of-the-line workflows for inter-site working and remote production. Using solutions like P.Link enables Red Bee Media to deliver low latency, high quality streams from remote events.
Skyline Communications (Booth SU7317) has collaborated with Sony Imaging Products and Solutionsin the development of its new Live Element Orchestrator, its system orchestration solution, to increase the performance and utilisation of resources as well as to reduce the system downtime, further improving productivity in content production. “Our first-ever Live Element Orchestrator performs the overall system management of an IP-based production system including third-party solutions. In this development, Skyline Communications’ DataMiner was adopted as a core technology,” said Masakazu Murata, general manager Media Solution business division at Sony.
The Switch (Booth SU3714; Esports Experience, Booth N1921) is taking an ambitious step into the future by launching a new division of its company called, The Switch eSports. This segment of the company will integrate eSports production, transmission and distribution from anywhere in the world using The Switch’s managed, private cloud services for linear and streaming. In February, the company hired Charles Conroy as its VP of Gaming and he’s on site in the North Hall leading conversations with hardcore gaming company and intrigued novices alike. Conroy comes with experience as Chief Development Officer of Complexity Gaming, which was recently sold to the Dallas Cowboys.
Aperi (Booth SU1330) is touting its skills in live sports production at NAB, highlighting both ‘at home’ services and 4K capabilities. The company provides intelligent media edge services for global contribution and various instantly re-composable media and native IP gateway and processing functions. All media functions, including re-configurable codecs and multi-viewing, IP firewalling and NATing, are available as downloadable apps via the Aperi App Store. Also at NAB, Aperi has introduced a one-slot microserver designed for smaller, efficient media edge services to the North American market. The A1101 has an integrated 10G switch and accommodates any Aperi app as part of the integrated V-Stack hypervisor layer.
Brightcove (Booth SU1920) is using NAB to talk to sports broadcasters about monetizing content. Fan engagement is a key part of this, according to director of solutions marketing Andy Wilson who enthused about social media seeding. He told SVG: “One of the most important ways of monetizing your live streams and getting people to go and buy access or subscribe to them is the ability to quickly get a message out there about a critical event that is taking place. If I can start sending goal clips out to all the social channels, quickly, and in real-time I can get fan engagement on those platforms and then I can get those fans back to my platform and monetize it.” Brightcove offers a live tool that creates clips of live sporting events and then automatically promotes them on social media. Also at NAB, Brightcove is discussing its acquisition of Ooyala which completed on April 1.
Nevion (Booth SU5510) is taking a slightly different approach to NAB this year by letting its customers do the talking. The stand is dedicated to client stories and case studies, and in particular those that emphasize Nevion’s strength and reputation in other parts of the world with a view to growing its presence in the US. Among the examples being cited is a remote production set-up that was devised for the Finnish Ice Hockey League. At the same time, on a similar theme of trust and reputation, Nevion is also highlighting Virtuoso. The software-defined media node recently achieved the SMPTE ST 2110 standard for essence-based transport of media over IP. This benchmark is designed to give broadcasters and other media companies an independent reassurance that products will work in a multi-vendor environment in an IP media network. “There are some quite well-known vendors that don’t go to interops but they still claim to support ST 2110. But how do you know for sure unless you try it with others?,” said Olivier Suard, Marketing Director at Nevion.
Tedial’s (SU1924) Smartlive AI-powered automated live-sports-production system is now shipping with systems expected to go live this summer, according to Jay Batista, GM, US Operations. The automated-production solution, which debuted at NAB 2018 (taking home a best of show award), uses its unique metadata engine to automate highlight creation and distribution, including tight integration with digital platforms and social media. Jermome Wauthoz, VP, Products, said Smartlive automates the event metadata ingest process, automatically provisions a production environment for the production team, manages multi-venue feeds, automatically generates personalized content of games (or an entire season of highlights), and feeds campaigns to social media platforms.
NTT (Booth SU4321) is showcasing its 4K HEVC high frame rate coder and decoder in prototype form on its booth in the Upper South Hall. Business Development Manager Marco Fabi hopes that the next Olympics will drive up the demand for increased picture quality and will enable the product to come to market. “We are ready,” he said. A number of products being presented are designed to facilitate remote production, reflecting an increasing trend, said Fabi. One of these is Smart Contribution Live Sports Event Production for the company’s viaPlatz suite. The software-based tool allows users to construct remote production networks. Features include automatic network switching if there is a failure of a primary connection and automatic bit rate adjustment to fit to the available network bandwidth. The unit is SRT protocol supported and also allows priority control when available bandwidth decreases and dynamic bitrate assignment to each encoder without glitch and efficient use of the IP network. NTT is also presenting its HC11000 multi channel unit which can code 1UHD for HD channels in one box.
Aldea (Booth SU11321) struck a critical partnership at this NAB Show, joining forces with Intelsat. The goal being to further fortify the relationship between satellite and fiber for video contribution and distribution. Aldea’s international fiber network (with media locations in 35 cities worldwide) will marry with Intelsat’s video neighborhoods of about 5,400 channels. Aldea is also gearing up for a very active summer in sports. Its solutions will support the Pan Am Games in Peru, providing contribution from all 17 venues back to the IBC and from the IBC out to international rightsholders and broadcasters. Aldea will also have its tech at the Copa America in Brazil.
Synamedia (Booth SU10125) has launched a new automation capability for its Virtual Digital Content Manager. Called Smart Rate Control, it makes use of machine learning and Stream Video Quality, Synamedia’s patented technology, to automatically set bandwidth quality levels and cap bitrates. This is said to minimize costs but still provide consistently high video quality, all without impacting on the encoding computational complexity. The company believes that it could save operators up to 50% of bandwidth and storage costs.
On the digital front, Zype (Booth SU11312) is showing its Zype Playout platform that was just introduced last week. It enables video product teams to build and launch broadcast-quality linear live IP-based streams using existing video libraries. Zype Playout looks to transform playlists of videos into IP-delivered linear live streams, even adding slate and ad timing management, scheduling, packaging, and broadcasting linear channels for distribution to the package.
At Telos Alliance the word was AOIP, including the next generation of Telos Infinity IP Intercom solutions with the new Infinity Linkt Telos Alliance (Booth SU3921), the word was audio over IP (AOIP), including: the next generation of Telos Infinity IP Intercom solutions with the new Infinity Link for site-to-site connectivity over WAN, plus the Internet; the new Linear Acoustic ARC, a SMPTE ST 2110-30-compliant next-generation television loudness processor for stereo and mono programming; and the Linear Acoustic UPMAX ISC, a SMPTE ST 2110-30-compliant dedicated hardware upmixer supporting the immersive audio capabilities of ATSC 3.0. AOIP. “ST2110 and virtualization through software are all major trends we’re seeing at the show this year,” observed Telos President John Schur.
Fraunhofer (SU4816) needed a basket to hold all of its news, including Sony’s inclusion of its MPEG-H codec in its 360 Reality immersive-music service, announced at CES, and MPEG-H’s integration into the Android 9 OS, allowing variable bit rates from 16Kbps to 500Kbps and built-in loudness normalization. But the bigger news was an ongoing effort to include MPEG-H editing and authoring tools in the Fairlight audio subsystem of Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve 16 Studio platform. MPEG-H mixing and panning, as well as basic metadata authoring, is already supported, allowing creation of immersive MPEG-H programming using the MPEG-H control track format.
Artel Video Systems (Booth SU8107) is taking part in a live demo of the Reliable Internet Stream Transport (RIST) specification here at NAB Show. Created by the Video Services Forum (VSF), RIST serves as a common industry specification for low-latency video contribution over the internet. During the demonstration, Artel’s ARQ IP Streaming System is set up as a transmitter to deliver video over the internet from Artel’s headquarters in Westford, Mass., to the Cobalt Digital booth here at the show. At Artel’s booth you can also take a gander at the company’s new Technology and Engineering Emmy Award, which Artel received for pioneering its reliable transmission method for live contribution and distribution TV links.
PSSI Global Services (Booth SU5802) has on display its Los Angeles-based Sprinter van, one of 16 trucks that the company absorbed in its acquisition of CNN’s fleet last year that have been upgraded to services a wider variety of clients. “For this year’s show, our approach is touting ourselves as the world’s transmission experts,” said PSSI Global Services GM Clint Bergeson, “Not necessarily just satellite, which is our specialty and remains our backbone, but multi transmission modes.” The 20-foot Sprinter van on display features gear from Media Links and Nextologies that allows the vehicle to transmit via fiber, satellite, or the public internet. An in-booth demo shows footage from a Nascar race in Bristol being transmitted from Nascar’s Charlotte facility to PSSI’s teleport in Pittsburgh via AT&T GVS fiber, where it is ingested, transcoded, and sent out to Las Vegas.
Encompass Digital Media (Booth SU2324) made a big personnel debut at this year’s NAB Show, introducing its new Chief Technology Officer, Scott Brown. He comes with more than two decades of experience in the industry and has driven innovation in emerging technologies with companies like Akamai and Octoshape.
Intelsat (Booth SU2010) and Dejero (Booth C2025) are unveiling the IronRoute blended connectivity and cloud-based content distribution solution for media at NAB 2019. The system delivers reliable connectivity by blending broadband, cellular (3G, 4G, 5G), and satellite connectivity from Intelsat’s global network. According to Intelsat’s GM of Media, Bill O’Hara, the highly flexible and scalable cloud-based content distribution system helps to solve the challenge of first and last-mile connectivity to and from the cloud. In addition, Intelsat announced a new partnership with Aldea to expand satellite and fiber video contribution and distribution networks for media customers globally and use both companies’ extensive presence in Latin America.
The Video Call Center (The VCC) is introducing a couple of key new features to its technology that enables live broadcast of cellphone video (Booth SU11710). The tweaks are designed to further ease-of-use of the product for guests of a live show using The VCC to fill its programming. The company’s list of partner clients continues to grow, including a deeper relationship with the team at Fox Sports Detroit, which is using The VCC to support 17 “Players Only” telecasts this season where guests like Hall of Famer Jack Morris, Kirk Gibson, and more can become commentators on the live game broadcast from virtually anywhere.
Masstech (Booth SU3710) is introducing Clover, a new content suite that bridges the gap between content storage and content management for organizations that are not looking to implement enterprise-level MAM and content storage systems. According to CTO Mike Palmer, Clover is an all-in-one solution that offers ingest, storage, transcoding, a configurable workflow engine, content lifecycle management, and a simple UI with a full broadcast toolset and a budget-oriented price tag. In addition, Masstech is launching Federated Search for its MassStore media object framework.
DVEO (Booth SU3306), previously DMC Broadcast, is building off of its recent rebrand with multiple announcements and a spotlight on its IPTV and over the top (OTT) transport offerings as well as their fleet of HEVC encoders. Dozer, DVEO’s error-correcting streaming transport protocol, is a pillar of both DVEO’s OTT solutions as well as its booth presence at NAB Show 2019. In addition, the company’s live stream clients can build off of the Play Server 12ch HD-SDI for ad splicing/overlay during live sport events. For reliable and secure transport, DVEO is shipping a cloud-based content delivery service model for both live and on-demand video.
With the 100G Core Switch and the MDP3040 4K/UHD IP Media Gateway, Media Links’ (Booth SU3324) activity at NAB Show 2019 is centralized around the transport and transfer of media content over IP. The MDP Series now drives the heavy lifting of 4K UHD file delivery. In the real world some of the biggest events in sports, including the FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl, and the Olympics, rely on the company’s efficiency over the internet product ecosystem that ensures end-to-end coverage. Media Links’ IP solutions are currently on display during a live demonstration with AT&T (Booth SU7916) on the show floor.