IBC 2019 SportTechBuzz in Review: Halls 1-3

The SVG Europe and SVG Americas editorial teams were out in full force at last week’s IBC Show, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily SportTechBuzz at IBC roundups. Here is a look at the IBC 2019 SportTechBuzz from Halls 1-3.

In this post, check out IBC news from Aperi, Bridge Technologies, ATEME, Evertz, FOR-A, Harmonic, Hitomi, Imagine Communications, LiveU, Media Links, Microsoft, Net Insight, Pixellot, Qvest Media, Simplylive, and TVU Networks.

Aperi (2.C30) is outlining the benefits of its new NAT-Firewall app. The innovation is for SMPTE 2022 and SMPTE 2110 IP flows controlled by orchestrator and NMS providers. “A lot of broadcasters are now telling service providers that they would like to hand them signals to be transported already encapsulated, already in the IP domain as packets,” explains VP, Business Development, Andrew Osmond. “As all connections will ultimately be IP, even handoffs from cameras, the primary function of the app is as a firewall. SDI and ASI were secure. But there are huge security issues and complications when it comes to IP. [The app] works like a brick wall. It will allow through only what you tell it to. You can configure the attributes, from high-level attributes to something with a specific destination or IP address.” The app also provides NAT (Network Address Translation) for organization and planning and receives diversely routed flows carrying the same content.

Bridge Technologies (1.A71) is showcasing an innovative technology demonstration for remote production. The technology, a Widglets API HTML5 video monitor for the company’s VB440 network probe, allows the probe to become multifunctional beyond its current deployment for monitoring IP networks, extending its usefulness beyond test and measurement. By leveraging the Widglets API, users can, for example, now deliver a full-motion, color-accurate, and ultra-low–latency video-monitoring capability to any location or any application where it is needed: all that is required is a laptop and a network connection. The VB440 IP probe supports interface speeds of 10, 25, 40, 50, and up to 100 Gb on dual interfaces, so that even the largest media networks can be accommodated with analysis of SD, HD i and p, HD HDR, 4K and 4K HDR, and above.

Video-delivery–technology company ATEME (1.D71) is presenting the TITAN playout solution, accentuating its ability to originate 24/7 linear TV channels and create popup channels for short-term events or personalized programming on direct-to-consumer OTT services. After completing live trials using both its Kyrion and TITAN solutions, the company is also showcasing how BISS-CA, the EBU’s open, interoperable standard, allows broadcasters to secure high-value content in contribution and distribution to combat streaming privacy.

With more than 400 large-scale IP system installations based on its Software Defined Video Networking (SDVN), Evertz (1.D31) is showcasing tools that take advantage of an IP-based infrastructure to provide new efficient workflows for production and playout. These include Evertz’s MAGNUM IP orchestration, customizable UI, and Scorpion media-processing platform. Evertz is also showcasing the DreamCatcher BRAVO collaborative production system, which debuted in April at the NAB 2019.

IBC 2019 is not only about IP for Evertz (1.D31), however. The company is expanding its portfolio of 12G-SDI solutions with an eye on the move to UHD and HDR. It is introducing the EQXUHD-10, the first enterprise-class 12G-SDI router, and SCORPION now has 12G-SDI support for mini I/O modules. Evertz is also introducing the EVMV-25G-2XQSFP integrated multiviewer, which supports 32 inputs of processing (using ST 2110) and up to four UHD outputs over a 25GbE interface. In addition, the company is announcing support for new BBC HLG v1.3 LUTs for HDR on some of its conversion products.

During the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid, several For-A (2.A51) ultra-high-speed FT-ONE-SS4K cameras were deployed for critical slow-motion replays as part of the live broadcast. The same camera is on display at the FOR-A booth this week. The FT-ONE-SS4K is being demonstrated with the ZE-ONE 4K zoom extractor. Specially designed for live instant replay in ultra-slow motion, it supports UHD shot at up to 1,000 frames per second. It provides a continual, real-time 4K live output. A native 2/3-in. image sensor enables the use of a B4 bayonet broadcast lens directly on the camera.

Harmonic (1.B20) has added a new delivery capability for its VOS cloud-native offerings, providing telco, cable, and mobile operators with real-time scalability for mission-critical, high-demand live-video–streaming services. This new SaaS offering, which Harmonic says requires no upfront investment, has been deployed by a leading mobile network operator to deliver live sports content. Operated as a fully managed service, this expanded video-delivery functionality uses a single control platform and a multi-tiered, multi-CDN approach leveraging established partnerships with third-party CDNs and video-delivery nodes deployed by Harmonic.

Harmonic (1.B20) has also collaborated with Google (14.E02) and 3SS to create an integrated OTT and broadcast live sports workflow on Android TV, delivering tailored features like picture-in-picture, multiview, and personalized mosaic. The workflow enables pay-TV operators to deliver personalized, low-latency live sports experiences on OTT and hybrid set-top boxes (STBs) using Harmonic’s VOS cloud-native live-video platform.

On the Hitomi stand (2.C11), the team is talking about MatchBox Glass, launched here in Amsterdam. The free iOS app for near-instant lip-sync alignment of mics and cameras enables quick and reliable camera line-up into trucks, remote-production facilities, or newsgathering operations. When an iPhone or iPad running the app is held in shot, the Hitomi analyzer can instantly verify camera and mic timing alignments. Glass is the answer to a time-consuming and error-prone process, according to the company. Says Lead Engineer Steve Pritchard, “We’ve made solving lip sync as easy as holding your phone to the camera.”

Imagine Communications (1.D61) has announced that a new generation of its Landmark Sales solution will improve advertising management for ITV, the UK’s largest commercial television network. In an extension of Imagine’s longstanding relationship with the network, earlier this summer, ITV completed an upgrade to the more modern, efficient, and technically advanced Landmark II system, allowing it to better manage linear-airtime sales across its increasingly diverse advertising ecosystem. The implementation leverages existing API-based touch points that have been developed by Imagine for key ITV systems, streamlining integration of Landmark II into the ITV advertising-technology platform and wider linear ecosystem.

LiveU (3.B62) is showing a 5G version of its LU600 cellular transmission device. Designed for newsgathering and live sports coverage, the LU600 5G has internal 5G modems and high-efficiency antennas covering all sub–6 GHz frequencies for 5G and 4G and makes use of 4K HEVC technology. The super-low latency enabled by 5G is particularly beneficial for 4K live sports productions, according to the company. LiveU has been testing the technology in the U.S. with AT&T, trialing it on live news and sport. Also at IBC, LiveU is touting the multicamera remote-production capabilities of the LU600 and discussing the company’s dedicated offerings for live motorsport coverage.

Media Links (1.C31) is demonstrating a conceptual advanced software solution for a wide-area network using its technology. Says Al Nunez, senior VP, sales, Americas and EMEA, “Media Links has a long history of being involved in major sporting events, for the men’s and women’s World Cups to the Rugby World Cup, and we are preparing for a couple of customers for the Tokyo Olympics. Ensuring we have a very robust, stable infrastructure so customers can rely on us is important, and that’s what we bring to the table: carrier-grade voice-over-IP.”

Microsoft (stand 1.BS2 and 1.C27) and The Walt Disney Studios announced a five-year innovation partnership to pilot new ways to create, produce, and distribute content on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. According to Through The Walt Disney Studios’ StudioLAB technology hub, the companies will deliver cloud-based solutions to help accelerate innovation at The Walt Disney Studios for production and postproduction processes. Building on Microsoft’s strategic cloud alliance with Avid, the companies have already produced several essential media workflows running in the cloud today, including collaborative editing, content archiving, active backup and production continuity.

The new Nimbra 400 from Net Insight (1.B40) has been designed from the ground up to meet the demand for live media internet transport for premium applications. The x86 COTS building practices and software-based architecture of the Nimbra 400 series give users flexibility. Net Insight has also announced the launch of new Nimbra Virtual Functions, which reduce connectivity costs and media-networking complexity for remote production and IP media delivery. Virtual Functions are software applications that run on standard hardware platforms, allowing addition of new VNFs to an existing network without installing or replacing hardware. New functionalities can be added and upgraded, without the costs of site visits and without capex investments in new hardware.

Pixellot (2.A09) is highlighting the latest advances made with its automated sports-production technology. Following the launch of Pixellot Prime, which delivers linear broadcast-quality productions and was named an NAB 2019 Product of the Year, Pixellot is now demonstrating how it enables broadcasters, production companies, and rightsholders to produce a multi-angle production remotely and with just a single person. This technology is the latest offering tailored to the broadcast market as Pixellot expands to serve every level of sports production.

Qvest Media (3.B40) has added a selection of app bundles to its Qvest.Cloud platform that allow users to flexibly book such tasks as live production, postproduction, archiving, and distribution as software as a service (SaaS). Debuting at IBC 2019, the apps, which go under the name Qvest.Cloud Go!, include Q.Live for live production via social media and Q.Create, which is available for Adobe or Avid editing and allows ingest, editing, and project management. The others are Q.Archive, Q.Safe, and Q.Air. The last is for cloud-based playout automation for occasional or event-based channels. The company is also working on integrating action-replay functionality into its cloud platform to enable advanced remote production. It hopes to have this operational within six months.

Simplylive (3.B19) is highlighting its replay-networking capabilities, and Greg Macchia, VP, sales and operations, America, says that replay is a major focus because it is a big part of the industry. “We are also showing our first UI gateway that offers a much lower bitrate required for a remote user, as we can now work from a range of 5 to 50 Mbps, although the sweet spot is 20-25 Mbps.”

TVU Networks (2.B28) is showcasing new 4K capabilities in its TVU One range of mobile transmitters. Making use of an H.265 hardware encoding chip, the TVU One 4K sends full broadcast-quality 4K, 10-bit true 60-fps HDR video at bandwidths as low as 3 mbps with just 0.5-second latency. “The quality is very high. It makes newsgathering and sports production possible,” says Paul Chen, chief executive, TVU Networks. “It is a significant low-bitrate 4K and has 5G. For sports events, it is very efficient, too.” The company is also highlighting the TVU G-Link 4K rack-mounted point-to-point contribution encoder and the cloud-based TVU Talkshow, an all-in-one solution for multicamera production that enables producers to incorporate audience participation into their programmes using video.