SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2023: Sunday’s Latest From Vegas
The NAB Show is in full swing, and the SVG and SVG Europe editorial teams are chasing down the hottest stories from all over the Las Vegas Convention Center. To make the flood of announcements easily digestible for our readers, SVG is sending you a daily roundup in SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2023, with all the top stories gathered in one easy-to-read blog.
Today’s edition features AJA Video Systems, Appear, ATEME, Brightcove, Broadpeak, Canon U.S.A., Eluvio, EMG, Evertz, EVS, FingerWorks Telestrators, Fraunhofer, Fujifilm, Grass Valley, Hitomi Broadcast, IHSE USA, MediaKind, Media Links, NEP Group, Net Insight, Nextologies, Osprey Video, Phabrix, RT Software, SSIMWAVE, Sony Electronics, Teradek, Vizrt Group, and Zero Density.
Teradek (Booth N212LMR) returns with a handful of innovations and workflows. Focused on productions that leverage bonded-cellular technology, the company is showcasing a trio of new products. First, Ranger Mk II is an improvement on Teradek’s zero-delay wireless-video solution and mixes 12 new 6-GHz (U-NII 5) channels and two newly designed form factors to suit cameras of any size. Second, Prism Mobile makes its NAB Show debut after launching earlier this year. The solution packs dual internal cellular modems and 4K HDR video support, seamlessly slips onto any professional camera rig for quick, on-the-go video contribution, and integrates Sony C3 Portal. Third, the company’s new Data cellular-data–plan service for broadcasters and content creators provides Tier 1 support for premium-bandwidth priority in North America.
IHSE USA (Booth N2946) is highlighting its latest KVM solutions designed to streamline workflows, strengthen security, and boost performance. Leading the way is a quartet of mainline products: the Draco tera IP gateway, the Draco tactical deployable KVM system, Draco CON app, and kvm-tec Series KVMoIP extenders. The Draco tera IP gateway provides IHSE KVM users with the ability to bridge multiple KVM matrixes over existing IP networks within buildings, across campuses, and between remote corporate offices. Built from the latest high-speed KVM-technology components, the Draco tactical deployable KVM system is designed for remote command and control rooms used for real-time collaborative visualization demanded by different organizational verticals. Making its NAB Show debut, IHSE’s Draco CON software emulates the functions of a regular (physical) IHSE CON unit (decoder). Users only need an IP connection with sufficient bandwidth (at least 1G), low latency, and a suitable device — such as a capable laptop or desktop PC — to access a regular KVM network in real time. kvm-tec’s Scalable Line, supporting networked 4K multiviewer capabilities over a 10G network switch, will also be on display. Features include the ability to control and manage up to 16 computer sources on a single display via a single keyboard and mouse.
FingerWorks Telestrators (Booth N1810) is introducing its FingerWorks Computer Vision software to support real-time player and field tracking as well as a new masking technology. This tool traces the path a player takes and can be applied to a live feed or during a replay. The Field Tracking tool allows any graphic to be placed and positioned under the players, in real time, and remain in that position during camera pans, tilts, and zooms. The company’s new masking technology, which is also part of the Computer Vision software, eliminates all logos and markers and makes them a “virtual” part of the imagery under the players.
A football proof of concept with Lumen and new RF-over-IP products were among a whole avalanche of innovations highlighted by Evertz (Booth N2225) at the opening press conference of NAB 2023. The PoC demonstrated contribution-quality transport of a single-link UHD signal with ultra-low latency over a dedicated IP network during an unnamed but high-profile sports event. The RF-over-IP products allow users to securely transport analog RF signals within their digital network, delivering increased flexibility in a satellite/IP hybrid workflow.
EVS (Booth N2147) has plenty of tools that sports-production professionals will want to check out, but an improved version of XtraMotion will be at the top of the list. XtraMotion 2 reduces the turnaround time for converting a regular-speed clip into a super-slo-mo clip by using AI to create additional frames between the regular-speed frames in as little as 5 seconds. Almost as important, the system now treats an incoming source video as a “growing clip,” meaning that there is no limit to the length of the super-slow-motion interpolated segment. “We are very proud of our team’s hard work in developing an algorithm that produces visual content of unmatched quality,” says Olivier Barnich, head of innovation and architecture. “The launch of XtraMotion in edge computing mode also presented a valuable opportunity for us to achieve real-time processing. By using the powerful GPUs of our long-term partner Nvidia, we were able to improve our algorithm’s execution speed, leading to an impressive 95% reduction in processing time.”
Hitomi Broadcast (Booth N2860) is showcasing its latency and synchronization tools at the UK Pavilion. New for NAB 2023 is lip-sync measurement in the cloud, and visitors to the Hitomi booth will be able to see a live demonstration of a file-based version of MatchBox for lip-sync measurements and the latest MatchBox Glass iPhone app for lining up camera feeds. Hitomi said its “simple and cost-effective tools” are in high demand due to the rapid growth in remote production and IP contribution. Hitomi director Russell Johnson said, “NAB gives us the chance to showcase the latest developments, like our commitment to SMPTE ST 2110 and our solutions for MatchBox in cloud architectures.”
RT Software (Booth N2861) is showcasing its Swift and Tactic product ranges at NAB 2023, with a demonstration of Swift News’ close integration with ENPS to show how journalists can create “stunning” graphics through ENPS and other newsroom computer systems, via the RT Software plug-in. Meanwhile, the Tactic telestration system deploys AI to detect soccer players in order to allow users to work faster and achieve more-accurate results.
Zero Density (Booth N1817) has announced the launch of several innovations in tracking technology, all released under its Traxis brand. Among them are the Traxis Camera Tracker, a unified hub for broadcasters to track cameras and manage their camera and lens data, and a major update to the Traxis Talent Tracker, which enables broadcasters to track multiple people on set at the same time without wearables.
Attendees looking for innovation in cloud-based workflows will want to stop by the Grass Valley booth (C2408) and check out AMPP Local. The on-premises version of the Agile Media Processing Platform is intended to offer a solution for production trucks and other facilities that will transition to the public-cloud domain. “We provide the common off-the-shelf (COTS) processing hardware, and then the AMPP platform is deployed within that hardware,” says CTO Marek Kielczewski. “You don’t need cloud connectivity. If the network goes down for a few hours during the show, it does not affect the production. That was something that a number of our customers raised as a concern.” In addition, it’s entirely scalable and reconfigurable, and applications can be purchased on a pay-as-you go consumption model, which Grass Valley believes will be attractive to sports leagues and teams that have specific seasons. The company is also introducing a compact version of the LDX135 camera, the C135, which is native ST 2110 IP but also can be used in baseband environments, and AMPP Grid, which allows inputs and outputs to be scaled up as needed in lieu of deploying to a larger system than needed.
College and university sports professionals (and anyone else interested in sending content direct from a camera to Adobe Creative Suite) will be interested in participating in a Fujifilm (Booth C5725) special case-study program designed to make a few selected programs among the first to experience Frame.io camera to cloud integration for the Fujifilm X-H2S and X-H2 cameras. Users with the FT-XH file-transmitter accessory can use their paid Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions — and any active internet connection — to deliver any combination of still or video files to Frame.io directly from the camera. “NAB is the perfect place to celebrate and demonstrate our new Frame.io camera-to-cloud functionality, because NAB attendees are so engaged and interested in the latest tech,” says Victor Ha, VP, Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices Divisions, Fujifilm North America Corp. “Having Frame.io camera-to-cloud technology in X-H2 and X-H2S will fundamentally change the way we make images and video because of how it simplifies collaboration and how it saves time for everyone involved.”
Canon U.S.A. (Booth C3825) has two new 8K Flex cinema lenses on display. The CN-E14-35mm T1.7 and the CN-E31.5-95mm T1.7 Super 35mm format lenses expand the Flex Zoom series to include support for Super 35mm cinema cameras. Available in interchangeable EF and PL mounts, the new lenses help produce video with the beautiful and natural background blur desired by many end users. Also being demonstrated, four new relay kits — the RL-S1 and RL-S2 (for Super 35mm) and the RL-F1 and RL-F2 (for full-frame) — adapt each Flex Zoom lens to suit whatever sensor format is required and support the ever-changing requirements of film productions for both popular sensor formats.
Sony Electronics (Booth C8101) is showcasing products, solutions and workflows for broadcast, live-event, newsgathering, and cinematic-content creators at every level here. With a focus on trending topics in imaging, cloud, networked capabilities, and virtual production, Sony is presenting its comprehensive end-to-end ecosystem, providing demos and offering hands-on time with the latest technologies.
NEP Group (Booth C4535) has become the first organization to purchase Sony’s new MLS-X1 Live Switchers (see Sony at Booth C8101). NEP has purchased more than 20 MLS-X1 units for use in its NEP Andrews Production Hub in Sydney. A key element of Sony Networked Live ecosystem, the MLS-X1 stands out for its modular and effective approach as part of NEP’s business-transformation effort with effectiveness and scalability at its core.
Phabrix (Booth C4920) is demonstrating its ability to support interoperable SMPTE ST 2110-20, 2022-7 RGB enhanced-UHD workflows and NVIDIA RivermaxDisplay at NAB 2023. The presentation marks the continuation of a long-running cooperation with NVIDIA and advanced-media-server company 7thSense, both of whose technologies are being featured in the demo alongside the QxL UHD-25G rasterizer from Phabrix.
MPEG-H Audio from Fraunhofer (Booth C3529) has been integrated into KYRION encoders from ATEME (Booth W1517), a move that will allow broadcasters to offer personalized immersive-sound services via existing ISDB-T and DVB broadcast networks. “Viewers are increasingly demanding high-quality, personal experiences,” said Julien Mandel, senior director, solution marketing, Ateme. “This is true not only for images, but also for sound.” The technology is already being used in Brazil on the existing ISDB-Tb terrestrial broadcast system prior to the transition to the next-generation TV 3.0 broadcast standard in 2025. TV Globo used KYRION encoders with MPEG-H Audio during coverage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Demonstrations of MPEG-H Audio encoding with the Ateme KYRION are available at both Fraunhofer’s booth and Ateme’s booth.
Osprey Video (Booth W1931) is partnering with Caton Technology for a combined solution on display in Las Vegas. The partnership involves integrating CTP into the Osprey Talon 4K encoder and decoder. These compact, cost-effective hardware devices provide high-quality conversion from linear feeds into IP at extremely low latency. With CTP integrated into the Talon 4K encoder, users have a single-point device that takes the source feed (at up to 12G SDI or HDMI), encodes it to H.264 or H.265, and packages it for CTP to provide secure transport over IP circuits, including the public internet. At the receiving end, the Talon 4K decoder takes in the stream and delivers SDI or HDMI into the broadcast infrastructure. The mobility of the Osprey solution means that it can be readily packaged for delivery in a tight space (such as a production truck), in a control room, connected to a camera, or as part of the master control in front of a stage.
In a move designed to address the shift from traditional broadcast contribution and distribution technologies to IP and the cloud, MediaKind (Booth W2100) and Net Insight (Booth W1725) have entered into a partnership to jointly develop an end-to-end cloud-first IP video-distribution system for broadcasters and video distributors. The setup consists of MediaKind’s RX1 professional receiver/decoder, its CE1 cloud-ready contribution encoder, and its Aquila Live cloud-based processing and delivery headend, plus Net Insight’s Nimbra Edge, a cloud-native platform for IP media workflows and content delivery.
Media Links (Booth W1421) is using NAB 2023 to launch the Xscend IP media platform. Designed for the network edge as a reconfigurable, versatile IP media-migration gateway, Xscend transports up to 128 high-quality media and data services across both managed and unmanaged (open-internet) networks. The software-defined futureproof platform is said to address the migration from SDI to IP as well as conversion from IP to IP environments, along with high-density, low-latency remote or distributed production applications, including ground-to-cloud connectivity.
Vizrt Group (Booth W2821) is seeing an increase in the use of XR and AR, especially at the biggest national networks, and AR and virtual-studio applications are a big part of its NAB 2023 plans, according to VP/Deputy Global Head, Project Management, Tehseen Akhtar: “Some of the most amazing use cases have been done in 2022, whether for Election Night or the biggest sporting events, and this trend will not only continue but grow.” Vizrt will highlight its AR and virtual-studio capabilities in live production through Viz Virtual Studio and Viz Engine 5 — together enabling creation of interactive 3D virtual sets, AR graphics, and mixed-reality presentations and elevating audience experience through XR with hyper-realistic quality. A live XR demonstration, Vizrt Experience Las Vegas, marks the first time Vizrt has showed the virtual-window effect with the native Viz Engine render pipeline. ROE Visual will illustrate the ability to use extended reality in a multi-camera live production without limitations.
Broadpeak (Booth W1913) has unveiled the latest version of its Advanced CDN solution, offering video-service providers low latency while reducing energy consumption and costs. Video-streaming services are delivered at 725 Gbps from a single server, offering better Gbps-per-dollar and Gbps-per-watt ratios than all other CDN solutions on the market, according to the company. The Advanced CDN solution provides energy savings by requiring fewer servers for video streaming than the previous generation required; built-in elasticity allows operators to dynamically manage horizontal and vertical scaling. On-premises, cloud, and hybrid configurations are supported.
AJA Video Systems (Booth W2600) is here with a new slate of products and updates designed to meet the evolving demands of VoIP, color conversion and management, streaming, remote production, and data-management and curation workflows. Through a partnership with Audinate, developer of the new Dante AV ultra-high-image-quality solution for standard 1 GigE networks, AJA has released Dante AV 4K-T, which converts 4K/UHD/2K/HD/VESA SDI and HDMI 2.0 to Dante AV Ultra signals, and Dante AV 4K-R, which converts Dante AV Ultra signals to 4K/UHD/2K/HD/VESA SDI and HDMI 2.0. The company has also revealed new firmware updates for HELO Plus, ColorBox, Bridge Live, FS-HDR, and AJA Diskover Media Edition.
Appear (Booth W2512) has made quantum leaps in internet-based video delivery with the NAB 2023 launch of its hardware-accelerated video-transport technology over the secure reliable transport (SRT) protocol on its X Platform. The launch offers media and entertainment companies increased efficiency, ROI, and flexibility through transporting high-quality video over the internet, aligning video-transport costs with content value.
Eluvio (Booth W237LMR) is discussing with clients and partners its new set of capabilities that enable direct sell-through, engagement, and streaming of premium video on the Blockchain Content Fabric. The offerings combine scalable decentralized streaming, content distribution and storage, and advanced media services with the addition of on-chain payments and multiparty-royalty-settlement capabilities. Last week, the company also unveiled new Powered by Eluvio tiers of service for its utility blockchain content network. CEO/co-founder Michelle Munson will speak multiple times throughout the show. On Sunday at 3:30-4:30 p.m., she will speak on the panel “Sports Broadcasting and the Metaverse” in Central Hall (C2133A) Create Inspiration Theater. On Monday at 2:40 p.m., she will speak at the CDSA Content Protection Summit on the panel “Emerging Consumption: Living Movie Experience” at the Sahara Las Vegas Hotel in the Sahara Theatre. And on Wednesday at 10:30-11:10 a.m., she will speak on the panel “Web3 in Media & Entertainment from Ownership to Distribution” in West Hall (W1143C) Intelligent Content Inspiration Theater.
Nextologies (Booth W2959), a developer of end-to-end streaming solutions, is introducing its recently launched company, 10TX, which specializes in live-event signal distribution. Industry veteran Keith Valeri is serving as CEO of the startup, which leverages Nextologies’ IP distribution solution to offer live events the first-to-market solution in several modalities, including satellite, fiber, and public internet. Additionally, Nextologies and 10TX have established a co-location and West Coast REMI & Network Operations Center with the UFC APEX production facility in Las Vegas.
SSIMWAVE (Booth W1567), which was recently acquired by IMAX Corp., is showcasing IMAX’s latest streaming, home-entertainment, and video-optimization technology. It’s the first time that IMAX has ever demonstrated at the NAB Show, and leadership from both IMAX and SSIMWAVE are at the West Hall booth, where AI-driven video-quality solutions are exhibited. NAB 2023 also marks the debut of IMAX’s new Stream Smart product, which can be viewed at the booth along with demos of video-monitoring–technology applications.
Brightcove will be leading a series of discussions and debates at NAB 2023. VP, Research, and Brightcove Fellow Yuriy Reznik will deliver a talk as part of the “Video Coding Techniques” strand of content in the Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference located in W219-W221. Taking place on Sunday at 10:20 a.m., the session is titled “Improving Content-Aware Encoding by Adaptation to ‘True Resolution’ of the Content.” It will focus on encoding of content and whether it is possible to establish a “minimum” or “true” resolution of content to which it can be reduced. On Monday, Brightcove Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer David Beck will moderate a panel discussion titled “The Business of FAST: The Challenges in Monetization, Market Saturation, and Viewer Engagement,” with speakers representing Samsung TV Plus, Vevo, Gusto TV, Plex, and Sling TV. The discussion will take place on Monday at 10:15 a.m. in the Streaming Summit located in W219-W221.
EMG is bringing its approach to RF cameras to the U.S., with Nathan Spencer, new CEO for the Europe-based technical-services provider’s Connectivity USA, based at Trilith Studios near Atlanta. Said Spencer, “We see a unique opportunity for EMG in the States, whereby we can bring our extensive experience and inhouse-developed technologies to broadcasters. We have worked for decades on events from the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia to the London Marathon and a whole lot more. We use many RF manufacturers — such as Vislink, Domo, and Videosys — but also have our own RF tech, including Livetools, that can create a unique and streamlined broadcast. We can’t wait to show American broadcasters what this technical-service provider can do, and I’m here at NAB doing just that.”