NAB 2023 in Review: West Hall — SportsTech Buzz From Dolby, NewTek, The Switch, Vizrt, and More
The SVG and SVGE editorial teams were out in full force at NAB 2023, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2023 roundups. Here is a look at the news from exhibitors in West Hall.
Featured in this roundup are Adder Technology, Advanced Image Robotics, AJA Video Systems, Appear, Arqiva, ATEME, Backlight, Black Box, Brightcove, Broadpeak, Dalet, Dolby, Domo Broadcast Systems, Eluvio, Eutelsat Communications, Imagine Communications, LTN, Magnifi by VideoVerse, Mediakind, Media Links, Net Insight, Newsbridge, NewTek, Nextologies, Osprey Video, Qvest, SSIMWAVE, ST Engineering iDirect, Synamedia, TATA Communications, Telemetrics, Telestream, Telos Alliance, Telstra Broadcast Services, The Switch, TVU Networks, Veritone, Vislink, Vivaro Media, Vizrt Group, and XD Motion.
Appear (Booth W.2512) is bringing its SRT acceleration solution to the market here at NAB 2023. Said CEO Thomas Bostrøm Jørgensen, “One of the challenges the industry has is capacity and space. SRT is normally implemented on the server, but the SRT solution on our Appear X platform is implemented on FPGA. It’s a complete game-changer on the capacity and number of possible connections it makes available. Broadcasters can do more with less; it’s more dense with less expense.” Added Brian Nelles, executive VP, PSSI Global Services, “The Appear X platform’s flexible feature set and density enable us to scale to meet our client’s increasing volume of camera signals and super-slow-motion feeds for remote replay servers. To be able to encode and transmit within such a small form-factor saves money in power and dramatically reduces costs for shipping our field acquisition kits.”
Magnifi by VideoVerse (Booth W1266) is conducting interactive demonstrations of its AI-powered solutions, including Digital Highlight Pro. This offering features ball-tracking technology and can be used to rapidly create and distribute short-form sports content. The company is also talking about how it is integrating ChatGPT within a video-editing dashboard. This theme will be explored today in the Connect Innovation Theatre in the West Hall (W3421), where company co-founder/COO Saket Dandotia is doing a showcase. In addition, VideoVerse has announced acquisition of Reely.ai, a U.S.-based AI-powered content-creation and social-media–distribution company focused on esports. The Reely.ai platform is capable of automatically identifying highlights and key moments within a videogame.
UK-based Domo Broadcast Systems (Booth W3459) is highlighting its efforts on ONYX, a remote-production solution based on an IP-based encoder and decoder. Described as “plug-and-play” and having already been used on coverage of Formula E and FA Cup football matches, the pair of rack-mounted devices are designed to dovetail for applications using leased lines or satellite. They can handle four simultaneous HD or one UHD feed with end-to-end latencies as low as 40 ms. Streaming can be in a variety of IP formats, including SRT, at bitrates of up to 120 Mbps, and Genlock input is included for studio synchronization.
Mediakind (Booth W2100) is focusing on three key innovations at NAB 2023, particularly on energy efficiency for better sustainability. MediaKind Atlas delivers three significant workflows from the cloud: Live Catch-up and TV recording, AI-powered file-based encoding, and AI-based Upscale. It leverages public-cloud storage along with AI-powered services to aid the rollout of next-generation cloud DVR services. MediaKind Wave expands adaptive bitrate (ABR) to ultra-low-latency streams, provides instant channel change, and uses multicast technology to stream targeted ads to millions of simultaneous viewers. These benefits allow operators to combine their IPTV and streaming distribution networks and give media owners the chance to offer new immersive and interactive live experiences. MediaKind Aquila incorporates hardware acceleration to decrease power consumption and carbon footprint by 70% for live transcoding. A new AI-enabled video-analysis engine optimizes cloud consumption, and the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) codec reduces bandwidth requirements compared with H.264 and HEVC.
Fresh from delivering coverage of the American qualifying tournament for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major Championship alongside Blast.tv, Vivaro Media (Booth W3921) is talking about its recently expanded service offering. The group not only provides video-distribution services, as CEO Daniel Gonzalez explained, but now also produces TV content in Latin America, as well as organizing, producing, and transmitting esports events. The group includes Vivaro Telecom, Vivaro Media, Vivaro Digital, Vivaro Video, Vivaro Gaming, Vivaro Properties, and Vivaro Comunidad. It operates 247,000 km of fiber network and 13 data centers. Its Liga Ace Esports is the biggest esports league in Latin America, according to Gonzalez. Announcements by the company include development of software that will automate distribution of content for federations and broadcasters.
Dolby (Booth W3031) has long staked out the high ground for immersive broadcast audio with its Atmos platform. While the company has broadened its focus to video, sound remains its foundational field. Dolby has underscored that at NAB 2023 with its new Atmos Renderer application, which integrates the Dolby Atmos Production Suite and the Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite into an all-in-one solution for Dolby Atmos creators. The new application brings together existing functionality, including tools available to Dolby Atmos Mastering Suite customers, and adds new capabilities, such as native Apple Silicon-compatibility and improved performance. Atmos is following broadcast sports into the streaming realm as well. However, it’s a path not without its own challenges, as VP, Commercial Partnerships, Javier Foncillas pointed out: “As OTT players become more interested in live sports, one of the things they’re finding are problems such as loudness management. We’ve been working on live sports OTA broadcasters quite a few years, including BT Sports, Comcast, Sky Sports, and, more recently, Warner Media Discovery. A lot of them have an OTT branch, and one of the problems is that the end users’ devices are all unique: sometimes you go through an AppleTV, sometimes you go through a fire stick or a soundbar — all the different ecosystem issues we’ve been dealing with for quite a while. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, so a lot of it is very custom engineering. That’s a big challenge, but I think the experience we have helps us be a good partner for that. [The shift to streaming] is now an opportunity to do things well from the beginning.” The company is also featuring a comparison between HDR 10 and Dolby Vision on low-end TVs, showcasing the consistency of Dolby Vision, and is talking about live-production tools for mapping and mixing.
Black Box (Booth W1322) is debuting its new Emerald DESKVUE solution at NAB 2023. Offering a completely new concept in KVM-over-IP, Emerald DESKVUE eliminates the traditional one-to-one relationship with a transmitter or virtual system and allows users to create a personalized workspace where they can simultaneously view and interact with up to 16 systems. Also on display are Black Box’s Emerald KVM-over-IP Platform, which serves as an infinitely scalable universal-access system and gives users the flexibility to connect to both physical and virtual machines from any location at any time, and Boxilla KVM manager, which offers a complete solution for monitoring system performance, configuring proactive security alerts, checking on real-time device status, and identifying active devices, connections, and users.
Imagine Communications (Booth W2775) is showcasing its new master-control switcher for the Selenio Network Processor (SNP) and a partnership with Amiga to improve ad playout for digital services. CTO/Director, Infrastructure Product Management, John Mailhot said, “We’ve aggregated pretty much every different signal-processing function out there in the Selenio platform, and now we can make a UHD channel out of a trunk of the SNP and dynamically convert inputs into UHD HDR for consistent presentation. And our partnership with Amiga,” he added, “allows users to sell their own advertising and meet all of the normal broadcast rules about frequency and placement and run it into an ecosystem like Roku and all the other platforms or smart TVs. It puts the content owner in the position to sell their own ads and deliver into those platforms, so you don’t have to watch the same ad 10 times in a row.”
NewTek (Booth W2821) is highlighting the latest in its TriCaster line, including the new Flex control panel. According to Senior Content Producer Richard Evans, the Flex control panel is made for the convenience of operators. “It has a portable form-factor, allowing for easy transportation and setup, with NDI audio inputs and outputs, and an NDI-based controller enables the managing of any TriCaster on a network, from anywhere. Flex offers tactile control of audio, PTZ cameras, and virtual camera control. It has the connectivity, control, and ease of use every busy producer needs.”
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.
Fan engagement and fan experiences are a major focus for ATEME (Booth W1517) at NAB 2023. For the latter, the French company is partnering with Six Floor Solutions and Pushologies to deliver an automated end-to-end solution that enables sports-content rightsholders and streamers to send sports fans alerts via a mobile app that then directs them to video clips and e-commerce offerings. Features include AI detection of content, creation of event triggers, content clipping, content assembly, and content delivery. For fan engagement, the company is showcasing its Virtual Lounge, which converges traditional television and gaming and enables viewers to project their avatars in a shared viewing experience akin to a sports bar. Within the virtual-reality environment, the same live sports production can be viewed from different angles, all in sync. ATEME is seeking proof-of-concept partners for the Virtual Lounge and also for an augmented-reality application using connected glasses.
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.
Adder Technology (Booth W2120) is showcasing the latest in KVM solutions. Building on the existing AdderLink INFINITY series, which are common features in professional sports venues around the U.S., the team is enhancing this product link with enhanced virtual-machine support. Among new products, the company has launched its multiviewing solution: the AdderView CCS-MV 4224, which enables users to see up to four displays on a single monitor. On the business side, Adder Technology is remaining busy within in-venue control rooms with recent installations at the MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park and Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park and the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals’ State Farm Stadium. Philosophically, as venue construction and the size of live productions increase in scale, it’s important that the company addresses those needs. “These [teams or venues] need to be flexible, especially when they’re undergoing new builds, because things always change on the fly,” says East Region Sales Manager Vic Jimenez. “With an IP-based system, these crews are able to add or swap out elements whenever they need to.”
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.
Advanced Image Robotics (Booth W3421G) is touting its new cloud-based, remote-production, and robotics solutions. From a control-room perspective, the company is showcasing its AIRcloud production solution, which allows users to easily drag and drop cameras and crew into their desired positions on the playing field from anywhere in the world. This ecosystem is being paired with the company’s AIR One robotic camera, which features full PTZ control, interchangeable lenses, 4-Gb onboard CPU for smooth movement- and motion-data capture, and more. Showcasing these services in a real-world setting, Advanced Image Robotics and AWS have set up a soccer activation in the West Hall main atrium, where images of visitors kicking a ball into a goal are captured via the AIR One and transmitted to the AIRcloud software being controlled at the company’s booth. Looking ahead, the company is working toward automated production with AI-powered player- and ball-tracking for low-tier and cost-conscious productions. As the industry continues to fully embrace cloud-based software, Advanced Image Robotics will be there every step of the way. “The problem with remote production right now is that everyone is using equipment that’s 20 years old, so I need to be not only an expert in cameras but also an expert in IT,” says CEO Kevin McClave. “We built [our solutions] to be cloud-native from the ground up, so we can take care of [all the backend troubleshooting] for them.”
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.
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.
At Veritone (Booth W1410), Billy Gil, product marketing manager, commercial, is focusing on the company’s Generative AI product. “We’re working with Generative AI for integration into workflows and solutions with our customers, so we can integrate large language models into people’s workflows, to help people scale their content creation. It unlocks a world of possibilities for sports organizations. We’ve had a lot of interest in it. People are turning it over and looking at how they can use it. We take a consultative approach with clients so we can find out how it can benefit them.” Veritone Generative AI launched in February.
Backlight (Booth W3157) is showcasing the latest updates and integrations across its Creative product lines, including ftrack, iconik, Celtx, and Gem. Ftrack’s solutions for production tracking and collaboration will address more use cases and customer workflows with new feature enhancements, including file-transfer options. The Q2 release of cloud-native media-asset-management and collaboration platform iconik will provide increased platform flexibility, usability and format support. Meanwhile, search and media review — two core activities that customers perform with iconik — have been elevated with image and video previews in their results, more metadata, and more customization options for how search results are displayed.
Sports clubs, leagues, and broadcasters are promised the utopia of “no more manual logging” by Newsbridge (Booth W2073). The company is making this bold claim because of its confidence in MXT1, an indexing technology that uses natural-language models and multimodal AI to generate human-like descriptions of video content, photos, and audio files. Currently being tested by an NFL team, MXT1 can scan 500 hours of video per minute. According to co-founder/CEO Philippe Petitpont, the “game-changing” development delivers indexing at scale but also in an affordable way, making it accessible for Tier 2 or Tier 3 and college sports. A sports customer in the Middle East, he says, is getting better-quality indexing results from the MXT1 than with human loggers. MXT-1 is currently available in beta mode. It will be progressively rolled out to all Newsbridge cloud solutions, including Just Index, Media Hub, Media Marketplace, and Live Asset Manager.
Vislink (Booth W1731) is showing its ultra-compact Cliq OFDM mobile transmitter for the first time at a U.S.-based show. Ideal for fast-moving sports, such as motor or horse racing, the device can transmit either full 4K or two HD video signals and provides sports broadcasters with an uncontended wireless video-network connection. Chief Product Officer Michel Bais offered two examples of possible uses: tunnel cameras inside sports stadia and POV cameras. It could even be used inside baseball bats, he added. It ships in Q3 of this year.
With the acquisition of The Switch still to be completed, TATA Communications (Booth W2429) is focusing on its service offerings — particularly its Media Edge contribution and distribution platform, which gives broadcasters the chance to create and launch complex cloud-based workflows “in a matter of weeks.” 30 locations across the U.S., Asia, and Western Europe are part of Media Edge, which is already being used by Formula E as part of its remote live broadcast production of races. TATA is the Official Broadcast Distribution Provider to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
Brightcove (Booth W1921) is promoting a new partnership: the streaming-technology company has teamed up with Frequency, a cloud-based video platform, to allow customers to create, launch, and manage free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels. The partnership sees linear channels distributed to FAST aggregators, MVPD and vMVPD, and distribution channels globally. The integration is available within the Brightcove Marketplace. The company is also talking about its ad-monetization services and its end-to-end QoS and QoE insights products.
Visitors who want a robotic camera trolley without the mess of cabling on the studio floor will want to visit Telemetrics (Booth C4425) and check out the TG-5 TeleGlide robotic camera trolley. Colin Clarke, UK and EMEA regional sales, said that customers like YLE in Finland have installed the system, which has robotic tracks below the floor, and all connections and cabling are also beneath the floor. “It makes life a lot easier and is a very nice and neat solution that has a weight load and speed capability that we think makes it a superior product to others in the market,” he said. “It also includes LIDAR sensors to avoid colliding with people in the studio.”
Telos Alliance (Booth W3766) has taken some come bold steps into virtual land with its new Axia Altus software-based audio-mixing console that can be controlled by any device with a web browser. It allows broadcasters to control a mix while simultaneously monitoring audio and contributing content from any browser anywhere, eliminating the need for a physical worksurface and enabling a studio to be deployed anywhere. At the same booth, visitors can also check out comms virtualization via the Telos Infinity Virtual Intercom Platform (VIP) full-featured cloud-based intercom system, which makes cloud-based media-production workflows available on any device — smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet — through an HTML5 browser or an Android or iOS app. Users can use third-party control devices, like Elgato’s Stream Deck, to control Telos Infinity VIP. “The sports broadcasters we talk to all see the cloud as their future; what’s changing are their expectations,” said Managing Director Martin Dyster. “When we began virtualization of comms and consoles in 2020, people were just happy to have anything virtual; expectations were lower. Now the technology has moved on, and [users] have the same expectations they had form-wired products. Fortunately, we built our virtual products on our hardware products — for instance, using keypanels for control. That was an advantage.”
Dalet (Booth W1935) has unveiled a cloud-native, lightning-fast multimedia and multiplatform editor. Dubbed Dalet Cut, it is available now for Dalet Pyramid news customers and this summer for Dalet Flex media–workflow customers. According to Chief Marketing Officer Robin Kirchhoffer, Dalet Cut allows live web-based editing from anywhere with native access to all assets — clips, sequences, projects, graphics — even on limited bandwidth. In addition, Dalet has launched the FlexMOBILE app as part of several enhancements to Dalet Flex. Aaron Kroger, product marketing manager, media workflows, said the cloud-native solution can be used to manage and monetize rich, multimedia content libraries; streamline production workflows; and facilitate media-supply-chain packaging and distribution across traditional, digital, and social platforms.
ST Engineering iDirect (Booth W3113) is demonstrating the new SKYflow native IP-over-satellite ecosystem as part of its effort to expand its role in the market. The SKYflow ecosystem comprises origination, transport, reception, and consumption of live and on-demand video. According to Alex Beach, head of media and broadcast market development, scaling a live video or on-demand service to a large audience is a lot easier over satellite thanks to its ability to multicast. SKYflow also offers support for SVOD models, which is enabled through smart prepositioning of content at the network edge. Ecosystem partners ST Engineering iDirect, EKT, EasyBroadcast, Quadrille, and Broadpeak are onsite to discuss SKYflow. In addition to SKYflow, the company is showcasing the MCX8000 multi-carrier satellite gateway for the first time in North America.
TVU Networks (Booth W1821) is back on the show floor with a renewed emphasis on supporting clients with whatever needs they have. Through its well-known DevOps Process, working relationships can become strengthened with immediate implementation of customer feedback into product design. On the product end of the spectrum, TVU is expanding its Remote Production System (RPS) lineup with the addition of TVU RPS One. Intended to assist customers’ needs in the ever-changing landscape of remote production, this product is an all-in-one hybrid cloud and studio solution combining RPS’s field-tested synchronized multicamera encoding and transmission functionality in an ultra-compact and rugged form factor with six integrated 5G modems for wireless transmission.
No company has been busier on the acquisitions front over the past few years than Telestream (Booth W1501), adding 10 companies since 2015. The fruits of those labors are being shown at the company’s booth in Vegas, especially as it relates to last year’s acquisition of Encoding.com. According to Greggory Heil, SVP, Telestream Cloud (and founder/CEO of Encoding.com), Telestream is leveraging Encoding.com’s file-based cloud transcoder/packager as part of its Cloud Native media-processing platform to serve both the broadcast and OTT industries in a more holistic manner. Cloud Native also features Qualify, the first truly cloud-native QC service. Telestream is also demonstrating its iQ architecture, which enables cloud-native video-quality monitoring for emerging workflows migrating to the cloud. Beyond the cloud, the company has introduced Telestream Content Manager, which is built on DIVA Core technology (acquired in 2020) and provides a single point of access for content across an organization’s entire storage ecosystem, including cloud and on-premises storage. Also new is PRISM MPP, a multiformat rasterizer purpose-built for postproduction, and a software-only version of its Lightspeed Live Capture solution. VP, Portfolio Marketing, Ali Hodjat said that these releases reflect how Telestream’s recent acquisitions are enhancing and expanding the company’s product portfolio.
XD Motion (Booth W3121) is sharing the latest updates to its robotic camera systems, X fly cable cams, and tethered drone cameras at NAB 2023. The Arcam/IO.Bot robotic, 6-axis–arm camera system is on show, along with the X fly 3D, which is based on four fiber-rope attachment points and allows the dolly to move left and right, up and down, and forward and backward.
Net Insight (Booth W1725), with solution partner Comprimato, is demonstrating the use of live JPEG XS compressed ST 2110 streams using TR07, transported over WAN (wide-area network) to cloud workflows. This bridges the gap between cloud and high-end IP workflows in a new way and is suited for Tier 1 sports events, the company said. Another key discussion point for the Swedish firm is the work it did to help with the launch of the CBS Sports Golazo Network, the new 24/7 soccer streaming service. Nimbra Edge is a crucial part of the end-to-end cloud contribution, production, playout, and distribution workflow deployed for the channel. Launched last week, CBS Sports Golazo is available on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app for connected-TV devices, the CBS Sports mobile app, Pluto TV, and Paramount+.
Eutelsat Communications (Booth W2472) has signed a multi-year agreement with Fox Sports Mexico to distribute channels across Mexico via Eutelsat’s EUTELSAT 117 West A satellite. Building on a partnership between parent entity Grupo Lauman and Eutelsat, this new contract enables Fox Sports Mexico to further its growth strategy and develop other projects. According to Regional SVP, Media, Americas, J. Ignacio González-Núñez, the collaboration confirms Eutelsat’s prime 117° West TV neighborhood over Latin America as it continues gaining traction in the entire region.
“The demand for cloud transmission has gone mad,” said The Switch (Booth W2301) VP, Marketing, Kevin O’Meara. To meet that demand, the company is showing MiMiC cloud-based live production and delivery platform, which offers the ability to do satellite replacement in a cost-efficient way, making it, in O’Meara’s words “a no-brainer.” Cloud transmission is proving popular across all tiers of sports, he added Another trend for The Switch is the return of playout services. Although that area of the business has been in decline, selected streaming and digital-based sports-media providers are now looking to add traditional broadcast-playout services to their offering.
Germany’s Qvest (Booth W2042) is using NAB 2023 to premiere the Qibb integration platform for media workflows. Already being used by German football club Fortuna Düsseldorf, the technology comes with a low-code or no-code workflow editor that helps users easily build and maintain integrations. The focus at the show is on automated workflows with generative artificial intelligence for media applications, including the integration of ChatGPT4. The Fortuna Düsseldorf workflow combines audio commentary with speech-to-text analysis to allow ChatGPT to provide summary information for video-highlights creation.
Telstra Broadcast Services (Booth W3609) is using NAB 2023 to promote a new tie-up with virtual-advertising–tech firm Supponor, which will bring virtual advertising as-a-service to sports properties, federations, and rightsholders. The move follows a successful launch of virtual ads with the NHL. The offering includes customized virtual signage powered by the Supponor AIR technology that can be integrated within an existing broadcast infrastructure. For the NHL, Supponor’s Digitally Enhanced Dasherboards (DED) system enables real-time replacement of camera-visible arena advertising boards and placement of dynamic on-ice assets. DED graphics can be displayed during games in a market-specific way. Telstra supports delivery of NHL content through its Broadcast Operations Centers in Pittsburgh, Sydney, and London and provides the connectivity required to control and deliver the technology. The Telstra Global Media Network (GMN) underpins distribution of the league’s multiple feeds.
At the center of the Synamedia booth (W3927) is a demo of an in-stadium fan-engagement experience developed in conjunction with NativeWaves. The tie-up allows clubs or leagues to provide video services to 5G-enabled mobile devices, enabling fans in their seats to replay match action, watch from different camera angles in real time, and view stats. The application is based on Synamedia Vivid compression, Vivid OTT with ultra-low latency and fast channel zapping, and secure delivery using Fluid EdgeCDN. The last helps clubs ensure that the only people watching the service are inside the stadium.
LTN (Booth W2621) is using NAB 2023 to discuss ARC, a managed service that handles versioning for live events. To illustrate how it can work for sports, the company is highlighting a partnership with TelevisaUnivision. The Spanish-language media and content company harnesses LTN Arc for its new ViX global streaming service, which is available across the U.S. and Latin America. Using the LTN service, it can deliver localized, culturally relevant live soccer coverage to Spanish-speaking audiences, with live versioning of multiple concurrent sports events. Local languages are inserted remotely, and content is prepped to meet different and exacting video frame rates for the various markets. Custom graphic overlays, audio mixing, and ad trigger insertion are also features of Arc.
According to Blackbird (Booth W1375) CEO Ian McDonough, a key project of the company is development of a direct-to-creator self-service platform. Aimed at prosumers, it will be natively architected in the cloud with Blackbird’s core video codec and library functionality at the heart of the offering. “Our current platform is for M&E clients,” notes McDonough. “This will take our technology to the wider end of the funnel.” A beta version of the yet-to-be-named platform is expected by the end of the year. At NAB 2023, Blackbird has teamed up with Microsoft to highlight the speed and cost benefits of cloud-native video editing. Blackbird Edge can be deployed on the Microsoft Azure public-cloud platform in minutes, and it supports the use of Azure Blob storage of video for ingest and publishing. It also integrates with Azure services for stream handling and video-on-demand (VOD) encoding of edits.
Arqiva (Wynn Salon) will aggregate a mixture of 150 premium SD and HD channels and deploy its new Arqplex hybrid content-processing service to provide the encoding and multiplexing for 10 broadcast platforms across Africa. Announced during NAB 2023, the deal with Irdeto continues the two firms’ partnership on delivery of broadcast platforms to an audience of more than 21 million people across 50 countries in South and Sub-Saharan Africa. Arqplex service is built on a cloud-based subscription model, which removes the need for large capex investments and allows Irdeto to receive technology upgrades and patches as soon as they are available.