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Business, insight & intelligence for the media & entertainment industry OCTOBER 2017


Analysing the future
of broadcast audio

01 Cover_V3.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:39



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New TVB Europe size.indd 1

20170929_210x265_TVBE_UK.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:09
27.09.17 16:45
“Broadcast audio is going through fundamental change”

hile experiencing my first IBC Show last month, announced measures to combat the issue of illegal streaming.
it dawned on me just how much goes on behind Streaming piracy is regarded a ‘faceless crime’ – those that do
the scenes of television that the viewer has no it think it doesn’t matter because as far as they’re concerned
idea about. no one gets hurt. What they’re not considering is the people
After running around all 15 of the RAI’s halls, I began to realise working so hard behind the scenes so they can watch their
how much technology is used in the making of programmes favourite team. Bring them to IBC2018 and they would soon
I love to watch. It’s staggering really, and I suspect the average learn the difference!
content consumer would be shocked at the level of IT and Back in the mists of time, or the mid-1990s, radio went
infrastructure there is within the television idndustry. It felt through a fundamental change. Out went quarter-inch
at times like a baptism of fire as I dashed from meeting to tape and in came digital. It was a game changer for everyone
meeting, but I returned to London feeling as though I had working in the industry. I was in my first job at Capital
learned a great deal, and I surprised myself on occasion – I FM. Six weeks after I started, Capital moved from the old
definitely wouldn’t have been able to discuss packet loss Euston Tower to its new home in Leicester Square, and
before the show! with it everything I knew about radio production went
There seemed to be three distinct themes at this year’s out the window.
show: IP, the cloud and security. IP and the cloud are not new Of course for radio, the introduction of digital has been
areas of discussion for the industry, and I suspect we’ll still life-changing and now broadcast audio is going through its
be talking about them at IBC2018. But security and piracy are own fundamental change. I keep hearing phrases like VoIP
becoming more important, especially as viewers move away and AoIP, while voice activation seems to be about to
from linear TV to OTT and streaming. This year, we’ve had dramatically alter the way we search for programming.
examples of major series such as Orange is the New Black and So, I hope you enjoy this month’s issue focusing on the
Game of Thrones being leaked ahead of their launch dates. future of broadcast audio. n
The other big issue in terms of piracy is sport. The English
Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga have both JENNY PRIESTLEY, EDITOR

Content Director: James McKeown Senior Account Manager: Richard Carr Designer: Sam Richwood +44 207 354 6000

Editor: Jenny Priestley Digital Director: Diane Oliver US Sales: Michael Mitchell +1 (631) 673 0072

Senior Staff Writer: James Groves Human Resources Director: Lianne Davey Japan and Korea Sales: Sho Harihara +81 6 4790 2222

Contributors: Head of Production: Alistair Taylor

George Jarrett, Neal Romanek

Sales Manager: Peter McCarthy Managing Director: Mark Burton +44 207 354 6025

TVBEurope is published 12 times a year by by NewBay Media © Copyright NewBay Media Europe Ltd 2017
Europe Ltd, The Emerson Building, 4th Floor, 4-8 Emerson Street, All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or
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03 Welcome v3 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 10:45

New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:11

14 Sustainable Cybermen
Doctor Who recently signed up to BAFTA’s
albert sustainability initiative. Jenny Priestley
investigates the decision to go green

20 Bricking it
How do you turn LEGO building into must-
watch TV?

32 Transforming TV
Ericsson’s Angel Ruiz looks at the new media

34 Voice activation
BBC R&D, along with Netgem, look at the rise
of the voice activated assistant

38 Plugging the skills gap

The BBC has delivered its biggest single
investment in Scottish broadcast in over 20
years. George Jarrett finds out more

42 Women in broadcast,
part two
This month, James Groves hears from four
more respected names in the industry: Anna
Lockwood, Nicki Fisher, Margaret Craig and
Lise Cosmi

48 TVBEurope at IBC2017
We honour the 22 winners of TVBEurope’s
Best of Show awards at IBC2017 before
Chris Forrester provides a wrap-up from the
show’s 50th anniversary

i Sony: Driving
customer engagement
Sony’s supplement looks at targeted
broadcasing, sports production and
streamlining the media supply chain



05 Contents_V3 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 14:55


Transforming TV into a fully integrated

entertainment platform
By Albert Dahan, co-founder and CTO, Metrological

onsumer demand for easy access to content formatting, content protection and UX that have to be
from both the legacy and online premium video embedded into MVPDs’ content management workflows
domains represents a major opportunity for for delivery on STBs and unmanaged devices. MVPDs must
multichannel video programming distributors (MPVDs) integrate requirements within the limitations of legacy
to differentiate their services. These new integrated STBs. To do so they need to utilise cloud-based resources
experiences are critical to the reinvention of pay-TV. that provide the richness and variety of a personalised
Integrating premium OTT services with access to universal UX that can be continually attuned to evolving
app content can now be seamless and additive to the trends in consumer behaviour.
consumer experience with a time to market that spans The barriers to meeting these requirements are being
months rather than years. Operators can further overcome by using highly flexible, modular components
accelerate apps with technologies such as WPE (Web based on internet standards. WPE Framework is a
Platform for Embedded), a lightweight, software stack that lightweight, hardware accelerated Application and UI
enables them to deploy new cloud based services in an Framework enabling operators to deploy web and native
integrated experience on any (legacy) set-top box (STB). based services in an integrated experience on any STB.
WPE can be embedded into MVPD workflows to access
PERSONALISED/INTEGRATED TV EXPERIENCES cloud-resourced and locally-hosted functionalities for
Enabling OTT and app content to be personalised and delivery of a personalised next-generation UX on legacy
related to what the viewer is watching on the main screen STBs as well as new STBs and unmanaged IP devices.
is one way that TV viewing can be enhanced. Enabling
viewers to see app content that is relevant to what she is CONCLUSION
watching, and the ability to instantly click the overlay and MVPDs are well positioned in their unique ability to
see a clip makes viewing more interactive. For example, aggregate content from multiple services with advanced
someone watching a football match could see YouTube applications into a single point of access on all screens.
clips of their favourite team side-by-side on the main TV In order to be successful, however, operators need a
viewing experience without looking away from the TV. foundation that can be adjusted to continually add
Some MVPDs are beginning to introduce apps to drive new services and apps with innovative approaches to
live linear content that do not require authentication. configuring and personalising UIs across all screens.
For consumers, this means they can access content from Leveraging app stores and app platforms along with a
an app containing live broadcast TV instead of going to a framework based on web technologies such as WPE,
specific channel. enables MVPDs to seamlessly integrate content with live
TV along with additional tools needed to fully leverage the
UNIFYING OTT INTEGRATIONS WITH WPE cloud and manage OTT integrations, such as Netflix, into
MVPDs need to leverage the cloud as much as possible their workflow. Going forward, operators can expand
for OTT integrations, going beyond overlaying a cloud- these capabilities to serve new opportunities within and
based aggregation of OTT content onto their UIs. beyond the pay TV UX as new technologies emerge to
Content owners require compliance with approaches to capture consumers’ interest. n


06 Opinion Metrological_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:41


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New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:12


obile connectivity hasn’t just revolutionised
the way we consume content these days – it
has also spawned a whole new way of creating
it. Thanks to the advent of outlets such as Facebook
Live, YouTube and other social media, anyone who
owns a network connected smartphone or tablet can
gather, edit and distribute their own unique stories.
On a professional level mobile journalism, or MoJo
as it is termed, is a vital part of the mix for broadcasters
and news outlets who need to feed live content straight
to their studios and social media platforms. In recent
years much of the technological focus has been on
improving video quality (from sub HD, to HD and
now 4K), but it is also important that audio quality
isn’t overlooked because decent sound really matters,
especially when it comes to speech intelligibility.

MoJo comes Smartphones have become an integral part of a

traditional broadcaster’s toolbox, as they can easily be
transformed into very portable live streaming units.

of age
Often Apps from professional live video transmission
vendors such as AviWest, Live-U and MobileViewpoint
are used to pave the way into the broadcast backbone,
including set-up of the return audio from the anchor
in the studio and the producer.
Although much simpler set-ups are used when you
are using your gear for a Facebook Live transmission,
René Mørch, product manager, DPA Microphones the same basic rule applies in both situations: there is
no such thing as the perfect microphone. You’ll need
to be able to switch from one type of microphone to

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08 09 Opinion DPA_V3 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 10:46

another depending on the situation you are covering, d:vice works with a range of DPA products, making
and more often than not you’ll need two inputs to it possible to pick the right microphone for specific
ensure you are getting the best results. situations. This versatility is already proving popular
A typical way to enter a microphone signal into a with broadcasters like Danish web channel, FoodTV,
mobile phone is via the 3.5mm audio jack that also which recently live streamed a cooking show from
houses the headphone output. Obviously the audio a department store in Copenhagen using d:vice
quality of this analogue input is not very high and it in conjunction with two DPA d:fine headset
also doesn’t allow for the use of professional grade microphones. Despite the background noise of a
microphones. Moreover, it only allows you to connect busy department store, the audio quality of the live
one mono signal to the smartphone. Therefore, the stream was exceptional.
thought process behind the development of DPA’s With so many new filmmaking and editing apps
new d:vice MMA-A Digital Audio Interface, which was coming onto the market, it has never been easier for
launched earlier this year, was to give journalists and podcasters, vloggers and mobile journalists to create
content creators access to studio quality audio when exciting and innovative content. From an audio point
they who use smartphones to record and stream audio of view, d:vice is the final link in the chain – and in our
on the go. d:vice is a two-channel microphone preamp humble opinion, the most important! n
and A/D converter that connects to your iPhone or
iPad directly via the lightning connector. Also, it can be
connected to PC and MAC via an additional supplied “It’s important that
cable and can thereby be used as an external input
soundcard. At just two inches in diameter it is also
small enough to fit into your pocket or bag.
audio quality isn’t
To make live streaming easier, we’ve recently added
a new ‘summing’ function, which takes the audio from overlooked, because
two mics, combines it, and sends out a dual mono
signal for a live stream via iPhone or iPad. Additionally, decent sound
individual gain can be set for each mic, which is useful
to ensure controlled output. really matters”

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29/08/2017 | 9

08 09 Opinion DPA_V3 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 10:46


Disrupting broadcast workflows

– in a good way
By T Shobhana, vice president and head of global marketing and
communications, Prime Focus

epending on your point of view, disruption can this status quo and providing a new higher level of
be seen as a good thing, or a bad thing. From collaboration, flexibility, and speed to support content
my point of view, the new options for managing development through distribution.
broadcast media assets that are disrupting the status quo
across the content supply chain are a very good thing. PURPOSE-BUILT HYBRID CLOUD
These new options promise to provide a higher level of A purpose-built hybrid cloud system is perfect for
collaboration, flexibility, and speed over existing systems, managing content workflows across multiple distributed
and in the process, significantly decrease operating costs. locations. As it’s a cloud system, the solution enables
internal and external stakeholders to access content
REPLACING OUTDATED MEDIA ASSET MANAGEMENT anytime, anywhere; facilitating easy collaboration with
The Media & Entertainment (M&E) industry strives to multiple vendors and distributors. Users can perform
efficiently deliver tailored content across many media operations like subtitling on a low-res proxy, with others
outlets. Media asset management (MAM) systems are a such as editing carried out on the high-res content.
critical tool to keep track of assets from concept through In contrast to public cloud asset storage systems
production, post, and distribution, but because these such as AWS or Azure, the solution’s hybrid workflow
MAMs were not specifically designed for M&E workflows, engine manages distributed workflows for the remote
they fall short when it comes to collaboration and execution of tasks at service recipient sites as well as a
supporting automation. central operations site. These tasks include transcoding
In part, this situation developed because the market is (using Vantage Pro), Auto QC (using Baton/Cerify), file
made up of many specialised players, including broadcast transfer (using Aspera/Signiant), file management and
and production companies, post houses, distributors, API integrations to ingest and deliver content. Moreover,
and many more, using multiple on-premise, non- data is protected with encryption, watermarking and
scalable MAM systems that are not easily connected. content disaster recovery. However, the hybrid solution
These multiple systems are typically used for distinct also has the ability to empower the content owners with
content operations such as ingest, annotation, storage, the flexibility of embracing public cloud fully if need be
and distribution. Some larger organisations even have as Media ERP systems are typically flexible and open.
separate MAMs serving different departments and Having a unified Media ERP also supports the needs
locations. The inability to securely collaborate on these of the broader organisation, so that not only the creative
siloed MAM systems has resulted in a status quo of linear, team, but the marketing, legal, operations, sales and
manual workflows, duplication of metadata entry, and senior executive leadership teams can also review/
other inefficiencies that slow down the process. complete their tasks efficiently. This high efficiency
Today, complete Media ERPs (Enterprise Resource through extreme automation across the organisation
Planning systems) with new hybrid cloud-based MAM further helps lower the Total Cost of Operations (TCoP)
systems designed specifically for broadcast operations by automating business processes around content and
are displacing the general-purpose MAMs, disrupting managing their business of content better. n

10 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

10 Opinion Prime Focus_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:42

New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:14

Automation is what you need

Peter Poers, business development manager, Jünger Audio

he world of broadcast is on the verge of a major look at how we integrate the equipment that performs
revolution as automated production becomes these changes into an overall control system so that
increasingly common. From robotic cameras to the these decisions become part of the general workflow
automatic mixing of audio sources – it is all being made management system.
possible by using system automation control that can At Junger Audio we are already preparing for this
take over the control of individual pieces of production challenge by developing quality audio processing tools
gear. We also have next generation audio formats such as that are ready for automation. We have sophisticated
immersive and object-based coming into play. Currently adaptive audio control solutions in place. We can look
under development, these will find their way into the for level, sound, mix and loudness by using our Smart
broadcast and distribution mainstream very soon. Audio processing algorithms. Auto Program Feed Mixing
So, what does this all mean and what challenges do we and Auto Commentary Mixing for immediate creation
face as a result? of channel based legacy delivery formats are two of the
TV and radio broadcast is already well served by procedures we can offer to make the introduction of
automation as fully automated playout has been OBA production easier.
common for a long time. What the industry is looking All our equipment offers Ember+ network-based
for now is an expansion of automated procedures. remote protocol for integration into a variety of
This goes along with the introduction of IP based signal automation control systems. The consequent use of
transport technologies that are allowing more flexibility adaptive controlled processing algorithms will allow us
in the production and distribution process, but also ask to offer autonomous audio control procedures that can
for a different level of production administration and be well integrated to modern workflow designs. All our
content management. algorithms are programmed in a way that enables them
On the audio side we will face a situation where certain to be easily integrated into other platforms supporting
audio control tasks still need to be performed but, virtualised production workflows. Finally, all our
thanks to changes in the way we now work, they can no solutions are proofed by long-term evaluation in the
longer be performed in a conventional way. For instance, field by audio experts, so that we can deliver predictable
there is no space left in the production chain to install audio control results.
a conventional audio control room and have a human Our technology will enable broadcasters to start
correct the audio signal composition. I’m not talking more automated audio production with confidence
about creative decisions, but about situations where and predictable results, whilst ensuring that end users
technical corrections and changes need to be performed. benefit from the enhanced listening experience of
In addition, we also see demand for higher efficiency in future audio formats with reliable performance.
production and for more remote live production as well. Obviously automated production can’t and shouldn’t
To meet these new demands, we need to look at the substitute creative audio production and post
kind of audio control that is required and see how we production procedures, but it can and should increase
can perform that control so we give producers and efficiency and quality for audio control procedures
audio engineers the results they want. We also need to that are simply technical. n

12 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

12 Opinion Junger_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:42

Perfecting the
Media Experience
AWS Elemental combines the vast capabilities of the Amazon Web Services cloud
with the deep video expertise of Elemental to power superior viewing experiences for
consumers. Integrated solutions and flexible infrastructure give pay TV operators, content
programmers, broadcasters and enterprise customers the ability to quickly, easily and
economically scale video workflows and services on-premises and in the cloud.

New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:15


Season ten of Doctor Who was the first in the BBC’s sci-fi series to show off its
sustainability credentials on screen. Production executive Tracie Simpson
tells Jenny Priestley why the show decided to go ‘green’

t’s worth pointing out, Doctor Who has “Dropbox cloud-based file sharing is also
been tackling environmental themes “After attending used. Plus, accounts send out e-payslips as
in its stories since the show’s early days
50 years ago. But now it has signed up to carbon literacy opposed to paper remittances.”
“The sound department use rechargeable
BAFTA’s albert initiative, which aims to
create sustainable productions which have
courses, we batteries wherever possible and the caterers
follow sustainable guidelines around
a positive impact on the people and places
involved in their creation.
realised there was sourcing of food.”
Simpson says the cast and crew were
Tracie Simpson, production executive on
Doctor Who, explains the show has been
so much more we keen to get involved in the project and
have become much more aware of the
green for a number of years before joining could be doing” production’s sustainability credentials. The
albert. “Doctor Who has been measuring production team also issue a green-email to
its carbon footprint since 2012 and was all the show’s guest stars and directors so that
awarded albert certification in April 2016. We
TRACIE SIMPSON, BBC they are aware of the project as well.
are definitely greener since measuring our Of course, a show like Doctor Who relies
carbon footprint.” heavily on its special effects. So, exactly how
Why did the show decide to sign up to do you make the Cybermen sustainable?
albert? “We were encouraged by our BBC “In terms of our Prac FX we are trying to use
Sustainability team and our neighbours here materials that have less of an impact on our
in Roath Lock – Casualty and Pobol y Cwm,” environment such as lead free explosives,
explains Simpson. “After attending carbon water based paint and recycling wood for our
literacy courses and encouraging our crew breakaways,” says Simpson. “The Cybermen
to attend them, we realised that there was so undersuits are foam latex of which the base
much more we should/could be doing.” is a naturally occurring material which will
So, what measures did the team put eventually naturally degrade. The rest of it
in place to make the production more is Polyurethane which can be recycled as an
sustainable? “The TARDIS was redesigned energy source.” And the shows other iconic
and included the installation of low energy bad-guys? “I’m not aware of any changes
lighting,” says Simpson. “Approximately 60 to the Daleks for albert,” she laughs. “We
per cent of the lighting on the sets is low haven’t built any new Daleks, we continue to
energy. The 2016 Christmas special filmed “recycle” them!”
our ‘New York’ scenes in Bulgaria using Finally, can Simpson do a bit of time-
mostly local crew and locally hired filming travelling of her own and tell us what the
equipment, saving an estimated 35 tonnes of future holds for Doctor Who and albert? “For
carbon emissions. “ the next series, we are looking to issue even
The team have also put new measures in less paper scripts, schedules and callsheets,”
place for the production’s paperwork, not she says. “We are also looking into Hybrid
an easy feat when you have reams of paper transport. We will continue to make our cast
needed for cast and crew. “All scripts are and crew aware of our sustainability targets.
e-mailed and only printed by direct request Making the production of the programme
and then are printed A5 and double sided,” more environmentally friendly is a perfect fit
explains Simpson. for us. The Doctor would approve!” n

14 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

14 Production Doctor Who_V3 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 11:05

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New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:16


By Dee McVicker, marketing associate, Wheatstone

t’s hard to know for certain what the future of OTT, can now serve multiple purposes. We know of news
8K and VR will look like. But whatever happens studios that are shared by two or more local network
in the next year or five, audio will surely be more affiliates. These studios can quickly alternate newscasts
immersive, more personalised and will require sound from one to the other, all easily managed from a single
engineers to work smarter. IP audio console that handles the different mix-minus
Mixing consoles have already begun to adapt to the and audio mixing requirements of each newscast, right
new workload, thanks to IP audio networking. down to complicated live remote newscasts and making
The “IP-ising” of the audio mixing console started it possible to get the correct throw for each talent
some time ago with the advent of networked IP audio in succession.
I/O devices, which have replaced hardware cards The advantages of IP audio networking are even
and have opened up new ways to route, mix and process more far-reaching for live production, where we’ve
audio beyond the console chassis. As a result, we’ve been been able to exchange mixes and settings and even
able to move everything audio routing and logic related trigger IFB across a long-haul link from the main
to the network, essentially removing the bloat from the studio to a stadium or the local courthouse. In doing
audio console so it’s more streamlined and adaptable. so, the news team or sports team can remain at the
Just as IP networking has made the mixer more home studio to do all the mixing, instead of travelling
flexible, it has also made it possible to virtualise mixing, with all that equipment to the site.
EQ, mic control, IFB and a slew of other functions.
In the studio, for example, mix-minus, mic and LEAVE THE CONSOLE AT HOME
console settings can now follow talent so that people Today, setting up a wide-area network between the
A Wheatstone LXE and shows are no longer moored to one studio or even home studio and the remote venue is a simple matter of
console in action one location. At the same time, single-purpose studios placing IP audio networking units and Ethernet switches
on each end to extend workflows across the WAN. There
are more long-haul connectivity options today than ever
before, making it increasingly practical to link between
the remote venue and the home studio rather than haul
a console to the venue.
Instead, small IP audio network units can now be used
to ingest audio from microphones, cameras, production
automation systems and other sources. For example, in
the case of WheatNet-IP audio networking, specialised
units called M4IP-USB BLADEs are used at remote
venues and in studios as an interface between the
microphones and the network. These four-channel mic
processors have four XLR inputs and an Ethernet output
port, with parametric EQ, de-esser and compressors
for each channel. Similarly, another IP audio network
unit, the HD-SDI Blade, can retrieve audio coming

16 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

16 19 Production Wheatstone_V4 JG.indd 1 03/10/2017 11:50

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New TVB Europe size.indd 1 29/09/2017 17:20


from the cameras. These IP audio units handle the for controlling devices and various elements in the IP
SDI audio directly, de-embedding it and sending it audio network.
home as discrete audio. A MADI Blade can be interfaced Not only can audio programming today function in a
with the IFB intercom system for adding that audio into console-free environment, it can be more tightly routed
the pipeline. and integrated with automated production systems such
Once set up, the IP audio network itself can serve as as Grass Valley Ignite, Ross Overdrive, and Sony ELC
an IFB backbone that is routable by simply triggering through IP.
cross points in the network – with zero latency between In fact, much of what we’ve learned about software
talent and crew in the field. apps is directly transferable to hardware. IP audio
Meanwhile, at the home studio (or anywhere in the consoles such as Wheatstone’s configurable LXE
network) an IP audio mixer such as the Wheatstone are removing the limitations of a fixed surface by
IP-64, Dimension Three Touch, LXE or Series Four, providing a completely reconfigurable architecture.
can turn mics on or off, control levels, and trigger Instead of mapping switches, buttons and knobs to a
IFB remotely. With audio resources such as mix- particular function that can never be changed, the LXE’s
minus, audio processing, and automation control surface controls are completely programmable – and
virtualised into software modules on the network, continually re-programmable - through a GUI similar to
rather than as fixed hardware on the console, all ScreenBuilder. Any button anywhere on the surface can
functions are seamlessly and easily accessible be programmed at any time for talkback, cue, start/stop
anywhere in the network. or for toggling between functions, which can also be tied
And because most IP audio networks are now AES67 to different elements such as microphones.
compatible, it’s a relatively small matter to transport In this new world of the expandable, adaptable and
audio from, say, a live sound group that might have one transformable broadcast console, there’s also something
network platform (such as a WheatNet-IP system) and else going on: a fresh, new way of interacting with audio.
a remotely located production facility that has another One of the more noticeable features of new consoles like
(such as Dante). the LXE are their intuitive GUIs, which make them not
only the ultimate user interface between announcer and
ON THE SURFACE listener/viewer but also between announcer and audio
We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what IP audio as well. Being able to “pinch” the right amount of EQ or
networking can do. We’ve seen console surfaces get boost/cut frequencies using touch, just scratches the
smaller, more adaptable, more capable, and, in truth, surface of what these powerful platforms can do.
stranger looking. One console-like appliance that is All of that is going to be more and more important as
recognisable to anyone familiar with WheatNet-IP audio sound engineers add more channels to their workflows
networks is the SideBoard, a surface that contains all for immersive audio, as they add more control
the faders and controls typical of any control surface parameters to those audio mixes for the personalised
but in a four RU rackmount chassis. Another interesting sound experience, and as they continue to reach a wide
appliance is the TS-4 or TS-22 talent station, which is audience with a myriad of playback requirements for
essentially an IP audio console rolled into a small turret cable, broadcast, web, even mobile. n
for putting mic controls, source selection, headphone
volume and all the other necessary functions in front
of talent.
We can now source, route, mix, and send to air
from just about any surface imaginable, in some cases
without touching a single physical fader. ‘Whatever happens in the next year or
We know of announcers broadcasting from a remote
location using a touchscreen interface that is essentially five, audio will surely be more immersive,
a bank of faders, knobs and other software widgets on a more personalised and will require sound
flat screen monitor recessed into the furniture. Virtual
surfaces like this are becoming more popular, thanks to engineers to work smarter’
the advent of apps such as Wheatstone’s ScreenBuilder
that make it possible to create GUIs with the drag and
drop of a widget on a screen, which can then be scripted

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 19

16 19 Production Wheatstone_V4 JG.indd 2 03/10/2017 11:50

How do you make LEGO building into must-watch TV? Jenny Priestley speaks to
Steph Harris, executive producer of Channel 4’s LEGO MASTERS, to find out

veryone loves LEGO. You might have played with to 500,000 bricks that measured 2x2 metres.
it as a kid (or adult), you’ve probably stood on it at So, why did Steph Harris, LEGO MASTERS executive
some point in your life and you can’t fail to be awed producer, think LEGO building could be turned into
by the amazing creations featured in the likes of The Art of TV gold? “There’s both a nostalgia and an instant
the Brick. At the end of this summer, Channel 4 decided connection,” she says. “Anyone can do it. It’s about
to go one step further, launching new competition series unleashing that creativity in people and the scope of what
LEGO MASTERS as a four-episode series. The show’s you can do with LEGO is phenomenal. There’s always an
premise was to follow eight teams of two as they took appetite from broadcasters for new competitive formats
part in challenges to create everything from miniature that celebrate amateur passions as demonstrated to great
fairgrounds to creatures that would be used to adorn a success in shows like Bake Off and MasterChef. This felt
tree. Each week Matthew Ashton, vice president of design like the only one where you could have all ages from eight-
for the LEGO Group, was on hand to both encourage and to 80-year-olds on an even playing field.”
judge the final creations. The show reached its climax with Harris admits getting LEGO to agree to the series wasn’t
two teams going head-to-head to create a build using up particularly easy. “As one of the world’s most popular

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brands, LEGO are understandably very protective – so Once the deals were in place with both LEGO and
gaining that access took over 12 months of charm and Channel 4, Tuesday’s Child had to find the stars of their
persistence,” she explains. “It felt like the stars were show. Harris says they were quite fortunate with the
aligned with this though. A LEGO building competition timing. “Alongside the usual targeting casting at fan
feels like an obvious proposition and we’re not the only events, schools and amongst fan communities, Channel
production company to have approached LEGO, but I 4 broadcast a documentary about LEGO that went out on
think the point of difference with our format was the Boxing Day 2016,” she says. “We were able to put a casting
range of ages as LEGO is very much family focused; they shout out at the end of the programme. I think between
also engaged with the playfulness of the LEGO MASTERS Boxing Day and when we got back in the office there were
format, which took some of its inspiration from authentic several hundred emails.”
real world LEGO competitions – and the tests they give As the production team began casting the show, they
their own employees.” were also busy developing the kinds of challenges they
With LEGO on board, production company Tuesday’s wanted their builders to face. “Many of us have been to
Child approached Channel 4 with their idea. “Channel 4 LEGOLAND and marvelled at the scale of the builds there.
has a remit of not just serving 16-34 year olds, but reaching They take teams of professional builders weeks if not
10-15 year olds too as part of their Ofcom requirements months to build, so our biggest challenge was how could
so they felt this was a good fit to try and reach these we get anywhere close to that in a few hours of building,”
younger viewers,” says Harris. However, there were explains Harris. “So we immediately thought we should
other guidelines the show had to adhere to in order to go with pairs. This also had the advantage of providing the
keep on the right side of the regulator. “Avoiding undue contestants with a natural comfort blanket in the shape of
prominence was our biggest challenge, but LEGO bricks their best friend, mum, dad, uncle or cousin standing by
are unique in terms of what you can do with them. We their sides and also someone to bounce off.
bought the bricks, established a non-LEGO vocabulary After an extensive casting process involving over 1000
amongst our contestants and retained all editorial applications, 50 pairs were invited down to London to
control. I think Channel 4 really liked the format because take part in a series of audition challenges.
it had a sense of mischief, which was aligned with their “We gave them these challenges to test how creative
sensibilities and they could see its broad appeal to all ages they were, their level of technical ability, and how they
– particularly following their previous documentaries that worked together as teams to then decide on the final eight
went behind the scenes of the world’s biggest toy-maker.” teams – which wasn’t an easy decision to reach.”

“I think Channel 4 really liked the format because it had a sense

of mischief”

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 21

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achieve the ambition of their builds in the time we had.”

Once all the bricks had been sorted, production began,
with the camera team using Arri’s Amira cameras. “The
series was filmed on Arri Amira cameras with Canon CN7
Zoom lenses for a natural look and feel of film and overall
exceptional image quality,” explains DoP Anthony Dalton.
“Image was shot in Log C for a visible correct contrast,
true colour representation, and in general to have more
control over the recorded picture so that the most could
be made of the bright colour LEGO provides. Boxx TV
Atom wireless video senders fed pictures to the gallery,
which was placed just outside the main shoot area.”
“Additional macro lenses were employed for close-ups
of the intricate builds, which took hours or even days to
complete,” Dalton continues. “DJI Ronins, sliders and
the small Osmo cameras were used to introduce more
dynamic shots and movement.”
“To achieve the more distant long range shots we
switched to the Fujinon Cabrio 85-300mm zoom
lens. Colin Thwaites, lighting designer and gaffer, was
instrumental in helping achieve the overall look; strong
primary backgrounds and soft pools of light.”
“We had a DoP and three other cameras shooting in
that space,” adds Harris. “We had a portable gallery set up
PICTURED ABOVE: Harris admits one of the biggest worries for the in a side room, and a team of story producers on the floor
LEGO’s Matthew Ashton production team was the amount of time it takes to working with different teams, whilst the series producer
(centre), with guest judge
produce a ‘build’ and how that would comply with and myself would concentrate on producing the set pieces
Roma Agrawal and host
Melvin Odoom working with younger builders. “The auditions gave us and getting great performances out of our expert judges,
real confidence in the format as we quickly saw what and presenter, Melvin Odoom.”
could be achieved in a couple of hours of building. It One of the big issues for the crew was that their work
surpassed our expectations of what might be achievable in didn’t get in the way of what the teams were building.
the competition whilst working within in the limitations “From initial discussions with production, it was apparent
of child licencing regulations. In fact throughout the that there could be no risk of any damage to any build and
competition we were constantly blown away by what our a cable link between camera and sound was out of the
talented teams achieved – age really is just a number when question,” explains Sam Mathewson, sound supervisor.
it comes to building with LEGO!” “As getting a broadcast mix to camera was essential we
One of the most striking parts of LEGO MASTERS for used Zaxcom camera hops, providing a solid stereo link
the viewer was the ‘build room’ where most of the series’ while using only one precious frequency. All the builders
challenges took place. Surprisingly, it wasn’t based in were mic’d up wth Zaxcom TRXla transmitters and
Denmark, but in London. “We filmed the build room in an Sanken cos11 microphones placed fairly closely to capture
architectural dance studio in East London,” reveals Harris. the best possible dialogue in the noisy environment of
“Because people build with LEGO in their own homes, the build room.”
there’s not a natural space which says ‘LEGO’ in the way a Once filming was complete, the team moved on to
kitchen shouts ‘this is where you cook’ but what became post-production. “With any new series, there are always
clear for both dedicated amateurs and professional LEGO difficult decisions about what to include to ensure it’s a
builders – you need your bricks sorted.” compelling watch for a broad audience – balancing getting
“This presented a huge challenge to the team when to know all the teams and tell their stories with enough
the bricks arrived – unsorted!” she continues. “We had of the detail of how they constructed their builds to keep
to employ a team of brick-sorters who quickly became LEGO fans watching happy – and of course making it
experts and brick fanatics themselves. We ended up with look and feel distinct from other competition shows was
over 1.2 million bricks and sorted each and every one into critical,” says Harris. Full post production was carried
a separate compartment – which also helped the teams out by Evolutions. “Head colourist Tim O’Brien used

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Baselight to create bold, saturated tones to make the most teams. They all took it really seriously but they would ask
of the multi-coloured bricks,” explains line producer each other for help and they all supported one another
Rachael Hankinson. “Multiple layers were used to create which is rare to see in a competition show.”
graduated filters to spotlight the finished pieces and to The series was commissioned in part to reach the 10-15
create the glossy, rich feel across the series.” Audio post and illusive 16-34 year old market who “are not watching
production was carried out by Richard Ashley and Chris television in the traditional way, they’re watching
Braaten. Ashley commented that the overall quality of content, when they want, on lots of different platforms,”
the contributor’s mics was good. Some noise reduction says Harris. “The first programme delivered over a 200
was used and tidying up the noise created by the bricks per cent rise in younger viewers and doubled the slot
was “tricky. Occasional enhancement of brick crashes average for 16-34 year olds. The series has quickly become
was used and the temptation to add sound effects of car appointment viewing for families of all generations
crashes was tempered!” watching together. You don’t need to love LEGO to watch
Harris admits the production process was “really the show, you can watch it for the characters, get drawn
intense. The teams were absolutely brilliant but they are into the jeopardy of a competition or just marvel at the
meticulous in everything they want to do and love to awesome reveals.”
plan – and that’s what makes them such fantastic builders. So, will we see a second series? “It’s not the easiest show
Guy and Abraham, our two nine-year-olds, were a joy to to make because of the amount of bricks and the sorting,
watch, once they forgot about the cameras they would be and then the time it takes to build and duty of care around
bickering away like an old married couple whilst Uncle filming with younger teams,” she explains. ‘But we’re
Daniel and his nephew Jack’s comedy banter really tickled hopeful Channel 4 will want to ‘build’ on the success of
viewers. What also was particularly wonderful to see was the first series, and with LEGO’s global appeal there’s an
there was such warmth and camaraderie amongst all the appetite for the show in other territories too.” n

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TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 23

20 21 22 23 Production Lego Masters_V3 JG.indd 4 29/09/2017 09:44

TVBEurope speaks to Heather Benson, trainee sound supervisor at ITV. She talks
broadcast sound, Jeremy Kyle and gender diversity

How did your career in the broadcast audio industry studio was electrifying. Having never even been in the
come to be? audience for a show, to be backstage seeing the rehearsals
I have worked in broadcasting for ten years, so as far as and the energy in the studio once the audience arrived, is
this industry goes I’m still only early in my career! a feeling I will never forget. I enjoy the company of others,
After university, I worked at a large retail company as a and having seen this environment first hand I couldn’t
trainee manager until a colleague offered to pass my CV imagine a more suitable place for me to be.
along to her husband who worked at ITV, and this was
the seed from which my future was about to blossom. Trainee sound supervisor positions are highly
My CV landed on the desk of Mike Hayes who was then sought after. What you were doing prior to this and
operations manager at 3SixtyMedia. how did the opportunity come about?
Mike invited me to come in and talk about what I Prior to being employed as a trainee sound supervisor
wanted to do, and see if I would be a suitable person to at ITV, I worked as a regular freelancer in Manchester.
enter the TV industry. Most of my work since 2011 has been at the MediaCity site
for productions at both dock10 and Quay House. These
What made you realise this was the career path you productions were varied, from shows such as Blue Peter
wanted to take? to BBC Sport output like the London 2012 Olympics, with
I hadn’t considered a career in broadcast sound until I each job requiring different skills.
came in to view a show on a shadow day with ITV back in You never stop learning and it’s up to the individual
2008. Until that point all I wanted to do was sit behind a to find out what is required of them and how to do it. Of
mixing desk either in post-production or music editing, course, this would not be possible without the support
but this changed my path completely. of an exceptional network of colleagues who have been
The production was The Jeremy Kyle Show and the invaluable in my career development.

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The opportunity at ITV came up and I had to apply. The have continued to help me develop, and I support them
ITV team have always been very welcoming to me and in return.
they have a great attitude to developing people within the In the last few months I have been supervisor on
industry in both technical and production roles. Countdown and Judge Rinder multiple times. Both shows
Having seen substantial reductions in the sound have great technical and production teams that have been
department in the last ten years, I never imagined that fully supportive with my transition into sole supervisor
a training position would even become available. For for full show days. I have worked a lot in different roles
several years I took advantage of any available training within both shows which I feel has helped.
with the supervisors whom I regularly assisted, which
I think put me in good stead for the trainee sound Which productions have you enjoyed working on
supervisor role. and which have been challenging?
I have been lucky enough to thoroughly enjoy all the
How have you found the transition? shows I have worked on! There have only been a handful
There have been a few differences between my freelance of times when I have found myself wondering why I took
roles and where I find myself now. I have found the the job, a situation which I am sure many of the sound
transition fairly smooth in terms of learning technical community can relate to. In those situations, I have
skills. ITV head of sound Jake Knott has been brilliant at actively ensured to make the most of the situation. There
assessing my progress and allowing me room to grow. As are hundreds of sound crews across the country, so I
part of my training we built up my time driving the Calrec remind myself that I am grateful to have been chosen to
Artemis to a point where I have recently been credited for work for that day.
my first full show mix. The team of supervisors and crew One of the most challenging productions to work on is
I have been surrounded with over the term of my career Blue Peter as virtually no show is the same. There is a huge

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24 25 26 Production Trainee Sound_V2 JG.indd 2 30/09/2017 12:16


difference between the show with a couple of presenters but personality and people skills play a much larger role
and a few VT inserts, and a live Christmas special with in my view.
a 300-person choir and brass band, outside in the Further up the ranks there does seem to be more men
pouring rain! than women, although I think that this may be a hangover
One of my favourite shows to work on is Countdown, of previous years. When my colleagues talk of the days of
but for very different reasons. Countdown is very BBC A and Q courses there were noticeably more men
structured and has quite a set format. The production than women coming into the industry. A colleague of
team, cast and crew make it a thoroughly enjoyable day mine, Julie Metzinger remembers all too well how the
and the structure of the show has certainly helped with industry used to be particularly lacking in females in
my development into a sound supervisor, as it enables sound. She was the only female sound crew in a team of
me to really listen to the quality of the output with the around 300 less than 20 years ago. Julie has been very
knowledge of already knowing the format of the show. inspirational having been in the industry when gender
was taken more into account, and it is hard work from
What have been the challenges you’ve faced and Julie and other female supervisors that has helped to
what has been your approach to resolving them? tackle the distinction between genders.
One of the biggest challenges has been how to lead a
team rather than be just a part of it. It is a very different What needs to be done in your view to provide
scenario heading up a team of sound engineers who have better equality of opportunity to women working in
been in the industry much longer than I have, and act professional and broadcast sound?
as their team leader. I have always been open with my Whether you are male or female makes no difference
colleagues about how their support has been crucial in to technical ability in my opinion, although I agree that
my transition and I am constantly trying to share some of there needs to be more opportunities for anyone to join
my newly learned information and skills with them also. the technical departments.
In the freelance world that we work in, it can take many
Calrec consoles are something you’re very familar months – if not years – for anyone to be given a chance
with – are there any features on these consoles at a first level position. Most new entrants will have to
which make your job easier? graduate from university before even being considered
I would have to say that Calrec’s auto mixer facility for a work experience position, which limits the amount
in particular is a brilliant tool, and goes a long way to of people who consider our industry a viable option. If
make the audio much cleaner. When mixing a show there is a disparity, I wonder if it is that more males are
with many contributors interjecting, this facility assists interested in doing the work that we do as opposed to
with differentiating between voices and removes some hiring being in favour of men.
elements of colouration, which can make the mix In ten years, there have been less than a handful of
sound muddy. It also allows for making one person’s people entering our department in the North. This isn’t
microphone, such as a presenter, have more weight to it a concern at the moment, but in ten years time I wonder
and therefore cut through other voices, which on certain what the department may look like if training and
shows is invaluable! progression isn’t addressed.

Have you found gender to be significant throughout To anyone just starting out, looking to be a sound
your career? supervisor one day; what advice would you give?
ITV in the North certainly has many more women than Start from the bottom and work your way up! It is
men working regularly within the sound department, absolutely necessary to learn the basics of sound and
partially due to the requirements of some of the shows not jump up the ladder too quickly. Most people get into
we have and the size of the crews. Shows I have worked sound imagining themselves as a mixer within a few
on elsewhere sometimes have a female sound assistant years. In the broadcast industry, it generally takes over
who is purely there to put microphones on female ten years to get that opportunity.
contributors in a crew full of men, though I haven’t You must take advantage of any opportunity given to
personally found gender to matter most of the time. Our you. Shadow days, work experience and training days
ears and technical abilities are not gender specific and are hugely important as they allow you to gain as much
I would like to believe that my technical ability comes knowledge as possible and question more experienced
into the equation before my gender. I do believe that it is members of any given crew that will help you to develop
important to have a mix of men and women on the crew, your skills to make you a better engineer. n

26 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

24 25 26 Production Trainee Sound_V2 JG.indd 3 30/09/2017 12:16


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Brad Price, senior product manager, Audinate

he IT revolution has been in full swing The historic reliance upon non-networked
for decades now, yielding reality-bending technologies, both analogue and digital, has left
changes in how business is conducted, how many broadcast professionals unprepared for these
people communicate, and how we create, new realities. Fortunately, the lessons that IT has
distribute and consume media. Despite the widespread learned over the years are readily accessible, and new
effects it has had upon our lives, many industries are tools are coming to the broadcast space that will help
only recently adapting earlier practices to fit this new, bring them into practical use by professionals.
and infinitely capable technological landscape. The complexity and interconnected nature of
Broadcast falls into this category for many reasons. networked systems opens them to risks that were
Earlier iterations of networking standards and previously unimaginable. While some may see this
hardware lacked the speed and time-awareness as a reason to hold back deployment of networked
needed to work with large amounts of precisely workflows in broadcast, their interconnectedness is
synchronised media data. In the meantime, the needs the very reason they are so valuable. Risks must be
of broadcasters drove the development of very capable handled by design.
point-to-point solutions that allowed a transition
from analogue to non-networked digital workflows. In FROM THE OUTSIDE
recent years, networking technology has experienced a The internet connects nearly every person on the
series of breakthroughs that allow broadcasters to tap planet – a huge asset with a large potential for misuse.
into the power of IT, and to begin to enjoy the benefits Audio and video devices that are connected to the
of scale, lower costs, and complete data fidelity across a internet for purposes of management or configuration
wide range of products and facilities. can do so safely, if appropriate precautions are taken.
With these new capabilities come risks that are very In 2016, hackers managed to take control of a Barix
familiar to IT, but new to broadcast. Streaming Client device and were able to change the
audio content for several US radio stations in Texas and
Colorado, replacing the regular programme material

‘In recent years, networking with an explicit podcast. The hackers found access
through a weak or known password on the device,
technology has experienced and then set their own strong password to slow any

a series of breakthroughs that attempted repairs.

In the recent past, where audio and video processing
allow broadcasters to tap into systems were completely contained within a facility,

the power of IT’ password management was not a big concern. But
with access to the internet, station managers need to
start thinking like IT – using strong, unique passwords

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TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 29

28 29 30 Audinate_V2 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 14:46


and keeping them carefully logged for easy retrieval. and assign them privileges. Systems like Microsoft
Too often users revert to simple passwords to ‘get Active Directory or LDAP are extremely mature and
the job done’, but that shortcut is no longer a viable robust, allowing IT to have confidence with regard to
option. In this case, the damage was limited primarily user access.
to embarrassment, but more dedicated hackers could IT managers have used tools like these for many
have done far worse. years, but broadcast professionals are just starting to
see security-focused products come online. Because IT
INTENT TO DESTROY has invested heavily in these systems, there is a strong
In the examples above, no serious harm befell the incentive for any security measures to take advantage
victims of these hacks, even if they raised alarms. of that work by providing solid integration with Active
But not all hacking is so juvenile or benign; in 2016, Directory and LDAP. This reduces redundant work and
external hackers tried and nearly succeeded in literally provides a single point of ‘truth’ for users.
destroying the systems of France’s TV5Monde.
The attack began at night, rapidly taking down all 12 DANTE DOMAIN MANAGER
channels. Crews had to move rapidly, disconnecting Audinate’s Dante Domain Manager is an example of
systems to prevent or slow the advance of the attack. a user-access control product designed around IT
This attack was well considered and well researched. security models. Dante Domain Manager encrypts all
The hackers did proper reconnaissance, learning how control traffic and locks Dante-enabled devices into
TV5Monde processed and broadcast signals. They defined groups, thereby limiting access to content by
then created special software designed to corrupt or rogue devices. System privileges are defined on a per-
destroy the specific internet-connected devices that user basis, integrating with Active Directory and LDAP
are at the heart of the station’s operations – encoders to ensure that users need only be defined once for the
and decoders. entire network. Adding or removing a user from Active
The station was saved by quick acting technicians, Directory directly affects user’s ability to access or
limiting the immediate damage to €5 million. manage the system, providing a single point of control
However, TV5Monde has been forced to spend millions for managers.
of additional dollars on improved security and has The Dante-enabled devices managed by Dante
altered in fundamental ways the manner in which they Domain Manager are supported at the hardware level,
operate the station. by design. This means that even physical replacement
of devices cannot deceive the system into accepting
MANAGING ACCESS unauthorised hardware.
One of the first and most essential jobs is to understand
who can access your system, and how. There are often STAY PREPARED
legitimate reasons for wide-open access to certain None of this means that station managers need to
functions, as well as tightly restricted areas. Any decent morph into network security experts, although
system starts with users and allows administrators to consultation is recommended when designing a system
control what they access, with the option to log actions with some degree of internet access. The list of best
within the system. practices is really quite succinct:
One of the primary tools in this arena is Directory n Stay aware of and use management tools to help you
Services - that is, a system of users and passwords that to secure and visualise your entire system
is securely stored, and is used to authenticate users n Assign user privileges only as needed to prevent
n Make sure your system keeps activity logs to trace
n Check with manufacturers of internet-connected
‘One of the first and most essential products to ensure that you have access to the most

jobs is to understand who can access recent updates, and that the product is configured
for adequate security. Do not assume that it has
your system, and how’ strong passwords, or any at all! Consult with the IT
department with which you work, or consider bringing
in IT consultants to help determine your risk profile.
They’ve been down this road before! n

30 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

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TVBE Supplements OCTOBER 2017

TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 1 29/09/2017 12:11


Sony is more than just a manufacturer of great technology; it also
provides services and solutions that help broadcasters and media
companies engage better with their audiences, explains Richard Scott.

PICTURED FAR RIGHT: t the risk of stating the obvious, TV viewing The upshot of this is that broadcasters need to work
Richard Scott habits the world over continue to harder than ever to maintain their audience and
change rapidly. build their brand. Making great content is not always
According to a Nielsen ‘Total Audience enough. It has to be available whenever, wherever and
Report’ from earlier this year, both teens and younger however the audience demands it.
millennials (18-27 year olds) are watching 40 per cent This is how millennials consume media. And, as they
less traditional TV on average per day than they were are the future, lose them now and they are unlikely to
five years ago. At the same time, older millennials (28- come back.
36) are watching 25 per cent less. With this in mind, here at Sony we believe we are
Traditional viewing is also falling among the older well positioned to help broadcasters transform their
age groups too, albeit not as quickly. It coincides with business so that they can better engage with this new
a rise in the popularity of on-demand and streamed generation of viewer.
content being viewed on other devices and other Over many years we have quietly but successfully
platforms. But it’s not a simple lift-and-shift migration. provided media firms with the digital services, tools
The way in which TV is viewed has also changed too. and solutions they need to both connect with their
According to research by Accenture, for example, 87 customers and make their media supply chains
per cent of viewers use a mobile ‘second screen’ device more efficient.
while they watch a TV programme. This could be for Within the articles that follow, we will demonstrate
additional statistics and data during a sporting event or our commitment to driving viewer engagement,
for talking to friends on social media. especially in sport, and making improvements to the
From binge-watching boxsets to viewing content media supply chain that in turn allows more money to
on virtual reality headsets, there are countless other be spent on-screen. We will provide real-life, working
examples too. examples of media customers who are building their
brands and their audiences using innovative solutions
developed by Sony.
Broadcasters and media companies have long

“Lose millennials now and the are unlikely to trusted Sony to deliver the best technology for content
creation. But we also have scale and understanding to
ever come back” do so much more. Now we are going to prove it.
Richard Scott is head of media solutions at Sony
Professional Europe


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Hawk-Eye, Pulselive and PlayStation Live VR offer sports broadcasters
the chance to drive customer engagement and win new viewers

PICTURED RIGHT: efore multi-channel television and the to green screen analysis of a tennis player’s backhand,
ATP Tennis events internet, sports fans were easily pleased. Hawk-Eye is responsible for delivering some of the
With so little sport being screened, just most recognised and satisfying virtual graphics
having cameras at an event was enough to in sport.
keep most viewers happy. It was a rare treat. The Tennis Channel, for example, used Hawk-Eye’s
Today, with the advent of social media, live augmented reality software to analyse and graphically
streaming, OTT services and next generation viewing display exactly how players completed certain shots
experiences like virtual reality, audience expectations during coverage of Wimbledon.
have risen. Sky Sports utilised Hawk-Eye for its coverage of the
The appreciative sit-back-and-watch TV viewer British Masters golf, providing viewers with a ‘Green
is being supplemented with a more demanding Reader’ that showed the potential putting line on
generation of consumer who wants an enhanced certain greens. But Hawk-Eye is not just for enhancing
interactive ‘experience’ across multiple screens. They the main broadcast coverage. It can also be used on
don’t want to just choose an event to watch - they also second screens and in stadiums.
want to choose how they watch it. Hawk-Eye’s Smart Replay technology, for example,
With new media players entering the sports market, can provide corporate guests at a venue with a next
in turn providing further choice, the ability to offer a generation hospitality experience by making all TV
better viewing experience has become essential in the angles and highlights immediately available within
battle for eyeballs. suites via touch screens. For second screen websites
As such, making use of innovative technology that and apps, Hawk-Eye provides polling, voting and
helps to increase viewer engagement is crucial. simulations that make the fan experience more
dynamic during a live event. This work dovetails with
Hawk-Eye - enhancing the fan experience its sister firm, Pulselive.
Hawk-Eye Innovations, a Sony company, captures data
from ball and player tracking cameras and uses it to Pulselive - making sport more interactive
deliver graphical analysis and insight. Pulselive, also a Sony company, deliver digital solutions
Not only has it helped to improve refereeing and to some of the world’s largest sport organisations,
umpiring decisions in sports like football, cricket and including the English Premier League, the
tennis, it has also enhanced the fan experience across International Cricket Council (ICC) and World Rugby.
broadcast and online channels. This involves creating, developing and managing
From a batsman’s wagon wheel in cricket coverage digital platforms, reaching millions of sports fans


TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 4 29/09/2017 12:11


every day whether that’s the official Rugby or Cricket

World Cup website or the Premier League’s iOS and
Android apps.
Operating at the intersection of digital, social media
and broadcast, Pulselive focus on enhancing the live
fan experience through interactive initiatives such
as real-time audience polling on the BBC’s flagship
football programme, Match of the Day.
Second screen experiences have also been developed
for broadcasters’ digital platforms. ESPN’s Courtcast,
for example, integrates live coverage of all major tennis
events, combining tournament data, live streaming,
social media curation and Hawk-Eye data visualisation.
Based out of the UK, Pulselive also invests efforts
into emerging platforms. A major current focus is AI
and how Pulselive’s clients can have a presence on
platforms such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

PlayStation VR Live - bringing the stadium into the

living room
PlayStation VR Live is a completely new concept in
sports viewing. Powered by the Sony PlayStation, it
combines a live immersive 180-degree view of the
match - or any live event - with a TV broadcast feed,
social connectivity and sports data.
Viewers can enjoy seeing a game from inside the
stadium (complete with cutting edge 3D audio) and
also watch the broadcaster’s live coverage, access
different angles, replays and data feeds, or interact
with social media, all done using a PlayStation headset
and controlled using a PlayStation controller.
In June 2017, to prove the concept, Sony trialled the
VR Live experience with UEFA during the Champions
League football final. Following months of careful R&D,
viewers in Germany were able to have an experience
that was described as “just like sitting in the stadium”
but augmented with data and social media.
ATP Media and Sony also delivered a Live VR
experience at the Rome and London ATP tennis events,
offering up a virtual hospitality box, match statistics
and social media feeds alongside the virtual experience and an accompanying app. It offers revenue
and live broadcast. opportunities too. Thanks to the PlayStation’s geo
For the gaming generation that wants more than just capabilities, advertising and sponsorship can be global
passive TV viewing, VR Live brings them closer to the or tailored to a local level, while pay-per-view options
action while allowing them to customise their viewing are already built-in.
experience and to stay in contact with friends. All from When attempting to satisfy the modern sports fan,
the comfort of their living room. broadcasters and media companies need to do more
For broadcasters, VR Live can be easily integrated than just capture the action. They need to increase
into an existing production set-up. Locked-off Sony customer engagement and be distinct from their
F55 cameras in the venue produce a single pre- competition. Through innovative technology solutions
compressed VR stream that is transmitted to the cloud. like Hawk-Eye, Pulselive and VR Live, Sony can help
The packaging work is then handled by the PlayStation them to do precisely that.


TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 5 29/09/2017 12:11


With consumer demand for content showing no sign of abating, Sony
is helping broadcasters and content creators to streamline their media
management and their media supply chain

hanks to the combination of multi-channel collaborative network is accessible by all of its offices
television, OTT, video-on-demand, and and locations and allows journalists to produce TV
streaming services, there has never been more and new media content at the same time, as well as
ways to consume video content. share and exchange content and access scheduling and
Whether you want to watch it live on the big TV in planning functions.
your living room or stream it to your mobile phone CCTV took a combined public and private cloud
while on the move, televisual content is available approach to the platform using Alibaba Cloud in China
anywhere and at anytime. Supply should really and Amazon Web Services in the US and splitting out
outweigh demand. But it doesn’t. Consumers cannot the services elements from the main application and
get enough. distributing them across the private cloud.
This gives broadcasters and other media companies ‘Pop up’ production infrastructure is also utilised
a huge opportunity but also creates a major problem. when required. In 2016, during a major international
There is a need to produce more content but there isn’t sporting event, CCTV Sports created a ‘Converged
always the money to do so. Content Platform’ for distributing content online and
As such, there is huge pressure to contain and via mobile phones. It resulted in a huge increase in the
reduce costs and, right now, one of the key areas of number of viewers that saw the content, jumping from
focus is the media supply chain. an average of around 5,000 to more than 1,000,000.
Sony’s Media Solutions Group has already made By employing cloud-native technologies, like those
huge strides here, driving innovation for broadcasters found in Media Backbone Hive, CCTV has become
around the world. more efficient and streamlined its news
production workflows.
Bringing the world together for CCTV
The Beijing-based public national broadcaster CCTV A unique public/private partnership with WGBH
operates 43 TV channels including six overseas in Along with its local programming commitments,
English, French, Spanish, Russian, Korean and Arabic. Boston-based WGBH is the single largest producer of
Its news operation consists of a large number of local, television, online and mobile content for the pan-US
regional and overseas branches and offices. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
For news production, CCTV adopted a cloud-based To cope with rising storage demands, and looking
global collaboration platform that has, at its heart, the to spend less money on distribution and more on
same infrastructure as Sony’s omni-media network content creation, the broadcaster completely re-
production system Media Backbone Hive. CCTV’s modelled the way it manages, prepares and plays out


TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 6 29/09/2017 12:11


its programming. and distribution.

This was done by implementing Public Media Working this way, the tools, processes and
Management (PMM), a cloud-based centralised applications used in its various European Media
media management and content distribution service Preparation Centres have been consolidated
developed in partnership with Sony. and standardised.
PMM orchestrates the acquisition, transcoding, With the multichannel and multi-language output
quality assurance and delivery of nationally distributed in mind, MBC also helped to simplify the creation and
public television content, giving users one touch management of over 30 different additional subtitle
distribution across broadcast, web, mobile, OTT and audio tracks linked to each original master copy of
and MVoD. a programme.
Importantly, it is a nationwide service that can be For Turner, the return on this investment has been a
rolled out across other member PBS affiliates facing more efficient and versatile operation that requires no
the same challenges, allowing them to replace their video tape and less human resource.
existing master control with new technology that is
paid for as a monthly operating expense. Conclusion
PMM works around a Network Operations Centre As Sony is probably best well known for its imaging
(NOC) located at WGBH that records and processes tools, it will come as no surprise to learn that, in the
both real-time and recorded national content and future, supply chain applications will start to dovetail
transfers it to the cloud. Individual Nodes located at with acquisition technology.
each PBS station then automatically download the The cloud-based workflow service for news
required content based on a unique schedule. The production, such as XDCAM air, brings supply chain
Node also provides traffic management, automation, technology directly to the camera. This fundamentally
graphics, routing and storage. changes both live and as-live production.
The PMM service uses a range of proven Sony It is just another of the many ways that Sony’s
technologies including the Media Backbone Enterprise cloud-based media-specific applications, systems and
Management System, Ci Cloud and Optical services, can help broadcasters to streamline their
Disc Archive. media management and their media supply chain.
With PMM in place, WGBH and other PBS stations
are reducing the expense of master control, allowing
them to focus on their mission of community
engagement, providing content when, where and how
audiences want it.

Taking an ROI-based approach to deploying

supply chain technology at Turner
Turner Broadcasting System Europe, a Time Warner
Company, is responsible for 35 TV channels across
Supply should
Europe covering multiple territories and
multiple languages.
Looking to modernise and streamline its media
really outweigh
management and its workflows - but still retain
the necessary flexibility to adapt to future business
requirements - the broadcaster implemented Sony’s
demand. But it
Media Backbone Conductor (MBC).
Located at its European Media Hub in London,
the media operations and workflow orchestration
platform allowed Turner to automate many of its
workflows, including the management of all media
throughout the processing phases, and manual
operations such as QC and review, ordering and
approvals. It also handles file movement and storage,
transcoding, auto QC and packaging for playout


TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 7 29/09/2017 12:11

Recapture lost audiences
Break the news first across all platforms with Media Backbone Hive.
It’s time to reconnect with your lost audience in a more cost effective way. As viewers look
to the internet, mobile and social media for their news fix, broadcasters can now reclaim
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within the organisation to enable unified news production. One production system to
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No more duplication of effort. And lots more flexibility.

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Find out more
TVBE October 2017 Supplement_V6 JP.indd 8 29/09/2017 12:11

Sam Blackman was one of the brightest figures in Portland’s
resurgent tech scene, and a powerful voice for civic engagement

he broadcast industry grieves for the
loss of influential and respected leader
Sam Blackman. The AWS Elemental
co-founder and CEO passed away at the end
of August after suffering a cardiac arrest at the
untimely age of 41.
The Portland native, who grew up
lifeguarding at a public pool, leaves behind a
young family and a rapidly growing business
that helped transform Oregon’s Silicon Forest.
After founding Elemental Technologies in
2006 with Brian Lewis and Jesse Rosenzweig,
Blackman led the company from a tiny
start-up to one of Portland’s major employers
before selling it to Amazon in 2015 for $296
million. He stayed on as CEO.
“AWS Elemental has lost a passionate,
visionary and humble leader, and the
world has lost an inspiring human being
dedicated to community,” an AWS Elemental
spokesman said.
“Sam’s spirit will always be at the core of
what we do. Sam loved his work, but his Earlier this year, AWS Elemental partnered
greatest love was for his wife and children.” with NASA to produce the first live public
A statement from Blackman’s family read: “AWS Elemental 4K streaming broadcast from the
“Sam died peacefully surrounded by his International Space Station, with Blackman,
loved ones. In his private life, he cherished has lost a from the NAB Show in Las Vegas, participating
his family, and in his public life he cherished in a ground-breaking conversation with
his community and the business he founded, passionate, astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer
from space.
Elemental Technologies.
“He was a passionate advocate for visionary and In 2014, Elemental started a series of
4K 4Charity Runs, which have raised
community service who rallied so many
towards a greater good for the environment,
humble leader, more than $450,000 in support of those
hunger, education and inclusion. We are
thankful to all those who have shared their
and the world has underrepresented in technology, and
Blackman was a regular participant.
thoughts and prayers for Sam.”
Before Elemental, Blackman designed
lost an inspiring Blackman earned a B.S. in electrical
engineering from Brown University, an M.S. in
integrated circuit products for Pixelworks. human being” electrical engineering from the University of
California at Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the
He also held engineering positions at Silicon
Graphics and Intel Corporation. University of Oregon.
The BBC implemented Elemental’s He leaves behind his wife of 12 years,
technology to stream footage of the 2012 Adriane, two young sons, Abe and Solly, his
and 2016 Olympics, and it was also used by brothers Amos and Eli, his mother Susan
companies such as ABC and HBO to stream and his niece Hannah, to whom we offer our
entertainment content. deepest condolences. n

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 31

31 Obituary Sam Blackman_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 11:24


By Angel Ruiz, president and CEO, media solutions, Ericsson

n the last decade alone, we have witnessed tidal
changes across the media landscape globally,
particularly in the music and publishing industries,
which have undergone complete and radical evolution.
In the same way, we have seen a massive shift in the
way video content is created, published and distributed
with the rise of on-demand, the proliferation of devices,
technologies and greater mobility. Today, viewer
expectations and demands from service providers and
operators are greater than ever before.
Since my appointment as president and CEO of media
solutions at Ericsson in June this year, I have been busy
getting to know our customers and build an even deeper
understanding of the challenges and opportunities that
face our industry today. As we demonstrated at IBC,
we are implementing our strategic viewpoint for
the future and the move towards realising the
transformation of TV.
Empowering both established players and the next
generation of TV providers is an integral part of my job.
Yet, it’s my view that we need to understand not only
how to innovate for the future, but also to ensure that
our customers and partners have the strong foundations
they need to compete, differentiate and capitalise on
new revenue opportunities today.


While value propositions are changing beyond
recognition, the inherent power of content to engage
and retain audiences remains. In this period of
enormous market disruption, the challenge comes
down to how viewers find, appreciate and interact
with that content. This is a time where operators and
broadcasters can evolve, not just to remain relevant but
also to capture the extraordinary opportunities available
to them.
With market fragmentation and competition comes
a proliferation of new technologies and methods to

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32 33 Feature Radio 3_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 14:46


redefine the boundaries with which our industry demonstrated by SMPTE’s approval of the first
operates. The convergence of telecoms, IT and media standards within SMPTE ST 2210, professional media
has opened up fresh ways for service providers to over managed IP networks. The new standards suite
continue to differentiate and grow their subscriber specifies the carriage, synchronisation and description
base. It has also encouraged new entrants to launch of separate elementary essence steams over IP networks
innovative and competitive services. in real-time for live production, playout and other
media applications. By bringing together a common
ENABLING TRANSFORMATION set of standards and specifications, the industry can
This year, I attended the IBC Show for the first time now take another important step towards enabling
and throughout the week, my team and I presented the all-IP infrastructures.
innovations we believe will drive the future, alongside However, we also know that through live
the deliverable software and service solutions industry transmissions, the evolution of UHD and the
players need to compete today. By combining a full complexities of the production chain, we need to
portfolio and our unique position at the intersection maintain a purposeful, carefully planned approach,
of software, cloud and IP, mobile and 5G, data and which we term ‘considered innovation’. Where the cloud
analytics, our aim is to enable the industry to thrive in is unproven, we continue to retain, refine and evolve
today’s TV and media landscape. existing solutions, through research and development.
We showcased the latest from our leading media And where cloud is ready, we’re accelerating.
portfolio, including low latency, broadcast quality The opportunity has arrived for broadcasters, telcos,
experiences for OTT delivery. We demonstrated cable operators and content aggregators to enhance
how real-time analytics can drive unique immersive viewing experiences with a wide range of new service
user experiences through our cloud TV platform capabilities. With the industry changing continuously
and we shared the latest release of our Video Storage as new software-enabled services and alternative ways
Processing Platform – the core of our pay-TV cloud DVR of viewing content emerge, we must ensure we’re
deployments worldwide today. We also showed how our prepared. We need to build upon the basic principles of
end-to-end processing solutions for contribution and the internet – namely intelligence, openness, and scale
distribution can enable service and content providers to – to innovate and continue to engage and drive loyalty
deliver content across different networks securely and with viewers into the future. n
efficiently, while maintaining quality.
Our visitors were able to try out real applications of
VR and 360-degree content and see for themselves how
it can augment the UHD HDR broadcast experience.
This unique demonstration enables the user to go
beyond the immersive headset experience and enter
into a virtual world, where they can share their
experience with friends and family via a tablet or ‘While it’s easy to focus on the
latest innovations, it’s important
mobile device.


I believe that as the industry undergoes this period to deliver solutions with the
of transformation and captures both the effect
and benefits of future technology, the lesson is to highest efficiency, the lowest
understand how these changes will directly impact
the consumer. While it’s easy to focus on the latest latency and the best possible
innovations, it’s also important to build and deliver
solutions with the highest efficiency, the lowest latency
and the best possible quality of experience for viewers.
quality of experience’
Software and cloud are helping to enable this change.
Throughout the show, there were frequent
reminders as to how critical these technologies will
be to our industry’s future, and this was perhaps best

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 33

32 33 Feature Radio 3_V2 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 14:46



By George Wright, head, internet research and future
services, BBC R&D

oice devices and voice assistants, in outside of the story and consider your choice.
all their various forms – standalone We have done a lot of work around the
device or built in to other consumer emotional state of the person talking to the
products – are exciting new ways to interact device, and the tone of voice that the device
with the world, to receive factual updates, uses when talking back. We experimented
or enjoy entertaining pieces of content. The with scripts and plans to allow us to map out
BBC’s R&D department has been working on the options and pathways that the human
creating and consuming content for devices might take. As we do with any new research
and we have been developing a series of prototype, we spent some time working out
prototypes to explore what humans want the capabilities of the devices as supplied to us,
from “Talking with Machines”. and we also tried to work out where they may
Using your voice as a means to explore be soon. We are not yet live on these devices
worlds, or request content, is not a new and so we have to be flexible and anticipate
invention. There have been prototype voice usage and patterns of behaviour.
experiments around for many years. The We’re only beginning to scratch the surface
recent low-cost, high-volume releases of of what’s possible with voice experiences for
devices from consumer manufacturers has audiences. With The Inspection Chamber,
sparked the interest of some researchers in the user is actively making choices and the
BBC R&D. The combination of an always on, story changes based on those decisions. But
internet-connected voice activated device there are other techniques we’re exploring
means that we have envisaged a series of elsewhere in R&D that could also improve
scenarios in which the BBC and our audience certain types of voice content too. For
can converse. example, Perceptive Media is a more passive
One example is our prototype voice- way of adapting a story around the user.
interactive radio drama The Inspection “We’re only We’ve produced a few examples to show
Chamber produced in conjunction with how this works, including a radio drama that
specialist audio company, Rosina Sound. It’s beginning to automatically references the city the listener
designed to allow you to play a part in the is in, what the weather is like, and other little
action with your own voice, to talk directly to scratch the touches to make it feel more relevant to them.
the characters in their world while enjoying
their story. We took our cues from immersive surface of what’s There are a number of opportunities
to put content onto voice devices – from
theatre productions, where the audience
are part of a performance, and is – we hope
possible with factual news to entertainment, to interactive
discussions powered by the BBC’s expertise.
– fun and quirky, and will provoke a range of
emotions including frustration and confusion.
voice experiences But alongside the content experiences are
equally important strands of our work that
We built the system behind this in such a way
that allows us to release it on a number of
for audiences” explore the more fundamental questions
too. Questions like, how do you design an
different platforms, as well as to create other interface for a device with no screen? And
stories in the future. what are the UX and interaction design
We’ve seen a lot of examples of interactive patterns for spoken interfaces?
audio stories which operate with short chunks The possibility of delivering knowledge
followed by a choice: would you like to go and content to people in simple, human
down the stairs or through the door? We don’t ways without using UIs or menus, is one that
think this works particularly well – it takes you excites us in the BBC’s R&D team. n
out of the moment and forces you to step back

34 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

34 35 Feature Voice Activation_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:45



Sylvain Thevenot, managing director, operator solutions,
Netgem, looks at the rise of the voice activated assistant

oice is arguably set to become other, for example Apple’s Siri can’t instruct
the defacto method for people to Amazon Fire TV. This is understandable
interact with their smart devices. from the brand’s perspective; it wants to
Software that enables users to dictate and deliver a quality experience that it believes
intelligently transcribe are nothing new. is only possible by staying within its own
And in 2016 Google announced that 20 ecosystem. However, it’s a pain point for
per cent of all searches on its mobile app the customers – they just want to navigate
are now done using voice, something not and watch their favourite programmes
thought possible just a few years ago. Now, seamlessly. The ideal voice control situation
with the proliferation of smart home virtual is for a voice control system like Amazon’s
assistants, people are speaking to their Alexa, Google Voice assistant, or Microsoft
devices like never before. Cortana to be seamlessly integrated within
However, while it’s certainly helpful to ask the entertainment set-up to access content,
Amazon Alexa to order your cab or turn on regardless of any specific devices it is
the lights, there’s so much more that voice connecting with.
control and smart home services can do – While voice does have lots of potential
specifically from the perspective of the TV. in the TV space, particularly in delivering
Service providers are having to factor in how enhanced search options, there’s still work
best to make voice a viable interaction tool to be done to prove it’s a secure mechanism.
for their customers. Past cases of users having to be careful of
Arguably, the most important element what they say in front of their screens have
of voice control is the user themselves, not helped the cause. To counter this, it’s
otherwise where would the command come important that operators can demonstrate
from?! But, unlike a traditional remote that they take the user’s voice, and the
control where anyone can use it, voice is “The ideal voice data that it creates, seriously. It’s certainly
much more nuanced and specific to the promising that vendors, such as Amazon, do
user. The BBC for example has recently control situation take this seriously and are even willing to go
announced plans to develop an experimental to court to manage that privacy.
version its iPlayer service that enables the is for a system While voice control for the TV has existed
viewer to login using their unique voiceprint.
It’s reassuring to see that those operators like Alexa to be for a number of years, we are only now
really seeing it come to maturity with the
who are already using voice have taken these
variations into account with their services,
integrated within growth of the virtual assistants’ market. The
main challenge remains to provide a simple
particularly in countries like Switzerland
where they have to factor in different
the entertainment experience with direct access to relevant
content. This is a real opportunity for those
languages as well as accents.
For those currently developing services, it’s
set-up, regardless vanguard operators who are willing to stand
out against their competitors. By making
also important to ensure the final devices can of the devices it is interaction with the TV easier and integrated
ignore the TV itself, otherwise it could lead openly with any voice assistant service that
to annoying challenges, as Xbox One users connecting with” already exists in the home, they can create
found when adverts quoting the command a neutral, yet powerful proposition that
“Xbox On” did just that for their devices. will entice the users to remain loyal to the
One of the major problems consumers operator’s TV service – as they will easily
face across their different technologies is the find the relevant content they like, by using
level to which devices can integrate with each simple voice commands. n

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 35

34 35 Feature Voice Activation_V2 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 09:45


By David Mühle, VP sales and channel, Ooyala

venings after work spent in front of the TV are streaming trend. The BBC currently allows viewers to
becoming a rare occurrence in today’s digital watch live programmes via its OTT service BBC iPlayer
world. We have the internet to thank for this slow in addition to the programmes available on-demand.
and steady decline in television viewing - daytime, Channel 4 also offers live viewing via its ‘Watch Live’
primetime and late-night viewing frames become less service online and in app.
relevant as sophisticated mobile devices enable users to One thing to be concerned about is the scale at
view their favourite programmes at whatever time they which today’s OTT video services can deliver live
wish. We are already enjoying the benefits of logging streaming of content, particularly for major events
into Netflix and the likes to watch programmes on the that spike viewership. In addition, much of live
commute to and from work, and just about anywhere. production is centred on TV-based broadcasting and
With a reliable internet connection, users can leverages equipment designed for this approach rather
instantly watch OTT video content on the go, at any than IP-based live broadcasting. IP-based delivery
time. This is not news to many of us. Where little allows people to watch live news, sports, and other
attention is being paid, live streaming apps are edging programming with the same freedom that they watch
their way into mainstream interest. Ever watched the VoD today. Channel 4 still uses Adobe Flash for its
10pm news live from your phone on a late journey online video player, which is to be phased out by 2020.
home? Now imagine watching that big Premier League Broadcasters not only need to prepare for a Flash-
game via live stream on your phone without having free environment but also need to prepare for high
to go through the pain of searching for and enduring volumes of live viewing. Consumption of high-profile
poor-quality links from the internet. live events will reach well beyond the audience sizes
Access to live TV on connected devices is an area that are achieved today. n
of opportunity only few have picked up on. Twitter
recently signed deals to live stream Wimbledon and
Comic-Con. Twitter has also announced plans to
live stream concerts from popular artists through a
partnership with Live Nation. In the US, Fox Sports
has revealed plans to live stream the upcoming 2017-
2018 UEFA Champions League matches via their Fox
Sports’ Facebook page. It seems live streaming apps
like Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Facebook Live
are the great enablers of live-streamed TV – having TV
streamed live in the palm of your hand.
Media stalwarts are indeed taking notice of the live

“It seems Periscope and Facebook Live are

the great enablers of live-streamed TV”

36 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

36 Feature Ooyala_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:46

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ISE 2018 FP 210x265.indd 1 03/10/2017 11:26



The BBC recently delivered its biggest single investment in Scottish broadcast content in
over 20 years. George Jarrett speaks to NTFS director Jon Wardle to find out more

he biggest ‘skills gap plugging’ story to emerge continuing professional skills development (CPD) in
this year was the announcement by Scotland the areas of TV, games and film.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon of £475,000 worth Once under way, under the management of NFTS
of funding for new production skills courses, under director Jon Wardle, 1,500 students are expected to
the management of The National Film and Television graduate over five years. Other key names behind this
School (NFTS). huge project are Donalda MacKinnon, director of BBC
These will run at facility hubs at BBC Scotland’s Scotland, and BFI CEO Amanda Nevill.
Glasgow and Dumbarton studios under the banner of
NFTS Scotland. And with the BBC investing an extra SKILLS SHORTAGES WITH MIGRANT LABOUR
£40 million per year in Scotland to fund a new channel In talking about the world’s best film school going
due next year, plus more network output in the areas north, Wardle first considered the precise spreadable
of news and drama, students that enroll from next value of that £475,000.
April should find it easier to find work. “In addition to the funding announced by the
The new school opens in January with further Scottish government, the BBC is providing the space to
support from a set of media partners, including house the new school (in its Scottish HQ at Pacific Quay
Channel 4, STV, and the producers David Brown and at Dumbarton). Both parties are also committed
(Outlander), Iain Smith (Mad Max Fury Road), and to ensuring that a third of all places in the first two
Andrew Macdonald (T2 Trainspotting). It will be years will be fully funded scholarship places to ensure
structured around diversity and inclusion, with that students will be drawn from a broad range of
many fully funded scholarship places covered by backgrounds,” he says.
bursary funding. “We absolutely want the hub to work for people with
Promising to ‘address gaps in existing provision,’ ability, not just the ability to pay, and it is likely that we
NFTS Scotland cited the areas of script editing, factual will receive further industry support to achieve that
development and production accounting as currently aim,” he adds. “We won’t start with 450 students, but
being woefully short of talent. Courses will vary from will build up to that number gradually. On that basis
three-month certificate opportunities, to full year in the first instance we expect to need a small number
diploma commitments, and short courses to provide of full-time staff based at Pacific Quay and a range of
visiting tutors to deliver the courses.”
The hub will benefit from the back-office
functions of registry and accounts being based at
“We absolutely want the hub to work NFTS HQ in Beaconsfield. On the issue of inevitable
market demand for the replication of the full set of
for people with ability, not just the production, technical and craft skill courses run at
ability to pay” Beaconsfield, Wardle is clear.
He says: “That might be the case, but we won’t be
JON WARDLE, NFTS replicating what’s on offer by other further education
and higher education providers in Scotland. If we think
we can offer something unique and different to what’s

38 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

38 39 40 41 Feature Business_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:46


already available then we will take a serious look. “We are looking into a wide range of courses and
“For example, we have been talking to one of the should there be demand for short courses or CPD in
bigger higher education providers in Scotland about this area, it’s certainly something we will look at,” says
collaborating with them on a talent lab for emerging Wardle. “We aren’t going to build facilities. For the
Scottish producers, but that would build on what first three years at least we are going to use existing
already exists, it wouldn’t compete with it,” he adds. resources at Pacific Quay and Dumbarton. We will,
Looking at the tax provisions (producer incentives) over time, purchase some of our own equipment to
introduced by the UK government, and the value of support delivery. We will also work with other partners
the pound, it is easy to see a rosy future for production in Edinburgh and Glasgow on delivery and deploy
work coming into Scotland, but what impact might a facilities beyond the BBC where it makes sense.
hard Brexit have on the unique economy film and TV “But this project is much more about building
drama currently enjoy, and on the number of foreign activity as opposed to building suites of shiny new
students who want to come over? facilities. To learn how to be a production accountant
“There are clear skills shortages with migrant you don’t need much kit and the same goes for script
labour, and that’s before we see the full effect of supervision, yet these are two of the skills most in
Brexit, therefore the need for high quality indigenous need in Scotland right now to support production,” he
talent post Brexit will be even more pronounced. So adds. “That’s not to say that we won’t teach equipment
this provides even more fuel to our fire to make an heavy courses, but we are looking at a variety of ways of
intervention now,” says Wardle. resourcing these.”
It will be interesting to see how the new Production Looking forward five years, will NFTS Scotland be a
Technology MA course offered by the NFTS and headed mirror image of the Beaconsfield operation as Wardle
by John Maxwell Hobbs works out, and how that might plans to evolve that? And where might VR sit by then in
appeal to NFTS Scotland students. terms of structured learning?

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 39

38 39 40 41 Feature Business_V2 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 09:46

“No, the Scotland base won’t be a mirror image of A lot of industry sectors are heavily reliant on
Beaconsfield. Some of the courses it offers will be the freelancers. This points at the need for re-training in
same and some distinctly different. The offer will take some areas, and lump numbers of replacement people
time to grow and in the first instance much of that in other areas who will need specialist training. What
offer won’t be full-time,” he says. can NFTS Scotland do for the freelance community?
“We teach VR at the NFTS as a part of a variety of “At the NFTS in Beaconsfield we run 45 short CPD
courses as opposed to seeing it as an isolated discipline, courses a year working with approximately 500 people
and we will almost certainly adopt this approach in annually. We will develop a similar scale of offer in
Scotland. In terms of games we do have plans to launch Scotland to support freelancers,” says Wardle.
some short courses in this area,” he adds.
To get things kicked off, will Wardle use top skill set
visitors for master classes and workshops as an adjunct
“We will be looking to build a similar to staff efforts?
He says: “This is in the main how the school operates.
offer in Scotland, working with people We have very few full-time staff and many freelance
making their living locally” tutors who come in and teach their particular
specialism. For example, one of our graduates,
JON WARDLE, NFTS Lewis Arnold came and fronted a directing course
over a fortnight for us after he finished directing

40 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

38 39 40 41 Feature Business_V2 JG.indd 3 29/09/2017 09:46

“We will be looking to build a similar offer in Scotland, Many vendors build strong ties with particular
working with people making their living locally. We university courses to source their talent, usually PICTURED ABOVE:
have a good head start on this as lots of our most for software development. Are they becoming Nicola Sturgeon (centre)
with BBC Scotland
successful graduates are Scottish, and live and work in dominant at sucking out the talent the film industry director Donalda
Scotland,” he adds. might need? Mackinnon (left)
Amanda Nevill nominates 10,000 as the haunting “I’m not sure I’ve seen companies ‘sucking out talent and NTFS director Jon
number of skilled people we have as an industry short in their thousands’. Our experience is that companies Wardle (right) at the NFTS
Scotland announcement
fall. Given that other forms of digital imaging (beyond respond really well to what we do because we keep
film and TV) are now much bigger in volume terms, it small and we put lots of resource into making sure
perhaps the required intake for professional media every learning experience - whether it’s a two-day or
production is in the multiple thousands? How does a three-month course – intensively develops students’
Wardle see the relationship with corporate, religious, skills in practical ways,” says Wardle.
and government communications in terms of them “For example, we run a character animation
being production areas? course with Aardman in Bristol, which attracts 100+
“It’s not Amanda’s number, it comes from research applications, and we take a dozen people with whom
the Work Foundation completed: 10,000 is probably a we work intensively over three months to hone their
conservative figure if you factor in all the related practical high-end animation skills,” he adds. “When
areas of audio-visual communication across many they join us they usually have animation degrees
sectors. We expect to see people from those areas already, but they haven’t had the focused, individual
coming on our courses in both Scotland and support and training to become excellent at what they
Beaconsfield,” he says. do. That’s what we can do really well.” n

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 41

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In part of two of our Women in Broadcast feature, James Groves hears from four more respected
names. This month, we start with Anna Lockwood, head of market development, Telstra

’ve been in the media technology industry results, enhance our reputation, and attract,
for over 20 years now, and it’s been a engage and retain talented people. Even
wonderful and deeply engaging and better it enables us to understand the diverse
satisfying career choice. As a woman working needs of our customers. It’s not only the right
in technology, we are better represented thing to do; it’s also good business sense.
than ever before. But there is still much to do! As a member of RISE, I’m proud to be part
At all roles and at all levels, women are still of a community that brings together and
underrepresented in the broadcast business, empowers women in what is a traditionally
and as an industry we need to address this male environment. As a mentor for students
imbalance – urgently! and young professionals, I am inspired by
Companies around the world are more the next generation of media professionals,
committed to gender diversity than ever, and hope to serve as a role model, coach
but the results aren’t yet being fully realised. and sponsor for young women rising in our
Research and statistics show that women are industry. And in my board director roles at
often underrepresented at most corporate SMPTE and IABM and in my contributing
levels and very few make it far enough to member roles at SVG and CASBAA, I am
be considered for the highest roles. For deeply committed to creating an industry that
me personally, I’m proud to work for an is welcoming to women, and provides real
organisation that is driving change for better opportunity for women to develop and thrive
representation in the workforce. At Telstra, in their careers and lives. n
we are committed to increasing the numbers
of women in tech – at our company and in
our industry. To accelerate the rate of change,
we are focusing on three areas of activity –
representation, learning and development
and flexible work. Representation includes
tracking diversity data, promoting gender
equality, and ensuring gender pay equity. In
our last report, female representation in the
Telstra CEO leadership team stood at 45 per
cent, with 41 per cent of all new hires, and 31
‘As a member of RISE, I’m proud to
per cent of our entire workforce. Our target is be part of a community that brings
50 per cent female representation across the
company at all levels. together and empowers women in what
Diversity and inclusion has to be driven
from the top. It’s wonderful to see women
being appointed to executive positions in
is a traditionally male environment’
media and broadcast companies. Women
leaders in both business and technical roles
are great role models and contribute to
creating diverse and high performing teams
and companies.
Equality through diversity and inclusion
has upsides beyond the benefits it’s often
aligned with. It helps improve our business

42 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

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Nicki Fisher, sales director, EMEA, Clear-Com

he industry is definitely changing Appointments such as Carolyn McCall and
to include more women in senior Alex Mahon are a welcome change, but
positions. I was recently delighted to the most important thing is that the right
see the appointment of the new IABM board person is selected for the job, regardless of
members where, for the first time, half of their gender. People should enjoy their role
the positions are held by women. Joining and the contributions that they bring to
me on the board this year are; Muriel De that role, whether that relates to business or
Lathouwer, EVS Broadcast Equipment; engineering. If we encourage young women
Alison Pavitt, Pebble Beach; Esther Mesas, to study science and engineering related
Tedial; and Anna Lockwood, Telstra courses, we will see a rise in the number
I believe that this rate of change is of women applying for senior engineering
accelerating at a significant pace already. positions. n
There will always be companies that have
a different view on what diversity in the
workplace means. Clear-Com have a strong,
balanced management team with the CEO,
marketing director and two sales director
roles being fulfilled by women. In my
opinion, it’s all about inclusion and helping ‘The most important
to support others to achieve their goals.
This issue must be addressed at ‘grass- thing is that the right
roots’ level working with young people
to encourage them to study science person is selected for
and engineering based subjects as well
as providing opportunities that are the job, regardless of
both rewarding and fun to take part
in. STEM is a good ambassador for this, their gender’
working to achieve a world-leading
education for all young people in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics.

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 43

42 43 45 47 Feature WIB v3 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 09:47


8th November 2017, Sway Bar, Holborn, London
Join us in November for another fascinating evening of lively discourse
and discussion with leading lights from the pro-audio spectrum.

Register for your free tickets at
Following our hugely successful evening of fat-chewing and beer-drinking in June,
PSNEurope announces the sixth PSNPresents in November 2017.

If you have any questions regarding PSNPresents

then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team below
Event enquiries Sponsorship enquiries Ticket enquiries
Emine Partalci Ryan O’Donnell Abby French
+44(0)203 829 2614 +44(0)207 354 6047 +44(0)20 3871 7370


#PSNPresents @PSNEurope

PSNPresents 2017 Advert_Save the Date 210x265.indd 1 03/10/2017 11:31


EXCLUSION Margaret Craig, CEO, Signiant

he industry has definitely changed of pursuits, women will get the right
with the times, and every year we message about our industry. And of
see a bit more diversity amongst course, those of us in leadership positions
the exhibitors and attendees at IBC. My in individual companies need to be vigilant
sense is that it’s mostly an organic change about ensuring that our organisations
aligned with changes in society at large, are welcoming to women. n
rather than a shift that is attributable to
specific industry initiatives.
While women are quite clearly
underrepresented in the industry, I don’t
feel that we have a problem of systemic
or intentional exclusion. In my own long
experience, the industry has always been
welcoming and collegial with respect to
all kinds of people – it’s just that not many
women were coming through the door.
I think it’s important for the industry
to recognise and celebrate appointments
like Carolyn McCall and Alex Mahon. I
was delighted to hear them. One of the
great things about the media business
is the diversity of roles – ranging from
executive to creative to technical. If
women see that there are many paths
to success in this industry and many
opportunities to pursue their interests,
they will be more inclined to see it as an
appealing career choice. I hope Carolyn
and Alex’s successes will be highly visible
and they will be broadly recognised as
competent executives, and I hope it won’t
be necessary to continuously call attention
to the fact that they are women. When
accomplished people are successful in
important roles and enjoy the full support
of their industry colleagues – and they just
happen to be women – that’s when we will
be in a good place.
Direct outreach to young people starting
their work lives is really important, and
I’m always happy to see organisations like
the IABM and SMPTE develop initiatives
that focus on early-career people. When
those programmes are highly inclusive
and designed to appeal to a broad range

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 45

42 43 45 47 Feature WIB v3 JG.indd 3 29/09/2017 09:47

Discover the latest products
and solutions at ISE 2018

Connecting markets and people

New TVB Europe size.indd

PCR_FP_210x265.indd 1 1 29/09/2017
19/09/2017 17:21

Lise Cosmi, chief external relations, HBS

f I consider what I experience on a not lead anywhere, or it will have the same
daily basis, I have not seen any change effect as what happens in other industries,
in this industry in 2017. We hear a lot where women will think they are not
more about women and gender equality “welcome” and abandon ship.
in all industries, but ours has not taken To me, the appointment of ladies in the
any concrete step to help women step up C-level positions is clearly a good sign.
the ladder or attract more women in the It means they can act as role models and
industry. encourage the younger generation of girls
Nothing happens overnight, but we to join the market and push them along
could definitely do much more. If we do not a similar career path. However, the most
accelerate now, the new generation will still important part is not to become a “chief”
be in the same situation in the future. The but to follow your dreams whatever the
broadcast industry is complaining about position is. Whether technical or executive,
the ageing of its talents and about the we should be encouraging women to
digital trend “swallowing” the millennials become who they want to become. We
on the work market. But what do we do need role models in every position to
to attract the young ones – especially the encourage ladies, both young and mature,
girls? Nothing! All has to happen now to to become the person they always dreamt
be ready tomorrow! Let’s leave a legacy to
our daughters.
Nowadays, the industry is changing
rapidly, with broadcasters hiring more and
more freelancers instead of core team staff.
That’s having a double effect: the industry
becomes less attractive to the young
generation in general, since they cannot ‘We need role models in every
expect a proper career, and that applies
even moreso for women, who are already position to encourage ladies, both
more “fragile” on the working market, as a young and mature, to become
freelance position is far less protective for a
potential mother. the person they always dreamt
To be able to involve more women in our
industry, you need three steps: One is to
of becoming’
attract them, second is to train them, and
third is to help them reach the top jobs. If
you only deliver steps one and two, you’re
still ultimately preventing them from having
a fully-fledged career in the end. It does

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 47

42 43 45 47 Feature WIB v3 JG.indd 4 29/09/2017 09:47



NewBay was delighted to receive a record number of entries for its Best of Show
Awards at IBC this year. We had the pleasure of handing out over 50 awards
throughout the show floor across TVBEurope and sister brands TV Tech Global,
Installation, Audio Media International, PSNEurope and Radio World International,
showcasing the breadth of innovation at the show and in the broadcast market.
Here are the 22 winners in the TVBEurope category, with judge’s comments

Company: Amino Communications Company: Aviwest

Product: Amino Enable Product: Air320

Judge’s comments: This virtual set-top Judge’s comments: Incredibly compact

box (STB) software is a great way for cable cellular transmitter. IP-capable functionality
companies to continue using existing STB in a lunch box. Great for remote field based
hardware. Also contributes substantially ‘NewBay’s Best contribution.
to industry sustainability, relieving service
providers from having to immediately throw
Of Show awards Company: Snapbox
away and replace existing STBs.
honour the best new Product: DoPChoice

Company: Aspera
Product: FASPStream in conjunction
products on display at Judge’s comments: As always, DoPChoice
is a really great, very well thought-out kit for
with Telestream Vantage and Lightspeed
Live Capture
the IBC trade show in DP’s. Fantastic.

Judge’s comments: This may be the only Company: Easel TV
such product that makes video file transfers Product: Suggested TV
available to be used as soon as enough is
received to form some complete frames. This Judge’s comments: A truly great solution
could play a big factor in getting an excerpt for content owners to create their own OTT
from a breaking news story on the air in a platform out of the box.
timely manner.
Company: Ericsson Media Solutions
Company: Avid Product: MediaFirst Video Processing
Product: Avid Media Composer | First Encoding Live for mixing SDR content
with HDR content in live broadcasting
Judge’s comments: I really liked the
concept of making this product available Judge’s comments: Excellent. Allows linear
as a free download. This is a really great broadcasters to keep up with Netflix et al.
marketing idea and it also allows beginner Mixes SDR and HDR content and broadcasts
editors to turn out quality work without in a way that works without creating many
having to take out a mortgage for the of the glitches you see when watching /SDR/
editing package. HDR mixed broadcasts.

48 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

48 49 Feature Best of Show_V2 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 09:47

Company: EVS Company: NexGuard Company: TVU Networks
Product: X-ONE Product: Network ID Product: TVU Router

Judge’s comments: An ultra-simplified Judge’s comments: Effective watermarking Judge’s comments: Simple idea but often,
unified live production system that offers of BC signal without impacting picture quality. simple is best. Incredible functionality in a very
smaller and mid-sized productions the Can trace pirate activity very well. compact, portable form factor.
ability to ingest six camera feeds and import
any other files. The system is easy to use, Company: Paywizard Company: Verimatrix
pleasing to the eyes and is a great extension Product: Paywizard Agile and Massive Product: Verspective RT
of its Divys IP-based production switcher. AXIS
Judge’s comments: Very well thought out
Company: Imagine Communications Judge’s comments: This product really puts and executed, and should have a ready market.
Product: Selenio Network Processor the customer first. A complex system that’s The data harvested will certainly be much more
simplified to ensure longer-term customers. comprehensive and include a larger (every
Judge’s comments: Incredibly powerful customer on the CDN) database than is available
IP band processor in a very compact form Company: Sachtler and Vinten with contemporary sampling methodology.
factor. Product: flowtech tripod technology

Company: LiveU Judge’s comments: Nine great legs, really

Product: LU600 with 4K HEVC Pro Card easy to adjust and lock, looking forward to
100mm version next year.
Judge’s comments: Quite stunning HEVC
image quality! No compromise in picture Company: Telestream
quality versus form factor. Incredible. Must Product: Timed Text Speech
Judge’s comments: Very impressive
product. It’s a professional subtitling
solution for auto-generating a transcript
using speech-to-text technology. Cloud-
based closed captioning is the next
generation, and this product saves time
and money, so that’s a pretty good start!
Company: V-Nova and THEO Technologies
Company: The Telos Alliance Product: Perseus-powered Universal
Product: Telos Infinity IP Intercom Media Player

Judge’s comments: A great leap forward in Judge’s comments: This is a really important
IP intercom systems. It uses IP technology to product. It’s a reliable, robust HD platform. There’s
change the way comms systems operate. no pre-processing, so you can show live content.
AND the QOE is solid and dependable. Brilliant!
Company: Timeline Television
Company: SGO Product: Triple-expanding IP 4K HDR OB Company: information technology
Product: Mistika VR truck, UHD2 Product:

Judge’s comments: This product is brilliant. Judge’s comments: Everything about this Judge’s comments: Fantastic journalist research
It enables users working with multiple truck is ordinary - if you live in 2020. tool. Enables users to avoid fake news sources
camera (360-degree capture) to produce with verification functionality. All the sources
high quality VR content with stitching, colour without the clutter.
correction, correcting geometric distortions,
removing interfering objects, and more. Once
the operator is satisfied with the frame they
are working on, the software automatically
tracks and applies corrections to the entire
sequence. Pretty remarkable!

Company: NewTek
Product: NDI PTZ Camera

Judge’s comments: It may be the only such

fully IP-connectivity PTZ camera out there,
and as we all know, IP is where the video PHOTOS PROVIDED BY:
production world is headed. Great product. Sander Ruijg

TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 49

48 49 Feature Best of Show_V2 JG.indd 2 29/09/2017 09:47

Chris Forrester reports on another trip to the Amsterdam RAI
as 8K, IP, VR-AR-MR, and ‘FANG’ all hit the headlines

PICTURED ABOVE: t wasn’t easy picking a dominant theme at IBC2017. Sky’s chief engineer of broadcast strategy, said that
A record number of delegates Past years have seen 4K/UHD emerge as one of the one of the key problems was that broadcasters have
attended IBC this year, with
show’s strongest topics, but this year, there was been pushed towards UHD by the manufacturers. “The
over 57,000 appearing at the
Amsterdam RAI more talk about 8K, from the likes of Sotiris Salamouris screens came onto the marketplace, but there wasn’t
(CTO, Olympic Broadcast Services) reminding the content,” he said. Bill Baggelaar, Sony Pictures
delegates that the upcoming Winter Games from South Entertainment’s SVP, technology, said that position was
Korea will be the fourth Olympics to be captured in changing, and 90-95 per cent of the company’s output
8K. Sony was also busy, debuting its impressive 8K was now acquired in UHD.
camera. As ever, NHK was showcasing impressive And while HDR was frequently discussed, it was
8K in the Future Zone, and there were plenty of in the context that it was ‘done and dusted’ and the
other exhibitors showing wonderful 8K footage and technology debate had moved onto other topics.
workflow solutions. Without doubt, those topics definitely included AR/
IBC’s dedicated UHD panel agreed that the rollout VR and MR. The Future Zone was full of products and
of 4K had been slower than expected. Chris Johns, demonstrations. The conference sessions also heard

50 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

50 51 52 IBC Wrap Up_V3 JG.indd 1 29/09/2017 14:21


plenty on the subjects. But panellists at IBC’s ‘Leaving learning and we are investors in the concept,” he said.
the Hype behind’ session agreed that there was still Another acronym, that of ‘AI’, was also much in
some way to go. Ed Tang, founder/CTO at Avegant, the discussion with strong expectations that major sports
business behind the Glyph headset and technology, producers are looking hard at introducing AI into
said that exciting as the industry is today, in reality it sports production. Dan Miodownik, chief content
is at the same stage of development as the very early officer at Host Broadcast Services (and looking after the
Motorola ‘brick’ mobile phones. “But we are moving 2018 FIFA World Cup) said AI is certainly coming, “and
very rapidly forward.” quicker than we think. In automated production and
That progress was demonstrated in a powerful where speed-to-air is more important than the finesse
presentation by Leen Segers, who told delegates that of the edit, it certainly speeds up production.” He also
some €490 million of investment cash had been raised said viewers and users would see considerably more
in the past year, and that there were 487 companies live streaming, as distinct from post produced sport.
in Europe working in the VR/AR/MR space. He said: eSports was also on IBC’s agenda. Michiel Bakker,
“And it isn’t just start-ups. Players such as Barco and CEO of Ginx TV, who, in a Platform Futures conference
Zeiss are extremely active, as are studios, media, session (eSports: the new broadcast game?), pointed
education, distribution, gaming, social media, sport out that eSports is beginning to overtake traditional
and healthcare as well as the high-profile hardware sports, both in terms of audiences and prize money.
producers. Things are getting better, and 360 is The global eSports market is forecast to reach nearly
totally underestimated.” $700 million this year, with prize money rising to $100
The content Keynote from Fox Networks Digital million a year. “Prize pools are on the increase - $24
Consumer Group’s Brian Sullivan, while giving a reality million was the prize offered at a recent event. Prize
check on the changes taking place in US broadcasting, pools for some tournaments are now on a par with
also explained that 21st Century Fox was looking at some of the biggest sports, such as golf,” said Bakker.
these new technologies. “But, like everyone, we are Last year, IBC delegates heard Sir Martin Sorrell

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warn that the ‘new media’ players were out to eat “and shifting into data-driven TV.”
broadcasters’ lunch. This year the theme was echoed in Jon Block (VP/EMEA, product and placement at
a half-dozen topical panels where Facebook, Amazon, Videology) welcomed the prospects of dynamic ad-
Netflix and Google (FANG) were very much ‘hot insertion although cautioned that regulation and legal
topics’. By and large the speakers’ comments were not requirements could make life more difficult. “There’s
favourable, especially from news broadcasters who no better way of reaching a large market than a well-
complained that sites such as Facebook are already crafted 30-second ad in the middle of a peak-time
suffering criticism for the amount of ‘fake news’ being show,” said Block. “Generally, broadcasters are only
carried, it was also alleged that they were not playing just becoming aware of the changes. ‘Talk to me in five
fair by paying for the news they were taking. years’ one player said to me recently, but we can do this
For example, Nabil Wakim, head of editorial stuff today.”
innovation at Parisian daily Le Monde, told delegates The general consensus from a number of IBC panels
that Facebook’s fact checking simply does not work. was that the future for TV is in IP, but there were also
strong warnings not to forget the viewer. Justin Gupta,
ex-BBC and now Google’s head of broadcast and
entertainment, said IP is changing everything and the
“Whatever we do, we must put viewer benefits. He said that some former very niche

the viewer first, and transmissions topics, such as eSports, had been brought to life by
YouTube and were now mainstream, thanks to IP.
must be scalable” Liz Ross, CEO at Freeview in Australia, warned that
their own research showed that viewers don’t like
multiple “coloured buttons” and she was anxious
RICHARD LINDSAY-DAVIES, DTG about menu-driven options. “Don’t design a system
for youngsters. They’ll get it anyway. Design for older
viewers, in the mass-market and elderly.” She was also
concerned about any ‘IP-based broadcast’ system that
“We are part of the ‘Hoax Busters’ initiative, and went to rural and countryside locations where fibre
try and debunk these stupid stories. But it is would never be available.
depressing how well Facebook works. One hundred Richard Lindsay-Davies (CEO, DTG) warned:
false stories reached more than four million readers, “Whatever we do, we must put the viewer first, and
and while most were on politics, there were stories transmissions must be scalable. I fear that we may not
on health, about dangerous cancer cures that simply be on a gentle flight-path [to an all-IP world], but fast-
do not work.” approaching a cliff-edge. And where’s the bandwidth?
Facebook itself was present on a couple of panels. How do we overcome capped data-rates? I don’t think
Product director Daniel Danker delivered an opening we have all the answers.”
Keynote address, saying that video was “exploding” on Bill Scott, CCO at Easel TV, was blunt, and said
Facebook, with video content making up 50 per cent of the future for TV was in platforms. “They are easier
all the company’s mobile data traffic. “We expect it to to launch, the technology is affordable and they
grow to 75 per cent in the next five years,” said Danker. understand their audience because of increasingly
Facebook had launched video platform ‘Watch’ in sophisticated data,” he said.
August, with Danker describing how the social network Backing up his argument was Richard Broughton,
has been working with publishers to produce content research director at Ampere Analysis. He explained
for the platform. “Watch also allows publishers to that SVoD/OTT revenues have grown extremely rapidly
create groups that connect them with their audience for the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video, Now TV and
– enabling them to engage with their community their local rivals, and are accelerating. Last year global
between episodes – particularly through the revenues were worth $16 billion. By 2021 they will be
comments section.” about $44-$50 billion. “These revenues are not always
The Advertising sector (‘Mad Men’) also featured at cannibalistic,” Broughton said. “Frequently, consumers
IBC, and again comments were targeted at the FANG add services to their existing pay-TV packages. In
quartet, with panellists saying that addressable TV 2015, it was around 24 per cent who had added an
advertising was the new mantra. “The world has moved SVoD service. By Q3 this year that proportion had
on from the ‘spray and pay’ advertising methods,” said grown to 40 per cent. But it isn’t all happiness for the
Les Carter (VP, chief architect, Cadent Technology) established, and traditional, pay-TV operators.” n

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■ Africa
■ Asia-Pacific

January 2017
■ Europe
■ Middle East
■ The Americas
China goes 4K

September 2016
■ case studies
■ user reviews Will eSPORTS
■ analysis
■ thought leadership
save TV?

Jan/Feb 2017
■ magazine
■ newsletter Buyers Guide: News on the
AIMS in Japan Apps for audio Front Lines
■ digital content
■ events
01 TVTG FC_v2.indd 1

THE 12/01/2017 12:14

FUTURE IP is ready for Buyers guide: IBC Product

OF WORK prime time

01 TVTG Logo_v3.indd 1
Audio preview
09/01/2017 12:57
@tvtechglobal 4K monitor OTT & Big Screen
review streaming focus
01 TVTG FC DIGITAL Version_Final.indd All Pages 10/02/2017 15:55

For more information contact:

Neal Romanek Pete McCarthy Richard Carr

Editor Sales Manager Senior Account Manager
Tel: +44 (0) 207 354 6002 Tel: +44 (0) 207 354 6025 Tel: +44 (0) 207 354 6027
Email: Email: Email:

TVTG House Ad 2017 210x265.indd 1 31/08/2017 16:08

NUGEN Audio develops software that helps accelerate essential components
of audio post production. Now the company is looking forward to supporting
new types of content that are still in development. Neal Romanek reports

54 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

54 55 56 Technology_V10.indd 1 29/09/2017 13:37


evelopments in audio technology always precede surround audio or immersive audio formats, like Dolby Atmos.
developments in video. There’s no mystery around this. The company’s AMB Audio Management Batch Processor
Audio takes up less data and is easier to move around, software automates a range of audio tasks, for loudness processing
manipulate, store and transmit than video. But I think or upmixing for example.
another reason is that we are often quite forgiving of sub-par The AMB processor runs a lot of the same audio processors
video. We’ll all watch a pixelated, badly shot YouTube video, but that the company offers as plug-ins, but also in a standalone,
when the sound is inaudible, or too loud, if the music overwhelms file-based environment. AMB supports multiple audio formats
the dialogue, or if there’s wind noise or…you name it, the entire and working with the audio in various video formats, including
experience can be ruined. MXF, ProRes and AVI. At last month’s IBC show in Amsterdam, the
That means, you’ve got to get audio right. Half measures won’t company added a Dolby Module to the AMB, which will allow easy
cut it. integration with and output to multiple Dolby audio formats.
UK-based manufacturer NUGEN Audio has been at the “Loudness compliance is a very mature market now,” says
forefront of audio software tools. Serving primarily the film NUGEN Audio technical director Dr Paul Tapper. “A loudness
and TV post production, and to a lesser extent music, sectors, meter or loudness correction tool is something every audio post
NUGEN has become a specialist in audio metering, particularly production guy knows he’s going to need. And because loudness
around loudness measurement, broadcast loudness compliance can be a fiddly thing, it’s worth having a specialist tool for it.
and Leg (m) for cinema trailer loudness measurements. NUGEN Sometimes the standards get updated and people want to know
also specialises in upmix software, automating the creation of their tool is going to be up to date.”

“There is the sense in broadcast that object-oriented is where the

industry is going to go”
Dr Paul Tapper, NUGEN Audio

meets lead
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TVBE OCTOBER 2017 | 55

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OBJECT IS THE SUBJECT “In the 3D audio space, you have the immersive audio of Dolby
But Tapper’s – and NUGEN’s – focus is on the future and the wealth Atmos and object tracks, but on the other side you have ambisonic
of possibilities in IP-based production, and object-oriented audio. audio which works for virtual reality content. Ambisonic is
Dolby Atmos takes full advantage of the object-based world, in orientation agnostic and can cope with the orientation of the VR
which audio objects are mixed or remixed according to metadata headset, no matter what it is.
and no specific mix is fully “baked in”. “The whole world of creating audio for VR seems more unclear
“Immersive audio is something that a lot of customers are very than for Dolby Atmos. Atmos will certainly be where at least
interested in,” says Tapper. “One of the great things about the cinema audio will go. But for ambisonic audio, which will be the
Dolby Atmos format is you make one master mix and you can format for VR, it’s less clear what the consumer formats will likely
deliver lots of other different formats from there. If someone be. But because it’s something that so many people are interested
needs a surround or a stereo deliverable, you can deliver those in, we want to provide tools for people to explore that space.”
from the Dolby Atmos mix very easily.”
Even in broadcast, Tapper is finding interest in Dolby Atmos and FORMAT WARS IN ANOTHER DIMENSION
object-oriented audio formats. It’s still a bit Wild West with immersive audio formats. When it
“There is the sense in broadcast that object-oriented is where comes to ambisonic sound, it’s too early for any universal format
the industry is going to go. To be able to instantly switch a game to have been established. As VR heats up, so will the push to
commentary from the home team to the away team is just one develop more standardised audio formats.
example of how the reduced cost of bandwidth is going to enable “Unlike with Dolby Atmos, there’s not really a major force
richer content. It’s going to be a more competitive space and pushing forward a standard with ambisonic audio,” says Tapper.
engineers are going to have to be able to deliver content that lives “The closest would be Facebook with Oculus Rift. But their format
up to that.” is a bit custom and it feels like a stepping stone toward what will
become the standard in the long run.”
THE WORLD OF AMBISONIC Figuring out exactly what VR is for will go a long way toward
3D audio is a space of great interest to Tapper – and to NUGEN, determining how the technologies around it develop.
particularly the possibilities of ambisonic audio. Ambisonic is “While there’s still a big question mark about exactly what kind
a fully spherical sound space which encapsulates sound in the of VR content people are going to want to pay for, it’s hard to
vertical plane as well as the horizontal. decide exactly what the most appropriate formats for that content
“Ambisonic is a mathematical decomposition of the audio will be.
space,” Tapper succinctly explains. “There are different orders “It’s almost a technology waiting for an audience. The hardware
of ambisonic. First order has four channels, second has nine component has grown so rapidly in the past couple years, and
channels, and third has 16 channels. So you get different levels it feels like it’s a technologically viable platform, and we’re now
of complexity but they don’t relate to specific speakers, like they trying to figure out what the content for that platform should be. It
would in a traditional channel audio mix.” may be content that we haven’t even thought of yet.” n

56 | TVBE OCTOBER 2017

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x 265mm
1 v1.indd 1 30/09/2017
27/09/2017 14:36

Innovation in pay-TV
NAGRA, in partnership with MTM, recently published a report from its 2017 Pay-TV Innovation
Forum. The global research programme examines the state of innovation in the pay-TV market

82 per cent of executives agree that

competition in the pay-TV industry is set
to increase over the next five years

71 per cent believe that service providers will

struggle to grow their businesses during
the same period

67 per cent of executives agree that

competition from SVoD services will have
a negative impact on pay-TV, pushing down prices
and increasing churn

66 per cent agree that we will see a new

wave of mobile-first services to cater to
evolving consumer viewing habits

50 per cent of executives believe content

piracy will lead to greater pressures on
the industry over the next five years (up from 41
per cent in 2016)

Service providers could stand to gain $7 billion

in unrealised pay-TV revenue annually, if at least
one in four consumers of pirated pay-TV services
would switch to a legitimate option.

72 per cent of pay-TV providers see the

benefits of engaging in anti-piracy activities

“It is clear that the industry

recognises the changing
nature of TV and the need
to adapt quickly in this fast-
changing environment”


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New TVB Europe size.indd 1 30/09/2017 14:46
New TVB Europe size.indd 1 30/09/2017 14:48