In Broadcast - March 2012 - 18


WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 6 - MARCH 2012

InPREVIEW
An ‘Evolutionary’ NAB
This year’s NAB, says Michael Grotticelli, will see a lot of improvements to hardware and software as vendors add value to their existing products.
With an ever-increasing number of portable devices capable of receiving and consuming video content and a competitive landscape that is seeing new players enter the game at every turn, today’s broadcasters are faced with more technical and operational challenges than ever before. In most cases they have to distribute multiple versions of this content – reliably and in a timely fashion with less staff – when consumers want it. The idea of previously scheduled viewing has gone the way of the rotary phone and analogue TV. Yet, the industry is still suffering from a weak economy and improved but still not great ad spending. That’s why, looking around the show floor this year, visitors will see a lot of new features and functionality added to existing products. In 2012, broadcasters appear to be in no mood to go out on a limb with new technology. Budgets are fairly limited - they plan to spend prudently. At this year’s NAB convention, broadcasters will be seeking out new technologies that can help them address this frenetic media consumption environment in the most efficient and cost effective way. That means automation, multichannel integrated automated playout solutions, remote Master Control and monitoring, as well as networked production and distribution environments based on service-oriented architectures (SOA) that facilitate expandable (cloud-based) storage, collaborative workflows and the creation of multiple versions of the same file to accommodate the wide array of media consumption devices in the marketplace. This “TV Everywhere” strategy has gained momentum around the world as cable, satellite and IPbased services vie for consumer’s attention (and subscription dollars). To make it a reality, however, it takes a great deal of planning and technology implementation. Numerous companies will be demonstrating high-definition servers and automated encoding platforms that can ingest once and distribute multiple streams of audio and video in the required formats. Some will also show different types of using adaptive bit rate streaming technology to ensure a steady and reliable path from broadcasters to the consumer’s handheld device. display, in all shapes, resolutions and sizes. With new types of HD camera models continuing to emerge from all corners of the technology spectrum and broadcasters’ budgets being reduced nearly every year, the prospect of offering ENG or studio cameras for more than $25,000 and finding a willing buyer are pretty much over. That’s’ why we’ll see an expanded range of small format cameras for news stations. There will also be a continued deluge of high-resolution, CMOS-based cameras for digital cinematography. Also, look for new 10x slow-motion cameras systems and at least one 8K camera, along with all of the 4K models introduced in past years. The most popular video production switchers have also grown smaller to accommodate a wider range of budgets. New models in the 1.5 to 2 M/E range will be shown, some with integrated multiviewer software to allow control rooms to view multiple sources simultaneously. Audio Loudness control will also be on virtually everyone’s shopping list, as governmental mandates in the U.S. (ATSC A/85) and Europe (EBU R128) have stimulated broadcasters to put safeguards in place to ensure compliance. Without such safeguards, broadcasters will be held accountable for inconsistent audio levels and will be fined heavily for any infractions. For all of those naysayers who think 3D is simply a fad, NAB 2012 will see all types of technology to produce 3D projects on display in
Michael Grotticelli

Las Vegas; including integrated camera systems (one lens, two CCD or CMOS paths) and stereoscopic 3D camera rigs that are smaller and easier to shoot from the shoulder. This is important as 3D producers continue to struggle with limited camera positions at the live venue and the need to get closer to the action in order to make 3D really work for viewers. A wide selection of new editing tools for 3D will also be present, as the capability to gets more accessible to a wider range of users.

State Of The Industry

18

Infrastructure

Another big key for broadcasters is the continued migration to 3 Gbps infrastructures, which allows a broadcaster or content distributor to handle almost any type of video file. In fact, at 1.5 Gbps each, stations could send out two streams. This is important for future growth into areas like the highest quality HD signals (1080p/60) as well as 3D. The latter is years away from daily broadcast into consumers’ homes, but the technology appears to have staying power for live sporting events (like the Olympics) and digital cinema presentations. To meet the demand for more video across all platforms, a full spectrum of cameras will be on

According to many vendor representatives going to the show, this year’s NAB convention will be an “evolutionary” one, whereby we won’t see a lot of totally new products, but improvements to existing hardware models and software platforms. Like broadcasters themselves, manufacturers of broadcast equipment appear to have cut back on R&D spending and staffing, due to the challenging economy around the world. NAB conventions have always served as a measuring stick for the current state of the industry and where it is headed. How soon broadcasters reach their individual goals is anyone’s guess. However, one thing’s for sure, there will be something for everyone. ■ Michael Grotticelli regularly reports on the broadcast and professional video production industries.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - March 2012

In Broadcast - March 2012
Contents
Ross Video Acquires FX-Motion
MAM Systems Continue To Simplify Operations
Penta 725 IP Router Helps Hold Down Costs
Reidel MediorNet Compact To Debut At NAB
Sachtler Ensure A Professional Broadcast Feel
Pioneering Products From RTS/TELEX
Loudness Measurement And Logging
In2Connect UK Managing Director & Consultant For Bryant Broadcast
The VAR Network: Identify And Engage Globally
In Broadcast - March 2012 - In Broadcast - March 2012
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 2
In Broadcast - March 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - March 2012 - Ross Video Acquires FX-Motion
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - 23
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 24
In Broadcast - March 2012 - MAM Systems Continue To Simplify Operations
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 27
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 28
In Broadcast - March 2012 - Penta 725 IP Router Helps Hold Down Costs
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 30
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - 32
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 33
In Broadcast - March 2012 - Reidel MediorNet Compact To Debut At NAB
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - 36
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 37
In Broadcast - March 2012 - Sachtler Ensure A Professional Broadcast Feel
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - Pioneering Products From RTS/TELEX
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - Loudness Measurement And Logging
In Broadcast - March 2012 - 59
In Broadcast - March 2012 - In2Connect UK Managing Director & Consultant For Bryant Broadcast
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In Broadcast - March 2012 - The VAR Network: Identify And Engage Globally
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