In Broadcast - January 2016 - 22


22

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 6 - Issue 1 | January 2016

InStudio

Production Infrastructure
The television studio format may have changed relatively little over
the years, but Contributing Editor Kevin Hilton examines recent key
trends in the underlying production technology...

O

n the face of it the way television
programmes are produced has
not changed massively over 70 or so
years. Nor have the studios where
the bulk of the work is done - the
template for a studio space and gallery
connected to a master control room
is still followed to a greater or lesser
degree. What has changed - and
continues to change - is the way signals
are moved through broadcast centres
and then on to transmission.
This - coupled with the proliferation
of both TV channels and other outlets,
including mobile and streaming
platforms, plus social media - is now
bringing about a major reappraisal
of how feeds are routed and carried
through the production chain.
As Tim Felstead, Head of Product
Marketing at SAM (Snell Advanced
Media), observes, all this demands
greater
productivity
for
many
more destinations than in the past,
sometimes with fewer staff and
reduced facilities.
"The trend is clearly to be able
to produce more content, across
more platforms, with less - the same
headcount perhaps, but less physical
equipment," he says. "Indeed, you
could argue that on the playout side
it's similar, only the requirement

"...The trend is clearly
to be able to produce
more content, across
more platforms,
with less,"
Tim Felstead, SAM

SAM Kahuna Maverik flexible production
switcher panel

is playout flexibility in terms of
platforms. Each installation and
business case has to be looked at
carefully before progressing."
The situation is further complicated
by what Felstead calls "a fractured
world of formats", with UHD, HD,
SD, interlaced and progressive, plus
numerous frame rates, all co-existing.
SAM produces the Kahuna range of
production switchers, which are able
to handle a variety of these, plus
multiple outputs, all under the control
of one technician. "Technology is
becoming more complex to achieve
this, therefore as a supplier we have to
understand what a customer actually
needs to move their business forward,"
Felstead says.
Jan Eveleens, Chief Executive of
Axon Digital Design, agrees that the
increase in TV channels is influencing
the design and implementation of
production infrastructures, but adds
there are technical considerations as
well. "The processing and signalling
gets more complex as these channels
are repurposed for different delivery
platforms," he explains, "each having
its own specific features, requirements
and peculiarities in terms of video
formats, audio formats, meta [data]
and control data. More and more it is
not so much about the quality of video
and audio but more about the proper
handling - including proper timing and
switch over effects - of the meta and
signalling data associated with video
and audio."
EVS has become an integral part
of broadcast production set-ups over
the last 20 years through its recorderserver-replay systems. It is now
offering a fuller infrastructure with
C-Cast, which, says Vice President of
Product Marketing James
Stellpflug, is not designed
to manage the apps on
devices but to provide "the
plumbing".
By working in conjunction
with IP Director it creates
what he describes as an
"overarching platform" able
to send clips to numerous
destitutions, while the main
business of production goes
on in the background.

"All material becomes available and
is managed from one place," Stellpflug
explains. "We typically see it for live
events, including news, with pieces
edited quickly and published to the
website, with a different version for
later broadcast. C-Cast is one of our
core multi-media platforms and is part
of the shift from linear production
to new, emerging content channels.
which have to deal with usergenerated content."
At the higher end UHD is
concentrating
the
minds
of
broadcasters and manufacturers alike,
with the need to route high bandwidth
4K signals. Momentum is growing
in this market sector, with the UK
seeing competition hotting up as Sky
follows the lead of its rival BT Sport
by preparing for a move into UHD,
although its 4K channel on the new Sky
Q platform is not expected until later
this year. "UHD remains at the top of
most broadcasters' lists, with many
now putting specific UHD studios and
control rooms in place," comments
Simon Westland, Director of Sales for
Europe, the Middle East and Africa at
Blackmagic Design (BMD). "Handling
the bandwidth of UHD, especially at
higher frame rates, has an impact
on technology decisions. This year
we have been through pretty much
every aspect of our product range and
incorporated 12G-SDI, which supports
single cable connectivity for the
2160p/60Hz format."
BMD
supplied
infrastructure
equipment for German satellite
service pearl/tv's recent move into
UHD, including the ATEM 2 M/E 4K
broadcast switcher, 4K studio cameras
and the Ultra Studio 4K Extreme video
capture and playback system. "Any of
our existing SDI runs that were longer
than two metres had to go and were
replaced with premium 12G-SDI coax,"
explains pearl.tv General Manager
Dr Michael Sichler. "This ensured full
signal integrity throughout our entire
4K production chain."
Anyone contemplating installing a
new production infrastructure - or,
even trickier, upgrading an existing
installation - is faced with the difficult
choice between the ever growing
area of IP distribution and SDI, which

Blackmagic Design kit is 12G-SDI ready

is well-established but increasingly
limited in its capacity and capabilities
when faced with growing demands
for more channels and greater data
handling. Westland observes that SDI
is still the "backbone of broadcast,
post and studio facilities", with the
cost of replacing such infrastructures
still "enormous". But, he says, IP
remains "an increasingly talked about
requirement", although it is not at the
point of taking over fully just yet.
Brick Eksten, Chief Product Officer at
Imagine Communications, agrees that
SDI "isn't dead", commenting that such
an assertion - as was made by several
exhibitors on banners at IBC2015 - is
akin to saying "cars are dead and we'll
all use hoverboards". While saying
the switch from SDI will not be a fast
process, Eksten points to the benefits
offered by IP, including more flexibility
and the ability to carry greater
amounts of data, with more attractive
costs per stream.

Imagine Communications
IP3 hybrid system


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - January 2016

In Broadcast - January 2016 - Intro
In Broadcast - January 2016 - Cover1
In Broadcast - January 2016 - Cover2
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 3
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 4
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 5
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 6
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 7
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 8
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 9
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 10
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 11
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 12
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 13
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 14
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 15
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 16
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 17
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 18
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 19
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 20
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 21
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 22
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 23
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 24
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 25
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 26
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 27
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 28
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 29
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 30
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 31
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 32
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 33
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 34
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 35
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 36
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 37
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 38
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 39
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 40
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 41
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 42
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 43
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 44
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 45
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 46
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 47
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 48
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 49
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 50
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 51
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 52
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 53
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 54
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 55
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 56
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 57
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 58
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 59
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 60
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 61
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 62
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 63
In Broadcast - January 2016 - 64
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S14
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S1
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S2
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S3
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S4
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S5
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S6
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S7
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S8
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S9
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S10
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S11
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S12
In Broadcast - January 2016 - S13
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202309
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202308
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202307
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202306
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202305
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202304
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202303
https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202302
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https://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_202212
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http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201908
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY3
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY2
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-DAY1
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-VISITOR
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201906
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/CTA-PREVIEW
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201905
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201904
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201903
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2019
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201902
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201901
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201812
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201811
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NewYork2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201810
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201809
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201808
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201806
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201805
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201804
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201803
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201802
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2018
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201801
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201712
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201711
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201710
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201709
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_inshowguide2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201708
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201707
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201705
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOW2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201704
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_cabsat2017
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201703
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201702
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201701
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_INREVIEW2016
http://europe.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_201612
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/lesommet/inbroadcast_NABSHOWNYexpo
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