Video: Working remotely in a crisis

We’ve perhaps all seen the memes that the ‘digital transformation’ of a company is not because of ‘leadership vision’, adapting to the competition, but rather ‘Covid-19’. Whilst this is both trite yet often true, there is value in understanding what broadcast companies have done to deal with the pandemic virus and COVID-19.

Robert Ambrose introduces and talks to our guests to find out how their companies have changed to accommodate remote working. First to speak is Jack Edney of The Farm Group, a post production company. They looked closely at the communication needed within the organisation, managing priorities of tasks and maintaining safety and resources. Jack shows how the stark difference between pre- and during- lockdown workflows seeing how much they are now remote. Jack explains how engaged his technical teams have been in making this work very quickly.

Brian Leonard from IMG has done much the same as IMG have moved towards remote working as they have changed from 300 people on site to around 3 people on site and everything else remote. Brian talks about how they’d expanded into a local building in order to make life easier in the earlier days. He then considers the pros and cons of being reliant on a significant freelance staff – that being the option of using their pre-existing equipment at home. Finally we look at how their computer-based SimplyLive production software allows them the immediate ability to remotely produce video.

OWNZONES is up next with Rick Phelps who gives a real example of a customer’s workflow which was on-premise showing the before and after diagrams for when this moved remotely. These workflows were extended into the cloud by, say, using proxies and editing using an EDL, encoding and amending metadata all in the cloud. Rick suggests that this is both a short-term trend but suggests much will remain like this in the longer-term.

Finally, Johan Sundström from Yle in Finland takes to the stand to give a point of view from a public broadcaster. He explains how
they have created guest booths near their main entrance connected to the new channels so facilitate low-contact interviews. Plexiglass is being installed in control rooms and people are doing their own makeup. He also highlights some apps which allow for remote contribution of audio. They are also using software-based mixers like the Tricaster plus Skype TX to keep producers connected and involved in their programmes. The session concludes with a Q&A.

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Speakers

Jack Edney Jack Edney
Operations Director,
The Farm Group
Johan Sundström Johan Sundström
Head of Technology Vision,
Yle Finland
Rick Phelps Rick Phelps
Chief Commercial Officer,
OWNZONES
Brian Leonard Brian Leonard
Head of Engineering: Post and Workflows
IMG
Robert Ambrose Robert Ambrose
Managing Consultant,
High Green Media

Video: The End of Broadcast? Broadcast to IP Impacts

It’s very clear that internet streaming is growing, often resulting in a loss of viewership by traditional over-the-air broadcast. This panel explores the progress of IP-delivered TV, the changes in viewing habits this is already prompting and looks at the future impacts on broadcast television as a result.

Speaking at the IABM Theatre at IBC 2019, Ian Nock, chair of IET Media, sets the scene. He highlights stats such as 61% of Dutch viewing being non-linear, DirecTV publicly declaring they ‘have bought their last transponder’ and discusses the full platform OTT services available in the market place now.

To add detail to this, Ian is joined by DVB, the UK’s DTG and Germany’s Television Platform dealing with transformation to IP within Germany. Yvonne Thomas, from the Digital Television Group, takes to the podium first who starts by talking about the youngest part of the population who have a clear tendency to watch streamed services over broadcast compared to other generations. Yvonne talks about research showing UK consumers being willing to have 3 subscriptions to media services which is not in line with the number and fragmented nature of the options. She then finishes with the DTG manifesto for a consolidated and thus simplified way of accessing multiple services.

Peter Siebert from DVB looks at the average viewing time averaged over Europe which shows that the amount of time spent watching linear broadcast is actually staying stable – as is the amount of time spent watching DVDs. He also exposes the fact that the TV itself is still very much the most used device for watching media, even if it’s not RF-delivered. As such, the TV still provides the best quality of video and shared experience. Looking at history to understand the future, Peter shows a graph of cinema popularity before and after the introduction of television. Cinema was, indeed, impacted but importantly it did not die. We are left to conclude that his point is that linear broadcast will similarly not disappear, but simply have a different place in the future.

Finally, head of the panel session, Andre Prahl explains the role of the Deutsche TV-Plattform who are focussing on ‘media over IP’ with respect to delivery of video to end user both in terms of internet bandwidth but also Wi-Fi frequencies within the home.

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This panel was produced by IET Media, a technical network within the IET which runs events, talks and webinars for networking and education within the broadcast industry. More information

Speakers

Andre Prahl André Prahl
Deutsche TV-Plattform
Peter Siebert Peter Siebert
Head of Technology,
DVB Project
Yvonne Thomas Yvonne Thomas
Strategic Technologist
Digital TV Group
Ian Nock Moderator: Ian Nock
Chair,
IET Media Technical Network

Video: ATSC 3.0 – What You Need to Know

ATSC 3.0 is the next sea change in North American broadcasting, shared with South Korea, Mexico and other locations. Depending on your viewpoint, this could be as fundamental as the move to digital lockstep with the move to HD programming all those years ago. ATSC 3.0 takes terrestrial broadcasting in to the IP world enabling traditional broadcast to be mixed with internet-based video, entertainment and services as part of one, seamless, experience.

ATSC 3.0 is gaining traction in the US and some other countries as a way to deliver digital video within a single traditional VHF channel – and with the latest 3.0 version, this actually moves to broadcasting IP packets over the air.

Now ready for deployment, in the US ATSC 3.0 is now at a turning point. With a number of successful trials under its belt, it’s now time for the real deployments to start. In this panel discussion as part from TV Technology looks at the groups of stations working together to deploy the standard.

The ‘Transition Guide‘ document is one of the first topics as this video tackles. With minimum in technical detail, this document explains how ATSC 3.0 is intended to work in terms of spectrum, regulatory matters and its technical features and makeup. We then have a chance to see the ‘NextGenTV’ logo released in September for equipment which is confirmed compliant with ATSC 3.0.

ATSC 3.0 is a suite of standards and work is still ongoing. There are 27 standards completed or progress ranging from the basic system itself to captions to signalling. A lot of work is going in to replicating features of the current broadcast systems like full implementation of the early alert system (EAS) and similar elements.

It’s well known that Phoenix Arizona is a test bed for ATSC and next we hear an update on the group of 12 stations which are participating in the adoption of the standard, sharing experiences and results with the industry. We see that they are carrying out trial broadcasts at the moment and will be moving into further testing, including with SFNs (Single Frequency Networks) come 2020. We then see an example timeframe showing an estimated 8-12 months needed to launch a market.

The video approaches the end by looking at case studies with WKAR and ARK multicasting, answering questions such as when will next-gen audio be available, the benefit of SFNs and how it would work with 5G and a look at deploying immersive audio.

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Speakers

Pete Sockett Pete Sockett
Director of Engineering & Operations,
WRAL-TV, Raleigh
Mark Aitken Mark Aitken
Senior VP of Advanced Technology, Sinclair Broadcast Group
President of ONE Media 3.0
Dave Folsom Dave Folsom
Consultant,
Pearl TV
Lynn Claudy Lynn Claudy
Chairman of the ATSC board
Senior VP, Technology at NAB
Tom Butts Tom Butts
Content Director,
TV Technology

Video: ATSC 3.0

“OTT over the air” – ATSC 3.0 deployment has started in the US and has been deployed in Korea. Promising to bring interactivity and ‘internet-style’ services to broadcast TV, moreover allowing ‘TV’ to transition to mobile devices. To help understand what ATSC 3.0 enables, NABShow Live brings together Sinclair’s Mark Aitken, Bill Hayes from Iowa Public Television and SMPTE’s Thomas Bause Mason all of which are deeply involved in the development of ATSC 3.0.

The panelists dive in to what ATSC 1 was and how we get to 3.0, outlining the big things that have changed. One key thing is that broadcasters can now choose how robust the stream is, balanced against bandwidth. Not only that but multiple streams with different robustnesses are possible for the same channel. This allows ATSC 3.0 to be tailored to your market and support different business models.

ATSC 3.0, as Bill Hayes says was ‘built to evolve’ and to deal with new standards as they come along and was at pains to point out that all these advancements came without any extra spectrum allocations. Thomas outlined that not only is SMPTE on the board of ATSC, but the broadcast standards upstream of distribution now need to work and communicate with downstream. HDR, for instance, needs metadata and the movement of that is one of the standards SMPTE has formed. As Mark Aitken says ‘the lines are blurring’ with devices at the beginning of the end of the chain both being responsible for correct results on the TV.

The session ends by asking what the response has been from broadcasters. Are they embracing the standard? After all, they are not obliged to use ATSC 3.0.
Thomas say that interest has picked up and that large and small networks are now showing more interest with 50 broadcasters already having committed to it.

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Speakers

Thomas Bause Mason Thomas Bause Mason
Director Standards Development,
SMPTE
Bill Hayes Bill Hayes
Director of Engineering & Technology
Iowa Public Television
Mark Aitken Mark Aitken
SVP of Advanced Technology,
Sinclair Broadcast Group
Linda Rosner Linda Rosner
Managing Director,
Artisans PR