TBS Adds 6X Cameras to American League Playoff Arsenal
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:43:06 -0400
Ending a 29-year drought, the Kansas City Royals return to playoff baseball tonight against the Oakland A’s. TBS will be in Kansas City to capture tonight’s American League Wild Card Game and will continue its exclusive coverage of the American League Playoffs on Thursday with the American League Division Series: a doubleheader featuring the Detroit Tigers at the Baltimore Orioles, followed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hosting either the Royals or the A’s. The American League Championship Series begins Friday Oct. 10.
This postseason, TBS plans to focus its technological efforts on getting the fans as close to the game, and the players, as possible. For the first time, the network will deploy four Grass Valley LDX 6X high-frame-rate cameras for the Wild Card Game and ALDS, six for the ALCS.
The cameras give TBS the ability to replay various speeds from a single camera angle and capture six times the amount of slow motion than the normal replay device.
“As technology progresses, we continue to take advantage of it,” says Craig Barry, SVP of production/executive creative director, Turner Sports. “We’re at a place now where slow-motion technology is passing a lot more frame rate at a much higher resolution. So we’re able to leverage that into a better-quality picture at slower speeds. The transfer of data has become easier and more efficient. Therefore, it translates to a better-looking picture at a slower speed.
TBS will deploy a total of 20 cameras, including one RF camera, robotic cameras, and a blimp for each ALDS. For the American League Championship Series, the camera complement increases to approximately 28 cameras, including two 3X super-slow-motion, two RF, and up to seven robotic units.
One camera that will not return is “Truss Cam,” introduced during last year’s postseason. After evaluating the camera, which was mounted on a trolley that ran along a track outside the outfield wall, Barry’s team opted not to continue with the technology this year. “I didn’t think there were any real groundbreaking shots that came from that camera,” says Barry. “There were some really cool, interesting shots, but I don’t think it changed the way we did coverage or enhanced the way we did coverage. I would rather put more money into more super-slo-mos, higher-quality super-slo-mos, more centerfield cable cameras, [etc.].”
SES Joins The Clinton Global Initiative
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:58:32 -0400
SES S.A. has become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation. At the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting, held in New York City, SES announced its Commitment to Action, in the form of the e-health platform SATMED.
SATMED is a satellite-enhanced, cloud-computing based Telemedicine platform that aims to improve the access to and simplify the use of e-health. SATMED will provide a range of e-health services at different levels: satellite connectivity for remote areas with no internet connectivity, e-health and m-health tools developed with the support of doctors, and tools developed by international communities for providing universal access to e-care, e-learning, e-health administration, and e-health financing. SATMED will also provide access to cloud services for secure data storage, exchange, and data backup.
SES is developing SATMED in close cooperation with several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), namely Friendship, German Doctors, Médecins Sans Frontières, Archemed, and Fondation Follerau Luxembourg. During a pilot phase, the complete system, incorporating satellite terminal equipment and software platform, will be deployed to partner organizations, including NGOs, hospitals, medical universities, and other health care providers that are active in resource-poor areas. Up to 15 satellite terminals will be installed in project locations in Bangladesh, Benin, Eritrea, Guinea, the Philippines, and Sierra Leone. Partner organizations will use SATMED to improve access to medical care, reinforce their medical training programs, make health management more effective and quality assured, and/or upgrade their collection, management, and vizualisation of data.
Turner Sports Taps Into Open Internet for PGA.com Ryder Cup Streaming
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:58:52 -0400
Turner Sports is on the scene at The Ryder Cup in support of PGA.com and its streaming channel of four-hole coverage from The Ryder Cup. It’s also making use of the open Internet for transmission to Atlanta courtesy of Zixi technology.
“We reconfigured our racks here so they can do eight channels of video out of each, and then we are using Zixi to encapsulate the stream and send it back to the U.S. over the Internet,” explains Tom Sahara, VP, operations and technology, Turner Sports. “The innovation here is that we usually don’t have this large a number of feeds.”
All told, there are 12 feeds being sent to Atlanta and four channels of return feed. CTV’s OB7 production trailer is used for signal routing and monitoring.
The four-hole coverage begins tomorrow and continues through the entire event. Holes 2, 8, 13, and 17 will be featured with a selection of between four and six camera feeds from each hole. As the groups pass through the four holes, coverage will rotate to the most important action.
The signals will be sent to a control room in Atlanta where the camera signals will be mixed and graphics and commentary will be added. Scoring data will also be sent across the pond to allow scoring graphics to be automatically generated.
“We also have a roving reporter on the course with an RF camera who is being directed from Atlanta and following stories under the direction of producer Matt Cain,” adds Sahara.
PGA.com crews also are working in the media center, creating feature stories and highlights packages via Apple Final Cut Pro. That content is being uploaded to the Web from Gleneagles.
The use of the Zixi system points to both the potential and limitations of using the open Internet for video transport. The system takes the video and audio output and converts it into IP packets prior to sending it over the Internet. Among its features are being based on User Datagram Protocol (UDP), providing end-to-end time synchronization, removing jitter, and being able to intelligently sequence packets. And, while there is some inevitable packet loss, the results are fine for a streaming-only production that is taking part during a busy season for Turner Sports, with the MLB Playoffs about to begin and preparations for the NBA regular season shifting into overdrive.
“The magic is how they segment the video and the receivers bring the video in and put the packets in the right order,” says Sahara. “And, because this is streaming on the Web only, there is more tolerance for latency than if it was being broadcast.”
DTV Audio Group Forum to Appear at Upcoming 137th AES Convention
Wed, 24 Sep 2014 10:21:18 -0400
The Audio Engineering Society announces the return of the DTVAG (DTV Audio Group) – an organization of senior-level broadcast network executives promoting best practices and successful strategies for digital television audio production and delivery – to its special events roster at the upcoming 137th Audio Engineering Society Convention, taking place October 9-12, 2014, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Expanding on the popularity of last year’s debut, the DTVAG forum will continue to discuss the hot topic of streaming content delivery and its impact on today’s TV landscape. The forum is produced by the DTV Audio Group in association with the Sports Video Group (SVG) and sponsored by Calrec, Dolby Laboratories, DTS, Lawo and Linear Acoustic.
Some of today’s brightest minds in television audio will participate in this year’s forum, entitled: “DTV Audio Group Forum: The Implications of Streamed Content Delivery on the Evolution of Television.” This event will take a look at the way content delivery is increasingly following a streamed model and being deployed with very short lead times via a virtualized delivery infrastructure, which allows for further advancements in related broadcast services including audio quality, spatially immersive sound, personalization and bandwidth efficiency. A series of five engaging panels, presentations and discussions will dig deep into each topic, and teach attendees about some of the tools and workflow approaches required to manage and exploit the capabilities of next-generation audio standards and take television audio into the future.
Commenting on the state of streamed content delivery and the common thread among each forum topic, DTV Audio Group Executive Director Roger Charlesworth notes, “The explosive growth in streamed content delivery over mobile and fixed devices has re-written the playbook for television media distribution. Streaming delivery models are also inexorably finding their way into existing cable services and are being written into next-generation advanced television standards. The migration from traditional broadcasting to an IP stream-based model greatly simplifies implementation, and, combined with tablet-empowered UI, frees distributors to pursue a range of formats and encoding solutions with sophisticated interactive and object-oriented audio services. Our forum at AES137 will address the current and future direction of these trends and their implications for manufacturers, broadcast professionals and end users alike.”
Tata Communications Achieves Live F1 4K Feed over Fiber
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:58:44 -0400
Tata Communications continues to drive technology innovation by delivering a live 4K feed from a Formula 1 event. This landmark was achieved during Practice Session 1 at the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, where live footage was delivered end-to-end over Tata Communications’ Global Video Connect Network, to Formula One Management’s (FOM) Technical HQ in Biggin Hill, UK. Demonstrated to an exclusive group of broadcasters, the live delivery highlighted the next generation 4K broadcast capabilities afforded by fiber-optic cable, as well as illustrating how the future of 4K sports broadcasting could look.
“Last year we were able to showcase our broadcast capabilities by transmitting a live JPEG 2000 feed from the same Grand Prix in Singapore,” says Mehul Kapadia, Managing Director F1 Business, Tata Communications. “This year we have taken a huge step in next generation broadcast with the first-ever transmission of a live 4K feed from a Formula One event. It is another milestone in our journey with Formula One Management and shows the real potential of sports broadcasting over our Video Connect Network, as well as the quality and speed by which it can be delivered.”
4K broadcasting promises high-resolution definition, but also presents the challenge of significantly increased bandwidth demand. Typically, Tata Communications provides 120 megabits per second (mbps) for JPEG 2000. During the Biggin Hill showcase, Tata Communications provided 500 mbps for a single feed, a capability that was only made possible thanks to the company’s global Video Connect network, delivering video and converged IP services seamlessly for high quality sports events.
“Formula One racing is the pinnacle of cutting edge technology, and provides the ultimate showcase for innovation,” says John Morrison, Formula One Management’s Chief Technical Officer. “4K is an exciting new technology which could have great potential when it comes to sports broadcasting. We are focused on giving F1 fans the best possible experience, which is why we are pleased to be supporting Tata Communications in bringing 4K closer to reality.”