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Get the latest breaking news articles & headlines in broadcast, pro-audio & pro-AV from the Markertek News Channel including comment and analysis as well as podcasts, videos and blogs. We help tech-savvy multimedia professionals get the edge with our tech news, how-to's and new product releases. Daily brief. Weekly exclusive video.

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Yahoo/NBC Sports Sets Unique Users Record in August, NBC Revs up NASCAR Digital Numbers

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 17:25:08 -0400

The 2016 Rio Olympics, NASCAR, and the start of the Premier League season contributed to the Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network delivering 110 million unique users in the month of August, ranking No. 1 among all sports digital sites and believed to be the most ever in the sports category for any month, according to multiplatform data released by comScore. The Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network’s 110 million unique users in August is up 247% versus August 2012 for the London Olympics (31.9 million), up 93% from August 2015 (57.3 million), and up 36% versus the previous record in October 2015 (80.9 million).
 
The Yahoo Sports – NBC Sports Network also delivered 2.3 billion minutes of desktop video streamed, ranking No. 1 across the Sports category in August, up 268% over August 2015 (615 million).
 
As the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season races into its first playoff event this weekend in Chicago, NBC Sports Digital is lapping last year’s consumption figures in all key metrics.
 
Season to date, consumption of NASCAR content on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app, and connected devices have garnered nearly 59 million minutes and over 450,000 unique users, increases of 77% and 45%, respectively, compared to the same period last season. Connected device usage is also growing among NASCAR on NBC digital streamers, with 103,000 unique users, more than double the number of connected TV users at the same point in the 2015 season on NBC. In addition, connected TV users have streamed 13.5 million live minutes, up 87% versus the same period last season.
 
“Working closely with our partners at NASCAR Digital Media, we are encouraged to see that an increasing number of NASCAR fans are finding and enjoying our digital coverage,” said Troy Ewanchyna, VP, Digital, NBCSports.com. “We will continue to super serve NASCAR fans with state-of-the-art, digital trackside coverage along with a vast collection of video highlights.”
 
Through 10 races of NBC Sports’ Sprint Cup season, NBC Sports Digital has seen year-over-year growth in live minutes streamed for every race, and growth in unique users in eight races.
 
Live streaming of the Sprint Cup race from Pocono Raceway via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app stands as the best race ever on NBC Sports’ live streaming platforms with 6.7 million live minutes, up 173% vs. the same event in 2015.
 
The Sprint Cup race from Bristol Motor Speedway delivered a regular season record 72,000 unique users, more than doubling unique users vs. the 2015 Bristol race.
 
Weekly unique users for NASCAR.com have been up for eight consecutive weeks, starting with New Hampshire, an average increase of 31% each week.
 
Visits to the NASCAR Mobile App are up 34% season-to-date year over year.

Siemens to Pay 175k for Failing to Disclose Felonies

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:28:06 -0400

Siemens Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions have agreed to pay $175,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the companies failed to disclose corporate felony convictions as required by the Commission’s rules. Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries hold numerous FCC wireless licenses and were required to disclose prior criminal convictions for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and, separately, obstruction of justice on their applications.
 
“A felony conviction is a serious offense that the Commission considers when deciding whether a company is fit to hold a license or other authorization,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “It is our duty to ensure that any person or company that fails to submit candid, complete, and accurate information about their background – criminal or otherwise – will be held accountable.”
 
Under FCC rules, wireless license holders, like Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries, are required to disclose any felony convictions in their license applications. Such disclosures are important to the Commission’s role of ensuring that licenses to use wireless spectrum are provided to appropriate entities. Siemens, Siemens Medical, and some of their subsidiaries failed to meet their statutory and regulatory obligation to timely disclose its felony conviction on applications filed between 2007 and mid-2015.
 
The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation found that, in 2008, Siemens AG, the parent company of Siemens and Siemens Medical, pleaded guilty to criminal charges of violating the internal accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Some Siemens AG subsidiaries also pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiracy to violate provisions of the FCPA arising from bribes and kickbacks paid to foreign government officials to secure government contracts for projects like a national identity card in Argentina and telecommunications equipment in Bangladesh and Nigeria. That case resulted in Siemens AG paying $450 million in criminal fines to the United States Department of Justice and a $350 million disgorgement to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, in 2007, Siemens Medical pleaded guilty to a single federal charge of obstruction of justice in connection with a civil matter, paying $2.5 million in fines and restitution.
 
Siemens and Siemens Medical fully cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation. As part of today’s settlement, Siemens and Siemens Medical will pay a $175,000 fine. Both companies will also adopt a compliance plan to prevent future failures to disclose the felonies at issue or any other material factual information in future Commission license applications. The plan requires Siemens and Siemens Medical to develop and implement procedures to monitor compliance with the Commission’s rules governing the making of truthful and accurate statements to the Commission. The companies must also designate a senior manager as a compliance officer, develop a comprehensive training program, and report to the Enforcement Bureau regularly on compliance.

Sennheiser Launches New 27 series Broadcast Headsets

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 16:49:14 -0400

In the acoustic sealing of a closed, circumaural headset combined with a lightweight, comfortable design – this is the hallmark ofSennheiser’s all new 27 series broadcast headsets, which were introduced at this year’s IBC. The line comprises the HME 27 with electret microphone, HMD 27 with dynamic microphone and the HMDC 27, which is additionally fitted with NoiseGard active noise reduction. All headsets in the 27 series comply with the EC directive on noise in the workplace, and feature a fully modular design that is compatible with its sister line, the 26 series.
 
“The 27 series is our latest offering for commentators and high-quality intercom use,” said Nicole Fresen, product manager, Broadcast and Media. “Extensive field tests with broadcasters have shown that these models are outstanding in their combination of effective noise isolation with excellent comfort for the wearer.”
 
Unlike other closed, circumaural headset models on the market, the new 27 series is lightweight and compact, and will remain comfortable over long working hours. Soft earpads have been combined with Sennheiser’s classic ‘split’ headband, which opens automatically when the headset is put on and keeps the sensitive fontanelle area of the head free from pressure. For users who prefer a conventional headband, a wide headband padding is included that converts the two-piece headband into a single piece.
 
All three headsets comply with the EC directive on noise in the workplace, as they are fitted with a switchable ActiveGard function that protects the commentator against noise bursts. ActiveGard reliably detects noise peaks above 110 dB, and immediately compresses the signal to 110 dB, ensuring that any transmitted information remains fully comprehensible.
 
The 27 series headsets are fitted with high-quality microphones designed to minimize the pick up of noise in loud environments: The HME 27 has a pre-polarised condenser microphone with cardioid pick-up pattern (frequency response: 40 Hz to 20 kHz), while the HMD 27 and HMDC 27 possess a hyper-cardioid boom microphone with a frequency response of 40 Hz to 18 kHz.
 
The headphones have a wide frequency response of 8 to 18,000 Hz and a THD below 0.1 % (measured at 1 kHz, 100 dB SPL). They are fitted with a special cable, which has a small number of coils near the earcup that acoustically decouple the headphones from handling noise that would otherwise be transmitted through the cable.
 
The HMDC 27 with switchable NoiseGard active noise reduction is an ideal choice for commentator and camera work in loud environments. NoiseGard does not only increase intelligibility, it also protects the user’s hearing and avoids noise-induced stress and fatigue.
 
For ease of operation, the active noise reduction does not require batteries but is powered via the P48 power supply from the broadcast desk. “This is the only commercially available broadcast headset with ANR that has such convenient powering,” adds Fresen.
 
The design of the headsets is fully modular and compatible with the supra-aural 26 series, so that any existing cables can additionally be used with the new sister models. As the microphone booms are also compatible, broadcasters can ensure a consistent sound profile where both the 26 and 27 series are used.
 
The new HME 27, HMD 27 and HMDC 27 will become available later this month.

Shure Celebrates 50th Anniversary of SM58 Microphone

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 17:43:08 -0400

The Shure SM58 has been a foundational and formidable part of live performance for more than 50 years. To celebrate and honor five decades of the renowned sound, design, and durability of this iconic mic, Shure is announcing the introduction of a 50th Anniversary model, along with a variety of initiatives to engage and inspire loyal SM58 fans of all ages around the world.
 
Planned activities include:
 
- Charitable auction of specially-designed SM58 artist editions
- A comprehensive, multi-lingual website packed with historical information, artist photos, videos, and fan stories
- Customer engagement activities, including the ability for fans to share their experiences and memorable moments on social media and through a video project submission
- Special edition t-shirts and gear
 
The SM58-50A Limited Edition microphone touts all of the award-winning characteristics and technical specs of the SM58, and features a silver finish and printed denotation of the 50th Anniversary on the handle. Highlighting historically-inspired packaging, this model ships with a commemorative certificate, photo print, historical user guide, and a celebratory sticker.
 
In addition to this anniversary model, Shure will auction specially-designed SM58 artist microphone editions online, with the proceeds going to the charity of the artist’s choice.
 
“The SM58 has been at the center of unforgettable musical performances for 50 years and has left its mark on generations of audiences and performers,” says Soren Pedersen, Product Specialist at Shure. “Truly, it was born to perform, and any performer who picks up an SM58 in 2016 can depend on that same great sound that so many have shared in. We are thrilled and honored to celebrate this milestone and look forward to hearing about the experiences of SM58 fans from around the world.”

Sennheiser Intros Compact Microphone for Creating VR/AR Content

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:26:17 -0400

High-quality 3D audio that eliminates the boundaries between playback and reality – this is the promise of the AMBEO VR MIC that was showcased by Sennheiser at IBC 2016. Up until now, VR productions had to record immersive audio with quite complicated microphone set-ups. The AMBEO VR Mic puts everything into a compact and easy-to-use handheld – making it an ideal tool for any professional VR production. The microphone will become commercially available in November 2016.
 
“The demand for compact microphones that capture spatial audio to match visual 3D experiences has increased enormously in the recent past. For the user to gain a truly immersive experience, however, it is imperative that the sound within VR is also 3D,” says Kai Lange, product manager, Broadcast and Media. “The AMBEO VR microphone has been designed specifically for VR/AR purposes and enables VR content producers to capture the natural, immersive environment, providing a realistic and immersive experience for the user.”
 

The AMBEO VR Mic is an Ambisonics microphone that uses four carefully selected, matched capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. It is fully balanced and powered by 4x 48 volts phantom powering.
 
The handheld microphone comes complete with a split cable with four color-coded and labelled XLR connectors according to the capsule position, a Rycote suspension mount and a foam windshield.
 
Also included is the necessary encoding software that translates the A format file generated from the recording of the four microphone channels into a B format file W, X, Y, and Z. This format is recognized in the Ambisonics world, the W component being the omni and the X, Y, Z components being figure-of-eight capsules along three spatial axes. The A to B format encoder will be available in VST, AAX and AU plug-ins for the customer’s preferred digital audio workstation, and as a stand-alone version for Mac or Windows.
 
“To ensure that the AMBEO VR Mic is ‘right on target’ with what the AR/VR community needs, the entire development process was accompanied by intensive field testing with VR content producers,” explains Lange. “In fact, we have just concluded an extensive creators’ program with participants from across the international VR audio/video industry, who put the microphone through its paces.”
 
The AMBEO VR Mic targets VR production agencies, VR content creators, the Ambisonics community as well as studio engineers and owners, and will become available in November 2016.

Markertek Video of the Week:

Daily Tech Term Sponsored By Laird.

VoiceXML

Application of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) which, when combined with voice recognition technology, enables interactive access to the Web through a telephone or voice-driven browser. Created through a collaboration of AT&T, IBM, Lucent Technologies, and Motorola, who joined forces to create an open standard. The voice request activates an XML query and then the query result is converted back to a voice message to give the user the information requested. The goal is to make the exchange as natural as possible, as if two humans were interacting.

AJA IPR-1G-SDI JPEG 2000 IP Video and Audio to 3G-SDI Converter
IP Video & Audio to 3G-SDI Converter!
The IPR-1G-SDI is a VSF TR-01 (and other JPEG 2000 formats) to 3G-SDI converter suited for point of use applications including source monitoring, digital signage, and video walls. The IPR-1G-SDI decodes VSF TR-01 streams then formats the data for 3G-SDI output. The audio associated with the video stream is extracted, synchronized, and then embedded into the SDI stream as well as output on an analog RCA stereo interface.IPR-1G-SDI extracts a JPEG 2000 essence from an incoming IP stream and presents it for display on SDI devices. It's rugged, fanless, Mini-Converter design is ideal for placement in a wide range of display scenarios,...
AJA-IPR-1G-SDI$795.00


AJA RovoRx-SDI UltraHD/HD HDBaseT Receiver to 6G/3G-SDI & HDMI Frame Sync with PoH & Genlock
RovoCam Ready!
RovoRx-SDI is an UltraHD/HD HDBaseT Receiver with four integrated 6G/3G-SDI outputs and HDMI video and audio outputs specifically designed to receive RovoCam's output. Receive the RovoCam's video and audio up to 100m away from the camera, and output to SDI monitors, routers and recorders and HDMI TVs and devices. RovoRx-SDI also offers a DA (Distribution Amplifier) Mode for extensive output options. The HDBaseT connector on RovoRx-HDMI supports camera uncompressed video, audio, power, and control, all over a single Cat 5e/6 cable, greatly simplifying cabling and systems integration.RovoRx-SDI offers a lot of power for HDBaseT workfl...
AJA-ROVORX-SDI$995.00


Audio Technica ATW-1701 Camera-Mount Receiver - ATW-T1001 UniPak Transmitter
Rock Solid Performance!
Audio Technica System 10 Camera-Mount Digital Wireless System is a digital wireless system designed to provide rock-solid performance along with easy setup and clear, natural sound quality. Featuring a compact design, the system is available in handheld, lavalier and body-pack configurations. Operating in the 2.4 GHz range, far from TV and DTV interference, this system offers extremely easy operation and instantaneous channel selection. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency coordination problems or group selection issues.System 10 offers high-fidelity digital wireless for performing musicians and pres...
AT-ATW-1701$379.95


Chief LCM2X1U FUSION Large Ceiling Mounted 2 x 1 Menu Board
Perfect for Signage!
Chief's FUSION ceiling mounted solutions make it possible to construct menu boards in prominent locations where walls aren't available. Combine to easily create longer menu boards. Great for digital signage installations.Features:

  • Single drop for fast installation
  • Micro adjustable roll for perfect leveling +/- 3 degrees
  • 360 degree swivel for optimal viewing angles
  • Single horizontal extrusion keeps screens aligned
  • Tilting interfaces with Centris technology makes for easy adjustment for +5 / -20 degrees
  • Tool-free screen engagement
  • Secure displays with optional...
    CHF-LCM2X1U$496.80


Decimator Design DMON-12S 12 Channel 3G/HD/SD Multiviewer with SDI and HDMI Out
Multi-Task!
1 to 12 Channel Multi-Viewer with SDI and HDMI outputs for 3G/HD/SD and Custom Layouts, UMDs, Audio Meters, Graticules and TalliesDecimator Design is an Australian based company that is dedicated to the design and manufacture of advanced video broadcast solutions. Product such as the flagship Decimator and Now the Decimator 2 have set new industry standards for high-quality, cost effective broadcast equipment solutions. Not just satisfied with the success of the Decimator 2, Decimator Design has also added the award winning MD-Quad, MD-DUCC, MD-CROSS, DMON-4S, DMON-12S to its Impressive product line-up. ...
DEC-DMON-12S$1,295.00


ScopePrepared By The Markertek Engineering Department...

Color Grading 4K/UHD content is a critical step toward meeting your clients' growing expectations of content quality. With this short, easy to understand tutorial from Tektronix, you will learn simple ways to:

- Perform primary color grading with simple to use tools

- Perform quick adjustments & color correct your content

Primary color gradings usually start with spreading out the tonal range to its fullest natural extent. Images that don’t have this “spread” appear flat or washed out. To be able to do this tonal spread well, you need to have waveform monitors and vectorscopes. Preferably external Waveform Monitors, like the Tektronix WFM8200 and WVR8200 where you can easily and quickly see the information you want at the touch of a button.

Get the 4K Color Grading Guide Here!

Color Correcting your 4K Content

View Past Tech Tips


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