Fox Sports Go Launches on Apple TV; Adds 60 fps, Multiview Display Features
Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:00:37 -0400
FOX Sports GO has launched on Apple TV (4th generation) in the U.S. Apple TV customers who receive FOX Sports TV networks as part of their pay-TV subscription will now be able to access FOX Sports, FS1, FS2, FOX Sports Regional Networks, FOX College Sports, FOX Deportes, and FOX Soccer Plus on Apple TV through the FOX Sports GO app.
The full slate of FOX Sports programming will be available to Apple TV customers, including more than 3,000 live events, as well as hundreds of hours of studio shows and original content. Live programming includes the NFL, MLB, UFC, NASCAR, Big 12 and Pac-12 Football, Big East Basketball, FIFA World Cup, and UEFA Champions League soccer. Subject to local availability, customers will also have access to full seasons of hometown MLB, NBA, and NHL telecasts.
FOX Sports GO on Apple TV also debuts several new features not previously available. Highlights include a 60 fps streaming rate and Multiview Display, which provides the capability to watch up to four FOX Sports live streams on one screen at the same time.
“Apple TV will be a game changer for viewing live sports, delivering up to four simultaneous streams for fans watching their favorite teams,” says Devin Poolman, SVP, Product Development, FOX Sports Digital. “FOX Sports GO users will also be able to watch at a remarkably fluid 60 frames per second.”
More than 95 million users across the U.S. have access to FOX Sports GO through their participating pay-TV providers. FOX Sports GO for Apple TV (4th generation) is available now and can be downloaded directly from the App Store on Apple TV. The FOX Sports GO iOS app is available on iPhone and iPad, and can be downloaded from the App Store.
Live From Rio 2016: NHK Takes 8K Production to New Level
Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:30:58 -0400
If it’s a major global sports event, there is a pretty good chance NHK is on hand with an 8K production team. This was true at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a couple of exciting developments: the Japanese broadcaster had two 8K production teams and four production vehicles, two for video and two for audio.
“For the first time in history, Brazil held the Olympic Games and gave the great opportunity to us to perform a wonderful exposure of some of the many sports that are part of this great event,” says NHK 8K Chief Producer Susumu Matsumoto. “With the help of OBS, we produced extraordinary content that was successfully delivered to the IBC 8K theater as well as to viewers in Japan.”
The two trucks provided a lot of 8K coverage: the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, basketball, judo, athletics, swimming, and football. The content was delivered as part of a test of 8K satellite broadcasting, with the Ceremonies and portions of athletics and swimming broadcast live in Japan. The 8K production efforts also played a part in serving the needs of 4K viewers: all the 8K content was downconverted to 4K/5.1-channel surround sound and made available the next day by OBS as a 4K service to broadcasters.
The audio truck brought the biggest improvement to the operations. Previously, it was difficult to have an onsite audio-production facility truly designed for 8K’s unique 22.2-channel–audio mixing needs.
Both the onsite audio units have 78-in. projection screens with permeable screens so the audio signals from the KS Digital audio monitors can be easily heard and adjusted by the mixer. One of the trucks has a Lawo mc²66 console; the other, a console from Japanese manufacturer Tamura. The latter has a custom meter bridge that is low enough to not block the speakers located below the screen.
OBS provided NHK with all the available audio signals for a venue, and then NHK adds in another 40-60 channels of its own microphones (including the camera mics). One innovation was “microphone trees” that include different types of microphones, such as omni, cardioid, hyper cardioid, and shotgun. Each tree has eight to 12 microphones arrayed in two or three layers, and three or four of those trees are placed in the venue in various locations.
Two NHK crews worked on the productions, one with 23 people and the other with 25. In addition, a four-person ENG crew gathered material around Rio, and a 12-person crew at the IBC technical operations center handled quality control and other transmission to Tokyo.
The big question with 8K is how much data it takes to route the signals. It is still a tremendous amount of bandwidth, but progress is being made. The un-compressed video signal for each production, for example, was sent from the venues to the IBC via 24-Gbps Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM).
And then there is getting the signal to Tokyo and out to viewers. Redundant 280-Mbps signals were sent via fiber (one through Russia, the other via the Pacific Ocean) to NHK in Tokyo and then from there to six locations with a public viewing theater. And all the 8K content was also available via over-the-air TV broadcasts by NHK local stations.
Rio Ratings Roundup: NBC's 'TAD' Represents Second-Highest Audience Ever for Non-U.S. Summer Games, Trailing London 2012
Thu, 25 Aug 2016 05:21:00 -0400
NBC Olympics’ Total Audience Delivery (TAD) – which averages minute viewing across broadcast, cable, and digital – for the 15 nights of the 2016 Rio Olympics averaged 27.5 million viewers. That ranks as the second-highest average audience on record for the primetime competition coverage for any non-domestic Summer Games, trailing only the 2012 London Olympics (30.3 million viewers) and besting the 2008 Beijing Games (27.2M), 1992 Barcelona Games (26.4M), 1988 Seoul Games (25.8M), 2004 Athens Games (24.9M), and 200 Sydney Games (21.5M). In total, 78% of U.S. TV homes tuned into NBC Olympics’ Rio Games coverage – which had a TV-only audience of 198 million viewers.
The peak of the 15 days worth of coverage came on Aug. 9, when NBC averaged 36.1 million TAD viewers and 33.4 million NBC broadcast viewers for its coverage, which featured swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky capturing gold medals and gymnast Simone Biles helping to lead the U.S. women’s team to victory. That night averaged 36.1 million viewers in the TAD measure, most of which came from NBC (33.4 million).
NAB Show New York Launches Live Streaming Conference; Facebook Executive Bob Gruters Will Keynote
Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:02:32 -0400
Produced by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and held November 9-10 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City, the 2016 NAB Show New York will host the inaugural Live Streaming Conference on Wednesday, November 9. Facebook executive Bob Gruters, U.S. group lead, Tech/Telco, Entertainment, and Multicultural, will keynote the event.
Produced in association with Digital Media Wire, the one-day Live Streaming Conference will address a multitude of topics related to live streaming video and feature pertinent research, case studies, keynote presentations, panel sessions, and discussions between industry leaders. In addition, the conference will explore the latest methods that content creators, brands, and marketers are using to build, grow, engage, and monetize their audiences via live streaming video.
Geared toward broadcasters, cable companies, technologists, digital media professionals, agencies and content owners, the conference will feature the latest insights and research around the state of live streaming, how to build audiences, current best practices for analytics, newest forms of content distribution, and the latest monetization strategies.
Thanks to the rise of mobile, people are now expecting, if not demanding, that communication be more immediate, expressive, and immersive. Facebook is at the forefront of mobile video, with 100 million hours of video watched on the platform each day. In this session, Gruters will share a unique view on the future of mobile video, upcoming video formats such as live streaming, and what brands should do to keep pace and understand the value of their mobile video efforts.
“Live streaming technology is providing new ways for content owners and broadcasters to reach new audiences and better serve their core viewers,” said Chris Brown, NAB executive vice president, Conventions and Business Operations. “NAB Show New York will provide valuable insights on today’s media landscape that will inspire and inform attendees in the development of media strategies and business plans.”
Bob Gruters is the U.S. group lead for Facebook’s Tech/Telco, Entertainment, and Multicultural business teams in North America, overseeing marketing relationships with leading brands across these key verticals. With more than 20 years of experience, Gruters has held key leadership positions across the marketing and advertising industry that span television, digital, print, and out-of-home media.
Prior to joining Facebook, Gruters launched REVOLT Media, Sean Combs’ television and digital music platform, where he was executive vice president of sales and marketing. Before that, he was senior vice president of client development at Univision and vice president of business development at Viacom representing the Entertainment Group, which included Spike TV, Comedy Central, TV Land and CMT. Before his career in television, Gruters led marketing services for The New Yorker at Conde Nast.
New for NAB Show New York in 2016, 60+ educational sessions will be held on five Inspiration Stages located throughout the show floor. Each stage will feature 30-minute sessions on topics such as New York film and television productions, live events, news, innovation investments, advanced advertising, over-the-top content, virtual reality and satellite media. Additionally, the show floor will feature an area dedicated to networking and interacting with session speakers and panelists. In addition to the Post|Production Conference, NAB Show New York attendees can further expand their conference experience by registering separately for three new workshops highlighting drones, 4K and HDR production.
Consumer Tech Spending Sentiment Down Seasonally for August, says CTA
Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:46:13 -0400
Consumer confidence toward tech spending saw a small decline in August, while sentiment toward the overall economy increased, according to the monthly Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ Indexes.
The CTA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE), which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, decreased 5.3 points in August to 86.3.
“Not uncommon for the end of the summer season, consumer sentiment toward tech spending saw a small seasonal dip in August,” said Shawn DuBravac, Ph.D., chief economist, CTA. “I expect sentiment toward tech spending to move higher in the coming months, with a combination of major product launches and the holiday shopping season.”
Ahead of anticipated product launches, according to CTA forecasts, unit sales of smartphones are expected to reach 183 million in 2016 (up five percent year-to-year), while revenues will reach $55 billion (a four percent increase). As more virtual reality (VR) headsets come to market in 2016, CTA expects unit sales to increase by 296 percent over last year, reaching 800,000 units sold. And CTA projects digital assistant devices (voice-activated devices that provide a cloud-based artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant, such as Amazon’s Echo) to reach 2.2 million units (up 32 percent).
It will also be a strong second half of the year for 4K Ultra High-Definition TVs, with shipments expected to reach 15 million units (a 105 percent increase), and revenue that will exceed $12.9 billion (a 69 percent increase).
The CTA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE), which measures consumer sentiment about the U.S. economy as a whole, increased by 4.3 points in August to reach 176.3.
“Despite a tepid first half of the year, some uncertainties appear to be waning, and equities moved higher over the duration of August,” said DuBravac. “Sentiment toward the overall economy naturally followed in tandem.”