NAB Expects Strong Int’l Presence At Show

How international is the NAB Show? The National Association of Broadcasters put out some figures this week that help answer the question.

About 30,000 people from outside the United States are expected to attend the 2016 NAB Show.

About 30,000 people from outside the United States are expected to attend the 2016 NAB Show.

According to a press release dated March 26, about 30,000 of the people expected to attend the show this year will come from outside the United States. That’s just shy of 30% of the 98,000 folks NAB is anticipating for the event, April 11-16 in Las Vegas.

In terms of exhibitors, 650 of the 1,700 companies showing products or offering services throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center have headquarters outside the United States, the press release said.

I wondered, how the makeup of this year’s NAB Show compares with IBC 2014 held in Amsterdam.

According to the IBC website, just over 55,000 people attended the event in September. Of those, about 25%, roughly 13,400, came from outside of Europe.

So what does it all mean? Honestly, I’m not sure anything that is particularly relevant in a big-picture sense. But to me as an individual who is going on my 29th NAB Show, I have to admit that I am somewhat surprised by the size of the international presence at the convention.

Localism Recap: March 27

I can almost hear the din of the 2015 NAB Show floor and see myself bobbing and weaving through the crowd to get from one appointment to the next.

That’s how close this year’s NAB Show is, and that means there are only two Fridays left for you to participate in my campaign to “Help Shine A Light On TV Localism.”

So if you have been waiting for some reason to email me how your station is going above and beyond to serve the interests of local viewers, wait no longer.

You only have two more chances to share your efforts with the world — at least in this space.

Now, on with the recap of what stations are doing to serve their communities’ local interests.

KYW Ronald McDonald Charities

The phone bank for Ronald McDonald Charities put on by KYW-TV and WPSG-TV raised nearly $1.2 million.

March 24
Fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities
KYW and WPSG for the sixth year in a row conducted the Ronald McDonald House Charities Phone Bank, a 14-hour on-air fundraiser that aired live across both television stations. The phone bank brought in $1,176,590, its largest total to date, taking the total of funds raised for the charity to more than $5.1 million since the first phone bank began in 2010.

Topeka, Kan.
March 1, 2014-March 28, 2016
Local jazz promotion
WIBW is completing a yearlong campaign in which the station promoted the Topeka Jazz Workshop concert series. The station created and aired promotions designed to help bolster public awareness of the monthly event of the longest continuously running jazz concert series in the nation. TJW Inc. has been the prime factor in keeping jazz alive and well in Topeka and northeast Kansas.

Nearly 9,000 people gathered for the Hispanic Entrepreneurship Campaign in Los Angeles.

Nearly 9,000 people gathered for the Hispanic Entrepreneurship Campaign in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles
March 21
Local prosperity fair
Univision Los Angeles held its Feria Prosperidad (Prosperity Fair) on March 21, a financial wellness event that is part of Univision Contigo’s Hispanic Entrepreneurship Campaign, hosted in collaboration with the University of Southern California (USC).

Feria Prosperidad informed close to 9,000 local aspiring entrepreneurs and families by offering 30 workshops throughout the day on topics, such as small business financing, college financing and scholarship programs, as well as veterans transition resources and immigration consultant fraud.

Omaha, Neb.
March 16-23
Local children’s show & school visit
WOWT produces Aunt Molly and Friends, a weekly show for children. The station also visited a local school to teach children about weather as part of its Wicked Weather Road Show.

NEP To Acquire Mediatec

logosNEP Group is buying Mediatec Group, one of Europe’s largest outside broadcast and video display solutions providers, NEP announced March 26. Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Based in Pittsburgh, NEP currently has offices in the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, Dubai and Australia. Acquiring Mediatec will expand its reach across Europe.

More information is available on the Mediatec website.

ASTRA Studio 3 Takes Aim At Speed, Production Values

The difference between being first and last on air in a market with a breaking news story can be a matter of mere seconds. Doing so without diminishing production values goes without saying.

That’s precisely what Aveco aims to do with its ASTRA Studio 3, the company’s third-generation news production automation system.

The centerpiece of the Aveco NAB Show demo, ASTRA Studio 3 provides multi-studio production automation and makes it simple to combine studios for major event coverage.

ASTRA Studio 3 also makes it possible to reassign projects from one studio to another instantly. All production switcher settings, graphics, virtual sets, video roll-ins, on-set monitors, camera robotics, audio settings and lighting settings are made available in the alternate studio.

To learn more about Aveco, visit the company’s website.

Storm Chaser Partners With TVUNetworks

TQuestion: What’s the difference between a funnel cloud and a tornado?

Answer: The former hasn’t touched the ground.

But how do you know which is which when you’re the one who must issue warnings to the public?

Certainly there are tools meteorologists use — like the National Weather Service’s dual-polarization radar (see: “New Radar Improves Severe Storm Coverage”) that lets forecasters get a better sense of what they’re dealing with by revealing things like debris on radar returns.

There’s also the human element — local sheriffs, police officers, firefighters and members of the general public who have been trained to spot severe weather — that adds valuable data points to the mix, making it possible for meteorologists to make the right call.

And then there are storm chasers, that rare breed of person who rushes to where conditions are most favorable for spawning a tornado, not simply to report one has formed but to grab incredible footage of its destructive power for viewers at home.

As a dad who once had to outrun a tornado in my car with one of my teenaged daughters buckled in the passenger seat beside me, I have trouble understanding someone who willingly heads into potentially deadly weather.

Yes, I know I was supposed to pull over and the two of us were supposed to lie down in a ditch; but honestly, tell me that’s what you’d do when the wind is turning things around you into potentially deadly flying projectiles.

Regardless, they’re there; they’re on the job, and they’re ready to send back jaw-dropping video.

With spring comes the beginning of a new tornado season and an announcement Thursday that, a provider of live severe weather coverage, has partnered with TVU Networks and will use the company’s TVUPack and TVU Grid to stream video from the scene of dangerous weather to national TV networks and local TV stations.

Good luck to the production crew of and all storm chasers. Be safe and stay well.



Digigram’s Pascal Malgouyard Discusses AES67

In a perfect world, when I am reporting these 2015 NAB Show technology preview articles like the one posted this morning (“NAB Show Audio: A Tale Of Two Transitions”), I would speak to every possible source, gather every last bit of information and report my findings.

Our world, however, is far from perfect, and I can say with 100% certainty that I don’t — although I try. Sometimes there is a source I can’t reach; sometimes there’s a source I didn’t even know about; and sometimes the timing is simply off.

The latter is the case with Digigram and the company’s product marketing manager Pascal Malgouyard. I learned of Digigram’s involvement with AES67 about a day before my deadline, reached out via email with several questions — the time difference between Kansas City and Montibonnot in southeastern France made a phone interview impossible — and hoped for the best.

I was rewarded a little after noon my time today with thoughtful answers from Malgouyard. While it was too late to add some of his insights to the article, I was nonetheless pleased that the portion of today’s article about audio over IP at this year’s NAB Show and Malgouyard’s comments corresponded.

I was also pleased that I have the Playout blog with which to present Malgouyard’s thoughts.

Do you anticipate AES67 becoming more visible at NAB?
AES67 is the standard for high-performance audio transport over IP. It will simplify installation and setup everywhere, and especially in broadcast applications. Digigram is highly implicated in the development of AES67, and the 2015 NAB Show is a great place to spread the message and show the standard’s numerous advantages to our clients and to the market.

Since AES67 was released in September 2013, Digigram, as a reference sound card manufacturer, has noted that most representative broadcast audio manufacturers have shown very high interest in installing a “common language” AES67 interface in parallel with their own system approaches. Their great interest confirms that the demand on manufacturers will naturally keep rising during the next period.

AES67 is expected to be decidedly more visible and over time will become a must have for any broadcaster that expects high performance from its audio equipment.

Digigram’s new LX-IP RAVENNA sound card, which the company will highlight at the 2015 NAB Show, allows seamless migration to AES67 in OB vans and TV studios.

Digigram’s new LX-IP RAVENNA sound card, which the company will highlight at the 2015 NAB Show, allows seamless migration to AES67 in OB vans and TV studios.

Is the role of AES67 as a sort-of bridging technology that will allow vertically integrated audio-over-IP protocols, such as RAVENNA, to transport audio packets to equipment or studios based on other vertically integrated audio-over-IP protocols? If so, how important is this? If not, what is the major function you see for AES67?
Most vertically integrated manufacturers (e.g., Axia and Wheatstone) — in association with Dante-enabled equipment, such as Stagetec, DHD or SSL mixing engines and NTP routers — will continue to focus on their own system approaches for control management -that is, everything except audio streaming.

Since most of them are committed to providing an AES67 interface for audio streaming, broadcasters will be able to select the best technology for every function just as they have been able to do for years with AES/EBU or MADI.

And as they did with AES/EBU or MADI, broadcasters will continue to rely on transversal studio managers from specialized editors (e.g., L-S-B and others) to control their studios with existing protocols, such as EMBER+ or more proprietary protocols.

In what applications will AES67 be important to TV broadcasters?
Since AES67 avoids both dedicated audio lines and costly hardware routing, all applications requiring flexibility, high performance, such as high channel count, precise time-alignment, low latency and low CAPEX could benefit from AES67 interoperability.

As an example, an important use case consists of quickly installing a high-performance audio link between an AES67-enabled OB [outside broadcast production vehicle] and an AES67-enabled venue, such as a theater or a stadium.

I understand that AES67 is still evolving, for instance work is ongoing to enable a control layer. Is that true? What other areas might be developed to make AES67 more well-rounded over time — perhaps device discovery?
The AES is currently working on device discovery and control protocols, the whole purpose of which is to extend the interoperability beyond the principle of audio transport.

Is there is anything else you would like to add?
Digigram’s new LX-IP RAVENNA sound card allows seamless migration to AES67 in OB vans and TV studios thanks to these features: full compliance with AES67 interoperability recommendations, including its highest performance profiles; and a MADI interface.

This 64/64 I/O optical interface is connected with an embedded switching matrix — hence zero latency — to its dual RAVENNA/AES67 AoIP interface.

The LX-IP RAVENNA card is ideal in cases where an AES67-enabled audio mixing engine needs to be connected to any automation system for high-performance ingest or playout in live production, while at the same time operating existing MADI equipment, such as monitoring, up/downmixing, MADI-to-audio-SDI or any specialized function.

NIMxchange Selected For SPROCKIT Startup

Generation Technologies announced today that its NIMxchange, content management system has been chosen as a 2015 SPROCKIT Startup. NIMxchange makes it possible to share content between newsrooms around the world.

The 2015 SPROCKIT Startup program showcases emerging ventures to “iconic companies” in the broadcast industry at the NAB Show and during three SPROCKIT Sync meetings.

In the SPROCKIT Hub at the NAB Show, NIMxchange will be demonstrated leveraging a wide range of desktop and mobile technologies for sharing and receiving content on both iOS and Android devices.

The latest NIMxchange advancement is the ability for professional bonded cameras to shoot look-live and B-roll directly to NIMxchange clouds.

To learn more, visit the Generation Technologies website.



TVU Networks Enhances TVUPack With MIMO Support

TVU Networks today announced new product updates and options, including an optional MIMO (multiple-in and multiple-out) MESH radio that can be used together with cellular, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections.

By enabling support for MIMO MESH transfer, Version 5.5 of TVUPack enhances the dependability of IP newsgathering, even in challenging bandwidth environments. TVUPack enhancements also make possible real-time, full-HD, error-free video transfer.

The company also has introduced an enhanced TVU social platform, which allows news crews in the field to post still images right to Facebook from TVUPack, and dual channel receiver capabilities for TVUPack receivers.

To learn more visit the TVU Networks website.

Utah Scientific, Axon Digital Form Partnership

Utah Scientific and Axon Digital Design have partnered to promote each other’s products globally, Utah Scientific said Monday.

The agreement calls for the companies to cooperate closely on technology, product development, marketing and sales.

Utah Scientific will become the exclusive North American distributor of Axon’s Synapse line of modular products and Cerebrum facility control solutions. Axon will assume responsibility for worldwide distribution of Utah Scientific’s product line, the company said.


Broadcast Pix, Quicklink Partner On Pro Skype

On Monday, Broadcast Pix and Quicklink Video Distribution Services announced a strategic partnership through which the Quicklink TX will be made available via Broadcast Pix’ distributors.

Broadcast Pix distributors will begin offering Quicklink TX.

Broadcast Pix distributors will begin offering Quicklink TX.

Skype TX software is the professional version of Skye, which enables a number of features that make video calls easier to integrate into broadcast productions.

Quicklink was named an official Skype TX hardware partner in September 2014 and began shipping its Quicklink TX hardware solution last month.

The 1 RU Quicklink TX appliance allows producers and engineers to manage Skype audio and/or video for broadcast without the need to scan convert from a PC.

Quicklink TX performs all scaling and provides frame accurate video to any Flint, Mica or Granite integrated production switcher.

More information is available on the Broadcast Pix website.