CBS Sports Relies on Admiral Video Pylon Cam Systems

CBS Sports deployed Admiral Video Pylon Cam systems for Super Bowl 50 coverage.

CBS Sports deployed Admiral Video Pylon Cam systems for Super Bowl 50 coverage.

CBS Sports deployed Pylon Cam systems from Admiral Video for its coverage yesterday of Super Bowl 50 from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. — the first time such systems have been used for the NFL’s championship game.

During the regular season, Admiral Video was one of two companies to supply the pylon cameras for Thursday Night Football.

For the Super Bowl, CBS Sports used eight pylons with a total of 16 miniature HD cameras (two cameras each). Unlike their use during regular season, two pylon cam systems were added at the back of each end zone for the Super Bowl.

The pylon cam systems rely on two miniature Marshall Electronics HD cameras.

More information about how CBS Sports used the plyon cameras is available in “CBS Turns Up Tech For Super Bowl Sizzle.”

To learn more about Admiral Video’s pylon camera systems, visit the company’s website.

New NAB Pilot Chief Has Passion For Innovation

John Clark is taking on responsibility for NAB's new PILOT initiative as its first executive director.

John Clark is taking on responsibility for NAB’s new Pilot initiative as its first executive director.

John Clark remembers a story from the days of the flip phone that strikingly foreshadows the role he will play as the new executive director of NAB’s Pilot initiative announced last month.

At the time, Clark was working with Sam Matheny, now EVP and CTO of NAB, at Capitol Broadcasting Co. Their efforts were focused on a project to stream WRAL’s news and other video content to mobile phones — years before there were smartphones, HEVC/H.265 high efficiency video coding and adaptive bit rate streaming.

“It was postage-stamp-sized video,” Clark recalls. “You couldn’t see anything. It was terrible, and the connections were ridiculous.”

But Clark and Matheny, like the Capitol Broadcasting leadership team, realized the importance of reaching people  where they were with the station’s content. So Matheny and Clark pressed on.

“At one point, we were working through some of the technical hurdles with some loose documentation from people who were trying to do the same thing,” he says. “I remember coming across a note in there that said: ‘It’s good when it works, but it doesn’t always work.’ ”

That experience — finding a way to exploit technology that, at least for the moment, was unrelated to broadcasting and making it a catalyst for broadcast innovation — is precisely Clark’s mission at Pilot.

“My passion is where media, technology and business collide,” he says. “That’s where I am happiest.”

In late January, NAB announced NAB Labs was becoming Pilot, an effort to attract high-tech companies, organizations and educators to collaborate with the association to drive broadcast innovation. Charter members include Accenture, Akamai, Frankly, Google, Nielsen, Shareablee and Yahoo, NAB said.

Clark comes to Pilot from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he worked as a professor at the Reese News Lab in the School of Media and Journalism.

The lab, an innovation incubator, gave Clark an opportunity to work with undergraduate and graduate students, helping them to figure out new products and services that could be created around local media, he says.

“Obviously, this is an educational experience for students, but serendipity has stepped in and some of these ideas have turned out to be pretty good,” he says. “We’ve had students take their ideas, get funding and start earning revenue from them.”

A native son of North Carolina who grew up on a farm near the Virginia border, Clark, 38, spent 13 years at Capitol Broadcasting before joining the university.

Starting off at Capitol Broadcasting as an online news producer for WRAL Online in the late 1990s, Clark focused his efforts on how to use the Internet to convey information.

“We knew the Internet was much more than a promotional tool. There was a real content play here for news,” he says, adding that while everyone takes this for granted today, it was far from commonly accepted at the time.

In 2007, Clark was named general manager of, a position he held to 2011 when he joined the university.

Clark credits his time with Capitol Broadcasting for learning “what it means to be a broadcaster” and catching the bug for innovation.

At Pilot, Clark hopes to replicate that zest for finding new tools to help broadcasters take advantage of opportunities that today may seem little more than a kernel of what actually might one day be.

Clark says he will do so by working with “a lot of the smartest people from across different industries” to drive innovation.

“For me, it is a wonderful opportunity,” says Clark. “How do we start reaching out and expanding into these newer technologies from companies that aren’t necessarily from broadcasting?

“There’s no doubt we can find interesting opportunities.”

More information is available on the NAB Pilot website.

Video Call Center Names Larry Thaler CEO

Video Call Center, which was featured in a TVNewsCheck article in July 2014, has named Larry Thaler as its CEO responsible for the day-to-day activities of the company, it announced today.

Tom Wolzien, company founder and executive chairman, said  that for nearly three years Thaler has “been crucial to the development of The Video Call Center.”

Before taking on the CEO role, Thaler worked for VCC through his consulting firm Positive Flux. Prior to founding the consultancy, Thaler was an executive at NBC Universal.

To learn more, visit the VCC website.

intoPIX Ships TICO FPGA IP Cores

intoPIX has begun making available new TICO FPGA IP-cores for 4:4:4 color space, UHDTV1 and 4K, the company said this week.

The cores “represent a real breakthrough, delivering cost-effective high frame rate 4K at up to 60p and 4:4:4…” said Jean-Baptiste Lorent, intoPIX product and marketing manager.

The FPGA cores are capable of supporting HD, 4K with full 8-, 10- or 12-bit in 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 color spaces and low latency, intoPIX said.

The design is intended to enable the industry to build video-over-IP products to transport 4K across 10Gig Ethernet IP networks. TICO is a lightweight compression that delivers a true lossless and visually lossless compression up to 4:1, according to intoPIX.

To learn more, visit the intoPIX website.

Broadcast Pix Joins ASPEN Community

ASPEN logoBroadcast Pix is the latest company to join the ASPEN Community of more than 30 vendors, OEMs and users developing ASPEN Adaptive Sample Picture ENcapsulation to transport video over IP.

ASPEN transports separate bits for video, audio and metadata using the MPEG-2 transport stream container. Evertz introduced ASPEN to the broadcast industry at large in April 2015 and the NAB Show, and the ASPEN Community was formed five months later at IBC 2015.

Broadcast Pix manufactures integrated production switchers.

More information is available on the ASPEN Community website.

Matt Minnihan Moves To ASG

Matt Minnihan.

Matt Minnihan.

Matt Minnihan has joined the Advanced Systems Group design and consulting team.

Minnihan is responsible for installation management for corporate and broadcast clients.

Previously, Minnihan spent nearly 10 years with Advanced Broadcast Solutions. For more than six of those years, he worked as a project manager and lead integration specialist.

He can be reached at 510-654-8300 and

More information is available on the ASG website.

GatesAir Rolls Out TV Exciter Trade-In Program

GatesAir today unveiled an exciter trade-in program that makes its Maxiva M2X exciter available for $10,500 — a reduction of $12,500 off the unit’s regular price.

GatesAir is offering an exciter trade-in program that knocks $12,500 off the price of the Maxiva M2X exciter.

GatesAir is offering an exciter trade-in program that knocks $12,500 off the price of the Maxiva M2X exciter.

Called the Maxiva M2X-CHANGE Program, the new trade-in offer makes it easy to upgrade from older GatesAir exciters as well as those from other suppliers. As relates to the GatesAir exciter line, the software-defined Maxiva M2X replaces CD-1, CD-1A and Apex exciters, the company said.

The complete trade-in package includes the exciter, an installation kit with cables and mounting hardware and a video installation guide.

More information is available on the GatesAir website.

SMPTE Names 2016 Directors, Appoints New Governors-At-Large

SMPTE logo-smallThe Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Board of Governors today named the society’s 2016 directors and has appointed two new governors-at-large.

The two new SMPTE governors-at-large are Chris Fetner, director of global media rngineering and partnerships at Netflix and Leon Silverman, general manager of the Disney Digital Studio Service.

Alan Lambshead, SMPTE standards VP, has reappointed Bob Edge and Paul Treleaven to serve as standards directors along with the newly appointed Dave Schnuelle.

SMPTE education VP Patrick Griffis has reappointed Michael DeValue, V. Michael Bove, Peter Putman and Al Kovalick as education directors.

Peter Weitzel has been reappointed as international membership director, and Karl Joseph Kuhn was reappointed to serve as the North American membership director by membership VP William Miller.

More information is available on the SMPTE website.

Jeff Lowe Joins Scale Logic

Jeff Lowe has joined Scale Logic as VP of business development.

Lowe comes to Scale Logic with more than 20 years of experience in sports, media and entertainment. Most recently he was director of sports solutions at Quantum.

Scale Logic engineers and deploys storage-centric solutions for broadcast, OTT, streaming and post production workflows.

More information is available on the company’s website.

Super Technology For The Super Bowl

Every year at about this time, I begin to receive press releases from broadcast technology vendors eager to trumpet the fact their particular piece of gear or software contributed to the production of the game.

While my feature article today focused on what technology is new and important for the production of Super Bowl 50 from the perspective of Ken Aagaard, EVP of engineering, operations and production services at CBS Sports, I thought I could recap in the Playout blog the vendor press releases I have received and will likely receive over the next week related to the Super Bowl.

TVU Networks

TVUNetworks is supporting customers covering Super Bowl week.

TVUNetworks is supporting customers covering Super Bowl week.

TVU Networks this week is providing live video services for its customers and other broadcasters transmitting live from Santa Clara, home of Levi’s Stadium where the Super Bowl will be played, as well as other spots around the San Francisco area.

The company is offering several services, including:

  • Local cellular 4G and LTE datacards;
  • Dedicated microwave mesh network in multiple locations in and around the San Francisco, including major venues hosting Super Bowl activities and events;
  • Technical support from experienced TVU personnel;
  • Office space with high-speed Ethernet and Wi-Fi for meetings and for use as an operational staging area.

TVU Nettworks’ Mountain View, Calif., headquarters is 10 minutes from Levi’s Stadium.

More than 20 broadcasters are using TVUPacks for coverage of the festivities leading up to Sunday’s game. They include KUSA, the NBC affiliate in Denver; KMGH, the ABC affiliate in Denver; WCNC, the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, N.C.; WFMY, the CBS affiliate serving Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, N.C.; ESPN; ABC Network; and Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

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