Phil Myers Joins Snell Advanced Media

Phil Myers

Phil Myers

Phil Myers has joined Snell Advanced Media (SAM) to manage the company’s IP product range.

Myers comes to SAM with more than 20 years of experience in product management and business development. Co-founder of Oddfish films in 1997, Myers has held technology leadership positions at CVP Group, Pinnacle Systems and Sony.

Most recently he was responsible for architecting digital media workflows and IP solutions within the EMEA region for Grass Valley.

More information is available on the SAM website.

GatesAir Announces Yearlong Celebration of 95th Anniversary


GatesAir's Mason, Ohio, headquarters prepares for the company's 95th anniversary.

GatesAir’s Mason, Ohio, headquarters prepares for the company’s 95th anniversary.

GatesAir is celebrating the company’s 95th anniversary in business this year and plans to hold several events to mark the milestone, including the “95 Years Big Kick Off” event for customers at the 2017 NAB Show in April, the company announced today.

Other activities will include open houses at its Mason, Ohio, headquarters and Quincy, Ill., manufacturing center as well as receptions at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam and The Radio Show in September, it said.

The company will unveil customer contests next month to identify the oldest GatesAir transmitter and oldest working GatesAir transmitter installed today. The winners will be announced to the public in December, the company said.

The company traces its history to 1922 when Henry C. Gates founded Gates Radio and Supply Co. His son, Parker Gates, put the company on a path of innovation achieving several firsts in electronics and audio, GatesAir said.

Those early successes ultimately led the company to innovations in OTA radio and TV transmitter design, it said.

More information is available on the GatesAir website.

Australian Broadcast Corp. Selects Grass Valley Tech For Studio Upgrade

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has upgraded 13 studios in eight cities across the country with Grass Valley production solutions, including K-Frame-based switchers in each and a mix of Karrera and GV Korona switcher panels, the company said today.

The new K-Frame systems will replace older Grass Valley Kayak switchers, which ABC will continue to use in news production, Grass Valley said.

The ABC studios affected playout the network’s news and current affairs programming.

Brand Connections

NewsON Launches OTT Website To Stream Local News

NewsOn this week announced a new over-the-top streaming service for viewers watch on their laptop and desktop computers.

NewsOn this week announced a new over-the-top streaming service for viewers watching on their laptop and desktop computers.

NewsON, the mobile and Roku app company that connects TV viewers to local news from 175 stations around the country, this week announced a major expansion of its over-the-top offering to stream those newscasts directly to desktop and laptop computers.

“We are announcing a new website product that will allow us to reach people at work on their computers,” says NewsOn CEO Louis Gump.

The website makes available for free up to 10 live news streams at a time from participating stations to users.

A visitor to the site can choose from the 10, which are presented based on their geographical proximity to the visitor, or search for distant stations they wish to watch.

The website, announced to coincide with the opening of CES 2017 in Las Vegas where the NewsON mobile app is in the running for an award, has been in the works for the past six months, says Gump.

“Some local stations have seven or more hours of live, local content per day,” says Gump. “That is valuable on a normal news day, but on a really big breaking news day that local coverage is invaluable.”

Gump points to the November 2016 wildfires in East Tennessee as an example of the power of NewsON.

Where network and cable news may have covered the fires periodically throughout the day, local stations in the affected area did much more extensive fire coverage. With the NewsON mobile or Roku app, users were alerted to the wildfires and then could watch the local breaking coverage.

The new NewsON website will give people the same type of access to local coverage on their computers, says Gump.

The new NewsON website will stream HLS encoded video to any “fairly current laptop or desktop” regardless of whether it’s a Mac or PC, says Gump. Chrome, Explorer, Safari, Firefox and other popular web browsers are supported.

The 175 stations currently available via NewsOn are owned by 14 broadcasters in 110 markets covering 84% of the U.S. population, says Gump.


AccuWeather Integrates Android Devices With Samsung Smart TVs

In my CES 2017 preview last week, I mentioned one theme of sessions at the convention this week in Las Vegas would be the attempt to more closely integrate mobile devices with other viewing devices, like TVs.

The idea is to offer viewers a more fluid viewing experience that allows them to enjoy continuity in content presentation from device to device. In other words, if they’re watching a show on their phone or laptop, it’s easy for the content to follow them into their living rooms and onto the big screen.

This level of integration is being talked about on the CES show floor as well.

AccuWeather today announced that its Android app can be used to do just that with Samsung Smart View televisions.

According to a press release, users can “cast detailed, interactive AccuWeather radar and satellite maps from their apps directly onto their Samsung televisions.”

Consumers will come to expect this level of tight integration of their devices, so the designers of the next-gen TV standard would be wise to offer similar capabilities in their ATSC 3.0 devices of the future.


New Infographic Lays Out Where ATSC 3.0 Stands

ATSC has released a new infographic illustrating its progress on the 3.0 standard.

ATSC has released a new infographic illustrating its progress on the 3.0 standard.

For anyone not involved in the standards creation process of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, it can all seem very confusing.

There are draft standards, candidate standards, proposed standards and finalized standards. And when there is something like ATSC 3.0, which in reality is a suite of standards that together will make next-generation TV possible, there are lots of moving parts.

To make things easier to understand, ATSC has released an infographic using the visual metaphor of a building under construction to help everyone grasp where all of the component standards making up ATSC 3.0 stand.

Click for the infographic.


Lon Neumann Joins Wheatstone

Lon Neumann

Lon Neumann

Lon Neumann has joined Wheatstone as a sales engineer with responsibility for the company’s line of audio consoles and IP routing system for TV.

Neumann has extensive industry experience and has authored the digital audio chapter in the American Society of Cinematographers’ AC Video Manual. He has worked as a senior technical consultant for THX, regional manager and field applications engineer for Linear Acoustic and regional manager for NVision.

Currently, Neumann is secretary of the SMPTE committee developing new interoperability standards for object-based audio system in digital cinema.

More information is available on the Wheatstone website.

Brand Connections

SMPTE Article Explains HDR

SMPTE logo-smallIf you are curious about where high dynamic range stands; the differences between the BBC and NHK’s Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) and Dolby’s Perceptual Quantizer (PQ) HDR systems; why each exists; and how the two got tucked under the same umbrella by the ITU, take out a few minutes to read “Hot Button Discussion: Inside the HDR Spec,” by Michael Goldman in the December edition of SMPTE NewsWatch.

Author Goldman interviews Tim Borer, lead engineer for immersive and interactive content at the BBC’s Research and Development Division in the article. According to Borer, there are two ideas that are important to understand when considering HDR. First, broadcasters cannot know what device viewers are using to watch their programming nor the environment where it’s located. Second, manufacturers and broadcasters “should avoid thinking in terms of a single, one-size-fits-all solution” to HDR.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two approaches is that HLG was designed to encode the signal coming directly out of the camera for HDR, whereas PQ relies on metadata added to the content in post to instruct the display device on what the image looked like on a grading monitor so that it can be reproduced for public viewing, the article says.

The former approach may be better suited for a typical TV viewing environment whereas the latter works best under controlled viewing conditions normally associated with movie theaters, the article says.

There’s a lot more to the article than these highlights, and if you are curious to learn about HDR, the SMPTE NewsWatch piece is a good place to start.


NYC Drone Film Festival Announces $75,000 Prize

The winner of its 2017 New York City Drone Film Festival will receive a prize of camera and drone gear valued at $75,000, event organizers announced today.

The prize includes:

  • Freefly Movi Pro
  • Freefly Alta 8
  • Epic-W
  • DSMC2 Jetpack-SDI expander
  • DSMC2 RED Touch 4.7-inch LCD
  • DSMC2 LEMO Adaptor PAC
  • RED Mini-Mag 512GB
  • DSMC Canon mount

Festival sponsors and professional cinematography industry companies Freefly and RED are providing the gear for the prize.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Jan. 8, 2017.

Awards will be presented in 13 categories. The festival will take place March 18-19, 2017. The first day of the event will be held at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and the second day hosted at The Liberty Science Center.

To submit a film, visit the NYC Drone Film Festival website.

NewsON Selected As Finalist In CES Mobile Apps Showdown

NewsOn LogoNewsON has been selected as a finalist in the 2017 CES Mobile Apps Showdown awards honoring the most innovative apps at the International CES 2017.

Voting for NewsON is now live and ends Jan. 5, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. PT. (Vote online here.)

The Mobile Apps Showdown combines online crowd voting with expert panel review.

NewsON is a service that provides consumers with access to live and on-demand local newscasts as well as local news clips on mobile, web and connected TV devices. The NewsON app gives people access from Apple or Android smartphones and Amazon tablets as well as Roku enabled smart TVs, it said.

NewsON is made up of 175 stations in 110 markets covering 84% of the U.S. population, including 48 of the top 50 markets and 89 out of the top 100 markets.