Tag Archives: iPad

NYC-based Chinese-Language Broadcaster Selects Octopus

Tang Dynasty Television in New York City has chosen OCTOPUS for its newsroom system and the OCTOPUS App for reporters int he field.

New Tang Dynasty Television in New York City has chosen OCTOPUS for its newsroom system and the OCTOPUS App for reporters in the field.

TV and online journalists at a 24/7 Chinese-language news broadcaster based in New York City will begin using the Octopus newsroom system.

The newsroom system project at New Tang Dynasty Television includes many Octopus app licenses, the company says.

The app will give the broadcaster’s journalists in the field access to all wires, rundowns and assignments via their iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

Journalists also can file from the field, edit stories and preview teleprompter text with the app.

“Using the Octopus app, we can send assignment notifications to specific television reporters,” said New Tang Dynasty TV Chief Engineer Russ Siew.

“They in turn can use their mobile phone or tablet to capture audio and video content and then edit stories in the field. They can then submit stories for approval complete with stills, full motion video and sound.”

More information is available on the Octopus website.

Broadcasters: What To Know From Today’s Apple Event

Broadcasters: What To Know From Today's Apple Event

I used an Apple TV to stream today’s big Apple event from the comfort of my living room, but am sad to report that nothing new on that front came out of it, as I had hoped for and blogged about yesterday.

Apple unveiled new Mac software, updated its Mac hardware lineup and redesigned its full-sized iPad. All as expected, with just some minor surprises along the way. Before I get into what broadcasters should know from today’s event, I did want to share this tweet I came across as I watched the event.

I added up entry-level prices of today’s new products and it came to a whopping $7,200, which includes the brand new Mac Pro, which I could see popping up in some TV stations across the country.

Mac ProThe new Mac Pro (Pictured to the right) is geared toward professionals who need a ton of power. Broadcasters and video editors who frequently work in Final Cut Pro could definitely take advantage of everything it has to offer. It can be configured with 64GB of RAM and 1 TB of Flash storage (not the slow, spinning hard-drive style of storage that will soon be extinct).

The Mac Pro will certainly be ready for the 4K editing world. It has enough power to support three 4K display monitors and comes with some of the fastest graphics computing power ever found on a desktop computer.

Apple also updated the tech specs and price on its MacBook Pro laptops, each of which include the company’s super-sharp Retina display.

One of the surprises out of the event was the announcement behind Mac OS X Mavericks, the latest operating system for the Mac family lineup. Apple users figured it would be available this week for download from the Mac App Store for $20, figuring Apple would follow its history of doing business. But the company surprised those users, and decided to release the software upgrade for free. It’s available today for download and can be installed on Mac computers built as early as 2007.

Today’s event, however, was geared toward the iPad. That’s why Apple showed it last. As expected, Apple redesigned its full-sized iPad, making it lighter (1 lbs.) and 20% thinner. It also gave it a new name — The iPad Air. It also updated its smaller tablet, the iPad Mini, by giving it a Retina display.

It’s not uncommon to see broadcasters using iPads in the field, or even on the air. If you read our social media feature from a few weeks ago, the iPad is actually a pretty common tool used for displaying tweets and Facebook posts.

Apple continues to start its full-sized iPad at $500 for a 16 GB version. The iPad Mini jumped in price to $400 for a 16 GB, Wi-Fi-only model.

Dyle’s New Device: Clunky Setup, Not Very Wireless

Dyle's New Device: Clunky Menus, Not Very Wireless

As a cord cutter on a mission to get others to drop their pay TV subscriptions and enjoy the benefits of over-the-air broadcasting, I want to be a cheerleader for mobile DTV. But every time I become excited about a new station lighting up, or a new device being released, I always feel let down.

That’s sort of how things played out this week when I got my hands on the Audiovox MobileTV receiver, Dyle’s latest gadget to get live TV in the hands of consumers. The team at Dyle sent me the new device — along with a coffee mug and pack of Colombian coffee — to play with and review. Perhaps they wanted me to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while watching the Today Show on my iPad.

After you read my review, you can buy the receiver at Amazon for $100.

Unlike past receivers by Elgato and Belkin, both of which I’ve tried out previously, the Audiovox receiver is wireless and doesn’t require the user to plug in a dongle to their iOS or Android-powered device. That was a huge plus for me, as one of my biggest gripes about mobile DTV has been the fact that I have to plug in a dongle to my iPhone with a 6-inch antenna attached to it. My Elgato antenna barely stays connected today after normal use and travel. Belkin’s antenna is better designed, but didn’t perform as well for me as the Elgato.

The little white Audiovox receiver fits in my palm, and could probably be carried around in a pant pocket. The antenna is sturdy, but can come detached from the receiver box. I haven’t a clue why companies like Audiovox and Elgato have manufactured a device that requires an antenna to work, yet still gives us the option to pull that antenna out and lose it along the way.

It’s recommended you charge the device to full power before using it. This takes about 30 minutes.

After powering the receiver on, make sure it’s located near a window, pointing toward the broadcast towers. This isn’t hard for me, as I can see the Denver towers outside my window, perched atop Lookout Mountain. The next step requires you to connect your mobile device — I used an iPad — to the receiver.

This is done by going into your Wi-Fi network settings and clicking on the Audiovox wireless network. The network looks like all the other available wireless networks your device finds, but on Apple devices, when you connect to the Audiovox network, it won’t show a wireless strength signal in the upper lefthand corner of the screen. If there’s a checkmark next to the Audiovox network in settings, you’re good to go.

Here’s where I first got rattled.

DyleAudiovox-1I opened up the official Dyle app, which I had previously downloaded on my iPad to use with the Belkin receiver. Nothing happened. I double-checked the instructions and realized that I needed to download the Dyle Siano app to use the new receiver. Not a huge problem because it’s a free app, but potentially confusing for those who aren’t too tech-savvy.

If you search “Dyle” in the iTunes App Store, three different apps show up: Dyle’s official app, The Elgato EyeTV app and the new Siano Dyle TV app that’s specifically designed for the Audiovox receiver.

Three different apps for the same exact service?

Once downloaded, I fire up the app, and come to the registration page. You don’t need to register, but by answering how old you are and if you’re male or female, it provides some pretty helpful data to the local broadcaster who could sell some special advertising geared toward mobile users. Remember, at this point, I’m not on my home wireless Internet network; I’m connected to the Audiovox network. When I input my information and hit the register button, I’m told I need to be connected to the Internet. The following happens:

  • I exit the app
  • Go back into settings
  • Connect to my home Internet network
  • Go back into the app
  • Input my information again and register.
  • I go back to my settings
  • Re-connect to the Audiovox network
  • Return to the app to now scan for channels.

The convenience of not having to connect a dongle to my iPad or iPhone quickly became an inconvenience of having to switch wireless networks every time I want to watch TV. Is it a big step to watch TV? No, just an annoying one.

DyleAudiovox-4Now, the good news.

It really does work. It only takes a few seconds to connect with the signal, and the picture looks clear enough to enjoy a network drama or the local news. It was almost a bit surreal at first that I was holding my iPad with nothing physically connected to it, and was watching live TV without an Internet connection.

The instructions say to stay within 7 meters, or about 22 feet, from the receiver at all times. They weren’t kidding. I kept the receiver in my bedroom and roamed around my condo, which is about 900-square-feet. As I walked further away from my bedroom, the picture got fuzzier, and ultimately cut out.

It’s wireless, but it’s like a dog trapped in an electric fence. It can only go so far.

Another thing that surprised (and maybe I assumed too much going into this test) was the fact that only one mobile device could use the receiver at a time. While watching on my iPad, I tried to connect my iPhone to the receiver, but it wouldn’t let me until I disconnected the iPad. This makes sense, as the Mohu Leaf antenna in my living room can’t split off and provide a signal to a TV in a different room.

But wouldn’t it be awesome if Dyle could come up with an enterprise device that allows several devices to connect to a single unit? This could be a huge hit in airports, and an even bigger hit on public transportation.

Should you buy the Audiovox receiver? It does what it advertises, and at least here in Denver, it offers a reliable signal, despite having some cumbersome steps to capture that signal.

If you love local TV and have at least a few stations in your market broadcasting a mobile signal — and don’t mind dropping $100 — than be my guest.

I just don’t think Dyle and the mobile DTV community have cracked the code on mobile TV. Not yet, at least.

TrafficLand Unveils iPad App For On-Air Weather, Traffic


Live traffic aggregator TrafficLand unveiled Broadcast 4.0 Tuesday, a new service for TV station news operations to customize content for on-air traffic and weather reporting on the fly.

The software includes access to an Enterprise License for Google Maps and flow-data, plus real-time video from thousands of state and local department of transportation traffic cameras across the U.S. The video above gives a demonstration of the new software.

Currently, the software is only available on Apple’s iPad.

Lawrence Nelson, TrafficLand CEO, calls the app a complete traffic reporting solution for TV news operations.

“Together, real-time video and flow-data tell the story about traffic and weather conditions like nothing else — and the fact that the service costs thousands of dollars less per month than anything comparable is another big plus in these budget conscious times,” he said in a statement.

Broadcast Pix Updates iPad Control Panel App

Broadcast Pix Updates iPad Control Panel App

Broadcast Pix has updated and released version 2.0 of its iPixPanel iPad control panel app.

The update — free to existing customers and $10 for new customers — adds a three-axis virtual joystick, rotary knobs, additional mnemonics and enhanced connectivity.

The app is compatible with any Broadcast Pix Granite, Mica, Slate or Flint live production system and is compatible with all generations of the iPad. (The picture above is a screenshot of the app on an iPad Mini). The company also has an iPhone app and control surface solutions for Android and Windows tablets.

“By combining the iPad app with a touch screen, you have what I would describe as next-generation workflow,” Broadcast Pix CEO Steve Ellis, said in a statement. “The iPad is a dramatic and cost-effective way to enhance your end-to-end production needs.”

The iPad app switches cameras and adds key layers, while the control bank can control the system’s clip server and CG. It also features PixButtons that change to show the device and file name on the button for selecting with confidence during live productions.

Robotic camera control was also enhanced as part of the update. Using a virtual joystick, a user can position and zoom a camera, and use knobs to adjust focus, iris, white balance and other settings.