Date posted: April 1, 2015

ZEPLAY 3.1 also amplifies feature set for improved functionality, price-to-performance ratio

Tightrope Media Systems is announcing a significant price drop to its popular ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay system in advance of the 2015 NAB Show, ensuring an affordable and professional solution for any broadcaster, venue operator, university or mobile production company. In addition to more customer-friendly pricing, an enhanced feature set that includes wider codec support further increases the value proposition for ZEPLAY in live sports production.

At $45K, the new ZEPLAY list price eliminates the burden for budget-conscious customers, yet assures a professional, reliable and feature-rich slo-mo instant replay server that is easy to use, with a quick learning curve. ZEPLAY’s built-in RAID protection and native codec playback ensures the best possible signal integrity during live production. By integrating Avid DNXHD and AVC-Intra codec support – along with improved countdown windows, improved sequence navigation, go to timecode, and more visible content tagging – Tightrope’s strategy ensures the best possible price-to-performance ratio for instant replay.

“ZEPLAY is providing instant replays in stadiums and arenas throughout the country for NBA, NHL and NCAA football and basketball events – not to mention its popularity in outside broadcast trucks,” said Steve Israelsky, vice president of broadcast solutions, Tightrope Media Systems. “By lowering the cost of ZEPLAY, our core customers in the cable TV market, not to mention smaller sports venues, receive the same reliability and features that broadcasters and professional sports leagues enjoy today.”

Tightrope’s ZEPLAY price-drop makes the versatile, feature-rich instant replay server affordable for most budgets in sports production

The ZEPLAY 3.1 release, to be demonstrated at NAB (April 13-16, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C2613), adds the import and export of Avid DNxHD files, as well as import of AVCIntra files, in addition to ZEPLAY’s already robust codec support (ProRes, DVCProHD, MPEG2 I-frame). The incorporation of AVCIntra is especially valuable for production teams shooting scenics in the field. With no transcoding requirements, production staff can quickly plug the camera into ZEPLAY and achieve immediate, native playback.

ZEPLAY 3.1 also simplifies operation through the following value-added features:

  • Tags are prominently displayed on ZEPLAY’s built-in multiviewer to instantly identify live content.
  • Visual countdowns to the end of on-air content, both plays and sequence items.
  • It is now possible to jump to any moment of the action using ZEPLAY’s new Go To Timecode feature.
  • The T-bar can now be enabled automatically when starting ZEPLAY.
  • More visually appealing user interface, with increased speed and functionality while managing the 4×4 (4 ins, 4 outs) replay architecture.

# # #

Date posted: March 12, 2015

Mobile production specialist supplies all live TV, audio and post services for BET and Centric, while bringing “Salute Selma” concert to viewers worldwide

Mobile production specialist TNDV was onsite in Selma, Alabama this past weekend to document a series of special events and concerts surrounding the Bloody Sunday 50th Anniversary, where President Barack Obama joined a crowd of thousands to commemorate the confrontation between police and peaceful protesters that spurred the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

TNDV’s Vibration audio truck was one of three TNDV production trucks onsite. Vibration provided the multitrack recording workflow for the Salute Selma concert on Sunday, March 8.

In addition to a lineup of influential speakers, the weekend included the Selma 50th Anniversary Concerts, which brought together local musicians and popular national artists for three concert events across Saturday and Sunday. TNDV provided audio, video and uplink facilities for the main “Salute Selma,” concert event on Sunday, featuring Rick Ross, Keith Sweat and other well-known musical acts. TNDV worked with cable networks BET and Centric to bring the concert to viewers worldwide via a live stream. A broadcast special will air this Sunday, March 15 on Centric.

In addition to the Salute Selma production, the TNDV team captured various events over the weekend to incorporate into the live webcast and Centric broadcast. This includes the commemorative march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge, in recognition of the 600 civil rights activists that crossed the bridge on March 7, 1965 during a 54-mile trek to the state capital.  Exclusive HD drone footage of the march, captured by TNDV President and Owner Nic Dugger from an aerial perspective above the bridge, can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/121626969.

The TNDV crew on the Edmund Pettis Bridge

Through the weekend, TNDV served as BET’s on-site TV facility, handling everything from live switching the high-end audio mixing and post. To accommodate the enormous size and scale of the production, TNDV brought three of its trucks—Elevation, Aspiration and its Vibration audio truck—to Selma, building a common networked architecture to share video and audio signal routing, monitoring and a multichannel intercom matrix across the entire production workflow.

“In a remote area like Selma, there are literally no technical facilities and few resources to assist in the production of a live TV show,” said Dugger. “This put the responsibilities on TNDV to accommodate the entire workflow from multi-camera acquisition to transmission, designating one truck each for video, audio and uplink services. Selma was deservedly under a unique spotlight this weekend in light of the Bloody Sunday anniversary, and the additional recent exposure through the movie and the Oscars. With an event of such historical value, the honor of being selected and trusted to execute this technical plan cannot be understated.”

The mobile production workflow across the three TNDV trucks included six Hitachi HD cameras, a Deko 3000 graphics station and Renewed Vision’s Pro Presenter system for media playout.  The audio workflow included 128 inputs from the stage to a Studer stage boxes, which were routed to a Studer Vista 9 console onboard the Vibration audio truck. Multitrack audio was managed on board Vibration as well, using a ProTools system with JoeCo recorders on backup.

“The TNDV crew did an excellent job on a very challenging production throughout the weekend in Selma,” said Monte Johnson, CEO of Showtek Productions, the company responsible for managing all broadcast and production elements over the weekend. “TNDV brings together a team of professionals that are truly passionate about their craft. They were a part of history this past weekend, and work of this level makes them not only a rare special breed in this industry, but deserves to make them famous.”

# # #

Date posted: March 11, 2015

New 4K monitor series amplifies quality for sports and other advanced production applications – with native resolution displays up to 84 inches 

Plura Broadcast, a global manufacturer of high-performance digital broadcast and video production solutions, will introduce a complete portfolio of 4K monitors at the 2015 NAB Show in alignment with increased industry demand.  Available in widths scaling to 84 inches, the Plura 4K Series brings together the exceptional built-in feature set Plura monitors are known for, while doubling down on quality, detail and performance to give production facilities an edge in Ultra HD monitoring.

The Plura 4K Series, which supports resolutions up to 3840×2160, focuses on delivering the highly detailed, accurate color representation and stunning picture consistency that high-end production applications require. The series also adopts the exceptionally slim form factor that Plura customers enjoy, ensuring that even the largest 4K monitors in the portfolio demand a modest slice of real estate.

Plura President Ray Kalo demonstrates the pristine image quality and ultra-slim form factor of the Plura 4K Series of monitors, to be introduced at the 2015 NAB Show.

Ray Kalo, president, Plura Broadcast notes that while 4K adoption is gradually escalating, the Plura 4K Series will provide flexible options for customers that still need to switch between Ultra HD, HD-SDI and SD resolutions. This flexibility also allows customers planning for a 4K future to invest today, without breaking the bank.

“We believe that 2015 is the year that 4K spreads beyond mostly film production and into more broadcast-centric production workflows, particularly sports,” said Ray Kalo, president, Plura Broadcast. “Our 4K Series will suit any studio or mobile production workflow, and will be especially valuable to our customers in sports that lack affordable options for larger 4K monitors. However, our customers can rest assured that buying a 4K monitor today will give them the flexibility to work across multiple formats.”

The Plura 4K Series will also feature the traditional software-redefined feature set built into most Plura monitors, including intelligent connections for calibration alignment, adjustable colormetry, gamma correction and audio monitoring – all accessible from an intuitive menu offering smooth navigation. Using Plura’s unique ICAC tool, production staff can quickly and automatically calibrate multiple color-related elements across the entire monitor network over IP, including the 4K Series. This ensures that the 4K Series is quickly recalibrated to its reference standard, returning optimal brightness and color consistency for demanding 4K workflows.

Plura Broadcast will unveil the Plura 4K Monitor Series at the 2015 NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, taking place April 13-16. The company will exhibit at Booth N2718.

 

 # # #

Date posted: March 2, 2015

Robust and reliable CDN architecture with transcoding, distribution and playout services support live, on-demand content in multiple formats

Hendrik Information Systems, a Houston-based multi-platform technology systems provider, is taking distance learning and concurrent video streaming of educational content to the next level for some of the country’s largest medical institutions. Hendrik is relying exclusively on StreamGuys’ infinitely scalable, cloud-based content delivery network (CDN) and on-premise servers to facilitate automated transcoding services, as well as live and on-demand broadcast capability for all of their clients’ global events. Additionally, intelligent business software provides in-depth analytics to help Hendrik better understand its audience across every streaming event.

Hendrik partners with major academic medical centers and schools throughout the U.S. to successfully implement online content strategies that maximize knowledge, awareness and brand recognition. Working with StreamGuys gives Hendrik a robust and reliable content delivery infrastructure and comprehensive streaming expertise, without the liabilities and capital investment required to support online content delivery on their own. Hendrik’s client base includes Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist.

“When we began, StreamGuys was clearly the only CDN service provider that could build their offering around our business model,” said Mark Sangster, president and CEO of Hendrik. “Other CDNs tried to have us change our model to suit their service offerings. StreamGuys’ customer service stood apart, and has since become an integral part of our technology platform and support services for our medical clients.”

For a typical event, a keynote speaker is recorded and then delivered over the Internet to viewers around the world, using a wide variety of display devices. Typical webcasts include a dual feed with two unique players—one focused on the presenter and the other streaming a slideshow of content that supports the speaker. StreamGuys’ transcoding technology processes content once for delivery to online, mobile and OTT devices, while supporting multiple streaming formats. Hendrik, which currently uses its own in-house designed players, anticipates upgrading to StreamGuys’ HTML5-based SGplayer moving forward.

The StreamGuys SGmon service, offered in weekly, monthly and yearly subscription packages, provides real-time analytics to monitor peak usage time, helping Hendrik and others like them to make informed decisions in regards to scaling streams and associated concurrent user limits. In addition, the company’s SGreports software offers a deeper dive into audience comprehension, with detailed metrics on content usage tied to hits, visitors, streaming platforms and play duration. This is useful to Hendrik’s clients to help them judge the success of an event and plan future topics of interest.

Hendrik’s healthcare clients webcast a wide range of events, from seminars to “Grand Rounds” to full conferences. Sangster said that due to the busy schedules of healthcare professionals, many viewers take advantage of the video on-demand option if unable to view the live webcast. However, the company recently produced a very successful all-day event seen by several thousand webcast viewers from 29 US States and 33 International countries.

And all of its clients are slightly different. Miami Children’s Hospital, for example, streams live content every day, occasionally broadcasting two live events. Cedars-Sinai and Houston Methodist stream several events each month, as well as two annual all-day conferences. Hendrik also streams a very large annual medical conference called “Pumps & Pipes,” which is a program developed by Houston Methodist, Exxon and NASA.

StreamGuys’ backup services for redundancy are used extensively, in tandem with a high-availability server where the on-demand content resides for later use. Reliability for each live event is assured through a dedicated backup server that protects against failure. This is critical to the major academic and medical companies Hendrik works with, and also simplifies how both Hendrik and StreamGuys work with each hospital’s IT staff.

“More than their technology is the consulting, guidance, troubleshooting and technical support that StreamGuys provides for every event,” Sangster said. “We would not have the offerings we have today without them. They have created a personalized team for us, with 24/7 availability. Having an event not happen is very costly to Hendrik’s bottom line and industry reputation, so the entire infrastructure is carefully designed to ensure the viewers wouldn’t notice any unanticipated technical issue.”

About StreamGuys, Inc.

In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services.  The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates.  More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service.  Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top broadcasters such as Cox Media Group (CMG), New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.

 # # #

Date posted:

New portable LCD panels deliver accurate color reproduction in direct sunlight for mobile and outdoor broadcast applications, including aerial ENG monitoring

At the 2015 NAB Show in April, Plura Broadcast, a global manufacturer of high-performance digital broadcast and video production solutions, will expand its PHB-3G Series of high-brightness portable LCD monitors with a new 7-inch model. Designed for a wide range of broadcast mobile, indoor and outdoor applications, the PHB-3G Series delivers incomparable quality for ENG monitoring in the field under extreme sunlight conditions, or in a typical high-brightness environment inside a sports stadium. Even in direct sunlight, the new monitors deliver stunning picture quality and accurate color reproduction in accordance with SMPTE, EBU, and REC 709 standards.

Rugged, versatile and portable, PHB-3G Series monitors support up to 1300 cd/m2 of brightness without a hood or sun-visor for less bulk and weight. With one touch of a button, producers can achieve the maximum brightness of 1300 cd/m2 outdoors, or down to 100 for indoor venues. Additionally, the PHB-3G’s shielding, circuitry and filtration properties eliminate all potential electromagnetic interference from radar or GPS navigation systems used in helicopter applications—an important differentiation from competitive solutions on the market.

Now featuring 7- and 9-inch models, the expanded PHB-3G Series of monitors is ideal for ultra-bright indoor and outdoor broadcast applications, including ENG newsgathering on ground or in the air

The Plura PHB-3G Series, which also includes a 9-inch model, offers the exceptional software-defined feature set built into most Plura monitors, including its unique ICAC intelligent calibration and alignment tool to automatically enable gamma correction, color temperature and white luminance level adjustments. This ensures conformance to all pertinent broadcast standards while in the midst of live production.

According to Ray Kalo, president, Plura Broadcast, the growing PHB-3G Series represents a continuation of the company’s strategy to align its portfolio with the changing requirements of broadcasters and production professionals in the digital TV age.

“Our PHB-3G Series will prove especially valuable to our customers—American news and traffic helicopters among them—who want a high-brightness monitoring tool for talent and co-pilots,” said Ray Kalo, president, Plura Broadcast. “Like our other all-in-one monitors, these units exemplify our commitment to provide the industry with integrated functionality of rich feature sets within easy-to-manage platforms—boosting operational value without raising costs.”

Other key broadcast-centric features of the PHB-3G Series include RGB 12-bit digital signal processing for accelerated response time, exceptionally smooth video, and consistent color reproduction. Both monitors also integrate waveform and vector scopes, closed caption decoding, audio metering and time code display, PIP modes, and a stereo speaker for live audio monitoring.

Plura Broadcast will display the complete PHB-3G Series at the 2015 NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, taking place April 13-16. The company will exhibit at Booth N2718.

# # #

Date posted: January 12, 2015

Mobile production specialist brings the unusual and unexpected to “19 Kids And Counting”, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”

 

NASHVILLE, January 12, 2015 — The secretive nature of reality television is a big part of the allure for viewers of programs such as 19 Kids And Counting, punctuated by the record-setting 4.4 million viewers that tuned into Episode 9 this season.  Though viewers were aware they were tuning in for the wedding of Jill Duggar, one of the popular show’s principal stars, they were treated to unexpected guilty pleasures associated with the story that Reality TV fans enjoy.

The TNDV crew worked aside production company Figure 8 Films to delivery the unexpected in mobile production for 19 Kids And Counting: Jill’s Wedding

As Reality TV’s ongoing success is tied to the unusual and unexpected, the nontraditional approach of mobile production specialist TNDV has proven an ideal match for programs like 19 Kids And Counting and The Real Housewives of Atlanta — two shows that have recently relied on TNDV’s multi-camera expertise for special episodes.  TNDV also recently wrapped a multi-camera shoot for a second 19 Kids And Counting wedding — this one featuring Jessa Duggar — to air later in 2015.

“Most of the footage we shoot for these shows aren’t seen for weeks or even months,” said Nic Dugger, president and owner, TNDV, of his experience shooting the similarly surnamed 19 Kids and Counting family.  “While it’s fun to keep the plot twists under our hats, the real challenge is bringing our multi-camera experience to programs that are typically accustomed to single-camera, film-style shooting teams.”

TNDV’s flexible strategy for multi-camera shoots — Reality TV and otherwise — is fueled through its a la carte approach to mobile production, which carefully customizes the technology and workflow for each project.  The TNDV staff worked aside single-camera production teams from Figure 8 Films to strategize and enhance diversity in coverage, employing long lenses, jibs, Steadicams and robotic systems — all recorded independently along with multi-track audio.

With load-in and rehearsal time limited, Nic Dugger and his production crew at TNDV had limited time to prepare for the unexpected of reality TV - a situation where they excel

“In the world of Reality TV, thinking on your feet and quickly changing course are valuable assets,” said Scott Enlow, producer and director, Figure 8 Films.  “Although we usually operate with an extremely mobile crew of 8-12 members for 19 Kids And Counting, bringing TNDV on didn’t hamper or slow production one bit.  Nic and his crew brought a problem-solving approach to challenges with a great attitude, and were willing to adapt to last minute changes with professionalism and ease.  TNDV was a great asset and contributed greatly to our highest rated episode in the show’s history, as well as the highest ratings for TLC in nearly five years.  I won’t hesitate to bring them on again, whenever or wherever the need arises.”

TNDV has used two different trucks, Elevation and Inspiration, for the two Duggar wedding episodes.  For the recently aired 19 Kids And Counting: Jill’s Wedding episode, TNDV brought Elevation, its newest sixth and newest truck, to the production site along with 11 cameras.  According to Dugger, each camera was timecode-locked with a shared timecode feed delivered to truck sources on Elevation on Inspiration, as well as the loose ENG teams following the various characters seen in the episode.

TNDV also added microphone drops across the production space to ensure the highest audio quality.  The provision of wireless microphones for every character on the show augmented the audio experience for the viewer, producing an intimacy akin to being in the room for the weddings.  Additionally, TNDV supplied intercom feeds to every member of the production team, including the single-camera production teams working alongside TNDV staff to ensure everyone involved was on a communications channel.  TNDV also adapted two-way radios to the intercom system to enable a truly remote intercom architecture.

“By avoiding the traditional expectation of a multi-camera facilities provider, our clients depend on us to address the challenges they are facing with a level of professionalism that surpasses expectations,” said Dugger.  “For example, the live switch was used, but the ISO recording was far more valuable as you rarely know what to expect in a live environment.  Things happen very quickly and the team needs to be prepared, especially considering there is not much time for load-in, testing and rehearsal.  It is our job to capture genuine moments, and we cannot let technical problems get in the way.  This is why having a high-density, multi-point intercom matrix with remote capability is absolutely pertinent in reality TV shoots.”

TNDV used its Inspiration truck for The Real Housewives of Atlanta shoot, exemplifying how the company has an ideal mobile production solution for every project.  For this special episode, the TNDV team followed documented the opening of A Mother’s Love, a new play written by Kandi Burress, one of the show’s principal stars.  Using a similar multi-camera production model, Dugger and his team captured the nervous energy — and ultimate success — of Burress and the rest of the cast as the play came to life.

“There is no production environment we are afraid to face,” said Dugger.  “We excel at solving problems for the unusual and unexpected in production, and enjoy the challenge of employing the right technology for every environment.”

# # #

Date posted: December 16, 2014

NHL franchise finds operational value in ZEPLAY instant replay system’s speed, reliability, affordability and ergonomic design

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, December 16, 2014 — The Tampa Bay Lightning is giving its fans at Amalie Arena more to follow beyond the high-intensity NHL action on the ice.  As part of a recent $65 million renovation that includes a new production control room and the largest indoor video board in a North American arena, Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution is delivering impactful, in-game highlights with the same lightning-fast speed as the front line.

The Tampa Bay Lightning chose ZEPLAY based on its speed, cost, reliability and streamlined operation, replacing an existing EVS replay system.  ZEPLAY’s multichannel capability (four in, four out) makes multiple streams available for playout just seven frames after camera feed selection.  The team’s production staff displays replays and highlights on a giant, four-sided Daktronics LED video display positioned high above the ice at Amalie Arena, the 20,000-seat facility—formerly known as Tampa Bay Times Forum—where home games are played.  The immense display measures 28 x 50 feet on its larger sides and 28 x 20 feet on the smaller sides facing the goals.

The ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay server is helping the Tampa Bay Lightning video production staff accelerate instant replays for fans watching the games at Amalie Arena

“As the game unfolds, Lightning fans want to see a replay of that save or that goal, or any exciting play moments after it happens.  ZEPLAY keeps our fans happy by giving them all the replays they want without delay,” said Jorge Rosell, director of broadcast production systems for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The issue of speed goes beyond how quickly the crowd gets to see a replay,” he continued. “Before it becomes part of our live show, our director has to see it first.  The faster we obtain his approval, the faster we can get it out to the video board.  ZEPLAY simplifies the whole process because the operator only has to look at one screen to see the video choices, and all of the key features and functions are easily accessible from the controller’s T-Bar.”

Speed also comes into play when ZEPLAY is used to furnish official replays to the referees.  This occurs often during video production for The Tampa Bay Storm, the Arena Football League (AFL) team that also calls Amalie Arena home.  Since there are usually no broadcast trucks or rights holders associated with AFL games, Rosell said they often provide official replays and live-stream their big board show, including ZEPLAY replays and highlight packages, via the team’s website.

During the recent renovation, the production control room—which has a floor to ceiling window overlooking center-ice—went 1080i HD with ZEPLAY, a new Ross Carbonite 24 2-M/E production switcher and a Chyron Lex 3 live graphics system.  After discovering that the existing EVS system was too cost-prohibitive to upgrade, Rosell began looking at more affordable options that wouldn’t compromise operational features or reliability.  He approached the Ottawa Senators NHL team in Canada to inquire how they liked their two ZEPLAY systems.

“The Senators were the first NHL team to choose ZEPLAY, and they were very happy with it, noting its ease of use in addition to its affordability,” Rosell said.  “We jumped at the opportunity to be the second NHL arena to get a ZEPLAY.”

Tampa Bay Lightning games are covered by up to 12 cameras, including studio/field, robotic, goal-cams and wireless units.  With four HD-SDI inputs/outputs, ZEPLAY accesses camera signals from a Pesa Cheetah house router.  Besides creating instant replays, the system also plays out B-Roll, including highlight packages, directly to the video boards during show opens and intermissions.  When lower-third supers, keys, mortices or other video effects are needed, ZEPLAY’s output goes through the Carbonite switcher/Chyron Lex production chain before display on the large board inside the bowl.

In the near future, ZEPLAY will also send replays to a custom app that lets fans view them on their smartphones and mobile devices inside the arena.

# # #

Date posted: November 6, 2014

NBA franchise upgrades control room, adds giant LED displays during recent renovation of Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City

The Utah Jazz has a storied history as the National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise based in Salt Lake City. To further engage fans attending home games at Energy Solutions Arena, the team is now using Tightrope Media Systems’ ZEPLAY slo-mo instant replay solution to trigger multiple angles of exciting game action.

Installed during a recent major renovation of the 19,000-seat arena, ZEPLAY is used during every Utah Jazz home game as well as motocross, monster truck shows, rodeos and other sporting events taking place at the downtown venue.  All replays are displayed on giant YESCO LED display boards inside the arena bowl, which were also part of the renovation project.

A replay operator at Energy Solutions Arena examines multiple camera angles on ZEPLAY’s built-in multiviewer.

A replay operator at Energy Solutions Arena examines multiple video angles on ZEPLAY’s built-in multiviewer in a control room to the side of the arena bowl.

“Game day entertainment is very important to Jazz fans, and seeing instant replays of key game moments is one of their biggest demands,” said Shawn Brown, director of video productions for the Utah Jazz.  While ZEPLAY is recording eight angles of game action (four in, four out), the operator can select and output multiple angles of any replay in just seven frames to accelerate playback.  “Within a second or two following a key play, our ZEPLAY operator can cue and run a multi-angle replay,” explained Brown.  “That’s how fast and easy it is to do.”

Major advertisers sponsor the replays for a particular quarter during home games, making ZEPLAY’s playback reliability exceptionally important.  In the new control room production workflow, ZEPLAY interoperates with Ross switching, graphics and branding systems to display advertiser’s logo in the lower right corner of replays viewed on the LED screens.

“ZEPLAY helps enable this important revenue stream for our operation,” Brown said. “It also contributes to the overall efficiency of our arena show production.”

ZEPLAY includes a dedicated multiviewer to display four (1080i) HD-SDI signals coming from Ikegami cameras strategically positioned above and alongside the basketball court, as well as the four HD-SDI signals it outputs to arena screens.  ZEPLAY’s preview/program video signals also display on a large flat-screen monitor wall at the front of production control to benefit other operators, including the director and technical director.

During its mid-2013 facility renovation, the Utah Jazz placed a massive 4-sided YESCO LED video board above the basketball court and LED ribbon displays around the arena.  They also relocated their old production control room to a new suite with four times the space and upgraded equipment, adding a Ross switcher and graphics systems; and digital content production systems from Click Effects.  ZEPLAY replaced a legacy Leitch replay system that’s no longer supported, enhancing live production possibilities while increasing reliability.

“Our previous system would lock up or crash right in the middle of games, and there was no tech support available anymore,” Brown said.  “So our engineering team researched other replay systems that were on the market and found ZEPLAY to be the ideal fit.  Since installation, it’s been very stable and reliable, and the replays just look awesome on our video boards.”

# # #

Date posted: November 5, 2014

New software-defined, IP-enabled solutions enable multiviewer integration, wireless control via mobile app along with unparalleled time-based precision

The broadcast and production industry has lacked options for professional timers and clocks over the past two years, with longtime vendors ending support of these valuable and often underappreciated studio tools.  Plura is filling the void in this market with a new range of networked production timers from its Alpermann-Velte brand of infrastructure solutions for connected studios, complete with a mobile app for advanced wireless applications.

Alpermann-Velte SPT production timers from Plura are available in tabletop (pictured here) and rackmount version. Both networked models are capable of delivering an unlimited number of timer displays across six readout devices.

Demonstrated at IBC and now shipping, the Alpermann-Velte SPT family from Plura constitutes rackmount and tabletop versions, each capable of distributing six different timers across unlimited associated hardware or software devices.  With freedom to deploy any combination or number of these readout devices, studios can gradually scale the timer network as requirements grow.  The networked SPT architecture, which includes Power over Ethernet (PoE) signal distribution, also enables synchronization with studio clock reference systems, as well as IP control across all connected devices to start, stop, reset and adjust other timer settings.

Two of the six Plura SPT timer readouts can integrate into several industry leading multiviewers, including Plura’s MVM model

The SPT range delivers software-defined intelligence to advance production timer applications in broadcast and production facilities.  As with the best legacy timer products, SPT solutions offer to-the-second precision for countdowns leading in and out of transitions, live or recorded, ensuring seamless continuity between programs and advertisements.  Unlike legacy timers, SPT products integrate seamlessly with leading multiviewers, incorporating digital timers and/or analog clocks into the visual display.  This interoperability promotes a cleaner end-to-end production operation for control room and technical staff tasked with program direction and monitoring.

The specialized SPT mobile app further enhances production in the connected studio, providing a wireless control environment for personnel moving around the control room or production floor.  Available for most mobile devices, users can control the same functions as a wired SPT solution, and view countdowns and other timer functions on a corresponding tablet — a unique attribute and an industry first for production timers.

The IP-based SPT design also simplifies integration of the timer network.  With minimal connections required, facilities can use existing infrastructure for PoE signal distribution and eliminate complex legacy wiring in favor of standard network cables.  The design also eliminates large time generator units, reducing costs and adding flexibility to the distribution architecture.  Furthermore, the central rackmount or tabletop unit can exist in another facility, with all addressing, timing adjustments and device control accommodated over the internet.

“The SPT Series represents a modern timer distribution system that is easy to deploy and easy to use, filling the hole left by vendors who no longer serve this space while evolving production timers for the network,” said Reimund Baeuerle, co-managing director, Plura Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of Plura Broadcast.  “This is tried-and-true Alpermann-Velte innovation, developed from a 30-year foundation of leadership in timecode solutions while leveraging the possibilities of IP.  There is no doubt that IP is the future for connectivity in broadcast and production, and this innovation is a significant step in building a connected studio infrastructure.”

 # # #

Date posted: November 4, 2014

HD mobile production specialist to produce live real-time, interactive coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and backstage activities

NASHVILLE, November 4, 2014 — At The 48th Annual CMA Awards—airing live on the ABC Television Network tomorrow, November 5, from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville—mobile production specialist TNDV will take the reins on the production of CMA Backstage Pass.  This live, multi-camera streaming media experience will give viewers the ability to use their tablets and mobile devices to get an exclusive look at what’s taking place behind the scenes before and during the live CMA Awards telecast.

CMA Backstage Pass host Kelly Sutton interviews musician Darius Rucker while TNDV producer Lacey Devlin takes notes.

With 13 HD cameras dedicated to CMA Backstage Pass, viewers will see many angles of activities off-stage, starting with the Red Carpet from 5pm to 7pm Central Time.  From 7pm to 11pm, viewers can switch between cameras backstage, in the main broadcast truck and in the press room where the stars appear after receiving their awards.

“The main goal of CMA Backstage Pass is to give fans an in-depth view into what their favorite celebrities are up to during the show. It also provides an unprecedented look into the behind the scenes workings of a major international awards show,” said Lacey C. Devlin, producer for TNDV and Backstage Pass.  “Watching the live broadcast is just one part of the experience fans are searching for. In the age of social media, fans want to know every detail—every inside joke, every off-camera event and other candid moments that make the stars more interesting and relatable.”

TNDV’s Aspiration HD mobile production truck parked outside of Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, where the team will switch 13 cameras for the live CMA Backstage Pass stream.

This innovative, unique live stream, which will unfold in real-time parallel to the main ABC-TV special, will give viewers additional content about the celebrities—whose fashions they’re wearing, accomplishments and personal moments caught on camera—and let viewers share the experience with others on social media.  Viewers can experience CMA Awards Backstage Pass by downloading the WatchABC app, available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and more.

CMA (Country Music Association) chose TNDV to handle this special national event based on its growing relationship over the past six years.  “TNDV is by far the best live production company I have worked with,” said Ben Bennett, director of digital strategy at Country Music Association.  “TNDV always brings tons of ideas to the table and, most importantly, always executes flawlessly.  Our show has grown into a major national event due in large part to their tireless efforts and willingness to find a way to make things happen.

TNDV Engineers Jared Bowers, Adam Ellis, and Matt Barker prepare some of the 13 cameras to bring the CMA Backstage Pass show to the world live from Bridgestone Arena.

“The two- to three-hour window right before our TV special is the most critical time when viewers are making decisions about what to watch that night,” Bennett continued.  “The live stream creates a ton of chatter online during those critical hours.  The more fans we can get talking about the red carpet and thusly, the CMA Awards, the more chance we have at getting a bigger audience to tune in.  The same goes for during the show.  The live stream will help drive the social media conversation, and should drive more viewers to the ABC broadcast.”

TNDV will switch between 13 cameras from its 40-foot HD truck, Aspiration, which will park next to the main broadcast production truck producing the CMA Awards.  The CMA Backstage Pass camera inside that main mobile unit will let viewers watch the CMA Awards from the perspective of the main truck producing the live show.  Additionally, TNDV is also producing special, behind the scenes packages to give fans an exclusive look at how the stage was built, the stars’ dressing rooms and how the City of Nashville prepared for the CMA Awards, the biggest night in country music.

“This year’s Backstage Pass will be unlike anything ever done for the CMA Awards,” said Nic Dugger, owner and president of TNDV.  “While TNDV was integrally involved in last year’s second-screen experience, called CMA 360, this year we plan to ‘kick it up a notch’ by adding more cameras, more talent and more unfettered access to the Red Carpet and candid backstage moments.  Our multi-camera webcast, which takes place right alongside the main broadcast, includes a 20-member crew, an expanding side HD truck, and a complex single-mode fiber optic infrastructure dedicated solely to Backstage Pass.”

# # #

Copyright 2012 Dimension PR | All Rights Reserved. Web services provided by TAG Online

Latest Stories RSS | Comments RSS