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Production and storytelling specialists nxtedition is set to launch the latest version of its core software. The new release will bring a range of additional and improved functionality to the platform, all aimed at boosting operational efficiency.

“At its heart, nxtedition is a platform for storytelling,” said Robert Nagy, lead developer & co-founder at nxtedition. “We continually talk to our users to find out what they need to do their jobs, but most important we plan upgrades which will enhance the user experience without over-complicating it. Our users need to work swiftly and accurately.”

Typical of the new functionality is instant access to basic editing and voiceover tools for any clip in the system. This allows a journalist to quickly build a story by simply assembling the pictures and adding a script, through intuitive controls. The toolset is good to produce typical news stories, but if there is a need for more sophisticated craft editing, nxtedition offers a plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro as required. The plug in supports WebDAV to stream the high-res material (not proxies) directly into a premiere pro edit at high speed.

The new release helps users plan their work, through improved search and calendar tools, on-screen tabs, and search indexing of all graphics and subtitles. Colour correction can be applied to any video clip or image in the system to match footage from different sources, and outputs can be rendered in multiple formats. Ingest record from SRT and NDI® feeds is now well proven and widely used so is also supported.

Additionally, an exciting new feature will allow users to create HTML5 graphic templates within After Effects and export them for use on-air in nxtedition at great speed. Using the generated event users can then change any dynamic fields for text, colour, scale and position and there is even support for AE Expressions and animations.

“Release 19.4 is another important step in the development of an ever-more agile, more creative user experience,” Nagy added. “The nxtedition platform is rapidly growing in applications, from new media streaming services to national broadcasters, because it puts the right tools in front of the journalists, producers, planners and editors. It is powerful without being complex – that is its strength.”

Software version 19.4 will be available to all existing users from May 2021, with a programmed upgrade agreed with each client.

Full list of new features added to 19.4 release.

• Image Tools

• Colour Correction

• HQ + LQ Recording

• After Effects HTML5 graphic template export

• Ingest adds SRT & NDI® support

• Native Edit Render

• Edit Improvements

• Reduced Latency

• Inline Search

• Searchable Graphics & Subtitles

• Tabs

• Calendar Improvements

• Facebook Publish Rehaul

• Searchable Render Status and Errors

• Straight Alpha Support

• Controller Improvements (MIDI Support added)

Mo-Sys Engineering (www.mo-sys.com), world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, is installing a StarTracker system in the Los Angeles studio of StandardVision. This extensive facility builds on StandardVision’s unrivalled experience in design and implementation of large-scale displays, with an LED studio for virtual production.

StandardVision has an enviable reputation for both the creative and technical aspects of architectural lighting and digital media. Projects have been completed in California and around the world, from the new airport in Doha, Qatar to Hong Kong. The unique StandardVision value is both to integrate and install class-leading technology, and to create compelling visual content for the displays.

As part of their creative services, StandardVision Studios, in the heart of Los Angeles, operates a 10,000 square foot studio with a green screen and an LED volume for creating display content. These screens are now enhanced with the Mo-Sys StarTracker system enabling all types of virtual production.

“Alongside work for our own clients, we found we were being approached by movie and television people who wanted to try out ideas,” said Alberto Garcia, CTO of StandardVision. “Our plans for the studio matched well with theirs, particularly around the Unreal Engine for virtual environments.

“We needed to precisely place real cameras into virtual worlds,” he explained. “We looked around but it was clear that Mo-Sys had a strong reputation in the industry due to StarTracker’s precision and operational resilience. The producers we have coming in recognized Mo-Sys as the way to go, so it was a simple decision to choose StarTracker.”

StarTracker is widely regarded as the leader in camera tracking technologies, using a random pattern of reflective dots – “stars” – on the studio ceiling. Once mapped, which takes just a few moments, any StarTracker camera can be precisely located in three-dimensional space, and for 6-axes of movement. In addition, precision lens data enables the CGI elements to be distorted to match the camera lens for even greater realism.

“StandardVision is a remarkable company, developing creative solutions on a massive scale,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “We are very excited to be working with them on their studio, and we look forward to further challenges in the future.”

Mo-Sys installed StarTracker in the StandardVision studio in mid-April 2021.

Rohde & Schwarz meets Bayerischer Rundfunk’s requirement and develops unique mobile R&S®TMV9-4 DAB+ transmitter that can be transported in a small van, configured and operational within minutes of arriving at transmitter site.

Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in TV & radio terrestrial transmission, has created a world’s first in developing a new super-compact and lightweight portable emergency DAB+ transmitter for Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) in Munich, Germany. This revolutionary new transmitter design is a variant of the company’s R&S®TMV9-4 DAB+ transmitter and ensures continuity of broadcast across BR’s DAB+ radio network.

Despite having one of the most stable and reliable DAB+ transmission networks, BR’s engineers saw a need for a reliable back up transmitter in the rare emergency situations or where scheduled maintenance requires a transmitter to power down temporarily. Rohde & Schwarz’s adapted TMV9-4 DAB+ transmitter is incredibly compact (73 x 147 x 86cm) and weighs just 250 kg. Still, it provides deceptively high 3 kW output power.

BR is using the transmitter as an emergency transmitter during the extension of their DAB+ transmitter network as an important and reliable bridging option. The new transmitter is mounted in a specially designed mobile transmitter rack system with hand grips to ease lifting and wheels to assist moving to and from a vehicle. The Rohde & Schwarz unit easily fits within a small trailer pulled behind a car or small van, and can be taken to a transmitter site within minutes of an outage occurring.

Rohde & Schwarz engineers have developed a series of optimized hardware plug-in interfaces on the transmitter, which are designed to enable ultra-fast, on-site set up and commissioning. Despite its innovative design, the new transmitter utilizes the same standard components that are found in the transmitters throughout BR’s DAB+ network so no extra spares inventory is required.

“Incidents where part of our DAB+ transmitter network goes offline are extremely rare, but still we felt that this back-up option would be valuable,” commented Roland Janik, Head of Special Department - Infrastructure Transmission Sites at Bayerischer Rundfunk. “What they have created is unique in that a transmitter in this power class can be transported easily without a truck, and system setup is optimized for ultra-rapid bringing to air once it is on site.”

“Appreciating BR’s requirements, we demonstrated our ability to create customized solutions based on our standard transmitter system portfolio”, commented Manfred Reitmeier, Vice President Transmitters and Amplifier Systems at Rohde & Schwarz. “With the implementation of this special customer requirement, we are also strengthening our market position with full compatibility between standard and customized solutions.”

Now seen as one of the most informative and influential industry gatherings, the 10th annual Devoncroft Executive Summit will be held, virtually, 27 – 29 April. Recognizing the importance of the event, Starfish Technologies is one of its sponsors.

Starfish is an established and successful technology company delivering innovative solutions and expertize, particularly in transport stream processing, transport stream splicing, video transcoding, IP delivery of media streams, opt-out signal encoding/decoding and Audio Description systems. Built on a foundation of rigorous software development, Starfish develops patented techniques to deliver the next generation of media stream processing and delivery.

“The media industry was finding its way along the transition path from SDI-based architectures towards fully software-based systems and IP, when the pandemic hit us all with the need to support remote production and operation through virtualization. I believe it has forced the industry to skip forward around five years along its natural evolution path” said Peter Blatchford, CMO of Starfish Technologies. “This year’s Devoncroft Executive Summit is a great opportunity to share experiences and develop a real understanding of what has worked and what has not, and the implications for the future. That is why we have committed to be a part of the event.”

Joe Zaller of Devoncroft added “Just as the media industry has had to transform itself, so we have had to completely rethink our flagship event. Anyone who has tried taking a physical meeting and simply put it on screen knows that it does not work, so we have devoted a lot of time and energy to creating a virtual summit which really delivers for every delegate. To make that happen, we are extremely grateful to our sponsors, like Starfish, who have backed us to continue to provide the content and context that media leaders need.”

More information on the Devoncroft Executive Summit can be found at devoncroft.com/2021-summit-overview/

Large number of Mo-Sys camera tracking systems available for creative producers across all the Salford studios.

Mo-Sys Engineering (www.mo-sys.com), world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, is extending the capabilities for virtual and augmented reality at Dock10’s studio complex in Salford. Dock10 already had five channels of camera tracking, and it is now adding a further nine, ensuring the technology is available for multiple clients simultaneously.

In any creative production marrying live action with computer-generated scenic elements, the CGI needs to know exactly what the camera is seeing to ensure the combined image remains precisely locked. StarTracker is widely regarded as the leader in camera tracking technologies, using a random pattern of reflective dots – “stars” – on the studio ceiling. Once mapped, which takes just a few moments, any StarTracker camera can be precisely located in three-dimensional space, and for 6-axes of movement. In addition, precision lens data enables the CGI elements to be distorted to match the camera lens for even greater realism.

Dock10 initially invested in StarTracker for the premium sports show Match of the Day for BBC Television, along with the educational service BiteSize Daily. By adding nine more StarTrackers, Dock10 can provide camera tracking and virtual production across multiple studios and productions simultaneously.

“Directors want to be able to work in different sized studios, to accommodate a range of performers, physical sets and mixed reality,” said Andy Waters, head of studios at Dock10. “To meet this growing demand from our clients, we took our experience with key enabling technologies like StarTracker, and super-sized it across all our studios.”

Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys, added “Dock10 offers a unique capability in the UK – producers have the freedom to choose the size of studio right for their job, and put in it the technology they need. Virtual and augmented reality is an important part of so many productions today, from commercials to game shows, talent contests to sports analysis. By its very simplicity, StarTracker makes set-up for virtual production fast and easy.”

New Mo-Sys Cinematic XR Focus enables Cinematographers to seamlessly pull focus between real and virtual worlds.

Mo-Sys Engineering (www.mo-sys.com), world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual production, has solved a major creative limitation when using an LED volume for virtual production. Cinematographers who needed to pull focus between real foreground objects – such as actors – and virtual objects displayed on an LED wall – such as a car - have been unable to do this as the lens focal plane stops at the LED wall, meaning the car always remains out of focus.

Now, with Cinematic XR Focus from Mo-Sys, Focus Pullers using the same wireless lens control system they’re used to, can pull focus seamlessly from real objects through the LED wall to focus on virtual objects that appear to be positioned behind the LED wall. The reverse focus pull is also possible.

Cinematic XR Focus is an option for Mo-Sys’ virtual production software VP Pro working with Mo-Sys’ StarTracker camera tracking technology. Cinematic XR Focus synchronises the lens controller with the output of the Unreal Engine graphics, relying on StarTracker to constantly track the distance between the camera and the LED wall. The solution is available from Mo-Sys and is compatible with Preston wireless lens controllers (Hand Unit 3 and MDR-3).

“Production companies have excitedly embraced virtual production and on-set finishing using LED volumes. The ability to create any internal or external set background or set extension with an LED volume, has truly changed the dynamics of film making,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys.

“But there have been limitations. Pulling focus – a fundamental part of the grammar of movies, to direct the audience’s attention to different parts of the screen – has been difficult. The Cinematic XR Focus software add-on transforms the possibilities, allowing Cinematographers to freely realise their creative ambitions.”

Recent advances in LED display technology have meant that it is now perfectly practical to shoot in-camera VFX shots in real-time. Having the finished virtual graphics on the LED wall means that there is no green/blue spill to remove in post-production, as the LED volume casts the correct soft lighting around the talent. All this reduces the cost of post-production compositing which, along with the savings in location costs, make virtual production a financially attractive and time-saving choice for producers.

Now, with the freedom to make more creative focus pulls, thanks to Cinematic XR Focus from Mo-Sys, Cinematographers can add even greater storytelling value to their productions.

See it in action here: https://youtu.be/6Uz0Qpyc-04

Pixel Power, the global leader in graphics production and master control playout automation, has delivered a configurable StreamMaster PRIME system to WFMJ, the NBC and CW affiliate in Youngstown, Ohio. The new StreamMaster PRIME is a direct replacement for an existing Pixel Power LogoVision graphics generator.

StreamMaster PRIME is a turnkey appliance, implemented in software running on COTS hardware, with a flexible function set. It is designed specifically to provide a replacement for individual devices in a traditional master control and playout architecture, and supports SDI I/O for easy integration with existing infrastructure. WFMJ had been using a Pixel Power LogoVision system for many years, but the hardware operating system was no longer supported by Microsoft so a replacement was needed.

In the WFMJ application, StreamMaster PRIME is largely automated, taking data from the station’s BTi system and displaying news tickers, Lotto results, school closure information and election data. Control and template design uses StreamMaster Control Toolbox, a software application included with the technology. The system underlines the station’s branding and graphic identity, and operates completely automatically under normal circumstances.

“StreamMaster PRIME is precisely what we needed,” said Bob Flis, chief engineer at WFMJ. “We could unplug the old system, plug in the new and it carried on working perfectly. We were used to the high-quality graphics from our old Pixel Power system, and this keeps up the great look. StreamMaster is software defined so it is future proof, we can add new functions as our needs evolve.”

James Gilbert, CEO of Pixel Power added “This is exactly what StreamMaster PRIME was designed for. WFMJ is not yet ready to upgrade its complete playout system, but needs to replace one existing piece of legacy equipment. With StreamMaster PRIME in place they can build on the functionality it has, and it can form part of a fully virtualized, IP connected playout system in the future when WFMJ is ready.”

The installation at WFMJ was negotiated by Heartland Video Systems. The StreamMaster PRIME was delivered in December 2020 and is now on air.

Mo-Sys Engineering (www.mo-sys.com), world leader in virtual production and image robotics, announced today the appointment of Tanner Woodward as Sales Director, West Coast US.

Arriving at Mo-Sys with extensive industry experience, Woodward joins from RED Digital Cinema, where he spent five years managing existing channel partners and establishing new dealer networks, as well as creating the corporate creative vertical. Working with a wide variety of creatives, from small content creators to large scale live and in-studio production teams, Woodward built on his previous work as a camera operator and systems workflow manager for live events, specializing in speed, reliability, and efficiency all the way through from pre- to post-production.

“I am extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity with Mo-Sys,” said Woodward. “The one thing I’ve learned in my time working with creatives, is that the most valuable tools are those built to empower creativity while making life easier and more efficient. Mo-Sys creates such innovative tools and solutions, and I couldn’t be more honored to be part of this team.”

Part of an expansion plan on the US West Coast, Woodward’s appointment reflects an ongoing investment in the LA sales and support team, which has doubled in recent months, and precedes the imminent announcement of the opening of the Mo-Sys LA office.

This news follows the earlier appointing of Mike Grieve as Commercial Director and he brings with him extensive industry experience across production and post-production, most recently in virtual production having held CCO roles at Ncam Technologies and The Future Group.

“Mo-Sys has such an incredible range of yet-to-be released virtual and remote production products, combined with significant plans in image robotics, that it represented an irresistible opportunity” Grieve said. “Growth last year verified the potential the company has, but 2021 looks even more promising, so it was an easy decision to join the Mo-Sys leadership team.”

Boasting 25 years' experience in virtual technologies, Grieve’s role is to expand Mo-Sys’ market share of virtual production, remote production, and image robotics.

Michael Geissler, CEO Mo-Sys commented, “We welcome Tanner and Mike to Mo-Sys when we are seeing significant expansion, directly related to the increase in demand for virtual and remote production technologies. We are expanding our amazing team for the future and, with pros like Tanner and Mike onboard, I know we are in safe hands.”

Tanner and Mike will be attending the ASC Awards on Sunday 18th, 7pm BST, where they will be previewing an exciting and unique focusing technology for LED volume use, which will be officially announced and released the following week.

With advanced Dolby Atmos and IMF capabilities, Rohde & Schwarz strengthens R&S®CLIPSTER brand as high-quality content creation platform for cinematic, episodic TV and home entertainment markets.

Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in post-production media technologies has announced the release of the latest version of its R&S®CLIPSTER feature film and episodic TV mastering system. The latest software upgrade (version 6.9.1) includes extended support for Dolby Atmos multi-channel surround sound production technology as well as the latest IMF (ST2067-X) delivery standards.

With a global installed user base numbering thousands, CLIPSTER is the de-facto production tool of choice for visual QC, DCP and IMF mastering as well as generic file transcoding. This new software version targets content producers delivering premium home entertainment content. It ensures that whether the need is for a spine-tingling audio experience or stunning full motion video, media content can be mastered and delivered via the widest range of IMF-compliant streaming service providers.

In recent years, Dolby Atmos has re-written the rulebook for immersive audio experiences within the home, spanning the widest range of multichannel surround sound environments including 5.1 and 7.1 soundscapes. Now, with just a few mouse clicks, CLIPSTER users can add all variants of Dolby Atmos files to their edit timeline and can edit them in the same way they would edit any other file. Users can create IMF packages that feature Dolby Atmos audio to help ensure that the highest quality content is provided right to the home entertainment user, and perform real-time QC including the immersive audio tracks prior to and after the creation of the deliverable.

Whether it's for streaming services from the major studios adding their own channels or the disruptor OTT services, IMF has revolutionized the international content creation market, helping to produce a level playing field for all sizes and scales of production operation from the Hollywood studios to small independent producers. In addition, broadcasters around the world are increasingly adopting IMF as a way to streamline their workflows for packaging content to their global partners.

Now CLIPSTER supports the latest IMF standards, as well as supporting legacy content that was created using previous IMF standards. The revised IMF standards simplify the distribution and archival of IMF content packages by removing previous constraints regarding the required types and number of assets referenced by the Composition Playlists.

“With nearly twenty years in the post-production market, CLIPSTER is renowned as a high-quality brand with best in class mastering capabilities,” commented Andreas Loges, vice president Media Technologies at Rohde & Schwarz. “This new IMF and Dolby Atmos functionality means that CLIPSTER is the go-to mastering platform for cinematic, episodic TV and home entertainment content in the highest quality.”

Rohde & Schwarz claims world’s first in IP-based monitoring and multiviewer systems with R&S®PRISMON. New Scalable Distributed Multiviewer features increase system flexibility while reducing processing power required to support the network.

Rohde & Schwarz, a global leader in broadcast media technologies has announced the introduction of strategic new IP-related multiviewer functionalities within its R&S®PRISMON broadcast channel monitoring and multiviewer system.

Claimed by the company to be a world’s first in IP workflow multiviewing, the new Scalable Distributed Multiviewer feature offers unprecedented configuration flexibility for users through its ‘any to any’ function. This unique feature, which can be added to existing PRISMON installations, enables any input to any output connectivity through IP proxy networks for up to 36 remote devices.

This scalability option enables users to display a mosaic view on a particular PRISMON system with input services decoded on any other PRISMON system within the same proxy IP network. So, for example, users can render a view with multiple UHD inputs – beyond the decoding capacity of a single system. In addition, it helps overcome the fact that only a limited number of physical ASI and SDI interfaces are available on a single system.

With its Scalable Distributed Multiviewer functionality, Rohde & Schwarz is targeting a large market of studio galleries and master control rooms that are looking to migrate to IP-based workflows. At the same time, the multiviewer functionality can be used to adapt the specific production resources needed to support new ultra high definition production formats.

“As broadcasters continue to increase channel numbers and distribution methods to consumers they need technology that enables them to quickly adapt to everyday changes,” commented Andreas Loges, Vice President Media Technologies at Rohde & Schwarz. “This new Scalable Distributed Multiviewer function in PRISMON provides an extraordinary level of flexibility by allowing you to offer any input signal, decoded on any PRISMON within the IP network, to be displayed on any other PRISMON output within that same network."

In addition to this increased flexibility, the new Scalable Distributed Multiviewer Function has been designed to address several other common issues found within IP-based production and distribution networks. One of these is the thorny issue of resource allocation: the latest version of PRISMON requires significantly less CPU power and fewer decoding licenses. The SDM feature also provides higher network flexibility and is part of a series of new tool sets that will allow configuration of a large number of PRISMONs through a centralized control user interface – the Multiviewer Control Center.

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