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Mo-Sys Engineering, world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, has established a partnership with Evolve Technology, which includes an initial purchase of several Mo-Sys StarTracker camera tracking systems. Evolve is a market leader in live events and virtual productions in the US, providing independent technical advice, sales and rental, and training workshops. 

The Mo-Sys StarTracker system is unique in using “stars” (reflective dots) positioned at random, usually on the ceiling or lighting grid of the studio or venue. Once learnt, an automatic process, StarTracker can then provide ultimate precision in camera location and orientation through all six degrees of freedom. In conjunction with lens data, it means a virtual environment system, such as the Unreal graphics engine, can be matched to real images from the cameras with perfect stability. 

Mo-Sys is the latest of Evolve’s “Trifecta” partnerships (rent, buy and learn). As well as having Mo-Sys StarTracker systems available for rent or purchase, they will also be used as a training aid and will play a key role in virtual production and extended reality workshops. Evolve also plans highly targeted courses on StarTracker lens calibration. These courses are expected to begin in April. 

“Our job is to keep up-to-date with the best technology, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to,” said Tyler Mayne, CEO of Evolve Technology. “We looked at the market, and we saw Mo-Sys StarTracker as the versatile, user-friendly and cost-effective solution. We’re confident in pitching Mo-Sys because it’s a really robust platform.” 

One trend Evolve is already seeing is the increasing use of technologies from the live events industry, like augmented and extended reality, used on film shoots, with VFX houses taking a key role to shoot and composite on set in real-time, rather than compositing in post-production, using new technologies such as LED panels. 

“We can make things easier for the studios, because they are in the business of telling stories, not technology,” explained Mayne. “We can sell, rent or lease them the entire eco-system, based on the best brands, like Mo-Sys, which is why we are looking at tightening our partnership even further.” 

To boost support for this emerging studio business, Evolve is building its first lab in Atlanta, to be shortly followed by a second on the West Coast. These will be fully fitted studios where Evolve will be able to demonstrate the technology, as well as giving VFX houses a place to test out their assets before the shoot. 

“We are very excited by this partnership with Evolve,” confirmed Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys Engineering. “They are a perfect fit for us: not only are they across all the technologies, but they understand the rapid changes in the industry and the way that extended and augmented reality is developing into new areas. We look forward to solving many new challenges with Tyler and his team.” 

Matt Scott has joined GB Labs, innovators of powerful and intelligent storage solutions for the media and entertainment industries, to further develop the company’s presence in the Americas. As Solutions Architect and Pre-Sales Engineer, Scott will be based in California, and work with both resellers and end users. 

Matt Scott has a long career in creating content. As a post-production supervisor, he has created workflows and delivered drama, reality and documentary projects for theatrical, television, and new media. He is also professor of giant screen and IMAX film-making at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and has worked on multiple IMAX films around the world. That real-world experience makes him an ideal candidate to help other post professionals develop secure and powerful content infrastructures. 

“This is obviously a challenging time to join any new company,” Scott said. “But the GB Labs suite of products offer many unique advantages for both on prem and remote workflows that position them for success in these uncertain timesI'm excited to start working with filmmakers and for the near future when I can visit the UK Headquarters and work with the rest of the team!” 

Dominic Harland, CEO of GB Labs, added “Matt Scott has a great track record in post-production. GB Labs develops products and solutions that offer incredible performance. This is a match made in heaven, and we are all very excited to have Matt on side. He will be instrumental in developing ever stronger relationships with premium facilities in Hollywood and the whole of the North, Central and South American markets.” 

 

Intinor is a leading developer of products and solutions for high quality video over the internet, with customers ranging from small production companies to major television stations. Established in 2003, this has been the best year yet for Intinor. 

“The pandemic has, of course, been a global disaster,” said Roland Axelsson, CEO at Intinor. “But it has driven a shift towards remote production and simple connectivity over the internet. The speed with which broadcasters and production companies have had to implement these systems means that they need proven, simple to use and off-the-shelf solutions. Intinor has been delivering broadcast quality over the public internet for longer than anyone else.” 

The growth in business and the continuing demand for specialist solutions means that Intinor is in the happy position of seeking additional staff, including an account manager with a technical background, as well as systems developers. 

“No-one wants to boast about success at this very difficult time,” Roland added. “But we have seen major new projects in Europe and North America, and we have made significant technical advances, including complex demonstrations of 5G capabilities. We need to expand to maintain our momentum, technically and commercially.” 

The new roles will be primarily based at the company’s headquarters in Umeå in Sweden, but naturally for a business that specialises in internet connectivity and cloud services, there is considerable scope for remote working. 

The brave new world of PR and marketing:

Recently our CEO Jennie Marwick-Evans talked with fellow PR and Marketing professionals to the IABM to discuss the impact the last 6 months has had on both our business and that of our customers. They talked about the impact of loosing trade shows during 2020 and how the creative industry adapted to working remotely. 

The article can be found on page 54-56 in the IABM journal here:

https://theiabm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Journal-115-2020-for-web-1.pdf

StarTracker Studio delivers in time for US election coverage

Mo-Sys Engineering, world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, collaborated with talkRADIO, the UK’s leading commercial radio news service, to create a turnkey virtual production environment which was first used for coverage of the US presidential election. 

talkRADIO, part of Wireless Group, a division of News UK, live streams twenty hours of its output every day, for those listeners using devices with screens. With the US election approaching, talkRADIO was looking for new ways to engage audiences and satisfy advertisers. Going beyond simply putting cameras into radio studios, it wanted to create a rich virtual environment.

With just four weeks to election night, talkRADIO turned to Mo-Sys Engineering, which had recently launched its all-in-one pre-configured virtual production system, StarTracker Studio. 

Providing camera tracking for multiple cameras, switching, keying, Unreal Engine photo-realistic graphics, compositing, and recording, StarTracker Studio is designed for multi-camera live to air and shot-by-shot VFX virtual production workflows, supporting both green screen and LED wall studios.

“We wanted our small studio space to look big, to look luxurious,” said Nick Prater, Head of Broadcast Technology for Wireless Group. “Mo-Sys could provide the complete solution, and they understood that we wanted it to look real. Getting the textures and the lighting right in the virtual studio took time, but the Mo-Sys designers understood what we wanted and delivered it.” 

In any election broadcast, even without the complications of Covid-19, there is a need for flexibility as the guest list changes, and contributions come in online – usually Zoom – as well as in person. Using a combination of Panasonic PTZ cameras with StarTracker PTZ tracking systems, enabled the cameras to be moved dynamically within the virtual studio, simplifying studio set up and allowing complete creative freedom.

“talkRADIO has a strong, loyal audience and excellent broadcasters,” said Michael Geissler, CEO of Mo-Sys. “What we achieved with this project was to bring them closer together in a new way, to improve the broadcasters’ engagement with the audience. This is absolutely unique, a completely new way of visualising radio.” 

talkRADIO’s Nick Prater added, “After the broadcast I spoke to a television executive who said of our coverage ‘that looks really good – as good as television’. For a small radio team, supported by Mo-Sys and with just four weeks to put it all together, I think we achieved something remarkable. This is a sensational achievement that delivers for our audience and pushes the boundaries of radio visualisation.” 

The next outing for the talkRADIO’s virtual production environment will mark the end of the December Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, bringing reports from all around the country into the studio.

Little Mix put into virtual stadium setting thanks to precision camera tracking

London, UK, 25 November 2020: Mo-Sys Engineering, a world leader in precision camera tracking solutions for virtual studios and augmented reality, took a central role in the Covid-safe production of a live online entertainment awards show. Normally held in a stadium venue, this year production company and media technologists Bild Studios used virtual reality with the intent of keeping the same scope and excitement as any physical show in the past.

Under the lead of Creative Director Paul Caslin and Production Designer Julio Himede from Yellow Studio, Bild created an enormous 360 virtual stadium cladded with LED screens all around – a design that wouldn’t have been achievable in the real world but more than possible in a virtual environment. Bild’s unique content workflows allowed the show content applied to the virtual LED screens to be operated live, on a cue per cue basis – just like in a physical environment. Hosts Little Mix were shot in a large green screen studio, which thanks to Mo-Sys VP Pro virtual studio software combined with Unreal Engine graphics, became filled with cheering music fans. The links were shot with three Arri cameras: one on a crane, one on a rail and one on a tripod.

Each camera was fitted with a Mo-Sys StarTracker camera tracking system. These track and capture a camera’s precise position and orientation in six axes thanks to infrared cameras tracking reflective dots – stars – on the ceiling. By also tracking the lens focus, zoom, and distortion, the live talent can be perfectly and seamlessly combined with the virtual world, irrespective of the camera movement or lens adjustment. All composited camera outputs were created in real-time, ready for the for the director to live-cut to, making the camera work for the virtual production environment not too dissimilar for any other live broadcast show.

“Producing the real-time VFX content and suppling the technical engineering for this event was a very great pleasure,” said David Bajt, Co-Founder & Director at Bild Studios. “Special thanks go to Mo-Sys Engineering for the amazing camera tracking and virtual production technology.”

Mo-Sys CTO James Uren, who acted as technical consultant on the production, explained, “This was a very fast turnaround production – just five days for any post-production work required – so we needed to get all the virtual studio materials in camera. Because we capture all the component video elements (green screen, key, and graphics for each camera) plus all camera movement and lens data for each camera, for maximum flexibility we could offer Bild the option of three workflows.

“First, we had the combined real and virtual elements from the three cameras, with the option of cleaning up the greenscreen in post,” he explained. “Second, if there had been a problem with the graphics, we could keep the live shots and replace the virtual background. And third, the post team could just go crazy and change everything, whilst still keeping the same camera/lens movements around Little Mix.”

Mo-Sys VP Pro is powerful software that plugs directly into the Unreal Engine Editor. It receives the camera and lens tracking data from StarTracker, synchronises this with the camera video and the Unreal Engine virtual graphics, and frame accurately merges the two image streams together to provide a real-time high quality composite output. VP Pro’s uncompromised graphics power was designed with the specific needs of live virtual production in mind. For the event, each Arri camera had its own VP Pro and Unreal Engine instance. This gave the producers the output quality they demanded, with very low latency. “This is not pre-visualisation,” Uren explained. “This is premium production quality.”
 

Munich, Germany, 24 November 2020: Turkuvaz Media Group - the provider of channels including ATV, AHaber, Anews, A2, Aspor, Apara, MinikA and MinikA GO has completed the extension of its use of Cinegy technology to increase their playout and editing capabilities for selected channels. Cinegy software is used for every stage of the production workflow: ingest, archive, monitoring, editing and playout.

Turkuvaz Medya has built new offices and an operation centre to serve 9 TV channels and 4 Radio channels. There are now 17 studios with a combined floor space of 9,000m2. The studios are designed to be able to serve different usage purposes. Twelve of these are 12m tall and range in size between 200m2 and 1500m2. Five are 6m tall and have between 100m2 and 350m2 floorspace. These studios will be controlled by 6 Program Control Rooms with 4K infrastructure and 4 PCR with HD infrastructure. There are also 9 Master Control Rooms with 4K infrastructure and equipment. 

Cinegy has been instrumental in the digital production workflows within the Turkuvaz Media Group since 2011, with the first phase at that time including a transition from SD to HD for selected channels. Turkuvaz Media Group is one of the biggest distribution companies in Turkey and is a leading institution and brand within the television sector in Turkey, providing channels such as ATV, which is one of Turkey’s most prominent and acclaimed television networks along with ATV Europe, MinikA and AHaber .  

ATV has been a highly influential player in the shaping of Turkish television over the years due to its innovative and ground-breaking approach to program-making helped over the last few years by Cinegy’s advanced file-based technology supporting a completely digital end-to-end workflow with local integration, training and support supplied by local Cinegy partner, Orsatek Bilisim. 

Cinegy software is used for every stage in the production workflow; Capture, Archive, Monitoring and Editing, including Playout. Footage arrives in various formats and is the transferred to the digital archive where teams can access content and collaborate on multiple tasks from different locations. All rights are managed within the Cinegy system to ensure the content is secure. Dependent on access levels, users can then access the clips and metadata in the digital archive allowing material to be used over and over again without any reduction in quality. Changes to material can be made directly from the users’ desks, no need for expensive editing suites, saving time and expense. The digital archive allows collaboration between ATV’s offices in İstanbul and Ankara, removing the time lags, costs and inconvenience caused by the physical distance when using tape-based workflows.  

ATV has been broadcasting in HD since 25th April 2011 and undertook several major Cinegy expansions in that time. The transition to HD broadcast for ATV and Haber (News) was a significant step forward for the Turkuvaz Media Group. Cinegy enabled an easy and smooth transition to add the ability to broadcast in HD. Without requiring any extra equipment or hardware, it was now possible to broadcast in SD and HD simultaneously. The groundwork laid with Turkuvaz’s earlier investments has certainly paid off, the Cinegy software has been continually maintained and offers all of the benefits of today's advances and development, especially in the transition to IP, 4K and beyond. Turkuvaz currently own Cinegy Archive with redundancy, 55 Cinegy Air PRO bundles, several Cinegy Converts with 24 agents in total, 45 Cinegy Captures, and 380 Cinegy Desktops for editing. 

 

 

Broadcast Solutions creates live fan engagement programme; model for low cost, high impact future production

Basingstoke, UK, 11 November 2020: Systems integrator Broadcast Solutions planned and executed almost two hours of pre-match excitement for AFC Wimbledon – with a crew of just three people. The occasion was the opening match at the football club’s new home, just metres away from its original stadium in Plough Lane. 

This first game marked the climax of almost two decades of fund-raising for the club which rose like a phoenix from the old Wimbledon, making its way through the tiers of English football to now play in League One. For the loyal fans, of course, Covid-19 regulations meant that no one could see their triumphant return to Plough Lane. 

“We had to make it a great occasion for the fans,” said Malcolm Robinson, Business Development, Broadcast Solutions. “And we had to achieve it with very little footprint.” 

Wimbledon director and events producer Charlie Talbot of Talbot Productions pulled together contributions from fans, former managers and ex-players. On the night, the team added live interviews and behind the scenes looks, while fans continued to contribute video comments via social media. 

“We used Dream Chip cameras feeding into a Dream Chip Barracuda HEVC encoder,” Robinson explained. “That gave us four good quality HD streams, plus associated audio, plus comms over SRT [secure reliable transport, an open delivery format] in a 30Mb/s public internet link. For roving reports, we also had a Sony ENG camera feeding into a Mobile Viewpoint bonded cellular link.” 

With Robinson and Talbot on site, the third member of the team, Adam Leah, creative director of live production technology specialists nxtedition, was 1000km away in Sweden. The Barracuda decoder and internet feeds from fans and the Mobile Viewpoint link also fed into the nxtedition cloud. Leah directed a seamless 105-minute show, cutting live multi-camera video with pre-packaged items and new content from social media. 

“The technology worked perfectly,” Robinson said. “SRT allowed us to maintain really great quality on the live video which sat well alongside the crowdsourced content. We were also able to get reverse feeds over the internet, including a multiviewer as well as the rundown, so Charlie as producer had a complete overview and control. From end-to-end it was a very professional production.” 

As in any broadcast operation, comms was absolutely vital to a seamless production. The Trilogy communications platform allowed the team to put virtual panels wherever they were needed, as well as earpieces for presenters. There was no latency in comms, allowing slick live links. Programme sound used Sennheiser wireless microphones. 

“We set out to make a night to remember for the fans of AFC Wimbledon, but we achieved much more,” Robinson concluded. “This is the groundwork for a whole new approach to remote production. I was blown away by this as a demonstration of what can be achieved in live, remote, collaborative production. 

“This can be scaled, and will transform the way we cover sport and events.” 

The Plough Lane opening night was on 3 November 2020 and the initial live-stream clocked up almost 20,000 views. 

Basingstoke, UK, 11 November 2020: Systems integrator Broadcast Solutions planned and executed almost two hours of pre-match excitement for AFC Wimbledon – with a crew of just three people. The occasion was the opening match at the football club’s new home, just metres away from its original stadium in Plough Lane. 

This first game marked the climax of almost two decades of fund-raising for the club which rose like a phoenix from the old Wimbledon, making its way through the tiers of English football to now play in League One. For the loyal fans, of course, Covid-19 regulations meant that no one could see their triumphant return to Plough Lane. 

“We had to make it a great occasion for the fans,” said Malcolm Robinson, Business Development, Broadcast Solutions. “And we had to achieve it with very little footprint.” 

Wimbledon director and events producer Charlie Talbot of Talbot Productions pulled together contributions from fans, former managers and ex-players. On the night, the team added live interviews and behind the scenes looks, while fans continued to contribute video comments via social media. 

“We used Dream Chip cameras feeding into a Dream Chip Barracuda HEVC encoder,” Robinson explained. “That gave us four good quality HD streams, plus associated audio, plus comms over SRT [secure reliable transport, an open delivery format] in a 30Mb/s public internet link. For roving reports, we also had a Sony ENG camera feeding into a Mobile Viewpoint bonded cellular link.” 

With Robinson and Talbot on site, the third member of the team, Adam Leah, creative director of live production technology specialists nxtedition, was 1000km away in Sweden. The Barracuda decoder and internet feeds from fans and the Mobile Viewpoint link also fed into the nxtedition cloud. Leah directed a seamless 105-minute show, cutting live multi-camera video with pre-packaged items and new content from social media. 

“The technology worked perfectly,” Robinson said. “SRT allowed us to maintain really great quality on the live video which sat well alongside the crowdsourced content. We were also able to get reverse feeds over the internet, including a multiviewer as well as the rundown, so Charlie as producer had a complete overview and control. From end-to-end it was a very professional production.” 

As in any broadcast operation, comms was absolutely vital to a seamless production. The Trilogy communications platform allowed the team to put virtual panels wherever they were needed, as well as earpieces for presenters. There was no latency in comms, allowing slick live links. Programme sound used Sennheiser wireless microphones. 

“We set out to make a night to remember for the fans of AFC Wimbledon, but we achieved much more,” Robinson concluded. “This is the groundwork for a whole new approach to remote production. I was blown away by this as a demonstration of what can be achieved in live, remote, collaborative production. 

“This can be scaled, and will transform the way we cover sport and events.” 

The Plough Lane opening night was on 3 November 2020 and the initial live-stream clocked up almost 20,000 views. The programme is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/__Sn1TlX1J8 

 

 

 

 

Valencia, CA, USA, October 29, 2020 - GB Labs will be both exhibiting and presenting on the GDS Communications booth at the virtual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers (WABE) convention, 4 – 5 November 2020. Given the need for broadcasters and postproduction facilities to embrace remote and home working at the moment, GB Labs will major on Unify Hub, the new intelligent content management software.

Unify Hub is the storage management solution launched in September 2020 for today’s changed world. By managing all storage as a single entity – whether it is on site or in the cloud; whether it comes from GB Labs or other vendors – it gives users fast, simple access to content, wherever they are working.

Gary Shumyla, owner of GDS Communications, GB Labs’ partners in Canada, said, “You may be working from home, but if you are a producer or editor, you just need to access the media – you don’t care where it is. That is what Unify Hub does: wherever the material is physically, it appears to you as a single, secure and coherent source.

“You might be rough cutting on location, or in collaborative post, or simply working from home,” he continued. “With Unify Hub, you are just looking at one virtual location for all the media you need. No worries about where content is and where it can be moved – you just get on with the job.”

Each individual user has a virtual workspace, providing access to just the data they need, while also ensuring that there is only one work in progress file, eliminating workflow errors. A single sign-in connects the user to storage on-premise and in the cloud, and intelligent content management, including GB Labs’ smart SSD storage Flash Cache, speeds workflows by providing local access to content, which also minimizes costly egress charges from the public cloud.

Dominic Harland, CEO of GB Labs, will walk visitors through all the benefits and power of Unify Hub, in conjunction with partner GDS Communications during WABE 2020. Unify Hub, launched just a few months ago, has already won a Best of Show Award from Future Publishing, at IBC2020.
 

 

Munich, Germany, 28 October 2020: Cinegy today announced that Travelxp, one of the world’s leading travel channel brands based in Mumbai, India, implemented Cinegy Air PRO, a highly optimized playout automation solution.

Sold and installed by Cinegy’s regional partner, New Delhi-based Setron India, Cinegy Air PRO is a software-based system for HD and UHD 4K playout automation that uses standard IT server hardware and certified SDI video cards.

Cinegy Managing Director Daniella Weigner said, “Travelxp is a leader in technical advances, offering the best to its viewers in its latest venture. The advantage of Cinegy Air PRO is that it can easily run multiple HD and/or UHD 4K channels, which is precisely what they wanted. What’s more, multiple instances of Cinegy Air PRO can run on a single machine. Playout channels can also be configured to stream programs live with no need for additional hardware or software.”

Setron India Director Arjun Dhawan said, “Cinegy software is stable and easy to use, offering a simplified workflow and more modern technology than the existing system Travelxp had been using. What’s more, the use of Cinegy delivered uptime statistics that delighted the operations staff. The system has been up and running for more than six months without a single reboot.”

The ability of Cinegy and Setron to fulfill special requirements and successfully set up the workflow was a major factor in winning the business once the proof of concept period was completed.

“Local support is critical in India,” said Dhawan. “Cinegy appointed Setron as a Master Reseller, and that helped boost Travelxp’s confidence as they understood that we’re not only about making a sale, but also about providing solid Level 2 backup. Our full understanding of Cinegy software coupled with a local presence ensures that Travelxp is fully covered by on-site and remote support around the clock.” Travelxp’s plans to expand its UHD 4K services will also be well catered for by Setron as Cinegy Air PRO and other Cinegy software modules are a proven scalability solution.

 

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