Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, has announced that NEP Connect has purchased a 4K MatchBox system - Generator and Analyser complete with a Glass license - for use in NEP Connect’s MediaCity Network Operations Centre in Salford, UK.
NEP Connect (formerly known as SIS LIVE), is a leading provider of global critical connectivity services delivering thousands of hours of news, sports and entertainment content to millions of viewers worldwide via comprehensive satellite coverage and Anylive® fibre infrastructure.
Head of Network Operations for NEP Connect Phil Goulden explained, “MatchBox has been adopted by many of our partners and customers which clearly demonstrates the strength of the product. In order to align with their test equipment and ensure that we continue to add value during technical line-ups, this purchase was essential to expand our suite of test and analysis equipment.”
MatchBox is a state-of-the-art toolkit that streamlines live broadcast synchronisation and is relied on by broadcasters worldwide to ensure the timing of live sports, news and events. It offers an intuitive identing feature, rapid measurement of lip sync, audio coherence, audio levels, phase inversions and video timing. The MatchBox Analyser tool sits in the OB truck or MCR and looks and listens for the specific Hitomi video and audio signatures produced by the hardware MatchBox Generator (which produces 4K test patterns) and/or the Glass app.
A new essential for high-profile remote productions, the Glass app allows precision measurement of lip-sync and video to video timing alignment at the point of capture. The user holds an iPhone or iPad running the free iOS app in front of up to four cameras and feeds the signal back into the Analyser.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “Eyes and ears can be highly subjective so Hitomi’s answer is to take the guesswork out of the equation, replacing human estimates with a fast and accurate, electronic testing system. MatchBox enables a reliable and consistent measurement of any signal delays and provides reassurance when everything is perfectly aligned.”
Goulden concluded, “NEP Connect continue to invest in the latest technology, not only for event contribution and distribution encoding, but also test and analysis. The Hitomi MatchBox fits into this strategy and enables us to deliver the highest possible levels of service to our biggest broadcast customers.”
Cookham Dean, UK, 02 September 2020: Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, will demonstrate a broadcasting lineup using its MatchBox solutions with live feeds into the Hitomi virtual stand at BroadcastAsia 2020 which is running from 29th September to 1st October 2020.
Hitomi will be showcasing the benefits of the newest member of the MatchBox family of solutions, Glass, for live remote production. This sophisticated iOS app is designed for fast and precise remote lip-sync measurement. Used on location at the point of content capture, Glass takes its measurement from in front of the camera and through the microphones in the same way as the live action.
Back in the MCR or OB Truck, the signals generated by this app are quickly analysed by the MatchBox Analyser and any alignment issues can be rapidly corrected with great precision. Additional checks further down the chain can be run using test patterns generated by the MatchBox Generator. Not only can audio to video be aligned but also audio to audio and video to video. Where MatchBox measures zero difference, perfect timing has been achieved and the audience will hear what it sees.
Hitomi takes guesswork out of the equation, replacing subjective estimates with highly accurate, electronic test audio and video generators along with a state-of-the-art analyser. MatchBox enables the production team to measure when it’s wrong and know when it’s right.
With many international events being cancelled or replaced by online versions, BroadcastAsia 2020 stands out due to the all-new virtual reality experience used by the organisers to recreate the physical experience of visiting a tradeshow.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “Whilst nothing beats face to face meetings for establishing new business connections and communicating with potential customers, the BCA virtual event offers an opportunity to do so at a time when physical meet-ups are not possible and we’re happy to take advantage of this to bring our broadcast solutions to the Asian film industry.”
Cookham Dean, UK, 24 August 2020: Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s premier audio video alignment toolbox, has announced that the Germany-based ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Europe’s leading satellite and cable broadcaster, operating television channels, digital VoD platforms and e-commerce brands, has purchased a MatchBox system comprising xFrame, MatchBox Generator and MatchBox Analyser 3G.
The MatchBox installation was supplied to ProSiebenSat.1 by Hitomi reseller, Vidi GmbH, based in Germany, via the manufacturer-independent international systems integrator, BFE Studio und Medien Systeme GmbH, as part of a solution-focused project to help streamline their live production workflows.
ProSiebenSat.1 combines leading entertainment brands with a successful production business and a rapidly growing retail portfolio under one roof, making it one of the most diversified media companies in Europe. The company offers the best entertainment - whenever, wherever and on any device. With its 15 free- and pay-TV channels, it reaches over 45 million TV households in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
MatchBox is a state-of-the-art toolkit that streamlines live broadcast synchronisation and is relied on by broadcasters worldwide to ensure the timing of live sports, news and events. A two part solution, the MatchBox Analyser tool looks and listens for the specific Hitomi video and audio signatures produced by the hardware MatchBox Generator. The measurement performed by the analyser is very fast - just a few seconds - and highly effective, vastly speeding up the process and ultimately helping to eliminate the headaches and frustrations of last-minute lip-sync issues.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “What MatchBox ultimately means is that instead of having someone tapping a mic or clapping a board in front of a camera to take subjective readings from, you have a known, verified, highly precise test pattern that in turn enables you to measure and confirm the veracity of your links before you start sending video or audio signals down them.”
Complete with an intuitive identing feature, rapid measurement of lip sync, audio coherence, audio levels, phase inversions and video timing, MatchBox is also a 4K test pattern generator.
By Kitplus Staff | Kitplus Daily | Published 8th May 2020
Special guest on KitPlus Daily 8th May was Anna Hurd from Hitomi: chatting about life in lockdown, lip-sync and Hitomi's solutions, focusing on our latest product, MatchBox Glass. There's also a great cut-away video demonstrating how Timeline TV are using Glass.
Life in lockdown was the first topic of conversation. Anna explained how Hitomi's team are used to working remotely, with team members spread throughout the country whilst the base of operations is in Slough and Anna herself being based in Scotland. She did say, though, that it was strange getting dressed up for work and then just walking into her garden office!
Matt of KitPlus then asked about the recent launch of the iOS app, MatchBox Glass. Anna spoke about how the date of the launch happened to be the same day as the start of lockdown in the UK and how it's been well received, especially with the option to request a free trial licence for existing MatchBox Analyser users.
KitPlus showed a video of Glass in action at Timeline TV.
By Hitomi Staff | Hitomi | Published 11th May 2020
Timeline TV use MatchBox Glass to check their audio and video feeds are in total alignment before going ahead with their live broadcast. Russell Johnson of Hitomi Broadcast visited the Timeline TV team at Ealing Studios where they were preparing for a Remote Production broadcast of the Barclay’s FA Women's Super League.
In the video below you’ll see the MatchBox Analyser in the studio measuring the misalignment of 25ms that was soon corrected to 0 much to everyone’s delight:
By IABM Staff| IABM TV | Published 18th May 2020
Hitomi Broadcast Director, Russell Johnson, discusses the solutions Hitomi offer for lip-sync and beyond and the launch of the Matchbox Glass app with Ben Dales from IABM.
Russell talked about the different alignment solutions that Hitomi offer - not just audio to video but also audio to audio and video to video. This is achieved by a special Test Pattern Generator with text or audio idents to identify individual feeds along with the MatchBox Analyser for accurate measurement of differences between input feeds. Hitomi "measures when it's wrong and proves when it's right" which can be very useful especially for high profile live events to avoid any potential disputes.
The ease of use of the technology was discussed. For example, the MatchBox Analyser overlays colour-coded visual representation of the alignment matches so that operators in the Master Control Room can quickly respond to misalignment issues if necessary.
Ben was interested to know about the latest member of the Hitomi MatchBox family of products, Glass. This is a free iOS app, Russell explained, that allows lip-sync tests for camera mics remotely and feeds back into the MatchBox Analyser. To help people get started, Hitomi are offering a 30-day free trial licence for MatchBox Analyser customers.
By Hitomi Staff | Hitomi | Published 6th April 2020
These are challenging times for the broadcast industry. As more media organisations enforce home working, the spread of the coronavirus may well be speeding up the transition to remote production. Here at Hitomi we're working remotely ourselves but are still available to help and support our customers new and old.
We're delighted to be able to make our own contribution for easier, professional-looking remote broadcasting with the launch of our free iOS app for fast and precise remote lip-sync measurement that can be used by reporters or presenters wherever they are.
Simply hold an iphone or ipad running the Glass app in shot and the production unit, wherever they are, be it in a studio on the other side of the world, can align the measurements for lip-sync accuracy in seconds using the MatchBox Analyser.
“Synchronisation is often one of the last items on a field production checklist and can happen right up to going live or on-air. Often, it can be discovered too late that there are sync issues, which can be costly and, at the very least, embarrassing to resolve at the last second.”
- Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson
Hitomi's MatchBox solutions have been delivering peace of mind to the broadcast industry around the world for many years, providing an easy and accurate method for near instant timing alignment of sound and vision.
Now our highly anticipated free MatchBox Glass app is available to download from the Apple app store and to make things easier still we're offering a free 30-day trial of the licence to use the app on your MatchBox Analyser* to help you get started.
Free iOS app
Measure lip-sync from the lens of the camera with an easily accessible free app your reporter, presenter or talent can use.
Accurate alignment & synchronisation that can be demonstrated on departure to avoid potential disputes.
Going live in five?
Forget clapper boards and tapping mics. Check audios are in line and get lip-sync accuracy in seconds.
By Jennie Priestley | TVBEurope | Published in the Jan/Feb 2020 Edition
When broadcasting a huge awards show to an international audience it’s imperative to make sure both sound and vision are in sync. It’s even more important when the show features numerous musical acts because fans will be quick to take to social media if there are any issues with their favourite performers.
In order to ensure fans around the world got the best possible experience while watching November’s MTV EMA Awards in Seville, Spain, Viacom employed Hitomi Broadcast’s Glass and Matchbox products to ensure perfect synchronisation between the microphones and cameras at the venue, and in the international feeds. “The biggest crime in broadcast is to have your audio out of sync with your video,” explains Matt Okotie, lead engineer, Viacom International Media Networks. “We time that down to milliseconds or point zero of a millisecond. Hitomi gave us a box that could read that signal, and basically send the signal with picture from London to anywhere in the world.”
The Matchbox software gives the user a reading of how much the audio is out of sync with the video, and enables them to line it back up on all their equipment. “With global distribution on an event such as the MTV EMAs, we were sending eight different feeds, HD, UHD, mains and backups back to London, and that’s globally distributed into the US, Latin America, Asia Pac, all over Russia, all over Europe,” explains Okotie. “You need to make sure everything’s in sync every step of the chain so we use Hitomi boxes globally to sync up everybody together.”
Having used Matchbox previously, the EMAs was the first time Viacom had used Hitomi’s newest product, Glass. “We initially went to demonstrate our Matchbox product to Matt Okotie at the Viacom offices in Camden, North London. As a result, he hired a unit for the 2018 MTV EMA event,” explains Russell Johnson, Hitomi’s managing director. “In September 2019, we showed him Glass on our stand at IBC and he said he would love to field trial it for us. We had to say yes to such a great opportunity!”
“The one bit that was missing previously was linking the camera to the OB compound sync,” adds Okotie. “With Glass you hold up an iPad and then get sync from multiple cameras back to the OB compound. We had 14 cameras at the main venue in Seville and then multiple cameras around the other venues and on the red carpet. We needed to make sure all the cameras were synced so that as you cut to each one, they’re all in sync as well.”
Of course, when you’re sending a feed around the world, there must be latency issues depending on where it’s going. It’s likely to arrive in Manchester faster than it will in Moscow or Manhattan. How does the Viacom production team work around that? “We measure it at each point,” explains Okotie. ‘We measure the latency from Seville to London, London to New York. From London we transmit to everywhere, so we do every section individually.” To help with the synchronisation, Viacom used multiple Hitomi Matchboxes. “We had one in Seville, one in London, India and New York,” says Okotie. “For UHD distribution we used the Hitomi technology and then we sort of down-converted it from UHD and distributed it as HD to countries that are using older kit. We also use the Hitomi boxes internally in our London studios quite a lot to sync up all our cameras there. The boxes work on any broadcast that need sync.”
According to Okotie, the Hitomi products are “the most accurate on the market” and Viacom is already looking at using the kit on more events. “We’re also looking to invest across our main data centres in New York and London over the next couple of quarters.
Slough, UK, 19 November 2019 — Hitomi Broadcast, manufacturer of MatchBox, the industry’s leading audio video alignment technologies, today announced that Viacom International Media Networks Media and Technology Services (MTS) used MatchBox for the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards in Seville, Spain, on 3 November.
Viacom International MTS deployed MatchBox’s sync toolbox for the red carpet, main award show, backstage, and after-show party feeds, televised on 100+ channels worldwide from the FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre in Seville. Hosted by American singer, songwriter, and actress, Becky G, the show included a special headline performance, filmed by Viacom International the previous night at the MTV World Stage at Plaza de España in Seville, by ‘Best Rock’ nominee, Green Day.
Viacom International MTS Global Lead Systems Engineer for Studio and Production Technology, Matt Okotie, said, “Using MatchBox, I can sync signals in under a millisecond to ensure that before we go to air, lip sync is correct. This is crucial for any production, but particularly for a live, globally distributed event, so you have to be absolutely sure you get it right. That’s why I leave it to MatchBox. Basically, if MatchBox reads ‘zero’, you know that lip sync is perfect.”
Viacom International MTS used MatchBox to sync its 4K/UHD feed from Seville to London, and then on for a global sync to all the other MatchBox readers around the world.
According to Okotie, “We send the synced 4K/UHD feed to HQ in London, and then down convert that feed to HD and send both UHD & HD for onward distribution. Our MatchBox readers at Viacom and other global broadcast locations pick up both signals. That process is straightforward because MatchBox is backwards compatible with all of our existing technology; and as far as stability, it’s rock solid.”
MatchBox is a favourite of broadcasters worldwide for ensuring the timing of live news, sports, and events. It is a state-of-the-art toolkit that streamlines live broadcast synchronisation and, in addition to intuitive identing; rapid lip sync measurement; audio coherence; and video timing, MatchBox is also a 4K test pattern generator.
Hitomi Broadcast Director Russell Johnson said, “High profile events have emerged as a specialty for MatchBox. Getting lip sync wrong, perhaps most noticeable in live music, can be disastrous on multiple levels, but by deploying MatchBox sync generators and readers, the band can play on without consequence.”