Broadcast microservices specialists nxtedition played a leading role in customer TV2 Nord’s coverage of the Danish local elections on November 16. The election covered 98 of the country’s municipal seats and five regional councils and the broadcaster relied on its nxtedition system to handle video wall and graphics automation throughout.
nxtedition sent data to CasparCG's dynamic HTML5 graphics templates and delivered live link and data for transmission and the studio's video walls. The system was also used to pull in social media interactions, harvesting comments from the station’s Facebook page and delivering them into graphics templates. The studio presenters controlled data and graphics delivery to the video wall on the fly from their tablet shotboxes.
TV2 Nord’s nxtedition system is its platform of choice for news production and was already integrated into its production workflow, meaning the studio presenters and staff were very familiar with it.
TV2 Nord CTO, Peter Zanchetta said: “Working with nxtedition on the election project made the operation so much smoother. It’s easy to customise the system and the content, which is a huge advantage. And we didn’t need to integrate another technology platform to handle social media like we used to in the past, which again simplifies the whole process. nxtedition has a track record for reliability, which was vital to this project, and are always on hand 24/7 whenever we ask for support.”
Live debates in each municipality or region being contested are always a main part of TV2 Nord’s election coverage. Normally, this means having to set up an OB truck and send journalists and technical crews out on location. This year, they took a different approach, with live debates hosted in their studio. Voters were able to engage and submit questions, in realtime, via the broadcaster’s Facebook channel.
Ola Malmgren, CEO, nxtedition added: “Election coverage means fast response times and the ability to pull up graphics with updating data in an instant. This is where nxtedition shows its power – one platform can handle everything seamlessly, including social media integration.”
Migrating nxtedition’s ‘best of breed’ microservices to the public cloud
Broadcast microservice specialist nxtedition has further enhanced the consolidated production and playout platform with nxt|cloud, a complete deployment of nxtedition which runs in the public cloud.
Previously, playout in nxtedition utilised the switching, layering and real-time rendering power of CasparCG to achieve high production values using COTS hardware. This latest development has seen nxtedition develop a fully containerised, Linux version of CasparCG, providing the same playout functionality, flexibility and quality as a scalable, elastic and secure microservice in the cloud.
The nxtedition solution contains all the elements required for broadcast, from ingest and transcode through asset management and archiving to delivery to multiple platforms, automatically repackaging news stories for social media. The fully virtualized architecture means that systems can be built to precisely match the individual workflow requirements, with the appropriate level of resilience and a large reduction in complexity that microservices bring. This centralisation of content for the users allows more productivity and speed with the content to repurpose it for broadcast, OTT, digital, social, podcasts and radio.
“With nxt|cloud we can offer an identical experience in the cloud: the same quality, the same functionality, the same user experience, the same responsiveness,” said Adam Leah, creative director at nxtedition. “That includes sophisticated added- value features like localisation: we can, for example, take in a single live sports feed over SRT and split into, say, eight identical CasparCG channels, but sending each channel a separate commentary audio and graphics feed in different languages - all driven by the timestamped metadata authoring and the layering in nxtedition.
“Private cloud on premise is the pragmatic choice for most broadcasters when it comes to production. But while that gives them control over their content, it also gives them a concern over disaster recovery. A widespread power failure, for example, could take them off air.”
We designed nxt|cloud to also provide new and existing on-prem clients with a hybrid cloud solution for disaster recovery. By using seamless replication, not only are the playout channels mirrored from the ground, but the scripts and media are mirrored too. If the client has an emergency, then the entire team switches to the cloud and carries on where they left off. The UI is the same, everything is the same – from ground to sky.
Robert Nagy to discuss progress at Node.TLV.
Earlier this year Nagy was appointed to the Technical Steering Committee of Node.js, joining representatives of major IT players from around the world. Node.TLV, which is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel, 14-15 November 2021, is expected to welcome more than 800 developers.
“Node.js is a core part of much of today’s IT infrastructure, used by everyone from small start-ups to large global companies like Netflix and LinkedIn,” Nagy said. “It is also an essential part of the media world, a central module in the runtime used to transfer and transform data.
“I will be a part of the discussions around the latest developments in Node 14 and beyond,” he added. “This significantly improves the behavioural consistency of streams, which will be beneficial to nxtedition and the other companies developing software-centric production and delivery tools.”
As a member of the Technical Steering Committee, Nagy is closely involved with the development of Node.js core stream and http modules. His talk will discuss the challenges of streaming, how they are resolved, and present many new exciting features that make writing Node streams easier.
Broadcast specialist nxtedition today announces that it has taken up membership of the DPP, the media industry’s business network which connects companies from the whole media supply chain to share knowledge, solve problems and create business opportunities.
The DPP has more than 400 members from across the broadcast production chain, including start-ups and major global brands. The organisation’s recommended practices have been adopted across the world to strengthen regional digital production initiatives.
Roger Persson, head of sales and marketing at nxtedition, commented: “Collaboration and the cross pollination of ideas is increasingly valuable to any company that wants to remain an active participant in the media and entertainment sector. We put creativity and innovation at the heart of everything we do and the DPP offers us another valuable platform for connecting with our peers and customers to help drive the future of our industry.”
DPP Managing Director Mark Harrison added, “The DPP is delighted to welcome nxtedition as a new member. We are sure that, with their expertise in software defined workflows and automation solutions, they will bring enormous value to our DPP member community, especially within our Next Gen Production Network.”
Established by three major UK broadcasters, BBC, ITV and Channel 4, the DPP brings together content providers with innovative technology companies and service providers with the mission to deliver a simpler, more effective global content supply chain.
nxtedition has added a raft of new features to its nxt|edit solution, including additional audio and video tracks, a blur function and an ‘auto ducking’ feature which will automatically reduce the level of other audio tracks when a voiceover is being recorded live. The nxt|edit feature was launched with the latest software upgrade earlier this year, and the philosophy was to create a ‘flipside’ edit on any video imported into the nxtedition agile platform. This facilitates super fast cuts for news, sport, promos or digital content.
Thanks to the new features, at the flip of a switch any video imported or ingested to nxtedition instantly becomes a collaborative edit by default. Following the same intuitive UI design philosophy that is nxtedition’s hallmark, the system is easy for users to learn and super fast to put cuts together for packages, social media, Apps, websites, video walls and B-roll voice overs without ever having to exit the nxtedition UI.
All nxtedition users, with permission, can now share and adjust edits. Journalists in the field can also access the system remotely over VPN and 4G/5G mobile connection for even faster turnaround of content packages.
The new features are wrapped up in the nxtedition ecosphere, meaning users can access growing files from Baseband / NDI® / SRT / HLS / RTMP or RTSP sources through the ingest server, then publish their edits to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, or throw them into a rundown to playout live, publish to OTT or drop them directly into a playout channel to air. Using nxt|edit they can even do all of those tasks at the same time, manually or automatically.
“Enabling great storytelling and helping our customers get their content to every platform faster than anyone else is always at the heart of what we do,” said Robert Nagy, Lead Developer & Co-Founder. “The infinite flexibility of an agile microservices environment allows nxtedition clients to be the first notification on the phone for breaking news, action from a big game or second screen leverage during entertainment shows and these latest capabilities allow for even greater levels of productivity, collaboration and blistering speed.”
nxtedition - be fast, be accurate and be first.
Broadcast specialist nxtedition has formed a partnership with Singular.live, the cloud-native graphics platform. Together, users will be able to add dynamic, responsive graphics and overlays into playout timelines in an HD-SDI/IP environment, greatly adding to the operational convenience as well as connecting information and engagement into the live output.
Singular enables users to create and control broadcast graphics through its Intelligent Overlay platform. Cloud-native, it allows users to create custom designs and templates from a standard web browser. Completed overlays can be dropped into a nxtedition timeline by simply copying and pasting a URL.
nxtedition converted the open-source CasparCG software system to use HTML5 graphic templates early on in their roadmap, so right out-of-the-box, Singular interfaces directly to CasparCG allowing real-time key and fill graphics output to the vision mixer. The HTML templates Singular generates for a playlist are also cached within the nxtedition servers to bring speed and resilience. The Singular API also makes the templates metadata available to nxtedition's highly-capable NRCS and automation functionality where they can be previewed and populated with content and played out live on-air.
“We developed Singular because we know broadcast graphics, and we know what users really need – flexibility, scalability, ease of use and of course, cost,” said Mike Ward, head of marketing at Singular.live. “We are entirely focused on delivering graphics using Intelligent Overlays, so a partnership with nxtedition allows us to serve the demanding newsroom market. This collaboration is a great example of two companies coming together, pooling their strengths and delivering a really compelling solution.”
Roger Persson, head of sales and marketing at nxtedition, added “The alignment between the two companies is remarkable. We have the same culture in software development, and we have the same goal for our customers of making it easier for them to tell their stories. It is this common language that makes this partnership so exciting.”
Singular embedded in a nxtedition production environment is already in use at a Swiss broadcaster, and the integration is to be included in the 19.4 update to all existing customers. Because Singular Intelligent Overlays are cloud-based and delivered at the time of use, it is easy to set up different graphic formats for varied outputs, or even have the graphics rendered on the user’s device, allowing for personalised engagement.
Robert Nagy, lead developer and co-founder of innovative broadcast company nxtedition, has been appointed to the Technical Steering Committee of Node.js.
Node.js is seen as a key building block for scalable network applications with several major companies across the spectrum relying on the powerful open-source runtime environment, including Microsoft, Netflix and PayPal.
The Technical Steering Committee is the primary controlling body of Node.js, overseeing the technical direction of the project. With so many developers in many industries worldwide relying on the technology, ensuring continuity, security and continuing improvement is a major challenge.
“The members of the TSC come from major IT players around the world,” said Roger Persson, head of sales and marketing at nxtedition. “At nxtedition we are in awe of the technical skills and understanding that Robert brings to our products, and we are proud that he has been recognised as a leader on the wider stage.
“At nxtedition we are committed to opensource developments, which give us speed and agility,” Persson added. “Robert’s appointment as one of the guiding lights of Node.js also means that the specific requirements of media will be in the forefront of future developments of the project.”
Robert was just 17 when he was head-hunted by Swedish national broadcaster SVT to become lead developer on CasparCG, the software-defined broadcast graphics platform. Once operational, SVT took the decision to make CasparCG open source and available to all.
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
• Calendar Improvements
• Facebook Publish Rehaul
• Searchable Render Status and Errors
• Straight Alpha Support
• Controller Improvements (MIDI Support added)
Malmö, Sweden, 9 September 2020: Production automation specialists nxtedition recently installed, commissioned, trained and handed over a four-studio newsroom system for Stockholm-based Expressen TV. Because of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19, nxtedition was forced to achieve all this remotely, yet still got the new system on-air, on-time and on-budget.
nxtedition’s newsroom system is built on a suite of microservices to create a virtualised architecture, running on COTS hardware. For Expressen TV, the system was initially built at nxtedition’s headquarters in Malmö, more than 600km away. The kit was shipped to Stockholm where Expressen’s partners installed it in place.
Ordinarily, teams would be sent from nxtedition to test and commission a new installation and train the staff. But the microservices architecture means that the system is inherently ready for remote access and operation, so all these activities were carried out from the homes of each nxtedition team member. Deployments and configurations were performed remotely, and all the training was done using Google Hangouts, with the trainer logging into the Expressen installation remotely via VPN.
Journalists, editors, producers and engineers rapidly gained familiarisation with nxtedition's intuitive operation. This allowed for a phased cutover to the new technology and also to effectively meet the full on-air date of 2nd June 2020. Even with Sweden’s relatively light touch isolation policy, this was still a remarkable achievement while maintaining safety of both teams through remote working practices and social distancing.
“I am really impressed that we could make this transition so easily and fast,” said Robin Jansson, head of technology for Expressen TV. “Our window of opportunity to switch the entire broadcast system was very slim, but the design and structure of nxtedition makes complex and time-consuming things much easier and convenient.”
For nxtedition, Roger Persson, head of sales and marketing, added, “The world is changing, and not just because of COVID-19. Newsroom technology has to be flexible, capable of being accessed from anywhere, to deliver the fast and accurate facts first which audiences seek. Remote training was forced upon us by the pandemic, but it really brought home to the Expressen TV team just how simple it is to create scripts, modify rundowns, cue events and add live content from anywhere at any time. That agility was a key benefit when Expressen TV chose our suite of software and in today’s environment we can see it’s even more important than ever.”
By nxtedition staff | nxtedition | Published 29th April 2020
The Swedish Newspaper Expressen, based in Stockholm, switch their entire broadcast system to nxtedition – the ultimate storytelling solution. Expressen runs three channels 24/7: Expressen TV – news and breaking news, DiTV – a financial news channel and Sport Expressen TV – Sports news channel. These channels are broadcasted not just on TV, but also online and mobile.
Expressen has been making TV since 2005, with a re-launch in 2015 with a focus on breaking news and has become a seasoned player in the broadcast market for newspapers in Sweden. Their experience in the broadcasting arena over the years has made them aware of what they want, and need, from a storytelling solution in order to be “fast and first” with breaking news on-air and to devices.
“We needed a modern and reliable storytelling tool to allow us to be more creative and flexible to make sure that we can focus on what’s most important for us – which is to present breaking news to our viewers, and avoid struggling with complex broadcast systems so we can present the stories in a fast and reliable way,”
- Robin Jansson, Head of Technology of Expressen TV.
Expressen chose nxtedition because of its simplicity to learn, operate and scale. The unique storytelling and collaboration aspects overshadowed any other technical and over-engineered solutions.
nxtedition provides all the journalistic planning tools, story scripting NRCS, media management, rundown creation, studio automation, graphics, ingest with metadata, website clip publishing and final channel playout all from within a single nxtedition system.
Rather than using a mix of different software from multiple vendors, the entire team of 50 collaborate within nxtedition’s single unified system from story concept right through to production delivery. The efficiency and productivity gains in creating live and pre-recorded content in nxtedition gives an unprecedented speed advantage for breaking news to viewers over their competitors.
“nxtedition and Expressen TV is a perfect fit. Expressen is a modern organisation who realised that in order to be competitive and to always improve the experience for their audience they needed to adapt to new technologies fit for the 21st century”.
- Ola Malmgren, CEO of nxtedition.