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19 2017 May

IHSEs Draco KVM Extender Compliant With Intel’s OPS+-Equipped Displays

IHSE created the Draco OPS+ KVM to support the growing number of digital signage and command-and-control installers implementing displays equipped with Intel’s open pluggable specification (OPS+). It is based on IHSE’s Draco Ultra DisplayPort CON extender and features video and USB-HID display components for KVM.

The Draco OPS+ package design is based on OPS+, which Intel created to help standardize the design and development of ultra-high-definition digital signage devices and pluggable media players. It was launched as a way to bring standardization to a highly fragmented media player market. By utilizing an Intel-owned Arria processor and creating a simplified architecture, OPS+ has allowed for more cost-effective design, deployment and management of display devices such as IHSE’s OPS+ KVM.

As large video displays become more centralized to business operations, it becomes more critical that manufactures prioritize what works best for the end users. In many cases, users add a typical KVM extender module to connect the display back to the computer source over long distances. However, current remote extender concepts add an additional box, which increases the amount of cables and power connections needed. This adds an additional layer of hardware maintenance and more possibilities for a security breach. With the pluggable slot design of OPS+, a higher level of security is possible while reducing the need for additional power. By repackaging the Draco ultra console (CON) extender to fit the OPS+ slot, IHSE created a module design that effectively lowers the deployment and field maintenance costs associated with connecting workstations or digital signage over long distances.

From the OPS+ extender CON unit, a duplex fiber cable can increase the distance between the display and source by up to 10 kilometers. By incorporating a KVM matrix switch, multiple OPS+ extender modules can be easily managed over IHSE’s Tera Viewer GUI. The KVM switch’s built-in control methods allow permission-only access to touch-screen displays, podium presentation equipment, or an operator’s workstation before granting access to the CPU.
Normally system installers and users of large video walls are the ones who are looking for affordable and reliable extender solutions that support 4K video and KVM/touch-screen interfaces. Although many commercial enterprises are quickly moving to 4K resolutions, they are still strapped with limited bandwidth access and minimal budgets for upgrading to higher resolutions. However, new compression technologies, such as the Fraunhofer IIS lightweight image coding technology (Lici) used in IHSE’s OPS+ KVM extenders, yield higher color accuracy and improved image quality to overcome the limitations of traditional video compression techniques. IHSE’s new OPS+ Ultra DisplayPort extenders can manage up to full 4K (4:4:4) 60 hertz at 30 bits without latency.

With KVM systems like those from IHSE, it is not necessary to configure OPS+ extender endpoints on the network. Using IHSE’s flex-port technology, users simply connect OPS+ modules to the matrix switch, and the switch automatically configures them for the port assigned. There is no need to create IP-mapping structures, thus eliminating the need for IP addressing of each OPS+ device. As future displays are added, a technician can simply attach an OPS+ module to an open port on the KVM switch and be operational in minutes.

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19 2017 May

IHSE’s New Draco vario Extenders Support SDI Signal Formats

IHSE’s Draco vario KVM/SDI converters advance the capabilities of SDI-to-computer video by automatically detecting the input video format and instantly changing between SDI broadcast formats to high-definition DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort computer video formats. Traditionally KVM and broadcast systems have been considered isolated architectures, but now with IHSE’s new 486 Series, these different architectures can be shared and configured under a single matrix system. The Draco vario KVM/SDI extenders are used in TV studio, postproduction, digital cinema or audio-visual applications in which users need to show digital video from an HDMI source on a professional SDI monitor, or input an SDI source for preview and monitoring purposes through a KVM switch connected to a computer display.

KVM has become much more important for broadcast-related system design because of the increased adoption of digital video servers and computers throughout the broadcast ecosystem. As system designers continue to integrate server-based architectures for editing and playback options, they must configure systems using traditional human interface devices, such as a keyboard and mouse from each workstation. However, KVM is usually considered part of the backroom network services, so many of the latest features of a professional KVM system are missed during the original design phase.

A key benefit of the Draco vario KVM/SDI extender is its ability to connect directly to a KVM matrix switch. Previously, creating an SDI-to-HDMI conversion required a secondary converter box connected to the KVM extender. In this scenario, each display or source connection required additional cabling, power and a converter unit, thus doubling the unit cost and maintenance concerns. With the Draco vario KVM/SDI, the conversion to and from the extenders happens inside the same module, thereby reducing power consumption and cabling and eliminating the need for extra power outlets or module placement.

Video scaling and deinterlacing is included in the SDI extender, enabling conversion as required between 720p50/60 or 1080i50/60 SDI video streams and digital formats including 1080p, 1600 x 900 and 1920 x 1200. This capability ensures that the appropriate video resolution is available to suit the connected monitor. SFP modules are available to suit dual-input and dual-output configurations. In addition, the extender supports a loopback option, enabling an SDI signal to be passed on to additional SDI devices while being input into the extender for KVM distribution.

There are two models available: the L486 model that converts SDI input signals to IHSE’s flex-port technology for integration to a KVM matrix switch, and the R486 model that converts flex-port technology to SDI for connecting broadcast-style monitors. Each model offers optional redundant flex-port connections that can be used for critical-path applications where a backup system is desired or where a source needs to be shared between two separate switch systems. This capability enables an uninterrupted connection during maintenance, a backup system in fully redundant or missional-critical environments, or the ability to share CPU sources between multiple KVM systems.

Both the L486 and R486 models support optical fiber connections between the extenders and KVM matrix, and can extend video, keyboard and mouse up to distances of 10 kilometers on each side of the matrix. Often it is necessary to run a second cable to a different matrix in case the main input is lost. With an optional extender that adds dual-port links for redundancy, these converters can automatically switch over to the second input­­––a great option for operations that cannot afford to lose a signal or go off air.

 

19 2017 May

Industry Accolades for Avid Customers at BAFTA® Television Awards

British Academy of Film & Television Arts honors the creative professionals behind British television’s most captivating programs

Avid® congratulates its award-winning and nominated customers for their outstanding achievements at the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards, hosted by the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA®).

The awards recognize the very best in television broadcast on British screens in 2016 with the most prestigious British television industry accolade. With projects brought to life with industry-standard tools from the Avid Artist Suite nominated across multiple categories, Avid talent was of the highest caliber in the 2017 shortlist.

Many of Britain’s most respected creative professionals relied on Avid’s comprehensive tools for media creation to deliver a catalog of compelling and unforgettable programming. They used tools like the preeminent nonlinear editing system Avid Media Composer® and the industry-standard digital audio software Avid Pro Tools®, powered by the MediaCentral® Platform—the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media.

Documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody follows the trials and tribulations of the British police force, and was nominated in the Factual Series category. Brought to screens by The Garden Productions, the series was cut on Media Composer by post house Evolutions TV.

“With such a high caliber of television content creators nominated, it’s a privilege to be nominated for a BAFTA for the work we completed on 24 Hours in Police Custody,” said Simon Kanjee, Managing Director of Evolutions TV. “Media Composer is vital when our customers edit and it gives us the freedom to work at the speed our customers require to meet demand.”

The majority of nominees for the BAFTA TV Award for Soap and Continuing Drama, including iconic British soap operas EastEnders and winner Emmerdale, also relied on Media Composer. In the Drama series category, another award-winning project crafted with Avid solutions was the critically acclaimed BBC drama series, Happy Valley, which explores the grittier, darker side of everyday British society.

“Avid’s industry-leading solutions have enabled our distinguished customer community of the UK’s most talented, creative storytelling professionals to connect with their audiences more efficiently, powerfully and collaboratively,” said Avid President, Jeff Rosica. “We congratulate everyone involved on their outstanding achievements and we look forward to seeing the work that they and their peers create for all of our enjoyment in the future.”

Other award-nominated projects that relied on Avid creative tools include entertainment programming like Strictly Come Dancing and sports productions like Six Nations: England v Wales.

 

19 2017 May

Drone Cinematography

Drone usage has become a staple in cinematic television production. Each new innovation brings new decisions to be made by producers, directors, cinematographers, and drone operators. Join Michael Chambliss of Local 600 and a panel of experts as they discuss how the latest drone technology is driving innovation in television production quality, safety, and reliability.

Friday June 2, 12:30-1:30 PM Paramount Theater

Panelists:

Rodney Charters, ASC Cinematographer (The Last Ship, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, 24)

Decker Watson, Executive Producer/Showrunner, Deadliest Catch

Ernie Montagna – Drone Operator, Original Productions (Deadliest Catch, Bering Sea Gold)

Deran Sarafian, Director / Producer (Rosewood, The Strain, Rush, House M.D)

Chad Daring, Drone Pilot (Rosewood)

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19 2017 May

AMIA Presents Spotlight Award at DAS 2017

The Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) presented Dr. James Hendler with the AMIA Spotlight Award on May 5 during the organization’s Digital Asset Symposium in New York. The Spotlight Award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the organization or to the field of media preservation and access. Dr. Hendler’s visionary role in creating access to diverse content through semantic technologies and machine learning led to the AMIA Board’s decision to honor his accomplishments.

Dr. Hendler is the director of the Institute for Data Exploration and Applications, and the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web and Cognitive Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also serves as a director of the UK’s charitable Web Science Trust. A highly respected author and expert, Hendler has written over 350 books, technical papers and articles in the areas of semantic web, artificial intelligence, agent-based computing and high performance processing. His most recent book is Social Machines: The coming collision of artificial intelligence, social networking and humanity.

“Dr. Hendler’s pioneering work with semantic web, artificial intelligence and open data have been invaluable to our field and will continue to inspire and define the expanding universe of digital moving image archives,” said AMIA President Andrea Kalas. “We are indebted to him – he has helped content and metadata be available for researchers of today and dreamers of tomorrow.”

An originator of the “semantic web,” Hendler received the 1995 Fulbright Foundation Fellowship and is a former member of the U.S. Air Force Science Advisory Board, and a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the British Computer Society, the IEEE, and the AAAS. He is also the former chief scientist of the Information Systems Office at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and was awarded a U.S. Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Medal in 2002. In 2012, he was one of the inaugural recipients of the Strata Conference “Big Data” awards for his work on large-scale, open government data. Hendler also serves as a columnist and associate editor of Big Data, a peer-reviewed industry journal that provides a unique forum for world-class research in this growing field. In 2013, he was appointed Open Data Advisor to New York State, and in 2015 he was selected to serve on the U.S. Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. Last year, Hendler became a member of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information.

AMIA is a non-profit professional association established to advance the field of media archiving by fostering cooperation among individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of audiovisual materials. AMIA’s members range from those who work solely with moving images to organizations where media elements are only a small part of their collection and individuals who want to protect their personal collection (home movies, small gauge or video), as well as film buffs concerned with losing our visual heritage.

 

19 2017 May

ICG CineGear Panel: Telling Stories with LED Lights

Cinematographers have a new creative tool in their arsenal: high quality LED lighting sources. LEDs offer greater flexibility, control and reliability. The lights can be hidden discreetly under a table, wrapped around a pole and even floated (hung). LEDs enable greater subtlety and precision, they open the door to new kinds of lighting schemas and new ways to design and control color palettes.

Hear from leading cinematographers and gaffers discussing how they work with off-the-shelf products, custom built sources and lighting programmers to finesse traditional looks and to explore new visual territory. Learn about their artful use of LEDs to convey mood, character and plot points on highly regarded motion picture and TV projects.

Saturday, June 3, 10:15 AM-11:30 AM at the Sherry Lansing Theater

Panel participants Include:

Mike Bauman, Gaffer; Phantom Thread, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 2

Ronald Dragosh, Gaffer; Chicago Justice, Chicago PD

Jess Hall, BSC, Director of Photography; Ghost in the Shell, Transcendence, The Spectacular Now

Erik Messerschmidt, Director of Photography & Gaffer; Mindhunter (DP), Gone Girl (Gaffer), Fantastic Four (Gaffer)

Rachel Morrison, ASC, Director of Photography; Black Panther, Dope, Fruitvale Station

Steven Poster, ASC, Director of Photography; Amityville: The Awakening, Southland Tales, Donnie Darko

James Plannette, Gaffer; The Artist, The Adjustment Bureau, Ocean’s Eleven, Traffic

Lisa Wiegand, ASC, Director of Photography; Chicago Justice, American Crime, Chicago Fire (pilot, Seasons 1-3)

 Moderator:

Michael Chambliss, Technologist & Business Representative, International Cinematographers Guild IATSE Local 600

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19 2017 May

“VFX for Episodic – Magic on the Small Screen” at Disney on June 1 at 7pm

Join VES for an insider’s look into Episodic VFX and meet the leaders who are changing the landscape of TV and VFX.

The evening includes:

  • Overview of the current landscape, the trajectory of the business and the opportunities
  • Panel of Pros, including those who make it happen (VFX and compositing supervisors, producers and VFX coordinators) and production studio executives who discuss the meteoric growth, their challenges, their goals
  • Refreshments, beer/wine and networking!

The event is open to all (just $25 for non-VES members; free to VES members).  Register Here

18 2017 May

NET Levels Up

By Debra Kaufman

On May 24, HPA will hold its second NET (Networking Education Technology) event, the first since last summer’s. Last July, the then-SCRG (Sales Career Resource Group) changed its name to NET and announced a meeting featuring a “revitalized, disruptive and evolved format.” Taking a page from HPA Tech Retreat’s popular breakfast roundtables, the get-together featured tables with topics ranging from audio, VR and IMF to archiving and localization.

At this event, says NET co-chair Josh Wiggins, chief commercial officer of startup GrayMeta, the format has evolved. “It’s like the HPA Tech Retreat breakfasts meet speed dating,” he says. The number of topics has also been condensed to three main tracks, on complex content workflows, immersive content (360-degree video, VR/AR) and AI/machine learning. Each of three sessions lasts 20 minutes, with five minute breaks in between. An attendee can move among the tracks and topics at will during the three 20-minute sessions where, at ten tables, a table host leads the discussion.

Even though the table host stays at the same table, they too find the conversation interesting. “That’s because the attendees change, so does the conversation and the opinions,” says Wiggins. “Each session is different – and we’re stocked with good topics and participants.” To create the NET event, HPA president Seth Hallen and Wiggins tapped Eliot Sakhartov, a Microsoft account technology strategist in media & entertainment, as NET co-chair.

Sakhartov, who was a table monitor on a cloud discussion at the last NET event, notes that feedback from the past two events played an important role in transforming it. “People wished there were more time to go to more tables,” he says. “We revamped it a bit so people can understand the tracks and decide which portion of the business they’re interested in. We’re streamlining the themes.”

Along with Wiggins, he’ll be floating through the room on May 24 making sure everything works smoothly. “It’s not only a good experience for me,” Sakhartov says. “But the event itself is so valuable. It’s creating a way where people in our industry can come together and learn something new.” Wiggins points out that NET has also connected with the Women in Post and Young Entertainment Professionals teams to help organize the event and promote it among its members.

Wiggins stresses that no one is there pitching products, and that the topic-specific conversations can and will vary. Each topic or theme will devote a table to the beginning, middle or end of the supply chain. By picking among the 10 tables, an attendee can mix up topics and choose to focus anywhere in the supply chain. “If you don’t give a hoot about virtual reality, you can sit at the artificial intelligence tables,” says Wiggins. Just like the HPA Tech Retreat breakfast roundtables, if a table fills up, attendees can grab a chair and join.

Sakhartov enthuses about the AI portion of the event, as well as the examination of HDR, IMF and UHD. For the former, ETC @ USC project director and Novamente chief executive Yves Bergquist and Novamente chairman Dr. Ben Goertzel will lead a deep discussion on how machine learning and AI will play a growing role in the supply chain for entertainment. For the latter, Sony Pictures’ Greg Geier and Disney’s Ryan Kido will host a table discussion on the joys and challenges of mastering and distributing IMF, UHD and HDR.

Wiggins says that NET plans to maintain the three topics for the foreseeable future, since all the new technology looming in the near future fits into these buckets. “There’s room for growth,” he says. “Meanwhile, you can network, get education and keep up with technology.”

19 2017 Apr

American Cinema Editors Explore How Wolverine Turned Into LOGAN, in NAB Creative Master Series

In a Creative Masters Series session at  NAB, Logan’s” editorial team — the editors, assistant editor and VFX editor– take a deep dive into how they collaborated with the director and each other to tell this darkly dramatic and action-packed Wolverine story. Using illustrative clips, the editors will explain how they communicated “Logan’s” complex plot lines, how they selected what to show and not in the film’s often-brutal battle scenes, how they shaped the eruption of Logan’s character (his years of guilt, sadness, shame and anger), and much more. For more info about the session, visit here.

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19 2017 Apr

NAB 2017: Xytech Announces MediaPulse Sky for Mobile Devices

Company Focuses on Mobility with Addition of User Interface for Smartphones and Tablets

Xytech, creator of the industry-defining facility management platform MediaPulse, unveils MediaPulse Sky, a new mobile interface for MediaPulse, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) this year. Additionally, over 400 new features are available to the innovative platform used by studios, networks, media companies and post facilities to power scheduling, asset managements, resource allotment, personnel, equipment, financials and more.

Expanding access and mobility for users, MediaPulse Sky is available for all portable devices.  Greg Dolan, COO of Xytech, comments, “This revolutionary interface brings the power and flexibility of MediaPulse to any browser, any device, anywhere you can get an internet connection. Our users absolutely need to have complete access to MediaPulse, wherever they may be. Full and timely access to data is standard in today’s media business. We developed Sky to give our clients secure access to what they need.”

MediaPulse Sky is not just a web portal. It’s a thoroughly reimaged interface for mobile devices. It is configurable through MediaPulse Layout Editor, so it is also a truly personalized experience.  No matter what device users rely upon – phone or tablet – it is available with new dashboards and charts for Key Performance Indicators. Additionally, MediaPulse Sky is optimized for cellular networks. Users can actualize orders, confirm crewing assignments, provision video feeds, schedule sessions and review assignments wherever they may be with whatever device they choose.

MediaPulse Transmission 2017 has a new, completely configurable operation screen with on-screen alerts and notifications. A new auto-routing feature allows users to quickly find the best routes between two points and leverages the MediaPulse Rules Engine to add user-defined criteria to the routing choices. MediaPulse Transmission offers enterprise-class operations and financial management tools specifically designed for the transmission environment, and the new features help to manage the complexities of circuits for the broadcast sector.

Xytech has led the industry in automation for facility management software. At NAB 2017, they are demonstrating an automated camera-to-distribution workflow encapsulating metadata management, order management, transcoding and quality control, all performed with no users’ actions required.  The Xytech team has also made a number of changes in the MediaPulse development platform.  Now, MediaPulse offers the ability to integrate easily with any other system in the client ecosystem, enabling MediaPulse to act as a single console.

Dolan concludes, “Our innovation is hard and requires dedication, focus and fearlessness. Our job is to solve our clients’ problems before they become problems. Innovation is the key to our success.”