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NEP to Acquire Mediatec Group – Uniting Two Leading Service Providers in the Broadcast and Live Events Industries

Thu, Mar 26, 2015 14:15 CET

PITTSBURGH, UNITED STATES and KUNGÄLV, SWEDEN (March 26, 2015) — NEP Group Inc . (‘NEP’) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mediatec Group (“Mediatec”) from the current owners. Financial terms were not disclosed. This transaction will bring one of Europe’s largest outside broadcast and video display solutions providers into NEP’s growing worldwide network of brands.

NEP is a leading worldwide provider of outsourced solutions to the broadcast and live event industries, offering technical services for outside broadcast, studio production, video display, host broadcasting and post production. Headquartered in in the United States, NEP has offices in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Dubai and Australia. The acquisition of Mediatec will expand its reach across Europe, and add greatly to their worldwide pool of resources.

“Mediatec is truly a leader in the broadcast and live events industries in Europe, and we are excited to have their entire team join NEP,” said NEP CEO Kevin Rabbitt. “We see fantastic opportunity for growth in Europe, and I look forward to working with Paul Henriksen, the managing director of Mediatec Broadcast and Kenneth Paterson, the managing director of Mediatec Solutions, along with both of their teams, to continue to expand their business.”

Mediatec is one of Europe’s largest providers of integrated technical solutions for event and television productions. Headquartered in Sweden, the company has offices in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Mediatec offers solutions for outside broadcast, studio production and video display, including Northern Europe’s largest fleet of new OBs, the world’s largest fleet of LED trucks, as well as studios and control rooms, post-production capabilities, wireless and specialty cameras, and flypacks. Mediatec Broadcast and Mediatec Solutions will continue to operate as separate entities under its current leadership teams. Paul Henriksen and Kenneth Paterson will become members of NEP’s senior management team, and will also be invested in the company as shareholders.

“NEP has a reputation for excellence around the globe, and we are excited to become part of their worldwide network,” said Paul Henriksen. “We know that this will provide a fantastic opportunity to work within NEP to continue to grow Mediatec’s presence throughout Europe and develop smart solutions for our clients.”

Kenneth Paterson added, “This is wonderful news for Mediatec’s employees and clients alike. As part of NEP’s worldwide network, we will be able to offer our clients access to a much deeper pool of resources and technology around the globe – expanding our reach to follow them wherever they go.”

With the acquisition of Mediatec, NEP will have over 100 high-definition (HD) outside broadcast units; HD flypacks, satellite uplink trucks; smaller camera systems and other audio visual packages; specialty and wireless cameras; post-production facilities in Dublin, Oslo, Helsinki, Zurich and Munich; studio facilities in Los Angeles, New York, Connecticut, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Oslo and Helsinki; thousands of plasma, LED, and projection video display solutions; a fleet of mobile LED trucks across North America and Europe; as well as an industry-leading team of engineers and technical experts.

This transaction is expected to be completed in the coming weeks. Stella Advisors served as key financial advisors and Wistrand served as key legal advisors to the sellers. Mark Patricof, a member of NEP’s Board of Directors, played an advisory role on NEP’s behalf, with Jones Day serving as NEP’s legal advisors. NEP expects to finance the acquisition through a combination of incremental borrowings, assumption of Mediatec’s existing debt and additional cash contributed by funds managed by Crestview Partners in exchange for common equity, as well as equity contributions by NEP management. Certain existing shareholders of Mediatec are expected to roll-over their equity into NEP. The transaction is expected to be deleveraging in nature on both a first lien and total debt basis. In support of the transaction NEP has obtained committed financing from Barclays Bank PLC.

ZOO Digital processes 50 million subtitles and captions for major Hollywood studios and global broadcasters.

By combining both production and management services, ZOO offers subtitling and captioning with a difference. Its full service approach, powered by innovative ZOOsubs and ZOOcore technology, provides leading global content organizations with an efficient end-to-end solution to produce, manage, store and repurpose new and existing materials for worldwide release.

 

ZOO Digital President, Gordon Doran, commented: “We’re thrilled to have reached the 50 million milestone – it indicates the real scale of our proposition. Our cloud-based media production and management services are ideally suited to high volume processing of localized content.

 

“We anticipate the number of subtitles and captions created and managed by ZOO will increase significantly over the coming months, with more clients choosing our innovative services to produce and manage their global subtitle and caption assets efficiently.”

 

ZOO Digital, based in Los Angeles, London and Sheffield, provides media production, localization and distribution services to the world’s leading content creators, including BBC Worldwide and five of the major Hollywood studios.

 

ZOO utilizes cloud computing and ZOO technology to deliver smarter, simpler and more cost-effective global services. For more information, visit www.zoodigital.com or see ZOO at April’s NAB Show, Booth SL5522.

Anton/Bauer Unveils New Features for Digital Battery and Performance Charger Series

Bury St Edmunds, UK:  26 March 2015— Anton/Bauer®, a Vitec Group brand and premier provider of battery, charging and monitoring technologies for the broadcast, film and video industries, will be showcasing important new additions to its Digital Battery and Performance Charger Series at NAB 2015. Anton/Bauer’s ground-breaking Digital Battery Series, first introduced at NAB 2014, redefines the power standard for a new generation of cameras and auxiliary equipment, while the Performance Charger Series exceeds the high-efficiency standards required by today’s rigorous shooting schedules. Anton/Bauer’s latest innovations in battery safety technology and cloud-based asset tracking will be demonstrated at their exhibit (booth #C6025) at NAB 2015 in Las Vegas, which runs April 13-16.

 

With production safety at the forefront of the industry’s agenda, Anton/Bauer has updated its Digital Battery Series with Fuse Link technology, a new connection technology that vendors developed as a result of Tesla Motors’ research efforts. Fuse Link technology provides an added protection circuit within each cell pack, prohibiting damage to adjoining cells if a single cell is affected for any reason by severe impact, puncture or thermal runaway.

 

“The safety of our users is the top priority at Anton/Bauer,” says Neal Laneville, Product Manager of Mobile Power for the company. “Our Lithium-Ion Digital Batteries are the safest on the market, and they’ve undergone a rigorous process of research, design and testing to achieve it. We felt the developments in Fuse Link technology were significant enough to include in our design. If there’s any incident with one of the cells, Fuse Link reacts like a giant fuse, isolating that single cell from the rest of the pack. We constantly strive to incorporate the latest technology into our batteries so our customers can handle them without any concern for their own safety or that of their team.”

 

Anton/Bauer will also be previewing their new Asset Management System (AMS) at NAB 2015. Heralding a new era of digital asset tracking, the cloud-based AMS is a game changer in the area of fleet management. “The cumbersome tasks associated with battery fleet management will soon be a thing of the past,” notes Laneville. “Rental houses, broadcast studios, and news affiliates will be able to track the status of their batteries right from their computers.”

 

With Anton/Bauer’s AMS, an asset’s essential information, including remaining run-time, temperature, voltage, and present capacity, will be just a click away. When an Anton/Bauer battery is placed on a Wi-Fi enabled Performance Charger, the AMS will automatically upload its information to a secure, cloud-based server. All pertinent data required for tracking and performance analysis will be available with a simple user log-in and password. 

 

“We’re looking forward to demonstrating the important features we’ve added to our Digital Battery and Performance Charger series at NAB,” concludes Laneville. “Safety is obviously of the utmost concern, and increased efficiencies are vital to our customers. There are huge developments continuing in Lithium-Ion technology, and we’re looking forward to delivering all of those benefits to our customers.”

The Digital Battery Series includes three battery sizes (90 Wh, 150 Wh, and 190 Wh), all with Anton/Bauer’s high-quality cells that deliver a long performance life. The Digital Battery and Performance Charger Series are now available in both Anton/Bauer’s signature Gold Mount® and in V-Mount.

 

Anton/Bauer’s Asset Management System will be available to the marketplace as a tier-based subscription in the third quarter of 2015.

 

NexGuard to showcase Forensic Watermarking Solutions for Movies and Live Sports at NAB 2015

Eindhoven, The Netherlands, March 26, 2015 NexGuard, a Civolution company and the leading provider of forensic watermarking technology and solutions for protecting media content against illicit redistribution, today announced that it will showcase the latest developments of its NexGuard™ media protection solution at NAB 2015 (NAB booth SU3424). Visitors to the stand will see on-stand demonstrations showing how content owners, distributors and operators can use the unique NexGuard forensic watermarking solution to secure premium content, including live sports and Ultra HD.

Since it was selected for digital cinemas ten years ago, NexGuard’s forensic watermarking has become the technology of choice among Hollywood studios. NexGuard enables service providers to gain the trust of studios and facilitate the distribution of premium content, including Ultra HD, on their VoD and OTT services.

 

Premium sports are another key asset for operators looking to win and retain subscribers and therefore also another attractive target for piracy. However, the content value window for live sports only lasts for the duration of the event and it is imperative that its value be maintained. NexGuard offers a robust solution that can identify and automatically take down illicit streams while the game is still on.

 

“The protection of live sports is vital to the content industry and collaboration is continuing to grow in the industry to tackle piracy. NexGuard offers forensic watermarking solutions that protect sports, movies and other valuable content both before and throughout the distribution chain. Our NAB demonstrations show how our forensic watermarking solutions easily integrate with content workflows to protect live and VoD distribution over any platform and service,” said Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution.

 

NexGuard’s on-stand demonstrations at NAB include:

Watermarking for Live Sports: showing how Live Sports and other Linear TV can be protected against Internet re-streaming with live watermark detection

Premium VoD Watermarking: showing how NexGuard watermarking protects premium VoD content distributed via STB and OTT; the demonstration includes live detection of camcorded Ultra HD content.

Watermarking for E-Screeners: NexGuard will demonstrate the simplicity of implementing cloud-based watermarking for e-screener video

Real-time watermarking of JPEG 2000/IMF: Showcasing how the watermarking of JPEG2000/IMF in real-time can help mastering and content delivery workflows.

IABM partners with new entity DPP Ltd

Gloucestershire, UK — 26 March 2015 IABM is establishing a dialogue with new entity DPP Ltd. From 1 April, the Digital Production Partnership, an informal collaboration between BBC, ITV and Channel 4, will become a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee known as DPP Ltd. 

 

IABM is in discussion with DPP on the twin objectives of establishing a means to sustain the success of the DPP initiative, while balancing the commercial and organisational challenges of doing so.  

 

Peter White, IABM CEO, commented, “The DPP has been an outstanding example of content creators, content distributors and technology providers working openly together to achieve a mutual goal.  However, sustaining what has been achieved is not without cost. The IABM as a not for profit trade association is seeking to use its resources to help the DPP develop a model that will secure IABM members engagement going forward and ensure an ongoing commitment to their work.”  

 

IKEGAMI TO EXHIBIT 8K AND 4K TECHNOLOGY AT 2015 NAB SHOW

Neuss, Germany, March 26, 2015: Ikegami, a leader in HD cameras and production equipment for TV broadcasters, networks, and other HD content creators, will display a wide range of advanced systems and technologies at the 2015 NAB Show. This year’s NAB exhibition halls will be open April 13-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Ikegami will follow the success of its 2014 presentation by once again hosting a leading-edge 8K Technology Exhibit, an 8K UHDTV camera, which will update attendees on the newest developments in the extremely high resolution Super Hi Vision format.  

A 4K Technology Exhibit including a new 2/3-inch CMOS 4K camera and a new 4K base station, compatible with existing Ikegami Unicam cameras will also be presented. As part of the 4K exhibit, Ikegami will display Hibino Corporation’s cutting-edge real-dot full 4K 293-inch LED display. Ikegami’s precise imaging technologies and Hibino’s high resolution display technologies will be merged to expand the potential of the 4K solution. Having both proudly marked their 50th anniversary, Ikegami USA and Hibino Corporation will solicit the potential of 4K/8K technology from broadcast professionals at NAB 2015.

Throughout the Ikegami booth, visitors will experience products that provide exceptional HD picture quality, industry-leading CMOS technology, superior performance, and convenient features. Systems on display will include the following, with additional Ikegami technology on exhibit to be announced closer to the show.

Ikegami HC-HD300 1/3-inch 3-CMOS docking-style camera

Newest addition to Ikegami’s Unicam HD product line, the HC-HD300 is a highly flexible docking-style camera that represents Ikegami’s first affordable HD studio camera system. Ready for studio or field, it features a newly-developed 1/3-inch 3-CMOS optical block design, in keeping with the outstanding imagery and same rugged construction of the broadcast-ready Unicam HD line.

Ideal for broadcast TV stations, as well as, educational, corporate and house of worship applications, the highly versatile Ikegami HC-HD300 also works in conjunction with a newly developed camera control system consisting of the FA-300 fibre adapter and BSF-300 base station, utilising OpticalCON DUO connectors for its fibre camera cable connection. This connector accepts either a mating OpticalCON Duo connector for SMPTE hybrid camera cable (maximum distance: 250m/820ft), or common optical LC connectors for duplex single-mode fibre cable (maximum distance: 10km/32,800ft). The system enables affordable and flexible integration for a variety of applications.

Ikegami HDK-65C 2/3-inch 3-CMOS portable camera


The new HDK-65C is the latest addition to Ikegami’s Unicam HD line. Equipped with multi-format 2.5 million pixel 2/3 inch CMOS sensors, the HDK-65C is available as a single-format system and is software-upgradeable to additional HD formats. Providing end-to-end digital processing, it features a low-profile docking camera head for fiber, triax, or wireless applications.

CMOS sensors are now meeting and exceeding the performance of CCDs in sensitivity, signal-to-noise ratio, and resolution. They continue to offer low power consumption, no vertical smear, and a high degree of format flexibility. With extensive ongoing research and development in this technology, the adoption of CMOS for broadcast camera use is now the trend.

These Ikegami systems and more will be on display on Booth C7725 throughout the 2015 NAB Show April 13-16, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Bringing Meaning to Chappie’s Colour

LONDON — 26 March 2015: Leading post-house, SKYLAB (formerly Digital Film Central), recently developed an innovative new workflow to tightly integrate creative grading with both editorial and VFX for Neill Blomkamp’s new movie, Chappie. Working with visual effects studio, Image Engine, the team created a seamless feature-finishing architecture which took advantage of FilmLight’s BLG file format, Baselight and Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) technology.

 

During SKYLAB’s work with Blomkamp on previous effects-heavy movie Elysium, the team began discussing ways to innovate even more on Chappie. They soon began designing an ACES colour workflow to weave VFX, dailies, editorial and colour grading together, giving everyone greater creative control across the production, along with more secure data management. SKYLAB calls its philosophy “meaningful colour” because accurate creative colour decisions can be made at any point during production, and the approach offers significant time- and money-saving efficiencies.

 

Chappie is set in the near future where crime is controlled by an oppressive mechanised police force. The title character – realised entirely in VFX, based on a motion capture performance by Sharlto Copley – is stolen and loaded with experimental software which allows it to think and feel for itself. But it’s not just the central character that relies on VFX: armies of robots, new cityscapes and some impressive battles also needed to be created in post, so the majority of the movie is comprised of VFX shots.

 

Principal photography took place in South Africa, with a Baselight grading system on set to create proxies for editorial and to prepare the full resolution content for transport. SKYLAB, working as a digital version of the traditional lab, managed the entirety of the media, as well as colour metadata, on behalf of the studio. Background plates were delivered to Image Engine and other VFX houses as OpenEXR files, using ACES to ensure consistency between viewing environments and BLG files to manage technical grade information in a non-destructive way. SKYLAB was then able to leverage Image Engine’s own Baselight grading system to harmonise colour throughout the VFX process. The same result can also be achieved using any of the BLG-enabled products from FilmLight, including Baselight Editions, FLIP and Daylight.

 

Using Baselight’s best-in-class colour grading and finishing tools, creative director and colourist Andrea Chlebak began to develop the look before and during the shoot. This created enormous efficiencies in the finishing process and provided a context for other departments to make their decisions. “Crafting the final look from the start of VFX–in a movie where practically every frame has some effects in it–was really valuable,” she said. “They were able to preview the full gamut of a shot on Baselight, and see where we were going to take it in grading on the fly.”

 

SKYLAB’s technical director, Chris Davies, also developed a range of custom LUTs to be applied automatically to particular scenes and VFX layers to ensure each element would work well together in the final grade. 

 

“When a project involves as much VFX as Chappie, it is far better for editorial, effects and grading to take place in parallel to avoid the pressures that mount up at the end of a typical DI,” commented Davies. SKYLAB’s ACES workflow blends the portability of BLG metadata files into their own MULTIVERSE™ conform architecture.

 

This highly evolved workflow has profound implications for boosting productivity. “In the past, visual effects companies and DI laboratories all had their own internal colour pipelines,” added Davies. “Now we are finally at the point where we can link technologies together and produce an overall workflow that allows everybody to work with one unified system. FilmLight’s BLG-supported systems, combined with ACES, are invaluable in helping us achieve that.”

 

SKYLAB CEO James Tocher explained, “We are not your usual ‘DI house’ – we are more of a ‘finishing company’ with a holistic approach. It just makes sense that the company who has to finish the movie works backwards from the DI, through dallies, VFX and editorial, to deliver a system that actually makes colour meaningful for everyone.”

 

“One of the best ways to improve post workflows, particularly in this era of high dynamic range cameras, is by starting with a good look, capturing it on set and refining it all the way to the final grade,” said Wolfgang Lempp, CEO of FilmLight. “We have built our BLG strategy to allow next generation post-production company such as SKYLAB efficient and flexible control of the look at every stage of the colour pipeline.” 

 

Chappie premiered in the USA on 6 March 2015.

 

At NAB, the team at SKYLAB and FilmLight will be participating in the ACES panel discussion ‘Coming To You Live: ACES 1.0’ on Tuesday, April 14 at 3:00 PM, S220, with other filmmaking experts.

 

VidiGo makes next step in virualized workflows for live TV production

Amsterdam, March 26, 2015  – VidiGo announced today that they are launching the VidiGo Control Center (‘VCC’) at NAB 2015. The VCC is a fully web-based control server for VidiGo’s live production workflows. The VCC is VidiGo’s next step towards virtual live TV production.

VidiGo is known for its innovative 100% software based live production workflows. The VCC is built on the existing VidiGo API for external control applications. Uniquely this API provides a very deep level of control for every aspect of the software. The API is already being used in many places to add a very high level of automation to the production chain for news, current affairs, sports and entertainment programs. 

The VCC brings this API to the web. Use Ipad’s, Android devices or any computer running a standard web-browser to take control. The VCC completely separates control from the actual VidiGo Servers. This provides the possibility to truly virtualize (parts) of the workflow, tailor the level of automation and create the perfect mix between manual and automated operations.

Although automation is the key word, we believe that successful automation has to go hand-in-hand with easy-to-use manual control. The best intuitive workflows provide people the choice between manual and automated production at all time. “I do not believe in ‘black-box’ all-in-one systems that force their ways on users. Open protocols based on widely adopted web technology like HTTP allow for extreme flexibility and future proof investments” Said Peter IJkhout CTO of VidiGo.

A big advantage of the VCC is that it allows TV producers to really customize their own workflow. Users can choose from the complete spectrum, From a fully automated, one single-operator or a more traditional set-up with the complete traditional crew and effectively switch between them based on demand. Whatever the format requires VidiGo provides the best possible mix between manual and automated workflows.

The web-based API’s can be used with standard HTML and/or Javascript to build both manual interfaces and automation modules that can run anywhere inside a web-browser as if you were visiting a webpage. Anywhere and on any device.

Peter IJkhout, CTO: "the true genius is in the fact that it uses standard URL’s to communicate, this way any web-designer can build control modules. The possibilities are endless, allow true remote control (from anywhere), build specialized control panels fitting very specific workflow requirements, all this without having to hire a very expensive IT specialist"

Barnfind and Ikegami to show advanced CAM-CCU control at NAB

Sandefjord, Norway (March 25, 2015) — Barnfind Technologies, manufacturer of a revolutionary multi-functional, signal neutral transport platform, will be presenting a breakthrough CAM<->CCU control system at NAB 2015 in conjunction with Ikegami. 

Using Ikegami’s cameras, shipped directly to Barnfind’s NAB booth from Japan, the manufacturer will demo advanced switching between cameras and CCU’s in a way that has never been shown before by any vendor. 

Check out the video:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ew65umx710zot8h/CameraRoutingMuing.mov?dl=0

NATIV TO LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS IN ITS MIOEVERYWHERE PRODUCT SUITE AT NAB

London & Las Vegas, 13 March 2015 – Nativ, the media logistics platform (MLP) provider, will be exhibiting at NAB in the South Upper Hall on stand SU12207 and will be launching new products in its MioEverywhere product suite, Nativ’s award-winning media management, workflow and collaboration solution. The new components will provide content owners with the tools for media analytics, data management and media asset management.

MioEverywhere is a media logistic platform that empowers content owners to create, manage and monetize their content to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the new data-driven, personalized TV marketplace. It is a pluggable, modular, deploy-anywhere approach to give content owners the tools to exploit these new opportunities and leads the way to complete automation.

Mio Publish

Mio Publish is a highly scalable VOD and OTT publishing platform that allows content owners to package and publish to existing OVP platforms, creating cross-platform players as well as VOD services. Mio Publish supports dozens of Internet, OTT and broadcast delivery options that can be triggered and monitored via other components in the MioEverywhere platform.

 

Key features include:

·      On-demand services creation

·      Cross-platform HTML5 player

·      Player support for chaptering, scrubbing and subtitles

·      Complete control of encoding profiles

·      Dynamic content packaging

·      Automated syndication

·      Plugs in to other MioEverywhere components including Mio Analytics and Mio Workflow

·      Plugs in to Adobe Experience Manager

Mio Analytics

Mio Analytics is a real-time analytics and business activity monitoring platform. It stores and processes event data generated from every MioEverywhere module and also gathers data from external systems. Content owners can track assets, workflows, tasks, playbacks and user activity at every stage of the supply chain – from commissioning and production to distribution and playback.

Key features include:

·      Gather data on every activity in every Mio module

·      Get information in real-time

·      Store and process external data

·      Configure event filters and handlers

·      Allow open access for external systems

Mio MAM

Mio MAM is a lightweight media asset management module that plugs in to other components of MioEvewhere to offer a range of common media management capabilities. It is designed to be a plugin module that offers a simple set of features to help most MAM users while leaving the complexities of workflow orchestration, HSM integration and file management to another MioEverywhere tool, Mio Core.

Key features include:

·      Advanced asset service

·      Latest HTML5 technology

·      Adobe integration

·      Collaborative

·      Active Directory integration

·      Permissions based

·      Workflow initiation

·      HSM integration

·      Headless API-based integration

Content owners from Vubiquity in the US to ITV in the UK have deployed MioEverywhere in their content workflows. This enables them to remove manual processes as far as possible while linking metadata with media in an end-to-end workflow and introducing automated file-based workflows. This saves money, time and effort, which can be invested in the creative process.

Jon Folland, CEO, Nativ, said, “We have been working with a wide array of content owners from broadcasters to traditional publishers to develop a flexible and scalable solution for content owners to take back control of their content. MioEverywhere is highly configurable so it can be used in a wide range of business functions across the entire TV value chain allowing rapid business change with minimal operational overhead. We will be demonstrating the full suite of MioEverywhere on our stand at NAB and really look forward showing its functionality to visitors.”