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Leader’s expanded product range attracts high interest at 2014 NAB Show

Fullerton, California, USA, April 24, 2014: Leader Instruments reports very strong interest in its expanded range of broadcast-quality test and measurement solutions and third-party-distribution products at the 2014 NAB Show. Held in the Las Vegas Convention Center April 7-10, the exhibition and accompanying conference attracted 93,850 registrants, more than four per cent above the 2013 equivalent.

"One of two strongest themes at this year’s show was the growing interest in 4K production thanks to the availability of high-quality 4K cameras at very affordable prices," comments Leader Japan president Noboru Kitagawa. "Creating content in 4K offers the best way to future-proof new productions given the growing interest among broadcasters in 4K and the 2016 scheduled commencement of 8K transmission trials. Our LV5490 picture and signal monitor gives television and digital film creatives the ability to ensure precise focus which is absolutely essential when shooting in 4K."

Leader’s LV5490 picture and signal monitor incorporates test-pattern generation, support for two-sample interleaved 4K image transmission and an HD-SDI output. New options include eye-pattern, jitter measurement and ITU-R BT2020 based chromaticity diagram. 8-channel Dolby-encoded audio analysis is optional. With its new pattern generator function, the LV5490 can generate 75% and 100% color bars, limit ramps, 10-step and variable raster.

"The second issue evident at NAB was the accelerating demand for video and audio analysis tools for use at the point of content ingest into post-production systems or playout archives. Our new FS3140 quality-control software combines powerful automated final analysis plus the waveform and vectorscope displays which experienced video engineers and creatives rely upon. It can be deployed on a web-based Windows server, allowing easy rollout across Windows, OS X or Linux environments."

A key feature of the FS3140 is its ability to identify issues which can be seen and heard. This is achieved using perception-based artifact detection, multi-level block-noise analysis, black-frame detection, freeze-frame detection, silence detection and filtered audio noise sensors. Other file characteristics which can be checked include metadata, macroblock noise, letterboxing, pillarboxing, profane captions, blurring, comb artifacts, field swaps, peak audio levels, test tones, audio transients, channel phase, average loudness and mono-in-stereo.

HD file-checking is real-time or faster on approved PC hardware with multi-core CPU support and NVIDIA® CUDA graphic technology. SD files can be processed at 2 to 5 times faster than real-time. The FS3140 can be expanded without limit by adding verification units on the same physical machine or on separate physical or virtual machines.

Third-party products demonstrated on the Leader booth included the latest version of the Eyeheight LEGAL-6 video and audio legalizer. This incorporates extended audio capabilities including eight loudness level control channels configured as four AES stereo pairs. The LEGAL-6 provides automatic real-time control of perceptual loudness and true peak level using multi-channel loudness and true-peak computations. This is coupled with industry standard and proprietary correction algorithms as the embedded stereo or surround audio loudness are continuously monitored, system gain being seamlessly adjusted across all channels to stay within the loudness limit while preserving audio imaging. Also demonstrated was Eyeheight’s BroadcastSafeMC, a complete plug-in legalizer, safe-area generator and graphic measurement toolset for use with Avid’s Media Composer 7 and Interplay nonlinear editing systems. It works seamlessly with Media Composer, enabling users to verify and conform content prior to submission to any file-based quality control system.

Also on display was the new PHABRIX TAG, a hand-held instrument developed within the same form factor as the Sx range. In addition to SDI and AES generation and analysis, the TAG incorporates composite analysis and generation for regions supporting the transition between analogue and digital switchover. A small form-factor pluggable electro-optical cage has been integrated into the TAG, principally for optical infrastructure testing (single and dual SFP modules). Reference input with waveform view and a useful reference generator output have been included. AES waveform display allows visual check for levels and reference lock. Advanced audio features have also been incorporated into the TAG. PHABRIX has worked closely with Dolby to provide support for Dolby E, Dolby D and Dolby D plus.

The latest version of Trilogy Communications’ Mentor XL master reference generator was exhibited. This provides independently timed SD and HD references with appropriate test signals to resolve specific system design challenges. Mentor XL includes enhanced features using 3G, GPS and even PTP for distribution of all sync and timing references for testing IP-compliant networks.


Happy Valley

Post: dock10




Brief: Manage the end to end post production on the six part crime thriller from BAFTA award-winning writer Sally Wainwright, in which a staged kidnapping quickly spirals out of control. Rural police officer Catherine, played by Sarah Lancashire, finds herself at the centre of a series of brutal crimes as the darkly compelling drama unfolds.


How it was done: Shot on location in and around Hebden Bridge, daily rushes were transported to dock10’s facility at MediaCityUK, where all rushes were transcoded through DaVinci ‘Resolve’ to produce a working grade for the assemble edit.


Final sequences were conformed to dock10’s Baselight 2 grading system, on which Jamie Parry, used a combination of layers, mattes and shape tracking in addition to subtle effects such as ‘camera shake’ to bring a dynamic, nuanced look and feel to the programme. Head of Audio Mark Briscoe worked closely with Director Euros Lyn on the sound design, looking to ensure the ‘gritty’ audio complimented the dynamic and edgy visuals.


Watch it: 29th April 2014, 9pm on BBC 1.

BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services puts The Jewel in the Crown for ITV Studios Global Entertainment

24 April 2014: Thirty years after it was first broadcast on British television, BBC Studios and Post Production’s award-winning Digital Media Services team has digitally restored and remastered over 30 hours of film to bring The Jewel in the Crown back to its former glory for ITV Studios Global Entertainment. Produced by Granada Television, and based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott, the stunning 13-part award-winning drama series stars Art Malik, Charles Dance and Peggy Ashcroft, and charts the final days of the British Raj in India during World War II.

With the original series shot on 16mm film, much of it on location in rural India, the challenging brief for the BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services team was to seamlessly integrate the 1980s source footage with an extremely wide variety of variable quality archive and historical footage so that the 13 restored episodes had a consistent look and feel throughout.

As Kevin Shaw, Lead Technologist at BBC Studios and Post Production Digital Media Services, explained: “No two remastering projects are ever the same and they all pose their own particular challenges. But ultimately our job is to extract the finest possible images from whatever material we’re working with. This is always tricky when combining many different sources of footage of vastly differing quality. It’s a painstaking process to manually check and restore each image frame-by-frame but it means that we can ensure that every single detail is optimised for the viewer.”

Rod Carter, Head of Operations at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: "ITV Studios Global Entertainment is committed to preserving these historical documents to ensure the highest possible quality is available for future generations to enjoy. With The Jewel in the Crown celebrating its 30th anniversary, what better way to enjoy this enduring classic?"

To achieve the best possible results, BBC Studios and Post Production’s Digital Media Services team worked from the original A/B roll negatives held in ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s archive. Their first task was to scan and conform all the source material to produce one complete timeline. After a visual check the team ran the negatives through an ultrasonic film cleaner before passing it through their SCANITY film scanner for output to 2K. Because of splice damage on the cut negatives, the team over-scanned the picture area so they could stabilise any jumps in the footage without picture loss. 

Next they conformed and graded the 2K scans on Nucoda FilmMaster, before completing an automated dust pass to remove the worst dust, scratches, stains and chemical damage. To achieve a consistent look throughout, the team manually checked every frame of the 14 episodes and corrected any details that the automated process had either missed or over-fixed. A final grade in FilmMaster completed the restoration before output to HDSR masters for ITV Studios Global Entertainment.


Eyeheight reports increasing demand for broadcast compliance products at 2014 NAB Show

London, England, April 24, 2014: Eyeheight reports a highly successful 2014 NAB Show with increasing demand for post-production software including its BroadcastSafe range of compliance legalizer plug-ins.

Exhibiting in the Central Hall alongside its North America reseller, Leader Instruments Corporation, Eyeheight showed its BroadcastSafe legalizers for Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut X, Apple Final Cut 7, plus ITU 1770-X audio leveling software for Apple Final Cut 7. A new OS X compatible BroadcastSafeMC legalizer and safe-area generator for Avid Media Composer 7 made its first exhibition appearance.

"American broadcasters and post-production companies have sustained the adoption of software-based workflow right back to the earliest use of generic computer platforms for video editing," comments Eyeheight Sales Director Martin Moore.

"Windows and OS X based products are now the natural choice for practically all offline workflow, leaving hardware as the preferred option where live content has to be handled in real time. Our hardware compliance products continue to be in high demand for applications such as live studio productions and for outside broadcasting of major stage or sports events."

"NAB 2014 was excellent for meeting existing American clients and potential new customers. European broadcasters and post-production companies are tending to focus increasingly on IBC given the inevitable product duplication between the two shows."  

"We also attended the parallel Creative Pro User Group’s 13th Annual Las Vegas SuperMeet on Tuesday April 8 at the Riviera Hotel. This attracted a lot of visitors who are making content both for the traditional broadcast market and for direct distribution over the web. Adobe, Apple and Avid are competing with each other to meet the demand for editing software in this sector; we support all the most popular products currently on offer."

Eyeheight’s BroadcastSafeMC is a complete plug-in legalizer, safe-area generator and graphic measurement toolset for use with Avid’s Media Composer 7 and Interplay non-linear editors. BroadcastSafeMC works seamlessly with Media Composer, enabling users to verify and conform content prior to submission to any file-based quality control system. It can perform composite, RGB, RGB-plus-Y and simultaneous composite-plus-RGB legalizing, all with user-adjustable soft clipping at high and low thresholds. Precise chroma-space conversion and accurate limiting ensure compliance while keeping the full gamut available for creative use. Editors can select from an extensive range of presets, or work in custom mode which gives full access to 15 configurable parameters. Facility administrators can assign which built-in presets are available to users, create new presets or disable the custom option to ensure that only approved configurations are implemented.

Also on show was an expanded version of Eyeheight’s multiple award-winning LEGAL-6 hardware legalizer. This now incorporates extended audio capabilities including eight loudness level control channels configured as four AES stereo pairs. Up to six legalizers can be housed in a single 1U chassis.

In the audio domain, the LEGAL-6 provides automatic real-time control of perceptual loudness and true peak level using multi-channel loudness and true-peak computations. This is coupled with industry standard and proprietary correction algorithms as the embedded stereo or surround audio loudness are continuously monitored, system gain being seamlessly adjusted across all channels to stay within the loudness limit while preserving audio imaging.

Eyeheight’s LEGAL-6 incorporates six user memories plus common presets. Video legalization features include automatic luma overshoot and undershoot suppression together with luma and chroma gain, black level adjustment, hue rotation, adjustable clipping levels and soft-clipping-knee levels. An ‘out-of-gamut’ indication feed displays overshoot or undershoot severity and shows the user where on the picture any signal correction is being performed.

Support for struggling film/TV freelancers! Open for Applications

Four Corners is delighted to launch Digital Film Micro Lab


a new, 2-year scheme promoting better-paid, sustainable employment in film and TV. It supports 40 people in low-paid, or insecure employment, who have been working in the sector for a year or more. It is specifically designed to support people from diverse, and socially disadvantaged backgrounds, and remove barriers to career progression.

The scheme supports 20 participants each year to develop careers including Production Assistants, Runners, Camera assistants, or assistant editors. It includes five, 2-day practical skills workshops; BECTU Creative Industries Safety passport; advisory sessions on tax, CVs, self-marketing, interview techniques, job search; mentoring by industry professionals; industry networking events and discretionary support to use Four Corners facilities and deskspace. In addition, five, paid work placements in camera and editing departments will be offered through the ITF/FT2 Legacy Fund.

The scheme is funded through the Trust for Londons funding priority to combat in-work poverty by providing progression routes out of low-paid work. Carla Mitchell, Development Director said: 􀁬Our research shows many people struggle to develop careers in the film/TV sector, particularly those from diverse, under-represented backgrounds. Support from the Trust for London and means that we can provide free support for people who need it most, to develop a career in this sector that still relies heavily on unpaid placements and very low pay at entry level.

TSL Systems Expands Sales Force

Wednesday 23rd April, 2014

TSL Systems, leading systems integrator for the broadcast industry, today announced the appointment of Ben Tompsett as its new UK Sales Manager.

In this newly created role, Tompsett is responsible for driving sales of the company’s expanding portfolio of systems integration services across its existing client database, as well as developing new business opportunities in non-broadcast markets for the UK and Ireland.


Tompsett joins TSL from dry hire and systems rental specialists, Presteigne Charter Ltd., with an impressive record of high-profile project wins across different industry sectors.


"I’m proud to be representing one of the most respected and forward-thinking systems integration companies in the current market," says Tompsett. 


"The range and quality of SI and support services that TSL offers – and the extent to which the team desires to constantly learn and build knowledge in order to find the most efficient ways of working – totally enthuses me as the company’s newest advocate".


With 12 years’ experience in the field, including roles at BPS (Broadcast Production Services) and Mitcorp (UK) Ltd., Tompsett has developed a high level of systems knowledge and a vast understanding of systems workflow challenges, enabling him to build strong, trusty and long-lasting customer relationships.


"Ben has made a great impression across the broadcast industry with his natural ability to work alongside customers in the pre-and after-sales process, providing sound advice and totally viable recommendations," said David Phillips, TSL Systems’ Managing Director. 


"Ben is a very valuable addition to the TSL team and will open many doors, whilst providing confidence and satisfaction to purchasing decision makers, engineers and systems operators alike’.


Phillips stated that Tompsett’s role is likely to grow outside of the UK further down the line as the company continues to build its sales force.


TSL Systems provides the full breadth of systems integration services to large and small broadcasters as well as to educational facilities, sports stadiums and corporate studios, including consultancy, design, implementation and multi-vendor support and everything in between. 



Gearhouse Broadcast delivers facilities for ITV’s broadcast from Brazil

Watford, UK, 23 April 2014 – Gearhouse Broadcast, a worldwide broadcast services specialist, has delivered a range of facilities for ITV’s live coverage of this summer’s international football championship.

Gearhouse Broadcast was commissioned to deliver additional facilities in the International Broadcast Center (IBC), including production office, master control room and transmission gallery. ITV has also commissioned a studio located on the iconic Copacabana beach and full talkback capability between the two sites. Gearhouse Broadcast’s Projects Solutions division set up the facilities and are also providing on-site support for the duration of the competition, which kicks off on 12 June.

“This summer’s coverage from Brazil is about as high profile as it gets. We rely on the talent and expertise of the people who work on the production to deliver results that match such a major sporting event,” said Roger Pearce, Technical Director, Sport at ITV. “It’s critical that the equipment and supporting technology is rock solid, so we need  to work with  partners  who have the necessary experience in delivering facilities at these type of high profile events.”

To support ITV’s production requirements, Gearhouse Broadcast has supplied and installed a range of equipment, including EVS XT3 servers and IPDirector production asset management suite for ingest and logging, Avid MediaComposer, Interplay and ISIS shared media storage system, Snell routers, Harris glue, Sony cameras and Riedel talkback systems.

“We have many years of experience when it comes to supporting broadcasters for major live event broadcasts of this nature,” said Kevin Moorhouse, Gearhouse Broadcast’s coo. “The fact that ITV are entrusting such a high-profile project to us is testament to our reputation for expertise and the high quality of the facilities that we’ve consistently delivered.” http://mb.cision.com/Public/7697/9572840/9fcc1c9f5a7ccfa4_800x800ar.jpg

Cobalt’s 9970-QS Quad-Split Video Processor Wins Best of Show at NAB14

LAS VEGAS, NV April 22, 2014 –  The 9970-QS Quad-Split Video Processor for openGear® manufactured by Cobalt Digital, is the recipient of one of the industry’s most prestigious technology honors, NewBay Media’s Best of Show Award, presented at the 2014 NAB Show in Las Vegas by TV Technology magazine.

NewBay Media’s Best of Show Awards are evaluated by a panel of engineers and industry experts, and are selected based on innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry.

The winners will be featured in TV Technology, read by thousands of broadcast professionals in the United States, around the world and online. TV Technology is the industry’s leading magazine for technology news and reviews.

Only a small number of products were chosen for NewBay Media’s Best of Show Award from among hundreds of new products in competition. Cobalt’s 9970-QS Quad-Split card was singled out because it answers a vital need for a a multi-featured 3G/HD/SD-SDI Quad Split Video Processor (Multi-viewer) for openGear® frames, especially in sports trucks and control rooms.  The card provides 4 SDI inputs (3G/HD/SD), all with frame sync and independent ARC capability. Multiple UMD per PiP, user, router source (Utah Scientific integration), and time code are standard. Other capabilities include highlighted borders, Ethernet, GPI, and serial input for tally, full screen mode, audio bar overlay, HDMI/SDI output and more.

“We are enormously proud of our Best of Show recipients,” says NewBay Media Broadcast & Video Group Vice President & Group Publisher Eric Trabb. “Recognition with an award at the NAB Show from NewBay Media’s Broadcast & Video Group is a strong vote of confidence and admiration from our leading industry publications.”

“We are extremely proud to add NewBay Media’s Best of Show to our other awards,” notes Chris Shaw, Cobalt’s Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “At Cobalt our latest innovations result from end-user input and are developed to save money and increase productivity. Winning an award while addressing a real industry need is a bonus!"

TV2 Selects Avid to Boost Operational Efficiencies and Increase Productivity

BURLINGTON, MA, 22 April 2014 – Avid® (OTC: AVID) today announced continued momentum in Eastern Europe with TV2, one of the largest commercial entertainment channels in Hungary, bolstering its existing Avid workflow with an investment in Avid’s leading cloud-based solutions. In making this move, TV2 expects to accelerate its production workflow and efficiently manage and distribute its content, empowering the broadcaster to benefit from operational efficiencies and increased productivity.

“TV2’s investment, and the momentum we’re gaining in Eastern Europe, is testimony to how our solutions meet the challenges broadcasters are facing by empowering them to boost operational efficiencies and increase productivity. As a result, they stay ahead of the competition in today’s competitive media landscape.” said Dr. Christopher Brennan, managing director, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Turkey at Avid.

As one of the major players in the Hungarian entertainment industry, TV2 produces multiple shows that require a workflow to handle fast turnaround and concurrent productions. The broadcaster has invested in MediaCentral | UX (formerly Interplay Central), the cloud-enabled, web front-end to the Avid MediaCentral Platform, centered on the requirement to handle multi-cam assets in a complex production environment. Now these assets can be processed in a single system, delivering TV2 with an end-to-end, distributed and flexible workflow.

“We’ve been an Avid customer for many years and the reliability of its solutions meant that we wouldn’t consider anything but Avid,” said Daniel Loczi, broadcast engineer at TV2. “MediaCentral | UX is an easy and uncomplicated cloud-enabled solution that saves us, and our clients, a lot of time, effort and money because it enables fast, distributed workflows.”

MediaCentral | UX was installed by local Avid reseller Snitt Studio and integrated into TV2’s existing Avid production workflow comprising: Interplay Production, Avid ISIS® shared storage, Avid Interplay Archive, four Avid Airspeed® servers, 20 Avid Media Composer® editing stations and Avid Pro Tools® audio production systems.

FW: Press Release: MAXON Announces Partnership with Side Effects Software

Friedrichsdorf, April 22, 2014 – MAXON, leading developer of professional 3D software solutions for modeling, painting, animation and rendering, today announced its intention to partner with Side Effects Software, a leader in 3D animation and visual effects software, to develop a plug-in which gives CINEMA 4D users access to the Houdini Engine. The Houdini Engine was introduced in 2013 on SideFX Labs and is designed to allow Houdini’s procedural technology to work inside other digital content creation applications. This bridge between the two applications offers CINEMA 4D artists direct access to Houdini Digital Assets with an integrated procedural workflow that does not require baked-out data.
“Creating a bridge to Houdini Digital Assets for CINEMA 4D artists underscores MAXON’s commitment to provide our customers with an efficient pipeline to other digital content creation tools,” said Harald Egel, co-founder and CEO, MAXON Computer GmbH. “Integrating Houdini’s procedural workflow and VFX tools inside CINEMA 4D will offer our users a streamlined experience to collaborate with Houdini artists and create inspiring content.”

“We are very excited to partner with MAXON to bring the Houdini Engine to CINEMA 4D artists,” said Kim Davidson, co-founder, President and CEO, Side Effects Software. “These artists can now use Houdini Digital Assets inside CINEMA 4D making it easier to add the flexibility and power of Houdini’s procedural tools to their existing creative process.”

The CINEMA 4D plug-in for the Houdini Engine is slated for release before the end of the year.