Monthly Archives: April 2011

New Zealand’s Westpac Stadium Upgrades Control Room with Broadcast Pix Granite 5000 Video Production System

Billerica, Massachusetts – With the world moving toward widescreen presentations and digital production workflows, officials at Westpac Stadium, a 34,500-seat multi-purpose facility in Wellington, New Zealand, decided to upgrade its video production capabilities with a complete retrofit of its control room. At the heart of the overhaul is a Broadcast Pix™ Granite™ 5000 video production system, which feeds video and graphics to two large replay screens installed at the north and south ends of the stadium.

“From day one, we have had a production room with capabilities in excess of what any other ground in New Zealand had,” said Craig J. Bain, Westpac producer/director. “We are just ensuring that we keep up with technology changes and features available for our various clients. We are really happy with our new system, and Broadcast Pix has been absolutely fantastic with support.”

Westpac maintains a busy schedule of concerts and sporting events, and will host at least seven matches during the Rugby World Cup 2011 later this year. Before the upgrade, the 4:3 video production was stretched to fit the 16:9 replay screens. Through the Granite 5000, productions are produced in HD, then downconverted to widescreen SD for stadium replay (due to a fiber infrastructure that can only support SD). The 2 M/E capability of the Granite 5000 also allows Westpac to display a different presentation on each screen.

Gencom Technology, a global media technology solution provider and systems integrator with two offices in New Zealand, installed the Broadcast Pix system in December. Bernie Huynen of Gencom Technology said the company was tasked with a finding a solution that “could be operated by one operator for small events and up to three or four operators on larger events.” An on-site demo convinced the Westpac Stadium Trust that the Granite 5000 could handle the operational demands and again exceed the expectations of the clients, hirers, and patrons.

The Granite 5000 replaced an aging 16-input Ross analog switcher, Inscriber CG, and clip server. Using the system’s built-in Fluent™ Multi-View, Westpac was able to reduce a large bank of CRT monitors to four dedicated 21-inch LCDs for the technical director. One of the monitors, showing all the sources is split to the CCU position, is used for camera shading. For visitors and other personnel, the control room also has three 42-inch LEDs on the wall, which are fed by a separate Harris multi-viewer. In addition, Gencom installed a separate Harris router for additional system redundancy.

Bain is particularly pleased with Fluent Watch-Folders, Granite’s built-in file management system, because he can access new graphics and clips that have been created during a live production. “It’s an amazing feature of the system. We’re loving it,” he explained. “Watch-Folders allow you to add content while the show is live. You can see it pop up and it’s ready to use.”

About Broadcast Pix Broadcast Pix is the leader in integrated live video production systems. Its Granite™ native HD systems are the only switchers with a server to provide the best file-based workflow. Its Slate™ systems create highly affordable hybrid HD/SD/analog productions. Both systems create compelling live video by integrating a production switcher with a suite of Fluent™ file-based software tools, including clip and graphic stores, CG, multi-view, watch-folders and macros. Broadcast Pix systems are a fraction of the cost of a conventional control room to buy, staff and operate. Customers include leading broadcast, webcast, entertainment, mobile, corporate, education, religious, and government studios in more than 80 countries. Learn more and watch a video demo of Granite at www.broadcastpix.com.

Broadcast Pix, Granite, Slate, Fluent and PixButton are trademarks of Broadcast Pix, Inc. Patented. Made in USA.

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WTHR INTEGRATES QUEMANAGER WITH ENPS NEWSROOM SYSTEM FOR EASY GRAPHICS ORDER MANAGEMENT

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. – Diaquest Products, a software development firm with a focus on the video and film industries, announced today that WTHR, the NBC affiliate serving Indianapolis (DMA #27), has integrated its QueManager Web-based graphics order management system (OMS) with an ENPS newsroom computer system. The station, which is owned by Dispatch Broadcast Group in Columbus, Ohio, went online with QueManager in February.

QueManager is an affordable OMS software add-on for Apple Final Cut Server 1.5 that can be integrated with ENPS or iNEWS via plug-ins. Through a simple GUI, it provides an easy way to search and browse assets, generate orders, assign projects, and deliver finished graphics for broadcast. It can installed as a direct (yet more robust) replacement for Proximity Artbox or used instead of proprietary asset management systems in other newsrooms.

Randy White, WTHR operations manager, said the station needed to replace its aging Proximity Artbox software, which was having operating issues and was no longer supported by the manufacturer. During the installation, Diaquest was able to extract all of WTHR’s Artbox environments and metadata and incorporate them into QueManager without disrupting station operations.

At WTHR, QueManager is used almost exclusively by about 10 producers to produce over-the-shoulder news graphics. Producers access the software through ENPS and use it to find graphics that can be used for specific stories. If no graphics are appropriate, they can request the design of a new one. When the graphic is complete, a producer can add or update CG text through QueManager so it is ready for air.

The QueManager interface is almost identical to Artbox, so WTHR producers did not need to be retrained. White said each of them adapted to the new system very well. In fact, he said the move to QueManager from Artbox was almost entirely transparent to the producers – except the system now worked reliably. “It’s working perfectly for what we wanted it to do,” he added.

About Diaquest:
Based in Emeryville, Calif., Diaquest Products LLC has been developing mission critical software for the video, film, and broadcast industries since 1982. The company develops software as an OEM for several manufacturers, as well as custom software tools for a variety of clients. In addition to software development, Diaquest provides professional-level support of related software and hardware products. Find out more at www.diaquest.com or call (510) 547-4544.

JVC UPGRADES ANALOG CCTV CAMERAS WITH IMPROVED IMAGE PROCESSING

WAYNE, NJ – JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., has upgraded its latest high-resolution, 1/3-inch CCD analog surveillance cameras. The new versions of the TK-C9200UA and TK-C9300UA box-style cameras, as well as the TK-C2201UA and TK-C2201WPUA fixed-dome models, feature improved image processing to deliver brighter, clearer, and more stable images under varying conditions.

With new 14-bit digital signal processing, the cameras deliver 600 TV lines of resolution, and Super LoLux sensitivity assures precise color reproduction, even in challenging lighting conditions. Plus, each camera also delivers an industry-leading 52db signal-to-noise ratio, and 3D noise reduction reduces picture noise in dark environments. The eco-friendly cameras, which are already shipping, also use about 40 percent less power than conventional models.

Additional performance upgrades include improved edge enhancement, which makes highlighted objects more easily recognizable. Auto tracking white balance is now more stable and not easily influenced by color objects in the scene. The adjustable brightness range has also been widened, and objects illuminated by mercury-vapor light sources now look more natural with improved color reproduction. Images look more crisp in the LCD mode as well, and an improved internal brightness setting helps deliver a brighter image in various scenes.

“While the market share of networked video surveillance continues to increase, analog cameras still account for the majority of deployed CCTV systems,” said Ian Scott, vice president, JVC Security Group. “As a result, producing innovative analog cameras continues to be a priority at JVC. These refinements of our latest analog models provide even better performance in the field.”

The TK-C2201UA and TK-C2201WPUA fixed dome cameras feature a variable focus lens with a patent pending fine focus adjustment (in addition to normal focus ring and lock screw). The TK-C2201UA meets the vandal-resistant standard, while the TK-C2201WPUA features an outdoor-ready, IP66 compliant vandal and tamper-proof design.

Intuitive menus make detailed settings easy to manage on the TK-C9200UA and TK-C9300UA cameras. A true day/night camera, the TK-C9300UA adds ExDR Plus, a proprietary JVC technology for extended dynamic range that clearly displays people and objects in the foreground even when they are in front of an extremely bright background.

ABOUT JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS
JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., located in Wayne, New Jersey, is a leading supplier of IP network and analog security cameras, network video recorders, monitors, and management systems to the video security industry. Its V.Networks product line of has earned a solid reputation for quality and reliability, and provides superior picture quality for thousands of installations worldwide. For more information about this, or any other JVC professional product, contact JVC at (800)582-5825 or visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com.

ADVANCED SYSTEMS GROUP ADDS TIM MCGOVERN AS DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. – Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading West Coast video and film integration firm, has hired Tim McGovern as director of professional services, effective April 2. An industry veteran who began his career as a radio engineer in 1979, McGovern will be managing the Technical Services Team, which is responsible for system design, installation, training, and support for ASG customers.

A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, McGovern was key in leading the transition from analog to digital technologies as director of engineering at George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound and as chief engineer for Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios. More recently, he completed engineering and provided installation support for new media and network facilities at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. His latest project was engineering design and installation support for Indiana University’s Film Theater.

“With more than 30 years in the business, Tim has managed a number of high-profile video and audio system projects over his career,” said Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG. “His leadership and technical expertise are great assets for our customers, and we are very proud to add Tim to the ASG team.”

Based out of the company’s main office in Emeryville, McGovern can be contacted at (510) 654-8300 or via e-mail at tmcg@asgllc.com.

About ASG:
Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., with offices in the Bay Area and Southern California, has provided engineering, systems, integration, support and training to the broadcast, film, creative, and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in Apple-based newsroom systems, shared storage, archiving, editing, finishing, and VFX systems, ASG has become one of largest installers of post production and shared storage systems on the West Coast. The ASG team is highly focused on customer success, and has installed and supported more than 185 SANs, production, and post production systems over the last six years. For more information, visit http://www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

JVC GY-HM700U STANDS UP TO EXTREME SHOOTING CONDITIONS DURING SPEED CHANNEL’S CHOP CUT REBUILD

WAYNE, NJ – WAS Productions, a full service production company in Orange, Calif., recently wrapped production on its seventh season of Chop Cut Rebuild, an automotive “how to” documentary series produced for SPEED Channel. It was the first season the series was produced using the JVC ProHD GY-HM700U camcorder as its main camera.

In February, WAS Productions began shooting its eighth season of the series using two GY-HM700Us. The second camera will serve as the “B” camera on shoots and create a completely tapeless workflow for the series. Earlier seasons of Cut Chop Rebuild had been produced using JVC GY-HD200 ProHD camcorders.

According to Dan Woods, founder of WAS Productions, who also serves as host and executive producer of Chop Cut Rebuild, shooting conditions are less than ideal for the series. For example, in the custom car garages where much of the footage is recorded, the air conditioners have to be shut off because they are too loud for audio recording. As a result, temperatures exceeding 100 degrees are common.

“Throughout our shoot days, cameras are around sparks flying, hammers swinging, and flames flying from welding torches. We even hang our camera out of car windows to shoot footage while driving on freeways and city streets,” Woods said. “Our cameras can get into some extreme conditions on set, but the GY-HM700U has performed wonderfully for us in every situation.”

To capture audio for the series, WAS Productions uses two wireless lavs along with a boom mic, which are fed into a mixer and then recorded with the video on the GY-HM700U. Woods said the camera’s audio recording quality is so good that a separate DAT recorder is not needed. He also noted the ability to shoot in 720p and 1080i allows them to deliver projects to SPEED and other clients in a number of formats and styles. “Interchangeable bayonet lenses and the range of lenses available is a great benefit,” he added.

Because Chop Cut Rebuild is not a scripted series, Woods said the crew tends to overshoot during production. Often, they return from a day of shooting with close to six hours of footage from each camera. In past seasons, a junior editor would spend hours transferring tape-based footage into the company’s Apple Final Cut Pro NLE system. With the GY-HM700U’s native file recording to non-proprietary SDHC cards, however, the workflow is much more efficient.

“The ability to download instead of digitize footage has helped tremendously,” Woods said. “Our post-production time has dropped significantly. Now that junior editor position can go toward being creative – and the more time you have for being creative, the better your product will be.”

In the field, Woods said the GY-HM700U’s professional look is as almost as important as its performance. “Clients never question our capabilities or professionalism when they see the GY-HM700U,” he explained. “When we have our cameras on our shoulders, we don’t look like we’re shooting a wedding video. For a boutique company, that’s pretty important.”

Later this year, the company will use its GY-HM700Us to produce the next installment of its American Seduction series of one-hour primetime profiles of automobiles that have impacted American culture. The special, which will focus on the Volkswagen Beetle, and the new season of Chop Cut Rebuild should begin airing this fall.

ABOUT JVC PROFESSIONAL PRODUCTS COMPANY
Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Victor Company of Japan Ltd. JVC is a leading manufacturer and distributor of broadcast and professional video and audio equipment. For further product information, visit JVC’s Web site at http://pro.jvc.com or call (800)582-5825.

Vizrt and Vimond enter into collaboration to offer complete online and mobile platform

Bergen, Norway, Vizrt Ltd. (Oslo Main List: VIZ)

Vizrt, a leading provider of digital media software for the TV and online publishing industries, announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Vimond Media Solutions, a company providing a platform for monetizing superior, engaging and attractive end-user experiences based on live and on-demand video services to a range of internet connected devices.

The collaboration, with numerous features that were demonstrated at NAB 2011 in Las Vegas, completes what is now Vizrt´s complete end-to-end-solution for broadcasters, distributors and media companies looking to develop products and monetize online video content with full broadcast quality.

The Vimond video player supports simultaneous streaming to different devices, and opens up for payment and access to content directly through a television set.

“Our combined solution empowers broadcasters to create and offer their own online video services; shows, clips, movies, sports, or news. The same player logic with the same functionality delivers across multiple platforms, allowing the consumers to choose among the variety of platforms and devices, ranging from PCs, TVs, mobile phones, tablets, IPTV boxes, Media Centre Consoles, connected-TVs, game consoles, to IP-enabled set-top boxes,” said Helge Høibraaten, CEO at Vimond Media Solutions.

The platform also can be extended to other formats through its open API.

Francois Laborie, Chief Commercial Officer at Vizrt, stated, “With Vimond on board, Vizrt offers one workflow for video streaming and all supporting functionalities, such as subscriptions, advertising, geo-blocking, Digital Rights Management (DRM), and analytics. The complete live and on-demand package comes in one framework, securing smooth delivery on every viable platform or device needing a specific video format or content enhancement.”

At the heart of the solution are the Viz Media Engine transcoders and the Vimond control servers. The online video solution takes advantage of Smooth Streaming; adaptive streaming of media over HTTP. The method provides a high-quality viewing experience that scales massively on content distribution networks, including HD quality. Broadcasters can build their own Hulu-like websites and offer a range of business models; from subscriptions, via pay-per-view, to sponsorship and advertisement. Vizrt offers the entire spectrum of web TV players from in-page standalone players, to advanced web TV players with live sports statistics, subscription management, to live TV with EPGs.

The production workflow is tightly integrated, keeping your costs low, and the efficiency high. Vimond already integrates with the existing Vizrt workflow, from storage and transcoding in the Viz Media Engine, to online publishing via Escenic Content Studio. All live streams are logged and archived to a dedicated media asset management (MAM) server to build highlights, teasers or editorially enhanced content later on.

The solution also includes an advanced monetization and administration logic. The solution can be made available on-premises, hosted, as a SaaS or as a hybrid hosted/on-premises model.

About Vimond:

Vimond Media Solutions AS develops and markets the Vimond online-TV platform. Based in Bergen, Norway, Vimond is one of a number of successful technology companies spun off from national broadcaster TV 2, together with Vizrt, StormGeo and Mosart Medialab. After more than ten years of technology development and use in production at Scandinavia’s biggest commercial online video enterprise TV 2 Sumo, Vimond was established in 2011 to make advanced solutions available to other broadcasters launching multi-screen over the top services. The Vimond platform provides a comprehensive environment for managing highly efficient streaming of content to cellphones, tablet computers, gaming consoles, connected TVs and Blu-ray players. For more information, see http://www.vimond.com.

About Vizrt:
Vizrt creates content production tools for the digital media industry – from award-winning 3D graphics & maps, to media asset management solutions and online publishing tools. Vizrt’s products are used by the world’s leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, the BBC, BSkyB, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK, The Globe and Mail, Times Online, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions such as the Stock Exchanges in New York and London use Vizrt systems.

Vizrt is a public company traded on the Oslo Main List: VIZ, ISIN: IL0010838154.

LENS PRODUCTION AND DELIVERY RETURN TO PRE-EARTHQUAKE LEVELS AT FUJIFILM NORTH AMERICA

Wayne, N.J. – FUJIFILM North America Corporation (FNAC), Optical Devices Division has announced that lens production has returned to pre-earthquake levels, as of early April. Lens deliveries are also back to a standard timeframe. The company’s factory, located in Saitama City, Japan – approximately 300 kilometers from the hard-hit city of Sendai – sustained superficial damage after the devastating earthquake in early March. Japanese-based suppliers to FNAC have also returned to normal schedules for production and delivery.

“We would like to thank our customers and industry friends for inquiring into the well being of our employees and our factory,” said Thom Calabro, Director Marketing and Product Development, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Optical Devices Division. “We’re extremely grateful that we can now assure everyone that all of our employees and their families are safe, and we are back up to a full production schedule. Deliveries have also thankfully returned to their standard lead time.”

As part of a larger company-wide initiative to strengthen locally available customer support, the company also recently announced a new service facility for Fujinon lenses in the Chicago area. The facility is scheduled to open on April 25th.

With service facilities currently located at its U.S. headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey; and regional offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Dallas, the Chicago facility is the company’s fifth.

About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation, consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division sells consumer and commercial photographic products and services including film, one-time-use cameras, online photo services and fulfillment, digital printing equipment and service. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras. The Motion Picture Division provides motion picture film, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides binoculars, and optical lenses for closed circuit television, videography, cinematography, broadcast and industrial markets. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. markets a range of Fujifilm products and services. For more information, please visit http://www.fujifilm.com/northamerica, or go to http://www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at http://www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, digital printing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 20 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2009, and in the year ended March 31, 2010, had global revenues of $23.5 billion*. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit http://www.fujifilmholdings.com.