Firstly – apologies for the cheap tabloid headline of this blog, but we couldn’t resist!
Yes, our flagship PPU (portable production unit), The Trickbox® has spent the last month on the roof of a building overlooking the Vatican, providing studio facilities for a foreign news broadcaster covering the historic selection of the new Pope.
If you’d like to find out how Trickbox TV can provide cost effective broadcast facilities for your next production, or if you need temporary broadcast facilities, get in touch. Please email email@example.com or call us on 0207 193 9722.
A new report in Broadcast magazine shows file-based and tapeless workflows are the biggest issues dominating the television industry
Here’s the article from Broadcast (followed by the Technology Survey 2011 results):
The tape supply issues the industry has faced since April when an earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan has forced the industry to wake up to a world without tape with 45% of respondents singling this out as a technology challenge for the year ahead.
Respondents to our survey – which aims to pinpoint key buying and technology trends – were able to highlight up to five technology challenges over the next year.
While the response to file-based is on a par with HD (which also scored 45%) all the other conversations rated appear to revolve around the challenges that tapeless workflows present – such as storage and archiving (23%); digital cameras (20%), codecs (15%) and metadata (14%).
Senior industry figures were asked to comment on the results of our survey and confirmed that tapeless is dominating the technology agenda.
“File-based workflows have become a business critical decision for our customers. People are having serious conversations about how to manage without tape. It’s gone beyond a theoretical decisions now,”said Naomi Climer, Sony Professional‘s European vice president.
However, the cost and logistics involved in managing, tagging, storing and archiving huge reams of data is proving a challenge for all parts of the industry. For producers and facilities in particular the challenge for the year ahead will be to make their investments in tapeless workflow pay.
Ulla Streib, head of operations at Darlow Smithson pointed to the extra cost of employing data wranglers and workflow consultants for each shoot.“ It’s an expensive process at the moment. While the hardware is cheap the cameras and the management and storage of material is not.”
For post houses meanwhile, updating systems and buying or leasing the extra storage that tapeless demands is not necessarily something they would have budgeted for, or can charge clients extra for and, as Peter Savage, managing director of leasing company Azule finance pointed out, “In today’s climate a £100,000 unbudgeted spend on storage is going to hurt.”
Over 170 respondents took part in our survey, the majority of whom comprise of senior executives.
Production companies accounted for the biggest single group of respondents (25%) followed by broadcasters (20%) and post production companies (17%).
Just in the middle of compiling a glossary of Broadcast terms for a client and came across,
apparently it means:
Love it – you just know there’s a man called Dave somewhere who never worked again! Anyone else got any good broadcasting terms and phrases?
We arranged with the guys from Panasonic to do a test of the Panasonic "50 Series" – an IP (Internet Protocol) network control based remote camera hot head system (AW-HE50H/S), including a remote camera controller (AW-RP50) and vision mixer (AW-HS50).
The AW-HE50 camera comes in two flavours – HDMI or HD SDI, starting at £2,400 for the HDMI version and £3,200 for the HD SDI output version (both prices exclude VAT). The vison mixer and remote control panel for the cameras both come in separate half 19" rack panels – so combined, they fit nicely into a standard broadcast 19" rackmount shelf or desk. Panasonic have kindly added a lip to the top of each to allow you to recess the body of the units into a desk or shelf.
The AW-HS50 vision mixer is £2,500 and the AW-RP50 remote camera control panel is just £1,500 (excluding VAT). The AW-RP50 and AW-HE50 cameras work over IP and the controller can control up to 100 cameras (if you had that many?!) The RP50 can also store 100 presets per camera and also supports conventional RS422 camera control too.
The AW-HE50 camera has a 1/3" Full HD MOS sensor and operates in either 1080/50i, 720/50p or 576/50i. Sony’s closest equivalent dome camera, the BRC-H700P uses three 1/3" CCD chips and also supports 1080/59.94i. However the price difference doesn’t go unnoticed. The Sony BRC-H700 comes in around £9,000 including the optional HD SDI board if you need it. But the two cameras are targeted for different markets. The Sony BRC-H700 makes for a good supplementary camera for broadcast productions – look out for those overhead shots of food being prepared in cooking shows at the weekend – plus reality shows and wide shots in studio shows. The Panasonic AW-HE50H/S caters more for the corporate, government, education and live event market.
The AW-HS50 compact live switcher is the really interesting unit in the 50 series. Initially, it may not look that impressive but once you’ve re-read the specs and physically had a play with it, you quickly change your mind. The HS50 has 4 SDI inputs and 1 DVI-D input as standard. Also as standard, it has 2 SDI outputs and 1 DVI-D output. Had it just been a simple 4 input, 2 output SDI switcher, it wouldn’t be much to shout about, but the inclusion of the DVI input and output instantly widens it’s uses. There’s also a frame synchroniser on every input and two switchable up-converters on two of the inputs and a colour corrector on each input. These features are all fairly standard these days but still mightily impressive for a unit that’s about half the size of a loaf of bread. And remember, just a few years ago, to do everything just listed, you’d need about 20 different bits of kit all whirring away – you’d need a handful of separate frame synchronisers for all your unlocked sources, a colour corrector for each input (if the synchroniser didn’t have that feature), a couple of separate upconverters for your SD sources and a DVI to SDI converter for that all-important PC you need to cut up.
One of the most notable features though of the AW-HS50 mixer is the multi-view output (with embedded audio level meters). This makes the HS50 switcher truly portable and user-friendly for those flyaway location productions – just plug and go.
Oh and did I mention it has an AUX output bus, two frame stores for graphics, PIP (picture in picture) and a chroma keyer too?!
Here’s some snaps of our test with the Panasonic 50 series (thanks to the guys from Panasonic for paying us a visit):
So all in all, the Panasonic ’50 series’ with IP network control is a great range of kit, and perfect for some applications. For low-end broadcast and flyaway productions, it makes for a very cost effective and portable multi-camera solution. For something like a corporate AGM, live webcast or conference, the 50 series could be perfect – and more importantly, very budget friendly for the client. If you’d like to discuss hiring the Panasonic 50 series from Trickbox TV, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
See below for the individual links to the Panasonic 50 series website:
Here’s the Panasonic 50 Series Brochure
News via Broadcast magazine, suggests that, the Digital Production Partnership (DPP) is about to agree on a set of common specifications for file-based and tapeless delivery of programmes to the UK’s biggest broadcasters.
The DPP is an initiative led by the BBC, C4 and ITV and the specifications they’ve decided on are due to be released in July and will be based on the AVCI standard and MXF-wrapped.
Channel 4 broadcast and distribution chief technology officer Kevin Burrows described these specs as “future-proof and industry standard”.
Broadcasters currently receive only a small percentage of programmes as files, with the bulk delivered on HD Cam SR tape, but Burrows said he envisaged the majority of programmes being delivered as files within two years.
He added: “Once people have an understanding of the processes, and the kit they need is in place, they will move quickly because they will see the advantages.”
It will be interesting to see what this will mean for broadcast equipment manufacturers and how quickly they’ll respond. Are we going to see MXF wrapped AVC-Intra as the default camera recording codec?
Click here for a further article on Delivering a Tapeless Model from Broadcast magazine.
Trickbox TV Twitter Feed – @TrickboxTV – Tweets about:
In the wonderful surroundings of the famous Science Museum, London, Trickbox TV and Flint London produced a live webcast featuring Sir David Attenborough, interviewed by Ben Fogle - Ask Attenborough: Live – to mark Sir David’s 85th birthday and to celebrate his 50 years of broadcasting. It’s also to be broadcast in full HD on UKTV Eden on June 27th 2011.
The programme was technically demanding, having to allow for the simultaneous live webcast and the full TX and ISO recording for a future HD broadcast on UKTV.
We used our multi-camera flyaway portable production unit (PPU), The Trickbox® and shot in full HD, 1080i using 4 Panasonic AG-HPX3000 series cameras. We also had some HDCAM VTRs for record and playback plus an EVS from Timeline TV and we used broadcast quality encoders and Flint’s IP uplink truck to get the programme out live to the internet world.
The live webcast embraced social media with live integration with Facebook and Twitter – with the Twitter hashtag #askattenborough – allowing viewers to directly ‘Ask Attenborough’ questions.
See the on demand version of the webcast of Ask Attenborough: Live here:
Here’s the trailer for Ask Attenborough: Live
More photos from the night:
If you would like to speak to us about our live webcasting and live video streaming services and solutions or would like to find out more information about our multi-camera flyaway portable production unit (PPU), The Trickbox®, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0207 193 9722.
With the recent news of Acclaimed South Korean director Park Chan-wook filming his entire new film, ‘Paranmanjang,’ on an iPhone 4, we want to to know, just how can an iOS device help film and tv production.
So here’s our pick of the best iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch apps for Broadcast, Television & Video Production and Filmmakers.
(Clicking on the app logo or the app name should open a link to the iTunes website if viewing on a Mac or PC, or will launch the App Store if viewing on an iPhone or iPad)
AJA DataRate Calculator | iPhone | Free
The AJA DataCalc computes storage requirements for professional video and audio media.
Now that the world of broadcasting has gone file-based, this is a great tool for working out storage an capturing requirements.
i-Prompt Pro | iPad | Free
Professional Tele-prompting software for your iPad. Use your Apple iPad as a professional teleprompter for location reporting, corporate video productions, info-mercials, video blogs, podcasts and all types of public event speaking.
Combined with a Datavision i-Remote Wired Remote Control and an iPMT iPad Mount this app makes for a handy ‘get-me-out-of-jail’ prompter. If you have a bit more money to spend, you can even get a traditional glass and hood – Datavideo iPad Prompter
AutoCAD WS | iPhone + iPad | Free
View, edit, and share your DWG™ files with anyone, anywhere. AutoCAD WS mobile app enables you to work with AutoCAD drawings directly on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Accurately annotate and revise drawings while you’re out of the office.
Great app for Engineers, Technical Directors, Lighting Directors etc. The ability to view DWG AutoCAD files is useful enough, but to be able to edit is fantastic.
Blackmagic Videohub | iPad | Free
Control your Videohub broadcast SDI routers from your iPad!
If you have any of the Blackmagic Design Video Routers, this app is a must – you can wirelessly control your router from your iPad over your WiFi network.
Emerald Time | iPhone + iPad | Free
The iPhone’s clock is pretty accurate. But we think several WHOLE SECONDS of error is too much! Emerald Time will show you the right time, usually to within 100 milliseconds of the coordinated standard atomic clocks, using Network Time Protocol.
Great for setting time of day timecode on VTRs or timecode generators (especially when you’re in an OB Truck!)
Easily stream live moments from your device and share with your friends, family, fans, followers and others — anytime, anywhere!
If you use, UStream, you can literally broadcast your iPhone’s video camera output to the world! Scary.
iPixPanel | iPad | £5.99
The iPixPanel application from Broadcast Pix, Inc. allows users of a Broadcast Pix™ Slate™ or Granite™ System to control their switcher system remotely from their iPad through a WiFi connection
No need for a physical vision mixer – you can switch sources on your iPad, over your WiFi network. Don’t even bother going into work.
Kromath | iPhone | £14.99
Realtime compositing just in the palm of your hand ! The most advanced 3D Chroma Keyer ever made for a mobile device.
Chroma keying in the field – Not sure there would ever be the need for such urgency? But useful and clever tool nonetheless.
CollabraCam | iPhone | £3.99
CollabraCam is the world’s first multi-camera video production iPhone app with live editing and director to camera communication.
For more information about any of our services, please call:0207 193 9722