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Tip #1804: Ten Tech Innovations at the Olympics

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Olympics are legendary for their use of technology. This year is no different.

Logo of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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This article, written by George Winslow, first appeared in TVTechnology.com. This is a summary.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics won’t have fans in the seats, but the games will be offering up a host of tech milestones that the organizers and broadcasters hope will keep audiences cheering at home.

This week, the Olympic Broadcasting Services, OBS, which will be producing a record amount of content for rights holders, came out with its own list of the top ten tech innovations for the Summer Games.

  1. OBS will have a full native UHD HDR production, with 5.1.4 immersive audio (only the coverage of the seven outside Tennis courts will remain in HD). OBS has transitioned its contribution and distribution networks to an all-IP infrastructure to support the UHD HDR production workflow.
  2. The games will see more content in more formats than ever before. OBS will produce additional Multi Clip Feeds (MCFs), as well as fast-turnaround sports highlights, short-form content and mobile-generated clips.
  3. As part of its efforts to provide more content in more formats, OBS will also deliver a record 9,500+ hours of content in support of the rights holders’ multi-platform strategies.
  4. New technologies being deployed include: Multi-camera replay systems (several sports); 3D Athlete Tracking (Athletics 100m) in partnership with Intel and Alibaba; True View (Basketball) in partnership with Intel; Biometric data (Archery) in partnership with Panasonic; Live and on-demand immersive 180° stereoscopic and 360° panoramic coverage (several sports); Virtual 3D graphics (Sport Climbing); 2D image tracking (several sports).
  5. Remote production, both to ensure safety and to provide more coverage, is a big part of the tech game plan. OBS will cover the seven outside tennis courts, as well as certain press conferences, via remote production. The remote production gallery will be set up at the IBC.
  6. Behind the scenes, in an effort to provide more flexible workflows that will allow it to deliver a much wider array of content in more formats to more platforms, OBS has rolled out a set of cloud-based solutions specifically designed for high-demanding broadcast workflows, called OBS Cloud, which allows for greater flexibility and remote production in partnership with Alibaba.
  7. As part of its embrace of cloud and IP technologies, OBS has transitioned part of its broadcast workflows in the cloud. The OBS video server will be extended to the cloud with increased capacity and worldwide accessibility.
  8. Amid growing concerns about climate change and carbon footprints, OBS has been looking for efficiencies in the design of the IBC, notably introducing mini data centres known as Centralized Technical Areas (CTAs).
  9. OBS has introduced new positions close to the field of play and in back-of house areas at selected venues to help rights holders to engage their audience on social media.
  10. OBS has created an innovative digital fan engagement suite, which allows remote viewers to interact with live events in Tokyo and right holders to connect athletes with their fans.

Here’s a link to a 62-page deep-dive into all the innovations at the Olympics. (Be patient, this can take a while to download.)


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Tip #1805: The Challenge in Broadcasting the Olympics

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

It’s not about consumption – it’s about the experience.

Olympic Broadcasting Services head: Yiannis Exarchos.

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In simple terms, the broadcast footprint at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be 30 per cent smaller than it was at Rio 2016, while content production will be up by about 30 per cent. Add the fact that technology is enabling a host of new ways to tell the stories of the Games and you can see that Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) boss Yiannis Exarchos is excited about uncovering new opportunities.

This article was written by the International Olympics Committee (IOC). This is a summary.

The challenge of producing more than 9,000 hours of sports content over 17 days in the current climate is clearly very real. But, “you should never let the opportunity of a major crisis go unused and unexploited,” Exarchos said. “Look at the learnings and uncover every opportunity so that we do what we do in a way that is far less impactful for the environment and the host cities, but at the same time is exciting.”

“Technology provides this through the world of data, through the world of augmented reality, through the world potentially of virtual reality – all things we will try and start introducing in Tokyo and in the next Games,” Exarchos explained.

In content terms this means more coverage in different formats, with the needs of social media and digital outlets high on the agenda. For instance, Content+, a web-based platform primarily dedicated to short-form and digital content, will be far more prominent in Tokyo than ever before. “Broadcasters can use this content, repurpose it; they can practically do it from their mobile phones in the back of a car,” Exarchos said, smiling.

This focus will mean there will be far more behind-the-scenes coverage than ever before, with consumers getting a real insight into what it means to be an Olympic athlete. Not that innovations are limited to off-field action – Tokyo 2020 will also be the first Games coverage to be natively produced in 4K HDR, something Exarchos was “not sure could actually be done” just a matter of months ago.

“It’s not about consumption of technology,” the OBS boss explained. “It’s about experiencing a better way of telling the stories of the greatest athletes of the world.”

“The major thinking, and what we want them to do and help them to do, is reduce the presence [of broadcast staff performing work] that can happen anywhere in the world,” Exarchos stressed. “To be shipping servers and setting up equipment in a city for things that can happen on the cloud is one of the things we want to avoid.”

The entire article provides more details and is well-worth reading.


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Tip #1806: NBC Olympics Selects Avid for Games

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Avid to provide content production and media management.

The logo for the NBC Olympics.

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NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Avid to provide the content production and media management platform, tools and solutions for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, which take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23-August 8. The announcement was made by Darryl Jefferson, VP of Post Operations and Digital Workflow, NBC Sports & Olympics, and Jeff Rosica, CEO and President, Avid.

Over the past two decades, Avid has supported NBC Olympics in its ongoing technical innovation to present the American audience with state-of-the-art coverage of the Olympic Games. Building on their most recent success with platform-based media management workflows for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, NBC Olympics continues to use Avid’s MediaCentral systems for the Tokyo Olympics. To support expanded Olympic production from NBC Sports’ facility in Stamford, Conn., NBC Olympics will deploy Avid’s MediaCentral solutions to drive Tokyo-based remote and on-site workflows that will generate content for linear, OTT and social media platforms serving enthusiastic audiences in the U.S.

NBC Olympics is also using Avid NEXIS shared storage, Media Composer Ultimate and the Media Composer Cloud VM option to empower its team in multiple international locations, including editors based in Stamford, the International Broadcast Centre in Tokyo, and numerous Olympic venues, to connect and collaborate in real-time for content production and delivery.

Here’s the full press release.


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Tip #1774: Media Production Shifts to the Cloud

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The cloud is more than storage, it’s now media apps.

Image credit: Karl Paulsen

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TV Technology reports that “A paradigm shift in media-production technologies is changing how the cloud is perceived, used, presented and applied to media production. The lines between ground-based and cloud-based media production are becoming blurred.” (This is a synopsis.)

This in-depth article, written by Karl Paulsen, starts by looking at cloud computing, an application-based solution known also as an “infrastructure in the cloud.” Cloud computing is divided into a front-end part and a back-end part. To the user, these details don’t need to be thoroughly understood—but it is helpful to know that the end-to-end ecosystem is changing so that acceptability of these differences can be evaluated and adopted.

Today, cloud providers offer hundreds of specific services ranging from compute and storage to cloud consulting (through partners) and management. Each provider aims to enable users to deploy their compute and storage requirements in the cloud offering various competitive platforms, all eager for users to experiment in any way conceivable.

The article covers media-specific and cloud forward applications and Cloud-based automation.

It concludes by saying: “Reliable, secure, scalable, protected and cost-effective media production—without the annoyances of managing a complex local infrastructure—is changing the face of media from one end to the other. Whether the production services are hosted in a public cloud, regional co-lo site or even in your own private data center, the concepts developed (and being perfected all the time) are real, available and are here today.”

EXTRA CREDIT

The article goes into more detail with interviews and illustrations.


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Tip #1775: NBC Chooses Signiant for Olympics

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Signiant to streamline remote production for 2021 Olympics

The NBC Sports logo.

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NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, has selected Signiant to provide intelligent file transfer software for its production of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, which take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 – August 8.

With Signiant’s software, NBC Olympics will be able to move petabytes of footage from Tokyo back to its International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn., immediately upon capture. Signiant’s patented network optimization technology enables seamless transfer of the footage over standard IP networks, eliminating latency and packet loss, so that editors in Stamford can begin creating highlights almost immediately as the action is happening thousands of miles away. The software also allows for content, including advanced graphics work and pre-recorded footage, to be transferred quickly, easily and securely back to the broadcast center in Tokyo. Signiant’s software enables NBC Olympics to leverage their talent and equipment back home in Stamford, enabling them to provide enhanced viewing experiences to their audience much more efficiently.

Read the full press release here.


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Tip #1776: Import VHS Media Using USB

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Roxio Easy VHS or QuickTime Player seem the best options.

The Roxio Easy VHS to DVD software package.

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A recent forum thread on MacRumors discussed low-cost options for batch importing VHS tapes of home movies into an iMac using HDMI or S-Video connected via USB.

While Photo Booth works, it is inflexible and hard to use. FaceTime sees the video, but doesn’t record.

The reader reported that iMovie and FCP don’t recognize video coming in via a USB port. What did readers recommend?

One suggested QuickTime Player. However, “the only quality control is “High” and “Maximum”, which are still much higher resolution than VHS in wide format. No option to save to external drive when digitizing, or auto stop after 1 hour or 2 hours.”

NOTE: However, you can work around some of this by capturing internally, then manually moving the file after capture to another drive. You could also compress it manually, as well.

Another reader reported using Roxio, but importing tapes “takes forever.” [Editor: By this, they mean that all video imports in real-time, unlike the high-speed transfer from an SD card.]

General consensus was Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac. “When I used the Roxio software, I had to set it on “medium” quality. If I set it higher, the audio would begin to drift, and be really out of sync the longer the video went.”

Just thought I’d pass along the conversation.

EXTRA CREDIT

First, a caution. I was not able to verify that Roxio supports Big Sur. You may need to run it on earlier versions of the macOS. Or, use QuickTime Player.

Roxio says: “Easily convert VHS, Hi8, and Video8 tapes to popular digital formats.” This requires USB 2.0 (which every computer today supports).

Video quality is selectable between:

  • High. Apple intermediate codec at 640 x 480 (square pixel) resolution
  • Medium. H.264 at 640 x 480 (square pixel) resolution
  • Low. H.264 at 320 x 240 (square pixel) resolution.

Here’s the link.


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Tip #1764: Vimeo Guide to Embedding Videos

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Embedding video is better than linking. This guide shows how.

Image courtesy of Vimeo.com.

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Vimeo recently published a guide, written by Martha Kendall, to embedding videos for a variety of websites. Here’s how to get this free report.

Titled: “How to Embed Videos: Tutorials for Websites From WordPress to Wix,” Kendall writes: “Embedding your videos is a simple way to enhance SEO, save bandwidth, and ensure swoon-worthy playback. So, we put together a guide to help you embed across a slew of sites like YouTube, Wix, Shopify, and so much more.”

“At this point, we’re all probably aware of the power of video for marketing — especially when it comes to ecommerce sites. What you might not know, however, is how to get video onto your site in a way that extends average site duration, boosting conversions in the process.

If that’s the case for you, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide has all the answers you’ll need for learning how to embed video on your site.”

Here’s the link.


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Tip #1760: Creating Video After Lockdown

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The future of media work looks increasingly hybrid.

Image courtesy of IPV.com.

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IPV, developers of media asset management software, recently published a free report on how the media industry returns to work.

While the world is slowly getting back to normal, the way we work may be forever altered. In a recent study, Gartner said that 95% of the companies’ they surveyed are planning to stick to a hybrid work model for years to come.

Not only are employees asking for it, but it also saves companies’ money on overhead costs. This free report shows how video and creative teams moved to remote/hybrid work, and how you can stay that way long term, keeping your creatives happy whilst saving money.

This free report covers issues such as:

  • Home internet speeds, slowing down video editing processes.
  • Limited access to media files and footage from outside networks.
  • Poorly organized and unsearchable video file archives.
  • Creative slumps resulting from not being able to meet in-person or work physically together.
  • Security concerns and permission controls for files and media.

At its core, this report is about the role of media asset management (MAM) in changing video production workflows. After all, the right MAM tool can improve:

  • How archive material is accessed
  • How collaboration occurs
  • The type of metadata that can be generated
  • How teams review in-progress and completed material.

So, in looking at MAM tools, we will reveal how secure, cloud-based, multi-user collaboration is not only possible but actually relatively simple. We also take it all one step further — setting out a strategic vision for the very bright future of video production.

Subjects covered include:

  • Sports Broadcasting
  • Higher Education
  • Broadcasting
  • Retail
  • Publishing
  • And planning for the future

Here’s the link – the report is free and requires no login.


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Tip #1762: Top 5 Content Production Challenges

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Quantum seeks to show how StorNext simplifies the post process.

I’m sure we all color grade on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean at sunset. (Image courtesy of Quantum.)

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Jumping into the “how will we get back to work” fray, Quantum has published a free e-book called “Top 5 Production Challenges Addressed.”

Quantum writes: “Consuming high-resolution video content grew over 60% last year, and demand will only keep increasing. To rise to the challenge, you need post-production and content management tools that enable cross-team collaboration and real-time editing — so you can get more content out to the world faster. That’s why we compiled the top five video production workflow issues that could be holding you back.”

Their top 5 challenges are:

  1. Workflows are increasingly complex.
  2. Content and project archives get very large.
  3. It’s hard to ‘stand up’ new collaborative teams quickly.
  4. Managing large systems is complex.
  5. Some storage platforms don’t scale economically or adapt to your workflow.

Not surprisingly, they are recommending StorNext.

Here’s the link. No login is required.


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Tip #1734: Change Starting Timecode in Compressor

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Changing timecode only affect compressed media.

The Timing section of the Job Inspector.

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(I discovered this tip while researching my recent PowerUP webinar illustrating New Features in Apple Compressor & Final Cut Pro.)

Compressor got a surprisingly large number of new features in it’s latest update from Apple. One of which is the ability to change the starting timecode for compressed clips.

NOTE: This does not change the timecode of the source media.

To do this:

  • Select the clip (not the compression setting) in the Compressor Batch panel.
  • Go to the Job section of the Inspector (see screen shot) and change the starting timecode

EXTRA CREDIT

You can also use this section to change the In for the compressed media or its duration, should you not want to compress the entire movie.


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