Q&A: Ed Caleca’s NAB Shopping List

PBS executive consultant seeks new NRT distribution platform April 8, 2016
LAS VEGAS—We asked a number of people what they’ll be looking for at the upcoming NAB Show. (See “Engineers vs. NAB Show: Shopping for Technology.”) Edward Caleca gamely engaged TV Technology in a few rounds of Q&A on what he’ll be checking out. Caleca was senior vice president of technology for PBS before becoming an executive consultant for the network.

“So, my responses are mostly what I believe is needed by the public media community; framed by my continuing work at PBS,” he said.

TV Technology: What will you be looking for at this year’s NAB?
CALECA: Storage solutions, including cloud and LTO platforms; file transfer solutions, including transfer/management systems; next-generation IRD’s; station master control systems and traffic management systems.
TVT: When you mention file-transfer solutions, would you consider DPP part of that equation?
Yes, I do.
TVT: Why, and how might it fundamentally change transfer/management systems?
The major focus for PTV is to find a replacement solution for a PBS designed and built non real-time file transfer application that is part of the current Public Television Interconnection System (NGIS). Stations have been looking for a NRT solution that is a pull model versus the current push model. The current system is delivered on satellite, which is very inefficient for file delivery. The future will be public or private internet.
I suspect that the breath of solutions will be explored at NAB, including vendors that could provide a outsourced turnkey solution
TVT: What specifically will you be looking for with regard to cloud and LTO technology? Do you find both are necessary, each for specific storage criteria?
CALECA: I am looking at moving the archive to the cloud. My strategy is to create a process that would have the PTV-produced content for air move into the facility and stored on LTO’s. As the programs have been fully QC’d and the stations have the air copy, I would look to move it to the second tier of cloud storage. Once we have exhausted the current rights, I would move to a “glacier-like” service.
I am also looking to explore transcoding in the cloud along with moving some QC function into the cloud. I also like the redundancy of LTO locally and [archiving in] the cloud.
TVT: What functions would you like to see in next-generation IRDs?
The baseline next-generation IRD should have:
  • Support for:
  • —HEVC 4:2:0/4:2:2 8-bit and 10-bit video
    —H.264 4:2:2 10-bit video
    —MPEG-2 or H.264 4:2:0/4:2:2 8-bit video
    —AVC-I 50/100 video
    • All formats auto-detected and switchable on-the-fly
    • Up to eight services of audio decoding with support for all major audio formats
    • Dual 3G/HD/SD-SDI auto-switching outputs
    • ASI, IP, RF satellite, 8VSB/QAM-B and DVB-T/T2/C/C2/ISDB-T inputs
    • Full complement of ancillary data output in ANC and VBI and,
    • An Intuitive, straightforward web interface
    I am also interested in seeing  the various vendors technology roadmap and integration strategies for encoding/decoding

    TVT: With regard to master control systems—cloud? CiaB? Hardware? All three?
    The aging master control systems at Public Television Stations is the most critical challenge facing the PTV community. Over the last five years there PTV has witnessed the creation of two joint master control/centralcasting LLC’ that provide master control support to over 25 PTV stations; and more on the way. However the majority of stations still manage master control locally.
    I will be looking at the solutions from Cinegy, Broadstream , Grass Valley, Imagine and other. CiaB is always intriguing especially for small stations. Cloud is not something I will be looking at for master control solutions; going from where PTV is to a cloud solution would be a big technology leap, especially from a change-management perspective.
    TVT: What do traffic management systems now lack that would make your life easier? How do you see traffic management systems evolving to handle the growing fragmentation of distribution channels?
    The PBS T&O team is currently specking out  there needs for a future traffic system, and I really can’t share their direction and process at this time. As with 4K, they will be checking out the various traffic vendors offerings and technology roadmaps…
    TVT: No 4K technology?
    CALECA: Sure. PBS will be looking at a large array of 4K/UHDTV equipment and solution partners. Renard Jenkins Senior Director and the NAB will be hosting an exhibit space on 4K at the 2016 PBS Technology Conference April 14-15 at the Mirage Hotel. Renard has formed a public television working group and they will be checking out this year’s 4K NAB exhibits.


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