NAB in a New York minute

The next stop on my NYC trip was the Library Hotel in midtown Manhattan. There, I met with Jennie Evans, of Manor Marketing, and five of her clients for a relaxing roundtable of discussions at the top of the hotel in the Poetry Room. The Library ...
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The next stop on my NYC trip was the Library Hotel in midtown Manhattan. There, I met with Jennie Evans, of Manor Marketing, and five of her clients for a relaxing roundtable of discussions at the top of the hotel in the Poetry Room.

The Library Hotel in New York City offers its guests more than 6000 volumes of books organized by the Dewey Decimal System. Each floor of the hotel honors one of the 10 categories of the DDS, including Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion. And each of the 60 rooms is uniquely adorned with a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category to which it belongs.

However, you’ll miss the hotel if you don't look hard. I never did see an outside sign — just a storefront filled with lots of old-looking books. I asked the doorman for the location of the meeting and he directed me to the fourteenth floor. Upon embarking the elevator, I found myself entering a quiet lounge, complete with a rooftop patio. It was a pleasant evening coupled with the perfect rooftop location for leisurely business discussions.

Chyron

My first roundtable visit was with Kevin Prince, senior vice president and CEO of Chyron. Prince outlined Chyron’s plans for NAB. He said that the company is highly focused on the centralization that’s taking place in many facilities. The key is to provide flexible and content-rich workflows for all operations.

Chyron (exhibiting at NAB booth SL1420) will be showing several new products, including AXIS with Order Management Solution (OMS). AXIS provides an effective and organized way to customize, centralize and output creative digital content, according to Prince. Through its self-fulfillment of templated graphics and order placement for original content, AXIS with OMS provides real-time reporting at all stages of production.

Chyron’s Channel Box V3.0 now offers superior ROI with an enhanced feature set, including self-adjusting “content awareness” and VDS’ PromoLite, making automated promo generation simple and efficient. Channel Box supports BXF and EAS. The Chyron Web site even provides an interactive tool that allows you to calculate your ROI by answering a few simple questions.

After filling in three variables, the tool calculates five different parameters based on your data: potential per day revenue, credit squeezes per year, potential new yearly revenue, number of credit squeezes for ROI, and the number of days to reach ROI. It's pretty neat!

Pro-Bel

The next interview was with Duncan Lofting, automation architect at Pro-Bel (Booth SU12710). I had to ask, what does an automation architect do? The best answer I can give you is that it’s a software thing.

Lofting reviewed Pro-Bel’s, as yet unnamed, new 3Gb/s router, which is capable of expanding to 1152 x 1152. The large-scale router can be driven with an optional touch-screen interface and offers an ideal mix of video and audio routing. Optional Small-Form Pluggable (SFP) 3Gb/s fiber interfaces are available to support the high backplane densities required for this size router.

Pro-Bel will be demonstrating new scripting capability that allows users to automate repetitive tasks, thereby dramatically improving productivity and consistency. The company’s Morpheus automation solution has a new fast commercial break feature that allows an operator to instantly swap or move a spot and then provides detailed as-run information.

For broadcasters looking for cost-effective disaster recovery, Morpheus’ new Panaoplay is available. The system uniquely maintains synchronization between two Morpheus playout channels, even if limited or inconsistent bandwidth networks are used to interconnect the two.

And lastly, when you stop by the booth, ask about ICE. Nuff said.

Vinten

Ali Ahmadi, product and marketing for the Vitec Group (Booth C6028), reviewed four new tripods/pedestals for NAB 2009. First is the new Pro-5Plus lightweight pan and tilt head, with integrated Pozi-Loc tripod. The head supports lightweight HDV camcorders and is available with matching floor or mid-level spreaders, forming a multipurpose dolly.

A new robotic and manual pedestal capable of recognizing a new compact L-shaped floor target will be shown at NAB 2009. The pedestal offers a more precise reference positioning and also is capable of supporting the new, heavier, talent-facing vanity monitors below the camera. I love that descriptive name, “vanity monitors.”

Also new for NAB is Fusion FHR120, an entry-level robotic-only head offering a compact and affordable solution. The head can be supplied with virtual reality capability built-in, or the feature can be added to the head later. With encoders counting 1 million positions per revolution, the FHR120 offers a precise and affordable solution for VR applications.

Finally, the HDVRC is an HD version of the Vinten Radamec Control system. It offers the same precision storage of all shot and pedestal movements in a cost-effective package. It handles composite, SD and SDI signals in addition to HD and feed pictures directly to a monitor.

TransMedia Dynamics (TMD)

TMD chairman and CEO Tony Taylor provided a well-thought-out presentation of the company’s support of digital file creation and management. TransMedia Dynamics (Booth SU8904) offers a Web-based enterprise-wide architecture, i-Mediaflex, which will debut at NAB 2009 with new functionality and a redesigned GUI. Now users from both inside and outside an Enterprise can use i-Mediaflex to browse content. The feature permits all areas of a business to access, set rights and direct content and workflows. For lack of a better phrase, Tony described it as a “system-wide media asset manager.”

Also in the company booth will be the Mediaflex Ingest Suite of modules, which increase the efficiency of a facility’s ingest process. Also, the system permits operators to immediately begin editing incoming stories without having to wait until the feed is completed.

Strategy & Technology (S&T)

Continuing my round of refreshments, I eventually met up with Ian Harris, general manager of Interactive Services and Applications for Strategy & Technology (Booth SU8606). While we talked and enjoyed another drink, the subject soon turned to new products.

Tony said that S&T would be showcasing its second version of the carousel and data broadcasting system. The middleware provides a robust set of interactive applications to digital STBs. The key is to enable interactive viewer participation during commercials.

Using an open-standard approach, the TSBroadcaster 2 headend servers automatically encode and display out both OCAP and ETV applications according to a delivered schedule. The system is suitable for live transmissions.

In the tru2way environment, TSBroadcaster 2 generates compliant DSM-CC object and data carousels and encodes them into MPEG-2 transport streams that can be delivered via ASI or GigE networks. The entire process enables a new way to “add value” to advertisements. Harris said the click rate of many interactive systems is only .3 percent. With TSBroadcaster 2, and ITV, this can be increased by a factor of 10 to 20, or 3 percent to 6 percent. “There’s the extra value to the advertiser,” he said.

Thanking Jenny for her hospitality, I again ventured into the dark nether regions or New York City. My goal was to simply reach my hotel without incident. Sadly, that was not to be the case. Find out what happed in my next taxi-from-hell journey.