Click here to print or e-mail business highlights from the broadcast production community.

While Sony showed plenty of new products at NAB2001, the focus was on the introduction of a wide range of integrated solutions and products for what it calls the new broadband era. The company's corporate theme for this year's NAB was An Anycast World. Sony demonstrated a range of technologies to help users “Produce once and distribute many.” Based on the company's commitment to supporting broadband-based, networked products, the Anycast philosophy was clearly demonstrated in the Sony's NAB booth.

Crucial to the concept is a broadband interconnection, both for content producers and distributors. Sony is showing how content can be distributed in a variety of ways — OTA, satellite, cable, even wireless broadband. The value to the professional is being able to produce content once and still be able to distribute and display it on a variety of devices. A range of broadband content generation and distribution systems, from the XPRI digital content creation system to the networked, and Bulldog-driven, media asset management platform are available for demonstrations. The thread: “any content for any purpose, over any number of channels, on any viewing device, all networkable and IP ready” is clearly visible and exhibited throughout the booth.

Also key is Sony's support to an “open systems” approach to equipment design. The company is showing technology partnerships and products from several partners including Quantel, Leitch, FAST, Discreet, Panavision, Omnibus, Sierra, Evertz Microsystems, DaVinci and others.

ABC affiliate WISN-TV made a significant investment in Panasonic DVCPRO equipment to upgrade its news operations. The purchase was valued more than $1.1 million and included 88 pieces of DVCPRO gear, including AJ-LT85 laptop editing systems, AJ-D850 studio recorder/editors, AJ-D450 studio recorder/editors, AJ-D440 player/edit source decks, AJ-D250 desktop recorders and AJ-D230H desktop recorder/players, as well as AG-A850 edit controllers.

Last year, in anticipation of the move to DVCPRO (which replaces Beta SP), WISN bought two Panasonic newsbyte DVCPRO-based nonlinear editing systems. The station will acquire news with DVCPRO camcorders. WISN produces 24 1/2 hours of local news each week.

Televisa (Mexico City, Mexico), the largest Latin American television broadcaster, has made a multi-million dollar purchase of 50Mb/s DVCPRO50 and 25Mb/s DVCPRO camcorders and VTRs to cover parts of its operations. Televisa, the world's leading producer and broadcaster of Spanish-language television, has been using the Panasonic D-3 format since 1993.

Televisa's purchase consisted of the full line of DVCPRO50 VTRs, including the AJ-D960 studio editing VTRs, AJ-D950 studio VTRs, AJ-D910WA camcorders and AJ-LT95 laptop editors. The DVCPRO equipment bought included AJ-D610WA camcorders, AJ-D450 VTRs, and AJ-LT85 laptop editors.

Dreamtime Holdings has purchased Panasonic's AJ-HDC27A dual frame rate progressive scan DVCPRO HD camcorder and AJ-HD150 DVCPRO HD studio VTR to support this multi-faceted assignment. Dreamtime Holdings has an agreement to provide HD production services both at NASA's several ground centers and in orbit.

Westwind Media has installed two Snell & Wilcox HD1010 eight-input, high-definition television productions switchers in two of the facility's telecine bays. The dual-format switchers, which feature both high-definition and standard-definition electronic frames, are being utilized in the postproduction of television programs such as “NYPD Blue” and “City of Angels.”

The Bulldog Group and Sony Electronics recently announced that Sony had acquired a minority equity position in Bulldog and will serve as the exclusive distributor of Bulldog software in the US. The relationship will allow Sony's Systems Integration Center to distribute and resell Bulldog software to its customers in Japan as well as the United States. Sony plans to develop add-on software modules to provide advanced capabilities for professional video applications, including frame accurate and low-res proxy editing.

WABC-TV in New York City recently selected eight Fujinon A17×17.8BERM lenses for field production on the station's local “Eyewitness News” program and one A10×4.8BERM for in-studio imaging on the nationally syndicated “Live with Regis and Kelly Show.”

Fletcher Chicago purchased its first set of Fujinon HDTV Cine Style Prime lenses. Fletcher Chicago decided to purchase its first set of Fujinon HDTV Cine Style Prime lenses after witnessing them in action at a Sante Fe Workshop class, “High Definition Advanced Cinematography,” in late October. All lenses in the Cine Style Prime series feature marking for zoom, focus, and iris-and cine-compatible gearing for interfacing with existing cine controls and matte boxes. The HA5B-10 features an angel of view of over 87 degrees, with focusing as close as 0.5 meters. At the other end of the line, the HA40B-10 features an angle of view of slightly over 13 degrees and a focusing range of 0.5 meters to infinity.

Soundtrack Boston, a seven-room full-service recording and post-production facility, recently installed a Sony DMX-R100 digital console in its newly refurbished Studio E. Soundtrack engineer Mike Sachs pilots the suite for a diverse clientele that encompasses commercial, corporate and film assignments.

Telestream has entered into an OEM agreement with WAM!NET a leading information technology services provider to bundle Telestream ClipMail Pro and ClipExpress store-and-forward media delivery appliances with WAM!NET Compressed Video Delivery Services.

Telestream's ClipMail Pro and ClipExpress are desktop MPEG appliances optimized for easy media encoding, decoding, network delivery and viewing. These store-and-forward media devices are an important component of WAM!NET's turnkey Compressed Video Delivery Service. Via this service, WAM!NET's customers are able to quickly and easily deliver video from any computer desktop or Telestream video appliance, streamlining the creative review, network clearance and content distribution processes.

SWTV (Southwest Television) installed Solid State Logic's Aysis Air Mobile Digital Broadcast Console, making the entire production chain digital. Servicing mostly live high-end sports and entertainment events, the reputation of the Aysis Air convinced SWTV to include the console in the advanced digital environment.

Oxtel has installed an Imagestore for KERA, the public broadcasting organization for North Texas. KERA purchased the master control and channel branding system to assist it's transition to a multichannel digital operation in addition to transmitting two analog program streams. KERA installed Imagestore in KERA's Master Control. An additional unit is scheduled to be installed in the coming months. Imagestore's keying layers will be used for inserting logos and captions.

Keops Broadcast has announced that it has signed an agreement with SGI under which SGI will resell and integrate The Keops MediaWorks digital asset management system through its Professional Services group worldwide. Keops' MediaWorks integrated media environment combines asset management, recording automation, desktop video browsing, marking and broadcast playlist generation into a scalable client/server architecture. MediaWorks is being used around the world by broadcasters, post-production facilities and corporate media departments as an integrated solution that streamlines the television production workflow.

Sony announced first results of development tools to allow content to be moved between SDTI-CP and the Material eXchange Format (MXF) format. MXF allows for easy exchange of material between file servers, tape streamers and digital archives.

The MXF project is a joint development between the Pro-MPEG forum and the AAF Association. The goal is to provide a seamless transfer between the real-time applications of video/audio content producers and networked systems. Sony's work will include full Metadata support based on XML data interfaces. Sony also announced that its products would fully support MXF. Technology demonstrations were available in the Pro-MPEG and Sony booths.

Quantel's Henry Infinity, a compositing/editing tool to finish high-end commercials, is becoming the choice of more and more start-up boutique-style post/design facilities. Steele VFX and Fence Post have recently installed the Infinity to keep up with the business being generated at these expanding boutiques. Fence Post specializes in high-end commercials, music videos and broadcast design.

FloriCal System's AirBoss automated control system now supports Kaydara mediastore, a next-generation media server designed to provide broadcast facilities with fast access to stills, audio/video clips, animation and graphics. The combination of these technologies allows broadcast facilities to easily access and manipulate various types of media in demanding broadcast environments.

Dielectric Communications has signed a definitive agreement to purchase TCI International. The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of TCI. Dielectric's acquisition of TCI further broadens Dielectric's varied product offerings to U.S. broadcasters for TV and FM products and international broadcaster in the high- and medium-frequency spectrum. The addition of TCI also brings Dielectric into the field of signal processin, which includes spectrum monitoring and management, direction finding, signal processing, collection and specialized products for military and communications intelligence customers.

Inscriber Technolgy has integrated Inscriber's text and graphics technology into Quantel's new platform, combining to form the new iQ system. Quantel iQ meets challenges by delivering a networked workflow solution with a powerful image processing engine at its heart that handles and combines all resolutions, from SD to HD and beyond. Quantel iQ is shipping with its own editing application, Qedit, and Inscriber's Qscribe, a customized module that directly utilizes Inscriber's text generation capabilities, combined with Inscriber's workflow design that is optimized for speed and flexibility.

Keywest Technology has acquired Video Data Systems of Hauppauge, New York. The agreement gives the company exclusive rights to manufacture, sell and distribute all VDS products. With the addition of VDS, Keywest Technology solidifies its leadership position in video/audio integration and creates an instant, commanding presence in the information channel and CATV markets.

SeaChange International will provide video server systems for Azteca America Incorporated, a new national broadcast television network aimed at serving the U.S. Hispanic community. Azteca America is a joint venture between Pappas Telecasting and TV Azteca. Azteca America will rely on Broadcast MediaCluster to handle the large volume of video content that will be delivered daily to their affiliates.

USA Cable has selected A.F. Associates (AFA) to design and construct their new digital Network Operations Center (NOC) located in Jersey City, New Jersey. The existing origination facility is undergoing a complete transformation from a hybrid analog/digital infrastructure into a fully digital, multi-channel NOC, employing advanced archiving and digital asset management systems. AFA expects the new facility to be fully operational in the spring of 2001. USA Cable's new NOC will employ the latest automation and digital asset storage technologies, including the first ADIC AML/2 near-line archive system employed in the country.

The BBC is to set up a new limited liability company, BBC Technology Limited, following approval from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to create the new wholly owned subsidiary. BBC Technology will offer access to engineering skills across a whole range of broadcast and Internet related technologies. Digital technology is opening up powerful and exciting new opportunities for companies to communicate with their customers and their staff. To do this successfully, businesses need support in managing, creating and distributing media.

NEP Super Shooters purchased a 60-channel Calrec S2 analog mixing console from Calrec Audio. The desk will go into NEP's new Super Shooter Seven truck to exclusively cover the Senior PGA Golf Tournament for 35 weeks of the year. NEP is an outside broadcast company with 31 vehicles on their roster, they now have three 60 channel S2 desks, two of which were converted from S series consoles purchased in 1995.

Minerva Networks announced a partnership with SGI aimed at developing a marketing complete solutions for the delivery of IP Television services over broadband networks. Minerva has integrated its IP Television service management software with Linux-based SGI 1200 and SGI 1450 servers. Minerva also announced it will support the SGI Origin family of streaming servers. The integrated server and management solution, combined with Minerva's carrier class streaming encoders, DVB-to-IP gateways and media transcoders, are the essential components of complete IP television headends.

Equi=Tech has outfitted a plant in Sausalito, CA, with balanced power from Equi=Tech. Having added state-of-the-art 24-bit mastering services to its menu, balanced power had become more a matter of need than just one of preference. The upgraded Equi=Tech Model ET12.5W, was chosen for the plant's power upgrade.

NDS recently opened up an office in New York. NDS opened the NY office to focus on developing interactive TV systems and applications for the U.S. market. The new office is hoping to strengthen NDS's 24×7 customer support capabilities as well.

NDS also was chosen by iBlast to provide datacasting services for its highly anticipated national datacasting network in the U.S. NDS and iBlast are joining forces to deliver fast, broadband content to over 90 percent of U.S. households and offer broadcasters a new revenue stream. iBlast becomes the first major datacasting customer for NDS in the U.S.

BOXX Technology, provider of digital content creation systems for the entertainment and digital film industries, announced Rainbow Studios has installed 3DBOXX systems to enhance productivity and increase system performance in its digital production pipeline.

National Mobile Television, provider of mobile television production equipment, and Activate, a digital media infrastructure services company, announced a joint marketing agreement to provide customers with high-quality, on-location production services and end-to-end Webcasting solutions. This alliance integrates NMT's capabilities as a supplier of remote mobile television production trucks for broadcast, cable, the Internet and corporate television program production with Activate's range of digital media services, including production and distribution of online live and on-demand events in all major industry standard formats.

Bexel Corporation, a television production equipment rental company, has purchased Sony's HDW-F900 digital camcorders. The Bexel Corporation first ordered 10 of the cameras, has ordered five since the original order and plans to purchase another 15 within the year. In addition, Bexel plans to purchase about $1 million more in accessories to complement the cameras.

Radamec Broadcast Systems has opened a parts center in New York. Radamec's new parts center in New York is capable of supplying customers with critical replacement parts on the same day or overnight.

Accom announced that TechTV purchased seven AFFINITY nonlinear editing systems. TechTV produces shows that help viewers improve their computer knowledge and participate more fully in the digital age. In all, seven existing edit suites are being upgraded to AFFINITY and with two suites already completed.

Sony Electronics has entered into an agreement with DNF Controls to offer complete server solutions for customers of Sony's MAV-555 multi access video disk recorder. The combined Sony MAV-555/DNF DMAT sports controller and MAV-555/DNF 2034CL Shot box recorder premiered at the 2000 summer games in Sydney, Australia. Now Sony is offering a third control option, DNF's production switcher interface.

Telemetric's camera robotics systems were installed throughout the Florida State Capital to provide comprehensive coverage of government sessions in the state senate, house and chamber. Florida Channel WFSU-TV, which is owned by Florida State University, provides the video feeds for airing on several different broadcast and cable channels to provide state-wide access to the programming. More than 50 of Telemetrics' PT-HP Camera Robotic Pan/Tilt Systems have been installed in the state capital building.

Philips and Dolby Laboratories have cooperated in a project to find a solution for handling Dolby E and metadata in a standard master control environment, which will provide broadcasters another tool to solve the challenges of handling multi-channel audio. The goal of the two companies is to aid broadcasters in delivering the high-quality audio increasingly demanded by viewers.

Sony Data System Division has added Harris Corporation to its growing list of Sony Data System Value added resellers. Harris Corporation provides high-end broadcast and production systems to broadcasters in the U.S. and around the world. Harris Corporation has just completed its first purchase of a Sony DMSB150L Petasite with Sony DTF-2 drives which will be installed at Seattle's KCTS in an automated commercial insertion system with Avalon software and Grass Valley Group profiles.

Snell & Wilcox completed installation of its IQ Modular Series featuring RollCall Network Management System in the all-digital Internet broadcast operations center for Real Broadcast Network (RBN). The IQ Modular products are complete with rack-mounted A/D converters and adaptive comb filters for decoding, frame synchronization and noise reduction purposes.

The National Geographic channel, a new U.S. cable channel and a partnership between national Geographic Television and Fox Cable Networks Group, installed an AMS Neve Libra Live Series II digital broadcast console to use in its Washington D.C. studio. The console will be used initially for pre-production and live production of National Geographic Today, National Geographic Channel's on hour-long daily news program.

Prime Image, manufacturer of digital video and audio processing equipment recently shipped unit number six thousand of the Model 50II line of Time Base Corrector-Synchronizer-Freeze. The six-thousandth Model 50II shipped to Warner Brothers. Other customers of Prime Image are the government of Israel, ESPN, Panasonic Systems Engineering and Norsat International.

Jarvis Studio recently purchased an API Legacy console. The console is the second largest API Legacy console in New York City. The console was so large it would not fit in the elevator to make it to its final destination on the sixth floor. In order to place the 64-channel Legacy with Flying Faders in Jarvis Studio's a crew was hired to “fly” the console in through the sixth floor window using a crane. In addition to its window-delivered Legacy, Jarvis houses an array of outboard equipment, speakers and microphones.

The Nebraska Educational TV has added three Angenieux 60×9.5 HD OB lenses to its mobile production unit. The Angenieux lenses are being employed for a wide range of productions including sports, concerts and performing arts.

Crosscreek Television Productions has ordered a Grass Valley Kalypso Video Production Center from the Grass Valley Group. The order was Crosscreek's second in six months. The company will use the new system in its Voyager IV truck primarily for coverage of the National Hot Rod Association Winston Drag Races.

Toshiba has announced that it is employing Vela's CineCast family of MPEG decoding products to enhance its distribution capabilities. The Vela products include the CineCast Quad, CineCast Quad Pro, and the new CineCast HD series of MPEG-2 decoders. Toshiba's use of the CineCast HD/2 marks the unit's worldwide debut and compliments the CineCast family with analog composite, component and HD-SDI video outputs. While both the CineCast Quad and Quad Pro offer four-channels of MPEG-2 decoding with individual genlock inputs, each channel of the CineCast Quad Pro also features serial digital video outputs, dual analog stereo audio, dual AES/EBU digital audio, and embedded SDI audio support.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Triveni Digital announced a partnership for trials of PBS enhanced programming in four episodes of “Scientific American Frontiers” that has aired on four local PBS stations beginning March 27. The trials will be the first digital terrestrial (over-the-air) broadcast of interactive TV enhancements using the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) Transport Type B specification. ATVEF Transport B allows the enhanced content to be broadcast with the program, rather than requiring a connection to the Internet, thereby speeding up the delivery of the enhancements to the viewer.

NEP Super Shooters have ordered three Calrec Audio C2 mixing consoles to provide supplemental applications to existing Q2 audio consoles. The C2s, one each of 60, 48 and 36 channels, are the first to ship to NEP, who already have seven Q2s, two S2s and two S Series desks. The 60-channel console is the largest C2 Calrec manufacture and is only the second to be made since its launch in 1998.

Telestream and Vsoft have announced a partnership involving integration of Telestream's MPEG media encoding/delivery appliance products and Vsoft's MPEG media management software tools. This product integration provides a seamless solution for the acquisition, delivery and management of high-quality digital media.

The partnership has enabled Vsoft and Telestream to develop file compatibility and metadata interchange to facilitate smooth and reliable operation between their products. Both companies share a common goal of replacing cumbersome handling of physical videotape with efficient digital media management and distribution solutions. The companies also share many of the same dealers, making one-stop shopping easy for their company.

Jonas Jensen Studios (Seattle, WA), a television and film studio facility recently invested in a complement of Panasonic DVCPRO50 equipment. Jonas Jensen's equipment roster includes the AJ-PD900WA 2/3" DVCPRO50 Progressive camcorder, the AJ-PD950A DVCPRO50 Progressive studio VTR, the AJ-D95 desktop DVCPRO50 AC/DC VRT and AJ-D90 dockable DVCPRO50. The facility also has access to a full range of Panasonic HDTV and DTV gear that equips a 58-foot HDTV mobile production truck that it operates and manages for The Ackerley Group.

In all five redundant multichannel systems will be installed at NBC's New York and Burbank facilities. The five systems will consist of Tandberg Television's E5611 encoders, evolution 5000 multiplexers, 8PSK-compliant modulators and a total of three Director network management and receiver control systems. In addition, 975 Alteia plus receivers will be supplied to affiliates across the country.

Norsk Lydskole, part of the Nordic Institute of Stage & Studio, has retrofitted its studio A to create a state-of-the-art digital studio. It has installed a Soundtracs DS-3 digital production console. The DS-3, 32-bit floating-point console digital console, replaced a Tascam M700 analog console.

Lydskole decided to make the change from analog to digital for the benefit of the students learning, stating that the majority of post-graduate work will be done digitally.


Doug Butler has been named director of engineering at A.F. Associates (AFA), a leading systems integrator servicing domestic and international clients. Butler will be responsible for the ongoing development and daily management of AFA's project engineering team. He will work closely with Jim McGrath, AFA's senior vice president of engineering and technology.

Staco Energy Products has announced L. Mark Yaeger as its new vice president of sales and marketing. Yaeger has had an extensive sales career in the electrical power and controls industries holding the positions of regional sales manager, national sales manager and director of sales.

Robin Shahid has been named assistant chief engineer at WLVI (WB56), Boston's WB affiliate and Tribune Broadcasting station. Shahid will be responsible for running day to day operations of WB56's engineering department. He will manage a staff of 34 technicians and engineers, as well as oversee all engineering and building operations.

GeoVideo Networks announced the appointment of Phil Thompson to the position of senior vice president of engineering. Thompson will lead GeoVideo's network data center strategy, which will initially focus on the development of the industry's first controlled broadband video network. Thompson will oversee a product development center in Monmouth county, NJ, that will provide network interoperability testing, systems engineering, software development, hardware and software testing, and quality assurance for GeoVideo's fiber network.

Jim Hurwitz will be joining the staff of Telecast Fiber Systems as a U.S. sales manager for the Western region. Covering an area that reaches from the Pacific coast to the Mississippi, Hurwitz will oversee sales of the company's proprietary portable and fixed fiber optic systems optimized for the television broadcast industry.

Bernie Keach will head the sales territories as the new West coast regional sales manager for Sierra Video Also supporting Sierra Video Systems will be Marty Morgan who will be the new Central regional sales manager.

Carlson, a provider of consulting, design and implementation services for broadcasting, and mission-critical facilities has named Jeff Riser as the director of broadcasting and media.

John Russell was named chief engineer for Young Broadcasting's KCAL9-TV in Los Angeles. Russell left KLCS-TV as chief engineer to go to KCAL9, bringing over 20 years of engineering experience to Your Broadcasting's KCAL9. He will oversee all technical aspects of KCAL9's operations and reports directly to the general manager.

Snell & Wilcox named Tom Lang and Eloy Chairez vice president/general manager Eastern region and Western region, respectively. Lang had been general manager of the Eastern region prior to his promotion and Chairez was previously district manager for the Southern California region.

Avica Technology named Don Bird vice president of sales and marketing for both U.S. and international operations. Bird brings with him 12 years of experience after being at 360 Systems where he was vice president of corporate development.

Screen ShotPanasonic 480p equipment used to shoot Caporale Studio's feature film

Caporale Studios purchased Panasonic Broadcast's AJ-PD900WA 2/3-inch DVCPRO50 Progressive camcorder both for theatrical feature production and general assignments, which range from national commercials to industrial video to video news releases.

Principal Michael Caporale, a veteran of both illustrative still photography and film production, recently served as director of photography on a 120-minute theatrical feature, “Ball of Wax,” shot in its entirety with the AJ-PD900WA. Caporale also has used the DVCPRO progressive camcorder to service his existing accounts, for example, shooting a documentary for a local school for gifted children.

Solid State Logic console used to broadcast NBA All-Star game

Sundance, the newest addition to the five-truck hybrid digital fleet of live broadcast expandable production trucks owned by Core Digital Technologies-SWTV, used its new 96-channel Solid State Logic Aysis Air Mobile Digital broadcast console to broadcast the live Turner Network feed at this year's NBA All-Star game. The game was held at the MCI center in Washington, D.C. Freelance A1 operator, Jonathan Freed mixed the feed.

Sennheiser teams up with the XFL to produce more bashing and smashing

For all those who believe the bashing and smashing that is so much a part of football has gone unheard of for a long time will be glad to hear that the XFL, NBC Sports, Scharff Weisberg and Sennheiser have all teamed up to provide better sound quality at XFL games. The XFL has decided to hook up its players with more wireless microphones both on and off the field. The result is a “more real than real” experience.

The audio coordinator responsible for the endeavor is Jeff Cohen of JPC Systems. Cohen requested a list of Sennheiser wireless equipment to bring the XFL's vision to life. Scharff Wiesberg rents and maintains all the Sennheiser RF equipment for NBC Sports. The majority of the players are wired with Sennheiser wireless microphones, as are the coaches and referees, and there are parabolic dishes directed at the Neumann KM 183s to pick up sounds from the huddle. Sennheiser shotgun microphones capture the emotion in the locker room as well.

EMC2 World Cup of Golf uses Live slow motion replay engines

The EMC2 World Cup of Golf in Latin America consisted of four days of live broadcasting, retransmitted in more than 140 countries and reaching millions of viewers. More than 80 television production specialists were flown in for the event. The specialists brought with them their regular gear however, this broadcast system also incorporated 3x EVS LSM 6 channel Live slow motion replay engines. Each system permanently recorded signals from either two or four dedicated cameras, but routing allowed any other camera on the green to input to any LSM temporarily. That much slow motion replay facility a a golf contest may seem overdone. In this case, however, some other LSM features were used extensively. The use of the LSMs as production servers offered the director unprecedented flexibility. Golf lovers around the globe were able to follow the event through live quality broadcast.

Previous page

Next page

Return to the top