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iPhone Takes Control

Broadcast Pix iPixPad for the iPad
It is no secret that the iPhone's popularity has spawned a huge cottage industry of applications—as well as a fairly extensive outpouring of studies to assess whether these applications are sticky.

Exhibitors at the NAB Show will attempt to demonstrate how their iPhone applications can aid broadcasters remotely control and monitor equipment as well as facilitate the use and dissemination of iPhone generated video.


AKG Acoustics, a Vienna, Austria subsidiary of Harman International will show its Wireless iPhone App for monitoring and configuring wireless microphones. According to Product Manager Philipp Sonnleitner, the app was launched last month at Frankfurter Musikmesse, a leading global trade fair for the music business. Sonnleitner said AKG planned to show NAB attendees how the app drives many of its wireless products.

Streambox Live A Wi-Fi connection links the iPhone application to a wireless router, which feeds into an AKG HUB 4000Q computer interface. The underlying technology, the Harman Pro protocol HiQnet, is used in all Harman Pro products (crown amps, BSS digital signal processing systems, JBL loudspeakers, dbx matrix boxes, Studer/Soundcraft mixers and AKG wireless devices), according to Sonnleitner.

Grass Valley, Calif.-based AJA Video will demo its DataCalc app, a free storage requirement calculator designed for field acquisition and post production to assess storage consumption and data capturing requirements. It was released in December and is available as a free download from the Apple iTunes Store.

DataCalc supports a wide array of video compression formats and disc drives. It's vastly superior to the charts used otherwise, said customer Bob Zelin, a video engineer and owner of Orlando, Fla.-based Rescue 1, Inc., which provides various services to broadcasters, including the installation of shared storage systems.

"DataCalc will instantly tell you how much storage you can get per hour and the data rate in megabytes per second," said Zelin. That easily translates into "how many hours you can shoot before you get into trouble," he said, in an environment where there are "so many variables."

Broadcast Pix will demo iPixPad, a free download for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch portable media player/PDA/WiFi mobile platform. The company introduced the app at IBC2009 and has since introduced a version for the new iPad.

"The iPixPad replicates the bank of 12 buttons on the Broadcast Pix Slate 100 control panel that allows the user to fire off macro memories, as well as select clips and graphics," said company President Ken Swanton.


For Streambox, it's a natural progression to take its expertise in sending video over low bandwidth sat phone connections to empowering iPhone video streams, said Ben Larson, Project Manager for Streambox Live. He also noted the company's long-standing work in the Apple environment.

The Seattle-based company's goal is to provide a "complete newsgathering solution" for live and file-based feeds, said Larson.

Visitors to the Streambox booth can download the user-friendly software from iTunes' app store for free and use it right off their phone. They'll have access to the resulting video after signing up for an account on Streambox Live, the company's Web management tool.

Vizrt will demonstrate how its Adactus Mobilize platform enables (among other things) the streaming of live video from a mobile phone to the Web, said Ingrid Agasoster, who heads up the company's marketing and communication initiatives. Vizrt reps will also demonstrate how to upload video and imagery to the Web directly from a mobile phone (bypassing the computer), using Viz Reporter and Live Reporter.

Harris Corp will demonstrate how its Citizen Journalist technology minimizes turnaround time from the point of video capture by the iPhone to the point of transmission by the broadcaster. At press time, Product Line Manager for Digital Asset Management Mark Darlow said the company had plans to test its goal of a 14 second turnaround, using Apple's newly released 3.2 API, which is being beta trialed by developers. Citizen Journalist already boasts a verification process that automatically indicates the location, phone number and name of the person sending a report via iPhone. In addition, start and stop message directives can create multiple segments on a feed to facilitate an Edit Decision List.

When Citizen Journalist was introduced at IBC2009, Harris reps used the iPhone to interview interested parties, add metadata to the footage and upload it to a video cloud, according to Darlow. There, Harris' asset management system sent it down the designated workflow chain, which rendered versions for television (MPEG-2) and alternative destinations (MPEG-4). The footage was displayed on a plasma TV screen and on an iPhone.

At NAB, the final product will also be embedded in a Web site, Darlow said.