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Archive by Sue Sillitoe

Visual Unity Africa Opens in Nairobi, Kenya

Leading international system integrator and multiscreen platform provider Visual Unity has entered into a joint venture with Telemedia Africa to establish Visual Unity Africa. The company, based in Nairobi, Kenya, offers system integration and professional services to the local broadcast, IT and telecommunications industries, along with specialist R&D capabilities to develop innovative Mobile Applications for the triple play space.

Visual Unity Africa is headed by partners Baiju Shah, Ali Hussein and Ken Kariuki, all of whom have extensive management experience in the broadcast and technology sectors. Hussein and Kariuki will be permanently based at Visual Unity Africa’s Nairobi offices from where they will initially develop the East and Central African market, with a view to expanding into other areas in the future.

With a population of 200 million plus, a growing middle class and a rise in GDP from $400 million to $800 million in the last decade, it is clear that the African market offers enormous potential for growth. The region is already being recognized as a hub of innovation in the broadcast and mobile application space thanks to a very high penetration of mobile devices and the advent of cheap tablets coming onto the market. Many areas are now making the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting and it is anticipated that a price war between main providers will result in a drop in the cost of internet bandwidth.

Tomas Petru, Managing Director of Visual Unity, says: “In terms of broadcast and content delivery, Africa is an area that is ripe for expansion and there have already been significant changes with a proliferation of new TV stations coming on line to quench demand for local content. However, one thing the market lacks are specialist systems integration and professional services organizations that can assist broadcasters with their equipment choices as they make the switch to digital television and enable them to monetizing content as they embrace the burgeoning multiscreen environment. With our rich set of video and broadcast products, our extensive R&D expertise and our knowledge of the linear and multiscreen systems integration, Visual Unity Africa is ideally placed to bridge this gap by providing high quality services and products to the emerging triple market.”

Ali Hussein adds that Visual Unity Africa’s combination of local connections and business development expertise will give the company an enviable lead in the market.

“Visual Unity Africa’s 360˚ view of integration, along with its acquired mobile applications capability, will enable us to sell products and services to media, Telco and broadcaster organizations. Visual Unity Africa also has an important role to play in influencing regulatory issues and setting new regional standards. It is our intention to be a hub of best practice that will serve as a benchmark for the rest of Africa.”

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About Visual Unity
Visual Unity is an international Systems Integrator bridging the gap between broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences – wherever they are. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast systems and multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD Outside Broadcast vehicles and major playout facilities to automated Direct-to-Web platforms.

Visual Unity’s vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners enter the challenging world of multiscreen media, providing complete control over the management and monetisation of brand and assets. Through four highly scalable and flexible modules, the vuMediaTM platform delivers a cutting-edge web-based and mobile viewing experience, comprehensive Video on Demand services and secure robust content distribution – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Dubai and Belgrade.

For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com

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Thomson Video Networks and Jünger Audio Partnership Offers Streamlined Loudness Control Solutions

Marc Judor, Manager International Sales and Marketing from Junger (left), and Claude Perron, CTO from Thomson Video Networks (right).

Thomson Video Networks has announced a strategic partnership with Jünger Audio that will bring Jünger’s renowned audio loudness technology to the ViBE encoding platform. With sophisticated handling of loudness built in, ViBE encoders will allow customers to achieve a reduced infrastructure footprint, as well as providing a simpler and more effective solution to regulatory loudness requirements.

Jünger Audio’s sophisticated audio leveling technology delivers broadcast audio that complies with all current loudness regulations (ATSC A/85, ITU 1770 and EBU R128). The company’s LEVEL MAGICTM algorithm provides a comprehensive series of level controls that address all of the issues broadcasters currently face, with audio coming from a wide variety of sources. Based on a Multi-Loop dynamic range control principle, where slow changes (AGC), fast changes (transient processing) and Look Ahead peak limiting are handled simultaneously, LEVEL MAGIC offers level management with exceptionally high audio quality and without coloration, pumping, breathing, distortion or modulation effects.

“We have chosen Jünger from the key players in this arena because the LEVEL MAGIC algorithm is very highly regarded by broadcast sound engineers for the outstanding results it delivers,” said Claude Perron, chief technology officer of Thomson Video Networks. “Audio quality is a key criterion for our customers and an important part of the viewer experience, and with this collaboration we can combine the leading loudness solution with the leading encoding technology.”

Thomson Video Networks and Jünger will work jointly to integrate LEVEL MAGIC into the ViBE platform, and the technology will be incorporated into new ViBE products from Q3 2012. An easy software upgrade will be available to customers of existing ViBE EM4000 and VS7000 units.

“In the light of new legislation, broadcasters around the world are very aware of the need to maintain legal audio levels,” said Peter Poers, managing director of Jünger Audio. “As audio specialists, we have spent many years developing technologies that address the loudness issue without any detrimental effect on sound quality. By combining LEVEL MAGIC with ViBE encoding, it is now much easier for broadcasters to deploy and operate a solution that complies with all current loudness regulations and offers a smaller footprint, thus minimizing the possibility of errors.”

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities.

Information about products from Junger Audio is available at www.junger-audio.com

About Thomson Video Networks
From the very onset of digital TV broadcasting, the Thomson name has been synonymous with supplying expertise, quality, and reliability to the world’s leading broadcasters. Since delivering the world’s first large-scale direct-to-home satellite system, Thomson Video Networks has been a global leader in compression systems for satellite, terrestrial, cable, IPTV, mobile TV, and Web streaming. The company helps its customers deliver superior quality video to anything from small handheld devices to large 3D HD screens, with the lowest bandwidth to ensure a profitable business model. A trusted supplier to more than 20 percent of the active channels deployed worldwide, with a global support presence and a reputation for delivering quality at every stage, Thomson Video Networks offers the experience and range of products to meet every need, from hybrid multiformat compression systems to contribution links for content exchange networks.

Information about products from Thomson Video Networks is available at www.thomson-networks.com.

Prism Sound and TTid To Host Audio Test & Measurement Seminar

Following on from last year’s hugely successful audio test and measurement training seminar at Duxford in Cambridgeshire, and due to popular demand for a re-run, Prism Sound is holding a second training event in the North of England with the aim of introducing engineers to the practical and theoretical aspects of accurately measuring audio for a wide variety of applications.

This ‘must attend’ seminar will be held in conjunction with Prism Sound’s UK partners TTid, and will take place at the University of Huddersfield from 30th – 31st May, 2012.

Simon Woollard, Applications Engineer for Prism Sound, says: “Our first training event at Duxford in 2011 was sold out, and attended by over 60 engineers from many different sectors of the audio industry. Audio engineering is now a highly diverse discipline, with engineers working on designing, installing, servicing and manufacturing a huge range of electronic and electroacoustic devices. For this reason it is very important that we organise training days such as this, to ensure that we can keep every corner of the audio industry up-to-date with the latest in test and measurement techniques. Engineers are facing increasing pressure on their time budgets, so anything that we can do to help disseminate information on improving the efficiency and scope of their audio testing is gratefully received, as evidenced by our very popular on-going program of webinars and seminars in this field.”

The first day will be devoted to covering the basics of audio measurement and will include sessions on objective and subjective measurement correlation; audio measurement units, single-tone audio measurements; FFT’s; Sweeps and Digital Audio. There will be a general introduction session to get the day started and a Q&A wrap up so that those taking part can have their specific queries dealt with.

The second day will focus on practical measurement workshops where delegates will have the opportunity to apply the theory they have covered in day one. There will be plenty of opportunity to test ADCs, DACs and digital interfaces along with power amplifiers, loudspeakers, soundcards, Mic pres, Bluetooth and playback-only devices. Once again there will be a wrap-up Q&A session to ensure that all delegates have understood the workshops and the results they have been achieving.

Throughout the two day seminar, delegates will have access to Prism Sound’s audio test and measurement instruments including the revolutionary dScope Series III instrument, which includes precision analogue and highly-optimised digital outputs and inputs. dScope series III’s precise and automatic gain-ranging allows high resolution measurements over a massive range, from a few micro-volts to more than 150 volts RMS, and from less than 1 Hz to over 90kHz. Its interface processor uses dedicated DSP to provide a wide range of real time measurements, while its software uses the host PC for almost unlimited number crunching and analysis options such as Fast Fourier Transforms, unique ‘FFT Detectors’, swept sine and multi-tone testing. Designed to be highly programmable, the dScope Series III can be automated from a wide range of third-party software using Active X controls, or internally using VBScript.

As places are limited, anyone wanting to part should register their interest by visiting www.prismsound.com/test_measure/event_reg.php?eid=138 Delegates are encouraged to suggest topics they would like to see covered on the second day – all suggestions are welcomed. The price for this event is £45 per day, plus VAT. Limited places are also available, free of charge, for students enrolled on audio engineering programmes.

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987 in Cambridge, UK, Prism Sound manufactures a range of high quality professional test equipment for audio applications. The company is organized in three divisions and in addition to audio test equipment, Prism Sound also manufactures equipment for high-quality recording and production for music and sound applications and for voice-logging recorders used in law enforcement, legislative and business applications. Prism Sound audio test equipment is used by many major consumer electronics brands in automotive, home entertainment, personal mobile, communications and other market sectors as well as most of the world’s leading broadcasters including the BBC. Prism Sound’s music recording products are widely used by leading professionals in music and film sound such as the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

For more information: www.prismsound.com

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Visual Unity Showcases Award-winning vuMediaTM Multiscreen Delivery Platform At NAB 2012

Leading international System Integrator Visual Unity will use NAB 2012 (Stand N4019) to showcase vuMediaTM, its award-winning integrated content management and delivery framework that allows broadcasters to rapidly access new multiscreen audiences.

Visual Unity will demonstrate how vuMediaTM enables broadcasters and content owners to deliver a cutting-edge viewing experience to any screen or connected device, comprehensive Video on Demand (VoD) services and secure content distribution – all of which can be deployed into existing operations and workflows:

vuChannelTM for web-based and mobile viewing, fully integrated into the station backend

vuDemandTM for comprehensive Video on Demand (VoD) services, including billing and reporting

vuMobileTM for mobile content, applications and real-time engagement

vuNetTM providing secure control over content distribution, via The Cloud or using Visual Unity’s own Content Delivery Network with local POPs across Europe and the Middle East

“We are excited to showcase the full capabilities of the vuMediaTM platform, particularly the latest vuMobileTM module, which provides mobile-optimized content and enhanced video, with interactive marketing tools to enable broadcasters engage new mobile audiences in real-time,” says Visual Unity’s President, Tomas Petru.

“With 1.2billion mobile devices now ready for TV in 2012 and tablet audiences growing by 100% every quarter, Visual Unity are ideally placed to help broadcasters and content owners harness the enormous potential of their multiscreen audience.”

Visual Unity will also use NAB to highlight its comprehensive broadcast and multiscreen systems integration capabilities. Recent projects include the design and build of an eight-camera HD production OB vehicle for Czech TV and the rollout of multiscreen VoD and PayTV services for TopFun TV.

Petru continues: “With over 20 years’ experience in the design and implementation of turnkey broadcast systems and multiscreen solutions for clients worldwide, Visual Unity bridges the gap between traditional linear broadcast, IT and IPTV. We enable broadcasters to improve operational performance and integrate the latest technology to meet the rapidly growing demands of new multiscreen audiences.”

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About Visual Unity
Visual Unity is an international Systems Integrator bridging the gap between broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences – wherever they are. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast systems and multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD Outside Broadcast vehicles and major playout facilities to automated Direct-to-Web platforms.

Visual Unity’s vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners enter the challenging world of multiscreen media, providing complete control over the management and monetisation of brand and assets. Through four highly scalable and flexible modules, the vuMediaTM platform delivers a cutting-edge web-based and mobile viewing experience, comprehensive Video on Demand services and secure, robust content distribution – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Dubai and Belgrade.

For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com 

Visual Unity: Na hrebenech II 1718/8, Prague 4, 147 00, Czech Republic

T: +420 271 742 111 F: +420 271 742 112 E: info@visualunity.com

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Broadcast Networks Delivers A Unique Operational Area For Arqiva

Systems Integration specialist Broadcast Networks has supplied Arqiva with a new operational area within its Chalfont Grove Media Centre to monitor and control the playout services supported from the facility. Arqiva provides much of the infrastructure and services behind television and radio channels in the UK and internationally.

Designed to the highest specifications, the new area enables Arqiva to achieve greater operational efficiency and provides room for the company to expand its playout business in the future.

As one of the UK’s leading system integrators, Broadcast Networks was ideally placed to tackle this project. With more than 20 years’ experience, Broadcast Networks specialises in the design and implementation of HD and SD Master Control Rooms, studio systems, Outside Broadcast vehicles, On Location communications, satellite uplinks and facilities for streaming media.

Paul Wallis, Sales Director for Broadcast Networks, says: “As well as allowing room for future expansion of its services, Arqiva’s European Playout Centre needed to reflect the company’s position as an internationally renowned provider of broadcast and media services. The design brief was an important part of this assignment as Arqiva wanted to distinguish itself from the competition by creating a facility that would immediately appeal to its top tier customers.”

Kevin Hunt, Arqiva’s Project Manager, says he is delighted with the results that Broadcast Networks has achieved.

“The new European Playout Centre looks stunning and reinforces Arqiva’s reputation for delivering high quality playout services,” he says.

Broadcast Networks was responsible for the entire project management, including interior design, construction, CDM/health and safety supervision, systems integration and equipment and furniture installation. The company worked in partnership with interior designers Design Original, construction group Hi-Tec Building Services and technical furniture manufacturers Custom Consoles to create a space that was modern and functional as well as dynamic.

“When it comes to visual impact, Arqiva’s new European Playout Centre really has the wow factor,” Broadcast Networks’ Project Manager Matthew Slater adds. “The playout suite is adjacent to the Media Centre’s reception, which has a large picture window, glass walled corridors and a mezzanine floor where visitors view the operators as they carry out their technical duties. Large scale graphics create a visual link between the interior design of the playout suite and the Media Centre’s reception and this overall graphic style, influenced by the circular nature of the desk layout, presents a professional and dynamic feel in a soft, friendly and open way. We have used a matrix of dots instead of large blocks of solid colour to relax the eye and ensure that both visitors and operational staff experience a positive, modern, open, light and airy space that is immediately recognisable.”

The new playout suite incorporates a horseshoe-shaped main control desk accommodating three operator positions. There is also room for a future operator position and an engineering position. A smaller desk facing the main control desk accommodates the TX supervisor. Both desks incorporate LED lighting that dramatically illuminates the legs of the desk.

Four monitor stacks, each comprising four portrait-mounted large format 52” JVC LCD screens, are positioned in front of each of the operator positions. Underneath each monitor stack is a storage unit with three 19” rackmount bays for mounting the PCs associated with the operational positions. In the corner of the room, out of sight behind a monitor stack, are three equipment racks with lockable rear doors integrated into the reception area’s dividing wall. This storage ensures the operational space is kept as free as possible from technical ‘clutter’ to maintain the futuristic, streamlined look.

Matthew Slater says: “Broadcast Networks supplied various monitoring equipment including the new JVC monitors. The rest of the equipment was migrated from Arqiva’s previous playout facility whilst all services remained on-air. To maintain the light and spacious feel, thin bezeled monitors are mounted on an unobtrusive monitor stack to give the impression that they are floating in the air. This, combined with the unusual furniture and overall colour scheme, is very effective and creates an environment that is unlike any other control room.”

Arqiva’s Media Centre currently monitors over 50 channels, and room for expansion has been built into the design. The European Playout Centre was officially opened earlier this month and is now in use 24 hours a day.

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About Broadcast Networks Ltd:
Broadcast Networks is a UK-based Systems Integrator with clients the world over. From High Definition studio systems to Outside Broadcast vehicles, on location communications to satellite uplinks, Broadcast Networks offer a totally integrated and bespoke solution. The team’s technical and operational experience means it can meet the demands of both broadcast and IT-centric projects. The company’s very flexible approach and a high level of commitment and service ensure it meets all customers’ needs.

Unit 2, Riverwey Industrial Park, Newman Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2QL, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1420 592100 Email: info@bcnet.co.uk www.bcnet.co.uk

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BROADCAST NETWORKS HELPS PROCAM TELEVISION MOVE INTO THE MOBILE PRODUCTION MARKET

Internationally acclaimed broadcast hire company Procam Television is now able to offer clients fully mobile production facilities after taking delivery of its first multi-purpose production vehicle, which was built by leading UK systems integration specialist Broadcast Networks.

The new vehicle can accommodate up to 12 cameras and is based on a sturdy Volkswagon Crafter chassis. It has sufficient room to accommodate a crew of five and incorporates some of the most sophisticated broadcast and production technology on the market.

John Brennan, Managing Director of Procam Television, says: “Our philosophy has always been to invest in the very latest technology so that we can provide our customers with the right solutions to make their productions easier and, where possible, more cost effective.

“We have invested in this new vehicle because we wanted to offer our customers facilities for continuous filming in a range of setting. We hope to see the Pro truck working in lots of different markets, and a large part of its attraction is its versatility and green ecological friendliness.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in designing and delivering media systems and Outside Broadcast vehicles to clients such as Chellomedia in Holland, Bloomberg in Germany, ITV and Arqiva in the UK, OB Team in Norway and SBP in Italy, Broadcast Networks was ideally placed to help Procam Television move into this new market sector.

“Choosing Broadcast Networks was an easy decision to make,” Brennan adds, “With such a firm heritage in television production, it made little sense to go elsewhere.”

Perry Mitchell, Procam Television’s Technical Director, says, “Our brief to Broadcast Networks was to provide us with a production vehicle that offered maximum flexibility and could also operate in situations where an external power supply wasn’t available. They achieved this by sourcing equipment with 12 volt inputs and by incorporating a 12 volt power system with on-board batteries and an AC inverter. This highly sophisticated power system was originally developed for the luxury yacht market, but it works perfectly on board this vehicle as the combination of 12 volt equipment and 12 volt power means that the truck can operator for up to five hours without access to an external generator or mains power.”

Procam Television’s new production vehicle is equipped with four Cinedeck RX two-channel High Definition tapeless digital video recorders, which were chosen because they have removable disks and accept a variety of formats including ProRes, DNxHD, Cineform and uncompressed 422 and 444, up to 1080p. The vehicle also has a Blackmagic 40 x 40 Videohub video router that can be used with iPad control and a Blackmagic ATEM 2M/E production switcher.

Also unique is the inclusion of seven Sony TRIMASTER EL™ monitors with proprietary OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology. Procam Television chose these monitors for their colour accuracy and was the first Sony customer in Europe to take delivery of the new units.

Matthew Slater, Project Manager for Broadcast Networks, adds that the interior of the vehicle has been carefully thought out to ensure maximum space and flexibility for the operating crews.

“The sound, production and engineering control areas are on a single desk across the length of the vehicle and we have designed the desk so that different audio mixers can be accommodated depending on the production,” he explains. “We have also cabled the vehicle in such a way that crews can specify the free-standing production equipment they want to work with and then have it quickly and easily installed.”

Externally, the vehicle has a pneumatic telescopic mast that can be used to mount cameras for overhead shots, plus a roof platform for camera personnel.

Since taking delivery of the new vehicle, Procam Television already has bookings in place for several observational documentary projects across the UK.

Such is the demand that Procam is currently planning the build of a similar fleet of vehicles.

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About Broadcast Networks Ltd:
Broadcast Networks is a UK-based Systems Integrator with clients the world over. From High Definition studio systems to Outside Broadcast vehicles, on location communications to satellite uplinks, Broadcast Networks offer a totally integrated and bespoke solution. The team’s technical and operational experience means it can meet the demands of both broadcast and IT-centric projects. The company’s very flexible approach and a high level of commitment and service ensure it meets all customers’ needs.

Unit 2, Riverwey Industrial Park, Newman Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2QL, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1420 592100 Email: info@bcnet.co.uk www.bcnet.co.uk

About Procam Television:

Since forming in 1991, Procam Television has become one of the leading hire facilities in the UK.

Working with most major broadcasters, production companies and corporate blue-chip clients both in this country and worldwide, Procam strongly believe in providing individually tailored solutions with unbiased advice. Providing equipment and crews for shoots of various sizes, from one cameraman and his camera to a fully staffed studio crew, Procam Television can meet the needs of your production. Continually investing in the very latest broadcast technology, Procam strives to find the right solutions that make production easier and where possible more cost effective.

Procam Television
Unit 3 Battersea Business Park, 102-104 Stewarts Road, London, SW8 4UG
Tel: 020 7622 9888 (24 hours). Fax: 020 7622 1887
General enquiries: info@procam.tv

Procam Television – Manchester
Unit 4, Clayton Court, The City Works, 5 Welcomb Street (Off Ashton Old Road), Manchester, M11 2NB
Tel: 0161 604 0701. Fax: 0161 220 9801
General enquiries: manchester@procam.tv

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Larson Studios Installs Jünger Audio’s Loudness Solution To Solve Its CALM Compliance Issues

The need to comply with the recently introduced CALM Act on broadcast audio loudness has led Hollywood-based Larson Studios to invest in two Jünger Audio T*AP Television Audio Processors. These have now been installed in the facility’s transfer rooms where they are already proving invaluable in terms of saving time.

Larson Studios is renowned as a full-service post production sound company specialising in digital mixing for standard and High Definition television, film and multimedia. From its two 10,000 square-foot landmark buildings in the heart of Hollywood, Larson Studios offers ADR/Foley stages, sweetening rooms, edit suites and seven Chris Pelonis/George Massenburg-designed 5.1/7.1 surround mix stages. In addition to award-winning television and film audio post that is fully CALM compliant, Larson also offers complete audio restoration, remixing, repurposing and pre-mastering.

Prior to investing in Jünger Audio’s T*AP units, Larson Studios conducted its own research into available loudness control products and reached the conclusion that T*AP offered the best all-round solution.

David Dondorf, Larson Studios’ Chief Engineer, says: “We did a shoot-out between Jünger Audio and two other Loudness control boxes from major manufacturers and eventually chose the Jünger Audio units because they sounded better. Our testing showed that they were completely accurate, especially from the aspect of dialnorm. They were also easier to use and offered a clear path to creating the presets we needed. The default presets sold the box, along with the fact that you can go into great depth – or not.”

Larson Studios delivers product to all major broadcast and cable networks and, as an extremely busy facility, does not have time to constantly re-deliver audio material that doesn’t comply with the regulations specified by the new CALM act.

“Before we invested in the T*AP processors, we were wasting hours fixing shows that were being rejected because they were one tenth of a dB out,” Dave Dundorf adds. “These units have not only saved valuable time but they also allow us to deliver audio material that sound as good as our customers expect.”

Jünger Audio’s award-winning T*AP Television Audio Processor incorporates Version II of the company’s LEVEL MAGIC™ adaptive loudness algorithm, which is compliant with all current broadcast audio loudness recommendations including ITU 1770 (versions 1 and 2), ATSC A/85, ARIB TR-B32 and EBU R128. Based on a Multi-Loop dynamic range control principle where slow changes (AGC), fast changes (Transient processing) and Look Ahead peak limiting are handled simultaneously, LEVEL MAGIC™ offers level management with exceptionally high audio quality and without coloration, pumping, breathing, distortion or modulation effects.

Primarily designed for TV playout, T*AP focuses on automatic and adaptive loudness control, Upmix and surround sound processing for up to eight channels of audio (8×1, 4×2, or 6+2). Optional Dolby Decoding and Encoding (D, D+, or Pulse), as well as metadata management, are also provided along with 5.1 Downmix and Jünger Audio’s 5.1 UPMIX circuit.

Major broadcasters around the world are choosing these products because they allow loudness consistency to be maintained in a very easy and cost effective way – and without any detrimental effects on sound quality.

Larson Studios’ T*AP units were supplied by Jünger Audio’s US distributor Group One. According to Dundorf, they have completely solved the facility’s CALM compliance issues.

“Now, when we receive a client delivery spec, we know we will meet it exactly, quickly, accurately, and with minimal negative change to the original mix. We are using T*AP on all Deliverables from both our facilities and we are very happy with their performance,” he says.

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About Jünger Audio
Established in Berlin in 1990, Jünger Audio specialises in the design and manufacture of high-quality digital audio dynamics processors. It has developed a unique range of digital processors that are designed to meet the demands of the professional audio market. All of its products are easy to operate and are developed and manufactured in-house, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout. Its customers include many of the world’s top radio and TV broadcasters, IPTV providers, music recording studios and audio post production facilities.

For more information about Jünger Audio products in the USA, please contact Group One, Ltd, 70 Sea Lane, Farmingdale, New York 11735. Telephone: +1 515 249 1399. Email: sales@g1limited.com, or visit www.g1limited.com

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Visual Unity Helps TopFun Expand Into The Multiscreen PayTV Arena

TopFun, one of the first online video stores in the Czech Republic, is powering its new PayTV media distribution service, TopFun TV, using technology supplied by leading broadcast and multiscreen systems integrator Visual Unity.

Established in 2010, TopFun offers a huge range of movies to download and watch online via its video on demand (VoD) service. Similar to the hugely popular NetFlix, TopFun allows customers to sign up for an account and watch movies immediately, or save them locally on their PC or multimedia device. In January 2012, TopFun launched TopFun TV, a new service that distributes media streams commonly broadcasted via satellite and cable TV to smart phones, iDevices, set-top boxes and Smart TVs, including a unique application for Samsung TVs which lets viewers access live feeds and download movies direct to their TV.

Since its launch, TopFun has partnered with Visual Unity, a leading broadcast and multiscreen systems integrator, to design and expand its operations. Instrumental to the success of its services is Visual Unity’s award-winning vuMediaTM integrated content management and delivery platform. vuMediaTM ensures a cutting-edge viewing experience on any screen or connected device, enabling broadcasters to manage, monetize and monitor multiscreen delivery. The platform supports comprehensive VoD services, integrating with billing and CRM processes.

Visual Unity initially provided TopFun with a vuMedia-based solution for its movies on demand service. This incorporated a protected VoD solution alongside content delivery to the Czech and Slovak Republic through vuNet™, Visual Unity’s robust and secure distribution infrastructure that ingests, manages and distributes assets. vuNet™ connects seamlessly with global Content Delivery Networks and cloud-based services, although in the case of TopFun the company has employed Visual Unity’s own Content Delivery Network (CDN), which has an installed capacity of more than 100 GBps and almost 400 TB storage space. Capable of supporting tens of thousands of concurrent users, Visual Unity’s CDN provides secure local coverage across Europe and Central Europe, including Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, with new POPs now in action across the Middle East.

Tomas Petru, President of Visual Unity, says: “TopFun chose to work with Visual Unity on the basis of our proven experience in multiscreen integration. With over 20 years’ experience in delivering and technically supporting linear to multiscreen solutions, we were able to demonstrate to TopFun that we had successfully handled similar VoD projects for customers such as voyo.cz and cinema.cz.”

The success of this initial involvement was acknowledged in January when TopFun returned to Visual Unity for help in setting up TopFun TV. This involved an expansion of the vuMedia system to incorporate secure, live multiscreen content distribution to mobile devices and on the fly transcoding of 15 live channels in SD and HD quality. Plans are in place to expand the system to 30 channels.

Radek Přikryl, sales director of TopFun, says: “We enlisted Visual Unity’s help with this project on the basis of our excellent relationship with the company and our good experiences with its vuMedia platform, which has allowed us to get as close as possible to our end customers. We are also very happy with Visual Unity’s vuNet module, which has enabled us to stream digital content in the Czech and Slovak Republics and to distribute both VoD and linear broadcast streams. Visual Unity has given us all the technical support we have needed and this on-going assistance is greatly valued by TopFun.”

Tomas Petru adds: “The TopFun projects have worked extremely well and it is always satisfying when a customer returns to Visual Unity for help in expanding their business. We are continuing to support TopFun and TopFun TV and we are confident that our in depth understanding of the complexities of the broadcast chain, coupled with our in-house software expertise, will enable them to optimize their workflow and control how their brand is managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment.”

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About Visual Unity
Visual Unity is an international Systems Integrator bridging the gap between broadcast and software-based media systems, to help clients reach and engage audiences – wherever they are. The team has been designing and delivering turnkey TV systems, broadcast-IT convergent and multiscreen solutions worldwide since 1991 – from HD Outside Broadcast vehicles and major playout facilities to automated Direct-to-Web platforms.

Visual Unity’s award-nominated vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetised in the multiscreen environment. Through four highly scalable and flexible modules, the vuMediaTM platform delivers a cutting-edge web-based and mobile viewing experience, comprehensive VOD services and a secure robust Content Delivery Network – all of which can be seamlessly deployed into existing workflows.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Dubai and Belgrade.

For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com

Visual Unity: Na hrebenech II 1718/8, Prague 4, 147 00, Czech Republic
T: +420 271 742 111 F: +420 271 742 112 E: info@visualunity.com

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Colourist Jason R Moffat Chooses Penta Monitor For Grading

As an acclaimed colourist with a reputation for delivering a great film grading, Jason R Moffat is understandably fussy about the equipment he uses.

This is particularly true of colour grading monitors, which need to be critically accurate in a film grading studio, where ‘almost there’ is not good enough.

For this reason Moffat, who owns and runs a DaVinci Resolve-based grading suite in London, recently upgraded his Grade 1 picture display to a Penta HD2Line Pro 32″ monitor, which was supplied, installed and calibrated by leading UK monitor supplier Oxygen DCT.

“I wasn’t happy with the level of calibration I was achieving with my previous monitor, so I decided to upgrade,” he explains. “Steve Shaw from LightIllusion, who provides some of my film profiles, recommended the Penta and when I approached the company for a spec they put me in touch with their UK partner, Oxygen DCT.”

After consulting with Moffat about his work and aspirations, Oxygen DCT’s staff provided him with both 23” and 32” Penta models for comparison. Moffat conducted extensive testing within his work environment before choosing the 32” version as more suitable, particularly for the size of the room and detailed images.

“I was very impressed by the colour range in the monitor and how faithfully it matched cinema projection,” he says. “What I particularly like about the Penta is the scale and response of the display which allows me to make faster decisions on density and how much light to put in a scene without having to consult the scopes as often. As the vast majority of my work is film, it’s good to have a large, highly detailed display that I can trust. Like most colourists, I have a slightly OCD approach to grading, so precision is vital. Knowing that what you see in front of you is accurate makes the process more transparent from grading session to theatre.”

Oxygen DCT’s Penta series monitors are precision monitors that are built to order, using only the highest ‘grade A’ 10-bit LCD panels. Every aspect of the monitors is optimised to give the highest level of performance with precision accuracy, with user adjustable parameters right down to tolerance of 0.1Cd of brightness. The introduction of 10-bit LCD technology has pushed the quality boundary even further, enabling the recently introduced Penta Gold Series to exceed, in many parameters, the performance of Grade 1 CRT reference monitors.

“Numerous grading houses and post facilities including Framestore, Objective Productions, Mwinci, Films@59, Sequence Post, BBC, C4 and ESPN have chosen Penta Series picture monitors because they offer such exceptionally high performance – and they are tremendously affordable,” says Oxygen DCT’s Managing Director Steve Hathaway. “All the monitors in the Penta Series have a long life cycle and require minimum calibration because their factory calibration is so well within the REC709 colourimetry specifications, which saves our customers considerable time and money. What’s more, these monitors deliver astonishing detail, lifelike colour and sublime results, which is a very important factor for a sector of the TV and film industry where monitor quality has become such a critical issue.”

Since installing his Penta, Moffat has used it to grade a variety of film projects and commercials, including Romola Garai’s directorial debut Scrubber, shot on 35mm, one of Nigeria’s most celebrated directors Kunle Afolayan’s new feature Phone Swap, and Emily Wardill’s art feature Full Firearms, in association with the Serpentine Gallery, where precise colour palates were a critical part of the process.

“The majority of my work involves fiction features and shorts and there tends to be an even split of 35mm and 16mm film and digital formats,” he explains. “Depending at what point I enter the process, my job can range from just working on the final filmed project, through to consulting during the pre-production stage and providing tests setting the basis for film stock choices, lighting conditions and pallets.”

Moffat adds that, apart from the actual manipulation of the colour of the filmed footage, colourists generally have a good knowledge of formats, colour spaces, colour science and film stocks.

“We’re there to bring the director’s and DOP’s visions together in a cohesive visual harmony that is also appropriate for the tone and pace of the film. In the best case scenario, a colourist will balance and create continuity scene by scene and additionally, if required, apply an aesthetic look to a piece. In less than ideal situations, a colourist may have to effectively relight scenes or fix extreme colour contamination or temperature issues.”

As collaboration is key to the success of a colourist’s role, it is no surprise that Jason Moffat expects an equally collaborative service from the people who supply his equipment.

“I’ve certainly received that from Oxygen DCT,” he says. ““The level of attention they gave me was vital when it came to choosing the Penta, because Oxygen DCT will ultimately be responsible for keeping the display calibrated and accurate. They have already calibrated the unit on-site and have been very interested in what I am doing with it. I’ve continued to have a rewarding experience with both Penta and Oxygen DCT and I’m delighted I chose this monitor, I’ve seen very little that can touch it in terms of accuracy and size in the LCD market.”

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About Oxygen DCT:
Oxygen DCT is a broadcasts systems solutions provider with a deep knowledge and understanding of the broadcast and professional media markets. This dynamic organisation has amassed in just over five years, a very extensive and comprehensive products portfolio of over 3000 carefully designed broadcast and production products that represent the pinnacle of engineering excellence. Oxygen DCT was the first company in the broadcast industry to fully implement online facilities for its customers and its unique, comprehensive online ordering facility automatically configures equipment systems for customers, saving time and provides industry professionals with the convenience of immediate online pricing. The ‘one-stop-shop’ website caters for the smallest requirements whilst also allowing users to prepare their own quotes and place orders online with immediate order confirmation. Oxygen DCT also provides advice, support and expertise as part of its ‘life cycle’ care scheme, ensuring that customers are fully serviced throughout their career life cycles. www.oxygendct.com

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Peregrine Andrews Uses Prism Sound’s Orpheus To Record David Tennant For The BBC

Long-time SADiE user Peregrine Andrews has now added a Prism Sound Orpheus FireWire interface to his equipment list to help tackle recording, digital to analogue conversion and monitoring with 5.1 capabilities.

Renowned for his high-end radio and TV mixing work for clients such as the BBC, Mentorn, Wall to Wall and Falling Tree Productions, Peregrine Andrews operates mainly from his own private studio, Moving Air, which is based in west London.

“I spend about half my time mixing, and occasionally producing, radio (documentaries and drama), and the other half mixing TV (documentaries and comedy)… and the odd film,” he says.

“Recently, on the new series of the BBC sitcom Twenty Twelve, I used the Orpheus to record David Tennant’s voiceover. I also used it for all the ADR on the new BBC Dickens-style comedy Bleak Old Shop of Stuff. As a straight wire device, I don’t really expect the Orpheus to have a ‘sound’, but the voice recordings I’ve done where I’ve plugged the mic straight in have sounded excellent with very little EQ added in the mix.”

The Moving Air studio is equipped with SADiE, Nuendo, PMC monitoring and a Smart AV Tango control surface. His reason for buying the unit was to access a high grade DA/AD converter and monitoring controller so that he could replace the old Yamaha O1V desk that had previously been performing that function.

“I mix in the box so I don’t need any kind of console in the room,” he says. “The Orpheus is three things in one box – Preamp, AD/DA and monitoring controller. Prism Sound loaned me a unit and it worked well, sounded good and looked great, so I decided to buy it. I like its precise volume control of multiple outputs and its ability to derive an independent headphone mix. It’s a single box solution and removes any requirement for a separate soundcard, preamp/mixer, volume control etc.”

Andrews adds that although he had good practical reasons for buying an Orpheus, there were also more sentimental concerns at stake – not least his long association with SADiE, which is now part of the Prism Sound group.

“I’ve been a SADiE user since 1995 and rely heavily on it to make my business work,” he explains. “For precise speech and music editing it’s unequalled. The slip function and the trim editor alone make intense speech editing and assembly very fast. A lot of radio now is recorded in stereo by default (e.g. using flash recorders with built-in mics) but sometimes only one leg is really useful. SADiE allows stereo pairs to be split or re-joined in a keystroke. Also, the ability to have multiple EDLs is very useful at the assembly phase of documentary-making.”

Given this background, it’s no surprise that sentiment played a part in Andrews’ buying decision.

“Prism Sound has an excellent reputation – I’ve never read a bad review and I know, from talking to them, that they design their products using a sensible engineering approach,” he says. “I admit I was looking for a way of continuing to invest in Prism Sound/SADiE because it’s been a long time since I sent any money their way, yet I use their systems almost daily with fantastic support.”

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About Prism Sound
Founded in 1987, Prism Sound manufacture high-quality professional digital audio equipment for the International broadcast, film, music production, manufacturing and telecommunications sectors. The range now includes SADiE digital audio workstations and location recorders. Prism Sound also manufactures audio test and measurement products such as the DSA-1 and the dScope Series III audio analyzer.

For more information please visit www.sadie.com or www.prismsound.com

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