NAB 2022 SportsTechBuzz in Review: West Hall

The SVG and SVGE editorial teams were out in full force at NAB 2022, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2022 roundups. Here is a look at the news from exhibitors in West Hall.

Featured in this roundup are Aldea, AJA Video Systems, Ateme, Bitcentral, Brightcove, Crown Castle, Flowics, Grabyo, Haivision, Intelsat, LTN Global, Lumen Technologies, M2A Media, MediaKind, NEP, Newsbridge, PSSI Global Services, Qvest, Sencore, Signiant, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Telstra, Veritone, and Worldcast.

PSSI Global Services’ Jason Land (left) and Clint Bergeson

PSSI Global Services (Booth W6304) has a massive presence at the Las Vegas Convention Center. With strategic partnerships as its focus, the company not only has its own setup in the new West Hall but is also showcasing one of its trucks in conjunction with AT&T (Booth W8400, W8736) and remote workflows with Nextologies. These activations, according to GM Clint Bergeson and SVP, Strategic Television, Jason Land spread the message that the company does more than provide onsite mobile units: it also offers different forms of transmission services. The two executives note that the company continues to see a steady increase in onsite productions, with recent work on WWE and UFC shows.

Flowics (Booth W9726) has rolled out new features and enhanced capabilities for its Flowics Graphics cloud-based HTML5 broadcast graphics engine in Vegas including new data connectors, which simplify the integration of external live data from different sources to streamline broadcast graphics creation and operation. According CEO and Founder Gabriel Baños, Flowics’ data connectors eliminate any need for custom development to parse external data and feed it to on-air graphics. Also new for the Flowics platform – the Assets Library is a new cloud-based repository for all creative assets, integrated into the Flowics platform giving distributed teams and remote users a common place to store and share the assets in their Flowics Graphics projects. The first release of the Assets Library will be automatically enabled for all Flowics Graphics users right before the 2022 NAB Show. Flowics will make the feature available for customers of the Second Screen and Middleware modules in a future release.

MediaKind’s (Booth W2800) theme at NAB 2022 is “Live Without Limits.” Its goal is helping customers deliver services with an easy-to-use API-driven workflow on a public cloud where needed. Says Director, Market Development, Sports, Chris Wilson, We want to open up other revenue opportunities, and that is the key. For us, [it’s that] you start with best quality, flexibility, and cost-optimization. Then it’s about what you do with the stream to open up revenue opportunities and engage with people at the edge.” MediaKind also has a new, expanded relationship with Microsoft designed to help. According to MediaKind CEO Allen Broome, it simplifies the process for customers to integrate and optimize workflows on Microsoft Azure products and platforms. MediaKind also has become an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner and has completed the AWS Foundational Technical Review (FTR), which allows it to unlock funding benefits and become eligible for various programs within the AWS Partner Network (APN).

Sencore (Booth W7000) is offering the latest in transport, encoding, and decoding. The company has added JPEG XS support to its VB330-V software probe and VB440 SDI-over-IP analyzer, integrated RIST features into the DMG 7000, and introduced the OmniHub PLAY end-to-end IPTV solution. With the addition of JPEG XS, the VB330-V and VB440 provide end-to-end monitoring and analysis for broadcast and production systems. The OmniHub PLAY server offers centralized control and management of the IPTV footprint across the network with easily customizable text, imagery, and video-channel lineups. The new RIST capabilities allow users to transmit, receive, and convert protocols like Zixi, SRT, HLS, and MPEG/IP in a simple-to-use media gateway. Strategic Account Manager Brandon Baker notes recent partnerships in sports, including preparation for Fox Sports’ extensive coverage of the FIFA Men’s World Cup, the World Series, and more. The company’s products are also used by the NHL for league-wide projects with all 32 franchises. “We were also able to deploy several of our DMG 4000 gateways on NBC’s new 100G WAN network,” Baker says. “It’s one of the biggest things we’ve done over the last year.” Moving forward, Strategic Account Manager John Earnest is bullish on two areas: the sports-betting market and new customers in that space, and developing workflows in the cloud. With the continued influx of cloud-based and remote workflows, it’s essential to understand the full delivery process for reliable transport solutions. With this in mind, one of his goals for the upcoming year is to optimize and possibly release new products to make this task easier for others: “We have met with a lot of people that have made a move to the cloud and are encountering challenges that they didn’t expect. Analyzing what’s going on in the cloud is really difficult, so working on solving that is a big initiative for us.”

Newsbridge (Booth W7516) is showing NAB 2022 visitors how to make their archives more searchable by auto indexing content using multimodal AI technology. The company deploys deep learning along with applied cognitive technologies, with the cloud-based platform used by media- and sports-rights holders to auto-index, manage, and ultimately monetize content. “To truly enhance production workflows and manage the endless accumulation of content,” says Chief Executive Philippe Petitpont, “it also needs to be easily and accurately searchable. Newsbridge estimates that around 40% of its users are sport clubs, federations, and broadcasters, including France’s TF1, the French Rugby Federation, and the French Federation of Football.

The Crown Castle team is highlighting high-quality services and flexible solutions.

Crown Castle (Booth W8626) is highlighting some of its high-profile partnerships in the sports market. At the top of the list, the company played a vital role in the fibering of SoFi Stadium — one of the NFL’s newest venues and the site of Super Bowl LVI — and the surrounding Hollywood Park campus. Through high-quality services and flexible solutions catering to the needs of sports leagues and teams, Crown Castle gets the job done regardless of the challenge. Speaking of challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop Crown Castle from completing its part of the project in Inglewood, CA. Senior Account Executive Anush Sarabakhsh applauds the team’s efforts in working together despite the circumstances and is also previewing a handful of partnerships that will be seen in 2023.

Veritone (Booth W4716) has launched Veriverse, a series of AI solutions to open up new distribution, commerce, and revenue opportunities for today’s IP content owners and individuals across multiple digital communities, including the metaverse. The platform offers a path forward in both traditional media channels and immersive environments to securely create and activate synthetic media, protect and manage identity and assets, maintain brand continuity across channels, and safely create and sell NFTs. Veriverse offers specific solutions that operate in traditional channels and the metaverse: Veritone’s Voice, Avatar, NFT, Verify, and Metaverse Migration Services. In a press release, San Francisco Giants Productions VP, Content and Entertainment, Paul Hodges said, “We are seeing a path forward to engaging our fans in the metaverse because of our legacy investment and partnership with Veritone.”

Haivision (Booth W5205) has multiple reasons to celebrate the return to the in-person NAB Show, including the five-year anniversary of the announcement of the SRT Alliance and the company’s formal debut featuring its recent acquisition of AVIWEST. The SRT Alliance has cemented SRT as the industry standard for low- support latency video transport, thanks to the of more than 550 solution and service providers. As for AVIWEST, Haivision VP, Product Marketing, Marcus Schioler shared the details of the new StreamHub receiver and IP distribution platform. Version 4.0 of StreamHub is an integral workflow component of flagship PRO460 and RACK400 contribution solutions and LiveGuest, a new remote interview solution.

Lumen Technologies Senior Product Management Specialist Erica Beavers (left) and VP, Product, Content Delivery Services, Pierre-Louis Theron

Lumen Technologies (Booth W4418) and Disney Streaming are teaming up to produce standardized CDN configuration metadata and application programming interfaces (APIs) for the streaming-video industry. According to Lumen Technologies VP, Product, Content Delivery Services, Pierre-Louis Theron, standardized metadata will allow content providers to use a common metadata model and a single API to publish CDN configurations to vendors. Without this standardization, organizations must separately model and publish metadata within each CDN vendor’s proprietary API or management portal. With contributions and leadership from Disney Streaming and Lumen, the Streaming Video Alliance (SVA) recently published the first version of the Configuration Interface Specifications document and version two is under way and expected to be completed by the end of the year.

London-headquartered M2A Media (Booth W8903) is looking to open an office in the U.S. later this year. As part of the plan to establish a physical presence on the West Coast, M2A will recruit engineers and sales and operations staff. Chief Commercial Officer Matt Hughes says, “We want to be able to support our clients and make sure we do the best possible job for our customers in the sports-broadcasting sector in the U.S. who want to use our solutions, particularly M2A Live and M2A CONNECT, to scale quickly.”

Ateme (Booth W3512) is touting its end-to-end–delivery credentials in its first opportunity to speak with the industry about its broad range of solutions following its acquisition of OTT- and IPTV-solutions provider Anevia. Completed in 2020, the acquisition was part of Ateme’s efforts to address the growing IPTV and OTT opportunity by combining its video-compression solutions with Anevia’s content-delivery solutions. Marketing Communications Director Silvia Candido said ATEME’s control of the video-delivery stack helped in such areas as delivering low-latency solutions: “To achieve low latency, each component must work together, and we can now achieve broadcast levels of latency.” Ateme has a live deployment with Canal+, which is using the technology to stream content to Apple TV 4K devices.

Worldcast (Booth W7413) is showcasing its Kybio Media unified monitoring and control software, the platform promising to simplify the monitoring of complex networks. The vendor-agnostic, end-to-end network-management system allows users to oversee media and broadcast infrastructure by centralizing data and streamlining the management of IP-enabled gear and technology. Kybio’s hierarchical architecture would be particularly useful for content owners with multiple sites, according to the company. For example, stations can each monitor their own network using Kybio software, and a master Kybio can function as an umbrella system to oversee all stations.

Bitcentral (Booth W5100) demonstrated for SVG its streaming platform, which provides a unified workflow for streaming, video management, monetization, consumer applications, and distribution for content creators ranging from leagues/governing bodies to teams and media companies. The solution was launched just prior to the pandemic but, following numerous updates and improvements, is making its first appearance at an in-person NAB Show. According to the company, more than 1,000 media and entertainment organizations — among them CNN, Nexstar Media Group, and Hearst Television — use its productions.

Signiant Chief Marketing Officer Jon Finegold

Signiant (Booth W2912) is looking beyond its established file-transfer offering with the new Media Engine modern media-management service, which it is previewing in Vegas. Built into the Signiant Platform, Media Engine allows Signiant’s SaaS customers to easily search, preview, and take action on media assets across all their Signiant-connected storage, from anywhere in the world. According to Chief Marketing Officer Jon Finegold, customers can perform federated searches across multiple content repositories, both on-premises and in the cloud. Results are immediately actionable via the powerful services available on the platform anchored by Signiant’s best-in-class fast file transfer. Media Engine will be included with every Signiant SaaS subscription and will be available to all customers on July 1.

Qvest’s (Booth W5711) new cloud-based editing solution built on the Qibb integration platform offers Adobe workflows, project management, and cost management via a single service package. The editing solution is already deployed by Mediacorp in Asia, with 50 editing stations and fully cloud-based collaborative projects being worked on. Chief Executive Peter Nöthen sees the market as ready for greater adoption of cloud-based tools: “Our clients tell us their employees are not always in their facilities; they are increasingly mobile or home-office-based for work. The cloud and, especially, this editing solution help people work together on a project without being in a particular facility.”

SVG Europe spoke with NEP (Booth W9032) Chief Executive Brian Sullivan and NEP Broadcast Services Global President Mike Werteen shortly before NAB 2022 and just as NEP Ireland opened a new production center in Dublin. The facility brings to 11 the number of centralized production centers that NEP has opened since 2020. Additional facilities were opened in Amsterdam; Brussels; Singapore; New York; Los Angeles; Bracknell, UK; and London, along with client-owned facilities where NEP provides centralized production solutions in Germany and Italy. Check out the full interview HERE.

Intelsat Director, Product Management, Media, Pascale Fromont

Intelsat’s (Booth W7004) latest service offering, dubbed Cloud Connect Media, offers customers a connectivity solution that provides secure access between the IntelsatOne Media Network and Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to Director, Product Management, Media, Pascale Fromont, Cloud Connect Media is designed to provide content providers with a private, dedicated secure gateway between AWS and the Intelsat global media-distribution network. This collaboration can provide Intelsat media customers a more efficient way to connect to the playout, video-editing, and additional resources they use in the cloud while still accessing the IntelsatOne media network for centralized distribution and managed services, including uplink and/or downlink to key satellites and teleports, co-location, and other services. C-SPAN will be the first Intelsat customer to use Cloud Connect Media, which is currently available in the U.S. and Europe.

Brightcove (Booth W9332) is showcasing its data-analysis credentials, with the firm’s recently established Audience Insights division pledging to help users of its video platform and third-party services, such as Kaltura and Vimeo, to better understand content and subscriber data. The division, which was established following Brightcove’s February acquisition of Wicket Labs, provides customers with actionable data, says Marty Roberts, co-founder of Wicket Labs and now VP, media analytics, at Brightcove. Brightcove Audience Insights aggregates data from a host of sources, presents it to Brightcove customers via a dashboard, and routes it into marketing systems. “We will continue working with all kinds of video platforms,” says Roberts. “For Brightcove, it’s good practice, and there is a general understanding that everyone gets smarter when working with similar types of data.”

LTN Global GM, Event Production and Transmission Unit, Mike Burk

LTN Global (Booth W10116) has launched LTN Arc, a fully managed production solution that enables media organizations to repurpose and decorate centralized feeds into customized streams for distribution on multiple channels. According to GM, Event Production and Transmission Unit, Mike Burk, LTN Arc enables large media organizations to achieve greater reach for their live-event content by simplifying large-scale digital event versioning to capture dual revenue streams through tailored solutions. The scalable, fully customizable solution includes versioning services to prepare content for various destinations, watermarking, slating, video insertion, and SCTE insertion. Customers can add announcers or voiceovers in their local language when pursuing a global distribution strategy, along with active video clipping, highlights, and decorated event recording.

Sinclair Broadcast Group (W7834, Wynn Salon G) announced on Friday that it plans to offer HDR content for its Bally RSNs beginning in the third quarter using SL-HDR1 (part of the ATSC NextGen Broadcast standard). At NAB 2022, the company is providing HDR demonstrations. Deploying a backward-compatible approach, SL-HDR1 enables content producers to deliver a single video stream to new and legacy display devices. As a result, newer devices automatically render the HDR picture, and legacy displays render SDR, allowing efficient bandwidth utilization. Using this small suite of standardized technologies, Bally Sports game productions will provide an enhanced digital signal using HDR for all games beginning in second half 2022. “Since January, we’ve already processed more than 1 petabyte of content through Vantage consisting of hundreds of thousands of files,” SVP/CTO Mike Kralec said in an official release following a press breakfast on Monday morning. “It represents a substantial saving in terms of both cost and time.” Sinclair reported that it is centralizing reception and processing of commercials, syndicated programs, paid programs, and promotions for all 600+ of its channels, which include the Bally’s regional sports networks.

Since the previous NAB Show, a lot of exhibitors have transformed themselves, whether by launching new product lines, acquiring new companies, or inking partner deals that expand the company’s scope. In an example of the partner route, Telstra (Booth W10509) has rolled out the Media Production Platform, a managed solution that is focused on reducing capital expenditures for clients while also adding simplicity to production and contribution deployments. Key to the offering is Grass Valley’s Agile Media Processing Platform (AMPP), which, when tied into Telstra’s network of master-control rooms and connectivity services provides a powerful and flexible option for clients big and small.

At the AWS booth in the new West Hall, Grabyo President, Americas, Mike Kelly touts the latest improvements to his company’s product line.

Showcased at the AWS Booth (W3500), Grabyo is taking a big step in accepting broadcast-level formats. The company’s cloud-native, broadcast-grade live-production workflow introduces SRT and Zixi streaming alongside numerous new capabilities to its cloud video platform. “We can ingest them, synchronize them, and output them in the backend for broadcasters to play out,” says Grabyo President, Americas, Mike Kelly. “Traditionally, we have always handled RTMP and HLS ingest, and now to be able to handle the broadcast side is something that resonates with the audience [of NAB 2022].” Grabyo offers a suite of live-broadcasting tools that includes a browser-based control room, multiviewer, audio mixer, stream synchronization, and multi-platform streaming integrated with video capture and transport services like LiveU, Dejero, and Haivision.

Aldea (Booth W9700) is showcasing its Live Connect video-distribution network at NAB 2022. Now known as Vivaro Media, the company says Live Connect allows content owners to ingest and distribute sports events to multiple rightsholders over fiber and public internet while maintaining broadcast quality. Live Connect supports SRT, Zixi, and Rist protocols, as well as SDI, IP, and ASI interfaces. Regional Sales Manager Larry Tonon notes a significant uptick recently in the use of SRT for sports distribution: “We have had to tweak the network to make sure we have necessary IP gateways and POPs around the world to facilitate movement of content via SRT.” Aldea operates a fiber-based network, with points of service in North and South America and Europe. Customers include DAZN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports IMG, and ESPN.

Just prior to the opening of the show, AJA Video Systems (Booth W4230MR, W4231MR, W4331MR) announced extension of its line of H.264 streaming and recording devices with the debut of HELO Plus. The portable solution offers flexible streaming and recording along with a larger feature set. The company notes that many of the features were born directly from customer feedback. Among the features are dual streaming outputs and multi-input processing; SRT support; advanced encoding/decoding; improved scheduling options and device operation; and layouts and graphics insertion.

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