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Joe Ianniello, who was president and acting CEO of CBS when it merged with Viacom, received $125.4 million in compensation in 2019, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish became CEO of the combined company and Ianniello was named CEO of the ...

Bakish gets $36.6M in compensation

Joe Ianniello, who was president and acting CEO of CBS when it merged with Viacom, received $125.4 million in compensation in 2019, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Joe Ianniello

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish became CEO of the combined company and Ianniello was named CEO of the CBS-branded business after the merger.

Ianniello left the company at the end of January.

Related: Cheeks Named President/CEO of CBS Entertainment

According to the proxy filing, Bakish’s compensation was $36.6 million for 2019.

For 2018, when he headed Viacom, Bakish’s pay was $19.955 million.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 3, 2020, 9:38 pm
Ronkonkoma, NY - April 3, 2020 - Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, photography lens, cine lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced that it is launching #sigmashotathome, a photography and cinematography contest that invites anyone to capture and share their personal ...

Ronkonkoma, NY - April 3, 2020 - Sigma Corporation of America, a leading camera, photography lens, cine lens, flash and accessories manufacturer, today announced that it is launching #sigmashotathome, a photography and cinematography contest that invites anyone to capture and share their personal depictions of life in quarantine during this momentous period of social distancing and self isolation. Completely open to the public, #sigmashotathome will be hosted online running from April 6th through June 26th, 2020.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment in history that has dramatically impacted the heart of the creative imaging community,” says Mark Amir-Hamzeh, President, Sigma Corporation of America. “#sigmashotathome is our humble attempt to bring inspiration and creativity to a difficult situation and to remind creators, regardless of stylistic choices, field or gear preferences, that we are in this together.”

Each week, a panel of Sigma professionals will judge entries based on creativity, originality and adherence to the theme of “shot at home” and then select a winner to receive a $500 American Express gift card. At the culmination of each month, a winner will be chosen from the pool of weekly winners to receive a $1000 American Express gift card. An overall contest grand prize winner will receive a Sigma fp + 45mm F2.8 DG DN Contemporary lens and a second place contest winner will receive any Sigma lens valued at $1000 or less. Rules and regulations apply, open to U.S. citizens only.

For complete contest details as well as rules and regulations please visit: https://www.sigmaphoto.com/sigmashotathome

How to Enter #sigmashotathome

Photographic entries must be under 25MB and .jpg format with 3000x2000 maximum resolution. Cine entries must be 60 seconds or shorter in 720-1080p. Submit .mov or .mp4 files only. All submissions must be the entrant’s own work, and they must own the copyright to any photographs entered. Weekly submissions will be closed on Friday at 5pm PT / 8pm ET each week. To enter, participants must do the following:

  • Photo Submissions:
    • Submit via: https://tinyurl.com/sigmaphotoathome
    • Have the file naming convention: DATE_LAST NAME_DESCRIPTIVE TITLE
    • Like and Follow Sigma Corporation of America on Facebook and Instagram.
    • Upload the photo submission to Facebook and Instagram, tag Sigma Corporation of America and include the hashtag #sigmashotathome.
  • Cine Submissions:

Participants are welcome to submit multiple entries, up to ten photo entries and three cine entries per person per week. Judging term resets weekly on Friday at 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET.

About Sigma Corporation

Craftsmanship. Precision. Dedication. Since 1961, Sigma has been devoted to the pursuit of advancing photographic technology. Unique to the industry, the family-owned business produces its high-quality, award-winning still photo and cinema camera lenses, DSLR and mirrorless cameras, flashes, filters and accessories from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Aizu, Japan.

In 2012, the company introduced the Sigma Global Vision with three distinct lens lines: Art, Contemporary and Sports. Designed for industry camera mount systems including Canon, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Sigma, each lens is handcrafted and tested in Japan to ensure a high-performance, premium product that is purpose-built to last. In 2016, the Sigma Cine lens lineup was launched, further cementing Sigma as an innovator in imaging engineering. Embodying the core optical DNA that has defined the Sigma benchmark of excellence, Sigma cine lenses meet the needs of advanced 6k and 8k cinema production.

Forming the landmark L-Mount alliance alongside Leica and Panasonic in 2018, Sigma continues its storied tradition of imaging excellence through groundbreaking innovations such as the all-new native L-mount Sigma fp full-frame mirrorless digital camera, announced in July 2019. The introduction of the fp along with the availability of 15 award-winning Sigma Global Vision lenses in native L-Mount format demonstrates Sigma’s continued commitment to the creative community through expanded product offerings. With the fp and these lenses, even more shooters can now leverage Sigma’s renowned optical formula to achieve their creative vision with ease.

For information about Sigma, please visit www.sigmaphoto.com or follow the company on Sigma Blog, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 9:30 pm
Broadcast TV and radio station mergers and acquisitions reached a total of $2.64 billion in the first quarter, most of that attributable to the sale of Spanish language broadcaster Univision, according to Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence. In February, private equity firms ...

Researcher estimates $2.6B in deals in quarter

Broadcast TV and radio station mergers and acquisitions reached a total of $2.64 billion in the first quarter, most of that attributable to the sale of Spanish language broadcaster Univision, according to Kagan, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In February, private equity firms SearchLight Capital and ForgeLight agreed to purchase a 64% stake in Univision for an undisclosed sum. Kagan, using its $3.9 billion valuation of the company, estimated a 64% interest to be worth about $2.49 billion.

TV station M&A in the period was about $2.34 billion, according to Kagan. Kagan valued the TV station portion of the Univision deal at about $2.2 billion.

The current deal volume was well below last year, which Kagan estimated at $6.5 billion.

According to Kagan, Q1 deal volumes weren’t affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, although the company predicted a steep decline in deals in the next few months, adding that the recovery should be equally as robust. Kagan pointed to some deals already in the pipeline -- most notably the offers for broadcast group Tegna, for its 66 stations across the country as an example.

“That could harbinger a first large deal announcement after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kagan said.

Aside from the Univision buyout, Kagan estimated the first quarter's largest TV transaction was a settlement between Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group, in which Nexstar Media Group, the new owner of Tribune Media, will receive Sinclair's Fox affiliate WDKY-TV in the Lexington, Ky., market, along with certain assets of CBS affiliate KGBT-TV in Harlingen, Texas, together with a $60 million cash payment.

The first quarter's largest TV deal announcement with a disclosed price was the $15 million sale of Mega-TV affiliate KTBU-TV in the Houston, Texas, market, from Spanish Broadcasting System Inc. to Tegna.

Author: Michael Farrell
Posted: April 3, 2020, 8:24 pm
TNT has moved up the start date of sci-fi drama Snowpiercer to May 17. It had initially been slated to premiere May 31. TNT called it “an effort to give viewers more compelling original content at a faster pace.” “Snowpiercer is one of the most anticipated original series of 2020 and in this ...

Series based on Bong Joon Ho film begins May 17

TNT has moved up the start date of sci-fi drama Snowpiercer to May 17. It had initially been slated to premiere May 31. TNT called it “an effort to give viewers more compelling original content at a faster pace.”

Snowpiercer is one of the most anticipated original series of 2020 and in this climate, viewers are craving thrilling, engaging, edge-of-your-seat content that speaks to them on a deeper level,” said Brett Weitz, general manager for TNT, TBS and truTV. “It is extremely important that we continue with our promise to meet audiences where they are, and to that effect, we are moving up Snowpiercer’s premiere so that fans can enjoy this futuristic series even earlier.”

Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity who inhabit a perpetually moving train, with 1001 cars, that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival are persistent themes.

Related: HBO Streaming Series, Movies from Warner Bros. for Free

The series is based on the graphic novel series and film from Bong Joon Ho.

Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner and Susan Park star.

Snowpiercer has been renewed for season two. Production on that season is nearly completed.

Snowpiercer is produced by Tomorrow Studios along with CJ Entertainment, which produced the original film. The series is executive produced by Tomorrow Studios' Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements, showrunner Graeme Manson, director James Hawes and Scott Derrickson, and the film's producers Bong Joon Ho, Miky Lee, Tae-sung Jeong, Park Chan-wook, Lee Tae-hun and Dooho Choi.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 3, 2020, 7:48 pm
Unscripted drag series We’re Here premieres on HBO April 23. There are six episodes. The show recruits residents of small-town America to participate in a one-night-only drag show. Each episode sees drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley visit a different small ...

Show visits small-town America and encourages residents to do drag show

From left: Shangela Laquifa Wadley, Bob the Drag Queen and Euerka O'Hara in HBO's "We're Here"

Unscripted drag series We’re Here premieres on HBO April 23. There are six episodes. The show recruits residents of small-town America to participate in a one-night-only drag show.

Each episode sees drag queens Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley visit a different small town “to inspire and teach their own ‘drag daughters’ to step outside their comfort zone for a night of no-holds-barred, full-on drag,” said HBO.

We’re Here is created and executive produced by Stephen Warren and Johnnie Ingram.

Related: HBO Streaming Series, Movies from Warner Bros. for Free

The premiere happens in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Other episodes visit Twin Falls, Idaho and Branson, Missouri.

Peter LoGreco directs. He executive produces alongside Eli Holzman & Aaron Saidman for Industrial Media’s The Intellectual Property Corporation. Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen), David Huggard (Eureka O’Hara) and D.J. Pierce (Shangela Laquifa Wadley) are consulting producers. 

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 3, 2020, 7:32 pm
Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced HyperDeck v7.1 a major new software update that adds multiple new features to HyperDeck Studio Mini broadcast recorders. The new updates include a new H.264 codec that supports true interlaced HD formats, a new AAC audio ...

New and free software update adds new H.264 codec, new AAC audio codec, longer single file record durations and faster file transfers using Ethernet.

Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced HyperDeck v7.1 a major new software update that adds multiple new features to HyperDeck Studio Mini broadcast recorders. The new updates include a new H.264 codec that supports true interlaced HD formats, a new AAC audio codec allowing uploading files direct to YouTube, much faster Ethernet transfers of 110 MB/s and support for longer duration in a single file of at least 3 hours.

HyperDeck Studio Mini v7.1 is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website.

HyperDeck Studio Mini is a miniaturized broadcast deck that’s so compact and portable customers can use it anywhere. Customers get a choice of incredible quality H.264, ProRes or DNx codecs recorded to SD or UHS-II card media in either QuickTime or MXF file formats. HyperDeck Studio Mini has features such as 6G-SDI for all formats up to 2160p30, HDMI for monitoring, dual SD card slots for non-stop recording and built in sync generator that lets customers daisy chain and synchronize multiple decks together.

HyperDeck Studio Mini features multi rate 6G-SDI connections so customers can work with all SD, HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p30. Customers get an SDI input and two SDI outputs that can be used for fill and key. The HDMI output makes HyperDeck Studio Mini perfect for connecting to big screen televisions, projectors and digital signs. For large digital signage, there's reference input and a reference generator with reference output that lets customers sync multiple HyperDecks for ganged playback.

HyperDeck Studio Mini features traditional deck style transport controls, including a small search dial for jog and shuttle. The compact LCD shows timecode and transport information, plus a full color thumbnail preview of the current clip in record or playback. It also displays information about each card’s recording status, along with video format, frame rate information and audio levels, all on the same display.

HyperDeck Studio Mini records to both regular SD cards and high performance UHS-II cards. Customers can use standard SD cards, or UHS-II cards when customers want to record Ultra HD. SD cards are incredibly tiny, so customers can create an archival library of your content that takes up a fraction of the space required by old tapes and disks. Plus now with the latest software update, HyperDeck Studio Mini recordings can be more than 3 hours long in a single file.

With the latest software update HyperDeck Studio Mini can record SD, 720p, 1080p and now 1080i HD true interlaced formats in H.264, allowing broadcasters to reduce costs even while recording and archiving thousands of hours of video. H.264 files are extremely small and range from 36:1 to 124:1 compression for lower file sizes, even while retaining great broadcast quality video. With the latest software, H.264 files now have AAC audio so customers can upload recordings direct to YouTube. Plus with modern computers, H.264 files work with all edit software and are fast to use. Plus HyperDeck Studio Mini also supports ProRes in 422 HQ, 422, 422 LT and Proxy, plus DNx formats too.

HyperDeck Studio Mini features dual media slots for non stop recording. When the recording card becomes full, recording automatically continues onto the next card. That means users will never have to worry about missing an important shot. That’s perfect when recording at longer live events because the cards are also hot swappable, so customers can swap a full card for an empty one while recording continues in the other slot.

The SDI and HDMI connections are multi-rate, so they can handle SD, HD and Ultra HD television standards. SD formats include NTSC and PAL. 720p HD standards include 720p50 and 59.94p. 1080i HD interlaced formats include 1080i50, 59.94 and 60, while the latest software update means customers get true interlaced support in H.264 files, making HyperDeck Studio Mini perfect for broadcasters. 1080p HD formats include 1080p23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60p. Customers can even do 1080 PsF formats. If customers are working in Ultra HD, up to 2160p30p formats are supported via 6G-SDI.

Built in 1G Ethernet means HyperDeck Studio Mini is perfect for broadcast server and digital signage use. With the latest software updates, customers can now transfer up to 110 Megabytes per second, which is so fast it allows customers to copy video files as fast as the SD card can handle it. To upload media files remotely, customers can use the FTP protocol or use common FTP client software. Customers can also remote control HyperDeck using an easy text based protocol, so it's easy to use simple Telnet to test their control commands.

HyperDeck Studio Mini records files that are compatible with virtually all post production software. When recording in H.264, customers can upload files from HyperDeck Studio Mini direct to streaming services such as YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, Twitter and more. If customers are working with popular editing software such as DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere Pro or Avid Media Composer, customers can start editing and color correcting without having to transcode or convert the files.

"This is a massive software update for HyperDeck Studio Mini and its like a whole new model, but because it's a software update, thousands of customers will get it for free!" said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. "With a new H.264 codec, a new AAC audio codec, longer single file recordings and improvements in video quality, we think our customers will love this new update!"

HyperDeck Studio Mini v7.1 Features

  • Longer single file record times of at least 3 hours.
  • New H.264 codec with interlaced video support.
  • New AAC audio codec allows H.264 file uploads direct to YouTube.
  • Dramatically faster Ethernet file transfers up to 110 MB/s.
  • Supports QuickTime and MXF file wrappers.

Availability and Price

HyperDeck Studio Mini v7.1 is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website.

Press Photography

Product photos of HyperDeck Studio Mini, as well as all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 7:24 pm
Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced new software update for its popular Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K models that include powerful studio camera features. Now customers can connect to an ATEM Mini switcher and get control of the camera ...

Blackmagic Camera 6.9 update adds studio camera features such as remote control, tally and DaVinci color corrector to Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced new software update for its popular Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K models that include powerful studio camera features. Now customers can connect to an ATEM Mini switcher and get control of the camera parameters, lens and tally light. ATEM Mini can control up to 4 cameras via the HDMI video connection and ensure all cameras are perfectly matched for a professional live studio workflow. Now the same Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera can work as a digital film camera and a studio camera!

Blackmagic Camera Update 6.9 is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design web site.

Video and control is via the HDMI connection, which is available as soon as customers plug the cameras in. The record light becomes a tally light so customers can see which camera is on air. The ATEM Software Control camera page has a camera control unit (CCU) style interface for adjusting and matching their cameras. Move the CCU control vertically for iris and left to right to adjust black level. It's the same as a broadcast CCU. There are also controls for color tint to balance the camera as well as focus, gain and shutter speed. Customers can even ISO record Blackmagic RAW in the camera for editing later.

The elegant design of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera packs an incredible number of high end digital film features into a miniaturized, handheld design. Made from lightweight carbon fiber polycarbonate composite, the camera features a multifunction handgrip with all controls for recording, ISO, WB and shutter angle right at their fingertips. Because it's an advanced digital film camera, the sensor is designed to reduce thermal noise allowing cleaner shadows and higher ISO. Plus the large 5 inch LCD makes it possible to get perfect focus at 4K and 6K resolutions.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K model features a 4/3 image sensor with 4096 x 2160 resolution and an MFT lens mount, allowing customers to capture wide dynamic range and Hollywood quality, digital film images in the palm of their hand. The MFT mount lets customers use super compact, lightweight and affordable lenses so customers can take the camera anywhere, even locations that are too hostile for larger cameras.

Featuring a larger 6144 x 3456 Super 35 sensor and EF lens mount, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K model lets customers use larger EF photographic lenses to create cinematic images with shallower depth of field, allowing creative defocussed backgrounds and gorgeous bokeh effects. This means that customers can shoot in 6K and then in post production zoom and re-frame to allow wide shots and close ups to be created, all from a single camera and without losing image quality.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras have an incredible 13 stops of dynamic range which means they preserve more detail in the lightest and darkest areas of an image than simple video cameras can. This allows customers to set exposure for an indoor scene and still retain the details of bright outdoor light coming through a window.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features dual gain ISO up to 25,600, which means both the 4K and 6K models are optimized to minimize grain or noise in images, while maintaining the full dynamic range of the sensor. The native ISO of 400 is ideal for scenes with on-set lighting. The dual gain is changed automatically so it's easy to capture great images when customers don’t have time to set up lights.

Blackmagic RAW is a revolutionary new format designed to capture and preserve the quality of the sensor data from their camera. Video formats such as H.264 are highly compressed, plus add noise and artifacts, causing original sensor detail to be lost forever. Blackmagic RAW eliminates this problem and gives customers stunning images with incredible detail and color throughout the production pipeline from camera to edit, color and mastering. It also saves camera settings as metadata so customers can set ISO, white balance and exposure in camera or override them later while editing, all without any loss of quality. Blackmagic RAW files are also small and fast to use making them easy to work with.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features a large, bright 5 inch touchscreen that makes it easy for customers to frame shots and accurately focus. The touchscreen displays critical information while users are shooting, menus for setting up the camera and intuitive touch to focus controls. On screen overlays show status, a histogram, focus and peaking indicators, levels, frame guides, playback controls and more.

With the advanced Blackmagic OS, customers get an intuitive and user friendly camera operating system based on the latest technology. The interface uses simple tap and swipe gestures to adjust settings, add metadata and view recording status. Customers also get full control over advanced camera features such as on screen focus and exposure tools, 3D LUTs, HDR, metadata entry, timecode, Blackmagic RAW settings and more.

The new ATEM Mini makes it easy to create professional multi camera productions for live streaming to YouTube and innovative business presentations using Skype. Simply connect a Pocket Cinema Camera to ATEM Mini for dramatically better quality images. Plus connect a computer for PowerPoint slides or gaming consoles. There's even a DVE that allows picture in picture effects plus lots of video effects and transitions. All ATEM Mini models have USB that works like a webcam so customers can use any streaming software while the ATEM Mini Pro model adds live streaming via Ethernet and recording to USB disks. ATEM Mini also has advanced broadcast features for high end work.

"This is a very exciting software update because it allows the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras to become even more useful as they can now be used for both digital film production or live production for streaming," said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. "We've seen a lot of customers use the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras with ATEM Mini for live streaming because of their fantastic images, great low light capability and very creative looks when using 3D LUTS. Now customers will get new studio camera remote control plus a powerful built in DaVinci color corrector, so there are even more creative options for live production!"

Blackmagic Camera Update 6.9 Features

  • Works as a studio camera when connected to ATEM Mini.
  • Designed from carbon fiber polycarbonate composite.
  • Wide 13 stops of dynamic range for film looks.
  • Up to 25600 ISO for incredible low light performance.
  • Features incredible quality Blackmagic RAW recording.
  • Built in 5" touchscreen allows accurate focus when shooting 6K.
  • Blackmagic OS as used in URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras.
  • Supports remote tally, lens and color corrector with ATEM Mini.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Camera Update 6.9 is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design website.

Press Photography

Product photos of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, as well as all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 7:12 pm
Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced ATEM Mini Pro, a new low cost live production switcher with all the features of ATEM Mini but now with extra features for recording, streaming and monitoring. ATEM Mini Pro includes a new hardware streaming engine to allow ...

Powerful new model adds a new hardware streaming engine via Ethernet, recording to USB flash disks and new multiview for monitoring all cameras!

Fremont, CA, USA - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced ATEM Mini Pro, a new low cost live production switcher with all the features of ATEM Mini but now with extra features for recording, streaming and monitoring. ATEM Mini Pro includes a new hardware streaming engine to allow direct streaming via its Ethernet connection to YouTube Live, Facebook and Twitch. There is also support for recording the stream direct to USB flash disks in H.264, plus support for recording to multiple disks for continuous recording. The new model also includes a multiview on the HDMI video output that allows all inputs to be monitored on a single monitor, as well as live status of recording, streaming and the audio mixer.

ATEM Mini Pro is available immediately from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$595.

ATEM Mini switchers make it easy to create professional multi camera productions for live streaming to YouTube and innovative business presentations using Skype or Zoom. Simply connect ATEM Mini and customers can switch live between 4 high quality video camera inputs for dramatically better quality images. Or connect a computer for PowerPoint slides or gaming consoles. The built in DVE allows exciting picture in picture effects, perfect for commentary. There are loads of video effects too. All ATEM Mini models have USB that works like a webcam so customers can use any streaming software while the ATEM Mini Pro model adds live streaming and recording to USB disks.

There's also HDMI out for projectors. Microphone inputs allow high quality desktop and lapel mics for interviews and presentations.

ATEM Mini’s compact all in one design includes both a control panel as well as connections. The front panel includes easy to use buttons for selecting sources, video effects and transitions. The source buttons are large so it’s possible to use it by feel, letting the presenter do the switching. Customers even get buttons for audio mixing. On the ATEM Mini Pro model customers also get buttons for record and streaming control as well as output selection buttons that let customers change the video output between cameras, program and multiview. On the rear panel there are HDMI connections for cameras or computers, extra microphone inputs, USB for webcam out plus an HDMI "aux" output for program video.

There's never been a switcher that’s easier to use, as customers simply press any of the input buttons labelled 1 to 4 on the front panel to cut between video sources. Customers can choose between cut or effects transitions by selecting the cut or auto buttons. Unlike cut, the auto button tells ATEM Mini to use a video effect when switching inputs. Customers can select from exciting transitions such as dissolve, or more dramatic effects such as dip to color, DVE squeeze and DVE push. The DVE is perfect for picture in picture effects and customers can instantly set up different picture positions. There is even a still store for titles and graphics accessible via external software control.

With 4 independent HDMI inputs, customers can connect up to 4 high quality video cameras. All video sources will re-sync to the switcher if they operate at different video standards so customers don't have to worry about connecting video devices as they all just work. Imagine taking advantage of the low light capability of better cameras for theater production, weddings, school concerts and music videos.

To ensure maximum compatibility, ATEM Mini features a USB connection that operates as a simple webcam source. That means customers can plug in and instantly get working with any video software. The software is tricked into thinking the ATEM Mini is a common webcam, but it's really a live production switcher. That guarantees full compatibility with any video software and in full resolution 1080HD quality. ATEM Mini works with software and platforms such as Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Skype, Zoom, Twitch, Periscope, Livestream, Wirecast and more.

The ATEM Mini Pro model has a built in hardware streaming engine for live streaming via its Ethernet connection. That means customers can live stream to YouTube, Facebook and Twitch in better quality, without dropped frames and with much simpler settings. Just select the streaming service and enter the streaming key. There are palettes in ATEM Software Control for streaming setup, plus streaming status is also displayed in the multiview. Streaming status is easy to understand as the data rate indicator shows internet speed required for the video format users are using.

The ATEM Mini Pro model also supports direct recording of their streaming data to USB flash disks. That means customers get very long recordings in the same H.264 video files with AAC audio that customers streamed, so customers can direct upload to any online video site, such as YouTube and Vimeo. ATEM Mini Pro supports multiple disks when used with a USB hub or Blackmagic MultiDock, so when a disk fills recording can continue to a second disk for non-stop recording. Record settings and disk selection are set up in ATEM Software Control and there's a record status view in the built in multiview.

With two independent 3.5mm stereo audio inputs, customers can connect desktop and lapel microphones. With 2 extra stereo audio inputs, customers can ensure a host and guest both have lapel microphones when doing interviews. ATEM Mini features a full Fairlight audio mixer and all HDMI audio inputs and both microphone inputs are all connected separately to the audio mixer so customers can live mix from all audio sources.

Each of the 4 HDMI inputs feature their own dedicated standards converter. That means ATEM Mini will automatically convert 1080p, 1080i and 720p sources to the video standard of the switcher. The HDMI output is a true "aux" output so customers can clean switch each HDMI input or program to this output. If users are using program/preview switching, the HDMI out can be selected to preview, or on the ATEM Mini Pro model, it can be selected to display a full multiview.

The ATEM Software Control app unlocks the hidden power of ATEM Mini and allows access to every feature in the switcher. ATEM Software Control features a visual switcher user interface with parameter palettes for making quick adjustments. Although customers can normally connect via USB, if customers connect using Ethernet it's possible for multiple users to connect to ATEM Mini using separate copies of ATEM Software Control on different computers. Customers can even save the switcher state as an XML file. If customers need clip playback, customers can even control HyperDeck disk recorders via Ethernet.

The built in "media pool" allows the loading of up to 20 separate broadcast quality RGBA graphics for titles, opening plates and logos. Customers can even use still frames for complex effects such as graphic wipes. ATEM Mini can even grab stills from the video output and add them to the internal media pool. Graphics can be loaded via ATEM Software Control or downloaded directly from Photoshop using the ATEM Photoshop plug-in. The Photoshop Plug-in is perfect for graphics that change often, such as scoreboards, as customers can download directly into the media player.

For news or on-set presentation work, ATEM Mini is perfect as it has an upstream ATEM Advanced Chroma Key plus an additional downstream linear keyer. Customers can even use it for title overlays by creating graphics with a green or blue background and the keyer will knock out the green and make the background transparent.

When doing larger live productions with multiple cameras, it’s very useful to see all their video sources at the same time on a single monitor. The ATEM Mini Pro model includes a professional multiview that lets customers see all 4 video inputs, plus preview and program on a single HDMI television or monitor. Each camera view includes tally indicators so customers know when each source is on-air, and each view also has custom labels and audio meters. Customers can also see the media player so customers know what graphic is selected. Plus multiview even includes status for recording, streaming and the Fairlight audio mixer.

With a built in Fairlight audio mixer, ATEM Mini makes it possible to do complex live sound mixing. The internal mixer features a total of 12 channels so customers can mix audio from all sources. That’s audio from all HDMI sources and the 2 stereo mic inputs. Each input channel features the highest quality 6 band parametric EQ and compressor, limiter, expander and noise gate as well as full panning.

For a more broadcast style workflow, customers can remote control their cameras from ATEM Mini. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K models can work as studio cameras with control sent via the HDMI connection to ATEM Mini. That means customers can control the camera settings as well as the camera’s color corrector from ATEM Software Control. Imagine changing ISO and tint, plus lens iris, focus and zoom, so camera operators can focus on the shot. There are two types of control interface, CCU layout for traditional tint color control and a DaVinci color corrector interface allowing the camera’s built in DaVinci color corrector to add incredible digital film "looks" to their live production.

"This is an amazing new model as it has all the power of the original ATEM Mini and adds even more features with built in recording, streaming and multiview monitoring," said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “What's been surprising is the types of work customers have used the ATEM Mini model for and we never expected it to be used for such large events! So now with this new ATEM Mini Pro model we are making this easier because customers can stream via the Ethernet, while at the same time record to files on a USB disk, all while monitoring all cameras, media and status on a single HDMI video monitor. It's really exciting and we can not wait to see what customers do with this new model!"

ATEM Mini Pro Features

  • Features miniaturized control panel based design.
  • Supports connecting up to 4 cameras or computers.
  • USB output operates as a webcam and supports all video software.
  • Live streaming via Ethernet supported on ATEM Mini Pro.
  • Recording to USB flash disks in H.264 supported on ATEM Mini Pro.
  • Two stereo audio inputs for connecting desktop or lapel microphones.
  • Automatically standards converts and re-syncs all HDMI inputs.
  • Includes free ATEM Software Control for Mac and Windows.
  • Internal media for 20 RGBA graphics for titles, opening plates and logos.
  • Includes ATEM Advanced Chroma Key for green/blue screen work.
  • Multiview allows monitoring of all cameras on ATEM Mini Pro.
  • Audio mixer supports limiter, compressor, 6 band EQ and more!
  • Supports remote HDMI control with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras.

Availability and Price

ATEM Mini Pro is available now for US$595, excluding local duties and taxes, from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Press Photography

Product photos of the ATEM Mini Pro, as well as all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 6:55 pm
The fifth and final season of drama Blindspot debuts on NBC April 30. The season begins in the aftermath of a drone strike on the safe house with much of the team inside. Questions include who made it out alive and whether the team will ever be able to clear their names in the wake of Madeline’s ...

Fifth season of Greg Berlanti drama will be final one

The fifth and final season of drama Blindspot debuts on NBC April 30. The season begins in the aftermath of a drone strike on the safe house with much of the team inside. Questions include who made it out alive and whether the team will ever be able to clear their names in the wake of Madeline’s rise to power.

Last season, Blindspot averaged a 0.8 in adults 18-49 and 4.3 million viewers overall in live plus seven day Nielsens.

The cast includes Sullivan Stapleton, Jaimie Alexander, Rob Brown, Audrey Esparza, Ashley Johnson, Ennis Esmer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

Martin Gero created the show. He executive produces with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.

Warner Bros. Television, Berlanti Productions and Quinn’s House produce Blindspot

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 3, 2020, 6:29 pm
House Energy & Commerce Committee leaders want FCC chairman Ajit Pai's assurance the FCC won't pull TV station licenses over airing protected speech.  Related: Trump Campaign Tells Stations to Pull PAC Ad  President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sent a letter to some TV stations ...

Follows Trump campaign letter asking stations to pull PAC ad

House Energy & Commerce Committee leaders want FCC chairman Ajit Pai's assurance the FCC won't pull TV station licenses over airing protected speech. 

Related: Trump Campaign Tells Stations to Pull PAC Ad 

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign sent a letter to some TV stations telling them to stop running an ad from Priorities USA (PUSA) Action Fund, a Democratic Super PAC, or their licenses could be at risk. 

The campaign said that the ad, which combines audio of the President downplaying the seriousness of the virus at the outset, falsely says that Trump called the coronavirus a 'hoax.' 

In their letter to Chairman Pai, House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) said that suggesting the licenses could be in jeopardy was contrary to the Constitution and the Communications Act.

“At a time when autocratic governments around the world are using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to suppress press freedoms, we must reaffirm – not undermine – America’s commitment to a free press,” Pallone and Doyle wrote. “By remaining silent, the FCC sends a disturbing signal that it sanctions these threats and that broadcaster licenses could be in jeopardy.” 

They called on Pai (actually they used the word "demand") to "reassure broadcasters that the agency will not revoke licenses for airing legally protected speech." 

Pai has already said the FCC would not pull a license based on the content of a newscast--which Reps. Pallone and Doyle cited--but that was in regards to a veiled license threat from President Trump against NBC--he said "someone should challenge the license--over the content of a newscast he said was fake news. 

But this was an ad, not a newscast, and the legislators want new assurances. “We believe, the FCC has a duty to provide clear guidance to broadcasters and the public that threats by politicians about protected speech will not influence the agency or broadcaster licenses,” they wrote. 

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 3, 2020, 6:20 pm
AMC Networks is making some of its programming more available in an effort to help entertain viewers who are staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The company is launching an ad campaign as part of its “We’re with You” initiative. The ads feature stars from shows including The Walking ...

Episodes of series available to shut-in viewers

AMC Networks is making some of its programming more available in an effort to help entertain viewers who are staying home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Rhea Seehorn

The company is launching an ad campaign as part of its “We’re with You” initiative. The ads feature stars from shows including The Walking Dead, Killing Eve and Better Call Saul.

“We want to join with our talent and respond to this moment in the best way that entertainment companies can – which is, to entertain people,” said Sarah Barnett, president of AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan

“Our 'We’re With You' campaign is intended to give information, to offer companionship in the kind of responsive way that linear TV is uniquely able to, and we want to offer audiences the chance to have a laugh, maybe especially important at times of crisis,” Barnett said. “We also wanted to make our great content available to more viewers at a time when we are all looking for fantastic things to watch.”

The campaign shows stars including Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Rhea Seehorn and Giancarlo Esposito dealing with being stuck at home with their families and pets.

Giancarlo Esposito

Other spots highlight scenes from shows that fit the national mood, such as when Killing Eve’s Villanelle cries out about how bored she is, or when Brockmire’s Jim Brockmire talks about missing baseball.

AMC is putting some of its programming in front of the paywall on its channel’s websites.

The first half of season 10 of The Walking Dead will be available on AMC.com and AMC’s TV Everywhere extensions until May 1.

BBC America is making a collection of nature documentaries available free at BBCAmerica.com.

IFC is providing laughs with full seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show, Birthday Boys, Spoils Before Dying, Bunk and Food Party at IFC.com. Also free are selected episodes of Comedy Bang Bang and Mystery Science Theater 3000 plus the season premiere of Brockmire.

Sundance TV’s Liar is available on Sundance Now, as well as the first seasons of Riviera, The Restaurant, Public Enemy and The Bureau.

AMC early announced that it moved up the season three premiere of Killing Eve by two weeks, now starting April 12.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 3, 2020, 6:00 pm
Apple has reportedly relaxed a controversial policy whereby it has taken a 30% cut of purchases of things like movies and TV shows that are executed using its technology hardware. The revised program for in-app purchasing was never announced by Apple. But it was spotted by Amazon Prime Video users ...

In a potentially game-changing move, Apple device users can now rent and buy movies and TV shows through the Prime Video app

Apple has reportedly relaxed a controversial policy whereby it has taken a 30% cut of purchases of things like movies and TV shows that are executed using its technology hardware.

The revised program for in-app purchasing was never announced by Apple. But it was spotted by Amazon Prime Video users recently when they noticed they are now able to buy and rent movies directly through the Amazon Prime Video app on iPhones, iPads, Apple TV boxes and other Apple devices.

Visit Next TV to read more stories like this one. 

Previously, companies including Amazon and Netflix directed Apple device users to pay for their services—and products sold through their services—directly on their websites, or through non-Apple devices. If you’re an Apple TV user, for example, you can watch your Netflix or Amazon Prime Video subscriptions on your OTT device. But you’d have to sign up for these services somewhere else. Ditto for movies and shows you rent and buy through Amazon's transactional store.

This week, Bloomberg reported that Apple had actually changed its policy as it relates to “premium video purchases,” and that companies including Altice USA and Vivendi SA’s Canal+ were already taking advantage of the policy change before Amazon did.

“Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits—including integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on,” Apple said in a statement. "On qualifying premium video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+, customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription.”

It remains to be seen if Amazon will allow its Fire TV users to purchase and rent movies and TV shows through the Apple TV app.

But for the broader technology ecosystem, it represents a kind of further thawing of the cold war that exists between the video giants. For example, Amazon and Google already having recently relaxed device and app restrictions that existed between their respective devices and apps. 

Author: Daniel Frankel
Posted: April 3, 2020, 5:49 pm
TOKYO, JAPAN – April 3, 2020 – Airing to stellar ratings in Japan, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), Japan’s leading multiplatform entertainment powerhouse, announced today that the company has just started offering format rights to its new game show Mute it! (30min to 120min eps.) ...

TOKYO, JAPAN – April 3, 2020 – Airing to stellar ratings in Japan, Nippon Television Network Corporation (Nippon TV), Japan’s leading multiplatform entertainment powerhouse, announced today that the company has just started offering format rights to its new game show Mute it! (30min to 120min eps.) which just recently aired during prime time on Nippon TV. The family-friendly studio-based game show with a unique twist was created for and produced by Nippon TV in Japan with the worldwide format rights available.

“Given our prior success with the enormously popular Silent Library, we are pleased to be presenting Mute it!, a game of silence, unlike any other game show. It pushes the limits of human concentration and balance whereby if a contestant makes any sound at all they are immediately disqualified from the game. Mute it!brings a breath of fresh air to a world normally filled by loud game shows,” commented Mr. Atsushi Sogo, President of International Business Development at Nippon TV.

In Mute it!, contestants play four stages of games in the Hall of Silence, a custom-built giant studio with difficult challenges for the players to accomplish, yet at the same time, filled with sound traps all around. There is only one rule: don't make any sounds. If contestants make any sounds above 50dB, the Sound Watchman, purveyor of the Hall of Silence, suddenly shows up to take the contestant away. For players who succeed in the first three stages, the final stage awaits. The question is will the players be able to withstand the challenges and overcome the difficult missions without making a single sound, to gain the big prize money at the end.

http://www.ntv.co.jp/english/pc/2020/03/mute-it.html

ABOUT NIPPON TV 

Nippon TV is Japan's viewer ratings champion, topping all timeslot categories for six consecutive years and garnering the largest profits in the country's broadcasting industry. One of the biggest successes for the nation's finest producer of all genres of programming is Dragons' Den, a globally successful business show format that has 40 versions in 186 territories across all continents of the world. The Emmy Award-winning version, Shark Tank, airs in the US. Following closely are the successes of scripted formats Mother and Woman My Life for My Children, whose Turkish versions have become mega-hits that have gone on to sell in nearly 40 territories around the world. As a format, Mother has also been sold to South Korea, Ukraine, France, and Thailand. With well-established businesses that span VOD / live-streaming engineering, animation, movies, events, fitness clubs, eSports, android creation, and digital mixed reality, Nippon TV is leveraging its coveted platform to revolutionize digital media in an ever-changing industry. Launching a channel in Southeast Asia named GEM through a joint venture with Sony Pictures Television Networks, and leading the Japanese digital content market through its subsidiary Hulu Japan, Nippon TV is steadily solidifying its presence and brand as a global media powerhouse.

Author: Sheila Morris
Posted: April 3, 2020, 5:03 pm
Portland, OR – April 2, 2020 – Red Giant has just released a quick and easy tutorial on creating a forcefield/watery surface effect. Now out on YouTube, Aharon Rabinowitz showcases his process of developing this effect using tools from Red Giant Complete. In just under 5-minutes, the tutorial shows ...

Aharon Rabinowitz utilizes Red Giant tools to demonstrate how easy it is to create a forcefield during this time of social distancing

Portland, OR – April 2, 2020 Red Giant has just released a quick and easy tutorial on creating a forcefield/watery surface effect. Now out on YouTube, Aharon Rabinowitz showcases his process of developing this effect using tools from Red Giant Complete. In just under 5-minutes, the tutorial shows viewers how to use a displacement map along with other tools to create a beautiful flowing, prismatic surface with refraction - all from the comfort and safety of one’s living room. Because it might be nice to shield oneself from work-at-home distractions using a forcefield, even if it's just by pretending to make one.

WATCH NOW: Forcefield Tutorial

To showcase the effect, Aharon starts off with some footage he shot of himself on his smartphone, waving his hands around in his living room. Working in After Effects, he pulls in plugins from Red Giant Complete to create particles emitting from his hands while adding various layers to enhance the effect. Aharon used Trapcode Particular to create the particles, then employed VFX Chromatic Displacement to add prismatic distortions.

The full set of tools used includes:

  • Trapcode Particular: Create organic 3D particle effects, complex motion graphics elements and more in After Effects. Now with Fluid Dynamics.
  • VFX Chromatic Displacement: Easily create beautiful prismatic displacement effects in After Effects or Premiere Pro

Free Trial

Want to follow along? You can download a free trial of Red Giant Complete and have access to fully functioning versions of all of our tools!

New Red Giant Complete Purchasing Options

Red Giant recently announced brand new purchasing options on Red Giant Complete, which is now available as a monthly subscription. For those in academia including students, teachers and faculty members, Red Giant Complete is now available for free; simply follow the instructions on the Red Giant website to learn how to apply.

  • Total if purchased separately: $3,495
  • Red Giant Complete Annual: $599/YEAR, or $49.92/MONTH (Paid Annually)
  • Red Giant Complete Monthly: $79/MONTH

The Red Pledge

Red Pledge is Red Giant’s commitment to customer happiness, with no purchasing hassles. Learn about the Red Pledge guarantee at https://www.redgiant.com/company/red-pledge/.

Request a Red Giant Media Review Kit

Members of the media are invited to review Red Giant Complete as well as any individual tools or product suites from Red Giant. For more information or to request a product review kit, please contact Alexis Isaacs at [email protected]

About Red Giant

Red Giant is a software company made up of talented artists and technologists who collaborate to create unique tools for filmmakers, editors, VFX artists, and motion designers. Our company culture is focused on finding balance between work and life – we call it “the double bottom line” – this philosophy helps us ignore complexity in favor of building simple tools that yield giant results. Over the last decade, our products (like Magic Bullet, Trapcode, Universe and PluralEyes) have become the standard in film and broadcast post-production. With over 250,000 users, it’s nearly impossible to watch 20 minutes of TV without seeing our software in use. From our experiences as artists and filmmakers, we aspire to not only provide tools for artists, but inspiration as well. Watch our films, learn from over 200 free tutorials, or try our software at www.redgiant.com.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 4:51 pm
The FCC has waived its advertising disclosure rules for COVID-19 public service announcements using donated commercial ad time. Ordinarily, a TV spot has to include a disclosure of who paid for the time per FCC rules. But with businesses shuttered, events canceled and social distancing, many ...

Will extend until June 30

The FCC has waived its advertising disclosure rules for COVID-19 public service announcements using donated commercial ad time.

Ordinarily, a TV spot has to include a disclosure of who paid for the time per FCC rules. But with businesses shuttered, events canceled and social distancing, many advertisers can no longer use the commercial time they have already bought from TV and radio stations and are instead donating it to use for public service announcements.

Those PSAs display the name of the CDC or other public health authority, not the original ad time purchaser, so could run afoul of the rule that require broadcasters to disclose who bought the time.

"In this particular instance, however, where the time is being donated for the broadcast of PSAs related to the COVID-19 pandemic by the CDC, other governmental entities, or public health authorities, such a disclosure requirement might undercut the reliability of these PSAs, which are providing essential information, often from an entity charged with tracking and limiting the spread of disease," said the FCC's Media Bureau in explaining the waiver. "Moreover, requiring that the name or corporate logo of the commercial entity that originally purchased the airtime be included in the PSA might discourage the donation of beneficial advertising time, as commercial entities might not wish to have their names or corporate logos directly associated with the provision of information about COVID-19 for fear of a negative association by consumers."

The FCC has the discretion to waive the requirement if it thinks that would be in the public interest. The Media Bureau said that is the case. "The use of such donated advertising time could allow for the broadcast of numerous additional PSAs to the community during this national emergency and provide life-saving information to the public," it said.

The waiver extends to June 30, 2020, after which it will be reevaluated. 

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 3, 2020, 4:49 pm
ViacomCBS said it completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Miramax from beIN Media Group. beIN Media retains 51% ownership of Miramax, the award-winning studio whose business was disrupted as sexual harassment charges surfaced against founder Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was found guilty of rape ...

beIN Media Group retains 51% ownership

ViacomCBS said it completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Miramax from beIN Media Group.

beIN Media retains 51% ownership of Miramax, the award-winning studio whose business was disrupted as sexual harassment charges surfaced against founder Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was found guilty of rape charges in February and sentenced to 23 years in prison.

ViacomCBS will spend $375 million on Miramax, with an initial payment of $150 million plus an investment of $45 million annually for five years that will be used for new film and television productions and working capital.

ViacomCBS’s Paramount Pictures also entered into an exclusive long-term agreement to distribute Miramax’s film library and a long-term first look agreement under which Paramount will develop produce, finance and distribute new film and TV projects based on Miramax’s intellectual property.

“This represents a major investment in and endorsement of our thriving Miramax business, which has grown in value under beIN Media Group’s ownership and has a fantastic future ahead with major new movies and unexploited premium dramas,” said Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of beIN Media Group.

We are thrilled to partner with ViacomCBS and Paramount to explore further opportunities around Miramax’s iconic IP, and also at Group level; while substantially increasing the scale of our entertainment business,” he said. “This deal further underlines beIN’s ambitions on the global stage – we are very proud to have established ourselves as one of the leading groups in sport, entertainment and media.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 3, 2020, 4:43 pm
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and sheltering-at-home becomes the new workplace, the Voice of America, the country's largest international broadcaster, has vacated its newsrooms and is conducting its broadcasts remotely from the homes of its journalists, hundreds of them, across the ...

Global studios move to bathrooms, living rooms

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread and sheltering-at-home becomes the new workplace, the Voice of America, the country's largest international broadcaster, has vacated its newsrooms and is conducting its broadcasts remotely from the homes of its journalists, hundreds of them, across the globe.

Photo via gdb.voanews.com.

VOA provides news in 40-plus languages to an audience it estimates at 280 million, and usually does so out of almost 50 newsrooms/studio facilities. Those have now morphed into makeshift home studios to report from China and Korea, Iran, Russia and many more countries with 1,800 hours per week of programming.

"COVID-19 has created enormous challenges to our global newsroom operations, which has been met by a blossoming level of innovation by our reporters, producers and editors to adapt to news reporting during this global pandemic," said VOA director Amanda Bennett of the now even more far-flung correspondents.

The newly appointed home studios include an ironing board anchor desk in a living room studio at VOA Bosnia, a coat closet radio studio with clothes doubling as soundproofing to muffle background noise in VOA Korea, a bathroom (news) break with a shower curtain as a cityscape backdrop for live remotes from Celia Mendoza, a VOA Spanish service broadcaster (pictured above), and a plastic tablecloth green screen at VOA Armenia (to see how a wall becomes a window on the world, check out this short video).

The virus has also hit close to home for the international broadcaster. Former VOA head Jeff Shell (he is past chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors) tested positive for the virus.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 3, 2020, 3:56 pm
ABC got the win in Thursday prime, with Grey’s Anatomy pacing the Alphabets to a 1.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 5 share. That squeaked by CBS’s 0.9/4. Station 19 fell 8% to 1.1 on ABC and Grey’s Anatomy ticked up 8% to 1.4. How to Get Away With Murder scored a 0.6, up 50% ...

‘Man With a Plan’ opener down from last season on CBS

ABC got the win in Thursday prime, with Grey’s Anatomy pacing the Alphabets to a 1.0 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 5 share. That squeaked by CBS’s 0.9/4.

Station 19 fell 8% to 1.1 on ABC and Grey’s Anatomy ticked up 8% to 1.4. How to Get Away With Murder scored a 0.6, up 50% over its last new episode late last year.

On CBS, Young Sheldon went up 18% to 1.3 and the season starter of Man With a Plan did a 0.9. Man opened at 1.1 last season. Mom grew 25% to 1.0 and the series premiere of comedy Broke posted a 0.6. Drama Tommy increased 20% to 0.6.

Univision was next at 0.6/3. La Rosa de Guadalupe and Amor Eterno did 0.7s, Rosa up 17% and Amor up 40%. Sin Miedo a la Verdad grew 25% to 0.5.

Fox got a 0.5/3 and NBC a 0.5/2. Fox had Last Man Standing down 13% to 0.7 and a Last Man rerun. A Mental Samurai repeat followed.

NBC had Superstore down 22% to 0.7 and Brooklyn Nine Nine off 29% at 0.5. A Will & Grace rerun led into Indebted at 0.3, mostly in-line with last week’s 0.4 and 0.3 double run. Law & Order: SVU slid 14% to 0.6.

Telemundo got a 0.4/2. Exatlon Estados Unidos got a 0.5 and La Dona a 0.4, both flat. Operacion Pacifico dropped 25% to 0.3.

The CW did a 0.1/0 with reruns of Katy Keene and Legacies

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 3, 2020, 3:56 pm
The Gray Television stations in Louisiana are working together on a series of statewide virtual concerts under the title Louisiana Rising: Songs From Home. The series will feature local artists across the state performing at home. The performances, occurring across three consecutive weekends, will ...

Local artists, performing in their backyards and living rooms

The Gray Television stations in Louisiana are working together on a series of statewide virtual concerts under the title Louisiana Rising: Songs From Home. The series will feature local artists across the state performing at home. The performances, occurring across three consecutive weekends, will be streamed on stations’ social media pages, apps and websites.

It begins on WVUE New Orleans April 4 at 1 and 5:30 p.m.

WVUE, WAFB Baton Rouge, KALB Alexandria, KPLC Lake Charles, KSLA Shreveport and KNOE Monroe, along with Scripps-owned KATC Lafayette, are partners on the series.

“Statewide, our dedicated journalists are doing an incredible job reporting the facts about COVID-19, but we know that information can sometimes be scary,” said Gray Television senior VP Sandy Breland. “While we may be distant, we’re excited to bring people together and spread a little joy through music, which is such an integral part of our culture.”

Louisiana has over 9,100 coronavirus cases, according to Nola.com.

“We’re excited to launch this innovative concert series to lift the spirits of so many around the state,” said Ronna Corrente, WVUE VP and general manager. “In addition to sharing their talents with Louisianans, these great artists will use their voices and air-time to promote different charitable causes close to their hearts, and viewers will be able to connect with these artists’ social pages to also support the causes of their choice.”

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 3, 2020, 3:09 pm
A pair of Democratic legislators are pushing the FCC to vigorously enforce new truth-in-billing rules that Congress mandated in the Television Viewer Protection Act that passed late last year.  The mandate requires cable and satellite providers to disclose all fees before potential subs sign ...

Suggest it is a critical consumer protection

A pair of Democratic legislators are pushing the FCC to vigorously enforce new truth-in-billing rules that Congress mandated in the Television Viewer Protection Act that passed late last year. 

The mandate requires cable and satellite providers to disclose all fees before potential subs sign on the dotted line and allow for a 24-hour grace period for cancellations without penalty. The TVPA also requires more transparency in electronic billing and prohibits MVPDs from charging for equipment they don't provide. It is supposed to go into effect June 20, six months after the law's passage as the legislation specified. 

But saying its members need to focus their time and energies on fighting the pandemic and shouldering the additional broadband load of a surf-in-place populace, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association,, along with USTelecom and ACA Connects, told the FCC they would like the mandate date extended to Dec. 20. Actually, the FCC asked in a request for comment whether it should extend it to that date. The association's said yes, definitely, then added an exclamation point with a request last week for an emergency extension citing the coronavirus pandemic.  The FCC Friday granted the extension, citing the pandemic, a move a source familiar with the legislators signaled they understood, so long as the FCC and MVPDs could implement the new mandate as soon, and as vigorously, as possible.

Related: NCTA Seeks Immediate Extension of Truth-in-Billing Regs

According to a copy of the letter, on Friday (April 3) Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) wrote the FCC seeking assurances it will "vigorously enforce" the mandate. They did not mention the cable effort, but did frame the letter as though the FCC would be enforcing the rules on time, suggesting that would be "executing the will of the U.S. Congress" to promote a "critical" consumer protections. 

"The pro-consumer reforms outlined above are scheduled to go into effect on June 20, 2020. In anticipation of the effective date, we would like to receive your assurance that the Commission fully intends to enforce the new law," they said.

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 3, 2020, 2:37 pm
Fremont, CA - April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced that New Hampshire based live streaming and AV production company Events United used a Blackmagic Design live production workflow to produce Dropkick Murphys’ St. Patrick’s Day live stream “Streaming Up From Boston,” reaching a total ...

Fremont, CA - April 3, 2020 - Blackmagic Design today announced that New Hampshire based live streaming and AV production company Events United used a Blackmagic Design live production workflow to produce Dropkick Murphys’ St. Patrick’s Day live stream “Streaming Up From Boston,” reaching a total of more than 10 million viewers.

For the first time in 24 years, Boston based Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys did not perform a concert with a live audience for St. Patrick's Day. The band took to the internet instead and performed a full concert set that was live streamed via the band’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and other social media channels to fans throughout the world.

As a full service live streaming and audio visual production company, Events United was tasked with creating a high quality live streamed concert experience within a tight timeframe. The live stream idea was finalized only 48 hours in advance of going live.

Events United had already begun to build out a substantial streaming studio in response to many live events being postponed or canceled for the next few months. The setup needed to be expanded for a full band on stage, so as Dropkick Murphys’ live stream came to fruition, the team had to add even more AV gear to the workflow. Events United Producer Tim Messina worked tirelessly to make sure everything was done on time with a high quality look.

A Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub 40x40 12G router served as the hub of the live workflow. Seven cameras fed into the router, along with two computers for CG overlays and full screen video/graphics playback. Those feeds were routed into an ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K live production switcher connected to an ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel. Tim advised on the program cut during the show, and Video Director Jonathan Martell worked with the camera operators and directed Technical Director Kent Rich. Switching the cameras, Kent cut the main program on the ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel, which was then sent back to the router.

From there, the feed was sent to encoders and to several of Blackmagic Design’s HyperDeck recorders, including four HyperDeck Studios, three HyperDeck Studio Minis, HyperDeck Studio Pro and HyperDeck Studio 12G. Each camera was ISO recorded, and there were two recordings made of the program cut as well, one being the primary and the other as the backup. Audio was ingested into the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K through a Teranex Mini Audio to SDI converter.

“Unlike the standard concert experience where everything is designed to look amazing to the audience, a live stream is a different ball game,” said Jonathan. “It didn’t really matter what this show looked like in the studio. The only thing that mattered was how everything came through the camera lens. We were able to work together alongside the band’s crew to make sure everything worked well to provide an amazing live stream.”

Jonathan noted that the team appreciated the ergonomics of the ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel, as well as the ability to remotely control the HyperDeck recorders, which made it very easy to sync up all the recordings.

“Blackmagic Design’s equipment was fast and easy to configure, had the right amount of processing power, and was reliable throughout the shoot,” said Jonathan. “We have multiple switchers in our inventory, but we chose the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K because of its flexibility and input and output count. Blackmagic Design routers are the backbone of our video systems because they are reliable and affordable. Our team is all about premiere production services, and we really love working with our clients like Dropkick Murphys to help them realize the full potential of their ideas and events.”

Press Photography

Product photos of Smart Videohub 40x40 12G, ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel, HyperDeck Studio, HyperDeck Studio Mini, HyperDeck Studio Pro, HyperDeck Studio 12G, and Teranex Mini Audio to SDI as well as all other Blackmagic Design products, are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

Author: Nick Govoni
Posted: April 3, 2020, 2:16 pm
Activist investor Standard General on Friday said it has increased its stake in Tegna to 12%, a 20% increase. Standard General, which is mounting a proxy fight to get a slate of four directors added to Tegna’s board, said that it believes that it is now the largest shareholder in the broadcaster. ...

Investor claims status as broadcaster’s largest shareholder

Activist investor Standard General on Friday said it has increased its stake in Tegna to 12%, a 20% increase.

Standard General, which is mounting a proxy fight to get a slate of four directors added to Tegna’s board, said that it believes that it is now the largest shareholder in the broadcaster.

On Wednesday, Standard General disclosed that it had sold 5 million shares in swap transactions, a move called “troubling” by Tegna.

“We are fully committed to Tegna, and we are not going anywhere,” said Soo Kim, founding partner of Standard General L.P.

“This increase in our position underscores our conviction that the company’s intrinsic value is much higher than its market price, but also our belief that Tegna will not achieve its full potential without an upgraded board. Our exceptional nominees have the needed experience and expertise to implement changes to Tegna’s business, operations, capital allocation and strategy to transform the company into the best-in-class operator it should be.”

Standard General has called Tegna an under-performer among broadcasting stocks. It also criticized the broadcaster’s approach to merger and acquisition, especially after recent bidders pulled their takeover offer.

“Our additional investment boosts our economic and financial exposure to the company’s equity and signals our steadfast commitment to driving change at Tegna for the benefit of all shareholders. Recently, Tegna has attempted to mislead shareholders and has falsely implied that by reducing the number of physical shares we own, that we reduced our economic interest in the company. In fact, Standard General has actually recently INCREASED its investment by more than 20%.”

Tegna stock closed at $11.32 Thursday and was up six cent in pre-market trading Friday.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 3, 2020, 1:29 pm
The FCC is proposing to require 40 more markets (DMAs 61-100) to provide audio descriptions of video programming but also wants to know if the current pandemic changes any part of the equation. Per the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), FCC rules ...

But asks if pandemic should have any impact on timetable

The FCC is proposing to require 40 more markets (DMAs 61-100) to provide audio descriptions of video programming but also wants to know if the current pandemic changes any part of the equation.

Per the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), FCC rules currently require certain stations in the top 60 markets to provide that service to the blind and visually impaired.

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking circulated by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to the other commissioners this week for a vote at the April 23 meeting would:

  • "Seek comment on whether we should account for the current coronavirus pandemic in evaluating the reasonableness of costs of expanding video description requirements to markets outside of the top 60, and in making a determination regarding the compliance deadline, and, if so, how.
  • "Start phasing in the new markets starting Jan. 2, 2021 at a rate of 10 markets per year for four years.
  • "Propose that the Commission should determine in 2023 whether to continue expanding to an additional 10 DMAs per year, with any further expansion to be undertaken only following a future determination of the reasonableness of the associated costs.
  • "Conclude, tentatively, that 'the costs of implementing the video description regulations in these markets are reasonable' because that would 'ensure that a greater number of individuals who are blind or visually impaired can be connected, informed, and entertained by television programming.'
  • "Propose that, in determining which DMAs are subject to the video description requirements, the Commission should use an updated Nielsen determination rather than the current figures, which are from 2015."
  • "Propose to modernize the terminology in part 79 of the Commission’s regulations to use the term 'audio description' rather than 'video description,' in accordance with a recent recommendation from the Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee."
Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 2, 2020, 10:44 pm
Never.no, the award-winning audience engagement specialist, has today announced a partnership agreement with Applied Electronics. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the media solutions company will license Never.no’s Bee-On platform and offer local support, creative assistance and training for ...

Never.no, the award-winning audience engagement specialist, has today announced a partnership agreement with Applied Electronics. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the media solutions company will license Never.no’s Bee-On platform and offer local support, creative assistance and training for broadcasters and content providers.

“We’re delighted to announce our new partnership with Applied Electronics. Their experience and knowledge of the industry, not to mention their expansive sales network, fits our strategic regional growth plans. We’re excited to work with forward-thinking broadcasters and content providers looking to bridge the gap between content and their audiences,” said Scott Davies, CEO of Never.no.

We’ll be working with their teams to give extensive support and training, which includes Bee-On’s new, soon-to-be-announced capabilities, that will enhance content providers’ workflows with seamless social platform and web browser integration,” added Karl Kathuria, head of North America for Never.no.

With over 20 years’ experience in interactive TV, Never.no has developed its cloud-based SaaS solution Bee-On to provide broadcasters and advertisers with the tools to deliver rich and captivating content that can be managed remotely, away from main production hubs. Bee-On’s intuitive system enables rapid real-time production changes and produces HD broadcast graphics on linear and digital platforms. The innovative feature-set includes a robust social moderation engine that filters audience-generated content - such as images, comments and videos – and manages scalable live polls and competitions, delivered in real-time for live or pre-recorded programming.

“Applied Electronics is excited to represent Never.no in the Canadian marketplace – a company that has been at the forefront of social technology innovation since the inception of the social media phenomenon,” said Paul Stechly, president of Applied Electronics. “The way people interact with content has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. It is fascinating to see the incredible possibilities that exist now for global audiences to interact in real time with the content they consume.”

With remote production at the forefront of content producers’ needs, Bee-On is fast becoming the go-to solution for fan and audience engagement across platforms. The new personalized response and messenger bot enhances broadcaster’s and advertiser’s engagement, extending campaigns beyond TV. Full access to social media APIs enables direct messaging with the audience. Bee-On manages and distributes auto-responses such as personalized messages and videos, in response to social media interaction following a call to action within the broadcast or streamed content. With a potential to boost broadcast and AVOD programming, direct and automated mass messaging delivers engagement rates of 154% on average.

Never.no appeals to both traditional and non-traditional broadcasters, such as corporations with in-house content creation teams. They are seeing the value in integrating real-time social user-generated content or live dynamic content into their productions,” Stechly added. “Content teams can have the ability to produce live programming strengthened by real-time audience interaction and engagement analytics. Never.no’s audience engagement platforms deliver invaluable tools and results to producers, broadcasters and advertisers.”

Key features:

  • Robust real-time social graphics – cloud-based graphics solution provides out-of-the-box and customizable advanced visualizations for live broadcast, streaming, digital signage and events. Bespoke templates can be customized and integrated with traditional TV graphics publishing systems.
  • Enhanced social campaign management - engage and amplify audiences across social channels with personalized responses. Generate automatic and moderated bespoke picture and video messaging over social networks.
  • Personalized engagement automate bot dialogues for marketing or extended and personalized audience engagement on platforms such as Facebook Messenger.
  • Full social platform integration – access Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram content and data, including improved social API access with Twitter Account Activity APIs, Facebook Group harvesting, Facebook Questions API, and many more to come.
  • Polling and voting – enhance audience engagement by running interactive live polls across social, messaging and digital platforms. Featuring Facebook Live Polling and polling widgets, generate web voting widgets using customizable templates for scalable engagement.

###

Press kit here

For all media relations please contact:

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

Alex Humphries-French

[email protected]

For Canada and US sales contact:

Karl Kathuria, Head of North America for Never.no

[email protected]

Contact Applied Electronics

Paul Roeser, Manager of Sales Operations for Applied Electronics

[email protected]

About Never.no

Never.no is an international award-winning social engagement platform specialist, with headquarters in Manchester UK and Oslo Norway and offices in Canada, USA, Australia and UAE. Specializing in making TV social and advertising dynamic, it helps leading broadcasters, brands and agencies to engage with and grow their audiences, via interactivity and personalization using real-time social content. More information can be found at www.never.no.

About Applied Electronics:

Applied Electronics Limited is Canada’s leading provider of integrated media solutions and professional audio visual, broadcast and media storage technology. Providing specialized services including technical consultation, sales, system design, supply, integration, programming, and after-sale support, Applied Electronics has the resources and expertise to support projects of any scale. Founded in 1958, Applied Electronics maintains strong relationships with industry-leading technology manufacturers and has extensive experience to deliver innovative solutions to improve workflows, communication and collaboration for companies with media integration requirements. Applied Electronics is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario with regional operations in Ottawa, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. For more information, visitwww.appliedappliedelectronics.com.

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 10:44 pm
HBO is making some of its original series, documentaries and movies from Warner Bros. available to stream for free as part of an effort to encourage viewers to remain at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The AT&T-owned network is labeling its effort #StayHomeBoxOffice. HBO said ...

Network encourage viewers to #StayHomeBoxOffice

HBO is making some of its original series, documentaries and movies from Warner Bros. available to stream for free as part of an effort to encourage viewers to remain at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The AT&T-owned network is labeling its effort #StayHomeBoxOffice.

HBO said this is the first time this volume of programming has been made available outside of the paywall on HBO Now and HBO Go.

Related: Verizon Giving Subscribers Free Premium Channels

The network has also been making some of its content available in free previews via several distributors, including DirecTV and Verizon.

Nine classic HBO series available for free for a limited time beginning Friday, April 3 via HBO Now and HBO Go, including The Sopranos, Veep and The Wire.

Films that will be streaming free include The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Pokemon Detective Pikachu.

Related: HBO Skateboard Drama ‘Betty’ Premieres May 1

Free documentaries include McMillion$ and The Case Against Adnan Syed.

Here’s a list of HBO content available to stream without a subscription:

9 Full Series

  1. Ballers (5 Seasons)
  2. Barry (2 Seasons)
  3. Silicon Valley (6 Seasons)
  4. Six Feet Under (5 Seasons)
  5. The Sopranos (7 Seasons)
  6. Succession (2 Seasons)
  7. True Blood (7 Seasons)
  8. Veep (7 Seasons)
  9. The Wire (5 Seasons)

10 Docuseries and Documentaries

  1. The Apollo
  2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
  3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
  4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
  5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
  6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
  7. McMillion$
  8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
  9. United Skates
  10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest

20 Warner Bros. Theatricals

  1. Arthur
  2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
  3. Blinded By the Light
  4. The Bridges of Madison County
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
  6. Empire of the Sun
  7. Forget Paris
  8. Happy Feet Two
  9. Isn't It Romantic?
  10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  11. Midnight Special
  12. My Dog Skip
  13. Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
  14. Pan
  15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
  16. Red Riding Hood
  17. Smallfoot
  18. Storks
  19. Sucker Punch
  20. Unknown
Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 10:08 pm
As more Americans are forced to stay home to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, total TV usage continues to increase, according to new figures from Nielsen. For the week of March 23, total TV usage is up 3% compared to the previous week, with an average of 24.6% of people with TV in the U.S. ...

Streaming via connected devices up 5% in week

As more Americans are forced to stay home to blunt the spread of the coronavirus, total TV usage continues to increase, according to new figures from Nielsen.

For the week of March 23, total TV usage is up 3% compared to the previous week, with an average of 24.6% of people with TV in the U.S. using them to watch live and time-shifted TV via traditional TV and connected devices.

Complete Coverage: The COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Nielsen

Compared to the week of Feb. 24, total TV usage is up 27%.

The previous week, total TV usage rose 18%.

In the most recent week, people watching live TV was up 2% and streaming via internet connected devices was up even more at 5%.

Related: HBO Streaming Series, Movies From Warner Bros. for Free

The increase was largest among grownups of working age, with 18- to 49-year-olds and 25- to 54-year-olds showing 4% gains. Streaming via connected device grew most among older devices with people 25 to 54 and 55-plus both showing 8% gains.

Among local markets, Portland, Oregon, showed the biggest increase in television usage, up 12.5% from the previous week.

Other markets showing big gains were Seattle-Tacoma, Yakima, Baltimore, Flint, Reno, Detroit, Chicago, Grand Rapids and Washington, D.C.

Source: Nielsen
Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 9:32 pm
Ruptly, the award-winning video news agency, has today announced a strategic partnership with TVU Networks, the global online broadcast distributor. The long-term collaboration will allow media partners to receive Ruptly’s live transmissions over the internet at full broadcast quality using the TVU ...

Ruptly, the award-winning video news agency, has today announced a strategic partnership with TVU Networks, the global online broadcast distributor. The long-term collaboration will allow media partners to receive Ruptly’s live transmissions over the internet at full broadcast quality using the TVU Grid platform – a faster, more intuitive and more cost-effective delivery system.

The new partnership will enhance the propositions of both Ruptly and TVU by enabling them to serve new and prospective clients of all sizes. Using TVU Grid’s powerful delivery system, Ruptly will be able to switch, route and seamlessly distribute live content to any number of locations with high quality and low latency. In addition, users of the platform will be able to choose their level of commitment, purchasing live content on a one-off or more regular basis. This marks a move from Ruptly and TVU towards a more scalable operation, that will reach wider audiences.

Ahmet Cakan, Chief Technology Officer at Ruptly stated:

“We have always pushed to democratize video content, so we’re thrilled to be breaking down another barrier by improving access to live broadcast, using TVU’s unparalleled technology. Given the current global situation, there has never been a greater need for fast, broadcast-quality news footage from the centre of events – especially now many reporters and crews are unable to travel. This partnership will help us to ensure that in future, people in even the most remote areas will still be able to share their stories with the world.”

Yoni Tayar, Global Marketing Director at TVU Networks, commented:

“We understand how critical the speed and reliability of our equipment needs to be to distribute breaking news 24/7. With that in mind, we are excited that a news agency as innovative as Ruptly chose TVU Grid to better serve their affiliates globally while offering them access to cutting-edge live feed distribution technology.”

The service will be fully operational and available to clients across broadcast and digital news platforms in the coming weeks. Enquires can be directed to [email protected].

ENDS

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 9:10 pm
Watch and Share This Press Clip From 'Kenny, Dolly and Willie" Here AXS TV, the premier U.S. cable channel for music content, celebrates the life and legacy of GRAMMY®-winning country music superstar Kenny Rogers with a pair of classic concerts airing Monday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The ...

The Evening Includes the Emmy®-Winning 1989 Special ‘Kenny, Dolly And Willie: Something Inside So Strong’ and the 1985 Special ‘Kenny And Dolly: Real Love.’ Tribute Supports Kenny Cares Benefiting MusiCares® COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund.

Watch and Share This Press Clip From 'Kenny, Dolly and Willie" Here

AXS TV, the premier U.S. cable channel for music content, celebrates the life and legacy of GRAMMY®-winning country music superstar Kenny Rogers with a pair of classic concerts airing Monday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The April 6 concerts and additional broadcasts support Kenny Cares benefiting MusiCares® COVID-19 Artist Relief Fund. (Text KENNYCARES to 41444 or visit musicares.org/kennycares to donate.)

The tribute block begins at 8 p.m. ET with an unforgettable evening featuring performances from three of country music’s most influential artists in Kenny, Dolly And Willie: Something Inside So Strong. The Emmy®-winning 1989 NBC special was originally filmed at the Johnson Space Center in Rogers’ hometown of Houston, and captured Rogers, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson in rare form as they took the stage in front of a lively audience of NASA employees and their families. Highlights include a priceless medley where the trio take turns singing each other’s biggest hits such as “The Gambler,” “Two Doors Down,” and “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys,” and Rogers explains the inspiration behind his 1977 hit “Sweet Music Man” before Nelson puts his trademark twist on the Rogers-penned fan-favorite.

Then, at 9 p.m. ET, stay tuned for an in-depth and candid look at one of country music’s most-enduring friendships in the 1985 HBO special Kenny And Dolly: Real Love. Real Love gives viewers the ultimate backstage pass with behind-the-scenes coverage documenting Parton and Rogers’ rehearsals blended with live performances from their joint 1985 Real Love tour. The pair’s unparalleled chemistry is on full display throughout the night, as they charmingly banter between performing some of their best-loved hits both together and solo. Highlights include performances of “Islands In The Stream,” “9 To 5,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Real Love,” and many more.

“Kenny Rogers is one of the most prolific showmen in country music,” said Sarah Weidman, Head Of Original Programming, Development and Multi-Platform Content for AXS TV. “His music has influenced and inspired generations of artists and fans alike, all across the world. AXS TV is proud to celebrate his incredible life and career with this block of classic specials, putting the spotlight on two of his finest performances as he brings the house down alongside his close friends and fellow icons Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.”

The Kenny Rogers tribute will feature rebroadcasts and includes an episode Rogers filmed with Dan Rather in 2014 for AXS TV’s “The Big Interview.” The complete schedule is below:

(Note: All Times Eastern)

Monday, April 6

8 p.m. & 11 p.m. “Kenny, Dolly & Willie: Something Inside So Strong”

9:00 p.m. & 12 a.m. “Kenny & Dolly – Real Love”

Tuesday, April 7

12 p.m. “Kenny, Dolly & Willie: Something Inside So Strong”

Thursday, April 9

12 p.m. “Kenny & Dolly – Real Love”

Friday, April 10

9 a.m. “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” – Kenny Rogers featured guest

Sunday, April 12

9 a.m. “Kenny & Dolly – Real Love”

12 p.m. “Kenny, Dolly & Willie: Something Inside So Strong”

Follow the social media conversation on twitter @axstv and @_KennyRogers as well as #KennyCares.

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 8:53 pm
AXS TV presents a special broadcast of the star-studded benefit event Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid — airing Saturday, April 4 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Viewers can enjoy the Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid simulcast on AXS TV, as well as across the Network’s various social media platforms including the ...

Performers Include Whitney Cummings, Jim Gaffigan, Ken Jeong, Adam Sandler, and More Coming Together to Benefit Comedy Gives Back COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

AXS TV presents a special broadcast of the star-studded benefit event Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid — airing Saturday, April 4 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT. Viewers can enjoy the Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid simulcast on AXS TV, as well as across the Network’s various social media platforms including the AXS TV YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Twitter and website, AXS.TV. The network is pre-empting its regular programming on this night.

The four-plus hour telethon puts the spotlight on a powerhouse roster of comedy superstars, coming together to raise money and awareness for an emergency relief fund benefiting working comedians who have been financially impacted due to the spread of COVID-19. The A-list lineup of fan-favorites and industry icons includes, Dave Attell, Joel Kim Booster, Bill Burr, Dane Cook, Ron Funches, Anthony Jeselnik, Jessica Kirson, Bert Kreischer, Howie Mandel, Marc Maron, Big Jay Oakerson, Patton Oswalt, Tom Papa, Ray Romano, Jeff Ross, Iliza Shlesinger, The Sklar Brothers, Bob Saget, Amanda Seales, Dan Soder, David Spade, Taylor Tomlinson, Gina Yashere and many more.

AXS TV is pleased to provide viewers with a place to come and enjoy the absolute best in entertainment programming, bringing them closer to their favorite performers with acclaimed documentaries, candid interviews, unforgettable concerts and more, airing each and every day. AXS TV’s audience can expect to enjoy a roster of exclusive specials, live simulcasts, hit-packed sets, in-depth interviews, and insightful documentaries, curated specifically for those viewers craving the magic that only live performances can provide.

“Now more than ever, the world could use a little levity,” said Sarah Weidman, Head of Original Programming, Development and Multi-Platform Content for AXS TV. “This is a great opportunity for viewers across the country to sit back, relax, and let the country’s top comics entertain them with a night of laughs that we hope will provide some joy, while raising funds for an important cause. AXS TV is proud to continue to offer live simulcast events such as Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid, and we look forward to sharing them with our audience.”

In addition to broadcasting the event, AXS TV is supporting Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid, providing tech support and studio operations in collaboration with Laugh Lounge.

Throughout the event, viewers will be encouraged to make donations to Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The relief fund (https://www.comedygivesback.com/covid-19-grant) is now open, taking grant submissions and distributing funds to those in need. Viewers can text LAUGHAID to 707070 to donate to the relief fund for comedians affected by the pandemic.

Follow the social media conversation on Twitter @axstv and @comedygivesback as well as #ComedyGivesBack, #LaughAid2020, #ComedianReliefFund and #AloneTogether.

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 6:55 pm
TAG Video Systems Introduces Next Generation Approach for Media & Entertainment Industry to Deploy, Operate and Acquire Broadcast Technology - Zer0 Friction Industry’s first multi-functional broadcast application which can be deployed remotely across all four major broadcast applications ...

TAG Video Systems Introduces Next Generation Approach for Media & Entertainment Industry to Deploy, Operate and Acquire Broadcast Technology - Zer0 Friction

Industry’s first multi-functional broadcast application which can be deployed remotely across all four major broadcast applications within minutes, providing broadcasters the greatest return on investment for maximum asset utilization

Tel Aviv – April 1, 2020 -- TAG Video Systems, the world leader in 100% SW, 100% IP, 100% COTS/Cloud, Probing, Monitoring and Multiviewing solutions, is reassuring broadcasters, during this time of heightened news and media consumption, that global operations are uninterrupted, and in fact strengthened by the Company’s Zer0 Friction business strategy – an industry First.

Zer0 Friction takes broadcast technology to the next level; leveraging TAG’s unique ability to handle both compressed and uncompressed formats. Supporting all major industry standards such as SMPTE 2110, 2022-6/7, JPEG 2000, MPEG TS, DASH, HLS and CMAF. TAG’s solution can be applied to all four major broadcast applications: Live production, Playout, Delivery and OTT. Zer0 Friction allows clients the to manage the software across applications and locations, thus maximizing asset utilization.

“For years the industry has expressed concerns about the low utilization of broadcast technology,” stated TAG’s Zero Friction Officer Kevin Joyce. “In many cases systems are being used less than 30% of the time. With Zer0 Friction TAG’s customers are no longer restricted in how they use our multi-functional applications, where they use them across their ecosystem, or when they use them. Broadcasters can now use a Multiviewer for live production in a facility in London and as soon as they are done, applying the license to probe for errors in a OTT facility in New York. Finally, the clients will be unrestricted operationally and financially to deliver the best possible content to consumers with…… Zer0 Friction”

Since its founding 12 years ago, TAG has been 100% SW, 100% IP, 100% COTS and it has been TAG’s philosophy to provide clients a zero commitment trial of the TAG system to ensure 100% satisfaction. “As a software only company we are able to deploy our technology and have customers up and running in minutes,” said Joyce. “Support is handled remotely, and all software upgrades are delivered remotely on a continuous basis. This is what clients have always wanted and we are now taking this to the next level with the of Zer0 Friction.“

As the industry transitions to cloud based IP workflows, TAG’s Zer0 Friction approach is an industry first in what we expect will be the only way broadcast applications will be deployed in the future. Zero Friction breaks down the traditional barriers across the three pillars of a truly digital workflow: Technology, Operations, and Asset utilization to provide an unprecedented customer experience.

On behalf of all of us at TAG video Systems, we wish you all a healthy 2020.

TAG Video Systems is the world leader in 100% software based integrated IP Multiviewing, Probing and Monitoring solutions. Introducing its first IP solution in 2008, today TAG supports over 50,000 channels across the four primary broadcasting applications - Live Production, Playout/Master Control, Distribution and OTT. TAG’s Zer0 Friction philosophy allows Broadcasters and Content Distributors the greatest scalability, flexibility and asset utilization available in the market today. The 100% software platform supports both compressed and uncompressed formats, including MPEG TS, JPEG2000, SMPTE 2110, SMPTE 2022-6/7, and HLS. TAG's solutions run on standard Commercial Off-The-Shelf hardware (COTS) and cloud, providing state-of-the-art IP monitoring and analysis tools combined with highest quality UHD Multiviewer available on standard and mobile device displays. For more information: www.tagvs.com

TAG Video Systems contact:

Danna Mann

Europe: +33 1 86 26 94 00

US : +1 315 646 8400

mailto:[email protected]

Press contact:

Desert Moon Communications

Harriet Diener

+1 – 845-512-8283

[email protected]

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 6:39 pm
Disney Plus is responsible for 18% of all internet video traffic coming over peering connections in some European countries, according to new data released today by Nokia Deepfield. The broadband analytics firm’s data bite is among a steady stream of snapshots indicating that Disney Plus, which ...

More metrics emerge suggesting streaming service is getting off to a solid start overseas

Disney Plus is responsible for 18% of all internet video traffic coming over peering connections in some European countries, according to new data released today by Nokia Deepfield.

The broadband analytics firm’s data bite is among a steady stream of snapshots indicating that Disney Plus, which enjoyed an extraordinary Nov. 12 launch in North America, is also doing well in Western Europe. The SVOD service launched last week in UK, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Switzerland

Related: Disney Plus Downloaded 5M Times in 1st Day of Euro Rollout

Parrot Analytics, a company that measures viewer interests in movies and TV shows with a proprietary metric it calls “demand expressions,” said this week that Disney Plus’ first signature original series, The Mandalorian, ranked No. 1 using the demand expressions measuring stick in all seven European countries.

Visit Next TV to read more stories like this one. 

Parrot Analytics said that in Germany, demand for The Mandalorian is more than 43 times higher than it is for the average TV series.

Meanwhile, App Annie—which reported last week that 5 million Disney Plus app downloads were conducted in Europe on launch day—said the Disney Plus iOS app continues to rank No. 1 in downloads across its seven-nation deployment in Europe.

Disney Plus is set to launch in France and India next week. 

Author: Daniel Frankel
Posted: April 2, 2020, 6:39 pm
PBS will premiere the documentary Inside the Vatican Tuesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. The film looks behind the scenes into the lives of those who live and work inside the Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church.  Pope Francis, who has lead the Catholic church since 2013, has ...

Film looks at lives of those who live and work inside Vatican City

PBS will premiere the documentary Inside the Vatican Tuesday, April 28 at 9 p.m. The film looks behind the scenes into the lives of those who live and work inside the Vatican City, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic church. 

Pope Francis, who has lead the Catholic church since 2013, has challenged attitudes on divorce and homosexuality and is not afraid of confronting opponents, the press release stated. He appointed 14 new cardinals from parts of Iraq, Madagascar and Pakistan.

The film also looks at Pope Francis's visit to Ireland back in August. Just before he was scheduled to depart, a sex scandal was reported alleging the Catholic Church’s cover up of Catholic priests abusing young children. The report accused more than 300 priests of abusing more than 1,000 children.

"Everyone wonders if Pope Francis will address the issue in Ireland, the center of the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Church worldwide," said PBS.

Inside the Vatican is produced by Oxford Film and Television for BBC. Silvia Sacco is producer and director. Sam Hobkinson and Nicolas Kent also serve as producers. 

Author: Chelsea Anderson
Posted: April 2, 2020, 6:15 pm
The Paley Center for Media said they announced the newest members of its board of trustees and its board of governors. Three members have been added to the board of trustees including Eddy Cue, senior VP, software and internet services at Apple; Alex Rodriguez, founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. and ...

Shari Redstone joins board executive committee

The Paley Center for Media said they announced the newest members of its board of trustees and its board of governors.

Alex Rodriguez

Three members have been added to the board of trustees including Eddy Cue, senior VP, software and internet services at Apple; Alex Rodriguez, founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. and Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts.

The board of trustees is chaired by Frank Bennack Jr. The board advises on the organization's mission and to lead, guide and support in today's evolving media.

Michelle Sneed

Joining the Los Angeles board of governors will be Charles D. King, founder and CEO, MACRO; Keith Le Goy, president, worldwide networks distribution, Sony Pictures Television and Michelle Sneed, president, production and development, Tyler Perry Studios.

The role of the board of governors is to strategize for the programming calendar and forge new partnerships.

In addition, Shari Redstone will be joining the board of trustees executive committee. Redstone is the chair of ViacomCBS. 

Author: Chelsea Anderson
Posted: April 2, 2020, 5:58 pm
Fox News Channel and Facebook are teaming up for a virtual town hall on the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday (April 2) at 7 p.m. The one-hour town hall will be commercial free and hosted by Martha MacCallum (The Story). It will be live streamed on FNC's Facebook page, all of Fox TV station's Facebook ...

Facebook Portal will connect socially distanced audience

Fox News Channel and Facebook are teaming up for a virtual town hall on the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday (April 2) at 7 p.m.

The one-hour town hall will be commercial free and hosted by Martha MacCallum (The Story). It will be live streamed on FNC's Facebook page, all of Fox TV station's Facebook pages, websites and apps, as well as on Fox's CoronavirusNOW.com and the CoronavirusNOW channel on Samsung TV.

In addition to MacCallum and the virtual audience, participants include Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force familiar from the daily televised briefings, and Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

The participants will use Facebook Portal smart video devices, with all participants following social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. Each member of the non-studio audience was shipped a Portal device that will allow them to attend virtually and ask questions, with video "perfectly" framed by the portal's smart camera and clear sound, said Fox.

Fox and Facebook are also teaming up to donate $1 million to the Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which funds food banks for those affected by school closures, job disruptions and health risks. 

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 2, 2020, 5:43 pm
CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray joins the ranks of other shows -- including Disney’s Tamron Hall and Live with Kelly and Ryan -- that are now producing episodes from the host’s home. Related: Bill Geddie Exits 'Tamron Hall' as Executive Producer In the week of April 6, the show will air ...

Joins other syndicated shows, such as 'Tamron Hall' and 'Live with Kelly and Ryan,' that are coming to viewers from their homes

CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray joins the ranks of other shows -- including Disney’s Tamron Hall and Live with Kelly and Ryan -- that are now producing episodes from the host’s home.

Related: Bill Geddie Exits 'Tamron Hall' as Executive Producer

In the week of April 6, the show will air two new episodes produced from Ray’s upstate New York home and featuring her husband, John Cusimano, and dog, Isaboo, as special guests. On Monday, April 6, Rachael Ray will feature three new recipes with pantry staple chickpeas. Ray will answer viewer questions gathered from social media about how best to cook from their pantries, and Cusimano, will mix up a cocktail and share a pre-recorded musical performance with his band, “The Cringe.”

Another home episode will air on Friday, April 10, with Ray sharing three recipes for canned tuna. HGTV’s Crafty Lumberjacks also will share at-home crafts ahead of Easter on Sunday, April 12.

Going forward, the show will continue to air episodes shot from Ray’s home as well as new episodes that were produced in front of a live studio audience prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

Author: Paige Albiniak
Posted: April 2, 2020, 4:41 pm
Fox won Wednesday prime easily, with The Masked Singer leading the way. Fox got a 2.4 in viefwres 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and an 11 share. In a distant second was CBS at 0.9/5. The Masked Singer did a 2.4 from 8 to 10 p.m., a 14% gain from last week. CBS had Survivor at a level 1.6 and ...

David Blaine special on ABC does OK

Fox won Wednesday prime easily, with The Masked Singer leading the way. Fox got a 2.4 in viefwres 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and an 11 share. In a distant second was CBS at 0.9/5.

The Masked Singer did a 2.4 from 8 to 10 p.m., a 14% gain from last week.

CBS had Survivor at a level 1.6 and special Garth and Trisha Live! at 0.8. A SWAT repeat followed.

ABC got a 0.8/4 and NBC a 0.6/3. ABC had The Goldbergs at 0.9 and Schooled at 0.6, both comedies flat. Modern Family did a flat 0.9 and American Housewife shot up 17% to 0.7. Special David Blaine: The Magic Way got a 0.7.

NBC had Chicago reruns.

Univision got a 0.5/2 and Telemundo a 0.4/2. On Univision, La Rosa de Guadalupe got a 0.6 and Amor Eterno got a 0.6. Sin Miedo a la Verdad did a 0.4. All three were flat.

On Telemundo, Exatlon Estados Unidos lost a tenth for a 0.4. La Dona got a 0.4 and Operacion Pacifico a 0.3, both shows flat.

The CW had a 0.2/1 with Penn & Teller: Fool Us reruns for April Fool’s Day. 

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 2, 2020, 4:36 pm
Using nanoStream Cloud, Service Providers Can Deliver an End-to-End Latency of Around One Second — Now with Live Transcoding and ABR BERLIN — March 31, 2020 — nanocosmos, the Berlin-based interactive live streaming technology provider, has introduced new enhancements to its nanoStream Cloud ...

Using nanoStream Cloud, Service Providers Can Deliver an End-to-End Latency of Around One Second — Now with Live Transcoding and ABR

BERLIN — March 31, 2020 — nanocosmos, the Berlin-based interactive live streaming technology provider, has introduced new enhancements to its nanoStream Cloud service, which delivers an end-to-end latency of around one second for interactive video streaming applications. Through new adaptive bit rate (ABR) playback, automatic live transcoding, and analytics capabilities, nanoStream Cloud enables service providers and platform operators across different vertical markets such as webcasting, live auctions, gaming, sports betting, polling, e-commerce, e-learning, and entertainment to deliver a superior live video streaming experience.

"Ultra-low-latency live streaming opens up a variety of exciting opportunities for multiple markets, especially those focused on driving audience engagement," said Oliver Lietz, CEO and founder at nanocosmos. "As nanoStream Cloud deployments grow across the globe, we're excited to introduce several new enhancements that answer our customers' live streaming challenges. Through ABR playback, transcoding, and action-based analytics on the nanoStream Cloud service, we're helping to ensure that service providers can deliver an interactive and lean-forward type of video experience with ultra-low latency that is critical for live streaming."

nanoStream Cloud leverages a unique combination of software analytics, global CDN services, and an ABR player to achieve the exceptional quality of service (QoS) required for ultra-low-latency (ULL) live video streaming. By providing users with a complete end-to-end workflow, nanoStream Cloud simplifies live video streaming for web browser applications and offers a level of control that is not possible with any other solution on the market.

A key new feature of nanoStream Cloud is ABR playback on any mobile or desktop browser, including iOS Safari, via the nanoStream H5Live Player. The H5Live player automatically adjusts video quality based on network conditions on the viewer side to avoid buffering and ensures streams provide an ULL of about one second. nanoStream Cloud also provides live transcoding, creating different levels of quality streams so that service providers and platform operators can reach a wider range of audiences.

In addition, the nanoStream Cloud now collects real-time data throughout the entire live streaming workflow, providing users with valuable analytics and actionable insights for improving live video streaming QoS and quality of experience (QoE). Metrics include ABR quality, user experience, stream quality, player statistics, buffering, volume, and connectivity of audience.

nanoStream Cloud is easy to integrate into any existing live video streaming workflow, enabling rapid deployment of ULL interactive video applications.

For more information, visit www.nanocosmos.de/cloud.

# # #

About nanocosmos (www.nanocosmos.de)
nanocosmos enables users to go live around the world in one second with its nanoStream Cloud and H5Live Player. With many years of experience, nanocosmos has created the unique H5Live technology for plug-in-free delivery and playback on any device and HTML5 browsers, including Safari on iOS, now with full Adaptive adaptive Bitbit rate (ABR) support. H5Live is part of nanoStream Cloud, a scalable live streaming solution and ultra-low-latency (ULL) CDN with a global footprint. nanoStream Cloud Analytics and H5Live Metrics for better insights and QoS are now also available. For live encoding, browser-based Webcaster is included, or users can simply deploy their existing RTMP Live Video Encoder workflow.

More information is available at www.nanocosmos.de.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/nanocosmos/200331nanocosmos.docx

Photo Link: www.202comms.com/nanocosmos/nanocosmos-nanoStreamCloud.jpg
Photo Caption: nanocosmos' nanoStream Cloud Ultra-Low-Latency Live Streaming Solution

Follow nanocosmos:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nanovideo 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nanocosmos-gmbh/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nanocosmos.net/

Author: 202 Communications
Posted: April 2, 2020, 4:22 pm
Classic TV network MeTV hosts “The Month of Mayberry,” a stunt featuring The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., spinoff Mayberry R.F.D. and other things Mayberry, from May 3 to May 31. “Now more than ever Americans need at-home entertainment options where the entire family can gather ...

Features ‘Andy Griffith Show,’ Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.’ and ‘Mayberry R.F.D.’

Classic TV network MeTV hosts “The Month of Mayberry,” a stunt featuring The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., spinoff Mayberry R.F.D. and other things Mayberry, from May 3 to May 31.

“Now more than ever Americans need at-home entertainment options where the entire family can gather together to watch comforting, beloved programming,” said the network.

The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and Mayberry R.F.D. air from 5-7 p.m. ET/PT May 3. Beginning on Monday, May 4, MeTV starts four weeks of Andy Griffith Show episodes 8-9 p.m. ET/PT. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. airs 9 p.m.

On weekday mornings at 7 a.m., MeTV will air color episodes of The Andy Griffith Show paired with Mayberry R.F.D. Select episodes of Matlock will follow at 10 a.m., starring Andy Griffith and featuring special guest star Don Knotts and other Mayberry favorites. Weeknights at 11 p.m., The Carol Burnett Show features Mayberry guest stars. MeTV has The Love Boat Sunday afternoons at 5 and 6 p.m. ET/PT, starring Mayberry guest stars.

On May 31st, TV reunion movie Return to Mayberry airs at 5 p.m. ET/PT. 

MeTV is talking up its Month of Mayberry with #StayHomeWithMe spots

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 2, 2020, 4:02 pm
Fresh of the closure of its $31 billion acquisition of America’s No. 4 consumer wireless option, Sprint, T-Mobile announced today that’s giving away new mobile-first streaming service Quibi to subscribers on select wireless plans. T-Mobile has already had its “Netflix on Us” promotion in place for ...

Wireless carrier’s ‘Quibi on Us’ promotion is eligible to Magenta family and ONE plan subscribers

Fresh of the closure of its $31 billion acquisition of America’s No. 4 consumer wireless option, Sprint, T-Mobile announced today that’s giving away new mobile-first streaming service Quibi to subscribers on select wireless plans.

T-Mobile has already had its “Netflix on Us” promotion in place for some time. That program delivers the $11.99 base tier of the SVOD service for free to specific T-Mobile wireless plan customers.

Also read: Katzenberg on Quibi: 'If You Make It and It's Good, They Will Come'

These customers will now receive both Netflix and the $4.99-a-month base tier of Quibi for free for 12 months. After that first year, they’ll have to decide between the “Quibi on Us” and the “Netflix on Us” promotions.

Quibi launches April 6, promising an onslaught of original series from well known movie and television talents, all of them cut up into “quick-bite” episodes of 10 minutes or less, and optimized for profile and landscape modes.

Also read: Can Quibi Build a Brand From Scratch Amid Stiff Streaming Competition?

Quibi has two tiers: a $4.99 iteration with commercials; and a $7.99 version with no commercials.

The “Quibi on Us” promotion is eligible for customers paying for two or more voice lines at standard rates on Magenta and ONE plans. Military members and first responders are also eligible, as are small business customers with up to 12 lines.

"T-Mobile customers have always been ahead of the curve—streaming more data, watching more mobile video—so when we first heard about Quibi, we knew our customers would love it!” said Mike Sievert, newly appointed president and CEO of T-Mobile, in a statement. “And, with more of us staying home right now, Quibi’s never been more needed. It comes on the scene with a totally different experience, made for mobile, quick to watch and as entertaining as anything you’ve ever seen.”

Author: Daniel Frankel
Posted: April 2, 2020, 3:38 pm
CBS Television Stations’ KCBS, KCAL and CBSN Los Angeles have partnered with iHeartRadio Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Unified School District to present “L.A. Students Most in Need,” a fundraiser for Los Angeles public school students and their families who are ...

Newscasts throughout the day focus on those suffering amidst pandemic

CBS Television Stations’ KCBS, KCAL and CBSN Los Angeles have partnered with iHeartRadio Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Los Angeles Unified School District to present “L.A. Students Most in Need,” a fundraiser for Los Angeles public school students and their families who are struggling during the pandemic.

The event happens April 2, starting with KCBS’ 6 a.m. news. It will be featured during all KCBS, KCAL and CBSN Los Angeles newscasts until 11 p.m. Stars from CBS primetime, daytime and syndicated series, and other celebrities from sports and entertainment, will appear live via Skype and FaceTime and in recorded messages that encourage viewers to donate.

Donations will help provide meals and urgently needed supplies, as well as digital libraries and books.

Author: Michael Malone
Posted: April 2, 2020, 3:33 pm
Democratic senators are on the same page as FCC chair Ajit Pai when it comes to wanting more funding for distance learning. In a letter to House and Senate leadership Thursday, the majority of Senate Democrats called for "robust" funding of K-12 online education. By "robust," they mean at least ...

Tell colleagues that is among the emergencies in need of relief

Democratic senators are on the same page as FCC chair Ajit Pai when it comes to wanting more funding for distance learning.

In a letter to House and Senate leadership Thursday, the majority of Senate Democrats called for "robust" funding of K-12 online education.

By "robust," they mean at least $2 billion in E-Rate funding in the next COVID-19 aid bill. E-Rate is the FCC subsidy for high-speed broadband to schools and libraries.

The senators had wanted E-rate funding in the $2 trillion CARES Act aid package, but that bill's broadband funding was only $300 million, targeted at telehealth.

“Children without connectivity are at risk of not only being unable to complete their homework during this pandemic, but being unable to continue their overall education,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congress must address this issue by providing financial support specifically dedicated to expanding home internet access in the next emergency relief package so that no child falls behind in their education.”

Related: FCC Will Seek Distance Learning Dollars from Hill

The FCC under Pai also pushed for distance learning funding in the CARES Act, and signaled it would do so again in any subsequent aid bill, FCC officials said this week, though they did not say how much money they thought was needed.

The FCC has already taken several steps to help distance learners, Pai has pointed out, including lifting gift rules in the E-rate program to allow donations of equipment and services, and allowing closed schools and libraries to keep getting funding so they can serve as community WiFi hot spots. On Wednesday (April 1), it also extended filing and implementation requirements for the program.

Leading the letter were Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). Other signatories were Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tom Udall (D-Utah), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Author: John Eggerton
Posted: April 2, 2020, 3:15 pm
CUPERTINO, Calif. — March 31, 2020 — Interra Systems, a leading global provider of software products and solutions to the digital media industry, today announced that it will offer a series of free educational webinars in April. Webinar topics focus on the company's new and full range of content ...

CUPERTINO, Calif. — March 31, 2020 — Interra Systems, a leading global provider of software products and solutions to the digital media industry, today announced that it will offer a series of free educational webinars in April. Webinar topics focus on the company's new and full range of content quality control (QC), monitoring, analysis, and classification solutions. This includes two new solutions that were set to be showcased at the 2020 NAB Show: BATON LipSync, a new automated tool for lip sync detection and verification, and BATON Captions, which brings simplicity and cost savings to the creation, management, and delivery of captions.

Despite the cancellation of the 2020 NAB Show, Interra Systems wants to ensure that its customers and partners don't miss out on vital information regarding the company's recent technology innovations. The webinar series offers a way to stay connected, providing attendees with a digital connection to news about solutions that streamline content management, improve efficiencies, and help to provide exceptional audio-video quality on every device.

The full list of webinar topics and dates includes:
• "BATON LipSync — Solving Critical Lip Sync Issues in Media Content" on Thursday, April 9
• "BATON Captions — Efficient Video Captions Creation and Distribution" on Monday, April 13
• "Media QC" on Wednesday, April 15
• "Media Monitoring and Delivery" regarding ORION-OTT on Friday, April 17, and regarding ORION on Monday, April 20
• "Content Classification" on Wednesday, April 22
• "Media Analysis" on Friday, April 24

Each webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes. For more information about the webinar topics, to view the available times and register online, visit: http://www.interrasystems.com/mailer/OnlineNAB2020/.

More information about Interra Systems solutions can be found at www.interrasystems.com.

# # #

About Interra Systems (www.interrasystems.com)
Interra Systems is a global provider of enterprise-class solutions that streamline the classification, quality control (QC) process, and monitoring of media content across the entire creation and distribution chain. Relying on Interra Systems' comprehensive video insights, media businesses can deliver video with high quality of experience, address new market trends, and improve monetization.

Widely adopted by broadcast, cable, telco, satellite, IPTV, OTT, and post-production markets around the world, Interra Systems' products enable better quality video, reduced exposure to regulatory issues, and higher customer satisfaction. Featuring AI- and machine learning-enabled algorithms, along with a flexible, software-defined architecture, Interra Systems' solutions support a variety of deployment scenarios, including the cloud, for higher performance, scalability, and efficiency.

The company's industry-leading solutions include BATON, an enterprise-class automated file-based QC system that ensures high quality content at every stage; ORION-OTT for quality assurance of ABR streams, allowing flawless delivery of live and VOD content; ORION for 24x7 confidence monitoring of linear/live video delivery; WINNOW for content classification and compliance; VEGA for in-depth media analysis, offering content debug & compliance; and BMP, a powerful industry grade media player.

All trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.

Link to Word Doc: www.202comms.com/InterraSystems/200331InterraSystems.docx

Follow Interra Systems:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/interrasystems
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/interra-systems

Author: 202 Communications
Posted: April 2, 2020, 3:13 pm
Watch Bonnie Raitt’s Exclusive Performance-Click Here AXS TV, the premier destination for music programming, puts the spotlight on the most unforgettable performances from one of the country’s top music festivals in The Best Of Farm Aid 2019—premiering Easter Sunday, April 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. ...

Highlights Include Bonnie Raitt’s Acoustic Performance of “Devil Got My Woman” - Seen for the First Time On TV - as well as Sets by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Dave Matthews, & More

Watch Bonnie Raitt’s Exclusive Performance-Click Here

AXS TV, the premier destination for music programming, puts the spotlight on the most unforgettable performances from one of the country’s top music festivals in The Best Of Farm Aid 2019—premiering Easter Sunday, April 12, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

AXS TV originally broadcast country music icon Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid 2019 festival live from Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, WI, on September 21, 2019. The hit-fueled day of music brought some of music’s most influential artists together as they took the stage to raise much-needed funds and awareness for America’s farmers, who face a growing national farm crisis. This all-new 2.5 hour Best Of Farm Aid 2019 special compiles exclusive footage from AXS TV’s presentation of the festival, giving viewers the best seat in the house for an epic evening packed with incredible performances and all-star jams.

Highlights include appearances from an eclectic roster of critically acclaimed artists headlined by Farm Aid founder Nelson and his fellow Farm Aid board members and music legends John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews; as well as the soulful Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats; recent GRAMMY®-winning country artist Tanya Tucker; rising country superstar Margo Price; California rockers Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real; breakout artist Yola; and many more. As a special exclusive, The Best Of Farm Aid 2019 also features GRAMMY®-winning blues siren Bonnie Raitt’s acoustic performance of “Devil Got My Woman”—a show-stealing moment seen now for the first time on television, making this a can’t-miss event for devoted music connoisseurs.

“AXS TV’s yearly Farm Aid coverage has continued to resonate with our viewers since the Network first began broadcasting it in 2014,” said Sarah Weidman, Head of Original Programming, Development and Multi-Platform Content for AXS TV. “It is inspiring to see these iconic performers come together in support of such a vital cause, and the festival never fails to deliver some truly unforgettable moments because of it. Farm Aid 2019, in particular, boasted an unprecedented roster of artists and influencers delivering a night of powerhouse performances and stunning sets, and now our viewers can relive all of that magic once more when The Best Of Farm Aid 2019 premieres on April 12.”

Follow the social media conversation on twitter @axstv and @FarmAid as well as #BestofFarmAid.

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 3:03 pm
Verizon said it will be making premium channels HBO, Cinemax and Starz available to subscribers, many of whom are staying at home to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. All Fios TV customers will be able to watch HBO and Cinemax April 17-20 and Starz from April 17 to 23. They will also be able to ...

HBO, Cinemax, Starz added for customers staying at home

Verizon said it will be making premium channels HBO, Cinemax and Starz available to subscribers, many of whom are staying at home to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

All Fios TV customers will be able to watch HBO and Cinemax April 17-20 and Starz from April 17 to 23.

They will also be able to watch free replaces of classic NBA games from NBA League Pass and select NHL games from NHL Center Ice.

Previously, Verizon had added more than 80 channels to its service, including both premium entertainment channels as well as resources that allow for online learning and study support for students.

As of April 1, Fios TV customers who don’t subscribe to select premium channels will get access to additional networks at no added cost, without having to sign up or sign on.

Those networks include Showtime and Epix.

Customers can also get 30 days of instruction exercise video from Gaiam TV Fit and Yoga.

In April, Verizon mobile and Fios customers will be able to experience up to 60 days of free access to valued education resources, tools and games at no cost, including:

  • Quizlet: Students and teachers can get a Quizlet Plus account to study languages, science, math, history and more with engaging learning tools and flashcards.
  • Bookful: Children can bring books to life with hundreds of augmented reality and 3D interactive education books and games to improve comprehension.
  • Chegg: Students will have access to the new Chegg Study Pack with step-by-step textbook solutions, expert Q&A, practice tests, grammar and plagiarism checkers, and a step-by-step math solver.
  • Epic!: Parents and children will get access to Epic’s 40,000-book digital library, trusted by more than one million teachers, and built for safety, discoverability and fun. 
Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 2:24 pm
Pointing to the successful launch of Disney+, a new report said there is still room for new players in the crowded streaming market. The report, from Apptopia and Braze, said that partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming sessions were up 30.7% globally. “Clearly, 2020 will be a big year ...

Apptopia, Braze see 30.7% increase in March

Pointing to the successful launch of Disney+, a new report said there is still room for new players in the crowded streaming market.

'Rick and Morty' proved a big online draw for Adult Swim.

The report, from Apptopia and Braze, said that partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming sessions were up 30.7% globally.

“Clearly, 2020 will be a big year for streaming. As consumers adapt to the new normal, we’ll see the launch of Quibi on April 6, HBO Max in May, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock on July 15, further challenging a strong group of established play,” the report said. “Despite the crowded market, Disney+ proves there’s still room for new streaming services.”

NBCU's Peacock will be available on April 15 to Comcast subscribers.

The two companies’ research found that Disney+ had 22 million downloads within the first four weeks of its launch. The service has continued to grow, with 17.5 million downloaded in the first quarter of 2020, including 14.1 million in the U.S., topping Netflix’s 11.9 million.

With movie theaters closed down by the coronavirus, Disney+, Amazon and other services have started to make current hit movies available via streaming, attracting subscribers and building usage.

The report, which looked at 35 streaming services from August 2019 through March 2020, said that the program that had the biggest impact was Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty, which powered the most dramatic and lasting increase on daily active users and total sessions in the industry.

But while content is king, even in the streaming world, the report said that the top performing streaming services drop success by combining quality content with a comprehensive customer engagement strategy.

Top performers tended to send action-based messages to subscribers and were more likely to send messages on mobile-native channels.

According to the report, the top 10 streaming apps by in app revenue in 2020 in the U.S. are YouTube at $60 million, Disney+ with $45 million, Netflix with $30.1 million, Hulu with $23.5 million and HBO Now, with $17.4 million.

Source: Apptopia and Braze
Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 2:00 pm
FuboTV and FaceBank Group said they completed their merger agreement and that the combined company will be called fuboTV. FuboTV will be based in New York, effective Thursday, and David Gandler, who ran fuboTV will be the new firm’s CEO. “With today’s closing, fuboTV is well-positioned to redefine ...

New company to be headed by CEO Gandler

FuboTV and FaceBank Group said they completed their merger agreement and that the combined company will be called fuboTV.

FuboTV will be based in New York, effective Thursday, and David Gandler, who ran fuboTV will be the new firm’s CEO.

“With today’s closing, fuboTV is well-positioned to redefine the virtual MVPD space," Gandler said. "Technology-driven cable TV replacement services are more important than ever, especially at this time when people are staying safe at home watching television for needed information, entertainment and escape.”

David Gandler

FuboTV intends to continue its global expansion with FaceBank’s Nexway AG, a global e-commerce and payment platform. FuboTV has committed to global expansion and in 2018 entered Europe with its launch in Spain.

“Today’s closing creates a tech-driven IP company and, for consumers, the ability to enjoy content through a dynamic user interface and delivery platform that supports their rapidly evolving practices of content consumption,” added FaceBank founder John Textor.

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 1:23 pm
Sling TV said it will donate the profits from movie rentals to a group that is helping people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through April 5. The move, pegged to the “Stay in & Sling” initiative covers all titles, including theatrical releases such as The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma and I ...

Money will provide personal protective equipment for healthcare workers

Sling TV said it will donate the profits from movie rentals to a group that is helping people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through April 5.

The move, pegged to the “Stay in & Sling” initiative covers all titles, including theatrical releases such as The Invisible Man, The Hunt, Emma and I Still Believe.

Funds go to Good360, which provides personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals and basic household products to quarantined individuals and families.

"With Sling TV's help, we are further able to support communities with limited access to critical supplies, quarantined individuals and families, as well as those impacted by job loss, to help our nation in this great time of crisis," said Matt Connelly, CEO, Good360. "During these unprecedented times, Good360 is leveraging decades of learned best practices, our network of corporate donors and our vast nonprofit partner base to get needed goods into the hands of those who need them most."

Movies can be rented via sling.com on web browsers and through the Sling TV app on supported devices and users of the Sling TV free experience.

"The best way to protect our communities is to stay home," said Warren Schlichting, group president, Sling TV. "The second best thing we all can do is support our caregivers and those who are battling this virus and don't get to stay home. Our hope is that our partnership with Good360 will give Americans another reason to stay safe while supporting those in need. Every action helps."

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 12:38 pm
A Boise company is using the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology to launch a new challenge to cable and satellite at a time when consumers are cutting the cord. Edge Networks said its Evoca service will provide more than 80 news and sports and local channels for less than $50 a month. Evoca also lets ...

Evoca to deliver 80 channels for less than $50 a month

A Boise company is using the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology to launch a new challenge to cable and satellite at a time when consumers are cutting the cord.

Edge Networks said its Evoca service will provide more than 80 news and sports and local channels for less than $50 a month. Evoca also lets users access local channels via built-in antennas, video on demand and streaming apps via their internet connections.

Viewers will be able to switch between broadcast, cable and internet programming using Evoca’s user interface and a single remote control.

“Thanks to major advances in broadcast TV technology, combined with our own proprietary systems, Evoca delivers a buffer-free 4K TV-watching experience,” said Edge Networks CEO Todd Achilles.

By using ATSC 3.0, our signal doesn’t affect and isn’t affected by internet bandwidth in the home,” Achilles said. “Regardless of how many video games, movies or video conferences may be streaming, viewers will always receive a better quality picture and more reliable service than what they experience today.”

Todd Achilles

Edge Networks has launched two stations in Boise that are broadcasting using the ATSC 3.0 standard and has permission to launch nine more. The stations in Boise are airing a test bundle of channels that can’t be seen with current TV receivers, only with the kind of ATSC 3.0 receiver that will be built into Evoca devices. The service will launch there this summer, and the company plans to expand into more markets in 2021.

When TV switched from analog to digital, Sinclair Broadcast Group and other station owners talked about using secondary digital channels to launch cable-like services, but those ideas never came to fruition.

In an interview with Broadcasting+Cable, Achilles said that ATSC 3.0 offered a better opportunity because the technology made broadcast part of the internet.

“I don't think a lot of people that have been in this industry for their careers appreciate what a big deal that is,” said Achilles, who was in the mobile industry when people started to access the internet on their phones.

“That changed everything," he added. “This will rejuvenate broadcasting.”

Edge Networks is backed by a strategic partner that Achilles declined to identify. More investors are expected to come in to help Evoca roll out. 

The service will lean heavily on subscription revenues, but the technology lends itself to the kind of targeted advertising that is making over-the-top and connected TV popular with marketers.

In addition to ATSC 3.0 supporting a sharp 4K picture, “with the economic efficiencies of broadcast, we can deliver this at half the price of the incumbents,” Achilles said.

Consumers are looking for a low price point, but the also are tired of hidden fees, so Evoca won’t have them. “What we're trying to have is a very clear, crisp, transparent pricing model, with none of the fees and surcharges folks are just frankly tired of,” he said.

Achilles added that Evoca was starting out in Boise for a reason. ”Most second and third tier markets are under-served. There’s usually one legacy provider and they’ve got monopoly pricing and the quality of service tends to be low,” he said. “So we see a huge opportunity in second- and third-tier markets and that’s really across the West and the Midwest and the Southeast. But eventually, this is a nationwide service.”

Programmers have been receptive to the Evoca pitch and Achilles said he has a number of programming deals in place because networks are looking for growth opportunities in this cord-cutting era. Channel lineups will be announced closer to launch.

Evoca won’t be able to let subscribers choose their own networks on an a la carte basis, but it will be able to fine-tune channel lineups on a market-by-market basis.

“What’s relevant in Boise is different from Boston, right,” Achilles said. “Nobody watches that 200 channel bundle, so we’re really trying to target it to be relevant and hit a good clean price point.”

Price is especially important because people are worried about their health and their jobs because of the Coronavirus crisis. “The product we’re offering is heavy on news and local content. It’s built around the community, and that’s exactly what people want now, he said. “We’re coming in with something that saves households money. I think there’s a ton of value there.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 12:00 pm
Aldermaston, UK, 02 April 2020: GB Labs, the global leader in intelligent storage solutions, has today announced the appointment of Howard Twine as Chief Product Officer. Twine joins GB Labs from EditShare where he held the post of Director of Software Strategy for the QScan Brand. Twine's ...

GB Labs, the global leader in intelligent storage solutions, has today announced the appointment of Howard Twine as Chief Product Officer. Twine joins GB Labs from EditShare where he held the post of Director of Software Strategy for the QScan Brand.

View the 2 images of this gallery on the original article

Aldermaston, UK, 02 April 2020: GB Labs, the global leader in intelligent storage solutions, has today announced the appointment of Howard Twine as Chief Product Officer. Twine joins GB Labs from EditShare where he held the post of Director of Software Strategy for the QScan Brand.

Twine's experience spans many different sectors of the industry. Prior to EditShare, Twine was the Chief Operating Officer at Vidcheck. With a strong background in workflow and technology he has been instrumental in bringing MAM solutions to market as well as the first productisation of LTFS for the industry.

At GB Labs, Twine will be leading the interface between GB Labs users, technology partners and the development of new technologies – maintaining and enhancing GB Labs market leadership.

GB Labs CEO-CTO Dominic Harland said, "Twine joining has enabled us to promote Duncan Beattie to the role of Chief Solutions Officer. This is a newly created position in response to market demand and our customer/partner requirements.

"It allows Beattie to concentrate on the identification, development and delivery of our solutions to a wider market demographic, as well as working more closely with our sales team, strategic partners and end customers."

Harland concluded, "Beattie’s unparalleled storage expertise, together with Twine’s 23 year experience, is vital to our business continuity strategy and the timing of this announcement couldn’t be better."

About GB Labs

GB Labs is the global leader in Intelligent Media Storage, creating a shared storage ecosystem for the media industry. By understanding real-world industry problems, cutting-edge technologies have been developed for the unique "CORE" software that fulfils end users’ needs. Regardless of where the production is being filmed, how big the team is or the size of budget, GB Labs can provide a solution to ensure deadlines are met and throughout the whole process, content is secure.

Find out more at: www.gblabs.com or call: EUROPE (+44) (0)118 455 5000 or USA (+1) 661 493 8480.

Company contact:

Matt Worth

GB Labs

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44 (0) 118 455 5012

Media Contact:

Kara Myhill

Manor Marketing

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +44 (0) 7899 977 222

Author: Wire Contributor
Posted: April 2, 2020, 10:41 am
AMC Networks said it is launching Acorn TV, its subscription streaming service featuring British TV, in the U.K. on April 29. New users will be able to get a 30-day free trial. After that, Acorn TV will cost £4.99 per month or £49.99 per year. Launched in the U.S. in 2011, Acorn TV began ...

Bringing British TV to Britain for £4.99 per month

AMC Networks said it is launching Acorn TV, its subscription streaming service featuring British TV, in the U.K. on April 29.

'Queens of Mystery'

New users will be able to get a 30-day free trial. After that, Acorn TV will cost £4.99 per month or £49.99 per year.

Launched in the U.S. in 2011, Acorn TV began commissioning its own original show including the mysteries Queens of Mystery and London Kills and Finding Joy. Last year, AMC announced that Acorn TV had more than 1 million U.S. subscribers.

“Acorn TV has been phenomenally successful in North America, and we’re excited to bring our slate of exceptional programming from around the world to UK viewers,” said Matthew Graham, general manager of Acorn TV.

“The United Kingdom has a long-standing tradition of producing first-rate dramas and mysteries, so we’re thrilled to feature so many popular, award-winning programs in one place like ITV’s Foyle’s War and BBC’s Keeping Faith, as well as introduce UK audiences to the charming, British-produced Acorn TV Original Queens of Mystery,” Graham said. “For the last eight years, Acorn TV has curated and produced the very best in global television with a diverse mix of shows from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Scandinavia with the singular focus of satisfying a rapidly growing fan base seeking high quality mysteries and dramas. As one of the best values in television, Acorn TV will make an excellent add-on to British consumers’ streaming options.”

Author: Jon Lafayette
Posted: April 2, 2020, 10:25 am

We asked Bill Baker, who specializes in radio systems for emergencies, TIS and other low-power situations

The post Low-Power Radio in the Parking Lot: What You Need to Know appeared first on Radio World.

Bill Baker
Bill Baker

Radio stations and engineers are hearing a lot of questions from U.S. churches and hospitals inquiring whether they can legally set up low-power radio broadcasts to their parking lots. What’s the right answer?

We talked to Bill Baker, whose company Information Station Specialists provides radio solutions for emergencies and events, Traveler’s Information and Highway Advisory Radio and specialized legal unlicensed operations.

Radio World: This seems like a good time to pause and ask generally what the FCC rules allow.

Bill Baker: FCC “Part 15” rules set the parameters for short-range broadcasts, which can contain almost any kind of content and can operate on any standard frequency as long as interference to broadcasters does not result. A license is not required as long as the equipment bears a FCC certification number.

With the advent of international services such as Amazon, it is relatively easy to inadvertently purchase a foreign-made unit, which is quite illegal in the U.S. So the first question a buyer should ask is whether it has a certification sticker on the product. In this regard, purchasing from a U.S.-based manufacturer is usually the safest move.

This kind of communication service can be very effective at a point in which people are 1) in their vehicles, 2) in a slow-moving line of cars or parked and 3) in need of critical information that is pertinent. Virus treatment information can be critical to our physical health just as spiritual encouragement can be critical on a totally level.  Either way, the point of short-range broadcasting is to deliver critical information just when it’s needed most.

RW: Are both FM and AM broadcasts possible?

Baker: Yes. But the reason that AM band FCC Part 15 devices are most often preferred is because per the FCC’s FM Part 15.219 rules, the broadcast distance is so restricted as to make it unusable for more than a few feet. At 100 feet, the signal need to be gone. A drive-through restaurant that has the listener’s car hugging the building perhaps could utilize a FM system of this kind. But most people we talk to require more range to make such a communication system useful.

RW: Your own transmitter product operates under FCC rules Part 15.219, using a 3 meter antenna and 100 mw of power. What other equipment would a user require?

Baker: Short of an audio and a power source, the InfOspot product line provides basically everything else most operators need. You can send line level audio from a sound board or wireless pickup right to the transmitters live input. There is also a voice recorder/player onboard that some COVID test locations use to record messages for a repeating broadcast, on the fly.

RW: What kind of power or range limitations do the operators need to respect, in order to remain within legal limits? You said that there’s a  common misconception about Part 15. Can you explain?  

Baker: You have put your finger right on it. Part 15.219, while limiting the AM transmitter power and antenna/ground length, does not specify a signal intensity limit the way the Part 15 FM rules do. Therefore, it’s not possible to get out of bounds with the signal distance with a system like InfOspot.

RW: What else should we know?
Baker: Most FM Part 15 systems that you see advertised are not legal for use in the U.S. Buyer beware!

The post Low-Power Radio in the Parking Lot: What You Need to Know appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: April 4, 2020, 10:51 am

Discourage corporate ownership for mom and pop independents

The post Reader’s Forum: Bring Back Radio’s “Unbridled Imagination” appeared first on Radio World.

Thanks for Dick Taylor’s commentary “Invest in People and Programming, Not More Signals.” If I may use an analogy here: Ocean City, U.S.A., is expanding its boardwalk to accommodate more commercial space for eateries.

Sounds great, right? There is the promise of more variety of food offerings for increasingly diverse populations, young and old. We’ll finally have room for more Asian, Latin, Caribbean and Middle Eastern fare that a number of people have been requesting, for decades.

Here’s the problem. The new spaces are being taken by chain restaurants, with no room for “mom and pop” independent vendors. The “new spaces” will only be an extension of what is already available, up and down the boardwalk: everyone’s favorite Italian and Mexican chain restaurants and another “Big Marty’s” burgers, greasy fries and funnel cake, all because “it sells.”

[Check Out More Letters at Radio World’s Reader’s Forum Section]

Sound familiar? That’s exactly how commercial radio has operated since 1996. As with retail in Ocean City, it has nothing to do with adding more variety to the radio dial and everything to do with who controls the radio real estate under current rules and regulations.

We can thank the National Association of Broadcasters for the rider it succeeded in tacking on to the 1996 Telecommunications Act, signed by President Clinton, which increased the number of radio stations that one entity can own in any given radio market in the country (eight stations per major market, and now they want even more station per market). What this did in effect was reduce programming choices across the radio dial, slash payrolls and with it send more and more talented people out on the street.

When I hear someone say they think expanding the number of radio stations we have will improve anything, I laugh, given the current ownership rules. The “big boys” like iHeart own all the “blowtorch” signals everywhere and they homogenize everything they get their hands on.

Under the current “playing field,” expanding the number of radio stations we’d have would only expand the mundane. Instead of “57 channels with nothing on,” we’d have “88 channels with nothing on.” No imagination, no freedom for innovative people, just the same tainted focus group-driven pap.

For just once, I wish “gurus” like iHeart’s Bob Pittman would take a peek back to a time before FM radio became king in the radio marketing world in the 1960s, when circular polarization had just been perfected, but before that groundbreaking technical breakthrough pushed FM radio into the limelight. It was a time when the “inmates ran the asylum” with “underground FM” radio, before the top 40 radio doctors arrived around 1973. It was the most spontaneous, creative and fun time in the history of commercial radio. That is the kind of investment in people and programming that I think Dick Taylor is hinting at in his article; not to dredge up those old album rock tracks, but to bring back that wide-open spirit that has sorely been missing since that contrived “superstars” format arrived to mimic “hip FM” radio in 1973. People see through that kind of plasticity. The numbers show it.

If you want a clue, find a 1972 aircheck from KDKB(FM), Phoenix, to hear unbridled imagination and fun taking place, which included not only cutting edge music of the day, but well-produced (in-house) fake commercials and spoof commentary. It was a golden age of radio for boomers.

Pete Simon
Arvada, Colo.

 

The post Reader’s Forum: Bring Back Radio’s “Unbridled Imagination” appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 4, 2020, 12:33 am

Many community radio stations are standing tall during coronavirus

The post Community Broadcaster: Salute to Stations Fighting On appeared first on Radio World.

The author is membership program director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. NFCB commentaries are featured regularly at www.radioworld.com.

The coronavirus pandemic has ground many cities’ schools, businesses and civic life to a complete stop. Don’t tell that to dozens of fierce community radio stations though. They are continuing to bring news, music and togetherness for their isolated residents.

President Donald Trump has extended nationwide social distancing guidelines until April 30. What was once the White House’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative is now much longer. The administration recommends that Americans avoid gatherings of more than 10 people; work or attend school and other gatherings remotely whenever possible; and avoid eating or drinking at bars and restaurants. Even states like Florida, which had long resisted such orders have come around to this tactic for halting COVID-19.

That is not to say social distancing has been easy. Employment forecasts are looking dour. Families have had to adjust. And, importantly, our own sense of community is affected by being largely removed from what we traditionally know of where we live.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: COVID-19’s Threat to Community Radio]

For community broadcasters, the coronavirus pandemic has also been hard. Scores of college and community radio stations have been impacted by the choice of licensees to protect people and facilities. Some stations have many volunteers in vulnerable populations. Some managers have felt the risk of spreading the illness is too great and opted for full automation. All of these decisions are fair and appropriate. Such calls are rooted in local conditions. There is absolutely no shame in siding with safety.

When community radio stations can balance out health concerns and continue to broadcast their brand of unique programming, it is remarkable.

The New York Times chronicled a range of community radio stations fighting to stay on the air during the coronavirus pandemic, including WFMU, WWOZ and WOMR. But they are far from the only community radio stations doing all they can to continue despite COVID-19. WORT, KPFZ, KDNK, KEXP and WMPG are just a few of the stations delivering a variety of broadcasts involving in-studio volunteers, remote recordings, and other formats.

Their approach may be best framed by General Manager Jessica Evett, whose KRBX is also on the air. She said, “Music has the power to provide a shelter from stress, and we know our DJs and their playlists are a soothing influence that make us all feel closer, despite being apart.”

Ingenious radio stations have created many schema on the fly. Whether it is programming produced at home and uploaded directly to automation, shared via Dropbox, or dialed-in to the live studio, the solutions are as varied as the stations themselves. Unfortunately, several stations have been forced to develop a means to continue broadcasting quickly, because they did not have contingencies. Yet they continue to do admirable programming in a time when they are much needed.

The moment has offered plenty of innovations. For example, KVRU(LP) created coronavirus education announcements in many languages. Stations are creating book clubs, doing virtual town halls and more.

The longtime narrative about community radio is one of want. Our reputation is of small staffing, few resources and operating on the edge. Yet in a time of incredible uncertainty, community radio surety has been outstanding. Stations that have managed to keep original programming in spite of the odds deserve much regard for their commitment and service.

The post Community Broadcaster: Salute to Stations Fighting On appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Ernesto Aguilar
Posted: April 4, 2020, 12:06 am

Wisconsin Broadcasters Association says plans are underway for October event

The post Broadcasters Clinic Opens Call for 2020 Speakers appeared first on Radio World.

The Broadcasters Clinic is famous for its prize drawings. Clinic Chair Kent Aschenbrenner and an exhibitor try his luck at a previous event.

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is seeking presentation proposals for this fall’s Broadcasters Clinic.

The event is scheduled for Oct. 12–15 in Madison, but Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Vice President Linda Baun noted in her proposal solicitation that she expects the “new normal” may distract or delay potential participants. Therefore, WBA is getting a headstart on the process, Baun wrote in her email.

Baun asks, “Do you have unique perspectives or ideas on trends and technologies as we move forward to the future of radio, television, and online media technologies?”

If you have an idea, send an email to Baun detailing your proposed topic, a brief synopsis and the name of the presenter. Submissions are due by April 30.

Baun also highlighted a message of solidarity: “Together, we will make it through these times and look forward to getting us all together again in October.”

The post Broadcasters Clinic Opens Call for 2020 Speakers appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 3, 2020, 5:45 pm

When tech companies delete radio from cars, it tears at the fabric of our social connectedness

The post Yesterday Our Privacy, Today Our Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Roger Lanctot

The author is director, automotive connected mobility of the Global Automotive Practice of Strategy Analytics. 

As technology consumers we make tradeoffs.

We let Google peer into our online activity and email communications and we even accept annoying advertisements tied to our browsing activity in order to access free email and browsing. We tolerate smartphones with diminishing performance from Apple — even after Apple admits that the diminishing performance is deliberately-inflicted obsolescence to push us into our next iPhone upgrade. We accept Tesla’s privacy violations in exchange for an awe-inspiring driving experience and software updates.

Along the way we have surrendered our privacy and so much more. Now Tesla Motors may be asking us to surrender free over-the-air broadcast radio.

According to the notes describing the latest software update for owners of 2018-made Tesla’s and earlier (using MCU-1), the latest optional software update (which carries a $2,500 price tag but adds Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Twitch) removes AM/FM radio and SiriusXM. 

This is the often-cited downside of software updates — the potential to obtain improved system performance while sacrificing previously desirable functionality.

While Tesla’s decision only impacts older Tesla’s, it nevertheless highlights the strangely tortured relationship between the broadcast radio industry and Silicon Valley. The issue is a common thread traceable to Apple’s refusal to activate the FM chips built into its phones — and Google’s decision to ignore “terrestrial” radio as part of either Android Auto or Google Automotive Services.

Google, Apple and Tesla have all turned their backs on the broadcast radio industry in spite of the wide reach of radio — a reach that exceeds that of television — and the fact that it is free, localized content ideally suited to consumption in a mobile environment. Tesla’s decision likely only affects a sliver of Tesla owners given the cost of the optional upgrade and the limited in-vehicle enhancements, but it has the ominous tinge of something more sinister.

The Tesla software update, focused as it is on adding streaming video and a $9.99/month subscription — for owners not already on the company’s premium service tier — points to a streaming-only approach to content delivery. Just as satellite broadcaster SiriusXM felt compelled to offer an IP version of its content, Tesla appears inclined to shift all content delivery to IP reception.

The strategy makes sense for a company delivering cars on multiple continents with varying local broadcast protocols and metadata. Shifting radio reception to IP delivery vastly simplifies the in-dash configuration and, in the long run, may enable some hardware content reduction in the form of deleted tuners and antennas. This is particularly relevant in the run up to 5G adoption — a technology upgrade that will require the additional of multiple antennas.

Tesla vehicles in North America have always come with TuneIn — so, now, TuneIn becomes the preferred radio IP broadcast point of aggregation. In fact, it is quite possible that Tesla has leveraged user data from its own vehicles to determine that radio listening in its vehicles was sufficiently minimal to be worth risking some minor resistance.

More importantly, the software update removing the radio experience is optional. Maybe the offer is a test to determine the customer reaction to a tradeoff of streaming video and improved user interface performance with the sacrifice of broadcast radio for $2,500? Is the offer a bit of a market research project? Anything is possible from Tesla, which has altered its pricing and discounts on multiple occasions in response to market conditions.

But the inclination to delete radio is a popular behavior pattern in Silicon Valley where Google and Apple have treated broadcasters with disdain. 

Is this approach sustainable? Is it tolerable? Where can an outraged consumer turn to protest?  Will there be consumer outrage? Should there be? Is it time for an in-vehicle radio mandate to ensure that emergency communications — at least — can be broadcast into cars?

I’m not going to cry wolf. And I’m not going to play Chicken Little. I will say that the radio industry offers   contextually relevant and reliable content delivery with a broad reach across a wide range of devices and listening environments. Deleting radio from cars — terrestrial or satellite-based — tears at the fabric of our social connectedness.

The marginal cost of preserving terrestrial broadcast connections — particularly in the context of radio’s ongoing global digital transition and the resilience of the medium during emergencies — ought to place this particular content reception experience in a non-delete category. Tesla doesn’t appear to share this view and Tesla is not alone. Once again, Silicon Valley is asking us to surrender one thing in exchange for another. Yesterday it was our privacy. Today it is the radio. Tomorrow it will be our freedom.

Roger Lanctot posted this to his blog in early March; it appears with permission.

The post Yesterday Our Privacy, Today Our Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Roger Lanctot
Posted: April 3, 2020, 11:51 am

Field will cut his own salary 30%

The post Entercom Joins in Radio Industry Job Cuts appeared first on Radio World.

Entercom Communications will eliminate or furlough a “significant” numbers of employees, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

“The nation’s No. 2 radio chain, which reaches 170 million listeners, also will temporarily cut employee pay by 10-20% for those earning more than $50,000,” the Inquirer said.

It said CEO David Field will cut his salary 30%, and that bonuses will be eliminated for the first half, as will its 401K match.

Entercom’s headquarters are in Philly, and it owns several radio stations in that market.

The radio industry is reacting to a decline in ad sales commitments in the face of the national health crisis. The paper quoted Field saying, “Better days lie ahead. With the tough but necessary actions we are now taking, we are doing what is required for us to preserve the health of the company and ensure that we are strong when we get to the other side.”

[Related: Beasley Cuts 67 Jobs, Furloughs Others]

The post Entercom Joins in Radio Industry Job Cuts appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: April 2, 2020, 7:37 pm

And the best part is, they are free!

The post Techsurvey 2020 Says Home Stations Leads the Streaming Audio Pack appeared first on Radio World.

Streaming audio and video are relatively new players in the media ecosphere, but Techsurvey 2020 says AM/FM radio is holding its own against them very well.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020, radio audience listenership

Even though radio is not a steaming brand per se, it has been inserted in the Jacobs brand pyramid for comparison. It’s clearly a leader with 90%. Facebook is the next closest competitor with 72%.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020, radio audience listenership

It’s no surprise that everything in audio and video streaming is trending upwards, and skewing to a younger audience. The percent who watch streaming video weekly or more has jumped from a total of 62% in TS 2016 to 74% in TS 2020. In the lead is Gen Z with 96%, followed closely by millennials with 93%.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020, radio audience listenership

TS 2020 says that just under half of their respondents listen to streaming audio daily, with 50% of the silent generation, and climbing to 77% for Gen Z.

And more good news for radio, TS 2020 says nearly two-thirds of respondents listen to their home station’s stream. That’s way ahead of Pandora, YouTube, Spotify and iHeart Radio.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020, radio audience listenership

A key reason they give for listening to AM/FM radio is that it’s free. That is especially important at a time when the survey also suggests that six in ten feel that subscription fees for audio and video fees are a concern.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020, radio audience listenership

Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media sees this as a golden opportunity for radio. “We see two forces combining here. First, the coronavirus has increased the already strong interest in local radio and its personalities at a time when most are forced to stay at home, and are probably listening more. Second, many have either lost their jobs, or been without income for some time. When their credit card bills begin to arrive, they may question whether they should, or can afford to pay for several streaming services every month. All of that can work to radio’s advantage.”

[Read: Techsurvey 2020 Tracks Smart Speaker Success]

He adds that some stations have not promoted their streams well in the past, either because they don’t understand how to monetize them, or because they believe it might detract from their ratings numbers. Here’s Jacobs’ to-do list: clean up your stream — in the home it’s the only way many can listen; if you can switch to TLR, do so, it’s a better experience for most stations; test drive your smart speaker commands then heavily promote them and finally think local, it’s the “secret sauce” that none of the other media platforms can provide.

 

The post Techsurvey 2020 Says Home Stations Leads the Streaming Audio Pack appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Tom Vernon
Posted: April 2, 2020, 5:15 pm

He’ll be in charge of making multichannel digital platforms for WBLS and Hot 97

The post Alex Roman Named CTO of MediaCo’s NYC Stations appeared first on Radio World.

Alex Roman
Alex Roman

MediaCo Holding has named Alex Roman as the new chief technology officer for New York radio stations WBLS(FM) and “Hot97” WQHT(FM).

MediaCo Holding is a public company owned by investment firm Standard General and Emmis Communications.

[Learn more: Biggest Station Trading Deal in Q3 2019 Was MediaCo Creation]

Roman was named Emmis’ director of integrated technologies in New York in 2011. While working for Emmis, the company said, he led efforts to modernize WQHT, WBLS and WLIB, including creation of digital media production spaces and transitioning to AoIP. Roman was also in charge of the team that rebuilt the Empire State Building transmitter facility and added an auxiliary transmitter site on 4 Times Square.

During his career, Roman also served as chief engineer for WKTU(FM) and as director of engineering for Citadel Broadcasting. He began his engineering career 24 years ago in California.

In the announcement, Emmis Communications and MediaCo Holding President/Chief Operating Officer Patrick Walsh called Roman “invaluable” as the broadcaster moves ahead with the creation of “multichannel digital platforms for WBLS and Hot 97.”

The post Alex Roman Named CTO of MediaCo’s NYC Stations appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 2, 2020, 5:12 pm

Long-time morning jock on WAKO in Lawrenceville

The post Steve Sheley Dies, “a True Icon” in Illinois Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Steven Lee SheleySteven Lee Sheley died Monday after a lengthy battle with leukemia.

“Steve was a true icon in the southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana radio business,” said colleague Bill Shrode.

According to his obituary, for many years Sheley was the morning DJ for WAKO in Lawrenceville, Ill., after having worked an earlier stint there in the evenings. He also did a stint at WYER in the late 1980s.

Sheley started as a newsman for WNOI(FM) in Flora, Ill., in the early 1970s, and entered the broadcasting program at Wabash Valley College in Mt. Carmel, Ill. Among subsequent call letters on his resume were WVJC, WREY(AM) and WAKY.

Steve enjoyed radios, DXing, travel and assisting veterans. Affiliations included Moose, Eagles, and Sons of the American Legion.

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Lawrence County Cancer Resource Center & Wig Shoppe. Emmons-Macey & Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, Ill., is in charge of arrangements.

 

The post Steve Sheley Dies, “a True Icon” in Illinois Radio appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: April 2, 2020, 4:13 pm

Windows app provides remote WheatNet-IP interface

The post Work From Afar With Wheatstone ReMix appeared first on Radio World.

Working remotely has inspired Wheatstone to release ReMix, a remote mixing application.

ReMix is a Windows PC or tablet app that can access a WheatNet-IP audio network from afar.

According to Wheatstone, ReMix provides an affordable, quick alternative to a physical home studio for remote broadcasting and voicetracking by remotely accessing existing equipment at the station, such as codecs, hybrids, and playout systems.

Wheatstone Director of Sales Jay Tyler said, “ReMix is proving to be a great little application for all our broadcasters who need to get talent up and operating from home quickly and securely.”

The application can be installed on a Windows desktop, laptop or tablet in a home or remote studio or on a station PC that can be accessed by talent remotely through a secure VPN.

ReMix provides a direct user interface to the utility mixers found in the I/O Blades that make up the WheatNet-IP audio network. Each I/O Blade includes two built-in 8 x 2 stereo mixers, the inputs and output busses of which are available as resources on the network. The WheatNet-IP utility mixers are accessible anywhere in the audio network for simple functions such as summing, splitting, and level adjustment, performing crossfades and segues between sources, as well as creating custom mixes or intercom systems.

I/O Blades also include Wheatstone ACI (Automation Control Interface) for third-party control of automation systems and other Wheatstone partners’ gear and can be used for functions such as routing, ducking, panning, logic control, mixing and silence detection.

Info: www.wheatstone.com

The post Work From Afar With Wheatstone ReMix appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 2, 2020, 1:38 pm

RadioPix includes computers, software and PTX cameras

The post Broadcast Pix Shows Visual Radio Package appeared first on Radio World.

Visual radio system developer Broadcast Pix calls its new RadioPix a voice-automated, integrated visual radio production solution.

The new system combines the company’s Media Aware macros with voice-automation to turn a radio station’s host into a video producer. The package includes two new RoboPix PTZ cameras with 20X zoom and plug-and-play operation. Users plug them into two of the included Lenovo Tiny PCes five NIC ports using Cat-5 cables, connect to the local audio network for automatic triggering and receiving station output and then onto the internet.

Jeff Adams, RadioPix product manager, said, “It’s the behavioral intelligence that makes RadioPix unique. Show hosts don’t usually have time to also produce the video content, so RadioPix automates the production process, keeping it visually appealing.”

He explained, “By detecting microphone activity through the Dante interface, Broadcast Pix’s visually aware macros can be triggered. For example, activity on all mics could trigger a wide shot. Then, there is the ‘boredom’ macro, useful when a guest is speaking for longer than a minute. The shot could pull back, bring up the lower third title graphic, go to a wide shot, and then go back to a close up to keep the output interesting.”

The host can override the behavioral intelligence from optional touch screen panels, MIDI interfaces or even footswitches.

On initial startup, the system is ready to go, but a period of user consultation is included to help create the station’s look and feel. For example, import and position the station ID, choose suitable video clips and graphics elements and finally program the behavioral intelligence.

Broadcast Pix is pegging the price at $15,000.

Info: https://broadcastpix.com.

The post Broadcast Pix Shows Visual Radio Package appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 2, 2020, 1:33 pm

Useful features should appeal to those working with or for AM broadcasters

The post Exploring the Inovonics 674 AM Monitor Receiver appeared first on Radio World.

As the radio broadcast ecosphere shifts towards streaming and digital delivery, the number of new products for the AM broadcaster seems to be on the decline. That’s why it was a delight when Inovonics unveiled their 674 AM Monitor Receiver in 2019. Part of the INOmini series, the 674 fills the niche for a versatile but inexpensive AM confidence monitor.

This software-defined DSP receiver has many cool features. 

As a global product, it can either tune in 10 kHz increments for the Americas, or 9 kHz increments for Europe. Audio outs are available in analog and digital, each with independent level adjustments. 

The multicolor, backlit LED display continuously shows received signal strength and audio levels. Combined with the jog wheel, this display also facilitates system setup. The 674’s programmable front-panel alarms with rear-panel tallies indicate low or no signal and audio program loss. 

Alarm conditions also cause the display to flash against a red background, a move guaranteed to get your attention. Tweaks and upgrades to the firmware are easily uploaded through the front-panel USB port.

Around back, there’s an F connector for the 50 ohm antenna input as well as terminals for the alarm tallies, including ground, +5 volts, low signal and audio loss. There’s also an AES digital audio output and analog line outputs labeled left and right. 

And no, analog AM stereo is not making a comeback, these are really dual monaural outputs that are adjustable from –15 dBu to +15 dBu. The logic behind the left/right nomenclature is that most studios are wired for stereo, whether the programming is or not. 

Finally, two paralleled coaxial power connectors can take the +12 VDC and daisy-chain it to two additional INOmini devices, useful if the 674 is rack mounted with two companion units.

The front-panel headphone jack will accommodate any stereo phones with a 3.5 mm plug. When the headphones are plugged in, the LCD menu will automatically switch to the headphone volume screen, and you can adjust volume with the knob. Press the knob again and you’re returned to the previous menu. 

Menu screen 6 gives a bargraph presentation of program audio level. The meters are peak-responding with a floating peak-hold function. One-hundred percentcarrier modulation corresponds to 0 dB. 

GETTING THE SIGNAL

As  a practical matter, the 674 can operate with just about any type of antenna. The 50 ohm antenna connector is insulated from the rear panel to create a quasi-balanced configuration. The instructions recommend connecting the shield to an external ground. 

Getting a strong, interference- and noise-free signal can be difficult in some locations, and Inovonics offers as an option the 637-01 passive AM loop antenna, with a figure 8 pattern, which can assist with some of the more challenging AM reception environments. 

Two menu screens determine how the 674 will sound. The standard NRSC truncated 75 µs de-emphasis may be switched in or out. The manual suggests making a decision based on which sounds best to you. A second screen enables selection of  IF bandwidth. Your options are 2, 3, 4 and 6 kHz. These settings mark the –6 dB points. 

Your selection is really a tradeoff between background noise and fidelity, with the 6 kHz setting being as close to high fidelity as you’re going to get. 

The days when you could troubleshoot broadcast equipment and make the repairs yourself are long gone. As with most modern gear, the Inovonics 674 is designed around surface-mount technology and chips with firmware, so the company recommends returning equipment to the factory for repairs. 

Nevertheless, curiosity dictates that it be taken apart just to see what it looks like inside. The board work, sheet metal and paint jobs are all up to Inovonics’ usual high standards.

Our evaluation 674 performed well with a long-wire outdoor antenna. The use of the traditional cold water pipe as an antenna ground turned out to be ill-advised. Smart meters dump large amounts of noise into the ground wiring. A stake driven into the ground outside the window worked much better. 

As expected, local stations could be set for NRSC off and 6 kHz with good fidelity and no noise. The AGC range of the 674 is broad enough to seamlessly handle day/night power reductions and antenna pattern changes. Although not intended for DXing, distant stations can easily be received, and are listenable with NRSC on and reduced bandwidth. Of course, noise from summer electrical storms is always a problem.

While the firmware in the 674 works as expected, other features could make it much better. As it stands, there is no way to store settings for multiple stations. That could make it inconvenient for users who work for a cluster. A preset function would also be useful if you want to do an A-B comparison between your station and the competition for the purpose of setting up audio processing

While the 674 is geared to a global market, the display is only offered in English. A menu selection of languages might make it more user-friendly outside the United States and other English-speaking countries.

Your happiness with the 674’s performance may depend to a large degree on how much thought and planning has been put into its antenna. Back in the day, a frightening number of stations used a short piece of wire and a clip lead as an AM antenna for EBS and EAS boxes, and even for mod monitors. It was never a good idea. 

Today, the proliferation of smart meters, LED and fluorescent lights, computers and switching power supplies all combine to create very high noise levels across the LW, MW and SW frequency bands. An outdoor antenna connected to the 674 via coax is almost mandatory for good reception. 

PRODUCT CAPSULE: Inovonics 674

Monitor Receiver

Thumbs Up

+ Independent audio level controls for analog and digital outputs

+ Programmable front alarms with rear-panel tallies for low signal and audio program loss

+ De-emphasis and IF bandwidth options for best audio quality

Thumbs Down

– English-only display

– No presets or easy to A-B compare stations

Price: MSRP $880

 

Contact: Gary Luhrman at Inovonics at 1-831-458-0552 or visit www.inovonicsbroadcast.com.

The post Exploring the Inovonics 674 AM Monitor Receiver appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Tom Vernon
Posted: April 2, 2020, 11:19 am

The role of DAB+ radio in helping to manage the crisis caused by the Covid-19 outbreak

The post DAB+ Lends a Hand in a Time of Crisis appeared first on Radio World.

The author is president of WorldDAB.

Patrick Hannon

As people around the world are faced with a global pandemic, the full extent of which has yet to be determined, governments are increasingly looking for new ways to keep their citizens informed and out of harm’s way, while enforcing strict stay-at-home regulations.

As one of the oldest communication platforms available, radio has always played a significant role in times of crisis. Today, the role of DAB+ digital radio is more important than ever — keeping citizens informed, and providing some sense of belonging and togetherness to the most vulnerable people who are faced with a lengthy spell of uncertainty and isolation.

HELPING THE MOST VULNERABLE

In this time of crisis, we are seeing more and more ways by which DAB+ digital radio is helping broadcasters address issues such as loneliness, due to long period of social distancing and self-isolation.

A graph highlighting the number of national radio services on air (DAB/FM) in some European countries.

In the United Kingdom, BBC local radio, together with loneliness charity Wavelength, has partnered with manufacturers and retailers to offer free DAB radios to the most vulnerable people aged over 70. This initiative forms part of a broader BBC campaign called Make A Difference. This campaign is running across 39 BBC local radio stations with the goal of connecting communities during the Coronavirus outbreak.  In its first five days, the Make A Difference campaign received 28,000 calls.

NEW SERVICES

One of the key benefits of DAB+ is that it offers listeners a wider pool of content to choose from — both on a national level and in specific regions. In the U.K., a new DAB+ service broadcasting important information on the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 has just launched on a number of small-scale multiplexes across the country.

Named Health Info Radio, the DAB+ station broadcasts a mixture of updates on COVID-19 symptoms, myths and social isolation rules and guidelines, as well as interviews designed to help listeners through the national lockdown. Produced as a public service in London, the station is already available in a several major cities across the U.K.

Similarly, in Austria’s capital Vienna, DAB+ is being used to broadcast announcement loops with crucial information related to COVID-19. In addition to the announcements that run continuously in German, there are also several information stations on air in English, Turkish and Romanian, as well as an “Emergency Warning Functionality” (EWF) station broadcasting in Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian.

When on air, the EWF station — a special service dedicated to disasters and matters of the utmost importance — can break into the majority of receivers, including radios that are in sleep mode.

In Germany, the commercial radio station Schwarzwald Radio (Blackforest Radio), broadcast nationally on DAB+, has announced the launch of the first nationwide game night on DAB+. Schwarzwald Radio’s aim is to provide some distraction and boost the morale of German citizens who are currently confined to their homes.

CONGESTED NETWORKS

As millions of people remain confined to their homes, telecoms operators are struggling to cope with the surge in internet and mobile phone usage, and the network congestions that come hand in hand with them.

In Britain, the biggest telecoms companies have set aside their rivalries and launched a national campaign to tell the public how to manage this surge with the hope of reducing congestion. DAB+ does not require internet, and as such, helps alleviate some of the pressure building up on telecoms operators as internet usage continues to grow.

DAB+ allows broadcasters to combine classic content with digital diversity, without the need for internet connectivity, freeing up much needed internet bandwidth. More importantly in this time of crisis, it offers a wide range of news, safety guidelines, tailored information and distractions to the population — both nationally and on a regional level — all much needed at this time.

The post DAB+ Lends a Hand in a Time of Crisis appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Patrick Hannon
Posted: April 2, 2020, 6:00 am

Privacy concerns are the elephant in the room

The post Techsurvey 2020 Tracks Smart Speaker Success appeared first on Radio World.

The home listening environment has become a hostile place for AM/FM radios. The proliferation of electronic devices such as computers, LED lighting, and especially smart power meters has combined to raise the noise level to the extent that reception is near impossible. That could be part of the reason smart speakers have experienced such explosive growth. Techsurvey 2020 fills in the details, including some opportunities for radio, but also implies there may be a dark cloud in the device’s future.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey, smart speaker

Their data suggests a close correlation between age and ownership of an AM/FM radio. The silent generation leads with 92%, and that number gradually decreases, ending with 67% for Gen Z. Overall ownership has fallen from 89% in TS 2016 to 81% for TS 2020.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey, smart speaker

These trends, according to Jacobs data, are almost the reverse for smart speaker ownership. The silent generation owns just 18% of the smart speakers, while millennials own 41%. Gen Z and Gen X are almost tied for second place, with 38 and 37% respectively. Overall ownership has skyrocketed from 11% with TS 2017 to 33% with TS 2020.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey, smart speaker

Listening to streamed music tops the list of frequent uses for smart speakers; AM/FM radio listening is essentially tied for second. Sadly for radio, data from TS 2020 also suggests that only 38% of smart speaker owners have heard stations promoting the devices.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey, smart speaker

This comes despite data from Jacobs Media which suggests that radio’s local orientation continues to grow in importance. Fred Jacobs, president of Jacobs Media adds, “While it’s always been true that localism matters, that’s never been more the case than with the coronavirus pandemic we’re facing now. Some broadcasters have really embraced smart speaker technology and promoted it well, while others have their work cut out for them.” He adds that stations who lean into their personalities and really embrace localism may come out ahead of the game when the current crisis has passed.

[Read: TechSurvey 2020 Looks at Podcast Growth]

Despite its meteoric growth, the future is not all bright for smart speakers. Jacobs survey also asked why respondents do not own a smart speaker. “No use for one” led the responses with 37%, and “privacy concerns” was second with 32%.

As Jacobs elaborates, “We started to hear more about privacy concerns with smart speakers in our focus groups, so we added the question in TS 2020. There’s no doubt that the voice activated internet is here to stay, but privacy issues are not going to go away. It’s something that Amazon, Google and the rest of the smart speaker manufacturers will need to come forward and address.”

 

The post Techsurvey 2020 Tracks Smart Speaker Success appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Tom Vernon
Posted: April 1, 2020, 5:09 pm

Salary reductions also put in place

The post Beasley Cuts 67 Jobs, Furloughs Others appeared first on Radio World.

Beasley Media Group logoBeasley Media Group is among the U.S. radio companies cutting jobs and reducing salaries in the face of the business downturn caused by the coronavirus health crisis.

Beasley made cuts Tuesday. Chief Communications Officer Heidi Raphael confirmed in an emailed statement: “Our company, like other broadcasters and our clients, is being directly impacted by the recent unanticipated economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. Like so many others in our industry, we must adjust to the new and unforeseeable circumstances we now face.”

She said Beasley eliminated 67 positions, and furloughed 18 full-time employees and several part-timers. She did not identify the positions eliminated; RW believes they included about a half-dozen engineers.

The company also reduced salaries for full-time employees by 10% for the second quarter, unless prevented by contractual obligations. CEO Caroline Beasley is taking a 20% reduction. It reduced the hours for full-time hourly employees to 36 hours.

“We anticipate bringing back all furloughed employees at the end of the second quarter or sooner if circumstances permit,” Raphael said.

According to AllAccess and other trade publications, iHeartMedia this week also instituted furloughs and reductions in executive pay.

The post Beasley Cuts 67 Jobs, Furloughs Others appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: April 1, 2020, 3:46 pm

Also, here’s a software suggestion for April 1

The post Cameras Keep Watch at Your Transmitter Site  appeared first on Radio World.

Fig. 1: A strategically-placed IP camera keeps watch on your transmitter site equipment.

Ernie Nearman is a veteran broadcast engineer who has been practicing in Honolulu for decades. Like any contract engineer, Ernie sometimes has to be in two places at once, and believe it or not, he’s figured a way to do just that.

Ernie uses strategically-placed IP cameras at his sites to give him “remote” eyes to see what’s going on. He acknowledges that these IP cameras are not cheap, but if you buy the style that provides pan, tilt and zoom features, the camera does a pretty good job of letting you know what’s going on before you arrive at the site. 

Fig. 2: By selecting a camera with pan and tilt functions, the camera can zoom in to a specific piece of equipment, like this transmitter fault panel.

At one site, the camera is mounted on conduit so it normally faces the door (Fig. 1). Anyone entering the site can be identified. However, with the built-in mechanical adjustments, Ernie can remotely turn the camera to view the faults on a transmitter, as seen in Fig. 2 or point the camera in another direction to check the room temperature and Nitrogen pressure gauges (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Pan in another direction to check the room temperature and N2 pressures.

After a storm, wouldn’t it be nice to know the surge suppressor took a hit before arriving at the transmitter site? Fig. 4 shows that information. These little snapshots may not seem important, but when you are handling a number of contract clients, IP cameras can help you perform triage.

Fig. 4: How about checking your Surge Suppression status, before arriving at the site?

If, for example, a station goes down and you see that the fault can be corrected remotely, your time can be spent on bigger issues. Ernie says this benefit is especially appreciated when a storm rolls through, taking several of his contract clients off the air at the same time. These IP cameras permit engineers to work smarter and more efficiently.

Fig. 5: The compact camera fits in the palm of your hand, making mounting a breeze.

Ernie chose the Amcrest IP Camera, Model IP4M, in Fig. 5. It’s not the cheapest but its features include Ultra-HD resolution, remote viewing, two-way audio and night vision. It uses power over the Ethernet.

Fig. 6: Compile a screen to show both inside and outside the transmitter site.

Yes, you can find less expensive versions, but buying cheap junk probably won’t give you the features you need. Consider this a diagnostic tool, so don’t fall for the $20 wonders — you’ll be disappointed. 

You can find out more by Googling “Amcrest IP cameras” or searching for them on Amazon.

***

Have you signed up for the SBE Member Plus membership tier? When you do, you’ll have access to all of the SBE webinars. These broadcasting webinars provide online training in a variety of broadcast engineering topics. Head to www.sbe.org for more information.

***

April 1 is here. With that in mind, Newman-Kees’ Frank Hertel sent in some tips for using the latest release of Sonus Precarious Audio Software.

He writes that many engineers have yet to experience Sonus Precarious and its quirks. As an experienced user, Frank thought it would be useful to share some of the things that you need to be aware of when considering Sonus Precarious.

  • If you download the free version, after three months, you will be required to purchase and install a dedicated Sonus Precarious hard drive to save your work.
  • When deleting elements of your work, all mouse buttons and the scroll wheel must be used in reverse order. They provide this as an extra safety feature for jocks, to keep them from accidentally deleting elements of their work.
  • All work is saved in the new Sonus Precarious file format. To distribute your recorded work to others, you must attach a document that has a ciphered phrase. That ciphered phrase must be decoded and entered to unlock the recording for playback.
  • Sonus Precarious offers a user-selectable series of new bitrates, to enhance the sound of the recorded work. This gives you the sound quality that relates to the year of audio quality development. For example: one of the bitrates is called “64÷8,” and it actually enhances recordings to sound like 1941.  
  • Be aware that the manual is written in 64-point “Baked Alaska Script” font. They did this because, they explain, “It’s pretty!”

Have a great April 1. 

John Bisset has spent over 50 years in the broadcasting industry and is still learning. He handles western U.S. radio sales for the Telos Alliance. He holds CPBE certification with the Society of Broadcast Engineers and is a past recipient of the SBE’s Educator of the Year Award.

The post Cameras Keep Watch at Your Transmitter Site  appeared first on Radio World.

Author: John Bisset
Posted: April 1, 2020, 11:27 am

The sound of radio is changing and the industry needs to listen

The post Sound Ideas. Sound Decisions. appeared first on Radio World.

The author is communications manager for Radiodays Europe.

COPENHAGEN — Have you seen the YouTube clip of two Glaswegians with strong Scottish accents trying to work the voice controls in a lift? Or the lady sitting in a mid-range car trying to find a radio station using the voice controls, her accent is very strong and she calls the stations by their abbreviated names.

Rosie Smith

Those are two, rather old, examples of where voice control doesn’t work. The problems of voice control are well known, but with the rise of the smart speaker the future is most surely voice-controlled so how does your station work with the voice? Can listeners find you? Or is your name and frequency too difficult to find on a voice-controlled device or in a device-controlled system in the car?

MORE WORK

Some stations are working on their smart speaker future and with the major smart speaker manufacturers to try and ensure that no matter the listener’s accent, the many ways the station is named (e.g. name/frequency/abbreviation), the speaker gets to the right place and you don’t lose listeners.

The sound of someone’s voice needs to be understood and, radio stations need to do more work to ensure they are the first on the list when “Alexa play…,” is uttered.

The revolution is happening or has happened depending on whom you talk to in terms of the sound of podcasting, “800,000 valid podcasts are now available in Apple Podcasts.”

In addition, the explosion of the podcast market continues with new players entering, new forms of production and a media truly open to all with a microphone and the ability to stand the heat of sitting under a duvet while recording their podcast (production method suggest by “Beef and Dairy Network Podcast” Ben Partridge, RDE Podcast Day 2019) — though apparently kids tents with a duvet over the top works just as well.

The sound of short, home produced podcasts though, like the early days of YouTube videos, are now moving on. With more production houses entering the market the sound of podcasts are becoming more professional, more stylized and may be losing some of the previously and joyously bad production which marked out podcasts in the early days.

That’s not to say that there still aren’t a lot of people out there desperate to know which microphone to use? What makes a podcast sound like a winner is becoming the Holy Grail: How do you make your podcast stand out in a market place where many new podcasts are launched daily?

The sound of the radio in terms of diversity and equality remains an area that needs to be tackled head on in all countries. More stations need more female voices and those from multicultural backgrounds. As local communities diversify so too must radio, bringing a wealth of opinions, experiences and familiarity to their listeners.

If the “woke” generation is the audience of tomorrow, then radio needs to appeal to them and bring the sound of their generation to radio. Podcasts in this respect cater to this demographic bringing with them the multisound world that should be the goal of all stations.

GATE-KEEPER PLATFORM

What is the next big thing for sound? In every space the sound you hear is a key part of the experience. But how do you deliver that sound? Will it be on 5G in the future? In the United Kingdom, mobile network operator and internet service provider, EE, has 5G coverage in over 50 towns at the end of 2019; in the United States Verizon 5G has gone live in parts of 31 cities; and in Australia Telestra covered 10 major cities by the end of 2019, according to TechRadar.com. A similar story in many other markets, 5G is coming to listeners and quickly.

Broadcasters are eagerly exploring how they can deliver more on the mobile networks but the issue of a “gate keeper” for your station’s sound is once again being discussed. Also, the question arises: Will listeners pay for radio streaming?

In a recent study by Imperial College London, researchers found “the evolution of modern culture, including pop music, is just as slow as biological evolution.” What do changing tastes mean for music stations? If smart speakers are outselling traditional radio devices what does that mean for radio? If the car of the future is autonomous what will radio sound like?

These are just some of the questions facing radio today. Making “sound” decisions for a station is the preoccupation for every CEO, head of radio and program director. Competition for the ear is growing, though radio still remains in a strong position, how do you navigate this new world of sound?

Sound ideas and sound decisions on all platforms, across all innovations in technology are paramount.  Radiodays Europe in Lisbon, now slated for December, will address these issues with examples from radio stations worldwide with a view to ensuring the sound of radio continues to hit the right note.

The post Sound Ideas. Sound Decisions. appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Rosie Smith
Posted: April 1, 2020, 7:00 am

A new free product guide is now available from Radio World

The post Spring Show @ Home appeared first on Radio World.

This free resource is part of Radio World’s “Spring Show @ Home” initiative, helping equipment buyers and sellers keep in touch in an April without an NAB Show.

In the 21st century, radio is enduring, engaging and evolving. So too are the media companies that create all that great content. And so are the manufacturers that make the technologies that are the backbone of our great industry.

The guide is intended to give you a sampling of new offerings that you would have seen if you’d attended the show. It includes ads and Product Previews from our sponsors about technologies they are introducing or highlighting this spring. Also, you’ll find “Exhibitor” listings based on the material that companies had sent us shortly before the physical convention was cancelled.

Thank you for being part of this great industry and of the Radio World community.

The post Spring Show @ Home appeared first on Radio World.

Author: RW Staff
Posted: April 1, 2020, 5:02 am

DOE Paul Montoya on putting remote broadcasting to work at WPM

The post In Wyoming, a Game Plan for COVID-19 appeared first on Radio World.

Wyoming Public Media is among the radio organizations building new pathways and processes for broadcasting from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paul Montoya is director of engineering for WPM, which is part of the University of Wyoming and located in Laramie. It operates 45 transmission facilities; WPR channels covers 90% of the state.

Radio World: I’m told you’ve been doing some live shifts from home yourself. What technologies and products are you using and how do the pieces plug together?

Fig. 1: Control Room Zetta screen via secure VPN

Paul Montoya: This is something we have been working on for the last year, primarily for remote broadcasts. The goal has been to control the equipment back at the studio as if you were sitting in front of it. In the past, the most we could do is have someone bring up the remote location on the control room console, then fire “next event” closures when needed to play underwriters announcements, promos or other elements.

So to do this properly you really needed two screens at the remote location — one to remotely control the mixing console at the studio and the other to fully control the automation system. We use a Telos Axia Element console at the studio. For automation we use the RCS Zetta system. At our studios we use the Raritan Dominion KX III KVM to control workstations in all of our studios. This is an IP-based system so devices can be accessed via web browser.

So, to put everything together we first access the Control Room Zetta screen via secure VPN remotely on one screen. We now have a full-function version of the same screen an operator would be using in the studio (Fig. 1). Now we need some way to control the levels, inputs and channel on-off functions of the console.

Fig. 2: Telos SoftSurface

Telos Axia makes a piece of software called SoftSurface that accesses remote control of any LiveWire-based Fusion or Element console in a graphical format (Fig. 2). With this software on my second screen I can now control any function on the studio console from a computer on the LiveWire VLAN. Because I don’t want to extend my AoIP VLAN out of the studio, I run SoftSurface on another computer connected to the LiveWire VLAN. I can then access this computer through the secure VPN tunnel (or TeamViewer or GoToAssist).

Fig. 3: Comrex BRIC

The final element is a Comrex BRIC for getting my audio back to the studio console (Fig. 3). Now any audio at my remote location can be put on the air. In the case of the studio in my home this gives me access to a CD player and turntable. Now I can pretty well do anything that I could as if I was standing in the studio.

We always been prepared to use a setup like this for a campus emergency such as an “active shooter” situation. Never did we think it could also be used for a worldwide pandemic.

RW: What has the impact of the crisis been on air talent and other staff?

Montoya: We have four audio channels that we deliver. WPR Main (NPR, News and Information), Classical Wyoming, Wyoming Sounds (AAA Music) and Jazz Wyoming. Classical and Jazz have been no problem as they are satellite-delivered formats. Wyoming Sounds has gone 90% voice track with announcers being able to voice-track easily through the Zetta2Go interface that can be accessed through secure VPN. We have been able to do remote programming for live segments through the process I explained earlier.

The WPR Main Channel has been our biggest challenge because of the varied and ever-changing elements of the format, including White House press conferences that come at a variety of times and almost never seem to start on time. Between accessing the Zetta automation system remotely through our secure VPN and changing Axia Livewire audio routing remotely, we have been able to keep up with most functions remotely and safely. “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” in the afternoons are still being hosted live, however we have made plans to host these shows remotely and still have a live feel to the programs.

[Related: COVID-19: WAMU’s Game Plan]

Fortunately these two programs have fixed clocks and timed breaks so filling these elements remotely isn’t too terribly difficult. The host can record their local newscasts, weather and other timed show elements remotely. These can then be uploaded via secure VPN to an mapped ingest folder for our automation system. Then working in cooperation with our programming and traffic people these can be placed remotely into the proper location in the log. We have not had to try this yet, but it should work.

Reporters have been producing their stories remotely then dropping their stories into “Shared Audio” folders at the studio via secure VPN. Staff meetings are being conducted weekly using Zoom. We do “audio only” Zoom sessions as some people call in by phone. We haven’t found video to be necessary.  So far this has worked quite well.

RW: What is the strategy of the WPM technology team to react to the coronavirus, as far as its overall operational and technical processes are concerned? 

Montoya: We had a pretty good idea that COVID-19 virus could affect our operation about late February. We had received a copy of a plan put together by Northern California Public Radio that seemed to be similar to the plan we knew we would need. Working with our General Manager Christina Kuzmych, our program director and our news director, I was able to put together a plan that should hopefully get us through this crisis.

The plan consisted of three stages. Essentially Stage 1 was a readiness stage that took preventive measures to keep areas clean. Stage 2 included non-essential people working from home. The only people in studio would be live on-air personnel. Stage 3 would include all personnel working from home.

RW: How “virtual” can your operation get, and how?

Montoya: The plan is that by Stage 3 we would be 100% virtual with little knowledge by the general public that we were operating any less effectively. We have taken the attitude that we are an essential lifeline of information to the Wyoming public during a time of crisis. So far we have not had to operate at a Stage 3 level but I feel that we could.

RW: Any other specific technical obstacles have you encountered?

Montoya: Much of what we are doing, absolutely could not be done just a few years ago. A secure VPN was important. Access to our office VLAN for sharing and exchanging information was very important. Total remote control and access to our automation system was also important. The icing on the cake was remote control of the main mixing console. Access to these systems was very important, but we needed to accomplish this in a secure fashion.

RW: What lessons can other engineers and technical managers learn from what you’ve been doing?

Montoya: Preparing for any crisis is important to station operations. I’ve heard it said by other broadcast engineers that by simply looking around your plant (including transmitter sites) and just trying to imagine what can be done to stay on the air in a variety of emergencies is the first place to start. Just by stepping back and asking yourself, “If my studio was swallowed up by an earthquake, is there any way to stay on the air?”

Sharing your ideas with other station department leaders and general manager to make sure everyone is on board with any emergency is the final element in being prepared for any emergency. You also have to realize that it is almost impossible to plan for every situation and you may just have to “MacGyver” things in some situations.  They used to call this a “can do” attitude. Most engineers are quite skilled at this.

RW: Do you think these infrastructure changes will be permanent in any way?

Montoya: I would say that almost everything done during this crisis will stay in place. There is always another crisis looming on the horizon. We may collect up all the extra laptops we have distributed to staff members, but we will hang onto them to keep ready.

We’re looking to tell your story about solving radio technical challenges during the coronavirus crisis. Email us with your story idea at [email protected].

The post In Wyoming, a Game Plan for COVID-19 appeared first on Radio World.

Author: Paul McLane
Posted: March 31, 2020, 7:43 pm

Version of Tracktion’s pro DAW offering unrestricted track count, unlimited plug-in use, more

The post Waveform Free DAW Debuts From Tracktion appeared first on Radio World.

Tracktion, Waveform Free, digital audio workstation software, DAW, free DAW software

Digital audio workstation software developer Tracktion Software has launched Waveform Free, a new version of its professional flagship DAW that is free to all music creators.

The new DAW is released with no restrictions, offering unlimited track count, the ability to add as many plug-ins as the user wants, and a sizable feature set. The new DAW is suitable for all three major desktop operation systems; Windows, OSX and Linux as well as the Raspberry Pi.

[Check Out More Products at Radio World’s Products Section]

It is compatible with current-day expressive instruments and also supports MPE. Waveform Free includes many of Tracktion’s recent offerings and features, such as the MIDI Pattern Generator to create synchronized melodies, chord progressions, bass lines and more, the 40SC Virtual Synthesizer and Micro Drum Sampler.

The DAW is supported with a dozens of tutorial videos as well numerous templates such as EDM production; band recording and mixing; location recording for churches, schools and others; and more.

Info: www.tracktion.com

 

The post Waveform Free DAW Debuts From Tracktion appeared first on Radio World.

Author: ProSoundNetwork Editorial Staff
Posted: March 31, 2020, 7:28 pm

 

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