News & EventsSpecial Feature

BroadcastAsia 2022: Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding media industry is alive, ablaze & active

By Andrew Yeo

“If you love producing live content, you’ll love LiveU,” said Goh Soo Teck, the company’s Senior Director for Sales, responsible for the Hong Kong, Taiwan, South-east Asia and Oceania markets, at BroadcastAsia 2022.

Welcoming visitors to his stand at the Elevate Broadcast booth in Hall 5, Singapore Expo from June 1-3, he proudly presented the LU300S, a native 5G field unit that delivers high bandwidth and ultra-low latency.

Goh explained that with its built-in 5G support, the unit can have 4 x 5G/4G cellular connections as it comes with two internal dual-SIM modems with high-efficiency antennas as well as two external modems.

“Powered by LiveU’s dedicated Reliable Transport protocol LRT, the LU300S offers solid reliability, ready to meet any challenging scenarios,” he smiled.

LiveU also showcased its newly enhanced LU600 4K HEVC portable transmission product suite, including 4K SDI offerings ensuring high video performance in live streaming for live events and news-gathering.

Goh, who spent more than 20 years in the telecommunication industry, before joining LiveU in 2017, was great at explaining  transmission methods to help visitors gain a better understanding of live IP transmission … and how to save costs in live production.

Over at Viaccess-Orca (VO) booth, Atika Boulgaz, Director of Global Communications, was on hand to greet her clients and trade visitors from the region. Extending a warm handshake, she demonstrated to APB+ a live transmission from a TV station in Mongolia to her booth in Hall 5.

 “Come and see for yourself VO technologies in action through live customer deployments.”

”My colleagues will explain how our customers are using VO’s TV platform to deliver personalised TV experiences on every screen, improving viewer engagement as well as increasing revenue,” she exclaimed.

Yuval Shachar, the company’s VP Product, TV Platform, said “VO’s solutions are open, flexible, and compliant with the full ecosystem, enabling operators in the APAC region to quickly adapt to the evolving TV landscape while keeping premium content safe.

“Our Anti-Piracy Centre covers all use cases, with AI-based dynamic watermarking, monitoring and investigative services and it is available for both live and on-demand content.”

VO also showcased its Targeted TV Advertising on its innovative TV platform as well as its customisable TV apps that  provide operators and service providers outstanding viewing experiences for their subscribers.

To ensure end-users’ viewing satisfaction and reduce churn, VO conducts E2E (end-to-end) testing of its apps.

Trade visitors, including CTOs and media consultants, at BroadcastAsia this year seemed to be going for a deep dive into end-to-end anti-piracy security, including edge authentication to access CDNs and other service platforms.

Walking the halls was Roger Siow, Regional Sales Director, Asia, at Cryptoguard AB. Having spent years with Irdeto Access and Conax AS, he was keeping an eye on latest cybersecurity developments … and, of course, meeting, renewing and establishing new contacts in the industry.

Siow remarked, “OTT is everywhere. The big question today is how to prevent pirates from disrupting the streaming ecosystem and what’s there to protect your revenue streams.”

He also noted that this year’s in-person show, although has less visitors, the quality of attendees was high. “Most of us are here for a purpose … to learn what’s new, to renew relationship and do business.”

Indeed, what’s new that caught the attention of many visitors in Hall 5 was the ‘Streamkeeper’ at Verimatrix. Proclaimed as the industry’s first battle-ready cybersecurity solution specifically engineered to hunt down and eliminate video piracy.

Mukesh Mehra, Verimatrix’s Senior Field Applications Engineer, APAC, said, “Streamkeeper anti-piracy can safeguard the entire OTT content distribution ecosystem by disrupting pirates from attacking operators’ revenue streams.

“The Streamkeeper is made up of multi-DRM, watermarking, App Shield, Edge Authenticator and Counterspy — the zero-code, auto-injection of an anti-piracy security agent, which can instantly add digital countermeasures with no integration required.” 

Ken Tan, Manager, Sales Engineering, added. “With Streamkeeper, once installed, it can protect profits and prevent losses.

“Streamkeeper can even prevents parasitic piracy; no more unlicensed access to the operator’s CDN!”

Tan advised that Streamkeeper is best purchased as an anti-piracy bundle, although each product like Multi-DRM, CounterSpy, Watermarking and Edge Authenticator can be purchased separately.

Making a pit-stop at Vizrt to check visitors’ reaction to its newly released fourth edition of Viz Trio (see NewsBytes story above), Antoine Hugoo, Vizrt’s Regional Sales Manager for Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, gave APB+ a thumbs-up. “Viz Trio 4 is well received … the new interface enhances user experience, makes work simple and faster.”

After pacing the halls at Singapore Expo for three days, Team APB+ also decided to make a pit-stop for refuelling and recharging our energy. After rounds of visiting exhibitors and distributing “Keep calm, Carry on … and let’s Shake hands” anti-microbial Purple hand sanitisers to one and all, it’s time to take a break. From left: Lim You Ya, Ang Mei Sze, Yoko Maria Wilcox, Deborah Ong and Andrew Yeo.

From tracking Team APB+’s womanpower productivity, it’s back to Hall 5 to check out Pixotope’s recent acquisition of TrackMen, a 3D real-time tracking solution.

Pixotope, the leader in live AR (augmented reality) and VP (virtual production) solutions, in April acquired Trackmen, the one-stop shop for real-time 3D camera and talent tracking in the media industry for 25 years.

Andrew Tan, Vice-President APAC, Pixotope, said, “The acquisition is a major step forward for the media industry, bringing together a complete VP platform, including graphics, camera tracking, and talent tracking into a single product.

“This will make it easier than ever for artists to successfully match the virtual camera to the real camera in VP scenarios — absolutely critical for achieving the hyper-realistic visuals audiences are demanding today.”

Within the media industry, TrackMen has been providing turnkey solutions and products in the field of 3D camera and object tracking, smart automation systems and keying technologies. These technologies are used for AR, Virtual Broadcast Graphics and Virtual Studios. 

Tan added that the acquisition includes TalenTrack, a solution that enables the interaction of persons with virtual graphics in real-time. “By using cutting-edge AI, every part of any person’s body is recognised and it’s three-dimensional position is calculated and tracked instantaneously.

“Together with one of our camera tracking systems, it is not only possible to tell whether the talent is situated in front of or behind the virtual graphics, any conceivable interaction is now possible — you can use your body to rotate, push, or move virtual objects, trigger effects, use virtual shadows and much more.

“It’s letting your creative imagination lead the way!”

Keeping track

Not to be outdone, Zero Density brought its AI-powered tracking system ‘TRAXIS talentS’ that won an NAB 2022 ‘Product of the Year’ award to BroadcastAsia.

Built for virtual studios, live events, and AR applications, TRAXIS talentS is the industry’s first AI-powered, stereoscopic talent tracking system.

Yavuz Bahadiroglu, Global Partner Channel & Growth Manager, said: “We worked very hard to ensure TRAXIS has features that will make working on virtual sets faster and easier.

“Our AI-tracking technology makes wearables and markers obsolete. This means on-set talent can move freely, without anything getting in the way of creativity.”

He added that out-of-the-box integration to Zero Reality ecosystem can be easily done, making it easier than ever to create visually accurate reflections, refractions, and shadows of live talent, no matter where they are in 3D space.

Moreover, it can connect with industry-standard FreeD protocol, thus giving anyone the flexibility to use TRAXIS talentS as a standalone product.

Another product that easily caught the eye of visitors was the bright green box sitting in Lynx-Technik booth. The compact and robust “greenMachineis a powerful award-winning 4K/UHD/12G multi-purpose processing platform.

Joehan Tohkingkeo, Managing Director of Lynx-Technik Pte Ltd, said, “The greenMachine is the ideal re-configurable toolbox for studios, OBs, remote production and any other media facility that requires AV signal processing.

“It is designed and manufactured in Germany as innovation, quality and performance still matter. Occupying only half a rack, it offers best-in-class functionality.

“We are confident of the performance of our products … so you are always welcome to ‘try before you buy’.”

Another company who is proud of its hardware and software is TSL Products. For more than three decades, TSL has worked directly with the leading broadcasters and content creators all over the world to design, manufacture and market a wide range of reliable solutions to simplify broadcast production workflows.

Its long list of “Pleased to be working with” at its booth includes many Asian TV operators. It was good to see many visitors regarded TSL’s dedicated development team as “old friends” and its small booth became a reunion centre of sorts as broadcasters from the region congregated to find out what Chris Exelby, Managing Director of TSL, brought to BroadcastAsia.

Exelby said, “Amongst our exhibits this year are exceptional audio, control, and power products, including TSL new intelligent PDUs which were awarded ‘Best in Show’ at NAB 2022.

“We have also extended our family of control solutions; TM1-Tally offers the same all-in-one control functionality, whilst only limiting the number of connections to external devices.

“And as always, TSL ensures that our solutions satisfy and exceed the commercial, technical and operational requirements that exist in IT-based and traditional workflows to help our customers lower costs, generate revenue and streamline operations.”

Share & care

While Asia may lead in the development of 5G networks, there are still certain rural areas that do not have any access to even 2G. A company that is doing its utmost best to provide rural villages and pockets of plantation workers in mountainous terrain access to the internet is MEASAT Global.

It will be launching Measat-3d, which can increase its broadband capacity by 10-fold, on June 22, 2022.

The launch will be its first mission to close the digital gap for rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia by equipping their communities with high-speed internet via Measat’s sole rural server CONNECTme NOW satellite broadband service.

Measat-3d will also complement the co-located Measat-3a and Measat-3b satellites at the 91.5° East orbital hotspot, replacing old capacity and building resilience for Measat’s fleet of satellites.

In addition, the new satellite will also provide in-orbit redundancy and growth capability for Astro’s direct-to-home (DTH) service, as well as regional television and telecommunications services.

Measat COO Yau Chyong Lim revealed that  the company aims to expand the coverage to 10,000 sites in the next three years and this will benefit two million people, especially the rural communities in East Malaysia which currently have no or limited access to the internet.

Alex Tan, a Sales Consultant in attendance at Measat booth, said: “With the launch, wherever there’s a small community of about 100 workers or villagers, we can enable them to connect to the internet by buying a pre-paid 1GB card for as little as RM10 (US$2.27).

“Of course, this is not enough to watch Tik-Tok but the worker can use WhatsApp to communicate with his family and friends.”

To date, Measat has rolled out more than 3,000 CONNECTme NOW sites nationwide, with a majority in the remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak and works closely with state governments to provide subsidised subscriptions for rural residents.

Indeed, the in-person BroadcastAsia 2022 has brought together media professionals not only to renew business relationship and exchange ideas but to share, care and rejuvenate one another’s spirit that the industry is very much alive, ablaze and active!

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