26 MANAGEMENT October 2016 Axon’s Cerebrum control and monitoring helps CTV deliver Open Golf coverage For the second year running, Axon Digital Design's Cerebrum control and monitoring system helped CTV Outside Broadcast (OB) make light work of the “extremely complex” technical infrastructure required to deliver the Open Golf Championship. Because of an 11th hour decision by the tournament organisers to appoint European Tour Productions (ETP) as host broadcaster, along with Sky Sports and NBC Sports, time was of the essence for those who were responsible for broadcasting the tournament. OB specialist CTV, for instance, had only a week in which to build a small broadcast village, revealed Richard Morton, CTV’s engineerin-charge. He added: “In previous years, we used OB trucks to deliver the live feed, but this year the scale of the facilities required was beyond the limits of a truck. “Instead, we built a temporary broadcast centre with a main production gallery, a main submix and Axon’s Cerebrum control and monitoring system provided the heartbeat for CTV Outside Broadcast’s recent coverage of the Open Golf Championship. a super-iso/replay room for ETP’s world feed. There was also a main production gallery for NBC Sports, plus an iso/replay gallery and a main audio mix area.” With more than 160 cameras on-site, CTV had to monitor some 1,000 pictures at any one time. The task was so large that it required the installation of two Cerebrum systems — one for ETP and one for NBC Sports. These controlled two SAM hybrid routers, two large Calrec audio matrix, 22 Lawo V-Pro boxes, over 80 Evertz VIPs and two GV K-Frame switchers. The systems also handled feeds to numerous CTV OB trucks looking after other broadcasters. By acting as the nerve centre for all routing functions, and linking together all the main broadcast equipment from numerous major manufacturers, Cerebrum enabled CTV to deliver a highly efficient workflow encompassing elements such as hybrid router control, tally, UMD, multi-viewers, monitoring, remote colour balance and the control of bunker cameras, as well as Panasonic pan-and-tilt cameras. Attributing the success of the broadcast to the flexibility provided by Cerebrum, Morton said: “Cerebrum's advanced functionality and broad range of features simplifies multi-device control, making it very simple for multiple engineers to operate the system and give clients everything they asked for in a very short timeframe. “Also, because we had two Cerebrum systems operating at once, we had built-in redundancy. Nothing did go wrong, but it was reassuring to know we had backup in the event of any problems.” For this year’s Open, Axon also supplied 40 CCP-4200B panels with 42 high-density buttons, which were specifically designed for CTV. “These were fantastic because they allowed us to maximise the button density in our technical real estate,” Morton continued. “We had more than 150 EVS record channels running continuously, but with these panels our EVS operators could select every shot and every camera angle very quickly.” Familiarity with Cerebrum also helped to alleviate the nerves arising from a number of new clients to serve, revealed Morton. Because Cerebrum had already been installed i n CTV’s largest OB truck, a good understanding of the system and its capabilities was already forged. “Also, we tested the water with Cerebrum at The Open last year and it performed really well, so we were very confident with our infrastructure,” Morton concluded. Global clients turn to Aspera for media transfer and delivery A number of global media companies have adopted the Aspera Files hybrid cloudbased content sharing service, a Softwareas-a-Service (SaaS) offering on IBM Cloud. These include Dubai-based Beelink, which produces and distributes exclusive content, mainly Arabic drama series, from its studios in Egypt. To meet an expanded production schedule, Beelink replaced its legacy HDD distribution, which often resulted in un acceptable delays, with Aspera Files. The company was in full production within hours, with nothing to provision or deploy except an install-on-demand browser plug-in. Beelink organised episodes in folders on a per series basis and used the "share" facility with view-only permissions to distribute only authorised content to its customers, who are required to log in for content access audit purpose. Assets were uploaded from Egypt over a 50Mbps line and then downloaded by Beelink customers at the highest speed from Aspera Files, which is built on top of Aspera FASP high-speed transfer technology. Episodes reaching 17GB were uploaded to Files and downloaded within 25 minutes by customers running 100Mbps lines. A new pay-as-you-go option for Aspera Files further enables media companies — from small to large — to take advantage of the Aspera platform with a cost-effective offering that scales with their business, while a brandable workspace model accommodates the project nature of the digital media business, said Aspera. In Australia, Fox Sports Australia has adopted Aspera Shares and Aspera Pointto-Point software to simplify and accelerate the process of programme sourcing. With Point-to Point, content providers initiate and manage secure high-speed transfers. Once the transfer is completed, administrators at Fox are immediately notified that the content is ready. The files are then passed through a series of steps including transcoding and QC checks via Telestream Vantage. Once editing and processing is completed, the finished content is uploaded to Aspera Shares for distribution where it can be browsed and downloaded at high speed by users with appropriate access rights. The Aspera implementation immediately improved the way Fox Sports Australia receive and process content, said Judd Walliker, broadcast services manager at Fox Sports Australia. He added: “We’re able to receive programmes faster than ever before and no longer have to search for physical content. The Aspera solution is trusted and widely deployed in the media industry, so we could leverage digital transfer with multiple partners.” Caton Technology powers Guangzhou Broadcasting Network’s transmission of Rio Olympics For its round-the-clock coverage of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Guangzhou Broadcasting Network (GZBN) deployed Caton Technology’s LCP-300 video transmitting system and Cydex file transfer software for high-speed transmissions back to China. Video feeds from a Sony camera were sent to a Caton LCP-300 4G encoder and transmitter, which then transmitted the encoded video signals to a server in Guangzhou via a 4G network. For edited video files, they were transferred to Guangzhou via open Internet through the AES-256 encrypted Cydex file transfer software solution. Cydex’s per formance was “smooth and stable”, and provided GZBN stable transmission support while providing the broadcaster with cost and manpower savings from production to post, GZBN reflected. A GZBN spokesperson continued: “We chose to use Caton’s technology because it’s supportive and powerful, and surpassed our needs. As this worldwide sports event was very important to all media professionals, we’re responsible to provide the best broadcast service to our end-users. To al- low them to be the first ones to watch the latest sports results, we required the highest quality and most capable network transmission system. “When we used Caton’s R2TP technology via 4G network, the performance was efficient and saved us from using a lot of expensive equipment and human resources.” GZBN also used Cydex’s F2TP technology to transfer large files of some segments of the Rio Games, which GZBN found to be more efficient than the traditional File Transfer Protocol (FTP). All in all, Caton’s software and Guangzhou Broadcasting Network attributed its successful coverage of the Olympic Games in Brazil to Caton Technology’s solutions. hardware solutions provided GZBN with an end-to-end transmission solution, which provided “the most reliable and flexible performance, and over 10 times more efficiency than other software solutions in the same network”, the GZBN spokesperson concluded.