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Introducing Avid Maestro | PowerWall at NAB 2018

Technology and creativity are intertwined. Vibrant, scintillating productions are often dependent upon the tools used to illuminate storytelling. Stand-out productions are essential to separate yourself from the competition, and further entrench your brand. Avid’s studio solutions are developed specifically to meet these goals, and empower your production teams to unleash their creativity, leaving imaginations unbound by the usual studio constraints.

Now, at NAB 2018, Avid is proud to unveil Maestro | PowerWall, its next gen video wall solution enabling you to assign, control and manage content displayed across multiple high-resolution studio displays.  Rich media, including real-time 3D graphics, video, augmented reality content, images, visual effects, and live data feeds, all controlled by a single touchscreen user interface. And with a new pre-production tool that allows you to get to air and adapt to changes faster.

 

Engage viewers with dynamic, compelling imagery

Maestro | PowerWall boosts your productions’ “WOW” factor, by introducing dynamic, high-resolution content to enhance your storytelling capabilities. By combining video and graphics processing into one solution, Maestro | PowerWall enables you to control and display up to Ultra HD resolution on an unlimited amount of display surfaces – even if some have unconventional dimensions.

 

Manage multiple displays with ease

With more studios using multiple video walls, monitors and projectors to enrich their storytelling, executing technically seamless productions requires a workflow that cleanly choreographs these multiple display assets. Maestro | PowerWall puts complete command of each of these devices at your fingertips, with a single touch-screen interface. Easily manage multiple display surfaces, regardless of aspect ratio, size, shape or resolution. Dynamic Preview lets you produce with confidence by providing an actual replica of your studio displays, including their positions, orientations and aspect ratios, on a single monitor.

Streamline your control room

Maestro | PowerWall is the all-in-one, end-to-end workflow solution that eliminates the need for separate video processors or real-time graphics systems. It even provides up to eight internal HD clip players.  Because it integrates seamlessly with existing workflows, (Grass Valley, Ross, Sony, Snell & Wilcox, Blackmagic Design, Evertz and NVision) you minimize costs, complexity and studio footprint requirements.

 

Get to air faster and easier

New pre-production tools empower your team to respond immediately to breaking news or last-minute changes. Your team can quickly create and customize graphic templates on-the-fly, accelerating turn-around time for graphics content and playout. The touch-screen interface is sleek and intuitive for easy training and operation. A single operator can assign and play content, while independently or simultaneously controlling different production areas.

 

Go big – really BIG

Sometimes bigger is better, and Maestro | PowerWall gives you the scalability for blockbuster production values. Display content up to 16x the size of your HD-SDI video outputs, and up to 8x the size of your 1080p outputs, all without the need for an expensive video scaler. Fill the biggest video wall displays with SD, HD, 3G, UHD, 4K and other high-resolution formats simultaneously across inputs and outputs. 4K clips can even display in full resolution using four HD-SDI outputs to your video wall.

 

Bring editorial content to studio displays

Maestro | PowerWall is tightly integrated with MediaCentral | Newsroom Management, and can be integrated with commonly used newsroom computer systems. Generate editorial content directly from your newsroom software, insert it into your Maestro | PowerWall rundown, and then trigger it manually or automatically to keep up with fast-paced, and rapidly changing newscasts.

 

Avid Maestro | PowerWall in action

Avid Maestro | PowerWall’s flexibility and scalability makes it adaptable to solving even the most unique production challenges. CBS’s The Late Show design team decided they wanted to display imagery on different sized and shaped surfaces, including The Ed Sullivan Theater’s iconic domed ceiling. The challenge: how to execute complex video projection, on-the-fly, with content that must be unique every night, in a high-stress live-to-tape production environment. To see how they worked with Avid to develop a truly unique solution, watch the video.

“Technology alone is not enough.”

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

Giving your team the latest technology will keep you competitive. Empowering your team to create without limits will allow your productions to rise above competitors, and develop a singularly unique brand pillar. As demand spirals for compelling video and audio content, establishing key differentiators becomes more difficult. To see how Avid Maestro | PowerWall can take your productions to new horizons, please come and see our demonstration at Upper South Hall – Booth SU801 (located next to the hall entrance).

Maestro | PowerWall

Captivate viewers and bring excitement to your studio, news, or sports production with Avid’s innovative display control and management solution.




Deliver Your Content at Lightning Speed — The Avid FastServe Family at NAB 2018

Effectively managing your media is becoming significantly more complex. From the ever-increasing number of incoming video feeds, to the simultaneous delivery of content on multiple platforms that demand an array of formats and standards, workflows are being stretched and segmented. The challenge is to incorporate ingest, editing and playout seamlessly into your production process.

Avid’s family of FastServe video servers was specifically developed to offer news, sports and entertainment productions lightning fast turnaround times. The unified architecture tightly integrates with the MediaCentral platform, empowering your creative teams to deliver content faster, and more efficiently. FastServe is also a cost-effective solution because it supports a higher channel count per video server for a lower overall cost per channel in a smaller footprint.

The FastServe family is available in three configurations, optimized for different production needs:

Avid FastServe | Live Edit

In breaking news and sporting events, the ability to quickly turnaround images and footage on-the-fly is essential. FastServe Live | Edit allows one control room operator to capture the drama you want, and instantly get it on the air and online. No rendering, no waiting on an editor, just instantaneous playout, right from the control room. And FastServe | Live Edit can pull highlights from multiple incoming feeds, incorporating ingest, editing and playout, all from the same box.

 

Avid FastServe | Ingest

Covering live events demands the ability to manage concurrent incoming feeds for quick turnaround and delivery to all types of distribution channels. FastServe | Ingest gives production teams dual ingest of high-res and proxy directly into Avid NEXIS, with immediate “edit-while-capture” availability without any interruption of the overall feed recording and storage.

 

Avid FastServe | Playout

The new FastServe | Playout HD/UHD video server consolidates both video and graphics playback in a single system.  It enables you to play multiple sequences made up of different wrappers and codecs back to back from the same playlist—all without transcoding. It provides a modern user interface that is tightly integrated into the MediaCentral platform and accommodates different production needs.

Some of the new features Avid will be announcing at NAB for the first time include:

 

• Proxy ingest enhancing Edit While Capture workflows:

FastServe | Ingest now offers the ability to ingest 8 channels of XDcam while at the same time generating 8 corresponding high-quality H.264 proxy streams, for a smooth editing experience.

 

• Support for streamlined multi cam workflows:

FastServe | Ingest, already a powerful solution for multi-camera HD and UHD ingest, and offering extremely efficient file based transfer from ingest to post production, now offer synchronize ingest of multiple channels over multiple servers Support for file name and metadata in Japanese and Latin-based languages.

 

• Support for Send to Playback

With support for Send-to-Playback, FastServe | Playout can be seamlessly integrated with existing Airspeed environments

 

• And much more

 

All three of the FastServe boxes easily integrate with Avid NEXIS storage, for instant availability. Because of the modular design, each FastServe box offers different, customizable solutions for a variety of workflows and production environments. The FastServe family gives you the power to future proof your technology today by being fully compatible with HD, UHD, SDI and Video Over IP.

Empower your production teams to provide the most compelling and engaging viewer experience. Fast, efficient and cost-effective, Avid FastServe is your live coverage differentiator. To see just how the Avid FastServe family can accelerate your workflow, come and see our demonstration at Upper South Hall – Booth SU801 (located next to the hall entrance).

Deliver the Story First

The Avid FastServe family tightly integrates with the MediaCentral platform, empowering creative teams to ingest, edit, and play out content lightning-fast for news, sports, entertainment, and other live productions.




Find the Right Media Fast with Advanced Search Capabilities in Avid MediaCentral

Your team is producing more content than ever…in some cases 1,000 times more media than you did just 10 years ago.  Your media is your lifeblood, your most valuable asset, but what good is it if you can’t find the content you need, when you need it… let alone be able to repurpose it for multiple projects to be delivered across various platforms.  Ultimately, you want to leverage your content as much as possible, perhaps even to tap into new revenue opportunities.

Many contributors and producers have faced challenges trying to locate digital content, searching multiple databases, each with their own applications, or even databases running on entirely separate physical systems.  Then when you finally find the content, transferring it to the editing or production system to use it is another huge hassle.  This is not only inefficient and time-consuming, but also limits your organization’s ability to deliver content quickly, which can impact you competitively and economically, as well.

Reducing complexity, costs, and time-consuming manual processes rampant in piecemeal media production workflows is a key focus in Avid’s media production solution development strategy.  We developed Avid MediaCentral to help you find and access the media you need quickly using powerful global search, filter, and indexing tools that make it easy to locate relevant video, audio, graphics, and/or document content across multiple local and remote systems within your entire ecosystem.

MediaCentral makes tracking down content easier than ever. You can search for and find the media you need fast, within MediaCentral. It makes all production and archived assets accessible to every in-house and remote contributor.

MediaCentral | Cloud UX with Search app and Phonetic Index service

With the optional MediaCentral | Phonetic Index service and you can find clips based on spoken dialog. Phonetic search locates every media clip that contains a specific spoken word or phrase in milliseconds—across all available storage and archives. You can also organize and maintain a list of your frequently performed searches for fast access, reducing the extra time spent searching for assets.

Not only are search results shown, but clips can be viewed right within MediaCentral | Cloud UX, the web-based user experience, on virtually any device. When you find the desired assets, the underlying technology streams it transparently in the background so you can begin working with it within MediaCentral or using other creative tools.

Editors don’t even need to leave the comfort of their editing application, as MediaCentral can be accessed directly from within Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

MediaCentral | Panel for Media Composer

MediaCentral | Panel for Adobe Premiere Pro CC

In our previous blogs in this tutorial series, Say Goodbye to Patchwork Workflows and Get Unprecedented Workflow Speed and Productivity, we showed you an overview of how users interact with MediaCentral’s groundbreaking new interface. We introduced several of the apps that improve workflow efficiency and outlined basic navigation features.

In this tutorial video, you’ll see how MediaCentral makes it easy to search for and find the media you need, regardless of where on your network the media is located, while you’re working anywhere on any device. You’ll see how the power and flexibility of phonetic search helps you find specific content and metadata, quickly and easily. We’ll also show you how MediaCentral’s unique search options can be customized to your needs to keep your team more productive and improve overall workflow efficiency.

With MediaCentral, you can gain greater accessibility, facilitating greater collaboration across your organization.  You can turn content around faster leveraging powerful search capabilities to help minimize inefficiencies while positively impacting revenue opportunities.  Accelerate your entire workflow with MediaCentral to create better content faster, deliver to more outlets and devices, and maximize the value of your media.

Stay tuned for the next blog in this tutorial series which will showcase MediaCentral’s powerful browsing capabilities.

Avid MediaCentral

Whether you’re a team of two, an organization of hundreds, or anything in between, MediaCentral accelerates your workflow, scaling from the simplest to the most sophisticated solutions for post production, news, sports, and asset management.




Get Unprecedented Workflow Speed and Productivity with Avid MediaCentral

Media producers face increasing operational and economic pressure to meet the growing consumer demand for content delivered to any device any time anywhere. This insatiable demand has created the largest disruption the industry has ever seen in terms of how content is delivered and monetized.  As eyeballs move to mobile platforms, advertisers are following, creating economic pressure for traditional broadcasters as they wrestle with how to address these challenges.  To help media organizations thrive in this media-hungry world, Avid has been working diligently to deliver solutions to help optimize production workflows, facilitate team collaboration regardless of physical location, and keep teams focused on creating and delivering more high-quality content across multiple platforms with fewer resources.  We introduced a groundbreaking media workflow platform, Avid MediaCentral, to give newsrooms, post facilities, and creative teams of all sizes the power to create and deliver more content in shorter timeframes.

MediaCentral features a revolutionary cloud-based, HTML5 user experience that works on any device, workflow modules and apps for editorial, production, news, graphics, and asset management, and a wide array of media services and partner connectors. Every team member is connected in a completely integrated workflow environment and gains a unified view into all their media—no matter where it’s located—on premise, in a private data center, or via the public cloud.

The completely redesigned MediaCentral | Cloud UX user experience is easy-to-use, task-oriented, and highly-responsive. It’s available to everyone connected to the platform including from any mobile device, no matter where they are. Team members can easily collaborate and stay productive regardless of their location.

The MediaCentral | Cloud UX interface is designed to help every team member jump right in and start working immediately. Even as you add new modules and apps to your workflow, MediaCentral | Cloud UX makes every new tool familiar, keeping you productive. No more bouncing between multiple tools to complete projects. Teams can view tasks, access projects, log and ingest clips, edit video, and publish content with graphics, from anywhere with the same unified experience across workstations, laptops, and mobile devices. Dedicated iOS and Android apps are also available, providing streamlined access to MediaCentral from anywhere.

In the blog, Say Goodbye to Patchwork Workflows, we provided an overview and video of this all-new, highly-responsive user interface and introduced several of the apps that together usher in a new level of media production efficiency.

In this video, we explore basic navigation within MediaCentral that lets you work the way you want. You’ll see how to navigate around the interface to accomplish various tasks including browsing footage, loading media clips for viewing, accessing metadata, optimizing screen real estate, opening, docking, and working with multiple task-oriented apps, using breadcrumbs, and more.

Stay tuned for the upcoming blogs in this tutorial series.  We’ll show you the basics of MediaCentral’s searching and browsing capabilities, and more—enabling you to find and work with the media you need, leveraging the availability, scalability, and accessibility of the platform.

Accelerate your entire workflow with Avid MediaCentral to create better content faster, deliver to more outlets and devices, and maximize the value of your media.

Avid MediaCentral

Whether you’re a team of two, an organization of hundreds, or anything in between, MediaCentral accelerates your workflow, scaling from the simplest to the most sophisticated solutions for post production, news, sports, and asset management.




Avid Captures the Action for Icelandic Broadcaster RÚV

Iceland’s RÚV launched its first TV channel back in 1966, and has since become one of the most successful public service broadcasters in Europe. With its radio, TV and online offering, the broadcaster continues to reach over 95% of the country every week. RÚV’S ethos centres on informing, educating and entertaining, and its news and sports content is crucial in delivering this.

Last year, Iceland’s national football team provided the most memorable storyline of UEFA Euro 2016. The nation tuned into RÚV to watch its team’s first ever appearance in the tournament, which stunned viewers and saw them make it all the way to the quarter-finals. Following the popularity of its coverage and the national buzz around football, RÚV considered how they could step up both the look and efficiency of its sports and newsroom coverage in time for this summer’s UEFA Women’s Euro 2017.

As an existing member of Avid’s preeminent customer community, and users of Avid’s industry-standard Media Composer editing software, RÚV turned to Avid to help improve its live production output. Members of RÚV’s sports, news and technical team talked about the reasons behind their recent Avid investments and the game-changing impacts that Avid’s comprehensive tools and workflow solutions have had on improving the efficiency of their productions.

“Before the Women’s Euro’s, we looked into a number of graphics systems to enhance and enrich our productions,” said Gunnar Orn Gudmundsson, Head of Technology at RÚV. “Maestro | Live stood out from the crowd as a system that would drastically reduce our production times and seamlessly integrate with our existing ecosystem.”

The broadcaster worked closely with reseller, Vili, and Avid to implement an all-in-one solution for real-time sports production, along with Avid replay server, the versatile ingest/playout solution to turnaround big plays or stories fast. Powered by Avid MediaCentral, the industry’s most open, tightly integrated and efficient platform designed for media, next-generation workflow enhancements have helped RUV attract and engage viewers with more graphically compelling and information-rich news and sports broadcasts.

Before integrating Maestro | Live, RÚV’s production team created graphics and marked specific football players in Media Composer. Now, with Maestro | Live they are able to do this whilst the game is live. “During a match, our experts and studio host watch together in our green room, which is now equipped with both Maestro | Live and PlayMaker,” explained Vilhjalmur Siggeirsson, Sports Producer at RÚV. “When a member of the team wants to talk about a specific play from the game on-air, then a technician responds straight away with engaging graphics to compliment the commentary.”

Avid’s industry leading editing software, Media Composer, still remains a crucial part of RÚV’s end-to-end Avid workflow and is utilised around the clock to cut together the biggest news narratives. Benefitting both RÚV’s sports and newsroom productions, the addition of PlayMaker enables the creation of slow-motion replays, highlight reels, and news updates instantly, ensuring its teams stay at the forefront of content delivery.

Maestro | Live helps solve the challenge of creating engaging graphics for live sports content. RÚV now has the freedom to produce and control action-based, data-driven UHD graphics and video playout from one single intelligent interface. It’s ideal for quickly pulling in the starting line-ups, player stats and pictures, and standings before a game, and presenting updates throughout the event with assured accuracy. The solution brings more depth in coverage, increasing the production value for RÚV’s live games, pre-shows, half-time shows and post-match analysis.

RÚV’s News Producer, Ragnar Santos, has seen the benefits from the installation throughout the production team: “Depending on production demands, our team is flexible and can work for both the sports and newsroom. We needed a reliable user-friendly system to match this, and that’s exactly what Avid has delivered.”

“Once again, Avid has provided a system that I believe will be part of RÚV for the foreseeable future. We’ve trusted Avid for 20 years now, and throughout this time they’ve continued to introduce new innovative solutions that are ideal for today’s every-changing broadcast environment.”

To hear more from RÚV, and the next-generation Avid solutions enhancing their day-to-day operations, watch the video now!

Connect and Compete with Avid Graphics

With Avid graphics solutions, you can entertain and enlighten audiences through powerful visual storytelling, stunning imagery, and enhancements, so they keep tuning in for more.

Discover Media Composer

Accelerate storytelling with the tools embraced by top movie, television, and broadcast editors. And power through HD and high-res editing faster and easier than ever.




Avid Maestro | Designer and Maestro | News — Design to Engage

Great story-telling is at the core of compelling content and the pressure to deliver in new and engaging ways increases as competition for viewers’ attention in an on-demand world intensifies. News and sports networks are rapidly adding programming and covering more events with fewer resources, just to keep up with the demand. The challenge is continuing to improve quality and content, to better serve viewers across multiple platforms.

To help meet the challenges broadcasters face and present data in new and compelling ways with a system that is tightly integrated to Avid’s end to end offerings or can seamlessly operate with any 3rd party environment,  Avid has released the newest version of Avid Maestro | Designer and Avid Maestro | News.

When used together, production teams in news, sports, or entertainment can rapidly create, manage, distribute and play-out stunning, real-time 2D and 3D graphics and videos. Now, deeper platform integration with Avid solutions yields faster turnaround of content, the result of extended user management feature enhancements that boost production efficiency.

Avid Maestro | Designer, Avid’s easy to use yet powerful modelling and design tool, gives your creative talent the necessary creative controls to design and deliver practically anything you can imagine.

Here’s how the latest improvements to Maestro | Designer help your team turn around better content faster:

• Find fonts faster with better categorization and handling

• Set specific animation start and end points for more precise playback

• Work with and edit object masks more easily with the new Show Masks function

• Apply a Scissor mask to a whole layer for more creative flexibility

• Get resolution independence with Scalable Vector Graphics, and more.

Maestro | Designer also improves overall performance

• The latest version provides numerous under-the-hood improvements—using existing hardware

• Enables designers to create higher quality graphics and boost visual identity and production value without changing any other components

The newest version of Maestro | Designer allows you to view your work in the highest resolution:

• Scales the application display to the required resolution, making it easier to prep, create, view, and refine content in up to 4K resolution.

From building on-air motion graphics, channel branding, and sports enhancements, to designing immersive video walls and interactive virtual studios, Avid Maestro | Designer makes it easy to bring your content—and brand—to life.

Avid Maestro | News takes that content, and gets it to your distribution points almost instantaneously. Integration with many 3rd party newsroom and editing systems expands your production capabilities and provides even greater efficiencies when installed in an Avid environment.

How the latest version of Maestro | News makes your team more efficient:

• New support for the Array control and exposers functions introduced in Maestro | Designer and RenderEngine

• Set the timing of exported elements directly in the Maestro | Designer animation timeline while creating content, which will then trigger data being sent to a Maestro | News property

• Maestro | News pages now retrieve data values directly from a RenderEngine-loaded scene and sends them to a completely different scene, providing a fast and easy way to reuse information or mirror data between different production systems

Simplify your workflow:

• Accelerates the page creation process with new extended timeline scripting capabilities, enabling scripts to send exports and control animation, reducing the number of tracks needed in the timeline

Maestro l News includes powerful and fast search functions

• New rundown filtering capabilities manage the content of complex stories and large rundowns

• Use different search keywords or phrases to apply a filter in the rundown to locate stories

• Search functions go beyond the item name, and apply to the content inside of any item too, making it easier to find the exact story needed

New, expanded capabilities:

• New Auto Still Cue settings option for the video playback module, enabling a clip to display relevant metadata in its first frame or In point when the video item is cued, facilitating better information sharing with production teams

• Video items can be added from the MediaCentral | Maestro News app directly to a MediaCentral | Newsroom Management rundown

 

The latest versions of Maestro l Designer and Maestro l News are tightly integrated to the new MediaCentral platform providing accessibility to graphics and graphics templates organization wide with templates that can be updated dynamically and re-used.  The latest versions also have compatibility with legacy interplay and MediaCentral UX systems.

Create and manage dynamic media cost-effectively with Avid Maestro | Designer and Avid Maestro | News, the next level solution to enrich your story-telling.

Connect and Compete with Avid Graphics

With Avid graphics solutions, you can entertain and enlighten audiences through powerful visual storytelling, stunning imagery, and enhancements, so they keep tuning in for more.




Global Social Responsibility of Media Companies — History and Structure of a German Media Market

In the course of my career, I have discussed the structure of the German media market with international broadcasters countless times. The magnitude of differences in the business models, legal regulations and media market regulations between individual countries is striking. I have never encountered a set of structures and regulations comparable to that of Germany in other countries — 10 public broadcasting corporations with various regional programs, the ARD common program and ZDF form a public broadcasting system unlike that of any other country. All privately financed media corporations automatically stand in heavy competition with this strong public broadcaster.

Based on previous experiences in discussing this topic with my international colleagues, I feel the need to give a short overview of the German media market at this point.

Before we continue, a short retrospective of German history is in order.

After end of World War II, the victorious Allies quickly rebuilt broadcasting services in the four occupation zones they controlled. Before the new stations could be handed over to German society, the Allies needed to develop a new organizational structure for the broadcasting system. This new medium was intended to function largely outside of government control. Since both a private commercial model such as the American one and a state-controlled public broadcaster model were out of the question, the broadcasters in the three Western zones were placed subject to a constitution similar to that of the BBC in Great Britain: Broadcasters were founded as public institutions in which neither the state nor private individuals could own shares, with pluralistic supervising committees retaining control. Representing as many demographics as possible, the broadcasting council was intended to guarantee impartial information-based programming portraying a variety of viewpoints and expressly including political content. Long-term financing was to be secured by charging households a fee.

However, the public broadcasting monopoly was already controversial in the 1950s. It became even more so when the state broadcasters began broadcasting a regular television program with the ARD, in addition to their radio programs in 1954. The private sector soon declared its interest in a second television program. This group included advertising agencies and newspaper publishers. The latter in particular made allegations of unfair competition between the press, which was dependent on distribution and advertisements, and the public broadcasters, who were financed by fees.

The second public broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) was founded as a television program only and began broadcasting in 1963. The third programs of the state broadcasting corporations gradually followed with a regional programming mandate beginning in 1964.

The monopoly of the public broadcasters did not last long. Changing technology led to greater broadcasting capacity, making new programming offerings possible. In the 1970s, cable and satellite made new transmission methods available, thereby solving the issue of terrestrial frequency limitations. In 1981, the constitutional court recognized the legality of private broadcasters in principle; however, the state governments retained the choice of whether or not to ratify the law.

In a spirit of cooperative federalism, the state governments were able to come to an agreement at the end of the 1970s to undertake four pilot projects to test the technological, organizational and content-related modalities of an expanded programming schedule and to gauge public acceptance of the same. Jan. 1, 1984, is considered to the be beginning of private broadcasting in Germany. On this day, the Anstalt für Kabelkommunikation (AKK), based in Ludwigshafen, first broadcast programs produced in cooperation with private programming providers.

Today, there are more than 20 public television channels and more than 60 radio channels available for free in Germany.

In the course of the privatization of the broadcasting sector, an enormous expansion of electronic media in Germany took place in the following years. This change extended to the number of operators, the range of programming and usage by listeners and viewers. There are more than 300 radio channels available in Germany today, including approximately 250 private ones. Each state has at least one private state broadcaster as well as regional and local ones.

Digitalization in the past decades has led to a significant expansion of television programming. The increase in broadcasting capability made room for numerous additional offers. Today, there are more than 400 largely free-to-air television channels in Germany (including foreign channels).

This multitude of both comprehensive and specialized programs in addition of the public channels has resulted in Germany boasting a globally-unique range of free television channels.

In addition to the deregulation of the media landscape, technological changes were in the offing as well. After digitalization of broadcasting began in the 1990s through the use of DVB-S (satellite) and DVB-C (cable), the nationwide terrestrial digital broadcaster DVB-T and the digital radio standard DAB began to be introduced in preparation for the future discontinuance of analog transmission. After a pilot phase in 2009, regular TV broadcasting in HD format began in February 2010. The ARD and ZDF began broadcasting their main programs in HD format from satellite for the Winter Olympics. Finally, on April 30, 2012, at 3:00 a.m., the analog signal transmission from the ASTRA satellite was silently retired.

IP-based digitalization of analog telecommunications networks made another technological revolution in the world of broadcasting possible. A digitalized telecommunications network makes it possible to transmit digital television signals, telephone and internet data. Transmission over internet protocol includes a feedback channel, which is what really made interactive television in the form of internet TV or IPTV possible for the first time. In addition, the limit on the number of available channels no longer applies either. As a result, new parallel media such as on-demand TV via multimedia libraries emerged through the internet. This technology enables time- and location-independent media use and is no longer limited to the television broadcasters’ programming. New service providers such as YouTube and new media corporations such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix are competing for consumers’ attention. At the Internationale Funkausstellung of 2007, the ZDF debuted its multimedia library as one of the first of its kind. Today, the ZDF’s multimedia library provides access to HD media content not only to PCs, but also to all mobile devices and SmartTVs connected to the internet.

Technology is developing at lightening speed. New transmission formats (UHD, 4K, 8K), new screen sizes and “unlimited” mobile network bandwidth available everywhere and at all times require attractive and current content. Media corporations such as the ZDF must be prepared for this demand. The internal production processes must be organized in such a way as to make all videos at all workplaces available to editors for revision at all times. Rapid preparation of the current reports regarding all distribution methods is essential for surviving the competition with established and new media corporations. In order to reach these goals, it is absolutely necessary to integrate internationally leading technology partners in the projects. The ZDF is well-known and appreciated by the broadcast suppliers of the media sector for intensively maintaining decade-long partnerships, thereby getting in on the ground floor with all innovations. The innovations of digitization will continue and help us to tell stories in the future.




Say Goodbye to Patchwork Workflows — Avid MediaCentral at IBC 2017

Step back in time two decades to taped-based media production. You would quite likely find a ‘patchwork quilt’ workflow, Scotch tape’d together with equal measures of inspiration and perspiration. Within the last decade, converting to a file-based workflow harmonized the content and yielded efficiencies, but the digital tools required to stitch together the silos – asset management, news rundown, editing, storage, graphics, transcoding and playout – continue to present a challenge for anyone in the business of content creation.

This is mainly because most vendors focus on solutions to address one or two links in the digital production chain. Few manufacturers have the resources and scope to take a holistic approach to the entire workflow. While the effort is immense, the rewards are huge – streamlining the workflow yields productivity gains that give newsrooms, post facilities, and creative teams of all sizes the power to create and deliver more content in shorter timeframes.

Fast-forward to the explosion of content coming in from many different sources, all of which needs to be ingested, tagged, stored and made accessible.  On the distribution side, consumers expect to be able to receive content on any device, at any time, wherever they are. And this is all happening as broadcasters face increasing economic pressure to streamline operations.

Addressing this not insignificant challenge was the primary goal behind the development of the all-new Avid MediaCentral, the industry’s most comprehensive platform for media workflow, announced at IBC 2017.

Avid MediaCentral is the first media platform to integrate newsroom, sports, post and live production workflows into a single, scalable user experience. It delivers the same high performance and reliability whether you have a team of two, or a global media enterprise with hundreds of distributed contributors. It’s a simple premise: start with the capabilities and workflows you need now, and add components as you grow to expand and accelerate production.

There are five primary workflow modules: Asset Management, Editorial Management, Production Management, Newsroom Management and Graphics Management. Other capabilities can be added through a variety of media services, user apps, editor panels, and third-party connectors to search, edit, manage, and distribute content, as well as integrate tasks, rundowns, social media, and real-time graphics into your workflow.

The MediaCentral suite drives efficiencies in three ways: ease of use, collaboration and deployment.

MediaCentral | Cloud UX

The task-oriented, HTML5-based MediaCentral | Cloud UX interface is designed to help you jump right in and start working immediately. Even as you add new modules to your workflow, MediaCentral | Cloud UX makes every new tool familiar, and keeps you productive – no more bouncing between multiple tools to complete projects. You can even access MediaCentral through dedicated iOS and Android apps, with the same interactive experience and simplicity.

Different teams, media, and workflows can be seamlessly connected, putting an end to work silos and making real-time collaboration a reality for remote contributors. Tracking down content has never been so easy. MediaCentral provides global search and browsing capabilities, enabling team members, wherever they are located, to quickly find and access relevant video, audio, news scripts, and documents across the entire MediaCentral ecosystem.

One very cool feature – and a huge time-saver – is phonetic search. With this feature you can locate every clip that contains a specific spoken word or phrase in milliseconds—across all available storage and archives. Editors don’t even need to leave the comfort of their editing application, as MediaCentral can be accessed directly from within Media Composer or Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

The all-new installation and deployment app, MediaCentral | Deploy, completely automates software installation across every enterprise platform service, and handles all basic configuration automatically, making installation orders of magnitude faster than manual processes, and greatly reducing the risk of human error

What’s more, the modularity of the MediaCentral platform dramatically simplifies licensing and user management. With every element of the media workflow now part of a single, unified system, administrators have one central place to switch modules on and off, manage licensing, and designate user roles and permissions. Licensing and user management for every module, app, and tool all takes place at the platform level.

This modularity also makes it easy to migrate operations to the cloud. MediaCentral gives you complete choice and flexibility to handle media production in the way that best suits your business—on premise, in a private data center, public cloud, or with a hybrid model.

Developing the new MediaCentral eco-system has been Avid’s largest-ever engineering project. We firmly believe that it will serve your needs for the next decade and longer, helping you create better content faster, deliver to more outlets and devices, and maximize the value of your media.

Avid MediaCentral

MediaCentral accelerates your workflow, scaling from the simplest to the most sophisticated solutions for post production, news, sports, and asset management.




Built for Speed — Avid’s Next Generation Server Announced at IBC 2017

Traditional broadcasters now have to compete not just with other broadcasters for our attention, but also with new over-the-top providers and social media channels. They have to deal with many more different media formats and resolutions. And response times – once measured in hours – are now measured in minutes, sometimes even seconds, so the requirement for a fast turnaround production workflow is paramount, even when budgets are limited.

When the speed of getting content into and out of an organization is so critical, there needs to be special consideration given to the server component of the workflow, whether it is for news, sports, or any other kind of demanding live production. The server needs to be cost-effective, capable of handling many different file formats and, above all, needs to be fast. The aptly-named Avid FastServe, announced at IBC 2017, has been specifically engineered to meet all three requirements.

This next generation server combines the best of its predecessors, Airspeed, Playmaker and the Maestro Media Engine, into a single modular appliance, offering innovative new features that leverage Avid’s all-new MediaCentral platform. It can be deployed in a variety of different workflows and is compatible with all existing AirSpeed and Playmaker production tools. The new server platform introduces several new capabilities, including support for 4K/UHD resolutions, Video over IP I/O, significantly improved performance and support for an ever-growing list of codecs, all of which can be mixed on a single channel in real-time, without transcoding.

The modular approach of the new server platform even extends to a field-swappable backplane. This means that as a facility’s needs evolve SDI, Video over IP (SMPTE 2022-6 and 2110) or any mix-and-match combination of I/O options can easily be accommodated in the same server frame. A single server supports up to 4 UHD channels or up to 8 HD channels of I/O in a 3RU footprint, real-time networking between servers, a direct interface to Avid NEXIS storage and compatibility with the full Playmaker toolset.

The FastServe server is available in three configurations – FastServe | Ingest, FastServe | Live Edit and FastServe | Playout – and is tightly integrated with Avid NEXIS storage and the all-new MediaCentral platform, also announced at IBC 2017.

FastServe | Ingest

FastServe | Ingest is designed specifically to meet the challenges of live news, sports, and entertainment productions. It can encode up to 4 UHD streams or up to 8 HD streams, and supports low-latency, edit-while-capture operation through MediaCentral | Production Management. A redundant architecture allows media to be written to local storage on the server and simultaneously – in real-time – to Avid NEXIS storage. In addition, FastServe | Ingest offers 24/7 loop recording capability, guaranteeing none of the action will be missed.

FastServe | Live Edit

FastServe | Live Edit provides news and sports broadcasters with a turnkey solution for ultra-fast turnaround of incoming feeds. When a news story is breaking, FastServe | Live Edit can quickly deliver the story to air within a few seconds. Cherry-picked segments can be instantly aired, and because no rendering or flattening is required, playout can start while the edit is still in progress. In sports productions, FastServe | Live Edit can edit highlights from multiple incoming game feeds, and can be managed by a single operator. FastServe | Live Edit lets you be first on air with your story, while instantly and automatically collaborating with the entire MediaCentral production environment.

FastServe | Playout

FastServe | Playout is a file-based playback server for video clips, images and motion graphics controlled from a single user interface. FastServe | Playout can be equipped with up to six video channels: typically four out and two in. It supports all commonly used file formats and wrappers, and can sequence clips from different codecs and wrappers in the same playlist and play them seamlessly, back-to-back.

The next generation Avid FastServe family of video servers is a cost-effective, future-proofed solution for live broadcast workflows that lowers operational costs and improves overall efficiency.  A new unified, modular, redundant architecture allows for flexible deployment options with the ability to deliver a myriad of configurations in a compact 3U form factor.

Empower your production

The Avid FastServe family of video servers incorporates the best of legacy PlayMaker and AirSpeed video server technologies while integrating next-generation features and higher channel counts into a compact new design.




Avid and Microsoft Showcase Joint Cloud Strategy at MESA’s Media & Entertainment Day and SIGGRAPH

Recently Avid participated in two events that underscore today’s media-anywhere environment and the importance of the cloud in that journey. In the same way that Avid led the industry three decades ago, Avid is once again at the forefront in helping its customers lead the next evolution of creative freedom—in the cloud.

Partnering for the cloud journey

As we announced at NAB earlier this year, Avid has formed a Strategic Cloud Alliance with Microsoft to integrate the Azure cloud hosting platform with the Avid MediaCentral platform, allowing customers to quickly and easily leverage the efficiencies, flexibility and agility that cloud workflows provide. By choosing Azure as our preferred cloud hosting platform, we’re allowing media and entertainment entities, creative teams and artists to migrate to the cloud at their own pace and on their own terms.

Demonstrating the power: Microsoft Media & Entertainment Day

We had the opportunity to showcase our breakthrough cloud-based strategy to more than 300 media and entertainment professionals at the Microsoft Media & Entertainment Day, held July 25, 2017, at the Microsoft Technology Center in New York.

The Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), an organization of industry-leading developers and vendors, including Avid and Microsoft, hosted this inaugural event where Industry experts shared case studies and solutions showcases on data, analytics, security, the cloud and artificial intelligence.

Amid three tracks of programming and two floors of the latest technology updates from Microsoft, their technology partners and customers, we demonstrated our cloud-based solution, showing exactly how media organizations and creative professionals can quickly and easily leverage the efficiencies and elastic capacity of the cloud.

In his keynote on “Optimizing Video Workflows,” Senior Director of the Avid Global Center of Excellence Craig Dwyer noted several trends, including the exponential rise in content creation, multiplatform and Over-the-Top (OTT) distribution, and personalized media consumption. His remarks were part of the event’s “Video in the Microsoft Cloud: Where Collaboration Meets Workflows” session track.

Dwyer put the power of the joint strategy into perspective. “We’re now going to see that driving efficiencies at scale suddenly starts to make a lot of sense, especially for large organizations that have thousands of people who are using their systems at hundreds of locations,” he said. “Our customers now want to remove the friction between their different systems and create a much more fluidly-connected supply chain. Building an ecosystem of partner-solutions around the Azure cloud will create a lot of efficiency.”

Innovation in Editing at SIGGRAPH

Avid Solutions Specialist Michael Krulik demoed our Azure-based cloud solution for creative professionals at the SIGGRAPH graphics and animation conference, which took place August 1-3, 2017, in Los Angeles.

SIGGRAPH is known as an event for and about innovation and innovators. And this year was no exception. As one of six “partner pods” at Microsoft’s SIGGRAPH booth, Krulik and his team showed how Avid and Azure are advancing a synergistic cloud strategy that will allow media companies to migrate seamlessly to the cloud.

For people who were curious about why Avid was in Microsoft’s booth, the demo brought immediate understanding. As Krulik explained, “everybody is used to MediaComposer on a laptop but tapping into the data center through a virtual machine set up is very compelling and bring entirely new levels of creative freedom and flexibility.”

Plan Your Media Enterprise to the Cloud

The cloud provides an environment that can enhance and accelerate almost every aspect of the media supply chain, allowing Media Enterprises to focus on the business of creating and monetizing great content.

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