• Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014
Sling Media unveils 2 devices for out-of-home TV
This product image provided by Sling Media shows SlingTV. (AP Photo/Sling Media)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Sling Media, the maker of devices that let people watch their cable channels while traveling, is trying to become more relevant in the living room.

Traditionally, Sling's strength has been in so-called place shifting. Attached to the home cable box, the Slingbox device sends video to various phones, tablets and other devices. If you're on a work trip in Boston, you can still catch the local news in New York live on a SlingPlayer app. You can also use that to watch shows on your home video recorder.

Inside the home, though, the Slingbox hasn't been of much use beyond letting you watch from a phone or tablet in another room.

Sling is trying to change that with a model announced Tuesday. The new SlingTV is identical to the Slingbox 500 currently on the market, but with new software to recommend things to watch. On the living-room TV, you can see scores and stats for games currently on TV, along with a guide to what's exciting at the moment, such as a team making a comeback. The new software will also give you more information on movies and TV shows.

The new feature incorporates some of what's already found on TiVo recorders and cable set-top boxes. Because the box still can't record shows, the Slingbox's biggest appeal will likely remain in remote viewing — both when traveling and on devices in other rooms.

Although more people have been watching television on their computers and mobile devices, doing that with live TV has been difficult. Services such as Hulu offer shows on a delayed basis, while apps from cable providers and TV channels often have a maze of restrictions.

The Slingbox tries to take the hassle out of remote live viewing. For the most part, as long as something can be viewed on the home TV, it can be viewed on the app. Each Slingbox is attached to a personal account and password to allay piracy concerns.

Even so, Sling will have a tough time broadening its reach.

It works only with television channels you have at home, so it will exclude those who have dropped cable service and want more than what the antenna provides. At best, it's for college students who wish to remotely watch what's on their parents' TV.

In addition, Slingbox has been popular for sports fans wanting to keep up with their teams while traveling. Sling wants to broaden its appeal to those who keep up with fictional television shows and reality-style competitions, but fewer people are watching those live.

Like the model it replaces, the SlingTV will retail for about $300. Apps for phones and tablets will cost $15 each. Remote viewing is free on personal computers. Existing Slingbox 500 users will get the features through free software upgrades when the SlingTV comes out in late August.

Meanwhile, Sling is making a cheaper, entry-level model for $150, starting July 20. Called Slingbox M1, this model lacks the new living-room guides and focuses on the remote viewing that Slingboxes have been known for.

Sling Media is based in Foster City, California, and is owned by EchoStar Corp. of Englewood, Colorado.

  • Friday, Jul. 11, 2014
Toolbox: Hardware & Software News for the Week of July 7, 2014
Developments at FilmLight, Grass Valley, Forbidden, SMPTE

FilmLight hires workflow experts
LONDON--FilmLight has added two highly experienced postproduction experts to its team. Daniele Siragusano and Ram Krishna Tripathi Samaveda will provide workflow information, consultancy and training to help customers of the Baselight grading environment implement the infrastructure best suited to their specific needs and requirements.

“We’re deploying more experts in the field as we think it’s important to communicate with our customers, on a one-to-one basis, how to build an efficient color pipeline with our technology,” explained Wolfgang Lempp, FilmLight co-founder. “When the industry continues to change so rapidly, our unique level of support—and the customer feedback it provides—only becomes more important.”

First to join the team is Siragusano, who spent almost five years at CinePostproduction in Munich, rising to head of technology before moving to dve Digital Video & Effects GmbH as a workflow consultant. Siragusano will utilize his experience and workflow expertise at FilmLight, helping existing and potential customers achieve the best productivity and creativity in their own unique setups. Baselight is a most interoperable professional grading system, and he will assist companies in accommodating FilmLight technology at every stage of production and post-production.

Samaveda joins FilmLight as an experienced and award winning colorist and editor, currently working towards a doctorate in color perception and management. His role at FilmLight will be product specialist/colorist with a particular focus on the South Asia market. He will provide FilmLight’s clients with invaluable training support and implement workflows to take advantage of the unique collaborative potential of FilmLight’s color grading and management technologies. When not considering color, he is also a successful composer known as Samaveda with half a dozen albums, reflecting the music of his native Nepal.

Steve Chapman, co-Founder of FilmLight, said of Samaveda and Siragusano, “They have real, current, in-depth experience of the creative, commercial and technical challenges facing post houses, so they can talk to our customers and prospective customers on their own terms, helping them to get the best out of the most capable technology on the market.”

IBC 2014 marks European debut of the new Grass Valley
MONTREAL--Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, will make its European debut at IBC 2014, (September 12-16 at RAI, Amsterdam), exhibiting in Hall 1, Stand D11. The company will demonstrate how it is leading broadcasters and media companies through the challenges they face today, and will face tomorrow, with fully integrated, Future-Ready solutions, services and support. The new Grass Valley officially launched in April 2014 as a result of Belden Inc.’s investment of more than $1 billion in the broadcast market over the past two years, including the acquisitions, and subsequent merger, of Miranda and Grass Valley.

Grass Valley will show how it is continuing to work closely with its broadcaster, content owner, service provider and media customers, helping to address their needs with Future-Ready solutions that enable them to:
• Create, automate and deliver content across multiple platforms to a growing number of connected devices
•  Open up new revenue opportunities and create efficiencies with IP, cloud-enabled and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions
•  Increase the quality of their content with higher frame-rate support and efficient delivery of UHDTV/4K and beyond

“By doing business with the new Grass Valley, our customers will benefit from the combined pedigree of Grass Valley and Miranda with a level of shared knowledge, experience and market insight that’s truly unrivaled in the industry,” said Marco Lopez, president, Grass Valley. “Broadcasters will be Future-Ready because of our ability to understand and anticipate their needs and provide game-changing solutions that keep their businesses on the competitive edge. At IBC, the stability and influence of Belden—a proven, strategic presence in the broadcast space—enables us to scale and invest in innovation while also providing a level of support to the market that can’t be matched.”

Visitors to Grass Valley’s IBC booth will be able to see and experience live demonstrations of the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of workflow solutions and services. A number of new solutions will be demonstrated for the first time to the EMEA market including:

• LDX XtremeSpeed (LDX XS) camera with the K2 Dyno Replay System – The advanced technology of the LDX XS teamed with K2 Dyno provides uncompromised performance and storytelling ability. The LDX XS cameras will be demonstrated in tandem with the K2 Dyno, which now includes the AnySpeed dynamic playback algorithm for smooth playback at any speed from zero to 200 percent and all speed transitions for 1X/3X/6X ultra slow-motion playout. This unique combination dramatically expands the ability of replay operators to deliver compelling live sports coverage with crisp imagery for instant replays and highlight packages.

• NVISION IP 8500 Gateway – These input/output cards for the NVISION 8500 hybrid router series are a major step forward for broadcasters as they look to transition their facilities from SDI to IP infrastructures. The cards convert and packetize real-time, uncompressed, baseband video to fit a single IP stream and support frame accurate switching for use in live production environments.

• GV STRATUS Playout – A revolutionary, cloud-enabled Software as a Service (SaaS) playout technology that combines the efficiency and flexibility of true cloud computing with the performance and rock solid reliability of a solid-state playout server on a single card.

Forbidden developments at IBC
LONDON--Forbidden Technologies, which develops and markets the Forscene cloud-based video postproduction platform, will unveil several new wrinkles to that platform at IBC 2014, including:
• A new Forscene user interface look and feel (fall 2014)
• High-res codec enables dynamic display of high or low res proxy
• iOS and Android Forscene apps
• New publishing framework
• Media asset management (MAM) system (in beta)
• Movement of original source from one Forscene box to another
• New documentation for supported camera and ingest formats

Additionally, Stephen Streater, CEO of Forbidden Technologies, along with Donna Mulvey-Jones, head of postproduction and facilities for Maverick TV, will co-present at the IBC Content Everywhere Cloud Solutions Pavilion in Hall 3. “Camera to Cloud: Cut Out the Delay Between Shoot and Post” will demonstrate how a revolutionary cloud workflow, in which footage is uploaded directly from the camera into the Forscene cloud, helps bridge the creative gap between acquisition and postproduction to deliver better programming. The session is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.

Forbidden CEO Stephen Streater along with Paul Wilkes, technical director at Halo and Portland Post, will co-present at the IBC Content Everywhere Workflow Solutions Pavilion in Hall 9. “Expanding the Use of Cloud to Create More Efficient File-Based Workflows” will discuss how Forbidden and Platform Post designed and implemented a cloud-based archival workflow for the BBC that capitalizes on the savings (both in time and money) that can be made by synchronising projects’ postproduction and archiving processes in the Forscene cloud. The session will be on Monday, Sept. 15 at 12:30 p.m.

SMPTE launches Pittsburgh Section
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, has formed a SMPTE Section in Pittsburgh. The new Section will offer existing and potential SMPTE members in the Pittsburgh area valuable educational programs, technical expertise, and networking opportunities. The formation of the group was spearheaded by local SMPTE Fellows George Hoover, CTO at NEP; John Luff, television technology consultant at HD Consulting; and Diversified Systems CEO Karl Paulsen.

“George, John, and Karl did tremendous work to make the SMPTE Pittsburgh Section a reality, and the success of their initiative reflects the Society’s growing momentum and activity in the Pittsburgh area,” said SMPTE executive director Barbara Lange. “This really was an effort born in the grassroots of SMPTE membership, and it demonstrates our members’ genuine enthusiasm for taking advantage of educational programs and their interest in becoming more involved in creating the standards that shape our industry.”

The launch of the SMPTE Pittsburgh Section brings the total of local Sections to 28 worldwide. Each year, these groups collectively host more than 200 meetings, tutorials, and workshops. While these events give members access to a broad variety of SMPTE resources, they also enable each Section to tailor programming to address the technical and business concerns of particular interest in the region.

“Pittsburgh is a hub of activity for our industry, and it is particularly notable because the growing SMPTE membership in the region extends beyond traditional television and cinema professionals in what’s proving to be a very diverse group that includes new media,” said Paul Stechly, SMPTE membership VP. “Because the formation of new Sections tends to draw an even larger membership, this announcement signals meaningful, ongoing growth for SMPTE in terms of both the breadth and depth of its membership.”

ARRI CSC expands to Atlanta 
ATLANTA--ARRI CSC, a full service equipment rental group, has announced the strategic expansion of its network with the opening of a camera rental facility in Atlanta, Georgia. The new operation, conveniently located for both studio and location productions, is open for business and will be fully operational from late summer 2014. 
 
“ARRI CSC is very well positioned to make a significant contribution to the Atlanta market,” said president Simon Broad. “And we will ensure that the company’s extensive inventory of digital, film, anamorphic and spherical camera equipment is available to one of the country’s most vibrant production communities along with the level of facility and service that ARRI CSC is known for.”
  • Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2014
FilmLight hires workflow experts
LONDON -- 

FilmLight has added two highly experienced postproduction experts to its team. Daniele Siragusano and Ram Krishna Tripathi Samaveda will provide workflow information, consultancy and training to help customers of the Baselight grading environment implement the infrastructure best suited to their specific needs and requirements.

“We’re deploying more experts in the field as we think it’s important to communicate with our customers, on a one-to-one basis, how to build an efficient color pipeline with our technology,” explained Wolfgang Lempp, FilmLight co-founder. “When the industry continues to change so rapidly, our unique level of support—and the customer feedback it provides—only becomes more important.”

First to join the team is Siragusano, who spent almost five years at CinePostproduction in Munich, rising to head of technology before moving to dve Digital Video & Effects GmbH as a workflow consultant. Siragusano will utilize his experience and workflow expertise at FilmLight, helping existing and potential customers achieve the best productivity and creativity in their own unique setups. Baselight is a most interoperable professional grading system, and he will assist companies in accommodating FilmLight technology at every stage of production and post-production.

Samaveda joins FilmLight as an experienced and award winning colorist and editor, currently working towards a doctorate in color perception and management. His role at FilmLight will be product specialist/colorist with a particular focus on the South Asia market. He will provide FilmLight’s clients with invaluable training support and implement workflows to take advantage of the unique collaborative potential of FilmLight’s color grading and management technologies. When not considering color, he is also a successful composer known as Samaveda with half a dozen albums, reflecting the music of his native Nepal.

Steve Chapman, co-Founder of FilmLight, said of Samaveda and Siragusano, “They have real, current, in-depth experience of the creative, commercial and technical challenges facing post houses, so they can talk to our customers and prospective customers on their own terms, helping them to get the best out of the most capable technology on the market.”

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