Simplylive is pleased to announce a new alliance partnership with Kairos, the revolutionary new IT/IP Platform from Panasonic.
KAIROS utilizes variety of IT ecosystems based on COTS technology and easily expands functions and links external devices by adding application software.
The Panasonic Kairos platform will include the full integration of the powerful Simplylive ViBox solution for the highest level of production value in local, remote, and at-home scenarios.
This partnership highlights the true power that is possible with software powered architecture for end-to-end live broadcast productions.
ESPN’s St Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational returned to Clearwater, Florida in February 2020, providing more than 40 games of softball across ESPN’s networks.
Each participating team played between four and six games over the course of four days, with the USA Softball Women’s National Team also competing in three exhibition games throughout the weekend.
Gravity Media provided three Simply Live ViBox all-in-one production solutions, as well as engineering to integrate with the OB provider, to provide coverage of three of the pitches at the event.
The setup included a single-user production with three cameras and one director/producer; a dual-user setup with five cameras, director/producer and dedicated replay operator; and one large three-user setup with 10 cameras, director/producer and two dedicated replay operators.
The whole ESPN team produced 40 games in four days from four fields split between two compounds a mile apart. On Friday 14th, we were live on ESPNU for over eight straight hours, which created a post-season-coverage type of atmosphere.
The streaming numbers for the tournament were impressive, and the Sunday night ESPN2 game delivered in dramatic fashion both on and off the field, with a solid rating for a softball game in February.
When The Jump returns to ESPN on Monday, the entire crew will be working from their homes – marking the first time ESPN is deploying a fully at-home workflow for one of its studio shows. The “Live at Home” remote-production workflow was developed in recent weeks by a committee that featured more than 30 ESPN staffers from the company’s Creative and Studio Direction, Production, Production Operations, Remote Production Operations and Technology departments.
“The goal of the committee was to review the best option for producing studio shows at a high-level, while allowing all of the associated staff to work from home,” Chris Calcinari, SVP, ESPN & ABC Sports Remote Production Operations, wrote on ESPN Front Row. “The ‘Live from Home’ committee reviewed several cloud-based solutions that work well to execute very basic productions, but did not allow for a large volume of video, graphics or animation. The committee quickly turned to several tools that have been deployed in the field and could be operated from afar.”
At the core of the “Live at Home” remote workflow is the Simplylive ViBox, which is based at ESPN’s Seaport Studios in Manhattan, but controlled from a staffer’s home in Los Angeles. The ViBox touchscreen production system provides us with the ability to cut/dissolve/wipe between cameras, video and animation sources. It also allows us to store and playback video and insert graphics.
Remote home studios have been built out for The Jump on-air talent with audio/video signals from each home sent over the internet (using the TVU application) to the Seaport Studios for integration into the ViBox.
A Vizrt graphics device is also based at our Seaport Studios and is controlled from Operators’ homes in Middlebury and Southington, CT.
All communications take place using a Unity Intercom app installed on the phones, tablets, or computers of everyone involved, including talent.
Production staff is also able to pull video from ESPN media servers and edit at home.
CLICK HERE to read Calcinari’s full post on ESPN Front Row and to see more behind-the-scenes photos.
By Heather McLean, Editor - Sports Video Group Europe
Euro Media Group (EMG) has launched a fully cloud-based video review solution for video assistant referee (VAR) with Simply Live. The new combined technology means that VAR match officials can work remotely from anywhere with internet access.
Spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic, EMG and Simplylive have worked together to develop and deploy a cloud-based solution that combines the software development and operational deployment capabilities of both companies.
With latency at 0.5 seconds over the public internet, EMG has combined Refbox technology from Simplylive with bespoke and easy to deploy communication technology to enable the referee on the pitch to communicate easily with the video official room, wherever that might be.
Matthieu Skrzypniak, chief digital officer at EMG, told SVG Europe: “We did not wait for COVID-19 to work on remote production concepts, but COVID-19 is changing mindsets. More and more of our partners are actively looking for remote solutions to limit staff travel in order to cover an event.
“Although we have been working on technical aspects of remote production tools for a while now, we think that COVID-19 is a trigger that makes it clear for most organisations that they have to seriously consider cloud workflows.”
On how this technology development might change the way VAR is used in the future, Skrzypniak noted: “Most of the time, for example on a premium football match, there is a dedicated OB truck at the stadium with two or three people in it. There are also remote VAR rooms with expensive connectivity to be connected to the stadium. The solution we worked on is based on public internet; it will make this type of solution much cheaper [to produce] and the VAR will therefore be available to tier two and tier three federations, that can’t afford [VAR as it has been made available over the last two years] today.”
Hosted on Amazon Web Services, this solution offers flexibility of deployment and allows seamless, instant review of multiple cameras from anywhere in the world.
The solution includes a new generation of EMG’s stagebox that encodes and transfers the audio and video signals to the cloud infrastructure on the internet.
“The reactivity is the same as on a local user interface,” explained Luc Doneux, managing director at Simplylive. “Euro Media Group is a key partner for us and [these] type of remote solutions have never made more sense than during those uncertain times when movements are limited.”
Skrzypniak, added: “Simplylive technology is perfectly adapted to cloud implementation. This solution will significantly change our approach [to] VAR because it will allow for completely different workflows where the referee can work remotely from any place with an internet access. As such, it is perfectly suited to simplified VAR implementation, and medical review.”
The "Gateway" is the essential link for affordable multi-camera remote production
Simplylive, the makers of the world’s most intuitive and flexible multi-camera production systems, has announced that it is now shipping their UI Gateway. The "Gateway" represents the essential link in the Simplylive ViBox platform to enable low bandwidth, flexible and optimized remote workflows for live multi-camera productions.
Producers have long been looking for solutions to reduce location production costs. Finding ways to reduce the amount of crew they take on location has been something customers have requested from equipment manufacturers for years. To date, large sports networks have utilized REMI (remote integration model) systems to feed cameras back to their “at home” production center, thus reducing the number of crew members needed at event venues. But for many producers, a REMI workflow can be prohibitively expensive.
Competitive pressure continues to increase for producers to create more niche sporting events for more niche audiences. Whether programming is delivered through traditional broadcast methods or via the internet, the need to reduce production costs, location costs, and the ability to produce programs with smaller crews located in diverse locations has never been greater. The need is compounded in the current Covid-19 environment. Producers want to work with crew people wherever they may be located.
The Simplylive Vibox platform is the world’s most intuitive and flexible multi-camera production system. With it’s easy to use touch-screen user interface, small footprint, and scalable workflow configurations, every Vibox system is natively remote production capable. By design, the ViBox I/O hardware, the cameras and the switcher or replay operator UIs can be located in entirely different locations provided they are connected to the same network.
The UI Gateway takes the remote production concept one major step further. The “Gateway” manages the bandwidth of the information being sent between the ViBox hardware and the operator UI’s. UI information data can be reduced drastically before being delivered to the operator UIs over the network. With the Gateway, data feeds are user adjustable to between 5Mbps and 50Mbps per UI. The net result is that Simplylive applications can be run remotely over standard, affordable internet connections.
“The current situation with the coronavirus has put an incredible stress on the industry,” says Greg Macchia, VP of Sales & Operations, Simplylive, Americas. “Our ViBox technology was designed at it’s core for remote productions and today, when we speak about at-home productions, we may be talking literally about producing from the operator’s home. Now with the UI Gateway, producers can create live programming over highly available, standard internet connections. The potential cost savings are significant and the “Gateway” offers the final component to make this scalable while also taking us one step closer to true cloud-based workflows.”
Unique Benefits for UI Gateway Users
The UI Gateway can be purchased directly from Simplylive. It is recommended that interested parties speak to a Simplylive product specialist to review their complete production and system needs.
Remote production trials are carried out regularly in France but for the Pro B clash between Paris Basketball and Aix Maurienne broadcast on Sunday 26 January on RMC Sport, AMP Visual TV delivered a real live remote production that went to air.
“At RMC Sport we like to implement new workflows. We had been thinking about producing a live remote production and not just a trial for quite some time, so with AMP Visual TV and our own "Letsee" team we chose a basketball game,” said Luc Pannier, director of broadcasting and production for the Altice Group, owner of RMC Sport.
This is the first time a Pro B (second division of the National Basketball Championship) regular-season match has ever been held at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris-Bercy – two days after the NBA Paris Game 2020 between Charlotte and Milwaukee.
Equipment used for coverage was identical to that of a traditional match produced with the help of the IXI Live mobile unit. Seven cameras were deployed around the basketball court with five camera operators manning the three cameras on the sidelines, plus one for wide shots and one for close-ups, with two minicams positioned behind the hoops.
“We placed a sensor at the base of the wide-angle camera that, depending on the shot, automatically enabled the minicam to follow the direction of the action. The interesting thing about our set-up is that we used traditional 300Mb fibre broadband instead of a costly dark fibre network to send seven video and audio signals as well as all the other data,” said François Valadoux, deputy CEO for technical resources at AMP Visual TV.
Simplylive ViBox for the production
On-site at the AccorHotel Arena in Bercy there was a pared-down production crew of five camera operators, some assistants and two sound engineers. At the AMP Visual TV media centre (which has moved from the 15th arrondissement of Paris to join the nerve centre of the group’s studio facilities situated at la Plaine Saint Denis, close to the future Olympics village), the crew members who usually work in the IXI Live mobile unit were calling the shots.
They included a director, LSM operator, digital imaging technician, sound engineer and, for the graphics, a dedicated broadcast designer from Tangodelta, services provider for the Professional Basketball League. Worth mentioning is the fact that the commentator and the sports analyst were also in a remote location and just the on-air announcer was present at the stadium to be on set and conduct interviews.
Match director Raphael Gaboriaeu calls the shots for Paris Basketball vs Aix Maurienne, with Simplylive ViBox. “As far as I am concerned, it makes no difference that we are not on site. Directions are given in real-time (as well as tally signals for the camera operators),” said match director Raphael Gaborieau.
“Before the match, I was told there would probably be a one-second delay between transmitting and receiving the signals back at the studio but the delay was barely a quarter of a second.
“For the remote production I used a ViBox, like I normally would in the production truck and I could even have single-handedly managed the slomo replays if needed,” said Gaborieau. “However I chose to go to the stadium to check the camera positions and for a briefing with the operators on site. Otherwise we could have simply used skype to visualise each position.”
Cost savings? Not just yet…
At present, a single one-off remote production does not cost less than normal on-site production. There will be a cut in costs when the professional league (or any federation) and the championship broadcaster agree to tweak the schedule.
In fact, the economy of scale can only be effective if production teams produce a series of two or even three matches a day or even more over a single weekend.
This will surely happen in the short to medium term for a good number of championships as financial pressure is severe in the world of sports broadcasting production.
SimplyLive is coming to a reseller near you.
Do you produce live multi-camera sports productions? Are you looking to...
➢ Produce more content with less dollars?
➢ Work with systems that are extremely flexible and easy to use?
➢ Expand your business without breaking the bank?
➢ Purchase production tools that won’t be obsolete in a year
If so, you'll want to come see the SimplyLive ViBox, the world’s most intuitive and easy-to-use live sports production system.
Starting in February, 2020, SimplyLive with be demonstrating the ViBox systems at a reseller near you. Current dates are listed below, and check back because more dates are being confirmed.
Check in with resellers to confirm times and to reserve a spot.
Simplylive announced its partnership with CIS Group as a value-added reseller and system integrator in Brazil and the Eastern United States.
“I have had the pleasure of working with CIS Group for many years and am thrilled that they have chosen to partner with Simplylive” said Chuck Silber, Simplylive’s Chief Revenue Officer. “The CIS team was quick to realize the potential of Simplylive’s future-proof software driven sports broadcast solutions, and they are highly motivated to help us expand our reach into the markets that they serve. I believe their outstanding reputation and high level of technical expertise uniquely positions them to help Simplylive disrupt traditional sports production workflows across all levels and segments of those markets.”
Commenting on the partnership, CIS Group’s CEO Matt Silva added “I’m extremely excited to work alongside Simplylive in order to optimize our clients’ sports production workflows. It goes without saying that the sports industry pushes the media-tech space towards the edge of technological possibility and propels our entire industry beyond those bounds, further driving innovation. To me and the entire CIS team, it’s absolutely sensational to be partnering with a company that shares our vision and enthusiasm for the sports industry as a whole.”
About CIS Group
For over 30 years CIS has been a distributor and digital systems designer and integrator, providing innovative technology solutions to a multitude of clients in various regions. In doing so, we have focused on putting our clients’ budget to good use by optimizing their workflows, ultimately enabling them to maximize creativity. Our core expertise lies in broadcast and entertainment, but we also service non-media institutions, such as houses of worship, educational entities, and corporates.
Headquartered in Florida, USA, CIS also has offices and representatives in Brazil (Rio and São Paulo), New York, and Portugal. For more information on CIS Group, the services we offer, and our partners please visit: www.cisgroup.tv.
Touchscreen multi-camera systems that make live production simple for College and High School sports.
Simplylive, the makers of the world’s most intuitive and ultra-efficient multi-camera production systems has announced the release of four product bundles specifically designed for Colleges and High Schools needing to produce live sports programming. All four “Varsity” bundles are based on the revolutionary Simplylive ViBox platform. ViBox redefines multi-camera sports production with its easy-to-use, touch screen interface and flexible workflow options, allowing schools to easily produce a show using just one system interface—or grow their productions to have multiple users doing multiple tasks—all on the same platform.
The Varsity Sports Bundles
All bundles include a compact hardware unit optimized for 4- or 6-camera setups, and support baseband, IP and hybrid workflow. A simple setup requires adding just cameras and touchscreen monitors to get started.
Benefits to Schools
“I recognized before joining Simplylive that ViBox and RefBox would be perfect for High Schools and Colleges needing to produce high quality sports programming,” said Chuck Silber, Chief Revenue Officer, Simplylive. “With its intuitive touch-screen interface, small hardware footprint and system flexibility, plus the added features included in these bundles, this will be the easiest way for schools to produce truly professional-quality content at a price they can afford.”
Varsity Bundles are available immediately and can be demo’d at a value-added video equipment reseller near your location.
3zero2, a member of Euro Media Group, invested in 26 Simplylive Vibox system for their remote production operation center in Milan.
3zero2 has performed remote productions on over 1.700 events per year for the past 3 years. This summer 3zero2 had to upgrade their production and streaming facility to accommodate 1080i 50 production. The configuration is very efficient: camera streams are sent remotely to Milan using 4G and IP contribution technology H264/H265/JPEG2000 and 3zero2 operators receive the camera with audio from the field and mix the video, the sound with commentary, perform replays, highlights, streaming and archive. This is a very effective solution to stream volleyball, basketball and Serie C football content to distribution platforms.
“As we had to upgrade our current technology to produce in 1080i, we decide to move to the Simplylive Vibox solution as it offers a more flexible and powerful solution, both technically and operationally”, says Luciano Consigli, CTO, 3zero2.
“3zero2 already had committed to 2 Simplylive Vibox8 AIO 2 users in 2018. This allowed us to show the benefits of our technology in action. We are very proud to continue our partnership and to have been chosen for their big upgrade this year”, mentioned Luc Doneux, Simplylive’s Managing Director.
In September 2018, Euro Media Group closed a long-term partnership with Simplylive, in order to develop solutions for the broadcasting industry and to meet the actual & future market’s needs.