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Jasco is a South Africa, JSE-listed company that delivers Smart Technologies across multiple disciplines such as telecommunications, Information Technology, Energy and Industry. By leveraging synergies between these disciplines, Jasco is able to deliver complete end-to-end solutions.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions and Memnon complete Nelson Mandela Foundation digitisation project

Jasco Broadcast Solutions and Memnon recently sponsored the digitisation of almost 200 tapes for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Jasco is currently involved in a three-year project with the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) to digitise 150,000 hours of content. To undertake this mammoth task, Jasco partnered with Memnon – a Sony-owned company based in Brussels – on the SABC digitisation project. A global leading provider of services to digitise, restore, preserve and provide access to recordings of any format, Memnon has been in the industry since 2005 and to date has digitised over 3 million hours of content worldwide.

The Nelson Mandela digitisation initiative

One of the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s (NMF) founding principles is to create, protect and preserve a Centre of Memory about Nelson Mandela. The Centre of Memory contains an archive of Mandela’s life and times, works, and writings.

“Whilst touring the facility, Razia Saleh – director, Archive & Research, NMF – mentioned that an Australian foundation had donated tapes of Nelson Mandela, documenting, amongst other things, Mandela’s visits to Australia and his interactions with the Australian nation,” explains Maximus Magwaza, Account Manager, Jasco Broadcast Solutions. One of the tapes in question documented Mandela’s visit to Melbourne, Australia, on the invitation of a group of boys hoping to promote world reconciliation on 8 September 2000.

The tapes hold great value for the NMF and South Africa in general, but they needed to be digitised. Knowing the state of content libraries in Africa, when presented with the opportunity both Jasco and Memnon agreed that the Nelson Mandela Foundation digitisation initiative would be a project worth sponsoring.

Undertaking the initiative

A lot of time was spent verifying the inventory and what could and couldn’t be digitised: “The tapes were finally collected from NMF and sent to Memnon early this year, where they went through the digitisation process. This included processing of a test batch which allowed for the quality and formats to be agreed upon, checked and signed off by the NMF.”

A total of 195 tapes were identified as being suitable for digitisation. These were made up of VHS, Betacam, DigiBeta and MiniDV tapes. “The tapes were in pretty good shape, out of the 195 only two failed to digitise,” says Magwaza. The hard drive with the final content was delivered late in September and was formally handed over to the NMF at a special event which took place on 15 October.

What next

Despite having a fully operational plant at the SABC that is geared to accommodate bulk projects,  Jasco Broadcast Solutions is looking at the best ways to cater for smaller capacity projects – like the NMF digitisation initiative – in different formats (video, audio, film or image).

“The beauty of digitising content is that it opens up opportunities not only to preserve history, but to make it more easily accessible to the world at large and to ensure that it doesn’t remain a long-forgotten memory, but lives on for generations to come,” comments Magwaza.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions’ partner experts at Mediatech Africa 2019

At Mediatech Africa 2019, Jasco Broadcast Solutions is showcasing their premium product ranges and brands in collaboration with their OEMs.

“Our portfolio of products on display encompasses everything that you need to meet your broadcast requirements, from cameras to editing systems, archiving to complete turnkey studio builds,” said a representative of the company. “Our engineers and technicians, as well as our partner experts, are present on the stand to guide you through choosing the right solutions to solve your broadcast problems and challenges.”

At the forefront of Jasco’s portfolio is the Avid product range. Encompassing everything from Avid Media Composer Editing systems, to Media Central production asset management and Nexis storage solutions, the Avid brand is well represented by a comprehensive demo system, plus both Jasco staff and salespeople and technical specialists from Avid.

Jasco is also showcasing the next generation of ClearCom intercom products. These include the new IP-based technologies for intercom panels, wireless beltpack systems, and IP interlinking. The stand includes the new IRIS intercom panels with their intelligent colour displays. In addition to Jasco staff, Clearcom is represented on the stand by their Regional Sales Manager for Africa as well as an Applications Engineer.

Miller Camera Support is on display with a selection of light- to medium-sized camera mounting and support systems. These include combo kits that will be of interest to those involved in ENG and field production. Miller’s sales staff are also on hand to answer any questions.

As a long-standing Sony reseller, Jasco has a selection of Sony products on display. The Jasco sales team is available to discuss the different camera solutions and assist in building combinations with the help of Miller Camera Support.

Ateme recently joined the Jasco Broadcast fold and is at Mediatech Africa 2019. Ateme’s linear TV, contribution, VOD and OTT software and hardware solutions is available to view and discuss with Ateme sales staff.

Leyard/Planar is also on the Jasco stand with a selection of LED modular and LCD professional display solutions, together with their related controllers and systems. Visitors to the stand are able to view and discuss the product ranges with both Leyard and Jasco staff.

This year, once again, Oracle is on the Jasco stand offering their OracleDiva HSM archiving solutions. Diva consultants are in attendance to discuss workflows and system requirements, as well as to assist attendees in deciding what they really need for their archive environment.

As a Jasco partner, Etere is on the stand with a comprehensive range of software-based automation, master control, media asset management, channel in a box, advert insertion and advert sales systems. For premium solutions in these areas of the media and broadcast business, visitors can discuss their needs with representatives from Etere.

At this year’s Mediatech event, Egripment camera support is displaying a TD Crane in an area specifically set up for the product. Come and see it in action on the Jasco stand. In attendance will be sales staff from Egripment to answer any questions on this specialist product range of camera support equipment.

Soliton supplies a selection of H265-based video streaming solutions using bonded cellular network connectivity. Their products are also on display on the Jasco stand at Mediatech Africa 2019.

Additionally, Jasco Broadcast’s Dubai-based SI partner, INC, is on the stand to meet with and discuss large-scale projects. Visitors to the show can meet the INC team and see what they have done in the past, as well as what they are capable of offering in the future.

Visit Jasco Broadcast Solutions at Mediatech Africa 2019, taking place from 17 – 19 July at the Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg.

Visit Egripment at Mediatech Africa 2019

Egripment Support Systems, manufacturer of high-end camera support systems and remote broadcast solutions for the film and broadcast industries, will join Jasco Broadcast Services on their stand (G20) at Mediatech Africa 2019 in Johannesburg. Egripment Support Systems and Jasco Broadcast Services will together showcase the Egripment TDT Modular Crane System.

The TDT Remote crane is a concept designed from the ground up for AR & VR use without losing its functionalities as a Lightweight remote camera crane combined with an own remote heads. Egripment Support Systems likes to add the TDT system as a “different” and completely “new” design offered at a very low price, but with the high Egripment quality all our products are known for. All sections are made from extremely stiff duralumin. The TDT crane systems can be purchased in different versions varying from 1.5 to 9 meters max. The TDT “one-man” remote crane system is a nice simple design and easy to build up. The TDT crane is a modular system with arm sections of 1,5 m / 5 ft. long. This gives the user the ability to transport the complete arm in a very small vehicle, OB-Van or in TDT flight-cases which can be purchased as an accessory.

With the increasing demand for Virtual- and Augmented use, Egripment now offers a High Quality Encoding Package to their cranes. Based on Egripment’s Crane Systems and Remote Heads, a fully encoded system is now available. High precision encoders in the crane arm and remote head, as well as optional encoders when using the crane dolly on track, both in combination with a superior tracking interface. Egripment delivers the answers for the market’s demands!

The Egripment 301 Remote Camera Head is the remote head within the extensive line of Egripment Remote Camera Heads we usually offer with the TDT crane system. The 301 Remote Head has all of the features which have become the  trademark of Egripment Remote Heads. It is strong, Responsive, Easy to use, and has an incredible Smoothness of Movement.

Visit Egripment on the Jasco Broadcast Services stand at Mediatech Africa 2019, taking place from 17-19 July at the Ticketpro Dome, Johanneburg.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions at Mediatech Africa 2019

At Mediatech Africa 2019, Jasco Broadcast Solutions will showcase the latest technology from its principal suppliers. Products and solutions on display will include:

Avid

  • Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces

Avid’s new SaaS cloud storage solution, Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces, brings the power of the cloud to Avid NEXIS storage systems. Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces takes the stress out of media management and storage availability, and gives users instant access to more storage when needed.

For small- to medium-size news, sports, and post-production organisations, Avid NEXIS | Cloudspaces provides a super-simple way to park projects in the cloud, as well as synch on-site Avid NEXIS workspaces for easy off-site backup. Available as an add-on service for all Avid NEXIS systems, Cloudspaces offers greater workflow and cost efficiency in a fully integrated solution that’s easy to set up and manage, reducing costs, risk and administrative errors.

Etere

Founded in 1987 in Italy, Etere is among the worldwide leaders in media asset management, airsales, newsroom and channel-in-box software solutions for broadcasters and media enterprises. With customers all over the globe, Etere is headquartered in Singapore, with a specialised 24/7 worldwide support centre.

  • Etere Media Asset Management (MAM)

Etere MAM is a highly-effective digital content management solution that is designed to streamline the process of ingest, index, storage and retrieval of digital assets. It is an end-to-end software solution created to fully optimise the value of your assets through centralised management of digital content and associated metadata. Etere simplifies the process of content management by streamlining the digital workflow, bringing media to the market faster and in multiple formats.

  • Etere ETX

ETX is the most advanced, tightly integrated and cost-efficient video management system on the market, completely based on IT technology. It is a complete channel-in-a-box with full IP (in and out) capabilities, enabling you to drive the most popular HD/SD digital video/audio/graphics platforms without using middleware or proprietary hardware. It supports IP-in and IP-out in multiple frame rates, SDI output and multiple layers of graphics and animation.

  • Etere Nunzio

Etere Nunzio is a highly-flexible newsroom solution with fully empowered NRCS capabilities to manage the entire tapeless workflow of the newsroom environment, starting from the planning of news stories (virtual assets) to the control of on-air playback. Etere helps managers control overall daily operations, guides journalists to prepare their stories and enables editors to make changes quickly and deliver news stories as efficiently as possible.

  • Etere Ad Insertion

Etere enhances video monetisation opportunities; it effectively manages the end-to-end ad insertion and playout process, including resource management, insertion of filling events on demand, scrolling text, logo and CG insertions. Etere is designed to manage dynamic and targeted ad insertion requirements in any fast-moving environment. As a multi-channel and end-to-end software solution, Etere combines video switching, video server, advertisement and logo insertion capabilities for targeted ad insertion. From planning to billings to playout, Etere is able to manage real-time connectivity between different departments.

  • Etere Complete IP Solution

Beyond just an IP-based alternative to SDI playout, Etere features a bi-directional transmission that enables users to share multiple inputs, and which also outputs signals between devices connected to a network. It enables users to build an IP playout that does not require any SDI hardware and is less expensive than a traditional solution. It includes an IP Multiviewer that manages up to nine display monitors and 30 input sources simultaneously.

 

Egripment Support Systems

  • Motorized Slider System

Egripment Support Systems, manufacturer of high-end camera support systems and remote broadcast solutions for the film and broadcast industries, is introducing its new Motorized Slider System.

 

The Egripment Slider is a travelling dolly designed in such a way that it can be used for many different applications. You can use the Slider Dolly for live applications such as entertainment shows, music concerts, sports events and reality TV.

 

In other situations, the Egripment Slider will be the best remote solution for fully motorised controlled applications, allowing you to control the dolly movements repeatedly and precisely.

 

The Egripment Slider Dolly System consists of a high-quality small dolly base with Egripment smooth track wheels based on a narrow aluminum precision track. The low profile of the dolly accepts any type of Fluid Head (100mm, 150mm or Mitchell) and can also be used with a Dome Camera or with our smaller size 205 or 301 Remote Head. The dolly is driven by one motor, positioned on the trackwheel of the dolly.

 

Track sections are available in aluminum, steel, straight and curved. Besides our standard length of tracks, we also offer custom lengths and diameters of the straight and curved tracks.

 

 

  • THE EGRIPMENT XTREME T10

Egripment Support Systems will also introduce the new ARC Compensation hardware and software tool on their latest XTREME T10 Telescoping Crane.

This new feature gives the operator a tool to automate the arm movement. There are three ways to define an automatic telescope movement, all of which are related to the pan and tilt positions. The ARC Compensation adds functionality for automated moves including vertical straight lines, as well as horizontal plane and pan compensation. This software module gives you the precision to make perfect vertical straight lines and horizontal planes, or define a square, all by the activation of just one button.

Rather than first building a crane, then deciding how to make it work for this fast-growing segment of the broadcast and film industry, we engineered the Xtreme T10 directly to be ready for the future.

Egripment strives to be at the very forefront of the industry by not only being innovative and using the latest materials, such as carbon fibre, but also by developing new software tools, making it possible to use Egripment products for AR/VR applications and automation.

However, because of the ease-of-use designed into every Egripment product, the Xtreme T10 is also completely suitable for conventional telescoping crane use, with the added benefit of its innovative ARC Compensation.

Featuring leading innovations that are paramount for live applications as well as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) studios, the Xtreme T10 is a multi-faceted system that will greatly benefit a variety of productions.

 

Clear-Com IP Solutions

At Mediatech Africa 2019, Jasco will present a range of Clear-Com’s professional IP-based communication solutions that support a wide range of production workflows.

Clear-Com is fully committed to the development of IP for intercom solutions. Having accomplished delivery of its core product offerings in native IP formats, the company’s latest solutions focus on AES67 transport protocols.

  • Eclipse HX digital matrix system

The Eclipse HX digital matrix system is an advanced, scalable system that serves as the backbone of many broadcasters’ communication infrastructures. It can handle thousands of direct (point-to-point) and one-to-many audio and data signal distributions over IP (AES67, Dante and native), redundant fibre, MADI and audio CAT5, without compromising audio quality or performance.

Clear-Com recently introduced the E-IPA card for the Eclipse HX family, offering high-density audio-and-intercom-over-IP connections. Natively AES67-compliant and SMPTE2110-30-ready, the E-IPA card provides 64 streams of low-latency and high-audio bandwidth connections for linking existing and new IP-based Clear-Com products.

These include the new IPT transceiver for the FreeSpeak II wireless intercom system. The transceiver connects to an AES67-compatible IP switch and to Clear-Com’s Eclipse HX digital matrix system via the E-IPA card, enabling FSII wireless beltpacks to be deployed across a user’s LAN. FreeSpeak II has become the de facto standard for wireless intercom operation in theatrical venues and wide-ranging live productions, thanks to its reliability, audio clarity and roaming capabilities.

The E-IPA card also connects the new V-Series Iris (intercom) Panel with the Eclipse HX. The V-Series Iris Panel can monitor and send communications over three concurrent AES67 uncompressed audio-IP streams, enabling systems to deliver high-quality audio from user to user with significantly reduced latency. The Iris Panel also offers fully colour-configurable OLED displays, delivering the user-defined label and port information.

 

Miller

  • CiNX

Miller Tripods is delighted to announce the arrival of the CiNX series, a set of three lightweight and durable fluid heads. Packed with features, all are designed to meet the needs of cinematographers at an affordable price. For today’s versatile shooter, the transition from larger to smaller payloads has never been easier. The side-load platform enables rapid deployment of countless sizes of camera rigs, as well as extended camera plate range of movement for balancing front-heavy setups. The Miller-patented CB Plus enables 16 positions of counter balance providing very fine, repeatable balance.

The CiNX 3 is ideal for cinematographers with lighter rigs, requiring 5+0 pan and tilt drag with a payload range from 1kg (2.2lbs) up to 19kg (41.8lbs).

The CiNX 5 is perfect for medium rigs, requiring 7+0 pan and tilt drag with a payload range from 2kg (4.4lbs) up to 21kg (46.2lbs).

The CiNX 7 is the ultimate fluid head for heavier rigs, requiring 7+0 positions of pan and tilt with a payload range from 6kg (13.2lbs) up to 25kg (55.1lbs).

  • 75 Sprinter II 2 Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod

The 1620 75 Sprinter II 2 Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod brings the stability, torsional strength and reliability of Miller’s well-proven 100mm ball levelling 100 Sprinter II tripod into a new 75mm version. The 75 Sprinter employs Miller’s patented design, which enables the leg stages to be adjusted independently or together via two adjacent leg locks. These locks are conveniently located at waist height to eliminate the need for the user to bend down or stretch up, which is crucial when speed and occupational health concerns count.

The 75 Sprinter II 2 Stage Carbon Fibre Tripod is best suited to be used in conjunction with Miller’s CompassX and the company’s range of DS Fluid Heads in ENG and EFP applications and has a payload capacity of 30kg (66lbs). Competitively priced, it has a height range of 440-1530mm (17.3-60.4”), a transport length of 700mm (27.6”) and weighs in at 3.2kg (7.0lbs).

With four spreaders to choose from, the 75 Sprinter is capable of meeting various project needs. From its standard Sprinter II ground spreader (Cat #470), which has many years of proven reliability, to its new carbon fibre (Cat #994) or alloy construction (Cat #933) mid-level spreader, which are fully adjustable, lightweight and provide maximum height range. Miller is also offering a new variant, a competitively-priced alloy construction spreader (Cat #593), which offers less functionality compared to the more expensive options available.

Visit Jasco Broadcast Solutions at Mediatech Africa 2019, taking place from 17 – 19 July at the Ticketpro Dome, Johannesburg.

The changing face of MAM systems for South African broadcasters

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE: From VHS tape libraries with simplistic, but bespoke, in-house cataloguing systems, to digital archives and more comprehensive, but uniform, search and retrieval capabilities, advances in technology have taken Media Asset Management (MAM) systems for South African broadcasters to astounding new heights.

HOW IT USED TO BE

The tapes had some information written on them, but if the broadcaster wanted to know more details as to the footage, they used their custom-built MAM system. It had basic metadata that gave more information, but “these systems were only hard coded – that is, the vendor would define the storage policy in their software,” explains Shaun Kerr, divisional manager of Broadcast and Multimedia at Protea Electronics (which is Ooyala’s partner for MAM systems in South Africa).

THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE

With the massive amounts of video media being produced and consumed on a daily basis, broadcasters needed an efficient, quicker system that would enable them to easily find the exact footage they were looking for in their digital archive. Driven by advancements in technology, the current MAM format was born.

“MAM must now mirror and support the complexity associated with delivering highly personalised, effectively ‘segment of one’ style content. All of a sudden, you need to support many more formats, languages, etc. to be able to reach out on a personalised level to an individual user. All of those different renditions must be neatly organised and the complexity associated with managing this has been another factor in the evolution of MAM,” explains Kerr.

“The push toward international interoperability of media deliverables across systems, the need for deeper and wider automation to reduce repetitive manual chores and the growth in OTT, VOD and streaming services requiring hundreds if not thousands of different versions for distribution and playback, have all driven innovation and evolution in MAM technology,” adds Colin Wainer, CEO of Inala Broadcast (which is Tedial’s partner for MAM systems in South Africa).

MAM AUTOMATION

Quite a lot of automation happens today during the MAM process, from purely human input previously. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) that recognises scene changes is possible. There’s voice to text technology, enabling search based on each word. Facial recognition, combining AI and machine learning, character recognition including signage and graphics, and even landmark and person sentiment recognition technology is also available.

PROLIFERATION OF SUPPLIERS

The number of suppliers of MAM systems has also increased. Whereas before, bespoke in-house systems were used by each broadcaster, “now broadcast solutions providers have taken on the MAM system to standardise, and to ensure it complies with metadata models approved by the Society of Music Producers and Television Engineers (SMPTE). Nowadays most people choose the metadata model first and then a solution that goes around it,” says Colin Stoltz, account manager at Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

Major suppliers in South Africa include Avid, and Viz, as well as non-traditional broadcast suppliers including IT giants like Oracle, and IBM. “At NAB this year, there were over 1 700 vendors exhibiting, each trying to sell some product, system or service to support media companies somewhere in the content lifecycle. If we filter this list down to companies that offer ‘media asset management’ solutions, then this list still exceeds 250 companies,” comments Kerr.

INTEGRATION OF MULTIPLE SYSTEMS

Whereas before the MAM system was only linked to the source device, now systems across the broadcasters’ operations are all interconnected.

“Workflow has progressed to full orchestration, where an entire operation is linked to the MAM as the central director of media collection, preparation and distribution: This connects the back-office tools such as traffic and content management solutions with the library of assets and the outputs for monetisation, such as a linear playout channel, VOD pitches or Blue Ray authoring. The key changes supporting these enhancements are the viability of scalable business process workflow engines and Restful APIs to better connect disparate tools,” says Wainer.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ENRICHING DATA

While all these changes have taken place, one element has remained constant throughout, the importance of enriching the data in the MAM system.

“Everyone has a pot full of files. But they are only an asset if you can find what you’re looking for in that pot. Otherwise, it’s just a file. If you don’t have enough metadata describing that file, then you may as well just delete them,” emphasises Stoltz. Nowadays this is done via user input and/or automation systems.

THE FUTURE OF MAM SYSTEMS

Further advances in technology will have the biggest impact on MAM systems going forward. “More cloud storage, more intelligence, more automation,” comments Paul Divall, managing director of the Intelligent Technologies division at Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

“Not AI for the sake of the new, but actual smart functions that take advantage of the new metadata engines to multiply outputs and increase the human capabilities. Cloud systems and innovation to enhance speed of deployment and delivery, with access from anywhere and the ability to manage capacity on a per-project basis,” adds Wainer.

A BRIGHT FUTURE

The importance of MAM systems, especially as media companies continue to consolidate, cannot be stressed enough. “The ability to manage operations and workflows across multiple sites and in fact automate functions across geographical boundaries, or even around the globe, lets today’s managers effectively manage costs, bandwidth and capacity as systems migrate to cloud infrastructure,” he concludes.

SA MAMS VS. GLOBAL MAMS

Unlike some technology, where South Africa lags behind global markets, the MAM systems being sold in the country, and used by most SA broadcasters, are on par with those used in international markets. The implementation by some broadcasters of the advanced MAM system may be lacking, due to funding constraints or the requirements and the desired outcomes of the individual broadcaster, but it is available to them if they choose. A difference though, is that SA broadcasters are not yet making use of the advanced AI and machine learning technologies that are available, which some international broadcasters are already utilising.

 

The time is now for broadcasters to adopt Cloud services

Cloud and virtualisation technologies have the potential to entirely reshape the local broadcast industry – changing how broadcasters create, distribute and monetise their video content.

“In recent years, Cloud computing architectures have shown clear value in so many other industries and we’re now approaching a time when the broadcast industry can start to benefit in similar ways. We are seeing better operational efficiencies, more collaborative workflows and accelerated levels of innovation,” says Paul Divall, MD of Jasco Intelligent Technologies.

According to Divall, it’s only a matter of time before the broadcast industry starts embracing the advantages of the Cloud.

In fact, a number of ‘digital-era’ broadcasters – the likes of Netflix for example – have firmly embraced Cloud platforms to scale limitlessly and reach users on any kind of device, anywhere in the world.

Locally, Divall sees a number of clear advantages for South African broadcasters adopting Cloud services:

Seamless integration between services

Our broadcasting landscape is traditionally very fragmented and lacking in overarching standardisation. Within different broadcasters, workflows and technologies are different and inefficiency often permeates the broadcast value chain. Cloud applications can help to simplify, abstract or unify these legacy systems – creating cleaner workflows and ultimately a more efficient broadcast operation.

Enhanced collaboration

Teams can be geographically-dispersed or co-located; they can be working on the same raw footage together; or tackling different aspects of the same activity. With Cloud applications it becomes easier for teams to collaborate. So, for example, from a single raw stream of cricket footage one person can be working on the 60-minute highlights package, another on the 30-minute version and another on the 5-minute version.

Reduced costs

Because the teams can now collaborate from anywhere in the world, not everyone needs to travel to a single location (such as travelling to Rio for the Olympics last year). This can dramatically reduce the total costs of creating broadcast content.

Increased use of data analytics

By being able to collect, store and analyse data with powerful Cloud-enabled Big Data tools, broadcasters can comb through vast volumes of data. These insights can be used to fuel greater levels of personalisation, new customer experiences and services and more tailored advertising opportunities.

Scale capacity up and down as required

For the likes of high-profile sporting events or surges in seasonal demand, broadcasters can leverage Cloud Computing to access capacity as and when it is required – paying only for what they use – and avoiding the problem of having unused capacity in their data centres.

Access to new applications… A wide variety of new applications – for editing, post-production, effects and other tools – becomes instantly available as a broadcaster moves their workflows into the Cloud.

Accessing outsourced talent

By shifting to public Cloud environments, broadcasters can more easily pull in outsourced or crowdsourced creative talent – allowing them to infuse new creative approaches into their work and flexibility onboard resources as and when they are needed, minimising their salary and overhead bills.  Divall notes that for many local broadcasters, the Cloud has remained a far-away dream, particularly when one considers that just one minute of pro-resolution 4K Ultra HD video comes in at a weighty 5.3 gigs, and that streaming this content through workflows requires an eye-watering 880 Mbps of dedicated bandwidth.

But while the public internet may not be viable, using dedicated private links and hybrid or private Cloud environments, some of these benefits start to become a reality.

As broadcasters overcome some of the bandwidth concerns and better understand the security considerations, we could well see a new Cloud-enabled broadcast era descend… sometime in the not-too-distant future.

 

Jasco Carrier Solutions launches virtual CPE for South Africa

Jasco Carrier Solutions is developing a cost-effective virtual Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) solution for the South African market. Aimed at ISPs and small and medium enterprises, the vCPE brings next-generation technology in an affordable package to the local market to radically improve the cost, time and effort equation involved in network provisioning and management.

“Virtual CPE solutions are the natural evolution of current physical on-premises CPE solutions, but they are very new from a technology perspective, and adoption has been slow in South Africa,” explains Martin Ferreira, executive head of Jasco Carrier Solutions.

“Many of the larger players are heavily invested in legacy solutions and are reluctant to switch, especially as vCPE mimics MPLS, (which is a strong revenue stream for tier one and two providers) and will essentially phase out this offering. For others considering vCPE, the software license fees are considerable. In addition, moving to vCPE requires a significant shift in operations and people, albeit one that will deliver many cost and efficiency advantages.

“By offering a tailored, hosted vCPE solution, Jasco Carrier Solutions can address cost and infrastructure issues, giving network providers and enterprises easy access to vCPE features and lowering barriers to adoption.”

How does the technology work?

Jasco Carrier Solutions’ vCPE uses new Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies to virtualise network service provisioning and management. It effectively eliminates the traditional capital costs associated with placing CPE equipment at the customer premises and physically servicing it. Even more useful is the fact that a single vCPE can be used to manage multiple vendors’ networking technologies and appliances.

Ferreira expands: “At present, network service providers require a lot of equipment to service their clients. Typically, this includes a box for a firewall; a box for deep packet inspection; a server; a box for switching to route traffic and a number of additional boxes from different vendors to enable the provider to switch and manage services on and over specific equipment. For every box, the provider pays a licence fee and needs to train IT staff to support the product.”

“Our vCPE offers all of this in a hosted solution. All the provider or the client needs is the server – the vCPE – on which Jasco loads all required software, including a firewall, deep packet inspection, switching, and more. This means providers no longer need to maintain fleets of technicians trained on different technologies – it’s all in one box.”

Now, instead of a truck roll to the customer premises with a technician and appropriate hardware to physically implement the solution, a single vCPE is plugged into the network at the customer premises. The NFV and SDN technologies turn the CPE into a simple Layer 2 forwarding device that connects the customer to the service provider’s network, enabling the provider to virtually provision the services required by the customer via the vCPE.

  • NFV replaces the dedicated network appliances such as routers and firewalls with software running on servers, enabling the service to be delivered using software rather than hardware. SDN adds dynamic intelligence to the NFV network, using open protocols to add control at the edges of the network to provide access to network switches and routers that previously used closed proprietary firmware.
  • SDN not only helps provision and manage virtual network functions, it also helps manage traffic loads—e.g. spinning app servers up and down as needed—and will provide the foundation for delivery of cloud services.

Jasco’s vCPE model

“The vCPE is ideal for enterprises with multiple branch environments and for ISPs and network providers that want to gain a competitive advantage by shifting fast to leverage these new technologies,” notes Ferreira.

Jasco will sell the vCPE solution as a service, loading the software on the client’s server and auto provisioning services through remote orchestration.

The Jasco Carrier Solutions vCPE is currently in pilot at a major client. “We are testing different hardware and ensuring integration with key branded solutions,” says Ferreira. “Our goal is to tailor this solution to address the realities of the South African market in terms of functionality and pricing.”

Jasco will also sell it vCPE outright. However, this is unlikely to be as cost effective as making use of the vCPE as a service where Jasco’s bulk licensing of SDN and NFV software offers users a price break.

“What differentiates our vCPE offering is that Jasco has deep technology capabilities and established relationships across the vendor landscape, so we can offer the solution at a competitive price point and back it with strong data centre facilities and technology skills,” notes Ferreira.

“We believe the Jasco vCPE will be eagerly adopted in the region. It will provide a differentiator for Jasco’s services and those of our clients,” concludes Ferreira.

Jasco provides NEXIS solution upgrade to Mauritius Broadcast Corporation

Jasco, smart technology and ICT solutions partner, has successfully upgraded the Mauritius Broadcast Corporation’s (MBC) existing media workflow and collaboration platform by upgrading their current AVIDNEXIS Pro storage to a Nexis E4 storage solution. This upgrade enables MBC to connect their team, share media and sequences and work together on the same projects in real-time with a far greater media storage capacity than that which they had before.

MBC is the national public broadcaster of the Republic of Mauritius and is dependent on reliable broadcast technology in order to provide efficient and seamless viewing to their viewers. A growing customer base and subsequent demand for High Definition (HD) media created the challenge of requiring additional storage for the purpose of HD video and photo production. As AVID’s distributor and integrator within the Southern Africa and East Africa Regions, Jasco was the natural partner to provide a solution to answer MBC’s need for greater capacity.

Suraj Gopaul, coordinator: broadcast technology at MBC says, “As we look to providing our market with higher quality productions, our need for storage and real-time collaboration grew and we found our existing solution – while sufficient for our earlier needs – simply wasn’t capable of handling the workload anymore.”

Gopaul elaborates, “In addition to storage we also required a system that allowed for high speed delivery and flexibility. The new solution provides us with the capability and bandwidth to create and deliver higher volumes of high-resolution content more easily. Our teams can now also share projects and collaborate, eliminating the time wasted moving files between systems while speeding up our turnaround time.”

Features and benefits of the NEXIS E4include:

• accelerated production due to easier management and sharing of media, and real-time collaboration;
• the ability to reallocate bandwidth
• add or remove storage capacity
• dynamically resize workspace
• increase or decrease media protection quickly due to intuitive software tools

• increased productivity
• real-time SD, HD, 2K and 4K media performance and streaming in editing-intensive environments
• storage scalability
• a user-friendly platform, for both maintenance and system use

MBC previously used a smaller version of the NEXIS product, however, Gopaul says that they had outgrown the original system and this was the motivator behind the expansion to E4. He adds, “Our older systems required multi IP connections at the back and thus in-depth knowledge of IP and technological familiarity with the hardware for maintenance purposes was necessary. The NEXIS Pro and E4 have much simpler functionality and are easier to maintain as they only have a single IP connection point and a far more user-friendly interface and troubleshooting process.”

Paul Divall, MD at Jasco intelligent technologies says, “We have been working with MBC for several years now and understand not only the nature of the industry, but also the specific requirement of MBC’s unique environment and needs. When MBC approached us with their particular challenge we assessed their requirement and the NEXIS E4 upgrade was the obvious solution.”

“We trust Jasco to know what works for our business and have received nothing but excellent products, service and support from them over the past 13 years. I have never been disappointed with Jasco. They are ahead of the technology curve – always innovating and introducing new and exciting products for our space. This NEXIS E4 solution is just another seamless integration that we have experienced with Jasco,” concludes Gopaul.

Jasco Broadcast at Mediatech 2017

Jasco Broadcast will be showcasing its full range of innovative, end-to-end digital broadcasting solutions at Mediatech 2017, southern Africa’s premier media and entertainment technology event.

Jasco solutions offer best of breed global products and a full range of services to broadcasters of all sizes throughout the region, from capture to production, post-production, storage, transmission and beyond.

“The broadcasting industry is undergoing accelerated changes in a number of key areas at the moment, driven by significant advancements in digital technology. MediaTech, as the only event of its kind for the local market, is an essential platform for us to showcase our solutions that address these changes, offering unique exposure to our key customers. By participating in the event we will be able to provide the market with the information they need to make the best technology decisions for their business, and we look forward to making the most of this opportunity,’ says Paul Divall of Jasco Broadcast.

Jasco will be showcasing their complete range of products and solutions for the entire gamut of broadcasting needs. As Jasco’s biggest partner for more than 20 years, AVID Audio, Graphic and Video solutions will take centre stage. Some of the latest releases from AVID, which will be highlighted at Jasco’s stand, include the latest cloud-based Media Central Platform, the unique free access Media Composer | First, and innovative software-defined NEXIS real time media storage. Complementing these solutions, Jasco will also be featuring Oracle archiving solutions, Sony professional media and production cameras, Miller tripods, and more. In addition, the stand will present communication solutions from Clearcom, professional lenses from Canon, Leyard video screens for professional studios as well as indoor and outdoor advertising applications, Egripment broadcast support systems and Soliton mobile live broadcasting solutions.

“Four key trends are currently shaping the broadcast industry, specifically IP-based broadcasting, augmented reality, Ultra HD and 4K, and the cloud. Harnessing the strengths of the Jasco Group as a whole, along with leading global products, we are uniquely positioned to help broadcasters keep pace in a rapidly evolving technology world. The Jasco Group has significant knowledge and experience in IP based solutions together with high-bandwidth connectivity and hosted solutions. In fact, Jasco has a data centre on its premises in Midrand as well as PoPs in some key European cities. Our partners and our background will allow Jasco Broadcast Solutions to drive the technology changes in the industry,’ Divall concludes.

Jasco Broadcast Solutions can be found at stand G27. They will also be presenting some key solutions to meet industry trends in the presentation zone.

Jasco introduces the Leyard LED MultiTouch Video Wall

Jasco Broadcast has announced local availability of Leyard’s LED MultiTouch Video Wall, the industry’s very first completely seamless touch-enabled LED video wall. It is available in three sizes: 108-inch, 151-inch and 196-inch; and features up to 32 simultaneous touch points. This revolutionary new technology changes the game for professional broadcasters, and opens up numerous other collaborative possibilities across broadcasting, corporate applications and even within educational institutions.

“Thanks to patent-pending Leyard Pliable LED Touch Surface (PLTS) technology, these new video walls are not only smooth, seamless and lightweight, they are also highly durable. With up to 32 simultaneous touch points, multiple users can interact individually at the same time, without their experience being affected by what anybody else is doing. Aside from professional broadcasting studios, where the video walls can be used to enhance live productions such as sportscasting and weather forecasting, these video walls can also be applied in a corporate setting or at events to take customer presentations to the next level. There are also many possibilities for educational institutions to leverage the potential of these screens for interactive collaboration applications,” says Paul Divall MD at Jasco Intelligent Technologies.

One of the most important advancements of the Leyard LED MultiTouch Video Wall is the fact that it is completely seamless across the entire expanse of the screen, which offers enhanced visual performance with uniform colour and brightness. The anti-glare surface also eliminates distracting reflections, and the PLTS technology ensures the screen has no parallax effect, meaning that images remain consistent and true across the entire video wall both in direct and off-axis viewing.

“The Leyard LED MultiTouch Interactive Video Wall represents the latest in global broadcasting display innovation, offering a sleek look and unparalleled quality along with a dynamic, interactive multi-user experience. We are proud to be able to bring leading-edge international technology to the southern African market, ensuring local broadcasters and other users can access best of breed solutions to compete on a global scale,” Divall concludes.

Visit the Jasco Broadcast Solutions stand (G27) at Mediatech 2017. 

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