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w/e September 15, 2010 SCRI International, Inc © 1984 - 2010
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BSkyB: "We know 3D is going to be big"
Brian Sullivan, BSkyB's MD/Customer Group, used IBC to state unequivocally that "3D is going to be big, very big. We take it extremely seriously, and it is not a game for us. Two years ago it was. But we started playing around with it, sending a couple of rigs up to Manchester to cover the Ricky Hatton boxing bout, and were blown away by the results. We agreed to do more research and tests, but I can tell you we already knew it was going to be big."
Sullivan shared some advance news of the service, stressing that the Sky 3D channel - which it'll launch next year - will be "fundamentally different" from anything else being carried on Sky. "We're still figuring a lot of it out," he said, adding that the opportunity for 3D was taking place before our eyes.
"The studios have figured it out, and people like Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks know exactly its importance. They have side-by-side screening theatres, where the 3D version is costing customers maybe $5 more per head and those people come out of the theatre with smiling faces."
Sullivan recognised that there are significant challenges ahead, not least in the supply of suitable 3D content. "It is going to take years for a catalogue to be built up. We know this," he said, adding that Sky was about to capture its first end-to-end sporting event, strictly for internal purposes. "We need to learn," he explained.
He also cautioned not to be surprised if the 3D channel first appears outside the home. "We have to wait for the screen replacement cycle. But we know it is going to be big."
College Football in 3D to FedExField
As Virginia Tech and Boise State faced off Monday night in the first NCAA® college football game broadcast in 3D, LG Electronics USA and Best Buy joined forces to bring the 3D experience to college football fans at FedExField™.
At the Labor Day game, broadcast by ESPN 3D, fans at the stadium were be able to experience the game in 3D at Best Buy-LG kiosks built around eight 55-inch LG Infinia LX9500 3D HDTVs on the Club Level of the stadium. Fans experienced college football, delivered to the LG screens by DIRECTV, in a whole new dimension. Representatives from Best Buy staffed the kiosks to answer questions about the new 3D technology and highlight the world's first Full LED 3D HDTVs.
"There's nothing like experiencing a college football game live, especially when two of the top five ranked teams are playing each other. LG is adding to the experience with 3D viewing at FedExField, providing fans with 'Something Better' during the game," said Jay Vandenbree, senior vice president, sales, LG Electronics USA. "As an NCAA corporate partner, we are proud to partner with Best Buy to showcase this first-ever 3D broadcast of an NCAA college football game."
Study: Glasses for 3D TV are no fun
Put away the confetti and balloons for 3D television, at least for now. People who experience the technology — and especially the glasses needed to see 3D images — become less interested in buying a 3D set, according to a major new consumer study by The Nielsen Co.
"It's a marketing challenge," says Frank Stagliano, Nielsen's general manager of TV Primary Research. His report, "Focusing on the 3DTV Experience," came from what he says is the first professional study of a group that represents the whole country and has experienced 3D TV firsthand.
The glasses are the biggest deal breakers.
It isn't simply that they're a hassle or uncomfortable — although about half of the 425 people surveyed raised those concerns after they spent a half-hour watching programming on a 3D set. And 89% also complained that the specs make it hard to do other things while watching the tube.
"A lot of consumers, especially younger ones, like to multitask and were irritated that they can't," says Char Beales, CEO of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing — a trade group that commissioned the study.
The multiple 3D technologies are also a turnoff. "If I bring my Sony glasses over to a friend's house with a Samsung (3D TV set), they won't work," Stagliano says. "Viewers really get upset at that stuff."
Nielsen found that the percentage of active TV shoppers who'd consider a 3D model dropped to 12% from 25% once they experienced it firsthand and considered the higher cost and scant amount of programming available. Still, Beales says, that more than half of the respondents were impressed by the quality of the 3D images, especially for nature shows, sports, movies and games. She adds that the technology will be easier to market than high-definition TV was because so many people have already seen 3D at the movies and the difference from 2D is so stark.
The study will help cable operators and programmers figure out "what to work on to make (3D) a viable product," she says.
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Strategic Analysis of the Media Technology Industry
Boutique investment bank Silverwood partners, who is very active in the broadcast market, often publishes a commentary on the digital media industry in the run up to major trade shows, and IBC 2010 is no exception, reports Joe Zaller on his Twitter feed.
The company recently published a 39-page slide deck that offers a strategic analysis of the media technology industry. In it Silverwood bankers outline their perspective on the broadcast industry. The document, which is in the form of a slide deck, is split into three parts.
Part one covers general industry trends such as activity, audience fragmentation, live vs. non-live broadcast, and 3DTV (long terms and short term impact), before moving on to more detailed commentary on the state of the industry.
The analysis starts with a slide titled “The Crisis in Broadcast and Post-Production” that uses IABM data to show the number of broadcast technology vendors operating at a loss while experiencing declining sales.
Paret three finishes up with an overview of online video (a slight departure from their NAB 2010 note) and a summary of recent industry M&A transactions.
In a nutshell, Silverwood’s thesis is that the industry is changing, and vendors must change and/or consolidate to survive in this new environment. Silverwood makes this case by highlighting the changing business models of broadcasters, the unstoppable encroachment of generic IT technology, the shift in selling, and the ways in which broadcast technology procurement is changing.
Naturally, Silverwood who makes their money through fees associated with transactions, is encouraging vendors to explore M&A and consolidation in order to survive in the current environment.
SeaChange Q2 up but below expectations
Video-on-demand specialist SeaChange released their Q2 results. Revenues for the quarter increased 11% to 51.6m, but were below the expectation of analysts who expected revenues to come in at around $54m. The company earned $3.5m, an improvement on the $376K loss it posted a year ago.
The higher top-line was driven by an increase in software revenue, thanks to the recent acquisitions of eventIS and VividLogic. The company also said that higher VOD software maintenance revenue contributed to the increase in Software segment revenue.
However hardware sales declined 13% during the quarter, due to lower VOD server shipments to North American and Latin American service providers offset partially by a large Broadcast server order shipped in a previous quarter and accepted by the customer in the 2011 fiscal second quarter.
The company said that it expects lower VOD hardware demand to continue through the end of the fiscal year.
Company Chairman & CEO Bill Styslinger said that the company plans to restructure the server and storage business, and issued lower guidance for the company due to lower revenue in the server and storage revenue, combined with “software revenue challenges related to product commercialization and customer launch delays.”
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360 Systems Shuts Down Video Division, Lays Off Employees
According to a Tweet by Joe Zaller, 360 Systems is getting reary to shut down it's video division, and is laying off employees.
The Tweet of Sept. 14 states:
"I started hearing rumblings about a major shake-up at 360 Systems at the beginning of the IBC sh
Today during a conversation with a company insider, I learned that the firm apparently shuttered its video server business, and issued layoff notices to affected employees at the end of last week.
It appears however, that the company will continue with its audio products.
As far as I know the company has not yet announced this move, and its website makes no mention of it."
Avid confirms MaxT acquisition
Avid Technology quietly acquired MaxT Systems in the weeks prior to IBC, although the company has not revealed details of the transaction. Avid said that it invested in the MaxT technology to complement its own R&D.
Having alerted consumers, Avid confirmed that it would not further develop feature versions or market any of MaxT's existing products, although it will honour existing service agreements. MaxT products include the Sledgehammer NAS and video device.
Perhaps of particular interest for nonlinear editing system-maker Avid, MaxT also developed a collaborative editing environment based upon its MAXedit Server Edition, which is a multi-user, browser-based HD/SD editing system. MAXedit was designed to enable local and remote native format editing of centrally ingested material, intended to reduce project costs by eliminating the need to transport people and tape. With modules MAXcut and MAXreview, the MAXedit workflow would integrate logging, creating, reviewing and approving to exporting and publishing. In this environment, tasks such as reviews could take place from mobile devices.
Avid reported that with the deal, several MaxT staffers would become Avid employees. Future use of the brand name MaxT has not been determined.
EditShare acquires Geevs and Lightworks
EditShare has bought Geevs broadcast servers and the Lightworks nonlinear editing family. The privately-owned companies did not reveal the details of the transaction.
"EditShare is growing rapidly and to meet the needs of our expanding customer base, we need to broaden our offering," said Tara Montford, co-managing director of EditShare EMEA. "Acquiring this technology enables us to bring mature and proven technology into the EditShare Complete Collaboration product line very quickly. We are looking forward to integrating these new assets with EditShare technology, further advancing our workflow engineered systems."
Co-managing director James Richings said customers could expect to see more closely integrated products and a more collaborative workflow within six months.
Geevs servers offer broadcasters, post production facilities and content producers a range of capabilities including SD/HD multichannel ingest, playout automation and file server management for largescale deployments. Lightworks is one of the earliest nonlinear editing platforms and has gone through several acquisitions over the years. Its most well known user is Academy Award-winning editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
EditShare Complete Collaboration products include shared storage, its storage series and XStreme series, all of which enable editors and compositors to share media and work collaboratively regardless of platform or application.
Richings said all Geevs and Lightworks products would remain on the market, and employees will also stay with the company, including Gee Broadcast leader, Keith Gee.
EVS Reports Strong Q2 Results
Belgian-based broadcast sports slow motion and studio server specialist EVS announced strong results for the second quarter of 2010 today, driven by an improving broadcast market and the 2010 World Cup. The company also reported a strong order book of future orders.
The company reported revenue of €30.2m during the quarter, with gross margins of 79.4% and operating margins of 52.4%. The revenue for the quarter represents an increase of 61.2% versus the same period a year ago, and an increase of 41.6% at constant currency and excluding rental income from major events. Sales were positively impacted by the 2010 World Cup, where EVS supplied more than €5m of equipment (with rental revenues split over Q2 and Q3).
For the first half of 2010, EVS revenue came in at €51.1m, an increase of 40% versus 2009. Operating margins for the first six months were 49.9%.
The company also announced that its summer order book had risen by 64.8% to €38.9m, 40% of which is for studio applications.
Grass Valley Transmission and Headend Divs. Renamed Thomson Broadcast and Thomson Video Networks
As part of the process of the Grass Valley divestiture, Technicolor is separating its transmission and headend divisions from Grass Valley. These two business units will now operate as stand-alone entities under the THOMSON brand and are being renamed Thomson Broadcast and Thomson Video Networks. Since the earliest years of broadcasting, the Thomson name has been synonymous with expertise and innovation at the highest level and a trusted partner to the world's leading broadcasters.
Thomson Broadcast provides advanced services, technologies, and product families for terrestrial television, radio, and scientific transmission applications, including a comprehensive range of antennas, transmitters, and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) radio systems, with industry-leading innovation in developments such as the Thomson GreenPower series of energy-efficient transmitters. Drawing on extensive experience in analog broadcasting and close relationships with leading broadcasters around the world, Thomson Broadcast is once again at the forefront of technological innovation, with a range of efficient, flexible, and future-proof digital solid-state and tube-based transmitters for HD, 3D, and mobile TV transmission. Nicolas Dallery has been appointed to head Thomson Broadcast.
Thomson Video Networks provides a unique portfolio of innovative video compression and content processing solutions at the digital headend, with exceptional professional services for network operators and broadcasters. Offering solutions for a rapidly evolving 21st century media industry, Thomson Video Networks develops state-of-the-art hybrid and multiformat compression systems for DTH, terrestrial and mobile TV, IPTV, as well as Web TV networks based around the key ViBE product family. The company also provides exemplary strategies for migration to IP-based video transport, breakthrough video server technologies, and comprehensive redundancy and monitoring systems. Every day, Thomson Video Networks delivers crystal clear video to millions of homes worldwide. Christophe Delahousse will continue to head Thomson Video Networks.
Miranda Tech buys UK software co OmniBus for $47 mln
Canada's Miranda Technologies Inc said it acquired UK-based OmniBus Systems for C$48.7 million ($47 million) from private equity firm Palamon Capital Partners, to expand into the television and Internet broadcasting software segment.
The Montreal, Quebec-based broadcast equipment maker expects the deal to add to earnings in the first full year of operation, and said it will finance the deal with cash on hand and an existing credit facility.
With the acquisition, Miranda expects to gain additional expertise to sell, deploy and support enterprise grade software systems.
The company said it expects the media management and delivery market segment to grow about 24 percent annually over the next two years.
QuStream Q2 Revenue & Profits Up
QuStream Corporation, a provider of broadcast, Pro A/V and multimedia solutions, announced its second quarter fiscal year 2010 results.
Revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 was US $4.3 million compared to US $3.6 million in the same period in fiscal 2009, an increase of 19%. Revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was US $6.0 million compared to US $6.0 million in the same period last year.
Net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 was US $0.5 million or $0.02 per share compared to a net loss of US $0.4 million or ($0.02) per share for the same period last year. Net loss for the six months ended June 30, 2010 was US $0.4 million or ($0.02) per share compared to a net loss of US $5.0 million or ($0.22) per share for the same period last year.
"The second quarter of fiscal 2010 saw a return to profitability in a challenging and competitive environment," stated Chuck Tillett, President and COO of QuStream. "The Company remains focused on executing its strategic initiatives to return to growth and profitability."
Vitec H1 Mixed
UK-based Vitec Plc, which owns a large number of brands in the broadcast industry, reported its financial results for the first six months of 2010.
The company operates in several markets, including broadcast, photographic and government / military. This post looks only at those that relate to the broadcast industry – the company’s “Videocom” and “Services” divisions.
Vitec’s Videocom division is comprised of a dozen brands that serve various parts of the broadcast industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, The Camera Store, Litepanels, Microwave Service Company, Nucomm, OConnor, Petrol Bags, RF Central, Sachtler, Vinten and Vinten Radamec.
The company’s Services division is composed solely of broadcast rental & services provider Bexel.
The company said that demand in the broadcast segment strengthened during the first six months of 2010, following a 25% constant exchange rate decline in sales during the same period a year ago. Broadcast revenue grew in all regions, but particularly in Asia and Europe, driven in part by the World Cup.
Revenue in the Videocom division dropped 18% during the first half of 2010 versus the same period a year ago. Operating profit increased by 5.7% to £3.7 million and decreased by 15.8% in organic terms at constant exchange rates. Operating margin increased by 1.4pts to 6.1% and decreased by 0.4pts in organic terms at constant exchange rates.
On the broadcast side, the company also announced it is creating a new business unit, Vitec Group Tecnologias Ltda, in Sao Paolo Brazil, in order to focus on the emerging Latin American broadcast market, which is expected to be bolstered by the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic games.
Meanwhile, Vitec’s services division saw its revenue for the first half of the year increase by 45%, helped by stronger broadcast market activity, and the Vancouver Olympics. The company said Bexel supplied more than 25 tons of broadcast hardware and installed 48 miles of fiber optic cable for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and entered into a multi-year agreement with Panasonic to make 3D television production equipment available for rental, promoting greater content production by TV networks.
Bexel’s operating profit increased by £0.8 million to £0.2 million and increased by £0.7 million at constant exchange rates. Operating margin increased by 5.8pts to 1.1% and at constant exchange rates it increased by 5.2pts.
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Panasonic Drives Momentum in 3D Production and Display
Panasonic Solutions Company highlighted several significant announcements that will foster the next wave of professional 3D production. With the availability of the highly-anticipated AG-3DA1 fully-integrated Full HD professional 3D camcorder and 25” 3D production monitor, and a new multi-year partnership with Bexel, Panasonic is making affordable 3D production tools more accessible to a broad range of professional content producers. The company also pointed to the imminent availability of 85”, 103” and 152”—the world’s biggest—large format Full HD 3D plasma displays.
“Panasonic’s new suite of professional 3D products is a linchpin of the company’s end-to-end 3D strategy, and will provide wide-ranging, cost-effective opportunities for 3D content creators”
“Panasonic’s new suite of professional 3D products is a linchpin of the company’s end-to-end 3D strategy, and will provide wide-ranging, cost-effective opportunities for 3D content creators,” said Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic Solutions Company. “In addition to Panasonic-developed technology, the Bexel relationship is further evidence of Panasonic’s commitment to providing platforms for our customers to develop and improve 3D production techniques as consumer and business demand for an immersive viewing experience increases.”
The AG-3DA1, which began shipping last week, is the world's first professional, fully-integrated Full HD 3D camcorder recording to SD card media. The AG-3DA1 has the potential to democratize 3D production by giving professional videographers a more affordable, flexible, reliable and easy-to-use tool for capturing immersive content.
At less than 6.6 pounds, the AG-3DA1 is equipped with dual lenses and two full 1920 x 1080 2.07 megapixel 3-MOS imagers to record 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p (native) and 720/60p and 50p in AVCHD. It can record for up to 180 minutes on dual 32GB SD cards in Panasonic's professional AVCHD PH mode, and offers professional interfaces including dual HD-SDI out, HDMI (version 1.4), two XLR connectors, built-in stereo microphone and twin-lens camera remotes. The AG-3DA1 has a suggested list price of $21,000.00.
Also shipping now, the new BT-3DL2550 3D LCD Monitor, with professional features such as dual HD-SDI and DVI interfaces and multiple display options, is a powerful 3D production tool, whether working with the 3DA1 camcorder or with 3D rigs. The BT-3DL2550 displays high-quality, flicker-free 3D content, and offers a full 1920 x 1200 display, exceptional color performance and a ruggedized frame. Additionally, this display supports high-quality 2D performance.
Filling out Panasonic’s suite of 3D production gear, the AG-HMX100, the industry’s first affordable live switcher for 3D event production, will ship later this month. The multi-format HMX100 is an all-in-one unit with video switching, audio mixing, and frame synchronization, designed to support multiple camera workflows, from production, to corporate A/V projects, to wedding and live events. The HMX100 has a suggested list price of $5,800.
SCRI RESEARCH NEWS
2010-2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Macro Industry Overview Report:
88 page report of analysis and information on the state-of-the-industry compiled from secondary online research sources including industry news sites, manufacturers sites, as well as SCRI's own weekly online News Briefs and Insider Reports.
2010-2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Micro Quantitative Product Data Report:
30-page report containing quantitative data tables, for all six verical end-user markets, as well as in total, plus a 6 page summary analysis of the quantitative data tables
2010 - 2011 Broadcast/Pro Video Product Reports (25):
Video Camcorders; ;Video Cameras; Camera Mounting Systems; Character Generators; Clip / Still Stores; Composite/Component Encoders; Digital Effects Processors; Graphics & Effects Software; Graphics & Effects Workstations; Master Control Switchers; Non-Linear Editing Systems; Production/Post Switchers; RAID Video Storage; Routing Switchers; Standards / Formats Convertors; TBC's / Frame Synchronizers; Telecine Equipment; Terminal Equipment; Up/Down Converters; Video Compression Encoders; Video Disk Recorders; Video Monitors; Video Servers; Video Test & Measurement; VTRs
Contact email@example.com for more information.
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