IBC 2018: Sony Launches Intelligent Media Services; Avid Bows Next-Gen Maestro Engine

Sony used the IBC Show to launch Intelligent Media Services and tout other new solutions that it said will enable media companies to capture, edit and share content in 4K Ultra High-Definition (UHD) and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

Audiences today consume content across a wide variety of devices whenever and wherever they want, Sony noted in one of its several announcements at IBC. To better support content creators in meeting constantly-evolving audience expectations, Sony unveiled Intelligent Media Services, a range of services and micro-services that it said in a news release were “designed to transform traditional media supply chains, unlock more value from content for deeper audience engagement and provide” over-the-top (OTT) subscription services.

The Intelligent Media Services portfolio includes: New Media Solutions, a fully managed digital supply chain service, providing content distribution solutions in various models depending on customer needs; Virtual Production, a subscription-based, on-demand solution hosted in the cloud that provides a complete production toolset for simultaneous, multi-platform professional streaming and requires no infrastructure or upfront investment; cloud-based production services that include XDCAM air, an ENG subscription service, and Media Backbone Hive, a multi-platform news production system — both cloud-based solutions that support content creators to ingest, edit and view footage before distributing it across various platforms and OTT services in file and by streaming it live; and Safe Asset Solution (made up of Optical Disc Archive and Memnon) that ensures valuable assets are safe and accessible from anywhere in the world with a flexible system set-up from advanced cloud storage to on-premise storage.

Sony also launched four new 4K/HDR system cameras. The new live production system cameras include the HDC-P50, a 4K HDR Point of View (POV) system camera and HDC-3500 portable system camera that the company said features “the world’s first 2/3-inch 4K global shutter and three CMOS sensors.” The new portable system cameras HDC-3100 (Fiber) and HDC-3170 (Triax) also make their debut at IBC. In addition, Sony introduced a new Triax Camera Control Unit (CCU), the HDCU-3170, that works in conjunction with the new system cameras. All HDC-3000 series cameras and the HDCU-3170 will ship in October and the HDC-P50 will follow in February, Sony said.

Also introduced by the company was a 31-inch BVM-HX310 reference monitor that reproduces 4K HDR content of up to 1,000 nits brightness in full-screen with a contrast ratio of 1 million:1.
Sony is also growing its Internet Protocol (IP) Live Production System solutions with further support for SMPTE ST 2110 in 4K and HD. This initiative “strengthens its commitment to driving interoperability based on open standards and supports wider industry adoption,” it said.

The centerpiece of Sony’s IBC booth, meanwhile, is a 5K x 2K Crystal LED display system.

“Each year at IBC, we unveil innovative new solutions that give media companies the best possible tools to capture stunning content and share it with their audiences — and this year is no different,” Stuart Almond, head of marketing for Sony Professional Solutions Europe, said in one of the company’s IBC news releases. He added: “At Sony, we listen and work collaboratively with our customers to create solutions that actively address the challenges media companies face today and provide them with the technologies they need to go and make tomorrow a reality.”

Sony’s PXW-Z280 and PXW-Z190 XDCAM handheld camcorders are also getting a firmware update (version 2.0) based on the technology of XDCAM air, it said. The update will expand the capabilities of both camcorders to include dual link QoS streaming, HEVC streaming, network intercom and remote control, when used with the optional CBKZ-SLNW1 license, it said.

The company also expanded the creative capabilities of its flagship CineAlta Motion Picture Camera, Venice, via a Version 3.0 firmware upgrade and new extension system. The new extension system enhances the mobility and operability of the Venice when filming with gimbals, handheld stabilizers, underwater and helicopter housings, and 3D/virtual reality rigs, as well as in tight and unconventional spaces, including in vehicles and on cranes, Sony said. Version 3.0 firmware also adds a new recording format profile, X-OCN XT, enabling the camera to capture the highest quality imagery with the AXS-R7 portable memory recorder while maintaining economical file sizes comparable to the Sony F55RAW, making workflow “affordable and efficient,” it said. The firmware upgrade and extension system will be available in February.

“As the market gears up for an IP-driven future,” Sony said it’s “seen rapid global adoption of its IP Live Production System, with more than 30 systems around the world.”

Also at IBC:


Avid used the show to unveil the next-generation Maestro Engine real-time graphics and video hardware rendering platform for its Maestro Graphics product line.

Maestro Engine scales from HD and 1080p to UHD, supporting both Serial Digital Interface (SDI) and Video over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Avid said. With Maestro Engine, broadcasters can produce augmented reality, graphics, virtual studios and video wall content in the industry’s highest achievable quality, according to the company.

As the successor to Avid HDVG, Maestro Engine enables broadcasters to introduce new production capabilities — including 3G, UHD, HDR and IP workflows — alongside their current HD/SD SDI workflows, with “minimal disruption,” the company said.

Available in two configurations — Maestro Engine and Maestro Engine 4K — the platform works with all Maestro graphics suite solutions, and provides performance, scalability and format support to meet and even surpass customers’ current and future broadcast requirements, according to Avid.

“As broadcast production evolves, broadcasters increasingly need flexible, future-proof graphics rendering hardware to enable them to tell more compelling stories,” Ray Thompson, director of broadcast and media solutions marketing at Avid, said in a news release. He added: “The new Maestro Engine enables customers to differentiate and elevate their content with compelling data-driven augmented reality graphics and virtual sets delivered in real time.”

Maestro Engine and Maestro Engine 4K will ship in the fourth quarter of 2018, Avid said.

The company also touted the web-based version of its MediaCentral media production and management platform at IBC, along with: MediaCentral Editorial Management, a simple-to-deploy asset management tool that it said “accelerates collaboration among post production and broadcast teams through secure, reliable and easily configured media workflows”; Avid On Demand, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud services and solutions platform that provides media production capabilities on demand; the Avid NEXIS E5 NL high-density, on-premises nearline storage solution; the expanded Avid VENUE S6L family of live sound systems (shipping this month), with three new control surfaces, a new engine and two new I/O racks — all on a unified platform; an expanded Creative Tools Family that provides access to Avid’s Pro Tools, Media Composer and Sibelius software for creative users at any stage of their career and teams of any size; and the Maestro PowerWall display control and management solution that it said “puts the power” of UHD graphics into the hands of any TV broadcaster.

“The products Avid is showing today at IBC, and our forward leaning innovation in areas such as IP connectivity, 4K and cloud, have been shaped and prioritized by our customers who are all counting on the vendor community to come together and help them overcome the massive shift impacting every aspect of their business,” Avid CEO and president Jeff Rosica said in Avid’s announcement.

He added: “We’ve accelerated our delivery of open platforms, tools, apps, services and solutions to make it easier for our customers to end disparity among technology in their operations, so they can work faster on smaller budgets, and still thrill and retain viewers on any platform.”

Avid executives and technology experts are also participating on several IBC conference panels exploring the content supply chain, artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced graphics.
Tim Claman, Avid CTO and VP of product management, will present his white paper, “Extending Media Production to the Cloud,” Sept. 15, discuss new AI applications and the dilemma of how best to harness the power of AI during a Sept. 16 session, and participate in an AI panel Sept. 17.  During the Sept. 17 session “The Future of TV is Virtual: Captivating Viewers with Immersive Experiences,” Haim Halperin, senior principle broadcast product manager at Avid, will explore how organizations can harness immersive technologies to captivate and retain viewers — from 3D graphics in the studio to delivering the stadium experience at home.


Globecast announced it’s been selected by Virgin Media as a technical partner for the launch of Virgin TV Ultra HD, the UK’s first dedicated UHD entertainment channel.

The channel launches Sept. 17 and will be available for Virgin Media’s Full House and VIP customers using its next-generation Virgin TV V6 set-top box, Globecast said, adding it’s supplying cloud-based playout and media management services for the channel.

“We are providing Virgin Media with a fully managed service ready for transmission,” Juliet Bayliss, Globecast sales director, said in a news release. She added: “Our end-to-end solution is a hybrid of public and private cloud, working completely in Ultra HD … Broadcasting in UHD — especially with high end video frame rates, bit depths and audio needs — requires a very high level of technical expertise, particularly when receiving content from multiple suppliers that must be prepared for seamless cloud- and GPU-based encoding. Adding cloud-based, UHD playout to our offering is not only important to us, but also to the market globally as we are a go-to provider for playout and distribution services.”


Optiva Media signed a multi-year license for TiVo to provide entertainment metadata — including TV schedules — to enhance the content discovery experience of its customers, TiVo announced.

“By selecting TiVo, Optiva Media recognizes our position as a premium metadata provider in Spain,” Samuel Sweet, SVP of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales at TiVo, said in a news release. He added: “TiVo is dedicated to enriching the entertainment discovery experience, and we are delighted to see TiVo’s industry-leading metadata and technology platform being available to enhance more TV services in the region.”

Optiva Media “required an enhanced metadata solution that empowers subscribers to quickly find and discover entertainment content including VOD, and have accurate TV listings,” Valia Merino, Optiva managing partner said, pointing out the companies already had a “long-standing relationship … across many Latin American and European markets.”

TiVo is demonstrating its solutions at IBC, at its booth in Hall 5, Stand A31. Optiva will also be showing its solutions on stand C17 in Hall 3.


Veritone expanded the integration of its aiWARE AI operating system with asset management solutions from Wazee Digital, the cloud-native video management and licensing services company it now owns.

Veritone is “leveraging its recent acquisition of Wazee Digital to create an end-to-end, AI-driven digital asset management and monetization solution in a secure cloud environment for live and archived broadcasts,” it said in a news release.

Veritone recently bought Wazee for $15 million, including $7.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in Veritone common stock.

AiWARE works in combination with Wazee Digital Core, an enterprise SaaS digital asset management system, and Digital Media Hub, a SaaS solution that allows video content to be captured in a central location and made immediately available for global access, Veritone said. AiWARE automatically generates relevant intelligent metadata within Core and Digital Media Hub that it said will “enhance advanced searches of vast archives, improving operational efficiency and improving the discoverability and usability of valuable media content.”

IBC attendees can see a demo of the aiWARE-Core solution during the show in Hall 5, at Stand 5.A09.