NAB 2019: Cloud Solutions in the Spotlight

This is the second of two stories previewing some of the cloud solutions being showcased at this year’s NAB Show in Las Vegas. Read the first story here.

Members of the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) representing the workflow solutions space at the 2019 NAB Show discussed here include Sohonet, Sony, Teradici, Wasabi and ZOO Digital.

Here’s a quick look at what each company is bringing to the show:


Sohonet will be spotlighting ClearView Flex, which it noted “enables key creatives [and] production executives to review and approve live, encrypted video streams from any source, remotely” on their tablet or PC.

“Whether you’re looking to review dailies, remote color grade, or view live feeds direct from the camera, ClearView Flex gives you the security and flexibility to collaborate with your teams remotely and in real-time, from anywhere in the world. For more information ahead of NAB, visit https://www.sohonet.com/clearview-flex/SL14205


Sony’s booth at NAB 2019 will feature a new area showcasing artificial intelligence-based video analytics, Alex Rossi, senior marketing manager for media products at Sony Electronics Professional Solutions of America, recently told reporters at a pre-NAB press briefing in New York.

Sony introduced the Media Solutions Division only about two years ago and has changed its name to “be more reflective of what we actually do, which is media services, and now that we’re adding automation and intelligent [AI and] machine learning, we again evolved the name a little bit more,” and now call it Intelligent Media Services,” John Studdert, VP of the Media Segment within Sony Electronics Imaging Products & Solutions-Americas, Pro, explained to reporters.

Intelligent Media Services includes various Sony companies and services under one umbrella, including Ci, Memnon and Ven.ue. Sony continues to improve all these services and one way it’s doing that is by connecting them together, Studdert pointed out.

“What we’re finding is almost in every aspect of our business right now, our customers are looking for their workflow to be automated,” he said, adding: “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish, and we have accomplished.”

The new theme of the Sony Electronics Professional Solutions Americas (PSA) group, meanwhile, will be “Live Your Vision,” Katsunori Yamanouchi, the division’s outgoing president, disclosed.

Sony, meanwhile, understands the media industry is still “facing significant, massive changes” that include increased competition from not only traditional broadcasting companies, but also large new entrants to the sector through mergers and acquisitions, Yamanouchi said, echoing comments he made at last year’s pre-NAB press briefing. He also once again pointed to the need for media companies to meet the demand that’s been generated by the increase in over-the-top (OTT) video streaming solutions and continued popularity of mobile devices that are allowing consumers to view content anytime and anywhere.

Sony will focus on two “core values” areas at NAB this year: Workflow efficiency and content value, he said. To improve workflow efficiencies, Sony is using its intellectual property (IP), cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) and Intelligent Media Services, he said. On the content value side of the equation, Sony is focused on enriching content with resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR), wide color gamut and high frame rate, he told reporters.

New Ci media cloud service features to be spotlighted at NAB include integrated AI, which Sony said eliminates costly manual logging and transcription processes, enhances discoverability and search ability, and instantly makes transcriptions available for curation

Daily stage presentations on broadcast and production solutions — as well as a case study presentation on how Sony is powering the NHRA Championship Drag Racing OTT experience — will take place daily Monday-Wednesday at the Sony booth main stage. C11001


Teradici will collaborate with several partners at NAB to showcase Cloud Access Software delivering editorial and VFX design workloads remotely from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and on-premises private data centers, according to Ziad Lammam, Teradici VP of product management and marketing.

One area of focus “will be our latest Cloud Access Software features – including performance enhancements, management and orchestration service and artist tablet devices – all remotely delivered from a multi-cloud environment,” he said.

Teradici will also showcase the PCoIP Ultra protocol enhancements it just announced ahead of NAB. The company made significant enhancements to its multi-codec PCoIP protocol, including 4K Ultra High-Def (UHD) high frame rate content support, designed to improve the experience of users working with demanding content, according to the company.

The PCoIP Ultra protocol enhancements will be available as a technical preview to Cloud Access Software customers in mid-April, with general availability to follow in May, the company said in an announcement April 3.

“PCoIP Ultra supports 4K/UHD in a couple different ways,” Teradici CEO David Smith told the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA).

“First, it supports CPU scaling, including really efficient multithreading, using the AVX2 instruction set on modern servers,” he explained, adding: “Secondly, for customers who prefer it, it supports GPU offloading, which also handles 4K/UHD content via H.264 or HEVC. For media and entertainment in particular, we’re finding 4K support is quickly becoming a requirement as displays, and therefore the content being produced for them, are rapidly being upgraded to 4K. It’s become table stakes in the industry quite quickly.”
PCoIP Ultra represents Teradici’s “most advanced protocol enhancements yet, designed to meet the needs of the most demanding graphics-intensive applications while delivering the same lossless image quality and security our customers expect,” Smith said in a news release.

He added: “Even for the most challenging use cases as content shifts to larger and more immersive formats, PCoIP Ultra delivers uncompromising quality, security, and efficiency.”

The PCoIP Ultra enhancements “use an expanded array of encoders, enabling the choice of the most efficient hardware or software codecs according to content characteristics,” according to Teradici. That “flexibility results in a faster, more interactive experience for users of remote workstations working with high-resolution content, including creative design applications, dynamic wireframes, video editorial suites, and animation tools,” it said.

In addition to 4K/UHD high frame rate content, the first release supports efficient scaling across multicore CPUs leveraging AVX2 instruction sets and expanded multi-codec architecture for third-party codecs, including H.264/HEVC, according to Teradici. SL6717


At NAB, Wasabi will show how it’s offering a disruptive price and performance model that is one size fits all and tier free, with no vendor lock-in, and how 6,000-plus paying customers have already used Wasabi to store billions of objects. Wasabi will also tout some of its 600-plus solutions partners, along with more than 200 technology partners.

Wasabi will be showcasing its “hot” cloud storage solutions, which promises to deliver low-cost, high-performance storage solutions to enterprises. The company’s highly scalable and distributed architecture is built at exabyte scale and is 100% compatible with AWS S3. The company has opened data centers in Virginia, Oregon, and Amsterdam.

“Since our founding, Wasabi has been pushing the notion of Cloud 2.0, where workloads can move across multiple clouds without friction or added expense in order to deliver the best finished product at the lowest possible price,” said Whit Jackson, Wasabi’s VP of media and entertainment. “We are delighted to be working with all media technology and business innovators who are also committed to enabling the full potential of cloud media processing.”

Wasabi will also share the latest with its involvement in the Media Innovation Cloud Alliance, a coalition of media technology companies integrating across multiple clouds to deliver a disruptive price and performance ratio. SL14508

ZOO Digital

ZOO Digital is bringing a number of new offerings to the 2019 NAB Show, including the launch of its ZOOstudio ecosystem, a service ecosystem that aims to simplify localization for content owners; increase vendor collaboration and reduce supply chain wastage.

Designed to address the challenges of OTT distribution, ZOOstudio provides content owners with a centralized system for ordering, tracking and managing all the services required to create localized content packages. ZOO’s collaborative approach sees services such as dubbing, subtitling, metadata localization and media processing delivered either by ZOO as the end-to-end vendor or in combination with clients’ other preferred global vendors.

The ZOOstudio ecosystem brings together ZOO’s existing, battle-tested platforms. It enables content owners to have all their vendors working together in one cloud system, with assets and reference materials shared between vendor workflows to increase efficiency and reduce duplication. With a single point of order and fulfillment, content owners are no longer required to track projects across multiple vendor-specific systems; ZOOstudio gives full visibility and live consolidated status reporting across all vendor production workflows.

“The time has come for service vendors to work together to support content owners to achieve their goals. In ZOOstudio, we have created the single ecosystem that clients need to centralize and manage their end-to-end services across all vendors,” said ZOO president Gordon Doran “Content owners will be able to share reference materials, assets and data across global workflows to simplify and speed up content distribution.”

Additionally, ZOO Digital will expand its cloud dubbing services through a global network of ZOO-enabled dubbing studios (ZEDS), with more than 50 in-territory ZEDS having joined the vendor’s cloud dubbing services network.

ZOO has created the ZEDS global network in direct response to the boom in demand for dubbing talent capacity from its content owner clients. ZEDS are highly reputable, independent dubbing studios located in key territories for distribution. ZOO Digital has trained each dubbing studio to use ZOOdubs, its industry-first and award-winning cloud-dubbing platform, in order to record and manage the dubbing process. This unique partnership approach means that ZOO can work with any studio across the world with the right credentials. It enables coverage with a far wider talent pool than if the provider were to rely on owner-operated studios.

Lastly, ZOO Digital will unveil cloud-dubbing innovations for faster time to market, including lip sync dubbing, casting and audio creation.

This next phase of refinement for the localization vendor’s award-winning cloud-dubbing service is in direct response to the huge pressures its clients face in the entertainment industry. This includes an industry-wide need for far more efficient ways to localize and prepare the most sought-after TV and movie content for expectant audiences around the world.

The first innovation assists with lip sync dubbing. The skill of matching the translated and dubbed audio with the actor’s lip movements on screen is notoriously labor-intensive. ZOO’s lip sync innovation cleverly analyses the script to identify where mouth movements could occur onscreen and shows them as a visual representation or viseme on the timeline.

Another innovation automatically converts text to speech to speed up the creation of audio description streams. The efficient production of audio offers content owners choice and flexibility when it comes to services such as audio description, especially when a TV or movie title needs to be launched quickly in a new market.

The third innovation is auto casting. This uses cloud software to automate a first stage of the casting process by efficiently matching the voice of dubbing artists with the original actor’s voice. This assists with casting sound-alike characters from ZOO’s extensive database and ensuring the quality of dubbed voiceovers. SL6024