No cameraman or director needed are promises of the AI-driven automated studio, but Mobile Viewpoint will have other live production and delivery solutions at IBC 2018, next September.
IBC 2018, taking place from 13 to 18 September at RAI Amsterdam, will be the stage for multiple demonstrations of new technologies, not only through conferences that will focus on innovative new platforms, audience engagement and interaction/immersion, but also through a wide-ranging exhibition that will encompass all the latest technologies from AI and VR to advanced cloud-based workflows.
Artificial Intelligence will be a buzzword at IBC 2018, as it has been in other events in recent years. The discussion about its merits and disadvantages continues, as many people ask if there will be any place left for humans, when a company like Mobile Viewpoint presents its automated studio products as enabling broadcasters “to make completely automated news productions without the need of a cameraman or director.”
The idea that the automated studio is coming is not new, and Mobile Viewpoint presented at NAB 2018 some of the products the company offers that allow “smaller broadcasters and brand owners to automate live content production and delivery without having to invest in costly camera crews, production facilities and distribution platforms.”
Mobile Viewpoint’s solutions may raise some eyebrows, as mentioned in the article published by ProVideo Coalition last April, but they meet the broadcasters’ requirements for fast, simple and cost-efficient content contribution as they adapt their strategies to meet the rapid rise in online content consumption. Now, at IBC, the company will showcase its new studio solution, demonstrating how its solutions enable fast, cost-efficient content contribution—from live capture through to delivery.
Mobile Viewpoint’s on-stand news studio will be hosted by American comedian Pep Rosenfeld, co-founder of creative club Boom Chicago. Pep is a high-level event host, writer, stand-up comedian and public speaker, and hosts events such as TEDx Amsterdam, The Next Web conference and the Spin Awards. Throughout the show, Pep will be will be interviewing a number of significant industry players in Mobile Viewpoint’s studio. These interviews will be streamed live using Mobile Viewpoint’s full suite of production and delivery solutions.
Mobile Viewpoint will be exhibiting at IBC 2018 its suite of live production and delivery solutions, including the following products:
- NewsPilot: NewsPilot consists of three PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) cameras and Mobile Viewpoint’s Automated Studio control box, which incorporates its AutoPointer and Virtual Director software. NewsPilot also includes CameraLink, a robotic arm which can move a 3kg PTZ camera much like a traditional dolly arrangement. Together, this allows broadcasters and content owners to automate news production without the need for camera crew or a director.
- IQ Sports Producer: An all-in-one production suite that can produce and stream sports events from any location. The production suite includes a fixed-position 24MP 180° camera that can cover an entire field of play, a dedicated appliance with Mobile Viewpoint’s AI engine and IQ Sport Producer Software, and a connection to the LinkMatrix management dashboard. Mobile Viewpoint’s AI engine selects which of the camera’s four 6MP lenses to use given the position of play during a match or game.
- HyperSense: A fully-supported application box which includes AI Indexer, a tool that analyses and logs metadata based on object, speech and facial recognition algorithms, as well as Smart Storage and Video Search, which stores video and logs metadata in accessible formats, enhancing the value of their video by enabling archives to be searched on more than just text.
- TerraLink-4C Multicam: A rack mount bonded transmitter that enables multi-camera shoots without the need of an OB van on site.
- LinkMatrix: An online dashboard that allows users to manage their complete live IP workflow. LinkMatrix provides a clear overview of all live feeds from the field, and turns them into real online TV channels by creating playlists, adding logos and graphics, advertising insertion, and pre-roll. Content can be transcoded in the cloud, and published live on any social media platform or CDN instantly.
“Traditional live broadcast set-ups are expensive, resource-intensive and not conducive to the viewer’s expectations of instant news or sports coverage,” said Michel Bais, CEO at Mobile Viewpoint. “Broadcasters and content owners must adapt to new ways of producing and delivering content if they are to meet consumers’ increasing demands for live content, online. Our product suite has been designed to be a one-stop-shop for both larger broadcasters and smaller content owners, allowing them to take a digital-first approach. We are excited to present these capabilities at IBC this year.”
Michel Bais writes, in a blog post published on the company’s website, that “to completely automate news production without the need for camera crew or a director is perhaps a bridge too far for now, but assisted production is coming right now. Examples already out there are an Automatic Cameraman, a Virtual Director and automated sports production of, for example, soccer. These examples are used by smaller broadcasters and live streamers, but over the next few years we expect to see the big boys to embrace these technologies as well. The same happened with SNG trucks being replaced with live backpacks.”
Does the use of AI-driven news studios like the one from Mobile Viewpoint mean camera crews are a thing of the past? Apparently not, as the company will also showcase at IBC 2018 one of its newest products, 5GLink, the first 5G-ready bonding device. Specifically for camera crews and journalists, and designed to be compatible with any smartphone, 5GLink enables the fast transmission of live content.
Especially around breaking news stories, broadcasters are keen to deliver digital first content, so camera crews and journalists need to capture live content in the field, but don’t want to be held back by multiple units. Which means in the event of an emergency or unexpected incident, more and more camera crews and journalists are using smartphones to capture live content. But this doesn’t meet the quality of an SDI camera, and camera crews and journalists aren’t able to transmit files live either. At IBC 2018, Mobile Viewpoint will demonstrate how 5GLink connects to an SDI camera and enables the transmission of content to live newsfeeds or the studio.