The view from IBC 2017

September 2017

The announcement at IBC by SMPTE that the IP standards ST-2110 parts 10, 20 and 30 are now formally approved is good news, says dB Broadcast, the UK’s leading broadcast systems integrator.

“For some time, dB has been working to select and implement broadcast solutions based on IP and open technology, and actively works with vendors and standards bodies alike to develop and steer vendor developments to be aligned with open standards”, says Tom Swan, Sales and Marketing Director. “There is still a little way to go on approval of ST-2110-40 and -21 standards, but these are expected to be concluded within the near future.”

At IBC, the major manufacturers were demonstrating their current understanding of the ST-2110 specification in equipment. There is likely to be some refining and hardening of implementation post IBC now that standards are ratified, and before production versions are available, but this is unlikely to have a negative impact on projects starting in the next few months. However, carriage of essence via IP streams is not the end of the story – network discovery and registration, connection management and (in-band) network control are all crucial to enable safe and secure operation. To that end, it was encouraging to see a significant increase in the list of participating manufacturers within the IP Showcase at IBC. Video, audio and control system vendors were working in close co-operation to demonstrate commitment to IS-04, IS-05 and beyond. The increase in the number of suppliers and wider technology base shows how much the industry has moved on in the space of 12 months.

Swan points out: “dB Broadcast is currently delivering one of the largest IP projects in Europe, and is at the forefront of the industry transition to the use of IP in live, uncompressed video and audio systems. Several other large systems have already been delivered, based on current or precursor standards such as ASPEN, Dante and SMPTE 2022-6.” The company has a director level commitment to deliver customer projects and staff development around IP platforms.

The importance of industry bodies is recognised, and dB sees them as pivotal in the realisation of IP as a practical platform. The company is committed to developing and training staff, and to date the whole of dB’s engineering team have completed one or more of the IABM Broadcast Networking training courses. dB has a very close relationship with the IABM: its Engineering Director and senior engineers worked with the IABM to develop the syllabus that forms the Advanced Networks for Broadcast Engineers course, and participated in its first delivery.

A proactive approach is taken to working with vendors in product development, to ensure that their products are fit for purpose in IP systems, and that interoperability is proven. From previous experience of taking responsibility for the integration of IP products, the use of a dB ‘test lab’ has proved invaluable in the development and ratification of proposed solutions using the selected equipment. This also allows pre-production testing of software/firmware releases to assess their interaction with the overall solution.

At IBC 2017, dB Broadcast was presenting its After Sales Support capabilities that provide technical support and project enhancements for the lifetime of a system. dB offers standard SLAs and customised support packages to meet customers’ specific needs, and to maintain the smooth running of their system. These include support services that may be needed during training, go-live and on an ongoing basis. In essence, the customer chooses the level of support applicable to their needs and budget. dB Broadcast uses JIRA to centrally log and manage all customer support requirements. All communication methods by email, phone call or via the online portal, result in a new request being opened. Everything is captured and tracked in one system. Automated workflows, triggers and dashboards are utilised to drive performance and to ensure that SLAs are met.

The IP transition is creating demand for dB Broadcast’s consultancy services as clients strive to understand this changing environment and how best to leverage the benefits. Broadcasters require advice that is independent of particular hardware and software providers, and insight into vendor roadmaps for the latest solutions. Many now engage in ‘Proof of Concept’ testing before determining their technology strategies. An understanding of media workflows and the design of efficient migration strategies adds further value for clients.

Recent examples of dB Broadcast’s consultancy services include a multi-site HD technology refresh, DPP-compliant file delivery workflows and 4K/UHD production/playout. dB has recently been engaged as consultants for the re-location of a major international broadcaster, and for a green-field media facility based upon emerging IP standards.

RECENT NEWS

Exhibition Schedule 2024

Exhibition Schedule 2024

It’s exhibition season again, and dB will be at several major shows, eager to meet as many visitors as possible.

At The Media Production & Technology Show at Olympia, London, our team will be on hand to discuss latest industry trends and technologies, as well as catch up on current broadcast projects. We’ll also be debuting dB FLEX, a versatile power solution designed to power Starlink data terminals in the field. This was used in our award winning project for ITV Studios teams on location from Australia to Alaska.

See us there at Stand no. E27 on 15-16 May 2024.

https://www.mediaproductionshow.com/

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Then we’re off to CABSAT at the Sheikh Saeed Halls 1, 2, 3 and Trade Centre Arena, Dubai World Trade Centre. We’ll be looking to show off the new dB FLEX solution to delegates from the Media and Satcomms industry, and we expect lots of interest in our S3 Satsio antenna tracking and positioning systems.

Catch us at Stand No- S2-F20, Shk Saeed Hall 2 on 21 – 23 May 2024.

https://cabsat.com/

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Then in September it’s all back to The Netherlands with our annual attendance at IBC in the RAI, Amsterdam. Once again we’ll be in two places at once, in Hall 1 with our focus on Satcoms showcasing S3 Satsio and dB FLEX, simultaneously also exhibiting in Hall 10 with a focus on broadcast projects and our new APIS Hive software developments.

We’ll be at Stand nos. 1.A07 and 10.A30, 13-16 September 2024.

https://show.ibc.org/%20

Andy Appleyard joins dB Broadcast Board

Andy Appleyard joins dB Broadcast Board

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Appleyard as Director of Projects and key shareholder of the Company.

Andy brings over two decades of industry experience to dB, having been a respected colleague and friend of the company for more than 20 years. His appointment is a strategic move aligned with our broader objectives to diversify our activities and fortify our long-term succession plan.

Andy started his Broadcast and Media career at the BBC, and trained alongside Mike Bryan back in 2000. Progressing through the organisation, Andy played a pivotal role as a Senior Project Manager in the success of the BBC Scotland Pacific Quay project in 2004. In 2008, Andy joined the systems integrator, TSL, as a Senior Project Manager, successfully delivering projects such as Sky News Arabia, QVC Italy, and Channel 4 HD Playout.

Returning to the BBC in 2014 as a Portfolio Manager, Andy led the delivery of BBC Cardiff Central Square, the Corporation’s first venture into AVoIP (ST-2110). Following this success, as an independent consultant, he collaborated with dB Broadcast on the Warner Bros. Discovery AVoIP project for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Since 2022, Andy has been leading a dB team responsible for delivering the strategic advisory role at NRK in Norway, as well as supporting wider business opportunities. His extensive contributions and expertise make him an invaluable addition to the company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andy to dB Broadcast, and are confident that his wealth of experience and strategic vision will play a key role in propelling the company to new heights”, said David Bird, Managing Director & Founder. “This appointment is a significant milestone in building the perfect team for our continued and long-term success.”

This appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the Broadcast and Media industry as it undergoes significant transformations by embracing new technologies and workflows. The addition of Andy to the dB team is a crucial step towards realising the company’s long-term ambitions and ensuring continued success in a dynamic and evolving industry. Pic shows Andy Appleyard (foreground)

dB Broadcast Supports Expedition and Implements Sustainability Measures

dB Broadcast Supports Expedition and Implements Sustainability Measures

dB Broadcast actively seeks to invest in sustainable technologies, and to promote sustainable business practices. This spans both our own facilities and is a core concern during the design and implementation of systems for our clients.

Over the past year we have worked with an external consultant to review our sustainability approach. This work has delivered an updated company policy, targets, measures and actions to recognise and reduce our environmental impact, and provide transparency through our engagement in the global Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This builds upon our wider sustainability initiatives which have seen a 100kW solar PV array installed, producing around a quarter of our annual facilities’ energy consumption. Furthermore, our Data Centre utilises an ‘evaporative’ cooling system to reduce our energy use and our carbon footprint.

On top of these initiatives, we are also thrilled to announce that we are sponsoring Mark Wood on his epic Solo 100 expedition in March 2024. Solo 100 begins when Mark will head out into the Arctic for 100 days on a 2000km science-based expedition. His mission is to document climate change in real time, to inspire people to re-connect with the environment and to educate us all on the need for modern day exploration. Expedition Solo 100 is a test of human endurance like no other. No human has ever been alone in the Arctic for so long.

Mark recently wrote to dB’s Founder David Bird to say…

“Hi David, I am just a few weeks away from heading north to a small Inuit settlement along the northwest passage called Resolute Bay – home to Inuit people who are thousands of miles away from the human race in a location that is set in snow and ice. Here I will prepare and train for my 100 days solo expedition across the last remaining sea – an area half the size of Europe with a total population of 300 people and over 25,000 polar bears.
 

The reason is to collate pure ice samples for leading climate research scientists to understand possible contamination. The expedition is being filmed by myself for a major documentary we have been developing over the past six years. Each day I will communicate through a podcast from the edge of the world (flat earth believers don’t get too excited when I write edge!!!) 


This will be my toughest journey over a 20 year career in a freezer, and each day leading to this all I can think about is stepping off the small plane in the Arctic Ocean to be alone for the 100 days. I’m in fear of the journey but this will keep me sharp and focused. 


My thanks go to people who believe in me and my journey – so thank you David and all of you for allowing me to pursue my passion in the name of science. 


 Onwards…”

Each month we plan to post an update on Mark’s expedition, and we hope you will be as excited as we are to follow his courageous journey, and spread the word about his progress and achievements, giving him as much exposure and support as we possibly can.

If you’re eager to know more about Solo 100, please check the website: www.expeditionsolo100.com