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SVG Sport Summit part 2

Here is the second part of SVG Sports Summit in Sky Italy, Milan.

[Link to part 1]

Panel: NAB2019 - What Was Seen and What Was Interesting? (part 2)
Other important points addressed by the Panel were:
"Is the cloud a valid ally? And virtualization? And how to exploit some artificial intelligence applications to enrich sports content with metadata? Are we facing a valid accelerator for television production? Can the cloud be used for automatation using low-cost tools?

Carlo Struzzi
"The virtualization of any function (an embedder, a digital effect, a compressor) on the cloud is certainly a reality and there are solutions available in different formats in NDI and in 2110. It is necessary to verify if they are economically and reasonably acceptable, even if there there are still some aspects that need to be optimized (such as power consumption).
However, there are examples like Vimeo that have tools for their platform like video and audio mixers and effects that are currently used in American sports, in small universities, where they shoot with IP cameras, control direction by a tablet and then deliver it on the university website.
Other solutions - even more serious ones - are coming out on the market and with the increase in connectivity it will be possible to have lower delays and better interactivity between those who interact on the content (direction, graphics, effects etc) to make it suitable for distribution."

Luca Catalano
"For the live production of sporting events, some football teams use production solutions entirely on the cloud, based on a web interface, even if today these are considered not valid for high-level broadcast productions.
The cloud will have to evolve to make up the big difference in terms of purchasable services and the business model will have to be dramatically different. Edge computing can be an evolution of the cloud that will provide other advantages, but today the real proposition is the purchase of services that are already a good value.

Massimo Bertolotti: OTT, when will it be satisfactory?
"Sports linked to the world of OTT, IP and streaming delivered essentially through cloud platforms, must surely keep an eye on the compromise between quality, effectiveness and efficiency, which is difficult, especially for large events. Broadcast remains the key technology for big live events."

Enrico Beoni
"The problem is the network connection infrastructure that STILL does not work in Italy."

Carlo Struzzi
"The IP infrastructure technology is growing, as is the CDN, which is trying to move closer to live broadcasts with multicast -while today it is only unicast- to reduce the pressure on the network.
If there is a good correlation between a compressed content, perhaps with recent codecs, the origin server, the storage, and the cache distributed on the territory: then it is possible to reach compatible delays with the other distribution methods, even if not equal."
Luca Catalano
"IP distribution is the key issue and everyone must work on the two-way aspect to solve monetization problems. Advertising has collapsed and only IP makes it possible to deliver targeted and programmatic comercials, therefore making advert system profitable again. Technology thus becomes an "enabler" to create new revenues."

Lega Calcio Serie A: What Positives in 2018-2019 and Future Plans
Manuele Tigani, PR broadcaster of Lega Serie A.
The theme of 4K and HDR is still linked to the difficulties encountered during the productions of Rome, Turin, Naples, and Milan, difficulties that are connected to broadcasting, hybrid production, not full 4K, recording in EVS that do not responds as in live, the graphics.
The League is working with a graphics agency in a native 4K way to create a standard to be replicated.
Connectivity is being studied also in order to avoid having journalists onsite saving on costs of correspondents.
Another novelty is the Additional Content Channel that dedicated an extra person and an EVS to produce new contents. Thus it is possible to reuse what has not been broadcast.
About Remote Production, the MARS Multy Angle Replay System provides rights holders access to unseen angles and can create, thanks to ISO signals, good contents, analysis and editable sequences, with excellent broadcast quality and Sony equipment, without a high performance transport, with only 400/500 MB, for near live productions.
It also divides the content provided by the system and uploads it to different digital platforms and social media.
Among the innovations: virtualization, signal transport, sponsorship, how to combat piracy with different partners across Europe and the possibility of having onsite both the commentary part for the rights holder, both for journalistic coordination, the possibility of receiving some data from the supplier Stats for further information.

The SVG Sport Summit also saw three more Panel discussions:
"Women in Leadership" moderated by Serena Chiama and with interventions of Martina Maestri, head of Sky Sport News, Paola Formenti, technology director.
"Sustainability in Sports Production" was moderated by Manuela Baraschi, head of business partners & program management. With interventions by Massimiliano Anchise, 3zero2, Andrea Gianolli, ONE, Cristina Fenzi, Sky Academy & responsible business, human resources, Elena Sacchi, Sky VR46 & sport development.
The third Panel was: "The Future of Italian Sports Production" was hosted by Riccardo Botta, and inspired by 4K in general, and the further hard work for HDR, also suggesting that demand is lacking.
Hhoping for moments of exchange of ideas like this SVG summit, he solicited a personal point of view:

Andrea Gianolli, ONE
"4K is already a very visible reality and at the Barcelona Grand Prix a workshop was set up to show the state of the art. Implementing 4K is not a simple step even where the HDR is native because sources often are not HDR, even if the renewal process is in progress.
The one-year HDR study in production and archiving with comparisons and evaluations was carried out together with the Everts team, also with firmware modifications and with the Sony team (including 8K filming).
Dorna for more than a year for its IPF International Program Feed (the race without specialties) has produces in 4K HDR with 26 cameras and the main replays (the parts of specialties at the moment are not), starting from 10 Bit native HDR.
A multicast multi-feed was presented to suggest a choice without compromises, compressions and reductions; and both 4K HDR and 4K were provided, as well as HD and HDR HD, with the complete chain. On some Sony 32 "monitors the various formats were projected side by side."

Davide Furlan, Global Production
"One year has passed after our vehicle was released: it was an important choice to create a truly 4K HDR vehicle, but the reality is different and still today, despite some productions in this native HDR format (the Ferrari Challenge finals, a race of the Ski World Cup in Val Gardena), many external signals reach us not in HDR. So there are possibilities, 4K could be done and I honestly do not know what is missing in the market to start a definitively native HDR production."

Andrea Buonomo, Cinevideo
"Last year we produced HDR integrations and can I confirm that the remaining problems were the signals that were not all in HDR, as well as the graphics, and then also the down compatibility to HD signal, still remains decisive."

Natalino Pintabona, NVP
"We were precursors to come out with a 4K HDR vehicle in 2017 and starting the experiences abroad we found the problems of integrating non-HDR signals. This is certainly a big limit for the spread of HDR, in addition to the lack of distribution channels and overall costs."

The speakers all agreed that starting from a 4k HDR program and down-converting to HD the resulting signal is not always of superior quality, because the result "depends on the cook".
The broadcast engineering department of SKY made comparisons between 4K HDR and SDR and among the things noticed there issues in the lighting of the stadiums that remain problematic to the point that sometimes even to some the SDR is visually more pleasant than the HDR!
So even if today we are ready from the technology point of view, the theme which still remains is "when 4K will become mainstream".
IP on mobile devices to increase production capacity represents an evolving infrastructure and in general it is not considered necessary -now- except regards the interface to the outside world. Within the OB Van, the SDI still remains very valid.
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