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Liverpool scores with Blackbird, refs for UWW and more

TVBEurope rounds up today's top tech news

Liverpool FC has become the latest football club to employ Blackbird’s editing platform for remote video production.

The production team is able to access Blackbird’s editing toolset through a browser, even on low bandwidth, the company said.

The club will use Blackbird to re-purpose its archive of file-based content for publishing to the its website and digital channels including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, with a combined follower count exceeding 80 million.

Using Blackbird, the club’s production team can clip, edit and publish short-form content as well as produce longer-form content and interviews.

“As a lifelong Liverpool fan I am genuinely delighted to work with the club and enable remote video production,” said Blackbird CEO Ian McDonough. “The Liverpool FC digital media team will be able to access their centrally stored file-based archives from any browser or laptop and continue to engage their global fanbase, whether they will be watching their heroes on TV, web or social media.”

UWW lands on

United World Wrestling (UWW) has selected as its technology partner for video-refereeing in all its matches.

Based in Switzerland, the international governing body for amateur wrestling has been cooperating with on the implementation of video-refereeing at its international competitions for the last two years.

To date, the systems have been deployed at more than 20 world competitions and will be used for the Olympic cycle through 2024.

Greco-Roman, freestyle and women’s wrestling competitions requires the video-refereeing system to cover two mats, each with four cameras. In response, modified the videoReferee-SR system, designed to work with eight HD cameras, adding the ability to cover two independent matches with four cameras each by one compact 1U server.

“While looking for solutions to increase the fairness of the refereeing during International Events, UWW found to be the ideal solution,” said Sébastien Guenat, director of IT department at UWW. “Increasing the numbers of cameras (angles) gave our referees a better tool to make the correct decision. Also, the stability of the system’s software allowed us to respond to 100 per cent of the challenges (replays) requested by the coaches in the last two years.”

Verizon Media improves ad tracking, CDN capabilities

Verizon Media has launched new advertising tools to improve transparency in the bidding process, track ad performance, maximise audience reach and enhance live event streaming.

Verizon Media Smartplay Prebid is a server-side integration that exposes inventory and conducts auctions using the prebid open-source framework. 

The company is also enhancing advertising data and analytics to provide customers “a deeper understanding of ad performance.” Ad Data helps technical teams highlight errors, timeouts and tracking issues after they occur.

Ad Analytics then allows content publishers to identify and respond to trends in ad performance and segment data by areas such as environment, device and demand partner.

Channel Scheduling enables content owners to create virtual live linear experiences using assets from their VoD library, a live feed or live event. This eliminates the need for expensive broadcast playout technologies to curate and develop new channels for their audiences, according to Verizon.

The company has additionally enhanced its ingest, encoding and CDN capabilities to deliver live content in 4K HDR. Recent testing of concurrent viewers on the platform has now reached the 10 million viewer threshold.

Ariff Sidi, general manager at Verizon Media Platform, said: “Verizon Media’s massive global network and platform enables content publishers to reach broadcast-sized audiences with their OTT platforms and services. Customers are already using our streaming platform to reach millions of concurrent viewers anywhere in the world.

“At Super Bowl LIV, we were able to demo in-stadium experiences that saw latency faster than a television broadcast. This capability has opened up new use cases for interactivity, gamification, trivia, wagering and 5G-enabled experiences.”

EditShare takes to the Cloud

EditShare has unveiled a virtualised video editing and storage platform, EFSv, designed to enable collaborative Cloud-based media production.

Initially running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, the open EFSv platform supports industry-standard third-party creative tools for editing, audio mixing and grading with best-in-class security capabilities such as file auditing to propel secure, end-to-end editorial workflows in the Cloud.

EFSv packages include the workstation and GPU resources required to support teams of all sizes, EditShare said. The EFSv packages also include EditShare’s Flow media management and remote production workflow tools. Flow adds a control layer to virtualised storage pools, with tools to scan, log, search and organise media, assemble story packages, and move content between object and block tiers of storage and also between Cloud and on-premise tiers.

“Only the Cloud can bring the depth of flexibility that’s essential for today’s unusual and disruptive circumstances. Overnight, the advantages offered by the Cloud have changed from being ‘nice to have’ to ‘necessary,’” said Sunil Mudholkar, VP of product management, EditShare. “We have real-world experience successfully deploying EditShare customer workflows to run in AWS and Tencent Cloud. EFSv is the culmination of these successes.”