ENCO to Showcase Automated Captioning Advances at 2019 NAB Show

March 27, 2019

Enhancements to enCaption solution bolster renowned accuracy, performance and machine learning abilities, while new deployment options optimize IP-based workflows

Southfield, MI, March 20, 2019ENCO is coming to the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas with a bevy of new advances in its award-winning enCaption4 automated captioning solution. Just weeks after introducing new configurations that bring the benefits of captions to radio audiences for the first time, the company will unveil enhancements that further improve enCaption4’s renowned performance and deployment flexibility for television broadcasters, OTT service providers and AV professionals. ENCO will demonstrate these developments in booth N2524.

Providing automated closed and open captioning for live and pre-recorded content in near-real-time, the software-defined enCaption4 platform enables broadcasters and content producers to cost-effectively meet regulatory requirements and growing consumer demand. Building on ENCO’s patented automated captioning approach, enCaption4 combines machine learning with a neural-network speech-to-text engine to deliver exceptional accuracy with extremely low latency.

The newest enCaption4 advances further enhance these benefits, offering significant accuracy improvements while shortening the delay between spoken words and the corresponding on-screen caption display. Augmenting this elevated accuracy, the new update expands the array of sources from which enCaption4 can learn new vocabulary and names. Already able to access newsroom computer system (NRCS) scripts and rundowns using the MOS protocol, enCaption4 now offers additional forms of newsroom integration. The system can also pull information such as sports team rosters and news articles from third-party websites, growing its dictionary to continuously improve its word recognition and spelling precision.

Complementing enCaption4’s ability to distinguish between multiple people speaking based on separate microphone feeds or audio channels, new multi-speaker distinction functionality leverages AI to detect changes between speakers even within a single mixed feed. Improvements to the system’s intelligent punctuation and capitalization also boost caption quality.

“While enCaption4 continues to lead the market with its combination of accuracy, speed, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, there is always room to improve,” said Ken Frommert, President of ENCO. “The demand for captions continues to increase, not only for complying with accessibility regulations but also for helping audiences understand program narration in noisy public spaces or with the volume muted in sound-sensitive environments. The latest enhancements reflect our commitment to ongoing innovation to address this growing need.”

New Options and Configurations

On-premises enCaption appliances have typically output a serial or IP-based data stream of the generated captions to third-party closed caption encoder hardware, which in turn encodes the data into an SDI output signal with embedded captions. Eliminating the requirement for a separate encoder, ENCO’s new optional closed captioning encoder card can be installed directly within the enCaption4 system. This simplifies the signal chain and minimizes equipment maintenance, while its attractive price tag reduces initial equipment costs for customers who don’t already own a standalone caption encoder.

Two new enCaption4 configurations enable entirely cloud-based automated captioning deployments for customers who don’t require baseband signal I/O. enCaption4 was at the vanguard of automated captioning in video-over-IP workflows based on NewTek’s popular NDI® technology. A new dedicated enCaption4 configuration for NDI workflows generates captions from an NDI input stream and keysthem directly over the video as an NDI output. Meanwhile, a streaming-focused enCaption4 cloud package accepts encoded IP streams as inputs and outputs captions in WebVTT or raw data formats for display through web-based media players, mobile or OTT apps.

“The flexible enCaption4 software was always able to be hosted anywhere: on-premises or in the cloud,” said Frommert. “Traditionally, video and audio I/O requirements such as SDI connectivity have driven the need for on-premises components. But as streaming service providers operate entirely virtually and more broadcasters turn to cloud-based playout, it becomes possible to run the full captioning workflow in the cloud. We’re pleased to offer new enCaption4 packages optimized for these evolving deployment models.”

About ENCO

Founded in 1983, ENCO pioneered the use of computer-based, digital audio and program automation for radio station and TV studios. The company has since evolved its product line to cross all aspects of today’s automated broadcast and production workflows, including closed-captioning, visual radio, audio compliance, instant media playout, remote contribution, and cloud-based web streaming. Its two flagship systems, DAD and MOM, bring the industry’s best reliability, cost-efficiency and intuitive operation to automated radio and TV operations worldwide. ENCO is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan USA and retains a global distribution network, plus a growing network of partnerships with complementary industry vendors. For more information, please visit: www.enco.com.

MultiDyne Strengthens OTT and IPTV Presence with New Compression Series at 2019 NAB Show

March 27, 2019

Market-leading fiber transport company launches range of encoders and decoders to support 4K/UHD compression in streaming media workflows

Hauppauge, NY, March 20, 2019MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions will officially enter the compression market at the 2019 NAB Show with a specialized range of professional, broadcast-quality encoders and decoders for streaming mediaworkflows. To be unveiled at the MultiDyne booth (C5013), the new MD9200 range strengthens the company’s value proposition with OTT and IPTV service providers moving SD, HD and 4K/UHD content over public and private IP and fiber networks.

The initial MD9200 series consists of encoders and decoders in stand-alone, desktop configurations, and in the popular openGear card module form-factor. The openGear encoding and decoding modules are compatible with the broader openGear community of infrastructure products. Both encoder models enable highly secure streaming from one to many destinations, supporting virtually any mix of streaming protocols. Each independent encoder configuration accommodates unique frame size, frame rate, video/audio codecs and data configurations, and can independently encode separately HD and SD streams at high and low bit rates from a single SDI input.

All MD9200 series products deliver exceptional bandwidth efficiency while maintaining signal integrity and visual quality. Both decoders optimize 1080P AVC (H.264) and 1080i MPEG-2 compression, with optional support for very high bit-rate 2160P HEVC (H265) UHD streams. When using the OpenGear decoder (MD9200-DEC-OG), customers can house up to 20 decoding modules in a single 2RU openGear chassis for high-density signal de-compression to SDI and HDMI. The standalone MD9200-DEC delivers the same operational benefits and visual quality for point-to-point streaming.

The MD9200 series will provide exceptional value in IP-based contribution applications for news, sports and studio links, according to Jesse Foster, MultiDyne’s Director of Product Development and Western Region Sales. Foster also sees opportunity for MultiDyne to provide value to content delivery and digital signage networks, with support for CDN transcoding, on-demand playback and 4K/UHD content looping among other applications.

“These products are built to both serve content over OTT, CDN and IPTV networks, from moving signals to executives suites in venues, to delivering HLS streams to YouTube or mobile phones for viewing or signal monitoring purposes,” said Foster. “We also see tremendous opportunity for our core customer base working on mobile production trucks, rental houses and in remote locations to contribute or backhaul content more efficiently over IP. These are all compact, lightweight, and low-power products that will solve problems for broadcast engineers, IT technicians and other users, especially as more broadcasters and service providers adopt HEVC compression.”

Foster adds that MultiDyne’s engineering team has emphasized network security in the product design, providing systems integrators and IT professionals with peace of mind that their networks and content are safe from outside intrusion. That security, plus an attractive price point and broad feature set, provide exceptional value for any customer.

“The MD9200 line-up brings together a very broad array of streaming and protocol transmission capabilities while addressing visual quality, signal latency and total cost of ownership,” said Foster. “This series represents an important new direction for MultiDyne that will continue to grow yet interoperate with our core fiber transport systems, while also helping users prepare for the specialized compression needs of UHD formats now and moving forward.”

MultiDyne will demonstrate the MD9200 series products in various configurations alongside its range of fiber transport and conversion products at NAB, taking place April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

About MultiDyne

With over 40 years of experience serving the Broadcasters and video production communities worldwide, MultiDyne Fiber Optic Systems leads the industry in developing pioneering signal conversion and fiber-optic-based transport systems for the broadcast, cable, satellite, production, digital cinema, pro A/V, corporate, retail, surveillance, teleconferencing, judicial arraignment, transportation, government, military, and healthcare markets.

GatesAir Embedded HD Radio Importer and Exporter Solutions Power Radio Strategy at 2019 NAB Show

March 27, 2019

Now shipping, FMXi 4g solution is available in three configurations; GatesAir also adds 7.5kW model to Flexiva transmitter range

CINCINNATI, March 19, 2019GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will unveil three configurations of its now-shipping Flexiva FMXi 4g embedded HD Radio solution at the 2019 NAB Show. Available as a single Exporter/Importer or as separate Importer and Exporter systems, the IT-based solution eliminates the maintenance of older hardware-based components while integrating the critically important function of HD Radio Diversity Delay.

GatesAir will also expand its Flexiva brand of FM and HD Radio solutions with a new 7.5 kW FAX air-cooled transmitter that bridges the gap between its lower and medium power models. The new transmitter maintains all of the standard operational benefits of Flexiva’s high-efficiency architecture, including reduced footprint, power consumption and maintenance thanks to its green and modular design.

The immediate availability of the FMXi 4g solution remains the top storyline for GatesAir’s radio business at NAB. GatesAir’s IT-embedded approach is a significant departure from previous-generation designs, providing an integrated platform that is reliable and maintenance free compared to computer-based platforms.

The FMXi 4g is also the industry’s first embedded HD Radio infrastructure solution to provide dynamic time and audio correction between analog (FM) and digital (HD Radio) signals. The GatesAir-exclusive algorithm inside the FMXi 4g ensures proper time alignment between the two. This improves the listener experience in areas where the digital signal fades, ensuring program linearity and automatically removing objectionable blending artifacts. Built-in software intelligence aligns the time, levels and phase of the audio to deliver a clean and engaging audience experience.

Ted Lantz, Vice President and General Manager, Radio Product Group for GatesAir notes that the convergence of Exporter and Importer functions into a single software-embedded system represents an important future direction for GatesAir. The FMXi 4g joins the recently-announced Intraplex Ascent embedded Audio over IP solution in GatesAir’s future strategy around IT and broadcast convergence.

“The removal of a standalone, computer-based Exporter or Importer eliminates the boot-up process and troublesome moving parts, and frees broadcasters from maintaining PC-based solutions,” said Lantz. “HD Radio implementation is simplified by eliminating complex configuration setups, along with having the Artist Experience integrated within the platform. These benefits are shared regardless of which of the three FMXi 4g configurations the customer chooses to deploy.”

GatesAir will demonstrate the FMXi 4g as part of its complete HD Radio Gen4 solution, along with its new Flexiva FAX 7.5 transmitter, at NAB from April 8-11 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. GatesAir exhibits at Booth N3303.

About GatesAir   

GatesAir, Inc., a portfolio company of The Gores Group, provides complete solutions for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting, leveraging wireless spectrum to maximize performance for multichannel, mission-critical services. Powering over-the-air networks worldwide with unparalleled reliability for nearly 100 years, GatesAir’s turnkey solutions enable broadcasters to create, transport and transmit radio and TV content.  With customers in more than 185 countries, the company leads the industry in innovation and design breakthroughs, improving efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership with all products designed and assembled in the USA. Visit www.gatesair.com for more information, Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gatesair, and follow us on Twitter at @GatesAir.

 

About The Gores Group

The Gores Group, founded in 1987 by Alec Gores, is a global investment firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm’s operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. Over its 30-year history, The Gores Group has become a leading investor having demonstrated a reliable track record of creating value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, CO, and London. For more information, please visit http://www.gores.com.

Tightrope’s Cablecast Community Media to Preview New Direct-to-VOD OTT Workflow at 2019 NAB Show

March 27, 2019

New features for standalone VOD publishing and live streaming bring platform’s efficient, turnkey online and OTT distribution to customers without cable channels

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, MARCH 18, 2019 – Visitors to Tightrope Media Systems’ 2019 NAB Show suite at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel (Hospitality Suite 739) can experience a sneak preview of upcoming direct-to-consumer publishing features that bring the Cablecast Community Media platform’s rich online and OTT distribution capabilities to a broader range of content producers. Building on Cablecast’s robust, efficient workflow for automating everything from cable playback to streaming delivery, version 6.7 brings turnkey VOD and live stream publishing for the web and OTT to customers such as schools and local governments even if they don’t operate a cable channel. Significantly, Cablecast 6.7’s publishing workflows enable users to maintain control of the presentation of their content in ways not possible with popular third-party services.

The new standalone online and OTT publishing capabilities continue the company’s proven history of empowering community content providers with streamlined workflows for reaching ‘cord-cutters’ and other audiences on non-traditional viewing devices. Recent Cablecast multi-platform delivery advances included last year’s release of Cablecast Screenweave for effortlessly reaching users of popular OTT player appliances, and enhanced-quality 1080p adaptive bitrate VOD and live streaming delivery.

“For many years, we have been building up our turnkey web video features and Cablecast Reflect content delivery network to help traditional community cable broadcasters keep up with growing trends in on-demand and streaming consumption,” said Steve Israelsky, President, Cablecast Community Media. “For stations that are restricted to SD cable distribution and omitted from electronic program guides, our online and OTT features have given them feature and video quality parity with major commercial networks. But content creation and distribution has become such an important part of every industry and institution that with version 6.7, we want to help more new content providers be successful – even those without cable channels.”

Cablecast 6.7’s new digital file upload feature enables content managers to copy media files onto their server from anywhere. Combining previously separate operational steps, users can add metadata information at the same time they submit the content files through a single,unified interface page. Meanwhile, a new thumbnail selection feature lets users scrub through their video clip to select a promotional image for display in program schedules on Cablecast-powered public websites and VOD content libraries – thus ensuring a professional look while avoiding the need to create or upload an external graphic.

Unlike most popular, free, web-based distribution platforms, Cablecast’s online and OTT content presentations do not insert unwanted advertising in front of producers’ videos, nor suggest third-party content – completely out of the control of the producer – to viewers upon completion of the program. “This is important for government and educational customers who don’t want unrelated, problematic, or commercial content being shown in conjunction with a city council meeting or daily lesson,” explained Israelsky.

Cablecast 6.7 with the new standalone VOD publishing functionality is slated for release in May. Content producers and community broadcasters interested in version 6.7 or other new Cablecast introductions can schedule an NAB Show meeting with the Cablecast Community Media team at http://bit.ly/CablecastNAB2019.

“Combining these new features with our turnkey website and OTT publishing tools for dynamically updating content libraries, version 6.7 offers a very compelling alternative to other web-based video distribution options,” concluded Israelsky. “We’re excited to let people get their hands on it at the NAB Show, and for them to provide us with feedback as we finalize it.”

About Cablecast

For over 20 years, the Cablecast Community Media platform from Tightrope Media Systems has enabled exceptional workflow efficiency, usability and versatility to help local cable channels, campus television and other community media providers engage their viewers in the evolving media landscape. The comprehensive Cablecast product line provides complete, tightly-integrated broadcast solutions including station automation, playout servers, Internet video on demand and live streaming. For more information, visit www.cablecast.tv or call (866) 866-4118.

CP Communications Appoints Jerry Gepner as COO

January 25, 2019

Industry veteran will leverage his extensive business and technology experience to transform the company into a solutions provider for the content creation market

New York, NY, January 23, 2019CP Communications, a leader in innovative solutions and services for live event productions, has appointed Jerry Gepner as Chief Operating Officer. Reporting to CEO Kurt Heitmann, Gepner will drive strategic and business development efforts to help transform the company into a broader media-centric solutions provider that goes beyond its core broadcast focus.

CP Communications has long been an industry leader in RF content acquisition for live production. The company provides services and solutions for many of world’s largest annual sports and live broadcast events, including the World Series, Super Bowl and the U.S. Open, the annual open championship of golf.

Gepner’s appointment comes at a time of aggressive growth for CP Communications, including an increased focus on IP, cloud solutionsand bonded cellular technologies for content acquisition and streaming using its Red House Streaming solutions. Gepner will oversee the continued development of the Red House Streaming solutions offering, including the addition of new services and technologies that serve a broader array of platforms and customers.

“The broadcast and production industry’s acceleration towards an IP infrastructure has opened new business models and opportunities for content producers and distributors, as well as suppliers and service providers,” said Gepner. “CP Communications has provided contentacquisition services for broadcasters at the premier level for three decades, and is well-positioned to spread its expertise into adjacent markets. My background in senior management, finance, technology, and services, including a strong awareness of marketplace dynamics, offers the tools we need to collaboratively grow the CP Communications business with our employees, customers and partners.”

Gepner brings extensive experience to his new role, with proven success in creating and implementing transformative strategies for mid-sized technology businesses. He has held diverse executive-level positions of increasing responsibility with industry suppliers, broadcast networks and service providers over nearly three decades. This includes several years as EVP Field Operations and Engineering for FOX Sports, and CEO of The Vitec Group’s Services Division. He most recently served as CEO of Tekserve and T2 Computing, which were acquired by Axispoint, Inc. in 2017.

Gepner is also a successful entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Sportvision, the Silicon Valley company that created products ubiquitous in televised sports today. Sportvision, acquired by SMT in 2016, created innovations that include First & Ten®, the virtual first down line used in American football, Racef/x®, the GPS-based auto tracking and data systems for NASCAR, and the Emmy-winning K-Zone® for baseball broadcasts. He is also a five-time Emmy Award winner for technical excellence in sports production.

“Jerry’s impressive track record demonstrates the rare ability to transform niche businesses, opening them to a broader marketplace, leveraging new technologies, business strategies, and organizational structures to build something new and exciting,” said Heitmann. “We’re pleased to welcome him to CP Communications in this important role as he helps to lead the company into its next era of growth and profitability.”

About CP Communications

For more than three decades, CP Communications has provided high-quality, cost-effective live event production solutions to major broadcasters, sports leagues and teams, and event and production companies. Our solutions include access to experienced professionals, state of the art equipment, and innovative technologies and techniques for wireless audio & video content acquisition, transport and delivery. Our culture of innovation, coupled with the highest quality assurance standards and passion for customer service, promote collaboration with our clients to determine the best custom solution for each live event, whether it’s the U.S. Open, Super Bowl, World Series, Kentucky Derby, Tony Awards, or a political convention, corporate conference, fashion show, parade or marathon. CP Communications offers six HDRF Mobile Production trucks, two ENG Vans, five motorcycles, and a full-service machine shop, and offers a custom design for each event from box rentals through to turnkey production solutions.

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