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Mumbai Studio Follows International bloomberg Standard

Broadcast Video Producer magazine has always strived to offer value addition information to all the members of broadcast fraternity. With this commitment to offer best of the information, we have exclusively covered the BloombergQuint studio revealing the unknown facts of this distinctive channel.

The joint venture between Bloomberg News and Quintillion Media has become the pioneers in the Indian broadcast industry as it adopted alterations propelled by the changing broadcast scenario thus becoming the first business news channel to directly go on digital or OTT platform rather than broadcast.

While starting this channel, the main idea was to have a common workflow between the digital and broadcast, which is not seen in the Indian broadcast industry. The industry treats the two processes separately and runs them parallelly only by interchanging the files. The aim was not only to establish themselves on digital platform like any other mainstream media but also to go on social media platform. Though a lot of production process remained the same, the change in the distribution pattern did demand the technical update and new equipment that would facilitate the smooth functioning of the process and provide more flexibility to capture maximum OTT platforms.

This is where Avid come into picture. BloombergQuint’s backend office operating from Bengaluru under the surveillance of Quintillion is working along with Avid to develop the main central server, where they can merge CMS, the Newsroom Computer System (NRCS tool) for the digital platform, and iNews which is NRCS tool for TV. Avid has already declared that iNews will be replaced in the coming months by MediaCentral Newsroom Management— a powerful new integrated workflow solution that provides complete story creation and rundown management for news teams. This integrated new workflow enables you to create and deliver multiple angles of a story to larger and wider audiences across TV, websites, mobile apps, and social media channels. It will save newsroom time and operating cost while deploying iNEWS in a hybrid cloud environment.

At Quint, they decided to have open studio without walls or glasses, going in accordance with the Bloomberg Studio styles worldwide. This gives a livelier feel to the channel look, however it threw another set of challenges at the company. Nobody as of now uses open studios in India as acoustics are the greatest issue to deal with in such environment. Apart from internal newsroom acoustic, treating AC units which were common for the entire building was required. This was achieved using linear acoustic. The facility features four studios at present of which three are open and 4th is virtual studio. There is one more virtual studio expected to come up in the office. Apart from four operational studios, the channel has two PCRs (Production Control Room). BloombergQuint is the first English business news channel in India to use AR and VR studio.

The studio one, which is the main studio, is equipped with 4 to 6 operational cameras. It features 4 vertical video wall screen pillars at 4 corners of the studio. The studio floor is lighted with Bloomberg Quint logo. The video walls displays Vizart graphics (Augmented Reality) and StypeGRIP camera tracking system, which is the unique feature used in Business News channel for the first time in India.

Meanwhile, for firing the graphics the company uses encore of Viz Content Pilot. The company uses Tricolor processor to process the video in the video wall. Tricolor series of multi-screen display processor is pure hardware architecture. It requires no operating system and its high-performance video processing workstation provides a fundamental guarantee for all input sources for full real-time processing and data consistency. It ensures that there is no delay in image, no discrete oriented and non-drop frame, and realizes the image of the perfect present.

Viz Engine is one of the most powerful real-time graphics rendering engines and video servers. It renders animated 3D scenes in real-time, producing high-end animations in HD, 4K and beyond. Viz Engine functions as a standalone video server as well as the graphics and video compositing platform for Vizrt products. Viz Content Pilot provides an optimal environment to create, manage and deliver high volumes of top-quality content to live and taped news, sports, election and other broadcast productions, independently of the design department. Viz Content Pilot can serve as the core content control system for broadcasters that require speed, consistent look, and a streamlined workflow for their graphics and video content.

The studio 2 is smaller in size compared to the main studio. It features multi camera set-up with moving video walls. It has the capacity to occupy two to three cameras. There are five such video walls each of which features four 65 inch display screen that are used in the back drop of this studio along with fixed LED screens of the same size.

The third studio is also an open studio but is extremely small when compared with the first two. It is used only for some filler video and guest interviews when both studio 1 and 2 are occupied. Lastly, the fourth studio, which is the virtual studio, features all Vizart equipment and the Shotoku camera support system.

Cameras of all four studios can be controlled through any of the two PCRs. The Video/Audio signals are monitored and checked and switched for transmission with SNELL 4ME Kahuna Video switcher and Studer Vista 1 audio mixer. Imagine Communications 11 RU router IP3 aids the routing of video signal. The router is future upgradable to IP video.

All the studios are using Sony cameras which were finalised after being compared with cameras from Ikegami and Grass Valley. Sony’s HSC100 camera using Cannon lenses are used for anchor and multi-camera set-ups. The facility has two Panasonic AW-HE 130 motorised news cams that are installed strategically for coverage across the studio movement. These cameras help in shooting anchor links and are operated through PCRs. The Sennheiser cordless microphones are EM2050 and SK2000 are used in all the studios. Canara LED lights are used by all the studios in the BloombergQuint Mumbai office. Telex Adams Talkback System is used for communication between studio personnel and the PCR and car rooms.

BloombergQuint OTT Delivery and Digital Ad Insertion on Net

Being the first of its kind channel to adopt a different delivery platform BloombergQuint had to face several challenges. The change in the platform demanded changing insertion of the latest technology in the workflow.

At present, BloombergQuint is delivering via ten internet channels like Yupp tv, Vodafone, hotstar etc, and for each internet channel specifications vary. After the creation of new tool, that company is developing along with AVID at Bengaluru, they will be able to distribute all the content to all the channels in single format and the signal will be viewed by each in their format automatically.

Sardana said, “We are using almost same equipment for digital as for broadcast except a few like we got an equipment called Elemental which is vital in feed distribution which gives me flexibility in distribution as every OTT platform has different set of specifications and different ART rates. For instance some have HLS stream while some have a HLS M3U8 and others might have RTMP or completely different feed requirement. So it is a major advantage.”

Apart from AWS Elemental Live, the company has also inserted SCTE marker, which is again different from broadcast. This helps in monetisation for digital content based on commitments, it’s more of like a replacement to GTI trigger that used to indicate the shift in the event during rundown. Here elemental transcodes it to the requirement of SCTE marker and helps it move to ad servers. SCTE helps monetisation of all the channels independently. But not all the platforms are using SCTE markers; at some places they give live feeds while some other they share CDMs.

SCTE-35 is a joint ANSI/Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers standard that describes the inline insertion of cue tones in mpeg-ts streams. The full standard name is “Digital Program Insertion Cueing Message for Cable.” SCTE-35 is used in the US to signal a local ad insertion.

The company has a social team that uploads links to FB, Youtube and Periscope. They also go live on all the three social media platforms using Wirecast. Server room, which is the backbone for a digital channel like BloombergQuint, is all on fibre. Having a server room on fibre is quite an expensive affair for a channel. This channel has 6A cables for our 10G network.

Ingest and Storage pattern:

The channel has the feed coming from Polycams, liveviews and skypes. Apart from these it also has international feeds both with and without Aston and graphics. So the company uses Avid Unity ISIS. It is a storage system for video files used by television broadcasters developed by Avid Technology. ISIS stands for “Infinitely Scalable Intelligent Storage. Storage is in DIVAdirector for 30 days on Low resolution files and then transferred LTO 480 TB tape based long term storage. PCR has AVID Airspeed rundown system, which is encorder cum decorder that helps in scheduling rundown which when played later is play capsule.

From capture to broadcast, entire SD and HD workflows can be accelerated with AirSpeed. It is the best-in-class multichannel video server that helps manage feeds, live acquisition, content production, and play-to-air demands easily. From direct codec support, automated capture, and proven media protection, to near-instantaneous ingest-to-playback turnaround and playout flexibility, AirSpeed provides the reliable performance you need to produce and deliver top-quality news, television, and sports content—on time and on budget—in a new, more powerful chassis.

Archive is done via DIVA. DIVA is one of the leading systems in the world and goes well with AVID. It has director and actor, where director helps review all low raise file and actor helps in play and read files. Diva creates low raise file pushes to 1) Diva Director 2) LTO library (it has 480 terabytes) and 3) small server. So now one can preview the file in Diva director.

Oracle DIVAdirector is a digital asset management system that gives you full control of the assets housed in Oracle DIVArchive via a familiar interface, so you can quickly locate, access, and manage media.

For this complete DAM or MAM workflow, we had meetings with various companies including Tata but cloud based storage is still avoided due to privacy concerns.

Challenges faced by system integrators

BloombergQuint had started the digital platform in 2016 and the ward platform was live from August 2017. The current facility in Mumbai was commenced on 28th April 2017 and the first dry run was hit on 16th July 2017. The company started with the live digital streaming on 21st November 2017.

UK based Jago treated the entire studio environment for acoustics including linear acoustics technique for air conditioning to achieve acoustics required for an open studio environment where a little unfriendly noise can disturb.

“Ideal Broadcasting India and Benchmark Broadcast Systems were also considered as the system integrators, however we finally decided on Cineom Broadcast India whom we considered ideal and as benchmark to integrate our studio,” said Sardana while discussing about the entire process setup. He further mentioned that, “the Sony cameras were finalised after they were compared with Ikegami and Grass Valley.”

BloombergQuint was launched with an aim to combine Bloomberg’s global leadership in business and financial news and data, with Quintillion Media’s deep expertise in the Indian market and digital news delivery, to provide high quality business news, insights and trends for India’s sophisticated audiences.

BloombergQuint had recently announced a partnership with Nasscom, T-Hub and the Government of Karnataka to launch ‘ScaleUP’, a new initiative designed to help emerging companies and start-ups scale for growth in November 2017. Furthermore, in the same month, the company had also launched a WhatsApp service for decision makers and executives on the go. BloombergQuint was rated as the ninth most popular news brand among new-age news publishers by a digital video analytics provider, Vidooly, in July 2017. From the launch of current facility in 2016 till date, the company has managed to go live on 10 players.

BloombergQuint had started the digital platform in 2016 and the ward platform was live from August 2017. The current facility in Mumbai was commenced on 28th April 2017 and the first dry run was hit on 16th July 2017. The company started with the live digital streaming on 21st November 2017.

UK based Jago treated the entire studio environment for acoustics including linear acoustics technique for air conditioning to achieve acoustics required for an open studio environment where a little unfriendly noise can disturb.

“Ideal Broadcasting India and Benchmark Broadcast Systems were also considered as the system integrators, however we finally decided on Cineom Broadcast India whom we considered ideal and as benchmark to integrate our studio,” said Sardana while discussing about the entire process setup. He further mentioned that, “the Sony cameras were finalised after they were compared with Ikegami and Grass Valley.”

BloombergQuint was launched with an aim to combine Bloomberg’s global leadership in business and financial news and data, with Quintillion Media’s deep expertise in the Indian market and digital news delivery, to provide high quality business news, insights and trends for India’s sophisticated audiences.

BloombergQuint had recently announced a partnership with Nasscom, T-Hub and the Government of Karnataka to launch ‘ScaleUP’, a new initiative designed to help emerging companies and start-ups scale for growth in November 2017. Furthermore, in the same month, the company had also launched a WhatsApp service for decision makers and executives on the go. BloombergQuint was rated as the ninth most popular news brand among new-age news publishers by a digital video analytics provider, Vidooly, in July 2017. From the launch of current facility in 2016 till date, the company has managed to go live on 10 players.