RTS Thames Valley

The technical evolution of TV is explored at Thames Valley

Television is experiencing a technical revolution in broadcast facilities. This new technology – video and audio over IP – uses computer networks to replace traditional broadcast infrastructures to deliver more flexibility and scalability for programme-makers.

Sports producers have already started to benefit from IP. Multiple cameras and microphones at events can be directly streamed into a centralised broadcast facility to increase the number of events covered. Scalable IP studios provide pay-as-you-go resources to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Specialists talk video compression at RTS Thames Valley

The V-Nova team, headed by CEO and co-founder Guido Meardi, welcomed the sell-out audience and outlined current compression options, new developments and upcoming standards.

Meardi introduced guest speaker Chris Pearman, remote production strategist and architect at Red Bee, who spoke about the growth and latest trends in remote-production. He discussed how V-Nova had helped the media services company to deliver an innovative 32-feed production set-up at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

How technology is enabling state-of-the-art television production

Diving deep into the technology, IMG Media head of engineering Bagnall gave a description of how IP (internet protocol) has changed the face of outside broadcasts, with SDI (serial digital interface) circuits being enhanced by IT communication. As well as providing a fully uncompressed service to traditional broadcasters, Bagnall demonstrated how OTT (over-the top) internet delivery was being achieved.

John Watkinson Christmas lecture

Watkinson is the author of technical television industry books such as The Art of Digital Video.

Leaving TV to one side, Watkinson discussed the seemingly apparent conflicts of religion and philosophy, and went on to demonstrate the importance of scientific rigour based on logically proven truths.

He warned: “Be permanently aware [that] you can mislead yourself. Science is a set of descriptions of how things are; science describes, it doesn’t explain.”

Derek Owen receives the RTS Pilgrim Award

Derek Owen took on the task of looking after the centre’s finances as Honorary Treasurer when it was founded in 1991 and served in that post until his retirement from the committee in 2016.

“I cannot think of many volunteers in the Society who have given so generously of their time, ideas and expertise as Derek. If you want to understand what is meant by ‘outstanding service’ then look no further than Derek,” said RTS Honorary Secretary David Lowen.

RTS Thames Valley Centre celebrates Inaugural Awards

Young Technologist winner Carys Hughes, Sky UK, with Tony Orme RTS TVC Chairman (Credit: Matt Robbins)

Online publishing platform The Broadcast Bridge won the Corporate Website award, with the judges acknowledging its outstanding contribution to the broadcast industry by generating more than 300 pages of specialised technical content every month. The runners up in this category were The Broadcast Knowledge and Boxer Systems.

Thames Valley/Southern IBC Review 2018

The panel, convened at Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke and chaired by Thames Valley Chair Tony Orme, featured Ciaran Doran from Pixel Power; Neil Maycock, Grass Valley; Martin Parsons, Image Eyes; and Russell Trafford-Jones, Techex. It agreed that internet protocol (IP) is here to stay, machine learning is ubiquitous and security is raising its head.

Let there be light

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Credit: BBC/Getty)

Davis, who has more than three decades’ experience in television lighting, discussed some of the major royal events he has covered in his talk, “Four weddings and a funeral”.

He began with the 1999 wedding of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The lighting director spoke about the challenges of trying to match the bright light flooding through the stain glass windows against the unforgiving light-soaking dark wood lining the aisle.

Let There Be Light! & Summer BBQ

Bernie Davis started life in the BBC TV Outside Broadcasts to become one of their senior lighting directors. Since leaving the BBC Bernie has become has been an established TV Lighting Designer for over twenty-five years working on many of the highest-profile programmes ranging from events in cathedrals and palaces, to concerts and light entertainment shows, plays, opera  and ballets from The National Theatre and Covent Garden.

The Interoperable Master Format – a thing of dark mystery or one of simple beauty?

RTS Thames Valley, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the Digital Production Partnership hosted the well-attended event, which heard presentations from Bruce Devlin, VP standards at SMPTE; Steve Fish, VP media and technology architecture at Turner Broadcasting; and Andy Lampard, research and development head at Motion Picture Solutions.