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NEWS MANIPULATE & EDIT ANALYSIS During IBC I was lucky enough to do several virtual reality demos, including a couple that featured the Holy Grail of immersive live (or as live) content. The experiences were all very professional and well thought-out (even the proof-of-concept ones) and each was immersive in its own unique ways. But one thing that remained a constant niggle throughout was the lack of clarity and resolution. Now, I’m not normally one to worry about pixel count. But with VR that extra detail make a huge difference whether it is live or otherwise. Bart Spriester, senior vice president, video products at Harmonic, agrees. “VR is a game changer for content providers, broadcasters and pay-TV operators, especially for live sports,” he says. “Market research estimates that by 2020, VR video services will capture $1 billion in revenue, with live sporting events representing more than one-third of that amount. But the video quality has to be exceptional in order to provide a fully immersive experience.” GRADING The digital animation and visual effects studio Animal Logic has replaced its existing DI suites with a Baselight Two grading system and a Baselight One, each with Blackboard control panels. A Baselight Assist station for file preparation and rendering of final deliverables has also been added. All the systems are linked to a 160TB Flux Store, FilmLight’s high-speed media server. Bram Tulloch, global editorial and DI engineer at Animal Logic, said: “Our requirements are very different from the traditional VFX pipeline - we’re not dealing with live action content so we require more from our solutions. We tend work towards a photo-real look in almost everything we create, and that certainly requires a very complex and accurate set of tools. Baselight gets things through the pipeline faster, and the BLG (Baselight Linked Grade) workflow offers everyone the ability to get involved in the DI from the early stages.” From my brief research, 8k seems to be the minimum resolution for fully immersive 360-degree VR. Squeezing that amount of data down your home broadband pipe is tricky. Fortunately, work is being done. Harmonic showed a UHD virtual reality technology demo at IBC in collaboration with the Dutch research institute TNO. It used TNO’s HEVC tiling technology, which enables efficient distribution of VR content at very high quality over existing content delivery networks. It promises video resolution 10 times higher than that offered by existing commercially deployed VR services. That sounds like the kind of quality the VR will need to be truly immersive. And for live experiences it could be absolutely crucial. STUDIO FURNITURE AKA Design has designed, built and installed all the technical furniture in a new post facility recently opened by London’s Envy. A Baselight grading suite, Baselight Assist, five Flame Premium suites and all offline suites have been decked out, complete with Envy’s new logo engraved into the desks. The 12,000 sq ft facility in Mortimer Street, which will be used by the company’s advertising division, also includes a Dolby Atmos premix studio and three Pro Tools sound studios with Avid S6 mixing desks, with a large producers’ desk and new reception desk. AKA managing director, Guy Wilson said: “We used denim vanity boards and upholstering throughout, which suited the vibe of the building, and the six-metre-long producers’ table was finished in daniella wood veneer with tiled legs to give it an industrial feel.” 24 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 118 OCTOBER 2016