The 24-hour news cycle has meant that more and more content needs to be produced, presenting challenges not only in archiving and retrieval, but also in ensuring that the right clip can be found when it is needed. While electronic news gathering has been around for decades, today’s setup usually involves everything from a lone reporter and single camera to an entire crew on location. The latest developments in ENG tools empower news production teams by expanding the options in delivering content and metadata tagging.
“It is hard to walk into a TV station today that isn’t using some form of ENG or automation,” said Paul Shen, CEO and founder of TVU Networks in Mountain View, Calif.
The vast amount of content that news teams produce daily is placing increasing demands on bandwidth. In response, vendors showing the latest developments in ENG at this year’s NAB Show will focus on the role that High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)—also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part Two—will continue to play in production. This video compression standard, designed as a successor to the widely used AVC (H.264 or MPEG-4 Part 10), could be crucial given the vast amount of content produced that needs to be delivered over existing systems.
Whether it is local news or a network correspondent across the country or the world, teams in the field need to stay connected with the newsroom.
“You want to have your teams be as close as possible to the action and make the operation between the field reporting teams and the newsroom as seamless as possible,” said Kevin Savina, director of product strategy at Dalet, a provider of newsroom production software.
At the NAB Show, Dalet will show an enhanced version of the DaletOneCut news editing tool that offers a seamless editing experience, whether the content is located in an archive or the reporter’s laptop.
“We use the cloud to make that experience seamless and work even when you have very bad network conditions,” Savina said. “That is also one of the big topics related to ENG in general; making the field teams more efficient by using collaboration tools between those field teams and the central newsroom, and making the sharing of information and media as transparent as possible to the journalists.”
ENG can be a bridge not only between remote teams, but also with other new emerging technologies that are now being adopted by broadcasters.
“The industry is moving to IP, and we’re seeing the role that ENG is playing in being the bridge between video over IP and the cloud,” added Shen. “This is an important part of helping broadcasters make the transition to IP. We are building the workflow engine that can allow the broadcaster to evolve.”
As more content is being produced it is creating new challenges for broadcasters to find those sequences that are necessary to creating a compelling narrative in news stories. Here is where advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning can help journalists sift through all the content.
At NAB, Dalet will highlight how its Media Cortex toolset can be used to enrich media workflow with AI.
“When you are implementing ENG workflows, you can have the teams on the field providing content back to the base, either as streamed content or as a file delivery of rushes, as a file delivery even of an edited package,” said Savina. “That can go through two types of AI. The first one can be automatic tagging to detect; for example, basic speech-to-text, to detect objects or themes inside the media that’s being loaded, so to have saving of the manual tagging that is required when you’re providing rushes to the central system. That’s one of the usages that we are seeing take off.”
AI and machine learning can be used to also help tag content with metadata as it’s created, giving journalists improved search capabilities with automatic recommendations of content relevant to the production of a story.
“It’s not just tagging, but it’s really helping the journalist with suggested content,” added Savina. “We see that use of AI in machine learning as being a growing opportunity in 2019, and we have new products around that in Media Cortex.”
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