IBC 2018: Avid Touts Milestone; NAGRA Marks Digital Cinema First (CDSA)

Content protection and multiscreen TV solutions firm NAGRA announced at the IBC Show that it has successfully used a combination of cloud technology and HEVC compression with myCinema, the company’s cloud-based content-as-a-service (CaaS) solution, marking a first in the digital cinema space.

Emagine Entertainment, a U.S. movie theater chain that licenses myCinema, deployed the NAGRA technology at its Royal Oak Cinema in Detroit, with the film “Ideal Home,” starring Paul Rudd, earlier this summer. myCinema allows owners and operators to schedule and promote music and sporting events, opera, ballet, Broadway shows, first-run independent film, re-releases of film franchises, cinematic TV, eSports, and more.

“This is the first-time audiences have enjoyed a feature length film leveraging advanced digital compression technology via a NAGRA-secured myCinema theater premise equipment (TPE),” said Jean-Luc Jezouin, SVP of business development for NAGRA. “The plug-and-play experience of the myCinema solution offers a significant leap in digital cinema distribution technology, alleviating enormous costs experienced with traditional Digital Cinema Prints (DCP).

“Since the successful launch of myCinema at CinemaCon 2018, NAGRA has licensed dozens of myCinema exhibition partners, representing more than 200 cinema properties. To complete this exciting new era of technological innovation we have licensed the cinematic distribution rights for first-run movies, alternative content, foreign language films, eSports, live play, opera and other offerings. This new cloud-based distribution system offers an innovative way forward delivering tangible ROI for theaters from a continually growing database of content.”

Also at IBC:


Security solutions company Irdeto announced at IBC that it has partnered with India telecommunications service provider Bharti Airtel (Airtel) to secure all content offered via the company’s digital TV services.

Irdeto will deploy Irdeto Armor for Android TV, Irdeto Cloaked CA and middleware on Airtel’s direct-to-home satellite service and hybrid Android TV platform, the company announced, securing the linear channels offered on set-top-boxes and content offered via Airtel’s hybrid Android TV platform.

“To succeed in today’s ever-evolving pay TV landscape, operators need to offer innovative and secure platforms,” said Doug Lowther, CEO of Irdeto. “Operators must also balance the needs of consumers while maintaining full control of security on their platform. As a security-savvy organization that recognizes the needs of its customers, Airtel is providing a future-proof offering that gives consumers the content they desire and the flexibility they require. This forward-looking approach gives Airtel a competitive edge by delivering secure, premium and innovative pay TV services.”

Sunil Taldar, CEO of Airtel Digital TV, added: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Airtel and delivering a secure platform to them is our top priority. We are delighted to have Irdeto as our partner and bring their expertise to ensure complete security of all content on our platforms.”


Media and entertainment tech provider Avid used the IBC Show to announce a major milestone, with more than a million people worldwide downloading Avid First creative tools, covering Pro Tools, First, Media Composer and First and Sibelius.

“I use Sibelius on every single project I work on in film, concert music, and production music,” said John Ashton Thomas, orchestrator for “Black Panther.” “Sibelius | First makes the essential tools I use every day available for everyone – for free.”

Scott Jacobs, assistant editor for “Despicable Me 3” and “The Bourne Legacy,” added: “Knowing Media Composer is integral to our job because if you want to work in Hollywood, 90 percent of the films being made are being edited by using Avid.”

Jeff Rosica, Avid CEO and president, added: “Hit TV shows, chart-topping music, and blockbuster films come from celebrated creative minds who are telling amazing stories with help from Avid’s creative tools. By getting the tools the pros use into the hands of more than a million beginners around the world, Avid’s fostering a whole new generation of content creators who will grow to delight and inspire audiences everywhere.”

Additionally at IBC, Avid announced that TV 2 in Denmark has inked a multi-year agreement to continue using Avid platforms and tools, including MediaCentral, Cloud UX and Avid NEXIS storage.

First established in 1988 as a public service broadcaster, TV 2 is now the country’s largest and highest-rated TV station, with original productions spanning news, sports and entertainment.

With the Avid MediaCentral platform, TV 2 will develop new workflows to better collaborate and tackle story-centric approaches across all aspects of the production cycle, while the broadcaster’s investment in Cloud UX will allow production teams to access content through a user-friendly graphical interface.

“TV 2 has been an Avid user for more than 10 years and we’re looking forward to moving our longstanding relationship forward through this alliance,” said Tom Bjerre, CIO at TV 2. “Together with Avid, we have a mission of building a modern, easy-to-use and flexible production system that publishes across many platforms. We appreciate the flexibility and openness of Avid’s solution to enable third-party applications to seamlessly plug into the platform.”

Tom Cordiner, SVP of global sales for Avid, added: “Avid is proud to collaborate with customers like TV 2 who are taking control of changes facing broadcasters to capture the opportunities to improve the way they work and how they serve and grow their audiences. We’re excited to be introducing the efficiency and extensibility of MediaCentral to drive their operations and expanding the role of Avid solutions with TV 2 to help them deliver the best possible content and engage audiences as efficiently as possible.”

Prime Focus Technologies

Prime Focus Technologies announced during IBC a partnership with U.K.-based Virtual Artificial Intelligence, focusing on delivering affordable AI solutions to media and entertainment enterprises, and simplifying business processes through process automation.

PFT’s CLEAR Media ERP Suite, which automates the content supply chain is at the center of the agreement, with the two companies using it to develop new, innovative offerings in the M&E space. Virtual AI works with structured and unstructured data, covering documents, images, video, audio, databases, APIs, web-based client server and legacy business applications.

The partnership calls for PFT and Virtual AI to jointly collaborate on sales efforts, frontline and backline consultancy, and co-development of solutions.

“We are thrilled to team up with a like-minded organization like Virtual AI who shares our passion for innovation and disruptive thinking,” said Ramki Sankaranarayanan, founder and global CEO of PFT. “We look forward to jointly tapping the potential of AI and automation to deliver solutions that help M&E enterprises increase efficiencies, reduce cost, and improve time-to-market.”

Ian Whitfield, founder of Virtual AI, added: “Our aim at Virtual AI is to demystify AI for clients, and deliver cutting-edge, affordable AI solutions. PFT’s longstanding expertise in automation technology, coupled with their innovative Vision Cloud offering make them an extremely valuable partner for us. We are very excited to be showcasing our joint capabilities at an event like IBC.”


Ooyala announced at IBC that it’s streamlining video operations for SUPER RTL — a joint venture of RTL Group and Disney — with the Ooyala Flex Media Platform video content supply chain solution.

The solution is being built out in partnership with Germany-based LOGIC media solutions GmbH, using Microsoft Azure Media Services.

“Today’s broadcasters and media companies typically face the question of whether to build or buy a solution to manage and deliver their video content,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO of Ooyala. “By migrating to the Ooyala Flex Media Platform, SUPER RTL has the best of both worlds — a solution that’s quickly and efficiently deployed off-the-shelf, but is also highly customizable and that seamlessly integrates with existing technology.”

The project grew out of Ooyala’s collaboration with Microsoft, who worked with SUPER RTL on migrating its digital video platform to the cloud. Microsoft introduced Ooyala to SUPER RTL in order to provide the workflow and content management components.

“The media landscape is evolving faster than ever, introducing new and growing challenges that left our existing technology obsolete,” said Boris Bolz, chief digital and marketing officer for SUPER RTL. “We needed a solution that could provide greater flexibility and deeper insights across our entire operations, all while future-proofing our services. The Ooyala Flex Media Platform has allowed us to build the best solution for our needs, and being implemented on Microsoft Azure, it can easily be scaled as our service grows and new technology is introduced.”

Rainer Kellerhals, media and entertainment industry lead of EMEA for Microsoft, added: “As part of the media industry’s digital transformation, we are seeing many media customers migrate their online video platforms to the cloud. Microsoft Azure Media Services and Azure CDN provide a complete set of cloud services for this scenario. The project at SUPER RTL is an excellent example for how we work with customers and leading industry solution providers like Ooyala to help customers migrate their services to the cloud for improved scalability and shorter time-to-market.”

BeBop Technology

Media and entertainment cloud platforms and solutions provider BeBop Technology announced during IBC that longtime media industry executive and veteran Technicolor strategic leader Vince Pizzica has come on board as a non-executive chairman.

“BeBop’s growth, our vision of integrating the cloud with artificial intelligence and blockchain, and a burgeoning wave of digital content expansion have made it apparent that we need a widely respected strategic visionary to join the team from a more global perspective,” said Bruce Long, CEO and co-founder of BeBop Technology. “We are honored my friend and comrade of many years, Vince Pizzica, is helping BeBop at this critical juncture for both our company and the industry.”

In his new role, Pizzica will focus on global initiatives, strategic alliances, and expansion of artificial intelligence and blockchain endeavors. Pizzica most recently served as Technicolor’s senior EVP of corporate development, overseeing the strategy and mergers and acquisitions activities.

“One of the things that impressed me most about BeBop is its team, which is a remarkable fusion of Media & Entertainment industry veterans and cloud technology experts, and I’m thrilled to work with them to reinforce the incredible energy and momentum in the company,” Pizzica said. “I’ve spent my career at the intersection of technology and entertainment, and I’m excited to help BeBop at this critical time where new technology is having a transformative impact on production, post-production, distribution, and consumption of media.”