Thank you for your support

Thank you for your support

February 12, 2020   #support
Picture: Hard or soft, I’m your man.

When it comes to breakdowns, continuous broadcasting is even more critical than Charlie Chaplin’s assembly line in the film, Modern Times.

Broadcast technology support means services to entitled users, providing help for particular problems with a product or service, as opposed to training, customisation, etc. Technical support is standard for services and products either inclusive or for an additional cost. Technical support may be delivered by phone, e-mail, SMS, on-line chat, support forums or through a portal for software, or by the physical intervention of a highly skilled expert in the case of hardware (see the picture). Large broadcasters and media companies often have their own support staff.

In the traditional, hardware-oriented, linear broadcasting world, products were delivered as boxes. Today, in the on-demand age, products are delivered mainly as software or as a service. Consequently, hardware margins have shrunk dramatically, creating a difficult situation for previously pampered broadcasters used to enjoying free support. According to IABM’s recent survey regarding investments in media technologies, after sales support ranked among the top five strategic purchase drivers. ABEX Society therefore organised a first broadcast technology support breakfast for CEE support managers and developers to exchange information and experience on this topic. Because of time limitations, the unexpectedly long and rich discussions had to be curtailed early in the midst of our extremely interesting talks. Many important themes were discussed, most of them concerned support of systems installed on premise. Firstly, the selection of support management software, usually called “help-desk software”, was raised. Close to one hundred famous names appeared in the top ranking of such solutions (full list here:, with Jira seeming to be the favourite. These help-desk solutions were appraised from the perspective of licensing, functionalities, costs, alert and escalation management, self-service portal, ticket management, etc. A second priority topic was the preferred methodology to use in support management which is directly linked to both the broadcast solution and the help-desk software. Further major theme was the question of time zones and how to support global clients when the supplier is not a global company. As an example, one participant had support offices in Europe and the Far East, thus covering the Americas on a 50/50 basis during the day from one base and then the other.

“Important issue is how to coordinate communications and sharing of information between the support team and the development team”
Lukas Kotek, CTO, Octopus Newsroom

“Another important issue is how to coordinate communications and sharing of information between the support team and the development team” said Lukas Kotek, CTO, Octopus Newsroom. This was considered to be critical as the support team very often hold the key to current bugs in the system which require immediate attention from the developers. Colleagues at the breakfast agreed that there is nothing worse than putting a patch on a bug in the system without due regard to the consequences in other parts of the system, and first class communication is crucial to minimising this risk. Finally, the topic of remote support was discussed as there are more and more software-based solutions. Troubleshooting possibilities via remote desktop connections are standard today except in the biggest and most sensitive organisations on account of security concerns. Such concerns may even require supplier’s support staff on-site. Normally, software can be fixed remotely, but broken hardware can sometimes only be diagnosed and worked around. It must, however, be repaired or replaced on-site. In most broadcasting systems, a component failure may not render the whole system defunct, since a replacement stand-by facility is usually available. However, an on-site replacement must be effected as soon as possible because the failure of the backup component will almost certainly cause the whole system to crash.

SaaS (Software as a Service) and different tiers of technical support were also popular themes over breakfast and we will address them fully in a subsequent article.

Whither Broadcast Technology?

Whither Broadcast Technology?

January 11, 2020   #whither
Picture: Broadcasters’ Purchasing Priorities (source: IABM)

Perched on the cusps of the 2020s, it seems appropriate that we should take an overview of current and future developments in our industry which is under ever-increasing conflicting pressures from the multiple and disparate interests in the market. These include, for example, the younger generation who watch content from a wide choice of broadcasters and on-demand service providers, on a number of portable devices, in an infinite variety of locations and are, therefore, not too concerned about the resolution and technical quality. However, other pressures come from those consumers who invest in the highest quality devices and consequently are sometimes disappointed if they are unable to enjoy the highest quality reception. These two groups are in contrast to the average domestic viewer who sees TV as a means of escape at the end of a hard day, and is not too concerned about the quality of the picture and sound. The truth is, that although they possess cheap but good quality HD or UHD receivers, they are nevertheless mostly fed a diet of artificially upscaled SD fare. Crucially, however, the production and ownership of content is still seen by the major players as the cornerstone of future success, irrespective of developments in technology. In a nutshell, content is king.

Generally, experts in the field of broadcasting technology all agree that more and more automation is what they expect to be the key driver in the development of their industry in the next few years. We should mention that they are not referring to playout automation but are addressing the automation of all the different broadcasting processes, from what is in front of the camera through to what is finally perceived in the viewer’s brain, none of which necessarily bears any relation to actual reality.

From a western Finance Director’s perspective, staff are the most expensive element of broadcast operations and any developments, hardware, software, technologies, robots, systems and methodologies that can help to reduce these costs are most welcome. Additionally, the use of automated processes virtually eliminates the risk of human error, which is expensive in both time and financial aspects, and leads to a highly efficient workflow which is desired to be completely uninterruptible. Typically, broadcasters have allowed implementation of different solutions to meet different demands in different parts of the process, but this has led to frequent situations where the software in one department requires a comprehensive interface with that in another department, and so on, ad infinitum. Furthermore, it often leads to a complication where one “IT Wizard” holds the key to his/her code making such a person literally indispensable, irrespective of their other qualities.

“The business priorities are driven by the need to quickly and cheaply produce new, high quality content.”
Martin Junek, ABEX Society

In a recent IABM survey, media companies ranked the following three business, and three technology factors as their top priorities when making technology purchases, as you can see in the diagram. The business priorities are driven by the need to quickly and cheaply produce new, high quality content making broadcasters more efficient and profitable. The total cost of new technology, whether leased or purchased, is understandably the second priority. The third priority is the need to improve agility and responsiveness to viewers’ and advertisers’ needs. Other business priorities included interoperability and after sales support which ranked lower, and surprisingly, ROI ranked even further down as the main priority was clearly based on improved efficiencies. The top three technical priorities, when purchasing, are multi-platform content delivery, 4K/UHD production and delivery, and IP infrastructure. The need for multi-platform content availability has already been highlighted regarding the younger generation in our first paragraph above. The second statistical priority for 4K/UHD is understandable as the viewers, as also mentioned above, are not getting the quality that they have already paid for, and we see therefore, that the consumer equipment manufacturers have again taken the role of a leading driver. The question of IP infrastructure, although not fully rolled-out yet, is nevertheless seen as the third highest priority for the very near future.

Martin Junek

What Makes Public Broadcasters Tick?

What Makes Public Broadcasters Tick?

November 11, 2019   #ticking

John Logie Baird with his first television system and high contrast dummies (the first TV stars)

When British inventor John Logie Baird first presented a functional television system on 25 March, 1925, in London, nobody could have possibly predicted that within less than 100 years, the average westerner would spend 10 years of their life watching TV. Following his invention, TV broadcasting developed mainly as a public service, being the domain of governments (except for the business-oriented US, unsurprisingly). Europe learned its lesson from the US after the Second World War and allowed the introduction of commercial TV broadcasting. The focus of this article will be principally on the development and current operating methodologies of the public sector.

The principal objective of public broadcasters is public service, i.e. “speaking to and engaging as a citizen”. The British model is generally accepted as a standard definition and embodies the following characteristics: universal geographic accessibility in which all parts of the nation must be serviced; universal appeal by which all sectors of the community must be able to find something interesting; attention must be given to minorities in order to achieve balance, a feeling of inclusion, a contribution to national identity and a sense of community; a clear distance from commercially vested interests; funding from either licence fees or taxation together with a certainty of universality of payment; striving for quality programming rather than financial figures, and regulatory guidelines that liberate rather than restrict broadcasting content.

“The introduction of such modern systems may experience resistance from operatives who have previously been able to somewhat hide their efficiency in the shadows”
Jan Hrdlicka

In addition to the general guidelines, every public broadcaster should also encourage technological innovation, maintaining a leading position in research and development in line with its mission. On the subject of technology, it is incumbent to work in partnership with other organisations and to deploy the highest standards of R&D and new technologies. Today, these technologies are advancing at breakneck speed; viewers’ expectations are growing at a similar rate. It is, therefore, necessary for all technologies associated with both operations and management to keep pace with these rapid developments. A classic example of such change would be television archives which have transitioned from huge physical libraries of reels through digital cassettes and into different types of digital storage. Whilst in the past, we had miles of shelves of structured and well-described content which required physical manipulation together with a perfect description and categorisation of the content, today, the modern broadcast station has made its life easier by storing such content on highly accessible servers. Using a modern management tool such as Provys, operators can exploit all the benefits of full-text search, automation and even AI to locate and retrieve any required content, literally in a split second. Thus, broadcasters can do much more with less, meaning less time, effort and staff, to improve efficiency and the general quality of programming, including, for example, catering to minority interests, which may require different operational procedures. And this is particularly important in the public service sector which usually operates with licensing conditions that require this. By choosing a supplier with wide experience in this sphere, a public broadcaster can be empowered, even with their fixed budget limitations, to compete successfully with commercial stations who enjoy the advantage of more flexibility and funding options. In addition to daily operations such as planning, scheduling and traffic, modern software-based management tools are also extremely useful in reducing costs and streamlining the complex tasks of in-house production, a traditional activity of public service broadcasters. Furthermore, these systems, especially resource management and capacity planning, are able to shine an “IT spotlight” on the activities of operatives, alongside the spotlights which illuminate the events in the production studio. As a result, “the introduction of such modern systems may experience resistance from operatives who have previously been able to somewhat hide their efficiency in the shadows. But invariably, these solutions can provide a shining example of how technology can save costs and light the way to a bright future for broadcasters” says Jan Hrdlicka, Managing Director, Provys.

Post IBC 2019 Feedback at Czech TV

ABEX Post-IBC 2019

September 26th 2019   #postibc2019

Petra Novakova from Aspera presenting at Post-IBC 2019

After Martin Junek’s welcome to the 18th Post-IBC feedback event, Mr. Tomas Kriz from Aveco gave the first presentation concerning their worldwide success at IBC 2019 in Amsterdam. Aveco won the IBC Innovation Award in the Content Everywhere category for their News App solution designed for Indian ETV Bharat. The system automates the news production and playout for 24 studios and 24 full time news channels supplying mobile devices with live and on-demand programmes reaching an audience of over 1.2 billion. Launched in March 2019, ETV Bharat has 5,000 mobile journalists across India equipped and empowered with this latest news production technology. Aveco automates the live production, recording, and playout of these 24 mobile TV channels and provides the workflow automation together with the brilliant Octopus Newsroom system.

The next speaker was Tomas Vesely from Smart Informatics, the renowned Czech broadcast system integrator. To start with, he informed us about their current large integration projects, in particular with Prima TV. He then explained the new developments from their technology partners such as Dalet, Harmonic, Riedel, AVID (Audio), Apantac, MOG Technologies, EcoDigital, Netinsight, MultiDyne and Cobalt Digital.

The programme continued with a presentation by Josef Vasica from Provys and Stream Circle. Josef started his presentation by questioning the current issues of the broadcasting industry, in particular, the need for further and deeper automation. Then he summarised the recent Provys projects with All Media Baltics, Equador TV, SYN (Iceland), Viasat World, AMC Networks (Iberia), Antenna Greece and Postimees. He continued by introducing the new product range from Provys (Provys Everywhere, Traffic Drive, Network Pilot and OnDemand Bridge), and Network Edition, Broadcast Edition and AMOS (Automated Metadata Oriented Scheduler) from Stream Circle.

After a most-informative and well-appreciated networking coffee break, Martin Junek updated the conference with the latest IBC demographics and the achievements of his compatriots. Petra Novakova from Aspera / IBM then took the stage to inform us of the latest developments regarding high-speed bulk data transfer for which, Aspera is famous. After 16 years living abroad, she was still able to give a fascinating and charming presentation in her famously complicated native Czech language.

The next speaker was supposed to be Jiri Janiga from ChyronHego, but he was unable to attend owing to other pressing commitments, and Mr. Dalibor Vlasin stepped up to ably fill the bill. The audience particularly appreciated his dry humour as he ran through the latest developments from ChyronHego, the former company of AKI Sport, and the town of Brno.

Dusan Liska at Post-IBC 2019

Last, but not least, Dusan Liska, our elder dinosaur, summarised the latest news from the world of digital broadcasting. From his elevated position in this industry, he can always be relied upon to give us a fact-filled, riveting presentation. The conference finally finished with a welcome snack lunch together with open-ended networking.

The Future is Crystal Clear

The Future is Crystal Clear

September 17th 2019   #crystalvision

Crystal Vision booth at IBC 2019

If you want to know what the future holds for you, check-out the latest media processing developments from Crystal Vision, a UK company who once again exhibited at the IBC. In the past, they have presented their feedback at the ABEX Post-IBC event, but they were unable to attend this year’s conference owing to pressure of work.

Crystal Vision makes infrastructure and keying products for broadcast engineers in the television industry providing logo and chroma keyers and the full range of interface, specialising in up and down converters, synchronisers, routing switches, audio embedders and video delays.

At this year’s IBC, Crystal Vision rolled out the latest software apps for their flexible MARBLE-V1 media processor hardware, with MARBLE's mixed SDI and IP I/O making it easy to transition between SDI, ST 2022 and ST 2110. The apps – which can be replaced as needs change – offer functionality such as video delay, synchronisation, colour correction, IP to IP processing and gateways.

A card housed in the company's Vision frame, the flexible MARBLE-V1 media processor, features a powerful CPU/GPU processor, six bi-directional SDI connections, four 10GbE SFP+ network interface ports and eight bi-directional discrete AES stereo channels. Crystal Vision also launched its video delay software apps at the IBC. These apps can work with IP, with SDI or with both IP and SDI at the same time. This makes them equally suitable for IP environments, for SDI installations that will soon change to IP, and for mixed SDI and IP installations where the video delays can connect to both the SDI section and the IP section in any combination of SDI and IP inputs and outputs. The apps work with both SMPTE ST 2022 and ST 2110 video.

“These are the broadcast industry's first IP colour correctors..."
Stewart McGhie (right) and his colleagues 

Additionally, Crystal Vision launched its colour corrector software apps at the IBC. The colour corrector software apps can work with IP, with SDI or with both IP and SDI at the same time – giving the easiest possible SDI to IP upgrade, as well as being perfect for mixed SDI and IP installations in addition to exclusively IP environments. The apps work with both SMPTE ST 2022 and ST 2110 video. Ideal for manipulating colours to correct for camera or lighting problems or to standardise pictures shot at different times. The apps offer an extensive range of colour correction tools including RGB gain, RGB lift, YUV gain, YUV lift, Video gain, Chroma gain, Chroma hue and both overall and individual RGB Gamma adjustment, while they also include a legaliser. “These are the broadcast industry's first IP colour correctors, giving the Vision frame system an SDI colour corrector for the first time, together with an IP to SDI and SDI to IP gateway functionality” says Stewart McGhie, Head of Sales.

Young Talent Recognised at IBC 2019

Young Talent at IBC 2019

September 15th 2019   #youngtalent

Young team at Provys booth, IBC 2019

Back from my 27th attendance at the IBC in Amsterdam, I am now a little more optimistic about the future of the media industries, particularly broadcasting. I feel that this year brought a lot of new young blood to the show, heralding the long-awaited new generation who the dinosaurs, such as myself, hope to get to know with a view to sharing our knowledge and experience, before we bequeath the heavy responsibilities inherent in this rapidly developing sector to them.

The IBC 2019 has reported a rise in total attendance for this year’s show to 56,390 from 55,884 attendees compared to the IBC 2018. Most significant, however, is that the number of attendees, aged 35 and under, increased by 10% year-on-year, which is a record increase according to the organisers. This statistical trend follows closely the shift from hardware to software in our industry illustrating the need to leave behind ancient expressions such as PAL and SECAM which have been consigned to the history lessons as opposed to the modern classroom. Curious millennial technicians can, of course, attend a few history lessons in order to discover why we still use some old techniques such as interlaced frames to fool our eyes and save more and more expensive bandwidth.

It is admirable that the organisers of the IBC recognise and welcome this development, and as an illustration of their support, they introduced this year, for the first time, the IBC Young Pioneer Award as one of their future regular categories. The aim of this award is to acknowledge the welcome entry of a new wave of bright industry talent. The IBC’s intention is to award a young professional who has made a real impact with their passion, ambition and commitment and is making an outstanding contribution to our industry. The winner of the first Young Pioneer Award was Vera Bichler, a graduate of the Broadcast Academy, and the first female director of football programmes for ORF in Austria. Congratulations to Vera! “What we were looking for from the candidates was, most importantly, real talent, an outstanding individual making a real difference in the industry,” said David Levine, VP, Programming – Kids, Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland, The Walt Disney Co. Ltd and chair of the judging panel. “But we were also looking for a lasting legacy, for the Young Pioneer to be a leader today and a media guru of the future.”

"We were also looking for a lasting legacy, for the Young Pioneer to be a leader today and a media guru of the future."
Vera Bichler in action

With young blood increasingly at the helm, we can be a little more optimistic for the future, and look forward to their influence charting new courses through the stormy waters and challenging developments of the media and entertainment industry.

ABEX Liaison Visit to Nova TV Headquarters

ABEX Liaison Visit to Nova TV Headquarters

13 June 2019   #nova2019

Broadcasting Consultants during their liaison visit

Following the completion of the new Rack Room for Nova’s new broadcast equipment, ABEX were delighted to be able to mediate a liaison visit on 13 June 2019, by Provys to view the spectacular new premises and enjoy the benefit of a technical guided tour, courtesy of Zdenek Huml, Owner and Director of Video Audio Systems, the supplier. The visitors were all consultants with Provys, who are principally responsible for the software side of the business, and this experience was a great opportunity for them to see and understand more about the infrastructure and hardware side of a major TV broadcaster.

“The visit was extremely interesting and informative as it showed us the very high importance of the role that Provys plays in Nova’s operations managing programme schedules, rights and all content metadata”
said Martin Pargac, Consultant at Provys.
Martin Pargac, Consultant, Provys

He added: “The complexity of the infrastructure and facilities which Provys Production Management Software will soon control was a complete eye-opener for my colleagues and I. Now we know the beast which must be tamed.”

All participants expressed very positive feedback and thanks to the technical staff at Nova who allowed the visit and provided professional technical answers to the many questions which they received. Special thanks are due to Jaromir Janecek, Lukas Kobl and Jiri Cansky at Nova.

ABEX 2019 - Morava Montreux

Morava Montreux 2019

June 3, 2019   #abex2019

Once again, the great and good of the Czech and Slovak broadcasting industries gathered in Mikulov for the 18th annual ABEX conference, together with several friends from other countries. A rich programme was offered (available on the Abex website:, comprising both users‘ presentations together with manufacturers and suppliers‘ project experience, not forgetting the usual exposure to 100 of the best Moravian wines.

Martin Junek, Master of Ceremonies, performed his customary introduction, this year focusing on the wide range of Czech and Slovak broadcast sector developers who had presented their latest products and services at the recent NABSHOW in Las Vegas. Among these exhibitors, the following gave a brief presentation to the assembled Abex forum: Aveco, CamStreamer, ChyronHego (former AKI Sport), Octopus Newsroom, Provys, Stream Circle and Traco Systems. Josef Vasica, CEO of both Provys and Stream Circle, brought us a list of challenging questions he had faced on the stands in Las Vegas. Prominent amongst them were:

“How can you help us when we don’t want to compete with Netflix using their own weapons?”
“What cloud should we use if we don’t want to pay Amazon, our competitor?”
“What are we to do when we are convinced that the latest technologies are not yet fully developed and therefore, we are withholding upgrades of our current ones?”
“What kind of optimisation and automation can you offer if we want to return to growth?”
“Do your solutions use artificial intelligence?”
Josef Vasica, CEO, Stream Circle

Foreign presentations were received with interest from: Canon, Eizo, Evertz, GatesAir, Newtek, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz and Sony.

Delegates, including all major national Czech and Slovak broadcasters, all agreed that the conference had been extremely interesting and informative, and are now eagerly looking forward to details of ABEX 2020.

Another Great NABSHOW for ABEX

Another Great NABSHOW for ABEX

April 21, 2019   #nab2019

Back in Prague, our thoughts still linger on the exciting times we experienced at the recent NABSHOW 2019 in Las Vegas. The ABEX Society team were delighted to meet Czech and Slovak exhibitors, both old and new, and to discuss with them all aspects of the current market for media and broadcasting professionals.

Among these exhibitors, in strict alphabetical order, we were pleased to meet the following companies together with their respective portfolios:

- ANTIK Technology, located on Stand SU9905, were showing their Antik IPTV and Hospitality TV solution, a new innovative IPTV Management server MaxIM, together with their Digital Signage Solution which can be fully controlled from one place remotely. In addition, ANTIK were launching their 3rd generation of Antik Mini and Nano set-top boxes: Mini 3 and Nano 3 supporting VP9 decoding.

- AVECO, located on SL2808, displaying their entire range of news studio production automation, studio production recording automation, master control automation, MAM with workflow automation, ingest and playout solutions, including their Redwood BLACK game-changing news operations and master control.

AVECO and CamStreamer Stands at NAB 2019

- CAMSTREAMER , located on SU13902, showing their smart IP camera apps in action and a demo solution for bringing high quality video stream from outdoor installations, via not always perfect Internet connectivity, right to the SDI ports in the TV studio. High end outdoor Axis IP cameras managed by the CamStreamer cloud platform were also on show.

- CHYRONHEGO (and its acquisition, AKI SPORT), strategically located on SL1208, adjacent to the entrance the South-Lower Hall, presented their solutions including CAMIO Universe, an end-to-end, all-software ecosystem for multiplatform news delivery; PRIME Graphics 3.5, the latest version of ChyronHego’s universal graphics platform; Hybrid AR solutions with which, news producers and journalists can create and drive highly sophisticated AR graphics; effective and compelling channel with NewsTicker 5; and finally, their Paint and Virtual Placement solutions for real-time data visualisation.

- GOAL SPORT, located on SL14916, exhibiting their turnkey software solutions for in-venue broadcasting in stadiums and arenas.

- OCTOPUS NEWSROOM, located on SL7627, were proud to present their new and exclusive Octopus iReporter app. Octopus strives to innovate and deliver tomorrow's technology, today. The new app allows broadcasting channels to create an active community from their viewers, and turn them into mobile citizen journalists. In addition, this app helps news teams to verify fake-news.

- PROVYS, located in the North Hall on N5215, presenting a complete multichannel management solution for broadcasters which covers all major activities of modern media companies.

- REDCAP Solutions, ostensibly on SU14910, who did not put in their usual appearance, but we hope they enjoyed the delights of Vegas.

- STREAM CIRCLE , located within the NDI Campus on SL5616, proudly showed all the main components of their platform, including: Content Manager, Scheduling & Block Planner, Automated Metadata Oriented Scheduling (A.M.O.S.), HTML5 or OpenGL Based Graphics, Playout to IP (udp, HLS, MPEG-DASH, Zixi) or SDI, Links to Social Networks, and interfaces to broadcast systems.

- SUITEST, located on SU10821, with their only object-based, codeless test automation and debugging tool for OTT apps on living room devices.

- TECHNOCRANE (Stand No. C6815), the leading manufacturer of Telescopic Camera Cranes and remote controlled Camera Heads, with their history of more than 500 cranes built.

And last but not least,
- TRACO Systems, presenting their newest solutions at Octopus’s booth, SL7627, including the implementation of the plug-in Traco MediaBridge, which exclusively provides a connectivity in the Octopus-Avid environment.

Where to Find Mature Solutions and Wines

Where to Find Mature Solutions and Wines

June 2, 2018   #abex2019

Over the years, people have frequently remarked how among the talent gathered together at the annual ABEX (Associated Broadcast Experts) conference, situated in Mikulov, a famous wine region, one can find in one room, a range of experts who between them could design, create and operate a complete, globally-advanced, state-of-the-art broadcasting enterprise.

Paradoxically, most of these experts can be found practising their arts in one Central European region, formerly known as Czechoslovakia. Foremost amongst our broadcasting specialists are companies such as Aveco, Comprimato, Nangu TV, Octopus Newsroom, Provys, Redcap, Stream Circle and Technocrane. Should our valued reader recognise any of these names, then you should also know that these companies are all located within only a few miles of each other. There are strong historical reasons for this. First of all, some of the early development of television technology originated in this region and was actually used to broadcast elements of the 1936 Olympics to those few lucky enough to have access to appropriate receivers. In those days, live broadcasts experienced a few minutes delay as film from the camera was processed and converted to an appropriate electronic signal suitable for broadcasting. Funnily enough, subsequent analogue live broadcasting was truly live whilst current digital live broadcasting also experiences a few seconds delay. Following the second World War, this region fell prey to the Soviet Union who immediately recognised how usefully our technologies could be harnessed to support their need for constant brainwashing and propaganda. This proved to be a kind of blessing in disguise as the broadcasting industry in this region was supported from Moscow and continued to develop state-of-the-art technologies. With the advent of LSI in the early 1980s, this region fell behind a little owing to economic constraints but other aspects of the industry still remained at the cutting edge. 1989 saw the Velvet Revolution with the Czechoslovakian broadcasting sector ready and willing to take its place among the best that the West could offer.

In addition to Technocrane, who have already established themselves globally by winning the Oscar Award for Merit at the National Film Academy Awards ceremony a few years ago, we should also say a few words concerning the other four local but global players here today. Firstly, Aveco who design studio production automation, master control automation, and integrated channel playout systems worldwide. Varieties of Aveco architecture are available, from complex multi-channel, multi-site operations to small standalone. Secondly, Octopus Newsroom, "The System for Better News", is a fully MOS-compliant Newsroom Computer System (NRCS), automating all the complex workflows for television, radio, sports and e-sports broadcasters. Octopus facilitates editorial collaboration between news team members at every stage of the newscast production process. It runs natively on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X; mobile apps are also available. Thirdly, Provys as a global provider of back-office management software for broadcasters helps them “to run their channels as they would like them”. Provys established its worldwide reputation not only for strong and stable software solutions, but additionally for a friendly and human approach to their clients, which is always appreciated in the boring world of ERP. Last but not least, Stream Circle have now established themselves as pioneers of cloud-based automation as a service for small or mid-sized broadcasters, featuring channel scheduling, 3D graphics and video files play-out with easy integration of on-line data. Stream Circle output is good for channels distributed over Web, IPTV, OTT, Cat TV or Mobile.

“ Today, here we are in the luxury and splendour of Mikulov, famous for fine wines, just north of Vienna, where the big global names and wine connoisseurs are gathered together with the renowned local names to recap on the events of the recent NAB convention. Key participants and presenters this year include: Axon, Blackmagicdesign, Canon, Chyron Hego, Dell EMC, Eizo, Isilon, Newtek, Riedel, Rohde & Schwarz, Zeiss and more” says Martin Junek from ABEX Society
National Wine Salon, Valtice, Czech Republic

We should mention that the majority of the participants at the ABEX Conference, since 2002, have been from the broadcasting stations of this region, coming together to share information and experience in the formal conference sessions and in the evenings, whilst stealing each others’ ideas over a glass or three of Moravian wine, the other famous product from this area.