Tag Archives: Television

NAB 2017: Next Gen TV is Coming!

While at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) we saw all types of technologies one could imagine. One of the largest booths there was the NextGen TV Hub booth. NextGen TV explained the future of TV; how streaming and broadcast TV would be become one. This was the answer our group had been looking for! Broadcast TV was not afraid of competing with streaming because of new legislation being brought forward by the FCC that will allow TV stations to broadcast using the ATSC 3.0 format, a newer version of the digital transmission format used today.

Next Gen TVThis was better explained at the session tittled “DTV: The Next Generation.” Here, we sat down and listened to companies who will be assisting with this new merger between streaming and broadcast television. They discussed the positive effects that are to come with the merger and what they hope to see with the new creation coming to the world of television. So with the blending between the two digital platforms, the future looks bright for TV and streaming as they become one. Watch our video on Next Gen TV from the NAB Show for more details!

NAB Pre-Report: TV Steps Into The Future with a New Standard

Another year, another NAB Show. As UNI Digital Media students prepare for this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, there are a variety of trends and topics to see and experience. An interest of this year’s showgoers was how TV technology is changing to create better content, and one of the biggest things on display at the 2017 NAB Show for TV is the next generation of TV, dubbed ATSC 3.0.

TV

This new generation of technology creates a lot of new possibilities when it comes to the broadcasting of TV. With higher quality screens becoming more popular, broadcasts will now be able to handle 4K Ultra HD when the ATSC 3.0 standard goes into effect. High Dynamic Range (HDR) footage will also be able to be fully utilized thanks to this new standard.

This new ATSC 3.0 standard will be highlighted at the 2017 NAB Show this year in the NextGen TV Hub. This hub will showcase all of the benefits of the new ATSC 3.0 standard and will also be showing off a local broadcast from KLSV-LD utilizing this new technology. LG has gotten in on the ground floor of this technology and will be airing the ATSC 3.0 broadcast on TV’s that support the new standard. The technology will soon be included in all new TV’s, in preparation for 4K and HDR screens becoming mainstream. This new technology will also be utilized during the broadcast of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games from South Korea.

Other TV markets have been testing this new broadcast technology in places like North Carolina, Washington DC, Portland and Madison, Wisconsin. The FCC is allowing stations to begin using this new standard on voluntary basis, as well as issuing experimental licenses for those who wish to test out ATSC 3.0.

This new standard isn’t limited to the broadcast and TV industries, however. There is a strong possibility that the mobile, automotive and home technology industries will also take advantage of this new standard, as content is being viewed on more than just TV’s today. ATSC 3.0 and its automotive uses will be highlighted at this year’s show, as well as other industries, at the ATSC 3.0 Pavilion.

-Mitch Diamond, Chris Dummer, Taylor Peterson

Hacking the President: Marketing Mr. Robot Season 2

When it comes to marketing, the internet as we know it today has brought along countless possibilities. There are tons of different avenues to promote your new piece of content or new invention, outside of the traditional “Madison Avenue” route of the past. TV and movies are limited only by the creativity of the teams assigned to market a specific piece of media. With USA’s Mr. Robot, the marketers had to think of ways to get viewers new and old to tune in to its premiere in July of 2016. The shows technical subject matter allowed for a clear theme to push the marketing in a good direction. Here are the top assets used in the marketing and promotions leading up to Mr. Robot Season 2.

mr. robot

The first thing to consider is the show’s background. Mr Robot is a drama thriller and premiered on USA Network in June of 2015 The show is centered around the main character, Elliot Alderson and his involvement with E Corp. Elliot, who is played by Rami Malek, is a cybersecurity engineer at E Corp, but is also a hacker when he is away from work. He suffers from social anxiety and depression. The show’s marketing for season 2 was centered around technology, which makes sense given the shows subject matter. The marketing was also trying to bring Fsociety, the hacker group from the show, to life outside of Mr. Robot.

The first marketing event that happened leading up to season 2 was the claim that USA Network was hacked and the first episode of season two was leaked online. It was released on Snapchat, Twitter and even YouTube. It was later even seen on USA Networks on website, revealing that it may have been an inside job. Fsociety claimed to be the source of the leak, claiming “You deserve something new, something unexpected, something you’ve never seen before.” The episode was taken down soon after the it was “leaked” on several platforms.

mr. robotThe next big marketing ploy helped bring Fsociety to life even more. The group began doing its own live streams in July 2016, before the season premiere. They were done in thirteen different countries and teased bits and pieces of the first episode as part of the stream.

The last big tactic used by the marketing team behind Mr. Robot was the inclusion of President Obama in the show. The President is seen holding a press conference, in which he discusses Fsociety. The video was created with the help of visual effects, as well as the use of an Obama impersonator.

The marketing campaign was a success, with over 110,000 tweets surrounding the premiere. 35,000 of them were seen before the premiere, associated with excitement and anticipation of the upcoming season. The rest came after the premiere, with a total of 30% showing the excitement and anticipation for the next episodes

Chris Dummer

Watching OTT: Is The Selection of Devices Over The Top?

With the rise in popularity of watching content online through streaming services, many companies are looking to create devices to make watching a variety content easier on your TV. These devices can be stand-alone products like Google’s Chromecast or TV’s with similar features from manufacturers like LG. These devices are making our TV watching experience more enjoyable, but with some many devices out there, which one should people go with? We will take a look at the different products and see which device may be the best investment for the future of TV.

ott apple TVTV is not just what is on cable or broadcast over the air anymore. TV has become mostly digital and is now obtained in many areas. The first companies to release these devices were Apple and Roku, with their Apple TV and Roku DVP, respectively. These devices were released almost 10 years ago and started the push for content outside of your cable subscription. These devices saw the early adoption of Netflix and Hulu, both streaming services that gained momentum around 2010. These services brought many new challenges, both in getting the content to your TV and getting content to these services.

As many companies released their own services to stream and/or purchase media, people needed new places to take advantage of this content and its high quality. This brought devices like Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and even a new breed of HDTV’s, dubbed Smart TV’s to market. These devices all had a similar goal, bringing the content that had been collected over the years on streaming services back to the TV.

Each of these devices catered to its company’s proprietary services, but also supported the services that had the top spots in the market. Even devices like game consoles started to support streaming services, leading to less devices under your TV. They all would evolve with the adoption of new technologies, some supporting TV newest change, Ultra HD or 4K resolution.

As these platforms gained popularity with 3rd party streaming services, TV and cable networks wanted to get their content on these devices. TV Everywhere was the first step, a platform that brought TV episodes online after they aired, only requiring your account details to confirm you had access to the channel. TV Everywhere is now available on most devices that offer Netflix and Hulu compatibility, as it only requires a browser or app to watch content.

ott google chromeThe spread of TV consumption was investigated by GFK in an Over The Top TV study they conducted. In terms of TV Everywhere, it found that DirecTV customers were the largest users of the service, overtaking the founders, Time Warner, who led in consumption the last two years. The study also claims that the most popular device is a Roku, with Chromecast coming into a close second. Chromecast and Roku are continuing to release new devices and the Chromecast Ultra is Google’s newest edition, featuring 4K content support and improved WiFi functionality.

In the technology space, people are always looking for what’s best. Some have tried to answer that question, but only you can decide what is right for you. If you game on a PS4, it makes sense to also use it as streaming device, making the purchase of a Fire TV not necessary. All of these over-the-top TV devices do similar things, making the decision more about what device fits you and less about which is “best”.

Chris Dummer

High-Tech Storytelling: How New Technology is Revolutionizing Broadcast Television

Turn on the five o’clock news on your local TV station and you’ll see that the anchors are no longer sitting behind their usual desk with a generic background. Instead, they are standing by a plasma TV, or in front of a wall of monitors showing a local cityscape.

storytellingOver the past few decades, broadcast news has become more popular than print news. Instead of reading articles in the Sunday paper as a main source of news, TV viewers are able to get their information, and a lot of it, in a much shorter time. Visual aspects (video and graphics) and sound bites, allow the viewer to understand the story better. But now the evolution of the Internet is challenging TV news.

Many people today, especially millennials, are getting most of their news from websites and social media. Cord-cutters and cord-nevers are now threatening TV news outlets with the fear that their scheduled broadcast will one day become irrelevant.

In order to remain relevant and gain viewership, stations are now using the latest technology to upgrade their sets and to tell the story in new and appealing ways.

News studios are starting to become much more tech-savvy. Anchors and reporters continue to use traditional desks, but are surrounded by monitors and are able to move to plasma TV’s or a multipurpose center that includes monitors and can be used in a variety of ways.

KING 5 News in Seattle, Washington is an example of a studio that recently made the upgrade. The studio is a 360-degree set, which means the anchors and/or reporters can deliver the news from any point in the set, giving them flexibility. Eleven additional cameras were added to allow for this to happen. The studio is filled with LED lights that gives the set a modern feel. Anchors there say the new set helps them to tell stories better and give the viewers at home a better understanding of the story.

A local example of this would be KWWL in Waterloo. Recently, the station built a brand new set similar to KING 5 in many ways. The set includes a desk, monitors, and high-definition quality along with a designated weather center that is also surrounded by many monitors and computers. The purpose of this technology is to give viewers an innovative way to see the news and understand the story.

Along with high-tech studios, TV stations are also using new technology to tell the story better out in the field. TV news drones are starting to become much more popular. Drones are portable and are fairly easy to operate. Drones are best used for giving the viewer a better sense of a natural disaster or a scene, like a major car crash, that can help keep viewers safe.

TV news drones are also starting to replace TV news helicopters because they are less expensive, portable, quieter, and they can fly closer to the ground.

storytelling

Along with drones, some stations are starting to experiment with 360 cameras. These cameras allow the viewer to see every angle of a scene all at once. The BBC experimented with 360 cameras in the Swiss Alps and they were able to pull off a broadcast with immersive views from all perspectives. While they were successful, the camera crews decided that 360 video is best when it is on online platforms. This is because viewers can interact with the 360 images and choose what they want to see. Producers believe that 360 video also is only suitable for some stories.

While TV news is trying to tell the story better and gain viewership with new technology, it may not be everything viewers want. Keeping up with modern technology is a positive thing, but when it comes to news, if the content is not there it may not be as positive as stations think. Comments on articles about studio “set theory” explained how viewers don’t necessarily care about the technology, they care about the quality of the stories that are being presented. Going forward, TV news stations should try and keep up with the latest technology, but should not forget good quality journalism that many people may seek when tuning into their broadcast.

Casey Allbee

The NCIS Cast Dives (Deep) Into Characters

The cast of CBS’ NCIS features a former collegiate football star, a former Marine with a good conduct medal, and a member of the original producer’s family who also happens to hold dual citizenship. If you’ve never seen the show it would be nearly impossible to guess who’s who, but even for an avid fan such as myself, I was very surprised as to the cast’s backgrounds and their accolades.

NCIS CastIf you’re new to the NCIS franchise but not new to CBS’ Tuesday night lineup, you may be aware that there are also shows titled NCIS: Los Angeles and the newest spinoff, NCIS: New Orleans. For the purposes of comparison, however, I will only be looking at the major characters from the original NCIS.

The major cast members include Mark Harmon as Leeroy Jethro Gibbs, the leader of the Major Crisis Response Team of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service based at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Gibbs is a former Marine sniper with an excellent track record, but he lost his wife and daughter to a Mexican drug cartel and Gibbs extracts his revenge by killing several members of the cartel. Michael Weatherly plays Anthony DiNozzo, the Senior Field Agent with a knack for quoting movies and chasing various women over the course of the series.

The team’s goth forensics expert Abby Sciuto is played by Pauley Perrette, and Sean Murray is NCIS’ computer whiz and goes under the name Timothy McGee. Abby and McGee have had a relationship in the past, but the two are still very close. McGee is also a writer under the pseudonym Thom E. Gemcity. Rounding out the team is the Medical Examiner Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard. Ducky’s Scottish accent is made even more awesome by his love of telling stories of his experiences, even if they’re not exactly related to the case at hand.

The team investigates crimes around the world related to servicemen and women in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, but also deals in counterterrorism when America’s safety or freedom is in jeopardy.

Now that you’re up to speed on the characters, let’s take a look at some of their backgrounds. I mentioned earlier that we have a former Marine, a football star, and a dual citizen amongst the real-life qualities, but are you able to guess who’s who? I wasn’t immediately until I started researching, and as it turns out, the casts’ real lives don’t really mirror their characters much at all.

NCIS CelebrationMark Harmon, even though he plays a Marine, is the collegiate football star. He played at UCLA during his time as a Bruin, and he graduated cum laude in 1974 in Communications. Harmon is the uncle of Matt and Gunnar Nelson, of the band “Nelson”. The Marine in real live is the show’s former producer, Donald P. Bellisario. Bellisario was in the Corps from January 1955 thru January 1959, and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal upon discharge and went on to earn a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Penn State in 1961. Sean Murray holds dual citizenship between the United States of America and Australia. While Bellisario is no longer the show’s executive producer, he is still Sean’s stepfather (Sean’s mother Vivienne married Bellisario in 1988.)

Joseph Fiennes spoke about the struggle of getting into character, as well as the support he was able to get from his castmates. For Harmon and Murray and the rest of the cast, there is little mentioned in common between themselves and the characters they play on the most-watched show of 2012/2013.

While you aren’t required to analyze the characters and research them as I have done over the past couple of weeks, be sure to set aside some time on Tuesday evenings to catch NCIS from seven until eight on CBS, and check out Netflix if you want to catch up on all 12 seasons prior to this season.

Connor Gibbs

My Busy Summer in the Media Biz: Internships in Radio + Television

This summer, I worked two internship positions at both iHeartMedia (a Des Moines radio group) and KDSM (a local Des Moines TV station), and I gained a wealth of experience at both companies and will benefit from my time there for years to come.

IHeartMedia BlogAt iHeartMedia I was able to spend some time in almost every department, but the bulk of my work was within the promotions and marketing department. I, along with the other interns, worked at a number of promotional events, concerts, and festivals. Our goal was to connect with the public and get them excited about the many different radio stations owned by iHeartMedia serving the Des Moines area.

In addition to this, I contributed to event organization and execution as well as data and demographic analytics. Working with the program directors for various stations was a great opportunity to learn how the radio industry really works and what they do on a day-to-day basis. During my internship I got to sit in on sales meetings and live broadcasts, attend concerts, and talk to professionals from all areas of the radio and music industries.

I Heart Media Blog 2At KDSM I was the TV Production Intern and worked mostly with creative services. I helped to produce many commercials for local businesses as well as weekly segments of the “Des Moines Buzz”, a one-minute video with themed episodes airing up to five times a week.

I also had the privilege of working on thirteen videos featuring the winners of the 2015 Iowa Character Association Awards, primarily as an editor and camera operator. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with the director of the Iowa Character Association, several Des Moines business leaders, and an Olympic Gold Medal winner over the course of filming these interviews. The finished videos were shown at the Iowa Character Awards Banquet and subsequently broadcast on a local TV station.

Our other big project at KDSM was the broadcast of the annual Iowa State Fair Parade. The fair is recorded in advance of broadcast but is presented as live. I ran the handheld street camera as a tag team effort with another production assistant. To help prepare for the event, I helped construct graphics for the broadcast.

Olivia Guns

My Top Five Experiences at the NAB Show

Each year a convention is held for the National Association of Broadcasters to showcase their ideas and newest gadgets. I had the amazing opportunity of attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas this year from April 12-15, 2015 with a department professor and ten other peers within the Media Leadership major at the University of Northern Iowa. My expectations were greatly surpassed in all aspects, from the amazing tech tools and equipment displayed to the informative sessions we attended each day to learn all we could about the growing industry.

When walking into any of the four HUGE halls of the convention center, I wasn’t sure exactly what to do first or where to start my journey at the NAB Show. But after jumping into a few informative and entertaining sessions and visiting multiple exhibits and booths, I found out pretty quickly that there is truth behind the saying “time flies when you are having fun!” Here’s a look at my top five experiences at the NAB Show 2015!

5) Experiencing the Canon 4K Theatre

Canon used their 4K theatre to show NAB goers the newest technology in cameras and what it looks like on the big screen. Canon is soon releasing their newest gadget with 4K technology in the form of their professional-use 4K video camcorder, the XF-AVC. This new camera allows for more compact storage of video files, and works across various stages of the production process, from shooting to editing. It was really neat to see what progress is being made in the industry and what we can look forward to as developments continue to happen.

4) Meeting Adam Epstein, the “Saturday Night Live” Editor

adam epsteinWe sat in a session with Adam where he gave us the crazy details on the short film process with the Saturday Night Live crew. He discussed how working on a project that takes a year or two to finish compares to working on the weekly short films created in only 4-5 days for the SNL show each Saturday Night. For example, you might have a few weeks to take dozens of different shots with different angles and make the decision on which shot to go with, whereas with an SNL short film he may only have a few minutes to take all the shots they can and later in editing have a few more minutes to make the decision on which of the five shots to go with. When working at such a fast pace, like he does with the SNL short film crew, there isn’t much time for making decisions and wavering between “yes” and “no,” so he believes when working with such tight deadlines you have to learn how to go with your gut and keep on your toes.

3) Seeing Documentarian Morgan Spurlock

After seeing the movie Super Size Me, I was intrigued to hear from the man responsible for the film. He discussed how success sprouted from this simple documentary film, leading to his two documentary series “The 30 Day Challenge” and “Inside Man”. I also learned how he uses unique marketing tactics to advertise companies that may not otherwise be related to the video. For example, GE sponsored a Focus Forward Short Film Documentary about two women who have created a bike helmet that deploys when impact is detected. I was also very impressed with all of the additional documentaries he has been working on since, such as The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, and I’m anxious to check out more of them!

2) Attending the “Women in New Media” Panel

I had the privilege of listening to an accomplished panel of women talk about how they reached their success. Jenn Page (filmmaker and founder of production company Luminave Films), Jenna Edwards (independent writer, producer, and owner of “Create with Jenna” website), Kristen Nedopak (host of Geek Awards, actress, screenwriter, producer, director), and Sandra Payne (director, screenwriter, and producer at SPwrite Productions, LLC), answered questions regarding women’s roles in new media categories, such as podcasting, filmmaking, blogging, and documenting. Women are naturally social beings and we have our own stories and perspectives that we believe should be shared to the world, and therefore we have a lot to offer in the form of video and audio output mediums. These women shared stories that were both were inspiring and encouraging, not only to me as a woman, but also as an aspiring independent media producer.

1) GoPro

I had heard about GoPro cameras before attending the NAB Show, but knew them only as small cameras for attaching to a helmet to capture sporty videos. But I learned GoPro has so much more than that! With all of the supplementary add-ons and neat features and tricks you can use the Hero4 to capture just the right shot. They showed a neat compilation video on how the camera can be used underwater, attached to a helmet or your wrist, and even use the time lapse or slow motion features to customize your video. After exploring the exhibit and seeing the amazing quality of video and photos this little guy captures, I was hooked, and now I have to have one!

Of course this wasn’t all that I saw on the trip, but these are the highlights of my reel. It seemed like there wasn’t enough time in my three days at the convention to see all that there was to see. But we certainly made the most of our trip!

Ali Holtz