Virtualizing TV Production In 2022
Virtualization of TV production accelerated rapidly during the pandemic and all of the remote production that resulted from it. Technology leaders from ABC News, CBC and ABS-CBN International will share their own experience with this dramatic industry transition in a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar, Virtualizing TV Production in 2022, on March 31 at 1 p.m. ET.
Remote production has prompted TV engineers to desire to virtualize more of the hardware they have been using, and many are finding production as the perfect place to transition. And while virtualization means turning hardware into software, that doesn’t not necessarily mean putting it in the cloud.
“Media companies have taken a variety of approaches to virtualizing production, and we look forward to hearing about these and more from this pioneering group of broadcasters,” said Kathy Haley, TVNewsCheck publisher and co-founder.
François Legrand, Senior Director of Core Systems Engineering, CBC/Radio-Canada — After working as an intern, François Legrand has been with CBC/Radio-Canada since 2004. He joined the corporation as a broadcast systems designer and has since then been involved in a wide range of projects and held several positions. He manages the team responsible for all capital projects related to CBC/Radio-Canada’s core infrastructure, including the implementation of the new media over IP infrastructure.
In his free time, Legrand is an avid maker, interested in anything related to 3D printing, CNC woodworking and Arduino/ESP-based DIY electronics. He is frequently invited to present the initiatives and the technological vision of CBC/Radio-Canada for local and international audiences.
Ryan McCormick, Executive Director of Engineering & Studio Operations, ABC News — He oversees both the day-to-day technical, operational and engineering needs of all ABC News & ABC News Live programing. Through his cooperation with production and engineering, he has lead change not only in control rooms but facility as a whole. Presently, McCormick is working on the design and implementation of the Walt Disney’s 4 Hudson campus. The over one million square-foot facility will be home to a variety of Walt Disney-owned businesses, and will be a fully IP based broadcast facility, leveraging some of the latest technology and taking advantage of virtualization and cloud-based systems throughout.
McCormick joined ABC News in 2012 after leading in the implementation of the first network automated control room. Since that time, he has aided in ABC’s transition to an IP infrastructure, built virtual studios and HD control rooms, assisted in the renovation of studios and in the design and launch of ABC/Univision’s (150,000 square-foot facility) joint venture Fusion. He continues to support the growing needs of ABC News Live.
McCormick began his 20-plus year career with the CBC in Toronto working in operations, followed by eight years in Ottawa, where he worked globally for broadcast equipment manufacturer Ross Video, managing and working as a part of its training department. During his time with Ross, he was fortunate to work in many different markets and observe many different workflows while installing production switchers and newsroom automation systems globally. Through his years in the industry, McCormick has been fascinated with change and continues to enjoy leading his teams in the adoption of new workflows and technology.
Rab Mukraj, CTO, ABS-CBN International — Based in New York, he is responsible for the transition of ABS-CBN International through its digital transformation journey. Mukraj brings more than 20 years of experience leading large-scale global organizations driving new direct-to-consumer growth for the business. He is working to drive global expansion for ABS-CBN International and improving adoption of its platforms worldwide.
Mukraj is a strategic thinker who, in his previous role, worked on leading IP transformation at Disney ABC Television Group in New York.
He has worked on significant projects at major brands such as the launch of Hulu and the 2008 Beijing Games for NBC Universal. Mukraj has a proven track record of delivering results through collaboration and an ability to identify and apply new technology for use cases that drive transformation across complex organizations. He has several patents related to media workflows.
Brian Kincheloe, Director of Production Technology NBCUniversal Local
Ray Thompson, Director, Marketing Solutions, Broadcast & Media, Avid — He has 25 years of business development, sales and product management/marketing experience focused on sports, media (broadcast and film), and e-sports. He helped in the development of an IP live streaming platform strategy for sending SD, HD, and 4K video over a standard IP connection from anywhere to anywhere at broadcast quality and at low latency to mobile, web. He was also a driver in the transformation of a start-up software company from video editing focus for sports to content licensing and management/distribution of college sports assets via the web to college sports fans.
Thompson executed the release of a high-performance graphics chip, landing a large-scale bid as primary provider of graphics processor for Microsoft’s Xbox 360. And he penetrated the media/entertainment space for a Fortune 500 technology company, developing ISV echo-system creating solutions-based approach to selling.
Glen Dickson (moderator) is a TVNewsCheck contributing editor.