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Character.AI Lets Users Chat with Wide Variety of Characters

Character.AI is a new chatbot that generates facsimiles of conversations with famous personages or original creations. Napoleon Bonaparte, Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande are among the  historical or contemporary characters the site recreates using a neural network. Anyone can use the free app to create a character, whether fictional or real, dead or alive, but a paid offering called provides perks including faster response times, priority access and early previews of new features. In addition to a website, the app launched on iOS and Android this month, triggering 700,000 Android installs within 48 hours.

According to TechCrunch, Character.AI could be the viral follow-up to ChatGPT, with “over 1.7 million new installs in less than a week on the market,” compared to “half a million downloads in its first six days” for the OpenAI chatbot.

Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Character.AI raised $150 million in Series A funding in March for a valuation of $1 billion. The 16-month-old startup created by former Google employees Daniel De Freitas and Noam Shazeer, “offers customizable AI companions with distinct personalities, as well as the ability for users to create their own characters,” TechCrunch writes.

Shazeer and De Freitas previously directed the Google researchers that built LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications) for a conversational AI. The duo reportedly became frustrated with the pace of Alphabet’s path to commercialization, exiting the company in late 2021.

In November 2021 they founded Character Technologies, and in December they raised $43 million in an angel round. The website says the app is still in beta.

Mashable provides a “quick guide” Character.AI tutorial that says to use it, first “search for the name of a character or for the media (book, TV series, film, etc.) they’re associated with. The search results will usually show the best matches based on your keywords, with the most-chatted-with characters toward the top.” After selecting a character, “a window will open. The character will introduce themselves first, then you can get to gabbing.”

Apparently Character Technologies does not license likeness rights for the real people — including Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen Hawking, Oprah Winfrey and Lady Gaga — populating its site. That’s because “everything characters say is made up!” the website cheerfully advises.

Presumably, when the characters are real, the models train on their online record to approximate dialogue, which could raise IP concerns. As for the user-generated content, Character.AI has posted its terms of service that specify rights to any characters created by users.

Chatbot Startup Character.AI Rolls Out First Mobile Apps, Bloomberg, 5/24/23
One-Third of People Can’t Tell a Human from an AI. Here’s Why That Matters, The Verge, 5/31/23

The post Character.AI Lets Users Chat with Wide Variety of Characters appeared first on ETCentric.

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How Camera-to-Cloud Shortens Production, with Sony Ci and Serv 4K

In the recently hosted Creative Solutions Los Angeles event with David Rosen, Sony Ci VP, Cloud Applications, and Colin McDonald, Teradek Cine Product Manager, we reviewed what the camera-to-cloud workflow looks like, using Sony Ci and Teradek Serv 4K.
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NewTek and Panopto form a technical partnership with CaptureCast<sup>™</sup>

San Antonio, TX, - 11 April 2023 - NewTek, the leader in IP-based video technology and part of the Vizrt Group, today announces a new technical partnership with the leading video management system provider, Panopto, regarding NewTek’s CaptureCast.

CaptureCast is an automated, IP-based, distributed lecture capture solution that connects any room, whether a classroom or a meeting room, to any other space - anywhere in the world via the power of NDI®.

As a Panopto-endorsed capture hardware device, CaptureCast has been jointly engineered and extensively tested to ensure the best integration and performance.

“Worldwide, we see an increased demand for AV-over-IP in education and business. Hybrid teaching and working are driving changes in communication, and rapid technology changes in AV mean many customers need the flexibility of AV-over-IP. Collaborating with organizations like NewTek on products like CaptureCast, brings class-leading AV-over-IP options to all our users,” states Rene Karras, Head of Marketing, Panopto EMEA.

CaptureCast, when combined with a powerful and flexible scheduling tool, automates the lecture or presentation capture, freeing the storyteller, presenter, or educator to focus on the content.

With this seamless and integral part of the lecture capture workflow, users gain a flexible scheduling tool via Panopto, and Panopto customers can implement CaptureCast with no additional hardware. Users simply plug and play, and CaptureCast can be set up as a remote recorder quickly and efficiently for any classroom or boardroom.

A unique integration with Panopto’s Remote Recorder feature supports configuring, scheduling, and recording sessions from CaptureCast all over a web browser.

CaptureCast is also fully accessible and controllable through an easy-to-use web interface, offering enhanced AV room management. Video content then automatically stores in Panopto’s cloud-based video management system for easy management and distribution.

“AV integration is vital for our customers - they take real pride in their implementations which are at the forefront of the latest workflows and standards. They have told us loud and clear that they need AV-over-IP. Technical collaborations help us provide them with market-leading options - this is why we are delighted to be working with NewTek to provide a total solution for professional, high-quality, and high-scale video capture and delivery,” adds Neil Burdess, Product Manager, Panopto.

Together, the organizations offer a complete AV-over-IP workflow. No SDI or HDMI is needed to facilitate multi-room network device interface (NDI) setups. Panopto also includes pre-existing support for NDI tools. Users can seamlessly set up high-quality capture via NDI-enabled devices and distribute through the cloud quickly and efficiently.

This unique capability enables organizations to synchronize physically separate video sources in the cloud and stream them as a single production. For example, Panopto and CaptureCast can synchronize an NDI-enabled camera at the back of an auditorium with a demo laptop on stage, capturing both feeds simultaneously and streaming them to a live audience without the need for physical connections between the video sources.

Beyond a single room, through CaptureCast’s Virtual Recorders capability, a single unit can capture multiple rooms simultaneously, then be pushed to Panopto. As such, CaptureCast servers can live in the data center, not physically in each room, offering untold flexibility and scalability when delivering lectures, meetings, and event capture.

“AV-over-IP is the future of recording and moving video. This partnership with Panopto ensures both our tech support experts can work together to introduce innovative solutions and additional, integrated capabilities so our joint customers across education and enterprise can have the top tech in AV-over-IP available,” concludes Liam Hayter, Product Manager, CaptureCast and Micro-broadcasting, Vizrt Group.

For more information on NewTek’s CaptureCast, visit:

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Using the New 6GHz Spectrum for Wireless Video Transmission with Bolt 6

Teradek has become the first in the industry to utilize the new 6GHz spectrum for zero-delay 4K HDR wireless video transmission on set. In our CS Presents class, we explained the science of RF technology, the new wireless spectrum opened by the FCC, and how Teradek Bolt 6 utilizes Amimon’s chipset and system to give filmmakers the best gear available. We also provided a practical checklist and best practices for optimized wireless performance. Watch the video or read below to learn directly from Creative Solutions’ VP of Product Greg Smokler, Teradek’s Product Manager Colin McDonald, and Amimon’s Product Manager Rafi Agiv.

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Link AX Workflows

Link AX is Teradek’s new production-ready Wi-Fi router that features Wi-Fi 6 and five configurable ethernet ports to give filmmakers the most flexibility possible. Unlike typical off-the-shelf routers, Link AX is designed with a ruggedized metal chassis and Gold/V-Mount battery mounting options to withstand the demands of any production, without adding yet another power drain to your DIT cart or video village. Link AX facilitates numerous workflows that connect productions from set, to remote collaborators, to post.


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How Key News Network Delivers Breaking News Coverage with Prism Mobile and Core

Key News Network (KNN), Los Angeles’ number 1 team of freelance photojournalists, captures over 100 breaking news stories a month, reaching millions of viewers. Learn how Teradek helps them quickly and reliably route their live and pre-recorded news coverage to local and national stations using Teradek Prism Mobile and Teradek Core Cloud.


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Unprecedented control from anywhere – NewTek debuts new NDI® native Flex Control Panel

ISE, Barcelona, January 31st, 2023NewTek, the leader in IP-based video technology and part of the Vizrt Group, strengthens its line of Control Panels with the all-new Flex. With Flex, operators can now take direct control of PTZ devices, audio connections, audio and video mixing, and talkback – all connected with NDI®.

No other NewTek control panel offers audio and video mixing, PTZ Control and talkback –in one unit. With these controls built directly into the panel, it significantly reduces the margin for error.

The innovative features built into Flex offers operators greater precision and control than any other control panel available. With the addition of audio I/O, Flex instantly expands the on-board I/O of any TriCaster with the option to add external sources directly to the NDI® ecosystem.

For years operators have been physically tethered to video switchers with fixed cable runs, and complex set-ups without the ability to change location. Flex is the only NewTek control panel to simply connect to a network with NDI® and have control of any video switcher on that network, giving operators the ultimate in production freedom.

“Over the course of the last several years, the demand for high quality distributed production has grown beyond measure. We recognize the need for operators to be able to adapt to any workflow and the Flex does just that – all with the power of NDI®. Offering greater control and connectivity than ever before, it’s our most flexible and powerful control panel yet,” comments Chris McLendon, Senior Product Manager, NewTek.

Not only can the panel connect to any switcher on a network by using NDI®, Flex also offers operators all they need for distributed productions by working with all current TriCaster models; mastering control of a TriCaster 2 Elite as easily as it can a TriCaster Mini X and as at home in the studio or on the road, Flex scales with any production.

Availability & Pricing

NewTek Flex is available now and is priced at $9,495 USMSRP - International pricing may vary.

For more information on the Flex Control Panel please visit here.

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The internet loves live video. On average, live video has higher watchtime and more engagement than other content types – which means more ad revenue for social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

So, whether you’re broadcasting a remote viewing party, a live concert, an eSports championship, a religious service, or breaking news – if you can produce captivating live streaming content, you have the edge.

This guide is your 101 course on everything you need to stand out. We’ve organized all the gear, so you don’t have to figure it out on your own.


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Mindstec becomes latest NewTek distributor

SAN ANTONIO, United States — 8 December 2022NewTek, the leader in IP-based video technology and part of the Vizrt Group, today announces Mindstec Distribution as its newest distributor in APAC, with a specific focus on India.

The demand for NewTek solutions has been growing in the ProAV markets. With content creation and consumption on a continuous rise, the need for quality products for video production across various industries is steadily increasing. Mindstec is the latest distributor appointed in the area, and the seventh appointed this year.

Mindstec’s expertise in procurement and distribution of high-end audio-visual system solutions make them a perfect fit as a NewTek partner. Mindstec, is a leader in AV distribution, successfully bringing the latest cutting-edge technology to the Asian market. With NewTek as part of its portfolio now, it widens its ability to support customers in need of AV-over-IP workflows, and those looking for beyond broadcast grade production solutions.

“With Mindstec, customers in India will have access to NewTek solutions with speed and efficiency, and NewTek will expand its global presence further in a region with no shortage of creative talent and demand. It’s an excellent match, which will see audio-visual solutions reach content creators who can make the best out of NewTek’s innovative technologies,” states, Sabarishan, Regional Director, Mindstec Distribution.

“The APAC tech market, especially with education tech, is expected to boom in the next few years. We have the most accessible, complete, and innovative solutions for the education sector, but also corporate, Houses of Worship, sports and esports, the list goes on. By partnering with strong distributors like Mindstec, we can ensure our technologies reach the hands of those that need our tech, but also that they have the local expertise to support. It’s a great match, and we can’t wait to see the success stories start to emerge,” says Paul Dobbs, NewTek Sales Director, APAC.

Mindstec’s highly trained techno-specialists ensure its customers are always at the forefront of today’s cutting-edge AV technology, which now includes NewTek’s latest innovations like NewTek NDI® PTZ3 UHD camera, NDI® converter units, automated video capture solution CaptureCast, replay system 3Play, and other software-defined visual solutions to support the storytellers of tomorrow, today.

Learn more about NewTek, here: NewTek | Software Driven Video Production Technology.