New equipment for better broadcast management

There have been several significant introductions to the market for broadcast equipment recently. Here is a rundown of the key launches...

AJA Video Systems' Ki-Pro is a portable tapeless video device that records files to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera as 10-bit 422 content that is then immediately available for editing within Apple’s Final Cut Studio. It allows users to skip the process of re-rendering to an editing codec. Ki-Pro captures to a removable disk module. It can also be used for on-set monitoring, providing instant access to multiple display devices simultaneously.
DVS' Venice multi-channel video server allows a variety of data formats to be converted and distributed rapidlyBroadcast Traffic Systems' Express is a downloadable broadcast traffic management system based on the established and widely used BTS Enterprise application. Express provides traffic and ad-sales management for single-channel or multi-channel presentation suites and playout centres. The basic Express System module consists of the infrastructure required to operate a single channel. The Express Scheduling option adds a media library, programme library, promo library, long-term scheduling and presentation scheduling. The Express Sales option incorporates all the facilities required for sales administration, contract management, sales finance and invoicing. Express can be quickly expanded through the addition of extra elements or through a full upgrade to BTS Enterprise. Control is via internet-browser-based input screens. Express is designed for use on standard servers running Windows or Linux with a Microsoft SQL or My-SQL database. A quick-start set of instructions along with Internet-based training enables operators to become familiar with the system and its browser-based interface quickly and easily. Playlists can be exported to third-party automation systems. As-run logs can be imported to reconcile planned output with the actual items transmitted. Comprehensive management reporting and graphical analysis tools are provided, integrated with the main operating database to ensure information is fully up to date.

 

Getting it seen right
Calrec’s new Artemis console uses a combination of OLED displays, touch screens, and light-emitting control components allowing the user to reconfigure the desk on the fly. The company's Bluefin2 processor gives the console up to 640 channel processing paths, 128 program buses, 64 IFB/Track outputs and 32 auxiliaries at a 48 kHz sampling rate. Features include a second compressor/limiter in each channel, more than 70 minutes of assignable delay, and three independent APFL systems for multiple operator use. The console is designed for use with Calrec’s Hydra2 router which has 8192 x 8192 cross-points and can handle analog, AES, MADI, SDI and Dolby E formats. All DSP, control processor, router, power supplies, and connections are fully redundant.
Hamlet's Vidscope-3D performs quality-control tests of 3D stereoscopic video sourcesClear-Com Communication Systems' Tempest 2400 is a wireless intercom system designed to operate worldwide in a license-free frequency band.  Each packet of audio data is sent twice on different frequencies and through different antennas. The 2400 can operate with other Clear-Com intercom systems through four-wire and two-wire connections, as well as with intercoms from other manufacturers.
DK-Technologies' PT0710 M HD/SD waveform monitor is a single channel version of the company's four-channel PT0760M waveform monitor. It can display RGB and luminance as well as gamut errors. It can also extract and display up to 16 embedded audio channels. Optional user-installable upgrades allow the addition of  Dolby E decoding and Dolby 5.1 surround sound monitoring as well as Cb, Cr and vectorscope display.
DVS' Venice multi-channel video server allows a variety of data formats to be converted and distributed rapidly. It also supports parallel processing of SD and HD content. Venice handles all common compressed formats such as Avid DNxHD, Sony XDCAM, Panasonic DVCPRO and AVC-Intra 50/100. Users can control the video server from their own desktop via a local or remote user interface available for Windows, Mac and Linux. With the playlists or run-down lists, users can freely define the sequence of their clips, save them and load them into Venice for further processing.
Eyeheight announces three additions to its range of modular broadcast and post-production equipment. The LE-2nM, LE-2nS and LE-2nU are single-card legalisers in a rackmountable or free-standing third-rack-width 1 U high nanoBox chassis with external mains power supply. Model LE-2nM is a complete SD/HD-SDI legaliser which can correct to match all common legalisation standards. Incoming signals are legalised in user-selectable RGB, YUV, composite (PAL/NTSC) or combined RGB and composite. Eyeheight's clobberRing luma overshoot/undershoot suppression is provided as well as luma and chroma gain, black level and hue rotation, adjustable clipping level and soft-clipping knee level. Two outputs are included plus an Indicate output which shows which parts of the picture are being legalised. A severity display mode is available on the monitoring output. EBU-R 2003 standard SDI legalisation settings and 7.5 IRE or 0 IRE Pedestal are incorporated together with six user memories and common presets. The user memories can be accessed via two GPI inputs. The LE-2nM uses full 10 bit processing throughout and can be controlled by a Java-based Eyeheight softPanel (PC and Mac compatible) or 1 U Eyeheight FP-9 Flexi-Panel. The softPanel GUI closely resembles a standard Eyeheight hard panel and has the same menu structure. Like all Eyeheight multi-definition products, the LE-2nM is compatible with the 18 video standards currently in use across 525/625 SD as well as 720p, 1080p and 1080i HD. Model LE-2nU has essentially the same features plus the capability of 1080p dual link operation. Model LE-2nS is a standard-definition version.New from Soniflex
Fujitsu's new IP-900 compact MPEG-4 AVC encoders and decoders allow real-time transmission of high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) content over IP networks. Suitable for use in mobile and transportable applications in news gathering and other remote event applications, they include error correction.

 

Supporting high-end streaming capabilities
Gefen's HDMI v1.3 over CAT-5 ELR (Extra Long Range) system sends HD video with audio, Ethernet up to 100 metres over a single CAT-5 cable. This is nearly double the distance the company's previous systems could reach using dual CAT-5. IP-based applications can easily be integrated into the system. The remote source can be controlled by an IR remote pointed at the display. HD resolutions up to 1080p/60 are supported.
Nevion's VS908 is a single-slot Ventura card for IP-based transmitting and/or receiving. It aggregates eight ASI (EN50083-9) video streams onto a single Gigabit Ethernet link. Compliant with SMPTE-2022 specifications for IP encapsulation, it can be configured for 100 Mbit/s, 1000 Mbit/ or auto-negotiation connection rates. Also new, the VS901 product series provides JPEG2000 compression over IP networks for both SD and HD video signals where high quality, low latency and band limited video transport are required.
Phabrix has introduced a new analysis option for its SxE broadcast signal analyser, adding an additional jitter screen plus enhancements to the eye display. The option includes histograms which provide statistical information used to measure rise time, fall time and amplitude. These automatic accurate measurements can then be logged over extended periods. In addition to the standard timing and alignment jitter filters, decade filters are provided allowing the user to analyse frequency content of any jitter present. Multiple eye selection also enables analysis when serialiser jitter is present. The separate jitter analysis screen incorporated into the analysis option enables the operator to analyse the nature of jitter present using a graph of jitter versus time.
Roland's Edirol VC-50HD provides bi-directional conversion between SD/HD-SDI to/from DV, HDV as well as 35 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s MPEG-2 transport streams. The unit also supports lower bit rates including 8 Mbit/s as well as 2, 9 and 12 Mbit/s when used with SD sources. The VC-50HD can be operated stand-alone between video decks and PC/Macs or mounted on the back of the Edirol F-1 video field recorder for file-based capture from SDI cameras.
Ross Video has introduced the Vision Octane series of production switchers. Features include 35 full screen HD animation memories, 24 channels of 3D DVE with warp capability, 96 inputs, 48 outputs, 32 full keyers, 12 mixer/keyers on the auxiliary bus outputs, and 12 DVE key combiners, giving a total of 56 keyers in the system.

 

Fitting in with the right format
Sonifex' S1 is a small format hybrid analogue/digital radio broadcast mixer. It can be fitted flush into a desk or rack ears can be added to permit rack-mounting. Five microphone inputs and provided as well as four mono line, 10 stereo analogue, two stereo digital, one telco and one stereo cleanfeed input to switch between 10 fader channels. A 3.5mm input minijack is included for an MP3 player. The S1 has one stereo programme output available as both balanced analogue and S/PDIF or TOSlink digital, so that a main programme feed can be sent to a transmitter while a digital feed can go directly to a PC for internet streaming. Two stereo auxiliary outputs are also available; these can be configured pre or post the fader outputs.
Winchester Electronics' EL-Series fibre-optic video jack allows replacement of existing coaxial copper components or traditional ferrule-based fibre connectors with an expanded light beam connection and manually-actuated fibre switch. This allows fibre links to be broken and new signals inserted with minimal disturbance to existing infrastructure.
Wohler has extended its RM LCD video monitoring series with three new dual-interface units which provide flexible confidence monitoring of HD/SD-SDI and composite video with embedded audio. Measuring 2 U high, the RM-2443W-2HD incorporates four 4.3-inch widescreen LCDs, each of which has 480 x 270 resolution. The 3 U RM-3270W-2HD incorporates two 7 inch widescreen LCDs, each with 800 x 480 resolution. The 4 U RM-4290W-2HD incorporates two 9-inch widescreen LCD, also with 800 x 480 resolution.
Zaxcom's Zax-Net is a 2.4-GHz RF network for the distribution of remote control signals, time code, IFB audio, and metadata for production sound. Zax-Net wirelessly links Zaxcom’s Deva/Fusion digital recording wireless encrypted IFB receivers and compatible digital slates into a single system for audio recording and metadata distribution. The Zax-Net signal is generated by Zaxcom’s Deva or Fusion audio recorders/mixers and broadcast via a Zaxcom IFB100 wireless transmitter on a 2.4 GHz signal. IFB audio, timecode, metadata, and wireless remote control commands are then received by Zaxcom’s ERX series IFB receivers and TRX series digital wireless transceivers. The network can wirelessly distribute scene and take metadata for automatic display on any compatible digital slate connected to an ERX2 receiver. When the clapper is activated, the slate will automatically display the correct timecode and metadata as entered through a Deva or Fusion unit and distributed via the Zax-Net networking working automatically in the background. Hamlet's Vidscope-3D is a Windows-compatible PC program that performs quality-control tests of 3D stereoscopic video sources from standard capture cards or Firewire inputs. The software runs under direct user control and displays on standard monitors. Vidscope-3D can work with all professional video formats including component types or RGB 4:4:4, standard and high definition format subject to the capabilities of the capture devices used. With a suitably powerful PC platform, Vidscope can show displays from left and right channels simultaneously. Real-time stereo display modes allow differences in video parameter balances and geometry issues to be examined. Vidscope-3D can also work with 3D media files. File playout is in real-time. Embedded audio, stereo or multi-channel surround-sound can be extracted, displayed, monitored and checked alongside the video signals. The displays can be scaled and arranged as six or eight windows on one or two PC monitors with user preset buttons to set up 20 different configurations as required. Vidscope-3D can be used for camera setup and alignment or for checking image quality levels at pre or post edit. Left and right channels can be combined into a red/green anaglyph allowing stereoscopic imaging to be checked without the need of a 3D display device.

 

David Kirk

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