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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
May 10

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5/10/2011 11:14 AM  RssIcon

A variety of new 3-D cameras garnered attention at the recent NAB Show in Las Vegas, but there were an equal number of new products to support 3-D production and post. Here are a few highlights.

Sony said it had taken what it learned at the Masters, World Cup and other events over the past year and integrated that knowledge into its product development. As a result, the company showed new 3-D switchers, monitors, processors and conversion technology. The company introduced the Sony MVS-7000X switcher with enhanced 3-D functionality. The new switcher, available this summer, supports native 3Gb/s production and leverages many of the features from the higher-end MVS-8000X. It can be configured with one to six M/E channels, with split M/E capability, and, depending on the configuration, it can scale up to eight keyers per M/E with a 2.5D resizer for each keyer. Users can add up to four channels of internal effects, and the switcher can be configured with up to 80 inputs and 48 inputs in 8RU.

To simplify 3-D production workflows, Sony offers a system solution that combines the MPE-200 multi-image processor with the optional MPES-3D01 software for the control of 3-D rigs and electronic stereo-image processing. The switcher supports Sony’s Programmable Effector application for the MPE-200, which delivers visual effects with real-time rendering of 3-D computer graphic images and up to four live video inputs. This improves production workflows by eliminating the need to rerender visual effects when last-minute modifications are required in a studio control room or OB truck environments.

In addition, Sony showed a more systematic approach to 3-D-capable camera technology. This included remote control panels, master setup units and new control software for Sony cameras. Sony also showed a system of HDC-P1 box cameras with the HDFA-200 fiber-optic transmission adapter, which enables the transmission of two HD-SDI signals via a single SMPTE camera fiber cable to a single 3Gb/s-enabled camera control unit for 3-D production. The system can be controlled with the MPE-200 3-D multi-image processor and output to the switcher.

FOR-A showed its new HVS-4000 multi-format video switcher, which is available in two-M/E, two-and-a-half-M/E or three-M/E models and offers optional support for 3Gb/s (1080p/60 HD) and 3-D production. Up to eight channels can be added to the unit’s 3-D DVE. The HVS-4000 comes with a control panel for the two-M/E version and one for the two-and-a-half-M/E and three-M/E models. The two-M/E switcher comes with either 16 or 24 buttons. The control panel for the two-and-a-half-M/E and three-M/E models enables direct access to preset content, including a macro bus and event recall button for each M/E. And, the two-and-a-half-M/E and three-M/E models come with either 24 or 32 buttons. An optional up/down/crossconverter card can be installed to handle all of the most common video formats in the same frame.

The switcher comes standard with four keyers for each M/E. Eight keyers are standard on the two-M/E model, 11 keyers are standard on the two-and-a-half-M/E model and 12 keyers are standard on the three-M/E model. Optionally, two keyers can be added to each M/E, enabling expansion of to up to 12 keyers on the two-M/E model, 15 keyers on the two-and-a-half-M/E model and 18 keyers on the three-M/E model.

Codex Digital introduced Vault, its on-set laboratory solution for review and dailies and deliverables production that supports digital cinema cameras made by RED, ARRI, Sony and other leading manufacturers. It can handle a host of different file types, including 3-D. A fully featured Vault is a stand-alone solution requiring no external drives. Rather, it includes its own internal transfer drives. Additionally, through its ability to support all of the most popular professional cameras, it provides a single, standardized workflow for productions employing multiple camera systems. Other key features include support for RED drives, CF cards and SxS cards; high speed, secure data transfers; dailies review; data management and metadata server; and studio or set H.264 wireless server.

Grass Valley showed up with a new line of conversion tools for its ADVC product range, including 3-D stereoscopic signal conversion. The ADVC G3, a twin-SDI to HDMI 1.4 converter with 3D support, was designed to fulfill the demands for 3-D monitoring and multiplexing. The ADVC G3 can be used as a standard HD/SD-SDI (3G/1.5G support)-to-HDMI converter, but it also features a second SDI input, which can be used for second-eye input. The ADVC G3 will, in real time, multiplex the two signals for a 3-D output via HDMI. The analog audio and AES/EBU outputs are useful for monitoring both 2-D and 3-D content. The ADVC G3 features 3-D multiplexing technology supported by the latest HDMI 1.4a standard, which can be manually selected.

Lastly, Panasonic showed its new AG-HPD24 P2 portable deck with 3-D synchronized record/playback, native 24p recording with variable frame rates and 24-bit, four-channel audio recording in AVC-Intra 100/50; the AJ-PCD30 P2 three-slot drive with a super-speed USB 3.0 interface; and the BT-LH910, a 9in LCD monitor with newly developed 3-D assist functions.

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