Broadcast Engineering’s Pick Hit Awards are the industry’s longest-running product technology awards for broadcast and production. With a 29-year history, Pick Hits are the most prestigious technical awards given at NAB. Here are the top products selected from the show by our panel of independent judges.
After Effects with MAXON CINEMA 4D Lite
Next version of After Effects includes CINEMA 4D Lite, which gives artists access to an exceptional selection of the software’s functionality; since CINEMA 4D Lite launches directly from within After Effects, the availability of a full 3D application is expected to have a significant impact for artists interested in or already incorporating 3D into their After Effects workflow; instead of waiting for a 3D render to come out of CINEMA 4D, users can drop that CINEMA 4D file into After Effects and start to composite, color correct and add the extra things they do in After Effects direcly on top of their 3D projects; integration speeds up the workflow.
Mini-converter allows high-quality conversion and real-time scaling of computer DVI-D and HDMI outputs to baseband video over SDI; seamlessly incorporates computer signals into video production; features Region of Interest scaling control for selective source screen isolation and resolution matching, as well as aspect ratio conversion and frame rate conversion for maximum compatibility; offers audio embedding in SDI output via analog 3.5mm connector input; can connect KONA 3G SDI-based 4K output to 4K HDMI displays; genlock input enables locked SDI output for clean switching and integration.
Pocket-sized digital cinema camera is less than 1in thick and be held easily in the user’s hand; compact design allows it to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical; features an industry standard Super 16 sensor size; super wide dynamic range of 13 stops allows feature-film quality images; includes an easy to use SD card recorder that enables the full sensor dynamic range to be recorded in professional ProRes 422 (HQ) format, as well as 12-bit Log RAW lossless compressed CinemaDNG format; these files can be read by high-end video software as they are all open standard.
Dual-rack monitor with built-in broadcast-accurate waveform monitoring features two large 8in LCD screens in a compact rack-mount design that’s less than 1in thick; includes powerful image processing, allowing each of the two screens to be independently selected between video monitoring and waveform monitoring; handles all SD, HD and 3G-SDI video standards; all screens can be remotely adjusted via the user’s Ethernet network; includes full tally features, making it ideal for live broadcasters; tally borders can be independently displayed in red, green or blue.
Player tracking graphics system applies graphics onto live video to rack sports players in 3D space; takes live 3D player tracking data from the ChyronHego Tracab system and applies a variety of different real-time visualizations, such as name-straps or highlighting tools, to be able to identify players and help provide better insight into sports play; as the graphics are time-coded in synchronization to the video, they can be applied not only live, but also on first replays; this enables sports analysis to be aired almost immediately on a first replay.
Quad (3G/HD/SD)-SDI to HDMI multiviewer and converter includes four independent mini HDMI outputs that can each output any of the four inputs or a quad-split all of them; inputs two and four can be individually changed to output active loop copies of inputs one and two, respectively; quad-split mode allows selection of audio from any input; portable converter incorporates an easy-to-use LCD and button control system, providing users with easy access to the unit’s features without using LED/button control or dip switches or having to carry around a computer to change a simple setting.
Next-generation, camera-mounted bonded cellular and microwave system for ENG; designed to offer mobile news teams a flexible and powerful alternative to traditional satellite and microwave links; transmitter combines IMT’s coded orthogonal frequency division multiplexing technology and Dejero’s patent-pending Adaptive Bitrate Encoding technologies; using a single camera with this device, a mobile news crew can begin transmitting broadcast-quality live video in less than a minute from locations that are not practical or advisable for satellite or microwave trucks.
USB-3 unit for getting HD-SDI signals into a tablet, laptop or PC; full frames are transferred so that applications have access to 16 audio channels and all HANC and VANC packets; is bus powered, so no power supply is required; bundled with SdEye, the DTU-351 becomes a waveform analyzer; for application developers, the unit comes with DekTec’s standard SDK and the advanced Matrix API; both are supported, for Linux and Windows; all 10-bit samples from the full SDI frame can be read.
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group
Cloud-based playout platform offers benefits such as reduced upfront infrastructure, technology and staff costs; facilitates fast time-to-launch while enabling broadcasters and content owners to fully exploit rights for brands and major events; new playout model is designed to bring a new way of broadcasting, with the potential to interface to media assets and create a television station anywhere in the world; delivers to any broadcast format, with a high service quality from a highly resilient infrastructure; full disaster recovery is implicit.
Compact router has 11 BNC connectors that can be configured as either inputs or outputs; two SFP modules slots (small format pluggables) can be populated for additional inputs or outputs — fiber optical or electrical; Embrionix-powered SFPs — about the size of a stick of gum — let users choose the type of input or output connectors needed, including mini BNC and optical; includes a reference BNC for genlocking the unit to house sync; can be controlled via the dedicated front panel buttons, or from a computer or iPad via the on-board web browser interface; accepts 3G, HD and SD-SDI signals.
Slow-motion replay system is designed to provide enhanced story-telling capabilities by allowing the production team to capture the event from all angles, while never missing a moment of the action; these captured events can instantly be replayed or packaged after to re-tell and relive the moments of the event; features a highly scalable and flexible system architecture; supports 3G, HD and baseband I/O; an 8-channel system packaged in 2RU can provide more than 70 hours of high-performance, fault-resilient HD storage; control interface allows operators to create customized work surfaces for more efficient workflows.
Legalizer incorporates the company’s clobberRing automatic luma overshoot and undershoot suppression together with luma and chroma gain, black level adjustment, hue rotation, adjustable clipping levels and soft-clipping-knee levels; an out-of-gamut channel displays overshoot or undershoot severity and highlights the precise position of any signal correction being performed; provides automatic real-time control of perceptual loudness and true peak level; auto-detects the incoming SDI or HD-SDI video signal format and applies the appropriate legalizing format.
Signal processor offers multichannel routing between sources, as well as effective video and audio signal processing for line, relay, reporting, production, editing and delivery applications; supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, NTSC and PAL video formats; 10 3G/HD/SD-SDI inputs and outputs come standard, each synchronized independently for a clean switch; provides extensive audio support, with 16 channels of embedded audio for 3G/HD-SDI synchronous/asynchronous input and 12 channels for each synchronous SD-SDI input.
Raised access floor system is designed to offer effortless wire management; moves, adds and changes can easily be performed by in-house personnel, without the need for special tools; eliminates the need to run power, voice and data cables through the ceilings and down power poles; also makes it unnecessary to acquire integrated wire management from the systems furniture manufacturer; intended to be installed under every desk; ideal for the distribution of power, voice and data cables for new construction as well as retrofit; depreciable in seven years; open areas are installed at a rate of 1000sq ft per installer per day; all-steel construction.
With the company’s exclusive dual codec design, as well as built-in FTP and Wi-Fi connectivity, the ProHD mobile news camera allows live transmission or file transfers in the background as shooters continue to record footage in their normal workflow; when equipped with a Verizon 4G LTE modem, which connects directly to the camera via USB, the GY-HM650 can transmit footage to a broadcast facility in real time — no add-on boxes or backpacks required — while simultaneously recording a full HD file to solid-state memory cards; records HD or SD footage in multiple file formats; features a Fujinon wide-angle 23X zoom lens.
SDI to HDMI converter features 3D format support, making it an ideal tool for monitoring single-link 3D-SDI streams on a 3D HDMI monitor; this feature supports side-by-side, top and bottom, and frame packing 3D HDMI display modes; offers clean feed of the SDI video signal, burn-in windows for timecode, bit depth, video format, metadata presence indicators, AFD format codes and 16-channel audio level meters on the HDMI video output; includes H/V delay to view the horizontal and vertical blanking interval, as well as programmable safe area markers.
Media asset management system delivers its core functionality for archive, search and restore by being embedded directly within the desktop interface of Avid iNEWS and Associated Press ENPS newsroom computer systems; enhances the content creation power of a newsroom computer system by giving users rapid, direct, non-disruptive access to shared and archived content stored locally or at any bureau in their group; there are no external application interfaces for news staff to learn; technical processes such as archiving, conform and transcoding are automated and invisible to the user.
Media asset management system in a box combines efficient MAM technology with a robust storage platform of up to 64TB; offers multi-user features such as user groups and group access control, enabling content to be managed securely; access to the system is via a standard web interface; provides an easy upload and transcoding engine; incorporates a powerful search engine with rough-cut and sub-clip functionality to help users retrieve, select and download the necessary video material; thumbnails and low-quality browing versions are automatically generated, allowing users to find desired content in seconds.
Comprehensive broadcast management system for single, multichannel and multi-station media facilities; provides a high level of structure and flexibility, without sacrificing scalability, for today’s rapidly evolving media environments; interconnects Traffic, Scheduling, Sales, Engineering and IT departments; allows for the efficient use and repurposing of content; provides automated scheduling tools that simplify multichannel and multiplatform responsibilities; includes a robust collection of sales management features and reporting tools that provide teams with actionable insight, facilitating revenue-generating opportunities.
Low-power UHF digital TV transmitters support major digital transmission standards, including DVB-T, DVB-T2 and ATSC; sophisticated linear and nonlinear adaptive pre-correction ensures spectral compliance and a high standard of digital transmission performance; simple air-cooling and an efficient 185-264 Vac switching power supply make it suitable for all facilities; uses an advanced software-defined modulator, which provides options to upgrade the exciter to meet changing standards without replacing hardware; includes the NT150 150W UHF digital and NT500 500W UHF digital transmitters.
SMPTE fiber-optic patch panel is a 2RU, six-position, 45-degree enclosed breakout panel; available in several different configurations; each configuration meets specific customer needs for input and output connector types and genders for fiber, as well as electrical components; full enclosed panel is rack-mountable; features a backplane splice panel; available fiber connectors include LEMO male and femal SMPTE chassis mount versions (input), and ST, SC, LC and FC discrete fiber (output); available electrical connectors (output) include Molex and CPC.
Stitches the images taken by four HD cameras in real time to produce 4X wide (64:9) panoramic images; ideal for analyzing sports action; the entire field can be seen at once, so the moves and formations of all players are clearly visible; HD 4X resolution is sharp enough to make the numbers of all players easily legible, even when enalrged; installation is designed to be easy, with four AW-HE120WP/WE/KP/KE HD integrated cameras assembled into a single-rig configuration; a pan/tilt/zoom automatic adjustment function elminates the need to make adjustments among the four cameras; system is ready to use immediately after set-up.
Rugged HD video action camera is designed to feature ultra-sharp HD video, high audio quality and limitless mounting options due to its small form factor and all-round shape; features a weather-resistent, hard anodized, rugged aluminum housing for users to record and replay their extreme adventures; simple, ON/OFF and Start/Stop make the camera easy to operate; includes built-in LED and Vibration Feedback; offers One-touch recording; has a custom-designed, 135-degree wide-angle, f3.1 lens with anti-glare coating; streams full 1080 HD through its built-in HDMI out connector.
Rohde & Schwarz DVS
Future-ready Media Production Hub for highly optimized file-based TV production workflows; manages classic video server tasks such as HD-SDI ingest and studio playout combined with intelligent file-based features such as file ingest, transcoding and media transfer operations; features flexible handles the growing need for multiple video formats and codecs in a broadcast studio environment with its flexible multiformat video and codec pipeline for each channel; features an open platform and file system architecture; available in multiple versions with different chassis heights, channel numbers and storage capacities.
Is a combination of production switching with signal routing and distribution in the same chassis; the production switcher is at the heart of the routing matrix; up to two Carbonite Production Matrices can be added to the Carbonite eXtreme Chassis, providing two independent production systems in one; can be configured with an I/O of up to 144 x 144 in increments of eight; ideal for mobile production vehicles as it simplifies installation and operation, while also offering flexibility and cost savings; is available with any Carbonite control panel; destination-based signal routing control is managed with the company’s NK router panels.
Social media management tool allows clients to take control of social media, providing a single tool to create, publish and incorporate content from Twitter, Facebook or the web into productions; V5 rounds out the product with the addition of a one-time search engine and polling support; search engine enables users to quickly identify relevant social content; polling provides graph-based outputs of Twitter polls that can be brought to air using XPression graphics systems.
Ultra-compact, palm-sized, professional NXCAM camcorder is compatible with the latest full HD formats, including 1080/60p video; features a 26mm ultra wide-angle lens with 10X optical zoom and a back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor for versatility; features include flexible timecode/user bit settings and XLR audio inputs for high reliability and high sound quality; key feature is the newly developed Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system, which allows the entire optical black — from the lens to the image sensor — to “float” and absorb movement from the body.
Display calibration software is designed to precisely calibrate and manage ‘n’ number of displays in a display wall using the newly redesigned Calibration Record System; ideal whether users need to calibrate one display in a digital cinema or multiple displays tied together in a display wall; supports all of the known standards; is hardware-agnostic, so users can calibrate using the equipment they already own; additional benefits include exclusive pre-designed step-by-step calibration guides for single and multiple displays that require little calibration experience and a reporting system for documenting before and after calibration results.
Locking cords are designed to stay connected despite vibration or other accidental disconnection incidents; work with any standard IEC inlet; once locked into position, the chances of an accidental disconnection are greatly diminished; require no tools or hardware; cords are available in black, blue and white, as well as in various cable lengths; female C13 and C19 connectors are suitable for use with any standard IEC inlet; molded male plugs available include Schuko, UK, C14, C20 and 5-15; other male plugs can be customized upon request.
IP-video distribution and switching system gives stations the ability to ingest live video from the field via TVUPack or from local live studio feeds and simultaneously distribute the feed to other transceivers set up on the grid to receive the feeds; decodes video streams and then encodes the signal for distribution to other TVU transceivers; whether the live video feed originates from an in-house production facility or a TVUPack transmitter unit in the field, TVU Grid distributes the feed to one or multiple transceivers with as little as three seconds of latency; ideal for large broadcast networks and station groups.
Content verification software tool for file-based content automates quality check and control at every stage of the content lifecycle; along with Rapid add-on module, Pulsar can be used to perform quick scanning, QC, auto sorting and in-depth verification at any stage of the workflow; processes HD files at 4X real time; users can set up a Pulsar farm for high content volumes; users can perform technically complicated checks such as Digital Hits, Blockiness or Active Aspect Ratio; users can also make sure their media is in compliance with regulations and standards such as the CALM Act or EBU R128; has an intuitive interface.
Multi-purpose van/OB microwave transmission system combines ENG, cellular news gathering and SNG in one compact rack-mounted unit; combines both licensed and unlicensed RF technologies together within a user-friendly platform; provides multiple ways to transmit up to two simultaneous live videos anytime, anywhere; ergonomic programmable multi-function OLED pushbutton switches automatically configure themselves based upon the user’s desired mode of operation; use of OLED smart switches reduces front-panel congestion; user-selectable MPEG-2 or H.264 (AVC) encoding available in 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 profiles.
Monitoring platform meets current and future signal management and confidence monitoring needs from a single platform that can be remotely accessed and controlled from any web-enabled device; provides real-time streaming of content and metadata from locally installed, modular rack-mounted hardware devices that manage all I/O connections at their source; audio, video, captioning/subtitling, loudness, metada, MADI and MPEG stream monitoring and analysis can be performed from a single user-configurable software interface; future-proof modular design supports multiple I/O cards in a 1RU chassis.