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05.14.2002
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
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SYPHA introduces new online camera guide

SYPHA has just launched a new online guide for professional digital video cameras at its Web site, http://SYPHAonline.com. The Pro Digital Camera Guide offers users free access to more than 70 product listings and covers professional studio and portable cameras and camcorders.

Visitors who use The Pro Digital Camera Guide can browse through a database of cameras or search for specific products by application, recording format, body type, interchangeable lenses, CCD number, size and type, aspect ratio, audio channels, weight cable/transmission type, digital interface, cost range and manufacturer or product name.

A summary description and contact details are provided for each product.


BBC launches Incite production suite

BBC Television's Factual Production Department inaugurated its premier Versioning Unit production suite based entirely on Incite Editor, SAN technology and Incite's hybrid editing features. The system was designed to meet the BBC's specific requirements by Gee Broadcast Systems Ltd., Incite’s dealer in the UK. Gee Broadcast supplied and configured the editing systems and 650 Gigabyte SAN storage network.

Suite collaboration

The production suite features Incite Editor workstations as well as secondary Incite Media Assistant stations sharing digitised media on a Storage Area network. The primary workstations come fully equipped with key Incite features. These features include Incite’s VLAN capabilities, VTR emulation, Incite Audio Plus and JLCooper remote control integration.

News and leisure/entertainment series

The stations will be used for post production, providing content to BBC 2 Daytime, BBC News 24 and BBC World, the BBC's two 24 hour UK and international news services, having a direct roll in three leisure/entertainment series: Saturday Kitchen, Talking Movies and a number of other series, such as Holiday, Top Gear and Airshow which the Unit reversions for its worldwide audience.

Parallel audio editing

Incite Audio Plus with Incite Editor's ability to cut video quickly, offers users a number of advantages. Live mixing and recording plays a principle roll in the production workflow, It allows dubs directly on the timeline in sync with video production, and gives thorough control over audio levels and effects like dynamics and parametric EQ. The audio card is equipped with the "Pyramix core", a software portion that allows the setting of the output parameters of the Audio Plus, like the limiter that guarantees the level setting required in BBC installations.

Training Center for Incite in Geneva

The Incite Training Center in Geneva, Switzerland, played a crucial role in familiarizing the editorial staff with Incite's basic editing interface. It provided instruction on the more advanced tools and integration features such as sharing media on a SAN network and working with linear equipment in a non-linear environment.


Dielectric celebrates 60th anniversary

Dielectric Communications marks 60 years of service to the broadcast industry. Dielectric was founded in 1942 by Dr. Charles Brown to manufacture products used in early radar systems during World War II. Since then Dielectric has grown into a global communications system provider with facilities in Maine, Indiana, Missouri, and California.

Over the years Dielectric’s growth has been fueled by a number of key acquisitions:

  • 1986-RCA’s TV Antenna Division

  • 2000-Harris’ TV Antenna Division

  • 2001-Central Tower, Ryan Construction, and TCI, International

Ownership of the company has also changed over the last 60 years. In 1968 Dielectric became a part of Sola-Basic, in 1977 General Signal Corporation acquired Dielectric and in 1998 the company became a part of SPX Corporation.

In addition to its foundation in broadcast and pressurization products, Dielectric’s offerings include tower manufacturing, tower mapping, structural analysis, tower reinforcement and maintenance; signal processing, and sensors.


Euphonix, Microsoft, sell HDCD processors

Euphonix has annnounced its first sales of the Model Two HDCD Processor since joining forces with Microsoft. Two units were sold to studios in Hong Kong at Air Limited and Jolly ProAudio. A third unit was sold to a private studio in the United States. Microsoft and Euphonix worked together to initiate the sales.

Under Euphonix and Microsoft's agreement, Euphonix will manufacture, sell and support the HDCD Model Two Processor, a high-resolution analog-to-digital converter designed for DVD and CD mastering. In mid-November 2001, the two companies began collaborating on marketing efforts to continue the growing adoption of HDCD (High-Definition-Compatible Digital) technology by top recording artists, producers and engineers worldwide. Microsoft acquired the Model Two with its purchase of Pacific Microsonics Inc., the developer of HDCD technology.


Core Digital Technologies installs SSL console

Core Digital Technologies has purchased a Solid State Logic MT Production (MTP) Digital Multitrack Console for installation in its all-new, all-digital, dual-broadcast live truck based out of Phoenix, AZ. Core Digital chose the console for its expanded capabilities and enhanced routing, as well as its range of features that will enable the truck to handle simultaneous high-definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) broadcasts.

The MTP features a built-in routing system. It also includes forty channel strips with two faders each which offer up to 80 faders addressing 160 inputs. Dedicated routing buttons provide flexible bussing of each channel to wherever the engineer chooses.

The new Core Digital truck will also include new audio and video gear. Equipment featured in the new truck are: The Telex RTSÔ AdamÔ Intercom System, Ikegami HD 12-bit CCD HK-790 and HK-79D cameras, Sony MVS-8000 4 M/E live broadcast dual HD and 601 live broadcast switcher, Sennheiser microphones and Genelec speakers.


IAB announces DVB conference speakers

The International Academy of Broadcasting (IAB) in conjunction with the DVB Project Office, has lined up an array of program speakers for this year's DVB World 2002 International Conference.

The conference, which takes place in Dublin, UK, March 6 and 7, will include experts from all aspects of digital broadcasting. The conference will feature:

  • Richard Green, Chief Executive Officer of US CableLabs. He will give his organization's vision of Digital Media Delivery.

  • Ismo Silvo will outline YLE's experiences of being the first to launch MHP services.

  • Albert Stienstra from Philips will discuss the opportunities for DVB and IP.

  • Georg Luettke of the European Information Communications Technology Industry Association (EICTA) will offer insight on the challenges of MHP in the mobile environment.

  • Daniel Sauvet-Goichon of TDF and Vice-Chairman of DVB Technical Module and Graham Mills of BT and Chairman of DVB Commercial Module will address the new challenges associated with DVB 2.0.

Other speakers include Sean Hayes of Microsoft, Bill Foote of Sun Microsystems and Panasonic's Wilfred Geuen.

For more information check out the DVB's Web site at: www.dvb.org/news/framesets/events-fr.html.


HBO uses Thomson's JupiterPlus upgrade, AccuSwitch

Home Box Office (HBO) now has eight on-air Cinemax channels using Thomson's AccuSwitch, the new frame accurate and deterministic automation enhancement for JupiterPlus.

AccuSwitch is available as a JupiterPlus Control System upgrade. It leverages the CM-4000 high performance control-electronics module. AccuSwitch, while connected to Venus video and AES audio routers, provides a high volume of switches (capable of a sustained rate of up to 200 crosspoint switches per frame, which are executed frame-accurately and deterministically.) This allows HBO to control HBO and Cinemax channels in a master control/presentation environment directly from their JupiterPlus Control System, without the need for a traditional master control switcher.

AccuSwitch performs the switches at exactly the frame that the automation system has scheduled, or in immediate mode, will always exeute a switch within one frame of receiving the command. This feature enables HBO to schedule deferred switches to occur at a specific frame and/or a specific point in time. The enhancement in performance substantially eliminates issues surrounding latency in switching and helps ensure HBO that switches will occur exactly when scheduled via JupiterPlus AccuSwitch which in turn controls their routers.


ATG designs new streaming area for BBC Technology

BBC Technology commissioned ATG Broadcast to design and construct a new Multi-Channel Streaming Area at BBC Television Center, London. ATG Broadcast has just completed the two contracts awarded by the BBC.

Omnibus Systems Colossus Automation was the center of the installation, with a custom-designed ATG Broadcast control panel which allows rapid manual intervention on any channel. Additional equipment included BBC Technology BNCS control, Omneon Video Area Network servers, Eyeheight PresTX presentation mixers and Zandar DX-16 multiviewers. Future expansion was a major consideration in the design of the system which allows extra transmission channels to be installed when additional capacity is required. The new installation is being used to transmit BBC CHOICE and interactive services.

The second contract encompassed new vision, audio and communication facilities for the BBC's TC3 studio, with a new control room suite. This was the first time that the BBC has awarded a combined refurbishment contract for all areas to one company. The contract covered the supply of the first digital audio system for a BBC TV Center studio. This included installing a 96-channel 128-input Calrec Alpha 100 digital console purchased by the BBC and options for a 48-track Tascam DA98/DA88 multitrack recorder.

TC3 is the third BBC TV Center studio ATG Broadcast has refurbished, the others being TC2 and TC5.


HPA hosts 2002 Technology Retreat

The Hollywood Post Alliance will present the seventh annual Technology Retreat in Palm Springs, CA. February 21 through February 23.

The 2002 Technology Retreat will include new display technologies, MPEG-4, the latest DVD developments, and disaster recovery. The latest plans from networks, and broadcasters, archiving demands, iTV standards, updates on rules, regulations, legislation, the ATSC digital television standard and multiple-format HDTV post will also be presented during the retreat.

Technology demonstrations include compression for everything from digital cinema to the Internet, a comparison of film and HDTV shooting, variable frame-rate video, shooting 2:4:1 video without anamorphic lenses and 24p audio technology.

For a program schedule go to www.HPAonline.com.


A.F. Associates provides technology consulting to Penn State and PBS Station WPSX-TV

A. F. Associates has been retained to furnish consulting services to Penn State University, located in University Park, PA. Penn State’s goals include integrating the University’s media facilities, comprised of WPSX-TV - Penn State’s Public Broadcasting Television station; WPSU - the University’s radio station; and World Campus - the University’s distance learning program, into one infrastructure.

A. F. Associates will perform a feasibility study, evaluating a facility upgrade from analog to digital; review and recommend appropriate and cost-effective technology and equipment, and offer Penn State archiving solutions that will enable all three entities to benefit from greater interactivity, improved communication and shared resources.

WPSX-TV is currently upgrading its transmitter to DTV, and will accommodate both standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) signals. The new digital facility will provide both a SD digital core with upgrade paths to both multi-channel SD and HD.

The World Campus is the on-line digital learning initiative at Penn State that serves students all over the world with distance-learning opportunities. In the learning community’s new facility, the staff, faculty and students will benefit from improvements in production facilities, computing and work spaces. Future objectives include an expansion to accommodate additional needs for other Outreach and Cooperative Extension units.

AFA provides engineering consultation services and solutions for emerging technologies including Internet broadcasting, storage area networks, multi-channel facilities and asset management. AFA also designs, engineers and builds advanced systems for the broadcast, cable, Internet, satellite, production/post production and corporate video industries. Turnkey systems integration services include: project management, engineering, documentation, detailed design, equipment procurement, pre-wiring, installation, and commissioning. AFA maintains headquarters in Northvale, NJ and operates offices in Burbank, CA and Tampa, FL.


CBC creates Olympic graphics with Chyron



The CBC will use Chyron's Duet graphics animation system to create graphics (above) for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has selected the Chyron Duet graphics and animation system and the Aprisa 250 integrated still and clip store for its graphic coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.

CBC will cover the Olympics 16 hours a day using a Duet SD in the main control room running Lyric(r) content creation software, 2 VGEs, mixer and internal clip player. An Aprisa 250 will be used for playing out and compositing over-the-shoulder graphics and moving backgrounds.

A dual channel Duet LE will be used in the main edit suite, and a single channel Duet LE will be situated at the Hockey venue. Messages can be created on either of the other machines at the Broadcast Center and made available to the third Duet LE at the Hockey venue.

Lyric and Aprisa Offline software running on a PC will be used for updating and creating messages and stills to the online DUET and Aprisa. CBC's graphic artists, who would normally be on site in Salt Lake City, will be stationed in Toronto creating graphics in a more controlled environment.


January Freezeframe

Name and date this VTR. Called a “Videocorder” it claimed “electronic editing” complete with the ability to “tape your material from other tapes, or off the air, or live camera and insert them into your pre-corded tapes with perfect synchronization.” Correct entries will be eligible for a drawing of the new Broadcast Engineering t-shirts. Enter by e-mail. Title your entry “Freezeframe-January” in the subject field and send it to:bdick@primediabusiness.com. Correct answers received by Feb. 17, 2002, are eligible to win.


HDNet broadcasts first HDTV from Afghanistan

The Broadcast News Networks (BNN) and HDNet are broadcasting the first high-definition television war reports from Afghanistan.



BNN reporter Peter Arnett and two crewmen broadcast high-definition television reports from Afghanistan using the Sony HDCAM700a.

Two crewmen, along with BNN reporter, Peter Arnett, will spend the next few weeks broadcasting news stories from the war zones in Afghanistan, Kabul and Pakistan. This is the first time a war has ever been broadcast in HDTV.

The crew is using the Sony HDCAM700a. The compact and 17lb. camera is designed to ensure reliable high-definition image and sound capture in the field. The forty-minute HD video recording in small cassettes is highly advantageous for a wide range of program origination and digital electronic cinematography applications.



The camera crew broadcasting from Afghanistan captures images with the Sony HDCAM700. The camera is compact and lightweight, designed to ensure reliable high-definition images and sound capture in the field.

Additional features of the Sony HDCAM700 include:

  • Lens commonality

  • A PowerHAD>> CCD with very low noise and a wide dynamic range to ensure image capture within a wide range of scene illumination.

  • Audio recording format with supports four channels digital AES/EBU audio. Camcorder provides two input channels with redundant recording.

  • Picture sharpness has a high horizontal MTF of 2M pixel CCD maintained up to 24Mhz luminance.

  • A Memory Chip "setup Card"

  • HD Color Playback

After capturing the images with the Sony HDCAM700a, the crew records the footage in Afghanistan and Peter Arnett writes his own script there, complete with sound byte notes. The footage and the script are then sent to HDNet editing studios in Denver, Colorado, where the show is edited to Peter Arnett's script.

As soon as HDNet receives the next show's tape and script, they edit the show to premiere the following day during prime time. Then the show airs anywhere from once to 3 times a day over the next week or more, until the next tapes arrive, and then the pattern repeats with the next segment.


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