Editors’ Pick Of Show
NAB2003 was a good show, despite what many feared. Attendance was adequate, attendees were serious, and manufacturers tried to top one another for another great show in the desert. For links to the winners’ websites, see www.uemedia.com/CPC/article_7029.shtml. And as they say in Hollywood...the envelope please...
Alias|Wavefront: Maya 5
The ability to be more creative is what Maya 5 is all about. With increased productivity, unique image creation possibilities, more creative resources, new and enhanced import/export options, and greater extensibility, Maya 5 delivers.
Avid DNA: Family
Avid’s digital nonlinear accelerator (DNA) family is specifically designed for media processing. Built to maximize the performance of Avid|DS editing software, the big daddy of the bunch is Nitris, which supports up to 10-bit uncompressed HD formats. Adrenaline isn’t exactly a slouch, either—the new driving force for Media Composer and NewsCutter can stream uncompressed SD video over a IEEE-1394 connection. And Avid Mojo is a compact, portable solution for laptop DV editing that provides several realtime features. Now that’s some powerful genetic engineering.
Axcera’s DXA2B is a distributed transmission adapter that provides SMPTE 310 streams to two slaved modulators, which then distribute a signal that can be received by both legacy and advanced receivers.
BBC Technology: Colledia
While “media lifecycle management” might sound like a buzz phrase for the early 21st century, it is the key to a successful business model. Colledia comes in a variety of targeted flavors—news, sports, production, and control. And we weren’t alone in our admiration of the product portfolio—ESPN stepped up to the plate and is now the first customer of Colledia for Sports.
Bodelin: ProPrompter PocketPC Package
Whether your reporter would rather read his story than check his notebook on camera, or you just know your untrained talent will never make it through their script without some help, the ProPrompter PocketPC is a great solution. It’s small, lightweight, and uses an included PocketPC PDA as its source. That means you can make changes to the script in the field without a problem. Better yet, it means your boss can make changes and email them to you on the set. The system comes complete with the PocketPC camera-mounted mirror system and prompting software, and even a keyboard and mouse.
Broadcast Pix: Broadcast Pix Studio
We know how you hate switching cameras with a mouse and a GUI and long for the good old days of buttons and a T-bar. Well, Broadcast Pix Studio is going to make your day. This studio-in-a-workstation is built around a tactile (meaning real) control panel, but also includes a duplicate software control panel that can be controlled over the Web. And it has multiple redundancies to keep you on the air in case of...well...you know. Feel the joy with the included Inscriber CG, Pinnacle DVE, stillstore, and 10-bit video processing. Single-person production might never be the same.
BUF Technology: TCW Video Inserter Option for SPOT
You pushed the button and the server played the wrong clip...again. This is getting serious, your job could be on the line. Fear no more. With BUF’s TCW Video Inserter Option for SPOT, even an idiot couldn’t play the wrong clip (as long as the idiot could see and read). Remember the name you gave that clip when you put it on your server? How about seeing that clip name on the server’s monitor? Cool, huh?
Canon: DIGISUPER 100XS
The first triple-digit broadcast lens—and the longest. Officially the XJ100x9.3B IE-D, the 100XS is the centerpiece of the latest fleet of all-Canon equipped HD trucks from NCP, NEP, and NMT.
It’s not just a portable CG, it’s a portable Chyron. The SOLO system includes a laptop PC (with Lyric or CAL software) and a separate 3-pound unit that houses a PCMCIA card for CG and squeezeback. Its two video inputs (plus background) allow for “squeeze and tease” promos, as well as opens and other show graphics.
CineForm: Carlsbad Technology
If you build it, they will come. And they will need to edit. CineForm has taken a proactive stance on the impending explosion of HD videographers that will no doubt result from JVC’s introduction of the new JY-HD10U HD camcorder. Its Carlsbad Technology software allows editors to capture directly from the new camcorder and edit HD in realtime using Adobe Premiere 6.5, complete with transitions, titles, and effects.
DTV Multicasting. It’s a reality, but how do you deal with scheduling multiple channels and getting that information to your viewers? MediaStar is the first online scheduling application to support multicasting, allow communication with the leading PSIP system suppliers, including Triveni Digital, and facilitate realtime scheduling tasks from any virtual office location via the Internet. In terms of multicasting, MediaStar provides broadcasters with an efficient way to manage multiple channels of program schedules, including analog and digital multicast channels. Its PSIP component enables the EPG feature of PSIP without duplicating your workload.
Editware: Fastrack SE
Remember the days of linear editing? The Fastrack SE option (compatible with all existing Fastrack systems) adds a classic linear-style display next to the standard graphical timeline display. Using a second monitor, Fastrack SE presents a “work bin” (an enhanced traditional mark table) and an EDL that mirrors the Fastrack VS Graphical User Interface. The fully interactive connection between the linear display and the GUI allows edits to be created or modified using linear-style keystroke functions, while the timeline display updates instantly. Conversely, timeline changes are reflected immediately in the linear display.
Ensemble Designs: Avenue 8510 Audio Processor
The 8510 Audio Processor is a sub module option for the 8500 Video Processing Frame Synchronizer. The 8510 adds both analog and digital audio capability with a flexible architecture that addresses a wide range of audio handling needs:
When the 8500 is being used as a video A-to-D converter, the 8510 can perform the same function with the associated audio. If the 8500 is being fed an SDI signal with embedded audio, the 8510 can produce an analog output of that audio. When the 8500 is configured as an SDI frame sync, the 8510 can properly resynchronize the embedded audio content.
In addition to the automatic tracking delay, the 8510 has an additional bulk delay that is user adjustable up to 1 second in length. This delay can be used to correct lip sync errors that were already present in the original signal.
France Espace Développement: Ad-Space & Medex
Remember the editorial I wrote last November about Christophe Scherer from France Télévisions Publicité entitled, “The Smartest Man In Television”? Remember how I said that he was considering selling his company’s software for commercial management? Well, Christophe displayed the Ad-Space and Medex software at the SGI booth at NAB. Want the best ad management system bar none? Need a refresher? See www.televisionbroadcast.com/oldcontentimages/digitaltelevision/2002/november/expert_silbergleid.shtml
It’s the largest magnification, at 101X, and the widest triple digit lens available, at 8.9. The new XA101x8.9BESM features multiple moving zoom groups, which minimizes field curvature and reduces the size and weight of the unit. Plus, macro and focus fade are included so the lens can be remote controlled on wide shots.
Global Translation & Vitac: TranslateTV
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the show floor, this software-based godsend sends an important message—and in several languages. Without a live, human translator, TranslateTV decodes English closed captions in realtime, then translates the text stream and re-encodes the messages in another caption field. Your captioned programs can be instantly translated into eight different languages, including French, German, Japanese, and Spanish, which makes it ideal for reaching non-English speaking viewers. Mucho cool.
Grass Valley: C2IP
The C2IP almost had to win by default. After all, when was the last time we saw a major advance in camera control? Compatible with Grass Valley’s LDK series of cameras, the Ethernet-based C2IP (camera control over IP network) can remotely control up to 99 cameras. With one control panel (small in size so it’s great for trucks), you can adjust iris, gain, and other parameters for one camera, or make one adjustment that affects a group of cameras.
Grass Valley: M Series iVDR
What is an iVDR? It’s an intelligent VDR. The M Series does the work of multiple VTRs but does things a VTR can’t—like trim and create video clips and subclips. Or build playlists. Or exchange clips with news, graphics, and other applications. And with a VTR-like interface and removable media, this is one cool media machine.
Harris: Harris Resource Suite (hrs)
Want to take master control automation to the next level? The hrs brings together everything you need to automate labor-intensive processes, eliminate duplication of efforts, streamline asset management processes, and share media seamlessly throughout your organization. For example, with hrs’ digital ingest module, you can eliminate the need to re-keystroke metadata embedded in digital files delivered by Media DVX, Pathfire, DG Systems, and other digital delivery services directly to a server.
Ikegami: HDL-40 (CMOS Version)
Ikegami is the second company (the first is JVC) with the vision to bring Rockwell Scientific’s ProCamHD CMOS chip to market. Fair is fair—both companies debuted their CMOS-based HD cameras at NAB2003, so both get kudos for embracing the latest imaging technology. CMOS chips notwithstanding, the 4-pound box camera boasts some rather impressive features, including auto electronic shutter and time lapse capabilities.
And here’s the first company with the vision to bring Rockwell Scientific’s ProCamHD CMOS chip to market. The HD-CMOS box camera features an industry standard B4 lens mount, and would make an ideal HD POV camera.
Don’t you hate it when pompous magazine editors make dramatic claims about some little product that’s going to change the world? That said, this new camcorder from JVC is going to change the world. Why? Because it brings HD to the masses. Granted, it’s a 1-CCD camcorder, but it provides an HD acquisition solution for less than $5,000. It records in native 16:9 with MPEG-2 compression for HD, and also records in SD (4:3 with DV compression), all on mini-DV stock.
Leader Instruments: FS3018 Lighting Monitor
This nifty application for Leader’s LV5700 Multi-SDI Monitor is more than a lighting monitor—it brings measurement information to your PDA. The FS3018 software allows communication between your PDA and the LV5700, so you can monitor the camera picture and get waveform, vector, RGB, and other measurements in the palm of your hand while setting light levels.
Lectrosonics: MM 400A Digital Hybrid Wireless Miniature Transmitter
Got talent that’s tough on mic transmitters? Lectrosonics’ new MM 400A might be your answer. It’s not indestructible, but the waterproof, aluminum housing is built to withstand extreme conditions. Plus, inside its ruggedized exterior beats a heart of pure audio gold. It combines 24-bit digital audio with an analog FM radio link for extended range and outstanding sound.
Multidyne: HYDRA-8000 Series
In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a nine-headed water serpent that Heracles had to slay. Of course, after thousands of years of evolution, it would probably have 768 heads today. After all, Multidyne’s HYDRA-8000 can support up to 768 signals, including video, audio, data, intercom, and telephone, over one tactical cable. The modular system is available with a four-slot, 1RU tray or 10-slot, 3RU tray, and can use a variety of Multidyne cards for customized applications.
Panasonic: Solid-State Memory Card Acquisition Technology
“Balsa-cam” my ass—this thing really works! With Sony introducing their optical-disk system, Panasonic had the opportunity to show what they could do. As the best kept secret of NAB2003, Panasonic unveiled two working prototypes of its new solid-state secure digital (SD) memory card acquisition technology, which records on reusable memory cards. The technology uses DVCPRO compression schemes, so the technology will fit into your existing infrastructure. And the recording device features no moving parts, which makes it attractive for the folks in engineering. Perhaps most impressive, though, is that the system has enough bandwidth for HD acquisition, once larger capacity SD cards are available.
Panoramadtv: MONFlex LCD Video Monitors
Panoramadtv, the video division of Wohler Technologies, has brought flexibility to rack-mounted LCD monitors. Each monitor features an adjustable gooseneck, so you always get the best LCD viewing angle for your environment. Plus, you can have a variety of screen sizes (up to a 7-inch, 16:9 monitor) on the same unit, and they’re hot swappable. One more thing: The MONFlex base unit takes up only 1RU. That’s a lot of flexibility for a small piece of real estate.
Quantel: Newsroom Workflow Solution
While we were impressed by the benefits of generationQ, what tipped the scale in Quantel’s favor was that ESPN was more impressed than we were. Placing the largest single order in Quantel’s 30-year history for a supply of generationQ SD/HD server and editing technology, ESPN’s Digital Center will be the place to see how television should be done.
This Telex division had something that their users have been asking for—the RadioCom TR-825 belt pack, which takes wireless intercom to a whole new level of functionality. With its dual-volume controls, you can listen to the show in one ear and monitor the control room in the other at different levels, or you can split one feed for stereo monitoring. Up to four of the frequency agile belt packs can be used with the Telex BTR-800 base station.
Rockwell Scientific: ProCamHD
Two CMOS-based HD cameras were Pick Of Show winners this year, so it’s only fitting that the company that’s made the technology a viable player in the television industry be properly acknowledged. Congratulations to Rockwell Scientific for improving HD image acquisition (see previous mentions for Ikegami and JVC).
S.two: D.MAG System
Everyone wants HD footage, especially in the field, but field crews aren’t exactly known for their tender treatment of gear. Now, S.two’s D.MAG offers a rugged alternative for HD recording in the field. The portable system allows uncompressed 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 image acquisition, as well as six channels of digital audio. But the heart of the system is its most ingenious feature: removable disk magazines. You can fill one up with data, swap it out, and ship it to the edit suite, where it can be connected to your editing system and mounted in the rack for your convenience. Rugged, portable, brilliant.
SeaChange: Broadcast MediaLibrary
Hate all the different servers with different storage platforms in your infrastructure? The SeaChange Broadcast MediaLibrary not only unifies your storage in an open, scalable, centralized architecture, it gives you the freedom to select any manufacturer’s best-of-breed servers based on their application strength. This highly fault-tolerant on-line library protects all of your media assets, connects easily to hundreds of client servers, scales from 3 to 24TB of storage, and delivers content so quickly, users will think they’re accessing local storage. All this at one-third the cost of on-air storage.
Sigma Electronics: DATC Technology
Digital Audio Time Code (DATC) was created to address audio/video latency by developing timing data that doesn’t use video frame rates for comparison. Instead, it inserts time information into 250 blocks per second of the AES audio signal. Put simply, it’s a source of audio time code based on units of time, not video frame rates, so it’s video system independent.
Sony: Optical Disc Recording System
Sony introduced a family of blue laser-based products—two camcorders, a studio record deck, NLE companion deck, and a battery powered portable deck—that use the DVCAM and IMX codecs and offer i.LINK (IEEE-1394) interfaces. That means early adopters can start fresh with an entirely new system or seamlessly integrate the new components into current DVCAM or IMX operations.
SyntheSys Research: MVA3000
Need to test serial digital signals as per SMPTE 259M and SMPTE 292M? The MVA3000 provides two multiformat serial digital inputs, which may be switched between any combination of HD, SD, or ASI signals. The system will automatically detect and set which format, standard, and gamut setting should be used when performing analysis. Complete serial data format testing with an uncompromising SMPTE-compliant physical layer tests include an eye diagram with automated measurements and jitter FFT display that will provide the confidence needed to ensure conformance to appropriate standards. For added convenience, analog RGB and AES audio outputs are provided for monitoring the incoming serial digital video signal.
Telecast Fiber Systems: SHED
Telecast Fiber’s SMPTE Hybrid Elimination Device (SHED) allows you to use ordinary single-mode optical fiber for your HD camera links and venue/facility infrastructure and eliminate bulky hybrid wire/fiber cables. Simple and sweet.
Thales Broadcast & Multimedia: DCX Paragon
Thales is the first transmitter manufacturer to successfully utilize MSDC IOT technology in high-power UHF DTV transmitters. The DCX Paragon offers unprecedented leaps in transmission efficiency, incorporating numerous technical innovations and patent-pending technologies. The DCX Paragon is designed with a simple linear HVPS incorporating patent-pending Soft Arc Technology, which completely eliminates the need for a crowbar system and substantially increases the reliability of the transmitter.
Truly innovative, Fibertec features “channel” legs instead of twin tubes. The result of this design is a more rigid tripod, which optimizes the drag of a pan-and-tilt head, minimizes spring-back at the end of a move (and we mean minimizes), and reduces shake. But wait, there’s more. Throw in a mid-level spreader for even more stability. Then add clamps that are not only flush to the tripod but are designed to minimize breakage from videographer abuse.
Virage: News Monitoring Solution
Originally developed for the Department of Defense, Virage’s system monitors world events by monitoring media reports. It automates the labor-intensive monitoring process by scheduling, capturing, encoding, and indexing television newscasts. With its built-in, multi-language speech recognition, as well as closed caption extraction and a host of other really useful features, you can search, review, and playback relevant news packages through its Web-based interface. That means you (and your staff) can spend less time watching the news and more time reviewing the right news.