NYC press conferences: OmniBus, Utah Scientific and Telecast Fiber Systems

The next stop on my pre-NAB press conference tour was OmniBus, exhibiting at booth SU5417 at the NAB Show. I remember when Broadcast Engineering's IBC Pick Hits judges tried to award a Pick Hit to OmniBus for its iTX back in September 2008. The problem was, the company wasn’t ready to announce the product and had only shown it to a limited number of attendees. Our judges were well ahead of other convention awards.

Broadcast Engineering readers will recognize the iTX as an enterprise-class automation system that provides a configurable and responsive end-to-end solution for a wide array of operating environments — ranging from mobile to IPTV and from centralized multichannel operations through to single-channel stations. Building upon its extensive SD capabilities, iTX now delivers 1080p24 and built-in Dolby 5.1 capability.

Other feature sets that will be demonstrated at NAB 2009 include OmniBus iTX NEWS. This product provides a speedy, flexible and responsive solution for today’s rapidly-evolving multiformat news environments. The product allows users to easily ingest and edit together SD and HD sources and then combine them into a common playlist with other material, including user-generated content and effects. The iTX architecture streamlines the output of multiple versions of the same playlist for SD, HD, Internet streaming, mobile TV and other platforms, with automatic transcoding and distribution of content.

The company’s iTX BCP is a specially configured variation of iTX designed for business continuity (disaster recovery) applications that includes media replication, fully redundant mirroring and remote operation after evacuation.

iTX On-Demand is a new version of the system that simplifies the process of creating VOD material by allowing broadcasters to transmit conventional channels and save VOD-ready content from the same iTX workflow and hardware, without having to reingest or reformat material explicitly for VOD use.

iTX On-Demand can be used to create everything from low-resolution files for Web download or mobile phones to HD MPEG-4 files with Dolby surround sound for IPTV applications. The flexibility of the IT-based platform, combined with the iTX software video/audio processor, provides a full set of features to support OTA transmission.

Sneak peak at Utah Scientific

Don’t miss the Utah Scientific booth (N3531) because the company will be launching a new line of small routers, distribution amplifiers and associated products targeted at the growing market for professional-quality solutions in smaller broadcast and nonbroadcast facilities.

With a pricing structure designed to make these products attractive to resellers and system integrators, the ProProducts series includes fixed-frame and modular routers and DAs for all signal types, including the new 3G HD format. It also includes a full-featured sync and test signal generator with options designed for all professional video applications.

I can’t reveal more now, but this is a must-see booth at NAB.

Telecast Fiber continues to be innovative

Telecast Fiber Systems always seems able to come up with new problem solvers, albeit often with unique product names. This year’s new solutions include “Mini-Mussels.” No, they're not a food, but a set of cool universal enclosures for modules that can be mixed and matched to provide highly-customized, portable fiber-optic solutions. Mussels come in single-, two- or four-module sizes and can be equipped with integral optical power metering, informative system LED indicators and an assortment of powering options. OK, the name may be weird, but the solution is on-target.

If you need to produce 3-D video, check out the company's HDX-3D. In response to the growing interest in 3-D HD production, Telecast adapted its HDX hybrid elimination device to accommodate stereoscopic camera systems from Ikegami and Sony. Using local power, the HDX-3D provides power and optical connectivity to two camera heads, making 3-D acquisition easier than ever. It also supports HD cameras from Panasonic and Thomson.

Another new product is the CopperHead INF, a camera-mounted FO transceiver for the Thomson Grass Valley Infinity camcorder. It enables the Infinity to be used as both a camcorder and an HD-SDI multicam production camera. The compact CopperHead INF fits between the camcorder and its battery, delivering bidirectional HD-SDI, composite video, audio, intercom, genlock and camera control between the camera head and the remote base station over a single lightweight, battlefield-rated fiber-optic cable.

Optionally, remote powering of the camera is possible using SMPTE hybrid fiber cable. The 1RU base station integrates easily into any studio, mobile truck or portable flypack and plugs directly into the facility’s switcher, router, intercom and house sync systems. In addition, it permits “iso-recording” on each camcorder’s internal REV-PRO drive during multicamera productions, allowing for additional post-production editing without the need for expensive studio-style recorders.