My first day in the Big Apple

Last week I made the yearly trek to meet several clients in the New York City area. The annual event permits me to visit with NAB exhibitors and learn more about their upcoming announcements.

After an invigorating run around lower Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge, I had breakfast with Carolyn Archambault, a long-time friend and PR for a wealth of clients. One of the companies she and I talked about was Bridge Technologies.

This may be a new company to some Broadcast Engineering readers. At this year’s NAB convention, Bridge Technologies will be exhibiting in Sencore booths SU4412 and N2530. Bridge Technologies develops and manufactures analysis, measuring and monitoring solutions for the broadcast and telecom industries.

The company’s VideoBRIDGE series provides an advanced platform for those services using stream-based IP packets. Compatible with stream-based industrial standards such as MPEG-2, H.264/AVC and ETSI TR 101 290, the VideoBRIDGE series offers an end-to-end system for the continuous quality assurance of a network containing streaming media services.

Among the new products Bridge Technologies will be showing is its VB270 Module. Focused on the international market, the VB270 supports QPSK with both DVB-S and DVB-S2 demodulation. The unit is DiSEqC 2.x-compliant and provides SNR, BER monitoring, analog and carrier signal level measurements. With 10-30Msymb capability for DVB-S and DVB-S2, users will find it a full-featured solution.

Need a CG?

Looking for a new CG? You might want to visit with Compix Media (exhibiting at NAB booths SL4805 and SL5105). The company has been active in the IP and TV markets, but will be showing some new high-end solutions for broadcasters at NAB 2009.

The first of the three new products to be highlighted at NAB is the CYNERG HD. The new CYNERG HD is a broadcast-quality, dual-channel HD CG, focused on broadcast, sports, professional, educational and government markets. It is capable of simultaneously outputting graphics in either SD-SDI or HD-SDI and is housed in a small 4RU chassis.

The single-chassis CYNERG HD also can brand multiple video streams with different overlay material. This permits users to caption two different program channels at once. Additionally, because the data required to create and playback graphics is common to both outputs, users need only maintain one set of graphics data.

The company’s second new product is called Channel Brander. The new 1RU Channel Brander is a full-featured, stand-alone CG supporting automated template-based graphic generation and real-time graphics overlay of live SD or HD video. A compact footprint and rugged chassis construction make it ideal for sports venues, EAS, remote and outside broadcast, SNG/ENG, and digital subchannels.

The Channel Brander comes in three models: analog (SMPTE 170M-compliant), digital SD-SDI (SMPTE 259M-compliant), and HD (SMPTE 292M-compliant with 720p/1080i support). The system passes all required closed-captioning, VBI, HANC, VANC and embedded audio systems requirements.

Echolab keeps driving new technology

In today’s marketplace, any company that reaches 35 years must be doing something right, and Echolab is one of those companies. Nigel Spratling and his crew at Echolab (SU2302) have been really busy this year. The company is introducing 3Gb/s support for the 1080p60 format in its Overture MD switchers. Because most content production requires a mix of formats, having a switcher that is capable of handling all of them without a costly and cumbersome mix of outboard format translators is a real plus. With internal analog-to-digital conversion and frame sync, the Overture MD enables a compact, streamlined and cost-effective production workflow.

Other products that will be shown in the Echolab booth include the Overture1 and Overture2 production switchers. These one and two M/E (respectively) switchers are ergonomically-designed multidefinition video production systems providing a comprehensive range of intuitive tools to produce stunning effects.

They provide four M/E keys and two downstream keyers, enabling title keying for graphics, logos and bugs. The company’s Stinger and SuperSource keys make it easy to achieve expert transitions with minimal effort. The Stinger transition is a special Take Block keyer with combined mix/wipe and graphic control that reduces complex animated transitions to a single button press.

The SuperSource crosspoint allows the operator to build a custom layout using DVEs and graphics and then assign the composition to a crosspoint button. A DVE key in each Take Block enables instant transition effects. The Overture systems offer four channels of DVE with warp and lighting effects, accept up to 32 multiformat analog and digital signals, and provide as many as 16 multiformat outputs.

DIVAsolo arrives

The last company I visited with on my first day in NYC was Front Porch Digital (SU6117). You may recall that it acquired SAMMA Systems back in October 2008. The combination of Front Porch’s content storage management and SAMMA’s expertise in tape and archive has created a unique application solution. The result is an automated and efficient way to move videotape content onto a digital platform while creating a usable library with the Front Porch archive tools.

Making its international debut is Front Porch Digital's DIVAsolo. The name may not be flashy, but the result is. DIVAsolo is the world's first all-in-one migration path from legacy videotape to content storage management using secure, high-density data tape or disk. It combines three proven technologies — a migration appliance called SAMMA Solo, DIVArchive and DIVAdirector — to create a reliable, scalable and cost-effective system to generate and move archives of all sizes. This really is a unique combination of specialized technologies that solves a growing problem facing most content producers — what do I have, and where is it?

Stick around; more about my NYC trip is coming.