Welcome to Broadcast Engineering's Pick Hit awards, the industry's longest-running product technology awards for broadcast and production. With a 23-year history, Pick Hits are the most prestigious technical awards given at NAB.

At NAB2007, a panel of independent judges toured the exhibition floor for three days, looking for innovative technology. They then met to make their selections based on multiple criteria, including the technical and financial improvements the products can bring to a facility's operation. Our editors and publishers have no vote in the selection process.

Congratulations to the following 40 manufacturers for their creative technology solutions!

Model 230

Aphex Systems

Analog, single-channel preamplifier and voice processor features RPA tube preamplification, Easyrider compression, Logic Assisted gating, split band de-essing, parametric EQ and Aphex's Aural Exciter and Big Bottom psychacoustic effects; the 1RU, rackmountable processor implements an XLR mic input and +4dBu output, a 1/4in TRS -10dBv output, 1/4in TRS send and receive insert, AES3, S/PDIF and optical digital outputs up to 96kHz, as well as Word Clock I/O on BNCs.

Final Cut Studio 2


Editing suite includes Final Cut Pro 6, which features Apple's ProRes 422 format for uncompressed HD quality at SD file sizes; Motion 3 enables the creation of 2-D and 3-D motion graphics in real time; Soundtrack Pro 2 allows multi-track editing, surround mixing and conforming sound to picture; Color ensures consistent color and allows the creation of signature looks; Compressor 3 enables the creation of pristine-quality output for a range of delivery formats.



Portable plug-in solution enables working in HD and SD in Apple's Final Cut Studio 2; via FireWire 800 interface, the Io HD supports Apple's ProRes 422 codec in hardware, enabling 10-bit video editing on a MacPro desktop or MacBook Pro laptop; offers SD/HD analog I/O, SD/HD digital I/O (including HD-SDI and HDMI), balanced analog and digital AES audio, RS-422, genlock with loopthrough, and LTC timecode connections.

Synergy HD


SATA II to FC RAID storage array designed for networking digital video systems in an Avid Unity environment; the system is certified with all versions of Avid Unity, from 3.3 through 4.2, without requiring software and hardware replacements; hardware RAID protection eliminates the need for storage mirroring for protection; units come preconfigured from 4TB to 8TB with two ports of 2GB FC; compatible with Windows, Mac OS 9 and X, Linux and most Unix systems.



When a suitable tally input is applied, the LED SMPTE/EBU time-code dis- display changes instantaneously from green (standby) to red (live or recording); features easy-to-read 2.25in digits that display HH:MM:SS A/P in 12-hour mode or HH:MM:SS in 24-hour mode; time-code input is taken from either vertical interval time code embedded in the video input or from linear time code; when a time-code source is connected, the clock will instantly set itself to the input time.

Ovation MD4000 series


Multidefinition video switchers provide full-function keyers on each M/E, downstream keyers, frame synchronizers and buffers, and options for partner product control; provide 2-D and 3-D DVE functionality for creating picture-in-picture perspectives and transition effects; configured with up to 16 analog or digital inputs and up to 16 simultaneous analog and digital outputs in HD or SD; switchers are built on a re-configurable platform.

Multibridge Eclipse

Blackmagic Design

Editing system features built-in 3Gb/s SDI connections, enabling twice the SDI data range than normal HD-SDI; connects to SDI, HDMI, component analog, NTSC/PAL and S-Video for capture and playback, with instant switching between SD, HD and 2K; offers 12 channels of XLR AES/EBU audio in and out, as well as four channels of XLR professional analog audio in and out; includes color management via built-in 3-D lookup tables.



Compressed transport stream automatic start switch offers signal providers the capability to design automatic redundancy into a system and alarm the operator when a problem arises; by constantly monitoring the incoming signal, the switch knows when the signal is no longer suitable for broadcast and automatically switches to the backup feed; fully integrated with the VistaLINK PRO NMS system; features two ASI inputs and one ASI output, as well as smart configuration of error threshold and switching rules to avoid false switching.



Program optimizer provides faster-than-real-time file-based encoding, decoding and transcoding of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby E bit streams, as well as MPEG-1 LII audio files; offers a single-step Dolby Digital to Dolby Digital Plus transcoder that preserves the metadata and minimizes tandem coding losses; allows the audio from existing media archives to be converted to next-generation broadcast formats.



Video stabilizer electrically corrects video shaking that occurs in cameras, as well as unsteadiness on prerecorded VCR tapes; corrects unsteady images in real time; automatically recognizes panning and zooming; can correct up to 40 percent in vertical or horizontal directions in relation to the screen; provides sub-pixel level correction precision; works by connecting video cables without the aid of special connections; its compact size makes it ideal for field applications.


Grass Valley

Nonlinear editor uses PCI Express acceleration and an interface board to deliver uncompromised editing quality on a standard PC platform; the base software is EDIUS Broadcast NLE 4.0, which supports multiple layers and multiple formats in real time; supports embedded audio; a breakout box is available for analog audio I/O, component video I/O and frame-accurate RS-422 VTR control.

tapestry 300r

InPhase Technologies

Holographic storage drive records 300GB on a single disk with a transfer rate of 20MB/s; enables broadcasters to record 35 hours of broadcast-quality (19Mb/s) video on a single disk in 250 minutes (160Mb/s transfer rate); offers a 50-year media life for archiving valuable video assets; uses write once, read many (WORM) media format, which eliminates accidental erasure or over-writing.


Grass Valley

With a high-res card installed, the A/V mixer simultaneously processes 15 sources: 12 SD, one scaled up from SD to HD, and two selected from HD video or computer inputs; upconverts to HD and downconverts to HD — even simulcast live SD and HD output; manages the mixing and timing of audio sources, ranging from unbalanced analog to AES/EBU signals; provides phantom power for four mics; ensures lip sync in live productions.

IQ 200

Isilon Systems

Clustered storage system is powered by OneFS operating system software, creating a single file system and a single, seamlessly expandable shared pool of storage; each 1RU storage node provides 2TB of storage capacity, as well as processing power and memory that adds to a global coherent cache; can scale from 6TB to 48TB in a single file system.

Channel ONE


Graphics playout server provides a one-stop system for creating, scheduling and airing complete television channels in HD or SD; integrates a playout server, graphics, animation, video, audio and real-time external data feeds, and master control functionality in a single chassis; allows the creation of professional graphics, video titles, custom animations, motion effects and 3-D text.

JTS Test Section

Jampro Antennas

Allows access to either the antenna or coax system without the need for a tuned elbow complex; available for Band I (Low Band TV), Band II (FM), Band III (Hi Band TV) and Band IV (UHF TV); can be used for termination or test equipment hook-up; includes fixed bullets for input and output, one flange O ring, hardware, pass through connection and test turn; port closure maintains impedance in normal mode.

ProHD Libre


Camera system features a JVC ProHD 200 series camera with a built-in Super Encoder that generates a high-quality MPEG-2 stream; also features the HD Mini-Coder, a camera-back transmitter from Broadcast Microwave Services that accepts the camera's compressed signal at 20Mb/s via IEEE 1394 connection, modulates it at 64-QAM and then transmits COFDM with an 8MHz bandwidth in the 2GHz channel.


Network Electronics

High-performance 40-channel DWDM multiplexer and demultiplexer has back-to-back insertion loss of 5.5dB, including connector losses; features C-band 100GHz channel spacing according to ITU-T G.694.1, ensuring interoperability with other standards-based DWDM systems; fits in a standard Flashlink frame; signals can be unidirectional or bidirectional; signal- and bit-rate transparent; 1.5dB channel uniformity makes the system ideal for unidirectional use with Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifiers.


Marshall Electronics

A 20in-wide HD monitor; features a completely digital TFT-MegaPixel active matrix LCD platform; digital signal processing features 10-bit A/D conversion of all analog signals, with 4X oversampling and five-line super-adaptive 2-D comb filtering of composite signals; multiformat compatibility accommodates virtually all video formats; advanced features include aspect ratio settings, a variety of screen markers and H/V delay.

Compact Router series


Compact Router family supports HD, SD, AES, AV, AA and data formats; available in 16 × 16 (1RU), 32 × 32 (2RU) and other sizes; 3Gb/s-enabled for future high-bandwidth requirements; routers and control panels are compatible with all NVISION control systems; routers operate via remote panel or local panel, or they can be controlled by an NV9000 or NV910 control system for integration into large routing systems; offers error-free signal switching and distribution in a space-saving package.

iControl RSM


Remote station monitoring system allows broadcast operators to monitor hundreds of signals across remote locations, over an IP network; combines the flexibility of iControl Web and the advanced processing and alarming capabilties of Kaleido multi-image processors; comprehensive signal probing alerts operators to multiple types of faults, including video signal loss, video freeze, video black, video luminance and audio silence.


Omneon Video Networks

Multichannel video server built on the same technology as the company's Spectrum media server; supports both HD and SD; supports up to six simultaneous video channels; contains 4TB of disk storage, enough for more than 200 content hours at 25Mb/s; all disk storage and I/O modules are contained within a single 2RU chasses; a standard configuration includes eight enterprise-class SATA disk drives featuring dual-parity RAID for added protection.

playKast + infoKast

ON-AIR Systems
+44 845 0942 612

playKast is a master control system for automated playout and live news production; infoKast is an automated playout system for the delivery of graphic information and live video; the combination of the two systems increases broadcasters' options for their info channels; users can control the information streams and time-based events using infoKast, while playKast can play out their media, including graphics and overlays, and can control infoKast switching.



Video/audio lip-sync and identification system is an enhanced version of the VALID system; allows A/V sync problems to be quickly and accurately diagnosed and rectified; new system now supports any HD or SD standard; the number of audio channels (inputs and outputs) has been increased from four to eight (four stereo); the output format/standard automatically switches to the same as that of the program input; the default format is user-selectable when the generator is in standalone or free-run mode.



Shoulder-mounted P2 HD camcorder features progressive 2/3in 3-CCDs; records in 32 HD and SD formats, including 1080i and 720p in 100Mb/s DVCPRO HD; records on removable P2 memory cards in 1080/60i, 50i, 30p, 25p and 24p; also records in 720/60p, 50p, 30p, 25p and 24p, as well as in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV; uses a digital signal processor with 14-bit A/D conversion and 19-bit inner processing that handles HD/SD format conversion simultaneously.



Media asset management system designed for Enterprise sQ and Newsbox HD systems; tightly integrated into the Quantel ISA database environment; a key component is Mission Central, which provides the core MAM database, keyframe shot generations, user log-on and production access; users have instant access into it via Mission Tracker, which uses familiar Quantel menus to search and display media assets and associated metadata.


Pixel Instruments

Line of lip sync analyzers detects a face in the video and then correlates selected sounds with their matching mouth shapes to produce a measurement of the lip sync error; the measured audio offset is displayed and updated periodically, and a history graph charts the most recent error profile; event logging provides a permanent record for scene-by-scene analysis; includes the LipTracker-SD101; LipTracker-SD102 and LipTracker-SDlite.

The Talon


Midsize, rugged and lightweight remote head designed for HD, film and broadcast camera systems; is precise, quiet and capable of smoothly controlling cameras with extreme zoom lenses; the motion is repeatable and frame accurate; features joystick control for pan, tilt and zoom; can record and playback up to 34 minutes and up to 2000 takes; offers programmable maximum speeds and smoothing for each axis, and programmable motion limits.


RED Digital Cinema

Digital cinema camera delivers 12 megapixels at up to 60fps; records in 12-bit native RAW format, 2X oversampled HD in 4:4:4 or 4:2:2; weighs 9lbs; camera is modular and upgradable; onboard or external high-res RED monitors come equipped with advanced tools for framing, exposure and focus; stainless steel mounting points on the body allow for hundreds of optional RED and third-party accessories.


SeaChange International

VOD distribution system enables film studios, TV networks and content aggregators to streamline VOD content delivery schemes with satellite transmission cost-efficiency and end-to-end fault-resilience; gives content providers full control of their asset libraries in cable headends; provides reports on content use and system performance; 128-bit encryption algorithms provide content protection throught the distribution process.


Rohde & Schwarz

Multistandard TV signal analyzer combines the functionality of a TV test receiver and spectrum analyzer; offers real-time demodulation; allows new television standards to be implemented on a software and hardware basis; suitable for commissioning, installing and servicing TV transmitters, as well as coverage measurements for terrestrial TV and measurements on CATV head stations; has a frequency range of 500kHz to 3GHz.


Snell & Wilcox

Automated content repurposing workstation enables broadcasters and content owners to master content once and concurrently repurpose it for multiple distribution platforms; combines image conditioning tools, content matering, quality control and content repurposing functionality to deliver high-quality images while reducing the time required for repurposing content for multiple media platforms.

Vision series

Ross Video

Production switchers handle SD and HD formats; all models share a common platform and common set of modules; the use of RGB buttons allows personalization of the control panel; a Dual-Display color touch screen allows the operator to view and control two menus simultaneously; features include built-in manuals, Linux-based OS and integration with the OverDrive control system; series includes five models, ranging from one to four M/Es.


Sonnet Technologies

Storage systems feature fast Enterprise/RAID hard drives; for added convenience and security, the swappable drive modules are compatible across the Fusion line; are compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 video editing software, and with video capture cards from AJA, Blackmagic Design, Bluefish444 and Matrox; systems range from the 2TB quad-interface Fusion 400Q to the uncompressed-HD-1080i-4:4:4-capable 6TB Fusion D800RAID.



Monitor consists of a 23in full HD LCD panel, a high-precision backlight system and a professional display engine used exclusively in this monitor; offers accurate color reproduction, precision imaging and quality picture consistency; features a newly developed color space selection function, a picture-and-picture display and an interlace display mode; can accept almost any SD or HD video format, both analog and digital.

Viz|Multi Platform Suite


End-to-end platform delivers real-time graphics and video content to Internet browsers and mobile devices; compositing of video and graphics happens directly on the viewer's display, with real-time, 3-D grahics rendered locally by each platform (phone or PC); this creates the highest quality graphic resolution and content that is both platform- and user-specific; is fully integrated within the Vizrt product suite, so a station's production workflow is unchanged.



HD and SD decoder supports all common HD and SD video formats; video is processed at either 4:2:2 or 4:2:0; decodes up to eight audio channels (four pairs) with analog and digital outputs, and embbed in SDI or HD-SDI; in its basic configuration, the decoder supports two independently programmable auxiliary data channels, asynchronous or synchronous; features an embedded Web browser interface to allow for easy command and control programming.

Touch-It Plus


Provides professional AV monitoring on a dual 7in wide-screen format using high-res LCD monitor panels with up/down tilt features; 3RU package pairs 12 composite video inputs with 12 thumbnail images, which appear on the left LCD monitor; selecting a thumbnail displays a full-size version on the target screen located to the right and switches the video to be the selected video output BNC; video inputs on BNCs have active loop outputs on BNCs.


VCI Solutions

Multichannel automation system is a suite of tools built on the Xe software platform; enables the scheduling, monitoring and playback of one, 25, 50 or more channel streams; provides the tools necessary to automate workflow and manage content throughout the digital supply chain, from point of sale to point of air; its scalability allows more channel streams to be added easily; uses off-the-shelf hardware and standard networking.

Digital Recording Wireless


Internal 12-hour, 24-bit loop-recording is an optional feature on the body-pack style TRX900 and TRX900AA, the TRX700 plug-on or the TRX800 handheld digital wireless transmitter; comes standard on the TRX990; audio is time-code referenced, recorded and played back on a removable mini SD memory card via commands from the IFB900 transmitter; the mini SD card is instantly removable and can be used in any standard SD card reader.