Canon Canobeam Beams in the New Year at Times Square

As 1 million celebrants watched the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, a Canobeam DT-150 HD video transceiver from Canon U.S.A. relayed live television images of the crowd to a second Canobeam DT-150 HD at street level.

From there the historic “bird’s-eye view” HD video was transmitted to TV audiences around the world. This video, captured by an HD camera outfitted with a Canon DigiSuper 100xs long-zoom HD lens, was sent wirelessly via free space optics by the DT-150 HD.

The DT-150 HD video transceiver provides reliable bi-directional, uncompressed 1.5 Gbps transmission of embedded digital HD video, audio, and camera-control signals on a single HD-SDI stream with no delay. Bexel Broadcast Services supplied and integrated the Canon Canobeam DT-150 HD video transceivers used in the telecast.

“New Year’s Eve in Times Square is a high-RF environment, both from all of the broadcast networks covering the event and the everyday crowding of the radio spectrum in Manhattan,” noted Tom Dickinson, general manager of Bexel. “It works a lot better to just be able to link the pair of Canobeam DT-150 HD units together and not have to worry about coordinating all the frequencies in Manhattan.”

The DT-150 HD is the newest member of Canon’s series of point-to-point free space optics transceivers that use infrared light to bridge gaps in high-bandwidth transmission situations. It can relay embedded HD-SDI and SD-SDI video from multiple cameras or other HD/SD video sources, along with embedded return video and audio to the camera operator, camera-control signals and robotic camera-control data. It has a range of up to one kilometer and features Canon’s exclusive auto-tracking feature to maintain beam alignment despite vibration due to wind, rain, or unsteady platforms.

“We have been using the Canobeam DT-150 HD video transceiver at several events over the past few months—for college football, auto racing, and other sports—and they’ve all gone very well,” said Dickinson.

Bexel used the same pair of transceivers later that week at the BCS National Championship college football game in New Orleans.