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NAB: 3Gbps, 3D Key to Ross Roadmap

Despite the challenging financial pressures facing the broadcast industry in recent years, Ross Video has averaged a close to 20-percent increase in annual revenues.

Jeff Moore, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Ross Video, attributes the company's strong growth to their development of cost-efficient products that optimize and automate their customers' live production capabilities.

NAB will mark the North American debut of Ross Video's Vision Octane HD/SD live production switcher "Our broadcast customers want to increase the amount of live, local programming they provide their viewers, including news, sports, and event coverage," said Moore. "They realize that maintaining a strong, local presence contributes greatly to their value in the marketplace."

At NAB booth N3807 in the North Hall, Ross Video will fill its 5,000 square-foot exhibit space with many "new products and upgrades that will underscore our support for 3Gbps signal processing, automation, MOS integration, and stereoscopic 3D live production, among other advancements," Moore said.


NAB will mark the North American debut of Ross Video's Vision Octane HD/SD live production switcher, which packs 8 MLEs (Multiple Level Effects) into an 8RU frame. As one of the largest switchers on the market, Octane supports 96 inputs and 48 outputs; and 56 keyers and 24 channels of 3D DVE with warp capability. The Canadian Broadcasting Consortium used nine Vision switchers for their coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Vision Octane also has up to 12 AuxKey outputs, with mixer/keyers on each. "This feature addresses the growing trend to output video from the switcher to feed on-set monitor displays in very demanding live applications," Moore said. "The way we've designed the aux bus outputs allows them to generate visually interesting content without tying up the main MLE's on the switcher."


At NAB, Ross will also demonstrate the integration of real-time 3D stereoscopic HD capability with its Vision Octane switchers. The 8 MLEs in the Vision Octane offer sufficient capacity to handle the processing of the left eye and right eye streams that produce the stereo 3D video illusion.

"We know there are some cable channels launching with stereo 3D, and they will require live production equipment that can handle it," said Moore. "This is about making it easier to switch and mix stereo 3D HD on the fly with 3D DVE effects." Two separate signals, an input for the left and right eye, are tied to two MLE's respectively, and processed as a pair seamlessly throughout the production.

Stereo 3D is also a feature of Version 3.0 of Xpression, the HD character generator and graphics platform that Ross Video unveiled at last year's NAB. Xpression 3.0 software processes and outputs real-time stereo 3D, including real-time stereo 3D graphics and data feeds to populate stereo 3D templates, as well as automated features and enhanced MOS workflow integration with newsroom computer systems (NRCS).

Ross will also showcase Version 9.0 of its OverDrive live news automation production system, now with a new GUI concept called GlobalView, which exploits the additional workspace of widescreen displays and allows for user-configurable layouts. Version 9.0 also adds new features like NKeyer support, NRCS CG timer support and many new MOS device interfaces.

Also new at NAB is Version 3.0 software for the Ross compact CrossOver digital production switchers, now featuring an integrated multiviewer that allows eight sources, plus program and preview, to be displayed—essentially putting a video wall on a single monitor for space savings and cost efficiency.

Ross Video is also adding AI Recall to CrossOver switchers, which intuitively manages resources to maximize the capacity of the small switcher. "When operators are building their mix/effects, it looks ahead and thinks about what's on the air and recalls sources safely to preview in order to protect the on-air product," Moore said. "This makes this small switcher far more flexible and powerful."

Also on display at NAB will be Version 4.3 of Ross's SoftMetal 3000 Series Video Servers, now giving the clips and video server (with up to 14 TB of storage) 4 I/O capacity, and native support of 3D stereoscopic play-out and record. Version 4.3 also adds VDCP control protocol over Ethernet and AMP automation control support, as well as Unicode character support for languages such as Korean and Chinese.

The Ross openGear HD/SD terminal equipment platform now supports 3Gbps across the entire product line. It also supports a new 21-slot frame with free Ethernet for setup and configuration, as well as a CWDM addition to its fiber line up, to put up to 16x 3Gbps signals on a single fiber optic cable.

As an open architectured platform, openGear boasts a large community of partners, including Telecast, Sierra Video, Wohler, Telecast, Cobalt Digital, Norpak, Ward Beck and Blackmagic Design, that develop cards with specialized applications that can be inserted within the openGear router frame.