Robotics Tell New Workflow Story at Ross

IROIQUOIS, ONTARIO: In an effort to expand their market reach and round out their product offerings, Ross Video will come to NAB to introduce Ross Robotics, a new product line within the company, as well as show off new features within each of its core product solutions.

After Ross's acquisition of FX-Motion in 2011, the 2012 will be the year that robotics take center stage. The acquisition will bring the new Ross Robotics product line to the Ross booth, a solution that includes the Furio Robotic Camera System. Available as either a full robotics system (in the form of Furio Robo) or as a remote control version (Furio RC), the system is designed to control cameras and provide compelling visuals for virtual reality programs as well as in news and production studio environments.

The NAB Show will mark the debut of the Ross Robotics product line, which includes the Furio Robotic Camera System, available as either a full robotics system or as a remote control version. "A lot of existing systems are designed to take a shot, move to a location and then get another camera shot," said Jeff Moore, executive vice president and CMO for Ross. "The Furio robotic camera system allows [customers] to get motion in their shots."


The system is centered on a proprietary positioning system and rail-based tracking setup. At NAB, Ross will show the Furio Robo as it would be used in a live production studio with a single operator. The system consists of a pan and tilt zoom head, rail-based dolly system with elevator and IP-based control system. Its sister companion system, the Furio RC, is designed for applications in which an operator controls the camera system remotely using a joystick or via fluid head and foot pedals to move the camera along the rail.

"Regular news productions can now take advantage of virtual sets in their productions in a way that's a lot more practical now," Moore said. "Thanks to cost and the ease of use of these systems, it's a lot simpler to get off the ground with virtual sets and tie them in with automated production."

Ross continues to devote R&D efforts to its production switcher line, and that remains true in 2012, as the company updates both its Vision QMD and Octane high-end production switchers. New upgrades to software are designed to extend the integration between switcher, the Ross XPression Graphics System and the company's OverDrive Automated Production Control system. The goal is to streamline production tasks by tackling the CG requirements of sports and news workflows in a more efficient manner, the company said. Ross will also show off new Vision control panel modules, which are designed to accommodate additional external device control, and are targeted toward mid to large production systems.


For mid-range markets, Ross plans to show the new Carbonite C1M, a 1 MLE production switcher from the Carbonite Digital production line. This midsize switcher has 24 direct access source buttons as well as expanded multiviewer capabilities to offer greater monitoring flexibility and control over screen layouts and labels. In addition, audio playout capabilities have been added to the system's Media Stores for playout with animated transitions.

Jeff Moore, executive vice president, DMO, Ross Video In the production arena, Ross will show its OverDrive automated production control system topped by v12 software that offers a whole lot of tech swapping features: HotSwap to switch between OverDrive servers, DeviceSwap to manage sync rolling of video servers, and FrameSwap to allow two Vision switchers to be operated synchronously from a single OverDrive system. Likewise, support has been added for features such as traditional Chinese text, .5MLE Vision switcher models, and device status indications in GlobalView, the configurable GUI. On that same page, Ross will showcase the QuickTurn new media workflow, which enables improved workflow within a facility by allowing for concurrent creation of Web and broadcast streams.

Ross is also launching the Blackstorm server platform, an affordable production player with file based workflow support.

The BlackStorm 102P Playout Server is a 2-channel, HD 1RU video player that natively supports Quicktime and a selection of codecs. It provides an easy to use, user configurable and intuitive client/server interface fully integrated into the Ross DashBoard Control System. The 1RU chassis is designed to use off the shelf hardware and is built on Dell Server hardware. It supports file-based workflows with popular editing systems and graphics packages such as Final Cut, Adobe Premier, Avid Media Composer and Adobe After Effects.

The graphics marketplace will see enhancements to the XPression real-time motion graphics solution. With the debut of v4.0, users will be able to work without disrupting on-air operation and load multiple graphics projects simultaneously, as well as apply different styles to the same graphics in a rundown while in a MOS newsroom environment. As an example, a station can re-skin all the graphics used in a morning news show so they have the evening news look by using the XPression Remote Sequencer. There are new updates to the XPression Datalinq Server, which improves data handling; the addition of new XPression NLE plug-ins; and a new partnership with virtual set integrator Unreel, which has resulted in tracking software and new touchscreen GUIs for camera-tracking capabilities.

For vital behind-the-scenes equipment, Ross will showcase updates to its openGear 3G/HD/SD terminal equipment, including enhanced graphical layouts within DashBoard 5; and a new encoder in the form of the NWE-3G Nielsen Watermarks encoder, designed for Nielsen encoding, loudness processing for CALM compliance and Dolby encode/decode.

Ross will be in Booths N3807 and N4506 in the North Hall.

Susan Ashworth

Susan Ashworth is the former editor of TV Technology. In addition to her work covering the broadcast television industry, she has served as editor of two housing finance magazines and written about topics as varied as education, radio, chess, music and sports. Outside of her life as a writer, she recently served as president of a local nonprofit organization supporting girls in baseball.