TV Technology Europe Announces 2011 STAR Awards from IBC

Sister publication TV Technology Europe has announced the recipients for its STAR Awards, presented at the IBC show. The STAR Award (Superior Technology Award Recipient) is designed to celebrate and showcase the preeminent technological innovations available to the broadcast industry. The winners of the 2011 STAR Awards are:

AJA introduced Io XT, the company’s first Thunderboltenabled professional video I/O device. Io XT connects to a Thunderbolt enabled Apple computer via a single cable. An additional Thunderbolt port is provided, allowing daisy-chaining to other Thunderbolt peripherals like high bandwidth storage and high-resolution displays through a single interface; simplifying the connection of multiple devices and creating a very portable package. In addition to the wide range of supported capture and playback formats, the Io XT can unify disparate formats via its 10-bit hardware Up/Down/Cross conversion capability.

The Angenieux Optimo 45-120 PL mount lens PL mount 45-120mm T2.8 Optimo zoom lens has been designed for 35mm film and the latest digital cameras. Available in metres or feet, its focus ring has got a 320° focus rotation with more than 50 precise focus witness marks and minimal breathing. This lens complements the other Optimo zooms – the Optimo 28-76 and Optimo 15-40 – to create a three zoom lens system with total combined focal range of 15-120mm.

Argosy added a Fibre Optic Cleaning Tool set to its range of broadcast cables and studio infrastructure products at this IBC. Designed to clean SMPTE and traditional Telco fibre optic connectors on cables and those located in panel adaptors, this tool uses a dry cleaning strand that wipes and lifts any dirt or residue away without the need for solvents. A full ‘clean’ can be performed in one extremely simple operation, and an audible clink indicates completion. The SMPTE camera cable tool also delivers the benefit of allowing users to clean connectors without the need to remove alignment ferrules.

In addition to the company’s field recording equipment lines, Atomos is also marketing an ultra-small signal conversion unit, the “Connect,” which took home a STAR Award. The units can be battery or AC powered, are smaller than a pack of cigarettes, and provide quality in-field 3G/HD/SD/HDMI conversion capabilities. The Connects even include a builtin flashlight for locating cables or other hardware in low light conditions.

Blackmagic Design’s new Heavy Duty Mini Converter was featured in a dramatic demo video on stand, where a tank rolled across the operating converter and it kept on working. See that video on Blackmagic’s website. The unit is precision machined from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminum, and features scratch resistant laser etched labelling, non slip rubber feet, and a dust resistant rubber boot covering the configuration switches from dust and dirt.

The new Mica system from Broadcast Pix harnesses the native HD technology from the company’s Granite systems, while integrating video and filebased content so even a single operator can create compelling live productions. It includes a multi-definition switcher that can mix eight HD/SD-SDI inputs with seven channels of internal clips, animations, and graphics.

Cobalt Digital’s 9257 1x9 MADI audio distribution amplifier is a card-based solution that provides a quick and easy way to transport audio between vehicles without the need for fibre. Up to 20 input channels of the scalable DA, developed for the openGear open-architecture platform, can be installed in just one frame.

Powered by Digital Rapids' Kayak application platform, Transcode Manager 2.0 features intelligent, logic-driven workflow automation; dynamic licensing; and elastic scalability with support for both on-premises and external clouds. It’s scalable from small transcoding 'farms' to global media processing operations, integrates with a variety of thirdparty QC tools, and features easy custom integration with its comprehensive API and open development platform.

The Evertz Magnum Vue user customizable graphical interface visually unifies the MAGNUM control experience. The MAGNUM control system is designed to unify the control and operation of the routing core, master control, production switching, transport and multiviewer in a modern facility by bridging these components within the broadcast path under a single point of control.

The new Karrera video production centre from Grass Valley is a lowercost HD switcher platform. It is a fully digital 10-bit, 4:2:2 video switcher with up to 96 inputs and 48 outputs. It features HD/SD SDI signal support with (optional) up/ down/cross converters on selected inputs and outputs, and six keyers in every full M/E.

The Electra 9000 multi-codec, multi-format video encoder from Harmonic simultaneously supports broadcast, mobile and web formats in a 1-RU chassis. It integrates easily with existing broadcast infrastructure and enables new multiscreen services. Operators benefit from a streamlined headend operation, with several critical functions for broadcast, mobile and web video brought together in a single platform. The Electra 9000 maximizes bandwidth efficiency and channel density by providing up to four audio/video processing modules per chassis.

Harris won a STAR for its integrated DVB-T2 system that allows a broadcaster to get on air quickly. The solution includes a compact video headend, digital transmitters and test and measurement equipment, bringing together a variety of company strengths that allows customers to quickly get on the air with DVB-T2 broadcast services. The new Selenio product is also part of this picture, and at IBC, Harris showed a new DVB-T2 Gateway built into the Selenio platform, supporting maximum redundancy and easier control and monitoring.

Uk firm IPV showed its comprehensive solution to fully integrate Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 into news and sports workflows for fast turnaround packages. IPV’s Curator production asset management and workflow automation system, coupled with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 allows live growing frame-accurate proxies to be streamed directly into Adobe Premiere Pro across a standard IT network. This, together with full access to the Curator database, provides freedom for quickly producing fast turnaround highlight packages, promos and the management of an entire media archive directly from your desktop.

LiveU unveiled its LU40i handheld live HD video solution for the online media market. The LU40i complements LiveU’s flagship LU60 live video transmission solutions. Featuring up to six network connections, the bonded LU40i offers 4G LTE/3G, WiMAX, Wi-Fi and LAN video transmission in a very small form factor. It was used during the recent IBC2IBC marathon cycle ride discussed on page 4.

The Matrox MC-100 Mini Converter, a dual SDI-to-HDMI mini converter that supports a wide range of display resolutions through 3G, Dual Link, HD, and SD-SDI, manages SDI signals in monitoring, distributing, switching, multiplexing, or other applications. The portable unit can be used as an HD-SDI switcher, a distribution amplifier, a multiplexer, or a 3D processing unit.

The Miranda iTX Enterprise Suite streamlines "back-end" operations, and mitigates the risks associated with airing files from different external sources and often in a wide variety of formats. With Enterprise Suite, playout operators are able to review, normalize, and approve file-based content before it goes to air. This drastically lowers risks during playout, and allows playout operators to confidently increase their channel counts.

The VideoiPath from Nevion is an integrated hardware/software solution for managed video services. The same Web-based management component that can leverage Nevion’s Flashlink products in an optical networking or remote production broadcast environment can also be used with the established Ventura products for IP-based video networking in a service provider environment. The company also announced a remote production implementation of the VideoIPath solution at Onside TV in Sweden, for their Klubb TV coverage of interviews and colour material for the Swedish Football Association.

Oxygen DCT’s Evolution Pro P3 multi-format LCD monitor boasts a unique onboard HD recorder, as well as a host of useful camera set-up facilities. They have already been acquired by renowned Pinewood Studiosbased Movietech, which has become the first rental house to adopt the Evolution P3 Series in the UK.

Riedel offers a way to connect live signals from remotes to the studio, or to connect foreign studios with a home facility. Based on Riedel’s own global backbone, the RiLink Global Fiber Service transports more than just the HD/SD-SDI video signals that would be furnished by satellite links – it also provides additional features like voice communication and Internet access.

The THU9 UHF transmitter family from Rohde & Schwarz offers outstanding efficiency, a flexible configuration, and high power density. The transmitter can handle all common digital and analog TV standards. R&S used innovative approaches for transmitter system configuration to achieve efficiencies of up to 28 % for COFDM standards and up to 30% for ATSC standards. Attenuation was significantly reduced throughout the whole RF chain, and the amplifier integrates advanced efficient power transistors in 50 V LDMOS technology. Specially developed power supplies also allow the transmitter control unit to optimize the transistor supply voltage, which results in higher efficiency, and the liquid cooling system’s pumps adapt to needed coolant flow, saving energy and extending transmitter life.

Snell’s Vega flexible routing platform allows users to configure any signal port independently for fibre or coax connectivity, and to configure any signal port as either an input or output. It provides a very flexible asymmetric routing solution within a space-saving 2-RU 96-port router. Vega has 96 signal ports on its rear panel. The fully asymmetric I/O port designation of the platform enables the user to configure the router with just one input and 95 outputs, 95 inputs and one output, or any combination in between. The use of small fiber plug-in modules and/or miniature coaxial connector types also means that this innovative design yields 50 percent more signal ports than a conventional router of the same rack height.

Energy efficiency was the order of the day in the transmitter field, and Thomson’s Futhura Plus high-power units offer broadcasters substantial savings, with a 50 percent improvement in efficiency over current standard units. For use in initial deployments or for extending existing digital networks, the UHF wideband Futhura Plus offers high-power capability suitable for HDTV and 3D services, with up to 35-percent transmitter efficiency and marketleading power density of up to 12.6kW OFDM. Equipped for all OFDM standards in the UHF frequency band, the Futhura Plus features Thomson’s latest software enhancements for the exciters, and a range of passive components including RF filters and new RF channel combiners.

On the EMEA Gateway stand, Tightrope Media Systems showed its ZEPLAY multichannel instant replay platform, built to be more open and accessible than other replay systems. Features include four dedicated HD/SD SDI video outputs, a built-in multiviewer, a controller purposebuilt for replays, clip melt/export, and sequences functionality.

The Viewcast Niagara 7550 streaming media appliance features impressive processing power, allowing customers to deliver video in multiple adaptive formats simultaneously with a single streaming system. The 7550 takes advantage of the latest multi-core processing technology, greatly expanding its adaptive streaming capabilities. It enables users to simultaneously leverage multiple adaptive streaming formats, including Apple HTTP adaptive streaming for Apple iPads and iPhones, and Adobe Flash dynamic streaming.

The Wohler Presto video switcher makes 16 3G/HD/SD-SDI video channels readily available for monitoring and straightforward switching via integrated OLED push-buttons. The Presto was actually released at NAB and replaces Wohler's Touch-It Digital multichannel video monitor and controller. It offers a compact 1-RU solution with 16 OLED screens, each of which serves as a switching button that displays the video stream from any source.