Shortly before NAB Show New York, TV Technology spoke with Vinten’s Vice President of Product Management Karen Walker.
TV TECHNOLOGY: What technology trends do you anticipate will be “front and center” at NAB Show New York?
KAREN WALKER: I anticipate there will be a lot of trends around IP connectivity as well as some of the new ways VR/AR technology is being used. The understanding and reliability of IP is at such a level that it is now the standard in the broadcast environment, particularly in studios. IP devices need to have the ability to be located anywhere and talk to everything.Video will move to IP, it has to and when this happens it will be revolutionary. Right now, this is still not as seamless as it should be. With the introduction and popularity of applications like Pokemon Go, there is a resurgence in VR/AR . With this in mind, I think we will see more innovation around how VR/AR technology can be used.
Finally, there will still be concerns about traveling with batteries, and I think we will see new technologies launched to support this, such as Anton/Bauer’s HyTRON batteries, which are made with Nickel Metal Hydride.
TVT: What will be your company’s most important product news?
KW:We recently launched the Vinten Vantage, our new compact robotic head, and it will be making its U.S. debut at NAB Show New York. The Vantage just won an IBC “Best of Show” award and has created a lot of buzz because it’s quite revolutionary. The head itself can be controlled from our existing control system, and provides users with broadcast quality control and on-air movement for a camera and lens combination, which matches their existing studio equipment. The Vantage has a 10-pound payload head and is capable of supporting a box camera and ENG servo lens or even the latest pro-video cameras such as the Sony FS7 or Canon C100. The head is Ethernet-controlled and will have VR as standard to meet the new demand for VR tracking.
The Vantage answers a growing trend we’ve seen in the marketplace where studios are getting smaller, but the production value has increased. Likewise, cameras are also getting much smaller, yet more powerful than ever before. The Vantage meets these needs and gives our customers broadcast quality motion at a similar price point of the traditional PTZ.
TVT: How is your new product different from what’s available on the market?
KW: Currently, there are many PTZ-style solutions in the market, but these have limits ranging from the cameras they offer, the ability to color match to existing cameras and fixed lenses, which means you don’t have the flexibility to switch should the application change. So what happens if the color is off from one camera to the next or if you need to use a wide-angle lens? In this case, with a traditional PTZ, you’re limited.
The Vinten Vantage goes one step further than a PTZ and offers completely smooth movement that enables broadcast-quality video. Since it’s camera- and lens-agnostic, the head is compatible with traditional cameras and lenses as well as the latest pro-video cameras. Right now, no one is offering a solution like this to anyone, broadcasters or otherwise!
There are a few, small robotic heads on the market, but these have not been designed with the broadcaster in mind. In broadcasting, control of both the camera and robotic head is critically important. The Vantage is custom-built with the broadcast audience in mind. First, it can be integrated with the existing Vinten control systems, which most broadcasters use today. We have the ability to manually move the head with the joystick or have pre-programmed shots, which are, in most cases, fully synchronized along the axis. Finally, we’ve added a live-to-air tally indication into the head, so the talent always knows exactly where to look.
TVT: Did you attend last year’s show? Do you have a favorite restaurant or point of interest you can share with other attendees?
KW: NAB New York is one of my favorite shows of the year. I enjoy the energy of New York, and there are so many great places to eat! But for me, my favorite thing is meeting with customers. I always hear about interesting ways our products are being used. For Vitec Videocom, this is often where we begin to generate ideas for our next wave of innovation.