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Summary

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Editorial

Pan shot Keep informed about what’s happening

Wireless production, way beyond wireless cameras! UHD, much more than 4K Resolution and signal transport Test Area

GV Korona K-Frame V-series Double K, the winning combination Test Area

LaON Technology LT750 expert Not just a Wireless Intercom

Editor in chief Javier de Martín editor@tmbroadcast.com

Editorial staff Daniel Esparza press@tmbroadcast.com

Key account manager Cristina Feduchi

Administration Laura de Diego

international@tmbroadcast.com

administration@tmbroadcast.com

Creative Direction Mercedes González design@tmbroadcast.com

TM Broadcast International #53 January 2018

TM Broadcast International is a magazine published by Daró Media Group SL Centro Empresarial Tartessos Calle Pollensa 2, oficina 14 28290 Las Rozas (Madrid), Spain Phone +34 91 640 46 43 Published in Spain


Editorial 2018 begins with great expectations for the Broadcast sector. The market keep growing, as shown by the increase on business volume or the numbers of the increasingly numerous international fairs. TM Broadcast will keep an eye to all the trends and developments that this year will bring us: the progress of IP technology, the expansion of OTT platforms, the technological improvements of Pay-TV operators to satisfy the growing demand of consumers, the adaptation of broadcasters to perform services in Ultra HD, the evolution of immersive techniques such as 360ยบ... We certainly have a promising future in front of us. Therefore, we are already working on many of the contents for this year that study all these issues in depth, with the assurance that they will have the maximum interest to all our readers. Thus, we started the year with a magazine full of first-rate content, made by ourselfs as always. Such as an article on wireless production, analyzing specific cases such as its application in sporting events such as motorcycle or cycling; a broad review on UHD (resolution and signal transport), which will be completed in the coming months with additional information on this same topic; and two deep product tests on the Laon LT750 intercom system and the Grass Valley Korona K-Frame V-series video mixer. February will bring us one of the first important appointments with the sector: ISE. A trade show with great growth in recent years linked to the installation sector has an important value in boosting our sector, especially in Europe. Naturally we will be there to tell you every day news of interest and preparing a wide dossier with the best information that will published in the magazine. See you in Amsterdam in a month!

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LIVEU: DATA TRAFFIC FOR LIVE VIDEO OVER IP HAS DOUBLED OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS LiveU has offered new insights into the growth in live IP video traffic in the broadcast market, reflecting the transition away from traditional satellite transmission towards cellular. Based on data from LiveU’s global customer base (over 2,000 customers in over 100 countries), the findings reveal the full extent of the surge in demand for live content, geographical differences in video acquisition behavior, the move to HD and more. According to LiveU’s internal report, data traffic for live video over IP has doubled over the last two years, with around 1.5 million live broadcasting hours delivered by LiveU in 2017. The average live stream per customer is 2.7 hours per day. With the advances in HD video quality, HD 720/1080 video traffic now accounts for almost 80% of all traffic delivered this year and there has been an increase of over 120% in live HD sessions compared to 2016.

The average broadcaster/content creator live session is 38 minutes The length of video sessions has also increased with geographical differentiations worldwide. While the average broadcaster/content creator live session is 38 minutes, Western Europe and Africa show the longest average sessions at 46 minutes. In general, Africa has seen a move away from satellite to cellular bonding, with cellular often replacing satellite in some countries such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. This can be explained by the strength of the region’s 4G networks and the lower costs offered by cellular. Some broadcasters are also creating multi-camera productions using TMBi - 6

cellular transmission units. LiveU’s data shows the reliability of bonded cellular with 79% of all bonded video now delivered over cellular networks only (wired internet connection, WiFi and satellite accounting for the remaining share). The worldwide average uplink speed for video acquisition has reached 4.5Mbps, with developed areas experiencing approximately 9Mbps on average.

“We believe growth in 2018 will come from this transition, broadcast cloud services and HEVC” Samuel Wasserman, LiveU’s CEO and cofounder, said, “What stands out in these findings is the transition away from traditional transmission methods to cellular bonding. This trend is gaining even greater traction with our LU600 4K HEVC solution offering broadcasters and other content creators unmatched quality and reliability.” Wasserman concluded, “We believe growth in 2018 will come from this transition, broadcast cloud services and HEVC. Bringing higher quality with even greater reliability to the market, HEVC enhances our technology’s use across multiple genres. We’re already seeing its use increase beyond news, with our global customers looking to deploy the LU600 HEVC solution for live sports and other vertical segments.”


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AJA VIDEO SYSTEMS HAS ANNOUNCED THE AVAILABILITY OF THE IO 4K PLUS AJA Video Systems has announced the availability of the Io 4K Plus, a Thunderbolt™ 3 capture and output device, as well as free Desktop Software v14 for its family of KONA and Io products.

Io 4K Plus Io 4K Plus brings post production professionals flexible 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 I/O connectivity and advanced audio. Harnessing the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3, Io 4K Plus supports 4K/UltraHD and HD large raster, high frame rate, deep color and HDR workflows. Compatible with the latest 4K/UltraHD devices, Io 4K Plus also includes AJA’s proven conversion technology for real time, highquality scaling of 4K and UltraHD to HD for monitoring and output. In addition, it supports Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Apple® FCP X and Avid® Media Composer®, TMBi - 8

among other standard creative tools. Io 4K Plus feature highlights include, according to the company: - Portable 4K/UltraHD and HD/SD capture and playback across Thunderbolt 3 - Backwards compatibility with Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 hosts - 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 I/O for 4K/UltraHD and 2K/HD/SD with HFR support up to 60p at 4:2:2 (on Thunderbolt 3 hosts) - Real time 4K/UltraHD to 2K/HD down-conversion - 8-, 10- and 12-bit 4:2:2 and 4:4:4 over 12G-SDI or HDMI 2.0 workflow support (on Thunderbolt 3 hosts) - Two Thunderbolt 3 ports for easy daisy-chaining of up to six Thunderbolt devices - Audio I/O: 16-channel

embedded SDI; 8-channel embedded HDMI; 4-channel analog audio In and 4channel audio Out via XLR break-out

Desktop Software v14 Desktop Software v14 introduces support for Io 4K Plus, in addition to new enhancements for AJA KONA and Io products that simplify 4K/UHD and HDR workflows, and broaden audio capabilities. Providing editors with greater control and integration between timeline audio, host system application audio and microphone inputs, the release enables simple, adjustable audio mixing, monitoring and recording. Post professionals can review and play audio files from multiple locations – including locally stored files, or via a MAM or web browser – in project timelines, and record voiceovers to existing media on the timeline.


GRASS VALLEY APPOINTS TIMOTHY SHOULDERS AS NEW PRESIDENT

As 2018 begins, Grass Valley will be guided by a new president—Timothy Shoulders, a member of the Belden team since 2011. Shoulders was appointed president effective January 1, transitioning from his previous role as vice president and general manager of Belden’s global Industrial Cable business. Prior to that, he gained valuable insights into the broadcast industry as leader of Belden’s global Broadcast Cables business following a stint in the company’s Enterprise Connectivity platform. Shoulders will report directly to Roel Vestjens, president, Industrial Solutions & Broadcast IT for Belden. Shoulders has an extensive background in finance and accounting, including managing corporate finance functions and forecasting and reporting for large, diverse businesses. During his time with Belden, he’s led numerous M&A projects, integrations and cross-business initiatives, gaining expertise in the Belden Business System. He will be based in Grass Valley’s worldwide headquarters in Montreal.


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BROADCAST SOLUTIONS IS GOING TO CELEBRATE TWO EVENTS IN FINLAND AND SWEDEN

Visitors will have the chance to learn about Remote Production, IP-technology, HDR and 4K/UHD

German System Integrator Broadcast Solutions GmbH takes its Broadcast Innovation Days series to Finland and Sweden. The company starts the year 2018 with two events, one in Helsinki (January 30) and one in Stockholm (February 1). Registration is possible free of charge at TMBi - 10

www.broadcast-innovationdays.com. A detailed program will follow soon.

as well as hands-on

With the two events, Broadcast Solutions will inform members of the local Broadcast industry about the latest trends in Live-TV production. With a mixture of lectures, an exhibition area

about Remote Production,

demonstrations, visitors will have the chance to learn IP-technology, HDR and 4K/UHD as well as Immersive Audio, wireless and satellite communication and innovative Broadcast workflows.


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“Wireless (R)evolution” How do broadcasters build state-of-the art facilities making use of the latest technology, support current and in-progress standards to ensure future interoperability and avoid proprietary technology dead-ends. How can Live-TV broadcast providers encompass industry standards that leverage the latest IP technology to meet today and tomorrow’s market

requirements at the highest efficiency and quality. What are the latest developments and installations using hybrid or fully IP-based solutions for remote production? A further priority topic will be the “Wireless (R)evolution” with presentations on the evolution from traditional analogue point to point microwave systems to the latest revolutionary IP-based Mesh networks. Visitors will learn how this technology

revolutionizes the industry while there is still room for traditional technologies. And how is Broadcast Solutions counsel its customers using the latest VR-technologies? These and even more topics are to be treated at the Broadcast Innovation Days in Helsinki and Stockholm. Broadcast Solutions will be joined by companies such as Grass Valley, Genelec, ChyronHego, SAM, Satmission, Engström, Streamplay and Phabrix.


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NEP SWITZERLAND DESIGNS THE FACILITIES OF MYSPORTS CHANNEL A new Swiss sports channel is broadcasting live coverage of all ice hockey matches in the Swiss National League, along with matches from the Russian KHL and the Swedish Hockey League. Called MySports, it also carries Bundesliga football, handball, basketball, winter sports and large eSports events broadcasts. Having begun broadcasting from its headquarters in Erlenbach near Zurich in midNovember, MySports is now producing its programming from a Broadcast Center in the former Schärer factory on Lake Zurich and a satellite studio in Rossens. TMBi - 12

NEP Switzerland is responsible for the planning and construction of the complex, and is in charge of day-to-day operations acting as a production service provider. Working with German system integrator Broadcast Solutions, NEP Switzerland has set up a 1,000-sq-m, 4K/UHD studio complex that includes a Playout Center in Zurich. This runs 20 live channels, including four 24/7 channels and two 4K/UHD channels.

The Rossen studio produces all French MySport programming The Rossens studio, meanwhile, produces all French MySports

programming in cooperation with the Zurich site. NEP Switzerland manages signal management between both locations using an IP networked production environment. The Erlenbach location houses a fourcamera studio with production rooms, commentary booths and playout centre. The Rossens studio also uses four cameras, and is remotely controlled from Erlenbach. This facility also includes editing rooms and commentator desks. Video, audio and intercom signals are sent from Erlenbach to Rossens and vice versa. In Rossens, the French version – including


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studio production and commentary – is prepared and sent back to Erlenbach. As an example, the Rossens video wall in the studio takes its feed from Zurich, and the studio programme is then sent back to Zurich for production. The production process in Rossens, including camera operation, is remotely controlled from Erlenbach. For the MySports production, 40 HD-SDI and four UHD streams are sent

between Zurich and Rossens via a multicast network. The storage in both studios is constantly synchronized across both locations. Each studio has its own EVS servers, located in Erlenbach, which are synchronized via a central storage unit. For audio signal transport, both sites are linked by a Ravenna/AES67 audio network.

redundant 100 GigE fibre-

For robust data transfer between the two sites, two

infrastructure, is unique in

optic connections are available as WANs. With the two production locations and the Playout Center all fully 4K/UHD capable, MySports boasts one of the most modern studio complexes in Switzerland – its broadcast and IT technology, and the coordination of the two sites via a WAN network Switzerland.


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XTRMX INTEGRATES WITH THE AVID MEDIACENTRAL PLATFORM XTRMX, an innovator in remote collaborative video editing and review solutions, announced that they have signed an Alliance Sales Agreement with Avid®. As an Avid Alliance Partner, XTRMX has integrated its product portfolio, which includes the XTRMX media engine, xView multi-user video review, and ediX remote editing, with Avid MediaCentral® and Avid Media Composer®. “We’re sparking a real revolution. With XTRMX, it’s as if you are sitting in the same room with the editor. Users from different places can communicate directly to get immediate approval, and even control the system to make the actual edits directly in the timeline,” explains Harel Ram, cofounder of XTRMX. “Media Composer does not need to upload or download media or even have it rendered and, reviewers do not need the editing application on their desktop. XTRMX provides a gateway into the Avid system so the reviewer can both see and comment on material as well as edit media, whether they are in the next edit bay over or halfway around the world. TMBi - 14

It’s an immersive experience that redefines collaborative post.” XTRMX’s innovative video review media engine xView and the ediX remote editing platform are to be certified by Avid and will be available soon through the Avid Marketplace and covered by Avid’s sales network in more than 140 countries worldwide. Ed Caracappa, Avid Sr. Director Global Alliance elaborates: “The solution offered by XTRMX delivers on the need to manipulate and review media wherever it is, simultaneously and instantly. This new paradigm is well aligned with Avid’s commitment to offer the most comprehensive tools and workflow solutions to create, distribute and optimize media. Our relationship with XTRMX will

foster the development of a compelling integration with the MediaCentral Platform that will result in faster time to air and significantly, simplified and shortened creative and production pipelines. Once development and certification have been completed, XTRMX’s products will be available for sale via the Avid sales network. Avid is committed to continued growth of our Alliance Partner Program and is excited to have XTRMX be a part of it.” XTRMX has created a distributed system that leverages the full power of all workstations involved in a collaborative session. As a result, the image quality, responsiveness and ergonomics of the platform perform as if the software is installed on each of the user’s workstations, allowing


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remote users to work together on their remote content simultaneously and instantly. “This is a fundamental game-changer to the media industry. We designed XTRMX to become the backbone for any collaborative media manipulation. With the value of the worldwide media market estimated in the tens of billions of dollars (USD), and with the potential applications in otherindustries, we’re forecasting the earning potential of this revolution to

be in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” states Ram.

XTRMX system delivers media content on demand by streaming The XTRMX framework is powered by an on-the-fly transcoding and processing engine that delivers media content on demand by streaming, without uploading or downloading the source itself. XTRMX relies on a secure and low-latency

protocol (less than 40 millisecond latency) developed in-house, allowing every user in a collaborative session to be in sync with other team members. Any change applied by any user is automatically reflected on all other users’ in the session.


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BNC ADOPTS XT4K SERVERS AND DYVI SWITCHER FROM EVS To provide the European and global rental markets with better access to the latest 4K-enabled production equipment, broadcast service provider BNC GmbH has purchased eight XT4K servers and two DYVI live production switchers from EVS. Following the deal, which will also see the delivery of several other live production tools, BNC GmbH will deploy the live production technology for global sporting events in 2018. The new XT4K live production servers will replace the six XT3s currently available from BNC GmbH and the DYVI switchers will be the first in its inventory.

BNC’s consumers can now use the XT4K to bridge the gap when shifting to higher resolution workflows “As the industry shifts to new, higher resolutions, we wanted to make sure our live production equipment supported this migration, so the decision to deploy XT4K servers was an easy one to make,” said Enrico Ganassin, BNC GmbH’s CEO. “At the same time, the XT4K provides our TMBi - 16

switchers from EVS after using them at previous events. “It’s our team of operators who are the ones using our equipment in the field,” EVS XT4K server

added Enrico on the deployment of the DYVI

customers with more 1080p channels, giving them the capacity to do more with less because they can deploy just one XT4K instead of two XT3s.” The XT4K allows users to deliver four flexible I/O channels of uncompressed UHD-4K and natively supports both SDI and IP connectivity. Users can deploy the servers in both HD configurations as well as UHD-4K, so they can use the server to bridge the gap when shifting to higher resolution workflows.

switchers. “It was on their recommendation that we purchased EVS’ live video switchers, because they can direct live productions more easily and focus on more creative aspects of their roles. All of this while delivering the technical reliability we expect from EVS technology.” In addition to the XT4Ks and DYVI switchers, BNC GmbH has also taken delivery of two XFile3 systems, an Epsio Paint and

DYVI switchers

an Epsio FX. The XFile3

BNC GmbH’s new DYVI switchers have been put in place because their software-defined nature twins an easy-to-operate experience with a flexible technical architecture for better live video switching, according to BNC. The company’s operators specifically requested DYVI

transfer engines allow users to send files to archive workflows during live events. The Epsio Paint and Epsio FX live tools give operators the ability to enhance live replays and highlights with graphics and telestration effects on-the-fly in HD and UHD.


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JÜNGER AUDIO ADDS DANTE™/AES67 AND MADI CONNECTIVITY TO THE C8000 SYSTEM German manufacturer Jünger Audio has launched new combined Audio over IP and MADI modules for its C8000 audio processing solution, giving broadcasters an interconnection to wellestablished MADI audio and emerging DANTE™/AES67 AoIP production environments. With Audio over IP becoming an integral part of broadcast infrastructure, Jünger Audio pursues ensuring that its customers who already use the company’s C8000 modular processing system for audio processing and loudness control can connect seamlessly to a DANTE™ or

AES67 compatible AoIP infrastructure.

C8315 and C8316 dual interface cards can be used as a direct bridge between AoIP and MADI Jünger Audio’s new C8315 and C8316 dual interface cards, which will be shipping from February 2018, provide 64 inputs and outputs for the DANTE™ network and support operation in AES67 compatibility mode. As an additional feature, both cards are also equipped with an independent MADI interface. Through a special 1:1 hardware mode they can be used as a direct bridge between AoIP and MADI

without occupying the C8000 system’s audio busses. The two new cards differ in the assembly of the MADI interfaces with BNC sockets (C8315) or an SFP cage (C8316), for the use of optical modules in multi- or single-mode optical fibre operation. As an additional feature the C8316 version is equipped with a parallel MADI BNC output.


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VALOSSA AND ACCURATE PLAYER PARTNERS TO OFFER RICH METADATA SOLUTIONS FOR MEDIA INDUSTRY Valossa and Accurate Player have announced a sales and technology partnership. Valossa will integrate its video AI technology into the Accurate Player, enabling the player to natively visualize Valossa’s metadata extraction. The combined solution of Accurate Player and Valossa will enable companies to automate inappropriate content recognition down to a frameaccurate level. The offering will also enable search and retrieval of archival footage for repurposing. The two Nordic companies will conduct joint sales and marketing efforts to scale their global expansion, mainly targeting media and entertainment firms. TMBi - 18

“I am delighted to announce our partnership with Accurate Player. The integration of Valossa’s core expertise in Video AI and Accurate Player’s strength in UX-focused metadata visualization from Media Asset Management systems will provide a powerful bundled solution for the media industry,” said Mika Rautiainen, founder and CEO of Valossa. “We see customers with increasing needs for video search and sophisticated explicit content recognition, and with Accurate Player’s best-inclass workflow solutions, we can deliver a comprehensive quality compliance product for the broadcast industry.” “Flexibility and customizability are two traits that Valossa & Accurate

Player share. Both offerings can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud and can also be tailored to meet specific customer requirements,” noted Jonas Sandberg, CEO of Accurate Player. “Content compliance regulations are very market specific. For example, the FCC sets the policy in the US while the AVMSD calls the shots in Europe. On the other hand, workflows are organization specific. Our ability to cater to the individual customer and market needs makes our solution stand out from the others. The partnership with our friendly Finnish neighbor is a good indication of how our respective expertise can combine to benefit broadcasters.”


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US MILITARY ADOPTS DIGITALGLUE’S MPEG-4 HD SET-TOP BOXES Inview Technology, the broadcast/OTT software and service specialist, and DigitalGlue, a systems integrator, equipment provider and software developer for the production and distribution of digital video, have announced the launch of DigitalGlue’s new MPEG-4 HD set-top boxes used by the American Forces Network (AFN). Inview’s middleware, integrated on all of the new DVB-S2 set-top boxes, provides a compelling user interface, twin tuner PVR – to enable viewers to record multiple television programmes and enhanced EPG information. In addition, there is an extensive roadmap of features planned for this product such as Video

Advertising, Messaging and Push VOD. Over 20,000 set-top boxes have been manufactured and those that have been deployed are currently being sold through DigitalGlue’s affiliate eCommerce site (affiliate.digitalglue.com) as well as military retail outlets and its eCommerce site.

Military’s global broadcast infrastructure is turning from standard definition to high definition The launch coincides with a planned switchover of the military’s global broadcast infrastructure from standard definition to high definition in order to improve the picture and sound quality of its eight

(HD video) channels. “We are delighted to have played a significant role in enhancing the military’s viewing experience around the world. We are looking forward to continuing our work with DigitalGlue to deploy more innovative services,” said Diego Martinez, SVP Americas at Inview. Ray Rodriguez, Director, System Integration at DigitalGlue commented, “DigitalGlue and Inview have formed a great partnership which has led to the successful launch of the new HD set-top boxes and start to the switchover. AFN has gone live on two of four regions. The remaining two regions are scheduled to be launched over the next six weeks.”

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TASCAM JOINS SENNHEISER’S “AMBEO FOR VR” PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

Sennheiser has announced that the TEAC Corporation and its TASCAM brand of professional video and broadcast equipment is joining the “AMBEO for VR” partnership program. Created to ensure seamless production workflows and interoperability for VR, AR and other 3D content creators, this Sennheiser program includes collaborations with manufacturers of field recorders, VR live cameras, live streaming software, mixing plug-ins and VR platforms. TEAC has released new firmware for its TASCAM DR-701D six-track audio TMBi - 20

recorder. Version 2.0 of the firmware now includes the Sennheiser A-to-B converter for recording the A or B format from the Sennheiser AMBEO VR Mic. “Sennheiser warmly welcomes the TEAC Corporation to the AMBEO for VR partnership program,” said Véronique Larcher, AMBEO Immersive Audio Co-Director at Sennheiser. “We are proud to have their TASCAM DR-701D audio system on board, as it is a product held in high esteem by content creators across the globe. Thanks to the new firmware, the TASCAM recorder now fully supports the AMBEO VR Mic for recordings in A or B format

Ambisonics.” “For years, TASCAM has supported audio professionals in the areas of video production and broadcast, and we are proud to partner with Sennheiser AMBEO to support the rapidly growing world of VR,” said Yuji Hanabusa, President and CEO of TEAC CORPORATION. “The addition of Ambisonics support to our industryleading DR-701D will enable yet another dimension of creativity for DR-701D owners and will help to shape the future of digital entertainment, education and information sharing.”


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RIEDEL PLAYS A KEY TECHNICAL ROLE AT THE NATIONAL THEATRE IN LONDON The theatre is using Riedel products in its stage adaptation of the 1976 television news satire “Network” Riedel Communications’ MediorNet, Artist, and Bolero are playing major behind-thescenes technical roles at the National Theatre in London, and Riedel will reveal that story in early 2018. But, as the year starts to wind down, the company announces that the theatre is using the same Riedel products as stage props in its highly anticipated stage adaptation of the 1976 television news satire “Network.” “Network” is the story of Howard Beale, an out-ofcontrol news anchor played by Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame. The

movie was widely regarded as ahead of its time in 1976, when it won four Academy Awards. The stage adaptation at the National Theatre, directed by Ivo van Hove, is true to its roots. “Since the production is being set in current times, the producers needed to create an authentic studio and newsroom setting,” said Ben Tompsett, Rentals Manager U.K., Riedel Communications. “With the National Theatre’s recent purchase of Artist digital intercoms and Bolero wireless, the gear is not only providing a state-of-the-art

production infrastructure backstage, it’s also appearing onstage to create a truly modern and realistic look for the show.” Riedel’s Bolero wireless and C3 wired beltpacks are clearly visible in nearly every scene of “Network,” worn by onstage camera operators and stage managers. MediorNet MicroN and MicroN MultiViewer units were rented specifically for the production and are being used to provide video feeds for screens that are key components in the production.

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WIRELESS PRODUCTION, way beyond wireless cameras!

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When we talk about wireless production, the first thing that comes to mind is the typical wireless camera equipment of the mobile units we all know. But let's go further, what happens when your entire production is based on wireless systems? How critical does the reliability and capacity of this equipment become? Text by Jeray Alfageme

MOTORSPORT,

WHEN

YOUR CAMERAS GO AT

300

At TM Broadcast, we thought of studying two clear examples in which wireless technology becomes essential: motorsport and road sports, in this case, cycling.

KM / H

In motorsports, onboard cameras were one of the first innovations to be introduced years ago. About 20-30 years ago, the technological challenges we had to face to have onboard cameras -analogue signals and all

the miniaturisation that the 90's technology permittedwere innumerable. As a result, viewers became accustomed to tolerating some technical issues in this type of signals because "they had known no better". This gave the industry certain margin to develop and implement improvements in this type of systems gradually until we reached the technology available to us now. TMBi - 23

ď‚ą


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As an example, there is a difference in the size of an onboard motorcycling camera between what there was in the 1980s and what there is nowadays. The modern ones are 17 times lighter and smaller and we are not speaking about the latest model either! In addition to weight, obviously, energy consumption is critical in these systems. In fact, both are intimately linked because the lower energy consumption the less heat to be dissipated, so their refrigeration systems are less or even non-existent, and their smaller batteries make them easier to integrate into vehicles. But, integration is never easy. No, and when we say no, we mean it, no racing team looks favourably on the introduction of an external system in their very careful and expensive vehicle, which they have invested so much time developing and that might disturb the weight distribution, the centre of gravity and even the braking distribution of the vehicle. These TMBi - 24

integrations are always made with prior agreement, even an obligation on the part of the promoter of the competition and the teams, and in close collaboration between the audiovisual team and the participants, otherwise, it would be unthinkable.

in which the weight and any external system become evidently critical, can be seen in motorcycling again, where up to four cameras can be installed on the vehicle.

An example of a great job done in this area, and

Due to the extremely limited space available on

This undoubtedly goes beyond the concept of a wireless mini-camera on top of a bike.


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interconnected system that gives maximum reliability to the signal to be transmitted and with direct visibility to vehicles. Fading and handover are two of the major challenges these systems face.

the vehicle, antennas are tiny and in most cases, are not even visible. This means that the quality of the signal they can relay is severely affected. In many cases, these antennas do not even have a gain, which would help transmit their signal more easily and reliably, and they have slight, or not so slight, signal losses, which add another

variable to the equation. But let's not be alarmed, all our mobile phones work with antennas that have losses, and that's why our mobile phone provider is responsible for providing a robust and extensive network of antennas. The same happens in any worthy circuit. A wide and

Fading is a loss of signal due to the movement of the vehicle, either because of their speed, something readily resolved nowadays, or because the vehicle itself blocks the signal, something typical in motorcycling, or because they go through certain areas of the circuit in which the signal quality is not optimal. A clear example of the latter is the signal losses within the F1 transmissions in the Monte Carlo circuit, yet to be resolved in the king of motorsports. Handover occurs when the camera changes from being received by one antenna to another, and it is impossible to cover a circuit by one single antenna, just as it is impossible to cover an entire city with one single telephone antenna. The thing is, a camera signal can be received at any TMBi - 25

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time by more than one antenna, and it is the central system that chooses which of signals it receives is best and uses it to reconstruct the signal. Moving from one signal to another is the critical moment due to delays and changes in signal quality, and it is sometimes visible on the screen.

be correct in the use of our terms here: radio spectrum- is vital and essential for a seamless broadcast. Everyone wants to have a camera in the right box at the right time and conduct an interview on the trackside. To do this, the distribution of the frequencies must be done centrally and with great care.

using the equipment the host has no record of, and provide them with a solid frequency plan and effective monitoring of it. The air police is something that exists in all these broadcasts and is important.

However, in a grand prize, onboard cameras are only a part of the wireless equipment that we can find in the paddock, although very important, as there can be up to 90 onboard cameras in an event. The great advantage, and at the same time an inconvenience, of this equipment is that they use a common means to transmit their signals: the air. Note that we also need to distribute it because, believe it or not, air is limited.

If it is only the host broadcaster that has wireless equipment, there's no problem because the issue can be overcome with good planning. However, when every single broadcaster wants one, or multiple, wireless service in the same place, things gets tricky. Wireless microphones and cameras -not to mention monitors and screens- are now commonplace and without which no broadcaster would ever consider broadcasting an event like this.

Although in motorsports, the time during which the spectator sees an image from a wireless camera is not very long, at least not during the race itself, when we talk about road sports, and specifically cycling, this type of signals are the kings of the broadcast from start to finish. They are the only fixed points with sufficient infrastructure to provide them with mobile units and necessary means for a wired infrastructure.

When a physical cable connects your camera to your production centre, the problems you may encounter are minimal compared to those you might see in wireless technology. So, a good distribution of the air, -let's TMBi - 26

Again, the host broadcaster must take care of its customers, who sometimes are not as collaborative as you would expect and will always look for a way to achieve that unique image by

ROAD

SPORTS :

CYCLING

Racing bikes, helicopters and even drones become the real broadcasting masters most of the time. They are vital to tell us what is happening during the race. Although, the environment in which these elements work is not always ideal, forests, curves, bad weather and


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interferences are so commonplace when a cycling race crosses an entire country and the world sees it. The motorcycles that accompany the bunch, with video, audio or audio and video capturing systems, have VHF systems to transmit their signals to one of the relay helicopters. These helicopters flying at 30-60 metres above ground act, at a signal level, just like another motorbike as they do not transmit the aerial signal of the race but relay it to a second pair of helicopters located at 500-800 m altitude. This gives them freedom with respect to the terrain and progress of the race. The signals can be transmitted from these relay helicopters to intermediate mobile units which, by satellite, since they are two fixed stations, will transmit the signals to the finish line, or they can send the signal to a pair of planes flying at between 3000 and 6000 metres, which then carry the signals to the mobile units on the ground.

Image 1.

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Intermediate stations become important because it is impossible to carry a terrestrial signal more than 100 kilometres in a reliable way. This is why in any cycling race there are two -or in the case of the longest or most mountainous stageseven three intermediate stations receiving the signal from planes and helicopters and transmitting them to the finish line. This complex system provides incredible reliability especially considering the orography of the terrain and the extent of the terrain to be covered, sometimes more than 200 kilometres. This system is really put to the test when poor weather comes into play because as long as the visibility is good, both helicopters and planes can follow the race by flying with a visual reference and adjusting their movement, considered slow for them, over the course of the race. However, when we have fog or rainfall, auxiliary systems like GPS become vital. An even more stringent TMBi - 28

test occurs when both helicopters and planes are forced in most cases, to increase their altitude to avoid the worst of storms or rainfall, challenging VHF systems, which draw as much as possible from their QPSK modulation, QAM 16/32/64 on 10 MHz carriers, obtaining a bandwidth of 15 Mbps. This makes it possible to

introduce a MPEG4 H. 264 1920x1080 video signal. One of the keys to doing this is that the signal is only encoded in the camera itself and is not decoded until it reaches the mobile unit at the finish line, reducing the encoding error and delay in receiving it. As mentioned above, the GPS systems en-route


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also become very important because both helicopters and planes must rely on it to fly over the race and not lose coverage because if one of them lost sight of the riders, all cameras would be affected. This is why there are two. So, why don’t we use satellite?

One question that might be asked is why do they not transmit terrestrial signals to the satellite in the first place instead of using relay helicopters and planes. It seems the obvious solution, however, it is not that simple. Receiving a satellite signal is one thing. Satellite transmission is another. Satellites cannot be used because the cameras on the motorcycles and helicopters are constantly moving in and out of the obstructed areas, and there is approximately 1% tolerance to target the signal transmitted to a satellite. However, intermediate mobile units can transmit to the satellite because they are fixed, and there is more chance of a sufficient power supply. One of the latest innovations in this sport is onboard cameras. They have taken so long to be introduced because, if we already said that introducing an external system in any vehicle, mostly due to weight, was problematic, when the vehicle's engine is human and every single gram

counts, we have had to wait until miniaturisation technology permitted the weight of the bicycle to be increased by just a few grams so that teams and athletes may introduce this new feature. These signals are received by the motorbikes, since they are the closest point where they can be reliably picked up, and from there, they follow the signal flow indicated above to the finish line. The problem of these onboard cameras is once again energy and with it the signal power that they can transmit, because, in order to minimise the weight, the batteries must be minimal, so the transmission power is very limited, and with the number of riders and vehicles involved, they rarely offer a greater range than a couple of tens of metres, which makes these signals unreliable to be used in the television signal for global broadcast. Surely something will change, with time. TMBi - 29

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ZOOM IN

UHD Much more than 4K Resolution and signal transport When we talk about Ultra High Definition or UHD, for short, we only tend to think about the increase in the definition that this implies. UHD is not just more pixels; instead, it is better pixels. In this series of articles, TM Broadcast will delve into what UHD really means and the most important aspects of this new technology. Text by Jeray Alfageme

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Let’s start with the obvious: resolution and transport of the baseband signal.

very susceptible to interference. Two standards emerged at the time:

When digital TV began to take root and SDI (Serial Digital Interface) was born, the advance was clear. Analogue video was left behind, either due to components, with the high complexity of carrying out any production due to it having to transport each component of colour separately, or for composite video, with the limitations of quality and its low reliability as it was

• 480i59.94, retrocompatible with NTSC standard. • 579i50, retro-compatible with PAL standard. At the time, retrocompatibility was necessary when setting up a new standard. The definition was the same, and the type of scanning remained in the interlacing due to the technical limitations of the monitors and cameras. Its

bandwidth of only 177 Mbps was sufficient, however, to carry both video and audio. Another critical aspect of the rapid deployment of SDI was embedded audio, with much less interference and higher reliability than analogue signals. Only a 4:4 aspect ratio was available initially, but 16:9 anamorphic was immediately implanted. With identical definition but a rectangular pixel instead of square, it allowed transporting panoramic images.

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When all this was in place, and everyone understood each other to perfection came a leap in definition -the so-called HD- and with it a little chaos that persists even today. Just as UHD is not just a leap in definition, HD was not so either. It went from 177 Mbps to 1.5 Gbps. It almost multiplied the bandwidth by ten and, instead of only two signal transport standards, the progressive appeared, allowing the next variety of signals: • 1080i59.94 • 1080i50 • 720p59.94 • 720p50 So, we can at least forget about mixing aspect ratios, because there is only 16:9. However, the introduction of progressive scan mode, more "cinematic" and better for sport and high-speed scenes, brought sufficient complexity into the equation. A bandwidth of 1.5 Gbps, on the other hand, did not allow transporting all the desired definition in progressive mode, because the amount of TMBi - 32

information per frame is twice as much as in interlacing. This led to limiting the definition to 720 pixels and creating a war in the consumer market between HD Ready, 720 and Full HD, 1080. We still find professional colleagues making this distinction,

which was just a ploy to sell more home TVs. Another option was to limit the number of frames per second to transmit, which led to two new signals in all this swarm of signals: • 1080p25 • 1080p29.97


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twice as much storage, and the bandwidth for transmitting it is also doubled. In economic terms, this is a cost overrun that the end customer does not value as a leap in quality between progressive signals or 720 and progressive Full HD. Producers and engineers like this very much, but no financier is willing to pay for it.

We had to double the bandwidth yet again, up to 3 Gbps, to make it possible to transport the desired Full HD definition, 1920x1080 pixels, with a progressive scan without losing frames per second, but reaching the desired ones as well:

• 1080p50 • 1080p59.94 These are signals that, in reality, hardly anyone uses. On the one hand, it requires a 3G video baseband production environment, which is not widespread. The file in question also takes up

An SDI-HD transport system called Dual Link was timidly created, which allowed, using two 1.5 G signals, transporting a complete 3G signal combining both. But there is a problem. If 3G is not used that much, this other means of transport is virtually anecdotal. Our older readers will recall the older technology in which more than one cable was required to carry the signal. There is something else you will remember even more, but let us keep the intrigue for the younger ones. This brings us, in short, to the following amalgamation of standards: • 1080i59.94 TMBi - 33


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• 1080i50

• 4K: 4096x2160

• 2160p50

• 720p59.94

But rest assured, let's just focus on UHD, which is the definition adopted in Broadcast environments. Complete 4K is used for film purposes, and thank goodness for that! In the meantime, we left an old friend behind, almost unwittingly, from the times of cathode ray tube televisions: interlacing. We have kept progressive scanning as the only option, which simplifies existing signals again, as in SD, to just two:

• 2160p60

• 720p50 • 1080p25 • 1080p29.97 • 1080p50 • 1080p59.94 NTSC, PAL, progressive, interlaced, HD Ready, Full HD..., so, so complicated! And we haven’t even reached 4K definition! Because at 4K-UHD we don't have one, but two, possible definitions: • UHD: 3840x2160 TMBi - 34

Technologically speaking, we could even avoid using two sampling rates, 50 and 60 Hz, but I imagine we would get into a geopolitical rather than a technological discussion, and both standards still coexist. Obviously, the fact of transporting more information again leads us to increase the bandwidth -in this case, to quadruple it-, reaching the necessary 12 Gbps. Now there is


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Image 1.

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also the combination of several 3G signals specifically 4- to create a combined transport system of 4*3G to provide a 12G signal. Doesn't this remind us of the age-old component analogue video? It seems that we are facing a reverse step, rather than a forwardlooking one... By combining all the possibilities, and considering both HD and UHD, we have an universe of possibilities (image 1, previous page). But let's dig a little deeper into the Quad-Link method of transport in 4K. If I want to transport a signal that is four times larger than another, the logical thing is to divide it into four parts, quadrants in this case, and transport one of these quadrants for each of the links. Indeed. This is called Square Division and is one of UHD's modes of transportation through four 1080p50/59.94 signals. Combined, these signals produce the desired final UHD image (Image 2). What happens, however, if we lose one of these links? The result does not seem optimal (Image 3). TMBi - 36

Image 2

Image 3

This case is more likely than we imagine. Therefore, there is another method of transporting a 12G signal over 4 3G signals, the 2Sample Interleave (Image 4). Don’t be alarmed:

although the direct translation is "intertwined", we are not going to recover this extinct technology. The aim is to protect the signal against loss of one


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more complexity to the equation, and we are only talking about definition here. But on the other hand, it also means that the image quality that we can bring to our homes now was something impossible to achieve just a few years ago. This justifies the complexity and our effort to make a Image 4

complex ecosystem work, which finally produces the

of the links by making it difficult to transport, in exchange for making it more reliable when faced with connection failures. In this case, the image is divided into four too, but what is divided are the lines, transmitting lines 1, 5, 9 and so on in the first one; in the second one lines 2, 6, 10...; in the third one lines 3, 7, 11...; and in the fourth one lines 4, 8, 12....

• It makes it much more robust to link loss. Faced with the loss of one of the four links, the loss of pixels in the final image is virtually imperceptible to the human eye. Is this good or bad?

results that we all enjoy.

As we can see, each leap in technology brings

possibilities and, of

In the next edition, we will talk about colour space, another evolution applicable to UHD and HD that offers a lot of course, complexities.

This gives us different advantages: • A single link (carrying a 3G-SDI signal with HD definition) allows us to fully monitor the final UHD image with HD definition on any monitor or 3G system. TMBi - 37

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We try

GV Korona

K-Frame V-series

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GV Korona K-Frame V-series

Double K, the winning combination We all know Grass Valley and its product range. With its long history in the broadcast sector, we can define it as a "winner" as far as its equipment and performance go, not to mention its longstanding commitment with the latest technology and subsequent application to its product range. I have been working with Grass Valley's equipment for years, and it has never let me down. I've experienced the typical temperature problems in their first cameras and the learning curve in their switchers, but aside from negligible details, I've never had to stop an event because of a critical failure of their equipment. This means I can work with their equipment with utmost confidence. Needless to say, I am currently a consumer of Grass Valley's video switchers. The ones we have are now discontinued, but they are still very much operational 24/7/365, and with no failures in more than ten years of non-stop operation. So, you will understand that I can only praise their reliability.

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 TEST AREA Lab testing performed by Pablo Martínez

As time goes by, we have increasingly complex switchers with so much more potential. Nowadays, with the technological advances and the definition of new production standards, we must be ready to rely on equipment that allows us to face these challenges, scalable and reliable, until the market and broadcasters mark the way forward within the current transmission limitations of the different production formats. It becomes necessary to seek equipment that provides us with a certain degree of technological solvency and scalability to face this reality. There are countless video switchers on the market right now. However, when assessing among what is available, we need to be aware that behind them there are people that have invested a lot of time on the switcher in question, people who are under a lot of pressure by the programme/event to be carried out and by the infinite possibilities offered by the current switchers. The key to this modernisation process, so that it can be tackled in the least traumatic way, is for operators to have technically "powerful" yet intuitive switchers readily available to them with learning curves as flat as possible. Grass Valley reinvents itself consistently, improving and facilitating work processes,

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About Grass Valley Grass Valley, the Belden brand, keeps broadcasters, content owners and service providers ready for the future as they navigate the changing television landscape. With the industry's most comprehensive collection of workflow solutions, Grass Valley offers end-to-end content distribution and television production workflows, combined with expert consultations and knowledge that lead to sustainable success. Grass Valley, headquartered in Montreal, is part of Belden Inc., headquartered, in turn, in St. Louis. Belden offers a broad portfolio of products designed to meet the mission-critical network infrastructure needs of the industrial, enterprise and transmission markets. With innovative solutions aimed at reliably and securely transmitting the ever-increasing amounts of data, audio and video needed for today's applications, Belden is at the heart of the global transformation towards a connected world.


GV Korona K-Frame V-series

Grass Valley reinvents itself consistently, improving and facilitating work processes, thanks to its policy of consulting those who are involved in the operation of its equipment. thanks to its policy of consulting those who are involved in the operation of its equipment. Grass Valley has taken a giant step forward with the introduction of the Korona panel and its ability to work with any K-Frame series processing engines, by enabling the functional and scalable mobility of associated systems. It is an award-winning combination, which the broadcasters have fully embraced by implementing it in their systems. Grass Valley represents a trustworthy partner in all our work environments, in terms of modularity, as per the catalogue, and scalability, considering its commitment to support native interconnectivity with its’ different technical product offerings.

THE “K-FRAME” SERIES Grass Valley is committed to reducing volume and size with this new addition to the K-Frame family of production switchers, the The V-series was designed to take the enterprise class features of the larger production switchers and, without compromise, put them into a smaller, lower

cost package for the midrange market. To address this lab, Grass Valley provided us with a K-Frame V-series electronics with two expansion modules that provide us with 16 inputs and 8 outputs controlled by a 2M/E GV Korona panel with an integrated touchscreen menuing system and touchscreens in the transition areas. The best thing about the GV Korona K-Frame package is the interconnectivity between the different equipment in Grass Valley range, for example, between the K2 servers and the camera chains of the LDK or LDX series, which use the connect Gateway, a concept I love.

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 TEST AREA K-FRAME V-SERIES These electronics allow us, through expansion I/O modules, up to 32 inputs and 16 outputs plus 4x2 Media Ports (effectively HDMI ports); that is, it has a 36x18 matrix that supports production in SD/HD, 3G/1080p and up to 4K UHD with a simple upgrade. It can handle up to 6 M/Es (PGM + 5M/Es) with an additional licence and video processing engines for increased production and switching power. GV says it will be readily upgradeable to an all-IP or SDI and mixed IP environment. The new K-Frame X presentation supports this statement; it aims to facilitate the GV Korona family

transition to IP with support for any combination of SDI and IP inputs. In addition to being able to work with the Korona control panel, as part of the KFrame series, the V-series can be used with any GV KFrame control panel, including Karrera and Kayenne, in line with one of Grass Valley's slogans "Any frame, any panel". TMBi - 42


GV Korona K-Frame V-series

compromising other features. • Optional KSP GUI control software can be used instead of, or in conjunction with, hardware panels. • IP IO option protects your investment (future). • MediaPorts for non-SDI production signal types. • Optional iDPM for added 3DDVE capabilities. • 10-bit 4:2:2 video processing. • Up to 32G, 8 channels (Fill+Key). • Ethernet and control protocols.

Main characteristics of the manufacturer: • 3G-SDI support without compromising any other features. • VPEs offer four fullfunction keyers, resizers and a switcher for all the keying power you will ever need. • Using K-FRM-IO-CONV-V, every path supports frame sync and up/down/crossconversion without

The panel is perfect when we have limited space (or not, because it has almost all the functionalities of its older siblings). It works with any K-frame system.

GV KORONA We had a configurable 2 M/E panel with 20 physical buttons per M/E and the typical characteristics of colour assignment per bench for this lab. Grass Valley entered the compact production segment with this switcher, and this console line is the "little brother" of the famous Karrera and Kayenne. The panel is perfect when we have limited space (or not, because it has almost all the functionalities of its older siblings). It works with any K-Frame system. TMBi - 43


 TEST AREA This panel is perfect for small spaces and offers high-quality production value at an affordable cost. GV Korona works with any KFrame electronics and provides an innovative builtin touchscreen. It also features an integrated panel menu and uses the same OLED display and colour button technologies as the larger Grass Valley panels, making it ideal for broadcast operations seeking a compact and powerful option. Main characteristics of the manufacturer: • Name, KOR-PNL200-20 • Redundant power supply • Ethernet cable distance between panel and electronics max. 100m • 20-button source selectors • System control area with device control, switched preview, alternate bus and aux bus delegation, and macro controls, multifunction buttons, EMEM area, multifunction keypad and information

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It also features an integrated panel menu and uses the same OLED display and colour button technologies as the larger Grass Valley panels, making it ideal for broadcast operations seeking a compact and powerful option.


GV Korona K-Frame V-series

perfect working angle in normal conditions, which is ever so comfortable to use.

displays in the button benches of each M/E, as well as a multitouch OLED colour display.

FIELD STUDY At first glance, we find an entirely integrated and finished combination of

panel and electronics. The panel provides us with a 40-degree angle on a flat surface and 10-degree recessed, housing in this part of the touchscreen, two USB connections along with the work button panel and a joystick. This gives us a

Regarding the electronics, we have a perfectly ventilated 3UR cassette. For our tests, we placed it in the perfectly cooled technical equipment rack of our installations. The initial startup of the K-Frame is like the "take-off of an air plane": For a few seconds, it positions all the fans to the maximum speed, reaching 20dB (noise measured at 1 metre and without residual noise). Because of the temperature and speed controlled fans,these noise levels lowered to about 6dB (+/-4dB) during standard operation. I mention this because its initial starting noise came across as odd. All SDI inputs and outputs and Ethernet communications were connected to the Korona GV panel as well as an external control PC, so we could have, for example, two switching points to generate independent outputs working on the same K-Frame. We placed the GV Korona panel on a production TMBi - 45

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 TEST AREA control equipped with two 65" screens, and we sent two internally generated multi-screen K-Frame outputs to them. We can choose the multiscreen template on each screen independently from the five available in the switcher to suit our needs. After a brief engineering configuration, we invited colleagues who regularly operate with the switcher consoles to draw their conclusions with no more information than the visual menus on the panel (we must bear in mind that most of these colleagues work with DD20 switchers daily, and exceptionally with another panel from a different manufacturer, albeit similar "in appearance" to the Korona GV). This test would allow me to assess one of the greatest fears most of us face when buying new equipment: the famous learning curve. Well, after passing through everyone’s hands, in less than an hour, everyone perfectly controlled the functionality of the system and the outcome was very satisfactory. In short: a perfectly finished panel, comfortable to operate and intuitive, with the addition of new direct TMBi - 46

A perfectly finished panel, comfortable to operate and intuitive, with the addition of new direct access buttons, which simplify part of the operation of calls, for example, to E-MEM, Macros, etc. access buttons, which simplify part of the operation of calls, for example, to EMEM, Macros, etc.

At the engineering and support level, the set worked 24/7 without any noticeable variation in the periodic


GV Korona K-Frame V-series

measurements that we made of signals, performance and temperature. As for the operating system, it was "Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB", which radically optimised the call and work process of the application that Grass Valley has developed to control all the functions of this panel. Working with Windows

allowed us to control the access to the screen, as well as the panel's entry into standby mode according to the time we set.

system power on and off

WHAT WE COULD BE MISSING

although the internal PC that

In general, it is an excellent piece of equipment, although if we were to nit-pick, I miss the possibility of having a

button. In the equipment we analysed, once we "plugged it in", the entire system started up automatically and, controls all the functions of the Korona GV panel, through the menu "ENG SETUP-STATUS", allows us to perform "Closedown Panel computer", which turns off the internal PC, there is no possibility to restart the Korona GV if we do not physically disconnect the power and reconnect it for the start-up. This button would allow you to "closedown", reboot, shut down or turn on the system. Concerning the K-frame Vseries, it would have been awesome if the redundant power supply were not simply an option.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Grass Valley for lending us the GV Korona K-frame V-series system, as well as IB3 and my colleagues in the technical department for the letting us use their facilities to carry out this laboratory. TMBi - 47

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We try

LaON Technology

LT750 expert

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LaON Technology LT750 expert

TMBi - 49

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 TEST AREA

Not just a Wireless Intercom Our profession is nourished and benefits not only from the great and spectacular equipment and systems that often catch our attention but also from other elements that decisively contribute to our professional performance and enable us to carry through our projects with the comfort, efficiency and guarantee to which we are accustomed. Like intercom systems, always discreet on the equipment list but often indispensable in our day to day action. Today, our laboratory offers the wireless intercom system brought to you by the new Korean manufacturer, LaON. Author: Luis Pavia

Laon LT150

The constant evolution of technology and the globalisation of markets make it easier for new competitors to emerge in virtually all areas. Plus, in any aspect related to technology, we are accustomed to the fact that it is more of a constant revolution than a simple evolution. So, today, we, along with its distributor, Broadcast Solutions, bring a new wireless digital intercom system with state-of-the-art technology developed in Korea to these pages. Korea was nothing but an emerging market a few years ago, but today, we can confirm it is a genuinely consolidated one with excellent price/performance balances in virtually every product it launches. The concept of the intercom system is straightforward: it involves having a permanent line of communication within a working group. The reality of today's needs is much more sophisticated and complex than before with some particular characteristics, such as: TMBi - 50


LaON Technology LT750 expert

- One or two-way communication

- Reach, mobility and performance

- Number of terminals in the same communication network

- No interference in radiosaturated environments

- The possibility of managing different working groups, so that not all teams receive all the information, and thus avoiding unnecessary distractions

- Clarity, privacy and communication security - Modularity, expandability, and compatibility with other systems Although this list is not exhaustive, it includes the

The concept of the intercom system is straightforward: it involves having a permanent line of communication within a working group. The reality of today's needs is much more sophisticated and complex than before with some particular characteristics.

primary parameters that make up the main decision criteria when selecting an equipment, and that we will be sketching along these lines. So, let’s do this! Let’s start with the description of the components of the set that we have had the opportunity to test. This time it was the top-ofthe-range model currently available from LaON, the TMBi - 51

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 TEST AREA

Room Repeaters.

LT750 expert, which offers stable wireless communications in the 5 GHz band, with a 7.2 kHz voice bandwidth, comparable to wired systems, and with a latency of less than 23 milliseconds. The system is open and has an auxiliary input and output interfaces, and 4-wire protocol, to make it compatible with other intercom systems and external audio devices. Our test unit consists of a base station with the TMBi - 52

optional 19" rack unit accessory, a repeater, four belt units with their corresponding earphones and a multi-charger. It is worth noting that the equipment came with a single recommendation: "assemble the antennas before you turn it on�. The base station, the nerve centre of the system, is a small box to which power and two antennas are connected. It can also be mounted as part of the rack accessory, becoming a one-

height unit, which gives it additional functionalities, such as the possibility of mounting the antennas at the rear. It can provide remote power to the repeaters via PoE (Power over Ethernet), which has the interfaces for connection with other intercom equipment of different manufacturers and protocols. It has an OLED screen and a small number of buttons, some for direct control of some functions and others to navigate the menu.


LaON Technology LT750 expert

Repeaters are devices that extend coverage areas, simple and compact boxes to which you will necessarily connect your antenna pair and Ethernet cable to communicate with your base station. You can connect a maximum of ten repeaters to each base station. If you need more repeaters to configure your coverage area, just add a second base station. These repeaters can be powered by their own batteries, an

It is important to highlight that Ethernet connectivity can be done by relying on the switch, router and wiring infrastructure that you have in the installation, without having to creating a separate network

Indoor repeater.

external power supply or by using the Ethernet cable if you have the rack accessory for the base station we mentioned above. At this point in time, we think it is important to highlight that Ethernet connectivity can be done by relying on the switch, router and wiring infrastructure that you have in the installation, without having to creating a

separate network. You can use this same infrastructure to distribute the repeaters that are necessary to ensure coverage in the appropriate areas of the installation, which, as you will see below, does not have to be adjacent. As for the belt units, powered by their own rechargeable battery, they simply need to be TMBi - 53

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 TEST AREA connected to the earphones. The battery is easily removable and can be charged either inside or outside the remote unit. This makes it easier to use a spare battery if need be. Bearing in mind that a 4hour charge allows 8 hours of work, it seems unlikely that you would need this spare battery. Even so, and for the extreme cases in which you may find yourselves in a location without the possibility of recharging your batteries, we also have a bracket for conventional batteries. This

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Headphones or earplugs are available in a variety of configurations: open or closed, with one or two earmuffs, and with condenser or electret microphones would make it possible to use them repeatedly in locations with no electricity supply. Parameters such as sideband for extended coverage or microphone gain can be configured via the menu to suit the user and environment needs.

Headphones or earplugs are available in a variety of configurations: open or closed, with one or two earmuffs, and with condenser or electret microphones. There is a sufficient variety to cover all needs and tastes. The


LaON Technology LT750 expert

earphones supplied with our unit are of the closed, earmuff type with a condenser microphone. We found it lightweight, comfortable and adaptable as regards the headband height and micro length, with good insulation and excellent sound quality. Finally, the battery charger surprised us first for its size it is rather large- and then for its functionality -it allows us to simultaneously charge up to five units and two additional batteries simultaneously-. You can even control the charge flow for each device independently! Two of the remote unit slots allow charging belt units or repeater batteries indistinctly. This means that with a single charger, we will have solved all the recharging needs of an installation, both basic and not so basic since it is equivalent to seven independent chargers for up to three different types of devices. When we fired up the system, we were again very pleasantly surprised. The precaution of mounting the antennas before starting and do it in order-: firstly, base station and repeaters

until a light indicates that they are ready, and finally, the remote units. This is because the system scans the frequencies and searches for any free

channels there are in the environment at that time to select and assign the best of the 15 available ones. It then assigns the remote units to their respective TMBi - 55

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 TEST AREA

The graphic shows the design of an installation in a stadium with 45,000 spectators, where all communication needs are covered with a base station and five repeaters.

groups when they are turned on. Without entering any menu, without activating anything, without selecting anything and in just over a minute the system was fully operational. Technology applied to comfort, with efficiency and reliability! While this does not mean that we cannot customise the system to our hearts TMBi - 56

content, including manual channel assignment if we work in an environment where we split the available spectrum with other equipment, we do know that certain channels will be problematic at times, or if we have a frequency analyser to identify those that will provide better performance for any other reason. The

equipment works in the 5 GHz band, free band without additional licenses. Coverage in open space can reach up to 100 metres in optimal conditions, and it is advisable to move in somewhat more moderate numbers when placing the repeaters, considering that certain elements, such as cabinets and metallic


LaON Technology LT750 expert

structures, mirrors or tiles do become major electromagnetic barriers. The real key to an optimal performance from such a system is the correct location of the base station and repeaters, considering the materials in each environment and the areas that will need to be covered. The sidebands can be adjusted to extend the coverage range with a small loss of quality to avoid losing communication in situations where we are at the limits of losing coverage or signal.

means that the terminals are open and can speak and listen simultaneously; while one-way means "PTT" mode (push to talk) in which the terminals lose listening capacity while talking. If you need more than 11 stations in full duplex, you must add a second base station to the system to reach 256 stations in total with 22 of them in full duplex.

The system is very flexible if you need to fine-tune the configuration. If you need the repeater to be near the base station -a typical configuration in which the base station is in the production control room and the repeater in the adjacent set- the system allows inhibiting the emission of the base station to avoid overlap between the two areas. At

The system is very flexible if you need to fine-tune the configuration

You will obtain the best results by ensuring that there is always a direct line of sight between remote units and repeaters (or base station), maintaining a small area of overlap between the areas of the different radii of action, and ensuring that there are no antennas within the radius of action of another antenna of another repeater. Once our equipment is assembled, each base station can manage up to 128 terminals: 10 remote units in full duplex communication (this is 11 stations, since the base station has its own port) and the rest in unidirectional communication. Full duplex

Remote.

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 TEST AREA same time. This makes it easier to split the information up without limiting the organisation's flexibility. We have already mentioned that the range of the network extends radially from each repeater, and that depending on the safety margin and overlap within the coverage radius that we have established as safe, we may be installing remote repeaters at about 160 metres between each other to cover adjacent areas of greater dimensions. However, please take these figures with care, as they are completely theoretical. It is impossible to ensure the

MMA (Melon Music award) @Gocheok Sky Dome

the other side of the available possibilities, in the event of a catastrophe with the base station or its power supply, for example, we can configure one of the remote units as a “master system�, allowing communication between all the units to be maintained if the repeater that links them remains powered. In this way, an autonomous grid could be maintained, powered only by batteries in any location without reaching the mains or needing generators, although in these circumstances we would have more limited functionalities. TMBi - 58

Returning to the typical situation where we have entirely functional equipment, and with respect to workgroups, the system allows for the management of five independent groups to facilitate the information being distributed in a segregated way to the units for which it is of interest, without saturating all the components of the equipment with excess information irrelevant to their activity. One of the exciting aspects of this functionality is that each remote unit is not restricted to a single group, but can belong to more than one group at the

Each remote unit is not restricted to a single group, but can belong to more than one group at the same time. This makes it easier to split the information up without limiting the organisation's flexibility.


LaON Technology LT750 expert

radio spectrum conditions in each environment, or the different types of obstacles that we will have to overcome in each situation, or the shape of the areas we need to cover. A real study of each individual case will always be required to ensure correct operation, since the reality is that performance does not only depend on the goodness of the equipment, but it should also meet the constraints of each environment: a concrete wall is different from a plaster or wood wall or even a paper screen. Concerning the interference, both generated and perceived, it would also be highly compromised to transfer a fully reliable

reference from such an analysis. In our tests, we have used mobile phones of different models and manufacturers literally glued to the remote unit, making and receiving calls, messages and surfing the Internet (with Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G) and did not notice interferences. Simply because it seemed to be a highly probable radio interference situation in a multitude of circumstances, with so many mobile phones turned on in so many pockets. The filtering options are further expanded with the possibility of sideband adjustment in the remote units. However, we insist that this scenario can be different

and surely it will be different, in different spaces and environments. Think for a moment that this equipment can be used in an urban nucleus, in the middle of an industrial estate, near a high-voltage tower or in the middle of a desert; with the equipment working alone or surrounded by thousands of spectators (and their mobile phones streaming) in a event. We reiterate the need to assess, dimension and design each work scenario according to the circumstances. It would not be the first time that the industrial unit next to our studios has changed its activity, and this has a direct impact on the surrounding radio environment; and what one day behaved in one way, completely changed the following week. The possibility that we must also bear in mind when designing our network is that we can cover extremely distant areas without necessarily having to make them next to each other, simply by placing the repeaters in the appropriate places, and provided coverage is not required in the intermediate area. For example, if you have the set far from the location and do TMBi - 59

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 TEST AREA not need to cover the intermediate area. In these cases, the possibilities of Ethernet cabling will only be conditioned by the scope available with the different cabling categories and technologies. Our tests have always given us an excellent and super satisfactory result, with special emphasis on ease and comfort of use. As can be predicted, the range of an urban exterior varies considerably from being along an avenue or if we put a concrete building in the middle. Since propagation is quite directional, it is easy to design the network in such a way that these situations are never an inconvenience.

Monster Energy event.

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This type of circumstance is quickly resolved by placing the base station (or a repeater) in a corner to cover two streets, or the base station in a corner and a repeater in the diagonal corner of a building to cover its four sides with its respective streets. Regarding security, with the ease provided by digital systems, the system is designed with encrypted communications using the 256-bit level 3 AES encryption standard, ensuring that only our equipment receives the information addressed to them. This feature makes a significant difference with respect to other systems,

and that makes it even greater with respect to nondedicated systems, such as VHF walkies that are also used for this same purpose in the sector, but with which anyone with a transmitterreceiver can get into our channels and complicate our activity, besides the fact that these walkies are always unidirectional. It is not a question of establishing a secure network because we are handling confidential or sensitive information, but rather of operating other than in an open band in which, even without any malicious intent, we or third parties may jeopardise each other's activities while each team is trying to perform their own. When using walkies, it wouldn't be the first time that a construction team from a nearby construction site "participates" in our activities by mistake. We have already seen that the system can grow by adding up to 128 terminals for each base station, with 11 of them in full duplex configuration, and we can design our coverage area according to any need with repeaters. But it is also important to note that the


LaON Technology LT750 expert

system can connect with other intercom equipment, facilitate its integration with existing installations and allow a growth proportional to the evolution of our needs. Remote units are easy to handle, and anyone who has ever used an intercom will find their operation safe and comfortable. Power button, group buttons, volume buttons and a button to open the communication‌ all buttons are large and easily identifiable to the touch, even with gloves. A small OLED display, visible from above, provides status, group, coverage and battery information. The size of the screen could be debatable, but a larger screen should already be mounted on the front of the remote unit, making it difficult to see it comfortably without touching it. It seems that the criterion of location has prevailed, and with that premise in mind, the result is acceptable. Besides, its visibility is good outdoors, without being disturbing in twilight environments. In short, it seems that we are dealing with equipment that delivers high quality and performance and that is at the level of any need. It is

The system can connect with other intercom equipment, facilitate its integration with existing installations and allow a growth proportional to the evolution of our needs.

Laon cameras headsets.

modular and compatible to fit any of our requirements, and even compatible with other hardware previously installed. It is easy to configure, and even more so to operate. If all this were not enough, its price is also extremely competitive, as it is around half the usual cost of equipment with similar features. Specifically, the configuration we have brought to you and detailed at the beginning of this lab has a recommended price of

just below â‚Ź7,600. Bearing in mind that there are even more straightforward configurations out there delivering the same performance, concept and efficiency, this piece of equipment can be expanded to cover the current and future needs of any growing station. So, in our opinion, this is quite a reasonable option to improve our professional efficiency and performance.

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TM Broadcast Magazine 53, January 2018  
TM Broadcast Magazine 53, January 2018  

In this issue: an article on wireless production, analyzing specific cases such as its application in sporting events such as motorcycle or...