If TV is the centrepiece of the living room, then the multiviewer is the hub of every broadcast application, where a variety of different video sources and formats are all consolidated within a single display for monitoring and processing
For every broadcast application — regardless in-studio or mobile — the largest piece of equipment installed within the infrastructure is the multiviewer display. Apart from its primary function of bringing together multiple video sources for display onto a single monitor, a multiviewer today has to manage increasingly complex workflows as media companies are delivering videos in many different formats — ranging from SD and HD to even higher resolution images like 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) and high dynamic range (HDR).
Multiviewer requirements differ from application to application, depending on the infrastructure while taking into consideration factors such as future I/O expansion and redundancy levels. In a live production control unit or an outside broadcast (OB) truck, one key multiviewer aspect is speed. This is because operators need to be assured that the multiviewer displays the content with minimum latency, as they are transmitting and watching similar content with viewers at the same time.
Besides the issue of latency, other key requirements for multiviewers in a live production unit are video and audio alarms, as well as support for IP using SMPTE ST 2110, and future-proofing for 4K/UHD and HDR, suggests Erling Hedkvist, senior vice-president of business development, Lawo.
He tells APB: “The biggest impact is probably around 4K/UHD monitoring, which is due to the bandwidth requirements, and has been a very difficult topic to address. The biggest multiviewers available in the market are able to process 32 or 64 1080p signals. But in a 4K/UHD ecosystem, this equates to just eight sources, which does not make it a very useful monitoring solution.
“In addition, with the clear trend to IP and SMPTE ST 2110, multiviewers need to be able to support both IP and SDI sources. Therefore, media companies are looking for multiviewer solutions that can accept both SDI and IP sources, as well as managing 4K/UHD and HDR in a scalable way.”
Read the full story in the APB Aug 2018 issue.