Show offers amazing affordable, SD-HD transition equipment

The big question that confronted exhibitors and visitors during Inter BEE 2018 from November 14 -16 at Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, was: “What Will You Do Next?” Many at the show, mindful that Japan would be switching to 4K/UHD transmission last year on December 1, were asking how best to future-proof their purchases beyond the next five years or more.

Japan, as we know, is set to broadcast the Summer Olympics Games 2020 in 8K. But despite the 8K buzz, the 1,152 exhibitors at the show were also offering a wide range of enhanced broadcast and live streaming solutions, from rasterizers that support SDI and IP signals to compact 8K cameras and edit machines.

However, some of the 40,800 visitors were heard wondering aloud: “What will Japan do next?” What equipment can it offer to less advanced countries in Asia-Pacific that are about to switch to digital transmission?

Andrew Yeo, keeping his ears peeled, found some amazing and affordable equipment that can ease the SD-HD transition in Asia — here’s Part 1 of the two-part report on Inter BEE 2018 …

Masayoshi Ishihara: “Our ZEN series is totally configurable to fit customers’ intended use by allowing them to select what they need.”

To stay calm in the fast-changing broadcast industry, one has to ensure what appears on TV screens is picture perfect. To do so, Leader Electronics Corporation decided to showcase at Inter BEE 2018 its “ZEN” series of waveform monitors and rasterizers — the LV5600, a hybrid waveform monitor; the LV7600 rasterizer corresponding to inputs of up to 12G-SDI signal and IP signal; the LV5300 which is a compact waveform monitor; and the rasterizer LV7300 mainly for SDI signal.

The LV5600 is a 3U half-rack size waveform monitor equipped with a 7-inch touch panel, while the LV7600 is a 1U full-rack size rasterizer that supports SDI and IP signals. This product has various measurement monitoring functions ranging from video to audio and IP transmission.

The waveform monitor LV5300 is battery-operable and portable. If space is a consideration, one could opt for the 1U half-rack size LV7300 rasterizer.

According to Masayoshi Ishihara, who is seconded to Leader’s office in Singapore, the ZEN series is totally configurable to fit customers’ intended use by allowing them to select what they need. No stress, stay calm!

The Roland V-02HD is a handy ultra-compact micro-switcher.

Over at the Roland booth, Tomoya Nakauchi, deputy manager of Roland Pro A/V marketing group, had a young lady to highlight the company’s V-02HD Multi-format Video Mixer.

The Roland V-02HD is an ultra-compact two-input switcher and video production problem-solver for a wide range of production settings, including live-streaming and presentations. It is a versatile and powerful video mixer, combining a simple switcher, high-quality scaler, input expander, an inline video effects/composition as well as being an audio solution.

This ultra-compact portable “micro-switcher” is designed for solving challenges in live-streaming and video production workflows. It easily fits into most equipment cases and bags, making it handy for every production, and it can also be attached to standard video mounts and tripods.

The Roland V-02HD is able to accept the outputs from two HDMI cameras and seamlessly switch to a connected recorder or live-streaming encoder. Simple two-button operation means that even a first-time user can accomplish professional switching of multiple sources, and hands-free switching is possible using an optional foot-switch.

Hiroshi Ochiai: “The Zao-S can enable full HD live video mobile transmission of live events via 4G from remote locations to anywhere in the world.”

Seen cradling the Smart-telecaster Zao-S, reputed to be the world’s smallest mobile H.265 HEVC hardware encoder, at the Soliton booth was Hiroshi Ochiai, general manager of the company’s mobile broadcasting division.

Ochiai said: ”The Zao-S can enable full HD live video mobile transmission of live events via 4G from remote locations, to anywhere in the world, with a simple unit attached to the camera.”

Pausing to point out the capabilities of the telecaster, he added: “As it’s compact and light, it is also good for police work.”

Weighing only about 350g, the Zao-S can be carried either on a body strap or be mounted on a camera and connect either via HD-SDI or HDMI to the camera. It can connect up to six SIM cards using external dongles that can be bonded together to form a single connection via 3G, 4G or WiFi.

The Zao-S also leverages its RASCOW technology that monitors the changing mobile signal strength in real time and adapts the most optimum bonded combination of the 3G, 4G and WiFi connections. As a result, the quickest and most reliable delivery across the Internet is given to the decoding platform … and this offers reliable video contribution even when signal strength becomes low or fluctuates rapidly.

Indeed, the Zao-S smart-telecaster will be a boon to mobile broadcasting.

Tadashi “Todd” Sasaki says the UA46x zooms employ HT-EBC and thereby result in richer colours and greatly improved blue response and transmittance.

Looking for best-in-class stabilization and accuracy 4K HDR zoom lenses?

Fujinon has expanded its Premier UA series with two new 46x lenses — the UA46x9.5B and UA46x13.5B, designed specifically for Ultra HD (UHD) broadcast applications. The UA46x9.5B sports a class-leading 46x zoom ratio and a wide angle from 9.5-437mm (19-874mm w/2x) with an F2.0 aperture; the “tele” version UA46x13.5B lens features a 46x zoom ratio and a telephoto reach from 13.5-621mm (27-1,242mm w/2x) with an F2.8 aperture.

Each lens weighs 5.7kg and about 345.8mm long.

According to Tadashi “Todd” Sasaki, manager, Sales & Marketing Group, Optical Device & Electronic Imaging Products Division, Fujifilm Corporation, the UA46x zooms employ the latest High Transmittance Electron Beam Coating (HT-EBC), resulting in richer colours and greatly improved blue response and transmittance.

The lenses also offer 4K UHD and HDR optical performance from centre to corner throughout the zoom range while suppressing image distortion, due to a multi-group zoom system. And its newly-designed OS-TECH image stabilizer provides a highly advanced image stabilization for a lens in this class, making the new UA46x zooms ideal for sports, wildlife, and documentary production.

Yoshinobu Kawakami is proud of his JVC’s GY-HC550 Connected Cam that comes with a high-resolution viewfinder.

Taking pride of place at the JVC booth was the JVC GY-HC550 Connected Cam 4K memory-card camera recorder.

Explaining its new innovative features was Yoshinobu Kawakami, manager, Creation Sales & Marketing Group, Global Solution Department, Media Business Division, JVC Kenwood Corporation. He said: “It is really good to see JVC looking further ahead compared to most camcorder manufacturers.

“The JVC GY-HC550 features a 1-inch 4K CMOS sensor combined with a newly-developed 20x lens with three-ring control, resulting in excellent imaging performance and shooting flexibility.

“With a high-resolution viewfinder, imaging framing and focus control can be easily achieved — the GY-HC550 can achieve up to 12 stops of dynamic range, with support for BT709, BT2020 and BT2100 HLG colour spaces.”

He added that the GY-HC550 has incorporated the latest generation codec that is being used in the GY-HC900 shoulder-mount Connected Cam, thus allowing it to record to SSD media in a wide variety of formats, including 10-bit ProRes 422 at 4K resolution and 50/60p frame rates.

A number of other codecs and recording formats are also available, including H.264 and MPEG-2, ensuring support for a wide range of workflows. 

Kawakami said the JVC GY-HC550 can deliver an advanced set of IP connectivity functions, thereby offering live-streaming, FTP file transfer and remote camera control.

Daisuke Yoshida of NTT-E (left) and colleague Dr Yoichi Kato of NTT-TX maintain that the viaPlatz 4K/8K is a cost-effective platform for IP-based technologies.

With an eye on 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics Games and while continuing to innovate to deliver deeper immersive video experiences such as its VR (virtual reality) technology that allows one to experience viewing 360-degree still images or content created with CG through its head-mount display, NTT-E (Electronics) and NTT-TX (TechnoCross) as a whole was more intent on demonstrating its fast and cost-efficient H.265/HEVC transcoding solution.

Dr Yoichi Kato, general manager, ICT Design Office, Strategic Business Integration Division, NTT-TX, explained: “Broadcasters would like to reduce live remote production costs while maintaining high-quality capture of live sports.

“Use of H.265/HEVC is expanding, mainly in video contribution, Internet-based distribution and achieving. The main challenge in using this highly efficient technology is the longer processing time in file-based encoding due to its complexity.

“NTT-TX in embracing NTT-E’s RM1000 H.265/HEVC H/W encoding board now provides a fast and high-quality file-based HEVC transcoding solution — the viaPLATZ 4K/8K platform.”

The viaPlatz 4K/8K is a cost-efficient platform for ever-evolving workflow with IP-based technologies and general purpose hardware such as COTS  (commercial off-the-shelf) equipment, according to Daisuke Yoshida, senior sales director, Business Promotion Office, Digital Video Component Business Group, NTT Electronics.

Gaining much attention at the NTT booth was the MV7000, a brand-new compact 1U half-rack HEVC IP codec that provides high video quality IP/ASI transmission with low bit rate and low latency.

Yoshida said: “The MVE7000/MVD7000 supports various IP-related functions which enable stable and reliable live IP transmission.

“The MVE7000 as well as the MVD7000 will be available in first quarter of 2019.”

Part Two: Report will be available next Tuesday, Feb 19.

To facilitate the adoption of new 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) workflows by the broadcast industry, Media Links launched a product to fill the gap in the industry’s transition from SDI- to IP-based workflows? What is it and does it really fill the gap? And to help broadcasters to stay relevant in the increasingly digital world, Hitachi’s Digital Microwave Link has enabled Mediacorp of Singapore to transmit both HD and SD content as it switched to digital broadcasting at the beginning of 2019. Another cost-efficient product demonstrated at Inter BEE 2018 (November 14-16) at Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, was Shotoku’s SmartPed, a fully robotic studio pedestal capable of satisfying the commercial and creative demands of any live TV studio production.

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