Dielectric Wins Large TV and Radio Antenna Deals in the Philippines

Dielectric, the leading manufacturer of broadcast antennas and RF systems for TV and radio, today reports that Philippines partner 90 Degrees North has secured several UHF TV and FM broadcast antenna deals in the country. The projects include high-power FM antennas for a religious radio station run by Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), low-power FM antennas for state-run Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS), and a TUM panel UHF DTV antenna for CNN Philippines (CNN PH). The latter is owned and operated by Nine Media Corporation in association with Radio Philippines Network (RPN).

For CNN Philippines, Dielectric received a purchase order for a new 30 kW TUM panel UHF DTV antenna that is scheduled to ship in May for an early July installation. Launched in 2015, CNN PH broadcasts 24-hour programming primarily via terrestrial TV towers, supplemented by cable TV, satellite and streaming media services.

According to John Achilles Denna, CEO/COO of 90 Degrees North, Inc., CNN PH is taking proactive steps to transition from its analog VHF operation to the ISDB-T DTV broadcast standard. This move initially only affects their Mega Manila operation’s move to Channel 19, while the rest of its large station group will continue broadcasting in analog from terrestrial towers around the nation’s 7,000+ islands.

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“The number one driver behind this DTV transition is to deliver a cleaner signal over the air while mitigating poor reception issues,” Denna said. “Going DTV will help them manage their signal quality better and avoid signal interference from neighboring broadcasters, which will increase viewership throughout the Mega Manila market. Dielectric’s unrivaled engineering and antenna reliability will ensure a smooth transition operationally.”

Since the new TUM panel antenna is wideband and suitable for multiplexing channels, Cory Edwards, global sales for Dielectric, explained that this gives CNN PH the flexibility to lease its spare bandwidth to other broadcasters—or to launch new channels of its own—to help defray its operational and upgrade costs. Having multiple transmitters feeding a single antenna also reduces operating costs.

Dielectric will build and ship a total of 15 DCR-T Series FM radio antennas over a six-month period to support the two radio projects. The majority of these antennas will go to PBS—the state-run national radio network operated by the Bureau of Broadcast Services—to replace aging antennas from another vendor that have declined in performance. The DCR-T is designed for low-to-medium power FM radio stations ranging from 1 to 5kW. In addition to broadband capabilities, the DCR-T can be adjusted in the field to operate on specific frequencies, resulting in greater effective radiated power (ERP).

Far East Broadcasting, which operates an FM radio network across the Philippines, has already taken delivery of a circularly polarized DCRM-FE Series FM antenna. This antenna, which is intended for FEBC’s full-power religious station—DZAS-FM serving Mega Manila—includes fine matcher and broadband capabilities. Since the antenna system can be tuned without the need to add fine matchers, the installation saves time and money.

While it replaces an 8-bay half-spaced antenna, the design of this 6-bay antenna affords higher gain from the same footprint, resulting in greater operational and energy efficiency. Given that it’s being installed on the roof of a building, this Dielectric antenna’s variable bay spacing ensures a significant reduction in downward radiation that could harm those below.

Regional Impact

The three deals are the latest of many procured by 90 Degrees North, Inc., a video and audio production, broadcast equipment supply and systems integration firm based in Manila. In 2018, 90 Degrees North secured a large TV deal including filters, combiners and transmission line with Broadcast Enterprises and Affiliated Media (BEAM), a subsidiary of the Globe Telecom conglomerate.

“The Filipino market poses tremendous growth opportunities for antennas, as TV broadcasters are just beginning their DTV transitions, which is slated for completion by 2023,” said Edwards. “Many Filipino TV broadcasters are also migrating to the UHF band and delivering a DTV signal that boost picture quality and reception across their markets. “

On the radio side, 90 Degrees North last year won a turnkey FM radio project with government broadcaster Philippine Broadcasting Service (PBS) covering antennas, filters and accessories. The partnership has substantially raised Dielectric visibility and market share throughout the country, with Dielectric doubling FM radio antenna sales in the second half of 2018 compared to the previous six months.

“Many Filipino radio broadcasters are replacing FM antennas that have been damaged by the region’s numerous typhoons,” said Denna. “Our marketing efforts are also timely because many of these broadcasters are also upgrading to IBOC-compliant FM radio antennas to attain greater power output, operational efficiency and flexibility.”

Dielectric will exhibit the TUM panel UHF antenna and the DCR-T FM antenna alongside other broadcast antennas and RF systems at the 2019 NAB Show, taking place from April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dielectric exhibits at Booth C2213.

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Proclaim19: Cobalt Digital Offers Encoding, Processing Options for Worship Market

The company will showcase a variety of its card-based terminal equipment for the openGear® platform to address the broadcast, webcast, and campus video transport needs of worship media professionals.

For sharing video across campus or between different campuses, the new RIST (Reliable Internet Stream Transport) protocol can be used for low latency and high fidelity transport of video and audio signals over the internet. By using unmanaged links over private connections, worship facilities can save thousands of dollars annually in networking fees. Cobalt supports RIST with a number of products, including the 9223 MPEG-4 encoder (available in single or dual-channel configurations) and the 9992-ENC-4K-HEVC encoder, which can lower the bandwidth required for video transport by half while preserving image quality.

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The 9992-ENC series of encoders for openGear supports customizable I/O options and extensive audio support. While the base model includes a 3G-SDI input that supports one signal up to 1080p60, upgrades can support three additional 1080p60 signals for high density workflows or one 4Kp60 signal. Outputs include two independent ASI ports and two Gigabit Ethernet ports for distribution flexibility, including direct streaming to CDNs.

“Like other markets, houses of worship need to transport video between locations reliably and cost effectively. The RIST protocol, coupled with our card-based hardware solutions, uses the internet and avoids costly infrastructure upgrades,” said Chris Shaw, Cobalt executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Cobalt also provides solutions for churches upgrading to 4K incrementally or looking to improve their broadcast, cable, and online distribution.”

Cobalt also provides affordable, flexible monitoring of signals up to 4K through its 9971 Series of UHD multiviewers for openGear. Not only does the 9971 Series take advantage of the full 4K raster of the latest consumer monitors – providing an impressive control room viewing experience – but it allows complete customization, so operators are not limited to simple grid layouts. Available in three models, the 9971 Series can accommodate a variety of video and computer sources.

HDR is an ideal way to maximize production values when working with a budgeted number of bits. A 2K HDR signal, for example, provides a much better image to a screen under 90 inches than a 4K SDR signal. Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K up/down/cross converter and image processor with frame sync provides SDR-to-HDR conversion with optional software, which reduces the need for new camera purchases and other capital expenditures to produce HDR footage.

Worship facilities that are upgrading to 4K can also consider the family of 9914DA reclocking distribution amplifiers that support multiple inputs and outputs, and allow for copper runs to reach most equipment within a rack room. For longer runs, optional optical I/O connects distribution from zones of much greater distances.

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WXPN Syndicates XPoNential Radio with Live, Uncompressed, IP-Based Delivery Service from StreamGuys and Barix

Philadelphia-based WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, takes great pride in its reputation for innovative programming and operational practices. When the nationally-recognized leader in Triple A (adult album alternative) radio set out to develop a more sustainable distribution model for its XPoNential Radio channel — which not only extends WXPN’s brand and programming expertise, but also produces revenue — it turned to the Reflector service from streaming solutions pioneer StreamGuys and IP audio technology leader Barix to power its new syndication system.

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XPoNential Radio showcases an eclectic blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country with a unique mix of emerging and heritage contemporary musicians. XPoNential Radio is offered to CPB-qualified public radio stations for use on primary terrestrial broadcasts or HD channels, and affiliate stations can brand it at the bottom of each hour with their own messaging and station IDs.

XPoNential Radio was originally distributed to affiliates via satellite and offered only for use on HD2 or HD3 channels. WXPN wanted to widen the usage of the channel to include primary broadcast, and while it continues to use satellite for national programming such as its award-winning World Cafe, it needed to find an alternative, sustainable distribution model for the smaller-scale XPoNential Radio.

“Satellite is still an essential part of the public radio distribution ecosystem, but in a multi-platform and varying-scale environment like ours, we also need reliable, cost-efficient alternative methods to distribute our programming,” said Roger LaMay, general manager at WXPN. “It is essential that we keep the XPoNential Radio service low-cost both for ourselves and potential affiliates, many of which are smaller stations or those looking to program their HD2 or HD3 channels, so a different solution is needed for closer-to-the ground operations.”

Despite cost-effectiveness being one of the station’s motivations, quality and reliability were also key criteria.

“We always have a mind for how we can have the highest-quality audio, which made an uncompressed solution attractive,” explained LaMay. “And of course, reliability is essential.”

The Barix Reflector service operated by StreamGuys allows content providers to easily deliver audio over IP without time-consuming network configuration effort. Uncompressed PCM audio is transported between Barix hardware endpoints across StreamGuys’ robust content delivery network, while link management is simplified through an intuitive, cloud-based portal. Having successfully used StreamGuys’ services for all of their streaming content for many years, WXPN found Reflector immediately compelling, but still put it through extensive in-house and beta testing.

“We weren’t sure if affiliates that had only used satellite before would be willing to go to IP, but ultimately there was very little resistance,” said LaMay. “Once stations discovered how easy it would be, they quickly got on board. They also appreciated the pristine, lossless, CD-quality audio enabled by uncompressed delivery. Our beta testing was so successful that in one case, the affiliate racked up the Barix unit after just one day and wasn’t going to give it back.”

The new XPoNential Radio distribution system was launched January 1 and is now serving affiliates as far away as Alaska, including KBIA, KSTK, KUAC, KUCB, KWMU, WFYI, WPLN, WUAL and WWFM.

As a managed service offering, Reflector makes it simple for affiliates to get started with XPoNential Radio.

“WXPN purchases the Barix Exstreamer units, and StreamGuys pre-configures and ships them to the stations,” said John Bartol, IT director at WXPN. “The affiliate plugs in Ethernet, power and audio cables, and XPoNential Radio programming comes out. It’s very much plug-and-play.”

The service’s cloud-based management portal similarly makes life easier for WXPN themselves.

“As the admin, I can log in to Reflector and see that all clients are connected, streaming, and up to date,” said Bartol. “I can also start, stop and configure delivery to each affiliate, so if we ever need to terminate service to a client, I can do that directly through the management console. That wasn’t possible in our previous approach.”

Affiliates also don’t need any “special” internet connectivity to use the service. A very modest 1.5Mbps of bandwidth is enough to receive the uncompressed signal, and most consumer-level internet connections are sufficiently reliable and stable. Even WXPN does not require hefty bandwidth regardless of how many affiliates they serve, as the Barix Reflector service takes a single feed from the origin, with StreamGuys’ delivery network scaling out the bandwidth for reaching recipients.

“XPoNential Radio is an easy way for stations to offer a fully-prepared programming service beyond what they’re doing on their own,” concluded LaMay. “The uncompressed Reflector service from StreamGuys and Barix lets us reliably deliver XPoNential Radio in unbeatable quality at a sustainable price point.”

StreamGuys and Barix will demonstrate the Reflector service at the upcoming 2019 NAB Show (April 8-11 in Las Vegas), where StreamGuys will co-exhibit with ENCO in booth N2524, and Barix will exhibit in booth C1139.

Densitron Debuts UReady HMI Engine for Broadcast Displays

Densitron a creator of display technologies and global leader in display, monitor and embedded computing solutions, is releasing the UReady 16600, a new rack-mounted HMI engine with USB interface. Specifically designed to meet the exacting needs of broadcast applications in mission critical operational environments, portable production units, studios, OB vehicles and control rooms, the high-resolution display also features Capacitive Touch functionality for interactive control.

The UReady 16600 offers an easy to mount housing and plug-and-play connectivity for Windows OS 7, 8 and 10. Packaged into one single 1U 19” rack metal chassis, the 13.2” monitor offers unprecedented 222 ppi resolution combined with excellent backlight brightness and contrast and IPS technology for an 85/85/85/85 symmetric viewing angle.

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Outstanding functionality allows multiple video picture displays and audio level displays to be side by side. With the high pixel ratio (2880×240) operators can monitor both video and audio signals with confidence.

As part of Densitron’s UReady USB range the unit comes with Projected Capacitive Touch (PCT) as standard allowing the device to be interactive. The module is designed to operate around the clock 24/7 with a backlight offering a half-life of 50,000 hours and within a wide temperature range of -10°C to +60°C.

Martyn Gates, Director of Product Development, Densitron commented, “Densitron has always been associated with innovative displays and display technology, and now we’re in a position to demonstrate our strategic commitment to the broadcast industry. The UReady 16000 is a high performing monitoring device that supports the Human Machine Interface in the most demanding of broadcast production environments.”

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GatesAir Introduces Intraplex® Ascent to Address Broadcast and IT Convergence for Audio over IP Transport

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will unveil Intraplex® Ascent, a scalable, multichannel Audio over IP transport solution that addresses the convergence of broadcast operations with IT infrastructure. Introduced as a technology demonstration at IBC in September, the 2019 NAB Show marks the official introduction of the complete working solution.

Ascent offers a direct connection to traditional digital and analog audio interfaces, and is compliant with both the AES67 standard and today’s leading AoIP networking solutions (Ravenna, LiveWire+ and Dante). Ascent is available in two form factors: a 1RU server, with configurable options for physical and AES67 channels; and a software-only solution that operates in a virtualized container. Both versions support up to 32 audio channels (AES3, AES67, analog) and are interoperable with most Intraplex Audio over IP codecs. GatesAir will demonstrate each at its NAB booth (N3303) from April 8-11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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The software-defined innovation is GatesAir’s first Intraplex system to live on a COTS x86 server, and provides broadcasters with a highly scalable, redundant and cloud-based transport platform for multichannel contribution and distribution. The platform streamlines installation and management by removing the need for many separate codecs and auxiliary hardware components, freeing multiple equipment racks in enterprise-level facilities.

Ascent adds further value by allowing users to manage many Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) streams on a centralized platform – an industry-first in Audio over IP networking for broadcasters. SRT is a low-latency open source media streaming protocol which provides packet encryption and re-transmission capabilities for reliability and security. To further strengthen stream robustness and reliability, Ascent integrates Dynamic Stream Splicing (DSS), an Intraplex technology that diversifies SRT data across redundant networks. The addition of DSS to SRT will add protection against certain types of packet losses and complete network failures.

“Audio over IP has become a widely accepted technology, with a growing number of hardware and software solutions for broadcasters to choose from,” said Keyur Parikh, Vice President and General Manager, Intraplex Product Line. “As an early innovator of Audio over IP codecs and networking solutions for broadcasters, GatesAir is taking the next logical step for our customers with direct integration into the IT infrastructure. With our Dynamic Stream Splicing application and SRT capability to fortify stream security and reliability, our customers now have a simple platform to manage many channels coming in and out of the studio or headend – all on a single, highly-redundant, multi-core server.”

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Artel Video Systems at the 2019 NAB Show

The company will demonstrate its award-winning SMART Media Delivery Platform™ with a focus on new features and capabilities that enhance operational simplicity, flexibility, and scalability. Artel’s booth exhibit also will showcase the company’s Quarra IP PTP switches, ARQ Reliable Internet Streaming Transport (RIST) for OTT streaming, and FiberLink® family of media transport products.

SMART Media Delivery Platform™

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Artel’s SMART Media Delivery Platform™ is a carrier-grade, four-channel auto-sense 3G/HD/SD-SDI-over-IP multifunction gateway with integrated nonblocking Layer 2/3 switching and routing capabilities. The software-enabled solution features four video ports for transport of video, audio, and ancillary data and four GigE data ports bridged to one or two 10G interfaces. Designed to attach seamlessly to the IP network without the need for external network elements, the SMART platform supports SMPTE ST 2022: 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7 hitless switching; QoS; VLAN tagging; and traffic management.

New SDI/SMPTE ST 2110 encapsulation/de-encapsulation capabilities allow users to bridge legacy SDI signals into an ST 2110 framework and workflow, and the addition of SMPTE ST 2110/ST 2022 transcoding facilitates conversion of ST 2110 streams to ST 2022 for effective transport beyond the local area network (LAN).

When additional capacity is needed, a new software-defined SMART SuperNode feature for SMART modules facilitates high-capacity on-boarding or adaptation of media over IP up to 100 Gbps of switching throughput.

Quarra PTP Ethernet Switches

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Designed for audio/video broadcast, defense and security, finance, utilities, telecom, and enterprise IT applications in which accurate timing and control are required, Artel’s Quarra family of PTP-aware managed IP switches offers the industry’s most accurate IEEE 1588-compliant timing and synchronization. The switches support SMPTE ST 2110 and ST 2059-2, permitting interoperable use of IP-based media equipment with conventional genlocked SDI equipment. They are RAVENNA AES67-approved and Dante- and QSC-tested.

ARQ IP Streaming System

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The ARQ IP Streaming System serves Reliable Internet Streaming Transport (RIST) for OTT video applications. The ARQ system is simple to configure and ideal for distribution of high-quality video over unconditioned IP networks, including wireless, internet, and satellite. The solution is scalable in single-stream increments, allowing broadcasters to add ARQ licenses quickly to deliver multiple UDP unicast and multicast services.

FiberLink® Family of Media Transport Products

Supporting nearly every type of video, audio, and data signal, Artel’s FiberLink® media transport products bring much-needed flexibility to broadcast or corporate studios, OB vans, point-of-view cameras, rental and staging, auditoriums, stadiums and theaters, transportation hubs, distance learning, and other pro A/V environments. Devices in the family boast SMPTE standards support to ensure interoperability and reliability in video, audio, and data transport.

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ChyronHego at the 2019 NAB Show

Accelerating Producer-Driven News Workflows

ChyronHego’s solution is the CAMIO Universe, an end-to-end, all-software ecosystem for multiplatform news delivery. The CAMIO Universe drives template-based, unified news workflows and places the industry’s most powerful storytelling tools at producers’ fingertips. The heart of the CAMIO Universe is ChyronHego’s award-winning CAMIO graphic asset management system. At the 2019 NAB Show, ChyronHego will highlight CAMIO’s extreme versatility and flexibility for news producers, with a focus on its seamless integration with virtually any newsroom computer system (NRCS) in the world.

Designed specifically for OTT content creation and publishing, ChyronHego’s all-new Vidigo News will make its North American debut at the 2019 NAB Show. Vidigo News is an all-in-one newsroom production solution for templated, producer-driven OTT workflows that operate seamlessly alongside linear productions. Vidigo News packages ChyronHego’s Vidigo Live Compositor for live multicamera production with the company’s award-winning GFX solutions, the Live Assist production automation system, and a Live Assist Panels user interface. The result gives news producers a complete solution for expanding their presence with new-media audiences and delivering high-impact content faster and easier than ever before.

Also on display will be PRIME Graphics 3.5, the latest version of ChyronHego’s universal graphics platform. Driven by ChyronHego’s powerful rendering engine, PRIME Graphics provides a single, easy-to-use 4K- and IP-ready graphics design and playout platform for better news storytelling — whether producers are looking to deliver a simple lower third or news ticker, a sophisticated and eye-catching video wall behind the anchor, or a touch screen that a reporter can use to illustrate the story. At the 2019 NAB Show, ChyronHego will highlight all-new GPU capabilities that enable PRIME to drive a virtually unlimited number of pixels and synchronize multiple outputs for highly sophisticated video walls of any screen size and shape. ChyronHego will also unveil powerful new HDR capabilities in PRIME for creating native HDR graphics and outputting them to an HDR channel.

ChyronHego will showcase the newest developments for its family of augmented reality (AR) graphics and virtual set solutions, all designed to make these advanced technologies accessible and affordable to news operations of all sizes. With ChyronHego’s Hybrid AR solutions, news producers and journalists can create and drive highly sophisticated AR graphics with no more effort than it takes to create a lower third, all managed from the same NRCS rundown. Another key AR focus will be the new integration with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. With Unreal’s industry-leading rendering and real-time special effects tools, news producers are now able to add eye-catching photorealistic and hyper-realistic elements to their on-air virtual sets and speed up the process of delivering AR graphics for day-to-day newscasts.

Powerful and Effective Channel Branding

Effective and compelling channel branding has never been more important for news producers, not only to reinforce the station’s brand identity and retain audience share but also to open the door to lucrative new revenue opportunities. At the 2019 NAB Show, ChyronHego will feature the latest channel branding capabilities built into its NewsTicker 5 and PRIME Graphics solutions.

In use by 85 percent of the North American broadcast market, NewsTicker 5 is a robust, web-based platform for effortless creation of on-screen ticker displays. Through a tight integration with the PRIME Graphics platform, NewsTicker 5 is able to exploit all of PRIME Graphics’ powerful data management capabilities for delivering localized channel branding and support for multiple languages, with seamless display of weather alerts and other breaking news data. An all-new, HTML 5-based user interface gives producers the ability to control shows remotely from their laptops or tablets and accelerates their ability to develop new sponsorships and other revenue-generating opportunities.

Supercharging Broadcast Sports

Sophisticated on-screen graphics for highlighting sports plays and illuminating the action are now a fixture of sports broadcasting, and viewers have come to expect features such as virtual first-down lines in football or replays in which analysts circle players and draw their movements on the screen. Broadcasters need tools that make generating these graphics as fast and easy as possible, but that also open a new range of opportunities for sponsorships and revenue generation. Designed with these specific goals in mind, ChyronHego’s Paint and Virtual Placement solutions for real-time data visualization in live sports broadcasting will both be highlighted at the 2019 NAB Show.

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With the Paint telestration and analysis tool, broadcasters are able to generate sophisticated Illustrated Replays™ by visually analyzing game play and graphically highlighting the video to be replayed. In addition to full 4K support and integration with industry-leading EVS and Grass Valley replay systems, Version 7.5 of Paint now includes tools for seamless and automatic publishing of the telestrated replay clips to social media outlets, including YouTube and Facebook.

ChyronHego’s Virtual Placement adds robust, tied-to-surface virtual graphics to live productions without the need for a specialist operator, expensive camera sensors, or lengthy calibration processes. At the 2019 NAB Show, ChyronHego will highlight powerful new capabilities for maximizing revenue opportunities in Virtual Placement 7.1. For instance, a single Virtual Placement system can now output up to four different virtual graphics at once, accelerating localization of graphics and regionalization of advertising.

Another important new Virtual Placement 7.1 capability is remote graphics placement for international rights holders. Now, with a local Virtual Placement system on their premises, broadcasters anywhere can insert a virtual graphic into the clean feed downstream of the broadcast venue, with no additional calibration needed to make the graphic track realistically on the field. In this manner, they can avoid the expense and logistical challenges of deploying on-site production teams and equipment at the sports venue.

Enhancing the Stadium/Venue Experience

For sports teams and arenas, delivering an even more exciting and captivating in-venue experience is key to drawing fans away from their TV screens and into the stadium. LED screens are bigger, more sophisticated, and more complex than ever, with advanced technologies such as HDR making the on-screen presentation almost as exciting as what’s actually happening on the field. ChyronHego’s Click Effects PRIME is a set of highly integrated and turnkey graphics-authoring tools that make delivering these live arena- and stadium-based AV presentations almost as easy as “click-effect.”

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With Click Effects PRIME, stadiums can easily deliver AV presentations to any canvas size and any number of outputs in any resolution. At the 2019 NAB Show, ChyronHego will demonstrate new features that make the product even more versatile. While stadiums were previously limited to HD-SDI resolutions (e.g. 1920 x 1080) in order to synchronize outputs, Click Effects PRIME now includes native GPU-based technology for driving multiple screens at UHD resolutions and delivering a much higher number of pixels per physical output. With GPU power, Click Effects PRIME users can synchronize multiple outputs in native resolutions and across multiple physical servers, unleashing an almost infinite range of creative possibilities.

In addition, a new integration of Click Effects PRIME with industry-leading production switchers from Grass Valley now provides a single point of control for in-venue technical directors to switch shows and deliver game-in-progress graphics simultaneously to multiple displays.

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