During the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid, several FOR-A Ultra High-Speed FT-ONE-SS4K cameras were utilized for critical slow motion replays as part of the live broadcast. The same camera will be on display within the FOR-A booth (Hall 2, Stand A51) during IBC 2019 at the RAI Amsterdam this week. The FT-ONE-SS4K will be demonstrated with the ZE-ONE 4K zoom extractor during IBC.
Specially designed for live, instant replay in ultra-slow motion, the FOR-A® FT-ONE-SS4K supports UHD shot at up to 1000 frames per second. It provides a continual, real-time 4K live output. A native 2/3-inch image sensor enables the use of a B4 bayonet broadcast lens directly on the camera. With a 2.5 stop light advantage over previous generations of super slow-motion cameras, the FT-ONE-SS4K offers higher frame rate image capture than was possible before. It supports HDR/SDR and WCG. The camera also features 24 axis color correction. Canon’s OLED viewfinder is compatible with the FT-ONE-SS4K and can be used as an option. Flicker Correction is also available as an option. FT-ONE-SS4K camera systems have been used during many high-profile live sports events from all over the world.
The ZE-ONE 4K extraction system allows FT-ONE-SS4K users to frame and extract desired 4K image areas to capture the action for HD replays. The system provides operators with an intuitive touch-screen interface to frame and extract specified HD scenes at any size from 4K sources. The ZE-ONE allows operators to smoothly zoom in or out and includes an embedded audio delay processor.
The university’s Enhanced Video Imaging (EVI) project involved the development of an automatic process to detect and brighten dark sections of video while at the same time sensing and enhancing detail in over-exposed sections.
“One of the main issues involved in progressing from standard dynamic range to high dynamic range television is the need to provide good downward compatibility with the huge number of SDR television receivers already installed and in current use,” says Mike Christmann, Professor of Media Technology at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences.
“The new generation of broadcast cameras can provide a much wider scene contrast range than conventional displays and it is obvious that converters are needed to handle the different formats. A highly dynamic sensor with low noise is key to obtaining the best results from EVI.”
“The more image information we can collect from the camera, the better our system will perform. We chose the Ikegami UHK-430 because it is an excellent-performing 4K UHD HDR broadcast studio camera combined with superb image quality and sensor performance.”
“We are very pleased that the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences chose our technology for this highly successful project,” adds Michael Lätzsch, Broadcast & Professional Video Division Manager at Ikegami Electronics Europe. “EVI has already earned multiple awards and was designated ‘Product Of The Year’ at the NAB 2019 fair in Las Vegas. The UHK-430’s modular design will ensure an easy transition to future transmission standards, supporting ongoing educational and research activity at the highest level for many years to come.”
“Our studies demonstrated beyond question that scene luminance values should not always be reproduced one-to-one on an HDR display”, details Lucien Lenzen who managed the project. “Non-uniform scenes can actually look worse in HDR than in SDR due to the effects of glare. Homogenisation techniques, such as using different windows in colour grading, can help to compensate for these effects but are not practical when transmitting live. EVI is designed to produce better images on an automated basis in real time, optimising lighting balance and exposure as well as correcting hue and saturation.”
A prototype EVI HDR to SDR downconverter is currently being evaluated by German broadcasters BR and WDR. It runs on a 1U server processing one UHD or two HD streams in real time. The camera feeds directly to the converter. After conversion, the resulting ‘normal’ SDR signal can be treated in exactly the same way as usual.
The UHK-430 is a 4K-native camera system with simultaneous HDR/SDR processing. Its three 2/3 inch CMOS sensors provide full 3840 x 2160 UHD resolution plus the depth of field needed for studio and outdoor production. The camera is equipped with a B4 bayonet mount compatible with 2/3 inch HD lenses. An optional SE-U430 expander accommodates large studio or OB lenses.
An integrated Ikegami AXII processor enables the UHK-430 to deliver 40 gigabit/s uncompressed full bandwidth video transmission plus a wide range of features including 16-axis colour correction and focus-assist for 4K and HD video modes. An optional MoIP module for the UHK-430 allows 4K UHD video plus additional signals such as intercom and return-video feeds to be exchanged between the CCU-430 and a local IP network hub along a light weight optical fibre instead of requiring multiple SDI cables, enabling easy and low latency signal distribution.
In its standard form, the UHK-430 weighs just 4.6 kg. Dimensions are 149 mm wide x 243 mm high x 340 mm front-to-back.
Product highlights will include its new decoders and encoders, RIST Main Profile, bi-directional SDR/HDR conversion solution for live production, and new multiviewers and distribution amplifiers. Plus, the company will debut a new 12G openGear router and RIST gateway solution.
The new 9992-DEC Series of HEVC/AVC/MPEG-2 decoders for openGear frames will be introduced at the show. Like the company’s 9992-ENC series of encoders, the flexible 9992-DEC features pay-as-you-go licensing, so users only pay for required features when needed. Designed to meet the most stringent requirements for today’s broadcasters, the 9992-DEC supports up to 4K resolution and offers a full complement of audio decoding capabilities. The series also includes the 9992-2DEC dual-channel decoder, as well as the 9992-DEC-4K-HEVC with single-channel 4K or dual-channel 2K and support for H.265.
Earlier this year, Cobalt was one of several companies to receive an Emmy® Award for its collaborative work on ARQ, the underlying technology powering RIST. At IBC, Cobalt will debut support for the RIST Main Profile, which adds features such as encryption (DTLS or PSK), tunneling, NAT traversal, point-to-multipoint distribution, low bit rate optimization, and reliable ST-2110 transport.
New advancements in HDR at the show include a complete end-to-end HDR workflow within Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K up/down/cross converter. Utilizing Technicolor’s suite of HDR tools, which can be bundled into a single ordering option, the 9904 can generate dynamic metadata when converting from HDR to SDR and back to HDR, preserving the full HDR picture information.
Cobalt continues to develop its popular 9971 Series of multiviewers, adding dual outputs and user controls. Delivering uncomplicated monitoring of asynchronous 4K and HD signals, all three models accommodate a variety of signals and applications. All models also include HDMI outputs for economical viewing on consumer-grade 4K monitors. One-button template presets simplify setup, but users can also create and save customized layouts. Up to five 9971 can be installed in one 2 RU openGear frame – and multiple cards in a cascaded chain can provide multiviewer layouts of up to 64 sources.
The new 9915 Series of DAs support 4K 12G-SDI sources and allow for copper runs long enough to reach most equipment within master control. One of four models in the series, the 9915DA-4×16-XPT-12G, includes four input channels that can be crosspoint-routed to 16 DA outputs in several configurations. Up to 10 cards can be installed in one openGear frame, allowing for up to 40 channels of input and distribution to up to 160 outputs.
“Broadcasters now accept 4K as the production norm, and Cobalt has an extensive menu of openGear-based solutions for studios and mobile production,” Chris Shaw, executive vice president of sales and marketing, Cobalt Digital. “Our products provide flexible and affordable ways to process, monitor, and distribute 4K and HDR content.”
Other products at the Cobalt booth will include a new 12G-SDI openGear routing card with a 12×12 routing matrix. Designed to fit into legacy frames, the card helps customers use 4K islands cost effectively. Demonstrating leadership of RIST technology, Cobalt is also launching SafeLink, an openGear solution that can take in multiple transport streams and provide a RIST wrapper to protect video links between two points.
Harmonic announced that Guangdong Radio and Television (GRT) is the first province-level broadcaster in China to deploy UHD channels, thanks to a playout solution from Harmonic. Supporting a range of formats, including SD, HD and UHD, Harmonic’s playout solution enables GRT to create pristine UHD broadcasts.
“UHD is still fairly new to the Chinese market, and we wanted to be at the forefront of this exciting movement,” said Huang Yonghong, associate director at GRT. “Harmonic’s playout solution provides rock-solid reliability and a rich feature set, increasing our workflow efficiency and allowing UHD channels to be launched very quickly.”
GRT has deployed Harmonic’s market-leading Spectrum™ X media server to deliver provincial UHD broadcasts and expand its HD channel offering. Harmonic’s Spectrum X solution reduces the complexity of broadcast workflows by merging multiple capabilities onto a single appliance. Native SDI and IP I/O on the same chassis will also enable GRT’s future transition to all-IP workflows and accelerate the launch of new revenue-generating channels.
Spectrum X media server also features innovative HDR and SDR with tone mapping and tone expansion, with support for sustained SDR or HDR outputs and mixed SDR and HDR clips. Additionally, the server provides simulcast channel capabilities with support for two different output resolutions, including SDR and HDR, from one playlist. These advanced features can easily be adopted by GRT in the future as it continues to improve upon video quality.
“Being among the first to launch UHD channels in China gives GRT a reputation for quickly responding to technology innovation and addressing consumer demand for an elevated entertainment experience,” said Tony Berthaud, vice president of sales and video services, APAC, at Harmonic. “Since Spectrum X is a highly versatile and flexible video server, we are able to expand features and functionality over time, enabling GRT to protect its investment.”
“4K production is here, and our products help broadcasters produce, monitor, and distribute 4K content with compact, cost-effective, and customizable openGear cards,” said Chris Shaw, Cobalt executive vice president of sales and marketing. “BroadcastAsia is an excellent opportunity for Cobalt to demonstrate our 4K solutions for numerous international markets.”
With Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K up/down/cross converter and image processor, broadcasters have an economical SDR-to-HDR and HDR-to-SDR conversion option for 4K ad HD live sports production. The card allows truck operators to convert legacy cameras, servers, graphics systems, and other SDR sources for HDR productions. As a result, the 9904-UDX-4K reduces the need for new equipment purchases to produce HDR footage, and eliminates the need for separate SDR and HDR cameras and processing paths.
Cobalt’s flexible 9992-ENC series of HEVC/AVC/MPEG-2 encoders offers customized I/O options and extensive audio support. Low-latency 8-bit and 10-bit 4:2:0 encoding is standard, with optional license keys for HEVC and 4:2:2 encoding. Its pay-as-you-go licensing structure means users only pay for required features when needed. The 9992-ENC base model includes one 3G-SDI input, but can be upgraded to support four 3G-SDI (1080p60) signals or one 12G-SDI signal (4Kp60).
Designed to deliver uncomplicated monitoring of asynchronous 4K and HD signals, Cobalt’s 9971 Series of multiviewers accommodate a variety of signals and applications. Up to five 9971 cards can be installed in one 2 RU openGear frame – and multiple cards can be included in a cascaded chain to provide multiviewer layouts of up to 64 sources. Users can create and save customized layouts, or use one-button template presets for simple setup. All three models can output ST 2082 12G-SDI for single-wire 4K transport, while up to two HDMI 2.0 outputs at 3840×2160 resolution allow for economical viewing on consumer-grade 4K monitors.
Already installed in a select group of trucks and studio facilities, the dual-slot card provides an ideal hardware platform for Technicolor High Dynamic Range Intelligent Tone Management (ITM) software. This enables the use of current SDR infrastructure, reducing the need for new camera purchases and other capital expenditures to produce HDR footage.
The 9904-UDX-4K provides clean and accurate SDR-to-HDR and HDR-to-SDR conversion. Using the Technicolor conversion process (SL-HDR technology) generates a single layer video stream to distribute SDR with dynamic metadata, allowing for inverse conversion back to the original HDR. When a network service provider transmits the SDR feed, it will automatically deliver a full HDR experience to compatible TVs and set-top boxes.
For HD and 4K live sports, the 9904-UDX-4K allows production truck operators to seamlessly create SDR signals from HDR sources. Plus, legacy SDR sources such as cameras, servers, and graphics systems can be converted for HDR productions. As a result, the 9904-UDX-4K eliminates the need for sports productions to use separate SDR and HDR cameras and processing paths.
“Using existing HD and 4K equipment to deliver HDR content – instead of separate truck and camera crews – is a much more affordable way to produce live sports for multiple delivery platforms,” said Chris Shaw, Cobalt executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Cobalt’s 9904-UDX-4K, coupled with Technicolor’s technology, helps broadcasters keep operating expenses low and future-proof their equipment investment.”
Technicolor HDR ITM technology manages brighter lights and darker shadows to deliver sharper, more realistic images in real time. While it allows manual adjustments on the fly and the use of preset profiles, its dynamic adjustment capability enables an operator who may not be an HDR specialist to achieve outstanding results.
The 9904-UDX-4K offers diverse input choices, including 12G-SDI on every I/O and quad-link 4K, and includes frame synchronizer and scaling as standard features to allow for a wide range of output formats. It also converts a variety of signals for use in live production. Other features include audio embedding/de-embedding, options for full RGB color correction, and 3D-LUT that provide a 33 cube LUT for color mapping and grading.
As a demonstration of the company’s continued commitment to the Latin American region, FOR-A will highlight three of its most popular products – the HVS-490 and HVS-100 switchers and FA-9600 signal processor – as part of its participation at CAPER 2018, which occurred from October 24-26th at the Costa Salguero Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
FOR-A exhibited within the CAPER stand of partner SVC (Sistemas de Video Comunicación) in Booth D-10. The theme of this year’s booth was “No Boundaries.”
“CAPER has traditionally been an extremely important part of our marketing strategy,” said Mario Rodriguez, FOR-A Latin America Sales Manager. “It allows us to connect with key customers from nearby South American countries, such as Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador. There are many who may not be able to get to Las Vegas for NAB or Amsterdam for the IBC, and CAPER is an ideal location and time for us to meet up and show them all the new technology we have that will benefit them now and in the future.”
The HVS-490 live HD/4K-UHD, multi-effects production switcher is designed for use in any live environment, including mobile shoots, events, and in-house corporate productions. Event memory and macro functions make it easy to set up quickly for live performances. And FOR-A’s MELite™ technology eliminates the need for multiple switchers in a multi-monitor staging scenario.
With integrated frame synchronizers and multi viewers, the HVS-490 reduces the amount of equipment required. Using multiple control panels, the system enables several operators to work on separate tasks. Using optional input and output expansion cards, the HVS-490 supports 40 inputs/18 outputs, 36 inputs/20 outputs or 32 inputs/22 outputs, including two-channel HDMI outputs. In 4K, it allows 10 inputs/six outputs, nine inputs/six outputs or eight inputs/seven outputs. It also has 16 channels of 2.5D DVE as standard and can be optionally expanded to a maximum of 32 channels.
The HVS-100 video switcher with Thunderbolt™ 2 I/O expansion cards was also on display at CAPER. The HVS-100 is controlled via any tablet, handheld or laptop type device with a web browser as opposed to a ‘hard’ control panel. With its Thunderbolt 2 I/O expansion cards, users can transfer video content with a single cable through computers and interface with other devices, such as character generators, virtual studios and/or file-based/IP products. One cable allows transmission of 4 HD signal lines.
The FA-9600 multi purpose signal processor supports 4K, 12G-SDI, HDR and Wide Color Gamut. The unit features dual channel frame synchronization, extensive professional video format support, color correction, up/down/cross conversion, and offers 12G-SDI and HDMI terminals – opening the door to 4K production. The FA-9600 is ideal for use in mixed HDR/SDR environments, including production studios, live staging productions and mobile OB and up-link production trucks. The energy-efficient unit is a convenient 1U size, and the signal processor’s newly developed color processing circuit provides strong support in HD/4K production.
In addition to the HVS-490, FA-9600, and HVS-100 w/HVS-100TB2 Card, a range of new FOR-A equipment was also on display: the Insight Multi-Channel Video Server, ClassX content creation and graphics playout solution, MCC-4K motion-compensated universal standards converter, and Fujitsu IP-HE950 real-time video transmission gear.
2018 marks the 20th year FOR-A has participated at CAPER. FOR-A enjoys a long-term relationships with several prominent Latin American broadcasters, including: Artear, Canal 7, Telefe, TyC Sports, Canal 9, ESPN, DirecTV, and FoxSports.