NAB 2017

Live From NAB 2017: Ross Video Intros Replay Server for Mid-Range Sports Market

Developed with Abekas, Mira Express targets the regional-sports and collegiate markets

Having announced the acquisition of Abekas at last year’s IBC, Ross Video heads into NAB 2017 with more than just a new product family in its ever growing portfolio. At the company’s annual NAB Keynote on Sunday night, CEO David Ross announced a jointly developed replay server geared specifically toward the regional-sports and collegiate markets: the Mira Express.

CEO David Ross introduces Mira Express at the company’s annual NAB Keynote.

“Mira Express is the best of both worlds: reliable, purpose-built hardware, easy to use, and affordable,” said Ross to a packed auditorium at the Tuscany Suites in Las Vegas. “The new Mira is designed for the mid-market sports replay. … This is a great solution for college and regional sports who’ve had to put up with inferior replay systems for far too long. In fact, when Abekas and Ross got together, this was a whole topic of conversation. They wanted to do this, and they wanted to do it with Ross.”

According to Ross, Mira Express fills a gap in the market between high-end replay servers that are reliable but cost-prohibitive for smaller productions, and lower-end systems that are affordable but lack the proven reliability for live sports coverage.

Mira Express fully integrated replay system

Mira Express is a fully integrated replay system that records video and audio from up to four cameras to removable SSD media, with slow-motion replay from two PGM channels. The system has four dedicated inputs and two dedicated outputs, and users of Abekas’s Mira Replay system will recognize the replay-control surface and intuitive user interface, and Ross Video says that both novice and experienced replay operators will be able to quickly master Mira Express operations. Mira Express will be available in mid 2017.

Ross Video also announced the launch of Abekas Tria 2, a next-generation Tria two-channel clip server with an input record channel, synchronous playback of key/fill pairs or independent playout of two separate video channels with audio.

Said Ross of the Abekas acquisition, “They’re an iconic brand in the industry. We’ve always had a great relationship with them, and they fit right into the Ross product portfolio.”

The Keynote ended with another major announcement: the launch of Graphite, an all-in-one production solution. Graphite combines the capabilities of the company’s Carbonite production switcher, a feature-rich version of XPression 3D motion graphics, two channels of clip server, and the newly developed RAVE audio engine — all within a single 4RU chassis.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ross Keynote without a slew of product upgrades and enhancements. The Acuity and Carbonite production switchers each added significant new features through software, and XPression motion-graphics systems jump to v7.0, which adds support for the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system for users building or providing their own hardware for XPression Designer, XPression Studio GO!, XPression Prime GO!, and XPression Live CG.

“Last year on this stage, we launched XPression Tessera, which is a multigeneration creation and playout system for seamless large-pixel-count displays,” said Ross Video EVP/Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Moore. “It’s great for stadiums like Mercedes Benz Stadium. … We’re very excited about that. Stadiums are part of XPression’s natural habitat.”

The entertaining unveiling of the next-generation Furio robotic camera system, the Furio SE, was a crowd-pleaser, and Ross announced that the new system — which is taller, faster, and stronger than its predecessor — is already being used by SNY in its new Lower Manhattan studios. Also poised to make a splash in studio production is Frontier, Ross Video’s innovative virtual-studio-graphics–rendering platform, which was produced in collaboration with The Future Group. The virtual-set system enables users to incorporate real-life elements — such as live reflection and shadow, as well as more-complex graphic elements, like raindrops and fire — resulting in virtual sets that look natural to viewers.

Looking ahead, Ross Video, which is celebrating 25 consecutive years of growth, affirmed its commitment to both IP and SDI.

“There’s lots of buzz going on, and Ross is definitely in the middle of it,” said Ross. “We acquired Coveloz last August. They’re a video-networking consulting company, and they have a goal of ensuring that Ross and others have access to core IP technology required to plug and play. … We’re big believers in the future of SDI as well. We’ve been leaders in 12G for a very long time, one of the earliest pioneers. 12G is great for UHD on a single coax, and it gives the benefits of the simplicity of SDI.”