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NAB Perspectives: Joseph Electronics’ Roszczybiuk on the Debuts of Kick Box, Shadow Box

April 13th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Brandon Costa

Joseph Electronics is one of the industry leaders when it comes to developing practical fiber solutions for sports broadcast. The company is getting a little creative at its NAB 2015 booth (C6948) with the debut of two products, Kick Box and Shadow Box.

Kick Box is an interconnect solution for fiber breakouts that can be used at almost any location where a crew needs to establish fiber runs, suiting it for sports applications, other outside broadcast, digital satellite newsgathering, and more.

Carl Roszczybiuk shows off Joseph Electronics’ new Shadow Box product.

Carl Roszczybiuk shows off Joseph Electronics’ new Shadow Box product.

The Shadow Box, meanwhile, is an addition to the Caddie series that provides an A/V interface at any camera position using an existing SMPTE hybrid camera cable. The tool opens up the opportunity for a remote crew to bolster A/V signal options on the fly when a hybrid camera cable is the only cable available.

SVG caught up with Carl Roszczybiuk, director of engineering, JFS, for the lowdown on how the new, aptly named products could make a splash in sports production.

Let’s start with the Kick Box. What makes this product launch special for Joseph Electronics?
The Kick Box series is basically a low-cost alternative to some other adaptors out there. The first models can connect opticalCON QUAD to four STs or to two opticalCON DUOs. We also feature the ability to use a SMPTE cable to power CON and ST boxes; sometimes you may need to just have a SMPTE cable, and you can actually use power on the SMPTE to bring up, say, a monitor or a remote camera or some other feature.

These are hardened boxes instead of tails and some other things. And we call them the Kick Box because they have metal shelves and are IP65-rated, and, if you are using them, they are probably on the ground, you are probably going kick them, and they are going to survive.

Has the Kick Box been used out in the field by any of your clients yet?
We’ve done local and international sales on it already. We actually had a line of people request it, and we built it. Then we figured that we might as well make this a standard product line instead of a custom one-up.

How about the Shadow Box? What makes this product special?
The Shadow Box is a unique unit. It’s in a nice Gator case with removable rear and front sides so it’s ready to transport or be put in storage when not in use. [In operation,] you basically put two units in line with any SMPTE hybrid camera; in this case, it’s Sony or Ikegami. If you have a camera cable getting to, say, centerfield, somewhere on the [sideline], or in the locker room, you can put a unit there and basically leech the SMPTE cable through it in and out back to the camera. And, from the camera, it’s the same thing: the cable from the truck goes in, and the output goes to the local camera.

What it does is take a little bit of power off the camera system where it can run on its own battery independently and utilizes the backbone fiber that the camera already has and allows you to create a mini interview position. You can send multiple signals back and forth in HD-SDI, 3G; you can have IFB, microphones, and PL circuits all independent of the camera. If you put batteries on both units and the camera power shuts down or whatever, the audio signals will still maintain. You won’t lose your interview transport. So there is a redundancy to it.

Otherwise, it’s that last-minute quick response to ‘how are we going to run cables out there?’ If you have a camera out there, you only have to insert these two units, and you have, basically, a mini boot pack.

Where is the sweet spot on this product? Are you targeting a particular kind of client with this?
Mostly, I’m looking at this as a sports entity, when you want to get a camera down into the locker rooms, the outfield, and such interview positions that may turn up and you’re the fifth man out in terms of I/O capability and you need something quick. If it’s a SMPTE cable that you have available or have two fibers that you can put an adapter on and it’s still redundant in terms of using one fiber, you can still make this package work. If you have no TAC cable but you have a SMPTE cable available, you can use it; just hook up the two units and operate without a camera.

So it’s a Swiss Army Knife of boot packs. It may work in churches, too, places where you just don’t have the I/O structure. We call it the Shadow Caddy because it’s behind you.