NAB Perspectives: Gepco’s Zajac Talks Ruggedized Fiber Optics for Remote Sports Production
At the forefront of Gepco’s offerings for the sports-broadcast market is a new line of ruggedized fiber-optic cables designed for portable applications in harsh environments. TactiFlex fiber-optic cables are both tough and lightweight, standing up to the rigors of mobile production while offering the flexibility of fiber.
“[TactiFlex] is extremely flexible [and] extremely durable,” says Joe Zajac, sales and applications engineer for Gepco. “For the remote sports guys, literally, you could run it over with semi trucks, so it stands up to a lot.”
Available in either single-mode or multimode, TactiFlex fiber-optic cables are encased in a polyurethane outer jacket that is abrasion-, chemical-, and cut-resistant. For further damage protection and mechanical isolation, the fiber elements are coated with a hard elastomeric, tight buffer. TactiFlex makes its NAB debut by running 3D-4U’s 180-degree 3D camera in the Gepco booth. Used at last year’s World Series, 3D-4U’s 180-degree and 360-degree 3D cameras enable real-time, viewer-controlled in-venue panning.
When this camera is used, “the viewer at home can use their remote and basically pan anywhere they want to in the stadium,” explains Zajac. “You [can] have, in real time, complete control of the cameras at a sporting event.”
Gepco has also introduced its Mobile Web Reference, which is equipped with a competitor cross-reference and product directory that allows users to quickly and easily find Gepco-equivalent products and their specs from anywhere at any time. The Mobile Web Reference is available at http://xref.gepco.com.
“For the guys out there in the field that say, ‘Oh, I need a competitor part number,’ they punch it in and [the Mobile Web Reference delivers] the Gepco one,” says Zajac. “They don’t have to make any phone calls, don’t have to look it up in a catalog; it’s right there at their fingertips.”