NEP Keeps the Signal Alive with Studio Technologies Model 5150
NEP Broadcasting relies on the Studio Technologies Model 5150 Video Generator Module for use in a new remote point of view (POV) camera system.
NEP recently completed construction of a new OB truck, NCPII, which will support live broadcasts of baseball, hockey and basketball games for a major regional sports network in Philadelphia. The 5150 unit, part of a Joseph Electronics POV pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) camera control package, keeps the output video signal alive for straightforward troubleshooting of remote camera positions. The 5150 supplies a user-created high-definition image that maintains signal continuity as well as providing support information should a remote camera fail.
“The new NCPII OB truck can be situated as far away as 1,000 feet from the stadium or arena, so troubleshooting a remote PTZ camera position can be time-consuming,” says George Hoover, chief technology officer for NEP Broadcasting. “We chose the Joseph Electronics box to control our remote cameras because it is relatively compact and easy to deploy. These boxes include the Studio Technologies 5150 modules. We will take several PTZ remote cameras and place them in strategic locations in the baseball stadium. For example, we might have one in the pitcher’s warm-up cage, the dugout, possibly up high in the grandstand for a park-wide shot and behind the catcher for an over-the-shoulder view of each pitch. These locations are impractical for a live camera operator, so a remote POV system is the proper choice for this application. Should one location stop transmitting, the 5150 automatically flips into ID mode to help get a handle on where the trouble might be located along the equipment signal path. This feature is very useful for the live, high-end events we help cover.”
According to Hoover, the Josephs Electronics systems are straightforward to set up, so there is no need to connect multiple units with tangles of different wire. Because these systems are deployed at each game, this level of simplicity is a valuable tool, especially for troubleshooting.
“With the 5150 sending out its signal, we can check on continuity during setup,” adds Hoover. “Should the camera fail during the event, the only thing left in the signal path is the camera, so we know where to look. The problem at that point is to narrow this down to ‘did the camera get turned off,’ ‘did the battery go dead,’ ‘did somebody unplug it from the wall outlet.’ The 5150 helps us to compartmentalize the problem to arrive at an informed solution quickly and easily. It really helps keep our live coverage of events humming along.”
The Model 5150 Video Generator Module supports a HD- or 3G SDI input and output by way of standard BNC connectors. An optional single-mode optical transceiver module provides an optical output in addition to the electrical output. It also allows the input to be selected between optical and electrical signals. A USB connector, located on the Model 5150’s front panel, allows direct connection of a standard USB memory device. Custom images, created using personal-computer graphics’ software, can be saved as standard bitmap files on the USB memory and automatically loaded into the Model 5150’s non-volatile memory. These images, one for “720” and one for “1080” SDI formats, will be present on the SDI output whenever an SDI input signal is not connected. Configuration switches allow selection of key operating parameters. Four status LEDs offer users both performance confidence and assistance with troubleshooting.