NAB 2019 SportsTechBuzz in Review: Central Hall
The SVG editorial team was out in full force at last week’s NAB Show, covering the biggest sports-technology news and delivering daily SportsTechBuzz at NAB 2019 roundups. Here is a look at the NAB 2019 SportsTechBuzz from Central Hall.
In this post, check out NAB 2019 news from Sony, Game Creek Video, TVU Networks, Fujifilm/Fujinon, Leader, Mobile Viewpoint, Ncam, IP Showcase Theater, Panasonic, Riedel Communications, CP Communications, Solid State Logic, Sennheiser, Focusrite, Genelec, Roland, Shure, FOR-A America, Wave Central, Canon, Multidyne, Teradek, Clark Wire & Cable, Neutrik, Vislink Technologies (formerly IMT Vislink), JVCKenwood, Cartoni, Aletros and Audio Technica, Ikegami, Image Video, Pliant Technologies, Zaxcom, ClearCom, CyanView, Shotover, and Legrand AV.
Game Creek Video will break Sony’s record for a single order in North America when it takes delivery of 48 Sony HDC-5500 multi-format live cameras later this year. The sale was announced at the Sony press event by Studdert and Game Creek Video President and Founder Pat Sullivan, who was on hand to discuss what the camera means to Game Creek Video. “It’s exciting because there are elements of the camera that will be really beneficial for our clients,” he said. “You can do wireless 4K and in our environment that is important. And it’s also very flexible.” Game Creek Video already has 381 Sony broadcast cameras in its arsenal.
Sony’s big news at NAB (Booth C11001) is the HDC-5500 multi-format live camera. It’s the world’s first camera to have three 2/3-inch 4K global shutter CMOS sensors and also has direct 4K signal output via 12Gbps SDI. And later this summer it is expected to be capable of eight-times high-frame rate recording (as well as 4K at two-times speed). John Studdert, Sony Electronics, VP, media segment, Sony Electronics, Imaging Products and Solutions said there are three key features to the camera: the camera’s eloquent 4K over IP solution as well as the global shutter and wireless 4K capabilities. Also check out the HDCU-5500 camera control unit which supports SMPTE ST2110 and NMOS IS-04/05 and can also transmit two 4K signals from two separate cameras at the same time.
TVU Networks (Booth C1707) has introduced TVU G-Link, an internet-based solution for live point-to-point transmission. TVU G-Link provides an affordable way to achieve high-quality transmission using only the public Internet to deliver HD video from one location to another with half-second latency. G-Link is ideal for applications such as news and sports broadcast looking to send live HD video from point to point. G-Link runs on TVU MediaMind servers, with two servers paired together to form a link. Within G-Link, one server acts as the transmitter/encoder and the other as the receiver/decoder.
Fujifim (Booth C7225) has premiered the Fujinon UA125×8, 4K compatible box-type broadcast zoom lens that is under development with what is claimed to be the world’s highest zoom ratio of 125x. The Fujinon UA125×8 covers a wide range of focal lengths from 8mm at wide angle to 1,000mm at telephoto (2,000mm with the built-in Extender). It is a multi-purpose high-power zoom lens that can be used in diverse situations, including live broadcasts of sporting events and concerts.
Leader’s (Booth C8008) new LV5900 8K waveform monitor is designed for content producers, broadcasters and equipment manufacturers progressing into the Super Hi-Vision standard. The LV5900 provides full support for SMPTE ST2082-12 in 8192 × 4320 and 7680 × 4320 resolution plus 12G-SDI quad link. The instrument’s feature set includes 8K colour bar and test pattern generation as well as four-input simultaneous display of HD video from HD to 3G-SDI and 4K video. The audio interface is compatible with MADI.
Additionally, Leader’s LV5600-SER06 is a new 4K-IP-compatible option for the LV5600 waveform monitor. Option LV7600-SER06 is its equivalent for the LV7600 rasterizer. Both options provide full conformance with the SMPTE 2110 standard for transmitting 4K content in a non-compressed format at up to 25Gbps. ST 2110-20 audio, ST2110-40 auxiliary data and ST2059 PTP sync specifications are all fully supported.
Mobile Viewpoint (Booth C3307) has announced the launch of its Agile AirLink 4CK mobile transmitter. The product is the latest addition to Mobile Viewpoint’s AirLink family. The Agile AirLink 4CK is claimed to be the broadcast equivalent of a modern outside broadcast (OB) van, delivering live video content in UHD quality. It can support four live video streams and delivers 4K streams using Mobile Viewpoint’s cellular mobile channel bonding technology. It also boasts an ultra-thin design, which means it can fit onto the back of a camera or in a backpack.
Ncam (Booth C9144) has revealed the latest version of its camera tracking solution, Ncam Reality 2019.1. This major new release includes more than 80 new features as well as significant system optimisation for improved performance. Ncam has added support for the Extreme Camera Bar, an additional camera bar that enables users to track environments that are subject to dynamic lighting changes. Lens profiling and calibration of the original Ncam Reality camera bar has also been refined to improve tracking quality and speed up the setup process. The number of supported video capture cards has also increased with the addition of support for Blackmagic Design’s DecLink SDI 4K video card supplementing the existing support for AJA Corvid 44 and Kona 4 video cards.
The IP Showcase Theater (Booth C12634) returns to NAB for the third year, providing a great educational opportunity free to all attendees. Vendors, broadcasters, service providers, and integrators alike highlight their solutions to the challenges related to the transition from SDI to IP. There’s a full slate of presentations on IP technology and installations, so professionals ranging from broadcast and IT engineers as well as CEOs to TV producers can learn how to unlock the full potential of using IP for real-time professional media.
Panasonic’s NAB presence (Booth C3607) features a number of new innovations, including an 8K camera system that can be coupled to a processing unit that can crop up to four HD video regions of interest and also allow individual pan, tilt, and zoom within each of those images. Also look for a preview of a 4K P2 camcorder in a shoulder-mount configuration to be released later this year and a demo of P2 Cast on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a service that deploys P2 Cast, a news production workflow solution, on the AWS cloud. Trial operation together with EDIUS Cloud (Grass Valley) on AWS has already commenced, and preparations are being made to roll out the service within 2019.
Another exciting development at Panasonic’s booth is the demonstration of Smart Studio automation workflows and the Live Production Suite (LPS). The demo at the show involves a studio environment where a switcher that makes use of both 12Gbps SDI and 25Gbps ST2110 compliant IP transport works hand-in-hand with Brainstorm real-time augmented reality (AR) graphics, BlackTrax real-time tracking of talent on the set, and a Technopoint camera pedestal with a Panasonic AW-UE150 4K PTZ camera to create a compelling on-air look with a very small production team. The AW-UE150 is also the first camera in the industry to have the FreeD industry protocol for marrying AR with video integrated into the camera.
Riedel Communications (Booth C6537) unveiled its new Artist-1024 node, a powerful expansion to the Artist intercom ecosystem, at a press conference here at NAB. The Artist-1024 node offers 1,024 non-blocking ports in 2 RU, reducing rack space requirements. This latest addition to the Artist ecosystem introduces a range of technical innovations centered on software-definable Universal Interface Cards (UIC). This entirely new type of interface card combines networking, mixing, and management, and can be configured to act as an AES67 or MADI subscriber card, or as an Artist fiber/router/processor card. “System compatibility and the sustainability of client investments are of the utmost importance to us,” said Thomas Riedel, President and CEO at Riedel Communications. “The Artist-1024 node will suit new clients looking to have a comprehensive and future-ready system today as well as those clients who have supported us for years and are now ready to take the step to IP infrastructures.”
Those looking for new solutions to the challenge of producing tier two and three events more affordably will want to swing by CP Communications (Booth C3307, shared with Mobile Viewpoint). Kurt Heitmann, CEO of CP Communications, said the Red House Streaming production packages can meet a variety of needs and make use of public internet and Mobile Viewpoint TerraLink encoders. Cam Stream is for one or two-camera shoots; Multicam Stream for at home productions with up to four cameras, and Production Stream is for productions with up to seven cameras (the latter package also includes a SimplyLive ViBox 8 switcher). “It’s a truck in a box and pricing depends on how you configure it,” said Heitmann. “We have been looking at the competitive marketplace for years and we know the business is out there. We think if you build it, they will come.”
Solid State Logic (Booth C3026) has joined Sennheiser’s (Booth C1307) Ambeo for VR Partnership Program. Solid State Logic’s S500, S300 and TCR System T broadcast mixing consoles will now feature onboard Ambeo A-B conversion for the Sennheiser Ambeo VR Mic. “The partnership with Sennheiser Ambeo expands our growing functionality to provide processing for multiple audio formats for immersive and three-dimensional audio; channel-based, objects, Ambisonics and binaural,” commented Tom Knowles, SSL Broadcast Product Manager.
Focusrite (Booth C2052) has released RedNet Control 2.3, a free update that unifies RedNet Control with configuration, status monitoring, metering and extended operational control of the Red 4Pre, Red 8Pre, Red 16Line, Focusrite’s range of audio interfaces offering up to 64 in / 64 out Thunderbolt I/O with Pro Tools, HD and Dante network audio connectivity.
Genelec (Booth C4748) demonstrated a selection of its active monitors in an immersive 7.1.4 Atmos configuration. The system is composed of S360A Smart Active Monitors (L-C-R), 8341A’s (side and rear), 8331A’s (overheads), and 7382A and 7360A subwoofers (sub and bass management). These models will be used to demonstrate monitoring solutions for immersive mixing for music and post in Atmos.
Roland (Booth C7712) demoed its VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer, which can produce dynamic, multi-camera vlogcasts, podcasts and live-streamed performances. Compact and portable, the VR-1HD has three HDMI inputs that each accept HD and computer video resolutions up to 1080p, avoiding compatibility issues. HDMI-embedded audio from all sources can be mixed with the two studio-quality XLR microphone inputs and analog line input. The VR-1HD is designed with dedicated controls and features that accommodate operation by talent during live broadcasting, a benefit that easily puts talent in their own director’s chair.
On Monday morning Shure (Booth C6015) unveiled TwinPlex, the company’s new line of premium subminiature (5 mm) omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones. TwinPlex consists of four lavaliers (TL45, TL46, TL47, TL48) and an ultra-light, fully adjustable headset microphone (TH53) with extensive accessories and options. The dual-diaphragm omnidirectional design yields extraordinary off-axis consistency. Available in 1.1 mm and 1.6 mm options, the paintable cables are immune to kinks and memory effects. The superhydrophobic coating and interchangeable sweat-resistant frequency caps keep perspiration and moisture from upstaging the audio.
According to Genelec Marketing Manager Will Eggleston this year’s NAB show is all about, “immersive, immersive, immersive”. The loudspeaker manufacturer (Booth C4748) is demonstrating a selection of its Active Monitors in an immersive 7.1.4 Atmos configuration. “A great deal of our sales are going into immersive environments,” he said. The demo places listeners in the middle of a 3D audio environment through the addition of four overhead height channels to the more traditional 7.1 horizontal surround space. The system is composed of S360A Smart Active Monitor (L-C-R), 8341A’s (side and rear), 8331A’s (overheads), and 7382A and 7360A subwoofers (sub and bass management). These models are used to demonstrate monitoring solutions for immersive mixing for music and post in Atmos and both are being showcased at NAB for the first time. “Immersive audio is one of the most interesting trends in the industry, as it adds 3D realism to music, virtual reality, movies, gaming and more,” concluded Eggleston. “At NAB, we are giving attendees a taste of what they can experience with regard to immersive audio reproduction. It is a very compelling demo.”
Ken Truong, president of FOR-A America (Booth C5016), said the company’s offerings include not only next-generation 8K products but also an island made up of both 12Gbps SDI and IP products, showing the viability of hybrid environments for broadcasters looking to move forward. “There is also a gateway between IP formats and also the conversion of baseband to IP and any flavor of IP to baseband,” he noted. One of the product highlights is the HVS6000 production switcher with 12Gbps SDI inputs and up to 3ME with multiviewer and frame sync. “There is also an optional board for IP,” he concluded.
Wave Central (Booth C6934) and DTC Broadcast are showcasing their extensive North American partnership at their shared booth at NAB 2019. Also, Wave Central is entering into a partnership with the UFC to provide wireless capabilities throughout the arena. After a successful demo at the last main event in Wichita, KS, the UFC was satisfied with the product. In addition to this new business relationship, Wave Central’s line up of RF solutions is being showcased in a plethora of booths across the show floor. The company is catering to its vast list of clients by developing case-by-case applications that are customizable to their needs.
Canon (Booth C4425) is offering up a wealth of innovations in imaging but it is Aria, a feature that is currently available on all Canon box lenses when they are used with Sony cameras, that tops the list. Aria solves the problem of maintaining consistent brightness of an image as the camera operator zooms in on a subject. Larry Thorpe, Canon USA, senior fellow, said the feature was designed by both companies and begins with the lens sending focal length data to the Sony camera which, in turn, uses that data to ramp up the gain. “And that increase is synchronous to the zoom so if the zoom is fast or slow the gain increase is fast or slow,” he explained. “The lens also reports zoom, focus, and iris to the camera which then takes that data to create waveforms that flatten out the brightness across the image. The result is a bright, clean, flat image that doesn’t change over the focal range.”
At Fujinon (Booth C7225) the UA125x8 lens with a 125x zoom and wide angle of 8mm with an F1.7 aperture is the major buzz item at a booth designed to also educate customers on why 4K lenses matter even for an HD show. “This is the widest-angle box lens ever made as they are typically 9.5mm or 9.3mm but now we’re going even wider so not only longer images but also wider,” said Fujinon’s Gordon Tubbs, VP, Broadcast and Communication Products. Also check out the UA18x7.6 and the Fujinon UA23x7.6, 2/3-inch 4K portable lenses which bring affordability to 4K lenses. “We are heading down the road of even more affordable lenses than we did in going from SD to HD,” he added. “We know how to build new lenses better and faster and also keep the quality high at the same time.” Look for more announcements later this year as the Tokyo Olympics are an important milestone event where Fujinon is expecting to make a difference.
Frank Jachetta, president of Multidyne Video & Fiber Optic Systems, (Booth C5013) said the company has joined the IP revolution as products like the next-generation Silverback V have an IP gateway as well as a dual-camera base which helps reduce the price point and required rack space. “There are a lot of upgrades this year like a new Lightbox that is based on our original field fiber box but uses cards for ultimate configurability,” he said. “We got tired of hearing ‘great product but I need one more audio’ so now it is totally modular.” And being close to the front line of acquisition has Multidyne on top of trends like the move to IP and 12Gbps. “IP hasn’t hit the front line of acquisition in force but we’re seeing 12Gbps as a real fast and furious reality,” he added. “We’re getting into IP more at the receive side.”
Teradek (Booth C5725) is worth a visit to see Bolt 4K, the first wireless 4K video transmitter with zero delay and uncompressed transmission that slows for multiple entities in site to video camera feeds in real time. The solution boats lossless transmission of 10-bit 4K HDR video at a line of sight of up to 1,500 feet.
Clark Wire & Cable (Booth C5718), currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, is introducing a full-color touch screen update to its CWT-SMPTE cable tester. Intended for use in sports venues, the update will enable systems integrators and venue consultants to test SMPTE camera cables for loss in the fiber elements and all combinations of opens, shorts, or cross-wiring within the electrical elements. The results are displayed on a touchscreen OLED on the transmitter unit as loss in decibels and a graphical pin-out of the electrical contacts, making it simple to identify the faulty element.
Neutrik (Booth C5721) is showing off its opticalCON Dragonfly, a new fiber-optic connector series that features expanded beam lens technology. Unlike the standard physical contact of other fiber connectors, the contact area of opticalCON Dragonfly is 325 times larger, resulting in connectors that can be partially obscured and still work. This ruggedized, low-maintenance, and field-reparable hybrid cable connector can even get dirty, be cleaned off with compressed air or water, and still work; a demo in the Neutrik booth shows this off in real time. Neutrik’s opticalCON Dragonfly will be ready to ship in mid-summer.
IMT Vislink is now Vislink Technologies (Booth C6008), and the newly rebranded company is making its official debut at NAB 2019. The company has united its individual product brands under the Vislink Technologies umbrella, and all solutions marketed under the IMT and Vislink names – as well as products such as Advent, Gigawave, MRC, RFCentral, and Nucomm – will adopt the Vislink Technologies brand. The new brand reflects the realignment and refinement of the company’s overarching business strategy to one unified operation with a unified visual identity, and NAB 2019 gives the company the opportunity to connect with and educate its customers on the rebrand.
JVCKENWOOD’s (Booth C4415) Connected Cam workflow is headlined by the new 500 Series of 4K cameras. Since its debut last year, the company has expanded this product line to include the GY HC500 base model, GY HC550 with advanced streaming and graphics, and GY-HC500SPC sports production camera to further enhance low-scale productions in the high school, college, and local markets. Similar to the GY-HC900, the new line of camcorders also includes an integrated scoreboard overlay. With the help of the Sports Exchange Format in both 720p and 1080p, footage is cross compatible with software that coaches use to breakdown and analyze film. In addition, the Connected Cam line up is paired with the ProHD Studio. This system uses six IP inputs that support NDI and SRT streaming protocols as well as HD-SDI and HDMI sources these cameras with the help of a simplified user interface and a full range of capabilities such as slow-motion playback for instant replay, video transitions, and up to five simultaneous streaming locations at 20Mbps with SMPTE 2022 forward error correction and less than 500ms latency.
Cartoni (Booth C9020) is exhibiting its next line in multipurpose tripods, the new Sort 200 Heavy Duty Tripod. The duralium composition prevents typical wear and tear from extreme weather and constant travel. With the ability to hold up to 441 pounds, the tripod is able to support multiple types of fluid heads, including Cartoni’s Master 65 and Magnum. In addition, users are accommodated with mobility at a total weight of 27 pounds. For use on all sorts of fields and courts, the equipment’s base is incorporated with stainless steel spikes for soft terrain (dirt, grass) and a pivoting rubber pad for indoor flat surfaces.
Alteros (Booth C6012), an Audio-Technica company, has introduced the Direct-to-Fiber extension to Alteros GTX 6.5 GHz Ultra Wide Band digital wireless microphone system, providing enhanced range and flexibility to the versatile system, doubling the number of GTX32 transceivers that can be connected to a local area wireless microphone network system and a tenfold increase in the workable distance between transceivers and the control unit. Up to 24 GTX24 wireless microphone transmitters can work with a single 3U-high GTX3224F control unit at distances of up to two miles.
Speaking of Audio-Technica (Booth C6012), the company’s Gary Boss said that eSports gamers have been embracing the company’s BPHS1 headsets for several years but as eSports gains in stature and affluence some are moving to the more upscale BPHS2 headset.
Ikegami (C7925) is developing new products that dives deep into the vertical video space for optimal viewing on mounted LCD screens and smartphones. The company is rolling out a 9:16 cutout option for its UHK-430 4K/HD portable camera system. The vertical monitor has been in the works since last year’s NAB show and now delivers a simultaneous 1080 x 1920 portrait cutout from the 3840 x 2160 image of the 4K camera. Also on display, Ikegami will debut its optional MoIP interface for the CCU-430 Camera Control Unit. The IP interface can be a viable option for the UHK-430.
Image Video (C5349) is upgrading the software of its Tally Console system. The new Tally Console 3 is giving production teams the ability to switch gears from one production to the other with an enhanced web interface to create prebuilt configuration and present a more simplified way of making adjustments. Image Video is also highlighting a WiFi Wireless Tally Light that will be used by a major esports company for the recording of gamers and observers. The Tally Console 3 is currently on display at the Mobile TV Group set up (Booth OE100).
Pliant Technologies (Booth C8548) showed what might be the biggest little thing at the show; the Flex LR 4-pin-to-five-pin converter. The converter adds barely10-mm of space to a connection but eliminates the need for longer and more cumbersome cables to make the conversions. “It was costly to tool up for but the need was there,” said Pliant president Gary Rosen.
Zaxcom (Booth C2030) has announced Nova, a sound solution that combines a mixer, a recorder, ZaxNet remote control and wireless receivers into one compact and lightweight device. Nova can record up to 12 channels of audio to two compact flash cards. The unit has four mic/line NeverClip inputs, two line-level balanced inputs, four external AES inputs and six analog/AES output buses. Two AES42 microphones can also connect to the AES inputs and are powered by the Nova.
Clear-Com (Booth C6908) had its new IP- V-Series Iris intercom panel, which provides low-latency AES67 AoIP audio for Eclipse HX users, on display. The V-Series Iris Panel can monitor and send communications over three concurrent full-duplex uncompressed audio IP streams, enabling systems to deliver uncompressed AES67 audio from user to user with low latency. When connected to Clear-Com’s AES67 compliant E-IPA audio-and-intercom-over-IP card, users can deploy up to 64 Iris panels per card. V-Series Iris panels also feature full color user-configurable OLED displays to help users organize and locate keys with similar functions.
Sony’s Booth (C11001) features a look at some next-generation technology from Hawk-Eye Innovationsthat can not only automate offside calls by tracking arms and legs, but also can use that data to power next-generation nearly-real-time 3D models of a match. “We track 17 different points on the skeleton of every player as well as the ball via six cameras around the field,” said Ben Figueiredo, Business Development Manager at Hawk-Eye Innovations. “And another application we are thinking about is skinning that data with virtual graphics that allow the user to see a 3D model of the game and then move around the 3D world. And the latency is only 18 milliseconds to generate the replay and then the user can rewind, scrub back, and view from any angle you wish to see it from.”
CyanView (Booth C8630) is offering the latest version of its camera control units, including the Cy-R10 remote interface. With multicam live productions increasingly using cameras that do not have a dedicated CCU, the Cy-R10 solves a big problem via a remote interface that has the ability to control any camera over any communication channel, bringing remote capabilities to the current ecosystem. Also all cameras can be controlled by a single unit providing an access point to a camera network from a remote location using a single connection like IP, Bluetooth, 4G (ideal for marathons or drones), and even USB. “CyanView, control everything from one RCP, select a camera, and then paint it,” said David Bourgeois, CyanView, founder and CEO. The LeMans 24-hour race uses the system to control upwards of 40 camera systems.
Among the cool toys at Shotover (Booth C1313) is the brand new B1 Bulletproof, a light, 6-aix gyro stabilized platform that can be affixed to the front of any vehicle for unique and thrilling shots. At the booth, Shotover has the mount affixed to the front nose of a small helicopter showing its versatility for aerial shots. The unit has been garnering the attention of many sports broadcasters at the show this week.
Legrand AV (Booth C8715) is introducing the Vaddio RoboSHOT 40 UHD, the company’s 4K PTZ camera designed for live production applications. The camera features gunlock, sharp 4K video, 40x zoom, and can stream directly from the camera; according to the company, it is ideal for use in sports stadiums and arenas where remote PTZ capabilities are needed. The RoboSHOT 40 UHD controller allows users to connect up to 80 cameras at once over Ethernet and control via one user interface. The camera also represents Legrand’s foray in the broadcast business. “People in the broadcast industry might don’t know the Legrand brand very well,” commented Kent Cawthorne, CTS, VP of Sales, Solutions and Consultants, Commercial AV, Legrand AV, “which is why we really focused on our standard brands – Chief, Da-Lite, Vaddio, and Middle Atlantic – to get the word out who Legrand is and how we can support the broadcast business and content creation in general.”