While cloud services and remote production have dominated many conversations at recent trade shows, cameras and image processing remain a key part of any workflow. At the upcoming IBC Show, many companies will show new technology for capturing an image at its highest resolution and then converting it into a useable format for the variety of distribution platforms that broadcasters and content distribution organizations must support.
It all starts with the camera and at IBC there will be several new ones on display. We’re seeing camera that are able to be networked for remote production and control. Many now include a “NativeIP backbone” to enable the camera to connect to and be identified on a networked IP infrastructure. Prices and features vary, so consider what you’re trying to accomplish with the camera and then choose accordingly.
Recognizing that broadcasters are increasingly looking to shoot cinema style for their television programs (shallow depth of field, super high resolution, etc.) Blackmagic Design (Stand 8.B94) will exhibit its new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2, which it calls a "digital film camera", with a 6144 x 3456 Super 35 high resolution HDR sensor, dual native ISO and 13 stops of dynamic range. It includes an adjustable touchscreen, a larger battery for longer run time and a copy of DaVinci Resolve Studio, the company’s editing, color correction, VFX and audio postproduction software.
Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2 camera features a 6144 x 3456 Super 35 high resolution HDR sensor and 13 stops of dynamic range.
Also on the stand will be the Ursa Broadcast G2 camera, which is targeted at both traditional and online broadcasters. The camera can operate in three distinct modes: as a 4K production camera, a 4K studio camera or a 6K digital film camera. It also features 13 stops of dynamic dual gain ISO of up to +36dB range, and works well in low light due to the onboard 6K sensor.
“Customers love the flexibility of the original URSA Broadcast and had been asking for a camera that also delivered digital film quality for broadcast use,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO.
And it uses a changeable lens mount, so legacy lenses are still viable. It records to SD cards, UHS-II cards, CFast 2.0 cards or external USB disks, using common file formats such as H.265, ProRes and Blackmagic RAW. This makes it compatible with most video software and broadcast media management systems.
At the Grass Valley (Stand 9.A01) the company will showcase its LDX 150, the latest in its LDX series that records UHD at 3x standard frame rate with global shutter and Wide Color Gamut (WCG). The camera’s Xenios image sensor combined with the camera’s NativeIP backbone and global shutter enhances sensitivity and sharpness in detailed content, capturing pristine images, a wider dynamic range in HDR mode, better signal-to-noise ratio and greater depth of field by allowing smaller lens apertures for better focusing—even in low light conditions. JPEG XS compression, which can be natively streamed over IP, is built into the camera’s functionality with no extra hardware required (such as CCUs or servers).
Grass Valley’s LDX 150 camera can serve as a self-contained IP endpoint with up to 100 Gb/s IP network connections.
In a remote production workflow, the camera can also serve as a “natively networked”, self-contained IP endpoint with up to 100 Gb/s IP network connections for audio, video and control directly at the camera head. This allows distribution of camera sources wherever they are needed on the network, without the delays associated with sending signals to a separate control hub.
Over at the LiveU (Stand 7.C30), the cloud will take center stage, enabling new levels of reliability, flexibility, and cost savings. The company is highlighting its end-to-end live video and remote production (REMI) solutions, powered by the LiveU cloud video platform.
For the first time, LiveU will be showing its end-to-end cloud production workflow with easylive.io, which the company acquired in May. With the easylive.io integration, LiveU is offering a an end-to-end solution for live contribution, cloud production, orchestration, ingest and distribution. The platform claims to address the needs of every type of customer from global broadcasters to niche sports and entertainment.
With the accelerated adoption of remote production workflows, LiveU will also be presenting its cloud-based solutions for sustainable live productions. Leveraging its IP technology to reduce travel, power and equipment costs, LiveU helps to lower each organization’s carbon footprint – while enabling them to produce high-quality content in the cloud.
The company will also show its new 5G live video transmission solutions as part of its complete 5G product suite for broadcast-quality coverage.
Image Processing For Workflow Compatibility
A wide array of image processing products will be on display throughout the IBC exhibit floor. The most common signal processing features used by broadcasters include image enhancement, restoration, encoding, and compression. The trend is higher density in ever smaller modules, whether rack mounted or in software.
Cobalt’s SafeLink serves as a secure pipeline that ensures video is transported safely even in live production environments that may experience network delay.
In Stand 10.B44, Cobalt Digital will demonstrate its Indigo SMPTE ST 2110-compliant solution on an openGear card, offering support for native 4K video and audio processing. The company will also highlight a new version of its SafeLink Gateway as a virtual machine; and a higher density solution of the company’s (license-based) quad-channel 3G-SDI bridge to Dante audio networking. SafeLink reliably transports any audio and video content over the Internet with low latency.
“We’ve been developing new features for SafeLink all along, but our customers asked us to design a software version in addition to the PC-based hardware solutions,” said Suzana Brady, Senior Vice President for worldwide sales and marketing at Cobalt.
Using Reliable Internet Streaming Transport (RIST) - a low latency protocol, SafeLink serves as a secure pipeline that ensures video is transported safely even in live production environments that may experience network delay. The lightweight software version can live on most computers or on Cobalt’s openGear OG-PC-x86-A product. Control is managed with DashBoard, a free application that handles control and monitoring for all openGear broadcast products.
SafeLink supports up to 8 streams that in turn can be sent to 8 destinations for a potential of transporting content to 64 destinations.
Over in Stand 10.A10, Lynx Technik AG will bring its wide array of image processing products to the show. Among them is a new addition to the company’s yellowbrik line of image processing modules: the yellowbrik IDC 1411. This is an Instant Dialogue Cleaner module designed to isolate speech and dialogue by removing complex background noises in live broadcasts or recorded audio.
Applications include commentators reporting from noisy stadiums, news journalists in outdoor settings, pre-staging for speech recognition and automatic subtitle generation, as well as general speech clarity improvements for dedicated enhanced dialogue audio channels for the hearing-impaired.
The IDC 1411 incorporates Deep Neural Networks (DNN) AI technology from Audionamix and resolves many audio challenges that arise in broadcast and professional AV environments. With the help of this technology, the IDC 1411 analyses SDI embedded or unbalanced AES audio and removes (in real-time) background noises e.g., road and air traffic, nature sounds, music and other ambient noises. This audio cleaning process separates the dialogue and speech from the noises, providing a crisp audio signal that enhances and highlights the spoken word.
Also on the stand will be the new greenMachine HDR EVIE+ Constellation, a segmented frame-by-frame broadcast-quality HDR-to-SDR converter with frame sync and metadata processing that supports all HDR formats up to 4K/UHD. EVIE+, (for Enhanced Video Image Engine), is a real-time sectional, dynamic tone-mapping technique that analyses 144 segments of each frame of an HDR image and applies appropriate contrast and color adjustments frame by frame to provide colorful and realistic visuals for the SDR viewer. The greenMachine HDR EVIE+ Constellation is a tool for dealing with dynamic ranges and color gamuts, providing viewers of the broadcast SDR with the majority of the detail from the live or recorded HDR content.
Something For Everyone
Many will say that in order to deliver a good customer experience on a cellphone, you have to start with a high quality signal at the front end and high quality signal processing in between. At IBC, the exhibit floor will be full of practical and cost-effective products to do just that. Careful consideration should be given to your business model and what you are trying to accomplish.
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