Building upon the existing signal generation function which was added to Bridge Technologies’ VB440 probe in 2022, the company has announced that the probe can now also generate up to 64 channels of audio signal, thus allowing remote production teams to test the network links of both their visual and audio apparatus without ever needing to unpack a single piece of equipment.
The existing generator capabilities of the probe allow for five video placeholder signals to be generated. These are now accompanied by the ability to generate up to 64 channels of audio in any combination of Blits and Glits test signals or static tones, and in any audio format and grouping, up to and including immersive 7.1. These audio configurations can be set through the GUI itself, or through NMOS. This ability to create variously bonded groups and test them simultaneously is vital for operations that deliver multiple audio formats in complex configurations, and which operate in network environments where precision synchronization is required on a constant basis.
With this dual audio/video signal generation functionality, engineers can test for network reliability and security before the actual installation of auxiliary components – without the cost of additional, specialist signal generator appliances; providing the very apparent advantage of facilitating dramatically more efficient setup times and early error detection. These placeholders can also be used to measure and test network performance for elements which are not due to be integrated into the studio setup until later in the workflow.
Through this new addition, the VB440 yet further expands the range of production functions which can be embodied within a single appliance, reducing the need for costly single function equipment taking up rack-space and energy draw – an issue of particular importance in remote broadcast environments and OB vans. Indeed, the VB440 now represents the only ST 2110-based, 100Gig, multi-signal, any-resolution, NMOS controllable high precision generator on the planet, and is in this sense unique – even if one sets aside the additional and comprehensive range of other creative and engineering-based production functions it also incorporates. These include advanced audio metering and listening, as well as full waveform and vector colorimetry (including HDR preview) across a full range of resolutions and compressed and uncompressed formats (including JPEG-XS). It further includes deep network analytics of the entire IP or SDI encapsulated production environment, thus facilitating both in-the-moment trouble shooting and long-term decision making. All of these functionalities can be achieved through any HTML-5 browser with next to no latency, making the probe ideal for both remote and live deployment.
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