Bluebell Intros Robotic Camera Interface with Dual Ethernet Ports

After talking about IP in live production for the past two years, the industry is beginning to see the first Ethernet ports being provided for camera products. One example, Bluebell Opticom Ltd., a provider of fiber-optic solutions for fixed and remote applications, has released a new stand-alone remote robotic camera interface with dual GigE ports for its BN385 product.

With the compact BN385, broadcasters can easily integrate remote robotic cameras into a broadcast network or master control room, no matter where the cameras are installed.

Paul McCann, managing director of Bluebell Opticom, said controlling robotic cameras from a remote location used to require a combination of cards or enclosures, and the distance between the cameras and control rooms was limited by the cabling.

“The BN385 is the first fiber interface unit to offer camera control and robotic head operation via a dual-port Gigabit Ethernet link. Whether it's a fixed broadcast application such as linking the main chambers of a Parliament complex, or a mobile link such as a remote commentary position or a Spidercam, the connection is quick and easy, and placement is completely flexible.”

A lightweight, ruggedised aluminum enclosure intended to be fixed to the camera’s mounting bracket, the BN385 can also be used with a BC Series rack at the equipment room/truck end of the link. The unit features two 3G-SDI paths from the camera position with an optional genlock return, plus a dual-port GigE link on two single-mode fibers (with optional single-fiber operation). An IEC mains input (100-250 VAC) with a local DC output is designed to power the camera and minimize cabling at the remote position.

In a typical setup, users would assign one of the SDI paths for PGM video, the other for a feed with viewfinder overlay/menus, and the Ethernet ports for camera control and pan-tilt-zoom operation. The BN385 works in any broadcast infrastructure, whether fixed or mobile, to bring feeds from any meeting room, chamber, field of play, or other camera position back to the central engineering room, regardless of location.

Bluebell will demonstrate the BN385 at IBC 2015 (stand 10.F24) and the unit will be available in the third quarter of 2015.

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