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Broadcast Wireless Systems’ Sapphire 4K Codec

Broadcast Wireless Systems (BWS) will feature the BWS Sapphire 4K Codec at IBC. The codec enables 4K wireless camera systems to be used on productions in the same way as current ‘standard’ HD systems.

According to BWS Managing Director Stuart Brown, “Although some 4K wireless systems have been available previously, the long latency inherent in such systems meant they were relegated for use on long range aerial shots because they cannot be inter-cut with cabled cameras. Sapphire changes all that with the ability to offer true 4K coverage rather than having to up-convert images from standard HD wireless cameras.”

Sapphire can encode UHD signals at up to 50/59 frame-rate in 4:20/4:2:2 8-bit and 10-bit. In addition to 4K encoding, Sapphire can also encode 4 simultaneous ‘standard’ HD 1080p50/59 signals, which is useful for wireless slo-mo, multi-camera and aerial downlink applications.

Its compact size of only 125x60mm enables it to be easily attached to a wide range of camera types. Low power consumption enables long battery run times and requires minimal cooling. This keeps the overall size and weight much lower.

Sapphire uses the same board for encoding and decoding, which means the unit can change functions at the flick of a switch, enabling operators to maximise utilisation and re-coup capital investment much sooner.

Brown added, “We believe the price of Sapphire is extremely competitive given its powerful combination of features. Units can be purchased with a basic feature-set and upgraded via software in the future.
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