HDR: Which format is which?

HDR: Which format is which?

UHD or ‘Ultra High Definition’ television promises many things, among them high dynamic range (HDR), a wider colour gamut (ie getting closer to the huge range of colours that most people can see), higher frame rates (for super-smooth action, particularly in sport) and higher resolution (4K). Between them, they’re shaking up the TV technology landscape.

In HDR, there are three main standards you’ll have probably heard of. For delivery, the BBC and NHK have developed their Hybrid Log-Gamma system, HLG, while Dolby favour their own Dolby Vision (also known as Dolby PQ). Then, for more domestic delivery, there is also HDR 10.

The principle of using an alternate gamma so that you concentrate the bit-depth where you want the extra range is well established; our eyes do not perceive light the way cameras do. To recap, with a camera, when twice the number of photons hit the sensor, it receives twice the signal (a linear relationship). We, on the other hand, perceive twice the light as being only a fraction brighter — and this is increasingly true at higher light intensities (a nonlinear relationship).

Since gamma encoding redistributes tonal levels closer to how our eyes perceive them, fewer bits are needed to describe a given tonal range. Otherwise, an excess of bits would be devoted to describing the brighter tones (where the camera is relatively more sensitive), and a shortage of bits would be left to describe the darker tones (where the camera is relatively less sensitive). This means gamma encoded images store greyscale more efficiently.

ITU-R BT.2100

It does seem like all of the manufacturers will coalesce around BT.2100, which defines (amongst other things) how you handle the specular highlights: those very bright parts of the picture which really add to the look of pictures.

Specular highlights are typically defined to be >500 Cdm-2, which is much brighter than broadcast white! The idea is that in 10-bit HDR, the tenth bit of dynamic range (all values above 512) represents the highlights, and the other nine bits are akin to the usual video dynamic range.

Delivery formats

There are three delivery formats you need to consider.

HLG

HLG was developed by the BBC and their Japanese counterpart NHK. It is a scene-referred system, just like conventional television, and has been designed with the specific goal of making the transition to HDR easy on broadcasters and production crews – hence its compatibility with SDR, which means that broadcasters can continue to use their existing 10-bit SDI production installations (as with all video, levels are considered dimensionless).

HLG uses relative brightness values to dictate how an image is displayed – the display uses its knowledge of its own capabilities to interpret the relative, scene-referred information. This means that the image can be displayed on monitors with very different brightness capabilities without any impact on the artistic effect of the scene. Because it uses relative values, HLG does not need to carry metadata, and can be used with displays of differing brightness in a wide range of viewing environments.

HLG is supported in Rec. 2100 with a nominal peak luminance of 1000 Cdm-2 (though the BBC have said this is an artificial cap imposed by the monitors they use, and the real figure is more like 4000). It is also supported in HEVC.

Dolby Vision or DolbyPQ (Perceptual Quantiser)

Dolby Vision is the wider set of products that cover both digital cinema and video – Dolby PQ is the element that we’re concerned with. Unlike HLG, DolbyPQ is a display-referred system that uses absolute dimensioned values for the light captured.

The metadata that travels in the SDi payload defines how video levels equate to light levels, and how they should be reproduced at the DolbyPQ display end. The display then reports back to the playback device via EDID to convey its maximum light output.

DolbyPQ supports a maximum brightness of 10,000 Cdm-2.

HDR 10
HDR 10 is another format you’ll have heard of. It’s an open source version of PQ, developed by device manufacturers, but it has a lower video quality, mastered in 10-bit, and only up to 1000 nits cd/m(compared to Dolby’s potential 10,000). It does use metadata, but a far simpler form than Dolby, specifying one luminance level for the entire programme rather than frame by frame.
It’s not backwards compatible either (so can’t be viewed on SDR displays) but because its far more affordable, it’s a popular standard for domestic delivery, particularly on systems where it’s easy to host an SDR version to accompany the HDR (so UHD Blu-rays, set-top boxes and streaming services like Amazon). Sony and Microsoft have also gone down this route for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One S. So while it is big in home cinema, it ultimately has little relevance for the professional production environment.
Dynamic range

All of these formats have greater dynamic range than the human eye (about 14 stops) and SDR video (about six stops) and 10-bit pro SDR (about 10). When HLG footage is displayed on a 1,000 Cdm-2 display with a bit depth of 10 bits per sample, it has a dynamic range of 200,000:1 or 17.6 stops.

HLG also increases the dynamic range by not including the linear part of the conventional gamma curve used by Rec. 601 and Rec. 709. The linear part of the conventional gamma curve was used to limit camera noise in low light video, but is no longer needed with HDR cameras.

DolbyPQ has an even broader dynamic range of around 18 stops, but this is necessary when using display referral as you need to be able to accommodate different types of display and viewing conditions.

Which is right for you?

In a controlled environment like a movie theatre, Dolby Vision makes a lot of sense – it gives you very precise control, can take advantage of more advanced displays, and has a high degree of futureproofing thanks to that whopping 10,000 Cdm-2 upper limit. If you’re in a feature-focused facility with an existing Dolby workflow, it makes a lot of sense to roll out this system to other parts of your pipeline.

However, if your bread and butter jobs come from the BBC and you’re aware that a lot of your viewers will, ultimately, be watching your content in their living room, in the office at lunch or on their iPhone, aligning your setup to their standard seems sensible, as you’ll be in line with a major customer, and the adaptive nature of HLG means it’s well suited to the variety of viewing environments you need to cater for if you’re producing online or television content.

How can we help?

Well, we can make recommendations for acquisition, post-production and delivery of HDR content. We carry cameras, monitors and video interfaces appropriate to HDR workflows, and can often offer demo kit to test in customers’ workflows. To find out more, get in touch with the team on the details below.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2017: Atomos’s Connect convertor storms the show

IBC 2017: Atomos’s Connect convertor storms the show

The new Atomos Connect converter range has landed and is ready to colour-code your world. They form a comprehensive and versatile lineup of 15 different conversion, signal processing and system integration boxes that connect, convert, scale, sync, split and repeat your video signals.

These brightly colored devices make finding the right product for the right job easy, with all common analogue, SDI, Fiber and HDMI connections for conversion and distribution tasks taken care of for SD, HD and 4K. They feature a robust construction with locking DC and HDMI connectors, USB power and detachable mounting ears. Status is clearly displayed on bright LEDs and they can be quickly and easily configured using the free ConnectOS software.

Reliability, durability and easy integration were key criteria when designing the range: no corners were cut when it comes to construction.

“We know the way to gain the trust of integrators and broadcasters is to back our products with a three year warranty. With this bold statement, there’s no question that the Connect range will become the de facto converters for the industry,” says Atomos CEO Jeromy Young. “These converters are designed to be extremely durable and reliable yet cost-effective – making them immediately stand out from existing converters. We have a Connect unit for practically everything and I’m certain they will quickly find homes in productions big and small.”

Each converter is colour-coded according to use, making life easier for broadcast and AV system integrators: blue for connect, red for convert, yellow for scale, green for sync, black for split and white for repeat. Bright LEDs clearly display the status of each unit at a glance. Finding the right box and confirming its status has never been easier.

The new range come in slim line metal housings with removable mounting ears, allowing for flexible mounting options for Broadcast and ProAV applications. Power is via the locking DC power connectors for the included AC adapters, or via USB, providing the ability to run for hours from simple cell phone power banks, or from the USB sockets of many modern monitors or TV sets. HDMI connections also have an included locking mechanism that screws into the unit and allows different sized connectors to be secured with a cable tie. This increases the reliability when using the consumer cables.

Setup is straightforward with physical dip switches that allow rapid access to main settings. Atomos will also provide ConnectOS software free of charge that allows full control of scaling and converting parameters from a PC via USB.

The Connect Convert TC and Connect Convert 4K models also have a standout feature that adds scope and audio overlay to any connected display. Timecode, waveform and audio VU meters can be overlaid on the video signal with the toggle of a dip switch.

Reliable performance

Atomos has already gained many fans in live production, who need to know they can count on their equipment. Gene Greenwood, owner of Rock and Roll Sherpas, routinely provides tour video for some of the world’s biggest bands like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and Guns N’ Roses, and depends on a small army of Connect converters for his productions.

“The reliability is great,” he enthuses. “I just know that whenever I grab one it is going to work.”

No job is too big or too small for Connect convertors. The connect, convert, scale, sync, split and repeat capabilities also fit perfectly with other Atomos products. “With powerful scaling and standards conversions we provide the digital glue that binds legacy infrastructure with our class-leading monitor recorders, either on set, out in the field or in the studio,” explains Young.

Applications

Integrate HDMI devices into a SDI world If you need to simply convert the HDMI output from your mirrorless camera to SDI to go into a wireless transmitter or switcher, then the Connect Convert HDMI to SDI will do the task for you. If you want to integrate HDMI devices into a more professional broadcast system, then use the HDMI to SDI Convert unit with a built-in synchroniser. It is signal-referenced to provide a proper input to switchers or vision mixers and provides an extremely cost-effective solution for systems integrators.

Extend your SDI over great distances Long SDI cable runs are catered for with the Connect SDI repeater, which can be used on its own or combined with the Connect SDI Splitter for a one-to-many signal distribution using standard coax cable. Want to run a SDI cable longer than 400m from your camera channel to your OB truck? We have you covered with the Connect Convert Fiber SDI-to-Fiber and Fiber-to-SDI boxes. These standalone or integrated solutions will save a lot of money and time – a must in every video engineer’s tool kit.

Connect your front of house computers For live event and pro AV users you can use Connect converters to get signal sources from the front of house to your video village. Your presentation PC or Mac can be easily output to a vision mixer.

Integrate legacy HD kit Legacy HD products, such as tape decks and older cameras can be easily integrated into modern systems with the Connect Analogue to HDMI/SDI converters. Couple these with an Atomos recorder and you can easily archive content to ProRes or Avid DNxHD.

Price and availability

Prices start at just $95, going up to just $595 US for the 4K Line (+ local taxes).

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: GMIT with world’s first internet-based broadcast and OTT network monitoring app

IBC 2017: GMIT with world’s first internet-based broadcast and OTT network monitoring app

At IBC 2017, GMIT GmbH will introduce a new commercial web service to supplement the Rohde & Schwarz content monitoring and multiviewing solution R&S PRISMON. R&S PRISMON was launched early this year as a convergent solution for content monitoring in both broadcast and streaming media/OTT environments. Now, for the first time worldwide, this new service provides users with real-time access to comprehensive monitoring and status parameters from R&S PRISMON monitoring probes on mobile internet-enabled devices using a secure web service anywhere, anytime.

Rohde & Schwarz’s A/V monitoring platform R&S PRISMON is designed for advanced, convergent content monitoring in broadcast and OTT delivery networks. It serves as a multiviewer and monitoring probe and helps operators efficiently ensure service quality and availability – supporting formats from SMPTE 2110 to MPEG-DASH.

Now, GMIT GmbH launches the accompanying virtuWall portfolio with a new web service which provides a secure connection to multiple PRISMON devices via a single entry point, making complex virtual private networks (VPNs) obsolete. The virtuWall web service can either be installed on-premises or operated as cloud service by GMIT GmbH.

The virtuWall iOS App provides users with all necessary information on the state and health of all monitored services. If an error is detected, virtuWall notifies its users in real time and provides in-depth analysis capabilities. Accessing the multiviewer streaming output allows visual checking anytime, anywhere. Operators can quickly detect system failures and assess their severity from their mobile device.

“VirtuWall can revolutionize traditional broadcast monitoring workflows,” commented Marcus Ruoff, Product Manager at GMIT GmbH. “Operators are no longer tied to their consoles, working in shifts in case of a very rare system failure. Instead, they can focus on more productive tasks anywhere within their broadcast facility and still receive error notifications whether they are on- or off-site.”

virtuWall revolutionizes broadcast monitoring and control For small and mid-sized network operators without true 24/7 operation, virtuWall dramatically increases service quality, especially outside normal business hours. Compared to traditional automated error notification by SMS or email, virtuWall allows users to further investigate the errors on the mobile device and consequently speeds up recovery.

Similarly, large network operators with a traditional master control room (MCR) or network operations centre (NOC) that is manned around the clock can work more efficiently using virtuWall. Instead of spending entire working shifts in front of monitors waiting for an occasional error to occur, operators and specialists can concentrate on maintaining, optimizing and extending the platform and network. With virtuWall, they remain constantly informed and ready to act in case of an error.

Once downloaded from the app store, virtuWall is easy to set up and use. Access restrictions and configurations for all users are set up at a single central point within the new web service. All connections are highly secured using strong end-to-end encryption and comply with all potential security and privacy requirements.

virtuWall includes the following features:

– Status of all R&S PRISMON monitoring probes at a glance.

– ‘Zero delay’ status indication of all monitored broadcast and OTT services.

– Streamed multiviewer screen for visual checking.

– Access to log books, detailed measurement results, etc.

– Multiple layers of access restriction and protection – including TouchID fingerprint authentication.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: GMIT launches enhanced RelayCaster for live content contribution over public Internet

IBC 2017: GMIT launches enhanced RelayCaster for live content contribution over public Internet

At IBC 2017, GMIT GmbH will showcase its newly acquired RelayCaster and CodecCaster products for the first time since acquiring the technology of Motama GmbH earlier this year. The company will introduce the latest version of RelayCaster for content contribution over public IP networks and CodecCaster for high-density live transcoding.

IBC 2017, Amsterdam – The new version of RelayCaster features integrated SDI/HDMI input and encoding – features which add further value to this remarkably cost-efficient live content contribution platform. With RelayCaster, reliability of contributing and distributing live content via unmanaged networks is significantly improved, as packet loss issues are efficiently resolved. RelayCaster enables the replacement of expensive, dedicated links or contracts with CDN service providers. In contrast to these services, RelayCaster is not limited to certain regions or data centers. RelayCaster enables distribution of content across any distance, to any place that is reachable by Internet infrastructure. With optional encryption, data streams will be protected between all senders and receivers.

RelayCaster targets live content producers & aggregators as well as live content service operators and OTT operators. It extends the reach of live streams to a global scale, harnessing the power of the internet as a flexible and cost-effective means of content contribution and distribution.

“Eventhough it is utilizing the public, unmanaged IP networks, RelayCaster enables secure and reliable data contribution,” commented Dr. Marco Lohse, Director of R&D IP Gateways at Rohde & Schwarz subsidiary GMIT GmbH. ”It empowers users to create flexible and scaleable do-it-yourself content delivery networks and by doing this it offers unbeatable levels of OPEX using internet capacity in such a creative way.”

High density live encoding

Also being showcased by GMIT GmbH at IBC 2017 is CodecCaster. This system is a turn-key solution for real-time transcoding, offering high-performance and high-quality IP-based format conversion and bitrate reduction for MPEG transport streams. CodecCaster fully supports transcoding and transrating to multiple bitrates for adaptive streaming for MPEG-2, AVC/H.264 and HEVC/H.265. The output of DVB compliant and OTT streams is also supported. In addition, audio pass through and audio transcoding for AAC, MPEG audio and Dolby Digital Plus is available.

The new version of RelayCaster, together with CodecCaster, are shipping immediately and can be purchased through channel partners and Rohde & Schwarz sales agencies worldwide.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: Rohde & Schwarz to present monitoring and multiviewer solution

IBC 2017: Rohde & Schwarz to present monitoring and multiviewer solution

Rohde & Schwarz will showcase its recently launched R&S PRISMON monitoring and multiviewer solution for broadcast and streaming media with enhanced functionality at IBC 2017. The new solution will also be presented in live demonstrations at IP Showcase, a highlight of the trade show. At IP Showcase, vendors can demonstrate IP interoperability of their products under real-world conditions, based on SMPTE 2110 final draft standards and AMWA IS-04.

More than 40 exhibitors will come together at IP Showcase to demonstrate IP interoperability of their products in a realistic, live environment. They will show the full potential IP offers for realtime media on a single, large stage with devices from different vendors, based on common IP interoperability standards and specifications. The presentations at IP Showcase will be organized into logical application islands, such as live production signal streams, contribution and playout signal streams, to demonstrate the user-friendliness and interoperability of IP solutions. Rohde & Schwarz will take an active part in this event with its R&S PRISMON IP-based monitoring and multiviewer solution. The solution is fully software-based and takes an innovative multistandard, multiprotocol approach, which makes it ideal for the objectives of IP Showcase.

The new R&S PRISMON offers a single-device solution for automatic, convergent monitoring of broadcast and streaming media content transported in networks. It supports, among other features, the SDI, SMPTE 2022-1/2, SMPTE 2022-6, AIMS/SMPTE 2110, ASPEN, HLS and DASH transport standards as well as media formats such as MPEG‑2/4, HEVC and TICO. Future new standards and media formats can be added via software upgrades efficiently and flexibly. R&S PRISMON automatically detects and signals dropouts and content errors in realtime, using sophisticated monitoring functions such as Video freeze with whitelisting and Video content compare. A large number of channels – including those in UHD quality – can be monitored in parallel with R&S PRISMON and visualized in a straightforward manner on a multiviewer video wall.

Also on display will be VirtuWall, a cloud-based supplementary service to R&S PRISMON from Rohde & Schwarz subsidiary GMIT GmbH. Using a mobile app, the optional VirtuWall service transmits monitoring data collected from geographically distributed R&S PRISMON probes via a secure connection to mobile user equipment and displays it in condensed form. As a result, offsite technicians can for the first time quickly identify and assess the sources and effects of errors via remote access, eliminating the need for on-site visits to the place of installation of monitoring and multiviewer probes, as would be required with conventional solutions. The R&S PRISMON monitoring and multiviewer solution is available from Rohde & Schwarz on hardware at various performance levels and as a cloud-based installation. It will be demonstrated together with the VirtuWall cloud service at IBC 2017, booth 7.E25, and at IP Showcase in E.106.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: Encoding and multiplexing solution from Rohde & Schwarz with premium transcoding for OTT live streaming

IBC 2017: Encoding and multiplexing solution from Rohde & Schwarz with premium transcoding for OTT live streaming

Rohde & Schwarz enhances its successful R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing solution by adding premium-quality adaptive bit rate (ABR) encoding as well as packetising for all established formats for OTT live streaming. The R&S AVHE100 also fully supports high dynamic range (HDR) video transmissions.

The R&S AVHE100 encoding and multiplexing solution offers the best video quality available on the market for HEVC-encoded content from qHD to UHD, as demonstrated by Rohde & Schwarz at several shootouts during the past year. Quality and stability are also of vital importance for OTT providers who stream premium content simultaneously with live broadcasts. With the latest enhancement, the R&S AVHE100 can efficiently generate streaming formats in parallel with broadcast multiplexes on a single platform.

The R&S AVHE100 provides ABR encoding, i.e. it simultaneously encodes multiple OTT live streams using several different video profiles so that the consumer always receives the best possible resolution, depending on the quality of the data connection. The platform’s integrated packetiser fully supports all common formats such as MPEG-DASH, CMAF, HLS and MSS; as a result, the R&S AVHE100 supports a wide range of user devices.

The Rohde & Schwarz solution is unique in that it performs dynamic switchover between SDR and HDR content and also supports mixed statistical multiplexing for traditional broadcasting. The statistical multiplex function means an efficient utilisation of data rates, making it possible to achieve higher picture quality for the transmitted programs or to broadcast more programs at a time.

The R&S AVHE100 also supports a mixture of different video codecs, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4/H.264 and HEVC, and resolutions, such as SD, HD and UHD. This permits operators to continue employing legacy formats until a planned transition to a newer format is completed.

The R&S AVHE100 is a fully software-based solution that employs standard IT components. It provides the entire functionality of an encoding and multiplexing solution on a single server. Its integrated headend management system lets users control and monitor the entire workflow via a single web interface. Enhancements and improvements to coding and transmission standards are easily added, reducing capital and operating expenditures (CAPEX and OPEX) for installation, space, energy and cooling requirements, spare parts management and training. In addition, customers can conclude multi-year service level agreements (SLA) for 24/7 international support for enhanced investment protection.

The independent, family-owned company Rohde & Schwarz has gained decades of experience in the field of broadcasting, which are reflected by the smart redundancy concept and many reliability features employed in the R&S AVHE100 to ensure high availability. The R&S CrossFlowIP function, a Rohde & Schwarz development, provides redundancy for both input and output signals through seamless switchover between the main and the alternate path. In this way, the R&S AVHE100 ensures uninterrupted live transmission in the event a fault is detected and during maintenance. In contrast to conventional solutions, the R&S AVHE100 provides this functionality without requiring an external management system.

“The launch of the R&S AVHE100 4K/HDR scalable video and audio processing platform is a significant step toward the cost-effective deployment of UHD/HDR services alongside legacy SD and HD content. The encoder is widely acknowledged as the industry leading HEVC codec with full support for PQ and HLG as well as legacy codecs and formats,” said David Smith, Marketing Manager for Encoding and Multiplexing Technology at Rohde & Schwarz.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

 

IBC 2017: Rohde & Schwarz introduces new generation of ingest, live production and channel playout platform

IBC 2017: Rohde & Schwarz introduces new generation of ingest, live production and channel playout platform

At IBC 2017, Rohde & Schwarz will introduce a new approach to live ingest, media processing and channel playout that cost-effectively provides bridging technology between hybrid SDI and IP broadcast operations. Designated R&S VENICE, such is the stability of this software-based media processing and distribution platform that it can be used as a channel playout solution in 24/7 operation applications within medium and large-scale broadcasters. The integration of Rohde & Schwarz’s proprietary virtual storage access technology ensures reliable on-air operations even in the most mission critical applications.

Exhibited for the first time worldwide at IBC, the new generation of R&S VENICE media server represents a radically different approach to media processing and channel playout within transformational broadcast environments. It enables immediate application within existing SDI baseband architectures whilst also future-proofing them by offering the flexibility and sustainability of IP-based broadcast infrastructure and workflows.

Rohde & Schwarz has developed R&S VENICE with interoperability in mind. The company is committed to using open standards that offer new features, functionality and services rather than being locked in devices and products. R&S VENICE allows communication and integration via the framework for interoperable media services (FIMS) standard. Also, incorporating open standards rather than proprietary APIs grants interoperability with a wide range of third party vendor equipment.

“An open communication standard such as FIMS is an absolute requirement in today’s multi-vendor broadcast environment – by using IT and internet friendly communications technology we have developed R&S VENICE into a production and channel playout platform that is open to adoption and integration with the broadest range of media companies and industry suppliers,” commented Michael Hackl, Product Management, File-based Media Solutions at Rohde & Schwarz. “R&S VENICE empowers broadcasters to make the migration to IP whenever and however they wish. It bridges the technology gap between today’s baseband SDI video and future IP workflows, delivering any I/O from SD to UHD. Thanks to its advanced architecture and codec performance it supports HDR workflows today.”

Best in class channel playout reliability and reduced workflow complexity
In developing R&S VENICE, Rohde & Schwarz has created a new standard in on-air reliability. The system’s implementation of Rohde & Schwarz’s proprietary virtual storage access technology enables uninterrupted broadcast operations with no performance degradation in the event of single or multiple simultaneous failures. When combined with R&S SpycerBox Cell storage systems supported by IBM Spectrum Scale file system, the virtual storage access technology provides multiple layers of data redundancy from low-cost to enterprise-scale configurations capable of covering multiple system failures seamlessly.

Rohde & Schwarz’s modular storage approach enables users to select from different bandwidth, capacity and redundancy levels and for these levels to be modified in the future.

The advanced UHD capabilities of R&S VENICE with parallel 1080 down-conversion functionality enables users to quickly and easily establish high resolution services whilst still maintaining the simple infrastructures used within existing HD workflows. The system’s integrated toolset – which includes features such as data de-interlacing, closed caption extraction and insertion, DolbyE decoding and many more – makes many additional hardware and software products redundant whilst helping customers to reduce the complexity of their production workflows and infrastructures.

R&S VENICE offers a new and radically different approach to the traditional media processing and channel playout challenge. Its architecture is open and it is format agnostic. It meets the need for upcoming high efficiency codecs by delivering purely software-based codec decoding and encoding rather than relying on proprietary hardware acceleration.

André Vent, Sales Manager File Based Media Solutions adds: “The new Rohde & Schwarz broadcast channel playout solution – with R&S VENICE and R&S Spycer Box Cell at its core – offers a new standard in reliability, scalability, and sustainability needed for today’s and tomorrow’s workflow challenges.”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: Blackmagic Design announce Ultimatte 12

IBC 2017: Blackmagic Design announce Ultimatte 12

12 months after acquiring the company, Blackmagic Design have announced Ultimatte 12, a new realtime hardware compositing processor for broadcast quality keying, adding augmented reality elements into shots, working with virtual sets and more. Ultimatte 12 is available immediately, and US pricing is $9,995 – we’ll confirm the UK price as soon as we can. Here’s the press release…

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Ultimatte 12 will be demonstrated at IBC 2017 on the Blackmagic Design booth in Hall 7, Stand 7 H.20.

The all new Ultimatte 12 is more than the world’s best keyer, it’s an advanced realtime compositing processor designed for the next generation of broadcast graphics. Ultimatte 12 features entirely new algorithms and colour science, incredible edge handling, greater colour separation, amazing colour fidelity and better spill suppression than ever before.

The advanced 12G-SDI design gives Ultimatte 12 customers the flexibility to work in HD today and switch to Ultra HD when they are ready. Customers get sub-pixel processing for amazing image quality and textures in both HD and Ultra HD. Plus it’s compatible with virtually all SD, HD and Ultra HD equipment, so customers can use it with the cameras they already have.

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Ultimatte 12 can create incredibly lifelike composites and place talent into any scene, working with both fixed cameras and static backgrounds, or automated virtual set systems. Imagine presenting the weather, sports, news and entertainment in a cinematic quality environment, all composited in real time. Ultimatte 12 is also perfect for on set pre-visualisation in television and film production because it lets actors and directors see the virtual sets they’re interacting with while shooting against a green screen.

Ultimatte 12 is designed to be affordable, so customers can use it on even more cameras to increase production quality. For example, when working on live shoots with multiple cameras shooting from different angles, it’s common for the green or blue screen to suffer from variations. The keyers built into live production switchers use the same keying parameters for all cameras, which complicates keying and image quality because each camera sees the green screen a little differently. Ultimatte 12 eliminates this problem with incredible new technology at an affordable price so it’s now possible to add keyers to every camera for the highest possible quality keys. With the power of a dedicated keyer on every camera, Ultimatte 12 is perfect for live broadcast news, weather, sports, virtual studios and more!

Augmented reality is becoming more and more popular. On air talent now interacts with glass like computer generated charts, graphs, displays and other objects with coloured translucency on virtually every broadcast television show. Adding tinted translucent objects is virtually impossible with a traditional keyer and the results customers see on television don’t look realistic. That’s because when blue or green is subtracted out of a semi-transparent tinted object, it changes the object’s original colour. Now, with Ultimatte 12, customers get a revolutionary new “realistic” layer compositing mode that can add tinted objects on top of the foreground image and key them correctly. This means that the object properly transmits the colours seen through it. Talent can even walk behind it and the tinted colours are accurately preserved, making the shot look completely realistic.

Ultimatte 12 also features one touch keying technology that analyses a scene and automatically sets over a 100 parameters so pulling great keys is easy without having to do a lot of extra work. Of course, customers still have to ensure the scene is well lit and the cameras are properly white balanced. One touch keying is dramatically faster and helps accurately pull a key with minimum effort, leaving operators free to focus on the program with less distractions, while Ultimatte 12 takes care of the rest.

The incredible new image processing algorithms, huge internal colour space, and automatic internal matte generation lets Ultimatte 12 work on different parts of the image separately. It’s like having the power of multiple Ultimatte keyers all working together on the same image. Fine edge detail is preserved where it’s needed the most, like on hair, and transitions between colours or other objects in the scene is completely smooth. Everything is handled by new math and sub pixel processing that’s designed for incredible quality and clarity in both HD and Ultra HD.

When it comes to color handling, Ultimatte 12, has new flare, edge and transition processing to remove backgrounds, without affecting other colors. The improved flare algorithms can remove green tinting and spill from anything, even dark shadow areas or through transparent objects. This means Ultimatte 12 can retain and faithfully reproduce colors that are impossible on other keyers, such as a bright yellow dress in front of a green screen. Unlike other keyers, Ultimatte 12 delivers crisp clear, photorealistic images with vibrant colours that pop!

Ultimatte 12 is controlled via Ultimatte Smart Remote 4, which is a touch screen remote that connects via Ethernet. Up to eight Ultimatte 12 units can be daisy chained together and connected to the same Smart Remote, so customers don’t have worry about adding a video router or hub. Smart Remote 4 features physical buttons for switching and controlling any attached Ultimatte 12. There are also buttons for quickly loading and saving presets, along with a touch screen that provides total control over every parameter. Customers can also create their own custom control solutions because Ultimatte 12 uses a simple, open text based protocol. Simply Telnet into Ultimatte 12, to start developing and testing custom solutions.

“Ultimatte has been the world’s highest quality broadcast keyer for 40 years,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “We’re excited about taking this incredible technology to the next level! Ultimatte 12 is no longer just a simple keyer, it’s an Ultra HD realtime compositing engine designed specifically for the needs of today’s live broadcast, television and film production needs!”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: Panasonic showcase first footage from the EVA1

Panasonic introduced the EVA1 at Cine Expo, and we’ve been waiting to get our hands on it ever since. Those of you lucky enough to be in Amsterdam can see it on their stand at IBC, but we can all enjoy the first test footage, released today. 

Shot in Iceland by DoP Filippo Chiesa and graded by Frederic Savoir, the clip highlights some of the great features the EVA1 has inherited from Panasonic’s Varicam range.

Like the Varicam LT, the AU-EVA1 is capable of dual native ISO, a technology that allows you to extract more information from the sensor increasing the level of noise or artefacts in the film, leading to crisper images and better low light performance.

Also imported from the VariCam range is V-Log/V-Gamut capture, which gives you high dynamic range, bolder colours and more realistic skin tones – the log curves of V-Log are reminiscent of those of negative film, and V-Gamut delivers a colour space even larger than that of film.

If you want to see. more of the EVA1 in action, there’s a making of video, too. Alternatively, we hear last minute flights to Amsterdam are very reasonable.

 

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.

IBC 2017: G-Technology releases SDK for G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution

IBC 2017: G-Technology releases SDK for G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution

Western Digital Corp., a global data storage technology and solutions leader, today announced the availability of a new software development kit (SDK) for its G-Technology 12-bay G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution for content creation professionals managing libraries of video and audio.

Utilising the SDK, G-RACK 12 third party partners now have the capability to develop customised applications for the G-NAS operating system (OS) that can run natively on the G-RACK 12 and its dual 6-core Xeon processors, offloading tasks from local machines and streamlining workflow.

A handful of key strategic G-Technology partners have already developed various workflow solutions running directly on the G-NAS OS-powered G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution, including Archiware, Avalache.io, and axle Video. The below solutions will be showcased in the G-Technology booth (Hall 7, Stand 7.J31) at IBC, September 14-19, in Amsterdam:

Archiware, an expert in data management software, have integrated its P5 Software Suite with the G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS to create a solution that will facilitate disaster recovery, data migration, and archival options for Media and Entertainment workflows.

Avalache.io, a leading innovator of cloud-based media production technology, has enabled the G-RACK 12 to be one of the first storage solutions to fully implement the new SMPTE standard for asset identification for the Cinema Content Creation Cloud Identification System or C4 ID.

axle Video, a pioneer of affordable “radically simple” media management, is delivering a version of its axle 2017 flagship media management software that runs directly on the G-RACK 12, eliminating the need for an extra server appliance and simplifying facility management, space, and logistics, while providing high performance for search, browse, annotation, and sharing tasks constantly performed by production teams of any size.

The G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution streamlines demanding media and entertainment video workflows, including 4K and above resolution, with a scalable 12-bay server offering capacities up to 144TB – and now 720TB raw capacity with the four G-RACK 12 Expansion units and the newly available 12TB HGST Ultrastar enterprise-class hard drives. Its reliability, high-performance, and centralised storage capabilities are perfect for small-to-medium size post-production houses, TV/broadcast studios, ad agencies, and in-house creative departments using Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer or other creative applications. The G-RACK 12 high-performance NAS solution is the ideal storage solution for collaboration, utilising four 10-gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 connections for high-speed data transfers, saving both time and money.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our IBC roundup.