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Videocraft Blog:
Product Announcements

#NAB2014 Products to Watch – Live Production

#EVSEquipment #RossVideo #AJAVideoSystems

Check out our live production blog to see what’s new from our favourite manufacturers at #NAB2014 –


EVS debuts C-Cast Xplore and OpenCube for the first time at NAB

CCAST_FULL_MEDRESEVS has featured its C-Cast Xplore live content web-browsing interface and OpenCube MXF server and media interoperability software applications. These flexible solutions are improving live, near-live and post-production collaboration and efficiency and providing media asset lifecycle management across multiple, integrated workflows.
“C-Cast Xplore is central to meeting the fast-evolving demands of live production,” said Luc Doneux, executive vice president, EVS Sports division. Benoit Fevrier, senior vice president for EVS’ Media division added, “OpenCube delivers a unique solution that addresses the complexities and compliance requirements of new content formats.”
Based on EVS’ powerful C-Cast connected infrastructure, the C-Cast Xplore web-based interface boosts collaborations between authorized users by allowing them remote, real-time access to EVS’ production servers, enabling studios, archivists and editors to tap directly into the server network at live events and access content recorded from any camera. Content can then be edited, re-packaged and archived for any location, which includes the creation and delivery of fast-turnaround highlights and discussion packages for web-connected viewers as the event progresses. All of this is achieved without increasing the number of production staff on location. C-Cast Xplore delivers three key benefits: better content for the viewers, additional revenue opportunities and reduced cost.

HD-SD_FULL_45_MEDRESDesigned for wide-ranging media applications, EVS’ OpenCubeHD/SD server provides enhanced ingest for mastering and archive, with even higher performance levels to handle the encoding of MXF 4K formats and transcoding from various formats including J2K, ProRes, AVC-I and DNxHD faster than real time. The latest OpenCube release enables complete subtitle support including S436M track or .scc/.mcc generation at ingest. It also acts as a conversion tool to bridge these formats, and handles closed caption decoding with overlay for previewing and checking content.




Ross Video introduces Acuity—a breakthrough in modern production switcher technology
acuityRoss Video launched Acuity, the first of a new generation of large production switcher platforms. The culmination of 40-years’ production switcher design experience, Acuity is a breakthrough in modern production switcher technology and combines seemingly limitless production power with aesthetic beauty and unprecedented connectivity.

“We spent a lot of time talking to customers, partners and prospective users while designing Acuity to ensure it not only delivers fast, efficient and error-free production, but is also ergonomically perfect,” says David Ross, Chief Executive Officer of Ross Video. “We used innovative manufacturing techniques to construct control surfaces that considerably enhance overall operation and ease of use—and take production switchers to a whole new level. Acuity is stunningly beautiful. It’s a true TD’s dream machine—proven by the fact that we’ve already sold a significant number of Acuity platforms, including the very first one to the Buffalo Bills.”

A truly multi-definition production system, Acuity accommodates all current production formats as well as full 3G 1080P and quad link UHD (4K). It’s also an interconnected communications hub for the entire system, and offers the industry’s largest library of third-party control protocols.

“Acuity’s unprecedented integration makes it by far the best-connected production system on the market today. When coupled with Ross Video’s DashBoard system manager, the custom PanelBuilder or the industry leading OverDrive automated production control system, Acuity delivers production-control speed and efficiency as well as flawless program creation, every time, all the time,” says Nigel Spratling, Marketing Product Manager at Ross Video. “Add in Ross Video’s legendary guaranteed-for-life fader, which has been completely redesigned for Acuity and provides the perfect ‘feel’ and a fantastic look, and you have a stunning large production switcher platform that’s truly fit for the future.”

All six of Acuity’s new control panels are fully modular and can be custom configured to suit operators’ needs. Every button falls within perfect reach, all functions are directly accessible at the press of a single button, and button spacing has been carefully crafted to ensure accidental button presses are effectively eliminated. The 16:9 touchscreen menu and on-panel menu controls deliver ease of use and operational speed.

Acuity’s processing engines are built using the latest FPGA chips, which offer significant room for growth and ensure new features can be easily integrated. Acuity comes with two production engines. The compact 4RU frame packs six ME’s/Dual Head MultiViewers and an impressive 60 x 40 I/O, making it perfect for trucks and other environments where space is limited. The 8RU frame expands the I/O to a massive 120×60 and provides up to eight ME’s/Dual Head MultiViewers.


Ross Video brings even more choice and flexibility to Carbonite
carbonite3xRoss Video announced that the award-winning Carbonite Production Switcher will now support 2.5 ME operation. This new operating mode is in addition to the recently announced MiniME and MultiScreen modes. Now, users of Carbonite 2 ME can run MiniME’s or a traditional .5 ME with a full program/preview bus that has two downstream keyers and a third key for animated media transitions. Also announced today are two new 3 ME panels—the 3S and 3X—which brings to nine the number of control surfaces to choose from. This ensures there’s a Carbonite panel to suit every application, from small flight packs to large control room installations.

Carbonite 3X“Carbonite’s huge internal processing capabilities make it possible for us to continue to add some astonishing features. From today, users looking to upgrade from 2.5 ME SD systems to full HD have a remarkably cost-effective choice with Carbonite. The new 3 ME panels make MiniME and 2.5 ME operation a pure joy. Carbonite offers a level of production power and system connectivity no other product can offer,” says Nigel Spratling, Marketing Product Manager at Ross Video. “Couple any Carbonite with the stunning XPression graphics system and our BlackStorm playout servers and you have an efficient and cost effective production system capable of producing the highest quality content for any application – quickly and effectively No other production switcher family at this price point can offer that kind of choice and flexibility.”

Carbonite 2.5 will be a free software update for all current two ME systems. Intuitive panel row-swap functions ensure both modes can run on any of the nine Carbonite panels as well as from the DashBoard software control system on any PC or MAC.

The 3S panel
The 3S is a 24-button panel that adds a third ME row for instant control of MiniMEs, MultiScreen and a half ME. This ergonomically designed panel has a raised menu control area for easy reach and viewing.

The 3X panel
The 3X has all the features of the 3S with the addition of 32 source select buttons. The 3X also has dedicated ME row selection buttons for instant control of any ME or MiniME on any row. With eight Custom Control bank select buttons, the 3X has 256 custom control macros for direct selection at any time.


AJA Launches FS1-X; Next Generation Frame Synch and FRC

FS1-X_LEFT_FRC_EnabledAJA Video Systems has released FS1-X, a compact single rack-mount frame synchronizer and converter designed to match up disparate audio and video formats in broadcast, mobile and post-production environments. Tapping AJA’s industry-leading conversion algorithms, FS1-X supports up-, down- and cross-conversion between SD and HD signals ensuring the highest quality output possible. Featuring a flexible architecture, FS1-X simultaneously works with 3G/HD/SD-SDI 10-bit video and incorporates a massive number of embedded audio, AES, MADI and analog audio channels.

FS1-X is also available with a Frame Rate Converter (FRC) option. FS1-X’s high quality motion adaptive linear FRC offers smooth motion conversion between a wide range of frame rates, including 1080p 50 to 59.94.

“FS1-X delivers an incredible level of workflow flexibility with support for such a wide range of video formats and high-quality frame rate conversion all in a single rack-mount box,” said Nick Rashby, President, AJA Video Systems. “With the addition of support for the MADI standard, we’re enabling the ability to work with huge numbers of audio channels as well.”

The growth of 5.1 and 7.1 audio has increased the number of audio channels managed in a production. The MADI standard provides a convenient way to transport up to 64 audio channels along a single cable. FS1-X supports both fiber and coax 64 channel MADI input and output. An internal 224×224 audio matrix allows full routing of MADI and all audio coming from SDI, SDI fiber, AES and analog sources for a very large amount of audio processing capability in a single box.

FS1-X also features a unique keyer configuration, allowing incoming signals to be combined in powerful ways. In the case of sidebar keying, where incoming video is converted from SD to HD, rather than stretching the 4:3 aspect ratio to fit in a 16:9 frame, a second signal is used to fill the side of the 16:9 frame. This allows channel identification or other imagery to be placed in that area rather than having black bars on either side. The robust AFD features of FS1-X ensure that the aspect ratio of the outgoing signal is properly identified for downstream devices.

Features include:

1RU HD/SD Frame Synchronizer
Supports 2 video channels: one with full conversion, one pass through
Frame Rate Converter (FRC) option enables high quality conversions between different frame rates for virtually unlimited options
10-bit up-, down-, and cross-convert to simultaneous outputs
MADI, AES, Embedded and Analog audio support
Component and Composite Analog HD/SD video input and output
LAN Control via web browser on any platform
All outputs active at all times
Closed Caption conversion; up-, down-, cross-conversion between CEA-608 and CEA-708
AFD support for optimal aspect ratio conversion
5-year Warranty

Pricing and Availability
FS1-X is available now through AJA’s worldwide network of resellers at a US MSRP of $3995. FS1-X FRC (with the Frame Rate Converter option) is available at a US MSRP of $5495.

For more information about AJA products please visit www.aja.com.

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