Seagate releases 4TB video hard drive
Seagate just announced the new SeagateVideo 3.5 HDDâ€” the industryâ€™s first 4TB, 3.5-inch hard disk drive engineered specifically for use in video applications such as digital video recorders (DVRs), set-top boxes (STBs), and surveillance systems. Purpose-built for video solutions, the Video 3.5 HDD can store up to 480 hours of high-definition (HD) content making it the industryâ€™s highest-capacity drive designed specifically for video.
Engineered to deliver superior performance and operation in three key areas of importance to manufacturersâ€“ high capacity and streaming capability, reliability and acousticsâ€” the Video 3.5 HDD is ideal for satellite and cable providers and surveillance system builders. Featuring capacities up to 4TB, the drive supports up to 16 simultaneous HD streams or 20 standard-definition streams as well as 24×7 operation capabilities making it ideal for video content applications.
The Video 3.5 has a 0.55 percent annual failure rate enabling product to be kept in the field longer while reducing the cost of field deployment and maintaining customer retention. The drive is it ideal for manufacturers who need a reliable product with long lifespans. The drive is engineered for low power consumption and heat emissions allowing solution providers greater design flexibility.
Initial applications will be in DVRs and STBs where a long-lived and quiet drive is required. Boasting near silent acoustics, the drive operates below the range of audible sound for the human ear at just 2.3dB,Â providing optimized acoustics for home entertainment components.
While posting this article, I discovered an interesting Seagate video on hard drive manufacture and shipping. See it here.
More information on the Seagate Video 3.5 HDD is available at www.seagate.com/www/video3.5hdd.No comments
The evolution of multiviewers
Multiviewer technology evolved from its origins in signage as video walls and large Jumbotron-style screens that were used in stadiums, arenas and presentations. These early displays were CRT video cubes and a variety of CRT, fluorescent and LCD technologies for the large indoor and outdoor displays. With the introduction of flat-screen technology for video and the image quality meeting acceptable standards, the displays began to appear as monitors in program origination, master control and network operation control rooms. Flat-screens became larger, and multiview technology appeared to maximize the use of the large screens and found its way into production control rooms and remote production vehicles.
There are a number of obvious benefits in using multiviewers as well as a considerable number of other not so obvious benefits. The use of multiviewer technology reduces the number of physical monitors. Using fewer screens for the same number of images reduces the power and HVAC requirements in the control rooms.
Multiviewer technology continues to evolve. It is introducing new concepts in monitoring and consolidating many features and functionalities that previously required a lot of outboard gear. The integration of audio metering, under-monitor and clock displays allow each source to have an audio meter if needed, an under-monitor display instead of white tape and multiple clock displays, which are just appearances in the multiview controller. As broadcast and production technologies become more IP-centric, multiviewers take on the additional role of monitoring the network and servers.
During the introduction of multiviewers into broadcast and production monitoring, they were separate devices and added outputs to the router and required a separate controller. This added cost, engineering, cabling and infrastructure. Still, there are considerable benefits: They occupy less space, need less power and do not generate the heat of CRT monitors. Space savings, while expanding the monitoring capability in control rooms and remote trucks, are substantial.
Using a multiviewer in a production control room or remote production truck provides the ability to have multiple configurations that are easily changed using a management dashboard in the image processor. There can be multiple profiles for different productions in a truck serving different productions needs for multiple users without having to do major repatching or rerouting.
Multiviewers are powerful tools that are now being fully integrated into routers. They are now cards in the router frame and use the same input cross points. The immediate benefit is that all of the sources on the router are available to the multiviewer without needing additional router outputs. This is a considerable cost savings in equipment and infrastructure.
A recent addition to the feature set in multiviewer technology is the ability to monitor servers and computers. This is a powerful addition in the arsenal of tools needed in todayâ€™s monitoring environment. Previously, one had to add a large number of computer monitors or rely on a KVM, and both required an operator to remember to check on applications that were running various processes.
Now, a multiviewer using remote monitoring connection tools (i.e. VNC) can display the screen of a server or computer. No different from signal monitoring if the operator sees a problem, they will route the signal into the quality control monitor that has test and measurement tools in the same path to diagnose the problem.
In the file and streaming ecosystem, in addition to the signal, there are dashboards and status screens for each application. If the operator sees an issue, he or she can use the KVM to call up that server or computer and either diagnose or take some type of corrective action to resolve the issue.
This means that software applications or servers that have dashboards for management or that show the status of the processes they are running can be monitored in a display frame on the multiviewer similar to more standard video feeds. A single display screen can show the rundown on the traffic system, the playlist on the playout server and the program material video with audio metering, the under-monitor display showing the ID, and the rasterized screen of a test and measurement system. Some systems use Web browsers to access their status and management screens. This means that there are computers with browsers dedicated to these systems that need to be displayed.
Monitoring has become significantly more complex. In production, recording to a server requires the server to be monitored the same as the video. Playback means tracking the rundown on the playlist. These are all on server or computer screens.
The multiviewer allows edit and graphic rooms to display on a single screen a lot more things. The multiviewer display can monitor running processes, without requiring multiple computer screens or multiple windows open on a craft production machine. In an edit room, having the audio meters displayed with each source is helpful as well as the under-monitor displays.
In master control, distribution goes to multiple platforms in many formats other than SD/HD-SDI. The traditional master control room had a variety of test monitoring tools. If there were problems, different types of alarms and alerts went off. Now, as the majority of these systems have become software applications, alerts are only flashing colors on computer screens. There are new software tools required for quality control management of files and streams. While these may run in an automated mode, once there is a problem, unless there is a display screen showing the application, an operator will not realize something is not right. The management screen needs to be monitored in the event of an alert. How do you monitor the return feed from a website? How many computer screens are required to monitor this?
The master control room needs more extensive monitoring technology. Multiviewer technology responds to meet these new requirements enabling master control to monitor all the signals, streams, servers and computers. This includes all the computer-based test and measurement tools.
Utilizing the power of a multiviewer, the master control now resembles a network operation center, displaying the screens of playout servers, traffic systems, Ethernet network traffic, streaming delivery and management servers. The management of transmission systems are on servers or accessed via browsers.
The multiviewer is a multifaceted tool with a considerable amount power to meet current monitoring requirements.
â€”Gary Olson is managing director, GHO Group.
4K or 3D? The future remains unclear
In order to get a more accurate look at this industry perceives 3D and 4K, SCRI Broadcast Pro Video Research, in conjunction with Broadcast Engineering magazine, conducted a February survey among the magazineâ€™s subscribers. While the survey covered a range of topics and key technologies, survey respondents were specifically asked about their plans to implement 3D and 4K technologies.
4K: here or tomorrow?
The results indicate that engineers and managers remain unconvinced about the need to immediately begin 4K production. In fact, the largest proportion of respondents didnâ€™t even know when 4K production might need to start: 40.9% of TV stations, 57.9% of cable stations and 42.4% of production/post facilities.
Of those that reported either already producing content in 4K or planning to do so within two years, production/post facilitiesâ€™ were the most optimistic about the technology: 37.5%, compared to 10.5% of cable stations and 10% of TV stations.
More TV stations, 24.4%, Â believe that they will be producing 4K in 2015 or beyond, compared to 18.4% of cable stations and 15.3% of production/post facilities.Â Only 4.9% of production/post facilities believe that they will â€śneverâ€ť produce content in 4k, compared to 16% of TV stations and 13.2% of cable stations.
Overall, production/post facilities are the most bullish regarding producing 4K content compared to both TV and cable facilities. Perhaps that to be expected because production/post houses may be more focused on content life, rather than transmission. Television and cable facilities may be more focused on getting content to viewers and right now those pipes will not accommodate 4K bandwidths.
Regarding 3D content production, there were fewer â€śdon’t knowsâ€ť than for 4K â€“ 40.9% of TV stations, 27.5% of cable and 42.7% of production/post.Â Â With respect to 3D, there were significantly more facilities that believe that they will â€śneverâ€ť produce 3D content, 31.5% for TV stations (vs. 16% for 4K); 30% for cable stations (vs. 13.2% for 4K); and 23.1% for production/post (vs. 15.3% for 4K).
Of those that reported either already producing content in 3D or planning to do so within two years, production/post facilities were again the most optimistic â€“ 28%. In the 3D arena, cable stations were also somewhat optimistic with 22.5% either already producing 3D content or planning to do so in 2013/14. TV stations lag behind in 3D content production â€“ only 10.2% already do so or plan to this or next year.
TV and cable facilities are more likely to be putting 3D content production off until 2015 or beyond â€“ 17.3% for TV and 20% for cable stations versus only 6.3% for production/post facilities.
Bottom line, production and post facilities are more supportive of 3D content production than either TV or cable stations.
4K vs. 3D
When combining the responses from survey respondents, it is apparent that:
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â There is still more uncertainty about 4K than 3D â€“ 43.9% â€śdonâ€™t knowâ€ť vs. 37.5% for 3D
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Slightly more facilities are already producing content for 3D –13.6% vs. 8.5% for 4K
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This reverses for those planning to produce content in 3D/4K in 2013/14 â€“ 6.4% for 3D vs. 12.6% for 4K
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Similarly, slightly more stations and cable facilities expect to produce 4K content in 2015 or beyond (19%) versus 3D (11%).
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â About twice as many stations and cable plants expect to â€śneverâ€ť produce content for 3D (31.5%) as opposed to 4K (15.9%)
By WhenÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3DÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4K
Already doingÂ Â Â Â 13.6%Â Â Â Â Â 8.5%
2013Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3.0%Â Â Â Â Â 5.1%
2014Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3.4%Â Â Â Â Â 7.5%
2015 or beyondÂ 11.0%Â Â Â Â 19.0%
NeverÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 31.5%Â Â Â 15.9%
Don’t KnowÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 37.5%Â Â Â 43.9%
* Measured over all survey responses:
4K technology comments:
In late January, SCRI ran a poll and asked for comments regarding the future of 4K. Many of the responses show skepticism in rapid adoption of 4K. Here are some of the responses. The entire comments section is available here.
â€˘ Paul Scott: Over and above the technical viability of deploying 4K, which I think can be sorted. This is very similar to the 3D question. It comes down to, â€śWhen will the consumer market demand higher resolution?â€ť There has to be some value add hook. I see value in the â€śMultiviewâ€ť application perhaps. That possibly would enable a single network to stream multiple HD feeds to a given user on multiple displays. But again with the consumer market moving to smaller more mobile devices does this make sense? We have all been working to create the â€śBigger Betterâ€ť viewing experience but I see the market moving towards a more mobile viewing experience. So in my opinion, weâ€™ll have to create the hooks to make the market want to move to 4K. Bottom line!
â€˘ Patrick Sullivan: Itâ€™s just a little too early to scrap the 720P & 1080I systems. Itâ€™s barely paid for, yet, and there are some stations are not even HD yetâ€¦This is a set for a market that does not rely on current infrastructure. Theaters, etc.. Considering how long it took plain ole HD to launch, I think with 4K, and itâ€™s big brother, 8K, itâ€™s going to be years in just changing the infrastructure, much less Joe Average spending $10K + for a 55â€ł OLED 4K Flat screen!
â€˘ Ned Soseman: Itâ€™s a great production format but I donâ€™t see it coming to living rooms anytime soon.
â€˘ Joel Appelbaum: I think the biggest impediment (in addition to major infrastructure costs) will be getting 4K content over existing cable and satellite distribution. Itâ€™s a lot more bandwidth and these providers are already maxed out.
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4K appears to have the upper hand over 3D when it comes to the next level of content production
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Even so, 4K does not appear to be quite ready for prime time until at least 2015 or beyond
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This notwithstanding, the numbers show that 4K build outs could earlier as facilities seek to protect their investment in content life and delivery capability.
The full SCRI report, covering several technology issues (3D, 4K, Mobile TV, Video production in the Cloud) as well as equipment budget and purchase trends and brand and model sharesÂ is available from SCRI or contact SCRI Co-Founder & Research Director, Desmond Chaskelson at firstname.lastname@example.org
The data and report is based on the results of a closed-end structured questionnaire survey of Broadcast Engineering subscribers. A series of three emails was sent to the list in Feb 2013 to obtain survey responses. The surveyâ€™s $100 incentive winner was selected at random from those survey respondents, the winner is Mark Mohesky, Media production Supervisor, Wichita Public Schools.
Netflix unveils plan to replace broadcast television
That’s according to Netflixâ€™s â€śLong Term View,â€ť a new document that lays out the companyâ€™s role in the battle with traditional television broadcasting. While Netflix agrees that viewers love television content, it doesnâ€™t think viewers care so much for the linear television experience.
â€ś … People donâ€™t love the linear TV experience where channels present programs at particular times on non-portable screens with complicated remote controls,â€ť the company wrote. â€śConsumers click through a grid to choose something to watch. DVRs and VOD add an on-demand layer at the cost of storage and increased complexity. Finding good things to watch isnâ€™t easy or enjoyable. While hugely popular, the linear TV channel model is ripe for replacement.â€ť
Netflix said most of the worldâ€™s leading linear TV networks are moving toward Internet TV. The WatchESPN app runs on many Internet platforms and is specifically designed to showcase sports. ESPN will keep improving their app to try to stay ahead of MLB.tv, which is another Internet TV sports app.
The HBO GO app, Netflix said, makes HBOâ€™s films and series much more accessible than on HBOâ€™s linear channel. The BBC iPlayer app in the UK provides a rich and popular on-demand interface for a wide range of BBC programming. The other major linear networks are not far behind.
From a business terminology standpoint, HBO and ESPN are cable TV networks, and Netflix is an Internet TV network. From a consumer terminology standpoint, however, Netflix is a service and an app, while ESPN and HBO are channels, and WatchESPN and HBO GO are apps.
While Internet TV is only a small percent of video viewing today, Netflix said it will grow every year for the following reasons:
â€˘ The Internet will get faster, more reliable and more available;
â€˘ Smart TV sales will increase and eventually every TV will have Wi-Fi and apps;
â€˘ Smart TV adapters (Roku, AppleTV, etc.) will get less expensive and better;
â€˘ Tablet and smartphone viewing will increase;
â€˘ Tablets and smartphones will be used as touch interfaces for Internet TV;
â€˘ Internet TV apps will rapidly improve through competition and frequent updates;
â€˘ Streaming 4K video will happen long before linear TV supports 4K video;
â€˘ Internet video advertising will be personalized and relevant;
â€˘ TV Everywhere will provide a smooth economic transition for existing networks;
â€˘ New entrants (like Netflix) are innovating rapidly.
Eventually, as linear TV is viewed less, Netflix said the spectrum it now uses on cable and fiber will be reallocated to expanding data transmission. Satellite TV subscribers will be fewer and will mostly reside in places where high-speed Internet (cable or fiber) is not available. The importance of high-speed Internet will increase.
Netflix said its key strength is simplicity. â€śWe are commercial-free unlimited-viewing subscription TV,â€ť it said. â€śWe donâ€™t have pay-per-view and we donâ€™t have advertisements. Those are fine business models that other brands do well. We choose to be the best at our model, and to have our brand stand for commercial-free, unlimited viewing and low flat monthly fee.â€ť
Netflix said it could look decades into the future at the ways that people access entertainment. â€śWe would no doubt see a very different image than we see today â€” mind-blowing video quality, a proliferation of screens, yet-unimagined natural user interface and an unbelievable range of choice.â€ť
The full â€śLong Term Viewâ€ť document is available online.
Choosing JPEG 2000: The growing choice for master file format
Broadcasters, film studios and post-production houses are currently facing a major challenge in that the volume of generated video material is increasing dramatically. The result is a significant increase in the need for storage and archive capability.
Broadcasters and video archivists are also looking for long-term digital preservation. In most cases, the source material is not digital. Instead, it is on film that needs to be scanned or high-quality analog video tape.
A production and digital archive compression format, with no concessions in video content quality and the actual fabrication process, is the obvious choice â€” one that reduces storage costs compared to uncompressed video, while still maintaining indefinite protection from loss or damage. Such a format should preserve original quality, while also easily enabling the generation of most of the commonly used formats.
Several questions are frequent when selecting a format. What is the best physical long-term storage media for video content? What is a good candidate for a digital preservation? Can digital content be interpreted in the future? Various options are possible, and organizations have to decide carefully.
Todayâ€™s broadcasters understand the industryâ€™s keywords: highest image quality, flexible delivery formats, interoperability and standardized profiles for optimal preservation. They also have a vested interest in a common high-end format to store, preserve and commercialize the avalanche of video footage generated globally. JPEG 2000 is the growing choice for master file format.
Digital storage keys
There are three keys to digital storage preservation:
- Ensure continuous access to content over time. Archive and storage covers all activities necessary to ensure continued access to digital materials for as long as necessary. This includes strategies to ensure access to reformatted and digitally-born content, regardless of the risks of media failure and technological changes. Quality preservation is crucial. A conversion system of archived items is important for dissemination or distribution.
- Everything that belongs together fits in one package. Archiving is an enduring process concerned with the impacts of changing technologies, whether it is the support of new media and data formats or a changing user community. â€śLong termâ€ť may extend indefinitely.
To standardize digital preservation practices and provide a set of recommendations for preservation program, the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) was developed. OAIS is concerned with all technical aspects of a digital objectâ€™s life cycle: ingest into and storage in a preservation infrastructure, data management, accessibility and distribution. Continued interoperability is strategic; one needs easy and fast format conversion, as well as playback compatibility between manufacturers. For instance, a master file format must not be linked to any specific application, production format or major user.
- Use open, well-documented industry standards â€” no proprietary formats. Ideally, focus on standards recognized and used for archiving applications. Open-file formats are published specifications, usually maintained by standards organizations, which can therefore be used and implemented by anyone. For example, an open format can be implemented by both proprietary and free/open-source softwares, using both types of software licenses. Open formats are also called free-file formats if they are not burdened by any copyrights, patents, trademarks or other restrictions. Anyone may use it at no cost for any desired purpose.
JPEG 2000 in OP1a MXF
JPEG 2000 is based on discrete wavelet transformation (DWT), scalar quantization, context modeling, arithmetic coding and post-compression rate allocation. (See Figure 1.) JPEG 2000 provides random access (i.e., involving minimal decoding) to the block level in each sub-band, thus making it possible to decode a region, a low resolution or a low-quality image version without decoding the whole picture.
Functionally, JPEG 2000 is a true improvement that provides lossy and lossless compression, progressive and parseable code streams, error resilience, region of interest, proxies, random access and other features in one integrated algorithm.
In the video domain, JPEG 2000 is conceived as an intra-frame codec, so it closely matches the production workflow in which each video frame is treated as a single unit. Its ability to compress frame-by-frame has made it popular in the digital intermediate space in Hollywood. If the purpose of compression is the distribution of essence, and no further editing is expected, long-GOP MPEG will typically be preferred.
JPEG 2000 brings a storehouse of features to the broadcast process, whether ingest, transcoding, captioning, quality control or audio-track management is requested. Its inherent properties fully qualify it for high-quality, intermediate creation and masters archives. JPEG 2000 supports every resolution, color depth, number of components and frame rates; in short, the codec is future-proof.
The intra-frame quality of JPEG 2000 prevents error propagation over multiple frames and allows video signal edition at any given time. Two wavelet filters are included: the irreversible 9/7 and the fully reversible 5/3. The 5/3 wavelet filter offers a pure mathematically lossless compression, allowing an average 60-percent reduction in storage, while still allowing the exact original image information to be recovered. (See Figure 2.) The 9/7 wavelet filter still performs visually lossless encoding. JPEG 2000 offers uncompressed quality, with no concession in video content quality and an important reduction in bandwidth and storage consumption.
Additionally, its scalability features a â€ścreate once, use many timesâ€ť approach for a wide range of platforms. Easy transcoding of the codec appeals to high-end applications where workflows vastly benefit from transcoding to an intermediate version. JPEG 2000 ensures a clean, quick operation when bit-rate is at a premium. (See Table 1.)
Correctly transcoded HD1080p JPEG 2000 files compressed at 100Mb/s have been labeled â€śvisually identicalâ€ť to the 2K original footage by professional viewers. Furthermore, the wavelet-based JPEG 2000 compression does not interfere with the final â€” usually DCT-based â€” broadcast formats.
Post-production workflows consist of several encoding/decoding cycles. JPEG 2000 preserves the highest quality throughout this process, without any blocking artifacts creation. Moreover, all common bit depths, whether it is 8-bit, 10-bit, 12-bit or 16-bit, are supported.
Uniquely matching current industry needs, standardized broadcast profiles were adopted in 2010 (JPEG 2000 Part 1 Amd 3 â€“ Profiles for Broadcast Application – ISO/IEC 15444-1:2004/Amd3), ensuring this wavelet-based codec its benchmark position in contribution, while fulfilling the industry-wide request for compression standards to archive and create mezzanine formats. A variety of media distribution channels can be transcoded. The ongoing standardization process of the Interoperable Master Format (IMF) by SMPTE, focused on JPEG 2000 profiles, brings the adoption full-closure. The SMPTE standards also specify, in detail, how JPEG 2000 video data should be encapsulated in the widely adopted MXF.
Finally, a non-technical feature makes the JPEG 2000 open standard even more attractive for long-term projects; it is license- and royalty-free.
Most other codecs are proprietary. Some have compliancy issues and several limitations to support any video formats or resolutions. (See Table 2.) The MPEG family is ideal for last-mile content delivery to viewers, but not for production and storage, since pictures have to be post-processed.
JPEG 2000 has gained significant attraction as a mezzanine format.Â Open and well-documented, the codec is future-proof and extendable. That said, it is not surprising that the Library of Congress, Franceâ€™s Institut National de lâ€™Audiovisuel and several Hollywood studios, such as 20th Century Fox, have selected the codec for storage and preservation.
JPEG 2000 is a codec like no others. It gives users a superior quality, control and a unique ď¬‚exibility of the image processing chain. The growing use of JPEG 2000 to archive and create mezzanine files, and the ongoing standardization process of the IMF based on JPEG 2000, are just a few of its advantages.
â€”Jean-Baptiste Lorent is product manager, intoPIX
Blackmagic Design unveils pocket-sized 1080p video camera
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 crop (around 12.5 x 7.4mm) of the sensor used in its existing cinema camera, and an â€śactiveâ€ť Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The ultra-compact design allows the HD camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical.The camera captures ProRes footage at 220Mb/s, allowing it to fit 50 minutes of footage on a 64GB SDXC card. It offers magnified focus and focus peaking, and can output an HDMI signal with or without overlays for external monitoring.
It also includes a LANC connector for remotely controlling record, stop, focus and iris settings. It has external microphone and headphone jacks, a 12V power input and standard tripod mounts top and bottom to allow flexible incorporation into a shooting rig.
The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low-cost lenses, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.
Blackmagic also showed its 4K production camera, a new high-resolution digital film camera with a large Super 35 size sensor with global shutter, combined with precision EF mount optics and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) file recording. It will cost $3995.
The 4K camera shoots to compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ) files in 4K, giving customers a complete solution to shoot high-resolution music videos, episodic television production, television commercials, sports, documentaries, news stories, interviews and feature films.
The wide dynamic range of the Super 35 sized sensor can be mapped into the quantizing range of the file so users can color grade shots to allow greater detail in highlights and shadows. When working fast, the customer can also record to regular Rec. 709 video files.
The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K uses standard connections. The camera features 6G-SDI output that can be down-converted to HD or used for Ultra HD video. In addition, the device includes a built-in Thunderbolt port and UltraScope software for real time waveform monitoring.
For audio, the camera features ÂĽ-inch mic/line input jacks plus a 12V to 30V DC input, a 3.5mm headphone socket and LANC remote control. And with a built-in uncompressed audio recorder, users can eliminate post audio synching altogether.
Sony counter-sues RED in California court
The case is shaping up to be an epic battle between two iconic camera companies.
RED CEO Jim Jannard wrote on the RED forums, â€śSeems like someone is nervous … it just ainâ€™t me.â€ť
RED wants Sony to stop the sale of and destroy existing models of its F65, F55 and F5 cinema cameras. Sonyâ€™s counter claim is that the RED ONE, EPIC and SCARLET cameras, various digital still and motion camera modules and accessories such as the REDMOTE, infringe on its own patents.
Sony seeks both monetary damages and an injunction to stop the continued sale of REDâ€™s infringing products.â€śSony makes significant investments into the research and development of technology related to the cinema camera industry and intends to protect those investments against companies that infringe our patents,â€ť the Sony suit said.
Sonyâ€™s lawsuit was filed in a Central District court in California. Sonyâ€™s announcement of the suit does not mention which Sony patents are alleged to be infringed by RED. The full lawsuit was not yet available for scrutiny. REDâ€™s lawsuit claims Sony infringes on two RED patents with three cameras â€” the F65, F5 and F55 models.
After Sonyâ€™s filing, RED CEO Jim Jannard wrote on the RED forums, â€śSeems like someone is nervous … it just ainâ€™t me.â€ť He added that RED pays â€śmany companies royalties to use patented technology.â€ť
The lawsuits between a major conventional manufacturer and upstart RED have significant stakes in the battle for customer loyalty and the spending dollars of filmmakers switching from film technology to digital cameras.
Although Sony has been making video cameras for several decades, RED was the first to produce a camera with an image that essentially matched the quality of 35mm film.
In filing the original suit, Jannard said that patents exist for a reason.
â€śThey protect IP. Receiving a patent now means that you have an obligation to protect it â€¦ or they have absolutely no value whatsoever,â€ť he told RED customers.
Jannard and his companies are no strangers to patent infringement suits. In addition to its case against Sony, RED has been in courtÂ 10 times in other cases.
Colin Baden, now CEO of Oakley, Jannardâ€™s former optics company, told Forbes the Jannard was always aggressive in defense of his companyâ€™s intellectual property.
â€śWeâ€™re very skilled at putting four walls around that IP,â€ť Baden said. â€śIn Oakleyâ€™s history, weâ€™ve filedÂ hundreds of lawsuits, and weâ€™ve never lost one. It doesnâ€™t matter how big the guy is. We have conviction over our work. It doesnâ€™t matter who is doing the copying. Itâ€™s really, really not cool in our world, so we protect it.â€ť
Camera Roundup From NAB
The camera market has opened up a lot since the days of choosing between Sony and Panasonic, or Grass Valley for studio cameras. The move to single sensor CMOS has opened the door to all manner of new entrants from Blackmagic to GoPro. there is even Digital Bolex!
On consequence of this opening out of the number of camera suppliers is we are also seeing long-standing manufacturers of other video equipment entering the imaging market with specialist cameras, FOR-A being a good example. There was considerable interest in FOR-Aâ€™s new FT-ONE 4K variable frame camera for sports coverage.
This camera was shown in operation at NAB in tandem with the Evertz Dreamcatcher. Evertz has been trialing this slo-mo system, announced at NAB2012, at some major sporting events over the year. As well as slow motion replay, Dreamcatcher allows for multiple angles to be synchronized and played out at a single button press and can take advantage of 4K camera feeds. The operator can zoom in to the 4K raster create an HD replay without the loss of detail that would be evident with an HD camera feed. Sports replay specialist, EVS, also integrate with the FT-ONE.
Although 4K to the home may be a few years off, such products have led to talk of 4K acquisition in sports as a way to enhance the production or to cut down on camera positions for minor league games. An HD image can be derived from a 4K camera covering a wide angle of a stadium by zooming into the region of interest in the game.
Sony was also showing advances with their stitcher, which was shown as a technology demonstration at IBC2011 with HD cameras. Three side-by-side HD cameras feeds are stitched to give a 6K x 1K view of the entire field of play. This has been in use with Sky Sports in UK and Italy as well as Canal+ in France. Sony has also worked with the NBA and NFL. The system has been used for analysis of replay in conjunction with the Sony telestrator (this uses tracking data from third party products like STATS SportVU player tracking. The general feedback is that directors want a greater zoom magnification. At NAB Sony showed two 4K, 60P cameras stitched to an 8K x 2K image, allowing more freedom in zooming. The roll-out of this technology awaits the launch of 4K cameras with live outputs (cameras like F65 shoot files to memory).
Powerful image processors like AJAâ€™s OEM product Corvid Ultra also support such arbitrary scaling with their TruScale technology.
Another player tracking system is Â ChyronHegoâ€™s TRACAB. This uses image processing technology to capture all movements in a sports arena in real-time. The application creates a data feed with the X, Y and Z coordinates of objects in the scene. The data can be typically used by graphics applications to enhance the viewer experience.
Low Light Capture
FOR-A are also marketing an ultra high sensitivity HD camera, the FZ-B1 from partner Flovel. This can produce color images at 0.005 lux, and is attracting interest from nature shooters and stargazers. Conventional low light cameras have used image intensifiers of infrared, both creating a monochrome picture. In contrast the FZ-B1 uses a very sensitive CMOS imager with a color filter array.
For the more filmic shooter with modest budgets, Blackmagic again surprised everyone by expanded its product line with two new cameras to complement the 2.5K Cinema Camera. NAB saw the launch of the Pocket Camera and Production Camera 4K.
The pocket camera has a super-16 sized sensor and takes MFT lens in a remarkably compact body. What sets it apart is the raw capture, allowing for later grading. It provides a great entry level for the indie filmmaker. 20 years ago this group had to be very frugal with precious stock and pay lab costs. Now has never been a better time to enter the budget filmmaking sector.
The Production Camera has a similar enclosure to the Cinema Camera but has a super 35mm size sensor. Interestingly the sensor has a global shutter, so no more jello effects. The 4K camera comes with a 6G-SDI live output. Used with the 4K ATEM switcher, it ready to go for the presentation and live event market using 4K large displays.
JVC is storming ahead with its ENG cameras, available at fraction of the price broadcasters once had to spend on a newsgathering camera. One broadcaster told me that for him the days of the $35k camera were over. For the manufacturer, they can hope that quantity can make up for the lower prices of todayâ€™s cameras. Once example is the BBC purchase for 550 of the GY-HM650 for ENG applications to be delivered duringÂ 2013.
Version 2 of the camera has some neat features: 2 encoders to create a broadcast rez file plus a low rez to send back breaking news; AS-10 files for long GOP MPEG-2 encoding; and built in Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connectivity. The IP connections can be used to FTP camera files back to base or for remote control of the camera, all the functions on the flip-out viewfinder can be controlled from back at base. Your rookie VJ canâ€™t white balance, no problem, set it up from base!
Cameras are getting more sensitiveâ€” it is now feasible to use candles as key lightsâ€”dynamic range has improved, and frame rates of 120 fps are no longer the preserve of specialist sports cameras. But all this increase in performance has come with a decrease in price â€” isn’t technology great!
Virtual Surround Sound: See Link
Protect your wireless mics from TV White Space device interference (1/10/13)
The TV Band White Space Device initiative continues to move forward in light of the FCC’s Broadband plan and the TV Incentive Auction rulemaking. This is an update of some of the recent notices released by the FCC over the last several months and how they affect wireless microphone operation.
September 19, 2012 – The FCC Opens Wireless Microphone Registration of major event/production venues in the East Coast region: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina. The Public Notice released on this date outlines the procedures a venue (e.g. sporting event, large theatrical production, etc.) must follow to apply for registration for unlicensed microphone operation at the venue location. Initial application is with the FCC. If the request meets the criteria it is placed on public notice for 30 days for comment. If there are no objections the venue can then register their event through one of the approved White Space Database administrators.
December 6, 2012 – The FCC issued a Public Notice authorizing approved TV White Space Database systems to provide service to unlicensed radio devices (aka TV Band White Space Devices). The FCC feels this is appropriate since there has been ample time since the September notice to register an unlicensed microphone venue. Concurrent with this notice the FCC opened up, across the nation, the registration for major event/production venues similar to what they did on September 19. These venues, requesting protection for unlicensed wireless microphones, can begin filing their applications for registration with the FCC. The FCC also anticipates expanding from regional to nationwide operations of TV White Space Database systems (i.e. service to TV Band White Space Devices) by mid-January 2013.
Conclusion – The takeaway for broadcasters holding a BAS authorization for operation of wireless microphones in the TV bands is this: They should ensure their studios and other locations of frequent and known wireless microphone use are registered with an approved TV White Space Database system of their choosing. There is no cost to register a location for a licensed user. Understand that the states mentioned in the September notice are “HOT and On-Line” now. Failure to register your location may result in interference from a TV White Space device. With unlicensed wireless microphone registration now open nationwide, expect the FCC to soon also authorize TV White Space Device operation nationwide. For our members who work for companies that produce large events that use unlicensed microphones, consider registering those venues for protection. Do remember, however, you need to apply at least 30 days prior to the event and must meet FCC eligibility criteria.
There are currently two approved TV White Space Database systems: Spectrum Bridge and Telcordia. I would expect the FCC to be approving others before long. At this time there are few TV Band White Space Devices in operation. Expect that number to grow in the near future. Be ready.
The information in this SBE Regulatory Update was provided by Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, SBE Vice President and Chairman of the SBE Frequency Coordination Committee. Snelson is vice president of engineering, local media group at Meredith Corporation.