NAB GRAB BAG: DAY FIVE
Calrec unveiled the latest addition to its line of audio consoles, the Omega with Bluefin, at NAB 2007. The new 8×5.1 surround sound board is positioned between the Zeta and Sigma consoles and is available in three frame sizes with 24, 40 or 56 faders. It utilizes Bluefin signal processing technology, and packs the core of the Omega into a smaller footprint both in dimensions and weight (about 1/3rd the weight of the Alpha) to make it right at home in broadcast trucks. Looking at the Omega, the stylish TFT monitors grab your attention immediately. Under the hood, it has 160 mono DSP paths and as with its sister Bluefin boards, all the processing power managed through a single DSP card. The two main program outputs operate in stereo or 5.1. The operator retains full control of the stereo downmix of the surround main outputs to effectively manage simultaneous HD and SD transmissions.
Studer’s OnAir 3000 is now set to meet the needs of high-end HD sports production with its latest software upgrade delivering 5.1 surround sound capabilities along with a wealth of other enhancements. The new 5.1 capabilities come through a combination software GUI and surround control module. The GUI maps out the surround field and shows where mono and stereo sources are located. All Channels retain dedicated pan/balance controls to mix to non-surround mix busses. Other enhancements in v2.2 include Dolby E card support to extract all eight mono channels from a Dolby E AES/EBU stream and route them into the OnAir 3000. Also, improved talkback to up to four monitoring locations and can speak directly to the headphones instead of the loudspeakers.
Shure’s new UHF-R wireless system promises to deliver a wired-like quality for large-scale applications. What’s the trick? According to company officials, this comes through utilizing 2,400 selectable frequencies across 60 MHz of bandwidth. That allows operation of up to 40 simultaneous systems per band. The system is comprised of the UR4S wireless diversity receiver available in single and dual channel versions, the UR1 bodyback and a variety of microphone options including a wireless version of the new KSM-series handheld, the KSM9. The UR4S integrates flash memory storage to save up to six 60-channel custom frequency configurations. The unit is also IP-addressable allowing for remote monitoring/management with the “wireless workbench” application. The new KSM9 is a studio quality mic adapted for handheld use and can switch patterns from cardioid to supercardioid.
Telex has had a lock on wireless intercom systems for SuperBowl contenders and champs since 1998. At NAB 2007, the company unveiled its new BTR-24/TR-24 2.4 GHz wireless intercom system that provides full duplex operation for up to ten users with unlimited listen-only capabilities. The three audio channels integrated into the BTR-24 base station are selectable from each TR-24 beltpack. The 64-bit encrypted audio security wards off intruders trying to listen into the conversation. Battery life for the beltpacks is rated at eights hours. The rack mountable base station, too, can operate by battery for up to 10 hours.
Telex’s parent company, the Bosch Group, also displayed the RTS RVON-C 8-port VoIP over Ethernet card for CRONUS. The new card is designed for smaller installations. RVON intercoms are currently in use at ESPN, Game Creek Productions, and other sports production facilities.
At NAB 2007, EchoLabs demonstrated its first HD capable product, the Ovation 4000 series md multi-definition video switcher designed for live applications. The compact size of the format-independent unit makes it an easy fit for truck installations. Its multi-definition design is intended to serve as the go-between for swapping feeds between networks regardless of whether the signals are SD or HD. The unit provides full function keyers on each M/E. It can store images and load them into frame buffers with alpha channel support for keeping graphics ready-to-go. It supports 2D and 3D DVD functions to deliver transition effects and picture-in-picture highlights.It can be configured with up to16 analog or digital inputs as well as 16 analog or digital outputs in either HD or SD.