NAB 2018

Live From NAB 2018: Several Key Trends Define Audio

AoIP, at-home production, RF reallocation are evident across the show floor

As NAB 2018 opens today in Las Vegas, a number of trends around audio have come into focus.

For starters, the transition from conventionally cabled signal transmission to networked audio has been remarkably rapid and comprehensive, rivaling the previous major inflection point for pro audio — the migration from analog to digital — in significance and beating it flat out for rapidity. It’s hard not to see examples of AoIP throughout the show floor.

  • Clear-Com (Booth C6908) is introducing the high-density audio- and intercom-over-IP connection card for the Eclipse HX digital matrix intercom family E-IPA. With this card, Clear-Com can deliver up to 256 IP ports in the Eclipse HX-Median and Omega systems.
  • Telos (Booth SU2321) is highlighting its Infinity IP Intercom, which converges voice communication and contribution audio on a single IT backbone using the latest standards-based VoIP and Livewire+ AES67 AoIP transport. It integrates with any AES67 partner devices as well as existing analog, AES, SDI, and MADI systems using Telos Alliance xNode baseband-to-IP interfaces.
  • Solid State Logic (Booth C3026) announces the global premiere of the 32-fader version of the System T – S300 compact broadcast console, a dedicated, entirely IP-based, live-to-air broadcast-audio–production system with AoIP as its core and not simply as an edge connection to the console’s audio infrastructure.
  • Wheatstone (Booth N6806) is showcasing its IP 64 digital mixing console with AES67 compatibility, touchscreen control, and WheatNet IP networking for routing and controlling audio anywhere within a TV facility.
  • Of course, the industry is still in a transitional phase. Thus Jünger Audio (Booth C3039) is introducing Netbridge MADI, which bridges up to 128 audio channels between AES67/Dante and MADI infrastructures; the new Netbridge UHD interface integrates 4K-UHD streams MADI and AoIP AES67 infrastructures.
  • Standards meet networking with Audinate, developer of the Dante media-networking technology, announcing plans to support SMPTE ST 2110, a new suite of standards developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers to support real-time media-network distribution using IP networking technology, in the Dante platform by the end of 2018. The update will include support for a number of relevant standards, including SMPTE ST-2110-10, 2110-30, and 2059-2.

Size Matters
The proliferation of sports events demanding broadcast coverage has stimulated and accelerated the trend toward at-home production. That has prompted development of products that facilitate such approaches.

  • Calrec’s RP1 remote production unit integrates FPGA-based DSP, enabling a console surface at a separate facility to control all mixing functionality.

    Calrec’s (Booth C7408) RP1 remote production unit — a 2RU core that contains integrated FPGA-based DSP, enabling a console surface at a separate facility to control all mixing functionality — is being showcased with a suite of new features, including a two-band filter and four-band EQ, expander and gate facilities, compressor and sidechain EQ facilities, direct output for all remote faders (up to 5.1 wide), and remote auxes via Calrec Assist, as well as new software providing VCA master control from the host console and pairing of transmission and remote faders so that any fader/cut changes are applied to both TX and IFB paths on to remote faders and remote auxes.

  • Yamaha Professional Audio (Booth C1725) is featuring a new addition to the RIVAGE professional audio lineup. The RIVAGE PM7 digital mixing system includes the CSD-R7 Digital Mixing Console, TWINLANe-based RPio622 and RPio222 I/O Racks, and Dante based Rio3224-D2 and Rio1608-D2 I/O Racks. With an emphasis of preserving workflow, the CSD-R7 is the same size as the RIVAGE PM10 system CS-R10 control surface but with the DSP engine built into the console offering enhanced portability and system flexibility while maintaining high operability.

RF Reallocation
The recently concluded RF-reallocation process leaves wireless microphones covering a broader range of spectrum than ever before.

  • Alteros’s (Booth C6012) fully digital GTX Series system operates in the 6.5 GHz range. The GTX Series L.A.W.N. (local-area wireless mic network) 6.5 GHz ultra-wideband (UWB) system has also been chosen as the wireless system deployed at the IP Showcase (including the IP Showcase Theater), located in Booth C12634, sponsored by the Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS) and the International Association for Broadcast & Media Technology Suppliers (IABM).
  • Shure’s (Booth C6015) ULX-D and QLX-D systems play in the 900 MHz band (ULX-D and QLX-D), DECT (Microflex wireless system), and 2.4GHz (GLX-D digital wireless system). Its updated v6.12 Wireless Workbench system-control software now includes a logging utility designed to capture essential channel-status information and a new set of frequency coordination enhancements, specifically targeting applications with high-channel counts.
  • Sennheiser’s (Booth C1307) Evolution wireless EW 300 G3 and EW 500 G3 wireless microphone and monitoring systems are now available in an A1 variant that covers the 470-516 MHz range. The flagship Digital 9000 and Digital 6000 series, as well as AVX camera-mountable lavalier, which works in the license-free 1.9 GHz band, are also on display.

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