Making It Easy To Be In Two Places At Once


In these economically straitened times, all broadcast facilities are seeking ways to reduce cost without compromising quality. Equally, those equipment manufacturers that want to stay ahead of the game are responding by looking at how customers work and then seeing if there is a way to deliver the same results more simply and cost effectively.
One manufacturer that has successfully found a cost saving solution is Danish audio and video metering specialist DK-Technologies. The company took a close look at its own market sector and realised a number of things:
Firstly, it recognised that although audio and video technologies are moving inexorably closer, its customers’ working practises had not changed. They were still installing multiple meters and using expensive router ports to achieve multiple channel metering on a single meter. Seeing these complex installations, DK realised that there was definitely a need for a simple, more cost effective solution.
The second thing the company noticed was that no matter where engineers worked, whether that was a large broadcast facility or an Outside Broadcast vehicle, they all needed a way to simultaneously check video and audio signals at source and at destination to ensure what was being sent was the same as what was being received. However this presented a problem: one engineer couldn’t be in two places at once so broadcasters either had to rely on multiple engineers.
DK realised it already had half the solution in the shape of its award-winning PTO760M HD/SD Multi-channel Video Waveform Monitor. What it now needed was to complete the circle by developing a remote unit that would allow engineers to access all the facilities of the PT0760M from an entirely different location.
Initially the company thought about providing a basic remote but rejected the idea almost immediately as it felt it was not sufficient to meet the users’ needs. A simple remote might allow full interrogation of the host metering or monitoring device, but ultimately it only reflects the last button push. This could cause major headaches (and substantial delays) if the engineer requires the host device to check a problem but the operator needs it to carry on doing something else while the problem is fixed. Instead, what was needed was a system that allowed engineers in one location to see exactly the same audio and video display as the engineer in the second location – and be able to independently access all the facilities of the PT0760M without interrupting its use at the master location.
DK spent some months developing this unique type of remote and showed the prototype at IBC 2009 as the PT0700R remote unit, or Client Panel. It connects to the PT0700 series meters, or Server Panel, via a DVi/Ethernet/Fibre link and permits the received information to be sent back to the source without any degradation in quality. By employing this simple Client Panel, engineers at source can clearly see what is received at destination. In addition, the engineer is able to interrogate the destination Server Panel and immediately see the results on the Client Panel. The solution can also be installed in the opposite direction so that, if preferable, the destination can see exactly what the source is seeing.
DK’s new Client Panel offers the same high quality display as the PT0760M and gives users access to a set of soft keys that replicate those on the main unit. As the PT0700R has the same footprint as the PT0760M it can also be fitted alongside the master unit, thus providing a second metering position with individual controls.
Both the PT0760M and the PT0700R benefit from DK’s latest software update, which has resulted in a much simpler menu structure making it easier for customer to navigate an extensive range of video and audio features. The PT0760M master unit also now has plug and play capability and incorporates Dolby Digital and Dolby E decoding, either from embedded audio within the HD/SD video or through separate AES inputs via a Dolby decoder module.
The award-winning PT0760M host unit is effectively four HD/SD waveform monitors in one box. Both the PT0760M and the new PT0760-R are easy to operate and incorporate DK-Technologies’ MSD range of audio software, which feature the company’s unique JellyFish™ and StarFish™ displays for stereo and surround sound monitoring.
Aimed at Outside Broadcast vehicles, production studios, Master Control Rooms and Camera Control Units, the units offer the perfect combination of video and audio metering including HD/SD audio de-embedding, surround sound metering, Peak Programme level measurements of up to 16 audio channels, seven directly selectable scales to conform to in-house standards and access to DK’s new ITU 1770 Loudness meter, which uses an approved ITU algorithm.

Tags: dk-technologies | outside boradcast | ob | pt0760m | pt0700r | dvi | ethernet | fibre link | jellyfish | starfish | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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