TV-BAY Magazine Issue 66 June 2012
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10 X 3 X or That is the question by Steve Cotterill –Editec MD F or many years now, the sports programme producer has benefited from a triple speed (75fps) super motion replay facility. Initially replayed via specially modified BVW tape decks but once the industry standard EVS server acquired the ability to record the three phases of such cameras and supply a continual record instant replay facility – tapes disappeared. So what next ? Well, most viewers will have seen high speed cameras in use on live sports events. There are a few to chose from, but all are based upon cameras from Phantom, Photron or NAC, with software / hardware interfaces by various integrators (I-Movix, LMC, Super Loup etc). These systems all rely upon images being stored within camera installed RAM and said RAM being controlled as if it were a VT deck by clever software. Those who have witnessed some of the images emanating from these cameras will realize that they can send a shiver down the spine – especially when the higher frame rates are used. It is certainly the case that high speed cameras can reveal things that have not been seen before. These systems can be genlocked and thus played out directly to the OB truck vision switcher, but often they are routed via EVS servers such that accurate cueing can be achieved. Also the images need to be laid off to disk and available on the EVS network for use in analysis or slo mo montages, this is an obvious. workflow advantage as most major OB trucks are now using networked servers One limitation of these cameras is the maximum storage time, at 1080i resolution and a shooting speed of 1000fps, 10 seconds would be a typical capacity. Most cameras can segment the RAM so that when playing back from one block of RAM, another can be recording. In fact the operator can have several blocks available, of ever decreasing size, but it doesn’t take much imagination to realize that with the capacity limit and a busy game, it would not be difficult to miss some important action. I-Movix, a young Belgian R&D company, in collaboration with well known server company EVS Broadcast, have come to the rescue. The new product, X10 is the solution and is just about to go into production. This cutting edge technology shoots at 250 fps streams data directly from a modified Phantom 642 camera into an EVS XT3 10 channel server. The manufacturer has used only the sensor in the Phantom with all vision processing and storage being external. The XT3 enables a choice of replay speeds up to 250 fps together some 16 hours of storage and replays can be put to air instantly and what’s more – all images are recorded and immediately available on the network. The X10 camera channel comprises the camera, OLED viewfinder, camera CCU, OCP, XT3 server and EVS slomo controller. The X10 camera is connected to the OB truck via a single SMPTE optical fibre. This carries all the signals including viewfinder return, iris control and full cameraman communications. The EVS remote which is the operational panel for the new X10 system. 58 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE So, is it X3 or X10 – not a difficult choice, surely. I can see that the I-Movix X10 will be treated as an enhanced super- motion facility perhaps as a replacement for the existing triple speed systems. X3 or X10 - that is the question!