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other, and third-party systems, rather than any single product alone. No truly successful product is purely standalone – it’s all about the system. Gemini Pan Bar Control System? How did IBC visitors react to it? with virtually any suitably robust third- party studio pedestal – it’s certainly not necessary to replace older pedestals. Which of your more recent products seem to be the most popular within the industry? We have a lot of products and solutions, but since we did just exhibit at IBC, I can say that we demonstrated a whole range of products at this year’s show, including control systems, parliamentary systems, pan & tilt heads, and a lot more. Our new Shotoku SX-300VR is an ergonomic, precision engineered, high resolution Virtual Tracking EFP pan & tilt head that offers uncompromised operation. This certainly got a lot of attention at this year’s show. Based on decades of extensive VR experience, the outstanding design features a robust and reliable platform for a wide range of camera and lens configurations. The SX-300VR provides high-accuracy, real-time data output with absolutely no loss in manual performance. Like all Shotoku VR systems, the unit combines with the Serial Position Interface (SPI) for frame-synchronized high-resolution data tracking, compatible with all leading VR graphics systems. Our TR-T Control System and Orchestra CMS Parliamentary Systems are also very popular. Our TR-T Control System is an advanced control system that incorporates recent enhancements and expansions in terms of camera capacity and dynamic configuration. The systems we demonstrated were controlling multiple cameras and sharing camera operation across several controller-types. Our Orchestra CMS Parliamentary Systems are fully automated and feature live video touch- screen operation. The TG-27 pan & tilt head, becoming a standard among high-end parliaments and legislatures all over the world, was also highlighted. We find that customers are particularly interested in the way various products interact, working seamlessly with each The reaction to Gemini is always very positive – it is one of the easiest systems to demonstrate, because customers instantly ‘get’ it. And that’s the whole point of Gemini; there is nothing more intuitive than controlling a camera (albeit far away from you) with a traditional manual pan and tilt head. The unique precision of the control provided by Shotoku is so good that an operator quickly forgets the remote position of the camera and gets on with capturing the action. What about the pan & tilt heads on the manual side? Certainly, one of Shotoku’s latest mid- weight EFP pan & tilt fluid heads is the SX-300, which features outstanding balance, a robust build and ergonomic design. With a high capacity 40kg (88 lbs) payload and wide-balance capability, the SX-300 supports an array of cameras, lenses and accessories, making it perfectly suited for field production, OB and studio use. The 300 head accommodates flat base or 150mm ball. Shotoku’s SG-900 manual pan & tilt head offers vibration- free speed in an ergonomically designed sturdy package. Ideal for OB and studio production with Teleprompters or box type lenses, the SG900 supports 90 kg (198 lbs), and features single knob balance adjustment. What are some good examples of the types of challenges your systems address? We work with all types of professionals in all types of applications. We recently worked with a DP and cameraman who owns and operates his own production company. He does most of the on- location shooting for his corporate client base himself and spends a lot of time running from one location to the next. He needed gear that was portable, easy to set up, break down and light enough to carry around with him from one job to ASK OUR EXPERTS the next. He shoots with the Panasonic AG-HPX500 P2 camera that was really just a bit too heavy for his last camera support system. He realized that he needed to come up with an alternative that would give him the workload he needed. So, for all of those reasons, he chose the Shotoku SP100 camera support system. He wasn’t that familiar with our company, but because he spent some time with us at this year’s NAB, and remembered seeing our SP100 system, he came to us with his specific needs. The SP100 also fit nicely within his budget, so he purchased the system and was very quickly blown away with how simple and easy it is to use. It weighs 17 pounds but will hold up to 33 pounds. His camera is 18 pounds, so if he adds a battery, it still leaves him with around 10 pounds to spare. It’s also an aluminium tripod that’s lightweight, so it’s easy to open up, and allows him to set up on the spot. On a completely different level, we also worked with BBC Sport for its coverage of the All England Lawn Tennis Championships held this year. BBC Sport wanted to add an extra dimension to their flagship championship coverage in the form of Augmented Reality so two Shotoku TP-90/SX300VR tracking pedestal and head systems were installed within the relatively limited confines of the OB studio.  With the time sensitive nature of an OB, and the normally lengthy processes associated with studio calibration for virtual or augmented broadcasts, delivering a polished result is always a challenge.  Fortunately, Shotoku’s quick and simple referencing system made rapid studio reconfiguration possible while providing high precision, easy to use, reliable equipment. Based on Shotoku’s standard manual pedestals and fluid heads, only very minimal training was required for the camera operators who had no previous experiences of AR. Shotoku’s solution was ideal for the project. POST YOUR QUESTION ONLINE: Search ‘tvbay’ Tel. +44 (0)1635 237 237 Email. TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 82 OCTOBER 2013 | 47