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NEWS CAPTURE & PRODUCE With televised sport generally at the forefront of technology change, it is outside broadcast trucks that become the all-important corner pieces of this particular jigsaw - at least until remote production becomes practical AND affordable. As such, with moves to UHD, HDR and HFR all being touted for broadcast sport, there is now an emphasis on the OB providers to offer up suitably equipped trucks. The difference between this evolution and others that have preceded it, however, is stark. Going from 4:3 to widescreen and even SD to HD was relatively straightforward as far as the truck design was concerned. Moving from an HD-SDI point-to-point baseband infrastructure to an ‘every signal goes everywhere’ IP and fibre-based one, is anything but. I was lucky enough to speak to the managing director of Arena Television Richard Yeowart this month about this subject. His company is building three IP-based OB trucks so that they can offer high-frame rate UHD and HDR (see below) in the future. Will Strauss “We’re now into a data centre approach in a truck with everything available everywhere,” says Yeowart. “It’s a completely different mind-set. You’ve got to make sure it is extremely reliable.” IP ushers in a brave new world for OB truck design. Arena might not have been the first company to launch a UHD truck in the UK but they may well be the first to come to market with one that has an all-IP core. With some parts of the IP jigsaw not ready, there is a certain amount of guesswork involved right now. Reliability is everything with a live broadcast so lab testing, beta testing and soft launches are very much the way forward. But within six months it should all become clearer, as the technology develops, and we may be wondering what all the fuss was about. Switchers Batteries Switronix is now shipping its Hypercore SLIM Lithium Ion battery packs for UAV and handheld gimbal use. A member of the Hypercore series, the low-profile battery line is capable of handling high draw loads which is said to be ideal for powering cameras such as ARRI’s Mini Alexa. The battery cells are encased in an over-moulded, rubberised housing that provides protection against accidental impacts. Targeting the ever-growing Drone market, Switronix built a 14.8V slim battery capable of handling draws of up to 148Wh without any deterioration in service life or operability, the company said. 6 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 110 FEBRUARY 2016 New software for Broadcast Pix’s Granite and Mica integrated production switchers has been released. Version 5 includes the Virtual Studios high-end virtual set platform, adds expanded support for third-party IP-based cameras and streaming appliances, and includes the ability to correct content issues with Source Controls in real time. Virtual Studios combines Broadcast Pix’s ClearKey chromakey technology with virtual backgrounds for up to eight cameras. By preserving shadows and other natural lighting in the set, on-screen talent looks like they are in a virtual environment, not pasted onto a set background, the company said. “Our customers are going to be amazed with Virtual Studios, which is very easy to use but delivers far more realistic results than a simple drag-and-drop solution,” said Kevin Prince, chief executive of Broadcast Pix.