Actua Films, a facility service provider for local and international TV stations, corporations and TV networks with offices in Geneva and Paris, relies on the Studio Technologies Live-Link Remote Camera Interface System for its satellite news-gathering (SNG) and production trucks. The company provides services ranging from a fleet of trucks deploying camera crews for news and sporting events across Europe, to editing facilities for post production, 4K and HD feature film/documentary production, through its sister company, PointProd. Actua employs the Live-Link system for breaking news and time-sensitive interview applications, where high reliability and a speedy setup are imperative.
As HD production continues to gain traction, we needed to provide a remote camera system that would take us a step ahead in terms of features and ease of use, says Patrick Coenen, chief technical officer for Actua Films. While we looked at offerings from many manufacturers, the Live-Link system best addressed our specific needs. Studio Technologies brought us a solution that was compact and easy for the engineers to use. We have received positive feedback from our clients using the system in the field and are very happy to have the equipment. Before using Live-Link, an Actua Films truck would pull up to a site and the setup crew would need to pull both fiber-optic cable and conventional copper cable to handle on-air, talent cueing, and communications audio. Not only did this complicate the deployment process, but the use of multiple systems had the potential for operational problems. With Live-Link, crew members now only have to pull in one fiber assembly, reducing the deployment time and greatly simplifying the equipment list.
A lot of locations in Europe are already pre-cabled in fiber, so we can hook Live-Link up at the venue patch to the truck, go inside, plug a fiber cable into the cable patch to the camera and go right into broadcast, adds Coenen. As Live-Link production audio, comms and IFB are all carried by the SDI data stream; this system really cuts down on our setup time, making us ready to go in an instant, which is very valuable to our operations. We have used Live-Link for Premiere League coverage in France, with sideline interviews for BN Sports, and the Olympic Games in London for TV Record in Brazil, for example. For the TV Record job, we only had one hour to do the live standup reporting. Now that Live-Link has made us faster and more efficient, this kind of time constraint has become much more feasible.
Designed to handle news, sports, and other day-to-day remote interfacing needs with ease, the Live-Link Remote Camera Interface System offers a comprehensive fiber-optic-connected solution for transporting digital video, audio, intercom and data between a remote camera location and a truck or control room over four single-mode fibers. The point-to-point system consists of a portable camera end unit and either a portable or rack-ready control room unit. Both use industry-standard connectors that are clearly labeled for a fast, intuitive setup process for ENG and OB vans, SNG vehicles and production trailers. The system is also an ideal infrastructure solution for airports, studio complexes, arenas and campus environments.
Live-Link systems interconnect using two single-mode optical fibers. They support standard 3G/HD/SD-SDI digital video signals and provide four mic/line inputs with selectable gain and +48 volt phantom power. Also included are two line-level audio paths for IFB or general-purpose use, two-channel party-line intercom interface with 28-volt beltpack power, 2-wire to 4-wire auto-nulling hybrids for excellent intercom audio, Ethernet, RS-232 and RS-422 for camera control and GPI/GPO for tally support. Live-Link units are available in several configurations, with the new Live-Link 07X addressing the emerging 4K production workflow.