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High-tech gear getting NAB debuts

Apr 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

To help TV stations round out their digital newsrooms, the industry’s largest equipment suppliers are introducing a host of new products at the National Association of Broadcasters convention this week in Las Vegas.
Among the highlights of this week’s show:
* One of the most anticipated launches is the optical disc system, a camera that records onto a DVD-like piece of media rather than tape, from Sony Electronics’ Business Solutions and Systems Co. In many ways, this kind of camera is the missing link for TV stations in completing the transition to an all-digital newsroom since even those broadcasters that have outfitted their facilities with servers and nonlinear editing systems have still relied on tape for acquisition.
The Sony camera transfers files up to 50 times faster than real time, which means an hour of video can be transferred into a digital editing system or video server in a little more than a minute, substantially reducing the wait time for transfer. The camera records both a high-resolution original and a low-resolution proxy. The camera records in two formats: DVCam and MPEG IMX.
* Harris Broadcast Communications will showcase the Harris Resource Suite that serves as the bridge from a TV station’s “catch server,” such as those used by digital feed delivery systems like Pathfire, and the news server.
The system grabs the files and transfers them to the broadcast server, said Jay Adrick, VP of strategic business development and chief technology officer at Harris. “We become the next link in the chain between the station’s server and any number of distribution services that move files into the station,” he said.
* AP Broadcast plans to rebrand the suite of products it makes for use with its newsroom computer system ENPS. The product line will be called DNA-for dynamic newsroom architecture-and includes SNAPFeed, a software program that helps journalists transmit files remotely at the appropriate bandwidth; AP’s election system; its Web publishing system; and its school closing system, which will be introduced in the fall, said Lee Perryman, AP’s director of broadcast technology.
* Tandberg Television plans to introduce an encoding platform that supports Microsoft’s Windows Media 9. Windows Media 9, a digital media platform that allows for broadcast-quality video, works efficiently at low bit rates, said Charles Cartwright, business development manager for advanced encoding at Tandberg Television. The platform halves the data transfer rate and still maintains a high-quality picture, he said. It can be used for news gathering.
* Thomson Grass Valley will unveil 12 new products, including the PVS 3000 server, a version of its popular Profile server that can switch between high-definition and standard definition.
* Outside the newsroom and in the field, Norsat International will debut a smaller version of its NewsLink SNG terminal. The terminal is designed to be portable and provide an advantage in “first strike” reporting for the war in Iraq. The system allows for broadcast-quality MPEG-2 video and can be packed into small suitcases to check onto airlines.