PanAmSat has opened up technical and network facilities in Europe as part of PASport, a global broadcasting service for the transmission of breaking news and live events. By using fiber, PanAmSat has created a series of hubs worldwide.
New hubs include London, Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Milan. Mike Antonovich, PanAmSat senior vice president of sales and marketing, says, "The fiber network complements our satellite fleet and enhances our ability to offer complete door-to-door services. Customers get a single, managed solution that utilizes the convenience of both satellite and terrestrial networks."
PASport users access the fiber network through public video-switching facilities in major cities, low-cost direct local access, or virtual hubs. The video is transmitted using MPEG-2 over ATM (asynchronous transfer mode). The service then links the video signals from the fiber to the satellite network using widely available analog terrestrial circuits or through standard ASI interfaces.
All About Axcera
Stations needing a new high-power VHF TV transmitter may want to swing by Axcera's booth at NAB and take a look at the Innovator HX high-power VHF television transmitter. The company believes the market for the unit will be large, since it supports analog and digital broadcasts. One advantage it has over competing units, Axcera says, is its use of the latest MOSFET transistors in high-gain power amplifiers. Because the amplifiers are high-gain, a complete high-power transmitter can be run directly by the frequency-agile exciter/driver, adding simplicity, improving reliability, and minimizing spare-parts stock.
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Digital has introduced a format to meet the demands of the soon-to-be-growing market based on the MPEG-4 H.264 video-compression scheme. The format gives content distributors using MPEG-4 the ability to transmit Dolby Digital 5.1 surround-sound audio signals with the video. It's compatible with set-top boxes that currently handle 5.1 signals, and it is currently under consideration for use in HD-DVD and other HD prepackaged formats.
Nvision heads to the desert with a number of new products, including the NV5128-MC master-control/routing switcher capable of accommodating high-def signals. The product is targeted at TV stations migrating from analog to SD/HD transmission and will be joined by the NV7512 scaleable TDM digital audio router, which supports analog as well as digital audio signals.
The next generation of Triveni Digital's real-time DTV transport-stream monitor and analyzer family is being rolled out at NAB. StreamScope MT-30 retains all the features of the StreamScope MT-25, while supporting multiple input streams and including remote-monitoring enhancements. A new in-depth RF monitoring feature analyzes the strength and quality of a broadcaster's 8-VSB digital transmission signal. StreamScope MT-30 also allows broadcasters and cable operators to supervise multiple concurrent input sources remotely. A key difference is the system's ability to simultaneously monitor and analyze all inputs and sources from all locations within a single user interface. It's available in both rack-mountable and portable models, with ASI, VSB, SMPTE 310, QAM, and Gigabit Ethernet input support
TDK will showcase its prototype blue-laser disc for Sony's Professional Disc system at NAB. With a storage capacity of 23.3 GB—five times that of standard DVD media—TDK's main product offering should be of interest to stations considering Sony's XDCAM format. Attendees can also take a look at TDK's prototype blue-laser disc for Sony's Professional Disc for DATA system, designed for archiving, including next-generation optical libraries. The company will also exhibit other storage media: LTO Ultrium 2 cartridges, new DAT 72 data cartridge, and DDS storage systems.
Nervous about profanity? Symetrix is rolling out the 6100 Broadcast Audio Profanity Delay, the first member of its AirTools family. It's a 24-bit digital delay unit designed for live broadcast that prevents profanity or unwanted comments from reaching the airwaves. As the program begins, the 6100 gradually and unobtrusively delays or "stretches out" the program until up to 20 seconds of full-bandwidth stereo audio is stored in memory. Users can prevent offensive material from reaching the air by dumping the 6100's buffer, effectively removing unwanted material.
NAB attendees on the hunt for a small-based studio pedestal should check out Vinten's Quattro S. The compact pedestal is designed for multi-camera studio applications on smaller or restricted sets, an increasing need as programs do more live remotes. It has a four-stage telescopic column that reduces the need to have talent on a raised stage. It can also track through any 30-inch doorway.
Live From the Front
Sierra Video is introducing the Lassen 3232VS, its first product to house 32x32 video and audio matrices, as well as a built-in front control panel, in a single 3-rack-unit frame. The composite video and stereo audio matrix features front-panel power-supply monitoring. It also stores the assigned names of all I/O destinations in the front panel for easy reference. The company is also debuting the "Live Switch," available in 4x2 or 8x2 configuration.
Telecast Fiber Systems is introducing Mamba at NAB, a product designed for fully integrated fiber-optic facilities. The Mamba family is based on low-profile video and audio patchbays that are integrated directly into a facility or mobile production truck. Using familiar Mini-WECO and Bantam jacks, the patchbays enable a fiber-optic interframe cable structure that is smaller, lighter, and easier to manage than coaxial cabling. Optional features include optical distribution-amplifier (DA) outputs, which allow facilities to reduce cost and space requirements by eliminating conventional DAs. Mamba also includes electrical-to-optical media converters for HD/SDI, AES-EBU, and analog audio.
Airo It Out
Digital Transaction Group will offer Airo 101, a single computer that automates one channel and controls up to eight devices. The server-class computer has dual system drives and redundant power supplies in a 4-rack-unit chassis. Airo software on the computer can be used to help manage the content and delivery of commercials and programs, integrating with video servers like the System 360 Image Server 2000 and GVG M Series. The package is priced at less than $35,000, including the System 360 Image Server 2000, with one input, two outputs, analog or digital, and 48 hours of storage at 15-Mbps MPEG-2. It also includes a one-year maintenance service plan and two-day on-site commissioning and training.