DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


FROM A DISTANCE The AW-UE50W and AW-UE40K by Panasonic are ideal for online classes and briefing sessions

NDI If there’s a common thread in almost every camera built with institutional or business users in mind – or even broadcasters – it’s NDI. As a counterpoint to the early steps of uncompressed IP video systems like SMPTE-2210 – excellent, but hard work – uptake of NewTek’s increasingly popular protocol has been positively meteoric. Launched at IBC 2015, NDI accepts a degree of compression in exchange for the significant convenience of lower bandwidth. Given that, a network connection using inexpensive, general-purpose computer network hardware can carry not only the picture, but also camera control, talkback and return video. Principal variations are the original NDI – often called Full NDI – which sends each frame without reference to the surrounding ones. That minimises delay, but demands more bandwidth for reasonable pictures. NDI HX uses inter- frame compression, reducing bandwidth, but increases delay; subsequent numbered revisions use better compression. Panasonic’s background in broadcast has traditionally kept it at the higher end of PTZ cameras, with engineering intended to approach the pictures produced by its full-size studio pedestal options. There are many options, from the high-specification AW-UE100 with its 3G and 12G-SDI outputs and high-efficiency NDI 2 and SRT 3, to the simpler AW-UE20 and HE20: intended for education, business and other applications that don’t need the filet mignon option of the UE100. It’s a complete range.

“Panasonic’s background in broadcast has traditionally kept it at the higher end of PTZ”

SMOOTH OPERATOR Cameras just like these increasingly find use in business and education, where the job of following the small movement of a professor around a lecture theatre for two straight hours is a good way of putting someone off camerawork for life. Panasonic’s offering includes not only conventional control panels (the AW-RP150GJ and AW-RP60GJ), but also the AW-SF100 and AW- SF200, providing software tracking based on both face and body. Panasonic isn’t the only company to offer automatic camera operation, but the ability of the software to store and recall the features of various presenters is a tidy option – and the reliability of the tracking is enough to follow the antics of all but the most energetic professors. The name Marshall is perhaps most associated with a huge variety of miniature cameras, ranging from super-small, unobtrusive options taking C-mount lenses, to still- compact devices with inbuilt zooms which shoot 60-frame, 4K pictures. Marshall has been applying that engineering experience to PTZ cameras for a while, and most recently announced its new

CV730-BHN. Supporting both the high-bandwidth version of NDI and its more frugal (if fractionally higher-latency) HX3 variant, Marshall’s camera has one of the most capable zooms here – a 30:1 lens topping out at 202mm. Behind that lens is a 1/1.8in sensor. On a sensor that size, 202mm is a pretty long lens, although the sensor is mid-sized, promising a combination of sensitivity, dynamic range and depth-of-field that’s likely to be useful to more or less everyone. It will certainly be a rather different look and operating experience in comparison to something like BirdDog’s P4K – and the right choice will vary entirely with application. Either way, nine megapixels gives us a healthy number of raw photosites from which to derive a 4K image. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that, with manufacturers putting much more effort into sensors and their optical systems – and even the engineering required to make motion smoother – it’s increasingly possible to create a remotely operated broadcast that doesn’t have to look like a remotely operated broadcast. This has the potential to improve absolutely everything, whether we are talking about live music or a CEO’s address to the company. But the aspect that’s easiest to like is the fact that education can reach as far as the internet does. And – given the right technology – in a way that makes it possible for it to happen on a much bigger scale than ever thought possible..

HIGH-TECH Marshall’s CV730-BHN is a new arrival on the market, with two simultaneous SDI (BNC) outputs

81. APRIL 2022

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