Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


OPINION: Going the wireless way

Flexibility and easy deployment are key, but not at the expense of diminishing critical capabilities says JP Delport, broadcast sales director, Cobham

What is emerging now in our industry in terms of wireless transmission is a more clearly defined line between what sports and events production teams want to do with their technology compared to what, for example, news broadcasters want to achieve. Sports and other live events are all about high picture quality, 1080P, 4K, and what have you. On the other hand, news organisations are increasingly leaning more toward moving data and images over IP via 3G/4G networks, BGAN, Ka uplinks and traditional COFDM in order to deliver the content as quickly and reliably as possible.

What that means is that the days of providing one product and trying to shoehorn it into serving various broadcast markets is gone. Flexibility and easy deployment are key, but not at the expense of diminishing the critical capabilities necessary for the technologies’ primary task.

That’s why we have developed some very exciting new transmitter technologies, each specifically designed for live sport and events users, and news gathering organisations respectively, both of which are on display and ready for inspection at IBC. We have clearly defined our transmitter offerings at IBC into one that is perfect for the outside broadcast market and one that is best for news networks.

Our new dual-input SOLO8 SDR is an HD-SDI COFDM transmitter that includes integral video analytics, recording, and IP streaming capabilities. SDR stands for ‘software-defined radio’, which we think is the very definition of next generation wireless broadcast technologies. The beauty of the SOLO8 SDR platform is that it runs apps almost like a smartphone and can instantly change its personality to suit the news gathering requirement in the field.

Instead of having to take the time – and expense – to purchase and swap modules and capabilities in the field – often at critical moment, you simply press a button and make a selection or two and you’re away. We, and the handful who have tried it so far, think that’s very cool indeed. I know the term ‘game-changer’ is an overused cliché, so let’s just say that the SOLO8 SDR will rock the broadcast world in ways that will prompt new clichés that, when it comes to the SOLO8 SDR, we will be very happy for the industry to overuse.

For those involved in live sport and event coverage, our new SOLO7-OBTx camera-back transmitter features 1080p60 and 4:2:2 with integrated camera control. It includes swappable RF modules (340MHz – 8.6GHz) and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video encoding. Its latency, depending on mode, ranges from 1s to an ultra-low 10ms, which when coupled with ultra-low power consumption delivers the extended performance that news gatherers require in the field.

Added to our broader range of broadcast technologies, including the tried and test IP Mesh and Nano HD TX, we truly believe that our latest products and their extraordinary capabilities represent a milestone in wireless communications and are genuinely excited to present them to the marketplace for the first time at IBC2015.