Shotoku Broadcast Systems will be showing off its industry-leading technology at IBC by highlighting its globally adopted SmartRail ceiling mounted robotic track system in Stand 12.E42. SmartRail, which can also be configured for floor operations, will join the Company’s other ‘Smart” solution, SmartPed, a fully robotic XY pedestal installed in on-air environments worldwide. On the manual side, Shotoku will introduce a new series of ENG/EFP camera support tripod systems to the European market.
“Shotoku changed the playing field from the floor to the ceiling in 2015 when we installed our first ceiling track system with full elevation control – and that same system has been on-air every day since,” explained James Eddershaw, managing director of Shotoku UK. “We will be showing new products as well as upgraded features, but we’ve found that customers also want to see systems
that have been fully proven in the field, so we are proud and excited to bring Ceiling SmartRail and SmartPed to IBC. Today Shotoku has successfully installed SmartRail and SmartPed systems all around the world, at a wide range of clients from small studios to large broadcast facilities. They all benefit from the high levels of performance and flexibility customers have come to expect from Shotoku.”
SmartRail, specifically intended for live studio broadcasts that operate 24×7, is a world leading track system ideal for full-size camera configurations. It can be mounted on the ceiling and provide an extended elevate/descend range as well as dolly drive allowing the camera to descend to eye-level and also elevate for the higher-level sweeping shots, all with fully integrated motion and under a single Shotoku control system. SmartRail can also be mounted on the floor. The advanced design of the elevation column makes it possible to raise cameras to new heights while retaining stability and smoothness of on-air control. Elevation control works upright for floor-tracks or inverted for ceiling-tracks to allow maximum creativity in production design. installations come with a range of elevation columns to suit almost any application and budget.
As with all Shotoku robotics systems, SmartRail has been widely deployed and on-air with VR/AR tracking data output, regardless of elevator size or track shape, floor or ceiling mounted.
Eddershaw added, “Design and installation of a ceiling track system is different to other types of robotics installations; it’s even different from other track systems. A ceiling system requires an understanding of the key design elements and planning of the shape and positioning of the rail, as well as the optimum elevation column range. Having been supplying ceiling track systems to leading broadcasters for many years, Shotoku’s experienced engineering team are uniquely qualified to assist in the design of the best solution and address the challenges by engineering a well-designed, capable system.”
Shotoku’s SmartPed Robotic Pedestal supports the creative and commercial demands of countless channels in on-air environments around the globe. Engineered for continuous use in high-profile live TV productions day after day, the SmartPed design has reliability and ease of use built-in from the start. SmartPed now supports the new Absolute Navigation Interface (ANI) system enabling an embedded Shotoku supplied, or customer supplied external absolute navigation (i.e. optical tracking) system to provide always-referenced pedestal position data.
The universally deployed TG-18 PT head designed for any studio application requiring a full-size payload and instant switchover between manual or remote operation, will be on show with its new fully-integrated electronic control system. The same powerful CMC electronics module used on all standalone TG-18 systems can now optionally be embedded within the body of the TG-18 itself, providing a compact unit with AC power and network connections directly to the head. Fully compatible with the traditional external CMC solution the TG-18i provides added choice for customers dependent on the configuration of their system.
The TR-XT will be shown with the new LiveView option using a secondary IP video camera to provide a wide-angle scene view for each camera. Operators can use the LiveView image to control and command the robotic systems to new positions – without needing to pre-store the position. The LiveView option also opens up the TR-XT to future support of Shotoku’s auto-tracking face recognition systems.
The new SX200 and SX260 ENG/EFP camera support systems feature a brand-new ground up design. The systems incorporate Shotoku’s “Truebalance” which delivers perfect counterbalance and is also easy to adjust throughout the range with an intuitive display to indicate the current setting. The drag system uses Shotoku’s well known “Viscam” design but adds a new actuation system that combines the convenience and speed of selection of a stepped approach, with the fine tuning and on-shot adjustment of a continuously variable design. These 2 core features are poised to set the new standard for movement and control for high-end ENG support systems.
The SX200 has a max payload of 20Kg (44Lbs) and the SX260 25Kg (55Lbs). Partnered with a new 2-stage ENG carbon fibre tripod with fast action de-tented leg locks for quick setup and teardown, the system is also one of the lightest on the market at this payload and performance level.
Shotoku will also show the recently launched SD & SE Manual Tripod Series. The SD range, available in 2 variants, has been developed to provide a quality, affordable system for handheld cameras. The SE range provides support with high functionality and wide-ranging applications for the extended range of camera systems now available.