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Arquiva purchases multiple Predators

In keeping with this week's sporting theme, Arqiva has acquired 48 Zandar Predator HD8 MultiViewers for use on HD content provision for Championship Football for Sky Sports and Sky Sports HD.

In keeping with this week’s sporting theme, Arqiva has acquired 48 Zandar Predator HD8 MultiViewers for use on HD content provision for Championship Football for Sky Sports and Sky Sports HD.

The Predator units provide significant space and cost benefits as well as flexible operation. They are installed inside two UK-based OB trucks, making this one of the largest single HD8 OB projects yet undertaken. The system was integrated by Sony Professional Services.

There are 24 Predator HD8 MultiViewers installed in each truck. There are 10 installed in the production area, 12 in the video tape recording area and 2 located in audio. The Predator HD MultiViewers feature native HD input processing to offer true HD quality images and drive high resolution displays up to 1080p. Coupled with low minimum frame delays (less than one frame) from source to output, the high performance HD systems provide the ultimate in image excellence and control in Arqiva’s critical HD sports production and monitoring environment.

The Predator HD8 accepts and auto-detects up to eight SDI or HD-SDI inputs with a high quality DVI output to the LCD displays up to 1080p resolution. The systems feature Zandar Dual Head (ZdH) to drive one or two displays independently or configured as a virtual monitor wall, with spanning capability. ZdH is particularly ideal in space restrictive OB vehicles as the system saves on rack space by combining two MultiViewers in a compact 1RU enclosure.

Using the ZdH mode has enabled Arqiva to build up a display wall using an array of 26 x 17-inch and 32 x 23-inch LCD screens. Eight images from each system are displayed across two LCDs with no loss of functionality or control.

Arqiva Operations Director, Ewen Hamilton, who was responsible for product selection and planning on the HD truck project explained the benefits of using the Predator HD8 MultiViewers. “The matrix-fed HD8 allows us to place and manipulate one output per screen for the display of four HD images on a single flat-screen monitor providing significant space and cost saving benefits. We can configure the system so that each screen displays three small previews of HD material alongside a single, larger output image. With the flexibility of the Zandar units, we are able to change or manipulate the images to our specific project.”

Predator HD8 features, as standard, intuitive Z-Configurator layout editing software which seamlessly controls ZdH and ensures system set-up and operation is easy. At any time, the Arqiva operators have full dynamic control over the configuration of all sources being shown on any single display including the display of dynamic UMD and Tally display from external routers, clock and timecode display.

“The MultiViewers are interfaced with TSL Tallyman to create a Tally border and flexible font sizes which is driving the critical UMD data,” added Hamilton. “With Z-Configurator, any layout can be tailor-made with ease.”

Summing up the significance of this latest mission-critical installation, Deirdre Smith, CEO at Zandar Technologies, said: “Quality and flexibility is critical in HD outside broadcast monitoring applications where only the most advanced technology is considered. We have experienced phenomenal success in this market with many of today’s leading HDTV OB/mobile vehicle operators relying on the powerful video processing of our Predator HD systems to offer the ultimate in picture quality, performance and features.”

As a sub-contractor to Sky, Arqiva was tasked with providing High-Definition pictures for the broadcaster’s HD platform, which was initiated last year. A key content element of the platform is a lucrative Championship Football soccer coverage contract that Arqiva facilitated and which went live in August 2006.