Axon Neuron makes its OB debut on new Cloudbass UHD IP truck

UK outside broadcast specialist Cloudbass has become the first company in the world to transform an existing OB truck from HD-SDI to UHD IP using Axon Digital Design’s Neuron signal processing technology. The move will allow Cloudbass to offer broadcasters the flexibility and speed of a fully IP workflow.

Upgrading the 20 camera vehicle took just five weeks to complete and involved a total refurbishment of all working areas, as well as the installation of a full IP solution based around Axon’s recently launched Neuron Network Attached Processor (NAP).

This gateway product, which was designed to address the needs of complex IP and hybrid-IP environments, supports the latest industry standards by handling uncompressed SD, HD, 3G and UHD signals based on the ST2022-6 and ST2110 specifications.

Michael Beaumont, Cloudbass technical director outlined the reasons why the Axon Neuron/Cerebrum solution was chosen: “From the outset we were looking for a future-proof scalable solution we could use to effectively ‘add’ an IP layer into any of our existing or future fleet. As soon as Axon showed us the initial ideas for the Neuron we knew it would be an exciting product.

“Our relationship is one of trust and innovation that allowed us to research and develop the build. We now have an outstanding product and concept that can be transplanted into any of our trucks that will help us continually deliver our services cost-effectively for our clients and helps future-proof our UHD services.

“The build was achieved by using a core infrastructure of seven fully populated Neurons to provide IP Gateway, routing and processing,” added Adrian Richmond, Axon’s director of sales for the UK, Ireland and Africa. “Neuron is packed with features like edge synchronisers and converters for processing streams before they enter the core router.

“It also offers 200 Gb/s and 64 1080p signals or 16 UHD channels with up to 80 SDI connectors, all in a single 1RU. By acting as a bridge between SDI and IP, Neuron allowed Cloudbass to decide what equipment it wanted to keep and what it wanted to replace. Anything that couldn’t be connected directly to Cloudbass’ new Arista 7280 IP switch could be easily channeled through Neurons and brought into the IP domain.”

To complement the Neuron system, Cloudbass also installed Axon Synview IP multiviewers in the truck’s main gallery, with additional Synapse UHD processing for the final output path. It also installed an Axon Cerebrum monitoring and control system.

Due to using new IP technologies, Cloudbass was able to upgrade the truck within a short space of time with only five weeks between its last HD job and first UHD job. Cloudbass unveiled its new IP-ready vehicle at the UK Speedway Championships in May 2019 under contract to broadcast for the BT Sport channel.

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