ISE 2014: Traditional Broadcast Vendors Share 4K Knowledge, Tools

As the professional A/V market trends towards 4K, traditional broadcast manufacturers are taking notice and lending their tools, workflows, and expertise to the industry. Broadcast technology was out in full force on the show floor at ISE 2014 in Amsterdam, with many vendors showcasing their 4K-capable gear in a new light.

A veteran of control-room and mobile-production installs, Thinklogical showed its KVM extension and KVM switch and router technology, used for delivering multisignal distribution and video resolution up to 4K.

“The A/V world and the IT world are really starting to meld,” says Robert Ventresca, VP of marketing, Thinklogical. “What’s happening is the types of data that’s being generated in what typically would have been seen as A/V environments — like video data — is almost becoming big data. … A 4K resolution file is a huge chunk of data to move around, and that really starts requiring more than just A/V technology. It starts requiring IT technology. It requires a way to get that data places; it requires ways to get it there securely, efficiently, and effectively.”

Apantac’s multiviewers feature both 4K upconversion and downconversion, which lend A/V operators a level of flexibility when selecting monitors. “4K monitors that are 260 Hz are still relatively expensive, whether A/V or the actual production of sport,” says Thomas Tang, president, Apantac. “If you’re framing cameras, you’re doing production, you may not want to buy yourself a bunch of 4K monitors. … Here you can utilise your current infrastructure.”

The company also showed a number of extension devices, reaching up to 330 ft. “We have extensions built into all our products because the equipment’s never right next to the monitor,” Tang continued. “You’ve got to extend it somehow, so you better be responsible for the extenders.”

Recognising the overlap between the broadcast and A/V industries, Blackmagic Design had a big presence at the show, demonstrating its ATEM production-studio 4K switcher, HyperDeck studio broadcast decks, and a number of standards converters.

AJA Video Systems showcased its full range of 4K-capable systems. Having debuted at IBC2013, AJA’s TruZoom returned to the Amsterdam RAI, with high-quality region-of-interest workflows for 4K and Ultra HD video content. AJA’s Ki Pro and ROI converters were also on display for A/V operators to check out.

“It’s just a case of working our way into this industry,” says Matty Causon, EMEA management, AJA Video Systems. “A/V’s becoming more prevalent, and there’s more crossover with traditional broadcast products that we’ve built. We’re getting more aligned.”

While many broadcast manufacturers work to establish a foothold in the A/V market, others are already there. Evertz, leveraging its broadcast-industry experience, launched Evertz AV a year ago. Through this new venture, the company is gearing its KVM technology, IP-based multiviewers, and more toward the A/V industry and looks to further bridge the gap between A/V and broadcast.

“We have 45 years in business, so there’s a lot of expertise that we have that we’ve ported over into this [A/V] range,” says Fraser Clark, director of sales – UK, Evertz. “It has DNA from the broadcast side that’s available that can support the A/V market.”

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