NAB Perspectives: Miranda’s Scott Murray on Revolutionizing Truck Technology in the 4K World

4K may not yet be a viable distribution model for live sports, but it’s clear at this year’s NAB Show that broadcasters are discovering and discussing ways that the exciting technology can be integrated effectively into their HD productions of today.

Miranda's Scott Murray discussed the company's central role in the industry's  4K transition.

Miranda’s Scott Murray discussed the company’s central role in the industry’s 4K transition.

At its NAB booth in LVCC’s North Hall, Miranda is showing off its full range of 4K-friendly technologies that make using 4K more efficient and productive in both the mobile-truck and control-room environments.

“The discussion around 4K is, ‘what do I do with all of these cool 4K cameras that I have? How do I integrate them into my production?,’” says Scott Murray, SVP, core products, Miranda. “So we are getting a lot of traction at our 4K demo area.”

Miranda’s comprehensive portfolio includes a new Copperhead that supports 4K, routers that have a 4K frame sync, synchronous shift switching, a 4K monitor for its multiviewers, and 4K downconversion, which enables broadcasters to be able to stitch a 4K image together into a 3G image to allow for usage in existing productions.

“What 4K has done now, with four-quad links, you need to figure out how to manage all of that inside an infrastructure within a truck,” says Murray. “The core essence of a broadcast you can do now with the equipment that we’ve got. So, if you want to hook up a production switcher — which is fine — you just quad-link the 4M/Es together and make a 4M/E switcher into 1. We integrate into production switchers as well, so, between Miranda and, say, Sony, you can do a 4K production. All 4K or just bits and pieces in 4K now.”

In fact, Miranda is collaborating with Sony to demonstrate its stand of integrated 4K-production scenarios.

A 4K technology solution involving both companies will be used in the UK outside-broadcast company Telegenic’s 4K-equipped OB truck — a European first — expected to go into service later this year.

The Telegenic truck will be capable of capturing live footage in HD or 4K, supporting two unique formats out of the same truck, and is underpinned by Sony’s existing product portfolio — including HDC-2500R cameras, PMW-F55 4K cameras, Sony’s MVS-8000X Vision Mixer, Miranda’s 4K-enhanced NVISION 8500 Series routers, and three Sony PVM-300 4K LCD monitors — to deliver a reliable 4K production workflow.

With a large footprint established in the European mobile industry, Miranda has been pushing for some time to make a splash in North America. The future of 4K may be the window of opportunity it has been waiting for.

“In the truck business, we know what it’s like in the U.S,” says Murray. “Most truck companies purchase something from a vendor, and they stick with it for quite a while. The technology has to switch dramatically to cause them to switch vendors. We’ve introduced some things at this show, and it has actually caused some of the truck vendors to say, ‘wow, I think that I want to reconsider my choice.’”

He continues, “‘There’s new technology always arriving. It’s really important to stay abreast of the major vendors and the new technologies that come out to allow you to be more efficient with your production. Don’t be closed and myopic and think that you know the solution and don’t consider some other people. There’s a lot of great technology all over the place. We have technologies that allow truck operators to be more efficient in their productions.

“What drove trucks a few years ago is very different than what’s driving them now,” he continues. “You have less time per setup and teardown; you have to have the truck on the road a lot more to recoup your investment in the truck itself. So efficiency and integration between products is extremely important.”

Camera-to-Truck Solutions
Miranda has also leveraged years of experience in outfitting production environments for OB vans and production trucks to assemble a combination of products that provides connectivity and control of all elements from content acquisition through playout.

Comprising several product brands, including the recently integrated Telecast Fiber Solutions, Miranda’s solution includes camera connectivity via lightweight fiber, compact routing, signal processing, monitoring and control, and multiviewer capabilities all designed for the unique power and space challenges of truck builders.

Miranda’s solution is specifically designed to exploit the advantages of lightweight, easy-to-install fiber with its line of Telecast CopperHead camera-mountable transceivers. Requiring only two strands of fiber-optic cable to carry all bidirectional signals — video, audio, intercom, data — to an OB vehicle, the camera-mountable CopperHead series replaces a multitude of copper coax cables found in typical OB applications and provides enormous savings in weight, power, and resources.

CopperHead’s multiple, bidirectional signals can be distributed through an OB truck supported by Miranda’s powerful, space-saving NVISION 8140 router. Taking up only 8RU, the hybrid NV8140 provides a 144×288 routing matrix with ultimate reliability due to full 2+1 crosspoint protection. The ultra-efficient router, part of Miranda’s NVISION 8500 enterprise-class router series, supports hybrid modules, which offers audio/video switching and processing in a single chassis and includes a range of advanced options, such as an eight-input frame-sync card and a disembedding/embedding output card to further exploit the audio-handling capabilities of this router. 

Miranda has also optimized control with the new NV920 controller, a fully redundant control system housed in 1RU with advanced tie-line management and HTML5-based monitoring. The high-density, multifunctional router-control panels can also be reconfigured to match the requirements of the user.

The NVISION 9654 LCD control panel, for example, has 54 relegendable buttons in only 2RU, providing enormous customization capabilities. Users can recall common configurations and change names and colors to enable better functionality and more efficient workflows.

New Multiviewers Unveiled
This week, Miranda launched the Kaleido-MX and Kaleido-Modular-X multiviewers series, engineered to combine performance with weight, space, and power efficiency.

Available in a range of standalone configurations from 8×1 to 48×4 and up to 64×4 in modular form, Kaleido-MX fits in large studios and mobile trucks. The possible configurations, which are delivered in either a 1RU or 3RU form factor, are specifically designed to be easy to understand, select, configure, and install.

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