Wohler’s iON Looks to Revolutionize Audio, Video Monitoring
As loudness monitoring continues to be a hot-button issue in both the production world and on Capital Hill, Wohler Technologies’ iON audio- and video-monitoring solution makes its NAB Show debut this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Leveraging Wohler’s world-class technologies, iON meets current and future signal management and confidence monitoring needs on a single platform that can be remotely accessed and controlled from Web-enabled devices. Using the iON platform, broadcasters can access all of Wohler’s monitoring capabilities from remote PC, Mac, smartphone, and tablet devices, with video and audio content streamed in real time for viewing and monitoring.
“It represents 26 years of all that talent and time and energy and resource in the monitoring of both audio and video and puts it into one box,” said Carl Dempsey, president/CEO of Wohler Technologies, at the company’s NAB Show press briefing on Sunday afternoon. “It’s an absolutely incredible device. It’s going to spawn a whole different breed of audio-monitoring and video-monitoring devices.”
iON provides real-time streaming of audio, video, MPEG ASI, and VoIP sources, as well as associated metadata, from locally installed, modular hardware platforms that manage all I/O connections at their source. Audio, video, captioning/subtitling, loudness, MADI, and MPEG monitoring and analysis can be performed from a single user-configurable software interface.
“This is probably the single most significant release in the monitoring-product range that Wohler has done in the last 10 years,” said Don Bird, chief marketing officer at Wohler. “It’s a landmark. It’s really a change in philosophy of how we architect our product range and how we develop and support the need to monitor content anywhere from any device.”
The iON base-model design includes four bidirectional connections that can each be tasked as multichannel inputs or outputs. Secure access can be provided to multiple users, who can use either Web-enabled devices or local control panels to view and monitor content. The solution’s modular design supports additional I/Os via additional cards in a compact 1RU chassis with support for the addition of optional redundant power supplies. Information is provided to the user via a Gigabit Ethernet connection.
MADI Goes Mainstream
At the show, Wohler is featuring its new AMP1-MADIe in-rack, portable MADI unit with Ethernet control and configuration.
Suited for sports productions and other live broadcasts, the new system can be connected in series with a 56- or 64-channel MADI stream for individual volume adjustment and audible monitoring of any eight selected MADI channels at once.
“MADI has been around for quite a while, but it’s only recently that the broadcast industry has picked up on it as a better, lower-cost infrastructure and a better way to move multiple channels of audio from point A to point B,” said Bird.
Designed specifically for users requiring unique functionality equivalent to a MADI audio hot-mic mixer, AMP1-MADIe simplifies rapid selection and monitoring of MADI signals in fast-paced, live-to-air production environments.
According to Bird, the origin of the product came from conversations with NBC Sports, which, during construction of its new facility in Stamford, CT, expressed to Wohler it’s interest in using a MADI infrastructure while still using Wohler’s audio-monitoring system, which was not MADI-friendly at the time.
‘So we got to thinking, rather than make a MADI monitor, let’s make an audio monitor that’s really simple to use, very aggressively priced, and it just happens to work within a MADI infrastructure. So that’s how the project was born,” said Bird.
AMP1-MADIe is available in two models, providing support for either multimode (AMP1-MADIe-MM) or single-mode (AMP1-MADIe-SM) fiber connections. As a result, users can establish MADI cable runs of virtually any distance. Both models also support standard copper on BNC, accepting and converting between optical MADI signals and BNC I/O.
New Automation Platform for RadiantGrid
Wohler acquired RadiantGrid in the weeks just following last year’s NAB Show.
This year, the Wohler RadiantGrid New Media Automation Platform offers a solution for transcoding, standards conversion, and audio processing in applications including loudness correction, quality control, and distribution of media while also integrating with traffic, business-process, and rights-management systems.
At the heart of the platform is RadiantGrid’s TrueGrid parallel-processing engine, which provides faster-than-real-time content transformation, particularly for long-form content requiring multiple processes to be run concurrently. Intelligent automation of workflow processes coupled with close integration of best-of-breed plug-ins — such as Cinnafilm’s Tachyon, Interra’s Baton, and Linear Acoustic AERO.file — enables the versatile operation needed to manage everything from multiplatform transcoding and standards conversion to more-complex processing, such as mixed-cadence correction, video optimization, and audio-loudness conformance.