IBC 2013: Cobham introducing RCP Ethernet connectivity for camera control

Cobham Broadcast, the RF specialist company that uses highly advanced communications technologies to empower broadcast users, will introduce Ethernet connectivity for remote camera control at IBC 2013.

Developed in close consultation with customers worldwide, Cobham Broadcast has upgraded its camera control system with the option to include RCP Ethernet connectivity.

The move is particularly beneficial to OB truck owners or operators who typically have to physically relocate hard-wired connections to each remote camera’s controller, a considerable and inconvenient time waster for multi-camera productions of any size.

Cobham’s international broadcast sales manager, JP Delport, says: “Anyone in the market for a wireless camera control system will love this. Our camera control system is already a market leader, but Ethernet connectivity makes it an order of magnitude better.

“RS-232 and RS-485 camera control solutions, although efficient, have one major flaw. Every time a remote control panel (RCP) is allocated or changed it requires manual intervention. With Ethernet connectivity between our system’s indoor unit and master control unit, all you have to do change or add controllers is to reassign the IP address of each RCP to whichever camera you want and you’re done. No moving parts. No crawling behind a console to plug or unplug respective control devices. No problem.”

Cobham’s camera control system already offers next-generation features in a rugged, easy to use ‘plug-and-play’ system architecture. The system utilises a two-box solution – an indoor unit (IDU) that interfaces with an OB truck system, and an outdoor unit (ODU) for transmitting an RF signal. The camera receive unit is small and lightweight, which provides far greater mounting flexibility than conventional systems.

Delport adds: “The physical makeup of our camera control system doesn’t change at all and still offers the industry’s highest level of performance and reliability. The only thing that changes in the system is the connection, which is a subtle, but game-changing move.”

At present, Cobham’s improved camera control connectivity is optimised for Sony’s range of professional broadcast cameras. Ethernet support for Grass Valley, Ikegami and Hitachi camera systems are in development and scheduled for introduction in 2014.

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