Shop Talk with Ross Video

Jeff-Moore 420It started long before all that gear came together to form the totality of your news studio or production truck. Broadcast equipment manufacturers often get together to exchange ideas, share stories, and discuss the ins and outs of the industry and the latest technology. Here, we check in with fellow manufacturer Jeff Moore, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of Ross Video, to talk about 4K, IP video, and the World Cup.

WS: Everyone has been following the World Cup to see who wins, but I understand that Ross Video has another reason to follow the World Cup.  

JM: That’s right. We have some 4K equipment at World Cup that is being used by Globo TV. It’s one of the first 4K productions being done, and it’s pretty cool. We have a couple of products we’ve deployed in that installation, and it’s fairly exotic. We’re still at the bleeding edge for 4K, but we believe that, ultimately, the industry will get there.

WS: I think most broadcast manufacturers are preparing for the eventuality of 4K. We certainly are as a television audio console manufacturer with a large installed base of television stations and sports networks.  Where do you think we’re at with 4K as an industry?

JM: In terms of producing it and the technology like the chips to make that happen, all of it is still in the very early stages. It’s still early days for 4K technology but I think there’s a lot of interest in 4K for the future. 4K has lots of advantages being high-resolution; people like high resolution displays, especially because the displays are getting bigger and bigger and 4K can be a player there.


WS: It wasn’t all that long ago that we were all working with analog circuitry. A big change came with the introduction of production automation, which, as you know, has really shaped how all the other studio elements are used today, our audio consoles included.  

JM: In fact, Wheatstone was one of the first audio consoles that we integrated with our OverDrive automated production control system. But, yes, over the last six or seven years production automation has really taken off. In most cases, if a customer is building a new facility, they’re likely to automate it. More than half of newscasts in North America today are automated either with OverDrive or a competing product.

WS: SDI played a huge role in automating production I would imagine, because it gave us a means to put audio and video on one serial interface. In fact, Wheatstone just introduced an SDI audio de-embedder for our IP networked audio consoles that will be useful as a bridge between SDI and IP. What are you seeing as far as IP video adoption in the industry?  

JM: There are lots of devices in the chain and in the workflow process that are connected over IP. We still have some legacy serial connections in there, but more and more it’s an IP connection to the devices that are connecting to newsroom systems and the devices in the control room. But SDI is still king in live production because we’re dealing with real-time, frame- accurate, synchronous streams and we want minimal delay, and that’s not possible with the compression needed for IP. You need to get 1.5 gigabits/second per input on a production switcher, so if you have 64 inputs that you need to switch between on a production switcher, that becomes a challenge to move around uncompressed. IP can be useful to get video from remote venues or out of our trucks back to the broadcaster or network. These are often compressed signals, so that’s another area where IP is used.

WS: As a closing comment, I just want to say that Ross Video initiatives openGear® and openTruck® are a good example of how manufacturers can work together to benefit our customers, and the industry as a whole.   

JM: Thanks for that. And just for the record, we know how crucial audio is to our customers. We can put the greatest pictures on the air, but we know that if people can’t hear what’s being said, they’ll switch the channel. Most of us in this business have learned that the hard way. 

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