Now in its 16th year, Broadcast Engineering's Pick Hits have long set the trend for excellence in broadcasting. The awards are chosen by a panel of industry experts who search the floor for the best and brightest of NAB's new crop of products. Those experts then meet before the show's final day to determine the winners based on a product's positive inpact on the intended user's everyday work.
Unlike other awards, BE's Pick Hits are not chosen by the magazine's staff. Awards are bestowed by industry professionals from all walks of broadcasting and production, people who face the everyday challenges of keeping a facility up and running at its best.
Congratulations to this year's winners.
This software-based system can manipulate and store multi-program MPEG transport streams, as well as integrate a full array of functions into one box: a splicing system that can manage up to six programs in the output transport stream, a re-multiplexer, data and logo insertion that can display four logos simultaneously in HD and SD programming, and PSIP capability. The AGV-1000 can seamlessly insert compressed HD or SD program content from its internal file servers, which offer a standard 16 hours of capacity at 19.39Mb/s (upgradeable to 200 hours). The AGV-1000 supports data from external PSIP authoring systems. When controlled by an external PSIP authoring system, it will accept and insert data into the proper PSIP table in the outgoing transport stream.
609-514-4032; fax 609-514-4029; agilevision.com
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The HD10A is a compact, 10-bit, A/D HD converter that can add an HD-SDI output to HD cameras and computers, VTRs or other analog-only HD equipment. The HD10A accepts full-bandwidth RGB or YPbPr analog HD and outputs three duplicate HD-SDI signals. It works in 1080i50/59.94/60Hz, 1035i@50/59.94/60Hz, and firstname.lastname@example.org/60Hz with internal or external sync (tri-level).
800-251-4224; fax 530-274-9442; aja.com
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This portable module for video cameras provides wireless digital transmission of camera audio and video signals, installed in a backpack or plugged on to the back of most cameras. The Carry-Coder offers high- and constant-quality sound and pictures using digital transmission and MPEG-2 A/V compression. Using COFDM modulation, operation in multipath environments is stable and interference free. It is 4:2:0 MPEG-2-compliant to MP@ML, features one video channel, two audio channels and a data channel, and offers professional YUV and composite video interfaces. The RF output frequency is adjustable from 1.99- to 2.70GHz with 250kHz resolution.
858-560-8601; fax 858-560-1637; bms-inc.com
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Star*dust, to be developed as a resolution-independent module of 5D Cyborg, 5D's integrated effects editing environment, and available as a plug-in for Discreet, brings a number of tools for film mastering and restoration, including automatic and operator-assisted motion-estimated dust, blotch and hair removal tools that are adaptable within a broad set of parameters to handle different types of source material; vertical scratch detection and removal, including non-stationary scratches; 3D motion-adaptive recursive noise and grain reducers; detail-adaptive sharpen and blur tools; and automatic histogram image equalizers.
Available via 5D: 310-394-7824; fax: 310-394-7924; five-d.com; colorfront.com
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The F9-2410MD downconverter mates with the 50-pin connector on the rear of the Sony HDW-F900 HDCAM and uses the full-resolution digital data output from the camera to provide full-image, downconverted composite analog outputs for local and remote monitoring. It can also output HD-SDI and downconverted 601 SDI both with embedded data. Supports all HD video formats from the F900 and in the case of 1080p/24sF will do a 3:2 pulldown on the downconverted outputs for flicker-free viewing. The lightweight unit also features an integrated battery mount for easy installation and use, and is available in several versions that provide various complements of analog and digital downconverted outputs as well as HD-SDI outputs.
877-995-3700; fax 905-335-3573; evertz.com
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The PTR reads SMPTE/EBU timecode at multiple frame rates and displays the time and/or user bit data on a two-line LCD display. Frame rates of 24-, 25-, 29.97- and 30fps can be read and displayed from 1/10 play speed up to 3× play speed, in forward or reverse direction. The frame rate and drop/non-drop frame status can also be displayed. Simple-to-use read and write functions allow quick and easy capture and review of up to 50 timecode “points of interest,” which are saved in non-volatile memory (even with the battery removed). When using the PTR to take production notes in the field, only the two digit “WR/RD” entry number need be jotted down, not the entire timecode value, as the timecode for any entry number can be easily recalled later.
949-489-0240; fax 949-489-0242; horita.com
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The DVI-Fiberlynx allows a keyboard and display to be located up to 1000 feet from the CPU. Digital video, keyboard, mouse and serial signals are transparently transmitted by fiber optic cable, eliminating RF interference and allowing for a complete interaction from a remote location. The system consists of a transmitter with the CPU and a receiver located with the display/keyboard — connected by a fiber optic cable. The Fiberlynx supports most digital video standards with configurations for either DVI or SGI formats.
800-871-9838; fax 203-874-0157; lightwavecom.com
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The HD1616 is a 16×16 high-definition serial digital video router with universal wideband technology to allow simultaneous switching of digital video signals from 143Mb/s up to 1.5Gb/s. HD1616 has automatic cable equalizing on all inputs and re-clocking with automatic standard selection on all outputs. Vertical interval switching is provided on a video reference input with PAL/NTSC color black. The built-in RS-232 (optional RS-422) interface allows user control of the router via 16-CrossSoft PC-software or other third-party control systems.
514-333-1772; fax 514-333-9828; miranda.com
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The compact design of this DA puts 20 DA modules of any signal type installed in any combination in a 2RU frame. All modules and components are hot swappable and can be quickly configured. The frame is fan-cooled and offers redundant power supplies and fans that can be monitored and provide status reporting via GPI, RS-232 serial port. An optional enhanced controller card with Ethernet connectivity is available for full monitoring capability from a remote control panel, a PC, a Palm Pilot or a control network.
514-333-1772; fax 514-333-9828; miranda.com
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The AJ-HDC27V, which is capable of operation at 24fps plus a wide variety of other frames rates, offers unique variable-frame selectivity so that cinematographers can choose from a wide range of frame rates — including 4- to 33fps (in one-frame increments), 36fps, 40fps and 60fps, providing the capability to overcrank or undercrank the camera to achieve fast- or slow-motion effects. The camera's shutter speed automatically tracks frame rate changes ensuring consistency of look. It offers 46 minutes of record time in standard 720/60p format on DVCPRO large-size cassettes.
800-528-8601; fax: 323-436-3660; panasonic.com/broadcast
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The DVQM analyzer enables the assessment of picture quality according to subjective criteria to become an objective real-time measurement method. Picture quality is assessed from artifacts produced by digital compression. The method is based on the analysis of video data and can thus also be used where no reference video material is available. Real-time capability and independence from a reference signal makes the DVQM effective in the quality assessment of digital, DCT-coded video sequences. Uses the analysis of DCT-coded video data applied to the DVQ in an MPEG-2 transport stream to determine the quality. Quality analysis being performed in real-time, so that any potential quality degradation can be immediately recognized and remedied.
410-910-7800; fax: 410-910-7801; rohde-schwarz.com
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The CDK-111 single-card keyer/mixer card suits a multitude of situations where high-quality digital video keying, mixing and synchronizing needs to be performed. All four channels of the CDK-111 have full frame-synchronization capability with infinite timing adjustment. This makes it easy to install and helps eliminate many system-timing issues. On-board memory along with its image-capture capability makes displaying freeze frame or animated logos easy. Control over the CDK-111 is available via GPI, local control panel and RS-485 protocol.
613-652-4886; fax: 613-652-4425; rossvideo.com
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The AT1506 provides over-the-air, real-time monitoring of 8VSB signals. Using a Broadcom 8VSB decoder, the AT1506 is capable of measuring error vector magnitude (EVM), modulation error ratio (MER), RF level, pilot level, equalizer loading and margin above threshold. It also graphically displays the RF spectrum, including adjacent channels, an 8VSB constellation display and an eye diagram display. Multipath can be analyzed by looking at equalizer tap values and frequency response. The 8VSB demodulator is mounted on a PCI card, so upgrades to new generation demodulators is possible.
800-SENCORE; fax: 605-367-1006; sencore.com
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Mach1 offers high-quality motion compensation in a 1RU box, which makes on-site, motion-compensated standards conversion possible for mobile uses including outside broadcasts, sports and ENG applications. I/O formats are 10-bit serial digital and composite video, with dual AES digital audio I/O. An ergonomically designed front panel allows rapid access to key functions, with an LCD display providing information on signal parameters. Other key features include aspect ratio conversion, linear conversion mode using four field, four-line aperture, 2× SDI inputs, 2× SDI outputs, and composite/YC output of all world standards.
408-260-1000; fax: 408-260-2800; snellwilcox.com
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This 42-inch monitor features 1024×1024 pixel resolution for sharp detail and strong color reproduction. The 3 1/4-inch thick, 65.5-pound panel is equipped with an advanced scan converter that can intelligently reproduce a wide range of digital video signals (including SDTV and HDTV) and UXGA computer signals. Users can change aspect ratios from standard 4:3 to 16:9 format to accommodate DVD presentations and widescreen broadcasts. The monitor offers a 160-degree viewing angle for maximum viewing area and 20 video memory settings for quick recall. Accepts S-video, composite, RGB and YUV inputs.
800-686-SONY; fax: 201-930-4752; sony.com/professional
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The XPRI is a long-form nonlinear editor and finishing tool built on the Windows 2000 platform. The system is resolution independent, capable of operating in uncompressed HD and native HDCAM for efficient storage, as well as an SD mode with support for SD uncompressed, IMX/MPEG-50, and low-resolution MPEG. The HD and SD interfaces are identical and the system can store HD and SD material simultaneously. For integration with other systems, popular EDL formats such as BVE, CMX and OMF are supported, as well as popular media formats including AVI and Quicktime. The system also provides of number of unique editing features like dual digitizing, which allows two SD streams of video to be digitized simultaneously, greatly reducing digitizing times regardless of tape format. External control panels (audio controller, jog/shuttle knob, track ball and z-ring, and a media bar) are all USB hot swappable and programmable for individual operator customization.
800-686-SONY; fax: 201-930-4752; sony.com/professional
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The DM-24 is a cost-effective small-format digital console offering flexible 24-channel/eight-bus configuration, plus eight additional channels for returns, a standard 24-channel TDIF digital I/O interface and eight-channel ADAT optical digital interface, as well as two stereo AES/EBU interfaces, two stereo S/PDIF interfaces and two option slots for additional interface modules. The DM-24 offers on-board 24-bit AD and D/A converters as well as built-in automation. Two built-in effects processors on each channel offer reverb, spatial effects and mic/speaker modeling effects.
323-726-0303; fax: 323-727-7635; tascam.com
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The LDK-7000HD provides native operation that additionally supports true progressive frame rates that are common for film-like applications, including 1080p24, p25 and p30. Operation at 720p even allows frame rates that enable slow-motion applications. Switching between formats is achieved within the camera sensors where a total of 4320 vertical pixels are available. The 7000 uses the TriaxHD transmission system, enabling HD video to be transmitted over 1000 meters using industry-standard triax cable without any loss in signal quality.
800-962-4287; fax: 818-729-7710; broadcast.philips.com
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The SQM is a multi-format audio/video system that provides monitoring and signal quality measurements from both local and remote locations. The system is based on a multiple card and frame design that gives the user customized choices to meet current and future needs. The input cards measure and analyze video and audio from multiple sources including composite analog video, serial digital video, analog audio, AES/EBU audio, embedded audio and MPEG formats. The SQM instantly reports any errors to a master control point through simultaneous monitoring of all inputs offering real-time alarms with logging. Additionally, frames may be cascaded to build a system capable of monitoring and reporting on thousands of signals.
800-800-5719; fax: 610-327-9295; videotek.com
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The WireLux line includes mic, pair and multi-pair cables. The small size of InstaLux provides easy termination preparation, and its 100 percent shielding makes it a good choice for internal rack wiring. It is conductive thermoplastic shielded with a drain wire to eliminate braided, spiral, or foil shields. StudiLUX cable consists of four or eight individual InstaLUX cables in one durable overall outer jacket. Designed for use in installation applications as well as for studio cabling between equipment, StudiLUX is available in 500-foot spools. The line also includes Ultralux, a flexible multi-pair interconnect cable with 4-, 8-, 12- and 16-pair versions, and Musilux, a 100 percent shielded microphone cable.
877-WIRELUX; fax: 908-686-0483; wireworks.com
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Steve Damas, WGBH
Aram Friedman, American Museum of Natural History
Karl Renwanz, Video Transfer
Dan Stark, Stark Consulting
Marcus Weise, Marcus Weise and Associates
Scott Griffin, The Systems Group
Ed Williams, KPDX Engineering, Portland
David Warner, Crawford Communications
Tony Salgato, 24-7 Studios
Paul Black, Loral SkyNet
Marvin Born, Dispatch Broadcast Group
Mike Betts, Broadcast Training Partners