In the fast-paced, diverse world of outside broadcast, time is always a challenge when deploying complex systems to meet production and event schedules in the field. It is in especially short supply for the smaller OB van operations, with their typically compact systems and limited crew size. The variety of required cabling can add additional complexity to this issue. While the large broadcast production trucks can usually pull up close to a venue, and often take advantage of “house” cabling resources, the required video, audio and support cable runs between a camera location and the associated OB/ENG van can be quite long. And for the smaller satellite uplink/production van covering the same sports event or concert, the cable runs might be even longer as the available parking location may be even farther away from the venue.
Cabling needs include supporting a camera feed, return video for monitoring, mic- or line-level audio sources, IFB for talent cueing and party-line intercom belt pack connections. More involved applications may also involve connections for camera control using serial data and on-air tally signals. Clearly, running multiple cables to connect a truck-side unit to the camera location in the field is cumbersome at best, and extremely inefficient and costly in terms of crew hours, hauling weight and truck space. Finding a solution to the cable conundrum is certainly in order for the industry at large and for smaller OB vans in particular.
Studio Technologies developed the Live-Link Jr. remote camera interface system to solve the cable conundrum for operators needing to quickly and efficiently connect camera and return video, on-air and talent cueing audio, and party-line intercom between a camera location in the field and a small broadcast vehicle. The system offers an extensive set of features highlighted by excellent audio quality and a compact, rugged form factor. Its design was specifically optimized for live event, OB/ENG and uplink vehicle applications. Interconnected with just two single-mode optical fibers, Live-Link Jr. allows for the rapid deployment of all the resources required for a single-camera “live shot.”
Linked using just two single-mode optical fibers, the system’s portable camera-end unit and 1U rack-mounted truck unit deliver excellent operational performance for all video and audio signals essentially regardless of the interconnect distance, whether hundreds of feet or miles apart. (See Figure 1) The camera-end unit allows for remote powering from the truck-end by using hybrid fiber/copper cable with distances of well over 1000ft possible. It can also operate locally from a 12VDC source or by a battery connected through an Anton/Bauer or V-Mount battery mount. The truck-end unit offers both AC and DC powering capabilities, with the DC source capable of serving as a hot standby. If a connected AC mains source fails, the unit will automatically continue operation from the DC source.